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What’s the best thing to do when you have 5 days left before you move?  And you really need to start packing up your kitchen?  Go on a cooking extravaganza, of course!  Last Friday I bought the ingredients for two Long Distance Kitchen recipes – Banoffi Pie and Dorie Greenspan’s Honey-Peach Ice Cream – thinking I would make them over the weekend (and what, go in to a sugar coma?)  And since I knew I would have a random quantity of cream leftover, I also bought ingredients for a second round of Butter Chicken (that stuff is amazing).

Of course, the weekend was busy and all I had time to do was the three-hour boil on the cans of condensed milk for the pie.  But I’m determined, and I didn’t want to pack up all the supplies, or have the various fruits spoil, so this afternoon I dove in.  The ice cream custard is cooling in the fridge, and the pie crust is ready to be filled.

In the meantime, I did manage to do some deep cleaning so that there won’t be as much to do when I finally get around to packing the kitchen.  I might miss the high ceilings and light, tree-filled view in the apartment, but I will not miss the Ugliest Cabinets in the World.  Once you start taking down pictures and clearing off the fridge, it’s amazing how much uglier they look.

Now, on to the pie!  It’s time to start the sugar rush.  Full reports later.

In what seems to be the perpetual state of affairs, I’m trying to catch up on writing about what I’ve been reading.  I almost chucked the whole idea for a while, but it’s so handy to be able to look back and see what I originally thought.  So I wrote up a few reviews and I have them scheduled to appear sooner or later.  But what am I actually reading right now?

  • Keeper by Kathi Appelt.  This one looked sweet and has been getting some buzz, so I thought I’d see what the fuss is about.  The style is similar to Appelt’s Newbery Honor title The Underneath, with a strong sense of place, multiple animal characters, and repetition of themes and phrases.  I’m curious to see where the story goes, but it’s not completely gripping yet.
  • Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay.  This is the sequel to A Little Princess, and I picked it up today after accidentally leaving Keeper behind.  I love McKay’s sense of characters.
  • Mariana by Monica Dickens.  Another foray into Persephone Books, and so far it’s funnier than I expected.
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.  I’m listening to this one in the car, and completely enjoying the narration.  Over the top and fun, although I’m not paying as much attention to clues as I am to characters.

And since I’m also behind on reporting on my Long Distance Kitchen adventures, I will tempt you with the fact that there’s an absolutely delicious berry cobbler sitting on my table.  Actually, it’s peach and blueberry with a smidgen of marionberry, and the best cobbler topping I’ve made to date (thanks, Dorie Greenspan!)   I’m looking forward to digging into it again for breakfast tomorrow (ssh, don’t tell the breakfast police).  Photos and full report to come.  There are also multigrain buttermilk pancakes on the horizon…which just makes me think of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

The Merchant of Death (Pendragon, #1) The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The kids’ bookgroup that I run at the library chose this book for May, and it was suggested by a bright, articulate girl so let’s just say that expected better things from it. Would I have finished the first chapter otherwise? Probably not. Would I finished the book if it weren’t for bookgroup? Definitely not.

I think this falls into the category of big, fat fantasy series where the appeal is largely based on plot – nothing too nuanced, but action packed and with easy to read stock characters. You don’t have to think much while you read it, because everything is laid out for you – lots of telling and no showing. Key pieces of information are repeated frequently, just in case you missed them in the previous paragraph.

For example: “It was Uncle Press! He walked out of the tunnel with his long leather coat flapping against his legs. I could have hugged him. In fact, I did. I ran over to him like a little kid. If this were a movie, I’d have been running in slow motion. I threw my arms around him with the feeling of pure joy and gratitude that I wasn’t alone anymore, and that my favorite guy in the world wasn’t shot dead by that Saint Dane guy. He was safe.”

Lots of short, simple sentences with plenty of repetition of the main idea: Bobby is glad that his uncle is safe. This makes it easy to read, sure, but it’s awfully clunky and doesn’t give kids any credit for being able to pick up on Bobby’s relief themselves. What makes this even more incredible is that we’re supposed to believe that these are Bobby’s handwritten journals, sent magically back to his friends at home. Sure.

