31 March 2007

Open House

What a beautiful day today. Blue sky, must have been 60 degrees, and just the slightest breeze. I could not have picked better weather for our spring open house if I tried. We had dunkies coffee and cream puffs for breakfast followed by pork loin and burgers done on the pellet bbq for the rest of the day. One of our guys, M, got two new German Sheperd pups a few weeks ago. His wife was at a religous conference all day, so they were at the store. They are still at that cute, sure you can nibble my fingers age. It was a good day. We kicked off our early buy for fuel today too. So we were pretty busy. Today was also the rummage sale for Ladie's Aid. I feel bad that I couldn't be there for that. I did make some clothes pin bags with "clothes line" and hanging on it letters spelling out "LAUNDRY", and little clothes pins. They were pretty clever looking.

30 March 2007

Amanda Tappng -Sanctuary

Here is a great interview where Amanda Tapping talks about Sanctuary- and a little aboot Stargate too :)

24 March 2007

Finished! At last!!

We bought our house in Temple a little over three years ago. We weren't able to move in right away because of the "Big Freeze", but by March we were in. We immediately started to renovate. Within a month we had removed six walls or so, more doors than I can remember and thus we started down the renovation road. By spring two years ago I was ready to build my dream kitchen. There were two kitchens in this house when we moved in. One was about 10x10 with pine cabinets, and the other was homemade cabinetry and really pretty cheesy. We gutted both of them, took the cabinets from the little kitchen and moved them into the other which has become our bar (or game room if you're my mom). We then ripped down the north wall in the little kitchen, and put a new wall up to make a separate dining room. We got the floors done first since they were laying hardwood in the other half of the house and we needed to patch where the wall was ripped out... Then we got our cabinets put in with a soapstone countertop.
I had a kitchen table on the north wall for a long time. Even after we put in a back door to what will one day be a screened porch. I still had my little table there when we put a pellet stove in the corner. When we put the garage on the north side of the house and a door on the north wall of the kitchen to get to it, I lost my table. I also lost the pellet stove since we put in the pellet boiler. So now we had a space between two doors that needed ________. What?!? I was still thinking table but there just wasn't room. We thought about ordering another cabinet, but apparently hickory is out of style, or in high demand, because they wanted a mint! So we had W our friendly neighborhood contractor build a closet and a bench. Nice and simple, matching the dark wood pegs and trim in our cabinets. I did all the final painting today. After two long years my kitchen is DONE! Yay! Actually, a door for our bedroom, and laying hardwood in a 3x5 hallway we are done in the house! Perfect timing~ The weather is getting nice, and we have a raspberry patch that needs a lot of love this year...

22 March 2007

From the ashes...

I have not been having a very good couple of days. Seems I picked up a little souvenier in Reno. My head feels like it may explode. Actually, at times I think it might hurt less if it did. But, my creeping crud was overshadowed this morning. A little after four am a neighboring stove shop, that is in the same town as our friends pellet manufacturing plant, had a fire that destroyed their main building. It started as a two alarm and very quickly went to a three alarm. Our FD was not called out, but our chief called A first thing this morning to tell him. Their showroom, service shop, stove/part warehouse is gone. The warehouse that held the pellets was saved, and their trucks were o.k. Thankfully, no one was hurt or in the building, except a fire fighter who slipped on some ice. He is o.k., just a little twist. The owners had just gotten back into town last night. They often take a little vaca after the show. They are all out there today and planning the rebuild. At least they will have plenty of time to get back up and running before the new heating season begins. From the ashes they will rise again!
Here is a link to the news clip http://www.wmur.com/news/11328267/detail.html

20 March 2007

The Crew

We are putting together photos for the cover and dividers in our cookbook. We got the whole motley crew together last night at drill to get some shots. We got a good group shot with all of us, and a good shot of the girls, but the boys (and Am's) reflective tape was too overwhelming when we tried to get them alone. Here we are!

