Friday, September 30, 2011


I hope you are all looking forward to a happy weekend.  I am.  I'm starting the weekend by making a nectarine cobbler.  I needed to use up the nectarines because they were starting to go bad.  It is baking now and smells so good!  I got the recipe off of the Pioneer Woman show last week.  Such an easy recipe to remember:

Put fruit in a 9" x 13" greased pan.  Mix together 1 cup of self-rising flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk and 1/2 stick melted butter.  Pour  batter over the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.  

I used Splenda instead of sugar so that Joe could eat it (he's diabetic) and sometimes things don't turn out with that.  So we will see.   I once made him a birthday cake and it turned out 1/4" high because things don't rise with Splenda like they do with sugar.  It was funny, but embarrassing.

My former supervisor, Donna, came to the library today and she, Diane and I went to lunch together.  Because there was a municipal guards meeting this morning we were closed to the public so it was the perfect time to do this.  We ended up going to the China Buffet.  It was fun all having lunch together and getting caught up with each other.

Tomorrow is Farm Day at Greensgrow Farm (where we get our CSA share).  It is not our week to get our share, but we are going anyway.  We had so much fun last year.  There are all kinds of farm animals and activities, and food.  I'm really looking forward to it.  You know there will be lots of pictures.

Well, here is my Pooh's Thought for the Day:
When did you last have a thorough check-up?

     "Let's have a look at you," said Pooh.
     So Eeyore stood there, gazing sadly at the ground, and Winnie-the-Pooh walked all around him once.
     "Why, what's happened to your tail?" he said in surprise.
     "What has happened to it?" said Eeyore.
     "It isn't there!"
     "Are you sure?"
     "Well, either a tail is there or it isn't there.  You can't make a mistake about it.  And yours isn't there!"
     "Then what is?"


Our yard guy Frank came over the other day and cut the grass for us.  Our yard looks so much better now.  He also planted two mums and a bunch of tulip and daffodil bulbs for me.  When I came home from work I went out to see things.  How beautiful everything is.  I thought I'd share some of it with you.

Look what I found on my parsley leaves!  I thought it was too late in the year for caterpillars.  Joe thinks it is a monarch butterfly caterpillar.  I have to go out this weekend and take another look to see if it is still there.  We have a huge nest of spiders in the hydrangea and I don't want them to get it.

 My one mum is huge!  And beautiful.  The other ones, not so much.  Again, I have to go check to see how they are doing.

 I still have roses.  Lots of them.  I love that I have roses in the yard most of the year.  I love roses.

 I want to cut some to bring into the house this weekend.

And my coleus is still beautiful.  I love having a container of coleus each year.  I want to have more next year.

I got a book out of the library that is so cute.  I wanted to share with you some of Winnie-the-Pooh's wisdom.

Pooh's Thought for the Day:
Allow enough time for a morning wash!

     Roo was washing his face and paws in the stream, while Kanga explained to everybody proudly that this was the first time he had ever washed his face himself, and Owl was telling Kanga an Interesting Anecdote full of long words like Encyclopaedia and Rhododendron to which Kanga wasn't listening.
     "I don't hold with all this washing," grumbled Eeyore.  "This modern Behind-the-ears nonsense.  What do you think Pooh?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011



These are the final two books of the America's Next Top Model quartet.  Even though these books were written for teens, the story is captivating.  Couldn't put them down.

About the books:
Welcome to Top Model Prep, a first class modeling academy in New York City.  Here girls compete to become the next big thing in fashion and beauty.

My thoughts:
I started these books a few months ago and they got set aside after the first two.  Just picked up book three earlier this week.  Read it in two days and read book four in just one.  Great story -- lousy ending.  Don't know if she was leaving it open for another book, but it doesn't feel finished to me.  It's like... what happens next?  Lots of loose ends.  Still, a good read.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The McPherson Square Branch Library was closed today so the LA 1 from there was sent to our Richmond Branch.  What a pleasure to have a full complement of workers.  I am so far behind that I put myself on the desk only once, Diane and Marquita twice and our visitor Karen three times.  Karen was so good, she even shelved all my books that I hadn't been able to get to.  I, on the other hand, was able to get two huge piles of work off of my desk.  We are having her come again tomorrow and we might have her on Thursday also if the ceiling in her branch isn't finished being repaired.  If we have her for two more days I will be completely caught up, something that hasn't happened in two months.  In any case I will take what I can get.  So much pressure has been taken off of my shoulders by Karen being there even jus one day.  I can't wait until there is enough money in the city's budget so we can hire another person.

