Friday, May 24, 2024

Good News!

 I heard from Marti Talbot yesterday. Here's what she wrote:

Carolyn will come home today from the rehab center.
She has worked hard to gain her strength, though she has still a ways to go.  She has a few obstacles she has to overcome come but she is much better. We see her surgeon today for more information for her next step.
Through all the pain and hurdles she still has her smile and optimism.

There are no immediate plans to come to VT yet.  Ned of course would like to leave today ! 

That is really good news. We certainly hope Carolyn makes a really speedy recovery and can come to Joe's Pond soon. 

As many of you know, there are new regulations in effect for Wake Boats this year. There will be new signage and information at state boating access areas to help boaters and the public to understand and manage the new regulations. Here is a  LINK to some of the changes we can expect. 

Today is much cooler and more comfortable than it has been. I started the morning off with the house opened up as I normally do on nice days, but very soon I was grabbing my sweater and realized that while the sun is nice and it looks gorgeous outside, that air is fresh and cool - great for working outside, but definitely on the cool side!

I was recently corresponding with a friend who lives on Bolton Road, near where I grew up, and she told me she hears bob-o-links in the big field in back of the house where I lived. I hope to get up there some early morning to hear them. I haven't head one in a long time, although when Fred and I used to walk on West Shore Road, we sometimes heard them in the big field beyond my house going towards Brickett's Crossing Road. Sadly, I no long walk that far, but perhaps they still nest there.

I was thinking that the Cabot Plain community has changed enormously since I lived there. The Bolton farm (where the twin silos are) was the last place on that road. The road ended sort of in our farm's barnyard, but now there is a large house at the top of the hill. There was a lane that served to get cattle to our "night pasture" and the much larger Roy Lot pasture. That lane was once a well-settled road past farms all the way to what is now Chatot Road. It wasn't the original Bayley-Hazen Military Road route, but ran parallel to it. It was built by early settlers who wisely followed the higher contour of the land to avoid the steep hills and marshy areas that was the original military road. The two routes join briefly and from the Cabot Plain Cemetery to Route 215, there is a nice stretch of the original road - mostly untouched except for necessary repairs to keep it open for the many homes it now serves. That short section is still a Class 4 road, I believe, so residents have to do most of the work needed to keep it open year around.

When I was growing up on the Plain, all the land was being farmed. Ours was the largest farm with some 50 head of Holstein cattle; but Fred and Julia Maynard had a small herd of Jerseys and a productive farm where they raised their large family. Their eldest son, Ernest, was the first Cabot boy  killed in WWII. His younger brother, Martin, joined the Marines as soon as he was old enough, and later worked many years as a lineman on the St. J. & L. C. R.R.

The Desmaris family had a nice farm next to the school house. It was originally the Cate Farm, and was later owned by Fred Badger. The big barn and beautiful old stone house was a landmark in town until it burned in July, 1953. I remember the date because it was the eve of my wedding to Ray Dimick.

Further on the road to Cabot was Howard and Freda (Maynard) Stone's farm; and on the road that joins West Shore Road, the Gambles were about the only family that didn't have a farm. Ed Gamble was a carpenter and woodworker and supported his family working for others. Around the corner from him, Ashley Barnett had a small farm, and on what is now Deeper Ruts road, there was the McCormick farm where the Helfands are now, and across the brook, Harris Harrington's farm. That road connected to Harrington Hill Road until the bridge washed out one spring. By that time, the Harrington farm had burned and John McCormick had died, and the place was sold.

Ewen Farm, about 1935Past the Ashley Barnett place, my grandfather had a good-sized pasture he bought from someone named Fisher - I don't know if there had been a farm there or not, but I expect there once was. It is now part pasture and partly owned by John & Liz Randall. The next farm, where Morgan's camp is now and the land where Pupinos, Chatots, and Helen Morrison live, was all part of Wilbur Ewen's farm. (Photo, about 1935.)

