Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Red Barns Of New Jersey II

Yesterday was the first snow of the season, and while we didn't get the blizzard of 2015 that was forecasted, we got enough snow on the ground to make good winter barn photos. 
  I waited until late afternoon for the snow to stop and the gray over cast to go away, and then I grabbed the camera got in the car and went for a ride.
  I headed out with three barns in mind all spread out hither and there. This first barn was farthest away in the opposite direction than I actually wanted to go, but I keep seeing a red barn every time we leave my sister in law's house. I tell myself each time I need to come get a picture of this one, and then I forget all about it. The fact that I remembered it made going out of my way worth it.

 the second barn you may recognize, so far I have captured this barn in the summer and fall. Now all I need is a spring picture. I have to say I was scared to approach this barn for the first time ever. As I drew closer to the barn intending to park in the drive near the barn I got this creepy feeling and past the drive by. I noticed a side street at the end of the field I had never noticed before, I turned onto it and laughed out loud when I read the name of the street, Purgatory. 

 Barn number three is another favorite of mine. This one is not abandoned it is a working barn on a vegetable farm that offers pick your own during the growing season, and gives space to the 4H club to grow and learn. I must admit the photos of this one please me greatly. 

 I know nothing about this barn other than I saw it liked it and got out of the car to take pictures of it.

 This barn I almost didn't take a picture of. When I came upon it the angle I was seeing from the road was not impressive kind of blah looking. It was when I looked in my rear view mirror that I slammed on the brakes did a U-turn and got this beautiful shot.

  On my way home after a fruitful and happy drive I came across this little cutie. Technically maybe not a red barn but enough red in it and too cute to pass up.

 This last barn is just around the corner from me, it was once red and while it looks like it is going to fall down, it has stood strong like that for years.

 I have yet to leave my immediate area looking for red barns and I still think I have a lot more barns to find before I venture out in a wider circle. This treasure hunt has been a good deal of fun and I am looking forward to more trips just like this. I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Grand Opening In Mount Holly!

 Not to long ago I wrote to you about the newest restaurant in Mount Holly. There was nothing but good things to be said about this Mom and Pop restaurant. I hate calling Kitchen87
a restaurant, other than paying your bill and the happy staff that brings all the delicious goodness to your table, you would think you were in a friends kitchen.

  Hubby and I are indeed regulars we make it there on average once a week. Hubby and I are working our way through the menu one entree at a time. We bounce between the Breakfast and Lunch menu and do our best to order something different each time we visit. I have cheated a few times and gone with the Ruben. It is truly one of the best around. making a special trip on Tuesday for the French Onion soup is an absolute must. It is impossible to like everything you try but so far The Hubby and I have left full, happy, and completely satisfied. 

   I can't think of a friendlier place I have ever eaten at. The staff and customers alike are chatty and happy to see you. If your shy walking in the front door of Kitchen87 might take you back a bit because everyone turns to see who is coming through the door. The staff says hello and invites you to chose your seat and all the other patrons are nodding, smiling, and saying hello as well.

 Before you know it your chatting away with people you already know or making new friends. It is a great experience, one I am happy I didn't miss.

  This past Saturday was the Grand Opening. The soft run is now over, the menu has been set, kinks and little glitches have been worked out, a wonderful cook and wait staff have been honed into a efficient smooth working team ready to make your visit the best they can. 

  The Grand Opening proved to all who cared to look that Kitchen87 is doing something right and they are here to stay. I missed the ribbon cutting by minutes much to my disappointment. I walked through the door and was greeted by room full of happy diners. Every table, booth, and stool was taken. As busy as  Kitchen87 was the staff happily passed out samples between taking orders, passing out checks, and busing the tables.

 Melo, she lived right up to her name and if she was freaking out in any way the happy diners never knew it.

