Older Adults and Financial Exploitation

Posted on Monday, July 15, 2024 by Ida

Two women smiling and holding cups on a park bench

Most of us work and save for decades in the hope that when we retire, our needs will be met. Numerous resources offer financial advice to help us plan for our golden years. For many, all that work and planning and fiscal discipline pays off, with an adequate cushion providing a reasonably comfortable life right to the end. For others, things don’t go quite as well.

Recently, I attended a training on identifying and preventing elder abuse. I learned that financial exploitation is one of the most common forms of abuse faced by older adults, sometimes without their knowledge. It can be carried out by family members, “helpful” neighbors, paid caregivers, online and telephone scammers, or even attorneys and accountants who notice a client’s mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be. This was a sobering wake-up for me. Continue reading “Older Adults and Financial Exploitation”

June Is for Bird Watching

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024 by MaggieM

In Missouri, May is a big month for birding as enthusiasts try to see migrants passing through in their spring plumage. But what’s a birder to do once May and spring migration are over?

While June may not be the time to add more species to your birding list, it is an excellent time to watch the birds around you. Bird watching mostly requires curiosity. Binoculars are helpful. The rewards are limitless.

How to Know the Birds by Ted Floyd book coverHow to Know the Birds,” by Ted Floyd is great place to start (or continue) your foray into bird watching. Floyd’s focus is on helping readers grow their birding habit. Through short vignettes he shares details about bird life and new ways to focus your birding inquiries. The essays are delightful, concise and crammed full rich details about the lives of birds. Continue reading “June Is for Bird Watching”

Interior Decorating Inspiration

Posted on Friday, May 24, 2024 by The Biblio-Buckaroo

It’s May and spring is in full bloom. The days are long and warm and we have put away our winter things. Have you been spring cleaning? Perhaps along with cleaning your space, you would like to switch things up a little (or a lot). Maybe you would like to change the color of a room, sew a chair slip-cover, adopt some house plants or simply introduce a pretty vase of cut flowers. There are many ways to make your home fresh for spring and the library has lots of good books brimming with ideas and suggestions.

Simple Farmhouse Life book coverSimple Farmhouse Life: DIY Projects for the All-natural, Handmade Home,” by Missouri blogger Lisa Bass has recipes for making your own cleaning products, instructions for hand dipping candles, and ideas for using reclaimed materials in your home decor. You don’t have to do it all, like Lisa, and have eight kids, a husband and a large, old farmhouse to experience some comforting farmhouse simplicity in your home. Try making a duvet from vintage sheets or some pretty tie-top linen curtains, to soften the look of your bedroom. Continue reading “Interior Decorating Inspiration”

Cicadas Don’t Bug Me!

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2024 by Reading Addict

cicada on a branchOne of my fondest memories as a kid is holding and watching cicadas. Their songs were my lullabies. In today’s environment of extreme bug-phobia and efforts to rid the world of all bugs, I’ve just come to say please be kind.

There’s been a lot of excitement around the overlapping of a 13-year brood of cicadas with a 17-year brood. What that means is that one brood has been underground for approximately 13 years and the other for 17 years and they are both coming to the surface at roughly the same time which happens about every 25 years. According to The University of Connecticut, this is the first time since 1803 that these specific broods have emerged together. That might sound scary, but the overlap will actually only be in small geographic patches of Illinois. Continue reading “Cicadas Don’t Bug Me!”

May Is for the Birders — Including You

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 by MaggieM

a bright yellow bird with a black ring around its neck.
The Hooded Warbler is one of the vibrant spring migrants you can see in Missouri in May.

May is a big month for birding in Missouri, and the recent storms have made now a great time to get out and bird! May is when most of the migrating birds that pass through Missouri on their way north are in mid-Missouri. They are in their vibrant spring mating colors and there are (slightly) fewer leaves on the trees, making it easier to see them. It can be easy to feel like you don’t know enough or to feel intimidated, but it needn’t be so. There are some great resources to help you increase both your skill and success in birding. Continue reading “May Is for the Birders — Including You”

Three Buddhist Books for the Clouded Mind

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2024 by Karena

Recently, CPL’s new books section by the lobby has been graced with a few Buddhist titles. I’ve read three, in this order: “One Long Listening: A Memoir of Grief, Friendship, and Spiritual Care” by Chenxing Han, “Home Is Here: Practicing Antiracism With the Engaged Eightfold Path” by Liên Shutt, and finally, “It’s Okay Not to Look for the Meaning of Life: A Zen Monk’s Guide to Living Stress-Free One Day at a Time” by Jikisai Minami. Each book has soothed and challenged me in different ways. If the lake of your mind is feeling cloudy or clogged, one or more of these titles may be of benefit to you.

