Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Monday Mingle: All About the Food

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Jenn at Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants.  After all, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions are from Paula at Thrifty Momma’s Tips:
1. What is one food or drink you cannot live without?
2. Are you a foodie? Do you like to cook or are you a food blogger?
3. What is your one easy family friendly recipe, or amazing supersecret recipe that you are known for? Share it here if it isn’t a closely guarded family secret.

Chicken and Rice

3 cups Water
2 cups Instant Rice
2 TBS Oil
2 lbs chicken strips
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 package Frozen Peas or Broccoli Florets
Red Pepper Flakes

1. Heat oil in skillet, add chicken strips, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until done all the way through. Remove from skillet and cut into bite size pieces.
2. Put water, rice, soups and vegetables into a dutch oven and cook on medium until water is absorbed.
I have 4 teenagers and a husband living with me, so this is a lot of food. You may need to adjust the amounts accordingly.

Next week’s questions were submitted by me
1. Which decade do you think would have been most fun?
2. On what TV show would you like to have a guest starring role?
3. What’s the strangest/weirdest thing you’ve ever done?


Mamavation Monday on Sunday

MamavationI’d like to say a big thank you to the Mamavation ladies who gave me shout outs last week ~ trust me, your support is appreciated.  I’d like to give a special thanks to the peeps on Twitter who answered my questions and offered encouragement when it was needed.  You don’t know how much I needed to “hear” your voices at that moment

Last week was mostly about making changes to my eating and drinking habits, which I did with a great deal of success.  I started logging my food intake on Live Strong and was totally shocked by how many calories I was socking away per day.  Funny thing is, I really didn’t feel like I was eating that much and I wasn’t.  What hurt me was what I was eating, not how much I was eating.  Sometimes you need to see the numbers and I did.  So now I’m making sure that I eat a healthy breakfast (oatmeal with raisins and walnuts ~yummmm), a healthy lunch (because of my schedule I’ve made lunch my heaviest meal) and a light dinner (salad with grilled chicken and fruit).  I’m also filling in my meals with water (not quite where I need to be but better than I was) and trail mix for a snack.  Kia’s words of encouragement on the Mamavation Carnival post reinforced what I knew I needed to do ~ make the changes that are necessary for me to deal with the challenges that I have.

This week I plan to focus on the physical side of getting healthy.  I have a pedometer so I’ll start tracking my steps (I know I probably won’t hit the 10,000 step goal right away but as long as I’m increasing from day~to~day I’ll be happy).  I’ve also enrolled in a 21 Day Activity Challenge that is being hosted by my friend (and a fellow librarian), Sarah.  The challenge is “easy”, just commit to doing 10 minutes of an activity for 21 days.  The goal is not to make you a fitness buff but to encourage you to make a habit of being active.  It takes 21 days to make a habit, right?

My stats:

  • Starting weight:  163.2 lbs
  • Last week’s weight:  163.2 lbs
  • Today’s weight:  161.3 lbs  (-1.9 lbs)
  • Goal weight:  145 lbs

Mamavation Monday Blogging Carnival

This week’s Mamavation Blogging Carnival is being hosted by Earth Footwear.

This week’s question is:  ”What does ‘wellness’ mean to you?

Wellness for me means taking care of myself on all three fronts: spiritual, physical and emotional.  I’m doing this by participating in the Bible in 90 Days Reading Challenge, getting fit with Mamavation and taking time for myself to just breathe….

Disclosure:  I was not paid or reimbursed for this post.  This post is my entry into the Mamavation Blogging Carnival that is being hosted by @EarthFootwear.  Mamavation is a weight loss support group that uses social media to help women and especially mothers to lead a healthy lifestyle.  You can learn more about Mamavation by visiting the website, following on Twitter or liking on Facebook.


Library Day in the Life Round 6 Reflection

Save LibrariesFirst of all, I’d like to thank Bobbi at Librarian by Day for putting the Library Day in the Life Project together.  The first time I participated in this meme was back in 2008 when I was blogging at Curious Child’s Library Wanderings.  I remember I was able to keep track of everyone’s posts and comment here and there, this year whew it has been crazy!  Now I know why, according to Bobbi’s reflection post there were just under 250 people signed up on the wiki and about 800 participants on Twitter.  That is wild!  Congratulations, Bobbi, you should be proud of what you’ve done.

I learned so much from reading the few blog posts I was able to get to and the many tweets that hit my stream.  Seriously, you guys were killing my stream with the tweets and I loved it.  I think I was most amazed by the diversity within the library field, not just job descriptions but types of libraries, their locations, the people, etc.  I also loved that so many library workers shared not just the professional but the personal as well.  I saw tweets about knitting, getting together for coffee with friends, etc.  It was fabulous.

