Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fa-la-la: Christmas is a time for feasting

It is that time of year again. Which time? You may ask. Dare I call it Christmas? If I recall from recent readings, it is no longer politically correct to call it Christmas. Okay. Fine. I am about to embark on what some might call “editorial comment”. Let it not be said that I have no opinions. (Incidentally, these opinions do not in any way reflect the views of anybody but me and my sometime helper.) During the mid-winter season, cultures for as far back as anybody can remember have had a festival of lights. The winter solstice was marked. It was and is a time to come indoors. The night is dark, cold and long. Inside the candles are lit. A large log is placed on the fire. For centuries it has been called a Yule log. …”To all Europeans, the Yule Log was believed to bring beneficial magic and was kept burning for at least twelve hours and sometimes as long as twelve days, warming both the house and those who resided within…” ( It is the Yuletide. The word comes from the Scandinavian word, “Jol”, a forshortening of another name for the god, Odin. This tradition stood the test of time and became part of the Christmas celebration throughout Europe. Have I lost you yet? My point is that it is the Yuletide season. We have called it “Christmas” for a very long time. For those who choose, this name has religious significance. For others, it is a name for a season of warmth, lights, feasting, and giving. I like that. I have no quarrel with any of that, but especially not with the part about warmth and feasting. (For more information about Yule Logs and their tradition, visit Now for the giving part:

The library has a donation box for non-perishable items to give to the local food shelf. The library will be taking donations until December 22. At all times of year, giving to those less fortunate is very important. I know I never want for food, but there are kitties who do. This is especially difficult during the winter months. At this season of giving let us give a gift of food so that others may feast as well. (You knew I’d mention feasting, didn’t you?)

Again this year the Pine River Library is asking for Giving Tree donations. For each donation of $25 an ornament with your name will be hung on the tree at the library. Money raised through this will help purchase new books for the library. Gift tags will be placed in the books purchased. Personally, I’m terribly fond of the tree and its gift tags. Very festive. Yuletide spirit.

Take home a little Browser for Christmas! (No, I didn’t have kittens.) Browser key rings are on sale now at the Pine River Library. Each little cat is dressed in a T-shirt with my name on it. These make great stocking stuffers for all my fans. That would be nearly everybody. The cost of this family treasure is a mere $6.00.

Your friend,
-Browser, the library cat
Posted in the Pine River Journal December 7, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Browser!

Winter again, you say? Actually, far from it. Winter doesn’t actually start until December. Who thought that one up? I wonder. Obviously this is a fallacious fabrication of folks from Florida. (I love alliteration, don’t you?) In Minnesota where the real people and other creatures live, winter is with us always. It is either imminent or a recent memory. We are either preparing for it or cleaning up after it. It’s time to go looking for that pair of gloves you used in the garden that double as winter wear. It’s time go find anything in the yard you might want to see before May! I have a few of those things myself. I doubt, however, that Muriel would
enjoy my bringing them into the library.

Speaking of the library and bringing things, I have just had another birthday. It was randomly selected by Muriel. She calls it September 30th. My personal opinion is that it should be October 31st! What black cat wouldn’t want to be born on Halloween? An appropriate selection. I would always have a party. I love parties. Everybody notices me. I like being noticed. Since I couldn’t select my own birthday and since it has now passed, please come by the library and wish me a belated birthday. (Tuna is always an appropriate gift for belated birthdays. Consider this when you’ve missed your Aunt Lucy’s birthday once again…) While you’re there, peruse the new art work on the walls. Those lovely people of the Pine River Art Club have been decorating again. I have not noticed a preponderance of paintings of black cats, however. I have suggested this before, but wouldn’t it be grand to see our library walls filled with portraits of yours truly? Of course!
(Perhaps you would drop Muriel a note suggesting a contest? She works well under pressure!)

And speaking of Halloween, don’t forget the Haunted Forest. The dates, again, are Friday and Saturday, October 20-21 and October 27-28. The times are 6:30pm to 10:00pm.

