Pa. residents pay the taxes, should share the profit

As I begin to write this offering, we await Gov. Tom Corbett’s second State of the State address, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 11:30 a.m. There is some expectation he will remove a moratorium on releasing additional state forest land for Marcellus shale natural gas exploration. Currently, about 700,000 of the state’s more thanRead more

Organic and independent farmers feel under assault

An independent organic farmer tends cropsOn a trip to New England last week, my niece treated me to some really good salsa. It was made in Maine, we were in New Hampshire, and I’m now home in Pennsylvania, way south of where I can buy some.

On the other hand, there are several Mexican stores almost within walking distance of home where maybe …

Meanwhile, I was in the local discount grocery store the other night and picked up a container of Marketside Chipotle salsa. It actually has a nice flavor, and adds a pleasant bite to my favorite chips which, the way I eat the stuff, are simply devices for scooping large dollops of salsa the way someone might otherwise use a soup spoon to scoop the favored ice cream.

If fresh salsa is what you seek, though, you probably won’t find it in a container marked “Manufactured for Marketside, a division of Walmart Stores Inc.”Read more

Getting ready for summer

A good thing to do on a hot summer afternoon at Twirly Top! Or even a final Fall reason to look forward to Spring. Posted by John from WordPress for AndroidRead more

Songs you’ll wish you knew, and a few you do

The Willys perform at The Underside: Dan Chase on keyboard, Todd Mudd on bass, Neil Ecker on drums, Bill Serfass on lead guitar and Bill Mitchell on rhythm guitar.If you haven’t heard The Willys, you’ve missed a treat. We caught them one recent evening at The Underside, a restaurant and pub under the Altland House, on Abbottstown Square.

Their music is difficult to define. It’s been called “classic rock and beyond,” which leader Bill Serfass said sums it up about as well as any other description.

To my ear – I only know what I like but I’m not good with labels – it’s a mixture of gentle Rock-and-Roll and ballads. As my wife and I sat enjoying an appetizer of potato chips and sauce (both of which are made in the Underside kitchen) the group started one song I thought could have played in a Jimmy Buffett concert, though it wasn’t a Buffett song. In another number,Read more

Adams County farm markets season open

A prospective customer questions a farm market vendor about herb seedlings

Wednesday was opening day for the Adams County Farmers Market Association. Nearly a dozen vendors, representing growers from around the county, set up their tents at the Gettysburg Rec Park.

There is nothing tastier than fresh stuff on the dinner table. Place two dishes of lettuce on the table, one from the grocery store plastic bag produce section and one from the farm market, then chomp into a sample from each.Read more

Books, birdlings and blind satellites

Faded white paint and a bent tin roof offer a welcoming home for a family of sparrows.
A friend of mine died this week. I’d never met him, and I think I’m poorer for it, but another friend I’ve actually howdied with a couple times introduced me to Joe Bageant when she wrote of his departure from this plane. Then another friend (keep your shoes on; there aren’t that many more to count) said Joe was a great writer and would I like to read one of his books, the one called “Deer Hunting with Jesus,” if he could find his copy.Read more

The truth about Santa Claus

The Christmas tree sparkles in the living room bay window

Ah, ‘tis the season.

A friend was informed by her husband that Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to put up the tree.
Another chimed in that her tree is up already.Read more

It’s the powder

A grey squirrel contemplates how he will gain access to a pair of bird feeders

One of the nice things about my home workspace is when I’m at my keyboard I can look out the window at the new double-arm bird feeder pole.

And at the squirrel who hasn’t yet figured out how to raid the seed supply.Read more

Leaves a-Fall-ing

A lone oak leaf at the very end of the branch

There was ice in the bird bath this morning. a blanket of frost coated the lawn, and the thermometer in back of the house showed about 28 degrees. A lone oak leaf clung to the farthest end of the skinniest branch on the tree in our front yard.

I guess it’s time to stock up on ice melt and windshield de-icer, and maybe buy that snow thrower we’ve been thinking about. Or we could wait.Read more

Round Barn of Terror

A Good Witch and her pet mummy entertain young ladies waiting their turn through the Round Barn of Terror
Friday night at it seemed like the thing to do was sample a haunted house. After all, it’s Halloween season, and we do live near a ghost-town (Gettysburg, Pa.).

So off we went, a friend with her five-year-old Alex and I with the seven-year-old, almost eight, granddaughter Ari.Read more

Off the interstate, into history …

Ivy covers the gray stone walls of Gray Towers, Gifford Pinchot's childhood summer home.
At about the mid-point of a 450-plus mile journey home, we crossed the Delaware River westbound from Port Jervis, N.Y., to Matamoros, Pa. ate at the Perkins, and decided to see whether there might be less expensive gasoline if we followed U.S. 6 for a bit. We found the less expensive gas, but the real treasure was on the way uphill from the center of Milford back to the interstate.Read more

Castle Craig

Sometimes you’re tooling up the highway, wondering why the GPS told you to go that way, when something appears that makes you want to get off the road and see what it’s doing there.Read more

Recycling can be a bother, but …

What always has bothered me about the formal, “citified” recycling is the preparation. Back in the day if you wanted to flatten a bunch of cardboard, you turned the kids loose.Read more

Brother-in-Law Effect

When I was in the Navy, there was a commonly held belief that many requirements, especially if they required spending money to replace something with which the only thing wrong was it wasn’t the new thing, were caused by the “Brother-in-Law Effect. Read more

Visit to a multi-market

My wife and I visited Morningstar Marketplace Saturday.

We hadn’t been since at least last year, but I have a back pack that lost a clip on its waist strap, and I remembered there was a display at that particular market that probably would have it.Read more

for Alivia, thanks

Sign on walker's back says In Honor of Alivia
Sunday, September 11, 2010 —

I went for a walk this morning, with a couple hundred other men, women and children out for a three-mile stroll Read more

A herd of turtles

more than 30 turtles wait at the edge of a pond to be fed.
I’ve often heard the phrase, “We’re off like a herd of turtles.” The idea, I guess, is that we’re not going to be in a big hurry — another version of my mother’s special sarcasm, as in we’re about to be late for church and us kids are just coming downstairs to the car and Mom says, “ Can you kids move any slower.”

But I’d never actually seen a herd of turtles — until one day on Hatteras, one of the barrier islands protecting the coast of North Carolina.Read more

Hatteras: more than a line on a map

Black and white spiraling stripes mark Hatteras Light in the setting sun
For the weeks leading up to the trip, I would tell people I was going to Hatteras. When I got there, I wasn’t even near it.

The islands don’t look like much on a map, and in many places, they’re not — barely wider than the two-lane road known as Route 12.Read more

Promises to a small child

A child hold my hand and searches for the biggest wave
We stop at the entrance to the beach, a couple miles south of Salvo on Highway 12, where the sign says four-wheel drive recommended, lower tire pressure to 20 pounds or less. I pull the shift into 4WD-Lo and head out for the Jeep’s first time on a beach.Read more

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