Happy New Year!!!! I hope your holidays have been filled with love, laugher and all manner of good things.

This New Year’s Eve Day I have been engaging in all kinds of Leaf-y activities - hunted up maps of the US and the world to post on the kitchen wall for Millennium Central and also got hundreds of color coded dots to track all of you soon-to-be Millennium Planters. Spent hours on the phone getting shipping quotes from various companies and now have sat down at the computer with a little Mozart and chocolate milk (made, of course with Hershey’s Syrup) to think about the past 6 months in Leaf-Land

First I want to say WAHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Sarah Das, New Leaf made its southernmost appearance at McMurdo Station, Antarctica this month. In the last newsletter I announced that Rob Holmes would be doing the honors of taking New Leaf to the 7th continent. Turns out Rob did not go south this year and he recruited Sarah as a substitute. It is possible that New Leaf is the only art project to take place on all 7 continents.

At the beginning of the Fall Term, Betina Coetzee planted 50 Leafs at the SDA Language Institute in Seoul. Betina is a dear soul who was ready to turn around and do it again over the winter holidays when she went home to Cape Town, South Africa. Unfortunately, that shipment has been delayed and possibly lost. What with the 8 Leafs that went trekking across Africa in January never to be heard from again, Africa seems to be a black hole for New Leafs this year. We are still hopeful that the shipment will arrive in January. If not, we will be philosophical and hope that this unexpected detour will take New Leaf to some interesting places. As you can guess, this disappointing turn of events prompted the shipping research.

In October I planted 100 Leafs in Cincinnati over a 2 week period. This event was a bit different for New Leaf. Daily plantings were posted on the web-site. (See Carol’s Adventure on my home page) I developed a lively e-mail correspondence with delightful BabaSue, a grandmother whose determination to find her own Leaf paid off in the end (See Baba Sue’s letter in “Responses”) I planted after work, on lunch breaks, and weekends. I am now fully qualified to become a Soccer Mom.

Other new sites include Edinburgh, Scotland; Santiago Chile; Birmingham, Alabama; Telluride, Colorado; Panama city, Florida; Rothrock State Forest, Pennsylvania; Knoxville, Tennessee; Hong Kong; Sattahip, Thailand; Caracas,Venezuela; Williamsville, New York; and Birmingham, Alabama. Up coming sites include India; Austria; the Dominican Republic; Poland, New Zealand; Farmington, Arkansas; the boon-docks of Oklahoma; and Vermont.

Earlier this month Debi Curry passed on the news that she now had the e-mail address of our dear and long lost mutual friend, Robert Klotz (in Oklahoma). Robert has jumped right into Leaf-Land and featured New Leaf on his site, “Art de la Semaine” (art of the week for those of you not conversant in French) You can link up to Art de la Semaine through the people section on the New Leaf web site. You artists out there are invited to submit art to Robert for consideration. Robert has also offered to set up some banners on his various domains to promote the Millennium Project.

I now have in excess of 2,000 Leaf panels ready and am looking forward to a long winter of painting. (Hence the new Mozart CD’s. We will see if Ellis Peters or the Magic Flute promotes the mood most conducive to Leaf-Rendition)

Sitting down and painting 2,000 of anything is daunting at best. I have been performing delaying tactics disguised as constructive activity. In this case, several modifications have been made to the web site (http://members.aol.com/leafnews). In addition to the usual updates of “About”, “Projects”, “Leaf of the Month” and “Responses”, I have reorganized “Projects” and “Leaf of the Month” so that the most recent listings are at the top of the page. This minor change will eliminate unnecessary scrolling for you repeat visitors. Links to Gary Wright’s overseas leaf planting journal and my journal of October’s Cincinnati event are now on the front page.

You will also see two new areas on the front page, “Become a Planter” and “Sponsor New Leaf”. the Planter section includes specifics about Planter-ship, for those of you curious about what Planting entails. From time to time people ask how they can get a leaf of their own (besides the happy circumstance of finding one) . This is your chance. I will be giving Leafs to all Millennium Planters who plant 15 or more Leafs. This may be your only chance, (except as below) because after I am done with the Millennium Project (for a total of 5,000 Leafs), I suspect I will be ready to move on to other ventures which have been put aside for the time being.

I posted the Sponsor page after long deliberation about shipping costs. After much angst, I decide not to seek corporate support to cover shipping cost for the millennium project. New Leaf has always been a “grass-roots” project made possible through the heart-felt efforts of individuals. Many of you have expressed a desire to support New Leaf in some fashion. Money has not been an issue up to this point since the most important resources necessary to make New Leaf happen have been time and love. Now that New Leaf is facing a shipping bill in excess of $5,000, that has changed. I am making sponsorships of Millennium Sites available for $25 (Domestic US sites) $100 (sponsor a Domestic site and get your own Leaf) and $150 (Sponsor an international site receive a Leaf as a thank you for being such a good sport)

In addition to these new areas, I am working on a New Leaf FAQ’s. The FAQ’s will feature some why’s and how’s of New Leaf and are based on prior correspondence and my own personal musings. New Leaf has been a very thought provoking experience and I have long thought that I needed to document this in some way. The FAQ’s are a beginning. I will have this up by the end of January and will update this on occasion.

I know by this time a good many of you are scratching your head and thinking, “Millennium Project? Isn’t it a bit late for that?” In Leaf-Land we count the New Millennium according to Georgia’s favorite film, “2001, a Space Odyssey”. Other sources also indicate the “true” new millennium is in 2001, based on he fact that “Dennis the Short”, who created our calendar back in the 6th Century, designated the first year AD as “1” with no “0”. See the full explanation by clicking the “Millennium” link in “Projects” on the New Leaf web site. Truly, while I do believe the New Millennium is really next year, the REAL reason I am waiting until then (besides wanting to wait for all the Y2K silliness to die out) is that New Leaf needed the extra year in order to grow the network of like-minded individuals large enough to make it happen. So on January 1, 2001, 2,000 New Leafs will be planted in various locations around the world. Be there or be square!

The Millennium Project especially needs international planters. If you have friends or family located over seas who might enjoy being part of New Leaf, let me know! Feel free to forward this newsletter, my web-site address or e-mail address to them. My dog Beez and I respond to all inquiries.

Don’t forget - if you plan to travel to any exotic places, be sure to let me know, There may be a New Leaf just dying to accompany you!!!

It is now just shy of 9 pm. Beez and I wish you all the best New Year ever. Myself will be taking my can of Sterno and heading over to Georgia’s to watch the New Year come in.


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