Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Parenting Resources

In the library we have different sections for different groups of people. One area that often gets overlooked is our parenting section. There are books and magazines for parents on raising, not only your baby or toddler, but also on your teen and tween. There's even some family cookbooks, and different cooking magazines for families who are on a budget.  Food & Family or All You are both great magazine choices.  If you're a family that homeschools, there are items for you like The Homeschool Handbook or Practical Homeschooling! If you're a parent and you're looking for new ideas, this is the spot you want to check out. And even though it's just a small section, it has lots of knowledge to lend out. Stop by the library today and have a peek!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cabin Fever

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do, for an extended period (as in a simple country vacation cottage during a long rain or snow). Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, paranoia, irrational frustration with everyday objects, forgetfulness, laughter, excessive sleeping, distrust of anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside even in the rain, snow, dark or hail.

The phrase is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone. The term was first recorded in 1918. Other references have the term in use at least to 1906.

Yup, this is the time of year it usually sets in.  The best therapy: get out there! If that’s not possible make sure you have a pile of good reading!

Proposed therapy for cabin fever
One therapy for cabin fever may be as simple as getting out and interacting with nature. Research has proven that even brief interactions with nature can promote improved cognitive functioning and overall well-being.

In popular culture 
  • Steven King's novel The Shining (and its film adaptation) involves cabin fever. The plot follows a family of three trapped in an isolated resort in the dead of winter. Cabin fever stories may also involve a person or group of people on a deserted island or on a long space voyage.
  • In Muppet Treasure Island, after spending weeks at sea with no breeze to move the ship, most of the crew begin to develop cabin fever; then spontaneously burst into the musical number "Cabin Fever" where they sing of how the madness is affecting themselves.
  • An episode of Lost in season 4 is titled "Cabin Fever", having to do with a literal cabin (Jacob's).
  • In a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Greg Heffley and his family are stuck inside his house during a snowstorm and Greg starts to develop cabin fever.
  • In the futuristic sci-fi film Pandorum, crew members of a space ship suffer from a fictional psychological condition called pandorum which has similarities to cabin fever.
  • "In a Far Country" is a wonderful short story by Jack London that chronicles how two men under the influence of cabin fever in the Far North winter devolve into murderous savages.

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Punxsutawney Phil

         It's hard to believe that January is almost over. Maybe spring is just around the corner.  I should check to see what the long range forecast is.  I could watch the weather channel, look online, or consult the Farmer's Almanac.  Better yet, I could wait until February 2nd for Groundhog's Day.  Punxsutawney Phil's shadow has been predicting an early spring or six more weeks of winter for the last 125 years at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania. February 2nd is the midpoint of winter and was originally celebrated as Candlemas in Germany with the hedgehog in the starring role.  Did you know that Punxsutawney Phil actually lives in a climate controlled home at the Punxsutawney Public Library and dines on dog food and ice cream?  Our library may not have a real groundhog, but we do have some fun books to read for Grounhog's Day or actually anytime of the year.  One of my new favorites for children is Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox by Susan Blackaby.  This charming picture book spins a delightful tale of friendship. Adults may want to check out the Groundhog's Day DVD with Bill Murray which was actually filmed in nearby Woodstock, Illinois. I'm just wishing everyone enjoys February 2nd this year minus a repeat of last year's snowstorm.  One final note: you may not want to rely on the groundhog's prediction because according to the National Climatic Data, Punxsutawney Phil's prediction is only 39% accurate.

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Send Your Love

    Valentine's Day is approaching fast. 

    It’s always a special day to celebrate when you have little ones at home.  Looking for some great ideas to do with your family?  Check out this great resource!  Family Fun magazine can be checked out at the library, or a lot of their fun, family-friendly ideas are online for you to search, download and print activities you can do with your whole family!  Included you will find recipes, craft projects and printable activities that are all perfect for busy families looking for fun ways to celebrate!
    Two of their suggestions for Valentine's Day were:

    Gnome Sweet Gnomes!  Adorable!
    and Heartfelt Pancakes (BTW - Librarians love heartfelt pancakes, too!)

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    The Library Changed My Life

    Thanks to Library Board Member and library patron Ingrid for submitting today's uplifting story:

    Everybody has daily things that stress them out—whether it’s the child who insists on dressing like it’s Summer during January, the co-worker with annoying habits or that tag that scratches the back of your neck all day long! My daily stressor has to do with mass media and how much time I spend in my car. Between driving for work, caring for my aging Mom and my refusal to give up neither my dentist nor hairstylist in Illinois, I drive nearly 20,000 miles every year. THAT is a lot of time spent listening to radio sound bytes, or even light meals of news from NPR. After I’ve heard the same biased news reports over twice in the same day and weather reports that I don’t even care about, I get irritated. After that, I try some strong leaning talk show—argh! They’re usually more irritated than I am and I begin to think responsibly about my use of time. Being a classical musician, I could expand my listening knowledge and become familiar with more, lengthy works. But this is the one style of music that doesn’t work well in automobiles—between summers with the windows down or traffic or defrosters blaring, driving is just too noisy to hear the soft parts!