Milk and feed trucks were common traffic on our roads, but there was very little traffic. The few cars hat came by were usually someone we knew. Not so these days. And all of us kids walked wherever they needed to go - always to school, sometimes to visit our neighbors or to swim in Joe's Pond in the summer (after chores) if we had the energy - we all had duties on the farms where we lived, so our time was well filled with a balance of work and fun, and we generally had an "early to bed, early to rise" schedule. Only kids in town played baseball, had clubs, or attended Sunday School.

It's amazing how things change over the years - forest has taken over much of the open land that were once pastures and fields. Small "homesteads" are scattered along these roads, recovering at least small bits of the once expansive fields of hay, corn, potatoes or strawberries. All these memories - and I was just meaning to mention the bob-o-links!


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Is it Spring or Instant Summer?

It's been really, really hot today and I'm feeling the effects. It's nice to have sunshine, but the sun has been intense. I have 83F in the shade - and that wasn't the high. I had 87 at one point and that was in the shade. It was much, much hotter in the sun. And humid, although it's down from what it was early in the day. My computer is telling me we had record high temperatures today. I shouldn't complain, but I don't do well in the heat.

This is the time of year that everything is gearing up and becoming active. I have had to go to Cabot Village a couple times in the past few days and it's amazing how things change from day to day. At Burtt's Orchards, they are busy tilling one of the fields - it was roughed up when I went down by on morning and the next morning it was smooth and ready for planting.

The trees along Cabot Plains Road are just about fully leafed out. There is a slight difference between the maples on the Plain and those in the Village - the Village trees and gardens seem to be a few days ahead of  those on the Plain. One thing I was amazed at is that one house on the is completely gone. I hadn't realized it until John and Liz Randall brought it to my attention last week. It is the house  next to the school house. My cousin and her husband, Polly and Druss Coffin built it sometime in the 60s or 70s, and I thought was in pretty good shape, but appaarently not. Druss and Polly sold it years ago and it has had several owners since then. There is a very mature hedge that obscures that lot from the road, but yesterday I stopped on my way home and took a picture. 

This morning I looked out my office window and realized that a scrub tree I've nurtured for several years (left) is loaded with buds for the very first time!. It looks like it's an apple tree, but I never knew exactly what it was. It came up by itself - probably from some composted material I'd used in my vegetable garden when it was in that spot. There is a second similar tree about 10 feet from it that  that came up the same way, but it doesn't have any sign of buds. The leaves are a bit different - it might be a peach tree. I'm sure there were many peach pits buried in that compost!

I'm totally amazed that both seem to be doing well. My regular old apple trees are all doing great this year. I should be overwhelmed with apples. I don't spray, therefore the fruit is never very large and tends to have imperfections, but they make great applesauce. The bears, deer, partridges and turkeys love them, too! The one pictured on the right is near my house; I have another at the far end of my lawn, and several ornamental crab apple trees that are budded.

My pond is beginning to "naturalize." I have a variety of water weeds coming up - probably some I'd rather not have, but I'll have to wait and see what develops. I don't see signs of any of the many, many wildflower seeds I've sown along the edge of the pond year after year, however. I was hoping to get some started, but so far, nothing. I may transplant some forget-me-nots and mint plants - I have lots of both in another section of my back yard. Not today, though. My goodness, it's hot and muggy out there! I'm completely wilted when it's like this.

Here's the schedule for activities this summer at the Old North Church in North Danville. It is a charming old church, and if you haven't been to any of the activities there, you should try to do that. It has been left mostly unchanged since the 1800s. No plumbing or electricity, so go prepared with a flashlight and extra layers of clothing if you are attending an evening event.

And don't forget the party at the Joe's Pond pavilion this Friday evening with live music for your listening and dancing pleasure! BYOB, food available.

