It's one hour to deadline, and here I sit - munching on sweet and salty caramel Bugles while listening to the sweet sound of our neighbor mowing the grass. I just love that sound, don't you? I don't mind it at all. I will be happy to hear it all through October.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
It's one hour to deadline, and here I sit - munching on sweet and salty caramel Bugles while listening to the sweet sound of our neighbor mowing the grass. I just love that sound, don't you? I don't mind it at all. I will be happy to hear it all through October.
But, this deadline. For some reason, it always comes so quickly! I only have to do this once a week for this newspaper, but that week between column flies by!!
I can't believe that June is almost over. There are so many things that I thought I would get accomplished, but now get moved to my July "to do list.”
Here is what I have going on, and some of these activities may be of interest to you.
First, I will finish up my coveted role of Clairee in Embassy Theatre's "Steel Magnolias.” We just finished up a six-run show schedule at The Indie on Main, Keyser, and what a thrill to have so many who attended and told us how much they loved the show! We had M & S Desserts and Bakery in Keyser create the most magnificent red velvet, grey icin' armadillo masterpiece on opening night; we gave door prizes of Cuppa Cuppa Cakes; the shows were sponsored by the local Grant County Bank in Keyser; we had such responsive and wonderful audiences at each performance, and that made it all the more sweet for the actors on stage.
We tore down the sets and now have moved everything to Embassy Theatre in Cumberland - located on the downtown mall at 49 Baltimore St., across from CBIZ. There will be just two shows to finish out our run - tonight (Friday, June 28) and tomorrow (Saturday, June 29). Both shows are at 8 p.m.
Tonight, we will feature a second red velvet, grey icin' armadillo cake - and this masterpiece will be created by Heather at Sugar Momma's Bakery in Corriganville, Maryland. Heather sells specialty cakes and cupcakes of all flavors and sizes. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, baby or bridal showers, office parties and holidays. Check out the Facebook page for hundreds of pictures. Contact Heather Twigg at 301-338-0777. Worth every delicious bite!!
We are expecting quite a large crowd each evening at the Embassy, so if you'd like to make a reservation you can call 240-362-7183. The theater itself was built in 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression, and it offers an ambience and intimacy that larger movie houses don't provide. The theater is air-conditioned for your comfort, and there will be theater concessions available. Cost for admission is $16 for adults, and $14 for seniors.
Many of our patrons make it a really nice night out by including dinner before the show. There are some really nice restaurants in downtown Cumberland that you might want to consider. Some suggestions are The Manhattan Social, Ristorante Ottavianni, City Lights, and Baltimore Street Grill. These restaurants have great menu selections are all within walking distance of the theater. The weather this weekend is supposed to be perfect...perfect for dinner and a show!
Then on Sunday, June 30, Embassy
Theatre will be hosting its annual BBQ and a brief members' meeting at the conclusion of the event to elect officers for the next fiscal year. There will be many activities at the BBQ picnic, featuring live country, bluegrass and gospel music by Casselman Valley Travelers; children's games/prizes and a short skit with our star, Mr. Table; goodie bags for the kiddos; keynote speaker Kenny Heath, who will also be the official presenter of the first annual Marky Awards - named for the late Mark Baker; grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and covered dishes and desserts brought by those attending; brief presentations by Embassy officers on the board of directors - yep, I'm the VP and will be speaking about the upcoming season, as well as announcing the 2020 season and directors.
After this busy weekend is completed, then I have to move on to getting events in place for Whiskers, Inc. As president, I keep incredibly busy with fundraising and managing events, and working hard with a fantastic board of directors. We have a lot of events coming up over the next three months, as kitty cat rescue is quite a major undertaking. Missy Smith, executive director, has been saving the lost and forgotten felines for over nine years. We all worked hard to get registered as a nonprofit organization through the IRS, and volunteers for Whiskers have been so generous in supporting our mission. But man...this is work! I don't know how Missy works a full-time job and runs a full-time rescue and has time to breathe!!
Then, this weekend, the Morgan Family is expanding the household by adopting two beautiful kittens - litter mates who are currently called Tommy and Tallie. When they come here to join our family, we are going to talk with the grandkids to see if they want to keep these names or choose their own. I'll be talking a little bit about this in a future column. But, can you imagine, as busy as my life is, that I have gotten myself back into the kitten life!!!!! Curtain climbing. Playing while I am sleeping. Chasing each other throughout the house. Knocking things off of tables and end stands. And, they have four other cats and a dog to learn to live with, and vice versa. Yep. I am about to add to crazyville at the Baughman Street White House!
Then, there is a cookbook to put together, cookbooks to sell, fundraisers to organize, try to take some time to enjoy my gardens and my backyard pool, and get busy finishing my book called "Old Fella - Just A Cat.” My illustrator, Angie Fulton, has drawn such wonderful pictures of Old Fella and some of his friends who will be featured in the book. I have to really sit down in my quiet place and get busy on this book. I have been working on it since last October. And, there have been many excuses as to why it's not finished yet. It's time to stop making excuses and get the book completed so that it can be on the market through Amazon, Kindle, audiobooks and book stores across the country. Coming soon, I promise!
Oh, let's not forget fireworks. there are a lot of opportunities for fireworks in the area. My favorite! Here are some places for you to consider in your plans for fireworks:
The following is a list of July 4th celebrations and fireworks times. The list will be updated as more information becomes available. For more details log on to
July 3
Cumberland The annual RED, WHITE & BLUEGRASS celebration in Downtown is a part of Burgmeier’s Hauling Discover Downtown Cumberland and is hosted by the Downtown Development Commission July 3  featuring  Gilbert Lee & Friends 5 – 6 p.m. and the The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers 6 – 9 p.m. Hailing from the mountain towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers draw freely from old-time, bluegrass, jamgrass, rockabilly, and swing music to create their own brand of high energy Appalachian bluegrass. Their goal is simple: write good songs, honor the music, have fun, and take it to the road. The band has opened for The Steep Canyon Rangers, Town Mountain, The Black Lillies, Pure Prairie League, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Larry Keel, Jeff Austin, and Cabinet. Band members include Ray Bruckam (mandolin, fiddle, vocals) Gary Antol (songwriter, guitar, vocals), Libby Eddy (fiddle, vocals), Jody Mosser (Dobro), and Evan Bell (upright bass). The Discover Downtown Cumberland free community music relies solely on private sponsorship.
For more information on sponsorship, please contact DDC Executive Director, Mikayla Dodge,, or visit her office located on the ground level of City Hall. For more information on this and other upcoming events, visit our Facebook page.
Oakland Broadford Recreation Area July 3, 9 p.m. The American Fireworks Company Presents “A Fireworks Spectacular.” Tuesday, July 3, at dusk. The rain date is July 5. Admission is $3 per person, children 8 and under $1. The Community Concert Band and an octet of singers from the Choral Society will be on hand the evening of the fireworks at approximately 7:30 p.m., performing at Pavilion #1. Kona Ice and Lakeside Creamery will have items for purchase. 
Lonaconing: Please join the town of Lonaconing for an amazing annual fireworks display sponsored by DHS Productions. The event will take place at the Westmar Middle School Athletic Field. The infield opens at 5 p.m. and fireworks will begin at 9:45 p.m. Entrance onto the infield is free. The infield will be full of food vendors, rides, games, and inflatable fun for the kidd. DHS Production wristbands will be available for $10 per person and will include most of the rides, inflatable games, and bounce houses. Chairs and blankets are welcome on the infield. No alcohol, glass, tobacco use, or pets are permitted. Want more information? Please contact Coney Days by email, or call 240-803-9083. Raindate is scheduled for July 5, 2019.
July 4
Cumberland Constitution Park Fireworks will be happening at sunset weather permitting
Rocky Gap Casino Resort July 4 weather permitting,  between 930-945 p.m. They will be launched from the water treatment plant that is located to the left of the resort close to the area of the spillway. Best viewing will be from the resort back yard and the day use area of the state park. Visitors may view the fireworks from the Rocky Gap State Park Day Use area.  Admission will be FREE after 7:00 pm.  Due to ongoing parking lot renovations, there is limited parking at the Day Use Area.  Guests are also welcome to enjoy the fireworks from the amphitheatre area, located off Pleasant Valley Road.  Alcohol, personal fireworks and sparklers are strictly prohibited in state parks.
Frostburg On Independence Day, the Frostburg Elks will host the 42nd annual Derby Day on Main Street in Frostburg. A fun-filled day of soapbox racing, good food, and good company. This event has become a staple in the Mountain City community.
Deep Creek Lake, Wisp Resort July 4, 9:30 p.m. (Rain date, July 5) 2019 Outdoor Stage Wisp Concert Series continues for a double-header on the Fourth of July to kick off the Independence Day fireworks. Fireworks will start at dusk and continue for 20-30 minutes. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and a blanket. Come see the Hillbilly Gypsies both July 3 and 4! Prime viewing locations for the annual display include: Scenic overlook along Rt. 219, Wisp Resort, Lawn at Garrett College, Boat on Deep Creek Lake, Local Businesses in McHenry.
DelGrosso’s Park and Laguna Splash are teaming up with We Can Do It! WWII – A Traveling Exhibition for Summer Thunder 2019! The We Can Do It! WWII Exhibit is hosted by the Railroaders Memorial Museum in partnership with the Blair County Historical Society and will be open May 25-July 16, 2019, with various associated events happening throughout the Altoona area! Fireworks will happen July 4, with the Pre-Show starting at approximately 10 p.m. and the fireworks Show beginning around 10:30 p.m.
July 6
Moorefield: The Moorefield Lions Club is proud to announce that they are once again hosting the Moorefield Independence Day Celebration! Activities will take place at the Moorefield Town Park on July 6th. Featured activities and events include:FREE swim day!Food and Craft vendors, Lions Club BBQ Chicken, Games and contests, Inflatable bouncy houses, Basketball tournament starting at 11:00 AM, Parade starting at 6:30 PM, Fireworks starting at 9:30 PM, (Fireworks rain date is next day Sunday July 7th)There will also be live music and entertainment featuring:
Center Stage Dancers 12-1 p.m.
Oswald Thomas 1-3 p.m.
Jay Halterman 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Queen City Funk & Soul 709:30 p.m.
The Moorefield Independence Day Celebration is made possible by the volunteers of the Moorefield Lions Club and these fine local businesses that donate money to pay for our fireworks.
July 7
Summer Jam Baseball
There is also a vacation in my near future. Ocean City - a family trip. First real vacation in four years. The last vacation was in Myrtle Beach during hurricane Joaquin in 2015...but in spite of Joaquin, we had the most wonderful time. I've never been to Ocean City, so this will be a really nice experience. Nine nights (yes, nine!!!!!!!), beachfront, sand, early sunrise breakfast, sunsets, sharks, boardwalk, shopping, seafood, swimming, reading and relaxation and talking to my most favorite people in the whole world.
I am also on a personal journey which I keep to myself. There are milestones, there are goals, there is peace and a sense of such accomplishment that I hold close to my vest. This journey continues amidst all of the busyness and craziness of my life, but it's worth it. So worth it. God understands my weaknesses and my failures - yet he loves me. God knows all of the things about me that are unworthy, yet he is there. God knows the struggles and the pain I continue to have, and the forgiveness I need to work on. This journey is not easy, but I try to reach down and grab a pebble from time to time to remind myself that I am getting there. The rocks in my landscaping also remind me that some things deep inside myself will never change, for those are the things that God created. Foundation. Sticks and stones. One baby step at a time.