Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sharon Town Clock on a Snowy Day

Last Friday's snowfall, while not heavy except in its weight in Sharon, was a monster storm just a small amount of miles from us. To the west, in New York State, and to the north in Massachusetts , one didn't have to travel far to find deep, deep snow. We were in the "eye" of the N'oreaster and our depths didn't measure up.

And you know what? Personally, I celebrated. I'm ready for spring. Whether spring is ready for us, well, that's another question. My snow-plowing friend said another storm this Wednesday. I hope he's wrong.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Angelfood™ Anniversary in Sharon

It was just a year ago that The Sharon Congregational Church became associated with Angelfood Ministries™. Not a ministry with sermons, but a ministry with meat, produce, chicken, and other groceries. And all at very affordable prices. Sharon's grocery store had just closed in early January of 09', and the recession was affecting more and more families. Angelfood was a national program, and was just finding its way into northwest Connecticut. Pastor Jody Guerrera heard of the promises of the program and brought it to the membership, who voted to participate, and see if there was a need. Soon to be a year in Sharon, there is obviously a need. While the average month sees food going to roughly 30 families, those families continue to be there participating every month, and their orders in what they buy have been going up. They are doubling up on meats and produce, so as to carry them farther thru the month.

The church has also received support from numerous volunteers who show up each month to help distribute the food. The Sharon Women's Club has members helping every month as well. The folks in Sharon are providing a great service, which is available to anyone. There are no income restrictions or requirements. Orders may be placed online or at a few convenient locations in and around Sharon. This ministry is open to residents from ANY town. We have numerous folks from many areas communities each month, and have had since the start.

If you think you might be interested in helping save some money for your family grocery bill, you can checkout Angelfood at or feel free to contact The Sharon Congregational Church @ 364-5002 .

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tall Fencing

You'll know our house...

it's the one in the country with the high fence.....

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Overheard in the plaza...

As I get older, it seems that a day does not go bye that something just surprises me. The last two to three days have been "over-the-top" with comments that have just about knocked me off my feet. I am just dumbfounded at a couple of the statements I have heard. Thought I'd share a few....

#1.."what the he-- do we need a store like Guido's for? We need a GROCERY STORE!".......Uhm, excuse me. Last I knew, Guido's is a grocery store. True, they specialize in specific areas, and may not carry 47 varieties of tuna fish or peanut butter, but it's a store! And for the last nearly fourteen months we've had nothing. Which would you rather have?

#2.. "the previous owner left it in such a worn-out mess. They're going to have to spend a million or more dollars before they open. They'll never see a profit." Ok, opinion noted. Just like running my store, what they spend to fix/repair/make-new is no business of mine. Perhaps you shouldn't worry about that either.....

And these comments are coming out before so much as a mop has hit the floor........Unbelievable! How about we give them a chance people? I have met the new owners, and they seem so excited and positive and thrilled to be here in Sharon. Maybe we should return that feeling to them?..........

#3.. and this mornings comment I found to be just so............ I can't decide. You decide.

" what the devils going on? There's no parking places? this is a pain in the _ss!"

(The front of the market was filled with town officials, landlords, new owners, old owners, business people trying to get a foot up on the competition, contractors, and more.)

Small towns. Most days they are great. Some days I just want to crawl under a rock....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Salisbury Bank & Trust

I was walking over to the bank on Tuesday in the snow when I realized my camera was in my pocket. Since I am back at "blogging", I glanced at the bank, and I realized that I was only seeing about three total, white and the grey siding. Kinda cool!

Salisbury Bank & Trust is a full service bank located on Low Road in Sharon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Playscape Fund Drive

Was on my way into work on Monday morning and I was wondering what my subjects for the next few days might be for DCL. Well, my daughters birthday rose to the top for Monday, but this sign @ Sharon Center caught my eye, so I want to give it a spot. Lots of money to this "old guy" for playground entertainment, but, hey, times change!! When I was there (don't ask when!) it was sandbox, swing sets, teeter-totters, and then we got high-tech with a tether-ball! Ask as kid today what a tetherball is. I bet seven out-of-ten haven't a clue.... But enough about old history. If you have the opportunity to help with a donation, at either a fund-raising event, or just dropping in a check....I am sure that a whole bunch of kids(and parents of today) will appreciate your contribution!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Little girls grow up, and fathers get all sentimental.... My little girl Catherine took another step into growing up today, celebrating her 21st on the other side of the globe. If you didn't know, she is away this semester in Amman, Jordan! Catherine is really stretching her wings this semester and is residing with a family till the middle of May. She has taken a liking to the Arabic language, and is really immersing herself into it. She lives with a family, in Amman, who have two teenage girls and a younger brother. She misses internet access in the evening, so she has been unable thus far to do postings to her blog with any regularity. I hope she figures it out and is able to do it another way soon. Her pic's were neat and her writing is so good! So today, I just want to say Happy Birthday Catherine! Hope your time in special in Jordan, and that you are able to experience many great things while you are there. This pic was from our summer vacation in Maine, outside L.L. Beans™.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Standing firewood...

