Archive for March, 2011

The Trip That Wasn’t– Missing The 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival In Washington D.C.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Could The Jefferson Memorial Possibly Look More Beautiful Than At Cherry Blossom Time?

Having lived in the Washington D.C.  metro area about a thousand years ago,  back in my salad days,  I have always loved the cherry blossoms each spring.  Although there are now nearly 4,000 cherry trees planted around the Tidal Basin and the National Mall/Washington Monument area,  it all started with a gift of  just 100 cherry trees to the  United States from Japan in 1912,  a gesture designed to bring the two countries  closer together.  In Japan,  the cherry blossom is the national flower,  symbolizing the renewal of life  and the traditional celebration of the blooming is called Sakura .   In the US,    the blossoms this year are seem all the more poignant  because of the sorrow continuing in  Japan during this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival,  which officially began here this past week.  It’s been a while since we have been to Washington at cherry blossom time and we had planned to drive up on Friday morning and come back on Sunday,  just enough time to walk the Tidal Basin circuit and enjoy the some of the events.  Depending on traffic  near D.C.  itself,  it’s only about a three and a half hours each way,  so a fairly easy drive from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.   As I always say,  one of the great things about living on the Eastern Shore is that our area is so central to lots of  off-Shore interesting events and activities, variety being the spice of life.

My March Blooming Bradford Pear Trees.

Well,  the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.   Murphy’s Law intervened  and so this was the trip that wasn’t.   I had been looking forward to this little weekend  but I decided that if I couldn’t go to the D.C.  Cherry Blossom Festival  at least I could do a full tour of our own yard and enjoy my very own blossoms.  As usual,  the weather on  Eastern Shore VA  has been beautiful,  cool but mild with March showers promising lots of  late March and April flowers.  In the back yard overlooking the water,  our three large Bradford pears are blooming their hearts out,  absolutely gorgeous,  with lots of  little birds darting in and out of the foliage,  enjoying the extra cover all the blooms provide.   Trees in our  little orchard are starting to bloom,  some  pink and white  petals just now showing.  In the front yard,  the camellia planted under my husband’s office window is off to a very good start,  large flowers in deep, deep pink.    But the real stars of the current show are the forsythia bushes which are simply beautiful,  planted  along  our eastern property line,  a long,  long row of blazing yellow blooms,  soaking up the sun, their long  frothy branches waving in the March winds.  So although I missed those absolutely spectacular pink blosssoms in D.C. this week-end,  I  enjoyed  my very own blossoms right here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  (  P.S  To see some  beautiful  photos of the D.C. cherry blossoms,  click here .)

Holly Grove Vineyard and Chef Johnny Mo, A Fantastic Combination

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

"Wine and Dine" at Holly Grove Vineyards near Cape Charles, VA

Last Saturday night’s  “Wine and Dine”  at  Holly Grove Vineyards  near Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore of Virginia  was the most fun I have had at a winery in a very long time.   Johnny Mo,  cooking and singing  Chef Extraordinaire and  Jonathan Best,  proud vineyard owner explaining his wines,  was a fantastic pairing indeed.  Certainly the approximate 40 other attendees were completely enthralled, as were  Eldest Daughter,  my husband and myself.  Held in the winery building,  with Hungarian oak puncheons lining one wall,  lending the cozy warm feel of wood to the candlelit room and gleaming steel fermentation tanks lining the other wall,  the  5 course meal and wine pairing began about 7 pm,  just as the setting sun was painting the fluffy clouds over the vineyard in wine colored shades of rose’ and burgandy.  And things were still going strong at 9:30  when the silky banana creme brulee’  dessert  was served, signaling the near end of a truly delightful evening.

Jonny Mo plays the guitar for the audience.

Johnny Mo, Chef Extraorinaire, song writer and guitar player entertained everyone at the dinner with his new song, "Living on the Eastern Shore."

Chef Johnny had set up a well-equipt cooking station  positioned so that everyone could see him as he presented the  “how-to”  preparation tips for every course on the menu.  As  the wine for the appetizer was being poured,  Holly Grove’s  semi-dry and crisp  “Sunset Rose’,  ”  Chef Johnny, a rather flamboyant yet laid-back personality, started the evening off  by getting out his guitar  ( one of  many from his apparently large collection of classic guitars)  and sang a song from his new CD  album,  written by him and called  “Living on the Eastern Shore”  ( yup,  it’s so great here people even record songs about it ).   From there,  it was on to the demonstration of  preparation of  the appetizer,  Seared Ahi Tuna over Sushi Rice with Seaweed Salad and  Sriracha  Chili Sauce Aioli.   I don’t eat any fish that isn’t fully cooked but my husband is a sushi enthusiast  so the lucky guy ended up with a double portion,  which he pronounced  “delicious”.

Chef plates his tangy roasted red pepper bisque with the goat cheese "secret ingredient".

The tuna was followed by a red pepper bisque.  Chef explained in great detail the time- honored method of roasting peppers over a flame until well charred,  popping them into a paper bag until the skins are soft, slipping the skins off and seeding,  then slicing the peppers.  Then,  smiling  coyly and to the amusement of the audience,  he held up a large jar of commercially prepared roasted peppers and said  ” Or you could just buy them like I do.”    The “secret ingredient”  in his bisque was goat cheese,  which lent an interesting tang to this otherwise creamy and mild soup.  It was served with a wedge of crunchy jalapeno cornbread placed in the middle of the bowl and accompanied by a large dollop of cream.  ( Johnny loves cooking with cream,  unfortunately for my waistline,  so do I. )   Paired with the bisque was  Holly Grove’s 2008 Merlot,  whose unique toastiness Jonathan Best  attributes to the way it is aged in Hungarian oak barrels.  It was perfect with the salty tartness of the goat cheese.

Exhibit of the various dinner courses and the Holly Grove Vineyard wines with which they were paired

A salad of  orange slices came next,  finished with toasted walnuts,  long curls of an excellent parmesan cheese and a citrus vinaigrette.  Chef prefers Cara-Cara oranges for this dish when available as they are seedless with deep colors  and extra vitamin C.  I have been buying Cara-Cara oranges in bulk at Costco for years and was gratified that someone else loves them as much as we do.  He also demonstrated the best way to peel and slice the oranges and then made the vinaigrette. Chef emphasized that when making a dressing with citrus juice,  the proper proportions are 1/3rd juice to 2/3rds olive oil,  plus a good dollop of honey and some sweet herbs.  Served with the salad course was  Holly Grove Vineyard 2010  “Coastal Trio”,  a very smooth blended white wine whose 2009 vintage won the Silver in the Town Point Wine Competition.

Johnny Mo cooks and Jonathan Best discusses his wine

The luscious Lobster Cream Sauce broth bubbles and reduces as Johnathan Best discusses "Genesis", the Holly Grove red wine served with the entree'.

Next on Chef Johnny’s demonstration list was the dish everyone was waiting to learn about- –  his signature  version of  Surf and Turf…. Filet Mignon with Lobster Cream Sauce !  Guaranteed low cal, ha, ha, ha !   Starting with containers already filled with the main ingredients for the sauce, lobster meat, shrimp and clam juice, Chef  sauteed a bit of garlic in a butter-olive oil combination and then added some white wine,  in this case  Holly Grove Chardonay  and  the clam juice and let it simmer until reduced by half  while chopping the lobster meat and the peeled shrimp.  Once reduced,  the seafood chunks were added to the aromatic broth which was then thickened with cornstarch  (which is Chef’s favorite thickner and mine as well,  forget lumpy flour or making a roux).  The very last ingredient was,  of course,  the heavy cream because after all this is a Lobster Cream Sauce.  The filets,  fresh off the Vineyard’s monster-sized grill,  were plated on a nest of sauce and lobster chunks and accompanied by a mushroom couscous and haricots vert.  Absolutely divine and paired with my favorite wine of the evening,  “Genesis”,  a medium bodied  red,   perfect for the filet-lobster combo.  Everybody raved about this entree !   I ended up buying Johnny Mo’s cookbook on sale in the vineyard store to be sure to have the recipe for this luscious  sauce.  ( Plus he wrote a very nice  inscription to Eldest Daughter and included his CD  “Cook with Me”,  which should be fun too.)

Relaxing after dinner at Holly Grove Vineyard

Relaxing At The End Of A Delightful Dinner At Holly Grove Vineyard's "Wine and Dine" event.

All good things must come to an end and the ending to this wonderful meal was a banana creme  brulee’,  rich and creamy,  not too sweet,  with just the right touch of banana and topped,  southern-style,  with some crunchy mini-vanilla wafers  instead of the traditional crispy burnt sugar.  It was Chef’s mother’s and  neice’s birthday so while the rest of us were savoring our creme brulee’,  he sent out a fabulous looking little cake to their table and everybody  joined in to sing an enthusiastic  chorus of   “Happy Birthday,  Mommy-O and Leslie”.  The wine pairing was a very nice sweet white with a bit of acidity,  the well-named 2010 “Celebration”.    A  huge round of applause ended the evening.   Everyone had loved the wines and the food and the absolutely unique Johnny Mo,  that singing,  song-writing,  guitar playing,  joke-cracking  top notch chef !   I’m really looking forward to the next Johnny Mo at  Holly Grove event,  hopefully to be scheduled every quarter from now on,  definitely we will try to be there every time !   

P.S.  Check out Holly Grove  wines at .  Johnny Mo is the beloved chef at Mallard’s  Restaurant which overlooks  the water at  the Wharf in Onancock, VA, .  Johnny  also sells his spice blends, etc. on-line at .

Wearing O’ The Green- Celebrating The Emerald Isle On The Eastern Shore Of Virginia

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Kelly's Gingernut Pub Cape Charles, Va.

Like so many people, I have really have been saddened for a week by the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. So when March 17th  rolled around it seemed like an opportunity for a welcome respite,  for a wee bit o’  fun even.  Although I am not Irish, I do love many things Irish including a little blarney,  the fantastically funny series,  “Father Ted”,  from BBC  Ireland,  the movie  “Waking Ned Devine”,  the folk tales of Wm. Butler Yeats and  the amazing  stepdancing of  the Riverdance company ( whose live performance we enjoyed at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk some years ago,  and lots more.   (  I could definitely enjoy meeting up with a leprechaun or two from time to time,  particularly  if they could reveal the precise location of that wondrous pot of gold to be found at the end of the rainbow,  no doubt cleverly hidden in a fine meadow of  shamrocks. )  But  also welcome,  and considerably easier to come by,  would be an authentic Irish dinner at one of the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s  two excellent Irish Pubs,  Kelly’s Gingernut Pub on Mason Avenue in Cape Charles  and  The Blarney Stone Pub on North Street in Onancock.  

And just for fun,  I shall share here a few interesting bits of trivia about the Emerald Isle which I recently read in  the book,   “Little Known Facts about Well Known Places In Ireland”,   by David Hoffman. 

