Category Archives: Blog administration

Reapproaching normal…

After this long blog hiatus, I’m finally feeling like I’m reapproaching normal (though I’m sure my two siblings will argue that I’ve never been normal…), and it seems like a new blog entry is in order. 

August and early September were a bit tough for me, and that’s all that I’ll say here, but since returning to work on September 7 I’ve been working hard and getting myself caught up.  I have lots of goals for myself this year, some of them my “official” goals for my annual review, others just things that I’d personally like to accomplish:

  • I’ve been creating all new lesson plans and feltboard stories for my Toddler Storytime, so that I can feel more excited about the storytime myself, and hopefully pass that excitement on to the kids and their parents.  I’ve also renamed this storytime, since it turns out that the word “toddler” has negative connotations for parents of three-year-olds; by the time a child is three, a parent no longer thinks of him or her as a toddler, though the age combination of two and three year olds in this storytime has been fantastic.  The two year olds are just learning the drill, the three year olds are serving as role models for the younger kids while gaining in confidence themselves.  It’s a really wonderful age grouping, and I decided that the name of the storytime needed to be less limiting – so it has been renamed, rather blandly perhaps, but descriptively, the “Storytime for 2’s & 3’s.”
  • All those new lesson plans for the Storytime for 2’s & 3’s have inspired me to create some new feltboard stories for exclusive use in the Preschool/Pre-K storytime.  These kids LOVE feltboard stories, and I realized that I need to be using feltboard stories every week with them, rather than every third week as I had been doing.  And, while the feltboard stories that I use for the younger group serve well for the kids ages four and up, the older kids deserve to have some feltboard stories of their very own.  I’ve created a list of books that will translate well to felt, and now I’m going to chip away at creating new feltboard stories on the weekend (as always, in my own time, with my own materials, so that the feltboard creations belong to me and not the library). 
  • With my library director’s enthusiastic blessing, I’ve created a new once-monthly Scrabble Club, inspired by the many, many other libraries in the country who already run successful Scrabble Clubs.  Our first meeting is on a Saturday afternoon in mid-October, open to all ages and all ability levels, and I’m really, really excited about it.  Hopefully there are enough Scrabble enthusiasts in town to get this program rolling, and to sustain it for a long time.
  • Jennifer and I got inspired recently, and rearranged the children’s room, moving the Advanced Reader collection (for grades 5 & 6 and up) to a corner location in the high-stacks section of the children’s room.  This collection was starting to outgrow its original spot in the center, low-stacks portion of the children’s room, so a move was necessary, though labor and sneeze intensive.  A nice side benefit of this move is that the Juvenile fiction collection, now located in that center section, is receiving more attention and more traffic that it did previously.  And another nice side benefit was that a lot of shelves got dusted in the course of the shift.  (We won’t talk about the asthma attack that came later…dust mask next time!)

Of course, these four items are but a few of the things that I’ve been working on this past month, but they are the most interesting and notable.  On this weekend’s schedule:  re-reading Tuesday’s Teen Book Group Book, Mortal Engine by Philip Reeve, making a feltboard story for the “Playing” storytime, and enjoying the gorgeous weather that they say is coming for the weekend.  And maybe a blog entry or two, to get me back on schedule with my blogging…

Blog Break

Obviously, I haven’t been posting many blog entries this month, and have decided to take a blog break for a little bit due to a health issue that has been dragging on and dragging me down.  With any luck, I’ll be healthy and posting again sooner rather than later…

Blog update

As any of you who regularly read my blog have noticed, I (well, actually, my blog guru and big brother Dan) have updated my blog to the most recent version of WordPress.

Along with this lovely and snazzy new version of my blog, there are a few teeny tiny glitches that I will work on over time.  Being a born procrastinator, I took too long to update my WordPress software, and it seems that the new version had a little trouble reading my old version; you will notice some odd characters mixed into the text of posts created prior to the transition.  I will remove those odd characters – including certain persons who are currently teasing me as I write this – over time; my plan is to work backwards, removing the erroneous characters from the most recent posts first, and then edit older posts as time, interest, and energy allow. 

