life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for May, 2009

Go gnuing

Picture 018 They are here, there, and everywhere! In fact, there are 27 for you to find and admire. The Gnus of Gnu London are on display from May 30 to October 1. Grab a booklet from one of the participating businesses, get your booklets stamped as you visit the gnus around New London (and this lone gnu in Sunapee), and you’ll get a pin at the Chamber of Commerce. If you become particularly attached to one of them, the gnus will be raffled off in October as a fundraiser for the Kearsarge Community Center. Learn more at

Better read than dead

The Henniker Book Farm says that they have 30,000 books. Well, I believe them. It’s a maze of book shelves – fortunately arranged by category – where you could easily spend an entire day looking at volume titles. This book shop was founded in 1964 and is apparently the oldest used book stores in New Hampshire. And, if you’re looking for a road trip, there are four other bookstores in the area, including Old Number Six Book Depot in Henniker. You’ll be able to get your library ready for some summer reading.Picture 061

Thrift vs. consignment

If you’re reading my blogs consistently, you’ve probably come to realize that I’m working on an article for Kearsarge Magazine. I’m not really giving anything away with this series of blogs – as the final article is so very different than what I post – but since I’m limited to word count on paper, it’s nice to be able to babble online. (Take that last run-on sentence, for example.)

ANYWAY, I stopped in to The Clothing Orchard on Route 11 in Newport. Jody Manson opened the consignment shop two years ago, and she’s got some pretty nice stuff. I learned that thrift stores aren’t choosy – they’ll take any donations they can get. (Many of them support nonprofit causes, so the more merchandise the better.) There’s also a lower price point at thrift shops, so if you’re looking for a shirt under $5, you’ll probably find one. Consignment shops are more selective. Jody says, “I’m very particular about what comes in. Items have to have the tags on them, or look brand new. All buttons should be attached, and all zippers should work.” And having a brand name doesn’t hurt. I picked up a dress for my picky 4-year-old; it had a brand name I’d seen at a children’s shop in West Lebanon and it was only $9.

Sorry, no photos. I tried my best but my best wasn’t good enough. (I can name that tune in five notes.)

Still thrifting

Picture 100

The Andover Service Club Thrift Shop is always in a giving mood. Although they typically receive – donation items, that is – they are sure to give back in a big way. Last year, all the shop’s profits – to the tune of $12,000 – went back to the town in the form of scholarships. The thrift shop is located on 26 School Street in Andover, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Be sure to bring your donations!

Mary had a lot of clothes

Picture 146 Dianne King-Borcuk isn’t in retail for the money. “This is a service. I’m not going to get rich on it,” she says. But Mary’s Little Lamb, a consignment store on John Stark Highway in Newport, has clothed her grandchildren, as well as a lot of other children in the area. She has 2,000-plus consigners, which means that a lot of high-quality clothes come in and out of the shop. Longtimers may remember Mary’s Little Lamb at its old location in Guild; it moved to Newport in 1996 and Dianne’s owned it since 2006. We found some good deals on a recent trip there – my mom got three shirts, brand new with tags intact, for $30. I picked up a pair of much-needed shorts for my daughter for $5, also brand new with tags, but then found the same brand (and style) shorts at Target for $3.50. (Bummer.) So know your prices before you shop, and you’ll be sure to get a good deal. You certainly can’t beat the selection. I counted 20 tank tops in size 5-6 alone, and then gave up. Picture 134

A visit to Claremont

Picture 059 Picture 045

It’s been a while since I drove around my old hometown, so I started with dinner at Sophie & Zeke’s at their new location. The food was stellar, as always, but note to self: those mild chicken wings are in fact hot! After dinner I drove over to see if how the construction has been going over at the Sugar River Mills Redevelopment. A friend of mine had a tour of the interior with the Rotary recently, and it made me want to take a peek. There’s plenty going on, and the sign says (so it must be true) that the Common Man Inn & Restaurant will be open in June. Look! There’s even an empty spot on the sign in case your business wants to move in! Picture 010

The ultimate spring cleaning

Picture 016 My friend Betzi and I headed to the Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show in Brimfield, Mass., this past weekend. It is apparently the largest outdoor gathering of antiques in the United States, and it only happens three times a year. We only hit the tip of the iceberg with this show – it took us two hours to get through one section…out of 20. But there was so much to see! Some dealers were awesome, focusing on only one thing, like Bakelite ceramics or vintage jewelry. But other tents looked like the dealer had purchased all the items from an estate sale….it looked like they went through a home and dumped out drawers and cupboards into cardboard boxes, and now it was up to you to paw through them to find something. Ack. We saw folks with carts and wagons and multiple bags of stuff….I saw quite a bit I liked but only coughed up a few dollars for a 1960 metal Matchbox truck with working parts. They don’t make ’em like that anymore! Mark your calendar for July if you want to check it out for yourself. Picture 011