Monday, July 28, 2014

Land of Hopes and Dreams

Very ironic that every picture I have tried to load into this not loading.  Very frustrating and that is not the point of this story.  I will try again later and hope I didn't lose any pictures.  I did visit all seven lighthouses that dot the Jersey Shoreline from Sandy Hook down to Cape May.  I am sort of glad that I can't finish this at this moment or anytime too soon.  I will have to take my computer and phone and figure out how to get some more memory on the both.  I think my memory has been tested lately too and wish I could take myself to a Mac store and see what they can figure out ;).  But, really happy with how I spent my vacation and documented it and now happy to give the phone and the computer a rest for a while.  Meet me in this Land of Hopes and Dreams.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I Believe in Mermaids

 Barnegat lighthouse just wasn't calling my name yesterday.  I took beautiful pictures and enjoyed the cool breeze of the inlet.  But, I had passed by some stores on the way that called my name more then the 217 steps did.  My legs stopped aching but, I wasn't ready to make them feel like that again.
 My story of making this Mermaid is a long one, and I think I should write about it while it is fresh in my memory but, so much happened yesterday.  I think I will wait until I pick up the finished mermaid in a couple of weeks.
I can't wait to get back there.  The stores and the experience were as magical as mermaids.
 The stores were an open door to inspiration.
 I walked out of the one above sort of in a fuzzy zone and thought I really need to get to the beach.  The store How To Live was at the top of the list and a few miles back on the southside of the island in Beach Haven.  I was debating what to do as I walked to my car.  I looked across the street and there it was their second location.  I bought some cards I will share in another post.  I headed for my car for my beach chair and walked to Surf City's beach.
 The night before I did some reading about the type of shells you can find on the island.  I saw a shell I had been picking up lately and never knew the name of it and it said they are known as mermaid toe nails.  When I went to put my toes in the water I picked up quite a few of these shells.
 When I sat back down......I couldn't help but, put the shells on my toes for a picture.
 This is from a sign at Anchor's Bend which is located across from the store.  I went in to see if they could put the news on from Channel 12 and this is what was on.  We were interviewed and landed on the website and the news!  WOW!!!!!!   What a day!!!!!
Here's a link to the video and thank you to New 12 team for giving us key chains and T- shirts bearing the name News 12 on the Road which are perfect!!!!!  Thank you also for showing so much product.  We couldn't ask for a better exposure to all of the creations Glen has been so busy making all summer!  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wish for What You Want

So, my wish is to keep making product for the store with only materials I have around the house.  Sometimes it gets a little boring and I need some kind of motivation.  Getting out and looking in gift stores really helps me focus and visualize what I could make.
 Above  are the boxes I made yesterday.  We have a ton of cigar boxes we use to make boxes from record covers and sleeves.  I was inspired to make what I call Dream Keepers.  A box to hold lottery tickets, concert tickets, words to songs, prayers, love letters etc.
 These are cards and lined envelopes I made from record sleeves.  I love these!  I can't wait to make more.
The little box I bought and it was my inspiration for my boxes.   Also, this is a picture of  what I would put in my dream keeper.  It would be about time I put the bamboozle bracelet somewhere other then my  night stand.  The gold circle on the leather strap is an actual brass ring from the carousel in Asbury Park.  It was gold leafed and put on a leather cord to be worn as a necklace.  It was made from a very good friend and I wear it a lot.  Especially times when I just feel I need some reassurance and hopefulness.  She is not online and we used to spend a lot of time in the Grand Arcade.  I really miss her and our chats.  Especially our chats about Convention Hall and it's future.  I think I will e-mail her this post, so she knows how much I miss her.  Alright, I am inspired to make some more products for the store.  Today I will be making postcards!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kingdom of Days

 I sat on this beach before going into the Lighthouse.  I found a parking space very near by.  Sat down and read a few chapters of the book I am reading.  It was glorious.  When I walked back to the car the sand glimmered...... almost seeming like diamond dust.  This was by the inlet in North Wildwood.  I knew it would not show in a picture, but it was quite spectacular as if you were walking on glitter and the sand was very fine and felt good on the feet.
 The gardens smelled of roses and salt air....... a perfect mixture.
 I was tempted to go back and spend the rest of the afternoon here, but I was exhausted and ready to get back home as the sun was going down.

