Darrington Library Blog

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sunshine and Flowers

At last, multiple days of sunshine have come to Darrington. There were at least two consecutive sunny days just last week and it is happening again! Spring arrives “down below” three to four weeks before it gets to Darrington but when arrrives, it is wonderful.

The term “down below” used by locals means anywhere out of Darrington. Usually it refers a place like Arlington, Marysville, Everett, Burlington, or Mt. Vernon. A Darrington resident who leaves the rain, snow and cold weather to make a trip down below in early spring is quite often rewarded during their travels by flower beds full of blooms, pink and white trees abundant with blossoms, and warmer air. The exciting part is to see all nature’s splendor, knowing it will happen again in three or four weeks up in Darrington.

As the air warms in Darrington and the sun peeks through, residents shake the rain off their hats, the snow off their boots, then turn their faces up to feel the caress of the sun on their face. Soon they find a shovel or other garden tool and begin to prepare a place for a flower bed or garden. They can’t help it. It is great to be outdoors.

The talented gardener at Darrington City Hall and Library is already hard at work with planter boxes full of blooms. Visit the Darrington Library to find gardening books to enjoy. You can read and look at the pictures and call it good, or you can get some ideas for a really great garden. pc

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Weight Loss and Debt Reduction

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Are you sticking to your resolutions or do you think about them less than you did on January 1? Have you forgotten them completely? If so, you are not alone. January passes, February arrives, and March is near. Resolutions may seem like they were made a long time ago.

Set priorities. Perhaps your resolutions were about weight loss, stopping smoking, and eliminating debt. You can do it. Make a commitment, be determined and plan to sacrifice a little. This is your own personal challenge, much like a sporting event. You can win.

New Year’s resolution goals can complement one another. Every time you get the urge to buy a pack of cigarettes, to buy a drink or munchies when you aren’t really thirsty or hungry, or to buy a trinket you don’t really want or need, try to resist. If you don’t make the purchase, keep track of the money you saved. Put the amount you did not spend into container. Master your cravings and your funds will increase while your cravings decrease.

Try using the debt snowball method described at Wikipedia.org. Apply the amount saved from ignoring your cravings toward paying down your debt. For example, perhaps you have three debts. Your monthly payment for the first debt targeted for elimination is $150 per month, the second debt, $250 and the third debt, $350. You have identified $100 of unnecessary expenditures you can eliminate each month. You are paying a total of $750 per month toward your debt and you are saving $100. This makes a total of $850 you will use to eliminate debt.

So let’s get going! Add the amount saved from eliminating unnecessary expenditures ($100) to the first debt targeted for elimination ($150). The total amount you will pay on the first debt now is $250. This debt is going to be eliminated much faster by paying $250 rather than $150 each month. Continue making at least the minimum payment on all other debts. When you have eliminated the first debt, apply the $250 you were paying toward debt number one to the amount usually paid on debt number two ($250). This makes a total of $500 you will pay monthly to eliminate debt number two. Once the second debt is gone, apply the $500 you formerly paid on the first and second debts to the $350 payment amount of the third debt. The total you are now paying toward your third debt is $850, the same amount you started using to eliminate debt. Hopefully, by now you have completely eliminated the smoking, munching, or purchases you don’t want and the amount in your container is growing each month. As your savings increase, you have more available to pay down debt.

Weight loss, debt reduction or stopping smoking all require prioritizing, commitment and determination to succeed. Call your library to help you find material to help you attain your New Year’s resolutions. We have materials to help you learn about the topic of your choice, to help you with self-improvement, or to entertain you. There are books that will make you cry, DVDs that will make you laugh, and CDs that will help you kick back and relax. Use our travel books to plan a trip, our computers to buy your ticket, and download our e-books so you will have something to read on the way. Your library is waiting for your call. pc

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Butterfly Girl

Once, a long time ago (at least a year), in a land far away (at least ten miles), there was a lovely butterfly who dreamed of being someone’s very own little girl. She consulted the sun, the moon, the stars, the raindrops and all the creatures of the earth to ask how she could become someone’s little girl. The day and the night was abuzz with ideas and plans about how to help the little butterfly achieve her dream.

At the same time in the same far away land, there was a handsome young man and a beautiful young woman who longed for a child of their own. They had no objections as to whether the child was a boy or a girl, they would love and care for it just the same. Each year the couple planted a garden where they nurtured and tended plants that became strong and healthy. There were green beans, tall stocks of corn, tomatoes, lettuce, radishes and turnip plants in the garden. Each year as they cared for their garden, they continued to wish for a child.

The sun, moon, stars, raindrops and all the creatures of the earth knew of the young couple, their garden and their dream of having a child, so they made their decision. They watched as the couple planted seeds. When the couple went home for the night, the raindrops began their work dampening the soil. The sun appeared the next morning, warming the soil to just the right temperature. The seeds sprouted. The moon and stars watched over the garden at night. Before long there were healthy bean, corn, tomato, lettuce, radish, and especially turnip plants. All the plants grew strong and tall. As summer gave way to fall, the creatures of the forest decided the time was right. They laid a few soft leaves under the turnip plant then gently placed the beautiful butterfly on them. The sun kissed the butterfly and immediately a transformation began.

