“Miss” Phoebe Turns 100

October 5, 2016

Some may remember “Miss” Phoebe, (from former past posts, from facebook, or from my personal stories around the breakfast table), our former Mt. Vernon Ave. neighbor, who now lives in Rock Hall in a lovely, little nursing home where she’s the favorite of all. (And of course she would be because,…well,…the word “dear” doesn’t do her justice…Let’s see; let’s add: kind, warm, thoughtful, interested, as well as interesting. The crossword puzzles that she does daily, the bird book by her bedside, the many books she reads and her up-to-date knowledge of every sports team give her lots to add to any conversation, so “interesting” is always a word to use to describe her. And that’s only the beginning of the list.) She’s, at the very least, a personal favorite friend of mine, and of so many, since she’s turning 100 years old in a week or two, so she’s certainly had plenty of time to have an extremely long list of people who’d call her “friend.”

“Miss” Phoebe told her son, Terry, that she did NOT want a party. He wondered about that – (I told him that I didn’t think she wanted a bunch of people gawking at her with her hair not done – not that she’s prissy or overly vain, but good grief, she is bedridden, after all, and her hair just gets squished and it’s just never a good hair day. Plus you just never get too-old- enough to not care about that sort of thing). Terry, of course, would do what she wanted so there will be no party. I’m visiting her today, so I’ll get the latest scoop, but I’m sure her family will be there and that’ll be plenty party enough for her, and I’m sure her favorite kind of birthday party, which I also get, since that would be mine. And we do have some things in common, after all. As I said, we’re buds.

When Terry found out she would be refusing a 100-year-old birthday party, he laughingly asked her, “Are cards all right?” She laughed back (and I can picture the grin on her pretty, creamy-complexioned face as she answered him – and yes, you can still be pretty at age 100 and I guess you have to see it to believe it) but she said, “Yes.” Soooooooooo, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be so very, very cool if she could get 100 cards on her 100th birthday,” so here I am – asking for you to send one! Her address is: Phoebe Anthony
Golden Rule Nursing Home
20806 Bayside Ave.
Rock Hall, MD 21661

Please go out TODAY to buy her a card, since I’m giving last minute instructions, so you have to do it FAST, then mail it TODAY, OK? Thanks! (If you could see that smile of her’s and the way her dimples crinkle in her face when she looks at you, you’d drop everything and hightail it to the store IMMEDIATELY. So just imagine. And then you’ll go. Don’t forget to get the stamp. Or you could take it directly to the post office.)

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And now you have a great day, too! (Mine will be, because as I said, I get to visit “Miss” Phoebe today!)

Flower Girls, Queens and Rangers

May 3, 2016

‘It’s all right, Will.’ His deep voice cut through the fear that filled Will’s mind. ‘It’s over now.’

But Will shook his head, horrified by the rapid train of events.

‘Halt, I missed…twice! I panicked and I missed!’ He felt a deep sense of shame that he had let his teacher down so badly. Halt’s arm tightened around him and he looked up at the bearded face and the dark, deep-set eyes.

‘There’s a big difference between shooting at a target and shooting at a charging Wargal. A target isn’t usually trying to kill you.’ Halt added the last few words in a more gentle tone. He could see that Will was in shock. And no wonder, he thought grimly.

‘But…I missed…’

‘And next time you won’t. Now you know it’s better to fire one good shot than two hurried ones.’ Halt said firmly. Then he took Will’s arm and turned him toward the campsite under the fig tree. ‘Let’s see what we have here,’ he said, putting an end to the subject.

pp. 4 – 5, Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 2, The Burning Bridge, John Flanagan, Philomel Books, 2005.

Apprentice Will had made some mistakes, some grave ones, but the master Ranger, Halt, reassured him, steadied him, encouraged him and breathed promise and hope into Will’s wounded, discouraged, defeated mind. It’s a good way to go about doing things.

How one is treated matters a whole heck of a lot. In my mind, the process is just as important as the “getting there.”

After 3 weekends, My Fair Lady just ended at the Garfield Center for the Arts downtown, and I had the privilege of having a small role. One thing that Eliza said was that she felt, even though she was just a flower girl, she felt like a queen when she was with Colonel Pickering because of the way he treated her. Will, (in the YA series that has grabbed me by the throat to keep reading till I get to the end), felt like a real ranger; again, because of the way his master treated him. Reading the quote in Book Two today reminded me of how we all felt like stars – real “kings and queens” in that play. Yup. It was loverly.