 This is at the sunset grille......and apparently The Beatles help get this group thru the day!  The person on the grill was singing along quite enthusiastically as he made my sunset burger.  This will be shared with another post and below is what I sat next to with a big giant view of the sea from an old picnic table.  One of my favorite spots was at Sunset Beach filled with memories of a visit there with my dad when I was very young,  a visit about 15 years ago with Glen and friends and this visit was the first time during the summer.  I loved it there.  The sand is more like gravel, but it is fun to hear all the children sifting through in hopes of finding a Cape May diamond.

After looking at the pictures I feel I should ask the reader if they know where each of the these lighthouses are located.  Because, sometimes the idea of the Jersey Shore outweighs the reality.  The first one is very victorian and has the most beautiful gardens leading out to a beautiful view of the sea lined with a seawall and old benches to rest and enjoy the sights and sounds.  This first lighthouse surprisingly is the lighthouse located in North Wildwood.  The second one is the Light house in Cape May.  I had climbed it before and was not compelled to climb it this time.  My legs were pretty sore from the climb and dancing the day before.  The sounds of all the birds were memorable.
     The choices I made for this vacation so far have been exactly what I wanted.  I got out of the house and was totally able to relax.  I ate anything I  wanted and got in some excercise that was fun and not (working out) which by the way includes the word work in it.  I am inspired to make some new product for the store.  I may pull some weeds today, to enjoy my entry into the house more each day.  I am going to clean and organize my house annnnnnnnd cook dinner WITH a smile on my face.  This  day is the half way point of my kingdom of days vacation.

Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City

 Todays journey came with some company (thank goodness).  In the words of Bruce Springsteen:  You need a good companion for this part of the ride.  I don't feel the need to write as much when I am with Glen, because we are sharing thoughts and conversations as we go along.  But, when I am alone I am actually writing down stuff as I am stopped at a traffic light.
 Serendipity of the day:  We would NEVER take pictures of this, but lately feel the need to remember moments like this.  We had free, we had a free suite and free breakfast.  So, you really HAVE to play to make up for that......right?  Well, we have not come out winners or broken even in a lonnnnnnng time.  So, this trip was like our last cruise.....putting money in and nothing coming out.  Glen at one point voicing out loud his frustration says:  "If we win $300 we are leaving and I am putting that money right back in our account.  A few minutes later this happens and when Glen asks how much did we win......I answer $300.
So, one of the things I wanted to do was take a picture of all the things I have seen in the picture and wished I had taken a picture.
 These are little sheds turned into seasonal craft booths in the Gardener's Basin in Atlantic City.
There is also an Aquarium.  I love this part of Atlantic City and it is near the Lighthouse.
 This is the third tallest Lighthouse in the USA.  It has 228 steps and looking out the windows on the way up offered a beautiful view and a well deserved rest.
 As soon as you walked in the door, there were pictures of antique souvenirs.  It makes me crazy we don't offer beautiful items like this anymore.  Everything is either a magnet, mug or t-shirt.  Part of the reason to get out and about is to see how shore towns are doing and what they are selling compared to Asbury Park.
 The view from the top window showed a boardwalk lost to Sandy and a new park in the works.  There is not too much building going on, especially since two casinos will close at the end of the summer and the future of the newest casino Revel is uncertain.
 The lights on the top are fascinating and interesting to find out were a product out of Paris.  It's always nice to learn a lot of our rich history was made possible with a little help from our friends
 Lastly Lucy is not a Lighthouse but, she is a must see.  She was originally a real estate office and then a part of a hotel.  The hotel was a Turkish Pavilion from a Philadelphia World's fair that was transported to Margate.  As the fate of a lot of hotels in Atlantic City would have sat abandoned for years.   In 1970 it was moved to higher ground and fully restored.
 We had taken the kids here many years ago and disappointed we could not get inside.  So, I was very happy to be able to venture inside the elephant.
 They showed a great history of the building and told us how she celebrated her 133rd birthday that weekend.  The circular windows on either side of the flag are windows that look out to the sea. (They are her eyes on the outside).
 A view from the top. Love the woodwork, but very surprised the floor at the top of the stairs was glass.  That was a little unsettling.
 I relaxed enough to get my picture taken.
 Then it was back to the boardwalk.  I reveled in how a store on the boardwalk could still take this much pageantry in it's facade.  The windows were fun with giant pieces of hanging salt water taffy.  The boxes are still the same from when my dad would go there on conventions and never forget to bring us home a box.
The end of our day was spent at the deck of Breeze's in New Gretna.  It is a bar and grill located on the Viking factory where huge yachts are built.  They were working on a 70 foot yacht in the garage close by.  Ian plays the trombone for the Billy Walton Band and we ended the evening dancing the night away.  It will be almost a year we have been following them around  weekly and everyone is starting to feel like family.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jersey Ger's Lighthouse Tour of the Shore

 An introduction to my journey.  As I turn 55 this year and reflect on my life, I have an overwhelming desire to document it.  I want to investigate the feelings of me as a child and continuing to want a life I imagined.  How that life compares to what I imagined.  How changes and adjustments happen like the ebbs and tides of the ocean.  My husband once wrote for me one of our first Valentine's Days and had it published in the Asbury Park Press in the Valentine's classified section.  "For every wave that comes ashore, my love for you grows more and more".   I want to compare my thoughts and visions to how my life actually turned out.  I hope you join me on my journey and leave comments, as that is a fuel that keeps my going.

 As I wrote some of my memories on my iphone it kept asking me:  who are you with and most of the time it made me a little mad, and I wanted to, myself and I.  But, I did bring a friend and it was a good book.  I sat on top of the pavillion on a rocking chair and totally breathed and relaxed.  Knowing all the comotion of children running, playing, and being loud didn't concern me.  I was free of responsibilities for the day and it felt really good.  I was the woman who as a child I imagined myself to be.  When I was a child I was the one playing in the sand, running around playing locker tag,  swimming in the pool only to jump out run through the tunnel to swim in the ocean,  doing dolphin dives through and riding waves and building sandcastles.  But, everyday I would look up and say some day I would be sitting on a rocking chair observing all that was around me.  And that day came yesterday and it was fabulous!
This a picture of me and my dad and my sister and brother.   The pool is remarkably almost the same.  It took a beating from Super Storm Sandy and many others storms and time.  This family picture is more then 50 years ago.  The pool was a chilly 67 degrees yesterday.  It is a salt water pool and there are not too many of them around any more.
I had to include this bench in the picture because it is so NOT Spring Lake.  But, there it was among the manicured gardens.  It probably still hasn't been attended to since the storm.

