Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tea Time with Tiffany #...sorry. No voice = no podcast this week!

Indeed. I have seasonal allergies/cold/sinus infection/have no idea/just something nefarious, and my voice is a bit of a disaster. We have:

(a) incessant need to throat clear.
(b) general up and down/crackly situation ongoing.
(c) hacking cough whenever need to speak for any length of time .

None of the above lend themselves to pleasant podcasting for either you or me, I'm afraid. So instead of our usual audio and video time together, this week we'll be sipping a hot beverage over a regular old post.


So, what's going on with me? Well, today, May 18th, is a big day. It's my baby's birthday.

*sob!*

Her birthday is hard for me every year, because she is most likely going to stay my youngest child. Never say never, I suppose, but I'm not thinking that a different course is in God's plan for us. And my memories of the day she was born are so wonderful, it's a little bittersweet and emotional for me each year. She's 6 this year, and just as sassy as ever:


She's a very sweet, good-hearted little girl. Did I mention sassy, though? ;-)

We all went out to dinner with her last night at a restaurant of her choice, and are hosting a family party on Sunday afternoon. She's all aglow about having her name on the announcements at school today, and getting to wear "the birthday crown." :0

So that's big news. Tomorrow is my overnight road trip/workshop with my dance troupe, and I'm super excited about that. Belly Adventure, here we come! :-) I'm certain there will be amusing anecdotes from THIS little escapade. 10 belly dancers. Hours of dancing. Loads of snacks and wine. What could go wrong?

I've also been doing a little brainstorming about ways to spruce up Tea Time following our upcoming 100th episode, and I think I'm onto something. It's nothing radical, your feedback was mostly to keep it as it is, but a few touches to make it more polished. We'll be trying that out together soon!

How is your week going, dear reader? Thank for for voting in the summer book club poll, and keep that feedback coming! I'll talk to you all next week!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A prayer for focus...

A little peek inside of the mind of your Catholic Librarian:

Dear Lord,

Hey, how's it going?! I know it's been a few days since I've been in touch in this way. I've been trying to be better about praying the rosary in the mornings, but. Wait...

*5 minutes elapse*

Sorry, back! I just remembered that the whole reason I sat down here was to take care of that email to Franciscan Media, and I wanted to do that before I forgot. Soooo, where were we?

Right! OK, so I need to work on this summer writing project. I need your guidance on this so much, Lord. I pray that the Holy Spirit...

*chime chime!*

"Tiffany speaking!"

*conversation ensues*

*5 minutes elapse*

*Tiffany hangs up phone*

*checks other notifications*

"Wait. What was I supposed to be doing?!"

 So sorry about that! I'm so easily distracted. And to be honest, Lord, THAT'S THE PROBLEM. I only have 2 months to get this project done, and let's just say that I have a llllooooooonnnnnngg...

"Hold on. Where's that notebook that I was working with last to keep tabs on where I left off?"

*searches piles on desk*

"Found it!"

OK, so Lord, you see the problem here? I need so much help in getting this project finished before the fall semester starts. Focus is a real problem for me, Lord. I need Your loving hand to guide me through this process, and for the Holy Spirit to inspire me with the words to write. Each morning, turn my eyes only to You, Lord, as I want only to do Your Will and glorify You through this work.  I ask this in...

"Crud! I forgot my lunch!"

Jesus' Precious Name. *sheepish*

Amen

😳

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The book club poll is open!

Well, look at that, I remembered! We'll ignore the fact that it was a bit of a close one - I remembered as I gulped down my lunch at my desk and was mentally berating myself for not yet thinking of a blog topic for the day. But hey - we'll take it!

There is now a poll along the right side margin of the blog. If you'd like to read along for a summer book club, please do go and vote! The poll is open for about 2 weeks. Unfortunately, Blogger does not have the functionality added into the poll widget to add links (boooooo!), but I have all titles, series and authors listed there for easy copy/pasting into Amazon. And I'm going to briefly talk about each here with the links as well. Let's chat!

I kept 2 of the books we talked about previously during Tea Time, and I tweaked 2 of the others.

