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Finding joy during COVID

Originally published in the Ketchikan Daily News, February 2021; written by Ann Marie Meiresonne.

Tired of talking COVID? Me too. Struggling to make joy in the day, I have found a mixed bag of materials that help.

To begin, cookie baking during a community shut down is a go to activity for me and the book I found to be so helpful is Sally's cookie addiction : irresistible cookies, bars, shortbread, and more from the creator of Sally's baking addiction by Sally McKenney. The first recipe I tried, Brown Butter Snickerdoodles, are the best ever, ever. Even frozen, as I attempted to hide some for later. I could go on about all the others we have tried, enjoyed but you will have to see for yourself.

Trejo's tacos: recipes and stories from LA by Danny Trejo. Long before his legendary career in Hollywood Trejo used to joke with his mom that they should open a restaurant. The recipes are delicious but it is in the insight of his life, the respect for his hometown, the colorful characters that helped him along the way that I really enjoyed.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordian is my revisit to a story I so relished reading aloud to my kids. Great adventure based on Greek mythology. Lost in a story of fun, friendship and a quest is a feel good place to go.

Wangari Maathai: the woman who planted millions of trees by Franck Prévot recounts the life and accomplishments of the environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Picture book format with lovely, rich illustrations move one to a place of contemplation on how to be compassionate to the needs of the people and environment.

Storey's curious compendium of practical and obscure skills: 214 things you can actually learn how to do from Storey Publishing. The fun is in the variety of visual tutorials to look through and learn about. Supposedly, this compendium is to educate and inspire new hobbies, but I enjoyed the browsing.

Music is another go to for filling joy into my day. Looking through the music available in, yes, CD format, at the library I came up with Live at the Troubadour with Carole King and James Taylor, which also includes a DVD to watch. Great live recordings makes one reminisce of those concerts way back when.

Gardening is a shared enjoyable hobby with my husband so What's wrong with my vegetable garden?: 100% organic solutions for all your vegetables, from artichokes to zucchini David C. Deardorff is worth a look to help work through some of those stubborn garden issues. In addition, reading now before spring is here allows dreaming of the fun to come.

These are just a few of the titles that help to bring the joy of variety, learning, and baking into my day. At the Ketchikan Public Library we would like to help you find books, dvds and music to uplift you doing this time of social distancing and staying safe.

Currently, the library is closed to the public but staff is available by phone to provide curbside delivery of materials and Maker bags for all ages, call (907)225-3331, Monday through Saturday. Stories, songs, romps and DIY are posted on social media regularly. The Ketchikan Public Library website is worth a look at with access to Alaska Digital Library, Freegal free music downloads, Brain Pop, Scholastic Teachables, Mango Languages, Small Engine Repair, Live Homework Help and more. Take some time and check it out.

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