26 July 2007

House Legislation

From: http://hodes.house.gov/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1378
Hodes: Energy Independence Cannot Wait
Hodes Introduces Tax Incentives for Biomass Home Heating, Urges Speaker to Bring Renewable Energy Standards to the Floor
July 20, 2007
Washington, DC- Congressman Hodes pushed for energy independence this week, introducing a bill that cuts taxes for homes using biomass heating systems and sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to move a bill with renewable energy standards to the Floor.
The bill, the Renewable Energy Tax Parity Act, extends the same tax incentive already available for solar heating systems to systems that use plant biomass, such as wood pellets, which are widely used to heat New Hampshire homes. There is currently no incentive available for biomass home heating systems, which emit dramatically less carbon than heating oil. Congressman Hodes introduced the bill late last night.
"New Hampshire is ready to lead the country towards energy independence," Congressman Hodes said. "It is time to bring the rest of America along. Economic incentives for clean energy use will get the market working for us."
Congressman Hodes also sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi, which was co-signed by 21 members of the Democratic Class of 2006. The letter urges the Speaker to expedite the legislative process to bring a meaningful energy bill to the Floor.
"Energy independence is an idea whose time has come," Congressman Hodes said. "The benefits are many- freedom from unfriendly Mid-East countries, a cleaner environment and more stable fuel costs. At the same time, ignoring the issue is perilous to our foreign policy, our climate and our pocketbooks. It is time to move our energy policy forward."
Companion legislation to the Renewable Energy Tax Parity Act has been introduced in the Senate.

23 July 2007

Hadley, MA

We just got back from a quick jaunt down to the Hadley, MA area. We drove down in the early afternoon, then laid by the pool and read our Harry Potter book's for a few hours. Then we met up with Art's old friend Teddy. We took a quick tour of Teddy's home, then headed down to Springfield to one of our favorite restaurants The Student Prince.

We had a wonderful dining experience. Our fabulous waiter, Ivan, was a joy. He made excellent suggestions and told us stories about some of the plates, and what went best with what. He and Teddy had a long discussion about which wine would best suit him, and recommended an excellent German beer. He even broke in to German later while we were eating our meal, I think telling us to enjoy! Appetizers included Camembert cheese, and ostrich. Art had a tenderloin goulash, I had a veal jaeger schnitzel, and Teddy had the lamb chops w/ mint jelly. All very incredible! The ostrich was a definite winner, though. They also have some of the best sauerkraut I have ever had! Then we topped it off by sharing a flourless chocolate torte w/ ice cream. We proceeded to an old haunt of Art's from his first college year's. The Tunnel is a great little bar in Northampton that is an actual tunnel that was closed off and cozily decorated. It was very entertaining to listen to some college aged boys spouting off and sharing their views with any and all who would listen. Everything from how much in the dark ages their parents are and always have been about computers, to mocking their parents investments, to lines such as "My friend and I operate a self help group for girls who can't get la!d." I wanted to slap that boy, but the girls who were listening just giggled and fawned over his british accent.
This morning we had a lazy morning reading a bit more Harry Potter, and having a great breakfast at the hotel. They even had a Belgian waffle maker in the complimentary breakfast room. We then headed North. We stopped at the Yankee Candle Company. They have a huge store, and we watched a demonstration on how they made candles in the old days compared to now. Hard to believe that family's would use one candle a day in the winter only. They believed that more than one candle was wasteful, and since most were made with animal fat they would go rancid and or melt in the summer. We spent a good long time picking out 18 scents since they were 18 candles for $20. We lean toward the spicy scents like cinnamon, and autumn leaves. All in all a good little trip, and great to catch up with Teddy!

21 July 2007

Final Harry Potter

NO spoilers! Some time in the last 12 hours or so, The Deathly Hallows arrived on our doorstep. I had pre-ordered from Amazon months ago. Art read the first book on our "honeymoon" transatlantic cruise. Lately, we have been going to the movies on opening day. It is fun to watch the younger people dressed up in Hogwarts house colors, capes, etc. Definately liked the Order of the Phoenix book much better than the movie but still enjoying the series. My big challenge will be to avoid hearing spoilers until Art finishes reading it!

19 July 2007

Almost New!

