Those Little Study Rooms in the Library? Yeah. They’re Not Sound Proof, and Don’t Eat the Exercise Equipment.

As of this morning, my new camera was sitting less than an hour’s drive away from me.  He’s not due to arrive before tomorrow, but maybe, just maybe, they would deliver Dave a day early? Maybe?

If so, I’d have to be ready to sign for him.  They won’t just leave him on the doorstep.  Today took me back to those days best long-forgotten, when I’d hang around by the phone waiting for a boy to call.  Because today someone had to stay in the living room by the front door, at all times, in case Dave arrived.

While I showered I told the boys to be on special alert and Stay In The Living Room.  They asked, “But what if the person shows up while you’re in the shower?”  Then I will leap from the shower, fling on a robe, and answer the door, never mind the shampoo fluffing out behind me.

I got a call from the library saying that another book I’d ordered was in.  At 7:00 Darling Husband and I were just about to set out to walk to the library to retrieve the book.  But then he looked at the tracking information for the camera and hollared, “Wait!  It says here that sometimes items will be delivered to home addresses after 7 p.m.”

Darling Husband stayed home to wait by the door while I walked alone to the library.

But no Dave.

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It was really quiet in the library.  I mean, really quiet.  Which is unusual because we have a teeny-tiny library and noisy librarians.  They talk at full volume back and forth to each other all day long.  

I’m thinking of ingratiating myself in with the librarians.  Maybe I’ll invite myself to their homes.  Hey, I’ve done it before!

Why?  Because the librarians are very nerdy and read all the same books I do, and usually before I can get to them.  They’ll give me critiques, “Ooo.  That one was really good!”  They’re always right.  And they love nerdy fantasy movies like I do.  And they use long words and make jokes with the long words and laugh and laugh at them.  And I laugh, too.  And, don’t tell Darling Husband, but the one librarian even quotes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  It’s her favorite movie.  If you even mention Monty Python and the Holy Grail to Darling Husband, he will quote the entire movie.  (“What…is your favorite color?)

Anyway.  When I arrived at the library today it was dead silent. Uncomfortably so.

Shhh!  The library looks big, but this is pretty much the whole thing. (I’m in the shot because I used my mini-tripod.)

But then some students arrived and went into one of the study rooms and started talking to each other in normal voices and you could hear them all over the teeny-tiny library.

Which reminds me of a story.  It’s not my story, but I’ll tell it anyway.

My friend likes to sing.  She majored in music in college.  She leads the choir at her church.  One day, she was in the library and wandered in to one of the study rooms.  For whatever reason, she thought they were sound proof.  You know where this story is going, right?  Right.  She began to sing.  Loudly.  Very loudly.  She was thinking, “This is my chance!  Finally!  I can belt out this song in my own little private soundproof room and really hit those high notes!”

Someone eventually pounded on her study room door to tell the crazy lady to knock it off.

Anyway, I was in the library alone today.  Bad, bad, bad.  Library—books—me—alone?  I went in for one book and came out with five, and that was only because I’d walked and the pile was getting too heavy for me to carry.

But not for long, because I’ve been working on my arms and wrists lately.  I walk on the treadmill in the morning, and about a month ago I started using the weight bench in the creepy, million legger-filled basement.  The only reason I’ve started doing this is that there have been a number of times where I’ve had to hold my camera above my head for a picture.  And that takes  more strength than my wasted little arms could easily handle.

While I walk I squeeze those things that you squeeze to strengthen your wrists. What are they called?  How do I describe them?  If only there was some way to show you what these little wrist exercise things are.  Maybe I can sketch one for you and then scan it…  😉

Here’s a picture.

Wrist exercise things

Dang it!  I was so busy taking the picture and uploading it that I forgot what the whole point to this was.  Something about lifting weights so that I’ll have buff arms and strong wrists.

Oh yeah!  I need strength to hold cameras above my head.  And Dave will be even heavier than Clarisse, so this is extra-important.

