One of the many things I love about my store’s location is all the windows. With a full southern exposure spanning from east to west, the windows flood the space with brilliant sunlight. Hanging in every one of the more than 100 windowpanes in the sashes and transoms is a dazzling Pairpoint sun catcher.read more
March 5, 2012
I heard on the news recently that a medical study revealed that men have a higher tolerance for pain than women do. (This could be a macho thing, or maybe we men are just too numb to know what we’re feeling.)
Regardless of the validity of this study, it’s safe to say that neither gender enjoys being in pain. With an aging population, is it any wonder that sales of over-the-counter pain relievers are booming? Fortunately, I have discovered a better, natural way to soothe those everyday aches and pains: Maine Warmers.read more
January 19, 2012
I’ll admit it – I’m an almond junkie. As a kid, I think it was chocolate bars with almonds in them that got me hooked initially. Now I’m addicted to the True Nut Company’s Maple-Roasted Almonds, available in six perfectly blended varieties – Original, Cinnamon, Coconut, Ginger, Basil, and Cayenne.read more
December 3, 2011
Baking and decorating cookies for family and friends (and, for Santa, of course) is a favorite holiday tradition for many of us.
Who doesn’t love the sweet aroma and taste of homemade cookies? And when those treats are in fun, recognizable shapes, the only thing better than eating them is making them with your favorite cookie cutters.read more
November 4, 2011
Let’s be honest, if you’re a dog lover, it’s nearly impossible to say no to those sad eyes, especially when you’re eating something right in front of your canine companion. But whatever you like to eat (e.g., BBQ potato chips for me) isn’t always the right thing to share with man’s best friend.
A Smart Alternative that Dogs Loveread more
October 21, 2011
Back in the 1800s, villages along rivers witnessed the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Textile mills from England were replicated here, spawning the growth of entire towns and cities.
Not far from where my store is located, you can see sprawling brick mill complexes in cities that were once synonymous with textile manufacturing. When the textile industry migrated south in the mid-1900s, many of the mill buildings were shuttered and sat empty for years.read more
October 3, 2011
I’ve liked making baked goods since I was a kid. I got my start with Betty (Crocker), Duncan (Hines), and the Dough Boy. As a teenager I discovered that muffins, cookies, brownies, and other baked items were generally much better when they were made from scratch instead of out of a box. Over the years I added quite a few favorites to my repertoire, especially bar cookies and brownies (more on that later).read more
September 8, 2011
The foothills of the western Maine mountains overlooking the Kennebec River offer the ideal conditions for raising superior quality apples. This is where two generations of the Dimock family cultivate over 30 acres of trees on their farm named North Star Orchards. Using the ecologically sustainable techniques of integrated crop management, the Dimocks grow some of the finest apples in New England.
August 24, 2011
With the daylight hours waning and the nights getting cooler, my favorite season is approaching. There’s nothing quite like autumn. The air is refreshing, the sky is deep blue, and Mother Nature puts on a breath-taking spectacle of vibrant foliage. I think the best thing about the season is the wonderful smell of fresh-picked apples, pumpkins, and the aromas of baked goods made from the harvest.read more
August 11, 2011
According to a recent National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 millions homes. Those households account for 86.4 million cats and 78.2 million dogs based on data gathered from the survey. Americans are expected to spend almost $51 billion on their pets this year, almost triple what they spent in 1994.
No wonder things that have to do with pets are popular items in my store.read more
July 14, 2011
Just about everyone who visits my store comments on the Roy Toy® log building sets. I imagined this classic toy would evoke fond memories from my fellow baby boomers. But I didn’t expect these kits of multiple wooden pieces would have such wide appeal, especially among today’s “wired” youngsters. Much to my surprise, I have been proven wrong (once again).read more
June 14, 2011
In my little retail shop that’s packed with hundreds of US-made items spanning a variety of categories, I never would have guessed soap – “Just Soap” – would be my #1 best-selling product. The soap’s natural eye- and nose-appeal is hard to resist, but it’s the ingenious use of a bicycle in the soap-making process that really sells these “pedal powered” bars.read more
June 1, 2011
An unusual-looking contraption with an equally odd-sounding name, the origins of the word “hod” are uncertain; however, I think it’s a translation for the term “workhorse.” Not necessarily a prize-winning beauty, but it reliably gets the job done day in, day out.read more
May 19, 2011
Environmentally-conscious Way Out Wax isn’t only for buggy outside situations; Way Out Wax’s Clean Air product line for indoors does an equally excellent job – naturally.Using a scientifically proven technology, Clean Air really lives up to its name. It doesn’t mask offensive odors; it destroys them – fast. Don’t ask me to explain exactly how it does this. All I can say is from first-hand experience, it works like magic…read more