Birder's Guide To Everything

Tessa’s DVD Dis: A birder’s guide to everything

The new release DVD A birder’s guide to everything was missed by most people when it was in theaters for a couple months. That’s probably just as well. This pic should be missed. Even though reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes seem to like it, I simply can’t agree.

This is a movie about a father-son relationship in difficulties. The nerdy main character deals by going on a birding road trip with his high school buddies, even though he is supposed to be in his dad’s wedding. Sounds epic for families, right? Nope.Birder's Guide To Everything

Here’s the main issue: the audience. Who on earth were they targeting when they made this? First, don’t make the mistake of thinking this movie is ok for your kids. That’s only the case if you don’t mind them hearing lots of really crude sexual remarks, foul language and seeing a completely gratuitous breast flash. The high school boys’ language and remarks may be accurate and realistic, but that doesn’t mean you want to encourage your 10-year-old to talk that way. So. Not a family movie.

Is it for birders? This birder says absolutely not! The target bird of the movie is completely ridiculous. Both my husband and I looked at it and said, “It’s a mallard!” The most common water bird of North America? Really? That’s the bird they chose to serve as the extinct Labrador Duck? They also made up a bird name in another situation—why? Weren’t there enough weird bird names for them? Seems like dickcissel would’ve worked. Or bobolink. Or even veery.

Not family, not birders. Who then? Guys? Nope—too touchy feely for them. I mean, the teenaged main character cries, for crying out loud! Teens? Same thing. Maybe teen girls, but probably not. I guess the appeal is mainly for adults who like offbeat dramatic offerings. Bearing the above cautions in mind, you might find it mildly entertaining. Don’t expect any awards for this one. Not even any nominations. ~Tessa 2.5 out of 5 stars   July 2014

A variety of Summer Coolers from the program.

5 Healthy Towns — Summer Coolers

It’s recipe recap time from the latest 5 Healthy Towns program in Grass Lake. July brought Brad West again, this time with a rainbow of breezy summer drinks for all to enjoy. Try your hand at some of them below. The next 5HT program features Brad again, in the ‘Return of the Salsa King’, teaching us how to make awesome salsa’s from farm fresh ingredients. Contact the branch at (517) 522-8211 or to reserve your spot!

Better than V-8 Drink

  • 4 c. tomatoes, diced (I used grape tomatoes)
  • 2 c. carrots, diced

    (Right to left) Strawberry Cucumber, Vegetable Blend, Pineapple Mango, Blueberry, Citrus, Watermelon

  • 1 c. red pepper, diced
  • 1 c. celery, diced
  • 1 c. beet, diced  (yes raw beet is okay)
  • 1 c. cucumber, diced (if you can’t get fresh from the garden or a farmer’s market use the little pickling cukes from a store)
  • 3-4 kale leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1-2 tsp. fresh garlic
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. agave syrup
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Puree all together in a blender; add water as needed to thin it to you desired consistency.


Cantaloupe Licuado

  • 6 c. cantaloupe, diced
  • 4-5 c. milk
  • ¼ c. agave syrup (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp. real vanilla

Puree in a blender or food processor.


‘I Love the Tropics’ Smoothie (Rumless Pina Colada)

  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 2 c. fresh ripe pineapple, diced
  • 1 c. coconut milk (the canned kind for cooking)
  • 2 c. Greek yogurt
  • 2 c. milk or water
  • ¼ c. agave syrup (optional)

Puree in blender or food processor.


Tropical Infused Water

  • 8 c. water
  • 2 champagne (ataulfo) mangoes, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 6 slices fresh pineapple, peeled and halved
  • 6-8 slices fresh ginger root
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 2-4 Tbsp. agave syrup (optional)

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.


Strawberry Cucumber Infused Water

  • 1 c. strawberries, sliced
  • 2 pickling cucumbers, sliced
  • 5-10 mint leaves, crumbled to release flavor
  • 6 slices fresh ginger
  • 2-4 Tbsp. agave syrup

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


Berry Good Green Tea

  • 8 green tea bags
  • 8 c. hot water 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • ¼ c. agave syrup (optional)

Combine all ingredients and let tea bags steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags, let tea cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. You can strain the berries and lemon or leave them in.


Citrus Tea

  • 8 tea bags
  • 8 c. hot water
  • 4 slices orange
  • 4 slices lemon
  • 4 slices lime
  • 4 slices grapefruit
  • ¼ c. agave syrup (optional)

Combine all ingredients and let tea bags steep 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags, let tea cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. You can strain the fruit or leave it in.



  • 6 c. seedless watermelon, diced
  • 4 c. coconut water
  • juice of ½-1 lime (to taste)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. agave syrup

Puree in a blender or food processor.


Instagram Class at Carnegie

Are you a photographer looking to share your photos with the world? Do you want to document your travels or feature your art or hobbies? Instagram is a social network that lets you share photos and videos with friends and family. If you have a smartphone or tablet and an eye for detail, Instagram is a great way to connect with others who appreciate photographs. You can advocate a cause, be a tourist in your own town, share your brand’s story, and so much more!


