Notes From All Over

Dog Days
Flat Dog

As a small child, I thought the Dog Days of Summer referred to hot summer days when our dogs would lie flat and still in the shade, untempted by barn cats, scampering gophers, or mischievous children. Later, I read accounts that the name stems from weather so hot it drove dogs mad. But the true derivation of Dog Days is Greek, from Sirius aka the Dog Star, and its position in the morning sky.

Gansett seawall

When I take a summer day off from the store, you can usually find me somewhere in southern Rhode Island, toes in the sand, eyes on the waves. Honestly, I love the beach so much it's a wonder I haven't grown fins. An early morning run or walk, a quick dip in the ocean, uninterrupted time with a good book, maybe a nap...what's not to love? And that's before considering the incredible beauty of sand, surf, and sky.

Farms & Future

When someone says 'farm', what do you think of? Something like the picture above? I do, in part because that picture was taken just a few miles away from my family's farm. But that picture-house, barn, hay bales, and a farm family inside the house- belongs to a disappearing reality. More and more often, a 'farm' is a giant agri-business composed of 10 or more of the family farms from my childhood. And big or small, it's tough to make a living farming. As of the 2017 Economic Census, a higher percentage of US farms reported a net loss in earnings than a net profit.

The Van Beek 4th of July Train

United we stand/Divided we fall/The Mighty Bulldogs/Will conquer all!

Oh, Waitress!

Years after I had worked my last shift in a restaurant, I would still occasionally have what I call the 'Oh, crap!' dream, in which the hostess had sat my entire section simultaneously, meaning that all the tables wanted drinks at once, to order at once, and the food came out all at once. The chef screaming to 'pick up the *#@*ing food, already!'.Me, to the hostess: 'Do you hate me for some reason?'. I'd wake up in a total panic.


Once upon a time, I counted the beginning of summer as the end of school. But my school days are a distant memory, and even my daughter is facing down the end of her college career. Now I'm more apt to gauge summer's arrival by that first warm, sunny, blue sky day. A perfect day, like yesterday.

Red w/a Side of Sass
Carol Shelton

Sass. Sassy. Saucy. Sassier. Sauciest. Noun or adjective, comparative or superlative, and no matter how you spell it, the meaning is the same: lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky. Now I know you'll find this super shocking, but at Pour Richard's, we're big fans of sass.

Boys of Summer?
Boys of Summer

'You should sponsor this team. They play just down the road. Great guys. They like beer. I bet they shop here. Actually, it's a marketing opportunity...reach out to new groups. You should definitely sponsor them. It's not much-just enough for some new shirts and hats.'

Wine, Books & Sisters (aka Why Drink Pink?)

My preferred vacation planning methodology involves wine and books. Wine, as in 'what wineries/ cool restaurants with great wine do I want to visit?'. Books, as in treading in the footsteps of history, beloved fiction, or both. This year, on a whirlwind trip to Sicily, Malta, and London, we managed the 'both'.

All in the Perception
Glad Farm

I've been reading Glad Farm, by Milford native Catherine Marenghi, a memoir of her childhood set in the late 50's and early 60's. I met the author at a local networking group, she was selling copies of her book, and as a huge sucker for local history, of course I bought one. It's an interesting read, and especially fascinating to envision the Milford of her childhood: a small town, very rural in character.