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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Please Keep Following Me!

I will still blog here occasionally, but mostly I am blogging at our other web site now as we prepare to move from New Jersey to our cabin in Colorado. It's called "Off the Grid" and you can find it here. We will write about our plans as well as our upcoming vacation starting May 23rd. We will try to blog daily from the cabin.

So, if you don't see me here, come over to Off the Grid!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Happy 4th!

At this point, the entire 3-day-holiday weekend is stretching before us in a wonderful, as yet to be unfurled red-white & blue ribbon. What will the weekend bring?

Well, some grilling for sure: baby back ribs and a new macaroni salad recipe. Lamb chops and grilled artichokes. Brats. (No, not the kid kind, the sausage kind.)

Bringing our T@B up and prepping her for our camping trip this upcoming week. (Yeah!)

A trip to the Farmer's Market in Warwick on Sunday.





Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back in New Jersey

Not New Jersey

We are home in New Jersey as of Saturday late afternoon. My own house feels strange to me. I am in still in a Colorado state of mind and I'm finding it hard to adjust back to the noises of neighbors mowing their lawns and the annoying small planes that fly over the house on the way to the local airport. 

However, an incident last night reminded me of exactly where I was. We had our first bear of the season. I got up to close the curtains as it was getting dark. Out the window I saw our trash can toppled over and trash strewn in a wide swath across the front yard. Then I saw the big black bear. I stood on the front steps and clapped my hands and yelled at it. It took one last tasty piece of prime trash and retreated into the woods. 

Yep, we're back.

It pretty much either rained or was extremely overcast on our 3-day journey home. It seemed that the entire state of Nebraska was inundated with water. The Platte river was out of its banks and newly formed "lakes" appeared in so many fields. So. much. moisture. It was that way in Colorado too and it was nice to see it so green.

We listened to a very interesting book on the way home called "The Buried Giant." It was fantasy with a mix of King Arthur and The Hobbit, complete with ogres and dragons. It was so well read that the author's descriptive words and wonderful dialogue came to life. The story had a very interesting premise which kept us talking about it long after it was over. The 12 hours of CD time seemed to fly by as Lex's tires ate up the miles. Between that and podcasts of America's Test Kitchen we kept ourselves well entertained.

The pool is open and warmed up. However, it has mostly rain and stormed since we've been home. Rick did take advantage of a quick dip on Sunday, but since that afternoon we've had nothing but rain. I am not sure we even have fireflies since it's rained every night, and if they are here I'm sure they are all drowned. I did catch this little froggie on top of his "kin" upon opening the pool yesterday. Whenever it rains we get frogs in the pool. They are the devil to catch.

Most people ask if it's good to be "home" again. I would have to say, no, not really. I'm sure I will settle back into my normal New Jersey routine before too long, but right now I am not ready. We both become so immersed in cabin life that it's not easy to rewire ourselves. Plus, we kicked off a few things in preparation of living there full time while we there, such as next month we'll have new batteries installed and more solar panels. We found a great shed/small garage/storage barn that is going to be perfect for what we need. A neighbor is going to be clearing and leveling the spot for it this week (depending on the weather). 

Our yard was about to become a virtual garden with the promise of lupine, Wyoming paintbrush, fireweed, pink plume, blue flax and more. We won't see it in bloom. Neither will we see the fruits of our efforts to reseed the slash pile burn areas where we spread seed and native wildflower mix.

We're missing all the animals that come to our brand-new mineral and salt licks.

It takes a while to adjust to having moose, deer and elk visit vs. a bear getting into our garbage.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cabin Arrival

Moody sky over Nebraska

We've arrived at our destination: the cabin! After a quick stop yesterday in Laramie for groceries for a couple of days, we pulled into our driveway around 1:30. 

It rained on us. It hailed pea-sized hail on us. Welcome back it seemed to be saying. Everything is in good order and our new furnace is working great. We had to clean up an epic amount of dead flies, but our interent connected without much ado at all, something which was previously a pain in the you-know-where to get up and running. 

The apsens are just barely leafing out and the pasque flowers are blooming. It's been very wet and cool so far up here this spring. It should be a great wildflower season when it warms up. Not sure we'll get to see them though.

Please come by over at Off the Grid for the remainder of our trip as that is where I'll be blogging. See you there!

The snowdrift upon arrival!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hello from Grand Island, Nebraska

I am sitting here in our hotel room at the Rodeway Inn looking out over their little lake. I always request a 'room with a view' even though it is further to trek with all our stuff. Rick complains every time. You didn't get another room with a view of the lake did you? Tough luck, Rick, the walk will do you good after sitting in the car for 11 1/2 hours. Right? Anyway, it's peaceful and once in while the Canadian geese will parade their new goslings around. We haven't ordered our Domino's pizza yet, but are just chilling out since we arrived ahead of schedule with lots of down time tonight. I just hope Rick is alert enough not to place the order with Domino's in Kearney, NE instead of Grand Island. That happened once and the guy called us and told us he was outside our room, only he wasn't. He was at the Rodeway Inn in Kearney. Needless to say he did not come the 35 miles to Grand Island to deliver our pizza. I hope he enjoyed it, poor guy. (And if you remember that story, I apologize for repeating myself.) Tomorrow we make the final push to the cabin which will only be half of what we drove today. Can't wait.

Our drive so far has been pretty uneventful. I thought it was cool today as we approached the Illinois border and the fringes of Chicago and saw a pair of geese with their new babies right by the roadside (hopefully they stay off the road) and then a coyote crossing the overpass. The most traffic we've encountered was right over the border into Pennyslvania from New Jersey and good old Iowa. We've decided that our least favorite state to drive through is Iowa. It's just so congested with trucks and cars. Lex is a joy to be on the road with! More on that topic later I'm sure from Rick. 

It's interesting to watch the landscape change as we drive across this vast and varied country of ours. We've gone from densely wooded mountains in Pennsylvania to rolling farmlands in Ohio and Indiana, and on to the even flatter farmlands of Illinois with its beautiful old derelict barns. Iowa is hilly, and Nebraska is the greenest I believe I've ever seen it to be! So far the wind isn't even blowing us sideways! 

Lex holds less gas than Big Red so I am going to be sure I make Rick fill up in Sydney and not Pine Bluffs, WY. Running out of gas in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night was once too many times. Plus, we also had an accident and wrecked our brand new Tahoe and our 27-foot travel trailer there once upon a time. I am not a practicing Catholic anymore, but I always make the sign of cross as we pass through. I am not kidding! And, we had to pay for part of the guard rail on that stretch of I-80. The same guard rail that saved our lives. Go figure.

Anyway ... our pizza is ordered and I just finished my second glass of wine while writing this drivel that probably none of you will read.

Until you hear from me next ...


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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Recent Comments

  • Love your flag.  Where did you get it?

    Here’s remembering the many cook-outs and clambakes…

    Posted to: ‘Happy 4th!’ by Bigsis on 07/03/2015

  • Well, at least you had a welcoming committee, even if it wasn’t so welcome to…

    Posted to: ‘Back in New Jersey’ by Steve on 06/17/2015

  • Bigsis, I would have been happier to see him if he hadn’t spread our trash…

    Posted to: ‘Back in New Jersey’ by Lynne on 06/16/2015

  • Glad you saw a bear!  That’s a perfect welcome home message. I bet they missed…

    Posted to: ‘Back in New Jersey’ by Bigsis on 06/16/2015

  • Steve, yes, they made us pay for the guard rail and it was not cheap!…

    Posted to: ‘Hello from Grand Island, Nebraska’ by Lynne on 05/27/2015

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