Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jeanne's Garden

After one of the wettest and coldest winters I can remember in many years, I cannot wait to get into the garden.  Just now, very early daffodils are starting to bloom so, as soon as the mud dries a little bit, I’m off to start planting. 

Spinach and peas can go in now. Hopefully, the cilantro and parsley will have reseeded and will be waiting for me when I finally get out. It will still be a while for beans and tomatoes, but I have enough to do now when the weather is still cool and changeable.

Even when I can’t actually dig in the dirt, I can still dream and plan with the beautiful gardening books.

These are just a few of my favorites.

Daffodils for American gardens by Brent and Becky Heath explains everything gardeners need to know about choosing and raising some of the earliest, hardiest and most deer-resistant plants available. (635.934 He)

Beginners’ guide to edible herbs by Charles W.G. Smith is a great introduction to 25
of the most useful herbs in the home garden. It not only explains how to plant them, but also how to use them. (635.7 Smi)

Gardening in the Mid-Atlantic by Andre and Mark Viette is the perfect companion to take the guesswork out of gardening. With this book, you’ll know what to do each month to have gardening success all year.  (635 Vie)

100 vegetables and where they came from by William Woys Weaver offers a veritable cornucopia of vegetables and stories from around the world--from Argentina to Zimbabwe, from Australia to the United States. (635 Wea)

Vegetable gardener’s bible by Edward C. Smith has friendly advice, vegetable-specific information, and unwavering commitment to organic methods. It covers more plants and offers smart new solutions for small-space and extended-season gardening. (635 Smi)

Got shade? by Carolyn Harstad discusses hundreds of shade-tolerant plants hardy in Zones 4-8, suggests how they may be used and combined, and recommends methods to cut garden maintenance. With its informative text, accurate drawings, and colorful photographs, this book is a "must have" for gardeners across much of North America. (635.9543 Har)

I’d also like to include one work of “fiction.”  I’ve read it, but the deer in my yard have not.

Deerproofing your yard and garden by Rhonda M. Hart tells homeowners exactly what they need to know: which commercial repellents are most (and least) effective, how to make homemade deterrents, and how to create a landscape designed to repel deer. This book is your best defense against unwanted deer. (635.0496 Har)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting a Closer Look at Jennifer Pharr Davis

In 2011, two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis wanted to test her limits. Jen hiked, stumbled, and sometimes crawled the 2,181 mile A.T. in 46 days (an average of 47 miles per day), becoming the fastest person to hike the trail and the first woman to ever set the mark. And for that, she's been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR's Talk of the Nation, Guideposts magazine, and the CBS Morning Show.

But Davis isn't all work. She is a loving wife to Brew Davis, and a mother to her one year old daughter named Charley. “My husband is Brew Davis. He's the best! He's my rock. On the trail, it gave me a lot of confidence always knowing that he would find me,” said Davis.

When not on the trail Davis has many other obligations, but when the time is right she enjoys going for a trail run. “I love sports- especially basketball and tennis. I love watching the UNC Tarheels play basketball. And I love reading, but right now I'm reading mostly small business books,” said Davis.

Why small business books? Because Jennifer is the owner and founder of the Blue Ridge Hiking Company, which is a company dedicated to helping make the trails in Western North Carolina easily accessible to everyone. “We live in Asheville, NC, and have no plans to move because we love the mountains, the great restaurants, the craft breweries, and our church.”

Below you will find a short Q&A session that the library was able to grab from the busy mother, wife, and amazing athlete. And after that is a small section highlighting Davis’ literary works. Please feel free to leave comments, and enjoy your reading.  

What first got you interested in hiking?
 My dad owned a camp in Western NC (Falling Creek Boys Camp).

What do you enjoy most about your profession?
 Being in nature.

What motivates you?
Wanting to maximize my potential as an athlete, an entrepreneur, an author, a speaker, a wife, and a mom.

If you weren't hiking is there another profession that you would like to undertake?
 I would want to me a Marine Archaeologist (I studied Classics in college) or maybe a Sports Psychologist.

If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
Nothing. It's been an amazing 10 years.

What is your greatest weakness (when it comes to hiking)?
 Cold weather!

What is your greatest strength (when it comes to hiking)?
My toughness and endurance.

How do you prepare yourself for a big trip alone?
At this point I know what to do but before I'd ever done my first A.T. thru-hike, I talked to as many experienced people as possible and learned as much as I could from them. I also tried to get in shape by walking and cross training as much as possible.

What are the necessities that you have to take with you on a long trip?
 The most important things are my comfy pack, my lightweight tent, the right clothes, and duct tape (it can fix anything!).

