Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Let's Talk About...Responsibility

Let's get one thing straight: I hate responsibility. I abhor it.

This might come as a surprise to some who have known me for awhile because I used to be a ᴠᴇʀʏ ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴsɪʙʟᴇ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ who did ᴠᴇʀʏ ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴsɪʙʟᴇ things.
For example, there was that raising a kid thing, which I managed to do without too much damage, I think.
Then there was that corporate job thing in which I was an editor for publications that were worth gazillions of dollars.  I pulled that one off pretty good for a pretty decent length of time but the truth is that I only pulled it off because I saw it as one big stupid game.  Or maybe like I was an actor playing the role of Big Time Editor In Charge Of Important Publications.  That wasn't actually on my business cards but it should have been.

Guess which one was me

Another reason I was successful in my acting career as VIP Editor was because I know big words and lots and lots of ridiculous words, I memorized all the important business-like catch phrases, and I can ad lib my arse off.  Seriously, I'm like the Ad Lib Queen. I could participate very successfully in meetings by saying things like "the flotsam of the jetsam is that the perpendicular velocity of the publication with the mass media marketplace - et al - means that our bottom line can be subjugated to the equanimity of our fait accompli which means, of course, that we are thinking outside the box."

End result?  I kept getting promoted.

Me, in my big time editor officer.  Wearing a tiara, of course.

Getting promoted was fun because I kept getting nicer offices and even nicer paychecks.  It was also kind of fun to watch my peers try to figure out how I was getting higher and higher on the oh-so-important (to them) corporate ladder with only a high school degree in an industry in which 99.999 percent held impressive degrees from impressive colleges and universities. Of course I even had my own staff and a few of them held master's degrees which made a few people's heads nearly explode.
So much fun.

But I was bored and I also did not like the constant pressure of having to make sure that millions of dollars worth of books got published on time.  It was all way too adult for me.  Obviously I was good at it but no actor plays the same role forever, right?  So I did what any "normal", level-headed responsible  person would do:  I went to bartending school.  But that's a story for another time.

Let's stay on track here.

I am not doing very well with this being an adult thing and I've been in the adult age bracket for a long time now.  I noticed decades ago that I have very little in common with other people my age who are all about being an adult.  Recently we bought a house after years of renting.  It's a great house...no, it's freakin' amazing. And it has caused my already very active anxiety level to go through the roof.  Because we own a house now.  There is a mortgage, there is a furnace that needs to be replaced, there is an invisible tether that only I can see which means that I cannot simply decide to move to Connecticut or Maine or Canada because I like the landscape there or they have good take out.

And my poor husband.  Man, he deals with a lot being married to someone like me.  You know that opposites attract thing?  Truth.  We adore each other but we are polar opposites in a ton of ways.  He is blissful in home ownership, sleeping like a baby as he drifts off thinking lovingly of his low interest mortgage rate.  Meanwhile this is me, languishing in it as I worry myself into exhaustion that will lead to 3-4 hours of insomnia-riddled sleep:

And then there is the guilt.  Oh, the guilt!  I mean, how dare I be anything less than ecstatic about owning an amazing home?  How dare I quake in my boots while my husband busts his butt to make this all happen?
Which, of course, leads to the inevitable daily beat myself up sessions:
I am bad.
I am ungrateful.
Why can't I be like other middle aged home owning ladies?
I should cut my hair off so I look more like them.
Why do I still insist that all my shoes are platforms? Grown up ladies don't wear platforms, they were sensible adult shoes.
What exactly did my husband mean when he said I am definitely related to the guys from the Sonic commercials?
I need to apologize to him for being an anxiety-ridden stress mess (who cracks up a little too hard at the Sonic commercials).
No, I need to grovel.
I should probably not share all the thoughts that are in my head with him.
Why was this month's electricity bill so high?
We should turn off the lights and do everything by candlelight. That might be fun.
And on and on and on...

