Category Archives: Home & Family

A Mother’s Day Tribute: All About Doris

I would like to wish all my mom friends out in the blogosphere a very happy Mother’s Day. I think we can all agree that being a mom is the most wonderful, challenging, frustrating, agonizing, amazing, and rewarding job there is! Sometimes all in the same day!!

Since I am no longer able to celebrate this day with my own amazing Mom I thought that in her honor I would share ten fact about her that helped make her so special.

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Mom with her brother Bobby in 1936 and as a 16 year old just after she met my Dad.

  1. Her name was Doris Mae and she was born in Camden, NJ in 1930.
  2. Doris went to 10 different schools in 9 years. This was because her father, a master plumber (someone who installs plumbing systems in ships or large office buildings) had to move around a lot for his work. She often returned to the same school district a few years later, catching up with old friends. Her oldest friend, Ruth, was an eighth grade classmate who became a life long friend. After my dad passed away they bought neighboring condos and continued to watch out for each other.
  3. Because of all this moving around, school was a challenge for mom so at the age of 16, she dropped out and started her first job as an elevator operator at Strawbridge and Clothier in Camden. She also worked for them as a phone operator, a waitress and a personal shopper for people who would call in with orders (she always said this was her favorite job!)
  4. Her two favorite fashion accessories were high heels and lipstick which she always made sure she had on whenever photos were being taken.
  5. She met my dad in 1946 when she was 16 by way of her best friend Gertie who happened to be my dad’s cousin. He was 23 at the time and fresh out of the army. I remember telling her that she would have locked me in the closet if I had tried dating a 23 year old When I was that age. Her response: “Things were different back then. He was a friend of the family and I was much older at 16 than you were.” Probably all very true.
  6. She became a mom at 20 when she gave birth to my sister Linda, a name she picked out after hearing a coworker by that name. She said it was very original for the time. Linda was followed by Patricia 18 months later, James three years after that and then (surprise!) me 8 years later.
  7. She loved to socialize and always had many friends spending time on the telephone or chatting over the back fence with the other moms in the neighborhood.
  8. Her cocktail of choice was a Fuzzy Navel: peach schnapps and orange juice. I still have a bottle of peach schnapps in my pantry that we kept on hand so she could have one at our holiday gatherings.
  9. She and I took a road trip to Florida in 1993 because she wanted to visit Universal Studios. She was afraid of flying and my dad hated to travel so since I was single and was driving a pretty reliable car at the time she offered to pay for the trip if I would be willing to drive there. It was a fabulous vacation and I’ve never laughed do much in my whole life. We made a detour to Clearwater on the coast so she could visit her cousin and made of point of borrowing a swimsuit so she could swim in the ocean, something I never remember her doing when I was growing up.
  10. By the time she passed away, in 2015, Doris had been blessed with 8 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and countless other “adopted grandkids” that lovingly referred to her as MiMom, a name chosen by her first grandchild. This aspect of her life was by far her most favorite. 

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I could go on. There are so many more memories I could share. Maybe I will make this an annual post. For those out there who are also missing their moms on this special day, maybe you should take the time to make your own list, even if it’s just in your head and your heart. It’s a great way to remember those ladies who helped make us who we are.

Thanks for reading.

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If We Were Having Coffee….The Calm After the Storm

 

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Welcome!

If we were having coffee on this fine Saturday afternoon, I could offer you a hot beverage or a cold one and a cookie or two as well. If you come back tomorrow, I can offer you some homemade Salted Carmel Snickerdoodle cookies. My darling hubby always bakes me a batch for Mother’s Day. My mouth is watering in anticipation! For now we have to make do with store bought chocolate chips. Sorry. Let’s take our snack out to the porch and chat a bit…

It’s been quite a week around here. The storm I alluded to above was both figurative and literal. A thunder storm accompanied by strong winds did pass through during the wee hours of the night and another is predicted for tonight and most of the coming week. That’s ok. We need the rain. The lawn and the flowers are extra happy today after getting a good soaking. The only two days I needed it to be rain free were this past Monday and Thursday and that worked out just fine.

Monday morning was Mr D’s graduation ceremony. Hard to believe he has already finished four years of college! The day was beautiful and sunny and the ceremony itself wasn’t as long as it could have been considering there were over 500 students in the graduating class. They held it on a large green area in the center of campus in front of one of the university’s oldest buildings. Mr D majored in Psychology and his ceremony included this as well as those students majoring in other health related fields including nursing. The rest of the week was filled with graduations for the other majors, many of which he attended to cheer on his friends. Today he and his girl are making the rounds of several graduation parties. Ahh, to be 23 again!

Thursday was the day of Miss Dee’s graduation from community college. This is her first step as she will continue on to earn her bachelors degree at The College of New Jersey over the next two years. Her ceremony was originally scheduled for 5:00 in the evening but because of the possibility of storms (her ceremony was also outdoors) they moved it up to 2:00 at the last minute. Thank goodness I have an understanding boss who scrambled around to find coverage for my students so I could make it out of work on time! It turned out to be quite nice too and as with Mr D’s, we followed it up with a dinner out.

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The graduates on their respective days. Love these two!

Now it’s calm. Nothing else to prepare for, at least for the moment. That’s good, because I’m bushed! Tomorrow we will go out to dinner again to celebrate Mother’s Day with my wonderful mother-in-law and sister-in-law but for today, I’m puttering around here catching up with life.

Can I refill your cup? Tell me about your week. Did you do anything exciting? Were there any rough spots or high points? Other than the graduations, I would say my high point was seeing the new Avengers movie Infinity War last Sunday. Dang was that good! …And terrible!! If you are a Marvel fan and saw the film than you totally get my meaning. I can’t wait for part two to be released next May.

Well its time to wrap up our visit for this week. Please stop by again. I’ve so enjoyed your visit. Don’t forget to stop by Eclectic Allie’s and check out the rest of the Coffee Share Posts.

If We Were Having Coffee…Lazy Saturday.

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If we were having coffee…on this rainy Saturday, I would offer you a choice of French roast or caramel vanilla and put out a plate of cookies because for me, coffee is always accompanied by something sweet. Once we were tucked into the table, steamy cups between our palms, I would ask how you’ve been. I hope that you are well and that life has been interesting and somewhat stress free.

In return, you would probably ask about life around here. Well, for the most part we’ve been preparing for some upcoming family events..  Monday morning, our young Mr D will have his college graduation. I swear it seems like just last week that we were getting ready for his high school graduation but here we are, four years later, bachelor degree complete and real life on the horizon! I guess that’s just how time rolls. Miss Dee will also have a graduation this week. On Thursday she will have completed her two year associates degree and will be ready  for her second two years at a university up north. At the moment, she is at work, selling bridal gowns and he is in Cooperstown, New York with the baseball team he coaches. The boys on the team will be able to play a game on the field up there tomorrow but today they were checking out the Baseball Hall of Fame. Never been there myself but Mr D and my hubby have visited several times. I’d like to make a point of going someday. We talked about stopping on the way to Niagara Falls if we ever manage a trip up there! So many places to see!

So today, with the children scattered, the D-Man and I are left feeling very empty nest-ish. The cats are tolerating our presence but I’m sure they would rather have the house to themselves. After all, they are cats.  Oh, speaking of our feline family  members, I should introduce you to our newest….

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Her name is Darby and this is her hangling out in the bathroom sink.  She does stuff like that. After we lost our sweet Jack back in September, his sister Chrissy seemed lonely so we adopted Dar-baby (as we’ve taken to calling her) from a local rescue organization.  She is a real sweetie but a bit mischievous, as you might have guessed.  So far she and Chrissy have a sort of  love/hate relationship, but I think the “love” half is winning out.

