It's that time of the year.

In my family we have always watched the Award shows with keen interest in the movies but more particularly in what they are going to wear. Then we ooooh and awwwww or ugggh. It's fun and I have always looked forward to it. When I was 15 I loved Nicole Kidman's Asian inspired chartreuse Versace dress a lot (I went through an odd retro color phase teen fashion sense) and that year for Christmas mom bought the exact color fabric to make the dress. It sat in her closet for many a year and then came out to be a table cloth at our wedding reception and this Christmas when I was home she made it into a robe for me. Its very soft and yummy and I think I will get a lot more use out of it as a robe and not a formal gown (imagine that.) Anyway, we really like watching the Award shows and its been very anticlimactic for us this year. On Sunday night, McKay and I jumped at the fact the SAG awards were happening WITH celebrities. We devoured every minute of the red carpet (thank heavens for TIVO so we didn't have to listen to the inane jabber of the E! people) and the show itself. Then traditionally, we talk about what we've seen. I think our commentary is right up there with the Fugs themselves and very articulate. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don't but its good fun. You can go here if you are interested at all in reading my complete report about this. I am very excited for the writers to wrap this baby up so we can see some action on the red carpet for the Oscars.
Can I hear a yip yip!



I've been on the Ad Job since setting foot in Windsor. With the new store (The Merc) we wanted to jump in and brand it right away as a cool place. So far we've had the ads in 2 weeks and there is already a small following (or at least interest) for the Ads and people have mentioned seeing them when they come in which means people are actually recognizing that they are there. Our Ad Man at the Valley News actually told me that his fellow Ad people look forward to seeing what will be next; exactly what we wanted, get 'em hooked. My process thus far is type whatever comes to my head. Rarely, do you get to do a job where you get to present yourself (your humor) so forwardly but that is our brand philosophy thus far and its pretty fun. I also worked up and Ad for Nate's other store that is carrying Patagonia now and one for Upper Valley Life magazine. I honestly did this one as a joke because I tend to send Nate a real one and one that is a joke but they always go for the joke! We have the same reported that came and did a story on us a couple weeks ago coming again to talk with all of us about Sibling Development for a longer article in the paper. Yep.


The Diner.

Somewhere along the trip with Mike (probably while we were on a train somewhere and starving) I told him about American small town diners. He couldn't wait to try so last night after workMcKay and Max joined us and we went to the Stubbs & Lauras Diner right herein Windsor. It's 5 minutes down the road and as we arrived at 6:30PM, there were lotsof cars in the park (good sign). More good signs upon entrance: blue walls,small space, a chalkboard with specials of Homemade Macaroni & Cheese, and homemade breads, random framed Maxfield Parrish prints (an incredible American artist from the area) whom I really really like.

McKay and I took the lead on this one ordering those things onemust try at a new diner,Chocolate Milkshake. Mike caught right on when he ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger but opted for the Breakfast all day option and got aBacon, Egg, Cheese Biscuit (a weakness) and some homefries (how long since I have seen that word?). McKay, having been to the other diner in town, ascertained that the french fries weren't as good but the burger was better. Good stuff.

Max seemed to have a great time crawling over Mike and along the booth and then he really enjoyed a chocolate icecream with sprinkles.We had a good 10 minutes of uninterrupted conversation as Max ate thewhole thing! As we left Max told the waitress, "Hey, Thanks for the dinner!" I would agree with Max on that one.


Getting to know Windsor.

It did indeed snow yesterday but I think only 6 inches. Enough to powder the landscape. It
was a beautiful blue sky day and I wanted to get some pictures before the whiteness turned
to grey or melted away.

This is a shot across one of the frozen ponds in Windsor and towards Mt. Ascutney
which has a ski area. Also a shot down Main St. from McKay's house. The downtown
where The Merc is just around that bend.

McKay and Nate's house which was built in 1817. That is where we are staying. Then
there is the Windsor House which is just across from the Merc downtown. Its a
historic building in the town (which I don't know the history to :)

This is The Constitution house where the Vermont constitution was signed in 1777.
This was the first constitution to prohibit slavery. That is the Cornish-Windsor Bridge
built in 1866. It is the longest wooden bridge in the US and the the longest 2 -span c
overed bridge in the world. This connects Vermont to New Hampshire and is right
in Windsor.

Mike with Maddie (Brig and Chelle's youngest) and a pretty cute picture there
of Maddie crawling up the stairs towards my camera.


