Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Things

Harcum, April 2009

Welcome to Three Thing Thursday, where I share three things and so do you. Hopefully.

Let's begin.

1.  Since there's been no spare time to take photos lately, I perused the archives for pictures taken around this time in years past.  This one of an old shed near the public landing at Harcum was taken two years ago, just before a particularly tumultuous time in my life.

"Particularly tumultuous" might be the understatement of the century.  Regardless, I took some of my favorite pictures during that time and am happy to regurgitate them now during another rather hectic period of my life.

2.  It's been cold and cloudy for the past several years days and I'm exhausted, which helps explain some of my whining above.

3.  Instead of talking about or alluding to  depressing negativity, I'd like to end on a positive note if only I could think of one.  Let's see... I am grateful for my family, my friends and their good health.  I am also grateful for strong, black coffee; sweet, home-brewed tea; and soccer games cancelled due to rain.  Oh, and kettle cooked potato chips. And popcorn made on top the stove the "old fashioned" way. Also salsa, preferably homemade with lots of cilantro and fresh jalapenos. Don't get me started on guacamole, also with cilantro and a dash of lime. 

Now it's your turn to share three things, whatever happens to be floating around your mind at the moment. 

Thank you for reading; thank you for tolerating my rambling commentary which starts off referencing Harcum and ends up with guacamole; but most of all thank you for your wonderful comments, which always make my day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ant Wars

View of Queens Creek.  And the arsenal for the War on Ants. 

Once upon a time,
in a land far away,
in a tiny little county
on the Chesapeake Bay,

lived one ant,
two ants, three ants, four,
ten kajillion ants, sixteen bazillion ants,
ants, ants galore!

There also was a Woman
named Chesapeake Bay
whose ant frustrations
were impossible to allay.

She killed and she sprayed
and she set out those traps.
And the ants,while they laughed,
said snidely, "We're not saps."

Just when she thought
she would never live ant-free,
she was contacted by Terro,
a most wonderful company.

Terro sent her an arsenal
that squelched that ant laughter,
and Chesapeake Bay Woman and Terro
lived happily ever after.

Without ants. The End.

Ant Season runs from January through December February through the summer in Mathews County. Terro Anti-Ant Experts (aka Terroists) suggested that in some areas of the country a single approach such as setting only indoor traps is not enough, and a multi-faceted approach must be employed.  The solution that works best for me is a combination of the following:  plenty of indoor liquid bait traps; several of the larger outdoor traps set around the perimeter of the house and near the doors; and tons of spray all around the doors, window sills, electrical sockets, baseboards, plumbing fixtures and armpits.

In Mathews you can get Terro at Moughons (aka Sutton and Kline).

Disclaimer:  Chesapeake Bay Woman was not paid one cent to endorse Terro. She just feels very strongly about its ant fighting capabilities--but only if you use the multi-faceted approach described above. 

May the Terro be with you and the ants be gone.

View of some Mathews County daffodils.  And products from my BFF Terro.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


February 2011

June 2010

February 2011

June 2010

These are summer and winter comparisons of roughly the same scenes, taken from the marsh leading up to Bethel Beach.

The more I photograph this county, the more I realize a few things:

1.  In Mathews, change comes slowly.  If at all.
2.  It's way easier to take pictures from the safety and comfort of a heated vehicle in winter, even if one prefers the warm colors and temperatures of summer.
3. In warmer weather, when you roll down your window and lean out with your camera, the winged monkeys mosquitoes, mayflies and  horseflies start dive bombing, especially at the public beaches.
4. It snowed a little here this weekend and the cold weather lingers even though April is right around the corner.  I really miss warm weather.
5. I do not, however, miss the insects.

The End.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Still Standing

On the right side of Route 14 as you're headed out of Mathews County, at the bend in the road just before you get to Trinity Church, sits this old building which barely peeks to passersby from the trailer which stands directly in front of it.

I've always admired this place, especially when the wisteria vines (that appear to hold it up) come into bloom.

On recent trips out of the county, I happened to notice a bulldozer parked nearby, and I worried that perhaps someone was going to tear it down.

Given the laundry list of very legitimate worries I have on any given day, one might question why I'd worry about an old, decrepit building being torn down.  The answer is I tend to worry about everything these places have a story that needs telling. (Never mind for the moment that I don't know what that story is.  That's a technicality for another day.)