Which leads me right back in a full circle way to:

Overall, all I really want to do is make pretty pictures and read.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Personal Festivus

  • It is 3 days until Christmas and I cannot wait until it is 364 Days Until Christmas!  And I feel guilty about feeling that way and then I get mad at myself for feeling guilty about that.  I am stuck in a holiday-induced vicious circle. I am a Scrooge.
  • If one more person writes “Only 3 more SLEEPS ‘til Christmas” I’m punching them in the nose.  The word sleeps annoys me beyond measure.  See “migraine headache” below.
  • I had an energy audit done on my house the other day which took 4 hours and involved the setting up of a fan contraption in the front doorway in which they seal the door, insert a large and powerful fan, and then run it for awhile while taking readings to determine something about the air in the house.  The fan was so powerful that it popped open the attic crawlspace door in my office upstairs and seemingly sucked all of the attic dust out which of course flew all around the house which is resulted in me having a headache for the past three days that evolved into a migraine today.  I am fiercely allergic to dust.  Instead of shopping today and/or doing other holiday-related things in an attempt to make it festive for those whom I love, I took medication, took long hot showers, drank a ton of strong coffee which had no effect since I also took about 4 naps. Ho ho ho.
  • You cannot imagine how magnified the littlest annoyances are when one has a migraine.
  • The sinus/allergy OTC medicine that I have been taking for about 2 decades for my migraines has been discontinued.  Now I have to buy the three ingredients separately.  I am on to their game.
  • In the meantime, my mother is supposed to come here on Christmas Eve.  She will tell anyone who will listen that she cannot eat anything because of her stomach issues but grilled me (no pun intended) about what we are going to eat that night and then shot down everything I suggested with an “that’ll probably kill me” comment.  Then she asked if I was baking anything.  Ho ho ho. 
  • I am wise enough to know that baking while in the throes of a migraine is a bad idea for everyone which is why I did not attempt it.  I actually attempted nothing today.
  • I still love going out and driving around looking at Christmas lights – or as I like to call them “Ostentatious Displays Of Illumination” -  which we’ve done a couple of nights this week, so there’s that.
  • I am aware that it is still a wonderful life.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Anniversary #7

2009 was a year of life changers for me.  They seem to come one right after the other, almost all of them bad.  Some of them really, really bad.

December 7th, 2009 was another life changer day.  This one, though, the complete opposite of bad.
It was a Monday - cold, grey.  We chose that day because he always had that day off, no other reason but convenience.  Low key was how it was going to play out...partly by choice and partly because we had been on the receiving end of non-stop drama and weirdness* - some of it from people who should have been part of the day - so we chose to distance ourselves from the madness and not have anyone ruin the day.

So we went and got married on a cold, grey Monday afternoon in December.
Just the two of us.

Our "wedding attire" was t-shirts with 'Bride' and 'Groom' on them because it made us laugh.

We waited to be called in to the judge's chamber on a hard wooden bench in the hallway of the Centreville, Maryland court house.  Sounds terrible but it wasn't.  We sat there giggling and excited, creating fun as we always do together.

Man, can we laugh together.  Anywhere.

Our witness was the sassy court clerk who took a liking to us. We anticipated a quick and cold-ish repeating of whatever had to be said to make it official and got instead a warm, long, and very, very surprisingly thoughtful ceremony.
I remember that we were both genuinely humbled.

We left, hand in hand, still giggling.

We drove to Annapolis for our "reception" ...
...which we decided would be at Galway Bay Irish Pub because it was $5 burger night.

 Afterward we walked and walked hand-in-hand through the Christmas decorated streets of Annapolis.

Later - and still - we agreed that it was the best wedding either of us had ever been to.
Real, raw, perfect in its imperfection.

Just like us.

Here's how I want to finish this:
I love this man.

