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Archive for December, 2015

December 27th, 2015

Destination? Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Holidays at The Beach, Holiday Window Decorating Contest Winners for Businesses, Warm Weather, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, Delaware Beaches

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No words are necessary to explain the following photo.  It has been warm at the Delaware Beaches and it is the end of December!!  Thrashers French Fries with Salt & Vinegar.  The best grub on the Boardwalk.

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On the corner Dolle’s was also open selling what they have been selling for years, popcorn and taffy among other favorites.

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On Rt. 1 the outlets were packed and the highway was definitely busy.  In Downtown Rehoboth Beach it was like any other summer day at the beach, except that even though people were wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts, I did not see any bathing suits.  Other than that people were on the beach, walking the Boardwalk, pets were out, and life was good today.

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The Winners for the 201 Holiday Windown Decorating Contest in Downtown Rehoboth Beach have been announced by Rehoboth Beach Maint Street (RBMS).  All 3 businesses received a 1/4 Page Color Cape Gazette Ad

First Place was The Pelican Loft located at 143 Rehoboth Avenue.

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Second Place was Mod Cottage located at 246-A Rehoboth Avenue.

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And Third Place was Jane & Georgie, located at 419 Rehoboth Avenue.

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Walking the Boardwalk is a past time that residents of Rehoboth Beach love to do.  The Boardwalk is one mile long.  It is relaxing any time during the day, but I do like it towards the end of the day.  Meeting Sharon was a surprised so we kept on walking.  Felt soooo good.  Love to see that owners are enjoying the homes at the beach.  This is a great time for Rehoboth Beach and New Year’s will be again crowded.

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Have a great week.  TTYL

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December 21st, 2015

Rehoboth Beach Eats! Henlopen City Oyster House, Restaurant, Review, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Delware Beaches

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Beautiful weather in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Walking the award winning, one mile Boardwalk is a past time for visitors and residents.  At this time of the year is the perfect time to take a stroll with a friend or try to work out some of the food that has been enjoyed in our award winning restaurants.  Rehoboth Beach is a dining destination and only a few hours from Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

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There you see Jody and I walking off scrapple on Sunday morning!!

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It has been quite some time since I last visited Henlopen City Oyster House located at 50 Wilmington Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Tel. 302-260-9193  Website?  http://www.hcoysterhouse.com.

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Henlopen City Oyster House is open daily.  Lunch begins at Noon, Happy Hour at the Bar begins at 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Dinner begins at 5 p.m.  Please note that they will be closing on Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th.

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This restaurant is serious about oysters, so if you like them please make sure that while visiting Rehoboth Beach you make a point to stop.  One of my other friends came from Bethany Beach to have a bite to eat before Christmas.  Cathy had one the beers on tap and I proceeded to have a glass of champagne.

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After discussing the menu with our server, which by the way was excellent, we decided to start with some salads.  The menu changes daily but there are some dishes that are always on the menu.

The Butternut Squash Salad had tuscano kale, quinoa, hazelnuts, pears, and pomegranate.

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I love beets so I will always order them if found on the menu.  Their Roasted Beet Salad is always on the menu.  Sunflower seeds, sliced pickled radish, feta cheese, and a balsamic reduction. Loved the 2 color beets!!

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Cathy decided on the Herb Grilled Carolina Wreckfish brushed with fresh herbs, and served with her choice of Mascarpone Mashed Turnips and Broccoli. Wreckfish are from the bass family.  They have a big head with a big mouth.  They are found in waters ranging from 140 feet up to 3,000 feet deep.  Although they are found all along the East Coast, most of the commercial fishery operates over the Charleston Bump, located 80 to 100 miles southeast of Charleston, SC.  It was mild and perfectly seasoned.

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Even though Henlopen City Oyster House is known for oysters and seafood, they also have elk, wild boar and ribeye steak.  In speaking to our server he said the Shiitake Encrusted Elk Rack was amazing.  So no brainer…that’s what I had and it did not disappoint.  Cooked just like it should be eaten it had an amazing taste.  It was oven roasted, with miso acorn squash, chestnut wild rice, black garlic, and lemongrass cranberry.  Not to be missed.

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A sweet ending of Key Lime Pie for Cathy and I.  It was good too.  Just enough tartness and not overly sweet.

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Have a good one….kick back and relax!!

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December 20th, 2015

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, Shop Local

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I big shout to Doggies at The Beach for taking such good care of my little Diva, Miss Addy.  Doggies at the beach is a 3,500 square foot indoor, cage free doggie day care.  It is Miss Addy’s home away from home.  While visiting Doggies at the Beach she met Santa.  I know what her expression is telling me, but I am glad she went along with the program.  Doggies at The Beach is located at 18806 J. Williams Hwy. in Rehoboth Beach.  Tel. 302-644-8200.  They have 24 hour human supervision and even web cams so that you can follow your precious pooch.  Grooming is also available.  They are on Facebook, as well.  Check them out because they are always hosting events and very much involved in the community.  Jim and his staff are very caring and obviously they love dogs!!  Please visit http://www.doggiesatthebeach.com.

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This would be a great stocking stuffer for your dog.  Your pooch will love these Tail Bangers made with whole wheat flour, rolled oats, eggs, canola oil, fresh ground peanuts, honey, cinnamon, with a vanilla yogurt coating.  Tail Bangers are made in Millsboro, Delaware, about 1/2 hour from Rehoboth Beach.  The company has gone big, a success story.  I have not visited but can’t wait to do so.  You can find Tail Bangers at Doggies at The Beach, Candy Kitchen, Pet Stores in the area and even the UPS store at the Safeway Shopping Center.  I took them as a gift to my friend’s dog, Dale, in Bluffton, South Carolina and they were a big hit.  So, I decided to try them myself.  They smell so good.  I took a bite and they were not bad at all.  After all they are made with all natural ingredients.  Tail Bangers is located at 24546 Betts Pond Rd., Millsboro, DE 19956   You can find them on Facebook and Twitter. Website?  www.tailbangers.com.

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Another great stocking stuffer for those that love to cook and for your favorite foodies are these Sea Salts made right here on the coast by SoDel Concepts.  There is the Bay Spice, the Summer Lemon Zest, and the Black Pepper Fennel.  You can get these salts at any of SoDel Concepts Restaurants from Lewes to Fenwick Island.  For the locations of the restaurants, please visit http://www.sodelconcepts.com.

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Another perfect gift….a book, the perfect companion.  Truddi Chase was from Maryland.  Her story was made into a movie years ago, base on her first book When Rabbit Howls.  The movie was called Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase.  It was an autobiography about her experiences after being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder.  Truddi was interviewed by Oprah.  Her story is a fascinating one of survival after been sexually abuse from age two.  She coped by developing 92 personalities.  She never integrated them so she lived with them all of her life until she died in 2010.  Her second book has just come out thanks to her daughter, Kari, who lives in Lewes.  This second book is more whimsical.  All art work is by Truddi and the different personalities.  The name of the book is The Creature of Habit.  You can get it at http://www.truddichase.com

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Or, you may also get it at http://www.amazon.com.

Have a good one!!  TTYL

December 17th, 2015

Historic Charleston Eats! Husk, Charleston, South Carolina, Restaurant, Review, “A Destination to Savor”

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The fun part of staying in Historic Charleston is that you can walk everywhere.  During my stay last week I noticed that Christmas decorations were very traditional and understated.  So en route to Husk at 76 Queen St. I was.

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I was anticipating a very nice dinner.  This is one of the top restaurants in Historic Charleston.  Tel. 843-577-2500.  You can find it on Facebook.  Website? http:/www.huskrestaurant.com.

Husk is operated and managed by the Neighborhood Dining Group.  You can find this group managing and operating restaurants throughout the southeast.  For more info., please visit http://www.neighborhooddininggroup.com.

Husk opens 7 days a week.  Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Sunday Brunch is from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Dinner is from Sunday to Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.  And, Friday and Saturday dinner is from 5:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday evening was crowded so my photos were limited to my dining experience.

The bread was sprinkled with sea salt.  It was brought to the table promptly.  The service from this point on was impeccable.

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Through my stay in Charleston I always asked for the signature dish of the restaurant.  I figured it is one that is tried and true and really liked by the public.  So I started with Kentuckyaki Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps, Sweet Vinegar Marinated Cucumber, Red Onion and Bourbon Barrel Togarashi.  Togarashi is the Japanese word for red chili peppers and a general name for a group of condiments that blend chili pepper with other ingredients.  The pig’s ears were thinly sliced and were crisped.  The cucumbers were all preserved by Husk as they usually do with all their summer veggies.  This dish was awesome.  And when upon posting the photo on Facebook my friend, Shelley, mentioned….Oh you could get those at Southern States….she seems to still have a good sense of humor.

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Another Signature Dish at Husk is the Cornmeal Dusted Carolina Catfish.  Field Peas and Butterbeans, Smoked Tomato Gravy, Mustard Greens.  Once again the flavors on this entree were terrific.  I also enjoyed this dish because I knew my late husband, John, would have ordered it, as well.  This Catfish had a bit of a bite to it even though the flavor was mild and the dusting was light.