So one morning bright and early I pulled in and snapped these pictures.

Above the door, barely visible through the vines,  is a Coca Cola sign that says James Forrest.

It's been a week since I took these, and so far it hasn't been torn down yet.

Hopefully that's one worry I can cross off my list.  One down, sixteen thousand to go.

I hate to see these old buildings disappear, especially before I've had a chance to get to know them photograph them and honor them properly.

Obviously, one way or another, sooner or later, this old place will come down.

Until then, I intend to admire her every chance I get.

Click here for a previous blog post which shows the wisteria vines in bloom on this structure.

In other news, the Chesapeake Bay household is gearing up for another hectic week which includes soccer games on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at home/the high school if anyone wants to come out and cheer the teams on.

Hope your week is a great one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mitchem Seafood

These shots, taken a few weeks ago, are from the Horn Harbor area of the county.

The sights and smells of a dock or a work boat or the water are very evocative. 

At least to me.

I could have spent hours going over every piece of this structure with my camera but was content to be able to take these few shots from the driveway.

High school classmate Waterman JP took me down here and told me so much I had to start taking notes--furiously.  One of these days, if things ever slow down, I hope to videotape conversations with my fellow Mathewsonians, to record what they know about the county for posterity's sake.

In their own words.

And their own voice.

I'd begin with Mrs. Trusch and would then interview my parents and their friends; then my high school classmates and friends. There is so much valuable information just waiting to be recorded. It just takes time. Precious, precious time.

If you could record a conversation or interview with one person still alive and somehow connected to your life, who would it be and why?  

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three Things

Once again Thursday is upon us, and here on this blog that means Three Thing Thursday is upon us.  The rules are made to be broken very simple:  I share three things and you share three things, on any topic whatsoever.

I'll go first.

1.  Last night I attended Chesapeake Bay Son's JV soccer game at the high school.  This marks the third game I've been able to attend, and the third time something has gone awry.  Tonight the game was cut short by lightning.  For the other two games, which were away, I ended up at the wrong place.  This is a topic for another blog post because diagrams, detailed explanations, and circus music are involved.

2.  Chesapeake Bay Daughter is on spring break this week.  When your mother works and your brother is on an entirely different school schedule which includes circus clowns soccer games, spring break is not all that special except that you get to sleep late and do a whole lot of nothing all day long.

3. With everything going on around here,  I would give my eye teeth for a one-way ticket to Bora Bora to do a whole lot of nothing-- for just one hour.

Now it's your turn to share three things.  As always, three is merely a suggestion.  If you want to share one thing or five things, it matters not.  Just share something and know that I truly appreciate hearing from you.  

Have a great day.

Click here for a link to the circus music that could very well be the background music of my week life thus far. I'm hoping Anonymous Commenter "mer" will locate a better version of this song or a more appropriate song for the otherwise chaotic and circus-like pace which is my life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The land my parents, children and I live on was once a commercial daffodil operation known as Royal Colony Farm, run by my paternal grandfather, The General.

At one time, commercial daffodil growers were so prolific and the need for cheap labor so great that  students were let out of school early just to help pick the endless seas of yellow painting this rural county for a few weeks every year.

I learned just about every aspect of the business, from picking to packing to flower poisoning shipping.  One of my favorite things was driving the great big tractor up and down the fields picking up the bushel baskets that lay alongside the freshly picked rows.

Since this will be the fourth spring since this blog was born, there are already plenty of blog posts on the topic of daffodils without me inventing a new one. Just a small sampling (and believe me, there are plenty others) is listed below.

Click here for one of the first posts I ever did about daffodils.

Click here for a post about the difference between daffodils and buttercups, evidently a question on many people's minds because every spring Google directs them here searching for the answer.

Click here for a post that references how important daffodils were to Mathews County . This one references that oldie but goodie, the 1962 USDA Soil Survey of Mathews County, which truly is must-have reading for every household.

Flick the screen here if you're tired of me telling you to click here.

