Hello, nachos. Adios, heartburn.
Watercolor es at INK STUDIO/GALLERY Secrets with Alan James
Ala In this six-week beginner / intermediate course
years! By the end of this course, you will be transfo
Secrets we will uncover:
Building a vocabulary of brushstrokes to help crea Perspective and Proportion. techniques.The importance of water to pigment rat alues, Sha Understanding of composition: Design, V
How to exploit the natural flow of water and discov
water guide you while overcoming the urge to cont
Classes run once per week beginning 3/1
- 314 Flat Rock INKSTUDIO/GALLERY Location:
Alan James email alan@ala Contact Registration:
Description / Beginner / Intermed
n will help you uncover a treasure trove of secrets that have
rmed from a once frustrated individual to a happy-go-lucky wa
The secrets of applying washes, wet in . pes, edges, and color
e shapes that make up: Figures,
rees, Skies and much more T
Six-week Class er the secrets that make it work its magic like no other mediu
st.Yay! tercolor arti ou all these been eluding y
dry brush wet, glazing and
ntoletthe m can and lear .
Please come prepared with the artist grade materials pro will create a new painting each week and concentrate
estbrook Outlets exit 65) Place F125, (W at a cost of $275.00 for through 4/8/2023 from 10am-1pm
njamesart.com or by phone at 860-395-9493
, primarily: landscapes, seascapes and citys on simple subject matter
vided in the materials list found here: https://files.faso.us/68203/833
rol every brushstroke pdf es.scap
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
As of this writing, winter has been in the 50s with some mighty fine outdoor conditions for the most part. There has not been a single snowfall that has managed to stick on the ground. This could change. “In like a lamb, out like a lion” they say. It would be nice to enjoy a stretch of spring. Hopefully, it will not be “In like a lamb, out like a sunlamp.” Hot right from the jump. Native plants and wildlife don’t know exactly what to do about this newly claimed season of the extended fall. I was speaking with Jessica Penﬁeld at Wild Birds Unlimited in Old Saybrook a while back. She usually has the lowdown on what’s going on with the birds, and outdoor creatures, and how the weather is affecting them. Seems there is a quite lot of confusion out there in the animal kingdom. It is always interesting catching up with the many outdoor observations from all over as they ﬁnd their way into Wild Birds Unlimited
In this issue of INK we humbly offer to you inspired people. This one seems to have all of that in spades. Stewardship is a common thread running through our editorial features this month. For example: Daniel Lanzilotta is an artist who works with what man (the species) considers trash. Discarded plastic is his medium so in the current world, Daniel is sadly ﬂush with art supplies. He also has some great stories that coincide with being in the world and ﬁnding his next creative inspiration. Lauren Cryan has been a creative her entire life. Currently, she ﬁnds peace and space creating beautiful Mandalas. Architect Leonard Wyeth is faithful to a standard and the spaces he creates are stellar. Beginning the issue, Lizzy has her own candyshop and that’s a fact. It just so happens that she also has been going there every day after school since she was a kid.
Top that!Jeffery Lilly founder / publisher
On the Cover: Lauren Cryan “two Mandala overlayed” blame: Jeff
“Fairy tales can come true, it can hap to you if you’rre e young at heart”
nce upon a time, there was a little girl named Lizzy McCarthy who lived on the Connecticut shoreline.
Like most little girls, Lizzy loved candyy. But unlike most little girls or boys or almost anyone else on the planet, Lizzy could eat candy day and night. It was her world. She talked incessantly about candyy, , eamed about candy dr y, , and looked forward to eating candy every single dayy. It consumed her as she consumed it! When she flew on a trip, she would package an enormous bag of candy causing TSA folks in every airport to question what might be within and to open it. When she visited her grandmother’s house, she would om the candy jar always steal candy fr r, , hiding itinherpocketsandinherbootssoshecould
it in her pockets and in her boots so she could take some home.
As a child, Lizzy dreamed that when she grew up she would have a candy room in her house and even figured out a way to accomplish it. “My parents wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyerr, , so I figured I’d go to Harvard for medicine, become a doctorr, , and make enough Y money to be able to build a candy room.” Yoou may laugh at that, but to a candy-obsessed child, it made perfect sense and served as the wings of her dream.
