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Well, maybe a little more than a chill. The day after I packed away all the winter turtlenecks and heavy sweaters, the temperatures dipped into the low 30s and there were snow flurries flying around on the hill this morning. The temperatures last night dipped down low enough to have frost and freeze warnings. Hard to believe that when we were at church on Sunday for the May crowing that it was a beautiful spring day and we saw our first finches at the feeders.
The crowning was a little less than traditional, since Mary was already wearing a crown of sorts — a robin had nested at the top of the statute. So the flower crown was carefully placed in her hands instead.
As we prepare to head up to Winooski to listen to Tim perform with his classmates in the All State Chorus, on this beautiful spring Friday afternoon, I thought I would share some of the photos from Bistro.
It has been a wonderful, musical year and I’m very, very proud of my vocalist. In the words of his brother — he has the voice of an angel.
The entire group of performers taking a photo opportunity during rehearsal on Thursday afternoon.
There have been way too many days since we had rain. Things were very dry as evidenced by the numerous fire hazard warnings.Yesterday and last night we received some much needed rain. Too bad it cancelled the All State parade that everyone was looking forward to seeing.
This morning however, the flowers all stood with their rain drops showing.
Despite the fact that spring arrives this week, winter is hanging on tight here and not letting go. In fact, we woke to a winter storm warning for 9-16 inches of snow starting tonight. Mind you, if you travel into town, there isn’t a speck of snow on the ground, this is all elevation snow, although according to the weather service, that is about to change for a lot of people with the impending storm. We laughed when we went into town and pallets of mulch and displays of bulbs are everywhere. We have no use for them yet. You folks posted the cute pictures of crocuses peeking from the soil, not so much where we are located, unless they are very strong and very tall crocuses and can get through feet of snow.
Here are some pictures that I took last weekend of the snow around the house. Things haven’t changed much in a week and since it’s only 3 degrees here this morning, I doubt anything will be melting today.
Today was Town Meeting Day, something that I didn’t know even existed until I moved to Vermont. Today is the day that the people of Vermont take democracy into their own hands and move it from some esoteric concept into concrete reality. Town Meeting Day is the day (or the evening before in many towns) when members of the community gather together to discuss and vote on the issues that affect their town and each resident of it personally. The issues usually cover the budget and how it is allocated, taxes and how they are collected, various municipal positions and how they are filled. It is a day to stand up and be heard and be counted. In a great many of New England towns, voting is done by a simple show of hands — not with fancy, computerized voting equipment. Australian ballot voting is done with paper and pen — something alien to someone who grew up with the political machine that churns in the more metropolitan mid Atlantic area of the country.
I remember that at our first town meeting, held in the gymnasium of the town’s elementary school, I pretty much sat there completely dumbfounded at the simplicity of the whole system. The selectboard (which is the governing body of our town) along with an elected moderator, hold a meeting where towns folk vote on the various warnings that have been posted. The steadfast items are usually the budget and other monetary related town issues. People stand up, speak their name and voice their piece of mind on the issue — be it pro or con. Everyone has a right to be heard and speak their mind. Sometimes, there is civil discussion and sometimes, the discussion gets a little heated (that’s where the moderator comes in). After the discussion of each issue, there is a vote. Simple, democracy at its purest.
Tonight I was also able to see the other side of the voting process — the counting of the ballots at town hall following the Australian ballot portion of the election. It is interesting to sit down with fellow residents and count and tally each of the votes — participating at the most fundamental level in one of the greatest privileges we hold as Americans — the right to vote –the right to choose — the right to decide.
This afternoon, I got up to take a break from working and walked by a west facing window. It was late afternoon, and the view of the sunlight (which we have not seen much of in these parts recently) shimmering snow, clouds and shadows just painted a beautiful picture that I felt compelled to share. I love it when nature just stops you dead in your tracks and you have to take a deep breath and appreciate how small and inconsequential you really are in this great universe. This afternoon, at this moment, was one of those times. Simply breathtaking in person, I hope that you might have been somewhere where you saw something just as nice today. If not, enjoy this picture.
Last week I got a phone call out of the blue from someone at the Wallingford Rotary asking me if I would be their speaker for this week’s program. My first thought was “Me? Why do you want me?” I actually think that was the first thing that I said on the phone as well. Turns out, I agreed to speak and then I was determined to find out what I could speak about to this group. Sure, I can talk law, but this is a group of varied professionals and I don’t know that I could have found common ground that was interesting enough. I had the pleasure of interviewing the then-incoming president of the Rotary, Adrian Eisler over the summer for the Rutland County Express and we discussed ways to bring new members and update the Rotary’s image which is one of her goals as president. I thought that brainstorming some new ways to open up to the community and thereby increase their membership might be a fun topic that obviously would be of interest to them. I spent a chunk of time yesterday investigating what other Rotary groups do to bring in new members and see how they could make use of things at their fingertips like their webpage, a Facebook page, Twitter account and a blog. We discussed how to tap into the younger generations, particularly how they could garner the interest of the middle school and high school kids, many sadly who have no idea that they come from a Rotary that is the home of all Rotary since its founder Paul Harris is from good ol’ Wallingford Vermont. We discussed getting the kids involved, getting the community involved and letting Wallingford and the surrounding areas know who the Rotarians were, what they did professionally and where their personal interests lie in the hopes of making connections that could foster future relationships between the organization and future members.
