Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Another Sandy Casualty by the family of my dad's lady friend
Another casualty of Sandy occurred this past week. As a result of the violent tides carrying three or four feet of waste water, the foundation of a house that dates to 1904 or earlier was deemed too seriously damaged to repair and elevate.
The house stands at 223 Second Street in Beach Haven. It is a simple house, probably originally built in Tuckerton in the 1880s as a gun shop. Originally it had two rooms. It has long been thought that in 1904 it was floated across the bay to Beach Haven and then up Dock Creek, which is now Dock Road, then across Main Street to its site on Second Street.
Sam Shourds bought the house and the property from Archibald Pharo in 1905 for the sum of one dollar. The gun shop had been cobbled together and had a keel from a wrecked ship, painted baby blue, as its main beam. Sam was a bayman, making his living fishing, clamming, hunting, raising grapes for wine, and chickens for his dinner. He also, like all the baymen, scavenged the beach after wrecks to see what could be salvaged and sold. Sam was married to Nellie OíDonnell, an Irish immigrant, who worked as a laundress.
John Daniel was the nephew of Nellie OíDonnell, the son of her sister who lived in Ardmore. When his father died in the influenza epidemic of 1918, John, who was 10, was sent to live with his aunt and uncle. He lived at 223 for almost his entire life.
In 1933 John Daniel married Kathleen Fitzsimmons, another Irish immigrant. The young couple moved into the house at 223 when Nellie Shourds died and Dr. Dodd told John Sam would not live long and he had better move in with him. Sam lasted for 12 more years. Our mother used to say it was her good cooking.
Year after year, the house was added on to. A kitchen, a front porch, three bedrooms, a bath, a laundry, and a bedroom on the first floor that was rented to a butcher from the American Store.One of the last rooms John Daniel added was a tiny room for his first grandson, an aerie supported by a single steel pole. Later, a family room was added where Kathleen Daniel watched the birds and served hundreds of cups of tea to her many friends: half and half and four teaspoons of sugar. (Her blood sugar was perfect.)
It was a comfortable house, always full of friends. Our Irish mother planted everything in the garden, as long as it was green, reminding her of the green hills of Donegal, where she was born.
We were in the house during the hurricane of 1944, no water came in. The northeaster of 1962, the Ash Wednesday Storm, was bad but the house took in no water. The northeaster of 1992 was a bit worse, a few inches in the front rooms but nothing to be alarmed about.
Then Sandy roared in on October 29, 2012. We had 38 inches in the first floor for three tides, and the water ravaged the old foundation, even shifting the house on the old piers. We tried to save her, but the call for a 10 foot elevation was too much. The old house couldnít do it.
Since 1904 there has been a member of the family living at 223. The street was always full of families and children: the Olivers, the Robinsons, the Spragues, the Parkers, the Strattons, the Joneses. We Daniels were the last of the originals, except for Sarah Osborne, who was a Stratton, and still lives in the house she grew up in.
The old house was full of joy: roast beef dinners for the Barnegat High School basketball team. Meetings of the Kit Kat Klub. Lawn parties celebrating everything from a four-year-oldís birthday to a party for a 45th wedding anniversary. The visits of relatives from Ireland. Midge Carmosin, motherís charge as a nanny in Philadelphia who remained our friend forever. College friends who visited in the summer and never went home. The garbage truck crew Ė Kenny, Larry, Bo, Snapper Ė who parked the reeking truck in front of the house and stopped in for a glass of milk.
Demolition has yet to be scheduled.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
My sister, Fiona is visiting from Montreal and last night we (3 of 4 of her sisters) took her out to dinner to The Cookhouse in Rockton, Ontario to celebrate her upcoming 50th birthday in July.
We had a good time at dinner last night with a couple of surprises. When we walked in the door of the restaurant, I saw a woman wearing red at a table alone. I turned to my sister and said, "that woman looks a lot like Monika" (the sister who wasn't going to be at the dinner) and lo and behold it was Monika so that was a nice surprise.
The Cookhouse is famous for making "home-cooked meals". However, that also means that there weren't a lot of vegetarian options (Monika is a vegetarian) and there weren't a lot of healthy options. Their "lighter fare" menu included fish (battered of course) and chips, steak sandwich with fries, a hamburger with fries and something else like that. I wasn't terribly hungry and I knew I wanted a slice of their pie for dessert because it's really good so I asked if I could have the steak sandwich with no bun and with vegetables instead of the fries and that was what I had for my main course.
At dessert, they listed all the pies but none of them were my favourites (blueberry or apple) but they did have a strawberry/rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream so that's what I ordered. But, I gotta say, I didn't love it. It was really sweet. Oh well, live and learn.
