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A Son’s Tribute to His Mom’s Story (and History)

DBRL Next - May 7, 2014

We all could say something nice or special about our moms, and I’m no exception. What makes my mom amazing and notable is the way she lives her life. But before I tell you about her life today, you need to know where she has been.

Photo of Dorothy Isgrig circa 1932Dorothy Elizabeth Isgrig was born in 1926 in Montgomery City, Missouri, the first of three children born to her parents Frederick William Isgrig and his third wife Stella Moore Yates Nalley. She also had 12 older half brothers and sisters, as her parents already had several children between the two. The Great Depression was in full swing when my mom was little, and she can remember getting her Christmas toys from the Salvation Army. From the ages of 2 to 9 she lived in Kansas, and then she returned to Missouri in a Ford Model T or Model A, driven by her brother-in-law. In 1936, her first year back in Missouri, my mom and her immediate family lived in a shack that had previously been occupied by hired hands of a local farmer. My mom went on to get her eighth-grade diploma at Jesse School house two miles west of Mexico. She walked over five blocks every day to be picked up by her teacher to be taken to school.

Photo of one-room school houseOn Easter Sunday this year, my mom and other family members went to see the one-room Beagles schoolhouse in Audrain County, now a community center, that mom attended. On that same trip we drove by where my mom’s other school, Erisman, once stood. She attended there four years. We then went on to the Presbyterian Church where she was “sprinkled” as a teenager. While on the road, my mom began to tell me even more details about her childhood – teachers’ names, schoolmates and stories from her younger days. I said, “Mom, I can’t write this stuff down while I’m driving!” Soon after our excursion, we sat on the couch, and I wrote down everything I could remember her telling me. She had never spoken about these details before. There is something about “going home” that jogs the memory.

Photo of Dorothy Isgrig age 16We didn’t have much growing up, and my mom didn’t either. She grew up during the Great Depression when there was no work to be had. When she was a young teenager she peeled apples for ladies who made pies. At 16 she got a job at the Crown Laundry and continued that until she had her first child. Women could get work then because so many men were in the service.

Dorothy married my father, Raymond Lee Dollens, in April of 1947, just less than four months shy of her twenty-first birthday. Two days shy of their first wedding anniversary they became the parents of their first child, Ruth Ann. A baby would follow almost every year after that until they had their fourteenth child (me) in December of 1964. So all of us kids are baby boomers. We could be a sociological project! My Mom now has 35 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren, with two more great grandchildren on the way.

Raising a large family is much like army life. Order, discipline and pecking order are all in play. If I told you I didn’t have an opinion until I was an adult on my own, you might not believe me, but it is TRUE. I had more peer pressure from my siblings than I ever had from kids I knew from church or school. My mom pretty much followed the same routine every day to keep the household running. She still washes the dishes with my older sister every day.

Photo of Dorothy Isgrig Dollens todayWhat makes my mom amazing is that things she does today should inspire anyone of the baby boom generation or older. First, she keeps a regular schedule. She walks up to two miles a day, five to six days a week like clockwork. She goes to her doctor regularly and actually follows through with her diet plan. Oh, she will tell you that she gained 30 pounds with her first baby and has never been able to lose them, but that doesn’t keep her from maintaining her diabetes. She became a diabetic at the age of 79, and up until the age of 87 she maintained it with diet and exercise alone. Talk about discipline. She now has to take a pill to help regulate her diabetes. How many octogenarians can say that? Her lifestyle is what makes her the strong person she is.

Most of my mom’s contemporaries are deceased, including all of her siblings and most of her in-laws. Her friends now are her children and their families. She does enjoy the babies. She loves to hold the babies and talk to the toddlers. I am so very thankful that at the age of 87 my mom is as alert, mobile, social and healthy as a person of her age can be.

So now you know why my mom is special. Why is your mom special? Whatever the reason, make sure you let her know this Mother’s Day!

The post A Son’s Tribute to His Mom’s Story (and History) appeared first on DBRL Next.

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2014 Summer Program Preview

DBRLTeen - May 6, 2014

2014 TSRP WidgetOur annual teen Summer Reading program  will launch Monday, June 2. Area young adults ages 12-18 will be challenged to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews and do seven of our suggested activities. Get your reward card punched as you go, and when you finish, you’ll receive a surprise and be entered in a drawing for a free Kindle eReader.

In addition to our popular teen summer reading challenge, the library is planning a wide range of free programs to help you “Spark a Reaction.” We’ll invite teens to enjoy crafting over lunch, participate in our annual photography contest and showcase their knowledge through a fun trivia contest. To receive email reminders of these and other teen programs, sign up for our blog updates

“Spark a Reaction” Teen Photography Contest

Spark your creativity through photography. Submit your photos in one of three categories by July 25 for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card. This contest is open to all teens in Boone and Callaway Counties. Find contest rules and submission guidelines at teens.dbrl.org after June 2. Ages 12-18.

Project Teen: Pamper Yourself

Make your own bath bombs, shower soothers and lip balms. We’ll provide pizza and supplies. Ages 11-16.

Callaway County Public Library
Fri., June 20 at 12 p.m.
No registration required. Southern Boone County Public Library
Tues., June 24 at 12 p.m.
No registration required. Project Teen: Steampunk Accessories
Monday, June 23, 1-2:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Fashion your own steampunk jewelry and accessories. We’ll provide a pizza lunch. Ages 12-18. Registration begins Tuesday, June 10. Call (573) 443-3161 to sign up.

Project Teen: Catapults

Create your own catapult. We’ll take them outside to see how far they will throw marshmallows. We’ll provide pizza afterwards (for eating, not throwing.) Ages 11-16.

Callaway County Public Library
Fri., July 18 at 12 p.m.
No registration required. Southern Boone County Public Library
Tues., July 22 at 12 p.m.
No registration required. Project Teen: Trivia at the End of the World
Wednesday, July 23, 1-2:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Answer trivia questions related to your favorite dystopian young adult novels such as “Divergent,” “Hunger Games” and “Legend.” It may not be a battle to the death, but there will be some fun prizes. We will provide a pizza lunch. Registration begins Tuesday, July 8. Call (573) 443-3161 to sign up.

Doctor Who Celebration
Thursday, July 31, 6:30-8 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library

Are you a Doctor Who fan? Join us for games and activities based on the British science fiction TV series. Create a replica of a sonic screwdriver. Answer trivia questions. Come in costume or not. All ages.

Color Explosion
Friday, August 1, 3-5:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Come create your own inspired tie-dye t-shirt. Learn about the science of dyes and color mixing and matching. We’ll supply the t-shirts. All ages.

The Giver Celebration
Thursday, August 7, 6-7 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Discuss Lois Lowry’s “The Giver”, the upcoming movie, and participate in themed activities. Ages 10 and up. Registration begins Tuesday, July 29. Call (573) 443-3161 to sign up.

Teen Game Night
Friday, August 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Challenge your friends to a game on our Wii U console or to a board game tournament. We’ll have various games available as well as supplies for art projects. Refreshments provided. Please enter through back door.

Originally published at 2014 Summer Program Preview.

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New DVD: “Girl Rising”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 5, 2014

girlrising

We recently added “Girl Rising” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 88% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

View a groundbreaking film, which tells the stories of nine extraordinary girls from nine countries, written by nine celebrated writers and narrated by nine renowned actors. Viewers will see a showcase of strength from the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Motherhood (and Parenthood) Humor

Next Book Buzz - May 5, 2014

 Illustrated With Crappy PicturesMy wife and I have found parenting small children to be one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. While our children are little, we see it as a way to relive our own childhoods in some ways: watching the old Muppet Movies again, flying kites, enjoying Fruit Loops guilt-free, playing board games that involve colorful shiny plastic objects and lots of rudimentary counting.

Along with the fun it can get difficult. And dirty. And tiring. And also incredibly funny. The moments of laughter spent with our own daughters account for some of the most hilarious times in my life so far. Much of it is unintentional – just moments of pure joy wrapped in semi-ridiculous situations. In celebration of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the more recent humorous parenting and mothering titles out there. (Think Gen-X’s answer to Erma Bombeck – a little more irony, a few more swear words.)

How about “Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures,” a book of cartoons by Amber Dusick. Amber’s experiences are universal – toddlers who create constant chaos and havoc, misuse common phrases (and swear words, with the expected results), treat the cats badly and display affection and sweetness with sincere deliveries of flowers, pronounced “fowlers.” The sleeplessness and chaos that come with parenting young children are fleshed out in (very poorly) drawn cartoons, but the humor is very real. Why cry when you can laugh? My favorite chapter, “The Good Stuff,” includes this classic two year-old knock knock joke: “Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  Cookie. Cookie Who?  BIG COOKIE!!”

Book cover for Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne ShirtliffeDon’t Lick the Minivan, and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kids” by blogger and humorist Leanne Shirtliffe examines raising baby twins in the international city of Bangkok, Thailand and returning to the suburbs of Canada, where absurdities continue, such as a barbie funeral. Anecdotes from the Shirtliffe family’s time in Bangkok are profoundly funny: “As we left the village .   .   .  our driver navigated around an accident, likely caused by our screaming child – and he maneuvered around other developing world obstacles, like a family of five on a motorbike and a 1960s truck filled with jingling propane bottles.” The book is also spiced with sidebars that include advice such as “Parenting Tip: When you’re arguing with your spouse over parenting issues, imitate a cartoon character to defuse the situation.”

Julia Sweeney is best known for her stint on Saturday Night Live, but she is also an author, speaker and mother, having adopted a Chinese child, Mulan. In her new book “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother,” she recounts the adoption process, all the while balancing her career. “It took so long to assemble my lovely family. I did it all a bit backward: first a delightful daughter, then a beloved husband.”

Sweeney eventually ends up in Wilmette, Illinois (near the college town of Evanston, IL) which she describes as “like living in Logan, Utah, six blocks from Berkeley, California.” Coming from California was a change, she writes. “The entire city of Wilmette is set up to accommodate families. While I appreciate this, it can be mind-numbing. Also, I should add that I live in a city of blond ponytails; one might describe it as a sea of blond ponytails.” However, she does find her own domestic bliss in her new circumstances: “Thinking through this whole family experience has made me feel less attached to places and things, and more invested in experiencing being with people I love.”

Lastly, although only available in audiobook format, let us not forget Garrison Keillor’s wonderful tribute to the mothers of the world: “Motherhood.” Prairie Home Companion is, above all else, a true celebration of family and community. Listen to the cast from the show present humorous skits that showcase the joys, travails, and delightful moments encapsulated in being a Mom.

Please see these books (and many more!) for a humorous explorations of what it means to be a parent and most especially a Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there!

 

The post Motherhood (and Parenthood) Humor appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Motherhood (and Parenthood) Humor

DBRL Next - May 5, 2014

 Illustrated With Crappy PicturesMy wife and I have found parenting small children to be one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. While our children are little, we see it as a way to relive our own childhoods in some ways: watching the old Muppet Movies again, flying kites, enjoying Fruit Loops guilt-free, playing board games that involve colorful shiny plastic objects and lots of rudimentary counting.

Along with the fun it can get difficult. And dirty. And tiring. And also incredibly funny. The moments of laughter spent with our own daughters account for some of the most hilarious times in my life so far. Much of it is unintentional – just moments of pure joy wrapped in semi-ridiculous situations. In celebration of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the more recent humorous parenting and mothering titles out there. (Think Gen-X’s answer to Erma Bombeck – a little more irony, a few more swear words.)

How about “Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures,” a book of cartoons by Amber Dusick. Amber’s experiences are universal – toddlers who create constant chaos and havoc, misuse common phrases (and swear words, with the expected results), treat the cats badly and display affection and sweetness with sincere deliveries of flowers, pronounced “fowlers.” The sleeplessness and chaos that come with parenting young children are fleshed out in (very poorly) drawn cartoons, but the humor is very real. Why cry when you can laugh? My favorite chapter, “The Good Stuff,” includes this classic two year-old knock knock joke: “Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  Cookie. Cookie Who?  BIG COOKIE!!”

Book cover for Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne ShirtliffeDon’t Lick the Minivan, and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kids” by blogger and humorist Leanne Shirtliffe examines raising baby twins in the international city of Bangkok, Thailand and returning to the suburbs of Canada, where absurdities continue, such as a barbie funeral. Anecdotes from the Shirtliffe family’s time in Bangkok are profoundly funny: “As we left the village .   .   .  our driver navigated around an accident, likely caused by our screaming child – and he maneuvered around other developing world obstacles, like a family of five on a motorbike and a 1960s truck filled with jingling propane bottles.” The book is also spiced with sidebars that include advice such as “Parenting Tip: When you’re arguing with your spouse over parenting issues, imitate a cartoon character to defuse the situation.”

Julia Sweeney is best known for her stint on Saturday Night Live, but she is also an author, speaker and mother, having adopted a Chinese child, Mulan. In her new book “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother,” she recounts the adoption process, all the while balancing her career. “It took so long to assemble my lovely family. I did it all a bit backward: first a delightful daughter, then a beloved husband.”

Sweeney eventually ends up in Wilmette, Illinois (near the college town of Evanston, IL) which she describes as “like living in Logan, Utah, six blocks from Berkeley, California.” Coming from California was a change, she writes. “The entire city of Wilmette is set up to accommodate families. While I appreciate this, it can be mind-numbing. Also, I should add that I live in a city of blond ponytails; one might describe it as a sea of blond ponytails.” However, she does find her own domestic bliss in her new circumstances: “Thinking through this whole family experience has made me feel less attached to places and things, and more invested in experiencing being with people I love.”

Lastly, although only available in audiobook format, let us not forget Garrison Keillor’s wonderful tribute to the mothers of the world: “Motherhood.” Prairie Home Companion is, above all else, a true celebration of family and community. Listen to the cast from the show present humorous skits that showcase the joys, travails, and delightful moments encapsulated in being a Mom.

Please see these books (and many more!) for a humorous explorations of what it means to be a parent and most especially a Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there!

 

The post Motherhood (and Parenthood) Humor appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Thank You for Your Votes! One READ Winner Announced May 20

One Read - May 3, 2014

Thank You SignVoting for the 2014 One Read book is now closed. We appreciate all of you who cast your vote for either “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain or “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel Brown.

On May 20 we will announce the winning book here at oneread.org.

In the meantime, read more about our finalists!

Photo credit: Avard Woolaver via photopin cc

The post Thank You for Your Votes! One READ Winner Announced May 20 appeared first on One READ.

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