Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30, 2010 10:15PM

I Love my wife! Let me go on record, right here in my blog. I Love my wife! We needed to get the new window decorations in the store window tonight, and it involved some new offerings, so we needed more time. The star is new, so I needed to figure how to secure and power. Inside there are new ceiling decorations.  More trees were added to the window. We did all this between 7:30 and we just finished @ 10:15. After we both had worked long days. But we knocked it out, and made the December 1st deadline. (so we had an hour and 45 to spare!)

Clare is the talent behind my window displays. She has the vision, as we walk down an aisle in a store two months ago, she see's something, and knows it will work. She see's things in January we can use in May or July. I love my wife!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Lights

Saw my first decorated yard and building in our area last evening coming back from the airport. I enjoyed this one, because to me, in a way, there was a bunch to see, (which I believe kids like) yet, at the same time, was not big and huge or ostentatious or what-have-you. It was, in a way, neat and simple. I liked it. Something for everybody. I picture the owner as just having a plain old good time, on a limited budget, setting this up for his friends and neighbors, maybe grandchildren perhaps?

Thank you neighbor. I liked it!

Internet down....

I know others have had problems, but I have had great luck with Comcast over the years. However, last evening the internet part was down, so no posting could I do. Here's what I was going to do, just 12 hours later..... :)

Cat drove back to school yesterday, and other than waiting for an accident to clear, got back to school just fine. At mid- afternoon , we took Drew over to Bradley to fly back to Baltimore, and he then takes the train into D.C. and the "Tro" (Metro) over to Alexandria, where he is currently residing.

Stopped @ Target on the way back and from a store that was crazy-land the day before, everything was calm and collected, and looking neat as a pin....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And the dogs were around too...

My posting yesterday showed some of the family and friends who were in for the holiday. We also had some four-legged critters in, which is something we personally don't have any of.

First meet Maizie, a bichon frise, who is my brother-in-laws dog. A very "mature" dog, she doesn't do much any more, except sleep, and go for an occasional walk. Here is my niece Lily  exercising Maize...

Also in attendance was Rosie, who is my sister-in-laws pup. She is a pretty quiet, shy reserved dog in the house, but get her outside, and she loves to run, as you can judge she is doing in this picture.  She is a great help around the kitchen too. If anything hits the floor food-wise, no worries....Rosie had it covered!

Not at home, but at my store, I have an occasional visitor who I get a real kick out of. While her name escapes me, she is some small European breed of dog with this cute smug-little face and no tail so it seems. Her master showed me her latest dance moves on the dance floor in front of my checkout counter. These three can come visit anytime.

I admit I don't mind dogs, in fact probably like many dogs more than their masters. I grew up with labs and bigger dogs, so I am still a bit hesitant around smaller dogs. I know they are great for certain people, and that's cool. But if I were to be raising one, I think my druthers would be for a golden, black or perhaps chocolate lab.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving is not complete till..

we all sing Alice's Restaurant.. Around the house on Friday evening we gathered with our small family and good friends to work on the leftovers. The turkey was made into a turkey-pasta casserole-dish. All the rest of the leftovers were still in their original form. And geez, they all tasted so good! Of course, there was a couple bottles of wine, plenty of Harney Tea's and pie. 

Not as much pie as the night before, when we celebrated with pie island!

I wanted to get a post up last evening with our meal, but couldn't get to the computer, as temporary bedding was in the way, so today is a two-day entry.

My immediate family is pretty small, but some folks are good to travel back to Sharon from out-of-town and join and celebrate with us. My brother-in-law Steve, and daughter Molly from Staten Island, sister-in-law Maggie, her husband Paul and daughter Lily (from Exeter, N.H.) along with daughter Catherine (from college) and her boyfriend Adam, and son Andrew (Alexandria, Va.) were all able to spend some part of the Thanksgiving week with us. They were all there for "meal" on Thursday. For dessert on Thursday and on Friday, the Bartram Family joined in as well (Tom, Sharm, Erin & Emily). And Allison Holst-Grubbe came in from Hartford as well on Friday night.

Thanksgiving, and life in general, is what we make of it. We miss our loved ones who have gone before us, and others who are far away and have their own immediate families and doing their thing together. So, we are happy that our friends can join us each year, share food and laughs, song and even an occasionally dance step to The Beatles or whatever else is flowing. Of course, there is football on in the living room, if you feel the need to see Detroit and Dallas get wooped...

