Good News December 2021

Page 1

December 2021




December 2021

December 2021

Remember When

Gilmore Brothers department store was a place where memories were made during the 118 years they served the Kalamazoo community. Gilmore’s was known for their excellent service, quality products, and welcoming atmosphere. Gilmore’s offered something for everyone. Children enjoyed the toy shop. Teens found an extensive selection of junior attire including the popular, Bobbie Brooks sweaters. Adults relied on Gilmore’s for top brands, such as: Jantzen, Fire Island and Dalton, to name a few. Brides chose Gilmore’s for their wedding gift registry of fine china, silverware and glassware, and new parents found everything they needed in the infant and toddler shops. Let’s take a walk down memory lane with the downtown store directory: Basement Gilmore’s Basement Store Main Floor Fine Jewelry • Costume Jewelry • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • Gloves • Neckwear • Heavenly Hair Creations • Accessories • Hosiery • Cosmetics • Lingerie • Blouses • Main Floor Sportswear • Cards ‘N Things • Candy • Gourmet Shop

Mall Boutiques Men’s Store • Young Men’s Shop • Ice Cream Parlor • Trim-the-Home Shop • Toy Store • Campus Shop Second Floor Dresses • Coats • Suits • Sportswear • Queen Size • Better Dresses • Contempo • The Place • California Shop • Furs • Bridal • Millinery • Shoe Salon A Place of Your Own Junior Sportswear • Junior Dresses • Junior Coats Third Floor Lingerie • Leisurewear • Foundations • Fabrics • Art Needlework • Bedding • Bath Shop • Linens • Closet Shop Fourth Floor China • Glassware • Silverware • Gifts • Lamps • Pictures • Draperies • Carpets • Housewares • Hostess Shop Fifth Floor Infants’ Shop • Toddlers’ Shop • Girls’ Shop • Co-Ed • Boy’s Shop • Children’s Shoes • Gilmore’s Tea Room • Executive Offices • Customer Service • Credit Office • Cashier

Gilmore’s opened its doors on August 20th, 1881, back in the days where women carried parasols and sewed their own bed linens and clothing. Irish immigrant, John M. Gilmore opened his dry goods business on the west side of Burdick Street. In 1883 his brother James, joined him in the business and they moved across the street to a larger location at 143. S. Burdick St. Thus, Gilmore Brothers Department Store was born. In the beginning and at the turn of the century, fashions were mostly handmade, so therefore, much of the store was dedicated to raw materials like quality fabrics. As Gilmore’s grew, the brothers continually expanded the size of the store and the goods that they offered. Both brother’s married and the family grew – there were seven children between the brothers and their wives. In 1895 at the age of only 43, John passed away and 13 years later James died at the age of 51 in 1908. Upon the final founding father’s passing, James’ wife, Carrie Gilmore took over at the helm. She overcame skepticism about a woman handling such a large business and eventually was able to borrow the money to secure property to expand Gilmore’s in 1909, to a large six-story building that was constructed in 1910-1911. A few years later, Carrie Gilmore married her neighbor Dr. W.E. Upjohn in 1913 and her son’s; James Jr., Irving and Donald took an active role in operations of the department store. Under the leadership of a new generation of Gilmores, the store continued to grow and prosper. The emphasis began to shift from fabrics to ready-to-wear clothing and they continually changed to keep up with the times, such as, adding a parking lot for automobiles, They were the first store in the city to install an escalator in 1955 and the first multilevel parking lot was added in 1956 behind Farmer’s Alley. In addition, Burdick Street was turned into the first pedestrian mall in the nation in 1959. Christmas was always extra special at Gilmore’s, with what many refer to as “the real” Santa and Mrs. Claus on site in the Children’s department, to visit with children and listen to their



Christmas wishes. When my daughter was two she was afraid to sit on Santa’s lap, so he suggested that I sit on his lap with her. I still get a chuckle every time I see that picture. In 1962 another beloved holiday tradition began with the annual Gilmore’s Christmas Parade, culminating with Santa & Mrs. Claus making their initial holiday appearance. In the early1970’s Gilmore’s growth expanded to branch stores in the Maple Hill Mall on West Main St. and in the Southland Mall on Westnedge Ave. in Portage. These branch stores continued through 1980. Gilmore’s Department Store, the biggest centennial business in the area, sadly closed its doors in 1999,

which reminds me of the proverb, “All good things must come to an end.” Since the store closed, the building has been extensively remodeled and is now known as the Kalamazoo City Centre. It houses a number of residences and businesses. The back of the building on Farmer’s Alley has some of the original flooring and the Gilmore’s elevators are still in use. Jackie Merriam Information gathered from several sources, including: Kalamazoo Public Library Local History file & story updated 3/3/10, Kalamazoo Gazette 3/29/81 “100 Years,” and

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December 2021


Two Easy, Fun Ways You Can Help Wild Birds There are many ways you can help wild birds, the most obvious being providing food, water and shelter for them. Here are two more fun, easy ways to help them: One is to join Project FeederWatch. Project FeederWatch turns your love of feeding birds into scientific discoveries. FeederWatch is a November-April survey of birds that visit backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. All you need is an area with plantings, habitat, water or food that attracts birds. The schedule is completely flexible. Count your birds for as long as you like on days of your choosing, then enter your counts online. Your counts allow you to track what is happening to birds


around your home and contribute to a continental data-set of bird distribution and abundance. FeederWatch is conducted by people of all skill levels and backgrounds, including children, families, individuals, classrooms, retired persons, youth groups, nature centers, and bird clubs. FeederWatch data show which bird species visit feeders at thousands of locations across the continent every winter. The data also indicate how many individuals of each species are seen. This information can be used to measure changes in the winter ranges and abundances of bird species over time. Project FeederWatch data are used to document and understand the distribution and abundance of birds that



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shift and move with their movements, which warns them to change direction before collision. These decals, unlike some others on the market, have textured lines embossed into the vinyl, creating a pattern that is very different from the smooth window, alerting the bird in time to veer away. Another “plus” is that you’ll enjoy the beautiful rainbows around your house as the sun shines through them! Want to learn more about your feathered friends? Stop in at Wedel’s to pick up your free bird feeding brochure. The brochure contains a handy chart to show you which feeds attract which kinds of birds.

