Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year from Photos By Nanci


Here's To Another Trip 
Around The Sun

A Day for the Dogs #braeburnsiberians #windsor #VT


Have I moved to Alaska, or stepped back in time? Nope I'm in Windsor, VT at Great River Outfitters getting ready to go on a dog sled ride.

I pull up to the building and can hear a symphony of dog barks. They sound very happy and very excited. Braeburn Siberians is in their twelfth year of operation. And what started when a little girl came home one day and told her parents she wanted to learn how to dog sled has turned into a passion for partners in business (and in life) Kathy Bennett and Alex MacLennan. Starting with five dogs for their daughter to care for, train and love has turned into 41 dogs to care for, train and love.


Bennett, who works as an educational consultant specializing in literacy and dyslexia and MacLennan, who runs MacLennan farm, live in Windsor and somehow find to keep 41 dogs happy and healthy. They are one big happy family.

Over the twelve years, Braeburn has produced eight litters of Siberian puppies so most of these dogs are related somehow. They live together, they play together and when they are harnessed up, they work together. And it's not just the dogs that are part of the team, the humans are team members too.

Every dog has a role to fill in the canine and human pack and the same goes for the humans. Somehow the busy humans find time to spend many hours of one-to-one training and positive reinforcement and all out love for each dog in their care. "It's lots of fun but a lot of work, but so worth the unconditional love" says Bennett.
Bennett and MacLellan have such a passion for Siberians and dog sledding that they have started an internship program to share this passion. Each season from November to March they take on two people who want to learn about dog sledding. They are in their third season of interns. They do some advertising but most inquires come from word-of-mouth networking. Alison Koziol is from Colorado and back for her second year. She's joined this year by Carolyn Corbin from Maryland who learned about the internship program from a young woman who had interned in 2014.

As interns, they will learn all the day to day chores of running a kennel and training sled dogs. They learn dog behavior and how to care for the dogs. "We've had some very interesting interns" says MacLellan "one was a tall ship sailor; they tend to be people who love the outdoors."



When I ask about bookings this year Bennett responded "We're off the charts." 2014-2015 was a great with snow from Thanksgiving to April but 2015-2016 was a bust. "We're booked about three weeks out." When I ask if it's the snow we've been getting that might be influencing bookings Bennett says she thinks many calls are from folks who were unable to ride last year. (While I'm interviewing her, her phone rings three times and she gets four email notifications.)


Braeburn Siberians offer two hour excursions on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and also 30 minutes rides on Fridays and Sundays at noon, 1, 2, 3, and 4 p.m. The two hour excursions are booked directly through Braeburn by calling 802-738-8337 or sending Kathy an email to braeburn.dogsledding@gmail.com bookings are made through Great River Outfitters in Windsor. Their pricing is reasonable and children 5 and under are free.

"We run (the excursions and rides) to support our passion; we do this for education not for entertaining" says Bennett. The education works on the dog side too. In order to establish a good working team, an older experienced dog will train the younger ones. When Bennett and MacLellan first started, they started with two experienced dog who trained not only the other dogs at the kennel but also trained the humans.


They begin training and conditioning in the fall once the temperature drop below 45 degrees. This is a must because Siberians have two coats, they have an outer coat and an inner coat. The inner coat keeps them insulated in the cold winter temperatures. Grooming is a full time job in the hot summer months. The kennels are equipped with a special shade cloth that keeps the temperature below 80 degrees and the dogs have swimming pools to cool off in.


On the day I'm visiting, the temperatures are climbing into the low 40s which is ideal for humans but very hot for these dogs. "They prefer the weather we had a week ago, when it was 7 degrees, yeah they were happy" said Alison Koziol. She's ladling out some kind of brown liquid. "It's bait, chicken liver soup." It keep the dogs hydrated and the chicken liver encourages them to drink, even if they aren't really thirsty.


When asked if having the dogs pull the sled is cruel, Bennett lets people know that the dogs are doing what they love. "This is how they get their exercise" she says "What's mean is making them (into) a couch potato."

