Friday, December 8, 2017

Interesting Facts from the 1500's

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring?

3 Public Meetings About Moose in Vermont

Vermont Fish & Wildlife's post.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife
22 hrs
3 PUBLIC MEETINGS ABOUT MOOSE are scheduled and will include information about historical moose populations, impacts of climate change and winter ticks, and the current three-year moose study in which moose cows and calves are being monitored for survival.
The meetings are 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. as follows:
December 13 -- Northwoods Stewardship Center, 154 Leadership Dr, Island Pond, VT 05846
December 14 – Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier, VT 05602
December 19 – Billings Farm & Museum Visitor Center Theater, 69 Old River Road, Woodstock, VT 05091

Police Investigate Robbery, Assault at Weathersfield Convenience Store

WEATHERSFIELD – Vermont State Police say a store clerk was pushed during a robbery of Downers Corner Store in Weathersfield on Friday morning. Police said at 4 a.m. at the store, located at 4261 Vermont Route 106, two men wearing masks followed store employee June French into the Downers Corner St...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

SEVCA Crisis Fuel Assistance is now available

The nights are getting longer, and there’s a chill in the air. For those who can’t afford to heat their homes adequately, that chill is inescapable.
According to a news release from Southeastern Vermont Community Action, households with low incomes spend an average of about $2,000 more than they can afford on energy costs every year.
While many get some assistance through the state’s Seasonal Fuel program, what happens when that isn’t enough?
For low-income households facing a heating emergency, SEVCA’s Crisis Fuel program can be a lifeline. And that lifeline is once again available to those who qualify.
“Depending on how cold the winter is, anywhere from 800 to 1,600 households may need Crisis Fuel assistance in Windham and Windsor counties,” said Pat Burke, Director of SEVCA’s Family Services Program, which provides Crisis Fuel assistance. “We do our best to make sure no one in need has to go without heat.”
SEVCA may also be able to arrange an emergency furnace repair or replacement for qualified homeowners whose furnaces stop working or become unsafe to operate.
To be eligible for Crisis Fuel assistance, households must have had extenuating circumstances that led to the heating emergency (defined as being very close to being out of fuel or out of fuel without money to buy more), and income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which is based on household size; e.g., $4,100/month (gross) for a family of four.
Most households must first apply for and receive Seasonal Fuel assistance before they can be considered for Crisis Fuel. Only households between 185 and 200 percent of FPL are eligible for Crisis Fuel without having to apply for Seasonal Fuel assistance (since they don’t qualify for Seasonal Fuel).
Burke urges all qualified households to apply as soon as possible for the Seasonal Fuel program, so that their application for Crisis Fuel, should they need it, is not delayed. They should also not wait until they are completely out of fuel, as it takes a couple of days to arrange a fuel delivery and there are no funds provided to cover the fee for a special delivery.
Generally, only one Crisis Fuel assist is provided per household receiving Seasonal Fuel assistance per year (two assists for those who don’t qualify).
For more information, call SEVCA toll-free at 800-464-9951 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applicants in northern Windham County may also call that number to schedule an appointment. Brattleboro area applicants should call 802-254-2795, and Springfield area applicants, 802-885-6153.
Applicants must bring pay stubs or other proof of income, know how much fuel is left in their tank (if oil heat), and provide information about their fuel dealer.
For Crisis Fuel Assistance on weekends and holidays only, call 866-331-7741, and for furnace repair or replacement assistance on weekends, holidays, or for after-hours emergencies, call 877-295-7998. Crisis Fuel Assistance is available until the second Friday in April.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Carolyn J Van Tassell, 67

Carolyn Jane (McEnaney) Van Tassell, 67, of Weathersfield passed away Saturday evening, Oct. 28, 2017, at Springfield Hospital after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Carolyn was born May 17, 1950, in Freeport, New York. Her parents, Walter and Dorothy McEnaney predeceased her in 2012 and 2016. 

In 1966, her family moved to South Salem, New York, where she met her future husband, Bruce Van Tassell, in high school. Carolyn graduated from Madison University in Harrisburgh, Virginia in 1972 with a degree in home economics. That summer, Carolyn and Bruce were married in Windsor, Vermont. They celebrated their 45th anniversary in July. Carolyn spent her career teaching home economics at Springfield High School until her retirement. Carolyn was also well-known for her quilting classes which she loved to teach and her long arm quilting she did for many years in her retirement. 

Carolyn leaves her husband, Bruce, with whom she shared a special relationship. She also leaves her brother, Bruce (Betty) of Chester; and nephews, Scott (Erin) and Timothy; and grand niece and nephew, Eli and Dana; her sister-in-law, Linda Clark of Waccabuc, New York; niece Jeanne (Travis) McCormack, and nephew Al (Courtney) Clark; and brother-in-law Jay (April) Van Tassell of LaGrand, Oregon.

At Carolyn’s request, there will be no services. In her memory, donations may be made to the Springfield Humane Society, 401 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156. 