  1. Although you may think that the most popular drink in Ireland is a “pint”  ( of Guinness, of course ), actually the the most popular drink is tea and Ireland has the world’s highest per capita rate of tea consumption.  Because of this,  every pub in Ireland is required by law to serve hot tea.
  2. There are twice as many cows as people in Ireland and  5% of  its entire milk production is used in the making of Bailey’s Irish Cream,  a noble use indeed !   And  let’s not forget the cream needed for Irish Coffee.
  3. My husband loves  Irish steel cut oatmeal but the Irish apparently eat more corn flakes than oatmeal. In fact, the Irish  are believed to eat more corn flakes per capita than any other country in the world.   I’m sure the Kellogg cereal company is pretty pleased by that, especially as the name Kellogg is an Irish name, a variant on the name Kelly,  which has as one of its meanings  “brave warrior” which may be what it takes to deal with the 250 days per year, on average,  that it is cloudy or rainy in Ireland.
  4. The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia which apparently means  “pig marsh between two saltwater inlets.”  And to think we ever thought Eastern Shore names like Nassawadox,  Chincoteague and Kiptopeake were tongue twisters .
  5. The Irish have a great  saying,   “Ni the’ann cuileog san mebe’al a bhi’os du’nta”.  Or,  for those who don’t read Gaelic,   “A closed mouth catches no flies”.   Truer words were never spoken.
  6. Peter O’Toole,  the famous movie actor and star of   “Lawrence of Arabia”,  was born in County Galway and has worn green sox in honor of the Old Country every day since he was 14 years old, a pretty long time indeed.
  7. Bono,  of the famed Irish rock group U2,  is the only person in the world  ( so far anyway)  to have been nominated for a Grammy,  an Oscar,  a Golden Globe and  a Nobel Peace Prize.  Congratulations, Bono- Is fearr beaga’n cuidithe na’ mo’rdn trua !   And by the by,  the Irish alphabet does not contain the letters J, K ,Q ,V ,V , W , X , Y or Z.
  8. The term “honeymoon”  was derived from an old Irish tradition of giving a bottle of   “honey wine” ,  a type of mead brewed by Irish monks containing honey, water and yeast,  as a traditional wedding gift for the bride and groom, to be shared by them for one full moon after they were married,  the honey moon. 
  9. The ill-fated ship Titanic was built in a shipyard in Belfast.  The chief designer there informed the owners that it would be possible to outfit the ship with 64 lifeboats.  If this had been done it  would have provided enough seats for the 1517  passengers who were on board when it sank on its maiden voyage in April, 1912.  But the legal requirement was only 16.   The Titanic’s  owner,  White Star,  cut the number from 64 to 32 and ultimately to 20 because having too many lifeboats would  “sully the aesthetic beauty of the ship”.
  10. The Garda Si’ocha’na,  the Irish national uniformed police force,  does  not carry firearms.  The 11,000 member police force carries a lightweight, retractable baton which replaced in 2007 the previous wooden truncheons which had been in use since the 1800’s.  ( Amazing what better gun laws can accomplish ! )

At any rate,  on Thursday  I was really looking forward to having a real Irish dinner  at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub in Cape Charles, Virginia.  Kelly’s is a great place anytime,  good food, good people, good music, good fun but on St. Patrick’s Day it really outdoes itself.   I had been envisioning for several days the  first blissful mouthful of some really good Shepherd’s  Pie,  buttery mashed potatoes  piped over  tender bits of  lamb smothered in a silky gravy with the perfect balance of  carrots and onion.   My husband prefers a classic corned beef and cabbage dinner served with carrots and potatoes cooked in the corned beef broth,  all low cal of course.   So Kelly’s  was  the plan  for St. Paddy’s Day dinner….

But,  alas,  it was actually not to be.  My husband and I had a meeting scheduled for Thursday in Virginia Beach which I thought would be over by 4:00 PM,  plenty of time to get back to the Eastern Shore for dinner.  But  the meeting  started late, as meetings often do,  and didn’t break up until nearly 6:30.  Then I had two errands which absolutely had to be run before going back to the Shore.   By  7:45  we  had finished our errands and decided to call Kelly’s to see if they had plenty of our favorite dishes left as it would take at least 45 minutes to an hour from where we were  to get to the Pub.   When Gene Kelly answered the phone I could tell things were really rocking and rolling  because,  although I was just about yelling at the top of my lungs,  Gene kept saying ” I can’t hear you,  I’m not hearing you”.   I’m sure the place was packed to the rafters,  the background laughing and talking  just roared through my cell phone.  Clearly a wee  party was underway at   the Gingernut Pub !

But by then,  sad but totally true,  we  had worn down a bit,  I started mumbling something about low blood sugar  and  we opted for eating  at a little Vietnamese restaurant we love in Virginia Beach,  Vietnam Gardens  near Hilltop, only 5  minutes away.  So,  no Shepherd’s Pie for me,  no corned beef and cabbage  for my husband,  no glass of Guinness for either of us.  But…. there’s always next year.   And the beef  pho was delicious,  as ever,  as was the lemon grass chicken– not what or where I had expected to be eating  that night   but delicious nevertheless.

10 Tips On Great Places To Buy Renovation Materials For Historic Homes In Virginia

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Unlike most coastal areas, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is a treasure trove of historic homes,  indeed entire little  Eastern Shore towns consist almost completely  of  well-loved old  homes.  And buying a historic home that needs renovation is an addictive process.  At Blue Heron Realty Co.  we  get a lot of calls  from people who are just starting to think about the possibility of acquiring  a historic home in Virginia ,  be it waterfront,  in a quaint coastal town like Cape Charles or a home out in the country, maybe even on acreage along the Chesapeake Bay.    At first blush,  dealing with an old home may seem somewhat  overwhelming,  scary even.  But then curiosity sets in, a Stage I desire to at least get out there and explore what’s  for sale,  see what  homes are available at what price,   investigate what architectural styles  are most appealing to one’s own aesthetics—  Colonial ?   Federal ?   America Four Square ?  Arts and Craft ?   Possibly the very popular  Victorian style home, one of my personal favorites  ?   Stage 2 involves falling in love with a particular home, seeing one’s self  living and loving  life there.   Stage 3 involves the  home inspection,  a through review of the home from roof to crawl space to assess the condition of the home  in preparation for Stage 4,  which is the evaluation of the costs of the renovations that the inspection showed were necessary.  Which brings us to the really fun part,  Stage 5,  which is the evaluation and pricing of the renovations that your aesthetics say are necessary.

Stage 5  is so much fun because it involves the selection of items that will make your old house come to life again using authentic  restoration products that maintain the historic ambience that attracted you in the first place.  What could possibly be more fun than that,  short of Stage 6 which is  moving into your  historic home and beginning the actual restoration process  ?   So from plumbing to hardware,  here are 10 categories of  places to help you find  great reproduction or renovated  products to use to your restore your very own Eastern Shore historic home.