We humans in the house have been doing more than just laying in the sink all day, though. D-man spent the morning doing lawn work which is his usual M.O. for this time of year. I tried to explain that if he just stopped putting down seed and fertilizer, then he wouldn’t need to spend so much time mowing but I don’t think he sees my logic. It’s a man thing, I’m sure. As for me, I’ve just been puttering around here, doing laundry and switching over my closet. I did take a run to the pharmacy in search of some medicine. Lately, my head has been stuffed and my eyes have been itchy so I thought I might try some allergy medicine, even though seasonal allergies have never bothered me before. Apparently, the pollen count here in South Jersey is quite high right now so a lot of people are suffering.  However, after checking out the prices of the allergy pills available, I decided to just suffer in silence till the count goes back down!

All in all, today was pretty quiet. Tomorrow will be a much more interesting. We are going to see the the Avengers new movie Infinity War! I’m so stinking excited!! I’ve been avoiding all conversations and social media about it since the release last week because I didn’t want hear any spoilers. We stocked up on candy from the dollar store (because $5.00 for a box of Swedish Fish just ain’t happening) and reserved and prepaid our seats at the theater with the reclining seats. Miss Dee even pulled out her Captain America shirt to wear. I will be sure to tell you all about it if you come by for coffee again next week.

Now it’s your turn.

If we were having coffee, I would refill your cup and ask, “What have you been up to?” I would love to hear about it in the comments below. Thanks again for stopping by and don’t forget to check out the other Coffee Share Post at here  hosted by the amazing Allie.

Adventures in Hollywood – Day One

Nancy and Linda Fly the Friendly Skies

When my sister Linda and I first hatched our crazy plan to fly clear across the country by ourselves we actually felt pretty confident. We had no worries about enjoying the destination.  My nephew Kyle has been living in Los Angeles for seven years and my sister has been out to visit him once before. She knew what to expect and I knew he would take care of us, driving our rental car and showing us all the touristy sites.  In addition, we were not worried about our accommodations because we were staying in the same little apartment in Burbank that Linda had rented during her last trip six years earlier.  We knew it would be clean and safe and in a good location.  We didn’t even care about sharing these close quarters for a week because even though there is a 12 year difference in our ages (she the oldest of four, me the youngest) we have always gotten along famously.  We have the same personality type, decidedly introverted but with a side of adventure. We share the same sarcastic sense of humor, eating habits and taste in wine.  In fact, my brother-in-law often claims that we share a brain.

So it was with excited anticipation that we planned our adventure.  We had just one obstacle and one big worry…getting there.  It wasn’t a fear of flying that gave us anxiety.  We both really enjoy the actual flying part. . It was more a fear of arrival times and baggage claims, of security checks and boarding passes. In addition to sharing a brain,  my sister and I also share a phobia of rule breaking.  The idea that we would be late or get pulled out of line for an infraction of the security rules, which are much stricter since the last time either of us flew, had us both nervous wrecks. Linda alleviated her anxiety by scouring the internet.  Every few days I received another link to another site with tips for stress free flying. Personally,  I went straight to the horse’s mouth, or rather to my friend Donna who has flown more miles than she cares to remember both for work and pleasure.  She sent me a nice long email detailing what we could do to make the flight and check in easier.

When the time arrived for us to finally embark it felt like we had prepared all we could for our 5:45 flight out of Philadelphia. I even arranged to leave work early just in case of traffic. Our  bags were packed (although Linda was sure she was going to be over the 25 pound limit for checked bags); our carry-ons were filled with books and food (in clear zip lock bags); we were wearing slip on shoes  (in case we needed to remove them for security), and socks (because airport floors=gross);  we were without cumbersome scarves, jackets or necklaces so we could plop our stuff into those plastic bins with ease and once through security, we planned to buy large bottles of water to drink on the plane to stay hydrated.

So we were ready, right?  Worries and anxiety in check, right? Not really.  We still kept imagining everything that could go wrong.  Linda worried more than me, always has.  I think it’s a birth order thing.  Any-hoo, the departure day finally came. We arrived at the airport hours ahead of our flight, checked our bags quickly and easily (she had a 1/2 pound to spare, mine was 10 pound lighter-I know how to pack!), and sailed right through security, without even removing our shoes.

Really?!

It was sort of anticlimactic. We just looked at each other and thought,  “That’s it?” No pat down? No bag searches? No suspicious looks?  The most difficult part was trying to figure out how to print our baggage tag  from those annoying little kiosks they use now. My kingdom for a real, live person with a pen and paper!! Oh, and we also sat at the wrong departure gate for an hour (long story) but we figured it out in plenty of time.

The five hour flight was a little cramped but fine.  The flight attendant did get sort of snippy when we asked for wine.  Apparently they had to wait “till we reach cruising altitude.” Yeesh!  She obviously didn’t realize how badly we needed that wine! Anyway, finally around 9pm (12am without the time change) the lights of the Greater Los Angeles area appeared below and we began our decent.

We had been warned by several people about how crazy LAX could be but we actually found it easier to navigate than the Philadelphia Airport had been.  We found our luggage and my nephew Kyle, who had Ubered to the airport, in no time at all.  A shuttle took us to the Hertz Rental Center where we signed in and were sent to pick out our rental car.  It’s a nice idea, really, giving you the choice of all the cars in the lot but in the dark after a long day I would have preferred someone just hand me the keys.  Since Kyle was going to do most of the driving, we let him pick.  By this time, I had a crashing headache and was just ready to climb in the back seat and nap. It was probably due to stress…or the wine…or the fact that I’d mostly had wine for dinner.  I could blame it on the dry air on the plane but that’s unlikely. Anyway, my introduction to the insane L.A. Traffic and all the zigging and zagging involved was not fun and I was grateful to make it to our cute little Burbank apartment without hurling in the back seat of the rented Toyota.

Day one down.  Technically, I guess, it was already day two since it was around 1am.  Linda and Kyle decided to stay up for a while and catch up. Me,  I crawled into my pjs and into the nice comfy bed thankful for the peace and quiet. I was asleep in minutes, dreaming of all the adventures to come.

Watch out Hollywood. The Sisters have arrived!

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Our Burbank Abode and the snazzy rental car.

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee…All Smiles Around Here

If we were having coffee...I would tell you that last night around eight, my husband noticed that his car had a flat tire.  He also discovered that one of the headlights in Miss Dee’s Beetle was out.  This was after Mr D had called him to say he needed someone to rescue him because he’d locked his keys in his car and after he’d cleaned up cat pee off the carpet.  But you know what? None of it mattered because the Philadelphia Eagles were heading for NFC Championship and as far as hubby was concerned all was right with the world!

Now,  this morning when the temperature is around 18 degrees and the D-man is  outside trying to maneuver the tiny wires out of the headlight while simultaneously running the air pump to pump up the tire  enough so he can at least get it to the garage (coming inside every 10 minutes to warm up his hands) he might not feel quite so calm.  We’ll see how it all plays out.  I do know that last nights game was exciting and nerve wracking and if the Eagles hadn’t been able to pull it out things would have been a little different around here. Even Mr D knows that if they’d have lost he would rather have walked home than call his father to bring him his spare key.

Since I do realize that not everyone out there is a football fan (and to be honest, if I wasn’t married to the super fan himself, I wouldn’t be either) we can talk about other things while we enjoy our French roast. Speaking of which, I had a mini panic attack while trying to make coffee this morning because the Keurig was not cooperating.  It just stared at me making horrible sounds.  Thank goodness for the internet because it turned out to be an easy fix.  Not even an Eagles win would have improved my mood if I had to start my day coffee free.

In other news this week,  our school had a delayed opening on Tuesday thanks to the ice storm that hit the northeast Monday night.  Then Friday was a half day for the students so that we staff could have one of our required in service trainings.  It’s been so long since we’ve had a regular full week of school that I’m not sure I can handle it anymore.  Luckily this is a three day weekend (thank you Martin Luther King Jr) making next week a short week as well, so I can put that whole thing off a little longer.

Miss Dee and I watched the whole Golden Globe thing last week and, totally avoiding any political discussion here because this is my happy place, we had fun  checking out the fashions and seeing the celebrities out and about.   Of course, the Oscars are really “MY SHOW” but the Globes are a good warm up.  She and I really like the Netflix show “Stranger Things” so it was fun to see the cast there.  It was disappointing that they didn’t win anything but there’s always next season. We pretty much binge watched seasons one and two.  Miss D even subscribed to Netflix herself so she could watch.  The show “Handmaidens Tale” got some attention  as  well as a movie title “The Shape in the Water” neither of which I  have seen.  There are a lot of films out that I would like to catch if only I had the time and the money!  Eleven dollars for a movie ticket is a little our of my comfort zone. I am planning on going to see “The Phantom Thread” with a friend next week.  It looks pretty good so I’ll let you know what I think.

Well, my coffee is gone and I guess it’s time to be productive.  There are bills to pay and wash to be done.  Miss Dee is the only one who has to go out to work this fine Sunday but the rest of us have a list too.  Mr D has to take an hour long online course to prepare him for the online course he starts on Tuesday (🤔?)  I know.  We don’t get it either but it’s a requirement. So that will keep him busy for a bit and D-man, as we know, is working his way through car maintenance which is going better than expected.  While I’ve been occupied here, he managed to remove and replace the headlight bulb and pump up the tire enough to take it to the garage to get a plug.  So I guess all really is right with the world, or at least in our little corner of it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a great Sunday.  Please make your own Coffee Share Post (hosted by Eclectic Allie) or comment below so I can hear all about what’s going on in your corner of the world!

 

If We Were Having Coffee….BRRRR!

If we were having coffee today you would want it extra hot, extra large and with a side of thick socks! Here in the Northeastern U.S. we are in the middle of a record breaking cold front.  Anyone remember that movie “The Day After Tomorrow” with Jake Gyllenhaal?  Well, if New York Harbor freezes solid, I’m moving to Mexico.

Any-hoo, if we were having coffee, I would whisk you on in out of the frozen tundra and offer you a seat.  Santa brought me a new Keurig machine and the Elves threw in a few dozen coffee and hot chocolate pods so I’m confident we can find something to warm you up. I’ll be having a nice strong French roast served in the nifty Hollywood mug I got on vacation.  Sorry, you’ll have to use a less cool mug but I promise to fill it all the way to the top while you fill me in on your week.

So tell me, are you happy with 2018 so far?  Planning on watching the Golden Globes tonight? Read any good books or seen any good films? Going on an interesting vacation? Enjoying temperatures above freezing in your end of the world?

Sorry, I’ll stop harping on the crappy weather.  It’s just that I’m a summer girl at heart and all this ice and snow is seriously messing with my mood.  Good thing I wrote my “January To-Do List” last week.  It’s the only thing that’s been keeping me going.  Ive gotten a good start on it thanks to the weird week we’ve had work wise.  After being off for Christmas break, we had school on Tuesday and Wednesday and then were closed on Thursday and Friday due to the snow and ice.  Now, I could certainly get used to working two days then having a four day weekend but I don’t think we can managed the required 180 school days per year that way!

Well, my plan today is to start packing away my Christmas decorations so I suppose I should get started.   You’re lucky that we aren’t really having coffee because I might enlist your help.  Although, in this house we’ll be going from green and red decoration to green and silver thanks to all the Philadelphia Eagles signs and flags my hubby had spread all over the house!  I’m not complaining though because we’ve been devoted fans forever and have routed for the Eagles through out some pretty crappy seasons so the fact that they had such a great season and made the playoffs is a pretty big deal around here.  Plus, even if he is injured and will be unable to play, Miss Dee had a serious crush on Carson Wentz. 🙂

Before I get to work though,  I wanted to mention something very sad that happened while I was away from the blogosphere. This September we lost our handsome boy Jack. We rushed him to the emergency vet after he started having trouble breathing and a tumor was found growing next to his heart, pressing on it. We were fortunate to have had a chance to say goodbye and tell him how much we loved him before the doctor sent him off to sleep.  He was our friend for 13 years and all of us, including his sister Chrissy who now walks around meowing, in search of him, miss him terribly. Jack continues to be a presence all over my blog but in remembrance, I’d like to close this post with some of my favorite moments with him…

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you have a great week!

Many thanks to “Eclectic Allie” for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share. Stop by and check out the rest of the posts.

If We Were Having Coffee…7/16/17

Good morning!

If we were having coffee today you would find me lounging at the kitchen table still in my jammies, hair all askew and my coffee cup within reach. Hope you’re okay with that because I am now in full summer mode. For we school employees, that means that “run-around-and-get-all-your-errands-done-Sunday” becomes “stay-in-your-pajamas-and-have-some-more-coffee-Sunday,”

School officially ended on June 16th so it’s taken me a month to finally get to this point. For two weeks, at the end of June and the second week in July, I was preparing for and working at STEAM camp. Whew! What a lot of work, but it went really well and the kids had a great time. Here is Miss Dee and a “friend” modeling one of the photo boards I made….

In between camp weeks, I was preparing and finishing up art work and projects for the second week and celebrating July fourth so now, this weekend is what feels like my first real weekend off. The first few days my brain was in relaxation heaven! Ahh!  Just not having anything nagging at the back of my brain was wonderful. Welcome to the mind of an obsessive, over thinker!

So…

If we were (finally) having coffee this morning I would pour you a cup, offer a donut and ask, “How the heck have you been?” I would ask about books you might be reading, movies you might have seen and activities you might be involved in? I would also inquire about your work or projects and any challenges you might be having there or with life in general? I hope they are few and far between.

My last coffee share highlighted my first whirlwind week of summer break. That was fun, but crazy! My biggest highlight since then was this Wednesday night. Miss Dee and I went to see Ed Sheeran in concert! Her birthday (number 19) is tomorrow so the tickets were a present from her dad and I. The D-man was kind enough to act as our chauffeur since I don’t drive in the city (it’s better for everyone, believe me) but I got to enjoy the concert with her. What a great show! She has been a huge fan of  his for years but I was only familiar with a few of his songs. Now I’m a huge fan too. This was Miss Dee’s first ever concert and it couldn’t have been a better experience. She is not a big fan of crowds and noise but Ed seems to have a very eclectic fan base, both young and old, so we were surrounded by a pretty tame crowd and since it is only him and his guitar on stage, the noise level wasn’t the same as most other concerts I’ve attended! We really had a blast dancing and singing along and I’m so glad she chose to share this memory with me!

In other news, Mr D was down for the count with strep throat last week. His temp reached 103! I know it’s just the bodies way of getting rid of an infection, but high temperatures  freak me out! He missed almost a full week of work and spent most of his time curled up on the couch while I tried to force food and juice on him! Even at 21 years old, he is still my baby when he gets sick! Thankfully, he is back to normal and actually just got home from the beach himself last night.

He and Miss Dee are enjoying having all their friends home on college break. I love having the crowd back around too (except when they come and go in the wee hours and hubby and I are trying to sleep)!

Okay, If we were having coffee, I would probably feel the need to get on with my day by now. The first few weeks of summer have been too crazy to even bother looking at my Bucket List, all though I’ve checked off a few things without even trying. So maybe I’ll take a look at that today….or tomorrow. Mostly I guess, I should put on some clothes, brush my teeth and try to be productive!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your weeks is awesome! Don’t forget to visit either  Nerd in the Brain or Part Time Monster (the ladies are co-hosting this week) so you can check out the rest of the Coffee Share Posts! 

If We Were Having Coffee…6/24/17

Whew!

If we were having coffee…I would hurry you in and start off by appologizing for my slightly disheveled appearance. At 6:30 this morning we were awaken to beeping cell phones issuing a tornado warning! Not the most relaxing way to start the day. Luckily, though the conditions were favorable, no tornados actually formed. Miss Dee and I sat in the basement family room watching the news untill the warning expired. The D-Man, who is much more of a thrill seeker, watched from the den window. Mr D never even made it out of bed. Pretty sure he could sleep through most anything.

Anyway, at this point in time, hours later, as I fill your cup with some nice strong French roast and offer you a donut, the skies have cleared. Young Mr D has left for work, D-Man has headed back to bed and Miss Dee having just climbed back out of bed herself, is watching YouTube videos. She will be off to work in a few hours herself. I really kind of love this time of year when hubby and I stay home and the kids go off to make a living. Ahhh, good times….

A cloudy view of the Freedom Tower as seen from Hoboken

If we were having coffee…we could catch up with each other’s past few weeks. I don’t know about you but mine have been quite busy! We finished up the school year (hooray) on the 16th, then spent the next day visiting D-man’s step-sister in Hoboken celebrating my father-in-law’s 75th birthday. Torrential downpours made the  drive a bit of a challenge but eventually the family was able to gather for a very nice lunch, wishing him well and fussing over new baby Asher, just two months old.

Beach selfie!

Sunday was a day of rest as well as laundry and packing because on Monday Miss Dee and I headed for the shore.  For the past three summers we have kicked off our break by having a Mother/daughter get-away at the beach. The weather this year was perfect. Sunshine, sand, lounging outdoors by the sea! Totally rejuvenating.  Mr D and his lady friend came to visit one day and we all went out for a lovely seafood dinner.

Full STEAM ahead!

On Thursday we found ourselves back home, unpacking and, again, doing laundry!  Then on Friday, AKA yesterday, I was up early finishing up my STEAM Camp props so that I could deliver them for set up. The airplane board just barely fit in my car but made it to the site unscathed. I spent an hour or so aiding in the set up then rushed off to do the grocery shopping. D-Man and I finished up the day enjoying the perfect weather while watching the team of middle schoolers that Mr D coaches play baseball.

That brings us full circle…back to this morning’s 6:30AM tornado warning…

Like I said….Whew!!!!

So if we were having coffee…I would now lean back and ask “How was your week?” I hope it was fun and eventful, low on stress and high on comfort. The day here is shaping up to be sunny and warm so stay a while. Let’s chat. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by Nerd in the Brain so you can check out the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share!

The 2017 Summer Bucket List

Woo-hoo! It’s that time again….

For the past eleven 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.

Naturally, I was ready to make another handy dandy bucket list this summer!* Several of the items on my 2017 list are repeats from other summers, either because they were not accomplished that year or, they were so much fun, I wanted to do them again! 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. My last day of school is this Friday, June 16th so that means that on June 17th I’ll be off and running! Wish me luck!

BEHOLD THE 2017 SUMMER BUCKET LIST!!

1. Take at least six day trips (parks, beach, etc)⭐️
2. Clean out and organize the household file cabinet⭐️
3. Repaint the living room walls
4. Travel some where by train
5. Ride a train into the city (c)
6. Create at least six art projects⭐️⭐️
7. Visit at least 2 museums
8. Take care of some “self maintenance” by catching up on yearly physicals.⭐️
9. Clean out and update the kitchen pantry. ⭐️
10. Go canoeing or kayaking
11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family⭐️⭐️
12. Go zip-lining (c)
13. Walk on the beach⭐️
14. Have a picnic somewhere next to the water
15. Have a romantic weekend away with my Hubby
16. Join a book club and attend meetings monthly⭐️
17. Maintain my newly planted herb garden and use the herbs often (c)
18. Attend the theater at least three times (films or plays)⭐️⭐️
19. Try to awaken my inner “chef” by researching and attempting some new recipes. (c)⭐️
20. Experience a ride in a hot air balloon (c)
21. Finish organizing and labeling our family tree and photos
22. Visit a local winery and enjoy a wine tasting.
23. Listen to some live music, preferably outdoors
24. Go dancing with my Hubby
25. Catch up on a full season of the “Once Upon a Time” TV show with Miss Dee (we got a little behind!)

