Monthly Archives: February 2014

Morning Meanderings…. Ladies Night Out Recap


Good morning!  Happy HAPPY Friday! 

My ladies night excursion last night was fun!  Myself and three of my friends went around to local business and had our cards punched and did everything from shooting hoops, to trying a room key at a hotel to see if we won a suite for a weekend, to hula hooping. 😛  At the stops we received samples, coupons, and tasty treats.

GNO (Girls Night Out) is a fun event that happens twice a year in Brainerd, once in February and once in October… you may remember the October one… they encourage us to dress up:


This event is actually a brilliant way to get women to go out and learn about the businesses in our community.  We are given a list of places to go to get the punch on our card.  AT these businesses we may need to answer questions about the business to enter to win something (they always make it easy to find the answers), or you may play a game like mini golf…  at one of the stops last night they were giving massages…. NICE! Not only do we learn about the businesses in our community, we have a great time with our friends!

Each stamp on our card earns up a ticket at the end of the night.  The tickets go into a big drawing box and then winners are announced on the radio at 8:15 am the following morning.  If they announce your ticket # you have two minutes to call in or they draw another #.  This morning they gave away a spa package, a pair of diamond earrings, a $500 cash prize, and a $10000 cash prize.  They said about 240 women participated last night which is down from over 450 in the fall, but we are still battling cold awful weather here.  The $1000 winner did not call within two minutes this morning so they drew another #.  It’s exciting and fun!

None of the girls in my group won but you can be sure we will try again in the fall. 😀

Today I have a meeting about the camp applications for this years Camp Benedict, a camp that I am on the Board of.  I also need to work out, write a review, work on Wine and Words brochures, work on Friends Of the Library brochures, run a  few errands in town, purchase my BEA plane ticket, finish laundry, plan dinner… it’s going to be a great day 😀

Morning Meanderings… New Window at The Library


Good morning!  Here I am at the end of my work week after today and feeling pretty good. 😀  Yes, this is another morning meandering about the library.  Really…. there has been quite the library theme this week. 

You may have seen this fun picture floating around Facebook:


We decided to mimic this (sort of) for our March window.  So yesterday I worked on this:




We went with green because of ST Patrick’s Day and of course because maybe someday hopefully we will see Spring.  It was a lot of fun to pick out the books off my shelf that are green. 😀

Tonight is the Spring (ha ha – but true) Girls Night Out.  Our City does a little cool Stars Hollowish (yes yes Gilmore Girls reference) thing where starting at 3 pm today women are given a list of businesses to visit around the area.  At each stop you received a ticket, as well as drawings, appetizers, occasionally beverages.  At the end of the night, by 8 pm we all have to meet at a specific store and turn all of tickets into a BIG box that will be shook up and in the morning on the radio they will draw for the big prizes… sometimes a spa package, or diamond earrings….

It has been so cold and windy that I would rather stay home… however, I also think that if I can just stick it out, maybe the competition will not be as steep this time. 😛

Is that wrong?  😯

Anyhoo… that’s my day.

Morning Meanderings… Librarian For A Day Experience


Good morning!  Happy Wednesday 😀

Yesterday afternoon I was able to go into the Library and learn about working the Reference Desk.  This is part of a program called “Librarian For A Day” where Library Board members and Friends Board Members are invited to come in and see what it is like to work the library.  It’s an amazing idea and really gives you a feel for what is really happening at the library.

My designated area yesterday was the Reference Desk.  I was able to work with Laurel (who is awesome!) as she explained to me all the Reference Desk does.  First off, we were surrounded by people with questions.  I found this interesting as we have the computers set up for people to look up book titles and availability – they can find book locations from there and reserve them if they are not available at this time – However people really seem to like to talk to a person with their requests, which was pretty great.  We assisted with checking on book availability, book titles, books by topic…  From the Reference Desk we could see if perhaps we did not have the book but another library in our system did and we could reserve it for the person to be sent to our library.