The Spring Meeting of the Joe's Pond Association is on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the pavilion. Just a reminder that if you haven't paid your dues, you can do it at the meeting. This is usually a well-attended meeting, and has often been held in cold, drizzly or even snowy weather, but not so this year. I believe the weather is going to be great and it will we fun seeing everyone back from their winter activities. We can always tell who the year-rounders are - we're very pale compared to our friends who winter in the sunny south. See you there!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Spring and Reminders

This has been a busy weekend for me. I think the nice weather brought out not only the buds on trees and flowers, but it energized people. I had several visitors stop by to chat - always a pleasure to see old friends - and in addition there seemed to be a lot going on around here. I got some painting done, washed down my very dirty car, and puttered at a few other small projects. I think I've got the "work a bit, rest a bit" routine down now so I can get more done - it just takes me longer. Lots of sit-down rests and an occasional stretch-out-in-the-recliner break!

My lawn was mowed for the first time on Wednesday and it is already dotted with dandelion blossoms again! I recently read that it's good to have them and other early flowering "weeds" that we normally try to keep off our lawns - they are important to pollinators. So "No Mow May" is a good thing! Not all of my lawn needed mowing, and I still haven't done all the fall cleanup of dead flower stalks in a couple of beds. I also need to get my electric lawn mower powered up and get some trimming done. I do a little each day when the weather permits. The picture above is my service-berry tree in full bloom - it is a little earlier than the apple trees. The forsythia has dropped the pretty yellow buds and is now green and blending with the lilac bushes that are forming buds. I think the lilacs will make a good showing this year. So will my apple trees! If we don't get a killing frost.

Bob (middle son) came on Friday and built a step at the back entrance of my garage. I don't know exactly how the old entrance was, but now that I have a new foundation on the garage, it seemed really cumbersome to navigate through that door. I expect there was always a big step coming in there, but suddenly it seemed daunting to me. I stuck a wooden pallet there last fall with a piece of plywood on it as a temporary fix, but that was too large and not very substantial with a free-floating piece of plywood on it, so Bob said he'd fix it for me. Now, with a good sturdy step there, it's perfect. I picked up a small handle at Cabot Hardware when I was in town yesterday and got it mounted today next to the door. It's perfect to grab if I need to have a little assistance to balance going in and out of that door. So nice to have that all done!  Bob and I had lunch on the porch Friday, which was perfect on such a nice day and was the first "event" of the season on the porch! Although I have been out there several times to just sit and enjoy, I haven't dared put my plants out there yet - I just worry we could still get a really cold night or two.

Yesterday I went to a meeting of the Cabot Historical Society. It was very interesting and quite productive. It was informal, just a chance to see where we are going and what needs to be tackled first. There were about 12 people there and lots of really interesting ideas for projects. Our building hasn't been open often in recent years, due to Covid, Then our long-time president, Bonnie Dannenberg, passed away, and thus things are in a bit of a jumble. New president, Ruth Goodrich, is a very busy lady, but she is hoping to have the place open and in good shape for visitors as much as possible throughout the summer season, into the fall. We are hoping for new, young, energetic members!

Today has flown by. I've spent some of each of the past few days looking for things I thought I'd misplaced. I found the instruction manual I had spent most of last week searching for, and it was right where it should have been. I'd had it out some time ago and thought I'd left it someplace - just didn't remember putting it back where it belonged. Consequently, I got my "to-do" piles whittled down  - I tossed some unnecessary scraps of paper with notes scribbled in some other lifetime, but there's still more to sort through. My version of spring cleaning!

It looks like we're going to have nice weather this coming week and only a few rain showers here and there. Hopefully they will come at night. Don't forget that there is a band at the Joe's Pond Association pavilion this Friday, the 24th - the band, Conniption Fit is playing for your listening and dancing pleasure. Admission is $10, and there will be food by the Taco Shell. BYOB and plan to have a great time ushering in the Summer of 2024!  

I expect you will all be at the first Joe's Pond Association meeting on Saturday, May 25th. It may be a bit of a struggle to get out the door after partying the night before, but be brave. The meeting is at 10 a.m., and there's always plenty of fresh, hot coffee!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Spring Mix!

I started this a couple days ago but got kind of busy and never got back to it. I had posted about the Route 2 construction, but that notice only went through this week and anyone interested has already experienced delays getting from Joe's Pond west on Route 2. 'Nough said; on to more important stuff.