Now that my sewing machine is working beautifully I am starting to catch up on all the projects I had backlogged. I got most mending done, started on a new flag for the store since the old one is in tatters at this point, and this past week I have taken on a new project. Re-upholstering the loveseat we love so much and the rocker next to it. We bought the loveseat a couple years ago. Lovely Morgie thought it was his personal cat post. So it has had a shredded leg for over a year! Then what?? It was still so new, plus this is where we sit most of the time. I am sitting here now, as most days, checking e-mail, accounts, bloggin', etc. We have our morning coffee here, and you get a great view of the tellie from here. I had never done a project like this before. I think it turned out o.k. for a first shot. A couple of places needed some extra stitching once it was on so it is not perfect by far. But, it is much better than it was. I like the fabrics, too! 50% off sale at JoAnne fabrics and both were re-done for under a $100. Such a deal!

18 July 2007

Tiny Bubbles...

We are now the proud owners of a bubble machine! I got it for our tenth open house. It will likely get good use at home too!


I remember my very first bird. Holly. She was a white zebra finch with black "tears", and a bright orange beak. I still lived in Utah so I was in maybe second or third grade. My Mom wouldn't let us have a dog after I had been bitten, and she was allergic to cats. Gerbils were a disaster- poor Suzy and Midnight- they went "camping" with us. But this was a pet of my very own. I would hold her, and when she laid little jelly belly sized eggs I thought it was the neatest thing although I never understood why they wouldn't hatch- LOL! My brother got a canary that he named Tweety. That started a long lineage of birds in our family. Chico and Riley were other memorable birds. I used to dress them up in my barbie clothes, and have them ride in the barbie raft in the bathtub, or ride in the barbie jeep. Poor birds. They were always good sports though! Or bit a big hole in your finger to let you know the boundaries... When Art and I moved to Utah he was brought in to the bird way of life. We got three finches, one of whom we named Greeley. Even our store was not immune. We got a pair of finches for the showroom. I used to say the only thing "cheap" in here are the birds... Alas, they proved to be amazing breeders. After the fourth clutch in less than a year we had to take them back to the store. Then came our big ferret for parrot swap. We had two stinky troublesome ferrets that we really didn't want anymore, and came across some customers who had a ton of birds, but really wanted a ferret. This is how we got Ody and his buddy Hillary. Hillie went to live in CO and later passed away from a brain tumor. Ody is the reigning Big Bird in the house. A double yellow headed amazon that is 20 and may live to 80. Last week when we were down in CT for the fourth of July I noticed that their parakeet's cage was on the floor in the living room that they are currently using as storage as they combine households. This is o.k., but no one ever goes in that room except their three cats! We went down last weekend, and the poor little thing hadn't moved. So I asked Eric if he could live at my house. He readily agreed. So we loaded him in the back seat of the car with Polar. He travelled great. He got home and settled right in. Ody is fascinated with him, and is currently in lock down until this wanes a bit... But he has a lovely song, and is great at the "blink game." A classic bird trust game where you give a long blink, and when they trust you they will (long) blink back. Art christened him Beeker. I'm sure the lab assistant from the muppet show inspired it, and I had been calling him 'baby beaks' or 'beaky bird' anyway so it seemed to fit. We went out and got some new toys and essentials like gravel, a cuttle bone, a bird bath, and vitamins for Beeker and he seems to have settled right in. Welcome to the family Beeker!

15 July 2007

Niantic pics

Perfect Day!
Skywriter ad for Mohegan Sun
My kind of Sailboat!
Draw Bridge to enter Long Island Sound.

What a Fluke!

The fluke is like a flounder with both eyes on top as this is how he lays on the ocean floor.
Handsome fisherman!
Look at the Blue!
Fun Day!
Happy driver!
Based on Thursdays events we decided to get out of Dodge on Friday. After spending a few hours narrowing down our options, camping, Newport, cruise to Bermuda, Boston, we decided on Connecticut. We went down and hung out with Art's sister and her significant other Dale in their pool (Friday) having steak and crab legs, then going out on their boat with them on Saturday. We left their dock up the Niantic River and headed out for some fun, sun, and fishing. We cruised around the Long Island Sound stopping here and there to try our hand at fishing. I guess our timing was off regarding tides, but we did catch a fluke and a blue fish. I got to reel in the blue fish. I think he is the biggest I have "caught". Art reeled in the fluke. Dale got a starfish too, if they count. Oh, and a hat...well more of a visor. It was a perfectly calm day without a cloud in the sky. The water was incredibly smooth. Our only ruffle was going over by Orient Point to do some lure fishing and promptly losing both lures and having to cut the lines. We then headed back in calling it a (good) day. We stopped and picked up some steamers to accompany the fluke for dinner. I had a burger but I did try the fish. Clams are a little over my palettes head. Very relaxing and enjoyable.

