New Leaf News
July 29, 2000
Hello, Friends of Foliage!
I have returned from France, and yesterday received the first ever e-mail from a foreign Leaf. This one was planted by a pond outside of a jardinaire (garden store) north of Erdeven while pedaling back to Gouarec. Read about my trip in the article below.
Jim Knippenberg wrote a very nice piece in his column about the New Leaf France excursion and the Millennium Project, this is now posted on the web site.
The Leaf count is over 1500 now, only 500 to go. And now is time to start worrying about all those OTHER things...This month I attended a Semantics organizational meeting and Andy Marko was asking me about press releases... and I was a bit shocked to realize that it was time to worry about things like press releases and show invitations, mailing lists, organizing friends to help install the show, confirming planter commitments and recruiting more international planters...Not to mention cooking for the grill out...
The grill out was delightful. The weather was a perfect 78 degrees. Ahmed Helmy made his secret recipe 28 ingredient Shish Kabob and his secret recipe 28 ingredient Kofta (everything Ahmed cooks has 28 ingredients. Its the LAW) Debbie Brod brought her daughter Naomi and Naomis friend, Alex. These 2 young ladies entertained us with magic tricks and then just plain tricks, mostly on Suzannes fiance, Sergio,... leading Sergio (a truly good sport) to good-humoredly rename them Havoc and Pain. The best part, of course was spending a lovely summer evening out on the terrace with all these nifty people who help make New Leaf happen, and for them to meet each other.
The store is finally up. After two years of searching for the right place to make New Leaf merchandise, Robert Klotz e-mailed me about CafePress.com. Their quality is very good. They make all items to order and handle the sales. There is a t-shirt, a mouse pad, and a variety of coffee mugs. Go to the New Leaf site and click Stuff to Buy.
I am happy to say that the samples I had shipped to my office never made it home with me because my co-workers have bought them and are demanding more. Unfortunately, some of those samples were intended for Tyim. I promised them to him two years ago when he helped me create the graphics. But he has been waiting two years, so I guess a few more weeks wont matter.
Next up for the Store will be signed, limited edition prints of Leaf plantings. Prints from Egypt, Abingdon, VA and France will be available.
Of course, all proceeds are used to fund New Leaf projects, the first being to fund that dratted Millennium Project shipping bill....
Within the next 2 weeks I will e-mail everyone who has volunteered for the Millennium Project. This is to confirm addresses and number of Leafs, etc. This is very important since I have not spoken to some of you for a year or more. If you have volunteered and do NOT hear from me by August 15, please e-mail me, because that means that I dont have you in my records as a volunteer.
I still need foreign planters. If you have friends or family overseas, now is the time to ask them if they want to join us on this very special New Years Day...
For those of you in the area, all 2000 Leafs will be on display at Semantics ( 1107 Harrison, just off Central Parkway) from September 9 - September 30. The opening reception is September 9 Hope you can make it!!
Along with adding the store, I have also posted a few new entries under FAQ. I took tons of photos in France and will post some of these soon, maybe even this weekend. I still havent revised the people section. I confess. I keep putting it off because there are so many people to add. There are now so many people that I have to reorganize it. My apologies to all of you who have not been added. It will get done, though I dont know when.
Since Aunt June nagging me about my cousin Rus resulted in creating the New Leaf concept, it is fitting (and totally like her) for her to be the first official New Leaf Sponsor. June is sponsoring Virginia Beach.
I planted 20 Leafs in France during my vacation, 10 in Brittany and 10 in Paris. The Brittany Leafs were planted in and around churches, roadside shrines, and standing stones. Some Paris locations were inside the Musee dOrsay, in the courtyard of the Louvre, by the Arc de Triomphe, behind Notre Dame, and at the Tulleries.
Lita North planted Leafs in Salina, Kansas; Saint Charles, Missouri; Oak Grove, Kentucky; and Saint Simon's Island in Georgia during a road trip from Colorado to Georgia.
Anna Woo took a Scandinavian tour and planted Leafs in Stockholm, Sweden, Visby (on Gotland Island), Tallin, Estonia; and Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Tim Miller planted a Leaf on the beach in Cancun. Yay to Tim. I was beginning to think I would never get a Leaf to Mexico.
Stephen Miller of http://www.mkzdk.org/ planted Leafs in Santa Fe & San Francisco
Sister Montiel Rosenthal took a Leaf back with her to Armenia after a recent visit here.
