Friday, July 31, 2009

Fiddler Crab Friday

This is an egret taking off in flight near Aaron's Beach. He was scared to death because I pulled in on two wheels, dust flying, after driving wide open down the gravel road leading in. Normally I don't drive fast, but this time it was necessary--to avoid second-degree crabslaughter.

See, the fiddler crabs can't be satisfied with their wetland habitat: their marsh grass, their creek mud, their shallow water or the surrounding ditches. No, that's just not good enough.

Instead, they conduct meetings, revivals, parties and more in the middle of the road, whole herds of them. Whether they wish to torture the driver or tempt fate is not clear. Perhaps it's some sort of indoctrination into a secret fiddler crab fraternity. "Here, lad, if you linger in the middle of the road and dodge between car wheels, you can enter this secret society of ours." I eavesdropped one day and swear that's what I heard.

Perhaps they do it to show off to their friends; maybe they feel manlier strutting out to linger in the road. Who knows.

Whatever. No matter. They're smack dab in the middle of the road in full force, millions of them. Unfortunately there is no way to avoid running over them because there are just too many; they're thick as thieves and scurrying hither, thither and yon.

This driver does break for fiddler crabs (there's a bumper sticker here, I just know it), but she knows when she's outnumbered so then she floors it, puts the pedal to the metal. And scares egrets to death.

I wonder what the jail sentence is for second-degree crabslaughter?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Three Thing Thursday

This gorgeous soybean field lives near Aaron's Beach, my favorite of the county beaches. One of these days I'm going to write about my love affair with soybean fields, but for now, there are other matters to attend to.

It's time for Three Thing Thursday, where I tell you three random things--anything at all-and you tell me three (or more) things, whatever you want.

Let's begin.

1. My throat is sore from screaming after a bug the size of a turkey buzzard flew in through my bedroom door. This was a citation-sized insect. While I was hyperventilating plotting a strategy to remove said insect from my room without actually harming it, Chesapeake Bay Son decided to videotape the goings-on and there's no doubt in my mind that between the commentary, the screaming and the high-stepping we are in possession of a $10,000 winner of America's Funniest Home Videos.

2. On the topic of videos, I cannot let go of the notion that a movie needs to be made about the Blog Fest held here a mere two weeks ago.

3. The Gazette Journal, our local paper, published an article about our movie-ripe story. Thanks to Sherry for putting into words a rather surreal experience, one which I hope will become a regular event. Be sure to check out the links on the lower right side of my page for access to the incredibly talented women who came to Mathews sight unseen.

OK, that's enough of my insect paranoia and Blog Fest movie obsession hot air.

It's your turn to tell me three (or more) things. Anything at all. Whatever you want.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bottle Notes

Once upon a time in the days before cell phones and the dreadfully unhappy years before the internet, Chesapeake Bay Girl was bored--exceedingly bored.

Faced with the same tedious options every day and living in near isolation in Mathews, she thought about ways to break out of her daily rut of making forts, climbing trees, riding ponies and spying on Middle Sister, whose behavior never ceased to amaze her.

A yen for travel, exploration and communication with other people besides her crazy kinfolk loving family began to take root.

One day while kicking pine cones around the shoreline of the creek, she came upon the place where her grandparents used to dump their glass, including old bottles that once held orange marmalade, Jean Nate' or milk (yes, kids, milk used to come in glass bottles) but which now housed periwinkle shells and creek mud.

The light bulb went off, and an idea was born. Why not write notes, stuff them in these bottles, toss 'em overboard and pray that some Unknown Person Far Away will find them and call back, as instructed? This way she'd actually hear from a human being who (theoretically) wasn't from Mathews while simultaneously conducting an important social and scientific experiment. If only she kept track of the time and the tides, she might have had herself a really fine scientific experiment.

Despite the demands requests in each note that the finder call to report where the bottle was found, the phone never rang. Except once.

Once--and only once--out of the dozen or three bottles tossed from the banks of Queens Creek, someone found one of my messages and called to report in as commanded instructed on the note.

When my mother told me, I rejoiced. Surely he was from the Eastern Shore of the bay; or perhaps from some other exotic destination along the Eastern Seaboard (there are so many, after all).

So where was this person and how far had my bottle traveled?

Up the creek a ways. Not out the creek. Not on the shores of Gwynn's Island, not along the bay. Just up the creek a ways.

Thankfully the internet has replaced bottle notes, but somehow or another I can't shake that "up the creek" theme in my life.

Did you communicate with people outside your comfort zone before the internet? Did anyone out there have pen pals? As of Blog Fest I know of one person who is married to a life long pen pal. This is amazing to me, yet reinforces my belief that you can come to know someone far better through the written word than through any other medium.

Bottle notes notwithstanding.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Middle Sister

Today is Middle Sister's birthday, she turns 52. Ha! Just kidding, and I'm probably the only one who laughed at that. (I'm used to it.) The better part of my life was spent making fun of Middle Sister because, well, she's the middle sister and here's how my job description reads in the Manual of Sibling Rivalry, Chapter One, page 2, paragraph 7:

Oldest Sister
  • Knows more than any/all younger siblings
  • Is responsible for bossing younger siblings around
  • Makes self laugh incessantly by making fun of younger siblings, particularly the one in the middle.

See? It's written there in plain English. I'm nothing if not obedient and compliant with the laws of life and Nature.

But on her birthday I'll go ahead and say a few nice things about her. Let's begin:

  • She lives in Georgia and comes home twice a year because she can't stand to be around us.
  • She got married in Hawaii to ensure none of her family members could attend.
  • Both of the above statements are likely due to her Older Sister's incessant torture and teasing. Obviously she didn't read the manual, though, otherwise she'd know I was supposed to.

Bear with me, this is such a struggle. OK, so the above was not nice either. Let me try again, here goes:

  • Middle Sister was easily the smartest of the three Chesapeake Bay Sisters, and if Baby Sister disputes that, I'll eat my cat. And my hat. (See how I can sneak a dig in at Baby Sister too?)

  • She was so brilliant she skipped a grade, however let it be known that we played school a lot, and guess who was the teacher? That's right, moi. Moving on...