 I didn't mind standing, in fact it gave me a chance to take the  few pictures scattered in this post. I don't know where my head was I took not a single picture of all the great food coming out of the kitchen, and there was some very picture worthy food coming out those doors. The soup plate that was being sampled with 5 different soups and a chili (all homemade) was a sight of beauty and even tastier than it looked.  It would have made a photo to drool for, thats okay getting good pictures of the staff doing their thing made me happy.

 If you haven't had the chance to try out this new and very cool eatery you should do yourself a favor and visit Kitchen87, Mike, Melo, and their friendly staff. They are open at 6:00 AM till 2:00 PM and if you are like me and sometimes like a burger for breakfast you can get it no problem. 
 A few weeks ago I asked Melo to let me interview her for an assignment I needed to do. She was nice enough to say yes. I really enjoyed the short 15 minutes we spent chatting.Interview with Melo

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Week Of Silence!

 Both blog pages lay silent this week as I dealt with life's little curve balls. I missed all my computer classes and have barely left the house unless it was to visit the Drs office, time after time. This time it wasn't Mom and it wasn't the hubby it was Domino. The Dr office I was visiting over and over again was the Veterinary office. 

  My feet were barely on the floor Monday morning when the day started going wrong. I noticed Domino was just laying there with no energy and when he rolled over I saw a suspicious spot on his hind left hind haunch. A closer look showed me that Domino had ripped his hair out creating a spot the size of a silver dollar and he was gnawing at the spot making it raw, red, and bleeding. For months now both dogs had been licking, scratching, and chewing at themselves much more than what is normal, but nothing like this. 
  It would be two hours before the vet we used would be open so we put Domino on lock down not allowing him out of our sight so he could no longer chew. That accomplishment was much harder than it sounds. Domino was determined to chew that spot. After what seemed like an eternity it was at long last 9:00 AM and I was on the phone to the vet. A blessing I didn't know I was getting came with that phone call. The Vet didn't have an opening for my poor baby, much to my annoyance. I did some searching on line and found a vet that sounded like our kind of person and I gave the office a call I was told to bring him right over. The vet Domino had been seeing couldn't fit him in even for an emergency, but a Vet we had never been to understood the need to get Domino seen and treated right away. When we got to the office we were shown right to a room and the Vet Tech was with us in seconds asking questions and taking notes. She reassured us that everything would be okay and that the Dr would be in soon.  
 When the Dr came in the room the first impression she gave us was stellar. She greeted Domino with a friendly petting and a quick look over then she greeted the hubby and I with a friendly hello and a warm handshake.  The second impression was even better, she didn't ask the same questions over again that we had just been asked by her tech assistant. Instead she started the conversation with solutions to Domino's issue and answers to the questions we had asked. It was so refreshing to have your voice heard the first time.
 Did you know there is an RX dog food? Nope I didn't. That was the first thing we heard about, not fleas and flea dirt. The vet we had been using stuck to a diagnosis of fleas even with no evidence what so ever of there being any fleas. She just kept selling us different flea treatments and skin calming shampoos.  It turns out there is hypo allergic food for dogs and that food allergies are the second most common reason for scratching and chewing.Parasites were also talked about and tests set up to make sure the boys, Getty as well as Domino didn't have any. Once a course of action was decided upon, Domino's hot spot was treated with a steroid patch that needed to remain undisturbed until the spot had healed. Feeling confident that Domino had just gotten some very good medical care and that at long last the itching and discomfort was about to end we left the Vets office. We were armed with the cone of shame and a RX for 17 pounds of dog food. 
   I am not going to lie Hubby and I almost fainted when we saw the price. 5.00 a pound is pretty pricey, but we figured if it worked it would be worth the price. I do have to say at this point we were both hoping forParasites. It wasn't Parasites. 
 Tuesday passed uneventful for Domino. He did his best to get comfortable and rest with the cone on his head. 

