Tag Archives: summer activities

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?

 

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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! 😊

Summer Bucket List

IMG_1476So here it is summer break. I usually start out every June with a sackful of good intentions, things I want to accomplish or challenges I want to undertake. Sadly, September arrives and I find that all my good intentions have fallen short! Mostly I can’t figure out what the heck I did with my time! So here is the plan for this summer. I’m making a “to do” list and I am putting it here so you all can see whether or not I am staying motivated. The items marked (c) are things that make me anxious or take more motivation to accomplish and thus will be a bigger challenge. There are 10 full weeks in my summer break so the “per week” items need 10 stars to accomplish.

Let’s see how far I get! READY, SET, GO!!!!

  1. Take one day trip per week (beach, park, museum, etc)⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Drive over a bridge. (c)
  3. Volunteer for a cause (c)⭐️
  4. Travel somewhere by train.
  5. Take a train into the city (c)
  6. Create one art project per week.⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Visit at least 2 museums⭐️
  8. Paint the living room and the upstairs bedroom.
  9. Go camping
  10. Go canoeing or kayaking
  11. Reconnect with 2 friends with whom I’ve lost touch (c)⭐️
  12. Go zip-lining (c)
  13. repair the kitchen floor (it seems to be coming apart)
  14. Have a picnic somewhere next to the water
  15. Finish the trim in the kitchen and upstairs hall (I have completion issues)
  16. Try one new food per week.
  17. Maintain my newly planted herb garden and use the herbs often (c)
  18. Try drying some of the herbs for future use (c)
  19. Reorganize the upstairs closet
  20. Go to a drive-in movie (we actually still have one in the area)
  21. Finish organizing our family 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” film marathon (this is Miss Dee’s request) 😊

Yikes! I can feel the pressure to be productive starting already! Wish me luck!

What are you hoping to accomplish or experience this summer?