Bonnie over at asked me today if I would describe my job.  I think it would be really interesting to do that because people tend to think that all we do is check books in and out and shelve them when they come back.  There is so much more to the job than that.

By the way, if you haven't visited Bonnie's blog you really should.  She writes and photographs so well and it's always interesting to read what she's been up to.

OK.  Back to an ordinary day in the life of a Library Assistant in the Philadelphia library system.  When I first get there I sign in, and then go to the desk to record the statistics from the day before.  I write down how many people came in and out (we have an automatic counter), how many people requested new library cards, how many requested a replacement and how many were adults or children.  Also how many phone calls we received and how many questions the librarians were asked.  Then I get the money out of the safe and put it in the cash register and make sure each station has pens, pencils and markers.

The next thing I do is see who is in, what time the part-timer is coming in and make up the desk schedule.  I have to make sure that everyone has a fairly equal number of hours on the desk and is not working through their scheduled lunch time.  Sometimes this is tricky to do.  Today I had to do it three times before I got it right.

Then I take the newspapers that have been delivered, put a target in them so they can't be stolen, stamp the branch name on each section, pull the old newspapers off of the rack and put the new ones on.

Next I try to shelve my books.  Lately I've had time to shelve only some of them before we open to the public.  I do the best I can, but sometimes the books just have to sit there until later.  Each of us has a different part of the library to shelve.  I do the non-fiction, Diane does the children's and Marquita does the fiction and teens.  Our volunteer Tom does the DVDs, CDs and McNaughton (rented) books.  Sometime during the day I try to shelf-read three or four bookcases.  This means you look at every number on every book and make sure they are in the correct order.  I have not been able to keep up with this at all because it takes a lot of time and that is something I just don't have lately trying to keep up with both my old and new jobs.

When I am on the front desk I check in the incoming items and check out items to the patrons.  I send out books to other branches, both the ones people are waiting for (on hold) and the returned books to the owning branches.  They have to be wrapped up and labeled so they get to the right place.  I also go through the shelves of books on hold for people, pull off the ones that have been there for three weeks without being picked up and send them back to their owning branch.  We have a drop box where people put their books when we are closed.  I backdate those books and put them where they belong or send them out to the owning branch.  We also have to answer the phones and make computer reservations for people.  If there are angry, upset or confused patrons that the library assistant on the desk cannot handle, I have to leave what I am doing and try to calm things down.  If I can't, then they get passed on to the librarian.  Also if there are problems with the computers or with the printer I try to fix it.  I say try because I can't always and pass it on to someone else.  Same with the copier.

There are times I have to go to meetings outside of the building and then it is up to me to get my library assistant staff together and convey to them what is going on and make sure we are all on the same page with what we are doing.  I also have regular meetings with the librarian as to what is happening in our branch.

We all make up new library cards for the patrons.  We have to look everyone up in the computer and then enter the new information.  You can't always count on them telling the truth when they say they have never had a card.  Some people just don't remember that they had one several years ago.  Others are trying to get one over on you.  And then you have to tell them when they have fines.  Sometimes huge fines.  And they don't want to hear this.  Some of them argue with you and not very nicely either.  But most of the time it's a simple matter of "here's your new card...You may have two items today since it's your first time."

We get approximately four large cartons of new books each day.  I open them, sort them, and put them on the shelves to be entered into the computer database.  Again, each of us has a certain section of books to enter:  children's, adults, paperbacks, McNaughtons.  We have a program to use where we put in the title, author, owning library, where it is shelved, the price, etc.  It takes awhile to get through a hundred books.  We get about 60-100 new books a day.  Of course we need a place to put these books, so we have to withdraw books that are damaged, too old to be useful, not circulating, etc.

Lots of people give us books they no longer want.  The librarians go through these books, decide which ones to put in the book sale and which ones they will add to the collection.  When something is being added, it is given to me.  I put all the labels, call numbers, etc. on them and then enter them into the library data base.  Then I put them out on the new books table.  It is a slow process because there are so many steps.  I also put on clear plastic bookcovers if they need it.