We do the best we can to celebrate and give thanks, as we have much to be grateful for, not just this day, but every day. I hope that all of you had a great holiday, and that the coming days and weeks bring you much happiness as we prepare for my personal favorite holiday, Christmas.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the pies come in, the pies go out...

   Wednesday the folks from the Methodist Church here in Sharon set up for the annual pie sale in front of my store and the pharmacy. Here is Miss Marion carrying in a few of the goods.

And here is the mayor's wife with a tray full, and Claire Pederson doing her version of juggling.

After loading the three tables to the brim pretty much, Claire, Mrs. Thompkins and Marion start the sales. The scheduled start time is always 10 a.m., and they usually wrap up by about 10:45 a.m. If you want one of their treats, you'd better be there on time!

 Another happy customer, Kate from Union Saving (and Falls Village) heads out happy with her purchases.

My posting is late for yesterday due to traveling to the airport to pickup my son last evening. Watch for another later today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

foggy bottom (well, at least mid-way)

Headed for work this morning and at my house it was smokey, as someone was burning brush. The sun was out and it looked like a good day. However, that was my thought before hitting the intersection and starting down the hill.


Didn't know what I was headed into!

I hit the intersection @ Jewett, Fairchild and Sharon Mountain....felt like I was in jolly old England.....

But then it was time to head to town, where I figured it would be so socked in. Here was the top of Jackson Hill Road...

So, off I headed to town to see the fog that I was sure was lying in the bottom of the valley.

Surprise! Clear sailing and the Christmas Lights were being installed on the tree in the center of the green.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The baking has begun....

    Sunday of the week leading up to Thanksgiving found the oven on and the first of the family traditions being whipped into shape, or should I say form? Sunday we were making  a childhood memory from my wife's teenage years. She remembers traveling up to Great Barrington to The Jenifer House (remember that?) and purchasing the Jenifer House Molasses Cookies. She and her sister would bring them home for Thanksgiving Day, but of course always had to buy more than they needed for Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Many years back she obtained the recipe and has been making them for all of us. Yum!

     Tonight when I got home, Clare was already working hard in the kitchen, so I jumped in and gave her a hand as best I could on today's project. From one of our family trips to Colonial Williamsburg, we obtained a recipe for The King's Arm Tavern Apple Cheddar muffins. Oh. My. Goodness. I don't think I need to say much more about them.


Ahh yes. Now to make them last till Thursday. Padlocks perhaps? Oh, I know....a lockbox!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Busy Saturday morning out front of my store!

You know, so many organizations do so many good things for people in our area and many far away as well. I could probably do a months worth of daily inputs on good deeds being done. Today was one of the really important ones in my mind. Out front of my store, and the pharmacy, the ladies from The Sharon Women's Club were out in force selling baked goods, raffle tickets and Christmas wreaths to benefit the Sharon Fuel Fund. As I understand it, they raise funds which are then used strictly for purchasing home heating oil for needy folks in our town. What a caring concern for these ladies to undertake. There were lots of people bustling in and around when I could check in on them. They were there from 9 to 1, and I saw almost no food left over, and the wreaths seemed to be flying by what I could judge.

If you weren't there to participate, and you have a five dollar bill, or a ten or whatever you can do, PLEASE, find a Women's Club member and donate, or drop the organization a check.....PLEASE. Your donation could be the difference to help keep someone warm, or their pipes from freezing. That's the Sharon Women's Club....Sharon, Ct. 06069   
I'm sure they'll see it gets used it wisely.

Friday, November 19, 2010

fall morning in the valley..

     Visited the backside of The Wike Farm( Wike if your like 70 years old or older.....Humeston if you're younger) and didn't see any deer, beefers, rattlesnakes or horses. Must have either been too early or too cold!

     No deer could mean Don got more than we thought he did....   :)  I miss my old legion basketball coach from long ago.  And this past week we lost Pete Lamb, another one of my old coaches. Ahh, this growing old stuff isn't all its wrapped up to be...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Update on The Sharon Roads Project

 I caught up with the paving crew from Water's Construction today out on White Hollow Road in Sharon. Completed thus far are Swaller Hill, West Cornwall and Calkinstown Roads. Actually there was a small crew going around on Calkinstown finishing driveways and road egresses this morning. The paver was approaching Gavel Cabin Road by The Church Farm this morning around 8:15 or so. I bet they hit the town line by Friday if things stay good for them.

