The Search for Perch

Introducing a new generation to the joy of fishing on the Mid-Shore

Yellow PerchYellow Perchby Alex Likowski
As much as things change, thank goodness there are still some things you can count on. The coming of Spring is never so much about how you feel when you stand on your back porch, as it is about what you see and hear. It’s Springtime in Maryland when you hear the peepers, see the Osprey come back to the creeks, and of course when Shad and Perch (especially Yellow Perch) make their spawning runs.

Worm Farming 101

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Worm ComposterWorm ComposterI love the concept of worm farming - of letting the little slimy critters do their job - eat my garbage, and give me nutrient rich fertilizer! A few years ago I purchased a somewhat involved worm composting system and set it up in the garage. My mail order worms arrived - were set up in their dark home, and were sporadically fed my garbage. I was, perhaps, not the best example of a worm farmer - since I never recall actually using their compost on my garden and found out - too late - that the garage was a bit too cold for their winter survival.

Free Range Kids?

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson
Free Range ChickenFree Range ChickenAs parents we protect our children - it's our job. Are we keeping them so "safe" that they never get the opportunity to develop independence? I came across two writers today (thanks to Twitter) discussing "Free-Range Kids". Free-range is a hot topic these days, especially for chickens! Our chickens free-range in our fenced back-yard (and lay some awesome tasting eggs!)Yet the term also applies to chickens that receive a few minutes in a small outdoor cage, as well as the lucky chickens who range over 20 water front acres on my friend's farm.

Now let's consider "free-range kids". My kids play outside alone, on our property. This was a big thing when we moved to the Eastern Shore from Frederick, MD - my young children were NOT allowed out without me, even in the fenced backyard. (I couldn't see them from inside) Just last summer I let the older two (ages 9 & 10) ride their bikes to the beach when we visit Grandma. This is a private beach - but it was the first time I let them out of my sight. But I grew up free there, and wanted the same for my kids. [click "read more"]

Deadline Looms for Local Artists

The Academy Art Museum in Easton is accepting applications from local artists to exhibit in their 12th annual Craft Show. The show, which will run Oct.9 to 11th, will showcase and sell the artwork of more than 60 artisans.

The event is quite popular and draws a large crowd each year. Past shows have included pottery, jewelry, handbags, books, furniture, paintings and more.

Information and applications for all artists may be found at their[_new]website. The deadline for applications is April 1st.

Everything Irish!

Local couple turn passion into profit!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson
Caroline County residents, Robert and Debbie Riggin, have turned their love for Irish folk music and Irish jewelry into a low-overhead, online store! Their website,[ _new ]Tri Color Music, teams with to showcase the couple's favorite music!

Jump Start Your Business - with Twitter!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson
Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows you answer the question, "What are you doing?" by sending short text messages 140 characters in length, called "tweets", to your friends, or "followers." The short format allows quick communication, and the ever expanding network of "followers" opens up your circle of contacts. Twitter can be downloaded (free) from, and accessed through the web, cell phone, and various programs (also free) such as Twhirl and Tweetdeck.

If you're shaking your head and muttering right now - I understand. I'm not one to jump into new technologies, especially those that involve me communicating with large groups of people.

Miniatures and More!

By Erin Mawn

Mistletoe Christmas Shop (Cecil County)
As a dollhouse enthusiast ( I have 14 of them!), I am constantly on the watch for stores and shops that cater especially to miniaturists. Stores such as AC Moore and Michael’s are good for general craft needs, but when you’re looking for the perfect finishing touch to a room-box or a dollhouse that you’ve been laboring on for months, the same-old-same-old stuff won’t do. Having only been an Eastern Shore-er for a little over a year now, when I first moved here I was (and still am) anxious to explore my new area and I always enjoy finding new haunts. When I first drove by the Mistletoe Christmas Shop over a year ago, I noticed that it said “dollhouses” on the sign, but it was closed. Not too long afterwards, I drove by again and it was open, so I turned into the tree-lined drive that leads up to the shop.

Travel Deals to Lancaster, PA

According to The Baltimore Sun now's the time to get great deals in Lancaster, PA! The deals include free meals or a second night hotel stay for just over $20. There was also talk of a coupon book to use at the nearby outlet stores!

If you haven't been to Amish Country - it's a great road trip! Everything Amish is closed on Sunday - so plan carefully. There are buggy trips, farm tours, home-style cooking, Amish furniture & baked goods and more! There are several outlet malls and the ever popular amusement park "Dutch Wonderland", one of my childhood haunts (don't fret - I'm sure they've updated since then!)Check out

Take your camera (but don't photograph the Amish) and enjoy the hills and the scenery! If you're very brave - take your bike! Enjoy!

Go Green in Annapolis!

“Spring into the Dream ... Annapolis is Green!”
Ed Begley, Jr., Green Building Seminar and Tour Coming in April

ANNAPOLIS, Md — Eco-friendly living and green building initiatives will be showcased this April at a series of events hosted by Historic Annapolis Foundation. The events include:

Ed Begley Jr.Ed Begley Jr.

"An Evening with Ed Begley, Jr.” April 6 from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Annapolis Westin Hotel featuring a lecture and book signing by the actor and environmental leader

The Green Building Tour April 25 from noon - 6 p.m., of area residential and commercial buildings in Annapolis, Eastport, Severna Park, Pasadena and the Brooklyn area of south Baltimore that will showcase how to put energy saving technology, sustainable building materials or environmentally friendly practices to work.

The events, designed to inform, entertain and illustrate, will appeal to a broad audience. They are structured so that participants will have the ability to interact with the experts. Proceeds will benefit Historic Annapolis Foundation.

Homeschooling on MD's Mid-Shore!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson
According to my email inbox, more Eastern Shore families are choosing to educate their children at home. At this time of year I hear from families who want to remove their children from public schools. Their reasons are varied: the child is bored because material is covered too slowly; the child is overwhelmed because material is covered too quickly; the homework has reduced "family time" to tears, threats and increased feelings of helplessness; the child is being tormented by others; the school system seems to be moving further away from educating children and is instead increasingly political; all teaching revolves around the standardized tests. And the list goes on.

All of these reasons are valid, yet I cannot blame the schools or the educators that reside within their walls. Talk with any teacher and you will feel their anger and helplessness as they try to teach within their budget and federally mandated restrictions - it's heartbreaking. The schools depend on federal money - that money is given for test scores and truckloads of red tape. But really....that's an entirely different article!

Let's assume, for the sake of brevity, that you have decided to homeschool your children. Where do you begin? In Maryland you need to notify the Board of Education in your county 15 days prior to pulling your child out of school. You'll fill out an assurance of consent form, at which time you'll need to decide if you are going under an umbrella group or will be undergoing county reviews (twice a year normally, they can add one review if there's a problem). The MD law for homeschooling can be found

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Main Street Stores, Abingdon, VA

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