There are days when I’m amazing.


Days when the birds chirp and the sun shines and angels are singing the hallelujah chorus on clouds that are dancing across the sky….

…. and mice are making dresses for me to go to the ball

Those are the days when I go all Dr. Seuss and tell myself that I have brains in my head and feet in my shoes and I can steer myself any direction I choose.

Those days are incredible.

And then there are the other 361 days of the year.


Last week I was in a ladies group at church and we were playing a get-to-know you game.

You know….the ones where you’re given a list of things a person might be good at and you have to travel the group with a pen and the list in your hand and ask random people if they have ever been on the tennis team or lived in another country or played a musical instrument.

Scheduled awkward fun.

My favorite.

And there I was in the midst of the group telling everyone that I knew how to play the flute and signing papers right and left….

….when all of a sudden one of the women stopped mid-game and looked at me with a wide-eyed stare.

“You….” she said with a gasp.  “It’s you. I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

I wish I could tell you that I get that a lot.

But I don’t.


“I’ve been looking everywhere for that signature,” she said as she stared at me.

“Me?” I said with confusion.  “You’ve been looking for my signature?”

“Yes,” she said with conviction.  (And here’s the part where she paused with super dramatic emphasis).  “I’ve been looking everywhere for that signature because it’s on a card in the church library…..

….on a book that’s a year overdue.”


A book that was a year over-due?


book shelf

I apologized profusely like someone should who has a book that’s been overdue for a year and told her I would not sleep or eat another piece of broccoli or rest until I had found the missing book.

And I did.

Find it that is.

But as much as I wish it did….

….the story doesn’t end there.


So Sunday morning I ran to the library with the book tucked under my arm.  I proudly walked in the door and extended the book to her with great flourish and fanfare.

“Here it is,” I said excitedly.  “Here’s the missing book.  I’m so sorry it’s so late.  It won’t happen again, I promise.”

She looked at the book.

She looked at me.

Then she shook her head and I think I heard an audible sigh. “That’s not the book I was talking about.  The one with the card and the signature…that’s another book,” she said.  Then she looked a little more closely at the book I was holding and smiled.   “But we’re glad you brought this one back.  It’s so overdue…

….that we gave up all hope and threw the card away.”


See what I mean?

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Those other 361 days can be a little challenging. 🙂

PS  If stories about overdue library books aren’t your thing.  Let’s still be friends and just call this post….

…..How To Decorate a Bookcase. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Judy Judy

    I just love your writing and your clarity and honesty on any subject. You are so authentic. I would love to sit and have coffee with you!

  2. Image for Laura Laura

    Oh Karianne! That is sooo funny!! And so something I would do! I had to buy a video for our church library when my children were little because my daughter chewed the case up! Yes, my daughter- not my dog!!!! And I love your bookcase! I don't have one in this house yet and I miss having one to decorate! On the hunt for a bookcase- and a place to put it!!

  3. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    You have cracked me up twice this morning. Laughing hard out loud!! I read yesterday's post and today's post back to back. Too funny. Girl, you aren't the only one who has overdue library books. You have such a gifted way to make people smile. I hope there is someone in you life that makes you laugh out loud and smile too. Have a great day.

  4. Image for Andrea saunders Andrea saunders

    I have been looking for a book shelf like the one in the first picture. Do you remember where you got it!

  5. Image for Becky Becky

    You're my smile for the day. I work in an elementary school library so I can relate! Loved seeing all your accessories on your bookcases. It makes me want to go home and rearrange everything.

  6. Image for bea bea

    With all the library fines I have had to pay for my kids or (let's be honest) for me, my husband says that by now we probably own our local library. Lovely bookshelves!

  7. Image for Melissa Melissa

    Love, love, love it!! And I also live it! Embrace it. People who move to the beat of their own drummer add to the beauty of this life. And even if they would never admit it, those whose path never strays from the straight and narrow need us too.

  8. Image for MaryS MaryS

    Funny story. Right now I'm also searching for a book that I want to loan to my brother.... it's grown legs and walked I suppose.. On your bookcase you have a brown wicker basket filled with a very small white flower. Can you please tell me what that is??? Real or dried or silk? I like it a lot and think I would find lots of places in my house to use it. Thanks so much. Keep blown'.... you're an inspiration.

  9. Image for KATHY B. KATHY B.

    Hello, I love your musings. I needed to have 'brains in my head" to make some phone calls this morning and you helped me !! Thanks!! As far as overdue or "lost books" I cannot even begin to tell you. My local library thinks a month overdue is a long time!! Imagine!! I say to people. I am happy to borrow a book that you want to share with me but remind me who I borrowed it from!!Enjoy your week!

