Sunday, November 14, 2021

Made in America - A & E Coffee


PRODUCT:  A&E COFFEE  

WEBSITE:  https://aeroastery.com 

WHERE IS IT MADE: Beans are roasted in Nashua, New Hampshire.  You can find Shops in the following New Hampshire communities: Amherst, Manchester, and Nashua.  

MOM & POP: Yes 

ROOM TO GROW: Yes  

From their website:  

A&E Coffee & Tea opened in 2001 and was the first USDA Certified Gourmet Organic Coffee Roaster in New Hampshire.  Each batch of our gourmet coffee is carefully roasted in our Nashua facility by our roastmaster. We source excellent coffees for both our single origin and blend programs, insuring quality + sustainable coffees across the board. It is batch-roasted to bring out the unique characteristics embedded in each coffee variety, with blending always happening after the roast. Our teas are distinguished by the quality of the leaf and flavoring components to ensure a premium cup every time.  Buy specialty coffee online and get gourmet coffee delivered from our organic coffee roaster. 


The website offers an opportunity to subscribe to their newsletter.  


NOTE: You can apply for a job with them online at their website. They offer a blog where you can keep up with happenings that involve the roastery and NH.


  They do have an online menu so you can check out the menu before ordering. 

They offer wholesale, merchandise and sell monthly coffee subscriptions.   

The website is easy to navigate. (AKA, yes, it’s user friendly)  


REVIEWS:  The business has an average of 4 stars on Yelp and generally receives 4 to 5 stars reviews.  


WHERE DOES A&E DONATE TO:  

FROM THEIR WEBSITE: Charity: As citizens of our local and global community, it is our responsibility to help our neighbors. We donate coffee and tea to local charitable organizations and sponsor fundraisers for national and international causes. 

 

REACHER’S NOTES: I could not a specific charity or political candidate that the roastery had donated too, and it might be because they are still a local shop working on building up a base. 

 

WHAT I LIKE:  It’s coffee. I LOVE coffee. I have ordered from them and shipped the order to my friend Jen who works at the NH Veterans home in Tilton because, as she told me on vacay, the Vets don’t get “good’ coffee. Since I’m a veteran myself, and knowing how a good cup of coffee starts off the day, I made it my mission to supply Jen and vets with a good cup of morning coffee.  I like the idea of recycling and reusing, and I support that.  

 

NOT TOO EXCITED ABOUT: The global community pitch. While I think the concept Is a well meaning one, the execution of such a concept is lacking. I’ve seen other Online Coffee stores that offer a more patriotic pitch, which I appreciate, more than the “global” approach.  


I, as a consumer and future buyer of their coffee would appreciate a more “Made in America” approach, and less global outreach.  


FURTHER RESEARCHER THOUGHTS:  Coffee is good business but you’ve got to set a good foundation in not only a good product but great customer service.  I think A&E is still growing. I like that it’s local, Mom & Pop to NH, and reaching out. The product is Great, customer service is solid. Not sure where they get the beans, but the roasting, marketing, and appeal is all made in America and that’s a BIG plus in my book.  With Christmas coming up, A&E coffee will make a good gift.  


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Happy Veterans Day 2021




For everyone who has served in the Armed Services, I’d like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You for your service.” 

 

Check out this website for Veterans discounts:  https://www.military.com/veterans-day/restaurants-veterans-day-military-discounts.html

 

 

This Veterans Day is still a somber one for me. Hard to explain. I feel like there’s a lot of domestic conflict; homelessness, along with crime is on the rise. I wish there was something I could do help in these areas.

 

What is a Veteran?  The primary definition is a person who has served in the Armed Forces. I was honored to serve in the U.S. Army from 1986-1997. I was a 95B, Military Police.  I did my Basic and AIT at Ft. McClellan, AL which is now a closed base. Ft. McClellan closed in 1999. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years! It was home to the Chemical Corps. 

