Saturday, October 30, 2010


Thirty four years ago today, at 11:30 a.m., in the Mansion Chapel at Georgian Court University, I was married. I was 22, Dennis was 23 and we had no idea what we were getting into. Which I guess was a good thing.

It was a beautiful Fall day. At the reception, at Peterson’s Sunset Cabin, we danced to the dulcet tones of the Moon Misters. It was a really fun wedding. Everyone had a good time.


Peterson’s, which was a Shore landmark for over 50 years, has been closed since the 1990’s. This blogger captured it perfectly, including haunting pictures of the abandoned ruin it is today,  

Dennis died in 1993, so this year he is gone exactly as long as we were married.   So unimaginably sad.  He never saw our children grow up or got to meet his grandson.  My son brought my grandson to the cemetery instead.

I don’t think students are allowed to get married in the Mansion Chapel at Georgian Court anymore, although I may be wrong about that. The Mansion Chapel, originally the conservatory in the George Gould mansion, is so much prettier than the stark Student Chapel on campus.

But the relaxed informality of the Mansion, where I actually lived as a senior, changed forever the afternoon someone walked off with a priceless Tiffany lamp.


Thirty four years. Thirty four years of everything life consists of: happiness, pain, sorrow, the gift of four children, much laughter, much loss, much tenacious determination. 

Astonishing that so much time has gone by.   That 22 year old is literally long gone.  She is part of who I am now, but I am such a different person.

And the seasons they go 'round and 'round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

Photobucket Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks! Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 29, 2010

Words of Wisdom

I am flattered and honored to have been chosen as a Blogger of Note at Words of Wisdom, a site dedicated to promoting quality work in the blogosphere.

I have been following Words of Wisdom for a few months now. Founders Pam (Pam's Perspective) and Sandy (It's A Real Jungle Out There) have created a resource that helps identify wonderful blogs and provides a great venue for supporting writers.

As my introductory post for Words of Wisdom, I was asked to tell a little about myself and list three of my favorite posts. Well, as anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows, I am an unreformed class clown but I have had a bit of a dark cloud following me around for a few…hmmm…years. Multiple sclerosis, job loss, a fractured shoulder…yep, those constitute a dark cloud alright. But who knew that a dark cloud could still be funny sometimes?!?!

Besides the Dark Cloud stuff, I am an obsessive reader (see my blog The Shore Bookworm) and a cranky person with MS (see my blog MS Renegade). I have children, grandchildren, cats, a dog, a falling down house, books, books and more books. I knit and sew too. But my real passion is writing.

Here are some of the posts I’ve had fun with over the past two and a half years:


A Day at the Park

Pride and Portliness

I hope you enjoy reading them. Welcome to my wacky world.

Photobucket Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks! Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 15, 2010

My First Filmmaking Attempt

It is kind of dark, but it was three o'clock in the morning after all.

This is what I am doing instead of a million other things I should be doing. Like sleeping.

I am losing it. I really need to get back to work. I NEED A JOB!! Somebody? Anybody?!?

For my e-mail subscribers:

Photobucket Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks! Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumn Give Away

New layout for the newly cool autumn days. My favorite.

Congratulations to The Mother of the wonderful, always fascinating blog, The Mother’s Handbook. (I am so jealous of her fantastic logo!). She has won my little hanging banner announcing Autumn.

Thank you to her and to all of you readers. Especially thank you for your wise and warm comments.

Photobucket Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks! Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Mother's Grief and the Cruelty of Strangers

This is another heartbreaking story that I have to comment on.

The Internet has such power for so many amazing, good things. Blogging has brought me wonderful friends and such fun. But individuals with twisted minds and radical agendas can make it an ugly, ugly place.

A young mother in Indiana has been happily writing her ‘mommy blog’ about her charming little family, The Real Life of a Redhead. Sadly, in August her new baby was born with a serious congenital heart defect. This young woman has spent weeks in the hospital at her baby’s side, away from her toddlers and husband at home, frantic with worry and fear. Yesterday, at age seven weeks, her baby boy lost his fight and his tiny heart failed.

Many people have rallied around her, offering condolences and prayers. But incredibly, horribly, a grass roots group of fanatics is denouncing and condemning her as a murderer because she had the baby circumcised!!

These anti-circumcision “activists” are spewing hate across the Internet, leaving messages on her blog such as “…she got exactly what she deserved…I hope she feels guilty for the rest of her miserable life…”
They are even planning a demonstration at the hospital where the baby died.

There are so many wonderful people in the blogging world that it makes this kind of hatred all the more stunning. Who would be so cruel to a grieving mother? I suppose the same people who would hold up a sign that says “God Hates Fags” at the funeral of a young Marine.

