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What the Weather and Life Have in Common

May weather in Maryland means “70 something degrees and listening to the birds chirping through open windows wide open” kinda weather. At least that’s my expectation. Although my window is open now and the birds are intermittently chirping between wind gusts, it feels like March. Or November. Oooh, I think I just had a craving for pumpkin pie. Or a warm sugar-free chai latte at least.

Earlier this month, we had a surprise spell of August-like temperatures in the 90’s. Again, not what we expected but then expectations are never realistic or advisable when it comes to weather …ever. Weather is only slightly more predictable than it was when we were children counting the seconds after the lightening until the thunder to see how far away the storm was. Yet there we all are in the line at grocery store expressing our disdain for Mother Nature today. Maybe it’s because we have nothing else to talk about. Maybe we think we are due special considerations from her for having a hard week. Or just that we haven’t figured out how to just be OK with what is in the moment.What the Weather and Life Have in Common on Shalavee.com

This morning I got this flash that our expectations about Life are erroneously the same as those we have for the weather. There’s a pattern in which life is supposed to happen depending on the season. There’s the seasons of childhood, adulthood, love and marriage, parenthood, and retirement. These seasons come with their own expectations about how the days will transpire. You can sort of head for there but get caught up in how it should or shouldn’t look and then, “Quelle Surprise !”, it comes out looking completely different than you expected. Again, if you were just to avoid expectations at all costs with both the weather and your life, you could certainly save yourself a lot of grief. But then you wouldn’t be human.What the Weather and Life Have in Common on Shalavee.com

So maybe we need to convince our inner toddlers that neither the weather nor life is truly within our control no matter how much we try. And that we’re better off focusing on the right here and how we can make this truly awesome despite the weather, despite the accidental nature of life. Conjure a mood in your head, create your smile to pass it on, and enjoy your gratitude at the end of the day for all the people you know and all the things you’ve done. And hold the prayer that you’ll wake up and get to do this all over again tomorrow. It’s all we’ve really got. And maybe some good star gazing in between life storms.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The City Girl

I barreled over the Chesapeake Bay on up the highway to my hometown city of Baltimore.

The Western Shore on shalavee.com

On the way to meet up with some old friends and journey up to see another friend now living in Pennsylvania. 

Howard Street in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

I sped through the city. The quickest way through the city to my friend’s house was right through the neighborhood that I grew up in, Waverly.

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

And I was thrilled to see that there was a new library there. So much beautiful light now. I got tears in my eyes.

Another hour plus driving and we were in New Oxford Pennsylvania visiting our friend Rose and her lovely kitchen shop.

And then feasting on green chile and psole stew at her house and toasting ourselves.

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

And then all too soon, I made the journey back. Through the city of my youth which doesn’t look itself at all these days. I’m glad.

The city I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Steve and Rob are Turnbridge Point

Last year, we got word that our neighboring house had been bought. The rumor was that these young gentlemen would be starting a bed and breakfast. One was a baker. “Cool” we thought. Our suppositions of the coolness paled in comparison to what has happened since. steve and rob on their porch on shalavee.comRob and Steve are extraordinarily nice people. They have helped us immensely by being the kind of neighbors who can meet our kid’s bus when we suddenly can’t. They work tirelessly to create business opportunities and provide the same for the other businesses in town. And I swear in their year and a half here, they know way more people than I do after my 15 year residency.Fiona on Turnbridge Points porch on Shalavee.com

After a lovely renovation, the Turnbridge Point bed and breakfast was opened this past Spring and has since gained much acclaim. This past August we happily assisted with our County’s first farm to table dinner set on their beautiful property.

Cinnamon buns on Shalavee.com

Steve Konopelski is not just a baker, he’s a patissier. Trained in the art of French pastry making, he often delivers his sinful leftovers to us via our driveway. We’re kinda spoiled. So when, at a special cocktail party, Steve and his husband Rob Griffith announced their big news that Steve was on TV in the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship, we were so happy for them.

Rob and Steve's announcement on Shalavee.com

And again, they wanted the community to know that they felt this was an opportunity for everyone as the spotlight was about to shine down on our sleepy little town.

Steve talking at the first viewing party on Shalavee.com

I attended the viewing party for the first episode at our newly renovated Culinary school and Steve made it through the first round cut.

