Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This Weekend's Events

Blood Pressure Check-9:30-10:30 am-Litchfield Community Center
Dance Exercise-9:30-10:30 am-Litchfield Community Center
Free Game Play Time-10:30 am-12:00 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Table Tennis Club-10:45 am-Litchfield Community Center
Old Maps & New Technology-3:00-4:30 pm-Litchfield History Museum
Drawn From Your Imagination Art Classes-3:30-4:45 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Food for Life Kids' Nutrition Class-4:00-5:30 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Dance & Acrobatics Classes-4:30 or 5:45 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Basic Italian II-6:30-8:30 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Sculpt & Tone-7:00-8:00 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Holiday Shopping Daytrip to Westfield Post Mall-9:00 am-4:00 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Yoga-9:00 am-Litchfield Community Center
Free Game Play Time-10:30 am-12:00 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Mah Jongg Free Play-12:00-3:00 pm-Litchfield Community Center
Bantam Tree Lighting & Carol Sing-5:00 pm-Bantam River Park
Advent Retreat in the Manner of Taizé-6:00 pm-Wisdom House
Tai Chi with Pat Lunan-6:30-7:30 pm-Goshen Recreation Dept.

Fruitful Darkness: An Advent Day of Reflection-9:00am-3:30pm-Lourdes in Litchfield
Daytrip: UConn Huskies Football Game-10:00am-4:30pm-LCC
Gifts That Give Hope-10:00am-2:00pm-LCC
Veteran of the Month Ceremony-10:00am-All Wars Memorial, Bantam
LH Farm-Fresh Indoor Market-10:00am-1:00pm-LCC
Jingle Bell Run-10:30am-Litchfield Intermediate School
Annual Holiday Bazaar-1:00-4:00pm-Rose Haven
Taxidermy: Appreciation of Art and Science-2:00pm-WMCC
Holiday on the Hill-6:00-8:00pm-Warren Community Center
Living Gift Market-11:30am-1:00pm-Goshen Congregational Church
Family Swim & Gym-1:00-3:00pm-LCC@CJR Pool & Gym
Advent Lessons and Carols-4:00pm-St. Michael's, Litchfield
Music for Christmas-4:00 pm-St. Anthony’s, Litchfield
Light Up A Life Ceremony-4:30pm-Goshen Old Town Hall
Men’s Basketball Pick-Up Games-6:00-8:00pm-Goshen CS Gym

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Holiday Ornament Making!


Holiday Stroll Ornament Making

Sunday, November 25th - 2:30-4:30 pm

@ Litchfield History Museum


The Historical Society will be participating in this year's Holiday Stroll!

Starting at 2:30 pm, there will be materials available to make your

own holiday ornaments. Refreshments will be served!

Holiday music will be provided by Free Thought!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Homade Bath Soak

I stole this from a post somewhere, but Epsom bath salt soaks are an inexpenisve and quick way to feel better.  With winter soon upon us, we can all use a good soak.  I'm not a soak in the bath person, but occassionaly a soak is good for the soul. 

The lavender is good to help you relax and the eucalyptus can help to clean out sinuses.  I prefer to use each essential oil individually.  

Homemade Bath Soak (For the Sniffles and Aches):
2 Cups of Epsom Salts
4-6 drops of either lavender or eucalyptus essential oils (or both)
at least 15 minutes of soaking in hot, but not too hot water

Many of you already know about how great epsom salts can be (they're not just for old people!), they help soothe sore muscles and calm the nervous system, plus they're really cheap at the drugstore.

After my bath, I usually wrap up in my jammies and head to bed.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Weekend Events

For those of you not shopping-some area events

Litchfield Athletic Hall of Fame-6:00 pm-Litchfield Community Center

Beatles Sing-a-Long-7:00 pm-White Memorial CC


LH Farm-Fresh Indoor Market-10:00 am-1:00 pm-Litchfield Community Center

Walking the Cranberry Pond Trail-2:00 pm-White Memorial CC

Festival of Trees Gala-5:00-8:30 pm-Oliver Wolcott Library


Holiday Stroll Ornament Making-2:30-4:30 pm-Litchfield History Museum

Litchfield Holiday Stroll and and Light-Up Night-2:30-5:30 pm-Litchfield Green

An Evening of Shopping (PTO)-4:00-6:30 pm-James Morris School Gym

Men’s Basketball Pick-Up Games-6:00-8:00 pm-Goshen Center School Gym

Northfield Tree Lighting Ceremony-6:30 pm-Northfield Green

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lime Rock Events for 2013

Courtsey of Lime Rock Park!

