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Archive for January, 2012

5:30am – Good morning! Thus begins a week of blogging with my librarian buds (most I have never met!) as we discuss our lives. The exciting and the not so much. First, let me tell you that I am a librarian at the U.S. Naval Academy, I am required to make sure you know that anything I say just comes from MY brain, and in no way do I speak for the U.S. Naval Academy. And right now, as part of the Library Day in the Life project begins, I’m just here to say “good morning” while I enjoy my first cup of coffee. My posts will most likely be focused on my work (naturally!), what I read, write, and cook and eat. After all, a blog IS a diary/journal/log of one’s life. Right?

6:55am – Starbucks. Drove into the Yard early, walked a bit. Getting ready to write for an hour, then walk back to the library an hour later than usual and making up that time tonight. Following is the view from “my” morning work space!


8:00am – walking back to the Naval Academy to start my day. Sun is up for this walk and these tiny little streets look extra amazing! Here are two pictures of a new stoop on an 18th century house. Recently redone.

2:30pm – Working four hours at the reference desk today – more than usual. We are down by two librarians right now and it may be quite a few months before those positions will be filled. In the meantime, there are extra hours at the desk for many of us as we also prepare and teach library instruction classes. A very busy time of the semester for subject librarians for sure! When quiet, though, I am able to get some of that prep work done and a few other tasks that need to be completed before I leave later this afternoon. Beautiful sunny day outside and lots of busy midshipmen researching for papers due later this week.

4:25pm – Just finished locating national security legalities in the U.S. Code. Thank you, U.S. Government Printing Office, for online PDFs!

9:00pm – Today was a really good day. Spent at least half my work day at the Reference Desk. Spent some of the other time emailing mids about research and preparing for library instruction classes later this week. After work my friend Alexis and I went to PetCo so that I could adopt a 7-yr-old cat I had first seen there a few months ago. Finally decided it was time. After he becomes more comfortable in our new home I will have a picture to show you. He lets me love on him for a bit, purrs, then returns to his new spot under the dresser. He is huge and very white, appropriately named Kimba, I’m guessing after Kimba the White Lion from the anime series of the 1960s.

Yes it was a very good day. And now I have a new roomie to talk to again. Welcome, Kimba!

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Oh how I love a lazy morning! No alarm – though still waking up early. I’m on my second cup of Starbucks Christmas Blend with Half & Half. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a little fat with their morning coffee? 🙂

Yesterday, after being awake for about an hour, my tummy began with it’s favorite mantra, “Feed me! Feed me! But not too much. Yet.” So I pinched off a piece of vegan date scone from Wholefoods and prepared my own little fusion of roasted unsalted peanuts and those tiny Oriental rice crackers. The crunch of these teeny crackers I hold to the highest esteem! I love crunchy food.

I spent most of the morning reading and writing and watched part of a most wonderful DVD, Forks Over Knives, a documentary touting the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Not preachy. The science of a plant-based diet and how it affects our bodies is the focus – but told in a way that laypersons can very much understand the research and results. And we learn about a few people and their personal stories and see their health improve as they change the way they eat. I highly, highly recommend it. AND !! If you subscribe to Netflix, it is available there in DVD and streaming video.

Soon it was time for lunch!! I prepared a delicious and very pretty salad of fresh veggies (including a few sugar snap peas I purchased from the Whole Foods salad bar last week) with feta cheese, topped with a little olive oil/lemon juice, garlic dressing, also purchased at Whole Foods. Oh yum! I ate every bit of veggie morsel available!

About an two hours after lunch I prepared a snack of half a molasses/ginger cookie from Whole Foods and a cup of tea. The tea of the day was Brise d’Ete, purchased from Titian Tea. Titian Tea is a company owned by a friend in Manhattan, KS and I highly recommend her tea. The little tins are just the perfect size for someone like me who doesn’t drink tea every day.

Also in the picture below is a jar of rosemary and garlic peanuts I roasted earlier in the day. They are delicious – and had to place them in a photo someplace! I tried them last summer in NYC at The John Dory Oyster Bar and thought the were absolutely scrumptious! Next time I will add a little more rosemary, but these in the jar will do just fine until then.

After the tea and cookie I was able to complete the writing (except for polishing), finish Forks Over Knives, talk with a girlfriend from my young-mom days, and prepare my fantabulous supper dish of Vietnamese curried shrimp and cauliflower. I also added a few more veggies such as onions and carrots and sugar snap peas (Again. Did someone say sugar?). Also included a side of wild rice. Oh my oh my!

Full confession time. I finished the day with some peach pie I bought frozen at the grocery store. What can I say? It, too, was delicious!

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Change of routine

Wild woman today. Since I worked last night, I moved a few work hours around so I could arrive at the library one hour later than usual this morning. AND I decided to go to the other downtown Annapolis Starbucks instead of my favorite. Oh, I like this one – there is delicious tea and coffee and well as excellent service – but the one at the dock not only opens an hour earlier (just for me I’m sure!), it just has that special something. To me anyway. This one, however, is very historical in design inside and out. Love the exposed 18th century brick walls. It was still a wonderful way to start my day!

First, here is a picture of the Maryland Inn, and this particular Starbucks lives underneath. So cozy!

And here is just one corner of this fabulous basement Starbucks!

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In the library yesterday we had a planning afternoon. A workshop for all in the library, where we broke out into smaller collaborative working groups,
mixing with folks with whom I seldom work. Led by Maureen Sullivan, it was a great workshop, looking at the future and how we will continue to meet
changes head on, as they say. Loved it! Listening to the ideas of others’, sharing my own strategies. Loved it!

