If We Were Having Coffee…Sunshine and Sand

If we were having coffee this Saturday you would have had to travel a bit further southeast to find me here at the Jersey Shore (and, BTW, the “Jersey Shore” we go to is nothing like the TV show, not even a little).

Miss Dee and I are enjoying our annual girls weekend at the beach. Today’s plan involves no plans at all, going with the flow and totally relaxing. We left the boys at home. They have tickets to a Phillies game tonight so they don’t really mind.

If we were having coffee we could sit by the pool and enjoy the sunshine. The beach is about a block away so we could even walk down there and watch the waves. The condo we stay in here, thoughtfully shared by my husband’s stepmom, is in the quiet, family friendly area of Wildwood Crest. The beach is huge but at this time of the year it can get still get rather crowded. Since Miss Dee and I like to have space we go to the beach in the morning and pool in the afternoon so let me get right to catching you up on my week.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that STEAM camp this week went very well. The children enjoyed learning about Inventions and Inventors. We designed new cars and got to see a cool demonstration by a Tesla Model X car. We learned about the advantages of electric vehicles and it even “danced” for us, flashing its lights and opening and closing its wing doors in time with music!

The campers made hydrological elevators with Popsicle sticks, created their own board game, learned about lasers and really got into the Invention Scavenger Hunt we put together. It was an exhausting but fun week.

If we were having coffee I would invite you to put on your swimsuit and accompany us to the beach. We can continue our chat, have a swim, do some people watching and just relax! I’m so glad you stopped by. After you’ve brushed off the sand, visit Eclectic Ali, our Coffee Share host and catch up with the rest of the Coffee Crew.

If We Were Having Coffee…Fireworks, Films and Felines

Morning friends!

If we were having coffee I would invite you inside the house for coffee and apple cider donuts because this…

definitely says it’s way too humid to sit on the porch! The soupy New Jersey air is actually attempting to infiltrate the house but we’re keeping it at bay thanks to the air conditioning. The cat’s kinda annoyed because she can’t keep a proper eye on the squirrels. I’m just happy I don’t need to leave the house. D-Man left an hour ago to mow his mom’s lawn before it got too bad but I’m hoping he’ll stay in after that.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you we went out with friends last night to see the film “Yesterday.” I quite enjoyed it. It certainly helps if you are a Beatles fan since so much of the movie centers around their music but, it was a sweet story anyway. Absolutely no CGI, explosions or aliens which was a nice change from most of the other films we usually go to see. (Which reminds me, Spider-Man Far From Homeis definitely on next weekend to-do list!)

If we were having coffee…I would ask those of you here in the United States if you enjoyed any special Independence Day celebrations? We have a lot of traditions for that holiday.

Miss Dee and I always attend the town “Miss” pageant the evening before. The winner this year was a former student at the elementary school where I work so that always makes it fun. The newly crowned “Miss” then rides in the town Fourth of July parade the next morning. After the parade (which was a rather hot and humid event this year), we head to my father-in-law’s home for a BBQ.

My in-laws have a lovely house and a large yard in a very wooded area. We always make sure to cover ourselves in bug spray since they also have zillions of insects! My FIL ends the day by setting off fireworks, a tradition that has made me nervous since my children were wee. It makes me even more nervous now since Mr D is old enough to help light them!!! Happily we made it through another year with no casualties although one box fell on it’s side and started shooting out stars in random directions. That was exciting.

We usually end the night by attending our town fireworks. Traditionally, this is a nice way to end the day but this year Miss Dee and I were both wiped out. I suspect it was mostly because of the heat, so we decided to opt out. We both took long cold showers and then watched the first episode of Stranger Things 3! For us, this was every bit as exciting as the fireworks!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we acquired a new kitty this week. He was abandoned in front of an animal hospital where one of my son’s friends work. She told him that if they didn’t find a home they would have to take him to the shelter. We have been looking for a friend for Darby since we lost our sweet senior cat Chrissy earlier this year so we thought we’d give him a try. He’s all dark gray and quiet the charmer, always rubbing against you and purring, very dashing so we’ve took to calling him Dash. The vet said he seems to be about 3 years old and well cared for. He is currently living in the laundry room and we’ve been introducing him to Darby slowly. There’s been a bit of hissing but I think they’ll work it out in time. Stay tuned!

Miss Darby is still considering whether or not a new brother is a good idea?

Well, if we were having coffee, we would probably agree that Ive been monopolizing the conversation! Time for you to tell me what you’ve been up to. Let me refill you cup. Have you done any traveling? Seen any movies? Read any good books?

I’m so glad you stopped by. Don’t forget to visit our host Eclectic Ali, see what she’s been up to and visit the rest of the Coffee Share Gang.

Trivia Tuesday!

It’s Tuesday so it must be time for another edition of INVENTOR TRIVIA!

Here goes…

In 1905 eleven year old Frank Epperson was attempting to make his own version of soda pop, a popular new drink. After mixing some flavor powder with water, young Frank was called to bed, leaving his concoction in a cup on the back porch. Over night the temperature dropped below freezing. When he awoke, Frank found the liquid frozen solid, the stirring stick still sticking out the top. Behold, the Popsicle was born!

Apparently Mr Epperson didn’t appreciate the appeal of his frozen treats because he didn’t end up patenting it until 1924 after he served them at a fireman’s ball and received rave reviews. Originally marketed as the Eppsicle, Frank later changed the name after his children started referring to them as Popsicles!

Frank Epperson with his granddaughter

Thank goodness for that! Can you imagine calling to a bunch of kids playing outside on a hot summer day, “Hey! Who wants an Eppsicle?!”

Weird.

If We Were Having Coffee…Baseball and Country Line Dancing

Hello! Hello! I’m so glad you stopped by!

If we were having coffee on this lovely summer afternoon, I would probably offer you lemonade or mango juice as a substitute for hot coffee. I tend to drink a cup every afternoon no matter what the temperature but I know that’s not for everyone. We also have some leftover brownies that the D-man made for a party we had this week. Help yourself. They have chocolate chip cookies in the center, one of my hubbies many brownie variations. I’m pretty sure he could write a book!

How has your week been? Mine has been a blast! Monday kicked off my first full week of summer break. Yahoo!! It’s been a very full few days. Let’s see…

Monday I did some cleaning and cooking to get ready for our get together that evening. It was graduation night at the middle school where D-man works and we traditionally have the whole staff back here after the ceremony. It’s a chance for them to relax and celebrate the end of the year. He works with some really great people. It’s hard to believe that this will be his 22nd year there. Retirement is peeking around the corner!

Tuesday I had a very nice lunch date with my sister. We talked for hours and finally had to make ourselves leave the restaurant and go home! I spent the rest of the day helping my son finish up his packing since he was leaving for Greece the next day. Neither of us has ever traveled internationally so we felt the need to double check everything. He and a group of friends went over there to meet up with another friend who has been studying and playing basketball in New Castle England. He is finished now so he met them in Athens on Thursday and then today the group went to Mykonos Island for a few days. So far it looks like an amazing trip and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Wednesday Miss Dee and I met my (step)mother-in-law Denise at a local recreation center for a County Line Dancing class. Anytime that dancing involves actual steps as well as knowing left and right has never been my thing but it’s nice to try new things, right? Denise has done country line dancing before just not for a few years and Miss Dee danced a bit in school plus she has natural grace and rhythm so they did pretty well. Me? I danced like I had two left feet tied together at the knees! It was fun to watch the rest of the class and I didn’t break anything but I don’t think I’ll go back. I think the nice lady teaching the class will be okay with that!

Thursday I taught my craft class for the ladies at the Senior Center. This week we made these cute ladybug photo holders. It’s amazing all the crafts you can do with a bag of rocks! They seemed to enjoy it and they are always so much fun to work with.

Friday, after running some errands and getting a much needed haircut, D-Man, Miss Dee and I went over to Philadelphia to watch the Phillies play. It was an extra special baseball game because they had a ceremony to officially retire my all time favorite players, Chase Utley. Even though he spent his last few seasons playing ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chase will always be a Phillie because of the important role he played in helping us win the 2008 World Series as well as his amazing skill and passion for the game. His wife and kids were there and he got a huge ovation as he came onto the field to give his speech. Even though the current Phillies team lost the game that followed in spectacular fashion it was still worth the trip just to see this former second basemen.

As you can see, it’s been a fun yet busy week for me! Let me refill your glass and you can tell me what has been happening with you. Don’t forget to visit our coffee share hostess, Eclectic Ali and see what she and the rest of the crowd have been up to!

Thanks for stopping by!

Butterflies

Fellow blogger Michael Lai recently posted a lovely butterfly photo, just one of many extraordinary images he creates! I am a big butterfly fan especially this time of the year and his photo reminded me of one that my daughter took several years ago. There are three butterflies but their placement and the timing of the photo give the illusion of one butterfly in motion.  It’s one of my favorites so I thought I would share it with you…

IMG_1062

May your summer be filled with sunshine, colorful flowers and of course…butterflies.

Trivia Tuesday!!!

Summer STEAM Camp is almost upon us! For those of you wondering, STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. This summer’s theme is “Inventions and Inventors” and I’m pretty darn excited about it! My buddy Jill, the head camp honcho, has tasked me with putting together an Inventors Scavenger Hunt and I am discovering all kinds of things I never knew before about how some of the most common stuff came to be.

Here’s a little snippet of invention trivia just to get your Tuesday morning started!

BubbleWrap, that fun and indispensable packing item was discover quite by accident by two guys who were trying to invent 3D wall paper!

True story!

In 1957, inventors Marc Shuvon and Alfred Fielding, convinced (for some reason) that 3D wallpaper would be a real money maker, glued two shower curtains together trapping air bubbles in between. The wall paper idea turned out to be a dud but they soon discovered another, more lucrative, use for their invention.

I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who enjoys popping the bubbles. It’s very therapeutic but, if I had one wish, it would be for Marc and Alfred to have discovered a biodegradable material with which to make their wrap. Let’s face it, once made, bubble wrap never goes away. We always reuse any that comes into our house. In fact, I recently discovered a way to paint with it like this…

Crayola.com

…and, according to home improvement guy Bob Villa, there’s a bunch of other uses too, from insulating your windows to padding your hangers!

Seems like Fielding and Shuvon with their wall paper idea were thinking pretty small in comparison.😊

Reviving the Summer Bucket List

For the past thirteen years I have worked at a job that allows me to have the summers off. This is a treat, of course, but it can also seem daunting to someone like me, who thrives on routine. I found that instead of being productive with my time, I was wandering around half-doing a lot of stuff with no direction or plan. A few years ago, I decided to try a little experiment. I called it my “Summer Bucket List” and you know what? It really worked! I wasn’t able to finish everything on the list but it did keep me motivated and focused and when September rolled around, I was able to see exactly what I did with my time off.

Last summer I dropped the (beach)ball and never got around to making my list. As a result chaos reined from June to August. I reached September feeling exhausted but not quite sure why. This summer I’m getting back on track!

Some of the items on this list are repeats from summers past, either because they were not accomplished that year or, they were so much fun, I wanted to do them again! I update it regularly and mark it with a star once it’s complete. If an item is something that I need to do multiple times, it gets a star for each time I accomplish that task. Anything marked with a (c) is something that makes me a bit nervous or is something I tend to procrastinate about and will therefore be more of a challenge to accomplish.

Yesterday was my last day of work so I am taking this weekend to reset myself to “summer mode. Come Monday (late)morning I’m set to go!

Wish me luck!

