Saturday, April 30, 2011

Northlight Studio....One Year Later!

A year ago Sharon was suffering. Big time. The recession had hit the locals with a long winter, the food store was still closed, and we were a hurting town. The pharmacy tried to serve with a little more help, selling more food items and just trying to be a "center" for us all to still go to and call ours. The restaurant was open but the chef was gone, and the owner was trying to run a shop from Danbury with no chef, and it was indeed, sad.... A town volunteer group was working behind the scenes, trying to get a grip on what could possibly be done, either by them or anyone, to give us that "shot in the arm" we so needed. The Choi's had committed and started repairs on the old market, but we all knew how big a chore they had facing them, and they were doing it all themselves, so it was not the answer we needed right then. The Bodhi Tree had opened on small scale back in December, and they were giving us hope. But we needed more. Insert Pieter Lefferts.

Pieter had been a resident for a number of years, residing on Calkinstown in the old George Drumn house, for those of you who didn't arrive in the last twenty-five years. His wife Claudia is in charge of The Scoville Library in Salisbury, and Pieter has just been perfecting his art paintings as well as giving art classes elsewhere.(Litchfield I believe) Whatever, Pieter made a step which I believe was the first major turning point for Sharon last year. He decided to open an art studio in the old video store on Calkinstown, just walking distance from his home. That committal, though I knew it would not be something that we all would use, was what we as a town needed. Someone to say "hey, I believe in Sharon, and I am going to open here." He could have chose Millerton, or Salisbury but he chose Sharon. For many of us, that was what we needed. Someone willing to stick their neck out and go for it. In perhaps Sharon's darkest moment business-wise, Pieter stepped up.

A year later, after many art classes, for ages from kids to seniors, from experienced to first-timers, Northlight Studios celebrates today with a first-year celebration at the Sharon Historical Society. On hand to greet at the door was Pieter, (of course) and inside were lots of visitors and towns-folks. Exhibited were works from children, and from a number of adults as well. I caught up with one exhibitor, Judy Albright of Sharon, who was chatting with visitors Linda and Reverend Terry Ryan of Sharon. The art exhibit is on display till June 6th. If opportunity presents itself, stop by and take a peak. I bet you'll be glad you did! And if a little artist just might be hidden away inside of you, drop in an see Pieter, and see what classes he is offering, or may have coming up in the future.

Congratulations to Pieter, to his studio, and to his students. Much success to ALL of you!

Friday, April 29, 2011

One-eared goat

I stopped to visit a good friend who was introducing her dog to some horses and a goat at a local farm pasture on my way home from work. When I realized I hadn't grabbed a photo for my blog, my friend pointed out that the goat only had one ear. A one-eared goat? Now THAT I figured is worthy of a pic. One question though. I wonder why only one?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Flag!

I meant to get a pic up a couple of weeks back when the post office in Sharon flew a new American flag. Its colors right now are so bold and true. The last flag had flown many years I would bet by the immense difference in the colors to this new flag. Our post office must be doing well. New Flag. New rugs inside. Lights all working(there has been times when they didn't for ages). RFD delivery trucks (they're not new, just new to Sharon).
Good times!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scouts doing what scouts do...working together!

Wednesday evening, shortly after 6p.m. A group started gathering in the plaza. By 6:30 there was a good size group of what I presume were all Cub Scouts, with some Boy Scouts doing some advising, and a whole bunch of parent volunteers and big brothers and sisters as well. The job that was about to begin? Cleaning up all around the plaza, Murtagh Road, Amy's yard, Salisbury and Union Bank's yard and xtramart as well. Obviously part of earning some merit-type of badge I am sure was all of this good work. And the town became a whole bunch cleaner, trash-wise..And there was a nice treat at the end. xtramart gave a junior cone of soft-serve to each of the participants. Nice gesture on their part!

Getting organized

Kids, Dads, Moms and Big Brothers too!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some things just aren't fair.....

Deer. Rabbits. Varmints. Bears. Lack of sunlight. Five to ten degrees colder than downtown much of the year. Such are some of the obstacles I deal with down here in the woods at my house. A few years back we received some daffodil bulbs as a gift. We planted them in a good spot, and a few have just started to blossom in the last few days. Welcome to my world.

Now, look at this location on South Main...........!

Like I said........some things just aren't fair......Wow! There must be thousands!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Doe: a deer; a female deer

anybody else notice that as things are greening up, Bambi and her buds are all coming out and munching happily? And the young ones have a real "spring" in their steps?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pot Office?

