Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Goshen Turkey Trot

Goshen Turkey Trot- the Goshen Running Club’s annual Thanksgiving morning 6.2 mile race starts at 10 am on November 24th at the Goshen Fairgrounds on Old Middle Street. The course is hilly and mostly over dirt roads- the perfect prelude to a calorie laden holiday meal. The race is always held no matter the weather conditions. Race forms are usually available online after November 1st at . Pre-registration is encouraged and is cheaper.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Conneciticut Cheese and Wine Festival at Hopkins Vineyard

Connecticut Cheese & Wine Festival 2011 at Hopkins Vineyard - 25 Hopkins Rd, New Preston, CT Phone: 860 868-7954.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A Celebration of artisanal handcrafted cheeses and wines, small farms and small batch producers of all natural specialty foods from small farms and artisan food producers in Connecticut and the Northeast US. Guests will have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of cheeses, wines, all natural handcrafted breads, chocolates, jams, produce, flavored butters, sauces, honey, maple syrup and more.

Meet cheese makers, wine makers, bakers, farmers and small batch artisan food producers while tasting their regionally distinctive food and beverage creations. There will be fun activities scheduled throughout the day including cooking demos by top Connecticut chefs, face painting, hay rides and live music. Great fun for the whole family! Event takes place under tent so bring the whole family-come rain or shine! Admission to the festival is $15 purchased on-line at  and (children 12 and under are free). There is limited space so please purchase admission early to ensure a spot.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Haunted Hayride

3rd. Annual Haunted Hayride--Action Wildlife--Goshen - 337 Torrington Road, Goshen, CT 06756. Phone: 860-491-9191.
Join Action Wildlife for some spook-tacular fun at their 3rd Annual Haunted Hayride on Saturday, October 22  and Saturday, October 29.  Museum will be open and will have a kid oriented scavenger hunt and games, food will be available from the Snack Shack and a Bake Sale will be held.  This event is weather permitting.  In the event of rain, the hayride will be cancelled.  Call for updates and further information. Action Wildlife is wheelchair accessible.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Festival at Sullivan Farms

4th Annual Sullivan Farm Fall Festival -- New Milford - 140 Park Lane Rd., Rte. 202, New Milford, CT Phone: 860-354-0047.
On Sat., 10 a.m. to  4 p.m. (rain date Sunday, October 16th) Come and enjoy Fall Farm Day--Hayrides, Cider Making demonsrtations, pumpkin picking, hay maze, children's games, culinary workshops by local chefs, sugar house tours, children's crafts, farm animals, tractors, pumpkin cannon, and Housatonic Valley Harvest Expo.  For more information call or visit the website.

Fall Harvest Festival at Miranda Vinyard

5th Annual Harvest Festival at Miranda Vinyard-Goshen - 42 Ives Road, Goshen, CT 06756. Phone: 860-491-9906.
On Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 12 Noon to 7PM (rain date Sunday Oct. 16) the 5th Annual Harvest Festival at Miranda Vineyard will be held.  Free Admissions with a non-perishable food item.  Live Music, local vendors and artisans.  Grape stomping contest. Check the website for further information.

Things to do this weekend in the Litchfield Area

Friday October 14, 2011
Grief Support Group - 9:30-11:00 am - Litchfield Community Center
Preserving Lilac Hedges - 12:00-1:00 pm - Litchfield History Museum
Basic Italian II Class - 1:30-4:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
'Freaky Fridays' - 3:30-4:00 pm - Oliver Wolcott Library
Jung and the Contemplation of Mary - Fri. 6 pm - Sun. - Wisdom House
Pink Shabbat - 6:00 pm - Chabad Community Center Sukkah, 7 Village Green Dr, Litchfield
Litchfield XC Challenge - 9:30 am - White Memorial CC
Hatha Yoga Class - 8:30-10:00 am - Bantam Gym
Multi Group Tag Sale - 9:00 am-2:00 pm - AL Post 27, Litchfield
Goshen Outdoor Market - 9:30 am-12:30 pm - Goshen Center School
Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market - 10:00 am-1:00 pm - Litchfield Center School
Litchfield Community Greenway @ LHFF Market - 10:00 am-1:00 pm - Litchfield Center School
Marlow Shami Workshop - 10:00 am-5:00 pm - White Memorial CC
Outing Club: Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden - 11:15 am - Litchfield Town Hall
Litchfield Hills Rowing Club Open House - 3:00 - 5:00 pm - Litchfield Town Beach
Northfield Fireman's Pancake Breakfast - 7:30-11:00 am - Northfield Firehouse
Annual Harvest Dinner - 1:00 pm - Lourdes in Litchfield

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life In Litchfield-From the New York Times

From the New York Times, Frugal Traveler  October 9th, 2011

A J’s Steak and Pizza might be intimidating, I was told — kind of a bikers’ bar. But the burgers were cheap and good, the peanuts were free, the place was still open and it was right down the road from the room where I had just dropped my bags.

