Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Neighboring Mountain Views


Tips for Finding an Outstanding Roofer – Checklist Included

We had a thirty year cedar shake roof that was at the very beginning stages of failing. We had discussed replacing the roof and reached out to those closest to the community to get some recommendations. Unfortunately, few were to be had. With little to go on we headed to the internet to educate ourselves and found an abundance of exceptional information on all aspects of roofing and roofing repair.


Substandard companies go out of business for obvious reasons then reappear with a new name and a clean slate, only to continue  their modus opparandi on the unsuspecting. This was one of our primary guiding principles when interviewing potential candidates. We cannot be certain that we didn’t meet such a person/company, but given long and engaging discussions it’s amazing what can be learned. And, we had three such on-site conversations with the person we selected. Brad, and his team were far younger than what I had in mind, but his honesty, experience level for someone of his age was quite impressive, impeccable references and he purchased “the business” from the person he worked for nearly four years was what ultimately sealed the deal – not to mention he’s a devoted family man and generous to those in need.

Were we just fortunate to have an excellent outcome or did we approach our roofing project methodically – perhaps a little of the first and a lot of the second. Once we narrowed the field to three it then became more about chemistry, communication, repeated and thorough explanation of the process, finalizing material options, and completing a detailed checklist easily found on the internet – we combined several into a single list that best fit our Vermont needs. One needn’t write a treatise, however here’s what we learned….

Our New Roof Checklist

  1. References, Reference, References: get a list of the last three and not only discuss the job itself, but discuss the selection process and how they handled any post-installation communication.
  2. How Long Has the Roofing Contractor Been in Business? Longevity is a good indicator of quality and service.
  3. Proof of Insurance…
  4. Manufacturer Qualifications… the manufacturers of some roofing materials require special training and/or certification before they allow a contractor to install their products.
  5. Manufacturer’s Specification Sheets… ask the contractor if he supplies copies of the manufacturer’s specification sheets.
  6. Get a Copy of the Manufacturer’s Warranty… ask the contractor to provide a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty for the roofing materials.
  7. Contractor’s Warranty… does the roofing contractor offer an additional warranty?
  8. Scope of Work… what is the contractor’s scope of work? Can the company offer you a variety of roofing options?
  9. Will Subcontractors Perform Some of the Work? Some roofing companies handle the entire project, but other companies depend on subs to perform specific jobs. They require reference checking as well.
  10. Maintenance Program… Find out if the roofing company offers a preventative maintenance program.
  11. Worker Knowledge…how does the roofing company train its workers?
  12. Inspecting for Quality… how does the contractor ensure quality workmanship? It’s helpful to examine the entire process and continue to ask questions. I did every day!
  13. Industry Memberships and Affiliations… find out what trade associations the roofing contractor belongs.
  14. Is this Contractor a Safety Liability? Ask the contractor to see a copy of their safety records.
  15. Is the Roof Edge Metal Code-Compliant? If you’re installing a new roof system, you’re likely installing new roof edge metal too. Since the perimeters (edges) of the roof are most vulnerable to wind damage, it’s important the metal system you choose is ES-1 certified.


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What’s the Real Difference Between Duck and Chicken Eggs?

When was the last time you had a fresh duck egg omelette? Pond Mountain Inn now offers duck eggs for breakfast, which are now available locally as a delightful alternative. Over the last few weeks many of our guests have enjoyed our new offering!

Some of us are fortunate to have experienced the rich, clean flavor of farm-fresh chicken eggs a few days after appearing in the nest and duck eggs are no different. The flavor and nutritional value of a fresh egg is far superior to that of a supermarket egg, which may be over a month old by the time it reaches your kitchen.

What’s the real difference between duck and chicken eggs?

Let’s begin with taste – the flavor is tastier and a bit different, but only slightly – fresh eggs are fresh eggs with the majority of the flavor coming from its freshness. I find the duck egg yolk creamer when having a hard-boiled egg.

Size… duck eggs are considerably larger and the shell is far tougher than a chicken shell, which may allow for a longer shelf-life. Eggs can be stored on the countertop for a month and another month in the fridge – still, fresh is best!

Nutrition… a duck egg will provide about 20% more Kcal of energy than an equal size chicken egg. Carbohydrate content is about identical and the mineral content is also similar with duck eggs containing slightly higher amounts of potassium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, zinc,  calcium, iron, and sodium.

