The Literal View Part 2: Foot Traffic

The name of my blog was always meant to be a figurative view: my observations on small town America, the life of a middle class family, the simple things that happen around me. Now though, five weeks into self isolation with several more weeks on the horizon, my world has narrowed drastically making the literal “View from the Porch” so much more than it used to be…

The road that runs past my porch has always had a modest amount of foot traffic. Our street runs from one end of town to the other anchoring the Middle and High School three blocks to the left and, the Elementary school five blocks to the right. Consequently, backpack toting children are a regular site. In addition, we have, I suspect, more dogs than people living in town and they, with their respective owners walk past our house quiet frequently. We walk too, my family and I. My husband walks religiously, several miles a day, the rest of us more sporadicly. The walking isn’t a new thing but I’ve noticed, during the weeks we’ve been sheltering in place, some changes in the foot traffic. Maybe it stems from my own perception but I feel like the walks my neighbors are taking mean a lot more than they once did.

Back when things were “normal,” people walked past with a purposeful stride, getting in some exercise before the next task of their day. This was when the kids still had to get to soccer practice or be picked up from school, when meetings needed to be attended and friends met for dinner or a movie. Now my neighbors tend to stroll. They meander. Walks have become their tasks, their destinations, their social engagements. They wave and chat to people on porches or across the street, checking on news or how others are coping. The basic human contact, even from a distance, is the real purpose of the walks. After a particular rainy period, the traffic out front gets even more manic, like an awakening. The street fills with those anxious to feel the sky and the sun.

Another change I’ve noticed is the amount of people in each walking group. Before it was generally a single or a pair of pedestrians whereas now whole families are out, walking or biking. Those who never walked before are forced into it due to the lack of other choices.  I’ve noticed many former classmates of my children’s, now shut out of their colleges and living back at home, suddenly finding themselves out getting exercise with mom and dad. They look a bit awkward, trying to  figure out how they got back to this place, but the parents, given the unexpected gift of their young adult kids back under their roof if only for a little while are seeing some silver lining in an otherwise difficult situation. The small children, by comparison, are thrilled to have the whole family out riding bikes or going on scavenger hunts. I hope that is one trend that continues after the grown-ups return to their busy lives.

Perhaps the most signicant change I’ve noticed between myself and my neighbors as they walk past my house is the sense of comaraderie we now share. When we wave or nod to each other, it’s with the understanding that we are now part of a team experiencing something unprecidented; living through a situation we never expected. Regardless of our lives before all this started, we are now in the same place. I look at the neighbors I’ve known for years, like the families with children my daughter’s age and I know that we both understand that this required isolation is robbing our college seniors their right to a graduation ceremony or internship or even a celebratory trip somewhere, but we also realize that our children’s health and safety is a more important gift than any of those things. I wave to the parents with children from the school where I work and we understand that we need to stay positive for the young ones. We need to make this an adventure for them, keep the scarier parts at bay while still impressing upon them the importance of what we are doing.

We share this bond now, those walkers and I. We smile and wave to each other with a look that says, “We’ve got this. This will pass and when we reach the other we’ll know we did the best we could and that we did it together.”

The Literal View From the Porch

The name of my blog was always meant to be a figurative view: my observations on small town America, the life of a middle class family, the simple things that happen around me. Now though, four weeks into self isolation with four more weeks on the horizon, my world has narrowed drastically making the literal “View from the Porch” so much more than it used to be.

I’ve always loved our neighborhood with it’s quaint old houses and tall trees but now our street has become, not just my view but also, my window to the world and I’ve come to appreciate it all the more. Today, I realized, gazing out, that there are many stories I could tell just about the things going on right outside my door.

What follows is the first of what I hope will be a series of tales cataloging the world outside my window during this strange and unusual time.

The Porch Guy

Across the street and to the left of my house sit two enormous homes. Each was built well over a hundred years ago and both are grand old buildings designed with peaks, decorative molding and deep porches. They were probably the first two homes on the block and I can imagine they were once owned by well-to-do families with many children. Behind them, at the bottom of their property line, is an odd little dead end street. I’ve been told that this road was where the carriage houses and stables for those two house once stood.

