Woodstock Post Irene Update 9/2/11

Another day of amazing progress…….More shops opened today and  as I drove through downtown, people were sitting outside at two of our cafes, having a bite to eat and coffee.  Bentley’s is opening for dinner this evening.   Prince & the Pauper is opening Saturday.   An added incentive….you don’t have to feed the parking meters until September 13th.  (If you have been to Woodstock before….you know this is a big deal.)  As I mentioned yesterday, Billings Farm opened today, hmmm….I wonder if they made any ice cream?  May need to check that out tomorrow.

There was a list of several more roads around town that have  reopened,  which I think is exciting, because there actually was a List.  More and more people are getting water back.  We have noticed, the water pressure is getting stronger.  The water company has  asked us to limit our use, which I think is fair,  so that everyone has water.   Let them get it all working the first time.  We still have to boil it first, but again, no big deal.  We are so impressed with how quickly services are coming back.  Tons of utility trucks are everywhere.  We were having coffee on our porch this evening, and I counted SIX power company trucks pass the house.  You feel like standing by the curb, clapping and cheering them on!  Honestly folks, it blows us away with how well this community is coordinating clean-up and the amount of information we are able to receive.  It isn’t perfect, but by golly, pretty darn close….Great job, Woodstock! Tomorrow morning @ 9:00am there is another community meeting, and  we will be there.  By the way, did you see tonight’s NBC NIGHTLY NEWS?  They did a very nice piece on last night’s community supper on the Green.  If you did, you can see, Woodstock folks are a determined bunch!

So, another day of real progress.  Recovery here we come! Almost forgot….HAPPY LABOR DAY, EVERYONE.


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Woodstock, Post Irene Update 9/1/11

Lots of progress today……

Betsy from Sugar Bush Farms let us know that they are open for visitors.  Billings Farm is opening tomorrow, Sept 2.  Our local laundromat has been given the okay to open.  (Can full restoration of water be far behind?)  Many downtown merchants open for business.  Route 12 from Woodstock to Barnard is open.

The free community dinner on the Green today was terrific! It was so nice to see so many of our neighbors.  Everyone was sharing stories of how they weathered the storm. All sorts of information was available, from where to get a shower, drinking water, or sign up to volunteer with the clean-up.

As the saying goes…..A picture is worth a thousand words! Stay tuned for continued updates.


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Irene and Woodstock

First, let me start off by saying, we are fine, Bob and I and our home The Canterbury House are thankfully intact and unscathed.  Our little community has fallen down and skinned its knees.  As you have all seen on the news, the covered bridge by Simon Pearce in Quechee has been destroyed. The Woodstock Middle Bridge is okay.  There are many people who have had their homes flooded or destroyed.  Travel on Rte 4 West, isn’t possible at the moment…but travelling Rte 4 East is fine.  The village has electricity, but we don’t have water.

All of that being said,  this amazing community is rallying around and taking care of its families.  Work is being done around the clock to get the roads open as quickly as possible.  We have had volunteers GOING DOOR TO DOOR, delivering water!  No definitive date for when the water service will be restored, but we are confident it will be in no time at all.  Families who have been flooded out of their homes are getting the help they need, to have “their roof over their heads”, again.   We are fortunate to be in a town that is so community minded, in good times, but, in these hard times it is amazing.

Thank you everyone for all of your calls and emails, with concern for us and our village.  You have no idea how much we appreciate it.  As we are so focused on what has happened here and all over Vermont, we don’t want to lose sight of everyone else in the Northeast whose life has been changed by this nasty lady, we hope you are finding your way out of this nightmare.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.  We also would like to say Thank you (not that it ever seems adequate enough) to all of the volunteers, fire, rescue, police, etc who are out working, in many instances risking their lives, to help all of us.

I would like to say a BIG thank you to our guests from Toronto, Lois and Steve, who weathered the storm with us.  What good sports they were….even when we lost our water.  They put up with drinking bottled water from the bottle.  We were thrilled when they joined us for dinner…..on paper plates (it killed me, not to use dishes).  For us it was a delightful evening, chatting and getting to know them.  It certainly helped take our minds off of what was going on around us.  Now the best part about Lois and Steve was, on Sunday, after the rains stopped, they walked around the village and were of course deeply affected by what they saw.  When they came back, the first thing they said to me was, is there any way we can volunteer to help on Monday.  Amazing!    They left us on Tuesday morning, determined to still see what they could of this beautiful state of Vermont. (oh, I forgot to tell you, they were travelling on their MOTORCYCLE!).  So, thank you Steve and Lois, for weathering the storm with us!

