Getting to the bottom of GIVES, a volunteer exchange group

Jean Cook manning the GIVES office. GIVES is the apt acronym for the Greenbelt Intergenerational Volunteer Exchange Service, but it took me some sleuthing to figure it all out.  Thrown by the term “intergenerational”, I assumed it was strictly younger people helping the elderly but that’s not so. It’s for anyone of any age who needs help.  It did arise ...
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Greenbelt’s Youngest Artist Makes Debut

The artist at work, keeping her cell phone handy in case her agent calls. One-year-old Naomi Gasper here was the youngest contestant – ever! – in Greenbelt’s Labor Day Art Show.  And from this photo by her mom Ana I’m totally inspired by how she gets INTO her art – full-body painting!   The next photo shows her admiring the ...
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Kudos to Museum for their 75th Anniversary Exhibit

I’m hearing great things about the new exhibit “Greenbelt:  The First 75 Years, 1937-2012 by the Greenbelt Museum, on display at the Community Center.  According to their website, the exhibit “examines Greenbelt’s history in timeline form and features photographs, ephemera, and artifacts from Greenbelt’s 75 year history.  Through an interactive feature in the exhibition, Greenbelters are invited to share important ...
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Kids and their Pets

A highlight of our highlight-filled Labor Day Festival has gotta be the Kids Pet Contest.  Here are just a few of the reasons. This hammy pug is named Neo Now I think I understand why there are soooo many pugs on the wildly popular animal blog Cute Overload that I check religiously. It’s the hamminess, those eyes, the tongue! Anais ...
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Yard Waste Dumping and Mulch Pick-Up Now in One Easy Trip

Greenbelt’s Mulch and Yard Waste Piles Greenbelt’s Free Mulch One of my happiest discoveries upon moving to Greenbelt last winter was the inexhaustible supply of free mulch available for the taking at the east end of Northway.   That’s because my organic practices depend on gobs and gobs of organic mulch, much more than I care to actually pay for.  In ...
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Community Garden Late-August Report

Chris and Liz Kleemeier in their Greenbelt Community Garden plot. Early this summer I posted the photo above in a story for the Behnkes Nursery blog, but this plot looks much fuller now.  In fact, all the plots are looking good, and according to the gardeners there, it’s been a surprisingly good year, despite the heat and drought.  That’s because, ...
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Behind the Scenes at the New Deal Cafe

In case you haven’t heard, the New Deal Cafe recently beat out the likes of Wolf Trap, the 9:30 Club and the Birchmere in WTOP’s Best Music Venue contest.  Seriously. So how did that happen?  That a 70-person-capacity funky local cafe has won that much local love?  Bar manager and music coordinator Amethyst Dwyer has some thoughts about that. First, ...
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Master Gardeners at the Market this Sunday

Coming up is the third Sunday of the month, which  means that Master Gardeners will be at the Greenbelt Farmers Market to answer all your yard and gardening questions.  the Master Gardener in charge of this event, GHI resident Janice Wolf, tells me the Master Gardeners find that they learn as much as they teach here – from each other, ...
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Another Kitchen Renovation Story

Before and after Thanks to Sarah for photos and details about the kitchen renovation in her block home.  Looks great! When we purchased our 2-bedroom block with downstairs study in 2005 the kitchen had a top load washing machine, no dishwasher, and a very small 24-inch range. It had horrible 1970’s vinyl flooring, the original steel cabinets (under many layers ...
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Kitchen Renovation – the Before and After

You’ve seen my new bathroom.  Now I’m happy to (finally) reveal my all-new kitchen and dining room!  It’s in a 3-bedroom (or 2 and a studio) block home in GHI.  First, the views that I have “before” photos for – from the realtor’s website. Before The narrow entrance to the dining room is on the left, hidden in this photo ...
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Community Foundation’s Support can take Really Humble Forms

Improvements coming, thanks to the Greenbelt Community Foundation The Greenbelt Community Foundation recently announced its newest grantees, which include an eco-education program at Greenbelt Middle School (thanks to CHEARS) and a 75th anniversary exhibition at the Greenbelt Museum.  Great causes!  But what struck me is the plebian nature of the other grants, which teaches us that sometimes support takes the ...
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Viola Music at the Farmer’s Market

Luke Tornatore, a 2012 graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School, entertained shoppers and vendors this week.   Thanks, Luke!  (Editor’s note:  this video taught me to turn the iPhone on its side next time.  First time for everything.) Market’s Invitation to Musicians and Entertainers Nancy Solomon, manager of the Greenbelt Farmers Market, tells me the market loves to have background music ...
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Behind the Step Club Door

Ever wondered what goes on down the stairs from this sign across from the Co-op and behind Domino’s in Roosevelt Center?  The answer is: 33 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week. 2 Narcotics Anonymous meetings per week 3 Chemically Dependent Anonymous meetings per week One Dual Recovery Anonymous meetings per week 2 Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings per week Which poses ...
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Meet the Greenbelter who Bought Proteus Bicycles

Laurie Lemieux, a long-time Greenbelter and avid cyclist, recently bought Proteus Bicycles on Route 1 (with Proteus employee Ben Bassett) and you can meet Laurie and cycling husband Jeff tomorrow at the Farmers Market.  They’ll be conducting a bike clinic, giving out tips for beginners, maps of PG county trails, and instruction in changing flat tires and adjusting bikes to ...
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Angella Foster: Dancer, Teacher, Arts Administrator

alight dance theater director Angella Foster Aspiring artists of all types, listen up!  Everyone may be telling you to have a Plan B, your Plan B doesn’t have to mean giving up what you’re passionate about  – what we used to call “selling out” back in the ’60s.  If you’re a savvy artsy type (NOT an oxymoron) like Greenbelt’s Angella ...
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The case for moving your money, preferably to a credit union (Greenbelt’s?)

The Move your Money Project was started three years ago as a campaign to encourage Americans to get their money OUT of institutions that are too big to fail and into smaller, local institutions – and for lots of good reasons. started that aims to empower individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move ...
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Outdoor clothes-drying is alive and well!

Project Laundry List is a nonprofit promoting the outdoor laundry-drying and fighting the hundreds of (ridiculous) homeowner association rules that prohibit it.  Even in relatively with-it Columbia, MD!  I’ve spread the word in frequent blog stories on this national blog and elsewhere (I love their Top Ten Reasons to Line-Dry) and was pleased to find clothes lines are the dominant ...
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Front Garden Re-Do

Front (service-side) garden “before” As an avid gardener now making a living as a garden writer, I’ve gotta have a garden.  No question.  But the one I toiled in for the last 26 years was too much for this baby Boomer, so downsizing to a townhouse hits the spot.  Not an end unit, mind you – some of those lots ...
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Bathroom Renovation Before and After

Before I moved into a block home in Old Greenbelt (from Takoma Park) about six months ago and am finally ready to start showing off the renovations I’m doing. First up, the bathroom, which contained the original 1937 tub and medicine chest but a fairly new sink and vanity cabinet – which I hated. Plus some yucky-colored tile. So here’s ...
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