Celebrate Home Magazine Summer Issue

Go to www.CelebrateHomeMagazine.com to download your free issue now. Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

Up a Creek with Lots of Memories—The Havermann family finds a place to play in a vacation 
home on St. Leonard’s Creek in southern Maryland.

Light and Lively Summer Fare—Chef Emily Doerman whips up a tasty summer meal.

Not-a-Burger—Everyone loves a burger on the grill during summer. If you’re not a meat-eater, here is an alternative that can’t be beat!

Six Summer Sips—Mixologist Karen Covey shares cool summer drinks to beat the heat.

Space Cake—Put down that Moon Pie and try this heirloom cake without-of-the-world taste.

Inspired by the Garden: Garden Muse Tea Reception—A photography exhibit and reception to remember.

Summer Tablescapes—Usher in summer with cool summer-inspired tablescapes.

Shoe-la-la, Ooh-la-la!—A popular children’s book is the inspiration for a mural in 
a shoe-loving little girl’s room.

That 80s House—A bathroom gets a new lease on life.

Rest for the Weary—Create a welcoming guestroom for your visitors.

Ode to a Chicken—Becka Davis pays homage to a beloved feathered friend.

Suburban Agriculture: Confessions of a Brown Thumb—Maria Hufnagel shares her experience as a first-time gardener.

Fashioning a Fairy Garden—Kristin Clem connects with her inner child and creates 
a miniature fairy paradise.

Photographing Your Garden Through the Seasons—Photographer Cindy Dyer shares her tips for creating captivating images in the garden.

Rampant Biblioholism—A book lover shares her passion for  her treasured collection.

So Charming—One gal shares her lifelong passion for charm bracelets.

Fit to Tied (and Dyed): Fun and Easy Wearables Made with T-shirts—Achieve amazing results with inexpensive t-shirts, colorful dyes, simple 
knotting and a pair of scissors!


A spring time hike is like none other. The trees and bushes are starting to bud – enough to show new greens, pinks and yellows, yet you can still see through the trees to the meadow, the old road beds, and the river. Last Saturday we hiked along the Potomac Heritage Trail in Northern Virginia along the paths where George Washington traveled.

Nature welcomed us with open arms and spread a feast before us. The ground, softened from winter, was fresh with wildflower shoots and Virginia Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). There was a buffet of bluebells all along our path—luscious, as-far-as-the-eye-can-see bluebells.

I was captivated. Nature set its table for us. Now, that’s hospitality.

“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks”… and grouper?

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the park! Last week was the last week of the Grapefruit League’s spring training. Between February 22 and March 30, more than 1.6 million fans attended Major League Baseball’s annual off-seasons spring training in Florida at various locations throughout the Sunshine State.

We parked our seats in the seats at Space Coast Stadium in sunny Viera, Florida, where our Washington Nationals train. The training facility is intimate – so much so that you can hang out and chat with General Manager Mike Rizzo (yes, Bill did!) and ask players for autographs as they come out of the training facility (yes, Patrick did!).

While my husband and son were having their own fun I was studying the ballpark concession menus. There were the usual hot dogs, brats, hamburgers, pizza, etc. But, only in Florida would a grilled blackened grouper sandwich be on the menu. How could I resist? For only $9 I got a fresh piece of grilled grouper on a bun with hot fries.

Take me out to the ballgame…anytime and anywhere! Go Nats!

Bob’s Bunz

bobs bunsIt’s a balmy 70 degrees this Saturday morning in Islamorada in the Florida Keys and what better way to start the day than with Bob’s Bunz? If you’re nearby, stop in for some real local flavor, not to mention hospitality from Chef Robert Spencer and Gloria Teague

You’ll be glad you did!BobsBuns

Bill’s Big Adventure (aka Hospitality on the Rails)

Why would anyone ever travel by train? Because the destination is not the only goal, it’s how you get there and the adventure of riding the rails. Today’s guest blogger is my husband Bill. He’s a JAG in the U.S. Army Reserves and has been deployed for the past 10 months. Right now, he is in Fort Riley, Kansas, and almost done with his call of duty. Author Henry Kisor says those who love the railroads aren’t called railroad buffs, they are called railman. So my husband the railman set about on a weekend train trip on the Super Chief with great anticipation.

Without further delay, I give you Bill’s Big Adventure.

tunnel aheadAs Barbara attests, hospitality means making folks feel good — no matter where they (or you) are. So when her friend in New Mexico wrote wanting company, she sent me out to cheer her up. Since I have been homesick in Kansas, it didn’t take much coaxing to head west and visit friends. But I was not looking forward to the 14-hour drive — I would be beat and not very good company. I’m a bit of a history buff and have travelled extensively in my younger days so I was looking forward to visiting, but not the solo drive.

I’m entrapped with railroads and their contribution to America’s historical development. With a little research I Iearned that I could pick up the Southwest Chief out of Topeka (a mere 45-minute drive from Fort Riley) and take it into Albuquerque. When I checked the prices I was even more convinced. Railroading is the way to go!

