Wednesday, May 3, 2017

That Smells And Tastes Good

Essential oils were the subject of the April program.  Michelle Bekala was our guest speaker, and attendees were able to smell and sample a variety of essential oils, as well as learn about their unique origins and uses.
We also celebrated the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the Metro West Branch. Charter members Marty Elstrom, Irene Helland, and Betty Owen did the honors of cutting and serving the cake.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Did the Chinese Discover America?

The February luncheon meeting at Parkshore Place provided a delightful surprise with Marguerite Ragnow, a Ph.D. history professor and curator of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota, which includes maps and related historical materials related to exploration.  Speaking without a microphone, she discussed the controversy over Gavin Menzies book 1421: The Year China Discovered America.  Using slides of maps from the library collections, she gave us an illustrated history lesson about lots of explorers who “discovered” America before Columbus.  We learned a lot about seamanship and ocean currents assisting early  navigators. And the lunch was delicious too. 😋

Friday, February 3, 2017

Little Free Libraries

There are more Little Free Libraries per capita in the Minneapolis St. Paul area than anywhere else.  That was one tidbit attendees learned from Margaret Aldrich at the January 21st luncheon at Parkshore Senior Community.
In fact, there are 50,000 Little Free Libraries around the world, and they are found in all fifty states and seventy other countries.  It is estimated that sixteen million books are shared each year.
Future projects coming from the Little Free Libraries organization include: 1) action book clubs, where current book clubs add a ‘positive action’ aspect to their program, 2) an impact fund to set up four Little Free Libraries each month at no charge to the host, and 3) a program where police use Little Free Libraries to connect with their communities, and especially with children and youth to build literacy.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pictures from the Holiday Party

On December 3, we gathered at Summit Place for our Holiday Party. As is our tradition, the event included good food, good conversation, some challenging games, and a $1 gift exchange. Thanks to Marty, Alta, Barb, and all the planning committee for a fun evening.

Learning to fix things

At our November meeting, we learned about the Hennepin County Fix It Clinics. Director of the program, Nancy Lo, was our speaker and she described how the program works, and it's role in the County's efforts to reduce the quantity of materials being sent to landfills. The next scheduled clinic  is on January 14 at Ridgedale Library from noon-4:00 p.m. Other future dates are at the following website:

Monday, October 31, 2016

How to Guard Against Scams and Identity Theft

The Minnesota Better Business Bureau, an institute for marketplace ethics, presented self-defense tips and resources for reporting offenses at the October meeting.  Deanna and Beth, volunteers from Allianz showed slides and a short film, and led a discussion suggesting ways to avoid scammers, ID thieves and swindlers who operate via telephone, mail, internet, and other deceptions. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

I'm New at Being Old

Metro West met for their kickoff luncheon on September 17. Lucy Rose Fischer was the speaker.  While she has a PhD in sociology and specialized in aging, she spoke about her second career as an artist.

She said she doesn't really stand on her head to create her glass art, but she does paint figures with their heads down and their feet up.  With reverse painting, the colors and designs that are in front are painted first, and the background comes last.  She also sold and autographed copies of her book I'm New at Being Old.