A Not-So-Merry GRINCHmas!!

There’s a new movie release of The Grinch this month, but I can’t help it if I still love the original version, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This 1966 animated TV film was the first adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ book of the same name, and starred Boris Karloff as both the narrator and the wonderfully wicked voice of the Grinch.

The Grinch has certainly become an icon of Christmas since the book was released in 1957, despite the character’s hatred of the season. We know that the Grinch, annoyed by the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville, decides to devise a wicked scheme to steal the Who’s presents, trees, and food for their Christmas feast. When the Grinch hears the residents of Whoville singing a joyous song, rather than lamenting over the loss of their Christmas goodies, he realizes that “maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Who can resist watching the original version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas just one more time, enjoying Grinch treats, playing games and making a Grinch ornament to take home? Tweens and Teens (ages 11-18) are invited to spend an evening at the Aurora Branch Library, on Thursday, December 13, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, for A Not-So-Merry GRINCHmas, to celebrate all things Grinch-y.

Register now by calling 812-926-0646 to save your spot in Aurora Branch Library’s own Whoville.

Painting is “Snow” Much Fun!!

How would you rate your painting skills? Basic? Intermediate? Advanced? Doesn’t matter, I just want to have fun??  No matter your skill level, this workshop at the Aurora Library is for YOU! Join us on Thursday, December 6, from 6 – 8 pm, as we spend an evening of painting fun. We will transform a wine glass into an adorable snowman candle holder. You can pick the wine glass style and the pattern you want to tackle. While it is drying, enjoy some refreshments and a little holiday music. When you are finished, we’ll add a battery-operated tea light to top off the candle holder. Doesn’t the evening sound like snow much fun? Registration is required and space is limited, so stop in the Aurora Library or call 812-926-0646 to register.

Celebrate the Season!

 

We’ve got the Christmas spirit here at the library and we are ready to Celebrate the Season! Join us at Aurora or Dillsboro to kick off the holiday season on Saturday, December 1, from 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, to make ornaments, listen to stories and enjoy refreshments. There will be plenty of holiday cheer to get you in the mood. No reservations are necessary—just bring your holiday spirit!

 

                                Continue reading “Celebrate the Season!”

Gifts to Melt Your Heart

Aurora Public Library District is kicking off the holidays in late November with a fun make it-take it workshop at the Dillsboro Branch. Join us on Tuesday, November 27, from 4 pm – 6 pm for an afternoon of fun as we make a decorated gift jar of Christmas-themed soy wax melts. We’ll make mini wax melts in fun shapes and wonderful scents. While they are setting up, we will decorate a jar to hold the melts and make a gift tag. You’ll have one adorable gift checked off your gift-giving list by the end of the workshop! Space is limited, so reserve your spot today by calling the Dillsboro Branch Library at 812-954-4151.

Libraries Rock! Music Rocks!

They say music soothes the savage beast, but we’re planning on bringing out all the wildness at Music Rocks! on Friday, June 22 at 2:00 at the Aurora Public Library. This Family Friday fun event will be filled with entertaining stories, singing, dancing, and games. But, we won’t stop there!

Have you ever played Mary Had a Little Lamb on bananas? You’ll get your chance to play a banana piano and other “interesting” musical instruments with the Makey Makey, so you won’t want to miss it.

Of course, the day won’t be complete without making musical instruments to take home. See you there!

 

Libraries Rock! Rock On!

 

 

Being “stuck between a rock and a hard place” certainly doesn’t bring about good feelings. Neither do the sayings —-“as dumb as a box full of rocks” or “your head is as hard as a rock.”  Rocks sure aren’t much fun, are they? WRONG! We think rocks are just getting a bad rap!

Join us on Friday, June 8 at the Aurora Public Library at 2:00 p.m. for Rock On!–a family fun afternoon, which includes some favorite “rock” stories and rock painting , plus learn how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors and join in our big tournament. You’re sure to have a Rockin’ good time!!

