Friday, February 25, 2011

The Perfect Shovel

Some days little things mean a lot.

We just got hit with another snow storm (whoopee). And as soon as I find the shovel the sooner we can get out and play...just as soon as I find the shovel.

I'm at the hardware store and have found a shiny red plastic grain shovel (yes, my favorite color). I take it to the checkout counter where Ed greets me (he has a great smile) and we share our usual banter of niceties. He scans the shovel and just before pressing the sale button politely asks, "So Deb, what are your plans for this shovel?"

"Shoveling snow Ed, you know the stuff burying my front steps, my car, the path to the bird feeders and uh, my other shovel."

"Deb, you sure you want a plastic shovel?"

"Of course, it's much lighter than a metal shovel" (I've been informed).

He pauses and then quietly says, "Deb, go get the metal shovel, it's not much heavier, it won't shatter when the temperatures are below zero and it's only $2.00 more".

I have a shovel to be proud of, even if it's not red.

 Who's looking out for you?

Edwin has lived in the Mad River Valley for over 50 years, yet just recently relocated east to the other side of the mountain. I will miss seeing him on his daily walk to work, but we can still find him at Bisbee's giving away smiles and home improvement advice. Oh yeah, a little coating of silicone will prevent that shovel from icing up and the snow will fly out of it slicker than..... Well, you know.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Day at the Races

I just had the best ski of the season. The backcountry conditions are just about perfect. Get outside, it's a beautiful day.

Last Wednesday, I was invited to a gathering of the tribes.
Over 60 bright and spirited kids from the Mad River Valley Bill Koch League celebrated Olympic style at the Green Mountain Valley School. Flags a flying, colorful costumes, and smiles a plenty competed in fun filled relay races and casually timed trials. Their energy was infectious, oh to be 8 again. Teams consisting of kids, coaches, and parents skate skied the twisty track around the soccer field to the finish. 

Woohoo! Go Janie!

Awards presented along with really big chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa brought a sweet end to a happy day. Give 'em snow, give 'em skis, give 'em wings. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bee Warm

I was skiing pass the neighbors yesterday and decided to stop by for a quick hello. It was fall since last I'd seen them and was curious to how they were wintering over.

How cute, they still have their holiday decor up. I shout out a greeting....... no response. Have you ever wondered how honeybees survive our long cold winters? Hmmm......  Off I go and by chance come upon the hive manager and his kids bombing down through the woods on a backyard ski run (lucky kids). I ask him about the hive and he explains how the bees huddle together and shiver their wings to generate enough heat to stay warm. How cool warm is that? Apparently, the temperature can reach 95 degrees. Here's the story and to make sure my facts are straight I'll resource Wikipedia, though his version was far more interesting.

The Honey Bee and Winter survival

In cold climates honeybees stop flying when the temperature drops below about 50 degrees F and crowd into the central area of the hive to form a "winter cluster." The worker bees huddle around the queen bee at the center of the cluster, shivering in order to keep the center between 80 F at the start of winter (during the broodless period) and 93 F once the queen resumes laying. The worker bees rotate through the cluster from the outside to the inside so that no bee gets too cold. The outside edges of the cluster stay at about 46-48 degrees. The colder the weather is outside, the more compact the cluster becomes. During winter, they consume their stored honey to produce body heat. The amount of honey consumed during the winter is a function of winter length and severity but ranges in temperate climates from 30 to 100 lbs.


What a warm fuzzy bunch of friends. Did you know they can dance?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


There's so much going on, get outside and have fun.

But wait, there's more............

Sugarbush Torchlight Parade: Source

Wednesday February 16
Cabin Fever Follies AuditionsValley Players Playhouse 6:30-7:30
To be in Cabin Fever Follies all you need to do is come up with a brief 2-4 minute act...dancing, singing, jokes, story telling, banjo playing, juggling, lip synching, anything that you think would entertain others also suffering from Cabin Fever.

Thursday - Saturday February 17 - 19 7:30 pm
4xChekhov Valley Players presents, four short, wonderful sketches by Anton Chekhov, based on Paul Schmidts lucid, lively translation of the works.

Saturday February 19
Warren Store:  John and Ellie Hilferty sign copies of their new book, Skiing in the Mad River Valley from 1-5pm.

THE WINE OLYMPICS: Saturday 7 -10 pm General Stark Pub, Mad River Glen 
Fund raiser gala by The Stark Mountain Foundation: help restore and preserve the forests and mountain eco system of General Stark Mountain. Featuring over 20 wines from 6 countries, as well as tasty food and great live music.

Interactive Ice Carving Demo: All day event. Lincoln Peak Village, Sugarbush
Alpine Ice Design will be creating an Ice Moose Sculpture at Lincoln Peak.  Come watch as they carve the ice throughout the day! Photographs of you and your friends and family can be taken in the afternoon.

