Monday, November 25, 2013

Goodbye to Autumn

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The leaves are down

upon the ground.

The trees no longer wear

their autumn gowns.

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It’s official. Here in New Jersey autumn, with all its spectacular glory, is over. The trees are bare; our neighbors exposed once more. Johnny was switched over to his winter gear on Thursday. We are still waiting for our final leaves to be blown clear of the yard which will probably happen after Thanksgiving since the guy we have do it is running behind. 

This weekend Rick and I did the final wood chores and it’s all now nicely stacked and waiting to be a future cozy fire. We needed a cozy fire yesterday as it only got up to 27 degrees with a chill wind. Brrrr! We had a little skiff of snow the night before, just enough to coat the grass a little.

This particular tree in Long Pond Ironworks was exceptionally spectacular. I stood underneath it for quite some time just taking it all in. Here are a few more photos of its grandeur.

From afar:

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From underneath:

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Up close and personal:

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I know I haven’t blogged much lately. I used to feel compelled to blog, but I don’t anymore. If I don’t have anything interesting to share I don’t blog. Weird, no? I am not stopping blogging, just blogging as the mood strikes me. It’s almost as if the cabin visit this year rewired my whole system. I see things differently now, and I think for the better. 

Thanksgiving is on Thursday and we are looking forward to sharing our feast with friend Carolyn who will be driving down from Rhode Island. After that, before you know it Christmas will be upon us. This year I am going minimalistic on my decorating and I’m going to have just the lighted garlands on the stair banister and around the doorways as I always do and the tree itself. Simple. Pared down. Just like other things in my life.

To end my series of photos of Ms. Magnificent Maple, I thought I’d show you where she lives and whose yard she has graced for a long time now. Do you recognize the house?

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stress Test

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Have you ever stressed over a stress test?

Yesterday I had to have a stress test at the doctor’s. Now, I am a really bad person about going to the doctor and before I got sick back in May with strep I hadn’t really been to a doctor since we moved to New Jersey other than when Sam bit me back in 2006 (and you can read about by bizarre emergency room experience here) and the time I was sick with bronchitis, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. I found a doctor in town that I really like. Well, she’s not a doctor, but a nurse practitioner. 

Before we left for Colorado back in September I had a really hard time dealing with the death of Alex. So much so that one night I found myself sleepwalking (which I have done before in the past when I am stressed) and a couple of days later I ended up in the emergency room at the hospital one night with a severe anxiety attack. That was quite the wake-up call and I knew I needed to seek help, which I did. I went to the doctor and talked to her about it and she came up with a solution. It wasn’t the solution I was expecting, but it was the right one. I am feeling so much better now — I can’t begin to tell you the difference it has made. That set me back on track to catch up on having a way over-due physical.

Much to my dismay I was found to have high blood pressure, something which I have never had my entire life. Getting older sucks! She kind of scared me when she said she wanted me to undergo an echocardiogram and a stress test to make sure my high blood pressure wasn’t stemming from something other than late onset of hypertension (which runs in my family). I balked, saying no one else I knew with high blood pressure had ever had either of those tests, that they had just been prescribed blood pressure medication. She countered that it was just good medical practice and what if it really was something else that would otherwise be overlooked? I caved and scheduled appointments.

Two weeks ago I had my echocardiogram and it was really strange. Basically it’s an ultrasound of your heart and its function, but it was weird. It took about a half an hour. As he moved the ultrasound probe around to different areas I could hear my heart which sounded different in each area. Mostly is sounded like a washing machine with lots of water in it. Creepy. They said I wouldn’t know the results for a few weeks and that it just took time before they were read by the physician. They said not to worry unless the tech immediately called in the doctor during the test. They didn’t, so I figured I was going to live. One down, one to go.

I stressed for a few weeks before my stress test was scheduled. The instructions they sent home with me said I couldn’t eat or drink for four hours before my appointment. I should wear comfortable clothing and rubber soled shoes. No body lotion. No underwire bras. They suggested a change of clothing because I was likely to work up a sweat. I had visions in my head of them running me on a treadmill and not being able to breathe if my asthma kicked in. I’ve never been able to run for very long. What was this going to be like? What if I didn’t pass?

