Tag Archives: Vermont

Wassail WeekendOne of my favorite events in Woodstock, Vermont is the Wassail Weekend. People come from far and wide to enjoy this special event. The highlight of the weekend is the Wassail Parade through the center of Woodstock. More than 50 horses and riders are dressed in holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th century.Wassail Parade At the end of the parade Santa Claus himself puts in an appearance.

Wassail Weekend

Photo credit: The Vermont Standard

 

Woodstock, Vermont is often voted as the prettiest town, and with the twinkling Christmas lights and the historic decorated homes it is easy to see why. There is something magical about the parade, watching the horses and hearing the clomp of hooves and the clinking of harness straps as they clatter down the streets lined with people.Wassail Parade

 

One of my favorites is the wagon pulled by three large draft horses. The two men sitting in the front with their top hats on and listening to the jingle of bells on the harnesses.Wassail Parade

 

Another favorite is the Icelandic ponies. These sturdy little ponies wearing their winter coats and the young riders all wearing their Icelandic sweaters!

Wassail Weekend

photo credit: The Vermont Standard

 

This year marked the 33rd anniversary of Wassail Weekend. The weekend has passed but mark your calendars for 2018. The Wassail Weekend takes place on the second weekend of December. There is a wide range of other activities to enjoy; from carol singing on the steps of the library to ornament making at Billing’s Farm There is something for everyone to enjoy. There is even a life-size gingerbread house at the Woodstock Inn.Wassail Parade

 

Although there are many activities going on during the Wassail Weekend my favorite will always be the parade. Where else but in Vermont can you watch little ponies dressed up in their Christmas finery? You may have to wait awhile until the next Wassail Weekend, in the meantime enjoy these photos from this year’s parade!Wassail Parade

Sometimes I am amazed at how quickly the seasons change. It seems like just yesterday I was writing a fall checklist! Now with Christmas upon us, and January just around the corner, it’s time to prepare for winter. Have you begun your winter checklist?

 

Depending on where you live your winter preparations might look different from mine. Here in the northeast we usually get a lot of snow. You have to be prepared in case you just won’t be going out for a few days.Winter Checklist

 

Hopefully all your fall chores are taken care of and your house is ready for winter. In preparing the house for winter you want to make sure you are preventing any heat loss. If you have drafty windows add some weather stripping around your windows and doorframes. If necessary you can cover the windows with plastic.

 

Make sure your snow blowers are in good working order and the snow shovels are in good shape.Winter Checklist We have several snow shovels, one for our deck and another for the back steps.Winter Checklist

 

Be prepared for severe storms and make sure you have plenty fo water and nonperishable food on hand. Ideally you need to have 1 gallon of water per person per day set aside.winter checklist

 

In case you loose your power you should have a manual can opener. Nothing like having a good supply of nonperishable food and no way to open the cans!Winter Checklist

 

Do you have a portable radio that runs on batteries? A flashlight with batteries is also helpful to add to your winter checklist. I remember as a child a big snowstorm we had and we lost our power. Luckily we had flashlights so we could spend time in the evening reading. Perhaps you have a generator. We installed a whole house generator after the last big storm we had. The generator is connected to our propane tank so the minute we loose power on comes the generator. Having a generator offers a great sense of peace.winter checklist

 

Whether you have a generator or not it is a good idea to follow a winter checklist and make sure you and your home are prepared.winter checklist

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Once a summer my husband and I drive to Groton, Vermont to visit a dear friend of the family. He has a wonderful farmhouse there that sits up on a hillside. Sitting on his porch enjoying the view has got to one of the highlights of our summer. Even on a misty morning the view is impressive.Groton, Vermont

 

This year the weather was a little chilly for swimming but there is a perfect swimming pond to enjoy on a hot summer day.Northeast Kingdom

 

Groton is a small Vermont town with a population just over 1000, located in the southwest corner of Caledonia County. It’s about an hour and a half drive from where we live, or just into the Northeast Kingdom.Northeast Kingdom

 

There are five state parks located in the Groton State Forest: big Deer State Park, Boulder Beach State Park, Ricker Pond State Park, Seyon Lodge State Park and Stillwater State Park. The various parks offer hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, picnicking and in the winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.Groton, Vermont

 

While our visit was short we were able to explore the beach although it was too chilly to go swimming. We also took a nice hike in the Ricker Pond State Park.Groton, Vermont

 