Daffodils are my very favorite flower for so many reasons.  They're such happy rays of sunshine, so welcome after too many months of cold, gray, dreary days. But most of all, they bring back very happy memories of time spent driving tractors out in the fields of Royal Colony Farm.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Deep Thoughts

Look deep into Nature,
and then you will understand everything better.
-Albert Einstein

The poetry of the Earth is never dead.
-John Keats

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.
It will never fail you.
-Frank Lloyd Wright

Then again, there are exceptions.
-Chesapeake Bay Woman

Monday, March 21, 2011

Horn Harbor Nursing Home

Just off the road leading to Sandbank down New Point sits the former Horn Harbor Nursing Home. Although I'd heard of the nursing home, I'd never been there before and was startled to see its condition.  In spite of its state of disrepair, the nursing home facade has many photogenic features.

Almost all the windows are framed by weeds and vines.

This lonely old ladder leans lifelessly against the exterior.

The building struggles to look alive even as dead weeds choke it out.

 There's all sorts of graffiti on the inside.

(Not that I went inside or anything.)

(Well, maaaaaybe I was in there for just the quickest second or two to take this picture. It's hard to say for sure.)

Just down the way from this nursing home lives a flock of domesticated geese that look exactly like Killer Goose Gustav.  I was so shocked at the sight of that many Gustavs concentrated in one area, that I lost all my wits and failed to take a photo of them. But rest assured there were Gustavs comin' at me from every which way.

I'm thinking the next time ol' Gustav gets loose and swims up Queens Creek, I'll point him in the direction of Horn Harbor rather than risk life and limb trying to herd him back home to my parents' house next door.

Click here if you missed that hour of my life that I can never get back that gripping saga.

Have a great, nursing home free goose-free Monday.

Friday, March 18, 2011


This is the site of the former I.P. Hudgins store and New Point Post office, also known as Hubert's.  Mr. Hubert sold many things here, from bubba boots to penny candy to sandwiches to crab pot wire.

According to the book History and Progress, Mathews County, Virginia, by the Mathews Historical Society, he was "the only dealer for Keystone crab pot wire between Norfolk and Colonial Beach."   

According to Johnny Pugh, a walking encyclopedia of the New Point area, Mr. Hubert was also the inventor of the 4-hole crab pot.

(Because CBW's brain  shut down for business after she had children is not always 100% attentive to details told to her, especially while she's taking photographs, it's entirely possible another Hudgins family member invented the 4-hole crab pot. But rest assured, crab pots were originally two funnels and then they were four. And a Hudgins, affiliated with this store, was involved.)

These next shots were taken just outside the storefront windows.  The store is no longer in operation, but the post office next door is.

Who remembers Nolde's bread?

(Chesapeake Bay Woman, put your hand down.  Also, please resist the urge to break out the bologna and cheese that you savored in between this bread back in the days of the dinosaurs your youth.)

I'm not sure how far the Nolde's bread market spanned, but the bakery was based in Richmond, and loaves regularly made their way to the Chesapeake Bay Family household, where it was quickly and eagerly devoured.


Although there's nothing especially cool about smoking, I think this Kool sign with the store's operating hours is very cool. I especially love the reflection in the window of the old buildings across the street.  Although you can't tell in this photo, the buildings are white and green, the same colors as the sign.

So much more could be said about this marvelous old store, but for now I'll just close by saying I have a craving for a bologna and cheese sandwich on Nolde's bread have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Three Things

Welcome to the day of the week known as Three Thing Thursday, where we share three things related to whatever happens to be first and foremost on our minds at the particular time we are writing reading this.

Who else is exhausted just from reading that opening sentence?

Let's begin.

1.  I need a nap.

1.  These photos were taken last week from the pavilion near the site of the former Bayside Wharf down at Bavon.What a gorgeous day this was. The reflections and colors in the water were mesmerizing.

2. The daffodils, my favorite flower, are finally blooming.  In a week or so there should be plenty of daffodil stories to retell pictures to share.  

3a. This weekend will be spent with friends I've known since kindergarten.

3b. By the way, the kindergarten we attended was the tiny, nondescript, orange-ish cinder block building adjacent to the Food Lion in the courthouse.  At the time that tanning salon building was not in front of it;  I remember a big tree in its stead. The A&P, Western Auto and post office were where the Food Lion stands. Mrs. Janice Hudgins was our teacher (and also my piano teacher).