This winter the library is offering classes on how to use the library computers. Both Kitchicat and MNLink, The Minnesota Library Information Network, will be addressed in separate classes. Stay tuned for dates for these, or if your interested let the staff know and they will put your name down. I’m pretty sure they’ll let me know and I’ll let you know. See, I told you winter is a constant thing in Minnesota! Already we’re talking about inter classes.

When winter is imminent, sit back and enjoy a good book!

Yours truly,
-Browser, your library cat

Posted in the Pine River Journal Oct 19,2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Bet I'll Like 'Animal Dreams'

Finally those book club people are reading something that makes sense to me! It’s called “Animal Dreams”. Now there’s a title I can fit into my lexicon. Perhaps it’s about an entire baked fish left for me on the floor of the library. Maybe it’s about thousands of little chirping birdies flying around inside the library. Or 50 children each trailing pieces of yarn behind them, running through the library trying to play with me. I wonder if Barbara Kingsolver would write about things like that. I had better consult and get a preview:

“Codi Noline returns to the sleepy mining town of Grace, Arizona, to care for her father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It is a bad time for her: disappointed in her personal life, she has closed down her emotions in defense against a heart that cares too easily. "I had quietly begun to hope for nothing at all in the way of love, so as not to be disappointed," she muses. In Grace, she finds friends, allies, and a love that endures…” Amazon gives it 4 stars, but I see nothing about any fish or birds or yarn. Alas, this is yet another people book. The club will be meeting September 20 at 5:30pm.

For you younger people, school has once again started. This means I will be seeing you less often during the early hours of the day. I will sorely miss you. Still, come often, even if it’s later in the day. By the way, for some of you an assignment will be arising soon. It has to do with the state of Minnesota. Here is something to remember. The girl or guy behind you in class will get to the library before you do and will check out all the books about Minnesota, write the paper, put the books on the dining room table to return, and promptly forget about them. I know this because I have seen many panicked faces at our library frantically looking for some copy of an encyclopedia beginning with the letter “M”. Moral? Get there early. Let the other guy or girl panic! Also, remember to return your books so others have a shot at finishing their assignment.

With the beginning of school come thoughts of autumn. What fun holiday falls in fall!? My personal favorite is Halloween. A black cat is featured in this holiday. That would be me. This year The Friends of the Pine River Library are sponsoring a contest. They want groups to decorate and operate “Fright Stations” at the Haunted Forest Fundraising Event. The dates are October 20-21 and October 27-28. Booths will be voted on by the public. That could be “you”, or, on the other hand, you could be competing for cash prizes. These will be awarded November 1, 2006. First place is $150. Second place is $75. Third place is $50. Call my friend, Cleo Kinnunen for details. She’s pretty important at the library. I know, because she’s here a lot.

Until next time, I remain
Your friend,
-Browser, the library cat.

Posted in the Pine River Journal Sept. 14, 2006

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Book Club Alert!


This could mean many things. Lets examine it from a few perspectives…
Book: 1. A set of pages fastened on one side and enclosed between protective covers.
2. The Bible.
3. A volume for recording financial transactions.
4. A record of bets placed on a race.
5. To record charges against a person on a police blotter.
6. To arrange for in advance (as an airline ticket).

Club: 1. A heavy stick of wood used as a weapon.
2. A stick used to his a ball in certain games: ie. bat.
3. One of a suit of playing cards marked with a black figure shaped like a clover leaf.
4. A group of persons organized together for a common purpose.

Alert: 1. Vigilantly attentive: observant.
2. Mentally perceptive and responsive: quick.
3. Lively or brisk.
4. A warning signal of danger or attack.
5. To inform.
6. To warn.

Let the games begin! See how many ways you can arrange these simple words using synonyms indicated by the definitions listed above. Isn’t language fun? At least from my purrospective.

