my itty bitty kitchen

Yesterday I showed you the outside of our new home, so now it’s time for you to come inside! The back door brings you right to the heart of our home, the kitchen. The itty, bitty kitchen, which is the only kind I’ve had so far. I’m hoping for a bigger one some day, while making the most of what I have now. The door is right next to the stove in case you didn’t see it. This view is from the dining room, which is to the right of the kitchen as you enter from the deck.

kitchen, seen from diningHere’s the only thing you’re not seeing in the photo above: a section of counter space hiding to the left of the fridge.

other side of kitchenAnd for fun, here’s another shot of the sink. I am spending a lot of time here because, after a blissful almost-two-years with a dishwasher in our last place, I am back to doing all dishes by hand. Two good things about this set-up, though: the sinks are deeper than any we’ve had before, and there is a window! This is the first place I’ve lived where I’ve had a window over the sink. It faces the neighbor’s house, so it’s not that the view is great, but there’s just something mood-lifting about staring out at a sunny scene instead of staring at a wall.

sink with windowHere’s a peek past the pantry into the dining room, which is coming up next!

fridge and pantry

Did you see the yard yet? If not check it out!


another new home

Hopefully this is our last stop before home ownership, but who can say for sure? This month we moved into a Cape Cod duplex, which was oozing with charm and the residue of previous tenants. I’ve finally worked my way through enough of that mess to be able to offer a little tour for those who’ve yet to see it in person. I’ll show one room per post, and by the end of the week you’ll have seen it all.

Here’s how it looks from the front,

1940s cape cod housebut we actually enter from the back.

deck and kitchen doorThe deck door leads right into the kitchen, and from inside the view of the yard looks like this:

view from kitchen to back yardThe yard itself looks like this. It’s mostly creeping charlie, with a patch of grass at the end where the shade gives way to sun. To the right you can see the neighbor’s Adirondack chair engulfed in hostas (she has a thing for hostas) and to the left you can see a small garden area against the garage wall. The dirt on the near end is where I planted flowers. Hopefully they sprout soon!

back yardHere’s the view from the deck toward the yard and garage.

back yard, garage, deckHere’s the view from our side of the deck toward the neighbor’s side. The pickets alternate so for the most part we’re shielded from each other if we happen to be on our decks at the same time.

patio furniture

That’s pretty much it for the outdoors! Next time I’ll invite you in, promise.

It was my job…

Until a few weeks ago, it was my job to help anyone who walked up to this desk.

circulation desk with view of "Enduring Prairie" by Dale Merrill

“Enduring Prairie” (Dale Merrill)

It was my job to put new books on top of this shelf if someone checked out one of the display books and left an empty space…

picture books displayed on top of shelves…to put together these puzzles every Tuesday night during my closing shift…

wooden puzzles…to keep a close eye on tweens who thought this was for parkour when really it’s for preschoolers…

pre-k playscape…to lead them to this room when they wanted materials we didn’t keep in the children’s room…

teen room…and to run to these stacks to find books that were still checked out to patrons even though they’d returned them. (Check-in staff, get with the program!)

mystery, fiction, nonfiction stacksIt was my job to be in this gorgeous building early in the day, before the throng of students, authors, genealogists, job hunters, researchers, and leisure readers burst through the door the second it automatically unlocked.

view from circ to referenceIt was my job to contribute to the causes of early literacy, lifelong learning, and equal access to information for all our patrons. It was not my job to love it, but I did anyway. This was the only job I’ve ever had that I never dreaded. They paid me to do this…

2011 Make a Splash--READ

water pump with brick well & water drops for “Make a Splash–READ” 2011

…and this…

6.17.12 Dream Big READ

“night” scene (we had blue but not black) for “Dream Big–READ” 2012

…and this. The scene will be “filled in” over the course of the summer; see notes below.

garden scene

garden scene for “Dig Into Reading” 2013

For now it’s populated only with a bunny, a garden gnome, and some critters sleeping in burrows in honor of this year’s theme: Dig Into Reading.sleeping foxThose days are over for me now. Even though I sometimes felt like this I know I will miss even my most mundane duties in the library.


*The parkour video gives you a sort-of tour of where we’ve been living the past few years. All of the shots are on and around the University of Iowa campus.

*For the last three summers, I’ve created a paper mural for each Summer Reading Program. When kids in grades K-6 complete half of their reading activities for the summer, they get to put their name on a theme-appropriate shape (e.g. bricks & water drops for Make a Splash), then tape it into the scene anywhere they want. It was our way of reinforcing their work by rewarding them with “their name in lights” halfway through, and also a chance to check in, ask what they’re reading, and possibly get them excited about something new if they’re losing steam. SRP completion has been an issue in recent years.

*Librarian Problems is a website to which I’m sure all library staff can relate, but its sense of humor is hostile sometimes so I chose a safe one to show you. If you really want to know how be a good patron, though, explore some more to learn how to annoy librarians–so you can avoid annoying them, obviously.