Church's Flat's

I wanted to complement the Town of Sharon on this project from not just the paving aspect, but for the fact that local men are working on it as well. Pictured here is Tim Marks, who adds a lot of fun to any project he is involved with. Tim is great friend and I think one of the only guys I know who is a die-hard Minnesota Viking fan (notice the purple and gold hat) residing here in Sharon. Marrying a "Minnesotan" might have had something to do with that!  :)

      Also working on this project on a part-time basis helping the clerk-of-the-works is our own Dick Carley. Dick is a retired State of Connecticut  D.O.T. man who dealt with blacktop installation for a career. He's probably been involved in more projects all around our state than many other professionals.

I had a nice two-minute chat with Dick this morning, and he informed me that he was really enthused about the work. He said the company is top-notch, the men extremely conscientious about the job they are doing and he is proud to be involved. He said the Town of Sharon was very wise to do this on their own, using their own resources (loans) and not involving the state in all that it would take to deal with them (grants). He also said these layers of asphalt will provide a really great base for years and years, something which many of the roads in Sharon have never had. I must admit. I think I saw a real twinkle in his eye and I could tell he was really enjoying being able to use the knowledge which he had from years of experience with the state, to use it here in Sharon. Other Sharon men have been involved as well I know. Tom Alden and Todd Anderson I believe also have been on traffic control at various stages, although I did not see them today.

So the roads project is progressing. How far they get depends on the weather. Lets hope for another couple of good weeks. When weather closes in, the asphalt plant closes, and they will start again in the spring. I like what someone said to me yersterday. They said they liked this project because everyone (well, almost everyone) in Sharon at one time or another uses our roads. Thus, we all get something out of it. They said a new roof on the school, or a new soccer field may not be used by everyone, but a road, now there we all get to use them. Point taken.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

following the rain...

Well this morning certainly had its moments didn't it? Heavy, almost torrential-like rain around 4am, followed by wind gusts galore. Grey skies, black skies, a hint of sun once or twice, more rain, more wind. Branches down all the place. A crazy day.

Found the sky over Silver Lake interesting  early this morning, and the "winged" low cloud was pretty cool too. I think I heard tomorrow will be calmer. Hope so!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

foggy morning...

Tuesday morning was quite foggy in the Sharon Area. Thick as pea soup ("you eat what you want....") in some areas. I enjoyed a few quiet moments down south today. My first stop was at a field that was putting up new life, while everything around it is going to sleep for the winter. I'm presuming it to be winter rye.

I'm not always sure that small towns get back from the capitol what they send in. I know our elected fight for us, but I am not so sure that those with the greatest need don't probably win out more often than not. Where we have made some gains I believe in recent years has been when Hartford "purchases" lands (usually farm lands), and either turns them over to land trusts or enables farmers to stay and continue to farm, but relieving the farmer of taxes and giving them an influx of monies with which to work. One of Sharon's nicest lands was preserved not that long ago. The photo above is the northern corner of it. It stretches alongside Westwood's, down close to Boland, and west over toward Mix's.

To know that this view will still be there, basically, 100 years from now, so that the next generations can enjoy, is great. And on a clear day, you can see forever, and ever, and ever.......

Monday, November 15, 2010

You've GOT to be kidding...

So this morning I take my deposit over to the bank, the just this weekend rebuilt Salisbury Bank & Trust office on Low Road here in Sharon. As I approached, I was pleasantly surprised to see a door with windows in it, so people leaving can see people coming. I can't tell you how many near misses I have had over the years with almost knocking people down the entrance stairs backwards, as the old door had no windows in it. I have lobbied bank officials for years to change this, and I finally got my wish! Thank you management!

Inside the old counters are gone, the old wallpaper is gone and new stations are all in place and working. New lighting, (though somewhat dark I felt) new carpets, a new system for outdoor service (a tube rather than window)...it's all new inside. And a coin counting machine ta boot! Many of you know I really spent many, many years of my childhood there, as this was great-aunts house. Only the banister and the end piece are all that remain to take me back to my childhood.

But, now to today's title, and what it all means. Today, I was forbidden to take a picture inside the bank due to security reasons! I wasn't aware my blog and one picture of the rebuilt office would be a threat to security. I was respectful but shocked!  I respect the bank, and their employees, and the decisions they make regarding security. I honestly do, but I'm sorry, I do have laugh a bit.

So, if you want to see the rebuilt office, you'll have to go see it for yourself. No pictures allowed however.

My photo of the door is small in respect of security.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

it's all about timing...