Meanwhile, let me tell you about the approaching Pine River Library Book Club meeting.
It is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30th at 5:30pm. The topic will be “Three Junes” by Julia Glass.
“…This narrative of the McLeod family during three vital summers is rich with implications about the bonds and stresses of kin and friendship, the ache of loneliness and the cautious tendrils of renewal blossoming in unexpected ways. Glass depicts the mysterious twists of fate and cosmic (but unobtrusive) coincidences that bring people together, and the self-doubts and lack of communication that can keep them apart, in three fluidly connected sections in which characters interact over a decade…”

Happy reading.
-Browser, the library cat.

Printed in the Pine River Journal, August 10th, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Browser's Library Lore for July 20th 2006

Greetings, fellow bibliophiles.
“I Pledge Allegiance to the flag…” Did you know, “Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).”? To find out more, check our wonderful collection of books at our library or one of three computer terminals.
This is relevant because The American Legion Fraser Nelson Post 613 has given the Pine River Public Library a new flag, replacing the much tattered former one. Thank you so much.

The Wine and Beer tasting was a great success, by the way. Thank you to Driftwood Lodge and thank you to Kim from Ultimate Liquors in Pine River, for making this event such a grand one. I didn’t get to go, of course. I prefer cream. I understand, though, that those who did attend enjoyed it enormously. [How about an ice cream social next time? No? But why not?]

The library book club met July 5 and discussed the book “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult. There were six attendees who talked a lot. I know this. I have not read this particular book, however, so I was unable to participate. The next book the club will be reading is “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. It begins, "I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975..."
About the author:
“Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965. He is the oldest of five children and his mother was a teacher of Farsi and History at a large girls high school in Kabul. In 1976, Khaled’s family was relocated to Paris, France, where his father was assigned a diplomatic post in the Afghan embassy. The assignment would return the Hosseini family in 1980, but by then Afghanistan had already witnessed a bloody communist coup and the Soviet invasion. Khaled’s family, instead, asked for and was granted political asylum in the U.S. He moved to San Jose, CA, with his family in 1980. He attended Santa Clara University and graduated from UC San Diego School of Medicine. He has been in practice as an internist since 1996. He is married, has two children (a boy and a girl, Haris and Farah). The Kite Runner is his first novel.”

The summer reading program is rolling right along, as is the summer. Seems it happens every year like this. Just when I get used to being outside summer leaves again. A little pun there. Did you catch it? But I digress…There are only three weeks remaining. Keep up the good work.

Until next time,
I remain,
-Browser, the library cat

Printed in the Pine River Journal July 20th, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Browser library lore June 22 2006

“Hello again, do you like my hat?”
Dr. Seuss certainly had a way with words. Another group of words that rings true is this:
“Build it and they will come.” And guess what? They did. Come to our library, I mean. No, this isn’t about baseball, though there are some really interesting books at our library about the history of baseball. Also, you could even check out “Field of Dreams”. The movie, not the physical place. I mention all this because The Friends of the Library Foundation is holding its annual Wine and Beer Tasting with Silent Auction. Now, you may wonder what this has to do with baseball. Nothing whatsoever! What it does address is building! Proceeds will go to the library building fund. “But!”, you say, “we already built it.” Yes, that is true, but there is still so much to do. Your library should certainly be the very best it can be. This takes cold, hard cash. I don’t mean to be crude, but that’s where you come in…And we’re making it fun for you to help.

Come to Driftwood Resort on June 29 for Wine and Beer Tasting and Silent Auction.
The time is 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
The advance tickets are $15.00.
They can be purchased at Pine River Public Library, Ultimate Liquors on Highway 371 in Pine River, and at Driftwood Resort.
Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $17.00.
Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and music will be provided by PB Jams.

How marvelous and fun is that? Not your style? Then try this…

Our Summerfest Book Sale at the library will be under the tent at the library!
The dates are June 30 through July 2.
Friday 10 – 6
Saturday 10 – 5 + FOOD! Bakesale! How great is that?
Sunday 10 – 2 and everything will be going for $2.00 a bag (except for me, of course. Books about cats, yes, but not the actual creature.)

All proceeds will be going to the library building fund. “Build it and they will…”keep coming back.

