Tag Archives: Library

Just because.

Well. I’ve been absent again. It has been a long week, and I honestly haven’t even known what to write about. So I didn’t.

Except that I kinda did. Thank you so very much to the Minneapolis Running folks again for publishing another article of mine. I was able to tackle a tough subject that comes up frequently on my blog: mental health. I hope you enjoy it and find some use from it, even if you don’t have issues with your mental health.

ALSO! The next day, they hosted a live video with none other than Sarah Bowen Shea, who is honestly one of my very favorite people ever. I constantly rave over Another Mother Runner, so if you haven’t checked them out by now…honestly, what are you waiting for?

So now: let’s have a conversation and catch up a little. How have you been? How’s the fam?

Fine, thanks. Whatcha been eating lately?

I’ve really been continuing the effort to meal plan and prepare ahead of time. It makes my life sooooo much less stressful. We’ve tried several new recipes these past few weeks, and there have been hits and misses.

Quinoa goes over well with my kiddo and husband. Especially in more Mexican-centric dishes. Or cheesy. Stuffed pepper soup was my favorite. The creamy avocado pesto pasta above? Big fail. And not even good for leftovers, because I am not a fan of  the color/flavor of avocado when it’s more than a few minutes old.

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I also jumped into the world of Shakeology. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it or have at least heard about it/read about it in your Facebook newsfeed. I’d been on the fence for quite sometime, because I try not to get too caught up in anything that is associated with MLM. But after forgetting to make breakfast for myself several days in a row, it seemed like something to at least try.

So far, I’m not disappointed one bit. It’s quick. I have a billion recipes to try, and I’ve loved the ones I’ve tried so far (including birthday cake, Kit Kat, sunshine creamsicle, and peanut butter cup). And it keeps me FULL. Fuller than I thought possible with a shake. I’ll continue to try this month and see how it goes, but it is a luxury that makes my mornings easier so far. Some days, I need all the help I can get.

Great. What have you been up to?

Not running. Oops, am I supposed to admit that? I ran a couple times last week. This week? Nada. Hubby is out of town for the whole week on a work trip, and I’ve been hopping. It is our last week of dance before summer, and it includes dance rehearsals and two recitals this weekend. Throw in an out-of-town work conference, two cats & one dog, and a kid with mood swings worse than a Sourpatch Kid? I’m fried. My house is a war-zone. I’m basically throwing kibble on the floor for all the critters to consume. I may have even bathed LJ with a few baby wipes at one point this week. (Don’t worry. She got a bath the next night.)

I literally found a plate of LJ’s dinner turned over on the living room floor last night. It had dried and crusted to the plate by the time it was flipped over, though, so the carpet was completely unscathed. An embarrassing sort of victory.

As for last weekend, Mother’s Day was…good. I am blessed to be a mom. I am blessed to have so many lovely women in my life and my daughter’s life. But it also is a day filled with inner-turmoil for me and for others, I know. For me, I have a fractured relationship with the person I most want to celebrate. I love her so very much, and I miss her. I hope things can be better some day, but that doesn’t make Mother’s Day less painful now.

The other person I want to celebrate with is my grandmother, whom I’ve written about in the past. She meant and still means so much to me, so LJ and I made a trip to visit her and Grandpa’s burial site. We talked with them, and LJ gave them many hugs and kisses. We brought flowers and thanked Grandma for being wonderful. We had conversations about life and death, and I was honest with LJ, even when it was painful for me and confusing for her. I won’t hide my grief, because I want her to know how amazing her great-grandma was.

Because hubby left the day before Mother’s Day, he and LJ both found ways to make me feel loved that weekend. They sent flowers to me at work on Saturday, and LJ slept in until 9:00 Sunday morning. What a darling.

What are you reading?

Oh, boy. I’ve got a gigantic TBR list, and I realized how far behind I am on my reading goal for the year. So I’ve been cruising through the chapters these last few days. I just finished a wonderful/tragic graphic novel called Last Things: A Graphic Memoir of Loss and Love by Marissa Moss. Highly recommended, but it will pull at your heart. This is a bleak one, but it captures the reality some people face when their loved one is faced with terminal illness.

I’m in the process of tackling Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a short read but I’m taking a little extra time to digest each “chapter.”

