Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And Party Every Day

At the risk of seeming insane, this was possibly the greatest Halloween ever. Nick and his friends decided to channel my favorite band from junior high school. No, mom. I didn't bribe them. Guess who will be checking out Kiss CD's from the library this week. 

I'm trying to talk them into wearing these costumes for the Rock and Read 5K this Saturday. But after the overwhelming attention they received from trick or treating, we may have to hire bodyguards.

How was your Halloween?

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.
 

What Lasts Longer Than Halloween Candy?

The magical memories. 

And my favorite, the books, the movies, and the music that inspire the costume. Your library carries the beauty behind the outfit, and it's a great way to extend Halloween beyond the hours of one evening. Borrow the beauty ~ keep the knowledge.

Happy Halloween!

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

My heart is heavy for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Red Cross had to cancel thousands of blood drive appointments due to the weather throughout the East Coast and central states. If you can go and give blood today or tomorrow, you'll be helping them rebuild their blood bank. You can also give monetary donations here. Doing something little, like taking 20 minutes to give blood, isn't just an act of faith, it's sharing faith.

xoxo Michele

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers is a must read on Hurricane Katrina.

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Favorites



Not much of a library post for you today. I'm exhausted from this weekend. We haven't had a family photo taken since Arielle was one, but Saturday I woke up determined to place our family in front of my favorite trees of autumn at Davidson College. 


I won't name any names, but certain family members didn't want to wear what I laid out for them. Some felt that football jerseys would be appropriate. Others thought that brushing the dog on clothes I laid out for the photo-shoot would be helpful.


A few felt that bringing a chair from home was shamefully embarrassing. Rocket decided to exhibit tummy troubles and fear of leaves. Simultaneously.


But it was so worth the temporary sirens going off in my head. And dog ears on my husband.


 My fall favorites for reading right now include A Hologram For The King, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, and Jayber Crow.

I can't wait to share what we've been reading for Edie's online book club later this week, Antigone.

What are you reading for fall?

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rock and Read


I'm not a morning person. But I'll brave the break of day to attend the Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library 3rd Annual Rock and Read 5K. If you are in the Charlotte area, come join me! We'll share a Summit coffee (or three) and a brisk walk (run? jog? my legs no comprendo). Proceeds benefit the book collections for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Which really means, if you library, you're getting a bigger book collection




Sacrificing some sleep together makes the morning sweeter, especially when it benefits the crown jewel of sharing. If you're in the Charlotte area, click here to register. 

Want a completely painless way to help your local library? Use them. High circulation (the amount of media being checked out) has never been more important to your public library than it is today.  

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Celebrate With Pippa Middleton And Wowbrary


Is she the Martha Stewart of London? I can't wait to find out. When Wowbrary arrived today in my email inbox, I spied her book, Celebrate, and immediately reserved a copy (I'm number three on the list). You can, too. Just click here and put in your zip code to see if your library participates. It's free, easy to sign up, and once a week (no spam, no nothing) you'll get an email showing the latest books, music, movies and more coming soon to your local library. 

Wowbrary is my secret weapon in borrowing new library beauty before these titles even hit the library website (I tried finding this book on my library website and it's not available yet). 

Wowbrary, sweet friends. It's just too awesome not to share.

Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends    More Info  Borrow
By Pippa Middleton. From Viking Adult.
Amazon rank #126

In her first book, Middleton reveals the secrets to hosting a successful party with recipes, tips and detailed instructions on how to throw a memorable event.




Thank you, Wowbrary.

xoxo Michele


Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Birder Buddies And A Tuesday Treat

We had the opportunity to camp out with the Davidson Lands Conservancy last Saturday. The highlight for me was the bird walk (I'll skip over the lowlights: freezing overnight temperatures and the chilling absence of sleep). Led by a professional birder, within the first two minutes we were viewing six different varieties of warblers, sparrows, chickadees, and a knock-your-socks-off Cedar Waxwing. By the end of our tour, we had viewed over twenty unique, dazzling species of birds. 

This beauty lives all around us, the mysteries of migration and melody inhabit our daily landscape - do we notice?


It had me thinking about all the birds that nest and sing on the branches of the trees around my home. My bestie little birder buddy helped create pine-cone treats for our feathered friends. 

Sharing a meal is a gift that gives to us and them: they eat, and we feast our eyes and hearts on the most ancient animal creation in nature. 


You'll need:

Pine-cones 
Yarn
Peanut Butter
Bird Seed

And of course, having a birder buddy makes it even sweeter.


Attach a two-foot piece of yarn to a pine-cone. Spread peanut butter on the edges of the pine-cone and roll in bird seed. Hang from a branch on a tree, preferably from a branch you can view while going about your day.   


