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Celebrating Valentines?

Posted by Hazel Onsrud on February 10th, 2018

While some of our neighbors may like that Valentine’s Day celebrates love, and contend you could celebrate any of myriad definitions, others are not so enthusiastic about the day. ( See the very long definition of love in the Oxford English Dictionary: ) Excessive consumerism, a focus on traditional couples, and single-shaming are often cited complaints.

It should not be a surprise that many people opt-out of the holiday, or create unique anti-Valentine’s Day agendas instead of more traditional dates. Celebrations may include similar, but different, crafts, food and beverages.

If you do plan to celebrate, you have plenty of historic examples to emulate. You may want to take inspiration from international traditions and carve a love spoon, a melon, or give your sweetie an apple decorated with cloves. (See more ideas here:  and ) Opting out of the commercialism, but still want to mark the occasion with a gift? Spend time to make coupons for the coming year or write a witty poem.


Need more inspiration? Take a look at these varied resources:

The Flu & You

Posted by sarah brown on February 6th, 2018

The flu is more prevalent than ever this year – in Maine and across the country. Local health care providers are warning that the flu virus has become widespread in Maine – with confirmed influenza reported in all 16 counties.  Per a recent Portland Press Herald article, the flu strain circulating in Maine is still predominantly A H3N2, one of the most virulent strains, especially for seniors.

How can you tell if you have the flu or if it’s just a cold?  They have similar symptoms and it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Your health care provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu.  MidCoast Hospital has a great checklist & guide to the flu season that can help you understand the differences.

Prevention of influenza is key. The CDC states that flu vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk including adults over 65, children younger than 5, and pregnant women. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can focus on washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you are sick.

Helpful Links:

MidCoast Hospital Flu Prevention Page

CDC: Cold Versus Flu

In the Media:

Flu cases lead to surge in patients at Portland emergency rooms, Portland Press Herald, February 5, 2018

Flu season escalates in Maine, as deaths rise and outbreaks reach schools, Bangor Daily News, January 25, 2018

Flu in Maine on the Rise; Still Time to Protect Yourself, WABI 5, February 4, 2018

CDC: Flu Season Getting Even Worse, Especially For Children, Maine Public, February 2, 2018


New Year, New Goals

Posted by Hazel Onsrud on January 1st, 2018

For many of us the New Year marks a time of closure, renewal and commitment to new goals. For personal, community or professional reasons, this marker of time means many of us will be sharpening our pencils and revisiting what, exactly it is we want to achieve in the coming days, months, years, and decades.

Luckily, there is a lot of written guidance to help us make goals. It is suggested that we make them be SMART: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and temporally-bound. There are Ven Diagrams to help us differentiate between our passions and career potential, sample timelines and bullet journals for us to fill in, and matrixes for achieving various temporal strategies. Diagrams on how to achieve each goal and sub-objective also abound:

By Xhienne (SWOT pt.svg) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Whatever tool you decide to use this season, know that you can find guidance at your local library. You’re not alone in trying to reorganize your priorities, or those of that unfinished project, or that plan you want to make happen. We’re here to help.

Support your own journey with our Self-Help & Relationship Section:

Need some more specific resources? Talk to a Reference Librarian. Give us a ring at 207 725-5242 x503

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