Something about the warning didn’t quite compute: an intimidating biker joint down the road from the Mary Stuart House, my cozy little bed and breakfast on rural Route 4 in Litchfield County, Conn.? The same Litchfield County known as a weekend escape for New Yorkers prosperous enough to afford a second home but put off by Hamptons haughtiness?

I chuckled as I walked into the friendly basement bar. Sure, it was intimidating … if you fear the sound of peanut shells crunching under your feet, the specter of CNN on a big screen, or the prospect of a bartender pushing the blue cheese and caramelized onions that would boost the price of your bison burger to $9.25 from $8. “You get the pungent with the sweet,” she said, all foodie-like. I was hardly quaking in my boots.
To be honest, the real terror had come a week earlier, when I got my assignment: a frugal weekend in Litchfield County. Friends were skeptical; Twitter followers sent me the 140-character equivalent of raised eyebrows. “Good luck with that” was typical. (Maria's Note: I am partial to the Cesare Salad Chicken Wrap)

And like the warnings about A J’s, my fears were way off base. I wasn’t going to buy a country home. I was going to relax in a place where the main attraction is nature (which is pretty much free) in an area in which both old-school and newfangled diners, bakeries and burger joints are much cheaper than anything in New York City.

Even newcomers are quite reasonable, like the Arethusa Farm Dairy, an ice cream shop and creamery opened this summer by George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, the president and vice president of Manolo Blahnik. A waffle cone with one scoop of the luscious coffee ice cream made at their nearby Arethusa Farm costs $3.50, about one two-hundredth the price of a pair of their luscious scalloped suede Mary Jane pumps at Neiman Marcus.

Litchfield County is 945 square miles of farmland and hills and country towns in northwest Connecticut with a reasonable enough ratio of art galleries to fly-fishing shops to please old-timers and weekenders alike. General stores, town historical societies and volunteer fire departments are common. Farm stands offer vegetables and eggs on the honor system: pick what you want and leave your money in the box.
And during peak leaf-peeping season, usually mid to late October, things are even better. The lush greens of late summer turn to deep reds, burning oranges and bright yellows in the hills that rise behind barns and cornfields and glacial lakes.

Lodging is probably the biggest obstacle to a budget weekend, but the region’s official tourism Web site,, provides exhaustive options. Motels are the cheapest (aside from camping), but didn’t seem in the spirit of things, so I was thrilled to find the Mary Stuart House in Goshen (860-491-2260).
Rooms in this 1798 house are listed at $95, but Mary Orlando, the owner, offered me a $10 discount over the phone — perhaps for coming alone, perhaps for coming on a weekday. (During leaf-peeping season especially, weekdays mean better prices throughout the county.) It’s a homey environment: children, grandchildren and neighbors rolled through while I was there, and Ms. Orlando struck the right balance between helpful and obtrusive.

Goshen is also a good base from which to explore, in part because it is just down Route 63 from the town of Litchfield, which Ralph White, a native and author of the just-published “Litchfield,” told me was the “gem” of the county — the rest is “the setting.”

Though Mr. White is clearly biased, he has a point. Litchfield is relatively big: 8,500 people or so, with a charmingly historic downtown and plenty of good restaurants with a wide price range. I had two bargain meals there. The first, with Mr. White and two friends, was at Da Capo. Our large double pepperoni pizza, mussels and calamari appetizers, salad and wine came to just over $20 each, including tip.
That seemed cheap until I had breakfast at Patty’s, which looks like a diner but could go toe to toe with many brunch spots in Manhattan in creativity and quality. The lemon coffee-cake French toast topped with fresh blueberries and raspberries was $5.95, and no, Upper West Siders, that is not a typo.
But Litchfield County’s attractions are mainly outdoors. Kent Falls State Park may be the most celebrated with its pretty waterfall, manicured grounds and easy hiking trails, but parking costs $15 for nonresidents on weekends through October. Definitely not worth it.

