Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy National Candy Cane Day

Today is National Candy Cane Day, celebrated on December 26th. These red and white striped candies were first made around 1900, and the best-known flavor of course is peppermint.

Did you know that more than 1.76 billion candy canes are made each year? The biggest candy cane ever made was

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blue Ribbon Sunday 12/21/14

Blue Ribbons for Police Officers Sunday, December 21st ~ Salisbury, Maryland (create your own event in your community! )

Show support for our local law enforcement. Tie a ribbon around a tree in your front yard, change your profile picture, and spread a message of appreciation for all police officers. There has been a lot of negative publicity lately and we need to come together and

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

You don't know what our veterans represent?

One of my friends told me this happened in his shop.

"So I had a couple young kids come in and look around at some patches. But the crazy thing - one asked me what does POW and MIA mean or stand for. Really. So I told them....and he said oh they never taught that in school."

That’s our

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buying gifts that matter (shop local; buy American-made)

"Make it a Red, White & Blue Christmas": to me, that means spending locally and choosing quality and American-made. In my humble opinion it's better to give one gift that matters and is meaningful rather than a whole pile of cheap trinkets.

Years ago, my father who was very particular about what he liked, and difficult to buy for as well, was ill. Spending much time in bed with illness, he wanted books, things to write on, a lap desk, etc. Shopping for my parents has never been easy, and a sense of frustration and worry usually accompanies pre-holiday gift hunting. Running short on time and ideas, we finally made a hurried trip to an building where many artists displayed their works. So many incredible things.....and so many that were out of my price range, not suitable for a man, or that seemed of little use to my dad.

And then I saw it; the most beautiful clipboard I'd ever laid eyes on. Created from a variety of wood, of all different colors and patterns, it was a stunning piece. I couldn't afford the lap desk or larger pieces in the gallery, but the clipboard was a marvel in itself. I don't believe the artist was there, but whomever was in the shop seemed knowledgeable about the pieces displayed. A brief conversation made me feel that I had THE GIFT that mattered, that I was walking out with a very special thing of value.

Dad loved it. He couldn't get over the craftsmanship, and the clipboard became a fixture around his papers and writings. He's gone now but recently during a trip back home, I wandered into his office, now where mom writes. There was the clipboard, and I couldn't help but pick it up and admire it again. Mom smiled and said "you know how much Dad enjoyed that, don't you?"

And that's what I think buying a true piece of art is about.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Alone for Thanksgiving?

I know not everyone is big on going to church but I invited a few people who I think will be alone for Thanksgiving to our service on Wednesday night. I hate that they feel so left out because this holiday is very family focused.....I think it's easy for someone to think they don't fit in if they aren't spending it in a big house filled with a lot of relatives. 

And I don't that what makes

Sunday, November 2, 2014

When you are sad...pushing people away isn't the answer

Today someone who is very sad and who is hurting over a bitter loss in her life, unfriended me. While Facebook isn't the only way we are connected of course, it shows how very upset she is.

This person is angry and broken hearted, so much so that now I've been blocked from contacting her. I'm sorry for her grief and pain - and I'm saddened that her best choice seems to be to cut people out of her life. Isn't it ironic that when we are feeling the worst, sometimes our first choice is to lash out at those around us? Such a sad twist of fate that pushing away the few people who really actually cared and were there, by your side for so long, seems to be an option. I'm grieving tonight for not only myself - because I do feel very badly that this is how things are - but for her, since if she continues this way she will have no one left.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Some Days Are Just....Better than Others

(Written during the summer of 2014, a small business owner's efforts to juggle a retail store, houseful of rescued pets and the reality of working really long days for months)

I am really not all together. At work today for just a little while before jaw pain made me decide to call dentist. Went to dentist. Possible abscess/infection in root of tooth but not at the tooth level, in the jaw level. So rx's for 10 days and then come back and we'll play see what's really in there. The word "crown" is mentioned in regards to that tooth but first she's going to have to write me a prescription for Xanex because I don't play the game of let's get a crown well.

Monday, October 20, 2014

My first Honor Flight

Washington, DC 10.18.14

On Saturday I got to thank some American heroes. I was lucky enough to shake hands, meet, greet, welcome them to their memorial for the first time, and honor their service. In return they thanked us for being there; so surprised and grateful for our attention and caring. It was humbling to see the gentlemen who broke into tears, overcome with emotion at seeing all of us waiting. I hope you can do this one day soon; I hope you take your children their to experience what it's like.

We left Delaware at 5am.

Met up with our friends in Salisbury at 6am.

Arrived in DC by 9am.


