If We Were Having Coffee…8/1/20: Beaches and Babies

Good morning friends! I’m so glad you stopped by. It’s been a while. Have a seat and I’ll get you a nice strong cup of French roast coffee or perhaps tea if you prefer. There is raspberry strudel or donuts so please help yourself. Here in Southern New Jersey we are still experiencing the season we refer to as “Hell’s Front Porch” so I’m thinking an indoor virtual visit would be advisable. 🙂 Tell me, what have you been up to? Have there been more “ups” than “downs” over the past few weeks? I hope so.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that my family and I were lucky enough to spend a few days at the beach this week (or rather, down the shore, as we say around here.) The weather was hot, hot, hot but it was still so wonderful to be away, to be somewhere other than this house! My husband’s step mother owns a condo in a small shore town that she generously shares with the rest of the family and this week was our turn. The beach is only a block away and there is a lovely built in pool just steps from her front door. We were there during the middle of the week so it was quite empty. This worked out well for us because with the virus concerns, they are only allowing 12 people in the pool at a time. As it turned out, the four of us had it to ourselves for the most part. It was a wonderfully relaxing three days and we all came back feeling refreshed.

Have you been able to get away recently? What is your favorite vacation spot?

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that the progress on our new deck that I spoke of in my last coffee share post, had stalled for the time being. We needed to order covers for our existing rail posts and the company is unable to deliver until the second week of August. I’m actually quite happy with the delay because I would rather not have the D-Man and Mr D out there working in this heat. Maybe the weather will break by then. I surely hope so. I miss being able to take walks or work in the yard.

How is the weather in your part of the world?

If we were having coffee…I would fill you in on all the new baby news around here. In my opinion, new babies make everything better! Our neighbors recently welcomed a new granddaughter named Ellery (love this name!) She was born a few weeks early and needed to stay in the NICU for a bit till her weight came up but she is thankfully home now with Mom and Dad. They drove out to Ohio to meet her this week and are simply over the moon!

Baby number two, also a little girl named Lillian, was born to our friends who after years of infertility treatments and 26 hours of labor followed by an emergency C section, are finally able to experience the joys of parenthood. My heart warms with each photo I see if them with their new baby and I’m looking forward to meeting her in person.

Baby number three is actually a “baby to be.” One of Mr D’s best friends from High School and his wife are expecting their first and are a week overdue! We are all waiting anxiously for news. There is talk of inducing her this week. I hope so because the poor girl is looking very uncomfortable. I admit, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of my son’s childhood friend becoming a father but they are both 25 now so I guess I should start getting used to the idea. Not quite ready to be a grandmother myself yet….

And the final baby is one that is in the works, not due till October but still a topic of discussion around here. My niece and her partner are expecting their second daughter. Older sister Juliana, age 6, is so excited! My sister is planning on throwing them a “sprinkle,” which is apparently a new type of shower that you have for a second baby?! Miss D and I have been enlisted to help with party theme and favors. All of this, of course depends on what the situation is virus wise in September.

Lots of babies, right?! How about you? Is your, or your extended family growing?

I guess that’s all the news for now. I do have some cleaning and laundry to do. I’m so glad you stopped by and I hope you will swing by Eclectic Ali, our host site and catch up with the other Coffee Share Posts.

Be well, stay safe and have a good week. ❤

If We Were Having Coffee…Back From Nowhere Special

Hello! Here we are on a beautiful Saturday in June. I realize I basically skipped the month of May in the blogsphere (and part of April and June if we’re being precise) but to be honest, there wasn’t much to report. Been no place, not done much, about sums it up. I have had one project going on and that has taken up much of my time. Sit and have some coffee and we can share our news.

If we were having coffee…we would be sitting on the deck enjoying this beautiul humidity free day, a rare occasion here in Southern New Jersey. We could have coffee, lemonade or juice, whatever you prefer and maybe a muffin from the local bakery, which I’m happy to report is now doing carry out.

The first thing I would ask you is how things are going, pandemic wise, in your corner of the world? Everyone is at such different places. Even those of us in the same place are in different places as far as our mind sets go. Some are ready to get back to normal and others, myself included, are inclined to take things slow. I’ll admit that I have the luxury to do that, whereas some people don’t. Are things opening up where you live? Are you no longer taken aback by the site of people in masks? I realized at the supermarket the other day that I wasn’t all that surprised to see cars with masks hanging on their rearview mirrors. I guess they are the new “fuzzy dice.” Weird.

(Of course in the past few weeks there have been many other scary, historic and challenging things taking place in our world and I have given them much attention and consideration in other parts of my life but here on my blog is my happy place so for now I’ll take a pass on all that except to say my hope is that we find our way through this to a place where compassion and kindness come out on top.)

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that yesterday was the official last day of the school year. This is my 13th year working as an instructional aide in the same neighborhood elementary school but as you might imagine, it was the strangest last day ever. I can’t imagine what the last few months of this school year would have been like without the internet and the advanced technology we now have. Even my third graders were comfortable and familiar with the world of virtual learning. They took to it pretty easily but I was happy to hear, during one of our Friday Google Chat sessions, that they all missed “real school” and seeing their friend’s and teachers in person. Fingers crossed for September. Did you know anyone learning or teaching remotely over the past months? How did it go for them?

