Chimney Warnings & Cranberry-Bourbon Cocktails

      This round I am going to talk a little about fireplaces and wood burning stoves. This past year I got what I thought was good wood. Come to find out I was not, it was over saturated and old and when burning it put of so much creosote that it has rendered my stove non usable right now due to the flue being so clogged with this stuff that it created a fire in my liner, I am fortunate that it did not cause more damage than it did. No matter how much wood I pumped into it, it gave off very little heat. Thus I not only lost money on the wood but also on the heating bill as my heater worked overtime to make up the lack of heat the wood was not giving out. On top of it, we found out that my chimney (put in when the house was built in 1971, oh ya and the town considers this historic area? Say what? Don't bet me started on this one) was only about 6 inches above the roof line. So to get this whole project fixed, I had a mason come in and while securing the loose mortar we added over 2 feet to the hight of my chimney so it is almost 3 feet above the roof line. (todays standers) Next I am having to have the liner pulled (mind you only 3 years old) and a new liner put in with a new cap. And this year, I am going to use a wood vendor that my chimney specialist recommends and carries a good reputation, not just a good price, and hopefully will get back to lower winter utilities and a warmer more enjoyable house to be in. The moral of this story, be sure your chimney height is up to standards to help get a good draw and keep the smoke out of your house. Second, watch who you get your wood from, and if you suspect problems, don't wait till you have flames coming out of your chimney to have it checked out as it may be too late and you have bigger problems. Stay warm, and enjoy the winter season, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      Business report: First up is an upcoming event at Kappy's Fine Wines & Spirits located at 333 Iyannough Rd or online at Hyannis.Kappy' Has a major upcoming event: Grand Whiskey Tasting at Kappy’s in Hyannis November 24 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm. If you are a whiskey drinker, or have been interested in getting to know more about whiskeys this is the even for you. I will say right up front, Please be sure to bring a designated driver with you if you plan to partake, it just makes common sense. This is the Saturday after Thanksgiving so mark your calendars and get ready for a great time.
      Next up, is Truro Vineyards has some hours of open operations change. They have posted: Truro Vineyards &
South Hollow Spirits, Winter Hours (beginning November 4th) Thursday - Saturday 11 - 5, Sundays 12 - 5. So for your holiday needs take a trip up the arm and go visit our friends at Truro Vineyards for your wine, rum and gin needs and while there take care of some of your Hanukkah, Christmas & Kwanza needs. Find them on the web at or located in North Truro just past Atlantic Spice Company on 6A or 11 Shore Rd.
      And last but not least at all, Cape Cod Beer located at 1336 Phinneys Lane or online at As of this past Monday 11-5 they are now pouring one of my all time favorite beers Cranberry Harvest. It is a beer that embraces a tart, cranberry zing balanced with malty sweetness, just in time for the Thanksgiving season. There is so much going on at the brewery that there is not enough room for all. Just go to their events page and check it all out and sign up for their news letter so you are not missing out on anything. 
      Well, all these business are open year round, so check them out and know that they also are good supporters of our local communities. They are not just passive businesses but well involved with local farms, crafters, and artisans, looking to help promote those who work and live right here on Cape Cod. Thank you for your support as well. Have a great week.  
      Another roller coaster week with weather here on the cliffs of the Outer Cape. These rains and winds really do a number on our shoreline. Erosion is our number one issue for the actual cliffs and shore line, while shifting sand bars and channel openings are the concerns of our fishing industry and recreational boater (although we do not have that many this time of year). The other thing that these winds and rains do is wreak havoc on the shell fishing as the shifting sands tend to uncover and pull our delicious bi-valves out to sea, or worse burry them to deep to retrieve. I have had the beacon light set up with back up generators just for safety precautions. Thank heavens I did not need to use them at all. I think if it had been in the old days we would have gone through an extra tank of oil keeping that girl lit and burning. The fog horn has only been used a couple of times and I did that more for testing than necessity, need to be sure that old boy is in working order so when it is a necessity he is ready to go. Well, I appreciate the help of the volunteers that we had the beginning of this week to help make the change over to the Harvest & Thanksgiving season. We need to be reflecting all the bounties that we have been granted and remember our Indigenous People and tribes that helped the settlers make it those first years. We will be having harvest decorations and stations of Thanksgiving set up from now through Thanksgiving weekend. Then we will do the change around to the next Holiday season. The light house and beacon tower are now closed till somewhere between April 15th and May 1st depending on weather and things going on. However please remember that we will do special appointment groups and we are scheduling school kids visits throughout the school season. If you have to be out in some of these changing weather times, please be sure to have your radios turned to the local coast guard channels and to NOAA weather reports and be sure to pinpoint our beacon as a reference point for a safe return to Harbor. Now I think I have covered just about all I need to for now, Hope you stop by to see the new decorations and have a great and wonderful, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.        
      This time of year I love using cranberries in just about anything. Some people love love pumpkin, I love cranberries. So looking for simple cocktails using cranberry juice and ones that are more fitting to the cooler weather that my summer cranberry cocktails, (not cocktail juice, please use the real things). But what to pick? You have smashes, fizzes, twists and well just about any combination you can things of. But I have found a couple things that I have tried and they really do work. So I don't want to take credit for these as I am sure I came on them while thumbing through recipes. But give them a try, they are so simple that just about anyone can do these. Please remember to be a good host and don't let friends drink and drive and be a responsible consumer. A life is not worth another drink. Now on with the show. 
      Recipe #1 -  Cranberry-Apple
      1      part      Apple Bourbon
      1      part      Cranberry Juice
          splash      club soda (optional)
      Pour or build ingredients over ice and garnish with a few fresh cranberries and a wedge of lime
      Recipe #2 - Maple-Cranberry
      1      part      Maple Bourbon
      1      part      Cranberry Juice
   1/2      part      Orange Liquor 
      Pour or build ingredients over ice and garnish with a  slice of orange
      Recipe #3- Vanilla-Berry
      1      part      Vanilla Bourbon
      1      part      Cranberry Juice
          splash      club soda (optional)
      Pour or build ingredients over ice and garnish with a few fresh cranberries 
      please join me weekday mornings at for some morning thunks thoughts & more.  :-) 
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