Massachusetts

Sunday Funday at the Shutesbury Athletic Club

Want to help veterans in need? How about pets in shelters? How about a fun place to bring the kids for a few hours? We have just the event for you! Sunday Fun Day at the Shutesbury Athletic Club! This great, family fun event happens on June 11 from 2-5pm. Bring your lawn chairs & blankets. Listen to live music, enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, a raffle, and catch up with friends and neighbors. Kids can enjoy face painting and other fun activities!

How can you help veterans in need? Bring and donate any household items (see list below). We have partnered with Homeward Vets for this event. They have a simple mission: to help veterans in need. They do that by providing previously homeless veterans with home furnishings when they transition from homelessness and move into the community. They make a difference in every life they touch. You, too, can make a difference! Here is a sampling of the items needed:

Bed Frames – any size
Mattresses (NEW ONLY)
Dressers
Night stands
Bookcases
Couch/ loveseat - clean and in very good condition and in move-in condition
Chairs – Dining room and living room
Kitchen Table with chairs
Pots and Pans                                                                                        
Silverware                                                                                           
Cups/Plates (Dishes)
Curtains/ Shades                                                                                                                 
Shower Curtain (NEW ONLY)
Towels
Toaster
Microwave
Coffee Pot
Computers

If you would like to help animals at Dakin Humane Society, bring any of the following items to Sunday Fun Day and we will deliver to Dakin in Leverett.

Cats and Kittens

  • Canned cat food (cats prefer pate-style, rather than chunks-in-gravy)

  • Dry cat food (opened bags are okay; we give them to feral cat colony feeders)

  • Human baby food (chicken or turkey, meat & gravy-style only, no vegetables, please)

  • Cat litter (clumping and non-clumping)

  • Cat toys

  • Small ceramic cat bowls (busy kitties knock regular bowls over!)

Dogs and Puppies

  • Freeze dried beef liver (for training)

  • Kong rubber toys (to keep dogs busy)

  • Bully sticks (to keep dogs busy)

  • Hot dogs (for training)

Birds, Bunnies, and Other Small Animals

  • Large cages in excellent condition

  • Bird perches (varying sizes)

  • Washed greens

Maintenance Supplies

  • Large trash bags

  • Paper towels

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Dish soap

  • Bleach

  • Liquid laundry detergent

  • Facial tissues

Office Supplies

  • Postage stamps

  • Copy paper

  • Pens

The Shutesbury Athletic Club is located at 282 Wendell Road, Shutesbury, MA.

 

 

Comments

  1. Mary Godfrey. Athol. Mass 01331. on

    if we have none off the items you mentioned. Then can a monetary donation be giving to help buy the things you need. For the poor animals. Who do we make the check out to and where do we mail it. Thank you.
    • Pamela Sclafani on

      You can either bring your check, made out to Dakin Humane Society to the event as we will bring all donations to Dakin next week, or you can mail your check to Dakin, P O Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101
  2. Debra Thompson on

    Hi as a volunteer at the Franklin county regional dog shelter in Turners Falls we are always looking for donations like Dakin Thank you

    Celebrate New Year's at Northampton's First Night

    There is only one outdoor festival in Western Massachusetts celebrating First Night and that of course is in Northampton. This 12 hour family friendly festival kicks off at noon at the Academy of Music with a presentation of SHOW Circus Studio's eye-popping Holiday Party. 

    There are literally hundreds of performers at 20 various venues in an astounding array of entertainment throughout the night. For a list of performances, click here.

    One of the things I love about this festival is that the fireworks take place at 6:15pm. Plenty of time for the little ones to enjoy various performances, check out the fireworks, and then either stay for more fun, or head home just in time for bed.

    Later, event goers will gather at the Hotel Northampton for the raising of the ball. D.J. Johnny Memphis pays homage to the New Year by spinning tunes that will have you dancing in the streets by midnight.

    Of course you can enjoy some of the activities, such as the fireworks free of charge, but to get the most of the evening, purchase A single bargain-priced button which opens the doors to every event at every venue.

    For more information, check out First Night Northampton.

     

    Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

     

    5 Things to Do in the Winter in Western Massachusetts

    "The weather outside is frightful!" but there's still so much to do in Western Massachusetts in the winter!

    1. Yankee Candle, of course! Located in South Deerfield, MA, you will find more than 400,000 candles in over 200 scents! This is a special place where magic comes to life. From watching animated, singing characters to celebrating Christmas year 'round, this is a place where your whole family can experience an enchanting mix of shopping and entertainment. 

