Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 30

Today I am thankful for:

  • Our knitting finale at the library! We invited families of 'tween knitters, as well as the Library Board and library staff, to come have snacks and check out the handiwork of these amazing kiddos. I hope it all turns out... and I hope the kids remember to bring their projects!

  • The confidence that I will find my lost favorite scarf

  • The fact that none of you were at our house this morning to witness the goings-on when I realized my scarf was missing

  • Knitting

  • Puppets

  • Those easy-to-peel little satsumas

  • Wrapping Christmas presents! I know I said that yesterday, but I'm thankful for it again.

  • Dinner simmering away in the Crock Pot... turkey enchiladas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 29

Today I am thankful for:
  • A mid-day nap before heading to work for the evening
  • A peppermint mocha while waiting for the bus on a rainy afternoon
  • Wrapping Christmas presents! I love doing this. I could wrap Christmas presents all year long and be perfectly happy.
  • A nice long walk outside this morning (before the rain started)
  • Plans of getting a Christmas tree this weekend
  • A spur-of-the-moment date with Karl at our favorite Thai place last night (our three favorite restaurants are all Thai... hmmm... I wonder if the Struckmeyers like curry?)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 28

Today is lovely and sunny, and I'm thankful for a long walk outside this morning. I'm also thankful for a husband who makes up songs and laughs with me and fixes me afternoon snacks. I think I got a good one.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 27

Today I'm working, and I'm especially thankful for:
  • A good job
  • Flexibility in program planning... this afternoon we're having a Wimpy Kid party. So fun.
  • A wonderful husband who helped me carry in all of my Wimpy Kid supplies this morning
  • Friendly co-workers who I look forward to seeing every day
  • The opportunity to work in a library... I love libraries.
  • Tons and tons of good books
  • The people who come through the library door, looking for help with all kinds of things

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Give-Away Edition

I'm thankful that I'm cuddled up at home today, not at the mall with 857,000 people. I made some Tuscan Turkey Soup for Karl and I for lunch... mmmm.
I'm thankful that I decided to give up on the extra-weird book I was reading. It was bringing me down, so it's going back to the library.
And I'm thankful to offer you a little give-away, just in time for Christmas. It's the Folkmanis shaggy dog puppet. I recently got one for work, and it is so adorable, I thought you should have one too.

A word of caution: The picture of this puppet makes it look very neat and orderly. It's actually more wild and could possibly be described as "mangy" (in a good way, of course). I just don't want to mislead anyone...
To enter the give-away, just leave a comment or send me an email telling me your favorite animal. I'll draw a name on Saturday, December 4, and the puppet will be at your house in time to be wrapped up and placed under the tree.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 24

Today I am thankful for:

  • A day off! I took a vacation today (and I am very stingy with my vacation days), and it was so nice. I finished reading a book, had breakfast with Karl, did some shopping, and went to yoga in the middle of the day. During yoga, I kept thinking, "This is so great!" It just felt really luxurious to not be at work on a weekday.
  • Several Christmas presents crossed off my list... one even went in the mail today
  • A supersmart husband who studies a lot
  • Thanksgiving tomorrow! We're having some friends over, and all Karl and I have to do is make the turkey. Easy peasy... at least I hope so. I've never cooked a turkey before. Luckily, Mark Bittman and Betty Crocker are here to help.
  • A Harry Potter date with my sweetie tonight!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 23

Even though it's super cold out today, I'm thankful for the sun shining in through my office window.

I'm thankful for the little girl whose grandpa didn't know that there are no storytimes this week... they came at 9:30 (our usual toddler storytime), and they were surprised to find an empty storytime room. Empty except for me; I was in there organizing some things. So we read a few books, just me and the little girl and her grandpa. And we played with a few puppets. Short and sweet. I think she loved it.

I'm thankful for a good night's sleep and a date with the pool today.

And I'm thankful for 3 days off, starting tomorrow! Hooray for holidays!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 22

Today I am thankful for:
  • Fun memories of the weekend (playing board games, making jam, crafting)
  • Kind words
  • No tornado or snow today... both were very possible.
  • Lots of kids signing up for my Diary of a Wimpy Kid party this Saturday

Speaking of Wimpy Kid, I've been trying to find a rubber piece of cheese, about the size of a large potato. I know these exist. Imagine one of those cheese head hats people wear at Packer games, but maybe one-tenth of the size. And without a hole for someone's head. I needed the rubber cheese for a game we're playing at the Wimpy Kid party, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I tried every place I could think of, and finally I just gave up and made my own cheese out of a piece of styrofoam and some orange felt. And you know what? It looks pretty darn cute.

