Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Musings

Lots of little things tonight. For instance:

I've been sitting here watching my cats play with each other. It's so funny! They wrestle and jump on each other, and Leo has been entertaining himself with an empty gum wrapper. Angel decided to jump on his head and walk away. For a cat with such a "spread," Leo is extremely agile. And Angel is the quiet stalker, lying in wait to make her move. I think she makes Leo nervous. hehehe

Tomorrow is October 1, the first day of my favorite month of the year. I love everything about October - the crispness of the air, the riot of colors, the crunch of the fallen leaves, the sound the leaves make when the wind blows them across the driveway, street, or sidewalk. The way the wind makes less and less sound as there are less and less leaves on the trees. Instead of a rustling, the wind becomes more of a sigh, or a roar if it's a windy day. No other month has such a change in season and weather as October.

Our reviews of the library director are due tomorrow, and for those of you who have followed my stressful work environment this year, mostly told on MySpace, you'll know that the reviews are not going to be in her favor. Her behavior has not changed at all this year, becoming more erratic and passive-aggressive as the year has passed. I just hope the library board will read all of our reviews and realize that a change must happen.

(By the way, Leo has lost the gum wrapper in my tennis shoe, so now he's attacking the shoe. So far, the shoe is winning.)

Gillian is campaigning for student council president at school. Voting is Friday. She's worked hard on her speech and made posters, and she really REALLY wants to win. I hope to have good news to share sometime on Friday. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

(Oh - Leo won, the wrapper is out of the shoe. The game is on!)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Aren't Saturdays Great?

The weekend is in full swing, and so far, it's been illuminating, productive, and relaxing!

Last night was the Presidential Debate, and I think Dan and I called each, back and forth, at least half a dozen times, commenting, yelling, and analyzing. It was an illuminating debate, and I was pleased to see Obama do very well. He stayed calm and focused, professional and respectful. And, for the most part, he answered the questions posed by Jim Lehrer, the moderator of the debate. Gillian wasn't particularly interested, although she did comment from time to time. It's good for her to be exposed to the political process. I always take her with me when I vote, and she's attended two Iowa Caucuses. She's getting a little tired of the campaigning, especially the political ads, but hey, who isn't?

This morning we slept in and had a lazy morning. After Gillian turned the television to Nickelodeon and found out it is their Worldwide Day of Play, she called a friend and met them at the park for some play time and a picnic. I'll pick her up around 5pm. While she's been doing that, I grocery shopped and came home and cleaned my kitchen.

You know, the entire house feels clean when the kitchen is clean!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Gillian had three friends over for a sleepover last night. They've all been friends for a long time (long for 11 year old standards!)

The nice thing about 11 year olds is that they are basically independent. I could just let them have their fun and I could go do my thing. The other side of this coin is, that as laid back as they can be, they can also be REALLY loud and REALLY rowdy until REALLY late!!!! I remember going down, for the third time, at 1am, just to ask them to quiet down a little.......I had my bedroom door closed and they were still loud and clear. Hehehehe

They told me they stayed up until around 2:30am-3:00am. Fortunately, I was asleep by then.

They're awake now, just finished hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and they're messing around until their parents come to pick them up. They've had a great time. No sleep, but a great time.

I think I'll be spending the day recuperating!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Been a Long Week....

Friday evenings are my favorite part of the week. The work week is over, and the weekend has just begun. I can feel myself unwinding, bit by bit. It is a good feeling...

......I've started a new book, Open Season, by Anne Rivers Siddons. I'm still getting into the story, but I think it will be good. I still can't quite shake the book I finished yesterday, The Distance Between Us. Every once in awhile, a book makes such an impact on me, it takes a few days to move past it. That one is still with me....

So, the weather should be glorious this weekend. Gillian has play rehearsal, and she's having some girlfriends over for a sleepover tomorrow night. We're going to make cupcakes, I do believe. They'll have a good time.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Remarkable Novel

Tonight I finished a remarkable book, The Distance Between Us, by Bart Yates. It is the story of a mightily dysfunctional and musical family, as told by the mother and main character, Hester Parker. Hester is a gifted pianist whose concert career was thwarted by a fall that broke her wrist. Playing more than a few minutes causes excruciating pain, so she fulfills her gift by teaching at a well known conservatory in a small town in Illinois.

