August 5, 2011
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As I sort through all the beautiful ribbons and trinkets that decorated my Christmas gifts, I think about how I used to recycle such treasures into art projects when I was a teacher. Actually, I recycled just about everything.
As I thought about my favorite Christmas books, the most recent addition being a collection of essays titled “The Seasonal Heart” by award winning Georgia author George Heiring, I asked around to see if anyone in our school system would like to “share and tell” about a favorite Christmas book.
I’ve always liked reading about all the hard work and passion so many teachers put forth for their students. But for every teacher who wins an award, there are hundreds of “runners-up” who don’t always get the recognition they deserve. So, I asked my kids to share something about their favorite teachers.
“If you would have told me years ago I’d be doing Ironmans, I would have thought you were crazy,” Carrie Tallent said. “If you would have told me that I would have a child with autism, I would have laughed and said ‘What’s autism?’”
When my husband enrolled at Georgia Tech in 1962, all an aspiring engineer needed was a decent slide rule. The only thing they had to stress out over was whether to buy a Post, Pickett or L & E, each running about $20, which, granted, was 10 times the price of the plastic ones they sold at Woolworth’s.
A reminder to be safe on the road.
When I look at all we “know” about people through social media and Internet mining, I can’t help but think about Sofie, one of my adult ESOL students at Meadowcreek.
When my friend Nancy Rowland insisted I see the Hamilton Mill Library, I had no idea what would make this library any nicer than the rest. It took only seconds to realize that not only was this place a work of esthetics, but a work of environmental genius as well.
In recognition of National Poetry Month, I thought I’d ask our Gwinnett librarians about which poetry books particularly touched them.
I’ve written about a lot of worthwhile things over the years, but highlighting Gwinnett volunteers is always at the top of my list.
While the Gwinnett Public Library is celebrating Read Across America Week with songs, games and visits from the Cat in the Hat, I thought I’d celebrate by sharing readers’ response to the column I’d written about books a few weeks back.
Susan Larson spotlights a local dress consignment shop.
As a proud and active member of the William Day Chapter - Daughters of the American Revolution, Leslie Watkins of Snellville spends her days traveling around presenting living history presentations on lifestyle during colonial times.
Having raised our boys in the Parkview cluster, I’d always thought of myself as a pure bred Panther. But in writing my last column, Mike Doyne, of Lilburn Middle, made me realize I have Mustang roots
As the Year of the Snake slithers out and the Year of the Horse gallops in, I thought what better way to celebrate than to honor the presence of horses in Gwinnett County.
I always look forward to Gwinnett Parks and Recreation’s newest L.I.F.E. (Leisure is for Everyone) catalog. I love seeing what’s new and what has become a tradition over the years.
Several readers have asked me if I have any resources for post traumatic stress disorder. Well, I have the Internet like everyone else, but I’m also fortunate to have a few contacts through past columns.
Several times Leif mentioned Coach Flowe taking him aside and encouraging him. Every player knew that simply being on the team made him part of their success.
SaltLight Center, run by Family Promise, is a volunteer run emergency shelter for homeless single women and women with children. It provides a safe and loving overnight stay for those in need and Karpf is most grateful for all its willing volunteers.
When you are a teacher, free time is tough to come by.
The big Pet EXPO coming up Nov. 16 at the Gwinnett Convention Center really sounds exciting. It’s free, there are more than 120 exhibits and visitors are encouraged to bring their own pets, including hamsters, birds and lizards.
In 2008, Tom Wargo established Daffy’s Pet Soup Kitchen to help provide food for people who could not afford to feed their pets and to keep them from having to turn them over to a shelter. Daffy’s not only provides food, but they make available free or discount spaying and neutering, a requirement for receiving the food Daffy’s provides.
I love keeping up with all the wonderful people that I feature in my column, especially those who are performing a service to the community.
Built on a rock. I’ve long been aware that Gwinnett County does indeed trace its beginnings back to a rock and that rocks continue to shape our history.
