Tag Archives: Shawn Phillips

My Life As An Entrepreneur – And More News

I no longer know what day of the week it is and it hardly matters. For most people who work for someone else the weekends are sacrosanct. Fridays are special as they mark the end of the work week and people look forward to two days of catching up on household chores, spending time with family and friends, and just relaxing. This all changes when you own your own business.
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Honoring Family Traditions and Holidays – Scalloped (aka Au Gratin) Potatoes

Once we built the house our immediate family had a tradition of coming up to Maine for Easter and Thanksgiving holidays. As you’ve no doubt discerned, we love to eat foods from many cultures and our festivities weren’t always accompanied by the “turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas” type offerings. In fact we typically would serve lobster and steak for Thanksgiving in Maine. But no matter how we digressed from the all American offerings, I think my family would have boycotted the meals if I didn’t have scalloped potatoes on the menu. Continue reading

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Real Men Do Eat Chorizo Quiche (at least in Florida)

We’ve finally settled into Nokomis, Florida and I am inspired to cook again. This evening I decided to mix a couple of cultures – French and Mexican – and created a Chorizo Quiche for dinner. The spicy chorizo blends perfectly with the egg and cheese. Continue reading

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The Big Top and Culture in Sarasota

Since early April Bob and I have been in Sarasota County, exploring job and investment opportunities and looking for a place to live. It hasn’t been total drudgery by any means. We are the kind of people who follow Mary Poppins’ advice and have “a spoonful of honey to make the medicine go down” and in this case it has consisted of mornings and evenings at the beach, walks through parks, attending the Unitarian Universalist Church, and in general visiting various areas of Sarasota. We’ve probably eaten out more than is good for our physique and our cholesterol numbers but we have offset this with daily laps in the pool, walks along the shore, and swimming in the ocean. We finally visited the John and Mable Ringling Museum Estate located on 66 acres of Sarasota bayfront property which is actually home to four attractions and several gardens. Continue reading

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Racing Armadillos and Other Fun

We have driven and explored the area in and around Sarasota for the past week and remain enthused. I can’t help but be struck by the differences. Whereas Maine is rugged with its spruce and fir forests leading to granite boulders and frigid ocean waters, this is a land of pines and palms and flat swampy areas leading to pristine beaches and warm almost waveless turquoise seas. Continue reading

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Gypsies on the Road

Ten days ago Bob and I packed up our dogs and a small suitcase each and started driving down the eastern coast of the United States. Our home on Deer Isle is very close to the northern border of this magnificent country and it is a special trip to see the countryside change. We felt that Spring seemed to evolve as we traveled south. Each state brought us closer to heat and flowers in bloom until we reached the balmy weather in Florida. Along the way we stopped in several cities to reconnect with some friends and family and to rejoice in those reunions. Continue reading

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The End of an Era

I haven’t posted anything for the past couple of weeks as I’ve been very busy exploring Florida, looking at houses there, and coming back to Columbia University Medical Center to celebrate my 15 year career there and to officially “retire”.

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A Mystery, Wicked Good Blueberry Coffee Cake, and a B&B

My favorite book genre are whodunits and I love to cook. Can there be anything better than combining the two? Karen MacInerney writes the Grey Whale Inn series set on Cranberry Island. The protagonist trades in Texas (where Ms MacInerney lives) for a Bed and Breakfast Inn on the Maine coast. It’s a fun read and the recipes are delicious. Wicked Good Blueberry Coffee Cake is my favorite and is found in the book that earned her the Agatha Christie Award – “Murder on the Rocks”. I don’t know if they serve blueberry coffee cake but can attest that no inn has a better view than our own Inn on Ferry Landing. Continue reading

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Spring Walks and A Spring Tonic

We’ve finally been experiencing Spring and have taken full advantage of the weather to take walks around the Sunshine area of Deer Isle. I feel a bounce in my step and increased enthusiasm with the delightful weather. Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Pie (aka Cottage Pie)

In almost every culture there is a dish that makes use of leftovers, a kind of “everything but the kitchen sink” recipe. The Irish Shepherd’s Pie was originally made with leftover mutton or lamb, covered with a gravy, combined with whatever vegetables were available, and covered with mashed potatoes. Once this dish came to the United States we modified it to include beef rather than mutton. Continue reading

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Birds of Deer Isle and Their Symbolism

What is it about birds that so catch our fancy and delight our imagination? We live on a remote and relatively unpopulated area of Maine’s second largest island. The open space provides a number of wildlife habitats and is perfect for bird watching. We find sightings when we least expect them. If Bob is fortunate, he is able to quickly grab his ever present camera and snap some shots before the bird is out of range. My experience is more passive, watching the birds and feeling my soul soar through the skies with them. Continue reading

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Chicken Soup with Dumplings – The perfect comfort food

These chilly rainy/snowy days are perfect for soup making. We have had just about every kind of weather today from winds, to snow, to rain, to some form of precipitation that is somewhere between rain and snow and accompanied by wind. It’s time for the comfort of chicken soup with dumplings. Continue reading

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Daily Observations from Paradise

Most of the Northeast is hit with a storm and Deer Isle is no exception. It has been raining all day and Bob tells me that we have several crappy weather days ahead. It has been a perfect day to go through some pieces I’ve written in the past and I found one to post about a day in the Autumn right after a storm. It’s a reminder to me to stop and enjoy the simple things. Continue reading

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Cioppino for Two

A Christmas tradition started in New Jersey was to have a huge pot of Cioppino on Christmas eve. Cioppino is a fish and shell-fish stew in a tomato broth. It is said to come from the Italian fishermen in San Francisco. I would serve it before we started in on the other dishes and there would always be a huge pot leftover that we would dip into throughout the next week. Continue reading

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Moving and Grooving Island Style

Our weekend on Deer Isle has started out with an abundance of interesting events and artistic and wilderness experiences. Continue reading

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Island Ad-Vantages | Shrimp—make the direct connection

Bob and I are celebrities! We were featured on the front page of the Island Ad-Vantage newspaper. We are proud to support this cause – local fishermen have it tough and we want to encourage them to stay in business. As more and more people are attempting to eat organically and locally, we need to recognize that this means supporting the local people who harvest and grow our food. Yes it costs a bit more however isn’t it worth it?
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Visiting the Enchanted Forest

There are many decisions to be made prior to even starting to pour the foundation of a new house. One of the most important is that of placement of the house. Our little cove was on the southeast section on four acres of steeply graded granite ledge and forest. There was no electricity, no telephone poles, no connection to water and sewer lines. We were “off the grid”. Continue reading

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Ignorance Isn’t Always Bliss/Listening to Our Hearts

Up to now the story of our path of deciding to purchase coastal property on Deer Isle in Maine sounds relatively reasonable if impulsive. However at this point I have to cop to being a city slicker who had absolutely no idea what she was getting into and was certainly not prepared on even the most basic of levels. Continue reading

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Cure for Winter Doldrums – The First Journey to Deer Isle

The winter blues had not quite set in but I was feeling impatient and wanted to visit some of the places we had identified as possibilities. We made an impetuous decision to give ourselves a Christmas present – to take a week of a “just us two” vacation time and travel up to Deer Isle in January 2003. Continue reading

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Synchronicity and Serendipity Lead us to Deer Isle

Encouraged by quotes such as “if you can dream it, you can accomplish it” and “what would you do if you didn’t fear failure”, we decided to start exploring a future of living on the coast. Ok we had the vision but where should we concentrate on manifesting it? How does one determine where to relocate or retire to? The answer is as individual as the person or couple. Having determined our “must have” list, we had to fit it into our plans something mundane but necessary – “what was practical”. Continue reading

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