The house closest to us, a big blue farm house, it’s brown roof dotted with dormers, had been converted into four separate apartments when we first moved here 16 years ago. There were two apartments on the first floor, one in front and one around back, one on the second floor and one up on the third that was accessed by treacherous wooden stairs climbing up the side. Then, about 8 years back, the house was taken over by a lovely woman named Gail and her husband, whose name constantly escapes me (Craig?). I think it was her family home since her daughter was already living in the top apartment and there has been no “For Sale” sign to state that they were actually “new” owners. I’ve never asked but I suspect that an elderly relative passed away and she and her husband were the next in line.

Gail and I are “Yoo-Hoo” neighbors. That means that we don’t hang out in each other’s kitchen drinking coffee or call each other on the phone but we do catch up any time we happen to be outside at the same time (Yoo-hoo, neighboor! What have you been up to?) Via these sidewalk conversations, I learned that Gail’s first order of business after they moved in was to turn the house mostly back into a single family home. The one apartment she left in tact was the first floor rear, which is accessed around the left of the front porch. It was this apartment that became the home of “The Porch Guy.”

The Porch Guy was an elderly gentleman who looks just like you would imagine a fine old grandfather would look, complete with a bushy grey mustache and soft flannel shirts. When he first appeared, we noticed that he spent a great deal of time sitting in the little chair beside the front door, no matter the weather or time of day. My kids would come in and say “Porch Guy is outside again” or “Do you think it’s too cold for Porch Guy to be sitting out all this time?” Sometimes he would walk up the street and back, not in a hurry, just a easy stroll. He also had a nifty grey sedan that he often took on short errands and we would speculate about where he went and what he bought. That was about all we knew about him except that he always had a wave and a “Hi-ya!” for anyone who walked past.

Over time, we learned that “Porch Guy” was actually Gail’s father-in-law and that his name was Larry. Not “Mister” something, just Larry. That’s what he prefered. So we took to shouting “Hello” to him whenever we came and went and he in turn learned our names (although he still refers to Miss Dee as “Girl” occasionally-“Hi-ya, Girl! How was school?”). The best thing about Larry though is his disposition. I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone as upbeat and pleasant. He unfailingly has good words to say to anyone who passes and has become the unofficial ambassador of the neighborhood. He also has the most wonderful laugh, often chuckling at his own jokes. It seems to come from deep down and bursts out with an unapologetic blast! Sometimes in the evenings, if the windows are open, we can hear Larry laughing and laughing with someone who has stopped to pass the time.

Three Springs ago we noticed that Larry had been absent from the front porch for some time. D-man ran into Gail’s husband who told him that his dad was in the hospital. He had fallen down, a result of ongoing health issues and would probably not be home for several weeks, if at all. We asked him to please send our regards and to wish him well. After that, we watched and waited, The neighborhood seemed so quiet. No one calling out greetings or making corny jokes. Finally, a month or so later, as I was getting out of my car, I heard a gravelly voice call out “Hi-Ya! How ya been?” There he was, right back at his post next to the front door. I crossed the street and stood there talking, catching up, happy to see he was still just the same joyful, positive guy. The first thing I said to my family when I went in was “Hey, Larry’s back!”

The last few years we’ve made a habit of taking a tin of cookies over to Larry at Christmas time and, of course, we never pass without exchanging greetings. He walks with a cane now and his hair is a lot more grey. I’ve also noticed that he doesn’t drive anymore but I don’t think he minds. There is always someone to talk to especially now with the shelter in place. Our street has become a parade of families out walking with children or dogs. Each and every one of them gets a “Hi-ya!” from Larry.

Our old friend being there with his kind thoughts and positive outlook, happy just to have his comfortable seat and a place in the sunshine, helps to remind me that this anxious time will pass and life will undoubtedly, go on.

Extremely Puzzling

Welcome! Here we are well into our third week of self-isolation. I feel so fortunate that my family and friends are safe and well fed and that the only challenge we have is finding ways to fill our time. We’ve been doing pretty well so far. My daughter and I lean towards “introvert” so we are more content than the men but they too have found ways to keep busy with movies and walks and little projects.