"That was so much fun" exclaims Toby Jacome, 12 visiting from Ecuador. He was on a 30 minute ride with his grandparents Norma and Bob Elliott from Keene, NH. Norma had visited great River Outfitters for a canoe trip in the summer and walked the Path of Life Garden during the fall. She saw the information about the dog sled rides and just had to book it. "That was beautiful, so peaceful" she said.

We hop out of the sled and the dog spread out on the snow to cool off and wait for the next group of people. The dogs that are waiting at the truck are barking and jumping up and down and you can almost hear them barking "pick me, pick me, my turn."

"They are our friends. We have a working relationship, a partnership. It's built on mutual trust and respect between human and dog. (Sometimes) on trail we let the dogs make the decision, sometimes they know what's best, you just have to trust them." It really felt like a partnership. When the dogs had a hard time up a hill Bennett or MacLellan would hop off and push while their pack mates pulled. It really was team work in action.

More photos of my day with these dogs: Click Here

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Weathersfield Weekly Blog Dec 28 #weathersfieldvt #vt


Wednesday December 28, 2016
Weathersfield, VT
I hope you all survived the Christmas Holiday. I still haven't quite figured out why the school recessed so early last week but they didn't consult me. So we're on the cusp of 2017. How do you feel? Me, I'm a little apprehensive. We have a new Governor and a new President. I'm trying to keep an open mind but some days that's a little too challenging. One happy thing for me, Sherlock returns to PBS on Sunday Jan. 1. If I'm too wiped out from partying like it was 1999 New Year's Eve I'll DVR it and watch in front of the wood stove with a bowl of popcorn on Monday. And speaking of New year's Eve, I hope you all have a rocking one but remember to designate a driver because I want you all around in 2017 with me to see how the things shape up. Happy New Year Everyone!

Weathersfield select board news: I was just reading over the select board minutes from their Dec. 19 meeting and I'm not sure when their next monthly meeting is. The motion was to move the meeting from Jan. 2 (a Holiday) to Tuesday, Jan. 3 but the minutes read Thursday Jan. 5. So your guess is as good as mine. More information about the select board and the town, contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or townmanager@weathersfield.org.

Weathersfield School news: Classes resume Tuesday Jan. 3. For more information about these programs, the school and events, call 802-674-5400.

Weathersfield Proctor Library news: On Wednesday, Dec. 21 the Friends of Weathersfield Proctor Library hosted their annual Holiday Party and also their 40th Anniversary Party. (The anniversary party was scheduled for Saturday Dec. 17-the actual 40th anniversary day but the snow storm postponed the party.) Santa took time out from his busy North Pole doings to stop by to say hi. He arrived in one of the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Engines. Children and adults got to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Folks decorated some cookies, ate some birthday cake and wished each other well. For more information about the library, programs or events, contact Library Director, Mark Richardson at 802-674-2863.


I took on many assignments for the Enterprise, the Valley News Business Magazine, which was published on Dec. 27.

The Upper Valley Young Professionals hosted a Holiday Party and food drive at the Norwich Inn. My photos were featured in the BIG EVENT section.



I got to photograph Morton Bailey, owner of Lyme Green Heat who was featured in the Local First Alliance column.


I visited the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen to photograph Deb Cardew for the SCORE stories column.


And finally, I got to meet with Ingrid Nichols of Banwell Architects for photographs to accompany the Power Lunch Column.


Late Tuesday afternoon I covered a small electrical fire at a house in Windsor for the Vermont Standard.

Four people, two dogs and a cat all got out safely. No injuries were reported at the time. The fire appeared electrical but is under investigation.


The Friends of Weathersfield Proctor Library hosted their annual Holiday Party and celebrated their 40th Anniversary Party on Wednesday Dec. 21. Cookies were decorated.


Santa arrived by fire engine. Thank you Ascutney Volunteer Fire Association.


Santa listened to our Christmas wishes.


Then off he went back to the North Pole to get ready for his big night on Christmas Eve.


The Friends of Weathersfield Proctor Library turned 40 on Dec. 17. A snow storm postponed the celebration until Wednesday evening Dec. 21.

A beautiful cake was made for the occasion by Patience Bearse.