Her husband has left her for a younger woman and her two surviving children will have nothing to do with her. When she advertises her third floor apartment for rent, a young college student, Alex, enters her life when he leases the apartment.

As the novel progresses, we learn more about Hester, her family, her relationship with Alex, and the events that led to the death of one of her children.

I was completely captivated by this story and by Hester. The author has a gift for bringing characters to life as well as their relationships with the other characters in the story. He brings a frozen Illinois to life as the story takes place during a frigid midwestern winter.

Every once in awhile I read a book that makes me dread reaching the last page. This was one of those. The characters became fully real to me. I spent a great deal of time with musicians in my high school and college years, and this book was somehow comforting.

5 stars, two thumbs up, and highly recommended. Beautiful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Leo the Large

Leo is our other cat. He is a gorgeous, fat, marmalade tabby. He's also a shelter kitty, and when we took him home, every single bit of him was scrawny, including his tail. That was in March. I fervently wished that he would beef up a little, as he was so teeny tiny.

I think you can tell from this pictures that I've gotten my wish! He'll be a year old in October:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Go Cubs Go!

Go Cubs Go......Hey Chicago, Whaddya say? The Cubs are gonna win today!!!!

Yep, they beat the Brewers, 5-4, and the magic number goes down to.....



Go CUBS GO!!!!!


So.......about Noon I get a call on my cell. It was the school number, so I answered right away. It was Gillian.

"Mom, I fell in the mud at recess....can you bring me some clean pants, socks, and shoes?"

Fell. In the mud. I am trying not to laugh. Fortunately, she does not sound at all upset. She actually sounds amused by the situation!

Then the nurse/secretary gets on the phone. Apparently, Gillian collided with a boy on the playground, and they both took a mud bath.

I chuckled all the way home, while I found clean clothes and shoes, and all the way back to school. On the way in, I ran into the dad of the boy who was part of "Mud 2008," he took a look at what I had in my arms and started to laugh. I took a look at the mud covered clothes he had in hand and laughed along with him.

Gillian wasn't as mud covered as I'd imagined, but she definitely needed clean pants and shoes to go back to class.

And the girl took it all in stride..........And I laughed all the way back to work!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm Thirsty!

Thought I'd share a short video of one of our cats. This is Angel, although we call her The Petite most of the time, as she is a very dainty girl. Lately, she has become obsessed with the bathroom sink. Any time either of us go into the bathroom, she jumps up on the counter and mews at us until we turn the water on for her! So, we decided to immortalize her favorite pastime.

I'll post some pics of Leo, also known as Leo the Large, later. He's a beautiful marmalade tabby!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rainy Weekends - A Great Time for Reading!

There is NOTHING like a Friday evening. The entire weekend is ahead, and it's time to kick back and relax.

Gillian had a short rehearsal tonight, and since it was short, I stayed, read, and watched a little. The ladies worked on the 'Sufferin' Suffrage' number, and the choreography is going to be terrific. It's very rough right now, but still great fun to watch!

I finished a wonderful book last night - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer. The story is told in letter form between the main character, Juliet, her book editor, her best friend, and a number of people living on the isle of Guernsey, right after the German Occupation during World War II. Juliet is uncovering information about the occupation on Guernsey and how it affected the islanders so she can write a book documenting this event. The characters became so real to me, and the description of London and of the island immediately after World War II are very vivid. It was a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it so much I want to visit the Channel Islands now!

Tonight I started a new novel, The Distance Between Us, by Bart Yates. The author is from Iowa City. I am not too far into the story, but the premise seems to be about an aging piano teacher, once a well-known concert pianist, who was badly injured in a fall years ago and had to resort to teaching. Her husband had a torrid affair, they are going through a bitter divorce, and two of her children, who still live in town, have sided with their father and are very angry with her. She has taken in a boarder, and now the story is unfolding. I'll keep you posted.