Birding requires patience. I'll update with photos when our first guests arrive.


Birding brings beauty you can't buy. Peace. Joy. Love and appreciation for the wonders of nature. Just like the library - you can't buy it. But you can share it.



Like several of my other hobbies, the beauty of birding is encouraged because the library shares books, music and movies. This documentary is a must see. 

Do you have a birder buddy? The library is a great place to start.


xoxo Michele


Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Use Your Library


Tuesday morning I spent 15 minutes in the bathroom trying to put on tights that wouldn't budge above my knees. After several knocks on the door from concerned family members (and others that simply couldn't wait any longer to use the bathroom) I admitted defeat. My mantra of "I can do this" was no match for the too-tight tights. It was then that I read the tag and realized I was trying to put on my daughter's leggings. 



Life isn't a one-size fits most. Books, clothes, food, music, home decor, art ~ we all love stuff that fits our individual passion and personality. Here's the rub: we frequently change our minds, or grow tired of the bell bottoms, the boy bands, the metal star wall hangings, the acai berry smoothies. Just take a look at the full containers on garbage pick-up day. Or our landfills. Or second hand stores. Or yard-sales. Want to cut back but still enjoy personalized shopping?




Library.

The library helps me spend less in two important emotional areas. 

Shop without spending. The library satisfies an urge to collect, discover, explore. You can open books like a gift when you get home. I love Pinterest and other blogs - love them. They inspire many trips to the library, but they do not satisfy my need to shop and bring home beauty in my hands and turn page after lovely page. 



Borrow the beauty. Keep the knowledge. The library tailors toward the individual - babies through great-grandparents will find music, cookbooks, magazines, movies and books that fit their lifestyle. I know from experience that I'm willing to take more chances and bring home this and this because of sharing rather than spending. The bonus is you get to keep the knowledge - and here's the funny thing about knowledge: you'll never have enough. Ever. Not in a hundred lifetimes. I can't say that about shoes. Or lamps. Or tights.




Use your library. Neil Gaiman won't mind. I promise.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Well Traveled



A library card is a free ticket to ride anywhere, anytime, anyplace. 




Happy Birthday, precious traveler
Each day with you is a gift.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.


Monday, October 15, 2012

The Importance Of Childhood Friendships

Special thanks to David Boraks for my newest favorite photo. I'd wear it as a necklace if I could.

I can't separate my childhood from the library. The friends I discovered there were as real to me as my neighborhood playmates. Mary Lennox shared the pain of loss, and the healing of sorrow through opening your heart to unexpected relationships. Charlotte bravely lived the secrets of true friendship. Tom Sawyer shared an adventurous world completely unbeknownst to this girl growing up in the quiet orchard town of Emmett, Idaho. NancyPippi, JoRamona and Beezus and Henry, Margaret, LauraMeg and Charles, Peter Susan Edmond and precious Lucy - I can't imagine my childhood without these friends.




As expected, my children chose their own fictional friends. Nick spent long evenings with Oswald and his siblings. When Bev, our children's librarian, introduced him to Hank, he disappeared for hours each day until the entire series was complete. Arielle became friends for life with Binah, Charlotte, Grace, Amy and Nicole. John enjoys the freedom of stepping into the divergent worlds of Calvin, Piggy and King Arthur - often in the same evening.




Childhood friendships, fact or fictional, are life-changing. Life-affirming. 

Life supplies the former, and the library shares the latter. 


Who were your fictional friends growing up? 


xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Lasts Longer Than Beauty?


Being Smart. ~ Gabrielle Union (in Half The Sky)


I say, why not have both beauty and smarts?  

Take for instance the October issue of Anthropologie. Have you seen it? Beautiful clothes and shoes and more, staged in the sheer brilliance of Antoni Gaudi.


The magazine inspired a trip to the library, where we rediscovered my favorite Gaudi children's book: Building on Nature

Dear readers, make the children's picture book section of your library a treasured hangout - every shelf is a nest of precious, jeweled knowledge.


Gaudi believed that each time he stepped into nature he was walking into God's storybook of creation. Don't you just love that? 

He was often sick as a child and couldn't play with his siblings, so he spent a lot of time observing nature.


He dedicated his adult life to creating buildings, homes and churches made by the hands of men with the eye of God's natural design, and often times his masterpieces were found in the smallest of details.


Dressing your body in style? Fabulous. 

Dressing your mind in knowledge? Absolutely extraordinary ~ because you can share that knowledge with those around you. Yes, I'm totally assuming you are constantly surrounded with children, like me. 


Halfway through the Anthropologie magazine, we were introduced to the artistry of chef Jose Garces. I'm positive they are trying to sell the dinnerware, but my eyes were not prepared to lose sight of the food. We walked over to the cookbook section at the library and found Jose patiently waiting for us. Sweet friends, his cookbook is a work of art.

