My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

images

High-fives are good.

But high-tens ARE GREAT!

Picture it– jaw dropping in slow-motion silence, eyebrows furrowing in mock-angry rage, head slowly wagging side to side, both hands lifting high up top, waiting a brief moment for your friend to deliver a booming double palm-on-palm SMACK!

Now that’s a beautiful picture, my friends.

That’s the happy dial turned to a 10.

That’s a good day giving birth to a great one.

That’s a photo from Appendix A of The Study of the Best Things Ever.

Lady, I don’t know who you are, where you live, or what you’re all about, but I know that you gotta love that beautifully loud high-ten and its satisfying twenty-finger crack.

Like I said, the high-five is good, too. But really, almost anyone can deliver a decent high-five. It’s just one hand! Once you start tenning, the five starts to look wrong, incomplete and unfinished. It becomes a half, a partial, a sort of, like a flop with no flip, yang with no yin, pong with no ping or a unicycle.

But the high-ten!

Sugar, let’s talk about that high-ten. Now that is THE celebratory hand-on-hand gesture for you and me. See, the high-ten takes guts for two big reasons:

1. First off, higher chance of looking stupid. You throw a big five up there and if no one answers it, hakuna matata. You just put your hand nonchalantly back in your pocket, scratch your head or smooth is through the side of your hair, Fonzie-style. No one notices you covered it up and is peachy. But you throw a high-ten up there and you get left hanging? Well now you just look silly–like you’re trying to get the wave started at your favorite team’s baseball game or are just airing out your pits.

2. Also, there’s more coordination required. Think about it: during high-fives, all eyes are on that one hand. With four eyes focused on one slap, there’s not much that can go wrong. Yes, there’s the awkward pinky-on-pinky slap, but those really don’t happen all that often. Now, the high-ten’s a whole other animal. This time, each person has to focus on two slaps. Tim them right, aim them precisely, and smack them hard. You can’t just high-ten perfectly the first time. It’s very difficult and may require hours and hours or practice.

However, the good news is that once you work up the nerve to actually pull off the high-ten, it will be the most rewarding hand slap you’ve ever hand slapped. So go on. Give it a shot. test it out. See what it’s all about.

And hey, maybe even try laying a thundering double palm-on-palm SMACK on one of your closet friends…today!!

AWESOME!

Hey guys, I just wanted to say thank you and give you all epic high-tens for all of your sweet comments and prayers sent my way last week. You are really are the bee’s knees. My sister’s surgery went well and she is almost back to her old self again, albeit a little sore. It’s amazing how even a little surgery can take it out of you, but also how quickly you heal. The human body is an incredible thing!

Also, my interview yesterday went AHHHHMAZING! They loved my program idea and I really seemed to hit it off with the library team and director. They were going to let the final candidates know the final decision by the end of the week (fingers and toes and eyes crossed). No matter what, I know I put my best foot forward and gave it my all. No matter what the outcome, I should be pretty darn proud of myself (BUT I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HOPE I GET IT!!)

Have an AWESOME day, everybody!

Hey guys!

Everybody say it with me now…..

“YIPPY SKIPPY!!! IT’S FRIDAYYYYYY!!!” When I was in middle school, my principal would start his morning announcements with this exciting sentiment, sending all of the 1200 pubescent students in the building into a frenzy, yours truly included. It was just a nice way to start off the day and put everyone in a yippy skippy kind of mood heading into the weekend.

Before I get into my Friday Favs for this week, I’d like to share some news with you all.

First off, my little sister who has been battling endometriosis for a few years now had surgery this morning. She had this same surgery two years ago and while it seemed to help for a while, the symptoms just seemed to get worse over time. She’s a fighter and I know that she will do great, but I am hoping that the doctors can figure out what is causing this chronic and debilitating pain she’s been having and will be able to do something for her. It hurts my heart to see people who I love going through something so hard, knowing that there isn’t anything I can do but give them all of my support and love (and in all cases, my beast-mode bear hugs). Plus, being so far away from home, not being able to be there for her in person is really, REALLY hard. But small fry, if you’re reading this, you got this girl! You got this!