  • She's such an outgoing talker, our mother says she was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. (HAAAA!!!! Not nice. Not at all. But seriously, she could talk the legs off an iron pot and would put on shows, dance and sing. The girl needed to distinguish herself, and oh did she ever.) A more positive way to state this is she was also known as Personality Plus. (Who was vaccinated with a phonograph needle.)

OK. I'll stop teasing now. Happy Birthday, Chesapeake Bay Middle Sister.

As a token of my affection, I'd like to repost one of my favorite Middle Sister stories of all time, where we were going across country on the Family Vacation That Would Never End, trapped in a VW bus loaded with a port-a-potty, our parents, and no such thing as entertainment other than our imagination and each other.

We had to make a pit stop and let's just say you came out with more than you walked in with. For those who have not read the story, click here for the link. Even if you have read it, please take a look again. You can't make this stuff up, folks, it's a good one. Now excuse me while I try to stop snickering. This really is not nice, especially on her birthday.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Sea Gulls

Sea gulls are lucky. Day in and day out they preside over the water in front row seats, the best in the house. If they tire of or become bored with their vistas, they merely spring up and take off in flight to survey things from higher up.

When I was a kid, aside from wanting to be an archaeologist who was also an Olympic athlete who on occasion explored the Amazon jungle and later joined the Peace Corps and traveled the world, I wanted to be a sea gull. Nothing could be better than living near the water with the ability to fly.

Did you ever have dreams where you could fly? I did, mostly as a child. If I ran fast enough I could spring off like a sea gull, but instead of flapping my wings I swam through the air kicking my feet. One time a gust of wind blew me way too high up and I was frightened--yet thrilled--much like riding a roller coaster.

They say (these people known as "they" seem to get around a lot and are very knowledgeable) that flying dreams symbolize confidence and freedom if it's a pleasant dream; and fear of something one is trying to fly away from if it's a nightmare.

Dreams of flying have eluded me for years now, but last weekend's ride on the work boat was almost as liberating and thrilling as swimming through the air in a dream.

Country Girl Kate has some absolutely incredible pictures of our wonderful Captain and First Mate, so please check them out. She does such a great job of capturing the moment.

It's too late for me to be an Olympic athlete, and the Peace Corps doesn't seem practical right now. But I'll never give up on flying with the sea gulls.

Even if it's only in my dreams.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Silent Sunday

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~Thomas Fuller, 1732

Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri

Do whatever you can to keep the well from running dry, and never underestimate the healing powers of the water. -cbw

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Daffodil Field

Here's a picture of some Queen Anne's Lace which grows in our daffodil field. With so many visitors and so much going on last weekend, I neglected to show them this and another field down by the water where my grandfather used to grow daffodils commercially.

Grandma J. may have seen it on her Gator ride with the CB Children, but she was probably too busy pulling grasshoppers from her teeth. CB Son loves to drive wide open through the tall, tall grass, causing insects of all shapes and sizes to swarm. Sometimes they get stuck in eyes, nostrils and teeth; also the back of your throat if you're screaming, fyi.

In other news, I am officially declaring this a Do Nothing Saturday. What can be more important than lounging in pajamas all day rest and relaxation? Whatever is on that list of things to do can wait.

The End.

Friday, July 24, 2009


For the record, this was not taken at Blog Fest, That Event Which I'm No Longer Referencing (unless you're a movie producer)Because I Can't Seem to Stop Talking About It And I Need to Admit It's Over. However, we were here last Saturday. We had a time, a grand time.

Chesapeake Bay Mother has something to say. Please fasten your seat belts and remain seated until the ride has come to a complete stop.


"All has returned to too-quiet and boring here at Waverly on Queen's Creek. The sounds of glasses clinking, rapid conversation, hot-tub bubbling and goose-honking are but a vague recollection bringing the heart to brimming with sadness for lost joy. What emptiness when greatness is gone.

Phillip Johnny Bob* told me in confidence that he wore no underpants all weekend and never felt more liberated! He went on to say that Texas is wonderful, but Virginia is beyond laid-back...and that mercifully he didn't wind up at the bottom of the hot tub with his special person, who went in fully clothed! Oh, the nostalgia!

I consider myself number addicted, since my favorite recreation is Sudoku; therefore I'm going to apply my all to "Twenty-one" in preparation for an upcoming cruise (hopefully) with a coupe of blog denizens.

Gustav, the goose, is so self-obsessed with all his internet notoriety/fame that he is having a makeover and hoping to star in his first bio-pic, tentatively titled "There Will Be Poop." His favorite actor is Daniel Day Lewis and imitation is the highest form of flattery.

As his agent, I hope to cash in on the Goose Crazy afflicting everyone at present. We've waited a long time for this and our time has come!"


Chesapeake Bay Woman's Need for The Last Word And Additional Commentary:

*PJB is Grandma J's teddy bear who was the first guest to arrive at That Event. He could not get over all the fabulous women he met, especially Noe Noe Girl who purchased a brand spankin' new pair of sunglasses for him. Grandma J. left CB Mother some cards so she can learn how to play blackjack for a cruise we hope to take in the future.

Also? Foolery has started a Gustav fan club on Facebook. You can't make this stuff up, folks. Gustav the Killer Goose has a following. CB Mother wants to make Gustav T-shirts with some clever quip which I've since forgotten, because when you wake up at 5:30 a.m. to drive an hour to work 8 hours to drive home an hour to dash to the store to fix dinner for kids to sit down at the computer to 60+ e-mails and a ton of great blog posts to read, well sometimes things get lost in the shuffle.

Such as laundry.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Three Thing Thursday

Welcome to Three Ring Three Thing Thursday where I tell you three random things, and you tell three things. Anything at all. Whatever you want. On any topic. There are no rules.

Here are my three things:

1. Someone needs to make a movie out of the events or last weekend's Blog Fest. Plain and simple.

2. My Australian blog friend Annie is suffering from thrombosis and I'm hoping she's feeling better and back to playing tennis again really soon.

3. Tonight the Chesapeake Bay Children discovered a part of the house that NONE of us knew existed previously. There's a door upstairs behind a TV which we never open. (I just assumed it was unusable area.)