In closing think of Woodstock and the state of Vermont as  the “Energizer Bunny”  we keep on going, our batteries are over-charged!  We have the will and the energy to come back even stronger!     You will see, in no time at all, we will sparkle again.

I will post updates, so check back often.  You can certainly email us too at thecanterburyhouse@gmail.com.


PS  We have gotten word as I am writing this ….the Woodstock downtown shops ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!  Progress as I type.


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So delicate

My giant dahlias

Hummingbirds just love these
Zinnia that I started from seeds in the spring
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Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

A week ago Sunday, (July 24th) I went with our friends Dan and Vita (you remember Vita…the chicken lady from Tenn, who had the “how many eggs did her chickens lay” contest and I got the rooster clock? Check out my blog titled “Daylight Savings”, if you need updating.)  Okay, back to the topic at hand….CHEESE.

So,  in the spring, Dan, Vita, Bob and I decided we wanted to attend this event.  We had heard great things about it and of course, we all LOVE CHEESE.  We knew that this event is very popular and the tickets go quickly, so as soon as they went on sale, we got our tickets (thanks Dan & Vita).  The plan was that all four of us would go, but the life of innkeepers is such, that nothing is etched in stone, when plans are made.  Fortunately, we had guests checking in that day, so unfortunately, one of us had to stay home to greet our guests.  Bob graciously volunteered.  (I have a terrific hubby, cause I REALLY WANTED TO GO, so thanks Bob for the sacrifice.)  We headed up to Shelburne Farms, ice packs and cooler in the car, for cheese purchases.  The weather was splendid that day, our mini heat wave broke, and perfect weather prevailed.

We arrived a bit after 11:00 am, purchased our wine glass. It was also a wine tasting event.  (Would you believe, we didn’t have to show proof of being over 21, for the wine tasting?  Okay, no snide remarks please, a girl? can have her fantasies!)  You approach the massive Carriage Barn @ Shelburne Farms and there are huge tents filled with over 40 cheesemakers, 20 wineries and breweries, 20 artisan food producers.  There were over 100 cheeses to sample and purchase.  Oh boy, did we!

One of the event volunteers told us they stopped ticket sales at 1700!  Last year they had 1500.  This is great for the Vermont Cheese Council, but for those attending…IT IS A LOT OF PEOPLE.  We thought it was a good event, but there could be some better organizing of how things are laid out.  Unfortunately, everyone arrives at 11:00, when it opens, so getting to the wine and cheese is VERY difficult.  If you go to a particular wine or cheesmaker and you want them to describe their products, it is so crowded, you either don’t want to take too long, because you know others are waiting, or you are the person waiting.

Now, what makes this a truly great event is that it is at Shelburne Farms.  This property sits on Lake Champlain and it is gorgeous.  The Carriage Barn is huge, the Inn is a sight to behold, with wonderful gardens, facing the lake.  There is an on site cheesemaking facility.  They are committed to sustainability, and they grow much of the produce/flowers  they use at the inn.  They also donate surplus food back to the community.  They also have phenomenal education programs for the young and young at heart.  The up close and personal connection their guests can make with the chickens, cows and other farm animals is great.  We did our own self guided tour, but guided tours are available.  A full day visit scratches the surface of this amazing place.

I would heartily recommend The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival and Shelburne Farms. The Cheesemakers Festival is held in July, so check out their website www.vtcheesefest.com for the 2012 details.   My “insider” tip to you is….get there at the opening, but tour around the Farm first.  We found that after about 1PM the tasting tables thinned out and you could take more time to sample.  I didn’t talk about the cooking shows, or cheese demos, but don’t miss those either.  SHELBURNE FARMS is open mid-May through mid-October.  Come visit us at the Canterbury House and we can help you plan your visit to the farm.  www.shelburnefarms.org


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Did You Know?…

Did you know… that every week, all summer long, on Thursdays, Pentangle Council for the Arts sponsors their BROWN BAG CONCERTS, on the Woodstock Green @ 12:00 noon?   You can bring your lunch, sit under a tree and enjoy different groups, from bluegrass, country, or a little rock and roll.  www.pentanglearts.org

Did you know… that July is “Hot Vermont Food Month @ Sugarbush Farms? If you like your food to have some heat or spice, try their Jalapeno & Cayenne Pepper Sharp Cheddar.  In the Vermont product sampling room you will find Hot Pepper Jelly, Mango Habanero Jam and of course many hot mustards.  “Graze your way through the heat, sampling their many products!  (Oh yes, you CAN sample some of Vermont’s liquid gold–Maple Syrup!)  www.sugarbushfarm.com