Secondly (and less on the important scale), I have my final interview for the Adult Librarian position this coming Monday morning!!!! I’m weirdly enough not that nervous (although I say that now. When I’m walking into the library come 10:30 next Monday I know my stomach will be filled with butterflies pterodactyls). I think it’s partly because I am so confident in what I can bring to this position, partly because I know how passionate I am about it, and partly because I have done these interviews for what seems to be forever and a day now. I know what to expect going it which definitely helps a bit. In addition to the standard interview spiel, I have to give a brief 5-10 minute presentation on an adult program that I would like to implement in the library. I chose to do a take on a Pinterest Party where patrons can not only learn how to use this amazingly amazing–and addictive–social media site, but also make projects inspired by ideas found on Pinterest. At the end of the five-week Pinterest Party program, there will be a Pinterest Party Bash where all of the projects made in previous sessions will be on display for everyone to see. Patrons will also be invited to bring a dish/dessert they found through Pinterest to share with the group.

Oh. The theme of the projects during these five weeks will be “Getting Crafty with Books”–projects that incorporate old and used books, repurposing them into things like lamps, storage containers and clocks. SO BOOKING COOL, RIGHT?!

I think it sounds like it would be a great way to not only get older library patrons tuned into their technology side (using the actual Pinterest site) but also their creative, tactile and social side (creating awesome projects while at the same time meeting new people). I really hope they like it!

Of course I can’t give this presentation without props, right? I’m planning on baking these babies to hand out after my presentation, just to give them an example of some of the things that could be incorporated into future Pinterest Party programs ;)

With everything that’s been going on lately, I’ve been having some seriously long but amazing talks with the Big Guy upstairs. It’s a good thing I have unlimited minutes and full data coverage. I would however so greatly appreciate any additional prayers, especially for my sister. God truly does work in the most mysterious of ways and while the methods to his madness don’t always  make the most of sense (at least at the time), there is a reason for everything. You just have to have faith.

Speaking of, I have the utmost faith that you all have an amazing weekend but until then, please be sure to check out my finds from around the web and more in this week’s addition of Friday Favs!

Favorite Feel Good: Because sometimes, you just really need a high-five, no? This just makes me so, so, sososososo happy! high-five-800

Favorite proposal: I Want to Marry You Cookies. Two kinds of chocolate (TWO!) and pecans?! I do, I do, I doooo-ooooh!

cookie

Favorite drool: Hanging Library. Pretty much? This is EXACTLY what I want in my future house.

books

Favorite place: Emerald Lake. Just 20 miles or so west of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, this lake is absolutely breathtaking. I would rent a house here for a week in the summertime in a heartbeat!

EmeraldLake_mini

Favorite treat: Easy Homemade Funfetti CupcakesNormally I’m a 4:1 ratio of cupcake to icing kind of gal, but holy buckets I would totally reverse the rule for these babies. Mouthwatering, and adorable!

Easy-Homemade-Funfetti-Cupcakes-with-Vanilla-Buttercream

Favorite furball. Temptation…

Puppy

Favorite snuggle. This WILL become my winter weekend uniform. Just need that vest!

Favorite cozy: Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate. This is soooo happening as soon as the s*&# starts flying. And when I say s*&#, I mean the white, cold and fluffy stuff that shall remain nameless.

Favorite truth: Sometimes…app

Favorite funny: We’ve all been there. Some of us more than others (*cough my dad’s whole side of the family cough*)

fart

I just found out that one of my bestest friends in the whole entire world got engaged over the weekend. We’ve know each other since we were literally waddling around in diapers and my heart is overflowing with joy for both her and her fiancé.

1001988_10100401856195612_301984580750408251_n

Me and the bestie/soon-to-be B-E-A-UUUUUUtiful bride Jillian. Love her to Reece’s Pieces! <3

This momentous occasion made me realize how incredibly grateful I am to have such amazing friends in my life to share these fantabulous life events with. There is something so wonderful about having those best friends in your life, those amazing people who take up a special place in your heart.

Lately I’ve been learning  that one of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to invest in a good great set of best friends.

10494739_10100481749099592_6950079727677151578_n

228080_963375193082_1927525115_n

10151306_10100391529011372_933509923574598373_n

215243_701564508792_1202083_n

1426678_10100295154796072_134956575_n

1512445_10100335624659142_551035663_n

165433_10100162149983782_629944993_n

564679_10100162103002932_1451111325_n

They say to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. I say to heck in a bag of Skittles to that. Keep your best friends close, and the meanies as far away as possible. There is something truly comforting about someone who knows you, really knows you, and doesn’t need any context to understand you and all the stupid, silly, ridiculous things you do. Someone who you can smile with, laugh with, cry with and laugh so hard you cry with. Someone who is always there to listen, to be a shoulder to lean on when things get a bit rocky. Someone who loves you for you (and vice-versa).

I love those someones.

