Tag Archives: leisure time

The Weekly Smile…Perfect Day

So here is something I can totally relate to…

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…or any other day.

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you by Trent’s World. Stop by and share a smile yourself.

If We Were Having Coffee…8/21/16

Happy Sunday morning!

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If we were having coffee….you would notice that I am still in my jammies with slightly disheveled hair. I had a bit of a sleep-in this morning. Usually, I tidy up my appearance for guests but since you are “cyber” guest and this isn’t FaceTime I’ll over look it if you will. You’re all free to wear your pajamas too if you’d like. Who am I to judge.

I can offer you some fresh hot coffee (that gets made even before my eyes are fully open) and we have some rather good tea biscuits from the local supermarket. I should warn you though, if you decide to have one, this is what you will likely see…

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She has an addiction to baked goods, especially tea biscuits and will stand there tapping the table till she gets some. I’ve tried ignoring her but for a little thing she can become quite insistent. Anyway…

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that Miss Dee, Hubby and I finally got to see the new Star Trek movie last night and can I just tell you how amazing it was! I was on the edge of my seat and even though some parts were a little hard to follow at times, the cast is so excellent and the script and special effects are as good as the last film if not better. Of course all of this assumes that you like this kind of movie. We happen to be “Trekies,” D-man and I since we were kids watching the William Shatner/Leonard Nemoy version on TV. Miss Dee is more of a Chris Pine girl. We were also very fond of Anton Yelchin, who plays Checkov. It it was sad to watch his performance knowing that he had recently died so tragically. There was a dedication to him and Leonard Nemoy at the end of the film which I felt was very fitting.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that yesterday afternoon I visited with my old friend Helen for a bit. She took a misstep getting off her brother’s boat last Sunday and ended up breaking her foot so she is now confined to her sofa, foot propped above her heart, awaiting surgery. ICK, right!? She showed me the X-ray and take my word for it, she did a pretty good job of it. Obviously she is uncomfortable but she said, aside from sleeping, the pain is not too bad. What is driving her most crazy is not being able to get around. She is like my Hubby, the kind of person who need to go, go, go and being told to stay, stay, stay is making her nuts! If it were me, I would be perfectly happy with a sketch pad, a pile of books and an iPad although I will admit, having to use crutches would be dangerous for so one as clumsy as I.

I took her some lunch and ate and chatted through the afternoon. It was a lot of fun catching up. I was also able to let her dog in and out about 12 times for her while I was there! Helen said he was driving her crazy. By the time I left at three, her daughter (who is a nurse working the night shift) was awake and ready to take over. Her surgery is scheduled for the 28th and will hopefully go well so that she can be up and around soon.

The last thing I would tell you about, if we were having coffee is that young Mr D went to a wedding yesterday for one of his classmates. This is the first wedding he has gone to as an adult, you know, without mom and dad! It felt really weird! We had to talk him through some stuff that you just kind of take for granted if you’ve been to as many weddings as I have, like the RSVP card that came with the invitation. That totally confused him. “What am I suppose to do with this?!”he asked. Then there was the whole discussion of what or how much to give as a gift. He also asked me if he would need a ticket to get into the reception (a fair question if you’ve never been to one by yourself) so I had to explain to him about the little place cards that are usually set out with your table assignment.  It seemed to go well and the couple was lucky enough to have quite good weather. His critique as he dashed in and out again last night was that the ceremony was too long but the reception was fun, good food, great music. Naturally he couldn’t tell me anything about her gown or the cake but that’s what I have social media for!

If we were having coffe…I would probably realize that I have been talking nonstop since you arrived! So sorry. Please, tell me what you have been up to this week. Have you seen any good movies or visited with any old friends? Do you remember the first wedding you ever attended? Let me refill your cup and you can tell me all about it…

(The Weekend Coffee Share is brought to you by Diana at Part Time Monster. Stop by and visit!)

Staggering Into the Home Stretch or Where Oh Where Has My Summer Gone?

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I’ve lost it.