Torchlite Parade and Fireworks: Lincoln Peak Village, Sugarbush 6:45pm
Come see Sugarbush employees light up the mountain with a torchlight parade, followed by a spectacular firworks display to kick off the long weekend.

Groovy Guy Family Entertainer Gate House Lodge. 7:15 pm
Join The Groovy Guy, for an evening of juggling, magic and much more!  Show will begin immediately following the fireworks.

CURE FOR KIDS BENEFIT CONCERT: Saturday 8 pm, Big Picture Theater
Raise money for children affected with cancer. Benefit concert for Camp Takumta and The Make-a-Wish Foundation featuring: Colleen Mays, In This Century, Lava Moss and Noble Savage. Bring a toy, clothing or non-perishable good to donate to the VT Food Bank for half-off cover. Raffle, dancing & more all for a good cause!

Sunday February 20
Daytona 500 on The Big Screen: Noon – 5 pm Big Picture Theater
Join Radio Vermont for a live broadcast from the Big Pic of the Daytona 500 projected on our 20-foot screen. Prizes including; a 50-inch plasma tv! Drink, food specials and more!

Tuesday February 22
The Musical World of Walt Disney : 7 pm  Gatehouse Lodge, Sugarbush
The Cafe Noir Singers present "The Musical World of Walt Disney." This family-friendly event includes music from some of the world's most famous movies and musicals such as, "The Lion King," "Mary Poppins," "Beauty and the Beast," "Newsies" and many more. 

Thursday - Saturday February 24 - 26 7:30 pm
4xChekhov Valley Players presents, four short, wonderful sketches by Anton Chekhov, based on Paul Schmidts lucid, lively translation of the works.

Friday February 25
Dan Egan's Wild World of Winter: Gatehouse Lodge, Sugarbush 7pm
Dan Egan’s Wild World of Winter 2010 Fall Tour is an adventure filled evening with ski and snowboard footage from New England and around the world, featuring some of the best “extreme” and “Big Mountain” athletes on the planet.

4X Chekov

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Put Your Hands Together

And gimme a little love.

photo by Sunshizzle, USA

Happy Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Running on Empty

There's a batch of my favorite pancake batter waiting for the griddle to sizzle. I grab the syrup bottle from the fridge to pop in the microwave and notice only a dribble left in the bottom. Off to the cellar to fill it up from the everlasting jug.........the empty, everlasting jug. This is not good.

Oh wait! It's Saturday, I've a hunch the maple wagon is in town.
Back in 5.

 Good morning, Mr Long, am I happy to see you.

One everlasting jug of your special grade B, please.

We really like pancakes. I make my own blend of whole grains for the mix (say goodbye to the Dough Boy). Whole grains add tenderness and great flavor to pancakes along with all the good for you benefits. Maple syrup, well that just adds pure godliness goodness.
Excuse me, it's time for breakfast.

Got Syrup? Better check, and if your jug is empty you'll find Eastman Long during the winter at his mobile shop on the JCT of RT 100 & 17, weekends and holiday weeks. Come the warmer months he is a regular vendor at the Waitsfield Farmers' Market. Ask him for the taste test. I vote for Grade B.

Monday, February 7, 2011

No Boys Allowed

Once in awhile the day is for "girls only".

The great zamboni has left the rink: we're on. It's been announced I'm with a girl who knows a thing or two about skating.
"Hit it, Veda."

Not the ice, silly........ I have an idea.

This is fun!

The ice was mirrorlike perfect and skating was the most fun for 5 bucks I've had since I can remember. Go grab a friend and a crate and before you know it........... you'll be digging for that cute little sequined something in the back of your closet. Sparkles on ice, go figure (skate). :)

The Skatium is open Monday - Friday 3pm - 7pm, Saturdays/Holidays 11am - 8pm, Sunday 11am - 7pm. Skate all day for $5, Skate Rental $5 per pair. I hear there's a Broomball skirmish on Monday nights 7pm, see you there.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

THUNDERSNOW Show Last Evening

Did you hear that?

We were treated to a unique and rare weather phenomenon last night as Thundersnow crashed through the valley. Did it wake you? A two for one punch, unsettling and thrilling.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Out To Lunch

I had a lunch date with an Americano (single shot of espresso w/hot water), make that a double, double date that is. My best friend led the way.

Indulge in this little pick me up at Mint.
An Americano with two cutie patootie shortbreads on the side.
We went on a ski to lunch exploration today and found ourselves a treasure. I can't wait to visit for dinner.

Don't cha love a sun kissing day after a storm?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Speedy Delivery

There's a brief window of time mid-winter, after a stretch of deep cold and a decent snowpack, the river offers up a lovely avenue to town. Looks like the window is open and you know what that means.....

The mail must get through

And the consensus?

It's a speedy delivery

Forward office phone to cell phone, pen and pad in the pack and ....... just whistle while you work.