Owen has changed his venue to Eddie Owen Presents in Duluth, but nothing about his philosophy or community involvement has changed a bit. Well, except that it’s expanded. Owen is partnering with the Gwinnett County Public Library in presenting their 2013 Fall Into the Arts Program.
I love that we have places like McDaniel Farm where we can recreate down to earth activities of the past whether anyone remembers them or not, but no computer generated simulator, no matter how high tech, can ever recreate that feeling of being up on the roof.
Grandparents Day inspires grand ideas
Labors of love. I see them happening all over the county. And many of them are being performed by our young people.
Yes, I know there are farmers markets all over the county and they offer all kinds of wonderful locally produced goods. What makes HLM unique is that all orders are placed online. No matter what the weather, no matter where you are, and no matter what time it is, you can order online and pick up your goods all boxed up and ready to go in either Lilburn or Lawrenceville.
I enjoyed reading Darrell Huckaby’s column this past Saturday about his childhood memories of going back to school, even though I didn’t relate to even one of them. I grew up in a school system that provided our supplies.
A column in last week’s paper brought back memories from my own time being affiliated with the Gwinnett County Swim League.
The farmers market in Lilburn is proof that markets like it have become more and more progressive over the years. Food isn’t all they feature anymore.
I’m sure we all have ideas like that, but just don’t know how to get them out of our brains and into the marketplace. That’s where the Inventors Association of Georgia comes in, where inventors, marketers and vendors gather to share connections, resources and advice about getting things done.
In 2010, Tom Kincaid wrote a letter to the editor in the Gwinnett Daily Post suggesting that volunteers could help assist their government through its financial struggles. From that letter came an idea that is now in the works -- a free website to publicize charities and volunteer opportunities.
After writing about Quilts of Valor last week, I thought a "blanket" column about all the military support in and around Gwinnett County was in order
QOV meets third Thursdays at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Lawrenceville.
Some people say I over analyze things. Maybe I do because I have lots of questions for which I can't find answers even on the Internet. So I'm turning to my readers to help me out.
A great example of volunteerism, family style.
When it comes to graduation speeches, there's no arguing with this line -- "live the best life you can."
Yes, the monastery has changed a lot physically, but I did notice the Garden Center still sells those cute little worry dolls. For old time sake, I just had to buy one. And have Father Anthony bless it.
With the myriad activities and events Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation and the Gwinnett Library are offering kids of all ages this summer, I don't think it would be possible to do them all.
We've all heard of Renaissance men and Renaissance women, but the Petersons of Lilburn all six of them are a Renaissance family.
My advice is, if you plan to convert your old videos, either do it soon enough so everything is still distinguishable or wait long enough that you don't even remember what you're missing.
A look back at all that happened in April, a month that passed by quickly.
Let's start with the word Easter, itself. The word comes from the Greek "Eos" and Latin "Aurora," both meaning dawn, and according to some authorities are also root words for "estrogen." From that, Anglo-Saxon pagans derived the name Eostre for their goddess of spring, honored with fertility symbols of rabbits and eggs. Not sure what any of that had to do with Jesus.
The Prayer of St. Francis is proof the new pope picked a great name.
Reflecting on 14 years writing for the Daily Post.
I'm not suggesting going back to the '50s look with matching turquoise tuxedos and black satin lapels. But if people are asked to pay $25 and dress for the occasion, is it asking too much for the performers to get in on the act as well and not wear clothes so cruddy they would be tossed in the Dumpster at even the lowest end thrift store?
If you're feeling unsure of what possibilities your book can open up to you, the library and Hudgens will be offering free workshops to introduce altered book art techniques at the Hudgens on Saturday, March 9.
What goes around comes around.
They say numbers don't lie. But I'm here to tell ya', the truth only lies in who's doing the telling.
Letter to the editor sparks memories of volunteers at schools.
When it comes to subjects, for some reason I'm drawn to snakes. Who knew I could combine them with wine.
Gwinnett is great at getting behind a project. But can we make this one about bird counting fly?
