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Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller – Ibn Battuta

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a writer who loves to travel . . . or maybe a traveler who loves to write – either way, the pictures shown here are from some of my favorite places.

If you love to travel or just love to read about traveling, you’ve found the right place. Enjoy!

What the Library Lady Wants You to Know

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Good morning to all. Today I’ll take a moment to speak to library patrons and anyone else who wants to delve into the deep dark secrets of the library world.
WARNING – this article contains topics of an adult nature, such as how to correctly checkout and return library items.
Library Patron: “But I didn’t think it was that complicated.”
Library Lady: “It’s not, if everyone does it right.”
Here are three ways to make life easier for yourself and your librarian.

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But Remember to Return It

1. I’ve Already Returned That

Let’s say you’ve turned in your library books but according to your account, Gone with the Wind and Zombies, is still outstanding.
What? you think. This is not possible. I turned in all my library items, there must be a mistake.
You approach a librarian and say, “I already returned this. I specifically remember putting that exact book in the slot. ”
Well, here’s the thing, dear friends, we at the library want to believe you,
but  . . . everyone says that. The tune or the lyrics may differ from person to person, but it’s essentially the same song. And guess what? Nine times out of ten, when the person agrees to go home and check around, they find Gone With the Wind and Zombies in their reusable grocery bag, in the trunk of their car, or in their child’s backpack to name a few notorious hiding places.

So here’s what the Library Lady would like you to know. Before you get in a tizzy about a missing library item, do this: look under the couch cushions, on your children’s bookshelf, under beds and between mattresses. Check under the car seats, in stacks of newspapers, and my own personal favorite – in your luggage. (I once paid for a lost book  I knew I’d returned, then found it in my suitcase when packing for my next trip.) If after all this you really can’t find it – come on in and let’s talk.

2. I Never Checked This Out

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“A Mermaid’s Kiss? I would never check out a children’s book. I only read mysteries. This is definitely a mistake.”
I get this. Why? Because it happens all the time. Once again I’ve done it myself.  You look at an item on your account and think, what is this! After becoming all hot under the collar and fuming about the injustice of someone else’s book getting checked out on your card,  you stumble across that very item in your work locker or on your coffee table underneath the magazines.

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“Ohhhh, that Mermaid’s Kiss.”
What the Library Lady would like you to know: If you have an item on your account that doesn’t ring a bell, Google it, or look it up on Amazon. There you’ll find a cover picture and description. If you’re still sure you never checked the item out – come on in, we’ll talk.

3. It Was Like This When I Got It

Oh the stories I could tell, but I won’t (tell all of them) because I love book people and wouldn’t want them to think I was amused by their antics. One patron returned five children’s books which all had purple felt pen coloring in them. The father of the budding artist was convinced the books were like that when he checked them out. Unfortunately, the odds are pretty slim that out all of the books in the library he chose the five which were identically felt penned.

We’ve had books returned with so much water damage they wouldn’t even close.
“But it was like this when I got it.”
Believe me, it wasn’t. Nothing like that goes back on the shelves. Cover ripped off and dangling by a thread, stove burner imprint melted into the cover of the book, crushed with tire marks across pages 73 and 74 – same answer.

Of course, nobody’s perfect least of all the Library Lady. Some times things slip by and a patron gets home with a  problem which really was not their fault.
What the Library Lady would like you to know
: Before you take things home from the library, look at them carefully. Open DVD and CD cases to see if the discs are really in there. Check children’s and other books for damage – coloring, torn pages etc. Then, If you accidentally get home with a damaged item, call us right away, and we’ll talk.

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The whole idea of a public library is to get great books and media into the hands of great people. Hopefully this little reminder will make that process easier and more positive for all.

Have you ever lost a library item then found it in a weird place? I’d love to hear about it – I’m keeping a list of places for people to look.

 

Going on a trip? Always check for cool libraries at your destination. You never know what treasures you’ll find – Spectacular Libraries of Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Liebster & Library News!

