Fidelia Hall, Libraries, Library Director, Life, Misc., Three Things, Titusville, PA

THREE THINGS 2017.3

FLAT FUNDING

As I wrap my head around what the 2018 budget looks like at the Benson Memorial Library, I am faced with yet another year of bracing for flat funding. It is slightly depressing to be in a state of mind where receiving word of flat funding is the desired outcome over having your funding cut. It has been this way for many institutions, and it has especially been this way for libraries over the past 5-10 years.

I am thankful for what we receive, as it allows us to continue our service to the community. As a library director, it is my goal to ensure that the community members who use the library do not see the negative effects of flat funding. I want them to have a positive and wonderful library experience, and I will do my best to achieve that with flat funding over a large period of time. However there’s also the other side of me that realizes that I cannot do this forever. While our funding remains flat utility costs and  health care costs are on the rise. The need to give employees a fair wage that is in line with the current cost of living is also something I believe in very highly. At some point, there’s gonna be a line drawn where things need to change. For this upcoming year, we’ll adjust accordingly to the situation in front of us, but in addition to bracing for flat funding I am bracing for the moment where things need to change in order to continue.

RENOVATING FIDELIA HALL

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This summer was not kind to the Hoenke family when it comes to the house we live in on the Fidelia Hall property. Plagued with all sorts of previous “half assed” repairs and renovations and issues that were just covered up (out of sight, out of mind), this summer was the time where the house told us that it was time to move out, fix things up properly, or if need be tear it all down. And that’s where we are right now.

Renovations to the old church in Fidelia Hall have ramped up. The downstairs space is coming along nicely: the tin ceiling is now very shiny and metallic, the new furnace and duct work have been installed, and an entrance-way and bathroom and updates to the kitchen are right around the corner.

All good ideas change over time, and the idea behind Fidelia Hall has changed quite a bit. For the moment, we will be moving into the downstairs of the old church building as soon as it is ready for us to live in it. With that move, we will then be able to gut the house and see what kind of shape it is in under all of the half assed repairs and out of sight out of mind renovations. At some point, we still hope to have Fidelia Hall as an arts and community center, but right now it is the time to focus on our family and get us to a place where we can live. Things change, things grow, and above everything else I have learned that first and foremost the wonderful family which surrounds me is the thing I need to take care of the most.

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Despite how hard it has been recently with renovations, I must say that it sure is neat to be restoring something and coming across a gem like this: this staircase was original to the building and was hidden under a rotting wooden staircase. The stone and foundation are part of the original 1870’s construction of the hall.

AN OVERARCHING IMPRESSION ON WHY THINGS ARE THEY WAY THEY ARE

The overarching theme to this post is the idea that there are so many humans out there who are trying to do something positive in the world yet are faced with quite a number of daunting tasks and obstacles in front of them. At the core, I believe that every human being has a desire to bring something positive to the world. However, with time that desire can be chipped away and eroded….and that is what I believe brings us to right now. We are living in a world where the desire to bring something positive to the world has been chipped out of most people. Flat/slashed funding, crumbling support networks, lack of resources, increasing costs with utilities, health care, school, basic necessities, and to top it off the ever increasing voice we all hear telling us to “buy more you’ll be happy” and what you have is a mix that has led to the current state in which we live. The pressure is there and the pressure can only reach a certain level before it bursts. What I’m thinking is that at least in my lifetime we will see that pressure burst. When it happens, things will be uncomfortable yet it will lead us to meaningful change. This is the way of the world: you have something, that something grows and changes, and when it reaches its point it bursts…and then you being to build things again.

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Family, Life, Misc., Titusville, PA

Goodbye Muted World

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Depression is something that’s been with me for all of my life. I’ve had ups and downs along the way. And this next step I am about to take is just another part of a very long journey.

On June 1, 2017 I will begin weaning myself off of Fluoxetine (Prozac). I have been using Fluoxetine 20mg/day since 2009. Overall it has helped me deal with extreme ups and downs but recently I am beginning to feel that I would like to live my life without its grasp over me. Life on Fluoxetine feels muted most times and I just don’t really want to feel muted anymore.

