SAXTON B. LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
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MAY 31, 2009
Mile High Bologna Pie
Hard to believe it but that's truly a recipe in the cookbook "America's Best Lost Recipes". I found this gem in an article in the May 2nd edition of The Wall Street Journal (Culture -- Social Studies: A Recipe for Escapism --- Cookbook sales are up, yet many of the latest offerings are highly impractical by Laura Miller). You too can read this hilarious walk down cookbook lane by clicking on the title link or visiting www.iconn.org and searching the Wall Street Journal Database. Can't find it, I'd be happy to email it to you.
It's not all show. I do have three cookbooks that I actually use. The first two I got as shower gifts over 39 years ago. They are Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (really quite old as evidenced by the picture above) and Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, a, well, culinary gem. The third is a more recent purchase, How to Cook Everything ~ Mark Bittman, that really does help when the need to know arises. Some others that I can't bear to part with come from my deceased mother-in-law's collection. There's an old polish cookbook, a Saint Louis Cookbook and one that features blue ribbon recipes from the county fair. I guess I'm hanging on to these for purely sentimental reasons and will probably pass them on to my granddaughter one day.
So fess up? What's cooking on your shelves?
MAY 29, 2009
Last night the library was transformed into a Sour Pickle Factory, a chemistry lab, and a music studio all in the course of an hour. Oh, and on top of all that we saw rainbows!
Cheryl Blum was here with her musical-science show Science Sense-ations. The kids became food chemists and got to test the acidity of pickles at the “Sour Pickle Factory,” with a color changing indicator that amazed them all.
At the end of the show the audience was invited to test a variety of musical instruments from all around the world to see if size affected pitch. The kids had a blast playing bone flutes, didgeridoos, gongs, drums, and more, as they discovered bigger = lower pitched.
Overall it was a fun and science-y night.
A top Chemist at the Pickle Factory:
Cheryl playing one of her science tunes:
MAY 27, 2009
Six Degrees of Separation
There is a theory that says everyone can be connected up to anyone else through five to seven steps. This theory is based on a mathematical explanation of the so-called “small-world effect” or the concept of networks. The sum of the idea: all things can be connected somehow. I’m not sure I buy into this, but I like the idea.
Where did today’s random thought come from? Well, in thinking about this blog, I did what I often do: search today in history. And as is often the case, today was not a very exciting day to me. Historically speaking, there was an earthquake, several noted court hearings, a long list of birth and deaths and the notation that it was today in 1995 that actor Christopher Reeve was paralyzed when thrown from his horse in a show in Virginia.
This got me thinking. Back in the day, I used to show (hunter and jumper classes for those of you in the know.) If I had a dime for every time I approached a jump, the horse stopped and I didn’t, we would have two new libraries! Thus, I am particularly chilled when I think of Mr. Reeve.
Thinking about Christopher Reeve, reminds me of his dad. His father, Franklin D. Reeve is a writer, retired professor and thoroughly charming man. The senior Mr. Reeve was a professor at Wesleyan University. As it happens, one of my closest friends was a librarian at that institution for a number of years. We met when my husband also worked at that Library. Through this mutual acquaintance, I have had the pleasure to have shared dinner and have been honored to hear Mr. Reeve read his works.
Me. Four steps. Christopher Reeve.
You never know!
MAY 25, 2009
Memorial Day 2009
What's the difference?
My grandmother, Maria Ponte, Uncle Albert Ponte & Grandfather Gaspero Ponte
MAY 22, 2009
Columbia has connections!
Last year one of our
Soon after we got it I started noticing all the starred reviews and buzz surrounding the book, and more recently it was the winner of the Schneider Family Book Award. So, the kids in the Book Thieves (our Book Club for grades 5-8) decided they wanted to read it, and planned on making it our selection for May.
Long story short, Leslie found out we were reading her book and contacted me to say she would come to our book club!
Ok, get ready for some unabashed gushing about Leslie and her book.
First of all I loved the book, and so did all the kids- really they’re a very honest crowd and would have no problem critiquing if they didn’t like it. It’s a hopeful, sad, and optimistic story all at the same time. Here’s a quick description from the book jacket:
“Addie is waiting for normal. But Addie's mom has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, jubilation or gloom, her way or no way. All or nothing never adds up to normal. All or nothing can't bring you all to home, which is exactly where Addie longs to be, with her half sisters, every day. In spite of life's twists and turns, Addie remains optimistic. Someday, maybe, she'll find normal.”