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shortened to Cheerios in 1945 after an objection to the name by a competing cereal manufacturer. I noticed recently the CherriOats name on the box and thought they might be changing the name. I now realize the name on the 80th anniversary box is a limited edition tribute to its CherriOats roots. Cheerios is one of the oldest cereals still in production. A few other cereals that have stood the test of time include: I enjoy nibbling on a small bowl of dry Grape Nuts (1897), Corn Flakes (1906), Wheaties (1927) and Rice Krispies Cheerios with my hot tea every morning. The other day, I noticed on the box (1928). Animated characters like the Honthat Cheerios was celebrating their 80th Anniversary. I would never have guessed eybee, Bullwinkle and other popular characters were featured in the Cheerios they have been around that long. commercials over the years to target Cheerios, America’s favorite cereal by children. Cheerios became a popular both revenue and boxes sold, is manufood for babies beginning at ages 9-12 factured by General Mills and began months. They help infant’s transition to as “CheeriOats” in 1941, which was

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visit feeders in North America. The massive amounts of data collected by Feeder Watchers across the continent help scientists understand, among other things, the kinds of foods and environmental factors that attract birds. If you would like to participate, go to to sign up. Another way to help wild birds is to prevent birds from striking against windows. Bird strikes are one of the leading causes of bird death. Bird feeders are usually placed near windows so that we can see and enjoy them. But from the bird’s view, your window may just look like a continuation of their world. Window Gems are prismatic, static cling vinyl decals that will help prevent them from striking the glass. As birds fly toward a window protected with Window Gems, the reflections

solid food and in developing fine motor skills. Cheerios, made with whole grain oats, can help lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. Last February, during American Heart Month, a heart shape replaced the standard “O” shape cereal for a limited time as part of the heart healthy initiative. Over the years, a few other shapes including X’s to encourage playing games with the cereal and the number 2 to celebrate the Millennium have been added on a limited basis. The traditional Cheerios flavor did not change during the first 30 years of production. Since then several other flavors have made their debut, including the popular, Honey Nut Cheerios flavor. My favorite flavor is still the original, classic Cheerios flavor with a few multi-grain Cheerios mixed in for a bit of added sweetness. - Jackie Merriam

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December 2021


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Ellen: Growing up we weren’t a tv-centric family. Antiques Roadshow on PBS was one of the exceptions. With a bowl of popcorn in the middle we would all watch intently as the experts led the hopeful owners and audience through the charms or unfortunate damage on their item. Their gentle academic voices built the tension until it was revealed that *gasp* the table/china plate/clock/ painting/etc. was worth much more than anyone could have hoped.

I adored this concept of finding a diamond in the rough; the surprise of discovering that old spoon collection that grandma took such good care of was, in fact, worth enough to buy a car. Sure, the finds showcased on the program were rare but, the potential that that could happen to anyone who merely cleaned out their basement was such fun. As an adult, I still love exploring antique stores. I have none of the expertise and, so far, my luck hasn’t re-

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ally activated, but who knows, maybe someday I’ll find that treasure? Jane: Ellen and Michael are visiting us for a week and, while we are assembling a jigsaw puzzle, they mention that they need a replacement interior door for their house. This is not anything that I can help with so I keep looking for that yellow piece with the three arms. Ellen says, “We don’t want a new door because the house is mid-century and we kind of want it to match the other ones.” Dean says, “There’s a place downtown that has an entire basement full of interior doors—every era represented. It’s called The Heritage Company. They do architectural salvage.” I can sense that Ellen and Michael have lost interest in the puzzle; they are putting on their coats. Perhaps, here is where I should mention that I have zero interest in antiques. I know this will disappoint many people but I like drawers that don’t stick and paint that doesn’t flake. I pull on my coat and follow the family out to the car all the while hoping that we don’t come home with a musty door that creaks. We arrive at the salvage place and I whisper a “thank you” that the basement staircase has a handrail. We all troop down into a vast cavern of old doors, windows, pillars, and railings.

It’s like exploring all the houses of all my dead relatives. It kinda smells like that, too. Ellen is rubbing her bare hand over cracked varnish and Michael is measuring widths while Dean ducks into low-ceilinged storage rooms. I am watching where I place my feet. This basement and I do not love each other so I go back upstairs. The end of the story? Ellen and Michael find the perfect door to match their house. And, at the neighboring antique store, I spot two end tables--not too old, excellent condition--that will look lovely with their brand new sofa. Ellen Radke and Jane Knuth

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“Jas is lost and working in her family's donut shop. When she accidentally follows her crush on Instagram, things start to change. An all-around good book that touches on family dynamics, friendships, and issues faced by recent college grads. For fans of Get a Life, Chloe Brown and The Friend Zone .” —Suzy Card, Grapevine Library, Grapevine, TX NoveList read-alike: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

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December 2021


Vintage Toys

Dear Santa…that is how the letter starts. Children have requested many toys A during the season of giving. Some you will recall on your own list! The depression of the 1930’s put an end to Christmas trees loaded with extravagant or bountiful hauls for children of the 1920’s. You might guess that toy companies closed or decreased production, but that is incorrect! Technology, entertainment and the economy did influence the toys that were developed and marketed in the 1930’s. Radio and movie theater advertisements helped new toys to find their way to more children. The View-Master was named the biggest toy of the decade by Forbes magazine. Board games became available during this decade. Monopoly and Sorry have stood the test of time! Wartime in the 1940’s changed how toys were manufactured and

what children played with. Model plane kits, army men, Tonka trucks, radio sets and games were choices for boys. Girls enjoyed tea sets, dolls and homemaking tools. During the early 1940’s children did not have as many gifts because steel, rubber and other items were being used only for war efforts. Additionally, men who ran the toy manufacturing companies were likely overseas or their companies retooled to meet the demands of the war. Mr. Potato Head, Barbie dolls, the hula-hoop, the Slinky and many more toys were produced in the baby-boom era of the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Parents had more money and more leisure time to play with, and indulge, their children. Interesting toy facts from this decade include that Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television and that parents who bought one before 1960

had to provide the potato for his head! Hula Hoops, marketed in the late 1950’s by Wham-O Corporation, sold 25 million hoops in their first six months of production. Of course, Barbie joined dolls like Betsy Wetsy and Chatty Cathy at the end of the decade. Barbie has celebrated her birthday many times, but remains a timeless toy. The mid-1960’s were a time when kids had many choices for their Santa list. 1966 brought Batman and then Batman toys to the country. After entertainment themed toy sales soared, toys modeled after sports figures, television characters and musicians were big sellers. Toys popular in the Fifties were still enjoyed by children of the 1960’s. Some changes were made to keep old standbys popular. Electronic was the word on every Santa list of the 70’s. Sales of elec-

tronic toys were huge and kids wanted blinking lights and sounds! A new market introduced in the Seventies that of video games would change the toy industry forever. Video games like Atari and Gameboy continued in popularity in the 80’s and 90’s. Things like Rubik’s Cube had sold in the hundred millions by the early 80’s. Care bears and cabbage patch babies had people waiting in line (and causing near riots) to fulfill a child’s holiday wish. The wish list might be similar to those of years past, but toys have come a long way in history and continue to be a strong industry. Some toys have stood the test of time and remind parents and grandparents of their own favorite toy. Teri Standiford Vintage Gardens Estate Services