I heard from  Marti Talbot earlier this week that  Carolyn Hamilton is now safely in a rehab center (Pinecrest), and is getting "intense workouts every day." Marti said Carolyn requests that cards and messages be to her home, not the rehab center. Her home address is:

8151 Green Mountain Rd., Boynton Beach FL 33473.

We are happy Carolyn is in the recovery process. Marti said it will be some time before she is back to normal, but I know she will work really hard to get there. We wish her the best and a speedy, complete recovery.


Most of the people on the west shore of Joe's Pond have had notice from the Cabot Town Listers regarding the new property assessment. This is upsetting at first glance, but it may not be as bad as it seems when our tax bills are figured. Most residents have had notification via regular mail, but in case you are away and don't have it yet, the notice is also online NOTICE. I'm not upset at this point - I need to see the actual tax bill. It that went up accordingly, I will be upset, and I'll definitely grieve that; however, until the State of Vermont has sent the town the education tax figure for this year, if I  understand it correctly, we won't really know exactly how or if this reassessment will change our taxes. The goal is to pay town expenses as voted at March Meeting, and getting property assessments in line with reality changes the state tax formula, so I don't believe much can be done until all the figures are in. Read the information carefully and then make your decision.  Since the deadline to object (grieve) your new assessment figures is the 20th of May, you may want to use the above link and then send your comments to the listers on line.

The loon pair has returned to the north end of the pond and have nested! Gretchen and Jim Farnsworth, our loon watchers, sent these photos and report that everything looks good for the nesting pair, so please be aware of them, give the birds and their  nesting platform plenty of space - no unnecessary waves or closeup photos, please! That's Jim putting the signs out (see photo on the right) to remind people of the nesting habitat. We also ask that you let any visitors know they should not disturb the loons. It is especially important during the nesting period and also after the chick(s) arrive.

Springtime is bursting out all around us. I was in St. Johnsbury yesterday and the ornamental apple trees are absolutely beautiful. Also, there are those lovely purple rhododendrons that bloom early. Mine blooms later and has unimpressive cream blossoms - although they do make a lovely bouquet, I'll admit.

I have lots of daffodils blooming around my place this year - some popped up in unexpected places, but they are very welcome, wherever they appear. They make me happy! I also have some flower beds next to the house that have been completely taken over by lily-of-the-valley. These are not quite ready to bloom yet, but will soon - and I do love them. I remember having lily-of-the-valley scented perfume as a child and that was the most wonderful fragrance I could imagine - right up there with lilacs and mayflowers - and maybe vanilla. I remember transplanting some lily-of-the-valley from a hillside on what is now Chatot Road years before there were any homes up there. I transplanted a small clump to a garden when we lived at camp. When Fred and I moved up to this house, I took some with me and put them in one small spot surrounded by field-stone pavers. That was almost 20 years ago, and since then they have popped up everywhere. They are as prolific as the Periwinkle that grows here and there around here, but not at all objectionable like the darned bishop's weed that came with a donation from a kind neighbor who had brought plants here from their NY home when they retired here. Whatever plant she brought to me didn't make it, but the bishop's weed surely did. Darned stuff!

If anyone is interested, I just learned there is a Cabot Historical Society meeting this Saturday at the historical building on Main Street - 2 p.m.  We welcome anyone interested in the town's history, and invite you to join. I hope to see you there!

A last-minute addition - JPA's opening event of the 2024 season!!

Monday, May 13, 2024

News on Local Property Taxes - and More!

It's that time of year when everything is coming to life again - the flowers are blooming and the trees are budding. Today is a lovely, sunny day with a reasonable temperature of 61 degrees - but as I'm sitting at my computer, the sun has dimmed and it looks like our sunny day may be over.

With all the happiness of graduations, recitals, Mother's Day celebrations, and the approach ofsummer, the last thing we want to think about are taxes - but that said, the new tax lists for Cabot are "in the mail" and it is expected people will be in shock when they look at their new appraisals this year. Some have already received their notices, but others have not. Here is a NOTICE sent out by Cabot to explain the appraisal process and to let people know their mail may have been delayed due to the Cabot post office being closed and our mail having to go through Marshfield. There is a narrow window for protesting your tax appraisal, so if you are not going to be here in time and want to do that, you should contact the listers (instructions in the above notice) to find out your options. This seems to be another repercussion from the Covid pandemic that sent real estate prices sky high.

