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Books or Digital?

My town has been blessed to have a lovely library.  The doors to our local library opened on August 15, 1894, with five thousand volumes.  Today's library building is double the size of the original, housing one hundred seventy thousand items including books, magazines, CDs and videos. My Local Library I've spent a lot of time in this library and others over the years.  As a child, I was a voracious reader, what you would call a bookworm.  Reading was my favorite past time and I was easily lost in the world between of the covers of my books. One of My OLD Early Teen Books In college, I adored the library.  I loved the quiet corners where I could escape the craziness of campus days and nights.  The library was where I studied and learned.  I loved sitting in the stacks for hours at a time conducting research for term papers.  I was in awe of the knowledge contained within the four walls of the library building. As I think back over the past ten to twenty years I do

Something Smells Around Here

Have you smelled it? What IS that smell? Everywhere I went these past few days people were talking.  Yes, they were talking about the smell.  What is that smell? Is it the lovely spring blossoms? Spring Blossoms No, it's not the blossoms that have people talking.  Is the the sand and sea? The Shore No, no one is talking about the sand and sea here in our little seaside town.  That smell is acrid.  That smell makes us roll up our car windows.  That smell makes the sales assistants at the local coffee shop close their drive up windows with a snap.  What is that smell?  Towns folks have contacted the local police.  Hello, Officer, What's that Smell? They've called the town leaders.  Is there a problem with our waste water treatment plant? Hello, Mr.Town Manager, What's that Smell? The local newspaper calls this headline news.  It's the lead story in the local newspaper...above the fold.  This is a BIG story, here in our little New England

A June Morning at the Beach

This morning dawned like most mornings so far this June, foggy and dreary.  We've been caught in a cycle of cool, showery weather here in southeastern New England. Showers, Showers, Showers in New England Day after day of this kind of weather wears on my sunny disposition.  Do you have the same experience?  Well, it was time to do something about it.  When I sensed a break in the clouds I decided to head for the beach to shake the cob webs out of my head.  I haven't been spending as much time as I like at the beach lately, and so, the beach was calling me. I like to walk on the beach at low tide.  The sand at low tide forms a firmer base for walking.  Today it was not low tide, but I decided to forge on.  The beach was empty due to the weather, but it was peaceful and the sound of the waves was soothing.  Listen to the 15 second video below and you'll see what I mean. Along the way there were signs that beach artists had been there before me. Beach Creativit

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

How to Make a Yummy Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Yesterday I went out to take a look at my garden and was faced with the reality that my spinach crop was on its last legs.  It was time for me to pick the last of my beloved spinach and call it quits for the season.  The spinach was beginning to bolt, telling me it was time to say good-bye.  I decided to celebrate, not mourn, the end of this spinach growing season by making a favorite spinach salad.  Who doesn't love spinach salad with warm bacon dressing?  No one, I say, and you don't need to go to a restaurant to have this delicious salad.  You don't even need to have spinach growing in your backyard.  Grocery stores from coast to coast are stocking baby spinach in their produce departments and as long as you have the tender baby greens you are halfway there. Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Printer Friendly Recipe Serves 4 Spinach Salad with Warm

Farfalle Del Mondo

Whenever I ask my family the question, "What special dinner would you like me to prepare?" I already know the answer.  The answer will invariably be bow tie pasta.  What they are really saying when they give me that answer is, please, please, please make us Farfalle Del Mondo .   I believe the original recipe came from the Food Network many years ago and over time I have made adaptations to it. Farfalle Del Mondo You'll find this to be a very easy recipe to make and it is packed with lots and lots of wonderful flavor.  First, you'll want to be sure to have some southwest seasoning on hand.  I have a favorite southwest blend that I always keep on hand and I encourage you to do the same.  You'll also want to be sure you have 12 ounces of brie in your refrigerator.  Brie can be pricey, so watch for specials in your grocery store.  I like to buy my brie at my favorite wholesale big box store to save a few dollars.  While you are there check out the pine nut

Hello Summer

This weekend marks the unofficial start to the summer season in Northeast shoreline communities.  While the calendar tells us it is still officially spring, Memorial Day weekend is the point where we get summer on the brain in my neck of the woods. It's Open Season on Summer One of my favorite summer activities is eating outdoors.  When summer rolls around we look for every opportunity to enjoy outdoor eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If the weather is good, I'll be eating outside.   The view in the picture above is looking out on the ocean from my favorite breakfast spot. Summer is for casual eating experiences.  Shorts, a T-shirt and flip flops are all you need to fit right in, especially if you are sitting with your toes in the sand for lunch. Eating Beach Side Dinner is no different, not when you are eating dockside. A View from Skipper's Dock  In between meals we'll find time for relaxing in a beach chair... R&R at the Beach Or perh

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

You might remember that next to brownies, chocolate chip cookies are a favorite treat of mine.  As a matter of fact, back in my corporate warrior days, it was well known that if a certain unnamed person needed buttering up, one should come with chocolate chip cookies in hand. Not just any chocolate chip cookie will do.  No, they must be quality chocolate chip cookies.  While bakery chocolate chip cookies can sometimes fit the bill, grocery store brands do not make the cut.  Sorry, but I'm not wasting my calorie budget on packaged chocolate chip cookies.  Blame it on Mom.  My taste buds were trained on the traditional Toll House cookie recipe that Mom always made.  They were buttery, crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle and filled with chocolate chips and walnuts.  Mmmmm.... Perusing blogs the other day, I came across a recipe for Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies at Pie in the Sky's lovely blog.    Those cookies called to me and I wasn't going to rest until I