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December 2021


Are You A Victim of Gaslighting? Help Yourself to Be the Best Version of You. It is important that within your relationships you feel validated, heard, and loved. If you are in a relationship that you feel is unhealthy, you need to take steps toward deciding what to do in order for you to be the happiest version of yourself. It is not selfish for you to take care of yourself. Some people experience gaslighting within their relationships which leads a person to second guess themselves or question their own sanity. The manipulative person in the relationship, whether done maliciously or not, is trying to control the

other person for fear they may leave the relationship or have less control over that person. Gaslighting could be done by a close friend, spouse, partner, parent, or boss. It isn’t necessarily done intentionally. Gaslighting happens by withholding money, sex or your favorite together activities, and not listening to the other person. Countering happens when the gaslighter questions the events in question. Blocking or diverting occurs when the gaslighter changes the subject and questions the victim’s version

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of the event or events. Trivializing the event makes the victim’s feelings seem not important. Finally, the forgetting or denial stage is when the gaslighter forgets what really happened or denies what he/she says they would do. Do you think you may be a victim of gaslighting? Are you secondguessing yourself or making excuses for the person that is manipulating you? Are you constantly apologizing and wondering why you aren’t happy in your own life? Here are some examples of what an individual may say

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to manipulate the other person into second-guessing their words or actions: You are so emotional. You are always turning things around. Why are you always on the defense? You need help. Stop getting upset over nothing. I never did that. You are lying. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. It’s not a big deal. I didn’t say that. Stop being so sensitive. What can you do if you or someone you love is a victim of gaslighting? Start with making small decisions. Ask a friend or family member if they have noticed the gaslighting to assist in getting a second opinion. Give yourself permission to feel how you feel and give yourself permission. Don’t allow yourself to engage in any arguments that clearly are power struggles. You may need to take a look at yourself and see if you need to walk away from the relationship, even if it means changing your lifestyle or not having nice things. Once you have decided the best course of action for yourself, breath and take baby steps in finding your personal success. If you are noticing that you are struggling with your own mental health as a result of being a victim of gaslighting then it is not too late to reach out to a mental health provider. They are there to walk alongside you as you find the best version of who you want to be. Remember, at the end of the day the only person’s opinion of you that matters is your own.


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December 2021



Let’s talk organization instructions for a task that occurs nearly every day? 5. Are you confused how your child can beat 15 levels of a video game but seems to forget the steps to getting ready for school?

Attention all parents! Take a minute to answer the following yes/no questions: 1. Have you had to make a path in your child’s room to avoid tripping on a pile of unidentified items and breaking a hip? 2.

Have you stepped on so many stray LEGOs that you have a permanent dent on the bottom of your foot?


Has your child answered “yes” to question if they finished their homework 13,248 times to find out that 13,242 times something was missing? Do you repeat the exact same



If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are in good company! As a chaos coordinator myself, my child’s lack of skill in this area comes naturally. If you struggle with this in your home, then this article is for you! Some people are naturally born with the organization trait. They think in lists, charts and graphs. These things come naturally to them. For those of us who have to work at it, it takes a lot of practice. Whether you are super tidy and detail-oriented or live a world of chaos, teaching this to your children is hard work. Let’s touch a few tips for helping children by age group. From toddlers to preschoolers, visual schedules are fantastic. Here’s what you do - Find pictures of the items/ activities/places that are relevant and print them out, slap some Velcro to the back and put them on some posterboard. Everyday you make the


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brain get things done. It’s difficult to see how to get to the finish line when we can’t figure out what to even do first. Lastly, use technology as your friend for the older adolescents. App-based checklists for homework, chores, responsibilities, and extra-curricular activities help keep everyone organized. A shared family calendar or incentive-based (money, rewards) apps save parents from the broken record of “did you do…?”, giving you more quality time as a family! As always, good luck! You’re doing a great job!

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schedule and they get to move the completed task picture to the “done” pile. That gives them responsibility and control of their day. Schedules are great for older kids as well. My favorite is the checklist. Have you ever sent your child to clean their room and go in there 45 minutes later to see them standing in the middle of a tornado of stuff and saying “I didn’t know where to start and got overwhelmed”? And don’t get me starting on the daily routine of getting ready for school. Tired adolescents and personal hygiene are a recipe for disaster. I repeat – checklists are amazing! Extra points if you can get your hands on a laminator so they can check off the list with a dry erase marker. Breaking the steps down of tasks helps the unorganized

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December 2021

GILMORE CAR MUSEUM Winter Wonderland

New Outdoor Holiday Lights Experience and Indoor Festival Of Trees Display Perfect for Memorable Family Holiday Outings The full Winter Wonderland experience includes the outdoor driving tour through beautiful colors, lights, music, and dynamic decorations, plus a visit inside the museum for the Gilmore’s decorated Festival of Trees among hundreds of classic cars, and a visit with Santa Claus. Winter Wonderland is a partnership between the Gilmore Car Museum and Bluewater Technologies, of Grand Rapids, the same group behind the fall IllumiZoo – Wild Hues lights experience at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. In addition to the spectacular lights show, A memorable Winter Wonderland sights and experiences available to guests at the Gilmore this winter include: Classic cars from the museum’s collection dramatically displayed inside Gilmore Snow Globes Dashing Through the Snow family rides in Ford Model Ts, a Checker Taxi Cab, a ’63 Cadillac convertible, and several other vintage cars from the collection A giant, one-of-a-kind maze of holiday inflatables that ends at an LED wall where kids can feed virtual reindeer A stop inside Santa’s Garage, the big man’s hot rod workshop, located

inside our 1930s Shell Station Featured outdoor artwork exhibits from legendary automotive illustrators including Art Fitzpatrick, Van Kaufman, and Jeff Norwell A nostalgic 1960s fresh Christmas tree and wreath lot, complete with a vintage Shasta camper trailer Gourmet hot chocolate, adult drinks, holiday-themed food & sweets, and holiday gift shopping 
Josh Russell, Executive Director of the Gilmore Car Museum, says this is the first time the museum has created this type of expansive holiday lights experience, which also helps tell the history of “generations of American holiday celebrations” through the automobile. “At the Gilmore Car Museum, we celebrate both cars and history on an exceptionally beautiful 90-acre campus in the Michigan countryside, so it’s truly the perfect place to host a drive-thru and walk-through holiday lights experience for our community,” Russell said. “This spectacular Christmas and holiday lights show will bring our Michigan Winter Wonderland to life, and create lasting holiday memories for our guests both inside the family car – and inside the museum,” added Russell. Guests can expect to drive their cars through the winding roadways within the museums picturesque

campus, to be dazzled by more than 25 individual themed lights displays, lighted historic barns, and decorated vintage-era car dealerships. When the drive ends, the experience continues inside the museum – with the Gilmore’s Festival of Trees displayed among hundreds of spectacular classic cars, special Christmas Through The Decades exhibits, a visit with Santa Claus, reindeer games for the kids, and available holiday food & beverage items. Winter Wonderland at the Gilmore Car Museum will run throughout the holiday season, from Wednesday, November 24, 2021 through Sunday, January 9, 2022. Open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm - 9pm ET Open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Special Holiday Days from 5pm - 10pm ET


