Recently we attend the phenomenal light show at Longwood Gardens. We arrived early and set up our chairs in the front row, very close to the center, so this display is very similar to the one was viewed. i was much too captivated with the experience to record the show so was delighted that this 'sneak peak' was so similar. The background music for the evening we attended was jazz, and if you follow my blog, you'll know I was delighted! This will give you an idea of the spectacular event, and hopefully it will inspire you to check the Longwood Garden site to check their schedule, purchase tickets and attend!
While we were at Longwood Gardens, I heard it referred to as "America's Versailles". I disagree. The variety of plants, artistry of presentation, reverence and dedication to nature and seasonal displays make Longwood far superior. The Versailles gardens were such a disappointment, but isn't it delightful to know we can save the airfare to France and have a much more delightful experience here? For those who are more interested in the history, architecture and furnishings at Versailles, it's worth the trip, but if you are going for the gardens, you may want to reconsider and head to Kennett Square, PA.
We passed this sleepy tree on the way in, already yawning by late afternoon. He probably didn't stay awake for the light show, but he's undoubtedly seen it many times!
We had a leisurely dinner at 1906 while we waited for dusk. Everything there is a step above what is expected. This is their shrimp appetizer - jumbo shrimp served on a square of tomato aspic with sorrel and touch of horseradish. Not only delicious but a work of art!
Although I've been to Longwood Gardens many times over the years and experienced each of the five seasons - spring, summer, fall, holiday and winter - at least once, this was my first after dark experience light display. I'm adding it to my collecting firsts!
Mycala suggested we enter Zippy in the Visionary Arts Museum Pet Parade. It was last minute so we scampered to find an outfit and settled on a star spangled America's Sweetheart lollipop T-shirt. To complete the look we found a hat and adorned it with red, white and blue lollipops. He smiled most of the day, loving the attention, prancing happily in the parade and having his few minutes of fame on stage for the talent show. He fell asleep at one point and was too tired to participate in Musical Chairs, but all in all it was a wonderful day.
There were dogs of every shape and size, one cat, a bunny, two iguanas and a snake. The costumes were phenomenal and included baby carriages decorated as floats, with owners dressed to match their dogs costumes. We were threatened a few times with lightning and potential storms but they magically help off.
Next year we'll start earlier and create a costume worthy of the occasion!
The summer solstice officially arrived in Baltimore, Maryland at 6:34 on Monday, June 20. Hopefully you took time to honor the cycles of nature and to celebrate the longest day of the year. This year's event was especially precious as it coincided with the "strawberry moon", the name given to June's full moon. The combination of the solstice with a full moon is a rare occurrence, The last time this rare phenomena occurred was forty-nine years ago, in 1967. Hopefully you enjoyed its assent as it won't occur again until 2062,
Strawberries may have been the fruit of the day, but I had peaches on my mind! This, dear friends, is
Baltimore Peach Cake
A dear new friend and neighbor, Howard, called late afternoon and said he had made Baltimore Peach Cake, warm out of the oven, and wondered if I would like some! Um, yes!!! So I hurried over and he met me at the door with his calico cat Petunia, weaving between us, hoping for attention. I knelt down to pet her and he mentioned having heard that all calico cats are female.
(Note:I've heard all my life and decided it was finally time to look it up.
"The mutation that gives male cats a ginger-colored coat and females ginger, tortoiseshell, or calico coats produced a particularly telling map. The orange mutant gene is found only on the X, or female, chromosome. As with humans, female cats have paired sex chromosomes, XX, and male cats have XY sex chromosomes"
We walked through the hallway, adjacent to a stair case filled with family photos, into the kitchen where I had my first glimpse of 'the cake'! He had given me half and when I protested, with very little conviction or enthusiasm but felt it was the right thing to do, he insisted. I let him have his way! We talked about some of our recent Facebook posts while he finished wrapping the cake. Babe Ruth, his gorgeous and gregarious McCaw, sat on the open door of his cage from the next room, watching and occasionally making a comment or whistling. Howard, Babe Ruth and I are all dedicated Orioles fans and when Babe wants to see a game, he'll request, "Watch TV?"
As I said thank you and good bye to Howard and his furry and feathered family, I felt overwhelmingly grateful to live in Lake Walker. The homes, with their front porches, are anachronisms not only in their physical structure, but in the resulting lifestyle. Neighbors are outside - on their porches, working in their yards and gardens, and walking their dogs of every shape and size. They are receptive, even openly inviting, to conversation and community.
But back to the cake! Oh my heavens!! Its arrival only hours before the summer solstice made it seem all the more heaven scent. Yes, I know. I wrote heaven sent first, but the fragrance! It is indeed heaven scent! The peaches and cake dominated, But there is just a hint of cinnamon - not the usual over powering that often diminishes other flavors - but a subtle suggestion. It is almost as if he waved a cinnamon stick over the sublime creation and let the perfect amount of flavor descend. Perfection!
My first taste of Baltimore Peach Cake will be added to my 'collecting firsts' category. Actually, I've been thinking about a "Collecting Firsts in Baltimore" category, because there have been so many since I arrived. I do adore this town - it's passion for history, art, music, gardens and parks, fabulous food and restaurants, sports, culture, eccentric charm, Hons, Balamerese, and most of all, oh how I love the people!
What a marvelously creative unexpected combination - history and candy!
Mycala recently brought me the most delightful package of candy from True Treats, a store in Fredericksburg, MD that sells historical candy! Their slogan is "History never tasted so sweet!" They have selections that the Native American Indians used, Civil War Candy, the Industrial Revolution, and much more.
Love the concept of using candy to add another dimension to history! It's almost too pretty to eat. Some is more a novelty than a delicious treat, but others are scrumptious! All are a fascinating part of our history and a wonderful way to step back in time!
Yesterday morning was dismal and gloomy - one of those days I'd rather continue journaling or sketching instead of heading out. But I had a Heart to Hand Illustrating Journaling class to teach and the participants are such an inspiration, so that made leaving in the dreary fog a little easier.
We were about 5 minutes from starting our session when a student from my last class, Enhancing Your Life with Herbs, walked in carrying a treasure - a beautiful block of rosemary soap - two toned with a scalloped design. The fragrance was immediately captivating - rosemary is a favorite! The little brown paper bag it came in was a gift in its self, stating that the rosemary would 'clear the mind and sharpen the memory."
Rosemary is for remembrance -
"There's rosemary. That's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember."
~ William Shakespeare
Thank you Judy, for your thoughtfulness and radiance! Your energy and aura are a gift!
Thursday, October 15 was our final session for Enhancing Your Life with Herbs. It was a bittersweet session. I'm really going to miss this group! There was a wealth of knowledge in the group, a willingness to share and a lot of humor woven through out the course.
What a fabulous group! I'm sure we learned as much from each other as they did from me! They were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and wow, can they cook!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
For Earlier Posts visit