The Hinckley, McGregor, Mille Lacs Lake, and Sandstone branches are without internet and phone access today due to a fiber being cut. We apologize for the inconvenience.
At the Mille Lacs Branch of East Central Regional Library, we slow down at this time of year so I have the time to write a blog posting. The snowbirds have flown south to their condos and trailers. The rest of us are left to face winter. It could be a daunting five months of darkness and cold, but a trip to the nonfiction section of the library can give you some ideas on how to make it through a Minnesota winter.
Since the holidays are just around the corner, it might be nice to bake up some goodies for neighbors, friends or family. You can warm up the house while doing a good deed. Here are a few newer holiday baking books you can put a hold on:
Holiday crafting & baking with kids : gifts, sweets, and treats for the whole family by Jessica Strand
Sweet Christmas : homemade peppermints, sugar cake, chocolate-almond toffee, eggnog fudge, and other sweet treats and decoration by Sharon Bowers
Another way to while away those winter hours is to knit or crochet. You can justify spending hours watching movies or television if you are making something at the same time. Some easy items to knit that will also keep you or a loved one warm include mittens, hats, stockings, scarves and leg warmers. You could also crochet a more complicated afghan or sweater. You’ll find many books on yarn working in the 746 Dewey Decimal areas. ECRL has many hobby books from painting to quilting and woodworking that can give you free patterns and advice. These books have some ideas for gifts you can make:
Handmade Gifts, 2013
Holiday boutique knitting: inspired holiday décor and gifts to knit by Mary jean Daigneault
After the holidays are over, it’s time to put the house back in order. The library has many books that tell you how to de-clutter, organize or clean your house in the 648 section of nonfiction. ECRL also has books on Feng Shui which is the Chinese art of optimal home placement to bring you good fortune and happiness. Here are a few newer books to give you some ideas on how to enhance your living space:
Soulspace: transform your home, transform you life – creating a home that is free of clutter, full of beauty, and inspired by you by Xorin Balbes
Feng Shui that makes sense: easy ways to create a home that feels s good as it looks by Cathleen McCandless
Winter can feel long when the cold forces us inside for days at a time. Help the time pass pleasantly and productively by reading and pursuing hobbies that can bring warming happiness to you and others. Check out an East Central Regional Library book today.
Mille Lacs Lake Community Branch Librarian
Everyone wants to save energy – whether it’s to lower your monthly bills and/or to help save the environment. East Central Regional Library has partnered with Xcel Energy to help members of the community learn more about their energy use and determine ways they can save money and conserve energy.
All of East Central Regional Library branches now have a Power Check Meter available for check out by library users. With the meter you can:
Determine the approximate operating costs of various appliances and electronics
Identify high energy-use appliances
Calculate the cost savings for replacing older appliances with more energy-efficient ones
Discover which appliances use energy even when they are switched off
In the Power Meter case you checkout you will find the power meter, a brochure with information and quick-start instructions, a manufacturer’s instruction booklet and a USB cable. ECRL branch staff cannot answers questions about the Power Meters, however, if you need help using the Power Meter you can go to xcelenergy.com/PowerCheck for an instructional video. To place a hold on a “Power Meter” simply go to the ECRL catalog on our homepage at www.ecrlib.org
and type in “power meter” under the keyword search or call your local ECRL branch for more assistance.
Watch a video on how to use the power check meter:
Vickie Sorn, ECRL Youth & Community Services Librarian