I was inspired to make loin of pork in the crockpot (I know my limits). My hands smell like garlic, my husband bravely smooched me anyway, and a precious three year old is goo goo for Gaudi. 

How awesome is that? Actually, it's pretty smart.


xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Spy Who Wrecked Me


This wasn't supposed to happen. 

Remember my endless preaching on Reading is From Jupiter And TV Makes You Stupider*? Yeah. Forget that. My friend Betsy is responsible for this latest TV crush. It's not bad enough that I've turned into The Shusher if Carl attempts to make a comment or lean a different way on the couch while watching Carrie avoid being captured. No. It's much, much worse. Unlike my other TV obsession, Homeland wasn't inspired by a book series (it was inspired by the Israeli TV series, Hatufim).

*What I meant to say was Reading Goes To College To Get More Knowledge, TV Is From Jupiter.... but it is quite obvious I've been watching too much TV.

This is the closest remedy I've found for my newly formed, totally uncontrollable spy addiction.



Have you discovered a spy (book) series worth sharing? Please do. Quickly.

While on the subject, my heart's homeland is found in the beauty of Idaho's rugged landscape. How about yours?

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sharing Is A Sanctuary


A neighbor shared a shortcut to town with me. Ever since, we've been taking this path through the woods to school in the morning. Time spent in nature, even if it's only five minutes, has a profound effect on the spiritual start and structure of my day. It also prompted me to think about the concept of sharing in a new way.


Sharing is a sanctuary. 





Sharing is inhabitable. 


Like nature. Like home. A family. A community. A library. Sharing is a shelter from loneliness and isolation, from pride and importance of self. 


Sharing is structural. 

The beauty of nature, the growth of family, the strength of community comes from sharing space, ideas (conversation), and time.    

Sharing is the basic, essential framework for every home, habitat, community, and environment. Heck, sharing is what's happening in this precious boy's body right now in order for it to grow. 

I know a sanctuary that specializes in sharing, and everyone is welcome there. 


I'm swooning all over Wendell Berry 

They value ideas and help families and communities grow stronger. I hope you'll visit your local library this weekend (and save a few trees to boot).





Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Library Is Halloween Headquarters


What's treatier (it's totally a word) than tonight's Presidential Debate? Our ability to trick out our home for Halloween with books and movies and music from the library. We picked up Martha Stewart's Halloween book along with the Halloween Party Favorites CD and shopped our house for black construction paper, white bed sheets, scissors, and tape. I swear half the fun is tricking out Martha's ideas with our own homemade twist.

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween. The children are happy because we are decorating the house. I'm happy because we are not spending money. 

Added bonus: you won't have to store the inspiring holiday magazines, music,  movies, and books once Halloween is over - the library does that for us.


You can find more Halloween inspiration from the library here.

I sincerely hope you will be watching the debate tonight with your family. We're serving hot dogs and hamburgers with apple pie and making this important evening a family affair. The library has, well, a library of books and movies for children to get them excited about our democracy in action. It's never too early or too late.

Spend Less. Share More. Library.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.
  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spend Less. Share More. Library.


Better than warm chocolate sauce on a homemade brownie. The library is now sharing free music through Sony's catalog of artists, Freegal Music*. Enter your library card number and download up to three free songs a week. I just downloaded Mumford and Son's I Will Wait, Avett Brother's 10000 Words and Miles Davis' Miles Runs The Voodoo Down

Smoochie library, you never cease to amaze me with your sharing.

Which three will you download this week?

*You must go through your library website to access free downloads from Freegal Music. For local readers, I've linked to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Website above.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Must Watch And Read: Half The Sky


PBS will be featuring the must watch documentary, Half The Sky, tonight and tomorrow evening. The film was inspired by this book, which is available at your local library. I hope you'll be watching and reading with me in spirit.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Pintertainment Weekly: Banned Books Week


celebrate banned books 


In honor of Banned or Challenged Books Week, I'm highlighting my favorite banned books from the library and photos from Pinterest.

To Kill A Mockingbird was  racist and contained offensive language.

Harry Potter was anti-family, cultist and violent.

Julie Of The Wolves also was too violent. 

Ditto Bridge To Terabithia.

The Adventures of Huck Finn was filled with abhorrent jargon.

Same with Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry.

And Of Mice and Men.

Ernest Hemingway.

Ray Bradbury.

S.E. Hinton.

F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Toni Morrison.

Lois Lowry.

Banned Books display


Display idea for banned books week.



















 








Source

   
You can read my absolutely positively favorite post on banned books here.

Banned Books Week is September 29-October 6th. 
Go rouge and celebrate your freedom to read by visiting your local library today.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.