Join me at Jackson District Library’s downtown Carnegie Library on July 29 at 6 PM or July 31 at 10 AM for a hands-on Instagram class. You’ll discover how to edit images, add filters, and use tags and hashtags to connect to Instagrammers using the Instagram app. You’ll also learn how to share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr. You’ll need to bring your smartphone or tablet and be comfortable using your device’s apps and camera.ACC - Instagram


Space is limited. To register for the class, contact the JDL Training Coordinator at (517) 788-4087 ext. 1303.


See you there!

Tessa’s Rave Review of Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger is a near-perfect read that fails to get 5 stars due to a couple jarring anachronisms in this early 60’s setting–one character’s name is Ariel, which wasn’t used in the early 60’s, not really. Then, at a crisis point, one character is thinking, “God, just kill me now.” Again, that phrase didn’t come into use until decades later. Other than that, this was an enjoyable trip down memory lane for me.Ordinary Grace Cover

The story follows events in the summer of 1961 when the main character, Frank Drum, and his younger brother, Jake, are just beginning to figure things out.  Their father is a Methodist minister with three churches to care for, their mother a gifted musician who works very hard to bring wonderful music to the churches and community.  As someone who has been a minister’s wife with children, I can affirm that those aspects of the book ring true.  Five deaths take place, and we spend a great deal of the book anticipating them and wondering who was involved in each.

Do not read this if you want a “typical” mystery or suspense—because it is so much more. People talk about predictability—that shows up only about 2/3 of the way through. The suspense and dread build and build in the early parts. And certain things I was sure were going to happen never did, so it isn’t completely predictable.

People have commented that the boys were taken places they would not have been in reality. I beg to differ. That was a different age, and preteen and teenaged boys were expected and invited (sometimes forced) to be in on many things that parents would protect them from now. And as an adult who has a horrid memory of the awkward results of eavesdropping, may I defend that trope? Yes, they did it a lot, but kids do, don’t they, when calamitous events are happening around them? Or even just when Christmas is coming. The real story nestled in this gem is that of the Drum family and the terrible effects of the events on them. I loved it very much, in spite of blasphemy and bad language issues which seem to go with that age group. Highly recommended if you want an intense, lovely book about family vulnerability, loyalty, and, yes, absolutely, grace. ~ Tessa     4.5 out of 5 stars

Teressa Delph

Tribute to JDL Trustee Teressa Delph

Teressa DelphTeressa T. Delph, longtime JDL Board Member, passed away last week after a brief battle with cancer. Teressa was a member of the Library Board for twenty years having been appointed by the City of Jackson in June 1994. During her tenure, she has served as President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer. Currently, she was serving on the Personnel Committee after having been its Chairman for a number of years. A former educator, Teressa taught elementary school in the Jackson Public Schools from 1974 until her retirement in 1998.

Ms. Delph was extremely active in the community and has served on the City of Jackson’s Human Relations Commission since 1973 as well as serving on the Civil Service Commission. She was also affiliated with Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Alpha Iota State Omicron Chapter, Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel, Michigan Education Association, NEA Retired Program and Second Baptist Church. Teressa received the Susan B. Anthony Award in 1990 and was named the 2011-2012 Woman of Distinction of the Omicron Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. Most recently, Teressa was honored to receive the Humanitarian Award from Woldwide Who’s Who for her service as a commissioner and mediator on the City of Jackson’s Human Relations Commission.

With her life-long passion for literacy, Teressa was the founder of the Jackson Human Relations Commission Teressa Delph Essay and Oratorical Contest, which will be held for the twenty-fifth time in March 2015. Teressa was a dedicated library patron before being appointed to the board and promoted the library and our services to everyone she met! She was proud to be associated with Jackson District Library and we are honored to have received her dedication and devotion to service. Teressa served as a mentor to many children, men and women in the Jackson community and will be greatly missed.

Funeral arrangements are being handled through the Patience Montgomery Funeral Home with visitation on Friday, July 11th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home, 306 First Street in Jackson. Services will be held at the Second Missionary Baptist Church, 304 E. Prospect Street, on Saturday, July 12th with a 10:00 a.m. Family Hour and 11:00 a.m. Funeral Service.

Teressa Delph Humanitarian Award



Health & Harmony – 5 Healthy Towns Recipes

In case you missed the fantastic 5 Healthy Towns Health & Harmony event, here is a complete recipe list from the event for your culinary pleasure. Bust out some of these at your next summer barbeque, and you’re sure to be the envy of the neighbors.

This event is made possible though a grant from the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation. If you would like to register for July’s 5HT program, ‘Summer Coolers,’ give the Grass Lake branch a call at (517) 522-8211.


