Monday, May 29, 2006

Hurrah! I got some more help. . .

Presently, I am the librarian for our church. It doesn't pay anything but it gives me a chance to use the skills that I went to college for and hardly ever get to use otherwise . . . since I never "got that media specialist job."

When the church first started almost 50 years ago, someone or maybe, several someones did a good job of cataloging books. I wasn't a member then. I came 21 years ago and it was an ignored place by 1985. No one did anything to keep the library up. People donated books and they just piled up -- even if they weren't appropriate for a church library. In '95, I started to help take care of the mess but then I got a job teaching in California so I left with good instructions written down for others to continue what I began. Guess they gave up because I didn't see much change when I returned 7 years later.

Then, one of our church members, a wood craftsman, built beautiful library shelving in the church narthex. It sat there for three weeks with nothing on it. no one was doing a thing to move any books to it from the old library that was down the long hall.

Sooooooooooo, I volunteered to be the librarian. Of course I wasn't satisfied with just moving the books. . . I had to check to make sure that each had the three cards, were listed on the accession list and in good repair. THEN and only then, we transfered some books to the narthex. I had two volunteer helpers. There is also a video shelving unit so got some of the videos placed there. . . went thru the check list of videos and there were over 200 missing. It is no wonder . . . with no decent checkout system in place and no one in charge.

OK, so here I am, now starting to catalog the myriad of books that had never been catalogued and the job is overwhelming to me. I counted 24 things to do to each book by time as it is placed on the shelf. THIS IS A BIG JOB and neither of my helpers wants to type and typing is slowing me down.

Sooooooooooooooooo, three weeks ago I placed a notice in the church bulletin that I could use some typists in my work with the library. I asked for temporary helpers or full time helpers; any day, any time; for one time or every week; or once a month or twice a year. . . was not particular. I would take all that offered. Week one. . . nothing. Week two . . . nothing yet.

Finally,last Sunday, TWO (2) people volunteered to come and type at church. One will make the title, author and subject cards and the other will type the book pockets and cards. I already type the spine numbers. I also type the accesion list. They start this week! I am sooooooooo happy!

This morning and part of the afternoon, I spent working over at church, getting shelves of books ready for the different people that work on the cataloging. Got at least one shelf of work for each helper, filled with books that are in different stages.

Art files all the cards in the three drawer metal cabinet and glues in the date due slips and stamps page 13 with our church name. He also helps me decide if it is a church related book that agrees with doctrines of our faith when I am not sure. . . most of them, I can do myself but it never hurts to have a 2nd opinion. He catalogs his own books at his home and is a voracious reader. He used to invite the Jehovah Witness people over so he could prove them wrong. Ü They refuse to visit him any longer. lol

Dorothy helped me sort the cards in the title, subject and author drawers when we first started since we needed to make sure we had all the cards for books that were already catalogued. She now helps at home with the videos -- she has a few more to type cards for and I am glad I don't have to deal with them!

Ka 'ren will now be my typist for the three cards: title author, and subject. . . sometimes there is more than one subject card. I write down all the information for her and she will type it on the appropriate cards using samples I made for her.

Elaine will type the pockets and check out cards. She wants to take them home to do but after the first few hundred that she hauls back and forth, I bet she will opt to bring her typewriter there or use the one I have stored in the cabinet -- on a different day than Ka 'ren volunteers.

I will continue writing down the cataloging info, puting clear plastic covers on the nicer books with jackets and a sealed plastic cover for special paperbacks. I will continue to type the numbers for the spine and put tape over them and colored tape for certain types of books to make them stand out for sections like Fiction or Children's books. I will keep up the accession list on my laptop and keep the supplies ordered. I will repair the books that need it. I will also shelf all the books in the narthex (or the overflow in the room where we are working) and write articles to encourage people to make use of the library for Sunday bulletins and the monthly newsletter. This is a big job even with help!

You would think I would be looking for the day when all the books are catalogued . . . I am . . . because then I get to do some ordering of current books and that is something I know I will enjoy! All the hard work will be worth it. Then I can start all over again with MORE hard work. . . am I a glutton for punishment or what?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Do you think God is deaf? OR Setting records. . .

