Our back yard view last weekend.
It's a good thing I only have to type and not talk to tell you about our weekend at the shore last weekend because at the moment I can only whisper. With this darned head cold I have lost my voice (of course I always do when I have lots of back of the throat drainage). It's also painful to swallow so I might just lose those extra couple of pounds I've been trying to shed during this.
Anyway, like the caption under the photo says, this is Andy & Linda's back yard: the beach! The weather was probably the best on Friday afternoon when we arrived. The sun was out and it was pleasantly warm.. Bella got her swim in the ocean but she wants to go into more detail with you herself so I'll leave the particulars for her to tell.
The dogs adapted themselves to the house and to Andy & Linda right away. They were very good, even when we were outside and loose dogs on the beach would come up to the somewhat wispy fencing of board slats and wire. I was afraid Bella would try to jump it since it wasn't very tall, or worse yet put her front feet on the fence with her full weight and literally pull the fence to the ground. But she did none of those things. Alex was feeling so at home by the end of our stay that he barked when Andy came into the room as if to say "who are you, this is my house" and Andy would gently remind him that he pays the bills, not Alex. Here are Alex and Bella happily resting on the deck
Although Andy & Linda's house is now almost fully restored, the same cannot be said about their neighbors. Here is looking one direction down the beach at the next door neighbors' house. See those flags in the distance? I'll show another photo of that house in a later photo, so keep it in mind. The house you see here boarded up will need a new foundation since the old one cracked during Sandy. They'll have to lift the whole house up, all three stories, in order for that to happen.
Here is a photo looking the other direction, up the beach toward Point Pleasant.
Streets and yards are still filled with sand and debris. It's sobering. And here is a closer look at the house four or five houses down that split in half.
I have more very dramatic photos of the hurricane damage that still exits, and believe me, there is more than you can even imagine, but those photos are for another post. I'll leave you with Bella exploring the dune in the back yard.
Posted by Lynne Robinson on 05/25/2013 at 09:17 AM
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My poor mother-in-law! We had bad storms here in New Jersey today and of course, this was the day she was flying in. We kept checking throughout the day and her flight kept getting delayed. She was supposed to arrive around 7:00 p.m. but was then delayed until an arrival time of 10:00 p.m. Finally she called us around 6:30 p.m. to tell us that her flight from Houston to Newark was cancelled and that she was booked on a flight from Houston to San Francisco and then on to Newark, finally arriving tomorrow morning at 7:09 a.m.
Poor woman! Nothing like flying east, then west, then way east again.
In the meantime, only since last night I seem to be coming down with a summer cold. Sore throat, tonsils swollen like golf balls, drainage, swallowing knives, aches and pains, etc. I still plan to blog about our trip to the shore but today I was blindsided by not feeling up to par. I even laid down at one point on the bed and tried to nap which is totally out of character for me. boo hoo!
Posted by Lynne Robinson on 05/23/2013 at 07:47 PM
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Look who is living under our deck! Remember the photos of the fox? Well, she has a baby and I saw it for the first time yesterday. Way too cute but I really don't want them living under the deck!
We suspected there was something under there but we just thought we had another woodchuck like we did a few years ago. The dogs have lately been very interested in the hole, sniffing and inspecting it very closely. Now I know why.
I'm not sure what to do about the situation as this is within the confines of our fenced yard. Do I just let them be and hope the dogs don't get to them? Call animal control and have them set a safe trap? I am thinking as the young kit gets older they will leave their cozy under-the-deck-den and go somewhere else. Suggestions?
We enjoyed our weekend at the shore and that update will be coming soon!
Posted by Lynne Robinson on 05/22/2013 at 06:25 AM
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Dutchman's Breeches (Skylands)
This morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to the glorious song of the wood thrush! In my last post I remarked about how it wouldn't be long now that the trees were fully leafed out, and as it turns out I was correct. There is nothing prettier than the song of a wood thrush. Clear, distinct, and melodious. I drifted back off to sleep listening to it.
Yesterday the tile in the laundry room got grouted and the utility/slop sink was set. It looks so much better than the old one which really had seen better days, say 1988! We've been trying to bring our house up-to-date a little at a time. We still have the carpeting to replace later this year, but that is not going to be fun at all. We have a lot of furniture that needs to be moved completely out in order for that to happen.
I haven't gotten to the wisteria yet. Maybe later today I'll walk down and see if I can get some shots. I did want to note that my lilac bush did bloom this year.
This bush is special because it started out in life as a tiny shoot off my mom's lilac bush in her yard in the Adirondacks. We brought it back and planted it together the first year we lived here. I lost my mom in 2007 and she didn't get to see the little sprig flourish and bloom. It first bloomed in 2011 but we were on vacation in France and by the time we got back it was done, so I really didn't get to see it actually blooming. Last year it didn't bloom at all. So I was very excited to see a few flowers on it this year. It's not full of blooms, but at least it's something!
We had quite a few lilac bushes that towered over my head when I was a child in Hyde Park, and the scent always takes me back there, just like this particular bush reminds me of my mom. I miss her so much.
Today I have to do some thinking and planning for our weekend trip to the shore since we leave tomorrow. Since the dogs are going with us (please let them be good!) I have to think of everything I need to take for them as well. It's a bit like parents loading up young children but instead of diapers I pack poop scoop bags. Instead of formula I pack dog kibble, canned food, biscuits, water and food bowls. Alex will take "Pink Bunny" as it's his favorite toy to carry around. Also a few chew bones should be added into the mix.
We are cooking Saturday night dinner so we also have to prepare our mise-en-place and pack it to go, and I need to bake the Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Torte for dessert.
I might blog from the shore via my iPad, but I don't really know if I will or not. I'm just going to go with the flow of things.
Posted by Lynne Robinson on 05/16/2013 at 07:07 AM
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I really don't have much for you today, so you're going to get a little of this and a little of that. As you can see by the photo above, my view on the world has turned to green. The trees seemed to burst into full leaf nearly overnight with our rain last week. Sometimes they fill in gradually and it seems to take forever, but this year they seemed to need to make up for their later than usual start. My tomato plants that you can see have not been potted and put outside just yet because our temperatures this week are dipping into the mid 30's and flirting with frost. It's kind of hard to imagine the pool opening that is scheduled for Monday.
I forgot to mention the hummingbirds. They arrived right on time about two weeks ago and somehow remembered exactly where the feeder was. The rose-breasted grosbeaks made an appearance at the front feeding station yesterday but I have yet to see them on the back yard feeder. They only stay a few days and then they are off to other locales. We had so many little white-throated sparrows a few weeks back singing their sweet little peabody, peabody, peabody song, but they too seem to have been just passing through. The cardinals are singing their heads off and I love having them around. I am still waiting for the wood thrush and now that the trees are fully out I shouldn't have to wait for long.
The fox has been back. I always know when it's in the front yard because Bella goes nuts. She hates the fox. If this is one of the same foxes that visited before and distributed mange amongst the dogs, then bark away Bella! If it is the same fox, it looks like it's a lot healthier than before. The only part that still looks bad is its tail.
Figgy is leafing out and has been living outside now for about a week. We did bring it into the garage last night because of the predicted (but didn't happen) frost. She seems to have survived the winter in the garage just fine. The leaves might not be quite large enough yet to cover Adam's parts but they are looking good.
RIght now the crabapples are about done and the dogwoods are blooming. Wisteria is also blooming right now and I need to take some photos of it just growing wild, hanging in the trees. I don't have any in my yard but down by Green Turtle I noticed some right by the road the other day. Azaleas are also pretty showy right now.
I mentioned last week that I was knitting on a project. It's a market bag for my sister. I made myself one and loved the pattern and the end result so much that I wanted to knit another one and asked her if she might like one. Here is what mine looks like, and you'll be glad to know I didn't have to take the other one completely out. It's coming along but I haven't worked on it very much in the past few days.
Now that the roof is finished there is a small project in the laundry room that is being tackled. We needed a new slop sink and faucet and are ripping out the old fake tile wallboard and having actual tile put in behind and around the sink. Then we'll need to paint the whole room, but I' m not so sure when that will get done. You see, our schedule for the next month or so is going to be a bit crazy.
On Friday we are leaving for the shore since we have had an invitation from friends Andy and Linda to visit them at their shore house for the weekend—dogs and all! The last time they invited us was the weekend that Sandy hit so we are hoping for good weather this time. They've only just finished the repairs on the house since the damage that was done by that superstorm and we'll be their first guests. I hope the dogs behave. We're anxious to see how water dog Bella likes the ocean.
Monday is pool opening day and Rick has business and an overnight stay in Philadelphia, returning home on Tuesday. Wednesday we have the pool deck and sides of the house being power washed. Thursday brings Rick's Mom (also named Lynn but without the "e") for her visit of ten days. After Lynn leaves on June 3rd we have a week and a half before we take off to Cartagena. So you can see what I mean! After that things calm down again until September and we can kick back a bit and enjoy the summer in full swing.
How's that for bits of this and that?