McLoone’s Asbury Park – DP#10

McLoone's Asbury Park

 

How many of my old friends and family remember the Howard Johnson’s on the Asbury Boardwalk? Well now it’s McLoone’s Asbury Grille (yes, with an ‘e’). I had a blast to my past this evening as I attended a fund raiser for CABERET FOR LIFE… with a stunning performance by a neighbor from across the lake, Felix Truex.

The food was fabulous, the wait staff a bit on the slow side, the table conversation delightful, and the entertainment stupendous!

The photo this evening was of my martini glass. I ordered a Cosmopolitan which was served perfectly in an iced shaker. However I was a bit confused as to why the McLoone’s logo was backwards, until I took a sip and realized the genius behind the madness. The logo is perfectly readable when you drink!!! How clever.

Felix’s program was ‘spot on’ with some familiar tunes by Billy Joel, to others I have not had the pleasure of hearing before. A song about FAMILY nearly brought me to tears.

And to top it off, I was told by someone I didn’t know that I lit up the room with my smile and made his night enjoyable. How’s that for an evening of fun??

 

 

Broadway Diner – DP#9

Broadway Diner

 

Another iconic eatery in New Jersey… The Broadway Diner on Monmouth Street in Red Bank. Open 24/7 serving breakfast items all day. Sandwiches too!

I meet a friend for lunch there once every few months. We arrive around 12:30… eat and talk until around 3:00 then stand by the cars so we won’t get a parking ticket and talk for another hour or so. Today we decided we should meet a little more frequently, and perhaps we wouldn’t need to stay as long. Nah… I bet we still talk until we drop.

Our common interest is BOOKS… her being an independent publisher and all… and me a struggling, insecure writer… however by the time we talk about our families, our past, our present, our likes and dislikes, we only have time for a quick chat about books. One of these days we should meet with the strict rule to talk BOOKS, BOOKS, and only BOOKS.

Any way… back to the diner. The Broadway Diner has been in the same location for so long I remember it as a child (and since I’m older than dirt, that’s a long time). Years ago the Red Bank Police department was located in the brick building next door… now it’s an annex for Red Bank Catholic. As a little girl I remember looking up in the faces of those brave policemen proudly wearing their uniforms and badges… with my eyes wide and mouth open. Each and every time a policeman would look out the window at me and wave hello.

Now the place fills up with teenagers at lunch and older folks after shows at the Count Basie Theater. Weekend breakfast time fills the place with families and friends waiting to gobble hot, fluffy pancakes.

The decor is retro 40’s in pink and aqua; the friendly waitresses are dressed in hot pink and black; the neon signs blink; and the food is hot and plentiful.

Today I ordered a BLT with avocado on toasted white bread. YUM!!! The slippery avocado oozed out the side every time I took a bite… but that just made eating it so much more adventurous!

Tiny Technology – DP#8

Tiny Technology

 

I am completely STUNNED at technology these days! Look how teeny, tiny this iPod Shuffle is and it holds 2 Gigs!!!

My son lost his expensive iPhone riding a roller coaster at Six Flags yesterday. According to the ‘Find My Phone’ app, the little green ball shows it is in the pit under El Toro. The authorities have been contacted… but there is nothing they can do about it.

So… if you are an underpaid film producer with no active filming going on, your bank account is empty and your ‘new every two’ isn’t up for another year and half what do you do for a phone??? You borrow mom’s old one of course. Yeah, yeah… how lame. It doesn’t do any of the fancy, schmancy stuff the newer ones do… but beggars can’t be choosers.

My old Apple 3G (not even an S) has been relegated to my ‘Books on Tape’ phone. I load it up with a few books at a time from my Audible.com account and hook it up to speakers or head phones to listen to books when I sew, walk, ride my bike, and drive all over the place.

This morning it dawned on me that my generous nature of loaning my old phone to my poor son left me without a way to listen to my books. That’s not good!!! Granted I have older iPods and things passed down from my oldest daughter that I could use… but I felt I was ready for something smaller and light weight.

A quick trip to Best Buy and ta-dah… a new iPod Shuffle. At first I thought I could only load one book, maybe two. I was so surprised to see that I loaded three books and only used up a quarter of my space! Woot! Woot!

Imagine that… a one inch square can do all that!! Amazing!!!

To economize I have been using a ‘stupid phone’… as in not a smart phone. At first I was happy with it. Soon I discovered I needed to keep my iPad close at hand as there were apps and such I used regularly that I could no longer access on my ‘stupid’ phone. As time went on I was less enamored with my economical ways. I was half tempted to re-activate my 3G iPhone… but resisted the urge.

My ‘new every two’ is up in January and my daughter has hinted my Christmas present will be the new iPhone 6. I am so excited!!

Technology… Ain’t it grand???

Awwww!!! – DP#7

AWWWW....

 

Meet Chase and Emma… two of the cutest doggies ever!!

Chase belongs to my son and Emma to one of my daughters. Chase lives with us on a daily basis, but little Emma is visiting while her mom and dad are on vacation.

Of all the furniture in this entire house… they have decided to share this chair.

Chase is such a gentleman. When it’s time for the dogs to ‘do their business’ he will alert me then step aside and patiently sit and allow Emma out first. When she comes back in is when he eagerly goes out… Ladies first! Apparently his stomach rules as he is not as kind when it’s time to eat! He’ll gobble up all the food in the bowl then stare at me until I fill it back up for Emma.

A home with a dog has a lot more love!

Yes Darla (my other daughter’s dog)… I miss you too! Ruff!

 

Bye Bye Tree – DP#6

Tree Tag

 

Well the guy said to tag the tree… so… I tagged the tree!!!

It was time to say goodbye to the Maple tree immediately outside my back door to make way for the new walk way. I hired a tree specialist company to come give a quote… but the guy was afraid he would miss me, so he asked if iI would tag the tree. I’m not sure he quite had this large a tag in mind. There was no mistake which tree… that’s for sure.

I was a little hesitant about this tree coming down. Most of all it provides shade in the summer allowing my kitchen to stay just a wee bit cooler. In the winter when the leaves are gone (after I have raked them up I should say) the sun light streams in the window warming the back of my house.

This tree was the opposite anchor for my clothesline for that fresh outdoor scent on my bedsheets. PLUS it was the anchor for the chain for the dogs… keeping them in the back yard with out the benefit of a fence.

However I am looking to the future and realize that tree HAS TO GO in order for progress to continue on updating the house. So down it came!

Oh the sacrifices we must endure 🙂

 

Demolition – DP#5

IMG_2429

 

Demolition on the old, ugly, patched up cement driveway has begun to make way for the new, improved, awesome paving stone one to come.

When I purchased this house almost 3 years ago I had to look past the beat up old driveway and imagine how beautiful the place would be with a new one… In addition to overlooking so many other ‘ugly’ features. I figured a lot of these issues were only cosmetic and with sweat, tears, and throwing money at the problem, it could all be fixed.

So… even though the house is currently on the market… I decided to go ahead and continue the driveway project. Not many people can overlook as many things as I did to purchase this home… they simply have no vision… so I thought I’d help them out a bit.

 

Mushroom – Daily Photo 4

Mushroom?

 

What do you think… mushroom or coral??? I guess you can tell by the grass and dirt these are mushrooms. Aren’t they pretty??

I have my house up on the market and today I had a showing. While the Realtor and Client were wandering through the house, I decided to take a walk with my camera… AND sent my son on a walk with the dog. If you have ever watched those shows on HGTV then you know potential buyers make some tasteless comments about your house. I didn’t want to hear them.

Across the street on the lakeside of the road I stumbled across this awesome looking mushroom cluster. The picture doesn’t do it justice, in reality the mushrooms are the most beautiful shade of coral… which shows up too pale in this photo.

As I continued my walk I began to see this street through someone else’s eyes. It’s pretty neat down here at the Jersey Shore by the lake. For a moment I had to wonder if I really even wanted to sell my home after all. However; by the time I returned the client was all a twitter about moving in… so I adjusted my thinking once again and put myself in to ‘moving mode’.

There will be other mushrooms just as pretty no matter where I end up… and maybe even something cooler… right? Sigh.

 

 

Vic’s – Daily Photo 3

Vic'sAhhhh…. There’s nothing like good old-fashioned Italian food at an iconic eatery to finish your day off right. Having an old friend as company was a bonus!

Apparently a lot of my classmates grew up meeting and dating at Vic’s. Sadly I wasn’t made aware of the place until a few years ago. Vic’s Bar and Italian Restaurant is located in Bradley Beach, NJ.

My friend and I arrived at 6:40PM on a Wednesday Night and because of the crowds had to wait a few minutes for our table. Not a big deal… it gave us more time to chat.

The pine wood paneled walls and hard as a rock booth seats (which I am sure are original to the 60 year old institution) only add to the retro charm.

The food is GOOD… not gourmet food good… but good old family style good. And the prices don’t empty your wallet.

It was nice to dine with someone who enjoys sharing food as much as I do. It helps the ordering process when there are too many things on the menu that you want. We shared a very large tossed salad… then we each ordered a sandwich (Eggplant Parm and Sausage, Onion & Pepper) and shared half. YUM! Speak about having your cake and eating it too!

