Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Next Chapter

After months of hard work, the Wells Memorial Library will be open once again this Saturday at 11 a.m., January 28. As our Board president, Marie Anne has said, "We are five months overdue."

Many of you know the library did not fair well from Tropical Storm Irene. As it turns out, three feet of water on the main floor of a library is not a good thing and when that river water finally recedes and leaves you caked in mud, you have a major problem.

Having lost a large portion of the collection and needing to make extensive repairs to the library, reopening seemed impossible. However, the amount of support that was received has been astonishing. Neighbors, friends and others in the community lent a hand when they could and book and monetary donations rolled in from across the globe. The generosity of so many has been overwhelming and we feel extremely fortunate. Thankfully, we are seeing books on the shelves again and it is truly heartwarming.

Please come visit us and check out a book. If you happen to be along the Ausable this Saturday from 1-3 p.m., join us at a reception to celebrate the Wells Memorial Library's next chapter.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vegetarian Bird Suet

Winter has finally arrived with below zero temps and I find myself wanting to help out the birds as much as possible. Recently I went to buy some suet and was surprised when I looked at the ingredients on the back and saw that beef was on the list. I had never seen a bird dining on cow before and so I put the suet back and thought I'd figure out how to make my own.

After researching how to make suet, I have come to the conclusion that I am far from being an ornithologist and knowing what's best for the birds in my yard. As it turns out, suet is also known as beef fat and can be safely fed to birds.

However, there was no turning back. I was not going to return to the store to buy the suet, I would make my own. I found an easy recipe and had most of the ingredients at home:

4 tbsp crisco
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp polenta
3 tbsp quick oats
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chopped sunflower seeds
2 tbsp chopped raisins

I melted the crisco, peanut butter and sugar in a pyrex cup in the microwave. Meanwhile, I combined the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and then poured the melted ingredients on top and stirred it all together. Then I took my suet holder and figured out an approximate shape to press the ingredients into a dish.

This all went into the fridge for the night so it could solidify. Once it hardened up, it was super easy to place it inside the suet feeder. I think it took all of five minutes for the birds to discover their homemade treat and now I can watch them enjoy it from the warmth of our living room.

I just hope they like my variety more than the neighbor's. Now, what should I do with the rest of that polenta?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Junk In My Trunk

We had put off the chore of taking the garbage to the dump for over a month. I should point out that it is much easier to get away with this in the winter because the garbage freezes and maggots don't form. Alas, the guilt formulated and began to hover over the garbage, so it was time.

Drew was off doing his own thing so he left the task up to me. This was a mistake. As I pulled up to the dumpster, I spotted a lamp. A lamp with a pottery base that just happened to match the decor of our living room. Upon my first inspection, I saw that it was sitting on top of a table and was oddly screwed into it. I contemplated the lamp and threw the first 2 bags into the bin. I spun around and Jim was already getting his tools out to make sure the lamp went home with me.

He told me how easy it would be to re-wire the lamp when we saw the cord had been cut. I hadn't looked to see if it was functional. I had only thought about where to find the perfect lamp shade for it, but I guess I'll be looking into becoming an electrician too. As the lamp made it to the back of my trunk, I had a few more bags to toss.

Just when I was throwing the last of the trash in, a man unloaded from his minivan an old milk can and put it to the side. Jim gave me a wink. This too would be mine.

I'm not a fan of the previous owner's paint job, but it's nothing a can of spray paint in the right color can't fix, right? Do you see where I'm going with this? I should probably not go to the dump alone or I'll end up with more junk in my trunk than I started with.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dodgeball Fun?

After reading last night's edition of the Jay Community News, I paused after seeing the announcement inviting teams or players to join the fun in the upcoming Dodgeball Tournament this February.

I immediately had flashbacks to high school gym class and thought of the anxiety that would fill me as soon as the teacher announced we would be playing dodgeball. Balls scared me, I was a runner. For a 90 pound weakling, I was always an easy target and could rarely avoid being hit.

I can tell you right now that when I was thinking about my new year's resolutions, getting over my fear of dodgeball was not on the list. A quiet, peaceful activity such as learning the art of Origami in 2012 was on the list. So, if I do attend the tournament this year, I will be the one in the bleachers making Origami cranes and I promise you that if I throw one at you, it probably won't hurt.