No matter how many lists and charts and calendar items I enter into my computer, I still have to log into it every time I want to keep up with my list. But there is nothing like an old fashioned stack of neon pink, orange and green index cards on the kitchen counter "in my face" telling me what I need to do.
One good year deserves another.
Whether or not a free trip to the Super Bowl is the next stop in your social life, your contribution will help many young people transition to their "next stop."
The older I get the more I enjoy intangible gifts, with music topping the list.
Growing up in a culturally diverse area, I've always had an appreciation for different cultures, including the Jewish holidays.
For those who enjoy human interaction, local churches have some great programs leading up to Christmas.
ArtReach is always looking for new venues for their workshops. If you would like to open your doors or help in other ways, visit www.ArtReachFoundation.org
I admit it, when my thoughts start to wander, there are all sorts of things that come to mind. What are yours?
My friend Jeanne Pescitelli and I have been known to spend hours strolling through fabric warehouses stroking silks, eyeballing buttons and braids, and imagining all the things we could create with them. So when I wanted to see all the chairs on display for the Gwinnett Library's Chair-ish the Arts Contest, I knew it would be a lot more fun with Jeanne, not only for opining about the chairs, but for the long ride between all the branches.
Lilburn gongmaster Yogiray Kessler 'bathing" people in sonic ways as a way to cleanse negative energy.
The local market is a good place to catch up with old friends.
Great art by great people on display at local event.
Larry Lutz didn't set out to be a legend in the tire business. He'd earned a degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech, but after some restaurant and sales jobs that didn't seem to suit him, he was looking for another way to earn a living.
McKendree United Methodist Church is calling its upcoming July 28 event a Health and Wellness Expo, but there's much more to it than that.
I'm sure many of you have favorite spots to take newcomers that you could add to my list. Please share.
Depending on what your pursuits are -- running a marathon on every continent, to name one -- they will take you some interesting places.
As usual, I can depend on my readers to come through with stories more interesting than my own. Two weeks ago, when I asked readers to share their Gwinnett memories, natives and newcomers alike had stories to share.
I felt honored to be included in the celebration of the arrival of the more than 1,600 “Dummies” books the Gwinnett County Public Library won in a nationwide contest. The deal was that the library that tallied up the most “likes” on Facebook won the whole series.
For David Bolton, when it came to canoeing, one thing just seemed to flow into another.
I love field trips. When my kids were in school I was always the first to volunteer to chaperone. Friends still tease me about the way I used to pile all the kids in the cul-de-sac into my mini-van and haul them off on some local adventure.
It’s always fun writing a mailbag column where I get to share what my readers have to say. The last few weeks have brought in some of the best.
My husband loves reading the free classics on his Kindle. But what he seems to enjoy the most is reading passages to me from books like “Crime and Punishment,” written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1866 that sound like they could have been posted on the Internet yesterday.
I love the math. I love math, period, but the philosophy behind the 3/50 Project really gets me excited. The 3/50 Project, whose mission is to “save the brick and mortar our nation is built on,” is simply one way to keep money in the local community.
Today is the day. The kickoff for the 2011 Summer Reading Program at the Gwinnett library. Every library in the county is signing kids up for their big summer reading event. (If you can’t make it to the party, you can sign up online at www.gwinnettpl.org).
Gwinnett Toastmasters really have something to talk about. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. They always have something to talk about. That’s why they join Toastmasters, so they can get up in front of an audience to talk.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
For what it’s worth, I’ve been blessed with this amazing long-term memory. I can’t remember where I put my glasses, but I can recall incidents as far back as when I was 18 months old, as verified with shock by my mother.
I don’t have a smart phone to keep everyone aware of my whereabouts, so I’ll just have to use my column to let my readers know that next weekend I’ll be vacationing in the Gulf. But while I’m having fun in the sun, I don’t want you to feel like you’ve been left behind. All kinds of cool things will be happening while I’m away.
Of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the rabbit is considered to be one of the most lovable. Maybe that’s why there are so many books about them.
