misc # 8

Taking a break tonight, lovely readers. I just want some silence tonight and to turn my head off early. So sleep is not wracked with crazy dreams and other unwanted thoughts.

I hope to be back tomorrow afternoon.
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List # 17

It has been an emotionally draining & taxing weekend. And though I did have a few quiet & sweet moments that made me smile, this last weekend in January was the icing on the cake of a sad & dark month.

I don't want to think too much tonight, so here is a quick list of things I have avoided in January:

1. Browsing Etsy. I bought one gift on this site this month. And every time I log in it suggests gifts that I know aren't meant for me, but for someone else.

2. Wearing my favorite bracelet. Because it was a gift from that best person I thought I knew and even though I love it almost more than any other piece of jewelry I own, NYE was the last time I put it on my wrist.

3. Paul Simon. Because Graceland reminds me of long car trips, even if it was always one of my favorite albums before you were here.

4. Late nights. Because when you're sleeping alone, early just seems so much more appealing.

5. Writing emails. Well, I haven't been avoiding this, but some of the responses have come much later. So many people have written such wonderful things that it makes me cry. And writing them back is just...hard. So if you haven't heard back from me yet, I apologize.

And 5 is enough. Actually, after writing it down I feel like maybe I haven't been *truly* avoiding as much as it seems. The biggest one just being thoughts, I suppose.

I hope for a happier post tomorrow. Stay warm, lovelies.

Miscellaneous # 7

This is the stuff my nightmares are made of:


Letter # 8

Dear January,

You are suppose to be a month of new beginnings, fresh starts & clear heads. And I guess in many ways, you are living up to your reputation. You did, after all, give me a new beginning. Whether I wanted it or not doesn't really matter anymore.

But I have to ask, why do you keep spitting out the sad & hard to handle? What's the bigger picture, January? Because my head keeps telling me that there is a plan, that all of this is teaching me something. But my heart isn't really buying it just yet. If you're just one piece of a 12-month puzzle, can I at least have a hint as to what I'm putting together? If I could convince my heart and my head to work together to get the someday when everything is okay, then I think I could relax a bit more. I could enjoy your snowy nights & laugh a little more.

I don't know if you knew this on day one, January, but I'm tough. I know I'm strong and I definitely know I'm smart. I kind of kick-ass.

But I'm also guarded and emotional and though it kills me to admit this, I'm scared. I'm scared of losing the ones that I love, I'm scared that I won't be able to figure out my next goals & accomplish them, and I'm definitely scared that there may not be a person out there who want to stay with me.

I had to face some very serious family situations alone this weekend, January. Your last one to dish out, I suppose. And I did it. Sure, I might have had to sneak out alone for some good cries. Cries because someone I love was in pain but also because I felt as if I the end of my relationship was really sinking in. That this person, who just a year ago I was writing about being such a dedicated and loving man, no longer wanted to be the person to hold my hand in tough situations. But in the end, I could do it by reaching out to a few selected people and a family that really understands tough moments and supporting each other.

You gave us a lot, January. Not just me, but friends & family and well, the world. So many people sick, bad news creeping through the cracks in doors, museum artifacts gone and headed to the black market, love gone. Can we just get to the part that things get good again? Can you help me understand the bigger picture & get to the "someday" part of this story?

A very good friend, who shall remain nameless, raised the question not too long ago, "What comes next?" I think we're waiting to see.

So please, January, give February a memo and send some brighter days.

All my love,



Miscellaneous # 6

I wrote about that pencil skirt. Lace & gorgeous though this picture doesn't do it justice.

Take note of the many Federal Tax forms behind me. The number of tax form-related questions I answer/day is unbelievable. People are not taking the IRS' decision to quit mailing forms to individuals lightly or happily.


List # 16

The Best Things a Girl Should Have:

1. The comfiest pair of pajamas she can find. Personally, I prefer t-shirts collected through the ages paired with yoga pants or (when it's really cold) oversized, should-not-be-seen-in-public fleece pants.

2. A good group of trustworthy friends. I would recommend the type that look past your faults, support your endeavors and never make you feel bad about yourself. Some of us learn that the hard way and some of us have trouble letting go. But when we do learn our lessons and when we do let go, we are rewarded.

3. A library card. Sure, I am saying this because it is keeping my profession in business. But let's just put it this way; even on your darkest of days, even when you're flat broke, the library is open and holds tales to be read & advice to be found.

4. A skirt that makes her feel sexy. Remember my hunt for a sexy pencil skirt? I bought one that I have been eyeing since before the holidays. It's not very high-waisted, but it is black lace. And it was 60% off. Enough said.

5. A hobby that fosters creativity. I am a dedicated life-long learner. I have seen too many people succumb to adult boredom. I believe firmly in reading, craft projects, volunteer work, classes...whatever keeps your gears in motion.