The Reference desk is also the area where the new books that are to be shelved come in.  This is interesting because our branch does not bar code the books, they go to a larger division of us that bar codes our purchases before they come to us.  We then need to check them into the system. ( notice how I am saying we  😛  )

Laurel was able to show me how to check in a couple new books.  We (there it is again)  put wide clear shipping tape on the spines of paperbacks when they come to help reinforce them from wear.  That is interesting!  They also receive a red removable tape that says New! to let people know that this is a new book at the library.  If a new book comes in and has holds on it, it then goes to the shelf for the hold if it is our Library, or into a bin to be sent to another library if the hold is there.  Pick up and delivery to the other libraries in our group happens 4 times a week.  In this case, the book that was just checked in was 12 Years A Slave, and that book had a hold on it for the Wadena Library so off we ( ahhh the “we” again!) went to drop it in the tote going to Wadena.  As pick up was in the morning, Laurel said that this book would be in Wadena tomorrow for the person who requested it.

The lady who works at the reference desk does all the book ordering for the library by looking through magazines of what is popular and what is coming.  What a fun job that would be!

I was only there a short time but it was worth it and I can not wait to do it again! 

Winter People by Jennifer McMahon


West Hall, Vermont has, like many small towns, urban legends.  The towns most notorious story is one a woman named Sarah Harrison Shea who in the early 1900’s was found in a bloody heap, dead, just months after her own young daughter Gertie had tragically died.  Through the years, in the woods that were a part of West Hall, other mysterious deaths and disappearances had taken place, only adding fuel to the legend. The truth of what had happened to Sarah was never discovered but the elaborate stories were ones told around camp fires and during moonless nights….

Now, over 100 years later, 19-year-old Ruthie lives with her mother Alice and her little sister Fawn in the very farmhouse that once belonged to the infamous Sarah.  One morning the girls wake to find their mother Alice missing with no sign of where she may have gone.  As Ruthie explores her mother’s room for clues she finds part of a diary under the floor boards that says it is the secret diary of Sarah Harrison Shea. As Ruthie begins to read the diary she finds it is filled with stories of people called sleepers, those brought back to life from the dead.  Sarah not only believed it was possible, she explained how she did it for her daughter Gertie, and… even more alarming, how to bring anyone back to life.

Sheila’s observation:  Have we learned nothing from Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery?  Bringing people back from the dead is never a good idea…


The Winter People brought up reminiscence of The Returned, and yes, Pet Cemetery.  How often have we thought if we only had a second chance with someone who had passed away unexpectedly and/or far too young?  How far would one go to bring that person back if they could?  AND time after time in our literature we have discovered….  they never come back the way they were.  (Walking Dead anyone?  Just not a great time….  😛  )

This opening description might make you think this book is dark, but actually it is not so much dark as it is just a very interesting tale that travels back and forth seamlessly between Sarah’s time of 1908 , and Ruthie’s life of current time.  As you read, Sarah’s story as told through her diary entries and see her life move forward as Ruthie, reading the diary all these years later follows the book back in time to hopefully find a connection to her mother’s disappearance. 

Beautifully narrated by Cassandra Campbell and Kathe Mazur.  I found Winter People to be a familiar tale, but told in a different way that was unique and that made it a decent read.


Winter People fills the Vermont slot in this challenge

Morning Meanderings: Librarian For A Day


Not going to lie… I am kind of excited 😀

Our Library offers an occasional opportunity to City Board Members and Friends Board Members to get a real taste of what it is like to work at the library.  These LUCKY people will work behind the circulation desk assisting in checking out books, answering questions about library cards, and talking books.  AND if they choose, they will also have an opportunity to work at the reference desk, researching questions that come up about books.

EGADS, does that not sound like fun?  😛

My shift starts today at 2 pm.  Do you have any idea how long I have wanted to be behind that counter?  I mean…. ummmm…. yeah, it might be great.


If you are in the area stop in and see me 🙂

As for the rest of my day – I am home tonight, starting my running training program late afternoon and then moving on to a book this evening.  Should be a wonderful day. 😀

Does your local library offer opportunities for you to work or volunteer there?

12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup


In 1808, Solomon Northup was born a free man of color.  He grew into a man, owned a home, farmed and played violin.  He was married and had three children and did well for himself and his family.  In 1841, at the age of 33, Solomon was lured into a false job to play violin, he was then drugged and kidnapped, shipped to New Orleans and sold as a slave.  For twelve years Solomon was held and sold from one slave owner to the next.  His attempts at escaping were fruitless, if he tried to explain that he was a free man, he was beaten either for his lies, or for the fear the white owners had of what he said was true.  During this time Solomon had no way of getting word to his family, not knowing if they were dead or alive or what they thought had become of him.

