A certain view

Without fail, each time we spend more than a day in another place, I have the desire to move there. The highlight reel: I’ve opined about living in Pacifica and Monterey; Ipswich, Chatham, and Gloucester; Boulder and Nederland; Philadelphia, New York City, and Seattle. But Maine. That’s where I really sink my teeth in. Trulia and Zillow get involved. As […]

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The City of Spindles

Sometimes when you live near history, you take it for granted. I was reminded of that during February vacation when I took the kids to the Boott Cotton Mills Museum in Lowell. Growing up in Massachusetts, I was aware of the various mills in the state and the company towns that formed around them. It’s also hard to miss what happened to them when […]

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Nature and technology meet at Gleason’s newest art show

by Karina Coombs   A series of ceramic scrolls from Bedford artist Carol Rissman. Rissman makes each tile from white or red clay before imprinting or stamping them with natural found objects. Pieces are then fired and stained. Tiles are selected individually for each scroll and mounted on a wooden backing. (Photo by Karina Coombs)     [Reprinted from the original Carlisle Mosquito article found here.] Gleason Library’s Art at the Gleason opened its first show of 2017 with “Affinity: puzzles, sculptures, and photography,” featuring the works of Carlisle residents Dale Joachim and Bill Claybrook and Bedford’s Carol Rissman. The show runs until March 25. The beauty of found objects Nature’s influence is apparent when looking at the ceramic works of local artist, Carol Rissman. Since retirement, as a broadcaster and news director for a local NPR station (in addition to writing and editing for a number of publications), Rissman has turned what had been a hobby into a full time endeavor, making both functional and sculptural pieces at the Harvard University Ceramics Studio where she is a resident artist. Whether it is a stone, feather, leaf or some other natural found object, Rissman is attracted to the beauty she finds outdoors, incorporating it in unexpected ways into the mosaic and scroll tile pieces that make up her collection. “I’m happy to have this way of using them,” she says of the treasures she regularly picks up. Rissman’s pieces begin […]

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Women Who Will

I stayed up as long as I could this morning, but in the end I made myself go to sleep knowing what we would all learn eventually and trying to figure out a way to explain this to my daughters. They went to sleep thinking they would wake up to a bold new day: the first woman President of these […]

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Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show, 2016

Back when we were dating, my husband and I first went to the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles show. We spent hours strolling up and down the street and in and out of the tents looking for things that “spoke” to us. We acquired an enormous porcelain industrial glove mold, an old glass hospital paper cup dispenser, and a metal View-Master […]

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Giving city kids a summer to remember

My newest feature article from the Carlisle Mosquito. The link is here, with full text below. Giving city kids a summer to remember by Karina Coombs Running barefoot through the grass. Gazing at stars. Falling asleep to the sound of crickets. When summer arrives, many children in Carlisle will experience these simple pleasures. But for some kids, these experiences are […]

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Small business with big plans

My latest feature on a local entrepreneur can be found here. Full text below. Small business with big plans by Karina Coombs Caitlin O’Connor knows a lot about brand management thanks to her time at Proctor & Gamble (P&G). Countless hours spent driving her four children to various activities has also taught her a lot about life in the car […]

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Counting to zero, one kilowatt at a time

My newest feature article. We’ve already started making the switch to LEDs in our house thanks to this: http://carlislemosquito.org/index.php/news/28683 Counting to zero, one kilowatt at a time by Karina Coombs Residential electric rates have doubled since 1990, with the biggest increases in just the past ten years. In November, citing the rising cost of natural gas (used in the power plants that produce the electricity), National Grid increased its rates by 37%. NStar followed suit earlier this month and raised its rates by 29%. While many are bracing for larger bills, Energy Task Force member Claude von Roesgen is having a decidedly different experience, thanks to his home’s photovoltaic system. Instead of paying for the electricity he uses, von Roesgen is being paid for the electricity he generates through 36 roof-top solar panels. But after decades of energy conservation awareness, the absence of an electric bill is not his end game. Instead, von Roesgen is focused on getting the building to net zero energy, helping to reduce his carbon emissions. What is net zero? A net zero energy building (NZEB) is an energy efficient building that also produces as much annual renewable energy on site as it uses. The building becomes self-sustainable, yet most NZEBs remain on the electrical grid for storage needs. With a vacation home that is already a NZEB, von Roesgen does have some experience in this area. Now he is working on scale. That is because his […]

