Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wait a Second. Bunnies Don't Lay Eggs!

It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that Easter is tomorrow.

Technically, it would be hard to wrap my head around anything. What a weird saying!

Anyway, I'm not reaching for my sundress or Easter bonnet quite yet. I'm still wearing my boots. The sun has peeked out, but it seems that there have been snow flurries in the air every day.

It will be a coldish Easter this year, but spring will come. Soon I will walk outside without a coat. I will see flowers. Snow will not cover dead grass; new plants will grow. Bunny rabbits will hop.

I can't wait for picnics in the park, hikes with friends, ice cream cones and the windows rolled down.

To me, spring is hope. New life. Getting rid of the old, the cold, the dead and bringing on the new, the warm, the living.

And that's what Easter means to me too! Hope. Sure, the extra chocolate is nice. The bunny bringing eggs is cute (though it makes no sense). The ham and potatoes are delicious. But to me, Easter is first about the hope of Jesus.

Because of Jesus, I don't have to trudge through life, being afraid and trying to find happiness in things that won't satisfy me. "But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved." -Ephesians 2:4-5.

I was dead in my sin. Cold and hopeless. Now I'm alive in Him! I have a relationship with God, and I am loved far beyond what I deserve or understand. My future is not uncertain. No matter what happens, I have hope.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." I Peter 1:3.

Happy Easter! Of course I have to share this video again!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"I Have Nature on My Hands"

It's possible you may have already realized this, but I can be OCD about things.

I'm a perfectionist. I worry. I like things to be even.

If one hand gets wet, before I dry it I have to get the other hand wet. If one foot bumps a step I have been known to lightly bump the other foot. So things are even.

I'm not Adrian Monk, but I do triple-check locks and overthink things.

So keep this in mind when I tell you that I like numbers to be even too. I like things grouped by tens or fives. I round things up or down. And I like to start things on the hour or the half hour.

When I go to the gym, it's not at 6:10. Or at 7:24. I start working out at 6 or at 6:30. At 7 or at 9. Depending on what time I work that day or what time spin classes are at.

And I finish precisely in an hour. It's how I roll!

If I'm doing different things on my own, for instance the elliptical or lifting weights or ab work, I'll transition at fifteen-minute or half-hour marks. Other people wander around at 7:13. Not me! I'll do a few more push-ups and get to the stair-stepper at 7:15. Bam!

It's how I roll. It makes me feel comfortable, like I have a sense of accomplishment.

It's nice when things are even.


I have been known to sort my candies by color, too.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Avocado Or Avocadon't?


I know, I know. I write about food a lot now.

Honestly, I don't know what in the world this blog is even about anymore. Chocolate? Libraries? Nutrition? Awkwardness?

Let me be random!

Anyway, I've been trying out avocados.

I'm not a person who has, in the past, claimed to enjoy avocados. I don't even like guacamole. It's so creamy that it freaks me out. Like, what is it trying to prove? I can't just eat an avocado plain. Yuck.

Thankfully, the avocado's creaminess makes it perfect for an add-in. For instance, I love it in smoothies. Chunks of avocado blend up magnificently.

Speaking of smoothies, I've been chucking the most random things in my blender lately. Spinach and squash aren't bad at all if I use lots of sweeter fruits with them.

Yesterday I made a smoothie with orange juice, pumpkin puree, frozen bananas and frozen strawberries, and avocado. WOW. Just, WOW. It was beautiful, orange, and delicious. Smoothies will taste even better when it is actually warm outside and my fingers don't go numb holding the glass.

I've been trying out some paleo recipes and found this one on PaleOMG - 5-Ingredient Avocado Pudding. Amazingness! It just tastes so rich, like it's really bad for you. For someone who doesn't care for the taste of plain avocado, this dessert is perfect because it just tastes like chocolate! I used 2 tablespoons of cocoa to make it more rich, and also splashed in some vanilla. I didn't add chocolate chips. This recipe was also the perfect opportunity to use the sunbutter I got at Trader Joe's. It kind of grosses me out and I just have to add it to things (Have you seen sunbutter? Seriously, it looks like a jar of snot.).

While I'm talking paleo, I might as well share the best banana bread recipe ever. Paleo Banana Bread from Civilized Caveman is just amazing. No flour or sugar or vegetable oil...and still good!

Hungry yet? Go make something! That's what I'm doing today! Homework and cooking...and probably later a walk in the sunshine. :)

Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Energetic Librarian

I'm typically in a pretty good mood at work.

In fact, when I'm not, my coworkers tend to get concerned.

I'm a positive person, I have more energy each day from exercise and eating right, and I love my job.

Library patrons really respond well when I'm extra nice and interested in them. I know, I know. Not rocket science. Sometimes it can be hard to do, but it's gratifying seeing people leave with smiles on their faces.

Not to mention that being smiley and sympathetic helps keep people from seeing me as a mean librarian nazi.

For instance, when it comes to:

  • technological problems (*ahem* ebooks *ahem*)
  • collecting library fines (you only have yourself to blame, but okay)
  • tax forms (I hate this time of year...)
all unpleasantness.

But sometimes people just want a listening ear. They want someone to say I'm sorry, I know this stinks. I also am not a fan of the IRS, or the fact that downloading ebooks from the library site is SO MUCH more difficult than checking out a physical book.

I'm getting better at reading people, and being able to judge whether or not they can take a joke.

My favorite is when a person will tell me to keep the change, or drop some change in the donation container and the amount is really tiny. I like to enthusiastically exclaim, as a guy drops one or two pennies in there, that now we will finally be able to add our new library wing!

I know, I know. But I'm the sarcastically hilarious librarian! They can't help but love me! 

Jeff Newman, Librarian, University of Toronto