Totally and completely lost it. My motivation. My focus. My purpose! Here it is 20 days till the end of my summer break and I have stalled midway through my Bucket List. It seems like I spent most of the last two months running around like the proverbial headless chicken but I don’t exactly remember what I was actually doing. Have you ever had days (or weeks) like that?

Today, I took stock of the cursed list and the number of items I have checked off of it are about half. “Not too bad,” you might say, but a lot of those items were done during the first few weeks, back when the summer was just a fledgling with so much promise and possibilities. By mid July my motivation was BLAH. I shouldn’t say that completely though because parts of July were fun. We had birthday and graduation parties and the STEAM camp that I worked at was certainly a blast, however, I’m thinking that camp may have been what threw me off course. I was so busy getting ready for it and was so exhausted when it was done that my get-up-and-go just sort of…..went.

Well, the days are short so it’s time to hop back onto that Bucket List train! Let’s get to planning! But where do I start? If you happened to visit my last Coffee Share, you know that items #9 and 10 are off the table. In addition, remember item #17? The one about maintaining and using my newly planted herb garden?  Sad to say, my herbs have become a casualty of the heat wave. They are now pots of brown crispy things that don’t much resemble herbs anymore. Guess that one is off the table too. (“herbs” off the table…get it?! *snicker*)

Hmm..maybe…Yes, I think my first order of business will be item…

#11. Have at least six lunch dates with friends or family.

I even have one planned already for Wednesday! Ba-zinga! It’s actually sort of a working lunch. A friend, who is a teacher and therefore also has the summer off, is moving in a week. We have been trying to get together all summer but being a single mom with a five year old, trying to pack up one house while fixing up the new one has kept her pretty busy. Finally I decided that the sensible thing to do, instead of us actually going out to lunch, would be for me to take lunch over to her house so we could eat and then pack while we visit. I happen to be a maniac when it comes to packing and organizing! She was thrilled with the idea.

So that’s one lunch date down….I might not get to six but I have a gift card for Red Lobster that I bet I can get my sister to help me with!

The next item I want to work on is…

#7. Visit at least two museums.

This sounds like an excellent thing to do during a heat wave- a nice air conditioned museum! If I take a friend…and we have lunch there….I can kill two birds with one stone!!! Excellent!

Okay. Good. I’m feeling much better. I’ve got this, right? Twenty days is a pretty long time. I’m sure I can squeeze quite a few more items in. This summer is not getting away so quickly!!

Stay tuned….

 

If We Were Having Coffee…8/13/16

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Hi! Welcome! Come on in out of the heat. As you can feel, here in NJ we are smack in the middle of a summer heat wave. Everytime I check my weather app it has that ominous red banner across the top – “ALERT! EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING!”  So….

If we were having coffee…(inside at the kitchen table with the ceiling fan on high), I would pour you a cup of strong French roast and ask you how your week has been? Have there been any exciting events in your world? Did you face some challenges or did the week just coast along quietly? If you were to ask me the same questions, I would tell you that my week turned out very different than I had expected, much less eventful but much more relaxing.

The plan had been for the four of us (hubby, myself and both kids), to go camping up in Pennsylvania with my Father-in-law, my brother-in-law and his family. Well, after tracking the weather up there which included the same nasty heat warning along with major storms, Miss Dee and I bailed. We are not good campers in the best of weather and since Miss Dee had a chance to go down the shore with a group of friends on Thursday (an outing she much preferred, especially since the weather here was much better), we decided to let the boys fly solo.

From a past camping trip...

From a past camping trip…

This summer camping trip to Worlds End State Park has been a tradition with the men in my husband’s family since he was a kid. Mr D started going when he was  about 5, so they tend to get along fine without we ladies. Miss Dee and I only consented to attend a few years ago after my FIL traded up from a tent to an air conditioned camper that sleeps 6 and has a full bathroom. You can see my idea of “roughing it” is less “rough” than most people’s! Even with these amenities, though, I can only stand about three days before I start craving the comforts of home and a few hours of alone time. As it turned out, this trip was a lot more adventurous than any of us originally intended.

