I’ve learned there is something good about every where we’ve lived!
Posted by Carol on December 2, 2010
I’ve learned there is something good about every where we’ve lived!
Posted by Carol on August 11, 2009
Beginning several months before we moved to Colorado and continuing to this day, I have been in a bloggy dry spell. I blame it on the move – the physical and emotional upheaval that moving across the country (or even across town) causes.
But now we’re here. We’re all settled in. Mostly.
Just don’t look in my office – I haven’t organized that yet. Almost every file was dumped out somewhere between New Jersey and Colorado and I still need to go through about 20 years’ worth of papers and save what we need and shred the rest.
Ok, I’ll show it to you. It is actually much worse than the picture shows, you can’t see the area in front of the desk!
But other than that, I really want to get back to this blog. I miss it and I miss my bloggy friends. Problem is even though one would think I would have a ton to write about, I can’t think of a blessed thing.
So, last night on Facebook, I asked for suggestions and one of my younger friends said I should write about how much I love and miss her.
Good idea. Thanks, A!
Because the truth is part of my bloggy dry spell is being caused by homesickness for my friends in New Jersey. I am so thankful that we got to move to Colorado and live near family, but New Jersey was our home for 10 years!
I miss my church family at CBC so much that it’s hard to feel at home at church here. I miss my many friends that I could just pick up the phone and grab lunch or coffee with at any time. I miss my friend, S, that I could goof around with and then share my heart and pray with.
But, I know God has moved us here for a reason and He is using this season when I am the new girl to teach me to depend on Him for all my needs. When I am looking for a friend to talk to, I need to turn to Him. When I am frustrated with my kids and need advice, I have to turn to Him because there is no one here who I am close enough to to be that open with.
This newness hurts, but it is good. It is good for me to have only God. Of course, I have my husband and extended family, but I know God wants me to learn to look to Him first – to need only Him.
Soon enough, I will have a full calendar again and a church and girlfriends to go to lunch and coffee with. But for now, Jesus is teaching me some lessons that I could only have learned by being taken way out of my comfort zone of the familiar and plopped down across the country in a beautiful new place full of His possibilities.
Posted by Carol on July 19, 2009
I need everyone reading this post to start humming that tune now. You know the one. The obnoxious song from Disney World that will stay stuck in your head all day once you start.
I’ll wait til you’re all in unison…
Ok, now I can begin my story.
We’ve known since around January that my husband’s company was going to move us West. At first, they wanted to move us to Dallas, Texas. But, once Dear Hubby found out that he could possibly do his job from Denver, Colorado, he campaigned hard with his boss for that to happen. He grew up in Colorado and we have a lot of family and friends here, which made Denver a much more attractive choice for us than Dallas.
Back in New Jersey, for most of the 10 years we lived there, we attended the same church. Our kids went to Sunday School and Youth Group, and Hubs and I were involved in the Married with Children (not the official name) adult Sunday School class. I was also very involved with the Women’s Ministry at church. One of the benefits of being involved with Women’s Ministry is getting to know many of the women at church.
Now re-wind to a little over a year ago. We were still in New Jersey and the women of our church were away for the weekend at our annual retreat. I was (wo)manning the welcome table, greeting the women as they arrived. At a particularly slow time at the table, one woman (we’ll call her K) and I got talking. She shared with me that she and her family were moving to Colorado that summer. We discussed her move at length and she told me the area of Colorado they were considering. I was familiar with it because a) we have lots of family in CO, and b) we used to live there ourselves years ago.
I told K that my husband would be very jealous that they were getting to move to Colorado because it had always been a dream of his to get back there some day.
A few months went by, they moved West. K and I became Facebook friends and I was able to stay in touch with her that way. Through Facebook, I knew what town they had moved to, and what high school her kids attended.
Now, fast forward our story to this 4th of July weekend. We had just closed on our new home in Colorado and moved in on July 2nd. Apparently, our new neighborhood has a 4th of July party every year. This year, it was held on July 5th (go figure).
