In many ways, time has stood still at Shutesbury's M. N. Spear Memorial Library. As you'll see from the video you'll find on the link below, the 900-square-foot building, built in 1902 for a population of 400, has scarcely changed.
Today, with a population close to 1800 -- lacking not only a community center, but even a place where one can meet a friend for coffee -- we need a library that can serve future generations as well as those of the past. We need a place truly accessible to all, with room enough to comfortably browse the shelves, read, study, search the Internet, and attend community gatherings of every kind. (Running water and flush toilets would be lovely, too!)
By early January, the Friends of the Library had already raised $170,316 in donations and pledges from individuals in town (I was among them). A few days later, we received a generous anonymous Challenge Gift. It would match new donations dollar for dollar – up to $150,000! So if we could raise $150,000 in additional gifts on top of what we already had, we’d receive another $150,000 – for $300,000 in all! Gifts are tax-deductible, and will be doubled in value to support the Friends of the Spear Memorial Library New Library Fund.
But time is of the essence.
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has given the Town of Shutesbury an extension until June 30, 2012 to secure the $1.4 million in local funding required to receive a $2.1 million state library construction grant. Now we’re racing the clock to qualify for the full Challenge Gift, because it will move us significantly closer to our goal.
I have volunteered at the library since 1995. Conditions are so crowded, I and another volunteer joke that we are in a game of "Twister" as we try to do our jobs behind the circulation desk. One dare not stand on the metal heat grate in the floor for more than 10 seconds, because the heat will melt the soles of one's shoes!
You'll find more information on the fundly.com link, as well as a cute video that includes a quick shot of yours truly pointing out our composting toilet!
Please visit the site, and consider making a contribution to a cause that is very close to my heart. Thank you.
Shutesbury needs a new library! - Fundly.com
We've had a neighbor cat come by several times a day for the last couple of months. There are a couple of things very weird about this. Unless you get very close to them, this visitor and Jesse are impossible to tell apart! (The irony here is that the welcome mat has the images of two black cats on it!)
1. The cat, except for a white patch just below its throat, is identical in coloring and build and size to Jesse. I've been told by the neighbor that this cat is female, and "just wants to be friendly." But there is clear hostility between this cat, as she glares into our house from the deck, and our cats.
2. After some initial nasty cat fights, the hostilities between the three cats (Stella hates this cat, too) have calmed down a bit to just low growling. But . . .
3. Lately I've seen Jesse and this cat sitting very close together. The neighbor cat leans toward him and almost touches her nose to his. All the while, she is panting. She does the same (the panting) when she is glaring at him through the glass.
I have actually wondered, since Jesse was adopted from a shelter, if this cat and he might actually be siblings, and her attraction is because she recognizes a family "scent."
Anyone have any clues on what "panting" means to cats?
Video up to 10,966 views. Donations in from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates. And you wouldn't believe the activity over at https://twitter.com/#!/MNSpearLibrary
Had a fun day today. Volunteers (including a professional!) were taping a little quirky video about the library, which we hope to post on youtube and have go viral to help us raise funds. Once it is up, I assure you I will share it here.
Meanwhile, I also had the idea (since we need to raise a million dollars to get the state matching grant) to have the video background music be a parody of Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had A Million Dollars." We do have some professional musicians who are library supporters who would probably jump at the chance. It probably won't end up as the background for the video footage shot today, but as the library director said, "There's always the next one."
What's funny is that the library director had never heard of this song. For those of you who have but need a refresher course, here's a link to the audio of a live recording:
And here are my words (fortunately, the music is flexible enough that you can add an extra syllable or two, such as "library" said really fast for "house"). FYI, there is no plumbing (we do have a composting toilet), no reading table, no comfy chair (not one!), no coat rack, NO STORAGE SPACE OR CLOSET AT ALL. There is no place in town (outside of your own home) to sit down with someone and have a cup of coffee. No coffee shop or community center. None. Half the town is still on dialup Internet. Library opponents say "We can just use the library in Amherst." That's ten miles away for me, and still more miles for others. There is no "kids' room" here -- 900 feet of very crowded space in one room. I took some still photos, may post later.
( Read more... )
Oops, forgot to post this to DW first.
