At about midnight on Monday, October 26our smoke alarm went off. We saw smoke but no fire. My husband Bill and I opened the doors and the windows, turned on the ceiling fans, but the smoke alarms continued to blast. We couldn’t see fire, but when we felt the walls they were warm but not hot. The alarms persisted. I went in to the bathroom and saw no problems. About 30 seconds later there was brown acrid smoke coming in through the bathroom ceiling fan. I ran upstairs to call 911 and yelled to my husband that there was a fire. I called 911 and explained what was happening. We were told to get out, and get out NOW!
The fire was in the walls around the stove pipe and working its way through the floors. Three fire trucks brought firefighters who came in with chain saws and axes. And the smoke alarms kept going.
My dog was in the bedroom but they wouldn’t let us get her, they said we had to get out. They got...
Jay and I have spent the past few years writing. While my main focus has been the Vine, he has been alternating between making technology and management recommendations to publishing companies and writing Westminster Board of Sel...Read More >>
During our fateful long drive to Parris Island 2 1/2 years ago, during which we decided to create the Vine, one of the things Jen looked forward to the most was being able to write about people here in town who have led very inte...Read More >>
It is with certain sadness that I write my last offering for The Vine. This delightful community publication has become such a steady part of my life and business. I have enjoyed sharing Haute Cuisine Couture Recipes regularly on...Read More >>
The sign may not be up yet, but Erica Ewing Photography, located next to the Westminster Café at 51 Main Street, is open and already booking portrait sessions. See below for examples of some of her work.
Erica Ewing Photograp...Read More >>
Stirring It Up: How To Make Money and Save The World, by Gary Hirshberg
Writing about Stirring It Up started off as part of my ‘twelve must read titles’ story, but I quickly realized that it deserved its own space in this week's Vine.
The very short sto...Read More >>
At the recent 3-hour Vincent’s Country Store Food Pantry Benefit Sale, customers saved over $450.00 in purchases and donated over 400 food items and nearly $800 to the Westminster Community Food Pantry.
The Vincent family and Food Pantry volunteers were qu...Read More >>
I remember, one summer day, lying on the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun, soaking within my skin. Listening to the seagulls flying above my head, feeling the tranquility of the ocean breeze, thinking life doesn’t get any better than this.
The warmth o...Read More >>
I grew up in Westminster riding bikes, playing in the woods, skiing and swimming. A good place to grow up and have access to nature.
I knew when I was very young that I wanted to do something with the environment, and that was due to the access I had to wild...Read More >>
I recently brainstormed with volunteers from the Westminster Community Food Pantry. After surveying some people who I consider to be very attentive and involved in town, the most common response was that people just don't know enough about the Food Pantry.
The Westminster Community Food...Read More >>
I can still remember the night of November 16, 2011, when I called Jen Shenk to ask her opinion on a troublesome matter that plagued me.
As always, Jen was willing to put whatever she was doing at that given moment aside to lend an ear. I rattled my dilemma and we talked the issue through, but b...Read More >>
One aspect of my life that I look forward to reclaiming is having time to read. My bedside table contains a pile of books that I haven't touched in over a year. Some books have been lent to me by friends. My Kindle is backed up with books I've barely started, and there are some that I liked so much I...Read More >>
When I was in college, there was a ‘health club’ in Gardner called Better Body Enterprises. It was a small dimly-lit facility located on Connors Street behind my Aunt Edie's Temptations Boutique and Bridal.
This place was magical. The exercise machines (no exercise was actually required) were...Read More >>
With map in hand we set off to explore these famous tombs carved with chert axes and copper chisels into rock of alternating layers of limestone and flint.
Low rectangular shaped walls surround entrances to many unexcavated tombs.
Looking down from the entrance to the Tomb of Thutmosis III
From this entrance we traveled, at times...Read More >>
Scud Missiles over Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
It was 3:00 am on a February morning in 1991 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The air war of Desert Storm had been in effect for nearly a month. I was sleeping in my improvised bomb shelter in the closet under the stairs when the phone rang. I had dragged the...Read More >>
When The Vine announced its ending, I began to think about movies that had endings that really made the movie stand out.
As The Vine has stood out, here are some movies you might want to watch and appreciate how an ending can make what has existed even more precious and important.Rabbit Hole (the...Read More >>
If you are offended by homosexuality, don’t watch this movie.
If you like comedy intertwined with romance, you can watch it for what it is worth. A comedy with a few good laughs told with a backdrop of how far someone will go when they are in love.
There are graphic homosexual scenes that will offend...Read More >>
I’m trying to get an early start on my Christmas shopping. This is the third lousy-economy Christmas in a row and everyone I know is being frugal. So that’s the first problem with my Christmas enthusiasm. The second problem is that I hate shopping—in general, and for Christmas. A few weeks ago Jay said...Read More >>
Do you have DVDs that you no longer watch? Do you have CDs that are no longer what you listen to or you just don't need them anymore? Video games? Games for handheld devices? Computer games? What about chargers and other accessories that went with cell phones you no...Read More >>
Do you ski or snowboard, but not enough to buy a season pass? Here's a way to save $5 on every lift ticket you purchase, while helping Westminster's Neighbors Helping Neighbors Town Benefit Fund at the same time!
If you buy with tickets online and use the code NEIGHBORS,...Read More >>
On the day I sent the previous issue of the Vine, the first comment I had from any of our kids was from 9-year old Erin. She hadn't been very happy when I told her we'd be done publishing the Vine, but she didn't say too much.
I just...Read More >>
The winter holidays are here, and we are all looking forward to a delicious meal of gravy-laden turkey filled with moist savory stuffing and ham glazed with brown sugar, accompanied by sweet cranberry sauce and creamy mashed sweet potatoes.
As you enjoy dinner with your family, the aroma of...Read More >>