Being new here, we thought it would be a great opportunity to meet our new neighbors very quickly. So on July 5th, we marched ourselves right on over to the party, where approximately 60-70 of our soon-to-be closest friends were attending.
Hubby and I were chatting with several people when around the corner we spotted a very familiar couple walking to the party. We looked at them curiously, and they were looking at us with the same curiosity. All of a sudden the collective light bulbs in our heads went on when we all realized who each other were.
It was K and her husband from New Jersey! Not only do they live in our new neighborhood, but they live right across the street from us!
Like I said, I knew the town they had moved to and I knew their children’s school, but I did not know their street address. What are the chances that with the thousands of people who live in this town and school district that we would end up across the street from the only other people I know from New Jersey?!
And our former church?!
It IS a small world after all!!
(You can stop humming now)
Posted by Carol on July 16, 2009
Trying to put words to the whole experience of moving across the country from New Jersey to Colorado would not only be a very long post, but a very boring one as well. Instead, here are some pictures I took along the way to remember the experience by.
Our kitchen in NJ all boxed up.
The movers padded the doorway and protected the floors as they moved everything out.
Off they go to start the long trip from NJ to CO
Getting ready for our very long trip from NJ to CO
We passed St. Louis at around 6:30 am. Little did I know at this point that in a few short hours, I would get a speeding ticket in Kansas City. Thanks for the memories, Missouri!
Windmills in Kansas (almost to Colorado!)
And finally- the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (this is the view I see of Pikes Peak when I drive out of my new neighborhood)
Here’s Kobi – the only member of the family to get car sick on this trip and it was a lovely experience. He is actually the reason we drove from NJ to CO instead of flying. We didn’t want to put him under the plane after hearing too many horror stories from friends who have flown with their dogs.
Obviously, we all made it safe and sound. Most of the boxes are unpacked, pictures are hung on the walls (thanks to my husband’s brother and sister-in-law!), the kids have made a few friends, and I am trying to learn my way around a new town and a new grocery store.
Today while dropping some clothes off at the cleaners for the first time, the woman who worked there saw my New Jersey license plates and asked me about them. It turns out she is from Philadelphia and was tickled to meet someone from her neck of the woods.
I want to say that tomorrow I will tell you how it really is a small world after all, but we all know that lately my “tomorrow” means two to three days from now.
(But I really will try for tomorrow.)
(Thanks for your patience.)
Posted by Carol on June 21, 2009
Sometime this week, and I suspect sooner than later, I will lose my internet because of the pesky packers that are coming tomorrow to pack our house up to move us to Colorado.
Actually, they aren’t pesky, I love them because if they pack, that means I don’t have to.
Anywhoo, no matter who packs us up, at some point it is inevitable that I will have to do without the internet, and therefore, you, for up to a week.
I plan on taking lots of pictures of the chaos to post when I arrive at the other end of this journey to Colorado. There should be lots to write about because the four of us and our little Shih-tzu, Kobi, will be driving across the country starting around Thursday.
In the meantime, if any of you are interested, I plan on Twittering the whole event. If you’re not following me, you can start by looking for me under the name: IThrowLikeaGirl on twitter.com
If you want to try to respond to any of my tweets, you can DM (direct message) me because I have set up my BlackBerry to receive DM’s. At least I think I have. I’ll need someone to actually DM me to know if it worked. (Thank you Antique Mommy, it worked!)
See ya when we get out west!
Posted by Carol on June 19, 2009
When we first found out we were moving to Denver, I was feeling a little guilty to be so excited about it. We’ve lived in New Jersey for 10 years now (the longest place we’ve lived in the 23 year history of our marriage) and I/we have so many great friends, neighbors, and memories.
Yet, thinking about moving to Denver was exciting. My husband has 3 siblings and his mother that we will now be living near. We lived in the Denver area about 15 years ago and we still have friends that we are in touch with. And did I mention that Colorado is beautiful?
So back in March, April, and May if you asked me about the move I felt very brave and excited about it, yet still a tad guilty for not being sad enough about leaving NJ. How sad is sad enough, BTW?
(Have I ever told you that I am one-half Italian? Guilt is an ethnic trait of Italians.)
