The Gunter Gazette
February 2018

The Gunter Library & Museum
110 S Hwy 289 #4
Gunter, Texas 75058

Gunter Library Book Club:  All Are Welcome

-Nancy Watson 

Gunter now has its very own community Book Club!  On January 25th this group met for the first time.  The Gunter Library Book Club provides those who love to read an opportunity to come together monthly with other booklovers.  We plan to tackle a wide variety of books that members will select, read and meet to discuss. 

For our first book, we discussed Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  This lighthearted book tells the journey of Auggie, a young boy who was born with significant facial differences.  The book provided our new group with a rich source for over an hour of conversation about this work by Palacio and about friendship and kindness.  The Book Club members enjoyed the book and its themes and recommend you read it, if you have not already.

For February we are reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.  This young adult science fiction classic will be released as a feature movie in March.  Meet Meg Murray and her family and friends in a book that tells of travels through time and dimensions and a battle against evil.

Do you like to read?  Would you like to meet other booklovers in our community? The Gunter Library Book Club is open to all!  Read A Wrinkle in Time and come to join us at the library to enjoy conversation about the book on February 22nd at 7:00 pm.

STEM & Scratch

At 4:00 p.m., 2nd-5th grade children arrive for "Try Engineering Together" after school STEM activities or Coding with ScratchJr. STEM activities are on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays.

This month, we will start “Try Engineering Together” with bridge and tower building. All STEM activities are on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 4:00. Activities are designed for 2nd – 5th grade children.

Coding with Scratch Jr. meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. Coding with Scratch begins on February 6.

Library Update

January was a very interesting month for the Library. We needed to close a few days because of the very frigid weather! The Library does not have central heat and air so we rely on space heaters to keep us warm in winter and a window a/c unit to keep us cool in summer! We are usually very comfortable with this method except when the temperature dips below freezing. On Tuesdays we have our Preschool Story Time in the morning and we felt that it would be better to cancel and keep the kids at home. 
The Library also determined that in order to support the Gunter ISD decision to close the school district due to illness, that we would also close to prevent the spread of illness! We missed sharing our time with our Patrons over that very long week. 
We are open and have quite a few new books on the shelves. We created a new section at the front of the library called “New Books” original, right? Come by and check them out! 
In February our after school Scratch and Stem programs begin again! Please check our fliers in this months edition of the Gunter Gazette to find out dates and times. Our Library Director, Juanita Hazleton is super excited about this semesters programs. She has said that she never thought after being a teacher and librarian for so many years, that in her retirement she would be teaching physics and computer programming!  Please join her on Tuesday afternoons for a great learning experience. 
We hope that you will spread the word on all the wonderful programs that the library provides for our community!
Check-Out Library Materials 24/7 Online!

Gunter Library and Museum card holders can check out eBooks and eAudiobooks through OverDrive and their great new app Libby. You can find out more by going to Libby is highly recommended for first time eBook readers, it is so easy! You can also easily read or listen directly from your browser by going to Here are some quick steps to getting started if you already know your library card number and password.

  1. Click on Sign in on the upper right corner of the page.

  2. Select Gunter Library Museum from the drop down menu on the left side of the page.

  3. Type in your library card number.

  4. Type in your PIN (you may email if you do not remember your PIN).

  5. Click on Sign in.

  6. Search for title, author, or keywords or just browse.

  7. Click on Borrow, then go to Loans under My account at the top of the page.

  8. Click on Read in Browser. If you are using the app and want to have it available when not connected to WI-FI click on Download and choose EPUB.

Pro Tips

  1. If the word Borrow is under a title it is available to check out. Place a hold puts you on the waiting list when the book is checked out to someone else.

  2. A book symbol lets you know it is an eBook.

  3. A headphone symbol lets you know it is an eAudiobook.

  4. Items check in automatically after 2 weeks, but you can return most titles early if you would like.

  5. Three dots lets you know that there are more menu options available if you click on them.

  6. The Libby app will remember your library card information for multiple accounts and multiple libraries.

  7. Pressing the spacebar will advance one page forward in the book. The left and right arrow keys will move you back and forth one page. The up arrow will let you know how far you are in the book and allow you to change the text size.