Much better are the 4,000 wilderness acres managed and protected by the White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield. Hiking trails range from 0.2 miles to 6 miles, and a trail map costs $3 at the Conservation Center. I chose the Little Pond route, 1.6 miles, mostly over a narrow wooden boardwalk that blends right into the setting as it snakes around the pond and through wetlands that in the summer were alive with butterflies and bees, swans and deer. In leaf-peeping season, I can only imagine.

There’s also the West Cornwall covered bridge, built in the 19th century over the Housatonic River and resembling an elongated red barn. When I visited, two painters had their easels out trying to capture its magic, and a group of kayakers had paddled under it and must have thought that they had gone back in time. (For kayak trips starting at $30, contact Clarke Outdoors.)

And then there’s a quirky attraction that I just stumbled upon: Sculpturedale, the sculpture garden at the corner of Route 7 and Carter Road in Kent, on the property of the sculptor Denis Curtiss, a former art teacher at an international school in Saudi Arabia who now lives and works in Kent, near the state park. The fanciful steel and bronze animals (and occasional humans), which run from $300 to $10,000, are not in my price range, but looking is free.

Litchfield County also has several vineyards that make up part of the 24-stop Connecticut Wine Trail. I visited Sunset Meadow Vineyards on Route 63 in Goshen, right near my bed and breakfast, and paid $6 for five tastes that turned out to be six, plus a free taste of the merlita (a merlot smoothie that goes for $5 a glass). The vineyard had its way with me, though: I went home with two bottles of the Cayuga White ($15.99 each), which got to me with its strong notes of grapefruit.
With apologies to Ralph White and his gem metaphor, I found two towns that I liked better: Kent and Bantam.

Kent won me over by adding an artistic flourish to the typical New England small town. The main street is actually called Main Street, and there several historic churches and old shops and all. But there are also animal sculptures scattered around the town center (is that a puma near the bookstore?) and lots of galleries and shops full of work by local and distant artists.

I was drawn to the Heron American Craft Gallery, which features fanciful works and quirky gifts, and the Foreign Cargo Gallery, with exotic items from all over. The town’s made-for-frugal-travelers diner, the Villager Restaurant, is mostly about burgers and Reubens and monte cristos, but on Tuesday nights, its Mexican owner (and longtime Bantam resident) Tony Hernandez serves food from his native land. There are often Mexican lunch specials also; Mr. Hernandez cooked me up some carne enchilada tacos, four for $7.95, served with a spicy, smoky red salsa and lime that easily matched the quality (and nearly the price) of the taco stands near my home in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Bantam is not quite as picturesque, but has a low-key charm notable in the rather unassuming names of its businesses, like Bantam Pizza, Bantam Market, Bantam Coffee Shop, Bantam Country Liquors and, most important, Bantam Bread Company (853 Bantam Road; 860-567-2737).

The bakery, a den of yeasty temptation that snuffs out any hope for low-carb dieting in the region, got me with its holiday fruit bread ($5.75) studded with sour cherries, raisins and walnuts, and fruit crostatas ($4.25), literally dripping with rhubarb and strawberry. Both were move-to-Bantam good.
Is anything wrong with Litchfield County? I suppose you could ding it for lack of night life, though that seems a bit like criticizing its lack of skyscrapers. There is the Bantam Cinema, an art-house-in-a-barn that claims to be the oldest continuously operated movie theater in the state, dating to 1927. And for a nightcap, there’s always A J’s — that is, if you dare mix it up with peanut-eating, CNN-watching Connecticut bikers.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day

Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 8:00am
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day
Saturday, October 15, 2011
9am - 2pm
Torrington Water Pollution Control Plant
Bogue Road, Torrington, CT
The Collection Day is Available at NO CHARGE   Stop in the Town Hall Mon. - Fri. 8:30am - 4pm to sign-up and receive your ticket.
Pre-**Please Note: 20 lb. propane tanks will be accepted at the collection day, but no consumer electronics will be accepted.**

