Tuesday, December 31, 2013

There is a reason

Driving in Central PA, farm country is pretty scenic even in winter. We happened upon a couple of farms where the corn stalks were stacked differently than we had seen before. We stopped to grab a couple of photos.

corn stalk 'pyramids'
As we were driving away, the farmer happened to be walking along the road so we stopped to inquire. They are stacked like this to allow them to dry out and be used for bedding.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Amaryllis time

I received an amaryllis and a paper white plant for my birthday earlier this month. I have been taking almost a daily photo of the growth and the amaryllis is about to blossom.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 60th Birthday Party (Video)

Yes, there was a big surprise and the video does well to capture the fun!

Dolores and Steve 60th Birthday Party from Allison St. Pierre on Vimeo.

thank again to all who participated, it was great fun (and still being talked about!)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

Have a great day with friends and family

Friday, December 20, 2013

recap of the week

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The week that was

Twas a busy week... bottling Monday, FinCom meeting and Town Council meeting to report on Tues/Weds, A Christmas Carol Times Two! to help with on Thursday... a couple of productive meetings Saturday morning, errands mixed in for the remainder of the day  put up the tree and lights

Christmas tree 2013
Christmas tree 2013

before setting down by the fire place for the evening to wind down.

roaring fire 12/14/13
roaring fire 12/14/13

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Deja Brewed - bottled in time

The 'Band of Brewers' got to Deja Brew on Monday evening to bottle our holiday beers. A good batch of good tasty hearty brews for the winter weather.

H is the Hearty Christmas
L is the Llevar Porter enhanced
W is the Winter
F is the Fuggles Ambrosia
G is the Gobnui
Evil Santa will be the blank cap

2 cases of the recent batch
2 cases of the recent batch

Deja Brew is located in Shrewsbury, MA   http://www.deja-brew.com/

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Dec. 13

Friday, December 06, 2013

friday's thoughts on celebration

Monday, December 02, 2013

#GivingTuesday to help the Franklin Food Pantry provide every day

Thanksgiving and the other end of year holidays bring many folks around a dinner table to enjoy a good meal with the family and friends. While the awareness of hunger is heightened during this time of year, the reality is such that hunger is a year round problem.

The Franklin Food Pantry looks for ways to enable a sustaining volume of donations so that those they serve can be provided for throughout the year.

For #givingTuesday, there are several ways you can help the Food Pantry.

You can help in the following ‘traditional’ ways

  • Donate food or non-food items. Why non-food items? For those on WIC or SNAP benefits, purchases of personal health care products are restricted. A person needs those just as much as healthy food to live a good life. Review the listing of non-food items for the Healthy Futures shelf.

  • Donate money through the Food Pantry website with a one time payment, or set up a recurring payment. The website allows for payments from bank accounts or credit cards.

For the holiday season you might consider

  • The Franklin Food Elves will be collecting for the Food Pantry in their annual "12 Days of Giving" campaign.  "More than 60 Food Elves will be collecting goods in neighborhoods around Franklin. If you don't have an Elf in your neighborhood, you can still participate in the food drive! Look for the red collection bins at participating Franklin Downtown Partnership member businesses. For additional information, check here.

  • Buying a ticket or two, or more for “A Christmas Carol, Times Two!” A dramatic reading of the classic story  Charles Dickens with musical accompaniment. Thursday, Dec 12th at the Franklin United Methodist Church. Tickets $10 per person. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in advance through BrownPaperTickets.com/, either on-line or by calling their 24/7 toll-free number 1-800-838-3006  For additional details on this performance check here.

You can also help by

  • Purchasing a “Franklin Pride” bead or necklace or bracelet. These items are carefully crafted in the Franklin blue and buff colors and make great gifts throughout the year. Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day to mention just a few. A percent of the purchase price comes to the Food Pantry thanks to the collaboration with Beads for a Cause

  • Consider “Sponsoring a Shelf”. Contact Erin Lynch, Development Director to discuss how this would work for your budget. She can provide examples of items (peanut butter or toilet paper for example) that the Food Pantry uses on a regular basis. Your donation could provide the funds to keep a shelf stocked with that item for a set period of time. Your name (business or family) would be placed on the shelf to help provide recognition for your contribution.