The Route

The Southwest Chief, formerly called the Super Chief before Amtrak, runs along the original Santa Fe rail line. The Chief goes from Chicago to L.A. and I’m happy with my portion of the trip. Being one of the early western rails, the Chief follows much of the Santa Fe Trail.

Watching out the windows I’m fascinated with the ruts and the route it takes. Since the railroad was the second major westward conveyance, it was natural to take the route close to the old trail and before the highways came along and paved over the ruins. Today, this is still a beautiful country. A journey through the plains and mountains quickly remind you why we are so lucky to be Americans. 


Breakfast on the TrainBecause I was embarking around midnight I elected to upgrade to a sleeper. Amtrak does not disappoint. Accommodations include meals (my breakfast pictured here), climate-controlled quarters and a great staff of knowledgeable and hospitable professionals. They had my room all set up for me and made sure I got to where I was supposed to be at the right time.

The extensive network of rail lines, including these historic runs, are a great way to see the country in comfort, luxury, and at a great price. As long as you can afford the time, I strongly recommend considering rail travel for your next Great Adventure.

Destination Florida

I’m not stopping with this trip. I’m booking the Amtrak Auto Train from Washington, D.C., to Florida, with my family. Once we get there we’re going to follow MLB’s Washington Nationals around at spring training. Stay tuned….

Barbara Recommends

If you want a good read about a train ride, I recommend Zephyr:Tracking a Dream Across America by Henry Kisor.From Kisor’s website:

“Whether dashing through the Plains, creeping over the Rockies, hurtling across the Great Basin, or threading the Sierra Nevada, the California Zephyr is an earthbound cruise ship bearing as many as300 passengers, each with a story to tell. One hears tales of trysts in showers and sleepers, of charming serendipities in dining cars, of smuggling drugs and pets (including an elusive boa constrictor), and of a small child’s tragic death on the tracks. The California Zephyr remains America’s most exhilarating train, traversing breathtaking mountain scenery and retracing the route of countless westering pioneers.”

They Still Like Ike (and Mamie too)

Mamie Eisenhower’s Sugar Cookies

President Dwight D. Eisenhower is Abilene, Kansas’ favorite son. Abilene is the boyhood home of “Ike,” who served two terms as president of the United States (1953-1961). I didn’t know much about Eisenhower until we visited Abilene this summer and realized the entire town is deeply in love with the famous WWII Army general who served as supreme allied commander and later became president. A visit to the museum and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum opened a treasure of vintage history for me. For the man who saw Alaska and Hawaii become states, signed the 1957 Civil Rights Act, signed the bill creating NASA, and authorized the Interstate Highway system, he still was a gentle man who loved children enough that he named a presidential retreat after his grandson, David. (Known as Camp David in Maryland.)

Then, I Met Mamie

Mamie Eisenhower was born Mamie Geneva Doud in Boone, Iowa. On July 1, 1916, Ike and Mamie were married at noon in the Doud family home in Denver — the same day Ike received his first Army promotion. Several of her wardrobe ensembles were on display in the museum and she had incredible taste in clothing and an eye for fashion. Her hourglass figure gave way to the “Mamie look,” which was typified by her one-piece dresses cinched tightly across the waist, just below the bust line. I would love to have worn everything I saw! Lovely colors, feminine lines, and so pretty and lively. I gather Mamie also had a bubbly personality and a heart for hospitality. Quoted from the presidential library’s website, “Although she lived and traveled all over the world, Mrs. Eisenhower always remained a person who was most happy at home surrounded by her family.”

The president died in 1969 and Mamie died in 1971. They were buried in the Place of Meditation at the Eisenhower Center in Abilene, Kansas beside their first son who died of scarlet fever at age four. If you ever get to Abilene, please don’t miss the chance to visit the museum and library. There are only 13 presidential libraries in the United States. Learn more about them here.

For anyone who lived through the Eisenhower years, I would love to know what you thought about First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. Please share your comments on this blog. I feel a kindred spirit or, as my friend Judy Martin would say, “sisters-under-the-skin.”

Theme of this summer’s parade, “We Still Like Ike”

Mamie Eisenhower’s Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix and sift flour, baking, powder and salt. Cream butter, add sugar and cream slowly until fluffy. Stir in well-beaten egg yolks and vanilla extract. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with cream. Chill for one hour, roll and cut in any desired shape. Sprinkle with sugar before baking. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes

Recipe Courtesy of Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau and West’s Country Mart.

In Search of Sunflowers

My Kansas sunflower.

Kansas is nicknamed the Sunflower State. All I had to say on our visit this summer was that I wanted to find a sunflower field and the local folks made sure we found one. We traveled from Abilene to a town called Minneapolis, KS and somewhere off of Highway 81, we found our field. Think of the goodness we enjoy from sunflowers beyond their stunning beauty — the seeds and sunflower oil.

Thank you for your hospitality, Kansas!