Monday, June 30, 2014

I think it's Monday

When I got home on Saturday I was delighted to see that the deer had stayed away and it had rained enough to keep my garden blooming. Not as wonderful as all those Maine wildflowers, but good enough for me.

Saturday night, out to dinner, since my refrigerator was empty.  The pièce de résistance was the appetizer of fried green tomatoes and mozzarella.  Tasted gorgeous! When I bemoaned the fact that I could never find green tomatoes, the chef's wife told me that he had had a hard time finding them, too. Worth the hunt.
I haven't picked up my knitting since I got home over the weekend, but here I am (barefoot, as usual) with my friend Janet, as we laughed at something somebody said.  Much hilarity -- always good, no matter where you are.

My grandkids weren't available on Sunday: Ben is at camp, Josh was no doubt busy, and David & Jake were in Hershey. Miss Emma and her parents are in Wisconsin, visiting Tommy's family and having a great time. Here's Jessica's fresh-picked strawberry bounty!
 Emma's Aunt Sandy is a hairdresser - a wonder she got Emma to sit still long enough for this hairdo.  

Although the kids were not around, I had a visit from my handsome nephew Oliver Halsman Rosenberg who is between trips and heading off to the south of France in a few days.  I'm jealous - just got back from Berkeley CA, where he did a residency at the art museum. Now he is going to St. Paul de Vence -- one of my favorite places on the planet.  Oliver is a very talented artist and it was a pleasure to spend some time with him this morning.

The rest of the week is spoken for, through Sunday -- but next week I hope to get to the studio.  Hope springs eternal:-).

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A real holiday

I cannot remember when I have felt so relaxed, laughed so much,or happily frittered away so much time.

With the exception  of Wednesday, when it rained most of the day,the weather was gorgeous and the landscape was new to me. A few pix from our walks... 

Lupine grows wild all over. I need to get some for my garden. 
      Would that I had ferns like these!
I don't know what these are. Buttercups?
We sat on the porch and watched the lobster boats pull up the traps 

and on our last night there, watched this sunset. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lobster country

There are ten of us here  in Hancock, Maine, having a reunion We were all in the same dorm sophomore year and most of us were together again senior year.  But it was sophomore year that was most memorable and full of hilarity and that was the year we all bonded.

We have not all stayed in touch over the last five decades, but it is as though there were no years intervening.  We have talked and gossiped and giggled and discussed social and political issues; shared book recommendations, shared family stories, and of course, have eaten wonderful meals and consumed libations.

Today, three of us, not having eaten enough lobster, went out to lunch to have more. lOL.  Here I am with Penny, my college roommate for all four years, in front of the local lobster place,Ruth & Wimpy's.  We ordered in from there last night and expect to have lunch there again tomorrow.

It was a long trip to get here -- from Seattle, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, NJ, and all over New England.
Worth every mile.  And yes, I am knitting.  Rain predicted for tomorrow but we don't care.

Wordless Wednesday in Hancock Point, Maine

Monday, June 23, 2014

on the road again

Soon. Taking my knitting.  Really!  A sweater I started probably a decade ago (I have several of these) and put down because I got bursitis from knitting nonstop.  I'll be relaxing for a few days in Maine with college friends and college always brings to mind two things: knitting and bridge.  

Forget the bridge - the game has changed too much since I last played.  But I knitted my way through classes (didn't we all??) and the professors didn't care, as long as we didn't drop a needle.  Fine with me, I always knitted on round needles, anyway.

For the past week I have been taking a walk every day around my complex in this perfect (San Diego-like) weather.  Here are a few pictures I took on one of those walks. 

This is the clubhouse, where I rarely go.  There is a small gym and some other rooms for meetings and get-togethers.  Adjacent to it are tennis courts (where I never use) 
and a lovely pool, where I used to go when I first moved here 18 years ago, just to meet people.  I only go now when Emma is here with her parents.  
I prefer to sit on my deck, where it is cooler and I can look at the woods.  I have put all my potted plants out there for while I am away so they get enough shade not to dry out.
I saw two things that tickled me on my walk the other day. Can someone please explain this weirdness to me?  Around the corner, this vision.
Now I can understand why someone would cover a car in the hot climate when they don't have a garage. You see this in Florida all the time.  But a garage within a garage??

You might remember that I showed you the picture of the pool, which opens at 10:am and is around the corner from his abode.  I was wondering, then, why this young man preferred to sunbathe in his driveway.  He was plugged into his iPod or some such device and probably wouldn't have noticed if I had snapped a photo from the other side, but I politely waited till I had passed him.  Wonders never cease.
Nothing amusing about the rest of the walk.  There are manicured plantings all around, on every corner.
And all the gardens people have in front are very neat and lovely.  Then there is mine: semi-wild, unmanicured, and a source of complaint from last year's chair of the landscape committee: too sloppy. LOL.  
My orange day lilies are out this morning.  
The weather is beautiful, the doors are open to let the breeze in, and you can see right through to my fireplace wall, which is painted a shade of paprika. The front room on the left is that messy sewing room you see so much of on my blog, from the inside. The yellow thing on the right in the front is an antique cooler that says Royal Crown Cola.  Years ago I dragged it home when I was on one of my walks and somebody was throwing it out.  Couldn't let that happen, could I??
This is where my walk begins and ends and I think I should get going this morning, while I still have time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

we have a winner!