Come to find out, it is a walk-in attic-ish area with the potential for children to get electrocuted while mother is not watching for them to get away from it all and make a hideout of sorts if they stay in one very narrow section. Emphasis on narrow.

The CB Children just came down to inform me (nervously, while rocking back and forth biting fingernails) that they had bad news, but first the good news. (Isn't that the best way to receive news when the people talking are children and you know they're playing in a dangerous area?)

Good News: They were still alive. (These are indeed glad tidings.)

Bad News: CB Son stepped on some insulation in that attic-ish area and cracked the ceiling in the downstairs foyer. It's not a small crack. It's a big one. Some might say huge.

Some might say Serenity Now.

Please tell me at least three things, if not twenty, to get my mind off post-Blog Fest life and all its challenges.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blog Fest. Still.

Yes, folks, I'm still talking about Love Fest Blog Fest, you can't shut me up.

Above is a photo I took while we were down at the landing waiting to get on board for the boat tour. I'm going to name this photo "Washed Up," because that's how I feel right now. Exhausted. Worn down. Worn out. Washed up. All of this is due to the let down of Blog Fest being over and the wonderful bloggers leaving me behind to face ordinary life activities. (I'm dubbing this syndrome Blogger's Post Depart 'Em Depression.)

One of the life activities I've neglected is blog maintenance: my blog's sidebar needs updating. See the top right corner? Blog Fest is over, so I'm no longer announcing it. (Wait a minute while I grab a tissue, those words were very hard to utter.)

Maybe I'll change it to say Announcing the Blog Fest Documentary! Coming soon to a theater near you. Or the 2009 Virginia Blogumentary. Did y'all know there is a movie out right now featuring bloggers? Why can't we have a movie? I need something to look forward to, Blog Fest can't die.

Independent of the good times we shared, there was an incredible, unbelievable amount of talent displayed among our guests.

For example, there's Ms. Foolery (below), who happens to be very, very tall. That's what I screamed when I first met her: "YOU'RE TALL! YOU'RE TALL! I thought you were short!" (She politely nodded.) (Not that there is anything wrong with being short. But she isn't.)

Then came Ms. Meg (below) who was the very first blogger I ever met IRL (in real life - I have to spell that out because I only learned it this weekend...from the Baroness. News does not reach us quickly here in Mathews and/or I'm a little slow.) (You know which is the right answer.)

These two ladies designed a special Blog Fest wine label, and Foolery worked her magic to have an entire case produced and shipped just before our gathering. Big Hair Envy has a picture of the label on her blog.

But wait there's more. Meg and Foolery wrote a special Blog Fest song--which would do nicely for the theme song of the Blog Festumentary movie. Meg played the piano and they both sang. Check out the lyrics on Meg's site, the song is amazing. We think a video exists - coming soon to a YouTube link near you.

But that's still not enough. No, Foolery has created a Fans of Gustav group on Facebook. Gustav, for the unacquainted, is my mother's fire-breathing, killer goose who hisses and spits every second he's awake.

Continuing with our talent competition, there's Grandma J (below) who MUST locate an agent. Her career in stand-up comedy is imminent. She was a non-stop source of stories and hilarity. I mean, just look for yourself.

Do you see the aura of comedy circling her?

Or maybe that's just crab pots. Still, the woman needs a stage, a microphone and an agent. Love you, Grandma J.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beauty and the Beach

On Saturday after the ride on the work boat to the lighthouse, the Blog Festers traveled to Gwynn's Island for a day at the beach. Here, Audrey's Wonderful Daughter demonstrates Chesapeake Bay Woman's sure-fire way to cure what ails you: floating in Hills Bay.

This part of Love Fest Blog Fest best illustrated what I love about living here in Mathews: The surrounding natural beauty and its ability to calm, soothe and help you focus on what's important in life.

Speaking of beauty, here are a couple more shots of Blog Fest Beauties. I'm thinking we need to do a calendar next year.

Here's Audrey's Wonderful Daughter again. She's one of the most patient, funny, charming and witty young ladies I've ever met. How in the world she tolerated 3 days of grown women sitting around laughing, eating and talking is beyond me. She's gorgeous inside and out just like her mom.

This is lovely Daryl from New York City. (You have to say it with that twang like on the Pace salsa commercial. Nooooyaaaawkceety?) Yes indeed Ms. Daryl came from the Big Apple and gave me a fabulous necklace that I'm never taking off. Ever.

There are so many pictures and stories to share and tell, but right now my brain is fried and my body has gone on strike until it receives at least 8 hours of sleep. Next year's Blog Fest needs to come with a warning label: Be sure to schedule a vacation after spending 3 days with bloggers.

Please go back to yesterday's post and link on to some of the Blog Festers' sites. There are lots of incredible pictures that you won't want to miss.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Manhattan Meets Mathews

This past weekend, a very diverse group of women--most of whom had never seen each other IRL (in real life) --met in Mathews County for 3 days of activities.

The photo above was from Saturday, my favorite day of Blog Fest.

It all started with a ride on a work boat from Davis Creek out to the New Point Comfort lighthouse. Ann Marie and her husband so generously provided this tour and even arranged for porpoises to frolic right along side the boat at the mouth of the creek.

The paying job will demand my focus and attention for the next several days but I'll share pictures and stories about our incredible gathering as time permits throughout the week.

In the mean time, please click on the links below which belong to some of the most talented writers, photographers and human beings I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

To the lovely ladies below, thank you for visiting Mathews, and please don't be a stranger. You know the way now, so you have to come back.

Big Hair Envy - VIRGINIA

Grandma J and PJB - TEXAS


Meg/Soup is not a Finger Food - MARYLAND

Mental P Mamma - CONNECTICUT




The Baroness -CANADA

Marlene and Hard Working Man - VIRGINIA

Country Girl Kate - MARYLAND

Noe Noe Girl a Queen of All Trades and Awesome Husband- VIRGINIA


Auds at Iambarkingmad and Darling Daughter -MAINE

Anne Marie and The Waterman - MATHEWS, VA

To Anonymous Mathews Native and her family - Thanks so very much not only for the ham biscuits but for sharing a lady who is overflowing with knowledge and stories about the way Mathews used to be.