Speaking about those wrist exercisers, and while I’m on a roll telling other people’s stories, I have a friend named John.  Somewhere in his teens, he was squeezing those little exercise things, when he got the notion in his head, “I wonder what would happen if I put this in my mouth?”  So, he squeezed the exercise thing and put it in his mouth.  Can you see him?  Squeeza, squeeza…look at it consideringly…squeeza…pop into mouth.

Ouch!  Stuck!  Stuck!  Stuuuuuck!

He had to find his mother and have her shove the sides of his cheeks to close the exercise thing enough to pop it out.  He reports that it took forever for her to get it out, but mostly because his mother was so weak from laughter.

John was always doing dumb things when he was a kid.  There was the time his parents had a go cart.  He was given strict instructions not to drive the go cart without his father.  He nodded, “Yes, yes!  Of course!  Never ride without dad! Got it!”

But as soon as his parents left the house, BAM! The screen door slammed open and John was in the air leaping down the steps to the go-cart.  Vroom! vroom! around the yard until the neighbor’s Doberman caught sight of him and started chasing him.  Grrrrr!  Big dog, little go cart, panicked John.  John crashed the go-cart, which made the dog run away and left John with a totalled go cart and a steering wheel-shaped bruise on his chest.  It was the only time his dad said, “He’s been punished enough.”

Ok.  I’ve run out of steam.  No more stories tonight.  This blog didn’t make a lick of sense.

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The Stand: 460 down, 693 to go.  If I wasn’t blogging, I’d already know how this ends!  Suspense!  Two days ago I thought the faceless man was a metaphor, but now I’m thinking he’s real.  Kinda.  Dunno.

——————

Oh, and The Man from Earth was very stupid!  Spoilers below:

In the end, they ask the 14,000 year old cave man if he was ever anyone famous from history and he tells them that he was Jesus.  He was crucified, but he used his eastern techniques to slow down his heart and they thought he was dead and buried him.  But then his body healed itself and they thought he’d risen from the dead.

Oh, come on!  I wouldn’t put something that lame in my blog, much less in a movie that people would have to pay to see.

Every 10 years, the cave man would up and leave where he was and move somewhere else, even if he had a wife and children.  He’d just abandon them before they could realize he wasn’t aging past 35 years old.

Turns out that one of the cave man’s old friends was one of the cave man’s sons, who always wondered why his daddy abandoned them when he was a kid.  The 60-year old son was so shocked by the news that the cave man was his father (confirmed by knowing their pet dog’s name) that he keeled over and died of a heart attack.

The end.

Sheesh.

Give that Boy a Goat Herd and Rage Against the Machine

Though we like the idea of homeschooling while cuddled on the couch, Boy7 has been getting increasingly wiggly over the past few months. There we are sitting on the couch, nestled in our blankets, huddled over a math book when I turn away to pick up a pencil and boom!, the child is sitting on his head with his feet waving in the air and I’m in danger of being kicked in the teeth.  Enough is enough.  I brought up a school desk from the basement today.

Thankfully, seven year olds are curious little creatures and the idea of sitting at a school desk is a novel one, so the transition was easy.  He happily sat at his kid-sized school desk and doodled all over his math page.

I’ve decided to officially start teaching the boys Home Economics beginning with laundry and dishwashing.  If Bedouin children can care for an entire flock of goats by the age of 3, surely my kids can figure out how to spin the dial on the washing machine.  It’s not like in the olden days when their arms would be ripped off in the squeezing dryer thingee.

I was inspired to begin the training early after listening to my Soup Day friends groan over how difficult it is to teach their teenagers how to do things around the house.  If I start now, before the children are bigger than me, I can still stifle a revolt by pinning the child to the ground and tickling him until he says uncle.

My Soup Day friends had me a little nervous about teaching Home Ec.  Gee would I even be able to teach my kids?  And then this morning it hit me: I homeschool the kids.  I homeschool the kids!  Duh!! I’ve taught them every single thing they know.  For good or ill, it’s all on me, and has been all along.