Like I've never loved before, I love this man.
I respect him...which is a first for me.
I know his past and he knows mine and neither of them are pretty or perfect but still we stand together, looking at each other and being able to say yes, I understand, I get it.
Never, ever being afraid to tell each other anything.  No fear of scorn, rejection, persecution.
No one can make me as mad as he can...until we both crack up because we realize we're being ridiculous.
No one can make me laugh as hard as he can...priceless in my book.
This is the man who saved my life twice.  This is the man who will tell you that I saved his.
I am fiercely protective of him and I will scratch your eyes out if you hurt him in any way.
My life is profoundly and boundlessly better because he is in it.

I am beyond proud that he is my husband.

Happy Anniversary to us.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Here's What's New

I had announced awhile back that I would be doing a meet n' greet at my art show at The Globe in Berlin, Maryland, on Black Friday...which is a really big day in Berlin. They do their tree lighting and they shut the streets down to vehicle traffic and there's all sorts of holiday festivities happening.

Of course I woke up that day feeling very much under the weather. On a scale of 1-10 my pain level was at about 8.5 which is very bad when you have to drive 3 hours and then be talkative and sociable...neither of which are ever easy for me, even on days when I'm not in as much pain.

I knew it would be a waste of very valuable time to trek down there.  No one in that town on that day was going to be there to come and see me and/or my artwork.  They are there on that day to eat, drink and be merry.  And overall it did turn out to be a huge waste of time; except that we gave away 8 gift bags with small framed artwork to unsuspecting strangers.

a few of the gift bag giveaways
We give away artwork every year on Black Friday and it's really rewarding and fun.  This year was no exception and out of the eight people we gave artwork to there was only one guy who was kind of "thanks, whatever"; everyone else was delighted.  Especially a man named Billy who acted as though we gave him $500!  He thought it was the coolest thing and he gave me a tremendous bear hug which was pretty much the highlight of my night.  Thanks, Billy!

We did also meet a lovely woman from Berlin who came inside specifically to see my artwork.  I'm really mad that I didn't get her name because she was so nice.  She said that she was disappointed because Black Friday in Berlin used to be all about local art and artists and now that seems to no longer be the case.  We told her that even we noticed that to be true in the 4 years we've been doing my month-long show.  The first year, art & artists were one of the main features of the Black Friday shindig.  Every year since it seems to have faded off.  We agreed that it was probably because they do an art stroll every month including in December, but it's a missed opportunity to not also do it on Black Friday.  Oh well, not a lot I can do about that.  Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Saturday at our house was a non-event unless you consider blowing and raking massive amounts of leaves out to the street to be some kind of occasion worth celebrating.  We also spent the day wondering if we shouldn't have more carefully considered our decision to buy a house in an area that resembles a forest.  Shade is nice; blowing/raking leaves every spare minute of your life from September - January...not so much.

Sunday morning found me stomping around the house having a hissy fit because the leaf blowing was still not over.
The truth is that it's not going to ever be over.  We will be blowing leaves until it snows and then we'll be blowing leaves again when the snow melts and we'll probably be blowing leaves until we're in our 90s and eating cat food because that's all we can afford as a result of exorbitant electric bills caused by constantly running electric leaf blowers.  You want to know how many leaves fall on our property? This will give you an idea:  last year when we moved in and discovered that the former owners kinda didn't do anything about leaf removal in the three months of prime leaf-falling time from when we signed the purchase commitment (October) until we closed (January), we had a landscaping service come out to give us an estimate once the weather got a little nicer - I think it was March.
A $650 estimate.
And that was just for the backyard...which isn't huge because there's a big ass in-ground pool that takes up 2/3 of the yard.
Yup, $650 worth of leaf collection.
Needless to say we did it ourselves.

So let's review:  leaf "fun" starts in October and doesn't stop until it's too cold - end of December-ish. Then it begins again in March when you have to collect all the leaves the you just left laying there because it was too freakin' cold outside.  That will probably take a good coupla months until the new baby leaves start popping up on all the trees at the end of April.
My estimation is that we will spend a solid FIVE months dealing with leaves, which clearly means I don't think we'll be living in this house as long as we thought we would.