Well, I guess I worried about not being sad enough too soon because as soon as June hit, the countdown to the Big Move started, and the beginning of all the goodbyes began which, naturally, led to all the sadness.
The first goodbye was to Joyce, my hairdresser. I think only one or two other people in New Jersey has ever cut my hair. She has seen my hair long, short, and in-between. She introduced me to the wonderful world of highlights to hide the gray. Our sons have grown up together, only they didn’t know it. Joyce and I have traded stories about our sons every 6-8 weeks for the better part of 10 years. My last cut was June 4th.
And so it goes all around my town. I picked up my last load from the dry cleaners this week, and the Chinese woman who owns the shop (her name is Gina and I’m pretty sure that’s not the name her parents gave her) said “See you next time!” but I realized there won’t be a “next time” and I had to say goodbye to her.
But even more difficult than saying goodbye to all the familiar faces of the shopkeepers and bank tellers who I now know by name, is saying goodbye to my dear, dear friends whom I have done life with these 10 years.
I have by no means been able to contact every single person who has impacted my life in a meaningful way during our time in New Jersey, but I have been able to spend some time with some very special people in the last few weeks and days.
This has been a very tender time and I have not really been able to process it all properly because in the middle of all the goodbyes were the septic system replacement, cleaning and showing our home for sale, house hunting in Colorado, making no less than 5 offers on homes with nothing working out (well, I think this one will work, but I won’t stop holding my breath until after the appraisal), endless phone calls arranging this that and the other, and now, finally, actually packing up and moving out of the home where my little boy and little girl became a young man and a young woman.
There is a lump in my throat that I know is only going to grow as this week goes on and we pull out of our driveway for the last time on Thursday night.
I know that once the packers and the movers have done their jobs, and this house is empty, I will be able to close my eyes and remember all the friends that have graced our doorway, all the Christmas trees that brightened our family room, all the Thanksgiving dinners shared with friends and family around the table, and all the random days that have made up our life here for the past ten years.
And I will thank God for every one of them.
Posted by Carol on April 16, 2009
Last week we were out in Colorado looking for a new house for The Big Move that is taking place this summer. We have it narrowed down to 2 or 3, but have not made any offers until we have things more squared away here in NJ.
But I wanted to share with you one of the reasons I am looking forward to moving to Colorado. As we drive around town, here are some of the views we will see:
(Sorry about the light pole, it must have jumped in front of the camera when I wasn’t looking!)
It won’t replace the many friends I will miss dearly from NJ, but it does make the move a little easier to take.
Posted by Carol on April 16, 2008
I hate to admit it, but when we moved to California from Colorado about 12 years ago I went kicking and screaming all the way. I loved living in Colorado. We were close to family and our neighbors were our best friends. Plus, Colorado is a wonderful place to live. There are lots of things to do as long as you don’t mind freezing being a tad bit cold 6 months out of the year. When I thought of southern California, all I could picture were earthquakes, riots, and wildfires. No thank you.
After we had been in California about 6 months (yes, I was being a BIG baby) I woke up one day and looked around me and noticed something. I noticed how absolutely stinkin’ beautiful southern California is. The weather is just about perfect. The kids could play outside year ’round without being bundled up like the Michelin man, and did I say it was absolutely stinkin’ beautiful?
Some of the things that make California so beautiful are the many varieties of fragrant flowers that grow everywhere. They even grew in my new backyard. There were hibiscus, bird of paradise, yucca, jasmine (I miss the smell of jasmine to this day), oleander, bougainvillea, an orange tree that produced the most delicious oranges I have ever tasted, an apricot tree, and more I’m sure I’m forgetting about. Among the flowers that lived in my new yard were at least 20 rose bushes that were just gorgeous.
I had found my reason for living in California. I needed to keep those roses alive. The problem was that I can’t even keep house plants alive. I most recently killed a cactus that belonged to my son. He left it in my care when he left for college. I don’t expect he will let me babysit my future grandkids based on how his cactus made out.
