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* Essex Rescue returns from weather-ravaged New York and New Jersey.

* Vermont Ski Industry Offers Donations Incentives.

* Stoweflake Resort Lodges Victims of Sandy — for Free.

These are just three of the stories recently seen on TV and in print about companies reaching out to help those displaced and otherwise in need following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Let’s take a closer look:

The Stoweflake Inn (Stowe, Vermont) has a lengthy report in 7 Days written by Kevin J. Kelley. Having gone to press Tuesday for Wednesday distribution, 7 Days could tell readers that twenty families were in residence on Tuesday. Stoweflake’s president, Chuck Baraw, was quoted as saying a main reason behind the offer was “respite” for people “to take a break from their troubles”. Stoweflake expects to host victims for more than two-hundred nights!

“Stoweflake publicized its initiative via Facebook and by sending email messages to all its previous guests, says marketing director Kim Dixon. The resort intends to make about 40 of its 120 rooms available for up to seven nights per guest through November 20.

Sure beats a FEMA trailer.”

Far better, indeed. Click on the photo above to read Kelley’s article.

* * *

Local TV News on WCAX (found on their website too) ran a video outlining plans of the Vermont Ski Areas Association for Sandy Relief Fundraising. Called “Operation Mountains of Love,” donors are encouraged to give $10 to the Red Cross. Prizes include lift tickets and vacation packages. Online, you can donate via — just email your donation confirmation to Sugarbush Resort will MATCH donations, up to $25,000.

To read WCAX’s story, or watch Judy Simpson’s report, click on the photo above.

* * *

Our third story also comes from WCAX:

Essex Rescue will continue storm relief rotation until mid-November.

“I’m very proud of the work they’re doing,” says Essex Rescue Executive Director Dan Manz. “In a big disaster no state’s got enough resources to be able to mount the response.”


I love dipping into the blog posts at Retro Renovation – and was intrigued to see the return of the Blenko Glass Lamp:

Aren’t they Beautiful!?!
Those shimmering jewel-tones; those fabulous shapes!

Blenko Glass Lamps were available from 1947 until 1963; and now the line has been revived. And Retro Renovation is given one lucky blog-reader a chance to WIN a Blenko Cylinder Lamp in their choice of color.

My house — being built circa 1948, complete with a KNOTTY PINE living room (Pam just loves knotty pine) — would fit into Blenko’s target audience. Click on the link above to read Pam’s post and also to enter her contest. You have until November 9th.

Your new lamp could match your new Cellular Shade, for the jewel-tones you see on are as plentiful and original as Blenko’s. We offer iridescent White; ruby Red; grassy, glassy Green; and even a bold Beige!

* * *

Now that FALL is here: don’t forget to turn back clocks on Saturday in the U.S. Even more reason to have Cellular Shades to the ready – for those colder nights heralding the approach of Old Man Winter.

Readers of this blog will suspect that I am an ardent fan of the Vermont publication 7 Days; today, perusing upcoming events while at lunch,

I spotted this extra-special spooktacular taking place in Proctor, Vermont on Saturday night, October 13th at:


Guests participate in a Murder Mystery! Calling all Sherlocks! Channel your inner Sir Peter Wimsey! Where’s Agatha Christie when you need her?

Wilson Castle’s Murder Mystery Live! nights
follow this basic premise:

  • Combination Dinner Theater, Scavenger Hunt, & Reality Game
  • Be yourself, or assume an identity – it’s up to you
  • You will not be asked to pretend it is another time period or setting
  • Each mystery is different, so you can come back again and again

Enjoy Cocktail hour (BYOB) between 6 and 7 PM, and take the time to “do a little exploring…. Remember, anything could be a clue, anyone in the castle could be a suspect.”

At 7 PM, Rusty Trombley, your host, will give a tour / history of the Castle – and the basics of the game. “Solving the night’s Mystery will take some keen detective work, imagination, memory, and maybe even some deception to throw off your competition. GREED and DISHONESTY is fair game.”

Food on offer to suit any diet — it’s a small buffet of hot and cold entrées, salads, cheese & crackers, fruits and sweets; complimentary water, ice tea, glasses & ice for your BYOB beverages. “Be social, get names, and be alert”!

“After intermission, you will be given exclusive rights to search this mysterious mansion and the secrets that it houses. Pay attention and watch other’s reactions. You are permitted to ‘gently Search’ in unlocked closets, drawers and rooms… At some point you will be asked for your first impressions and deductions. If you are getting close, we will step the game up a notch or send you back hunting for clues.”

