Archive for July, 2010


Mid-Summer Life Crisis

Tubing! Who knew bruises could be so much fun....

You know, there’s this saying:  people who don’t have the time to stop and jot down everything that happens to them in their lives are generally too busy having a good time to do it.  I guess you could say that’s my excuse, but I think I would be lying.  The only things that I have been too busy doing this past week are being completely lazy and having a mid-summer life crisis about how close the end of it is.  

It’s my birthday tomorrow (the big nineteen, yeesh) and I go back to my internship soon, not to mention school is looming on the horizon.  I’ve been in one of those panic modes this week, struggling to figure out all the loose ends I need to tie up before life becomes a little more complicated.  So, besides my own insecurities about going back to school, I’ve been up to a few things in between all my attempts to stay decidedly lazy.

Saturday:

Was spent at probably the last book sale of the summer at Pawlet’s elementary school.  It definitely wasn’t as cheap as we would have liked and I didn’t find any real gems, but on the other hand, I did score some Agatha Christie mysteries.  That amazing woman must have written a book a day! 

Monday:

Another awesome day on lake Bomoseen!  We spent time on the boat, had a great lunch, picked up some ice cream, and went tubing for the first time this summer!  Tubing is……well, it’s one of those things where you have no idea what would ever make  you do it, but somehow, the thrill of shooting across a lake at 20 miles per hour is worth all the

Fun at the lake

 bruises and muscle aches that show up later. 

Tuesday:

Super day for my nerves……I couldn’t explain what had my nerves in such a twist, but I was in no mood to hang around the house.  So, I spent a great couple of hours doing some shopping with my best friend – she’s in the process of moving and needed some new accessories for her room. 

Today:

Ah today – today we are getting down and dirty – literally.  It’s almost time for our guinea hens to be moved outside, but we still don’t have a coop for them, so we are in the process of clearing out a location to put their own little house in the next few days.   We  are getting ready to pour a cement floor before we can move their hut into place.  It’s a bit of a time-consuming project, but it needs to get done so we’re on it! 

This weekend should be fun and I am planning a trip with friends to Lake George next week.  Things will get a little more talkative on my end by next week, as I start my internship again on Tuesday.  I can’t believe it’s August already – I’m not happy about it, but I know that the more I wish for the clock to rewind, the faster it will spin forward, so I just need to learn to enjoy the last of my vacation. 

You know, I’d laugh if I thought it was funny, but then again, sometimes it doesn’t need to be funny in order to make me laugh.

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Home Sweet Home A La Vermont

We packed everything up (including the poodle) and made sure the beach house was all set before heading back to Little Ferry, New Jersey.  We made it in good time, about three hours, and helped our nana get all of her stuff unloaded.  My uncle had gotten his pool all cleaned out and needed my dad’s help lifting in the stairs.  It felt nice to dip our feet into the water and just relax by the pool for a while.  After that we were homeward bound, stopping only long enough to pick up some McDonald’s to stave off our growling tummies. 

The house is still standing (which is good) and so are all of our guinea hens, cats, and dogs J Now, we are just settling back in and making sure the rest of our life that we left on hold for a week is still intact.  It’s nice to be home again, if not a little down trodden to have left all the sun and sand behind.  It was so much easier to enjoy my summer while I was away, but I guess that’s the whole point of a vacation.  Now, it’s back to reality, which isn’t grim, but isn’t smelling like roses either.  Even with being thrown back into my duty driven lifestyle, I am determined to not let the rest of summer pass without incident.  A toast to summer ever after!!

Take the bread, leave the fingers please...

We left our family in Maryland for the Jersey Shore again at around 8 AM and arrived at our Nana’s beach house by 11. 

Swans in the lagoon

We unloaded our car again and pretty much soaked in the last of our beach day as much as we could.  My sister and I enjoyed some more rays while watching the swans and their babies swim in the lagoon.  We read, relaxed, and then

 walked down to the beach.  We weren’t going to stay that long, just wet our feet and walk a little, but then we found what we are always looking for at the beach – sea glass!!  My sister and I were so excited!  We found two white pieces, two red, one blue and one green.  For us, nothing could have made us happier or the evening any more special. 

It made it a little harder to leave for home, but we are starting to feel vacationed out, so I think it will be good to be in our own beds tomorrow night.  Here’s hopin’ the house is still upright!

Another early morning, followed by a trip into town to buy vegetables at the local farmers market.  Chestertown’s farmers market is small, yet inviting and a nice relief from the hot weather.  Jewelry, all different kinds of breads, and many different varieties of vegetables surrounded us as we picked out the ingredients we needed for this afternoon’s family lunch. 

My dad and uncle went to pick up my grandmother from her assisted living home so she could be with all of us for the day.  My sister, aunt and I began preparing our feast of a lunch while my grandma enjoyed some snacks and time with her sons in the front room.  It was good to see everyone again and relax with family. 

Puzzle me this, grandma....

We had brought my aunt a new puzzle (it’s one of her favorite hobbies and we always have to start a puzzle when we come down to visit) and began putting it together in the living room in between bouts of stuffing ourselves.  For dinner, we had chicken, steak, and veggies from the grill, salad, garlic bread, and for desert peach cobbler and an oreo cake we brought from the Jersey Shore bakery.  We were really disappointed in the cake unfortunately (we think it must have been on the shelf for too long), but everything else was good. 

Significantly stuffed, we whittled the evening away with more puzzling, reading, and talking.  I have a new stack of books from my cousin to read as well (I’m looking at about sixty new books that I’m still going to try to read this summer….better get started, huh?). 

 Tomorrow we leave for the beach again to spend one last day there before heading home.  My vacation is almost over and it’s sad, but I know I still have a lot to look forward to this summer.

Arriving safe and sound in Maryland on Thursday, we piled out of our nicely air-conditioned vehicle only to be bombarded by incredible heat.  The thermometer read 98 degrees and for once we were glad to have the AC on full blast.  We all settled in, exchanged hugs, and sat down to a dinner of pulled pork sandwiches. 

The next morning we woke up early, ate breakfast, and headed out to Byler’s for a shopping spree.  Byler’s is an awesome store run by the Amish and has just about everything and anything you could ask for under its roof.  From prepackaged and bulk spices/cooking ingredients to homemade ice cream and woodwork, it’s definitely a must see every time we come down to visit family.  My sister goes crazy in the cooking section and I can’t resist the home made chocolate ice cream (it’s all really cheap too!). 

After that we had lunch (I am eating way too much on this trip) and then my sister, cousin, and I went and saw Despicable Me in the local theatre.  I have to say, I had high hopes of it being another Hoodwinked or Monster Vs. Alien, but unfortunately found it not to be the case.  It was still cute and a fun afternoon out, but I don’t think I will be putting it on my wish list.  I got some more reading done before dinner and managed to type up some of my blog posts afterwards.

Beach Bums? Bring It On.

With all the doing noting, fun in the sun, and eating way  too much, pulling my butt off my great aunts couch this morning increased in difficulty. 

The beach trail!

However, I had something extra to help get me enthused – we were going to the NJ Island Beach State Park today?  This is one of our favorites things to do – pay six bucks for your own private beach, away from the bustle and hustle of a public beach for the peace and quiet of all the sand and sun you could ask for.  It’s a state park reserved for hiking, swimming, and protecting the last of NJ’s natural landscape and animals.  First we went down to the public Jersey Short beach, just to see it and say we had been there this year.  It was really nice because they were holding a “field event” day for all the children – sack, wheelbarrow, crab, and lifeguard races, plus a tug-of-war at the end.  We were asked to hand out the lollipops to all the contestants at the end, which was fun, as we got to participate.  Then we walked back and packed up a few things for the state park beach.  It was the first day of our

Island Beach

 vacation on the beach and damn did it feel good.  My sister and I got our feet wet in the ocean while looking for sea glass and pretty shells.  Next, we just enjoyed the sun, sand, and sound of the ocean.  There wasn’t a single person in sight the whole time were there – it was so peaceful and relaxing!

Now we are on the road again, heading to my aunt and uncles on my father’s side in Maryland to spend a couple of days before heading back to the beach.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them, as the last time were down was

What the sea brings in.... 🙂

around Easter vacation, but I had three 10 page papers to finish so it wasn’t much of a family get together, I’m afraid.  It might be a while before I can write again, but that’s part of the enjoyment.  I wanted to keep up with this blog, but I don’t miss staying away from a computer as long as possible – I know that when fall comes I will be sealing my fate for a life of carpel tunnel.  Until next time, thanks for reading!   

Writings in the sand....Footprints in the sand.....

                                                                                                       

Footprints in the sand.....

I woke up at seven again this morning, but after a late night, I forced myself to go back to sleep for another hour.  Everyone else had the same idea, so we all enjoyed a restful late-waking.  Without much preamble, as the day closely followed the patter of the one before it, I hunkered down to finish Pride & Prejudice while listening to the rain, checking crab traps, attempting to tan, and spending time with family.  I rather enjoyed Pride & Prejudice, if it was a little slow at times, but on a whole, completely worth my time.  I wished there had actually been more attention paid to the lead characters at the end, but it was also pleasing how simply, yet elegantly Austen was able to express so much of a “violent love.”  It is not a classic that I will be burning or losing sleep over and for this I am glad.  I also began and finished an Agatha Christie (Miss Marple series) mystery, which as usual, had me guessing until the very last page.  Now I’m back to sci-fi with a book about when your toaster grows a conscience – Alan Dean Foster’s CodgerspaceSo far, it’s quite funny.  Thank god I brought as many books as I did!

We also hit a sidewalk sale in town in between the raindrops, which is becoming a summer tradition. 

Unfortunately, all the peace and quite has got me contemplating things of home which I would rather not entertain at the moment, but I am determined not to let it intrude on my vacation time. 

Fortune cookie from a fine Chinese food meal!

Well, so far my day has been accident and fight free, which is good 🙂 

Ducks, books, and sun oh my!

I woke up to the sound of the water lapping in the lagoon at 7 this morning and instead of going back to bed like yesterday, I snuck onto the porch and finished my Dan Brown novel.  Frankly, I am becoming less and less impressed with each of his new books.  Deception Point, Angels & Demons, and The Davinci Code were amazing and are coming to you highly recommended, but Lost Symbol and Digital Fortress, his latest novels,  lacked the ease and finesse he usually exerts through is writing.  His style is becoming predictable, while at the same time I can tell he is striving to step outside of his comfort zone, which has the opposite effect of potential.  It’s disappointing when an author, plagued by the blinding lights of success, shifts his usual apathy for words to suit a wider audience, only to fail by not continuing on the path he knows best. 

Pushing on to another book has led me to take up the classic Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I found it at one of the book sales this past weekend and decided it was about time I indulged myself in a beloved iconic novel.  I admit my homeschooling life let some things to be desired in getting my fill of novel classics, but really, do you remember anything besides being forced to read them for book reports?  I didn’t think so.  I decided why not read a few of them on my own, so I would know what I was missing – which in a lot of cases was not much.  I read Lord of The Flies a while back and had nightmares for a week *shudders*. 

Once everyone was up we sat down for breakfast and wondered about the day.  It was sprinkling off and on so the park was out.  Instead, we sat out on the lawn chairs again and kept reading, plus we had more crabbing to do.  We made some trips to the bakery, as well as doing some “for-fun” shopping to kill time.  Unfortunately, everybody else had the same idea.  My uncle arrived, much to the pleasure of Sarah the poodle, his most loyal companion.  Next, we ordered fried seafood again, ate way too much, and then went for a little sight-seeing tour of all the rich folks houses.  All in all, a completely vacation-grade day. 

My thoughts are returning to home, wondering how our not-so-baby chicks are doing.  I’m almost done with Pride & Prejudice, but I won’t put in my two cents until I’m finished.  That’s all for now.

Yes, today is the day I have been waiting months for – the true start really of my summer vacation.  The morning began at 7 AM, as my sister and father went of to the local bakery to purchase the worlds best crumb-buns while my nana and I set the breakfast table and walked the dog.  After breakfast I took my new bike for a pin to the clubhouse to pick up our beach badges (if you were unaware, beach badges are purchased by the local property others and must have on in order to on the beach).  Unfortunately, we hit a snare – apparently, everyone needed to pass a weed inspection (yeah, you read that right) before being issued their badges.  So, we finally got someone around to inspect the non-existent weeds so we could get the badges – however, the clubhouse had closed until 4 pm.  On a happier note though, something great did come of this – another first I can check off my list!  For the first time in my life, I flagged down an ice cream truck and bought myself a (very expensive) strawberry ice pop.  Yup, it sounds silly, but to me, it was the best ice pop I’ve ever had and I have another great memory to cherish. 

