Tag Archives: adults

Virtual Oktoberfest

If this were a regular year, Oktoberfest would be finishing up soon in Munich and other cities around the globe that have chosen to adopt the festival for themselves.  Sadly, in this unusual year, those parties have been cancelled.  But you can enjoy some of the fun yourselves at home!

Oktoberfest Party Guide

FOOD

A good Oktoberfest must have authentic German food.  You might want to try one of these yummy-sounding recipes.  What’s your favorite?

Soft pretzels with honey mustard dipping sauce

Bratwurst with apples, onion and sauerkraut

German spaetzle dumplings

Oktoberfest red cabbage

Authentic German potato salad

Chocolate stout layer cake

BEER

There are many classic German beers to enjoy with your Oktoberfest.  Or if you want to mix it up, we’ve had a blossoming of local breweries in recent years.  Maybe now is a good time to check some out.  (Note the limitations of each establishment in the COVID era.)

Montgomery Brewing in Montgomery

Giesenbräu Bier Co. in New Prague

Chapel Brewing in Dundas

Tanzenwald Brewing Company in Northfield

Imminent Brewing in Northfield

MUSIC

Turn on some traditional German music to make your home festival complete.

Oktoberfest accordion music

Best Oktoberfest songs of all time

The beer tent songs you need to know

Book Chats

If you’ve been following us on Facebook or YouTube, hopefully you have seen that we are producing book chats of recommendations for what to read next.  All of the videos are available on this playlist on our YouTube channel.  New episodes are posted every Wednesday at 3:00 pm.  What kind of books do we discuss?  You name it, we will probably get around to it.  If you have suggestions, let us know.  The schedule so far is:

8/19:  psychological thrillers

8/26: read alouds for the whole family

9/2: science-fiction

9/9: hot dish cookbooks

9/16: early chapter books

9/23: overcoming adversity memoirs

9/30: favorite elderly protagonists

Something for everyone!

Fun for kids

We’ve got some new activities in our window.  You can do them without coming into the library.  Just follow the arrows!

Jazz up your walk with this Lonsdale scavenger hunt.  You can pick up a physical copy in the library if you prefer.

Fun for grown-ups

Book Chats:

Your library staff loves recommending books.  We do it in person when we can, but since we’re seeing fewer of you and spending less time together when we do, we’ve decided to go digital.  We will take a few minutes to share a few titles that we love and why we recommend them.  The videos will be available on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page.  Up first, Marguerite talks psychological thrillers.

Because we can’t travel abroad, check out Get Your Guide for virtual tours and experiences.  There’s never been a better time to be an armchair traveler.

Family Fun:

Did you know there’s a drive-in theater just up the road in Elko New Market?  Check out the details on their website.

Take the kids camping in your backyard.  Make s’mores, tell ghost stories, listen to the birds.  You can even break out some scouting-style crafts like whittling, making lanyards,  or making leaf rubbings.  (Of course, not all activities are suitable for all ages.)

Want more ideas?  The Mayo Clinic has a list of safe outdoor activities.

More fun stuff

Hello library friends.  We hope you are all doing well.  Restrictions are slowly loosening, but the world is still different and likely will be for a long while.  Thanks for letting us continue to be a part of your lives.

Library update:  We continue to do no-contact pickup in the lobby.  If you want to request items or have questions, give us a call at 507-744-3977.  More updates when circumstances change.

Summer reading update: There will be a summer reading program, but it will look very different.  What won’t be different is the fun and learning.  Look for an entry with more details coming soon.

Meanwhile, here are some more fun things to do right now in the real word and the virtual world.

Real world stuff:

I know a lot of you are taking regular walks, especially now  that the weather seems to be changing.  One fun way to entertain kids on your walk is to make a bracelet of duct tape, sticky side out, and attach pretty flowers and plants you find.  Check out The Kitchen Pantry Scientist for more information.

Fun for little hands on a warm day is this activity that may be familiar to attendees of our Hands-On Science group.  Put a few small plastic toys in a freezable container, cover in water and freeze.  When you’re ready, take them out to the lawn on a sunny day along with some water and tools like eyedroppers or squeeze bottles.  Kids will love melting them free.  Little Bins for Little Hands has more specific ideas.

The outdoors is great for messy crafts, like squirt gun paintingacrylic paint sun prints, and DIY yard Yahtzee.

Get grilling!

