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We all know public library bathrooms are a (pardon the pun) crapshoot.  Which is why I don't know that the moment Her Majesty The Baby is in the library she has her own (often not quiet) business to attend to.  

Today we went on a venture. Finding the literature to appeal to each child is a challenge.  I notice that the ficiton section for smaller children is shrinking at our library.  Is it at yours?  Our non fiction section is growing, a result of the focus on non fiction by our Common Core standards. It's my personal opinioin that Common Core has it's positives and negatives.  The convoluted, insensible math is one.  I do like that it encourages non fiction reading, but I personally feel that rather than taking shelf space from fiction we should have  utilized more of our gigantic lobby at our library and simply had more books.  There is also a tiny copy of MADELINE.  I don't know about you but for me that book was so much about the fantastic, huge illustrations with that tiny girl. It's quite wasted on a tiny, square copy.  I shall have to buy rather than check out as I do  believe that it's a good required reading for a household.

As I am always on the road, driving, I gently plunked the car seat on a table beside S. who was already reading some technical manual on Pokemon.  The audio section is sort of in a hallway and I didn't want to knock people over with the carrier.  As I was round the corner, chatting to the librarian, Her Majesty the Baby instigated a tiny fuss, no doubt due to some of the royal  activity in her lower meridian.  Her brother rocked the carrier, which had a tiny tinkling toy on it, thusly earning the wrath of a man at the computers nearby.  I wasn't even aware, as I came back, collected the baby, and headed to my banishment to Children's.  Why, why they will not stock any sort of parent appropriate reading anywhere near the Children's section I do not know.  It's so frustrating, as anyone who has had a few kids in tow knows.  It's a wasteland for adults over there.  I look longingly at the books from there as I flip through books for the children and allow them to browe.  Le sigh.

S. did not say a word to me, stayed at his table and continued reading. Another mother came and told me and I went over.  I will admit that the collar of my little black wool dress was hot indeed.  It was hardly a disruption, no more than the sound of shoes on floor, in fact, and the toy makes a faint sound, not a loud one, less than the sound of fingers on an old keyboard.  I reached S., and he looked up and smelled trouble.  I asked him, "Did someone rebuke you?" and the man in question did not look up.  I said simply, "Well.  Libraries are about books and in turn, also about children.  Please tell me next time. Please come with me."  

Though thinking on it I think S. handled it rather more correctly than I did.  Gently ignoring while complying because it was a fairly simple thing to stop doing if he found it irritating.  Really, I do believe our so-to-speak village has the right to say something to a child in public if they need a correction.  Certainly the older gentleman was not polite as he might be, but people often aren't and S. must learn to cope with that.  It was silly of me to make a fuss and to fuss in that way specifically.

The day yawned open rather early for me.  Her Majesty is teething or doing something royal and it's disrupted the sleep patterns.  I'm well into a pot of coffee and I came home with the full intenion of eating a See's Chocolate.  But then I picked the wrong one and so I had to have another.  That happens sometimes.   Our quest of unloading possessions continues.  The garage fills and at the other house, I am having a Grand Giveaway in January.  After the Giveaway, I will hopefully have the Goodwill pick up items.  I absolutely love the Goodwill.  I buy almost all our household goods and clothing from there, shopping about once a week, rather than buying new.  I see Her Majesty's Clothing as mostly a "for rent" program.  I buy, use, then donate so frequently that we saw another mother buying some of her infant clothing in line the other day.  The boys giggle because as we shop we so often find items from our own home and the prices are amazing for what we were so anxious to let go of.  I hope it does some good.  It does make us think rather carefully about every single purchase, to be surrounded by so many things is a reminder of how many things there are, period.  It's still a case of a mini minimalist meeting a capablable storage minder. 

We are still fascinated by The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.   Slowly we are assessing things, and I let it be messy in the meanwhile.  Things that are messy either get picked up and used and find a home or after a few days, I put in the ever growing donate pile in the garage.

MB is home after a day of fighting crime so I'm going to go say hello.



12/30 '14 3 Comments
I love the library. I have noticed a shrinkage in the fiction sections across the board. Not just children's fiction but adult fiction too. (Our public library has cannibalised young adult fiction into the adult fiction which I both love and hate. It was much easier to find when it had its own dedicated space, but a part of me loves the idea that many adults will now pick up titles they may never have bothered to before because it's no longer in the "Teen" section of the library.)

Our library is two stories. Upstairs is non fiction and multi-media. Down stairs is ALL fiction. Adult and child.

Madeline books are painfully hard to stumble across these days. AS a bookseller I do quite a few special orders for them, (not enough for us to have a regular stock of them though) but they have fallen out of favour and I find that quite sad. I was surprised to day to find two Franklin books on our shelves! They are notoriously hard to get in Australia now. As a result I refuse to ever part with my kids collection of Franklin.