Thanks to everyone else who attended and/or otherwise supported this incredible event. It takes a village, or in this case a county.

Love, cbw

Blog Fest - Part III

What an absolutely wonderful day the Blog Festers had yesterday. I'll download, upload and overload pictures from that perfect day just as soon as I locate my contact lenses--which seem to have disappeared--and a pot of very strong coffee. A nap may also be required before I can collect my thoughts to adequately describe these past few days.

One word pretty much says it all about this group: incredible.

Meg, Mental P. Mamma and Auds' daughter have decided they're moving to Mathews. I want to adopt Noe Noe Girl and her husband; and if Asthma Girl and Country Girl ever get out of the water at Hills Bay, they're going to register with Guinness for setting the world record for salt water submersion.

Check back later tonight for more details and (hopefully) a few pictures.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blog Fest - Part II

Once upon a time a group of bloggers from every corner of the map decided to come to Mathews County, Virginia. Here's what they did on their second day:

1. Ate.

2. Talked.

3. Laughed.

4. Ate.

5. Talked.

6. Laughed.

After that, they did this:

1. Drove to New Point to see fiddler crabs the lighthouse.

2. Drove to Bethel Beach to see fiddler crabs the green marsh grass, the white sand and the bay.

3. Visited the Tabernacle and nearly caused a 4-car pileup trying to park on the side of the road admired the historic structure and its beautiful grounds.

4. Had lunch at Chef Todd's in the courthouse.

5. Stopped by the Visitor's Center in the old Sibley's store and picked up some Mathews souvenirs.

6. Had dinner at Sandpiper Reef.

Now, the group is snoring resting up for another busy day which includes a boat ride (thanks to Anne Marie and her husband) followed by a trip to Gwynn's Island.

We're having a blast and hope to post some pictures soon, but that would require taking time out of our busy schedule of eating, talking and laughing, which right now is impossible to do.

In related news we've decided that Grandma J. needs to channel her efforts into a career in stand-up comedy. Also, discussions are in progress for next year's Blog Fest, which will be in Las Vegas, Montana, Wyoming, Scotland or on a cruise ship depending on which blogger you ask. No matter where it's held, you won't want to miss the opportunity to meet this incredible group of people.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blog Fest - Part I

Here's a shot from Bethel Beach where the Blog Festers will be later today when we take our tour.

Everyone arrived without a hitch and what a wonderful, fabulous group of people. We laughed, we had wine, we ate. Then we laughed, we had wine and ate. Later on, we laughed, had wine and then ate again. Rinse and repeat a few more times until the wee hours of the night. Or morning.

These bloggers are absolutely wonderful people. When I have more time I will write more about our antics, but for now just know that we're having a blast.

This evening we'll be at Sandpiper Reef in Hallieford for anyone who wants to say hello and grab something to eat. We'll be the crazy loud group on the porch.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Here

Welcome to Woodstock Blog Fest 2009, now occurring at the house you see above. The grass is tall, the exterior needs some minor work, and the interior contains a few unknowns. Otherwise the structure is solid, the foundation is strong.

OK, so this house is actually down Port Haywood (which is in Mathews but not where we'll be), but the words above could very easily apply to our Festival of Bloggers here this weekend.

Yes, there are some imperfections. Sure, there are some unknowns. Some interior work may be necessary--or it may not, who knows. But there are no two ways about it: this group is a solid structure with a strong foundation and so much untapped potential.

To the extent possible, I will post some real-time pictures from our little gathering, however more than likely you'll have to visit some of the folks below since all I have is dial-up internet and it takes me two years two months to upload a single photo.

Once again here is the list of brilliant bloggers who comprise the framework and foundation of our Blog Fest House:

Big Hair Envy - Who celebrated a birthday last week. From VA
Grandma J. From Texas. Make sure you're within close proximity to a paramedic if she decides to make a prank phone call. She's good, this Grandma J.
Foolery - Who celebrated a birthday last Saturday. Coming from California.
Meg/Soup is not a Finger Food From the DC metro region.
Mental P Mamma - CT
TS Annie - CT
Daryl - NYC
AsthmaGirl- Washington State (You have to say it like that around here otherwise people think it's Washington DC.)
The Baroness -CANADA
Living on the Spit - VA
Country Girl - MD
Pleasing Procrastinator - IN
Noe Noe Girl a Queen of All Trades - A little house in the big woods.
Momx2 - Celebrated a birthday on Sunday
Auds at Iambarkingmad -MAINE
A Gloucester blogger and his wife
Anonymous Mathews Native -Who will bring delicious ham biscuits
The Waterman's Wife -Whose birthday is on Saturday and who is arranging our boat ride.
MsSeabreeze -Lifelong friend
Baby Sis (only for Saturday night because she's a wimp)
Harry Connick, Jr. - Back off Meg, he's mine.
The Robbin Thompson Band - Playing Sweet Virginia Breeze.
Thomas Jefferson - Trust me, if TJ could be at Blog Fest, he would be here with bells on. Or perhaps Mental Mama's red cowboy boots.

OK, so on these last few I was just testing to see if anyone is still awake this far down the page, because someone needs to wake me up.

As time permits I will run away never to be seen or heard from again post updates on the misadventures highlights of Blog Fest 2009.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blog Fest Eve

Welcome to Exhaustion Life in Mathews, the little blog which is hosting a party the next several days where all the people listed below (and then some) will be converging on Mathews County even though they've never been here before other than their little trips through cyberspace.

(Due to my exhaustion I will not edit that opening sentence which begs to be succinct yet stretches from Mathews to New York City.)

And now, because I'm delirious from all the preparations, I'd like to share a little poem on this Blog Fest Eve.

'Twas the night before Blog Fest
When all through the house
Not a PC was stirring
Not even its mouse.

The To Do list was hung
In the kitchen with care
In hopes that a fairy godmother
Soon would be there.

Blah blah blah if I weren't so exhausted I'd write the rest of this poem, but let's fast forward to the end.

The End.