Some of the “reference” questions posed to the librarians were hilarious!  ”Is the tall librarian in?” from Sense and Reference made me chuckle.  I hope you post pics of the Yoruba art that you’ll be putting in the display case for Black History Month, that just sounds so cool.  This tweet by@vonburkhardt about students who don’t know their instructor’s name made me laugh.  I don’t know how many students come to the ref desk and ask for books and don’t know the instructor’s name, the course number or the name of the book they want but they expect me to know.  Dude, I’m a librarian not a mind reader, although I am a ninja in my spare time.

I also enjoyed reading about Alice’s first time being solely responsible for the library at Alice in Libraryland.  You can feel the range of emotions in her post ~ awe, intensity and a sense of a job well done.

When I started this project, my hope was that my mom blogger and homeschooling friends would pay attention to the tweets, blogs and pictures and realize the importance of libraries and how they help their communities.  So many libraries are having their budgets cut because of the financial climate because the powers that be don’t realize how useful library services are.  We provide more than books ~ we offer resume help, we are the first step in education for children, we provide free entertainment, we teach computer skills, we show people how to find information….  These are life skills that everyone needs in order to survive.

Did you participate in the Library Day in the Life Project?  Were you one of my bloggy buddies who followed the twitter stream or read the posts?  What did you learn?


Loose Threads and Other Random Thoughts

Loose ThreadsHey, I’ve been sorta busy with Twitter lately, I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life Project this week so my life has been consumed by all things library.  If you’d like to find out what librarians do, you can read my post or view my pictures on Flickr or read through my Tweets.  Anyway, here are some random thoughts that have been floating around inside my head…

  • Yesterday one of the library patrons told me about a woman who bought a little over $200 worth of groceries for $8 using coupons and a store card.  What?!  That sorta money saving thing is like Big Foot, people know about it and some believe it exists but no one’s ever seen it with their own two eyes.  Do you use coupons?  What’s the trick? ‘Cause I never see coupons for anything my family uses.  But it’s my mission to get the hang of that couponing thing ~ I have 4 teenagers and a husband at home.  THEY EAT A LOT!
  • My son sent me a picture of a box that he made in his wood shop class for a girl that he likes.  I hope she appreciates it.  The box is beautiful.  I’m so proud of my boy but I’m also sad that he’s growing up.  I’m trying real hard not to be that mom but I really wanna go down to the school, corner Miss Missy and tell her she better not break my son’s heart.
  • I’m so tired of the cold.  We have been stuck between -9° and -11° for the past week.  Today it hit 30° and it was like a heatwave.  Students were walking around in fleece hoodies and sweatshirts….  There’s something wrong with that.
  • I learned my lesson about trying to be romantic with the husband today.  Because we work opposite schedules, I don’t really get to see him until the weekends, so I usually call him on my way to work just to chat for a few minutes.  Anyway, today I decided to serenade him with that Stevie Wonder classic “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.  So he answers the phone and I immediately start singing, he mumbles something and quickly hangs up.  I’m stunned.  How dare he ruin my romantic overtures?  About 30 minutes later he calls me and tells me that he was in the middle of a meeting and everyone heard me singing. Niiiice.


Bible in 90 Days: Day 24 SOAP


1 Kings 3:9

Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people.


King Solomon knew that he had the ear of the Lord and whatsoever he prayed would be granted, and rather than praying a selfish prayer ~ long life, great riches, strength in war ~ he prayed for wisdom in leading God’s people.  How many of us would have used our “in” with God for such selfless purposes?


Being a mother can sometimes make you feel like you’re ruling over a small nation and, boy, do you need wisdom!  I remember when my kids were little, sometimes they’d come to me and tell me they were sick and couldn’t go to school because of a headache or an upset stomach, so I just stand there staring at them blankly.  There were times when  I honestly couldn’t tell if they were telling the truth or just trying to get out of going to school, so I’d call my husband and ask his opinion.  As my children grew older, I started to realize I couldn’t call on my husband to help me make every decision, I needed God to sharpen my parenting senses.  So I prayed that God would grant me the power of discernment with my children, so I’d know when they were really ill or simply wanted to play hooky from school.


Lord, thank You for the example set by King Solomon who chose wisdom above all else in Your kingdom.  And though I do not rule over a nation as he did or guide a country as our president does, I thank You for giving me the wisdom to raise and nurture my children to become responsible young adults.  And as they get older and prepare to spread their wings, I ask that You give them the wisdom to know right from wrong and good from evil.  Finally, I ask that You give me the wisdom to know when to let them go and when to hold them tight.


For more information about SOAP and its use for the Bible in 90 Days Challenge, please read What is SOAP? on Mom’s Toolbox.

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