I left the house at 9:30 a.m. today for a medical appointment and then a number of meetings. When I got home at 5:30, the furnace was off and it was cold inside. Thank heavens it wasn't 20 or 10 or 5 degrees outside, as it *should* be this time of year., or it would have been even colder. Pushing the "restart" button did nuttin'. So I called the oil company. We have a service plan.
Longtime, loyal readers may remember my "we're doomed!" response when a service tech I called Ferengi would show up. It would take him two, even three visits to fix the problem. But he was the one on call on our area after hours.
This time it was a guy named Jones (and I will request him in the future). He is far more familiar with our type of furnace, and quickly figured out the problem. He also lives in Granby, much closer to us than Ferengi's home of Ashfield. So hopefully, he will be our "after-hours on-call guy" in the future.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival seeks Actors, Singers, Musicians and other performers for AUDITIONS from January 21, 22, & 23.
Mutton & Mead is a Robin Hood-themed theatrical event and festival held in Montague, MA, at the Millers Falls R&G Club on June 23rd &
24th, 2012. We will create a medieval shire (Nottingham) & Tavern (The Mutton & Mead Inne), populate it with characters (our Shire
Cast), and then tell the exciting tale of Robin Hood through stage and street performances over the course of a day filled with great
shopping, great food and great fun! There will be an Armored Joust, a variety of Stage & Street Shows, Historical & Artisan Demonstrations
as well as games and activities for all ages.
Mutton and Mead is in search of actors, singers, musicians and dancers both novice and professional to help us bring the streets of our
humble but entertaining village alive! Interested in auditioning for our Shire Cast or performing at Mutton & Mead? Visit www.MuttonAndMead.com for details.
Not looking for a major role, or maybe you're just interested in singing with us? We are also seeking "extras." These performers play
a less involved role as the day unfolds, but an important role nonetheless. Regardless of the size of your part, we provide training
to give you the skills to rock the shire on festival day.
Not a performer, but interested in helping our village come alive? Mutton and Mead is also seeking Theater, Stage and Set Crews as well
as other Volunteers. You will be joining a lively community of imaginative people, committed to creating a unique event.
Have questions about any of the above, or ready to sign up? Please visit our website at www.MuttonAndMead.com
Directions: Scheduled Auditions will be held at the Montague Grange hall, 36 Main Street in Montague Center (on the town common), between Saturday, January 21st through Monday, January 23rd.
Mutton and Mead aims to transport patrons to another time and place where they are given a unique interactive experience, and to provide a
venue for members of the local and extended community to support and showcase their talents.
So here's the first:
I FINALLY MADE A DECENT LOAF OF BREAD!
When I first met my future husband (1978), he talked about how his friend Molly made incredible bread. Then his sister Mary made incredible bread. He hinted I should ask them their secrets. (I had never tried to bake bread, FYI.) So I tried it myself, with generally lamentable results. The bread would smell wonderful, look great, but end up lop-sided, and with a still-damp interior. I quit.
In about 1995 or so, bread machines came on the market. I helped a friend and his wife move. He remembered that I'd talked about getting a bread machine, so he gave me one as a thank you gift.,
I was all grateful and excited. But while the results were better than my earlier efforts, the bread was now overly browned on the outside, and the bread-machine paddle was stuck in the "ass" off the oddly-shaped loaf. Not exactly a presentation piece. I quit,.
I did use the machine a few times to make pizza dough, with success.
Then, this past holiday, Samurai came home. She didn't know what to give her relatives, and I knew she was a better baker than I, so I suggested baking something. She tried the bread machine just to make dough, and made great cinnamon rolls! Even SIL S, the crabby one, raved about them later.
So about a week ago, I decided to make whole wheat bread, using the machine just for the dough, and to bake the loaves in the oven.
THEY CAME OUT GREAT!
In the process, I learned (trying figure out how to turn a "2 lb. machine loaf" into 2 9x5 pan, or 1/12 lb. machine loaves into 2 8x5 pans) that I am one of MANY people who are finding a new use for that bread machine that has been unused for years. Not for BAKING, but for the first knead and rise.
One useful site: http://www.breadmachinedigest.com/tips/
So I go to the Staples website to read all about 'em . . . and they aren't listed!
Meanwhile, I spent this evening selecting and printing out about 35-40 photos of 250th anniversary events for a display at a school play tomorrow, under the heading, "The Spirit of Community."