 

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that I knew something was awry when the phone rang Thursday afternoon and I saw D-man’s name on the caller ID. There is no cell service at the campground so his being somewhere else was telling in itself. The somewhere else turned out to be an urgent care clinic in one of the nearby towns. The group had taken advantage of a break in the rain to do some hiking and my FIL had miss stepped on some wet leaves and taken a fall. Luckily, he only suffered some minor injuries including a twisted ankle and some cuts on his head but they were about 3 miles into the hike so getting him back to the car with the heat closing in and the blood gushing (anyone who has ever had or seen a head wound knows how much they bleed) was a challenge. The fact that my 74 year old FIL is in better shape than most 30 year olds certainly helped in the matter. Eventually, they made it back to the car and over his protests drove my FIL to the nearest urgent care where the doctors took some X-rays to make sure he didn’t break anything and then patched up his cuts. All in all, it could have been much worse so we are pretty thankful for that.

Just to end the day on an equally “fun” note, a massive storm blew through later forcing them to spend the whole night huddled inside the camper trying to find ways to entertain themselves. When they woke up on Friday, my boys were more than ready to head home. Sometimes you just can’t catch a break!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that the biggest adventure I had all week was having an entire day on Thursday, all to myself! I know some people won’t get the appeal,  but it’s a very rare thing for me and I was practically giddy with anticipation. I didn’t really do anything exciting, just odds and ends around here and a few quick errands,  but it was still a treat getting to choose what and when to eat meals and how to spend my time without having to consult or consider anyone but me! Ahh! Let’s hear it for the little things.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you how totally floored I am over the fact that there is only about three weeks left in my summer vacation! My bucket list ain’t lookin as good as it did last year especially now that some  items like “camping” and “kayaking” have suffered a permanent hit. This week, I intend to post an update just to revaluate what is left and what I am most likely to accomplish in the next 23 days. This should be interesting….

I can see that it is getting on towards afternoon so I guess we should wrap up our little visit and get on with the day. This afternoon I will be busy with my volunteer gig at the charity thrift store downtown but tomorrow is up for grabs. Maybe I will be able to chip away some stuff on that bucket list! Wish me luck and thanks so much for stopping by!

The “Weekend Coffee Share” is brought to you courtesy of Diana at Part Time Monster. Stop by and check it out!

If We Were Having Coffee….8/7/16

imageGood Morning!

If we were having coffee…on this beautiful Sunday morning I would welcome you in and offer you a cup of freshly brewed French roast or some hot tea if you prefer. Perhaps you would like something cold instead like orange juice or iced tea? The thermometer is reading 97 degrees, of course that’s on the front porch which is directly in the sun at the moment.

You might happen to notice that even though the air is on, the screen door is open, something that would freak the hubby out if he weren’t 90 miles away on a fishing boat. I know it’s very wasteful but hear me out. Miss Dee is still asnooze upstairs so if I turn off the AC she will melt  (it is much warmer up there than down here in the summer), but there is such a beautiful blue sky and I’m going nuts being in a hermetically sealed environment day after day so I couldn’t resist opening the door for a bit. Just listen to the birds and smell the fresh air! Ahh!

I suppose I could haul us all out to the back deck but I’m still in my jammies at the moment and that might make the neighbor gardening in his yard a bit uncomfortable. We will close it in a bit, I promise. Just don’t tell D-man if you see him, okay? As I said, he is in Cape May fishing at the moment. He has a friend who owns a house and a small boat he keeps down there so occasionally he will call and invite my hubby to join him for the weekend. He quite enjoys it. I find fishing a snooze, but that’s me. I do always tell him that if he catches any of those rare filleted fish with their heads already removed that he can bring them home for me to cook. 😉 I do love to eat fish. So far, though, he hasn’t had much luck.

If we were having coffee…I would ask you about your week? That’s the best thing about the Coffee Share; hearing about all the interesting things you all have gotten up to. You would probably ask me about my week as well and I would tell you that it has been pretty busy and quite exciting!

