Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fallen Hero's

Everyone has a hero in their life, it may be a father, mother, brother , sister, grandfather, friend or simply a role model. These individuals, play a part in our lives one way or another. They teach us lesson, motivate us, and even spark our curiosities. A hero plays many roles to each of us in their own way. However, sometimes little is known of the fallen hero, the unsung hero, the hero that was someones dad, brother, friend. I am referring to the fallen solider. The solider who gallantly served his/her country to protect and serve, the very freedom that each of us Americans live every day. The freedom that many take for granted. The little things, free speech, education.. when you think about it really, it is the little things that count. 

 1000's of American soldiers have left the comforts of their family, U.S. soil, and the freedom of our day to day routines to fight and bring, peace and democracy in other countries, like Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. These soldiers live in war like conditions, eat rations and never complain. These are the real Hero's.

Yet, sadly as with any war, there are casualties. These fallen hero's are never forgotten.  Stories will be written in the histories for years to come. Tales of valor, honor, courage will describe the soldiers who lost their life, fighting to keep our freedom safe from terrorist.  

I am honored to be a part of a volunteer group the Friends of the Fallen.

We are a community-based volunteer group which provides service and assistance to families who come to Dover Air Force Base to witness the Dignified Transfer of their loved ones.

We are volunteers who provide help to family members in virtually any situation needed in areas not related to the duties of the officials assigned to the Dignified Transfer.  This may entail food, drinks, supervising children in the playroom, providing comfort items such as blankets, tissues, toiletries, winter jackets, baby needs, etc.
Whatever the needs may be, at the end of the day, we all go about our routine. I return home, given my reality check, hug my kids and say my prayers and know that for some family of a Fallen Hero, life will never be the same. 
Somehow, I look a life differently now, and know that any bad day I have doesn't quite measure up to that of a Fallen Hero's family.

Know that you are not forgotten! 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A day at the faire

Sunday, I had the opportunity to spend the day with one of my long time friends Keyla. A much needed "me" day and  "girl" day renaissance style.  We journeyed ourselves to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and what a great time we had. The last time Keyla and I attended this faire was seven years ago.Time sure has changed in the shire. New shows, new vendors, great wines, and so much more. I try to attend the ren faires as often as I can since this is one my favorite time periods. Mostly I go to Maryland since it is only 40 min away. This day it took us two and half hours to get there. It was an absolutly gorgeous day, that we rode with the top down in her car. Yes, Keyla has a convertable. We decided to dress-up in time period. However, we waited til we arrived before we donned our dresses. Oh yea, we changed in the car, .. imagine that..yes a bit of a show.. and yes we put the top back up on the vehicle. We spent 5 wonderful hours walking the shire, sitting in on the royal falcon show, those birds are so majestic. We were marveled by Dr. Volz and his elixirs and illusions, and were serenaded by comedic voices of the Ragged Rogues.

It was a wonderful day spent with a wonderful friend, upon changing and stepping back into the 21st century, We ended our day with a good ole fashion hamburger at a small town Lancaster, Pa diner.

Huzzah!!! Gracias mi amiga para una dias muy fabulosa!!!

Keyla and Brigitte at the Faire
Brigitte in front of the Pirate ship

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beer Fest Brew Review

Saturday, October 8th I attended the inaugural Brew Fest at the “infamous” Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. While, I do not claim to be a connoisseur of sorts on beer, I believe I do hold an upper hand on some local Beer brew taste. This weekend’s “Beer Fest” hosted a good many of the region’s best brews. Keep in mind this was no “October Fest” as the theme was the Wild West!  It was nice, but they could have nixed it. I suppose you have to have a theme and I guess a western theme was as good as any. Yes, entertainment provided was Todd Sullivan a “Tim McGraw” tribute artist. Not to bust on the country folks out there, it just didn’t do much for moi. However a good time appeared to be had by all.  In between downing brews, guests were treated to a good ole fashion down home barbeque. A good pair to serve with brew!  
Back to the topic on tap and a rundown of those in attendance, from San Francisco to Dover

  • Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco
  • Blue Point Brewing Company, Long Island, N.Y.
  • Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Evolution Craft Brewing Company, Delmar
  • Fordham Brewing Company and Old Dominion Brewing Company, Dover
  • River Horse Brewing Company, Lambertville, N.J.
  • Williamsburg AleWerks, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia                                                                         
cute little 5 0z glasses

When I first arrived, it was a bit overwhelming our tickets included a tasting glass which I have provided a picture (cute I may add,) although one could say it was a bit larger than a shot glass, and 10 tickets. I think I have all my tickets. Shhhhh. Needless to say, I do not think I made all the rounds of all the brews. (I did need a nap when I got home) before my second half of the night started. So who or what beers did I try. Wow... yes I do remember. :0) 

Blue Point Brewing Company,  Long Island N.Y. – though they had quite a few to choose from I tried the BLUE MOON HARVEST PUMPKIN ALE  **** (4 STARS)  I like Blue Moon in general – the pumpkin ale was very smooth in taste, light colored, taste of cloves and nutmeg seemed to linger- not bad, a good beer to have with a roast. Not very strong. 

Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, PA- a first for me here. Since I am not a huge fan of Stout’s and dark beer – I tend to lean on some Pale Ales. Here I tried- YARDS INDIA IPA ***  (3 stars) not a terrible beer, but just okay for me, a bit carbonated, but it did have a nice caramel after taste. (5.9 abv) 

Evolution Craft Brewing Company, Delmar, DE- A local brewery- today I tried, PRIMAL PALE ALE***** (5stars)  extremely refreshing, balanced, combination of Pine and citrus ( no not like pine-sol)  lightly malted- clean smooth finish like a pale ale should have. (5.0 abv)

RISE UP STOUT- *** 3 Stars – for me. Again this is a stout beer, not one of my favorites, reminds me of a full leaded coffee.. – as this Stout has a dark brown head, full flavored, rich body sonomous of coffee and flavor ( 6.7abv) great for any coffee lover. 

The Flying Fish, NJ- I really liked these guys- they had two beers. EXTRA PALE ALE- *****5Stars, Straw in color, reminiscent of a real German like beer used Munich malt very balanced very smooth. 
Extremely refreshing! (4.8 abv) OCTOBERFISH ***** 5 Stars Red in color, nice hoppy taste, and a festivitus all round drinking beer... this one could get you into trouble! Smooth little to no carbonation. (5.5abv)

And I save the best for last FORDHAM BREWERY, DOVER *****5 Stars while I have my favorites WYSTERIA WHEAT ***** 5Stars medium body, smooth velvety carbonation with a clean finish.  A good summer beer.  HELLS LAGER- if you like a Bavarian style lager, this one is great for socializing and pairing with some good European cheese **** 5 Stars  (5.4 abv) Last Monday night Fordham tapped a SPICED HARVEST ALE **** (4Star) Again, not a fan of a dark beer. SPICED HARVEST- is a great fall beer, (kind of like a pumpkin pie) although no pumpkin is used; this beer has a smooth finish, with a spicy aftertaste. You can taste the cinnamon, and cloves. This beer gets better with every drink. Kind of a dessert beer if you wish. 

Lastly, at the Brew Fest, Jim (my new Fordham friend) tapped the new DOMINON BALTIC PORTER *****5Stars… again another rather dark beer (I guess with beer it is an acquired taste), very smooth, assertively hopped, nice carmalization and very aromatic... I really do love the smell of this beer. 
FORDHAM Brewery you outshined them all!!! 

Whew, now you know why I needed a nap… Like wine, I find the need to take notes at times. There are way too many beers out these days. Now many of my friends are not beer par-takers and tend to lean towards wines, yes I do like my wines too. Like wines, beer brewers are definitely stepping up the social ladders of social drinking . I had a great time and look forward to my next S.I. N night at Fordham Brewery (11/7)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


          Fall like spring has always been associated with changes. Changes in season, changes in a multitude of our day to day activities. I find that September and October have always flown by with so many activities going on.

