Human Library, Living Books

human library 2Have you ever been to a Human Library?  Here you can check out Living Books, and on Saturday I did just that.

The Salt Lake County Library System gathered a variety of people, i.e., books who were willing to share  their life experiences, and brought them together with readers who wanted to hear their stories.

I chatted with a retired soldier who had been involved in every American conflict since Viet Nam.  One man, a Muslim, told of being raised in apartheid South Africa, and another who was known as the Tom Brokaw of Iraq, recalled fleeing for his life after speaking up one too many times. I talked with a woman about the terror and the joy of escaping a life of polygamy, then discussed educational theory with a non-tiger Mom. There was an urban farmer, a polio survivor who climbed mountains, as well a an author, a songwriter an artist,  a member of the LGBTQ community and many more.

The Living Books festival originated in Denmark in 1993. The city had experienced a strong societal shift due to a large number of immigrants,  and the new and old members of the population were not getting along. The first Human Library was aimed at giving people a chance to sit down together as neighbors. It was an opportunity to break down barriers and  prejudice, and it serves the same purpose today.

“This event gave people  a chance  to talk with someone they wouldn’t ordinarily meet,” said the Imam of the Salt Lake Islamic society. “When you bring people from opposite ends of the social and political spectrum together in a  non-judgmental setting, a lot good can come of it.”

“We’ll do this again next year,” said Liesl Seborg,  coordinator of the event.  “Hopefully everyone will come back and bring their friends.”

And that’s what it’s all about – friends.  The people who attended today have some new friends to show for it, and judging by all the animated conversations and smiling faces, the event was a great success.

don't judge 2

Poster for the Original Human Library

http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/musing-mondays-mar-31/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Lost and Found

businessmanI work in a busy public library and am constantly amazed by the variety of things people leave behind.  For instance, car keys – we have on average 4 sets of car keys in our lost and found drawer at all times. Can somebody please tell me how you get home without your car keys?  Don’t you need them to start your car?

Another popular item is cell phones – a big-ticket, stress inducing item to lose track of.  I always feel bad about this and try to answer the phones whenever I hear them singing their sad little lost song in the drawer.  Often it’s the owner calling from someone else’s phone trying to locate their own.  “You left it in the library!” I say, and we have a good laugh and the mystery is solved.

Much harder to resolve and equally traumatic is the instance of people who leave their flash drives in one of our computers.  I’ve been there done that, and I know how it feels. People store important information on those tiny bits of technology – things  like business proposals, midterm notes, personal journals, and final drafts of their novels.  It’s like back in the day when everyone carried planners.  You lose it and you lose your mind.

We also deal in lost coats – last check we had three, backpacks and shoes – did you really not notice you were missing a shoe? Canes, we’ve found four over the past year and they’re all alike.  We suspect it’s the same person losing them, but have yet to catch the owner in the act of abandonment.

But all these things pale in the face of the Grand Champion of lost and found items. One day at closing we were astounded to find a  brand new, state of the art, convertible double stroller, sitting all alone in the children’s section.

What?  Someone entered the library with a giant double stroller and managed to leave without it? Poor  young mothers, I feel for you.  I know, sometimes life with young children gets so stressful that you’d forget you own head if it wasn’t attached. (But seriously, your stroller? That’s more important than your head.)

Anyway this particular story  had an interesting ending.  One day a young man came into the library and glanced at the stroller collecting dust in the manager’s office. He skidded to a halt and stared.

“Excuse me,” he said, “but I think that’s our stroller. We lost it a few weeks ago, and my wife thought someone had stolen it.”

No, not stolen, just forgotten.  I hope he broke it to her gently. In conclusion, the stroller and it’s owners were happily reunited, and our manager has his office back – for now anyway.

Are you missing your eyeglasses, your wallet, your trumpet or your wedding ring?  Can’t find your notebook, your credit card or your soccer shin guards? Check out the library. Books aren’t the only things we collect.

