Wednesday, July 18, 2018

GrandCamp Session 3

So, where was I? Ah yes, we had taken the little ones to Storybook Land. The next day Bob and I went to the Cape May Zoo, an amazing place for little kids (or big ones, too.)  Jillian and Eve were excited to see all the animals and had a blast.

After a picnic lunch we let the girls play at the playground. This place has it all.

The next morning it was time to say goodbye to the little ones and welcome Adam and Alex,  the 11 year old cousins. We took them swimming daily, played miniature golf, ate popcorn, and visited the World War II tower in Cape May.

This is such an interesting place. We learned about German spies who landed on US soil during the war, and what life was like during times of blackouts and rationing.

The next day we were off to North Wildwood where we had fun at Ripley’s Mirror Maze, Lazor Maze, and Time Freak.

All too soon, our time with them was at an end. We now have Rob, aged 15, who will be here until Sunday when we return to daughter Kristen’s house.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

GrandCamp Session 2

Day 3 of Session 1 with Quinn and Ben involved visiting the Cape May Lightouse. It was a beautiful day to do it and the kids enjoyed counting all the steps (199) as they climbed.
We were ready with binoculars to look for dolphins in the water. Nope, none today, but that didn’t dim the enthusiasm.
After a picnic lunch in the pavilion and a run up the ramp to the deck to look at the waves...
...we headed to a local movie theater to see Incredibles 2.

The next morning Kristen brought Eve and Jillian and took Ben and Quinn home. Session 2 begins!

First up was a swim in the campground swimming pool. Bob and I were too busy with the girls (both 5 years old) to take photos in the pool, but they had a grand time. They enjoyed the after-swim ice cream cone, too!

It’s such fun to watch 5 year olds play. They can make toys out of pretty much anything.  I keep a Bosu ball in the MH for exercise and the girls turned it into a boat on the stormy sea.
On Thursday morning we all piled into the car and went to Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township. The weather couldn’t have been nicer; it was not too hot and not very humid. We all had so much fun


Tomorrow we will visit the local zoo.

Monday, July 9, 2018

GrandCamp 2018 Begins

Quinn (age 7 1/2) and Ben (age 10) started us off with this year’s GrandCamp, which promises to be a good one. We are staying at a very nice campground in Cape May Courthouse, NJ this year, which boasts a pool, a swimming pond, miniature golf, and many other amenities.

We started out on Sunday in high spirits with the ride to the campground. Riding in the motorhome was a new experience for both of them.
After settling in, we spent some time in the pool and then returned to our campsite for dinner and S’Mores. Yum!

On Monday Bob and I explored Wildwood, NJ, a seaside town with a nice boardwalk. Ben tried on of the games and won two prizes, one of which he generously gave to his cousin.
Wildwood has a small aquarium which we toured. The kids got to pet a shark.

The children learned the difference between a White-tip Shark, a Black-tip Shark, and a Nurse Shark.
We had fun finding souvenirs and just being silly.
After a picnic lunch and more boardwalk, we returned to the campground for a swim and a round of miniature golf.
The kids have one more full day here before we send them home and welcome another pair of campers.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fun in the Sun

Bob and I have been enjoying our summer in NJ very much. Last Wednesday we had a family gathering at daughter Emily’s house in honor of granddaughter Eve’s 5th birthday. And what better way to celebrate than to have a pool party!
Eve and Quinn enjoy the water

On Saturday we spent a lovely evening at the home of Bob’s brother Bill and Bill’s wife, Brenda. It was such fun to hang out with them as well as Tom and Nancy, Emily, and Ryan. I wish I had gotten a photo of the group. I’ve been very lax in taking photographs lately.

On Saturday Bob and I met up with my friend Robbie and her husband Bruce for lunch at Norma’s Eastern Mediterranean Cuisine where we had a delightful time catching up. And the food was excellent, with vegan options as well as meat.
In between all this socializing I have been keeping my fingers busy, crocheting some amigurumi animals and finishing the weaving of my band.

This is a pattern from the book Latviešu Jostas featuring a double flower pattern. It was a fun weave.

Yesterday was Ben’s Half Birthday, a special day that all-too-often goes unnoticed. But not this year! Daughter Kristen picked up a small cake, cut it in half (and frosted the cut side,) added 5 1/2 candles, and we sang half of the Happy Birthday song to him. Only half of his brothers were there (Rob was at a friend’s house) as well as half of his parents (Jason is still away on training for the Air Force) but Bob and I celebrated with him as he ate his cake on paper plates cut in half and forks with half the times removed.
On Sunday we kick off the start of GrandCamp 2018, in Cape May, NJ. It’s going to be a fun two weeks.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Veganniversary and New Microwave

First off, I want to offer my sincerest condolences to my friend, Joan, whose husband John passed this week. John was a sweet man and will be missed by all who knew him. This photo is from last summer and we will remember him fondly.
It has been exactly one year since I stopped eating meat, eggs, and dairy products. In that year I have lost 35 pounds and I feel so much better. I can honestly say I do not miss any of it. Big thanks to my sister Gail for all her support!

