September 30, 2011

Pow wow

Tomorrow we will go to a pow wow, hosted by the Cherokee Nation.  Who knew?  Who knew that there was a pow wow or the Cherokee Nation here in NJ?  I didn't!

For the German speakers:
Ein Powwow (auch Pow-Wow oder Pow Wow) ist ein Treffen nordamerikanischer Indianer (oder auch von Indianern mit Nicht-Indianern), um gemeinsam zu tanzen, zu singen, Kontakte zu knüpfen und die indianischen Kulturen zu ehren.

In all the years living here, I've never been to one.  

September 28, 2011

In the country

Gloomy day today, rain predicted.  No walking this morning, we slept late, and I had to get things together to go to work, somehow the time passes, and it's time to go!  So no spotting of diverse wild life.
There is no hunting in our area, it's too densely populated, if you did hunt, you'd hit a house or a person or a car.  It's truly weird, we all live 'in the woods', the animals get used to seeing people and they aren't afraid.  
We have so many wild animals living in the area because there is no hunting.
Once in a while the state allows a few days for bears to be hunted, but then only in special areas, maybe state/government parks, not in populated areas.  Anyway, it makes for pleasant encounters (so far, since I haven't run into the bear yet).

The other day I showed Jessica the photos of the praying mantis.  The next day she played on her school playground (which is backed up by trees and a field, backed up by more wooded area), when she came running to get us - she found another praying mantis!  And recognized it from the photos - good job, Jessica!

September 26, 2011


Wow, already a week gone by.  And I was busy!  I am back to picking up Matthew and Jessica after school, waiting with all the other parents and grandparents for the kids to come streaming out.  Matthew's 9th birthday was on Friday, and he was totally happy.  He got two gift cards to game town, and more gift certificates - at nine one likes to buy things for himself, although unwrapping gifts is fun too.

We were doing heavy lifting with help over the weekend, but it's all done.  No, no hiking for us this weekend!
Here some more photos from last weekend:

 One of the beautiful quilts M.'s mom makes,
 this one is her pride and joy, and she requested that M. hang it
 Some more quilts, and below a lunch wagon I happen to spot in a parking lot
and our ever-present deer, a little nosy fawn, taken without zoom, that's how close it came.

On this morning's walk I spotted two skunks, two deer and a fawn again.  
Country living, anyone?
No one plants tulips anymore.  They become expensive deer food.
We are all becoming experts at which plants will be avoided by the deer,
turns out, not many.

September 19, 2011


The weekend was spent visiting M.'s Mom.  She was in a serious accident last March, and is having a very slow recovery.  When you are 85 years old, recovering from a car accident is not easy.
We tried cheering her up, cooked up a storm, all her requested dishes, like macaroni and cheese (made from scratch), we brought NJ fresh corn (the best!), steak, and I made cinnamon buns that were so full of sugar, that they caramelized right in the baking pan.

We were told about a praying mantis in the tiny yard, and entertained ourselves by taking photos of it, and even feeding it flies.  Yes, it took them!  And devoured them right in front of us.

The Lady below makes fabulous quilts.
I was told she is working on a quilt for me, with the help of her daughter.

I was shown the beginnings of the quilt, and it looks fabulous!
I love blues, and M.'s favorite color is green.  How perfect!
I can't wait for the quilt to be done, but no pressure!

and my photo of the praying mantis, the ones above are by M. 

And of course the gorgeous butterfly has to make it here too!
Lovely days

September 16, 2011


Our weather flipped.  From hot and humid to cool, chilly even.  It was predicted.  I wore shorts and a t-shirt yesterday, thinking so what, if it get's cooler, I'll be more comfortable.  Well, I forgot what 60's felt like.  And with a bit of wind and some rain, it's cold!
I brought Matthew to soccer practice, and he wanted me to stay on the field.  It's too cold and raining, was my plea, why can't I wait in the car?  But no, I was wanted right on the field.  Which reminds me, bring a coat, a jacket, something, leave it in the car, and don't forget a blanket or/and an umbrella.

Weekend?  Going to Massachusetts.  No, I never stay home.  Or so it seems.  We are bringing some local corn, maybe the last of it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

September 12, 2011


I started dating in March.  I liked him very much from the very beginning.

'Does he swear?'  my daughter asked.

'No, I don't think so' was my answer.

'Does he know you do?'

Color me speechless.

September 7, 2011

Hiking in the Catskills

We hiked last week.  A lot of possible hiking areas were closed due to road wash-outs.  We did manage to hike the Escarpment Trail right outside Windham, NY.   We wanted to hike to Windham High Peak.  First we had to cross the brook that brought all the flood the week before.  While running swiftly, it looked innocent enough.  The bridge was gone, washed away. But we made it across by hopping from rock to rock.
 Crossing the stream, or brook
 These 'bridges' were pushed over by the water as well
A brave-looking woman, who didn't look so energetic on the way back
 Through the 'enchanted forest', the trail really, really is over those roots
 ?  a castle for a fairy princess?  With her own umbrella?
 fresh bear tracks
we saw toads 
 The view from the top

and on the other side of the mountain.

We hiked up 3,500 feet, and over 17,000 steps, which works out to a little over 7 miles.
Yes, I hiked up over 3,5 miles UP the mountain (and it was all uphill),
and over 3,5 miles down.
Yes, we were tired.  Yes, our legs were sore the next day.

What a beautiful area - 
we definitely will be back.

Thank you, Nicole and Greg
for this:

September 4, 2011

Windham, NY and the aftermath

 We did go to Windham.  We hiked the first day, and the second.
On the third day we looked at each other and said 'think we should volunteer to do something?'
and the other one said 'sure'.
So we went downtown and asked if we could help in any way.
Sure, help was always appreciated.
So we cooked burgers and hot dogs and shish kebabs that were donated.
For all the workers digging in the mud, removing the garbage,
the home owners without power and a basement full of water,
and for the restaurant owners who had their places filled with mud, 
and lost all their appliances.
And stood next to a little (figuratively) girl who is a college student home for the weekend,
who volunteered, even though her village was almost destroyed.
We made new friends, and I met a lot of people from the past.
These are the new friends, sisters, who grew up on the grounds of the house I now visit.

 see the line?  We think we served at least 500 meals for lunch.

 And this is a glimpse of what the town looked/looks like.

We feel very lucky and grateful