But McCarthy didn’t go to Harvard, instead ge W attending Geor Waashington University for a time with thoughts of perhaps studying business, but then Covid intervened, and she came home to college online which she clearly did not enjoyy..“Ilikedarchaeology and even taught myself hieroglyphics, but all I really wanted was to work.”
Never one to be called “lazyy,,” Lizzy went to work at the local Black Hall Golf
Club, Atlantic Seafood, and finally got a job working the cou at The Chocolate Shell. “I decided pretty quickly that I didn’t want to smell like fish, I wanted to smell like candy! This was candy store I had always loved, I wanted to be here.”
As a child, Lizzy’s grandma often picked her up after school, andbeingatruegrandmawholovedtospoilhergrandchildr
the ren and being a true grandma who she enjoyed taking Lizzy to th money into her little hand, the door and the overstuffed mou was The Chocolate Shell in Ol in the neighborhood but with
o loved to spoil her grandchildren, e local candy store, pressing some n watching the smile go in the th come out. That local candy store d L Lyyme, popular not only withcustomers virtually all over the n there and sampled their wares, owley eviousownerr, , Barbara Cr y, , re, Lizzy was right there ready to of her teens, she became the proud . “It was a dream. I never really t I could,” she enthused.
Everyo loyal kids ers a for 4 b
Chocolate Shell has been a veritaicon on the Connecticut shoreline 3 years. People who were customs children then introduced their swhointurnare now making customers out of their little ones. om kids with change tightly d in their fists to those who indulge orate gift buying during the ecial favors for events have h
g Th ble r 4 in corp holidayyp
een customers of the Shell, and Lizzy upholds and pects that history and those customers.
McCarthy brightens each time the do because she never knows if it’s a “re their daily “fix,” a new face, or the li come after 2 PM each day when the rings and the onslaught begins. As c the counters making what will undo toughest decision of their dayy, , Lizzy ily takes over. “I was that kid,” she s understand how important that choi I started coming here when I was eig
ooropens oor opens gular” there for ittle faces that final school bell children stand at oubtedly be the y’s patience eassays, “so I can ice is for them. ght.”
The “big kids” are often drawn towa
g nook in the rear of the store charmed of their youth. It’s the Zagnut bars, C button candyy, , Mallo Cups, Bonamo’s Bazooka Bubble Gum, Chunkys, orig my worms, and the like that make B squeal, “I remember this, I remembe
ard the nostalgia d by the candy Clark bars, fy urkish T s T Tu Taaf y, , ginal gumBaby Boomers er that” as they greatest is figuring out it for them. “I’m
Lizzy acknowledges that one of her challenges, but one she truly enjoys what people want and then getting i very detailed oriented. I know can know people, and I always wan
ndyy, , but I also nt to make them
ore is a happy place
arthy’s made it th xpanded display s coat of paint, radia new products inclu ies, more than 40 flav d popular favorites like
orange peels, alcohol-in an entire section ofglute free, sugar-free, nut-free, and vegan every price point. You can buy a bu
or indulge in exquisite French ch made without soy or preservativ and the people on your gift list h Shell just may be the happiest pl mugs, aprons, and shirts for sale
middle school student, Teaghan
hocolates from Michel Cluziel ves. It’s whatever will make you happy because The Chocolate Y lace in town! Yoou’ll also find e designed by a local talented A. McDonough.
W Wiith Easter just a few weeks away a basket station where customers Lizzy or her valued workers, Mich filled, and the shop will build it fo tents with whatever has been sele egg boxes, milk, dark, white, and plenty of bunnies just ripe for ear the only ones behind the counter. work here too!” laughs Lizzy who family affair.
y y, , The Chocolate Shell is featuring can pick out a pretty basket, tell helle and Sophie how they want it or them custom-designing the conected. In addition, there are golden marbled chocolate delights, and biting. Sophie and Michelle aren’t “My mom and grandma now o has always known candy was a
So, a young girl’s fairy tale has realization of that dream, she g o for. Instead of just a candy roo m store. One she has designed an d
indeed come true, and in the ot even more than she bargained m in her house, she got a whole d decorated and tweaks daily; ng visitors samples of some of her ng new people while along the , Lizzy got more than a candy o to Harvard to get it!