Hope you like the changes!  Feedback is welcome in the comments section of this post.

Hmmmm…it’s been a while…

Yes, indeed it HAS been a while since I last posted.  The tummy is better now – and thanks to all who expressed concern, especially since my last post sat up front and center for the last two months declaring that things were not all well in tummy land.

My only two excuses for not posting in the last two months are these:  1.  I’ve had THREE head colds and ONE case of the flu in these two months; and 2. My trusty, faithful laptop became direly infested with viruses that insisted on connecting to some Russian website every time I went online.  So I stopped going online, and took some time to examine our meager finances and decide whether a new, uninfested laptop could be justified.  Since I’m posting an entry today, I clearly decided that I could justify a new laptop, and am now writing on my spiffy new Swiss Army knife-red Dell Inspiron, bought quite cheaply at Staples.  [A little editorial note here: I cannot say enough good things about Staples: their prices were phenomenal, and they promptly replaced the first, defective laptop they sent me, without question and with good cheer.  The most pleasant shopping experience I’ve had in quite a while!]

It may take me a week or so to get back into the swing of posting entries, as I spend a little time learning Windows 7 and also catching up on all that library work that I do from home in my free time (another downside to losing my old laptop was that I got behind in the free-time library work), but I promise to do my best to get back up to speed.  Cheers, and hope everyone is enjoying the spring so far!

I’m still here

Yes, I am still here – and thoroughly enjoying my vacation. 

I have five more days to rest, renew, and rejuvenate, and then it’s back to work and back to blog postings.  Look for me here starting on Tuesday, September 8!

Until then, I’ve got some serious reading and relaxing to do.  Cheers!

Doubtful this week…

I’m afraid I won’t be posting much this week (week of June 14), due to extreme busy-ness.  This afternoon I’m making the felt pieces for tomorrow’s storytime; the theme is “Mealtimes,” and I’m currently debating whether to make pieces for Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar or if I should go with the lesser known but very cute Pizza Kittens by Charlotte Voake.  Either way, it will take me a good amount of time to make the feltboard story for tomorrow, and I won’t have time today to write a week’s worth of blog entries ahead of time, which is what I would normally do (and yesterday was one of my Saturdays to work at the library).

And this coming week promises to be, shall we say, a bit killer.  Quite a few classroom visits are scheduled for this week, which are a huge amount of fun but also – at times – a bit more tiring than my usual routine at work.  And I’m scheduled to work this coming Saturday, culminating in a B.J.’s shopping trip for Ice Cream Social supplies with Lisa (Lisa belongs to B.J.’s and I don’t.)  But more importantly, my almost-graduated tutoring student and I are fitting in four lessons this week in a desperate attempt to meet our semester total.  Josie missed three lessons in the last few weeks due to school and athletic commitments, and I missed two lessons due to that nasty illness a few weeks back.  Which means that we’re fitting in five extra sessions before school is out on the 26th.  Lesson learned here: though semester pre-payments are nice for tutoring clients, they can also cause problems that are hard to solve.  We should have figured out a way to buffer in some absences when we did this semester’s schedule back in January.  Too late now, though.  And the week of the 22nd will be similarly tight, as we fit in three lessons on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights.

At any rate, know that I’ll be posting again as soon as humanly possible.  Until then, check out some of my new favorite books:  Deeper by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams and The Ruby in the Smoke and its sequels by Philip Pullman.

On the negative side of things…

Last night, when I got home after tutoring, Jim asked me something along the lines of “What’s up with all the photos on your blog?”

Here’s the scoop:  summer reading is coming, and I’m working like a dog preparing for the summer, but I don’t feel like writing about it.  There haven’t been any cute stories recently that were worth sharing (there was one nice story from yesterday at the library, but it’s not one that I’ll share on this blog because it’s about two moms and I think they’d prefer not to have the story told).  And then there are the things that I’d like to write about, but won’t, because they’re negative – or cranky – or controversial.