We got into the habit of taking the cone off when we would walk Domino, other than that the cone stayed on. Domino and I took a ride in the afternoon  to drop off samples at the vets for parasite testing. I was hoping that would be the last trip to the vet for a while anyway. Nope.
  Wednesday Domino was being so good not fussing with his hotspot when the cone was off, and the food seemed to be helping both boys, the scratching had calmed way down. We decided to let Domino hang out without the cone as long as he stayed in the same room as us. With out thinking I let Domino go in the back yard with out the cone and no supervision. Not even 5 minutes had passed when I hear the Hubby yelling at Domino to stop. We get Domino in the house and sure enough he had the entire patch chewed off and the area is all raw and bleeding. I get the on the phone and talk to the Vet Tech.  Yep you know it we were going back to the vet but not until Thursday afternoon. 
  I swear Domino knew what he had done because when he came in his head was hanging low and he walked straight to the cone. No more breaks for Domino he would wear the cone at all times now until the area completely healed. 

  Thursday afternoon we go back to the Vet and lucky for us the area was healing well enough not to require another patch. Domino gets a treat and we happily walked out of the office.
 It is now Saturday afternoon and Domino is cone free, he and Getty are also itch free. When they scratch now it is the normal doggie thing and not the constant can't get any relief itch. 

  So you see the first call to our old Vet really was a blessing. Their inability to fit Domino in when he needed immediate attention led to me finding a Vet that cared more about Domino and finding a solution that would work to make him comfortable once more, than selling me products and doggie insurance. Not only are the Rancocas Veterinary Associates caring good Drs, they are also fair when it comes  to the price. The food is costly true but the bill we were handed at the end of all this  was much less than I expected. Affordable good medical care for my boys. That my friends is a very big blessing to me.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Red Barns of New Jersey Part 1 !

 Since the beginning of summer I have been working on a project that has been fun interesting and a good way to spend time with Mom. 
  I have been getting pictures of all the red barns I can find in New Jersey. I was planning to make one post but I have gotten so many great barns on film that I will be making a few post through out 2015 of all my finds. Each barn is like a little treasure in a scavenger hunt. My summer photos and most of my autumn photos are still locked in my Acer but it at this moment is on its way to being fixed and with a little luck without losing a single picture.
 This first barn I have taken pictures in every season so far except winter. I am waiting for a snowy day to capture the winter barn. I know nothing about this barn I just know I am drawn to it.

  This barn was once red and as you see it is crumbling to ruin. I am glad I found it before it fell.

 This barn was bought from a Sears and Roebuck catalog in 1919 and delivered as a kit to be put together.

 Another barn I know nothing about. Beautiful and well cared for even though it isn't used is all I can tell you.

 This little gem was extremely hard, until fall and the falling of leaves I never knew it was there. When I saw it I knew I had to have it. I respect No Trespassing signs so I had to walk down a busy road with no sidewalks until I found the perfect opening in the bushes and trees  that separate the field from the road. I am told this is an old Dairy farm that eventually died out and was sold to the township. Don't quote me on this  I may have a fact or two wrong. This one is spooky in person even from the road. It is spooky in the photo too.

 This I am sure is a horse stable that appears to no longer be used. I couldn't help getting creative taking this picture.

 Last but certainly not last, this beauty was built in the 1800's and all the wood is original, the owner came out and talked to me about it while I was taking pictures. He said that everything but the paint is original. History standing right next to the road.

  Stay tuned for my next edition of Red Barns in New Jersey. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cold & Gray