I know this is a stupid question. . . I know God is perfect and hears my pleas for NO MORE RAIN! I reckon He has a reason for giving us an over abundance of it this year but it is so cold and wet today! Today? Heck! Yesterday we set a record for the date for having a high of 56 -- the lowest high for that date here ever!!!!!!!!!!

Last year on the same date, it was 96 which also set a record . . . as being the highest temperature for that date.

I guess now that it is spring and summer is almost here, I just wish that we could have some of those nice warm days without wind or rain to cool us off too much. I like to walk and it has been awhile since I had the time and opportunity on a nice day.

I wanted to share MY rain with Vir Ü but it just didn't happen. . . she finally did get her own rain though.

Well, I guess there is one good thing about rain and photography. . . the droplets of water make the flowers look interesting

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Some people can be so stupid!!!!!!!!!!

This is a snowball tree which I love . . . I place it here because paying my taxes this year felt like I was being snowballed!

My tax person filed my 2005 taxes online so all I had to do was send in the check of the amount I owed with my social security number on it. I did just that -- on the last day I could possibly do it WITHOUT getting a penalty. I deposited my letter to the IRS in a locked mailbox and waited for them to cash it so my bank account would not "look like" I had lots of money in it.

Almost two months later, they still had not cashed it! THEN, I give up and stop checking on line banking for it. THEN, I get a bill in mail for what I owe and penalties added. I was so mad I could've spit!

Finding their 800 number, I called. When I finally got a human voice (can't call her a human being), I explained my side and questioned their bill. In the meantime, I was signing online with my bank addy. I can see that they cashed my check on May 3rd and it is finally posted online. . . so I asked why they sent me this new bill because I definitely had sent them the check and they had cashed it and I had the proof before me.

I told her how my accountant had said to just write my social security number on the check and that it was for the tax I was filing this year. . . and sure enough I had done that. The voice on the other end says, "Well, you put "2006 taxes" on the notation so we presumed it is for the coming year since you are employed for yourself in your position and you must pay ahead.

I guess I should have written "2005 taxes owed". . . because the idiots that work there can't compare it to my return and see it is the exact amount I owed for 2005, taxes they had ragged on me for NOT PAYING yet. SIGH

I do not know of a single person that pays their whole year's taxes ahead of time. . . based on what their salary is supposed to be. Even in my job, I was supposed to just make payments three times a year. I had coupons for it. I didn't pay the last two coupons because my job ended. Then I found out that my taxes were estimated on my total salary I should be getting and spread out to pay. It still doesn't make sense to me.

Anyway, now the "problem" is taken care of and I am poor on my bank statement. I sure hope I can find a full time job soon so I can even think about spending a dollar foolishly or go window shopping and know I can afford to buy something.

When I wrote the title to this, I was thinking of the IRS as stupid, but they probably think it was me for writing "2006 taxes" on the check notation. ANOTHER BIG SIGH!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I heard her talk today. . .

Yesterday was 97 followed by 86 today. . . need I say it was HOT?????!!!!!!!??????

I almost didn't go to the Nursing Home to visit my friend, Myrl who is recovering from a stroke there. I told myself it was just too hot to walk that half mile after I got off the bus. After all, Myrl has two daughters and 2 sons presently in town and many grandchildren too. . .

I couldn't NOT go. I am glad I did as she was off eating in the dining room (with her left hand and in a wheel chair) and her son, the Pastor, and her oldest daughter were there. We chatted a bit and then Myrl was wheeled back to her room from the dining hall. It was good to see her -- she was sporting a pink baseball cap!

I guess she had a bad day on Mother's Day. She looked great tonight! We chatted a bit -- I mean the three of us did and Myrl listened. THEN, her daughter said, "Mom, show Paulie you can talk now." I was flabbergasted. . . She said "a" . . . that's 100 percent more than she has said over the past two months! It was so good to hear something coming from this gentle friend again. She understands what we say and can shake her head yes or know. She just needs that physical therapy to learn to talk over again. I am soooooo excited to see this progress. She is getting a new cast this week too. I just wish her right hand would get some motion again.

I told her I am going to make a power point on my laptop of flowers from her yard so she can see them. She cried a little and I felt sad that she had to see photos and not the real thing. BUT . . . the good news is that she is starting to talk again. Thank you, God, for this small miracle. Thank you for giving me such a special friend.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wonder what to plant this year??????