Crabbing at the beach!

Yeah, so anyways we came back to our beach house to enjoy the sun, ocean breeze, and total lack of accomplishing anything.  Dad found some bacon in the freezer and baited a couple of crab traps.  Vacation at the beach house is not official until some crab traps are dangled off the pier.  Luckily, they were in the mood for biting, just like us.  Some of my fondest NJ beach memories are of my Pop-pop and I crabbing together (RIP Pop-pop, I love you and miss you dearly).  Unfortunately, my dad got a little crab-happy with the traps and swung one of the large wire cages into my leg.  Therein followed a mad dash for the house to stop the bleeding, talk my dad down from the “Oh my God, are you going to die?!?”

My crab war wounds

 ledge, and gritting through the pain of pouring rubbing alcohol onto the wound, as we couldn’t find any peroxide.  Now I have four deep lines in my left leg that looks like I had a giant tabby cat take a chunk out of me.  Ah, the war wounds of crabbing.

I’ve read almost an entire book before we went to pick up lunch meat and then headed over to get a tour of a neighbor’s house, as well as picking up our beach badges.  So we get to the clubhouse and guess what?  Can’t get our beach badges until the next day.  Well, that didn’t sit well with my father (he’s not the violent type, but when he reaches a limit, look out).  Luckily, no blood was spilled and we finally got our badges.  It was too late to go to the beach though, but we were satisfied with being lazy on the lawn chairs by the lagoon.  We caught some more crabs and boiled them for tomorrow – they are so small that we’ll need quite a few of them before we can get a decent bite.  As my father began plunking them into the boiling water, one made a daring escape from the doom and hid under the oven.  It was the funniest thing I’d ever seen, as my dad desperately tried to fish him out with first a broom and then a fishing rod.  We finally got him out and decided that he should be rewarded for his efforts – we gave him his freedom. 

Dinner

Next, we picked up some amazing fried seafood for dinner from Ortley’s fish market for dinner and speculated about the day to come.  We were going the Island Beach State Park, which is just beautiful and almost deserted, but 80% chance of rain may have washed out our plans, so we’ll see.  Either way, it will be a great tomorrow.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to finish – Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress‘Nite folks!

To take a line from one of the greatest car songs ever, life is a highway.  The road is long, full of accidents and foul language, speed bumps, and we are often consumed by our rush to reach a destination, not to enjoy the journey.  But, the road is also a place where the miles make the memories lay out before us, the differences and grievances fall behind us, and the daily rush and grind of life is exchanged for the joy of the scenery.  

Up at seven, gone by 8:30, we have a four-hour drive ahead of us.  It’s nicely broken up this time – usually we have an eight-hour drive there and back.  Here we sit in our car, on our way to NJ.  The front seat, occupied by my father and sister, is alive with chatter.  The conservation?  Reminiscing about times past on the road.  

This is the direction conversation usually takes with us because it’s where our happiest memories lie.  Right now, dad is describing how my sister made her first dollar at an antique show by selling one of her drawings.  I want to save these memories – they are some of the most important memories of my young life and I don’t want them to fade away when Alzheimer’s sets in.  The feeling is almost indescribable – my life has made me grow up a  lot faster than I would have liked at times, but if I wasn’t allowed to have the responsibilities I did at such a young age, I never would have made the memories I have now.  

It’s raining now on the New York throughway and we are off to a slow start, but I don’t mind.  

We arrived in Little Ferry, New Jersey to help our great-aunt move down for a week to her home at the shore.  We loaded her and her mini 

Sarah!

 

poodle (who’s blind by the way) into the car and turned it towards the ocean.  We made it in record time and got 

My early birthday present!

 

everything set up.  Sarah (the poodle) was happy to be at the water again and I was thrilled to try out my new bike.  We were starving, so we ordered pizza from the local Italian restaurant.  Then we all headed out to the clubhouse where we walked on the beach, digging our toes into the sand and feeling the bath water warmth of the ocean wash up to our ankles.  It was a pleasant hour of relaxation that really made us feel like our vacation had started.  We’ll be sticking around for a few days before heading to Maryland to see other family members.  Ah, finally, a deep breath.  

The view from my Nana's beach house!All set at the beach house!All set at the beach house!

 

All set at the beach house!