Happy Christmas to All...

and to all a good night... This Christmas felt very calm, low-key and grounded. We just hung out all day, ate a lovely meal together (the Mister and all three girls and myself) and relaxed. Is it a sign of the times that people are turning back to simpler, less harried, less materialistic celebrations? Too much craziness is going on in the world...maybe the only way to collectively correct things is to stop playing into the madness of shopping and competing and throwing money at kids instead of just spending time with them and valuing them. Who knows? I suppose if there was an easy answer we would have come upon it by now. In any case, let's hope 2013 is a year of peace, of kindness, of generosity of spirit and understanding. And may those things come to those who need it most.


Hartshorne Woods Navesink NJ

It's unseasonably (abnormally) warm today and I so wish I had the day off...I'd go for a walk with the Mister up in Hartshorne Woods if the choice was mine. But, alas, it isn't. Hartshorne Woods are just beautiful...you can walk the trails and, on the Rocky Point side, have an amazing view of Sandy Hook, the Atlantic Ocean, New York...it's just lovely. And challengingly hilly enough.


Kill 'em With Kindness

A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve. Joseph Joubert And in this I have failed. A very sad, very angry person has just left my life and, while I feel great relief, I also feel very sorry that I could not be a bigger, better person and continue to show kindness to someone who clearly lacks it in her own life. I gave up on her, which means I also gave up on a little part of myself...the part which believes that most people are pretty good and don't mean to cause anguish to others. This person has a long list of people she considers foes and it seemed I was amongst them. At the top of the list, actually. And, yes, I saw an actual list. This has been a very trying time for many of us (I'm just one of tens) who had to deal with her and now, finally, we are enjoying the freedom of breathing...walking on mere ground instead of eggshells...laughing...having healthy, appropriate conversation without wondering how our words will be twisted and made ugly... And the vow to never subject ourselves to the bullying of one unhappy person again...we acted like sheep and it came to no good end. Yet, along with my relief, I feel guilt. I followed HER lead and built defenses against her instead of just being well, who I am-a sociable, fairly happy, not so bad person. It's also made me realize how lucky and grateful I am to have such fantastic friends. I see that not everyone has those bonds, those supports and perhaps that lack of friendships is a contributing factor for someone's inability to deal with people in a positive, healthy way. I wish this person well. I wish her health and happiness and many, many years of true contentment. And that, it seems, is all I can do...let go with kindness. It may be too late for our relationship but it's the right thing to do.


Sea Glass, Sand Dollars and Scaling SeaWalls

Getting down to the beach (no small feat in itself) this morning was a great way to start off a Monday. We parked, then had to climb down an embankment to a sea wall which is where the boardwalk USED to be. From there, it's about 20 feet to the sand, and in order to get there one must maneuver/descend/butt-crawl down the boulders which function as a barrier to keep the sand on the beach. We made it to the seawall then saw a police car coming toward us. Fully expecting to be reprimanded (yet again)we felt defeated before we even hit the beach. Cop must have been busy because he went right on by (though, with a 10 foot drop from the roadway to the seawall he may not have even seen us). "That's right, Copper, you'll never take us alive...we got a haul of seaglass to pick up and no uniform's gonna stand in our way...see..." It's so amazing to me how, even with the crazy churning violent sea so many little jewels wash up perfectlly intact. Sand dollars, for instance. It's such a marvel that they can be tossed about, battered and smashed in the surf yet make it to the shoreline whole. That Sandy was a flat out bitch, but she did leave a bounty of beauty in her wake...
Beauty after the storm...it's a small comfort, but I'll take it.


Dog Days

Good thing she's pretty...
OK, I have a problem...and her name is Maisy. When I was going through a rough time, a bit over a year and a half ago, I got the brilliant idea to get a dog. So...off to the SPCA we went and came home with...Maisy. 8 weeks old, utterly adorable, a rescue from Puerto Rico. She was high energy right from the get go. And that has only increased exponentially with her age and growth. Problem: She's an escape artist. Not often, but when she does, it causes HAVOC. We live on a street in a fairly rough part of town. The speed limit is 25 but most cars zoom past at 40 and above. My kids could never ride their bikes around or even walk around the block...when we moved in, the house two down from us was, um, a very entrepreneurial independent pharmacy. AKA Crackhouse. They were great neighbors, very friendly, prone to barbecuing on their front yard and were they ever popular. Day and night there would be a steady stream of customers. They've since moved out but the neighborhood in general is still a bit rough. So when Maisy goes on a crime spree and runs around like a maniac, it's only a matter of time before she gets creamed by a car. She responds to NOTHING when she gets out...no treat, cajole, sweet voiced calling, nothing can get her to come to me except other dogs. Today it was a really nice guy and his son who actually brought their dog out to lure her into captivity. But there isn't always a bait dog to be had. SO...my question is: WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?!!!??? I seriously could have killed her today, out of frustration and rage. To cap off this charming behavior, she also refuses to walk home from wherever we capture her, so picture this: Me, stooped over grabbing her collar with one hand and her scruff with the other, force march/dragging her through the neighborhood back to the home she finds so confining. Oh, also, during this perp walk, I am muttering, cursing and threatening like a MAD WOMAN. How no one has called the police on me yet is a miracle. They'd surely come with two nets...one for Maisy and one for me. Is there hope for us? I am ready to put out the word that we need to find her a home where she doesn't think escaping and playing chicken with produce trucks is just so damn fun. I just don't know what to do. Since getting her was my idea I am the one who will decide her fate...and after today, I'm thinking she should go live with a family who a. has high energy kids b. doesn't live on a busy street c. has a more secure fence than we do. She's very sweet, loves people and does well with other dogs. But maybe we're just not the people for her. She gets a LOT of outdoor time, so it's not like she's cooped up in the house all day. I am just at the end of my...leash.


Hurricane Sandy at the Jersey Shore

Hi BlogLand... We made it through the Superstorm with minimal property damage but have been a week withiut power. Trust me I am NOT complaining...our neighboring towns on the shore have been decimated and it's truly heartbreaking to see. Such a lesson in perspective...we are so tiny, so helpless against such a raging force. Hard to believe humans have wrought so much damage on earth when we are so easily reduced to helpless babes by her latest whim! I wish you all good things, kindly send a positive thought out to the people who Have lost so much in this massive storm.xoxo Please forgive awkward typing...my phone is a bit difficult to type on!

Hurricane Sandy, Sea Glass and Governor Blowhard

 It feels kind of like a quick 14 months since Irene threatened to blow us all away, but here we are again and this time it looks as if the threat is even greater.  Our home is almost one mile from the beach, so we're too close for comfort yet at least not right on the front line.  We're planning to stay through the storm, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.  Cross your fingers for everyone on the coast! It's an absolutely enormous storm, even if it's milder than predicted it will still affect so many people.
Our gentlemanly, eloquent Governor has been saying helpful things to us NJ residents such as, "don't be stupid".  Last time 'round it was "get the hell off the beaches".  Me thinks the Blowhard (Christie, not the hurricane) has been watching too much Jersey Shore.  We prefer to speak to each other in more refined ways here.  He turns my stomach.
In any case,  I'll be down on the beach as soon as it's safe-sea glass hunting away.  The one thing I look forward to with these storms is they churn up so many sea treasures.  Should be sea glass bonanza later this week!  Be safe!!!


Library Card Magic...


Isn't this great? And so true!  I've just begun "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green, based upon my 15 year old daughter's urging and rave review.  She said it's an emotional read, which she always loves...if a book doesn't have her emotionally drained by the ending, I swear she winds up disappointed.  What are you reading this week???


Staying In the Happy

Love this pic of SJP.  It just radiates "Hopefulness".  Yes, I was a Sex and the City junkie for years...spent quite the hours getting lost in the "lives" of 4 pretty, incredibly dressed, witty First-World Problem sufferers.  It was the ultimate escapism show and a cheap way to visit Manhattan constantly.  Looking at that photo makes me want to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge draped in tulle.  The Mister and I walked it a few months ago...strangely enough it was the first time for both of us.  It is impossible to describe the hugeness of it, how looking at every nut, bolt and wire gives a newfound respect for the hands that built it.  It is truly magnificent.  For a fantastic history of the Bridge and the players behind it (the Roeblings, Boss Tweed, etc.) pick up David McCullough's "The Great Bridge".  It's like discovering the politics behind a fairy tale or enchanted castle...

After a tumultuous, tough year in many ways, I've been feeling pretty good lately.  Things seem to be heading in a positive, healthy direction and I am very, very grateful.  The Mister and I have been working on some writing projects together and I'm excited about them. Need to up my "outdoor" time...haven't been hitting the boards nearly often enough or seaglass hunting lately, but one improvement I have made is to my diet.  Not solely for weight loss but to attempt to create more energy and more stable moods.  It hit me one day as I was at the store reaching for a frozen "diet" meal...here I am paying a premium for food which has been pre-cooked, de-flavored, added who knows what to and it was "Santa Fe Rice and Beans".  Ummm...I can make rice. And beans.  And make it healthier, cheaper and better.  That inspired me to put together a whole regimen of nutritionally dense, organic,  more healthful meals and snacks.  So I've been consistently eating the following foods: walnuts, Greek yogurt, black rice, quinoa, berries, squash, sweet potatoes, veggies, beans and tea.  There's been a slight uptick in energy...hoping it gives me even more as time goes on. Until then, I am trying to be mindful to "Stay in the Happy".  And wish you the same.


Halloween Postcards and Printables

I love Halloween...such an escapist "holiday".  Here are some postcards, prints and even a last-minute Owl and Pussycat costume for your Halloween pleasure. 
Vintage Halloween Postcards, via Flickr.
Vintage Halloween Postcards, via Flickr.Vintage Halloween Postcards by Suzee Que, via FlickrIt's not hard to see why Halloween postcards are so popular with collectors. This one is sort of ominous! It's at Postcard Ranch.
Never too early to start shopping for vintage Halloween postcards like this one in our Delcampe store!




Free Halloween Printable

Halloween Printable Labels

Last minute "couple" costume...the Owl and the Pussycat-
 Printable Owl Mask to color (other halloween animals available here, too)


October Happiness...

Copenhagen's Tivoli in October...must be so much fun.
Dressy Casual
Snuggly shawl...cozy yet polished.
A near-perfect fall uniform.
Love this color combo. And the lines.
"Moon Cakes"...for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.  I love the way they look, and who wouldn't love the name?  It has so many good connotations..."love you to the moon and back", "I'm over the moon"...and the simple, beautiful, classic "Good Night, Moon".  May your Autumn be filled with the comfort and warmth of a million moon cakes.

Now on to something lighter: shopping.
Women's Merona® Kamischel Suede Lug Boot - Grey Jimmy Choo Suede Biker Style BootsVince "Jocelyn Purple" Grey Suede Pull-On Boot

I realize how quickly the phrase becomes annoyingly overused, but damn I love fall!!! The change in temp feels  so good...humidity goes back to the depths of hell, the foliage is spectacular, the crowds here at the Shore disappear.  What's NOT to love??? To kick things off properly, I used a gift card from my parents (thank you!) and treated myself to two new pairs of boots.  I'm a pretty good (cheapskate) shopper, if I say so myself.  How good?  The lug sole boots are from Target. $44. While the double buckle pair are Jimmy Choos...$900. (!!!!!)  and the others are Vince which can be yours for a mere $398.  I ordered the Target pair during their BOGO event, which as of today is still going on.  Free shipping too. They're cute, comfortable and sturdy  ( I mean, I work in a library after all,  not as a sherpa guide)...and I wear them with everything...leggings, dresses, skirts...

Women's Merona® Magaska Riding Boot - Brown Rupert Sanderson Flat Riding Boots TORY BURCH Riding boot

 Brown riding style boots... Target-$39.99.  upert Sanderson $1,155. Tory Burch $640. Can you figure which are which?