Also in line to finish up Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig soon.

Okay, great. Anything else?

I’m running the TC 10 Mile, thanks to the Mother Runner crew! I’m soooooo excited, because this was one of my favorite races ever. So I’m back in training-planning mode with a renewed energy. I’ll reach my goals someday, and this was a big boost.

Also, this is my workplace, and I love it. Especially when the sky is shiny happy:

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This post ended up being much longer than anticipated. Hopefully I learn to break it up a little bit in the future, but you know how I operate…silence and then surprise.

SHOP

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3/27/17: Manic Monday (MIA Edition)

I fail to have a great reason why I took a week off from this ol’ blog. Last week was busy at work, and I have been keeping a cold at bay. But those things are par for the course in my life. Let’s blow the dust off the pages here and get started with a brand new week!
How was your weekend? Mine was average. I worked Saturday, so that often makes it feel disjointed and not so much like a weekend. I was successful at getting some cleaning/organizing done around the house. After my long, bleak, can’t-get-off-the-couch weeks, my house is finally starting to look like a place where people could survive. And maybe even thrive?

As I mentioned, I started feeling an inkling of a cold last Thursday. Friday morning, I hit the Vitamin C/power food train hard starting off with a delicious smoothie. I’m still stuffy and have a scratchy throat, but I’m pushing it off as long as I can.

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This morning’s run was a relief after my brain was on overdrive this weekend. I am getting more and more excited for the days when I won’t have to pull on gloves and a hat and long leggings and multiple layers. I can’t wait to just hop out of bed, lace up, and go.


Without further ado, here are a few short-ish reads for a manic Monday:

  • This article gives a perspective I hadn’t read before. And I can certainly relate. Sometimes, I have longer stretches of time where I don’t run, and I feel myself slipping. For me, it’s not the people around me telling me to go for a run. It’s my own conscience making me feel guilty and lazy and like I can’t even help myself. This is a reminder of what can happen if I slip too far and how hard it is to get back up again. I am so glad this author chose to write about this.
  • Podcasts are awesome. Need some running ones? Look here. Want some non-running recommendations? AMR has you covered. Do you have podcasts you like that aren’t on these lists? Because I’m always open for recommendations.
  • I could watch this video for hours. Also, I’m pretty sure these ducks run faster than me.
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you libraries are important, and I’m glad mainstream media sources (if you can consider Cosmo one of those?) know it, too. The American Library Association can send out a million emails and articles with calls to action, but who usually reads those articles? Librarians and library support staff. Getting the word out to more people is critical at this point.

Well, that was more reading material than I had initially planned. I hope you have a lovely evening, and I plan on “chatting” with you again soon.

Cassie

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1/23/17: Manic Monday

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via Giphy

My training plan started today! And I won’t lie, I felt a little Nemo-ish when I woke up. Well, as Nemo-ish as one can be at 5:30 in the morning.

Summary: It was sleeting. The sidewalks were covered in ice. (Yaktrax are a blessing.) I’m on the cusp of catching the kiddo’s respiratory illness. I was slow. I had a twinge of pain here or there. But it is done. And I just want to be all healed and back on the road so very badly. Hoping I get stronger each day.

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First day of school! First day of school!

Without further ado, here are a couple quick tidbits for a busy Monday.

Every time I read an article on being too hooked on technology, I think, “I know! I know I need to quit playing with my phone. Put it down, woman!” But then I don’t do a very good job of putting it down. I’ll just keep trying to beat it into my brain. Here’s another good one.

I really enjoy reading what Dean Karnazes writes. This gem is no exception. I should just print this out and read it everyday. So many simple reminders of some pretty darn good ways to use your mind to achieve goals.

And without going too far into discussions of current volatile political topics, I will say this last week has been difficult. I am trying to handle the accompanying anxiety with some grace and mostly just a lot of hiding under the covers. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen some incredibly powerful examples of humanity and kindness and strength.

But I’ve also been seeing the nasty words, the “us vs. them” mentality,  and finger-pointing that has been going back and forth between strangers, acquaintances, and even friends and family. It is incredibly disheartening, and even if I shouldn’t let it weigh heavily on me, I do. I know others do, too.