6. A job that makes you happy. If I had to give any advice to a young graduate, or a woman my age wondering what to do next, I'd say find something that challenges you but suits your strength. Don't be afraid to start over and find something that brings you joy. It's out there.

7. A few favorite songs that evoke special memories and a few more that give you strength for the future. Like I have mentioned before, I'm not one to let go of things easily. And certain songs are always on my playlist for the memories they hold: cold winter nights at Allegheny, Saturday nights in Agrinio, friends, even sad moments. But then there are the ones that make look forward to the tomorrows and remind me of how awesome I really am, and what I have accomplished.

8. Handbags. Well, that's my own fashion vice, but shoes, jewelry (okay, I like that a lot too) or sunglasses will all work just as well.

9. A good relationship with her mother/aunt/grandmother, etc. I don't think I was as close to my mother as I was when I was younger. I was a Daddy's girl. But I can honestly say that my Mom is one of my best friends now. I love her so much and am so thankful to have her to lean on and have fun.

10. Confidence. This needs to be its whole separate blog post. But let's face it, this is a battle women face all of the time. I know men fight feelings of inferiority as well. But there is something that happens to girls from the time they are very young that can often make it hard to see that they are worth more than what they get, make it hard to look at their bodies as beauties, make it hard to admit they are smart & tough cookies. I know it took me a long time, along a windy road, to reach this point in my life where I'm proud of where I am and feel that I have a lot to offer.

What is something you think every gal should have? Share your thoughts in the comments!


List # 15

I was going to continue my Pittsburgh love affair story, but after a long gloomy day & a late night home, I'm not really in the mood. The second part of my story will come shortly, when it's good & ready I suppose.

So tonight, all I really want to do is write a list.

Tonight's list? Things that happened today. Because I can't bear to only write about the sadness I felt today.

1. My little brother, Ian, is starting a blog. He loves to eat & writing about food that he eats is a perfect fit for him. We're talking anything. This was the guy who got an in-house suspension in high school because he ate a goldfish in the cafeteria. And he takes food challenges very seriously. He's a sophomore at Wittenberg University. So go read him & give him some love.

2. It was a sad day. One with fog & gray & cloud in Pgh can often lead to bad things and today it led to sadness.

3. Part of this sadness I brought on myself by reading old texts, emails & the like when I discovered a message from the best person I thought I knew mid-day. It's so amazing how oneself can be so confident and feel so broken at the same time. I'm leading two different lives right now, I swear. But today was the first one, in a very long time, that it was tough to hold back the tears even when I was just sitting.

4. When you're sitting next to craft supplies for a stinky, smelly themed story time it is very easy to get a headache and feel sick to your stomach.

5. I talk a lot about books. But every time I read a book that punches the breath out of me, brings me to my knees & makes me halt all other activity, I feel the same. It's a mix of shock, excitement and surprise. Reading a book that becomes part of your life is a rare gift and that is why I must tell you to run out to your local library and request Room by Emma Donoghue. I say request because this book probably has a wee bit of a hold list. But look for it any format...even it means buying the ebook.

6. I am completely hooked on Sara Bareilles' Kaleidoscope Heart album. I mentioned one song a few posts ago, but now I have the album and it just fits my moods and winds down any type of day.

7. Hoping that tomorrow is better than today. Hoping that each day after brings more success & happiness than it does frustration & sadness for all.


Story # 1

Photo Found here.

I'm a Pittsburgh girl at heart. This place is my home, I bleed black & gold and I am proud of this city along our three rivers. But I have a not-so-secret secret: I wasn't always this way.

And I don't know what it is about our beloved Steelers winning another AFC Championship & heading off for a chance to win their *7th* Super Bowl victory, but it has me thinking about my long, sometimes troubled, love affair with Pittsburgh.

One of my earliest memories is that of Sunday afternoons, extended family gathered round watching football. I remember I had a Steelers black & gold dress and pompoms. And since it was my then 3 year-old dream to become a cheerleader when I grew up I remember being devastated when I found out the Steelers didn't have a cheerleading squad. I actually remember thinking to myself, "Well, I'll change that." Because I was a go-getter with big dreams even at three.

I remember my parents taking me to the Carnegie Museum and wandering the long hallways of birds. What young girl wants to go to the museum just to look at stuffed birds, shoved into a narrow hallway almost an afterthought, from the turn of the century? This one. And, actually, it's still one of my favorite parts of the museum.

And of course, I remember afternoon trips to the library. We lived in Brookline when I was a little girl and gloriously, in walking distance of the Brookline branch of the Carnegie Library. I'm not exaggerating when I said that we went every day. My heart broke when we moved to the suburbs, not because I was leaving friends and the familiar behind, but because my neighborhood did not have a library. And wouldn't actually, until my early love with Pittsburgh was wearing thin and I was on my way to college.