The convection part of our convection/microwave stopped working over a year ago and we finally ordered a new one. Bob did some internet searching and found the best price at Office Depot, of all places. So I contacted Lowe’s and asked if they would price-match. They agreed and we saved $126. Score! It arrived on Wednesday and Bob and I spent a really fun (just kidding) 90 minutes getting it in place.
Our old one, which was the exact same model, was missing the manual and cookbook and I was surprised to discover I was not using it properly. So now I get to learn how to do it right.

On Thursday it was so beautiful that Bob, Kristen, and I decided to take the train to Philadelphia and get lunch.

We walked around a bit first, enjoying the sights of cobblestone side streets and carriage arches.
Then we ate at Reading Terminal Market and I had my favorite, Chana Masala from Nanees, with the best curried spinach I ever had. I found a recipe for it and will make it soon.

That’s all for now. Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


On Saturday I attended a meeting of the South Jersey Guild of Spinners and Handweavers. What a joy to see old friends and meet new ones! I was very inspired by the show and tell. Here is one of my favorites—Helena showed off her hand beaded necklace and this jacket she had woven and sewn. Isn’t it amazing?
I went out to lunch afterwards with my friend, April. Neither time nor distance can separate true friends, and our friendship is a prime example. We always have fun when we are together!

I started weaving a new band. This one is from the book Latviešu Jostas, and is a type of flower band. It’s easy to weave and very relaxing. Details are on my Ravelry project page.
We started having problems with our computer about a month ago when we could no longer connect to the internet. Since it has been six years since we purchased it, we decided it was time for a new one, and we took advantage of a Memorial Day sale at HP to order it.

Because we subscribe to Carbonite, transferring all our files to the new computer was easy. We logged on and clicked the transfer button. After 24 hours we calculated that it would take a month for our files to all transfer, so we plugged into daughter Kristen’s router and twelve hours later it was done. So far, we are liking this new laptop.

Weather here in south Jersey has improved and we see the sun daily. We’re getting temperatures in the ‘70s, which is lovely. We are so glad the constant rain has stopped.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Wildlife in South Jersey

We have seen a bit of wildlife around here lately. Despite this part of south Jersey being pretty built up, and we are in a neighborhood full of houses, a family of turkeys walked through the yard last week.
Mama and her thirteen babies strolled majestically past our window. The chicks looked newly hatched and are pretty hard to see in this picture. A few days later we saw Mama again but she had only one chick with her. I suppose predators had gotten to the others. Wild turkeys are not seen very often around here and I would assume modern life is not kind to them.
We also had this visitor to my daughter’s back yard. This groundhog, or woodchuck as we used to call them, ran to the back corner of the property when we came through the gate. After a while he found his way out and we haven’t seen him since.

Recently Bob and I visited a Camping World and found this little switch.

It attaches to the underside of our under-bed compartment (the bed lifts up to access storage) with a screw-mount. It is bright enough to illuminate the whole area so I can find what I’m looking for. I’m going to have to get a few more of these!

Now that I can see my sewing supplies under the bed, I decided to make granddaughter Jillian a purse. It’s a simple pattern I found here.
I used fabric I had purchased near Walt Disney World, and I’m very happy with how it came out. Jillian was, too. She immediately put it over her head and didn’t want to take it off.

On Friday Bob dropped me off at daughter Catherine’s house so he could visit his friends in north Jersey. Catherine, the kids, Auggie, and I went to Pitman, NJ’s Fourth Friday festival with son Tim and daughter-in-law Bernie.
We ate at A Fresh Start, a sandwich and salad shop with outdoor seating, enjoying yummy paninis and salads. Most of the shops were open (and dog friendly, too!) and we enjoyed strolling around. Alaura Kitchen tempted us with homemade ice cream (she even makes a vegan version that is to-die-for!) and we chatted with the man on stilts walking around town. I loved it all.

It’s not any too early to be making summer reservations for campgrounds so last week I settled in and firmed up our August and early September plans. We’ll be spending time in Portsmouth, RI, Monson, MA, Rhinebeck, NY, W. Chazy, NY, Montpelier, VT, Shelbourne Falls, NH, and Orono, ME. The plan is to visit family and friends, see the FDR Library, cross the border into Montreal for a day trip, and drive up Mt Washington. Plus, I think I’ll be able to get a visit in to WEBS, to Vävstuga’s store, and to Macomber Looms. I’m very excited! We’ll be back well before daughter Emily’s September 30th due date.