Yes, teaching children is probably one of the most frustrating tasks of my life, but I’m so numbed to it by now that teaching Home Ec should be just one more frustration in an already frustrating day.  If teaching them to read, which was pure agony, didn’t kill me than nothing will.

Speaking of frustrating, today had its moments.

I headed off to Gettysburg library for some art books I’ll need for Friday’s co-op.  After the library I was going to get my grocery shopping done.  And yes, it snowed today.  It was a freak snow squall that lasted only about 5 minutes, but I promise you, when I say that it rains, sleets or snows every grocery shopping day, I’m telling you the truth.

Anyway, I didn’t want to drive from Gettysburg to Hanover to do my grocery shopping, so for the first time ever, I decided to go to Giant in Gettysburg.

On the drive to the library, I got a call from Gerhard. “Hey.  Did you ever find your Nasalcrom?”  “Not yet.”  “Well, I’m at the Gettysburg Giant and they have it here.  Would you like me to pick it up for you?” “(!) No, actually, I’ll be there within the hour.  I’ll get it myself.”

As I’m driving along, I can’t help but notice that the weird weather has made some gorgeous shadows on the landscapes around me.  There’s an odd mixture of threatening black storm clouds and big puffy white cottony clouds and large patches of sunlight on everything.  Very moody.  The battlefield with its canons and monuments looked spectacular.

I was very tempted to take pictures, but no.  Need to stay on task: library, grocery shop.

Couldn’t park in the library parking lot because only the compact car spots were left.  Couldn’t find my library book because the librarians are crafty.  They don’t want to be out of jobs, so they hide the good books from the customers so you’re forced to ask for help finding them.  Then they roll their eyes at you and lead you to the trap door under the water fountain where they keep the oversized art books, and shake their heads at you for not figuring this out on your own.  Theirs is a reign of intimidation.

Dealt with those mild frustrations and then drove to Giant, considering whether I should stop for pictures or not….no….gotta get the shopping done.

This Giant is a foreign store, so I had to wander far and wide to find the things I wanted.  Got to the allergy medicine aisle and I could not find the Nasalcrom.  But I knew it was there.  Gerhard said there were five boxes of the stuff not an hour ago.  Where’s the blasted Nasalcrom?  I stared and stared and looked and looked and was seriously on the verge of throwing a weeping fit…when I found it.  Which makes me wonder if it was in all the other stores, too and I just couldn’t find it.

Then I made the mistake of going to the self-check-out register.  I’d heard other people talk about how frustrating the self-check-out register can be.  And I scoffed.  C’mon people, how hard can it be?  People who can’t figure out the self-check-out just aren’t as smart as someone like me, right?

Wrong.  I think my 7 year old Home Ec students could have done better than I did.  I’m not sure if there were instructions posted anywhere or if it was pure baptism by fire, but it took me a good 3 bags to figure out that when you bag your items, the bagging shelf is a little scale, and if it doesn’t feel the weight of your items going into the bag, the machine gets panicky and won’t let you check out anything else.

By the time I figured out what was wrong, it was too late and the machine was pouting in a corner, refusing to cooperate.  I stood there making a fool of myself by alternately pleading with the machine and raging against it, “But I did bag it!  I did!  How about the  mushrooms…please just let me ring up the mushrooms!” and putting the bags on and off of the scale hoping to coax the machine into ringing me up. *

Finally got it all done and headed home.  The sky and the lights were still beautiful, and I couldn’t resist any longer.  Even though there was milk in the car, I turned down a road I’ve never been on and took pictures of a graveyard.  I had about 10 minutes to play before the sun went behind clouds for the rest of the day.

——–

* Yes, I do get the irony that I scoffed at inept self-check-out people, then ended up being just as inept as everyone else.  And now I’m heading down that same path by assuming my homeschooling status will help me teach my kids Home Ec better than my Soup Day friends.  I’m sure I’ll soon be issuing an official apology for blithely ignoring their warnings.