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Suspending Belief

Recently my 5-year-old told me she no longer believed in flying reindeer.  The conversation went something like this: E, “Reindeers can’t fly.” Me, “Well, maybe not all reindeer.” E, “Mama, you know no deer can fly.” Me, trying to think of something, “Okay, but maybe Santa uses some magic on just his reindeer to make them fly.” E, “There’s no […]

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Living in History

We have officially passed the one year mark in our Massachusetts house and have signed a lease for another 12 months.  Not a week goes by where I don’t miss the relative luxury we lived in while in Northern Colorado, but it’s getting better. If Colorado was my fat pants in terms of mind-numbing comfort and relative ease of living, […]

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Video Snacking

Prefunerale Luigi Virgillito  from Ground’s Oranges on Vimeo. ~ A pre-funeral celebration, parodying 18th birthday vanity videos popular in Southern Italy.  And now that I’ve seen a few of those pre-diciottesimo videos this is so much better in every possible way.  It’s weird, has great imagery, and shows that Americans haven’t cornered the market on narcissism in a strangely reassuring way.  Oh you whacky Italians.

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Fruit Bearing Trees

We are going on our second year in the antique rental house.  And I can feel the familiar calling of fall now that the hard little pears are starting to fall to the ground with a distinctive thud.  I wish I knew what kind of pears they are or what to do with them.  We have two trees of the […]

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Video Snacking

~ I’m suddenly really interested in alternative housing and how ingenious people are in terms of making it work in surprising ways.  A bicycle elevator to reach a 30 foot treehouse?  Sounds like a good idea to me. Found at Colossal. Related articles Bicycle-Powered Treehouse Elevator (makezine.com)

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New England News

After a summer of sloth, my newest article just hit the web and features a local guy that designed and built a tiny solar house that can also be a tiny solar houseboat.  I don’t know how I would manage living alone in 128 square feet, but he makes it pretty enviable. It’s at the Carlisle Mosquito.

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Flatbread Company

Some days I’m so unmotivated to cook. Okay, some weeks I’m so unmotivated to cook. Thankfully we now live around really good and consistent restaurants that are both kid-friendly and delicious to both minor and adult palates. Last night we indulged in pizzas from the Flatbread Company in Bedford. The restaurant is funky, has a good beer menu and over-the-top […]

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Great Brook Farm State Park

We’ve been living in Carlisle for almost 9 months so it’s time to get off the couch and explore. The weather being perfect right now doesn’t hurt either – 60s or low 70s and cool. The dog and I decided to explore Great Brook Farm State Park for an hour or so. Parking is $2 unless you are just going […]

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Wingaersheek Beach

Once again we made the 45 minute trek to West Gloucester and our favorite beach, Wingaersheek. Until Memorial Day the parking is free, which is no small detail considering it is $20 during the week and $25 on the weekends if you can even get a space. Even with those high parking rates it is worth it however. Between the […]

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Race to the Top

Annual School Halloween Parade

Annual School Halloween Parade “Of course a more expensive house seems nicer. It is nicer! If you look at houses you cannot afford, you will never be satisfied with the house you actually can afford,” said my father, using his 30+ years in real estate to provide me with one of his best wisdom nuggets, and the only one I […]

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Etc.

“I and my guys happened to be studying the nice information and facts from the website and all of a sudden I got a horrible suspicion I had not thanked the web blog owner for those strategies. All the women are already so warmed to learn them and already have surely been loving them. I appreciate you for genuinely very […]

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