  • Last but not least, you can find the Franklin Food Pantry on Facebook. “Like” the page and enable notifications to your timeline as the Food Pantry makes updates so you will always be “in the know”. Share items you find are worthy with your friends and neighbors so the Food Pantry can reach all of the Franklin user on Facebook!

  • If you have a Twitter account, you can also find and follow the Food Pantry

When you sit for your next meal, please give thanks for what you have. Please consider giving when you can to help the Food Pantry provide for others in Franklin throughout the year.

This was first posted on the Franklin Food Pantry website

Note: I am privileged to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Franklin Food Pantry

Monday, November 25, 2013

When kids don't listen

Several weeks again as Dolores and I were approaching our significant birthdays, we told our daughters we didn't want a party. We had made plans to go away for a weekend to Portland, ME and would schedule a family dinner to celebrate.

Saturday, Nov 23rd turned out to be the date among the various calendar commitments that worked for the six of us to go out to dinner. Carolyn and Dan would be home from Boston. Allison's travel for Assumption would be finished. Brad didn't have a game event to go to. All would work out well.

Saturday arrived, Dolores and I divvied up the chores and then we got to our errands. Dan's parents were going to meet us for a drink and late lunch at British Beer Company. We'd come home and be ready for dinner somewhere local with reservations for 6:30 PM.

The day flew by, the chores were accomplished, the meeting and conversation with Dan's parents went well so we left (just before 5:00 PM) with time to spare to be home and then go to dinner. Why we even had time to add a few steps to the walk across the parking lot to Stop & Shop to get some Molly McButter as that had been on the list for shopping and two stops were unsuccessful. The third time was going to be the charm!

As we walked across the parking lot, Allie texted to let us know that Carolyn and Dan had arrived. Good. I replied back that we were about to stop for the Molly McButter and then be home soon. We did get it, drove home and as I was unloading the other items from our earlier errands, Allie was on the landing waiting for me to get to the stairs. Did we stop and think there might be something up? No. She was greeting us as we came home. She had done so before. However as the door opened, there was a shout of "SURPRISE!" and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!...

Yes, the girls as well behaved and such good upstanding young ladies as they are had not obeyed our instructions. No, not at all. So instead of a quiet dinner for the six of us at a local restaurant, we walked into a host of family and friends, many of whom had traveled some distance to surprise us.

Surprised? Yes, we were. I certainly was. I had no clue.

The party had a fifty's bowling theme to it and was a combination of home goods, crowd sourced and catered food and drink. Plenty to go around for all. we had taught the girls well!

Dan and Cassie at the ice cream soda fountain

One of the better parts of the evening was that there were no gifts to be brought. Instead, we were honored to collect over 100 pounds of food goods and over $150 for the Franklin Food Pantry!

the collection for the food pantry
So when your kids misbehave like this, what would you do?

I had tears in my eyes as I thanked them many times!

Note - there will be additional photos to share. A slideshow was put together of Dolores and I through the years. Many gems to be seen there!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Deja Brew: Band of Brewers at it again

Another 6 kettles were lined up for the 'Band of Brewers' on Monday evening. The winter and holiday beer selection was as follows:

Evil Santa's Ale High in alcohol and hoppiness! A new type of hop for us
Fuggle Ambrosia Nothing but Fuggle hops! Light, sweet, potent.
Goibniu A Great rendition of a true Scottish Ale
Hearty Christmas Ale A hearty Ale, spicy, flavorful and inviting!
Llevar Porter If you like Ravell , you’ll love this one. Vanilla accents
Winter Jubilee Barley Wine A nice, smooth easy to drink year round Barley Wine

This batch puts us at 236 kettles overall with 121 unique beers brewed.

