Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spending time with my son

Memorial Day is always special for me as a reporter and a person. It is a chance to recognize who gave their life so I and others can have the freedom we have. 
Normally, I work and get to take Memorial Day holiday on another day. This year, I got a double bonus. 

I got to spend the long weekend with my son. Things some how worked that my son’s aunt met me halfway and JJ was able to spend three days in Pickle Land with me. He had a chance to see me working and spend quality time together.
Eating a blooming onion at Outback!
Playing videogames!
JJ is now 11. He is squarely in the pre-teen world. His voice is changing along with other things. My baby is growing up and it scares me. He got to see my new teeth and loved them. He said it was nice to see me so happy. 

We had a chance to talk and just spend some time together. And in two weeks, he returns for a two week involving my week long vacation and a bunch of day camps. It has been a good few days.

The other part is my Memorial Day weekend is this weekend. I'm going to the Lake to hang with the bestie.
1. Spending time with my son!
2.        Having a healthy child!
3.        Summer vacation is coming!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My home library is complete!!!!!

  I write a book column for Duplin Times in Kenansville, N.C. called the Book Nerd. This is my May column, which is about me finally completing my home library.

“When all else fails give up and go to the library.”
-Stephen King

I have always loved this quote, because I have done as he advises hundreds of times.
After having a very bad day, I would head to my nearest library for some calming support.
But now, all I have to do is go home, and go into my own personal library.

This is just a portion of the 2,220 books I own.

Ever since I was a young girl, I have dreamed of having my own library. I learned to read at an early age and always had a book with me. Growing up, I always had a small shelf with books on it in my room. In college, I started to collect books. As I got older and moved to various places, there were always bookshelves.
When I moved into my current home on May 21, 2016, there were three-bedrooms with a pantry and two living rooms. Yes, two living rooms.
I decided before moving that the original living room with its mantle would become my library.
So for almost a year, I have unpacked books, shelved books and purchased books and shelves.
The original goal was to have a ribbon cutting (my take on a housewarming party) for Oct. 22 last year. Invitations had been sent and ribbons selected.
Well, two weeks before this, a little hurricane named “Matthew” showed up. It resulted in a tree pulverizing up my car and no power for almost a month. I had to cancel the ribbon cutting. 
Since then, I have worked on my library from time to time. 

During a recent visit, my son, James Edward, wondered if the library would ever be completed or would it just always be a work in progress. So I doubled down to make it look more presentable. I found a site called, which is a home library management web app. 
The Nelson Bland Memorial Library is ready for its debut. This was his home and I feel it is a good way to remember him. But this library is not a public facility. I emphasized this to my son and others.
In addition to being a home for my 1,220 books, it is also a spot for my recently adopted cat, Gizmo, from Duplin Animal Services.
All of these books didn’t appear overnight or without help. Through the years, I have purchased books from various library systems in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia at book sales. And I thank many people for donations to my library.
The hunt for books has been fun. When I first moved back to Mount Olive, I probably had about 600 books. I decided I wanted to own 1,000 books. I felt it was good number for a library. I started searching at various area thrift stores and yard sales. 

My son loves to read and I feel my enthusiasm for reading is the reason why. Of the 1,220 books, I have probably read a good 350 of them. There are some I owned because they were so good I wanted to be able to share them with my son.
Now while there are eight bookcases in the library, there are others scattered throughout the house in the kitchen, in the living room and my son’s room.
Recently, a friend was thinking of starting her own library and asked me for the best way to get books. Library sales are the best way. You can get some great gently used books for a cheap price. Thrift stores are also a great source for books.
I am running out of shelf space. Eventually, I will have to do some weeding of my collection. I probably will not end up like President Thomas Jefferson, who had three separate home libraries during his life.

During the War of 1812, the British burned the nation’s Capitol and the Library of Congress. At the time, Jefferson had the largest personal collection of books in the country at 6,487. He sold his collection to Congress to help replaced what was lost. But this didn’t stop Jefferson from collecting more, by his death, he had more than 2,000 books in his library.
My goal is to stay in the house as long as possible because moving with this many books will be insane.
We all know that public libraries are calming and quiet. There are times I need this calming effect after a meeting has ended at 9 p.m..
So why do I have a library? I love to read and this was a major item on my bucket list. I didn’t want to just have shelves but a room dedicated solely to books.
Some people want to climb Mount Everest. I want its equivalent in books. This represents so much more than I can ever put into words.
Until next month, visit a library and keep reading!

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year! I will admit that 2017 wasn't the worst year of my life but it wasn't the best. I feel like I spent the entire time ...