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Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Grove’

It’s 7:30 am and I’m hustling around to get ready for the today’s big yard sale.  I have spent the last couple of weeks scrounging around the apartment, the cottage and through stuff we’ve had left over from doing Flea Markets.  In other words I have WAY TOO much stuff to put out on two tables!!

AND as Peter predicted the ground is wet because for the last two days we have showers….this is NOT an auspicious beginning 😦

I literally spent the entire day yesterday sorting through the boxes of stuff trying to group the junk, er, I mean stuff into plastic bins and price each piece.  This is of course an area where we diverge: I want this stuff GONE and am happy to price it to sell and well, my other half is a bit more attached to his possessions and is not giving anything away!  Oh no?  I’ve already promised myself that 90% of what is going into the sale is going to Goodwill and Habitats if it doesn’t sell.

I’m not immune to the fact that we are probably putting out some items that really don’t belong in  a yard sale, they are much more Flea Market antiques and nostalgic collectibles but right now, this is the only venue.  And, I swear I will do another yard sale in the summer when lots more people are in town.  This particular day was designated by an organizer and promoted as Town Wide.  I hope there was sufficient advertising to entice people to come even though this is one gray, soggy day.  Oh how dismal it all looks now!

This is the morning to be moving quickly and hello Murphy’s Law – we’re up and Peter takes the first shower and drops his lens in the bathroom-15 minutes later we find it.  I need him dressed and outside to set up those big table for me and to lug the crap er, I mean stuff out to the porch.  Just to add to the total aggravation of it all is the fact we broke the door on our shed two weeks ago, it’s not fixed so the wagon which is supposed to be for sale is in there along with big sheets of plastic I wanted with me in case of a shower!  Oh yeah, think it’s going to be a fun, fun day all around!

Friday afternoon my living room looked like this…

And this…

Trying To Sort Through

Trying To Sort Through

By 8pm last night, I had priced, sorted and packed up everything and then listened to the weather report

Way Too Much Stuff

Way Too Much Stuff

Packed and Priced

Packed and Price

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Ocean Grove, NJ is so peaceful.

Ocean Grove, NJ is so peaceful. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of quaintest things in Ocean Grove was the Fishing Pier with its Fishing Shack and of course Ralph, the resident (dummy) fisherman who perpetually cast his line in hopes of snagging the big one.

Ralph has been a fixture on the pier off and on since 1993.  He was created by Carol Boniello and Bob Borders as a symbol of hope for the future of the pier which was in the process of being rebuilt.  In December of 1992 a nor’easter took the fishing shack and part of the pier down.  Ralph has been a bit of a transient.  He fell into the ocean in 1994 only to be rescued by two Grovers.  He lived for a while on Carol’s porch, he even marched in a local parade. He’s been the subject of paintings, sketches and hundreds of photographs.  Children loved Ralph, giggling and pointing at him from the beach below.

Well that was then and this is now.  Hurricane Sandy wiped out the Fishing Shack, part of the pier and alas, Ralph disappeared into the angry swirling sea.  Perhaps he heard a mermaid calling his name.

Losing the Fishing Shack isn’t the worst thing that happened to Ocean Grove during Sandy, the Frankenstorm.  BUT, now looking at the ruptured landmark breaks my heart.  It’s almost like “Serioulsy? You had to take the shack and Ralph AGAIN?” “Isn’t destroying the boardwalk enough? Didn’t tossing the lamp posts and benches across the road and down side streets enough” ?  “Wasn’t flooding basements, depositing tons of sand along Abbott Avenue and Broadway enough”? “Isn’t the fact that we’re 5 days without power and cold enough”?  “And we had to throw out all the food we couldn’t eat in 48 hours bad enough”?  Guess Not!

Watch the videos; Short one shot during the Hurricane and then post Sandy. 