First up we have The Well, which is historical, scripture based fiction:


In the rich tradition of Francine Rivers’s Lineage of Grace series, comes a beautiful retelling of the biblical story of the woman at the well—bringing to life this poignant young woman struggling to survive love and heartbreak.

Could he be the One we’ve been waiting for?

For the women of the Samaritan village of Sychar, the well is a place of blessing—the place where they gather to draw their water and share their lives—but not for Mara. Shunned for the many sins of her mother, Nava, Mara struggles against the constant threats of starvation or exile.

Mara and Nava’s lives are forever changed with the arrival of two men: Shem, a mysterious young man from Caesarea, and Jesus, a Jewish teacher. Nava is transformed by Jesus, but his teachings come too late and she is stoned by the unforgiving villagers. Desperate to save her dying mother, Mara and Shem embark on a journey to seek Jesus’ help—a journey that brings unexpected love and unimaginable heartbreak.
We talked about that one during Tea Time. The other historical fiction option is The Secret Healer:

In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited to the home. But spirited young Madlen finds her calling as assistant to the city’s trusted midwife, Clara. Working alongside Clara, Madlen develops a surprisingly soothing technique and quickly becomes a talented healer.
After Clara’s tragic death, Madlen alone rushes to assist the birth of a local nobleman’s child. But rather than the joy of birth, Madlen walks into an accusation of murder and witchcraft because of her extraordinary gifts. Forced to flee her own town, she establishes a new identity in the home of her aunt. Yet even though it endangers her life, she cannot resist the urge to help the sick patients who seek out her miraculous treatment. When she meets handsome Johannes—an investigator hired by the Church to bring her to justice for sacrilegious acts—she becomes drawn to the very man who could destroy her.
Will Madlen’s gifts bring about her downfall? Or can love and reason prevail in a time of fearful superstition?
I'm not certain whether the treatment of the Church in this one would be positive or negative, so that's a consideration in voting, for sure. It certainly is an intriguing premise, though.

For contemporary fiction, instead of How Firm a Foundation (which is a long book at over 500 pages), I decided to add in Pillar and Bulwark, which is book 2 in that series. A little unorthodox, I am, but book 1 would be a re-read for me, and I have to be honest and admit that the length made it a daunting summer read choice for me. Book 2 is somewhat shorter (still 400 pages, but a little shorter!), and the premise really grabs me:

After nearly losing his life to an assassin, Stephen LaPointe resigned from his pastorate as a Congregational minister. He made this radical decision as the result of a crisis of truth. This decision had many immediate ramifications for his vocation, his career, and most significantly for his marriage and family. Now a year later, no one knows where he is. He has disappeared. Out of love, as well as remorse, several people an old friend, his estranged wife, and a potential enemy set out separately to find him. This is a story of conversion of heart, of mind, and of love.
The story really sounds like it will stand alone, to me. So I do not think anyone would feel lost not having read book 1, and honestly, it's been so long since I read it, that it's like I'm reading this one as a stand alone.

Finally, instead of an Amish book, I thought a cozy fiction option would be nice. And so we have an installment in the Cat in the Stacks series, Arsenic and Old Books:


Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, Mississippi, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. She would like librarian Charlie Harris to preserve and substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.

Beck’s biggest rival would like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly, leaving Charlie with a catalog of questions to answer. Together with his Maine Coon cat Diesel, Charlie must discover why the diaries were worth killing for before he too reaches his final chapter.
This title is book 6 in that series, but cozy fiction titles always can stand alone, so I think it would be fine for us to jump in at this point. I've read book 1, and this particular installment really grabbed me with the premise.

And so we have 4 contenders. Two have female protagonists, and two have males; 3 are either inspirational or religious-based fiction, and 1 is secular, so a nice mix. All of these books are available both in print, and as ebooks, so you'd have your choice, and can see if your public library has them in either form. What do you all think?! Go ahead and vote!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Tea Time with Tiffany #96 - Exciting meetup edition!

It's a big meetup edition of:

Yesterday, I journeyed north to Toronto to meetup with my good friend Sam, who I've known for over a year, but never met in person!





