Good News February 2023

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free february 2023

Remember When International Paper Company

In 1941 the International Paper Company opened a factory for their Single Service Division at 1915 Factory Street in Kalamazoo, making wax-coated paperboard milk cartons that were rapidly replacing glass milk bottles. Local elementary school children from this era remember when the small milk bottles were replaced with the ½ pint paper containers and the debate ensued - whether milk tasted better from a glass bottle or paper carton.

The milk containers were made in ½ pint, pint & quart sizes. Packing was one of the selling points used in converting dairies from glass to paper containers - 500 quart paper cartons filled the same space needed to store just 12 glass quart bottles.

The local plant was almost an immediate success, due in part to the United States’ entry into World War II. Service canteens and war plants needed the new easily disposable and unbreakable paper containers for milk. Dairies were kept busy keeping up with demand.

The popularity of paper containers continued postwar and the Single Service plant was enlarged to keep up with the demand. They employed 85 men and women, payroll was $300,000, the plant operated around the clock with three 8-hour shifts - they processed 900 tons of paper monthly.

The containers were shipped all over the U.S. bearing the names of a variety of dairies from cities throughout the nation. A different design, color and advertising copy was found on the containers for each customer. In addition, each customer ordered for many different types of prod-

ucts – homogenized milk, enriched milk of various varieties, buttermilk, whipping cream, and more. The Kalamazoo plant printed more than 1900 different printed items on its containers, turning out approximately 24,000,000 milk containers a month in its heyday.

In 1961, plastic coated paper milk cartons began replacing wax-coated cartons. Kalamazoo was only the second metropolitan area in the nation to switch over to the new process (Detroit was the first). Local dairies, including: Lockshore Farm, Kalamazoo Creamery and Cool Farm Diary converted to the new process.

Plastic was a major improvement because there was no wax to chip or peel off, which eliminated the wax brushing off the bottom of containers onto the refrigerator shelves, countertops and tables and wax flaking off into the milk when it’s poured. Plastic also had less leakage and provided a longer shelf life.

In addition, The International Paper Company Single Service Division formerly received the raw paper stock from its mills and the waxing was done at the dairies. With the new process, the paper stock was already coated before arriving at the dairies.

The Single Serve Division in the early 1960’s employed 100 people at the plant here, which was increasing as other areas in Michigan and Indiana converted to the new process.

1n 1963 a $400,000 expansion was announced to expand the Miller Rd. plant by 58,000 sq. ft. (50,000 sq. ft. added to the warehouse & shipping facilities and 3,000 sq. ft. used to enlarge the plant office and art

department – adding 2-3 new artists that serve the Single Serve Division. This expansion was officially recognized by Governor Romney as an important part of the industrial expansion in the state of Michigan. IPC Employed 185 workers at the time the expansion was announced, which wouldn’t necessarily require new workers in the manufacturing operation.

Although I have focused on the Single Service Division of International Paper Company in Kalamazoo, they also produced corrugated packaging and had a total of 3 plants in the area, the aforementioned plant on Factory Street and others located at 4015 Emerald Drive and 2315 Miller Road.

International Paper Company, headquartered in Chelsea, Massachu-

setts, merged with Temple-Inland and moved operations out of Kalamazoo in 2012. Reasons stated by Scott Dillon, complex general manager, in a July 20, 2012 article in the Kalamazoo Gazette, stated that they had more capacity than their customers need in this area and that their other facilities were better positioned to handle the production requirements necessary for the consolidation of their operations. Sadly, the Kalamazoo plants closed in September of 2012 and 77 jobs were lost.

Sources: Kalamazoo Gazette (KG) 11/28/48, KG 8/21/61, KG 7/30/63, KG 9/13/63, KG 7/20/12,

February 2023 2 GOOD NEWS
Jackie Merriam

Orchids Are a Beautiful, Mysterious Species

Orchids are a beautiful, mysterious species. They are found on every continent except Antarctica; over 28,000 species of orchids have been found! You can enjoy orchids in your home with these top 10 orchid tips:

1. Orchids love long periods of indirect light. The best growth activity occurs when the orchid receives 10-16 hours of indirect light. A good test to see if the location in question is adequately lit for your plant is to hold your hand up and check the shadow. If the shadow is blurred, you’re good to go. If it is more distinct, the light level is too high.

Several air roots are a good sign that your plant is actively

When growing up, our family would regularly enjoy a spirited game of bowling. Although I have never a great bowler, I’ve enjoyed the game all the same.

My dad taught us the game and was quite an avid bowler. He would often share helpful tips to keep our ball from regularly gravitating towards the gutter. Although the tips were meant to teach us the game, it was the last thing you wanted to hear after a gutter ball.

growing. If possible, do not trim air roots back unless they are dead or rotten. Trimming roots can cause growth stunting.

3. Be sure to wait until the orchid is done blooming before repotting. Choose a pot with holes around it for air root growth.

4. Keiki are daughter plants that are grown at nodes on the flower spikes of the mother plant. Basically, the orchid is self-propagating. If your keiki is already producing its own leaves and 2-3 roots, you can trim it off and plant it in its own pot.

5. Although most do not realize it, many orchid types have spikes that are a temporary flower structure. They exist as long as the plant is in its reproductive life cycle. Once the plant has finished flowering, its flower spike dies. New flower spikes produce the new flowers in the future. This is why spike trimming is necessary after the flower dies.

6. Many types of orchids can stay vegetative (non-flowering) for years if they do not receive the right environmental signals to flower. Try moving your plant to a north or east-facing windowsill

During winter break, I took my grandson’s bowling. They have been bowling a handful of times, but it’s still a special treat and a novelty for them. I tried to wait a few moments after the dreaded gutter ball, to share my bits of wisdom, “try to keep your wrist straight,” was my best advice.

We typically play Scotch Doubles, but we didn’t have an even number of players. The game consists of teams, with two bowlers that bowl on the same scorecard under one name. You and your teammate alternate every single throw throughout the game. It takes the pressure off of younger bowlers and is a lot of fun!

Although our bowling game could have used improvement, we enjoyed our time at the bowling alley. Picking out cool colored balls, making up funny names, and watching the minion graphics on the

in winter months to trigger a new flower spike.

7. Do not get discouraged, Orchids can remain non-flowering/vegetative for 6-9 months before producing a new bloom. Patience is key!

8. Phalaenopsis orchids need a period of cool night temperatures for 4-5 weeks before initiating flower spikes. Temperatures near 65° F at night are a good place to start for home growers. This can be as simple as placing the orchid near a north or east-facing window in winter months.

9. Light and food are key when trying to achieve blooms. If you are struggling to obtain flower spikes, you may try to increase the length of indirect light your plant receives during the day. This does not mean that you need to increase light inten sity, but rather the amount of time your plant receives light. The best way to feed & water your orchid is to put Schultz Orchid food in a couple of inches of water in your sink. Set the orchid in the sink for about 15 minutes.

scoreboard was amusing.

I also shared some family bowling stories. They were shocked to hear that Great Grandpa is a great bowler. They also loved hearing about Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Dan’s love story, which began on a bowling league.