Safe travels to all of the wonderful people traveling to Mathews County this weekend. If anyone reading this would like to attend and hasn't signed up yet (including anyone local whether you're a blogger or not), please shoot an e-mail to and I can give you details and directions.

Below are the folks who are coming and links to their blogs, if applicable. Please be sure to visit them --there is an overwhelming amount of talent represented in this short little list.

Big Hair Envy - Who celebrated a birthday last week. From VA
Grandma J. From Texas. Make sure you're within close proximity to a paramedic if she decides to make a prank phone call. She's good, this Grandma J.
Foolery - Who celebrated a birthday last Saturday. Coming from California.
Meg/Soup is not a Finger Food From the DC metro region.
Mental P Mamma - CT
TS Annie - CT
Daryl - NYC
AsthmaGirl- Washington State (You have to say it like that around here otherwise people think it's Washington DC.)
The Baroness -CANADA
Living on the Spit - VA
Country Girl - MD
Pleasing Procrastinator - IN
Noe Noe Girl a Queen of All Trades - A little house in the big woods.
Momx2 - Celebrated a birthday on Sunday
Auds at Iambarkingmad -MAINE
A Gloucester blogger and his wife
Anonymous Mathews Native -Who will bring delicious ham biscuits
The Waterman's Wife -Whose birthday is on Saturday and who is arranging our boat ride.
MsSeabreeze -Lifelong friend
Baby Sis (only for Saturday night)
Dr. Phil - For obvious reasons
Emeril - For obvious reasons
Carol Burnett - Just because I want to see if you're still reading.

p.s. Could someone order me a vacation? A cruise to Alaska sounds about right. I'll take one in a Size Large and will pay extra for overnight delivery. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.

~Isak Dinesen

Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.

~Robert Henri

The Sea of De Nile (aka Denial) is my favorite swimming spot.

-Chesapeake Bay Woman

A Few Announcements

Dear BOSSY, it is not too late to attend Blog Fest. I'll save you a ham biscuit.

Dear Blog Fest Guests: I will e-mail you directions once I have one second to focus on anything a few spare minutes, hopefully later tonight.

Below are the wonderful bloggers who are traveling to little old Mathews County, Virginia, this weekend. Please click on the links and give 'em a read. They are witty, funny, creative and coming to this crazy place sight unseen very unique.

Big Hair Envy - Who celebrated a birthday last week. From VA
Grandma J. From Texas. Make sure you're within close proximity to a paramedic if she decides to make a prank phone call. She's good, this Grandma J.
Foolery - Who celebrated a birthday last Saturday. Coming from California.
Meg/Soup is not a Finger Food From the DC metro region.
Mental P Mamma - CT
TS Annie - CT
Daryl - NYC
AsthmaGirl- Washington State (You have to say it like that around here otherwise people think it's Washington DC.)
The Baroness -CANADA
Living on the Spit - VA
Country Girl - MD
Pleasing Procrastinator - IN
Noe Noe Girl a Queen of All Trades - A little house in the big woods.
Momx2 - Celebrated a birthday on Sunday
Auds at Iambarkingmad -MAINE
A Gloucester blogger and his wife
Anonymous Mathews Native -Who will bring delicious ham biscuits
The Waterman's Wife -Whose birthday is on Saturday and who is arranging our boat ride.
MsSeabreeze -Lifelong friend
Baby Sis (only for Saturday night)
Barney Fife
Phyllis Diller
Chaka Kahn
Just checking to see if you're still paying attention.

p.s. If you've made it this far down without causing civil or domestic unrest, please leave a comment that has nothing to do with Blog Fest but which might distract me from my state of De Nile about all that's left to do. Anyone?

Monday, July 13, 2009

T Minus 3 Days and Panicking

This week starting Thursday several dozen bloggers from all 4 corners of the country--plus one brave soul from Canada-- will arrive in No Man's Land little old Mathews County, Virginia, for the 2009 Blog Fest.

Attention! We interrupt this blog post to announce that Chesapeake Bay Woman has just experienced a major cardiac event relating to this week's festivities. As she was writing this post, her cell phone rang. At the other end was an unfamiliar voice which said, "I'm at Cobbs Creek, is your house on the left or the right?" Chesapeake Bay Woman's mind went in two a hundred different directions: Who is this? Is it possible a Blog Fest guest is 4 days early? Is it some psycho stalker? They're in Cobbs Creek, only 5 miles away? What am I going to feed them? And just who, exactly is this "them" I'm not ready to feed or entertain?

Lo and behold, after causing me to break into a cold sweat and say a couple of Hail Marys even though I'm not Catholic, Grandma J. starts laughing and confesses it's only her and that she is still in Texas getting ready for a dip in the pool with her noodle. (Her words exactly.)


Anyway, where was I prior to the need for an automated external defibrillator?

Pictured above is Phillip Johnny Bob, who belongs to Grandma J--a Blog Fest guest who is coming to Mathews all the way from Texas and likes to play pranks which cause panic attacks in her victims. PJB arrived several weeks ago and is anxiously awaiting his owner's arrival. In the mean time, he's been practicing his paddling so he can swat his owner take guests for a spin up the creek.

Speaking of up the creek, the Life in Mathews blog is going to be very busy getting ready for these delightful guests, so this week's postings will be worse than more sparse than usual.

Below are some of the bloggers who will be in attendance. Be sure to click on the links and give 'em a read. If I left anyone off, it wasn't intentional. You can blame Grandma J. for nearly killing me off with her "I'm in Cobbs Creek four days early" phone call.

Big Hair Envy - Who celebrated a birthday last week. From VA
Grandma J. From Texas. Make sure you're within close proximity to a paramedic if she decides to make a prank phone call. She's good, this Grandma J.
Foolery - Who celebrated a birthday last Saturday. Coming from California.
Meg/Soup is not a Finger Food From the DC metro region.
Mental P Mamma - CT
TS Annie - CT
Daryl - NYC
AsthmaGirl- Washington State (You have to say it like that around here otherwise people think it's Washington DC.)
The Baroness -CANADA
Living on the Spit - VA
Country Girl - MD
Pleasing Procrastinator - IN
Noe Noe Girl a Queen of All Trades - A little house in the big woods.
Momx2 - Celebrated a birthday on Sunday
Auds at Iambarkingmad -MAINE
A Gloucester blogger and his wife
Anonymous Mathews Native -Who will bring delicious ham biscuits
The Waterman's Wife -Whose birthday is on Saturday and who is arranging our boat ride.
MsSeabreeze -Lifelong friend
Baby Sis (only for Saturday night)

Safe travels to all of you. On behalf of the people of Mathews (who really don't know about this whole shindig since Neal Steel and Karl the Radio Guy haven't been alerted), I welcome you with open arms and a great big hearty laugh.