The weather report promises a rainy weekend. Perfect for a pot of something in the slow cooker, and a pile of books by my side. Fall will soon be upon us, and the rain gives me a taste of my favorite time of year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Breathing a Sigh of Relief - Tonight, Anyway

For those of you who don't know, I am a Chicago Cubs fan. I know, I know, what am I thinking - the Cubs, for crying out loud??? I can't help it. I'm a corn-fed, baseball loving, Illinois girl, through and through. Born and bred in northern Illinois, 60 miles outside of Chicago, and I'm a die-hard, just wait 'til next year, it's not over 'til the fat lady sings, Cubs fan.

But maybe, JUST maybe, this is the year. Knock on wood, fingers crossed, salt over the shoulder, and every other good luck superstition you can think of. It is, after all, the 100th year since my dear Cubs won the World Series. 63 years since they won the Pennant. Is it too much to ask???? Pretty please????

Cubs won tonight, and the magic number is down to 13. The division championship is getting close enough to taste. And now the suspense really kicks in. Can they do it? At least win the division championship two years in a row? Can they get it together to keep the momentum they've had all year going strong?

Please???? Pretty please????? I don't think it's too much to ask.........and I think we Cubs fans have proven ourselves. We don't give up, we are loyal through and through.

My fingers remain crossed. I'm knocking on wood, and not daring the unmentionable to cross my lips. If I had a rabbit's foot, I would carry it with me 24/7.

I'm serious.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

For the Love of Libraries

I am a librarian. I consider it more of a vocation than just a job. I am certain I am doing exactly what I was meant to do with my life.

I started out as a part-timer, working when Gillian (my daughter) started pre-school. It evolved into a career, including completing my MLIS degree! I've done a little bit of everything at the library, starting as an assistant librarian, then assistant children's librarian, to youth and teen services librarian, and finally to my current title - adult services librarian.

Working in a small library gives me the opportunity to gain experience in areas I probably wouldn't if I worked in a larger library. We are a small staff of 9, so everyone does a little bit of everything. Work the circulation desk, work with patrons, take reference questions, etc. Plan, schedule and execute programs. Select, order, and catalog new material.

Every day is unique, and that is probably what I enjoy the most about being a librarian. There is nothing routine about it! In addition, since every day is different, and I never know what the day will bring, a carefully planned "to do" list often goes undone because other things come up!

A library is the heart of the community. We're here for everyone, young or old, rich or poor, educated or uneducated. When our patrons walk through our doors, they are treated equally. Everyone deserves equal access to information and resources. I love that.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Time to Pick it Up Again!

A friend of mine has decided to move her blogging from MySpace to Blogger, and she got me thinking. I used to blog quite a lot here at Blogger, but abandoned it when I got sucked into the MySpace vortex. And I remembered that I really liked my blog here, and have decided to resurrect it! So, Postcards from Iowa is back!


Thanks to my friend Johanna for inspiring me to start again. I will still blog at MySpace, but I'll post here as well. I've lost touch with some people who used to read this blog that don't do MySpace.

So, for those of you reading this blog for the first time, here's a little bit About Me:

I live in Coralville, Iowa. I'm the mom of an amazing 11-year-old. I'm a librarian and I love everything about being a librarian, from collection development to working with patrons, to cataloging books to doing readers' advisory. I believe that a person's right to information is one of the most important rights that they have and it is a librarian's utmost responsibility to preserve that right.

I also absolutely adore books and reading. I also really enjoy writing, and I harbor a secret desire to publish a novel someday. Of course, I actually have to actually start writing a novel for that to happen!

I love to travel. I wish I could travel more often, but time and money only allow so much! I try to take two trips a year. So far this year I've traveled in and around Napa, CA and up through Oregon and parts of Washington. A cruise to the eastern Caribbean will come in November!

Thanks for visiting and reading! I hope you'll be back!!!