Linger

Wall ClockThe daily prompt asks what  we linger over – Ah, so many possible answers . . .  a good book, a crossword puzzle, a cup of hot cocoa on a snowy morning, lunch with a friend, a hot shower, a cuddly baby, puppies, a beautiful garden, and time with family.

I also linger too long over my word press posts, checking and re-checking spelling and grammar,  making sure I’ve made sense to someone other than myself.  So today I won’t do that.  Short and sweet – here it is.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/daily-prompt-linger/

Rock My World

thinking

Daily Prompt: Under Pressure? Only when I’m awake . . .

It doesn’t take much to confuse me these days, but this one really rocked my world.

I was running late for church last Sunday and wasn’t paying a lot of attention as I jumped in the car and drove off. I attended church, had a lovely time, and returned to my car only to find  the door wouldn’t unlock.   Now let me explain that this was my husband’s car and it has one of those electronic keys that you don’t even have to take out of your purse.  It’s magic and the door unlocks as soon as you approach – but not this time.

car keyWhen the lock wouldn’t work, I  assumed the car battery had died since it’s been doing that lately.  I was once again in a hurry  so I hitched a ride home with a neighbor and, master procrastinator that I am, promised to resolve the car problem later. Not surprisingly things came up that afternoon, and that night it  was just too cold so, bright and early Monday morning my spouse and I  went to retrieve his car.

We were surprised when the car immediately sprang to life with his key. Apparently it wasn’t a dead battery after all,  so what was wrong with my key? I began digging through my purse and discovered that the key wasn’t in there.

Wait a minute, how had I driven his car to church without a key? OH NO! Had I lost it at church?  Please not that. This key is expensive, in fact  one of my pet peeves about new cars, is that they all have electronic keys that cost roughly the equivalent of a years pay (mine anyway) to replace.

But I digress.

Back at home I tore the car apart to make sure I hadn’t dropped the key inside. I tore my purse apart again, and checked all the pockets of the clothes I’d worn to church. No luck.  Defeated, we finally sat down to discuss the options.  We still had one key to his car, but if we lost that we were toast.

toastMe: “I guess we’ll have to buy another key.”

John:  “Yes, it’s unfortunate that it costs roughly the equivalent of a years pay.”

Me: “Sigh.”

Daughter:  “Are you guys looking for Dad’s key?  I’ve got it right here.”

John:  “YOU have the car key?!!

Daughter: Uh oh, (stricken look) how did you get home from church Mom?”

Me:  How did I even get to church?”

John: “Why do you have the key?!!

(What you see here is a classic case of multi-level confusion.)

To make a long story short, unbeknownst to myself I had taken my own car to church.  My daughter who doesn’t like to drive Dad’s vehicle came by and traded cars with me, then left an FYI text which I never saw because I don’t know how to find texts on my new phone. She left John’s car in the same parking place so I wouldn’t be confused, (Hah!) but neglected to leave the key, and had been blissfully unaware of the problem until now.

Is anyone still with me?  I’m not.

Anyway, all is well now because my paychecks can once again go towards paying bills and buying chocolate instead of installment payments on a new car key.

Note to car manufacturers:  Enough with the magic.Can we please go back to cheap metal keys?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/daily-prompt-heat/

This Takes the Cake

IMG_20140205_154900Here’s one for Sherlock. We’ll call it the Mystery of the Baffling Baked Goods. As I walked out of McDonald’s one afternoon I came across a puzzling sight.  There on a little patch of dead grass in the middle of the parking lot was half of a child’s birthday cake, perfectly preserved, with plastic lid still intact. (In case you’re wondering, the white patches are melting snow.)  Now some of you might say, “So?  There are many reasonable explanations for a situation such as this. For instance,” ? . . .?  . . . ?.

See what I mean?  What could possibly have caused a half eaten birthday cake to appear in this parking lot median. Did it fall from a passing space ship, the remnants of an alien child’s  festivities? Did it get bumped out of  a hungry delivery man’s bakery truck? Did someone eat their fill and decide to share with other parking lot dwellers? I don’t know, but that’s about the extent of my theories.  Ideas anyone?