I think they need a few letters on this government building in Norfolk....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A full pond......

 I stopped to take a picture of the very full pond. When I got home and downloaded, I found my mirror reflection........

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Christian's around the world are attending many church services these days. Last evening, at my church, Sharon Congregational, we held our Maundy Thursday Service.

"On Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday), Christians commemorate the Last Supper—a Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples the night before his death. During the meal, Jesus broke bread and offered his followers wine, saying “This is my body, given up for you.” Many Christians consider this event to have been the institution of the Eucharist, which is a sacrament in some denominations. "
                              Read more:

Today,  there were multiple services at St. Bernard's Roman Catholic in Sharon, celebrating Good Friday.

Christians observe Good Friday (for English-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians, “Great and Holy Friday”) as the day Jesus was crucified and died. It is the most somber day on the Christian calendar. On Good Friday, some Christians abstain from meat or refrain from food altogether. They may also attend special church services that might include readings from the gospel stories of Jesus' Passion, Jesus' last words, and other Bible passages. Catholics often make the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
                         Read more:

Sunday, Easter morning, there will be an Ecumenical Sunrise Service @ 5::30AM @ the top of East Street, in Sharon. Following that, all of the four churches in Sharon will hold independent Easter services at various times throughout the  morning.

Easter is the most important Christian holiday, surpassing even Christmas. As a celebration of the day Jesus rose from the dead, Easter symbolizes forgiveness, rebirth, and God’s saving power. Christians view the day as a victory over sin, death, and all destructive forces in people’s lives. 
Read more:

Clare and I wish everyone a very Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salute of "Thanks" to those who volunteer!

Ten thirty-five a.m.
Ambulance call for a person who fell and has a head laceration.
Sharon Farm Market

Ten forty-one a.m.
Ambulance on the scene with two EMT's on board. Moments later, more arrive by personal vehicles to assist.

In just a few short minutes, they were whisking away the patent to the hospital for treatment.

I just wanted to say "thank you" to all those good folks here in Sharon, and in all the neighboring towns, who care about their fellow townspeople, and volunteer on ambulance squads and fire departments. Your dedication and commitment is amazing!

Thank you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thank You Town of Sharon Voters!

DATELINE: The First Tuesday...November, 2009

The voters in the Town of Sharon, Connecticut elected Bob Loucks of Sharon as their First Selectman. In the late spring of 2010, the towns electorate overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bonding package which the Selectmen presented and The Board of Finance approved to improve drastically the quality of the crumbling roads on which we all travel on in and around Sharon. They didn't say they were going rebuild every single road totally, dig them all down, put in huge road bases, replace every single bridge and culvert and make them all as smooth as a babies behind. They did say they would address the worst, and try to fiscally fix and repair as much as they could. They wanted and tried to get as much "bang for the buck" as they possibly could. 

This week the work has started again, on Low, Murtagh, Lovers Lane and Dug Roads. The photos above are of just a few glimpses of the  reclaiming process (pulverizes down ten inches), then grading and compaction. Next week, weather permitting, paving will be soon to follow. Sharon is getting some real roads. Are they perfect? Maybe not. Nine thousand percent better than before? Not even close. More like Ninety-thousand.....

So why the spiel? Because I am just frustrated by some of my fellow towns-folks who suddenly are the experts on just about everything, so it seems to this observer. Did we not entrust our town to these elected officials just about a year and a half ago? Did we not, as a town, say yes to the project on the roads, just about a year ago? Are the town officials, the ones we all elected, all suddenly doing things that are contrary to what they said they would do? Are they suddenly corrupt? 

For years this town let its grammar school fall into a sad shape of disrepair. I served on a committee, which put together a workable, realistic package to repair and improve a facility which was in really sad shape. The town voted yes. The project was completed. We now have a building to take pride in. Is it perfect? No. Is it far better than it was? For certain.

Lets face it. We darn near let some roads and bridges go too far into disrepair. We could have kept them up far better but we were too cheap. We kept patching, never fixing. Now, finally, we are doing our best, as a town, with an allocated amount of funding, again, to get as much for the money as we can, to give us a network of passable, safe roads. Will they be perfect? No. There isn't enough money. Will there be things that happen we didn't count on, like a plugged culvert, causing a washout to something we just fixed? Sure? Was it preventable? Maybe. Perhaps not. At what cost? Cost is a huge word here. And I keep going back to the fact that we are not building super highways. The officials are trying their best to give us a quality product, that will serve us well. 