Last week, in search of a diversion, I was rummaging around in the Attic and came across this:

This belonged to my mother originally. I brought it home when my sisters and I were cleaning out and dividing up mom’s things after she passed away. She and I both had a love of trivia and puzzles so this was right up our alley and we did attempt to finish it back when it was new. However, this particular puzzle proved too much for us and we were never able to quite finished it. We could have used the poster that came with it but that didn’t seem fair. Some of the quotes were so obscure that we eventually gave up.

Luckily, Miss Dee and I now have the advantage of Google!

Yes, I admit, we cheated. That “enclosed poster with all the answers” has long since disappeared and some of these quotes are really challenging. For example:

“She believed in nothing; only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist”

Perhaps there are some of you out there who could easily attribute that saying to Jean-Paul Satre but I’m just a chick from Jersey with a degree in Fine Art. This guy is way outside my range of knowledge. I did great on the movie quotes and D-man and Mr D were a big help when it came to American Wars or Politics. Miss Dee even figured out some of the more current quotes but since the puzzle was copy written in 1994, four years before she was born “current” was a relative term.

Whatever method we used, we still had fun matching the quotes with the proper person and it has provided a great distraction, helping to fill some of the unstructured hours. We even learned some new stuff. Now we are down to fitting the actual pieces together, harder than you would think since they are all the same size and you only have slivers of images on the edges to try and match up. It may get to the point where we give up and move on but for now I’ve been adding a piece here and there. Who knows, with at least another month in front of us, we might get it finished.

What’s been keeping you busy?

Hops and Barley and Guava and Lime

I live in a dry town. Although that may sound like a weather condition, it actually means that there is no alcohol sold within the town limits. Considering that we began as a Methodist meeting camp that took root and grew into year round bungalows, it’s not surprising that the drinking of alcohol was frowned upon. What is surprising, considering our dry condition, is that apparently, microbreweries don’t fall under the same law that keeps our town free of bars and liquor stores. We now have two up on Main Street and a few others in neighboring towns. I am definitely a fan of these cozy little watering holes. They promote casual gatherings, and a provide friendly welcoming atmosphere for the nearby college students, young couples and even old folks like us. The D-man and I have been known to stop by occasionally to meet with friends or just to have a “lets welcome the weekend” drink.

But here’s the thing,

Microbreweries sell fancy beer.

Beers with names like *Peach Brulee, Crimson Skull or Pink Guava Lime Gose. Beers with discriptions that say things like “The 5th iteration of our revolving hop, house pale ale features Simcoe, Amarillon and all-new Cryo Lemondrop*” I’m pretty sure most of that is English but I have no idea what any of it means.

Now I certainly enjoy an ice cold beer, especially in hot weather or down the shore accompanied by fresh crabs (YUM!) but, I lean towards basic beer. It’s how I was raised. I grew up imersed, if you will, in beer. My dad worked for Schmidts Brewery in Philadelphia his whole life as did all his brothers. Cases of beer or a tapped keg were basics at family barbeques and holidays. There was no wine or hard liquer, and the only beer allowed was Schmidts. That’s what put food on the table in our family so it was the only brand they would drink.

When I was older and on my own my friends and I drank Coors Light. We liked it because it was cheap and we were in our early twenties and therefore broke. We didn’t know the difference between imported or domestic beer. We didn’t care if it was an ale or pale. We drank what we were used to. The fanciest I get these days is when the D-man and I order a Blue Moon and it comes with a little slice of orange. Classy, right?

What I’m saying here is that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination a beer connoisseur. In fact, I’m probably about as far from one as you can get. The beer I grew up with was just basic beer, beer that anyone who knows about brewed beverages of that sort would probably shudder at the thought of.

