Come visit us at the Connecticut Country Store!

Come visit us at the Connecticut Country Store!
Smart Folks Shop Local!

Thought for the moment.....

Sunday, February 28, 2010

New pictures of the studio!

These are some pictures of displays John has built out of old and new materials.  We are trying to recycle some of the older pieces of furnishings as much as we can.  There are also a couple pictures of the cleaned up green house which will become VERY occupied this week with hundreds of plants.  Still more painting and fixing and setting up to go but it is starting to look very cozy and we are loving it!  Be well!

February 28, 2010

We had a busy day painting and cleaning the store, meeting new vendors and artists, and fighting with Quickbooks!  I was almost totally frustrated when I got the wonderful news that our new English angora bunnies where born this weekend and are healthy and thier mom is well.  We can't wait to meet them!  They will be moving in during April right after the GRAND OPENING!  The picture here is artwork by Gail Ignatowicz taken from the AOSCT.ORG website.  We were to meet today but had to reschedule - we are hoping she will join the Connecticut Country Store family!  Thank you Mom and Dad for all your help today painting!  we wouldn't have gotten half the work done without you there to chip in!  I will try to introduce a new vendor or artists daily until the GRAND OPENING MARCH 27, 2010!  I think I have enough to fill every day and MORE!  Be well!

Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

We got our quickbooks in the mail!  yeah!  I've started to enter artists and inventory and I'm realizing how much more I have to do!  And I need to get links to the artists on my site so you can all see what incredible pieces we will have to sell.  An example is Paula Apro who makes beautiful fused glass pieces.  Check her work out at

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010

John woke up last night to the house filled with smoke.  No dogs barking, no cat meowing, no fire alarm going off, no CO2 detector beeping - just all of us soundly sleeping as we breathed in soot.  Luckily he did wake up and found a basement filled with smoke and a smoldering log that got too close to the fire.  He saved us and aired out the house and did laundry so I'd have clean clothes to wear to work and set up fans and checked my breathing - I did not get up once.  It reminds me of my mother coming into the basement where my teenage bedroom was and yelling, "GET OUT OF BED!" - it was 2pm.  I am the best sleeper ever.
Tonight I spent organizing inventory and calling artists and trying to schedule meetings.  I went to Kathy and Tads to help Kathy bottle her first home brew, it was a sticky mess but we did good and filled 42 bottles of beer.  Now it must sit for months in the dark and get yummy.  I ordered all my stuff for my Willow and Violet and my temporary foster bunnies that my sister's friend Judy has so kindly offered.  I also organized all my ordering of beekeeping supplies so that i can call it in tomorrow!  So exciting! 
John ordered the hanging baskets and will be picking up all the plugs on Monday - SOOO exciting!  and scary!  Like - what if my green thumb was only a temporary thing?!
Be well!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010

We now have so many artists I am having to turn some down :(  I'm going to keep them in a list for the future.  We are running low on funds and getting creative.  Susan and I spent most of this evening trying to make the business cards only to have difficulty ordering the final product - UHG!  Oh, well, it'll work itself out!  I found a friend that is willing to let me adopt thier bunnies for the weekend of the grand opening so we will still have beauties to show, I'm so happy about that!  I've still got to order my bunnies home and my bee stuff.  Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll do it, tomorrow......  Be well!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

I am FINALLY relaxing and cracking a beer - long trail hybernator.  Well it has been a crazy week and so exciting - John has been making these awesome displays for the store - the latest made by recycling a large window, a shutter, some old shelves, and some white Christmas lights- it sounds crazy, but it is PERFECT.  He has such vision, I don't see these things like he does, I think it is a gift.  Speaking of those with gifts, I have been contacted by more artists that I am hoping will work with us and join our family!  They include candles, felted satchels, beautiful seaglass, socks made from alpaca, dips and soup mixes, cloth bags that are both gorgeous and functional, and possible some landscape oil paintings!  We also may have handcarved natural outside furniture in the future, it is beautiful!  We are now working with 19 artists!!!!
More good news - tonight John found out our register WILL work with quickbooks which means a lot less work for me - YEAH!  AND our cousin found us a refridgerator/freezer that will work in the store for non-displayed items!  That will save us a lot of money - which is exactly what we need!
Sad news is that Willow and Violet will not be joining us in celebrating our grand opening - mother nature is making me wait :(  In the meantime my sister-in-law has agreed to bring her mini goats for show and my sister Leanne may have a friend with some happy rabbits to hang out for the grand opening (which is the weekend before Easter).  There are about a million things to do and only 5 weeks left to do it!  make that 4.5 weeks - AHHHHH!  Be well!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Transplant Anniversary

