joannebest











{May 15, 2015}   The First Time I Saw Jesus

grotto4
I was eight years old the first time I saw Jesus.
Near the ponds, where I would ice skate whenever they froze solid enough to hold my skinny frame, there was a grove of birch trees set back a bit from the thick cluster of pine surrounding everything , as far as my young eyes could see.
He didn’t speak, at least not out loud. I don’t remember what He said inside my mind because that’s where I heard Him, that’s what it was, a mindmeld. If anyone could mindmeld, surely He could.
I only remember peace. Silent calming peace amidst the wind gusts and stinging hail mixed with small tiny snowflakes blowing sideways. My cheeks were red from the cold, my toes frozen inside my rubber boots and the thermos of hot chocolate my Mom made for me did nothing to warm my mitten-clad hands.
He did though. He glowed, surrounded by bright fluffy white clouds and I felt like I was in a grotto, straight from the pages of one of my books from Catholic School.
The wind stilled, that I remember, but the rest of it remains a dreamlike memory of an eight year old girl seeing Jesus for the first time.
I never told anyone for surely they wouldn’t believe me.
~
I was nine years old the first time I heard Angels sing.
It was the day Bobby Kennedy died. Too young to really understand death except to know it was bad and sad. It was my Godmother’s birthday, how could the day turn into a day of sadness?
It was hot that day and my bedroom was upstairs, an attic converted into two bedrooms, back when air conditioning was for the wealthy, not the middle class.
I lay on my bed, a big box fan aimed at me, too hot to even turn the pages of the book I was reading when I heard the Angels sing.
The sound was glorious, Heavenly, sweeter than the Church Choir I sang with every Sunday. But somehow I knew nobody else could hear it except me. I also knew, believed with all my heart, that the Angels were rejoicing as they escorted Bobby Kennedy to Heaven.
I listened to that unearthly sound and told no-one. Surely they would think I was crazy.
~
I was sixteen years old the first time a vampire snuck into my room.
Some friends and I were vampire hunting. We’d found a business card, slightly crumbled and worn from too many dirty footsteps walking over it as it lay on the ground, partially covered and unnoticed. A corner stuck out, catching my eye and I crouched down to slip it from the dirt. Brushing it off against my already dirty jeans I struggled to read the worn out words imprinted on the card in red. My friends gathered around me as we struggled to see what was left on the card. “Vampire” and “Club” were all we could make out, along with a partial address. Mustering up our courage, we climbed back into the old worn out van we’d been cruising around town in and drove up and down the street listed on the card. The house number wasn’t readable but the neighborhood was beautifully frightening, full of old rundown Victorian houses. Most seemed abandoned and we saw no signs indicating Vampires so we called it a night.
As I hopped out of the van, the streetlight in front of my house popped, making the dark seem darker. We laughed nervously, joking that a vampire must have followed us home to warn us away. I slipped quietly into the house, the sound of my Parents snoring assuring me my missed curfew would go unnoticed, just like the business card we found.
Sleep came quick that night, followed by the vampire. It was summertime, steamy, my skin too clammy for even a sheet. The thought of sleeping naked tempted me but I could imagine, with my luck, the house burning down and me running outside bare-assed.
I fell asleep to the sound of thunder as a summer storm blew in. The white cotton curtains rippled in the breeze and a particularly bright lightening bolt illuminated my bedroom. That’s when I saw him standing at the window. The curtains billowed around him as his eyes pierced mine, beckoning me to come to him.
I found myself sitting on my wicker chair, the loose white cotton shirt I slept in had slipped down leaving my shoulders exposed, showing the silver cross I always wore. I felt no panic, no worry, just a sense of peace as he gently lifted the cross over my head, dropping it on the floor next to me while he stroked my hair, pushing it back before his mouth came down to my neck.
The following morning I awoke in my bed, drained, fatigued, the memory of a vampire in my room vivid, clear, and undeniably real. I checked my neck for any sign of vampire fangs but there was nothing. Although I did notice my cross was no longer around my neck but puddled on the floor next to the white wicker chair I’d been sitting on.