If you know me, you know I love music. Thursday night I was treated to some great music from a couple of local musicians who are also pretty big time national musicians. Yellow House Media hosted Brooks Hubbard formerly from Enfield NH, now living in Nashville and Val McCallum who grew up in West Windsor, moved to L.A. and now owns a home in Woodstock. The show was at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction.
Brooks Hubbard

Val McCallum

Brooks even wrote a song for the folks at Standing Rock.


More videos from Brooks Hubbard: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKa6O-DUsAoA6h8tWtETDnWatGJQUQUdA

Next up for Yellow House Media
New Year's Eve with Woodsmith and  Hersch

 I've been following Celia Woodsmith for many years. This woman has BIG talent. Make your plans for New Year's Eve to hear this amazing voice.

Pics of Celia by Photos By Nanci
Della Mae Band
Hey Mama
Avi and Celia

Della Mae videos with Celia on lead vocals.



Finally, on Friday I got to hang out with some pretty cool Siberian Huskies. I did a story on the Braeburn Siberians of Windsor, VT for the Vermont Standard.





HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Get Out and About

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Dec. 30: Dave Clark, Dec. 31: Peter Concillio.

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Dec. 30 9:30 p.m. The Whiskey Geese, Dec. 31 10 p.m. New Year's Eve Party with Moxley Union and Maiden Voyage.

Yellow House Media Shows in White River Junction: Saturday Dec. 31 9:30 p.m. New Year's Ever Party with Woodsmith and Hersch, Engine Room Freight House Hall; Friday, Jan. 6 8:30 p.m. Myra Flynn Dance Party, Briggs Opera House.

Lebanon Opera House Shows in Lebanon NH: Thursday, Jan. 19 10 a.m. Moon Mouse; Saturday Jan 21 7:30 p.m. An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (Sold Out).

Weathersfield's Got Talent in Ascutney Friday, Jan. 20 6 p.m. at the Weathersfield Elementary School. Come experience some of the awesome talent of our friends and neighbors.

Weatherize Upper Valley Kick-Off Event in Ascutney 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday Jan. 28 at the Weathersfield School 135 Schoolhouse Rd. Learn about cost, benefits, incentives; meet your volunteer team and partner contractors. Hosted by Vital Communities.


Ongoing Events

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Valley Court Diversion Programs: Volunteers are needed in Weathersfield/Springfield areas to work with low level offenders in the community. The group meets once a month at the Springfield Police Department, your commitment will require about three hours a month. Training is provided. For more information please visit our website at vcdp.org or call Maureen at 281-5213.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSPV. Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Geraldine Rudenfeldt. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Need to Find a Business in Weathersfield: weathersfielddirectory.org.

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at photosbynanci@comcast.net two weeks prior to your event.


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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Weathersfield Weekly Blog Dec. 21 #weathersfieldvt #vt


Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Weathersfield, VT

So how's your shopping going? Last weekend's storms may have put a damper on some outings but we still have a few days left before the big Winter Holidays kick in. I'm more of a Solstice celebrator. I'm just happy that after the 21st. the days are getting longer and we've passed through the darkest, longest day of the year. Don't get me wrong, I love the winter holidays but I worked retail when I was younger and this time of year can be brutal for people working in retail stores.

So gentle reader, I ask one thing of you, as you are out and about-spread some holiday cheer while shopping for your co-workers, friends, loved ones, family members-be nice to the store clerks. Spread some holiday cheer-stop in to see your elderly neighbors, just sit with them, be there for them. Spread some holiday cheer-children are out of school, home on winter break, so parents may be frazzled, say hi and give them some time for "adult talk". I guess my message is Spread Some Holiday Cheer. Happy whatever winter holiday you celebrate. Let's get through this winter together.


This week's adventures.
I attended the final Billsville House Concert of 2016 and it was a doozey, Brett Hughes with guests Brett Lanier and Pat Melvin. It was a fundraiser for Hughes's up coming CD.
I took a lot of photos (no surprise) and some videos. A video sample is below.




For the Vermont Standard, I covered the installation of a gas stove donated by Dead River Co. at the Ascutney Outdoors Warming Hut on Wednesday, Dec. 14.


