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Category Archives: People

Bugs and Brews

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Thursday night. One of the more popular events for the over 21 crowd. Out at Mt. Pleasant, Howard County Conservancy picnic grounds. The second in the series of annual “cocktails and nature” themed events.

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Dr. Mike Raupp, the bug man, famous in this area for his vast knowledge and enthusiasm for all things buggy. Dr. Paula Shrewsbury is also presenting and she and Mike will be leading an informal walk through the meadow trails to search for interesting bugs, bees and butterflies.

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This year the theme is Bugs and Brews. Heavy Seas beer is available to enjoy. The event is free. The beers will be a nominal charge. You don’t have to imbibe to attend, but the beers are excellent.

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This was last year’s crowd. As I said, this event has been a big success. Thursday night we hope to see all of Mike’s fans, and lots of beer lovers, too.

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For those of us who have been here a long time, Heavy Seas Beer is the very popular craft beer company started by Hugh Sissons. Sissons opened in Baltimore back when I was a newlywed with Baltimore roots. A pub we visited on our trips to the Inner Harbor. It’s still going strong and held by Sissons’ family members.

Come join us. Six PM is the starting time of the event. Have a beer. Talk to Mike and Paula. See what interesting insects they bring to the party. August 25th.

Telling Tales

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A picture is worth 1000 words. That’s what they say. But, what does this picture say? Don’t you need the story behind it?

This picture represents my blog name. Why it’s annieriedora.com. My grandmother. Dorothea. When I wanted to name my blog, I needed to go all the way to my confirmation name to get something unique. Not obvious to me, but AnnieRie, a diminutive nickname for Diane Marie, or Anna Marie, was already in use.

My mother called me AnnieRie. Her name was Marie, so I am named for my mother and grandmother.

Is there a story in there? Can I tell it well enough to keep people interested?

Why am I blogging about stories? Because a week from now there will be one incredibly awesome experience for people who love to tell stories, and who want to be better at it.

At the Howard County Conservancy, who is partnering with Howard County Rec and Parks, and the Columbia Association to provide a workshop on storytelling followed by an evening of telling tales, with a local perspective.

Twenty four people take the workshop. After that, an evening where many of them tell stories about living here, in beautiful Howard County.

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What could be a better way to spend a Friday evening in our home town?

Information is here.

Ho Ho HoCo!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Missing HOWCHOW

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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.

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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.

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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.

Our Daily Bread

In Baltimore, a Catholic Charity run hot meal program serving 700 meals daily. Plus an employment center. For the past ten years, the Lewis family of Clarksville has sponsored a fun polo match day to raise money for the center. To date, they had already raised over $450,000. This year’s event was the tenth and “final” match day, as they are retiring as hosts.

We were fortunate to win a tailgate pass at the silent auction last May, at the annual Wine in the Garden HC Conservancy fund raiser. The Lewis family had donated the pass.

I wish we had taken the opportunity to attend this amazing day in years past, as it was truly a special experience. One that almost transcends time.

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It’s fun to watch the players on their mounts, but it’s also fun to watch the spectators.

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We got to divot stomp. We met some really nice people. Got up close and personal with beautiful horses.

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Thanks to the Doetsch family who provides their field for the event. They live just across Rte. 32 from the Lewis family, who live on Ten Oaks Rd. The original site of the matches, before they outgrew the fields just off the Ten Oaks/Brighton Dam circle.

We took friends with us to tailgate.

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We wandered around to see the horses.

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We stomped divots at the break between matches.

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We brought local foods and wine to enjoy while watching.

I do hope they find some support to keep the traditional going. Thanks to Mary Agnes Lewis and her family for their long standing support of Our Daily Bread. As I understand, she has been volunteering in some form or another for more than 30 years.

She is truly a wonderful Howard Countian.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

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On a Tuesday afternoon. About that snow?

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We did get the 3+ inches predicted for our area. Even though I know the southeastern portion of the county didn’t get much at all. Maybe we need to divide the county in half in order to have two school districts. Then, those unhappy about the schools being closed because of us could not miss another day. I have to wonder though. What do they do at the end of a school year if one half the county doesn’t meet the minimum number of days? Interesting.

We got enough snow for our neighbor’s little ones to build a snowman. We even used the snowblower on the driveway today. So, the storm wasn’t a bust out here. That extra couple of hundred feet in elevation from here compared to the southeastern county makes a difference in temperature and snowfall.

In other news. They postponed the volunteer fair at the Howard County Conservancy until February 3rd. Same time. Same players. If you have the time, and want to hear more about volunteering, come join us. They need office support, event support, field trip leaders, animal feeders and more.

Finally, one more picture from this morning. I have learned how to keep the birds happy without having to go too far into the yard. I also learned to use mess free bird feed on the patio. No hulls or shells.

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The red bellied woodpecker even came up closer than normal.

A Lifetime of Service

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We lost someone special this month. One of “our” paramedics. Erik Steciak.

Photo from Firehouse.com

Photo from Firehouse.com

We live near West Friendship. They are our fire station. We support them and value tremendously their dedication to keeping us safe. Every time we hear the ambulances on Rte. 32 we know they are dealing with yet another crash on that dangerous stretch of road.

Erik gave his life to this vocation. He loved it and spent countless hours between his paid and his volunteer service. I found a remarkable blog post while researching mine. Here.

This quote stays with me. Thanks to Dan Ciarrocchi for writing this article.
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It’s a position that he hasn’t second-guessed often, but occasionally, that moment arises. If so, he defers back to one of his earliest memories, where the firehouse he worked at had an open house. Firefighters spoke to interested crowds, displayed their equipment and allowed children to explore the trucks and ambulances.

“There was a girl, she was about 4, maybe 5 years old, cutest thing you’d ever see.” Steciak said. “Her mom knelt down beside her, put her arm around her and pointed straight at me and said ‘Look. There’s a hero.’ And the look that kid gave me…I just keep telling myself I can’t ever let her down.”
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Erik was a hero. He went out and helped people no matter how bad it was out there.

For me, I want to honor this young man and all like him. They are our future. They are our unsung heroes.

Rest in Peace, Erik. Know that many of us who may look like strangers aren’t. We are all a family if we care about others.