Mi casa es su casa. Mi casa es muy cluttered, fyi.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has washed her lace
(She chose a summer's day)
And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may.
Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has left it there,
And slept the dewy night;
Then waked, to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white.
Queen Anne, Queen Anne, is dead and gone
(She died a summer's day),
But left her lace to whiten in
Each weed-entangled way!

By Mary Leslie Newton

Queen Anne's Lace, the white flower (some might say weed, I choose wildflower) pictured above is rampant around here now. It carpets fields, roadsides, ditches, and embankments.

The one above lives in our daffodil field. I particularly loved the contrast with the purplish/reddish flower beneath it. Did you know that Queen Anne's Lace is also known as the carrot flower or wild carrot? Me either until today. I love the internet.

Have a wonderful Sunday.


p.s. Blog Fest is Thursday. I say this as a reminder only to myself, because my house currently looks like Hooraw's nest* and procrastination is no longer an option.

*What is a hooraw's nest, you may ask? Excellent question. Allow me to procrastinate further by telling you that my grandmother always told me my hair looked like Hooraw's nest, and she was not being complimentary. Turns out, it's spelled and explained as follows:

A "hurrah's nest" is indeed a terrible mess or scene of commotion and confusion, and the phrase dates back to at least the early 19th century. The "hurrah" involved is the same "hurrah" we shout when the home team wins, a cheer of exultation that dates back to around 1686. "Hurrah" has close relatives in several European languages and was probably (like the earlier "huzza") developed from the throaty shouts of soldiers charging into battle.
In 19th century America, "hurrah" came into use as slang noun for "an uproar, a commotion," and anything wild and lawless was described as "hurrah."

With "hurrah" meaning "disordered," it made sense for something very, very tangled or disorderly to be described as a "hurrah's nest," as if the "hurrah" were a creature with bad housekeeping habits. There is some evidence that "hurrah's nest" was first used by sailors to describe a tangle of lines aboard ship.

Definition stolen from

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Analyze This Photo

Here's another egret picture. Don't worry, you don't have to name him. And relax, Anonymous Hallieford Resident, you will not be called on to give an answer. I know how much you hate this favorite game of mine.

No, once again to avoid all the work necessary to prepare for Blog Fest, I would like to take a moment to describe how my brain processes photographs and to analyze this one a bit.

(There are cots located in the corner, feel free to take a nap as long as you don't snore. I'll wake you up when this is over. Thanks.)

When I first glance at this picture, almost immediately after processing what is there I go into another mode which quickly focuses on color and lines. For example, green, white, driftwood grayish brown, yellow. I see those colors scattered all throughout the picture, not just in the obvious places. That gray/brown color of the stump/post is also in the green grass. The egret's yellow beak ties in with the yellow in the grass.

Next, the shapes. First I see lots of vertical lines starting at the bottom in the grass, working to the egret's stiffened, cautious stance, and even his long legs which are hidden by the grass. Then my eye travels to the vertical lines of the stump/post.

Lastly, I see how the egret's curvy "s" shape and white color bring such a stark contrast to the lines and other colors I was just droning on and on about referencing.

What do you see besides the back of your eyelids?

It's time to wake up now. Please don't stampede to get to the exit doorway of this blog. Thank you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pick Your Favorite Photo

The photos above and below are from Aaron's Beach. (Aren't they all?)Although they were taken from the same spot, the waves and the grass are very different. Above the waves had pulled back enough to expose the grass and a smaller wave was crashing in the background. Below, the surge of a previous wave almost entirely covers the grass, although the wave in the background is a pretty one.

If I had to pick my favorite it would be a blending of the two. I like the grass in the first and the placement of the wave in the second one.

But the question didn't ask you to pick the first, the second or create a make-believe one to select. No, the question is which is your favorite and why, Chesapeake Bay Woman and Anyone Still Awake Reading?

OK, I'll pick the first because of the green grass and the small bit of surf behind it. Don't ask me what that blurry thing in the lower left corner is.

Which of the two do you like best and why? If you're blinking back tears at the thought of answering that question, then here's something completely unrelated: a link to information about Mathews on the Virginia tourism site .

Happy Friday!

In Utter and Complete Denial About Preparing for Incoming Guests, Which is Why I am Perusing the Virginia tourism site and Talking About Which of Two Nearly Identical Pictures is My Favorite.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Three Thing Thursday

The very first thing that comes to my mind when viewing this picture is:

a) Green. Blue. White.
b) Oh no. One week from today is Blog Fest.
c) Help me, Elizabeth, this is the big one.
d) What was the question?

Welcome to Three Ring Circus Three Thing Thursday, where I share three completely and utterly random things and you share three--or more--things which may be related, unrelated, off the wall, off the cuff, routine or just plain along crazy.

On your mark. Get set? Go!

1. The other day as I was trying to download pictures from my camera to the computer, the picture software would not load and an error message having to do with an inability to connect/communicate (Communication Error) appeared on the camera's display. After reading my camera's instruction booklet (which I comprehend with the same ease as Egyptian hieroglyphics) I guessed the problem may have to do with me taking more than 1,000 pictures on my memory card. (Please wake up! This will be over with soon.)

I specifically bought that card to take four billion pictures without having to change it out. Is it true that too many pics on the memory card can generate an error message when downloading (in which case I'll just buy another one after I take out a second mortgage) or is an utter and complete Chesapeake Bay Woman melt down in order? Anyone?