Zealots have tunnel vision. The world is black and white and their way is the only way. As a young mother, I chose an attachment style of parenting, breastfeeding, the family bed, having my babies at home. But I had respect for people who chose a different parenting model than I did. As I used to tell the couples in my childbirth classes, every family has to make their own best choices for them. There is no formula for raising a family, you have to do what feels right to you. There are many good ways to be a parent.

The people who are verbally assaulting these two heartbroken parents are despicable. Many of them proclaim themselves to be Christians, but I cannot conceive of anything less Christian than inflicting more pain on a suffering family.

I would love to see this story spread to as many people as possible to support Jill and Shane. Please pray for them. Send compassionate thoughts their way. With only one income and heavy expenses, they are also hurting financially. Donations are being accepted by the funeral home, which is listed on Jill’s blog.

And, finally, please pray for the cold, callous hearts of the merciless radicals who put their own ideology ahead of simple human decency.

Photobucket Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks! Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Right to Privacy

Recent local tragic events have become news nationally.

In the third week in September, a Rutgers freshman set up a webcam to secretly broadcast his roommate as he engaged in an intimate encounter. The individual who perpetrated this invasion of privacy has subsequently been quoted through his Twitter account, several times making much of the fact that his roommate was apparently gay. The screen shots of his Twitter page reproduced in the media reveal a vulgar, self absorbed young man. I suppose not too different from many adolescents.

Unfortunately, in this case, his arrogance and homophobia precipitated a crisis for the boy he so cruelly humiliated. He could not have known that it would have fatal consequences, but it did. There is no way to change the fact that it caused the other boy to jump to his death from the George Washington Bridge. He was 18 years old.

I am not going to repeat this boy’s name. It is the subject of headlines, news stories, vigils and water cooler conversation all over the country. It has become a rallying cry for tolerance and understanding. And none of us have any right to it.

This was a private individual whose most personal moments were broadcast over the Internet without his knowledge. He found this so unbearable he felt he could not live with it. How awful it is that after his death, when he is utterly defenseless, his name is common knowledge and has been repeated incessantly by the media?

A true travesty occurred Saturday at the Rutgers homecoming game. The boy who died was, by all accounts, a sweet, sensitive violin player. Again, a private person. And yet he was ‘honored’ at a football game of all things, his name displayed prominently, an awkward moment of silence required before the swilling of beer and hot dogs. Scarcely an honor. I have a sense this child would have been mortified.

Our society cannot tolerate treating each other in the way this boy was treated. Our children have to be taught that at home. It needs to be reinforced at school. But even now I see only lip service from Rutgers. A football game?!?! This choice, in the worst possible taste as far as I’m concerned, is a classic case of too much, too late. It is crucial to address the issue of bigotry and bullying in a meaningful way. This was not it.

They have it so wrong I despair for them getting it right. From the shenanigans of the university president to out of control frats, Rutgers has a notorious reputation for looking the other way when the subject is painful or inconvenient. Only the administration at this school would find a football game the appropriate venue to memorialize a violinist.

This heartbreaking incident is a perfect object lesson for what needs to change in our society. But it needs to be a lesson about the thousands of anonymous children and adults who are harassed every day, not just about this one quiet boy. One quiet boy who never asked to become an icon. One quiet boy who found a breach of his privacy so painful it drove him to utter desperation. He never had a chance to grow into himself and will never find out it could have gotten better. In death he deserves the dignity and obscurity he preferred in life.

Photobucket Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks! Bookmark and Share

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Brookeamanda, author of the very funny Babbling Brooke. She won my September giveaway, the little felt cottage needle case!

I asked Mr. Spickles to assist me in choosing a name. At first he refused, muttering something about being morally opposed to gambling and anyway he was resting.

I pointed out I saw him clawing my favorite mohair throw that I got in Ireland and he would be toast if I caught him again.

He was shocked!

He thought he had been more subtle than that.

All of a sudden, he was on board ...

...and next thing you knew, I was reading off Brooke’s name.

Thanks to all my readers and to everyone who left a comment this month.

I have another small giveaway this month. In the next week, anyone who leaves a comment will be entered in the drawing for this little banner announcing Autumn. It is hand embroidered (by me) and is 5” x 6” with a 3 1/2” hanging ribbon. It is backed with a piece of autumn-y fabric.   I, or Mr. Spickles, will pick a name on Saturday, October 9.

Thanks, as always, everyone for reading and especially for your thoughtful comments!

Photobucket Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks! Bookmark and Share