The couple came in the early morning to weed the garden. They worked their way down each row, eventually arriving at the turnip plant. They moved the leaves aside to remove any weeds sprouting underneath. There, smiling up at them was the most beautiful little girl they had ever seen. She had sparkling green eyes, tiny pink lips, and a smile that was warm like the sun. The little girl hadn't been there the day before, but sometime in the night she had turned up right there under the leaves of the turnip plant. The little butterfly girl and the lovely young couple knew immediately they were meant for each other. They went on to live happily ever after in that long ago land far away, happily visiting their library regularly and doing many other activities together as a family.

Check out Sno-Isle’s collection of nursery rhymes, fables and fairy tales. You won’t find this story among them, but you will find many wonderful tales to delight your children and tickle your memories of childhood. Then again, perhaps you would like to use Sno-Isle's computers or WiFi to create a special fairy tale for a special little someone in your life. pc

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Play

Who wants snow? We do! Well, some of us anyway! Snow is great for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and making all types of snow structures. It is a great time for the entire family…children, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas and friends of any age…to get together for fun and excitement. Bundle up, get outside in the fresh air and be creative. Lose yourself in the thrill of unexpected opportunity.

Snow can be so enticing it can cause a temporary interruption of a normal routine. Once upon a time a person we know was cooking a turkey for thanksgiving. Nothing else was ready except, of course, the pies were already baked. Suddenly huge, fluffy snowflakes appeared and quickly accumulated, making the back yard a very magical place. Time came to a standstill. The snow beckoned. The family bundled up quickly and headed out to make a family of snow men, snow women, and snow dogs. Somehow the snow cat was overlooked, but it doesn’t matter now since this happened many years ago.

Work and play continued until the backyard was full of an entire snow family and their pets. After studying the masterpieces with satisfaction, the pressure of time once again began insisting on its share of attention, making the family aware that Thanksgiving Day guests would arrive within a half hour! Panic set in. Using precise family teamwork, all vegetables were cooked, the table set, decorations in place, and everything was ready for a great meal and time of togetherness when the guests arrived.

The moral of this story is: Never forget how to play together as a family. The work will get done. If you would like some great ideas on how to have great fun in the snow, check out Snow Play: How to Make Forts & Slides & Winter Campfires Plus the Coolest Loch Ness Monster and 23 Other Brrrilliant Projects in the Snow by Birgitta Ralston. Get ideas for making forts, slides, and all sorts of snow creatures. Most of all, have a great time together with your family. pc

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Calendars and the New Year

The new year has arrived! The time has come to throw out the old calendar, hang up the new one and prepare for exciting adventures the new year will bring. But speaking of calendars, the calendars used by specific groups of people in the world to keep track of dates vary widely and have changed through time.

A new calendar having 364 days instead of 365 with no leap year, but with an extra week every 5 or 6 years has been proposed by Hanke and Henry to replace the Gregorian calendar we use today. If adopted, will Hanke and Henrys' calendar take as long to attain widespread use as the Gregorian calendar did when it replaced the Julian calendar? Will people who use other types of calendars embrace the idea? Check out Calendars and their History on the web for some interesting facts.

While all Sno-Isle Libraries will be closed Sunday, January 1 and 2, 2012 to celebrate the new year, be sure to visit your local library on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. Find a good book or movie to enhance your day. Ask for a copy of “What’s Happening at Sno-Isle Libraries”. Take the brochure home, mark your calendar so you don’t miss any of the wonderful Sno-Isle programs and events beginning in 2012, and kick back for an exciting journey through the year. May the best of everything come your way in 2012.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Break Fun at the Library

There's plenty to do even though school may be out for winter break. Leave the boredom behind and join your friends at Darrington Library’s school age programs held December 27, 28, 29 and 30. Imagine tracking wooly mammoths and wrestling elephant trunks during “Track the Humongous: Mammoths and Elephants” on Tuesday, December 27 at 1:00 pm. Be sure to register online to experience optical illusions at “I Can’t Believe My Eyes” Wednesday, December 28 at 1:00 pm. Make amazing structures at “Lego Creations” on Thursday, December 29 at 1:00 pm. Return to create a book in which to write about your experiences at “Book Making” in the morning of Friday, December 30 at 11:00 am.

Children aged 9 to 12 can make “Rad Crafts From Old CDs”. This program will bring out the artistic talents hiding within. It will be held Friday, December 30 at 2 pm. Be sure not to miss these extremely fun and exciting activities at the Darrington Library on winter break!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Artistic Expressions - Quilting

People express artistic talent in a wide variety of ways. Some bring beauty to our world through painting on canvas, windows, coconuts, rocks, trucks, cars, motorcycles and even walls or barns. Others sing or play an instrument to make a wide variety of music. Still others make lovely sculptures or creations using clay, ice, rocks or sand. See some fantastic sand sculptures done by Team Santastic.

Quilting is one form of artistic expression that produces a product both functional and pleasing to the eye. Children have curled up under beautiful quilts on cold winter nights for centuries often fondly remembering or dreaming of the mother or grandmother who lovingly made the quilt for them.

Quilters and non-quilters alike may enjoy the book, Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge published by Lark Crafts. The book shows the work of twelve artists who created one hundred forty-four 12” x 12”quilts over a period of two years. Every sixty days a new challenge was presented to the artists. The first challenge was “Dandelions”; the second was “Chocolate”. Check out this book to see the different artistic quilt creations that resulted from the International Art Quilt Challenge. You will enjoy this experience.