There are people who will come into your life and stay for a very short while. You’ll learn a thing or two from them, and then they’ll leave. But if you’re lucky there will be a few people that stick around for longer than you could have ever dreamed. Those are the people who make you, you. The ones who make you better, and the ones you hope never leave.

To be honest, I don’t know if I “learned” anything today, except for that I am a lucky girl with some pretty cool friends.

To My Dearest Fall…

Hey fall,

You know you’re my favorite season, right? I love, love, LOVE when your leaves start to change color, going from Kermit the Frog green to the most magnificent yellows and golds and oranges; is there anything more magical in nature than that? Plus, as soon as those leaves start changing, the air gets crisp, and that means it’s time for trips to the apple orchard, football, cozy sweaters and long nights cuddled up on the couch with a favorite book and glass of hot apple cider. It means the start of awesome family and friend get-togethers. You’re the season I look forward to all year.

All. Year.

I’m not gonna lie, fall. I’ve missed trips to the apple orchard, football, cozy sweaters and long nights cuddled up on the couch with a favorite book and glass of hot apple cider, things that only you can provide.

But you see, I think we have this problem.

The other day, I was out shopping, like I sometimes do on lazy afternoons, and I wandered into a big department store. I was looking for Halloween candy. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of dressing up in costumes, or Halloween for that matter, I do love me some candy corn. And chocolate. And chocolate-covered candy corn (it’s a real thing, guys. And it’s amazing!) It’s the middle of September, might as well go see what merchandise is out, right?

Well, fall, guess what? I wandered into the seasonal merchandise section, hoping to find maybe a light-up pumpkin. Spoiler alert, I did not find a light-up pumpkin. Want to know what I found instead? Christmas.

It’s not that I don’t like Christmas; I in fact LOVE Christmas. It’s probably my favorite holiday. The thing is, I’m just not ready for it yet. It was like I could feel the ground shake underneath me as I tried to gather my bearings as best I could. Had I managed to jump forward in time? Had I slept all through September and October? Was it already after Thanksgiving? I frantically searched the seasonal department for some solid proof that what I was seeing in front of my eyes was real. A motion-activated talking Santa wished me a ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ and I realized that this nightmare was actually reality.

As I stood at the perimeter of the Christmas section, too nervous to go in, but too bewildered to turn away, another customer asked one of the store associates if this stuff was from ‘last season.’ The store associate laughed a big belly laugh, just like Santa, and told the woman that this merchandise had just been put out the night before. Know what I had done the night before, fall? I had gone to a popular ice cream shop nearby and gotten myself some freshly-made ice cream, because it was still warm enough to do so. I figured that would be the last ice cream of the summer season (Emphasis on summer season. This girl could, and most often times does, eat ice cream 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 five days a year), and I wanted just one more before I broke out my long pants and cardigans.

christmas-700x525c

The worst part about this Christmas section was that it had been a back-to-school destination maybe a week before. Hanging behind the lit trees was a sign that read DESTINATION: DORM and showed one of those circular chairs that everyone had in college but never really sat on. There were still a few left over backpacks and lunchboxes that hadn’t even gone on clearance yet. I’m pretty sure when Meg Ryan describes how much she loves you, Fall, in You’ve Got Mail, she cites freshly sharpened pencils, not brand new Frozen ornaments.

Is this the new norm? Christmas in the middle of September? I remember scrolling through Tumblr at the beginning of the summer and found a post that read:

It’s almost June, better start getting ready for Christmas.

I laughed to myself, because it was funny. If I had known that prophecy would come true, I probably would have cried. Why does it have to be Christmas in September? I understand that Christmas is something to be excited about, and yeah, maybe come November 28th I’ll start getting excited and think about decorating a tree and baking eating Christmas cookies, but right now, in the middle of September, I am thinking about apple picking and maybe a hayride and quite possibly a haunted house if I’m feeling brave enough.

I am thinking about watching the leaves change color and fall to the ground, and I’m thinking about apple cider and handfuls upon handfuls of those chocolate-covered candy corn (seriously, so good). I am not thinking about candy canes and snow and reindeer. Why do we need to gear up for Christmas now? What’s the rush? Let’s not act like it’s going out of style. Pretty sure Christmas isn’t going anywhere.

I love you, fall. I’m so sorry your thunder is being stolen. Don’t you worry; I will resist every aspect of Christmas until my normal time, December 1st. Then, and only then, will I start listening to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” because it’s only fair. December is Christmas’ designated month, not September.