That means that on those occasions when my hubby and I visit one of these cool new microbreweries, I’m completely out of my comfort zone, totally intimidated by those hand chalked signs over the counter. I stand there trying to figure out what the difference is between a lager and a brown ale or what exactly is a black and tan? Turns out it’s a cream ale mixed with coffee. Who knew, right? Standing there, shifting from one foot to the other, I contemplate the benefit of having a Pummel (as naked as a larger can get) over a Silver Queen (made with 20% white corn) or possibly a Not For Anything IPA (an iteration of our hazy methodology features a meg-adjunct grist thanks to our indomitable mash filter*) Yikes!!

I’m certain these are all amazing beers and that all this “brew speak” makes total sense to most of the other patrons. Just not me. Luckily most microbrewes offer something called “flights” which are sample sets of several different beers of your choosing. That’s my fall back and most times I come across one that I like or that at least tastes close to what I’m used to.

The whole idea is to try new things. I get that and I do most times but, what I’d really like, and I think I’m going to suggest this to the owners next time, is a post script on that chalkboard menu that says:

<BORING BREW– For those patrons with unadventurous taste buds who mostly just came for the atmosphere.>

Wouldn’t that make sense? It would save me all that indecisive anxiety and I bet I’m not the only one. What do you think?

*All photos and beverage descriptions are courtsey of the BONESAW GRILL and NECK OF THE WOODS microbreweries here in NJ. Both have excellent brews and are really cool and welcoming establishments. Visit if you get the chance!

If We Were Having Coffee…2/22/20, Family and Freezing Weather

Good morning! Welcome to a sunny, crisp Saturday in Southern New Jersey. I’m hiding inside for now with a nice hot cup of dark roast coffee and a cinnamon bun. Care to join me?

If we were having coffee…I would appologize for missing our coffee date last weekend. I started a post but just couldn’t get it off the ground. I think the continuous rain and dreary weather last week zapped my motivation. Plus, the third graders I work with, and me as well, are still getting used to our new teacher. Our routines haven’t settled in yet and some of them are pushing boundaries, behaviour wise. I really like our long term sub and I think she will get them settled eventually if we can all make it through the adjustment period. The teacher that left is still waiting on the arrival of her baby boy since her due date isn’t for a few weeks yet and she does check in with advice from time to time.

If we were having coffee…you would hear Miss Dee moving around upstairs. This is her usual wake up time on days she doesn’t have classes. It’s nice that she has Fridays off as well because then she can stay caught up on work and still have leisure time. She has a bunch of group projects again this semester that are time consuming especially when the rest of the group likes to wait till the last minute. It drives her a little crazy. Oddly enough, she is also stressing over her ceramics class which I encouraged her to take as an elective because it thought it would be relaxing! Apparently she is having trouble throwing pots on the wheel which can be challenging. I enjoyed it when I had ceramics back in college just because I loved the feel of the clay and enjoyed watching the weird and wild shapes you could make. Her, not so much. Guess she’s too result oriented to enjoy the process. Probably why she is a marketing major and I was an art major.

If we were having coffee…we could say hi to my hubby, D-man as he comes in from his morning walk. It’s a bit cold for outdoor exercise if you ask me but he is never deterred. Our 24 year old son, Mr D is exercising also but he went to the gym where it is warm. He misses out on the whole “fresh air” benefit of the walk (gym smells are a bit more intense!) but he is planning to head down the shore with some friends later on so he’ll get his fresh air then. The beach in February doesn’t appeal to me but he said he just needs to see the ocean so he can get out of his mid-winter funk. That I totally get.

If we were having coffee…you might ask what I’ll be doing today, since the rest of my family seems occupied. Well, let’s see? A bit more coffee, a scan of the news and social media, some housework and laundrey, then maybe some artwork. A co-worker asked if I would try to paint a portrait of her son’s dog that just passed away. She wanted to give him a gift to remember his furry friend. She sent me some photos and I’m going to give it a try but I’ve always found dogs and cats quite challenging to draw. I never seem to be able to capture individual personalities and the shape of the heads always seem off. We’ll see. If it goes well I’ll show you the results the next time you stop by!

Thanks so much for joining me. Before you go, tell me what you’ve been up to. I hope your week was full of exciting events and some quiet times as well. Please swing by our host site EclecticAli and check out some of the other Coffee Share Posts. Have a great week!

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!

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.

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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!)

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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!