Battening Down the Hatches

Living at or above 1,000 feet is often a joy, especially during the winter time when the snow really piles up. During the fall, the views are picturesque. During a hurricane, nothing is all that joyous!

The talk today has been how bad the winds from Sandy are going to be, especially at the higher elevations like we have here in Litchfield County. The talk of 60-80 mph gusts throughout the duration of the storm will have anyone at high altitudes shaking, and with the amount of trees that surround us, well you get the picture. It’s going to be scary!

Power outages are a sure thing. Already prepared for that by stocking up on candles and the essentials. We’re now less than 48 hours from impact. Many of us have already battened down the hatches. All that is left to do is wait. If the forecast plays out exactly as it is planned, then Litchfield County will be spared the significant rains, but won’t be spared the damaging winds. Much of my property has been cleared off. Oh, how I wish I lived in a field without trees around though.

Remember, get prepared for the worst. Not that the worst will happen, but it’s better to be safe then sorry. Spend the day today gathering last minute things and connecting with friends and loved ones. We’ll get through this!



Oh Sandy!

Spare me anymore details about the impending storm. We all remember last year how we were snowbound for days without electricity and any working cell phone service. It was as if we were living in a pre modern world! Scary? Heck yeah! It’s not something I want to live through again, though the odds are slowly turning against me on that one.

Sandy, or Frankenstorm as we’re calling it, is one heck of a storm. It’s a category one spinning out in the Atlantic with its sights on the northeast and hoping to make a significant impact on southern New England. That’s bad! The winds are planning on being ferocious and the rain might require a boat, or maybe Noah’s ark. It’s just not something any of us will want to have to deal with, but we will.

Like many, I’ve spent the past 24 hours preparing. I’m fully stocked with my bottles of wine and all of the cheese and crackers one could live off of. Yes, these are important, important for a hurricane party. Hey, you got to make light of this situation somehow, right? Don’t worry, I’ve also got plenty of beer. Oh, and water and canned food too I suppose.

So while we wait for Sandy to come and be not so dandy of a visitor, it’s important to pay full attention to everything that is going on with her and where and when she will land. Honestly, can’t she just go back to where she came from? Those pesky unwanted guests, I’ll tell ya.


Litchfield County Foliage Fades Away, With a Bang

You know, I just love it. I love the changing of the seasons, particularly at home in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Tonight before work, I took a little drive up through Norfolk then back down into Winchester Center and eventually making my way back home to Torrington.

Why did I do this? Well, I’m all about clearing my head before and after a long night of work and this certainly helps this process, and tonight was no different, but there was just something about tonight that made it more worthwhile. Perhaps it was the gorgeous sunset as it pierced through the now bare trees. Maybe it was the clouds that made it feel like a late November night, or maybe, it was the beauty of the pastoral countryside we live in on a superb autumn day in New England.

Whatever it was, I just couldn’t help but to snap up a few quick pictures from the breathtaking views. Could you blame me?

Falling Back into Fall: New England’s Best Season

Ah, here it is all over again. Crisp mornings followed by sun drenched afternoons that seem to radiate even more with the vibrant colors of the leaves on the trees. Fall is upon is and is in full swing here in my little corner of Connecticut, Litchfield County.

It didn’t take long for autumn to arrive. A couple cold nights and voilĂ ! The trees around the house are blasting with color and the warm scents of fall are in the air, including the heart melting aroma of wood burning furnaces and fireplaces as we keep warm during the chill of night.

Fall is a wonderful season isn’t it? There’s just something about it here in New England. Something special. Something, you just can’t quite put your finger on. Maybe it’s the pumpkin spice coffee you pick up from the coffee house in the morning, or that fresh made apple pie with just picked apples off the trees from the nearby orchards. Whatever it is, I like it. Nothing beats autumn in New England, and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone right now.