Lizzy McCarthy smiles as she gaz the old-fashioned candies that no procured, the gummies and the as chocolate strawberries lollipops and edible nuts and champagn nd she is delighte so much happiness. Anybody who s they don’t enjoy working obviously never owned a candy shop.”
zes at the chocolates, the truffles, one can find anymore but she has ssortments; the dark and white , the bubble gum and bubbles and marshmallows and ne flutes filled with fine chocolates; ed. Delighted because she can’t hat she’s going to do next, who help, and most important of all, ng to pop in her mouth todayy..So , so much to do, so much uchhappiness“Anybodywho
, happy The bubblyy, y, , young-at-heart, Lizzy McCarthy takes a minute to step back and look around again, then she giggles.
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110 PEQUOT TRAIL
MASHANTUCKET, CT 06338
How To Stay Conﬁdent By Ashley Alt Tips from an authenticity master.
Conﬁdence is deﬁned as “a ﬁrm trust” in someone or something. To be conﬁdent is to possess a feeling of self-assurance arising from your appreciation of your own abilities or qualities.
If you’re human, you’ve both struggled and succeeded with conﬁdence. As I like to say, conﬁdence is like your body weight — it ﬂuctuates.
While much of what’s talked about on the conﬁdence front has to do with conﬁdence in the self, (aka self-conﬁdence), what’s not discussed is that a lot of conﬁdence actually comes from others’ conﬁdence in you — a hot tip I received awhile back from Simon Sinek.
Now I’m not saying I’ve cracked the conﬁdence code — I’m simply declaring conﬁdence is more complex than slapping a motivational quote on your bathroom mirror and reciting a positive morning mantra.
Recently ﬁnding myself in a conﬁdence rut, I looked to personal business ally Georgette (G.) Pascale on how — and why — staying true to yourself is crucial, no matter what industry (or life stage) you’re currently in.
Age + Experience + Independence = Conﬁdence
, With over 25 years of experience in PR, marketing and communications, including healthcare, e-commerce, music, technology, and fashion, G. noticed there was a serious lack of authenticity in the business world, which became her impetus for starting her latest venture, “G. Your Personal Business Ally,” a bespoke company focused on assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses in any industry accomplish their short-term goals via her authentic and effective style.
“This is really me working with another driven person to help them reach their goals and conﬁdently get to the next step,” G. said of her new company.“I decrease the overwhelm and increase the focus and action. Long-term goals are not going to get you unstuck, but small steps in the right direction will.”
As many of you can probably agree, the modern business world can be frustrating and inefﬁcient, laden with incessant zoom calls and meetings that don’t need to be meetings. On that note, G. explains she’s here to save people time and money with a quick and efﬁcient consultation, for example, directing them to where they should be and who they should get in contact with, rather than dump a bunch of money into a marketing ﬁrm that may or may not be right for your brand.
In this manner, she explains “a little nimbleness and pivoting” goes a long way, whether you’re starting from scratch or making a career switch. “All business is is Life 101,” G. states.“How do you want to be treated? How do you want someone to talk to you? It’s so important also to do things yourself, and not get caught up with keeping up with the Joneses. Another thing? You have to be relatable.”
“Those fun experiences are what bring you conﬁdence,” she says. “Go to someone you respect who compliments your deﬁciencies and lifts you up. Go where the energy is and place yourself with people who you really vibe with.”
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Struggling to Find their Footing
G. makes it clear you have to understand the grass might not be greener on the other side — whether it’s career, relationships, or other you’re seeking answers on. She suggests asking yourself questions like, “Can your brain mentally do this? Are you going to freak out when the ﬁrst 50 people say no to your idea? Is your pocketbook ready?”
By focusing on what you can do, not getting over-advised (a big one), and having a small network of people who inspire you, you can really make a dent in where you’re going and the impact you can have.
She also suggests taking advantage of resources like online Facebook groups, the Chamber of Commerce, and neighborhood meetups, declaring not to underestimate the power of utilizing people, so long as you’re not taking advantage.