**To subscribe to the audio version of Tea Time with Tiffany, just search for it in iTunes or use this link to subscribe via Feedburner in your podcatcher of choice. Intro music is "Tea Ceremony" from PlayonLoop.com

Items mentioned in this episode:


Have you ever met someone in real life that you had only known previously online? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It's an errandy kind of day, as I tornado about prior to a big meetup...

I'm off from work both today and tomorrow, which is a pleasant change from the main part of the semester. Today, Anne's kindergarten class is hosting the school Mass, and it's at 12:30, so it seemed pointless to go to work just for a few hours. I also had a list of things to do prior to my BIG MEETUP WITH SAMANTHA TOMORROW! :0 This includes testing out a borrowed GPS unit, since I'm driving about 1.5-2 hours to get to our meetup location. (is "meetup" even a single word? Well, it is now!! ;-)) I have a very old car that barely has a CD player let along a built-in GPS unit, and let's just say that your Catholic Librarian is a bit lacking in the navigational skills arena. If Mike gets turned around while driving, he whips out a bit street map, zeros in on our location, and plots a logical route from there. I...panic. Then say a swear word. Then I start to sweat. Then I glare at passing cars, like it is their fault that I have gotten myself lost. Then I sit and stew for a little bit before making an educated guess as to which way to turn. I figured this wasn't the best course of action for a trip like this one, which involves crossing an international border.

So I borrowed a portable GPS unit from my in-laws. It's more than several years old, so I'm nervous about it, but it seems to be working all right. I keep looking at it anxiously. I can feel myself slowly morphing into my mother as I type, being suspicious of the GPS unit and "not really trusting this thing." We'll see how this goes tomorrow. 😬

In the meantime, I'm flitting about the house getting other things done. Kevin left a comment on yesterday's Bible journaling post about the Summer Book Club, and that reminded me that I need to get that book poll together! I think that I'm going to add a few titles, and tweak a few based upon feedback from my Tea Time on this topic. I'm going to work on that this week, and aim to have the post up next Tuesday or Wednesday! I'm excited. Now that things have slowed down for me a bit, I've been reading more, and I have to say that I am LOVING it. I'm certain there will be lots of book posts this summer, even outside of our organized book club!

All right. I have to go make Mike miserable by tornadoing through his office to straighten it up. :0 I'm hosting an event on Saturday (a Lularoe pop up for those of you who also enjoy such frivolities) and this means that I transform into Frenzied Tiffany, overpowering microscopic bits of dust wherever I go. ;-) I will be recording Tea Time on Friday, and it'll be a Samantha Meetup Edition! If you still have book club suggestions, you can still leave those in the comments!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Scripture reading plans and Bible journaling...

Greetings all on a new week! I have lots going on this week, including a big MEET UP WITH SAMANTHA!!

*streamers!*

More on that to come later this week. But I'm terribly excited!

Going into this week, for whatever reason, I've had Bible study and reading plans on my mind. I'd like to read some Scripture each day, even if it's only a small snippet. So, I was on Amazon this morning, surfing for Scripture reading plans. I came across a number of interesting titles (like How to Read Your Way to Heaven) and had in mind to find a plan I could use with my existing Bible (the beautiful Catholic Women's Devotional Bible, a gift from my Cristina *beams*). I'm definitely intrigued by How to Read Your Way to Heaven, which includes not only a Bible reading plan, but also the Catechism as well as other important spiritual works, but right now I really need something SMALL. :-) Just a way to organize myself each day to read a little Scripture. As I was searching I realized that my Bible *does* include a reading plan in the back, I'd just have to flip back and forth to find the necessary verses each day. Plus, happening upon Daily Mass Readings books on Amazon reminded me that I also have a subscription to Magnificat magazine. So I do already have a few tools at my disposal. This caused my little mind to be all awhirl.

