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˜‰

The next few weeks

Since I’ve started training for my new job, I haven’t had as much time to write blog posts as I’d like. I’m still trying to work on my room on the weekends, so that only leaves the little bit of time on the desk in the evening (depending on how busy it is) and the small amount of time between when I get home and when I go to bed.

I’m still reading up a storm, I’m just not getting as much time to post. I have two review posts started that will hopefully go up in the next day or so. I have a couple of blog tour posts coming up, so I’ll be making sure to get those up on time.

Bare with me during these next 2-3 weeks, as I’ll be quieter with less posts than usual. Once I’m all trained, I should be back to my normal posting schedule. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks!

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New beginnings

As we start a new year as Americans, I’m also starting a few new things in my life. Some of it I started last month, but I’m counting those as still new enough to include in this post.

I’m actually starting to feel like I’m finally getting used to and flourishing as an adult. I’m a little slow on the uptake being that I’m already 41, but it’s still a good feeling!

In the last month, I’ve started cleaning out clutter and reorganizing my room, creating an art/photography workspace in the basement, working with a financial counselor to get my finances in better shape, andย finally getting a combination of medications to really help with my mental illnesses (it’s difficult to find the right combination because you have to try each med and they can take a minimum of 4-6 weeks to really work and then you have to hope you can tolerate the side effects). ย My room is coming along slowly but surely. I didn’t get much done this past weekend, but I plan on tackling it this coming weekend and trying to work through another section.

The biggest news is that I’m getting a NEW JOB!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ย I’m super, super excited about it. I’m still working at Ann Arbor District Library, but I’ll be taking a position in the Acquisitions/Cataloging department instead of on the public desks. Right now (through the end of July), I’m training during the first half of my day and then after lunch/dinner, I’m working on one of the public desks. August 1st, I will take over in the position. It is a lateral move in the company as far as pay is concerned so I won’t be getting a raise, but it will hopefully mean a lot less stress.

I’m really excited because my concentration in library school was cataloging. While I may not be doing a lot of original cataloging (creating records from scratch), there’s lots of copy cataloging to do (downloading catalog records from reputable sources) and cleaning up records. I’ll also be putting in the orders for items and processing them when we receive them. I’m not the person choosing what gets purchased, I’m just the one making the purchase orders and actually ordering/receiving the materials. ๐Ÿ™‚

While I will miss some aspects of working at the public desk, I’m looking forward to having less stress in my life. Working with the public makes me so exhausted that I can’t really do much of anything else. By working in an area that doesn’t have to deal with the public, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to “have a life” outside of work, or at the very least have the energy to enjoy painting ceramics and taking nature walks again!

Happy Birthday, America!

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Happy Independence Day!!

If you’re in the USA and celebrating, I wish you a very Happy Independence Day! I hope you have a fun time in your celebrations while taking safety around fireworks seriously.

*** Spoiler Alert: I get on a bit of a soapbox about the state of my nation in the following paragraphs. Feel free to skip if you want to just have light-hearted fun today (which I totally respect). ***

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Today, the United States of America turns 241. We’re not as old as some nations, but older than others.ย  Many, many people have fought and given their lives for the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. We’ve been through many trials and tribulations throughout the years, but I honestly believe we’re in the midst of some of the most important battles we’ve faced.

The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal”. Did our founding fathers mean that? Not really. They meant that all white men were created equal. They didn’t include women or people of color in that statement. The sad thing today is that many people in this country still believe the original context, that all white men are created equal. We see it in the systematic discrimination against women, people of color, immigrants, etc. We see it in how our brothers and sisters of color, immigrants, and those who are LGBTQ are treated in our society. We see it how rape victims are blamed and rapists are protected time and time again. We see it in police brutality and how mental illness in whites is treated as acceptable, while mental illness in a person of color is usually seen as grounds for them to be shot.

