Electricity Savings Alternative Home Energy and Comfort Update #7- Cape Ann Chimney and Hearth

If you’ve been following the Electricity Savings and Home Heating and Comfort Series I’ve been doing then here you go with part 7.  We started  in Parts 1 and Part 2 with Next Step Home Energy Assesments in which my mom got over 30 new lightbulbs, electronic thermostats, energy efficient showerheads and powerstrips all for free.  In Part 3 Art Bevilacqua Educates Us about how energy prices are established and how we are paying for Home energy audits and free energy efficient equipment even if we don’t take advantage of the program. Part 6 gave us energy efficiency tips for your washing machine and for snowbirds who leave their homes for sunny climes during the winter.

If you want to take advantage of awesome programs available to you right now for zero out of pocket like my mom did and we spoke about in the first parts of the series then sign up for your own energy efficiency assessment and get a ton of free lightbulbs, power strips, electronic thermostats that will turn down the heat at night or while you’re at work automatically, and efficient showerheads.


For those of you who signed up for the Free Home Energy Audit and Free Energy Efficient Lightbulbs and Other Equipment , please leave me a comment on how well it went for you.

Next we go into alternative fuels in a three part sub series filmed at Cape Ann Chimney and Hearth:

Cape Ann Chimney and Hearth is Located at 7 Pond Road Gloucester MA. Phone # 978-283-1119


Part I of the sub series talks about the different types of products available to heat your home

Updates 1,2 and 3-

Update 3: Electricity Prices

Electricity Update #4: Free Home Energy Assesment With Kevin From Next Step Living

Electricity Update #5: Video Walkthrough- Energy Efficiency Assesment and Free Stuff At Mom’s House

Electricity Update #6 Energy Saving Ideas

How to Make a Simple Snood Pattern

Snoods are all in vogue at the moment. The silly sound of the word makes me want to smile; they are actually wonderfully fun to wear and will keep you cozy warm when knitted in a natural fiber such as merino wool, cashmere, or alpaca.

What is a snood you may be wondering?

Snood -2 ©Kim Smith 2014Fun Project for Holiday Gift Giving

A snood is a softly draped scarf that can be pulled up and over to also serve as a hood. Snoods today are very different than what was typically worn through the ages and into the 1940’s. Earlier snoods were mostly knitted or crocheted net headwear designed to keep hair in place. During the 1950’s snoods began to evolve with the characteristics that we see today, that of a loosely draped tubular scarf worn around the neck and head, designed both for warmth and luxury. Because the ends are sewn together, unlike a conventional scarf, they are much less fussy and less like to fall out of place.

With 3-4 balls of leftover yarn, and a pair of large needles, you can whip up a snood in few nights. For this sample, I used baby alpaca because it is so soft and not in the least bit itchy (purchased at Coveted Yarn). The snood would be beautiful worked in a ribbed stitch or seed stitch. I wasn’t sure how much mileage I would get out of my leftover skeins, so making the mockup in a simple garter stitch, which requires less yarn than a rib stitch for example, insured there would be enough to complete the project.


Using whatever needles and yarn you have on hand, knit a rectangle to equal approximately 28-30 inches in length by 15 inches wide.

Loosely bind off.

Stitch ends together width-wise to form one continuous loop.

©Kim Smith 2014

Knit a narrow band approxzimately 2 inches wide by 8 inches in length

The snood pictured is shown with a narrow band, to a create slightly more structured shape however, the band is optional. With needles several sizes smaller, knit a band approximately 2 inches wide by 8 inches long. To keep the edges of the band neat and clean, slip the first stitch of every row.

Bind off loosely.

Turn snood inside out. Over the seamline, center one short end of the band to the snood and stitch. Pull the opposite end around to create a bow-like affect and join securely. Weave in all loose ends.

There you go, an easy fun project for the holidays, to give to a loved one, or to keep for yourself!

Please forgive the iphone selfies–no models (daughter) readily available and I wanted to post this in time for holiday gift-giving.

Snood ©Kim Smith 2014Perhaps a yarn with a lurex or sequin sparkle woven through and in a deep midnight blue would give this snood less of a babushka-effect.

High Tea Party – Come all ye Mad Hatters and March Hares

high tea party personal copy

Sunday, 12/14 from 2-4:00 pm come all ye Mad Hatters and March Hares to the Rocky Neck Holiday Art & Crafts Showl High Tea Party at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street.  There will be tea (and some harder stuff), finger sandwiches (bring your upturned pinkies), cookies, cakes and more.  There is no high tea like a High Tea Party on Rocky Neck, except maybe in Alice’s Wonderland.

Artists’ inventories have been replenished, so there are lots of new items for your holiday shopping perusal.

Festival Hours:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4:00PM through December 28.

I wonder if anyone out there can identify the four characters at the tea table.

E.J. Lefavour

Cape Ann Farmers Market Winter Solstice Market December 20th!

Hi Joey-

Hope all is well with you-Here is the flier for our last market of 2014-hoping you can post it.

