Newsletter 20 Fall/Winter 2010
Around the Farm Weather-wise, Hazel Ridge couldn’t have asked for a better year. Just enough gentle spring rains to coax sprouts from the warm soil. A perfect balance of heat and moisture throughout the summer made this year’s garden one of the best in memory. And to top it all off, those pesky mosquitoes seemed less abundant and less aggressive. Last we spoke; we were in the process of getting the property protected from future development by securing a conservation easement. It is still a go but just on hold for a bit. The bank wanted us to go through some expensive red tape in order to proceed. Too much trouble! Next fall we will own the farm in full so we will complete the process then. We have been busy with eco-tours and farm visits. Our visitors gain a stronger appreciation for nature after their visit and that is our goal as stewards of Hazel Ridge Farm. Kelly is back early from the Peace Corps. After 10 months, she was not adjusting to the very different culture and to the solitude/loneliness. For her emotional health, Peace Corps decided to send her back to the states. Tonga is a difficult place to adjust to and half of the Peace Corps volunteers usually leave Tonga before they complete their 27 month service. Her service time was shortened but she has learned that life experiences can be gained in any amount of time. Her plan B is now exploring WWOOF. (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) http://www.wwoof.org/ . It is a great opportunity to travel the U. S and overseas and gain skills in sustainable, organic farming. She loves hard work and is eager to get her feet and hands back into the earth. Granddaughter, Noorah, is a pistol. She is giving Heather and Ahmed their moneys worth in child rearing. She is an adorable, independent 2-year old and is so into being a fairy princess these days. She’ll be getting a little brother or sister in June 2011. Heather’s boutique is holding it’s own in this economy but with another baby on the way they are exploring the option of selling the store so she can spend more time with Noorah and baby. Kudos to all working mom’s trying to balance family and work. It’s tough. I am in my second year Shaman apprenticeship and still lovin’ it. I find energy healing in any form fascinating and with endless opportunities to grow. My yoga practice brings me peace of mind and spirit. Love it! Nick continues to groom the back 40. He figured that in 2010, three quarters of his time was spent gloriously working the land. That is what keeps him happy, healthy and well balanced. The prairie is a spectacular landscape of three to five foot tall golden and bronze grasses. It has been pure pleasure to walk past it everyday .
Books Itsy Bitsy won the 2010 Mom’s Choice Gold Award – Animal Kingdom Category. We are very pleased with this honor. This was Nick’s year for alphabet books. S is for Smithsonian was released this spring and is already in its second printing. Many of the D.C. museums are proudly displaying it. This fall he painted F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet Book and it will be a spring 2011 release. He is so grateful to all the folks that helped with this one because in the beginning he was definitely "quilt challenged". It was slow going at first but it didn’t take long for him to get in the groove and have fun with it. The next one on the drawing board is the Titanic alphabet book. There are two Titanic museums...one in Missouri and another in Tennessee (land locked states..go figure). He plans on visiting Tennessee late this year for research material. The museums have already committed to buying the first printing so we are pretty buzzed about it. Related to the books, despite Michigan’s suffering economy, there were plenty of school visits and teacher conferences to keep us busy throughout the year. We love those gigs. Kids keep us honest and humble…and provide us with plenty of humorous material to add to our repertoire.
EventsOur two big events this year were the Itsy Bitsy & Teeny Weeny art exhibits. The show included all the originals and sketches from Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny , as well and many new pieces from around the farm. The first stop was Mackinac Island. We were on the island on three separate occasions for events surrounding the exhibit. Each time, the Musser family, owners of the Grand Hotel, graciously offered us complimentary rooms at their hotel. On one of those occasions, we were in the Roselyn Carter suite. Pretty posh. Next stop was the Buchanan Art Gallery. It hangs there until the end of November. From there, we will pack it up and put the show to rest until next summer. Then we will crate it up and drive it to the MAZZA Children’s Museum in Findlay, Ohio. MAZZA is the first and largest teaching museum of Original Children's Book Art in the World. Nick will be traveling to Arkansas late November for the Arkansas Readers Association. Similar to our teacher’s MRA – Michigan Readers Association- he will be presenting at ARA conference. We will both be presenting at the 10th anniversary celebration of Claire’s Day in Maumee, Ohio. www.Clairesday.org ..along with 34 other authors and illustrators. Claire's Day is a free family book festival held annually in honor of Claire Lynsey Rubini. And finally our Holiday Open House:
Hazel Ridge Holiday Open House
December 9 - 12, 2010
Thursday - Friday 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (limited goodies)
Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. (big hoopla)
The quiet, relaxed hours of Thursday & Friday have been an ongoing success so we will continue the tradition. But many of you still prefer the food & festivities of the big weekend hoopla. We welcome you whenever you decide to visit the farm and gallery. Originals, prints and books will be available. Remember parking can be a hassle. Since we only have our open house once a year, we rely on the common sense of you responsible drivers. Our parking lot will accommodate quite a few cars but please keep the circle drive open and flowing. There will also be parking just west of the farm, on the side of the road and across the street on our neighbor’s property. Signs will be posted. Some folks like to drop passengers off at the door and then park at the other spaces. Also, for you adventurous hikers, wear outdoor clothing and boots if you would like to hike the back 40 acres. Discover/explore all the areas highlighted in our Hazel Ridge Series books. If conditions (sloppy-muddy-soft trails) are not conducive to hiking, we will post "No hiking, please" on the entrance door of the gallery. Two reminders: 1.We do not take credit cards and 2. you may want to bring along a list of the books you already have so you know which ones you need/want.
Etc. So two books to recommend ..on each end of the spectrum. The Help by Kathryn Stockett , a fast fictional read that I couldn’t put down. Google it. I think it will peak your interest. Also, How People Heal by Diane Goldner. If you want a taste of what energy healing is all about, this is a balanced take on the scientific and anecdotal studies. Very enlightening. Finally I narrowed my "quotes of the year" down to two.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once the child grows up" – Pablo Picasso
"I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind;
yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers." – Kahil Gibran
And remember , don’t take yourself too seriously, it makes your life too rigid!
Have a happy and healthy 2011 from the van Frankenhuyzens!