Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mother Daughter Tea

Yesterday, I had my first annual Holiday Mother Daughter Tea. I did another tea earlier this year during Mother's Day. I guess it is a semi-annual program. I can only have a certain number of people in the program. In the spring I put the list out a month in advance--it filled up and there was a signifant waiting list. However, come Tea Party day, I had quite a few no-shows. I learned from this experience and just posted the sign-up list 12 days in advance. The result, I only had one no-show totalling 2 people. I had a total of 55 people in attendance.
The room was nice. I got garland at Michaels, and the Town Council let me borrow there garland and stockings. I brought in some stuff from home to complete the look. A Town Council member also let me borrow poinsettias that I festooned with ribbon and became the center pieces for the table.

I served a selection of sandwiches--trimmed of crusts, boxed heatables from Sam's Club, mini pigs-in-blanket, mini cresent rolls. Last week I baked a selection of scones--my favorite being the butterscotch scones. It won out for ease of baking coupled with a great flavor. I also baked some tartlets, almond cheesecake squares, tea cakes, and brownies There was only one small plate of leftovers.
For beverages, I served a variety of teas, hot chocolate--which disappeared flat right away, and hot apple cider. We attempted to make more hot chocolate but there was a slight snafu when the eggnog rather than milk ended up in the pot. Very interesting--we thought the only way to save it would have been to add rum but that wasn't possible--County property, minors and all.
I had bought some gingerbread house kits with royal icing. I was trying to take the easy simple way out by buying ready made easy to assemble kits. But --these proved to be a bit of a challenge to get together--next year I will do the old graham craker, frosting, milk carton route. Several people presented their Southern California Gingerbread Houses that had more or less been flatten by an earthquake. Thank goodness for our natural disasters.
Everyone expressed their thanks and gratitude. I enjoyed putting it together but like all parties for 60 people it takes a lot of effort and energy to make it come off. At the end of the day, I began to evaluate my programming efforts. I may just do book club and the two Teas next year. I went to bed last night at around 8:00 and didn't really stir much after 10:00 until 5:30 this morning when the Sasha and Misha decided they had had enough of me not paying attention to them. Sasha layed down on my face while Misha purred in my ear.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm Very Concerned!

Last Tuesday I attended the first session of the Santa Clarita Libraries Planning Committee as a public observer. I left feeling very very concerned about the future of the libraries in my city. The Library Planning Committee consists of 31 people who were hand-picked by McLean and Ender. All most all are white and none seem to have been people who were opposed to the city take over of the library nor who had had experience with the County System. This in itself is not terribly worrying, I think that most of the people will try to offer their best during these sessions. What has big question marks and @#* signs going on above my head is LSSI (Library Systems and Services Inc.) the for profit group taking over the management of the libraries.
Here are my thoughts and observations:
1) With all the brouhaha in Santa Clarita, it seems that LSSI should be putting their best foot forward and at least making an attempt to be moderately professional which I didn't really see at all. I'll explain why in the next points.
2) The facilitator of the session, a Mr. Ron Dubberly, claims that he is a librarian with more than 30 years of experience, yet he also claims that he is severely technologically challenged. We are information professionals, technology is the main point of dissimination for technology during this technological age which has been in full force for at least 2 plus decades which encompasses the a good part of Mr. Dubberly's career. Shameful, shameful, shameful.
3) So essentially LSSI has a lackluster dinosaur leading the Library Planning Committee in developing plans for Library Services in the 21st Century. Yes, this really does inspire a high degree of faith in what is to come for Santa Clarita.
4) LSSI is taking over 5 libraries from two different systems at about the same time. From experience I know that opening, reopening and/or relocating businesses requires a tremendous amount of time, effort, energy and organization. LSSI cannot get out a simple MS Word document which only required a simple amount of editing. Insert City of Santa Clarita into the template instead of the last city they worked with. How are they ever going to manage a "smooth transition" in 7 months?
5) All this makes me wonder if LSSI is biting off more than it can chew with the Santa Clarita and Ventura libraries? And I question why they would even try? Again from experience, when companies aggressively go after contracts like there is no tomorrow it is because there isn't one if they don't. I have a bad feeling that LSSI is likely in financial straits and is gobbling up contracts with the hopes that down the line their bottom line will even out. Since LSSI is a private company that is publicly we don't know what kind of shenanigans they are up to with the account books. But I have a very very bad feeling about it all. Because I can read the writing on the wall quite well, my hunches are usually pretty much on the mark. We shall see. We shall see.