BRITTANY AND BRETON BIKES
I spent 7 days bicycling and camping in Brittany, then spent 2 days in Paris. Most folks are surprised to hear that I did this alone - me, the bike, a tent, my itinerary, the resurrected remnants of my high school French, and 150 miles of Brittany hills. And it was absolutely the most wonderful thing I have ever done in my whole life.
As a cyclist, I am not much. I average 12 mph without big hills or 35 pounds of gear. Here in Cincinnati, I can pedal a leisurely 30 miles in less than 3 hours, including breaks. I thought the 20-30 mile daily itineraries were going to be easy. Geoff Husband of Breton Bikes said there were some hills in Brittany. We also have hills in Cincinnati, but we call them MOUNTAINS. In Geoffs defense, he has the Alps and the Pyrenees for comparison. I suspect the French cyclists are even now referring to me as LEscargot.
It is a very fine thing to be an Escargot on the roads of Brittany. As the sun did not set until after 11pm, there was plenty of daylight to get where I needed to go. It seemed that every kilometer, there was something wonderful to stop and see. There were many roadside shrines, some 1,000 years old or more, some built over older, pagan shrines. One was a hollow mound with a cross on top. Inside the mound was a pool with steps going down into it. The mound was covered with at least 5 varieties of ivy and many tiny flowers. I saw numerous chapels, all several hundred years old, many containing fabulous icons and tomb carvings. There were the ubiquitous standing stones, dolmans and stone alignments (there are over 6,000 megaliths in that region). I found prehistoric stone monuments in yards, in pastures and fields, down dirt paths, along the highway. Flowers were everywhere. I passed through fairy-tale forests of towering trees covered with 1 deep moss, full of tall ferns, foxglove, and ivy. Far better to be a snail than a rabbit with everything in bloom and the countryside so achingly beautiful.
I enjoyed the solitude immensely. Being alone meant I spent more time conversing with natives and other tourists. And I will not lie, being plunked down in a foreign country with no responsibilities, no schedule to keep, nobodys preferences to accommodate and no way for anyone to find me...was sheer heaven. Biking 17 kilometers uphill hauling over 30 pounds of gear was a small price to pay.
Brittany is a great place to bike. The hills are well graded (most of them, anyway), the roads are are in fantastic shape, the dogs are friendly, the food is as inexpensive as it is wonderful. You can get a fabulous 5 course meal for between $10-$15. Camping is also inexpensive, and the campgrounds have wonderful hot showers. Some even have laundries. And there was always a good restaurant nearby - since it would be a horrible waste to go to France and then eat your own cooking.
I cannot neglect to mention Breton Bikes. They provided a first rate bike with extra-low gears for the hills and all camping gear as wells as a very detailed itinerary and Michelin maps. The leather touring saddle was very comfy. The camping equipment was lightweight, sturdy, and user-friendly. Kate and Geoff are friendly and accommodating as well as very knowledgeable. After Geoff finished fitting my bike for me I, I decided to adjust my own bike after I got home. And the very best thing is that they are very affordable. If you have any interest in bike touring, check out their web-site at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/bretonbikes/
Madison, Wisconsin; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Corpus Christie, Texas; Scotland; Ireland; England; Tucson, Arizona; Urbino, Italy; Austria; Vermont; New Zealand; Idaho; Oregon; San Miguel, Mexico; Bolivia; Brazil; and Argentina
OTHER NEW PLANTERS
Carol Hillberg, a counselor at the Driver Intervention Program;
Josh Hartman, a recent Talbert House employee who left to study landscaping in New Hampshire; Paul Hermans, an artist in the Netherlands; Natalie Tucker, who surfed into New Leaf and decided to play with us. See his work at http://home.concepts.nl/~phermans/
Kevin and Daria Dunn, friends of my sister, who were mainstays in the Houston Renaissance Festival until they relocated to New York Last year. Kevin plays the penultimate Scottish Laird, and Daria loves tribal dancing. Daria and I were bridesmaids together in my sisters wedding in 1997.
Beth Thomas who found out about us after her friend found a Leaf in Charleston
Sarah Beth Johnson, friend of Robert Klotz in Oklahoma.
Only 155 days to go......
Your Friend in the Garden,
Carol Ann Newsome