    2. Elmer's in Ashfield for a wonderful breakfast, lunch or dinner. They tout themselves as "Big time breakfast and Friday night dinner joint, Old Timey Natural Foods Grocery and Art Gallery". There's also The Old Creamery in Cummington, a retail store and cafe, but also a hub of activity and a social gathering place. If you're in the mood for a cup of fair trade coffee, craft beer, or some live music, head over to Shelburne Falls and Mocha Maya's!

    3.The Botanic Garden at Smith College. This garden was founded over 100 years ago and is home to thousands of plants. They are open year round from 8:30am-4pm and a donation of only $2 is suggested for admission.

    4. Ice Skating at UMASS Mullins Center. It's only $6 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Check their calendar for dates and times.

    5. The Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner's Falls shows the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. The Center’s building and exhibits are fully accessible and are free and open to the public. Inside the main building, walk-through dioramas show the plants, animals, and landscapes of this 410-mile-long river from its arboreal source near the Canadian border, through forests and farms, past villages, towns, and cities, all the way down to the estuary at the Long Island Sound.

     

    Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

    Bright Nights is Bigger and Better Than Ever!

    Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield! If you haven't been in a while, or at all, it's time to make the short trek to Springfield!

    First of all, did you know that Bright Nights was named as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America? Seven Times! And it's right in our backyard here in Western Massachusetts!

    Did you also know that Bright Nights features more than 650,000 lights along a three mile tour? It's amazing!

    Since 1995, when Bright Nights first opened, there have been more than 3.8 million visitors!

    In addition to the lighting display there are other things to enjoy!

    • If you'd like to see Bright Nights a little differently, enjoy the display via a horse drawn wagon or carriage. They depart every half hour from 5:30PM-8:30PM, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, weather dependent.
    • On December 25 and January 1, there will be Free craft making for kids at Santa's Magical Forest (while supplies last).
    • Don't forget to visit the gift shop to bring home a memory of Bright Nights! Just take a left after Seuss Land and experience Bright Nights out of your vehicle.

    The Hours of Bright Nights are:

    Sunday through Thursday – 5PM to 9PM

    Friday, Saturday and Holidays* – 5PM to 11PM

    For more information, visit their website at: http://www.brightnights.org

     

     

     

     

    Northampton Holiday Stroll 2016

    The 2016 Northampton Holiday Stroll takes place Friday, December 9, 2016 from 5-8pm. Main Street, Northampton will be closed down to vehicles from the Academy of Music to Strong Avenue. Attendees can enjoy music, hay rides, food and drink from local cafes, face painting, street entertainers and so much more!

    Get there early for even more fun! In addition to the following schedule of events, there are also many ongoing activities which can be found here: http://www.northamptonholidaystroll.com

    3pm – Get an early start to the Stroll with the Smiffenpoofs!

    4pm -  Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the Nutcracker at the Academy of Music

    4-8pm - Smith College Museum of Art -- Free Second Friday

    • 4:15-4:45pm Smith College Campus School Chorus performs at the SCMA
    • 4-6pm  Art making for all ages - Journey Journals: make your own travel sketchbook
    • 6-6:30 Guided conversation exploring a work of art in the SCMA
    • Plus Holiday Shopping at SCMA all day long (10am-8pm)!

    5pm - Sticks & Bricks Holiday Trunk Show!  Stroll on down for one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts by local artists (head to Market Street, just under the railroad bridge on your left!)

    5-6:30pm - Sam the Minuteman!  Look for him walking up and down Main Street.

    5:30pm (or so) - Local's burger eating contest!  In Main Street, near Local

    6pm   - Local Chorus inside UU Church
               – Smithereens, 6-7pm; Location tbd
               - ringing of the Smith College carillion

    6pm - Valley Rock Choir!  Location tbd


    6-7:30 - Live greek music in the street in front of Filos Greek Taverna

    6-8pm - Book launch and First Annual Bad Rap Contest at the Parlor Room: Celebrate the publishing of 'The Pencil Bandits' by local youth author Henry Reade and enter the first annual Bad Rap Contest.  Anything goes; just for fun!  15 and under category; prizes awarded.  Bring your friends! 


    6:15pm – Mayor Narkewicz - book reading (a selection from Wind in the Willows) at 
    Broadside Bookshop

    6:30pm – Nota Bene – inside Silverscape

    6:30pm - Pioneer Valley Capella; location tbd

    6:30pm – Celtic Heels performance – in the street in front of City Hall

    7pm – Spirit of the Heart martial arts demonstration; in front of City Hall

    7-10pm - Rise Up and Sing -- Hope & Courage Sing-along; Northampton Friends Meetinghouse, 43 Center St.