Leslie was awesome! The kids had TONS of questions and Leslie spent two hours answering them all and signing everything from books to paper plates with very sweet personal messages.
The kids asked her a lot about where her ideas came from and how much came from her real life. They asked her about writing, her characters, and how she came up with the title. She told us that she was inspired to write the story by a real trailer on a corner lot in
I could go on and on, but this post is getting a little long!
So, Leslie, if you read this – thanks SO much for coming. For anyone else reading this, stop by today to pick up Waiting for Normal – you will not be disappointed!
Also by Leslie Connor:
MAY 20, 2009
I Hadn't Heard
There are times when I believe I am a sane, normal person. Then there are times that all, including myself, agree that something zigs when it should have zagged, or blinked when it should not have and some little bit of information floats off into the universe instead of into my brain.
There has been much amusement around the Library today surrounding a particular reference question. One of our patron’s was looking for an address of a famous person. I patiently explained that finding addresses of celebrity was difficult, without actually realizing, this particular case would be more so. The person in question has apparently been deceased … for a while.
Sorry, I’m not going to reveal the particular details. But it did get me thinking about things unknown, information that gets distorted and the old telephone game that pointed out what is heard is not necessarily what is said.
I will share however, that for a number of years, there was a Neil Diamond song that puzzled me no end. Why was he singing about Reverend Blue Jeans? Who was this person?
But it don’t sing and dance
And it don’t talk
As long as I can have you here with me
Id much rather be
Reverend Blue Jeans
Why? It made no sense. But never being a Neil Diamond fan… and only hearing the song on the radio… it was years later when the song came on and I, innocently turned to my partner and asked.
I’ve not heard the end of this one either. But I share it with you all today, because I am choosing to believe we have all been there and done that with something at some point.
So for all of you who have been there too, I wish you Forever in Blue Jeans and a Happy Birthday to Levi’s – the patent for those jeans was filed on this day in 1873.
If you have a misheard lyric that plagues you… be sure to check it out @ your library!
Rise up singing : the group-singing song book / conceived, developed & edited by Peter Blood & Annie Patterson ; illustrated by Kore Loy McWhirter ; introduction by Pete Seeger ...
Or if you’re like me, find out online immediately at:
MAY 18, 2009
Travel yet again
Hope you can bear another post about our travel resources. I've just got to tell you about some of the great magazines that we have for loan that will help you plan your next get-away.
MAY 15, 2009
“Be Creative” is the theme for this years Summer Reading Program. The teen theme is “Express Yourself.” I love it! There’s so much you can do with it – art, music, dance, inventions, writing, fashion, I could go on and on.
Believe it or not, I’ve been planning for Summer Reading since about January. We have some unbelievable programs coming to us, including; a visit from the
We’ll also have lots of other activities going on; special story times, famous artist programs, music programs, crafts, cooking, jewelry, fashion, robots, movies, and more!
And, I just ordered a bunch of new creative books for the library:
OK Columbia, before I end this blog I want to put something out there. If you are a creative person and you have an idea for our Summer Reading Program, or better yet want to come in and run a program for the kids/teens, then PLEASE contact me and we’ll see what we can work out!
MAY 13, 2009
With all this talk of travel, I, too, am getting ‘itchy’. Unlike some, I have no great plans in my immediate future, but I am planning a jaunt in mid summer: to Pine Bluff, AR. I know what you’re thinking: WHY????
A close friend has just moved there (under duress, I might add). She’s enrolled in an educational program that just happens to be … in Pine Bluff, AR. Being a Bostonian, she was not thrilled by the prospect.
However, I am looking forward to the visit. Being a solid New Englander, I think the cultural experience could be an adventure. I’ve never seen a bayou. And what better time than in July and August? Okay, so that part, I’m not looking forward to, but…
So, if any of you know about Pine Bluff and want to offer advice – do write! In the meanwhile, come with me and read about Arkansas @ your library…
MAY 12, 2009
And let's go again!!!
I'm with Megan. I LOVE to travel too! Once you get the travel bug, you've got it for a lifetime. For the past 15 years or so, our vacations have found my husband and I on the go, seeing this, doing that, running around, not really resting but definitely enjoying ourselves. We haven't been anywhere since last spring when we went to Russia, almost a whole year ago. To be sure we are still making plans and possibly we'll go somewhere come fall.
Also in our travel collection you'll find Traveler's Literary Companions. This series includes fiction about the featured country giving the traveler a whole new perspective of the destination. We have companions for Eastern Central Europe, Africa, South and Central America, South-east Asia, Italy, Costa Rica and even Japan, where Megan wants to go. Check back next Sunday for more on our travel offerings.
