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. ❤

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?

Getting Creative in 2019

Happy New Year! It’s a little late, I know, but it still feels pretty new to me. Like many of us, I made some plans and resolutions for 2019 and one of them was to spend more time being creative (thanks Jill Kuhn for your inspiration!)

The biggest hurdle I’ve had with this was not finding the motivation, but finding a convenient space where I could spread out and not have to put everything away each time my family needed to have a meal! Some of my supplies were down in the basement, some in the kitchen hutch, a few in the pantry and even my bedroom closet! Well that’s all changed now!

My husband slaved through the last few weeks of the summer renovating what was formerly the kids play area downstairs (I mean, our youngest is 20, I think they are past needing it!) He moved his collections and “man cave” stuff down there as well as our guest area, freeing up our smallest bedroom for my art space. Yay!

Weeks were spent clearing out the room, stripping wallpaper and painting the walls a nice bright white. We are planning on replacing the carpet with a clean grey laminate but I’ll have to save a bit more for that. I’d purchased a smaller, black desk for our computer, which will still share the room so that was moved in. The final step was assembling the amazing new art desk my wonderful hubby had given me for my birthday back in December. It’s got so many compartments and it’s on wheels!

I’ve been picking up items here and there, curtains and cool storage containers (Anyone who knows me can tell you I get weirdly jazzed about organization!) My sister had a nifty little bookcase up for grabs (we actually traded her the bed frame from that room that we no longer needed-win/win!) and I was able to find a desk chair that looks brand new for just $25 on one of those online yard sale sites.

Then….FINALLY….this past Sunday, I collected my many art supplies from their many hiding places and put them away in my very own art room!! I’ve been like a kid on Christmas morning, just giddy with excitement and creative motivation, painting and experimenting with new techniques. One of the best parts is thatI can just leave it all out, ready for the next time I find a few minutes to create. I do have to remember to close the door, though, so the cat won’t walk through the wet paint or eat the brushes. She’s like that!

I’m hoping that this new found creative jag lasts a long, long time making 2019 the year of creativity! It just goes to show that sometimes resolutions or plans can take some patience, a bit of elbow grease and a little faith but they can happen. May all your plans for the coming year be every bit as gratifying!