    7:30pm – Community carol sing-along with Jonathan Harvey (Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus) in the Unitarian Universalist Church

    7:30pm – Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the Nutcracker at the Academy of Music

     

     

    Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

     

    5 Steps to Buying Your First Home in Western Massachusetts

    The Pioneer Valley is a wonderful place to live! With mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, great restaurants, nightlight, theatre, museums, and shopping, the towns in Western Massachusetts have New England charm with big city activities.  If you’re thinking about buying a home in Franklin or Hampshire County, a little preparation will go a long way.

    1. First and foremost, know your credit score. There is only one official free credit report website according to mass.gov, and that is www.annualcreditreport.com.

    How much can you afford? To understand your finances, the importance of credit, how much you’ll need for a down payment and closing costs, mortgage rates, and the Western Massachusetts housing market, check out this website: http://markethttp://myhome.freddiemac.com/buy/what-you-can-afford.html

    2. Shop for a loan. Look to commercial banks, mortgage companies, and/or credit unions. This website, http://www.hud.gov/buying/booklet.pdf, will help you shop, compare, and negotiate a mortgage that’s right for you.

    If you are a first time home buyer, look into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Your down payment may be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. Get more information here: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/buying/loans

    3. Shop for a home. Coldwell Banker is here to help! We’ve been helping people find the home of their dreams for 110 years. Start with our website: www.coldwellbankerUMR.com and search for the home of your dreams, and a Realtor in your community.

    When you’re ready to make an offer, your Coldwell Banker Realtor will advise you on negotiation strategies and be there to provide objective advice that protects your best interest in the transaction. Our Realtors work with lenders, home sellers, and other real estate agents every day and will use their knowledge and experience to assist you.

    4. After your offer is accepted, get a home inspection, http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=92564-cn.pdf and shop for homeowners insurance. Lenders typically require proof of homeowner’s insurance. 

    5. The Closing. Your Coldwell Banker Realtor will be there for you every step of the way. Knowing the process before the closing might make you feel a little less nervous. After all, this could be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has resources to help:  http://www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home/process/close/.

     

    Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

    Small Lots Big Design - How Good Design Enhances Small Lots in Northampton, MA

    In 2013 the City of Northampton hosted a “Small Lots, Big Design” competition. The purpose was to demonstrate how good design can enhance small lots throughout the city. 

    Since the end of the competition, Bruce Volz, of Shop Development LLC has seen his project progress to the point where it is almost complete. 

    Bruce is also the co-owner of VCA, custom builders of unique furniture and architectural millwork in Northampton. His passion is in the design and quality of the pieces his company produces. His clients are varied and can mostly be found in New York and California. So it goes to say that this Small Lots, Big Design project has been a labor of love for him. He has never been involved in the construction of buildings. He paid three firms to come up with a design that he could get behind. In the end he chose Jones Whitsett Architects, and construction began in the Spring of 2015. 

    Within walking distance to downtown Northampton, each two story building is made up of two single story dwellings, an upper and a lower dwelling. Each is efficiently organized to provide homeowners a spacious two bedroom apartment, including an outdoor deck and covered parking. The dwellings are low maintenance. The construction exceptional. Standards include double glazed windows, air-source mini-split heating/cooling, solar hot water, and LED lighting.

    Inside the homes is all Bruce. The wood used in the counter face is reclaimed wood from a barn that previously stood on the property. Same with the barn doors in the home. The counter tops are recycled paper and resin. The floors are natural ash and teak. The cabinets were made in his company, designed by his people, all excited to be a part of the process. The homes have a rustic but polished look. Every pain staking detail is Bruce.

    These homes are truly a work of art. Three of the four homes have been sold. There is an open house this weekend (Sunday, November 6, 2016 from 1-3PM) so feel free to stop in and take a tour. Or for a private viewing, please call Dave Ryan of Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont at 413-977-9184 or visit ShopDevelopmentNoho.com for renderings, systems, and more information or http://bit.ly/2dBAyzU for more details.

     

    Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

     

    Fall Yard Care to do Now

    Fall is here! The days are shorter, the temperatures are cooler, and the leaves are changing a little every day. And since the Red Sox are done for the season, you have a little more time to keep your yard looking its best year round with some easy fall yard care tips.

