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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Here are a couple of interesting events coming up at Rhythm of the Rein,  at Water Tower Farm on Route 2 just before Marshfield Village:  Click to make larger.

This is a reunion of people who have been associated in some way with the program, but anyone interested in seeing what they do there is also welcome to stop by.  Let them know ahead if you can, rhythmoftherein@aol.com

This sounds like a very relaxing evening.  I know some folks absolutely love horses but don't get a chance to play with them much, if at all.  This is an opportunity to get acquainted with these wonderful animals.  Or have a relaxing massage, try your hand at coloring or browse the silent auction.  Bring a friend or two and enjoy an evening away from all the daily stress.  You'll be glad you did, and you'll be supporting a wonderful program that does so much to help others.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some days I really have nothing much to report, but today I have good news.  Geri Pelok let me know this morning we have a pair of loons nesting on the platform.  I heard them making a big fuss over something yesterday and worried they might be in trouble.  Now I'm thinking they were probably celebrating - perhaps Mama Loon had just laid another egg.  Or she might have been scolding her mate for not helping enough with the spring cleaning and rebuilding their nest.  It's good to know there will be another Joe's Pond Loon Family to watch this summer.  Thanks to Geri for keeping an eye on them for us.

I also had a nice note from a reader in Greensboro about hummingbirds.  I had mentioned that we haven't seen any here yet, but she told me hers were back about the normal time, May 11.  She also told me they don't depend totally on nectar from flowers or sweetened water from our feeders, but eat insects, as well.  That's good news - I hope they like black flies!  I've reminded Fred to get the feeder out, so hopefully we'll be seeing some within the next few days.  I'm pretty sure they are here - I just haven't seen or heard them.  On the other hand, I've heard bumble bees and sometimes if I'm not paying attention, the bees turn out to be hummers.

Our deck is on hold for a few days.  Our carpenter is having problems with his back and has to lay low, literally, for a few more days.  With the weather turning wet again later this week, he will likely get a longer rest than needed, but we're ok with that - we know a bit about back problems.  

Walden is voting today on forming a new school district with Barnet and Waterford.  It will be interesting to see how that goes.  None of these three towns have high schools, so have that in common.  On the surface it seems it would be a district within a district or two,  and that would seem to be inefficient in some ways, but these days anything is possible, I guess.  Years ago school districts were way less complicated.  There were some early requirements set up by federal or state government, but over time there have been increasing regulations set up for schools, and rural communities have struggled to keep up.  

Cabot School is looking at a very different change that would mean merging their high school with Danville and Twinfield (Marshfield and Plainfield).  Any community loses a lot when their school closes.  In this case Cabot's K-8 school would remain undisturbed, but closing the high school that has been serving the community for 100 years is a difficult decision.  There might be some tax advantage, but the way things usually work out, that would probably diminish in short order.  The real question is whether students would be better off in the larger school environment.  Voters will need to decide, and soon.

The first high school in Cabot was a two-year school initiated in 1908.  In 1916 it became a four-year secondary school graduating the first class in 1920.  Not many students went on to college back then.  Cabot was primarily a farm community and young men continued that tradition.  Young women became nurses, secretaries or teachers, or married close to home.  That has changed radically and some graduating classes in recent years have had 100% go on to college or some other higher education.  

We've all heard that "history repeats itself."  I can't help wondering if that will happen in education - will there someday be some sort of "pod" facilities equipped with automated technology that could follow the concentration and needs of the populace?  Like one-room schools on steroids . . . one teacher supported by robots, perhaps?


Sunday, May 21, 2017

We had a little frost last night.  My weather station registered a low of 32.2F but there was a little white frost on some surfaces this morning.  Today was nice for working outside, but the black flies are pretty bad.

I want to share this link sent to me by Henretta Splain who has family in Italy.  Henretta's cousin Anna Maria's daughter, Cristina, now lives in Brooklyn, New York.  Henretta says Cristina is a wonderful cook, like her mom.  Here is a short video of her demonstrating Italian cooking.  Thank you, Henretta, for sending the video to me, and thank you, Cristina, for allowing me to post the video on my blog.  I have a feeling there are lots of Joe's Pond people who will appreciate watching it - and probably have their own traditional methods of cooking Italian.  

I have finished the stone steps except for two small stones needed to complete the top one where it joins the existing walkway.  I'm looking for stones shaped just right, and may have to trim them so they'll fit, but in the meantime, the heavy part is complete.  All except the "landing" by the driveway.  I had to borrow some stones I'd already laid in there, so now will fill those spaces, but it will require some re-working to get everything level and even.  It's kind of like working a jig-saw puzzle.

The riding lawn mower wouldn't start when Fred wanted to mow the lawn last week, but Harry (Harry's Small Engines, Walden, Vt.) got it fixed and back to us yesterday, so Fred was able to get the whole thing done.  The lawn was looking pretty shabby.  Now I need to mow the walkway with the push mower, but with all the work on the steps and rebuilding the deck, that will have to wait.  Meanwhile, there are plenty of flower beds to weed and mulch, and ground to smooth and seed where I "borrowed" the stones for the steps.  Complicated, I know.  I have been accused of rearranging landscaping like most people do furniture.  Actually, this time it's mostly a process of downsizing and finding ways to achieve easier maintenance.  I'm paying for it with sore, stiff  muscles, but once I'm finished, I'll be able to enjoy it for a while without much work - I hope.  

The crab apple tree is loaded with blossoms and the scent is everywhere.  There are bees around, but I haven't seen any  humming birds yet.  Usually they buzz me when I'm working outside or come to the big window to announce their arrival and remind us to get the food out, but I haven't seen or heard one yet.  I guess we'll put the feeder out anyway and they'll show up.  There is plenty of natural food now the apple blossoms are out - and we have lots of daffodils and cherry blossoms, so they probably are going about building their nests without worrying about food. 

Just a quick reminder for Joe's Pond folks - our spring meeting is this Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. at the pavilion.  This is a special meeting as we'll present the prize money to Emily Wiggett who won the Ice-Out Contest this year.  We also have 2018 Ice-Out tickets ready to distribute.  



Saturday, May 20, 2017

This reminder came from Helen Morrison today:
Kingdom Animal Shelter would love to have any returnable bottle or can donations.  People can give me a call (563-2488) and I will come get them, or they can leave them in front of my garage at 936 West Shore Road.
Your help will be much appreciated by volunteers and kitties alike.  Helen M.