Black Fly Season in the Valley – What You Need to Know

blackfly1.jpgNow that the long winter is over and we find ourselves venturing outside to enjoy the warm, sunny days, we need to keep in mind that black flies will be on the prowl. They are most active at dawn and dusk, and if you get bitten, the bites can cause itching and swelling. Here are some tips to keep damage to a minimum.

1)      Use a bird feeder as a trap to attract the black flies and birds will eat the flies for a tasty meal (But keep in mind that Bears are also attracted to bird seed!)

2)      Stay inside before a storm, on cloudy days, and at sunset—-They tend to be more active at these times.

3)      Wear lighter clothing and avoid dark colors, or wear long pants and sleeves.

4)      Use insect repellant or DEET to help detract the pesky flies. There are also some natural alternatives on the market if you don’t like using chemicals. Citronella and Lemon Eucalyptus oil are popular deterrents.

5)      Keep on the move and do not slow down to keep yourself from being an easy target.

6)      Avoid wearing perfume or strong fragrances.

7)    As nice as it is to relax along the bank of a stream, brook, or river, keep in mind that running water is a breeding ground for black flies.

With just a little forethought and preparation, you can enjoy your time out in nature and avoid being chased back inside!

Will’s Red Coat by Tom Ryan April 25, 2017 Book Launch

Will's Red CoatThe wait is finally over!

The WILL’S RED COAT Book Launch Event will be this Tuesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at the Kennett High School Auditorium.  WILL’S RED COAT, the highly anticipated second book by local favorite and New York Times bestselling author, Tom Ryan, will be released on this day!

Tom will be at Kennett High School Auditorium in North Conway, NH, on the release night. He will talk about his book, sign copies, and answer questions from the audience.

WILL’S RED COAT is the true story of acceptance, perseverance, and the possibility of love and redemption as evocative, charming, and powerful as the New York Times bestseller FOLLOWING ATTICUS. Drawn by an online post, Tom Ryan adopted Will, a frightened, deaf, and mostly blind elderly dog, and brought him home to live with him and Atticus. The only owners Will ever knew had grown too fragile to take care of themselves, or of him. Ultimately, Will was left at a kill shelter in New Jersey.

Tom hoped to give Will a place to die with dignity, amid the rustic beauty of the White Mountains of his New Hampshire home. But when Will bites him numerous times and acts out in violent displays, Tom realizes he is in for a challenge. With endless patience and the kind of continued empathy Tom has nurtured in his relationship with Atticus, Will eventually begins to thrive. Soon, the angry, hurt, depressed, and near-death oldster transforms into a happy, gamboling companion with a puppy-like zest for discovery.

Will perseveres for two and a half years, inspiring hundreds of thousands of Tom and Atticus’s fans with his courage, resilience, and unforgettable heart. A story of a dog and an indelible bond that is beautiful, heartbreaking, uplifting, and unforgettable, WILL’S RED COAT honors the promise held in all of us, at any stage of life.

TICKETS FOR THE EVENT are $30 for a signed book and ticket to event, $5 for each additional ticket (*only available as add-on to $30 book/ticket combo) $25.99 for each additional book (retail price) *ages 10 & under FREE! Tickets are available for purchase at White Birch Books located in North Conway Village. To order, please stop in or call 603.356.3200. There is limited space and they expect to sell out, so the sooner the better! Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Conway Area Humane Society. – See more at: http://whitebirchbooks.com/events.html#sthash.f00lHh6y.dpuf

What Does a Realtor Do To Sell a Home?

Hey Homeowners –

Are you curious about what a Realtor does to sell a home?

Sure, some Realtors just accept the listing and wait for a buyer to find them, but there’s a difference between listing a home and selling a home.

Maybe the better quearticle1.3stions is, are you curious about what a Badger Realty agent does to sell a home?

It’s no simple process.

First, the agent will determine the value of your property. This isn’t just to ensure that you get the best price for your home. It’s also to ensure that once an offer is made and accepted, the deal makes it through financing and the appraisal process.

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Proper pricing is key.

Second, we prepare the listing. Your house is measured, special features are noted, and system information is obtained for heating, electrical, plumbing, water and sewerage. We want to be as knowledgeable about your house as possible, so we can quickly and accurately answer a buyer’s questions and instill confidence in their interest in your home.

Next, we send a professional photographer out to capture your home in its best light. These photographs are shown to prospective buyers through an array of marketing programs.

At Badger Realty, in order to minimize inconvenience, we arrange an office caravan to view your home as a group, at a time that’s convenient to you, so that all of our agents are familiar with your property and will be able to speak knowledgeably to prospective buyers.

housecashThen, we advertise your property on 100’s of Real Estate websites, both nationally and internationally. We print brochures, create virtual visual tours, use radio, newspaper and magazine ads, place signs, do direct mailings . . . basically, we shout across the valley and beyond to make sure that anyone who is in the market to purchase a property in the area knows that your home is for sale.