Conﬁdence and Motivation Go Hand in Hand
Talking conﬁdence speciﬁcally, G. assures me it comes with age, but says it’s really a culmination of age, experience, and independence.“I’ve had bosses who didn’t believe in me in past jobs, people who weren’t great to me,” she says, “But I believe in the gifts I’m good at, and know the ones I’m not. And I have three kids who look to me as an example of not just grit, but kindness.”
She encourages her small business clients to go to people they admire for guidance, reminding them they don’t need to be in their exact industry to receive good advice. Good people, like conﬁdence, can be found in the most unexpected of places — something I myself am constantly learning.
“If you’re looking for something personal, look local,” G. advises.“Do your research and see who knows who. It takes a little time, it takes a little sleuthing. Don’t feel like you’re being a burden by reaching out and asking for help. Everyone has something to offer in return, including you.”
Thank you for tuning into this month’s Ask Ashley. I hope you found it helpful. To see what G. is all about, follow her on IG @g.personalbusinessally or head to her site personalbusinessally.com.
To keep up with Ashley, subscribe to her newsletter, Take A Sip, at ashleyalt.substack.com.
hat phrase from the 1940s hit me as I visited the Annual Holiday Train Show at the Connecticut River Museum. By now, either from trains or trombones, maritime art or harmonica music, or from narrated lighthouse cruises, most of us know the entertaining Steve Cryan, but what jumped out at me this year at the Train Show had nothing to do with Steve – it was mandalas – so I inquired about the creator and creations. The answer: a great woman, wife, and artist in her own right, Lauren Cryan.
“Most simply, a mandala is symbol of universal energy and unity,” explains artist Lauren Cryan adding, “In many spiritual traditions, mandalas are used to represent spiritual deities and stories and to help focus the energy of the observer, as in meditation.” Lauren creates mandalas not only to express beauty, but also to create calm, focused energy.
“The process of painting mandalas is very meditative, as is the process of viewing them,” she explains. “My process begins with drawing a pencil design in a quarter circle on tracing paper. I then transfer, rotate and repeat the design to fill a circle before painting with watercolor.”
Lauren became inspired to create mandalas after teaching a lesson on rotational symmetry with fourth grade students. She began playing with designs she saw in nature and was later intrigued by the way the body moves in yoga. Both sources have continually inspired this work.
In various spiritual traditions, Wikipedia explains, “mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. In the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Shinto, it is used as a map representing deities, or especially in the case of Shinto, paradises, kamior actual shrines. A mandala generally represents the spiritual journey, starting from outside to the inner core, through layers.”
Most of Lauren’s clients have purchased mandalas simply because they connect to the images’ beauty and design. “They create space for the viewer, whether it be for meditation, relaxation or simply appreciation."
It takes many hours to create a mandala. Lauren really doesn’t keep track of the time, but it is not unusual to work on a piece for several weeks. She uses small brushes and pays great attention to detail. Prices start at about $500 for an original, depending on the amount of detail. She accepts commissions.
She teaches preschool through third grade visual arts at East Haddam Elementary School and says, “I’ve been very lucky to be supported by administration to run a choice-based program where the students really are the artists. Each class, I introduce a new concept, technique or medium and then students are free to choose what they want to create and what media they want to use. Students are encouraged to really think and act as artists. Some students will stay focused on developing skills in a specific area, some will work on a major piece for an extended length of time. There’s freedom to explore and plenty of room for all students to be successful.”
Lauren believes we all express our creativity through our daily acts of living.
“As a teacher and new grandma, I feel that I am always expressing my creativity through my relationships.”
She has taught creating mandalas to both children and adults. One of her favorite ways to teach mandala making is through a yoga/mandala-making workshop.
In a yoga/mandala workshop, the teacher explains, “students participate in a yoga practice and then take some time for a loosely directed mandala drawing meditation.” She has also done mandala drawing workshops without yoga as well.
Lauren earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Paier College of Art. As a bonus, Paier is where she met her husband-to-be.
Even back in the 80s, trains and boats were omnipresent. Steve proposed to Lauren at the steamboat dock in Essex, and they were married on the Essex Steam Train in 1988. In fact, Mr. and Mrs. Cryan were the first to be married on the train, a common event today. Guests boarded in Essex, rode with them to Deep River to witness their vows, and rode back for the reception at The Griswold Inn.