12 pounds of grain draining for the Goibniu
12 pounds of grain draining for the Goibniu

For more about Deja Brew you can visit their webpage  http://www.deja-brew.com/

or check the archives here for the exploits of the 'Band of Brewers'

Friday, November 08, 2013

in the middle of changing seasons

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Dean College Hosts Early Childhood Education Training on Nutrition

The Dean College School of Continuing Studies will be hosting a free training for early childhood educators on the topic of nutrition. The event will be held on Wednesday November 20, 2013 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM and participants will earn two hours of nutrition training from the Department of Early Education and Care.  Seating is limited. 
Highlighting the schedule is a presentation from Pam Mele, titled "Growing up Healthy: A nutrition seminar for early childhood education providers", Pam is an adjunct faculty member and expert in the field of Early Education with over 30 years experience working with young children and educators. 
"On behalf of Dean College's School of Continuing Studies, I am pleased we are able to support the professional development of early childhood educators in our community on such a critical topic as childhood nutrition," says Veatrice Carabine, Dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Dean College. 
The training will take place in the Golder Room, located in the Dean College Campus Center. Attendees are asked to park in the Campus Center parking lot, at 109 West Central Street/Route 140. 
To register for the event, please call 508-541-1629 or email vcarabine@dean.edu. For more information, please visit www.dean.edu  

Friday, November 01, 2013

high wind warning

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Occupy Sandy Recovery: Support our Ongoing Work

Occupy Sandy Recovery
Via InterOccupy.net View Online | Forward to a friend
The Occupy Sandy community has changed the face of disaster relief. Our network of more than 50,000 volunteers provided over 300,000 meals, remediated over 1000 homes, and provided over a million dollars' worth of donated supplies by working with our neighbors to provide mutual aid throughout the rebuilding process.

Tomorrow, we begin our 2nd year. Some folks have returned to their normal lives, but many remain affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our people-powered movement built something incredible, but we need your help to continue to move residents back into their homes, assist them in rebuilding their lives, and amplify the voice of communities in their own recovery.

We need your help to support our ongoing work.  

Many still struggle to simply return home. Staten Island resident Marina Babkina lived a few blocks from Midland Beach before being evacuated. She lost both her home and her business, a daycare with music instruction that served the local Russian immigrant community. Language barriers made the complex disaster recovery process extra difficult to navigate. Occupy Sandy was able to provide Russian translation and connect her to critical resources like mold remediation, legal advice, building materials, and new furniture, all at no cost.

But her story is not yet over. A year without income has left Ms. Babkina in debt, and fully restoring her home in the middle of an attached 5-family townhouse to livable conditions will mean more red tape.  Many others like Ms. Babkina continue to face challenges and have come to rely on the support and mutual aid ethic of Occupy Sandy.  

Hurricane Sandy left many residents unemployed, as they were unable to travel to their jobs, their jobs were eliminated by the storm or they were unable to maintain employment while engaging full time in the process of rebuilding.  Before Sandy, the members of Roca Mia Construction Inc, struggled to make ends meet between low-paying subcontracting gigs.

After Sandy, work became scarce as businesses shut down across Far Rockaway. With start-up funding and skill building assistance from Occupy Sandy, the men were able to set up their own worker-owned cooperative. After receiving their license to operate last week, they are ready to start working on home repairs in their own neighborhood. This is just one way that Occupy Sandy has been able to invest in both residents and local economies.

Please continue to participate in this vital work by making a donation,
coming out to volunteer or lending us your voice.

Another World is Possible,

Occupy Sandy Spokes Council

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You received this email because you signed up to receive information from InterOccupy or one of its partners. Learn more and connect by visiting our web site www.interoccupy.net and please join/like the Interoccupy Facebook Page.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Portland joint 'selfies'

Dolores and I spent the day walking around and about Portland, ME. The sun in the morning gave way to more clouds in the afternoon and it got chilly. We were prepared.

in the morning at the Visitor's Center

about noon at Portland Lighthouse

Friday, October 25, 2013

what the birds tell me

Friday, October 18, 2013

breezy thoughts today

sassafras in color

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monday was soup day

I spent some time on Monday to make two soups for our meals this week. One in the crock pot and one on the stove top.

The crock pot recipe came from 100 Days of Real Food and turned out delicious! I gave a small portion to taste test to Dolores and she ended up having it for lunch.

sweet potato and apple soup in the crock pot
the soup after going through the blender
The soup was easy to make and is a keeper recipe! You can find the recipe here

The second soup was our family standard: Venus de Milo. I have posted the recipe here before and you can find those links here


Friday, October 11, 2013

Oct 11 fall foliage

Monday, October 07, 2013

Digging into the archives

Already October hence Christmas must be around the corner, right?