I told no one for surely they would tell me I was only dreaming. The fatigue I felt, the cross on the floor, they told me it was true but I kept quiet.
~
I was eighteen the first time I saw a flying saucer.
Four of us were driving home from a Patti Smith concert in Manhattan, it was New Years Eve but we were all stone cold sober. The roads were empty as it neared the midnight hour and as we drove over the Edison Bridge we saw it. Rising from the Raritan Bay, a round object, approximately the size of a station wagon flew slowly out of the water, red and white lights caused the water dripping from the object to look like falling flames.
We were young and fearless, opening the windows and shouting “take us with you!” as we laughed but we knew what we saw. It was real and seemed to follow us. We drove through Sayreville and parked the car near Major’s Pond, the object still hovering over us.
I don’t remember anything else, just the four of us standing outside the car watching an Unidentified Flying Object rising higher and higher until it disappeared. None of us remember exiting the car, none of us remember how long we stood there, and none of us, to this day, talk about it.
Surely no one would believe us, we were just kids, crazy punk rockers. They would think we must have been drinking or doing drugs, neither of which was true. Yet we knew we wouldn’t be believed and to my knowledge, I’m the only one willing to discuss it.
~
I was in my forties the second time I saw another UFO, this time though, it wasn’t just me and a handful of friends who saw it, but the whole town, including a priest, some policeman, as well as hundreds of cars filled with people who pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike to watch the majestic sight slowly moving in formation, low to the ground.
It was silent as it flew overhead, no crickets chirping, no buzzing of the usually ever-present mosquitos, none of the usual summer night sounds and all plane traffic was non-existent, an unusual occurrence in itself as I live a few miles away from Newark International Airport.
We stood outside on the pool deck, watching the slow glide until it reached a certain point, where it slowly disappeared, what looked like a falling trail of glitter fading as it left our field of vision.
Although we did tell other people about it, and watched and read news stories about it, there were still some doubters who surely thought we were crazy.
~
It was just a few years later the first time I saw a ghost.
In Cape May, known as one of the most haunted towns in New Jersey, my Mother and I were on one of our many Mother/Daughter getaways when it happened.
My memory is unclear and hazy, but my Mother woke up when she heard me talking to someone. “Don’t you see them?” I asked her. I pointed at them, two little children, a boy and a girl, both of them beckoning to me, encouraging me to follow them. Mom had heard me open the door and got up, pulling me back into the room when she found me leaning over the third story railing trying to reach them, to touch them, to follow them. She put me back to bed, as she did when I was a child and we talked about it in the morning over pancakes at Uncle Bills Pancake House. She saw nothing, but she believed me, she believed I saw two ghosts even though she didn’t see them herself.
But I told nobody else, surely they would insist I was in a dream-state, or I was sleepwalking, or it was just my overactive imagination.
~
The last time I saw my Mother she was in the ICU and it was her eighty-forth Birthday. We celebrated in her room with an imaginary candle in her lemon-ice. She told me about the dream she’d had, where she walked into a room and saw my Grandmother and two of her sisters, all deceased. One of her sisters asked her “what are you doing here? you don’t belong here yet”. My heart sank when she described her dream and we laughed it off, “yeah, that sounds like Aunt Jeananne” I said, “she’s just telling you it’s not your time yet.”
The hospital released her the next day, sending her to a rehabilitation center for her broken shoulder.
The following morning I was woken up from a deep sleep when the phone rang. It was a few minutes after five in the morning and they called to tell me my Mother was gone. I argued they were wrong, mistaken, my Mother wouldn’t leave me without saying goodbye.
Unfortunately, I was wrong and she did leave me without saying goodbye.
~
I like to think that day was the first time my Mother saw Jesus.
I like to think she watches over me, sees how much I miss her, how difficult it is for me to move on without her in my life.
I like to think the next time I see Jesus, He will be standing with my Mother, welcoming me home because home is where the heart is and my heart is always with my Mother.
And I don’t care what anyone thinks, because surely I will see her again, and all of this, this life I walk through each day yearning for invisibles will fade away as I move on to something bigger, something better, something understandable that will allow me to forget the forgettable, and instead, finally, I will be able to breathe easy once again.
meeting in heaven2