Today being the first day of October, I decided to take a little trip up to the north to go spend some time around my timeshare at nearby Jiminy Peak Ski Resort in the Berkshires. I haven’t been there since the last day of ski season. It was a breathtaking trip. The views were even more incredible than they are during the winter. The foliage was of course the added treat as the mountains played a harmony of music. Call me crazy, but I swear they were playing music, and no, it wasn’t Death Leopard or Rob Zombie.

On my journey, I snapped up a couple of gorgeous pictures. I’ve been to the area many times over, but for some reason every time you venture out there it just seems even more different, even more beautiful than the last.

I didn’t make an attempt to spend the night. I prefer to use my timeshare at the resort during ski season as much as possible rather than during the off season, but still, the trip was worth it! I even managed to stop and grab some dinner at Powder Hounds, which I might add has the best beers on tap. Octoberfest! It’s like a New England tradition.

Social Media Minute: Introducing Timeline

Changes are coming once again to your Facebook account. In just about a week, Facebook has given users notice that they will transition users personal pages to the new timeline format. Timeline is a hip new way to explore life on Facebook. Think of it as a diary of your entire life portrayed right in front of you in a virtual world, right up from the time you were born.

Many users had shielded from activating timeline on their own for the fear of change, but fear not. Timeline is about to be a huge part of your life, and you’ll be looking at your life you never have before. With timeline, you’ll have the ability to see what kinds of relationships you used to have or what kinds of things you had posted to your Facebook wall.

It’s time to welcome change, not shield it. If you’re like me and live your entire life on social media sites, you’ll fall in love with timeline. Check out the video for a brief overview of what’s coming your way.

Snowshoeing in Northwestern Connecticut

What is it about snow that brings out the kid in you? It seems for me, each time it snows, a bit of childhood comes back with it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much, then again, I could just be wildly insane. Either way, when there’s a snow day to be had, you can be rest assured I’m out there enjoying every minute of it.

While most days I’m up in Vermont out on the slopes, this past Sunday morning I got to finally test out my snowshoes I had received for Christmas from my mother. Here in northwestern Connecticut, there’s plenty of places to explore, but considering it was 10AM and I had just got home from a long 12 hour overnight shift, I wasn’t looking to travel any further than right in my own backyard.

I decided to hit up the Still River Greenway in Torrington. While it’s a great place to walk and bike during the summer, it’s also the perfect place to snowshoe and cross country ski during the winter. Not too many people would think of a greenway to be a year round place of refuge, but indeed it is.

Parking my car at the entrance by Winsted, I strapped on my snowshoes and away I went. The trail isn’t maintained during the winter so snow is a guarantee after any snow storm we get. The surroundings were actually quite peaceful as not a soul was in sight, except for the random passing of vehicles on Winsted Road, of course, which isn’t exactly the harmonic sounds of nature, but none the less, a relaxing experience away from any hustle and bustle.

The best part about snowshoeing the greenway is that it’s flat. No need to try and manage your way around boulders or occasional tree roots that will have you falling flat on your face! As an inexperienced snowshoer, it’s probably not best that I attempt any of that just yet. I do need my legs to ski for the rest of the winter, otherwise I might just suffer winter depression like the majority of folks! Then again, that may stop me from doing anymore snow dances for the rest of the winter.

Who has the Best Coffee on the Cheap?

As Americans, we’re all on a budget. The dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to. It includes everything, even our morning cup of joe which can cost anywhere from two to five dollars on the average. So, how can you make the pinch feel less harsh?

Make a stop at your local Mickey D’s. You’ll be surprised by what you taste! For years, I have been ignoring those who have told me McDonalds has the best coffee in America. I ignored all of them, and went on to spend five-dollars a day on a great cup of coffee at Starbucks. Then, one day, my local Starbucks was closed and I had to settle for what I thought was less. Then, there I was. Starring and sipping on what was possibly the best coffee I have ever had, and for just a buck!

Any size, any day. Just a buck. I couldn’t believe what I have been missing out on all this time. It then made me wonder, what else was I missing out on. It was then and there that I had a revelation. It was time to conquer everything else I had previously ignored. It’s amazing what coffee can do.