Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kitty Vibes are the Best!

I have officially determined the best Christmas present you can get or give this year is a new kitten or a mature cat. The Mitch and I got one last weekend from the Rutland County Humane Society who did an exceptional job with their PR and letting folks know they were over inundated with cats and kittens. As a supporter of all things PR (um, probably because I run a Vermont public relations firm), I hopped on this bandwagon and The Mitch and I vibed down to Pittsford, Vermont to pick up Bonham, the newest addition to the MitchaRachia farmhouse family.

Bonham (named after late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham - and The Mitch's favorite musical idol) is a 12 week year old tiger striped kitten (now thirteen). We got a kitten because we already have Fee (age 8) and Tela (age 7) and a mature cat would tear the farmhouse to shreds with these big beasts in a non-vibalicious way. So a kitten was the only way to go. I have been against getting another cat for years as I do not want to add on any more crazy cat lady qualities, but The Mitch insisted he have a cat he can raise instead of just his two lumpfish stepcats. When The Mitch puts his foot down about something, even me on an overload of Bossios for breakfast cannot argue.

So, down we went to Pittsford, home of the Vermont Maple Museum. While vibing our way down, we stopped at Hannaford's in Middlebury to get some more cat supplies and cat food to donate where in my exuberance to further escalate my crazy cat lady status, left my wallet in the bathroom, only to arrive at the Rutland County Humane Society without it and to great dramatic effect called Hannaford's, learned to my most delighted and belief-in-the-good-of-people spirits that my wallet was indeed turned in, even with the $50 cash inside. Woohoo! Anyway, Bonham sang out to us the minute we walked in the door and it took less than ten minutes to cuddle him up and bring him home, along with a very well put together packet of cat information - sure to further my escalation of a cat know-it-all - watch out Green Mountain Animal Hospital - my fantastic vets who have so awesomely taken care of the fee extensive Fee (even though he was named after a Phish song).

So, here we are a week later...Bonham and Fee have become close to friends and Tela - well that brat of a princess is having some issues, including a new sound she has created that is part growl, part groan, part meow, and part purr. She even does it in her sleep (she too is named after a Phish song). Here are some pics to share...

PS - Please, if you do not have a cat, and would like one, rescue one from the Rutland County Humane Society - they are so nice there, the drive is very Vermont Vibes worthy, and those mature cats will give you fantastic vibes!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Vibe Got Around

Last weekend she sure did. The Mitch and I packed it up in the Pontiac Vibe fresh with her new snow tires and sped off with Vergennes as our first destination. We spent an evening in our now neighbor town of Vergennes where we started out with a casual dinner at 3 Squares Cafe downtown. This place is fantastic. Chef owner Matt Birong has created a casual relaxed atmosphere where you order from a counter, but are provided with a cheerful and colorful waiting environment that certainly encourages a dining in option but without the feeling of weirdness that can come at other establishments when you choose to carry out. But that is just an added bonus, it is the food that makes 3 Squares Cafe a delectable Vermont treat. The Mitch and I both opted for one of the specials - a pulled pork quesadilla which was absolutely delicious. Be sure to check them out next time you're vibing through Vergennes or on the web at 3 Squares serves alcohol so you can bet some vibes we enjoyed a local brew and got some baked goods to go which were perfect for an after dinner snack at our next destination.

And that would be the Vergennes Opera House for an enchanting solo piano performance by Cody Michaels called "Winter Suite." The seasonally magical music lifted my heart and spirit and I believe I have found Vermont Vibing theme music. Please visit and consider checking out this enlightening Vermont musician or buying a CD for your Vermont Vibes adventure - I did! Following the concert, we headed to Antidote - Vergennes classy bar - for fancy drinks and cheer with my good pals Jeff and Carrie - Jeff was the bass player in the band I used to sing with and now rocks out the 80's cover band Hot Neon Magic.

The next day after a leisurely morning enjoying the farmhouse, The Mitch and I poked our way up to Smuggler's Notch for the Brewfest with our groovy Magic Hat friends Jen and Russ and their clan. I love the concept of the Brewfest - good Vermont beers (and Woodchuck Draft Cider), bad 80's music, wicked cheesy people, and lots of fun Magic Hat peeps! We had a blast and after swilling our ticketed amount of brews (heehee), we bounced off to the Morse Mountain Grille & Pub for some terrifically terrible Karaoke (I can say that because even I sang an awful song). But what was fantastically fabulous was that the sneaky blow-up band, The Shwilly Spunions, made a surprise guest appearance and then continued the show at the Magic Hat condo - completely blowin' it up! I must give it up to Smuggs for offering their two weekends a year (another Brewfest is held at the beginning of April) of adult mayhem as they are most certainly Vermont's family resort - and that is a slogan that is certainly true!