2. I think #1 was long enough for 3 things so here's a reprieve. But if I were to say anything here, it'd be that without pictures this blog holds the same appeal as the tax code. Written in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

3. Would someone please tell me why my hair was straight as a poker in the 1980's when it was cool to have big, curly hair, and why--now that flat irons and straight hair are in vogue--it decides to become naturally frizzy curly? Bueler? Anyone?

Your turn. Let it all out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mathews Court House

Here is a picture of Callis Wharf taken from my car while waiting for the Gwynn's Island bridge to open. This wharf was once a bustling center of commercial activity. Speaking of a center of commercial activity, although not a bustling one, I'd like to talk about Mathews Court House.

On this episode of Chesapeake Bay Woman Freaks Out Over Blog Fest we'll cover more information intended to prepare incoming Blog Fest guests for what Mathews is really like so they don't riot and stage protests after they arrive and find out what this place is really like.

Let's begin.

Our primary downtown commercial area is called the court house by locals. For example you'll likely here me utter this sentence at least four thousand several times a day:

"I have to run down to the court house for a minute to pick up some ____________."

Fill in that blank with whatever grocery item, beverage or other item you need to buy--the court house is where you buy it. Going to the court house means going to town, not going to court--at least not until such time as The Law shows up at Blog Fest and hands out citations for noise and other miscellaneous violations.

Anyway, the courthouse is rather small, and some people have been known to miss it altogether if they blink while driving through. Just about the time most people say, "Is this the main part of the village?" we've already driven clear through town and are halfway to Port Haywood.

Some of the key businesses in the court house include the following:

Best Value - An independent grocery store, very small but with very good prices. I like this store because it's easy and quick to get in and out of, unless it is Sunday after church lets out and then all bets are off. Warning: Note: Senior Citizens love Best Value.

Food Lion - A major grocery chain with the best selection of most things including wine, which is to say there's more than 2 brands, none of which is Shur Fine. (Although I admit I like the Best Value's Shur Fine line; it's just the spelling that irritates me.) Avoid trips to Food Lion on a Friday, a Saturday, any holiday, Sunday after church, or during Market Days and the Christmas Parade unless you have several days hours to kill.

Restaurants - There are a few, some of which may or may not be open depending on the day of the week; the time of year; the time of day; the alignment of moon and stars and the whim of the owners.

Various gift shops

A couple of hair dressers

Several doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants

The county offices

Va. ABC Store- In Virginia you can buy beer and wine in the grocery and convenience stores, but liquor must be purchased at this state-run store.

The Historic Court Green - a topic for another time. It's historic. And green. It also houses our only public bathroom besides the local woods.

Dollar General - my favorite store. Like most dollar stores it carries all your basic necessities, such as Liquid Plumber, garden gnomes, Chia pets, the complete line of Goya food products, faux Vera Bradley pocketbooks and Louisiana Hot Sauce at fifty cents a bottle. You can't beat it. Not with a stick.

There is more but I think I've covered most of the major businesses. Study up because there will be a quiz a week from Friday for those of you who did not blink or fall asleep while reading this post.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Middle Sister

Here is another truly impressive display of Chesapeake Bay Woman's technical expertise: a digital picture of a Polaroid snapshot! Click on the photo to experience the full effect of the plastic faux rattan patio furniture which serves as a backdrop to the circa 1970 photo album. See that shirt? It was my favorite. Yes, it's truly incredible, isn't it?

What's even more incredible is that Chesapeake Bay Middle Sister is getting married today in Hawaii. She chose this destination so that none of the Chesapeake Bay Family members could show up and embarrass her attend, although she claims she just wanted a family-free hassle-free wedding.

In the picture above, I was probably about 5 and she was around 2. We're perched atop the CB Family's very first Cub Cadet lawn mower, which was a manual with a gear shift that made really cool grinding noises when I could never find the right gear. Plus, I loved popping the clutch and making it jerk forward, but that was in later years much after this was taken.

However this is not a tribute to the Cub Cadet, it's a dissection of the picture above and how it relates to what is happening today.

As you can see, Middle Sister sits smiling as she leans against her wicked responsible older sister, who is wearing her favorite shirt with the fish on it a pensive scowl .

She was smiling the day I served her rat poison at a tea party. She smiled when I had to carry her on my back when her toe nearly fell off was caught in the spokes of the bike we were riding. (I was driving, so of course it was my fault that she dangled her legs instead of holding them up like I told her a million times.) She smiled when we teased her about being able to talk the legs off an iron pot. She smiled as Baby Sister and I laughed hysterically when the server at the Piccadilly Cafeteria in Coliseum Mall looked at her and asked, "Serve you, sir?" (She had scraggly hair then and *might* have appeared to be a boy.)

Yes, Middle Sister has always kept a chin up and a positive outlook no matter what rat poison was being served on her dainty little tea party plate. And today, after 40 years, she's finally getting married.

Best wishes to you, Middle Sister and New Brother-in-Law. You can always lean on me, whenever you need anything. Please take lots of pictures and keep that positive outlook on life.

p.s. She wasn't always so chipper, and no doubt she'd blame this crying business on me.

p.s.s.t. Love you, Middle Sis!

Monday, July 6, 2009

County Beaches

In a week and a half, a handful of bloggers from around the country will convene in Mathews County sight unseen other than what is portrayed here on this blog.

Note: That opening sentence scares the living daylights out of me. What on Earth was I thinking?

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to meeting all of the smart, witty, interesting, gifted and talented people on the other side of the computer screen. But holy mackerel--most of them are traveling quite a distance, even clear across the country, just to see little old Mathews. Mathews County.

What are they expecting? Have I oversold the place and its natural beauty? What will they say as I announce, "And here is Hyco Corner and here is the old Sibleys and that used to be a Ben Franklin and that's where Foster's Department store once thrived"? Do they realize just how much driving is involved just to get to a convenience store? Do they know about the drinking water situation? What about the fact that my ice maker doesn't work?

And what about these beaches I've been talking about? To me, they're beautiful because they're completely undeveloped. To anyone else, they might be dreadfully boring.

So, to properly set expectations, I thought I'd head to South America for about a month or whenever the Blog Fest Protesters leave town, whichever comes first spend some time in advance of next week's Blog Fest talking in a bit more detail about just what it's like around here, starting with our beaches.