One of the best, most exciting touring car championships in the world has committed to coming to Lime Rock next year, as part of the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix July 4, 5 & 6: The SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge Championship.
As we had promised you a few weeks ago – yes, we remember this past year’s event, one that lacked other racing championships – one of the reasons we turned our traditional two-day ALMS weekend into a bigger three day event was to make room for a bunch of exciting support races.

And one of those racing championships coming for the weekend is Pirelli World Challenge, its first time back since 2008.

“We’re thrilled to have SCCA Pro Racing’s Pirelli World Challenge Championship here for 2013,” said Lime Rock Park President Skip Barber. “From its beginnings as the Escort Endurance series, Lime Rock has hosted a race for more than half of World Challenge’s 27 years – 13 consecutive years, in fact, between 1992 and 2005. I consider it one of the world’s best touring car series, and have been anxious to see World Challenge return to Lime Rock Park since its last visit.”

World Challenge is a potpourri of power, a manufacturers’ proving ground for exciting sports sedans and sports cars. The huge grid will be filled with everything from Audi R8s and TTs, Nissan GTRs and 370Zs, Mustang Boss 302s and Cadillac CTS-Vs to Porsche GT3s, Caymans, Camaros, Corvettes, Ferraris, Acuras, Mitsubishis – even Kia Optimas and Volvo S60s!

World Challenge’s top flight drivers are champions you know, too: Andy Pilgrim, Justin Bell, Jack Baldwin, Randy Pobst, Johnny O’Connell, Tomy Drissi, Peter Cunningham, Michael Galati and Lou Gigliotti, among dozens of others.

In other words, mark your calendar for July 4-6, 2013.

Oh, one more thing. We hope everyone gets out and votes today.

Think fast!
The Democrats, Republicans and Independents at Lime Rock Park

P.S.: At the risk of being redundant, here again is the complete 2013 Lime Rock Park Spectator Event Schedule

Trans-Am Championship, Memorial Day weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25
Support races TBA; May 26, Fourth Annual Sunday Royals Garage Car Show

American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, Thursday through Saturday, July 4, 5 and 6
Also, SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge; additional support races TBA

Ferrari Challenge, Saturday, July 20

Historic Festival 31 & Sunday in the Park Concours, Labor Day weekend, Friday through Monday, August 30 through September 2; Honored Guest TBA

Grand-Am Rolex Championship Finale, Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28
Also, Continental Tire Grand Sport & Street Tuner finales

The Goshen Turkey Trot

The annual Goshen Turkey Trot will be held tomorrow at the Goshen Fairgrounds

The 2012 race is being held at 9:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, November 22, 2012.
Please arrive early! Pre-registration packet pickup is race morning between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.
We do accept race day registrants. But again, earlier the better!
The T-shirts are awesome... but in limited supply. To guarantee that you A) get one and B) get the size you want, register early! No whining!
Fashionable and functional fleece beanie hats are also available (also in limited supply). You can reserve one on your application or through online registration. If any are still available on race morning, they will be for sale at the fairgrounds.
The course is described and a map is included in a pdf file (link on the menu at the left). It's a beautiful course over rolling hills, through the woods, through farm country... but it is challenging, so as the Boy Scouts say, "Be Prepared"! That said, you will love it, and that turkey dinner never tasted so good.
Overall winners receive the Laschever Memorial Cup. The top three finishers overall, male and female, receive awards, as do the first three finishers in each division. Awards include an assortment of ribbons, pies, running shoes and gift certificates. And, of course, the top male and female Goshen residents are awarded Nodine's turkeys!
Divisions: 10 and under, 11-14, 15-18, 19-29 (Open), 30-39 (Sub-Master), 40-49 (Master), 50-59 (Grand Master), 60-69 (Super Grand Master), 70+ (Grand Turkeys). Walkers welcome.
The race is held rain or shine!
The Goshen Running Club, comprised of volunteers, is a certified non-profit organization, which uses proceeds from the Turkey Trot to support a variety of local community based charities and programs.
Any questions, email or call (860) 491-2078.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wine Anyone?

Follow whats happening with the Litchfield Hills SIR blog!

This edition of the blog features the  Litchfield Hills Wine Market

Check it out if you get a chance.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winterizing Your Deck

From Apartment Therapy

I feel like August was about five minutes ago. Until last Saturday, my deck reflected this state of mind. Plants, sand toys, and furniture sat untouched, looking ready for a summer party. Finally, I got around to winterizing my deck, and checked these five steps off my household to-do list.
It can be easy to forget about the deck, with so many fun fall celebrations and being indoors more often. A little TLC can go a long way toward keeping your deck in pristine condition for next summer. If you have anything on your list that I didn't include, please feel free to share it below!