If you want to join the eBook crowd but just aren’t getting the hang of it, email us for an eBook assistance appointment at

Story Time with Ms. Jennifer!

January was a very interesting month! Between the frigid weather and the “flucation” our Library story time was canceled three times! We decided to close in support of the Gunter ISD decision to close for a week to give everyone a chance to recover from all the illness. When the temperatures were in the teens we also had to close 2 different weeks! Our little space heaters were not strong enough to heat up the Library for our young ones or our volunteers to stay warm!
February should be fun! We will have guest story readers while I am on vacation. They have a couple of really great books to read along with some fun crafts and snacks! Please get the word out to all your friends about how much fun we have every Tuesday at 10:30!

Have you always wanted to volunteer in the community? Now is your opportunity to do just that! The Gunter Library is always growing and changing. We need some enthusiastic people that can share their talents with the library! You can volunteer four hours a month or more; it's all up to you! There are always things to do in the library and with your help we can make a difference!
We appreciate your donations to our community library! Please click on the form below to fill out and return to us.

Donating to the community library has never been easier! We now have paypal!
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
-Nancy Watson


Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, is a fictional but realistic book that relates the struggles and triumphs of Auggie Pullman, a 5th grade boy born with severe facial differences due to a genetic disorder.  Auggie’s parents and his sister have been his world through the first years of his life.  Near the outset of the book, homeschooled Auggie is widening his world as he enrolls to attend school for the first time. 

Most people would agree that the tween and teen years are difficult for everyone.  But as I read the book, my thoughts were on imagining living  those years with a face that is unlike any other my peers would ever have seen. Wonder explores how our choices in how we treat others are what makes our character. The kids Auggie meets at his new school lead the reader through this theme as they each make these choices, sometimes with compassion and sometimes without.

Author R. J. Palacio came to write this book after an incident on an outing with her children.  While enjoying ice cream they saw a little girl who had a facial difference.  After one of her kids cried upon seeing the little girl, Palacio rushed away with her children in embarrassment.  Upon reflection, Palacio wished she had handled the situation very differently and so began the kernel of the idea for Wonder

Wonder is a good, quick read that I feel can be read with and by all ages.  It will take you on a ride that will make you feel the pain and joy in the lives of Auggie, his family and friends and perhaps make you reexamine your own choices.  If you read it with others, it may also spark some great conversations about choosing to be kind and the impact small choices make in the world. 


Small Talk 

-Mitzi Nelson, M.S., CCC-SLP

What is the best way to show your preschooler you love them this Valentines’ Day?  Spend time playing with them without your cell phone.  Easier said than done, I know first-hand.  But your child craves your full attention more than any toy you could purchase.  That is one reason they yell, “Mom/Dad, watch me!” about 100 times a day.  

It is unrealistic for your child to have your full attention all day every day.  A healthy goal is for the parent to set aside about 10-15 minutes a day of phone-free play time with their child.  This playtime is crucial for a young child’s speech, language, social, and cognitive development.

The chart below suggests three games to get you started in quality playtime with your preschooler.  These three games can be set-up, played, and put-up quickly for days when playtime is short.  Or, they can be played for longer periods when time allows.  



Skills Targeted

Cootie by Hasbro

Turn taking

Body part vocabulary

Fine motor skills


Hello Sunshine Game by ThinkFun

Turn Taking

Location vocabulary such as in, on, under, next to

Uno Moo by Mattel

Turn Taking


Color ID

Matching Skills

Following Directions

This is just a sample to encourage and inspire quality playtime with the little loves in your life.

Words of Wellness
-Morgan Waggoner

February is the month of LOVE…. the month of little red hearts….and cute little cherub cupids with bows and arrows….and Braveheart…(wait, what?)…and oh yes, now dubbed American Heart Month…you’ve probably seen it posted: wear red on February 2nd (unless you’re in certain neighborhoods because then you might be associated with a certain gang), reduce your sodium intake (who needs flavor anyway?), make sure you are exercising at least 30 minutes a day (like running late to work doesn’t count!) and get a physical and know your important numbers like cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and body mass index (and not like how we don’t even know our own Mother’s phone number because it’s stored in our cellphones!).  In all seriousness, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.  But what is interesting is when you research heart disease, sure you have a small percent of people who have unfortunate genetic and hereditary risks, but the research suggests that heart disease is largely preventable. Yet, despite being preventable, it’s the number ONE cause of death?

So, what does BRAVEHEART have to do with any of this? It requires BRAVERY to make any major change in our lives! “Bravery is taking action even when one is afraid” and when we are afraid of what we will have to “give up” to make change, it makes sticking to those changes much harder.  Another definition of bravery that I Love is from Chogyam Trungpa who says, “The ultimate definition of bravery is not being afraid of who you are.” There is something both humbling and exhilarating about recognizing both the negative and the positive parts of ourselves.  Poor habits and choices have gotten us into poor physical health, BUT good choices and good habits can get us into better health again.  It takes Bravery to be ourselves, be responsible for ourselves, and make choices that would benefit ourselves and those around us.  So, when you see little red hearts everywhere this month, let them be a sign to you to Be Brave. Be Yourself. Be Love and Be Loved…..because YOU ARE!!!!    


Valentine Pretzel Hugs


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time
 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Servings 25
Author Garnish & Glaze


  • 25 Hershey's Hugs
  • 25 pretzel twists
  • 25 Cupid Messages m&m's


  1. Cover a pan in parchment paper and preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Place pretzels on the parchment lined pan and then top each pretzel with a hug. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until chocolate is shiny and shape is retained.
Immediately press a m&m onto each hug. Allow to cool completely and then enjoy or package.
Gardening in Extreme Cold
-Juanita Hazelton

I mulched a lot of my garden with leaves in December, but a few days before we left for vacation, we let the chickens out to graze. They made a bee-line for the garden. The next morning, I found they had scratched half the leaves out of the raised beds and dug deep looking for insects. I was not too happy with them – it was hard work getting the soil raked smooth again and I lost half of my leaf mulch. But they had cultivated the soil well, and I should be happy because they pay us with fresh eggs!

     I missed some of the frigid January weather while I was on vacation, but I expect I’ll get to experience some yet. Neil Sperry has an article about “Coping with Texas Weather” on his e-gardens website at He advises gardeners to pay attention to the 10-day forecasts. Moisture levels before and during hard freezes can determine the amount of damage. Dry plants suffer more, so plants should be watered before the cold hits. He also advises using frost cloth to hold the warmth in the soil, and to stop damage from harsh winter winds. Use old sheets, blankets or burlap if you don’t have frost cloth. Using plastic is poor practice because it traps the sun’s heat after a hard freeze and plants thaw out too rapidly. Mulching with leaves, compost, pine straw, or pine bark helps your tender perennials make it through the cold.

     My chickens rearranged the mulch I carefully covered my gardens with, but they cultivated so well that I am ready to plant my February crops. Neil Sperry says to plant asparagus, English snap peas, and onions as soon as possible in North Texas. Doesn’t that seem impossible? How convenient it is to have a few mild days here at the first of February to start the gardening season again.