After 9/11, being home as a painter and illustrator, Lauren began feeling isolated. She went back to school to become a teacher, earned an MFA in Education from the University of New Haven, and began teaching in 2004.
Lauren has illustrated two children's books, The Fairy Tale Castle and Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes from the Old Woman's Shoe. She also illustrates for children's educational materials. Her portfolio includes portraits of both children and adults as well as detailed still life and marine paintings which have been featured in Soundings Magazine, on bookmarks and greeting cards. Lauren has won awards including the prestigious “Award of Excellence” from the Mystic Maritime Gallery.
But what’s it like living with all that train stuff, I asked, unable to fathom what a full museum floor of model train layouts, and entire village, could do when housed back home? “I try to keep most of the train stuff relegated to Steve’s basement studio,” she said patiently.Lauren will be exhibiting at the Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook this spring. FMI: Facebook “Lauren Cryan Mandalas” and at laurenkimcryan@ comcast.net
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architect Leonard Wyeth is seated comfortably in his new workplace in Chester, Connecticut surrounded by artwork and vintage guitars.
He has just completed a historically sensitive, deep-energy retrofit on his circa 1749 building which was originally used as a residence and a tavern before housing numerous businesses over its many incarnations. Oddly enough, it was also Wyeth’s first architectural office when he opened his practice in the lower level of this building back in 2001 before moving to a larger location when he had outgrown the space.
In keeping with the character and charm of the historic village of Chester, which is comprised mostly of antique buildings that house the town’s wide array of businesses, galleries, restaurants, and boutiques, Wyeth perfectly preserved the integrity of the structure. He implemented energy efficiency and stateof-the-art mechanical systems while paying homage to the building’s age and history.
“Philosophically, one of the best things you can do for a building sustainably wise is to adaptively reuse it. In other words, tearing it down and throwing it away is a massive energy waste. However, if you’re going to put it back together, it better be efficient,” Wyeth says.
Although Wyeth faced many skeptics and naysayers during this process who claimed a 274-year-old building could not be made energy efficient, he refused to buy into it.
“We have listened to people proselytize over and over there’s only so much you can do to an old building and that they are inherently inefficient. I’m sick of hearing that. It’s not true. It’s purely false. So, we needed to prove it, and that it works,” says Wyeth.
He installed electric air-to-air heat pumps for heating, cooling, and ventilation and an enthalpy recovery ventilator combined with MERV 13 filters to introduce fresh air. The system is so efficient that it utilizes a fraction of the energy resulting in lower electric bills even though everything in the office runs off it including the lights, the heat, the air conditioning, the laundry, the hot water, the appliances, and all the computers. Consistent temperatures are retained throughout every part of the dwelling from floor to ceiling, and clean air, free from dust, pollen, bacteria, and other potential pollutants and allergy irritants is circulated. “This is the same air quality level as an operating room,” explains Wyeth.
It’s a simpler system than geothermal which was not possible because the surrounding trees on the property are so immense, there was no location in which the photovoltaics could be placed in order to generate electricity.
To make the interior efficient, the exterior envelope first needed to be made airtight. Wyeth added continuous thermal-bridge-free insulation over the exterior of the wall and roof framing, installed high-performance windows and doors, and sealed a central chimney along with a few fireplaces that could be returned to their original state for future use. “These efforts control the air tightness of the exterior envelope, yielding a remarkably low air leakage rate for a renovated building, let alone one from the 18th Century,” notes Wyeth.
As thoughtful as Wyeth was with the building’s practical implementations and mechanics, he was equally as thorough in protecting its historic fabric. As original details and materials were uncovered and changes were made to the design, he took great care to ensure the updates were holistically complementary, yet distinctive enough, so there would be no question as to what was old, and what was new.
“It seemed to all of us as we were doing this, that the old structure should be exposed and some pieces that have been covered up should be exposed as well. And where structure was introduced later, like the column in this room that had nothing to do with the original design, we wanted it to look very different. For example, we refinished the old wood floors wherever possible, but when we had to use new wood, we used a different type,” explains Wyeth.Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum
A contemporary kitchen was added with a light-filtering free-standing panel to create a natural separation between the kitchen and studio entrance. Original hand-hewn posts and beams and stone fireplaces were retained while modern clog-free copper gutters and downspouts were incorporated. Instead of placing sheetrock over an old 1777 Connecticut Gazette newspaper discovered intact on a piece of lath inside a wall, a frame was built around it with a stained-glass window to memorialize this lost tradition.