I would tell you that Monday and Tuesday were routine.  I did do my volunteer gig at the charity thrift store downtown on Tuesday afternoon, but the rest of the time was taken up with odds and ends and getting ready for our trip on Wednesday. “Where to?” you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you…

Back in June, for Father’s Day, I gave the hubby tickets to see “Phantom of the Opera” at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. It’s his favorite show, but I admit, it was kind of a self serving gift since I gave him TWO tickets and he knew he had to use the other one on me (or else😊). Washington is about a three hour drive for us so we left at 11:00 and arrived in time to check into our hotel. We stayed at the One Washington Circle Hotel right in downtown DC. I was able to get a really good discount on the room because we belong to AAA motor club. I can’t say enough good things about this place. It wasn’t incredibly fancy and could probably use some up dating but the rooms were clean and spacious and the staff was uber friendly. It was also perfectly situated because a half block away, there was a shuttle bus stop to the Kennedy Center where a free shuttle stopped every 15 minutes. It made getting to and from the theater super easy.

Needless to say, the show was excellent. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do. This is our third viewing. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music is so beautiful and haunting and the story is intense. The two and a half hours just flew by. Here is a clip of one of my favorite songs:

After the show, we went back to the hotel for a night cap and then the next morning, after a bit of sightseeing including a walk to the White House, we drove an hour further south to visit some friends in Stafford, Virginia. We enjoyed a lovely day there with them and their 17 cats (yes, I said 17)!

I told you a bit about this friend last summer. She and I have been friends since we were wee ones and were lucky enough to breath new life into our friendship during a trip she and her husband took up here to New Jersey last August. They have never had children but their kitties are their family and she helps out the local rescue shelters by taking in kittens that have been abandon. She has two little ones now that still need to be bottle fed every six hours! Usually, they find new homes for the cats but some tend to stay.  I have to tell you though, we have indoor cats so I know that odor control can be tricky sometimes, but their house did not smell like a house with 17 cats! I don’t know how she does it.

Max

Max

They have two, a brother and sister named Max and Maxine that are Maine coon cats and have and extra toe on each paw. What beauties they are!! I fell in love. Miss Dee would have tried to pack them in her suitcase, if she had been there.

On Thursday afternoon, they took us for a tour of their retirement home that they are building out in the country, about 45 minutes away from their current home.  It should be done in September and is quite lovely with plenty of room for all their feline friends. Afterwards we had dinner at a near by restaurant and then headed back to their place for coffee and dessert. She makes the most wonderful apple cake! On Friday morning, after breakfast, we headed home. It really was a great couple of days and I was sad to get back to routine living, but I must admit I was missing my kids a bit.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that this Wednesday, the whole family is off for our annual three day camping trip to upstate Pennsylvania. If you stop back next week, I can tell you all about that!

In the meantime, I hope you have a great week filled with both excitement and simple pleasures. Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to catch up with the rest of the Coffee Share posts hosted by the lovely Diana at Part Time Monster.

If We Were Having Coffee…7/2/16

Good Morning!

If we were having coffee…the first thing out of my mouth would probably be “Holy cow! It’s July! How did that happen?!” Is seems like the weeks are just breezing by. Maybe not for those of you that are hard at work but when you are on vacation, naturally time flies.

Anyway, after I filled your cup with some rich French roast or iced tea, if preferred, we could settle ourselves on the porch and enjoy the lovely cool mornings. As you can see, the hibiscus my FIL gave me for Mother’s Day is still alive and thriving. Hubby has been keeping it watered because the poor plant has a much better chance of survival if I just keep my distance. 😊

If we were having coffee…you would have noticed that my Hubby has also been tending to the front of the house, decorating and preparing for July the fourth. The flags are out and he even gifted me a pot of red, white, and blue petunias (which he will also be in charge of keeping alive)! We get very enthusiastic about the Fourth of July in our little town, but that’s another post altogether. For now let’s just relax, enjoy the sunshine and our beverages and catch up!

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If we were having coffee…I would ask you what you have been up to this week? Have you enjoyed exciting developments or endured frustrating problems? I would hope for more ups than downs. My week has been busy but enjoyable for the most part.