Not really attempting to rush it but wanted to share these priceless photos from the archives that my sister found and shared with us. Photos mostly of my mother as she was growing up. Most of which I don't recall ever seeing before.

This of Dad and I at Christmas 1954

Jerry and Stephen

This of Mother and I at the same time

Rita and Stephen

Friday, October 04, 2013

Friday October 4th

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Assumption College: Message from President Francesco Cesareo

As an Assumption grad and a civilian journalist, inaccuracy in reporting is always a concern.


Dear members of the Assumption College family,
You may have read articles this week in the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) and Worcester Business Journal (WBJ) that paint a negative portrayal of Assumption College's enrollment and financial standing. We believe that both articles depict the College in a misleading fashion. The BBJ reporter did not discuss the College's status with anyone at Assumption while preparing the original article and only spoke with CFO Chris McCarthy and Director of Finance Peter Wells after the article was published on Thursday and concerns were raised as to its content. We believe the WBJ piece heavily relied on the initial BBJ reporting.

I'd like to share with you some important information about Assumption's actual financial and enrollment status. The following data was shared with reporters from both publications, who neglected to include it in their articles, despite our lengthy conversations with them on Thursday, September 26.

For the past 37 consecutive years (including fiscal 2013), Assumption has had a balanced budget -- and ended each year with a surplus. In addition, according to Standard & Poor's -- which has assigned its "A-" long-term debt rating to Assumption -- the College has:

  • a solid balance sheet;
  • a mostly liquid endowment of $90 million as of August 30, 2013;
  • relatively low debt.
With respect to discrepancies in our enrollment and retention rates, the quality of the students that have been recruited has not declined. In fact, the quality of the entering class has improved significantly over the past several years. The average SAT score (two-parts) is a record 1130, the sixth straight year it has increased. The average GPA is a 3.35, consistent with past years. The retention rate for the most recent year where national comparison data is available is 85.6 percent. This is 10.8 percentage points higher than the national average for four-year private colleges and consistent with the average for Massachusetts private schools (85.8 percent), the highest figure for all states.

As always, I thank you for your continued support of Assumption College. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at fcesareo@assumption.edu, or Tim Stanton, vice president for institutional advancement, at tr.stanton@assumption.edu.

Dr. Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D.
President, Assumption College
Assumption College, Office of Alumni Relations, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609

ASSUMPTION COLLEGE | 500 Salisbury Street | Worcester | MA | 01609
The Boston Business Journal article can be found here

The Worcester article can be found here

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Twitter - The Musical (video)

cute, catchy, it covers the highlights of Twitter.

There is so much more to Twitter. It is what you make of it. You can build your profile, your brand, and even your business with what you do and share. Be careful to stay within yourself. If you stray too far, that likely won't help your message.

Friday, September 27, 2013

last Friday in September

mums by the driveway

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back and stronger

Having visited the Cabot Cheese Cooperative in VT during our vacation in August, this did more than tickle my fancy. I also know that you don't need whey protein to be strong!

So while I have been very busy out and about but mostly not here, I do have plans to be more insightful here. Stay tuned, good things are coming!

In the meantime, enjoy some cheese!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday checking in

Friday, September 06, 2013

Diana Nyad's message

squirrel feeding on dogwood fruit

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Sunny day, remembering the fun

It was Dad's birthday yesterday. I posted some fun photos on his page and stopped by the cemetery on the way to work. It was a beautiful sunny morning.

Jerry and Rita

I'll captured a brief video with a 360 graveside view to share


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Dogwood - squirrel feeding time

When it comes to food, humans can be pretty serious about getting what they need. They are not alone in this animal kingdom. Check out the positioning of the squirrels in our dogwood tree as the find the berries to eat. There are two different squirrels eating.

More of my photos can be found on Flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_sherlock/

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Change the world!

Talk about an objective, simple, to the point... audacious! "Change the world" was the objective for Bill Nye

What is your objective?

Friday, August 30, 2013

end of summer

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The beers are home!

