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 and keep you updated on our eventual move.

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

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Gnome that Sold Our Home

Here he is: our Home Gnome. At least that's what I call him.

When we were trying to sell our house in Fort Collins, our realtor here in New Jersey told us we needed a St. Joseph statue to help the house sell faster. We had never heard of such a thing but she swore that they worked. She bought us one and we followed directions for planting Joe in the ground, upside down in our herb bed back in Colorado. Ater a year went by and we returned to the house to do some repairs, we exhumed Old Joe to make sure he was pointing the right direction and we hadn't botched the burial. He was just fine, albeit a little dirty, and assuming the proper position. Poor Joe. All alone standing on his head for two years and he wasn't really the least bit of help.

In similar fashion, Rick came home with this cute little gnome to help the sell the house. At least he didn't have to stand on his pointy head, but instead has graced our front porch right outside the door since he came home in late July. The people who put the contract on our house came to look at it in August. We didn't hear much from them except that they were still interested and "working on things" until they requested a second showing on Colombus Day weekend. Since then things have moved pretty fast. We couldn't be happier and hope that they don't sell their house too soon.

We were here sitting out by the pool with the dogs when they visited the house the first time. They seemed like a really nice young couple and we could tell they were interested in the house. They asked a lot of good questions, and best of all, they noticed the artwork in the house and that all the canvases were signed by the same person — my Dad. Were were amazed that they had noticed. You have to be pretty observant to find his signature on all the paintings. Our estimation of them when up 100-fold right then and there!

So, Mr. Home Gnome I hope you bring this contract to a sale!

Did he really help? Who knows, but we like to think he did.

Sidenote: I can't see or hear the word gnome without thinking of my dear Mom. She always pronounced it "ga-nomee." Makes me smile even today. I'm not sure if she really thought that was how you pronounced it or if she was just being funny. Bless you, Mom wherever you are. We miss you so.

P.S. Follow the link to the St. Joseph statue above for the full story.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lost; then Found

I have just spent an agonizing two days. It all started on Thursday morning as I was getting dressed and I was about to do the last part of my "toilette," which was putting on my rings for the day. I take my rings off at night because my fingers swell so much in the New Jersey humidity that they get uncomfortable. I usually put them on a tray beside my sink in the bathroom. Excpet that on Thursday morning, they were not there. Huh. Not too worried because sometimes I sleepily take them off after reading in bed and put them on my nightside table.

Nope, not there either. Double huh.

Bathrobe pocket? Nope.

And the list of places I searched high and low just went on and on. 

Missing where three rings: my diamond princess-cut solitaire, my ruby and diamond wedding band (which we bought at Tiffany's for our 30-year-marriage vow renewal), and my grandmother's diamond. No costume jewelry here.

I racked my brain trying to come up with something, anything, that would jog my memory as to when I had last seen them. I was pretty sure they must be in the house somewhere, but I had gone to the grocery and the library the day before. Still, I had a vague recollection of having taken the off and putting them somewhere "safe." Apparently it was too safe because not even I could find them.

I spent hours looking in drawers, my knitting, on shelves, under the bed: you name the place and I probably looked there. Bella was wondering what the heck I was doing and the poor thing followed me around room by room as I opened, closed, rifled and banged around.

I was feeling pretty sick by Thursday night.

On Friday, I checked at the ShopRite at the Lost and Found. She pulled out a tray of crappy bits and pieces of jewelry that people had lost along the way. No diamonds there. Not even diamonds-in-the-rough. I had similar luck at the library. Sorry, they said. Sorry indeed.

I came home and donned a pair of garden gloves, slit open a new, big trash bag on the garage floor and dumped two days' worth of garbage from the kitchen and laundry room out on the bag. I went through the trash piece by piece. No rings. Just a bunch of garbage. I also emptied the vacuum bag and went through that. No rings, just a bunch of dirt and dog hair and two kitty toys.

I even went so far as to inspect all the dog poop in the yard from the past two days, thinking that maybe they had eaten them. I took paper towels outside with me and squished every turd I could find. The only thing I found was the fact that my dogs both have great, solid stools.

I was at my wit's end. Although by now I was convinced that my wits were truly addled if I could not remember where I put them. Was it the whiskey nightcap from that night?

Rick also joined in the search from the moment they went missing. He tried to calm me by telling me that after all, they were just rings. Yes, just rings, but pretty expensive ones and also meaningful.

By last night I had pretty much given up. I had to -- I was driving myself (and Rick) crazy. I figured they would turn up when they were good and ready. Several things I knew for sure: they were not eaten by a dog; they were not in the trash; they were not lost since they could not have fallen off my swollen fingers. So, they had to be here somewhere. Ah, that was the question: WHERE?

I was headed to bed last night when I looked down at the rug beside my bed, and lo and behold there was my grandmother's ring! I yelled to Rick that I had found a ring. He said he had taken Bella's dog bed, turned it upside down and shook it out but didn't hear anything hit the floor. We lifted the rug and there were both of the other rings! HURRAH! I started crying and bouncing around, all the while kissing my rings. Happy dance! They must have been knocked off my nightstand by a dog's tail since Bella's bed is right on my side of the bed. From this day forward I will putting them in a ring box when I take them off.