Perhaps most important – Badger is a name that buyers trust. With over 50 years presence in the valley, Badger Realty not only has brand recognition, but also agents that live, work, mingle and play in the valley, keeping us on the forefront of what’s happening.

If you’re serious about selling your home, Badger Realty gets results.

Call or email today with any questions about what we can do for you. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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DIY Brewery Tour in the #NorthConway NH area

We might not have a beer tour bus like some cities (cough….Portland), but the Mt. Washington Valley holds its own when it comes to breweries to visit.

If you’re in the North Conway area, there are several at your fingertips. We suggest you stop by Moat Mountain, Sea Dog’s, or Tuckerman’s . Not only do these breweries have a fine selection of beers for you to chose from, they have fantastic food menus as well. (Note – Tuckerman’s restaurant is separate from their brewery, but the restaurant has a great taps selection on site.)

If you cross the border into Maine, you might want to check out Saco River Brewing. This is an excellent up and coming brewer, and while they don’t have an onsite kitchen, you can sample a flavor or two on tap at some of the local restaurants, like the 302 West in Fryeburg, Maine.

Hiking on the other side of the Kanc? Head on over to the Woodstock Brewery (better yet, stay at the Inn – wait, a brewery at the hotel? Yes, please!) and when your done there, give the One Love Brewery in Lincoln a try.

Or, maybe you’re on your way up to the White Mountains and you just can’t wait? Lucky for you, Hobb’s Tavern & Brewing Company is right off of Route 16 in Ossippee, NH.

Whatever your tastes, whatever your sipping needs, the Mt. Washington Valley has you covered!

 

 

8th Annual #Art Celebrates Place #whitemountains

Every year since 2010, the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust invites local artists to visit properties that have been conserved with the help of the Land Trust and to get inspired! Every piece of art varies in both inspiration and composition, but all feature the same theme.

The theme of the 8th annual Art Celebrates Place show is “Historic Farms”. This year, participating artists have gone out “onto the land” at the Amos Merrill Homestead, Hayes Farm, and Dundee conservation easements in Conway and Jackson. A sampling of their work will be shown in the coming weeks.

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The official opening of the 8th annual Art Celebrates Place opening will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:30 PM at the Tin Mountain Conservation Center’s Nature Learning Center. Mark your calendars for this true community celebration filled with local art, music, and food–a true harbinger of spring for the Mount Washington Valley .

In 2016, the Land Trust created the first annual Art Celebrates Place calendar in attempts to capture these differences in print form to enjoy all year-round. Special thanks to our local business sponsors whose support made the 2017 Art Celebrates Place calendar possible:

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JIM DOUCETTE finished sign designWBBook Sketch1Met Logo - Color

 

 

 

 

 

Renting vs. Buying – Things to Know About Buying a Home in 2017

article1Whether you’re a renter or home owner, you’re paying a mortgage. The difference is, renters pay the mortgage for somebody else – the landlord – who benefits from the equity earned from the home. While home owners are forced to save by building equity in a home through monthly payments, renters basically throw their monthly payment away. They’ll never see or benefit from that money again.

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Putting off buying a home makes no sense. Prices are predicted to increase at 4.7% in the next year according to HomeLogic’s latest Home Price Index. The same report indicates that prices have appreciated 7.2% during the previous 12 months. That means if you wait to purchase a home, you’ll pay more to get less, which makes about as much sense as throwing your monthly dwelling payment away.

article1.3Mortgage interest rates are also projected to increase. According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates have hovered around 4% for a 30-year mortgage. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors, as well as The Mortgage Bankers Association, project that rates will increase by this time next year.

The ‘cost’ of a home is comprised of two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate, and both are on the rise. Buying sooner rather than later can amount to substantial savings. It’s time to make your move! 

14th Annual Chili Cookoff in North Conway, NH

Image result for chiliNorth Conway’s 14th Annual Chili Cookoff has been moved from its traditional February/March date to April as the foodie event to lead the Mt. Washington Valley into spring. This year, the cook-off will be held Saturday, April 8, 2017. The non-professional chef competition will take place at the North Conway Community Center, while the professional chefs will faceoff at the Gibson Center for Senior Living.

Image result for 5 kAlso new this year – The Feelin’ Good 5K. This event is organized by the White Mountain Milers and will kick off the Chili Cookoff event at 9:30am. This friendly 5K race or walk is set to run through the North Conway Village starting and finishing in Schouler Park. Registration for the Feelin’ Good 5k can be found at www.RunReg.com and is $35 which includes entry into the chili cookoff for the participating runner. Additional chili cookoff entry tickets for friends and family may be purchased at the pre-race registration table from 8:00am-9:30am.