Many times the call number labels get light.  I have to make new labels for them.  I am redoing the Biography section with all new labels and we are putting all new labels on the McNaughton books.  Hundreds of them.

The McNaughtons are rented books.  Libraries all over the country rent from the McNaughton company.  They are the bestsellers and the newest books in print.  When they come in I have to enter into the database that we have received them, put the new labels on and put them out on a special shelf.  After a year, we decide whether we want to keep them and pay for them or return them.  I have to discard in the database the ones we don't want, pack them up, and send them back.  The ones we are keeping have to be entered as our books and relabeled.

There are also some reports I have to do.  If we have to go to another library or run a work related errand we get carfare reimbursement.  I have to figure up how much each person gets and send a request for the money to be refunded to them.  The end of each month I have to make a statistics report -- how many people entered the library, how many people got new library cards, how many hours we were open, how many programs we had, etc.  I also order supplies we need and put them away when they are delivered.  So naturally I have to keep an inventory of what we have on hand also.

When the mail comes each day I have to open it, sort it, and get it to the right person.  There is also filing of various forms.

At the end of the day I have to empty the cash register.  I count the money, enter some statistics in the computer, enter some into a cash register log and put the cash in the safe and lock it.  Then I have to sign a form that the safe is actually locked.  Once a week I have to prepare a deposit and give it to the librarian to take to the bank and then make a report to accounting on how much we deposited and what accounts the money goes into.

So, Bonnie, I hope this answers your question.  It was a good question and I'm glad you asked.  Yes, there is a lot more to what I do besides checking in and out.  I hope you have a greater appreciation for us poor overworked and underpaid library workers.


This is not a Monday I want to repeat.  I was just getting up this morning when my co-worker Diane called.  She wanted to let me know she was sick and would not be into work.  I told her she had to call our boss, Jerry, at work to call out sick, not me at home.  She asked if I would tell him.  I said yes, I would tell him, but she still needed to call him.  So I began my day knowing that for most of it I would be the only Library Assistant.  And so I was.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I was busy the whole day.  I spent 3 hours straight on the desk and was able to bring most of my work out there and do it between waiting on customers.  Sheila, our new Children's Librarian, took over for me while I went to lunch.  Then I was on the desk another hour until our part-timer Marquita came in and she was on the desk for the last two hours so I could go into the workroom and get something done.  (I still haven't opened the mail for the day.)  Well, we do what we can and I think it worked out pretty well all things considering.

Tonight we went to Target when I got home from work.  I had gotten this really cute sweater, but when I got home and tried it on I realized that I had gotten a size too small.  So we had to return it.  It was on the clearance rack and there were none left, so guess I won't be getting that.  I did, however, get a pretty aqua striped top and a cute little rose colored dress.  The dress is a summer one, but I can wear it with a jacket and get a couple of wearings out of it before the end of the warm weather.

Then we went to Shop Rite.  While we were there we ran into Pastor Justin and Cherie.  We talked to them for a few minutes and then went on.  After that every aisle we went down, there they were.  I accused them of stalking us!  Ha, ha.  We even ended up checking out the same time and leaving the store together.

When I got home I started putting the food away.  Joe went to talk to one of the neighbors.  As I was throwing something in the trash, I slipped on a wet patch on the floor and fell flat on my back.  The floor was so slippery I couldn't get a foothold to get up.  I tried to pull myself up by holding onto a chair and the chair fell over.  I was calling for Joe, but didn't know he was three houses down and couldn't hear me.  I waited until I heard him come in and called and he was able to help me up.  I am very sore and bruised but there are no broken bones.  Thank God!  Joe wants me to go to the doctor in the morning.  We'll see how I feel.

I definitely do NOT want to repeat this day.  I'm going to bed and hopefully start a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Today was a very interesting day at church.  It was Pastor Wayne's last Sunday.  He is officially retired and as of right now on his way to his new home in Washington state.  Pastor Justin was installed/ordained as our new pastor.

All the ladies were given a red rose when we entered the building.

Pastor Wayne gave the welcome, call to worship, and led us in two hymns.