Most of our farmers and food vendors will be there, a great chance to stock up for the long winter!!!

Take care and thank you


Nicole Bogin

Market Manager
Cape Ann Farmers Market


Middle Street Walk At The Sargent House Museum Dec 13,2014 11-3PM

This Saturday!

From 11A-3P, see historic Sargent House finely decorated for the holidays as you shop for gifts, greens and more! Snack on holiday treats and enjoy our family-friendly programming:

  • Listen to music provided by Rockport High School musicians, led by director Nathan Cohen.
  • Happening at 1:00PM at the UU Church (see map & inset below): Dramatic reading of “Mingling of Souls from Sorrow to Joy.” A one-act play by Jay DiPrima about the lives and writings of Reverend John Murray and Judith Sargent Murray. (Suggested donation $5.) Afterwards, walk with the actors to Sargent House.

For more information, visit our website: www.sargenthouse.org/events

Sargent House Museum is #11 on the map.
UU Church is #12.
(Click on map for full Middle St. Walk program.)

Nichole’s Family Picks of the Weekend 12/13 and 12/14

You might have to act quick for a couple of these so don’t delay!

Pick #1

Debbie and Friends at The Cabot in Beverly.  Saturday, December 13th at 10:30

A live Debbie and Friends show is fun for the whole family. The boston-based band plays a varierty of pop/rock styles, and the songs are interactive and engaging. Puppets and cartoons are part of every show.

Winner of more than 20 National Awards, including CBS Boston’s “Best Local Children’s Musician”, and a “Nickelodeon Parents Pick Award”, Debbie and Friends also performed on the 2011 Grammy Winner for “Best Children’s Album”.

Debbie and Friends are wonderful with children as well as being accomplished musicians. All work on the staff or faculty of Berklee College of Music.

This fun concert at The Cabot will be perfect for children ages 1-9 and their parents and grandparents, and will feature some seasonal tunes to help everyone celebrate the holidays.


You can hurry up and purchase tickets here 


Picke #2

The 35th Annual Candlelight Stroll at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth

How Norman Rockwell does this sound?  The Schraffts will be there this weekend or next for sure!  Just saying.

35th Annual Candlelight Stroll in the “Holiday Capital of North America”

For December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 2014


Stroll through life in a simpler time as 350 years of American history, winter traditions, and holiday celebrations unfolds around you in New Hampshire’s oldest waterfront neighborhood.

  • Historic houses from four centuries with decorations hand-crafted from natural materials
  • Hundreds of wood and glass candle boxes lighting the lanes and landscape
  • Live music and holiday entertainment for all ages
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • Holiday decoration demonstrations
  • Traditional barrel making demonstrations
  • 18th century holiday hearth cooking
  • Tinsmith demonstrations
  • NEW! Ice skating on Puddle Dock Pond opening Dec 12.


You can get tickets at the door, but it is wise to book in advance.  There was a Living Social coupon for admission, but it just expired.  Keep an eye out for a new one though!!

Find out more here

Pick #3


Assembly Row in Somerville is pretty fantastic, but maybe shopping in the midst of holiday mayhem isn’t for you.  Who could fault you for that?  How does a free movie in their rather plush theater sound though?

This Saturday, AND NEXT, they are offering free holiday movies on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVE basis.  This week is Home Alone and next week is Elf!

Tickets are available in the lobby beginning at 9:00 a.m. for the movies that begin at 9:30.

And, while there, you could also bop over to the Legoland Discovery Center…which also happens to be at Assembly Row. My boys both LOVED it there and can’t wait to go back. Might I add, that they’re really not Lego Fanatics, but they had a blast there nonetheless.  Advanced ticket purchases are recommended there too!

Free Holiday Movies

12/6, 12/13, 12/20 9:30am AMC Assembly Row 12

Join Assembly Row as we treat you and your family to a free big screen showing of The Polar Express this Saturday at AMC Assembly Row 12.
Tickets will be distributed in the lobby of AMC on the first floor starting at 9AM. The show will begin at 9:30AM. Space is limited to one theater and tickets will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. One ticket per person.

Movies Coming Up!
Saturday December 13th: Home Alone
Saturday December 20: Elf

Learn more about Assembly Row here 

Check out LegoLand Discovery Center here



Thursday December 11th , 2014 Cape Ann Weather..

Marine Forecast :
Today SW winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft. A chance of snow showers. Showers likely this morning…then a chance of showers this afternoon.
Tonight SW winds 15 to 20 kt…becoming W 10 to 15 kt after midnight. Seas 3 to 5 ft.

Pod Cast Weather :

Hourly Forecast :



Community Stuff 12/11/14

Come spend this Saturday morning (Dec 13) at Maritime Gloucester making nautical inspired presents. Ages 5 to 12 years. Cost is $5 per child members, $8 per child non-members. Parents/Guardians are required to attend and registration is required. Workshop will take place in the Sarah Fraser Robbins Classroom accessed from the walkway to the pier. Register here.


