Tag: Libraries

Seven Things I Love (10-31-2021): Halloween Edition

I apologize for being absent again for a few more weeks but I took an online course about creating and designing websites. The exam was this past Wednesday. I got 97.8% on the final so I’m pretty pleased with myself at the moment. Let’s see if I can actually apply what I learned!

Started working on revamping the Menopausal Broad website but this is going to take some time, especially since I have two other websites to set up and design.

Let me know if there is anything you like or anything you don’t like!



1. These Anti-Witch Cakes – I think many teenage girls become interested in the Salem Witch Trials. The witch trials and Lizzie Borden and the Titanic, along with many other tragic, historical events. It’s not that we’re messed up or gruesome. We’re most likely the same people who go on to be really into true crime (which admittedly is a white woman’s genre.)

They are hideous-looking things, not appetizing looking at all. The fact that they have urine as an ingredient explains a lot and, well, I wouldn’t want one anywhere near me. Blechy!

Here’s a very thorough article about witch cakes.

[Found on Atlas Obscura]

P.S. Here’s another anti-witch device that was found 17 years ago in Kent, UK but it was only just determined that it was used to ward off witches. And guess what, once again this device (it’s a bottle) was filled with urine. What is it with people using pee to ward off evil? You’d think evil would like bad smells. [Thanks to Jeanne L. for finding this.]

2. These Halloween Houses in My Neighborhood – People are decorating WAY more for Halloween this year and it’s been a lot of fun but there have been a couple of houses that really caught my eye…

The first three photos are of the same house. This guy decorates his yard like this year-round. It’s so much fun!

3. This Lalique Bat Ring – I would totally wear this.

[Found by Ann L. – thanks Ann!]

4. This Pumpkin Library – Created by the Staff at the Truro Public Library in Truro, Massachusetts, the Facebook post has gone viral and the TPL staff are thrilled! Considering they serve a population of around 2000 residents (not including temporary residents) it’s understandable! Adorable and creative!

Here’s an article on Boston. com and here is one from the Boston Globe.

[Brought to my attention by Jeanne D., thanks Jeanne!]

5. These Vintage Halloween Cards – Some vintage postages are a little weird and at Halloween, they are downright bizarre. Apparently, 100 years ago they were very superstitious about courting and how a couple might get engaged on Halloween.

Also, there was the cabbage thing. It seems that people used to rap on people’s doors with cabbage stalks and they would even throw cabbages at the cranky neighbors when they answered the door.

Here’s more information about that from Boing Boing.

They found some handwritten texts to corroborate the tradition:

Halloween is always on the last day of October. We all have good sport eating nuts, bean, and apples on Halloween night. Some people celebrate it by hitting other people’s doors with cabbage stalks. Other people burn live nuts as a man and his girl to see which of them will die first. The people must be present in the house and then take the ashes of each nut and dream upon them. The dream is supposed to come true. Other people tie apples to the roof and try to catch them with their mouths. Others put an apple into a dish of water and try to lift it out with their mouths. Whoever lifts it out gets it.

The customs in my father’s time were to make raids to cabbage garden’s. Every one would have brought a cabbage which they pulled in the garden. The loss of the cabbage was mostly taken in good part by the owner. It was looked on as old custom even in those days. They cut the stalks from the cabbage head and some of the girls and boys went in front of the house where some bad tempered person lived. They hit the door two or three raps with the “kale runt” as the cabbage stalk was called in those days at the same time shouting “Halloween night”. The old man of the house came running out and opened the door. When some of the boys coming behind would throw a cabbage head in the door way which probably would tumble him. Halloween is kept as a pagan feast.

From ‘Bring back the Halloween tradition of throwing cabbage at people’ by thomas Dunn | Boing boing, Oct. 27, 2021

[Cards found on Flashbak, NYPL Digital Collections, and Suburban Turmoil]

6. This Halloween Cartoon by Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker.

7. This Article about Salem and “Witch Consumerism” – Just like with Christmas, the Witch City needs to get back to its roots. I can’t say I “love” this article, it always makes me sad and/or angry when greed oozes into something and ruins it. And before anyone else says it, I’m not minimalist, but I think there is a difference between hawking wares and taking advantage of people. I’m not sure if I can explain this right now – it’s in my head but my head is saying it’s done for the night.