Until next time, I remain
-Browser, your library cat.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Browser Library Lore May 2006

Isn’t spring a lovely time of year? I can be outside eating grasshoppers and visiting my four legged friends including Beau from Gardiner’s Hardware. (He’s nice enough, but he is a dog, after all.) Muriel has been asking me to sit down with my co-scribe and write a column for you. Lazy me! I’d rather lie in the sun.

Meantime, the library has a wonderful exhibit of kites hanging from the ceiling. I’d like to take one out for a spin, but Muriel worries I’ll scratch holes in it. I wouldn’t do anything like that, honestly. The word ‘kites’ is taken from the name of a hawk-like bird noted for its graceful soaring and balancing flight. Kites were probably invented in China or Southeast Asia around 1000 BC. That isn’t “Before Cats”. We are much older as a group, living with our bi-petal friends for more than 5,000 years.

Though it is still spring, it is nearly time to begin our Summer Reading Program. This used to be limited to the shorter of your species, but we have extended the program so that teenagers can get in on the fun. Some of you teenagers, I know, have been coming into the library for a very long time, participating in the Summer Reading Program, since BB. That would be “Before Browser”.

The groups are divided thusly:
Ages 5 – 12 for the Children’s Summer Reading Program
Ages 13 – 18 for the Teen Summer Reading Program
Sign-up begins the week of June 5, and the program runs from June 12 – August 5.

Our friend, Jack Pearson, is returning to the library very soon. Jack, if you will remember, is a singer and story teller. He calls himself “Mr. Song-Strummin Storyman”.(I call myself “Mr. Satisfied Cat”.) June 13 at 2:00 PM is the time for this festive occasion. Plan to attend. Fun for all ages, large people and small people. Well, I’m going back outside.

Until the next time, I remain,
-Browser, the library cat

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Browser Library Lore July 2004

Hello friends!
June is gone with a mighty flourish. We had our book sale. It was a magnificent success. Thank you to everyone. The library salutes you. Thank you as well to all the wonderful volunteers who helped to “man” the sale. It wasn’t exactly toasty warm, but you persevered, wrapped in down, drinking hot coffee, looking as cheerful as was humanly possible. I, since I am not human, did not have this issue. I already have a fur wrap.

If you are involved in the summer reading program, keep reading. For those of you who are intermediate readers, I have a suggestion. One of my friendly keepers read aloud today a book called “The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” by Dr. Seuss. It was an exciting read. This book was written in 1938 when children’s books had meat in them – probably not tuna, but meat none the less. Grownups: If you have not read this book, give it a try. It’s full of little lessons and big lessons and a wonderful plot. Dr. Seuss at his early best.

There is some guy digging in the dirt outside. I am told it has something to do with a watering system. I think this could be dangerous for me. I walk around out there all the time and am likely to get very wet. Our grass and plants and flowers will also get wet, though, which is good for them. Since I chew on them from time to time, I suppose I should be grateful. Muriel asked that I suggest to all my friends out there that if you have any plants and shrubs you wish to donate to our current landscape project, let us know. Beautification is an on-going thing here at our library. This particular beautification project is in the cooling shade. Is that pertinent? I have no idea, but you might know.

As Ogden Nash(1902 – 1971) wrote:
My garden will never make me famous
I’m a horticultural ignoramus,
I can’t tell a stringbean from a soybean,
Or even a girl bean from a boy bean.

That pretty much sums up my knowledge of gardening.

Have a lovely rest of your summer. I’ll be talking to you soon again.

Printed in the Pine River Journal July 2004

Browser Library Lore March 2004

Well, friends and neighbors and fellow dwellers in the library, the dust has settled on a number of things. The new hours have just taken affect.

I certainly hope you can find some place in those hours to visit to me. I wait impatiently for my visitors. They, apparently, wait patiently for me as well, since at the Mardi gras party someone asked for me. I was very flattered, though I was unable to attend due to a prior engagement. I had to watch the library.

The Mardi gras party, I am told, went very well. So well, in fact, that the movers and shakers of the Friends of the Library are planning a repeat for next year. The silent auction was very successful. Thank you to everyone who donated items for that. The winner of the quilt was not me, sadly. It was, though, a very good friend of mine, Silvia Masters creator of the cross stitch of me hanging behind the library desk. Three cheers for Sylvia.

