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A Walk in the Woods for a Little Forest Bathing

Walking the Cross Island Trail on Kent Island here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, USA, is an escape walk for me. Even with the whooshing of the nearby highway, I go just 100 feet down the asphalt pathway and suddenly I’m surrounded by tall trees and wondrous birdsong. I went forest bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, today and the Nature Therapy is always necessary.

A Walk in the Woods for a Little Forest Bathing on Shalavee.com
A Walk in the Woods for a Little Forest Bathing on Shalavee.com

I chose to go East this time instead of West. And I enjoyed the change of the feel of the forest and the water views. Old dark stumps crouching on the woods floor felt like cat beasts ready to pounce. Met a happy little turtle who was sunning himself until I made him panic. A pigeon perched on the bridge across Piney Creek to greeted me. And I avoided plenty of poison ivy as I stayed on the yellow brick road.

A Walk in the Woods for a Little Forest Bathing on Shalavee.com
A Walk in the Woods for a Little Forest Bathing on Shalavee.com

A half hour out and then a half hour back to my car awaiting my return in the parking lot of the Peruvian Chicken place to ferry me and a lunch special homeward. I am full and exercised and can no longer feel the pull in my right hamstring. I finished my walk before the dark clouds unloaded on me.

Sadly, the allergy place was not open for allergy shots which was the reason I had traveled the half hour there. So I’ll just have to reschedule to go back for another walk and a $5 chicken platter with beans and rice after my shots. Oh well.

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 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.

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.

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