The Bugs Muscled Their Way into my Picture, Two Presents (!), and It’s a Small World

Today is grocery shopping day and wouldn’t you know, as soon as we left the house there was a tremendous downpour.  I told you so!  But at least Darling Husband wasn’t with us, so, shew!, sigh of relief.  I won’t have to cry in the grocery store bathroom.

I shook my fist at the sky and made the rain go away.  But when the sun came out I realized I didn’t have my sunglasses with me, so I had to squint for the rest of the day.

Before the grocery store, the kids and I stopped by Vince’s house to give him a CD of the pictures that I took when we were visiting on Friday. Remember, he told me yesterday that he wants to be a guest blogger and write what “really” happened when we visited.  I don’t know what he’s talking with all this “what really happened” nonsense.  I’m a trustworthy narrator and never, ever exaggerate or make anything up.  Really.  As if.

Vince's Street

This house and barn are on the road that Vince and Gail and their 41 children live on.  Gorgeous!  Had to stop and take pictures.

Then, on to the pediatrician to pick up a prescription.  This house is across the street from the pediatrician.  I have a particular fascination for Dogwood trees against red brick houses; it’s such a pleasing combination.

Dogwood and bricks

Got home after Darling Husband did.  I’d told him to reheat leftovers, but when we got home, he was sadly wandering around the house with a frowny face.  “Why are you looking so sad?”  “I’m not.  I’m trying to remember the last time we ate out.”  Bing!

I called Gerhard and Janet to see if they wanted to go with us, but Gerhard had just finished washing his hands in preparation to try out a new recipe for tortilla soup in his brand new blue Dutch Oven, so they didn’t come with us.

On our way to Li’s Buffet, we saw some lovely clouds.  If you recall, I’m collecting cloud pictures.  But look at these goofy little bugs getting in my shot!  Dumb bugs.  Another day I’ll write about the monster bugs around here.  They live in my basement and work out on the weight bench down there.   There are so many I have to put my name on the sign-up sheet to get a turn on the weight bench.

Dumb bugs

While at Li’s Buffet, Jin pointed out that I was using the chopsticks wrong.  Apparently, it’s a matter of etiquette as to where you hold the chopsticks.  Darling Husband was doing it right so here’s a picture of where you’re supposed to hold the chopsticks. (High—not close to the food.)

Chopsticks. Oyster Sauce. White shirt. Doomed.

Not sure it really worked for Darling Husband, though.  The poor man can’t eat a meal without spilling food all over himself and that goes double for when he’s wearing white.  His first bite of shrimp went winging out of the chopsticks and flew through the air and landed on his shirt.  Same thing happened later with a mushroom.  I couldn’t bear to watch.

While paying the bill I admired some earrings for sale at the counter.  I asked how much they are and Jin said, “For you, they’re free.”  “No, no…I couldn’t.”  “Yes!  Take them.”  “No…really?”  “Yes!”  I think he felt bad for pointing out my bad etiquette with the chopsticks.  Either way; a present!  I love presents!

Aside:  Jin said that the recipes will be completely different at the new restaurant and they hope to open in about a month.  Boy9 told Jin about how he put the cigarette in the Dragon’s mouth at the new restaurant.  Jin said, “I wondered who did that!!”  Here’s the picture again.

Who did that to our dragon???

Then we stopped by the Gettysburg library.  I tried taking pictures of it in the dark, but it was a tricky shot.  I wanted both the well-lit sign and the dark columns.  It was either bright or too dark.  So I used spot metering on the sign and upped the exposure for the columns, and this was the best I got.  It’s so-so.  Not the best, but not horribly bad, and I couldn’t have gotten it at all if I didn’t know about spot metering.    I really should pay Scott in something besides lemon bars.  I can’t believe all the photography stuff I’m learning from him for free.  I wonder if he likes earrings?

