of books and brews.

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Ann Arbor Book History: “Hold my beer,” 1875.

The Michigan Argus revealed tricks of the trade for preserving books,

one of which involved beer.

Books and brews have always made a great combination .

(note: the closest i’ve come to this is when spilling a beer on a book

and unsure if it actually helped to preserve it)

 

“books and beer are the best and worst defense.”

-sherman alexie

credits: ann arbor district library, ann arbor book society, the michigan argus

as far as anyone knows…

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not me, nor anyone in my family, but i love the spirit of ‘pocket pancaking’

all families are unique, with their own quirks, traditions, and ways of communicating – and the holiday season often serves as the perfect showcase for these interconnected elements. so when tonight show host, jimmy fallon asked his viewers to tweet funny examples using hashtag #myfamilyisweird, the responses did not disappoint. one person shared their relatives’ tradition of hiding leftover pancakes in each other’s pockets, while another posted a photo of a ‘hideous hand-me-down elf ornament their mother keeps trying to throw away each year, but hilariously ends up back on the tree. customs we cultivate with our kin can do more than just make us laugh, studies have long shown that establishing family routines and rituals positively benefits our health, relationships and well-being.

does your family have any unusual traditions? in my family we had a super creepy automotron mange-y looking furry toy cat that kept coming back. we bought it for a visiting grandie and just thought it was an ordinary stuffed animal, but what we soon discovered was that it would move or make noise at random times. people who received this gift ending up reporting that they kept in their garage or basement or closet, because it creeped them out so much. even with all that, they housed if for a full year, just for the opportunity to ‘gift it’ to someone else in family at the next christmas gathering. people went to great lengths to disguise it when wrapping, so the recipient would let down their guard and open it. we gifted it back and forth to each other for many years, until one year it just disappeared….

“remember as far as anyone knows we’re a nice, normal family.”

— homer Ssmpson

snowlandia.

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Snowlandia Śnieżny Labirynt in ZakɔˈPanɛ

 the biggest snow labyrinth in the world

perhaps the perfect place
for when you want to be lost and cold at the same time
smack dab in the middle of somewhere beautiful

“winter, through your hoary frost, I travel on, longing to be lost.”

angie weiland-crosby

Piłsudskiego 38 (nieopodal Wielkiej Krokwi im. Stanisława Marusarza), Zakopane, Poland

only 30 more.

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Santa speaking to crowd in front of J.L. Hudson department store

during the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade-1942

only 30 more sleeps!

“to celebrate a festival means;

to live out, for some special occasion and in an uncommon manner

the universal assent to the world as a whole.”   

-josef pieper

the beginner.

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The holidays are here and the barrage of advertisements has begun, but one brand is standing above the rest for their powerful message this season.

U.K. retailer John Lewis & Partners, known for their imaginative Christmas advertisements, is instead putting a spotlight on an important cause for 2022.

In this year’s highly anticipated ad, the brand has launched “The Beginner” which shares the story of a family preparing to welcome a child in foster care — but the viewer doesn’t know that at first.

As the 90-second ad begins, a man is seen buckling on a helmet and attempting to learn — unsuccessfully — to skateboard.

A cover of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things” by Mike Geier begins to play as the man’s efforts progress through more falls and skateboard-related injuries through the Christmas season.

At the end of the video, the family is seen opening the door to a social worker and a girl, who is holding her skateboard. “I skate a bit too,” the man says pointing to his own battered board.

The ad ends with a frame sharing that there are more than 108,000 children and young people in the U.K.’s care system.

In the United States, according to a 2021 report by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 391,000 children are in foster care.

In just 24 hours since being shared, the ad has amassed more than 2.2 million views.

“As someone who’s been in the care system myself as a child, this really feels close to home … It does make you think about how powerful adverts can be, even if they are simple and basic,” one user wrote.

Another added, “This hits home really hard, as a former foster kid who was in the system for 11 years. It’s really heartwarming to see this.”

“there will come a time when you believe everything is finished. yet that will be the beginning.”

-louis l’amour

credits: today show, kait hanson, john lewis and partners

today, as you gather.

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“the table is a meeting place, a gathering ground,

the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction.

a person cooking is a person giving; the simplest food is a gift.”

-laurie colwyn

may you gather today with those you love to share your gifts.

 

a day late and a movie short.

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  excited to see a new film

(one of my favorite things to do)

i arrived precisely

at the designated time and place

(with time to meet up, buy tickets, grab a ‘movie-buttered’ popcorn, chatter a bit, and find our seats)

only to discover

that i had organized it so that

we were precisely

24 hours late for the show.

p.s. i really do make every effort to be on time for things 

but this has also happened

with a holiday party i was really excited to attend

a few years back

 is this a pattern?  see below –

a day late and a trifle short.

 

“nothing, of course, begins at the time you think it did.”

lillian hellman

getting ready.

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as we prepare to gather together in a few days

often with all kinds of people

 often anticipating how it will go

 often happily surprised. 

 

“it’s never the differences between people that surprise us.

it’s the things, that against all odds, we have in common.”

-jodi picoult

 

 

 

 

photo credit: muppets.disney.com

 

freerice.

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during this time of year, when we are so lucky for our bounty, why not help to feed someone else

and maybe learn something along the way?

freericetrivia by the U.N.’s World Food Programme

Want to test your knowledge while helping end world hunger? freerice can make it happen. For every question you answer correctly in the trivia quiz, 10 grains of rice are donated to those in need. Since 2010, freerice has raised more than 214 billion grains of rice (equivalent to $1.5 million) for people around the world.

Play “Freerice”

“poverty’s child – he starts to grind the rice, and gazes at the moon.”

-matuso basho