The boys got a kick out of some of the bowling lingo, such as: Sleeper - a pin that is directly behind the pin in front of it, which is hard to see. A Split - pins left standing on both sides of the lane. Their favorite term that my dad coined, “You got robbed,” which he would say when all pins fell over except one. Next time you’re looking for something to do, lace up your bowling shoes and enjoy an entertaining game of bowling with family & friends.

10.After the orchid drops its last flower, you should trim the flower spike. You can trim it back in one of two ways depending on your plant’s situation. If the spike is still green, it means that your plant potentially has the energy to push out a new flowering spike from the current spike. It speeds up the process of re-blooming to simply cut the spike back one inch above the highest node, or bump, on the spike. For unhealthy, brown spikes, cut all the back to the base of the plant.

Pictures and Article from National Garden Bureau and Rachel Blodgett, Wedel’s Houseplant Expert

February 2023 3 GOOD NEWS
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Jackie Merriam
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good news neighborhoods

As the new Neighborhood Activator for the City of Kalamazoo, I’ve had the pleasure to learn about Kalamazoo’s 22 neighborhoods and help residents bring community projects to life. Using the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 neighborhood planning model, residents are encouraged to create Neighborhood Associations and engage with their neighbors. This organization allows them to address neighborhood issues from the ground up.

Since 2018, there have been seven neighborhood plans created across the city. These include Northside, Eastside, Edison, Vine,

Oakwood, Parkview Hills, and Oakland/Winchell. Because each neighborhood is unique, neighborhood associations must engage their community and collect data before putting pen to paper. The real magic is seeing all of this planning come to fruition. The City of Kalamazoo’s Community Planning and Economic Development team supported over 100 engagement events and rolled out more than 20 projects from existing neighborhood plans this past year.

Highlights of 2022

Northside: The Northside Cultural Business District Authority and Northside neighborhood plan in-

formed the new redesign of Ransom Street. This project will take place over the next 4-5 years and feature nine blocks of new sewer main, wider sidewalks, street trees, landscaping, and historical markers honoring the legacy of Northside businesses owned by underrepresented communities. In October, the Northside Association for Community Development hosted an open house to provide professional development and networking opportunities to local contractors and businesses.

Edison: Welcomed Stephen Dupuie, new Neighborhood Association Director. In Washington Square, Portage Street’s redesign was also completed to feature new sidewalks and an addition of a left turn lane.

Eastside: Purchased and started working on rehabilitating properties along E. Main Street, in the neighborhood’s historic commercial node, to create move-in ready spaces for small businesses.

Oakwood: Following their neighborhood plan, Oakwood Neighborhood Association upgraded their community center’s bathroom to be ADA compliant.

Vine: Brought the community together throughout the year for events such as the Love The Vine spring clean-up, Reading Night with RAWK, and artist networking op-


Oakland Dr./Winchell: Invested in physical improvements in neighborhood parks. These projects ranged from new bike racks to native plantings - watch for many of these features to be installed in the Spring!

Parkview Hills: Added recreational opportunities for their residents, including shuffle board, basketball, gardening, kayaking equipment, and a new youth collection at their library.

West Main Hill: Residents piloted Kalamazoo’s first Play Street along Jones Park to build momentum for their neighborhood planning effort.

Stuart & Westwood: Both neighborhoods have been working towards completing their neighborhood plans. Each neighborhood planned events that engaged residents on topics such as parks & trails, pedestrian safety, and community building. Final drafts of their plans are coming this Spring!

Even more projects get off the ground in 2023! Check back each month and read stories about how you and your neighbors are making change in your neighborhood. Neighborhood plans can be found on Want to get more involved in your neighborhood? Connect with Jae Slaby, Neighborhood Activator at slabyj@

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A Mother and Daughter Adventure Series

Jane: Minimalism is all the rage right now and I get it. We have lived in our house for 38 years and maximizing has been the theme for most of that time: how do we fit in more stuff and what shall we buy next? But now, we are weary of taking care of things and actually celebrate when something breaks beyond repair. “Oh, look, at the crack in this dish, Honey—we can throw it out!” I have designated February, 2023, as my “Minimalizing Month” which is appropriate because it is the smallest month in the year.

For years, I volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store on Eleanor Street in Kalamazoo. It was a good place to learn about what will sell, where to donate things that won’t sell, and what is unsalvageable junk. As a rule of thumb, if I would not pay money for something in its current condition, then no one else will, either, so I don’t give it to a resale shop. If it’s still good, I donate it, but if it’s broken, I throw it away. What a waste!” you are saying? Here’s the thing: just because I am still using the chair with the wobbly leg and wearing the skirt with

the broken zipper, that doesn’t mean someone else wants to use it. However, all junk does not go in my herby-curby.

Where do I throw things out, then? All worn out clothing that is natural material like cotton, wool, linen, etc, can be recycled. I can give that to Goodwill (they are great at recycling) or any thrift store that bails textiles, by labeling the bag as “rags”. Almost all shoes can be recycled, as well (I bag them separately from the clothes). Broken furniture, appliances, and anything made of metal can be placed on the curb for the city trash pick-up day. If I put it out on a day that is sunny, chances are that neighbors who recycle/reuse things will take it away before the city does. Old oil paint, chemicals, hazardous waste, etc. are delivered to Hazardous Waste (go to

It’s amazing how lighter my spirits feel when I let go of the broken things in my house.

Ellen: The hardest things for me to downsize are books. My constantly growing library has overwhelmed three bookshelves and two bedside tables. The books end up following

me around the house, perching on dressers and couch corners, some with bookmarks and some without.

Once a year, I make an effort to sit down and figure out which books will live better lives in new houses with other readers. Some are easy: the books I really didn’t like or couldn’t finish. Some are tricky: I didn’t really like the book but it’s part of a series, and of course I want the whole collection. Some are untouchable: books I will read repeatedly for the rest of my life. I won’t even lend these ones out to friends.

Just this level of sorting takes me a long time because, inevitably, I come across a book I haven’t seen for a while and I’ll flip it open and suddenly it’s 8 pm and I am late to make dinner.

Once I have successfully enticed the group of unwanted books into a bag, I need to steal my nerves and make sure to take them to the donation place quickly. If I look at the covers or flip through them one more time, they will launch an appeal and I can’t have that. Let’s face it, there are very few TERRIBLE books, they all have their moments, but it is better

for them to reach a new reader to thrill and surprise. I pat myself on the back once the transfer of the books has been made to libraries or thrift stores. I’ve done it! But here comes the hardest part: not stopping at the bookstore on the way home, because I have more room now, right? Surely just looking at the new releases wouldn’t be a problem…

I may have to face the fact that I am a book maximalist.

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The top books published this month
that librarians across

Vintage: A Carnival of Color

Carnival Season—that time of year between Epiphany and Fat Tuesday—is now upon us. Iridescent hues of purple, green, and gold—these are the official colors of New Orleans at Mardi Gras. They are also some of the predominant colors of Carnival Glass.

At the Paris Exhibition of 1900, Louis Comfort Tiffany introduced Favrile Glass to the world. Made with metallic salts blended into the molten glass, the technique produced glassware with a shimmering, oil-onwater effect.