Vehicle entry gates close one hour before end of each night Tickets are now available for purchase at Tickets are sold per person, and include access to the museum during that same evening: -$20 at door / $17.50 online in advance, Adults 18+ -$12 at door / $9.50 online in advance, Children Ages 5-17 -FREE Children ages 4 & under • Dashing Through the Snow family rides in vintage cars are an additional $20/family (of up to four people), and can be purchased onsite each night - first come first served, while supplies last. For questions or more information, visit, call (269) 671-5089 or email info@


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December 2021



The Kalamazoo Winter Market, formerly known as the Bank St. Winter Market has moved from their Bank St. location nearby to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 930 Lake St. in Kalamazoo. The market dates are every Saturday from 8am1pm November 27th through April 30th. They will be closed Christmas Day, but plan to be open on New Year’s Day this season. The space is ample, allowing for over 30 vendors, and there is plenty of parking, which makes the space ideal, says Jeff Voissem, market vendor and owner of Kaboona’s Kitchen. Volessem, along with Tony Ciluffo, vendor and owner of Black Kase Cheese, are working together to coordinate this year’s market. You will find local vendors producing a variety of products at the Kalamazoo Winter Market, such as: farm fresh eggs, artisan breads & cheeses, locally raised beef, pork, chicken & fish, baked goods, gluten free snacks, local produce, fresh milled oats & oat products, jams &

jellies, flavored popcorn & kettle corn, micro herbs and greens, artisan pastas and sauces, cheese spreads, flavored coffee beans, maple syrup, honey, herbs and spices, health and beauty care items, candles, ceramic housewares, framed art, cards, jewelry and more. Since 2011, the Kalamazoo Winter Market (Bank St. Winter Market) has provided local growers, local producers and local businesses a venue to offer their products to the Kalamazoo community year round. Bingo Hall owner, Joe Mapes and Carl Rizutto, owner of Papa’s Italian Sausage started the winter market to provide a place for vendors from the outdoor farmers market to continue to sell year round. The Kalamazoo Winter Market runs during the months that the outdoor market isn’t open. They are not affiliated with the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market, run by the People’s Food Co-op, but they work hand-inhand promoting one another. Last year, due to Covid, the Bingo Hall was forced to close indoors after running the indoor market under the grocery store guidelines, for a month. From January through April, ten

vendors were given permission to run a mini- winter market outside under the Bingo Hall awning. “The dedication of our vendors was matched by our customers, as they came out and supported those vendors, braving the cold weather,” says Voissem. This past summer it was determined that the Bingo Hall wasn’t going to reopen and was recently sold. Ciluffo, who produces his cheeses in the kitchen at the St. Joseph Catholic Church suggested the venue and approached the church to see if they would be interested in renting out the gymnasium to host the Kalamazoo Winter Market. The church agreed and the Kalamazoo Winter Market had a new home! The launch date of the Winter Market coincides nicely with the Shop Local initiative. “When you shop local, 70% of the money remains in the community, which strengthens our community. Vendors and customers have a symbiotic relationship and both are necessary for the Kalamazoo Winter Market to thrive,” says Voissem Molly Kuivenhoven, who has managed the food at

the winter markets in the past, will handle concessions at the winter market. She will be serving up hot coffee, fresh donuts, breakfast sandwiches, and offers a breakfast special with eggs, toast, hash browns and choice of bacon or sausage. For lunch, she will be serving chili from Papa’s Italian Sausage, hot dogs, grilled cheese, canned pop, chips & snacks. Vendor space is still available and is very affordable. For more information please contact Jeff Voissem by messaging him on their Facebook page at KalamazooWinterMarket. Shop the Kalamazoo Winter Market and experience “Fresh, Friendly, Local,” as they bring fresh products and friendly vendors to a convenient indoor setting. Jackie Merriam

Cereal City Concert Band Dr. Stephen White, Conductor - PR E SE N TS -

We’re here to help you make your 2022 health goals a reality! Stop in for a free tour at either (or both!) of our facilities and let us show you around. Pools. Tracks. Shiny new fitness equipment. Free-weight areas. And an opportunity to belong to the Y Movement.


We’re connecting people every day with opportunities for healthy living. We work hard to ensure that the YMCA is a place where ALL feel safe, respected, and empowered to reach their personal potential.

Financial assistance is available. Sunday, December 12 Pennfield Performing Arts Center 3:00pm

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Tickets at the door: 50/50 & Poinsettia Raffles!

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December 2021


Goodbye Jim, Farewell Bob, So Long Ringo, Sting, and Stevie Parting with old friends is such sweet sorrow*. A trend swept through social media about reducing our loads of accumulated ‘stuff.’ Many of us began unpacking the boxes of unused items we’d stored for years. I realized every storage space and cabinet in our house was filled to bursting. I think every item we own takes up a piece of our finite brain space too, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Couldn’t we use that space for better purposes? And no, not for collecting more stuff ! I started downsizing with something I never looked at - our old record albums. We gave away our turntable and speakers years ago. If there’s a song we want, we can ask our devices to ‘play Light my Fire’ and hear it anytime. So, I began the job of hauling the albums upstairs. We liked music so the job required heavy lifting. Talk about memories! Oops, here’s

an album during which a friend had gotten overly enthusiastic about doing the dance ‘The Stomp’ in front of the turntable. Their dancing resulted in a massive scratch across the grooves. Out! Uh-oh, here’s a Bob Dylan that’s been played to death. Out! I finished up with a big stack of good albums. Then I sorted them by artist. But wait. Some of them had great psychedelic hippy art on the covers. Maybe I should keep a few? Well, if I haven’t looked at them in years, what are the chances I’ll do it now? So I took photos of my favorite covers and can see them anytime. Then the Big Problem arose. And the Big Problem was named Jim Morrison. Did I really want to give away Jim and all the other ‘Riders on the Storm’? Could I really ‘Break on Through’ my obsession with The Doors? Jim was my favorite singer and the poet laureate of my generation’s moodiness. I mean this seri-

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ously. Read some of his lyrics and you’ll see he was a great emotional poet. Maybe I’ll set Jim aside and decide later. Next, I started my search for record stores and discovered that businesses buying used albums are few and far between. I found three, resulting in one that ‘might’ be interested. We loaded the albums into the trunk, including my precious Doors albums, and headed for Lake Michigan. I can turn almost any errand into a trip to Lake Michigan. I call it ‘taking the backroads’ and accidentally ending up at the beach (even if the errand was only 2 miles away from Kalamazoo). My albums were in pretty good condition, and it was easier for me to part with them when I saw the clientele who would be buying them. A lot of the customers were teens to young adults and the albums were priced reasonably. It made me happy that younger people were appreciat-

ing my generation’s music. We boomers had the best rock music ever, no kidding. Now that the hardest job of parting with some of our stored stuff is behind me, maybe I’ll tackle those boxes of tchotchkes from my grandmother, mother, and auntie. I’ve seldom looked at them but still treasure every object for the memories. I wonder if there are any stores that want vintage tin hand mixers or delicate appetizer trays on trendy toothpick legs from the 50’s? I’ll have to start calling around. But first I’d have to haul them all upstairs. Sounds like a lot of work. I think I’ll ride my bike instead. Maybe I’ll get to it next year. ;) *Inspired by Shakespeare’s quote in “Romeo and Juliet” Ann Murray


