Weekend Coffee Share: Orchard Opening, Grad School, State Fair, and more!

If we were having coffee, we’d likely be sitting outside on picnic tables overlooking my family’s apple orchard.  Please excuse my cat, Pip, who has no concept of personal boundaries.  He has most likely climbed on your lap and is demanding snuggles.  While you pet him, we look over the orchard to the St. Croix River valley in the distance.  Isn’t the view great?

At the moment, I’m enjoying a few days of calm before the craziness that is fall hits.  The library was absolutely dead this week, which (while boring) was a nice break.  My patrons are all getting ready for school, going on last minute vacations, and harvesting their gardens.

This week, I DID get to go to the Minnesota State Fair for work!  It was Read & Ride Day, put on by the library system in the Twin Cities area.  Fairgoers could get discounted admission with their library cards.  As a worker, I got in for free!  My shift was three hours long and I ran the game Plinko.  My coworker for the day and I were given a massive amount of prizes (color changing cups, temporary tattoos, pens, bags, flashlights, etc.) and told that they needed to all be gone by five.  So we were VERY generous to all who played our game.  “Everyone’s a winner at the library!” we told everyone who stopped by.  It was a lot of fun!  After my shift, I spent the rest of the day wandering around the fair with library colleagues from my own system, who had worked earlier in the day.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I start graduate school this week!  I’m pursuing my Masters in Library and Information Science through the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  I’m kind of nervous about being back in academia and balancing school and work.  It really helps that everything is online and I can fit it in with my schedule.  I think I’ll be fine… I’ve always been a bit of a Hermione Granger when it comes to school and started reading one of my textbooks already.

My family’s apple orchard is open for the season!  My parents and brother worked really hard to get everything together.  Dad has been overseeing the harvest and getting the outside presentable.  Mom organized the store and is training all our new seasonal employees.  I’ll be helping out on Sundays this fall during the peak of our season, but with grad school and having my own job, my involvement will be fairly minimal.

That’s enough chit chat from me.  How are you spending your last weekend of the summer?  Anything exciting going on this fall?  What would you share over coffee?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster. 

Be sure to check out the weekly Link Up to see what everyone has been up to.

Weekend Coffee Share 6/10/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be meeting at my local coffee shop once again.  Because summer is finally here, I’d be sipping an iced vanilla latte on the back deck, basking in the morning sun.  What would you be having?

It is so good to be back with you all again!  I just returned from a vacation out west and, while hiking in the mountains was a great adventure, I missed these weekly chats.  What have you all been up to?

It’s crazy that summer is finally here!  Spring is slow to come here in Minnesota, but summer appears in the blink of an eye.  One day, you’re wearing light sweaters complaining about too much rain and, the next, it’s eighty degrees.

With the sunny weather and kids being out of school, the library is busy this time of year.  Our annual Summer Reading Program is up and running.  We had a kids musician come for our opening program this week, which was really fun.  Next week, I’m launching Lego Club, summer preschool story time, and having the local princess candidates in to read to the kids.  I’ve been in post-vacation catch-up mode all week, running around like a crazy person, but it’s good to be back. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: It’s Almost Christmas!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how excited I am for Christmas!  This time of year is always incredibly busy with holidays and family commitments, but I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve got a lot coming up over the next few weeks–Christmas, attending a conference in St. Louis, and getting ready to head to England.  To be honest, I’m having a hard time focusing because there are so many big events in a row.

If we were having coffee, you’d know that I’ve spent the majority of my day preparing for my annual holiday series here on the blog!  Tis the Season started last year and I had so much fun with it that I decided to give it another go.  The holidays are all about coming together, and what better way to come together than host guest bloggers and share traditions?  I have a couple of really wonderful guest posts lined up, as well as a few of my own.  Stop by each day this week for a new post starting TOMORROW!

If we were having coffee, you’d know that I only have three days left of my job!  I’ve been working as the Interim Executive Director of my local Chamber of Commerce since October.  Although I really don’t enjoy the job much, I’ve been trying to maintain a positive attitude.  It’s been a great learning experience for me.  We hired a new Executive Director a few weeks ago, but she isn’t starting full time until January 4.  I’m currently working on training her and setting things up for a smooth transition.  I absolutely can’t wait to be done working there, but I’m thankful to have been able to work right until Christmas.

If we were having coffee, I’d let you know that I am not seeing the new Star Wars until Wednesday.  So no spoilers!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in exactly a week from now, I’ll be in a minivan bound for St. Louis, Missouri .  I will be attending Urbana, the largest student missions conference in the world.  I’m interested in pursuing Christian ministry/missions as a career, so this conference is a great opportunity to learn more about the field and network.  It only happens every three years, so I’m thankful to catch it.  There will be over 16,000 people attending!  It’s going to be a powerful week.  I know many people who have attended this conference in the past and have told me that it’s life-changing.