Tricky shot.

While we were in the children’s section, we heard the librarian talking on the phone:

“Hello, Gettysburg library.

Sweetie, you’ll have to slow down, I can’t understand you.

No, no…wait.  First, what’s your name?

Can you repeat that slower?
You are Leia Doe.

Yes.  Yes, we have it right here.

No, we’re about to close, but we’ll be open tomorrow at 9:00.”

While we were at the checkout I saw a red lightsaber behind the librarians’ desk.  I thought, “Poor kid who forgot their lightsaber.  I hope they realize they left it at the library and come back for it.”

When we got in the car, Boy9 said, “I wonder if the Leia Doe who called the library was the Leia Doe that we know?”

This made sense.  The Leia Doe that we know talks pretty fast.  And how many kids named Leia Doe are there around here?  I got home and sent her mom a message on Facebook, “Did your Leia call the library this evening?”  Sure enough, it was her!  She’d called because she left her lightsaber there.  Small world.  No, not small world: small town.  You can’t help but know everybody’s business in a small town.

(I wrote about Leia Doe in this post.  You can see her picture—with lightsaber.  She loves that lightsaber.)

Dutch oven, resting in a warm sudsy bath after an evening of hard work.

Got home just in time for Gerhard to call and say the soup was ready and there was a container of it for us if I would come and get it.  Walked down the street to get my soup, and the recipe, and took a picture of the new Dutch oven.  Gerhard also gave me a Cadbury egg.  Two presents in one day!  And of two of my favorite things: earrings and Cadbury eggs.

Library Fines, Shiny Naked People, and Do Not Look at the Police Officer

Me man. You woman. Ug.

I had to return this book to the library today.  It was two days overdue at the York County library, so that meant I’d racked up an $84.25 overdue fee.  I really hate that library.  I’d intended on renewing it online at home, but I couldn’t because two other people had requested the book and were waiting for me to return it.  Two other people!  Why?  Why is this particular book is such demand?  I mean, look at that cover!  Sooo cheesy and old-fashioned looking.  They haven’t made covers like that since 1978.

It’s in such demand because it’s about John Carter and that John Carter movie is out now.  When I checked out the book, I didn’t know it was about John Carter.  It wasn’t until I started reading it that I put two and two together.

But Dustylizard, if you weren’t reading it because of the movie, what prompted you to check it out in the first place?  I mean, look at that cover!  Is that the sort of book you usually read?  I thought you had better taste than that!

I’m glad you asked.  I don’t normally check out cheesy looking books like that.   I checked it out because Melissa recommended it to me.  And, as you can tell from the ‘Me Tarzan, You Jane’ cover, it actually is written by the same guy who wrote Tarzan; Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Based on her recommendation, I requested it from the library.  It was such an old, cheesy book that no one else wanted it, and it had to be sent from a remote branch of the library to my local branch.  You can imagine my embarrassment when I went to pick it up.  That cover!  I told the librarian, “This book isn’t for me.  I’m checking it out for a friend.”  I’m thinking that Melissa’s copy of the book doesn’t have a shiny, naked woman being carried around by a shiny, naked man while green Martians scream in the background.

I had to hide the book from my nephew when he was here.  I didn’t want him to go home and tell his parents about the naked people books I keep in my house.  Though, the people on the cover are looking good.  Very trim and fit.  I can appreciate the human form.

Course, the last time I appreciated the male form was last October, and I’ve been afraid to ever since.  Seriously, I’ll never look at a man again.  Here’s the story:

Last October, I was driving around in Hanover with the kids.  There was a police car parked on the side of the road.  As I passed, the police officer inside the car got out of the car.  I couldn’t help but notice him.  He was tall and lean, and his muscular arms were filling out his uniform in the most pleasing way.  He was lookin’ good.  The thought popped into my head, “Now that’s a fine figure of a man! A fine figure.”

And then he turned and I saw his face.  Abort, abort!  No, no, no!