The brewing effort of a couple of weeks ago are now home for enjoyment

V = Vollbeir Wheat = A popular wheat beer. Nice flavor that is not overwhelming
S = Stunner = A creamy British Pub style pale ale “stunning colour”
R = Red Eye Ale  = *** description not on the webpage
L = Light Irish Stout = This recipe is lighter than the dry, intense stouts of Ireland
E = Eye of the Chicken Hawk = *** description not on the webpage
C = Castle Brown Ale  = Similar to Newcastle, a mild Brown Ale

6 kettles at Deja Brew
Prior posts on Deja Brew can be found here

Friday, August 23, 2013

morning bird songs

Monday, August 19, 2013

Marshmallow farm

Yes, Vermont has marshmallow farms too!

marshmallow farm

We usually see these in PA but up in Vermont last week we drove by this one.

Other photos from our trip to Vermont can be found here

Friday, August 16, 2013

Clothes have changed

but they are still greeting folks to the Comfort Inn outside of Montpelier, VT. When we pulled up to check in this week, I said to myself I have seen these bears before. After hiking Mt Mansfield in the rain, I went into the photo archives to show Dolores what the views could have been as I was here in August 2006. Among the hike photos, I also found this photo. The clothes have changed but the bears are still greeting folks!


bears in 2006


bears in 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Franklin - Fallen Heroes from World War II

From wikipedia:
Although September 2 is the designated V-J Day in the entire United States, the event is recognized as an official holiday only in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, where the holiday's official name is "Victory Day",[20] and it is observed on the second Monday of August. There have been several attempts in the 1980s and 1990s to eliminate or rename the holiday on the grounds that it is discriminatory. While those all failed, the Rhode Island General Assembly did pass a resolution in 1990 "stating that Victory Day is not a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki."[21] It is instead commemorative of those who fought, as Rhode Island sent a significantly above-average percentage of its population into the Pacific theater.

To recognize the Franklin Fallen Heroes from World War II, I'll be sharing their information this week. Thanks to Rose Turco for putting it together to recognize them and for allowing me to share this with you.

Monday, Aug 12 is the second Monday in August and Rhode Island is celebrating this day. I'll post two per day until the World War II listing is complete



This was originally posted to Franklin Matters. You can jump over there to catch the full series as it grows.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

a father's great advice

What do you want to do?

The question can challenge some folks to answer it. Jonathan Fields interviews Tommy Bahler and even if you only listen to the first 5 minutes to hear what Tommy's father told him, it should be worth it.

Of course, once you go that far, you might as well listen to the rest of the 45 minute interview.

Friday, August 09, 2013

waiting for the rain

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Band of Brewers: 6 kettles

The Band of Brewers were out to Deja Brew on Tuesday to put together 6 kettles of beer. I had miscalculated the totals as the spreadsheet I was referring to had not been updated with our session in Jun/Jul. The total kettles to date is 227 and total unique beers is 121.

What we did this time:

Vollbeir Wheat A popular wheat beer. Nice flavor that is not overwhelming
Stunner A creamy British Pub style pale ale “stunning colour”
Red Eye Ale *** description not on the webpage
Light Irish Stout This recipe is lighter than the dry, intense stouts of Ireland
Eye of the Chicken Hawk *** description not on the webpage
Castle Brown Ale Similar to Newcastle, a mild Brown Ale

Light Irish Stout wort

Our most frequently made beer

Beer Total
Stunner 15
Blueberry Ale 12
Hearty Christmas Ale 8
Lawnmower Lager 7
Downtown Brown 5
Llevar Porter 5
Evil Santa's Ale 4
Hirschgarden Marzen 4
Light Irish Stout 4
McTartan’s Scotch Ale 4
Pumpkin Ale 4
Steel Rail Pale Ale 4
Wachusett Pale 4

Monday, August 05, 2013

get a good start

Getting a good start to the day, to your run, to the game... whatever can be very important. Starting well helps you to finish well. There is no automatic connection between these two. It requires the hard wired concentration of the individual to perform well.

Getting the performance of a team all on the same page is a challenge. This is a challenge that a coach faces everyday.The success of the team depends upon the coach to structure the overall practice and build up to a competition and the competitive performance is what is talked about. The 'public' doesn't see the performance in practice. The competition results are what is seen and talked about.

The New England Revolution have started their past couple of games poorly. Both times giving up a goal in the opening minutes. One time they were able to recover and win. This last time, they were not able to recover. Frustrating!