Health Issues and Braids

I am sorry I have dropped off the face of the earth, but two weeks ago my heart went out on me. Too much stress and pain for too long I guess. I developed atrial fibrillation and spent a while in the hospital.
Now I am on medications and we will see what happens next.
 I will be around to visit everyone as soon as I possibly can. I miss blogging a lot and miss my blog friends too.
 Another hurricane is on its way.
We are all praying it goes far out to sea and leaves us alone.
The insurance for my roof damage from Sandy just came a month ago and now this?  No no no!
Its blowing and pouring now. Keep the people in the Carolinas and Bahamas in prayer.
The photo is "The Little" with her hair braided. It came out kind of nicely I think.

10 Year Blog Anniversary.

My blog was 10 years old on August 31st.
I have a few blogs but this is the one that I began with in 2005.  The name changed but this is the site.
I continued on in another blog with political and environmental issues but this is my blog, the one I love.
This is a post from the first 2 years.  It was inspired by some music and things going on in my life at the time.

I asked her how she was doing.
She smiled at me and said, "fine, just fine. How about you?"
Oh, that smile.
I smiled back. "Yeah, umm, (that smile always took my breath away) I am doing ok, I guess."
And still she smiled at me.
We walked on a little ways. 
It was cool outside. The sky was that robin's egg blue and hosting a sun   showing off for all it was worth.
I couldn't imagine a nicer day to walk with her.
"So , anything interesting going on?" I asked.
 ...And then she said.. "Well, I am falling in love with you."

Summertime Vignettes

Summer has not been a disappointment. The weather has been lovely and cooler than usual which is always a plus for me. Humidity has been lower than it has been in years and that is wonderful too.

 My spine is acting up, so back for another MRI the first week in September to see if another level is going. They have done 6 levels   and they seem to be okay except for arthritis which sets in after injury. And, I will be back in physical therapy, which I enjoy really. I loved the year I had of it and I hope this does me even more good. If more surgery is needed I will keep you posted.

My ponds are crystal clear and the plants in the garden are growing beautifully. I got a bushel of apples from my tree too.
Here are some vignettes of summer:

Floating along the creek

Out and About in NJ

Today is a scorcher and the first one of the summer.
 It is in the 94 °F and the sun is blazing hot. Humidity isn't too bad at all really, however.
This heat won't last long, summer ends on September 23rd and autumn will be officially here.
I learned that there is a difference between fall and autumn. While autumn refers to the entire season, fall is when leaves are falling. Makes sense.

The girls and I watched the season finale for Pretty Little Liars..ugh, 6 years for a nonsense big reveal nothing episode!  I hope the rest of the 6th season, which begins in January is a lot better than this.

photo via ocean realty co.
 This is not an ad, just my love for my state which gets very undeserved and bad rep all too often. 
If you have time and are looking for a trip it isn't too late to visit the Jersey shore, and no, it is not like the TV show in any way, shape or form!
You could come to Cape May or Wildwood Crest for a nice family vacation or just a weekend and enjoy our beautiful Victorian homes.
Frankly , after Sandy we need the come on over and stay a bit.!
Cape May is one of my all time favorite places.
Queen Victoria

The town is completely  filled with these bed and breakfast homes and one is more beautiful than the other.
President Lincoln loved coming to Cape May for vacations and Captain Kidd buried treasure on the beach!
The president stayed at the Southern Mansion House l
Mansion House

There are horse drawn carriages, gas lamp lit steets and it is just as gorgeous in winter as it is in Summer.

New Jersey beaches are voted some of the cleanest and best in the world.  Cape May was voted one the world's top 10 beaches!  Woo Hoo.

Angel by the Sea Bed and Breakfast

Wildwood Crest
The Southern Mansion

I have been lax in posting because I think I have nothing to say sometimes.  But I can brag about my state a little because people have an entirely wrong idea about it. Urban areas are sparse here and we are mostly ocean, forests and farm land.
I'll try to be better in posting.  Maybe I see myself short.
The photos are from online as all my photos are in a box and I no longer have a scanner. I think they are all okay to post but if not let me know and I will correct things.

The Rhythm of Summer...

Summer has its own rhythm, scents, atmosphere.

just behind me . home to  otter, mink and fish
The air is thicker with humidity  and sweet with flowery scents.
It is alive with the sound of birds and buzzing insects.
The cicadas are loud!

On the pond the dragon flies are big enough to need an air strip for landing. They dive bomb sometimes and you must duck to avoid a collision.
The fish  play in the cool mornings and evenings among the plants, nibbling and pulling at them with their tiny teeth. In the late afternoon they will jump and catch a flying bug midair.
The wisteria is about to take over the yard along with the beach roses which are climbing all over the place and probably due for a trim.  The Scotch broom is no slouch either.
On the hotter days the sun has felt good warming the growing bone in my back as I sit on the back porch and that is a real bonus of summer.
Today I got to witness Mr. Garden Snake slither through the roses on his way to his wood pile. He was disappointed...the fish are too big for him!
cheer practice on a chilly June evening
Chipmunks were scrambling out of his way though he is really just a little guy and they out run him easily.
He has his own worries as we have so many big owls, marsh hawks and eagles in the area.  
Mr.Beaver aka the groundhog has been keeping a low profile during the hot days of August. The last time he came on the patio was just before my dear Garfield passed away.  Now, my friend rests beneath the cedars in the back with the rest of his family.

In the front bunches of Black eyed Susans are multiplying much to my great delight and the miniature roses are beginning to bloom on the porch railing planters. Yellow, Red and lavender.
I have colleas and begonias to plant in another railing planter too.
My girls and I are keeping up with Pretty Little Liars and make a special dinner and dessert on Tuesday nights so we can watch.  What fun we are having.

Old time radio is still on a lot during the day.    I love it. 

For the  young'uns  there is lacrosse practice in the early hours as  the famous anonymous wants to play varsity now that she has entered high school.
And the little  is cheer leading for the tiny teams during the week and playing 'baseball' on a little team of 6 and 7 year olds.
She looks like me. 
Most days are spent in the water and both swim very well.

How are you spending your days?

By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea

Summer boaters often spend the day and over night  in our cove.

 They love it here and so do I.
Sailers come to spend the weekend or the night in the late spring and continue coming until it is no longer warm enough to sail.
Across the bay you can see bits of the barrier islands that separate us from the open Atlantic. It isn't far away as you can see. A breach in the islands brings the Atlantic right in!
Our town is on the bay but a section of the island on the ocean belongs to our town. It has lovely water and soft, white sugar sand. We also have canoeing on the cedar water creeks that flow into the bay and pretty parks long the way.

The End of the Week

No, no , no. Misunderstanding.
 The picture in the previous post is not my own backyard, it is a little ways down the road from me. I can walk there.
I was just saying I have those beach roses in white in my side and back yards.  They seed themselves all over the place.
While I am very close to the water, it is not right in my backyard nor would I want it that close, especially after hurricane Sandy!
It's been a busy time trying to get insurance to fix my roof and soffits, gutters which storms have mangled.  I am now in the process of getting an appointment for them to come see my leaky roof and the falling down soffits and gutters.
It never rains but pours, right?
Weather has been pretty nice but today was actually very cool. This morning was exceptionally cool for this time of year.
 I was out poking around in the salt ponds and marshes today for a short walk.
What did you do today?

Pretty in Pink

The bay can be so pretty and especially when the roses are in bloom. The white variety are growing wild in my back and side yards and they are enormous. Beach roses climb and spread. They come in white and shades of pink from light to dark.

My Life is a Comedy Show!

I am considered 85% disabled because of my spine.
Now, I get around pretty well. You would probably never know but there are things I have a lot of trouble with since I can't bend, lift,twist , etc and you would be surprised how much you need to do those things in everyday life.
I can't push a vacuum, sweep, nake a bed... the list goes on and on!
 Thank goodness for family who come to help. If I drop something in the shops I can't pick them up again. Someone else has to do it.
 I drop things all the time and sometimes they might as well be on the other side of the moon. Sometimes trying to get one thing turns into a complete comedy show.
So when I saw this video I laughed a lot because this is my life!
I hope you get as many giggles from it as I did.

Miss Marple's Old Fashioned Seed Cake
& a Thank You

Miss Marple's old fashioned seed cake is perfect for a tea party or anytime.
 You just have to try it.

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks (save the whites!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 cup plain yogurt ( in place of milk for a creamy cake)
  • 5 egg whites
Butter and flour a bundt pan. Cream the butter and the sugar together then add in your eggs and the vanilla. Mix up well.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Now you will add this mixture to the batter alternating with a bit of yogurt and mixing as you go.
Now add in the poppy seeds and mix until distributed through.
Beat the five egg whites until they form soft peaks. Not stiff peaks. Make sure your bowl is cold before beating the whites, this helps.
Fold the whites into the mixture gently and try not to overwork the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the Bundt pan and place in a 350ºF oven.  Bake for about 40 minutes but check at 30 mins.  Top of the cake should be firm
 A cake tester inserted into the cake should come out clean.
You can dust the top of the cake with powdered(confectioner's) sugar.
If you use a doily as a template you can dust on a pretty pattern.

I would like to thank everyone for their lovely comments on the passing of my dear furry friend. He is missed more than I can say. He was a constant daily companion for a long time.  Your words are treasured in my heart. Thank you dear friends. I am so grateful for all of you.

Sleep Well Dear Friend

My dear little guy Garfield passed away  tonight.
"the little golden man"
 Sept 1995-May 31, 2015
 He was in his 20th year and I have lost a good chunk of my heart with his passing.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing..." Job
 He was an extraordinary personality and everyone remarked about it. Garfield was not aloof at all as cats can be but personable, loving and sweet. He loved people.
 He stayed near me all the time and when I was away for surgery and then away for physical therapy he developed an ulcer worrying about me because I was gone for a month.
 His chair was next to mine in my office.  He sat sweetly as I said the blessing before our meal and the grace after meals and waited with me until I was done.
 Garfield was born in the bottom drawer of my old dresser along with his brothers and sisters all of which were adopted out except for him and his brother Sandy. Sandy passed on a few years ago.
How I will miss his sweet voice greeting me and seeing his joy at sitting in the sliding glass window to soak in the sun.
No more fun as he would carpet surf from room to room. Getting up speed he would slide thru the house from one throw rug to the next. It was so much fun and I will deeply miss his cute performances.
 I have not been blogging much as he has been failing for a few weeks now and for the last few days refused food and then water.
Tonight he walked to his litter box and tried to go, but he couldn't. Mr. neat and clean to the end.  He never made messes ever even when dying!
He walked back to the hallway and fell over and breathed his last.
 I cannot  thank God enough for his life as it was a huge blessing to me and a great mercy that He shared his tiny servant with me.