Category Archives: community

seed sampler.

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what a wonderful collaboration between the library and local seed organizations

once again showing how important a library is to a community

“inside every seed is the potential for an incredible harvest.”

-farrah gray

 

sleds.

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Community partners bring 1st “Free Sled Library” to Battle Creek.

Jeremy Andrews was enjoying a January vacation with his wife, Erin. The couple, co-owners of Penetrator Events, had just finished rafting along the Sturgeon River when they stumbled upon a unique feature at a local park: a shed with numerous sleds pouring out of it, the words “Sled Library” plastered on the side.

Now, with the help of some community partners, Andrews has brought the concept to the Cereal City, (Battle Creek is the home of Kellog’s Cereal), unveiling the first Free Sled Library, where patrons “borrow a sled, leave a sled,” at Leila Arboretum.

Kids took full advantage of the newly installed sled library Feb. 12 as hundreds poured into the 72-acre park for the annual “Festivus” cardboard sled race.

Steep hills combined with formidable ice claimed at least four of the plastic sleds available for kids that afternoon, but Andrews isn’t deterred. “As long as people donate, I’ll just keep buying sleds,” he said. “The idea is really cool and we’re happy with it.” Andrews has garnered more than $600 in donations since floating the idea out to friends on social media Feb. 2. A second sled library is planned and will debut next winter given the recent warmer temperatures.

Heidi LaGrow, a graphic communications technology instructor at Calhoun Area Career Center, was one of the first people to offer Andrews a helping hand with the project after reading his post on Facebook.

peace by chocolate on valentine’s day and every day.

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This is a true and incredible human story, of a refugee family losing everything, leaving their home, and finding a new home and new life in an unexpected place and in unexpected ways. I’ve been following their story since their arrival in Canada and they are a wonderful example of will, grit, tenacity, family, compassion, overcoming odds, and a sheer refusal to give up. They are paying it forward by giving back to the people in their new community and beyond. Supporting those who welcomed them and may need the help that they so generously received when they were in desperate need. Plus, their chocolate in incredible.

So exciting!

We are so happy to announce that the movie based on our story, Peace by Chocolate – The Film is coming to theatres, exclusively at Cineplex across Canada on May 6th and the official trailer of the movie was finally released. This movie is a platform to share hope with Canadians and the world -something we all need more than anything these days. See you all at the theatres this spring. (no date yet for u.s. or international openings)

“generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do,

but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.”

-khalil gibran

the pitch.

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brilliant pitch on our local townie site:

FREE SNOW SHOVELING CLASS: This Thursday Feb 3rd, I will be holding a FREE snow shoveling class at my place. Come and join the class and learn about the proper ways to shovel!

Reviewed techniques will include the scoop and throw method, the down and push method (AKA the plow technique) as well as the upside down scraping technique. 

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to enhance your snow lifting techniques without throwing your back out! I will provide the driveway to ensure your training is conducted in the most life-like situation. I only ask that you bring your own shovel. 

PM me for additional details and times. Spots are limited and handled on a first come first served basis. Hurry, don’t delay!

as always, i loved the responses and they did not disappoint:

Is this for credit or just a certificate program???

Is this one of those Huckleberry Finn/ Tom Sawyer type classes where you have us shovel for you??

Now That’s What I Call marketing baby! Makes me want to get a shovel and throw on the parka and Boots!


Yes my place as well for the master class!

After can we repaint the fence?

You stole my idea!!!!

Now, why didn’t I think of that!!  

Best AAT snow post EVER! 

“i like work, it fascinates me; i can sit and look at it for hours.”

-jerome k. jerome

 

 

 

credits: ann arbor townies

aisle of shame.

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Aldi shoppers are not birds, but they sometimes sound like they are.

meet the proud shoppers of aldi’s ‘aisle of shame.’ this aisle has its own subculture and fan club.
(the ‘caw’ sound you may hear is one fan calling to another)

The “Aisle of Shame” is the unofficial name Aldi enthusiasts have given the store’s middle aisle, home to a weekly rotation of curious edible and non-edible products available only while supplies last. We’re talking everything from vegan lasagna made from lentils to a churro maker and apple cinnamon latte-flavored dog biscuits. The recipe for the Aisle of Shame’s surprising cult status combines the joy of a bargain, the thrill of discovery, the allure of the unusual, and the satisfaction of snapping up a limited-time offer.

“It’s something that you can use to express yourself and add fun and joy to your grocery shopping,” says enthusiastic  shopper Brenna Bazemore of its odd assortment of products. “I hate grocery shopping, but I love to go to Aldi and shop, because I know I’m at least going to get something that I can use outside of food and that’s always exciting to me.”