I thought that it was a good discussion and hopefully so did they. It was definitely interesting and fun to do something a little outside of my comfort zone. Since as part of their meeting, they pass the Pig and put in a dollar for a happy thought that they share with the group and many of those thoughts centered around spring, flowers and the vegetables, I chose a pick of apple blossoms to share with this post. Check out the Wallingford Rotary’s web page for more information about the Wallingford Rotary which is open to professionals, business people and community members not only from Wallingford but also the surrounding communities.
Today at the Farmer’s Market we were just about to walk out the door when I spotted it…the table selling seeds. (Must be my gardener’s instinct). Lots and lots of different kinds of seeds. When I walked over and spoke to the mom that was with the kids at this table I learned a lot and thought that I would share for a very good cause.
The table belongs to a group of Shrewsbury homeschool kids that are conducting a fundraiser for the Vermont Farmers Food Center (a/k/a The Farmer’s Market) selling Fedco seeds. These kids –Silas Hamilton, Seamus and Avery Martin, Cedelle and Emmett Sirjane, and Manolo Zelkin with the help of parents, Licia Gambino Hamilton and Martha Sirjane are hoping to raise $3,500 to donate to the Center.
Since I’m not writing for the Rutland Express anymore (since they stopped publication) and I miss that ability to connect the cool things and people that I come across with people that might not know about them, I thought that I would post here about this group and their efforts in the hopes that folks in the area who plant their own seeds would take advantage of this fundraiser and help these kids with their goal. These kids are selling a variety of Fedco seeds (over 30 different types) to raise money for the Farmer’s Market to help with the work that remains to be done in and around the building and grounds. The kids have a table at the market and have set up and designed their own website http://seedsworthsowing.webs.com/ and Facebook page where they can be found at Seeds Worth Sowing. They’ve even hand stamped (in multi color, mind you) each and every one of their seed packets. Making a very delightful display as you can see.
You can purchase your seeds in person at the Farmer’s Market, or you can order them by mail and you can pick up an order farm locally from Pierce’s Store or Mount Holly Library. You can also download an order form while in your pajamas from the comfort of your own living room from their website (for my very lazy friends). If you mail in your order form, you can pick up your seeds from Pierce’s Store on March 21 from 3-6 p.m. or at the Mount Holly Library on March 24th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or at the Rutland Farmer’s Market on March 16th or April 6th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For the charge of mailing ($1.95 to $15 = $3.95 shipping fee; $16 & up = $5.95 shipping fee) they will even be happy to mail your seeds to you so you can just walk to the mailbox for your seeds. So, friends of mine that are not in Vermont and want seeds, go to their website, download the form, mail it in with your payment and wait for your seeds to arrive via the postal service from our lovely little state of Vermont.
The group extended its original order deadline to March 31st — so I encourage you to take advantage of getting some good seeds to get that garden started and help out an industrious group of kids with their ambitious (and totally doable) goal of raising $3,500. After all, any of us that shop at the Farmer’s Market will benefit from their hard work in raising these funds.
- What Kind of Seed Are You Sowing? (phenum01.wordpress.com)
- sowing seeds (balconyberlin.wordpress.com)
- What to do in March (digginwivdebb.wordpress.com)
- GARDENING: Winter seed sowing can be started now (cindyhelens.wordpress.com)
- Ladies and Gentlemen, Time to Start Seeds (prweb.com)
- 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seed this Spring (prweb.com)
While I enjoy taking pictures, one of my sons has an eye for it. He has “guest photographed” on my site a few times where he has gotten photo credit for his work from me. He has a gift and can compose things just right. My camera in his hands (which is nothing special) turns a ho-hum picture into something blog-worthy.
He just put up his own blog here at wordpress.com and I would ask that you check it out and give him your feedback. You can find him at http://tylerheffvt.wordpress.com/
If I’ve been a little quiet lately, I apologize. Things have been a bit hectic around here. A bit of renovation always makes me jumpy and on Saturday, we tore down the ceiling in the living room to replace it since parts of it were water damaged and cracking. I, however, was no where to be found after we removed everything but the sofas from the room. Construction and the mess associated with it, especially right in the center of the house, makes me jittery and agitated. Best I be out of the way. When I got back after a couple hours of running errands I was pleasantly informed by my husband that when they ripped out the sheetrock, lo and behold there were the original post and beams from the house. This is kind of surprising since we were pretty sure that the living room area had been renovated and there wasn’t much of the “old stuff” still remaining. We were wrong. We found some hand hewn beams and wooden pegs as well as the gas lines from the gas lights that must have previously lit that room of the house. There was also an old ceiling fixture that had simply been covered up when the 2×4 went up and the sheetrock went in.
We decided that it would be a shame to cover it all back up again and changed our plans to keep it open which required a different plan for lighting since we had planned on putting LED can lights into the sheetrock ceiling. The next day, we were heading over for a pleasant afternoon in Glens Falls to hit up the closest Lowes and get the fixtures that we wanted. While we didn’t make it to the Thai restaurant that was on our radar for a late lunch or early dinner, we had a pleasant day nonetheless. When we got home, yours truly did it again. I slipped on the ice getting out of the truck. While most of me moved when this happened, the hiking boot securing my ankle decided to stay firmly planted in place when I fell. So, needless to say my ankle didn’t make the journey with the rest of my body and now resembles a much larger, more swollen and painful version of its former self. The pizza we had grabbed for the boys that I was carrying and dropped when I got out of the truck fared far better than my ankle did.
To alleviate my anxiety over the house being in a state of upheaval from the work in the living room, I can now ponder attempting to safely hobble about on a sprained ankle with minimal pain. It all evidently works out in the end.