Rock On and Peace Out Vibers!

PS - Pontiac - you should definitely feature the Vermont Vibes Blog in your Pontiac Performance Magazine - we've got a whole contingency of folks up here living and loving the Vermont Vibes concept which was purely created from my bouncing around Vermont in my Pontiac Vibe - unsolicited public relations should not be ignored - especially in this marketplace! And as a Vermont PR professional by day, I can even hook up your press visit! Word.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dancing, Shopping, & Dancing

The weekend before Thanksgiving was vibalicious! It started on Friday night when The Mitch and I urged our closest neighbor friends from Hinesburg to go contra dancing at the Hinesburg Town Hall. I have been wanting to go contra dancing for a few years now and every time I think my plans will allow, there is some reason I can't go. But two Fridays ago, there was nothing in our way so we headed off to the Hinesburg Town Hall dressed in our best contra dance outfits (complete with a pair of Healthy Hippie legwarmers). We were all excited for some community cheer and to meet some folks in our community and were immediately amused by the mix of ages - definitely an equal distribution of all generations which was super cool. Now as I have never been contra dancing before, I was not sure what to expect. We were soon swept into the dance with minimal instruction which made it pretty difficult to keep up. This would have been fine with us except there were definitely a few folks there who wanted no part of beginners in their dance circle and let's just say their vibes were far less than friendly. Some folks were nice, but all in all I didn't feel too welcome and I know The Mitch was giving me dagger eyes across the dance floor. We were thanked at the end for coming, but were advised to switch partners with other dancers which would help with our lack of contra skills. Perhaps someone should have mentioned that to us before and perhaps a friendlier atmosphere would be less intimidating. I guess there are some contra dances where the beginners go at the beginning to learn and then other folks come. Maybe that should be the case at all contra dances? If not the listing in the local paper could say "For Experienced Contra Dancers." Anyway, I still had fun and it's always good for your ego to be out of your comfort zone! Here are some pics to share:

After contra dancing we went to our friend's house in Hinesburg for well deserved beers and a sleepover consisting of playing Rock Band on the big screen. The next morning Patty and I headed off the the Hinesburg Holiday Bazaar. I bought a ton of Christmas decorations as well as a few presents and had some fun conversations with the friendly church volunteers (they were not at the contra dance). Check it out:

By mid-day we parted ways with our pals and The Mitch and I headed to the Charlotte Artisan Fair which has quite a different flair from the bazaar. A bazaar is typically held at a church by the church and has a collection of used items being sold at exceptionally awesome prices. The concept of a holiday bazaar I believe even precedes the tag sale, but don't quote me on that. An artisan fair however is usually much more upscale and expensive - as it should be since the products are hand made by the artisans selling them. Artisan fairs are typically out of the budget of a developing Vermont business owner and a special educator.

After some more holiday shopping The Mitch and I had just enough time to get into honky tonk costume and head to The Old Lantern for the the Old Lantern LIVE series with Girl Howdy and the Starline Rhythm Boys. But before we got to more dancing we were treated to a delicious venison pie dinner made by owner, Chef Roland - YUM!!! While The Mitch and I are very dedicated fans of honky tonk, we've only seen the Starline Rhythm Boys a handful of times and never in such a large space on Vermont's best dance floor. It was wild! And once again we were out of our element. Definitely in the younger portion of the crowd, we watched folks show up with dancing shoes and wow were they good! Everyone was dancing as couples and The Mitch and I had to spend a good time watching and getting up the nerve to try our own moves. We have officially decided we need to take ballroom dancing classes so we can learn the basics. We may be good dancers in our hippie scene, but our moves sure need some polishing. Plus, we spend so much time pretending to be rock stars, I think we have forgotten how to shake our hips. We did manage to pull out a few air guitar moves and ended up having our own private rock concert to Star 92.9 when we got home (this was before the holiday tunes started). Vibing sure is fun!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vermont Vibes Winter Gear Up

It is cold and I love it! Every season (except fall) is my favorite season. And when winter comes, it is no exception. I love the cold air, bundling up, breathing hard. Winter to me is just so clean and being out in Charlotte is going to allow me to enjoy every beautiful little bit of it this year - and I will! Winter has also turned the concept of Vermont Vibes into its own belly flop. What I mean by this is before The Mitch and I moved to Charlotte, vibing was a way to get out of town, meet new people, experience new things, and do what is not done. But in the winter we vibed much less and went straight to the mountain to ski and ride.