Did I mention that every day, all day, I listen to the constant drone throughout the neighborhood of leaf blowers and giant leaf vacuums that attach to lawn tractors?  Maddening.

Sunday afternoon, though, we did manage to escape the leaf-blowing drudgery for a bit.  We are lucky enough to now live in an area in which we can take quickie road trips to great places and on Sunday that place was Ocean City, NJ.

Busy boating day on the Atlantic.  I hear that stripers are running so maybe that's what they're all after?

Just 45 short little miles from our house to the ocean and that was exactly what I needed as I have been struggling for the past month because I'm a highly sensitive person who is...well, highly sensitive to the shittiness I have been on the receiving end of from people whose names I shall not mention.

We were so lucky to go to OCNJ on a balmy late November afternoon.  People were out and about, doing the boardwalk shuffle...

...including this guy who clearly decided he didn't need no stinkin' shoes - or the flip flops he was carrying in his hand - just because it was late November:

Side note:  In case you are not from NJ or have not had the great pleasure of spending time here, there is a thing here - particularly in the shore areas - in which people refuse to accept cold weather.  The uniform for these people is a hooded sweatshirt, shorts of any kind (almost always cargo for the guys), and flip flops.
Never a winter coat.
Almost always some kind of hat.

I have also seen people doing this in other areas outside of NJ but almost always in coastal areas.  I do think it started here, though.  We New Jerseyans are always on the cutting edge of things, afterall.

It's a beach thing...you wouldn't understand.

Anyway, I think you should seriously consider taking a trip to Ocean City, NJ, because it is quite quietly fantastic there.  It's dry, though, so don't plan on going there to tie one on.  I am not a teetotaler at all (just ask all the bottles of red wine in my liquor cabinet) but it somehow makes me really happy that this town is alcohol-free.  If you live/rent there, you can bring it in but you can't buy it there or take it with you to a restaurant.  OCNJ was founded by Methodist ministers back in the day who wanted it to be a wholesome place.  For years and years I lived in a NJ shore town that has the complete opposite point of view - debauchery for all! - so it's kind of refreshing to go someplace where obnoxiousness is illegal.  You can read more about it here.

I'll be taking a bit of a breather this week while I try to regroup after a month of chaos...which means laying in bed a lot and probably not bothering to wear pants a lot.


   photo Sharon sig with heart dragonfly butterfly waltz font1_zpsgxy5knqy.png

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

If I Were Rich...

...I would pay someone a lot of money to drive me around at night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Black Friday & Holiday Madness

Black Friday and the real start of holiday shopping is just a few days away.

So starts my annual Mass Unsubscribe as my normally quiet-ish email inbox suddenly springs to life with endless and continuous messages to BUY! BUY! BUY!

I don't care if I am normally in love with whatever it is you're hawking, send me one too many emails suggesting I purchase this, that, or the other thing and it's over between us.

Still, as an artist who sells things, this time of year always brings on this weird, pervasive feeling of guilt along with this realllllly annoying little voice in my head that says "You know, you probably should be pushing your stuff a little more.  Artwork is such a great gift - people need to be reminded of that.  Not to mention the gift certificates you offer as a way to purchase your artwork."

Yet I remain frozen; unable to bring myself to add to the deluge of consumeristic insanity happening now during the holidays.

But I would like to sell some stuff...which every year leaves me stuck in this conundrum.

And then I will eventually just shrug my shoulders, maybe send out one newsletter, and get on with counting the days until the holidays are over.

Yes, that's right, I am not a holiday lover.  I start to feel true Christmas spirit and begin to love Christmas at about 5pm on Christmas Day and that feeling continues into the next day, December 26th, which is when I personally feel the joy everyone's been talking about for months leading up to the big day.  I adore December 26th.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Big Monday Relief

We installed my new art show/sale yesterday.

I have no idea how many pieces went up because I am so burned out on my own artwork right now that I can't even look at the inventory sheet right now to count.  40?  50?

The install took way longer than it should have.  Usually our installs go smooth like butter since JP and I have done so many together it's like a science to us now.
Yesterday, not so much.

Something just was...off.

It started when one of the framed pieces fell off the wall, crashed to the ground, and broke the not cheap frame it was in.

Then we couldn't get any nails or screws to go into the main wall of the gallery which is brick. They just wouldn't go in.  Hammer, drill, screwdriver...nothing.  That was very weird because we've hung this exact show for the past three years using the exact same supplies on that same brick wall with no issues whatsoever.

I was a lot little unnerved by all some of what happened...especially since stuff like that feeds right into my anxiety personality.  Did I mention that I drank two Tanqueray & Tonics while setting everything up?  Thank God the place has a bar.

But as usual my darling husband was there by my side reassuring me and calming me down and thanks in large part to him, today I'm all like "Oh well, not much I can do about any of it".

After I freak out I almost always come around to a que sera sera attitude anyway: whatever will be will be.
If all of the artwork winds up falling off the walls and crashing to the ground, I'll just drive down there to pick up the mess and move on to the next thing, whatever it might wind up being.

And it's Monday morning and I am hugely relieved that the install is finally over and I can get back to my real life of stress-less creativity.

After I clean the house and do the Thanksgiving grocery shopping.

The fun never ends, does it?  😕


Monday, November 7, 2016

Stop Jamming Your Politics Down My Throat

Thankfully, the whole election thing is almost over which means that it's a little late for me to be writing this but I am compelled to anyway because I don't think it's going to stop after tomorrow's election:


This is particularly true if you are a business or have some kind of public persona.  I keep seeing this over and over again...people who post as their business mocking one of the candidates which has no chance in hell of swaying someone to vote the way you want them to and only serves to cause DIVISIVENESS.

Like there's not enough of that in this country already!

It's everywhere.  I'll be happily reading a recipe on a food website and just after the part where I  read that I should bake it for 30 minutes, the next sentence is something like


It serves no purpose to insert your political views into your baking or crocheting or photography or travel or DIY or infinitely-anything-else-that-is-not-directly-related-to-politics website or social media page(s)...EXCEPT to alienate the portion of those who follow you who oppose your opinion! Why would you do that?!  In the past few months I can't tell you how many people/sites I have unfollowed because of this.  The reason is because I want to like the people/businesses that I follow.
Jam your beliefs down my throat - be they political/religious/social/sexual/etc - and we can't be friends anymore.  And that's sad. Because I like the stuff you write about/sell/video and I don't really want our relationship to end but, on principle, it has to because you can't keep your opinion about what I should be doing to yourself.

I am not so presumptuous as to TELL you who you SHOULD be voting for.
I'm not even going to hint at it.  I might suggest that you should vote...but that's all you're getting from me and probably not even that much because:

For one, because it's none of my business who you want to vote for or not vote for or if you even want to vote at all.
For two, because I love having the right and privilege to make up my own mind and therefore I respect your right to the same things.
For three, you are not coming to my sites and pages for political information.  Duh.

Further reading:
4 Financial Reasons To Keep Your Political Views Private

A New Film Charts the Decline of American Barns

A New Film Charts the Decline of American Barns (<--click to link)
In 1935, 6.8 million farms operated across the United States, most with at least one barn. Now, just around 650,000 barns remain standing.
If that statistic is correct...well, that just makes me feel kind of sick.

Much of my artwork features barns.  I love them.

Other people love them. And after reading the article that I linked above I am more committed than ever to get out there, hitting the road, photographing as many of them as I can...before they aren't there any more.

I can't even wrap myself around that.  Can you?

It's not helping that everyone has to have barn wood for every freakin' project they take on now.

Case in point: that horrible television show where some company goes out and rapes old barns of their wood (sorry, they "deconstruct" them) for huge profit (sorry, for "preservation purposes").