December 2021


be ART ful

Hello December! This is undeniably the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a season of giving, gratitude, kindness, grace, forgiveness, peace and love. I am so thankful to live in such an inclusive community where we can celebrate with each other; embracing all aspects of individuality with appreciativeness for our unique differences. With much respect and admiration amongst us, let’s amp up this opportunity to wish each other good cheer. When thinking about the art project for this magical month, I was drawn to texture, shape and color. In wanting to keep with a bit of holiday

tradition, I chose the symbol of the pine tree. In its most basic form, it exudes elegance in an understated way, undoubtedly evoking memories from seasons past. Ready to achieve a Christmassy collection of these handmade trees on your own? Follow my instantly gratifying and simplistic instructions. Supplies needed: cone shape . yarn . wood base . skewer . scissors . awl . hot glue Step 1. You will need a cone shape to create your tree. I purchased ready-made wire, styrofoam and paper mache cones in different sizes from a local craft supply store. All

three types work wonderfully for this project. Also purchased was yarn in which I chose an assortment of cheerful holiday colors. With memorable names like winter spa, pumpkin spice, sweater weather, eggnog and pine in textures of velvet, cotton and wool. Step 2. Starting from the top of the cone shape, hot glue the end of your yarn. Begin wrapping and adding glue in various areas on the form to hold in place. You can choose to do a random pattern or an intentional spiral all the way to the bottom. Cut a tail and glue to the end or underside of the cone.

Step 3. The small paper mache tree looks adorable with a wood base. Gather the wood from outside and cut to your liking or get precut discs from a craft supply store. Taking an awl, push the sharp end into the center of the wood, deep enough to secure the skewer in place. With the pointed end of the skewer, add hot glue on the tip and set the tree cone on top. Poke a tiny opening in the top of the cone to help secure the skewer in place and the yarn will disguise it. Add a drop of hot glue in the hole of the wood base and insert the bottom of the skewer with the attached cone shaped tree. This jolly little forest of yarn wrapped trees look absolutely charming displayed on a mantel or windowsill. The taller trees would also make a festive statement as the centerpiece at your gathering table. Use the mini trees for the perfect accompaniment as a place setting for your guests and as a joyful take home gift to commemorate the occasion. Wishing you all a very inspired holiday season. From my heart to yours, Merry Everything and Happy Always! xo ~Bridget Email: Social: bridgetfoxkzoo

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December 2021


Piece by Piece Piece by piece, the puzzle pieces that complete the picture of our lives. One of the aspects I love about how a picture begins to take shape is discovering the pieces that were snapped into place before I was born and how puzzle pieces of someone else’s picture were destined to fit together with mine. I discovered this tree along our creek that runs into Max Lake when we moved into our home in 2000. I imagined the stories behind the names. I envisioned teenage laughter and fun on a particular day when chores and schoolwork were distant thoughts. Recently I learned that though a puzzle piece of my life may not have carved her initials into that tree, the left side of the creek she knew well. In the sharing of the picture of her life, I no longer had to imagine what may have been. She handed me pieces

of her part in building the foundations to a neighborhood I call home and the Bloomingdale community I call my hometown. She was between the ages of 12 and 14 when she moved into the home on the left side of the creek. Her mom would charge $1.00 for people to either camp by Max Lake or utilize one of the 6 boats for fishing. Her father auctioned many a valued possession to be able to move his family to their home. Her first paying job was detasseling corn in the fields of our neighborhood. She shared her mom’s creativity in meal making that wisdom would later reveal was a way of stretching food to feed five. Of her mother’s generous heart to strangers who could earn themselves a night’s stay in a cabin by that tree. She shared the seed she would continue to water in her lifetime; her father’s unwavering de-


termination, and that the best realized dreams include country living and family. She left to earn her degree at Michigan State; she returned to raise her family with her beloved printer. (He published the Bloomingdale Advertiser inherited from his father who once called it the Bloomingdale Leader.) While growing up, she gathered additional pieces to build a picture of life shaped in the forms of loyalty, humility, gratitude, kindness, and relationship-building. Relationships. The most vibrant colors of every puzzle piece. Friends who loved to camp in 49 of the 50 states, play cards on Saturday nights, and eat breakfast at surrounding community restaurants such as the Shagnasti. Friends whose shoulders were leaned on when life down turned. High school students for twenty-five years; she the eyes and ears for the

parents and a parent fill-in for the kids. After all, it is a village which helps raise each child. And it is a founding member of a community whose roots have grown deep into the soil that once walked beside a tree on the left side of the creek. At that time, she did not know that many years later she would send Christmas cards to a mailbox on the right side of the creek sharing her joy of watching a dog run down the driveway every day. A card that communicated not only hello neighbor and wishes for a very Merry Christmas. It would be a card that communicated the joining of puzzle pieces that complete a beautiful picture of neighborhood belonging.

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December 2021



Make No Bones About It If you thought this article relates to bones, give yourself a pat on the back, but not too hard. You might end up with a fracture. The November 2021 issue of Nutrition Action, featured an interview with Bess Dawson-Hughes, director of the Bone Metabolism Team at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. She summarized the latest research on bone density, diet, supplements, and exercise. I’d like to share some of the Center’s findings. Roughly 20 percent of women and 4 percent of men over 50 have osteoporosis, or brittle bones. Another 50 percent of women and 30 percent of men over 50 have osteopenia, or low bone mass. Many of you reading this column have either broken a bone or know someone who has, often the result of a fall. Sometimes the fall is minor, but the results aren’t. Once a person has fallen, there is a fear of falling again, resulting in not wanting to move. Inactivity generates a further decrease in bone and muscle mass, as

well as a decrease in cardiovascular function. Men will lose about 1 percent of bone mass a year from age 50 throughout their lives. Women at menopause will lose bone mass rapidly for about five to eight years, sometimes with a 2 percent or even 3 percent loss per year. This is triggered by a loss of estrogen. After that, women lose at a slow, steady rate of around 1 percent a year. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a bone density test at age 65 for women and at 70 for men. Knowing whether you have osteoporosis or osteopenia is important! Osteoporosis is sometimes detected in the loss of height. The intervertebral discs in your spine lose water content, thus shrinking the discs and resulting in a typical height loss of 1 ½ inches. However, any loss above that may be an indicator of a compression fracture in your spine. This can result in a curved spine, common in a lot of older women.