But then I grew up. And the small town feel of Pittsburgh just wasn't cutting it for me. I wanted out, thought I'd go away for college & never come back. In fact, I got into all of the colleges I applied to and the one I ended up attending (just a mere 1.5 hour north) was at the bottom of my choices. But what ended up being a twist of fate, scholarships, grants and financial aid led me to the most expensive school on my list and the best decision I ever made.

And the whole time I still thought there was no way I was going to end up in Pittsburgh. Throughout school, even though I had a fierce love of reading, librarian wasn't even on my radar as career option. If you would have told me at 12, 17 or 22 that I would be a librarian in Allegheny County...I would have laughed in your face. And yet, here we are....

There is more to my passionate Pittsburgh love affair, but I really view it in different chapters, so the other parts will come later.

But for tonight, I'm just going to remember that I love it here. I love the neighborly attitude, I love the eclectic group of people, I love our sports teams & I love that the people I love are here. And I'm remembering to keep that close to heart, even when I start thinking of greener pastures.

So, lovies, what is your most early memory of Pgh?


Miscellaneous # 5

Cramps. Mixed feelings. A sense of loss. New bags. Forward thinking.

But above everything else, Pittsburgh is going to the Super Bowl!


List # 14

There isn't much to say today, but here is a list:

1. I'm finding that writing down some little thoughts before I sleep each night, or in the middle of the day if that's when it needs to happen, is both soothing and energetic. This is all in practice for that book I'm going to start writing this year. New goals.

2. I went to the movies tonight. And I purchased that kid combo that I always got every time we went together. And I know I used to get so annoyed when you'd say you didn't want any popcorn or drink, and then you'd eat the top layer & drink my small pop during the whole movie. I was a brat sometimes, I know. But I didn't even eat half of my popcorn tonight & it would have been nice not to see that all go to waste with you. I'm sorry for those times I wasn't nice about the little stuff. I always liked sharing with you, even if I didn't show it.

3. My friend Claire, who lives in England & blogs here, just had a baby girl. I love this friend & I'm so excited for her new arrival, even if I am on another continent. Claire has always been a supportive friend, was my best pal during one of the best years of my life, has helped me through so many things and so her own life change so much in just one short year. I love, Stuart & the baby. Even if I haven't met 2 of the 3. And I'm toasting them with a glass of our favorite, Bailey's.

G'night, lovelies. Here's to a warm sleep, a bright day & a Steelers win.


Miscellaneous # 4

It's a snowy Friday & I'm battling a tension headache. But there is a weekend ahead of us and lots to cheer for.

Some music for our Friday Round-up:





No explanations necessary. And thanks to all of you who introduced such tunes. And most of all: Here We Go, Steelers!


List # 13

A Short Lists of Things & Thoughts for Today:

1. I was much better equipped for this snowstorm than the last. Not in terms of the contents of my refrigerator, but I was at least ready to spend a night alone. With books & a bubble bath & chicken soup for my upset stomach.

2. We have welcomed the first babies into our library family. As my lovely & hilarious friends, Librarian Laura & Lawyer Nate, welcome TWO baby boys into their lives. These friends make me smile and laugh so much that my cheeks hurt after spending time with them...I can only wait to see how these boys make us laugh with Star Wars and books galore.

3. The Mountain Goats, Mr. Smalls on April 12th. There is only one person with which I would like to share this concert. *sigh*

4. Running into one of my favorite library patrons was such a sweet surprise today. Sometimes good advice comes from the most unlikely places. But it also made me miss some of the other regulars.

5. I really want Michael Scott to land his Holly or else I may not believe in romance again. Ridiculous because they are fictional characters? Sure. But we all deserve to find that person.

Hope you're safe & warm, lovelies. Let's enjoy the peace of snow.


Miscellaneous # 3

No real post tonight. I had a fun dinner with some old friends but I think the mix of heavy food & a boat load of caffeine (and probably all that mayonnaise from lunch) is making this girl feel a bit sick.

But I have been wondering about good break-up, or love-yourself songs. Anyone have suggestions?

List #12

A few things that don't mix:

1. Mayonaise & more mayonaise: For reasons that are mainly: there is free food & I'm not cooking & there are plenty of leftovers, my lunch was a whole bunch of mayonaise. Don't get me wrong, the sandwhich was delicious & it is gracious to not have to cook/buy lunch but now it will be sitting in me all afternoon while I cut crafts & unpack books.

2. My Pandora stations & Jack Johnson: I know many people love the smooth sound of Jack Johnson, and I'm not cutting on your musical taste if you're one of said people. I have many guilty pleasure artists tucked away, that's for certain. But to me, every Jack Johnson sounds the same: smooth listening on a Hawaiin island. It's not my taste & for months I've been making it my own personal quest to rid him of every Pandora station I ever create. Once in a while, he slips through...like this morning. And Bam! I dislike that sucker.

