Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Asbury Park

Rutherford is about 1 hour from Asbury Park. It is not the closest NJ shore point, but we chose it for our first fall beach outing. I LOVE the beach in autumn - it's almost deserted, its beautiful, the waves are high, the sand pristine and I can walk along the shore in a sweater and barely worry about a sunburn. As a bonus, most of the NJ shore beaches allow dogs after Oct 1. How could we not?

(Brutus' first foray into the waves)

The Casino is a gorgeous fixture on the boardwalk between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. It was designed by noted architect Warren Whitney. Even in ruins it is both imposing and beautiful. It is being renovated now, and I can't wait to see the results.

You can also see some really nice photos on Bridge and Tunnel Club, for example:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Foster Puppy, Cash

I've never thought of myself as a "crazy pet person" but we've just agreed to foster a puppy and, because of his age, my life has to revolve around him for a while. Since puppies are all I seem to be able to discuss right now, here's some info about our little guest:

Cash is a 13 week old Greyhound-mix puppy. He has an amazingly sweet disposition. He is both playful and gentle. There doesn't seem to be an aggressive bone in his little body and he's not food or toy possessive, ever with our puppy around. He plays nicely and energetically with our Lab/Shepherd mix and is fascinated by the cats but does not chase them. He is obviously smart and whatever he sees another dog do, he knows how to do too. He's learning to "Make" on command. Best of all, he's a little love. His favorite things to do seem to be following me around the house like a mini-shadow and cuddling up on my lap.

Its obviously been a hard 13 weeks for this little tyke - he was rescued from a kill shelter in NC just hours before he was to be euthanized. He has a scar on his head and a fore-leg must have been broken at some point and healed oddly. It doesn't keep him from tearing through the house or prancing like a Clydesdale. Before he came to us, we think he'd never touched grass, been outside, or walked on a leash. He's taking to it all famously.

He's available for adoption through B.A.R.K. and is attending the adoption days at the Paramus, NJ PetSmart on Saturdays (3:30 - 7) and Wayne, NJ PetSmart on Sundays (1:30 - 5). In case you find him as cute and lovable as I do, here's the adoption form.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm An Honorary Auntie Again!

My fake-sister (friend who is like my sister) just gave birth to a beautiful big (8lbs, 14oz) baby boy. I'm told he has a gorgeous full red pucker of a mouth, a high forehead like his daddy and huge feet.

Welcome to the world, kid! Seeing as you are 2 full weeks late, its about time and let's not make a habit of it.

I can't wait to hold him and give the new mom and dad a big kiss. I can already tell you that he'll be getting The Lion and The Mouse as a gift from me at some point, because every kid should own it.

DC Trip

My amazing college friend, Beth, invited me to join her for a weekend in DC and a staged reading of the Tempest with Derek Jacobi at The Strathmore. As if seeing Derek Jacobi live weren't enough, she told me the Folger Consort was set to perform Matthew Locke's baroque score for the play and counter-tenor David Daniels would sing. My sweetie thinks counter-tenors are super creepy, but I was in like flynn!

Seeing Beth was the best part of the trip, of course, but the reading was wonderful and there were a few very funny moment, such as..

Random teen zombies massing across from the Mall:

This huge tourism poster (and its variants) spotted throughout the metro. Yes, the tag line reads, "Where is your West Virginia." Gosh, I hope it is still right there between PA, OH, KY, and VA! I would think a US state going walk about would make the news but not if it is West Virginia, I guess.


Tweeting with Frank Delaney

(Frank Delaney channeling Mark Twain)

I don't make a lot of recommendations on this blog, I'm picky and I just don't think that many things are worthwhile, but... I'm addicted to Irish author, Frank Delaney's podcasts on James Joyce's Ulysses. He's podcasting 5 minute commentary going through the novel line-by-line and sometimes word-by-word. I told him he's insane, but he just smiled and did it any way. Frank's insight is astute and humorous and his voice is just wonderful.

Earlier in the summer I attended a tweet-fest Frank hosted at a bar in NYC. Ever the gracious host, Frank made the hanging out with him, his marvelous wife, Diane Meier, and some of his Twitter followers a blast. (Oh, if you want to follow Frank on Twitter, his handle is FDbytheword.)

(Bennett, Frank, and a lovely Twitterista)

Frank let me tweet for him! Don't worry, he wrote the tweets, I just typed them.

(Leah and me)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Basement Powder Room - Before

We finally redid the basement powder room - YAY! Soon after we moved in, we cleaned and painted it blue then, earlier this year, we put in a new floor. By "we" I mean that my sweetie pulled up the old floor and put in the new oak plywood one. All I had to do was stain it black and add gloss poly.

This is the "before", except that you can see the new black floor and I've already painted the ceiling gloss white. Sorry the pictures aren't better, but the room is soooo tiny, I can barely get a shot of it.

Isn't our Japanese apartment sink (back of the toilet) awesome!?! Clean water for hand washing when you don't have the space for a free-standing sink.

Memorial Day in P-Town

We spent Memorial Day in Provincetown, MA with some good friends. It was a little chilly but completely beautiful. The first night we drove up and stayed at the Lands End Inn.
That's me, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. The Inn is at the far end of Cape Cod and has an amazing view.