If we were having coffee, I’d inquire about your plans for the holidays.  Are you traveling?  Do you have any special family plans?  Is there anything big on your Christmas list this year?  Tell me all about it in the comments and stay tuned for Tis the Season posts throughout the week.

P.S. Enjoy this Christmassy photo I took with my cat, Paco, whom I love dearly.

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Weekend Coffee Share: Tired, Overwhelmed, and The Oh Hellos

If we were having coffee, you’d know right away that I am a mess.  My week was awful.

You see, I’m not a crier.  I’ll go for months and months without shedding a tear.  This doesn’t mean I’m not emotional–I definitely am.  My emotions just don’t manifest in tears very often.

That being said, I’ve had FOUR meltdowns this week.

Three happened in my car.  The first of these took place after the first training session for my new job.  The second was this morning on the way to church.  The third was an hour or so ago on my way home from church.  The other sob-fest happened over my bowl of Rice Krispies cereal on Tuesday morning.

As I said, I am a mess.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my new job is proving more stressful than anticipated.  I’ve finally got most of the day-to-day things under control, so my time in the office goes fairly smoothly.  But there is so much I don’t know or understand.  I have zero experience with finances, bills, invoices, payments, etc.  And, suddenly, I need to know how to do all of these things.  The people who are supposedly there to help me have proved only marginally useful.

I spent the entire week doing my best to stay positive and keep afloat.  Two of my nights were sleepless ones.  The while time, I thought that, if I could just get to the weekend, everything would be okay.  HA.  JOKE’S ON ME.

On Friday, I had to go in for my second training session while the rest of my family went to the movies.  Which TOTALLY sucked.  My little brother was home from college and I wanted to spend time with him.  I got to the office a bit before seven, as planned.  At 7:08, I got a text from the lady training me (who used to be in my position) saying she would be there by 7:30.  She didn’t end up getting there until almost eight o’clock.  Which meant I spent an HOUR of my Friday night sitting alone in a cold office playing games on my iPhone because I forgot to bring a book.  Because of her tardiness, we weren’t able to cover all the information and now have to meet again on Tuesday evening.

So that all sucks.

If we were having coffee, you’d know that my fourth and final meltdown of the week happened because I almost got into a car accident on my way home from church this morning.  But thinking about that just makes me more depressed, so we won’t go into details.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I saw the band The Oh Hellos live on Thursday.  It was, by far, the highlight of my whole week.  The show was INCREDIBLE.

The first opener was a band called Family & Friends and it was obvious that it was their first tour.  You could feel their enthusiasm oozing from the stage.  Their expressions were wild and excited and you couldn’t help feel it too.  It energized the whole crowd and set the tone for the entire night. When the headliner finally took the stage, we were all screaming before they played a single note.

If I could transport myself into the past, I’d go back to being in that crowd on Thursday.  It wasn’t very relaxing, but boy it was fun.  My friend and I let loose and went crazy.  We sang along to all the words we knew.  We cheered.  We raised our hands and clapped.  I completely let loose and danced, jumping and flailing awkwardly, losing myself in the music.  Gosh, it was a blast.

You see, The Oh Hellos are a phenomenal band.  They make music not for profit, but because they’re passionate.  Their passion is evident in every note.  Their music is clearly rooted in Christian faith, but they’re not a Christian band.  Their instrumentals are rich and flavorful and all the songs have deep, sophisticated lyrics.  I’d gush about how awesome they are more, but it might be better to write about them in other posts.  (So stay tuned for that.)

So, yeah.  Aside from going to the show, it’s been a pretty crappy week.  On the bright side, things can’t get much worse.  If you don’t mind, I’m going to go curl up under a blanket with a comfort book and go into hermit-mode during the remainder of my day off.  Later, though, I’ll come back on WordPress and would really love to hear how your week has been.  What would you share over coffee?

The Oh Hellos during the finale of their set.  SO GOOD.
The Oh Hellos during the finale of their set. SO GOOD.

This post is part of a link-up at Part Time Monster

Weekend Coffee Share: Goodbye Socially-Awkward Hermit Amelia

If we were having coffee, we would be meeting at a local coffee shop because I need to get out of my house.  You’d enter the shop, order a drink of choice, and then would find me huddled over a table with my head in my arms. It’s been that kind of week.  A mug of English Breakfast tea would sit steaming in front of me, but I wouldn’t touch it until you sat down.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about work.  At any place of employment, there are all kinds of little behind-the-scenes things that need doing before and after hours. When you live at the place you work, it becomes your task to work extra and get those things done. I put in three ten-hour days in a row. On Friday night, if you drove by our orchard around seven-thirty, you probably would have seen me on a lawn mower cleaning everything up before the weekend crowds hit.

Since I basically work all the time, I keep forgetting to eat… which is something new for me. I’ll go for six hours at a time with only an apple to get me by. Lunches are a hurried dash of grabbing whatever is fastest (usually yogurt, salad, and an apple) and getting back to work. The other day, I went over to a friend’s house for a bonfire (after I finished mowing) and my first words to her were, “Do you have any meat?” She didn’t, so I settled for almonds instead.