Please: Semi-Formal to Formal, or period costume preferred. No shorts (brrrr!) or sandals (we’ve just spotted snow here in Williston). You may want to bring a flashlight.

* * *

PERFECT Time to Remind Readers –>



Order your shades in Night Sky 3499-our Double Cell Black Out; or Licorice 4499-our Single Cell Black Out, and takes off an extra 10% from the base shade price.

Blogging — and bloggers — have changed the way the world interacts. Everyone puts in their 2-cents-worth; and we all hope someone out there reads what we write.

But at we’re looking for MORE than your 2-cents!

We send out this request to anyone with a blog willing to
“Take the Cellular Window Shade Challenge”!

Set yourself down… and let’s have a little chat.

We invite you to take a look at our Blogger Recruit announcement on the CWS website for all the details, but I’ll outline a few salient points here.

Here’s how much we think you’ll LOVE our CellularWindowShades: We’re willing to GIVE YOU a FREE shade to hang in your home! The shade is yours to keep – your color choice – your window’s specific size (width/height) – your choice of Light Filtering or Black Out Fabric. A shade customized to fit into your home.

The catch? There really isn’t one! Your shade can have a value up to $250, and all you need to do is blog about your experience as a customer.

Our shades are built to last – we warranty our products for 10 years, by far the longest warranty in the shades/blinds industry. So what a great investment: A free shade in exchange for your “feel free to say it” opinion. That’s right, your opinion is entirely yours. We hope your experience with our Cellular Window Shades will be a positive one, but everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. You can’t get more “no strings attached” than that.

Why are we so confident in our blinds? Because we make them, right here in our Williston, Vermont facility. We think that once you’ve installed your blind that you’ll be glad you took the challenge – and only too happy to talk about it with your online friends.

Support a family-owned, Made-in-USA business by letting your fingers do the walking. We’d love to hear from you!

It’s Easy! Provide us with the following information:

  • Full name
  • Blog web address
  • E-mail address
  • Any measurements, preferences or application specifics you have in mind.
  • You can send your information several ways:

Let me get you started,

In anticipation of Michael Payne’s visit to the Burlington Home Show, we post this YouTube video from Michael’s home base of LA– wouldn’t you like Michael to help with your design issues? That’s the prize for Home Show visitors on February 25 and 26th: an hour’s consultation with design Michael Payne can be yours!

We’ve unearthed some useful links about Michael Payne, so you can become better acquainted with him before his Burlington visit:

Michael Payne’s Burlington visit is sponsored by
Gordon’s Window Decor
, in Williston, Vermont.

These bulleted blogs contain some “older” posts, but if you’re a Michael Payne fan you just might not care!

Michael Payne: On the Road, had a short run (2001-February 2008); filled with houses, landscapes, and Michael Payne meeting-and-greeting fans.

Design and Tea evidently lasted only a few months, January-June 2008. Some nice design ideas via photos.

The House of Payne never got off the ground; a “welcome” message only.

Michael Payne’s Photo Blog – posts for 2007, 2008, 2009 and a couple from 2010: photos from the self-professed “serious amateur photographer”.

When I had cable, one of my favorite shows on HGTV was “Designing for the Sexes” – hosted, of course, by Michael Payne. He always had sound advice, and it was just a delight to listen to his thoughts and rationales. HGTV still carries the show (the host has changed) and you can get information on that program at

 Read the “About Michael” posting on his main webpage: how surprising that he studied physics and mathematics and was once in the computer industry! Team member Michelle (pictured below with her prize!) has been tweeting Made in America products for some time now, and recently entered a contest sponsored by Draper Therapies of Canton, Mass.

  • Find Draper Therapies at their website:

From their press release:

“Through the month of August, Draper Therapies will be giving away American Flag Blankets in celebration of our heritage and our 100% USA made product line. All of our followers on Twitter and Facebook will be eligible. These snuggly throws are made by our parent company, Draper Knitting, in Massachusetts .”

“Followers” who answered the weekly question “correctly or creatively” were entered into a drawing. And here’s our Week #6 Winner:

Draper Knitting has a long family-owned history: The Drapers have operated a textile mill in Canton since 1856. Draper Therapies began in 2003.

Draper Therapies even has products for your canine and equine friends!

You can read all of August’s Q&As online at Draper’s WordPress Blog.

Your Source for Insulating Cellular Shades

CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

CLICK to Visit Our Online Store!

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