Where are Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys when you need them?

Four Paws Up!

Rosie Bear

Rosie Bear

Rosie Bear here, fresh from a long winter’s nap – yawn. I actually had no intention of hibernating this year as I had way too many books to read, but one night last October, I was reading a long, looong book, and the next thing I know – it’s March!  Anyway, it’s time to get back to work.

As some of you may know, my friend the Library Lady had a falling out with the PBS series, Downton Abby.  (https://geanieroake.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/downton-abby-emphasis-on-the-down/)  As a result, even though her husband, and that ridiculous dog Lucy still stayed glued to the set on Sunday evenings, the Library Lady swore off all things Downton. Well, I bet I can get her to change her mind . . .  with this!

The Missing Diamond By Nick Page

The Missing Diamond
By Nick Page

Mouseton Abby – The Missing Diamond,  is unbearably cute and everyone will want to read it. Mouseton Abby originally belonged to the monastic mice of the Stinky brotherhood of the Holy Goatcheese, but it eventually ended up in the hands of Sir Roquefort, the Earl of Mouseton.

This mysterious story is filled with lots of fun characters, with many cheesy names like the Dowager Countess Lady Gouda. As the story goes, Lord Roquefort, who is very forgetful, loses the Great Cheesy Diamond, right before the annual celebration of Cheesemas, and the hunt is on.

Mouston Abby is a fun book for the cubs, and also for Mama and Papa bears especially if they like Downton Abby, which the Library Lady doesn’t, but she might give it a second chance after seeing this cute book!

Speaking of great books.  Here’s another must read.

By Amy Hest

By Amy Hest

Mr. George Baker is a Reading Rainbow book, and rightly so since it’s all about one of my beary favorite subjects – Reading. Mr. George Baker  is a hundred years old.  He’s sitting on the front porch of his house waiting for his friend Mr. Harry “in charge”, who is five.  When Harry arrives, he tells us about Mr. Baker and  his crumpled hat and long stretchy legs in saggy baggy pants with pockets full of candy.

They wait, and talk about some of  the things Mr. Baker  learned over the years, and some of the things he didn’t.  One of the didn’t is learn to read.

“That must be corrected”, he says.

Finally the wait is over. They stand and walk to the street as the school bus arrives, and  Mr. Baker and Harry both get on the bus. Though everyone wants Mr. Baker to sit with them, he always sits by Harry. When they get to the school, Harry goes to his room, and Mr. Baker goes to room 7 with the other adults who are  . . . learning to read.

This  honey of a book, also has furry beautiful pictures. You won’t sleep through this one!

Four Paws UP!

Four Paws UP!

Talent Show

cake2

It has recently come to my attention that I have a very talented group of friends, and today I’d like to tell you about them. We all come into this world with a God given set of skills, and while some people take their gifts for granted, others take their talents and run with them.

Speaking of running . . .

Need some new running shoes?  How about this one?  Nice color,  nice tread, and check out those cool silver laces. I think everyone should have a pair of running shoes just like this. The only problem is – they won’t wear very well . . . since they’re made out of cake and fondant!  Can you believe it? (click on the image to appreciate the minute details)  My friend Michelle is a cake decorator.  She  made this fun cake for her running group anniversary celebration and I thought it was fantastic. Michelle does cakes for weddings, parties and just about any occasion. (Would taking a bite be a case of sticking your foot in your mouth?)

Celeste is an amazing quilter.  Unfortunately since I’m not an amazing photographer these pictures don’t begin to do her work justice.

The red and white snowman quilt is full-sized, and is  covered with minute and perfectly executed embroidery stitching.  It took almost a year to make and was clearly a labor of love. The cute bunny quilt hangs in her bunny – themed play room, brightening the walls for the many grandchildren who frequent her home. Last but hardly least is the beautiful diamond pattern, jewel toned quilt that lies on her bed. This is not just a quilt, it’s a work of art.