When building a house in the mid-1700s it was quite common to use newspaper as insulation to keep the breeze at bay by covering the gaps in the wood. (newspaper was a lot thicker then and more akin to parchment paper). Usually, the wet plaster placed upon the paper almost always destroyed it, but in this case, as Wyeth surmises, they must have been running out of plaster when they reached this section of wall. Instead, a glimpse of what life was like at that time has been preserved.
“It has all sorts of interesting articles about lost horses, sick horses, slaves that need to be returned, for those who forget that they were up here too. I have listened to a lot of people tell me that this building had something to do with the Underground Railroad, but I can say with certainty, having torn apart every inch of it, that I don’t know where that concept came from but it makes a good story,” smiles Wyeth.
In addition to his own office, Wyeth has designed many cultural, institutional, residential, and commercial buildings that include Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, several facilities at Quinnipiac University, and the Legacy Theatre (Branford, Ct.) for which he garnered many awards, in addition to other structures statewide. And yet, in his office, there are no photos showcasing them because as Wyeth expresses, “We know what our projects look like. We don’t need to remind ourselves of them.” Instead, there is plenty of artwork gracing the walls for interest and inspiration, much like the guitars that offer a needed distraction and a way to clear the mind in between designs.
“If I need to unwind for a minute, there’s something to play. But they’re also symbols. A guitar is a carefully designed object. It’s one of the few things in life that I know of that is an art to create, made to create another art which is music,” says Wyeth. “So, here they sit as a reminder that buildings also are multivalent. They serve many purposes. They’re not just to keep us out of the rain. Sometimes they give us pleasure, sometimes security. They make us feel good and serve functional purposes. But there’s an art to their creation, and these art objects serve to remind me of that.”
For more information log onto wyetharchitects.com.
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One of Connecticut’s options is The Poulin Wealth Management Group of RBC Wealth Management, based in the quaint charm of Glastonbury. Financial Advisor and founder Paul Poulin started his professional career as a mortgage broker. He quickly realized that helping folks finance their new homes was a huge step, but he still felt he could do more to help families achieve their financial goals. With a desire to assist his community, Paul left the mortgage business and pursued a career in supporting and helping families manage money, both inside and outside the home.
“I found when people were making the big purchase of a home, they also needed to take into account starting a family, insurance costs, the impact on their retirement a mortgage could pose, kids going to college, weddings, and of course security,” Paul says. “So I started having all these great conversations with families but not being able to do anything beyond a simple mortgage. I wanted to do more.”
Today, Paul and his team have built a unique model for the families he advises. “All of our clients know that I am available 24/7,” Paul says. “If I am not meeting with another family, I am available for any of my clients. Each person who has entrusted me with their money has my personal cell.”
Paul laughs about giving his number to those he serves, “Some think I joke around. But, if one of our families calls me in the middle of the night because the tow truck hasn’t shown up yet, I'm going to go get them. Caring for folks goes well beyond the financial aspect of our relationship.” There is integrity in his voice. His eyes speak with compassion. His all-about-business brow
is raised to welcome questions or challenges to his sincerity. This fellow is genuine. He truly cares about his clients and their well-being. And he has weathered the turmoil of the past two years with his families. They trust him, and he has not taken their trust for granted as he continues to navigate the instability of today’s volatile market.
Paul is fastidiously particular about many aspects of his paradigm approach to wealth management. Like most leaders, he requires trusted teammates to bring his vision to reality. He leans on Jane Ellen Symmes, Registered Client Associate, to manage his office, his schedule, client interactions and help ensure he is where is needed. Paul knew right away that Jane cared, and caring for his families is the guiding core value behind his business model. Jane is all about family. She cares for her aging father in her Colchester home and has raised a brilliant and delightfully incorrigible teenage son. Paul saw these values in Jane and knew she
would apply her heart and determination to do the right thing. “She’s the boss,” chuckles Paul, speaking of his metaphorical right hand. “I never have to worry about anything I ask of her. It gets done and then some.” Jane sits across the table from Paul. One would expect a chuff of agreement from his cheeky comment, but her countenance is all business. “I have to have his back,” Jane says, “It’s my job to help make sure he doesn’t have to worry about anything but being there for our families.”
