Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stories from around the World

The Summer Reading theme this year for kids is One World Many Stories. When we were planning the programming, I decided I wanted to do a storytelling program. I have been interested in storytelling for a while and during the last Mother Daughter Tea, I flexed my skills with stories about my mother. When you are the boss, I guess you can call the shots, so I chose a date and added it to the children's programming schedule. In May it seemed so long in the future. Gradually the idea bloomed and I decided I would tell 3 stories from 3 different countries. Since Estonia has a special place in my heart for stories telling that was a given. Also, Japan was automatically included, not only because I lived in Japan but also because this week's programming revolves around Japan. That left one more country. I thought about a Cinderella story of some sort and explored that for a while, but then I ran across the book Forty Fortunes by Aaron Shepard. I thought it was such a charming story, I decided that this is my third story. Then I decided to put together a Powerpoint presentation with some cultural notes and images from each country. I also added a few words in each language. Ok, I was almost ready to tell the stories: The Old Traveler from Estonia, The Crane Wife from Japan, and Forty Fortunes from Iran.
Then last night, I got a bit panicky that I would make a fool of myself. What ever was I thinking. But I calmed myself, went over the stories in my head and remembered that all I needed to do was to envision the story and tell what I see in my head. Stories have a natural progress and repetition.
Last night I thought Oh I should take the kids on a magic carpet ride, I could take my rug that I bought at Goodwill last month that my dining room table is sitting on top of. And I could wear my haori, that would make me look a bit special, I need to get into character. --yes, black tights, black shirt, black haori, and my heels--that will give me confidence.
So this morning, I dressed and rolled up the carpet, then I had the idea of taking my flameless candles and their containers--all Goodwill purchases as well. When I was getting dressed this morning, I was deciding on my jewelry when I happened upon a round cystal barrette. Oh, maybe I'll put this in my hair. Oh, something streaming from it would look exotic. I know, I have some wired ribbon. So I ended up making myself something of a facinator with ribbon and my barrette.
I came to work, and began to set up the room, I set up a table with the computer, added a bird nest wreath to cover up the computer, added the flameless candles and some other flowers, dimmed the lights and set up a CD playing new age music. I was ready for my storytelling adventure.
I practiced unfurling the carpet, it worked like a charm--that is until I did it for the program. Instead of rolling out, it thudded to the floor still half rolled up. I kicked the carpet all the way out, sat on the carpet told the kids to shut their eyes and repeat after me: By the light of day, by the moon at night, let us hear stories of magic and delight. We were off. Only a few little mix ups, I couldn't remember what my not-a-fortune-teller-fortune-teller was actually eating. I said, He took a fig, a prune,...a date?, yes, a date at one point.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Camino de Santiago

I don't quite know when I decided I want to walk the Camino de Santiago--a 500 mile pilgrimage trail from Saint Jean de Pied in France to the Santiago de Compestela Cathedral in Spain--but I would assume that at least the germ of the desire began during my Sophomore year at O-State when I wrote a paper on how the pilgrimage kept Spain European during the 700 year Moorish occupation of Spain. Quite a long time for an idea to germinate if you ask me. But I guess the full blown desire to walk the route has been with me for about 7 years now. I don't know when I will be able to fullfill the desire--there are some complicated praticalities involved such as bills, job, cat care, etc. I would need at least 30 days to do the walk and probably at least 5 days to travel and recover. Let's just go with the sufficient amount of time bibicle number of 40 days. That is not an easy amount of time to just take off from my everday life. If I get a different job, then I could do the pilgrimage between the two jobs--but then timing is a factor there since the route crosses the Pyranees and much of it is at higher elevations winter includes ice and snow. I have no desire to walk 20-30 miles a day in the freezing cold. Part of me wonders why I want to walk 20-30 miles a day in any weather but I think that it best not to explore that. If I ever get on the route, I will have ample time explore this train of thought. So in the mean time let's just say that I want to do it suffice.

This month, I have chosen The Camino by Shirley Macclaine as the selection. I wanted to do a Camino book, but I was unsure about Shirely. I hadn't read any of her books, but the reputation alone made me wonder if my book club people would respond to her. But we only had enough copies of The Camino for a book club so I opted for this title. Last week, I started the book and right away I began to question my choice when on her first day the Angel Ariel gives her advice. Trippy. And it continues to get trippier and trippier all the way to the end. But my real complaint is that about 65% of the book is about the visions she has on the trail, 10% is about get accosted by photographers, leaving only about 25% of the book about the trail itself. So I felt really short changed. I decided I would approach next month's book club slightly differently, rather than read one book and discuss it, I would order what ever copies of other books about the Camino and we could discuss the topic and how it was broached in each of the books.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Can't Believe It Has Been So Long

We are in the midst of Summer Reading which is one of our busier times of the year. I have been co-subbing for the Teen Summer Reading Programs. So far we have done African Masks, Tin Can Lanterns, Retro Stuffies, and Yoga and Smoothies x 2. We have a core group of teens that are waiting at the door when we get started. K-chan won't be back until the fall--and I sincerely hope she misses adult conversations by that time and feels that she can part from the twins for 10 hours a day.
I will be losing my Ref Librarian sometime in the near future. He has interviewed for a Manager position and it seems that they are only waiting for other things to fall in place before announcements are made. C has been a real asset to me. But he is ready to go and he will do well. I have raised him well.
I told my supervisor that they need to get me another good one and I would be pleased to train them up for promotion as well. We will see how far that goes. With the hiring freeze, I don't know what they will be able to do.
I don't quite know why I have been avoiding writing on this. I guess, I have just been another funk. Will I ever get out of them? I found out that I really am allergic to cats. I have been telling my mom for years that I thought I might be, because everytime I go visit I feel like the fur is bothering me. I went to the eye doctor and he said that my eyes were extremely angry. He showed me the handy dandy visuals of what a normal eye looks like and then pointed to what mine looked like. Hmmm. Not good. So I am taking eye drops in the morning.
I decided that the reason I was having such a big interaction when I went to the eye doctor was because I have had the apartment closed up with the AC on and I haven't vacuumed in a while. So yesterday I spent all day cleaning up cat hair. While I was getting all the hair off the bed--one of their favorite hang outs, I felt like a bunch of sand had been thrown into my eyes--confirmation for the theory. I swear I got an entire small trash bag full of hair out of the place. Right now I have the balcony door open. As a result my eyes look less angry today. But I will be using the drops for a while, I think.
Must go vacuum again before I have to get ready for work. I am obsessed now!!