Today, Sunday, was church in the morning and an afternoon of cleaning up my yard for the final time ( I hope) for the winter. After finishing all my work, I grabbed my camera to take a picture or two to send to my kids, to show them how hard I had been working to clean things up. Just as I hit the front steps, a racket rang out behind my barn and suddenly what I thought was perhaps a hawk came flying through and around to the backside of our home. Fortunately I had my zoom lens on, and right behind the first noise-maker came another. No hawk, but a really large woodpecker, which I caught in flight, though a bit out of focus.

He hung a quick left mid-air and came to roost on a tree stump, which I noticed had been being attacked for some time by woodpeckers. He landed and banged away on the far side of the stump for a good 45-60 seconds, and bark was flying in all directions. Finally he came around to be in view.

Frankly, I was very surprised at the size of this bird. I did a Google search before doing this post and learned the following: Woodpeckers are 7 to 15 inches long, have short legs, sharp-clawed toes and stiff tails. Most woodpeckers feed on wood-boring insects, insects on trees and the ground, vegetable matter, berries, or tree sap. My-my, what a bird! Not your typical downey! And all the while that he was doing this feeding and ripping, he and his buddy around the far side of the house were just talking up a storm back and forth. What a racket!

So, it was an interesting end to the afternoon, shortly before sunset. I was extremely happy I happened to be outside just at that moment. I also was glad I hadn't cut that stump off earlier, and that it's a feeding ground for wildlife. I know I have to cut it some time, but after what I saw today, I think it can stay for a bit longer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

about motorcycles and vapor trails

All summer, especially on weekends, the silence that many of us love about Sharon and neighboring towns disappears off and on throughout the day as the rumble and roar of Harley-Davidson's trek thru our communities This in not a slap on Harley's. Heck, I'd have one if I could afford one. But something funny (to me) happened today. I had a quiet moment at the store so I walked out into the sunlight, and some BMW motorcycles pulled in to get gas at Minus-Mart . Then came some more. Then some more. I lost count when it was over 40! The amazing part. I swear lawnmowers make more noise. If I hadn't been outside I never would have heard them cruise in. Some difference to a H-D.

A short while later I looked up to the southeast and talk about air traffic... Not sure I remember looking up and seeing quite so many trails all side-by-side, heading in the same direction. George would say its the government spraying us with harmful chemicals. I say it is warm engines exhaust hitting cold air containing a certain amount of moisture.

Judging by time of day (3:23pm), my bet is flights from Europe coming in to JFK and Newark. Just a guess on my part.

One of the reasons why we go to Maine......

      need I say more?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Clock Tower- --Sharon, Connecticut

                        "Hours are golden links, God's token,
                    Reaching heaven, but one-by-one.
                 Take them, lest the chain be broken,
                    Ere the pilgrimage be done."

A reading from poetry by A.A. Proctor, entitled: 
One by One: A thought for the New Year....1868.... engraved into the side of the Clock Tower in Sharon. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day or Armistice Day

I felt today's posting should start with an explanation for those who just might not know much about Veterans Day. As a child I remember my great aunts referring to it as Armistice Day, so I have heard it called both. With 9-1-1 just nine short years ago, and two wars in recent time, we Americans are very conscious of and rightfully pay attention to this day. Our local Legion Post had our streets blazing with almost 100 U.S Flags today, flying our colors proudly.

"Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. A federal holiday, it is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)" Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Smooooooooooooth paving and evening sky..

      Caught the paving crew just after they started paving this morning. As of late this afternoon, the top coat of asphalt is finished on Calkinstown Road on both lanes up to the intersection of Williams Road. The Town of Sharon looks like it might finally have some road surfaces to be proud of.....

      Not sure if I mentioned it before or not, but while I am not a fan of winter and the cold, the fall skies I just find truly amazing. I just need to figure how to leave the store and go to a field or hilltop to take pictures....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PIZZA'S in Sharon!

      Well another option for dining in Sharon opened for business on Tuesday afternoon/evening. Mizza's Pizza opened for biz inside the Sharon Farm Market. Their owner Eddie was there and like any other biz on their first time in a new location, they were experiencing a few mix-ups, though minor. Who was taking the orders? Where did the slips go? Which pizza is for Rob, as there are two orders for two different Rob's, both phone ins.... and they both are here now...!
     But despite those little "kinks", they were knocking out a whole bunch of pizzas while I was there. And the cool surprise thing about those who were there tonight? They ate for free! The pizzas were on the folks from Mizza's!

      I am not positive on what their hours will be, but I had heard weeks ago they were going to be there till 9PM. And tonight I heard Eddie say they will deliver!
      So, first sushi, now pizza. Sharon. Such a happening place!