Saturday, December 30, 2006

Windows on our Worlds Windows on our Worlds

View From 2nd Floor BeanHeads, Cambridge, NY

Friday, December 29, 2006

Cambridge Life 12-29-06 Cambridge Life 12-29-06

Sophisticated Country Living

With just 2 days left in 2006, I thought I'd take the opportunity to wish all the visitors to the Cambridge Buzz blog a Happy New Year.

It's been a rather strange winter so far what with 50 degree days and 20 degree nights. We're all still awaiting the first major snow of the season (some more anxiously than others). I know the blog has been on a bit of a hiatus these last few weeks, but there are big doings coming in January.

The Battenkill Book Store will act as Poetry masters for a new strand called Cambridge Poets. If you want to have a poem posted on the blog, contact the book store at 518.677.2208 or send them an email Margaret and Catherine are editing the poetry for us.

Jon Katz will become a regular contributor to the blog. Jon has sent me his first posting, which will launch in January. We don't have a title for his strand yet. If you have suggestions on what to call Jon's feature, email me at

Our regular features will still be going on but here's the thing...this is YOUR blog too. If you want to contribute your take on Cambridge Life or have a photo you'd like to see included in the blog, let me know by sending an email with your thoughts or a jpg image.

As for me, I think 2007 will be a good year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Windows on our Worlds Windows on our Worlds


Please share a picture of the world out your window with the rest of us! Email your jpg to with date, time and general location that you took the picture and I will post it ASAP.

Coila, NY 12-27-06

Friday, December 22, 2006

Windows on our Worlds Windows on our Worlds

I know there are many people out there who have great and interesting views of their worlds out their windows. Please share one with the rest of us! Email your jpg to with date, time and general location that you took the picture and I will post it ASAP.

Cambridge, NY 12-21-06 2:20pm

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Photographer's Log Photographer's Log


Last Christmas time I was out chasing a beautiful sunset and noticed an awesome full moon in the sky as well. I was in the back of North Hoosick at the time trying to photograph the Cambridge hills from atop the Hoosick hills. Following the full moon down Burgess Road I was met with this peaceful evening vista of the moon at the treetops with the road stretching out before me lighting one of the myriad family farms that dot our beautiful New York State terrain. Visible on the right side of the road, atop the tall blue silo, was a delightful bit of personal whimsey of the farm owner: one tiny lighted tree. It just tickled me as though the owner was inviting me to share his place in the world, greeting me with his Christmas good will. I couldn’t help feeling instant liking for this family, wishing I had the nerve to go to their front door to wish them a Merry Christmas and thank them for the little tree.

There were absolutely no sounds. None. Except for the cold breezes occasionally whispering at my ears. And no other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. No one came from the house or outbuildings. I was alone in the pre-Christmas peace, the fresh, cold air nipping at my face and hands as I paused to shoot several photos. It was a moment of soothing magic for me, as though I, myself, were a participant in an old photograph from decades ago, just suspended in time. It seemed I stood quietly outside of my car for a very long time just drinking in the agelessness of the image until the cold drove me back inside. I drove down before the buildings themselves only to behold more loveliness. In contrast to the previous natural loveliness of God’s road, sky and moon I now saw a complete cooperative work between God and the owner of the farm down that road.

In the advancing darkness, as the long-set sun left it’s ripe glow upon the whole horizon, the farmer’s outbuildings stood outlined against the sky in that sunset glow. Holding their own were the fairy lights the farmer had strung along the frame of his buildings, further outlining their shape against the cold winter sky and soft white snow. High above, alone atop that great silo, twinkled the little tree with it’s multi-colored lights brazenly glowing against the night. Yet, as I watched, The Lord gave me another gift that glorious evening: one lone star existed in that section of the sky and it shone steadily exactly above that little tree! What a moment of beauty, and a precious sense of communion with God. I was quieted, humbled, and very blessed. Oh, how I wished for my friend, Cheryl, to be there sharing this moment with me. But I wasn’t alone. Sometimes God just sits down beside me and enjoys His magnificent compositions right along with me. Artists are like that. Sometimes what you do doubly pleases you when you can share it with an admirer. It would have been absolutely perfect if the farmer was there with us, also.

Merry Christmas to everyone who enjoys our blog and the healthiest, happiest New Year ever. -June Mohan

Photos: (Copyright Mohan 2005 and 2006) To contact the artist, please send email to: -June Mohan

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jack's Outback Rendezvous #32 Jack's Outback Rendezvous #32

Tin Document Box
Turn of the century, hand colored tin document box. “Every family had these. It was a place where you would keep your deeds and other important papers.” This one is stenciled although many of the time had rather elaborate paintings on them. The lid is hinged showing off the artistry of the tinsmiths of the day, who were highly respected for their craft.