I'm so passionate about this it makes me almost cry.  It's not quite the same as how I feel about animal poachers but you know what?  It does feel a little bit similar.

I cannot imagine taking long drives in the countryside and not seeing any barns.
I hope you can't either.

Maybe if everyone stops buying barn wood and buying into the whole barn wood = trendy it will help save the barns.

Here are a few resources for how to not use real barn wood:



MONTANA GHOST WOOD: "Our mission is to provide an alternative reclaimed wood product to the growing demand for reclaimed wood and barn wood while preserving our historic monuments."

 photo Sharon sig with heart dragonfly butterfly waltz font1_zpsgxy5knqy.png

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's Okay To Feel Stuff

This is what being alive’s all about, all those f**ked up feelings. 
You’ve got to have them; when you stop, watch out. 
-Irvine Welsh

Please read that quote a few times.  Let it sink in.

Then step away from all those gazillions of pretty sunset pictures with the trite platitudes that tell you to be happy all the time; that you must always press the magical happy or forgiveness or whatever button, etc. and if you don't then you are doing life wrong.

What a bunch of baloney it all is.

Don't feel guilty because you're mad or sad or angry or depressed or frustrated or overwhelmed or anxious, etc.
It's okay to not make lemonade out of lemons; in fact, it's more than okay.

Ha ha, I really don't but this was really funny.  Want one?  Get it here.

I don't know where this constant happiness came from or how it started but I suspect it has something to do with computers enabling anyone to slap some text on a pretty picture.  Whatever the case, I implore you to ignore it.  I implore you to get real.  I implore you to be authentic.  Not doing so buries all of the things you're feeling and I promise they are going to come out one day, one way or another, and it won't be pretty.

You were given emotions for a reason and I don't think it was to pretend you don't have them.
Have them, recognize them, then move on from them to the best of your ability*.  Sometimes you need to have a bad day.  I have chronic pain + anosmia + migraines + other stuff so I have a lot of bad days.  Most of the time I don't let it get to me and I've learned that when it's really bad I need to amp up the good stuff to the best of my ability: anything that makes me laugh or gives me material to make other people laugh, creating art or something else.

Sometimes, though, I just need to lay in bed or cry or vent it out to my long-suffering husband and daughter.  They let me be real and I do the same for them.


*If you seem to be stuck and can't move on to feeling better, help yourself by seeking help.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Life In South Jersey

Why, yes, those are turkeys standing on top of and all around my Wrangler.

This is what they resort to in an effort to get my attention when I don't feed them on time.

Apparently they weren't going to let me go anywhere until they got their dinner.


Friday, October 14, 2016

My $14 Indoor Window Shutters

I wanted shutters for the downstairs bathroom and found an online company that did really terrific custom work...but they weren't cheap.  And the shipping cost was crazy.

I have a very strong aversion to anything expensive.  I'd rather spend money on experiences and having fun together instead of stuff.

The shutters I was interested in were really very simple - just plain wood panels, stained or painted, with primitive-style star cut outs.  The cut outs weren't very important to me and the design was ridiculously simple so I knew it was a project I could totally do.

So, off to Home Depot I went...

$14 later I had what I needed:
(1) 1x6x8 pine board, cut down to the 4 panels I needed
(2) pkgs of black hinges

It's fabulous that Home Depot cuts lumber for you. Normally JP will do my cutting but I wanted to do this project completely on my own and I wanted it done before he got home from work.  You just find a Home Depot person and ask them to make your cuts.  I needed (4) 19" pieces.  It took the guy about two minutes and the cutting was free.

I already had the black glaze that I wanted to use so no extra expense there.  By the way, the glaze that I used is called General Finishes Pitch Black glaze and it's amazing.  It's not cheap at about $15.99 for a pint, but it's worth it. A little goes a really long way. You can buy it here.