As I was searching, I discovered something else terribly interesting. Remember that journaling post from a few weeks back? That got the most hits of any post in April, and a lot of interaction in the comments. Journaling definitely seemed to touch a chord with all of you, even if we collectively aren't all that great with being consistent with it. ;-) Suddenly, I came upon this:


http://a.co/4pzjyS4

A Catholic Journaling Bible (for Psalms and New Testament, and there is also one for the Old Testament). Cindy!!! I immediately thought of you! :0 Cindy had mentioned in the comments of the journaling post that she loved the idea of a journaling Bible, wherein you could write your own notes in the margin, but that she hadn't yet come across a Catholic one. These are brand new, came out in 2017. They include pages for painting or coloring, and a wide margin with thick paper for drawing or writing on each page. It's only *11.69* at Amazon right now for the New Testament volume! The Old Testament is more expensive at $29.99, but that makes sense in terms of length. What do you think, are you all intrigued?! I'm tempted to order the New Testament volume! My only qualm is with the font layout and size. Go read the comments over at Amazon and you'll see what I mean. There are no paragraph breaks aside from chapters, and the text size is somewhat small. So it's just low rows of continual text. That might be hard on these already compromised eyes, I'm not sure. But I LOVE the concept of this and wanted to show you all! What do you think of this idea?

Also, do you have a Bible reading plan? Which Bible do you use? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tea Time with Tiffany #95 - Summer blog planning!

It's a restless, trying-to-get-organized edition this week of:

Today I dwell on where I've come with Tea Time, as well as Life of a Catholic Librarian generally, and evaluate where we should go from here. Have ideas? Join me!





**To subscribe to the audio version of Tea Time with Tiffany, just search for it in iTunes or use this link to subscribe via Feedburner in your podcatcher of choice. Intro music is "Tea Ceremony" from PlayonLoop.com

Items mentioned in this episode:
Where should we go together this summer? Do you have any ideas for the Tea Time podcast and how I could freshen it as we move forward towards our 100 episode milestone? Let's chat in the comments!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Singlehandedly raising the average patron age at Piercing Pagoda by at least 25 years, we have...

...your Catholic Librarian, at your service.

Sooooooo, I'm not exactly what you would call an adventurous person. ;-) But every once in a while, I like to mix it up and pretend that I wouldn't spend the rest of my life holed away in a hermitage wearing sackcloth and ashes (so long as I had WIFI and could still communicate with everyone via social media) if I could. Occasionally, I get bold. Or, at least my version of Introvert Bold. And so, over the weekend, it occurred to me that I'd like to get my ears pierced.

Granted, my ears are ALREADY pierced. I had a main lobe piercing done when I was about 8 years old, the way everybody did back in the 80's: at the mall, sitting in a chair in the window at our closest Claire's boutique store, with 2 teenage girls pointing piercing guns at my ears. Yes, that's the way they did it back then, both ears at the same time! I guess it helped with little girls deciding they didn't really want the second ear pierced after getting a load of the first one. :0

And it wasn't that bad. I remember a few tears, but on the whole I braved it pretty well, and I loved having pierced ears. The piercing held up well, too. Before I was a performer, I'd go months without wearing earrings, and my holes have never closed. I never really thought much about it until this weekend. My best friend Cristina got her nose pierced, and it looks BEAUTIFUL, and I'm all: "maybe I should get a solidarity piercing?!" Because that's what friends do. ;-)

The idea gained steam as the weekend wore on, and like the true librarian that I am, I buried my nose in a little research. It seems that many people, when they get, you know, OLDER, tend to skirt away from the Claire's piercing gun and instead go to a tattoo and piercing shop, where there are experienced piercers on staff. Indeed, a tattoo place did sound infinitely more appealing to me than navigating the prom and Sweet 16 displays at Claire's, until I read that at a tattoo shop they use a needle to pierce your body part. Excuse me while I continue to live in denial, but NO THANK YOU. I choose to pretend that the piercing gun merely has a cupid's arrow inside of it, and not an actual needle.