Shop local!  Maybe consider a gift certificate if your favorite business is not open yet.

Online stuff:

These virtual walks in Yellowstone National Park are beautiful and relaxing.

When you’ve done all of your jigsaw puzzles and visited the library’s puzzle exchange so often you’ve done all of those, too, but you still have a hankering, check out JigZone for free online puzzles.

Learn to dock a spacecraft with this Space X simulator.

See Prince and the Revolution “live” in concert on YouTube and donate to COVID-19 relief.

The Importance of Being Earnest discussion

Hello book group and others,

I hope you have had a chance to read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.  If not, you can get a free digital copy from Gutenberg.org.  Here are some discussion questions.  Feel free to discuss in the comments.  We also hope to have a virtual book group meeting.  If you are interested, please email lon_dir@selco.info.

Questions:

  1. Did you enjoy reading the play? Have you ever seen it performed in person or in a movie? What are the advantages and disadvantages to reading vs. viewing?
  2. Did the play make you laugh? Was there a particular incident or quote that really amused you?
  3. Why do both Jack and Algernon feel the need to invent Ernest and Bunbury? What do they gain?
  4. What does the aristocracy in Earnest value? How different (or not) are our values today than the Victorians?
  5. Lady Bracknell says, “Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.” Is this statement true? Is it ironic that Lady Bracknell marries into society and quickly becomes its most vigorous defender?
  6. What’s up with all the food fights? Why are they humorous?
  7. Why are both Gwendolyn and Cecily so committed to the name Ernest? What does it have to do with their romantic idealizations?
  8. Do names really matter? Can you think of any examples from your life where a person’s name changed your opinion of them for better or worse?
  9. What is the importance of the city/country split? What qualities do city-dwellers usually have? How about country folks? Do these stereotypes work in Earnest?
  10. What do you think of the fight between Gwendolen and Cecily when they believe they are engaged to the same man? How do they say very harsh things within the limits of polite language? Do we still do this?
  11. Algy spends the play spouting outrageous statements. Do you think he means them or is he just playing the enfant terrible? To what extent is he a stand-in for author Oscar Wilde?
  12. Both couples are engaged after very little actual interaction. To what extent does each character create an imagined vision of their partner? Given that in the Victorian era matches were often arranged by the families and courting couples given very little scope to spend time together, are these engagements significantly different?
  13. “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does.  That’s his.”  Do you agree?
  14. Wilde uses several common literary devices, including mistaken identity, unlikely coincidence and the beloved happy ending. Are we meant to consider these ironically? Or is he simply giving us what we expect?

Characters:

John Worthing, J.P.
Algernon Moncrieff
Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D.
Merriman, Butler
Lane, Manservant
Lady Bracknell
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax
Cecily Cardew
Miss Prism, Governess

 

Earth Day

It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  Remember, there’s no planet B so we had better protect the one we have.  Here are some great resources for celebrating the planet today and every day.

Earth Day has gone digital.  View events all day.

This NASA article reminds us of how lucky we are to live on this planet.

Also from NASA, Earth As Art, a breathtaking free e-book of photos.

One of the actions you can take is supporting our bees and other pollinators.  The University of Minnesota Extension offers help with making your garden pollinator friendly.

The Green Education Foundation has 10 steps to make the world a better place.

Test your knowledge of environmental issues with these quizzes from earthday.org.

FUN FOR KIDS

Explore the EPA’s Recycle City.

Coloring and activities help kids learn to be an energy star.

Learn about the Amazon the fun way with the Wild Kratts Amazin’ Amazon Adventure game.

 

Relaxation Resources

These can be stressful times.  Maybe it’s a good time to take up meditating or just get a little help with letting go of your worries for a little while.  Here are some recommendations of free apps that could help.  Be aware that some of them do have ads.  Read any reviews available. They are all quite easy to install and uninstall so I would suggest trying several out.
Meditation Music has about 20 choices such as ‘Music for Stress Relief,’ ‘Bamboo Flute,’ etc.
Sound Heal has several frequencies from which to choose–174 Hz  to 963 Hz. There is sound scientific evidence showing that these frequencies work with your brain waves to calm, heal, even reduce pain.
Buddhist Meditation Music allows you to set a timer to designate a time for relaxation.
To search for more like these in your play store,  just type in words like ‘heal,’ ‘meditation,’ ‘sound,’ and be sure to include the word ‘free’ if that is what you are looking for.