3. Working & the song Home by Michael Buble: So my Director is on vacation & I was the only one working in the backroom this morning. When that happens, I always listen to music while I plug away at story time crafts, book ordering or whatever librarian-task I have my hands into. This morning Home came on the station I was playing (not, in fact, a Michael Buble station). It is a song that reminds me of driving back & forth to visit my Dad in the hospital last year. But this verse "And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life, It’s like I just stepped outside, When everything was going right, And I know just why you could not, Come along with me, 'Cause this was not your dream, But you always believed in me" made me oh, so sad. It may be corny but the person who I thought was the best person I knew told me that I only saw my life, not his. And he always, always believed in me. I would not have this job if it wasn't for his constant cheering. But the fact that he thinks I didn't see his life is just not true. And I'm not really sure how I can convey that, and I don't know if it matters, but I'm certainly wishing that I could have done a better job at showing him that we had dreams together...not just mine & his. And that is why at aproximately 11 am I was fighting back sadness at my desk. *sigh*

4. Me and Rainy Days: I simply hate the damp, cold feeling that won't go away on a day like today. There is only one answer to this and that's me with a blanket & a book. Since none of that is happening, I'll focus on the fact that I got a free lunch, can stay warm inside my nice office & read books after work.

Thanks for the mid-day break, lovelies.


List # 11

Notes on Things I Thought about Today:

1. The best boosts can come from the things we do every day to be productive. I am often my harshest critic & often feel like I'm not measuring up. But you know what? I rocked out a difficult story time, handled two interviews today (being on the other side of the table) and even had business cards delivered. When I think of all that, I must be doing something right.

2. It has always been hard for me to let go of friendships. I have tried very hard to maintain connections that may long ago have frayed. Learning that friendships come & go and that people are in our lives when they are meant to be has always been a hard lesson for sentimental-me to learn. But recently I've been fortunate enough to have old connections rekindle & see new friendships bloom. I am so thankful for these connections. Every text, lunch, tweet, blog post, email, comment, etc. remind me how many people love & care. It makes me smile.

3. I can't stop thinking about those nights that I would practically cry myself to sleep over worry about patrons. And how he told me my heart was big. He would laugh when I couldn't stop crying, kiss me and tell me that's what he loved about me. And he would listen, as we settled into bed, about my worries & my concern. I could really use that tonight and it's hard to do it alone.

Only 3 tonight, but they are big ones.

Much love.


List # 10

It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A time for assistance, a day set aside to reflection where we have come & where we want to go. I spent the day working at my public institution. I was busy preparing crafts for tomorrow's story time & placed three large orders of material. And I really hope that Dr. King is proud of today's libraries & the work we do.

But today is also two weeks. And here is what I know to be true:

1. It's good to book trips & think about getaways with friends. Liberating & adventurous; it makes me feel as if the future is just mine. There are new stories to be found.

2. When someone has decided to step out of your life, you find them in the oddest nooks & crannies of your day. I wish I could explain this, but it would just be a list of things that remind me of the best person I thought I knew.

3. A warm blanket & a cup of tea do wonders. And I have to admit I'm not anxious to see winter leave because the heat will chase these two things away.

4. I miss the night and how it used to be.

5. I love reading. I love comfy socks. I love friends who take time in their day for me.

6. I think everyone should be reading my lovely friend, Leanne's, blog over here. Her humor, support, friendship & eagerness to try new things all make her blog worth reading.

And I'll keep it at that tonight, lovelies.


List # 9

Things I Want to Say:

1. Remember that first Valentine's Day? I've never been big on the holiday & it was never anything over-the-top-for-us, but you went from store to store trying to find Sweet Tart Hearts (not in individually wrapped packages) for me. They didn't exist anymore & you bought me a huge bag of little bags. Eating Sweet Tart Hearts makes me sad this year.

2. I knew Christian Bale would win the Golden Globe. And my money is still on him winning the Oscar.

3. I'd really like someone to whisk me & some friends away to wear fancy Hollywood dresses & drink champagne.

4. This weekend has been so hard to forget you.

5. I am on a mission for a high-waisted pencil skirt. Operation: Sexy Librarian?

6. I keep expecting sleeping nights to get better. And sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. But either way, it's always a fight with my head.

7. When you try so hard to forget someone, you find them in the smallest crevices. And in those little stories that make the day worth living. And you ache so badly to hear their stories.

One day, there will be more stories from someone.

And one day I will wear a fancy Hollywood dress & win an award. That happens at ALA, right?


list # ?

