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Young Writers Project: 'Special Markers'

Feb 16, 2018
Greta Hardy-Mittell, 17, of East Middlebury writes about an early memory – drawing a ladybug with ‘special’ permanent markers on a white porcelain plate.
YWP Photo Library, photo (cropped) by Olivia Joyce, Essex Junction, Vermont.

The plate wasn’t always blank.
Before the dishwasher soap scrubbed it too clean
I had drawn on it:
A ladybug, red and black,
colors that squeaked
as markers touched white porcelain—

Awesome Etiquette: Bossy Gossip

Feb 16, 2018
If a co-worker can't take a hint that you prefer not to gossip about the boss, you might need to be more direct.
Chip Studio / iStock

Got a co-worker who's always complaining about the boss and tries to include you in the chatter? One listener does, and wants to know how to back away. Attempting to cut these negative conversations short and walk away just hasn't worked. So, when a confrere can't take a hint, you'll need to slowly escalate your response.

When starting seeds indoors, open trays are good for large quantities while cell trays are best for smaller amounts.
pepifoto / iStock

We're getting closer to indoor seed-starting time. Actually, some vegetables seeds, like leeks, could have been started already. But if you're new to indoor seed-starting or need a refresher, let's walk through the basic steps to growing transplants in your home.

Aqua Vodka is produced by Appalacian Gap Distillery using excess alcohol from the fermentation-process of making Aqua ViTea's kombucha.
Caleb Kenna / Seven Days

This time, a tale of an alcohol problem, innovation and cooperation. A delightful relationship has blossomed between a Vermont beverage company and spirit maker; Aqua ViTea and Appalachian Gap Distillery. It all started with a big problem that turned into a big win.

Young Writers Project: 'Real Americans'

Feb 9, 2018
Isabel Blankenbaker writes in response to the Young Writers Project prompt asking what it means to be a real American.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Hazel Civalier, Burlington, VT

Calling all the real Americans!
I’ve voiced it before and I know what it means.
I remember the term, but not pleasantly.
I suck in breath, knowledge seeping in.
I know where I’ve heard it before:
in a small sleepy town,
where they used it against me.

Awesome Etiquette: Familiar Strangers On A Train

Feb 9, 2018
istock

If you have a morning commute via bus or train into work, you might use that down time as a chance to catch up on a book or to listen in to your favorite podcast. But what happens when, each morning, a co-worker who takes the same public transportation, would rather chat during your whole commute?

Long-stemmed roses are a traditional Valentine's Day flower, but miniature roses are just as pretty, will continue blooming and can even be moved outdoors.
Kusska / iStock

It's almost Valentine's Day and, of course, the flower of love is the rose. But this year, instead of giving the usual cut roses, why not a rose plant? Miniature roses come in many shapes, with some being three- to four-feet tall, but still called miniature. But I'm thinking of the micro-mini rose plants found in garden centers and floral shops. These grow around 12- to 18-inches tall with small, colorful, fragrant flowers and can be grown indoors and outside.

Miso, a grain or bean paste found in the famous Japanese soup, can be used in much more than just broth.
ALLEKO / iStock

Where is the miso in my soup? Is it those white blocks swimming around in the bowl? No, not at all. Miso is a paste made from grains or legumes and has various colors and flavors. Most known for making the broth of the famous Japanese soup, many believe miso also offers many health benefits.

This week, enjoy one-acts about love in Morrisville, Latin jazz in Williston, a poetry slam in Montgomery and choral chamber music in Colchester.

Photo/artwork, Sarah Crowley

If you feel the same as local theater performer Erin Evarts does, then you think there is a space in the local arts landscape for dinner theater.

Using the momentum created by a previous cabaret-style dinner and show in December at ArtsRiot on Pine Street in Burlington, Evarts has gathered a new cast of theater actors for Ladies Who Laugh: A Night Of Comic Cabaret.

