"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SOA Memories Part 4

15 years ago - Grindelwald, Switzerland. Taking Dramamine to prevent car sickness during this 2nd pass through the Alps. Tasting REAL chocolate--heaven. Discovering SNOW after our gondola ride up Mount First. My feet and back side getting very wet going down a slide on the mountain. Becoming an absent-minded criminal. Finally getting to hear the band perform.

SOA Memories Part 3

15 years ago - Stresa, Italy, one of my very favorite places of the whole tour. The beautiful Isola Bella. Viewing mountains and palm trees with gorgeous Lake Maggiore in between. The best bed in all of Europe. The only time I was able to swim in Europe. Italian GELATO! Learning to skip a rock (in Lake Maggiore). My 2nd castle.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

More Sound of America memories

15 years ago - Venice & Verona! Shopping 1st meant I got my first ever porcelain doll (with the gorgeous hair, whom I no longer own) but never got to have my dream of riding in a gondola. Watching the niftiest demo at a glass factory. Getting Italian silk ties for the men in the fam. Singing in mass at St Mark's Basilica. Avoiding high tide in Venice (rather gross). Sunset over Venice  (unforgettable). Impromptu performance in the 3rd largest Roman Coliseum. Seeing Juliet's balcony.

See the awesome postcard in the upper right? I ADORE this post card. View #1:

View #2: (P.S. - this includes a things from Stresa and Grindelwald....)

Mass in St. Mark's Basilica:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sound of America memories

This month marks 15 years of one of the greatest experiences of my life: my European tour! I am overcome with nostalgia. I've started posting on Facebook my memories, but realized I should probably put it on my blog--one of my more "permanent" places of reminiscing.

So, to catch up. Yesterday's post:
15 years ago - my first taste of Europe. Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Eating sauerkraut, bratwurst, and mashed potatoes for dinner. Having meat, cheese, and chocolate corn flakes for breakfast. Seeing the biggest snail of my life. Figuring out German money. First concert--on the cobblestone square! Buying a cuckoo clock which now hangs in my own home. Hearing the cathedral bells ring out over the town. ‪#‎SoundOfAmerica‬ ‪#‎Memories‬

Rothenburg concert:

Today's first post:
15 years ago - Salzburg! Taking a ride in the Salt Mines beforehand (from which I still have my mini salt shaker). Feeling very sick and helpless because I couldn't find a Priesthood holder for a blessing. Visiting and singing around the Sound of Music sites. Buying my 1st music box (which a niece now has). Tasting Fanta for the 1st time and getting REALLY hyper after (something in that stuff....). Visiting my 1st Castle and my 2nd cathedral. (Almost) Eating the most disgusting seafood salad with whole octopi and seahorses in it--and thus totally losing my appetite the rest of the evening, even when the Beer Hall (in Inzell) where we performed gave us a free meal. ‪#‎SoundOfAmerica‬‪#‎Memories‬

Concert at Inzell. 

(Go to 2:50 to see the totally irreverent song, and thus a favorite of our repertoire.)

Today's second post:
15 years ago - Driving through the Alps, Part 1! Going on my first (and so far only) Alpine Slide--and watching Nate go flying over 3 people. Trying to hike to a lookout point at Grossglockner Pass and not being able to make it because of lack of oxygen, but later receiving flower bouquets from Kyle and Jason for trying. Experiencing my car sickness for the first time, just after we crossed into Italy and started heading down in elevation. Having my first Italian meal with the largest plate of spaghetti I've ever seen--and it was the appetizer!‪#‎SoundOfAmerica‬ ‪#‎Memories‬

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Newest Random Analogy

Brilliant thoughts come to those who sneeze!


We had a terrible winter here in Utah this year. Meaning: We didn't get one. Barely any precipitation of any kind. And a lot of warm weather, particularly in February. Which means things started to bloom much earlier. Which means those bloomin' things that trigger allergies which don't normally come until mid-May started in March. At least for me.

Now, here is my little personal background to allergies. Growing up, I did not suffer from them. At least, not enough that they left an impression on me. It's possible that I may have had an occasional day or two of hay fever, but it never brought much attention to itself. Especially as my father always suffered terribly from his allergies. What I had, if anything, was a sneeze compared to his days of watery eyes, sniffles, etc. Literally. I must have sneezed a few times and then it was all over. And then when my precious Little Bug ended up being allergic to everything as a child spent years of shots and daily allergy pills, yeah, I certainly had no comparison.