Anyhow at dessert time, 3 of my sisters (including Fiona) decided to share a slice of peach pie and asked for it with a candle so that we could sing Happy Birthday to her. The pie was brought with the candle and everyone in the restaurant sang Happy Birthday to Fiona. After the candle was blown out, the second surprise came when an older man (70 maybe) from a table on the other side of the room came over and asked in a Scottish accent what Fiona's name was and how old was she turning and then he insisted that she come back to his table with him (she was reluctant to go because she didn't know why he wanted her to come over there but she went).
When they got there, he introduced her to everyone at the table and it turned out that everyone at the table was celebrating a birthday that year with an age that ends in zero. There were two 50 year olds, one 60 year old, one 70 year old and one 90 year old so that was pretty cool!
After that Alison and Margaret gave Fiona a necklace and a couple of books that they thought might interest her.
And, then, after dinner, we went for a short walk before Monika and us parted ways with her driving back towards London and us heading back to Flamborough.
All in all, the evening was a success.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Good morning, friends.
I'm on vacation yesterday, today and tomorrow and my plan for yesterday was to exercise with a DVD, hike with DH and then do some yard work.
My To Do List for the week included doing some shopping as well (shorts for around the house, patio chair cushions, toiletries, meds, etc.) but the only day it was calling for a rainy day, which is the perfect day for shopping IMO was Friday and Friday, I have a hair appointment in the morning and a pedicure appointment in the afternoon.
Well, I did end up hiking with DH for an hour before he left for work but I didn't end up doing any yard work. It had clouded over and I decided to go and do my shopping then so that I could laze about today until dinner at my sister's. I took my MIL with me because she loves shopping. Heck, she just likes getting out and doing stuff. We were out for 7 HOURS!!!
I picked her up at 11:30 and we headed off to Mapleview Mall in nearby Burlington. First stop was The Bay (a Canadian department store). First, let me say that I hate The Bay! They never have anything I'm looking for and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the layout of the store and their stuff is pricey and there are never any salespeople around. But, I have a $180 gift certificate for The Bay and I was hoping to buy some new patio chair cushions with the gift certificate but no such luck. We looked at their patio sets but they didn't actually have any cushions for sale.
So, we left to traverse the mall to see if we could buy some new clothes for my MIL as she said hers were too loose or worn or old.
First stop was Cleo. Last time I went shopping with my MIL, she wore a 10/12. But she now wears a 6! The first dress she tried on was this one:
but the top was really baggy on her and gaped. And, it also was a little pricey. But then I found this one for her:
First she said she can't wear stripes but I told her to try it on anyway. Even though the website has it priced more than the other one, it was actually much cheaper in the store. And, although she tried the dress on backwards, it did look good on her so we bought it for her and one of those cropped short-sleeved cardigans in white to wear with it.
Now, we were looking for shoes for her to wear with it. But, she's having a problem with the toes on her right foot (I suspect a little wart or something like that between her baby toe and the one beside it) so the only shoes we ended up buying her were these:
I bought a pair last fall and love them so not only did we buy a pair for her but I bought a second pair for when my current ones fall apart!
We also popped into the Apple store to see if they had any suggestions for me being able to get back onto Facebook but I tried their suggestions last night and if anything, it made it worse than it was. They suggested I contact Cisco (the router company) or AppleCare by phone to get walked through some solutions.
Then we went to Sears (which is my favourite Canadian department store) and bought some blouses for her and one blouse for me. By this time, it was around 2:30 and I was getting punchy because I was hungry so I told her we were going to bypass some stores so that we could sit down for awhile and eat lunch.
We went to Turtle Jack's downstairs in the mall and their special yesterday was Burgers & Beer but the waitress said that it worked with soda as well. And, even though burgers aren't necessarily my favourite thing to eat, they had one on their menu that sounded really good -- the apple & brie burger (Brushed with apple butter and topped with brie cheese and julienned apples. Finished with Dijon mustard, baby spinach, tomatoes and red onion.) My MIL ordered sweet potato fries with hers and I ordered onion rings. And, she had a Coke and I had a Diet Coke.
When the burgers came, they were huge and I thought to myself that we would both be taking home leftovers but surprise, surprise, my MIL who normally eats like a bird, ate every single thing on her plate! I'm the one who brought home some onion rings because I couldn't finish them but these onion rings were massive. They looked more like donuts than onion rings!!! I also drank 2.5 Diet Cokes while there. They tasted so good and the refills were no extra charge.
After lunch, we checked out some other stores in the mall but found nothing of interest. So, the next stop was going to be Target. We left the mall around 4:30.
When we came out of the mall, we discovered that it was lightly raining so it did turn out to be a good day to go shopping after all.