Approximately 500 veterans arrived at the WWII Memorial via the Honor Flight Network on this day. First they arrive at the nearby airport and then take buses to the site. Motorcycle escorts and police lights and sirens often announce their arrival and then as they come off the buses we are there to form a line all the way to the memorial entrance.

Some of them speak to you more than others, a few don't interact much, and some grip your hand and could not be more delighted at the greeting. On Saturday one gentleman refused to be pushed in his wheelchair, instead standing and walking along taking pictures of us and with us. Many of them light up at seeing children waiting, others have their eyes fixed on the memorial to them that they've never seen before.

If you haven't been to one of these events yet, trust may want to consider attending. It is incredible and inspiring and something I wish every American could do.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ice Cream Cone Day (september)

It's Ice Cream Cone Day and I just had to find out a bit more. With my love of local businesses and desire to buy products and food items made around here, we seek out the creamery and dairy operations that make and sell their own creations. So where do the cones come from? I recall that that there's a popular story about an enterprising vendor many years ago at a fair. While selling ice cream he was inspired to roll up a waffle as possibly one of the first "to go" dishes for his treats.... I wonder if that is just rumor or actual history. Let's see what Wikipedia has to say.

Edible cones were mentioned in French cooking books as early as 1825, when Julien Archambault described how one could roll a cone from "little waffles". Another printed reference to an edible cone is in Mrs A. B. Marshall's Cookery Book, written in 1888 by Agnes B. Marshall (1855–1905) of England. Her recipe for "Cornet with Cream" said that "the cornets were made with almonds and baked in the oven, not pressed between irons".

In the United States, ice cream cones were popularized in the first decade of the 20th century. On December 13, 1904, a New Yorker named Italo Marchioni received U.S. patent No. 746971 for a mold for making pastry cups to hold ice cream. Marchioni claimed that he has been selling ice cream in edible pastry holders since 1896. However, Marchioni's patent was not for a cone and he lost the lawsuits that he later filed against cone manufacturers for patent infringement.

Abe Doumar and the Doumar family can also claim credit for the ice cream cone. At the age of 16 Doumar began to sell paperweights and other items. One night, he bought a waffle from another vendor transplanted to Norfolk, Virginia from Ghent in Belgium, Leonidas Kestekid├Ęs. Doumar proceeded to roll up the waffle and place a scoop of ice cream on top. He then began selling the cones at the St. Louis Exposition. His cones were such a success that he designed a four-iron baking machine and had a foundry make it for him. At the Jamestown Exposition in 1907, he and his brothers sold nearly twenty-three thousand cones. After that, Abe bought a semiautomatic 36-iron machine, which produced 20 cones per minute and opened Doumar's Drive In in Norfolk, Virginia, which still operates at the same location over 100 years later.

Commercial cones -
The earliest cones were rolled by hand, from hot and thin wafers, but in 1912, Frederick Bruckman, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, patented a machine for rolling ice cream cones. He sold his company to Nabisco in 1928, which is still producing ice cream cones as of 2012. Independent ice-cream providers such as Ben & Jerry's make their own cones.

The Joy Ice Cream Cone Company, located in Hermitage, PA, was founded in 1917 and began to mass-produce baked ice cream cones to sell to restaurants, as well as the everyday consumer. The company handles 1.5 billion ice cream cones a year. It is said that the company is the largest ice cream cone maker in the world as of 2009.

And there you have it - far more information on cones than you probably thought you needed. But doesn't it inspire you to go out and find a local creamery or dairy store to enjoy today?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Poem Worth Reading | "A veteran died today"


He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Joe has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran's part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:

Thank a veteran every chance you get!!
When you see one, go up and shake their hand.
Tell them "Thank you for your service.
Let them know we still care.

"Life on Delmarva" • #delmarvausa

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What I really do between 3pm & 5pm

I know a lot of people think that  when I run out of the store in the afternoons from 3-5pm that's it's a blast.  Pretty sure the image in their minds is me asleep somewhere in a hammock, with a  giant pina colada nearby and a huge sombrero across my face for siesta effect.  Not exactly.

I beetle out of here for the 3 mile trek home, which can  take from 7 minutes to 20, depending upon who I get behind. Dash into the house,  let Dachshund out of pen first, leap the baby gate in the hallway second, let  baby Panda kitten out of the bathroom and plop him in his playroom third. Yell  at the pair of braying donkeys in the great-dane-sized dog crate which are really Basset Hounds. LOUD Basset Hounds.

Leash/collar on little dog who is good and already waiting politely by the door. Leash /collar on boy Basset  who is racing around yelling, dragging squeaky toys out, trying to "play" with  the cat. Cat is not amused. Leash/collar on