Unfair Things:

1. Not being able to recreate the experience the first time you read a favorite book.

2. Changing astrology signs. I won't go Virgo.

3. Waking up because of good dreams about him.

Here We Go, Steelers!
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Letter #6

Dear Me, Dear You,

I am kind of at a loss of words tonight. All day I knew what I wanted to write & was composing a list in my head and then the world reminded me that days cannot be planned and neither can our emotions.

I am still not sure where my missing items are but I am sure the will turn up. They are probably tucked away in the bags here that I haven't unpacked yet because putting things back in drawers means too much. Or they are tucked under piles of laundry where you are, discarded quickly when I was being told to leave your life & I felt rushed to get on with this part.

Knocking, because we no longer share anything. Seeing how much of my life was in your hands & space. Looking at your greying beard & just wanting to kiss your lips again and make it better. I second-guess every thing I ever said, wonder what fight put you over the edge & want to take back everything I might have ever said to cause you harm. Everything you ever gave me was wonderful.

And try to forget you every day. Tell myself that I'm strong, I'm better, I'm on.

I love that face. Smile, Laugh. That concern when I tell you how my money is being used. I want to hear so much of your day, and your classes and all of your connect. And your family, and mine. And I would never stop you from going anywhere. I want to take the sad from you.

But, even if I go on and on, ramble through the night. This was your decision. And mine is to try. And there are too many words that I want to say. So I will stop here.

I would try so hard to make the wrongs right.

Let me sort this out tonight. My bubbie & blankets will keep me warm.


The Girl


Letter #5

Dear Self,

Remember that tonight unexpected plans occured. You found yourself among friends in a place you would rather not be familiar. And you laughed so much that your cheeks hurt. Seriously, what a fantastic feeling! I think that was the first time in a long time you can remember smiling so much. And this was after you treated yourself to a solo dinner (aha! you can do it again) in a restaurant you've been wanting to go to for quite some time.

Not too shabby for a busy work day that included a trip to the hospital, a dancing story time & patrons dissing your old library.

Well done Thursday.



Recommendations #1

Okay, so I'm a librarian. It probably comes as no surprise when I say that sometimes books are my best friends. I'm really in this profession because I love people & communities & helping. You really do have to be a people person to be a successful librarian these days. But yeah, books are a big part of the job. And it just so happens that I love books a lot too.

Right now I'm trying to stick to books that aren't too complicated & won't have me crying every other page. As much as I love the historical fiction, or memoir, that takes a terrible event and makes it even more alive, I just don't want to spend my nights crying over war-torn countries & terrible childhoods. I need books that are fresh & just light enough that they make me feel contemplative but not depressed.

I could write words upon words about my favorite books & I could book talk a great tale to you. I could have you picking up a book that is not in your usual repertoire in second. I'm a librarian, that's what we do, and I happen to think I do that part pretty damn well.

But all I really want to say today is that The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan is a must-read for all of us who have fallen in love, out of love, are in love or are out of love. His tale of a relationship told in little snippets and an alphabetical vocabulary list is perfection. I am not yet halfway through the book yet, but it is all of my emotions (past & present) in written word & stories. There are so many spots that I want to highlight & repeat. It has me understanding my own past & looking towards my own future with such courage & excitement. I want to bottle how it is making me feel so that I can open it up & experience it all over again when the book is over.

And today, during my lunch, when I sat down to read & eat. The song Gonna Get Over You by Sara Bareilles popped on Pandora. Again, perfection. A peppy, upbeat song about getting over the person you loved but who must have been the wrong one. It's exactly how I feel. I'm not depressed, I'm not lost, I can do it.

Ever since I moved back from Greece I have always look at each day as an opportunity to gather stories to tell. I really feel that almost anything is worth doing if you can walk away with a story.

Maybe it is because I am a librarian, but I tend to view my life as a series of short stories in a large anthology. And it has been hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that a very moving & important story has concluded. It's time for new stories, new characters & new adventures. 2011 is so brand new! It could have so many beginnings & endings. I get nervous/bittersweet/energized just thinking about it.

I live my life surrounded by words. And though I can think of many books & songs that are perfect representations of falling in love, friendship, seasons, traveling, Greece & so & so on. It is rare that I stumble upon a perfect fit when I need it the most. Usually we read something that reminds us of a person, place, or thing. But I'm living in the now & I couldn't be smiling more over these two finds & the someday & someone that will charge it all up.

David Levithan writes in A Lover's Dictionary about falling in love: "And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back."

And my dears, how hopeful is that.

What things match your life?


Miscellaneous #2

Getting it Right the First Try:

There was big news in the library world this week: ALA Mid-Winter convention wrapped up, Nancy Pearl celebrated a birthday & the Newbery & Caldecott winners were announced. You remember those awards, right? You probably read a few of the Newbery winners along the way in grade school: Maniac Magee, The Giver & Sarah, Plain & Tall. Hell, I even remember reading Strawberry Girl in the 4th grade and being the only one in the class who enjoyed it. It's not one that stands the test of time, and my fellow Catholic School mates were probably right in their disapproval, but I was a young girl who just loved books.