I live in a gated complex presently and the guy in charge said I could have some garden space this year. I asked him for just two rows because I am poor and can't afford to buy many seeds or starts. Wonder what I should plant this year?

Tomatoes have to be one of the veggies for sure. . . think I will get two. I love vine ripened tomatoes; the tomatoes the store sells are tasteless. Guess I got spoiled always having a huge garden when I was growing up. I remember my first garden when I was married-- I lived in upstate New York then. I planted 36 tomato plants; they were coming out of my ears! We had sliced tomatoes every day! I never canned a one. What a great memory!

But I digress. I had two tomato plants in my flower bed last year and that was sufficient for me to have some everyday. Yes, that is my top priority! I already have two cages to keep them off the ground and from "getting buggy."

I love peas from the garden too -- never cook them, just shell and eat them so think I will plant a whole row of those. AND, I have to have a couple (or more) zucchini plants so I can fry lots of zucchini this summer.

Hey! That wasn't so bad. Tomatoes, peas, zucchini . . . yes, that should take up two rows. Think I will plant them Sunday. It will be Mother's Day and none of my kids are going to travel here so that would be a good time to do it.

I would do it Saturday but I have an all day Red Cross First Aid training to go to and no time left over -- will have to walk home. . . will be a nice hike. The weather should be nice if the prediction on TV is correct. . .think I'll take the part of the new trail they recently built as that will get me within a mile of my home.

Home! That sounds so wonderful. Last month I did not even know if I would have one still. God is good!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I forgot. . . again

How many times have I reminded myself to write something down so I would not forget? Too many!

This afternoon at work I was thinking about what to write in my blog and I came up with two words I wanted to discuss. I remember this vividly. Do you think I can remember what they were? Of course not. Murphy's law. . .

So, I am stuck and have nothing to write about tonight. sigh I thought by coming here, it would prompt a flashback to those two words. Didn't work.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Planting time . . .

Last year at this time, I was very excited about planting my tomatoes, zucchini, kohlrabi, peas and Bachelor Buttons. This year, I can't get in the gardening mood to plant because I don't know what will happen . . . . in ways of a full-time job, I mean. If I don't get a better paying job, I may have to move. I figure if I have to move, why bother to go to all the trouble to plant and not be able to reap the benefit of all my home-grown goodies myself?

So, until I make up my mind, I will just imagine those wonderful tomatoes I could be eating in a couple months.

I received a bunch of seeds after the library's Volunteer Appreciation Day event. They had the theme, "Seeds of Kindness" and gave out packets of flower seeds. The volunteer supervisor gave me some leftover ones.

Decided to plant some of them at Myrl's in a couple long flower boxes on her front porch. I also weeded and made three rows of different plants in one of her garden boxes out back. I am hoping they will be a nice surprise for her when she comes home from the Nursing Home. Maybe I will plant some tomatoes for her too. . . we will see. She has three of these garden boxes.

On the way to Myrl's this past week, I found another letter: "Y"

Of course, there were beautiful spring flowers to enjoy too! More are also blooming in Myrl's backyard. . . the snowball tree is getting whiter from its pale green snowballs; instead of one gold/purple Iris, there were many in bloom.

On the way home, among other flowers I saw, I found this "drop dead gorgeous" pink and white striped tulip:

Here's a close up.

Sure makes a poor person feel rich to see all these lovely creations God provided for our pleasure.

Friday, May 05, 2006

It's Friday again!

Been working at the library with magazines all week. . . and the project should be finished in two more days. . .at least that is my estimate. I have known all my life that the library had magazines. . . I just don't take advantage of checking them out like I do books.

Usually, I head straight to the fiction section, aisle D for Diana Mott Davidson culinary mysteries. The main character is a caterer in Colorado. All of her books have a food connection in the title:

Catering To Nobody
Dying For Chocolate
The Cereal Murders
The Last Suppers
Killer Pancake
The Main Corpse
Prime Cut
Tough Cookie
Sticks and Scones
Double Shot
Chopping Spree
Sticks and Scones

And all of her books have the recipes included in each novel.