Another painful aspect of the fantasy world is the way it doesn’t seem to be thoroughly thought-out. For instance, this “territory” has three suns in “opposite corners of the sky.” These suns all rise and set at the same time. They all reach high noon at the same time. There is no explanation for how this is physically possible. Do they revolve around the planet, instead of the planet moving around the suns? Who knows! Also, travel through time and space is conveniently dealt with using the explanation that Travelers arrive whenever they need to arrive. However, this doesn’t stop Uncle Press from whisking Bobby away from his normal life at a moment’s notice. If they arrive when they’re meant to arrive, couldn’t they take their time?

You might be asking, why did I give this book a whole two stars. Good question. The plot actually holds together for the most part. It’s simplistic, the characters are pretty flat, and something is lacking in the style, but it actually manages to keep up the pace and reach a conclusion. And the bookgroup kids liked it, although they’re always pretty generous with their ratings (although I was very proud of the kid who, after our discussion where I brought up the suns thing, said he took a point off because of issues like that).

Source: public library

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Last month there was an interesting discussion about faking nice in blog reviews – which I didn’t quite buy, because I don’t say nice things unless I mean them, but I could see both sides of the argument.  Most reviews in blogland are fairly positive, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to blast the author personally even if you hate the book.

But there’s something so fun and cathartic about a negative review.  They’re so easy to write and it gets that bad experience out of your system.   Plus, I think it’s appropriate to warn other readers against a book, especially if you back up your opinion and don’t just say “I hated it!”   And I’d kind of like to see more negative reviews.  It seems like a lot of blog reviewers choose to not write reviews of books they didn’t like – not that people are faking nice, they’re just avoiding negativity.  If that works for you, great, but I don’t think anyone should hesitate about being critical.

Sometimes people ask what I did at work today, or what my job involves, or questions along those lines, and some days I end up doing so many different things that it’s hard to remember.  So I thought I’d try to reconstruct my day while it’s fresh in my mind.

  • Arrive at work at 8:30.  Help check in stuff from the bookdrop, get the newspapers from outside, put them out, put away yesterday’s papers.
  • Head downstairs to the children’s department.  Drink coffee.  Make sure all the displays are full – new books, young teen, holiday (St. Patrick’s Day and Easter), graphic novels, picture books (duck and rabbit books to go with the Amy Krouse Rosenthal Duck! Rabbit! wall display).  Check to see the results of today’s round of the Battle of the Kids’ Books, then congratulate self on being two for two on my brackets!  Discuss preschool storytime craft with the coworker doing the morning storytime.  Turn on public computers.
  • Start unpacking the unusually large number of boxes that arrived this morning.  Check against packing lists, put each order on the right person’s shelf.  A few standing orders, a straggler from my February order, a big non-fiction order, some DVDs, and most of my March order – whee!  Check to make sure they all have bib records in the catalog.  Send the ones that don’t to our network office.  Start deciding where to put the ones I ordered – j fiction, scifi/fantasy, mystery, young teen, or graphic novels.
  • 10:00 am – library opens.  Sit at the main desk so I can answer questions while still working on my piles.A few people start trickling in for storytime.  Keep working on the unpacking.  Preschool storytime starts at 10:30.  Put all the extra stools around the craft tables.  Count the number of people at storytime, put out craft supplies.  Stand around looking helpful.  Answer questions about spring break programs.  Keep working on the order that arrived.
  • 12-1:00 – lunch.  Devour The Queen of Attolia along with my food.
  • 1-2:00 – cover adult reference desk so the reference librarian can go to lunch.  Tell people how to get on the internet stations, how to use the internet stations, to please turn down the sound on their headphones because other people can hear it.  Put a few things on hold for people.  Try to find the new Value Line (fail).  Read my work email.
  • Go back to the children’s department.  Sit at the back desk  and double-check the processing that’s been done – right labels, linked to the correct bib record, etc.  Leave out to be covered by aides or volunteers.  Finish up the last of the morning’s new arrivals.  Admire next week’s craft brought in by one of the other librarians.  Discuss upcoming Head Start visits.  Answer a question about How to Train Your Dragon (they had the title messed up).
  • Get ready for bookgroup, which meets at 4:15.  Pencils, paper, lottery drawing for copies of next month’s book, snacks, cups and napkins, table from the storage room, chairs, white board and markers for tallying votes, ballots and bookmarks for the Young Reader’s Choice Award in case any of the kids read enough titles to vote.
  • Bookgroup meets to discuss Code Orange by Caroline Cooney – most late, as usual.  Two finished the book, one more started it, two didn’t read it, and one is new.  Eat cookies and popcorn.  Discuss.  I booktalk three titles for next month – Half-Moon Investigations, Fever 1793, and The True Meaning of Smekday.  The kids get to suggest a few more – they suggest Pendragon, Mister Monday, and Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul.  They vote on slips of paper – #1 gets 3 points, #2 gets 2 points, and #3 gets 1 point.  They take turns tallying the results as I read them aloud.  Thanks to a huge amount of enthusiasm from the one boy who’d already read Smekday (and perhaps the 10 Reasons to Read The True Meaning of Smekday), it won by a relative landslide.  I distribute copies and most of the kids immediately bury their heads in the book.  I rejoice.
  • Clean up, vacuum popcorn from the carpet, check in the extra copies of my other suggestions, put away the table and chairs.  Gather belongings, head home by 5:40.  A pretty tame day, although time tends to fly when there are programs.

More Long Distance Kitchen updates to come shortly!  Last Wednesday’s recipe was for Smitten Kitchen’s chana masala, but Bronwen kindly sent me a spice packet and it just arrived today, so I will be attempting (and hopefully documenting) it for lunch tomorrow.  But do go read her recap.  Then I will try to figure out when to make the recipe I assigned her last Saturday, for Cannellini and Pearl Barley Soup, veganized.  Feel free to follow along!

In the meantime, I thought I’d revisit that whole “read what I order” goal.  I’ve really got to come up with a catchier name for it.  The 5 Books Project?  Let’s go with that for now.  There’s no specific goal for when I read them, but I’d like to do it sooner rather than later.  So, starting with my January order, these are the first 5:

  • The Hunchback Assignments, Arthur Slade.
  • The Death-Defying Pepper Roux, Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Cosmic, Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • One Crazy Summer, Rita Williams-Garcia
  • The Rock and the River, Kekla Magoon

These weren’t all necessarily published in January, but that’s when I ordered them.  I, of course, reserve the right to switch out titles.  But these are all ones I’ve had my eye on, and I’ve managed to finish The Hunchback Assignments.

For February, my tentative list is:

  • Heist Society, Ally Carter
  • 8th Grade Superzero, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
  • The Night Fairy, Laura Amy Schlitz
  • Joey Fly Private Eye (Creepy Crawly Crime), Aaron Reynolds
  • Bell Hoot Fables: The Hidden Boy, Jon Berkeley

Now – arg! – I just need to work my way through what’s already on my shelf.

Yes, it’s 6 am and I’m posting, because I actually managed to wake myself up by 4:45 to watch the Youth Media Awards webcast AND get an order in before the library catalog went down!  I feel so accomplished…and tired.  It looks like all the results are up on the individual award pages already – nice and quick.

It seems like ALA finally managed to get a large enough webcast – or whatever you call it when you can let enough people watch it at once.  I got kicked out during the Batchelder announcements and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back in, but no problems.  Two years ago, the last time I tried to watch it live, there was no room at the inn.  My only moment of panic was when I went to the bookmarked page and was told that I needed Windows Media Player to watch it – which I didn’t have installed.  A little advance warning would be nice for that sort of thing, especially since the placeholder website had been up for quite a while.  Fortunately I only missed a couple minutes waiting for the download, and got on just in time for the Schneider.

Nothing shocking this year for the Newbery or Caldecott – the only thing I had to order for my library was a second copy of When You Reach Me. We even already had a second copy of The Lion and the Mouse – it was an accidental duplicate, since one librarian ordered it for picture books and another for the folk tale collection, and I remember saying, “hey, maybe it’ll win the Caldecott and we’ll already have our second copy!”  But I’m happy for more than budgetary reasons – it’s a stunner.  And I certainly can’t argue with WYRM, although The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate getting an honor seemed more iffy and was therefore more exciting.

And non-fiction seemed nicely represented across the board.  Claudette Colvin kind of cleaned up, with a Sibert honor and Newbery honor on top of that National Book Award.  The Coretta Scott King author award went to Bad News for Outlaws, the Edwards went to Jim Murphy (I had a little fan girl moment there), Charles and Emma got a Printz honor, We Are the Ship got an Odyssey honor, there were a few bios on the Belpre list…

And YA!  I’ve always said that the Printz is unpredictable – or at least it always surprises me.  Last year – well, 2009 was a golden year for the Printz.  I knew and loved every title on that list.  This year, the only two I’ve read are Charles and Emma and Tales of the Madman Underground, and I’m pleased to see both of them on the list.  I suppose now I’ll have to grit my teeth and read The Monstrumologist (it sounds good, but not my thing – look at that cover!)  And Punkzilla hadn’t been on my radar at all (side note – two YA books mentioning Portland and meth in the awards this year – Flash Burnout is the other.  We’re going to get a great image this way).  Going Bovine – interesting choice!  I’ve heard lots of love for it, but also some meh.

I was pleasantly surprised that my library owns all but 9 of the juvenile titles that got awards or honors (there was a lot of the YA that we didn’t own, but that’s not my department, and I didn’t order the audio books because we do that separately).  I can’t take credit for many of them, since I came in halfway through the year, but I was quite pleased when I recognized all of the Batchelder titles.  Big Wolf and Little Wolf was one of my favorite quirky picture books of the year, and I can take credit for ordering the three fiction titles on the list – Eidi, Moribito II, and A Faraway Island (the winner).  Now I just need to actually read them.

Now, breakfast and coffee or a nap?

I keep having dreams about book award announcements.  I’m either transcribing the results or I’ve slept through them.  Why can’t my brain figure out which day it is?  Or at least accurately convey the results to me via a prophetic dream?  That would be fun.  As it is, they just make me feel anxious.

Part of it is that I’ve been charged with ordering any books that my library doesn’t already own, and ordering duplicates of the Newbery and Caldecott winners.  Because Monday is a holiday, the library is closed.  And because the library is closed, our catalog is getting an upgrade that day, while no one needs to use it.  Except ME who wants to get an order in pronto, especially if there are some obscure winners and everyone is scrambling for copies.  And if I can’t see the catalog, I don’t know what I need to order (I’m up on what’s in my section – juv fiction – but not necessarily picture books and non-fiction).  Which means I wait till Tuesday.  And yes, that annoys me profoundly.

On the other hand, I could get up at 4:45 am for the awards and send in an order from home before the catalog goes down at 6:30 am.  HAHAHA.  That’s a good one.  I don’t even know if I’d trust myself to place an order at that hour of the morning, even if I were up.

In other news, my reading has been a little scattered this week.  I finished up Ballad (oh, the snark!  How I love thee!)  I was quite taken by the Morris finalist Hold Still – I kept thinking of Thirteen Reasons Why, because I felt like HS did everything right that TRW did wrong.  Sad, but still lovely.  Then I picked up another Morris finalist, Flash Burnout, which coincidentally also involves photography as a major theme in the story, and which I was intrigued to find out is written by a fellow Portlander and is set in Portland – I came across a street name and immediately had to check the author bio.  Plus, it has a nice sense of place so far – it’s not just set here for the sake of giving it a real location.

Yesterday I real the Mock Printz title All the Broken Pieces in two sittings – I thought it was excellently done and I’m curious to hear how it fares in dicussions (this afternoon!)  I kind of read the last MP title over breakfast – The Eternal Smile.  Which is to say, I read the first story and the last story, and artwork in the middle story is so off-putting to me that I kind of gave up.  After my experiences at the first Mock Newbery I went to (the year Criss Cross won), I never expect other people to have the same reaction as I did – because I couldn’t finish Criss Cross for the discussion, and people at the MN raved about it.  So.  I’m looking forward to the discussion.

In audio land, I finished up Once Was Lost – a fantastic book, I wish it were part of our Mock Printz discussion – and started listening to the full-cast Graceling (because audio books are a great excuse to reread).

I also went a little crazy one night and started Leaving the Bellweathers, one of those juv titles I ordered and then wanted to read and have had sitting on my shelf for ages.  And because I finished All the Broken Pieces before my lunch break was over yesterday, I started another title in that category – Escape Under the Forever Sky – which I’d had sitting on my shelf at work.  The non-fiction that I’m planning on reading has been sadly neglected, and I even added to the pile by picking up Jim Murphy’s Truce, which I’m really looking forward to.

Whew!  Now it’s time to get ready to meet fellow book nerd Kitri for lunch before we head to the Mock Printz.  Back with results later!

