No, it is not part of the Mormon religion. Just asked my husband- he was raised Mormon. But, this is something my husband, and hipsters, and lumberjacks alike engage in.

Admittedly, up until now, I thought the word was pogontomy. Please ignore our misspell on the video. We are all learning here! Now consider yourself schooled and go find some bearded man to ask if he is into pogonotomy. And don’t forget to watch the video!

Words With Amanda

That's Amanda. She loves words, especially if they are wacky. Maybe that's because she is so mouthy.

That’s Amanda. She loves words, especially if they are wacky. Maybe that’s because she is so mouthy. Seriously, she talks a lot.

I’ve always been a fan of language. I appreciate good grammar and (as my Aunt Gale and Grammy Janet would call them) $.50 words. Last year I shot a TV commercial for the local access channel, which came with a 20 second sponsorship segment. But what to do? Enter my super hip pal Nora and Words With Amanda was born. On a quiet day at Sunday River, donning my best tweed jacket, we found a fireplace and set up the camera. Think Masterpiece Theater, Nabos style. Now here’s the catch. I don’t know any of the words before I read them. Not one. Not even a clue if I’m saying them right. So this is how it works….in between takes, Nora clips a word and definition into my book, and I open it and read. One take only on each word. Ok, except for that one I flubbed so badly that it had to have a re-do. The words are hysterical, some antiquated, almost all obscure, and did I mention hysterical? I think Nora’s biggest goal was to get me to snort on camera. Yeah, I’m a snorter. No surprise there, huh. And boy did she. I’m posting a word a week from last season on my YouTube channel (YOU WILL BE SERIOUSLY CHEATING YOURSELF IF YOU DON’T WATCH THIS) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOxz7m6PqWwjQ4dxnDwXWuA and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NabosGifts?ref=hl. If you want to see this season’s words (which even I haven’t seen yet), then you’d better tune into Channel 7 for the weekend morning show. It is worth it. I promise. So go forth, expand your vocabulary, and have a pizzazzy and possibly gambrinous day.



Bike, Bike, Baby.

Biking life20141101_163258 started in my grandparent’s driveway on a classic model that had taught all those in my family before me. Its blue frame took me on two wheels for the first time and tasted freedom. My first mountain bike came at Christmas during my 6th grade year. Though I was tentative on anything resembling mountain rocks, dirt, etc., (some things never change) its multiple speeds kept me cruising right through to my 20’s.

Eight years ago, as many know, my love for road biking began. On a borrowed cyclocross bike with skinny knobbed tires and only two big rings up front, I road my first Trek Across Maine. 180 20141101_163502miles from the mountains of Bethel to the sea. The next year I upgraded to a classic seafoam green Bianchi bought off a friend. It was a transforming upgrade. Who knew I had been pedaling so hard. A few years after that I joined up with a local bike group which is when my passion for riding really began. I spent a couple of years as the youngest and the slowest rider, but one sweet upgrade to a Felt later (thanks to one of my besties at the Green Machine) and I was leading the pack.

My Felt and I got asked to be the stars of a video showing off all the great rides around the Bethel area. What a thrill. The best part? I got a car ride all the way to the top of Evan’s Notch and all I had to do wa20141101_163819s enjoy the cruise back down. Yes, you may be asking for my autograph soon. See for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sAAPSofXo

The season for biking may be coming to a rapid close, but I hold it in my heart all year long. So when you’re thinking of a cool gift for the biking enthusiast in your life, look no further. We’ve got you covered.

Martina Welcomes Bethel’s Paw of Approval

Paw of ApprovalIf you’re like me, you are always trying to find pet-friendly places to travel. I will go just about anywhere, but the dog comes too. I reckon I’ve spent more time over the last 6 1/2 years with Martina than anyone else, including my husband. Martina and I are a team. She even comes to work with me everyday. Hey, she has to earn her kibble somehow, and she excels as head of the customer service department. When the weather is nice and the front door is open, Martina will wander out to the parking lot and greet customers at their car door, leading the way into the shop and pointing them straight to the goods. And by goods, I mean the jar of dog biscuits that sits on the corner of the desk. She can’t help herself, she is all lab at heart, and her heart lives in her stomach. She can hear the UPS and FedEx trucks a mile away (they always have treats) and she knows the sound of Sandy’s car in the lot. A liver treat is about to happen. A walk to up to the bank never hurts either. The tellers at Northeast let Martina come right up to the counter, where she will stand with her paws resting on the teller’s window and snout in prime munching position. Biscuit please. And if Mel is working, forget it. They have a whole routine down pat. Martina hoovers up crumbs from lunch, and Mel always shares a bite or two, whether it’s watermelon or crackers, or the end crust of a sandwich. When it’s finally quitting time, there is one more treat waiting out in Mel’s car. Martina never forgets that part.