Paul knows he will always need a second opinion, an objective pair of eyes, another peer to balance out his decisions. With such an important responsibility entrusted in Paul, his intention, direction and decision-making must always be open for discussion and peer review by another certified professional. Kathleen Ringler, Financial Advisor with The Poulin Wealth Management Group, has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. As a financial advisor, Kathleen works
closely with clients to understand their current financial situations and aspirations for the future. By developing personalized investment strategies and adjusting them as needed, she helps clients reach financial independence, which is very rewarding to her. Kathleen is passionate about socially responsible impact investing for clients who desire a personal connection with their investments. She promotes it for clients who want to invest their money in companies that can help accelerate a positive social change and assists in creating portfolios that families are proud to call their own, not only in their lifetime but for generations to come.
At the table, Kathleen has remained silent in her thoughts. “Money, for a lot of families is a tough topic to talk about. It is ironic how important money is to a household, but the subject is avoided at home by so many couples!” She continues, “I love it when a couple reveals their goals to me for the very first time. The topic brings a sensitivity to a marriage that is uncanny. It is one of my greatest pleasures to help a couple who truly love one another, to guide them through, to get things into the open, help them and in a way, carry that burden for them.”
Paul nods in agreement and cements the thought with, “It's tough to talk about in the house, yes. But when you start bringing it down to a more comfortable level it's easier for families. I don’t talk much about money with new families during our initial meeting because it's not the most important thing. I think that's the part of my job I love. I talk to a couple that has been married for 30 years, discussing their retirement dreams and one says, ‘We’ve been spending so much time up in Maine all these years on the beautiful coast and can’t wait to get up there for retirement,’ as the other spouse is surprised saying, ‘I thought we were moving to Florida!’ Kathleen and I are sometimes the first to bring up these important conversations.”
If you would like to have a conversation with the Poulin team, contact Jane at 860-657-1757 or jane.symmes@rbc. com to inquire.
Investment and insurance products offered through RBC Wealth Management are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, are not deposits or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, a bank or any bank affiliate, and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.
RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, registered investment adviser and Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.
The CheesemongerBy Paul Partica, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook
Cheese Shop Top Ten
It’s been along time since we have listed our top ten cheeses. There’re still some old favorites making the list along with a few new ones. Hopefully you’ve been able to try all of them, if not, it’s time you did so you can find out what you’ve been missing.
The following cheeses are not ranked in any particular order.
1. Fromager D’Affinois (Cow’s milk) France
Fromager D’Affinois has made our Top Ten list every year for a simple reason. This is not only one of our favorite soft-ripening cheeses, but a favorite for most of our customers as well. Unlike many of the imported Brie’s and Camembert’s found in the U.S. that are stabilized for shelf life, Fromager D’Affinois wasn’t. It’s a true soft-ripening cheese that’s been allowed to ripen naturally producing an exceptionally rich and creamy delight. The rind remains moist and subtle and you won’t even know you’re eating it. How many of you are guilty of scooping out the middle and leaving the rind behind? You won’t need to with this cheese.
Fromager D’Affinois maintains a fairly steady consistency. You just have to find it at the stage of ripeness that you prefer.
2. Ossau Iraty (Sheep’s milk) France
Made in the Southwestern region of France, Ossau Iraty is one of the oldest cheeses in existence. It goes back before Roman times. It carries an AOC designation (Appellation D’Origine Controlee), which means it is controlled by law to meet certain high standards.
Ossau Iraty is an unpasteurized cheese, which only adds to its wonderful flavor. Ranging between three to four months in age, it will show a white or cream color, depending on its age. Its texture is somewhat firm with a subtle taste of nuts and olives with a creamy smooth finish. This cheese typically has no eye formations (holes), but they can occur. Butterfat content is 45 percent in dry matter. The wheel size averages eight to ten pounds.