*shudders*

I only wanted a second ear piercing. A piercing gun sounded just fine to me, even if it does have some drawbacks. I braced myself to be accosted by spinning racks of rhinestones and Justin Bieber posters at Claire's. Then I remembered Piercing Pagoda. A staple kiosk at malls everywhere, they offer more piercing services than Claire's, and I felt somewhat less conspicuous going there. Granted, I'm certain that their usual clientele is much *somewhat* younger than myself. But it seemed less teeny bopperish. AND they use an old fashioned piercing gun. And by old fashioned I mean newer and not nearly as scary as the 80's version. :0

Yesterday, I left work a tad early to head to the mall and Piercing Pagoda. The girl who was working wasn't a teenager, which I considered a bonus. PLUS, she had all sorts of awesome piercings and thus seemed super experienced. 😰 She was very pleasant and helped me pick out simple piercing earrings. Then she got ready while I sat in The Chair and contemplated whether this was all part of a midlife crisis for really boring people. Before I could determine an answer, she was ready, and carefully did some measurements. Soon, she was all set to go and so was I. They no longer do both ears at the same time (big surprise :0) so I was ready for it to feel like I was getting a vaccination. Except in my ear.

But really? It didn't feel like that. It didn't hurt AT ALL. :0 I'm certain other piercings do (that would be those that I can't even think about lest I faint dead away), but ear lobes are much less tear worthy than when I was 8. She did the second ear, and I was good to go, my cute little pink studs a badge of midlife honor. And here they are:


Not everyday that you get EAR PICTURES here at Life of a Catholic Librarian, but there you have it! I have to say: I LOVE THEM. I'm so glad that I got it done! So now every morning and evening I'm busily applying this little solution she gave me and twirling my earrings so that they'll heal properly. Yes, I do feel a little old to be doing such things, but you know what the good thing is about reaching a certain milestone age?

You don't care anymore. 😂

I love my little pink studs. They make me feel young and sassy. ;-) All right, this isn't typically how we close out a post, but here we go: do you have any piercings (that you feel comfortable talking about :0)? Are you hankering to get anymore? I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Little girls who cough in the night...

Sunday night/early Monday morning, in the home of the Catholic Librarian:

*Tiffany and Mike blissfully sleeping*

Suddenly...

*cough. cough. coughcoughcough. COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*

Anne has seasonal allergies, and spring is her roughest season. Obviously, I'm sympathetic. It just takes me longer to be enthusiastic about aforementioned sympathies at 2 am. Just like when I had newborns, I wait it out for several minutes, hoping that a miracle will come down from the sky and the child will fall back to sleep on their own. And how many times has THAT ever worked?

*COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*

*long suffering sigh*

I drag myself out of bed and down the stairs. I sleepily fetch Anne's allergy medication, and carefully measure it out. I then drag self back up stairs and into her room. I give her the medicine, some water, an extra pillow to prop her head up more, and tuck her back in.

*jump back into bed*

*sigh of contentment*

*cough. cough. coughcoughcough. COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*

This goes on for what feels like hours while I wait for the medicine to kick in, but in actuality is only 10 minutes. I finally give up on sleep and head back to Anne's room.

"Anne honey, do you want to try and sleep on Mommy's chest so that you'll be propped up?"

Why yes, yes she would.

I lean up against the wall while Anne gets comfortable in my lap. Despite the fact that only 5 seconds have elapsed, my neck is already developing a crink.

"Anne. Are you settled yet?"

"Almost."

*jabs knees into my kidney*

"That's better."

Oh good. At least she's comfortable.

😱

She's not coughing anymore, but she's also not staying STILL.

"Anne."

*removes elbow from ribs*

"Aren't you comfortable yet?"

"Well." *pounds head into sternum* "I'm rather hot, actually."

Oh are you really, actually?

"How about Mommy sleeps on your floor instead? You can stay up here in the bed."

Oh, she likes that idea.

Even though she isn't propped up, this seems to soothe her. I don't want to go back into our bedroom and risk waking Mike, so I adopt Oreo the penguin as my "pillow" and Anne's comforter as my blanket. The crink in my neck has now moved all the way down my back.

*cough. cough. coughcoughcough. COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*

Within about 15 minutes, Anne falls asleep. Guess who is still awake? But come 6:30 am...

"MOMMY!" *head peeks down!* " IT'S MORNIN' TIME!"

She's all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to start her day. I guess that's the 35 year age difference at play. 

😴

And another thing that happens as you get older: I won't fully recover from this bad night for about another, oh, week and half. :0 How was YOUR weekend, dear reader?