END OF THE MONTH REVIEW – September 2017

Since I had a blog tour yesterday, I decided to wait until today to do my end of the month review until today.

Personal Life

September has gone well personally. I’m settling into my job more. I learned a bit about how the finance department works, which helps me know how to prepare my invoices and get them up to the finance department on time so when they go to pay the check, they have my invoices there to verify. It’s also been busier. More shipments of books are coming in so I’m pretty busy most days (NOT complaining. I’d rather be busy than bored).

Work on my room continues. If you read my post a few days ago, you’ll know that this weekend didn’t quite go as planned, so it’s not quite done the way I’d hoped it’d be at the end of the weekend, but oh well. Extra time with my adorable niece and sweet nephew is not a hardship really.

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ยฉCute Colors

Things I Read/Reviewed During September

I read quite a bit during the month of September, but I didn’t review a lot. A lot of what I read were things that I’ve read before. There were little pockets of stress within the month and when that happens, I want my favorite books so there’s no surprises.ย  But here’s what I read and reviewed and how many stars they received.

  1. World of the Innocent – Nadine C. Keels – 5 stars
  2. A Christmas PerilJ.A. Hennrikus – 4.5 stars
  3. Body on Baker Street – Vicki Delany – 4 stars
  4. Cat Got Your Secrets – Julie Chase – 4.5 stars
  5. Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort – Stan Schatt – 4 stars
  6. Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard – R.L. Syme – 4 stars
  7. Beware the Orchids – Cynthia Hickey – 4 stars (Read in September, but reviewed Oct. 1)

I also read J.D. Robb’s newest book, “Secrets in Death” but work was busy at the time and I didn’t get a chance to review it. I had other types of posts as well, several book spotlights and a couple of life in general posts.

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ยฉGraphic Garden

Site Metrics

I didn’t have quite as many visitors this month as I have had in the past, but I think that’s more because I didn’t post a whole lot in September. When work is busy, I don’t have time to post there and then since I’ve been working on my room so hard, I haven’t posted much on the weekends. Total visitors for September was 210. August 2017 was my biggest month of visitors with 263. I did gain quite a few new followers in September. Welcome to all of you new members! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Looking Forward to October

October’s going to be busy for me both in blogging terms and in life terms. I’m not a huge Halloween fan so I don’t generally go all out for that, but I’m a big fall fan so I do the cider mills and pumpkin patches. Second, I’m possibly participating in the attempt to break the world record for the number of women dressed as Rosie the Riveter in one place on the 14th of October. I participated 2 years ago and had a great time, but I don’t really want to go by myself again so I may skip it this time. It’s not as fun when you’re alone. The original Rosie the Riveter worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant which is here in Ypsilanti, part of which is currently being restored to be a museum. That’s why the record is important around here. Then, the Detroit Institute of Arts is opening two new exhibits. One on Monet who is my favorite painter overall and the reason I have a water garden with a water lily. The second is on Frederic Edwin Church who is my favorite American painter. I’m super excited about those. Finally, I always like to go to the zoo when they give the animals pumpkins to play with. There’s usually treats inside the pumpkins for them and it’s fun to watch them explore and pounce and rip things open.

Blogging-wise

Blogging-wise, I have 6 author interviews, 1 spotlight post, 2 Book Blast posts, 1 Guest Post, and 7 reviews already lined up. Most are part of blog tours, but there are a few that are not.

As you can see, October will be filled with fun and lots of blog posts. Plus, somewhere in there I have to find a way to get the furniture moved that didn’t get moved last weekend! But, I’m looking forward to it all!

 

Life’s Way of Interrupting Things

As some of you know, I took a 5-day weekend this weekend to try and get furniture moved around in my bedroom and start working on putting things away in an organized fashion. Life had other plans for me.

Thursday night, my sister-in-law had a bit of a medical emergency. They went to the ER and she will be fine, but they had to admit her for a few days. Consequently, yesterday, instead of moving furniture that was coming out of my room, we all spent the day playing with my adorable niece and sweet nephew. Now, it’s not a hardship to spend time with the munchkins. At 4 and 2, they’re just a joy to be around. They’re inquisitive and smart and always wanting to know “What does that spell?” or “What does this go to?”