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Let’s just chill for a bit and eat some popcorn and watch some Curious George, k guys?

All I will say is this: please be mindful and respectful with your posts, words, and actions. That’s not asking too much. (The librarian in me asks that you also fact check before you share that meme, but that’s a whole other post.) Anywho, Jenny Lawson thinks this week has been difficult, too. And I love her, because she gets it.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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1/6/17: Biblio-Friday

So I’m trying something new today. In celebrating the intended spirit of bookish-ness that I wanted this blog to have, I want to focus on books, libraries, or the literary world in general for at least one segment a week. Let’s see how it goes!

Books!

What are your reading goals this year? I’ve already mentioned I want to read 50 pages per day. (Day 6 of the year, and I’m going strong!) Hopefully that will end up being enough to read 50 books, as that’s what I’ve set for my GoodReads challenge.

Just finished up The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom for my monthly book club. I read it in just a few days, because it was intricate, captivating, and brilliantly written. The characters were written with honesty and believability, and you couldn’t help but love the lovable ones and hate the hateable ones. Highly recommended.

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My current TBR pile from the library…I might have a problem. And I also might not care too much if I have a problem.

These past few days, I’ve been working on If at Birth, You Don’t Succeed by Zach Anner. Have you seen Zach Anner before? You may remember him from his various shows/projects. If you don’t remember him, you should check him out. Hilarious and smart and well-spoken. I can hear his voice come through when I read the book, and it’s a nice light read about sometimes-kinda-heavy topics.

Libraries!

As someone who struggles with seasonal changes, I am highly interested to see that the Lawrence Public Library is offering light therapy for their patrons suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I kinda love it, and I wish I could try it out! I was surprised at the low-ish cost of the lamps, too.

More Bookish-ness!

Anyone a member of the Hogwarts Running Club? After being a lurker for awhile, I’ve really started to enjoy getting involved. Anywho, they announced their first virtual race of the year: the Mad Eye Moody 5k. Look at that medal! And what a great cause. #somuchgood

Aaaaannnnddd…I may have a SparkleSkirt on the way to me soon. Eeeee! When you mix running and reading, well, you know I’m gonna geek out.

Have a lovely weekend, my special snowflakes!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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11/30/16: Whatever Wednesday

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a whirlwind of a weekend spent with family and friends, and that’s just a preview of the next month. I adore this time of year, but I’m already tired and overbooking myself.

This time of year is also painful for many, and I will add myself in there. Thanksgiving is the last day I heard my grandmother, someone I considered my “partner in crime” from a young age, say “I love you” to me. She was in hospice, and as I prepared to leave, I told her I loved her. She whispered slowly and strained, “Love you, too.” And her voice will stick with me forever. She passed peacefully on December 6th.

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I know others are in their own kinds of pain, and I hope you are able to find some joy in each day. Sometimes, it’s just about survival. And I know part of my survival comes through running. I have been seeing lots of posts on staying accountable through the holidays, and paying close attention to that helps me. I particularly like this post from No Meat Athlete. Good tips for athletes and non-athletes alike.

I also find solace in books. It’s a good way for me to escape for a bit and focus on something not-in-my-head. What am I digging lately? In the past few weeks: Faithful by Alice Hoffman, You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein, and It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny. Also a shout-out to the new podcast Nora is hosting, Terrible, Thanks for Asking. And her new child, Stormtrooper Luckycharm. Because that is epic. I’m a quiet admirer of all she has done.

And obviously, check your local library or bookstore for these items. (I’m totally guilty of Amazon-ing a lot, though, so I totally get it if you do, too.)

Also, books are awesome, and these quotes remind me of that. Save ’em for a day you’re feeling a little lost.

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for today. Later, friends!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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10/3/16: Manic Monday, the Chocolate Edition

Wait, it’s October? When the hell did that happen?

Seriously, though. I was just maybe kind of adjusting to the fact that it was September. And here comes October shooting in all HEY, THE PARTY IS HERE.