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Once it was commonly thought that a daily does of a vitamin D supplement could decrease the rates of bone loss. However, in the last 10 years there has been a spate of huge clinical trials looking at vitamin D’s effect on falls, fractures, heart disease, cancer, and infections. In general, the megaD trials (large dose) have found no benefit. However, a more modest dosage may prove beneficial. The National Academy of Medicine’s 2011 advice is to get 600 IU of vitamin D a day up to age 70 and 800 IU a day over 70. That is based on studies that showed favorable effects on bone health. With the mega D trials, it was assumed that if some was good, more may be better. That was not true for falls and fractures. Vitamin D and calcium often are paired in a supplement because both have been linked to bone health. As far as the recommended intake of calcium, 900 milligrams a day puts you in a good range. If you’re lower, you may need a boost to 400-500 milligrams a

day. Weight-bearing exercise (using hand weights or stretch bands) has a direct link to stronger bones. It turns out that bone cells are extremely responsive to gravitational force, thus making exercise in an upright position critical for bone health. Exercising with weights loads the skeleton, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the exercise. For those getting a head start of resolutions for the New Year, weight bearing exercise deserves some serious consideration. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Ken Dettloff ACE Certified Personal and Brain Health Trainer


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December 2021

Recipes Originally used for soups made with game birds that fell into disuse, the term “bisque” was resurrected many years later as a shellfish soup in French recipes that date back to 17th century. Not initially considered a fancy soup, and made by finely crushing the shells of whatever seafood was used, many food historians suggest it was a fisherman’s dish that was designed to get the most flavor -and use- out of what they had on hand. While many theorize that the name “bisque” pays homage to the Bay of Biscay, which is the enormous, shellfish-rich sweep of water that is bordered by the eastern coast of France and the northern coast of Spain, it is more likely that the word


Winter “Bisque” Wonderland bisque is derived from a contraction of two words: “Bis,” meaning “twice” or “again” and “cuites,” meaning “cooked” because the initial way of making a bisque was to first roast the shells then simmer them in a broth- twice cooked! With its second debut in the culinary world having the dish solely refer to soups made from crustaceans, it would appear quite redundant to call such a soup a seafood bisque. However, since the main characteristic of a bisque is that it is pureed into a smooth and velvety texture, the term soon became separated from seafood, and started to include just about anything. The term “bisque” then shifted to not being based on the choice of ingredient, but the technique for utilizing ingredients -pureeing them into an amazing, smooth texture,

Crab Bisque

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Total: 30 mins; Yield: 4 servings 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped 2 tablespoons celery, chopped 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 1/2 cups milk 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

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which is what made it a necessity to identify whether there is any seafood in that bisque! In its earliest beginnings authentic recipes for bisque called for the grinding of the shells of the crustacean into a fine paste, and using that to thicken the soup. Nowadays, it is more common to use rice or a puree as a thickener. In fact, it has become quite common to see the word bisque used to describe any puréed soup, whether made from crustacean or vegetable, cream-based or thickened with roux, such as Butternut squash bisque, tomato bisque, and mushroom bisque to name a few. What’s interesting is that although a bisque and a chowder are both cream-based soups, and most often feature seafood, their consistency and texture is what sets them apart. Bisques are always smooth while a

chowder is chunky. In recent years, the term “bisque” is fast replacing the word “cream” in soups quite likely because Celery Bisque on a menu will sell more bowls of soup than Cream of Celery soup will! Another trend with bisque is to not puree all the ingredients, but rather reserve some of the main ingredient to stir in after the soup has been puréed to give you something to behold in the soup as well as bite into! Here now is a seasonal sampling of one smooth way to make a great bowl of soup- ENJOY!

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 cup heavy whipping cream 16 ounces crabmeat, divided use 2 tablespoons sherry wine In a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Blend in flour and continue cooking,

stirring, for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in milk and continue cooking and stirring until thickened. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, and heavy cream. If desired, add half of the crab meat then puree soup in a blender, food processor or an immersion blender then return to saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in crab, and sherry. Bring up to a simmer then remove from heat and serve immediately.

Story, photos, and recipes by Laura Kurella

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December 2021



Tempting Tomato Bisque Prep: 25 mins Cook: 30 mins Total: 55 mins; Yield: 4 servings 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons tomato paste 4 cups low sodium chicken bone broth 29 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained 3 tablespoons sugar, or sub 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 cup heavy cream unrefined sea salt and black pepper, to taste In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until flour is light-

ly browned. Stir in tomato paste, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then add chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, and nutmeg. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender. Pour half to three-quarters of the soup into a blender, depending on how chunky you want it, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Alternately, you can use a stick (immersion) blender and puree a portion of the soup in the saucepan. Return pureed soup to saucepan and stir in cream. Turn heat on to medium and heat just until soup is hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

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December 2021


By the Way... “ Our Emily Dickinson ”

brought out of those dark drawers and into the light for family and friends. As the daily events Muriel experienced inspired fresh insights she explored and examined—so, too, her poetry provides a glimpse into this remarkable woman’s soul and the essence of being human— cognition and conscious awareness. Poetry, unlike any other art form, is so often a private passion. The famous American poet, Emily Dickinson, was not well known during her lifetime. It was after Dickinson’s death in 1886 that her younger sister, Lavinia, discovered her body of work hidden in drawers or a closet, and set them free for the world to admire and cherish. Our family, too, had our own Emily Dickinson, and didn’t know at the time—nor did she. James D. Coppinger

My mother, Clarissa, was the oldest of four siblings and her only sister, Muriel, was a year younger. Both always remained close. While my mother’s demeanor was quiet and reserved, Muriel was gregarious and flamboyant. Yet it wasn’t till years later we found Aunt Mur’s outward approach to life was simply a colorful wrapping for an astonishingly intuitive, profound, creative, and spiritual inner core. Living in the same town, each with five children to raise, my mother and Muriel stayed close and talked on the phone daily. I clearly recall my mother saying, after a phone conversation, “Muriel read me a beautiful poem she wrote this morning.” As a kid, I didn’t inquire more or really give it any thought. Over time, since I frequently heard my mother comment on Muriel’s poems, it just became part of the wallpaper of my childhood. Muriel passed away in 1996. Her son, Sandy, opened the drawers of a large dresser and discovered hundreds of handwritten poems tucked away. Each poem was probably written at the dining room table in the quiet evening or early morning. There, Muriel sat and reflected on “everyday things” and explored, with wonder and compassion, the emotions and feelings that emerged—converting those personal images into words onto the sheet of paper before her. Maybe she gave the poem a couple of reads and laid it

aside, and if she thought worthy, read it to my mother. After she shared her poem with my mother, and perhaps her husband, Bud, it was added to her private collection in that dresser—destined never to be read again. I wonder how often Muriel mused over finding just the right words or phrasing to distill a glimmer of insight as she waited for the toast to pop up, made the bed, or swept the porch. Perhaps these musings became the seed for tomorrow’s poem. The rediscovered poems were not marked with corrections or rewrites. Like a photo taken at a family picnic, they captured what was in the frame at that moment. Her writing style, poetic structure, and voice, were entirely hers. So, too, the rhyme, rhythm, and meter. Muriel didn’t go to college or take writing courses—what leaped from her mind to paper was self-taught. Poetry was her private passion; she didn’t write to submit for contests, read at gatherings, or publish. Fame or recognition was never the goal. These works were simply accounts of her inner reflections on life and daily experiences which gave rise to a fascination in just how significant small things truly are — the family dog sleeping curled on a rag-braided rug on an autumn afternoon. Her son, touched by his find of year’s worth of his mother’s poetry, gathered