Capitalizing on the popularity of Tiffany’s new product, Fenton Art Glass Company launched it’s Iridill line in 1907. A more affordable answer to Favrile, Fenton iridized its glass by applying a mineral salt solution to the surface and then re-heating it to set the iridescence. Fenton’s first line came in an orange-gold finish over clear class, which later became known as “marigold”. Northwood Glass began making iridized glass in 1908. Dugan, Millersburg, and Imperial soon followed suit. Other companies produced carnival glass as well, but collectors consider the preceding the “Big Five”.

The term “Carnival Glass” did not appear in common parlance until later. Earlier terms included Taffeta Glass, Aurora Glass, and Poor Man’s Tiffany. While the origin of the term “Carnival Glass” has been obscured by time, it may have arisen from early marketing strategies that provided pieces to fairs and traveling carnivals as prizes to promote the product. Later, as the trends for ornate, nature-driven Art Nouveau transitioned to clean-lined, industrial-inspired Art Deco, the popularity of Carnival Glass waned and manufacturers sold off their overstock to those same fairs and carnivals. As trends in collectibles tend to resurface every fifty years or so, Carnival glass became popular again in the 1960s and 1970s. It was still produced in smaller amounts by a few companies, primarily Fenton, through the 2000s.

Carnival Glass was pressed in molds but hand-finished, rendering each piece unique. Manufacturers poured molten glass into an outer mold. They then forced a second mold inside under high pressure. To complete a piece, a glassmaker would

manipulate the still-hot glass, pulling and pinching the edges of a bowl for a ruffled effect, adding feet to a base, or elongating a vase with centrifugal force.

Fenton placed an oval mark on their pieces with the company name, though many of their items are unmarked. Other companies also marked only occasionally. Northwood used an uppercase “N” with an underline. Dugan employed an uppercase “D” within a diamond shape. Imperial combined an uppercase “I” and “G” for their logo. Millersburg may have used no mark at all. Potential buyers can collect by color, pattern, company, function of piece, or whatever combination suits.

Most often, manufacturers fashioned Carnival Glass into useful items such as bowls, serving plates, storage canisters, vases, and pitchers. More rarely it was used in decorative pieces or lamps.

When examining Carnival Glass for purchase, inspect it for cracks or missing pieces. Feel the edges for chips. See if the iridescent glaze is vibrant, unworn, and even. Look for a maker’s mark or sticker, but keep in mind they were often not used. Note that larger pieces are harder to find and will have more value.

Collectors will find Carnival Glass in a range of prices. Recently, a peacock blue hen-on-nest sold for close to $100. A Fenton funeral vase sold

amethyst platter went for $1500. More affordably, beautiful tumblers and smaller pieces can be found for under $10.

Carnival Glass does not react well to extreme temperatures or temperature changes. Hand wash with a mild detergent and lukewarm water. Dry with a soft cloth. Take good care of your Carnival Glass and it will brighten homes for generations to come.


A. 1970s Carnival Glass beads

D. A selection of Carnival Glass with

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Self-Esteem Affects Your Confidence

Having high self-esteem means that you like yourself and you can be your own best friend. You are the only person that goes everywhere with you, so you might as well like who you are. If you have medium self-esteem, you like who you are sometimes and sometimes you don’t. If your selfesteem is low then you don’t like yourself much at all. You may practice negative self-talk which could impact your daily life. You may be critical of yourself, sensitive when others provide you with feedback, focus on failure, become pessimistic, and remove yourself from social situations. The negative talk that you give yourself takes a toll on your confidence and can be emotionally exhausting.

Things people with

Negative Self Esteem May Say:

I am stupid

I am a failure

I am inadequate

I am ugly

I don’t deserve love

I don’t deserve to be a part of the group I cannot succeed

There are many negative cognitions that people with lower selfesteem may say to themselves, the list above are just a few examples. When you have low self-esteem, and you are constantly saying negative things to yourself it changes your brain to notice the negative and not pay attention to the positive. The negative self-talk compounds the feeling of hopelessness.

Challenge Your Negative Thinking

The good news is that you don’t have to continue to sit in the negative thought process. You can change your mindset and build your confidence. It is important to understand you may have been saying negative things to yourself for many years, so changing the way you speak to yourself may take some time. Connect your strengths with your passions and identify your personal values. Don’t be afraid to ask others for feedback as to how they notice the changes you are making and how it is impact ing your mood. When shifting your mindset think about starting your day with a positive thought, practice

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How Do You Turn the Negative Thoughts into New Beliefs?

Let’s look at the negative thoughts that we discussed earlier and turn them into new beliefs.

Negative Thought

I am stupid.

I am a failure.

I am inadequate. I am ugly.

I don’t deserve love. I deserve to be loved.

I don’t deserve to be a part of the group

I cannot succeed

New Belief

I am capable of learning new things. I can become successful. I can learn that I matter. I can learn that I am worth being in the group.

I am capable of learning to believe that I deserve love.

I am capable of succeeding.

Positive Thought

I am intelligent.

I am successful.

I am adequate.

I am fine as I am. I am beautiful.

I am an important member of the group.

I am successful.

Notice how speaking these new beliefs affect you. It is not easy to change the practice of negative selftalk because it has been something you may have been doing for a long time. However, shifting your mindset

can change your overall mood and the way you view the world. Our internal dialogue may be running on overdrive, we may or may not be aware of it. Stepping out of your comfort zone and making yourself self-aware, stopping to sit with the negative thought for a moment before allowing it to float away while you replace it with your new belief as well as what you would eventually want that belief to look like, will be a great start in re-building or building your self-esteem. If it is possible, track your progress and celebrate the success even if it is a small step.

How Will the New Beliefs Help Me?

Putting into the practice of saying new beliefs to yourself will assist you in several areas of your life such as

work, home life, time with friends and spending time alont. When you improve your self-esteem it will be easier for you to recover from setbacks.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Self-Esteem!

•Focus on your current mood. Think of the 5 to 5! How will this impact me in 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5, days, 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years?

•Don’t overthink your future, live in the here and now.

•Accept yourself for who you are and know that it’s okay to make a mistake.

•Take ownership and accountability for your actions. Remember that your opinion of yourself trumps everyone else’s.

•Practice self-care, and remember it is okay to come first. The flight attendant on airlines always says, “You

can’t help others unless you put your oxygen mask on first.”

•Set goals! Create a list of a vision board, some type of visual to let you know what you are working towards.

•Live for your authentic self.

•Take each day one step at a time, as you begin to learn to believe in yourself.

•Focus on being proud of you.

•Give yourself grace if you have setbacks.

You Aren’t Alone!

Remember you aren’t alone. Reach out to your support group. If you don’t have a support group look for one. Meet up Kalamazoo offers different groups, sports teams, book clubs, walking clubs, and gyms are a few. Contact a counselor to assist you in rebuilding your self-esteem if you need extra help. It is okay to admit to yourself that you aren’t okay and take care of your mental health. Start viewing yourself as worth it and you will notice positive improvements one step at a time.


Taibbi, B, 2022 5 Steps for Increasing Your Self-Esteem and Confidence, Psychology Today

Florko, L, 2022, How to Build Your Self-Confidence. Challenge unhealthy thinking, validate yourself and build on your success. Psychology Today

Dave, T, 2022 Six Ways to Build Self Esteem. Psychology Today

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While it is mid-winter and spring is at least another six to eight weeks away, there is one native plant that doesn’t wait for spring. Pushing through the snow about now is an attractive plant with an unattractive name—Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). It is the earliest flowering plant of the year in our region.