I just wanted to let you know what’s happening, my friend. I don’t mean to worry you, and I doubt you’ll have to actually fight the Christmas season in some sort of arena, but just be warned: it’s moving in on your turf.

All the best,

Wendi

Celebrate the Freedom to Read!

When banned books come to mind, it’s easy to imagine bonfires full of burning pages (it gives me nightmares and full-on heebie jeeebies just thinking about such a thing!). Banned books would seem to be the stuff of darker days and drearier times — but banned books are not a thing of the past.

Every year, kids go to school or the library and bring back books that make some parents raise their eyebrows and scoff.

That language!

Boy wizards?!

All that kissing/drinking/partying.

Underpants?!

It’s sad, but in schools and counties around the United States, some of our most beloved books continue to be pulled from the shelves. This week the American Library Association draws attention to the threatened and endangered with their annual Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week starts Sunday, Sept. 21, celebrating the freedom to read by celebrating books that have, for one reason or another, been banned or challenged over the years.

As a book lover, it makes me sad to know that people are still trying to challenge books in these ways. Whether you agree with the content in a particular book or not, I whole-heartedly believe that you don’t have the right to tell other people what they can or cannot read.  I think that having an open dialogue about what things people are worried about/disagree with actually gets you further than simply taking the book off of the table, or shelves in this case. A lot of books if not most have some inherent value, some message to be learned, some way that is reaches the reader. Books take on a different meaning and hold a different value to everyone, and it would be a such a shame to deny anyone of the enjoyment and opportunity that these stories and characters bring.

To celebrate and honor Banned Books Week, I scoured some of my favorite banned books and pulled out some of their most powerful quotes. Take a look and see what you would have missed if these books were banned in your community. Also, let’s get that open dialogue rolling. Leave a comment and share your thoughts about banned books. Do you think that there should be some kind of protocol dictating which books can or cannot be shelved in libraries/schools? What are some of your favorite banned books?

bannedcagedbirdsings
(Original Image Credit: Arthur Castillon/500px)

bannedbooksthingstheycarried
(Original Image Credit: Alexandru Crisan/500px)

bannedbooksmockingbird
(Original Image Credit: Carina Kolodny)

hpbanbookshalfblood
(Original Image Credit: Sopesal Trove/500px)

bannedbookshungergames
(Original Image Credit: Gerardo Montemayor/500px)

bannedalaskabooks
(Original Image Credit: Magdalena Roeseler/500px)

bannedbooksthegiver
(Original Image Credit: Pablo Garcia/500px)

bannedbookscolorpurple
(Original Image Credit: Fesus Robert/Getty Images)

bannedbooksperks
(Original Image Credit: Getty Images)

huckfinnbannedbooksweek

untitled

It’s no joke, guys.

It takes serious teamwork, timing, and trust, but building a stack of pancakes that looks just like the picture on the front of the box can be one of the most rewarding breakfast experiences of yo’ life! Here’s how you can make the magic happen:

1. Assemble a team. you’ll need a cook, a condimenter, and a table-seter. The cook should be an early riser and a self-starter. They need to have the skill and the confidence required to make breakfast for a group of people, as well as a basic understanding of what a circle looks like. Your condimenter needs to understand the value of real butter and decent maples syrup (and where to find them). A valid driver’s license and four wheels may be necessary here. Lastly, there’s the table-setter. prior experience is mandatory. Also, an added bonus (but not a deal-breaker) is the ability to fold napkins into nice triangle or swans.

2. Night-before prep work. Yes, the show begins the night before “P” day. The condimenter needs to make sure that all of the key ingredients are in the house. Is there enough powder in the pancake box? is the tap water running okay? How about the syrup and butter? If necessary, make a list and hit up the closest grocery store before it closes. The last thing we want to find out the next morning is that something’s missing. Plus, nobody will sleep well knowing that there could possibly be a crucial character missing from the cast.

3. Rest up. It doesn’t matter what time you go to sleep. Just make sure that you squeeze enough solid hours of golden slumbers in there to power up the [orange] juices and get the engine revving the next morning. Remember: groggy kitchen work is sloppy kitchen work. Nobody likes an oblong or burnt or overly-mushy flapjack.