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them up. They are a lasting connection to her and a treasured path to explore the intellect, wisdom, compassion, and artistic expression of a woman for whom he only knew the “mother side” of her being. Sandy spent months reading every poem and tormented over selecting “the best,” “his favorites,” and “most characteristic” of her work to publish eighty-eight poems in a book he titled “Inspirations by Muriel.” For the first time since Muriel penned each poem, her work was

Muriel Paetz, just after high school graduation, 1940


December 2021


H0liday recycling!

Another holiday season is upon us, and I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping it is very different from December of 2020! Last year, I celebrated Christmas morning by hopping onto Zoom to watch my grandchildren open their presents in the hygienic safety of their own homes. No family dinners for us – only a quick meet-up the weekend before at the New Buffalo Culver’s, where we exchanged wrapped presents and sat in our cars, talking through opened windows. Very unsatisfying! This year promises to be much different for my kin. I will be fully boostered, and my grandkids will have received their second COVID vaccine. Hooray! I can hardly wait. Even if presents are still on a cargo ship in the Pacific, we will be together, and isn’t that the ultimate gift? All this impending merriment has got me thinking about one of my favorite topics - recycling! Between Thanksgiving and the December holidays, the amount of household trash added to landfills increases by 25%. That’s a huge amount when multiplied by the number of households in the nation. I’ve decided to do a bit of a deep dive into how to best deal responsibly with holiday “trash.” Perhaps thinking ahead will help us all make better decisions about how to dispose of our holiday refuse when the wonderful, crazy celebrations are upon us. It’s important to remember that the

rules of recycling still apply during the holidays. It is less complicated if we remember simple rules. Paper and cardboard go through a specific process and cannot include plastics, so “mixed” items with both materials must be separated before entering the recycling stream. That’s why coffee shop cups, coated inside with plastic resin, so they don’t leak, are not recyclable, even though they are mostly cardboard. And the transparent windows in toy boxes should be removed and placed in the trash before the cardboard is recycled. Recyclable plastics must still have the important triangular imprint on the back. No Styrofoam (labeled PS6)! That can be recycled on January 29th at Mayor’s Riverfront Park. Fortunately, most plastic plates and cups, staples of holiday parties, are typically recyclable, but since we must clean them of food debris before placing them in the bin, why not consider just using our everyday dishes? Tableware – plastic spoons, forks, knives, and straws – are rarely recyclable. They are just too small and jam up the machines processing the plastics. If it is necessary to use the disposables, and it might be, we should at least consider washing and re-using them another time or two before we discard them. The topic of holiday gift wrap is, well, complicated. Colored tissue paper is always a yes for recycling unless it has glitter or metallic sparkles.

Then, it becomes paper mixed with plastic and not able to be processed. The same idea holds for heavier wrapping paper and gift bags. The shiny, beautiful golds and silvers that make the wrap so beautiful render it useless to recyclers. Enjoy it, re-use it again if you can, but place it in the trash if you must. The same applies to all ribbons, bows, and bag handles. They are woven of plastic fibers and will, like the “silverware,” jam up the processing machines. I, for one, gave up bows and ribbons almost entirely years ago. They were just too enticing to my pets! Let’s say that there are some animal “presents” that do not need bows! On the topic of re-using, holidays are a great time to repurpose those corrugated boxes we’ve been saving all year. They are perfect for mailing outof-town packages, contents packed securely with household shreds, instead of Styrofoam peanuts. Big boxes can be exciting when bundling smaller presents, individually wrapped in colored tissue, into a single megagift – and easier to transport! There are some holiday items requiring special consideration. Holiday lights – who doesn’t have a few non-working strands? I swore, five years ago, that I would pull each bulb and test each socket in the long string. I must have been insane! This year, I will take them to my local Lowe’s customer service area, where they will accept them for recycling. The same

goes for those rechargeable batteries for the no-longer-working power drill. What about the abundance of alkaline batteries that accumulate, not only at holiday time, but throughout the year? I keep a storage bag for the “dead” cells and turn them in at a local Batteries Plus Bulbs or Interstate Batteries store, where they will recycle them for a small fee. Alternatively, they are accepted at the Kalamazoo County Household Hazardous Waste Center at the County Fairgrounds for free. Last, but not least, is the holiday “bush” and assorted greenery. Fresh, of course, is best! City waste haulers will collect trees, free of flocking and tinsel, and grind them into mulch. It is repurposing at its finest. Sadly, that artificial tree is just trash - too many different materials – metal, plastics, wood, electric wires, glass. Unfortunately, after many years of service, there is no other final resting place for it than the landfill, where it will rest in peace (?) for a very long time. It is my wish for you to have a wonderful holiday season, filled with friends, family, and love, treading lightly on our Earth mother! Celebrate safely! Cheryl Hach Retired Science Teacher Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center

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December 2021


FREE decembER Events virtual

Museum to Host March 6

Due to Corona virus be sure to call or look online for possible event changes or cancellations. Through December 31 Exhibit: All About Buttons The Michigan Button Society Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Sat., Dec. 4 – Sun. Dec. 5 Holiday Shopping Extravaganza & Craft Show, 9am-3pm Kalamazoo County Expo Center

Wednesday, December 8 Living with grief & supporting Those who are grieving, 3-4pm Ransom District Library

Tuesday, December 14 Talk: Extremely Low Frequency Noon-1pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Through December 23 Holly Jolly Trolley, Thurs.-Fri. 5-9, , Sat. 11-9, Sun. 12-4 Downtown Kalamazoo

Sat., Dec. 4 – Sun. Dec. 5 Christmas Craft Show Sat. 9am-4pm, Sun. 10am-4pm Wings Event Center, Kalamazoo

Thursday, December 9 Adult Book Group, 1:302:30pm, Comstock Library

Tuesday, December 14 Kids ages 5-10, Make-It, Take-It Gingerbread Houses, register:, 4pm

Wednesday, December 1 Teen Take-home cocoa bomb Kit, While supplies last! Paw Paw District Library

Saturday, December 4 Buy Local Art & Gift Fair, 9am4pm, Kalamazoo Nature Center Register for free timed ticket at