Did you know… that The Vermont Antiques Dealer’s Show is July 30th and July 31st, 2011 @ the Union Arena?  The 37th Annual Antiques Show and Sale with 64 Select Dealers displaying folk art to formal antiques in room settings.  You can EVEN get lunch there!  www.vermontada.com

Did you know… that Bookstock, The Green Mountain Festival of Words, is going on July 29th to July, 31st 2011? Bookstock is a community-wide celebration of books and authors.  Bookstock features readings, lectures and workshops by nationally recognized poets and writers.  Oh yes, of course there is the “World’s Greatest Book Sale”! www.bookstockvt.org

Did you know… that the  Quilt Exhibition @ Billings Farm & Museum, starts July 30th to September 30th, 2011?  In celebration of 25 years of quilting excellence, this juried exhibition of quilts made in Windsor county. Quilting demonstrations too!  www.billingsfarm.org

Did you know… that all of these events are either a quick walk away or a short 5 minute drive from the Canterbury House?  So, don’t you want to check out every one of these events?  Bob and I are waiting to hear from you to reserve your room! www.thecanterburyhouse.com or call us @802-457-3077.

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Abe Lincoln’s Vermont Connection

Last week Bob and I had some free time so we decided to play tourist and visit Hildene the home of  Robert Todd Lincoln, the only son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to adulthood.  The home is a short drive (90 minutes) from Woodstock to Manchester, Vermont.  This is a wonderful place to visit…..thought you might enjoy seeing some of the Lincoln home and grounds.   A little preview until you visit in person! Check out Hildene’s  website,  www.hildene.org


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Walking Tour of Woodstock Village

This morning I decided I would avail myself to truly one of the best things about living in the Village of Woodstock, VTWALKING.  There isn’t a bad time to walk the village, but one of the best times is a summer early morning, when the sun is up, but not showing its full force, and many people are just starting their day.   You might find some dew on the plants and grass and  a coolness in the air. Perfect, for a nice long walk.

I decided that I would take my camera   so that I could share with you what I see, walking out the front door, heading “downtown”.  We would love for you to join us here at the Canterbury House, and do your own Walking Tour of Woodstock Village.  Enjoy the Tour!

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Woodstock and the 4th of July

Have you made your plans for the 4th of July?  It is just a week away?  You have probably thought about the beach and yes, there is nothing like the sound of the surf crashing on the sand and frolicking in the water.  But, remember the traffic, the crowds and don’t forget that major sunburn even after applying sunscreen!  Wouldn’t you like to kick back and relax with a cookout, music and fireworks?   Make plans to visit Woodstock Vt for a Woodstock 4th of July. We still have rooms available, here at the Canterbury House Bed and Breakfast, so give us a call (802-457-3077) or visit our website (www.thecanterburyhouse.com)  and book your room.  We are a short 10 minute drive to our wonderful Independence Day festivities.

Here is just a sampling of what is going on…. Walk from the Canterbury House to the Old Vermont 4th Celebration @ Billings Farm and Museum, starting at 10 am.  They have the reading of the Declaration of Independence, old time debates, wagon rides, the fun just goes on and on!  Oh, yes, Ice Cream consumption IS Involved.  Starting at 4PM, taking  that short drive that I talked about earlier, head over to the Woodstock Union High School for Carnival Games, Cotton Candy, live entertainment by the Chad Hollister Band, and of course the Cookout & Picnic, finishing up with some of the best Fireworks ever!

Doesn’t all of that sound wonderful?  Don’t wait another moment….call us.  Oh, and I almost forgot, you REALLY don’t want to miss the Canterbury House 4th of July tradition of Waffles and Ice Cream for breakfast (they are VERY patriotic too….you can be sure of a bit of red (berries), white (ice cream) and blue (blueberries).  AND…if you bring your Bicycle, WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH YOUR PLAYING CARDS AND CLOTHESPIN, to attach to the spokes of your tires for that great noise when you ride!  Come on, you remember doing that as a kid, don’t you?????  Bob and I are looking forward to meeting you.