I'm thankful for cute homemade styrofoam cheese.

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Weekend Edition

I'm thankful for a weekend of creating.

On Saturday, I went to my mom's house and we made cherry-almond jam...

And on Sunday, a few friends came over and we made Advent calendars using library book pockets.

So fun... just stick 24 pockets to a piece of tagboard, decorate, and fill each pocket with a note or treat. Then the lucky recipient opens one pocket each day in December until Christmas.

My friend Laurie made these gorgeous ornaments... just off the top of her head, free-hand. So amazing.

And Karl is home safe and sound (and sleepy!) from deer hunting. I'm for sure thankful for that!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 19

Today I am thankful for...
  • Rummage sales and thrift stores... I recently scored a pair of wooden clogs for $2 at a church sale. Don't worry; I'm not wearing them. They are props for next summer's library program (the theme is "Around the World"... what could be more around the worldy than wooden clogs?).
  • A post office within walking distance of work
  • Lots of fun plans this weekend! While Karl is sitting in a tree for hours upon hours waiting for an unsuspecting animal to walk by, I'll be making cherry jam, going to yoga, playing board games, making Christmas countdown calendars, and hopefully starting to decorate a little bit.
  • A special sneaky surprise! I can't tell you what it is now, but you'll see soon... Oh gosh I am so excited.
  • Being excited and having fun and having something to think about besides the regular old same boring stuff like the what to make for dinner

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 18

Today I am thankful for:
  • Cherry pie
  • Thanksgiving around the corner
  • A few Christmas decorations I might put up this weekend (sneakily... while Karl is deer hunting)
  • Honeycrisp apples
  • Office supplies (cute ones; I don't mean staples)
  • Bus #74

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 17

One day last week, I went swimming and there was a water exercise class going on at the same time as my lap swim. The class was made up of mainly older women, and as they exercised, they were singing all of these great old-timey songs. The one that sticks in my mind is Bicycle Built for Two. Just imagine a group of 25 grandmotherly ladies in bathing suits and aqua-sox, treading water with foam noodles, singing that song. It was adorable. I'm thankful for those ladies and their voices that have made me smile and smile and smile every time I've thought of them for the past week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 16

Today I am really thankful for the sweet potato burritos I made last month and put in the freezer. It's just nice to have a hot lunch some days, you know?

I'm also thankful that my wonderful mother had the foresight to buy Door County cherries and freeze them so we can make cherry jam this weekend! It's really delicious if you put a little amaretto in, so it's cherry-almond flavored. We might try out my new boiling water canner.

Besides freezers and frozen items, I'm also thankful for a friend who gave me a great idea yesterday. I've been worried about my 'tween knitting group at the library; I have 14 kids who come, and another 14 on a waiting list. In January, I'm starting up a new knitting session, and I'm opening it up to the kids on the waiting list first. Which means the kids who are currently in my knitting group will be high and dry. So my friend suggested that I post something at the UW library school to see if any librarians-in-training would want to run a knitting group with the kids who already know how. It would be a great volunteer opportunity, plus we could accommodate all of our knitters. Perfect! Why didn't I think of that? So I sent an email off right away... we'll see what happens!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 15

The sun is shining today! And the new co-op just opened this morning, within walking distance of the library. I'd say there's lots to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Weekend Edition

Is it Sunday night already?! How does that happen so fast? We've had a full weekend with plenty go be thankful for, including:
  • A newly-painted green living room. Good-bye, whitest of white walls... hello, color!
  • A chance to spend all day with Karl on Saturday. We taped, we painted, we went out for a drink... so fun to just be together.
  • A visit from Lia, and a delicious brunch (which included German chocolate cupcakes) with her and my mom this morning
  • A box of clementines on the kitchen counter
  • NPR
  • Good books
  • Hilarious friends
  • Projects involving scrapbooking supplies. I'm not a scrapbooker, but I love love love all of those adorable stickers and stamps and die-cut shapes. And I got to use them today... pictures to come later this week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 12

Today I am thankful for:
  • My friend Lindsay visiting! It's so nice to spend time with a bestie like her. She lives in San Diego, but her parents moved here not long ago, so it's super fun to see her when she comes to see her family. Tonight we went out to for brick-oven pizza... yum.
  • A big librarian meeting today where we talked about the 2011 summer reading program. We're already getting jazzed even though it's still months away.
  • A new thick, warm winter hat. It's wooly on the outside and fleecey in the inside.
  • Green paint waiting to go on our living room walls
  • Two finished knitting projects
  • Pink things
  • Apples

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ten on Ten :: November

A favorite little glimpse

My "take to work" pile (except it was facing the other way... just tilt your head for the full effect)

Construction is coming along...
They're building a new Target, right by our house! I'm not shopping at Target right now, but hopefully in the future I will, because this is going to be really convenient.
Hello, cubicle.