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After a night of howling wind, slashing rain and rattling windows, I woke up this morning to a new world.  The sidewalks of the Upper East Side were covered with leaves, large branches and in some cases whole trees were on the street.  People were out in huge numbers as the result of yet another day with no public transportation and most non-essential businesses closed!  Going out for breakfast in New York on the weekend or in this case a day off is practically a national pastime.  This morning we joined our friend, Gail for a late breakfast/lunch at Gracie’s, a coffee shop across the street.  The line to get in was out the door and to the end of the block!  Luckily Gail had gotten there before us and we were able to go right in and get a table.  I ordered one of my usual breakfast.  I said, “I’ll have scrambled egg whites on a toasted bialy with one slice of turkey bacon”.  The waiter said, “Just white or rye”.  I said, “Ok, I’ll have two poached eggs in a cup and…” at which point he interrupted me and said, “we only have scrambled eggs”.  So I laughed and said perhaps he ought to just write out the order himself!!!  So scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, rye toast and home fries was breakfast du jour.

Walked over to 87th St to watch the trees being fed into an automated garbage truck, not something you see around town.

Once back home an online, the horrors wrought by Sandy the night before began to reveal themselves.  Between fielding phone calls from friends around the country who were checking in on our safety and well-being and trying to access the internet to see what was written on Blogfinger, I watched the news.  Switching from NBC to ABC to CNN I was horrified by what I saw.  Massive destruction of the Jersey Shore!  Subway tunnels flooded and our own Eastside #6 line under water.  The crane still dangling over West 57th St.  My cousin Marian called me and asked if they could stay at our apartment on Wednesday as she is still banned from her building due to the threatening crane.

Extel, Billionaires building, Manhattan, W. 57th sT

How ONE Crane Ate A Neighborhood

Another telling photo, this one from Hoboken, NJ

Hoboken, NJ, fleet of taxis, Hurricane Sandy

The Yellow Submarines

Every borough was severely affected by Sandy. Below is a freak incident brought about by high winds and a stupendous storm surge.

Sandy took a wrong turn on Staten Island

Photo courtesy of (AP Photo/Sean Sweeney)

Late in the afternoon, I was able to go online at a friend’s house and view Blogfinger – THE DAY AFTER: Assessing the Damage

The following photos are from Blogfinger, a great source of community information.  If you read the comments, you will see how many home-owners such as myself rely heavily on the blog to find out what is happening in the town when we’re not there.  The bad news was right there in black and white. No power, more trees down, the board walk a twisted and buckled wreck, a former restaurant ripped open by the sea.

Ocean Grove NJ, boardwalk, Hurricane Sandy

Ocean Grove boardwalk covered in sand, benches strewn around like toys,

Photo by Paul Goldfinger

And then I called Jane at the Lillagaard to find out what damage had been done.  The news was NOT GOOD.  The storm surge broke the entry door to the Tea Room, not only pushing the door open but also bending the door frame.  Can you imagine the forces of nature at play with this ferocious Frankenstorm?  As of tonight the kitchen was still flooded and the Tea Room is closed till further notice 😦

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Sometimes it’s just fun to hang out with your friends…Nicky drops by the guest room to visit with Quilty Cat and Sam and Serena Sock Monkey.  From the looks on everybody’s faces, a good time was had by all!

Nick, cat, vintage sock monkeys, quilted cat

"A Good Time Was Had By All"

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Yesterday Finley Ray arrived for the weekend and in less than 24 hours we already had a few adventures.  We went to a book fair and she was in her element for sure.  She just plopped down on the concrete floor and went through several books discarding those she decided were not worth taking home and choosing very carefully the keepers.   The Ladies auxiliary had set up a hot dog concession and the wafting odor of hot dogs was too irresistable for her, so one hot dog with ketchup was ordered.  Then it was off to the boardwalk where we didn’t go to the beach per se because rain was imminent but still we had time to take off our shoes and walk in the sand.

Picking Papa Pete up at the train station was going to be a treat in hopes that we would see the “big” train.  Alas he arrived before we did.  Still we had another stop, this time to the Laurie’s Vegetable & Fruit stand in Neptune.   Laurie  is so friendly and warm and since it had begun to rain and we were the only customers at the time, she invited Finley up onto the counter to have some fresh blueberries.  The fruit stand was originally a gas station in the 1930’s and there were still some remnants of its origins and don’t you know, little Miss Finny announced that this was a garage!  Yes,I have a genius granddaughter.  The rain was dripping heavily from the garage doors that were opened and Fin realized as every little child does that running back and forth in the rain can be so much fun.  First of all you get big drop marks on your clothes and your hair gets wet, water runs down your cheeks and soon you have water squishing between your toes in your sandals (hers were jelly thank goodness).

Dinner on a TV tray is fun too especially if you are getting to watch a movie at the same time!  I think Finley had her first corn on the cob Friday night because she didn’t seem too familiar with the concept.

Finley Ray, corn on the cob, Jersey corn
Jersey Corn Naturally

It was a no-nap day due some unforseen circumstances and the fact that Finley and I hit the road shortly after she arrived.  So by dinner time I could tell she was fading but she refused to cave in until after her two movies had been seen.  First a bath in Gigi’s blue drink bucket ( a cottage without a bathtub can be a real drawback when you have kids around), then the movies and we are off to bed.  A promise made to read two books seemed unlikely as I was pretty sure she wouldn’t insist.  Sure enough she was just about asleep by the time I finished one of the new books we had bought at the Book Sale.

She turned her head, closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.  So deep and so fast that I ran downstairs to get my camera to capture this photo.  Take heed Mommy, I used a flash! Well of  course it was PAST her regular bed time, lol. lol.

Nicky, Finley Ray Clark, La Vie en Rose,
And then there were TWO!

Not to be left out, while I was snapping this shot, another member of the family joined in to make it a menagerie a trois!

Nora, guest room at La Vien en Rose
And Then There Were Three!

Saturday morning , errr, rather early in  the morning, Finley was thoughtful enough to get out of bed and go downstairs and bring up two videos that she thought we all should watch together in bed.  So of course we did.

She was very busy around the house that morning, actually helping me clean.  She insisted on having a paper towel spritzed with Simple Green so she could wipe down tables, cabinets and anything else I pointed at.

We plopped her in the stroller and took off to the Book Fair again, this time so Peter could peruse the aisles in search of literary treasures.  Finley made off with 2 more books and surprise, surprise, one of them is Cinderella.  It was so bloody hot and I was hoping to get over to the North End beach to see the sand sculptures.  By the time we walked east to the boardwalk, and then to North Beach, I was already over it as far as viewing any sand castles.  Just as we approached the staircase to the beach, Finny announced that she had to pee.  Just GREAT-no bathrooms at this end of the boardwalk, the restaurant located there is closed and so I had to walk all the way back to the Pavillion and talk my way past the ticket taker to get her onto the beach where there were some bathrooms.  NOT pleasant restrooms at all,  and we had to cut the line as she was jumping up and down literally so who would make a little girl wait? Truth be told I don’t think I have ever been on a public beach with decent bathrooms. Sorry to say that the sculptures weren’t worth the hike, the sun and the hot sand 😦

We headed home by way of Day’s Ice Cream because having ice cream in the middle of the day is just the perfect pick-me-up on a blistering summer afternoon.  The girls in the ice cream shop tried to convince Finley that she wanted strawberry because it was pink or party cake and after she tasted each and turned up her nose, she ordered just exactly what she told me she wanted;  soft vanilla with sprinkles on top! 

Day's ice cream parlor, Ocean Grove, Finley Ray Clark
Ice Cream Makes Me Smile Too

Finally we made it to the beach.

At first she didn’t even want to get her feet wet and she raced back to the sand each time a wave lapped anywhere near where she was standing.  Peter finally got her into the water by splashing her and letting her splash him which brought forth shrieks and uncontrollable giggles.  Soon she was sitting down and letting the waves foam up around her knees.  And before long, she was in the water being held, swung and dipped while wave after wave crashed into her each one eliciting one of Finley’s ear-piercing shrieks and I just know how much the people who were in sand chairs down at the water reading, really and truly loved that sound!

Ocean Grove, Peter, Peter Press, Finley Ray Clark,
Look how wet I got Papa Pete

I wish I dared to get in the waves with the camera so I could have taken a photograph of her loving having the waves crash on her.  Finally, it was strongly suggested that she might want to make a sand castle…

Finley Ray, Ocean Grove
Sand Castles

After a bath to remove sand from places one would never expect sand to land, Fin was ready for bed.  Again,it was a one book night because this little water baby was very tired.

Sunday was tea party day for Finley Ray.  I was helping my friend, Jane who runs a Tea Room and so about lunch time, Peter brought Finny over to the Tea Room so she too could attend a Teddy Bear Tea as they are known when kids come to High Tea.

Teddy Bear Tea, Lilligaard Hotel, Ocean Grove
A Teddy Bear Tea

Believe it or not she ate EVERYTHING!  It was a blistering hot day so off to the beach we went and this time there was no hesitation.  Finley was shrieking through the waves as soon as she hit the shore line.  This time she was so sandy that only a shower would do to get her clean. 

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Late again! There are reasons… really!!! Some issues at work are distracting me and keeping me pre-occupied and my husband is ill with a horrific attack of the much-dreaded shingles. God, what a nasty condition that is and he is so much pain.  And another family member underwent serious surgery this past week, and my daughter and family moved into their New York apartment which meant I got to babysit Finley Ray for two-day and two nights which are better known as Movie Night for Finley.  I saw Toy Story and I think this is the 8th showing of Cinderella.  I just love those mice!

Nick and Nora

JUST in case you didn’t already know, I have two cats whose names are Nick and Nora. They are brother and sister and are rescue cats.  We spent a lot of time coming up with a set of names, not too cutsie, not too highbrow (I mean they’re not Persians or Siamese) and eventually Peter and I knew exactly what they should be named.  They are named after Nick and Nora Charles , the martini-drinking couple from the movie series The Thin Man.

Nora, my computer writing a blog

NORA - Just a little something on my paw

Christmas '10, Nicky

Nicky - You handsome devil!

photo by Murray Head

Nora,

Nora hiding in the flower basket.

cat bed, Ocean Grove, Nick and Nora

Nick and Nora cuddle up to stay warm

Christmas '10, Nicky,Susan Taylor

Nicky learns all about knitting

Photo by Murray Head

 


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Yay late last night the plow came up our side of Broadway, a sign that perhaps life outside of these four walls could start again.  I heard the truck and plow make a least two more passes.  I was hoping that the plow had not pushed a new wall of snow up against the car.  I mean let’s not forget that this cleared parking space cost me $ 40.

We had ventured out yesterday in hopes of putting Peter on the train back to NYC and his version of civilization.  Since the majority of my readers don’t have a sense of the roads and towns around us, I can’t relate the horror story of that adventure.  Let me just say that we left at 1:15pm and got home again at 4:15pm AND Peter never got near the train station!!! State highways remained un-plowed and abandoned cars littered whatever pathway we tried to take.  AND to add to the stress of this total misadventure, we were in an accident.   Yup, an ambulance side-swiped our car and we were STOPPED on the side of the road.  Well that all happened in Day 3 and this is supposed to be about Day 4.

Today Peter decided to dig a path to the shed.  Why? Well it wasn’t to retrieve the 50 lbs of salt he had stashed in there, and it wasn’t to get the folding shovel that is supposed to be in the car at this time of the year but for some irresponsible reason was still in the shed!!  NO, he wanted to get at the bird seed so he could at least toss some seed on the snow so that our little feathered friends and our furry little squirrels would have some sustenance!  Digging his way to the bird feeder would be another day – the drifts are just too high.

Ocean GRove, La Vie en Rose, shed, blizzard, snow removal

Going to the Birds!

Ocean Grove, bird seed, La Vie en Rose, bird feeder, blizzard

A Banquet for the Birds

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