Team Steve on Shalavee.com Last night’s second viewing party at the pub up the street proved he made it through the next round. Only Steve, and probably Rob, knows how many more rounds he truly made it through. Here in Denton, we’re all rooting for #TeamSteve.

brunch at Turnbridge Point on Shalavee.com

Turnbridge Point has also been offering Sunday brunches and I was luckily and generously gifted a ticket to yesterday’s brunch.  Here’s some of the proof of the man’s cooking talents.

platefull of brunch at Turnbridge Point on Shalavee.com

brunch at Turnbridge point on Shalavee.com

cranberry and apple crumb top pie on Shalavee.com

pumpkin chiffon pie at Turnbridge point on Shalavee.com

And those pies, the cranberry and apple with a crumble topping and the pumpkin chiffon, are the two being offered up for holiday orders on the Turnbridge Point’s website. These were also the first two choices of pies Steve would have made in the Baking Championship’s first show had the ingredients not been grabbed from the pantry. Both were fabulous! And he said there’s one more brunch being offered in December.  I ate until I was fuller than full. Good Luck to you Steve and Rob!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Eastern Shore Back Door

Drove a different way to Lewes, Delaware. And I saw the Eastern Shore of Maryland again. Beauty shops and auto part stores. Proverbial poverty along the railroad tracks. Great hope and big fish in a small isolated decaying pond. Salt marshes, wealthy mansions, haunted abandoned shacks, and a great naked tree trunk, a monolith and monument to a hope for prosperity long gone. Travel away from my place and I start to see again.

sunflowers on Shalavee.com

I thought about how America is made of lost souls with abundance issues. Escaping poverty of their lives and the lives of their parents and grandparents, but they remain haunted by their family’s ghosts of scarcity. My family has a story about my great-grandmother shooting a man in the rear with a shotgun full of rock salt because he was stealing from their smokehouse. That was during the Depression.

downtown Denton on Shalavee.com

America, Ireland, Mexico, and the Gaza Strip all have citizens who are scarred by their history of persecution, preservation, and survival. And when you see all the abandoned houses, all the poverty and the homelessness, you are reminded that all your abundance is so tentative, so fleeting. Our assumption that this comfort will always be here is naïve. Yet we would go mad if we lived life expecting the worst to happen continually. And so we tell ourselves we are safe. We are privileged. And that’s just as it should be.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here. Missed the House Tour? Go Here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Annapolis with Leah

It is harder than you might imagine to make new friends as you get older. No new jobs to meet people through. Your town has the same people save maybe a new neighbor or two. Fellow parents may not be your age or have the same interests. And the organizations you belong to can be of the been there, done that variety.

I was thrilled beyond words when I discovered that there was someone in my same artsy creative circles online who lived within an hour of me. In fact there were several women who I reached out to and began to meet up with. When I met my gal Leah, as well as my new friend Sarah, we all sighed with relief. We were all the same sort of oddly creative whacky people and were already friends from our connection online. We are all uber-creatives who really need an offline connection.

Sunflowers and bricks for an urban garden oasis in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Urban gardening is sublime in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Urban gardening is sublime

Me and Leah in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Me and my gal pal Leah

I met Leah for the first time at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore back in March. We just hit it off. We are from similar backgrounds and the same age and rather at the same place in figuring out what to do with our talented selves.

Blue bike in the island in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Blue bike on the brick street island in Annapolis

This next time we met up in Annapolis. What bloody fun that was! We ended up walking in the rain and just didn’t care. And going on an impromptu photo safari around the beautiful historical capital area of downtown. Wow. And of course, non-stop talking. So so much fun.

State House stairway in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

The perfect photo-op, State House stairway in Annapolis

old overgrown church in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Old overgrown church in Annapolis

How I love me some urban tree roots in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

How I love me some urban tree roots

Recycling in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Recycling in Annapolis

Wrought iron goes right to my heart in Annapolis, MD on Shalavee.com

Wrought iron goes right to my heart in Annapolis, MD

Shopping in Annapolis and I want every stinkin' one of these wacky little finger puppets in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Shopping in Annapolis and I want every stinkin’ one of these wacky little finger puppets

Cobalt gated alleyway with clay hued walls in Annapolis, MD on Shalavee.com

Cobalt gated alleyway with clay hued walls !

Mailbox and tiled doorway in Annapolis, MD on Shalavee.com

Mailbox and tiled doorway

Footie on the dock walk in Annapolis, MD on Shalavee.com

Footie on the dock walk in Annapolis, MD

The Drunken Princess in Annapolis MD on Shalavee.com

The Drunken Princess

State House lawn in Annapolis on Shalavee.com

Annapolis State House lawn

I hope you enjoyed the results of our photo safari !

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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