I feel like August was about five minutes ago. Until last Saturday, my deck reflected this state of mind. Plants, sand toys, and furniture sat untouched, looking ready for a summer party. Finally, I got around to winterizing my deck, and checked these five steps off my household to-do list.
It can be easy to forget about the deck, with so many fun fall celebrations and being indoors more often. A little TLC can go a long way toward keeping your deck in pristine condition for next summer. If you have anything on your list that I didn't include, please feel free to share it below!
  1. Prepare plants and planters for winter. I take clippings from my coleus and bring my hyacinth and lantana plants inside for the winter. Past that, my flowers become landscape waste. I clean and store my ceramic and terra cotta pots inside, but my sturdy plastic and wood planters get wrapped in plastic and piled in the corner of the deck. This article from Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is chock full of great advice for winterizing potted plants.
  2. Prepare furniture. We used to bring our cushions inside for the winter, but now I cover my couches and dining set with outdoor covers from Crate & Barrel. We also clean our son's sand table and strap down the top with a bungee cord. Finally, we stack our kid-sized metal chairs in the corner and store extra accessories and toys in an outdoor storage box.

  3. Clean the grill. We usually forget this step, but we actually did it this year. First, we cleaned the burners, grates, and cover. Once they were dry, we sprayed the grates with cooking oil to prevent moisture build-up and moved the grill to the corner of the deck for more protection.

  4. Sweep and clean the deck. This is a bit more important for wooden decks than metal, but giving your deck a good sweeping and cleaning will help maintain it. A hard-bristled brush and some Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds work fine, although you may want to power wash (though many contractors advise against doing so). Make sure your wood deck repels water instead of absorbing it — if it's absorbing water, you may want to find a last warm afternoon and put on water sealant.

  5. Make winter essentials accessible. If you need a new shovel, replace it now. I also pull out Safe Paw salt and a broom for light snow, so they're easy to find should a winter storm arrive.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Over Wintering Plants

From the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens


Overwintering Potted Plants

Fortunate are gardeners in mild-winter regions, where container gardening is a year-round pleasure without the threat of shattered pots and frozen plants familiar to many of us. Compared with their garden-grown counterparts, container-grown plants are at a severe disadvantage when cold weather arrives. Though hardy plants have developed foliage, stems, and branches that can withstand very low temperatures, their roots are far more sensitive and vulnerable to freezing.
When planting in containers, even choosing plants hardy in your region is no guarantee that they will survive the winter. Many experts suggest that to better the odds of a plant's survival, choose one marked as hardy in two zones colder than your area. For example, if you garden in Zone 7, choose perennials, trees, and shrubs marked hardy to Zone 5 to increase the chance that the plants will survive the winter. When possible, use large containers for plants that must remain outdoors—the greater volume of soil surrounding the plants will provide increased insulation around the roots.

Thinking Regionally

Luckily for gardeners in mild-winter regions (the warmer parts of Zone 8 and south), container-grown plants require little or no winterizing beyond moving pots to more sheltered locations and perhaps covering them with frost blankets when freezing temperatures are expected.
In colder regions, where freezing temperatures are the norm at the height of winter, gardeners must protect plants from both the cold and the wind using a range of techniques. Overwintering container-grown plants outdoors is extremely challenging in the coldest regions of the country (Zone 4 and colder), where it's best to grow annuals and perennials for one short season of color.
In all but the mild-winter regions, potted plants grown on terraces and rooftops, where they will be exposed to chilling winds, should be moved to a sheltered location, such as close to a building or near a pergola or other structure, away from high winds and winter sun. When possible, group pots together, placing the most cold-sensitive plants at the center of the group, so they receive additional protection from the hardier plants.

Container Care

The first step for winterizing the container garden is to clean and tuck away any empty pots. Store clay and terra-cotta pots upside down or on their sides in a dry place. Because they are made of porous clays, most terra-cotta pots are not suitable for leaving outside in freezing temperatures, which can cause them to crack or shatter. If you must leave terra-cotta pots outdoors, choose ones made of special clay that tolerates freezes (like Impruneta, for example). Glazed pots, which are usually fired at higher temperatures, tend to withstand freezing better than terra-cotta.
To protect planted terra-cotta and glazed containers left outdoors, wrap the sides of the pots with layers of bubble wrap or burlap covered with plastic wrap to prevent them from absorbing additional moisture once the plants go dormant and their water requirements are minimal. (Wrap pots containing evergreen plants in plastic after the first hard frost.) If you have empty concrete, cement, or clay containers that are too large to move, clean them as much as possible and cover them with lids or plastic sheeting to prevent water from collecting inside, freezing, and cracking the pots. Sturdy plastic and fiberglass pots are ideal for leaving outdoors, although some plastic pots may crack if the soil inside expands as it freezes. Wooden containers made of durable hardwoods are also suitable and will age gracefully over time.

