jimjams – noun
jimjams – noun
pumped – adjective, verb
excited and enthusiastic about something
panjandrum – noun
Today’s post is not about the all new adventure of the world of politicians (or panjandrums as I like to call most of them) though that may be fun. No today I am pumped to share with you my favorite place for adventure when I have no money to go too far: the Hedberg Public Library. I will visit any library, anywhere and find adventure.
Ahhh, you think I am just a bookworm maybe? True but I also enjoy the artwork featured by local artists as well as just one of the many features our library has to offer. In fact, this month one of the librarians, Helene Ramsdell, who is also a fabulous artist, has her work featured at our library. Here are a few samples of her work:
Artists are featured every month at our library. Therefore, not only is it a library but also an art gallery that changes monthly.
The library also offers classes in their computer lab, usually for free for any number of things. Programs for toddlers and young readers are offered weekly, story time during summer goes on, young adult programs are offered throughout the year and family programs, adult programs, author visits and so much more can be found at our library.
Besides books, you can check out toys at the library for your children, parenting material, DVD’s, Blu-Ray movies, magazines, CD’s, and audio books.
If a title cannot be found at the library itself, they can use the Interlibrary Loan feature, WISCAT and even WorldCat to get in the material of your choice. Need something copied or printed, the library offers that too for a minimal fee. Don’t have time to peruse the shelves for your favorite book, request it online through their online catalog and pick it up when it arrives at the library within the allotted grace period.
If this isn’t enough to entice you to find your next adventure at the library, then check out these picture books about libraries. Not only are the stories unique, they offer a new perspective you and I may have overlooked.
I’m sure there are many more and these are all tried and true but that’s just my opinion. Go find your adventure at the library, until you absorb yourself in it you never know what awaits you.
What’s in your public library?
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Source: Horrible Feelings!
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This review comes from BookPeople Inventory Manager Jan Day Shaking off the dregs of winter, we’ve finally shed our coats and exposed our naked limbs to the sun, shining more on our upturned faces. Sunshine is never more welcome than in springtime. (We haven’t been crushed by those three-digit heat waves that will inevitably arrive within […]
This was officially the beginning of the Civil War; in reality, that war was almost inevitable from the founding of the United States when the issue of slavery wasn’t dealt with. The Founding Fathers, while greatly revered, knew they were postponing an issue that later generations would have to solve with blood and generations in…
[all photos in this blog are the property of Traci and Kevin Bold (copyrighted) except for the top image which is from dictionary.com]
confluence – noun
ninnyhammer – noun
foolish – adjective
Actually St. Louis is going to wait. Along with my husband, we discovered a cool little town across the Mississippi River and just north from St. Louis. This little town is dubbed, ‘One of the most haunted towns in America’. For good reason too.
Alton sits on the east side near the Great Rivers confluence of the Mississippi River, Missouri River and the Illinois River. With numerous floodings since the beginning of Alton’s birth, and the fires and of course Ellis Island by Melvin Price Lock and Dam No. 26 hauntings are bound to happen. This little island housed the hospital for confederate POW’s between 1863 and 1865 who contracted mainly smallpox but other diseases as well. Close to two hundred soldiers died there and were buried. Locals told us that they do not go to the Island at night because of the hauntings. This little island is now a park and is a sanctuary for many birds.
Behind the bridge to St. Louis is a small island, Ellis Island, to which I refer. This is where the original lock and dam 26 was built.
Besides numerous haunted buildings and such in Alton there are many quaint antique shops (one of which is haunted) , good food such as Fast Eddie’s Bon-Air (Fast Eddie’s is for the 21 and over crowd, sorry kiddos) and so much history.
For more on the hauntings: http://www.visitalton.com/feature-stories/detail/36/haunted-alton
Let’s get back to history. When two rivers converge into one bigger river only a few miles apart (confluence), areas surrounding that can become big targets for flooding, being ports for merchant barges and then of course great habitat for fish and animals and birds. (Not to mention mosquitoes.)