Participating businesses, the Red Hot Stops in the village, will be offering a variety of promotions such as discounts and tastings. Also, stop by the Mt. Washington Chamber of Commerece building, (right next door to the Gibson Center), to check out the Spring Artisan Fair that will be held on the first floor.

Image result for chiliAll professional chef chili entries will be judged by members from the American Culinary Federation White Mountain Chapter, headed by Bryant Alden, Chef from the Wildcat Tavern in Jackson. Awards for Best Chili will be given to the top 3 contenders. Professional and non-professional chefs will also have the chance to earn the People’s Choice Award for Best Chili, as determined by all tasters who attend the tour.

Tickets to attend the Chili Cookoff are on sale now through the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce at www.northconwaychilicookoff.com or at the door the day of the event. Those who bring an item from the 68 Hours of Hunger shopping list will receive $1 off the adult ticket price of $15.00. Children 12 and under are $7, 3 and under are free when accompanying a paying adult. Tickets may be purchased in advance here. (Payment may be made by check or credit card).

Chef registration is also available online. Chefs interested in participating click here >

Tickets purchased must be traded at the event for a wristband, allowing entry to the chili tables for sampling and promotions throughout the village.

After the competition join the fun at Abenaki Trail Restaurant and Pub. The public is welcome to attend the Chili Cookoff Awards Ceremony at 4pm, enjoy delicious appetizers and entertainment by the Riley Parkhurst Project. A cash bar will be available.

It’s Food and Fun all day long!

 

 

 

 

5 Covered Bridges in the North Conway, NH Area

Is there anything more New England than a covered bridge?

Covered bridges draw visitors from far and wide, and tend to be few and far between, but here in the Mt. Washington Valley, we have 5 of our own! 5! So next time you’re in the White Mountains, plan to spend a little time checking out the covered bridges in the Conway area.

 

bridge1bridgeAlbany, NH – This covered bridge crosses the swift river and can be found off a side trail that splits off the Kancamagus Highway (six miles west of N.H. Route 16 on Dugway Road). (Shown during 2 seasons.)

Bartlett, NH – Crossing the Saco River, this covered bridge is found west of Route 302 (4.5 miles east of Bartlett Village) and is now a gift shop opened seasonally, seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend until October, 10am-5pm.

 

Image result for conway, nh swift river covered bridgeImage result for conway, nh saco river covered bridgeConway, NH – There are two covered bridges in Conway. One crosses the Saco, and the other crosses the Swift River.The Saco River bridge is ½ mile north of Rt 16 at Conway Village (Can be seen on the left hand side following Rt 16 north). The Swift River Bridge is ½ mile north of Rt 16 at Conway Village (Located very close to the Saco River Covered Bridge).

Image result for jackson, nh covered bridgeImage result for jackson covered bridgeJackson, NH – Also known as the Honeymoon Bridge, this treasure is located at the intersection of Rt 16 and Rt 16A in Jackson Village NH, and spans the Ellis River. (Shown 2 seasons).

 

Drywall, Tiling and Grout, Oh My!

When Ben and I bought our house, we really liked the fireplace in the bedroom. Or, maybe I should say that we liked the idea of it. What we didn’t like was the outdated, beat-up unit that was currently in the wall. We also weren’t too thrilled that the model was a direct vent gas fireplace, which isn’t just unsafe, as everyone rushed to tell us – it’s also against building code, even here in New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state. So I decided I’d swap it out with an electric model.

First, let me say, I don’t think I had a firm grasp on what the project would entail before I started. This wouldn’t be a quick out with the old, in with the new swap, but a multi-faceted job that would require several skills which I did not yet have.  So the first logical step would be doing some research – self-education and planning, right? Yes. Yes it would. Is that what I did? No, it was not. Because I am me, and in my world (ie. when I’m working on a project by myself that makes me emperor by default) I make the rules.

diyStep 1: Demo – Demolition is the first step for several reasons, all of which make perfect sense to me. For one, starting a project by having some fun gets things started right. For two, once you demo, you can’t change your mind. There’s no going back. Once there’s a hole in your wall, something has to be done about it. So, with Ben’s help, I pulled the old unit out, which meant pulling the stone strips that framed the old fireplace off the wall. FYI – the stone had been stuck to the wall using some extraterrestrial glue which was crazy strong and tore chunks out of the drywall. I’d love to get my hands on a tube of that stuff, so Alf, if you’re listening . . .