With all that said, I’m posting this to say that I’ll be completely away from everything starting June 1, 2017. I will go to work and then I will go home. And I will repeat that until I am ready to re-enter the world. This process is going to be tough so I need to focus on myself and nothing else.

Thanks for being in my life and I’ll see all of you sometime soon.

Family, Libraries, Life, Music, Things, Three Things

THREE THINGS 2016.11

MUSIC

 

I’ve recently been feeling a burst of inspiration when it comes to music. All throughout 2017 I have been working on writing and recording the first album for a project I am calling ABIGAIL FOSTER’S PHOTOSYNTHESIS MACHINE. I am really excited about the project and the songs on this first album. I have a lot of thoughts on how I’d like for this album to go and right now I am just trying to keep the original focus of it being an album of simple, easy to digest songs. I want to restart my musical brain and this seems like a good place to start.

And just like I do every time I have a musical project happening, I add another one. This one is the completion of the 2002 Zomo album Waiting For The Green. You see, this album was being worked on back in 2001-2002 and was going to be the debut album for the band Zomo (which went on to record and release two other albums). However, things happened and it never got finished. This has always been something that has bugged me and held me back a bit musically, so recently I made the decision to look at what we had finished and cobble together a version of the album. Is this the album that it was supposed to be? No way. It will never be that album. But that’s not the point…the idea was to finish something that deserves to be finished and put it out into the world. So over this weekend I hope to put the finishing touches on this collection of songs and release it to the world. More to come.

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF

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I spend a lot of my time playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf on my Nintendo 3DS. I find the game to be wonderfully pleasant, well made, and extremely relaxing. There’s really no goal in the game other than to exist in your faux town and go about your daily tasks but for some reason these are the things I search for in a video.

I am extremely happy that even though the game was released 4 years ago that Nintendo has decided to continue to support the game. Just this week, an update was released that adds a lot of neat new abilities and features to the game. You can read about some of those big changes here and the smaller yet equally as important changes here. Considering that I would usually give this game 2-5 hours of my life every week before the update, I expect that I’ll be visiting my town a lot more in the next few weeks.

WINDING DOWN

Once November hits I feel like the rest of my year is gonna be smooth sailing. September and October 2016 were quite hectic, full of book sales, budgets, book challenges, and much much more. Those things have been taken care of and now for the rest of the year I can collect my thoughts and plan for 2017. I think that it is extremely important to budget yourself enough time to sit back and think big. November and December are months where everyone is occupied with the holiday season so for me these months are a great time for that. Mental relaxation and health are so very important. Take care of yourself. I need to follow my own advice!

 

Books, Libraries, Life, Things

All Time Favorite Books

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Here’s the LibraryThing collection

People still ask me what my favorite books are even though they know that I’m not that kind of librarian, so I made this list as a handy dandy reference. These are the 19 titles that have changed my life.

Life, Technology, Things, Three Things

11 THINGS 1ST QUARTER 2016

These are the days of my life in the first quarter of 2016

  1. I do not want to see any political posts on social media. I get it! You are passionate.
  2. If I sleep in a way that is just very slightly off, my left shoulder/neck hurts the next day. If I sit too long, my left knee hurts.
  3. See above, but I’m calling it: 35 is the age where we all fall apart.
  4. I can’t do everything. Neither can everyone else.
  5. Some people are going to be that way.
  6. I don’t give a shit who you are or what you do or where you come from: be nice to each other.
  7. iPhones/Mobile phones are the worst/best thing ever.
  8. We need to figure out a standard price for internet service in America and get everyone on the same page.
  9. I do not understand the stock market, investments, etc, and at this point I will not even try.
  10. Haley and I own a house and an old church and it is going to become Fidelia Hall and even if that doesn’t work out in the future we own this giant plot of land with two really cool buildings and gardens and a parking lot and everything is fantastic.
  11. Even though my physical form isn’t in tip top shape my mental form is better than ever and I love being able to look at everything that comes at me from a balanced point of view.
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Family, Kids, Life, Things, Titusville, PA

A List of 47 Amazing Things

In the order that they come into my brain. Of course family and friends are amazing things, but for this list I’m going to think about little things that are not always mentioned. These are the things that I find amazing. I know you may disagree with some of these. That’s OK.