SUMMER BUCKET LIST 2019

  1. Have one lunch date a week with a friend or family member ⭐️⭐️
  2. Paint the living room and kitchen⭐️
  3. Organize my growing pile of photographs (c)
  4. Visit the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to see their Marvel Exhibit⭐️
  5. Visit the nearby Grounds for Sculpture (I’ve never been!)
  6. Walk on the beach as often as I can.⭐️⭐️
  7. Visit a winery
  8. Go to the theater to see at least 4 movies or plays⭐️⭐️
  9. Have a picnic meal
  10. Spend some time on a boat in a lake or the ocean
  11. Go zip-lining (c)
  12. Go up in a hot air balloon (c)
  13. Catch up on annual dentist and doctor visits
  14. Spend time working (playing) in my art room creating at least every other day.⭐️
  15. Continue a daily routine of either yoga or some other form of exercise⭐️
  16. Complete work on Inventors scavenger hunt for STEAM camp (post to follow)⭐️
  17. Take a train ride
  18. Write at least one blog post per week and finishing my “Adventures in Hollywood” series
  19. Spend time each day reading other blogs, getting inspired and keeping up with what my blog friends are up to.
  20. Relax! Enjoy the simple things and be a little lazy.:)

READY, SET, GO!

If We Were Having Coffee…Busy mornings!

Happy Sunday morning!

If we were having coffee I would welcome you up onto the porch and hand you a cup of French roast coffee or whatever beverage you preferred. There’s lemonade, tea or crisp cold ice water. We are looking at a sunny Sunday here in Southern New Jersey with a high of 79 degrees. Perfect!! I’m enjoying it while I can before the stifling humidity returns.

How has your week been? We’ve been slogging our way through the last two weeks of school, trying to keep a lid on the students building excitement and maybe get a little bit of learning done as well. It’s been a bit of a challenge! I may need to give myself several pep talks just to get through this final week.😊

Thursday morning, some of our fifth grade students put on a talent show for the rest of the school. There were only 9 acts but they ranged from dancing or singing to comedy and karate! I give each one kudos for being brave enough to perform (I’m a behind the scenes girl myself.) It was a fun way for us to start the day and a fun way for them to cap off their time in elementary school before moving on to middle school.

Friday morning I accompanied the third grade class and teacher on their annual walking tour of our town. The final social studies topic for that grade is always about communities including founding and development of ours. The culmination of that is a visit to the many places we’ve learned about. I love that we live in a town that is walkable and has an actual Main Street with a library, small stores, restaurants and police station/borough hall. We toured the police station and the local museum and checked out some other landmarks including our Veterans Park and an old stone horse watering basin that still stands just next to where the railroad station used to be. The students really enjoyed the trip and behaved very well.

Saturday morning Miss Dee and I went shopping for new kitchen appliances which was fun. Mine are all over 15 years old and showing serious wear. The D-man and I decided last month to take out a small loan in order to do some updating around here. New counter tops (our current ones are red laminate, straight out of the 80s!) and appliances are the big purchases. Ahh, to have an oven that actually keeps the proper temperature and a dishwasher with a door that doesn’t drop down spontaneously scaring the sh#% out of us and the cat. I’m simply tingling with anticipation!

Miss Dee thinks I might get nostalgic and start missing the red counter tops. I’m not so sure….

That’s the thing about home ownership, isn’t it, there is always something that needs fixing or updating. I’ve got a list of other summer projects as well. I guess we will see how much of it gets accomplished. Usually something has to really start bugging me before I’m willing to spend money on it. I’m kind of cheap, and the fact that no money is coming in during the summer makes me even cheaper!😊

So now it Sunday morning and you might wonder what my plan is for today. Well, after all those busy mornings, I think that this one will be spent sitting on the deck, reading a book or working on some art work. That sounds just about perfect, like the weather! I’m so glad you could join me for a chat. You should run on over to Eclectic Alli and visit with the rest of the Coffee Share crew. I’m sure they’re serving up some great conversation as well.