    Beautify with New Tress, Shrubs, and Annuals

    Keep your yard looking beautiful by removing wilted summer annuals and replacing them with cool-weather varieties (make sure to fertilize the soil first). You’ll also want to stop fertilizing perennials. This will allow them to rest during winter and be healthier come spring. 

    Planning to add or relocate trees or shrubs? Fall is a great time to do it. Cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall will help to encourage root growth before it gets too cold. Choose native plants for best results. 

    Adjust Your Watering

    As temperatures dip, plants and grass need less water. Reduce manual watering and make sure to keep an eye on automatic systems, adjusting them as needed.

    Fall is also an excellent time to start practicing water conservation techniques. Set up a rain bucket, if you don’t already have one. 

    Take Care of Your Lawn

    Lawns can take quite a beating in Western Massachusetts in the summer, especially if your community, like mine, had water restriction rules in place. So, managing your lawn is an important part of fall yard care.

    As the weather cools, lawn growth will slow. Make sure to continue mowing your lawn (adjust the mower blade as needed) until it becomes dormant. A good rule of thumb is no lower than 2 1/2 inches in the fall and winter months. 

    Whether you're planting a new lawn or working on your existing lawn, it’s time to overseed with cool season turf grasses such as bluegrasses, bentgrasses, fescues, and ryegrasses. Remove thatch from your lawn. This can be done by hand or the easier way of renting an aerator or dethatcher. Doing so will encourage healthy root systems, plus aerating allows water to penetrate deeper, helping to avoid runoff. 

    Clean Up Debris

    Of course, a big part of fall yard care is cleaning up debris, including dead plants or leaves.

    First, there’s no need to remove a few straggling leaves from your lawn. Just mow right over them, and they’ll help to fertilize your lawn.

    For yards with more trees, consider starting a compost pile. Compost can be used as mulch, and using it in your yard helps save on your water bills, reduces the need to fertilize (which is better for the environment), and saves you time (no bagging leaves). Simply add your yard waste to a compost pile instead of throwing it out.

     

    Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

    Apple Picking in Western Massachusetts

    The leaves are starting to change and we are smack dab in the middle of apple picking season! This is a perfect time to take a leisurely drive down a quaint New England scenic route, enjoy the gorgeous scenery, and stop at a local orchard.

    My kids are older now but every year when they were little we would pick apples at the local apple orchard, go home, peel and core them and bake fresh apple pies. The kids loved it! The whole house smelled amazing and it’s the perfect cozy dessert to share on a chilly New England fall evening.

    Making an apple pie is as easy as pie! And also, I cheat. I buy the ready made pie crust so what could be easier than that? Click on the picture below for a recipe I found on Pinterest that is basically the one I use but with gorgeous pictures. 

    Check out these local apple orchards:

    Franklin County

    Apex Orchards, 225 Peckville Road, Shelburne Falls, MA 

    Bear Swamp Orchard, 1209 B Hawley Road, Ashfield, MA 

    Clarkdale Fruit Farms, 303 Upper Road, Deerfield, MA

    Dole Farm, Peckville Road, Shelburne, MA

    Hamilton Orchards, 22 West Street, New Salem, MA

    Mohawk Orchards, Colrain-Shelburne, MA

    Pine Hill Orchards, 248 Greenfield Road, Colrain, MA

    Quonquont Farm and Orchard, 9 North Street, Whately, MA

     

    Hampshire County

    Atkins Farm, 1150 West Street, Amherst, MA

    Bashista Orchards, 160 East Street, Southampton, MA

    Dickinson Farms, 134 South Street, Granby, MA

    Kielbasa Orchards, 290 Bay Road, Hadley, MA

    Outlook Farm, 136 Main Road, Route 66, Westhampton

    Round Hill Orchard, 1 Douglas Road, Southampton

    Small Ones Farm, 416 Bay Road, Amherst, MA

    South Hadley Farm, 10 Pearle Lane, South Hadley, MA

     

    For detailed information on the above orchards, http://www.pickyourown.org/MAwest.htm. Enjoy!

     

    Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

     

     

    MAR Announces RMCI up 57.73 percent!

    According to the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS, the REALTOR Market Confidence Index (RMCI) is up 57.73 %.  This increase is 166% higher over the same time last year.  This is the 14th straight month there has been an increase of the RMCI.  For details on how this information is compiled check out the MAR article.  This is great news for those homeowners that have been waiting for market increases to list their homes.  Confidence is up, markets appear stable and interest rates still at all time lows.

    Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS is locally owned and nationally known, the company to get the job done.  Whether you are selling a home or buying a home, we are the agents with the tools and expertise to assist you.  Check out our website!