I suppose you'd actually like to see the view...

They serve a generous breakfast on the terrace (you see I can't pass up my NY Times).
Then we moved on to our rental house (this is the garden).

There were a lot of parties, dancing and yummy food.

Martinis on the Porch

We did a lot of work on the house, and when you work hard, you've got to play hard.

Too pretty to pass up

My college has a lovely tradition called "illumination night." On the Saturday night before graduation, the entire campus is lit with Japanese lanterns, bands play, singing groups sing and the entire campus is overrun with happy people enjoying a beautiful night.
That's the new campus center in the background. Its terrace featured a jazz band this year and couples danced to Standards in the moonlight.

15th College Reunion

I attended my 15 year (cough, hack, choke) college reunion in May. I stayed in one of the houses (our word for dorms), saw old friends I've not seen since graduation and even had dinner with and got my butt kicked at billiards by my college boyfriend.

I stayed here:

Wore these very sensible shoes to march in the ivy day parade and stand on turf for hours:

And watched the the class of 2010 graduate in teh quad outside my old house (in the background):

R.I.P. Riley

We had some good moments this summer and one horrible one. Our beloved dog, Riley, was struck and killed by a car late in the summer. She had a terrible and untreatable phobia of thunder/lightning. We tried our best to watch the weather and arrange to be with her over the years. But a freak storm, complete with tornado, blew through our area while we were at a concert one night and she chewed through a door, forcibly removed an a/c unit, jumped out a 2nd story window and was killed several blocks from our house. She was a wonderful dog and we'll miss her greatly. I have to admit that I'm breaking down even writing this.

Summer's Over

I woke up this morning and realized I've not posted all summer. My apologies. A lot has happened and I'll try to catch you up with the highlights (and low points) and post some photos from the summer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Let the sun shine in

On this grey day, I've been thinking of what a changeable spring it has been and some of the amazingly beautiful days we've had already.

The cherry blossoms were about 2 weeks early this year.

My street.

Nice day for riding.

Mint juleps on the porch in honor of Derby Day.

Looking up from the hammock.

Cat mint in full effect.

Tough life.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

The farm about which I posted yesterday, Stone Barns, is having some wonderful sheep shearing events this Saturday, including family oriented fiber activities.

If you'd like something a little closer to home (meaning Rutherford) check these out:

1. Abma's is a family run farm in Wykoff, NJ. They have a small but well-stocked market (where I buy all my poultry and eggs) and a lovely little petting zoo. Pony ride parties begin May 1! I've written about Abma's before, so I'll keep it brief.

2. Ploch's Farm in Clifton, NJ has been around since 1867 and it is where my mom bought all her flowers and Christmas trees when I was a kid. I need to get my butt over there for some advice on what to do with our front lawn flower plot. The big pine tree that was there came out during all the wind last month and I'm at a loss... but that's another post. Along with the greenhouse and flowers, they have a produce market and "country gifts."

3. Friends from Rutherford just moved to West Milford, NJ and I took them to Bobolink Dairy in Vernon, NJ a few months ago. Not only is the area gorgeous, but the cheese is to die for. It may be the best cheese I've ever eaten (and I've eaten cheese all over the world!). Everything is 100% grass-fed and raw milk. The bread is pretty awesome too, as is the story - one of the reasons the family moved to "cow country" is that their younger son, Jacob, is autistic and they've found that being on the farm and working with the animals really helps him. You can read the story on their website. Now that I've been there, I'm excited by the prospect for taking one of their cheese and bread making workshops.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, here are some shots from my favourite farm within an hour's drive of Rutherford: Stone Barns

Tea in the courtyard before hiking out to the barns
This is Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake and Wall-To-Wall
Stella the Maremma
Some of the first lambs born this season. Yes, they're wearing little sweaters!
The brook

Monday, April 19, 2010

How To Cook Everything iPhone App

Thank you to Megan at Not Martha for the heads up on this iPhone app: Culinate has released Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything for the iPhone and it is specially priced at $1.99 - A STEAL. I cook out of the HTCE book regularly, at least when I use a cookbook, and love Bittman's Minimalist videos on The New York Times website.

The app includes full text from HTCE plus a search feature, recipe timer, favorites lists, and shopping lists. I've just downloaded it and I'm looking forward to that last feature because I'm a particularly disorganized about grocery shopping.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Breakfast Quinoa

While it is still cool enough to want to eat this, I thought I'd share. I found the article in Martha Stewart Living, from which I usually don't cook, so I was pleased.

2 cups milk
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 tbs light brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used organic frozen)

1. Bring milk to a boil. Add quinoa, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until 3/4 of the milk is absorbed, about 15 min (mine took 20).
2. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Cook covered until almost all the milk has been absorbed, about 8 min (mine took 15).
3. Stir in blueberries. (test the quinoa to make sure it's really done first. I skipped this step and ended up with slightly over cooked blueberries)
4. Serve with additional milk, sugar and cinnamon, if desired (I did not)

This was in the same issue of the Magazine. Super creepy!
A friend promises me that when she squeezed the bird, milk comes out its beak.
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