 

I was in the service during Gulf War I (Operation Desert Storm), but did not get deployed. Serving in the military was tough, yet awesome. I spent 7 years overseas in Germany and I loved it. On leave, I would go to Garmish and Berchesgarten and Paris. 

 

Who is a Veteran? Here’s a partial list of Presidents who are Veterans:

 

George HW Bush

Jimmy Carter

Gerald R. Ford

Richard Nixon

Lyndon B. Johnson

John F. Kennedy

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Harry Truman

Teddy Roosevelt

 

George W Bush and Ronald Reagan served in the National Guard and Reserves. 

 


JFK

I’m reading a book right now about JFK written by Fredrick Logevall. This book focuses on JFK’s early years, how he became a studious student with a focus on foreign policy.  He grew up in New England and went to Choate and Harvard. When his father was Ambassador to England, he traveled in Europe before World War II, in 1937 and 1938, getting a feel for the vibe in Europe. He traveled through Nazi Germany.  These experiences helped to shape his politics.  He served in the US Navy and was a PT boat captain.  While I don’t know much about his medical conditions, it’s said he had medical issues his whole life, to include back pain. JFK was honored to have served and proud to be a Veteran. He wasn’t perfect, but he served in the Armed Forces with pride. 

 

 

Veterans History Project:

 https://www.loc.gov/vets/EagleScout.html

 

If you have an opportunity today, thank a vet.  

 

Be All That You Can Be

U.S. Army 

 

 **********************

JOURNEY OF THE HEART 


In my story, Journey of the Heart, James DiMera is a World War II veteran, looking for purpose. When he meets Rachel, who is struggling to save her family's winery, he embraces the challenge with every fiber of his being.  Journey of the Heart is avail on Amazon as an ebook for 99 cents. 



BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Heart-Stephanie-Burkhart-ebook/dp/B07S1VL7JZ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=stephanie+burkhart&qid=1636600116&sr=8-1 


Thank you for supporting my writing. 

 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

California Dreaming

 Forgive.  I'm a bit late with my California post. Just recently we went to Pismo Beach to check out the Clam Festival.  It was the 75th Anniversary of the event.  As I'm from New England, I ALWAYS enjoy a good Clam Chowder. :) 

But first I'd like to share this verison of "California Dreaming" done by the School of Rock. The leader sing kinda reminds me of Mama Cass (Voice-Wise!!) as she gives a really heartfelt, honest vocal performance with power and grit. 



Pismo Beach is so low key. The weather was really nice when we went. There was a real chill vibe, and I loved how the focus was on the clams. 


There's nothing like the peace of the beach and the beautiful coastline to make one relax.



The Clam chowder tasting was on the pier. A lot of local restaurants particpated in the challenge.  I picked #10. For me, that was the most authentic to a New England style chowder. 



Even the Beach has fun with it's Pismo Beach sign! 


Pismo Beach is great for surfers.  Here are a couple trying to catch a few waves.




California may have it's ups and downs, but one of the most beautiful places in the state, IMHO,  is anywhere on the coast. 

*************
STORY PROMO: 

My ebook, Journey of the Heart, is set in the California Wine Country after World War II. It's available with the Kindle Unlimited program. 



BLURB:

James DiMera returns to his home in California after World War II, only to find out he's lost his farm. His way of life gone, James becomes a journeyman, selling Bibles, looking for a sense of purpose. But after the loss of his dream, what can there be for him?

Rachel Santori's family winery is in trouble. She's looking for someone to trust. When Rachel meets James, she can't deny how he touches her lonely heart and soul with his kindness and the way comes to her aid. How long has it been since she had someone to depend on? Can James find a place of belonging in Rachel’s life? Can love mend both their weary hearts?