-not much more than a perch for crows, buzzards and the like. Off Mitcheltown Road, in Sharon. Heat for someone next year I imagine...

Dead end?

Here's our illustrious Mitcheltown Bridge, which is closed for safety reasons. Though I live not in any close vicinity to this bridge, I do appreciate that Mitcheltown is a thru road in normal circumstances. I do hope the funding is in order so that this bridge can be fixed soon this spring, so those who live there can use the road again, and the rest of us, who may only use it occasionally, can count on it being there. Roads were built for a reason- to get from here to there. Not from here, to half-way......

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's Official..

A new market is coming to Sharon!!!! I have spoken with the landlord this afternoon, in depth, and wow is there something special coming our way! The deal will all be completed this coming Monday and full information will be coming after that point. But as of now, papers are signed and all systems are go. The future owners are excited to come to the area, and are currently owners of two others grocery stores and a large restaurant. They are professional in every way. My landlords are just so excited to be able to bring people with their experience and background to the area. They have had other opportunities to bring in others, but have held out for something that they felt was the best for Sharon, both now and in its future.

A new market in Sharon. Wow.....

Big news coming....................

stand bye, Town of Sharon. We are hoping an official announcement is coming SOON......This is going to be BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!

ONLY in Sharon....

I stopped bye the Sharon Town Hall this morning for a brief visit with friends, when a lady came running in and said " there's a guy out there peeing on our town green". Now this is at ten after nine on Friday morning!!! In broad day light! The mayor got right on the case though. He went outside and obtained the guys license plate number, called the barracks, and reported the incident! Unbelievable! With all the back-roads and unseen spots, and this clown picks the middle of town, on the green.....
I told you we needed public toilets, back in May!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It MUST be almost here......

Wednesday of this week, the 17th, the pitchers and the catchers reported to their first full practice around the grapefruit and cactus league in major league baseball. The rest of the staffs report today and tomorrow. AND.....the SI swim suit isssue hit the news stands this week too! Can spring be far behind????????

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Mayor and The Chief

Caught up with a town meeting in front of my store this afternoon. Two Sharonites were holding serious discussions! Not often when you can get the real "mayor" and the "chief" in the same photo!!

Finally! Some Snow!!

After a winter of not much snow, but plenty of cold air, Tuesday the 16th we were finally greeted with some snow. The forecast early was for, from most forecasters, 4-7" by 7PM. I caught up with two of Sharon finest walkers on North Main this morning around 8:45. The snow was pretty light to that point, so they were able to get their walk in. Shari and Meg; I am proud of you. You get out there and do it. You rock!

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Definition for the word "empty"

emp·ty (mpt)
adj. emp·ti·er, emp·ti·est
a. Holding or containing nothing.
b. Mathematics Having no elements or members; null: an empty set.
2. Having no occupants or inhabitants; vacant: an empty chair; empty desert.
3. Lacking force or power: an empty threat.
4. Lacking purpose or substance; meaningless: an empty life.
5. Not put to use; idle: empty hours.
6. Needing nourishment; hungry: "More fierce and more inexorable far/Than empty tigers or the roaring sea" (Shakespeare).
7. Devoid; destitute: empty of pity.

Here's the new one:
8. Sharon Shopping Center on President's Day. Wow.....

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Not sure if I am doing this right...This whole experience of running a blog is........ anyways, hopefully I am going to click and magically a link for my favorite tv show will appear....Let's see if it works...

Hooray! It worked! We don't watch a lot of television, and if I ever divided what I pay for tv by the amount of hours I watch.....I'd probably shoot myself! Not really. Don't worry. But, back on Castle. My wife and I both find it to be extremely good tv. Good acting. Good writing. Humor. Seriousness. A little action and adventure for me. A little intrigue and unsaid romance for my wife. Plots/storyline....its all good, and I just want to recommend it to all my readers. If you haven't given it a check (now in its 2nd year), why not tune in tomorrow night @ 10 on ABC. The next two are repeats, but they are good ones! Then comes a week off, and then March Sweeps with a whole bunch of new, including a two-nighter. Perhaps you too will soon be saying "Becket" and "Castle"...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sad day in Sharon...