Skunk Cabbage is a remarkable plant in many ways. First, it doesn’t push up through the snow by brute force; rather, it has the ability to generate heat and melts its way into bloom—often surrounded by snow.

The process is called “thermogenesis.” Skunk Cabbage is a perennial which prefers wet, marshy habitats—often seen on wooded hillside seepages or in moist swales. It has a massive root system which grows deep underground from a rhizome. That rhizome stores a large quantity of starch. In the spring, that starch migrates up the roots and into the base of the flower where it metabolically generates heat. So much so, the plant can be 20-plus degrees warmer than its surroundings.

The structure of the flowering parts has evolved to optimize the species survival. The deep purplish coneshaped hood (or cone) that surrounds the actual flower, is thick and waxy. It’s serves as an insulating canopy. On one side of that canopy (a spathe) is

an opening to allow insects access for pollination.

The purple color and the smell emitted from the plant (replicating decomposing flesh) attracts carrion beetles and other insects. The species name, foetidus (Fet-uh-dus) is Latin for “smelly” (fetid –unpleasant smell).

It does have a skunk-like odor.

Skunk Cabbage’s thermogenesis

provides additional advantages. The warmth may be an additional attraction to pollinating insects and encourage them to gather and say longer (to ensure pollination). Likewise, the warmth is beneficial to the growth and development of pollen, ovaries, as well as other reproductive tissues.

An interesting fact about Skunk

Cabbage is the flowers have both male (stamens) and female (pistils). Amazingly, to avoid self-pollination, female flower parts mature first followed by the male stamens – pretty sophisticated timing.

Soon after flowering, a single tightly-wrapped leave bundle (like a pointed green cigar) pushes up from the soil and opens into the large leaves that are characteristic of the Skunk Cabbage we see through summer.

So, over the next couple of weeks, if you happen to drive the back roads, watch the ditches and swampy areas for the telltale 6-inch, or so, Skunk Cabbage emerging from the icy muck. It is the true harbinger of Spring.

Finally, again while we think were in the “dead” of winter, Great Horned Owls are nesting. These owls pair-up in early January and are now incubating their eggs. Once again, it’s all about timing. As the owlets hatch, it coincides with the time field mice and other small creatures become active which provides an abundant food source for the growing chicks. It gives them a head start to hunt and grow all summer into full adulthood.

Happy early spring!

February 2023 10 GOOD NEWS
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A law firm focusing on estate planning, estate settlement, and the transfer of wealth. 211 East Water Street, Suite 401 Kalamazoo 269.343.2106 Harbinger of Spring
Holmes, William B.
Morgan Rogalke, Charles S. Ofstein & Tyler J. Stewart

Live a life you love. Let me repeat that again. Live a life you love. I know there is no way to measure the love that goes into the work you do and the life you lead, but be true to yourself and your love and light will always shine through.

“What is done in love is done well.”

One of the areas in my life where I feel truly blessed is in the ability to share my knowledge with you every month in the “beARTful” segment of this publication. Your positivity and support encourages me to keep creating and doing what I love to do and that is art. Art comes in many disciplines and this month, the artwork tutorial is uniquely utilitarian with form and function. I hope you will love and adore making these as much as I do.

Supplies needed: leather . scissors . chalk pencil . ruler . leather punch . hammer . rivets

I continue to utilize a collection of leather remnants that was gifted to me over a handful of years ago. Discovering innovative and practical ways in which to repurpose this versatile material, I fell in love with these catch-alls. The ones I have made are the size of a square drink coaster. I have seen larger pieces in

be ART ful

fabric scissors.

Step 2. You will need two holes in each corner. The easiest way I found to achieve this is to fold the corner in half on itself, mark one side with the chalk pencil in the middle of the corner and then leather punch it to get two holes at once. Replicate on all four corners.

Step 3. Lay your leather with the inside material facing up. Gather one of the corners together, matching both holes. Push the long end of the rivet through the two holes and attach to the shorter end. Position on a work surface and hammer to fasten top to bottom. Do this on all four corners and you will end up with a square or rectangular catch-all when complete. I use my small sizes for rings and trinkets. Bundle two together, tie with ribbon and add a few heartfelt mementos to give as a sweet little gift.

Final thought: when you live a life you love, there is no competition. So, instead of planning for a better life, start living one. Love to you, xo -Bridget

upscale shops as well and they are all so beautiful but come attached with an upscale price tag too. I know leather pieces can be purchased nominally at our local art supply stores or you could upcycle from clothing and accessories found in second hand

Winter Specials

Loaded Hot Cocoa $4.75

Topped with whipped cream, crushed peppermint, & garnished with a cookie & brownie.

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal $5.75

Oatmeal topped with sliced apples, crushed pecans, & dusted with cinnamon sugar.

EMA Monte Cristo $12.75

Two grilled sugar waffles stuffed with turkey, ham, bacon, one fried egg, slathered with apricot jam & swiss cheese. Served with maple syrup & tater tots.

Red Velvet Roll French Toast $14.75

Red velvet cake stuffed with cream cheese icing, topped with crushed peppermint.

Winter Bowl $15.25

Rosemary redskin potatoes tossed with sausage, onions, spinach, & feta cheese then topped with 2 eggs any style.

Michelle’s Omelette $16.75

Three egg omelette stuffed with spinach, tomatoes, onions, & sausage then topped with pepper jack cheese. Served with hash browns, toast, & a half order of biscuits & gravy

Sleigh Salad $11.25

Spring mix topped with candied pecans, feta cheese, sliced red apples, red onions, & craisins.

French Onion Sandwich $14.25

Grilled sirloin topped with sautéed onions & swiss cheese on perfectly grilled sourdough bread. Served with au jus for dipping & choice of side.

shops or even from a family members closet (wink-wink).

Step 1. Determine the size of the catch-all you would like to make. It can be square or rectangular. With a ruler and the chalk pencil, draw out your shape and then cut with sharp


Social: bridgetfoxkzoo

February 2023 11 GOOD NEWS

North Country Trail

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

John Muir

United States is home to 11 National Scenic Hiking Trails totaling 24,600 miles. Of these 11, North Country National Scenic Trail has the most hiking trail miles. It stretches 4,800 miles across eight states, MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, VT, and WI. Lowell, located midpoint, is National Headquarters to the North Country

Trail Association. Michigan alone has 1,150 trail miles to explore, the most of all eight states.

North Country Trail Association/ Chief Noonday Chapter’s mission is to build, maintain, protect and promote the North Country National Scenic Trail. Volunteers have poured thousands of hours into these trails maintaining and protecting 58 miles in Calhoun County, 13 in Kalamazoo County and 48 in Barry County. We

welcome you to join our Chapter by signing up at

Take the “Hike the County Challenge” and hike one, two or all three counties during a calendar year by registering at hikethecounty@gmail. com. Email when you complete a county and receive a patch. Simultaneously complete the “Hike 100 Challenge” within that same calendar

year by registering at signup/. Receive a commemorative patch and certificate upon completion. Join us and discover the North Country Trail Association/Chief Noonday Chapter trails.

