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The Top Of The Mountain



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Just a reminder, in case for some crazy reason you missed this in last week’s column: Newtown Youth and Family Services is seeking donations of new toys and books, appropriate for children up to age 14, for a special Birthday Bin. Gift cards will also be accepted, and NYFS has also set up a wish list at amazon.com. Donations can be dropped off at NYFS, 15 Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook. Once a supply has been built, parents and guardians who need gifts for a child’s birthday will be able to select a few new gifts from the Birthday Bin, no questions asked.

Want to have some FUN? Families United in Newtown (FUN) a locally based nonprofit providing support and social/recreational activities for local families with special needs youths is inviting community members to “drive-by” and help celebrate its members’ January birthdays. The birthday car parade is schedule for this Saturday, January 16, at 2:15 pm, at the Newtown United Methodist Church, 92 Church Hill Road. Participants are asked to line up at 2 pm, and at 2:15 the vehicles will circle the building, passing by the birthday group. For more information, visit familiesunitedinnewtown.org, or check the group’s Facebook page.

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season again! And though this year may look a little different than years past, rest assured, all of your favorites are still available. Instead of a knock on the door or ring of your doorbell, you may receive a flier on your door or in your mailbox. Don’t throw it out! It has all the information you need to place a cookie order. The QR code on the flier will take you directly to an online cookie store where you can place your order — with a Girl Scout like Tori Orawsky, pictured with a selection of cookies. You can choose to have the cookies shipped directly to you, have the cookies delivered to you for free, or skip the calories and donate to Cookies for Heroes. This is all part of Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s commitment to keeping all Girl Scouts and their cookie customers safe during these challenging times. If you have questions about ordering cookies, please reach out to the Newtown Girl Scouts Service Unit at newtownsuteam@gmail.com.

CHECK it out! The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix made chess fans of many who can’t tell at bishop from a pawn. That’s okay. Adults can sign up for a beginners’ series of nine online chess lessons through the C.H. Booth Library. The first class is Sunday, January 17, at 1 pm. Registration is required at chboothlibrary.org to get the Zoom link; or call 203-426-4533 for information.

The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation has a terrific offer that will earn you first place in the heart of your valentine. Honor your special loved one as a “Beautiful Butterfly” for a $100 donation. Their name will be “prominently displayed” at the sanctuary on Old Farm Road (beyond the dog park) through all of 2021. It’s the perfect gift for the beloved creature lover in your life, and the donation will “support the sanctuary’s programs which foster a kinder and gentle world for animals, humans, and the environment,” according to the information at cvhfoundation.org, where you can sign up your beautiful butterfly through February 1, 2021.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it is worth mentioning again: The Friends of the C.H. Booth Library are presenting a special pop-up sale of children’s and young adult books and media. Stop by the display on the second floor, near the main circulation desk, during regular library hours to check out the great offerings, through January 30. Who knows what treasures you will find? And while you’re at it, why not browse the Little Book Store, also on the second floor, where you can get bargain priced new/gently used books for all ages, in a wide variety of categories?

There was something familiar about the photo that was in “The Way We Were” column on January 8. Bee staff member Sandy Morici sent out a note to her daughter in Australia, asking, “Is that you?” in the photo of the Lathrop School of Dance Sugarbabies. Sure enough, Amanda (Morici) Rasch responded that she was the little dancer fifth from the left in the photo. Being that she was only about 6 years old at the time, Amanda confesses she cannot recall the names of the other Sugarbabies dancing with her, which was at a performance around 1988, she believes.

Hooray! January 15 is National Booch Day! What? That would be a day to celebrate Kombucha, the fermented drink that gained popularity a few years back with its loads of probiotics, B vitamins, and tangy taste. And what better day to use a glass of “booch” to wash down a tasty bagel, because this Friday also happens to be National Bagel Day. Ah, perfection!

Sometimes I just want a little something to exercise my brain on a chilly day, so I go to newtownbee.com, select the Living tab and then Games, and work out one of the crossword puzzles or Sudoku challenges. What? You didn’t know you could do puzzles online at The Bee website? Take a look. Take a brain break! A bit of fun goes a long way.

You know I’m always up for some bird watching, and in the colder months, it’s nice to ponder what kinds of plants will attract the greatest variety of birds to my scene. Audubon Connecticut can help with that. Visit ct.audubon.plants-for-birds to plug in your locale and get tips on the best year around plantings that will help birds thrive. And when birds thrive, it makes for some great bird watching!

Audubon Bent of the River center in Southbury has a program coming up via Zoom that is also of interest to birders. Register to learn about the “Waterfowl of the Atlantic Flyway” at https://bentoftheriver.audubon.org/events. The January 20 program, from 7 to 8:15 pm, features an expert look at the species you can spot between Maine and Florida. Ken Elkins of Bent of the River and Harrison Jackson of the Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Maryland are the presenters for this program that is geared for people age 12 and up. There is a $10 registration fee — and you will get the Zoom link when you register. Call 203-405-9113 for more information.

I worked pretty hard a coloring the last few coloring pages in the Education section. But holding a crayon in my paws did not lead to such great success. I hope you are having more success — send a photo of your coloring effort to eliza@thebee.com. We’d love to see how you are adding life to our original artwork!

Winter seems to bring out the lazy in me, though, to be honest... a soft cushion, a bowl of milk, and I’m ready for catnap. It brings to mind a quote from one of my favorite philosophers — Winnie the Pooh: “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”

Well, not every day. I’ll be out and about to catch up on the going-ons around town. So be sure next week to... Read me again.

The Sugar Babies of Lathrop School of Dance perform in this undated Bee file photo.
You can order Girl Scout cookies this year, but don't expect a knock on the door.
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