BUY LINK:https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Heart-Stephanie-Burkhart-ebook/dp/B07S1VL7JZ/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Stephanie+Burkhart&qid=1636253141&sr=8-3

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Made in America - Act Mouthwash


PRODUCT: ACT

Website: https://www.actoralcare.com

WHAT IS IT:  Mouthwash

WHERE IS IT MADE:  A little harder to find out this info.  There are 2 clues on the label.  “Chattem, Inc.,” and “Sanofi.”  Let’s do Chattem, Inc first:

CHATTEM:  American Address: 1715 W 38TH St Chattanooga ,  TN , 37409-1259 United States

 

 

If it's a well known cream, oil, paste, pill, or powder it's likely that Chattem owns that brand name. The Sanofi subsidiary markets some two dozen over-the-counter branded personal care products and dietary supplements, including skin care and pain treatments such as Aspercreme, Cortizone-10, Icy Hot muscle pain reliever, and Pamprin menstrual symptom reliever. The company also makes the Unisom sleep aid, medicated powder Gold Bond, Bullfrog sunscreen, Mudd clay-based facial masks, and Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo. Chattem sells its products to wholesalers and retail merchandisers. The company was formed in 1879 as the Chattanooga Medicine Company.

 

 

The company produces two-thirds of its products at its Chattanooga production facilities with the remaining produced by third-party producers. The company is a subsidiary of the French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

Interesting: Chattem took control of Act when J&J and Pfizer had a merger in 2007.

Sanofi, who owns Chattem (Sanofi is based in Paris, France) gave 5 million in lobbying money.  It’s not even in the top 10 of drug companies that give money to lobbyists or candidates. 

I can’t find who (what lobbyists) got the money. 

My thoughts: Though unable to confirm that Act Mouthwash is make in Tennessee, I believe it is due to my circumstantial evidence I’ve found.  The other 2 big makers of mouthwash is “J&J” and “Proctor and Gamble.” (Listerine and Crest)

My thoughts:  I believe Act is made in America and I’m happy to support. Chattem also makes the following products:

Aspercreme, 

Cortizone-10, 

Icy Hot muscle pain reliever, 

and Pamprin menstrual symptom reliever. 

Unisom sleep aid, 

medicated powder Gold Bond, 

Bullfrog sunscreen, 

Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo.

Rolaids

Balmex diaper rash cream

Allegra

 

 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Promo: Night of Magic

 

A great read in time for Samhain. 

BLURB:It's 800 A.D. on the Emerald Isle and Samhain is the darkest night of the year. Five years ago, Prince Jasper lost his daughter, Aithne, to the world on the other side of the bonfires. Every year since, Jasper sends champions to this other world on Samhain when the barrier is at his weakest. This year, Finn braves the bonfires in search of Aithne, but dare he follow his heart or will his greed dictate his actions? 

 EXCERPT: 

Darius, the pretty boy, motioned for Finn to proceed down the center aisle. "Queen Aithne will come out once you kneel before the throne."

Finn grunted. He felt like a lamb being led to a slaughter, but he complied anyway, driven by an instinctual feeling he couldn't explain. Servants stopped to stare as he walked past. Men at the tables quieted. Finn furrowed his brow. Aithne? Wasn't that the name of the prince's daughter?

He kept quiet, only drawing a breath to tamp down his rising anxiety. He never cared to be restricted. Giving up control and submitting to another's will made him uncomfortable. His parents lost their lives when they trusted the soldiers from the east who invaded their homes. Finn swore he'd never trust anyone so blindly after that – but he had. Reluctantly, he had put on the mask, allowed himself to be taken by Darius, and had his wrists bound, and he'd hardly protested. Why? He needed to find the prince's daughter, but a part of him hoped to find the woman of his visions, too. 

Darius placed his hand on Finn's shoulder and pushed him ta his knees. Finn snarled his displeasure. Darius had a problem with him – but what?

The side door opened. A handmaiden stepped out. The sweet, sensual scent of lavender trailed after her. 

"Head down." Darius whispered into Finn's ear.

Finn swore the first chance he had, he'd give Darius a taste of his fists.