One thing that I love about Celeste and her hobby, is that she doesn’t box these treasures up and stash them safely in a closet, she uses them and has them out for everyone to see and enjoy.

Ludy is a candy chef extraordinaire.  As you can see she’s into chocolate and caramel,  and has actually made a business of her hobby.  It’s called Chocolate Divine, and let me tell you that name perfectly describes her creations. Ludy caters parties, makes goody baskets, and sells her wares in several grocery store chains. My favorites are the chocolate/caramel/almond turtles.  Note to self: Don’t leave me alone with a box of these.  The great thing about Ludy, is that  as good as she  is, she’s always taking classes to improve her skills.  Oh, I almost forgot, she also does a mean Chocolate covered strawberry.  Don’t you wish you had one right  now? Well guess what. You can. http://chocolate-divine.com/news/

Melinda has been sewing for years, and thinks nothing of sitting down at the machine and whipping up a project that would boggle my sewing challenged  mind. These jackets were all  the rage a few years ago, and never go out of style. They’re made from a pullover sweatshirt that’s been cut  down the front. After the embellishments are added you’d never guess it’s humble origin. Besides making them for herself,  she’s taught many others the ins and outs of the craft. Alas, it’s not as easy as she makes it look, and I have yet to finish mine..

These cute bags are also a sewing masterpiece.  Both bags, one a generic tote bag and the other crafted to hold sewing supplies, are filled with secret pockets, inside compartments and, the bane of my sewing life,  zippers.  She makes them as gifts, since thanks to the hours that go into each one, the price to sell would be astronomical.  These bags are bright and festive and fun, just like my friend.

Boots are her bag. My sister-in-law Sue, scours garage sales and second-hand stores for used cowboy boots, then brings them back to life as a beautiful purse or tote bag.  Who knew that cowboy boots were this pretty?  Sue has also turned her hobby into a thriving business.  She sells her handcrafted designs on-line and has several celebrity buyers.   The best thing about her business, Sue says, is when someone comes to her with a pair of boots that have fond memories attached.  She takes extra care with these projects, and loves turning something old into something new and making it a cherished keepsake to boot. .http://www.pinterest.com/sueroake/

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/writing-challenge-object/

Dog On It – Lucy and the Library Lady

dog reporter 2Not long ago I read a post where the blogger was interviewed by her cat.  For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the blog or I’d link it, but my dog Lucy got wind of the idea and wouldn’t rest until I let her have a go.  I’ve recently  gotten behind on award thank-you’s,  so I thought I’d combine them and do one interview to answer the required but difficult conditions of talking about myself.  Lucy, my faithful companion will now conduct the interview.

Lucy:  Ahhhhemmm.  So, Library Lady . . .  who is favorite family member?

LL:  Oh that’s easy, my husband John.

Long pause and stink-eye from interviewer

Lucy: Are you sure about that ?

LL: Yes, of course.

Lucy: And who, might I ask, takes John for walk everyday and makes sure he doesn’t get lost, and who has also learn to fetch newspaper so you don’t have to go out in snow every morning?

LL: That would be you, but my answer is still John. He’s my husband.

Lucy: But – but I am dog! – spluttering noises –  I am highly offended!

LL. Well I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t even ask questions like that, I mean I love you too but – wait a minute. What kind of interview is this anyway?  We’re supposed to be talking about me. Here, have a dog treat and try to calm down.

Crunching noises.

LL: Don’t forget your crumbs.

Lucy:  O.K. we try again.  Tell me ten things you like to do in  non-work time:

LL: Now, that’s more like it. I like to read, go for walks, watch old movies – preferably with Cary Grant, Omar Sharif, or Sean Connery type actors. I like to go out to restaurants, especially Mexican or Chinese.  I like to hang out with family and  friends, and travel, and sing in the choir.  I like Chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven with a glass of cold milk . . . whew, three more to go . . . I like to go to the ballet, and ride horses, and I used to ski until it got too expensive. There!

Lucy: You like to throw ball for dog don’t you?