That’s one of the greatest parts about Bethel. Everyone loves dogs. Most shops welcome them in, or even have a shop dog on duty. There is always a happy furry face outside of DiCocoa’s café.  Many inns are pet friendly (especially the Paws Inn) and we have two boarding houses and doggie day cares in town, Tucker’s Dog House and Barker Brook Kennels. We have many activists in the rescue arena and miles of woods to hike in and lakes and rivers to splash in. Now if we could only get a dog park. Round one lost, but hopefully citizens will eventually realize that it is a huge draw that has been an amazing economic success in other areas, as well as a social outing destination for pets and owners alike. Enter National Geographic Magazine and The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel by Kelly E. Carter. Out of the thousands and thousands of Matina Mascotcities in the good ol’ US of A, they chose Bethel as one of the top 75 dog friendly destinations, and bestowed upon our small town the Paw of Approval. Martina and I think this is a HUGE deal! So, tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your pets, go pick up this book, then come visit us. Dogs are always welcome.

Read more about our Paw of Approval:



More about Kelly E. Carter’s book:


It’s Easy Being Green

IMG_20140508_144506I’m sure it doesn’t always feel easy to be green. Just ask Kermit. But as far as I’m concerned, once you change your habits, it is pretty easy after all. Even just a little bit greener is better. Bethel recently hosted it’s annual Green Up day, a citizen initiative put on by environmental and community evangelists Jessie Perkins and Jackie Cressy. The turnout was strong and the weather, after a cold spring and downright frigid winter, was just right for picking up trash. After a good hour or so of trash hauling I was beginning to feel like a hobo, complete with bag (which I found in the woods) slung over my shoulder and an empty bottle of Sutter Home in my pack. The feeling was good.

Sure, you can buy a hybrid car, some solar panels, and a whole host of other environmentally friendly options, but these are not always affordable. Remember, being green is in the little things. One of my favorite stories comes from my Mother’s kindergarten classroom where a child would occasionally come up to her asking which side of the paper they were supposed to be working on.  Instead of using freshly processed white paper,my mother would make copies on reusedpaper from school notices, letters, etc. The kids quickly caught on, and I hope still remember that subtle lesson. My girlfriend, Sarah, reuses envelopes from the mail for list making. They are the perfect size for the weekly grocery list. I always try to find a second life for an item and am an avid composter, much like my dad.


Start today with one small thing. Invest in a travel cup instead of buying bottles of water. Throw your hershey’s kiss wrapper in the recycling instead of the trash. (Yep, they’re aluminum.) Read a book or blog on green practices. Reuse something.Walk or bike somewhere instead of driving. Pick up one piece of trash. Inflate the tires on your car, which will help you save gas. Turn out the lights when you leave a room. Each of these by themselves may not seem like much, but the more good habits we form, the more we all save. Really, it is easy being green. Sorry Kermit.

Mushroom Mania

IMG_20140401_132559If you know me, you are likely to know that I have a small (okay, large) mushroom obsession. A few years back  I started foraging for wild Trumpets, Chanterelles, you name it. I have added many wild mushrooms to my repertoire, and even had an opportunity last fall to teach some of that knowledge to local middle schoolers.

IMG_20140403_150353Not only do I love hunting for mushrooms, but, surprise, I love all things mushroom related. That is why I had to have these little   mushroom pots for Nabos. In yellow, orange, and red, at first glance, you wouldn’t even realize they are jars, which might make them the perfect hiding spot for top secret stuff. Standing just under 4″ tall, I imagine these jars on the kitchen counter holding sugar or tea bags for guests, or keeping unruly cotton balls and Q-tips in line inthe bathroom. They make a great holder for that spare key or candy stash you don’t want anyone else to dive into. And don’t forget the plethora of office possibilities. Paper clips, elastics, you get the picture. Microwave and dishwasher safe, one of these ceramic beauties will only set you back $12. Let me say it one more time, “I love mushrooms!”