4. Wake up and get down to pancakes. Showtime! Now it’s the cook’s time to shine. This job is not for the weak minded. No, sir. The cook must first set the oven to a low temperature because that’s going to be the holding tank until a full stack of pancakes is ready. This isn’t going to be one of those ‘Got a fresh one of the frying pan–who wants it?’ type of days. The is the slow building crescendo towards a massive stack of pancakes. Let’s not forget that. Once we’ve got the oven set low, the cook starts doing their thing–tying their hair into a bandana if necessary, getting the frying pan warmed up and mixing the batter. The cook must be able to sacrifice their own rumbling stomach for the group of the group. There can be NO breaks until the full stack of pancakes is cooked, kept warm and ready to serve. The table-setter must be busy here too, pulling out the silverware, laying out the plates, and folding napkins. And rounding out this majestic circus-like performance is the condimenter who is busy pouring juice and jigsawing perfect squares of butter.

Team, remember wheat we’re playing for here: a towering stack of hot, fluffy pancakes drizzled with sweet, slow-moving syrup, delicately topped with a thick, perfectly melting square of butter.

Yes, it takes a bit of time.

Yes, it takes real effort.

And yes, you will require a solid lineup of team players who never take their eyes off the end goal. But what could be more fun on a weekend morning than creating your own stack of pancakes that looks just like the front of the box?

(Hint: Nothing.)

AWESOME!

In the Eyes of a Bookworm…

Well hello there, friends! And a very happy hump day!

So as you all know by now, I am a bookworm to the umpteenth degree.

Actually, I’m more of a booksnake, bookpython, book-biggest-form-of-a-worm-like-creature-there-is.

I live, eat, breath [and smell] books.

Now there are many people out there who just so happen to share my affinity obsession with all things books.

You cannot leave a second-hand book store without buying 3 or 4 or 10 of your favorite reads.

You think the library is the greatest thing since BEFORE sliced bread.

Your idea of a wild and crazy Friday night is spending it curled up on your favorite, comfy chair, binge-reading the latest best-seller IN your Dr. Seuss pajamas.

You get me.

You feel me.

But there are also many people (those who shall not be named) who sadly do not get goosepimples any and every time they hear that J.K Rowling (aka God) might, just might, be releasing a new HP.**

**Quit playing games with my heart, J.K.**

For those people, it can be hard to relate to the bookworm/snake/python/book-biggest-form-of-a-worm-like-creature-there-is’s reality.

But don’t you worry, guys! I have created a simple and complete guide to help the non-booklover communicate with the bibliophile.

1. Night-in

What it usually means: Sipping a glass bottle of wine and binge-watching Netflix.

What it means to bookworms: Power-reading to your heart’s content.

image

2. Movie

What it usually means: 90 minutes to sit in the dark and eat popcorn while being entertained by a film.

What it means to bookworms: An enraging 90 minutes of scoffing at a (most likely) inaccurate version of a written masterpiece.

image

3. Library

What it usually means: A somewhat boring place filled with books. Great for taking quiet naps.

What it means to bookworms: THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH.

image

4.  Commute

What it usually means: A long, dreadful journey to and from work on public transportation.

What it means to bookworms: A not-long-enough chance to immerse yourself in the pages of faraway lands.

image

5. Sleep

What it usually means: 6-8 hours spent each night lying down with your eyes closed, resting your brain.

What it means to bookworms: 1-3 hours of resting time in between books… only because you can no longer keep your eyes open.

image

6.  Garage sale

What it usually means: A place where people sell their unwanted old things.

What it means to bookworms: A treasure trove of awesome books on sale for $1!

image

7. Dating

What it usually means: Getting to know a potential mate.

What it means to bookworms: Getting to know a potential mate, knowing all along that he’ll never be as good as your book boyfriend.

image

8.  Work

What it usually means: A boring desk job.

What it means to bookworms: A boring desk job made much more exciting by taking secret reading breaks via the ereader in your lap.

image

9. Lunch 

What it usually means: An hour break in the middle of the weekday to eat a sad desk salad.

What it means to bookworms: An hour break in the middle of the weekday when you forgo food to try to crush as many chapters as possible.

image

10. Multi-tasking

What it usually means: The ability to do two things at the same time.

What it means to bookworms: The ability to read while doing something else at the same time. This includes, but is not limited to, cooking, eating, working out, watching TV and walking the dog.

image

11.  Budget

What it usually means: Imposing a strict spending limit on any items that aren’t considered essential.

What it means to bookworms: Skimping on rent, groceries, and other “necessities” so you have cash to buy that new bestseller.

image

12. Best friend

What it usually means: A person who loves you, supports you, laughs with you, cries with you, and is always by your side.

What it means to bookworms: Quite simply, a book.

image

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 438 other followers

%d bloggers like this: