Monday, April 30, 2012


The Ware Academy girls lacrosse players wear different headbands
for each game. Sometimes they don face paint or temporary tattoos,all part of the intimidation factor. I love it. Spray painting one's hair pink contributes to the intimidation factor. Who knew pink could be so fierce?

Welcome to another blog post where Chesapeake Bay Woman tells one story in the text and another in the captions.

On Saturday, Chesapeake Bay Daughter played in a lacrosse tournament that started at 9:00 a.m. and ended early in the evening. That's a long day and a lot of lacrosse. Four games to be exact.

Before each game, the players perform a series of stretches and warm ups, some of which mimic Irish dance maneuvers.

The day started off partly sunny and not terribly cold. So I decided to wear shorts and sandals. I never once looked at or listened to the forecast. That cramps my style.

Others seem to mimic yoga poses.

After the first game, clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped.  Then it started to rain.

Chesapeake Bay Daughter is left-handed with ambidextrous tendencies depending on what the activity is. Her wicked lefty move at the goal is hard to defend. BTW, this isn't the move, she was just standing around swinging the stick.  

Only one other individual at the event was wearing shorts that day. He was drinking Crown Royal to keep warm. By the way.

If this were softball, I'd say she just hit the ball to center field.
But it's not softball. It's lacrosse. (I love her hair.)

Everyone else was appropriately dressed.

(I was just trying to be delusional optimistic about the weather; everyone else was demonstrating common sense.)

CB Daughter kicks off the game with something called the draw.
I'd call it a face off on the 50-yard-line. Except there is no 50-yard line and it isn't called a face off. I know nothing about lacrosse other than I love watching my daughter play. She's fierce on that field..

Thankfully a blanket and Chesapeake Bay Son's hooded cross country jacket kept me from rigor mortis frostbite as I sat all day in my little fold-up chair.

Here they're getting ready to do the face off.
I mean the draw.

The fold-up chair says BASEBALL on the back. Neither of my children plays baseball or softball, although I had high hopes at one point.

The ball goes up in the air and 9 times out of 10 CB Daughter gains
possession of the ball.

So.  To clarify, I wore shorts and sandals to an all day, freezing cold, rainy lacrosse game where I sat in a chair that said BASEBALL, even though nobody in this family plays baseball, and the sport I was observing was actually lacrosse.  FYI, lacrosse sits exactly opposite from baseball on the whole sports spectrum.

She turns and runs wide open towards the goal.
A good percentage of the time she scores right away.
Straight from the draw to the goal.

It was so bitterly cold and wet, I couldn't leave my chair for any reason up to and including starvation or thirst.

I love watching her in case I've not said that before.

Doing so would expose my legs and feet to the bitter, wet cold. Also, my chair would get wet.

Here's another team, another face off. I mean draw. No. I like face off better. Nobody else seems to know the rules of lacrosse, so I think I can call it whatever I want and still be OK.

There were several games in between CB Daughter's games, which meant I was stuck in a chair that said BASEBALL wrapped in a blanket blinking back tears raindrops watching other teams play.

Due to lack of planning on my part, I froze to death sitting in cold rain for 10 hours and was unable to move from my spot on the 50-yard line even when CB Daughter's team was not playing.
(It was a survival tactic to prevent rigor mortis frostbite.)
I watched a lot of lacrosse Saturday.
The End.

The best line of the day came from the only other individual in attendance who wore shorts. His name is Bill, and he and I were in first through fifth grades together at Gloucester Day School (now Ware Academy--Chesapeake Bay Daughter's school which consists of property and a house that once served as my grandmother's country store and my mother's home).

Anyway, Bill and I were discussing the rules of lacrosse, rules that we are unable to comprehend.

Bill, who is from Gloucester, made the following astute observation about the sport:

"The way I see it, you're just takin' a crab net and tossin' the ball into a gill net. This sport should be called Guinea Ball."

(Click here  for a previous post that helps explain Guinea for those who aren't familiar with the place.)

In spite of all the rain and cold on such a long day, I can honestly say that every single bit of the suffering was worth it. CB Daughter was incredible out on that field in spite of the cold rain.  I lost track of how many points she scored. Afterwards, her coach asked where she'd be going to school next year.  (She's going to Mathews High School which doesn't offer lacrosse and hasn't since the Chiskiake Indians roamed the marshes.) The coach encouraged her to play club lacrosse next spring.

We shall see.

All I know is I'd sit through fire to watch her play. The End.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blue Skies

These shots, from a brief trip to Haven Beach,
were taken using my faithful camera, which arrived
home from the Canon repair shop earlier this week.
Good as new.

Here's to a weekend of blue skies.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From 2009

These are from 2009.

All but the last were taken from Gwynns Island; the last was from Bethel Beach.

Things are Crazy Hectic here but hopefully I'll have a chance to take/post new pictures soon.

Thanks for tolerating this otherwise lackluster post stopping by.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


These first two shots of a field of buttercups at James Store hill in Gloucester were taken with my loaner camera.*  

Buttercups are an aggravation in my yard where they flourish; but they're pretty when they're flourishing like a sea of yellow in someone else's soybean field on the side of busy Route 14.

The buttercup below (with the white shirt and green headband at the "draw" of the lacrosse game) is my daughter.

I only know it's called the draw because I asked her this evening. Otherwise I would have called it The Opening Move. Or The Kickoff. (Not that there's any kicking involved.) The rules of lacrosse are essentially lost on me, however one thing I do know is there's lots and lots and lots and lots of running involved. Unless you're the goalie. Then, all you have to worry about is the pressure of the entire game resting on your tiny shoulders. That's all.

She's in the throes of lacrosse season now and the team is doing very well. Saturday there's an all day tournament at Ware Academy where she'll play four games.

One game of lacrosse is enough to wear anyone out, but four? On a warm Saturday? A team of eighth graders? And a daughter who gives every game her all? I'm already declaring exhaustion and Game One has not yet been watched played.

My buttercup of a daughter is just about as incredible in lacrosse as she is in basketball.
Watching her play brings me a great deal of joy.
Her coach (in shorts) in the background played for William and Mary.

In other news pretty much unrelated to buttercups, my mother has written a post about the Chesapeake Bay Sisters, who convened over the weekend and laughed heartily at the latest misadventures of Baby and Middle Sister. (Click here for that post along with some very unfortunate photos that display some of the worst 1970s-era clothing that ever was.)

* Canon sent my beloved camera back last night. However, due to a crazy schedule I've not had a chance to test it out and won't until the weekend. But at least it's home where it belongs, and this makes me very happy.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Last Thursday I drove from Mathews to King William for my son's track meet and brought my loaner camera along for the ride.

On the way out of the county just before Dutton I glanced through the rear view mirror and noticed the wisteria growing up the side of this wonderful old structure.

So I pulled over in the little dirt turnaround in front of the building below and snapped these few shots.

My mother lived near here as a child and can perhaps provide additional details or memories about the area.

I've always been drawn to the old buildings.

Unrelated to the Dutton area but along the lines of old buildings draped with wisteria, below is an image from 2010 taken with my Beloved Camera, which is currently in the repair shop.

(With any luck, it will be back home and by my side within two weeks.)

A 2010 photo of an old store hiding behind a trailer
on Route 14 across from the state shed.

Click here for the May 2010 post about wisteria and the photo above.

May your week be as cheerful and hopeful as the lilac-purple flowers on the upward climbing vine otherwise known as wisteria.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Images from the Past

April 2009

April 2009

April 2011

March 2010

May 2011

May 2008

May 2008

May 2008

June 2008

June 2008

Have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Three Things

These were taken with my loaner camera.
Canon still hasn't acknowledged receipt of my Beloved Camera.
This does not make me happy, but I am giving them the benefit of the doubt
for about ten more seconds before I blow a gasket.

All we had to do was blink and now it's Thursday again. On Thursdays I like to spew off three random things and encourage you to do so too. Let's go.

1. Last night's track meet was postponed until tonight due to the weather. This is merely a deferral of yesterday's logistical challenges to another day otherwise known as today. I can't be at the track meet and simultaneously pick up my daughter from lacrosse practice an hour away.  I can't express how grateful I am to have parents close by who fill in the oh-so-many gaps caused by my inability to clone myself. All I can say is thank you. Thank you, thank you, for always being there.

2. Take a look at that picture above from Garden Creek Road near Onemo. First, notice the sign warning of a Squiggly Turn up ahead. Not just a sharp turn to the right (which the road seems to suggest). Oh no. A squiggly turn that hooks right before hooking back left before hooking right again. It's important to anticipate and prepare for Squiggly Turns when negotiating your way through a swamp on either side Mathews County's narrow roads with shoulders consisting of nothing more than fiddler crabs marsh grass. Now take a look at the skid marks in the road hooking sharply to the left, in absolute defiance of the sign warning about all turns, in any direction, including those to the right or left. Or right. Again.

(Who here is dizzy from all the sharp turns to the right and left and right again?  Chesapeake Bay Woman, put your hand down.)

3. Welcome to Mathews County, where a sign makes CBW dizzy with too many quick turns provides a token warning. Yet going in the opposite direction or coloring outside the lines is not just OK, it's almost expected

What's happening in your world?

I really think the sign should give more warning about the sharp right turn
rather than confusing matters and worrying with any turns after this one.
But maybe I'm over-analyzing road signs. Again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stress Relief

It's been a busy week here in Casa de CBW, and today will be a continuation of that trend.

After driving the 50 miles to work, where I will sit at my desk with a scowl smile on my face starting at 7:30 a.m. sharp, I'll do my thing there before driving 50-ish miles further down the road to a track meet in King William.  There I will have to prop myself up will stand around for several hours waiting for my son's events to conclude.

Then we'll make the long trip back home over the river and through the woods before collapsing into a heap only half as high as the mountain of laundry waiting to be done.

These few shots, taken with the loaner camera , help illustrate Reason #1 why I love living in Mathews, even if that means having to drive a million miles to get anywhere: the water.

Our remote location and proximity to the water is for me an instant tranquilizer that tames the beast known as stress. A minute or two gazing at the water forces me to very quickly forget everything I've left behind in my daily travels. And for that I'm very, very grateful.

What in your daily activities is guaranteed to reduce your stress or assuage any worries?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

School Bus

Don't those headlights look like eyes?

Reviewing some posts in my draft files, I came across these shots from last year of an old school bus in a yard off of Ridge Road, otherwise known as the Dump Road.

Actually, the dump moved a long time ago to a new location off Route 14 and subsequently sought to upgrade its image with a new name: the Mathews Convenience Center.

But before goin' all fancy and convenient on us, the dump was located on Ridge Road, which connects Routes 14 and 198.

(Note to folks who live in civilization:  Unless we hire someone, we Mathews folk must haul all our trash to the dump.  It's quite the experience, let me tell you. Thank God my father and our neighbor take care of it for me. I don't own the Mandatory Mathews Pick-Up and would otherwise have to stuff all my garbage in the back of my Saturn, even though it might be argued successfully that my Saturn is barely discernible from a garbage truck on any given day.  The point is I could not haul bags of trash to the dump in it without making matters worse.)


I have some rather vivid--and pungent--memories of riding an unairconditioned bus down Ridge Road in sweltering heat and humidity, which was bad enough.

However, at the time (back in the 1970s), there happened to be a pig farm on this road.  And we had to drive past the pig farm. Every. Day. Including days so hot and full of humidity you weren't sure if you were in Mathews or Singapore.  Or the Congo.

If you've never been drippin' sweat trying to catch your breath when the humidity is 150%, and you happen to find yourself crammed into a poorly ventilated death trap school bus with lots of other sweaty, miserable kids, let me just add that the very last thing you want to be experiencing at such a time is the stench of pig manure.

(Just in case you ever wondered about that.)