Things to do this upcoming weekend

Semi-Annual Tag Sale - 9:00 am-4:00 pm - Lourdes in Litchfield
Tall Tales - 10:30 am - Oliver Wolcott Library
Exploring Roots of Religion - 1:30-3:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
AL Post 44 Ham Dinner Fundraiser - 4:30-6:00 pm - Bantam Firehouse
Basic Italian I Class - 6:30-8:30 pm - Litchfield Community Center
Litchfield Political Debate - 7:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
Author Talk with Joshua Kendal - 7:00 - 8:00 pm - Oliver Wolcott Library
Semi-Annual Tag Sale - 9:00 am-4:00 pm - Lourdes in Litchfield
Grief Support Group - 9:30-11:00 am - Litchfield Community Center
The Making of a New England Town - 12:00-1:00 pm - Litchfield History Museum
Friday Feast & Dancing Feet - 12:00-2:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
Basic Italian II Class - 1:30-4:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
'Freaky Fridays' - 3:30-4:00 pm - Oliver Wolcott Library
Friday Fun Days - 4:00-6:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
Hatha Yoga Class - 8:30-10:00 am - Bantam Gym
Semi-Annual Tag Sale - 9:00 am-4:00 pm - Lourdes in Litchfield
Cub Scout (Pack 31) Can & Bottle Drive - 9:00 am-12:00 pm -Litchfield Town Hall Parking Lot
Goshen Outdoor Market - 9:30 am-12:30 pm - Goshen Center School
Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market - 10:00 am-1:00 pm - Litchfield Center School
Women's Journeys - 10:00 am-12:00 pm - Wisdom House
Litchfield Voter Registration - 10:00 am-2:00 pm - Litchfield Town Hall
Celebration of Connecticut Apples - 2:00 pm - White Memorial CC
Harvest Bounty Wine & Brewfest - 4:00-8:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
Annual Fine Dining & Wine Pairing - 7:00-10:00 pm - Lourdes in Litchfield
Litchfield Hills Youth Lacrosse Harvest Fundraiser 7:00-9:00 PM - Miranda Vineyard, Goshen
Sunday Fall Migration Walk - 7:00 am - White Memorial CC
Semi-Annual Tag Sale - 11:30 am-2:00 pm - Lourdes in Litchfield
Family Luncheon Buffet - 12:00-3:00 pm - Our Lady of Grace Church, Bantam
Silent Auction: Christopher Clem Memorial Art Award - 3:00-5:00 pm - Bantam Borough Hall

Union Saving Bank Shred It Day-

Union Savings Bank is proud to host a second ‘Community Shred Day’ on Saturday, October 15 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at its 1-A Commerce Road, Newton branch, 100 Danbury Road, Ridgefield branch and 1057 Torringford Street, Torrington branch. Members of the community are encouraged to bring any type of paper, up to a 10 box maximum, to be shredded safely and securely during these free events.
“During Union Savings Bank’s first Shred Day event this past June, three of our branches collected approximately 9,000 pounds of paper to be destroyed, which is the equivalent of saving roughly 77 trees,” said Union Savings Bank President and CEO Jay Lent. “We hope to meet or exceed those numbers with our second Shred Day.”
The bank is partnering with Shred-It Connecticut, which will place its shredding trucks outside the three branches. Community members will drive in line into each branch’s parking lot and up to the shred truck. When it’s their turn, they will carry their paper to the truck and watch while their documents are destroyed. Union Savings Bank and Shred-It employees will be on hand to direct traffic and help people unload their items.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Revive Your Non Stick Appliances

We usually associate wax paper with wrapping up the latest cuts of meat from the butcher, and not really for use on waffle irons. But to help get a little more life out of your appliances, try folding a piece of wax paper in half (waxy side out) and placing it between the plates of your warm appliance for 3 seconds.
The wax, unlike butter or sprays, won't burn and will give those non-stick surfaces just enough slick to release the food without the wax rubbing off on your waffle or sandwich for lunch.
For appliances that don't have plates that press together, simply wipe the paper across the surface a few times and call it good. It's a quick tip that gives you a bit more slick instead of stick in the kitchen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How To Clean Your Chimney

Fall in Litchfield, corn mazes, bread at Bantam Bakery, apples at March Farms, and now that the weather is getting a bit crisp, sitting by a fire in your home.  Before we end up in fireplace season, make sure your fireplace is clean and ready to go.  The following post is from the Web Site Charles and Hudson.

Fireplaces have been getting a bad rap lately as they are to blame for pollution, losing heat, and being an overall hazard, but some of us still love the sound, feel and smell of a wood burning fireplace. One of the main issues with a wood fireplace is the build up of creosote in the chimney which can create a fire hazard.
It's best to burn your fire as hot as possible which leads to less smoke but also clean your chimney on an annual basis. Here's how.