Pair this one with pears and apples, olives and assorted charcuterie, such as prosciutto and salami. I like a good Bordeaux, Rhône or dry Burgundy with Ossau Iraty as well.
3. Stilton (Cow’s milk) England
Known as the “King of Cheese,” Stilton has been a fan favorite of ours since we opened. The taste can be described as a cheddar base with a blue vein running through it. It’s great as an appetizer, but even more enjoyed as a dessert when served with sweet butter, table water biscuits and a little vintage port.
Never toss an aging wedge of Stilton. It can be revived by removing the rind, then make a paste by combining it with a little port, and spreading it on a slice of pear with some chopped walnuts.
4. Fresh Mozzarella (Buffalo’s milk or Cow’s milk)
Just think about a vine-ripened tomato, some fresh cut basil, a good olive oil – and you’re night is complete. Mozzarella was originally made from buffalo milk, and in Italy it still is. This version has a little more tang to it than the cow’s milk version. And because of pizza, it’s our countries number one selling cheese.
5. Point Reyes Blue (Cow’s milk) The United States
Raw milk adds to the hearty flavor of this great Roquefort-style blue cheese from Point Reyes, California. This cheese is light in texture, though creamy and smooth. Penicillium Roqueforti is the blue source here. Point Reyes is great by itself as an appetizer, but also works well in salads or desserts.
6. Tres Leches (Cow, Goat and Sheep milk) Spain
Tres Leches is full of flavor and has become one of our top five sellers. This mild, semi-soft Spanish cheese is made from all three milks. In fact, the popularity of Tres Leches has risen so much that sales of Manchego, another more widely-known Spanish cheese, have decreased dramatically in our shop.
Tres Leches comes in a small eight-pound wheel. An olive oil rub along the exterior of the rind not only lends itself to the color of the rind, but also contributes to its great flavor.
7. Kanaal (Cow’s milk) Holland
Kanaal is made from pasteurized milk that comes from free-range, grass-fed cows. They do not use GMO ingredients in production. Kanaal has a crunchy, butterscotch, salty-sweet, candy-like flavor. This is due to the presence of Tyrosine, an amino acid found in milk that has a sweet and salty flavor that crystalizes as the cheese ages and dries.
Even though it tastes both salty and sweet, Kanaal contains neither added salt nor sugar to cause this sensation. There are many cheeses that have salt crystals on the outside which is due to the cheese being brined when made. This cheese achieves a great crystalized flavor, despite its ripened age of only ten months.
8. Piave Vecchio (Cow’s Milk) Italy
This Parmigiano Reggiano-style cheese will most likely always make The Cheese Shop top ten. With a fairly sharp and full flavor, Piave Vecchio goes well with most foods and salads, making it not only an ideal eating cheese but also a great choice for cooking. Use in place of Reggiano or Grana Padano in any dish. It contains about half the salt of Reggiano although you wouldn’t know it by taste.
Piave comes in a small wheel, about sixteen pounds, with a hard natural rind similar to Reggiano. This cheese keeps very well; just be sure to wrap it properly. For a twist, try it with Acacia honey from Italy or aged balsamic vinegar for a delicious dessert.
9. Bellavitano (Cow’s milk) The United States
This cheese tastes like a combination of Cheddar and Parmesan aged in Merlot wine. It is made in Wisconsin and was introduced in 1999. It has won many awards both nationally and domestically. The cheese has replaced a similar soaked in wine cheese called Drunken Goat to the point that we seldom carry the goat offering.
Although the cheese is sharp, the wine gives it a slightly sweet finish. It does not have a rind, only a red outer edible covering which adds beautiful color to a cheese tray. The volume sold of this cheese warrants it being in the top ten.
10. Ford Cheddar (Cow’s milk) England
This white cheddar’s greatness comes from its creamy smooth finish, with no bitterness or bite. Sadly, many domestic cheddars today are mass-produced in large 1000-pound stainless steel forms and aged for only a year. The old method of aging took three years. The difference is discernable, and customers really appreciate the quality of this cheddar. Additionally, Ford Farm Cheddar costs about half the price of many domestic varieties. I always say, “try before you buy” and this especially holds true for cheddars.
There you have it – our Top Ten list of cheeses for 2023.
The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook www.CheeseCt.com