The Mississippi and Missouri River have seen their fare share of natural disasters and the Illinois River has seen some as well, but in this area, when they all flood, catastrophe happens. The Lock and dam system from the North Mississippi River to just below Alton, Il was built to help the barges through to the upper part of the Mississippi River which is actually a shallower river. These dams were not built to control the flooding.
The Melvin Price Locks and Dam (No.26) has seen it’s share of flooding since being moved to its’ current location. There is a marker on the side of the cement elevator (which is still out of order) from the water level the river got to in 1993. In fact, today there is still a lot of wood caught up in the holding area of the dams that has been there since that flood.
This mess of wood is now home to numerous wildlife species. Now when I saw this, I immediately thought of all the crafting people out there who would love to have this wood but I believe to try to retrieve it at whim would be foolish as this is a highly protected government facility.
Recently in late 2015 15″ of rain fell so sand bags were filled and brought in feeling that another 1993 flood was going to happen but thankfully, it did not.
The dam is attached to the National Great Rivers Museum which gives so much information about this area as well as the lock and dam. You can tour the dam to a certain point but then to try to go further, you would be a ninnyhammer to do so however you can visit the museum and then mark it off of your National Museum Passport if you have one.
In one of the holding areas past the first lock is a perfect spot to spy a blue heron.
He knows where to fish for his dinner. The picture below is the area of the dam where this heron is.
Alton and the surrounding area have so much more to offer and to see and do but that is for another time.
Stay tuned for more about the fun St. Louis has to offer.
Oooooo. Eyes widen.
Smooth milky fudge woos and waits.
Yes please! Are the words for a slice.
Mmmm! Taste buds revel in the richness.
Yummm! Tummy rumbles filled with gobbled goodness.
Ahhh. Heart flutters with fulfillment.
Thank you Vivian Kirkfield for the inspiration to write this short short #kidlit story.
Coming soon! I will be posting my fun new story complete with photos. It may or may not contain words of the day selections from the week.
sylvan – adjective, noun
Jolene stepped into the meadow. On the other side were the woods. Behind her a group of kids ran after her chanting mean horrible things. She scanned the meadow; no where to hide there. Right then she knew she had to make it to the woods to drown out the meanies and their chants or she would lose her temper causing even more chaos.
Only a few yards in, the chants grew quieter as the woods ate up the sounds past it’s borders. Jolene breathed in deep. Ahhhhhhhhh. Much better. The only sounds were squirrels chattering and rustling in the foilage and something small scampering across the forest floor.
The air was crisp and piney, her favorite smell as it reminded her of Christmas time, a time that was always magical no matter whose home she was at. She closed her eyes and reveled momentarily in Christmases gone by.
Her eyes flew open. Was that a lightning strike? Jolene knew that sound all too well. She looked up to the sky. Blue skies still spilled through some of the gaping treetops and sunshine peeked through here and there. Not thunder, not this time.
The sound came from in front of her. She scoured the trees for falling limbs and branches.
Now this was different. The sound was directly in front of her somewhere behind the oak and pine trees.
SNAP! A flash of electric blue light shot out from the wide oak.
Jolene was mesmerized. Her feet happily lead her to the majestic tree.
“Hello? Who’s there and how did you make that blue light?” she asked skirting herself around tree.
CRACK! SNAP! was her reply. Jolene jumped. She scurried to the other side of the tree in time to witness tiny feet like a babies but with only four toes kick forest floor up at her.
“Go away. You scare me,” a tiny yet commanding voice said.
“Who are you? I promise not to hurt you in any way. You made beautiful blue light. Please come out,” Jolene coaxed.
Shuffling sounds grew closer to Jolene.
“I do not have anything but my clothes and shoes. See?” she said holding her hands straight up in the air.
A short, furry person with a cherub face stepped out from the oak tree. This beautiful being radiated a soft glow of white light almost with a bluish tint and was carrying what looked like a bamboo stick.
