Arts & Leisure


A COUPLE OF Lauren Ringey's dolls
05/28/2020
Being stuck at home all day has probably inspired more than a few of us to revisit our passion projects and hobbies that have just been collecting dust in the basement for months. For Lauren Ringey of Cornwall the isolation of COVID-19 has reignited a creative flame for her handmade doll company.  “I’m home all day with my machine,” said the 30-year-old Middlebury Union High School grad who started sewing just four short years ago for her son. “I’ve been making a lot. Recently I advertised some stock that I had on Instagram and sold it really quickly. Then, because everyone is stuck at home...

WHAT LITTLE IS known of these female moral reform societies comes from the reports they sent in to the parent society in New York and were published in its paper, The Advocate of Moral Reform.
05/28/2020
Of the various reform causes that Addison County women supported in the first half of the nineteenth century, there was one that became almost solely a women’s cause. Though moral reform is little known today, compared to temperance and antislavery, it was the first uniquely women’s movement for social change in America. It arose in alarm over a perceived rise in “licentiousness,” be it prostitution, fornication or adultery. In women’s hands, moral reform became a protest against male sexual aggression generally. They sought to expose predators, affirm solidarity with their victims, and equip...

NOW THAT HIKING season is here, be sure to follow social distancing guidelines, such as hiking in single file and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from your fellow hikers. Photo courtesy of Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation
05/28/2020
The end of May sees the start of the hiking season in Vermont. From its rocky summits to its gentle valleys, Vermont is home to hundreds of miles of hiking opportunities. This year, with COVID-19 as a dominant concern, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is asking hikers to take a few extra precautions to both protect public health and protect the public value of our beautiful trails. Hiking is the ideal outdoor recreational activity for these times since you can get outside for exercise and fresh air while still adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidelines, but you need to be...
05/28/2020
(Riverhead Books) Five children in an unnamed postcolonial African port city, having fled their previous lives riddled with unspoken struggles, come together, one by one, to form a little family of their own, one that cares for, protects, and provides for its members. They are clever, surviving day to day by acts of petty thievery, and living, clandestinely in the shell of a downed plane; wary and guarded, they create a code to alert the others by whistling certain phrases. The two eldest — Elimane, who teaches the other children factual history from an ever-present book, and Khoudi, a young...
05/28/2020
Springtime is finally here, and with it comes many diseases and parasites that are easily preventable. Ticks, wildlife, gardening chemicals and heartworm are just a few of the things to be aware of this time of year when thinking about your dog’s health.  Wildlife encounters are easily preventable if you simply keep your dog on a leash when outside. Porcupines and skunks are out, and if your dog has ever had a run-in with one of them, you’ll know it’s no fun for either of you. A dog who you think will stay close to the house will easily stray if it smells something good or sees wildlife to...
05/28/2020
While COVID-19 is has closed performing arts venues around the world, it is providing them with the opportunity to get creative with providing arts programming to the public. Town Hall Theater in Middlebury is no exception. Thanks to the internet age, THT has been entertaining anyone with internet access with their Quarantine Sessions — short performances by THT favorites. Go to townhalltheater.org. That is not the only thing, however. One look at their “What’s On?” listings and performing arts lovers will see a number of links to performances of opera, musicals, plays, music and dance.  This...

CUCUMBERS PICKED FRESH from the garden are a wonderful treat. With proper care, you can grow a bumper crop. Photo by Bonnie Kirn Donahue
05/28/2020
Is there anything better than a fresh, home-grown cucumber? Warmed by the sun, the crisp and juicy just-picked cucumber just doesn’t compare to store-bought ones. Although cucumbers are relatively easy to grow, getting a nice crop can take some strategizing at the beginning of the growing season.  Cucumbers can be grown easily from seed or from starts, which can be purchased at your local greenhouse or garden center. They need full sun and nutrient-rich, well-drained soil and are sensitive to dry conditions, especially while the fruit is growing. Dry conditions can make cucumbers taste bitter...

DAY 7: SELF PORTRAIT
05/21/2020
Here’s the scene: I’m at one end of the dining room table on a Zoom call for work and my wife is at the other end of the table laughing wildly. I thought my jokes during the meeting would lift the mood a little, but was quietly pleased that my wife found them so funny. After I got off the call I walked to her end of the table and asked what she found so humorous, figuring I’d repeat the best lines during my next few social interactions.  She pointed to her computer screen, where a curmudgeonly old man was holding up a piece of birthday cake to the camera. Next there was a picture of the man...
05/21/2020
(Woods Edge Press) Weybridge author, as well as a former teacher, bookseller and Middlebury College graduate, Susan Humphrey lost her second son, Dan, to an extremely rare form of cancer. As a means of sharing news with friends and family, Susan began writing letters, and the letters became a means of chronicling her sorrow and loss, a process to aid in coping with her reality, and a way forward to acceptance. Susan describes her intention in one passage after Dan’s passing, regarding what she would tell people going through the grieving process: be open, pay attention to the signs and find a...

DEBORAH CLIFFORD Photo courtesy of Henry Sheldon Museum
05/21/2020
Deborah Clifford had a passionate interest in 19th Century American history and, soon after she and her family moved to Cornwall in 1966, she began graduate study of Vermont history at UVM with Professor Sam Hand. She quickly became an enthusiastic and tireless advocate of Vermont women’s history and significantly contributed to making it a subject for serious study. Soon she was writing prize-winning articles for Vermont History; based on widespread research in local sources, they included “Women’s War Against Rum,” “The Drive for Women’s Municipal Suffrage in Vermont, 1883-1917,” and “An...

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