He felt the woman's presence in front of him before glancing up. 

"Darius, rise with our…guest." Her voice was low and commanding.

As Darius tugged Finn to his feet, Finn found himself gazing into seductive, soulful emerald eyes. The woman of his visions was real and right in front of him!

She raked her gaze over him from head to toe, surveying his appearance before finding his face. She said nothing, only cocking her head a bit and smiling, revealing that amazing dimple. As their expressions fixed on each other, Finn sensed a heated and sensuous light pass between them. She licked her lips, and his pulse quickened. 

Satisfied that he'd elicited a response from her, he looked her over. Right away Finn noticed that the queen was tall, standing over many of the men and soldiers in the room. She wore a small tiara made of gold, with a ruby seated in the middle. Her golden red hair flowed down her back in long, thick waves. She wore a silver gown with sleeves to her wrists. The fabric of the gown hugged the curves of her body. A leather belt fastened around her waist. His manhood thickened under his kilt. She was a fine woman. Finn noticed he was the only man in the room taller than her.

"My father's sent a man who is finally brave enough to walk through the bonfires, Darius."


REVIEW: 5 Stars, Amazon Review:his is an excellent piece of paranormal romance. It shows vampires in a new light, one where the purity of emotional connection is more important than the blood shared. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction, parallel worlds, vampires or other paranormal lives.


BUY LINK:https://www.amazon.com/Night-Magic-Stephanie-Burkhart-ebook/dp/B07HJ79NRP/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=stephanie+burkhart&qid=1635376562&sr=8-6

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Made in America

 With rumminations of a shortage coming up, I thought I'd feature "Made in America" products.  I'll be featuring Made in America products along with Mom and Pop American stores, 1 a week for you to consider.  If you have any suggestions for a featured product, please drop me a line! 


PRODUCT:  QUILTED NORTHERN

 

What is it:  Toilet Paper

 

Where is it made:  Ft. Edward, New York (1 location I can find) by United Steel Workers Union 4-2.

 

Owned by:  Georgia Pacific

 

Address of Georgia Pacific:  133 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 

 

Georgia Pacific is owned by Koch Industries. Koch is a privately held multinational conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. 

 


Follow the Money check:

Info gleaned from https://www.followthemoney.org


Supports a majority of conservative candidates.

 

Money was given to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders but from individuals and not from the Organization. 

 

Koch gave to the 2 “defeated” senators from Georgia, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. 

 

Grants have been given to help fund public school robotics and reading programs, college scholarships, job training initiatives, equipment for local fire departments, conversation projects (Wisconsin’s Trees for Tomorrow) and educational programs for young, female and minority entrepreneurs. Grants have supported local chapters of charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity, United Way and the Salvation Army. 

 

They have a program called “Acts of Comfort” 

The 10 Acts of Comfort

Comfort Cases: Backpacks with comfort items for foster kids.

A Friend of Mind: Offers free yoga and meditation services to youth to combat mental illness and eliminate mental health stigma.

Bow Wows & Meows: Hospice nurse helps shelter animals get exposure and get adopted.

Haute Healing Foundation: Giving makeovers to chronically ill, homeless and disadvantaged youth.

Everyone On: Computers and Wi-Fi for families in need.​​

Veggielution: Volunteers cultivate and grow crops which are then donated to the hungry.

One Warm Coat: Provides free coats to any person in need (adults and children) through coat drives.

My Block, My Hood, My City: Introduces teenagers to places in their own city they’ve never seen or experienced—showing them that their block should not be a boundary.

Education Through Music: Work with schools to implement music programs as part of the schools’ curriculum.

Danny’s Farm: Special animals for special kids with autism.

 

My thoughts:  I’m looking to buy Made in America products and I’m glad I found Quilted Northern.  The TP is soft enough for me. I’m glad to support.  As to where they spend their money, it’s mostly conservative candidates and I’m happy with that. 