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Covered Bridges Half Marathon & The Canterbury House…Encore

The Covered Bridges Half Marathon of 2011 is now a distant, happy memory.  As innkeepers, Bob  and I look forward to this week-end all year.  When we decided to purchase the Canterbury House, all those years ago, we didn’t know about half-marathons or for that matter, marathons.  Neither one of us were ever runners, so why would we?  Well, 13 half-marathons later, we consider ourselves “armchair experts”.  We now know that the runners’ breakfast is pretty straight forward, (less is more) they like to “carb” up the night before, lots of water and of course…the beer tent is VERY IMPORTANT at the end of the race.

Now, with all of that being said, let me tell you about our wonderful half marathon guests.  We have been fortunate for the last 4 years to have a houseful of repeat guests.   Barbara, Eileen, Richmond and Mitch, (okay, Richmond, Eileen’s hubby, wasn’t here in person this year, due to work commitments, but was here in spirit)  are the poster children for what makes this a wonderful week-end in Woodstock.    They arrive on Friday and go home on Monday.  They have their “half marathon week-end traditions”.   Now, all of these traditions have a general theme  FOOD!  Friday night starts out with cheese, olives, wine, etc., on the patio (It is amazing the weather ALWAYS cooperates).  Saturday, I always serve everyone French Toast and Sausage (Eileen would kill me if I didn’t!), then off to Mt Tom for the Trek to Taste hike.  (Great event by the way, you hike Mt Tom to various food stations….. Mitch thinks ALL hikes finish with free food!).  Shopping is always involved.  Dinner on Saturday is always the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce Pasta Supper (quite tasty, with pasta sauce made by area restaurants, farmers market and decedent brownies for dessert (okay, here is the disclosure….I am biased about the brownies, because many of my fellow innkeepers and I make these tasty treats).  The new tradition they added this year was lunch at Simon Pearce on Sunday. (They used to go to lunch at Simon Pearce on Sat, but they got too full at Trek to Taste, so adjustments had to be made.)

Okay, more about the Maryland gang later, let me tell you about our other great half marathoners.   Polly and Jim have stayed with us 3 years, Neil and Colleen, 2 years (they missed last year, something about a wedding they had to go to) and lastly, Brian and Kelly, first timers to the Canterbury House and the half marathon.  Now both Polly and Colleen ( who are childhood friends)  have had babies in the past year, very cute babies, I might add, so as an “armchair runner” I am in awe of these two women.  And by the way, another connection this group has is Brian and Neil are cousins.

That is a little backround on our group.  All great people who, here it comes…..Are a wee bit Competitive!!  Breakfast race day, everyone is “casually” talking about how they think they will do, but secretly hoping they leave each other “in the dust”.  Okay, have Bob and I fueled this competitive air….YOU BETCHA!  Remember Bob posts Canterbury House guest times on our website, with the House winner getting front page honors.  Now, this year Brian (first timer for the house and race), won that honor.  There were a few bruised egos that this first timer had the best house time…..next year could be very different, the Canterbury regulars, could put the new kid in his place!!!!

Lastly, a bit of braggin about our brood of runners and the event.  Both Eileen and Mitch have been participating in the Covered Bridges Half Marathon for 10 years. Barbara has been running for 8 years. Isn’t that something?  It shows you what a great event this Half Marathon is every single year.  The REALLY terrific thing about this event, is that all monies raised go to various charities.  It involves so many communities like Woodstock, Pomfret, and Quechee, who lend their support by volunteering or offer support by cheering every runner  from start to finish.  An all around  “WIN WIN“ for everyone, don’t you think?   Doesn’t get any better than this.  Looking forward to next years’ race.  See you June 3, 2012! 

10 Years of Food...Oops I mean Running!

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Covered Bridges Half Marathon & The Canterbury House AGAIN

No, you are not going crazy…I know some of you have already read the blog about the Covered Bridges Half Marathon and the Canterbury House runners. Unfortunately, our host server provider was hacked last week end.  What came up if you clicked on our website, well, let me just say….you didn’t see the Canterbury House.    It, of course also effected our blog site.  When everything was restored,  yup, you guessed it….The Half Marathon Blog was gone.  So…….. I will have to recreate the entire blog.

I am hoping to get the blog up again, in the next few days, so stay tuned, check back mid-week to read ALL about  this great event and the Canterbury House FABULOUS runners.

PS  If you follow my blog, you will remember that right out of the chute I told you I wasn’t the teckkie person, Bob is Mr Techno/Computer Guy.  Now, when this happened, not only did Bob have to deal with the problem itself….boy, did he have his hands full, when he told me my blog was lost in cyberspace forever……(Not that I would ever whine and complain!!)