It’s always nice to be able to visit an area close to home and enjoy a change of scenery. Groton is a beautiful part of Vermont. It’s the perfect place to relax for the weekend.Groton, Vermont

 

On the drive home we always make a detour and stop at King Arthur in Norwich, Vermont. It you are ever in the area King Arthur is a wonderful place to stop. Not only do they have a fantastic store but they have a wonderful restaurant where you can find all sorts of goodies, from delicious salads and sandwiches to tasty desserts. Well worth the stop!King Arthur

 

Visiting Groton, Vermont each summer has become a tradition and we will miss visiting when we no longer live in Vermont.Groton, Vermont

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Exploring Vermont with our grandchildren was such fun. Recently we were blessed to have our two daughters and three grandchildren visit us for ten days. Having three children ages, 5, 3 and two months under our roof was exhausting, but I wouldn’t have traded the time for anything. It gave us the opportunity to do some exploring with our grandchildren and show them the things we love about Vermont. It was also peak foliage so it was the perfect time for them to visit.exploring Vermont, grandchildren

 

Our grandchildren live in the Pacific Northwest and they are not used to having backyards with no fences. Running around our large yard was a pure delight. The first outing was to climb Mt Tom in Woodstock, Vermont.exploring Vermont, grandchildren, Mt Tom My husband drew a scavenger hunt of items to look for. In addition to finding the maple leaves and salamanders we also found beautiful spider webs and exquisite fall foliage.exploring Vermont

I also introduced our older two grandchildren to picking and shelling dried beans.

exploring Vermont My granddaughter was lucky enough to find one last remaining carrot in the garden. I think it is so important to introduce children to gardening and where our food comes from.exploring Vermont

We also took a ride in the gondola to the top of Killington Mountain. The day was spectacular and you could see forever.

exploring Vermont

I think the highlight of the visit was picking out pumpkins at our local farmers market. I had knit pumpkin hats for everyone including my husband!

exploring Vermont It was wasn’t easy but we managed to get a great shot of them all wearing pumpkin hats while at the same time entertaining everyone with our photo shoot!exploring Vermont

One of the last full days we had we drove down the road to a neighbors farm. The farm itself is absolutely breathtaking but the grandchildren had more fun just running around.exploring Vermont

They also enjoyed feeding the sheep and the alpacas! Not a normal sight in the city of Portland!exploring Vermont

Our house is much quieter now; I miss the sweet scenes between the cousins.

exploring Vermont I also miss the lively conversations at the breakfast table.exploring VermontI am so thankful for this time we had with our daughter’s and our grandchildren. Exploring Vermont with our grandchildren was amazing. Such fun to see everything through their eyes. Our desire is to sell our home and relocate to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to our children. Eventually it will happen and we look forward to creating another home front on the west coast!

I have to apologize but for the next two weeks my thoughts are going to be elsewhere! We have our two daughters and three grandchildren arriving early tomorrow for a wonderful Vermont fall vacation! The days will be full! I will do my best to be sharing a post here and there but I foresee busy days and spending time with family is very important to me! Have a wonderful week! (Photo by Jessica Keating)cousins

Once a year we have the pleasure of visiting a dear friend who lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.Northeast Kingdom It’s always fun when you can visit a place that is in your own home state but is so different from where you live! It was not even an hour and a half from our house but it felt like we’d traveled to another time and place.Northeast Kingdom

This old house that was once a part of a large dairy farm sits on the top of a hill with rolling fields in every direction. It is so beautiful. The white farmhouse and the green hills is classic Vermont.Northeast Kingdom

While there we drove to the nearby town of Danville where there is a wonderful walking and bicycling trail that used to be the old railroad and is very well maintained. Danville, VTThe views along the path were just amazing.Danville, VT

After a three-mile walk we stopped for lunch at the Peacham Café.Peacham Cafe Lunch was delicious and made good use of local food. Even the flowers on the table were freshly picked.Peacham Cafe

After our lunch we stopped at a local farm stand, WillowBrook Farm.WillowBrook Farm The owners were picking flowers which they dry and sell. It was fun to see the variety of tomatoes they had for sale!WillowBrook Farm

By the time we got back to the farmhouse there was just enough time for a swim. Nothing like a spring fed pond to cool you off!Northeast Kingdom

It was a wonderful, relaxing two days away and always hard to leave this beautiful spot. Time to head home on our own private highway.Northeast KingdomWe are looking forward to the day our home finally sells and we can move west, but I will miss visiting this very special spot.  There is nothing like enjoying a change of scenery so close to home!

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