Words fail to convey the magnitude of that smell, especially on a hot, humid day trapped on a bus filled with sweaty, rambunctious kids.

But back to this particular school bus.

As I said, these pictures were taken about a year or so ago.  The last time I drove down Ridge Road the bus was gone, much like the pig farm which has been converted to a perfectly pleasing lawn with nary a nasty lingering smell.

Except for the memories, which linger like a loiterer in my mind.

Do you have any unusual memories of a school bus?  Pig farm?  Amazon jungle level humidity? Singapore? The Congo?  Hauling trash to the dump?  How about Fisher Price toys (see below)?

Now that I think of it, we used to have a Fisher Price school bus with
 headlights which were eyes that went up and down when the wheels turned.
See?  I wasn't hallucinating about the bus having a face.
I was just pulling up an old memory-- one that didn't involve pig manure on a hot day.
Click here to see the Fisher Price bus..

Monday, April 16, 2012


Welcome to Monday, where Chesapeake Bay Woman finds herself without any fresh photos or stories. However, since she's been tending the garden known as this blog for over four years now, she feels no shame as she reaches deep into the compost pit past to regurgitate a post for today.

The April 2010 photo above is from Bethel Beach.

The quiz below about taxes and/or death and/or escape to Bora Bora is from April 2009.


Taxes and Death

To test your knowledge of exactly how the tax filing process works, and to provide a dawdling exercise for those who still have not filed, let's take this brief quiz.

Please put away all notes, don your thinking caps, furrow your brow and lick the tip of your pencil. Then recoil and spit quickly because lead is not something you want to ingest.

Ready? Begin.

1. Which of the following statements is true?
a) The only two things that are certain are taxes and death.
b) The only thing worse than taxes is a slow, painful death.

2. The best time to learn how to do your own taxes is:
a) As early in life as possible, it's really not that difficult.
b) Never.

3. Which of the following is more qualified than Chesapeake Bay Woman to handle tax filing, checkbook balancing, bill paying and/or anything else having to do with numbers, details, facts and figures, and most importantly discipline?
a) A CPA
b) A chimpanzee

4. Assuming you have the attention span and accounting abilities of a small kitchen appliance, when is the best time to drop off tax paperwork to your accountant?
a) Around February, by which time you should have received your W2's and all other year-end statements and required information. This also helps the accountant by giving her ample time to place careful thought into your income tax filing.
b) Two to three days before taxes are due, however you have to wait until your accountant leaves for lunch or goes to the bathroom. This requires several hours of heavy surveillance on your part to ascertain precisely when she will not be in the office. Ideally the receptionist is also on the phone and therefore distracted. Sneak into the office, drop your paperwork on her desk and run. Run very fast.

5. Besides incarceration, what are your options if you wait until the last minute and not even a CPA can bail you out by April 15th?
a) File for an extension.
b) Peruse the internet for jobs and rental properties in Bora Bora. Research the process for securing a passport, since yours expired back in the 10th grade and you never renewed it. Wonder how quickly it will take to procure airline tickets and a flight out, paying particular attention to those departing on or before April 15th.

Answers: You already know the answers. If you don't hear from me for a while, I'll sign on again once I arrive in Bora Bora.

Chesapeake Bay Woman


April 2012 Addendum:  I feel much better about taxes this year since everything  was handed off to Dear Christine about a week or so ago, rather than a day ago.  This year things aren't so awful.
Still, I'm all for updating the passport for Bora Bora if anyone's else is up for the trip.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tunnel Vision

These were taken Thursday from the public landing at Onemo.

Although I've photographed these same sights a million times before, this marks the first time using the loaner camera.  Since I don't do well with change, we're still struggling to get to know each other, the loaner and I.

(I get on its last nerve and it plucks mine, but eventually we come to some sort of agreement and manage to take a picture or two. Ann Marie can tell you how long it took me to learn how to turn the thing on; most of that was due to my using the wrong batteries and other issues related to inattention to details sprinkled with a heavy, heavy dose of impatience.)

I hope you enjoy a great weekend, free of struggles and plucked nerves.