In the twelve years of captivity, Solomon learned what it was like to be slave.  During his time of captivity he was able to see the darkest souls of man, but also see kindness in others.  Upon his release, Solomon wrote this recap of his time as a slave.  It was 1853.

12 Years A Slave was a powerful listen.  Narrated by Louis Gossett, in a smooth tone that made you feel that he really was Solomon Northup, retelling his days and months and years with all of his rights as a free man stripped from him. 

What makes this book all the more breathtaking is that it is non fiction.  Solomon shares with his readers the good, the bad, and the extreme ugliness of man during this time period.  I found my heart heavy as I can not wrap my mind around what it had to have been like for Solomon during this time of loss of family, and loss of hope of ever seeing them again.

12 Years A Slave is a remarkable story.  I am looking forward to seeing the movie. 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


Hey there!  Welcome to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list!

I had a nice quiet weekend would made for good reading and listening time.  Here is what I posted this week:

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

When Paper Hits The Road – (A lesson on censorship to close to home)

Movie Review:  Monument Men

The Author Line Up for Wine and Words 2014!  (VERY Exciting!)

All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg


And a fun post I was honored to be a part of – “Ask The Blogger” over at The Novel Life (this weeks topic, Social Media)


After having a nice afternoon of some reading today – I have stirred up an urge to keep on going… here is what I have planned for this week:

For My Ears


Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wiching him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

I started listening to this one today and am enjoying the humor… I dont think I have ever read Ephron before. 





Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

I have so enjoyed Rainbow Rowells writing as of late, I would love to keep on going. 😀




For My Eyes:


When Felix Brewer meets Bernadette “Bambi” Gottschalk at a Valentine’s Dance in 1959, he charms her with wild promises, some of which he actually keeps. Thanks to his lucrative—if not all legal—businesses, she and their three little girls live in luxury. But on the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi’s comfortable world implodes when Felix, newly convicted and facing prison, mysteriously vanishes.

Though Bambi has no idea where her husband—or his money—might be, she suspects one woman does: his mistress, Julie. When Julie disappears ten years to the day that Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she’s left to join her old lover—until her remains are eventually found.

Now, twenty-six years after Julie went missing, Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working cold cases for some extra cash, is investigating her murder. What he discovers is a tangled web stretching over three decades that connects five intriguing women. And at the center is the missing man Felix Brewer.

Somewhere between the secrets and lies connecting past and present, Sandy will find the truth. And when he does, no one will ever be the same.

I am reading this one this week for a tour and am excited to start it!


I think it will be a good week to get in some good reads.  While I have a commitments each day, they are pretty small and I should be home most evening s for my favorite time to read. 🙂  I am curious what you are reading this week! Please add your link below where it says click here:

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For those of you that read mainly middle grade and children’s books, be sure to also link to the younger version of It’s Monday by using the link below!


All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg


Brooke has the type of marriage that you only see on tv.  Married to her high school sweetheart for 15 years, Brooke and Scott still acted like newly weds, sneaking away for quick moments together whenever they could.

Newly married Samantha finds a disturbing email on her husband of 48 hours computer.  And she does the only thing she knows … she runs.

Katherine has not really allowed much more in her life than her career and for the most part that was pretty satisfying, even if she does work for the man who crushed her heart many years ago. After an eye-opening blind date for her 40th birthday, Katherine gets a long overdue wake up call on life.

On the outside, these three women have nothing in common, yet their worlds are about to collide in a powerful way that is more than they could ask for.



So much draws me to this book at first look… the cover is gorgeous and inviting, it is a party I hope I am invited to.  It’s written about three strong women, each very different in how they live their lives…. and probably most intriguing – it is written by a man. 

I dove into All You Could Ask For with a sense of adventure (remember the party cover?  I knew I was in for some fun)  And I was in for some fun, all three women each had qualities that appealed to me as to how they lived their lives.  Brooke’s marriage sounded amazing and fun, Samantha’s desire to push herself physically through triathlon challenges brought out the sports girl in me, and I was impressed by Katherine’s work ethics – although misplaced, she was in a good spot financially.  Of course, as in all great reads, I had a favorite character… and I am not going to tell but I will say that at the end of the book it was fun to find out that the authors favorite was the same as mine.

