No Snow, No Problem

A couple of months ago, my friend Cindy asked if I would be interested in going dog sledding. I was unaware that such an activity existed in New England.

Obviously, I said yes. And that is how I found myself hanging out with 4 mushers and 24 huskies at a campground in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, a few weeks ago.

One of the teams
One of the teams











We chose to go on a one-hour tour with Valley Snow Dogz. The company is owned by Lidia, a lovely woman from Manchester, England. Her lovely husband, Richard, helps out and was quite the adventure photographer on the day of our tour. Kim and Kelly are lovely twin sisters who also help give the tours.

Before we started the tour, we were introduced to the three teams of eight dogs. The dogs—all Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Huskies—were beautiful and SO sweet and gentle. Some even liked to give hugs.

There was little to no snow on the ground, so instead of sledding, we sat on the back of ATVs for our tour. The dogs were hooked up to the front of the ATVs.








When we met them, they didn’t make a peep, but as soon as they started getting hooked up, one by one, they started barking in an excited chorus. Luckily it was a sunny day and the temperature wasn’t terribly cold. We took all kinds of windy paths in the campground. The “musher” would give commands when she wanted the team to turn left or right. Sometimes they were confused, but one of the “leader” dogs eventually got it right and led us in the right direction.

I expressed my surprise at how hard the dogs were working, but Lidia assured me that this is what they are bred for. They thrive in temperatures below freezing and heat is released through their paws, so they never get too cold.

Action shot of Kim and me (courtesy of Richard Dale-Mesaros)
Action shot of Kim and me (courtesy of Richard Dale-Mesaros)







At the end of the tour, we said our farewells to the dogs and chatted with the mushers a bit. Their enthusiasm and passion for their work was a joy to witness, and I found it inspiring. Next year, I hope to try dog sledding

Cindy gets a kiss from a friend
Cindy gets a kiss from a friend




Long Island Medium

Four or five years ago, I was visiting a friend and she introduced me to the reality TV show Long Island Medium. We watched episode after episode, transfixed. The “Long Island Medium” is a woman named Theresa Caputo, who lives on Long Island with her family.

I’ve gone to a few psychics over the years and was never blown away by the experiences. But I do believe that some psychics are the real deal and can communicate with spirits.

I theorized from her TV show that Theresa could be the real deal, but I also knew it was TV…so when I heard that she was bringing her live show to Boston, a friend and I immediately bought tickets.

theresa caputo









As well as being a medium, Theresa is a born performer. She’s extroverted, sassy, and speaks her mind. She started off the evening by laying down some ground rules, e.g., do not dog whistle in hopes of luring her over to communicate with your loved one’s spirit. (Sure enough, someone did that in the middle of the evening and was she pissed!) She also mentioned that if you were relating to what a spirit was saying to some one else, that it could possibly be your loved one talking to you as well.

The show consisted of her walking through the audience until she felt “strong” spirits. Cameras followed her so the audience could watch her speak with audience members on a big screen on stage.

I spent the whole evening thanking my lucky stars that I have not lost a closed loved one to tragedy or old age yet. Many stories told were pretty high on the tragedy scale. The first spirit Theresa connected with was a 2-month-old boy who died from a respiratory problem. Then there was the spirit of a local woman who had recently died after being stabbed by a boyfriend. There was a college student who died of the norovirus. There was a woman who left behind a small son, whom her mother was taking care of.

Theresa would walk around saying things like, “Tell me about the daughter.” “I see an explosion; did someone die in a war?” until someone would speak up. I got the chills when a 19-year-old woman was talking with Theresa about her mother whom she had recently lost. Much of her story sounded like my own mother’s, who lost her mother when she was 14.

I left the show hoping that the people who communicated with their loved ones through Theresa felt some level of comfort and peace. I was also reminded of the importance of communicating with our loved ones while they are still with us. Guilt from things left unsaid and what-iffing after losing a loved one equal a very heavy burden.

A House in the Country

My friend Linda and I toured the Lyman Estate, a Historic New England property, the other day. I was especially excited to see this property because it features one of the oldest surviving greenhouses in the country. We timed the visit so we could see camellias in bloom.










The Lyman Estate was built by a wealthy shipping merchant in 1793. He and his family lived in Boston but wanted “a country home” in nearby Waltham. Four generations lived there; the fifth generation decided to donate the property to Historic New England. The estate is used for function rentals, so none of the furnishings are original. But every piece is from the time periods of the Lymans’ residence.










After a guided tour of the house, we headed to the greenhouses. I love plants even though I struggle to keep them alive. So greenhouses really excite me. There are so many different plants crammed into a greenhouse! So much life in one place…

There were loads of succulents, for which I have a soft spot now, since I made my terrarium.








Not all of the camellias were in bloom, but there were some pretty ones.


















Just lovely. If I ever live somewhere with outdoor space, I will have to try planting some flowers!


The Sonic Cube

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was renovated four years ago. I’ve visited a handful of times since then, each time peeking into the performance hall and thinking, “I need to see a concert here.”

So this was the year. My friend and I got tickets to see Will Dailey, a local singer-songwriter. Having never heard a note of his music, I was looking forward to seeing (and hearing) what he was about.

The performance hall is called a “sonic cube.” It’s square-shaped and very vertical.
















Seating was general admission, so I arrived early and nabbed front row seats. Will was accompanied by an accordionist/pianist, bassist, and drummer. We greatly enjoyed the music; a lot of it was mellow, but Will had some good riffs now and then. He wasn’t overly chatty, but when he did speak, he was charming and thoughtful.

He won over the crowd when he stated that he felt bad for the audience members in the top row, who were essentially looking down at the top of his head. So he laid down and performed a song. That couldn’t have been easy!










Delightful band, delightful performance space. I’m looking forward to returning some day.

Playing a guitar made from a can?!
Playing a guitar made from a can?!