On a merrier note, this was a busy weekend for me. On Saturday, I attended granddaughter Tangeni's dance recital. I had missed it for several years due to Covid concerns, but this year I decided to go, no matter what. The weather was nice, I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and it's hard to believe my little granddaughter has suddenly blossomed into an accomplished, graceful, beautiful young dancer. She has been doing dance classes since she was about four years old. She started when her big sister was still taking dance lessons at Dance Express. 

Of course, I took pictures . . . that's Tangeni in top photos, on the left a tap routine and on right ballet. The bottom left was a jazz routine - and she is also taking modern dance. That isn't the same as ballroom - that is probably way too old fashioned these days. At the bottom right is a photo of all the children in this year's Dance Express classes after they recieved their awards. I don't know how Ms. Mackay keeps track of all of them, but she does. I believe there were only two boys in this year's group. Other recitals I've been to had several boys taking lessons. Good for all kids to do, I think.

Then, on Sunday afternoon I attended the annual Mother's Day Concert at Alexander Twilight Theater at VSU-Lyndon. The Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra presented a wonderful selection of contemporary and classical pieces, with guest conductor, Lou Kosma. At the end of the program they were joined by the EPIC  youth orchestra, which includes children of all ages, under the direction of Jason Bergman. Tangeni plays cello with this group - and they, too, were excellent. Some of the youngsters were really young -  playing violins and other instruments like little pros. I was impressed by the talented people in both groups. It was a perfect conclusion for a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend. 

I was really tired last night and forgot to take in my hummingbird feeder and the suet cage. So this morning when I looked out, the suet cage was missing, and when I went out to look for it, I discovered the hummingbird feeder was empty. It was slimed with what was probably bear slobberings and the glass was covered with grease - probably from greasy paws. The bear must have just stood on his hind legs and tipped it up in order to drink the sugar water. The birds hadn't touched it when I checked late yesterday, and this morning the bottle was intact but empty. I won't forget to everything in tonight!!

Travel safely, and learn from my mistake - if you have bird feeders out, be sure to take them in at night!

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Good News!

 I just heard from Marti Talbot that Carolyn Hamilton is moving to rehab. I will have more information later with an address where friends can reach her - but for now, just know she is improving steadily. 

In spite of the damp, chilly weather yesterday and today (I just recorded a temperature of 39 degrees) spring is moving along more or less on schedule. I haven't seen any hummingbirds here yet, but Mary Whitcomb has her feeder out and has seen early arrivals at her house, so I will be getting my feeder out later today, if all goes as planned. 

Yesterday was a bit hectic - I got bogged down working on another project and spent most of my day on my computer. Today I hope to get a few things done around the house, including getting my hummingbird feeder out. Then, Jeannie Johnson texted me late in the afternoon saying the pop-up pizza folks had just set up between the hardware store and the grocery store, and suggested "pizza and a beer at the Den." I was happy to drop what I was doing and head into Cabot Village. 

There was a steady crowd getting pizza - many were getting take-out and a few, like us, grabbed a drink and a table in the Den to wait while our pizzas cooked. Good for both businesses - our pizza was brought to us, steaming hot, and it was really good. It was really fun - not fancy, by any means, but we got to chat with lots of people, and perfect for a rainy night and I met new people. There is a whole new (young) generation in town that I don't know - but when I find out who they are, I can often connect them with someone in my generation - their parents or grandparents! And of course there are the newcomers in town who are homesteading on some of the farm land that used to be owned by folks I knew. And yes, that makes me feel older than dirt, but it's still interesting, and especially fun because Jeannie knows just about everyone, thanks to her work as a town lister and also the editor of the Cabot Chronicle, so there was no shortage of animated conversation with other customers.