13 July 2007

Troglodyte mantle, heavy day

Our store redecorating project has stalled. All we had to finish was the back wall. Unfortunately, that is where we are clashing. I was thinking a nice moulding and a shelf made with 1x4 to display our sales trophies. Art did not like this idea, so he went out and purchased a HUGE! and hideous hunk of tree and slapped it on the wall. It is overwhelming to even look at. Not to mention UGLY! The problem is HE PUT IT UP! It has been there, revolting the wall for over a week. He said we would compromise and get smaller shelves, which we even spent an afternoon looking for and purchasing- yet the troglodyte mantle remains! (GGGggrrrrrrr!!!!!!)
Yesterday I thought would be the day it would come down. Silly me. Yesterday was a roller coaster ride- long and fast! We went down for the weekly meeting. I was presenting a vacation buy back program, where anyone could purchase extra vacation over time. I thought it would be well received. Apparantly, they were not impressed. So glad I worked so hard on that one!! I would love the opportunity for extra vaca time- whatever... I had my first day at the town office today so you couldn't phase me! I had my haircut before heading up to T. Turned out awful, I really hate this one! I then shot up to T for my first day as Deputy Treasurer. I signed all the signatory agreements so I could sign checks, etc. filled out the paperwork since it's a bonded position, and watched the treasurer sign checks, put them in envelopes, and pass out paychecks. That's all! Didn't have to enter bills, do payroll, or print the checks. Nope- Just sign and seal. I was really enjoying that. The treasurer is an 85 year old woman who is staying to teach me the job then she will be out of there. The day fell apart from there. One employing grumbling because he didn't like his review, even though we gave him the biggest raise we have ever given anyone. A former employee who is crackers sending letters in another employees name about TSK just to be an ass. A third drove 2 1/2 hours to a $130 cleaning appointment and forgot the vacuum, so he wanted another employee to drive down to give it to him. You don't even have to be good in math to see how ridiculous that was! Oh, and Art's mom went into the hospital yesterday, and Gato has been missing for five days now. At least today can only get better!
Art did pick these lovely flowers from our back field for me. So sweet. At least we have each other!

11 July 2007

A job to treasure.

At long last! After ten years I have finally gotten a job! Sure in the past ten years DH and I have built a successful alternative energy business, but now I am officially working for the man. Well, maybe not the "man" per say, more like the town. Just after our spring elections the town's long standing and beloved treasurer passed away. The deputy stepped up to fill in, but now her spot was empty. So they put a call out for resumes if anyone was interested. We heard about it from the fire chief. I thought that could be a good fit. There was so much controversy around the planning board, I was keen on the idea of something less volatile! Plus- simply put- I do numbers. My day to day job is cash flow, hr, taxes, ar/ap, and all those other $$ related things. So in May I put together a resume. That was fun. I really had to dust off the cobwebs for that one! I used a great font with my name emblazoned on the top of the sheet. Over the weekend I received a letter saying they were interviewing at the next select-board meeting two days away. So I nervously went to the meeting. A gal I had just spoken to on the phone 20 minutes earlier from Ladies Aid was the first person I saw. That made me relieved. Then a couple of the "other team's" cronies gave me their snarky hello's. This made me nervous! Then Ted gave me a big smile and welcomed me. Sherry talked about the cookbooks which just came in, and we agreed that they turned out Great! They asked a few simple questions along the lines of how did you get here, and how long are you staying, and will you run for this job again in the spring, or are you out of here just after the training period? They asked what software I had experience with, and I told them of my previous life in IT, and software support. They asked if I had experience with online banking- "I use it every day..." There were two other girls interested in the post, and one that was interested but who could not make it. One worked for the bank and has lived in town quite a long time. I thought for sure she would get it. Then another gal who had no accounting experience. I left the meeting unsure of time line or progress or confidence. But, this morning I received a message on my phone that I am the new deputy treasurer for the town. It all sounds so official. I am unsure how much work is involved- they never tell you that kind of thing before you start! I'll keep you updated!

