Monday, February 8, 2021

winter wonderland

Every few years, we get a really snowy winter.   This is one of them.  Last winter we had nothing.  Zip.  We just had our third round of snow the other day, and miracle of miracles... the Significant Other was home to enjoy it. 

Guess who did zero shoveling or snow blowing...  You got it.  I made soup instead.  Believe me, I've earned sitting it out for awhile.

Carrot ginger soup. Delicious.

On top of the two feet we already had, we got another 8-10 inches.  Ivy seems to be dealing with it a bit better.  She loves to play in it, but she's been stressing out about where to go to the bathroom.  I'm not sure why, but dogs seem to have this thing about having to pee and poop in certain places, and the snow seems to have thrown off all her boundaries.  But like I said, she seems to be dealing with it now. 

The good thing is that playing in the snow makes her tired.  Having a young dog is kind of like having a toddler... sometimes you just want them to nap.

Of course there's also a downside...



We have to remember to wear slippers or else everyone has wet socks for awhile.

A bunch of my friends and I were talking the other day about the Blizzard of '78, and lo and behold, I came across this picture.  It was February of 1978, and I was in 7th grade.  The snow started on a Sunday and didn't stop until Tuesday.  We lost power for a few days, but some people in our town lost it for two weeks.  I think we wound up with over two feet of snow.  After the plows piled up all the snow on the sides of the roads, it was perfect igloo building snow.  

A month shy of my 13th birthday yet not too old to play in the snow. 

I remember bringing all sorts of things in there - my tape recorder, books and such.  It was a fun place to hang out.  I did miss TV though.  I was quite a TV junkie back in the day.

I took a few pics during yesterday's storm.  I would have removed the window screen for better shots, but I would have wound up with even more snow in the house than the dog brings in. 

Backyard view from upstairs

Gray and snowy

Once the storm passed, which was somewhere around 4pm, the blue skies came, and everything brightened up.

The view from our street

Today is much of the same.  It's cold, but it's bright and sunny.  There's even a cardinal singing right now.

Right now I'm enjoying it.  I'm not thinking about the mess it will become when it starts to melt. 😨


Monday, February 1, 2021

what's up

 My daughter just had a birthday, so now we've all had quarantine birthdays.  I told her that it's possible she will have only one quarantine birthday - for the rest of us, it looks like we'll be going a second round. 

Vaccine rollout here in NJ has been pretty pathetic.  There are still people in the 65+ category who can't get appointments, my mother-in-law being one of them.  Now that the requirements have been opened up to people 16-64 with certain conditions, it's a total mess.  I don't expect to be vaccinated until summer. 

Right now we are getting hammered with snow.  So far we have over a foot, and it's not supposed to stop until tomorrow.  We've gotten several snowstorms this winter.  It's reminding me of the snow we used to get when I was a kid.

Outside my window, ready for a snow tea party.

The SO (significant other) is NEVER home when we get storms.  The only one he didn't miss was Hurricane Sandy, which was good, but COME ON!  Every time!  That's 34 years of ditching me in bad weather, 24 years of it with kids and dogs!  But I say this tongue-in-cheek, really.  It doesn't bother me that much... And in case you're wondering, yes, he still travels for his work.  There are very complicated and elaborate systems in place for his traveling, including a lot of Covid testing.  He's had more Q-tips up his nose than anyone I know.  So far, so good.  The new variants popping up make me nervous though.

Not long after we moved in, we set up a home office in the basement.  I always felt a little isolated down there, so this past weekend I decided to move my part into our bedroom.  So I stole his desk and moved it upstairs for me to use.  These are the kinds of things I do to get my revenge for his being away. 😉  

My son is still doing college at home online.  Honestly, sometimes I forget he's still in school.  My daughter has been doing editing work for Scribbr, which is an online proofreading and editing service for documents such as research papers, PhD dissertations, and the like.  The other night she was working on some crazy 8-page scientific document.  Nobody had any idea what any of it meant.  When I was in college, I used to type papers for grad students.  I laugh when I think about how old that makes me sound now.  But hey, I used to charge $75, and that was good money then.  By the way, I still love to type.

I've been wondering what my next move will be once I can be out and about.  I've got some ideas that I might share in future posts.  Really though, the first thing I want to do is just hang out on a beach somewhere.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

so, it has been awhile

Obviously I haven't wanted to post anything since August.  Funny, the last post was about a storm, and today we are expecting a full-on snowstorm.  

It's not like I haven't had anything to say... I just haven't been motivated.  Between Covid and politics, it's just been zapping all my energy.  So far we've still managed to avoid the first.  Vaccinations have just started here.  I figure my kids and I will be able to get it anywhere from April to June.  We just need to hang in there until then.  It hasn't been horrible, but it's not very fun doing little to nothing.  My daughter can't find a job yet; my son is finishing up his first semester of junior year in college (at home), and I'm bored.  But hey, it could be a lot worse.  Cases are going up because people are being stupid here... 

Politics dragged me WAAAAAY down.  Honestly, there are some faces in the news I hope I never have to see again.  Ugh.  That's all I'm going to say about that. 

We did manage to get our Christmas tree up and decorated though.  It's our first Christmas here in the new house.  

I always set up my little white tree too. 

My daughter always did lights on our old porch.  She did the new one too.  It was a bit easier since this porch is smaller.

Sometimes we get some pretty wild sunsets in winter.  This past week we've had a few. 

Stay-at-home means lots of time to walk the dog.  It catches up with Ivy.

I've never seen a dog sleep on her back as much as this one does.  She's weird.

So now I'm counting down the hours until the snow starts to fall.  Hope you're all doing well. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2020


Tropical Storm Isaias came roaring through here on August 4th.  My neighborhood came out rather unscathed - tree branches down and the usual other debris - but we never lost power.  So imagine my surprise to see everything else around me upended.

All around us, thousands were without power.  Big beautiful trees were upturned.  A mile down the road looked like this: 

That road finally opened yesterday.

Oddly enough, we lost our power a few days later for about 24 hours.  We still don't know why.

Storms are weird things.  We got slammed in Hurricane Sandy and lost our power for almost two weeks.  It was never officially confirmed that a tornado went up our street, but I can tell you that it most certainly did.  Some areas were leveled, while some got minimal damage.  I think it was all in how the storm swirled.  Where we vacation at the Jersey shore was a perfect example.  Every other town seemed to get destroyed while the ones in between did not.  It was all in how it swirled.  The people here in my new neighborhood told me that they never lost power in Sandy.  Weird.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020


I don't know anyone who doesn't love butterflies.  I don't see as many as I would like, but when I do, I'm always fascinated.  Sometimes they are very camera shy, but sometimes they are so wrapped up in their flowers, they will let me snap away.  These two didn't seem to care that I was lurking.


Yellow Swallowtail

Friday, July 24, 2020


Other than to my local farm stand, I haven't really gone anywhere lately.  The other day my son told me that one of our local gardens opened back up, so we decided to check it out.  It happened to be a pretty nice day - temp in the high 80's but less oppressive humidity.  New Jersey summers are hot and humid, so when we get a break in that, we like to take advantage of it.

It's called the Leonard J. Buck Garden in Far Hills, NJ.  You can click on the link to read about it if you're so inclined.

I got my son a new camera for Christmas, which he seems to be enjoying, and he brought it.  My cameras are still packed from moving.  I know where they are, but I haven't yet taken them out let alone charged the batteries and all that.  I still have film cameras too, and I do use them, but I don't have any film on hand.  So it was just me and my iPhone, which is good enough sometimes.

When we got there, we noticed that the paths we usually roam around on were now marked with directional arrows to keep people moving in the same direction so as to not have to pass one another.  I liked that.  It wasn't crowded anyway, which I also liked.  It was nice to get out and feel somewhat normal.  Nature is always soothing.  Enjoy.

My very skinny son. He's actually a very good photographer. Better than I, I think. 

Which way?

We were at least six feet apart.


A little history.

Probably don't want to eat these.

Probably don't want to eat these either.

No dogs allowed, but Ivy would have loved splashing in this.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

sharon's harmony hut, ii

I have a half-written post about a song that took me back to a particular point in time.  Things came up, and I haven't finished it yet.

This morning I woke up and did my usual run through of Facebook and Twitter.  Within ten minutes, I was pretty certain today would be a day I need to avoid the interwebs.  I just don't have it in me to deal with all the crap going on.  Some days I can handle it.  I think I'm too fragile and tired today.

However, there was on post on Twitter that may be my saving grace.

David Lemieux does a show called 'Today in Grateful Dead History' on the SiriusXM Grateful Dead channel.  I love the show and follow him on Twitter.  Today he posted this:

I was at that show.  I had friends who traveled the country following the Dead.  I considered myself a super fan, but I didn't stray far from NJ to see them - maybe as far north as Massachusetts, as far south as Northern Virginia, and as far west as the middle of Pennsylvania.  JFK stadium was less than an hour away from my house, so you know I was there.  I went with my usual crew: Stevie G, Jenny R, Suzanne S, and Turtle.  Someday I'll have to dedicate a whole post to Turtle.  He is worthy of it.

It was HOT.  I think every Dead show I went to was in the middle of summer.  I don't remember ever being cold at one.

Those who know the Dead know that there were some shows when Jerry just wasn't on his game.  This show was not one of them.  They were spectacular.  It was so good, in fact, that the recording of it was released on an album called, "Crimson, White & Indigo."

I looked up JFK stadium on Wikipedia and found this:

Six days after the Grateful Dead's 1989 show, then-Mayor Wilson Goode condemned the stadium due to multiple findings by city inspectors that the structure was structurally unsafe and a potential fire hazard. Just hours before the concert, city inspectors discovered piles of combustible materials, numerous electrical problems, and crumbling concrete. There had been reports of falling concrete for some time before then. The Grateful Dead concert was allowed to go ahead due to strict no-smoking regulations that had been enacted some time before. Renovating and repairing the stadium was quickly ruled out, and it was demolished on September 23, 1992.

Hahaha.  I'm surprised we survived.

So there it is.  I started the day off sad and tired, but once again, the Grateful Dead picked me up.  If you are feeling blue, sit back and give this clip from that iconic 7/7/89 show a watch.  It's hard to feel bad.  You may even feel like dancing a little.

Monday, June 1, 2020

thank you for coming

It has been increasingly difficult to think about blogging with everything going on in the world.  Honestly, I am overwhelmed.  I am.  My children are.  My friends are.  I know some of you are.

The other night while many cities erupted in violence, my town's local Black Lives Matter group held a funeral procession for George Floyd.  They had announced it a couple of days before.  It was to start at 7pm at the high school, travel a route throughout the town, and finish at the town's police station where there were to be speakers and a (socially distant) candlelight vigil.  Residents were encouraged to watch or participate, and my daughter wanted to participate.  So around 6:45 pm, she and I got into her car and headed toward the high school, which is only one mile from our house.  She had made a Black Lives Matter sign, which she stuck in one of the windows.

There were lines of cars in all directions of the high school waiting to participate.  We got a spot on line in the parking lot, but lines of traffic jammed up all the local streets.  My son, who had been out on a "destination walk" as he calls it (where he drives to a location and walks there) had been on his way home and got stuck in the mess.  He texted me and said it took him almost a half hour to go a quarter mile.

The procession started at 7pm as scheduled, but there were so many cars that we sat for almost an hour and a half before we started moving.  There were that many people.  During the time we waited, some people walked through the lot with signs, and when they did, everyone honked their horns.  Most people had signs on their cars.  I took some pics.

The line of cars that we were in

We finally started moving close to 8:30.  Everyone honked horns during the procession.  As we drove, people on the sidewalks waved, held up fists, and some had signs that just said, "thank you for coming."

I took some video here and there, which I'll post, but none of them do the procession any justice.  I really wanted to watch and not concentrate on filming.

Starting out:

Participants.  You can hear all the horns:

The line of cars goes on and on:

Some scenes throughout the town route.  We got in on the honking:

The streets of town look empty.  Normally this town is bustling at night, but since the pandemic, it has been very quiet like many other towns.  We drove to where the candlelight vigil was being held, and I think that's where everyone in town was.  It was packed.  My daughter and I decided to just drive back home after that because we didn't want to take a chance being around so many people.  It just didn't look like social distancing was possible.  When we got home, it was almost 9:30.

The next day I had read that there were close to 400 cars in the procession.

We are lucky here.  This town has had its share of racial unrest in the past, but now it is fair and welcoming, and our police are also.  There was not one problem with the whole event.  It was quite a different situation in the rest of the country.  We came home from a unified event to find the rest of the country blowing up.

This morning I let the dog out for her usual run around, and I sat at my little garden table by the lilac bush.  The blooms are just about done with only a few fresh flowers left. I talk to nature a lot.  I'm sure people must think I'm crazy, but why wouldn't you talk to nature?  I took a long sniff of one bloom then said, "thank you for coming."  Then I thought about the signs I saw on the route saying those same words.