Sundays are my only days off and I am determined (after cleaning the house and getting on top of my blog posts for the week) to lie on the couch reading fun books and watching movies. It’s going to be glorious.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have written more in the last week than I have since college ended. I love it! Writing 101 has been challenging, but not in the ways I expected. The hardest part is finding time in the day to sit down and write. I I’ve been squeezing time in the morning for most of my posts, although occasionally they have to wait until later in the evening. All the assignments have been fantastic so far. Each one is simple, to the point, and offers a source of inspiration. Every day brings something different.

Since starting this course, the posts I’ve written have gotten at the heart of what I’ve always wanted Keep Your Feet to be about. It’s just taken a year and a half on this site, but I’m starting to find my voice here. Each post offers different pieces of myself as I transition into adulthood—working through why I write, making a list of things I love about living at my parent’s house, discussing the insecurities and perks of my nonexistent love life, random musings about Thoreau, and what it means to learn. I’m very proud of the work I’ve accomplished this week and, if you’ve take time to read it, I’m extremely thankful.  I’m eager to get started on this week’s assignments!

As part of Writing 101, I’ve also been working on engaging with other bloggers.  I’ve loved reading everyone’s assignments and finding new sites to follow!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about all the plans I’ve been making. Socially awkward hermit Amelia is a thing of the past (for now, at least). In the past week, I’ve had movie nights at two people’s houses and attended a bonfire. Tomorrow night, I’m meeting a friend for dinner. Next weekend, I’m going to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival with a friend one day and attending a concert at a club in Minneapolis the next. I’ve also stolen the Fall Arts Preview of the newspaper and hope to make a list of all the things I want to see and o in the upcoming months. I know all of this probably doesn’t mean much to you, but I’m really looking forward to spending quality time with friends and doing things that fill me up. Plays, concerts, art galleries… I want to soak in as much as I can.

During this time of business, I’m going to have to be extra careful about fitting in introvert time so I don’t become a raging monster and get crabby with everyone.

With all the things on my schedule these days, our coffee conversations are about to get more interesting.

I’ve done enough talking… it’s your turn!  What do you have to share over coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link-up at Part Time Monster

#WeekendCoffeeShare: It’s so good to see you.

If we were having coffee, the first thing you might notice is that I’m not actually drinking coffee.  I prefer tea.  The first thing I would tell you is let you know that I’ve been wanting to do this for weeks.  I’ve seen many of these posts from bloggers I follow for weeks upon weeks, but was never able to take time to do my own.  Until now.

So, friend.  I’m so glad to be with you right now.  Or, as Jane says in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

What is new in your life?  Maybe I should save those questions until the end.  In my enthusiasm, I’m getting ahead of myself.

If we were having coffee, I’d probably complain quite a bit about my back problems.  I pulled something a month ago at work and have been fighting the uphill battle to health ever since.  It’s better than it was–dosages of ibuprofen, icing it several times a day, and three visits to the chiropractor certainly helps.  Most days are now good ones and it has stopped keeping me up at night, but progress is still slow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you all about yesterday’s canoeing adventure.  One of my camp friends came up from the cities and we canoed a ten-mile stretch of the St. Croix River.  In Minnesota, there are some hobbies that, because of the ever-changing seasons, you can only do a few times a year.  Canoeing is one of them.  I have been dying to get a canoe in the water for the past three months.  It wasn’t a very warm day, nor were the conditions good.  Amy and I battled wind and whitecaps the majority of the trip.  But it was wonderful.  There are few better things than being on the water, paddle in hand, with nowhere else to be.  At one point, we passed a man and his kids struggling to get un-stuck from a tree.  He looks over at us and goes, “You’re still smiling?  I lost mine a while ago.”  He was right–despite the fact that our arms felt like they were about to fall off, we were both still smiling.  It was exhausting, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  Sadly, I probably won’t set foot in a canoe until next summer.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that apple season is almost here.  I work on my family’s apple orchard and we are less than two weeks from opening day!  We spent a good deal of time this week indoors (due to rain) cleaning our main retail building.  I spent many hours scrubbing coolers, sweeping floors, and rubbing down cooking trays.  In addition, the apple harvest has begun!  My brother and I began picking the early varieties.  Our big cooler is now filled with several stacks of Redfree and State Fair apples.

I’m really excited for Fall.  It’s been four years since I’ve been around for a full season–and even then, I only worked weekends due to school and extra curricular commitments.  Summer has been wonderful, but our work crew has slowly dwindled to just my brother and I.  Fewer hands mean tasks take longer and the familiarity of siblings mean we don’t have as much to talk about.  When September 4 is here, all the fall employees will come.  There will be people selling in the store, high schoolers washing and sorting fruit in the back area, and a crew of bakers assembling pies and goodies in the kitchen.  It’ll be wonderful to have new people to talk to.

Okay, okay.  Enough about me.  Time to pass the talking-stick to you.  What would you share if we were having coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster