Crisp weather and turning the calendar’s page to November means it’s pie season. This time of year my extended family begins discussions about who will bring what dish to our Thanksgiving meal, but the question of who should bake the pies is never up for debate. My mother will bake one pumpkin and one pecan pie, and the crust will be made with lard – no butter or (shudder) shortening. The pastry will be flaky and perfect, and I, unable to decide between the two flavors, will end up having a slice of each. And then I’ll ask for another piece of pumpkin to take home and have the next morning for breakfast. Continue reading “Pie Season”
You’ve probably realized from your own experience that being kind brings you positive effect. We all know that warm, fuzzy feeling (known as “helper’s high” or “giver’s glow”) evoked from selfless acts of kindness and generosity extended to others. Well, it turns out that the benefits of being kind go way beyond that “feel good” feeling. Scientific research indicates significant physical and mental health benefits come from offering kindness to others. And interestingly, the bundle of benefits comes not only to those offering the kindness, but also to those receiving it and even to third party witnesses of kind acts. Continue reading “Kindness Makes the World Go Around and Improves Your Health”
More than 100,000 children in the U.S. are waiting for permanent homes and families.* November is National Adoption Month, and the motto for 2015 is “We never outgrow the need for family.” The focus this year is on older youth in foster care.
In keeping with this theme, here is a list of resources for those interested in expanding their families by adding some big kids: Continue reading “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family”
The first thing my husband and I noticed while landing in Portland was how smoggy the city was. With the hottest summer on record and wild fires raging in Oregon, Washington and California, that was hardly surprising. Yet we had no time to dwell on it. We rented a car and drove to Multnomah Falls, located 30 miles away from Portland.
We humans are hardwired to be drawn to water, but waterfalls seem especially magical. Is it the sheer force of falling water? The cool glimmering beads that gently spray your face? The fresh smells and the haunting monotony of the sound? Who knows? All I know is that no picture can do justice to Multnomah Falls (at least not my picture 🙂 ). The falls are immense – the drop from the upper falls is 542 feet and from the lower 69 feet – and they attract two million visitors every year. Continue reading “Let’s Travel: Oregon 101”
Are you concerned about or interested in determining whether genetically modified organisms (GMOs, also known as GM foods) are safe for the environment and safe to eat? GMOs are very controversial; just look in the media for evidence. You can find no end of articles asserting data of their safety and benefits on one side of the debate, and just as plentiful are contradictory arguments that present otherwise. With GMOs it appears that the truth is a moving target, so it may be hard to trust that you can find an ultimate truth on which to base your decision-making. Still, making an effort to inform yourself of their pros and cons can help you determine whether to avoid them or not and whether to support any, all or none of their use should you decide to engage with your elected officials on this matter…because the GMO debate is a political one. Continue reading “The GMO Controversy”
Beginning later this month, the Daniel Boone Regional Library will honor the contributions of Latino Americans through story, song, dance and film. As a Mexican-American, I look forward to inviting our community to join in this region-wide celebration.
The roots of my family were planted in this country nearly a century ago and have been cultivated with much love, or as my Grandma Flora would say, “con mucho cariño.” In 1917, my grandmother immigrated to the United States as a toddler with her parents and older sister, Ruth. The Mexican Revolution had swept through their birthplace of Zacatecas and my great grandparents were seeking safety and security for their young family. Continue reading “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History”
The world of print is rapidly changing. Many of the large metro daily newspapers are folding – think of the sad case of the Rocky Mountain News, once the beacon of newspaper publishing in the West, which died a slow death in the 1990s and 2000s and finally stopped printing in 2009. To survive, magazines and newspapers are either switching their format to a much reduced publishing schedule or even changing their look and format entirely. A good example of how the newspaper and magazine publishing industry is having to adapt is the example of the Christian Science Monitor. Once a daily newspaper, it is now published in a slick magazine format, just once a week. Continue reading “New Magazines at DBRL”
This spring, the Columbia Public Library celebrated the grand opening of our new creative digital lab, the Studio. Since then, we have helped over 600 patrons make sense of their mobile devices, discover new apps, download free e-Books, scan old family photos and organize their digital photo collections. We’ve invited children to make their own stop-motion animated films and promoted literacy among preschoolers using fun learning tools like Tiggly Shapes. After such a successful launch, the library is happy to announce several new Studio programs for library lovers of all ages.
This summer we introduced our newly reorganized class, “iPhone and iPad Basics.” Through this two-hour program, we help patrons master the basic functions of their Apple devices. The class has been so popular that we will be offering an advanced course beginning October 28. Attendees will learn how to run updates, back up their data and explore shortcuts to use their Apple device more efficiently. Continue reading “Creative Learning at Your Library”
In addition to drop-in classes and presentations on the online resources (HeritageQuest and Ancestry.com) for family researchers available through your library, there are a couple of upcoming events genealogists should add to their calendars.
The 40th anniversary celebration of the Genealogical Society of Boone County and Central Missouri — formerly the Genealogical Society of Central Missouri — will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library on Friday, October 9. That’s exactly 40 years to the date the society was formed at the Columbia Public Library in 1975! Come learn more about what we have achieved these past four decades. Current and back issues of our quarterly, The Reporter, are in our CPL reference collection, as well as many other publications that will help you find your ancestors who lived in central Missouri and elsewhere. Continue reading “Free Genealogy Events and Family History Research Help”
When I was in school, history was not my favorite subject, but Sarah Vowell has convinced me I didn’t give it a fair chance. Vowell’s chatty books about American history relate the stories of our country in a way that brings alive the figures involved and paints a vivid picture of the times in which they lived, with the bonus of showing how past events still affect our lives today.
“Unfamiliar Fishes,” a volume about Hawaii, opens with these words: “Why is there a glop of macaroni salad next to the Japanese chicken in my plate lunch? Because the ship Thaddeus left Boston Harbor with the first boatload of New England missionaries bound for Hawaii in 1819.” Vowell makes a pretty good case for giving Hawaii the ‘Most Multicultural State’ award. As she explains how this came to be, she examines the effects of 19th century missionaries plus vacationing sailors on the island culture. It wasn’t all roses and butter, we discover. The story of Queen Lili’uokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, makes for compelling – if heartbreaking – reading. Continue reading “Let’s Learn American History with Sarah Vowell”