Here’s the deal: I have this compulsion to be in the know.  Wendy at Six Boxes of Books was just talking about this, and while she talks about buzz, I think that extends to awards, too.  I want to have read all the Morris Award finalists so that I am ready to express an opinion when the winner is announced.  As soon as the Newbery and Printz are announced, I want to get my hands on any titles I haven’t already read.  So unless I’m oddly psychic, January 18 will mean my reading list gets longer.

Also, I’d like to expand my reading to more of the less-buzzed awards, because that only seems fair.  Lots of them fall outside my area for ordering, but it’s always good to be up on these things, to have a familiarity with at least a few fantastic titles in each category.  And a lot of those awards, embarassingly, often go to books I’d never pick up for fun.  Just from ALSC, check out this list of awards (other awards are mentioned at the bottom of the page – CSK, Printz, Schneider, Alex, Morris…)  You see the problem?  THERE ARE SO MANY.  No wonder most people (and the non-librarian public) mostly focuses on the Newbery and Caldecott.  I’d like to get my hands on at least the winners of each award, but even that is a tall order.  I’m not committing to it, but I’d feel like a good, well-rounded librarian if I did.

In the meantime, though – yikes!  I’d better clear some space on my library shelf.  It’s manageable right now, but some things have been there for an embarrasing length of time.  At the moment, I’m reading Maggie Stiefvater’s Ballad (sequel to Lament) and enjoying her snarktastic yet spooky take on fairies.  This puppy has holds on it, so I can’t let it sit too long.  Then, my next priority is the Mock Printz list, since the workshop is the 16th.  I’ve still got to read The Eternal Smile and All the Broken Pieces, both of which should be fairly quick reads (graphic novel and novel in verse, respectively).

THEN, there are heaps of finalists for the Morris Award and YALSA’s non-fiction award (which really needs a one-word name).  The only Morris finalist I’ve read is The Everafter, but I’ve got Flash Burnout and Hold Still on my shelf – the other two are still on hold.  For the non-fiction award, I’ve read three – Almost Astronauts (also a Mock Newbery), Charles and Emma (also a NBA finalist), and Claudette Colvin (NBA winner).  Written in Bone and The Great and Only Barnum are both on my shelf.  Chances of me starting and finishing 6 books in a week?  Slim, but crazier things have happened.  Probably more likely than me being up and on the awards announcement webcast at 4:45 am next Monday.

Christmas was wonderful.  It was lovely to see lots of people at the Christmas Eve service, after last year’s snow keeping most people at home.  We feasted liturgically, then feasted on food, then refused to be shushed while the choir sang some carols afterwards.  Really, who wants to be shushed at 1:30 am when all you really want to do is catch up with your out of town friends?

Then off to bed for a few hours of sleep before getting up to make cinnamon rolls – something that I’ll hopefully manage to turn into a Christmas tradition.

We went through our stockings, and ate buttery cinnamon rolls, and opened gifts.  In the afternoon we packed the car full of sweets – chocolate gingerbread, blueberry strata pie, chocolate cheesecake, and a bonus pan of cinnamon rolls for the cousins – and headed over to have dinner with the other local branch of the family.

Fortunately for me, it was a lamb-tastic Christmas – yes ma’am, Greek-style lamb, potatoes, those delicious grape-leaf things whose name I can never remember.  Mmm.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Gosh, now I’m finishing up this post a week after the fact and I don’t remember what all I was going to reminisce about – let’s just say there was good company and good food.

I got out my camera and went a little crazy, which I hadn’t done in a while – the camera or the crazy.  They were both great.  I always love looking back at pictures, but I don’t always remember to get out the camera.  Or I’m just not in the mood to document – I only want to sit back and enjoy the moment.  I don’t know what makes the difference between a photographed occasion and an undocumented one, but I do know that once I get in the habit, I keep it up.  Also, once I get out the camera, it’s easier to just keep taking pictures.

The next morning, I rolled and baked the rest of the cinnamon roll dough – I love how they looked before the frosting got drizzled on and ruined their nice Greek key look.  I also gave away two more pans, in case you think I sat around my house all day eating cinnamon rolls.  For your information, I only had them for breakfast and as an afternoon snack.  Ahem.