These are my boards after I finished glazing them.  Note: I used the glaze like paint and I know that's not really how you're supposed to use glaze but don't worry about rules. Nothing fun ever comes from following them anyway. This glaze gives the wood such a wonderful, silky finish.  I could have used my old standby - my chalk paints, which I adore - but I wanted the finish that the glaze gives.  Chalk paint would work really well on these though, too.

You can see above that I started to use my hand sander to distress the edges.
Yes, it is MY hand sander but for some reason I always seem to have to go looking for it and always find it in my husband's garage next to some project he's working on.  And I do recall that he scoffed at me when I purchased it.  That's okay, though...I use his drill all the time so we're even.  You know it's true love when you share your power tools with each other.  :-)

So the custom shutters I had been considering ordering had cut out stars but since the cut out part wasn't important to me, I decided to just paint stars on mine...

I outlined the stars...

...then painted them, using chalk paint.

Next I added the hinges.

And - voila! - we have shutters!

The finished product is not hinged to the actual window casing.  You could easily attach them but I didn't find it to be necessary.  I can still adjust them with them simply resting on the sill.  The thought of drilling holes into the actual window made me shudder.  (Ha, that was an unintentional pun.)

All in all, they took me about 3 hours start to finish but I had interruptions...phone calls, dogs that needed to be played with, etc.
Happily, the shutters did get done before JP got home ♥

Don't be intimidated about doing stuff like this. If you screw it up, so what? That's how you learn.
It's easy to just go buy and pay too much money for stuff; it's way more fun to do it yourself.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I Love New Jersey, Reason #5,274,931: Bivalve Farmers Market

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at the Bivalve Farmers Market in Bivalve, NJ.

I'm actually quite hesitant to post about this because Bivalve is in my most favorite area of my beloved NJ.  It is my most favorite area because it is well off the beaten path and I would very much like it to remain that way.
But I'm not the selfish type and the Bivalve Farmers Market is so wonderful so I have to share it.  Besides, I met some of the nicest people there yesterday who were selling their goods and wares and I would like you to go there in the coming weeks and spend lots of money on these fine folks.

I am lucky enough to live in Cumberland County, NJ, which is where the town of Bivalve is located.
Most people are so caught up in their misconceptions of NJ (and making lame jokes about it), that they don't realize there are places in my state that are literally breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful and steeped in history.  That's probably okay because (most of) those kinds of people are not the kind of people who will come, quietly and with reverence.  (See?  I can make broad generalizations, too! haha)

If you are the type of person who does have appreciation and respect for serenity and history, I think you will find that making the trip down to Bivalve is well worth the time and effort.

See for yourself:

The shore road to Bivalve

Inside the museum

This is what's left of the schooner, Cashier.  Read more about its history HERE and HERE. Built in 1849
"She worked the waters, mostly out of Bivalve, Commercial Township, Cumberland County, NJ
from 1849 to 2000."

Amazing. I felt proud to make her acquaintance.

There she sits, in her resting place, watching all the activity around her.

I'm standing on the one of the docks that the market is held on. This is the view from there.

Oyster boat

More of the magnificent view. This is across the water.

Fresh, beautiful flowers for sale

Samples of sailors knots

Fresh seafood for sale and some pretty cool shell art/jewelry
Out front; please note the musician whose music lent itself so perfectly to this oh so perfect place and event

Some of the locals hanging out

A local dining on one of the  local specialties - clam? oyster?

I went home with everything we needed for a perfect dinner: a quart of oyster chowder, a loaf of locally made bread, deviled eggs stuffed with lump crabmeat and applesauce bread for dessert.

The Bivalve Farmers Market is held on Wednesday afternoons until 11/22.  Please note that 11/22 is a Tuesday and I imagine they're doing it on that day so that we can go over and get what we need to start cooking for our Thanksgiving meals on Wednesday.

I can't wait to go back!  If you go, look for me and say hello.  I'll be the one taking pictures of everything.

   photo Sharon sig with heart dragonfly butterfly waltz font1_zpsgxy5knqy.png
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