MAY 8, 2009
I don’t know if it’s the spring weather, or what, but I’ve got the travel bug. Bad.
I interlibrary loaned a travel guide to
Sadly, I have no out-of-country travel plans as of right now. In June I’m taking a few days off to head to
So, I figured I would use the blog to throw a few travel questions out there.
1. Where has your favorite vacation been?
2. Do you have a favorite Travel Guide series? (Lonely Planet, Frommers, DK, etc.)
3. Have you ever read a book that inspired you to travel somewhere?
2. I LOVE the Let’s Go! Travel Guides. They are for travelers on a budget, and have guided me through
3. Hmmm…I probably could list a ton of books for this one, but Haruki
Murakami is one of my favorite authors, and all of his books take place in
We have an EXCELLENT travel section in our library, thanks to Carol the international jetsetter, so if you are planning a trip come on by to see what we have to offer!
MAY 6, 2009
Seeing A Good Book
To some this may sound odd, but when I read fiction, I usually “see” the story in my mind’s eye, much like a movie. When I set aside the book, I’m frequently surprised to see the pages go unbalanced from right to left, as I have no memory of the words or turning the pages. Further, when I am conscious of the words, it’s usually a rather poor book.
As a consequence of this particular quirk, there are scenes from books which are, rather literally, haunting. Though it’s been twenty years at least, I can still see Heathcliff as he exhumed Catherine, Scout taking those steps onto the porch, the flames at Thornfield and Manderley. They are as real and vivid as Scarlet’s declaration to the sky that she will never be hungry again.
Some times these scenes appear to me like move stills. Other times it’s the feelings associated with the realizations occurring when I read that linger. These are the more haunting.
It doesn’t even matter if I liked the book. The Grapes of Wrath. Hated it. BUT over twenty years and it’s still haunting. Perhaps this is why 69 years ago today, Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for this novel.
Come find some haunting scenes @ the library . . .
MAY 3, 2009
What's the Hog River?
I may be prejudiced but I love our library and all its treasures. If you're fond of Connecticut History and haven't picked up the Hog River Journal in our magazine department, it's time you did. Published quarterly by The Hartford Public Library, as a program of its' historic Hartford Collection, it is truly a gem and a wealth of information. Consider the Fall 2008 edition, And the Beat Goes On, dedicated to our state's musical history. It features some surprising and possibly little known stories. I never realized that during the late 19th century that Ivoryton produced most of the world's ivory piano keys. This story is told by Christopher Pagliuco, a history teacher and Ivoryton resident. Mary M. Donohue covers all the great performers who have visited Toad's Place in New Haven, and Libby Van Cleeve provides an informative article about composer Charles Ives. Two of our major theaters, East Haddam's Goodspeed Opera House, and New Haven's fabled Shubert Theater, Civil War song writer, Henry C. Clay, and Karen and Richard Carpenter also get in depth treatment in this outstanding issue .Lastly, an article by Melonae McLean tells how her dad, Jackie McLean, jazz alto saxophonist, composer, band leader and educator, born in New York City, happened to end up in Connecticut and give birth to two institutions, The African American Music Department at the Hart School University (renamed The Jackie McClean Institute of Jazz in 2000) and the Artists Collective, Inc. If you'd like to hear some of the music discussed in And the Beat Goes On, visit Hear This!.
If you're curious as to why it's called Hog River Journal, take out one of the issues to find out or read the history here http://www.hogriver.org/issues/v01n01/hog_river_history.htm.
MAY 1, 2009
Uno de Mayo
Today’s the first of May (can you believe it??). Which means in 4 days it will be the fifth of May (genius right?). WHICH MEANS….Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at the library!!!
A lot of people think Cinco de Mayo is a celebration for Mexican Independence Day, but it’s not. Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, a battle that they were not very likely to win. It’s also not celebrated all over
If you and your children would like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, stop by the library for our children’s fiesta next Tuesday @ 6:00. We will have a variety of crafts to make and snacks to try, as well as books, music, and DVD’s to browse while you’re here.
Please call to register soon if you are interested, space is limited!
In other children’s programming news, we will be hosting a program called ‘Science Sense-sations’ for kids in grades K-3 @ 6:30 on May 28th. Science Sense-ations is a musical science program with LOTS of audience participation and hands-on fun. Call or stop by if you have little ones interested in coming!
Also coming in May: more nice weather (I hope!)
Have a great weekend, hope to see you at the fiesta!!