Tandoori Chicken

  • 1 cup plain yogurt not nonfat
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 2-3 tsp. palm sugar, brown sugar, or honey
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh pepper
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. cardamom

Puree all ingredients in processor. Add to cut up chicken and marinate over night. Grill!

Tessa’s Juvenile Series Review: SYLO by D. J. MacHale

The first book in a new series, SYLO is action-packed with twists and turns that keep you guessing. This book will appeal to boys, since the main characters are boys, there isn’t a lot of romance, and there is heart-pounding, nonstop danger and suspense.


Set on an island similar to Martha’s Vineyard, the story begins when Tucker and Quinn, high school friends, witness a late night explosion off the cliffs. The whole incident is eerie, the thing that exploded totally alien in appearance, and the handling of the whole situation odd. But there’s no time to mull that over, more mayhem is on the way. Beginning with a football star, people start to die from an unknown virus and the island is quarantined, invaded, and blockaded by military.

Tucker likes a couple girls, but this is no sighing, crushing, vampire romance. These girls are intriguing and independent and maybe involved in the events. As the quarantine turns into a media blackout, people begin to panic. The military cracks down—and Tucker witnesses the officer in charge murder people in cold blood. Worst of all, Quinn and Tucker discover their parents are involved in whatever is going on. He and his friends realize they must escape and let outsiders know what is happening. By the same author as the popular Pendragon series, expect kids to ask for it and everyone to enjoy it. ~ Tessa 3.5 out of 5 stars

July/August 2014 Newsletter

The newsletter is in!

In this edition of Chapters, our district-wide newsletter, you will find the exciting line-up of award-winning authors that JDL will bring to you. These authors have written
on subjects ranging from hiking and golfing to survival and self-discovery.

There are also a bunch of events in store as our Summer Reading Program continues. Just click on the cover image to download Chapters.



The 2014 Summer Reading Program


Our Summer Reading Program is in full-swing! In the calendar you will find special events happening at each of our branches throughout the summer. What better way to escape the heat than earning prizes while you read? Or come check out what is going on at your local branch: magician Jeff Wawrzaszek, entertainer Joel Tacey, Impression 5 Science Center, and animals from around the world with the Binder Park Zoomobile are just a few of the attractions.

Come face-to-face with LIVE Birds of Prey with the Leslie Science Center, learn about Australian Aboriginal art, music and culture with Australian Didge-ucation, and on July 25 have a night of candy-coated fun at our special Willy Wonka-inspired event, Carnegie and the Chocolate Factory! Plus puppet shows, chemistry and magnet programs, rock hunting activities, a district-wide Lego contest and so much more!

The more books you read this summer the more prizes you could win.

Earn Summer Reading Prizes until July 31st.

Register for free at or at your favorite
branch to start earning the punches that count toward your prizes.

Earn punches on your JDL Buck$ Card for every hour you read

6th grade and below: READ for 2 hours = 1 punch
6th grade – 12th grade: READ for 3 hours = 1 punch
Earn up to 20 JDL Buck$! Redeem punches for prizes at
any branch.

Click here to print out a family reading or independent reading log

Click here to print out a teen reading log here

Grand Prizes

6 punches = entry into the GRAND PRIZE Drawing!
Ages 0-5: 2 $100 gift cards
1st grade and up: 10 Nexus 7 Tablets
Winners will be announced August 4


The calendar to the right lists summer reading events happening throughout the district. Additionally, some branches make available their events in PDF brochures. You may download them below.


The Jackson District Library gratefully acknowledges contributions from
Friends groups at several branches and Meijer stores.

Joyce’s Book Review The All-Girl Filling Station Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

I love Fannie Flagg’s books. Even the character’s names make me smile.all girl garage

For example:
Sookie Poole who is looking forward to relaxing and traveling with her husband after just marrying off the last of her daughters,

Lenore Simmons Krackenberry, Sookie’s mother who, to most people is a lot of fun, but for Sookie she is just overbearing. This family reminds me of a saying from the circa 1980s sitcom Designing Women about crazy relatives: “… no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they’re on….”

Fritzi Jurdabralinski
A Polish American, immigrant who took over the family Gas station when her father became ill and her brother was drafted into the war. She became an Air Force pilot a (WASP)

After accidentally discovering that she was adopted as an infant Sookie sets out to find the answers to her many questions that change her outlook on life and herself.

Fannie Flagg’s narrative alternates between two stories: the polish immigrant family and Sookie’s crazy southern family.

I did not know much anything, but their name, about the WASPS (Women Air Service Patrol) before I read this book. As a side note; CBS news Sunday Morning recently had segment on the WASP’s, see the video here

As usual Flagg’s characters are quirky and loveable. They make me laugh, they made me shed a tear.

I give this book a 5 stars. At the end of the book I did not want the story to end. I didn’t want to say good-bye to these new friends.

The All-Girl Filling Station Last Reunion is available from Jackson District Library in Hard cover, Large Print, and CD as well as eBook, and eAudiobook via Overdrive.