Vitamin content is quite similar too… Vitamins A, B6, B12, D, E, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, and retinol are present in both.

The biggest differences are the monounsaturated fat is about 50% more in duck eggs and the cholesterol content is more than twice than its chicken counterpart.

We dry and feed the egg shells for our neighbor’s chickens to help naturally supplement their calcium requirements. Our duck eggs are from Mountain Ledge Farm, Wells, Vermont.

We love duck eggs when we can get them… from omelettes, to fried or scrambled; they’re all great. Our recommendation is come visit us – have us prepare your our duck eggs just the way you like them!





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Find Out What Makes Our Coffee Incredibly Delicious…

Our Philosophy at Pond Mountain Inn

One of the defining characteristics of an excellent bed & breakfast is the emphasis on serving the finest cup of coffee available. We serve a non-flavored Viennese Roast in the Main House during breakfast, which is the lightest of T.M. Ward’s Espresso roasts – it’s unusually smooth, delicately strong, with a nice velvety finish. And, to really make our morning coffee interesting we add French Roast, a blend of Arabica beans, which is a very dark roast with smoky overtones. This hybrid recipe brews an outstanding cup of coffee! They’re both delicious and we hope that you enjoy them too!

History – T.M. Ward Coffee

One of the oldest institutions in Newark, New Jersey is the T.M. Ward Coffee Company; originally opened by Timothy Ward in 1869.  Unlike many businesses over its 140 years of continuous existence, Ward’s has remained a locally-based, family-run company that embraces its employees.

Our Morning Brewing Process

It all begins with using exceptional filtered water – Pond Mountain Inn’s water is delivered from a 360 foot deep artesian well. By the time the coffee reaches your coffee mug, our water has been filtered twice and has passed through ultraviolet technology.

Our recipe for making great coffee begins with controlling the temperature of the water when it comes in contact with the coffee, which highlights the characteristics of our great coffee – we use both a drip coffee maker and percolator, both brew an outstanding cup of coffee!

The Coffee

We begin with great coffee. We found T.M. Ward, an exceptional quality roaster that sells freshly roasted beans. We experimented with quarter of a pound of a many different varieties of coffee and selected a non-flavored Viennese Roast as our signature coffee. We actually took the beans out of the bag, smelled them, and smelled the coffee again after we ground them. Even if you like your coffee with milk or cream, we tried a few sips without anything added and tasted it. We considered what we tasted and the aroma as we would with a fine glass of wine. We wanted to make sure that we provide the best coffee possible and I believe we were successful! Our guests will ultimately make the final determination.

We use a standardized scoop of coffee. Most experts say two tablespoons of ground coffee per 8-ounce cup, but coffees differ and tastes differ, but we found that this works for us at the inn. Occasionally, we make more coffee than we can use immediately, we always pour the remaining coffee into a thermos or carafe to keep it warm. We never let coffee sit on a burner or warming device, as this will kill the taste.

We want your morning coffee to be the best cup of coffee that you’ve ever had and we’ll keep trying to exceed your expectation; we even warm your coffee mug before pouring your first cup of coffee! See you in the morning….

Interesting Backstory

What has been most responsible for putting T.M. Ward on the map has to be its Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito “Bold Justice Blend”, a rich blend of Columbian, Java and New Guinea, with a bit of espresso. This was the longtime client’s favorite cup, and Ward’s pushed the product in support of Alito’s 2005-06 run through Senate confirmation. Bold Justice Blend became all the rage amongst the journalist and internet crowds, and to this day, the Trenton native seems to have successfully branded his own personal way of motivating Jersey’s masses.

Click here for T.M Ward Coffee of Chatham, New Jersey

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Yankee Ingenuity and Your L.L. Bean Boots

I purchased my first and only pair of L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoes in 1980 – I removed the mud for this photograph. I had them resoled a few years back and replaced the laces maybe three times. They have served me well for thirty-seven years! But alas, I’ve stumbled upon a new alternative use…. The Vermont Wine Carrier – excellent for transporting both red and white! Brought to you by your friends at Pond Mountain Inn. 

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Chippy’s First Video… This is Adorable!

We love our little chipmunk, Chippy. He joins us throughout the day – mostly in the morning and conveniently at the cocktail hour. Chippy is enormously responsive – he always comes when called regardless of the distance and our guests feed him too! I decided to video him the other day…. Turn up the volume and listen. It’s my first wildlife video so be slightly patient. It’s always an adventure at Pond Mountain Inn!