 These are the gardens that haven't changed in all of these years.  After Glen and I traveled cross country for one summer looking to relocate.  We had the desire to take a ride around Spring Lake.  We both agreed Spring Lake is the most beautiful town we have ever seen.
My best observation for my life today is.  Taking a picture of St. Catharines's makes me think of many things.  I was baptized there and so were my children.  But, after taking Art classes I wanted to visit Italy and see all of the churches, especially the ones built during the Renaissance.  But, again I was reminded I was searching for something I was lucky to have been around my whole childhood.  St. Catherine's is the most beautiful church I was most privleged to attend  Sundays.  Glen and I were not married here, we are different religions, but yesterday reminded me we may not share the same religion, but we share the same faith.  Had to take a picture of this bicycle.  It is a Schwinn, blue and white and perfect in every way.  I would always fantasize about having a Schwinn.  You know when I begged my parents for one........they would say that does not mean you have to have one, because everyone else had one.  My eighth grade graduation my mom took me to DJ's bike shop in Belmar and told me I could pick out any bike I wanted.  I was so excited!  It turned into a long and drawn out debate and I came home with the ugliest brown Head (a tennis brand at the time) three speed bicycle.  My mom won.  But, this is when I learned my real work ethic.  If I worked and made my own money....there was no debate......I finally got whatever I could afford and wanted.  I never bought the bike of my dreams, because that one did last me all through high school until I bought my own car and that is a whole other story.  On our first wedding Anniversary Glen and I went to a bicycle shop and bought matching Schwinns.  We were both the youngest of three and shared the same story.  We rode the bicycles from Pt. Pleasant home to Manasquan  and smiled all the way.                                                                                                                                                               Last night when I got home I starting flipping through the book by Anne Morrow Lindburg Gift from the Sea and reminded how brilliant she was comparing life moments to shells.  Then I looked at clothes on the internet and my daughter is so excited about a line of clothes called Virginia .....darn Senior moment....anyway brought me to reading about Virginia Woolf.  And she ironically wrote a book about a journey to a lighthouse.  I can't help but, feel I am on to something here.  But, this
is truly soul soothing to me.  I was lucky beyond words or pictures to grow up in such an ideallic beautiful place and will be forever grateful to my parents.  This was where I called home the first 23 years of my life.  As you can see
by the picture of my mom, I had
a lot to live up to.  I respected her and
her wishes and never wanted to disaapoint her in any way.  We have a good relationship where she will actually tell me how much she appreciates me for our friendship.  I always have some guilt no matter what, but feel she is proud of me.  As a parent
the feeling of pride is the best gift a parent could ask for.  I truely think my mom has had a wonderful life.  I think she was a good mother, but the teenage years of her children turned out nothing like she imagined.  After WWII there was such an ideallic way of life for the American family.  The sixties brought out a social storm into the households that was hard to adjust to.  It was a whirlwind of changes and the younger generation was winning and my parents didn't like that one bit.

I decided for this vacation I would visit a different light house each day.  I have a vacation.  But, we own a store in Asbury Park.  How do I relax,  but not just spend my time on the couch watching TV.  So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to take a road trip each day and visit a different Lighthouse.
 It seems funny to take pictures of places I passed by everyday.  I totally take them for granted.  But, after superstorm Sandy I take nothing for granted.
 Serendipity of the day:  I passed by this mid afternoon on a Saturday in Mid-July and was able to get a parking space.  The song on the radio:  Lighthouse by Ziggy Marley.  The song playing made me feel like there is some kind of devine intervention going on with this journey which is very inspiring and motivating and takes care of my self doubt.  But, the other of finding the parking space is to make people aware that New Jersey is in trouble.  People assume with the traffic and so many people around that business must be good.  Let me just tell you to find a parking spot beachside in Point Pleasant at is not good!
 Surprise picture of the day.  Can't wait to do some editing of this picture.  The birds were having so much fun next to the lighthouse in Sea Girt.
Walking towards North End Pavilion and seeing that the relief motifs on the Pavillion were reproduced.

  This panel below is a dedication to the old panels that were destroyed by Super Storm Sandy.  The reliefs are on the building, but I don't know if they will be left as a relief or painted.

I took these with a digital camera in 2009.  It had been on my mind for a long time that something I saw so many times and loved should be in my computer so I could appreciate them at home.  I have many ideas what I would like to do the images, and at the right time I know I will do something with them.

I was so happy to see the suns and most of all the lighthouse.  It is a symbol of light for me.  A symbol of relief for sore eyes.  A helpful building to help someone find their way.  It is reliable and weathers many storms.  It stands tall and proud and lights the way for others.  The government pays attention to the importance of them.  They have the best view of the most beautiful parts of the world.  They stand still while the waves and tides change around them.  I am so looking forward to all the lighthouses I see in the next few days and hope they enlighten me, but most of all make me grateful for this wonderful life!
 So, my day was enriching, enlightning and soothed the soul.   My favorite observation for the day that I would NOT photograph was a man about my age leaning on the rail, baseball cap and sunglasses with a rosary.  I don't know what he was praying for but, as I walked to my car I decided to pray very hard that this man's prayers would be answered.

Since it was a Saturday all the chuches were full of weddings.  I have a wonderful feeling of satisfaction for my life at this age and every wish I ever wished upon a star has come true for me.  I want to document this so my family knows truely what they mean to me.  They are a dream come true for me.