In order to keep a pollinator garden active through the growing season, a diversity of flowers is needed to produce nectar and pollen.
Jill Lang / iStock

Monarch butterflies and honey bees have become the poster children for the plight of pollinating insects. More and more, we are realizing the importance they play in our food system and ecology. While the threat is global, there are things we can do in our own yards to help the local populations, like creating a pollinator garden.

Awesome Etiquette: Offering Financial Support For A Funeral

Feb 2, 2018
From picking up the tab for flowers to a simple monetary donation, there are many ways to offer finanacial support when a friend loses a loved one.
FotoDuets / iStock

Offering financial assistance to a friend or family member after the death of a loved one is a tradition for some people. The reason for this is to help defray costs associated with the person's death. A listener - unfamiliar with this custom - asked how to do this if you're unable to attend a funeral and offer a contribution in person.

Young Writers Project: 'Schizo'

Feb 2, 2018
Sara Young, 17, of Sheldon writes about how she wishes she had known a relative before he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, Burlington

I wish I had known you
before the darkness crept in,
before the voices whispered,
before the demons lurked in every corner.
Kind, compassionate, caring.
All manner of “C” sounds to describe you then.
They describe you now still,
only changed.
Only not.
It first manifested
ceaseless, complex, cacophonic.
Your diary read, “I can’t take this,”
and you hit your mother with a wrench,
or so you thought.
Meal time was spent on the porch, alone.
Inside the house, siblings laughed.

Our Art Hounds found an exhibit of visual art that explores all kinds of love, a chamber music performance interpreting a Greek classic and a play written by a famous stand-up comedian.

U.S. Public Domain

When I was in middle school my class put together a time capsule and I remember caring so much that music be included that I put together a mixed tape, with popular songs recorded haphazardly off the radio.

Young Writers Project: 'Teachers Say, Students Say'

Jan 26, 2018
Maddie Thibault is a 12-year-old seventh grader from Vermont.
Young Writers Project Photo Library, photo by Desiree Holmes

*NOTE: Some readers may find the language within the writing selection offensive*

Teachers say you're perfect.
They say don't listen to hate; but how do you not listen to hate when it surrounds you?

Cured Perch with Romesco Sauce prepared by Executive Chef Doug Paine of Burlington's Bleu and Juniper restaurants (pictured).
Oliver Parini / Vermont Life

Most of us know what's going on in those little shacks and shanties we see on frozen lakes this time of year. Usually, it's an angler keeping warm, relaxing with friends or enjoying solitude while ice fishing. Around here, popular catches pulled from the water through perfectly-cut circles include Northern Pike, land-locked Salmon and Walleye. But the most abundant is Yellow Perch.  

When planning a cottage garden, remember to allow space for a seating area to sit back and enjoy your creation.
bauhaus1000 / iStock

Everyone loves cottage gardens! They overflow with color, texture and exuberance. This informal design is not simply “letting things go,” but more aptly called organized chaos. There's a method to the madness and and some elements to consider.

Awesome Etiquette: For Crying Out Loud, Get Up And Say Hello!

Jan 26, 2018
There's nothing wrong with relaxing on the couch but, when a guest arrives,  always be sure to get up to say hello.
Serenethos / iStock

You finally have some highly coveted down-time on the couch when, all of a sudden, a friend of your spouse arrives and you're faced with the decision of staying horizontal or getting up to say hello.

Burlington writer Jill M. Allen wanted to fill holes in the literary landscape with stories about Vermonters with disabilities whose handicaps represent 'only one aspect of who they are.'
Jill M. Allen/courtesy

Imagine you use a mobility device like a wheelchair. You pick up a book to read but no one depicted in the pages looks or moves like you. In fact, the characters are often written as people who are angry or depressed because of their disability. Enter, Burlington writer Jill M. Allen. She has penned a book of short stories where the characters live full lives and their disability is just one aspect of who they are.

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