How does it feel to hold the record for the Appalachian Trail?
 I'm proud to hold the record but also humbled because I've met most of the guys who held it before me and I respect them so much. Most of the time the record hike was not fun, but not everything that's good in life is fun. It was incredibly rewarding. I suppose it's allowed me to travel on book tour with my husband and our one year old daughter, and that's been wonderful.

What other places have you been hiking?
 I've hiked over 12,000 miles on 6 different continents.

What advice would you give people who have never before been hiking but would like to try?
Don't be afraid to start hiking but do it on your own terms and in a way that you're comfortable with.

Below are the books that Jennifer Pharr Davis will be speaking about during her time at Samuels Public Library. 

 Called Again - In 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis became the overall record holder on the Appalachian Trail. By hiking 2,181 miles in 46 days – an average of 47 miles per day – she became the first female to ever set that mark. But this is not a book about records or numbers; this is a book about endurance and faith, and most of all love. This is Jennifer’s story, in her own words, about how she started this journey with a love for hiking and more significantly a love for her husband Brew. Together, they were able to overcome rugged mountains and raging rivers, sleet storms and 100 degree heat, shin splints and illnesses. They made new friends and tested old friendships; they shared together laughter and tears – a lot of tears. But, through it all, they fell more in love with one another and with the wilderness.

Becoming Odyssa - After graduating from college, Jennifer is drawn to the Appalachian Trail, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. The next four months are the most physically and emotionally challenging of her life. With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail, braving situations she never imagined before her thru-hike. The trail is full of unexpected kindness, generosity, and humor. And when tragedy strikes, she learns that she can depend on other people to help her in times of need.

46 Days - 46 Days chronicles the trials, successes, joys, and frustrations of Jennifer Pharr Davis's record-winning Appalachian Trail thru-hike through the eyes of her husband, Brew Davis. The book demonstrates that the value of any hike is not based on speed or distance, but rather the lessons learned and the relationships formed along the journey. Each daily entry is complemented by a photo taken by Brew or Jennifer of the trail. 46 Days also includes an introduction and afterword by Jennifer with first-hand reflections on her life-changing voyage.

Don't forget to come see her in person at Samuels Public Library on Sunday, February 23 at 2 p.m. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Movie Lists - TV Shows

Did you know that Samuels Public Library offers an array of DVD series for you to view? Check out some of our selection below, and remember that there is a snow storm coming so you might just want to grab them while they are still in!

The Big Bang Theory seasons 1-5The show is centered on five characters living in Pasadena, California: roommates Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, both physicists; Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon's equally geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers, mechanical engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys is contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense which makes for a great sitcom, and family fun.

Downton Abbey seasons 1-4 - An addictive blend of suds and social commentary, ITV's Downton Abbey brings a microcosm of Edwardian society together under one roof. Lord Robert Crawley and his family live a life of leisure, while a fleet of servants, attend to their every need, but two events conspire to shake things up: the sinking of the Titanic, which claims Crawley's heirs, and the return of his valet, Bates.

Ally McBeal seasons 1, and 3-5 - Ally McBeal and Billy Thomas were going steady throughout their childhoods. Ally even followed Billy to Harvard law school despite having no interest in law. But when Billy chose to pursue a career in law away from Ally, their relationship came to an end. In the present, an old classmate of Ally's named Richard Fish gives Ally a job at his law firm, where Billy and his new wife are also working. The series follows Ally's trials and tribulations in life through her eyes, and caricaturizes her personal thoughts and fantasies.

Angel seasons 1-5The show details the ongoing trials of Angel, a vampire whose human soul was restored to him by gypsies as a punishment for the murder of one of their own. After more than a century of murder and the torture of innocents, Angel's restored soul torments him with guilt and remorse. Angel works as a private detective in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles, California, where he and a variety of associates work to "help the helpless", restoring the faith and saving the souls of those who have lost their way. Typically, this involves doing battle with evil demons or demonically allied humans, primarily related to Wolfram and Hart, a demonic law firm. He must also battle his own demonic nature.

Game of Thrones seasons 1-3 - Based on the bestselling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, this sprawling new HBOr drama is set in a world where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. From the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and ancient Wall that protects the realm from the mysterious darkness beyond, the powerful families of the Seven Kingdoms are locked in a battle for the Iron Throne. This is a story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honor, conquest and triumph. In the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die.

Lost seasons 1-6 - Mixing suspense and action with a sci-fi twist, it began with a thrilling pilot episode in which a jetliner traveling from Australia to Los Angeles crashes, leaving 48 survivors on an unidentified island with no sign of civilization or hope of imminent rescue. What is the mysterious beast that lurks in the jungle? Why do polar bears and wild boars live there? Why has a woman been transmitting an SOS message in French from somewhere on the island for the last 16 years? Why do impossible wishes seem to come true? Are they really on a physical island, or somewhere else? What is the significance of the recurring set of numbers?