Monday, January 14, 2013


So Belmar has officially "broken ground" on the north end of the beach for the new boardwalk installation.  This past Saturday was the first time I walked up to the beach since the day after Hurricane Sandy.  I knew what to expect because I see photos of the beach front daily but it is quite a sight to see in person.
16th Ave looking North

It is so unbelievably quiet.  Yes I did go on the weekend so the construction trucks weren't going but it is still strange.

I went to check out the north end of the beach and on the ground right across from the beach are a bunch of lamp posts that used to be on the boardwalk.  They are laying in a haphazard heap but when I saw them I thought them to be oddly beautiful.

I love these lights.  And what's strange is I almost love them more in all of their broken down beauty.

  Has any one else tried to find beauty in the destruction?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What I am Old Enough to Know

My car hit a milestone on my birthday!

So it's my birthday.  I've been thinking about this one for awhile.  Officially hitting my mid 30's and it's making me feel, well, old.  I can remember my childhood clearly.  And now having a child I am revisiting it through his eyes too.  All of this thinking has made me try and think of the lessons I have learned in this life.  God willing I have many more to go but I've been compiling a list of what I've figured out so far.  And as I grow older the list will change and I will change.  But for right now this is what I am old enough to know.

Follow your dreams and everything else will work itself out.  I'm lucky.  I went back to school and decided it's never to late to do what you are meant to do.  Chased my dreams and an amazing career fell into my life.  I took a chance and it worked out.  It will always work out if you give it your best shot.

Which leads me into my next point.  Everybody that passes through your life is there for a reason, you just need to be able to recognize it.  My career came about by chance from a friend I have know for years.  When we met I never thought I would one day be working for him but 6 years later that is exactly what happened.  So never underestimate the power of a chance meeting.  Be open to everyone and everything because it may change your life one day.

I am grateful that I lived my younger years without Facebook and smartphones chronicling my every move.  We had fun and made bad decisions without worrying if they would follow us around for the rest of our lives.  I don't have to hire a company to edit my internet presence because some unprofessional images made their way to google.  The memories are in my head and kept alive sharing stories with friends and for that I am forever grateful.

Every moment we experience is an opportunity to learn something.  Just be open to the lesson.

Having the support of your family and friends will make your life easier but sometimes you have to make a decision for yourself that no one approves of.  You need to be strong enough to acknowledge why you are doing something and then bring it to fruition.  Going against the status quo is not always easy but you will not be happy unless you do what is right for you.

I know how to parent my child.  His needs, his wants, his daily routine are my business and mine alone.  I go to family and friends for advice when I need it but please don't question my choices.

Stop trying to be someone you're not.  I've always fancied myself to be one of those women who is super-organized, bakes cookies every other day and enlightens my child with Montessori approved crafts on a daily basis.  Instead we are slightly spastic and throw together dinner in 5 minutes while coloring on a crowded table.  And it works for us.

There are lessons in both heartache and joy.  Do not be blindly happy or sad.  When you are sad find out how to change it.  When happy figure out how to keep it.

Material things do not equal happiness.  A big house, fancy cars and designer clothes are great but they will never make an empty person feel whole.

Forgiveness is more about healing yourself than anything else.  Walking around carrying rage and anger lead to a sickness of your soul.  Letting go and forgiving enable you to move forward with your life and find peace.  Forgiving isn't about being friends again or even acknowledging to the other person that you've forgiven them.  It's more about taking care of yourself.

Make your bed everyday when you wake up.  I rarely follow this advice but when I do it sets the tone for the entire day.

Take a class.  Not necessarily for a degree but to learn more about something that interests you.  Like to take photos?  Sign up for a photography class at your community college.  Want to learn how to do your own taxes?  Contact your local high school adult education program.  You might meet new friends who share your passions or find the courage to embark on a new career.

Don't watch the news.  Bad things happen everyday.  I am not any less informed about current events because I don't watch the nightly gory, sensational, prime-time "news" programs.  Don't watch the awful 24 hour news channels either.  All they do is add anxiety to our lives on a daily basis.  Read the paper or scan the internet quickly for current events.  Your nerves will thank you.

Learn to say no.

Also learn to say please and thank you.

My Mom is one of my best friends.  I'm glad I've gotten old enough to enjoy her company as much as I do now.  She is one of the most beautiful people I know.  Funny and super nice too.  I like to think I inherited those qualities from her.

The more time I have to get ready the later I am.

Give what you can.  It doesn't have to be money.  It can be your time, a smile or giving away things you no longer use.

Give people the benefit of the doubt.  I'm not a fan of honking my horn in anger or flipping people off on the road when they cut me off.  We've all been distracted and done dumb things.  The person who did the horrible injustice to you may be having the worst day of their life.  Or maybe not but if you think of things that way you will be much calmer and more forgiving.

The mistakes I made in my past do not define my character.  The lessons I learned from them do.

Feel free to share this or add your comments and wisdom.  I always want to learn more.

Happy Birthday to me!

What wisdom do you have to share?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Duck Sex

"Mommy why are they jumping on each other and making so much noise???"  Because nothing says first day of Catholic school better than watching some ducks get it on.  

Monday, December 31, 2012

Three C's

I'm doing something different to mark the end of the year and our transition into 2013.  Rather than the long, long list of traditional stuff that must happen (lost weight!  save money! get to the gym! bucket list! blah blah  blah) I have decided to go in a different direction.  It started when I began to think I am not doing enough creative things on a daily basis.  I think about being creative everyday.  It's the practice I am lacking.  And being a creative person in a creative industry this needs to happen.  I was also thinking a lot about helping people after the hurricane and how I need to incorporate that more into my daily life.  So what I came up with is what I am calling the "Three C's".

COMPASSION                        CREATIVITY                  CREDIBILITY

COMPASSION:  What this means for me is being more aware of what I can do as a person to make every environment around me better.  Being more compassionate, giving more, acknowledging when people around me are doing well will not only make me feel good, but will make those around me feel good about themselves too.  And hopefully they in turn will feel good and want to make those around them feel better about themselves.  And in light of all of the tragedies that have occurred this past year sometimes the people around us just need a hello and a smile.  Those are free.  We can all give that.

CREATIVITY:  Work on my art.  Start the paintings I have planned.  Take more photos for myself and others.  Stay active in my field.  Stop thinking and start doing.  Logic is great but one of my favorite quotes is:  Logic will get you from A to Z: Imagination will get your everywhere. - Albert Einstein
My creative self is my best self and by acknowledging that and indulging myself in my passions I can only be more of an asset in this world.

CREDIBILITY: This is fairly self-explanatory but is so lacking in our world.  I will hold myself accountable for my words and actions.  Be believable.  Worthy of trust.  When I say something it will happen, and in the time frame I have given myself.

So I will say these words everyday in an effort to lead a life that is more fulfilling for myself and for others.  That is my New Year's Resolution.

What are your resolutions for the upcoming year?

Turkey Vulture

So a few weeks ago I was walking to my house and saw what appeared to be a turkey strolling down the road...until it began moving faster and flew away.  It was gigantic, had a huge wingspan and resembled a turkey and a vulture at the same time.  Being a little nervous about having a vulture hanging out in our coastal neighborhood I did a little research and found out such a thing as a turkey vulture exists!  I made it my goal to attempt and photograph it and after a few weeks had some success. While I would like to get some images of it on the ground in all its turkey looking glory I did get some in flight shots.

I believe this guy may be displaced after Hurricane Sandy.  They are not too common in our area especially at this time of the year.  So I'm guessing he either had his habitat destroyed or is just scavenging all the yummy dead animals in our area.

Now this guy was not too happy with my photo stalking and I was a little nervous he might use his little instinctual get this person/animal/thing away from me method on me - which happens to be vomiting foul smelling dead animals near or on you when threatened.  Being that I was under him taking these shots I was a slightly edgy about having dead animals puked on me but luckily that didn't happen.
And no need to be nervous about this guy coming and swooping my little Bubby away by the throat.  These guys and gals apparently dine on roadkill and are good for environmental cleanup.  No live animals for them!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A New Normal

So today is just another day in the rest of our new lives here at the Jersey Shore.  It is the post Sandy world and for many of us nothing has gone back to normal.

Superstorm Sandy blew in and changed the landscape of our lives forever.  For some the personal devastation has been overwhelming.  Lives have been lost.  Personal possessions, homes, memories were swiftly taken away in just a couple days.  The beachfront in many towns is gone.  This is not just news.  It is our new reality.  And today I just feel like reality sucks.

Compared to many others our family was spared.  But we had water on the first floor of the house (only maybe 6") but the cleanup is nonetheless intense.  Trees fell, the fence is in pieces but our lives will return to normal.  I feel like a whiny, cranky person today but I'm tired.  Tired of cleaning, tired of throwing things away and tired of feeling guilty because I feel like this all just sucks today.
Some water was left inside.

The water went in and out with the tide.

The thing is I am super paranoid about storms.  I hate driving in the snow.  I love thunderstorms but watch them indoors.  If the weatherman tells me I shouldn't be out in the weather I do my best not to be.    When you are told the biggest storm of the century is coming, you prepare.  At least I did.

Important belongings were brought up to the second floor of the house.  Anything extremely important was taken with me when I evacuated.  I took way more clothes than I thought I needed.  We stocked up on flameless candles (I was taking no chances with power issues after losing power for 5 days after Irene last year), flashlights, batteries, etc.  I bought a charger for the car that also has a household outlet so I could charge my computer.  You name it I had it.  I even had my trusty weather radio.  Brewed about 5 pots worth of coffee that could be heated on the gas stove when the power went out.

Getting the pot of coffee ready!
Household plug in car - Score!
The weather radio that all my friends love.
  So now we are in the aftermath.  The point where we need to move on with our lives.  I've had so many words in my head that last couple weeks and they are ready to come out.  But this is all for today.    And it will have to be enough.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seashell Crafting

This was part one of what (I hope) will be a two step process.  We went a little crazy collecting seashells this summer.  I have a preference for sea glass and white rocks while Bubby has a preference for huge clam shells.  So we decided we are going to paint them and (eventually) turn them into a whimsical wind chime.  For these we used patio paint instead of the usual washable paint we use for most crafts because these will probably end up outside.

  Bubby chose the colors we used and I have to say I think they are very beachy and totally fit the project.  He also painted them all by himself and I was quite impressed with some of the color blending. :-)
And yes this was a shirtless craft.  I may be fairly easygoing but no way was I letting patio paint get on his clothes!  Hopefully we'll get working on the wind chime part sometime this...decade.