Taking a bite out of the Edible Book Contest

The Friends of the Mentor Public Library hosted an Edible Books contest Saturday. About 20 entries—dishes evoking everything from The Color Purple to Everybody Poops—competed for votes.

Check out some of the dishes. Which is your favorite?

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American Girl Book Club meets Josefina and makes guacamole

The young ladies of our American Girl Club made guacamole when they met Josefina Wednesday.

The young ladies of our American Girl Club made guacamole when they met Josefina Wednesday.

Our American Girl Book Club always make a fun craft when they get together. They’ve made kitesrag dollsdreamcatchers and more, while talking about classic American Girl books.

But this time, they got a little messy.

This week, they met Josefina, a young girl who grew up in New Mexico while it was still under Mexican rule.

Libby carefully scoops the avocado into the bowl.

Libby carefully scoops the avocado into the bowl.

The girls also learned a little about Josefina’s culture by making guacamole. They mashed and mixed the avocado themselves.

When they were finished, they even had time to make God’s-Eyes crafts for themselves and maracas for their dolls.

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Our American Girl Book Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month to discuss a different American Girl book and make a new craft.

If you have a child who likes the American Girl books or dolls, then he or she can join the fun. They can even bring their dolls with them, if they like. (Of course, the dolls aren’t required.)

Our next meeting is 4 p.m. on May 6 in the children’s section of our Main Branch on Mentor Avenue. The girls will be meeting Marie-Grace and Cecile.

You can register your child for the book club on our web site or by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

It looks like the girls enjoyed their craft.

It looks like the girls enjoyed their craft.

For more photos, check out Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

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9 Tips for waking up your garden from the Master Gardeners

static1.squarespaceThe snow is gone. The ground is thawing. We finally, finally can start working outside.

The Master Gardeners visited Mentor Library’s Main Branch on Wednesday and offered several tips on how to properly wake your garden.

1. Walk your garden

Step one is to get out there. See what needs to be done. Pull early weeds, check for winter damage, and plan how you want to use your available space.

2. Dealing with winter damage

If one of your plants is leaning, it may not need to be staked. Nature has a way of righting itself. However, if staking is necessary, be gentle. For broken branches, prune back to the next branch or node. If any of your plants have been heaved by the frozen ground, replant them at ground level.

3. Clean up

Cut your ornamental grasses back to six to 12 inches; remove old leaves from your perennials, as well as any dead plant material; and cut back any overgrown plants.

4. Pruning

No matter how overgrown a plant is, don’t prune off more than 25 percent of it. Remove old and broken branches first. (Once again, cut back to the next branch or node.) If a plant is very overgrown, you have need to prune it over multiple seasons.

5. Lawn care

Sew seed as soon as the soil is workable. You’ll want to wait until there’s adequate moisture and the soil is about 50 degrees F. By the way, don’t apply any pre-emergent herbicides if you’re seeding or reseeding your lawn. However, if you’re not seeding, you’ll want to apply your pre-emergent herbicide in early April.

6. Fertilizing your lawn

If you applied fertilizer in the fall, you only need one application in either late April or early May. If you didn’t, then you’ll want two applications: one in late April, one in late May. The Master Gardener recommends slow-release fertilizer.

7. Mowing your lawn

Only cut a third of the height from your lawn at any given time. Any more than that will damage the plants.

8. Chemicals and herbicides

Get a soil test before you add anything to your soil. They’re inexpensive and profoundly helpful. Don’t use any chemical you don’t need. You’re just poisoning your soil and wasting your money.

9. Planting

In spring, you’ll want to plant your bulbs, as well as some of your annual, perennials and flowering trees. And, whenever and whatever you plant, make sure to follow package instructions.

For more tips, check out the Master Gardeners website or the Lake County OSU Extension Office page. For specific advice, call the Master Gardeners advice line between 9 and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays: (440) 350-2582.

Finally, for all your green thumbs, Mentor Library launched a seed library on April 1.

Anyone with a MPL card in good standing can check out seeds from the library for their own garden. The library’s collection already includes more than 100 varieties of seed, including herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit.

People can check out as many as 15 types of seed per year.

So let’s get out there, and help Mentor grow.

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Stretch your limits with a little yoga at Mentor Library

Jessica Humphrey demonstrates some chair yoga moves during a Beginners Yoga class at Mentor Library.

Jessica Humphrey demonstrates some chair yoga moves during a Beginners Yoga class at Mentor Library.

You don’t need to be able to do a handstand or reach your leg behind your head to try yoga.

If you can sit in a chair and breathe, then you can start to derive the benefits of yoga. And what do those benefits include? Everything from reduced stress and boosted immunity to weight loss and stronger muscles.

Jessica Humphrey from Awaken Yoga in Mentor visited our Main Branch for a free Beginners Yoga class on Tuesday. She taught moves that reduce stress, while increasing mindfulness and flexibility—many of which people could do from their chairs.

We’ll be hosting two more free yoga classes at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, April 7 and 14, at our Main Branch. There are only a few spots open for either; so, if you want to register for them, you’ll need to do so quickly.

Also, Awaken Yoga is one of our Core Card partners. So you can save money on classes there, as well. If you pay for a 5-class package with Awaken Yoga, you get the sixth class for free—just because you have a Mentor Library card.

We also have several books and DVDs about yoga that you can check out, if you’d like.

Humphrey demonstrates seated Cat & Cow poses during her class.

Humphrey demonstrates seated Cat & Cow poses during her class.

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Make sense of your cents during Money Smart Week

Learn about investing, retirement savings, and how to get the most out of your money during Money Smart Week at Mentor Public Library

Learn about investing, retirement savings, and how to get the most out of your money during Money Smart Week at Mentor Public Library.

When it comes to money smarts, if you don’t have sense, you’ll be left without any cents.

That’s why Mentor Public Library is hosting a series of programs designed to help people learn about investing, couponing, saving for retirement and, in general, making smart financial decisions. It’s called Money Smart Week and it runs from April 20 through 25.

It also gives everyone a chance to learn about different financial topics in a nonthreatening, impartial environment.

It can be intimidating or even embarrassing to talk frankly about money. Some people may not feel comfortable walking into a bank and asking a lot of financial questions. Hosting these programs at the library lets you listen to and ask questions from an expert on neutral ground.

The programs include:

  • Everyday Saving with Joe the Coupon Guy at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 20. To kick off Money Smart Week, Joe “the Coupon Guy” Daugirdas will share how to save money on every grocery trip. Learn how to keep your budget in line and save money on everything and anything.
  • Women, Money & Finance at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. Whether you’re preparing for the future, facing career changes, transitioning into retirement, or any number of other financial turning points, together we can address your concerns and turn challenges into opportunities. Carol Ganser, a financial and income specialist, will discuss topics pertinent to women, and address any questions you may have.
  • Investment Basics at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. Learn the basics of investments from an expert at the Society for Financial Awareness. We’ll discuss what types of investments there are, how to invest, and how to protect your money. Come prepared with questions, and learn how to make your money work for you.
  • Retirement Planning Basics at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Ease your road to retirement by planning ahead. Join a speaker from the Society for Financial Awareness as we discuss all aspects of retirement planning, from investments to income.

All Money Smart programs will be held at our Main Branch.

Also, for each Money Smart program you attend this week, you’ll receive a ticket for a drawing; and the winner will receive a very money smart prize.

For more information on Money Smart Week at Mentor Public Library, visit www.mentorpl.org or call (440) 255-8811 ext. 215.

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