Then tonight I worked the Reference Desk until 10pm. Not too busy, so I was able to prepare for two library instruction classes this Friday. One is
a class I’ve never taught before, so that one takes a little more work. But it was nice to be there for when I was needed for reference or directional
questions and yet still be able to work on other stuff at the same time.

Tonight there was also time, of course, for my supper break! One of my mom’s favorite meals was sliced avocado, grapefruit, and that red sweet salad dressing we buy in the grocery store. I always thought it was a rather yukky combination. But during my mother’s last few years of life in the nursing home, sometimes I would prepare that dish and take it to her on Saturdays for lunch. She didn’t eat much by then, but she always ate that particular meal! One time she kept talking more than eating (oh my …. that sounds like me), so to encourage her to eat I would take bites myself. Wow! I found it to be delicious! So now I prepare it for myself, only I also add thin slices of onion. Scrumptious!

Know what else is wonderful? The architecture here at the U.S. Naval Academy. For example:


And how about our Navy ship that recently rescued the Iranian fishermen? Proud am I today to be an employee of the Department of the Navy! According to an article in the New York Times, the Iranian fishermen were from the area of Iran that borders Pakistan and therefore spoke Urdu. When the Iranian captain spoke to the U.S. Navy ship, he eventually began to speak Urdu, because the Somalian pirates could not understand it. So he could tell the Navy ship that there were pirates on board. Fortunately, there was also an Urdu speaker on our ship. And voilĂ ! There was communication and the pirates were busted! Yay U.S. Navy!!

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Not much into new year’s resolutions, yet I find myself re-evaluating my life during the first of most every year. I think it is because the new year follows the Christmas holiday season, or winter soltice, or Hanukkah, or whatever we each call that time in December when life seems to slow down a bit. For me, since I officially celebrate Christmas, my slowing down comes after Christmas Day. Since becoming an academic librarian, I only get one day off for Christmas, but I usually take one or two vacation days to follow. No close deadlines at work over which to worry. And I totally relax, enjoy myself, my family, and my friends! And for me it is just the quiet and relaxing time to reflect that gets me started on a more positive note – not necessarily a particular goal for the year.

Since I love to eat, I think about food even then! I plan to eat and cook healthier. Make sure I get that walking in every week. Sometimes, as some of you that have read my blog off and on since the beginning know, I think of pescetarianism. The longest I’ve ever stuck to that plan is two years – almost to the exact day.

Anyway, I’ve decided not to hit myself over the head for my inability to maintain a strictly pescetarian lifestyle. I have, however, managed to eat much, much less meat than I did 10 years ago (and that means less fish). That change is better for me, animals we raise for food, and the environment.

I will continue to try to buy products in glass containers instead of plastic even if it means paying a little extra. Fret over whether the shrimp was farm-raised in Thailand or wild caught in the Atlantic. Sometimes I will make “not the best” decision. But if I try, and I succeed most of the time, then I will make less of an impact on our earth. These efforts are never, never, not worthy of my time.

For breakfast this morning there was fresh fruit again and my favorite one-egg omelet with cheddar, mushrooms, onions, and red bell pepper. One slice of buttered toast under the omelet. Oh yum!

Feeling “back to earth” tonight and am preparing a meal of chicken and root vegetables – all in the same pan!

First I sautéed a few root veggies. Tonight I have onions, white potatoes, and carrots. Parsnips are particularly good here but forgot to make that purchase. Tossed them around a cast iron frying pan for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Just long enough to mix the flavors.

Then I mixed a little honey, dried thyme, and dry hot Oriental mustard I purchased at Yi’s Oriental Market in Manhattan, KS.

Next, placed a chicken breast (with skin and bone) on top of the veggies, poured on the honey mixture, covered with tented foil, then placed pan in oven for about 45 minutes. And …. ta da !! A delicious and beautiful meal. With enough for leftovers!

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6:58am – Need a haircut today. And a few groceries. Other than that, I plan to write, ponder, cook, and eat today. And tomorrow. First there was coffee – yum! Then a breakfast of fresh fruit (wonder how far the orange traveled to get to my table?) and a bowl of slow-cooking old-fashioned oats topped with a little brown sugar for tastiness and a pat of butter for stick-to-the-ribs-a-little-longerness.

2:05pm – Haircut done. Groceries put away. Lunch of leftovers digesting in the tummy, and I’m in the middle of my writing and research. And yes, I’m already into my afternoon snack of one cup of coffee and an oatmeal cookie from the Whole Foods bakery. Just another excuse to eat, I guess. Yeah. That would be me.

8:20pm. Well, I’ve written enough for today and will finish this project next weekend. I’m beginning to get very sleepy because I got up pretty early and it’s just that time of night for me. Also enjoyed a Netflix DVD this evening – War Stories with Jeff Goldblum. It is a TV movie I saw back in 2003 and decided to watch again. Still one of my favorites for sure. Highly recommend it!

And, of course, another delicious meal. Swordfish baked in the oven with a little lime juice, garlic, and a few tiny tomatoes. Placed this swordfish on top of some fresh spinach I sautéed with thinly sliced onion, sea salt, and a little feta cheese. oooooh! Just a little creamy! There is wild rice I prepared a few weeks back when I fixed some for a friend and had several servings left over, so I froze them. There is rice, onions, water chestnuts, all cooked in homemade chicken broth. And today all I had to do was defrost and heat on top of the stove!

Hmmmm ….. Maybe it’s time for a glass of milk and another cookie?

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