Portfolio: Month of the Military Child Display

April is the Month of the Military Child!
April is the Month of the Military Child!

April is the annual commemoration of the Month of the Military Child. My library system is proximate to a number of military facilities, and one branch is home to the Military Family Resource Center. As a military spouse, this topic is one of special interest to me.

“Read More” for a list of resources for inclusion in a Month of the Military Child display.

Continue reading

Down the Research Rabbit Hole: Night Mail Beacons

It started with one of those web articles shared over and over again on Facebook, with a title trying so hard to be mysterious but after seeing it over and over again only seemed tired.

The Forgotten Giant Arrows that Guide You Across America

After the fourth or fifth “share” I saw posted in my news feed, I figured it was worth ten minutes of my time. I clicked the link, and by the end of the article I was just a little bit enchanted with the derring-do of a pilot flying mail across the country in the dark, manually, with only visual aids to guide him.

I continue to look for more information on the Aerial Beacon Network that Could (and Did). Some of the resources I found or followed links to that I found interesting follow.

Airmail and Airway Beacons [from original article]

Zhanna’s Survey Marks: Airway Beacons List – Eastern U.S. [from original article]
Zhanna’s Survey Marks: Airway Beacons List – Western U.S. [from original article]

Google Maps satellite image of the extant concrete arrow and beacon pad in Hurricane, UT [from original article]

Airway Beacons III Passport in Time Project [from original article]

Google Maps satellite image of another type of airmail waypoint in Payson, AZ

Some kind soul has plotted all of Zhanna’s coordinates above into one master Google map of beacon locations.

Another kind soul is in the process of recording the location of extant concrete arrows at this webpage.

On Wings of Faith: Navigating the First Day/Night Transcontinental

Wikipedia entry on Air Mail – included for possible additional reference from citations

Annual Conference preparation

This time next week, I’m going to be in Chicago for ALA’s Annual Conference. (At this exact time next week, come to think of it, we’ll be setting up for the second of two New Members’ Round Table orientation sessions.)

Yesterday I spent searching for packing tips for suits, and ended up watching videos on folding suits and tutorials on how to pack using the bundle method; I still haven’t decided how I’m going to pack my bag, but I’m quickly coming to the time of decision-making.

(I may just have to tell myself to make peace with the hotel room’s iron and ironing board.)

While googling for “ALA packing list” this morning, I came across this really excellent post that got me jazzed about getting the packing done this weekend. Read the comments, too, as there’s good information shared there as well.

I have too many tabs open in my browser.

I’m in the middle of planning for ALA Annual Conference. Three weeks from Right Now(tm), actually, I will be … well, at the moment, there’s a blank spot in my Saturday afternoon schedule. But I haven’t added in the rest of my roundtable sessions, so I expect that once I do that, there will be fewer blank spots.

It feels awkward to be planning my conference experience while I’m still out of work. I managed to find a fairly inexpensive fare from National to O’Hare, and I managed to change my hotel reservation from the extremely convenient, pretty pricey hotel I had originally wanted to stay at to a more reasonably priced hotel that’s further across the city but hopefully still convenient to a conference shuttle stop. (And it’s more convenient to Whole Foods and a bunch of restaurants my gluten-free self can safely eat at, so that’s a win.) And I know that being able to visit the ALA JobList Placement Center will be helpful as well.

But not knowing which exact direction my nascent professional library career will take makes things a bit more complicated. Do I attend sessions geared towards public libraries? Do I attend sessions geared towards academic libraries? Do I attend sessions geared towards special libraries? Do I attend one or two of each kind? Do I say “heck with it” and focus on roundtable sessions and author signings?

I’m not sure in which direction I am ultimately leaning, hence the five million browser tabs.

(Aside, let me say this: I am so grateful to the organizations that have allowed me to volunteer for them while in the middle of my job search. Having read all the news articles on the terrifying reality of long-term unemployment, I’m aware that those of us who have been out of the pool for some time face an even greater uphill battle than the job searchers who are still working, or who are recently unemployed.

I’m not saying that they have it easy – none of us who have been one of 80, one of 100, one of 300 applicants for one job opening have it easy. And there is nothing more troubling than to be out of work when you need to be working. I’m incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to be doing SOMETHING library-related, helping people, using some of my skills.)

Easter dinner planning

Hibou-by-the-Bay is hosting Easter dinner for the first time, and it’s my first time cooking Easter dinner since, I think, the year that GIJ threw out his back and I refused to let him sit in the car for two hours each way driving to his family’s Easter gathering. That was … 2004? A very long time ago.

(I feel ancient just TYPING that.)

I have only the vaguest ideas of what I want to cook for Easter dinner, but I’m about to venture out and hit up Wegmans to do the big shopping for things I don’t need to buy fresh. Wegmans is a dangerous place to be if you don’t have even some semblance of a plan. I’ve gotten it down to

- ham
- carrots [I like the look of this recipe]
- green beans [this recipe]
- scalloped potatoes [oh, Martha.]
- green jello salad [potentially this recipe]
- chocolate pie [NEED to get the GF crust at Wegmans]
- hot cross buns [potentially this recipe]
- some other kind of roll or biscuit
- something else for dessert? carrot cake?

Ay yi yi.

Recipe: Crockpot Peanut Chicken

Ingredients:

leftover roast chicken pieces, or 2-3 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/3 C. peanut butter
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 1/2 t. sesame oil
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. ground ginger

Method:

- Put peanut butter in crockpot. Turn to high, so that the peanut butter begins to soften.
- Add liquid ingredients; stir to mix.
- Add dry ingredients and garlic; stir to mix.
- Add chicken. Stir well to coat chicken shreds evenly.
- Cook 1.5 hours, stirring every 20 mins.

This is a very forgiving recipe. I almost always make it with more peanut butter and garlic than it calls for, and depending on the kind of peanut butter you choose to use the sesame oil can be omitted entirely to keep the dish from becoming too oily (add sesame seeds instead for flavor). Using wheat-free tamari for the soy sauce, this dish can be made entirely gluten-free.