Thursday, December 9 Adult Crafts: Homemade Holiday, 4-8pm, register Ransom District Library Thursday, December 9 Adult Craft: Glitter Ornaments 5:30pm, register ahead: 345-0136, Comstock Library

Wednesdays, Dec. 1,8,15,22,29 Wednesday Wigglers, ages 3-5, Stories, songs & dancing, 10am Register ahead, Richland Library

Saturday, December 4 Christmas Bazaar, 9am-3pm St. Andrew Community Church

Wednesdays, Dec. 1,8,15,22,29 Toddler Storytime, 10:30-11:15am Comstock Township Library

Saturday, December 4 Holly Jolly Craft Show, 9-3 Gull Lake Middle School

Wednesdays, Dec. 1,8,15 Story Time, 10:30-11:15am Ransom District Library

Saturday, Dec. 4, 18 Pokemon club, Ages 6-11 10am, Richland Library

Thursday, December 9 Artist’s Talk: Drinking From The River of Light, 6:30pm Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Wednesdays, Dec. 1,8,15,22,29 Learn About eBooks, 11-12pm, All ages, Richland Library

Saturday, December 4 Children’s Holiday Party 1-3pm, Comstock Library

Thursday, December 9 WMU University Concert Band, 7:30pm, Miller Auditorium

Wednesday, December 1 Winter Movie Challenge begins, Richland Library

Sunday, December 5 Michigan Made Holiday Market 11am-4pm, Bell Flower Kzoo 4700 West D Ave., Kalamazoo

Friday, December 10 Teen Advisory Board, 4pm, ages 11-17, Richland Library

Wednesday, December 1 Winter Reading Challenge, Ages 16+, Richland Library Wednesday, December 1 Mystery Club – Take & Solve Kits, ages 16+, Richland Library Wednesday, December 1 Build-o-rama, 4-5pm Ransom Library, Plainwell Wednesday, December 1 Holiday Chocolate, 6-8pm Parchment Library Wednesday, December 1 Sip Wine & Shop, 6:30-8:30pm W.K. Kellogg Manor House Thursday, December 2, 9,16 Musical Mayhem, ages 0-6 10:30-11am, Comstock Library Thursdays, Dec. 2,9,16,23,30 Preschool StoryTime, ages 0-4 1pm, Richland Library Thursday, December 2 Bingo, 3-4pm, Ransom District Library Thursdays, Dec. 2,9,16 After school fun: science, art & Games, 4-4:45, Ransom Library Friday, December 3 Memory Café- in person, Holiday Activities, for those with mild dementia & their care partners, 1030am-Noon Paw Paw District Library Friday, December 3 Art Hop, Downtown Kalamazoo & Vine Neighborhood, 5-8pm Saturdays, Dec. 4, 11,18,25 Kalamazoo Winter Market 8am-1pm, New Location: St. Joseph Church, 930 Lake St.

Sunday, December 5 WMU Music: Birds on a Wire WMU Dalton Recital Hall, 1:30 Monday, December 6 Preschool take-home holiday themed Curiosity Bags, while supplies last, Paw Paw Library Mondays, Dec. 6,13,20,27 Toddler Story time, 10am Paw Paw District Library Mondays, December 6 Preschool Storytime, 10:30am Comstock Township Library Mondays, Dec. 6,13,20,27 Drop-in Gaming (Nintendo Switch) 5:30-7:30, Comstock Library Monday, December 6 Parchment Book Group, 6pm, Parchment Library Tues., Dec. 7 – Fri., Dec. 10 Winter Crafternoons, Teens/ Adults, Richland Library Tuesday, December 7 Talk: What Do Asian Americans Smell like? Noon Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Tuesdays, Dec. 7, 14 Teen Tuesdays, 3-4pm Ransom District Library Tuesday, December 7 Teen Advisory Group, 6-7pm, Comstock Library Wednesday, December 8 Birds & Coffee Chats on Zoom: Birds considered rare in MI – Roseate, Spoonbill, Western Meadowlark, Whooping Crane, Cattle Egret & Clay-colored Sparrow, 10-11am, register:

Thursday, December 9 Adult Holiday Craft Workshop 6pm, Parchment Library

Fri., Dec. 11- Sat., Dec. 12 Kids Craft: Wooden Gingerbread Houses, Fri. 11am & 4pm, Sat. 11am & 2pm, Register: 3450l36Comstock Library

Wednesday, December 15 Book Discussion: Drinking From the River of Light, 2-3pm Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Wednesday, December 15 Scribe Tribe: Creative Writing Group, 7-8pm, Ransom Library Thursday, December 16 History Roundtable (Geneology) Adults, 10am, Richland Library Thursday, December 16 Christmas Bazaar, 11am-1pm SHALOM Woolery, Parchment Thursday, December 16 Heartbreak Book Club, 6:30-7:30pm, Paw Paw Library Thursday, December 16 Books W/Friends Book Club, 7pm, Richland Library Monday, December 17 Manga Mondays, 3-4pm Ransom district Library

Saturday, December 11 Cookie Walk & Free Garage Sale, Scotts United Methodist Church, 9am-Noon

Saturday, December 18 S.T.E.A.M. Saturday drop-in Craft, Ages 6-11, 10am Richland Community Library

Saturday, December 11 The Christmas Craft Show, 9-3 Kalamazoo County Expo Center

Monday, December 20 Take-home Family Interactive Movie Kits, while supplies last! Paw Paw District Library

Saturday, December 11 Internet Users Group, 10am-Noon, Paw Paw Library Saturday, December 11 Family Holiday Photo Op & Crafts, 10am-4pm Paw Paw District Library Saturday, December 11 Richland Area Writer’s Group Adults, 10am, Richland Library Saturday, December 11 Art Detectives: Sandy’s Circus, ages 4-8, 11-11:45am Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Monday, December 20 Mystery Book Club, 4pm Parchment Library Tuesday, December 21 Teen Paint & Sip Hot Cocoa 6-7:30pm, Paw Paw Library Wednesday, December 22 Kids Canvas, Toddler & PreK & Grades 1-5, 10am, Register: 629-9085, Richland Library Monday, December 27 Preschool Parachute Playtime 11:30am, Ransom Library

Sunday, December 12 Record & CD Show, 11am-4pm Kalamazoo County Expo Center

Tuesday, December 28 Teen Numbered Chairs, 2-3pm, Register ahead @ Ransom Library

Monday, December 13 Adult Pop-up Craft: Beaded Snowflakes, Comstock Library

Wednesday, December 29 Lego Build-a-Thon, 10:30am – 3:30pm, Ransom Library

Monday, December 13 Kids ages 5-10, Make-It, Take-It Gingerbread Houses, register:, 6pm

Thursday, December 30 Spa Day, 11am-1pm, Register By 12/28 @ Ransom Library

Tuesdays, Dec. 14, 28 Adult drop-in coloring session 10:30am-Noon, Paw Paw Library

Thursday, December 30 Teen Nerf Wars, 6-8pm, Register: 345-0136 Comstock Library

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