A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Old Sturbridge Village-Not much time in 2011

It's not been an easy year at the village. The same storms that afflicted us, afflicted them. Posted on Facebook was the message below:

Getting ready for New Year's Eve...Eager to say good-bye to 2011 with its tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms and power outages. We need your help to end this year in the black...OSV trustees will match all new and increased donations, so your gift will be doubled: $1 becomes $2; each $5 becomes $10, etc. It will help us feed our little animals - and so much more! Can you help by donating here? http://www.osv.org/orders/giftform.php

Thank you!

Those beautiful Devon cows were one of the first breeds to come to New England. They are part of your heritage.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Sturbridge Times Magazine review of the Cafe at Five Loaves Bakery-It's a jewel in Spencer!

So on a rather decrepit side street in an old Central Massachusetts factory town, there is a bistro that bids fair to be one of the finest regional restaurants. Who'd a thunk it. Could Spencer with Mexicali, Grill, The Red Maple inn, Alron, Two classic diners and a few others become the gustatory capital of New England? Okay, that's a stretch. My review is below.

Review of the Café at Five Loaves Bakery

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Defeat your inner slug and become more productive, my review of Willpower

Most everyone has heard of Oscar Wilde's words, "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." Moi, I am only too much a slave to the temptation to not do something I should, and do something I should not. Two men, John Tierney, who writes on scientific subjects for the New York Times, and Roy F. Baumeister who heads the social psychology program at Florida State University, want to help you. They have written about the science behind willpower and have hints and strategies that may not turn us into superstars, but might help to make us less un-productive.

My review is below:


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless Self Promotion-December edition

Ah, beautiful, tropical December in New England. So far, so good. Okay, so sunbathing is not happening, but it has not been unpleasant. Let's hope winter ended with that not yet forgotten snowstorm.

With the lovely weather, the Sturbridge Times Magazine is out and I have some pieces to shamelessly self-promote.

On Page 10 is my review of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Jobs would never have been able to say, "No more Mr. Nice Guy," but there was more to his personality than his jerkness. Isaacson's bio is fair and though somewhat favorable, does make plain the man's faults.

Sometimes you stumble upon something that is wonderful, but completely unexpected. The Cafe at Five Loaves Bakery in Spencer is one of those. Read my review on Page 15.

My column is on Page 20. Some of you are under the impression that what we suffered in our week long loss of power was just a weather event. Hah, it was the First Annual Sturbridge and Environs Test of Post-Apocalyptic fitness. We flunked.

There are many other writers with articles in the Sturbridge Magazine, so look for it on a newstand. If you don't find one, you can download a pdf at http://sturbridgetimes.com.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's this Sunday, White Christmas in West Brookfield

Okay, maybe it won't be too white. After the October storm, I'm okay with that. Heck, 48 degrees and sunny won't be a problem.

It'll still be fun. Here is the committee's press release:




WEST BROOKFIELD, MA…The historic, picturesque town of West Brookfield will be celebrating the 19th Annual White Christmas festival beginning at noon. The day will include open houses at shops and businesses, craft shows, horse-drawn wagon rides, a tree lighting ceremony and a holiday music concert.

In and around the town will be open houses of shops and businesses designated with white flags. Many of these businesses will offer free raffles. Ye Olde Tavern and Quaboag Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center will each be hosting a craft show featuring many local artisans. The West Brookfield Elementary School will host the Elves “R” Us Gift Sale from 12 to 4 p.m. The Boy Scouts will be selling warm refreshments.

The churches in town will also be participating in the event. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church will be serving soup and sandwiches from Noon to 5:00 p.m. as well as singing Christmas carols. The First Congregational Church will offer a country store, silent auction and a luncheon beginning at Noon. “Carols and Cocoa” will also be offered from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. The George Whitefield United Methodist Church will be sponsoring a craft corner along with donuts and cider from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Be sure to stop by the West Brookfield Fire Department to enjoy homemade chili and chowder at their open house from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Activities at the Senior Center will include a Chinese auction, a sing-a-long with the Silvertones (1:30 till 3 p.m.), a bake sale and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, all beginning at 12:00 and ending at 3:00 p.m. The Merriam-Gilbert Library will display a “Mitten and Hat Tree” where donations of new children’s hats, scarves, socks, gloves, and mittens will be accepted to benefit Socks for Siberia.

Don’t miss the free horse-drawn wagon rides circling the common from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and afterwards enjoy some delicious warm cider by the campfire provided by the Pack 118 Cub Scouts. While enjoying the events on the common, be sure to try the roasted chestnuts. Also, take time to greet Father Christmas and Frosty the Snowman as they stroll around town.

The final events of the day will include the lighting of 2,000 white lights hung on the town common’s 70 foot high spruce tree at 5:45 p.m. The tree will be surrounded by 50 luminarias and a caroling sing-along will be enjoyed. A special concert featuring the Quaboag Choral Society directed by Eric Von Bleicken will be held in the Great Hall on the 2nd floor of the Town Hall at 6:15 p.m. Donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted to benefit a local food pantry.

The booklet of program events, including the location of open houses, will be available at local businesses. Support for this community event comes from area merchants advertising in the booklet, as well as individual donations made to the “Adopt-a-Light” campaign. The 19th Annual White Christmas festival is an event that the community is especially proud of and will surely warm your hearts. For additional information, please call Madeline Arn, Chairperson, at 508-867-4201 or Kathy Collings at 508-867-7165.

CALENDAR – Sunday, December 4, 2011, 12-8:00 p.m. – White Christmas, West Brookfield, MA