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my husband's lifesaving transplant.  If you are not an organ donor, please take a moment to think about all the lives you can save.  Don't Take Your Organs to Heaven, Heaven Knows We Need Them Here!  John received a kidney from a live donor, a friend who traveled here with his wife from the other side of the country to save John's life.  What a tremendous gift that he and his wife decided to give, they risked everything to save my husband.  Today both my husband and his donor are doing well.  Every day I wake up and see John by my side I smile and I am so grateful that he is still with us.  We try to thank our saviors by paying it forward every chance we get.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Amateur apiarist!

I had my last beekeeping class last night! Jeff and are are officially amateur apiarists! The bees will be coming home on April 27th! woohooooooo!  I also made this hat.  I started it before the bee class while resting my back and finished it while staying up way too late to watch the olympics!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Easter items!!!!

Check out these wicked cool chicks!  Do your Easter shopping at the Connecticut Country Store's GRAND OPENING MARCH 27, 2010!!!!  See more at TWYSTEDSYSTER!!!!


My last beekeeping class is tonight!  I'm so excited to start in April.  Tonight we are learning about pests and disease which should be interesting.  These can make or break your colony:  managing pests and controling disease spread can mean the difference from going year to year with success or starting over every spring!  This picture is the fall in my back yard.  I LOVE growing giant sunflowers.  Every year I've harvested seeds and baked them, but that's not the real reason, I grow them because they are beautiful and huge and the bees love to visit!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making Hats!

I had to spend the day on the couch today after getting steroid injections into my back so my husband got me a hobby I can do laying down - a hat maker!  I won these yarns in a raffle at my Yankee Fiber Friends group a few months ago so i had a great time making us both new hats!  Things are going well with the business, continuing to grow with vendors!  John also got a great deal on a new display refridgerator for the store!!!!  yeah!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010

We went to the store tonight with a few friends to show them around.  There are so many plans :)  Susan came over to hang and I fought with my loom most of the night.  The wool must be old because it kept breaking and I couldn't keep my warp tight.  I found out tonight that the bee keeping teacher's wife has a loom so I'll ask him if I can give her a call to ask questions.  Maybe do a little investigating before I pull it all apart!  Now we are going to settle down and watch a movie.  Tomorrow I go for another try at getting steroids injected into my back where my discs are torn.  I'm very nervous.  They are going to knock me out last time because the pain is too much.  I have a feeling I will sleep through tomorrow!  I hope it works this time so I don't have to get another!  Be well!

Warping the loom!

I spent last evening warping the loom :)  The last picture is one of the wools Hunter helped me card to spin for the weave.  There is something settling to a geek analyst about counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4 while threading the warp through the loom.  We've had a very busy time the past week solidifying vendors and artists and setting up the inside of the store.  We met with our local paper yesterday about advertising and our grand opening.  We now have a potter, 2 soap makers, lotions, lotion bars, processed wool, spindles, a few textile artists, a jeweler, a photographer, a specialty card maker, and we are working with others!  We have grass fed, pasture raised beef and pork, goat milks, cheeses, and yogurts, maple syrup, honey, and jams and jelly's.  All this and plants and gardening supplies and landscaping supplies and possibly chicken houses, bat houses, and bunnie hutches!  ALL LOCALLY PRODUCED OR MANUFACTURED - WOW!  Things are moving!!!!  More tonight I hope! Be well!