Amy Seymour, Volunteer NCTA/CND North Country Trail Association/Chief Noonday Chapter

Kathryn “Katie” Ray 269-716-3715 (TTY: 711)

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

February 2023 12 GOOD NEWS
Y0040_GHHJJ8ATE_23_SMAD_M Do you have Medicare and Medicaid? If so, check out this Humana DSNP With a Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan, Humana may be able to add benefits and help simplify your healthcare. A Humana DSNP has everything Original Medicare has— and usually more. Call a licensed Humana sales agent
[[HumTaglineCal]] A more human way to healthcare™ h Quality flowers that are as unique as your valentine! Order now! See or call 345-1195 to talk to one of our designers Make It Unique! Add balloons, candy or a stuffed animal 345-1195 Corner of Milham & 12th Street M-F 9-6, Sat. 9-5pm, Sun. Closed Classes will run Saturday mornings Jan. 21- March 4 for $5 each. See for class descriptions and times and to sign up. Kiss the Girl Bouquet $59.99 I Will Always Love You Bouquet $89.99 s We deliver! CLASSES

Sport: Ship Dog of the great LakeS

Sport was a stray puppy rescued from the Milwaukee River by crew members of the lighthouse tender Hyacinth. For the next twelve years, this charming dog lived the exciting life of a ship dog, helping the Hyacinth crew as they carried supplies to lighthouses and maintained the buoys and other safety features around Lake Michigan. Sport quickly became a valued companion to his crew and a recognizable mascot of the lake— making friends in every port.

A few years ago, Pamela Cameron, a retired librarian living in Portage, along with her husband, became volunteer lighthouse keepers. They both wanted to find out more about the history of lighthouses. While Pamela was reading Bruce Robert’s book, Great Lakes Lighthouses, she stumbled upon a small passage about the true story of Sport and became intrigued.

She knew Sport’s story should not be forgotten, and that there was a need for true stories about the Great Lakes. She traveled to the National Archives to read ship logbooks, com-

municated with maritime experts and did lots of research to be able to write this historically accurate book titled, Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes.

Readers share in Sport’s adventures while discovering the various ways lighthouse tender ships helped keep the lake safe for mariners. Helpful diagrams, a map, and a historical note supplement this engaging 32-page story. The book is enjoyable for all ages, especially those interested in dogs, lighthouses and Great Lakes history.

Sport’s story, from 1914-1926 is a chance for children and adults to see the ships, buildings, and people of that era, especially given the realistic illustrations by illustrator Renée Graef. Their goal was to allow readers to recognize that Sport represents someone, in this case a very large Newfoundland-Retriever mix who is taken in, taken care of, and loved by strangers. It is a universal story, told in a historical context. “Sport had more friends, or should I say acquaintances around the shores of Lake Michigan than any man on ship today. Sport

was just a dog, but he was always a good dog and a good shipmate, a friend to everybody and everybody’s friend,” said Hyacinth Captain Harry Maynard, 1926. Sport was even the mascot for the Hyacinth baseball team, playing against teams from other ships, or in port cities and towns. Sport appeared in the baseball team pictures from that era.

Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes, has received three prestigious awards since being published in 2019, including: the 2020 Michigan Notable Book Award, by the Library of Michigan, The State History Award by the Historical Society of Michigan and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. “I hope that the book has encouraged families to visit historical sites such as lighthouses in Michigan. My hope is that if anyone stands at the base of the lighthouse or climbs the spiral staircase to the lantern room and looks out over a body of water they can be transported back in time, and perhaps Sport helped make that possible,” says Pamela Cameron. Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes, can be found or ordered from: Michigan News Agency, Bookbug,


Books, Lowry’s, Gilbert & Ivy, and Amazon.

Pamela is available to do talks for a variety of ages and interests, including: schools, libraries, and general and historical organizations. Please contact the author for more information or to arrange visits connected to curriculum and maritime topics via webpage: or email:

Historical note: Sport passed from old age on July 19, 1926 and was buried 2 miles off Ludington. The US Coast Guard has recently honored Sport with a wreath laying to remember him, also sponsored by the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association and the Port of Ludington Maritime.

Jackie Merriam

February 2023 13 GOOD NEWS
Varsity Jackets Team Logo & Event Shirts Uniforms & Corporate Wear Promotional Items Custom Design Service Banners & Signs Trophies & Plaques Tanning Salon • Online Store We can put your name on almost anything! FedEx & UPS Shipping • Copy & Fax Service ML Katie & Christy’s Mid-Lakes Screen Printing & Monogramming est. 1993 121 E. Orchard, Delton • Shop Online: 269-623-8340 • We’rejustanemailaway!

Cookie Love! Recipes

Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to turn out a batch of Chocolate Chip cookies so perfect that you might think they are a Godgiven, heaven-sent treat, making them the p-e-r-f-e-c-t handmade valentine treat!

Food stylist/photographer: Laura Kurella

There are many who love Valentine’s Day, but hate how commercial it has become. In all honesty, I think we should all revert to elementaryage thinking on this holiday and use our hands to create valentines for those we love that truly do come from the heart, construction paper, sticky glue, and most especially something home-baked should be included. After all, the best Valentine’s Days were the unpretentious ones from childhood, and no matter how many trips we take around the sun, the one thing that most of us all share in common is our love for both childhood and a good chocolate chip cookie!

In today’s world, where modern technology can help us dial up just about anything we like, and dial

down what we don’t, it’s easier than ever to turn out a batch of cookies so perfectly tuned to your own heart’s desire that anyone who gets to bite into them just might think they’re a heaven sent treat from God coming through you!

For those interested in learning more about tweaking a favored cookie recipe to bring out its best taste, texture, and appearance, there’s an illuminating TEDEd animation on cookie science online.

For those who have some extra time available, Serious Eats also offers a full twenty-one, painstakingly-tested steps on how to create the perfect cookie, which includes kneading times, and even chocolate preparation techniques.

These two very deep dives into cookie dough deconstruction help to explain, at great length, the role that each and every recipe ingredient plays, which helps to illuminate the importance behind when and how you add the ingredients, and how big of a role it plays in the resulting taste, texture, and shape of your finished cookie. However, since time is precious for a good lot of us, I thought I’d offer my vastly abridged kitchen notes version, which makes for an

easier future reference, too!

If you like your cookies extra ooeygooey then add more flour to the recipe at the very end of mixing the dough, and don’t stir too much, just gently fold in so it doesn’t get tough.

If you like caramelization then crank your oven temperature up to about 365 degrees to achieve a caramelcolored appearance.

If you like a crispy edge and exterior, but a softer center, blend in an extra 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda into the flour before you add it to the dough in your cookie recipe.

If you like cookies that are chewier, try substituting bread flour for allpurpose flour in your recipe, and most importantly, if you want to improve your cookie’s flavor, chill the dough for at least 24 to 48 hours before baking. This resting time allows flavors to penetrate and deepen, giving you a much more flavorful cookie! That said, 48 hours has proven to be optimal, while 72 hours appears to be too long, as it tends to cause the flavors to start fading. Personally, I have found that freezing cookie dough provides you the best of both worlds because it gives dough the time it needs for flavors to

develop and not fade, and it provides you with ready-to-bake dough whenever a cookie craving comes along!

