guiding eyes for the blind

Volunteers at Guiding Eyes for the Blind make a pretty special concession when they sign up. They get a puppy to raise and help train, but then they have to give the dog to someone who needs it more. Kate Travers doesn’t measure her time with her new lab puppy Diana in years, she measures it in shelves. Every time she has to puppy-proof another shelf, she tacks on a year to Diana’s age. Diana just turned “three shelves tall” this summer, but Travers won’t have her for very many more shelves. As a volunteer for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a company that trains service dogs, Travers will raise Diana for about 18 months and then return her trained, socialized and ready to learn to be a guide dog. It is a massive undertaking, but if she’s diligent enough to train Diana sufficiently, she can continue to train puppiesContinue Reading

patsys restaurant bethany beach

Patsy’s Restaurant used to be the new kid on the block, then one day it was part of the establishment. When her mom, Patsy, opened the now-iconic Bethany Beach restaurant Robin Rankin took up running the front of the house, hostessing, waiting tables, whatever was needed to help get the family restaurant on its feet. Before too long, though, she made her way back into the kitchen. After all, the mother/daughter team each had attended L’academie de Cuisine in Bethesda to help them each elevate their cooking skills. Patsy’s focus had been in bread and pastries when the family lived in Washington D.C. and she brought those sensibilities to bear when she opened her eponymous restaurant, which started with more of a sandwich shop vibe. By the time Robin moved into the kitchen in 2005 Patsy’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach was transitioning to more of a casual/fine dining place. Patsy’sContinue Reading

salad dressing secrets

The most important of all salad dressing secrets is take care and make an effort. The rest comest down to taste. With the last of the tomatoes coming off the vine and the first of the fresh fall greens, like kale and spinach just starting to come into their own it’s a good time to start to reimagine the possibilities of having something fresh every night. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to put together a fresh dressing to go with it. It also provides an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen quickly. Salad is the one thing almost everyone has time to make, even when you’re just stopping off for a pizza or burgers on the way home. Some cheats and general principles can set you loose in the kitchen before dinner in a kind of meditative state. The 10-minute investment can be satisfying all on itsContinue Reading

nanticoke watershed alliance kids

Each year as volunteers for the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance (NWA) wade in at Trap Pond to measure the water clarity it is about more than just collecting information, it is about an attitude. As the nonprofit that is responsible for tracking the health of the watershed, the NWA is cultivating a culture of people who both understand and care about the ecosystem’s health. That is why it is so important to have kids involved. Trap Pond State Park in Laurel, Del. is a campground as well as a nature preserve, where people travel in to kayak, canoe, fish and even birdwatch. The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance Wade In incorporates kids as well as adult volunteers in the event as a way of recruiting conservationists of the future as much as to bring a little depth to the children’s day camp experience.  For the adults, the idea is to give them anContinue Reading

Girl with rabbit at Wicomico County Fair

There was gunfire, a lot of it, but no screaming or running. In fact no one even flinched. Kids and adults alike posed before antique tractors, ate popcorn and generally wandered around taking in the county fair. If you’ve never been, let this serve as fair warning. There is gunplay at the Wicomico County Fair and everyone there is fine with it. Art Williams of Felton galloped on horseback, executing balloon after balloon in a demonstration of horsemanship. He and a half-dozen or so other riders were part of a show and competition at the extreme west side of the Wicomico County Fair at Winterplace park. Held, appropriately enough, in the ring nearest the Wicomico County Equestrian center, people lined the fences watching as rider after rider shot as many balloons as he or she could while riding as fast as they dared. And it never got tedious. One riderContinue Reading