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Archive for May, 2010

This note out from the New London Town Adminstrator …

From: Jessie Levine, Town Administrator
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 8:37 AM
Subject: Town of New London: Smoke from Quebec fires

Dear Citizens:

New London’s Dispatch Center has received about 25 calls this morning from people inquiring about the smell of smoke in the air.  Please be advised that the smoke is coming from the wild fires in Quebec that have forced over 1300 people from their homes.  Stories on Channel 9 and New England Cable News provide more background.

Please help us spread this information so that our Dispatch Center does not continue to receive alarmed phone calls.

Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day.

Jessie Levine

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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We’re in the middle of New Hampshire’s infamous Black Fly Season. Female flies, in the tradition of Delilah and Lucretia Borgia, do the most damage. Their attacks couldn’t be more vicious. These she-devils love to nibble your neck and behind your ears as well as that nice soft skin behind your knees. But beware, these girls are devious and will seek out and find even the smallest patch of unprotected skin. I have the ankle bites to prove it.

While the males stick to flowers and plants for sustenance, they do like to buzz around their vampire-ish girlfriends. If the nasty bites don’t get you, the buzzing, panting swarms of testosterone-charged vegetarians will drive you bonkers.  

Why is New Hampshire a Mecca for black flies? Black flies breed in clean, running water. Between melting snow and spring rains, there is lots and lots of running water in New Hampshire. Almost any stream will do, large or small, fast or sluggish, permanent or temporary. Black flies are hardly finicky; with one exception, they don’t tolerate pollution. A large black fly population indicates lots of clean, healthy streams. Unfortunately and fortunately, New Hampshire has abundant housing for these vicious fiends.

Black flies usually arrive around Mothers’ Day and tyrannize us until Fathers’ Day. Short of staying indoors for six weeks, how can you avoid black flies? Here are a few hints:

  1. Wear light-colored clothing and leave your blue jeans in the cupboard. Black flies are attracted to dark colors and especially love dark blue. Stay covered up from head to toe. If you don’t mind looking like an economy version of a haz-mat worker, a hat with netting is good protection.
  2. Black flies are out and about throughout the day but are particularly vicious and numerous mid-morning and again in the late afternoon and early evening. While there is no such thing as a fly-free day; dry, sunny and windy is better than a humid, cloudy and still. Black flies make excellent barometers and come out in droves right before a storm.
  3. Black flies are slow pokes. You can easily out-walk, run or bike them. Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air; but whatever you do keep moving.
  4. When all else fails, do the arm-flapping-head-shaking-run-around-in-circles dance. It won’t help but it will amuse your neighbors.

Enjoy this gorgeous day! Stay safe, sane and bite-free!

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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For anyone who missed last night’s 15th Birthday Celebration with The New Hampshire Women’s Business Center’s … here are my opening remarks:

.

Like many here today, I am a corporate dropout. Seven years ago I gave up a career in international sales and marketing for the fun, flexibility and … yes, the fear of self employment. I have come to realize that for all practical purposes the world is made up of two kinds of people: entrepreneurs and those who wish they were entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial women play a critical role in our economy –

From A to Z …

We are accountants, analysts and advisors,
Bakers, builders and bookkeepers
Consultants, cooks and candlestickmakers
Dog walkers, designers and DJ’s
Engineers, environmentalists,
Franchisees, florists and freelancers.

We are good at what we do.

We are hairdressers,
Ice cream makers,
Jewelers, jugglers and journalists.

We are kindred spirits, killer saleswomen … we are the whole kit and kaboodle.

We are lawyers,
Moms, marketing gurus, massage therapists and manicurists.

And we ain’t nobody’s fool.

It goes without saying;
we are optimistic and passionate about our businesses,
the quintessential queens of our domains.

We are retailers and radio show hosts,
Strategists, software experts and scientists,
Technicians,T-shirt designers and tutors.

We are undeniably very, very good at what we do because
We are wise & wonderful, xceptional Yaa Yaas with a zest for life and maybe just a little bit zany.

I guess we have to be – to do what we do.

Best Happy Birthday wishes to the WBC and women entrepreneurs throughout New Hampshire!

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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The deer ate most of my tulips last spring. Even though I adore them, when it came time to plant new bulbs, I surrendered to common sense. I skipped the tulips and concentrated on the already beautiful beds of daffodils. Tulips only live for a year or two but daffodils last forever, multiply on their own and the deer, squirrels and chipmunks leave them alone.

