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Catey Hill’s “This N’ That”


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Misty Eyed over Chincoteague 

For Christmas 2012, a dear family friend gave us a photo book about Chincoteague Island by Medford Taylor, entitled Saltwater Cowboys.  A fan of Marguerite Henry’s books about the Beebe family, Misty and Stormy I was familiar with Pony Penning Day and the legend of the ponies that inhabit Assateague Island. Browsing through the photos, I was reminded of the fun times my sister and I had vacationing on Chincoteague Island when I was in my late teens and early 20’s.  Traci and I preferred the quaint atmosphere of Chincoteague and the un-crowded beaches of Assateague Island to the heavily populated and extremely commercialized resorts of Ocean City, MD and Virginia Beach, VA; the destination of choice for most of our friends and acquaintances.  So, when I recently felt the need for a getaway, I decided to try and reclaim some of the kinder, gentler memories of my youth by revisiting Chincoteague Island for the first time in decades.  I was so pleased to see that the island had not become a mecca of high rise condos and t-shirt stores on every street corner; it was still charming. However, much to my surprise, other than the stretch of Highway 175 past Wallops Island and over the Chincoteague Channel, the streets, businesses and general landscape of the island looked totally unfamiliar to me.  Even the beach at Assateague didn’t appear as I had remembered.  Who knows at what point all my images from the past washed away with the tides, but I’m okay with that; it’s time to make new memories.

Chincoteague Island

Shingles (not the roofing kind)

It seems like every time I turn on the TV, I see the ad for Shingles.  Judging from the spokespeople, I am not the target demographic, so you can imagine my surprise when I woke up one day with a classic case of the blistering rash, also known as herpes zoster or zona.  As you have probably heard it’s the same virus that causes chickenpox.  Like many, I thought Shingles was something that affected older adults, but that is not always the case; if you had chickenpox as a child (I know I did) the virus is dormant in your system and can “wake-up”, resulting  in Shingles!  Oftentimes this can be triggered by a compromised immune system or stress.  Nevertheless, I can tell you first hand that it is incredibly painful.  It’s as if you’ve been set on fire, all the while being kicked incessantly by someone wearing steel-toed boots. Shingles can be especially dangerous and disfiguring if it’s on your face, especially near your eyes.  Luckily, mine was just above my waist, stretching from Sternum to Spine across my left side. I tried taking Naproxen for the pain, but relief was short-lived.  I ended up having to get a prescription from my Doctor, who also prescribed anti-viral medication as well.  After about 2 weeks, the big patches of blisters went away.  I still have some some redness where the patches were, and occasionally, the itching sensation returns.  I may never have to deal with Shingles again, but that’s not a certainty.  Statistically, 1 in 3 people will have  Shingles in his/her lifetime.  Also, even if you’ve never had chickenpox, there’s no guarantee that you’ll never have a case to call your own.  There is a vaccine you can get; it won’t protect you entirely from Shingles, but I’ve heard that it can certainly lessen the severity.

By the way, I didn’t miss a single day of work, but some people, like David Letterman, weren’t so lucky. Take care of yourself!


Sew and So Forth …

The other day I was looking in my sewing kit for a large snap to attach to the pocket flap on a pair of cropped pants.  The original design intended for the flap to be tied down in a lovely bow.  As much as I understood the aesthetics of the concept, I could not appreciate the impracticality. I had bought a card of ¾” snaps awhile back and decided that this would be an attempt at making that decorative pocket on the leg more useful.  As I was rummaging through the sewing kit, I recalled a recent info-bit about sewing and mending becoming a lost art; people no longer have the time or inclination to learn their way around a needle and thread… not to mention a sewing machine!  My mother was an accomplished seamstress; it was more an avocation for her, but she really knew the anatomy of a garment. My sister, Traci, inherited that talent; I recall her making many of her own outfits back in the day.  My cousin Joyce is also a gifted with a needle, thread and sewing machine.  Even though I made my Catey Gaga Meat Dress for Halloween last year, I have to admit that I did it with a lot of Stitch Witchery; I didn’t want to have to rip any seams from the “Meat Rack” printed fabric because it was very expensive … and Silly Me didn’t buy a lot to spare. Still, sewing and mending are ways to express creativity … they’re challenging, relaxing, and rewarding.  What a shame it would be if they were to become a thing of the past.

Catey Gaga

(Catey Gaga Meat Dress – Halloween 2011)

Handy Dandy

I’m a fan of items that multitask, and that’s why I like Progressive Wire Clips.  They are a simple idea with soooooo many uses … and they’re inexpensive.  From playing the of role of a chip clip to securing the folded end of the toothpaste tube to hanging dog Zeus’ harness on the wall, they always come in handy.  I found them at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and with one of those famous 20% of coupons, they’re a real bargain.  I bought several packages … in disco colors!

Wire Clips

 Easy, Breezy and Ooh Soo Pleasing …

The 6thof the month is Date Night for me and the hubby.  Why?  We got married on October the 6thand decided to start our own little tradition.  Oftentimes, we go out for dinner and like to try different restaurants each time.  Recently, we decided to visit Bahama Breeze, near Christiana Mall. I had attended a social mixer there with a colleague in late Spring.  This event, which was on the spacious and comfy veranda, focused on small plates and Bahama Breeze’s signature “Skinny Drinks” … which are island cocktails with less guilt.  With the help of Brian, our server, my colleague and I feasted on Classic Cheeseburger Sliders, Coconut Shrimp, Beef Empanadas, and Warm Spinach Dip & Island Shrimp.  Managing Chef Kim Weaver was also courteous and attentive and very willing to answer all our questions. The Social was such a nice experience that I wanted to take my husband back for an Island Getaway experience.  This visit was spent in the Dining Room, which had its own special ambience; it was reminiscent of our trips to the Caribbean with its relaxed atmosphere and tropical – without being tacky – décor.  Kevin, our server, was ebullient and most accommodating.  He really wanted us to try one of the new Legendary Island Cocktails, but it was a “school night” for both of us; perhaps another time.  My husband dined on grilled Salmon with veggies and garlic mashed potatoes.  I had Ropa Vieja ; slow-cooked shredded Beef over Rice.  We both enjoyed our meals immensely and almost didn’t have enough room for a (generous) slice of Rebecca’s Key Lime Pie. As we waddled out of the restaurant and back to reality, we decided right then and there that we’d be going back … again and again.

Island Cocktails

(Legendary Island Cocktails)

Yummy Tummy!

I recently met some friends for dinner at TGI Friday’s on Concord Pike.  I didn’t have any special hankerin’s that night, but while perusing the menu, the Sedona Black Bean Burger caught my eye.  You should have seen the looks on my friend’s faces when I ordered it.  I didn’t know what to expect, but boy was I pleasantly surprised.  It was delicious, and the the slices of avocado were a nice touch.  As usual, I didn’t devour the entire burger; I ate half of it and saved the other half for later.  It reheated beautifully, btw!  I’m a fan.  In fact, I’m looking forward to going back to TGI Friday’s for another one.  I did look up the nutritional information, and the calories, fat and sodium content are not for the faint of heart; doesn’t that just figure!

Sedona Black Bean Burger

(Sedona Black Bean Burger)

Dancing Dog_phixr

The dog has some really impressive moves … I’m jealous!!!


Phyllis Wyeth’s

Union Rags

Union Rags is a 3-year-old thoroughbred racehorse owned by Phyllis Wyeth and raised on her beautiful Point Lookout Farm. The offspring of Tempo and Dixie Union, Union Rags remains the favorite to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby, despite some occasional stumbles en route to the big dance. Pick him out of the field as the blur of speed with a white blaze and three white socks.

Get acquainted with Union Rags, who has ties to Delaware!  Katie Bacher helps care for my horse Lady, and she owns the colt’s dam (mother)!

Let’s go Union Rags !!!!