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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in tradition (9)


Cold Weather Recipes: Spiced Hot Apple Cider! 

After hearing the weather forecast for today (snow in October!) I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make some yummy spiced hot apple cider. It's so easy, tastes amazing, and makes your whole house smell sooo good.

My husband and I have a bit of a laugh whenever I make this tasty drink. We first met while working at a restaurant in upstate NY (real upstate, 1 hour north of Albany) that served "hot apple grog" and we were well versed in it's ingredients and how to entice the customer to order it. "Wouldn't you love some spiced apple grog that we've had simmering over cinnamon sticks and orange slices all day, perfect on a chilly a day like today!" Ha, good times.

The recipe I use:

  • 1 gallon of apple cider
  • cinnamon sticks
  • whole cloves
  • nutmeg
  • cardamom
  • allspice
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (only if you want it really sweet, I omit this when I make it)

Put the cider and spices in a large pot on the stove top and turn the heat on medium to bring it to a boil. Cut the orange in half, squeeze into cider, and slash the rind of one half and drop it into the cider. If you don't have an orange, you could substitute some OJ. When it just starts to boil, lower the heat and continue to simmer. Squeeze in the half lemon and lime. I leave it on for a couple of hours- taste it every so often to see how you like it.

If you're feeling extra chilly, add a shot of rum or whiskey to your cup! Enjoy!


* Sightseeing Sundays: Historic Chincoteague, VA 

Chincoteague, Virginia- pronounced "shing-kuh-TEEG", is located on the Eastern Shore of the Delmarva Peninsula. The island of Chincoteague is very unique, boasting fresh seafood, history, and a beautiful beach! It's connected to Assateague Island National Seashore. I've been visiting since I was a baby. My grandparents once lived not to far from it. This is where I learned how to boogie board, dive through waves, and collect seashells.

The beach is a barrier island and with each year hurricanes and storms have slowly but surely eroded the sandy beaches. When I was little we used to buy a special pass, get there early, and drive our Izuzu Trooper down the sandy beach to find own private beach spot! Within the past 30 years the size of the beach has eroded to at least half the size it used to be. Gone are the bath houses, high dunes, and large parking lots. I hope it's around for my future generations to enjoy.

My sister and I dancing on the beachA nosy pony wants to meet my dad Old Bathing Houses at Assateague (date unknown) 






 A herd of wild ponies have inhabited this sandy, marshy, pine tree covered island for over 200 years. No one knows for sure how the Chincoteague Ponies ended up on this island. One popular legend is that when a Spanish ship sank off the coast in the 1600's the surviving ponies swam to the island. There is a protected wildlife refuge where the herds roam wild. When I was a kid, the ponies would venture all the way to the road- sometimes right up to your car! In the picture above you can see a nosy pony checking out our car! I'm in the back in my car seat, what a treat. But I haven't seen them get that close in the past 10 years or so.

A famous annual event is "Pony Penning Day". Selected young ponies are herded from Assateague into the bay and they swim across to Chincoteague. Following the short swim they are penned and auctioned off. This has been a long held tradition, 2011 marks the 86th year. The 2011 Pony Penning Day and Fireman's Carnival is this week! The ponies will swim on Wednesday July, 27, 2011 and the auction will be on Thursday July 28, 2011. I've never been but I bet it's a really amazing thing to watch!

A Famous Chincoteague Pony

The Island Roxy Theater, 2011Misty's Prints 2011

  "Misty of Chincoteague" was a wild pony born on the island, made famous in a book written by Marguerite Henry in 1947. Misty's story was brought to the big screen in the 1960s! The movie premiere of "Misty" was held at the Historic Island Roxy Theater. Misty herself walked down the center aisle before the show. To commemorate the occasion, her hoof prints were captured in the sidewalk outside of the theater. Since horses can't write their own name, it was Marguerite Henry who wrote "Misty" above the prints. I went to take a picture and I was surprised how worn down the dedication has become.  I think the hoof prints need to be preserved a little better! It would be such a shame for this historical landmark to be worn away don't you think? 

 The Island Roxy Theater is still in operation today! If you're looking for a beautiful beach on the Eastern Shore, I suggest you check out all Chincoteague has to offer. 


The Drive-In Movie Theater: a summer classic! 

The Drive-in Movie has to be one of the best ideas ever. Did you know the first Drive-In Movie Theater opened June 6, 1933? I grew up not too far from the Malta Drive-In and for as long as I can remember it was a quintessential part of my summer. You'd call up your friends and neighbors, windex the car windshield, get your lawn chairs and blankets, and head down route 9 for a summer night under the stars. Looking back, I probably thought everyone had a drive-in theater. It was such a normal thing. But was it?? You tell me! Did you have a drive in movie theater? Do you know when and where the first Drive in Movie Theater opened?

Click to read more ...


* 100th anniversary of International Women's Day! 

March is National Women's History Month and tomorrow March 8, 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day! Celebrated each year on March 8th, International Women's day is a global event celebrating and remembering the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. Each year there is a theme and the theme for 2011 is Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women. 

 Time line of events from

1908 Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909 In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

1910 In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

1911 Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants.

If you are interested in learning more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire there is an event tomorrow night in NYC hosted by Women’s eNews, partnering with the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College as well as the League of Women Voters of the City of New York. The Fire that Ignited a Movement of Women Workers, 5:30-7:30 Hunter College

I love reading first hand accounts of history! Harvard University Library Open Collections Program, Women Working 1800-1930, has diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies of women giving us a peek into what life was like for them.

Bread and Roses was a popular campaign slogan for the woman's movement in the early 1900's. Inspired by a poem written by James Oppenheim, first published in The American Magazine in 1911, bread represents economic justice and roses represent quality of life.

Bread and Roses

A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: "Bread and roses! Bread and roses!"
As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for -- but we fight for roses, too!
As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler -- ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

A popular custom in many countries (curiously not so much in the US) is to give women flowers on International Women's Day. In fact, I first learned of this celebratory day while in Italy 5 years ago with my friend Sarah, we were walking around and saw everyone with these yellow flowers! The mimosa flowers were all over the place. Coincidentally we were going to a spa that day and when we paid found out that in celebration Festa Delle Donna day- our services were 1/2 off!

It's too bad that this international celebration was fought for by the women of NYC and somehow it's significance has been forgotten. So go ahead and buy a flower for the women in your life! Lets continue to remember and fight for equality and achievement of women everywhere!