The random number generator picked 188 - Lori Morton is the winner of a bundle of eight fat quarters of AMB solids.  Congratulations - and thanks to all of you who commented! I wish all of you could have won. I loved your views of New Jersey -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. I left out a lot, but didn't want to bore you. I'm second generation NJ and  despite having the highest real estate taxes in the nation, I wouldn't wan to live anywhere else full time.  

In the meantime, I see that the only way to get so many comments on my blog is to have a giveaway! Sort of depressing, actually.  But oh, well -- back to real life.

Earlier this week I went shopping for a lightweight purse to get me through the summer.  Found exactly what I was looking for on sale at Macy's and then bought a larger version as a travel bag (also on sale). Jackpot! Even better, the sales person at the Cole Haan store pointed ou that the best thing about the bag was a place to hang your cell phone.  "Great!", I thought. If you've ever called me, you know that my message says "I probably can't find my phone because it's at the bottom of my purse" -- so that appealed to me.  Of course, then I realized that my cell phone didn't have a hook, so how could I hang it on the clip in the bag?  Then it dawned on me that I might have to buy one of those little cell phone thingie cases with a loop on it.  BUT...

a) I hated every one of them that I saw, and
b) I needed one right then and there.  So, I decided that it couldn't be too difficult to make something that could surve the purpose. LOL.  I downloaded a pattern from  -- a C&T pattern. a PATTERN?? ME? (remember that I flunked sewing in 7th grade) and got to work.

It took me about four hours and it didn't look anything like these, but it works:-).
So that was my week.  Weekend - errands on Saturday and my grandson Ben sleeps over.
Sunday, take Ben out to breakfast and then home so we can go watch Josh play baseball. Who says I lead a glamorous life???

Monday, off to Maine for a reunion with college friends. I haven't been to Maine since 1978, but that is a story best left untold.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today!! fabric giveaway!!

Welcome to the New Jersey stop on the American Made Brand blog tour!  Be sure to leave a comment -- you could win a pack of beautiful solids in fat quarters!

 I mentioned a while ago that I was invited to redesign New Jersey's license plate, along with 49 others who were invited to redesign their own states' license plates using AMB's gorgeous solids (grown and made in the U.S.)   It's been fun to see what the other participants have done - and now it's my turn.  

I had a lot of fun redesigning NJ's boring straw-colored license plate with the black letters. Ugly, yes, but when the state tried to improve it with a pretty blue plate and straw letters, it was so low contrast that it was difficult to read.  So back to the straw and black one.  I understand that new ones won't even have raised letters -- just printed ones.  Cheaper.  Uglier. Bah!

NJ used to be known for its truck farms; where I grew up, there were farms all around.  There was a dairy farm in town where we went for ice cream -- and it is still there, although I'm not sure about the cows.  Applegate Farm had wonderful ice cream and my father would always let me get a double dip cone.  What a treat!

Where my kids grew up, there were farms in town.  All of these are housing developments now and the last working farm in my county was sold last year.  

But there are still farms in other parts of the state, and this state is famous for one particular food, which is still being grown - in farms, in gardens, and on patios.  And you can find Jersey Fresh produce in farmers' markets all over the place.  So I've changed the tag line and brightened up the license plate with something delicious!

Many people who drive through this state from north to south  see the industrial landscape, which many think is ugly. I think it is beautiful; I love the grit.

and this view when I take the train into NY.

 The tv image of this state leaves something to be desired.  I've never seen the show, Jersey Shore (nor do I want to) but have spent plenty of time over the years down the shore.  That's what we say in New Jersey. Not "I'm going to the beach," or "I'm going to the shore." We say " I'm going down the shore."

If you're going to Atlantic City, you can drive through NJ's treasured, unspoiled Pine Barrens (where our governor wants to run an oil pipeline). ARGH.

But I grew up in Essex County, NJ - home of the Sopranos.  The assisted living place where Tony's mother lived is about three blocks away from me.  The exterior of his house is about a 10 minute drive from my house...

The landmark Tick Tock Diner has been around forever and I pass it frequently on route 3.

We stopped watching the program because it became too violent for our taste, so we never saw the final episode that took place in Holsten's ice cream parlor.  That was the place to go after the movies, for an ice cream soda or sundae. I spent many evenings there as a teenager; Marty and I used to go there for ice cream once in a while and I passed by it last night on the way to the Greek restaurant down the street.  It's just a regular place with a soda fountain, great hot fudge sundaes, good chocolates -- and it hasn't changed in 60 years.

Please leave a comment and tell me what comes to mind when you think of New Jersey!  I'll randomly draw a number later this week, based on how many comments there are and you could be the lucky winner!  Besides, I'd love to hear your take on my home state!

soup weather in June and a little more

DISCLAIMER: Blogger is giving me grief tonight, which you will see by the varying sizes of the type. Ye p, soup weather and it's ...