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Seven Things I Love (5-24-2021): History Edition

  1. 1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.

From My Modern Met:

Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.

The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.

Original Patent Drawing Puts an End to the Great “Over or Under” Toilet Paper Debate” by Arnesia Young; May 13, 2021; My Modern Met

2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)

And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.

3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?

John Gast, “American Progress” (1872), oil on canvas, 12 3/4 inch x 16 3/4 inch
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, painting in possession of Autry Museum of the American West)

4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.

What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.

I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:

Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.

From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
12th century Hell. Herrad von Landsberg/Public Domain.

5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)

The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.

BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.

My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.

6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.

Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.

Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.

And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.

Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

c. 1900 The Glencar Tea House in County Leitrim

7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”

Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.

Frances Benjamin Johnston could be both ladylike and bohemian, which abetted her career as a photographer. (Library of Congress)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Seven Things I Love (2-22-2021)

  1. 1. This “Personal Library” – housed in his home, WOW! I wonder what his house looks (looked) like. Right after college I landed a job at a wonderful bookshop called Webster’s. It was originally like something out of a movie. (I say originally because it kept expanding and became less and less charming.)
  2. Anyway, one of our regular customers was a professor. And he so looked the part – bearded and tweedy, patches on the elbows of his suit coats. He came in pretty much every week for most of the time I was there. I heard a story that because he had so many books he had to have the floors reinforced in his house to support his the weight of them all. When I saw this photo I immediately thought of him. I imagine his library could have looked like this.

2. This Bible, Known as ‘The Wicked Bible’ – In 1631 the English printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas printed 1000 copies of a bible with two errors. Unfortunately a word was omitted in Exodus 20:14 and instead of it saying “Thou shalt not commit adultery” it read “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

There was also a second error in Deuteronomy 5. In a sentence that should have read ‘Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness’ the word ‘greatness’ had been replaced with ‘great-asse.’ Of course implying that the Lord God has a great arse did not go over well with the King, nor the promotion of adultery.

Charles I fined the printers £300, which is equivalent to over $50,000 today. He ordered all copies be burned and he also took away their printing license. At the time they were the only printers licensed to print bibles, which was, of course, a lucrative business. Somehow 11 copies managed to survive and they have gone to auction and sold for hundred of thousands of dollars.

A theory has bounced around that possibly a competitor to Barker & Lucas set them up and had those errors inserted as sabotage so that they would lose their printing license. Course we’ll never know if that is true but the second mistake ‘great-asse’ seems a bit more than something that could have been accidental.

3. This Article by Writer and Therapist-in-Training Shrestha Singh – this essay resonated with me for a variety of reasons – the Wisconsin connection, the India connection (that’s a long story,) but mostly it was the part about having family members (and/or friends) who were supporting people who were bigoted.

For Ms. Singh it was having in-laws who were huge Trump supporters despite the fact that he’s overtly racist, especially when she is East Indian. It’s mind boggling to me how anyone who has family members who are (or worse who IS) Mexican, East Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian (especially Chinese) or basically anyone from any foreign country or any person of color can still be a Trump supporter based on what he has said and done regarding immigrants. But there are plenty.

I have a family member who is a staunch Trump supporter who has grandchildren who are half-Chinese and whom he adores. Despite the fact that there is a clear correlation been a surge in anti-asian hate-crimes across the country and Trump’s use of discriminatory language like the term “China Virus,” his support has not waned.

The most frustrating thing about Trump supporters and their racism problem is that when you point it out to them, when you call them out on it, they will deny it is racism.

4. This Website that Lets You Draw Your Own Iceberg – A friend of mine sent this to me (thanks KK!) Megan Thompson-Munson is a Glaciologist and climate scientist and a PhD student. She has been bothered of late by the portrayal of icebergs, especially in stock photography. As pointed out in her tweets, the way they are pictured is impossible according to physics. So she created this fun site called Iceberger where you can draw whatever shaped iceberg you want to see how it would float in the ocean.

Here was my first attempt and I thought, hey, I got it to stand up – it looks like it does in the stock photos! BUT it turns out that some of the icebergs need a bit of time to turn on their side.

So I tried again and let it sit for a while and sure enough….