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Thanks Tierney, I appreciate being nominated for the Liebster Award. Tierney is an amazing textile artist (as well as a big library fan) whom I’ve been following since I started my blog. You can find her here. I’ve been wanting to link a favorite post from her blog but was waiting until my library opened up again to do it.

 

Woohoo, the time is finally here! We’ve been allowed back in the building after almost 2 months of sheltering in place due to COVID 19. I am so excited to see my coworkers and get back to some semblance of normal. So far we’re not officially open to the public as we are taking this in-between time to do inventory etc., but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To those patrons with their noses pressed against the glass waiting for the doors to open – Patience my dears, the time is near.

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For now though, read Tierney’s – Beastie Outing – Visit to the Library, while I fill in the requirements for the Liebster Award. (Due to time constraints I’m doing a modified version.)

(Mini) LIEBSTER AWARD RULES
•       Share 5 facts about yourself.
•       Give a shout out to 5 other bloggers.

Here’s the Facts:

  1. I love to travel especially when a cruise is involved. Can’t wait until it’s safe again.
  2. I’m a compulsive reader and get anxious if I don’t have a stack of books nearby. (I’ve amassed quite a library in my basement just in case the libraries ever closed – guess who never ran out of books during lockdown!)
  3. I love spending time with my husband, who is very funny and is also my best friend. A good evening is getting Café Rio take-out and watching classic movies.
  4. I’m a religious person but realize that isn’t for everyone, so adhere to a live and let live kind of faith. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – previously known as the Mormons, and I love the lifestyle. I joined in college and have never looked back.
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    Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

    5. For me, nothing beats a melty chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk. Close second – ice cold Dr. Pepper. In fact, I think I’ll get one now.

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Things I learned from Covid19 – I discovered that being still and leading a simple life is highly enjoyable and that people are basically kind and caring when the chips are down,  I relearned the value of friends and family, and how crucial certain people are to my happiness. Here’s to hoping we can move ahead in a new and better way.

Shout out to a Few Fun Bloggers:

 Retirementally Challenged – Favorite post – Sitting on the Deck of Bidet

Ancient Skies Nico writes hauntingly beautiful poetry and prose.

Marilyn YungThis is a great travel blog and her photos are stunning.

Norms 2.0 – Norm does a spotlight on Thursdays called Norm’s Thursday doors. It’s aimed at door lovers of the world, of which I am one!

North Liza Lane  – This blogger is an incredibly talented artist. I love that she sometimes shows the process of how she creates her masterpieces.

That’s all for today my friends. Thanks for reading and following along.  As always, I appreciate your comments and opinions.

Will You Choose to Cruise?

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Cruising in happier days.

Photos courtesy of Viking Cruise Lines

Four months ago, I wrote a travel article that began like this –

32 million people can’t be wrong. That’s the number of travelers who booked cruise vacations in 2019.  Statistics show this figure has increased 7% annually since 2007, and it’s not hard to see why. Life on a cruise ship is about as good as it gets . . .

How times have changed.  In January we were blissfully unaware of what was coming and completely unprepared. Well, to be perfectly honest the cruise ship industry probably had a clue. They’ve been quietly dealing with onboard epidemics for a while now, think Legionnaires Disease, and gastrointestinal bugs like Norovirus, Salmonella, and Shigella, any of which can wreak havoc in a cruise environment.

For the most part, these isolated incidents flew under the radar and die-hard cruisers like myself turned a blind eye to the warning signs. It won’t happen to me, right?  Wrong. Now the problems are impossible to ignore. It’s absolutely nobody’s dream to be stuck in a floating piece of jetsam that bounces from port to port unloved and unwanted. The very thought of being quarantined to the tiny windowless room we usually book gives me claustrophobia in the extreme – excuse me while I run outside and take several deep breaths.

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Next time I’ll book this room. (I wish.)