All You Could Ask For is a good read about women who come together under hard circumstances.  I enjoyed the quick flow of the books and the alternating chapters told by each of the main characters from their point of view.  It is not a perfect book.  I have questions. There is a huge relationship gap that bugged me and made the book feel disconnected because of it.  However,  as I processed my thoughts on this book, I think that maybe Mike Greenberg was right to leave the gap… after all real life works that way.  As much as we would love all our situations to end wrapped neatly with a bow, quite often we just run out of tape.


This book gives me a point in Connecticut, where all three women once lived.



Morning Meanderings… Weekend Time Suck Vortex


What a great low-key weekend.  The winter storm on Thursday and Friday cancelled my plans and kept me inside, and the aftermath of slick roads and warnings kept me from going to the cities yesterday for a run with my friends today, I have completed some tiny tasks and enjoyed a nice quiet weekend.  Quite a different feel then the past few weeks of activity.

I have spent time listening to audio while cooking and cleaning, and even some time reading.  I updated the Wine and Words website and announced our author line up.  I rented a movie for my husband and I that scared me (The conjuring).  I napped.  I talked with friends on the phone and ran a bit on the treadmill.  I finished watching the second season of New Girl and I will miss them.  I have barely left the house and that is ok. 

Today I have also decided to lay low.  The week will take off soon enough with dinner plans tomorrow night with friends, a library board meeting mid-week, and board planning for camp next Friday.  March will bring a possible Polar Plunge, a ST Patrick’s Day Run, a girls weekend in Detroit Minnesota, the spring library sale, and a glow in the dark run

I guess today is a good day to relax. 😀  Books, reviews, treadmill, and cooking are on the agenda.  Here are the the books that came in my home this week:


Unveiling The Wine and Words 2014 Line Up


Ok this is probably stretching Saturday Snapshot a bit… but I am excited so PLEASE allow me this stretch just this one – puh-lease?  *batting my eyes*

Wine and Words is the literary event myself, my co-chair Gail and an amazing team from the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library debuted last year.  We created an event around free wine and amazing authors just to see what would happen and it was amazing.  (Wow!  Can I say the word amazing any more times)?  😛

My concern this year was could we do it again?  We have no budget so we ask our authors to come out of the love for libraries, a chance to talk to a group of book lovers, and an opportunity to sign books.  I value people’s time, so we worked hard making sure it was a great experience for them as well, putting welcome baskets in their beautiful hotel rooms with fresh flowers, a Minnesota magazine, chocolates and a thank you card.

After plugging away on the author line for about 5 weeks, we have our authors!  I am super excited to show you who they are:


Benjamin Percy is a Minnesota author who’s book Red Moon is now being filmed to become a TV series! 


Minnesota Author, Nicole Lee Helget’s new book Stillwater is creating quite a stir!  I can not wait to read it.

3Catherine McKenzie is from Canada. Her first three books have won many awards and her new one, Hidden, will be coming out yet this spring.


Randy Susan Meyers lives in Boston Massachusetts.  Her first two books have created quite the buzz (both are on my shelves!) and her third book, Accidents Of Marriage (due out in September) , will make an early debut at Wine and Words!


Barbara Claypole White lives and gardens in North Carolina.  Her books also grace my shelves.  The In-Between Hour is newly released and won a 2014 Okra award.

and back by popular demand…. our emcee, Lorna Landvik:


Lorna Landvik is a known comedian and author.  Her books include Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. 

There it is!  That’s our group!  I am so excited.  Tickets will go on sale in the next couple of weeks.  We had some pretty amazing authors say they could not do this year but to give them a try for next year.  Authors that excite me so much I will not even share who they are because I may jinx (does that still happen???) it. 😀  Now I switch into silent auction mode, looking for items for the auction.

If you have some time, check out the Wine and Words website, freshly updated.  There are pictures from last years event as well as our authors and team.  Also, be sure and check out other Saturday Snapshot posts!  They are a fun way to see what is happening around our world 😀