On our way to Target, we passed a store called JYSK that we always receive flyers for at home but I didn't know where one was located so impulsively, we decided to stop in. They had patio chair cushions but they were wider than my chairs so we didn't buy any there. And, we continued on our way to Target.
I've never been to Target before but I wasn't overly impressed by it. I couldn't find a plus-sized section for me and the prices on the clothing tags was very small so it was hard to gauge how much anything was (I suppose they mean for them to be discreet but I found it just kind of annoying). My MIL though found a nice fuchsia pink sleeveless shirt dress for $30, which she bought but the one XXL red raincoat I tried on still didn't fit me so I was discouraged and longing for Wal-Mart where I know I can find clothes that fit.
Fortunately, there was one right across the road so that's where we headed next. I bought 3 pairs of shorts to wear around the house, some purple towels, cushions for the patio chairs and miscellaneous toiletries/meds and food products.
From there, I drove my MIL home and I walked into my house about 7:00 p.m. totally exhausted. I put away our purchases (the cushions are still in my truck because it was raining when I got home and I didn't want to get them wet in case I hated them in the chairs), changed into my sweats, grabbed my water bottle and collapsed in my recliner. I was exhausted. I read my book for about half an hour and then booted up my computer and did some online shopping (yep, the shopping wasn't done yet!).
I've been looking for some standing core exercise DVDs since two of the Supreme 90 set that I've been doing for a month are both core workouts and I can't do most of either of them because they're either on the floor or on a ball, both of which are difficult for me. So, from Collage Video, I ordered:
- Jazzercize: Dancin' Abs
- Billy Blanks Tae Bo Insane Abs
- Jessica Smith's 10 Pounds Down: Cardio Abs
- Cardio Stack, Core Attack
- Jillian Michaels 6-Week Six-Pack
And, on the Collage Video forum, the following workout set was suggested so I also ordered it from Beachbody:
- Shaun T's Rockin' Body Package
Apparently, there's one DVD in the set that's 70 minutes long and the first 60 minutes is all standing core work so I'm looking forward to checking it out.
By the time, I was done all this online shopping, it was around 9 and I turned on the TV for the first time since I got home and watched some comedy.
It was a long, tiring day but a lot was accomplished and we had a good time.
P.S. Some people think that spending that much time with their MIL would be awful but just for the record, I love my MIL and she loves me and we always have a good time together.
Monday, March 11, 2013
For this weekend's challenge, we're supposed to post a blog about whatever. I'm not very good at whatever; I'd much rather have the "powers that be" give me a topic to blog about, like when we were in school and had to write an essay.
So, what I'm going blog about today is that I love being part of the Amazon Warrior team for the second round of BLC challenges but I wish that so many of the veteran members weren't struggling so much and I wish that other than being there for them virtually, I could help in other ways.
See, this is one of those times when teleporting would come in handy.
Teleporting is the one sci-fi invention that I most covet. If I could teleport, I could go to Barb's and help her or I could go to Julee's and help her or I could go to Linda's and help her, etc., etc., etc. (and of course, I'd go visit all the other Warriors as well because it would be great to meet them in person!)
Heck I could go and help my good friends, Ang and Cynthia as well from the Living With RA team (which by the way, I'm one of the co-leaders of although I spend so much time on the BLC stuff, I feel I don't give enough time to the RA team).
Teleportation is definitely the way to go.
Have a great day, everyone and
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Iíve returned from Belize and I had a wonderful time. The pool was the best thing about the place as it was approximately 270 feet wide. I figured out early on that it took me 10 minutes to do 4 laps so every day, I tried to do at least 12 laps altogether. I could probably have done more than 4 laps at a time but I just didnít have the interest to do more than that at one time.
Pool view showing the width
The one thing I didnít know ahead of time about this resort was the length of time it took to get there. I had gotten up at 1:00 a.m. at home, picked up by the limo at 3:30 a.m. and boarded the plane in Toronto at 6:00 a.m. We were supposed to leave at 6:20 a.m. but the flight left Toronto an hour late at 7:20 instead of 6:20.
There was a stopover in Cozumel, Mexico and we were made to get off the plane so they could clean it and then we had to reboard it to get to Belize so we got to the main airport in Belize City around 1 p.m. And, then, much to my dismay, we were told that we were going to be flying from Belize City to Maya Village in a 12-seat Cessna! I hate flying and this was something that I wasnít looking forward to (Iíve never been in such a small plane).
Much to my surprise, I didnít actually hate it until the descent started. It was then that it was buffeted about with some turbulence and I thought I was going to be sick. So, I just shut my eyes and concentrated on breathing. After we landed, I had a headache. The plane ride took about half an hour and then we were put in a shuttle bus and transported to the resort for another half an hour. We got to the resort around 2:15 and I was exhausted but we didnít get our rooms yet. We were given welcome drinks and then shown the way to the pier to have some lunch. We finally got into our rooms around 3:15, at which point I had been travelling for approximately 12 hours and I was thoroughly exhausted. To no oneís surprise, I was in bed and asleep by 9:00 p.m.