Jack’s: a special place where you can buy those one of a kind gifts for the holiday and always!
Go there. Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #33 Treasures of Cambridge #33

Walter Hooke pictured in front of the vault in the former Bean Head’s Coffee House, has lived in the Village of Cambridge since about 1988.

Walter likes living in the village of Cambridge because it is, "not too busy. I have lived in a lot of busy places in my life."

One of the many defining moments of Walter’s long and notable life was his experience as a young man in the Marine Corps as part of the 1945 occupation of Nagasaki a short time after the second atomic bomb was dropped on that city. It was not until 1978 that he learned that he and his brothers-in-arms who were stationed in Nagasaki, were sent there without any warning of the dangers of exposure to ionizing radiation even though the government was fully aware of the that risk since the inception of the Manhattan Project.

Walter’s sense of justice and fairness moved him to become an advocate for veterans and their families affected by radiation exposure. He worked for 15 years as a volunteer, paying all his own travel and maintenance expenses, with such organizations as: The National Association of Atomic Veterans, DAV, The American Legion, and the VFW. He even paid the mortgage of a widow who had her just benefits withheld by the government for two years.

When he started advocating to Congressman for his fellow veterans, and their widows, he was called, "a kook, and crazy for questioning the government." He went on to testified before Congressional Committees to plead the case for Atomic Veterans. Even with undeniable proof by the scientific community that these men were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation that were affecting their health and well being, President Regan threatened to veto the bill before eventually signing it. Regan said he "did not believe radiation was responsible for these men’s problems."

In July of 1988 Walter was presented the Disabled American Veterans National Commander’s award for his contribution towards the passage of the Radiation Exposed Veterans Compensation Act of 1988.

His early employment as Director of Labor Relations for the World’s Fair of 1939, lead him to a life focused on fair employment, labor and personnel relations and work for such companies as the United Parcel Service and Sears Roebuck and Company and as a research assistant for the Non-Partisan Labor League for Roosevelt’s 1936 campaign.

Walter’s prop in is Dorothy Day’s book of meditations. He was a friend of Day’s from 1936 to her death in 1980. In the early days he went to hear her Catholic Worker Movement talks on Friday nights, and met "many interesting people through her influence". What inspired him most about Day’s life was her, "understanding for the need, in this world, for peace and justice."

When asked how he would like to be remembered, he gave back… as is his nature, "I think people should not forget where they came from, and who helped them get where they were."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Photographer's Log Photographer's Log

Ander's Road Wetlands
There is an amazing wetlands on the borders of Washington and Rensselaer Counties, just at the edge of our Cambridge Valley. Hopefully it is far enough away from the main highways and places of interests where it will always be safe from developers with their housing projects, strip malls and super highways. It is a wonderful surprise at a bend in the road filled with myriad wildlife and lovely plant life.

The birds are a glory to listen to at sunset as they busily make ready for bedtime, gossiping with one another about their day’s adventures and plans for the coming night and ‘morrow. As the sun makes ready to set the blue herons begin to swoop in to feed and rest for the night, their powerful, graceful wings silently pushing and scooping the clean fresh air surrounding them. The deer come to the water’s edge for a last drink or graze upon the hill, casting their reflections in the still-as-glass water. Geese leave glistening wakes behind them as they cris-cross the wide silver liquid expanse.

Sunsets come here in all colors. Many are quite ordinary and some, as in Autumn, can be beautifully reflected in these splendid waters. This photo is from one of those sunsets this Autumn. The migrating geese had just launched themselves from the water leaving ripples moving lazily, gracefully towards every shoreline, the golden sunset was caressing the Autumn colors which dressed the trees and undergrowth upon the banks. I found the resulting liquid Autumn palette which danced before my lens to be spellbinding and hurried to capture it in my camera.. Then I spent the rest of that sunset just watching the liquid fire rippling across the wetland waters, slowly disappearing as the sun set below the hills, leaving the creatures bedded down for the night.