One spring in late high school, I helped lay mulch at our new house. AHHHHH-choo!

What a miserable couple of days! I hadn't a clue what was going on. Went in for one of my regular doctor visits (I already had enough other things "wrong with me") and asked her about it. She said mulch carried some powerful yuckiness and I was probably allergic to something in that. She gave me some free sample allergy pills. I took one, and voila! It was over with for the year. Since then, I noticed that every time I would move to a new state (5 times now), I spent the first couple of years having a few days of hay fevery allergies. If it felt a bit too miserable, I took a sample allergy pill and was fine. The sneezing et al. never lasted beyond 2 or 3 days. And within a couple of years, my body had adjusted.

But not here. Not in this different part of Utah that I moved to. I blame it on the cottonwood trees. For the last 3 years, around May, all of the sudden I'd get my sneezy, hay fevery symptoms. Within a day or two, I'd start to notice all the white stuff floating in the air, and my car being covered in green dust. Yep. I figured I was stuck with hay fever in this part of Utah for as long as I lived here. I also didn't have any allergy pills by this time, but within 2 or 3 days, it would pass.

Not. This. Year.

Wow, have I ever learned sympathy for those--like Dad--who have suffered so much from allergies for many repeated lengths of time. I am going on 6 weeks of sneezing, itchy eyes, watery eyes, and sheer exhaustion. A vast difference from 2 or 3 days. And I caved and bought no-frills allergy pills. Which didn't seem to help much. And then tried a well-recognized name brand of allergy pills--which seems to have made things worse! I know what I've been sneeze suffering is still nothing compared to Dad. But the shock and frustration of being so tired has left me the tiniest bit whiny about the whole thing. It has eked over to other aspects of life. I've certainly been a little less patient than I would wish. And the emotional roller coaster has chosen to have more lows than highs. All of which could easily be resolved if I could just get some decent nights of rest.


Lessons can be learned. As I mentioned before, sympathy. But on Sunday as I was coming home from a date, and had yet another one of my body-racking sneezes, my moment of brilliance came.

Allergies are like being single!

Loki tom hiddleston what confused huh gif

They are! Here are some similarities:

*It's rather a nuisance--some times are worse than others.

*It can come with a great deal of pain, but I'm not going to die from it!

*It's not romantic.

*It sometimes draws attention to me.

*Most of that attention is unpleasant, but it isn't harmful. And it often comes with sympathy.

*I'm not the only one who suffers from this.

*It can be harder for others, it just depends on the season and the situation.

*I some times lose sleep from it.

*Tears have resulted.

*It can bring a lot of frustration.

*Some things/situations make it worse.

*It doesn't rule my life. Moments it seems it does, but overall no. I have my life and it is wonderful. It just has this which is some times inconvenient. And annoying. But it's a part of life!

*It brings its own humor.

*It can be fun....sort of.

*(At least this time around) medication won't solve it. But I still need to do all I can to take care of and deal with it.

*I have to remember and work at being patient and cheerful in a situation that is certainly not one I'd choose, but it's my lot right now and I can grow stronger from it by doing my best to be as Christlike as possible in spite of everything.

*It will be over when it's over.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Explanatory Story of the Bathroom Comment

So, a few days on Facebook, I posted this:

Pre-ordered my Josh CD. And this HAD to be the Song of the Week (though this is the shorter version): 

(Now I feel the need to go clean a bathroom.... Long story.)

Now I can see the confusion related to this. So I felt the need to explain, as it is actually humorous and not worrisome.

As a young teen, I discovered my parents' record collection. Already I was a lover of musicals, so I was pretty excited to find records like the soundtrack for Oliver! I started to discover a bunch of other songs on records that I enjoyed. So--oh the old school tech days--I recorded the songs I liked from the records onto a cassette tape. (Yes, that meant I had to put the recorder up to the speakers as the record played. This was analog--we couldn't do a digital transfer!)

This tape was very treasured, and somehow, it became the tape I always listened to as I cleaned the bathroom. There was a cleaning routine, which meant the cleaning always began with the toilet (worst first) and then the sink, and the cast of Oliver! singing "Who Will Buy" and "I'd do Anything." Eventually I would get to the shower (biggest last), and if the timing was on, inevitably I would be scrubbing shower walls as I listened to "What I Did for Love." When I first recorded my cassette, I was not familiar with A Chorus Line. I saw a movie version once some time in my high school years. I remember not being as fond of it, but I still adored the song. Every time I cleaned a shower my heart would soar as she sang, "Goooooone! Love is never gone!"