Then I kept up the baking theme with a cocoa-buttermilk cake for my god-daughter’s baptism, which was on Sunday.  I never actually got to try it, since I was too busy eating lamb stew (yes! more lamb!) and drinking glasses of wine.  Yes, yes, I did move straight from my first cup of coffee of the day to my first glass of wine.  It’s not everyday you get a wonderful new baby to see exorcised, blessed, baptized, and Chrismated.  She was very cooperative through the whole thing, sleeping right up until right before she was undressed and dunked, then (of course) kicking up a fuss when she re-emerged, then having a snack and sleeping peacefully to save up energy to focus on her Chrismation.  And focus she did – giving Fr. David and her godfather good hard looks before rubbing chrism into her tiny fists. 

This is perhaps not her most flattering angle, but I was a bit busy doing god-parenty things during the actual baptism and will have to rely on others to furnish me with pictures.  Needless to say, I’m completely smitten and honored to be her godmother.

Since then I’ve gone on to bake two pans of brownies (coworkers birthday) and Dorie’s Orange Berry Muffins (holiday party at work), which might be my new favorite blueberry muffin recipe.  In fact, I’ve got more buttermilk and more blueberries (the last of the measly quantity I froze last summer) so I just might make more this weekend.  And now that the Advent fast is over, I can eat whatever I please – it’s so fun!  I’m roasting a chicken to close out 2009, and I have three kinds of cheese in my fridge.

And it wasn’t until I started hearing lots of “best of the decade” lists that I even realized that we’re at the end of a decade.  I have a hard enough time with best of the year!  I haven’t been keeping good track of my reading for the whole decade, so I’ll probably just stick to my usual end of the year lists in random categories, unless I get really inspired.  But the whole decade?  Sheesh, I was 18 when it started.  I graduated from high school and started college.  But I will come back soon with my usual year-end round-up, and an update on my mock awards reading the status of my to-read shelf, and what I’m thinking of getting with my Powell’s cards.

treeI got a Christmas tree this year, which seemed a little silly since it’s just me (my roommate is out of town with her family for three weeks) and I’m spending Christmas at my parents’ house, as usual, but it’s not silly because it makes me happy every time I walk through the front door and see it.  I also have to resist the urge to lay on the floor under it.  It’s perfect for wrapping presents in front of, and now all those wrapped books – I mean gifts – I mean books – are sitting under it.  Yes, it’s a book year.  Once I got started with buying books for all the kids, it was hard to stop when I started shopping for the adults. After some late-night gingerbread baking, I feel on top of things.  Today is (hallelujah) my half day, which means plenty of time to frost that gingerbread, throw together some cinnamon roll dough, and get a last-minute gift for my dad, if I’m lucky.  early bird

Last night I made two pans of Dorie Greenspan’s Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread (follow the link for the recipe, which is online as part of the Tuesdays with Dorie project).  I tried turning the first cake out of the pan like the instructions call for, but it just started to fall apart into big chunks as soon as it was out, so I quickly flipped it back into the pan to finish cooling, in the hopes that it will seal itself back together.  The other pan I left alone – I figure I can just frost them in-pan, which is probably better since they both need to travel before they get eaten.  One for the church potluck tonight, one for Christmas dessert tomorrow.

It’s hard to believe that last Christmas we were up to our ears in snow (which reminds me that I still need to finish rereading The Long Winter) – right now the sun is out and it’s cold, but the only snow I’ve seen when I was visiting Olympia a few weeksangel ago.

It was a thrill to finally have a white Christmas last year, but believe me – I like this weather a whole lot better, especially now that I live on a hill.  Last year, barely anyone made it through the snow to the Christmas Eve service, so it will be good to have the usual bustle and crowd (and early morning feasting).

The library has been full of kids out of school and people looking for Christmas movies, and storytime is on hiatus until February.  The breakroom is full of treats and the staff is often unable to answer the phone due to caramel consumption.  elf

I finally got my meet my new god-daughter the other night, the sweet sweet Linnea, who was a model baby all evening.  Which probably means she’ll cry through her entire baptism on Sunday.  I’ll love her anyway.  Hopefully someone will take pictures, because my hands will be full.  The perfect Christmas present.

It’s hard to believe, though, that now I have three godchildren – and all very nicely spaced, from an infant to a six year old, two girls and a boy.  And since both of the girls are daughters of good friends, who both happened to be named Katy, that’s extra sweet.  Gosh, I’d better get to work before I get too sentimental.

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