It’s February, And Love is In The Air
-Judy Cook MD

It’s already that time of year when people think of Cupid and love, and lovers – a
time to think happy thoughts about someone you love. As wonderful as it is to love
others, and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’, we all too often forget to love ourselves,
or worse than that, spend a lot of time finding fault with ourselves. So often, upon
asking someone “Would you want your neighbor to “love you the same way you love
yourself”? they first look shocked, and then admit they wouldn’t want that. Yet all too
often people have the feeling that it is wrong to love self, and only right to love others.
How do you share something with someone that you don’t possess? Can you pour milk
from an empty pitcher? How good do you think the love you give others is, if it doesn’t
come from a wellspring of loving and appreciating yourself, which can help prevent
envy, hatred, and other negative reactions to others? All too often when someone
doesn’t love themselves, when someone gives them loving, positive attention, they
question the person’s motives and similar behavior – which is not very loving toward
them. If I tell you that you look great today and you either diminish yourself in your own
mind saying it isn’t so, or question my motives, that isn’t very loving toward either of us!
Turn that skill around, and even when someone does or says something hateful, find a
positive in it, even if it is only that you are important enough for them to pay attention to
It is so important to look at yourself and all the things to like and love about you
for a couple reasons. First of all, you will do a lot better job of loving that neighbor and
everyone else in your life. The other thing is that in failing to love yourself, you are
questioning your creator’s wisdom in allowing you to be here in this life, which isn’t
doing a very good job of loving your creator, either. Yes, all of us will have things we do
that we wish we hadn’t done, but emotionally criticizing yourself for the rest of your life is
hardly right. It is far better to look at it, apologize if you have offended someone, forgive
yourself, learn from it and take up a behavior you feel is better. Do not make the
mistake of finding fault with yourself because you are not as beautiful or smart, or
whatever as some other person. They have their gifts, and you have yours, but you
can’t really utilize and share your own gifts if you are feeling you are not ok with the
person you are. If I were to waste time faulting myself for not being a rocket scientist,
or the world’s best housekeeper or some other ‘failing’ it could greatly interfere with
what I do best, which is teaching people skills to have a happier life. Whether it is you,
your spouse, your children, other loved ones, colleagues at work, the person picking up
your garbage or repairing your road, be grateful that they have their talents to do things
you don’t really like doing, and that they free you up to then follow the passion of being
who you are.
So this Valentines month, send some love messages to yourself. Start looking for
the qualities in yourself to love, knowing that doing so will help you be happier,
healthier, do a better job at your work and do a much better job of loving your loved
ones and your neighbors. If you really want to grow your life to a happier place, start
looking at the perfection in the universe – even in the things you don’t understand.
May the love bug bite you in the right place for you to love yourself!!!


Scamp-Style Steak Scallops with Roasted Asparagus

Part One: Scampi-Style Steak and Scallops



Tenderloin steak and scallops seared in butter then finished in subtle accents of lemon zest, white wine, garlic, and fresh basil.


For the Steak & Scallops

  • 2 beef tenderloin steaks, 1 1/2-inch thick, 4-6 ounces each
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 large sea scallops, rinse and pat dry

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions (about 4 scallions), white and light green part
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Season steaks with salt and pepper. In a 10 to 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until hot and bubbly (more can be added, if needed). Add steaks to skillet and brown on one side for 4 to 5 minutes. (At this point, begin the sauce in another small, non-reactive skillet or wide sauce pan as described in step 2.) Turn the steaks on end and rotate to brown the sides (this will take about 3 minutes), then turn over to brown the final side for 4 to 5 minutes. When turning the steak to brown the last side, add scallops to the skillet to brown at the same time, about 2 minutes on each side.
  2. To make the sauce in the separate skillet, sauté onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat 3-4 minutes, until fragrant. Add wine and lemon juice; simmer to reduce slightly, 1-2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons butter and stir until melted into the sauce. If the steak and scallops are not yet done, slide the sauce off heat until they are ready.The easy steps for browning the steak and scallops.
  3. Once the scallops are browned on each side, stir the fresh basil, parsley, lemon zest, and hot pepper sauce into the scampi sauce. Reduce heat to low, add the scallops, spooning the sauce over the scallops. Once the steaks reach an internal temperature of 125°F (the rare side of medium-rare), add to the pan with the scampi sauce and spoon sauce over the steaks.
  4. Divide the steaks and scallops evenly between two plates and serve immediately, spooning more sauce over both the scallops and the steak.


You’ll need two skillets for this recipe so the steak and scallops can cook at the same time as the sauce. I recommend cast iron for the searing the steak and scallops and stainless steel (non-reactive) for the sauce.

Part Two: Roasted Asparagus



Fresh asparagus roasted in the oven in less than 10 minutes for a simple and tasty side dish.


  • 1 pound asparagus — ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Position top oven rack in the middle of the oven, approximately 12 inches under broiler and turn broiler on HI. Prepare asparagus by trimming fibrous ends. Arrange asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet so that each spear is touching the pan and separate. Drizzle with olive oil and roll asparagus to coat well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Set asparagus under the broiler for 10-12 minutes, checking and turning (rolling 1/4 turn) asparagus every few minutes until lightly browned in spots and crisp tender. Cook slightly longer if a softer texture is preferred.