Judging by White Hollow, West Cornwall and Caulkinstown, I think, in MY OPINION, we are being served well by our officials and by the contractors. They had a concept, which became a plan, and is now being executed. I BELIEVE, that NOW is the time to stop hurling "you ought to do's" and start doing some "we can do's". It's time to stop the bickering and get back to helping. It's time to let the elected do what they are charged to do. 

But of course. This is just my opinion. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Forgot the dinner...

Sorry...meant to include a shot of the great turkey dinner @ The Bartram Inn.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, green peas, butternut squash, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and just a small piece of pumpkin pie........and it's not even Thanksgiving! Oh yes. A glass of Pinot noir from Oregon as well.


and power outage! The winds picked up Sunday afternoon, and down came a tree right at my driveway. Blocking the road, it pulled the wires so strongly, it snapped the top part of the first pole down in our home. That all happened around 1 to 1:45pm. Our power finally came on around 12:15am Monday. Obviously a new pole had to be placed, and an anchor pole as well, so it took time. (it was Sunday--Overtime!) No one go hurt, but it does make for inconvenience with so many things in our lives dependent on electricity. Thus, no blog Sunday evening. Thanks to The Bartram Inn for a really great  turkey dinner on Sunday evening!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday night chills..

~did I mention we are under a bit of construction at our home? We are doing a bit of remodeling to our kitchen. Thus, we have no place to eat in our kitchen for the time being. So, what with the cold, raw day Clare had a nice fire going so we "dined" on a small side table in front of the fireplace. Pork tenderloins, broad noodles, spinach and applesauce. Nice! Oh, and a nice glass of red. A nice piece of meat deserves a nice glass of wine, if there happens to be one nearby. Hope your Saturday was a safe and dry one.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Only on the bottom....

How'd your day start off?

Mine did improve as the day went on......

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The newly ordained Pastor-friend I finally got to meet last week does this real nice blog of her own each day. It covers lots of subjects, but the one this she seems to always do daily is something on food. She snaps more pics of the best looking sandwich or coffee or snack....which always make me hungry. Anyways, I am short on pic's, so I am borrowing the idea from her tonight and posting a foodie of my own! (thanks for the idea Reverend Sarah!)

Our kitchen is having some work done on it, so we ate out this evening. We went to the diner in Miller-tron, the town of the future.(my kids term for Millerton, NY.)

A nicely warmed sliced pork sandwich, on a  crunchy baguette, with carrots (also thick enough to crunch, yet thin too) and a little lettuce and a light sauce. A nice dill, and green beans with cilantro glaze. Add in a cup of fresh decaf coffee, and I am a happy camper!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Fences

~prevent long walks and chases for horses who are supposed to stay contained, and not out wandering the "range"......

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cork Board

A friend stopped and showed me a piece of art a while back that they had found. Wow! I actually have been saving corks for a number of years to do something similar. I did a fast count and there was about 250 corks in this frame! Multiple by a minimum of $10.00 per bottle of wine, but I know many of those corks go to bottles priced at way more than $10.00 per bottle. This frame is well over a $2500.00 investment. Amazing!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Rumor's were flying all over the plaza today. Whether they are factual or not, I do not know. The rumor? The "Now Open" cafe is going to re-open by Mid-May! I know nothing more than that at this point, so we'll all have to wait and see. I heard a name, but will not repeat that, since to me, it all may be pure rumor, so I will not go down that road. Stay tuned everyone!

~sorry about the massive reflection........

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A chance meeting?

More words today than photographs. Let me start with a thought. Met anyone recently, whom, you perhaps never thought you would meet, but then, you get the chance, and then suddenly, after meeting, you realize you may never meet that person again?

I'd like to share a story. It's my blog, and I said in the beginning a few years back, you never know what or where it make take me, or you. Lets see if I can get these thoughts out and what I got from them, and perhaps, maybe you too will get a message to take from it.

To start, last year, when the old food store was closed in Sharon (actually 19 months), one day I was sitting at my computer, playing surf the web. Back then, during those times, I spent a lot of time on the computer. You remember those days. When there was hardly was, so it seemed, any business in Sharon, and in particular the plaza. There were days my pick-up was the only vehicle in the plaza. But we lived through it, Thank God, and thank you, those who helped keep us going. But that isn't why I write today. Today I am writing about meeting a friend through the computer. And today, I got to actually meet this person, in person. And what a privilege it was.