3c. To give you an idea how heavy my accent was at the time, when Mrs. Janice asked us to provide examples of words that rhymed, I raised my hand.  When called on I confidently replied, "Iron and barn." At the time I pronounced iron as arn.

3d. What this has to do with the friends I'm meeting this weekend is precious little other than some of us attended that cinder block kindergarten together and one of us remembers vividly that arn is not how you pronounce iron. 

The End.

Now it's your turn. Please share three (or more) things that happen to be on your mind at this particular moment, arn and barn notwithstanding.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


One of the first places Johnny Pugh took me on our excursion last week was the site of the former Sandbank Wharf which lies at the end of Route 602.

There's not much left of it thanks to a series of storms, including the hurricane of 1933.  Referencing that storm, the book History and Progress, Mathews County, Virginia, compiled by the Mathews Historical Society, says "Practically all wharfs and steamboat landings in the county were either badly damaged or entirely wrecked, and the loss to oil companies with distributing stations on the waterfront was severe."

Johnny provided several photos of Sandbank back in its heyday for use in my book.  Chances are good I'll be able to use them, assuming they meet the publisher's specifications (mainly for size - the quality of the photos is excellent), but for some odd reason they will not upload to this blog post. I was really hoping to provide a glimpse of what this wharf looked like back in the day.

(I get a "server rejected" error if anyone still awake reading troubleshoots these things.)

If I weren't so tired from all the running around today, I'd figure it all out.  And by that I mean I'd have Chesapeake Bay Son help me. And when I say help me I mean I'd walk away and let him figure it out because I lack the required patience.

But he's asleep after a very long soccer game played on a field so long it spanned from Williamsburg to Toano in temperatures and winds rivaling the Arctic tundra.

Although not much remains of Sandbank, I still find the place hauntingly beautiful.

A few questions for this fine Wednesday:

1.  If you are from this area, what do you know about Sandbank and/or the storm of 1933?
2.  Is there anything more soothing than blue skies, blue water and white sand? If so, please let me know whether a passport is required and how soon I can come for a visit.
3.  How is it possible that a person who once wrote college term papers in three different languages cannot figure something out that her teenaged son would intuitively know and fix in a matter of seconds, all the while chuckling under his breath at his mother's ineptitude?
4. What tips do you have for mothers who obviously have never attended night soccer games in Siberia cold, far away places?  Evidently blankets are standard and folding chairs are not.  All those years of Saturday morning YMCA soccer games did nothing to prepare me for high school sports.
5.  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

B. Williams Store

This is the former B. Williams & Co. store down at Williams Wharf.  Last week I referenced this while talking about a reflection in a windowpane through which you could barely make it out. I said I'd post better/clearer pictures later on.

Amazingly, in spite of the fact that I am juggling two school schedules; two spring sports schedules; my own paying job; the book deadlines; a daughter who wasn't feeling well; and animals/people to feed I remembered I even had a blog to post better/clearer pictures.

Ta da! Here they are.

This charming structure lies at the very end of Williams Wharf Road.

According to the Mathews Land Conservancy, my new favorite website to visit (click here), the store has been "a local landmark since its construction in 1869. It served as a general merchandise store, ships chandlery, specialty ladies hat shop and post office during the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth.

Owned by the Williams-Murray family since the late eighteenth century, this site served as a major focal point of much of the activity that took place at this busy port and crossroads for nearly 200 years

I pass by this house several times during my walks/jogs up and down Williams Wharf Road. Until recently, I had no idea how much history lies in this one particular spot.

Later this week I hope to share some more photos from my excursion with my friend Johnny Pugh. Coming soon will be photos from Sandbank Wharf and Hubert's/I.P. Hudgins' store down New Point. Tonight, however, after a full day at work, I'll be attending Chesapeake Bay son's away soccer game.  So exactly when I'll get around to posting all these pictures is anyone's best guess not exactly clear.

Anyone else out there have to commute 50 miles one way to their job, work a full day, travel to an away soccer game, participate as an eager and enthusiastic spectator at said away soccer game, drive 50+ miles home, figure out how Daughter is getting home from lacrosse practice, feed everyone, get a few hours of sleep and then get up and do something similar the next day?