I tried over and over and over again and had the same thing happen, no matter what I did it ended up on its side. It’s a really cool site!

5. This Family in Kent Who Do Pandemic Version of Songs – The Marsh Family went viral about nine months ago with their version of “One Day More” from Les Miserable. They are REALLY talented!

A few other parodies I loved: Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart‘:

‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen:

And ‘Under Pressure’ by David Bowie is amazing!

6. These Photographs that Norman Rockwell Used as Inspiration for His Paintings – I’m sure all of you have at least seen a Norman Rockwell painting, even if you didn’t know who the artist was. Rockwell is most known for his Saturday Evening Post covers. His career with the Post spanned for decades, from 1916 to 1963 and when he retired he had drawn a total of 321 cover paintings. (Click on the photo/painting below to see more original photos and their companion Rockwell paintings.)

One of my favorite works Rockwell did is a series of art called the Four Freedoms. It was painted during World War II and inspired by a speech given by Franklin D. Roosevelt on universal rights. The series included four paintings titled Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom from Fear.

The paintings ended up appearing in the Saturday Evening Post and each one was accompanied by an essay. I have linked each title above to the original essay. You will absolutely want to read the Freedom of Speech essay, trust me!

7. This New Movie – Cruella is Coming!


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (11/9/2020)

1. This Colorized Video from 1893 of a Snowball Fight – done by Dmitriy Badin – I’d mute the video, the music is a bit annoying. It’s delightful to watch thought.

(I prefer the way Denis Shiryaev creates his videos. He goes the extra step of adding sounds that match whatever is taking place, for example, he adds trolley bells, or horses hooves clopping on the street, or people talking. His videos are amazing.)

https://youtu.be/tuFu9-bfnQk

2. This New Couple – I’ve loved Linda Purl for decades and I just found out she is dating Patrick Duffy! For those of you who don’t know, Patrick was married for 43 years (and they were a couple for 5 years before that) until his wife passed away in 2017. He had thought he would live the remainder of his life as a widower but his lifetime friendship with Purl turned into more and now they are dating! Very sweet.

3. This Genius, who has created a site called McBroken.com, where you can check to see which nearby McDonald’s have broken ice cream machines.

4. This Weather Map that Shows the Snowfall Forecast in Books

5. This History of the Word Hangover – How many of you have experienced a hangover in the past week? How many of you have experienced a hangover or hundred in the past four years? Did you ever wonder where the word hangover came from? Like so many of our intoxicant related words, it originated during the Victorian era. Which of course is completely ironic considering they were supposedly such prudes.

6. This Video Clip showing How Charlie Chaplin achieved a special effect in his film ‘Modern Times’ over 80 years ago.

7. This Little Free Library, located in McFarland, WI (Represent!) that is a Replica of the famous Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris…

Unfortunately, Shakespeare & Co., like so many businesses, is struggling….



Have a WONDERFUL week!

Seven Things I Love 8-17-2020

1. The Technicolor Fashion Show Scene from the original version of the movie ‘The Women’ (1939) – I suspect more people are familiar with the 2008 film version of ‘The Women’ starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The casts of both films are entirely women, you never once see a man, though there are constant references to them or a man will call on the phone.

The video below isn’t the entire scene unfortunately, it’s just the beginning – the full fashion show lasts about six minutes and includes the styles of designer Adrian. The film is in black & white but briefly switches to technicolor for this one scene. Apparently they filmed the fashion show in both black and white and technicolor. It was only shown on television and on DVDs in black & white but Turner Classic Movies restored the technicolor fashion show and how marvelous that they did!

2. Curbside Larry (Thanks KK!) Most places have someone like this. A person who does such obnoxious commercials that they become endearing. In Milwaukee we had a pitchman named “Crazy TV Lenny” who now owns an e-bike business called “Crazy Lenny’s.” I think it’s BRILLIANT how they used it to promote library services!

3. This Hallmark Movie – ‘Wedding Every Weekend,’ the latest Hallmark movie, has finally included an LGBTQ couple. YIPPEE!!! And it was NOT done subtlety either. This is now my favorite Hallmark movie (well, non-holiday Hallmark movie, I still really LOVE Christmas Getaway.)