No.  No, it’s not what you’re thinking.  It wasn’t that he was ugly, because he wasn’t.  No.  The problem was that…he was Andrew!  Andrew!  My friend Mary’s husband!  Andrew, who comes to my house and bumps into the chandeliers and knocks all the dust off them!  That Andrew!

Oh, ew, ew, ew!  I sort of make it a point not to ogle my friend’s husbands.  In general, I don’t ogle men than I actually know in person at all.  Just strangers.  It’s ok to ogle strangers.  Not that I’ll actually be ogling any strangers any time soon.  I’m too scared it’ll be someone I know again.

The week after I ogled poor Andrew, they were scheduled to come to my house to carve pumpkins for Halloween.  It’s our yearly tradition.  Here’s a picture of us all with our pumpkins. Andrew is the tall one in the back.

Andrew and Mary.

P.S.  Melissa pointed out that the book is actually pretty good.  Her copy is a Kindle copy, so she didn’t know about all the naked people.  I agree that it’s a good read.  The first few chapters were great.  Loved how it is supposed to be the journals of John Carter that we’re reading after his death.  I don’t know how it ends, though, because I had to return it…

Let me Nap in Peace!

The 2nd most exciting thing that happened today was that the library called to say “an item you have requested has arrived.”  Of course, they just had to call 10 and a half minutes into my 20 minute nap to tell me this.  Grrrrr!

My nap was the 1st most exciting thing to happen today.

Today is the 59th Picture of the Day I’ve posted on this blog.  I’ve written 58 very lovely posts this year, but tonight I’m going to take a mini break from writing.  My little typing fingers are tired and would rather laze around getting covered with Dorito cheese, and who am I to deny them a little break every now and then?  Bring on the Doritos!

Instead, I’ll direct you to this guy’s blog about passing out Halloween candy.  I promise its lots funnier than anything I can come up with right now.  I wish I could take credit for writing something as funny as his Halloween candy story.

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And, hey–no mean comments about Rosie.  She’s a little sensitive.  Yes, she’s old and big and wire-y, but she gets reliable reception and has a neck rest so you can handwash all your dishes and talk on the phone at the same time.  She’s part of the family.

And she’s still reeling from the blow that Henry died yesterday.  We’ve had Henry for 18 years.  We’ll miss him.  Rest in Peace, Henry.  We loved to watch our favorite shows on you, and you couldn’t help it that you took up so much room on the TV stand.  You were just stout.  That’s how they were made in the early 90’s.  I think our new TV will be named Juan.  He’ll be thin and sleek and have a sexy accent.

(Stop it, stop it!  I keep editing the post to add more.  Stop.  I’m going to bed and getting some proper rest now.  With earplugs.  No more editing.  Good-bye.)

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Star Trek Stats:

Vulcan death grips: 2

Attack cats: 1

Women in shiny purple costumes: 1

The Ghastly Hanover Library

This is a picture at the Hanover Library.  It’s a beautiful library.  Stained glass windows.  Silent-as-a-tomb magazine section.  Private rooms.  Elevators.  Children’s storytime where the parents are not allowed in the storytime room.  Which means a full half hour alone in the library, free to pet the stacks of books in silence without interruption.  It was an unhappy day when my kids outgrew storytime.

Great library, but I hate it.  Yes, I love it, but I hate it, too.

They only let you keep books for 2 hours before they’re due.  The late fee is $80 per day per book.  If your husband puts a book on hold, they will not let you pick it up without his card, no matter how much you beg and plead and tell them that you’re not some crazed ex-wife with a diabolical plan involving stealing his library books to run up huge late fees for him.

I’ve gotten spoiled at my local library, where they know my name and are always glad I came and renew my books for years on end (that’ll be due March 6, 2053) and waive fees whenever they’re in an especially good mood.  And they laugh at my dorky jokes, because they’re dorky, too.  We’re all a bunch of library nerds and it’s a happy, happy safe place.