09 July 2007


We just got back from a refreshing, spur of the moment camping trip. We used to camp all of the time. I realized that we have only been camping together once since moving to NH! Sad. We both looked at each other yesterday afternoon and said, "So, let's go camping!" and off we went. Pillsbury State Park is just a little more than an hour North of us, so it was easy to get to. We figured the Fourth of July crowds would be heading home, or gone already and we were right. We paddled through two ponds, with one short portage to get to the campsite. Polar was in heaven. He loves to ride in the canoe. He will just lay there and lap at the water. We went for a sunset canoe ride, then came back and had brats on the fire. Very relaxing. We woke up to a little rain, but it burned off pretty quickly. We had the pond to ourselves, except the one passing of a group of teenage boys singing "Yellow Submarine" We need to do that more often!

08 July 2007


Cookbooks are IN! They came in July 5, of course a day after the Fourth of July celebration where we could have sold so many!! They look great, and have a lot of recipes. I know there are at least 300! Thanks to everyone who contributed recipes. If you would like a cookbook, it is a $12.50US donation to the fire department. I will pay for shipping it to you. If you want to pay by credit card, you'll have to call the store and it will be $13.00 a cookbook. (slightly more to cover the credit card cost...)


It truly feels like summer this week. The weather has been gorgeously warm, the raspberries are ripe, and we have been enjoying BBQ all week. It has been a week of family visits and celebration. On Wednesday we all trucked down to Connecticut for the Fourth of July. We packed swimsuits, and wore skimpy little shorts outfits in anticipation of the day in the sun laying by Pam and Dale's pool. At 9:00am it was already 80, and the sky was blue as far as you could see. We made cole slaw, and chocolate dream dessert to share. Art also got up early to pick fresh raspberries. We also brought ingredients for our new passion- Blutini's! By the time we got to Worcester heading south it was gray and windy. By four in the afternoon it was a full on rain storm. It didn't stop us, though. We had a great day. They played wiffle (sp?) ball in the rain, ate, and had a good time. Polar came with and had a blast.
Thursday we had a brief interruption of work, but Friday we had a shop til you drop day, then slouched off and went to see another movie. Live Free or Die Hard with Bruce Willis and the Apple Guy (as Art calls him), or the kid from Galaxy Quest (as I remember...). This was truly an awesome movie. I think it is my favorite so far this year! Definite must see in the theater. I jumped out of my seat several times.
Yesterday we went to our niece Lindsay's graduation party. She graduated with a degree in nursing, and is already working at a hospital up in Manchester. Congratulations to her! She is very excited because she is getting a new Saab on Monday. We had a great time over there. Karyn and Ralph have so many outdoor activities like badminton, volleyball, ping pong, a trampoline, karaoke... We played horseshoes for a while. I haven't played that in quite a while. We were "suck-tastic" as my niece Natalie said! We had fun, and that's what counts! I jumped on the trampoline with Lexi for a while, too. I had one of those growing up, and it was like riding a bicycle. I get winded a little faster now for some reason though!
A few exciting prospects on the slate for this week:
I received a call from our congressman, Paul Hode's, DC office regarding the letter I wrote for the pellet tax credits.
I received a notice from the town's board of selectmen asking to meet with me about the Town Treasurer post I threw my hat in the ring for.

03 July 2007

01 July 2007


Welcome to our new showroom. This is what you see when you walk in. Every few years we spruce up the store, and this is one of those years. We have been working diligently on the changes, which center around an island that I designed and Art and the guys made happen.

We have added this sitting area this year. In the past we had a single chair that we got for $20 at a flea market in Denver, but it was getting old and smelly. We thought this would be a nice area for kids, or tired adults. It was well used yesterday. I counted 7 kids, and two adults using the area, and I was only there in the afternoon after the 'rush'.

There is still debate about our P's. My original idea was to put them on risers so they are all at the same level and about 8-12 inches off the ground. Once we put them in place we kind of liked how you could see the scale of them... Note- our Christmas Mum that just won't die! It was a gift from the radio station we advertise with, and we have a green thumber in the midst that keeps all plants healthy and happy :)

Here is the back side of the island. We painted the back wall in a great shade of green called Denver Grass. The big to do about the back side is that a stove on the front side will be vented through to the back side so people can see what it will look like outside their house. Thus the siding you see. It also has some nice shelves to display some of the vessels, kettles, and other knick knacks.
One more wall to do, where the burn models are. When it is done I will post the rest.