Congratulations to new brides Vicky (Carmel Amit) and Amanda (Makayla Moore)

4. Thomas Fitzpatrick: The greatest “Hold my beer and watch this” ever – Picture it, Sicily, 1956… wait, that’s wrong, not Sicily, it was New York City. Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick makes a bet that he could land a plane outside the bar that he was drinking in, a couple hours later he does exactly that, in a stolen plane no less. Years later when someone refuses to believe him he even does it again! (Found on MessyNessyChic)

5. Rebecca – it won’t premiere on Netflix until October 21st but I am so excited about this upcoming movie I can barely see straight. The novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier has been one of my favorite books since high school. I also love the old black & white movie with Joan Fontaine and Lawrence Olivier (1940.) It was my first introduction to the actor George Sanders. Most people only know his voice – he was Shere Khan the Tiger in the 1967 Jungle Book. His voice is beyond sexy, he really does sort of growl. His role in Jungle Book was just too perfect.

Getting on to the new Rebecca – good lord, Armie Hammer is playing Maxim de Winter. SWOON! And Lily James plays the unnamed woman who narrates and becomes the second Mrs. de Winter. Kristin Scott Thomas is Mrs. Danvers, Keeley Hawes (The Bodyguard and Durrells in Corfu) is Beatrice Lacy and Sam Riley (Maleficent and Radioactive) is Jack Favell. It’s all my favorite people in one film!!! Pinch me!

Rebecca: (L to R) Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Lily James as Mrs. de Winter. Cr. KERRY BROWN/NETFLIX

6. Suffragettes – tomorrow (August 18th) will mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. That’s right, it was only 100 years ago that women were given the right to vote in our country. New Zealand was actually the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. They did that in 1893, although there were actually some women on the Isle of Man (geographically part of the British Isles but not part of the UK) who were able to vote from 1881. New Zealand women were allowed to vote though they could not run for office.

There are two important dates to celebrate in 2020 – June 4th was the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment and August 18th is the 100th anniversary of its ratification and being added to the Constitution.

Want a fun activity for you and/or any kids you may know? Here’s Flat Susan B. (a twist on Flat Stanley), color her in and share her with friends, or use her as a bookmark, or take her along wherever you go and have her show up in photos that you post on Instagram! Flat Susan B is AWESOME! (And remember, coloring is therapeutic.) If you click on the image below you’ll go to the printable version.)

Woman’s suffrage protest on Capitol Hill in 1917.
PHOTO: UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES

And remember, even though women won the right to vote in 1920, there is still a lot of problems with inequality in this country, which became very obvious with this summer’s BLM protests.

Sadly, the American’s Suffragette’s appear to won their battle at the expense of their black sisters. And the Equal Rights Amendment, though approved by both the House and the Senate in the early seventies never was able to get ratified by enough state legislatures before the deadline SEVEN years later. The deadline was extended for four years but still, the required of number of states was not met so Congress considers it dead. Several groups have tried to get Congress to remove the deadline but nothing has happened. Can you believe though that we, as a country, couldn’t get enough states to ratify the ERA in the first place???? Let’s see what happens in November, shall we?

P.S. if you haven’t seen the film Suffragettes yet, now’s the time!

7. The National Park Service’s ‘Recreate Responsibly’ Campaign Posters – the NPS began the campaign in April and it is genius. Humor really is the best way to get people’s attention, get things to go viral, and to get people to actually read things! The most recent poster, ‘Wildlife Petting Chart,’ is obviously in response to the recent bison incident (hint, don’t approach a baby bison when its mama is looking on.)


Seven Things that I Love (8-10-2020)

1. This videoclip from a 1996 episode of Sesame Street with Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise) where he helps the Count get ‘Number One’ back in his(?) proper place. Those who know me know that I’ve been a HUGE fan of Sir Patrick for decades (that voice), and I’m a fan of the Count as well, so this is a two-fer. (Found on Laughing Squid.com)

2. This story about George Washington, who called for a temporary cease fire so he could return the dog to his enemy’s commanding officer. Although there currently is a bit of controversy surrounding our Founding Fathers due to their ownership of slaves, we will never be able to deny what they accomplished and contributed to the creation of our democracy (despite its current state.) And George Washington, for good or bad, will always be our first president and he seems to have had some good qualities despite not being able to recognize that slavery is abhorrent.