 

 

Libraries Rock! Summer Story Hour

 

You’re never too old to enjoy a good story! That’s why we will be featuring a story hour program each week beginning June 5 thru July 18. The whole family is invited to come and enjoy stories, activities, and crafts. These programs will coincide with the times our regular preschool storytime programs are usually scheduled, but we are welcoming older siblings to join in the fun!

Story hour will be at the Dillsboro Public Library on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. The story hour program will also be provided at the Aurora Public Library on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.and 1:00 p.m. No registration is needed during the summer, so drop in as often as you can!

Pre-Valentine’s Day Fun

As a grandma (and soon to be great-grandma!), I am always looking for fun and easy things to do when I have my grand kids for an afternoon. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I began looking for a few activities that would not involve a lot of expense, but would keep them entertained for a while. I can always come up with a paper heart and card type of craft, but I decided to try something a little messier, a.k.a. more fun...salt dough heart ornaments. These definitely used materials I had on hand, so there was no additional expense to me. What a great way to spend a dreary winter day! Why don’t you try some, too?

First, gather all your supplies for the salt dough ornaments:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

(If you don’t want to make such a large batch, you can easily divide by half)

Other supplies are:

  • Cookie cutter(s)
  • Drinking Straw
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper
  • Colorful ribbon, (1/8 to 1/4-inch wide) or string
  • Rolling Pin (use a large drinking glass, if you don’t have a rolling pin)
  • Food coloring or glitter (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 250°F. Place the rack in the center position. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Line the work area with parchment paper to prevent your counters or table from becoming stained.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt until well whisked.

In a glass measuring cup, measure the water. If you want to tint your dough, add the food coloring to the water NOW and mix thoroughly. The color and amount of food coloring is up to you depending on how dark, bright, or light you would like your ornament to be.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the colored water. Stir well.

Knead the dough with your hands for approximately 10 minutes (on top of some parchment paper), or until the dough has become smooth and the color is distributed throughout.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thickness on the parchment paper. Use whatever shaped cookie cutters you’d like to cut out the dough. Transfer the cut shapes onto the prepared baking sheet.

Use the straw to cut a small hole near the top (where you’d like to hang the ornament from).  Lightly spray the cut shapes with the non stick cooking spray. This will help seal in the color.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.

Once cooled, decorate the ornaments with paint (if you didn’t tint the dough), gems or anything you wish. Thread the ribbon or string through the holes and tie to hang.

You can use this recipe for any holiday or occasion—or anytime you just want to see a smile on the face of your kids or grand kids—they love to make a mess!!

If you don’t want to try this craft, there are plenty of craft books available in our collection at both the Aurora and Dillsboro buildings. There are also some fun craft books available through our Indiana Digital Download Center. Just look for Digital Downloads on our APLD home page.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

For the love of reading…and eating!!

 

Image result for cinnamon rolls

Our minds need enrichment, and I feed mine every time I pick up a book. But lately, I’ve been able to build up more than my mind with my book selections. My latest craze has been choosing different book series’ dealing with food. My selections have been providing entertaining stories with the added benefit of quite an array of new recipes and dishes to try. Who knew that an enjoyable fiction title would also increase my cooking repertoire!

My most recent obsession has been the Seasons of the Heart series by Charlotte Hubbard, set in the Amish river town of Willow Ridge, Missouri. The Sweet Seasons Bakery Café, run by Miriam Lantz with her twin daughters, Rachel and Rhonda, is at the center of this light romance series. At the end of each title are recipes for the tasty treats served up at the Amish cafe. Cinnamon rolls are my favorite treat and there is a recipe for the rolls Miriam serves her customers, made with a boxed cake mix starter!

                               

If mysteries are more to your taste, why not try the “cozy” crime series by Joanne Fluke, featuring Hannah Swenson. Hannah returns to her hometown of Lake Eden, MN after her father’s death, opens a bakery/cafe, the Cookie Jar, and soon becomes an amateur detective sleuthing out murders. Of course, delectable dessert recipes are a welcome addition to each title.

                        

Another author, Diane Mott Davidson, is known for the humor, quirky characters, and small town feeling of her cozy culinary mysteries. Caterer Goldy Bear is a smart heroine, whose ability to juggle her work and personal life (as well as murder investigations) makes her very appealing to readers. Using the process of cooking as a counterpoint, Davidson sets up a clever mystery and leaves clues.