If I had an alter-ego on my blog like my brother does on his in the form of Mr. Crankypants, then I’d be all set.  Mr. Crankypants will say controversial, incendiary things without blinking, and he can get away with it.  I’m not quite sure how my brother manages to have Mr. Crankypants on his writing team without getting into trouble, but he does.  Working in the public sector makes that kind of honesty dangerous, to say the least.  One of my coworkers often says to me that she thinks blogs should be anonymous, which would certainly solve for me the problem of writing honest entries, but I completely disagree with her about blogs and anonymity.  In my opinion, if you’re going to have a blog, then you need to own your writing.  Anonymity breeds extreme grumpiness, and can spiral into all kinds of problems, including entries that are personal attacks and hurtful to others.

So I guess it’s a good thing that I have my name as my domain name, and that I don’t have a Ms. Crankypants on staff.  But it also means that I’m struggling to come up with library-related entries at this moment in time.  I hope you’re enjoying the photos and non-library stories – they might be here for a while.

Where I’ve been…

So, I’ve been less than good about writing here lately, but there’s a reason: the Lego Expo.  And another reason: computer failure.  And maybe even a third reason, if you stretch things a bit: that laryngitic cold I had a couple of weeks back.

Starting with that cold, it definitely took the starch out of me for a while, and didn’t leave much energy for anything outside going to work and sleeping and eating and tutoring and (occasionally) socializing with Jim.  On the bright side, though, I wasn’t nearly as sick as my brother has been with a viral stomach bug.  Thank goodness for that.

Then that computer crash: the computer at the children’s desk at the library froze while in the midst of doing a Windows update on the 31st (we were updating all of the library’s computers in anticipation of that much-talked-about April Fool’s Day virus).  We tried everything we could think of over the next week to try to save files, with Dad providing some excellent tech support, including a Ubuntu boot disk which helped establish that the computer’s bios was fine.  But, ultimately, we had to wipe the hard drive clean and start fresh; Lisa had to spend time on the phone with Dell tech support, and then even more time reinstalling the software.  I lost all of my email files, but almost none of my Word and Excel files, thanks to diligent frequent backups of those files to my flash drive.  Let this be a lesson to all of you:  back up those files regularly, including email files.  I sigh wistfully when I think about my beautifully organized Outlook files, with all kinds of great resource information and performer confirmations and contracts.  Sigh.

While I don’t write blog entries at work (never, never, never – they’re all written at home), this computer failure did make me totally and completely SICK of computers for the week of crashedness.  The last thing I wanted to do in my free time was log on to the laptop at home and write blog entries. 

As for the Lego Expo, well, it really deserves its own dedicated entry.  Tune in tomorrow for that one.

This has been a tough week for the town in which I work.  Given the sad event of this past weekend, I’ve decided to observe a few days of silence on this blog.

Oh the frustration

After the catastrophe a while back when I lost my entire blog due to cutting and pasting in an entry from a Word document, I’ve been very careful about writing my entries directly into my blog.  (I did briefly follow my brother’s advice to type entries into Notepad and cut and paste from there, but found that annoying and time-consuming.)  Today was the first time I’ve had an issue with directly typing into WordPress:  I just lost an entire entry when I clicked on “save and continue editing.”  Poof – gone.  Poof – I was logged off.  Poof – my blood pressure went up.

The really frustrating thing?  I had spent quite a while on this entry and had actually worked on word choice and taken far more pride in my writing than I usually do.  It wasn’t my standard quickie blog post – it was well-written.  And now it’s gone.  Oh the frustration.  Maybe I can recreate it after I eat breakfast.  Maybe.  Grrrrrr.

(for the record, I don’t think this lost post was due to WordPress, but rather our inconsistent wireless signal)