One memorable story that stands out to dog lovers alike, is when George Washington showed his loyalty by returning a terrier to it’s rightful owner–even when the owner was the enemy. After the Battle of Germantown, Washington found a small terrier running around the battlefield between British and American lines. It turns out that General Howe’s dog had gotten loose, as it was identified by it’s collar. Washington’s soldiers suggested that the dog be kept as a trophy of the British to weaken the morale of the British General Howe.

Instead, Washington took the pup back to his tent where he fed him, brushed him and cleaned him. He then wrote a letter and attached it to the dog’s collar. To everyones surprise, he ordered a cease fire and had his aide return the terrier under a flag of truce.

From “George Washington Loved Dogs So Much, He Wrote To A British General About A Dog Mid-Battle” on BarkPost.com

3. Library Porn

4. The Playlist from the series POSE – 80s bliss! (And the show is damned good too.)

5. Mapleworth Murders on Quibi – it’s like a hilarious, gay Murder, She Wrote. Dammit Quibi, why do you have to have to be so addictive???? (and for those of you not familiar with Quibi yet, it’s only available as an app for your phone/tablet and the shows/series episodes are all around 7 to 10 minutes long. I know that sounds strange but it totally works!)

https://youtu.be/YTlamTqFWjk

6. Jessie Gallan – Ms. Gallan passed away in 2015 after being declared not only Scotland’s but the entire UK’s oldest woman at 109 years of age. She said the secret to her longevity was avoiding men and eating porridge every day. I read this article several years ago but came across it again and have decided it’s time to take up a new life plan.

7. The Flying Train, Germany, 1902 – Denis Shiryaev is a master craftsperson the way he takes old black and white films and repairs them, colorizes them, and adds sound to make them look and feel so much more approachable. He’s done this to several videos but has difficulty actually finding clips that he can works with that are interesting and copyright free. He worked really hard on one video and apparently the organization that stored it told him he could put it online. Truly awful, considering how much work it takes to do just one short video. Anyway, enjoy this. It’s amazing.


Have a GREAT Week!

Five Things I Love (7-27-2020)

1. Dr. Anthony Fauci on the cover of ‘In Style’ magazine. Yowzah! The article is an interview with Dr. Fauci and his wife, Dr. Christine Grady, and it’s super interesting. I think it’s amazing that we finally made a rock star out of a scientist!

2. This article calling for the return of Parasols – I am taking this on as a personal mission.

3. Home Movie: The Princess Bride – Damn you Quibi! I have been resisting subscribing to any more streaming services. Quibi isn’t even really like other streaming services, you can only watch it on your phone (or tablet) and the films/episodes are no more than ten minutes in length. Initially I saw a trailer for a series called “Dummy” with Anna Kendrick and I wanted to see it but not enough to subscribe but after I saw this video, well, that was it. The clip below is a compilation of the episodes telling an abridged version of the movie. If you want to see the entire thing you will need to subscribe and I tell you, it is WORTH IT! Not only can you download the episodes to watch anytime, but if you turn you phone sideways you can see the original film side-by-side with the “Home Movie” for comparison. It’s marvelous!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=3pfXZEPcEFg&feature=emb_title

4. The Moving of Booth Cottage – a Frank Lloyd Wright gem, Booth Cottage was purchased by a couple who wanted to tear it down to build a new house. W-T-F??? What kind of person tears down a Frank Lloyd Wright???? Anyway, a group of conservationists raised about $300,000 to help get the house moved to a new location in Glencoe and also worked out a long-term lease from the municipality. Once the foundation is laid and the house is put in place it will become a museum. Thank God there are still people in the world who value history and art. If you don’t want to watch the video here is an article from the Chicago Tribune with a few good photos.

5. Whitney: ‘Can I Be Me?’ – watched this documentary over the weekend and it was excellent. Whitney Huston was only two years older than me and I had pretty much grown up loving her, so like most people my age, her death was devastating. Seeing her in this movie was like bringing her back to life, even if it was just for a few hours. It’s difficult knowing that, had it been a different time, she might be alive today. And it’s frustrating knowing that so many people used her. Still, I will be watching it again.

6. Every player and coach on the Yankees & Nationals took a knee before the national anthem tonight in D.C. – this made my heart SOAR!

7. Charlie Berens & Alex Wehrley – I think I’ve included Charlie on my list before. I’m including him (and his wife Alex) again because he’s just so damned hilarious. It’s funny ‘cuz it’s true!

8. This “Remarkable ‘Reading Station’ by Charles Hindley & Co., London, с. 1890″ – the stuff that (librarian’s) dreams are made of!

9. Olivia de Havilland cussing up a storm – we lost a true star this weekend when Miss de Havilland passed away at the age of 104. She has always been one of my favorite actresses from the Silver Screen. Not only was she beautiful but she was a woman who didn’t take shit from anyone and she stood up for things she believed in.

Have a
FANTASTIC WEEK!

Five Things I Love (4/20/2020)

  1. Quarantine Book Shelf – A friend of mine tagged me on Facebook so I would see it. The person who had posted it wrote “two smart and saucy librarians posted this…” but later I found it attributed to a Mr. Phil Shaw. Whoever is responsible (most likely Mr. Shaw) it’s SUPER clever and BEAUTIFUL!

2. A Drink of Water – my friend Angela shared this. So touching, a sister sharing such a sweet moment with her three brothers while in quarantine. Reminds me of what things were like with my brothers. We were always so warm and affectionate. Mwah ha ha ha ha. Okay, yeah, right. But the video is HILARIOUS! Be sure to watch to the end. I laughed so hard.

3. Kick-ass Female World Leaders – I noticed that Jacinda Ardern (the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was already a huge fan of hers) and Erna Solberg (the Prime Minster of Norway) were doing things that other male world leaders weren’t doing – specifically they were both personally addressing children’s fears and mental health issues. Turns out other female world leaders are doing similar exceptional things because it turns out that women really are superior leaders, especially during a crisis.

4. This To Do List – one of my favorite artists, Liam O’Farrell, posted this on his Facebook page on Saturday with the following message.

Right, I’m not a medical professional and I cant make Scrubs, I can only draw and paint. So, in attempt to make that light at the end of the tunnel just a little bit brighter I have put together a sheet where I can list the ever-growing number of things I want to do when things ease a bit on the lock-down. If you want a copy too here is a free PDF to download. Many thanks and all the best to you. x

So incredibly sweet and what a great idea! You can get a printable PDF HERE.

5. Dame Judi Dench TikTok dancing with her grandson on Facebook – I love his reaction when they finish!

6. A Chorus Line in Quarantine – I recently watched the miniseries Fosse/Verdon (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it – Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams are amazing.) Anyway, besides learning a lot about the lives of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon I was reminded about all the wonderful works they created/were part of. This is awesome!

7. Leslie Jordan’s Instagram page – you most likely know Leslie from Will & Grace or maybe from American Horror Story? Or about a zillion other things…

Quarantine Survival Guide (yes another one, but this one is written by a recently recently retired Librarian)

Credit: Martin Schwartz/PEOPLE

As of yesterday (March 24th) there were 17 states that had declared statewide Stay-at-Home orders. An additional 10 states had issued partial orders, meaning either cities or counties within the state had stay-at-home orders in place. Frankly, I think the entire country should be shut down – it would be the fastest/most efficient way to end this, but it’s difficult to overcome greed, gullibility, and ignorance.

Moving on. Since I retired in March of last year I basically had to adjust to a stay-at-home lifestyle. I can’t deny that I dealt with several months of depression. (I do plan on writing a blog post about this eventually,) but the circumstances aren’t exactly the same for me as for everyone else. For one thing, everyone else is going to go back to work eventually. Also, everyone is in the same boat and I believe there is something comforting about that. Obviously I was able to go out to buy things whenever I wanted to (and there wasn’t the fear of things possibly running out) and meet with friends in the days after my retirement, but there were days, sometimes several in a row, where I didn’t leave the house. Eventually though I figured out how to adjust (for the most part) so I thought I would share with you what I have found works for me.

1. Make your bed every morning – I was at a conference a few years ago and one of the people I met there told me a story about how his Grandma taught him, when he was a kid, that THE most important thing to starting off your day is to make your bed. He has been doing it ever since. So I religiously started making my bed after I returned from the conference and you know what, it DOES make a difference. (I admit, I used to only make it when I knew people were coming over. To be fair, I mostly did this because I would bound out in the morning and then forget about it.)

My friend Emily works at Peabody Interiors and did a fabulous video on how to make a beautiful bed:

2. Get your daily dose of nature – open up the windows in your house (or at least open them up a wee crack if it cold where you are) during the day, even if it is only for an hour or so- Getting fresh air into the house is IMPORTANT. Put on a sweater if you need to. Along the same lines, get outside – go for a walk (be sure to practice safe social distancing if you meet people along the way.)

Have your kids play out in the back yard. Make sure they understand that the neighbor kids can’t join them but maybe they can come up with a game that they can play where they each stay in their own yards. A scavenger hunt is always a good idea. There are loads of printable backyard scavenger hunts on the internet – find one you like and share it with your neighbors via text or email! Here is the printable .PDF of the one I created below.

This is one of literally hundreds of printable backyard scavenger hunts you can find on the internet

3. Use up your fresh fruit and veg – if you bought a lot to stock up before isolation make yourself some big pots of soup or vegetables that you can freeze. Or if you don’t have room in your freezer – a) when was the last time you cleared out your freezer? and b) could you possibly share some with your neighbors? (Of course if you do share it with your neighbors do so safely. Leave it for them on their doorstep and let them know it is there by text or email.)

One of my favorite artists Liam O’Farrell drew this beautiful picture of a bowl of lentil soup he made from things he had sitting around that were about to turn.

Lentil Soup by Liam O’Farrell

4. Have kids at home? Kids already have classwork that they are supposed to be doing. I’m sure that it is quite a struggle to get them to do that. But outside of the classwork, keeping kids reading and doing creative things will keep their minds healthy. Hopefully you all have library cards. Many libraries provide a plethora of online resources and materials. For people in my home state of Wisconsin for example, there is the Wisconsin Digital Library which is accessible to every single citizen. There are online classes and databases and many Librarians are even doing online storytimes via Facebook. Check your local library website.

There are also lots and lots of fun crafts to do with household objects. You can search the internet for loads of ideas. A friend of mine recently started sharing posts from this woman on Facebook. I LOVE THEM. She hasn’t posted much prior to the last few days but what she has been posting is FABULOUS!

5. Just because you are at home all the time, don’t let your house build up into a mess. Keep up with your tidying (or as I think of it, Nancy Drewing.) Make sure counters and tables stay cleared off. Put things away that you aren’t using. Pretend that people may be stopping by at any moment even though you know they won’t be. Do it for yourself.

6. Get dressed in regular clothes and follow your usual hygiene regimen – In other words, don’t wear your jammies (or sweats) for days at a time and think you can go for a week without showering. This goes for brushing your teeth and flossing!

When I was a kid, I had to stay home from school for a few months once because of the mumps which was compounded by an infection of my lymph glands. The swelling of my neck was so bad my dad would have to help me in and out of bed because I couldn’t support my head; it was incredibly painful. I also had to be in daily traction to try to straighten my head. Anyway, after a week or so of being in my jammies and being miserable I was quite ripe. My Mom said I should take a shower – it would make me feel better. I resisted but she persisted. She helped me take one and sure enough, it did. And she helped me take many more over the weeks I was sick and each time, I felt better. Whenever I was sick at home after that she would say, “you should take a shower, it’ll make you feel better.” To this day I hear her saying that and I still do it. Isn’t it sad that we don’t realize how smart our Moms are until we’ve lived a good chunk of our lives (or until they are no longer here so we can tell them?)

Even better – crank up your beauty regimen. Since you aren’t able to go to the salon or spa, DYI baby!

7. Meditate – learning how to reduce stress is VITALLY important, not just now but really always. I started practicing guided meditations because my sleep is for shit. You know, the wake up around 3 in the morning thing that most menopausal broads experience. I created a playlist of a bunch of YouTube videos I use, here is the one I’m currently successful with.

Also, jigsaw puzzles can be a stress reducer and/or if done with your family they can be fun too and a way to escape technology for a bit.