To this I must add in two absolute rules for cookie baking:

1.) Always use fresh baking soda, and baking powder because if they fail, so will your cookie.

2.) Slightly under-bake your cookies because it will make them more tender. They are a little trickier to handle like this, but if you leave them on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to stiffen slightly, it will make them easier to handle.

Here now are three technologically-engineered ways to blend up a veritable pile of amazing chocolate chip cookies for all the cookie lovers in your life. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Laura Kurella is an award-winning recipe developer and food columnist who loves to share recipes from her Michigan kitchen. She welcomes your comments at

Food stylist & photographer: Laura Kurella

Crisp ‘n’ Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 16 servings

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

14 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup cane sugar

3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

3/4 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside. In a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt 10 tablespoons of the butter. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heat proof spatula, transfer browned butter to a large, heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into the hot butter until completely melted. To butter, add both sugars, salt, and vanilla and whisk until fully incorporated. Add in egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand for three minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the process of

resting and whisking 2 more times until the mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to

ensure no flour pockets remain. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.

Bake cookies, 1 tray at a time, until cookies are golden brown, still puffy,

and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.

Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

February 2023 14 GOOD NEWS

Cookie Love! Recipes

Oh-so-chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup cane sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 large or extra-large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups semisweet or bittersweet

chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk both sugars together, making sure to break up any

large chunks. Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously for one minute or until the mixture forms one mass and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Let the sugar-butter mixture rest for five minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda, whisking to blend well. Set aside. Returning to the sugar-butter mixture, whisk in an egg, stirring until it’s fully mixed in. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula then whisk in the second egg and the

vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl again to make sure everything is fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with the spatula to fully combine. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough into 2-ounce portions, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly press the scoop down so it’s flat across the top like a hockey puck. Wrap the baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. You

can also freeze the chilled balls of dough in an airtight zip-top bag for up to 1 month. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake cookies 3-inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 18 to 22 minutes, until the edges are set and the cookie is lightly golden brown throughout. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Everything and More Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 28 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup pure peanut butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 extra large egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter

and sugar until smooth, about five minutes. Stir in peanut butter, vanilla and egg then blend until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and oats then stir into batter just until moistened. Add chocolate chips and stir just until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges start to brown but centers are still soft. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

February 2023 15 GOOD NEWS


Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. – William Wordsworth

A few months ago I ordered flowers to send internationally from Now I receive weekly emails titled “Jim & Chris at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM”. Jim McCann is the founder and Chris McCann the CEO. Each week they send an inspirational email letter. Their email before the Christmas season was about the value in sending holiday cards for connection. They wrote don’t forget to personalize your message even if it’s a few words or a single sentence. Holiday cards are a traditional way to use your power to connect and strengthen your relationships. And they’re a great way to stay connected for the rest of the year. As I think about Valentine’s Day fast approaching, and the flurry of candy, flowers, and cards that will be delivered, I am reminded of another routine letter that would arrive in my in-box. Inside my mailbox. Periodically my maternal gandmother would send a letter. The letters didn’t arrive coinciding with holidays. They were written and mailed simply because my grandma was thinking of me and wished to share about

things that her and my grandpa had been doing. Tending to their garden. Playing Tri-Ominoes or Uno with friends after a shared meal together. A neighbor in need my “handy man” grandpa had helped.

Stories of everyday living captured on stationary and then mailed. Stories that contain how my grandma saw and heard the world around her and of what she most enjoyed. A paper conversation written from her full presence with what she wished to speak; I, in turn, fully present to hear as I read.

I anticipate my grandma didn’t write letters with intention I would still have these conversations thirty plus years later. Because I’ve kept them, I have paragraphs of my grandma’s life story written by her. With these letters I can transport myself back to her home, to the taste of her home made cooking, to the feel of her hug and love for me. I can turn to them when I ponder what it was like for her not as grandma but as Gladys, to now “re-listen” as an adult, gleaning wisdom from her stories. Now I hold on to my mom’s emails as she sends them. A modern version of letters that hold pieces of my mom’s

life story. How my mom sees and hears the world around her and what she enjoys. I save some of her texts, too. One day I know I will value being transported back to the taste of my mom’s leftover meal she had offered to deliver or to reflect on her love for the August clouds that was a learned legacy from my grandpa.


So, as you prepare to send that Valentine’s Day card to someone dear in your life, perhaps consider also including a short letter. It might be a way to not only stay connected for the year, but for life.

Inspiring Reframed Stories of Life

February 2023 16 GOOD NEWS
Fri. Feb. 24 at 7pm Sensory friendly performance - Sat. Feb. 25 at 2pm ASL translated performance - Sat. Feb. 25 at 7pm Sun. Feb. 26 at 2pm
Dates Comstock Community Auditorium 2107 N. 26th Street, Kalamazoo For tickets and information follow us on
A curated selection of cheeses, chocolates and accompaniments Texas Corners 7035 West Q Ave (269) 353-3050
Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell Music and Lyrics by Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick

Literature on heart health is so prolific that it’s difficult to write a concise article relating to wellness for the heart. Dedicating a month to heart health awareness is a big signal to how important it is to take care of our hearts. Plus February seems like the ideal time to focus on the heart. We all have St. Valentine to thank for that.

So where do we begin? Knowing that an American has a heart attack every 40 seconds, let’s start with keeping the heart healthy. Since we have to eat every day, following a healthy diet is a first important step to preventing coronary heart disease and heart attacks. In general a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is an effective way to maintain a healthy heart. Also, avoid processed foods and those that are high in fat and sugar. The Internet is a wonderful resource for meal planning and recipes. Regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy heart. It helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol while maintaining a healthy weight. It doesn’t need to be strenuous either. Walking for 30 minutes a day, five times a week can make a noticeable difference.

Having friendships and being a friend have been shown to be important factors in maintaining good heart health. In fact, friendships are important for our overall health.

During the height of the Covid 19

pandemic, social isolation was a factor that contributed to high mortality rates.

While this doesn’t get a lot of attention, recent studies have shown that daily meditation can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. If you’re thinking that sitting cross-legged and reciting a mantra is the only form of meditation, there are several alternatives. There’s guided meditation wherein a recorded voice helps to guide your thoughts over a time span of 10-15 minutes. There’s mantra meditation, which involves repeating a word or phrase. There’s also mindfulness meditation that focuses on breathing in and out.

For a more physical form of meditation, yoga, which can be done stand-

ing, laying down, or sitting in a chair. Yoga is also excellent for maintaining muscle flexibility. Tai chi is a form of meditation because the movements require concentration. So too, it is excellent balance training since the body movements involve transfers of body weight from one side to another.

Other preventative measures include: Stop smoking and minimize your exposure to second hand smoke. Limit alcohol consumption. Maintain your regimen of medications relating to heart health. Chances are that none of this is news to you. Yet, heart attacks continue at a rate of one every 40 seconds. Let me suggest something to each

of you. Let’s start by wearing red at least once a week this month. This might just be the visible symbol that we are taking our own heart health seriously. If someone notices you’ve been wearing a lot of red this month, you’ll have an opportunity to tell him or her why. That may be the turning point in their life.

Why not try a new heart-healthy recipe every week for the month of February. Perhaps ask family and friends for their favorite hearthealthy recipes.

