Finally, Springing!

IMG_7344Tonight I am thoroughly excited to watch Season 5 Game of Thrones where the phrase of the Stark family is “Winter is Coming”, I have to say I am even more excited to say today that “Winter Has Ended”!

Sunshine and warmer temperatures in the 50’s drew me outside to do some yard work.  Cleaning up sticks and debris that have accumulated through the winter, I happily found new growth under many of my perennials and my bulbs peaking through the beds. The grass grows a little greener every day, waking from it’s dormant sleep. A few days ago, there were literally 50 robins in my front yard. I guess that was a sure promise of Springtime. It reminded me of Florida and if you had a yard full of Ibis, watch out for hurricane weather! (Okay, the robins are a better forecast!)

I had just spent the week leading into Easter visiting family in Florida and the weather was beautiful in the 80’s every day…. so coming home was a little depressing with rain and 30 degrees all week. I feel like dancing this weekend… tiptoe through the tulips and all that kind of joy! We are getting ready for fish tacos on the grill! Happy Spring Everyone.

Winter Blues, Golds & Purples

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Here I sit with my morning coffee working on projects on my Mac, when I check social media. Yes –  there it is, another beach photo or snarky post about winter in a warm place. Surely this type of posting will have me giving up all social media for lent again!

This is the third winter I have lived in the northeast as an adult. Admittedly, around late February and early March, I do yearn for the warmth of a sandy beach. Having two daughters in South Florida colleges always give me a reason to check in on them.

What I really want to express as I sit in my cozy house in the woods, is that I do like winter… especially the newly fallen snow. It is truly peaceful. I am fortunate to see the sunrise and sunset most every day in the wintertime. The sky is beautiful with golds, periwinkle and every beautiful shade of blue against the stark white blanket on the ground.

The ability to stay inside and work on projects, with a fire going and something warm to drink feels like a luxury…

But wait, there’s the dog with a ball in her mouth signaling we have to go for a needed walk in 18″ of icy snow! How many days until spring?

Walking Bailey with her doggie blanket on! Temperatures going to single digit tonight!

Resolutions…

NYC adventures

The holidays are over, we have brought in another New Year filled with hope and resolutions, and I have noticed it has been since November that I have posted anything on this blog. I do a few other blog projects… ennui adventures.com where my friend and I take on a weekly photo challenge and then another photo blog if I am working on anything in particular… but this one has been left behind.

This is now my 3rd winter as a North Easterner. I have to say that I adore the seasons, and we love our house set in the woods. People are friendly enough out and about, but I have yet to feel part of a community here. In the past my connections had everything to do with my girls and their school and activities, but now as an empty nester it has been much harder to find those connections. I’ve taken painting, pilates and other activities around town, and I know in my heart that I need to put myself out there by becoming involved to make a difference.

When I started this post I meant to write about venturing into NYC with our girls over the holidays –  but now they are back at school, my husband is back to traveling and I am home alone working on photography and art. This amplifies my need in becoming part of a community and making friendships. Wish me luck as I RESOLVE to try harder to put myself out of my comfort zone!

Happy New Year,

Kim

My First Veggie Garden

My husband built me this lovely spot to garden, and although I knew zero about vegetables gardens, I thought I’d give it a try!  I planted mostly seedlings that I had started inside.  I also bought two beefsteak tomatoes plants already established. My goal was to keep it organic.

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We realized the cones would be needed! The zucchinis were amazing!

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IMG_4385 IMG_4386 Butternut squash and zucchini blossoms!

IMG_4367  Enjoyed watching the sunflowers bloom!

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Overall it has been a gratifying first experience growing our own garden. We have had an abundance of cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes  – so nice to have fresh from the garden to table. Next year I will definitely plan it out better and try new things!

Hackleberry State Park

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John loves to hike and he knows I love photography so we decided to do a photo hike in a new area out by Long Valley. It was a good hike especially along the Black River where you  were climbing over rocks. I didn’t love the uphill climbs as it reminded me how out of shape I am.  It definitely was a popular spot with families young and old and the family pets!

After our hike, we stopped off at the Cider Mill Farms for some homemade goodies and coffee. Lovely family place!

 

 

Quick Stop

Ennui Adventures

photo friday theme – from the road

split rock reservoir

John and I were on the road doing all the Saturday errands  – “the depot, the warehouse shop and gas stop, a Jersey diner” all places I won’t name because there may be some sarcasm in my tone as it’s the typical to do places. On the way home, I suggested we stop by the reservoir near our home to see the sunset. I took this photo from the crazy one-lane bridge. There are stories about this bridge in a book which involve mafia and other people you wouldn’t want to meet at night on a one-lane bridge!

For John and I, we enjoy it every time we are there and plan to purchase another kyak to enjoy this beautiful place from the water!  – Kim

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Hiking Through

Hiking around Split Rock Reservoir
Hiking around Split Rock Reservoir

I just returned from Miami and the Keys to celebrate my daughter’s 21st birthday in Key West. I was so happy taking in the beautiful weather and incredible water that always puts me at peace. Although the “Duval Crawl” was anything but peaceful! We had a fun night celebrating and then took in the water views again as we passed over from key to key heading to Miami.

While in the middle of all this, I was reading a book called Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman. It was about a man’s trek through the AT (Appalachian Trail) 2,176 miles running from Georgia up through Maine. It was something he dreamed of doing and after his wife died from cancer, he needed to make peace with himself and God. I really loved his adventure and the friends he made along the way. I couldn’t wait to see if the trail ran through New Jersey and found that it is not far away – just at 80 and Del Water Gap.

John has talked about doing it before and now I am really looking forward to going out to take a day hike out along the AT trail. Now there are trails all over the area we live in so I may want to try hiking right in my back yard first!! We walk down to the reservoir along the gravel road but really haven’t ventured into hiking yet!

If you have a trail in the NJ area you love hiking, please let me know!!

Happy Trails!

 

For information on the book Hiking Through, go to: http://paulstutzman.com                    Also go to http://www.appalachiantrail.org for information on day hikes and what to expect.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland


the driveway

I have to admit, newly fallen snow is just beautiful and peaceful.

Getting around in it is a different subject…

After Nor’easter Nemo came through, we woke to find our power still on (YES!) and only a foot of the white stuff – compared to other areas with 2 to 3 feet of snow. We remembered that we needed to get last night’s mail and took the dog for a walk down the drive. I just followed behind my husband, stepping in his footprints all the way down. When we reached the box, we only found the wood structure that holds the mailbox! All we saw was a huge drift made by the snow plows, but no mailbox. John dug around the area to see if he could find it, and then a little black piece caught his eye about 10 feet away. There it was!

So happy  it didn’t get plowed away, we then trudged back up the driveway. John with mailbox and garbage pail in hand. Me with Bailey. I realized my current snow shoes were not made for snow this deep! Time for another winter pair of boots,  & snowshoes.

A few hours later, the driveway was plowed but secretly I think John really wants to take my jeep 4 wheeling through the snow!