19 March 2007


Finally arrived home from Reno. The hearth show was very worthwhile, as it is every year. What a long trip! To get there we went from Manchester to Philly, to Oakland, to Reno. We left at ten in the morning and arrived in Reno (with a three hour time change) at eight at night! Bleary eyed as we were we still caught up with a supplier from PA, then our canadian friends. The next day we did the PFI lunch. We had a congressman as a guest speaker talking about how we should go about getting government support, and how the time is ripe... Then the new lobbying firm that was hired to help in that regard. They got two people from the lobbying group to man their booth and get leg. packs out. I was very happy about that. We saw the new products. Bulk feed is the big thing in pellets this year. We have been waiting for that for what seems like forever. I am not much of a gambler, but A had fun. Once, when I went to the little girl's room, he hit a max prize on a quarter slot and won $250. Our canadian friends took him out and taught him how to play blackjack, and other table games. I think he ended up ahead by about $300 for the whole trip. I was up $3.00. Once A gave me a dollar to play the penny slots. After I won a buck I cashed out. The next day he gave me two bucks. I won about $3.50 before cashing out. The last day I took two bucks, and lost $1.50. We were supposed to have one day for PFI and one day for the show. But a little late season snow mess hit the Northeast. We got up at four am Friday so we could catch our eight o'clock flight. I called during breakfast at 6am and while I was on the phone with SouthWest they started cancelling flights. A very pleasant lady helped me rebook our flights for the next afternoon. No charge, no hassle. Got to love SouthWest. We were glad to have the extra day. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was 80 degrees in Reno, and snowing/sleeting like a mother in New England! ;) Unfortunately, we missed town meeting. We also missed the elections. To remind us that our vote was important, we had a tie in a controversial race. Our vote would have sealed the deal! (curse, curse!!) You can't do absentee ballot in this town. Your name is on it! That would not work! Anyway, with the extra day we got to spend time with S, who lives only a couple of towns away, but we have not caught up with each other in a very long time. We also got to talk to our rep from Lennox. They officially killed the Whitfield pellet stove. Whitfield is credited as the first pellet stove in the US. They dominated the market for over fifteen years. Then Lennox (Gas, gas, gas) bought them. Within five years they had ruined the name, and now they have bought another company and stopped even making Whitfields. We liken them to the tire manufacturers who started buying up the trolley car companies and put them out of business in the late 19th century. Got home late Saturday, or technically early Sunday as it was after three in the morning. Had to get up at eight to go rescue Po and O. Everyone is happy to be home.

12 March 2007

No time for cheese!

It has been an incredibly busy week. This is the time of year many people think we are slowing down, with winter winding down surely our business must as well. Not quite. This is the time of year that all of our industry meetings and events take place. We also have our spring open house to get ready for and the early buy letter to let people know about the off-season rates. It is amazing how much you can get done if time is limited. Somehow the organization, and energy are in abundant supply. Along with getting the radio ad ready for the open house, prepping and writing our early buy letter, inventory, taxes- both personal and business, and all the usual duties, I also embarked on two major projects. I have been working with a guy in VT on a legislative package. Some of you may have seen my letter to the congressman for the Renewable Energy Securites Act bill posted on the old blog. That has grown! We now have a collection of letters, a general information packet, and a 'how to' sheet. We put that together with some nice posters (that C made- I draw like an epileptic chicken and have about as much creativity...), and sign up sheets, posted on web sites, and will display at two booths at the Hearth show this coming week. I also started on a proposal with a friend in town to install a wood pellet boiler heating system for the town offices and fire department. There is a group in NH called the Carbon CO2alition. This group gets towns, through town meeting, to adopt a commitment to reducing emissions. So I have been putting together a proposal. My three main points are, an oil spill at the town offices a couple of year's ago that turned the property into a superfund site, we will save over 21 tons of carbon emissions per year, and save about $1500 to $2000 a year in fuel costs. All this and getting the animals sorted to their respective babysitters, and we leave tomorrow. We sat down and wrote our list out for the day- still a page and a half! We were eating leftover "S Springs chicken" for breakfast (o.k. it's a knock-off of but we updated the name because my name isn't Alice- or if you don't know it by either name it is the decadent chicken breast, with bacon and cheese melted on top :) Anyway, A warmed breakfast up and forgot to put the cheese on top. When I offered he said, "I have no time for cheese." Since I don't have any more time than he does I guess I shall sign off!

09 March 2007

A New Day

Welcome to my new blog. Sadly, I had to abandon ship with the old blog. We are fairly private, and like to have a certain amount of anonymity. Our community is very small so we have to go the extra mile sometimes to stay under the radar. We also have a very divided community, and everyone would like to know which side of the fence everyone is on. We have become active in our community. We both find great value in volunteering, and participating in town events and groups. Curiosity follows... and ... My other blog has been discovered, and I fear someone is attempting to turn it into a debate forum about a local hot topic. Sad, really, I thought it had a cool name!
A civic minded friend once said,"Don't say anything today that you don't want to see published in the newspaper tomorrow." I understood what he was saying, but I never thought of it as applying to me. Oh, the lessons we learn in life. It is fascinating to me.
I enjoy having an online forum to journal my thoughts and times, and I love sharing it with friends and family, but I do not want it to become a political tool.
I am giving it another try, so that I can continue to share with my friends and family. I will be more diligent in covering my tracks, however. So if my post seems to vague, feel free to e-mail me for detail, but in general I do not plan to use any actual names to keep someone from easily searching me out.
Thanks and welcome!
I also have a new haircut to go along with the new day! One of our guys used to cut hair for a living and still does it in his spare time. He did a great job! It is kind of tricky, because I like it short and layered in the back, and working into a typical bob in the front. If it's done right a two minute blow dry and I am out the door! Took even less than that today :o)