If We Were Having Coffee…Prelude to Summer.

image

If we were having coffee on this fine breezy morning in Southern New Jersey, I would probably start off with “Hey, remember me?!” It’s been a while since my last coffee post or any post of any kind.  Why return now, you might ask? Well I work in an elementary school and because that wonderful thing called “summer break” is almost upon us, I now find myself with more time to do fun stuff, like blog writing and blog reading.  I can’t wait to catch up with the many things that have been going on with you all!

So lets chat! What’s been up with you?

Seen any good movies lately? (went to see ENDGAME few weeks ago. LOVED IT!!! It needs an entire post of it’s own so stay tuned).

Read any good books? (Just finished “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Excellent read.  I highly recommend.)

Gone on any new adventures? (Hubby and I are in the midst of planning a trip to New Orleans to celebrate our 25th Wedding anniversary which was on May 21st. The trip will happen in November when the weather is more agreeable!)

IMG_1703

This cutie is enjoying having us around more too. She is such a social cat that I think she might be part dog!!!

How’s life been treating you and your family? Our family is doing well.  Mr D is wading his way through “adulting,” working in one of our neighborhood schools and taking classes towards getting his certification to teach special education. He was also best-man in his friend’s wedding a few weeks ago which was fun for all of us to see!

Miss Dee has bravely conquered her junior year of college and is enjoying her well earned break.  She has also started seeing an anxiety counselor which is really helping her get a hold of her stress levels. It is helping her focus on all the wonderful things about her like her creativity and compassion. Having all her friends back home for the summer really adds to her joy as well!

As for the D-Man and I, with the kids no longer being kids, we are enjoying more and more  time as a couple including a weekend at the beach and dinners at new resturants.  I think it’s shaping up to be a pretty good summer around here.  I hope the same holds true at your house.

I’m off to read some other Coffee Share Posts. Stop by and visit Eclectic Alie, see what she is up to and visit the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share.

 

If We Were Having Coffee…Lazy Sunday (finally!)

If we were having coffee…on this bright, crisp afternoon in Southern New Jersey, I would say, “Sit!! Relax! Please pardon my PJs!” Today I’m feeling lazy and enjoying, what feel like, the first “do nothing” day in forever!! Although last Sunday I was also doing nothing but that was because I’d gotten socked with a combination flu-sinus infection so I guess it’s actually the first chose-to-do-nothing day. I’m still dragging a cough around with me but at least I no longer feel as though I’ve been hit by a bus.

So, happy February! I’m pretty psyched that Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow and that Spring is just around the corner. Let’s face it though, Phil’s gonna say whatever gets him back in his warm bed the fastest. Personally I’d have bitten the guy with the hat the minute he reached in my door, but I’m a bit cranky in the morning anyway.

If we were having coffee… with I’d tell you all about the wonderful visit we had last night from my nephew Kyle and his fiancé. They are visiting from California and its the first we’d seen them since they got engaged. If you happen to have read my yet-unfinished-series “Adventures in Hollywood” you might remember that it was Kyle that my sister Linda and I went to visit last November. He showed us the sites and we met his lady then although they weren’t betrothed at the time. Her name is Tuka and she’s originally from Persia/Iran but has been in the US since she was a little girl. She brought the most amazing eggplant dip to share. We plied her with typical Jersey food (hoagies and Tasty Cakes!). We are definitely smitten with her and cant wait for the wedding. They are talking about a destination wedding to Iceland so they can be married under the Northern Lights. Sounds very romantic but I’m not sure how it will fit our budget! Guess we have a few years to think about it.

Hanging with Kyle and Tuka last year in Venice Beach (Can you tell I was a bit cold?!)

Well, I do need to get a few things done today so I guess I should finish up this chat. I hope you enjoyed your French Roast and conversation. Please stop by Eclectic Allies‘ and visit the rest of the Coffee Share Posts!