I firmly believe that if this country is going to survive another 241 years, this has to change. I’m a white, cis-gendered female. I will not claim to have any understanding on what it feels like to be a person of color or an immigrant or part of the LGBTQ community. I will likely never understand that. BUT, that does not mean that as a white, cis-gendered individual that I can sit idly by while my friends and loved ones suffer.ย  Nor do I believe that ANYone should sit by while others suffer. If you can’t get out in march in protest marches (like I can’t), join a letter-writing campaign, call your senators and representatives. Tell them that if they don’t start making policies that are inclusive and protect equal rights, they’ll find themselves out of a job.

Some people believe that this nation was formed based on Christian principles. I personally don’t believe that’s true, but even if it was, we are certainly not living as a Christian nation. Would Christ really be happy with the fact that 1 in 5 children in this country are in danger of being hungry every single day of their lives? Would Christ really be happy that people cannot get adequate health care when they’re sick without going into bankruptcy? Would Christ really be happy that you only seem to count if you’re rich? Would He be impressed with our recent immigration policies and deportations? Would He be happy with the recent passing of laws that advocate discrimination? I don’t think so. Granted, I’m not on the best terms with God/Christ at the moment, so maybe I’m wrong. But I think if we were truly acting as a Christian nation, we would be expanding our programs to help the poor. We would be enforcing equal rights for EVERYONE, regardless of their country of origin, their race, their immigration status, their sexual orientation, their gender, or their religion.

Part of being a responsible citizen in this country is speaking up when things are wrong. Right now, there’s a whole mess of wrong in this country. Unfortunately, the only people really banding together and talking about what’s “wrong” are those who want to make us more divided and less unified. It’s time to get our friends and loved ones who want to talk about unifying us and fighting against discrimination to come forward and organize. No politician is perfect; they should all wear patches on their suits with which lobbyists support them like race cars. BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t make educated, informed decisions based on the whole of a person’s voting record, not just their stance on one issue.

I really don’t know if America can weather the storm we’re in right now. I truly don’t know. I hope we can. There are good things here when they’re enforced. Our 1st amendment rights are important, tho’ they’re being besieged right now.ย  The Declaration of Independence also talks about how when the current government perpetuates abuses and becomes destructive, it is the duty of the people to rise up and say “NO” and take whatever steps necessary to break ties with that government.

My challenge to you today is that if you truly believe in equal rights for all regardless of race, religion, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, etc. that you find a progressive group in your area and participate in some fashion. If you live in an area where you have politicians who already fight for these things, make sure you send them letters to thank them for their continued fight. If you live in areas where your politicians do not believe in these things, make them aware that you are a constituent and you will work to see them voted out of office in the mid-term elections next year unless they actually start voting the way their constituents want them to. Finally, when it comes to those elections, get out there and VOTE VOTE VOTE!! None of the letter writing and calling really matters if you don’t get out and VOTE to put politicians you want into office.

Nothing’s going to be fixed overnight, but we have to start somewhere! Let’s go out and fight for the freedoms that our forefathers wanted us to have!

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Happy Independence Day!

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End of the Month Review – JUNE 2017

Greetings! Here we are at the end of another month! Where does all the time go?!?! I can tell that it’s summer though because I didn’t read nearly as many books as I have in the previous months of this year, which I knew would happen. During the summer I’m often working in my water garden or taking nature walks/nature photography, all kinds of things that take me away from reading as much. Consequently, I didn’t get anything on my backlist read this month. I did get one extra book from NetGalley done and two books that I read just for fun done on top of the blog tours and other reviews I had commitments for.

Let’s take a look at this month’s statistics! I’m excited about them because they’re moving up and up and that makes me happy!

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Site Statistics

I’m excited about this month’s statistics. I’m up to 90 WordPress followers, 8 email followers, and over 1000 followers on social media, thanks to an ad I placed on Facebook promoting my blog! The blog itself had over 500 views this month, over a hundred more from May! More people visited my blog last month than before as well, with over 200 people from 21 countries visiting! I also had almost double the comments in June than I did in May!