The Knight Funeral Home in Windsor is entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences may be made to her family in an online guestbook at

Monday, December 4, 2017

Forestry and Habitat Management Seminar Part 2 in Weathersfield

Vermont Fish & Wildlife added an event.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation are hosting a two-part event in Weathersfield on December 7 and 9 for landowners interested in improving wildlife habitat and forest health on their property.
The event begins with a talk at the Weathersfield Town Hall in the village of Ascutney on Thursday, December 7, at 7:00 p.m., and ends with a field visit to a private property in the village of Perkinsville on Saturday, December 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Both presentations are free and open to the public, and people may attend either or both.
On Thursday evening in Ascutney village, Andrea Shortsleeve, habitat biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and Hannah Dallas, private lands forester with Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation, will describe in detail a program that provides free advice and technical assistance from state wildlife biologists and foresters, as well as federal financial assistance to pay for habitat and forestry improvements. The program is sponsored by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Thursday’s presentation is sponsored by the Weathersfield Conservation Commission.
On Saturday morning, Shortsleeve and Dallas will lead a field visit in Perkinsville village on a privately-owned property. The visit will also be facilitated by Dan Healey, a consulting forester with Long View Forest Management Company, who oversees forestry management on the property. This presentation will compare tree harvesting methods, look at invasive plant species management, discuss long-term management goals, and examine how wildlife uses a variety of forested habitats.
The field visit group will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the end of Asa Grout Lane in Perkinsville. Participants are asked to wear appropriate footwear for walking in the woods off trail and to wear proper attire for winter weather in Vermont.
Please RSVP to Andrea Shortsleeve for directions, questions, and weather updates at or 802-477-2257. Participants are asked to consider purchasing a Vermont Habitat Stamp, available at to support habitat conservation and outreach in Vermont.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Government Ethics in Vermont

Most of Vermont’s elected officials are honorable and ethical, but some might fall short. However, without clear lines of what is and what is not ethical, the mere perception of waste, fraud, abuse or corruption undermines confidence in government and public servants.

Violation of Conditions of Release

Weathersfield Police Department
Date: November 25, 2017
Offense: Violation of Conditions of Release
Subject: Cameron Green

On this date during a traffic enforcement stop, a records check showed the passenger in the vehicle allegedly had an active set of conditions of release which he was in violation of.
He was issued a citation to appear at the the Windsor County Criminal Court at a later date.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Connecticut River Conservancy Looking for Input

The Connecticut River Conservancy is looking for input on how people use the Connecticut River. There is a survey available at as well as some public meetings - including one on Wed 11/29 at 6pm at the Windsor Welcome Center.

Web survey powered by Create your own online survey now with SurveyMonkey's expert certified FREE templates.

Twin State Depression Support Group Shares Year of Growth!

Just in time for your holiday giving...
The Twin State Depression Support Group is now a recognized 501c3 by the Federal Government!!!
If you would like to make a donation to directly benefit individuals in your area, this is the donation to make!
100% of all proceeds go directly to helping people coping with and living with Depression, or those who love and support them.
Donations can be made by check to:
Twin State Depression Support Group
PO Box 27
Ascutney, VT 05030-0027
Or, you can contact a Board Member: Sue Cox, Raelene De Rosia, Janet Howe, Angela Montano or Lynn Esty
We can provide you with a receipt for your tax purposes.
How else can you help? Please SHARE this post on your Facebook page or by email! It only takes a second but you never know who you might be able to help!
Whew! What a busy year we have had! We have not quite yet reached the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY (December 21st!!) and look how much we have accomplished together!!!
Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart to Raelene De Rosia, Sue Cox, Janet Howe and Angela Montano for helping me take this dream I had and creating it into reality!
We are currently holding two Depression Support Group meetings per month!
~~Third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm - 5259 Route 5, Ascutney, Vt (Martin Memorial Hall - downstairs)
~~Fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm - 7 Morgan Street, Springfield, Vt (Turning Point Recovery Center)
FREE TO ALL... ALL ARE WELCOME... Handicap Accessible
If you know of a location to hold a meeting - free, open in the evening, handicap accessible - we would love to host another meeting in your area! (VT or NH only, please) Contact Lynn Esty for more details! (802-738-7413 Cell - text or call)
We are also in the process of building a web site, creating a lending library and still looking for a few individuals to be active on our Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors will now meet every other month in 2018! The Third Thursday - 6:30 pm at 2520 Route 106, Perkinsville, VT 05151-9333 Please come join us.
The 2018 schedule is: January 18, March 22, May 17, July 19, September 20 - the one exception will be in November - that date to be announced. (Please mark your new calendars now!!!)
We have a new local Phone Number!
This is a voice mail line. Updates regarding meetings will be posted during bad weather. Messages will be checked daily.
We also have a Mentor! She will be joining us in January at our Board Meeting! Look for an announcement!
Don't forget, our afghan raffle is still ongoing - winner will be drawn on December 13th! Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.

Contact a board member if you would like to purchase some!
Thank you to everyone who donated or purchased from our yard sale. We made over $300 dollars! Mark your calendars for next September - we will be holding another one. Stay tuned for date and time! These funds are being used to pay for our web site and telephone line.
Also, thank you to Vermont Psychiatric Survivors for approving our grant proposal to help create our lending library and supporting funds to help us make our plans turn into reality!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Lynn Esty, President
Twin State Depression Support Group Board of Directors