Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29

Did you know…..

Until 46 B.C., December only had 29 days. But the Roman statesman Julius Caesar added two days to December, which made it 31 days.
Today in history:

Richard Atwater was born December 29, 1892

Molly Garrett Bang was born on December 29, 1943
She wrote Ten, Nine, Eight and The Paper Crane.  She has also won several Caldecott Honor Awards for her illustrations.
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, was born in Staunton, Va., on December 29, 1856.

Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, was born in Raleigh, N.C., on December 29, 1808.

William E. Gladstone, the four-time prime minister of Great Britain, was born on December 29, 1809.

Texas was admitted to the Union on December 29, 1845.

Make your own mark in history and do something spectacular today!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

It’s the third day of Christmas also known as December 28.  We are bombarded with Christmas sales, music and decorations before Thanksgiving and on December 26 Christmas is packed up, put away, ready for November 2012.  Did you know that the Twelve Days of Christmas actually start on December 26 and ends on January 6?  Santa has come, the presents have been opened and now is the time to truly enjoy the spirit of this holiday season throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Start by joining us today for a Magic of the Season magic show presented by magician Jim Mitchell at 10:00. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year's Reflection

The New Year's holiday always causes me to take a few minutes and reflect on past years.  The first year on my own, the first year married, the first year in my own home, the first year my home was filled with children, the smiles, the frowns, the contentment and the panic that goes hand-in-hand with life fill my memories.  While searching for a blog topic today, I found a website, that offered an easy-to-use "Today in History" link that broadened my personal reflections into one filled with historical events from around the world on any given day.  Today, December 27 for example, did you know that The Hawaiian Fire Department was established in 1850?  Also on this day in 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York city.  In 1968, Apollo 8 returned to earth.  And Knots Landing premiered on CBS-TV on this day in 1979.  It was really interesting to see what had happened on my birthday, my anniversay, and my kids' birthdays.  As you reflect on years gone by this New Years, take a minute to explore this fun site.  Wishing you a safe, fun, and happy new year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!

Christmas is not the only special holiday in December.  Those of Jewish faith will celebrate Hanukkah for eight nights beginning December 20th and continuing until December 28th.  Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights commemorates the re-dedication of the holy temple in Jerusalem.  This holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah each night, playing the dreidel game, gift giving,  and the making of special foods including latkes (potato pancakes).  Children enjoy learning about other cultures and celebrations.  One way to do this is by reading.  We have several books you may want to check out to share with your family.  One enjoyable book for four to eight year olds is Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah by Linda Glaser.  It's a lively and fun read which introduces children to Hanukkah and also includes a recipe for latkes. Happy Hanukkah!

Christmas Pudding

“In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered – flushed, but smiling proudly – with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.

Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since their marriage. Mrs. Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind, she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity of flour. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing.”
Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol

Christmas puddings of the Cratchit’s time often took weeks to prepare. For those of us out of time or kitchen-challenged,  I found a more modern version of Plum Pudding with Brandy Butter Sauce that could be served as a grand finale to your Christmas meal. 

Plum Pudding with Brandy Butter Sauce
(from Christmas Cheer: Recipes and Party Ideas Anne Van Wagner Child, ed. 1993)
1 pound pitted prunes, chopped
1 cup brandy
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground mace
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup molasses
½ teaspoon dried grated lemon peel
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped alnuts

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brandy
    Ground nutmeg to garnish

For plum pudding, combine prunes and brandy in a medium bowl.  Cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and mace.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, molasses, and lemon peel; beat until smooth.  Beat dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately into creamed mixture.  Stir in walnuts and prunes (including brandy).  Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan.  Bake 1 hour 30 minutes, cover with aluminum foil, and bake about 15 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove sides of pan.
For sauce, combine sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla in a medium saucepan.  Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil.  Stirring constantly, cook 3 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in brandy.  Garnish with nutmeg.  Cut pudding into wedges and serve with warm sauce.  Yield: about 18 servings.

May your Christmas dinner be shared with close family, friends, and good food,
just like the Cratchits.  Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Read Around the Christmas Tree Tonight

Join us tonight at 6:30 for our family storytime event Read Around the Christmas Tree.  The program will last about 30 minutes and is geared for all ages.  We will read a few holiday stories, sing a song or two, and dance the jingle hop all by the light of the Christmas tree.  See you there!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Word Trivia

Check out this Trivia about language and the origins of a few words and “sayings.”
1.     “Aromatherapy” is a term coined by French chemist René Maurie Gattefossé in the 1920’s to describe the practice of using essential oils taken from plants, flowers, roots, seeds, etc., in healing.