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that the project that has taken most of my time over the past month was creating art. I have been learning all about watercolor painting, a medium that is comparatively new to me. I started painting in oils and acrylics when I was just 14 but watercolor was not something I tried until a few years back, I never realized how many techniques and styles there really were. I’ll admit, having that to focus on, having something to create and help me feel productive during this quarantine has kept me from going crazy. Even as an introvert all the time at home would have been too much without something else to focus on.

The result of all this time spent painting was that I had a lot of paintings!! A few Coffee Shares back I mentioned that I was thinking about opening an Etsy shop in order to sell some of my pieces. Well, I finally took the plunge and opened “The Curious Kat” a place to display and sell my artwork. It’s going pretty well. I’ve already sold about 8 pieces but those were mostly to friends and family who were happy to support my enterprise. I don’t really need to sell a lot though since I am creating everything by hand (not prints or reproductions) I can only work so fast!! It’s a lot of fun to share my artwork and I enjoy thinking of them becoming part of someone else’s home. Here is the link if you are interested: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CuriousKatStudio?ref=search_shop_redirect

Have you developed any new hobbies or skills to help you pass the time during the Shelter in Place?

If we were having coffee… I would tell you how much I’ve enjoyed our visit. I would also wish you and your family good health and happiness during this unusual time. Be well, my friends and don’t forget to visit our host Eclectic Alli where you can find the rest of the Coffee Share posts.

If We Were Having Coffee 4/19/20: Shelter In Place

Good morning!

If we were having coffee…this Sunday, it would be virtual no matter what since we are still in seclusion. Luckily, we’ve been sharing virtual coffee for years so we’re well aquatinted with the concept. Today we have nice strong French Roast or tea if you prefer. My wonderfully hubby, who bakes when he’s bored, made some chocolate and white chocolate Chip cookies last night that are to die for! Please take a few and tell me what you’ve been up to.

If we were having coffee... I would share that we’ve had an anxious week since we heard last Saturday that my father-in-law had unfortunately contracted the Coronavirus. The hospital checked him over, making sure his lungs and blood count looked good and since he was not coughing or having shortness of breath they sent him home to recuperate. He is over 70 and has diabetes but otherwise is active and in good health and seems to be on the road to recovery, thank goodness. Our worry now is that his wife and the other’s in his house will start to show signs of being sick too. So far so good. This is especially important since his step-daughter, her husband and their 3 year old son came to stay with them when all this craziness started thinking that his rural neighborhood would be safer than their city appartment. Irony at it’s worst.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that those of us in this house, fortunately are doing well health wise. We are also fortunate because since my husband, my son and I are all school employees we are able work from home and still have an income. My only trips out have been to the grocery store every two weeks or so. It’s a very stressful outing. I don my mask and rush through the the aisles grabbing the things we must have. I’m usually exhausted the rest of the day just from the anxiety. I don’t think it’s that I’m so afraid of becoming infected, since our numbers in this area of NJ are thankfully very low, but more that I feel guilty being out, like I shouldn’t be leaving my house at all. I realize that’s not rational but it just goes to show the mental state I’m in!

If we were having coffee…I would share that one good thing that has come from all this time at home is that I am creating lots of artwork and learning many new techniques. I’m hoping to amass enough inventory to open an Etsy store. Here are some samples. What do you think?

Pinterest and YouTube have become my life lines! There are so many talented artists willing to share their ideas.

If we were having coffee…I would ask how you have been spending your days during this unusual time. I hope you have found a way to stay positive and connected. Please visit our host EcleticAli an catch up with some other bloggers sharing coffee, see what’s been happening in their world.

Thanks for stopping.  Take care, Be well.

If We Were Having Coffee…3/7/20-Springing Ahead With Dr Seuss

Hello friends! Welcome! Come in and sit and let me pour you a cup of something nice and hot to help ward off the bitter March winds.

Let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee…I would ask you how your week has been? Mine seemed very long. I’m afraid that this month in general will feel very long. Not being a winter person, by March I’m really missing the sun and the ability to open windows. Also, I’m really sick of my warm weather clothes and am ready for short sleeves and light material. Maybe “springing” the clocks forward this weekend will help.

This week at school we celebrated the magical Dr Seuss with Read Across America. Each day was a different theme, silly sock day, crazy hat day, and the favorite, Wacky Wednesday where everyone is suppose to have wild hair-dos and wear their clothes mismatched or backwards. The students came up with some really creative outfits and hair styles for that day. One little kindergartener even had her hair in the shape of a donut complete with icing and a plate! I don’t generally take part in this though because I feel after the age of fifity, Wacky Wednesday looks more like the begining senility. I mean I spend time checking each morning to make sure my clothes actually do match, that I have on the same color socks and the same shoes. Some of you ladies get that, right? Anyway, the students enjoyed it.

With that in mind, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite “Seussism” (there are so many good ones to choose from!)

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

So thanks for stopping by. Now go be A GREAT YOU and have a wonderful day.

And also make sure to GO to visit EclecticAli our Coffee Share Host so you can experience some extra adventures.

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!