My brief today will be short. Today was the funeral of a life-long friend and native Sharon-ite, James (Hondo) Anderson. Jim was just a great guy in our area. He worked for The Kent School for many, many years, and was an active member of the Sharon Fire Company for many years as well. Jim was also very active with the local FFA chapter thru the high school, as his daughters both were super-active there. His wife Bobbie works at The Salisbury Bank & Trust, and the family resides in North Canaan. The church sanctuary was filled to the rim today @ the Sharon Congregational Church, which spoke highly to the numbers paying respect and to the numbers who will miss him. My condolences go out to Bobbie and the girls, and to all the Anderson's.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gone Fishing?

Tell me. Honestly. When was the last time you went to the transfer station (alais "the dump") and it was empty? Not a soul in sight..... This morning at 8:15 I pulled in with a load of cardboard and newspapers, backed up to the hopper and unloaded the cardboard. Now coming from a store that gets boxes and only goes to the transfer every 2-3 weeks I had a load, so it took a while to unload. While I was doing so I am thinking, geez, its awfully quiet here. Then I dumped my newspapers in the bin and there was still no one in sight. Next I pulled over to the trash hopper, threw in three small bags and still no one. What's going on? So out of pure curiosity I walked over to the office door and it was locked. The swapshop door also was locked. Not a soul in sight! Weird! This was like a good 8-10 minutes of nobody there but me. I went back to my truck, and the next thing I know Florien is knocking on my window. Phew! Finally someone else is there! We exchanged hello's and I was off to Herrington's for salt for the water softner. Pulled in to Herrington's. NO ONE THERE! Went in and paid for the salt to a clerk, loaded the salt and left and not another soul was around. Very strange Friday morning if you ask me.........

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Concerning "The Who" and more..

This past Sunday, I too was part of the millions who watched the Super Bowl on tv. While some watch for the game, some the commercials and some the half-time entertainment, this year I was watching for all three.

I was cheering for the Colts in showing my allegiance to them for their signing of Donald Brown, a UConn football alum. In his rookie year, he had a good year offensively. When the playoffs roll around, the games tend to become "pass-oriented", especially when you have two quarterbacks the quality of Mr. Brees and Manning. Thus Mr. Brown was used sparingly. But he's a player, and I would expect nothing but greater things from him next year for Indy.

The commercials usually bring me much enjoyment, often more than the game. This year I cannot say that. While the ETrade kids probably were my favorite, I did enjoy a few others but they all seemed to lack something this year. If I see the Betty White being tackled commercial again...... I just didn't like it. Abe laying on his back and saying "that hurt" did get a bit of a snicker though....

But onto The Who. I grew up with the Who. I knew every single word to Tommy and many more of their songs. I think I saw them in the 70's but my memory is not to clear around then....I have every single version on LP of Tommy. And many other songs/albums too. But when Keith Moon died in '78', so much of what was The Who was changed. He, along with John Entwhistle were The Who. John E., alais "the Ox" was a bassist beyond. And back on Keith Moon. Did you know he was the basis for Animal on Sesame Street? The Who may have been on stage Sunday in Miami, but really, I want to know
was on stage? The "Magic Bus" ride is over. Behind Blue Eyes will and should live on.....but only in its original version....... as recorded years ago. Todays Who is tired and needs to call it quits.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Carmen (The Opera)

Yesterday, my wife and I were guests of friends who had us meet them in NYC @ The Met, where we enjoyed the opera "Carmen." We were there along with five other couples from the corner. We shared an exclusive meal in the opera club, fine seats to view the production and were back in Sharon very early Wednesday morning. It was a very enjoyable evening from start to finish.

Monday, February 8, 2010

the plow is off....

but unfortunately I need to put it back on. Dr. Mel on Ch. 8 predicts that we won't miss this time. (drat!) So, before work tomorrow morning, I am going to put the plow back on and start to think about the pending storm on Wednesday. I sure hope its closer to 5" than closer to 10".... Hope everyone stays safe in it no matter how much we get.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Prediction

I know this may sound a bit partial, and I really have no ties to the institution, but from the Univ. of Connecticut last year came a running back named Donald Brown. He plays for the Colts and I saw him a few times briefly this year, and I believe he was an important part of their successes. Therefore, I am rooting for DB and the Colts to win today in the "Super Bowl!" Either way, I'll sleep tonight....

