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Monday, August 29, 2011

Play a Game!

I was strolling through Hampshire Mall today, stopping in at various stores looking for various things, when I came across a store not even two weeks old -- Greenfield Games.
What a great store!  This is not a store with a focus on video games and electronics, but rather a store that stocks a multitude of board games, card games, dice games, RPGs, and more.  The walls are lined with family-friendly and party games like Scrabble, Sequence, Rook, Fluxx, chess, checkers, Spot It!, Clue, Apples to Apples, Blokus, Boggle, the Catan series, and more.  There are also educational games like the 10 Days in... games and others (I can't remember them all).  Role-playing games include Warhammer, Pathfinder, Dresden Files, Doctor Who, D&D, SHOCK, and so on.
There are also frisbees, dice (of all shapes and sizes), dominoes, and kites available, as well as comic books, puzzles, and playing pieces.

I am a big fan of games and think they are a great way to pass the time with friends or with family.    They engage the mind, stifle boredom, encourage creative thinking and problem solving, and build relationships.  Small games are good to keep in emergency kits, camping equipment, travel bags, and backpacks.

The game store in Hadley is close to the food court and definitely worth checked out (don't confuse it with GameStop), whether you are just passing time before your movie starts or you have a particular game you're looking for.  (It's never too early to start stock-piling fun supplies for those long winter nights!)


If you look down the street in our neighbourhood, you would never know that a supposed hurricane passed close by.  The street is dry and clean, yards are mostly free of debris, and the sun is shining brightly.  There are a few scattered leaves and small sticks and garden soil is still moist, but overall things are clear -- we didn't even lose electricity. 
However, nearby towns were not so lucky -- there are overflowing rivers, closed roads, flooded dams, and outages throughout the area, so be wary and be mindful!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Coming Soon! -- Hurrican Irene!

I'm sure you've been hearing the weather statements and news on Hurricane Irene.  It would be a fine idea to follow the suggestions and prepare a few things in case of power failures (we received a call tonight warning us that WMECO anticipates power outages for up to a week), downed trees, flooding, etcetera. has a good list of suggestions for preparing for an emergency.  If you have a phone that does not need plugged in or charged up, now would be a great time to get it out -- and don't forget to charge those cell phones while you're at it.  When last I was at Target (about 45 minutes ago), there were still lots of batteries, but not too many (if any) flashlights or unscented candles.
Take the opportunity to check school cancellations before the storm hits on Sunday -- there are already a couple of schools canceling Monday classes.
Remember that if the storm hits hard, many services will not be available on Sunday or Monday, so if you have the opportunity to grab a few extra items tomorrow, it might be a good idea.  If you don't need them this week, you'll have them for the future.
That's all for now.  Hope to be back on the blog soon!

(Can you believe -- hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes in Massachusetts within the space of 3 months?!?)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fairs & Festivals Galore!

The end of August is the ramp-up for local fair and festival season -- they start this weekend with the Heath Harvest Festival and continue into November with Cider Days.  There are so many fun things to do in the Valley in the autumn.  Discover a new festival or find an old favourite on the calendar page.

Know of a local fair or festival that's not included?  Add a comment on the calendar page, and I'll get it added!  (Please include a link to the festival/fair webpage and town location.)


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pioneer Valley Local Greenie

Back in April I received a notice that this blog was chosen as one of the recommended blogs on the new Pioneer Valley Local Greenie website.
The PVLG is a subset of the Local Greenie sites, which focus on local and green products and businesses (the name pretty much says it all).  The site includes links for entertainment, jobs, shopping, food, hotels, and more; it also features local blogs and other informational sources.
Check it out -- you may discover something new & useful!