It’s still 2010 and I already have about a dozen columns lined up for 2011. But before I look to the future, I’d like to take one more look at some of my columns past. Besides, with all pessimism about the economy, I love highlighting how many of “my people,” as I think of them, have flourished.
It wasn’t your physics professor’s string theory. For Dixie Huthmaker, it was the belief that she could create an adult amateur orchestra for the many musicians she saw on a daily basis in her family-run violin shop in Duluth. If only she could find the time and space.
American Education Week has come and gone. This week, observed since 1921, spotlights the importance of community support for public education. And a lot of programs like Principal for a Day which gave more than 120 county leaders a chance to see how they can help support public education, took place around the county.
Baseball, bootleggers, millionaires and more. Those are just a few topics of Norcross history you can learn about on the inaugural city cemetery tour at the Historic Norcross Harvest Festival next Saturday.
Like a little kid craning to see the car’s odometer roll over into the next all-zero milestone, I must admit it excites me every time that happens with my column, which today rolls over to 600. I looked back over the past 11 years and thought it might be fun to chronicle all my other big rollover events.
“Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh…”
The voice was unmistakable. “One more dollar and I’m goin’ home,” it trilled over the XM radio in our car. My husband and I turned and looked at each other. Can it be? Leah Calvert? The same Leah Calvert who sang on our deck for his 60th birthday party? Well, it had to be because no one else in the world has a voice like that.
You never know what path your life will take. Nor how many. A few weeks ago I wrote about Anna Huthmaker of Duluth who just wanted to take a hike with a group without feeling self-conscious about being a bit curvy, as she describes herself. She ended up organizing a hiking club for other curvy women.
When I moved to Atlanta in 1973, I was invited to an old-fashioned Southern barbecue.
I’ve always loved buying fresh produce from roadside stands, so I was delighted to see all the weekly farmers markets scheduled for the summer in Suwannee, Norcross, Auburn, Lilburn, Lawrenceville and Snellville. But then, living within walking distance of the International Farmers Market in Lilburn, what could these vendors in their little booths offer that I couldn’t find at the big market every day?
It’s 2010. We can all text and tweet. So, why would anyone still use a method of communication that employs late 19th century technology?
Trent Spake, a cycling enthusiast, had been physically working out with friends Brent Taylor and Brian Murphy for several years. Then in 2008, the wheels in their heads started turning.
This Earth Day column is about being "really into" the Earth, with its message being grounded in a special tree. This tree, deeply rooted in Gwinnett County history, shades the Interstate 85 entrance ramp at Pleasant Hill Road. Experts estimate its age between 160 to 200 years old. Standing 80 feet tall with a diameter of eight feet, this tree claims fame as the largest southern red oak in North Georgia.
I never know what kind of response my columns will bring. When I wrote last week about creating a clearinghouse for castoffs, I wondered if I'd get more requests than I could handle. Instead, most readers thanked me for recycling memories of the good old days.
In 1991, when the Braves made the World Series, I was subbing in a special education class. These kids could read only a few sight words and had practically no math skills.
For their 100th anniversary, Boy Scouts of America introduced Generation Connection, an activity to encourage Scouts to dig into their family history for past relatives who'd been involved in Scouting and then share their findings on the BSA Web site.
Melissa Baxter has always known the value of a dollar. When she was 11 years old and her brother Jason was 9, they started their own lawn service. They borrowed the $99 they needed for a push mower from their mother, who made them pay it back with interest.
"Watch the stars, and from them learn. To the Master's honor all must turn, each in its track, without a sound, forever tracing Newton's ground."
Anyone who's pro-choice about life in general is sure to love the local offerings for the Christmas season. On Friday, the Gwinnett Braves mascot, Chopper leads off at noon in the true spirit of the season with the Salvation Army's Can-a-Thon at Discover Mills. The season kicks off in Duluth that night with a downtown walk themed "The Art of Christmas Windows," with an opportunity to meet the artists.