RSS Feed

Category Archives: Howard County

Wildflowers in Winter?

Posted on

It may be cold outside but inside this Saturday you can be transported. To visions of the flowers that bloom naturally, here where we live.

Are you like me, who just waits for that first carpet of blooms, telling us spring is coming?

i spy nature and csa week one summer 041

Besides buttercups, and dandelions, what do you know about those perennial flowers (and weeds) that mark the changing seasons here in Maryland?

Do you know what these are?

spring flowers 046

Would you like to hear more about the flowers you see in your travels, on your hikes, or your commute?

Come to the Howard County Conservancy Mt. Pleasant this Saturday morning at 10 am for one of their free events. A second Saturday “Wonder Walk”, except that in the cold dreary winter, the walks turn into talks.

Jo and Bob Solem, known to many who are active Howard County birders, are also avid recorders of the wildflowers that grace our area. They are presenting some of their finest pictures and talking about the lure of these flowers.

It may be cold and rainy outside Saturday morning but in the Nature Center, you can think about spring.

Ho Ho HoCo!

Posted on

Today I spent most of the day shopping. The difference? Everywhere I went, I saw the owner of the business there. I didn’t set foot in one chain or big box place, but I had a great day.

csa and shopping 016

Then tonight, I finally finished updating all the links on my HoCoBiz page, but no, I’m not finished there yet. I do need to get to Old Town EC and add a few more once I finish Christmas shopping.

What did I do today? First, we hit The Cover Uph in Columbia to drop off our 31 year old dining room chairs, to get them redone. Tom Vaughn has been in business there since 1977. My dining room chairs will be my present to myself for this Christmas.

Then, off to Iron Bridge to pick up wine, and for me to have lunch. It is one of the two restaurants that get the majority of our business. If you are looking for a great gift, get a gift certificate from them. For us, we just picked up our third “red envelope” with this visit. You never know if you might have gotten one of those big prizes to be revealed at a visit in January.

I did say we, but today I meant me, as my husband headed off to Lisbon to the Town Grill to have his monthly Glenwood Amateur Radio group meeting.

csa and shopping 021

For me, I headed off to Greenway to pick up my poinsettias. I will be getting my tree closer to Christmas but with all the publicity about Greenways’ poinsettias, I didn’t want to miss getting my favorite colors. They also had large rosemary bushes, so I got two of those.

csa and shopping 035

My old ones died last winter. These two will stay inside in pots this winter. Next year, I will remember to wrap them in burlap once they are permanently planted. Healthy looking, aren’t they?

On the way home, I stopped in Casual Gourmet to pick up some pasta and some pepper jelly for gifts. Suzanne’s pepper jelly is another locally owned product.

csa and shopping 031

I got mild this time. Also called heaven. They have purgatory and hell. And, one called ghost, which I will not be trying. I am too much of a wimp for that heat.

All in all, a very productive day. Thanks to people like Tom, Steve, Mike, Kristen, and Alexandra, I can shop with people I know. Isn’t that a great way to get into the Christmas spirit?

csa and shopping 018

‘Tis the Season

Posted on

Time to get into high gear and prepare for the holidays. A few things to do, and Christmas decorating to get started.

DSC_0023

First up. The Lisbon Parade this coming Saturday. It has changed. It is now starting in the late afternoon.  They had to change from a horse parade to a farm equipment theme. Logistics got too complicated, and the parade was so successful that it outgrew its boundaries.

Not to worry. The party still looks awesome. And that dinner at the Firehouse? Not a bad idea.

As for the other things. I need to head over to get my poinsettias and my tree.

christmas tree and decorations 009

I love the varieties from the Greenway Farm greenhouses.

I also need to stop at TLV for my garlands, and for the beef for our Christmas dinner.

Then, it will be time to start making my cookies. I have been planning ahead this year, making the dough early and freezing it. Makes it simpler to just concentrate on baking.

Somewhere along the way I have to get to Breezy Willow, too. I need to buy stocking stuffers, like their soaps. Maybe a few of the alpaca items for presents. Tea. Jams. Honey. Cheese. Lots of things to buy from the locals.

breezy willow pics plus csa week 6 015

Doesn’t this beat the parking lot at the Mall?

Tidbit Tuesday

Here we are heading full speed into the holiday season and there is quite a bit happening.

daytripping and bioblitz 059

Like this weekend, the holiday Colonial Celebration over at Belmont. I hear there aren’t many tickets left. Absolutely beautifully decorated, and with good food and libations, it is the only fund raiser that the Howard County Conservancy holds at Belmont to raise funds to support the educational programs held there.

Meanwhile, tonight at Mt. Pleasant, another of the meteor shower events. The Leonids. I will be there setting up and we are crossing our fingers that it isn’t too cloudy. The event is from 10pm-1am.

Here on the home front, I am trying to get ready for Thanksgiving, as one by one, appliances in my kitchen keep having problems. First, the dishwasher only intermittently drains. Even taking it apart and cleaning it out hasn’t solved the problem. Guess it’s time to find a new one.

Add to that, my microwave knob no longer functions. The microwave works, but you can only use the express button and push it enough times to get the number of minutes you need. Since I only use it for potatoes, pop corn and reheating coffee, it’s not a big issue for Thanksgiving, but it is just another place where we see quality is lacking.

csa 007

Last week our CSA had pop corn in it. I like to pop it in a paper bag for three minutes in the microwave. No need for butter or oil or clean up.