Anyway. I knew I had no clue what to do with those roses, so I took a gardening class that covered caring for roses. And you know what? I didn’t kill a single rose bush! I even bought and planted some new ones and they all did just fine.
So, for those of you who have some roses you don’t know what to do with or would love to have some in your garden this year, here’s what works for me.
The following advice does not apply to climbing roses. They are a whole ‘nother ball game as far as pruning goes, and I don’t have a clue about them.
1. When the forsythia start blooming, it is time to prune and fertilize your roses. (Forsythia is that beautiful bush with bright yellow flowers growing all over each stem). Forsythia is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. If you live in the south or Southwest, you probably should have done this in February. But for those of us in the north or cooler regions, now is the time.
2. When pruning your roses, don’t be afraid, you are helping them be their best. New growth produces more flowers. Use very sharp pruning shears, the kind you hold in your hand like scissors. You want to cut them down to 1/3 of their current height. Then take a good look at the bush and cut off any dead stems, stems that are thinner than a pencil, and stems that criss-cross each other. Imagine that you are trying to make a “vase” out of the stems that are left, leaving it open in the middle. This is to promote good air flow.
3. Now you are ready to fertilize. I prefer a granular systemic fertilizer that you only have to use about once a month. I use Bayer Advanced Care 2 in 1 Systemic. It fertilizes and protects from insects that love to eat the rose buds and flowers and suck the life out of the stems. (It’s too bad we can’t sprinkle this stuff around ourselves to protect against things that suck the life out of us.) Take a claw-type tool thingy and loosen the dirt around the base of each rose bush. Follow the instructions on the bottle and apply the appropriate amount to the dirt at the base of the bush. Then take the claw-thingy and mix it in the dirt. You don’t have to be too precise with this. Give your rose bushes a nice drink of water. Do this about once a month until the first hard frost.
4. Deadheading – The purpose for deadheading is to encourage the rose bush to produce more flowers. Once the rose starts to wilt, it’s time to remove it. You want to take take your pruners and look at the stem the fading rose is on. Cut it back just above the first group of leaves below the rose. If the stem where the rose was is thinner than a pencil, cut it farther down to a thicker area, but still above a group of leaves. The new growth will start at the group of leaves.
We don’t live in southern California anymore, but I have been able to grow roses in the Northeast using this same method.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any questions. If I don’t know the answer, I will try to find it for you! For more helpful hints, go to Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer!
Posted by Carol on March 29, 2008
Several years ago, Dear Hubby and Dear Son went on a trip to Alaska. It was part business for Hubby, but mostly for fun. Once the business part was over, they added another five days to the trip to visit one of Hubby’s childhood friends, S, who now lives in Anchorage.
One day Hubby, Dear Son, S & his three sons went on a fishing trip in Homer, Alaska. They had the time of their lives and caught over 1000 pounds of halibut between all of them. A very happy Hubby had 100 pounds of it filleted, flash frozen and overnight-ed back home to his unsuspecting wife.
All this was well and good except for the fact that no one in our family likes seafood. What in the world was I going to do with all that fish?
I poured through my cookbooks looking for a recipe that would actually make our new freezerful of fish palatable to my family. This was somewhat difficult because we also do not like mayonaise which is strangely found in a lot of seafood recipes.
Then I found it. In my Creme de Colorado cookbook, I found the perfect halibut recipe. Which is ironic when you think about it because Colorado is a land-locked state. Hmmm…. Anyway, here it is:
Island Grilled Halibut
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons corn oil (I use canola)
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
6 halibut steaks, 1 inch thick
Combine marinade ingredients and pour over halibut steaks. Cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight. Place steaks on grill and cook 7 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily. (You really do need to marinate overnight. Don’t try to rush this or it’s not quite as good.)
This recipe has turned my kids into seafood lovers. However, Dear Hubby, try as he might, still can’t deal with fish. He blames his mother for all the fish sticks she served him as a child. Oh, well, that just leaves more for the rest of us! Whenever I make this recipe for company, they either take the recipe home with them or call me the next day for it. It is very delicious and easy.
For more great recipes, head on over to Saturday Stirrings with DeeDee!
Just for the halibut,