That would be enough to tempt one into reading her culinary mysteries but she has yet another temptation for me. . . she writes so beautifully about snow! let me give you some examples:

"Snow fell softly on millions of rows of perfectly frosted pines."


"The curtain of flakes had thinned; maybe we were experiencing a mere flurry."


"Trees high and low were hung with glittering ribbons of snow."


Sunbeams slanting through the pines and aspen branches winked off errant flakes."


Out here in the boondocks, the snow is seductively pretty."


"Through the thickening swirl of snowflakes . . . "


"As if on cue, the snow began to flutter down again . . . "

Those are just a few of them. So, reading my culinary murder mysteries I can get my snow fix too! I can hardly wait til she writes another mystery. I am reading all 12 of them over again. One day I hope to own all of them myself.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I hate pollen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You would think that I would be just the opposite since pollen produces beautiful flowers for me to photograph. . .

Maybe I should have said I hate pollen in Washington state. When I first moved here in 1985, I had no allergies. Then about three years later, I was tested for different allergies and about the only thing I am not allergic to is pets -- and I don't have any of those!!!!!!!!!!!! In 95, I moved to CA to teach and the allergies all disappeared.

I guess that is why I didn't think about the problems I have with allergies when I decided to move back here. Possibly because it has taken 5 years for the allergies to kick in again. (Thank God!)

My allergy problems started yesterday and I had no meds available . . . and decided to chance it going to work today. I should not have. . . I definitely needed my meds. About an hour after I was at work I asked my boss if I could walk to the store and buy some meds for allergies and then work longer when I came back to make up for the time gone.

She allowed me to do that, thank goodness. I got them at Walgreens and walked across the street to catch the bus downtown -- I was uptown. I lucked out and got the bus that changed into the one I needed after loading more passengers downtown. I was gone an hour and 15 minutes but before I left Walgreens, I asked where the water fountain was and took some meds.

When I arrived back at work, I checked in with my boss and said I was going to take my 15 minute break then instead of in an hour to give the meds more time start working before I went upstairs to the magazine stacks to continue my job. That worked pretty well. I was glad because it was hard to be checking the magazine boxes with the dusty shelves when I am sneezing constantly.

Sidenote. . . there must be something "special" to the dust in WA state since I am allergic to at least three trees, 5 weeds, grass and DUST! I am not kidding. (Might be why I don't bother to disturb the dust in my house!) I wasn't allergic to dust in Idaho, upstate New York, South Carolina, Hawaii, northern or southern California . . .

Thank goodness the meds worked and I was able to complete my hours today. They have now worn off and I have to get some more. . .

BUT guess what I saw when I was walking to the drugstore? You're right! A purple Iris to photograph! And white and purple lilacs and more! Blessings come in all kinds of disguises.

Bringing Myrl's backyard to her. . .

Yesterday was Tuesday. It's the day I go to see Myrl at the Nursing Home after work. This week I went when I knew she would be eating dinner. (Last week, I went later and she was already asleep!) I found her awake and slowly eating; one of her daughters was there also.

It was good to see her eating by herself even tho it was with her left hand.

She also has a new PINK cast on her foot that is broken. it is a walking cast so she can do physical therapy with her feet. She is also practicing how to slide from her bed to her wheelchair and back so that she can go for a ride in a car occasionally. I know she is going to love that and is looking forward to the day it will happen. Her son, the Lutheran Pastor in California, is coming to visit her again --for Mother's Day for a week long stay. She is going to love that!

When she finished eating, I gave her my new BIG card and tears started coming from her eyes. . . my heart was melancholy at that moment. . . it was my intention to bring Myrl's yard flowers to her IF she couldn't go to see them herself! Now, I was feeling that I made her miss her home all the more.

Last week, when I was there watering her indoor and outside plants, I took some photos: purple and white lilacs, snowball tree and her first Iris. After trimming the photos down and rounding the corners of some, I put the 4 photos on blue cardstock and labeled it at the top "Myrl's Flowers in April." I added corner punches and didn't care too much for them so tried to disguise them with bows which weren't much better. . . BUT it was the photos that counted so I gave it to her anyway. It's hanging on the wall for her to see every day.

Now that it is a new day, I am wondering if Myrl's tears were ones of joy that she could see her flowers even if she couldn't be home YET. I hope so!