While on assignment for the Valley News Enterprise Business Magazine (to be published on Tuesday Dec. 27), covering the Upper Valley Young Professionals Holiday Party at the Norwich Inn, I took a few shots of the Norwich Community's Christmas Pageant. as they stopped by to ask if there was room at the Inn.


Friday night I hit the PowerHouse Mall to shoot their stunning decorations for the Sunday Valley News Business page. The Mall Manager Sarah Luhmann created 11 decorated dress-forms. Can you find all 11 at the mall? They were made from recycled Christmas Trees and re-purposed ornaments and materials.


After the PowerHouse mall shoot, I headed over to the Public House in Quechee, VT. A few friends are in the band TOAST and I went to see them in their acoustic set. They are kind of funky, kind of bluesy, kind of jazzy, kind of very cool.


News You Can Use


Weathersfield select board news: The select board met on Monday, Dec. 19. The board is still looking to fill a number of positions: Connecticut River Development Corporation Representative and Alternate, Connecticut River Joint Commission, Conservation Commission (One four year term open), Energy Committee, Parks and Recreation Commission (One Opening), River Connection Regional Partnership Representative, Senior Solutions Advisory Council Representative, Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. Representative, Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commissioner, Southern Windsor County Transportation Advisory Committee. If you are interested in serving please contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or townmanager@weathersfield.org.



Weathersfield School news: Paraprofessional Marianne Fortunato retired after 16 years of service. Marianne's last day was, Dec. 16.. She hopes to spend more time with her family. Reminder-Winter break ends and classes resume on Tuesday Jan. 3. Cold weather has arrived and the school is asking that parents send the children to school with appropriate clothing for outdoor play. Also consider having your children wait in a heated car at the bus stop. School policy is no outdoor recess if the temperature is 10 degrees or below. For more information about the school call 802-674-5400.




Weathersfield Proctor Library news: The Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.. For more information about the library, programs or events, contact Library Director, Mark Richardson at 802-674-2863.

Get Out and About

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Dec. 23: Ken Rokicki, Dec. 30: Dave Clark, Dec. 31: Peter Concillio.

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Dec. 23 9:30 p.m. Sensible Shoes, Dec. 27 6-9 p.m. Bill Temple, Dec. 30 9:30 p.m. The Whiskey Geese, Dec. 31 10 p.m. New Year's Eve Party with Moxley Union and Maiden Voyage.

Yellowhouse Media Shows in White River Junction: Thursday, Dec. 22 7 p.m. Brooks Hubbard and Val McCallum, Briggs Opera House; Saturday Dec. 31 9:30 p.m. New Year's Ever Party with Woodsmith and Hersch, Engine Room Freight House Hall; Friday, Jan. 6 8:30 p.m. Myra Flynn Dance Party, Briggs Opera House.

Lebanon Opera House Shows in Lebanon NH: Wednesday, Dec, 28 4 and 7:30 p.m. Recycled Percussion; Thursday, Jan. 19 10 a.m. Moon Mouse; Saturday Jan 21 7:30 p.m. An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (Sold Out). 


Weathersfield's Got Talent in Ascutney Friday, Jan. 20 6 p.m. at the Weathersfield Elementary School. Come experience some of the awesome talent of our friends and neighbors.

Ongoing Events

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Valley Court Diversion Programs: Volunteers are needed in Weathersfield/Springfield areas to work with low level offenders in the community. The group meets once a month at the Springfield Police Department, your commitment will require about three hours a month. Training is provided. For more information please visit our website at vcdp.org or call Maureen at 281-5213.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSPV. Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Geraldine Rudenfeldt. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Need to Find a Business in Weathersfield: weathersfielddirectory.org.

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at photosbynanci@comcast.net two weeks prior to your event.


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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Weathersfield Weekly Blog Dec. 14 #weathersfieldvt #vt


December 14, 2016
Weathersfield VT

I hope you all had fun on our first snow day. Folks were so disappointed with the lack of snow last year, I think even the adults were doing snow angels on Monday. I got the snow shoes out and tromped "over the river and through the woods" for an hour or so. My dog Riley was snow swimming and we were just enjoying the white fluffy stuff.