2.     In the 19th century, craftsmen who made hats were known to be excitable and irrational, as well as to tremble with palsy and mix up their words.  Such behavior gave rise to the familiar expression “Mad as a hatter.”  The disorder, called Hatter’s shakes, was caused by chronic mercury poisoning from the solution used to treat the felt from which they made their hats.  Attacking the central nervous system, the toxin led to behavioral symptoms.

3.     The term “bonfire” comes from using old bones, stored up through the summer, to make a fire with in winter and to keep warm.  It is also thought to come from the 1500s when the Bishop of London named Edward Bonner ordered the burning at the stake of over 300 men and women, because of their lack of faith.  Hence the name Bon Fire.

4.     “Burning the candle at both ends” comes from the days before electricity when clerks to wealthy people would work late into the night.  Of course, they used a candle to light their work.  To make more light, they would light both ends of the candle, but the candle would burn out twice as fast!  So, the term came to mean someone who would work hard but wear themselves out.

5.     “Long in the tooth,” meaning “old,” was originally used to describe horses.  As horses age, their gums recede, giving the impression that their teeth are growing.  The longer the teeth look, the older the horse.

6.     “Second string,” meaning “replacement or backup,” comes from the Middle Ages.  An archer always carried a second string in case the one on his bow broke.

7.     The “O” when used as a prefix in Irish surnames means “descendant of.”

8.     The idiom “pillar of salt” means to have a stroke, or to become paralyzed and dead.  Remember when Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family were leaving Sodom and Gomorrah?  The Bible says Lot’s wife looked back in longing to return to the place they were leaving and “turned into a pillar of salt” as a result.

9.     The last thing to happen is the “ultimate.”  The next-to-last is the “penultimate,” and the second-to-last is the “antepenultimate.” 

10. The phrase “sleep tight” originated from when mattresses were set upon ropes woven through the bed frame.  To remedy sagging ropes, one would use a bed key to tighten the rope.

So, “sleep tight” and “don’t let the bedbugs bite!”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Making Memories

Christmas time is full of rushing and chasing and crazy schedules.  Taking time to read is a gift you can give yourself.  Find a few moments to curl up with a favorite holiday story and treat yourself.    If you have little ones, model for them the joy of reading as you set aside special time to read some holiday classics together.  These are the memories that will stay with you and will be cherished by your child.  Some of my favorites for preschoolers include:

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell

I'm Not Santa by Jonathan Allen

One Christmas Night by Christina Butler

Whatever you choose, enjoy the relaxation that comes with a good read.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spirit of Christmas by Tillman

Bring home a holiday book to share with your family.  And, join us next Tuesday, December 20 at 6:30 for Read Around the Christmas Tree, a storytime event for the whole family.

Monday, December 12, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas - Library Style

'Twas the Night Before Christmas - Library Style
by Fullerton Public Library
by Lisë Chlebanowski (with help from Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, not a book to be found
Not a textbook, a paperback or tome, spiral bound.
The stockings were hung from the chimney with care
In hopes that the Librarian soon would be there.
The children were gathered, bored silly in their beds
For no books could be found out loud to be read!
There were toys and games and puzzles and maps
But nothing to read – might as well take a nap!
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter!
We sprang from our beds to see what was the matter
Then, what we saw – what was that? Rats?
No! A miniature bookcart led by eight tiny cats.
With a gorgeous driver, by the name of Marian,
I knew in a moment it must be the Librarian!
Faster than speed reading, the cats flew with perfect aim
And Marian whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
Now Gatsby! Now Holden! Now Lorax & Grinch!
On Rhett! On Scarlett! On Atticus & Finch!
The cats echoed their names to one and to all.
They flew to the roof and they flew to the wall!
And then, from the roof I heard tiny paws
The prancing and preening of kitty cat claws
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Marian came with a bound.
She was dressed in her work clothes, from her head to her foot
The bundle of books she carried was covered in soot,
She had come straight from the library where books are free.
To patrons with cards it’s a book potpourri!
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
She distributed books and left nothing unread!
She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And filled all the stockings; She was more than a clerk!
Then she sprang to her bookcart, to her team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, as she drove out of sight,

"Season’s Readings to all, and to all a good-night.”

Dan Belden's 80 Day Journey

The front page of this morning's Journal Times details Waterford's own Dan Belden's trip from Waterford to the Gulf of Mexico in a canoe.  Congratulations Dan!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gift Wrap Event

Members of the Teen Advisory Board will be at the library today from 12:00 - 2:30 to wrap your holiday gifts for you!  They are hoping for donations to start a project fund.  Bring your gifts in, pick up a movie for tonight, and leave with a big chore accomplished!  See you there!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Merry Christmas

It doesn’t seem possible, but this is the eleventh year the Waterford Public Library has hosted the annual tree lighting of the village Christmas tree following the Winter Wonderland Parade.  Last Saturday evening, seven year old Gracie Lunceford flipped the switch to the delight of about 600 spectators.  And I have to tell you just how lucky I feel to stand at the front of the room and witness the reaction of that many people dazzled by the sight. I’ve never gotten used to it and it always puts me in the Christmas spirit!