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“Chippy” Says Spring is Here…

chippy_march-2017_700Prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil called for six more weeks of winter; however Pond Mountain Inn has its own prognosticator, “Chippy”. Our adorable little chipmunk arose from his winter’s nap yesterday looking a little groggy, a tad plump and a touch timid, but today he’s alert and had his morning breakfast. It looks like spring may be here!

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Why Have Disgusting Feet When You Can Have “Vermont Feet”

leg-1505033_640Feet are arguably the most revolting aspect of the human body – however, I’m specifically talking about Dry Feet. Sure, they propel us here and there and provide enormous and wide-ranging benefits, in fact, at the end the day I just like to put my feet up – but always accompanied with socks, slippers or shoes, never unadorned, and certainly with a glass of wine!

Everyone knows the skin on our feet is naturally dry – there are no oil glands, so all those tiny sweat glands try and keep our feet moisturized, but to no avail for most of us and a lot more of us in the winter months. There is nothing worse than discovering that you have itchy dry feet as you’re trying to fall asleep. The only solution is to leap from bed, highly annoyed and head for the bathroom for a foot consultation with any brand of your wife’s moisturize that can be quickly located in the dark. Inevitably, you have a 50/50 chance of returning to bed in a mental state suitable for sleep.

The foot’s visual repugnance is underscored by the pain and discomfort that dry feet bring. There is nothing more excruciating than the deep crack in the heel – however, the heel fissure is not the denouement in this story – relief is the final act! Combating itchiness, redness, cracks, rough, flaky peeling skin is easily addressed! There are no oils or magic potions, just a good common-sense approach that proves quite effective. Just follow these four simple steps, and the next steps you’ll take will be with your very own “Vermont Feet”!

Vermont Feet Product List

(1) Sanding Sponge, (2) Lemongrass Soap, (3) Bag Balm and, (4) Darn Tough Wool Socks.  All products listed  are made in Vermont with the exception of the sanding sponge.

Product Descriptions and Advice   

  1. Sanding Sponge: Visit your local hardware store and pick up a small fine grade sanding sponge. You’ll need this to remove all the unpleasantness on your feet. Pay special attention you your heels!
  2. Dorset Daughters Lemongrass Bar Soap with ground apricot seeds for supplemental exfoliation is a must. You will enjoy the delicate aroma, all the delightful ingredients and essential oils this product offers!
  3. Bag Balm is a “miraculous potion” originally developed by a Wells River, Vermont pharmacist for chafed and cracked cow udders. This excellent for chapped lips too! See their website for the legend.
  4. Darn Tough Vermont Wool Socks are guaranteed for life and are the most incredibly comfortable durable socks imaginable. The merino wool make the socks feel enchantingly inviting, but just wait until you spend the entire day with your new friend – the comfort is truly remarkable, cool in the summer and warm in the winter! And, merino wool is naturally antimicrobial.

Vermont Feet – The Process

Step One: Using your new sanding sponge, robustly buff the entire foot until you begin to see a dry-skin dust cloud forming just above the foot line. Do not buff aggressively, but do buff vigorously until the heel-skin is smooth to the touch. If you have deep heel fissures, adjust your buffing demeanor so that you’re not causing more pain than you’re trying to prevent. Frequency, once every 10-14 days.

Step Two: Now, soap up by bringing each foot to a full lather then thoroughly rinse. Please spend the requisite time thoroughly washing your feet by spending sufficient time between each toe. Should you discover something unusual in webs of your toes or on the soles of your feet it’s likely athlete’s foot – this is a contagious fungal infection that should be addressed at this time! Make sure to dry your feet completely before moving to the next step – make sure to dry between each toe. Frequency, twice daily, morning and night.

Step Three: Take each foot and apply Bag Balm to the more stubborn areas by firmly massaging each problem area with the dexterity of a career masseur or massage therapist. Your spouse can be particularly helpful here. However, it is quite practical to keep an air-sickness bag within reach. Frequency, twice daily, morning and night.

Step Four: Put on your new Darn Tough wool socks and take your new Vermont Feet out for a spin! Your feet will never have felt better!!

After 10-14 days or once your feet have reached the desired comfort level you can reduce treatment and still maintain the desired balance of moisture content by adjusting frequency and product usage. Good Luck!

* There are no affiliate links used in this article.   

Photo Courtesy of mohammadaasim Pixabay.com

Pond Mountain Inn