Before, I left on vacation, I blogged about my plans while away and they were:
1. Exercise for a minimum of 1 hour every day
2. Indulge myself on the first full day (Tuesday) and then eat responsibly for the rest of the trip
3. Participate in as many of the BLC challenges as possible and record my points faithfully
4. Read a minimum of 5 novels
And, this is how I did:
1. The only two days I didnít get an hourís worth of exercise were the travelling days. On February 4th, I got no exercise although I did manage to get almost 8000 steps, which I thought was pretty good considering I spent a huge amount of the day sitting. And, on February 11th, I only got 40 minutes in because we had to leave the hotel at 8:30 a.m. for our trip home.
And, I actually got 2 hours on two days and 1.5 hours on a third day so I was happy with that.
2. The food part didnít turn out so well as the fitness though. There wasnít a lot of choice when it came to which dishes to eat. Each meal only had 4 or 5 dishes to choose from and only twice was there a green salad and once there was steamed veggies. The food served most often was different rice dishes and lots of chicken.
But, the good part was that the plates were huge and so typically, I didnít go up for seconds. And, if you wanted dessert, most meals it was pineapple, papaya and watermelon and sometimes orange slices but a couple of times, they had different types of cake and I had that three times.
The best meal we had was grilled red snapper with coconut rice at the Š la carte restaurant.
As for the drinking part, I had 2 pĩna coladas, 2 lime daiquiris and 2 chocolate monkeys plus one half-glass of red wine there.
The pool bar also delivered snacks to your chaise if you wanted to indulge. I had banana bread, nachos and pizza (all on different days).
3. I participated in all of the BLC challenges to the best of my ability and posted my points well within the deadlines. The hotel didnít have a dedicated room for guests to use the hotelís computers and I didnít bring mine since most resorts do have this. However, I was given permission to use the conciergeís computer at the front desk after dinner on the days I needed to record my points and thatís all I used the computer for plus a couple of emails home.
4. I finished the 4th novel on the plane coming home. I didnít reach my goal of reading 5 novels but one of the books was more serious than my normal reads and it took me 4 days to read. In my defence though, I also read 2 magazines. The books I read included:
ē The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. This was a Teen Fantasy novel and it was really good. Itís the first book in a series and I canít wait to read the next one.
ē Snow Blind by P.J. Tracey. It was a good solid mystery and it was the 4th in the Monkeewrench series.
ē The Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle. This was the more serious novel. It was set in Florence in the 1940s and in present day (2006) as well. The present day story was a mystery that related to the events that occurred in the 1940s. It was really good and I highly recommend it.
ē The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. This teen fantasy was quite good as well. It took me a little while to get into it but once I did, I could barely put it down. Itís the first in the Nicholas Flamel series.
I also played Scrabble with my dad every night before dinner and won 90% of the games and even though he was an English professor, heís not very good at playing strategically although he's better than he was last year.
And, of course I had a few naps as well. On Saturday, my dad decided he wanted to go to town because it was market day and asked me if I wanted to join him. I told him ďnoĒ because itís been my experience that town is always a lot hotter than the resorts and partially because thereís no where to cool off in town like the pool or some shade and also because most towns only have a bunch of touristy shops that sell a lot of junk. But, he went anyways and regretted it. He said that he walked through the town for the first half hour and bought some presents for his grandkids and then he had 1.5 hours to kill before the hotel shuttle returned for him, which he spent in a cafť.
So, Iím glad I didnít go with him.
The high points of the resort for me were the pool and the chaises. These chaises were the best ones Iíve ever seen at a resort. They were wooden with nice, thick pads. In fact all the furniture was made out of good, solid wood at the resort and the room we had a separate bedroom that my dad let me have and he slept on the futon in the living area.
Picture that hung over my bed
My dadís favourite points of the week included the dining room at the end of the pier that we took most of our meals at, the pool and the gardens plus the nice floral arrangements on the tables in the dining room.
Pier Dining Room
My dad in the Pier Dining Room
The weird thing about this resort is that hardly anyone swam in the Caribbean Sea. There were rumours of stingrays, jellyfish and sea urchins so I decided to be cautious and avoided it but itís really too bad because the Caribbean Sea is typically pretty warm and calm at this time of year.
So, that was my week. Sleeping, eating, swimming, exercising and reading. Itís a tough life, isnít it?
My Dad and me in front of the hotel
Get An Email Alert Each Time BKWERM Posts