Libraries, in my opinion, are the refuge of children, and I don't know if it's just 'country town' mentality, but a little bit of noise is always well tolerated in ours. Probably helps that I know the librarians quite well.
Beth Adele 12/31 '14
Our library is one story now (haha), but it's expanding. That's right, in Media, the library is actually getting bigger because there's a demand for it. I know how rare and precious this is.
I love libraries. Hunter is still a terror - wants to "work" on all the computers, doesn't quite get the idea of being quiet, but if I never take him to the library, he will never learn, so I hope the other patrons can tolerate us, and I try to keep him contained as much as possible without squashing his joy.

I am still thinking a lot about stuff.  I think it's my midlife crisis.  No.  Not think.  I know it is. I am approaching forty this year and this next decade is mine.  It's about action and adventure and moving with certainty now that I know better who I am.

But I have the stuff.  The stuff of my twenties to sort out first.

Where MB lives, in a coastal town, there are many estate sales in the summer.  The boys and I will occasionally wander through them.  We are only occasional purchasers. I have one list I work from of things we need. If we see an item we have noticed we need we buy it.  If not, we do not buy.

Everyone, I dare say, has a few things in boxes.  One of the things I've been doing is gathering all my items in boxes from remote storage locations and putting them at my house.  It's overwhelming.  I have probably four, good sized boxes of what could best be described as containing "North American junk drawer." Bits of cable, binder clips, paper clips, half used pencils.  It's a lot of sort and honestly I have a lot of stock.  Items "in case."  

There are also boxes of odd things that are hard to get rid of.  Things that someone gave me that, while I love the person who gifted them, they are not quite something I'd use readily or embrace.  Or things that I used to use and love a great deal that are difficult to let go of becasue when I put eyes upon them (even if they are forgotten to me until that point) I feel a curious lurch of "mine" that rises up, dragonlike, and belches it's desire towards the object.

I am beginning to recognize these boxes at estate sales in the summer.  One I remember especially was a wonderful house that had been untouched since 1975.  Her records and very pricey and lovely record player and stereo system were proudly displaed in the console and records, oh remember how lovingly we once had to store our media? neatly arranged in tidy boxes alongside.  But also, in less lovely boxes, were boxes and boxes of unopened stationary, yellowed, Avon make up and other useful things that she'd boxed up.  They stayed in the boxes, unused, and were sold at the estate sale.   The boxes had probably only been opened to be reboxed and stored again for almost forty years.

Forty years.  Think about what has happened in forty years. We have computers and cell phones.  The USSR has broken apart, the Berlin Wall came down and you can hold a corporate job and have pink hair and peircings.  Alphabet City in New York is gentrified.  And that whole time, those objects in that box were unused.  

I have boxes like that that.   It's odd to think that when I pack something up because it's not good enough to use anymore but too sentimental to let go of, that that box may only be opened because I'm dead and gone.  I might as well send it away now.  I don't want to curate boxes of unused things that will only end up being sold at my estate sale.  They are get rid of items.  They should go now.  Not in forty years.

I don't have a will (to do list this year) but there is a letter.  Upon my death, my children are assigned a task.  If I am in ashes (undecided) they are to scatter them in these locations:  The North Pole (Fairbanks, AK), The South Pole (Antarctica), the Masai Mara in Africa and then they are to end the entire trip with a cup of tea in Kensington at the Pelham Hotel.  I will leave funds to enable them to take this trip. I'd prefer the three of them go together but separately is okay too.  My point is that a funeral costs a lot of money.  Instead of sitting and mourning me, find closure in that there is no closure, because I don't believe I will ever be dead and gone. I believe the spirit lives on. So go see me where I hope I will be.  An African sky.  The Northern Lights.  But I don't want them opening  musty boxes in my house and setting them up to sell to the neighbors for a dollar or two.

I do know is what survives to our children is rarely kept in a box.  It's what we share, and the things we most love are things we use until they are used up.  There is this curious yellow pot of my mother's I've long coveted.  It has a wooden handle, and it is yellow with white enamel inside and she always made gravy in it.  There is no chance I will inherit it as it is used so often.  It's our habits, our demeanor.  My grandmother forbade me to come home from collge for her funeral so I stayed.  I never had the feeling she was gone, never, not really, and to this day I'm certain I will find her somewhere.  I can't say it's a bad feeling.  I really can't say it isn't truly nice to know she's there somewhere.

My project in December, for myself, is No More Forty Year Boxes.

The first sort is done.  Now the deeper sort comes.  January, I will be clean.

11/24 '14 1 Comment
"I do not want to curate boxes of unused things."
That line, that line right there, got me.
With every move, we seem to need more and more trucks to move our stuff.
Even though we cull like crazy before and after each move. Our first move, we didn't even half fill a truck. Our last move (move number 14) we needed three and a half trucks. That's three and a half large storage containers.
I had over 300 boxes of just books. We have way too much stuff.
Beth Adele 11/26 '14