 Today in south new Jersey it is going to snow but not where I live. Where I live it is a cold  and ugly grey day. For once I am happy that we will not be getting snow, the cold grey day suits my mood much better than the pretty bright flakes that snow makes.
   I am still stinging from the news that my friend Sharon has past. She was too young and too good to be taken from us but cancer really doesn't care. My eyes are sore and swollen from all the tears I have shed. I went to bed with a sadness wrapped around my heart and when I woke up this morning the sadness was still there just squeezing the joy right out of me, leaving me feel cold and grey. 
 I already miss my friend and in truth I wouldn't see her for 7 more months when we would all gather on the field and vacation like only Festival friends can. For one week we live together. Spread out in tents and campers on a working farm field that has been harvested. Unless you experience this week for yourself you really can't imagine the closeness the camaraderie and the love that grows between us year after year. The bond strong and when one of this large and happy family is taken from us it is like losing an actual family member, sometimes it is even harder. Today it is harder. I am cold and grey.
  If I feel this bad and hurt this much I can't imagine what  Tammy, Sharon's daughter and best friend is feeling. I have never seen a happier mother daughter team. Tammy cared for her Mom long before she got sick. She would always have one eye on Sharon no matter where at fest we were. Tammy's love and concern and constant caring for her mom was always there. I am sure they had their moments when all was not bliss but I never saw that. What I saw was 2 friends best friends laughing,loving, and living life to the best of their ability. I can only imagine that Tammy is feeling cold and grey.
  I wish I could say cold and grey is void of feeling, but I can't cold and grey hurts it stings, makes breathing hard, and removes all joy from you. It leaves you feeling lost and all alone. 
  All Sharon's many friends, family and extended family today are feeling  cold and grey  I am sure. Today and everyday after that this world will be a little colder and little greyer for missing one of the finest woman that walked this earth.


Monday, January 12, 2015

My little drummer girl


I know a little girl named Madeline. Madeline isn't just beautiful she is smart, energetic, engaging, and full of life. We spend many weekends together doing all kinds of interesting and fun things. This past weekend was no different. 

Saturday afternoon  when I picked Madeline up from dance class it was bitterly cold, we were not going to be able to play outside that was for sure. It was so cold Madeline didn't even ask to play in the playground outside of dance class, and she always asks.  We headed for the car playing on the small ice patches as we went. We both had red noses and frosty breath as we got in the car but it didn't matter we were still laughing at some silly joke she had just told. Singing along with the radio we head for Wendy's and lunch. Madeline must work up a real appetite in dance class because she ate all of her lunch and asked for more. After lunch we headed for the local mall and that is where the real fun begins.
   Once we were in the door and our coats were unzipped I let Madeline pick the direction we would start off in. She took us right to the jewelry counter where we explored to our hearts content. With the sale going on and the block buster savings on top of that we both walked out of that store sporting some new jewelry. Madeline had people stopping to watch as we made our way down the malls midway. She doesn't walk she dances, she dances and talks the entire time. Even with all that activity going on she doesn't miss a single jewelry store and we had to stop at them all. Our noses pressed up against the glass looking at al the pretty sparkling temptation nestled in their cases. The sales people would smile and leave us to our looking but not before Madeline would introduce herself and tell them one interesting tidbit or another. It didn't matter what she said they all would walk away smiling if not out right laughing. Madeline even gave one of the sales ladies her sticker from dance class because( and I Love this) The sales lady was so helpful to us and no one ever helps the sales people so Madeline wanted to be extra nice to the lady. 
  It took us almost 3 hours to go from one end of the mall to the other. Some of the best spent 3 hours ever. I have to say the half hour or so that we spent in the music store is my favorite part of those 3 hours. Madeline played the piano for a minute or two, saw a pink Acoustic guitar that she just had to pick up and strum. I wasn't able to hold back a laugh when Madeline pointed out that it had more stings on it than the guitar she has at my house. The real fun came when we found the drumming room. The cashier in that area found a perfect set of drum sticks for Madeline and she was banging away like a champ. 

She may not know how to play the drums yet but she has style and a beat. What she was banging out didn't sound bad at all. 

 On our way out of the store Madeline spotted the horn section and wanted to try that too. The young man behind the counter was very nice  and even encouraging as he explained that you need to be a little older to play most horns. Madeline was disappointed but understood.
 After we left the music store and had a snack we headed back to the starting point with Madeline dancing and sing all the way. She only stopped long enough to check out Game Stop. An absolute must go in and look store for her. 
 I saw it as soon as we got in the car Madeline would be a sleep before I got out of the parking lot. She made it a little farther than the parking lot, just not much farther.