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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winterfest 2012

The week before the Winkle Picker Festival in Ashfield (see previous post), there is a Winterfest in Amherst at the Cherry Hill Golf Course-- a full day of winter fun for the whole family -- especially if we finally get snow.
Check out the fun:
  • chili cook-off
  • cross country ski lessons
  • ice sculpture contest
  • sledding
  • bird-watching treks
  • frisbee toss
  • fireworks
  • food
  • oh -- and the cardboard classic!
Like I said -- fun for the whole family!  There is a cost of $5/child, $8/adult, or $20/family.  Visit the website for more info (like sponsors, directions, etcetera.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Winkle Picker Festival

You can't tell me this doesn't look like tons of fun -- especially for the cold days of mid-February....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hadley Heritage in Photos

Back in the autumn, an Amherst graduate student with a particular admiration for Hadley began the first piece of her PhotoVoice Project: Hadley's Heritage.  She rounded up a small group of photographers, gave them photo prompts, and sent them out into Hadley each week to photograph their images of those prompts.  You can see the beautiful results (and read more about it) at
Those photos were followed up by conversations about Hadley's heritage, in response to the photos, and those conversations will eventually be included as part of the project.  In a couple of months, there will be public exhibits and even the opportunity to add your own photos.  Start looking through your photos -- how do you see Hadley's heritage?  (I know there are some key Hadley locations that I would like to see added to the project, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity of submitting a few more of my own photos.)  Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Updated School Closings Links

Some of the links have changed (and the radio station disappeared) since I first created my shortlist of school closings links, so here's an updated version.

22News WWLP

If I come up with more, I'll land them here.
Happy Friday!  Enjoy the white.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Closures -- Find Them

Since it is January and we are supposed to get some snow, freezing rain, and a nice wintry mix over the next 24 hours, I thought this would be the ideal time to remind you of the link to the right which will direct you to three sources of information for snow closures.  The link is also posted below:
Info for School Snow Closures
(Public buildings and churches are also frequently listed, so even if you don't have kids in school, this can still be an important link to look at.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Farewell, Superintendent Young

In case you haven't yet heard, Hadley's Superintendent of Schools, Nick Young, has been chosen to succeed Superintendent Gus Sayer in South Hadley.  Young was one of five finalists for the position (all of whom had school tours over the last week and a half), and was voted in unanimously last night by the school committee. 
For more information, see the stories on MassLive or GazetteNet.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Little Taste of Persia

Mr. Madley and I had a delightful dinner last Saturday night at Moti -- a Persian Mediterranean restaurant in Amherst.  I had first tasted their goods at Taste of Amherst last June in the form of a lamb gyro and immediately fell in love.  I had the same thing Saturday night -- seasoned lamb and fresh vegetables in a creamy tzatziki sauce all wrapped up in a thick pita and served with potato strings (like fries only lots thinner) -- super delicious; Mr. Madley enjoyed a lamb kabob with rice and veggies.  With its warm and inviting atmosphere, and its menu of wraps, platters, soups, salads, vegetarian fare, specialty rices, kabobs, and very tempting appetizers, I think Moti may become one of our new favourite spots.  Plus, it can definitely be counted in my "cheap eats" list (which I blogged about a year ago but desperately need to update) (and it's just down the street from Captain Candy, which we happily visited after dinner).
See Moti's menu at their website.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alexandra Dawson: Tree of the Community

I was saddened to read on MassLive an article on the death of Alexandra Dawson last Friday.  Mr. Madley and I have only been part of town a short time, and we had not yet had to opportunity to meet her (we definitely wanted to), but her name was already famous around our dinner table.  When thinking of her today, the phrase "pillar of the community" came to mind; but, in view of her neverending work on conservation, "tree of the community" sounded just a little more appropriate.  Alexandra chaired the Conservation Committee in town, and it was always her we waited to hear from at Town Meeting when discussing home building or the conservation of farmland-- her insightful comments served with a bit of wit -- something to make you chuckle *and* think.  She was one of Hadley's treasures, and I know I am not the only one who will miss her and her smart, feisty presence and her important work.

According to the article, a memorial service is in the works, probably to be held in the spring.

For more information on her life, see the MassLive article.  I'll try to keep my eyes open for any other articles that may arise in the next couple of weeks and add them here.

A comment from the Conservation Law Foundation (what is this "ghastly" municipal development she was fighting? -- perhaps we should rally).
From GazetteNet: Alexandra Dawson
From GazetteNet: Alexandra Dawson, Called Conservation Giant...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reading in the New Year

Being a book enthusiast and an ardent reader, I have long wanted to start a "recommended reads" column on the blog and have given much thought to the various ways it could be done; in order to speed things up, I've decided to go with one of my simpler options.
Five books I read in 2011 (though one I actually just finished today) that I recommend for 2012:

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm: a wonderful family read-aloud about a young girl who goes to live with her cousins in Key West during the Depression, and all of the adventures they have together

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: a young adult novel of mythical water horses, the strength of family bonds, the power of competition, and first love; thoroughly absorbing and compelling

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick: by the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret comes another novel in words and pictures for all ages, telling the intersecting stories of Rose, a deaf girl of 1927 who longs be part of world outside her window, and of Ben, a deaf boy of 1977 who runs away to New York City to find the father he never knew

Icefall by Matthew Kirby: war has broken out in the north countries and the kings has sent his household to a secret fortress hidden amidst mountains and fjords, but even the soldier guards can't halt the treachery of a traitor; a middle-grade fantasy novel

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger: a novel of love, baseball, family, high school, Mary Poppins, and friendship told in IM chats, school writing assignments, memos, emails, newspaper editorials, journal entries, and theatrical posters

These books are all available through the Hadley public library (and therefore through C/WMARS); check the Hadley library catalog here.

Happy reading and happy New Year!