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Step 2: This is the ‘reality strikes’ phase and it just might be the scariest step of all. It involves staring at the big hole you just made in the wall, and realizing that you’re the one who has to do something about it. So I put in the new electric model, which was quite a bit smaller than the original unit, and stared at the empty space around it. Then I turned the fireplace off and on a bunch of times for inspiration, so I could imagine how nice it would (hopefully) look when I was done. When it became apparent that the blank space wasn’t going to magically fill itself in for me, I reluctantly moved on.

diy2Step 3: I bought some drywall, joint compound and drywall tape (which isn’t really tape at all – it’s paper with no sticky side – who knew?). I also bought a brand new utility knife. This one had never tasted blood before, and I’m happy to say it still hasn’t. My last one was like that bloodthirsty plant in Little Shop of Horrors. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to use a knife without hearing it say, “Feed me, Shannon.”

diy1I’m not one of those people who watch YouTubes to see how to do something. I like to read how, and see step by step pictures. I used this LINK to learn how to drywall. I even cut it out in one piece with little rectangular ears on it to fix the drywall that was ripped off by the glue. It was perfect. Until I bent down to get the drywall tape and it fell on my head and broke. Go figure. I used the broken pieces and it turned out just fine. (NOTE – I knew I was going to tile over the area, so I did not have to be concerned with doing the neatest job, as you can see.)

diy3Step 4: After I admired my drywall job for a week, reveling in all my drywall handyman glory, it was time to learn how to tile. I used this LINK for the basics. Then I went to my local hardware store and found the perfect tile. Or, at least, the tile I really wanted to use. The catch – it was backsplash tile, and had interlocking edges. It was also made of stone. The interlocking ends meant that I would have to cut the ends off the tiles for my edges. The stone meant that it would have to be cut with a saw. The saw meant either buying or renting a piece of equipment that I wasn’t willing to spend money on. So I settled. I found square sheets of mosaic stone tile that would not need cutting.

Tiling diy4wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It was actually pretty easy until I got to the grouting part. For some reason the grout was flinging around the room like I was a monkey with a pitcher’s arm. This being a bedroom and not a shower, I really wanted to keep the clean-up to a minimum, so I used my hand to apply it. diy5Maybe not the best idea, but it kept the fling radius to a minimum. My last remark about tiling is that scrubbing the grout off of the tops of stone tiles, with all their porous little clefts and crevices, was not the most enjoyable hour of my life. I imagine that it’s much easier to clean porcelain or ceramic tiles.

diy7Step 5: The last thing that remains to be done is to capture anybody with eyes that you can get your hands on and make them admire your handy work. This step would be easier if my emperor status and power extended beyond the realms of my own imagination, but they don’t. Just for the record, my dogs think I did a fantastic job, but prefer my kitchen adventures. I’d love to hear about any DIY adventures of your own!

10 Bakeries in the North Conway, NH area you’ve gotta try!

Delectable by Danette – This shop off Kearsarge Road may look small, but the goodies here pack big taste! Open Thursday – Sunday, stop by for a slice of flourless chocolate cake, or check out Danette’s fudge. With fun flavors like Orange Creamsicle and Bailey’s Irish Cream, you’re bound to find something you can’t live without trying! They also have a tasty supply of candy!

 

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White Mountain Cupcakery – With stores located in North Conway Village and in Settlers Green, there’s no reason not to stop by and sink your teeth into one of these delicious gourmet cupcakes.

FYI, the North Conway Village location is closed Mondays & Tuesdays.

 

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Riverstones Bakery is across the border in nearby Fryeburg, Maine, but is definitely worth the short drive over. Cakes, cookies, and muffins, oh my! And you definitely don’t miss out on their pizza braids!

 

 

Image result for leavitt's bakery conway nhLeavitt’s Bakery – Located on White Mountain Highway, this often overlooked bakery is one of the locals’ secrets! It’s a great place to grab your morning donut, but bring cash because they don’t accept credit.

 

Old Village Bakery – In North Conway Village off Seavey Street, this bakery does bread right! And pastries. And cake. And awesome lunch specials. Bottom line – you want to stop here. And stay here, if just for a while.

 

 

Big Dave’s Bagels & Deli – Big Dave’s is more than just bagels and lunch. They also have awesome cinnamon buns – but only on the weekends. During the week, don’t miss out on their coffee cake, cookies, brownies, and whatever else they feels like serving up!

 

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The Local Grocer – The Local Grocer offers a tasty array of gluten free and organic treats. It’s also a health food store and deli, so it’s a great place to buy ingredients for your own baking endeavors as well!

 

Breakfast at the MetThe Met Coffee House – The Met bakes muffins, croissants, and more, daily. They also offer a range of specialty desserts sourced from local bakeries, many listed here!

 

Rainbow Cake

McKaella’s Sweet Shop – Now located in #piewholestuffer in North Conway Village, you’ll find a collection of gluten free items, desserts, sweet breads and more! Keep an eye out for their super popular rainbow cake!

 


Vintage Baking Company – This bakery is slightly north in Glen, NH, but how many bakeries also offer wine and cheese? If you’re in the mood for Danish, pastry, muffins or croissants, stop here. Closed Monday and Tuesday.