Word in the village is that the popular Headwaters Restaurant & Pub next to the hardware store in Cabot, will officially re-open on Memorial Day weekend. After their abrupt closing last fall, they have regrouped and restaffed, including a new chef. It will be interesting to see what the new menu will be like. Jeannie and I plan to "test the waters" some nice afternoon on their spacious deck. There was an interesting article about Headwaters in the Hardwick Gazette recently.

That's it for today - enjoy your day, wherever you are.

P.S. - I realized this morning that there were about six fewer names on my blog subscriber list. I went through quickly and have picked up at least some that were missing - and that I believe still want to be on the list. There isn't an "unsubscribe" feature, as far as I know, so if you do not want to receive these postings, please contact me:

Conversely, if you do not presently get notice when I post and would like to subscribe to my blog, let me know that, as well, and I will add your email to my list. As we all know, computers seem to do strange things all on their own sometimes, and this may be what happened. I'm also aware that it might have been something stupid that I did that caused those subscribers to drop off the mailing list.

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Spring Weather/Good News

 Thank goodness we have a rainy day today! Yesterday was so nice I was outside probably more than my winter-weary body needed, so today I'm a bit stiff and sore. My recliner and catching up with the latest JPA newsletter, the Cabot Chronicle, and Northstar Monthly seemed like a good plan. We have light rain, barely 40 degrees, and while we probably need the rain and it will help green things up nicely, it's chilly and dreary here. With a fairly persistent wind and a drizzly rain, it's not a good day to be outside.

But yesterday - totally springtime! Jamie and Marie were out getting the buoy markers back in place - they get moved off point by the ice during the winter - and Jamiefound that some repairs are needed, so he was going to tackle that today. The buoys will be out soon; in the meantime, if you are out in your boat, you will not see the usual buoys, just the winter markers, so be careful and keep a sharp lookout. He will have everything shipshape and in place shortly.

I had a cranky smoke detector yesterday. It turned out to be the one in the stairwell to the basement. I replaced the battery, and about half an hour later, I came in from working on the porch and it was complaining - not the usual spaced beeps, but a raspy continuous sound about half as loud as a normal alarm. I went through the process again, draining power from the unit, resetting, inserting the battery -  thinking I'd done something wrong, but within about 15-20 minutes, it began squawking again, so I decided it was probably old and tired and not going to work right again. After a quick trip to Larrabee's in Danville, I now have a quiet, fully functioning smoke alarm in place. But trouble-shooting the darned thing took up most of the morning. And caused some unladylike mutterings on my part.

While I was cleaning up around the lawn yesterday, I found the rhubarb and the lovage I had transplanted last year is doing well. The plantings came from the spot near the garage that was going to be dug up for the new foundation. I gave most of both those plants away, but I later found some small surviving pieces that I decided to try to save - and now I need to prepare a better bed around those plants. I literally just stuck them into the ground next to the big rocks in the back yard. So much for cutting back on garden spots to take care of! 

Some good news: Friends of Carolyn Hamilton will be happy to know that I Carolyn had another operation and is now doing much better. That is really great news. Marti Talbot said in her email this morning that Carolyn thanks everyone for their cards, concerns, and love, but she still isn't ready for text messages or phone calls. It's been a rocky road for her and it's wonderful that she has finally turned a corner. There are lots of kind thoughts and good wishes going her way from Joe's Pond folks. 

My friend, Mary Whitcomb sent some very nice photos she took recently of birds. She didn't say exactly where she was bird watching, but somewhere in Central Vermont.


Broad-Winged Hawk


Belted Kingfisher

Canada Geese



And this last one is a South Carolina Wren that Mary said she had never seen before in our area. Such a pretty little bird - this one was apparently at her feeder at home. Thanks for the great photos, Mary, as always, they are lovely.

I hope everyone has had a fairly restful weekend. The weather for this week look pretty dismal except for maybe Tuesday - but it's early yet. This is still spring weather - we're just still getting April showers in May!

Good News!

 I heard from Marti Talbot yesterday. Here's what she wrote: Carolyn will come home today from the rehab center. She has worked hard to...