Nothing screams ITALIAN more than garlic… and boy do they ever have it! You could smell it wafting from the kitchen the moment you walked in the door. Which of course made us order a basket of their garlic bread! Great marketing!

The large table next to us was holding a birthday celebration. I sang along and clapped with glee for the celebrant. It seems the few times I have been there SOMEONE is celebration SOMETHING… it’s just that kind of place. A place where you are family, not just a customer.

Check it out the next time you are near Bradley Beach! Your mouth will thank you for it.

 

 

 

Jersey Tomato Sandwich (DP2)

Tomato SandwichMMMMmmmmm… MMMMMmmmmm… GOOD!!! I absolutely LOVE tomato sandwiches!!! Especially made with locally grown JERSEY tomatoes and Hellman’s REAL Mayonnaise… fresh ground salt and pepper on squishy white bread. Summer just doesn’t get much better!

Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in elementary school, I would eat a fresh tomato sandwich every Friday for lunch. No, my mom didn’t pack it… I traded Kathleen Kenny for it… EVERY FRIDAY!!!

I had connections with LUDWIG’S Deli in Red Bank, NJ… my mom worked there. Before leaving work each day, she would get a jump start on the next day by making me a sandwich to pack for lunch. I was the envy of the cafeteria. Mostly on Friday’s I would open my brown bag to find Roast Beef with lettuce, tomato, and kosher dill pickle slices on a hard roll slathered with mayonnaise and enhanced with fresh ground salt and pepper. OH… I forgot to mention… mom always protected the roll from getting soggy by spreading butter on the halves first. I KNOW… a heart attack waiting to happen… but… Mmmmm… mmmmm!

HOWEVER; Kathleen, coming from a devout Catholic family couldn’t eat meat on Friday. So…. her mom would pack her a… yup, you guessed it… a tomato sandwich with mayo on squishy white bread. To me… that was heaven on earth!!! Kathleen eagerly traded with me… and we never told her mom.

To this day I think of her when the Jersey tomatoes ripen and I get to make a tomato sandwich. Although it’s only Tuesday, I made one for lunch today. I guess I’ll hold on to the other tomato and make another one on Friday. You just can’t get enough of that tomato goodness during the season!

 

How an afghan brought together 2 generations…

Afghan MemoriesI woke up this morning realizing I didn’t have much on my agenda today, other than painting a sympathy card and mailing it. A dear woman passed away last week, her son was a classmate of mine in High School. More than that, I had the distinct honor and pleasure of taking care of her in her home for a few weeks… and enjoyed every minute of it. I especially liked the days I could make her smile… she lit the entire room with that glow.

She and I talked for hours about life, people, her family, food, the neighbors… all while I crocheted a blanket. She was helping in the design… every time we switched topics, I switched yarn colors… which at times made us talk a little faster, or make me crochet a little slower! We got the giggles sometimes trying to pace ourselves. Oh boy… could she ever gossip!!!

While I worked away at this blanket I learned many things about this wonderful woman. As I reminisce a few conversations stand out… she didn’t like Hungarian Goulash… not even her own mother’s, she was proud of her sons and their families, and the most fun time she had in the previous year was shopping with her son for a ‘Mother of the Groom’ dress to wear at his wedding (which of course melted my heart). Sadly her illness prevented her from attending… but I attended and was able to tell her all about it from a ‘guest’s’ point of view.

When I stopped taking care of her I put the yarn and hook away. So today, I pulled out my ‘work in progress’ and thought about those sweet days to give me inspiration to paint a card. Although the yarn colors are reminders of the beach… all shades of sand and water, my mind sees the color PINK when I think of her. I think I will purchase some new yarn today and add it to the mix… perhaps sunset coral and sea shell pink.

This winter as I snuggle in this afghan I will be warmed by her memory.

DAILY PHOTO…

And now… I announce the posting of a DAILY PHOTO.

I love taking photos!!! I have a camera with me pretty much all the time. Although I have the big kahuna… A Canon DSRL with all the bells and whistles, I find I use my Canon Power Shot on a regular basis. When all else fails I always have my iPhone and iPad (although I am told by my son taking pictures with an iPad is lame). So… I have decided to post daily a photo that tells some kind of story… or not. Let’s see where this journey takes me. Feel free to follow along!

Today’s photo… as I am sure you have all guessed is of the afghan that bonded two different women, from different generations, religious beliefs, and backgrounds. However, we raised families, lost husbands, and shared our time for a few weeks. I will forever be grateful I met her. Her sweetness will alway remain in my heart. R.I.P. Ruth.