Last winter, as I said, I was killing hours on the web, and in all honesty I am not sure how I got there, probably by Googling™ northwest Connecticut, or Connecticut photos, faith and church, anyways, I ended up on a blog, entitled The Strength of Faith. It is maintained by a young lady from Kent, Ct. named Sarah Weaver. What caught my eye immediately, was (A) her photography and (B) her photos of food! So as things would have it, I spent some time and read about Sarah Weaver, and her love for the Lord, and her love for good healthy food. A smart lady! I visited her site a few more times in those following days, enjoyed it, and then well, I lost it. Forgot all about it quite honestly.

Skip ahead, to just a few months back, and well, I ended up on her site again. I had been away a long time, and there were all kinds of photos that I found interesting, so I am sure I drove her "hit count" up a bunch for a few days, as I caught up a bit. Now, I didn't read all of her blog entries, as I was so far behind,but would just hit highlights and zip on through. But then, something funny happened. Sarah announced she was getting her first church, in Rehoboth, Massachussets and she was going to have her Ordainment Service in Kent, at the Kent Congo Church. Hmmm. Being the senior deacon in my church here in Sharon, I gave it a quick "I should go, congratulate her, thank her for her blog, say nice things about it and wish her well at her first church". But I don't know Sarah, and wouldn't that all be a bit weird to her?

A week passed, and then somewhere along there, Sarah wrote in her blog about the Reverend Terry Ryan, whom happens to be my Pastor, and whom I think very highly of. I told Terry the next time I saw him about my connection with this blog I followed, from a lady in Kent, whom I had  presumed he had worked with. He was surprised by my knowing her, excited to hear of how I knew her ( I didn't really--I just followed her blog) and said he knew her Mom, who is the Pastor of the Kent Congregational Church!

Well, Terry said he was going to have a part in her upcoming service, and with that, I decided I now had my chance to go and meet this young lady, wish her well, and feel good about doing it. In the coming weeks, I continued to follow her blog, and finally responded to a question or statement she made, and that was my first introduction to her. I was happy to say Hi, and happy to say how much I enjoyed her blog and the effect that it usually had on me (made me hungry)! I told her of my blog, and that was it, until today.

Today I went with my Pastor to her Ordainment Service. The sanctuary was full, with friends from Kent, from college, from Georgia, where she went to divinity school, and some folks traveled down from Rehoboth to be with her as well. And many members of UCC Litchfield North association were there, being part of the service. It was a really nice service, and I was glad I attended. As I left, I finally met her outside, and shook hands, introduced myself, expressed my very best wishes on her special day, and just like that it was over. There was half a church full of people behind me so I couldn't take more of her time. I didn't get to say things like how her blog had brought sunshine on long days in a quiet store. How her quiet testimony to our Lord was inspiring, and judging by all the followers she has, that God must be happy with her and the things she is doing with her life.

So, today I met a blogger, a new Minister in service to the Lord, whom I may never meet again. Thats the point of my entry today. Don't let life pass you bye. Don't, if you have the opportunity, not do something because it may feel a bit weird to you. If its legit, and right, and you can do it, don't let it pass. Make the effort. Go out for dinner with that special someone. Take a day off and do something special. Go to a show. Catch a movie. Call an old friend. Better yet, go see an old friend. And perhaps, be like me, and make a new friend. Introduce yourself to someone you've seen for ever, but never got the nerve to say hi. Just may be the best moment in your life, or theirs....

Sarah, it was a pleasure to meet you and your Mom. I wish I had time to have met your husband, but Terry and I needed to head home. Continued success to you, and I'll keep dropping in to see your blog from time to time. And those food shots, the close-ups....just remember hungry people are out here, looking at them........  :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day Off!

Worked till 1.
Came home and worked there (yard and two cars) till 7:30.
Had supper.
Taking ibuprofen.
Going to bed.
Good night.

Maine  August 8, 2010

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Art Show in Town

Been to the latest art show at the Town Hall Gallery? Go check it out. It is sure worth the visit.

Le Laurentis

I surprised C last evening and took her to Le Laurentis, the small french bistro in Lakeville for supper. We each had a cup of delicious butternut soup and then beef for our main meal. C had one style of beef and I had another. A glass of red with the meal and a lovely dessert to finish. C had a bowl of fresh berries and I had an apple concoction that was quite delicious.

