A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Our Week With A New Furry Friend

It's a little calico cutie, Fiona!  

Jack Jack had some friends over after church Sunday, and I surreptitiously snapped this as they were walking to the park to play ball.  It's good to connect with humans again.  

We received a 3rd shipment from Library & Educational Services.  I like to shop their sales and pay under $3 bucks per book.  Full boxes are running about $80 something/box.  

Hannah's latest weapon drawings.

I'm not a crazy cat lady.  Really, I'm not.  But I did make a bonsai drive to another state & back to pick up a cat in need of a home.

Took a picture of this monument at a rest stop to show the girls and forgot all about it when I got home.  

And there she is.  Miss Fiona enjoyed having a sniff while we lunched outdoors before the drive home.  

It was a long ride home, as a fire slowed traffic to a trickle.  

Fiona is currently set up in the guest room while she acclimates to us and our house.  This may change abruptly as Eli is trying to get leave to come home next month.  

I thought her peek a mew face was too cute.

She's very tiny, but she's curious and she's vocal and friendly if you take it slow.  

So far, she and Grumman haven't gotten close to each other.  When they see one another, she growls and he hisses.  When I let him sniff my hands after I've been petting her, he hisses at them.  

But we're taking things slow and giving them both time to adjust.  

She is a cutie.  

 I picked up a box of donated books, and Grumman had to have a sniff.  

Speaking of books, this week was library move in day!  So, here's the library from inside, facing the door out.  I'm hoping to put my circulation desk by the door.  

You may recognize the blue biography bookcase we worked on before the official move.  Piles of books on the tables and underneath in buckets.  Those all need at least barcodes before they can be shelved, and some of them haven't even been entered yet.  

From near the door, looking toward the back wall.  The filing cabinets may disappear.  The large bookcase on the back wall has our "number books" (Dewey decimal numbers)  The smaller bookcase on the back wall is currently picture books:  biography on the top shelf, number books on the second shelf, and fiction on the bottom shelf.  As I want to display most of our picture books forward facing, I'm thinking they'll probably expand into the bookcase on the right, too.  

That's Jack's knee.  I brought him with me one day to schlep the totes from the house.  We filled Matilda and used the wagon to get them from the parking lot to the room.  Table and desk filled with more books that need processing.  

This is going to be our fiction wall.  All the books in the right bookcase need to be removed, processed, and dispersed to correct locations.  

Panoramic wildly distorted shot.  Pictures are from Thursday.

On Thursday, we took the lions share of the fully processed books from the house in and got them onto the shelves.  On Friday, we made a second load of processed books in and got those on the shelves, and I took a roll of barcodes and a scanner in and started adding barcodes to school books.  

This made a huge jump in the proportion of finished to unfinished books in the system.  This makes me very happy.  Of the entered books, I now have more books totally done and shelved than ones that still need work.  --This doesn't count all the books that haven't been entered at all yet, but one bite at a time (how you eat an elephant).  

Our school secretary comes back from vacation next week, so I hope to get class lists and start setting up my command binder.  My plan is to have each class be a 2 page spread with student name, photo, and barcode, so that I can open to whatever class is in the library and have the whole class' barcodes at my fingertips for easy checkout.  

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Our Week in Which the Family Grows

A giant congratulations to Zach and Heather and Brayden on the birth of little Kasen.  

I'm smitten with the new grandbaby, but I won't get to meet him in person until September when they come to California for a visit.  

Hannah drew a picture of Grumman, who promptly tried to eat it.  

I mean, Winston Churchill didn't like a portrait of himself, but he didn't eat it.  (Lady Churchill had it destroyed for him.)  

Hannah is enjoying the W. Bruce Cameron dog books lately, so I got her some more from the library.  We found one at a Little Free Library, too, which was a happy surprise.  

A project from Crafts Across America.  (With a stealth photobomb by Josiah)

Jack Jack and I had a table at the big homeschool book sale this week.  I brought him along as muscle.  I didn't sell nearly as much as I wanted to, but we made a couple hundred dollars.  Which is handy, because Hannah started up piano lessons at the school, and her teacher prefers to be paid in cash.  

Once Zach & Heather got settled at home, Zach face timed, so I could see the little guy.  

Feeling grateful for the marvels of technology, so I can see oodles of photos online.  Imagine how hard it must have been for mothers to watch their grown children move away when there were only letters to keep in touch.  

These books were from our second Library & Educational Services box.  There were more, but I didn't take a picture before I started processing, and a couple grew legs and walked away with interested youth.  I'm not complaining.  

$4.45, can you believe it?  When I started driving, gas was 0.97 cents a gallon.  $4.57 would get me half a tank in my VW Bug.  Now it's $60 bucks to fill up.  

I've been getting to know some different Little Free Libraries around town.  It's fun turning duplicate books we don't need into new titles to expand the library.  And you never know what you're going to find.  

