Arts & Leisure


ABBY MARIA HEMENWAY Photo courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society
05/07/2020
Like other remarkable women in Addison County, Abby Hemenway rebelled against the prevailing, centuries-old, androcentric perceptions of her gender. She was a teacher, poet, author, historian and publisher, proving herself with fortitude, independence and great accomplishments. As the contributions Abby and other extraordinary women made were realized, the collective consciousness shifted towards support of more significant roles for all women.  Abby Maria Hemenway was born in 1828, on a hill farm in Ludlow, Vt., to Abigail and Daniel Hemenway. A precocious student, starting at age 14 she...

ILLUSTRATION BY ADELAIDE Tyrol
05/07/2020
Anyone who has shared a home with a dog or a cat has learned something about the silent language of tails. Wild and domesticated animals may use tails for everything from communication to courtship, balance to locomotion, and defense to swatting flies. Tails can range from short to long and be furry, feathered, or naked.  A dog’s easy tail wag expresses friendliness, while a tucked tail shows subservience. Fear or aggression is a tail curled down. A high and tense tail signals alpha status; best to “high-tail it out of there.” On the other hand, a cat says hello by holding its tail straight...

THE VERMONT VICTORY Garden project embraces the “Grow Your Own” concept of the World War II victory garden movement. Photo courtesy of UVM Extension
05/07/2020
In response to food insecurity issues arising from the COIVD-19 pandemic, the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener program is initiating the Vermont Victory Garden project, designed to help people impacted by food insecurity to meet those needs, as well as learn critical skills in a healthy environment, by growing some of their own food. In a society driven by high-speed technology and worship of the “new,” few phrases have the enduring positive impact in the American lexicon as one that seemingly stands in a different era: victory gardens. For most of us the association with...

DOUBLE-COATED DOGS, such as this Yugoslavian shepherd, are not meant to be shaved in hotter weather. Their insulating coats are designed to keep them warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Photo by Sarah Pope
05/07/2020
I have a dog with a double coat. They require a lot of maintenance — brushing, brushing, brushing — and a vacuum cleaner that can handle mountains of shed fur on your floors. The thick coats always beg the question, especially as summer approaches, of how one can possibly keep these dogs cool.  I’m often asked if I get my dog shaved for the summer and the answer is, no. I was told not to bother by her previous owner and by my vet. People not in the know about double-coated dogs may consider that answer cruel or neglectful. The opposite is true, and here’s why. A double coat consists of a...
05/07/2020
Edgewater Galleries, Middlebury Edgewater plans to stick to its spring schedule with its May exhibits entirely online. On view now is “Sight Seeing,” a group show with Elizabeth Hoag, Kathryn Milillo and Julia Purinton. Opening last week was “Perspectives,” a group show with Jane Davies, Jon Olsen, and Alexis Serio. By June, the gallery hopes to have its doors open again for two shows: “Reflections,” a group show with Kathleen Kolb, Lori Mehta and Karen O’Neil; as well as “3 Solos: One Gallery,” featuring Hannah Bureau, Sara Katz, and Jill Matthews. More info here. Town Hall Theater,...

SADIE BRIGHTMAN SINGS with her two daughters during the THT online show last week.
05/07/2020
We asked readers to send us their tributes for Mothers' Day. Here's what they said:   Happy Mother’s Day to my amazing mom Cindy Goodman.Love, Kara   Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who takes care of six kids with no complaint. You inspire me to do my best, even when I feel like giving up. Thank you for everything you do for us, Mom. I wouldn’t want to play cards a million times a day with anybody else Love, Zosha    Becoming a mom brought out a whole new appreciation for my own Mom, and her Mom and all the moms before her.  Thank you for your patience and love and warmth that I can only...

ANDREA CHESMAN AND Richard Ruane hosted one heck of a house-warming/jam session dinner party back in 1994, which spurred the idea to start up the Ripton Community Coffee House on the first Saturday in May 1995. RCCH celebrates 25 years this May, but because of the coronavirus has had to pause any performances until the fall. Photo by Beth Duquette
04/30/2020
RIPTON — This May, the beloved Ripon Community Coffee House was set to celebrate its 25th year hosting musical gatherings at the historic Ripton Community House, a block up from the General Store on Route 125. But like so many other events, this celebration has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, too.  A special concert of local all-stars — Matt Flinner (mandolin), Brett Hughes (guitar), Caleb Elder (fiddle) and Pat Melvin (bass) — was scheduled for the first Saturday in May; now RCCH is looking at opening their 25th season in the fall — probably in October.  Instead of...

EMMA HART WILLARD Photo from the collection of the Henry Sheldon Museum
04/30/2020
Emma Hart Willard founded schools for women, published literary and instructive books, and established herself as one of the great champions for women’s equality. Although she left Middlebury in 1819, the struggles and lessons learned during her 12 years here lay at the heart of her dedication and triumphs. Emma Hart arrived in Middlebury in 1807 to be principal of the Middlebury Female Seminary. She married Dr. John Willard in 1809 and left teaching to devote herself to being wife and mother, managing their home on Main Street within steps of Middlebury College. Their lives and financial...
04/30/2020
(Viking) Sue Monk Kidd, author of the beloved “Secret Life of Bees,” vividly portrays Ana, as the imagined wife of Jesus, in her new richly textured, historically accurate and deeply engrossing novel. Ana, born in Sepphoris as the daughter of the chief scribe to the leader of Galilee, Herod Antipa, is an educated woman, whose inner longings are not to be a wife, mother, or helpmeet, but rather to be a scribe, to be a writer of her own stories and the stories of women who came before her and after her, to be a voice for silenced women. She openly rebels against society’s demands, including her...
04/30/2020
Homeward Bound, Addison County’s Humane Society, encourages pet owners to plan and prepare — but not to panic — about the impact that COVID-19 may have on their four-legged family members. Pet owners can ease some of the fear of the unknown by taking steps to make a care plan in the event that they become sick or otherwise unable to care for their pets. The essentials of a care plan include a 30-day supply of food and necessary medications, a list detailing the pets in the house, veterinarian’s contact information, the names and contact information of at least two people willing and able to...

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Addison County Independent

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