1. Remove fireplace components
Everything inside your fireplace should be taken out including wood racks, fake logs and of course old logs and ash. Open the damper if it's closed.
2. Seal the fireplace opening
You want to create a tight seal around the opening of your fireplace by using a plastic sheet and tape. You don't want any ash or dust to enter your home through the fireplace.
3. Prepare yourself
Invest in a quality dust mask and eye goggles. Protective glasses aren't enough. The goggles should be flush to your face on all sides.
4. Remove chimney components
If there is a brush guard or bird grate of your fireplace remove it carefully and lay it on a flat surface where it won't slide down your roof.
5. Brush it
Using a chimney brush, begin brushing inside the chimney. Start high and brush all sides and work your way down to the firebox.
6. Replace the chimney components
After brushing, replace any components you removed and carefully get off the roof.
7. Remove fireplace cover
Wait at least an hour before removing the cover to make sure all of the dust and debris has settled. Remove the cover slowly as not to disturb any dust.
8. Clean up
Using a shop vac, suck up all the remaining dust and debris and make sure nothing is obstructing the damper and its clear as well.
9. Replace fireplace components
Put back the wood rack and and when you're ready, light it up!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things To Do This Weekend

Hatha Yoga Class - 8:30-10:00 am - Bantam Gym
18th Annual Fall Festival - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm - Litchfield First Congregational Church
Goshen Outdoor Market - 9:30 am-12:30 pm - Goshen Center School
Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market - 10:00 am-1:00 pm - Litchfield Center School
Antiques Appraisal Day - 10:00 am -2:00 pm - Litchfield County Auctions
DAR Meeting - 10:00 am - Morris Public Library
Autumn Walk at Boyd Woods - 1:00 pm - Litchfield Hills Audubon Society
'Friendly Hands' Benefit Wine Tasting - 1:00-5:00 pm - Village Green Plaza, Litchfield
Sparrows and Other Autumn Migrants - 2:00 pm - White Memorial CC
Kaleidoscope of Color Kayak Adventure - 11:00 am - White Memorial CC
Watercolor Journaling Workshop - 2:00-4:30 pm - White Memorial CC
Sunday Fall Migration Walk - 2:00 pm - Litchfield Hills Audubon Society
Yale Russian Chorus Performance - 3:00 pm - St. Michael's, Litchfield

The Riverton Fair

10/07/2011 to 10/09/2011
102nd Annual Riverton Fair - 12 Riverton Road, Rte.20, Riverton, CT 06065. Phone: 860-379-9619 .
Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Exhibits may be brought in, 4:00 p.m. Exhibits must be in place. Fair opens: Midway is closed to vehicles. 4:00 p.m. Judging of Rabbits. 6:00 p.m. Garden Tractor Pulls 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Amusements open. Saturday: 10:00 a.m. Wood Chopping, Sawing & Axe Throwing Contest, 10:30 a.m. Judging of Exhibits Starts, Judging of Oxen and Steers, 1:00 p.m. Drawing Contest of Working Oxen - larger classes, 1:00 p.m. Old Tyme Fiddlers on the bandstand ‘til 4:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. Pie Eating Contest (contingent on weather), 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Amusements open; 9:00 p.m. Fair closes for night. Sunday: 10:00 a.m. Wood Chopping, Sawing & Axe Throwing Contest, 11:00 a.m. Judging of Junior Dairy Livestock, 12:00 p.m. Dark Horse on the bandstand ‘til 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. Drawing Contest of Working Oxen - smaller classes, 1:00 p.m. Mad River Crossing on the bandstand ‘til 4:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. Pie Eating Contest (contingent on weather), 5:00 p.m. Removal of Exhibits.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Antiques Appraisal Day-Saturday

Litchfield Historical Society and Litchfield County Auctions
Team Up for Antiques Appraisal Day
Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
@ Litchfield County Auctions
425 Bantam Road, Litchfield, CT
Won't be able to make it to Antiques Roadshow this year? Wonder what Great Aunt Josephine's favorite vase is worth? You can discover the value of all your heirlooms and collectibles at the Litchfield Historical Society's Antiques Appraisal Day on Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Litchfield County Auctions, Inc. For $20, participants will have their antique appraised by Weston Thorn's expert staff, have the opportunity to preview LCA's upcoming online auction, and enjoy a delicious hot dog and beverage at the same time.

Mr. Thorn's involvement in the antiques and appraisal business began in the 1960s and he has flourished in Northwestern Connecticut for almost 30 years. He is a member and one-time president of the Appraiser's Association of America. Thorn and his talented and knowledgeable staff have made Litchfield County Auctions Connecticut's premier auction house and handled many important sales since 1994.  