  1. Plumbing- Affordable Antique Bath &  More, Inc.   Lots of choices for bath redos, including claw foot tubs, pedestal sinks and more.    Also  Sunrise Specialty Products,,  which has interesting rolltop tubs with pedestal bases as well.   Also Signature Hardware, ,  which is a family owned restoration products business dating back 75 years.
  2. Roof – Preservation Products,Inc. Products for restoring and beautifying  roofs and masonry walls on historic homes.
  3. Siding– Ward Clapboard Mill-  Historical vertical grain clapboards for restoration projects. Also Carlson’s  Barnwood Company,, suppliers of antique building materials including antique wood beams. The Conklin  Barnwood Co., specializes in barnwood for various uses.
  4. Porches and Stairways– Cinder Whit & Company. , Specializes in products to restore porches and stairs, lengths up to 12 feet.
  5. Lighting Restoration Lighting Gallery, specializes in vintage and reproduction lighting and lamps including repairs.  Also Barn Light Electric, ,  vintage reproductions. as well as Pully Lights, , turn of the century light designs.  Authentic Design Co, ,  handcrafted period chandeliers, sconces, etc.
  6. Kitchens– The Kennebec Company, , which designs and builds  period-inspired kitchens for historic homes. Also Crown Point Cabinetry, , which designs and builds period cabinetry.
  7. Kitchen Appliances– Elmira Stove Works, , which sells vintage styled appliances.  Also Good Time Stove Co., , which sells restored antique kitchen ranges including electric conversions.
  8. Flooring-Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, , premium wood flooring for restorations.  Also Craftsman Lumber Co,, custom milled flooring, paneling and wainscoating.
  9. Hardware– House of Antique hardware, , reproductions of classic American design hardware  from Federal style to Art Deco.  Also, Van Dyke’s Restorers,, a huge selection of reporduction hardware. The Historic Housefitters Co., specializes in hand-forged iron,  pewter and tin, Williamsburg Blacksmiths Co. ,, specializes in reproductions of early American hardware.  Londonderry Brasses, Ltd., offers reproduction brass hardware  which are made from  lost wax castings of  period originals. Kayne & Son Custom Hardware, ,  crafted custom hardware for interiors and exteriors.
  10. Miscellaneous–  Decorator’s Supply,, specializes in reproduction ornamental plasters and woodwork for period remodeling. The Bendhein company, ,  specializes in creating restoration window glass.  Nest & Company, , specializes in items for  Arts and Crafts period homeowners. The Persian Carpet company, specializes in reproduction designs for carpets for homes from the Arts and Crafts period. Bradbury & Bradbury,,  offers  Persian styled wall and ceiling papers for Arts and Crafts homes. Historic Houseparts, , is a company which sells various architectural salvage and restoration supplies. Classic Gutter Systems,, offers old world stle heavy duty gutters in copper and  aluminum. The Americana company, offers authentic Colonial period wooden blinds.  Vintage Fans, , offers sales and restorations of vintage fans made in the US between the 1890’s and 1950’s. And the Vintage Door Co., , offers handcrafted vintage doors in any design in any wood you choose.

With a treasure trove of companies selling everything from claw foot tubs to electric conversions of  kitchen wood ranges and all things in-between it ceases to be so scary or overwhelming to contemplate buying a historic home here on Virginia’s  Eastern Shore.    With a real sense of adventure and a can-do spirit,  Spring is a great time to set out to purchase  the perfect historic home to call your  very own and get started on the exciting path of restoring  it to its original beauty.  ( Check out the historic homes for sale on,  some terrific opportunities are available now. )

The Palace Theater In Cape Charles Rehearsing The Musical “Oliver !”

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Rehearsing "Consider Yourself" Number At Palace Theatre, Cape Charles

The Cape Charles’  theater season is winding down with Art’s Enter’s  blockbuster production of  the hit Broadway musical  “Oliver !”  at the Palace Theatre in the Cape Charles historic area.  After almost two months of rehearsals so far,  the cast and crew are now fine tuning their art to be ready for Opening Night on  April 2, 2011.  I’m so proud to have been  included in this production as the cast is full of truly experienced thespians who really know their stuff !   Having never before acted on the stage  in my whole life,  this season, my debut season,  has been an incredible experience for me.  I was first introduced to the Palace’s  amateur theatre group by Eva Noonan,  a  follow Realtor at  the Blue Heron Realty Co.  Cape Charles office  and a 10 year veteran of  Palace Theatre productions.  Shortly thereafter I was in my very first play,  “The Two Mrs. Carrolls”,  a murder thriller taking place in the south of France during the roaring twenties.  I had tried out for a part unsuccessfully but the director was compassionate enough to actually write-in a small part just for me especially to keep up my interest in theater.  It turned out to be quite a wonderful experience although,  to my horror,  the video made on the play’s opening night  revealed my complete lack of acting skills.  ( I can tell you that watching a video of one’s first acting efforts is a truly humbling experience ! ) 

Rehearsing "Pick A Pocket Or Two" For Palace Threater's Production Of The Musical "Oliver !"

