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Sunday, May 27, 2007

School's Out...Forever!!!

These last two weeks have been extremely hectic for both Jason and me, but I think I'm about to slow down a bit...maybe.

Coming up in the Norris household in June...

-Going from a 40-hour (or more) work week to a 6-hour one (for me, not Jason)
-"Vacation" to Texas to interview for jobs, find a place to live, check out the area
-Father's Day and celebration dinner with my dad at Kozy's-yum
-My grandmother's birthday
-Packing, figuring out grad school finances, coping with moving to Texas
-Reading as much as I can get my hands on...b/c that's what summer is for!
-Hanging out a little more with Fred and Jason :)

OK, so maybe we're not really slowing down as much as we're shifting gears. Hmm...

By the way, I'll try to have a more creative post next time. I'm just running low on ideas and wanted to post something. ha!

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Catching Up

OK, I've been keeping up with my reading but not making notes for reviews or anything. I'll try to do better this summer!

Recently read and enjoyed...

Flush by Carl Hiaasen

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs

The Orange Blossom Special by Betsy Carter

I love Carl Hiaasen's work because he brings up environmental issues that aren't...political. No matter which side you're on, you should feel angry about the environmental damages and injustices he highlights. He's also quite witty and seems to have a good grasp on tapping into what young adults enjoy reading.

The Narnian was excellent and written in a style that reminds me a lot of C.S. Lewis. I learned a lot about his life that I didn't know before and that helps me understand his work a bit better.

The Orange Blossom Special was just OK, but it was fun, light reading and a good kick-start to the summer!

I gave up on Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. I had hoped I would enjoy it more than Girl With a Pearl Earring, but I guess her writing style is just not for me.

Meanwhile...a few quick links to get you through this Monday! Enjoy!

Delicious Library--it's been compared to LibraryThing, but I haven't tried it yet.

What kind of web user are you?

Fun with spellchecker

Smithsonian letter

MySpace cautions

Blog printing

Article about the Huntsville Public Library

Moving Sale

If you know anyone who might be interested, please pass these along! Not sure what kind of wood each is, but the table is dark and in good condition. The chiffrobe is an antique and could use a little work. It's still a pretty nice piece, though. We're asking $100/each (or best offer).


Friday, May 18, 2007

Eight Thinks You Won't Know Just By Looking at Me

Thanks, Maggie, for an interesting diversion to this crazy day!

(By the way, if you're reading this, consider yourself "tagged.")

Eight Thinks You Won't Know Just By Looking at Me:

1) I read an encyclopedia entry every day.

2) I started reading at age 3...the newspaper and Little Golden Books were my favorites.

3) I spent the summer after my college graduation working at Cracker Barrel...and became paranoid I'd have to work there for the rest of my life.

4) Birds scare does Willy Wonka.

5) I don't eat meat...except for chicken and turkey (for the above reason).

6) I would love to adopt a child from another country one day.

7) I think Fred, my dog, is a genius who just chooses not to speak out loud. That's why I talk for him in a peculiar "Fred voice." This took my husband some time to get used to. :)

8) I have a fifth wisdom tooth, but, as evidenced by my ramblings in this blog, I don't think it makes me any smarter at all!

Happy Friday! One more week of school!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Funny...because it's true...and sad

I'm normally not a Jeff Foxworthy fan, but this hit a little close to home...especially on a rainy day in the middle of the week when I'd rather be asleep! Eight days of school left!

Foxworthy says...
You might be a school employee if......

You believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin saltlick.

You want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work 8 to 3:30 and have summers off."

It is difficult to name your own child because there's no name you can come up with that doesn't bring high blood pressure as it is uttered.

You believe, "shallow gene pool" should have its own box on a report card.

You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says,"Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."

When out in public, you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior.

You have no social life between August and June.

You think people should have a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

You wonder how some parents MANAGED to reproduce.

You laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the"lounge."

You encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or homeschooling and are willing to donate the UHAUL boxes should they decide to move out of district.

You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form. (OK, I'll admit...I would think that no matter where I worked.)

You can't imagine how covering your students' chairs with Velcro and then requiring uniforms made out of the corresponding Velcro could ever be misunderstood by the public.

Meeting a child's parent instantly answers the question, "Why is this kid like this?"

You would choose a mammogram over a parent conference

You think someone should invent antibacterial pencils and crayons...and desks and chairs for that matter.

The words "I have college debt for this?" have crossed your mind more than once.

OK, enough laughing! Back to work.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Go West, Young Librarian

Big news--the Book Fair is over, and, by all accounts, we might have set another record.

Oh, and my husband, the future seminarian, and I are moving to Fort Worth, Texas!!!

You can read more of my thoughts about it on my personal blog, but for this blog, I have a few questions of another nature.

I'm hoping to make the transition from school media specialist to working in an academic library. (I've applied for a job at the seminary's two incredible libraries, but TCU is also geographically close and another fine option).