Advertisements


me and mom“Mothers hold their children’s hands for just a little while, and their hearts forever”~ Irish proverb ~
Someone much wiser than me recently told me my Mother flows through my veins, that every pump of my heart pushes part of her through my body and my mind, so she will always be with me. Always. It wasn’t until I was a few miles away from Cape May that I began to feel anxious the other day, uneasy almost, as if I’d left something behind when I packed my bags to head north. Which, of course, I had, when I stood alone on the slippery jetties and scattered my Mother’s ashes where she wanted them, in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape May beach.
cmsnowrocks
In the last ten years or so, Mom and I started a new tradition, 2 to 3 visits a year to Cape May, just the two of us. The only rule we had was we had to stay at The Victorian and we had to stay no less than 5 days. We began to think of The Victorian as our home away from home, always warmly welcomed as Mom checked in because I couldn’t stop petting the cat all cozied up on a comfy chair purring away in tandem with the thumping of the dog’s tail. We didn’t even care if we left the room, although we did spend many hours wandering through the most beautiful town in the world. What mattered was the talking. Two best friends talking who just happened to be Mother and Daughter. Those are the times I cherish most.
cmayvicstpaddysday
Everything happens for a reason some say, and I’m still trying to figure out the reason Mother Nature decided Saint Patrick’s Day, the day I planned to bring Mom to her final resting place, was a good day to dump 7 inches of snow in Cape May while leaving the rest of NJ alone.
cmwalkingtoocean2
But I was on a mission.
cmwalkingtoocean
After a longer than usual drive into howling wind, freezing temperatures, and snow nearly up to my knees in some drifts, I trudged my way, Mom in hand, down to the surf.
cmfeetstpd
I don’t remember ever being so cold and I talked to Mom as we got closer to the waves crashing over the jetties.
cmstpaddysdaybeachocean
My closest friend Shawn came with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone, but since she knows me so well, she understood my need to scatter Mom’s ashes by myself, but in true Best Friend Form, she walked with me to the beach, staying back just a bit so I could say my final goodbyes, just me and Mom, alone together for the last time.
cmstpaddysshawnocean
Is there ever enough time to say everything you want to say to someone? Usually we put it off or hope they just know how we feel.
mom and me scottish festival
I am so Blessed to have a Mother who taught me to always say ‘I Love You’, so thankful that we never even ended a phone call without saying it to each other, and beyond grateful that the last words we said to each other were “I Love You”.
1
Is it possible to feel relief and dread at the same time? Relieved that my sweet beautiful Mother is in that good place now, yet dreading each day without her in my life. I will never say goodbye to Mom, I will say until we meet again, I will feel your presence with each breath I take, feel you watching over me as you did all my life.
20130512_104042-1
And most of all, I will love you for the rest of my days, until I see you again.
unexpected mom
Rest In Peace, my beautiful Mother.
1334853128771
From Buffy The Vampire Slayer ~ The Body
Anya (crying): But I don’t understand! I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s, there’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore! It’s stupid! It’s mortal and stupid! And, and Xander’s crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why. (She puts her hand over her face, crying.)

anya from the body
My own version of the yellow brick road, where life is magical and anything is possible.
road to cape may