John Vandegriff from Pinebrook Bible Conference gave the invocation.  Then Ron Hoyle from the Bible Fellowship Church Historical Society gave some greetings, telling us some of the history of the church and read a letter of greeting from Pastor Prontnicki of the Maple Glen Bible Fellowship Church which is our mother church.

We sang another hymn which happened to be one of my favorites, "Be Thou My Vision."  Then Pastor Wayne read the scripture and gave his last message from Hebrews 13:1-9.

Next the Bible Fellowship Church Conference Chaplain, Ronald Mahurin gave a charge to the congregation.  We agreed that we chose Pastor Justin to be our Lead Pastor and to support him.

Then there was the Charge to the Elders and Deacons by Pastor Mark Bickel of the Grace Bible Fellowship Church who was the Representative of the Bible Fellowship Church Philadelphia Region.

Deacon Sydney, Elder Joe, Deacon Patrick

Elder Shawn, Elder Bud, Deacon Richard

Deacon Ed, Pastor Mark, Deacon Sydney
Then there was the Charge to the Pastor Elect by Keith Plows, a former pastor at our church, Wissinoming Bible Fellowship.  He was supposed to say a few words, but ended up giving a second short message on 2 Corinthians.  No one minded because he was very good.

Pastor Wayne, Pastor Keith Plows, Pastor Justin
The Prayer of Consecration was next.  The Bible Fellowship Church Executive Director David T. Allen asked Pastor Justin to kneel and had all the Elders, Deacons, Pastors and Bible Fellowship Representatives to come to the front and lay hands on him as Pastor Allen prayed.

Following this Pastor Justin said a few words.

We closed with a hymn and the Biblical Benediction by Dana E. Weller, Director of the Bible Fellowship Church Board of Mission.  

A beautiful service and very moving.

Here's Joe and me after the service was over.  I got my friend Sarah to take it.

Following the service, we had a luncheon in the Fellowship Hall.  Pastor Wayne and his wife Phyllis gave it to the church as a good bye gift and a welcome to Pastor Justin and his wife Cherie.  There was ham with pineapple, sausage and peppers, roast beef, potatoes and Caesar salad.  Everything was so good.  For dessert was this beautiful cake.  The upper layer was chocolate and the bottom was yellow.  It was so delicious.  So much was left I was given two pieces to bring home.

Here's Joe.

Tom and Bud seemed fascinated with their phones.  I think they were showing each other their pictures.

Dottie and Margie

Karen and Tom

This is Kate, one of the new twins.

Juliette, the twins' mom, and Connor their big brother.

Natalie wasn't as happy as Kate was.

Pastor Wayne with Pastor Justin's family.

This is our friends Karen and Bud.  You read about them often here because we go out to lunch with them a lot.  Bud is a member of the band Boris Garcia.  If you ever get a chance to hear their music, do.  It's really very good.

Pastor Justin and his wife Cherie.  Also good friends of ours.

Tom and Lynn, Pastor Justin's parents and his sister, Allison.
Caity and Richard, Cherie's parents.  Richard is a deacon in our church and the new leader of the Wednesday night Bible study.

I am very sad to see Pastor Wayne and Phyllis leave.  They have been there for 31 years and really he is the only Pastor of WBFC I have known.  But I am excited to see where God will take our church under the leadership of Pastor Justin.


Thought I'd begin today by showing you part of the farm that we go to to get our food every other week.  They always decorate so beautifully.  Here is the front gate.

And this is where you check out.  It's also the first thing you see when you enter the gate.

It's so cute all decorated for the fall.  It changes every week but it's always beautiful.

Here's what we got today:

     A bunch of cilantro
     A head of kale
     A head of lettuce
     2 lbs. of sweet potatoes
     1 pint of cherry tomatoes
     10 poblano peppers
     8 pickling cucumbers
     8 nectarines
     5 Fugi apples
     1 dozen eggs
     A piece of swiss cheese
     2 tomatoes
     3 ears of red popcorn

I already used a tomato and 3 of the 5 sweet potatoes for dinner.  I topped the potatoes with roasted poblano pepper butter with cilantro.  Really good.  I have a new recipe for Apple Betty that I got from Suzanne at Window on the Prairie that I want to try and a new cobbler recipe from Ree at Pioneer Woman that I will use for the nectarines.  I have some baking to do this week.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

I am very tired.  I have to get to bed.  It's a big day tomorrow.  We're saying goodbye to Pastor Wayne (it's his last day) as he retires and hello to Pastor Justin who is being installed.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I love Pooh Bear!