I was asked to do this precisely to try to remind people of the sense of community all our events appeared to foster. But as someone said at a committee meeting last week, that sense of community was more fragile than we'd realized.
It is from the December 2011-January 2012 issue of Simple & Delicious magazine.
Salmon Mousse Tartlets
Makes 15 appetizers [WRONG! There is a typo somewhere in the published recipe. It made enough for 30 tartlet shells! Fortunately I had an extra package, piped the filling into those shells, and they were GONE.]
1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 pouch (6 oz.) boneless, skinless pink salmon (this confused me at first; it refers to the Bumblebee and other brands of cooked salmon in pouches that are found with the canned tuna, etc. in your grocery store. They cost nothing like the salmon in the fish department. They were on sale, too!).
1 pkg. (1.9 oz) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells (this refers to, perhaps among other brands, the Athens brand "mini fillo shells" -- 15 per box , and yes, 1.9 oz -- which are probably with the frozen pie crusts and puff pastry packages in the freezer case at your store. Out here, anyway, "Athens mini fillo shells" were available, and on sale, too!). They are PREBAKED.
Fresh dill sprigs, optional (I could not find them, but you will see that I improvised).
Beat cream cheese, seafood seasoning and lemon juice until smooth in a large bowl. Beat in salmon. Spoon or pipe into tart shells; garnish with dill if desired. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes until serving.
When I did this, I tasted it, and it seemed bland. So I sprinkled in some dried dill weed from a jar in my herb/spice collection. Didn't measure it.
As it sat in the refrigerator, for maybe ONLY 20 minutes, because I was running late and needed to get to this shindig, the flavors melded, and it was not bland at all. It was very good.
Two headlines on different covers made me chuckle (and there will probably be more, but I haven't looked at them all):
From June 1986: "CD-ROMs: New mass storage medium on the horizon."
And from August 1987: "The 386: More Power to You."
(If you don't know what "the 386" means, you are just a young whipper snapper.)
Some of you will cheer because of this. I am just sad.
This evening, inspired by capriciouslass, I finally attempted to import my LJ entries to Dreamwidth. It did not take nearly as long as I'd thought! My next challenge is to REMEMBER to post from there, and that I've correctly asked Dreamwidth to automatically crosspost. Will have to rebuild my icon collection . . . . (Apparently I have more than 15, so only the default icon imported.)
I am ar_wahan there, too.
Spent all day today at the UU craft fair, because I was in charge of the used book table! Of course, I bought some, including an AWESOME find for my daughter (heeheehee), but given that I came in with two large bags of used books to donate, and only left with three books, I think I did well. :-)
Between Thursday and Friday, I also made 5 dozen muffins for the "cafe" downstairs in the morning -- three dozen pumpkin, two dozen very yummy muffins made with my leftover cranberry-clementine savory relish from Thanksgiving! (Don't worry, I'd frozen it, it wasn't sitting in my refrigerator all week.)
I still have extra canned pumpkin left from the pumpkin batch. I will make pumpkin tea loaves tomorrow to freeze.
I am beat. Will make dinner and
feed horses now . . . (horses fed).
I meant to crosspost this from DW, but it didn't work, and of course that's probably because of security measures LJ has taken in light of the recent DDOS attacks. So this is a cut-and-paste with edit tweaks to refer to "there" rather than "here," change the subject line, etc.
This evening, I imported my LJ entries to Dreamwidth and hope to REMEMBER to post from here, and that I've correctly asked Dreamwidth to automatically crosspost. Will have to rebuild my icon collection . . . . (Apparently I have more than 15, so only the default icon imported.)
Spent all day today at the UU craft fair, because I was in charge of the used book table! Of course, I bought some, including an AWESOME find for my daughter (heeheehee), but given that I came in with two large bags of used books to donate, and only left with three books, I think I did well. :)
Between Thursday and Friday, I also made 5 dozen muffins for the "cafe" downstairs in the morning -- mostly pumpkin, but two dozen very yummy muffins made with my leftover cranberry-clementine savory relish from Thanksgiving! (Don't worry, I'd frozen it, it wasn't sitting in my refrigerator all week.)
I still have extra canned pumpkin left from the pumpkin batch. I will make pumpkin tea loaves tomorrow to freeze.
I am beat. Will make dinner and feed horses now . . .
So let's see if this short test post works!