With the end of September came the MLA conference. I love being a librarian, and I learned even more about librarianing. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and remember why I chose to be a part of this career. I have so many ideas of things I’d love to do, if I can just embrace the passion and move forward. It was also in Duluth, my favorite city in the history of forever. I didn’t get to embrace the Duluth life as much as I would have liked. (C’mon, I had to wake up at 3:00 AM on Thursday morning to get to the conference in time!) But it inspired me in many ways while I was there. Hoping we can plan a mini-vacay there in the next few months.

With the beginning of October came the Chocoholic Frolic 10(-ish) k run. Although I thoroughly enjoy any run that has chocolate as the main perk, there were a few things I hope they can work to improve in the future.

  1. DISTANCE: Most importantly, I finished and noticed my GPS only recorded 5.5 miles. This was billed as a 10k, which is supposed to be 6.2. May seem like a petty thing to some, but this served as a training/taper session for me, and I count on those miles. Hopefully next year, they can offer this again but be a little more careful with measuring their distance. I know I am not the only one who had an issue with this.
  2. Time: So not only did the 10k start after the 5k (I like it when the longer distance goes first, because it takes…y’know, longer.), the 10k didn’t even start until 10:00. By this point, the sun was up and blaring. I ended up feeling slow and trudging along (even more so than usual), and I was a sweaty, stinky mess by the end. I know this is more of a fun run, but even just switching the times for the 10k and 5k would have helped. Maybe there were some course considerations regarding this, but it makes me feel very divided on signing up for this again.
  3. Where am I going?!: I’m not talking about the course here. In fact, the course guides and police officers were helpful, encouraging, and just generally awesome. I’m talking about actually getting to the start line. Despite the fact that we paid $10 to park in one of the recommended event day parking lots, there was no signage indicating where we should actually go. We had to follow a few people who looked like they knew where they were going, and we also listened for the music. When we actually arrived at the course, I couldn’t tell if the inflatable arches I was looking at were the start or the finish. I had to walk around for a while to find another set of arches labeled “FINISH” and then figure out where the start line was by process of elimination.

Despite all of this, the day was gorgeous. The views were beautiful. The hills were terrible, but maybe that’s preparing me for next week’s 10-miler? I don’t know. At the very least, I had the sound of my biggest little fan in my head. As I left her and the hubby to line up, I could hear her repeating, “GO, MAMA, GO!” over and over again. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t add some extra pep to my step.

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So now I’m just sitting here…uber nervous for Sunday. I am hoping that the conditions in and of themselves lead to a better run/finish. I have so many things on my mind lately, and nighttime isn’t even a respite. I get little rest with the vivid dreams and nightmares, and I wake up feeling drained and wondering whether a IV of caffeine might be worth it.

I guess I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully on a bit more positive of a note. Step-by-step and day-by-day.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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7/28/16: Thankful Thursday

Today, I am feeling so very, very thankful. I have received messages, texts, visits, gifts, songs, and reminders that people care for me.

Today is my birthday.

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I wish I looked this cute in a party hat.

I like to be rather understated about these things (going unnoticed is one of my hobbies), but word gets out. Facebook is really good at telling everyone it’s your birthday, and it was up on the work calendar.

 

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My clever husband had a birthday mirror mural (mirral?) waiting for me. Excuse the jammies/bedhead.

Without further ado, here are my thankful thought-points for the week:

  1. I’m alive: I am thankful to be celebrating another year alive today. There are times in the past where my brain convinced me otherwise, but I am mentally much healthier today than I have been in a very long time. I’m working on being physically healthier as well, and I feel like it’s going to be a good year where I do lots of things I dared not to dream of before.
  2. My job: Along with my birthday comes the anniversary of me starting work at the library. In a couple days, I’ll be celebrating one year here. I started out as a circulation assistant part time, and in March I began my current position as a librarian. A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined I’d be a librarian already in the library where I grew up. Life has a funny way of surprising you like that, even when you think you know what’s coming.
  3. People in my life who just “get” me: The hubby and dino-toddler gave me a couple running/foot support-related goodies (I’ll be sharing those at a later date!), a Star Wars book for DT and me to read, a cute coffee mug, and other goodies that had “Cassie” written all over them. I’ve also received several generous gifts from others that make it pretty clear people care. It’s flattering and humbling, and I hope they all know how much I care about them, too.

All I can say is I am one LUCKY mama.

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Birthday cake pops. Duh.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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