After our adventure at the Blueberry Festival on Sunday my honey and I mostly spent our time on day to day stuff. It is an odd feeling having both children head off to work while Hubby and I hang out at home! I’m kinda liking it, especially the part where they complain and grumble on their way out the door…

“Boy, I wish I was on vacation and could just hang out all day!”

“Must be nice not having to go to work.” 

We just smile and wave them off….”Have a great day. We’ll be here when you get home! “😊

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that I finished another backdrop for the STEAM camp. Day four is going to be “Island Survival Day” where the campers are asked  to pretend they’ve been stranded on a desert island and need to use resources available in nature in order to survive. We are going to learn all about various plant life and they are going to be making sundials.

Here is the photo back drop:

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It measures 6′ X 4′ and I was a little intimidated because I’ve never painted anything that big before but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  I used a paint roller to make quick work of the larger areas and to avoid brush strokes. It’s a good thing I’m finished, though, because my family was a little tired of my taking up the entire kitchen with paints and foam board!

If we were having coffee…I would share one really annoying part of my week. On Thrusday, Hubby and I decided to go grocery shopping together…that’s not the annoying part 😊. Usually I go alone but it was nice to have company and strong arms to carry the bags. However, after all the $123 worth of groceries were rung up and I swiped my debit card, the computer kept coming back saying we only had 21 dollars available?! I knew there was over five hundred dollars in the checking account and Hubby had just deposited his paycheck that morning as well. After trying the card three different ways on two different machines (with a line of people forming behind us) we gave up. Luckily, after we pooled our cash, we had just enough to pay the 101 dollar balance. If we hadn’t been together, one of us would have been putting some food back on the shelf or just leaving it all behind!

When I got home, I went online and discovered the problem. All of the funds in our checking account (except for $21) was being held untill Hubby’s paycheck cleared. This made no sense to me because we have two savings accounts with more than enough money in them to cover the check. And why $21? Electronic banking makes me crazy. I can never figure out how they determine what is “pending” and what your “available balance”is!!!!

Okay, I’m done my little rant. I know how lucky we are to have enough money to buy food in the first place so I’m just going to shake off my frustrations! (I hope all those people who were stuck in line behind us are feeling the same way.)😊

If we were having coffee…you would probably glance at the clock and realize that the time has gotten away from us again! We always have so much to chat about that I quite forget about all the other things I have to do today. This is my afternoon to volunteer at the Thrift Shop downtown and then Miss Dee and I are going to our local “Miss” pageant with some friends this evening. The rest of the holiday weekend will be filled with parades, barbecues and fireworks.

For my friends here in the U.S-  “Happy Independance Day!” and for my friends in the rest of the world (where July 4th is just another day 😉), I hope that your weekend is pleasant and joyful and that you are surrounded by those you love most! Thanks so much for stopping by. Make sure to visit Diana over at Part Time Monster so you can catch up with the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share posts!

An Abundance of Blueberries!


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This Sunday my family and I took a road trip to Hammonton, NJ – the blueberry capital of the world. If this little tidbit about Hammonton is news to you, don’t feel bad. I’ve lived in Jersey my whole life and I didn’t know till a few weeks ago! You can even Google it. Apparently, blueberries are very particular about the Ph levels in the soil and Hammonton’s proximity to the Pine Barrens gives the soil just the right quality to produce world class berries.  Who knew, right? Anyway, our excursion this weekend  was because the town was holding their annual blueberry festival, which Is now in its 30th year.

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We were invited to the festival by our friend Vinny, who is a native of Hammonton and whose father happens to be head of the chamber of commerce. He told us about how the town had suffered through a period of closed businesses and rundown neighborhoods but has been on the upswing recently. The blueberry festival is one of the  biggest event each year and draws an incredible number of people.

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Vinny, who my Hubby knows through his work, moonlights as a singer in a cover band called “Stealing Savanah.” Guess who was providing the entertainment at the festival? We’ve been to see the band many times at local bars, but this was Miss Dee’s first chance to catch their act.  They perform a wide range of songs from the 1980s up to today’s hits. She seemed to be impressed.

[Summer Bucket List item #23. Yay me!]

Vinny found a unique use for a traffic cone. Whatever it takes to be heard!

Vinny found a unique use for a traffic cone. Whatever it takes to be heard!

We arrived around noon and after securing a parking spot in a nearby field that some industrious owners had offered at $5 per car, we followed the sound of Vinnys voice to an outdoor stage on wheels topped with a yellow and white awning. There was another large tent beside it with about fifty picnic tables overflowing with people of all ages eating lunch and enjoying the music. There was all kinds of food for sale but we had packed a picnic lunch and after locating some other friends that we knew were in attendance, we settled in to eat and enjoy the music. The day was rather warm but there was enough of a breeze in the shade of the tent to keep it from being unbearable.

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After the band was  finished their set, and we’d said hello to Vinny, we went off to explore the many booths and tents offering up crafts and goodies of all sorts. There were a lot of blueberry items, naturally, both to eat and as decorations.  We even took a moment to check out the blueberry pie eating contest which looked messy and fun, and treated ourselves to some Italian water ice. Hubby saw some Philadelphia Eagles crafts that I had to talk him out of buying and Miss Dee almost bought her brother a marshmallow shooter as a housewarming present but reconsidered. There were tents with beautiful jewelry and fine glass pieces from nearby Weaton Village as well as doll clothes and face painting.

Wow, there are still Eagles items that my Hubby doesn't own!

Wow, there are still Eagles items that my Hubby doesn’t own!

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The festival ran from 11:00 to 4:00 and judging from the crowds, was an outstanding success. Vinny and his dad thanked us for coming and sent us on our way with an entire case of blueberries and a few different baked goods! What a great way to spend our Sunday afternoon. We will have to put it on our calendar for next year. In the meantime, does anyone have any good blueberry recipes?

 

If We Were Having Coffee…6/25/16

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If we were having coffee…we would be sitting on the back porch enjoying the abundant sunshine and the lovely cool breeze. Ahhh! Summer is upon us. There were a couple of chipmunks hanging out a minute ago and a cardinal on the bird feeder. I’m sure they will be back if we sit here a bit. Hubby’s been doing battle with the neighborhood squirrels lately because they keep stealing the birdseed from the feeder. (That is what squirrels do after all) As you can see, it’s on a pole out in the yard. He keeps moving it further out because apparently, squirrels are really good at jumping. They launch themselves off the porch rail and end up swinging from the bird feeder! I swear we mush have flying squirrels because that’s a good six feet! He may have to find another solution. I’ll keep you posted.

If we were having coffee…I would ask you about your week as I topped off you mug of French roast. Was it fun? Demanding? Unusual? Did you go anywhere special or see any good movies? Miss Dee and I watched a film last night called I Saw the Light.” It was a bio-pic about the life of country western singer Hank Williams. I will admit that we mostly decided to watch it because Tom Hiddleson played Hank and we have a thing for Tom, but it was actually pretty good. I hadn’t realized that he was only 29 when he died. Sadly, he had issues with alcohol and drugs that lead to a heart attack. His career was only about six years long yet he produced so many hits and had such a unique style that he is considered a major influences in country music. My mom loved Hank Williams so I grew up listening to his songs. Interestingly, Tom Hiddleson, who is a British actor, did all the singing himself and he was really spot on! I would defently recommend checking out the movie if you get the chance.

If we were having coffee…we could talk about my “Bucket List” progress. I am only nine days into my summer break and I have already check a few items off. If you checked out my “Weekly Smile” you would know that I spent a lovely day on the beach (even though it was over night, I still count it as a day trip, because, hey, it’s my list😊). I also took the plunge and drove across a bridge, something I’ve never done before. Yay me! Granted it was only a small bridge but it was also a draw bridge and we were stopped at the front of the line of traffic when it opened to let a boat through. That was kind of cool and also a little scary because the bridge shook a little as the opening went up and down!

Also on the list, I would probably remind you, was completing at least six art projects. Most of my artistic endeavors at this time are geared towards the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) camp I will be helping with in July. Each day has a theme and I’ve been working on the photo back drops for them. One day will be a “CSI” day where the children will explore forensic science and follow clues to solve a mystery, so I created a life size badge that they will get their photo taken in front of. We will then shrink it and laminate it for them to wear. Here is Miss Dee modeling the finished product…

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I think she would make a pretty good agent, don’t you? Hopefully the campers will think it’s cool. My next project is a roller coaster back drop for “Amusement Park” day. That will be dedicated to the laws of motion.