Chester River Brewing Company

March 24, 2016

Just in time for spring and summer, Kevin, our up-the-street neighbor, has recently opened the Chester River Brewing Company, just a hop, skip and a jump away (a 5 minute car drive) from Simply Bed & Bread! It’s been a long time in the making, but the efforts have produced wonderful results. It is a first class establishment. Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4 – 7, with longer hours on Saturdays, tasters, growlers and pints are available.

Guests at one of Kevin’s pre-opening events, (with tour included), we couldn’t have been more impressed. From the polished, gleaming bar (made from a stunning piece of reclaimed wood), to the high-tech, sterile brewery, each detail was perfect. Clean, bright and open, the atmosphere is inviting and welcomes you in. Seating is intimate and adequate, (in two separate areas), with views of outdoor foliage seemingly brushing against the window panes. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the stellar creations of Kevin and his crew, then to travel on to the water’s edge for a walk before dinner downtown.

Does this sound like a great get-away idea for a mid-week break? Check us out, then call to reserve a spot at Simply Bed & Bread at 410 778-4359! There just may be room in the inn!

Spring Words

March 20, 2016

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood

I love these words. I can’t say that they’re indicative of my personal lifestyle though, because when I finally got old enough to have time to dig in the dirt on a more frequent basis, I discovered that I only really enjoyed digging in the dirt on one day out of a whole year. (Unless I’m somewhere with children, and then it’s a different story.) But on my own, I only love this on a gorgeous day (after a recent heavy rain so that the ground is easy to work) with some lovely, light, bright spring flowers to plant. Oh, and my house has to be newly cleaned, so that the smell of clean is still evident when you open the door. And since I’m not ever drawn back to the plot to weed, yet still want the flowers to become profuse, lush and a carpet of color, untainted by unwanted weeds and entirely self-sufficient, (hehe) I have to say that I’m not a gardener. But I still love Margaret Atwood’s words. The daughter of a farmer who spent many hours, giggling with my sister, running behind our daddy’s small tractor as he plowed up the garden, while racing the birds swooping down for the worms and feeling the cool dirt beneath our hot, bare feet, I guess this is why. The dirt is still somehow between my toes. (In a good way, I mean.) Often I guess we do love ideas more than we love the actual implementation of them. Hmm. (But that’s another story).

I love trying new things – in some contexts, at least. New foods always, both to cook and to eat. Absolutely I can go on record in saying that. I guess I didn’t used to enjoy exploring new terrain, but in looking back, I’m inclined to think that was because of time, mostly. Not entirely, but maybe mostly. I play the ukulele now. (Not well, but I play. And that’s only been in the last 3 or 4 years.) I’m trying to learn to swim – just a breath at a time at the college pool, where I’ve done kickboard laps for the past 25 years. You already know about my new experience with rutabagas. I’m volunteering at the local elementary school in a new setting. I like new books. I love meeting new people. If you told me there was an opportunity to go to a workshop on mastering mouth trumpeting, I’d be there. (And there actually is a Victoria Vox concert coming soon to Chestertown. She’s an amazing ukulele performer and yep, she does this weird thing with her mouth that sounds like a trumpet, and it’s so cool that as soon as you’ve heard it once, you say to yourself, “I’ve got to know how to do that, too,” so now, by gosh, we’re going to be able to do just that)! I’m sure the list is longer, but you get the idea. You also may have gleaned, especially in these last couple of sentences that Chestertown is a really wonderfully, quirky place to visit. The 2nd annual Porch Fest is coming up in about a month, I believe it is, where musicians will be found playing on the street and well, YES, of course, on porches!! During the first 2 full weeks of June each year, Chestertown is host to The National Music Festival, where rehearsals can be enjoyed FREE all hours of each day! With Washington College here and Chestertown’s new Arts & Entertainment District designation and local theatre, artists and artisans and farm-fresh activities, vendors and opportunities (like berry picking, in season), there always seems to be something new to try here.

Just a few thoughts. It’s the first day of spring. Doesn’t feel like it today, but it is. New things are just around the corner.

Roasted Rutabagas??

March 19, 2016

Something wonderful happened today: The Chestertown Farmer’s Market! And it happens EVERY Saturday throughout the year! Today I picked up beets, turnips and sweet potatoes (and yes, I’ve used each of these in B&B breakfast sides before. 🙂 ) As the fellow was weighing the turnips, I spied the rutagagas, and asked him what you did with those. He wasn’t sure but the gal there said that they could be roasted and fixed like potatoes, that they had an earthy quality. Gosh, who wouldn’t like “earthy”?? So for $4, I had a quart-ful, so now I’ll google, then get care-ful about creating something new and yummy! (And who knows? I just might have yet another element to add to my breakfast dishes!) Spring-ing into simple, new freshness is ALWAYS a great thing!

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