Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 29 - Spooky Stories

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Tonight was the second, larger installment of the "Spooky Stories, Snippets and Snacks" program at the Library. It was So. Much. Fun! Twice as fun as Friday's trial run, because as I mentioned, we had more staff members involved and more people attending - and the combination was a total riot.

For tonight's post I'm just going to focus on the scary stories part. My boss, T.M., is part of a storytelling circle, and it still amazes me how she could recall the two stories she told tonight (one of which she'd already told on Friday, so I got to hear it twice) from memory! The story she'd told both tonight and Friday was an old Southern folktale called The Conjure Wives, that, quite honestly, scared me just as much tonight as it did on Friday. Click on the link to hear it for yourself and tell me in the comments what you think of it!

The other scary story that T.M. told was called The Boo Hag. It was more than scary - it was...disgusting. Consider yourselves lucky that I couldn't find an audio of that version of the story. 

And last but definitely not least, was a scary and sad yet more entertaining story shared by our reference librarian, L.L. The book was The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey, which, if you've never heard of it, is an alphabet book in which each letter focuses on a fictional child who "meets an untimely end." It was published in 1963 and has never been out of print!

click here

Click here to view the entire book - and remember to keep an open mind...

31 for 21 - Day 28 - Lil Monster

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

The latest holiday gift from one of our favorite Library patrons! She's got a gift for arts and crafts, and always comes up with the cutest ideas! Linda and I have a great little collection going thanks to her, and this little monster is a welcome addition!

Monday, October 27, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 27 - No Tricks, Just Treats!

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

It was book club night at the Library and they had their Halloween party tonight! My friend JB, who I went to the beach with and who bought me those cool Doctor Who toys in Walgreens (both in September), is part of the book club group, and she bought a bunch of these plastic Halloween rings for everyone; when they were cleaning up I came downstairs and she told me to take one - so I did! I chose the spider because even though the pumpkin was pretty darn cool, the spider reminded me of Planet of the Spiders, one of the first Doctor Who stories I saw with Sarah Jane Smith in it. I figure it will be a great accessory to the outfit I plan on wearing to the Library on Wednesday night for our second installment of our Spooky Stories, Snippets and Snacks program. I'm going to wear my black Doctor Who shirt, a long, black skirt, and my knee-high black boots. Very Goth if I do say so myself. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 26 - Silent (and Spooky!) Sunday

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 25 - Library Technology of "Ye Olden Days"

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Even after two weeks, I am still on a huge Ghostwriter kick. The DVD boxed set has since gone back to the library, but YouTube is continuing to feed my obsession quite nicely, thankyouverymuch.

The other night I began watching a story from season 2 called Who Is Max Mouse? The mystery revolves around the Ghostwriter Team uncovering the identity of a hacker who goes by the name Max Mouse, who invades the mainframe of their school's computer system and causes a mess of trouble (frequent fire drills, students' grades being altered, threatening messages being sent to all of the school computers, and even students being falsely accused of using "stolen" credit cards). With Ghostwriter's help, the Team manages to find a way to catch the hacker, uncover their true identity, and put a stop to the chaos.

In solving the mystery, the Ghostwriter Team also gets a crash course in Internet Basics 101, circa 1993 - and it made me feel really, really old. In this modern age of touch screens, broadband, and social networking, I'd forgotten what things were like back when Ghostwriter originally aired. I was in middle school and high school then, and the world of computers - especially the Internet - were a relatively new thing to us mortals.

Guess what? There was no Google back in 1993. And when you went to your local library, you didn't hop onto the nearest PC to look at the library's catalog. if you wanted to find a book you had to use...


A what, you ask? Well, see that big wooden box with all the little drawers that Gaby and Hector are standing in front of? That is a card catalog.  If you opened each of those little drawers, you'd find a bunch of index cards with words and numbers typed on them - and that, my friend, would help you locate whatever books you wanted to find within the walls of the library. Here's a visual:

I'll be honest. When I saw that card catalog on Ghostwriter, I - at 35 years old! - felt really old, considering that most kids these days (and even my sister, at 25 years old) wouldn't have the foggiest idea what you were talking about if you said the words card catalog out loud. However, being the nostalgic that I am, I must say that there's something comforting in seeing that now outdated "technology" - after all, things were simpler then, and simple isn't a bad thing. Sure, computers make browsing your library's catalog easier than having to walk to the card catalog, take out the drawer you needed, look up the book you were searching for by either subject or author, writing down the information from the index card onto a scrap piece of paper, and then walking to whichever section of the library said book was actually located. 