————–

Meyers Briggs Personality Assessment.  Darling Husband and I are the same personality.  We’re ENTJs.

Here’s some more information about our personality:

“When challenged, the ENTJ may by reflex become argumentative.”  No we don’t.

Ok.  Yes we do.  Darling Husband will argue anything.  Anything.  For no reason at all.  You can’t make small talk with him without him taking the opposite stance.  “Boy, it’s cold today.”  “Not really.  The record lows at this time of year are much colder, so relatively speaking, it’s warm today.”  Seriously.  I’ve had this conversation with him.

He never even remembers what he’s argued for in the past.  I catch him all the time arguing for an issue one day and then arguing against it the next day.  When I call him on it, he looks delighted.  “Oh yeah!  You’re right!  I did argue for it yesterday!  Ha!”  Doesn’t faze him.  It’s a matter of pride.  He can argue any point and convince you of it, even if he doesn’t believe it himself.  He likes to say, “If I can convince you of something I don’t even believe, then I know I’ve made a good argument.”

Of course, when I say “argue” I don’t mean having a fight.  An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition, as explained in this skit:  Monty Python Argument Clinic.

——————

Song stuck in my head for the past 2 days:  That’s All, by Genesis.  I dare you to listen to it.  Please.  That’s the only way to exorcise a song from your head: pass it on to someone else.

Puny Arms and OSHA violations

Grocery Shopping Day today.

It rains or sleets or snows every single time I go shopping.  Every single time.  The only exception to the rule is during heat waves when it is 280 degrees and the ice cream melts.

I long for the day when my sons are strong enough to help me carry the groceries into the house.  They’re getting close.  This year they’re finally tall enough to carry the lighter bags without dragging them on the ground.

I once played a question game that asked, “If you could invent something, what would it be?”  My invention would be a robot or conveyor belt or transporter device that would take the groceries from the car into the house.

It’s not the endless trips back and forth from car to house (even though it means that there’ll be mud on the carpet from the rain, sleet, or snow.)  It’s the weight.  The bags are too heavy for my scrawny arms.  I walk on the treadmill, I don’t lift weights.  I have puny, toothpick arms.

Some bags are worse than others.  Right now, as I type this, I have a minor crick in my back because Janet bagged my bags too heavy.  She even said, “This one’ll be heavy,” about three different bags as I was hauling them up and over into the cart, feeling my muscle fibers pull apart like a cotton ball.

Why does Janet have to do that?   This is the second time I’ve been in her line and she’s overstuffed my bags.

See, I bring my own cloth bags with me.  I don’t do that because I’m particularly green.  I do that because the handles on the bags don’t dig into my hands like on those horrible little plastic bags.  And the cloth bags are quieter than the plastic bags.  I don’t like noise.

In fact, I don’t like noise so much that when I was a teenager I used to go to the Magazine section of the Catonsville library just for the silence.

(Wow, it’s all coming out:  Hanging out in the library.  Thick glasses.  Bad haircuts.  When I tell people I was a nerd, I mean it.  I wasn’t a cool person pretending I was a nerd.  I really was a nerd.)

The magazine section was in its own room in the basement of the library and it was so silent you could hear your ears ringing.  You’d have to turn the pages of the magazines reeeeal slowly so that they wouldn’t crackle, or you’d get dirty looks from the other people reading their magazines.

And heaven forbid you wanted one of the magazines deeper in the racks.  The magazines were on a special rack.  The racks display the face of each current magazine, and each shelf can flip up, like a breadbox, to show the older editions inside.

You’d better hope that your shelf wouldn’t squeak when it flipped.  If it did, you had a decision: open it slowly, letting the squeak be slow and gentle and maybe no one would notice, or get it over with in a single banshee-shriek squeak.   Sort of like opening a candy wrapper in church.  I’m on the side of ripping open the candy as fast as you can, so the noise is over and done with.  But I’ve sat by women (it’s always women, isn’t it?) who will fumble with that candy wrapper for 10 minutes.  And never even share.