          Recapping most recent events include my Relay for Life team's annual Fund raising BBQ this past Saturday. More than 200 attended and although we had a slight decline over last years event. We really can't compete with NASCAR . Yes it was the race weekend! Still our BBQ was successful! We still have raffle tickets left for the quilt raffle, interested in purchasing a chance or two, email me! All proceeds go to a great cause. This is the beginning of our fund raising. We fund raise through out the year, at least til May. Our Relay for Life event is always the first or second weekend in June.  Stay posted  :0).

          Fall is also Football, Bonn fires, and Homecoming and this year SAT's . Brandyn, has been busy with essay's, college applications, and SAT's. Whoever said Senior year wasn't expensive lied! With that also comes Homecoming. I am just grateful I have two great boys' , they are so much less expensive and definitely create less drama than girls!. Although Brandyn, has his moments! drama moments that is. It will be very interesting when he will be away from home next year.. AHHHH reality. Mom won't be around.The school year has just started! Never a dull moment in this house that's for sure. 

       In all seriousness, there has been a lot going on this year, as imagine the rest of the world as well. I have been blessed with the most amazing friends, and family one could ever have. Despite the tribulations, that have been going on in my life, I could not keep my sanity and humor with out all of you, that includes some of my Daily Challenge connections as well! I heart you all! 

Enough sappiness... I will try to include pictures and do my best to blog daily. Even as mundane as it may be.

Folks, waiting to eat at the BBQ
Highlight of the evening is smore's on the HUGE Bonn Fire
Brandyn and Friends at Dover's NASCAR

Never to old for a Hayride!

Monday, September 19, 2011

From Bees to Balm

September is not only the month of my birth, but one I share with the appreciation of  BEE's !. How fitting should I dedicate this little piece of writing with one of lifes' simple pleasures (not that one!) HONEY. September is National Honey Month!  This piece of information came to me recently. So it is fitting that I write about my first pass at creating a Honey Balm, or skin cream of course "Au  Naturale"

Honey I found to be so multi-useful -  therapeutic, an energy booster, skin moisturizer, cough suppressant, a main ingredient in Honey Ale/ Meade-one of which I am dabbling in- (that will be a blog of itself) and Healthy all alone. This one little creature produces a simple ingredient that can be used a multitude of ways. 

So here I share my balm, my moisturizer, my cream! This must be what a scientist feels like. Hence forth my kitchen, is turned into a lab of sorts. Coconut oil , Almond oil, Bees wax, Vitamin E, and Lavender oil (E.O) and water. That's it! melt, stir, add and cool down, and before you know it, Voila a moisturizer is assembled. Wow who knows it would be so easy. So creamy, okay, the first pass a bit grainy, a bit too much water perhaps. The consistency was thick, smelled very nice and white. I impressed myself, yes I was quite smug with my results. As with all experiments, one must have testers and yes I do. Several of my friends, received testers ( those who would like to test, need only ask!) Next to survey results. Will write the results in a future blog.

 On a much Sweeter Note, and another use for Honey.  Here is a recipe for Welcoming Fall 

  Honey Pumpkin Muffins 
Did you know that  Honey acts as a humectant and retains moisture in baked goods, which results in an incredibly soft, moist muffin. And because of its antimicrobial properties, honey gives baked goods a slightly longer shelf life. Who knew one ingredient had so much functionality?
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light; beat in honey, egg and pumpkin. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just blended; stir in walnuts. Spoon into 12 greased or paper-lined 2-1/2 inch muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy with a cup of Chai, or your favorite cup of Tea! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Silver Years or Silver Lining ?

It is often said that one should look forward to the "Golden Years" when aging. You know that time in your life when the fruits of your labors have come full circle, the time when you should be enjoying your spouse, significant other, traveling and doing all things you've dreamed about. Well, I think someone lied! Sure, there are many who are enjoying all those things. Lately, by my count there are a good many who are not. Troubled by medical "issues" and Dr.s appointments, many of these "Golden Agers" are finding that their having to enjoy life around appointments.  Not to say, folks do not take care of themselves. Reality is what it is. However, we must begin to take care of ourselves now, so that we can do all those things. Mom & Dad, I love you for having taught me that. I look at you two and feel blessed that you two are still young and are enjoying life, even at 80!