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A side order of Wood Fired Geechie Boy Mill Grits, and Cheddar from TN.  I ate grits everywhere I found them.  These were delicious. Geehie Boy Mill Grits are from Edisto Island, South Carolina. You can order online.  Please visit http://www.geechieboymill.com

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My dessert was again decadent.  Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Fudge Cake with homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream and a dusting of peanut butter powder.  I missed my partners in crime to help eat this cake, so what can I say, I ate it all myself.  Olive & Sinclair chocolate is stone ground in Nashville Tennessee.  More information, please visit http://www.oliveandsinclair.com.

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So, 3 nights in Historic Charleston, 3 delicious dinners, 2 great breakfasts, and 1 very nice lunch…..TTYL  Have Good One!!

December 17th, 2015

Women & Wine, The Swirl Girls, Ocean City, Maryland, Thanks for a Great Evening

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A glass or two of wine with friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  The Swirl Girls started in Ocean City, Maryland, almost 6 years ago by a group of friends that enjoy wines.  Women and Wine, it is all about good conversation and great wines to taste.  And, dinner is usually served, as well.

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Once a month throughout the year they get together.  One person is the host, she provides the food, the rest bring what they would like to drink which is usually wine but there a few that prefer spirits at times.

And, at this time of the year, Donna, gives a Swirl Girls Christmas Party.  It is at this time that “members” can invite friends to attend.  And, that is where I come into the picture.  My friend, Cindi, invited me.

We were to only bring a present worth about $20 or so with an Italian theme.  We arrived at Donna’s to find the house totally decorated, the tables set, and the Swirl Girls ready to mingle with friends.

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Nobody is posing for photos so what you see is what I got.

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Tasting wine is not the same as drinking it.  You have to pay attention to those acute senses of sight, smell, touch and taste.

A true Swirl Girl holds the stem of the wine glass, and gently swirls the glass in small circles on a flat surface, allowing the oxygen to penetrate the wine.  You are aerating the wine.  As the wine coats the sides of the glass, it releases its bouquet.

For dinner, we had pasta, Caesar Salad, shrimp, cheeses, breads and soups.

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For dessert homemade cakes, cannoli and cookies.

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Then the Presents…..We all got one number.  Everyone got a present.  By the order of numbers, starting with number 1, this person opens her present, then the person with number 2 decides if she wants that present or she can open her own.  In reality you can steal the other person’s present.  And so the evening went.  For example, I got this bottle of Italian Pisa Liquor and was immediately snatched by one of my “friends”.

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Others were able to show their presents so others could make a decision.  The bottle of champagne was snatched too.

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The next photos show some of them wearing colanders.  There is a reason.  And, it is not that they had too much wine.  Did you read about the woman that wanted to wear a colander on her head on her license’s photo?  They finally did let her.  She is part of a “religion” called the Pastafarians.  I am not making this up.  You can research it yourself.  So being politically correct, we decided that the theme would still be Italian and few colanders showed up during the evening.

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The greatest gift of life is that of friendship, and I have received it!! At times I don’t get to see them often enough, but when we get together is like time have stood still.  Love it and I find it priceless!!

Yeah, it's all here.

Yeah, it's all here.

December 14th, 2015

Historic Charleston Eats!! Cypress, Restaurant, Review, Charleston, South Carolina

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Eating my way through Charleston.  A friend that reads my posts told me she was not going to read them anymore.  She was gaining weight just looking at some of the food.  I arrived at Cypress which was across my hotel, The Vendue.  This is a historic building….but practically a lot of the buildings in downtown Charleston are historic.  The location? 167 East Bay Street.  Website? http://www.cypresscharleston.com.

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You may call for reservations at 843-727-0111.  The Mezzanine Bar opens at 5:00 p.m. and the Dining Room opens at 5:30 p.m.  You may also make reservations online.  The above mentioned website is a wealth of information.  You can also read about the chefs, and check out what events are going to be happening in 2016.  They will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so please take a look in case you want to take advantage of a relaxing and delicious experience in dining.

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Cypress is part of a group of restaurants…Magnolias, Blossom, and Artisan Meat Share.  If you are visiting Charleston take a look at them, as well.

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Taylor was my server and I have to give a loud shout to her.  She knew the menu so well, having tasted most everything from the kitchen.  I followed her advice and I could not have been happier.

A little wine and warm bread to the table.  Not just a simple bread….the crust was well done and the inside was just perfect and so warm.

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An appetizer of Sashimi Tuna & Oysters….what a great combination of flavors.  Oysters are in season.  It had a ginger-garlic glaze, and pineapple wasabi.  Not only did they tasted delicious, the presentation was awesome.

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For my entree I was looking at the Crisp Wasabi Tuna.  Taylor told me that it was a signature dish, and one that is usually photographed in the magazines.  I had to have it because it sounded perfect.  The tuna had a crispy outside placed on carrots, turnips, radishes, edamame, shiitake mushrooms, and that fab ginger-garlic glaze once again.  I could not get enough of it.

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What could my sweet ending be?  The Grand Marnier Souffle sounded decadent.  It was brought to the table and when the Marnier creme anglaise was poured from above, I was just so happy to have had my camera ready!!

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If dining or having drinks on the Mezzanine you will have an advantage bird’s eye view of the kitchen.

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Once again many thanks to Taylor for taking care of me.

Eating by myself was just fine.  “All four elements were happening in equal measure – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambiance.  It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level.”  charlie trotter

December 14th, 2015

Historic Charleston Eats! SNOB, Slightly North of Broad, Restaurant, Review, Lunch & Dinner, Gluten Free Menu, Charleston, South Carolina

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If you are in Charleston at this precise moment, SNOB is open for lunch.  I went back to this popular restaurant having visited last February.  I was intrigued by the fact that there is a new ownership since I last visited.  Apparently everything is going well.  Nevertheless, I wanted to try it for myself.

So off I went to 192 E Bay St.  Tel. 843-723-3424  They are open 7 days a week.  Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Dinner from 5:00 p.m.  Reservations are accepted but for the Chef’s Table is first come first serve.

I sat once again at the Chef’s Table.  This table, I believe has 6 seats.  Usually, diners sit here because they are foodies and also get the opportunity to chat with others, more so if you are by yourself.  You get a good view towards the kitchen.

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Plus you get a little starter from your server….a small crab cake tasting.

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Last February I had their signature dish.  That is worth a try.  Shrimp & Grits no less, with house sausage, country ham, tomatoes, green onions, on top of delicious Geechie Boy grits.

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At the Chef’s Table this year:  Steamed Local Clams with parsley, roasted garlic cream and grilled baguettes which were perfect for dipping into the broth.

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The Beef Carpaccio looked beautiful, perfect for a light lunch…thinly sliced raw beef, capers, pecorino Romano, and grilled baguette.

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And, the Grilled Carolina Trout did not disappoint….So moist and perfectly seasoned.  It was served over roasted root veggies, wilted greens and drizzled with a golden raisin vinaigrette.  If you like fish, this is a good one to try.

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Please note that SNOB offers a Gluten Free Menu, so you will be able to have a nice lunch or dinner without any problems.

No dessert this time, I was perfectly satisfied.

Have a Good One!!  TTYL

December 13th, 2015

Sweetgrass Baskets, A Proud Tradition, Trudy Hicks Baskets, Charleston, South Carolina

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I thought that on this second trip to Charleston I was going to again leave without a sweetgrass basket.  I don’t know, to tell you the truth as I was passing plenty of weavers, none hit it where it should have….my heart.  Except, that on my last day I grabbed a cup of coffee and went down the street by my hotel, The Vendue, towards the Waterfront Park, which is on Vendue Range.  The photo above is exactly what I first saw.  I have never met a stranger, so this time I stopped and engaged Trudy Hicks in conversation.

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As it happened, Trudy is one of Charleston’s finest sweetgrass basket makers.  She was taught as a child and she has passed this art form to her children, grandchildren and plenty of others that want to learn.

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Many years ago, before she took over for her grandmother, Trudy had her own hair salon.  She has a great spot on this street because the previous mayor of the City of Charleston awarded her this particular station because of her connection to Boone Hall Plantation.  Her grandmother is the last living person that lived at Boone Hall.  Her aunt had been born there, as well.  Once she is finished for the day all she has to do is close the doors.  The basket weavers in the market have to take everything down every day and take it home.

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Trudy showed me photographs of her family.  Also a photo of the first road stand in Mount Pleasant where the first baskets were weaved and sold.

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Trudy gives back to the community.  The flowers, wreaths, crosses made out of sweetgrass…proceeds go to The House Of Love.  She takes children out on field days, and helps in every which way she can.

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I think everyone in her family except one of the little ones know how to weave.  She tells her daughter to get those little fingers ready!!

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Sweet grass baskets are so easy to take care.  Since the grasses are from swamps and marsh areas, water will not hurt them.  To clean, just spray the basket with cold water and then let them air dry.  That’s it.  Trudy’s telephone is 843-460-0901.  She also ships.  So, next time while visiting Charleston stop by and say hello.  She will give you a warm smile and plenty of hugs and will really make your day, I promise you, she will.   She is one awesome lady.

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Have a Good One!! TTYL

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