                            

If you’re more interested in looking for recipes, without reading a whole book, we even have cookbook collections from many authors. The Cozy Cookbook serves up mouth-watering appetizers, entrees, and desserts from some of the most popular names in crime solving.

The Lake Eden Cookbook collects recipes, some previously published in the author’s mystery series starring Hannah Swensen, and includes a story, interspersed throughout the recipes, of the annual holiday cookie exchange in Lake Eden.

Miriam’s Cookbook by Carrie Bender is a collection of recipes interspersed with quotes from her books in the Miriam’s Journal and Whispering Brook Series. Here you find food for the body and soul.

I hope you find a great recipe that you’d like to try from one of the many “books that cook!”

Ghosts, Here?

Image result for ghostbusters library gif

 

When I first told a friend that I had started working for the Aurora Public Library District, she asked if I had seen “The Ghost.” Ghost? What ghost? I have volunteered for several years at Aurora’s own Hillforest Victorian House Museum, so I feel I am no stranger to talk of ghosts! But, I have yet to encounter a library ghost. So, to find out just who might want to haunt the library property, I asked our Local History Librarian, Roy Lambert.

Roy told me that as a youth growing up in Aurora, he often heard stories of the ghosts in the Library.  In 1913, the Siemental Property on Second Street was purchased with monies of Georgiana Sutton in memory of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. George Sutton, and construction of the new library commenced. Originally, the basement was mostly a storage area, not open to the public, as it is now. This dark solitary basement, mostly off limits to the public, increased the possibility of ghosts. According to Roy, an archaeological publication states there was a large Indian mound in downtown Aurora that was partially destroyed when the streets were originally graded. The only mounded area in the historic district of Aurora is the mound that our library now occupies. Dr. George Sutton, Aurora’s revered early physician and amateur relic hunter had accumulated a vast collection of Indian artifacts and most likely some bones. These were eventually stored in the library basement. Indian bones were also found when grading was done on Mechanic Street many years ago.

In 1937, the Ohio river flood was nearing the library and all the contents of the lower level were removed for safe keeping, including the collection of Dr. Sutton. This collection, however, was never, never seen again–no one knows what happened to the collection. In 2015, a paranormal group did some investigating after hours at the Library. They detected possible spirit presence, as if trying to contact the investigating group, in the basement area were the artifact collection had been stored many years ago.

Incidentally, Roy mentioned that the door to the Local History Library (The Depot) opens quite often for no apparent reason. Also, when opening the upper level doors to the Aurora Public Library building, one door opens eerily by itself when the other is opened. Coincidence?  Are there spirits living in the Library? Anywhere in Aurora?

If you are interested in paranormal activity, there are several books you may find interesting:

Hoosier Folk Legends, by Ronald L. Blake, gathers Indiana legends about premonitions, death, ghosts, haunted houses, special powers, witches, monsters, famous people, local heroes, outlaws, bottomless lakes, and local place names.

“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, something weird that don’t look good,” who would you call?  Residents of southern Indiana and Kentucky know the answer—SIGH, Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters—that’s who! Inside Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters Chronicles by C.C. Thomasyou can read the weird, the strange, and the downright spooky. This is not your normal ghost story book, though. Each case is approached scientifically and you are given a final analysis of whether or not ghosts actually exist.

Although these tales are not from our own backyard, Seeking Spirits, by TV’s popular Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, reveals all-new, never-before-told stories from their spooky early investigations. They also offer essential tips for budding paranormal investigators — including how to use an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter and an infrared camera, determine if a supernatural phenomenon is good or evil, and deal with spirits. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, these fascinating and frightening true stories will keep you up at night!

 

Additionally, on Thursday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m., AURORA MAIN STREET is hosting the Aurora Ghost Tour, where eerie tales will be told while strolling through the historic downtown, a tour of Hillforest, witches brew and treats. Who knows who (or what) you might run into!! Perhaps, you’ll encounter the Library spirit!