Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm on TV! (Or online now anyway...)

Yep, it's true! (Actually, I've been on the local Carson City channel 3 times now, but this is the first one to be uploaded to the News Carson City website.) Click on the New Youth Services Librarian link. It's under May 19th, and in two parts (like before and after a commercial). I was interviewed about the Summer Reading Program that kicks off on Saturday, June 13th (we have a great big pancake breakfast planned, complete with face painting! But not while you're eating), and all of the summer programs I have planned. There will be storytellers, a magician, video game tournaments and even Duct Tape wallets! I have to warn you though. I have decided that I don't like the sound of my TV voice much. It sounds okay in my own head, but recorded? I'll let you be the judge of that.

What do you think? :) It was only my second day of work, so be nice. Yes. My second day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beginning of the Summer Sunset

Just doing homework here after dinner, and lucky for me, I have a window right behind my great big huge computer monitor. :) And when I happened to look up from my reading, I noticed this sunset in progress and raced downstairs to digitally capture this beauty forever (without out a window screen to block the view):

Click on the picture and make it big! Do it! :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day No Excuses 5k, 1/4 mile Fun Run

The race was on from the moment we left the house this morning, about 25 minutes later than we were supposed to, to drive to Sacramento for the Buzz Oates No Excuses 5k. The 5k was for me, but today was a big day for Sean and Ashton, as it was their first race! They were super excited about it, and practiced running around the "entire" playground at school, and checked in periodically (read: every 5 minutes), "Everyone gets a medal, right?" Kevin drove us to Sac, and we met up with Chris, Abby and Hannah, and Dave. Both Chris and Dave ran the 5k, and Dave even ran most of it with me. 3 out of 4 members is not a bad showing for Team Library Dork! :)

We made it to the race in just enough time to pick up our three bibs (the boys' and mine), find the rest of the group, pin on bibs, tie shoes and get to the start line. The boys are pictured above, before the race with their bibs on, and all excited- Ashton is all in red.

Now, just look at the above photo. Notice anything? Like how much taller my boys are than all of the other children? I went straight to the site and it didn't say anything about age limits for the different lengths, so I thought I'd sign them up for the shortest distance since it's their first race. Did I bother to check the actual even website? Probably not. Then I hear the announcer say that this is the quarter mile for the 5 and unders! Oops! By this time it was too late to pull them out and get it straightened out. So they ran.

And they won! Of course they did!

Ashton came in first,

with Sean right behind him. I was so proud of them, for running so hard, even if they could (should) have run the half mile. :) And the very best part: participation medals! Here are the three of us with our bibs on, just after their race (and before mine):

I did go talk to the race director afterward to make sure that the 3rd place boy will be mailed the plaque for first place, 'cause that's really not fair that he was competing with 6 year olds. And if you look, you can see him just behind Sean!

Next up, the 5k. The morning was beautiful, and just a bit cool- perfect sunny running conditions! Dave and I settled into our paces pretty quickly, and kept up a nice quickish clip. I was careful to assess how my back was feeling after the morning's long drive, and our faster pace, and decided it was okay to keep it up. The sun started to warm us up a bit, and by the time we finished, I was wishing I had my shorts on instead of capri-length running pants. But there was SO much oxygen, and I felt my lungs filling full with each breath, and I was able to keep my pace through to the finish, even though I was a little warm. I checked the results page (only the 5k was posted) and saw that I came in at 369 (what an awesome number!!!). I timed myself at 26:17, which was about a minute faster than I was expecting, after dragging through the Moms on the Run 5k I ran with Dave on Mother's Day a mere 2 weeks ago, with my slowest PR of 27 and change (I didn't register early, so I wasn't timed). I came in just ahead of Dave (this time!), but a full 10 minutes behind Chris. Yay Chris! He ran it in 16:32, and was pleased with his time. Chris was 4th overall, but only 32nd with the strange age-graded times they calculated (mine was 22:55! Whoo hoo! Now THAT would be an awesome PR to have!).

After the race, we all headed to the River City Brewing Co. for lunch. They have great food, and even better beer! I took a small sip of each of the samplers, and liked at least 3 of them- enough that I'd sit and drink a full glass of, if I were in the mood, and had some pizza to go with it.