*BTW It would be super awesome to have some company on this adventure so feel free to make your own list if you’re so inclined.

We can compare notes and cheer each other on! 😊

If We Were Having Coffee…6/3/17

Good afternoon!

If we were having coffee you would find me perky and pleasant today because, finally, finally, finally we could enjoy our visit out on the porch! The weather here in Jersey, following a rainy morning, is sunny and mild and yesterday, the D-Man liberated all the outdoor furniture from the garage. I was so happy to see my Adirondack chair I would have kissed it, had it not been covered with spider webs! Don’t worry though, everything now is clean and fresh and quite sit-able! So let’s fill up your cup, put our feet up on the porch rail and do some catching up.

For me, the last week or so has mostly been about staying motivated while the school year winds down. Two weeks to go. The students have checked out mentally and the daily routine has been one interruption after another. We’ve had some end of year testing, spring concerts, visiting bands from the high school and mifddle school as well as field trips and picnics. Next week is even busier. At least it will make the days move quickly. The end of the school year can’t come soon enough because we are in the midst of a severe pencil shortage! I swear the kids must be eating them or selling them on the black market because everytime you turn around, the supply cups are empty and no one has any in their desks or back packs. I’m thinking perhaps a black hole of some kind?! Anyway, we need to finish up the year before other items start being sucked in, staplers, notebooks, the laminator! Yikes!

If we were having coffeeI would tell you a bit about one of my favorite students, Willa. She’s a sweet, shy 9 year old with a quirky sense of humor that she shares only with those she feels most comfortable. We’ve been friends since herfirst grade year, so I’m lucky enough to be one of those people. Lately Willa’s thing has been telling riddles. Periodically she appears  in front of me with another. Here are a few “Willa-isms”…

  • A cowboy rode into town on Friday. He stayed in townfor three nights then rode out on Friday. How is that possible?
  • Mr Pink lives in the pink house, Mr Blues lives in the blue house, Mr Green lives in the green house. Who lives in the white house?
  • A rancher has 198 cattle but when he rounds them up he has 200. Why is that?
  • What belongs to you but is used most often by others?

I will put the answers at the bottom so you can ponder a bit…😊

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that today is a busy one in our family.  Mr D was up at 7:00 and off to work (it’s a big time of year in the NJ produce world- fresh strawberries are in!) Then he had a baseball game followed by his girlfriend’s college graduation party this evening. I spent the morning on cleaning, laundry and a little online shopping for STEAM Camp while D-man did some baking and cleared out his old desk so he could organize the new one. Boy that man loves to save stuff!! You wouldn’t believe the flotsam hidden in those desk drawers. It was like a time capsule of his last thirty years!

As for this afternoon, we will be heading over to my father-in-laws in a bit to have a meet and greet with baby Asher who has come down from NYC to visit (he brought his mom and dad with him! 😉) and then,we too, will head over to the graduation party. The only family member with a quiet day so far is Miss Dee. No work for her today so she slept till 11:00 and is now sitting here painting her nails in preparation for the party later. What a life, huh!?

Having said all that, I must get myself moving now. Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is well with you. What have you been up to this week? Please share! Oh, and don’t forget to stop by Nerd in the Brain so you can check out the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share!

{Willa’s answers: His horse was named Friday; the President, of course; It’s a math joke, he “rounds them up to 200” -get it? and; Your name😊}