    I open my car door ONE MORE TIME and wonder out of boredom what styles straight jackets actually come in. THEN it hits me! My Waterford Public Library. Audio books! That’s the answer! So I browse the audio books aisle, selecting usually two books at a time. This way, if I don’t like one, I’m not left stranded listening to mind-numbing radio in the car. While I like the old fashioned CD versions and rejoice that my car’s CD player retains the exact spot within a track (this is especially good during days of errand-running with just short stops), one of our librarians explained just how easy it is to get setup to use the MP3 books as well. Driving now feels like I’m on vacation….ahhh.

    So, if you’re using a great deal of fossil fuels like me, check out the audio book aisle at the library! But beware, you might fall behind on some of the headliner news items or on your daily prayer time.

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Guide to Frost

    Frost crystals grow from water vapor in the air, just like snow crystals.  But while snow crystals form on suspended dust particles high in the clouds, frost crystals form near the ground on window panes, blades of grass or other solid surfaces.

    Snowcrystals.com offered lots of information on the different kinds of frost including the art of growing your own snowflakes and designer frost at:  http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/designer1/designer1.htm

    You can also stop in at the library to check out books of fun things to do in the snow, or just check out a movie to watch from inside the warm house while admiring the frost designs on your windowpane.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    New Year's Resolutions!

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    2012  has begun and many of us made New Year's resolutions.  One of the top three resolutions on lists each year is "get organized".  It's on my list this year, too.  The January 2012 copy of Good Housekeeping magazine features several articles for organizing our homes and helping us make the best use of time each day.  The One-Minute Organizer, A to Z Storage Solutions by Donna Smallin gives tips for storing every item in your home.  And Lori Baird's Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff gives quick tips to bring order to the household. These and more are available for check out at the library. Stop in and get started on those resolutions today!

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Devil in the White City - A Review by Hannah

    I just finished The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Although the book is nonfiction, it reads like fiction.  Larson tells the story of two men in Chicago in the 1890s.  One of them, Daniel Burnham, was the head architect of the 1893 World’s Fair.  The other, H.H. Holmes, was a serial killer.  For much of the book, the chapters alternate between the stories of the two men.  Larson is a masterful storyteller, often ending a chapter with the hint of dark events yet to come.  Before I started reading, I thought I would be most intrigued by the murder plot.  I was mistaken.  I didn’t realize how little I knew about the World’s Fair until I read the book.  The fact that it even occurred is a small miracle.  All of the buildings were erected and finished in roughly two years. That was no small feat given the size and technological advances of the buildings, further made difficult by the wet soil that constantly frustrated Chicago architects and builders.  It’s  mindblowing to realize that some things we are familiar with today debuted at the World’s fair nearly 120 years ago: Shredded Wheat, for example, as well as Juicy Fruit gum.  In the other storyline, the reader gets a glimpse at a true sociopath, a terrifying serial killer.  Holmes took advantage of the steady stream of young women flocking to Chicago for the fair, and with all of the excitement in the city at the time he managed to avoid detection for years.  For fiction and nonfiction fans alike, The Devil in the White City is a riveting tale.

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Chocoholics Unite (and Surprise Your Valentine)!

    If you are a chocoholic, of if someone you love is, don’t miss the “Learn to Make Truffles” class here at the library on Saturday, January 21 from 10:00 a.m. until noon.  Just think! You can surprise your Valentine or wow your guests at your next party with homemade truffles!
    You’ll learn how to hand roll truffles, dip them in chocolate and add the finishing touches to make them special.  Your personalized treats will go into a Valentine box for gift giving,
    or a candy box to take home.
    All you need will be provided.  The class is limited to 12 students, and there are still a few seats available, but please sign up today!!  The deadline to register is this Friday, January 13.

    Linda Reinholtz, who owns Fox River Candy Designs will be your instructor.  The class fee is $25 per person. Call the library (262-534-3988) or email dmorgan@waterford.lib.wi.us to get your  name on the list, but you’ll need to come in to pay the fee in order to guarantee your seat.
    Hey, guys, you can attend, too!  Surprise your “someone special” on Valentine’s Day (or birthday, anniversary, or “just because”) with a box of truffles you made yourself!
    Here’s a little something to leave a smile on your face and to
    “perhaps confirm” that men SHOULD take the class--

    “A man found a bottle on the beach.
    He opened it and out popped a genie, who gave the man three wishes.
    The man wished for a million dollars, and poof! There was a million dollars.
    Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! There was a convertible.
    Then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women…                                                                
    Poof! He turned into a box of chocolates.”

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Read On, Wisconsin!

    Read on Wisconsin is a literacy program that promotes high-quality books for children and teens.  This program was started by former Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle in 2004 and is now being run by the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) of the School of Eucation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  This program is about connecting kids and teens with terrific books.

    Each month features five different titles that children, families and teachers are encouraged to read and share.  Additionally, children and teens are encouraged to make booktrailers about Read on Wisconsin titles that will be posted and shared on the site.  This month's titles are:

    For babies and toddlers: Hello Baby by Mem Fox
    For Grades K - 2: The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos
    For Grades 3 - 5: Zora and Me by Victoria Bond
    For Middle School: Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
    For High School: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

    For all of the titles for the 2011 - 2012 school year, check out the Read On Wisconsin site.  Place a hold in the SHARE catalog to be next in line for these great titles.

    A great way to participate in this program would be to pick up one of these great books and stop in to read to Chester, the library's visiting therapy dog.  Chester will be here today, next Wednesday, and the following Wednesday after school.  Call or stop in to sign up.