A few weeks ago I looked out my kitchen window to admire a sea of cheery yellow and creamy white. It was a spectacular sight. But on this particular morning, one vibrant, red tulip had sprouted up amongst the daffodils. If only for a minute, it took my breath away.

It struck me like the proverbial ton of bricks, “That’s me. I’m that tulip!” For most of my life I have felt like I didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the world. Kind of like that one tulip surrounded by a sea of daffodils or the kid in the Sesame Street song One of These Things Is Not Like the Others .

I don’t know when it began, maybe junior high or high school. Long legs and long straight hair were in fashion and I had neither. I was bookish, not particularly confident and a bit shy. I lived in a conservative, Republican town and was interested in liberal politics and causes. But then again what teenager doesn’t suffer from some degree of awkwardness, rebellion and angst?

Looking back I realize I’ve had and continue to have a particular knack of making different choices, for taking the road less traveled. No, I didn’t choose to have wild and wooly, thick curly hair or short legs but I did choose to be a feminist at fifteen. I studied art in college which doesn’t seem so strange. Nor was my decision to teach. In those days, lots of women became teachers. For some it was a stop-gap before marriage but for me it turned out to be a stop-gap before business school. I’m pretty sure I was the only ex-art teacher in my MBA class.

After graduation most of my classmates joined one of the technology firms on Route 128. Not me, I moved to Switzerland and joined the Swiss watch industry. I still remember walking into the management Christmas party a few months after I started. There were about 200 people in the room, a sea of mostly middle aged men. Except for the CEO’s assistant who was there to ensure the party ran smoothly, I was the only woman in the room. And the only American.

After a couple of years I left the watch industry. I stayed in Geneva and went to work for a large computer company.  At my new firm, I wasn’t just the only woman manager in my group, I was the only non-engineer! Slowly, eventually, a few more women made their way into management. When I returned to the US, it was a bit different. The marketing and HR departments were packed with women,  in fact they were  the majority. However, executive management, sales and engineering were still, for the most part, a boys’ club.

A few years ago, I dropped out of the corporate rat race and began to write. Sitting at my keyboard, I’m not just the only woman in the room; I’m the only person. Which begs the question; am I still a tulip?

 

Are you a tulip, daffodil, dandelion or daisy; maybe you’re a tiger lily? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

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Tulips by Alison Vernon

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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My mother has given me many presents over the years. Her greatest gift is not the Ginny doll I received when I was six or the bicycle at eleven. It is not the diamond earrings for my graduation from Babson or even the set of fancy pots and pans when I bought my first house. No, my mother’s greatest gift to me and to everyone around her is her optimism.

Mom is not some kind of crazy lady who ignores sadness or anger. She has had her fair share of ups and downs but my mother is a cheerful person. She loves life, her family, friends and chocolate. She smiles often and sincerely, with hers eyes as well as her mouth.

When I was in my teens I was both slightly embarrassed by and extremely proud of my mother. Slightly embarrassed because she was so full of life; her voice was loud and her laughter even louder. My mother was never one to gently fade into the background. She wore bright colors and bold prints. When thin lips and pale pink lip gloss were in fashion, she wore bright red lipstick and her big full lips never needed collagen. But I was very proud because she was so confident, so happy, so full of life. It seemed that everyone liked her and wanted to be with her. I envied her gregarious nature, her spirit, confidence and optimism.

I don’t know if I was typical teenager. I’m not sure how surly is surly. But I was a half-full kind of kid. I was the middle child, born right smack in the middle of the baby boom. The world always seemed a little bit too crowded, a little bit too competitive. I think I worried that I wouldn’t quite measure up.

Granted, it was not an easy time to be a teenager but then again it never is. One of my mother’s favorite sayings is, “The two worst times in a woman’s life are when she is thirteen and when her daughter is thirteen.” She then offers the comforting reassurance that it gets much better once we hit seventeen. During my teen years, in addition to the normal hormonal angst, the US was embroiled in an unpopular war, the civil rights and feminist movements were playing havoc with the status quo and drugs were slipping into suburbia. It was a confusing time.

When I was seventeen, I came to the obvious but still startling realization that happy people lived better lives. I think my mother’s example and gentle cajoling had a lot to do with this discovery. Since that time I have done my best to build and enjoy a happy life. I chose St. Lawrence not just because the school had a good reputation but because our tour guide was cheerful and friendly. I majored in Art not because it was particularly career-worthy but because I loved it.