Any thoughts or advice...about applying to an academic library or actually making the transition?

Also, we know NO ONE in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. So I would be eternally grateful for:

  • Contacts in the library world
  • Contacts of any kind, actually! Like I said, we're desperate!
  • Inside info on the good book stores and libraries (wait a minute...aren't all libraries good?) ;)
  • Other fun cultural things--good, cheap restaurants (remember, we'll probably be broke!), interesting radio stations, places to see indie films, fun (i.e. "free") nature stuff...that kind of thing

So, that's my big news for today!

For tomorrow...I'm super-excited about starting my Newbery reading challenge!

Heading West

I have been so out-of-the-loop for the past week because of Book Fair and other things going on at work. But as Jason can tell you, I've been dying to post about this one for many weeks, here it is!

We are moving to Texas!

My brilliant husband ;) got accepted into seminary, so we're heading out sometime this summer...probably at the end of July.

We are part-excited, part-sad and part-scared to death, which everyone says is normal. This is the first out-of-state move for either of us, and, so far, we know NO ONE in Fort Worth. So, if you (or your brother or cousin or hair-dresser) have ANY contacts out there, we'd love to hear about them!

Because things at work have been so super-busy, I don't think I've fully processed all this yet. We are moving to Texas. We're going to be Texans. Texas. Wow. It's a lot to take in!

But this decision came about through lots and lots of prayer, time spent with God and His Word, and we are as sure as we can be that this is where God wants us. It's incredible to see how He's paved the way for us so far (financially, time-wise, etc...), and that's our prayer for the rest of this summer. If you're looking for items to add to your prayer list, put us on it!

I still need a job (I'm hoping for one at the seminary), and we still have to find an apartment, among other things. It's going to be a busy couple of months, and I'm sure I'll have much more about it on here.

Yay--the "secret" is finally out!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Billy Joel!

Billy Joel is one of my all-time favorite artists. He's an amazing composer and performer (I love seeing him live--he's electric!). So, on the trillion-to-one chance he's reading this, happy birthday, Mr. Joel!

For the rest of the thousands reading this (hahaha), here are my top-10 B.J. songs...

Angry Young Man
Code of Silence
Cold Spring Harbor
Innocent Man
Keeping the Faith
The Longest Time
River of Dreams
Summer, Highland Falls
We Didn't Start the Fire

(Also, his Fantasies and Delusions is incredible--classical-style goodies. I'm dying for a copy of the music.)

And, if you're culturally under-exposed and have never heard of Billy Joel, or you just want to find out a little more about him, here you go:

Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again.
Gotta get back to the Book Fair! (I'll be SO glad when school's out.)

Book Fair Week

This is how I feel (and probably look)!

I'll post again when I emerge from the all of the Book Fair "fun!"

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Decoration, Yard Sales and Other Things Southern

It's been a busy Saturday on my end. Hit a neighborhood yard sale this morning, which I haven't done in ages. Bought books, of course, which I absolutely don't need. But how do you pass up 50-cent books?!

My parents and I used to hit the yard sales (tag sales for my Northern friends) fairly frequently when I was a kid. My mom loved to find antique jewelry or quirky pieces of furniture. And my dad wound up with all kinds of stuff...from gum holders to cars...all because of his impressive bargaining skills (sometimes leaving him with things he didn't really want or need in the first place).

You know that line in A Christmas Story? Something like..."The old man loved bargaining as much as an Arab trader...and was twice as shrewd." Yeah, that's Dad.

But part of the reason I don't go much anymore is because the quality of yard sales just doesn't seem to be as high anywhere else as it is in North Alabama. Or maybe that's just the way I remember things.

Another North Alabama tradition--decorations. For my family, it's the first Sunday in May on Dad's side, the second Sunday in May on Mom's side.

Decorations were just my "normal" when I was growing up, and I had no idea that the rest of the county didn't participate in or even understand this time-honored tradition of decorating graves and having dinner on the grounds. My college roommate's grandmother (from Pennsylvania) said something to the effect of "Isn't that what Memorial Day is for?"

Maybe she's right, but that's just the way we do it down here! And, I must say, I love it. I really do.

Some people might think it's depressing with all the family gathering in the cemetery, with the express purpose of decorating a grave and talking about the departed. But that's where I heard some of my favorite family stories growing up--the uncle who never ever paid income taxes, the great-grandfather who, in his 80s, rode his bicycle to the nursing home to visit the "old folks." I could go on and on.

Decoration was my chance to play with cousins I only saw once a year, to sample incredible family recipes and, at a young age, to learn that death is most definitely a part of life.

I'm so sad that my husband and I can't be there for decoration tomorrow. (It's tough to get to Red Bay in time for lunch and still teach Sunday school.) So I met my dad and uncle for dinner tonight, paid my respects and had a great drive home reminiscing about all those "first Sundays."

What about you? Any decoration stories or just great family stories? I'd love to hear them!

Read from the beginning...