Jolene immediately felt relieved and at peace, something she had not felt in a long time.
“You have the sweetest face I have ever seen,” Jolene said.
“Thank you,” came the simple reply.
“Most kids do not like these woods. Rumor has it these woods are haunted by ghosts of evil people. I like the woods. I find peace here.”
“As you should.”
“But there are scary creatures and animals in these woods aren’t there?”
“On what you think is scary. Do you think rabbits, squirrels, fox, deer, owls, birds, or Sylvans are scary?”
Jolene thought about this. She really loves all animals but she had never seen a Sylvan before and was not sure what one really was.
“What is a Sylvan?”
“I am a Sylvan. Are you scared of me?”
The Sylvan twirled around emitting a cloud of powder blue dust. As the dust cleared, a taller shape stood in front of Jolene. This shape was just like Jolene’s dream version of a grandmother. This being still held the bamboo looking stick.
The Sylvan swirled in circles again emitting a powder blue dust cloud. Now it was shaped into strange animal that had paws like a kitten, powder puff tail, soft fluffy looking gray fur and the face of a wolf.
“How about now?”
Jolene laughed. “Definitely not.”
Once again, the Sylvan swirled and twirled and when the powder blue dust cloud settled, the group of meanies was standing in front of Jolene.
“And now?” growled the Sylvan.
Jolene trembled. She felt fury rise up in her throat all sense of peace gone. Red was everywhere, she felt it, saw it and tasted the bitterness of it.
“Yes but scared for you, not of you,” she said through clenched teeth closing her eyes, willing the Sylvan to retreat. The heat was rushing through her veins and scorching her eyes. “You need to leave before I hurt you.”
“You can open your eyes, I have changed back.” the Sylvan said.
Slowly Jolene opened her eyes. Her hands trembled, her body shook.
Blue light filled the space around her. The Sylvan was once again the furry, cherub faced short being. It reminded her of everything good in the world, babies, animals and spirit beings.
Jolene relaxed. Peace was filling her up inside pushing the fury out of her. She sat down on the forest floor grateful for the soft seat it provided.
The Sylvan sat beside her. “You passed the test, you may visit these woods whenever you want Jolene. I know you will bring no harm to the creatures who live here.”
“What is your name?”
“Sylvie. Unoriginal I know but I like it best.”
“Makes sense to me. Why did you change shape? Can all Sylvans change shape?”
Sylvie tilted her head to the side and snapped her stick once.
Snap. A tiny blue streak shot across the air.
Finally she answered.
“We Sylvans change shape to suit our need. If we feel a dangerous being is here, we change into whatever scares them the most. If we feel a good being is here, we change into whatever image brings the happiest thoughts to that being. I imagine this is why these woods are rumored to be haunted.”
“I am so sorry I became so angry. When you changed into the meanies, every horrible thing they have ever done to me, other kids and even animals came to me and my horrible power started kicking in. I cannot control it when it does which scares me the most. I have to either run away or will the target to go away so I cannot harm them.” Jolene explained.
Sylvie squeezed Jolene’s hand. A warm feeling of love flooded Jolene. She hugged Sylvie then stood up to leave.
” I have to get back home Sylvie. My foster Mom will be worried if I am home too late. I promise to keep your secret.”
Sylvie smiled a brilliant smile. “No need to keep the secret. It will just be another rumor but one that will keep the bad beings out. You may visit whenever you like. In fact, coming here will ease your power and help you keep control over it until you learn how to use it wisely.”
Jolene tilted her head and thought a moment. “I’m glad you are my new friend Sylvie. I’ll visit again soon.”
CRACK! SNAP! Beautiful blue light lit up the forest.
Jolene rushed home, just in time to help with dinner.
“Where were you Jolene?” her foster Mom asked.
“Working on my creative writing project with a new friend.”
“New friends are good. What’s her name?”
Jolene beamed at her. “Sylvie.”