Posted by Kathy Silvia.

About 32 years ago, I was invited to attend a Rotary meeting in Osterville.  Little did I know that some 32 years later, Rotary would be an integral part of my life.

Rotary was the world’s first service Club.  Founded in 1905 when a lawyer from Chicago, Paul Harris and three friends got together; they wanted to reinvigorate the spirit of friendliness they had known from their own home towns.  Word of this small group spread, and other were invited to be part of the club.  They met in “rotation” at the members’ various places of business; so it would be only fitting to call this club “ROTARY”.  Soon the group was using the talents and resources of its members to serve throughout the community.  As time went on, more clubs were formed throughout the United States, and by 1911 a Club had been established in Canada, and in 1912, across the “pond”, in Ireland.  Before 1925 there were 200 clubs across the globe.  Today, membership is over 1.2 million, with over 35,000 Clubs.  Rotary works to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education and many other things.

I was invited to join the Osterville Rotary Club and was inducted as a member in August of 1987.  It was on May 4, 1987, that Rotary first allowed women to join!  Not only was I the first woman in the Osterville Club, but I became the first woman President in 1993.

Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self”.  Osterville Rotary participates in service projects throughout the community, and some of our efforts are worldwide.  In 1985 Rotary undertook a project to eradicate polio throughout the world.  Today (2019) it remains endemic in only three countries.  Rotary’s structure has changed over the years, but the goals of Rotary have not changed.

For the last 25 years the Osterville Rotary Club has held a Bluefish/Striper Tournament to raise funds to support the good works the Club embarks on.  Our efforts range from 2 $1,000 Scholarships awarded to Barnstable HS Seniors for 4 consecutive years, to picking up Trash along Route 28 from Centerville to Osterville, providing journals to all 5th graders in Barnstable, joint efforts with other Rotary Clubs on Cape Cod to help purchase a Bloodmobile, to working on a Habitat home, to various projects at CHIPs House in Centerville.  This is a small sampling of what the Club accomplishes.

Our meetings are fun, we have fascinating speakers and we do so much good!  We are always inspired to “be the good”.  Osterville Rotary is always looking for members and it has been nothing but rewarding for me.

The pictures are a few of our recent projects.

Girl Scout Life

Posted by Jen Crompton.

One of the greatest things about having daughters is watching them grow up to be strong and confident young ladies – ready to take on the world! While we still have a ways to go before they fly the coop we are thoroughly enjoying giving them every opportunity we can to help them be successful in life. From the time our girls started school, they have each been involved with Girls Scouts; starting as a Daisy, moving on to Brownies and now Junior Girl Scouts. The experience of being part of this ‘sisterhood’ has greatly enriched their lives in ways, we as parents, could never have imaginged. During their bi-weekly meetings our girls work diligently on earning ‘Badges’ in various areas of interest. Our girls have learned what it means to be a philanthropist, serving the community in a variety of ways; what it takes to be a business woman by selling cookies and managing finaces; they learn how to be confident in their own skin during a workshop that emphasized self-care and pride in our appearance; and most recently our older girls have learned what it is like to be a Detective in a law enforcement agency!

During a recent visit to our local police department, our Junior troop spent the afternoon learning all about what it takes to be a detective from one of Barnstable’s finest female detectives! Such an empowering experience for the girls to have. The detectives did an amazing job inspiring these young ladies to channel their inquisitive energy into learning all about law enforcement. They spent about 2 hours learning about finger printing and DNA sampling, heard all about internet safety, and toured the facilities where detective solve their biggest cases, along with the holding cells and the 911 call center. The detectives were amazing at helping the girls connect what it means to be a Girl Scout and follow the Girl Scout Law and carry that into a law enforcement career. As a Girl Scout, these young ladies commit themselves to living their lives being honest and fair, courageous and strong, respectful to themselves, authority and others, and helping make the world a better place. These are all the qualities it takes to be great detectives!

The girls will carry the lessons and values they have learned through their time as Girl Scouts, throughout their lives and being part of this diverse group with a common goal, will help them accomplish anything they want in life. Thank you Barnstable Police Department for a wonderful afternoon that our girls will never forget!


Posted by Kathy Silvia.

Over Thanksgiving on a trip to Chicago, we were with our grandchildren (ages 7 and 5). The weather was nasty and cold, and we needed something to do. Jimmy brought out a jigsaw puzzle. For the next several hours we had such fun doing jigsaw puzzles; there was one picture of the city of Chicago, and another was a map of the world, mermaids was another, and even another, a map of the United States. Oh, how I remember when our own children were young and enjoyed puzzles. More memories came to mind when I was a child and my Mother would bring out the card table to do a jig saw puzzle; it was such fun.

Christmas brought us back to Chicago and the first thing I asked Jimmy to do was to get out the puzzles. After the holidays were over and we returned to Cape Cod, I got to thinking about jig saw puzzles. Simply put, it is good, old fashioned entertainment. I have since done several (pictures below) puzzles and have thoroughly enjoyed each one.

The thing about jig saw puzzles is they are a great source of cheap entertainment, you can always find them on sale, you can find them with big pieces, little pieces, thousands of pieces or hundreds of pieces. You can determine how challenging you want the puzzle to be..all blue sky, sandy beaches, different colors, and even different themes. They are a great activity to keep your brain sharp; I have found that it helps to improve my concentration. And more importantly, you don’t need an electronic device to play. And if you especially like your accomplishment, puzzle glue and a frame or a mounting board can be used.

So, turn off the TV, shut down the electronic device and enjoy a good old fashioned jigsaw puzzle!!




Posted by Melanie Begley.

I LOVE crock pot season, especially on Sunday’s watching the Patriots play; no worries about when to start making dinner. Plus, the fact that I’m not a very good cook, I am always looking for easy peasy recipes. One of my favorite go to recipes is called Mississippi Pot Roast. If you get the right cut of beef (I usually ask the butcher at the grocery store what would be best) this will be “melt in your mouth delicious.”   It goes great with roasted potatoes/mashed potatoes and asparagus or just some buttered noodles. You can also make a nice gravy, but I’m clueless when it comes to that (like I said before, not a good cook). Just put it on low heat for 8 hours and let the crock pot do all the work.

I normally add Sea Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to the roast before putting on the mix. For the roasted potatoes I use the recipe on the Lipton Onion Soup mix packet, add a little bit of ranch dry mix and it comes out great.


  • 1 (3-4 pounds) chuck roast
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet au jus gravy mix
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4-5 pepperoncini peppers
  • Instructions
  1. Place roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle the top with the ranch dressing mix and the au jus mix. Place peppers on top of the mixes and add the butter.
  2. Cook over low heat for 8 hours. Serve with noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!


A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens

Posted by Melanie Begley.

My 7 year old daughter loves acting and drama and for the last 3 years she has participated in the Creative Drama & Dance class held at Dramafun in Sandwich.  She and I both absolutely love Courtenay Harrington-Bailey, who is the founding director and teacher.  She is amazing with the kids and always puts on a great performance with the children at the end of the session. In addition she produces “Broadway Jr.” productions three times a year with her children’s theatre company.  We went to the most recent show in December called A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens.  The almost all kids cast brought us back in time to the Victorian streets of London where the characters Jack and Annie helped save Charles Dickens from his past and the memories that haunted him. I certainly felt like I was at a Broadway show!

If you have a chance I would suggest checking out their next big show, Mary Poppins Jr, which will run on Saturday, April 7 @ 2pm & 7pm and also on Sunday, April 8 @ 2pm in the Mashpee High School Auditorium.  Tickets are $15 a person, kids 4 and under are free.

Slow Cooker Obsession!

Posted by Jen Crompton.

When the temperature drops and days become shorter and the night is long, little else brings us as much comfort as curling up on the couch binge watching the latest drama (Come on, who doesn’t love This Is Us?!) with a big bowl of steaming hot soup that has been simmering all day in the slow cooker just waiting for us to dive in.

Of all the gadgets and gizmos I received almost 13 years ago when I was married, my slow cooker is, by far, my favorite and most beloved gadget in the kitchen!

With the popularity of Pinterest at an all time high, the recipes available for slow cooker meals are endless! While strolling the aisles of the grocery store, I can whip out my Smartphone and search for a recipe, grab the ingredients and head home!

Like many moms, serving my family something tasty and nutritious is a daily struggle in our house. We are a busy family of four, and can often get stuck in a rut of the same go-to meals, week after week. The slow cookers allow us to mix it up a bit and explore new things without slaving over a hot stove all day. I can throw all the ingredients in the cooker before leaving for work in the morning, set it on low, go about our day from school, to work, to dance and come home to a warm and delicious, ready-to-eat meal for the whole family!

Gone are the days of slow cooker soup only! While we have our favorite soups and stews (can you say Chicken Tortilla Soup? Yum!), we regularly make Asian inspired Honey Glazed Sesame Chicken and Rice, Mexican beef or chicken fajitas, and pulled pork sandwiches!

Our newest favorite dish is one I never expected to be making in my slow cooker! Desserts are the latest craze in slow cooker deliciousness. Ooey, gooey, chocolate lava cake left to cook for 2.5 hours is heavenly and just what we need on a chilly winter night! Perfect for parties or family movie night, toss in those ingredients, set it and forget it!

Speaking of parties, nothing says love like bringing a pot of slow cooker meatballs or a creamy spinach and artichoke dip to your favorite gathering. No more stressing over what to make, finding the time to cook it, just toss it in and press a button! Slow cookers even come in a variety of transportable sizes, for easy party convenience!

Enjoy some of our party favorites here:


What will you be making in your slow cooker next?

Here’s to a healthy 2018

Posted by Jackie Stewart.

I like using simple household products for other uses around the house. One of my favorites is rubbing alcohol which of course we relate to first aid use.  It is also great for cleaning and sanitizing.  I have tried every daily granite cleaner on the market and nothing works better for mine than 1- part rubbing alcohol 1- part water in a spray bottle.  Use it on chrome, stainless steel, mirrors and windows. Spray dish sponges, let sit to deodorize, then rinse.  Spray a small amount on door, sink and toilet handles, (anywhere other hands touch)  allow to air dry.  Wipe down key boards and mouses.  Keep a few bottles in the workplace to stop the spread of illness from co-workers.

My favorite new product is an oldie but goodie.  Recently, I came down with a flu/chest cold; my mother suggested I try Vicks VapoRub… I didn’t know it was still on the market. When I was little, my mother would rub Vicks ointment on my neck and chest, then cover with a warm towel to keep it from burning my eyes.  The medicated vapors relieve cough and congestion.  The strong menthol brought back memories when my mother took such good care of me when I was sick. Mothers really do know best!   Vicks was invented in 1890 by Lunsford Richardson a pharmacist  from North Carolina.  Vicks Vaporub has many more uses as well… insect repellent, dry skin, minor cuts, even plumping up your lips!  Click on this link to read the interesting history behind this great product..




The best EVER Chocolate Cake

Posted by Kathy Silvia.

When I was a little girl (about 1,000 years ago!), when a new family moved to the neighborhood, my Mom would bake a chocolate cake for the family as a way of welcoming them to the neighborhood. I still have the recipe card (tattered, fading ink and sticky with stains of chocolate), and even though I have memorized the recipe, whenever I see the card I have fond memories of all the families that received my Mom’s chocolate cake. Not only is it simple to make; the aroma is enticing, and it really is the BEST EVER!

I share this recipe with you….


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups boiling water
2 eggs
1 Stick butter (soft)
Preheat oven to 350 f. Grease and flour 9 x 13 pan. Mix butter and eggs. Add dry ingredients with water and vanilla. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Combine !/2 stick butter with 1 cup confectioners sugar, dash vanilla and enough milk until frosting is of spreading consistency. Cover top of cake.
Melt 3 squares unsweetened Bakers chocolate. Dribble over frosting and spread.


Kathy Silvia explains important Flood Insurance information

Posted by Jackie Stewart.

Most people are unaware that typical Homeowners Insurance policies don’t cover flood damage – that would require a separate Flood Insurance policy. Do you have coverage for flood damage? Even if you think it’s something you don’t need, it’s worth a discussion and learning more – a huge number of claims for flood damage occur each year to homeowners who aren’t in a flood zone.

Flood insurance is generally available through government backed insurance policies:

If your home is located in a special flood hazard area, and you have a mortgage, the bank will require that you purchase flood insurance. If your home is not in a special flood hazard area, flood insurance is not required by the lender, but is available. The government backed plans offer coverage on homes up to 250,000 for the dwelling and 100,000 for contents. If it is a business, coverage is available up to 500,000 on the building and 500,000 for business property.

More recently, other options have become available. President of The Fair Agency Kathy Silvia wrote an article for that talks about these options – check it out:

Flood Insurance – Is There an Alternative to the Government Backed Plan?

Kathy Silvia commended for 35 Year-commitment

Posted by Jackie Stewart.

Kathy Silvia, has been recognized by The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) for her 35 years of committed professional leadership and advanced knowledge.  Kathy earned this designation through a series of rigorous examinations and has maintained the designation by annual attendance at an approved CIC program.

“The continuing commitment and professional dedication represented by Kathleen sets a high standard within our industry.” said Dr William Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU, and President of the Society of CIC.  “This thirty-five year accomplishment signifies a career of active leadership in advanced education.  Kathleen’s commitment to professional development positively reflects on the insurance industry as a whole.”

The Society of CIC is a member of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research.