Almanac Adventure: August “Gourmet Lemonade Stand”

 

At Atlas Church here in Colorado a school supply drive was going on. There is a huge population of refugees from several different countries that come to Greeley looking for work and often they arrive in emergency mode, still learning the ropes of the new culture.

 

So Giants & Pilgrims decided to do a creative fundraiser we thought would be easy, involve our daughter Lucy who loves to play chef, and really fun on a hot August afternoon. We made a Gourmet Lemonade Stand!

 

lemonsBetony Coons is a foodie. And when she uses this power for good she is unstoppable. She first created infusions in the morning with Lucy and Hattie’s help- lavender, basil, lemon balm, and mint . Next some fruit puree’s were made- Strawberry, Watermelon, and blueberry. Lastly fresh lemons were crushed with copious amounts of sugar, but no water was added. This was a lemonade concentrate.

 

mint 3DSC_0084And this, my friends, is how the world is changed through the pallet. Gourmet lemonade was born.

 

For a few hours on a Friday afternoon we set up shop in our front yard. People came! Neighbors, Facebook invites, passers-by all experienced some goodness.
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First we (Lucy, who’s 4, and whoever was helping) would make a base of club soda and lemonade concentrate, then the customer would choose what fruit puree and infusion they’d like. Some big hits? Watermelon/Mint Sparkling Lemonade. Blueberry/Lavender Sparkling Lemonade. Strawberry/Basil Sparkling Lemonade (who knew!?).

 

Below are pictures from our afternoon. And some recipes!

 

Many thanks to everyone who came by. We raised over a hundred dollars for the school supply drive! All in a couple hours doing something fun and loving!

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Almanac Adventure: July “Summer Boats”

We were asked to play at the first ever festival put on by “Under the Radar”, an internet radio station that plays more thoughtful, creative music, often of a spiritual bent. They called the event “Under the Radar: Escape to the Lake”.

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It was such an amazing experience, not just because of the people and the music and the opportunities, but also because we got to take the family!

 

Betony,  Lucy, and Harriet got to come. And then we brought friends (musician Craig Basarich, photographer Thomas Nash, artist Kathryn Buncik) to help with the trip. It was a Circus Caravan of Fun wherever we pulled up!
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On one of the days we were there Betony led an Almanac Adventure. Together with some other folks they made boats together and asked the question, “What do you need to let go of this season? What are the things you want to load into this boat and leave at the lake- lightening the weight of life off your shoulders and into this vessel?”

 

People really got into it and took the creating seriously. Well, not too seriously. A ton of fun was still had. It made for a special moment during this get away to Wisconsin.

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Giants & Pilgrims One Take Video “Rally Those Hopes”

This September we put on a show at Atlas Church called “I Walk Slow”. It was a series of songs, stories, and meditations on Psalm 23. Photographer Jared Reno was at our first rehearsal and captured this. So beautiful. I love the energy and raw feel.

This song will be featured on our ALMANAC album. It was written with the idea of “working the fields” in mind. My favorite line is,

“Lift the veil on the summer night

House is hot, filled with dynamite

Set the table just to set us free

I’ll stay with you if you stay with me”

Just about working through those struggles. That’s the best love. The love that stays and digs in the dirt with the full hope that life will come from the messy soil.

Almanac Adventure: April “All Day”

We sent out a request for video clips of kids dancing. We have two girls of their own and have loved the absolute joy that erupts when the dancing begins. The invitation was for parents to enjoy capturing that magic and then send clips to the artists, us.
This video is a testament to that joy and seemingly unending energy. It was an amazing Adventure to pursue and put together. Enjoy!

 

Almanac Adventure: March “Isles of Green”

 

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These adventure days  have been so much fun! In January we hid “reflective” jars in the winter woods. In February we set up letter writing stations. And now?

 

Adventure Day #3: Greeley Isles of Green: A treasure map escapade.

 

Here is a treasure map created just for you.

(click the thumbnail to see the full map)
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It will take you to 3 parks in Greeley, CO.

 

The game? To  collect a series of letter clues, hidden in the specific locations in the parks. Once they spell the secret message then you head to John Galt Coffee CO for your prize. First prize is $50 cash. No joke. The next prizes (2- 15) wins a bag of treasure!

 

Enjoy the spring, enjoy the hunt, and enjoy this new changing season that is upon us!

