Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda

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Here we are at … the City of Ann Arbor’s Holiday Break Camp for kids ages 6 – 10 years old. The Bryant Community Center is the place to be 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Jan. 2 – 5, 2007. Lots of activities, lunches, snacks and field trips are included in the $50 resident fee. For more information contact Community Outreach at 994.2722.

He Was 'A Ford, Not a Lincoln'

"I told you I was a Ford, not a Lincoln. Tonight I say I am still a Ford, but I am not a Model T." Pres. Gerald Ford, August 12, 1974

Those humble words were spoken by President Gerald Ford days after President Nixon resigned and Ford assumed the presidency. President Ford passed away this week, but his important role in history will be long remembered.

If you'd like to read more about Jerry Ford (who was also a Wolverine football player), you might consider these books:

The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford by John Robert Greene;

A Ford, Not a Lincoln by Richard Reeves;

Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment with History by James Cannon.

And, if you're interested in Betty Ford- including her courageous struggle with drug addiction- take a look at Betty: A Glad Awakening by Betty Ford with Chris Chase, or First Lady's Lady by Sheila Rabb Weidenfeld.

Also, check out First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents by Bonnie Angelo, for a really fascinating account of Ford's mother and childhood.

President Gerald Ford 1913-2006

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Former President Gerald Ford, the only non-elected chief executive, died Tuesday, December 26, 2006. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor provide exhibits, history and papers of Michigan’s only president and his family. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have extensive coverage of the President's life.

Starting a home-based business?

If you're thinking about starting a home-based business, you might wish to sign up for the 'Starting Your Home-Based Business: What You Need to Know' workshop being offered by the Washtenaw County office of the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center. The workshop will provide a step-by-step approach to planning, opening and growing a new home-based business. Call the MI-SBTDC office at (734)547-9170 to preregister [there is a small registration fee]. The program will be held at the MI-SBTDC office at 301 W. Michigan Avenue, Suite 101, Ypsilanti, on January 31, 2007 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. In the meantime you can also prepare using some of the library's home-based business books.

How are you celebrating?

Whether in Times Square watching the ball drop, or at Sydney's famouus harbor where over 80,000 fireworks will be set off, New Year's Eve is a time to look back and forward.

If you're throwing a party, check out some great hors d'oevres cookbooks: Mastering Hors d'Oeuvres by Jan Weimer or Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook by guess who?

If you're a nostalgia buff, you can watch the Jack Benny Holiday Hour, especially the episode where he turns down a party invitation for a date that never happens. Or for "Friends" aficianados, check out the episode in Season I, disc 2, in which Ross arrives at a new Years Eve party with a monkey.

Wonderful Holiday Reading in Two Hours

Letter to a Godchild: Concerning Faith, the spiritual autobiography of author Reynolds Price, is wonderful holiday reading, a wise little book that can be read in maybe two hours. Perhaps most memorable is the author’s recollection of being shown a Very Big Picture when he was still a very small child: "In a single moment, I was allowed to see how intricately the vast contraption of nature... was bound into a single vast ongoing wheel by one immense power that had willed us into being." Price also writes eloquently about his second mystical experience, right before surgery for spinal cancer that made him a paraplegic in his fifties. The author started to write this book in 2000 following the baptism of Harper Peck Voll, the son of long-time friends. Harper is a lucky child, and we readers are also lucky to share Price’s stories and advice.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The world of Avatar: The Last Airbender is divided into four nations—Earth, Water, Fire, and Air—each with its own type of elemental magic, known as “bending.” The four peoples lived together in harmony the Fire nation began to invade its neighbors. Only the Avatar, a special bender born with the ability to manipulate all four elements, could have ended the war, but when the Fire nation began its attacks, the Avatar had mysteriously disappeared.

A hundred years have passed since the Fire nation began its invasion, and it now seems poised to complete its conquest. But two siblings from the water tribe, Katara and Sokka, have just found the missing Avatar, a twelve-year-old boy named Aang, and his flying bison frozen in an iceberg. Can Aang learn to master all four elements and restore peace?

This cartoon isn’t technically anime, but it’s certainly heavily influenced by anime in its character designs and plot structure. Creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino have specifically cited the films of Hayao Miyazaki as influences. The action scenes are particularly fun to watch; each type of bending is inspired by a different martial art—for example, waterbending is based on tai chi, and firebending is based on Northern Shaolin—and that makes the showdowns between the different characters very exciting to watch.

DVD Top sellers on Amazon.com

Here are the latest Amazon.com Top Sellers available in our collection. No surprise that It's a Wonderful Life made the list...tis the season! My favorite is A Christmas Story. " Ralphie, you'll put your eye out!"

Little Miss Sunshine
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
An Inconvenient Truth
The Devil Wears Prada
It's a Wonderful Life
Cars
Talladega Nights

Stompin' at the Savoy by Bebe Moore Campbell

Mindy is afraid that she will fall during her jazz dance recital. A visit by a magic drum takes her to the Savoy where she hears Benny Goodman and joins the crowd of dancers. Her dancing Aunts take front stage in the dance competition and a slip by one of their partners shows Mindy that happy feet keep dancing no matter what. Stompin’ at the Savoy is an upbeat rhythmic book that celebrates one of Harlem’s most famous ballrooms.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

The Play Ground loves the funky music of the Chenille Sisters and we will be glad to ring in the new year singing along with them. Nationally renowned, our local trio of singer-songwriters Cheryl Dawdy, Connie Huber, and Grace Morand is known for its "unbeatable combination of breathtakingly precise and resonant vocal harmonies, a comic wit that's both corny and subversive, and a delightfully eclectic repertoire of original songs mixed with jazz, swing, folk, and blues standards." The Ark, 316 S. Main. Tickets $35 (includes champagne & party favors.) 10 p.m.

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