Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Arrives in VT with Fancy Moves

With memories of Irene still whirling around this town, preparations for Sandy were serious but not panicked. There was not much going on all morning after a little bit of daybreak drizzle and the famed "red sky in the morning" but then just after noon time the sun peeked out, the wind kicked up a bit, and the sky flipped us a gift: a rainbow over West Rutland.

Hurricane Sandy precursor, West Rutland VT 29 Oct 2012
I snapped this rainbow photo from our front porch  at 12:15 Monday. (The rainbow was actually visible for more than 2 hours in nearby Castleton.)  After this little teaser, Sandy got more serious; the wind started gusting and blowing steadily, then a few hours later it started to rain, but not serious rain, just a shower type rain.

This is a huge contrast to the weather at our family home in Pennsylvania where rain and wind were relentless, water was everywhere and roads were flooding by 2pm. At 9pm the howling wind was dropping branches on the roof and the lights were blinking.

Last Halloween's freak snowstorm debris JUST got finally cleaned up last week in PA.  Please give us more of the rainbow attitude Sandy ... please?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Handmade Wood Toys - Simple Treasures for Tots and Collectors

Wooden Toy Truck - Hand made by KPTCO, Milford, NH USA
Back in the last century, a young dad decided to try his hand at making wooden toys. He designed  a fleet of sturdy trucks, cars, bulldozers and other toy vehicles that he made at home without paint, nails or screws. Wooden toy trucks and cars in the collection were originally designed to seat the popular "little people" (made by Fisher Price) that his own children loved.

Flash forward 40 years and that craftsman dad is now a grandpa and after more than three decades, the kids who loved those toys  have passed along their cherished trucks and cars to their own children or are buying these sturdy safe toys for their nephews, nieces, grand kids and neighbors.

And, happily, Bob Farrow is still making the durable and beloved wooden toys he designed in 1973. Each one is crafted by hand in his home workshop in Milford, New Hampshire. The only thing that's changed: the driver/passenger characters are simple one-piece people figures made from clear maple wood.

Wooden Toy Truck and Bulldozer
We can attest to the durability and playtime value of hand made wooden toys by Bob aka KPTCO (Kee Pon Truckin' Company) and to the love and attention he puts into each and every one of his creations. The toymaker works alone, on his own, cutting, sanding, assembling and finishing every single truck, car, "doodle" vehicle or custom toy by hand.

These hand made wooden  toys are built to last through years of creative play.

Designed, cut, sanded, glued and assembled by the toy maker himself,  KPTCO toys have been loved and tested by two generations of boys and girls (not to mention their parents and grandparents) since 1973. In fact, adults enjoy playing with these toys as much as children and many designs would make a perfect desktop or nostalgic home accessory.

Maple and Walnut Delivery Truck Toy by KPTCO, Etsy
Although KPTCO wooden toys don't wear a coat of paint they've got  plenty of fancy style.  Details derived from the way the pieces are cut and shaped and from the varieties of wood used to make them give these toys plenty of personality. The popular moving truck or box truck comes complete with a rear flap door, made from recycled denim or canvas. Log and utility trucks carry their own custom wooden freight pieces.

Most of the wood toy designs also come complete with a driver figure and many include a passenger, too - simple maple figures purchased from a reputable supplier.  These hand made wooden toys are true collectibles, built for years of imaginative play and memory making, from unique designs. You can't find these same toys anywhere else.

Check out all the cool crafted in New Hampshire wooden toys at the KPTCO Etsy shop. Your only problem will be deciding which truck, car or bulldozer to buy for your children, grandkids or ... yourself.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Be a Smashing Pumpkin for Halloween

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So, you don't know what to wear for a Halloween costume this year?   Be Halloween. Be the pumpkin.

Whether you opt for comfort, simplicity, sexiness or the scare factor you can find a prize-winning costume to suit any man or woman in this collection of pumpkin costume and mask ideas.

From the office or classroom proper tee shirt to the skimpiest little pumpkin princess outfits or hideous pumpkin ghouls, there's a gourd outfit that's sure to be a smash for any adult.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Transforming an Old Building - Vermont Farmers Market

Another step in Rutland's Recovery and it's a major one. The Rutland Winter Farmer's Market will be housed in the new Vermont Farmers' Market building on West Street in Rutland, Vermont.
It's going to house a commercial kitchen, year round education resources, winter market vendors and so much more - and it's being transformed from an abandoned building on West Street, near the railroad tracks in Rutland. Lots of volunteers are making this dream into a reality - this video shows you the first steps taken.

The Rutland Winter Market is slated to open in the newly remodelled building in early November, 2012. Today the team is calling for volunteers to come down to scrape and prime the building to prep it for a new coat of paint next week.

Get more info here: www.VermontFarmersFoodCenter.org