Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Home thoughts

We arrived home in the very same kind of weather we left in. Rain. It rained nearly all the way through the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, again. We haven’t seen rain since the very first day we arrived in Laramie to do our shopping on the way in to the cabin. Two weeks without rain! The temperature upon arrival was a chilly and damp 50 degrees F which feels so much colder than the dry-almost-non-existent humidity of Colorado.

The dogs somehow knew we were home the minute we pulled in to the driveway and all three erupted into a frenzied joyful barking. We let them out of the truck and they ran around, barking of course, in the front yard. I’m sure the neighbors at the opposite end of the street knew we were home after that racket. The kitties once let out of their crates in the house roamed the rooms with tails straight up and eyes round. The house was chilly, so on went the heat for the first time this year. It smelled good; comforting. We unpacked the truck in the light drizzle, put some things away and then finally sat down to a well deserved glass of wine. We heated up the leftover chicken pot pie we had brought home with us from the cabin because we couldn’t bear to throw it out and had that for our dinner while we watched the TiVo’d premiere of Terra Nova.

Our neighbors called and told us to be on the look out as a big bear was getting into the trash down the street and we had just put our trash out for pickup in the morning. They said they’d had a bear in their garage three times over the past week. Welcome back to the wilds of New Jersey! Rick turned on our outside lights at the street thinking that might deter him.

Too tired to do anything else, we went to bed. As I lay in bed listening to the soft patter of rain outside I thought not for the first time how good it was to be home. We both love the cabin but now it’s somewhere we go on vacation and not home. At least “not home” in the sense of where we live. When we are at the cabin, we are home. Hmmm ... does that make sense? It’s hard to explain. I know I’ve said it again and again on my blog, but when we are there we are home and when we are here we are home. I think you get the idea. I am starting to come around to the idea of a trial year at the cabin, winter and all, once we retire. What a blog that would make!

This morning as I type it’s raining. The sky is gray and dark. So different from the brilliant blue that we had for the past two weeks. When I look out the window I see a wall of trees crowding the yard instead of an open meadow and golden aspens glowing in the morning light. Our trees here are just starting to change but I don’t think they will be very pretty this year. They look soggy and defeated. But they are oh so beautiful with their many colors when they do change. We shall see if all the rain has made a difference in our normally gorgeous fall.

I have much to do today as you can imagine. Grocery shopping is #1 on my list, then laundry. My new machine will certainly be getting a workout over the next few days!

I’ll leave you with a photo I took last week.

Lynne Robinson, New Jersey

Friday, July 15, 2011

I need a kick start

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Really, I do. I need something or someone to kick start me back to blogging on a more regular basis. Every time I sit down to compose the entry on the Panama Canal I end up staring at my brand new HD computer screen. No words come. I end up playing one of my “hidden object” games instead and zone out for an hour or so. What is wrong with me? Summertime blues? Sheer laziness? Maybe a little of both. To quote one of the blogs I read every now and then, her excuse for not blogging was that “I guess I am living the life instead of blogging about it.” That about sums it up for me, but mine is pretty boring.

My camera is gathering dust. I did go to the Botanical Gardens a week or so ago and what you see in this entry is the result of that visit. But there wasn’t much to aim the camera at and I threw away all but a few of the photos that I did take. I am in a rut there too.

Yesterday I read a book. One whole book in one whole day. (It was a light read.)

Let’s see ... what else have I done?

Last week Rick and I went to a “gala” reception at the Lincoln Center in New York City. We got dressed up, had a nice dinner and then went to the event. A lovely night! Going in to the city is always exciting and fun. Such energy in those sidewalks filled with people!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

At home we’ve been enjoying the pool which is now above 80 degrees and very comfortable. It’s not even the weather that is making me lazy as the days have been sunny and warm. Delightful. Our last rain/thunderstorm was a week ago.

The fireflies are far and few between now but the cicadas have started up ever so slowly. In fact, as I type there are two going out there now. Ah, the sound of summer.

We have at least three bats in our winnowed-down bat population. They swoop and dip over our heads when we take our nighttime swims. It’s good to see them.

The turkeys bring their cute little babies around almost every day—the end result of all that turkey sex in my front yard this spring. Sometimes just one of the hens with her brood will show up, while other times it looks more like a turkey day care center and all ten or so of the babies.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I also went with neighbor Kim this week to see a litter of six week old Irish Terrier puppies that they will getting a new puppy from. The breeder was halfway out on Long Island and I have to tell you that it’s a nasty drive! Yikes, I won’t be going out there again anytime soon. The traffic! The puppies were adorable though and it was nice to breathe in puppy breath and talk dogs again.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We also had a six o’clock a.m. visitor yesterday. We were still asleep when Alex started barking downstairs. It is not his norm to bark for no reason, so I got out of bed and looked out the front window. Nothing. Rick got up and took a look around too but he also didn’t see anything. After laying there for a fitful twenty minutes more I got up and went down to feed the dogs and cats. I looked out on the back deck and saw that one of the planter boxes that was on our deck railing had been knocked down and the poor petunias were out of their pots, the nearly indestructible Squirrel Buster Plus bird feeder pulled around in an abnormal position, the iron hanger it was on slightly bent. Okay, a bear for sure. A pretty brazen one too to come onto our high deck. It’s only happened twice before in our five years here that we’ve had bears on the deck. It’s not a good feeling. I have to say that I am more than impressed with this bird feeder. Not only do the squirrels not bother it but it held up to the bear mauling with not a scratch!

So, I go to feed the cats and eBay is nowhere to be found. I call her, searching high and low but I can’t find her. She is always ready to to eat so I figure something must be wrong. Finally I hear a tiny mew coming from the laundry room. When I pull out the washer, there she is. She ventures out very tentatively into the kitchen. She peeks around the corner into the sun room and out to the deck where the bear was with her eyes wide and her tail all puffed up. Aha! She saw the bear too and it scared her so badly she was hiding from it. Poor kitty! So, the bird feeder comes in at night and when I am not at home.

One of my daily routines is to water all the outside plants before taking a shower, check on the pool temperature and add chlorine every other day. I slip on a pair of shorts and t-shirt and head out with the watering can. It’s a nice way to start the day, especially with the weather we’ve been having. I don’t even mind if the humidity is high that time of the day. Bella usually helps me with this particular job. Every other day or so I’ll tip all the water out of her wading pool and refresh it. She loves this! The minute I start adding fresh water she’s in there wading around, scooping up mouthfuls of the cold water straight from the well.  I’ve also gotten into the habit of letting one of the dogs come with me out in the front as a special treat for them. No leash, just hanging out with mom while she waters. I check on the progress of the figs daily and I have to say I can’t wait until we can eat them.

You never know what you might see while watering. The little clearwing hummingbird moths have started hovering around as I water. I just love them! While I was watering the deck flowers the other day I found this moth clinging to the petunias. Isn’t it pretty? I have never seen this particular kind of moth before so I looked him up. I think it’s some kind of Sphinx moth—possibly a Virginia (hog) Creeper Sphinx Moth. No matter what it’s name is, it’s beautiful.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

For those of you that I’ve talked to over the past week, I apologize for re-hashing all this boring, trivial stuff about my life again. Ho hum. Which brings me to another topic of conversation. I have no idea who is reading this blog anymore other than family members and a few close friends and those of you that comment from time to time (thank you Debra, Maggie & Joyce!). I get numerous “junk” comments every single day that I have to delete which is very disheartening. You should read some of them! They always include a link to whatever website selling some garbage. I am so very tired of them. It’s long been in my mind to make this blog private and if Rick can figure out how to do that without too much trouble on the part of anyone then we will do so. If you still want to read all you will have to do is sign up to be a member. You don’t have to comment, you can still continue to read as you’ve always done. The only change will be that not all those crazies out there will be able to read things about my private life anymore. Because this blog really is about my daily life. But, that’s all in the future and hopefully we can make it happen.

Okay, so I’ve sat here long enough this morning filling this entry up with boring tidbits, neglecting my watering duties which are calling me, so I will close this entry now. If you are still awake after reading this, bless you. Hopefully this will kick start me to finish my vacation blogging. Check back in a day or so to find out!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Pool temperature upon checking first thing this morning: 70 degrees. It’s struggling more than usual this year because of the filter glitch last week and not having been covered up by the (new) solar blanket. Today and tomorrow’s daytime temperatures are supposed to soar into the 90’s and dip down to only the 70 degree mark overnight, so that will surely help boost the water temperature. We need to take that first swim before Rick leaves for Shanghai on Friday! Maybe our first swim will be a skinny-dipping night swim this year ...

Last night the fireflies were out in force. Over the past week we only saw a few feeble flashing lights in the grass, but last night they seemed to be everywhere. As you know, they are one of my favorite things. We saw one bat swooping around too, which is a good sign. I keep hoping to see as many as we had the first two years we lived here but that may not be possible. I don’t know where their numbers stand or if the white-nose fungus that was plaguing them is still a problem.

It’s obvious that we have a pesky bear in the neighborhood. On Sunday when Rick was washing Mia in the driveway, Finn (the neighbor’s dog across the street) started barking like crazy. We looked up to catch a glimpse of a bear in their woods. He decided to not come down and visit us and turned around and went up the hill in back of Kim’s house. Yesterday morning we awoke to our trash all over the street (and Kim’s too). Like I said, pesky bear. One that likes to knock over trees and sleep on them and turn over garbage cans. I have yet to get a good look at this bear!

Our house remodeling is coming along but still not finished. My sister arrives next week and will be the first one to try out the new bathroom. Hopefully the paint will be dry by then ... (Just kidding, sis!)

The wild rose bushes have gone really wild this year. They are everywhere along our little road!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And they smell wonderful! This one is trying to take over a tree and it looks like it’s having great success.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The concord grapes that are growing wild along the road are coming along nicely. Last year it was so dry they became raisins right on the vine. Hopefully this year we can at least grab a handful while walking the dogs.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Fingers crossed for swimming soon!

More vacation blogging coming up next time!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Landscaping fit for a bear

I am taking a break from vacation posts today to share this.

Yesterday morning when I let the dogs out in the back yard at around 6:30 a.m. they started barking and looking towards the front yard. I looked out and didn’t see anything, but they kept barking for a while longer. (I can’t see all of the front of house from the windows that I looked out of.) I guess I should have known something was up but it’s been so long since we’ve seen any kind of bear activity. I didn’t think too much of it, or at least not enough to go outside and check.

A few hours later I went outside to let the plumber in the garage (we are in the middle of a bath remodel at the moment ... oh joy) and noticed one of the little trees that we planted last year was knocked over and smashed in. Take a look.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I couldn’t believe my eyes! My tree! What the $#@#? It’s supposed to look like the other tree in the photo seen here. I was almost in tears.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

That’s when Tim (who is doing our remodel) said “bear.” Sure enough, there were the footprints in the mulch—big ones—leading up to the tree. We are thinking that the bear made himself a cozy bed and just curled up and slept there.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Why my tree? Those trees aren’t exactly cheap! Mr. Bear checked into the Hilton instead of the Motel 6. Thanks a bunch ...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Bear Hunt

I am not a happy camper. The first ever bear hunt since we’ve lived here started on Monday. I am not in agreement with this at all, and probably feel as adamantly about this as I do about the abortion issue, only in reverse. I am pro-abortion and anti-bear hunt. I would gladly hold up signs and protest! Just tell me where and when.

I watched the nightly news in horror as some little boy about the age of seven or eight was filmed grinning ear to ear about how he shot this huge female bear. His father was equally thrilled. Great. Some other old bird of a man with a honker of a nose was quoted as “I see four of five of these suckers a day, so why not?” Hey, how about you? How would you like to be turned into a very ugly human rug or have that gross head of yours mounted on the wall of a bear’s den? Yeah, you go old man.

Most hunters were quoted as saying that the bears just came into view and they shot them. Dead. Cold. In the back. Hello. What kind of sport is that? You all make me sick. sick. sick.

I am disgusted with the state of New Jersey on this issue.

700 bear licenses were issued and sold out almost immediately. I don’t get it. Most of these hunters are out for trophies. Who eats bear meat? Why kill them? They have never harmed me or anything around me. They are docile creatures by nature.

Hunters, I hope it all comes back to you at some point.  I say have a season on you and see how well you fare. What goes ‘round, comes ‘round.

Call the Governor of New Jersey and tell them you don’t agree with the hunt. Follow this link for more information on how you can help and the phone number to call. I called! Let’s overwhelm them with phone calls and hopefully this won’t happen again next year!


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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