I don't think it's all that uncommon for no one to even think twice about these awards (and many others given out) unless you ARE a librarian. But it does gaurantee that the book will be forever printed & always on a reading list somewhere. It's the ticket to author/illustrator fame.

Well this year, 2 first time winners were announced. Both the Newbery & the Caldecott winners were first timers. People who came out of the gate running. And I can't help but be jealous and inspired by them at the same time.

I'll admit that I never even heard of the Newbery title until it was annouced, Moon Over Manifest. But I don't feel terrible about it because not one of my librarian friends had heard of it either. It's in my queue now though & a copy is ordered for my library.

But the Caldecott winner is my absolute FAVORITE children's book of 2010: A Sick Day for Amos McGee. The pictures are so soft & gentle that each time I read it I get a warm feeling in my heart & almost start to cry. I love tales of friendship & this is the tops. Seeing this book win this week was exactly the kind of reminder of faith & love & friendship & hard work that I needed to see.

I want to see that when you work hard & pour your heart into a project, or a desire, or a person that you are rewarded. I want to see that people still crave simple. I want to see that we all admire friendship & loyalty. A Sick Day for Amos McGee does all of that & their husband/wife author/illustrator combo (and young too) just shows that sweet things are always rewarded.

I can't wait to read Moon Over Manifest. Encourge you to read them both as well. And once again, ask for a book deal.

Oh, Librarians. We get our kicks off of books.

Letter #4

Dear Self,

You had a very productive day. A heart-to-heart at lunch about wanting the tradtional things in untraditional ways. A few laughs, a few tears and a whole lot of love. You accomplished community things, ordered books, planned programs & got new boots. It was a good day. All around.

Don't let a little noticed thing, one that you were expecting, get you upset before bed. It's not worth it & you're worth a good night's sleep & a day filled with happiness.



P.S. Yes, you know this type of speak is corny. But it's fact. There are new things to do and new people to meet on the horizon.

Miscellaneous #1

I will never be able to write a fashion blog. I don't have the money, the size nor the patience to take pictures of what I wear every day and discuss how I put an outfit together. Even though I fancy myself a creative person, I just am not creative in that way. But I really admire those who are. And I think I will take pictures of my favorite shoes & purses, etc. Because even though it is not on the outside that counts, how you dress can really lift spirits...or bring you down into a slump.

I loved what I wore today. A purple sweater, my zebra skirt & purple tights with boots. I can't wait to wear tights with boots in NYC. These things are just fact.

But I also treated myself to very cute but practical snow boots. I want to wear these Bogs around all day & night. At least one good thing comes out of snowy weather.
Feeling fine.


List #8

It's one of those Tuesdays that actually feels more like a Monday. On one side, that's terrible because who wants to experience two Mondays? On the other side, it's wonderful because it's like the week is playing a cute joke on me and bring me closer to the weekend. But at the same time, I'm kind of down on weekends right now because I like being busy all week. However, this weekend is busy & happening & we have Steeler playoff football. Rambling much?

Anyway, a few things from today:

1. So many people like to say that people come and go in our lives for a reason. That the people who surround us are there when we need them and so goes the ebb and flow all of life's relationships. I believe this more & more as I get older. Not for reasons regarding my break-up. No, I'm not yet ready to believe that such a person was only supposed to be in my life for a finite & short period of time. Love kind of does that to you. But so many people have sent their love & kindess my way to make my days brighter. Sometimes I am overwhelmed.

2. The mini-snowstorm that Pittsburgh is experiencing tonight has be down. Even though I am happy to be spending a quiet night by myself, I feel the type of alone that is sad. I know how much I want to be snuggled in tonight, but me and my bubbie will have to do.

3. Allegheny is everywhere and I'm sorry, I just can't stop with my pride. Today I was working the desk and a person I recognized came in, we discovered we were both Gators & now I'm looking forward to bringing her on to host a yoga program at the library. Go Gators!

4. I have booked a trip to NYC. With intelligent, fun-loving, adventurous women. This trip is my motivation in the dog-days of winter & I must begin shopping for some cute outfits now. And throw good thoughts out there for no snow during our chosen weekend. Bring on shows & friendship & Greek food & cute boys & whatever else comes our way.

5. I hate myself for admitting this. But I will be watching Teen Mom 2 tonight.

Hope you're safe & warm tonight.


