Spring Cleaning

April 25th, 2016

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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Leap Year

February 29th, 2016

Leaping girlLeap Year is the 29th day of February, an occurrence which happens every four years when the calendar year has 366 days, instead of just 365. Why do we end up with an extra day? Because it takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun and the regular calendar just has 365 days. Every four years, another day added to synchronize the solar year with the calendar year. If we didn’t do that, eventually the months would become out of sync with the seasons.

This isn’t a new phenomenon; this has been happening for thousands of years! The Egyptians were some of the first to see the need for a calendar based on the sun, but it was under Julius Caesar that it was implemented. Prior to that, the Roman calendar had used a lunar model which sometimes had to add an extra month so they maintained consistency. In 46 BC, the Roman calendar was changed so that it had 12 months and 365 days.

By 1582, the calendar dates were out of sync with the seasons. Roman Pope Gregory XIII ordered that 1583 be shortened by 10 days to “re-sync” the calendar and he established the system of adding leap-year days every four years to the calendar to keep it from falling behind the seasons again. The “Gregorian Calendar” was named for the pope and is the world standard today.

Fun fact: In Ireland, there is a legend that St. Brigid, a fifth century nun, asked St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, for permission for women to propose marriage, instead of waiting for their shy suitors to pop the question! St. Patrick granted her request, but with the stipulation that it could only happen on one day, every four years, Leap Day! Today, there are some who take this legend as truth and think that the woman proposing on Leap Day leads to good luck!

If you’re intrigued by this legend, check out the charming DVD “Leap Year” staring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.

While the odds of having a Leap Year Day birthday are approximately 1 in 1,500, there are about 4 million people worldwide who have February 29 birthdays. The town of Anthony, Texas has been hosting a “Leap Year Birthday Festival” since 1988!

Do you know anyone with a birthday on February 29?


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