 Nevertheless,  I accepted the role of Dr. Chasuble in Oscar Wilde’s classic  “The Importance of Being Earnest”,   Palace  Theater’s  second production of this season.  After  my debut  experience in  “Mrs. Carrolls”,  I learned a few lessons in humility and accepted the proffered advice of my fellow actors when it came to shaping my role.  I rehearsed my lines relentlessly,  using long walks down my 1/2 mile driveway out in the Eastern Shore countryside  as my personal  “stage”.  (  By the time the play was over I think I could have recited all my lines in my sleep,  backwards !  )  It must have been hilarious to hear me coming down the country lane,  repeating my lines with an aristocratic British accent!   Remarks from members of the audience who had seen my first production sounded like rave reviews of my performance  and I have been  pronounced the  “most improved actor”  of the season so far.  Now, with  “Oliver !”  in the making,  I have much more confidence than ever and, unbelievably,  I am actually learning how to sing and dance,  although I don’t think Michael Crawford has anything to worry about from me…… just  yet.  From murder mystery to 19th century British satire to a Broadway musical in just one season, what an experience !   What fun this has been,  what an incredible pleasure it is to have become part of  the  thriving, dynamic arts community here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,   they really welcomed me and made me feel at home.   Like  the Artful Dodger,  they said  Consider Yourself One Of Us !    ( Check out  the Palace Theatre and Arts Enter at )

Wiley, My Eastern Shore of Virginia Arabian Horse. The On-Going Saga, Part 5. Wiley Learns About The Birds and The Bees !

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

This is Wiley’s second spring here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  a 2009 Christmas gift to me  from my son.   He has settled in so well, but then who wouldn’t love life on a huge waterfront farm south of Cape Charles, Virginia,  just grazing on the lush grasses,  cool Chesapeake Bay breezes  blowing through your mane,  dining on gourmet oats  every night in your  comfy stall in a  brand new barn ?    As  the very smart horse he is,  I’m  sure  Wiley  realizes  he’s living the life of Riley.

Week old colt with his mother

Welcome To The Eastern Shore, Little Guy !

Spring has sprung here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and with spring comes new life.  Wiley now has a brand new stable mate,  a little colt  which came  unexpectedly early,  born  quietly in the middle  of the night  and found bright-eyed and bushy tailed at  Bayview Farm’s  morning feed.   Now Wiley,  being a young bachelor,  had never actually been told about the  “birds and the bees”  or,  in this case,  about the mares and the stallions.   So he was pretty curious.  He knew it wasn’t a pony but was not quite sure if  was actually a horse.  It walks  pretty funny and  looks like it’s all legs,  with a head too big for such a small body.   But all in all,  Wiley thought he was a cute little fellow,  bay with a long white blaze and 4 white sox,  described by one of the  mares  who is  a serious  NASCAR   fan  as having  “lots of chrome” ,  and he has welcomed him as an additional stable mate so long as he  doesn’t  cry a lot during the night and  disturb his beauty sleep.  And he’ll need all the deep beauty sleep he can possibly get because this is the time of year that every horse aspiring to be a show ring star needs to get to work to get back in shape.

As anyone who owns  equestrian property here on the Shore knows,  the gorgeous Eastern Shore of  Virginia’s  spring weather also brings the need to shed any excess  winter  pounds  as  the 2011 show season is just around the corner.  No more lazy short winter days  just lounging around in a warm blanket,  chatting with friends in the pasture  or cozy evenings playfully horsing around in the stables.   No,  now it’s time to work,  work, work to get his  boyish figure back.  Wiley is currently evaluating what meal plans and work-out routines he’ll use to get the most from his efforts and he  wishes there was a  TV  set up in the barn so that he and his buddies  could look at a  few  YouTube videos from leading health and fitness experts on  the most  up- to- date  methods of  slimming the flanks,  firming up  the withers,  toning neck muscles, etc.   Wiley knows that the time to get serious about fitness is upon him,  his first show appearance of the season is coming up in Raleigh, North Carolina  in just a few weeks.   Oh,  the price to be paid for being a beautiful horse !     ( P.S. If  you’re  thinking of a farm or farmette here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  equestrian or otherwise, please visit our website, , and click on the listings link– we currently have some outstanding  farm and farmette real estate opportunities.)