Mathews is a peninsula surrounded on 3 sides by water, but much of that water isn't visible from the main highway. Although some of the most beautiful views are on private property, there are several public beaches (Haven Beach, Aaron's Beach and Bethel Beach Nature Preserve) which front the bay and provide an abundance of water vistas.

They're all identical pretty similar and consist of this:

1. Marsh on either side of the road heading towards the beach.
2. A rather narrow beach of white sand peppered with sea grass, sea glass, driftwood and various other odds and ends which wash ashore.
3. A view of the Chesapeake Bay which is only water, waves and sky for as long as the eye can see. (The picture above is a good representation.)
4. Horseflies, mayflies and/or mosquitoes depending on how much wind is blowing.

That's it. The End. Most of these beaches are not for swimming either. (Blog Festers will have the chance to swim if they choose on Saturday night over on the island.)

But if you're looking for a nice, quiet, desolate place to bury a corpse stretch your legs, watch some birds and swat some flies snap some great pictures, these beaches are perfect.

Coming up on the next episode of Chesapeake Bay Woman Freaks Out Over Blog Fest: The importance of having a car since we are at least 275 15 miles away from any sort of civilization up to and including Wal-Mutant.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Silent Sunday

This is a mimosa, one of my favorite trees. Mimosas grow wild in our daffodil field and produce beautiful clusters of pink flowers.

Of course the other mimosa is made from champagne and orange juice. They may cause you to run wild in a daffodil field, but otherwise there's no real connection

Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Green and Blue

This is a waterway/marshy area on the way to Aaron's Beach. Everything is so green here now, and the weather has been absolutely spectacular.

I'm planning to spend today sprawled under an umbrella at a local beach with book in hand, toes in sand. There will be very little reading, however, and a whole lot of gazing off into the distance at the vast expanse of water and the clear blue sky.

Enjoy your day and be safe. Most of all, have fun.


Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4th at the Islander

Once upon a time in a place far away,
Lived a tiny little town on the Chesapeake Bay.
Two roads in and no way out,
Water, water everywhere of this there was no doubt.

In summer time the place to be,
Was on a speck of an island, part of the county.
The Islander to be exact
'Twas heaven on Earth and that's a fact.

A restaurant, marina and motel too,
Its most precious asset was its million-dollar view.
Mathewsonians oft gathered on the fourth of July,
To watch the fireworks climb upwards in the starlit sky.

But the best part of all, the thing that was unique,
Boats would anchor all around at the mouth of Queens Creek,
All around Milford Haven and Hills Bay too
There were so many boats it was a nautical zoo.

Big boats, sailboats, work boats, skiffs,
Huddled patiently in the darkness waiting for a whiff
Of the fireworks and night air, a marriage meant to be,
Add some salt and mix thoroughly with the aromas of the sea.

When the show was finally over, and all was said and done,
All the boats lined up and slowly left, one by one.
Down the creek folks gently cruised squinting eyes to barely see,
Where the heck the dock was--it was dark as dark could be!

Once upon a time, a long time ago,
Lived a wonderful tradition and a spectacular show.
Over time as things have changed,
The fireworks show was rearranged.

And now they have it at the high school.

The End.

p.s. I wrote this in under 15 minutes, so please don't confuse it with any serious attempt at writing, much like any other thing I slap up here on any given day.

I really miss the Islander, for more reasons than this, but July 4th punctuates it so very well.

Here's wishing everyone a great 4th of July. In honor of our nation's birthday I am giving myself the night off this evening and won't post until later in the day on Saturday.

Can't break my streak of hot air posting every day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Three Thing Thursday

This is from one of my favorite beaches: Emerald Beach in St. Thomas Aaron's Beach in Mathews. Monday evening I drove down there to snap some pictures and pick up some broken beer bottles sea glass. It was blowin' pretty hard (as they like to say around here) which kept away the horseflies and mayflies that normally dive-bomb trespassers beach goers this time of year.

Speaking of wind blowing and hot air, it's time for Three Ring Circus Thing Thursday, where I share three random things and you share three things, anything at all--whatever tickles your fantasy, as my Finnish friend likes to say.

My three things:

1. In preparation for Blog Fest, I made a list of things I need to do and things I need to acquire. The list is 6 pages long. Blog Fest is 2 weeks away. CBW's meltdown is 2 weeks minus 1 day away. The math and numerical portion of this post is now over.

2. Middle Sister gets married in Hawaii next Tuesday. Let's hope she doesn't leave her car keys in Hawaii like she did in Mathews this past weekend. In typical Chesapeake Bay Family Member style, she of course had no spares and had to leave her car at the Atlanta airport until I could overnight them to her. Except you can't overnight from Hudgins, VA--fyi. At least not unless you go first thing in the morning, rub a rabbit's foot and click your heels three times, all the while reciting, "This is the 21st century. This is the 21st century."

3. What are you doing for the 4th of July? There will be fireworks at Mathews High School, but nothing can compete with years past when boats would anchor right off Gwynn's Island to watch a spectacular display.

Now it's your turn. Three things. Or thirty three things, I don't care. Anything you want.

Happy Thursday. (Wasn't it just Thursday yesterday?)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Winner

Tuesday evening I went to and told Mr. Random Number Generator that I needed a number, and before I could bat an eye he said Number 18.

The 18th comment was left by commenter and contributor Anonymous Mathews Native!

Anonymous Mathews Native has deep roots in the county and played high school basketball with Baby Sister. Although I've not met her in person yet (have I?), I feel as though I know her well. She has great taste in colleges and hopefully makes a mean ham biscuit since I'm counting on her bringing some to Blog Fest. Her contributions to the comments section as well as the stories she's written for guest posts are outstanding.

AMN has a Mumma with a zero-turn lawn mower who likes to look--and smell-- her freshest when going out in the middle of the night to chase down cows that have busted loose. I can't wait to meet AMN and family soon, and hopefully AMN's Mumma will write down some of her stories and legends.

E-mail me at (or my other e-mail address if you have it) and I'll give you more details on how to collect your prize from LivingRoomsDirect.

Thanks to everyone for entering. Your clever comments are a joy to read.