Monday, February 8, 2010


There will be no post tonight because we will be taking the night off and enjoying a 'Yes' concert. John loves Yes and he has found co-conspirators in our friends Susan and Jeff! We are all going up to North Hampton tonight to check them out. When John asked me to marry him at the top of Jugg End on the Appalachian Trail I was thrilled, we had a passing hiker take our picture and we were smiling arm and arm. We went right home and told our parents we were going to tie the knot! Later when we got the pictures back my mom became a little suspicious of John saying he was sending subliminal messages. In the picture you can see us both smiling away pleased as punch and across John's chest in enormous letters it read 'YES' - his very favorite concert t-shirt :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Sunday, February 7, 2010

We had a wonderful weekend with family and friends.  No matter how busy we get we will always make time to be with our loved ones.  Friday night we updated the website, worked on our shelving, put the shredded paper for paper bricks in water, and watched a movie with eyes half shut :)  Saturday we did some emergency grocery shopping and some baking of bread and sugar pie for a party, we went to my parents and visited with my aunts and uncles, and then we got ready for our second party which was visiting with the owners of Bush Meadow Farm in Union, CT ( and Woodland Farms in Manchester, CT (  They were the nicest people and gave us so much good information about running an agricultural business and selling meats and cheeses and plants!  And the food they brought - do yourselves a favor if you are in CT - go to Bush Meadow Farm for breakfast or lunch - wonderful!  And Leon from Woodland Gardens was so helpful to us and will be a vendor for our plants we don't grown ourselves.  Wonderful people, can't say enough.  Check them both out.  We also had a chance to meet with our friends Joey (Funkware Pottery) and Bernie today who gave us some great advice and a wonderful contact for inventory advice and book sales.  I wish there were more time in the day so we could do it ALL NOW!  Well, back to work!  Be well!

Friday, February 5, 2010

We spent last weekend doing a little ice fishing, making a little beer, and working on the business!  Great weekend, even better friends, and even more fun!  We caught 4 bass and 2 perch!  Well, 'they caught' is more appropriate.  My niece Hunter and I watched, complained about cold toes and went to get more coffee and snacks :)  It was a great time and I would do it again, but with electric socks and a bigger mug!  The rest of the week we spent making connections, finding vendors, sending out applications, ordering materials, building shelving, cleaning pots, making paper bricks, and learning more about keeping bees!  We have been busy and we are both exhausted, but so happy to do it.  We sleep soundly in our exhaustion with smiles on our faces :)  This weekend we are having dinner at my parent's house with a few families who run thier own farms and we are so thrilled to be able to meet them and learn more about what we are getting into and how we can help our local farmers!  We will plant some seeds, set some lights, dampen some torn newspaper for next weeks bricks, bake and clean food for the week, and maybe, just maybe John will have a few minutes of football!  Another wonderful event is having my aunts and uncles down from NH and up from NJ at my parents house Saturday afternoon.  There is nothing more important than family and friends!  I'm hoping to soon have pictures to post of our 2 new additions to the family - Willow and Violet - they are 2 female angora bunnies that will be born this month.  I also will be posting pics of Jeff and I attempting to make our bee homes for our two colonies coming on April 27th.  The beekeeping classes are going great and I highly recommend them to anyone thinking of raising bees.  There are so many things you can't learn from a book and it is wonderful to also meet so many people with similar interests.  Well, that's all for now, time to cuddle in front of a movie and get some Z's for the weekend ahead!  Be well!

The Meatrix!

Check out this awesome movie! Get REAL food at Connecticut Country Store starting March 27th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Coming soon; fresh beef and pork from a local CT family owned farm with no preservatives, no antibiotics, grass fed, well cared for animals!

February 5, 2010

This has been the busiest week ever, no time to even blog about it!  Tonight is my first night with some time to post and I will tell you about the ice fishing, the shelving for the plants, cleaning used pots, making more bricks, the seeds we now have, our latest vendors, joining the mansfield agricultural committee, and my latest beekeeping class!!!!  Be well!

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

AHHHHH!  I can't believe its already February!  Today we got all our bank stuff like stamps for deposits :) and the checkbooks and receipt books!  We also got both of our seed displays from New England seed company!!!!  I'll tell you all about my weekend later - first I have to do my taxes (energy tax credit form is 5695).  Be well!

Silky and Cochin Hut 2011

Guineas in their new flight cage!

Easy Bantam Nesting Boxes

Easy Homemade Bread!