What were we talking about?

Oh yeah, bagging.

So, I bring the cloth bags and they’re roomier and sturdier than the plastic bags.   And Janet asks, “Do you want your milk in a bag?” and I say, “Yes, two in a bag, please.”  And Janet does that, but she also adds the pound of butter and the big yogurt container and the hotdogs and then gives me her surgeon general warning about the weight.  Today, she not only overstuffed the milk bag, but she put all of the canned goods in one bag and she put the 5 pound bag of flour, big size Bisquick, two boxes of cake mix, two bottles of spaghetti sauce, and both V8 bottles in a single bag.

I’m never going to Janet’s line again.

Like I don’t go to Nancy’s line anymore.

When I put my items on the conveyor belt, I sort them how I want them bagged.  I’m not OCD about it, but I generally want all the cold stuff together and the fruit together and the eggs and bread at the end.

But Nancy wouldn’t put stuff into the bags as it came through.  No, she would hold back the cans until the tomatoes were rung up, and then put the cans with the tomatoes and the bread.  Squished tomatoes and flat bread!  Or the milk with the roasted chicken.  Cold chicken!  Curdled milk!

No more going to Nancy’s line.

One benefit to shopping alone at night in the rain: treats.  I accidentally walked down the Valentine’s Day Candy aisle and I got myself a little $1 box of chocolates.  I ate them all in the car on the way home and didn’t even have to share.

(Is that rain next to the box of chocolates?  Or drool?)

Star Trek Episode of the day: The Trouble with Tribbles.

Watched on tv while cooking/cleaning the kitchen: episodes of Jericho

The Library

The library.

Ah.  The library.  What can be said?  It would take an 8 part mini-series of blog posts to describe my love of The Library.

The Library is my picture of the day, because I had an epiphany at the library today.  Here we go:

I fiercely hated school and the idea of extending it for 4 more years of college was more than I could bear.  I can say with sincerity that I was incapable of handling college fresh out of high school.

So I got a little entry level job and worked my way up to a place where I was content with what I did for a living.   Then I had children and adored staying at home with them, with the plan of going back to work when they went to school.  Only I ended up homeschooling the children and they never went to school.

Meanwhile, I outgrew my dread of school, and started taking night classes towards becoming a teacher.  I have a lot of experience teaching adults from my previous job and I enjoy teaching my own children, but I soon made the unhappy discovery that I don’t enjoy teaching children in a classroom.  Adults, yes.  My own children, yes.  A large group of distracted children in a classroom, no.

I floundered. I checked out books from the library describing different jobs, found online tests to see what jobs I’d be good at, and asked other people why/how they got their current jobs.  But I couldn’t come up with a single job that I wanted to do.  Nothing! Taking night classes after a full day homeschooling and all the other responsibilities of an adult is difficult, obviously.  Without a goal to strive toward, I stopped taking classes.

But at the library today, it crossed my mind how much I’ve always wanted to be a librarian.  And it suddenly hit me:  I’ve always wanted to be a librarian!  I still want to be a librarian!  Why did I go to school to become a teacher, and check out job books, and take online tests and ask people about their jobs? I already knew what I wanted to do and had known all along.

Dim memories from childhood came bobbing to the surface.  Somewhere along the line as a child, I assumed that everyone would want to be a librarian.  You know how children think, “If I want to be a librarian, then everyone must want to be a librarian.”  I was an insecure child, and in those childish insecurities, I assumed I’d never beat out the competition of everyone else.

But I’m not a child anymore.  And those sorts of defeatist thoughts are completely opposite of the person I’ve grown to be.  Now I’m the sort of person who knows how to pursue a dream.

I have a goal again.

If my life keeps on the way it is now, I can be finished both my education and the children’s educations in 11 years, when I’m 50 years old.

The perfect age to glare at hoodlums over my reading glasses and tell them to “Shhhh!”