Plus, she can share her excitement with a million other AOS fans in the Facebook group where members share more than recipes, reviews, and Insta-worthy pics. With an evolving lingo, hashtag trends, and a propensity for random acts of kindness, the Aisle of Shame community is a unique food culture inspired by a grocery store. The Aisle of Shame’s edible advent calendars contain beer, cheese, and more. “It started as a fan group and it has become so much more,” writes Stefanie Fleming, the creator of the  Aisle of Shame website and Facebook group.

While each week’s AOS items can often seem like a compilation of randomness, a method exists. Since Aldi keeps prices low by stocking about 1,400 products (mostly staples) compared to a conventional grocery store’s 40,000, the AOS introduces more excitement and variety for shoppers. The aisle, which each week is split 50-50 between edible and non-edible items, often has a theme, whether seasonal (pumpkin foods in the fall; pool products in the summer) or regional (many AOS enthusiasts plan meals of schnitzel, spätzle, and strudel around the aisle’s German Week). Nils Brandes, a retail consultant who has co-written a book on Aldi’s business strategies, estimates that 20 percent of all yearly sales come from these products.

The Aisle of Shame is also where the grocers test new products to gauge their popularity—the vegetarian and vegan Earth Grown and gluten-free LiveGfree product lines, for instance, advanced from the AOS to the main aisles. “It’s crazy to think this is a grocery-store community,” Bazemore says.

After some thought, McKillip observes that Aldi shoppers might be more down-to-earth, their need to make a dollar stretch giving them both a healthier perspective about the products and more joy when they have room in their carts and budgets for the AOS’s more quirky products. Ultimately, though, she offers a simpler explanation: “It’s fun.”

“you’ve got bad eating habits if you use a grocery cart in 7-eleven.”

-dennis miller

credits: gastro obscura, sara murphy, photo: stella murphy

snow buddy.

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a wonderful community initiative

happened in a nearby neighborhood

when they got together and purchased a ‘snow buddy’

anyone who is at least 18 can train and sign up

to take a turn clearing the sidewalks

each time it snows

all are welcome to take a shift

anytime i’ve seen someone

out in the snow buddy

they are always smiling

 i’ll bet the whole neighborhood is smiling.

“summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”

– george r.r. martin

today’s the day.

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my spirit animal
Last year, five animal candidates vied for the much sought-after title of Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. This important election decided the Zoo’s first Mayor, the highest-ranking animal official who showcased the important role of animal ambassadors. One of the five candidates, (and my favorite), who made it past the primary rounds to the general election was:

Peaches the Nigerian dwarf goat. Peaches is the mother of two sets of triplets and a set of twins. She has raised all the kids on her own, demonstrating her can-do spirit. She’s quiet and friendly unless she needs to assert herself and is rarely in a baaaaad mood.

P.S. Wiggles the Chinchilla got the most votes and won by a hair. 

“not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender.”

-keith ellison

 

 credit: lisa clair, hamlet hub

*day 3.

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May be an image of 1 person, brick wall and outdoors
washtenaw dairy has power – a beacon of light!
ice cream didn’t melt – a small miracle 
“life is such a miracle, a series of small miracles.
it really is, if you learn how to look at it with the right perspective.”
-james patterson
*(updated estimated time for my power restoration – monday at 11:30pm)

hidden life radio.

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listen….

Silent tree activity, like photosynthesis and the absorption and evaporation of water, produces a small voltage in the leaves. In a bid to encourage people to think more carefully about their local tree canopy, sound designer and musician Skooby Laposky has found a way to convert that tree activity into music.

By connecting a solar-powered sensor to the leaves of three local trees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Laposky was able to measure the micro voltage of all that invisible tree activity, assign a key and note range to the changes in that electric activity, and essentially turn the tree’s everyday biological processes into an ethereal piece of ambient music.

You can check out the tree music yourself by listening to the Hidden Life Radio—Laposky’s art project—which aims to increase awareness of trees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city’s disappearing canopy by creating a musical “voice” for the trees.

The project features the musical sounds of three Cambridge trees: a honey locust, a red oak, and an 80-year-old copper beech tree, all located outside the Cambridge Public Library. Each tree has a solar-powered biodata sonification kit installed on one of its branches that measures the tree’s hidden activities and translates it into music.

According to WBUR, between 2009 and 2014, Cambridge was losing about 16.4 acres of canopy annually, which is a huge loss considering that tree canopies are crucial to cities,  cooling them down during the summer, reducing air pollutino, sucking up carbon, and providing mental health benefits.

Laposky hopes that people will tune into Hidden Life Radio and spend time listening to the trees whose music occurs in real-time and is affected by the weather. Some days they might be silent, especially when it hasn’t rained for several days and they’re dehydrated. The project will end in November, when the leaves will drop — a “natural cycle for the project to end,” Laposky says, “when there aren’t any leaves to connect to anymore.”

 

 “in a cool solitude of trees

where leaves and birds a music spin,

mind that was weary is at ease,

new rhythms in the soul begin.”

-william kean seymour

source credits: Kristin Toussaint, The Optimist Daily, WBUR Radio

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