Hi Joey,
My name is Danielle Soucy Mills and I am a former Gloucester resident of 23+ years (before I went away to college in Rhode Island and graduate school in California.) I now live in San Diego, but Gloucester is still a place so very near and dear to my heart, especially since my parents still live in Annisquam in the house where I grew up. (My mother is a HUGE Good Morning Gloucester follower, too!) I moved to California to study creative writing and am now publishing my first novel, Illusion of an Ending, which is set in Gloucester (and part in SD and CT too). I am looking for help to get the word out about the book, especially since I am doing a “Pay It Forward Book Launch” where a percentage of the proceeds on Saturday, December 13th, Day 2 of the launch will go toward creating a scholarship in honor of Michael Gryzbinski, a young man from Gloucester who passed away in 2010 at 13 years old. His mother kindly donated her picture for the cover of my book.

Illusion of an Ending_VisionaryandMetaphysicalFiction_high

I have attached a copy of the book cover, and my website, which details the launch as well as what the book is about. Please let me know if you would be able to help me in getting the word out. Also, here is the link to the Book Launch event which I created on Facebook.


Thank you so much! I look forward to hearing from you.

Danielle Soucy Mills

Dec 9 at 2:35 PM

Hi Joey –
If possible to get this on GMG this week (or next) that would be great. The Shop has been vastly improved with the renovation – chock full of new items for the holidays, most of local interest including books, prints, cards, posters, maps, toys, home goods, and so on!   There’s also the Working Waterfront exhibit on view through Feb. 1 and the Diane KW ceramic shard installation (permanent) in the vestibule and entry level restroom (catalogs available in the gift shop for both) – as well as the Museum’s 2015 Fitz Henry Lane Calendar.
Meredith Anderson
Media & Communications Coordinator
Cape Ann Museum


If you have memories, objects or photographs from the Tarr and Wonson Paint Manufactory, Ocean Alliance and Maritime Gloucester would love to hear from you. We are creating an exhibit on the Manufactory’s history, and its pioneering role in the development of commercially viable anti-fouling paint which played a pivotal role in america’s industrial revolution and the rapid growth of its commercial fishing industry. Your stories could be just what we need to make it come alive. Objects or memorabilia that might be borrowed for the exhibit or examined for their information are also of great interest, and we will happily copy any photographs and return originals to you. Please contact Melanie Murray-Brown at Maritime Gloucester at 978-281-0470 or mmurray-brown@maritimegloucester.org


Thomas Balf
Executive Director
Maritime Gloucester

Gloucester nonprofits receive $11,000

Thanksgiving week, Cummings Properties distributed $327,000 to local nonprofits, including $11,000 to four Gloucester organizations. Cape Ann Animal Aid, Day by Day Adult Care, SeniorCare, and The Open Door each received multiple donations in honor of the commercial real estate firm’s full-time staff members, who were each invited to select a charity to receive $1,000 through the Employee Directed Giving program.

The program, now in its third year, supports local communities through organizations based and providing services in or near employees’ hometowns. Eight Cummings organization staff members reside in Gloucester, including John Dionne, associate division manager at Cummings Center in Beverly, who has been with the Company for more than 17 years.

“My wife works for Day by Day Adult Care and it has a short budget. The donations allow them to have programs and equipment they couldn’t otherwise afford,” said Dionne, whose past donation went to purchase a Nintendo Wii system for physical therapy. “I can speak for myself and others; we greatly appreciate that the Company makes these donations in our names.”

When looking for a local charity to donate to during the last Employee Directed Giving cycle, carpenter and Gloucester resident Saverio Sciortino asked his colleague Mike Taormina to recommend one; he suggested The Open Door.

“This time I decided to visit in person to see where the donation was going,” said Sciortino. “I went to deliver the check and get a tour on the day before Thanksgiving, so it was busier than usual. When I saw what these people do, how much they help so many in need, I wanted to cry.”

Sciortino was so moved, he volunteered his handyman skills to executive director Julie LaFontaine.

“Employee Directed Giving is a unique opportunity for the company to make an impact in the communities where our employees live in a way that is particularly meaningful to them,” said president and CEO Dennis Clarke. “The fact that families are sitting down having discussions about where to give and why has resulted in numerous colleagues feeling especially good about the program.” 

Employee Directed Giving is open to all full-time staff within the Cummings organization annually, including the firm’s affiliated New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn.

A complete list of recipient organizations is available at www.cummingsproperties.com/employee_directed_giving.htm.


Cummings Properties carpenter Saverio Sciortino, once a Gloucester fisherman, delivers a $1,000 Employee Directed Giving check to The Open Door. Pictured left to right: Kevin Brisson, food pantry supervisor, executive director Julie LaFontaine, and Sciortino.

Two Mikes

Cummings Properties carpenter Mike Taormina and electrician apprentice Mike Kiene made a special trip to Gloucester’s The Open Door to deliver their Employee Directed Giving checks to executive director Julie LaFontaine.