LL: Of course there is almost nothing I’d rather do.

Lucy: Raised eyebrows and perked up ears.

LL: Not now though.

Lucy: Sigh. You also like to sit in messy room and stare at box.

LL:  Messy room . . . the office?  Oh, you mean writing! Yes I love to write.

Lucy:  Stare at box is called writing?

LL: The box is a computer, and I’m not just staring, I’m thinking.  I’m creating characters and dialogue, and story lines.

Lucy: Looks to me like sit with butt in chair and forget about favorite dog.

LL:  Aww – pat, pat –  I never forget about you, but you have to admit you’re asleep most of the time.

Lucy:  True, I easily bored, like now. Let’s go for  walk.

LL: O.K. but first I’d like you to type this up and post it.

Lucy:  Check. You want pictures?

LL: Yes, just make sure you show my best side.

Lucy: No problem.

BEST SIDE

BEST SIDE

SELFIE

SELFIE

dog reporter 2Now for the rest of the story.  The following are some of my favorite bloggers (ie, great writers and my most loyal commenters). They also nominated me for some blog awards.  Thanks guys! Check out their FANTASTIC blogs.

http://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/ (Dragon Loyalty Award)

http://livingwithshadows.wordpress.com/ (Also Dragon Loyalty)

http://vakunzmann.wordpress.com/ (Sunshine Award)

http://audreyhepburnbooks.wordpress.com/ (Also for the Sunshine Award)

http://kateloveton.wordpress.com/ ( Versatile Blogger Award, and the Sisterhood of world Bloggers)

Now here’s some more of my favorites:

http://mwaycott.wordpress.com/

http://kindnessblog.com/

http://jenniferwindram.com/

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/

http://teepee12.com/

http://myliteraryquest.wordpress.com/

http://oldestdaughterredheadedsister.com/

http://shonthumb.wordpress.com/about/

Thanks everyone for  your support.  I love your blogs and appreciate  all your good words!

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them

I love the kindness blog! It’s always a bright spot in my day. This story made me smile and I wanted to share.

Kindness Blog

At Animal Rescue League of Berks County, children can read to shelter cats to soothe them. The cats adore them and are always delighted to have these little humans there to keep them company.

Children in grades 1-8 who are able to read at any level are welcome into the shelter to read to the cats at their adoption room. “The program will help children improve their reading skills while also helping the shelter animals. Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing,” the shelter wrote.

Colby is cuddling with the kitty and reading him “I Will Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.

 
Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1

Isabel is reading to a very playful kitty.

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1

Sam, 1st grade & Ben, 2nd grade stopped by and became Book Buddies! The kitties loved them.

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1

Cassandra, 1st grader, is reading to two rambunctious kittens who are very excited to see her.

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them1

8…

View original post 131 more words

Gold Medal Winners!

winnerIn honor of the olympics, I thought this would be a great time spotlight some Gold Medal  posts from my favorite bloggers. The first is by N.R. Hatch at Spirit Lights the Way.

Spirit Lights The Way

We are magnets.  When we emit positive energy (thoughts, feelings, and vibrations), we attract more positives to us.

Bueno!  Life, she is good!

Mangia!  Mangia!

When we dwell on the negatives, we attract negatives ~ sapping our energy and strength in the process.

If you’re tired of living under a perpetual rain cloud, keep reading! 

Yes, Eeyore, you too!

If we want to attract heath, wellness, and vitality to ourselves, we must stop circulating (and re-circulating) toxic, negative thoughts and feelings.

Here are 10 Ways to Attract Positive Energy into your life, while boosting your immune system, curing dis-ease, and counter-balancing daily stress:

1.  Love and accept yourself as you are right now.  Start a list to remind yourself of all your wonderful qualities.  Add to it every day.

E.g.,  I am the most positive person I know.

2.  Free yourself from past resentments and disappointments about who you were yesterday.  Stop engaging in self-blame and guilt for past acts and omissions.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Revel in it.

As…

View original post 487 more words