Kevin got a liter of the Hefeweizen, which was my favorite- it had an almost lemony finish.

Then, we were off to the Sacramento Zoo! I got to impress everyone (or so I like to think) with all my trivial knowledge of random animals. We saw red pandas, various species of lemur (my favorite right after snow and spotted leopards!), giraffes, flamingos,

a snow leopard (of which I didn't get a picture of this time because he was mostly hiding in the foliage), and the tiger! Ashton LOVES tigers! I think he could have stood there watching the tiger all day long. "I wrote my animal report on tigers Mommy!" Me: "Yes, I know. We researched databases online last week about tigers, didn't we?" :)

And of course, we just HAD to take a break for the carousel! Sean chose the great Bald Eagle,

and I persuaded Ashton to climb up on the snow leopard:

I didn't think to take a picture of all of our group together, so here is a random shot of Dave yawning:

What a great day! I ran (with minimum protesting from my lower back), the boys got to run their first race, we tried out a new restaurant that I'll be sure to return to next time I go through Sac, and I got to take the boys to the zoo! And as an extra special bonus, I played leap-frog with a Lambourghini for about an hour on I-80 on the way home:

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Stardust Stardust by Neil Gaiman

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of those rare times when I watched the movie before I read the book. I generally don't like to do this because it gives me a pre-conceived notion of what the characters look like, and what I expect to happen. That said, I LOVED the movie of Stardust, and decided to read the book (well, listen) not only on Neil Gaiman's reputation as an author, but because I liked the movie so much. He did a superb reading of his own novel, and I found that the movie stayed mostly true to the storyline, until the very end. I won't say what was different (other than just about everything), and recommend that you read it for yourself to find out.

View all my reviews.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Stair Climb at the Silver Legacy

Yesterday I participated in my second-ever stair climb in down-town Reno, at the Silver Legacy Casino. It isn't as high as the Bank of America building in San Francisco, but 36 flights in the heat is still not something to scoff at. I met up with 3/4 of Team Library Dork, Chris and Dave, and Abbey and Liz, and we did great as a team! I think we placed 2nd over all as a team (but only by average), and I personally finished in 7:27, according to my watch. Not bad, eh? Well, not as good as our team leader Chris, who finished in 3:25!!! He won the event, but there is a dispute over another finisher's time, but we won't know for sure for another month. (I know, that's a ridiculous amount of time to wait for results!) Anyway, I enjoyed myself despite a few things that weren't quite organized, but overall it was a good event, and I feel good about my performance. Here is our team, from back to front, and left to right: Liz, Me, Dave (bottom) Abbey, Hannah (yep, she was fastest of all!), and our fearless leader, Chris.

The Snow Spider

The Snow Spider (The Magician Trilogy, Book 1) The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a nice thin volume, and a good book to listen to while waiting for the next hold to come in. The story was nice, with bits of magic and faraway lands, and a spider that could spin images of the people who live there. It has a well-meaning main character that makes his fair share of mistakes, and learns from them. Great for Jenny Nimmo's younger readers. However, I wasn't too fond of the reader's voice. It was only 3 discs though, so I'll probably listen to the rest of the series at some point.

View all my reviews.

Tales of Beetle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter) The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I liked these stories, with an essay to explain their significance in the magical world to us muggle folk. J.K.R. did an excellent job of viewing these stories from all sides. Nice fast read, just perfect for an in-between wait for the next book I have on hold~

View all my reviews.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies

I got the BEST cookie recipe before I left the South Valleys Library from one of my co-workers, Caroline. Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies. Does that about sum it up? I chopped up a huge chunk of dark chocolate, and grated a big piece of fresh ginger for this recipe. The pictures tell all. First you make the dough, refrigerate it for a couple hours, then roll the cookies into little balls and coat them with granulated sugar.

Cookie sheet 'em...

Bake 'em...

And voila! Melty chocolaty goodness! Mmmmmmm... Totally worth the time it took to make them~ you can even see the fresh ginger strands! But the ginger flavor mixed with the molasses was a nice balancing combination, and not overwhelming.