Carts and carts of Halloween books in the Youth Services office, making their way back down to storage

In my cubicle, I have two little shelves. This is the top one...
And this is the bottom one.

Here is a close-up of part of the bottom shelf. That metal thing is something I found in a cookie in the staff lounge. I almost cracked a tooth on it. I keep it because it's a good conversation piece. And good motivation for me to stay out of the lounge. I'd like to keep my teeth, thank you very much.

View from the bus on the way home (at 5pm! It's so dark!)... that's a new co-op going up within walking distance to the library! Hooray!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 11

I'm thankful that:
  • the only thing left on my to-do list for today is "Write Ten on Ten Blog Post," which of course is entirely optional. I like optional.
  • a friend from college is coming over for dinner! We haven't seen each other in over eleven years. We met when I was an RA in her freshman dorm. I bet I could dig up some really great photos from that year!
  • there is a fire ready to light in the fireplace. I'll be doing that pronto.
  • I finished a humongous project today. Don't be too impressed; it involved making a weasel paper bag puppet. It feels good to be done, puppets or no puppets.
  • I didn't have to wear a coat today! And it's November! And it's Wisconsin! I'm in love with the weather. Please don't go.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 10

Is it really November 10th already? Wowza. The month is one-third over and I feel like the only things I've expressed gratitude for are food, yoga, and more food. Oh, and knitting. I better get serious!

Last night, I was talking with a friend about how the items in my Thirty Days project seem kind of shallow, but then I stopped and realized that my goals in doing this are:

1. To recognize how lucky I am with everyday ordinary things, and
2. To blog more.

So I'll just keep going...

Today I'm thankful for:
  • Remembering my camera so I can take pictures for Ten on Ten
  • An item on my to-do list: "Get blog design." I'm serious. Know any good blog designers? I don't need anything fancy.
  • A super-fun night ahead, full of dancing and laughing. Did I mention I joined a go-go dance group in August? I did. We meet on Wednesdays. Wednesdays rule. Well, almost as much as Tuesdays do.
  • Coat-free November days (those are rare in Wisconsin!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 9

This morning, when the alarm clock started beeping, the first number on it was a 4. As in 4:40. Bleh. It was so dark outside, and it was so cozy in the bed... but I got up, made my oatmeal, packed up, and headed to 6am yoga. At the time, I would have loved to dive back in between the flannel sheets, but right now, I'm so glad I went to class. I go to hot yoga, and I always leave super sweaty and feeling awesome. Every time I go, I think, "I forgot how great this feels," even if it's only been a couple of days. If you've never been to a hot yoga class, let me tell you, it is a workout. Gentle stretching and deep breathing while soft music plays in the background? Nuh-uh.

Today I'm thankful for:
  • My husband playing basketball in the morning while I sweat it out in the yoga studio... I'm so glad he has people to play with. He's recently started playing at our church, which is great. Selfishly, I hope this will help us meet more people there.
  • A sudden, unexpected onslaught of cool people in my life.
  • The holidays approaching (is it too early to put up a tree?)
  • Free-range turkeys... I just ordered ours!
  • Good books
  • Hot tea
  • Secret plans
  • Giggling on the phone with BFFs
  • Knitting! Tonight we're meeting at a coffee shop across the street from Trader Joe's. Which brings me to my next point...
  • Trader Joe's, and the chance to go there tonight!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 8

Today I am thankful for:
  • Rescued recipes... yesterday's butternut squash casserole in the pressure cooker turned out as soupy as can be, but with a few additions, it turned out to be delicious! Nothing like the picture in the cookbook, but that's okay.
  • Dogs. Karl and I are working on getting one. We're a little lazy, which might explain why we haven't gotten one yet.
  • Warm weather, even in Wisconsin in November. I took a walk at lunchtime and didn't even have to wear a jacket!
  • Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. My favorite show, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, is now on CMT. We don't have cable, so thankfully it is online. You might think it sounds ridiculous, and it kind of is, but mostly it is awesome.
  • My bank. I just got a new debit card in the mail, and it has the same number as my old card- it just has a new expiration date. This made it super quick to update my online accounts that use my debit card, like PayPal and Community Car. Thank you, bank, for making my life a little easier.
  • Daylight Savings Time. How great was it to have an extra hour yesterday?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 7