If I were to take a page from the old tv gourmet from the Hartford area, who used to review restaurants, I would give it a possible three spoons(or was it forks?) out of three last evening. We thought it all was a very nice experience, and recommend it to all.

Louis Max Mercurey Burgundy
George is the owner, a true frenchman, whom I have known for some time now. George is a fun fellow with lots of energy. Say Hi to George and tell him I sent you. Then, relax enjoy your meal!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This morning I no sooner got to work and my internet didn't work. I checked everything inside, checking all wires, resetting the modem, and even restarted the computer. Nothing. Picked up the phone. Had a dial tone, but when I dialed a number, dead air. Uh-oh. This is a problem. I can live without internet, but I use a separate line for cash register modem for credit card processing. Called Comcast™ Business Services on my cell phone, and they told me it was a broken fiber optic line, which takes a lot of time to fix, and it would be fixed by 10:30 or so. It was now 11:15 I told him. Guess we didn't make that he said. He then went on to say, when it comes back, it will come right back. Big whoop! How long I asked? Not sure he said.

Guess when it came on? Shortly after 5PM. Try running a retail business, that deals mainly in credit cards, without credit processing. Only good thing for me was it was a rainy, cold day in early April, and not July 3rd....hopefully tomorrow will be a more normal day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Back Again! (Yeah!!!!!!!!)

This past weekend The Bodhi Tree opened up after being closed for about six weeks. The shop with some of the neatest gifts had a very strange bit of bad luck happen to them in February. The demolition of the former laundromat caused a very strange thing to happen. A very fine dust filtrated through the wall separating the two areas and coated everything in the shop. The owners were so saddened by this stroke of bad luck. A cleaning firm got involved, and, after some time, everything in the store was cleaned. After that, a new selection of items was also added and things were re-arranged. I stuck my head in for a quick visit, and to me, it looked awesome. These ladies have great decorating taste! SO, if you need a gift for a special someone, please, think of The Bodhi Tree, where everything is made by local artists.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ahhhh, the first joys of Spring.

Worked for two and and half hours yesterday pulling branches and brush to a brush pile.

This morning I pulled the first tick of the year off of my leg. How can something so small cause such pain and suffering? Here's hoping I got him off quick enough.

Anybody want to come finish my brush work?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fresh air!

Saturdays I get out of work early (2 or so). Last fall we cut down a bunch of trees and thinned out underbrush behind our home. A bunch of the wood I gave away, but have more to deal with this year. I wanted to get out and do some work today so I piled brush for the better part of the afternoon. It felt good to be outside and enjoy the air. It has been a long winter in the store. Sure am glad spring is upon us....

First pile
#2 starting to grow
More wood to haul and split

                                                 How it's starting to look...

After working, I grabbed a fast shower, and C and I went to the Spaghetti Supper @ SCS, benefit of the 8th Grade Class. This little cupcake was one of the homemade dessert offerings. I snapped a pic because it just had a nice "spring" look about it....

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day 2011

Okay. This was really a funny last 24 hours or so, but lets just go with brief details. Storm, from the south comes up the eastern seaboard. Supposed to be a n'oreaster, bringing much snow to the hills (that's us) of northwestern Connecticut, starting Thursday night. When I went to bed, they were calling for 12-14" of wet, heavy snow. YUCK! EVERYONE on Thursday was crabbing about it, as we've all seen enough for this winter, and just want spring weather of warmer temps to come. Woke up @ 6AM. 1", maybe 2 on my sidewalk. Yes! Driveway-clear! Yes! And knowing we are on the hill, that there would be less downtown, Yes! So much for that forecast. Maybe it all was a April Fool's joke.

Got to town, and xtramart™, the gas station/convenience store was giving away coffee Free! They do it the first of every month. Belly up to bar folks- the drinks are on the boss! 

Kyle Riley was doing a good "royal wave" greeting us all today!

So you understand, Kyle and the rest of the crew @ xtramart all work for a manager whose name is Jackie. Jackie can be a rather tough individual sometimes, which in running a c-store I believe is probably a good thing. I have much respect for her, for having been the former owner, I know the amount of work it takes to run this facility, and they do so many more things than I ever did there. It takes a good degree of toughness to ride-herd and get things done in budget and on time. Anyways, I never thought I'd see Jackie wearing the sandwich board out in the snow today, but she did her turn as well. Kudos to her for doing her turn, and in the snow no less!

Jackie, the manager with a good smile and friendly wave!