  10. Image for SoiledRotten SoiledRotten

    I can always count on you for a good giggle! Maybe the book looks too fantastic on your shelves to give back. If that is the case, then I DO NOT blame you :) xo Alison

  11. Image for Debra Debra

    Oh my! As a former youth librarian, I could tell some great stories about lost/damaged books. Ask me about the banana peel....but I digress. Thanks for making me laugh out loud and bringing back funny memories! And that bookcase is amazing!

  12. Image for Linda Linda

    Oh Kari Anne, you made me laugh out loud this morning when I read this. You have such a gift for making the ordinary, extraordinary!! You truly see things that most of us miss and you remember and gift these moments their day in the sun that they so deserve. Thank you for lifting our spirits over and over! I love your blog and you beautiful home, most of all your beautiful heart and spirit. I hope you find the other book ;) Blessings, Linda

  13. Image for Sheila Sheila

    This story just tickled me. We really should be real life friends. I stopped going to the library because it always cost me at least $20 in late and lost book fees, every time. It's like we were separated at birth.

  14. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Oh KariAnne! Some days we win, some days we crawl back in bed ;) Let's talk about that cute's sorta shaggy and textural and I like it...where did that come from?

  15. Image for Kris Kris

    Last year I was SURE I had lost a library book. After two months of searching, I dusted and whaddya know? I found the darn book in the SAME stack of stuff I had been looking through numerous times before. Maybe if I dusted more often ... On the bright side, at least you use the library! :)

  16. Image for brenda brenda

    like the bookcase a lot. not so thrilled with that RUDE librarian. thanks for maintaining a sense of humor about it and sharing.

  17. Image for Teresa Fields Teresa Fields

    You keep it so real and so funny, but the funny part is that most of your real is real in my life too. At least you admit it and write about it!! Thanks for a wonderful moment of laughter.

  18. Image for Julia Julia

    Now I know we are kindred spirits...the public library has my phone number on speed dial! I love reading books, checking them out from our public library, but sometimes I don't read as fast as others and then life gets in the way and before you know it I get a voice message that says I have an overdue book. And the library is right around the corner from my house! You are such a blessing and amazing even on the other 361 days of the year!

  19. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Bless your heart! You are a gift 365 days a year. You make me laugh! You put up a post several times a week and you never fail to entertain and enlighten. You are a word wizard and picture painter! Your bookcase is stellar!

  20. Image for Dawn Dawn

    I love your daily's like having coffee with one of your dearest friends every morning! I so appreciate you openness and honesty when you share your stories with us, and I absolutely adore your decorating style! Thanks!!

  21. Image for Dianne Bell in Michigan Dianne Bell in Michigan

    KariAnne, thanks for the chuckle! I've been there,too. Needed a laugh to help warm me up a bit. Bitter cold here in Michigan. -12 and dropping, and then there's the winds... Hope all of you are staying warm and safe!

  22. Image for Angie W Angie W

    You may be on the "do not check books out to this person" list!! Kinda like the "don't take checks from this person" list that grocery stores used to keep. Ha Ha! Love your story.

  23. Image for Jane Hansen Jane Hansen

    I am printing this out and sharing with our Church Librarian who is in our Ladies Sunday School Class. Thank you, this was so funny!

  24. Image for Ali Buck Ali Buck

    Hahaaaa you are just too funny - and you know what. Funny people deserve to be top of the pedestal for 365 days a year because surely the world needs as many laugh makers as it can. If I had your signature I'd frame it!

  25. Image for Kerry Purcell Kerry Purcell

    Okay, so enough about the overdue book except to say I am glad that you can eat broccoli again. More importantly, when will you be writing your own book? Seriously, the gifts you have . . . let's just say "the book" written by Thistlewood Farms is long "overdue". I won't eat broccoli again until I see it on Amazon :) k

  26. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    I was an elementary school, School Secretary for 23 years and I have heard some pretty great tales but yours ranks up there near the top. Parents would die of embarrassment if they knew some of the stories their kids were sharing with the secretary about their parents and their home life while they were hanging out in the office. Thank you for bring back some great memories.

  27. Image for Char Char

    My son moved out this weekend and I'm sure in all the stuff left behind we're going to find a few treasures like long lost books. Thanks for the chuckles.

  28. Image for Lourdes Lourdes

    Thank you so much for always making me laugh! I love your stories and can relate! I could totally see this happening to me too! LOL!!! Have a lovely day!

  29. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Oh! I'm so sorry that I was so busy reading the Life and Exciting Times of Karianne that I completely missed the photos :-( I will most certainly go back and peruse each and every shot. Well, this sorta reminds me of the time when you were featured in a magazine and the ladies were lining up for a autograph --- of your son. :-)

  30. Image for Diane Diane

    I LOL I mean really laughed out loud! You are such a real sweet person! And I wish I had traveled with you to Waco! On my list of things to do soon.....

  31. Image for barb barb

    Is it weird I felt embarrassed for you? ;) I'm shy by nature - and if anyone should "gasp" and say "you" !!! to me... I'd turn crimson, at least. :)

  32. Image for Linda Linda

    Love how you put life in perspective. Your photographs aren't bad either. Just teasing; they always look fabulous. Why else would I want a bulap covered book or a stack of books not knowing what they are based solely on a photograph? Happy Valentine's Day, Linda

  33. Image for Jere Jere

    The unanswered burning questions are"Did you ever locate the real missing book?" Or were you forgiven? Did you have to pay the overdue book fines?Did the library post your picture on the bulletin board? And this is only the beginning of the 365 days ..what lies ahead? Jere

  34. Image for Trina Trina

    I think this may be by far my favorite story from you. I LOLed in the waiting room of the doctor's office. I totally thought you were going to say she wanted your autograph. And the fact that you had 2 books out....a plot twist that was unexpected! I love that! My husband had a book out for 10 years! He stopped going to the library for fear of what the payment would be. Or would he have to go to library jail? He didn't go back until they did a new card system and he could update it. i think maybe he paid $10. But our library is awesome so I would pay $100 for it. The plot twist for him...our next door neighbor is the head person of our library, but she was none the wiser. Ha ha!

  35. Image for Tina Tina

    That is hilarious!! And awesome in its nobody is perfect-ness. Can I tell you about the stack of papers to be filed that I unearthed that turned out to be from 2008? I decided I could just shred them all at this point! I may continue that...just keep them in piles until it is time to shred and I'll never have to file again. Just kidding (sorta)...

  36. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    I love your life and writing. You are wonderful! I thought you were going to tell us it was one of the books in the photos of your bookshelves. Blessings

  37. Image for Tess S. Tess S.

    WHERE do you find ALL of the beautiful accessories? I am just drooling over your bookcase! I aspire to being able to do what you do so effortlessly!

  38. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Oh I laughed so Hard my bronchitis kicked in! But so Needed this giggle! I also Love spooning craft. I don't usually Lose books but we sure do Have hard time keeping up with silverware! I only have 2 spoons and of course all 8 butter knives left from Silverware Terry and I Picked out at Service Merchandise (remember those?) almost 30 years ago. Been wanting to Do something w spoons n what a neat idea for memory Keeper (you Know I Love That) project for spoons. But two questions do you Know who Can do This for me (don't want to Mess up only 2 you know) and any Ideas on what to do With knives? Appreciate time and any Help!!!;)

  39. Image for Pam Clark Pam Clark

    I know from personal experience, those church lady librarians are a tough breed!!! and they NEVER forget anything.

  40. Image for gina gina

    Just a little disappointed you listed "playing the flute" instead of listing "being on live t.v." as something you're good at. So humble! Just this week I got an email reminder from my county library saying a book was soon to be due. I was so glad, but wondered where they got my email address!

  41. Image for Kristina Kristina

    This is just hilarious, you poor thing. Sadly, I'd have to say that in terms of embarrassing things happening to you, we are cut from the same cloth. It's like, if something embarrassing is going to happen its going to be to me. I guess it keeps me humble and on my toes. Blessings!!

  42. Image for Jacqueline Jacqueline

    Oh, that's hilarious! And just for the record, I LOVE your way with words. Yours is probably the only blog I read mostly for enjoyment of the writing itself.

  43. Image for Ann O Ann O

    Thank you for the early morning chuckle. Such s fun story. It was only when I started reading some comments that I realized I had ignored the pictures to keep reading your story! I've never done that before! Now to go back ...

  44. Image for Patricia Krank Patricia Krank

    You are so awesome! I have a little bag of library books in my closet that I moved all the way across the country with me last summer. The librarian will never find me . . . unless I am like you . . . and then she'll move next door! Blessings to you dear funny friend of mine, Patti

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