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

Monday, July 21, 2014

This Morning

I know I've absent from the blog lately. I have been posting some to FaceBook, just not blogging. 

This morning I decided to weed a couple of the flower beds before it got too hot since the weeds have completely taken over. Give anything in New Jersey free reign and it will grow. Kind of creepy, actually. So I weeded and weeded. Then I got the wheelbarrow and loaded up all the pulled weeds and rolled them to the back woods and dumped them. I probably did too much and I know my calves and the back of my thighs will be telling me just how much I overdid tomorrow.

When I got done I was sweaty and hot. I looked over at the pool. I decided to just wade in up to my shorts to cool off. I stood there a minute in the cool blueness and thought to myself, what the heck. So I slipped off my shorts, pulled my T-shirt over my head and went in. AHHHH. Wonderful. I swam ten lengths and then got out, came inside and took my shower. I am thinking I should swim more often in the morning. It's a great way to start the day.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Mother Nature’s Own Fourth of July Celebration

A tiger lily that popped up in my flower bed and I have no idea where it came from — it's the only one.

Mother Nature got an early start celebrating the Fourth of July. Over the past few days we've had stormy weather. Some pretty good thunderstorms with lots of thunder and lightning have rolled through. The weather station flashes it's raining cats and dogs as the newly refigured gutters spew water like Niagra Falls. I don't mind them but both Hailey and eBay hate it. eBay is my thunder barometer. If she suddenly slinks away I know that a storm is coming. Hailey starts to shake like a leaf and heads upstairs. eBay either heads for her litter box (I know, go figure) or the upstairs closet.

I can vaguely remember as a small child my father holding me up in his arms to look out the window at the lightning. Maybe that's why I don't mind thunderstorms. My mother used to tell us that "God was bowling" when the thunder boomed and rolled. Kind of a strange concept don't you think? What happens if God happens to throw a gutter ball, what then? Will his bowling ball fall out of the sky and land on my head? Does he play on a team with the angels or do they make it a holy threesome and it's just him, his son and the Holy Ghost? 

Either way, we've had quite our fill over the past few days. With Hurricane Arthur coming up the coast we will have one more day of this and then the weekend is supposed to be pool perfect. As long as it allows us to grill our hambugers outside tonight I'll be happy.

Happy 4th! 

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Yesterday Morning’s Visitor

Friday, June 27, 2014

Spur of the Moment Post

The day lilies are starting to bloom!

I just wanted to get this down for my own sake. You probably won't care, but I do! I've made some accomplishments towards goals last week. My list was as follows:

  1. Get the gutter people out here.
  2. Have Tim (who has done all our remodel work) come out and address the list of things we want to do.
  3. Call the woodworker whose name we got from friends to come out and look at our broken antique table. Remember when the leg broke off two hours before our dinner party?

We've been trying to get the gutter people out for some time now to rework one of our front gutters. We've had an ugly green plastic stretchy pipe for two years now to divert the water that is clogged underground somewhere. Also on the back of house: same thing only an ugly green stretchy thing leading from the gutter that dumps from the main house roof to the garage roof because the water flow is too great for the gutter. Two years ago the gutter guy came out two days before Super Storm Sandy hit to take a look at the gutters. Then winter came. Then we dealt with the green stretchy thing.

I called them last week and he said he would stop by. He didn't. I called him again and he said he'd be right over! He was here in less than 35 mintues. He looked it over and came up with a solution we both agreed on. Then he said he could come by the end of the week. Really? Thursday afternoon they came and fixed both front and back gutters and cleaned the leaves out of all the gutters (we have a lot!) all in one fell swoop. It was all very timely since that evening we were sitting there watching Jeopardy when all of sudden it started pouring rain. We got 3/4 inch in about 20 minutes, so a very good test for the new  configuration of gutters!

  • Check!

I called Tim the same day I called the gutter people. He too said he would be passing by and would stop — almost at the same time the gutter people were coming to take a look. Wow. He did come (he arrived 15 mintues after the gutter people left) and we went over the list and we got the ball rolling on those issues.

  • Check!

I called the woodworker and left a message. He called back and said he could come Friday evening to take a look at our table! He looked it over and said it was definitely worth fixing. He told us our lovely quarter-sawn oak table was over 100 years old! Wow, we had no idea it was that old. He was impressed with the "antique" brackets holding the legs on and he will preserve them. We won't be getting it fixed right away though since he said it would make the perfect project for him over the winter. He'll contact us this fall and pick it up. It will be nice to have the legs come off instead of being permanently attached as they are right now with all the "fixes" over the years.

  • Check!

It's nice to have those things checked off the list!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mystic L@dybug Trip Continued

The side of the lobster shack.

As promised, here is more of our weekend in Mystic recap. I did not get any photos of the cute little town of Mystic because we spent our time between the very interesting Mystic Seaport (a living museum of America and the Sea) and the Mystic Aquarium. In fact, I just uploaded all the photos I was planning to use in this entry and I have sooo many I might have to break this up into two parts. We'll see how bored you get reading through this!

As I said, this living museum is fascinating. There was  so much to see and explore that I know we missed some things (like the shipyard) because we simply did not have time to do them. It's laid out just like a real village. Demonstrations of everything from cooperage (the making of barrels) to a woman baking a cake and aromatic rolls in an open kitchen hearth. It's nice that with your price of admission you can come back again for one week's time. We almost went back Sunday morning but after our longer than expected drive here we decided to head home.

Lobster traps (or lobster pots) on the pier.

There were plenty of boats to see —all different kinds used for all types of fishing. I loved this boat because of how the boards of the deck were curved. Imagine bending that wood to shape!

 

An old dinghy with even older buoys. I liked the mutedness of it all.

In this replica of Nantucket's Brant Point Lighthouse you can watch two fascinating short films about lighthouses on the panoramic five LED screens with surround sound. A must to see! I learned so much!

There were a couple of big sailing ships that you could actually board and walk around on. This is the Joseph Conrad.

 

It does not sail the bounding main anymore and is permanently docked here. It is now used as a sailing camp. <snippet from the website: Built in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1882, the Joseph Conrad is a square-rigger once used to train young Danish men for the merchant service. Today, permanently moored on our waterfront, she’s fitted out with bunks for 50 campers, flush toilets, showers, heat and electricity. Conrad campers learning to sail on the Mystic River alongside the tall ship Joseph Conrad. During the six-day program, young people ages 10-15 sail our fleet of Dyer Dhows and learn the skills of the sea.>

The rigging and ropes had me cross-eyed! I cannot imagine being a sailor and knowing what rope does what to which sail!

 

One of the most interesting buildings was the Plymouth Cordage Company Ropewalk where rope was once made. If you scroll back to the first photo of the Joseph Conrad and look in the background you can see a long two-story building behind the red one. That's the Ropewalk. Have you even given any thought as to how rope was actually made back before modern machinery? I sure hadn't. In fact I had never given the making of rope any thought at all and I found it absolutely fascinating. I've added the link to its description on the Mystic Seaport sight so you can read more about the process if you are interested.

Here you can see bobbins of cord being fed through many holes to make one large strand, and below the finished product.

Okay, I was going to cut off the post right here but I am on a roll and my fingers are still typing so you'll just have to slog through the rest right now. So go fill up your coffee cup or wine glass!

Too soon it was time for lunch, so we headed to our destination: Mystic Pizza, where else?

Who hasn't seen the movie? I guess my sister, for one! Not only is it a sweet film, but it's also Julia Robert's breakout performance that launched her career. As it turns out they only used outside shots of the orignal restaurant and the interior scenes were filmed across the river in Stonington. There was a map by the door as you entered that showed where all the locations in the movie were filmed. The walls are covered with Mystic Pizza memorabilia — framed photographs of the actors and the original local newspaper articles. A large screen TV runs the movie in a loop. We ordered the House Special (true to the movie, of course) which had sliced meatballs, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, onions and mushrooms. It was really good! So good that I probably ate one piece too many. Rick and I agreed:

there is something about the sauce with spices we couldn't quite identify.

Really! Here is the clip of the food critic tasting their pizza in the movie.

After lunch it was on to the Mystic Aquarium. The first thing we saw as saw as we walked in was the beluga whale exhibit and I was immediatly head-over-heels in love!

Juno ( I think ) hamming it up for the viewing crowd. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Clarke since I didn't take my camera in.)

I could have stood there all day and watched them. Beautiful creatures, and very intelligent too. This one was a real ham and would swim by just as close to the glass of the underwater viewing area as he could get. His eye would watch you the whole way. Once in a while he would surface and water from his blowhole would get everyone wet. Sometimes we thought he was actually doing it on purpose. They seemed more like dolphins than whales. Must more approachable and much smaller. 

The rest of the aquarium was much like other aquauriums: beautiful and exotic fish swimming around in too-small tanks. On one hand I find them all fascinating (especially the jellies) but on the other I feel really sorry for them swimming round and round in a big never-ending circle, or back and forth with nowhere to go.

They had a very interesting exhibit on the Titantic and I learned some interesting facts that I never knew before. Dr. Robert Ballard, the discoverer of the great ship, was actually commissioned in the summer of 1985 with a secret mission to explore two Navy nuclear submarines that went down in the 1960s in search of their nuclear reactors and weapons systems, one off the coast of Massachusetts, the other in the Azores in exchange for financial support to look for the Titanic. Another interesting fact was that the sides were actually stove-in by the iceberg instead of it slicing open as the ship went by as the movie would have had you believe. 

Our drive home only took a little over three hours (thank god!) with only one little misstep. That being that we got on the Merritt Parkway to avoid the congested parts of I-95. When we got on the signs said "No Commerical Vehicles" and that was all. Okay, the L@dybug is not a commercial vehicle so we're fine. We were rolling along happy as clams to be off I-95 when someone passed us blaring their horn. Hmm, we thought — that's odd. Maybe they were just greeting us as many people do when we are pulling the Bug. Kind of a big "hello, we like your trailer!"

We'd been on the parkway for quite some time when another car passed up making gestures with their thumbs down and pointing back at L@dybug. Rick's first instinct was that something was hanging down or wrong with the Bug that we didn't know about, so we pulled over at an exit as soon as we could. We got out, looked around, and could see nothing. We got turned around and were on the on-ramp to get back on the parkway when we passed a sign that said "No Trailers, No Commercial Vehicles etc ... " and basically no everything else besides just cars. Uh-oh. Crap. Well, now we had no choice but to keep going and find an exit with a road that would take us back down to I-95. We sure as heck didn't want to be there when we weren't supposed to be and we didn't want to encite these people to road rage for sure. Or get ticketed. In another five miles was the exit for Stamford, so we got off and found our back to the interstate. Live and learn, I guess.

And that ends my recap of our Mystic-al weekend. I hope you enjoyed your travels! It seems like this blog post took me longer to write than the whole weekend did to experience it! I guess I really should have split it up into at least two parts.

Are you still there???

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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