Emma Andrews Library Author Series

Emma Andrews Library Author Series

I have some exciting news! On Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 7pm, I will be interviewed as part of the Emma Andrews Library Author Series!

Over the past week or so, I’ve shared it on different social media platforms. But of course the news had to make its way here. The main topic is about why and how I blog! It all started here. Hmmm. Well, actually my blogging beginnings go back to the old blog, Anali’s First Amendment.

It’s hard to believe that I moved to this domain eight years ago! And it’s now almost eight years here. For a combined 16 years of blogging! The official anniversary is April 29th, which is approaching fast. Time to start thinking about my new word of the year and the lessons of last year’s wordSURRENDER.

But back to the event! Emma Andrews Library is a small library and community center in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1886 by schoolteacher Emma Andrews as a lending library to serve local children. For me, as someone who grew up with parents who were both schoolteachers, and from childhood to this day always enjoying going to the library, this event feels especially wonderful.

The interview will take place over Zoom, so everyone is invited to watch and take part. It will be a Q&A format moderated by local author and writer Áine Greaney. If you’re interested in registering for the event, send an email to emmaandrewslibrary@gmail.com and you’ll receive a link.

Hope to see you then!

Free Yoga On The Library Lawn

yoga on the libary lawn

Over the years, I’ve read about many free yoga classes at public libraries in Massachusetts and in other states as well. This morning, I was finally able to attend a free yoga class right here in Quincy, outside on the lawn at Thomas Crane Public Library. This class was the first in a series of community classes taking place each Wednesday morning in September on the library lawn.

It’s hard taking pictures and enjoy the relaxing vibe, but I managed to snap a few.

There was a nice breeze — and lots of bees. Four or five bees hovered over blades of grass in front of me. A few ants made their way onto my mat too, but no stings or bites!

I was beneath a large tree, so there was some shade and bright sun streaming through the branches. There was a mostly clear blue sky with a few wispy clouds floating by. Even though the class was in the morning, it was warm and a tiny bit humid. Perfect weather and a reminder that summer is still here.

There was a good turnout and new arrivals kept showing up through most of the class. We were mostly an older crowd, but there was young woman who arrived towards the end with the cutest little girl. They both got on their mats and dove right into their practice.

From conversation I heard, a few people said this was their first yoga class. Our teacher, Rhiannon Skolnick of Humble Roots Yoga, was enthusiastic and has a gentle soothing way about her.

This might have been my first yoga class since the pandemic started. Possibly the second, but the first this summer. Because I’m vaccinated now and there was a lot of space to spread out on the library lawn, I felt comfortable not wearing a mask. Hopefully the weather will cooperate next week for another wonderful class.

BPL Offering Free Gardening Kits

*UPDATED 5/2/22*

I just got the May BPL Newsletter and they are giving away these gardening kits again this year, but only at the branch locations: Brighton, Codman, Connolly, East Boston, Egleston, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Parker Hill and South Boston. This is only while supplies last.

There is no longer a link on the BPL website about this, so I called and was told that none of these gardening kits will be available at the BPL’s Central Location. Also the website says that the South End Branch is closed until further notice, so I did not list it above.

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Boston Public Library Gardening Kit

A few years ago, I remember reading about seed libraries and thinking that it was a wonderful idea for those interested in gardening. The idea has taken off and you can probably find one near you or even start your own.

What is a seed library? Pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a place, like a library, that shares seeds with people in the local community. The specific rules may vary from place to place, but you can generally get seeds for free or at a low price.

While you can have seeds for houseplants, flowers and herbs, having seeds for growing fruits and vegetables provides a way to strengthen food security. In other words, being intentional about keeping seeds for growing food allows some independence from the mainstream food system.

Food is delicious and fun. But it’s also a necessity for life and therefore political. There is enough food for everyone, but everyone doesn’t have enough. Systems in place need changing.

As we leave the pandemic, more of us are thinking differently about life and welcoming systemic change. This week I had my second COVID-19 vaccine, so I’m looking forward to normal life again. However, I’m hoping the new normal is better than the old one.

Seed libraries provide the literal seeds to grow our own gardens. Starting on May 5th, gardening kits were available from the Boston Public Library – 850 kits spread out among the branches.

You can choose from two types of gardening kits. Resilient Gardening Kits include everything you need for a veggie garden. For those with a focus on herbal remedies, Herbal Wildflower Kits contain what you’ll need. I’m not sure how long these will last, therefore, it’s probably best to go sooner than later. Happy planting!

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Screenshot: Boston Public Library

Every Body Yoga Tour: Jessamyn Stanley in Boston

Young black woman doing yoga in background with text showing cities she's visiting for Every Body Yoga book tour.

Instagram star and internationally acclaimed yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley is now also a published author.

Her new book, Every Body Yoga, will be released in April  and she’s going on tour to promote it.

Lucky for us, Boston is on her tour list and she will be speaking at Boston Public Library on Tuesday, June 6th, 6pm – 7:30pm.

Mark your calendars!

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Image: JessamynStanley.com

Boston Public Library, Wedding Ceremony Giveaway

Color photo of wedding venue at Boston Public Library.

If you’re looking to get married this June and you’d like a free ceremony, you might be in luck. The Boston Public Library is giving away a free ceremony to six couples.

What better way to begin the next chapter of your life together than exchanging vows inside the Central Library in Copley Square’s iconic outdoor Courtyard? As one of the City’s most sought-after wedding venues, and an institution dedicated to serving the public, the Boston Public Library is giving six couples the opportunity to host their wedding ceremony within its historic walls this June — for free!

Get more details on how to win on the library’s website.

An online lottery is taking place now through Sunday, March 12th. The winners will be notified no later than Monday, March 13th.

So enter now and you might get lucky!

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Image: Courtyard Restaurant, Boston Public Library