Or am the only crazy one? Actually, I realize full well how very fortunate I am, so pretend like I wasn't just whining complaining.  Thanks!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Last Friday I had the privilege of touring the southern end of the county with a former classmate of mine who had information and old photographs for the book I'm working on. One of the many places we visited was the site of the former Bayside Wharf.

The wharf, which he said stretched waaaaaaay out from where we were standing, was obliterated by Hurricane Hazel.

Today, the site is marked with a pavilion which is available for rent from the Mathews Land Conservancy. These pictures were taken from that pavilion.

 Click here for information on the wharf and the MLC.

Here's a picture of Johnny Pugh, my high school friend who was ever so happy to tell me what he knew.  And what he knows are facts and details which cannot be read in books or studied in school.

What he knows may be my next book.

Thank you, Johnny.

Friday, March 11, 2011


This was taken from Gwynn's Island last spring.

Last night as I wearily plopped down to drum up a blog post, I decided to scan my Drafts folder, and this picture was sitting there waiting, without any words attached.

The pinks and purples in this photo instantly soothed me. Of course any glimpse of the water soothes me.

Hopefully it'll have the same effect on you.

Things are extremely insane busy here in the Chesapeake Bay Household. There's a whole lot going on, and reality TV show producers need to give me a call even though it's a tad crazy, life is good.  We have our health although we waved bye bye to our sanity, we have our sense of humor, and we're still on the right side of the ground.

In other words, it's all good.  (Or grand, as my grandmother would say.)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three Things

Williams Wharf

Welcome to the day of the week known as Three Thing Thursday, where you have a chance to make Chesapeake Bay Woman's day by leaving a comment with three (or more) thoughts, however random they may seem, whatever happens to be on your mind.

CBW will go first, only because there's no other way around it.

1.  On Monday, March 14th, from 5 - 6, there is a meeting at the library for any vendors considering participating in the Mathews Farmers Market.  My children, my mother and I sold daffodils and CB Mother's artwork for a couple of weekends last year, and we really loved it.  Middle Peninsula residents can sell anything they make, bake or grow.  Contact Rebecca at (804) 725-8916 if you're interested in participating.

2.  All that Farmers Market stuff would be great practice for the Gwynn's Island Festival, which is June 25th. With any luck, I hope to be selling crab hats at this year's event.

3.  What does it say about my life that I am looking forward to selling daffodils and crab hats in my "spare" time? (On second thought, don't answer that.)  

4.  On April 9th at Williams Wharf, the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society is sponsoring a 3-Mile Run, 1-Mile Pet Walk.  Click here to access the GMHS's home page and scroll down to the Events section for details and  registration forms.

5. Remember that the number three on Three Thing Thursday is just a suggestion.  Usually CBW cannot even go by her own guidelines, so feel free to color outside the lines and provide as little or as much as you want in the comments section.

Now it's your turn.

Thank you in advance for participating. Your comments are very much appreciated, and I love reading them even if I don't always get a chance to respond properly.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More From Williams Wharf

Here are some more shots from Williams Wharf.  Starting off broad, they narrow in focus with each picture.

(You likely would have figured all that out if I hadn't mentioned it. Sometimes I think all I do is state the obvious, especially at work.  However, you'd be surprised how many people wouldn't know the obvious if it bit them square between the eyes don't see the obvious and thank me when I point things out to them. Because I'm unable to discern who can see what, I always err on the side of Explanation Overkill.  Let's return to what was supposed to be a brief blog post, already choked out by Explanation Overkill  parenthetical nonsense.)

Sometimes when I come home from a photo-taking journey I wonder how it's possible to take so many pictures of the same place. A fifteen minute spree can produce hundreds of shots.

The answer lies in all the zooming.

(My poor, tired, addled brain, which only received 4 hours of sleep last night, is now playing Aretha Franklin's "Who's Zoomin' Who?" as background music.  What a great song. I might be sleep deprived, but I still know good music even if I'm the only one who hears it  when I hear it. Click here if you want to take a trip back to 1985.)

This one's my favorite of all, but I wouldn't like it as much without the background music from Aretha Franklin context of the photos above.

Have a great day.

p.s. The ants have returned, and it's hardly even March.  I'm preparing for heavy warfare and am reasonably confident I have just the arsenal to defend my house once and for all against this killer mutant Mathews brand of ants.  Stay tuned for details.