O.K. I’m back – so now, what’s to be done about this? I have no idea. To me, it seemed the cruise lines were already bending over backward to keep things sanitary and hygienic. On our last cruise, I noticed employees constantly disinfecting every surface from stair rails to elevator buttons.  There are spiffy touchless water faucets, and super strength hand dryers at the entrance of every dining area, not to mention the armies of cheery but INSISTENT purveyors of hand sanitizer sprinkled liberally throughout the ship.  Despite all these precautions, the entire cruise industry ran aground in a matter of weeks. The culprit, a microscopic virus called Covid 19.

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So what happens now? Is the divine pastime of floating to exotic lands while stuffing yourself silly to become a thing of the past? I certainly hope not, but can the industry be saved?

Here are some ideas that have been bandied about:

  • Restrictions on Who Can Cruise
    No guests over a certain age, and a doctor’s clean bill of health for everyone else.
  • Health Screenings
    Daily temperature checks and onboard monitoring.
  • Health Questionnaires –  for instance:
    Are you feeling sick today?
    “Yes I am, and I think you should remove me from this million-dollar, once in a lifetime cruise even though it might just be a cold.”
    (Not gonna happen folks.)
  • Relaxed Cancellation Policies
    This idea makes sense to me. If cruise passengers could get last-minute refunds when they fell ill, there would be fewer sick people boarding the ship.

I’ve heard other rumblings about banning self-service buffets, reducing the number of passengers, and installing plexiglass sheets between dining tables, etc. Would any of this be practical or effective?

What do you think? I’d love to get some feedback on this. I seriously want to get back on a cruise ship someday, but not until it feels safe.

What would it take for you to Choose to Cruise again?

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Duck Takes a Walk (During COVID 19)

A Silly But Serious Story

As I got ready to go on my morning walk, my granddaughter stopped me and said, “Duck needs to get out of the house (don’t we all) would you take him on your walk?”

I agreed, and this is what happened:

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Duck leaves the house for the first time in forever.

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He stops to enjoy the flowers.

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He chats with a friend at a local watering hole.

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He goes to the playground but nobody’s there.

It’s not as much fun as it used to be.

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Luckily there are still some people out and about. Duck loves the people who take care of us.

 

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Duck misses picnics.

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and going to school,

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and church – sigh.

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Duck decides to STOP being sad and just enjoy this beautiful day.

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He knows that before long he’ll be able to go to his friend’s houses and things will be almost like they were before.

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He can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

 

Of Songs and Silence

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Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I had the good fortune to watch Andrea Bocelli’s Music for Hope concert at Milan’s Duomo Cathedral. The broadcast began with a long shot of the Duomo, an exquisite structure which took nearly six centuries to complete.  The next scene showed Bocelli and organist Emanuele Vianelli – the sole occupants of the cathedral’s massive interior.

As Bocelli began to sing his heart out to the wounded people of Italy and of this COVID ravaged world, I felt goosebumps rise on my arms. His rendition of Amazing Grace was an otherworldly experience.

Italy Clamps Down On Public Events And Travel To Halt Spread Of Coronavirus

ROME, ITALY – MARCH 10: The area around the Arch of Constantine Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

What really shook me though was when the camera left Bocelli and panned around the world’s famous destinations  – all weirdly empty. A crumpled newspaper blows across the barren grounds of the Eiffel Tower. The stillness in Times Square is broken by the sight of one person crossing an intersection. This desolation in places ordinarily packed with people is spooky, and brings home the astounding ramifications of this pandemic.

Sometimes I sit in my home and find it hard to believe all this isolation is really necessary, but seeing the lengths we’ve gone to, to protect the citizens of the world reinforces the need for it all.

Hang in there my friends.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss This!

How to Travel When You’re Stuck at Home

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Images by the Library Lady and Pixabay Photos.

For one strange moment in time, we are all required to stay home. This means no work, no socializing, and especially no travel. For those who yearn for adventure in exotic locales, this can be a bit of a problem. It was for me anyway, until I discovered Google’s Art and Culture website (not being paid to say this, I just love the site). Now I’m traveling again without even leaving my home.