What was once lost was found. 

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Repeat: The ties that bind and other sleep starved musings

This is an old entry on my blog from 2011. It popped up in the side column of the blog "On This Day." I am repeating it here because it's kind of they way I am feeling this morning. I hope you enjoy.

IMG 4769

Sometimes when I lay in bed at night and don’t drop right off to sleep, words dance around in my head with no place to go. I’ve had some great ideas for blog posts completely formed in my mind—word for word, sentence by sentence—but when I wake in the morning all those thoughts and words have gone, blown out of my window by the same fan cooling my body. The fan lifts the words and disperses them into the night air, never to all be collected in the same place again.

The following post is a result of my finally getting out of bed to get a pad of paper to write what was going through my mind one night last week.

IMG 4781

Our lives are like a woven tapestry. The individual threads and fibers that make it up are our immediate family, relatives, and friends. A tapestry of relationships; all different.

Over time some of the threads fray and break. Whether they just don’t withstand the test of time or it’s just normal wear and tear, some just do not hold up like others do. Some hold true and strong no matter what life throws at us.

Some come unravelled, sadly leaving big gaping holes that never fill back in. Some of those threads that have become unravelled can be picked up again and woven back in, never quite reaching the perfection of the first initial weaving, but still part of the tapestry once again.

Some simply come undone and just hang there and dangle, bereft and alone, with no one caring enough to repair the rift.

Others deteriorate over time, leaving small moth-eaten holes where once a relationship was. Some are too small to even notice.

Many things lead to the ebb and flow of these relationships. We may move away, have different life experiences, or just grow further apart naturally. Let’s face it, life is constantly changing. Relationships and friendships take work and both parties have to participate. It’s a game of give and take. Sometimes you have to give more than you take and hopefully someone on the other end will give you more back when you need it most. Sometimes it’s give, give, give and you get nothing in return. In those cases you have to take a long hard look at the relationship. Do you really want to invest in something that gives you nothing, or at best, minimal results back?

IMG 4792

I can also categorize these friendships and relationships into knitting terms.

Garter Stitch:
Those that are lasting and strong.

Those that come and go, criss-crossing our lives from time to time.

Lifetime bonds.

Short rows:
Ones that don’t last.

Ones that have been given up on.

IMG 4817

Today I’d like you to think about your friendships and relationships with others and what kind of person the people in your tapestry think you are. Are you a giver? Mostly a taker? Or do you like to think of yourself as an equally balanced participant?

And, if you are reading this you are also part of my tapestry in some way.

Thanks for sitting through my sleep-starved thoughts.

All photos taken at the New Jersey Botanical Gardens before Hurricane Irene.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chocolate S’more Pie

I made this wonderfullly yummy "pie" this weekend. The recipe came out of one of those pricey recipe books masquerading as a magazine, Gourmet Summer Entertaining. I usually don't indulge in those grocery store checkout aisles temptations, but this issue had lots of recipe I thought I would make. 

This pie was made using a purchased graham cracker crust. On top of that was an easy to make chocolate ganache. The marshmallow topping I made according to the recipe and it came out great. You could also use marshallow fluff since the consistency was about the same, but I'm not sure it's available in the west? Then after it's properly chilled it goes under the broiler to make a nice crackly brown crust.

We had a hard time eating just one piece. Care to indulge yourself? Here is the recipe. It's sure to leave you wanting s'more.


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.

If you’re new to this site and wish to read the blog entries in chronological order, click here.


Login  |  Register
November 2015
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          


Recent Comments

  • Steve, well you could always plant St. Joe in big pot! But with your green…

    Posted to: ‘The Gnome that Sold Our Home’ by Lynne on 11/10/2015

  • I’ve heard that before about St. Joseph’s statues, but the only real estate I’ve ever…

    Posted to: ‘The Gnome that Sold Our Home’ by Steve on 11/09/2015

  • Steve, yes indeed to everything you said!

    Posted to: ‘Lost; then Found’ by Lynne on 09/21/2015

  • Oh, man. What a horrible feeling that must have been. Especially thinking they might have…

    Posted to: ‘Lost; then Found’ by Steve on 09/20/2015

  • Bigsis, nightmare is right! I was a wreck. Yikes to Warren losing his ring outside,…

    Posted to: ‘Lost; then Found’ by Lynne on 09/20/2015

Comment Leaders

  • Lynne - (1534)
  • Carolyn Clarke - (369)
  • Steve - (343)
  • Susan Weyler - (306)
  • Joyce Roberts - (261)
  • Reya Mellicker - (247)
  • Debra - (230)
  • lettuce - (206)
  • Susan in WA - (204)
  • Jan - (185)

On This Day...




  • Page Views: 2302762
  • Page rendered in 0.2973 seconds
  • Total Entries: 2349
  • Total Comments: 6051
  • Most Recent Entry: 11/28/2015 07:39 am
  • Most Recent Comment on: 11/22/2015 08:18 pm
  • Most Recent Visitor on: 11/28/2015 09:46 am
  • Most visitors ever: 144 on 04/16/2011 12:04 pm