 

Signing with a new cryptic moniker,

 

Giants and Pilgrims (Betony, Tim, Lucy, Harriet)

 

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IMG_1323   jars  tim  lucy map

 

 

 

Almanac Adventure: February “Letters Campaign”

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Today was our second family adventure day. For a couple of weeks, we have been gathering little bits and pieces of vintage paper ephemera and anything typography related – an old science classroom atlas became 50 mini handmade envelopes (with the help of my students), vintage airmail envelopes, old stamps, font printouts, flash cards, and so on.

We then gathered these little cards and papers together to create little love letter kits to be given away. Lucy painted and helped make two mailboxes. Harriet tried her hand at sharpening pencils.
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Along the lines of Valentine’s themes of proclaiming love, we set up these two letter-writing stations at a couple of coffee shops (favorites in our neighborhood: John Galt Coffee CO and Blue Mug at Margie’s. They were generous with their space, letting us do this!) We are going to provide postage for any of the letters left in the “mailbox” Lucy created (see below!) We hope we send out all 50 of the handmade envelopes we made!

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Here’s the directions we left for folks. Enjoy! And feel free to copy anything we’re doing… It’s all for play and wonder for our family and our city!

The Letters Campaign: Just Add Words

“Just add words”… it’s easier said than done. It’s crazy how we can care for someone so much in our hearts, 

yet when it comes to letting them know, words fail.  

We don’t want too sound cliche, 

we aren’t poetic enough, 

words won’t begin to describe… 

and so on.

But now, these weeks before Valentine’s, 

it would be a great time to wrestle through that.

It doesn’t have to be too serious, too poetic, or just right. 

Just add words.

Let someone you care for- your spouse, friends, family, kids- know right now.

Here is a letter and a mailbox. 

Write to them, 

address it, 

and place it in the box. 

We will pay for the postage.

 

And our guess is that your words will come out just right.

Love, 

Yours truly

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Almanac Adventure: January “Winter Jars”

A few notes from my Hubby Tim about this project:

We begin here whisperings and rumors of a new project… I say we because this time it won’t just be an album. My wife, Betony, and I have decided to create together for the first time. And not just the two of us. We’re also including our family- Lucy (3 years old) who loves to paint and boss people around and Harriet (16 months old) who likes to give us opportunities for exercise  when we have to run and pull her off of whatever dangerous thing she’s climbed onto. 

As a family we’ll be exploring what it means for all of our worlds to overlap, embrace, and collide- music, art, husband, wife, child, adult, reflection, adventure, fresh, experienced, wonder, and wonder renewed. The working title is “Kingdoms”.

In holding to the practice that the journey is always more important than the destination, Betony and I have decided to have “Family Adventure Days”. We will dive into the deeper things of life, invite our kids into those places, and invite our close friends there too. We don’t know what each month will look like, but we hope songs, paintings and art come out of the “play” of these days.
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“Family Adventure Day #1”
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My Journal from the day:

It’s January. It’s freezing cold outside (try -15 F degrees outside right now as I am writing this).  The New Year endeavor? Documenting our hopes and dreams for these upcoming months.

Together as a family we filled 5 mason jars and labeled each: Hopes, Dreams, Prayers, Fears, and Secrets (and then actually a 6th jar that Lucy wanted to make. Can’t quite tell what the tag says as it is written in her 3 year old hieroglyphics.)

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In each jar, we put special little mementos and words we’d spent time reflecting on. In the dream jar, in type written notes: “I dream that we could create something beautiful this year”, “I dream that my friends’ dreams would come true”, “I dream I could be a real ice cream chef”. -Feathers in the “Hopes” jar, unwritten secrets in the “Secrets” jar, one word fears (which we later burned) and rocks in the “Fears” jar, and a list of the people we care most about in the “Prayers” jar…

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Then, we bundled up as best we could (the polar explorers part) and headed out to the wilderness (also known as the wildlife sanctuary west of Glenmere park). It felt really good to be out in the wild forest (OK not really wild, but it felt REAL). We found a special place to hang each of the jars – suspended by twine and air in the crisp sunshine. Inside we left pencils and paper. We want to hear your hopes & dreams too.

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You’re invited- if you live near by go find these secret jars. Add your own tiny tidbits. Share your story.  If nothing else, it is a beautiful walk in the woods.

Or, if you are family from far away, leave your New Year wanderings in the comments section below.

Happy Adventuring!

 

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