But people still love card catalogs. Did you know that people use them as furniture now? Yep. Instead of storing index cards, you can stash your DVDs and CDs in them. I think it's a great idea; if I had the space I would totally get one for myself! I've got plenty of DVDs, CDs, and other small items that I could stash inside the drawers of one of these things.

Photo Credit: Caffeinatrix

The card catalog also inspired my friend Tiffaney when she got married three years ago; card catalog drawers made an appearance at her reception:

 See those two drawers all the way to the left? Yep. Card catalog drawers.

Inside each of those drawers were the old fashioned pockets and check-out cards labeled with each guest's name, what table they were assigned to, and the name of a classic tome. I loved this idea so much that my pocket and place card came home with me and were given a place of honor between the pages of my scrapbook.

So even though card catalogs are technically - and technologically - considered an outdated, old fashioned thing of the past, they are looked upon with love by some nostalgics like me and Tiffaney. I'm not saying that they'll make a comeback anytime soon at a library near you, but when it comes to cool, retro storage space, card catalogs are a pretty nice option.

Friday, October 24, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 24 - Halloween Brownie Pops

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Last year at the Library, we held a fun Halloween themed program for adults called "Boo-Licious Chocolates" where my co-worker Linda demonstrated how to make milk chocolate lollipops in seasonal shapes. Everyone got dressed up, and I was her assistant (I donned black cat ears and a tail for the occasion LOL).

This year for Halloween we shifted gears just a little bit with "Spooky Stories, Snippets and Snacks." More  staff members are involved in the festivities, and we decided to have the program twice so that more people could attend! In the end today's inaugural afternoon session became our testing ground for a few different reasons - but in the end we were all happy about that because now we know how to polish things up for Wednesday's nighttime session!

The best part of the program was when Linda demonstrated how to create fun brownie lollipops and decorate them with sprinkles, Fruit Roll-Ups and Twizzlers. All of us had a blast! I really don't think she'd mind me sharing her "recipe," so that's exactly what I'm going to do! :)

Miss Linda's Halloween Brownie Pops

What you need:
  • Brownie Bites or mini muffins
  • 1 large bag of confectioner's sugar
  • Carton of milk
  • Lollipop sticks 
  • Wax paper
  • Chocolate candy melts (any color / flavor)
  • Sprinkles in different colors and shapes (we had red, orange, and black sprinkles as well as a Halloween mix with purple, green and black sprinkles and orange pumpkin shapes)
  • Colored cake icing 
  • Optional embellishments:
    • Edible candy eyeballs with a flat back
    • Black licorice flavored Twizzlers

First, melt the chocolate candy melts in a small pot on the stove OR in a microwave-safe cup. Then, carefully stick the lollipop sticks into the bottoms of the Brownie Bites; seal around the area with the melted chocolate and let it harden for about an hour.

Once the chocolate has hardened and the Brownie Bite is secured on the lollipop stick, it's time to decorate! Combine 1 scoop of confectioner's sugar with 1/2 cup of milk and mix thoroughly until mixture becomes a thick paste (add more sugar if needed). Using a spoon, drizzle the paste mixture over the Brownie Bite, coating it completely. Then set lollipops aside on sheets of wax paper and let the icing harden slightly.

Then it's time to have fun and let your imagination run wild! You can cover your coated Brownie Bite in sprinkles, and use the icing to attach candy eyeballs and/or cut-up Twizzlers as spider legs.Once you've decorated your Brownie Bite pops just the way you want them, set lollipops on the wax paper once again, and let set for about a half hour. Then they'll be ready to eat!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 23 - Nevermore!

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered, weak and weary...

Tomorrow I have a part to play in a Halloween-themed program we're doing at the Library. I'll be reading The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. We'll be repeating the program again on Wednesday night, so I have to read twice! I'm a teensy bit nervous even though I know deep down I'll do just fine, but it's been a long time since I've read Poe - probably not since high school, and that was seventeen years ago - and so not only am I somewhat unfamiliar but I'd also forgotten how long that poem is! Too bad I didn't offer to read something shorter...