Hannah's weapons drawing

Katie drew a cat, while wearing a cat shirt.  

Some Minecraft sketches

Grumman, disturbing a table full of books with covers propped open to let freshly stamped ink dry.  Oh Grumman.  

The school room is Out Of Control messy right now.  I cannot wait to get all the processed books to the school.  School was closed last week because the staff were camping, so I've been working at home, and there are now 15 bins of processed books, ready to deliver and shelve, sitting here in my house.  

Klimt inspired tree paintings with acrylic marker on black art paper.  


The numbers keep getting closer, the more I process.  I'll be really encouraged when I have more books finished than started.  

Seahorse drawings

Katie:  "Mom?  Is uboyre floss like floss picks?"
Me:  "Embroidery floss?"
Katie:  "Yeah"
Me:  "No"
Katie:  "Okay, I'll just use pipe cleaners instead."

Her finished friendship bracelet from Crafts Across America.  

I guess there's such a thing as too much car wash?  Poor Matilda lost a trim piece.  They're going to call me after they clean "the trenches" and let me know if they find it.  

One additional library run.  While cleaning out one of our bookshelves today, Hannah mentioned that she enjoyed books 1 and 3 of a series, so I put a few more of those on hold for her.  

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Our Week in Which Books Begin Moving

Okay, I'm just a wee bit excited here.  I got an email that ended with, "Oh, by the way, you're getting room __."  Finally!  I have a room!  Well, not me, really, but the library has a room now.   Wanna see?

It's not an empty room at this point, so it's going to be a bit of a puzzle to get all the books in and all the random bits out.  

It's got 3 windows on the back wall.

And 2 windows on the front wall.  Ambitious Me wants to add 5 18" tension rods to the library Amazon wishlist and make curtains (or at least valances) to go with each of our themes this year, but I'm restraining myself because Lazy Me probably won't actually do it, and knowing my luck, I'd end up with tension rods that the kids would use for sword fighting.  

The first day we were unleashed in there, the girls and I moved all the chairs and tables out of the way to get a feel for the space.  Then Katie helped me take some measurements and I plotted everything out on graph paper.  It's ~33x23'.  

I've got ideas for how I want things to end up, but I'm trying to hold lightly to those, so I won't be too disappointed if the final arrangements turn out a bit different.  

Remember all those trophies on top of the bookcases?  Some of them are realllly old.  Fortunately, those will not be moving into the new room.  One of the teachers has a plan to make a shadowbox with the engraved bits and get rid of the rest.  

We got to work, and got one whole 10' bookcase cleared out so it can be unscrewed and moved to the new room.  The girls were super helpful in moving books.  

I moved the dusty old trophies, making good use of the new folding stepstool I recently bought.  (I made sure to put a name label on it before I took it to school, so hopefully it will stay in the library.)  

There were a couple of almost empty bookcases in the new room, and after verifying that I could keep those, we emptied them out and brought in the two shelves of biographies.  As I've been scanning and labeling books the last couple months, I've set aside all the biographies that I came across, so they were already all together in the old room.  

I did a rough sort by first letter, and Hannah alphabetized them for me.  

Then we went home for lunch and I fired up Crikey to make a sign.  The next day, we loaded up a big tote of biographies from home and brought them to the school.  

I really cannot adequately express how happy this picture makes me.  I know I still have a long, long way to go in the next month to get the whole library functional, but this one little corner is a thing of beauty to me.  

My reality check.  Still such a long way to go.  

Of course, not all our time was spent at the school.  Here's Grumman, helping me get ready for tutoring.  (BTW, "osteoporosis" is not an easy vocabulary word for an ESL student.  Who comes up with these??)  

And here's the Grum, helping me stamp books.  I use a pen or other object to keep the covers slightly open until the ink dries.  

The puzzle was finally completed.  I decided to glue this one, since I don't think anyone will ever want to do it again.  It's not an easy puzzle.  

Katie's project from the Crayola book.  Hannah did one, too, but I haven't snapped a picture of it yet.  

Grumman doesn't know this yet, but he's going to have a friend coming for an extended sleepover soon.  I need to double up on our Kitty Poo Club boxes.  (Best litter box solution, ever!  We've been using them for 2 years now.)  I look forward to seeing how he interacts with another adult cat, and sharing cute kitty pictures.  

This coming week, Jack and I are going to a homeschool curriculum sale (as sellers) on Monday.  Hoping to clear out some stuff we won't be using any more and generate a little cash in the process.  

Tuesday, we'll start taking more of the house books to the school.  

Current library stats:  2,400+ books entered in the system.  1,000+ books fully processed, with barcodes, ready to shelve.  It's been a bit discouraging to not see the total books in the system increasing.  Even though I'm still adding books, I've been weeding out a lot of duplicates, so my numbers aren't really climbing like they did in June, but the quality of the content is improving.