Admittedly, virtual travel is not quite like the real thing, but it can be pretty amazing.  With this site, I can sit on the couch in my pajamas and visit India or tour Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum. I can stroll through Queen Victoria’s Durbar Room,  or learn about the art of making a Kimono. I can even watch the bones of a Sea Dragon – or Rhomelosaures – come to life and swim away from its display in the Natural history Museum of London. (More links at the end of this post.) All this from the comfort – and hopefully virus-free setting of my own front room.

Viking Museum – Oslo Norway

How is This Possible?

 

Simply go to Google’s Art and Culture website where you’ll find an astounding collection of artwork,  museum tours, rare collectibles, and cultural experiences. I was amazed by all the options. You could literally spend weeks clicking through this information.

My favorites are the videos. Shot in 360-degree mode, you can scroll around the screen to get the big picture of backgrounds and surroundings. You can even pause the narrative and search a particular scene in more detail before resuming the video.

How to  Play

Continue reading

Hanging in There, or Fun Things to Do When You’re Stuck at Home

This is supposed to reduce stress – I’m not so sure.  (I think my husband is channeling Bela Lugosi)

Kindness Amidst the Chaos
Good Morning! Today I want to share some ideas for how to not go . . . Stir crazy after all these years . . . wait, has it only been two weeks?!  Also, I’m still looking for positive stories about kindness during this difficult time. Here are a few:

Flowers!

My friend Basia Korzeniowska left this comment on my last post. It made me happy so I thought I’d pass it along.

I was feeling a little bit low the other day, so I thought going for a walk would help and indeed it did. Combining it with an allowed shopping trip I went to Waitrose and was confronted with a seemingly endless queue. The sun was shining, the trolleys were being wiped assiduously by a member of staff and it was pleasant enough. After a few minutes I was allowed in – only 50 people in the shop at the time, and as I went in I was handed a huge bunch of flowers by an assistant. Lifted my spirits instantly!  Continue reading

Positive Thoughts on Negative Subject

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Photo by Pixabay

Is Everyone O.K?

Hello fellow bloggers! I hope you are well and safe and making the best of our current situation.  It’s hard to believe how fast this change has come upon us, two weeks ago I was looking for flight deals to Springfield, Illinois, and now they’re in lockdown. I guess I won’t go to Illinois, or anywhere else for that matter.

An Earthquake – Seriously?

As many of you know, I live in Utah. Not only are we dealing with the virus, but last Wednesday we had a 5.9 earthquake. Due to all the shaking going on, our library is closed until a safety inspector comes in to give it the O.K. We were already closed to the public, but employees were going in. Now I’m not sure what the future holds, but I guess that’s the world we live in. Continue reading

Ronda, Spain: a Small Town that Puts on a Big Show

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I’m especially excited about this Library Lady post because it was published on Go World Travel, a site I faithfully follow! 

Photographers beware: Leaning out to get the perfect shot of the magnificent Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda, Spain, can result in a long drop – 390 feet to be exact. And while the bridge may be the star of the show in Ronda, the supporting cast of awesome views and medieval splendor also draws quite a crowd . . . Read more at Go World Travel.

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Doors of Kauai

It’s time for more of Norm’s Thursday Doors, where door lovers of the world unite!

We’ve recently returned from a trip to Hawaii where I found some interesting doors. Well O.K. not all of these are doors, some fall into the category of entryways – but I think you’ll like them.

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SHARK DOOR!

Shark door was my favorite. Unfortunately, I have no information.  It looks like a residence, although there might be some kind of sign behind that fence. All I know is we were driving down the road, I spotted shark door and our driver kindly screeched to a halt and backed up so I could take a picture. Don’t you wish you had a supersize sea creature hanging in your front yard? The door is pretty amazing too.

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From the wild and crazy shark residence, we go to this lovely and dignified door. It was adorning a 4 million-dollar home in an upscale Hawaiian neighborhood. I believe I could live quite happily here.

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This is the door/entryway to Kauai’s Hindu Monastery. A peaceful oasis that features two Hindu temples and the Himalayan Academy. It’s free of charge and a must-see if you’re in the area. Continue reading