A lot of our leisure time involves watching television. You can make television watching more active by standing or stretching during commercials.

For those of you who do Facebook posts, write about your own progress in your heart health program and maybe offer challenges to meet or exceed your progress. This might even be an online support group to encourage each other in your goals to manage your weight, eat healthier, or work out.

In whatever you choose to do, I wish you success and don’t forget to be kind. Kindness is a characteristic of those who take their hearts seriously. Remember to MAKE it a good day. Till next time,

February 2023 17 GOOD NEWS
Personal and
Fountains at Bronson Place. FEBRUARY IS HEART HEALTH MONTH Are you or someone you know having difficulty with daily tasks? Are you recovering from a recent hospital stay? Or have you been injured and need temporary help to get back on your feet? Milestone Senior Services’ experienced Home Care team can help! Our individualized care plan will include: A discussion of what you need, just for you. In-home nursing assistance and advocacy if needed In-home task assistance including but not limited to: Private Pay options are available at affordable rates. You may also qualify for no fee services (Waiver and 3a) Formerly Senior Services of Southwest Michigan Call us for a free consultation today! 269-382-0515 or Meal preparation Companionship Laundry assistance Light household cleaning Help with errands Personal/Hygiene Care Milestone Senior Services Milestone Senior Services Brandon Grotesque K - 22 Y - 49 M - 21 C - 66 K - 1 Y - 27 M - 10 C 40 K - 0 Y - 39 M - 12 C 0 JH 08-26-21 Wed.-Fri., 3-6pm • • 269-767-8499 Curbside pick-up: New Location! 4213 S Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo •Cupcakes •Cookie Pops •Cake Pops & More SWEETS WITH LXVE! X X The beauty of nature only a few steps away great lakes pondscapes 29891 E. Red Arrow Hwy. at 30th - Paw Paw (269) 657-4577 • “Always Leave Footprints of Love & Kindness on Every Step of Your Journey” -Winnie the Pooh-
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KVCC Museum Exhibits Focus on Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Through the Eyes of Murphy Darden Through March 19, 2023

For the past several decades, Kalamazoo resident and nonagenarian Murphy Darden has indulged his passion for teaching others about histories which have long been ignored in classrooms and in public discourse. He has accomplished this through the amassment of endless artifacts, images and historic documents chronicling the achievements of African Americans.

However, not all history can be adequately represented through the artifacts, which bear witness to events. Sometimes, the richest and most complicated stories are better interpreted through artistic expression. It was in these situations, where parts of the story were missing, that Darden created hundreds of artworks

to fill in the gaps. Many of the local people, places and events portrayed are scarcely documented elsewhere. The artist hopes future generations will understand the important contributions of African Americans to the history of Kalamazoo.

Darden attended all-Black schools in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where history and geography textbooks had lessons based on the assertion of white supremacy. As an adult, he developed his knowledge of a more accurate version of American history. Combining his personal memories with intense study of written records, photographs and objects, Murphy Darden has developed a perspective as an artist that is both powerful and provocative.

Moments in Time: The Kalamazoo County Photo Documentary Project Through June 4, 2023

In 1984, during the 100th anniversary of Kalamazoo becoming a city, a group of photographers spent a few months documenting what life was like in the city. Since then, the project has expanded to a yearlong process of documenting Kalamazoo County every decade or so, most recently during 2020. Each project has grown in the number of photographers as well as the photos submitted for consideration, which have now reached into the thousands. Learn more about this important project and the people

who made it happen, and see images that will shape the community’s understanding of Kalamazoo County history in the future.

For more information, visit The museum is located at 230 N. Rose St. in downtown Kalamazoo. General admission is free.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.

February 2023 18 GOOD NEWS
SCAN THE QR CODE For detailed materials accepted and FREE recycling participation areas. | 269.373.5211 | HOURS: Tues. & Fri. 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Wed. 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. 2nd Sat. 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. (closed in Aug. & Sept. on Sat.) 1301 Lamont Ave. - Next to Fairgrounds We recycle expired or empty fire extinguishers! 2023_GoodNew_Feb.indd 1 12/23/22 3:57 PM

Thank Heaven for February! Although I am writing this in January, I am eager for our shortest month to present herself. She sits at the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Mornings get a bit lighter, and it is twilight at dinnertime. My birthday is in February, as is Valentine’s Day, and chocolate treats and birthday cakes always lift my spirits. Spring is just around the corner after all the merriment has subsided.

February, however, is notable for hardship and shortage in the natural world. To indigenous peoples, the full moon in this month is known by many names, none cheerful or optimistic.

For native peoples, February was a time to be endured and survived. Notably, this month can only have one full moon because complete moon cycling takes slightly over 29 days. No “blue moons,” the name given to a second full moon occurring in any given month. The moon at this time is known as the “snow moon,” or the “bony moon.” It is even called the “black bear moon” since, during this time, bear cubs are born and grow fat and snuggly beside their drowsy mothers. They spend weeks greedily nursing while she remains mainly in the den for long periods, venturing out only occasionally. Although historically, in Kalamazoo, January is the coldest, snowiest month, for many locales, that “honor” comes in February. My most recent frame of reference to this season, which haunts me a bit, is naming this month’s moon as the “hunger moon.”

In her excellent book, Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer refers to the time of the hunger moon as one fraught with blizzards - much like the one we recently encountered just before the holidays, with howling winds and hungry stomachs for which no food is available. She tells the tale of a monster, Windigo that lurks in the forest to eat starving humans out

in search of food. That meal, however, does not satiate the beast but only feeds its greedy hunger for more.

The Windigo story reminds us that our needs are best met when we cooperate with others in our community. We are not alone, and the mutual support we give and receive from neighbors makes a harsh winter more tolerable, if not easier. I suspect I got too comfortable during the pandemic – hunkered down in the house. This year I’ve ventured out much more than in the past two years, and I’m reminded that there are many worthwhile ways to spend my time communally with others.

Times are hard right now for many of our human neighbors. Of course, the season is also challenging for animals. Chickens lay fewer eggs when days are short, and nights are long. When I hear coyotes calling in the distance, I’m glad to have my cats inside and warming my feet under the covers. Although my chuckle-headed dogs like to go out and roll around in the snow, they are equally happy to come back inside and curl up together on one of their beds.

But for our undomesticated neighbors, times may be lean indeed. Whether nature brings us a bomb cyclone or a polar vortex, Michigan wildlife must venture out for food, at least on occasion, and try to stay safe from hungry predators – not the Windigo of legend, but real-life carnivores, like coyotes, foxes, and even bears. Thankfully, bears aren’t a problem in our neck of the “mitten.”

Hibernation is the safest option. As daylight hours are reduced in the late fall, skunks, bats, chipmunks, and woodchucks drop into a deep sleeplike state characterized by slow heart and respiratory rates, and a muchreduced digestive cycle. Hibernating animals typically find a sheltered area that is safe from predators and can be temperature-controlled by their slow metabolic rate. Once ensconced

in their shelter, body systems slow to a crawl, and they remain in this state until the days grow longer. If they’ve been fortunate in the temperate months, they should have enough stored body fat to slowly break down those resources until spring arrives.