Litchfield County Auctions, Inc. is located at 425 Bantam Road in Litchfield, CT. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Litchfield Historical Society. For more information on this or other events, hours of operation, or museum collections, please call the Litchfield Historical Society at (860) 567-4501 or visit

Contact: Kate Baldwin, Curator of Education

Things to Do This Friday

Taste of Germany Day Trip - 8:30 am-6:30 pm - Litchfield Community Center
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - 8:30am-12:00pm - St. Anthony of Padua, Litchfield
Grief Support Group - 9:30-11:00 am- Litchfield Community Center
Archives in the Movies - 12:00-1:00 pm- Litchfield History Museum
Basic Italian II Class - 1:30-4:00 pm - Litchfield Community Center
'Freaky Fridays' - 3:30-4:00 pm - Oliver Wolcott Library

The Bethlehem Garlic Festival

Greetings fellow garlic fans!

We would like invite you to join us for our Seventh Annual Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival. It will be held on October 8-9, 2011 at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds on Route 61 in Bethlehem, Connecticut (just north of town). Visit our garlic cooking demonstrations, stay for a live band performance, and learn how to grow garlic at our informative lectures. Many garlic dips, spreads, cheeses, and oils will be available for purchase from our diverse garlic specialty food vendors - most offering FREE samples to try before you buy! Stop by our produce stands for fresh garlic and a variety of other fall produce. When you're hungry, venture over to our food court.  Homemade roasted garlic sausage with peppers and onions, garlic marinated steak sandwiches, garlic roast pork sandwiches, deep fried garlic, and garlic ice cream are just some of the items you'll find at our food court! Bring the kids for some fun with our rides and games! We hope that you will join us in
When: October 8 & 9, 2011 - 10AM to 5PM
Where: Bethlehem Fairgrounds in Bethlehem, CT (directions)
Admission: Adults $6 - Seniors $5 - Children (under 12) $1

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Foliage Train Trip

Connecticut Fall Foliage at its best! Naugatuck Railroad - 242 Main Street, Thomaston, CT Phone: (860) 283-7245.

Enjoy beautiful fall foliage in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut this season. Train rides in October are offered on all Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays with additional trips on Columbus Day Monday! Our Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day trains depart at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM. All Tuesday trains depart Thomaston at 10:00 AM only. Fall foliage trains run September 25 and 27, October 1, 2, 4, 8-11, 18 and 25. Trains sell out quickly, so reserve your tickets now! Fall Foliage ticket pricing $14 Adults, $12 Seniors (62+) and $12 Children (3-12). Children 2 and under are free. Reserve your tickets now online or by calling Thomaston Station at (860) 283-7245. See you soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This Weeks How To Tip-Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

The problem is that many of the nicer reed diffusers are pretty pricey. Paying $20 or $30 for an air freshener seems rather silly when many of us have the raw materials around the house.

What You Need

  • Glass or ceramic container (glazed inside, so it doesn't leak) with a narrow opening at the top. I decided to try this beautiful vase a friend bought for me, since it's already in my bedroom and it has been deemed completely uninteresting to the felines.
  • Essential oils of your choice. I have lavender and eucalyptus.
  • I've heard of using mineral oil as your "base," but I wanted to avoid petroleum-based products. Sweet almond oil or safflower oil are other options. But I was intrigued when I read about using vodka and water, mostly because I have some in the freezer, it's not my favorite libation, and it won't leave a greasy mess if it does get knocked over. Though I've also read that vodka will evaporate more quickly than something totally oil-based. It's your call.
  • Reeds or bamboo skewers. You can find replacement reeds online pretty inexpensively, but if you have bamboo skewers in the kitchen or craft room, just trim off the pointy ends before use.


1. If you're using an oil base, you will want to use 30% essential oil to 70% base oil. You can experiment with the percentages to see what works best for you.
2. If you're using the vodka and water mixture, you will want to add approximately 12 drops of essential oils with 1/4 cup of water then add a little of vodka (the vodka helps bind the oils to the water).
3. Pour the mixture into your receptacle and place one end of the reeds or skewers into the solution, allowing it to saturate the reeds. Then take them out, and place the opposite ends into the bottle. You will want to rotate which ends are in the scent solution about once a week.

Things to Keep in Mind

The smaller the neck on the bottle, the slower the liquid will evaporate. I'm about to learn how much more quickly mine will evaporate with the wider opening of my vase.
Experiment with different essential oil combinations until you find one or two you really like. You can then increase your batches and keep them in sealed containers (like a canning jar) to save prep time later on.
Have any of you made your own diffusers before? Which works better? The oil or the vodka and water? I've love to know!

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