Day #355: Interior Design

When I want to relax I grab one of two things, a cookbook or an interior design book I’ve checked out of the library. If I had not been a graphic designer or a librarian or an Imagineer, my fourth career choice would have been an interior designer. I indulge this as much as I can in our own home, but I love learning about the “rules” and the “30 worst interior design nightmares” in books and online. Home interiors inform the work I do creating websites that the owner can move into … I’m grateful for the creative souls who plan, dream, photograph, and write about these thoughtful spaces. Enjoy this article about accessible design by Vanessa Lawrence in Elle Décor. (photo from article, photo by Haris Kenjar)


Day #354: Tidbits

I am grateful for tidbits. You know, the odd fact that you pick up when you’re reading a book. It often has nothing to do with the book you’re reading, but the author slips it in because (I suspect) they learned this fact and wish to share it. Today I learned that Beatrix Potter believed in putting a hard word in each of her books so the child would have to go and talk with their parents. Tidbits often send me on a detailed search: is this fact true? I haven’t found those exact words but I did find a quote that said, “Children like a fine word occasionally.” In the meantime, I’ve learned even more about Beatrix Potter, which is akin to the child asking about the hard word. Thanks to the authors who include tidbits in their books.

(You’ll enjoy “Happy birthday, Beatrix Potter: the Author’s Legacy 150 Years On,” Nicholas Tucker, The Guardian, 28 July 2016. image below: A picture by Quentin Blake for The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots. Illustration from the article: courtesy of Frederick Warne & Co and the V&A Museum)


Day #353: Paying Attention

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” (Fred Rogers)

I have never seen an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, except the snippets they show now when talking about Fred Rogers. I was 14 by the time it debuted and, with the wisdom of a teenager, I was too grown-up to watch something for children. In hindsight, I wish I had paid attention … he was sharing a vital philosophy. I’m grateful for Fred Rogers and all of the other kind, thoughtful, and caring people who exist throughout the world. I’m paying attention now.


Day #352: My First Job

My first job was as a page at the Hennepin County Library. The less formal name was “shelver” lest you think I was paid to be a part of a book. I learned a great deal about books by putting them back on the shelf. I learned even more by working at the front desk in a small branch library, talking to patrons, discussing books, and learning how to deal calmly with irate people. A number of famous people visited the library: there are stories to tell. I received a call-back from the Library and Bridgeman’s (an ice cream parlour) on the same day when I was 16. I will forever be grateful that I took that job at the library. That’s a path I’m glad I’ve walked.

Hennepin County Library

Day #350: Alex Trebek and Jeopardy

I have been watching Jeopardy ever since I was 10 years old. I have an aunt who warns everyone not to call her while Jeopardy’s on. Several of my friends don’t like to play games but they DVR Jeopardy to watch at night. I am grateful to Alex Trebek, and I love him, for the suave and humorous man he is who shows every day of the week that it is a marvelous quality to be intelligent and widely read. I am saddened to often-shed tears that he is combating pancreatic cancer. My hat’s off to the Tournament of Champions contestants for honoring Alex Trebek, Larry Martin, and all those who are fighting against this cancer with purple ribbons. (Photo from the linked article, photo credit: Screenshot)


Day #211: A Universe of Stories

Earlier this week, Steve and I drove to Cannon Falls where we visited the gorgeous public library. What a friendly space! They are in the midst of their summer reading program, the theme of which “A Universe of Stories” has been met with stellar success. To all the children’s librarians in all of the public libraries across America, thank you for caring so much about kids and reading that you put forth supernova efforts to bring readers and non-readers into the library.


Day #210: Alphabetical Order

I am grateful for order, specifically alphabetical order. It suits my brain. In my first job, I was a library page, putting books back on the shelves in alphabetical or Dewey decimal order. After 7 years, I couldn’t walk into a bookstore without scanning the shelves to make sure they were in order and using the one-arm technique to align the spines. Today, our home bookshelves are in alphabetical order (except for the nonfiction which is in Dewey, not LC, order). Our DVD collection is in alphabetical order. Even our spices are in alphabetical order although one of us in this household doesn’t seem to realize that. “Where is the marjoram?” So, to the very first person who put things in alphabetical order, I am grateful. You bring me joy daily.

alphabetical order
Extreme close up of an alphabetical organizer tray used to store business cards

Day #209: Lieutenant Kije Suite

One of my favorite composers, Prokofiev, composed the Lieutenant Kijé Suite to accompany a film by the same name. It was 1934 and it was Sergei Prokofiev’s first commissioned piece. The movie is about a fictitious lieutenant, invented by a bureaucrat, upon whom blame is laid for an action that displeases the tsar. Here, Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra play a glorious version. Listen to the first few minutes and you will be hooked. I am grateful for Prokofiev and his contributions to the music canon.