Yes, it's Friday again.  Where do the days (and weeks) go?  Where do the months go?  Can you believe in one more week September will be over?

And by the way, welcome to Autumn.  Today is the first day.  I'm so sorry to see the summer end.  But I like fall too so I am looking forward to it. I like the colors, the cooler weather, the smells, the food.

It wasn't too busy at work today which was a break for us.  Since Marquita did not come in it was just Diane and me and we had to be on the desk every other hour.  It's not easy to get anything done when you have to stop every hour to man the front desk.  But some things were finished and some others started so I feel as if I accomplished something today.

Actually, I have had a much better attitude toward my job since I went to the meeting yesterday.  It was emphasized over and over that there are some things we just can't concern ourselves over and that we need to pick our battles.  Some things just aren't worth fighting for.  Once I adopted that attitude, things started going better for me.  The administrators are right.  There are just some things that aren't worth it.  And arguing with the patrons about what they "think they know" and what is the truth is one of them.

Well, for those of you who read this and pray, please pray for my sister Elaine.  She was diagnosed with pneumonia and is very sick.  I'd really appreciate it and I know she would too.  Thank you so much.

We got Joe's suit.  It's dark gray and very nice.  He got a white on white striped shirt and a gray and white tie to go with it.  He's going to look so nice on Sunday.  Got to take a picture to post here.

We're going to watch a movie called "The Late Great Planet Earth" based on the book by Hal Lindsay.  Anybody remember this book from the 1960s?  Haven't read it in YEARS.  Orson Welles is the narrator.  It sounds interesting.

It's farm day tomorrow, so you'll get to see what we've gotten then.  It's getting to slim pickings time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


First of all, let me show you a picture of a sweet little house that is across the street from where I work.
 It looks like a little country cottage, but is a row house in the middle of Philadelphia.  I enjoy looking at it -- it's so pretty.

Well, today I had to go to a meeting for work.  It was held at Northwest Regional Library.  I had never been there before and didn't even know how to get there.  I was told two different ways, neither of which I was comfortable with.  I ended up setting the GPS and it took me a way that was quick and easy.  All the computer maps said it would take me about 45 minutes but the GPS got me there in 25.

It was a rather boisterous meeting.  Lots of controversy and discussion.  But I found out that lots of people feel about the library as I do.  It made me feel so much more positive about working there.

There is so much to do at work and it looks as if we won't be getting any help any time soon.  There is no money in the budget since the state and city cut back our funding by 20%.  We were asked how it would be if our paychecks were cut by 20% -- would we have to make changes?  Of course we would.  And so it will be just Diane, me and our part-timer Marquita for the foreseeable future.  Well, we will just have to get along as best as we can.  It's better than not having a job at all.

I have to run.  We are going out to get Joe a suit for Sunday.  He has lost so much weight that the two suits he has just hang on him.  So until later....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011




About the Book:
When worlds collide can the truth set two young women free?
     As a child caught up in a crisis, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision with far-reaching effects.  Fifteen years later, when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge -- the very town in which that decision was made -- she is forced to face the past and discover how her decision has impacted so many.
     Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm helping her intimidating grandmother Bertha recover from surgery.  It doesn't take long for Bess to realize that her grandmother coaxed her to Stoney Ridge for an entirely different reason.  But once Bess meets hired hand Billy Lapp, the summer starts to hold some promise.
     Lainey and Bess's worlds are about to collide, and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.
     Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes you through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth.  Immerse yourself in this heartwarming -- and surprising-- tale of young love, forgiveness, and healing.

My thoughts:
     I love Lancaster County.  After being out there so much I have gained a great appreciation for the Amish community.  They are a peace-loving, hard-working people.  We have much to learn from them.
     And so I am also fond of Amish fiction.  It is a fast-growing genre among authors today.
     Suzanne Woods Fisher is a new author to me.  This book was suggested by my friend and I am so glad she did.  It is a fast read.  The story is true to the characters (they are fleshed out beautifully) and is completely believable.  Although the story has some twists and turns, it is the surprise ending that will have me going back to read the rest of the Lancaster County Secrets series.