  1. Homemade Bread
  2. Day old Movie Popcorn
  3. Red Rose Tea with a little bit of sugar
  4. Writing professional emails and telling people that they’re awesome and that you appreciate what they do
  5. Going to dentist and having my teeth cleaned really well
  6. Doing 5-10 minutes of yoga with Haley in the morning
  7. Really average soft rock from the 70’s and 80’s
  8. Buying toys with Finn and Aero at Target
  9. Seeing the art that Haley creates
  10. The number three
  11. Music that inspires me
  12. Drinking water out of my S’well canteen
  13. New Zealand
  14. Wearing a nice shirt that makes you feel proud
  15. Prince outtakes and rarities
  16. Growing older and realizing that everyone else all around you is doing the same thing as you: making it all up as they go along and trying their best
  17. Balance
  18. Haley and her mom’s cooking
  19. Shelving, straitening, and shifting books in the library
  20. Pilot G-2 07 pens
  21. Glitch art GIFS
  22. Hockey
  23. Kickle Cubicle
  24. Amiibos
  25. Creativity
  26. Burger King every once in awhile
  27. Well made headphones
  28. Podcasts
  29. Pajamas
  30. Having a home that allows my family and I to spread out, relax, and express ourselves
  31. Forward motion
  32. The moment before you fall asleep
  33. Recycling bins
  34. Rearranging furniture every once in awhile
  35. Working with people who realize that I’m just trying to do my best
  36. Noticing the personalities of many different people and doing my personal best to understand who they are and what makes them happy
  37. People who enjoy their jobs but not take them too seriously
  38. Time away from work
  39. Paying bills
  40. Both the sunshine and the rain
  41. Snowfall that really covers the ground and creates a nice winter landscape
  42. Trees
  43. Really nice sticks
  44. The color pink
  45. Watching the amount and type of food that I put into my body but at the same time not completely cutting things out
  46. Creative and inspiring uses of technology
  47. Talking to someone that really cares about you
Life, Misc., Things

WAKE UP THINK POSITIVE LOVE

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Wow, I am having a lot of strong feelings about things lately.

Be it in libraries, government, politics, or our day to day lives, there is a great number of things changing all around us. The way we think, the way we speak, and the way we act are radically different today than they were just a few years ago. I know it can be argued that we change a little bit every single day, but wow, these past few years have been full of radical change.

I see people posting memes on social media networks that talk about how different they perceive the world to be today than it was when they were young. I see folks arguing that a snow day back “when they were kids” was “when we had 17 foot of snow we’d just have a delay” and how “kids have it so easy these days, they cancel school when they have 1 inch of snow.” I see folks posting a lot about politics and how this person or that person said this or did that and how everything is going to be horrible. The world feels as if it is building up to some kind of explosion.

Our 24/7/365 news cycle coupled with social media that gives everyone their own platform to broadcast from has all made us hyper aware of everything going on at the world. It makes slightest blip in the radar newsworthy. We have to fill the time up with something to talk about. We have to be involved in something. It gives us a reason to exist these days!

Man, I don’t know where I am going with all of this, but I do know that I have a lot of stuff floating around in this brain and in this heart of mine.

WAKE UP and realize that the world is indeed different and that no matter what it’s all gonna be OK. THINK POSITIVE from the moment you wake up till the moment you go to bed and everything that may trouble you will seem small. LOVE each other and be respectful.

I wanna understand this world and what’s in it. I wanna make sure that we’re all together in this thing. I wanna stop wondering and thinking that all of this worry and confusion about the changing world is generational. It isn’t! It’s people! Some folks have the power to keep up with the world and some folks don’t wanna face the change. You’ve gotta face the changes head on and realize that no matter what you ain’t gonna make the world undo all of the changes!

Wow my brain is on overdrive these days.