I noticed through all this that with my new job and the work I’ve done in therapy, I do much better at “going with the flow” and adapting as the situation needs.ย  Even a few months ago, I would’ve been upset that my plans were being messed with, even though it certainly wasn’t my sister-in-law’s fault. Yesterday, I just rolled with the changes and wasn’t upset. Maybe a little twinge of “Welp, there goes that plan”, but I wasn’t upset like I used to be. So yay for that!

The kiddos slept here at Grammy & Papa’s last night. It worked fairly well, though there were a few tears. My brother picked them up a little while ago and will spend the day with them and they’ll sleep in their own beds tonight. We may very well have them tomorrow too, which is again, not a hardship to play with them. ๐Ÿ™‚

My dad and I did go get my new bookshelves from my co-worker’s house today, so they’re in the garage when we do get a chance to move things around, but that will be some other time. Maybe Monday, maybe not since we might have the sweet munchkins then too. If not Monday, then maybe next weekend.

Even though it means my room isn’t getting completed this weekend as planned, it’s still been a pretty good first 2.5 days of my 5 day weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope the rest of you are having a good Saturday!

Remembering…

16 years ago today, the United States experienced the worst act of terrorism on our soil (not necessarily the worst ever in the world, but the worst on our soil). Over 3000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001. It’s a day that as Americans, we will never forget.

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I certainly will never forget it. I was working as an administrative assistant at a substance abuse treatment center. We were all (clients, staff, everyone) in a seminar about HIV/AIDS. Shortly after the seminar got started, my boss’s mother paged her. She excused herself to go call her mom and when she came back she handed me a note that said “a plane just flew into the World Trade Center”. I looked at her and whispered “Really?!” and she nodded. I don’t think I could tell you a single thing that was discussed in the seminar that day.

We concluded the seminar and turned on the television we had in one of the treatment rooms. ย We were just in time to see the first building fall. God, my heart just stopped in my chest. And then seeing the destruction of the Pentagon and knowing that it was only the bravery of the men and women on Flight 93 that saved the U.S. Capitol from a similar fate.

While many places I knew closed for the rest of the day, we remained open because we wanted to give our clients plenty of time to talk about their feelings about what was going on. We didn’t want them to relapse over this horrible tragedy (we ended up having one relapse, but the majority of our guys held firm in their recovery).

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Even now, 16 years later, it’s still hard to grasp the enormity of lives lost that day. The number of heroes that gave their lives so others might live, both those in uniform and civilians. It’s one of those times that bonds us together as humans. Everyone I know can tell you exactly where they were when the planes hit the towers and the Pentagon, and when the towers fell.

There are memorials for all three sites of destruction, tho’ I haven’t been to them yet. Someday I will be able to visit them. Until then, I will continue to remember what happened 16 years ago.

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What’s New

I haven’t posted in a few days so I thought I should take a minute to share what’s up on this end. ย I apologize for the lack of graphics. My allergies are bugging me and the decongestant is making it difficult to even type, much less attempt to look for graphics.

My new job is going well. I’m enjoying it and am thankful every day that I no longer have to work with the public! Some days are busier than others. Some days I don’t have that much to do and some days I’m swamped, but that’s the nature of being at the mercy of when items are delivered. I’m learning to pace myself on the swamped days and appreciate the slower days.

I’mย still working on my room, but I’m getting closer to being done. I’ve set the end of September as my goal for being done. I took a 5-day weekend around the 30th/1st and plan to use those days to shift furniture and do the final touches. I’ve done well sifting through books I own and getting rid of some that I’m just never going to use/read again. Ditto with some of my art supplies. There are some resale shops around here that will take art supplies so I’ve been getting some together to donate. Those are the two things that take up the most space in my room so working on paring those down to manageable levels feels really great. I’m not done, by any means, but I’ve got a huge chunk done.

This past weekend was a long weekend here in the United States as we celebrated Labor Day. I worked in my room part of the time, but on Saturday, I took my dad to the Thunder Over Michigan air show with the Blue Angels as his belated Father’s Day present. I’ve been taking him for a few years now. We had a great time and hopefully later in the week or this weekend, I’ll have my pictures ready to put up. Some need a little help with shading and color since the cloud cover came in and made everything in the picture go grey.

A few weeks ago, my doctor put me on steroids to deal with an allergic reaction. That will be the last time I ever voluntarily take steroids. It basically made my psych meds inactive so even tho’ I was taking them, I felt like I hadn’t had psych meds in days. NOT a good place for me. It’s taken me almost two weeks to feel better again after stopping the steroids. That was definitely a lesson learned.

What’s going on with all of you? If you’re in the US, did you do anything special for the holiday weekend? If you’re not in the US, did you do anything fun on your weekend?

 

It’s ART FAIR Week!

This week is one of the biggest, busiest weeks of the year in Ann Arbor. It’s ART FAIR week! The Ann Arbor Art Fair is actually 4 separate art fairs that all happen during the same 4 days all across the city. There are over 1200 artists within those 4 fairs, working in pretty much any medium you can think of, with booths to sell their wares. Then there’s all the food trucks, local restaurants have booths, some of the areas have entertainment with musicians and the like, nonprofits in the area have booths set up for fundraising and just informational purposes, national brands often have giveaways in their booths. It’s 4 days with 4 fairs and it usually brings in upwards of 300,000 people to the area. It’s definitely a boost to the local economy.

One thing about Art Fair that rarely fails – it’s hot and humid during those 4 days and there’s USUALLY a storm at some point. Often times it’s a severe storm with hail and even possible tornadoes. It used to run Wednesday thru Saturday but this is the 2nd year where they’ve changed it to Thursday thru Sunday, which those of us who work downtown say “THANK YOU!” to those who made the decision to switch which days it runs.

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Dealing with the crowds of Art Fair!

Now, the Downtown branch of the library is only one block away from one of the Art Fair thoroughfares and two blocks away from another. Therefore, we get a lot of out-of-town visitors who come in to cool off, use our restrooms, and in the case of storms, we become a storm shelter as well. But that’s about all who come in. Most of the “regulars” stay away because they just don’t want to have to deal with all the traffic and the crowds and the craziness that is Art Fair. Many of my colleagues even just take the days off from work because it’s difficult to get around downtown, finding parking is difficult, and there’s not usually much to do around here at work. Next year, I may join them in taking the two days off, but tonight, tonight I’m okay with working and dealing with the Art Fair chaos.

I get to be on our “Tools” desk tonight, which if you’re going to work during Art Fair, this really is the desk to be working. Our “tools” are what we call our collection of unusual items that we have available to borrow (you can check out the list of things HERE – it’s really pretty cool). It’s so fun to see their awe and excitement over all of the really awesome things we have for people to borrow. ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoy introducing people to our “tools” collections. I enjoy watching their faces light up at all the possibilities. You see, when libraries first started, books weren’t easy to obtain access to. Books are a lot easier to access these days, so our library is working on creating other collections of items that people may want to borrow, but might not want to own. We have all sorts of great things. Lights, amps, and guitar pedals for music (as well as more unusual instruments like thereminis, boomwhackers, etc.). We have models of the human body’s various organs and things. We have telescopes, microscopes, sewing machines, spinning wheels, all kinds of fun things! And tonight, tonight it’s my job to man the desk where I get to tell all the out-of-town people who are here all about them. I love my job. I love being a librarian.

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This doesn’t take any excitement away from the new job that I’m taking over within the library. I’m excited about being behind-the-scenes. My little introverted heart is just beating wildly with joy thinking about not having to be social all day long. Now I get to look at it from the other end. Instead of getting to tell the people all about it, I get to be the one ordering the things and preparing them for all the checkouts and glory they will have as part of our “tools” collections. ๐Ÿ™‚

Being a librarian is awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Art Fair is an acquired taste. ๐Ÿ˜‰