Here is information – or lack thereof – for all my Storytime friends. The Storytime hours are a bit on the sketchy side at this time. Muriel told me to tell you to call the library for times. If you call during open hours the phone will be answered by a person. If you call during closed hours you will wake me from my nap. Nobody will answer the phone, because I refuse to take calls. If I take even one, everybody will be calling to talk to me and I’ll never get any sleep.

And as Milton so aptly put it in Paradise Lost, “…His sleep was aery light, from pure digestion bred…”

Until later, your friend,-Browser

Printed in the Pine River Journal March 2004

Browser Library Lore April 2004

“A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.” Emily Dickinson
That would be me! I can finally go outside and hide and if they don’t find me by the time the library closes, well… I know they are thinking of raking the grounds of our library, but I hope they take their time, because I do so enjoy playing in the leaves. I have noticed that there are flowers coming up out there, though, so I guess my fun could be short-lived.

The ladies of the pictures, known to people as The Pine River Art Club, have put up more scenes of outside and other things. There are some birds included in this offering. I would rather wait in the bushes to see birds, but each to their own.

Come to the library. We have books here. We have videos here. We have music and toys and me here. It’s a great place to visit, but it’s a better place to live.

-Browser, your library cat

Print in the Pine River Journal April 2004

Browser Library Lore Column from May 2005

Have you ever seen this particular content in a letter?
“How are you? I am fine.”
Well, thanks to Dr. Adkins I am fine. I truly appreciate all the inquiries about my health, and especially I want to thank the Gordon Family for taking such good care of me during my recuperation.

Now on to the events related to the library. This coming week, or more specifically Friday, May 13th, Michael Dahl, author of over 50 books for children and young adults, will be at the Pine River/Backus school during the day to give his talk to the 5th grade classes and at the Community Resource Center meeting room at 7:00 pm for the general public. This event is being sponsored by Pine River Friends of the Library Foundations and there will be no cost to attend. Thank you again, Friends.

Speaking of the Friends, maybe you would like to join this fine organization. Contact your library and find out how you can join and how you can help bring fun and information to the citizens of our community.

Thank you,

Printed in the Pine River Journal May 2005

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cats and Libraries

Cat have been in libraries since the there have been books in libraries. Mice will get into library buildings and chew on the paper that make the books. Cat were used to keep the mice down. There are 680 known library cats around the world. The USA have 552, 181 (includes 29 Permanent Residents:21 statues,3 virtual library cats,2 stuffed lions, one stuffed Siberian tiger,one stuffed cheetah, and one ghost cat) You can find a list of libraries that have cats at

Browser has gotten emails from as far as Croatia and China. He has been featured on the local PBS station when the library first adopted him. He's the most laid-back and friendly animal anyone has ever seen. Even dog lovers have to stop to pet him when they come to the library. He will sit with a person while they read a book or work on the computer. He greets each patron that comes through the door.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Browser helping at the library

Browser likes to be the center of attention and
tries to help out whenever he can.

Pictures of Browser at the library

Browser enjoys posing for the camera!

He is always looking for a lap to lay in!

About Browser the library cat

Browser was a stray cat that came to the library in Pine River when he was about 9 months old. This was the spring of 2002. He was quite a friendly cat. One of the staff members at the library decided to feed him tuna which he loved and started coming back to the library every day. He would be sitting at the back door every morning waiting to come in and get fed. When the library moved to it's present location, the kids helped move Browser along with the books. This is when the staff decided to keep Browser on as the newest member of the library family. The move was completed July 2002.

His first visit to the vets, he tested positive for feline leukemia. The staff had to wait 6 weeks to re-test him. The second time was the charm and there was no sign of it again. He gets free health care from the local vet which he has used a few times. The patrons donate money towards his care and he loves all the attention he can get.

If you had chance to meet Browser in your travels please leave a post. He loves to hear from everyone.