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I just completed a
video chat with my daughter and her newly adopted family in Aaman, Jordan! It was very exciting! Catherine looks well, and her host family seem like they are enjoying her company. They are a family of husband, wife, two teenage daughters and a young son. There was much giggling going on so either they were liking the fact we could talk around the world on these computers, picture and all, or else they found me intensely funny looking!!! I am going to go with the first!! We are scheduled again for tomorrow at 1PM our time, or 8PM their time. Unfortunately Clare wasn't here today, but we'll get her on tomorrow for sure. It took a few minutes for the picture to settle in, though the voice was good. The picture kind of reminded me of video from space that we see on tv. Wish my parents or in-laws were still with us and could see their little girl on the other side of the world, making friends and learning a new language. Wow. Just incredible.

EMS House Numbers

Not much changes around Sharon day to day, and that can be debated as to whether it is a good thing or a bad. But one good thing is starting and I so applaud it. I am referring to the Sharon Vol. Ambulance Squad introducing and promoting the opportunity to all homeowners to purchase reflective house number signs for house recognition. I had bought my own a few years back, and apparently they used it as a "starting place" in their discussions as to whether to start such a project. The ones that they have selected are a nice shade of green with a cream- colored numbers by my judgement. My neighbor across from me had ones installed yesterday for his home driveway, his tenants and his barn-complex. These simple little signs will so help the EMS Fire and Ambulance people when they have to respond to an emergency. I would never think of it in this particular light myself, but there are many who DO NOT want the signs! Huh? And their reasoning is they don't want people to know where they are............ Okay, your house is on fire, or your husband is choking on your foie gras, and you don't want the rescue personal to find you.....? Extremely illogical Commander Kirk comes to mind!! And the neat thing to is that the squad is making a small profit off the purchase to help fund their new ambulance.

So, please, if you haven't already, for your own safety, make the investment and install these simple little signs at the end of your driveway. It may be the absolute best $20.00 you ever spent!

(ps..the 800 in the picture is for a commercial company I AM NOT promoting. I just grabbed their photo to help with the blog)

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's more than a year...

January 10,2009 was a Monday. It might seem like a non-memorable day from the calendar to most of you but it was different day for the Town of Sharon, Connecticut. It was the day the food market went dark. Now, almost thirteen months later and counting, it still remains closed. Now, for many of you, myself included, it was a day many had wished had occurred many years before. You see, the market that almost 30 years earlier had opened in place of the Grand Union, was a good store for many years. The problem was, it had grown into a not-so-good store for too many years. Coolers were often broken, so products were forever spoiled. Ice cream freezers were down more than they were up. Meats were grey instead of red, and the conditions of cleanliness, well, we just won't go there. All that bad news in the store operation of the towns only market, I feel, had a direct impact to our towns other businesses and to some degree, the success that they have. Build it and they will come does not necessarily work in all instances. Build it yes, but give value, service, cleanliness and respect and listen, really listen to what people say, for without the people (customers), it is only time before you fail. The trickle-down effect of having no anchor store for the plaza, or for the whole town for that matter, has been an open sore for a year and counting. We all are hurting. True, the nations worst economy since '29 is upon us as well, and there lays much fact as well.
But the longer that our Town of Sharon goes along, without a grocery market of some type, well, the closer we get to potentially losing a liquor store, or a pharmacy, a florist or car repair. The closer we get to becoming just another very small town business-wise, like Cornwall or Falls Village. The closer we get to losing our doctors who come to work here, for they will reside elsewhere. Or heaven-forbid, they work elsewhere, and Sharon Hospital in turn, goes like Trotta's. Open today.But will they be, tomorrow?
Sharon needs to have some REAL people, with REAL knowledge of our past, our present and a REAL vision for tomorrow get to work soon. Before its too late.

Rick Hotaling
Rick's Wine & Spirits

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cat's in Jordan

Our daughter Catherine, in her third year of college, has left the country! (and how!) This past Sunday evening we took her to JFK airport in NYC, where she flew out on an 11 1/2 hour flight to Aaman, Jordan. She will be attending her spring semester there and returning in mid-May. Rather than me describe why she is there, here is a link to her blog, which describes it all quite well. So, if interested, why not give her a follow the coming weeks and months and see what her perspective on the middle East is.

Follow her at :