Today I am thankful for...
  • Sunshine
  • A clean house
  • Our pressure cooker... I'm making butternut squash casserole and portobello mushroom soup today, both in the pressure cooker.
  • A yoga studio within biking distance of our house... I'll be going there later this afternoon!
  • A husband who cooks breakfast... today he made from-scratch hashbrowns and a mushroom and goat cheese omelet. Seriously, I want to eat weekend breakfast all the time. During the week, I eat the same breakfast every day (a boiled egg at home, and a thermos of oatmeal when I get to work), so I love it when Karl makes something delicious on the weekend. Last week he made pumpkin waffles. I probably ate about 30 of them.
  • A Facebook-free weekend. I haven't even taken one tiny peek. Love it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 6

Today I am thankful for:

  • Finding canning jars for half-price at the hardware store (and the look of glee on Karl's face when he also found a router table there for half price)
  • The farmers' market
  • Mid-afternoon naps
  • Our electric blanket (affectionately nicknamed "Leckie")
  • Made-from-scratch broccoli cheese soup
  • My sweet, hilarious husband who by the way did all of the laundry earlier this week, so now I don't have to do it on the weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 5

Today I have the day off from the library, so I'm substitute teaching. I know, I know, days off are for lounging around in pajamas, watching movies, going to yoga class in the middle of the day... but I can't pass up the cash from subbing. Should I have said something like "I sub on my days off because I love children," or, "I just love maintaining a connection with the schools"? Those would be lies. I do love children, and a lot of times subbing is fun, but my real motivation is the money, especially with the holidays around the corner. Otherwise you can bet I'd be in my pj's or at yoga.

And I scored a great job today, teaching kindergarten at a school that is right across the street from a yarn shop. Guess where I'm going after work?

So today I am thankful for...
  • My Education degree and teaching license
  • Yarn shops
  • A strong school district (even the subs here are in a Union)
  • Public transportation (The #11 bus got me to work today!)
  • Recess

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 4

Today I'm thankful for good things happening in the world. Like this auction, being held to raise money for my friend Bridget, who is kicking cancer. Bidding doesn't start till later this month, but take a sneak peek! I don't have a lot of money, but I am thankful to be able to help anyway, by donating items for the auction. So far I've come up with these two vintage book posters:

This one is from Willaby by Rachel Isadora (1977). Wouldn't it be perfect for a little girl's room?

And this one is from The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall (1978). My favorite book by this author/illustrator duo is The Table Where Rich People Sit. But all of their books are great. I bet your library has some of them!
Oh, and one other thing: I'm thankful for books and libraries and sleeping an extra 15 minutes this morning.

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 3

Today I am thankful for my fabulous knitting group. We've been meeting for at least six years; we started off meeting in the upstairs area of a little restaurant called Lazy Jane's, and since then we've met in various coffee shops and yarn stores around town. Now we mainly meet at one another's homes. Last night I hosted. When I say "hosted," I mean, "checked to make sure there were no dirty underwear hanging around and threw together a pot of chili." That's the kind of friends these are-- the ones who can see my dust bunnies and dirty dishes and I don't care. Six-plus years of knitting (and laughing, crying, sympathizing, and celebrating) together can transform a random group of girls into a (brace yourself) close-knit community. Love you, knitters!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 2

Today I'm thankful that I only work a couple of blocks from the local high school, where I like to go lap swimming. If I finagle things right, I can go during my lunch break... in fact, that's where I'm going now!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 1

Today I am thankful for a really great job. I'm so lucky to have it.

I'm also thankful that the Chinese restaurant down the street donated dinner for tonight's third and final installment in our 'tween Banned Books Club. We'll be discussing The Adventures of Captain Underpants while chowing down on something not made by me... I think the kids will appreciate that almost as much as I do!

And I'm thankful for knitting. My sister-in-law is pregnant with her second baby, and this morning I picked out yarn to make matching sweaters for Levi (our nephew) and the baby, who is due in April. I chose a really soft washable wool in a rich, dark red. Perfect for a boy or a girl.

One last thing: I'm thankful that my friend Cassie posted about Thirty Days of Thankfulness today... I almost forgot!