After school, I did my best to continue to embrace life and enjoy the adventure, to emulate my mother’s optimism, her spirit and confidence. I didn’t shy away from big changes or audacious goals. I found I loved a challenge and moved on when jobs or life got too monotonous. It took awhile but one awkward step at a time, I became more confident, gregarious and optimistic.

It is not all smooth sailing. I’ve done some dumb things and suffered the consequences. A couple of men were foolish enough to break my heart. I’ve had tiffs with friends and unfortunately one or two of those misunderstandings were never resolved. I’ve endured bosses who were bullies and colleagues who claimed credit for my work. I’ve been laid off; I’ve even been fired (and rehired forty-eight hours later).

But whether I look forward, back or at just this very moment, I have a wonderful life. My glass is much more than half full. Yes, I have a few fears, some trepidations but I enjoy each day with confidence and optimism.

Thank you Mom and Happy Mothers’ Day.

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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There is a lot of talk about networking these days. Whether you’re job hunting, looking for an apartment or just trying to find a great restaurant for a special celebration, having a strong network is key. The internet has helped create this networking explosion, connecting us to hundreds even thousands of people with sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter and a whole bunch more. LinkedIn was proud to tell me today that through friends of friends and colleagues of colleagues, I have a network of more than five million people. If I invited them all, that would be one hell of a birthday party.

The notion of “six degrees of separation” intrigues me. It suggests that we are six steps or less away from every other person on earth. As a writer I like the idea that through a friend of a friend of a friend…, I can connect with an entrepreneur in Hong Kong, a farmer in Ireland or the chef at the best burger joint in New Hampshire.

Well that’s the theory. And like any theory, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Your first difficulty is to find the right people to connect the dots. Whether you want to work in the White House vegetable garden with the First Lady or ride with Lance Armstrong, the first link is out there in your circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Unfortunately they aren’t wearing a nametag that says, I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who someone who knows someone who knows Mrs. Obama, Lance Armstrong or Kevin Bacon .

My friend Thea has a friend who went to Wellesley with Hillary Clinton who, as we all know, works for the President who is married to the First Lady who has probably met Lance Armstrong. Interesting, intriguing but what good is it? The challenge is to enlist the first and every subsequent link to help you meet the person you are trying to meet and solve the problem you’re trying to solve. Otherwise it’s nothing more than a party game.

The six degrees worked perfectly for the daughter of one of my college roommates a few weeks ago. After losing touch for a couple of decades I reconnected with my old friend in 2008. Laura and her family live on a farm near Geneva, New York. Sarah, that’s Laura’s daughter, has a two month internship in Geneva this summer and needs a place to live. However, the internship is in Geneva, Switzerland not Geneva, New York.

Laura and I lost touch about the time I left the country to live in Switzerland, just outside of Geneva. Laura contacted me with Sarah’s dilemma. I was happy to help my old friend’s daughter. After all, my life in Switzerland began with an eight week internship. As soon as I had an extra minute, I sent Laura the link to a Craig’s List look-alike for Geneva’s English-speaking community. Then I fired off an email to three friends, hoping that at least one of them would have the time, inclination and information to help Sarah.

My friend Suzanne was more than willing to help and responded immediately. Besides being a lovely person, Suzanne has a twenty-something year old daughter who is doing an internship in Singapore. Suzanne sent back an email with lots of information, websites and offers to make phone calls, lend towels and anything else Sarah might need. Then she put her feelers out and soon discovered that her boss had a room to rent.

Suzanne claims that it was pure luck; which it was and wasn’t. Sure it was a lucky coincidence that her boss had a room available. But if Suzanne had not been there to put two and two together, the room would have gone to someone else or sat empty for the summer. And if her boss had not had a room to rent? There is no doubt in my mind that Suzanne would have continued to spread the word of Sarah’s hunt for housing.

How long did all this take? A student from New York connected with and rented a room from a dentist four thousand miles away in Geneva, Switzerland in two weeks.

Happy networking!

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

To subscribe to Susan Nye’s Other Blog just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive new postings. 

Feel free to visit my food blog Susan Nye – Around the Table or photo blog Susan Nye 365. Browse around my website for more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope you will take a moment to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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