One Long Listening book cover Chenxing Han’s “One Long Listening” is a glossy black volume patterned with fluid golden lines that recall the rings of a tree or waves of sound. I was drawn to the title, which uses “listening” not as a verb but as a noun instead; something we commit to and create together. The title’s words appear exactly once, on a page that is mostly blank space (“I realized today that our friendship has been one long listening. / I’m still listening. / It feels like you are too. / I love you. / I miss you.”) Continue reading “Three Buddhist Books for the Clouded Mind”

Hobby Farm Dreaming

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2024 by Reading Addict

sheep in a green grassy field Has anyone else been dreaming of a hobby farm? No? Just me? I would say that it’s a fever dream, but I have no fever. I have to admit that this is not a new dream for me. I have been having this dream for a long, long time now. I have always loved animals and my kids have had just about every variety of pet. I started keeping backyard chickens in the early 2000s. But now I have a new obsession: SHEEP!

Worn book coverIt all started with me trying to declutter my life and then trying to build a sustainable capsule wardrobe. That’s when I discovered how difficult it was to find natural fibers any more. “Worn: A People’s History of Clothing” by Sofi Thanhauser took me on a journey of clothing and how it has changed over time, along with just what colonialism and globalization have done to the quality and durability of our clothing. It also shows what it has done to our societies. Any history of this sort is bound to be depressing, but it does end on a positive note — a wooly note. Continue reading “Hobby Farm Dreaming”

New Memory Care Kits: Toys and Games

Posted on Monday, February 19, 2024 by Ida

I’m going to make a confession. I, an adult person with gray streaks in my hair, bought myself a Spirograph set a couple of years ago. I thought it would be fun, and it is. I find myself becoming totally absorbed in the activity of experimenting with different configurations of gear wheels and colors to create whimsical designs. Who says you can’t recapture the joys of childhood?

The library’s two new Memory Care Kits featuring classic toys and games can provide this same opportunity to regain the spirit of play for our patrons with dementia. Though neither kit contains a Spirograph, they do have a variety of items to spark in-the-moment enjoyment combined with an opportunity to reminisce about the past. When life is confusing and stressful, a little retro frivolity can be the ticket to a better day. Continue reading “New Memory Care Kits: Toys and Games”

Random Acts of Kindness

Posted on Friday, February 16, 2024 by Sew Happy

Photo of woman holding a sign that says "free hugs"February 17 is the national day to recognize Random Acts of Kindness. Of course, you can act in kindness at any time of the year. You can grab a trash bag and clean up a park or street that you are walking through. Or maybe you like buying a coworker a coffee or surprising someone by giving them a quick compliment. Historical examples include creating and sharing May Baskets. Here are 50 other suggestions!

Put simply, a random act of kindness is a non-premeditated, inconsistent impulse that results in an action making a bit of the world happier. The phrase “random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” was written by Anne Herbert on a placemat in Sausalito, California in 1982. It was based on the phrases “random acts of violence” and “senseless acts of cruelty” and is meant to be a call to action… or at least a strong encouragement. It is now a worldwide phenomenon. Let’s celebrate! Continue reading “Random Acts of Kindness”

Where No Woman Has Gone Before: Women in Science Fiction and Space Exploration

Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 by David Litherland

Close-Up Photo of a Person Wearing Space Helmet “That’s one, small step for [a] man… One, giant leap for mankind.”
~Neil Armstrong, July 20th, 1969

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before!
~Captain James Kirk, “Star Trek,” Stardate 1533.6 (actually 1966)

These two quotes are ironed into the brain of many a starry-eyed science fiction and space exploration lover. I know they’ve been in mine since I first watched William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy with my dad as a kid, while he told me stories of watching the Apollo launches when he was growing up on the Space Coast of Florida. The idea of going out and exploring that final frontier turned me into the sci-fi aficionado I am today. Continue reading “Where No Woman Has Gone Before: Women in Science Fiction and Space Exploration”