If you have a chance, stop in during the holidays to check out your favorite Christmas CD, DVD, cookbook , novel or... just to get a closer look at the tree! Please let us know if there’s something else we need to order to brighten up your family holiday.

On behalf of the entire library staff, I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!                                           Pam Belden, library director

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

Posted in remembrance of all those who served, those who suffered, and those who died.  There are resources available at the library to learn and read more about this event.  "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  George Santayana

Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941 by Standley Weintraub

Pacific Crucible: A War at Sea in the Pacific by Ian Toll

One Day in History--December 7, 1941 by Rodney Carlisle

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Magazines and Newspapers

Did you know the library carries over 100 magazine publications and 8 daily and weekly newspapers?  Newspapers and weekly magazines are located just before the beautiful picture windows in our main reading lounge.  Magazines are located to the right of the reference desk and in the juvenile/parenting area.  With Wisconsin's snowy days yet to come, reading at the library and enjoying a winter view of the Fox River flowing along outside will add to your day.   

Monday, December 5, 2011


I just finished reading Triangles, a new novel by Ellen Hopkins.  It was recommended to me by several Waterford Library staff members, so I checked it out.  I was skeptical.  The story is about three women facing the various trials of love, marriage, and children.  Although it hardly sounds like a unique plot, Triangles is set apart by the form in which Hopkins writes.  At first glance the writing looks like poetry, but it reads like prose.  The chapters alternate between the perspectives of Holly, Andrea, and Marissa. The last page of each chapter is reflective, and often does read more like poetry.  The last words of each chapter blend into the first of the next, making it difficult to put the book down.  The way Hopkins plays with words provides a lot of the entertainment in reading the book.  Despite my skepticism, I found myself riveted.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read.

Friday, December 2, 2011

St. Nick December 5

Don’t forget to have kids hang their stockings the evening of Dec. 5th for St. Nick to come and fill them up.

Did you know that this is not a tradition observed everywhere?

Like the fish fry and frozen custard, the celebration of St. Nick's Day, though not exclusively a Milwaukee tradition, is especially strong here. Tradition calls for children to hang their stockings or put out their shoes in the hopes that St. Nicholas will visit in the night, leaving a trinket or two for good children. Naughty kids will find a lump of coal or a switch instead.

Weekend of Fun

Tomorrow, December 3 at 5:30
Don't miss the Winter Wonderland Parade followed by the tree lighting at the library.  Bring your camera for pictures with Santa!  Gift bags for all of the kids will be provided courtesy of Runzheimer Intl.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) was formed in 1996 by Paul O'Neill. The music genre is traditionally rock opera, but recently they invented rock theater.  There are 34 members in the band. They are best known for their Christmas music. You can check out their CD The Lost Christmas Eve, which was the last installment in the trilogy, from the library.
They started touring in 1999, and in fact they have two shows coming up on Thursday, December 15th at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. One is at 4 pm and the other is at 8 pm. I've seen them twice in concert and they are amazing! They have an awesome laser and fire show to go along with their excellent music and story!
If you haven't heard of them, check them out at their website:  Or click here to place a hold on one of their cds. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

I recently saw a USA Today article that showed the purchasing all of the items in the Twelve Days of Christmas song it would cost you over $100,000 this year.  In the spirit of saving you money, I have listed twelve wonderful children's books that you could purchase instead of things like drummers drumming or lords a-leaping.  Give the gift of reading this year for the bargain price of $134.21 (prices from  Or better yet, stop in for a library card.  They're free. 

Picture Books:

Press Here by Herve Tullet ($8.99)

Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle ($10.79)
Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney ($10.79)
Silverlicious by Victoria Kann ($9.89)
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
by Sherri Duskey Rinker (10.08)

Chapter and Non-fiction books:

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick ($15.99)

Darth Paper Strickes Back by Tom Angleberger ($8.44)

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein ($11.98)

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia by DK Publishing ($11.38)

Books for Teens:

Divergent by Veronica Roth ($10.79)

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini ($15.10)

97 Things to do Before You Finish High School by Erica Stalder ($9.99)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lost and Found Items

Have you ever misplaced something and just couldn't figure out where it went?  It might be in the library's lost and found!  Here are a few items currently in our lost and found:

5 sets of keys
4 electronic items
3 hoodies
2 baby dolls
and a hat with a white dollar sign
(Can be sung to the tune 12 Days of Christmas if the mood strikes you.)

If any of these items look familar, stop in and ask at the circulation desk and we would love for these items to find their way home before the holidays.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

South of Superior Review

If you enjoy reading books about the area in which we live and play (northern Wisconsin/the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), you might enjoy Ellen Airgood’s South of Superior.  In fact, if you’ve travelled in the UP at all, you may have met the author!  She’s the owner of the  West Bay Diner in Grand Marais, MI. 

The book’s setting is the UP, and even if you’ve never been there, Airgood paints a vivid picture of the environment, which plays a significant role in the novel.  In fact, I found it one of the best features of the book.

Madeline Stone, the central character, walks away from Chicago and moves five hundred miles north to the coast of Lake Superior with the idea that she might just discover the reason her grandfather refused to have anything to do with her once her mother abandoned her as a child in Chicago.  Madeline only knows the circumstances surrounding her abandonment and the kindness of Emily, a total stranger who ends up raising her and giving her the love she so desperately needs.   She really has no idea how much her life is going to change when she decides to make this move.  What follows is a novel which explores the deep reward in caring for and coming to love others in spite of differences. 
Airgood's depiction of poverty, loneliness, frustration and anger as well as loyalty, friendship and community became tangible things for me.  The line between having no money and then having enough money to spend on even partially renovating the hotel became a little fuzzy, however.  But I could set that aside enough to just enjoy the situation. 

This was the author’s first novel, so it will be fun to watch her develop her craft.  I will definitely watch for her next book. 

I should also add that the Waterford Book Club has selected this novel for its August 2012 meeting.  It should be an interesting discussion. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Packers vs. Lions

It is Green Bay Packer football season in Wisconsin!

Check out the wide variety of Packer books at the Waterford Public Library.  There are Packer books for adults and children.  If you don’t understand football, Holly Robinson Peete has written a guide for women. 

The Green Bay Packers have 10 wins and no losses this season.  It’s always fun when the home team is winning so sit back, relax  and watch the Packers beat the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Feet 2!

Did you know that Emperor Penguins are the largest of all the penguins?  The average height of one is 45 inches tall and can weigh up to 88 pounds!  Happy Feet 2 is out in theaters!  One of the species of penguins featured in this movie is the Emperor penguin, click here to learn more about them...
Dance on into the library to check out the first movie and enjoy the second in theaters!  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

National Book Award Winners

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize given to writers by writers and administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization.  Four awards are given each year, one in each of four categories - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and literature for young people.  This year's winners are:

Jesmyn Ward for Salvage the Bones

Stephen Greenblatt for Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Nikky Finney for Head Off and Split

Thanhha Lai for Inside Out and Back Again

Congrats to all of this year's winners!  Check them out today!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Now that nights are colder and darker, you may want to take time to enjoy sharing books with your child. There are so many wonderful read alouds for the four to eight year olds including some written by favorite authors of mine--Kevin Henkes, Cynthia Rylant, and Dav Pilkey. One very engaging series perfect for cozy evening reads is the Mercy Watson books written by Kate DiCamillo. Mercy is a lovable pig who becomes involved in hilarious adventures in pursuit of hot buttered toast. There are six books in the series and they all can be found in the EZ section of the library. Also check out Mercy's website for games, puzzles, and parent tips to make the experience more enjoyable. Hot buttered toast anyone?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Debuting in theatres on March 2, 2012 will be a famous story written by Dr. Seuss “The Lorax”.

Some of Dr. Seuss’s more famous books include The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Over his career he wrote more than 40 books. His full name was Theodore Seuss Geisel born in 1904. He also wrote Wacky Wednesday and the Tooth Book under the pen name Theo Le Sieg.

Some of his less familiar work include Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog? And Hooper Humperdink, Not Him! His imagination and playfulness has entertained children for over 100 years. Each year we celebrate Read around America on Dr. Seuss’s birthday March 2nd.

More information on the Lorax project can be found @ There you will find activities and can take the Lorax pledge to be a friend to the environment and help the Lorax.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Forty Days and Counting...

Forty days from now will be Christmas Day.  There's still time to browse through our vast selection of crafts and recipes that would enable you to create the most cherished items of all -- gifts from the heart.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Thank You

Today, Veterans Day (known as Armistice Day, prior to WW II) is celebrated every year on the eleventh hour of November 11. This is because in 1918 World War I ended on that day. Similar celebrations take place around the world, all to honor and thank those who have served in the military.   For all veterans I am truly thankful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Book Display

Check out the new book display in the adult area just past the new books. Each staff member selected either authors or titles that we are thankful for and shared our reasons why. It was really fun to see what books/authors have impressed others and very gratifying to see some of our own titles being included by others.
On the display, you will find a supply of author or title leaves for you to add to this interactive display. Tell us which authors or titles you are thankful for, and check out one of the books displayed to try for yourself.