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A new stove is a thrill every few decades

I wish I could remember when I bought the stove that I just had removed from the house here in Deerfield. It must be the 1990s... could it be? At any rate, I shed no tears when I said goodbye to my reliable and scary-noise making old white Hotpoint, and welcomed the latest and greatest from Manny's into the kitchen. The new stove is--well, let's just say that it's not a Viking or a Wolf, but sure ain't no Hotpoint either. After months of kitchen 0

The seaside trail to Port du Niel: why I travel

The morning began with a ride in a public bus full of children on their way to school and a great way to mix with the locals. We were headed for Olbia, a Greek and then a Roman settlement ruins, built next to the sea where thermal baths once cooled off the well-heeled upper classes in the fourth century BC.  I was left with a decision after my host gave us five hours of free time in the village of Geins. First, a well-deserved nap on 0

In Provence, France, traveling without cars to explore the terrain

I arrived in Le Pradet, about 20 minutes past Toulon, in Provence France a day ago, and spent today walking up a mountain and learning much about this fantastically beautiful place with guides who are working with the MEET Program. Meet stands for Mediterranean Eco-tourism Experience of Travel, and aims to knit together a group of national parks from countries all around their common sea to offer people environmentally friendly trips that bring people into nature and away from cities. Our guide in Provence is 0

Sardinia: What it’s like there

Saying goodbye to Sardinia tonight, as I anxiously await a 5 am wake-up and a day of travel to my next trip in France, I'm thinking about what it's like here, and what memories I"ll take back with me. I'm always fascinated by the elevator speech--what will you tell people when you only have about as long as the average elevator ride, about what the place was like? Sardinia is big--really big. Looking at a satellite photo the island is huge, just a little smaller 0

Double Take Fringe Festival Greenfield MA Oct 16-17, 2015

Linda McInerney is up to her wonderfully clever old tricks once again! Formerly Old Deerfield Productions, her company is now Eggtooth Productions, but this is the fifth year of a most exciting and creative idea--bring together eight short plays, find unusual places to produce them, and then let it rip! If you love surprises, being outdoors (between venues) in the crisp October air, and want to support Linda's generous vision of vibrant local arts, then GET TICKETS! Only $20 for eight unique plays, happening within 0

At an agritourismo in Cabras, Sardinia, enjoying a 100-foot meal

In our earthy crunchy Pioneer Valley, we like to talk about eating local. We talk about 12-mile meals, and eating farm-to-table, but tonight, I have them all beat. Once again, on a visit to Italy's magic island, Sardinia, I've eaten a 100 foot meal, and boy was it good!  We drove out toward the coast, to the Sinis Peninsula, to Agritourismo Il Sinis. Here, brother and sister Salvatore and Magdelena Porcu brought out dish after dish of simple food that all came from their farm. They 0

A trio of sailors brings the Santa Maria back to the sea

Daniela Meloni, Anton Marco Musso, and Jean Paul Bassaget share a love for a vessel and for sailing the sea. We joined this unlikely trio for an afternoon sail at the marina in Cabras, on the Sinis Peninsula, Sardinia where they all spoke glowingly about the 42-foot long boat they love, the Santa Maria, and how they all got here.  It was a story of determination, and of finding the perfect person for the job. The vessel, built in Italy and designed by Sparkman & Stephens, 0

Sardinia: still a wild place with beauty everywhere

Seven years ago I first came to this second-largest island in the Mediterranean that the Romans and Phoenicians called Ichnusa. Sardinia today is an autonomous region of Italy, but as my guide Davide told me, it's not Italy -- the natives even speak a unique language on this island, though most people here also speak Italian. Sardinians, like the Corsicans to the north, are a proud and independent people who don't need the mainland to control their laws and their lives. We arrived at the 0

At Sleep Medicine Services in Amherst, snoring sleepers get help

I have always been a noisy sleeper--snoring like a banchee and known for falling asleep while sitting in my favorite chair. To many people, this might indicate that I have sleep apnea, and with this in mind I met today with a friendly nurse practitioner named Cathy Burbank at Sleep Medicine Services in Amherst. I play music with Cathy's husband John, so she knew I was coming in, and I shared my various issues including waking up four and five times a night and my 0