If we were having coffee…you would probably remind me that the morning is whittling away and that I should get myself moving. Even though it’s summer vacation, stuff still needs to get done so I guess we should say goodbye until next weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to check out the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share post brought to you courtesy of Diana over at Part Time Monster.

 

The Weekly Smile – Girls’ Getaway!

Taken with Lumia Selfie

Beach selfie! Notice Miss Dee’s sunburn! Ouch.

Last summer, Miss Dee and I started a new tradition that I hope will last for many years- a girls only beach get away! She and I both appreciate lazy days by the water. You know, no schedule, no plans, just sunshine, people watching and a good book. The boys in our family-not so much. They need to be moving, going places and doing thing. They want a plan!😳 So we left them at home and escaped to Hubby’s stepmom’s condo at the Jersey shore for a few days of  kick-off-the-summer downtime. [Summer Bucket List item #1]

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and managed some pool time before the rain came. We then endured a night of thunder storms, straight line winds and no power for six hours before Wednesday arrived with its abundant sunshine. This is more or less my MO at the shore so I was not surprised. I was happy that the bad weather was limited to Tuesday!

On Wednesday we slept in, meandering down to the beach (a block from the condo) around 10:00 and enjoyed the sand and the water before the beach began to fill up. Then it was back to the condo for lunch and a few hours by the pool. The weather was perfect, just enough of a breeze to keep the heat bearable and the pool water was so refreshing. An added bonus was the fact that We had the pool all to ourselves. I guess everyone else was on the beach.

Around 3:00 we were starting to feel crispy so decided to shower and drive across the bridge [Summer Bucket List item #2] to the neighboring town of  Cape MayThis quaint shore town is famous for its beautiful Victorian homes (some now used as B & Bs) and downtown shops. We did some window shopping, stopped for a bite to eat, and then strolled around “Congress Hall,” a wonderful old hotel built in 1816 that sits just off the beach. It is said to be America’s oldest seaside hotel. Miss Dee and I are both history buffs so we “oooo-ed” and “ahh-ed” our way around the elegant lobby and verandas. Maybe someday I will be willing to pay to actually stay there but until then I will just imagine what it would be like!

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By 8pm we were running out of steam so, after stopping by the sweet shop for a box of salt water taffy because, hey, it’s the Jersey shore and you just don’t go home without taffy, we hoofed it back to the car. Our plan had been to spend another night at the condo in Wildwood and then head home Thursday morning since Miss Dee had to work that afternoon, but the weather report was predicting more storms in the morning and we had had quite enough of that! Instead we stopped back at the condo, packed up the car (it is ridiculous how much junk we packed for three days!) and headed on home that night.

Goodbye Jersey Shore! We had a wonderful adventure. The very best part, of course, was spending time with my favorite girl. I figure I better squeeze in these trips while I still can. I am hoping we can make another beach run this summer. Maybe we will even let the boys come next time. 😉

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of “Trent’s World.” Don’t forget to stop by and check out the rest of the smiles or maybe even leave one of your own!

The 2016 Summer Bucket List

It’s that time again….

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For the past ten 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. Last year I decided to try a little experiment and 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 2016 list are repeats from last summer, either because they were not accomplished last 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 this year is June 16th. This is also the date of Miss Dee’s graduation ceremony so that day is pretty much a wash but on June 17th I’ll be off and running! Wish me luck!

BEHOLD THE 2016 SUMMER BUCKET LIST!!

1. Take at least six day trips (parks, beach, etc)
2. Drive over a bridge. (c)
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 and dentist visits (c)
9. Go camping
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. Clean out and reorganize the laundry room
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. Reorganize the upstairs closet
20. Touch up the paint on the kitchen cabinets
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. Have a “”Lord of the Rings” / “Hobbit” marathon with Miss D

*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! 😊