Mushroom hunting in Latvia

2009/08/11 Food, Travel 9 comments

mushrooms at marketmushrooms and berries at tirgusThe last time I was in Latvia, I made it a goal to eat some of the country’s great mushrooms at as many meals as possible. A wonderful culture of forest foraging abounds, yielding wonderous displays at farmer’s markets of wild berries and assorted mushrooms. My favorite Latvian meal might be thought of more peasant food than haute cuisine, but mushrooms fried with onions and bacon, finished with cream, and served with a variety of the county’s incredible assortment of deeply flavored potatoes, then topped with fresh dill, is my food of choice. Read the rest of this entry »

Winter at Wisp

2015/12/01 Travel No comments

There’s nothing like an early season snowfall to make winter sports fans salivate and ski resorts start testing out the snowguns. At Wisp Resort, in western Maryland, spokesperson Lori Epp says the resort is primed for the upcoming season with a tentative opening date of Nov. 25 as long as the weather stays chilly.

But even if the temperatures don’t dip low enough for snow, vacationers have a cornucopia of activities to amuse and thrill. Treetop ziplines and a roaring mountain coaster offer a rush of adrenaline even when there’s no white in sight. And with a new Chipmunk Challenge Course, packed with a closer-to-the-ground zipline, younger family members and the more tentative risk takers can experience an airborne sensation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Lancaster County

2015/09/01 Food, Travel No comments

There’s no better time to delight in Lancaster County’s bounty than early autumn. Plentiful harvests yield piles of colorful produce at roadside farm stands and farmer’s markets, are a cause celeb at local wineries and breweries, and keep jam kitchens busy preserving the tastes of summer. All this makes a weekend getaway in the Garden Spot a time to delight in the delicious flavors of the season.

The region is a feast for the senses, from the lush landscape to be explored by bicycle or Amish buggy or even hot air balloon, to the wealth of artisans and craftspeople showcasing their wares in quilt and furniture shops, craft shows, and art galleries.

Read the rest of this entry »

York Factory Tours

2015/05/01 Travel No comments

Ever wonder how stuff gets made? From the soap you shower with to the watch you strap on your wrist to the food you consume to your transportation to work, your morning starts with the products manufactured in places like York, PA. To learn how these goods get their start, visit the county for the 17th annual Made in America tour, June 17-20. More than 20 factories and attractions, in addition to six wineries, open their floors to allow visitors to see the inner workings, in many cases, for free.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Thaw in the Maryland Mountains

2015/03/01 Travel No comments

As Garrett County, MD sheds its winter coating of ice, its woods are alive with the sounds of the thaw. As mountains of snow compress and recede, streams turn rivers to waterfalls of water, released from the confines of cold. In this rush of solid turning to liquid, a quieter metamorphosis emerges. Maple trees release their sweet sap into sun warmed days. Pungent ramps and skunk cabbage send up broad fat leaves. The spring wildflowers know as ephemerals like trillium and trout lilies embrace the season of emergence.

It’s a signal to trade skis and snowboards for hiking boots and fishing rods in search of quieter thrills like sightings of migrating wood ducks, fox kits, and spotted mole salamanders.

Read the rest of this entry »

New collection of poetry: Traces

2013/11/12 Poetry One comment

traces-bookcoverLancaster, Pa. — Daina Savage’s new collection of poetry, Traces, debuts Nov. 13 at a reading at DogStar Books, 401 W. Lemon St., Lancaster. Published by I. Giraffe Press, an imprint of Iris G. Press, the collection features 58 poems. The book was nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize.

Savage, who served as Lancaster County Poet Laureate, is a co-founder of the annual Spoken Word Festival, co-founder of the Lancaster County Young Writers Workshop, and served as director of the Poetry Continuum reading series.

The book cover bears Lititz artist Mark Workman’s winter scene “Hibernation,” as well as three early native plant studies by Wrightsville artist Rob Evans.

Read more in this Lancaster Newspaper review.



All Fired Up

2013/10/09 Fitness No comments

IMG_8746As the season turns and temperatures drop, there’s a need to stoke your inner fire to weather the winter to come. Beginning to incorporate more fire into your movements helps overcome a seasonal sense of lethargy and offers more energy and enthusiasm despite the darkening days. Cultivating heat also makes things happen in transformative ways. Think about how a phoenix rises from the ashes: the destruction that allows something completely original to arise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Practicing through the passage of time

2013/07/07 Fitness No comments

pond campfireWhen I was young, my birthday parties were amazing. Blessed with a lake in my front yard, scores of summer playmates spilling out from the neighboring cottages, and our collective mothers creating a carnival theme with games and contests to rival any elementary school fair, my birthday expanded into a veritable neighborhood festival. My siblings, who all had the misfortune of birthdays that fell in snowstorm-prone months, bundled their cancelled parties into mine to form a communal celebration with our five sets of friends. This diffused spotlight, perfect for a shy girl, made for the ideal way to mark the passing years: a party with no pressure. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating animal shapes to benefit homeless pets

2013/06/12 Fitness No comments

Meg and Pip in the park

Meg and Pip in the Park
(Lancaster Newspapers)

A carnival of animals is inhabiting Buchanan Park this summer. Think panthers, gorillas, even komodo dragons prowling through the turfgrass. Leaping leopards, spinning monkeys, and dancing dogs all enlivening the grounds. And you can join them.

Budokon classes, a graceful hybrid of martial arts and yoga, are now taught each Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the wooded clearing just south of the under-construction dogpark and west of the North Museum.

Read the rest of this entry »

Changing your perspective

2013/05/28 Fitness No comments

Crow on the rowboat

Crow on the rowboat

The first time a yoga teacher suggested I press my hands on the floor and lift up into a handstand, I thought she was joking. Until all around me, the whole class was turning upside-down. Clearly I was in the wrong place.

After taking yoga classes for 20-some years, no-one had ever made this request of me. Thank goodness. Unlike my friends and even my sisters, I was not the preteen girl who did endless series of cartwheels along the lawn. I’ve been perfectly happy being upright, thank you very much.

So at 44, I couldn’t imagine that my yoga teacher couldn’t just accept this fact: I am just not an upside-down person. Plus, with each passing year, I feel a little more breakable.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ready to Begin

2013/05/02 Fitness No comments

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki

In yoga, we work to cultivate a beginner’s mind. Each day, when we sit to meditate or when we unroll our mats, the intention is to begin this practice again fresh and unencumbered.

That intent may be difficult many days. Okay, for me, most days.

The past always informs the present. And unfortunately, it’s also what limits us.

Read the rest of this entry »