Thanks Caroline! The staff will thank you tomorrow. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Moms On The Run 5K

What did I want for Mother's Day? Well, besides the beautiful books my boys made me, the flowers they planted, and the yummy breakfast Kevin made me? To run, of course! Today dawned a wonderful blue morning, and a lovely 55ish degree start temperature for the 9th Annual Moms on the Run. Perfect for a run, even if it did start to get a little warm by the finish. I didn't sign up early because I wasn't sure how my back would be feeling, so I got the generic bib with no number, and hence, I wasn't timed. (Except by me.) Dave, fellow Team Library Dork runner, did, and set a goal of around 25 minutes. Okay, I said, I'll run with you, but I might drop behind if I get tired. After a prayer by Mayer Cashell and a beautiful rendition of the Nation sung a capella by the Lorentzen Family (one of the final contestants on the CBS vocal comp, and local Sparks residents!), we were off! It was a crowded start, but the first half went by really quickly- I asked Dave if he wanted to run the 10K at the turn around, but he declined. I'm glad he did, because I could tell that I'm a bit out of shape because I've been missing my training because of various back/ankle pain, and some strange swelling in my limbs. (I have started swimming again though! The Carson Aquatic Facility has a great pool, and I love it!) On the way back in, I started to get a little warm, and had to concentrate on my breathing and the music blasting through my Shuffle. With only about 1/4 of a mile left I had to drop back behind Dave, but he only beat me by about 7 seconds in the end. He definitely set a faster clip than I would have run if I was by myself- Thanks Dave! I got a good workout, and it felt so good to be running again. I just don't feel right when I can't workout, and I was feeling a little depressed because I was starting to wonder if I'd ever feel well enough to run again.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mother's Day Tea Party

I have only been working at my new job in Carson City for a week and a half, so I told my boys that I wouldn't be able to make their special Mother's Day Tea Party at their school. I felt really bad about taking a half day so soon. BUT! I worked it out with the other staff members at the Carson City Library, and they were super nice about it. They all said it's something that I can't miss! So I surprised them! I got there early, only to be surprised myself at how lovely their classroom had been decorated. They had even drawn pictures for the bulletin board, written the most important part about Moms on a banner at the front of the room, and planted flowers in pots they decorated, and painted special Mother's Day letters.

Then the tears began. Each student had created a book they called "A Walk Through 1st Grade," and on the front cover were their footprints from the beginning of the year! Each page had a different piece of art or writing sample added as the year progressed. There was a self portrait, their Presidential speeches, a Leprechaun poem, and at the very end, a picture of their mom and a special story they wrote just for us. It was based on the book "Love Your Forever" by Robert Munsch. If you have never read it, this is one of those picture books you need to go buy. And buy for every new mother out there, along with a box of Kleenex. Of my two boys, Ashton invited me to the front to sit in the cushy Mother's Day chair, and he read me my story.

It started out, "Do you remember when we were reading a book..., and then came the verse:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My Mommy you'll be."

He continued on to say, "Even when I'm in high school, I'll still want to go on hikes with you (verse), and in college we can ride bikes together (verse), and when I get married we can still paint pictures and drink hot chocolate together (verse)." His whole story was five full pages! I managed not to cry, but only because I had already cried through the first 3 students' stories.

Here is my baby and my portrait he painted~

Sean called me up towards the end to read to me.

He read, "Mommy, remember when we did art together and we sat by the fire together? It felt like so much fun! (verse) When I go to high school, I still want to read books with you and I'm glad you like when I read to you. (verse) When I go to college, I still want to go to the park with you because I like to run around, and I love how you teach me how to be a better runner. (verse) When I get married I still want to play with you because it is so much fun. (verse) As we grow old together, I still want to spend time with you, and if you can't come to my house I'll come to yours. (verse)"

His story was also a full five pages. Then we got to eat cake and drink iced tea. I am SO happy I made the decision to leave work to be here for this~ my co-workers were right: this is not something I should miss, and I could never make up this special time together with them. I would have been the only mom NOT there- and I have two kids in the class! I am truly blessed to have two such wonderful smart and loving children who want nothing more than to please me and make me happy. They have grown so tall this year. Their footprints on the covers of their books no longer fit their feet. My prayer is for them to keep growing and growing and learning and loving~