Vermont and the Cold

Well, I thought that seeing as this Blog site is Chris and Mike (not just Chris) that I should start making a few posts once in a while. Today I am going to start with a few comments on the Winter weather in Vermont. Chris and I have only been here for two weeks tomorrow but I have already experienced some pretty crazy weather. Yesterday and today were bitter. I have never been in a place where the daily temperature is so low. I am currently walking to work, only about 5 minutes down the road, but in the time it takes me to get from the house to the Mercantile my damp shower hair had frozen. My fingers get so cold in that few minute walk that it is hard to open the door. It seems to be even colder than Winter up at Lake Lyndon. Anyway, I will post a few picture of the weather over the next few days as a big storm is due tomorrow.


Busy days in Windsor.

Lots of action around these parts.
We got our first article about The Merc in "The Eagle Times" today and it was all pretty accurate considering the speed in which we talked with her and the vast amount of information we shared. Technically The Merc is owned by NLWILSON which is Nate's company but the article talks more about the Siblings and I even got credit as a co-owner (but I guess I was at the interview) and a block quote. Chelle was talking to someone this afternoon and they mentioned what good quotes I gave to the paper. These Larsons...HA! Nate and Mike got a nice picture on the back page and people are loving this new kiwi guy at the Merc. So for a local paper, it wasn't bad coverage because at this point, any news is good news for us. We also had our first Ad in the Valley News so hopefully the word is spreading.

Windsor has a railway that goes right through town and in the old station is a restaurant and tonight we were ALL able to go without the kids. The first time since everyone has moved out that we've done this (along with Rich and Paula Vial) so that was fun! There is no lack of personality with this group. We laughed...we cried...and ate some good food for a little restaurant in Windsor, Vermont.

Big Red's hats.

Dad's doctor told him that he needs to be sure to wear UV certified (you know what I mean) hats at all times when in the sun so down in Deming they are on a hat hunt for any eventuality. Here is ready for a horse and a safari.


Workin' at the Merc.

It's been a busy week for all involved. Sure it was -20 degrees the night we got here but it has been down right lovely springish weather since then. Mike has been working all day at The Merc and I have been the run-around girl, working on Ads and Press Releases so that people know the store even exists! Doesn't Mike look great in his uniform? I was there taking some product shots the other night so there is a sampling of what we have and then a really good look at Nate and how he feels...Yesterday was our 4th Anniversary but we ran to Lebanon to Home Depot. We remembered the day and felt grateful for the past 4 years together but didn't feel at all like going out as that is all we did for the last 3 months. Oh and I painted McKay's bathroom (the least I can do for room and board eh?) so that she lets us stay....( i know you love having us here Mck.)


The Grand Opening

Well the Grand Opening of the Windsor Vermont Mercantile was a success! There was a steady flow of traffic all day with a lot of positive feedback and excitement of the prospects of having a real store in Windsor. Mike did what he does really well (sell things) and wowed my brothers sufficiently which was fun to see. Although, the shelves (and there are many many many) are still not fully stocked and there will be a lot of work seeing what fits and what to get in, they had a great first day. Now the hard work begins...advertising and keeping people coming and and buying! Vermont has a real history of General Stores and this building was originally a Dry Goods Store in the 1800s so there is some serious history and General Store Karma going on here. Featured are all the originally shelves, the cash cage ( a space up above where they could see the whole space, the original register (sorry no picture) and even the original ledger (handwritten with the accounts) so needless to say it is quite an exciting space and people can feel and see that. My brothers and sisters in law ( and many other willing friends) did a fantastic job getting it ready and we went straight there last night after stepping off the plane to do what we could. There was some great feedback from some of the Swanndri and Chalky Digits (NZ brands we brought over) and Mike had fun chatting to people about them. So we will see where it goes from here. There is a lot of work ahead of us but its exciting to be settling in after so many months of wandering but also quite weird for us both (especially Mike) but he had a great day and I even picked up my first potential graphic design client (thanks to McKay) today while randomly chatting to a woman so things bode well for things here in Windsor if we can just get used to this -10 degee Celcius weather....brrrrrrrr.


Family pictures.

We are off very early tomorrow morning. Man, its been great. We have caught up on lots of movies, tv, consumption of yummy food, and some great time with Mom and Dad. Mike put in some quality time watching and getting to know American Football and we have all stayed up to date watching "Project Runway". Dad and Mike have even got into it! Mom made me some very cool dresses including the one above. But now Mike and I begin the end of our 3+ month journey to Vermont. Whoa! The Mercantile has its grand opening on Saturday so we are getting right into it! Here we go.