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Lasers Prove Instrumental in FDS Bulletin Board Decoration

Aquaponics Field Trip

Today the Lasers (and a few assorted non-Lasers) took a trip to the garden of Steve Austin, who is a neighbor of Garry and Connie Thomas in Belle Sherman. Steve has spent the last couple of years outfitting his garden with edible plants, plants that provide nutrients for each other, a small waterfall, and a fish pond. But a centerpiece of his garden is a small greenhouse within which he has set up an aquaponics system. The greenhouse has a small fish tank that provides nutrients for several trays of seedlings, and the seedlings in turn provide nutrients for the fish. Another highlight were the herbs in Steve’s garden which he invited us to scratch and sniff. We thanked Steve for his gracious tour and rushed back to meeting to make a hot cup of lemon verbena tea from the leaves he gave us. A few of us began speculating about the possibility of setting up our own aquaponics system at the meetinghouse, perhaps in the space that the herb garden now occupies. If there is enough support I think we could make it happen.

Our Quaker Retreats: Ten Years in 158 Photos

Proposed Meetinghouse Exterior Paint Color

We’ll be discussing the meetinghouse’s exterior paint color at the next business meeting. Here’s some information and a photo.

“The Third Street Meetinghouse Committee recommends exterior paint colors as shown: the main building is ‘San Clemente Rose’ [a quiet earth tone in the peach/pink range] and the window trim is ‘Opal.’ We considered many factors in selecting these colors. As a designer I [Larry Clarkberg] choose colors every day; I was disappointed to discover that buildings have a very limited color palette; anything outside certain norms makes a building look too unusual. One of the biggest constraints for our particular building is that the color scheme must work well with the color of the brick walls. Also the colors must work well with our stucco building style, which could be considered either southwestern or Italian. Finally the colors must express well the adjectives selected by the meeting: ‘Contemplative, Caring, Peaceful, Truthful, Genuine, Engaged/Committed, Plain/Simple, Passionate.’

“We used a Photoshop file to test various color schemes. We eliminated schemes that were primarily gray, blue, yellow or green. Warm or sandy tans seemed to work well. However, tan with darker window trim didn’t look ‘contemplative’ or ‘plain.’ Then we tried tan with a *lighter* trim and we realized, ‘that’s it!’

“We’ve painted a patch of San Clemente Rose on the Madison St. wall as a test.”

Ithaca Festival Parade

Over 15 of us enjoyed marching in the Ithaca Festival Parade Yesterday. Our contingent sported hand-painted banners and flags in addition to carrying the banner that has been hanging on our building for the last couple of months. Jasper, Rosie and Dylan induced cries of delight from the crowd by performing something between a skit and a cheer on the topic of peace-making.

Farewell Anabel!

The Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is moving on from Anabel Taylor Hall, it’s home on Cornell Campus for decades. The Lasers (my First Day School class) made this video as a tribute. We forgot to put Emily in the credits as one of the filmers. Sorry Emily.

Garden Committee is looking for donations

The meeting’s kids have been given the responsibility of fostering plant life in and around the new meetinghouse. They are an official committee of the meeting called the Garden Committee. They will be learning Quaker process and beautifying the meetinghouse at the same time.

At their last meeting the Garden Committee decided to poll the meeting to find out what plants and tools people would be willing to donate. Do you have anything to donate? If so contact Emily Murphy, recording clerk of the Garden Committee.

Here’s a list of things people have pledged:

Sue Ruff: plants, bulbs
Carolyn Kenyon: pots for plants of all sizes
Wendy Wolfe: hostas
Kelly Moreland: trowel and wildflower seeds
Chuck Mohler: chicken manure
Marilyn Ray: dahlias
Larry Clarkberg: garden cart

CALM Excited about the New Meetinghouse

Laser Activities So Far

You may be wondering what the Lasers (grades six, seven, and eight) have been up to recently. Here’s a quick description.

In October we watched a video about “TheĀ  Story of Bottled Water“. This was in response to an announcement at Cornell that Cornell would no longer sell bottled water on campus. I highly recommend this short video. We liked it so much that we followed up the next couple of weeks watching the original Story of Stuff and the recently released Story of Electronics. We have since been ruminating about making our own animated short.

In mid-November we were called upon to plant bulbs at our new Third Street Meetinghouse taking shape in Fall Creek. We rose to the occasion, planting dozens upon dozens of bulbs in strategic locations all around the meetinghouse.

In mid-December Gina and the Candle Beams asked us to share the stage with them in a performance of George Fox: The Man Who Wouldn’t. We quickly assembled a supporting script from Marin Clarkberg’s unpublished book George Fox: The First Quaker. We performed the play after meeting for worship on Sunday 12/12 and it was an unmitigated success.

Finally, last Sunday the Lasers participated in the meeting’s annual Christmas pageant.

-Larry