I arrived at the doctor’s office and signed in. They had me sign a waiver saying that I realized I might faint, become out of breath, or in rare cases, suffer a heart attack. Great. Within a few minutes the waiting room was filled with elderly people shuffling along pushing their walkers with bright yellow tennis balls attached to the walker’s back feet. It was so congested that I was thinking someone should maybe direct the traffic flow. A few times I had to turn my feet sideways so that they could pass by without running over my toes. (West Milford is home to a really nice retirement/nursing home so we have a lot of elderly people in town.)

While I waited, yet another elderly couple came out of the back office (both pushing walkers) and were putting their coats on. The wife was having a hard time getting the zipper of her coat to cooperate while the husband and the driver of the van that a had come to collect them looked on. She gave up and the younger woman next to me offered to help her. Her husband barked back, “I think she knows quite well how to work a zipper!” The younger woman persisted and was soon zipping up the older woman’s coat while the whole time the husband kept insisting she didn’t need any help. Once zipped into her coat a huge smile broke over her lovely face. She looked around at the office waiting room and said “I never thought I would come to this point in my life,” and shook her head.  I hope I’m able to smile about it when I’m pushing my own walker. I just hope Rick doesn’t need one too or we’ll constantly be bumping into each other.

Where was I  … ah, yes … my stress test.

Right away the nurse put me at ease and told me it wasn’t much of anything. I would be hooked up to the monitor and walking on the treadmill, not running. They would start out slow, then I would be walking uphill a little faster, and finally at a brisk walk, each for about three minutes. It really didn’t amount to much of anything and I passed with flying colors. He also went over my echocardiogram and said it was excellent. So the conclusion was that I have a healthy heart but a slight blood pressure problem.

At least I don’t need a walker. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Historic Hope

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Last week while traveling the back roads on our way to our Miata Run we happened to drive through the historic little town of Hope, New Jersey. It oozes small town charm with its old buildings and stone houses. One of my biggest wishes is to someday live in a stone house. 

We stopped and parked on the main street and browsed this cute little antique store. The prices were incredibly low but we decided we didn't any more "stuff" as our house is already pretty full of like kinds of things. Those old wooden deck loungers were tempting, I must say.

This is the Long House which is a preserved structure.

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I loved the old houses!

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Hanging shutters on stone is not an easy job.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013


I have no photos.

Swimming 20 lengths of the pool.

Bats flying overhead.

The occasional lost firefly blinking on and off in the woods.

After the 20 lengths, floating face up listening to my heartbeat, watching the bats flying above me. I felt as if I was still afloat in amniotic fluid. A child reborn.

Frogs croaking.

A dog doing so well after his second chemotherapy treatment that it makes my heart sing.

The first cicada heard today while floating in the pool with hubby. Not the guest cicadas, but the real ones that come every year. Welcome, cigales.


Goodnight world. All is well. At least for now.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Catching Up: Sandy Photos

I am trying to catch up before we leave for Cartagena, Colombia next Wednesday. ~Gasp~ did I say next Wednesday? I don't feel prepared at all. So, before too much time goes by I wanted to share the photos I took of Sandy damage while at the shore two weeks ago. 

Words are not necessary. The images say it all but I will fill you in a little bit as we go along. If you are one of those people who think everything is back to normal on the Jersey shore, please take a look.

These photos were taken as we walked down the street where our friends' house is and in the surrounding neighborhood (Bay Head). As you will see, the sand covers everything.

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In this photo, notice the bent stop sign.

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A typical street.

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We took a drive to "ground zero" aka Mantoloking. All these shots were taken while driving with my camera pointed out the window, so please excuse!

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You will notice the piles of sand where none used to be and porches propped up where supports used to be. Also, the trees have mostly all died from being inundated with the salt water. So sad.

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What is left of some of the houses and empty spaces where they used to be.

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And to end, the house that our friends looked at and considered buying.

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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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