Letter # 3

Dear Starbucks,

I've been frequenting you more often than I anticipated in 2011. I'm a tea drinker, not a coffee-lover but you're right across the street from my library. I can't help it, a warm cup of tea does the soul good. And I have a soft-spot in my heart & in my stomach for a warm cup of tea made by someone else. Your Chai isn't as good as his and you're far too overpriced, but you draw me in with your relaxed atmosphere & neighborly chat. Since I can't have him make me tea, I'll choose you until I the winter snow thaws.

And I really have to give you applause for having the most heart-warming drink on your menu: the earl grey latte. It provides the warmth & comfort a cup of tea should in the morning. And I'm glad that even though it's been on the menu for quite some time, I'm just discovering it now.

Over the past few morning visits, Starbucks, I've heard the same few songs playing. I expect this from you, really. A few CDs on a continuous loop. And I'm sure you have morning, afternoon & evening mixes. At first I wanted to yell at you, Starbucks, for playing some pretty sad & depressing tunes & folks in the morning. Shouldn't the morning mix be chalk full of bright & cheeriness? Like, I don't know...Taylor Swift? But instead, you're choosing some moody songs that evoke stark winters & bitter chills.

But you know what, Starbucks? When I actually sat and listened for a few minutes, I remembered that your morning music choices actually remind me of men who have been happy things in my life. They are songs & artists that bring up pictures of men who are good friends, supportive & encouraging. Or, in the very least, they remind me that we all have our sad & lonely phases but we also have people who stand by us.

So I really wanted to say thank-you, Starbucks. For doing what you do, oh so well. And for your warm cups of tea that make me feel so good as I anticipate the first sip. And for baristas who can always make the tea for me.

Love Always,



List #7

A collection of comforting things. No matter the cold, winter day.

1. A scarf knitted by a dear friend in a pattern that seems too complicated for you.

2. A warm bath with sudsy lavender bubbles.

3. Big, fluffy slipper socks. With bright colors and patterns and were given to me by all sorts of people who know I like comfort and home.

4. The blanket I sleep with every night, given to me by my best friend & his beautiful bride for their wedding.

It's been a cold winter, friends. In what looks to be a cold January. Let's stay huddled together, keeping each other warm & focusing on the brighter days ahead.


List #6

Weekend Thoughts:

1. Brandy & ginger ale make a fine combination. New drink for a new year?

2. I wish that I would have gone to see the patriotic chandelier with him. For laughs that we could appreciate together. Stupid laughs, I know. But the little ones are always remembered. I am sure I am the only one who would want this.

3. A big bed doesn't mean I will take up all of it. I still like my side.

4. It's hard not to want it all back even if I know he won't. This is the end.

5. Is my face missed at all?

6. I bought new snow boots. I want them to be here today. And I want winter to only be pretty.

7. A weekend without the Steelers never feels complete this time of year.

8. I love me. I am awesome. The first weekend can only come once. New year, new things.
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List #5

1. A nice shade of lipstick. Preferably one that will leave a mark.

2. A skirt that flatter.

3. A sweater that warms and adds that librarian flair.

And that is how you get a boost on a cold and snowy Friday.

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Letter # 2

Dear Self,

You saw him today. It was sad, I know. You wanted to kiss him & make it better. But it's okay, you held it together. No tears were shed & the day was still new.


List #4

I have made a pact with myself to never include a list here that's over 10 items long. 10 is a nice, round number that's quick & easy to spout off. Anything longer than that is lingering. And it's too much. I could never stand blogs that ramble on and on. They can (and will) certainly be shorter than 10 things though.

Today? A list of little things:

1. At preschool story time, two girls couldn't help but rub my burgundy tights over & over again. My mom (a preschool teacher) refuses to wear skirts & pantyhose to work for this exact reason. It made me laugh so much. I mean, if I was a little girl I'd be drawn to burgundy tights on the woman reading me stories too.
2. Dinner with a lovely librarian friend in Oakland who is always quick to swoop down and is badass enough to yell things. She's a fierce woman who isn't afraid to mix & match patterns. I remember meeting her at orientation two years ago and instantly knowing we'd be pals. She's the type of lady you always want in your corner.
3. I made local headlines again. You can read about it here. But if you get the Signal Item or the Bridgeville Area News or any of those types of papers, you'll get to see my picture too.
4. The bus driver who reprimanded a young girl about paying. I don't know what he said, but she was annoyed. And then he was nice to a guy sleeping, didn't want him to miss his stop. I love friendliness & compassion.
5. Snooki's book was being cataloged at the library today. I read the first two pages, I really am speechless.

I love to share. I love to talk. Not the same, but it will do.


Letter #1

Dear 2011,

I understand that you are new to this, 2011. I get that you're only five days old and still getting your feet wet and figuring out this whole thing. But so far, you've delivered quite a blow and I kinda wish you wouuld quit while your ahead.

