April 25th, 2016

Spring Cleaning

putz-bucket-1290951_640Spring is finally here and my house is a mess! I’ll share a secret – I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning — the warm weather inspires me to clean, but the lovely long afternoons of sun highlight the dust all over my house. Exasperated, I’ll go outdoors and save cleaning for another day.

Thankfully, the library has many resources for organizing and cleaning that can help you get on track before the warm weather officially hits. One of my new favorites is The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley. If you were one of the many people who loved the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, you will be happy to know she recently released another! It is called Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. I can’t wait to give that one a try. If you like Pinterest, CCPL has a great page with many boards of helpful resources – even one specifically about paper clutter.

As far as helpful cleaning tips, I will share my go-to strategy: don’t do it all at once. When I try to deep clean everything, I end up distracted and never finish! When I do a room at a time, over the course of a week or two, I find that everything is cleaner and I enjoy it so much more. I also listen to audiobooks while I clean and that makes the time fly by! The library has many audiobooks that you could checkout either in a branch, or online, that will make your spring cleaning seem like less of a chore and more fun! If you haven’t tried downloading from Hoopla (a digital service available through our website), give it a try – everything is available immediately, with no wait times. Good luck cleaning!

What’s your best spring cleaning tip?


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June 15th, 2015

Taking our online test for a spin

car-522411_1280My driver’s license was earned when Red Toad was tree lined and spooky, drag racing was still possible past Craigtown and my 11 year old brother would drive a tractor to school if he missed the bus.  Back then, driver’s ed was offered to all 10th graders as a regular class, and I can only guess, forced on the teacher who drew the short straw.  As most of us had been driving something since our feet could touch the pedals, the class tended to drift away from traffic rules to the best way of jacking up your Bronco. Now with a 15 year old who thinks tailgating happens only in parking lots, it’s time for a reality check—for both of us.

And what an eye opener the MVA Practice Tests proved to be.  As the older, experienced driver, I attempted the free, online permit practice test first.  The 40 question, multiple choice test provided immediate feedback on my questionable answers.  In my defense, for questions such as the distance in feet you must keep between your car and a stopped school bus, “a bunch” was not a choice.  My son kindly pointed out I could access the Maryland Drivers Handbook right from the site if I wanted to study before retaking the test.  Failure in our house is not an option.

CCPL’s Driving-Tests.Org also has practice for CDL and motorcycle tests. For even more practice in both English and Spanish, you can go to the Maryland MVA’s online driver test tutorial. They even have apps for Android and iOS!


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