I’m excited by all this because it means I’m doing something right and really have hit my rhythm and that makes me happy. Of course, I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing and my blog, the aesthetics and style as well as content.

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What I Read/Posted This Month

As I mentioned above, I didn’t read nearly as many books this month, finishing only 10 books. However, those that I finished, I really enjoyed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a run down on what I read and each book’s rating. Each cover image is linked to the book’s review.

4.5 to 5 star books

Book Cover: Once Upon a Spine: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle - Background shows a bookstore front window - foreground has tea service sitting on a wrought iron table with a cat on the table and a copy of Alice in Wonderland on a wrought iron chair

Once Upon A Spine by Kate Carlisle is the 11th book in the Bibliophile Mystery series. It’s the only truly 5-star book this month (sometimes I’ll mark 4.5 books up to 5 on Amazon and Goodreads).

 

 

Book Cover: The Frog Princess Returns - Tales of the Frog Princess by E.D. Baker - Pink background - Vignette picture of the Princess with the Frog prince on her shoulder talking to a fairy

The Frog Princess Returns by E.D. Baker is a wonderful addition to the Tales of the Frog Princess series.

 

Book Cover: Treble at the Jam Fest - A Food Lovers' Village Mystery by Leslie Budewitz - background has a country music stage with guitars, double bass, and drum set - Foreground has a table with jam for sale, a pitcher of lemonade and two cats sitting on the ground

Treble at the Jam Fest is the 4th book in the Food Lover’s Village Mystery series by Leslie Budewitz. I was thrilled to see this series make a come back with another publisher and it didn’t disappoint!

 

Book Cover: All Signs Point to Murder - a Zodiac Mystery by Connie Di Marco - Study setting with a window overlooking a garden set up for a wedding - foreground has a white table full of candles, astrological charts and a bridal bouquet

All Signs Point to Murder is the 2nd book in the Zodiac Mystery series by Connie di Marco. This was just a delightful, fun read. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Book Cover: The Witch and the Dead by Heather Blake - purple background on top and bottom of the cover where the text is - middle section shows an illustration of a young white lady with dark hair sitting on a tree stump under a willow tree with a black cat at her feet.

The Witch & the Dead is the 7th book in the Wishcraft Mystery series by Heather Blake. This is one of my favorite cozy series and this one didn’t disappoint!

 

Book Cover: "Stuck: The Penningtons Investigate" by C.T. Collier - green background with brown lettering - a stiletto is seen standing straight up in a wooden desk

 

Stuck: The Penningtons Investigate is the 2nd in the series by C.T. Collier. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more in the series!

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4 star books

The rest of these books were given 4-stars each! They were still fun reads and I still recommend them.

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Other Posts

This month I did more than just book review posts. I had one author interview post, a book tag, something I reblogged from a fellow blogger’s site, and several posts on things that are happening in my life.

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Looking Forward to July

July’s looking pretty busy. Here are some of the books I plan on reviewing this month.

This is a trio of middle grade books about each girl exploring either her own city or a city she’s visiting and learning about herself at the same time. I’ve finished the first two and am working on reading the third now. When I’m finished with the third, I’ll review all three at once.

These five books are books that I have committed to reviewing on specific days as part of blog tours or other review crew commitments. I’m looking forward to all of them!

These six (6) books are ones from my backlist that I hope to review this coming month. Four (4) of them are picture books and I’ve already started on “The Other Einstein” so I think it’ll be easily do-able to get them all done.

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Finally, this book has been on my to-read list for a while now. Earlier today, Jay over at this-is-my-truth-now, stated that he was going to read it this month and was looking for someone to do a buddy read with him. I volunteered so we’re going to work out when to start and all that.

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I’m looking forward to this month and seeing what it brings! Thanks for joining me on my journey!

HappySummer-BeachBears&SandCastle