My adventure online blog continues this week as I wind up my report about my travels in New Zealand. The trip is winding down in Wellington, Rotorua and Auckland. We saw geysers, Maori warriors and crazy people flying down Auckland's Sky Tower-after all New Zealand is the "Adventure Capital of the World." I think they do crazy stuff because they are surrounded by volcanoes and experience earthquakes, almost every day.





Bundle up, more cold weather is on the way and a possible stormy weekend ahead too.

Fingers crossed for more snow, a little over a week to go for a White Christmas.

My weekend last week started with lunch at Simon Pearce with a friend who is moving to the mid-west. After that I hit the ground running.

Interview with Kurt Gerrish in this week's Vermont Standard.
I got to accompany Virginia Dean when she interviewed Kurt and Phyllis Gerrish last week.




I covered the Hartland Holiday Show for the Vermont Standard





And I covered the Woodstock Wassail Parade for both the Vermont Standard and The Valley News.




It was a crazy, busy week for me.

Now on to our Town News...


Weathersfield select board news: The select board met on Monday, Dec. 5. There was extensive discussion about the FY2018 proposed budget. The board had many questions for the town manger and a Special Meeting was called for Dec. 12 at the school following the joint school board select board meeting. More information about the select board and the town, contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or townmanager@weathersfield.org.



Weathersfield School news: Hope you all enjoyed our Snow Day on Monday. The school is holding auditions for Weathersfield's Got Talent. Auditions will be held on Dec. 15 after school. The show will be performed on Friday, Dec. 20  Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. Reminder-school will be dismissed early on Tuesday, Dec. 20 after lunch at 11:30 a.m.; classes resume Tuesday Jan. 3. For more information about these programs, the school and events, call 802-674-5400.

Correction Talent show date is Jan 20 at 6 p.m.




Weathersfield Proctor Library news: On Saturday, Dec. 17 the Friends of Weathersfield Proctor Library turns 40. They are hosting an afternoon celebration at 1 p.m. They are also holding a Holiday Cookie Night on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. The Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.. For more information about the library, programs or events, contact Library Director, Mark Richardson at 802-674-2863.

Get Out and About

Weathersfield's Got Talent in Ascutney Friday, Dec. 20 6 p.m. at the Weathersfield Elementary School. Come experience some of the awesome talent of our friends and neighbors.

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Dec. 16: Draa Hobbs, Dec. 23: Ken Rokicki, Dec. 30: Dave Clark, Dec. 31: Peter Concillio.

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Dec. 15 7-10 p.m.: Still Hill, Dec. 16 9:30 p.m.: Sullivan Davis Hanscom, Dec. 17 9:30 p.m. Faux In Love and Carton, Dec. 20 6-9 p.m. Orange Julians, Dec. 22 7-10 p.m. Off The Rails, Dec. 23 9:30 p.m. Sensible Shoes.

Community Holiday Concert in Brownsville Sunday Dec. 18 5 p.m.. The Brownsville Community Church will host a holiday concert featuring works from Bach, Brahms, Handel, Schumann and others. The carol sing will include favorite songs of the Christmas season. The Brownsville Community Church is located on the Brownsville-Hartland Road, between Albert Bridge School and the Brownsville Town Hall. The Church phone number is 802-484-5944, the email address is bcchurch@myfairpoint.net and you can visit the Brownsville Community Church at www.brownsvilleumc-vt.org. A free-will offering will be received at the concert to help offset costs.

Programs and Potluck in Perkinsville Tuesday, Dec. 20 at noon at Perkinsville VT Church Vestry. Bring a favorite Christmas memory to share, and a hot dish salad or dessert. Paper goods and beverages will be provided. Contact Lorraine Zigman, 802-263-5245 for more information.



Ongoing Events

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Valley Court Diversion Programs: Volunteers are needed in Weathersfield/Springfield areas to work with low level offenders in the community. The group meets once a month at the Springfield Police Department, your commitment will require about three hours a month. Training is provided. For more information please visit our website at vcdp.org or call Maureen at 281-5213.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSPV. Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Geraldine Rudenfeldt. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Need to Find a Business in Weathersfield: weathersfielddirectory.org.

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at photosbynanci@comcast.net two weeks prior to your event.


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