I recommend this product!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

What makes Labor Day 2020 Special?




I think we all enjoy having the first Monday of September off. It’s a nice break since the last holiday was the 4th of July.  That’s a long span not to have a holiday.  So, what’s Labor Day about?

 

It’s dedicated to the American worker and all they’ve done to strengthen the nation, help make America prosperous, and boost the overall well-being of the country. 

 

While the origins of the holiday are debated, what we do know is that one of the first Labor Days came about in the 1880’s out of New York City, and the intent was to celebrate with a picnic. By 1894, 23 states celebrated Labor Day.

 

The first Labor Days involved a street parade with floats and exhibits that embodied the strength and Esprit de corps of the trade or labor unions.  After the parades, there would be festivals, picnics, amusement to help entertain workers and their families.  I, for one, enjoy a good autumn festival.  Today there are “Highland Games” that take place in the fall, State Fairs, Apple festivals, etc… 

 

Labor has contributed to the high standard of living in America, and the worker deserves to be acknowledged for their contributions. I think that’s the heart of the holiday that we shouldn’t forget. 

 

Labor Unions were very important when they first formed.  Labor Unions were formed in the private sector for manufacturing jobs. They helped establish fair practices. Labor Unions not only negotiated fair wages, but also for the 8 hour work day, and benefits from sick time to holiday pay. Labor unions helped to protect workers.  They helped to do away with children laborers as well. 

 

Labor Day is now approximately 125 years old. It’s still considered the unofficial end of summer, as schools usually back up after the holiday.  But do unions do the same thing now in 2020 that they were conceived to do in the 1880’s? The times have changed since 1880’s and now.  The Industrial revolution is over and now there’s a technical revolution. 

 

What makes a Union successful in 2020 is the ability to successfully negotiate contracts.  There are public unions and private unions. Public service unions have grown while private ones have gotten smaller. Public unions focus on retaining good pay, good benefits and job security. Public sector unions also have a political influence. 

 

Private unions have declined due to the jobs market declining in certain jobs such as health care, restaurants, and hospitality as well as manufacturing.

 

 

As for the holiday, I would love see America get back to basics with parades and festivals.  (which would definitely be challenge in 2020 due to COVID) What makes the holiday special for me is the day off to relax and appreciate all the benefits I have due to the hard work of laborers before me.   So, for Labor Day 2020, I’ll be BBQ in my backyard, share my Labor Day flowers with you all, and read a good book.  I might even go shopping at Target. 

 

 ******





Check out my New Release, a Young Adult story: Young Witchcraft. 


BLURB:

Rachel’s secret would have Cotton Mather rolling over in his grave. She’s been raised from an early age to use magic for good, despite her temptation to cast a spell against Phil the bully who can’t stop teasing her.

Joe thinks Rachel is cool, especially when she weaves her healing magic on him, but he’s got his own problems. It’s not easy keeping Rachel safe from Phil’s constant threats.

When Phil poisons Rachel, can love and a little young witchcraft bring Rachel and Joe together or have the years of Phil’s bullying ruined their relationship for good? 


Amazon Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Young-Witchcraft-Stephanie-Burkhart-ebook/dp/B08FVMD4LP/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=stephanie+burkhart&qid=1599423645&sr=8-1



5 Star review for Young Witchcraft:   This book is a most engaging story of young people, with mystical powers. It is set in New England and the writing is rich in detail of the fall season in that area throughout the years. The descriptions transported me as a reader to a different place and time. Bullying is dealt with in a sensitive and straightforward manner. Anyone can be bullied, even a witch with all sorts of powers. The power of love and friendship is tested through the years as the main characters of Rachel and Joe find their way to life at college, which will test them in more ways then they know. I found the story was rich in environmental and historical description. Loyalty, friendship and doing the right thing are strong themes that are well portrayed throughout. I read it in one sitting, which is unusual for me these days. I would recommend it highly and can picture these characters vividly after reading.