If you’re a fan of PBS Nature-type shows, as I am, you’ve undoubtedly seen a clip of a fox or wolf diving into the deep snow trying to catch a meal. The intended prey for these animals are smaller rodents, who live communally in complex tunnels under the snow. Here, under the cloak of white, they maintain stores of seeds and typically remain awake, vigilant, and fast under their wintry blanket. My recollection of the video clips is that it’s a rare pounce that rewards the carnivore. Very little success for each attempt!

Reptiles and amphibians survive by burying themselves deep in soil or mud. They freeze solid, as I can attest to since one of my dogs brought me a perfectly solid half-toad some years back. Yuk!! These animals have evolved the ability to produce an

anti-freeze-like enzyme that causes their cells to release the water that usually makes up most of that structure. The water freezes solid outside the cells, hence the rigidity of a frozen frog or toad. At the same time, the liver begins to make large amounts of glucose that pack into the cell structure and maintain its basic shape. It’s like a grotesque freeze pop. These anti-freeze adaptations are extremely useful and have been widely studied as a focus of biomedical research for possible use in human systems.

Some actual winter soldiers include rabbits and non-migrating birds that remain active throughout the winter season. Rabbits, of course, are nature’s perfect prey species, easy to catch, with plenty of muscle for protein, and a prodigious reproductive rate. Several months ago, I wrote about their value to ecosystems, and it is in the winter rabbits provide their most important service to the circle of life – as a much-needed meal. Fret not; there will be plenty more of them come early spring!

All this thinking of hunger and scarcity makes me grateful for the blessings of my life – a warm bed, a sleeping dog at my feet, a cat in my lap, a steaming mug of cocoa, and indoor plumbing! What more could anyone want? Take a few minutes to be grateful – you won’t regret it!

February 2023 19 GOOD NEWS
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Museum to Host March 6 virtual

FREE february Events

Through February 27

Exhibit: A HeLa Story: Mother of Modern Medicine Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Through June 4

Exhibit: Moments in Time: The Kalamazoo County Photo Documentary Project Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Through March 19

Exhibit: Kalamazoo Through The Eyes of Murphy Darden Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Wednesdays, Feb. 1,15

Mugs & Hugs StoryTime (18mos.- 4yr.), 10-30-11:15

Vicksburg Library

Wednesday, February 1

Final Goofery Comedy Night 8-10pm, Final Gravity Brewing

Thursday, February 2

Book Club for Adults, Read The book of your choice & come prepared to talk about It 9:30-10:30am, Vicksburg Library

Thursdays, Feb. 2,9,16,23

Open Mic on the Vine, 5:30-6:50pm Satellite Records, Kalamazoo

Friday, Feb. 3,10,17,24

Bouncing Babies StoryTime (Babies-2yr.), 10-10:30am Vicksburg Library

Friday, February 3

Memory Café for people with mild Dementia & their care partners, Paw Paw Library, 10:30am-Noon

Fridays, Feb. 3,10,17,24

Quickdraw Trivia, 7-8:30pm

Valhalla Music Open Mic Night

Norse Nectar Meadery 3408 Miller Rd., Kalamazoo

Saturday, February 4

Chief Noonday – Bell’s Winter Hike. Meet at Mayor’s Riverfront Park, Kalamazoo (East side of Mills St.), 11am, 2-4 miles Lunch at Eccentric Café

Saturday, February 4

Portage Youth Advisory Committee Snow Party 12-3pm, Oakland Dr. Park 7650 Oakland Dr., Portage

Mondays, Feb. 6,13,20,27 Parchment Update Interviews

Mondays, Feb. 6,13,20,27 Family Story Time (18mos.-4yr.) 10-10:30am, Vicksburg Library

Mondays, Feb. 6,13,20,27

Team Trivia at Old Burdick’s Wings West, 7-9pm

Tuesday, February 7

Photography of Maple Lake by Chuck Lund & local history talk with Roman Plazcak, 6-7:30pm Paw Paw District Library

Wednesday, February 8 Bird & Coffee Chat: Gulls Spotted in Michigan, 10am on Zoom, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

Thursdays, Feb. 9, 23

Bulldog/Eagle Break Time (Grades 6-12), 2:45-4:15 Vicksburg Library

Thursdays, Feb. 9,23

Teen Space/Game Time (Grades 6-12), 4:15-5:45pm Vicksburg Library

Thursday, February 9

Needlework Night, 6-7:30pm Connect with other crafters while you cross stitch, needlepoint, knit, quilt, etc.! Paw Paw District Library

Thursday, February 9

Classic Film Club: The Defiant Ones (1958), 7-8pm Richland Community Library

Thursday, February 9

Comedy Open Mic Night Valhalla – Norse Nectar Meadery, 9-11pm 3408 Miller Rd., Kalamazoo

Friday, February 10

Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults & Seniors, Put together our jigsaw puzzles, Bring a sack lunch, Drinks provided, 11am-3pm Vicksburg Library

Friday, February 10

Final Gravity Presents: Sean Miller, 8-10pm, Final Gravity Kalamazoo

Saturday, February 11

Internet Users Group, 10amNoon, Bring your smart phones, Mobile devices & questions!

Saturday, January 14 Art Detectives 10:30-Noon, ages 4-8, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Saturday, February 11 IceBURG Festival, 2-6pm Downtown Vicksburg

Sunday, February 12

Branch Gymnastics Exhibition Vs Eastern Michigan University Western Michigan University Arena, 1pm

Sunday, February 12 2nd Sundays Live Concert Series: Mall City Harmonizers, 2pm, Parchment Library

Thursdays, February 12, 23

Adult Painting Event: Winter Chicadee, 6pm, Register ahead, Space limited, Parchment Library

Monday, February 13 Book Group: Homegoing By Yaa Gyasi, 6pm, Parchment Library

Tuesday, February 14 Team Game Night: Family Feud, 7pm, Richland Library

Thursday, February 16

The Heartbreak Book Club: Just Haven’t Met You Yet By Sophie Cousens, 6:30-7:30pm Paw Paw District Library

Friday, February 17

Vintage in the Zoo presents: Night Shop – Vintage + HandMade Pop-up Market, 5-10pm

Louie’s Trophy House, Kal.

Friday, February 17

Live Music: The Moody Coyotes 8-11pm, Final Gravity Kalamazoo

Saturday, February 18

Kalamazoo Polar Plunge 12pm, Shakespeare’s Pub

Sunday, February 19

Alumni Gymnastics Meet vs Central Michigan University 1pm, Western MI University

Monday, February 20

STEAM Event, 11am-Noon Vicksburg Library

Tuesday, February 21

A conversation with TJ Klune, Author of The House in the Curuleen Sea, 6pm Portage Zhang Senior Center 203 E. Centre Ave., Portage

Tuesday, February 21

Mystery Book Club: The Louise Penny Series: The Cruelest Month, 6:30pm, Parchment Library

Thursday, February 23

Team Trivia, 7pm, Register ahead: 629-9085 Richland Community Library

Saturday, February 25

Garage Sale Art Fair - 25th Year, 9am-4pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center

Saturday, February 25

Downtown Abbey: A New Era Watch the movie, drink tea and eat cookies, Registration Is required: 649-1648, 1-4:30pm, Vicksburg Library

February 2023 20 GOOD NEWS
Photo Courtesy of Kalamazoo County Parks.
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