I also get that what you dished out to me is not as terrible as it could be. I am wise in my 29 years and know that the new year can do a lot of horrible things to many, many people. In fact, 2010 didn't open so smoothly for my family either and in the end, he gave me a new job. So I'm crossing my fingers, 2011, that after this bumpy patch in the road you'll bring some good things my way.

Because I have to be honest, new year, I wasn't expecting to be 29 and single and mending a broken heart this year. I can recall many conversations about you that included happy things like travels, new apartments, graduations and new beginnings. I guess you just didn't hear the other part of the conversation that talked about how I was suppose to be doing it with someone else. So sure, all of those new things will come...you just envisioned me doing them a little differently than I had.

I take your challenge, 2011. I'm a strong woman who knows what she can do and I know that I can handle what comes my way. Sure, I would like a fast-forward button that takes me to the good parts, but I guess that wouldn't be fair to you. You're suppose to get 365 days (thank goodness you're not a leap year. February is dark & hard enough without an extra day) and we should be thankful and embrace what those 365 days will bring.

But just in case you need some help, here are a few things I'd like during the next 12 months:
1. A place of my own to hang my hat.
2. Many, many good nights with friends.
3. Health & happiness for all.
4. To loose enough pounds that I feel better about my body (and look smokin' too).
5. A few good trips: NYC, Portland, the Beach, Europe...you can pick a few locations.
6. A book deal. I know it's a long shot, but why not aim for the stars when life gets ya down?
7. The Democrats to kick ass and get stuff done.
8. A big, new bed all for me.
9. Surrounding my day with love. All sorts of love.
10. A Pittsburgh winning-Super Bowl and/or Stanley Cup Champ

I'm sure you have your own ideas too, 2011, you've already proven that. But why not go a little easy on me and make sure a whole bunch of goodness floats my way too. I'll be here waiting and enjoying your new things as they come along.

All my love,


P.S. I just barely made it to my 10 pm goal tonight. But I did. I fought back crocodile tears on the phone earlier in the day and had some great talks with friends. I enjoyed our book discussion (please go pick up The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and I felt like myself. Please, let's do it again tomorrow.

List #3

Knowing that I was on approximately 1 hour of sleep and that my brain doesn't rest on normal nights, much less on nights when I am sleeping alone and feel very sad and angry and a whole bag of other emotions, I took Tylenol PM last night. I work the late shift tonight, giving me 10 full hours of sleep. I do feel better than yesterday. But I still need a little some reflection:

List of Things that Will Happen Today:
1. I will be in a book group for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Go read this book if you haven't already.
2. That boy goes back to school and I will try very hard not to think about it.
3. I will get the final polar bear story time prep done for tomorrow's preschool program.
4. I am going to do some retail therapy through the library and order lots of good things for next month.
5. I am going to put labels on books.
6. I am going to get the keys to my Aunt's apartment so I can house sit for two weeks when she's in Florida. Who wants to come over next week for wine and food? I'm serious. Doesn't have to be wine either, we can do bad television, games, whatever. See how I'm foreseeing that I'll need company?
7. I am going to wear a new pair of shoes that I love, if I can find them in my plastic bags.
8. I am going to laugh that the librarians did not win the Mega Million lottery that we had dreamed about yesterday, but look forward to playing again in the future.

Oh, and my goal has been updated. Since I work the late shift, I will be at the library until at least 9. So I can't cry until at least 10. I'm giving myself an extra hour because I don't want to break down as soon as I leave work too. I can do it!


List #2

Things I Know to Be True as of January 4, 2011:

1. I am a Librarian with a new job that I love.
2. My heart walked away one day after work.
3. I have new co-workers who are supportive and understanding.
4. There are more people than I was aware of who are looking out for my well-being.
5. I have cried over 30 times in the last 24 hours, I'm sure of it.
6. My memories of the holidays have been warped.
7. I am glad that my family is healthy & together.
8. I have friends who can always be counted on & swoop down in times of crisis.
9. I love comfy socks.
10. Tylenol PM should work.

Tomorrow's Goal: Do not cry before 6 pm.

And so here we are, one list every day to keep me focused on what is going on and what is good. It's a way for me to stay focused on the horizon. Because I'm not 22 anymore and I know I will be okay, but there isn't a fast-forward button and everyone needs something that keeps them sane and motivated.

List #1

Things I Knew to be True on New Year's Day 2011:

1. I am a Librarian with a new job that I love.
2. I am happy that my family is health & together as we start a new year.
3. I have a boyfriend that I love and who loves me.
4. I am a big scaredy cat who checks the locks multiple times before I sleep.
5. I am in a secure relationship that is moving towards a future.
6. 2011 will bring a bunch of new things like graduations and new apartments and new jobs.
7. I have friends who care, but who I need to stay in touch with better.
8. I sleep with my bubbie (a blanket) every night.
9. I debate paying too much for my smart phone.
10. I rub someone's back every night before I sleep.