As for the “last straw”, so to speak, our oven door shattered. This is the second one. The top oven did it a few years back. The lower one, late last month when I put it into cleaning mode.

senior, csa and oven 029

Thankfully, it was fully contained in between the outer shields. I suppose I could still use it for a while as it shattered at the beginning of a two hour cleaning cycle, and I didn’t know it until it finished and unlocked. I had heard a “pop” and couldn’t figure out where it originated, until I opened the door.

So much for having a fancier oven. It seems bad glass is bad glass so matter who the manufacturer is. I guess this means I get to hand clean the ovens from now on. Or, I keep having to replace the glass. Annoying. Particularly as we get into my busy baking season.

cookie making 001

Cookie baking time is fast approaching.

Tomorrow, if I get a chance to sit down, I will be writing about Thanksgiving plans, including getting the turkey and the wine.

Get outside tonight, and look for meteors.

Year Round Markets

Posted on

The end is nigh. The local farmer’s markets are almost finished. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a committed group that creates a year round market in Howard County? You know, a downtown market?

silver spring market 003

I love the Silver Spring downtown market on Saturday mornings year round. They close a road to accommodate the vendors. Love Dove, one of our local farms heads down there to sell. According to the FreshFarm website, there are 36 vendors at the market.

I love the fact that local wineries show up on a regular basis. Multiple rotating vendors. I wish we could get a market started around here, maybe in Old Town EC, or down by the lake in Columbia, or Maple Lawn.

I have always been supportive of, and impressed by, the nonprofit group that started Olney. The group that continues to make it better. Luckily for us, they are only 10 miles down the road. This year, they are keeping the market by the hospital, and they are working to purchase tents to use in inclement weather. Their web site.

olney, eat local, columbia game 116

For a few years, they moved the market to the Sandy Spring Museum. It wasn’t quite big enough and some vendors were outside, others shoe horned into the building.

I like the Sunday morning market concept. Come have breakfast. Shop a little. Browse a little. Pick up some fresh food and a few staples from local purveyors.

The mother of all Sunday morning markets is DuPont Circle in DC. Honestly. 40-50 vendors. One of my favorites. Next step produce.

december wanderings 003

One of the reasons. They are a local farm growing grains. Many grains.

The other market in the mix. Takoma Park. Also Sunday mornings.

Really. We need to figure out how to do this. We have the local farms and vendors. We have some high density areas. It’s not bad to drive 10 miles to Olney but EC is closer.

Planning Ahead?

Posted on

Just a couple of really interesting programs are coming up next weekend over at the Howard County Conservancy Mt. Pleasant site. Followed by one of the very popular meteor shower watches on the following Tuesday. Here are the details for those planning their weekends in advance.

csa and friends oct 23 004

Spotting Wildlife in Winter – Saturday morning the 14th at 10am. For the hikers, photographers, and nature lovers who want to learn how to see more during the winter, Frank Marsden is leading a hike through the fields, woods and along the stream out at Mt. Pleasant. Frank has been taking amazing pictures out at Eden Mill Nature Center in Harford County. He is coming into our woods to show us what to look for, and how to increase our chances of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.

snow. deer and cooking 035

Then, on Sunday, another very special program. Do you know where Patterson Park is? Have you ever heard of Miracle Pond? Middleton Evans had made over 600 trips to this pond in a wildly overgrown section of the park. His visits, and his amazing photographs, span 15 years. He is giving a presentation in the Gudelsky Center at 4pm on the 15th of November. It should be something special.

Planning to check out the Leonids? Want to do it with some of our talented astronomical experts, like Star Doc (Dr. Joel Goodman) and Dr. Alex Storrs from Towson University? They will be bringing high powered scopes, but on a dark night like the 17th, you should be able to sit back in a lawn chair, bundled up against the cool weather, sipping some hot chocolate while looking for meteors shooting across the skies. This is always a popular event, with many attendees. Sometimes we’ve had over a 100 people out there. They will be there from 10pm until the wee hours of the morning.

This trio of programs should give us a few good reasons to “Get Out There”. Details on the Conservancy web site, under upcoming events.

Missing HOWCHOW

Posted on

Yes, I have to admit, I miss all the great local food scene trivia, and all the comments that we were used to getting from HOWCHOW’s blog. I know he is busy, with a toddler and yet, I still miss those informative posts that gave us so much information about our local restaurants, markets and stores.

south mountain visit and day trip 071

When I started my blog, he helped me. He linked to a number of posts I wrote. I wrote a couple of guest columns for him. He was the “GO TO” place to read about bakeries, butchers, ethnic groceries and so much more.

Maybe if we all ask nice, we can get him to post a simple post, once a week, asking for comments and input about the latest in the Howard County food scene.

It would certainly help us feel like we have something that focuses on us out here in the boonies.

For me, he introduced me to Ananda, and I love it. H Mart. Larriland. Town Grill. And more.

Come back, HOWCHOW, if only for a quick word or so.

After all, you helped us greet Wegmans with that Facebook page.

weggers 031

There’s so much happening here in Howard County. We are missing a good source for insider information. Not asking for tons of reviews, just a quick “drive by” post that we can comment on. You know you are greatly appreciated out here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 544 other followers