Additionally, if you have any projects hanging over your head that you have been putting off, bite the bullet and get them done! Don’t let yourself think, I have weeks now. It will always be in the back of you mind nagging at you and you won’t truly be able to relax. Just do it! (This means, just because they pushed back the deadline for filing your taxes, you don’t necessarily need to hold off filling out the actual forms, or at least getting everything pulled together you need to fill out the forms.)

8. Challenge your brain – many of you may be working at home and also have your kids with you but don’t let your only other activity be watching Netflix. There are a lot of Universities currently offering free online classes as well as your local library (as I mentioned before.) I myself am taking the Yale University course the Science of Well-Being. Here is a list of 1,500 free online courses from top Universities put together by Open Culture.

Puzzles and games also can challenge your brain – crosswords are an excellent way to do this. So are other word games like Scrabble, Charades or Pictionary, games that make you think.

You can also try some armchair traveling. Here are several virtual tours to try from the safety of your own home:

  • Here is a list of several world attractions like the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Rome’s Colleseum and the Palace of Versailles that you can visit remotely
  • Here’s a list of National Parks you can visit virtually
  • Here’s a list of museums from around the world that offer virtual tours

9. Limit your intake of news and social media – as important and as much as you want to stay connected to the outside world, you need to make sure you don’t spend too much time inundating yourself with news about COVID-19, the economy, and the politics surrounding everything. For myself, I have set up my Facebook so that I only see notifications from certain people and FB pages and I only read those notices about 75% of the time. I have turned off notifications for most of my apps and unfollowed a bunch of people on Twitter. But despite doing this the algorithms still generate things and I find myself going down the rabbit hole, which is why I try to limit my actual screen time, at least on social media.

10. Support Small Businesses – as you know a lot of local businesses are going to be hit over the next month (and some are already struggling.) USA Today put together a website where you can buy gift cards to use A.C. (After Coronavirus.) If you can afford it yourself, even if it is only a $5 or 10 gift card, it will help. Remember, if we all buy them they will get a nice sum of money that will help them through this.

ALSO, don’t forget their employees – especially those who live off tips. People in the service industry like restaurants and salons are really feeling the pain. Most of them are trying to get onto unemployment (which has been extended right now) but some are having a difficult time getting through to the Unemployment Office. If you know your manicurist or hair stylist or massage therapist or the person who extends your lashes or the servers at your favorite restaurants well enough that you can Venmo or Paypal them a little cash for the tips you would be giving them if you were able to go to their establishment – DO IT. It can make a world of difference.

11. Laugh as much as you can – laughter really is the best medicine. Here’s the info on why from the Mayo Clinic.

For those of you who remember Senor Wences, S’alright? I always loved him. If you don’t remember him, check out this incredible ventriloquist and enjoy!

Updates:

March 26 –
It’s called “Physical Distancing” – read an article this morning about how the WHO is recommending people stop using the term “social distancing” and instead say “physical distancing.” This is SO smart. We really do want to just keep our distance physically but still remain as socially connected as possible.

About a year ago a small group of my fellow retired library directors and I started meeting for lunch on a semi-regular basis. We set up a luncheon for this month which of course we rescheduled to next month. When our Governor issued a month long stay-at-home order we thought we might have to postpone indefinitely. Instead though, we chose to keep the date and have a virtual lunch date. I now have a Zoom account and we are going to see how this works.

Another friend of mine has been enjoying remote happy hours with her friends on Friday nights. That is actually impressive.

March 28th –

I forgot EXERCISE! I am lucky in that I was already doing my Pilates sessions remotely (via FaceTime) before this all hit so I have a lot of equipment at my house, but you don’t need to have a lot of stuff to exercise. Of course taking daily walks in one of the easiest things to do (though a friend of mine who lives in downtown Chicago said that on nice days there have been so many people outside she hasn’t been able to go out.) There are also tons of videos on YouTube for a variety of workouts. For myself, the most important thing is stretching, especially this particular stretch –

We’re all sitting around more than usual so muscles need to be stretched out. I do this heel drop a few times a day and I tell you, when I miss a day, I feel it!

I think I’ll stop here, my list has gone on long enough and I know that people are getting inundated with recommendations on what to do. Hopefully you’ll find a few things here that are helpful. The important thing to remember is we are all in this together. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Help each other – that is key! And…