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From 69 degrees last week to the 20’s this week doesn’t sit right with this summer baby. Oh, well, Winter is here; we have to grin and make the best of it!

What did you do this week—shovel snow, make batches of hot, healthy soup, bake cookies? Try your hand at Adult Canvas Painting at the Dongan Hills Library, Adult Painting Class at the Beacon Community Center at IS49, attended Prompted: A Creative Writing Session at the Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, learned about Winter Survival Skills from the Greenbelt educators or joined Matt Falber as he presented “Frederick Law Olmsted—From Pear Trees to Parks” at the St. George Library.

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Did you enjoy the two days of balmy spring-like weather this past weekend? I took advantage of it by strolling through Snug Harbor with my friend, Joe, and taking in the sights and sounds. As we enjoyed “people watching”, we came upon a guitarist playing tunes, an art class of youngsters observing turtles as they went up and down a ramp and other models to sketch, people walking dogs, dogs escaping from their people (and appearing at my side!?) and sunshine during this temporary break in temps.

 

On Saturday, I attended the Staten Island OutLOUD’s series on historian Nathaniel Philbrick’s “In the Heart of the Sea”, and more particularly, African American Mariners: Unsung Strivers, at the Frederick Douglass Memorial Park at

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There were so many hikes to choose from this past week; I hope you took advantage of them or walked on your own to enjoy the First Day of 2020! The final weekend of The Festival of Tradition: Festival of Trees and Lights took place at the H.H. Biddle House in Conference House Park on Saturday and Sunday. I was invited to break bread with the members of the Tottenville Historical Society afterwards.  Following are photos from the event.

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!! Did you get to beat pots and pans outside at the strike of midnight? For as long as I can remember from childhood through adulthood, whenever we had a New Year's party at  home, it was our family tradition to stand on the porch and bang pots and pans, cow bells and/or other noisemakers to welcome in the new year.  We could hear all the boats in the Kill Van Kull sounding their horns in unison as we listened to fireworks going off all around the neighborhood. What are your New Year traditions?  Please feel free to share.  

Thank you, my gentle reader, Dorcas, for sharing photos from the Kwanzaa Celebration which was hosted by the African American Community in collaboration with the JCC Beacon Program at JHS 49 on Friday. 

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I wish all my gentle readers a joyous and blessed Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Please share photos of your holiday tables filled with food or pictures of your family and friends celebrating. I will include these photos next week on my Weekly Events blog.

The grandkiddies helped their Dad pick out our Christmas tree this past weekend; we let them choose and decorate with all the “unbreakable” handmade, homemade ornaments from many years past up and to including the present day when they created their own. It was enjoyable watching the 1 year old playing with the cats and a toy dog and running from room to room following her older siblings. Then, the inevitable happened when she attempted to climb the step stool. I guess she will be ready for stairs

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Do you have any Christmas traditions from your childhood that you still carry on to this day? Do you make recipes that were passed down from your grandparents. Our family has always had a fresh cut tree that we would decorate a few days before Christmas and take down after New Year’s. The stockings were always "hung by the chimney with care......"  Mom would make a roast of some kind and immediate family celebrated Christmas day together. As the years went by and the extended family grew, we hosted an open house all day and evening at our house centering around “Grandma” and/or the young children who, of course, were most excited about the holiday. At times, we visited other relatives in the evening, and we would eat and celebrate again. As young teens,

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Do your kiddies enjoy Slime Making? Had never thought it was a “thing” until I made the rounds of Christmas/holiday fairs and noticed vendors selling all different kinds of slime. The Huguenot Library had a Slime Making session last week also so I guess I missed the boat (and I’m glad I did!) on this fad.

My grandchildren enjoy being read to, and I certainly enjoy reading books to them. Gerard, my first born grandson, while enjoying a sleepover at my house this past weekend with his sister, Adele, happened to share something with me.  He said he taught himself to read at 3 years of age but did not want his parents to know. I asked him why and he said, “Because then I wouldn’t be able to snuggle with them as they read me books.” My fondest and scariest

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I pray that you, my gentle readers, enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. Did you take any hikes this week, especially the after-Thanksgiving or Black Friday hikes to counteract overeating or over imbibing? The Winter Wilderness Survival in Von Briesen Park with the Urban Park Rangers sounded like a fun family event. Did you attend any of the Tree Lighting ceremonies or Shop Small and Local on Small Business Saturday?

The Holiday Tree Lighting, sponsored by the Castleton Avenue Merchants Organization (CAMO) and St. Mary's Episcopal Church was held on Saturday evening. The Rev. H. Dagnall Free, Rector of St. Mary’s, welcomed the crowd as did District Attorney McMahon and North Shore Assemblyman Charles Fall. The tree lighting was well attended by

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Did you attend Living with Deer on Saturday at the Greenbelt Nature Center. During a recent trip to Colorado, I spotted four bucks just crossing the street. They are huge up close!  Notice how they look you right in the eye. 


Then, while driving home on a secondary road at night, I noticed a dark blur in front of my car. When I high-beamed the blur, it turned out to be a bunch of baby deer just hanging out in the middle of the road. Where was Mommy?!  The deer population on Staten Island has become just as rampant.  Please—don’t feed the deer!

Did you bring your family to the Victorian parlour at the beautiful Mont Sec House to listen to a Victorian Thanksgiving Story, attend Poetry and Prose with Staten Island OutLOUD celebrating Greenbelt’s

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Did you attend Folk Arts: Living Traditions-A Student Exhibition at Conference House Park last week, or finally get down to writing at the Wednesday Morning Writing Group at Great Kills Library, (I know how challenging but rewarding that can be!)?  Have your high schoolers signed up for Girls Who Code Club at the DSI Tech Incubator? Did you finally admit that you want to start your own business and attended the Learn How to Build a Successful Business Plan seminar at the St. George Library?

Check out the list of Holiday/Christmas Fairs this week around Staten Island! Trinity Lutheran Church held its Annual Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday. Following are photos from this event.

 

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