To roast asparagus more quickly, position oven rack just 6 inches below broiler, roast for 5-6 minutes.




Found at:

Texas Statehood

-Juanita Hazelton

    Texas became the 28th state of the Union on December 29, 1845. Texas voters had chosen to support annexation in 1836, but U.S. opposition was strong and there were years of debate before annexation was accomplished.

     The issue central to concerns about annexing Texas was slavery.  Texas would join as a slave state and abolitionists were worried that adding Texas would upset the political balance in Congress.  There were 5000 slaves in Texas in 1836 and by 1845, there were 30,000.

     Mexico was also a problem. It still did not recognize Texas as an independent territory. The Mexican minister to the U.S. considered annexation of Texas an act of aggression against Mexico. The U.S. was not anxious for trouble with Mexico. Others considered the amount of land Texas brought into the Union outweighed the concern of trouble with Mexico.

     Britain and France were both opposed to the annexation of Texas. Britain wanted to see the practice of slavery abolished, including in Texas. Secretary of State John Calhoun replied to Britain that slavery was a political institution necessary for peace, safety, and economic strength. Britain and Spain persuaded the Mexican government to recognize Texas independence, if Texas would not join the United States.

     The issue of Texas annexation was a major issue in American politics in the early 1840s. President Tyler wanted Texas to become a state. He supported slavery and wanted Texas to keep the system legal. He also wanted to increase the size and power of the United States. Manifest Destiny, the idea that God wanted American to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean and dominate the continent, was a powerful concept in the U.S. at the time. Henry Clay was the Whig candidate for the presidency. He did not want to annex Texas. He was afraid it would lead to war with Mexico. At the Democratic Convention, a new rule was passed that the winning candidate must receive two-thirds of the vote. Former president Martin Van Buren did not receive the two-thirds majority after several vote counts. James K. Polk was proposed and won all 266 of the votes on the second ballot. No one had thought he would win.  

      Polk was a proponent of Manifest Destiny, and he wanted to annex Texas. The campaign between Henry Clay and James K. Polk in 1844 was extremely close. Wild charges were made against both candidates. Polk won by receiving 170 electoral votes to Clay’s 105. President Tyler believed Polk’s victory showed the American people wanted Texas to become a state. When Congress met in December, he proposed to both houses that Texas be given statehood. He signed the resolution on March 1, 1845, three days before he left office.

     A Constitutional Convention was held in Austin in July 1845. Texas had to decide between annexation by the U.S. and recognition of Independence by the Mexican government if they would not join the U.S. There was only one vote against annexation, given by Richard Bache, the grandson of Benjamin Franklin. In October 1845, the Annexation Ordinance was submitted for popular vote. The U.S. Congress accepted the Texas State Constitution and the joint resolution was signed by the president on December 29, 1845. The formal transfer of government did not happen until February 19, 1846, but Texas statehood dates from December 29.

    As some had feared, annexation stirred up tensions with Mexico. In 1846 the Mexican-American War began, as the nations fought over the location of the border, and over territories further west. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848 formalized the Rio Grande as the southern border of Texas, and Mexico agreed to recognize Texas as part of the United States.

Information for this article was taken from the Portal of Texas History online at “Early Statehood” (/treasures/earlystate/index.html)


Toastmasters Open House

-Judy Cook

If you have ever been curious or wanted to visit a toastmasters meeting now is a good
time to visit. The McKinney Motivators Toastmaster club will be holding an open house on WedFeb. 21. I can promise a fun evening with a fun and capable group of people. There is no charge to visit, and actually you can visit as often as you wish at this and other clubs or join one if you choose.
Our meetings are held every Wednesday from 7 – 8 PM at the Spring Creek BBQ near
the intersection of 75 and 380 in McKinney. I am the club president so please come up and introduce yourself. Hope to see you there.

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110 S Hwy 289 #4, Gunter, TX, 75058