Today I celebrate another Birthday and approach the "Silver years of life" , I find myself gravitating to enjoying life, it's challenges and oh the "journey". Did I take a wrong turn? Perhaps, the unexplainable has been in front of me all along, yet I failed to "embrace" it. To my friend Elisabeth, you were right .  So now I am embracing this journey, and have accepted to aging with grace. Let it be known, I have NOT reached that benchmark yet .To my friends, who have started their journey, I look to you for support, love, friendship and for answers, (even if we are still seeking them LOL) and to the males in my household, well, your in on this journey too like it or not.

So I ask myself is this the beginning of my Silver years, or the Silver lining in the best years of my life.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A HAG Adventure on the Transquaking River, Cambridge, MD

" He who knows not where he is going, for the ocean will decide. It is not the destination, it is the glory of the ride."

Not sure who said that, however I have to agree with the sentiments. Yesterday's  HAG adventure was about the glory of the ride! A few months ago, my friend (of many years) calls me and says, I met this awesome woman at a Social Media event and had the opportunity to talk with her afterward and extended in invitation to attend a  HAG Travel event. So my thoughts were, okay Social Media is good, but what is a HAG event?

Hag - a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess having the appearance of such a woman. (Wiki) Travel - to journey or traverse ......... Travel Hag - a wise old journeying woman with goddess attributes

With that being defined, our first Travel HAG adventure was a camping adventure on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Cristfield's Janes Island was the destination of our first HAG adventure.  Now Shari and I have been on a good many adventures in our years. I knew we could handle this. By the time the weekend came around a third friend Elisabeth joined us among the 12 or HAGS from Maryland. The Janes Island adventure started on Friday with check in, set up tents, bond with our fellow HAG ladies, Kayak on trails that lead to the bay, pot luck dinner on the pavilion and return home on Sunday. Sounds fun, relaxing no brainer stress free.

What is that they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Recap from that weekend!

On to the next HAG adventure.... A Haunted Paddle adventure and Old Salty's for Dinner

This past weekend (August 6, 2011) 16 Travel HAGs mostly from Maryland of course along with the Delaware HAGs met at Drawbridge Road Crossing of the Transquaking River outskirts of Cambridge, MD and launched our kayaks and paddled through some of the most beautiful, scenic and some say haunted landscape in Maryland. There were a few HAG men on this adventure. HAG men can accompany their HAG, but they are not the center of attention. 

The five mile paddle was breathtaking, the weather was perfect and we had the opportunity to get to know fellow HAGs. The trek was perfect for any beginner, we had the opportunity to see bald eagles, turtles, herons, and a few snakes or two. ( I didn't stick around to long when I did!)

Turtles - Blackwater 

 Locals claim that this area is said to be haunted by spirits from the Dorchester's past. We finished are mystical journey, as the weather quickly changed and mother nature churned the current and gave us 2-3 ft white caps. Not sure if it was mother nature or Big Lizz and the spirits of the past. We finished at DeCoursey Bridge a well-known haunt of Big Lizz, an African slave who was beheaded by her master, after she followed his instructions to bury his money in the swamp. DeCoursey Bridge is a frequent stop for curiosity seekers and those hoping to see Big Lizz.

After, a long day of kayaking with my fellow HAGs, I was famished! After all I burned a lot of calories and was looking forward to a good Eastern Shore Crab Cake. Going to Hooper's Island and eating at the Old Salty Dog was a good end to a day's  hard work. Old Salty's Crab cake is the bomb! I have had some good crab cakes but I don't think anyone can match these guys and worth the trip. No fillers and it's made with Maryland back-fin, lump crab meat.

Crab Cake at Old Salty's - Dorchester, MD
Crab Cake at Old Salty's - Hoopers Island, MD (pictures by Mindie, travelhag.com)

Old Salty’s Restaurant
2560 Hoopers Island Rd
Fishing Creek, MD 21634
(410) 397-3752

Can't wait for our next HAG adventure!