Preparing Plants for Winter

Coleus, impatiens, and geraniumColeus, impatiens, and geranium, shown above, are just a few of the tender perennials from which cuttings can be taken, rooted, and overwintered indoors. (Photo: David Cavagnaro)

Many plants prepare themselves for winter by taking cues from the environment: As days shorten and temperatures drop, many temperate plants enter the first phase of dormancy by slowing growth. To help prepare your plants for winter, stop fertilizing them by midsummer to reduce tender new growth that is vulnerable to frost, but do continue watering regularly through fall. Evergreens, especially broad-leaved evergreens, which are particularly vulnerable to desiccating winter winds, should be watered well until the first hard frost.
In fall, when nights begin to get chilly, take cuttings of tender perennials like coleus, impatiens, and geraniums to overwinter indoors. Before the first frost, move pots of annuals, tender perennials, and tropicals indoors into a bright window. Move half-hardy perennials to a cool garage or basement, where they will drop their leaves and go dormant. Cut hardy perennials that will remain outdoors back to four to five inches above the soil line once their leaves drop after the first hard frost.
Many perennials, trees, and shrubs must have a dormancy or chill period if they are to flower and fruit the following season, and cannot be moved into the house. Leave these plants outdoors and protect them using some of the techniques described in the next section. In regions with freezing winter temperatures, move them before the first hard frost to a location such an unheated garage or basement that remains about 30 to 40° F. (Although the plants will be dormant, they will benefit from some light). Reduce watering to about once a month or when soil becomes very dry; do not allow the soil to become completely dry. Plants kept in cool indoor locations tend to break dormancy earlier in the season than their outdoor counterparts; however, they should be hardened off and moved outdoors only after the danger of frost has passed.
Woody plants that must remain outdoors have a few special requirements. To prevent the branches of deciduous trees and shrubs from whipping around and breaking in winter, loosely tie branches together after the leaves have dropped. Evergreen woody plants, particularly vulnerable to desiccating winds, can be sprayed with an antidesiccant, also known as antitranspirant, and may need to be protected against harsh winter sun with burlap screens.

Winter Protection Techniques

When left outdoors, perennials, trees, and shrubs are not only subject to extreme cold and wind, but are also vulnerable to cycles of freezing and thawing that can cause heaving (plants are literally heaved out of the soil as it expands and contracts). To reduce heaving and root damage, try to re-create the naturally insulating effects of the earth. If possible, find an area in the garden that you can dig up, and sink the pots into the ground so their roots will be insulated by the surrounding soil; then mulch heavily with straw, shredded bark, or leaves as you would other plants. If this is not possible, heavily mulching container-grown plants with straw, leaves, hay, or shredded bark will provide significant protection. Some gardeners take the extra precaution of wrapping the sides of the container with several layers of bubble wrap (to protect both delicate containers and root systems), and then mulching.
When convenient, cluster planters in a more sheltered location, such as under an eave, next to your house, or near a south-facing wall, and then mulch. Transfer small containers into a cold frame packed with sand or straw. (To create a temporary cold frame, arrange bales of hay to form four walls and top them with an old window, heavy-duty clear plastic, or a plexiglass lid.)
In open, windy areas, creating a burlap screen or windbreak provides additional protection, particularly for woody plants and shrubby perennials. Young trees and evergreen woodies, like boxwoods, which are susceptible to sunscald, will especially benefit from a burlap screen. To create a screen, pound several stakes around the plant's perimeter, and staple three-foot-wide burlap to the stakes, forming a fence around the plant. Alternatively, create a tall cage of chicken wire around the planter, and fill this with leaves or hay to provide insulation. Group smaller plants together before surrounding them with burlap or chicken wire.
The most extreme method, and one that is recommended for half-hardy plants like fuchsias and figs grown outside of their hardiness ranges, is trenching. This requires enough garden space to dig a 14- to 16-inch-deep trench, in which the plant—pot and all—can be laid down on its side and lightly re-covered with soil. The plant's branches and stems are covered with loose mulch and held in place with burlap for the season.
Regardless of which method you use, at the first signs of growth in spring, remove the heavy dressings from every planting and—if you protected them properly—you'll find them rejuvenated by their winter slumber.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Goshen Garden Club Fall Fundraiser

Goshen Garden Club Fall Fundraiser
Saturday, November 3rd
The Goshen Garden Club presents “Music is a Gift to the World” featuring Grammy Award-winning Cellist David Darling. David will entertain in his innovating performance style in a variety of musical genres. Reservations a must. Call Susanna at 860-307-3380. Congregational Church Rte 63 in Goshen. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Luncheon at Noon. Our famous Raffle Baskets available. Admission $25.00. Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit our scholarship and community projects. For more information please visit