So on Wednesday I pre-ordered the next Josh CD. With it, I was able to have two immediate song downloads. And one of them was "What I Did for Love." I couldn't wait to hear Josh sing that long-loved favorite. And if anyone knows how to soar on notes, Josh does. And not only does Josh do unsurprisingly amazingly awesome on "Gooooooone!," but his version then has hime sing it a second time--complete with key change!

And that my friends is while I will forever love and adore Josh, and this song of his, and still feel like I need to go clean a bathroom (specifically a shower) so I can sing "Gooooooone!" while scrubbing. Truly makes the work go faster and not seem like work whenever I can sing along as I do it. Especially a song that lets me belt like that. "Gooooooooone! Love is NEVER gooooooooone!"

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Book Challenges Wrap Up

2014 is over. So then are my book challenges. This year was the busiest of my life. If it was just work considered, no I have had busier. (I don't think anything will surpass my first year as a children's librarian.) But work was quite busy with the YSRT extras and creating new and very successful programs. But let's also throw in that I actually had a social life to speak of this year, which was always a goal. Quite a bit of one! And another musical. And a couple vacations. So life--in work + out of it--was very busy.

I still had the goal to read less, because I would much rather have the social life right now. It felt like I read very few of what I needed to (children's and teen chapter books). The year ended and I could see how it affected my Reader's Advisory skills at work. Not good. So this year we will not have a goal to read either more or less than my norm. Just to read. :-) Still, I'm sure you are dying to know how I did in my challenges. I'll be nice, and I'll end your anticipation.

GoodReads Challenge

I said I would try to read 300 books. I managed! Kind of. I'm 0.5 books short. But oh well. Close enough! (Close can count in horseshoes, hand grenades, kissing, and book challenges.) There were more picture books in that total than I had anticipated, but I'm still OK with that. That may affect the comparisons.

2014 HM & SL & Friends Book Challenge

I was so close. Four books shy of reading 50 books within 12 categories. I tried. Very much. But it didn't happen. So here are the pdfs of my charts. Let's hope they're more readable than last year.
Books I read that were under 100 pages (and not picture books)
 Books that I Own (supposed to read 6)
 Adult Fiction by author I've not read before (supposed to read 4)
 Classics (read 2; we all picked the same two)
 Religion books (read 4)
 Mystery (read 4)
 Books set in other country (read 4)
 Award winner or nominee (read 4)
 Other (read 4)
 Nonfiction (read 4)
 Books on ToRead list (read 6)
 History (read 4)
 SciFi or Fantasy (read 4)

Let's See how the comparisons add up. This is the first time I'm seeing these results as well:
Oh my word. I read more books! 299.5 vs 287. I know. Not a lot. And a ton of picture books. But oh my word! I can't believe I managed more.

With pages (which does not include any picture books), I read less. 24,656 vs 29,584. No surprise. So even though more books, I still read less.
And the points? 1429.9 vs. 1152.6. Woohoo! Thank goodness we added way more points to books we owned or were on our to-read list. Otherwise I don't think I could have managed that. Especially when books over 900 pages only gave me 5 points! Such fun.

And, then there's my A to Z Totals (aka The Scrabble Challenge) with comparison to last year:

Count Scrabble points for first letter of each title and author that I read. Bonus points for letters my names start with. (Not including picture books.)

2013 Titles: 223
2014 Titles: 79 (uh, yep. There's the proof of how much less I read when picture books aren't included)

2013 Title Letters not read: G, J, K, N, Q, X, Y, Z
2014 Title Letters not read: K, Q, U, V, X, Z

2013 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (35 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Title letter: B (27 points)

2013 Authors: 254 
2014 Authors: 64 (oh my word)

2013 Author Letters not read: E, I, Q, U, X, Y
2014 Author Letters not read: I, N, Q, R, U, X, Y, Z

2013 Highest Scoring Author letter: Tie! B & H (30 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Author letter: H (35 points) More H's than last year.

2013 Grand Total: 477 
2014 Grand Total: 346. (Very far down, even though I didn't have as many repeat authors this year. At least, it felt that way.)