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  Woodstock is a wonderful place to visit, for so many reasons, and in late spring  and summer one of the best reasons is GOLF.  If you like to play golf, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to experience a Robert Trent Jones Sr. 18 hole course.  The 6,000-yard, par 70 course, is a challenging sequence of fairways, sandtraps and water hazards guaranteed to test even the most seasoned golfer.  (Just ask my brother in law!)  You will be surrounded by breathtaking panoramic views. 

Bob and I took a quick trip over to the the Woodstock Golf  Club today, to check things out, took a few pictures and it looks very good, even this early in the season.  People were already out on the course, greens were being cut, trees are starting to put out their leaves.  Quite pretty, with all the light shades of green, that before you know it, will be magnificent and lush.

We invite you to come to Woodstock and this wonderful golf club.  Give us a call (802-457-3077) or email us  ( thecanterburyhouse@gmail.com),  and we can reserve your room and get that round of golf started.  You don’t want to miss out on a wonderful day outdoors with a great round of golf and a wonderful  stay at The Canterbury House Bed and Breakfast. 

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Daylight Savings

Don’t you just love daylight savings?  This week-end we spring forward!  I love that whole spring forward thing.  After a winter like this one, springing forward to spring sounds pretty darn good to me.  I find that once we change the clocks my whole attitude changes.  I finally believe that, the now ugly, dirty snow will go away, and the mud will disappear and okay, no groaning….the grass will be greener!

So, don’t be too upset losing that hour of sleep….it is, just one night…..think of all the wonderful sunshine, colors and sounds that spring brings.  Have you seen your first robin yet? 

Oh, I almost forgot…do you like my clock?  It isn’t just any Rooster alarm clock.  This clock is from my friend Vita in Tennessee.  Vita is an incredibly talented fiber artist.  Her creativity never ceases to amaze me.  Now you are wondering, “What does all that have to do with a rooster clock?”  Well, Vita has a wonderful website that spotlights her artwork and her blog.   Last year Vita and her husband Dan decided they were going to raise there own egg laying chickens!  Her blog chronicled the baby chicks coming home, to the laying of the FIRST EGG and so much more!  Now, Vita’s incredibly creative mind came up with a contest to guess how many eggs “her girls ” laid in 2010.  This clock was the prize!!  Now, I didn’t win the clock by guessing the right number of eggs, I “won” because I said “If I win, I will make sure that when Dan and Vita come visit us in Woodstock, the clock would be in THEIR ROOM.  I also suggested, a better idea for a contest would be to guess how many eggs Dan and Vita have eaten, since the girls started laying eggs.  Rusty, from Miami was the actual winner.  Rusty said “If I win send the clock to Sue Frost, so it can be put in Vita and Dan’s room!!!”.  So…..that’s how I got the clock. (Thanks Rusty!)

The point to all of this is, check out Vita’s website and see for yourself her wonderful artwork.  Read her blog too!  I guarantee that everyone of her posts will put a smile on your face.  You really need to experience for yourself  “The Girls”.   The web address is www.vitamarielovett.com.

So,  make sure you ”spring forward”  Your clock this week-end.  And I should also add that, if you decide when you visit the Canterbury House that you  would like the Rooster clock in your room, it can be arranged.  (I even think that if Vita and Dan are here, they would let you have the clock!!)

Enjoy “springing forward”.

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Oh Baby, It’s REALLY Cold Outside!

Okay, I am NOT telling you anything you didn’t already know, or for that matter experienced,  where you live….IT HAS BEEN BONE CHILLING COLD RECENTLY!! Last week-end (Jan 21st through the 24th, Monday) we had some pretty impressive temperatures, ranging from daytime lows of -6 to nighttime lows of -24!  Despite the cold, and lucky for us, our guests Lynn and Mike came to cross-country ski.  Anytime we get to spend time with our guests is great, but, what made their visit special is that Mike is a FABULOUS photographer and he is graciously allowing us to share them with you.  All of these pictures were taken by Michael Skerry with his IPhone!   You should also check out his website (especially if wedding plans are in your future.  He will do destination weddings, Woodstock maybe?).  www.derbystudios.com.     If  he takes this terrific a photo with his phone, the sky is the limit with professional photography gear. 




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Oh Baby, it’s COLD outside!

These were taken Sunday morning, January 16th 2011, temperature around 16 degrees.   Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, but pretty.  Of course Canterbury House guests are a hardy bunch….We fortified them with a tasty,  full breakfast, and off they went to cross country ski and snow shoe.  Stay warm!

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