Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Getting a Head Start

It may just be the end of July, however, before you know it, winter will be knocking at the door. If you're lucky enough to have an air-conditioned room, then you can get a "head" start on the cold weather by knitting a hat or a scarf.

Here's a video on how to knit an infinity scarf in just a half-hour! And without knitting needles. I kid you not!

I'm sure your first attempt might not be perfect, but, since it only takes 30 minutes, you can make another one, and another, and another, and perfect it in plenty of time before winter.

If you want to knit the old fashioned way with needles, look for Vogue Knitting: Chunky Scarves & Hats [746.432 VOG] or any of the gazillion beginning-to-knit guides in the 746.43 section.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


It seems as though the economy is finally moving in the right direction, which may allow people who have been stuck in a job to begin to look around for another more suitable one. A first step in securing a new job is often the creation of a resume.

There are many online sites to help with your resume; development. 10 Online Tools To Create Impressive Resumes gathers ten or them in one place for your convenience. The Nesmith Library also subscribes to an easy-to-use online service called Cypress Resume.

Here are just three of the Library's books on resumes that await you:

Fry, Ron. 101 Great Résumés: Winning Résumés for Any Situation, Job, or Career. [3M ebook]

Kursmark, Louise. Same-Day Resume: Write an Effective Resume in an Hour. [650.142 KUR]

Noble, David F. Gallery of Best Resumes: A Collection of Quality Resumes by Professional Resume Writers. [650.142 NOB]

Monday, July 28, 2014

San Francisco Earthquake

There has been plenty written about 1906 San Francisco earthquake, much of it imagined in novels for children such as:

Karwoski, Gail. Quake! Disaster in San Francisco, 1906. [J KAR, also J AB/CD KAR]

Lowell, Susan. I Am Lavina Cumming. [J LOW]

Osborne, Mary Pope. Earthquake in the Early Morning (Magic Tree House series #24). [J OSB]

Tarshis, Lauren. I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906. [J TAR]

Yep, Laurence. The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. [J YEP]

It's a fascinating moment in history, and until I saw the film below (a ride down Market Street in San Francisco, shortly before the earthquake wreaked havoc on the city), I hadn't realized just how extensively developed and bustling the city was at the time.

Now, look at the photos taken after the earthquake--click here.

It's amazing how "Mother Nature" can take human beings down a peg or two!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Poetry Friday--"Potato"

I seem to gravitate toward the poems of Jane Kenyon, perhaps because, like me, she was not a native-born New Hampshire citizen, but, once here, she embraced the state's Yankee spirit. The following poem, found in After Frost: An Anthology of Poetry from New England [811.08 AFT] deals with Yankee frugality, and what happens when one forgets to practice it.

In haste one evening while making dinner
I threw away a potato that was spoiled
on one end. The rest would have been

redeemable. In the yellow garbage pail
it became the consort of coffee grounds,
banana skins, carrot peelings.
I pitched it onto the compost
where steaming scraps and leaves
return, like bodies over time, to earth.

When I flipped the fetid layers with a hay
fork to air the pile, the potato turned up
unfailingly, as if to revile me--

looking plumper, firmer, resurrected
instead of disassembling. It seemed to grow
until I might have made shepherd's pie
for a whole hamlet, people who pass the day
dropping trees, pumping gas, pinning
hand-me-down clothes on the line.

Sylvia and Janet are hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up today at Poetry for Children. Make it a point to stop by!

Shepherd's pie enough for a small hamlet? Photo courtesy Colleen Greene.

Can I Quote You?

We're mid-way through summer now, and perhaps you're a teacher who is looking to inspire your students when school starts up again? Or, perhaps you need to keep the young people you live with busy? Why not create a quotation poster? Like this:

I "made" this poster in about 30 seconds at a site called Recite. Quozio is another, and there are more to be found with a simple Google search under "free quote poster."

If you don't have a favorite quotation, we have a number of quote books in our collection that you can browse through:

Bartlett, John. Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs... [808.88 BAR]

Macrone, Michael. Brush Up Your Shakespeare! [822.3 MAC]

Quotations for Kids. [J 808.88 QUO]

Turkington, Carol A. The Quotable Woman: Words of Wisdom from Mother Teresa, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, and More. [808.88 TUR]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Maybe you're retired and are looking for a project. Maybe you're a college student without a job this summer. Or, maybe, you just have some extra time and you're looking to volunteer, but, without leaving the comfort of your own home. In all these cases, you should look for a crowdsourced project. First, what is crowdsourcing? Here's a definition from IDEA:
Crowdsourcing means involving a lot of people in small pieces of a project. In educational and nonprofit outreach, crowdsourcing is a form of engagement, such as participating in an online course, collecting photos of butterflies for a citizen-science project, uploading old photos for a community history project, deciphering sentences from old scanned manuscripts, playing protein folding games to help scientists discover new ways to fight diseases, or participating in online discussions.

Now, how about a project! One that I have been aware of for at least three years, is the World Memory Project that seeks to
allow anyone, anywhere to help build the largest free online resource for information about victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution during World War II. Even a few minutes of your time can help families discover what happened to their loved ones and restore the identities of people the Nazis tried to erase from history.

If you're involved in a genealogy project of your own, you may find that crowdsourcing is a way of getting some help. Look for Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques by George G. Morgan [929.1 MOR] in our collection, for more information.

A very successful project is ongoing at the New York Public Library. The "crowd" is transcribing menus from a century ago, and making the information available to to the world (thinks chefs, food historians, foodies, etc.).

Courtesy NYPL.

There's lots of information available online for those who are interested in crowdsourcing. Go to Wikipedia, the most familiar crowdsourced project of all, for a listing of projects.

Have fun and do some good!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Keep Sharp!

There's a very interesting article on keeping your brain active and the idea that doing so may delay the onset of dementia, to read it, click here.

The key to effectively exercising your brain is basically the same as exercising your body--make the exercise "stimulating, not frustrating." The article doesn't recommend the computer programs, such as Lumosity that are being advertised widely now. Simple things such as learning quilting or how to take photographs does the trick--and they're free with your library card! We have plenty of quilting and photography items in our collection, as well as other crafty type of activities such as jewelry-making and landscape design. Here are some items, published within the past few years, which should keep you sharp:

Carlsen, Spike. The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects. [690.892 CAR]

Crochet Critters and Bugs: 22 Great Projects. [746.434 CRO]

Curtis, Alice. Knit Your Socks on Straight: A New and Inventive Technique with Just Two Needles. [3M ebook]

Hamler, A. J. Birdhouses & more: easy-to-build houses & feeders for birds, bats, butterflies and other backyard creatures. [690.892 HAM]

Jeppsson, Anna. Simple & Stylish Backyard Projects. [690.89 JEP]

McNeill, Suzanne. The Beauty of Zentangle: Inspirational Examples from 137 Tangle Artists Worldwide. [741.9 MCN]

Rudell, Jeffery. Paper blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers to Make for Weddings, Celebrations, & More. [745.5943 RUD]

Wiese, Kelly. A Beaded Romance: 25 Bead Weaving Patterns & Projects for Gorgeous Jewelry. [745.5942 WIE]

Also recommended is learning a new language, even for older folks--yes, you can teach an old dog... The Library has a subscription to Mango Languages, which you can access through our website.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sing! Sing! Sing!

There appears to be some evidence that singing, and especially singing show tunes, is beneficial to Alzheimer's patients. I don't find that hard to believe since music can be inspiring, evoke memory, it encourages sharing, and, can be a delight to the listener as well as the performer. To learn more, click here for an article from The Guardian, that was published last fall.

We have an extensive collection of movie musicals for you to borrow, and share, and sing along to: