a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   living life in the Highlands of New Jersey

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Morning Visitor & Winter Updates


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When I opened our upstairs bedroom curtains this morning this was the first thing I saw. Our resident broad-winged hawk all puffed up in the 7 degree weather, and obviously hoping to score a meal. He sat there for at least a half an hour without moving. As far as I know he was not successful in his hunt for food. Beautiful bird.

We did have two days last week that got into the 40’s and some melting went on in the yard. The snow depth went down quite a bit but we still have about 8 inches of solid white stuff firmly holding ground. What is out there is impossible to walk on (the dogs can just walk on top of it without falling through) and is glacier hard. I can only remember one year since we’ve lived here that we had so much snow cover. And, that was basically from one big storm, whereas this has been non-stop every week since the end of January. 

This week we have plunged back into the “polar vortex” (which to me sounds very much like a sci-fi film) and have not gotten above freezing. In fact, Tonight it’s supposed to go below zero. 

During our short meltdown, we had some lovely black ice on the driveway. We went out one morning to get in the truck and Bella was jumping around like her normal self and took a good fall on her shoulder. She’s still gimping around a little bit. I could barely stand! Nasty nasty stuff.

They tell us that more snow is on the way. Oh joy. Really? They were saying 3-6 inches over Sunday and Monday this morning, but now I see they have upped it to 4-8 inches. Just what we need — more snow! As it is we’ve had little squalls of snow come through every day this week or flurries flying around willy-nilly in the air. It didn’t amount to much, just a coating, but still.

In other news, we’ve been “feathering our new nest” and outfitting the T@B a bit. We got these great stackable pots and pans that I will show you soon. Very cool. They all fit together in one neat package (handle is separate). Other things include a few necessary kitchen utensils and supplies. We need to be careful because we don’t have much room for storage.

I saw on our T@B owners’ group the other day that someone has just ordered their new T@B and named it “Downton T@BBY”. How cute is that? It seems everyone has a name for their T@B. Now I don’t feel so silly that we name our vehicles. We’ll fit right in! Question is, what to name it? I hope to get the new blog up and running soon and it will mostly be things we have purchased while waiting for ours to arrive. Maybe it will help other new owners with what to buy (or not) as the case may be. 

I finished my sister’s cowl and shipped it off to her today, and I love mine so much I am making myself another one in gray.  I am (as predicted) still making my way through Kristen Lavransdatter. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Is There Light at the End of the Snow Tunnel?

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Our front light post last night just after sunset.

Sigh. Yesterday during the day we got about a foot of snow. It stopped snowing just after 1:00 p.m., and Rick and I got out and cleared the driveway, front steps, back steps and part of the deck. Then it spit ice pellets at us for a while. We were supposed to get snow overnight but when I got up and looked out the window at 2:30 a.m. it had not done a thing. Good, I thought as I went back to bed, they were wrong.

I got up this morning and looked out the same window and much to my dismay I saw more snow! About six inches or so of heavy wet snow. Here are some photos for comparison.

Here is our deck table and chairs yesterday:

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Same view but this morning:

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Again, the other side of the deck yesterday:

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And this morning:

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And the poor poolside table and chairs with its “donut” topping. Here it is BEFORE the most recent snowfall:

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And yesterday:

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And today:

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Sorry for the white balance difference. It’s the best I could do with early morning light.

Bella helped me with the deck shoveling. I shoveled, she barked and wanted snow thrown on her, so I obliged.

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Here are some scenes from around my house this morning.

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The snow is so high that the dogs can walk right over the fence, so I am hoping they don’t figure it out. (Taken in the back yard.)

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Bella coming down from the snowbank in front of our house on the street.

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Our ever-narrowing street.

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It looks like our front windows are wearing toothy white grins!

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eBay wanted to help with the front steps. It didn’t last too long but that cat loves the snow!

Have you had your snow fix yet? I know I have. Still, tomorrow we are supposed to get MORE snow — granted only 2-4 inches this time, but still …

We were afraid that they might cancel the RV show because of the storm, but the show is still on. They said that all the units arrived prior to the storm, which is good for them!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gutter Ice Art and an Unsuccessful Dog Walk

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I just got back from trying to take the dogs for a walk. A pretty unsuccessful walk. Last night we got about an inch of new snow. Just enough to coat everything really well, but not enough to shovel or plow. Scrape, maybe. Neither did our road get plowed since they have a “two-inch” rule where it has to snow two inches before they bring the plows out. 

The dogs have been driving me crazy and really missing their daily walks, so today I finally relented. They have to walk on the road because getting over on the side with all that frozen snow is something even they don’t want to do. 

We barely got out of the driveway before Hailey started hopping along and holding her paws up. I turned around and promptly put her back inside the house while Bella and I went by ourselves.

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Our road, not being a very wide road to begin with, is slowing shrinking in on itself the more snow we get. Here is what the end of our cul-de-sac looks like.

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I am not getting much exercise lately. I can’t walk at Long Pond Ironworks anymore unless I want to trudge through that nasty snow. I guess I could go over to Skylands where I could walk on pavement, but the temperature is still below freezing with a biting wind. Not conducive to walking outside at all. These days I get the most exercise walking around the grocery store aisles.

Talk is now floating around that there is a potential for a major winter storm on Wednesday night through Thursday. They must be joking. Please, stop!

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Gutter Photos: Last Thursday’s ice formation and today’s formation.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Round One and Round Two

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What follows are photos of Round One on Monday. As I mentioned, Phil is not a welcome woodchuck and better stay hidden in his hole. This snow was beautiful: wet and fluffy and stuck to everything in sight, tracing all the tree branches in white.

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Round Two which arrived in the wee hours of the morning this morning, was quite a different animal. Several times I woke up to sleet hitting the window, tink, tink, tink. The sight out the window this morning was not a welcome one. Yet another six inches of snow, but this time very dense and with an added something extra thrown in just to keep it interesting — a coating of an inch or more of ice. The only good thing I can say about the snow is that Rick did cancel his road trip to Maryland and is working from home today.

Here is what it looks like now.

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The stuff is the consistency of snow cones. All I need is some colored flavoring and I could start a snow cone franchise.

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Moving it was like trying to pick up concrete. I first had to break the top layer of ice and toss it before I took a shovelful. I think a nice soaking bath will feel pretty good tonight.

Bella is the only one who doesn’t mind.

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I don’t think Round One or Round Two is going to melt before Round Three which is expected on Sunday through Monday with a predicted additional 6-12 inches with maybe an ice storm thrown in. It’s still days away and too early to call yet, but that’s at least what they are saying now. I can’t wait.

 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Neglected and Clippered

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Well, so much for my “promise” of blogging more often. Three weeks?? That has got to be a record. My poor blog is as neglected and forgotten as this old house. (Autumn reflections in windows.) No, nothing is wrong — just living life away from the keyboard. I haven’t even been around to read or comment on anyone else’s blogs either, so for that I apologize. That having been said, this will be a catch-up post and longish. I will be by to visit your blogs soon!

We’ve been having a series of clipper systems coming down from the North and snowing on us with frigid temperatures. Last Tuesday we got snow —about 4 inches worth — while the city got about a foot. On Saturday we were supposed to get “a coating to an inch” and ended up with 3 inches. And just yesterday we had an unpredicted little snow that coated all the surfaces we had just cleaned the day before. We’ve had so many gray days that it’s hard to count them all. We saw blue sky yesterday morning for an hour or so and it was a welcome sight.

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With the temperatures not getting above freezing for the past week we’ve had the wood fire going all day. It keeps that part of the house so toasty warm! Today is the first day above freezing in a while but tonight it is supposed to plummet again to the single digits. 

The dogs like it when I don’t clear all the snow off the decks and leave them something to lay on. Hailey turned ten years old on Friday. A grand old age for her breed. She does not like the weather we’ve been having other than to lay in her snow pile. I attempted to take them for a walk last week when it warmed up to 20 degrees but there was still patchy ice on our road. She kept pitifully picking her paws up and holding them in the air as if to say “mom, it’s too cold on my poor little pads!” So I brought her back home and went with only Bella who didn’t seem to notice. I’ve never seen one of our dogs ever do that before. If was almost funny if you didn’t think she was in some kind of discomfort. 

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She and Bella have become closer since we lost Alex. She was even playing in the snow with Bella the other day on the deck like a puppy. They have also taken to lying next to each other like siamese twins. It’s really sweet.

I have been somehow keeping myself busy even though I stay home a lot. I have been knitting this Katniss-inspired Cowl (from the Catching Fire, the second of the Hunger Games movies) and I’m super excited how easy it was and how well it turned out. I tried to get a pic of me wearing it and it was harder than you think it would be. (Getting the photo, I mean. Self portraits are not my forte.) I’m now making a second one for my sister. And yes, it was one sleeve and the other side just drapes over the shoulder.

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For Christmas I gave us a trail camera. I mostly bought it for the cabin so we could catch those animal visitors that we never get to see, but I also thought it might be fun here as well. It takes photos both in daylight and at night by infrared. We set it up the night after it snowed and here were a few visitors we caught. It’s very cool because each pic has a read out of the temperature, the date and time that it was taken. I think the photos are pretty good quality! It was fairly inexpensive so I’m sure we’ll have more than one set up in different areas at the cabin.

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In this mash-up of topics I just had to include a photo of our lunch yesterday: Roasted Pears with Honey Mustard Glaze, Brie & Pistachios. We’ve had this several times and each time it seems to get better. We serve it on a bed of arugula with high-quality balsamic vinegar splashed on top. 

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We are also moving forward with retirement plans, which are still two years in the future. We are excited about the most recent development for the winter months if we decide the cabin is just too “out there” for spending the winter in, but I don’t want to talk about it just yet on the blog for some personal reasons. Let’s just say it makes perfect sense for us. I am also forming a blog post in my head about the sense of belonging. It just has not jelled completely yet.

We are also thinking about getting one of these cute little things. We have always had in the back of our mind to get a motorhome and travel some in retirement, but after going to an RV show recently and playing with all the numbers and the amount of times we’d be traveling, we came to the conclusion that it didn’t make sense money-wise. To get  a T@B, however, would fill the need to go “glamping” and it’s priced reasonably enough to justify its purchase. We still need to see one in person since we are fairly certain Rick won’t be able to stand up to cook if we get the one with the inside kitchen, so a close-by RV show in February should decide that issue. 

So, that’s my life lately summed up in a clamshell (or teardrop), and if you didn’t follow the link you won’t get the inside joke. 

 

About

Welcome, I'm Lynne. My blog captures my experiences of living in the way-out suburbs of New Jersey through my words and through my photography. I hope that reading my blog will change your perception of my newly adopted state.

© 2006-2013 'new' Jersey Girl All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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