I stayed in the silence for a short while, feeling the chill dampness of the air, listening to the silence deepen. I find it intriguing that I soon became aware it seemed my place there, even as voyeur, was no longer befitting, no longer a proper part of the landscape, no longer welcome. I could almost feel the “cold shoulder” of the landscape, so to speak. I started my engine, disturbing the misty silence, and drove off. My co-existence at the wetlands is only acceptable during the hours of light. It terminates with the advance of night. The darkness is meant to keep the secrets and peace of the creatures of the wetlands. I accede. -June Mohan
Photo: (Copyright Mohan 2006) To contact the artist, please send email to:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cambridge Life 12-13-06 Cambridge Life 12-13-06

It's a wonderful life in Cambridge, NY

Ho! Ho! Ho! and Light the festival lights! The holiday season is in full swing here in Cambridge, NY. Last week we had some of the white stuff on the ground, but the weather has warmed-up again.

But don't let the lack of snow get you down. FRIDAY NIGHT, 12/15 @ 7:00 is Open Mic Poetry Night at Battenkill Books, 1 East Main Street, Cambridge, NY. In fact, I want to introduce you all to a new segment that will start after the holidays: The Poetry Corner. Margaret and Catherine (owners of Battenkill Books) will publish a weekly feature that highlights a local poet and publishes one of their poems. If you want to submit a poem for the blog, contact Margaret or Catherine by visiting the bookstore or phoning them at 518-677-2208.

I also had a wonderful weekend past. It started out with the open house at the Rice Mansion Inn, then a stroll down Main Street with stops at Chasing Silver (677-3415), Battenkill Books, the Valley Artisans Market (677-2765) and the Village Store (677-5731) rounding out my day. But...the weekend did not end on Saturday or Sunday...Nooooo it continued through to Tuesday night when I went to meet and talk with local author and dog authority Jon Katz at Battenkill Books. Google Jon's name and check out his writings...if you love dogs, farm life and country living Jon is the writer you want to start reading.

As you can see, life in Cambridge, NY is never dull. Let me know about your doings around the Cambridge Valley by posting a comment on the blog or emailing me I'll happily post your impressions of life here in Cambridge, NY.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cambridge Life - 12/8/06 Cambridge Life - 12/8/06

Cambridge, NY....Sophisticated country living

Winter is officially here! Temperatures were in the teens this morning and a light dusting of snow has been falling since last evening. Now I know some of you really don't look forward to the snow, but for folks in Cambridge, NY it means a beautiful white holiday season. My spruce scented candles are making the house feel cozy and bright (especially because I don't have a fireplace).

There are big doings around the area too. The Rice Mansion Inn is all done-up and Christine and Jeff will host their annual open house on Saturday, Dec. 9th. 1-4 pm. Drop in and celebrate the season with your neighbors.

Holiday happenings aside, have you seen the construction going on around the Historic Cambridge Freight Yard! Wow!!! The septic system is going in. I know, I know, excited about a septic system. Well...yeah! It's a most unusual design that will be environmentally sound and energy efficient. All the details will be in the upcoming Freight Yard newsletter - look for it around the area.

I also want to let you all know about the new Towns and Villages of the Battenkill Valley Association The association members cover the Greenwich, Salem, Cambridge, NY triangle and caters to all your tourism needs. It's also a source for information on upcoming events and special tours in the area. Check out the web site for all your tourism needs.

So happy holidays to everyone. If your looking for a white Christmas, visit Cambridge, NY....Norman Rockwell could not have painted a more perfect village scene.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cambridge Cooking #1 Cambridge Cooking #1

Cambridge Cooking to our blog. Over the past few years, I've emassed a repertoire of recipes that are easy to prepare, taste great, and are healthy for you. But you can never have too many recipes so email your favorites and I'll post them to the blog.

Today's Recipe comes from Kelly Taylor of Taylored Growth Farm. Taylored Growth Farm is one of the participants in the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market. They specialize in homemade salsa and sauces.

Tilapia with Mango-Apple Salsa


1.5 lbs. fish fillets (tilapia, cod or perch)
1 c Italian bread crumbs
1 c. Apple Salsa (such as Taylored Growth Farm’s variety)
1/2 c diced mangp
1/2 c. diced red and yellow sweet peppers
3 Tbs. fresh chopped cilantro (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
2. Cover broiler pan with non-stick foil (or regular foil with cooking spray)
3. Dip fish fillets in bread crumbs, coating each side – place on broiler pan
4. Bake 15 – 20 minutes until flakey
5. Mix remaining ingredients and spoon over fish when serving

Serve the fish on a platter surrounded by sauteed greens (such as Swiss chard and kale). It will look beautiful and taste great too! Top the meal off with a shredded red cabbage slaw and a bottle of wine. Trust me, you'll enjoy every bite.