Enter MitchaRachia is created and the Farmhouse Comes Alive! The warm weather is no longer spent running away from town to get into the woods and small towns. The spring, summer, and early fall was spent right here on our farm, growing the most gorgeous and tasty veggies I have ever grown or eaten, harvesting those veggies, and then putting them up for the long Vermont winter. When we weren't growing, weeding, or cooking we were gallivanting around Charlotte enjoying our new home and our new town. As much as I loved it, I was also sometimes sad that I wasn't vibing as I used to and sharing the good word of the Vibe with all of you Vermont Vibes fans.

In creeps winter in Charlotte and the stupid economy. And, in creeps the fact that we live on 500 acres of farmland and woods - a lot of the open space being on hills. Catch my drift? Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and making our own downhill trails and jumps! So this year we didn't buy ski passes and our winter weekends aren't committed to one ski area - leaving more options to hang with friends and more options to ski or not to ski - woo-hee! Which leads to WAAAYYYYY more opportunities for WINTER VIBING!!!!!!!!!!!!

We started this past weekend! On our way back from a sneaky birthday trek to New Hampshire which surprised The Mitch out of his newly-learned-how-to-wear scarf, we went - you guessed it - VIBING!!!

We went to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) and checked out the birds of prey. I fell in love with the gorgeous snowy owl which I swear was a stunt double in Harry Potter and The Mitch stared in awe at the bald eagle (I think the bald eagle was staring at his scarf). For those who don't know, VINS is seriously one of the coolest places I have ever been. They care for injured birds of prey and raptors in huge habitat cages that all differ based on the bird's natural habitat. These birds can never live outside of captivity again because of damage done to them so it's not like creating a zoo for the heck of it (of course I am anti that concept). Back in the day, before I owned my own Vermont public relations business, the Woodstock Inn & Resort used to be a client. As area attractions are what makes a travel story, I got to hang quite a bit at places like VINS (which is in Quechee, next to Woodstock). It was really cool being able to go back - and on a day when no on was there (I love that so many people do not understand that wearing five layers is fun - leaves more of everything for those of us who do).

After we gawked at, talked to (well, I did), and chatted with another fellow enjoying the birds, we took the nature walk behind the huge cages where two of my most favorite natural habitats are - vernal pools and wetlands!!! It was so neat seeing them in their off season and of course I took some pictures to share!

So Vibers - if you have the chance - go to VINS (!!!!! It's very close off the 89/91 exits by White River Junction and you don't need to spend a ton of time there to enjoy and appreciate. There is some inside stuff as well that The Mitch and I had fun with too - hey - we like to warm up also!

Love and Light Vibers and get out there! I am off for another weekend of Vibing - contra dancing, holiday bazaars, artisan fairs, venison dinners, local music, and the annual Friendsgiving Celebration with my peeps!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Recipe for Wellness

1 whole person
1 cup of conviction
1 3/4 cup of values
1 tablespoon of class
1 tablespoon of courage
12 ounce bag of beliefs
a pinch of salt

Take yourself and hold true with your conviction, never lose sight of your values, balance your courage with class, mix up your beliefs, and keep it real with a dash of saltiness.

I am applying this to my life for my own wellness right now. People, work, life, and yes - even friends can be demanding. Sometimes people lose sight that what is wellness to some is not wellness to others. I often say no to activities and invitations because I need to keep my own wellness and sanity in check - the pressures of peer pressure do not diminish as you get older. No one should take it personally when someone says no and should never make someone else feel bad because they are taking care of themselves - which can mean saying no to you!!!!!

To really respect your and others' vibes, you need to look at why people make the decisions they do and to respect those decisions, because they are theirs to make. (Unless of course it is meant to do harm, but that is not what I am talking about here.) Recipes for wellness will differ with the flavor of the person mixing and not everyone likes the same recipes.

So friends and loved ones - please do not take offense when you are not number one - that does nothing but add to the pressure of time and the stress of wellness.

Love and Light.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Thanks

I am thankful that I am able to be proud of my country again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Freedom Enhanced

It's Election Day. Happy Happy Joy Joy. I already posted my commentary on the state of affairs on my Rachel Carter PR blog if anyone is interested in my business side of life.

So in keeping with putting politics and crap out of the way and simply embracing life, I am in the mood to offer my thanks...

Thank you sun for rising each day and the few opportunities I am able to catch it

Thank you Vermont for the lovely foliage this year

Thank you friends for being my amazing, amazing friends

Thank you garden for the fantastic harvest

Thank you kitties for being my sweet, sweet kitties

Thank you soulmate for being my loveliest love of all

Thank you all for my bountiful energy