cmmom2
One little photograph.
And it’s not even a well taken photo, it’s blurry and off-center, nothing that you’d see in a magazine or framed with a pricey tag slapped on the corner of the frame. But this picture is magical.
If you look really, and I mean really close, there is a lifetime of love captured in a microsecond with an impulsive snap of a camera phone.
My Mother, standing on the deck of the Victorian just watching over Cape May.
Standing there, on that very deck just a few steps away from the door to “our” room was a piece of Heaven to Alice Bridget Carey Best, also known as Mom to me.
Ok, sometimes, Maaaaaaaa, and don’t even try to convince me you haven’t used that tone at least once. A day. Probably more.
cmsnow1
Last year, the end of March, we got one of our Mother/Daughter always-wanna-see’s, snow in Cape May. It wasn’t a big snowstorm, although for one magical day snowflakes fell, lot’s of them, it was beautiful and perfection as we looked out the window and munched on Fish and Chips from The Pilot House (thanks to the wonderful owners of the Victorian for the recommendation!). It was perfection. Warm and cozy and together.
cmmom
It’s human nature to look back and think of what we should have done to have avoided a life-changing event, a catastrophe, but the truth is only the Big Man Upstairs knows that stuff. It must be terrible to know all the heartache that inevitably comes, maybe that’s why we’re meant to remain ignorant of the future.
I had no way of knowing that was the last time Mom and I would go to Cape May together.
Little over a week later she had a broken shoulder and she was gone in a flash, like turning off a light switch.
I can’t ever find that switch, although I still find myself reaching for it, but there is one thing I can do and that thing is keep a promise.
Mom told asked me to make sure she was cremated and make sure I took her back to Cape May, the one place in the world she loved most, the place she and I spent countless Mother/Daughter getaways.
cmv
Let’s just say there were threats of haunting if I didn’t at least sprinkle some of her ashes into the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically of course, Cape May.
Did you ever have to deal with a five foot two red headed blue-eyed angry Irish ghost? Me neither and I’m not about to find out thank you very much.
IMG_20110713_204612
Hence the insanity of driving to Cape May tomorrow morning straight into a snowstorm originally meant to hit all of NJ but now, yeah, Cape May.
I hate driving in snow.
But drive I will.
So wish me luck, or better yet, how ’bout we just cancel the snow and get on with Spring.
That’s me-talk for I hate driving in snow, it freaks me out and I’m kinda petrified about the snow the weather folks are scaring me with but I’m on a mission.
I think I’ll pretend I’m Emma Peel and drive to my magical place, where miracles happen and I can always breathe.
A place I know my Mom will always be, watching over Cape May.
And me.
cmb



{February 26, 2014}   Dear Diary 2/26/14

diary
Dear Diary,
I’ve been a bad, bad, very bad girl.
In more ways than one but for now lets just concentrate on one thing at a time, ok?
Me plus endless snow and constant company (aka zero privacy) equals me losing my mind.
(1 + ::: + OOOOO [0] = o_O)
Now it may not seem like a big deal to the normal person but, well, I am far from the normal person as anyone who knows me can attest. Actually, now that I think about it, even if you don’t really know me, it’s not too hard to pick up on the crazy that lives inside me nearly every moment of every day.
Hey, it’s not easy being me you know.
Ok, maybe it could be easier being me if it wasn’t smack dab in the middle of the worst winter we’ve had here in New Jersey in I don’t know how long. They say that every 20 years or so we have some kind of really horrible very bad blizzard/snowstorm/opening up of the Heavens/Mother Nature’s Fury, whatever you want to call it.
Frankly, I call it bullshit.
Because enough is enough.
The other day I realized my life has been basically one fuck-off after another for the last two years. And yeah I said fuck-off.
Actually, it’s probably longer than two years but we’ll stick with that number because it’s slightly less pathetic.
Wait. I said that wrong, it’s really been one long-non-stop-run-on-sentence-fuck-off.
And it all boils down to one thing: a stupid fucking hurricane.
Seriously, that’s the root of it all. Hurricane Irene.
Remember her?
Don’t worry, nobody else does either because Hurricane Sandy came along the following year and made Irene look like one lit match compared to a Towering Inferno.
Irene didn’t cause anywhere close to the damage Sandy did on the surface, but we were one of the unlucky ones when our house collapsed and it was all my fault.
The day Irene hit I had to open my big mouth and say something about how we always hear about people losing everything in natural disasters but thank God we never knew anyone personally who had to live through something like that.
We all know how that turned out, one collapsed house and a lifetime of memories gone in a snap.
Sorry dear diary of mine, I seem to have veered off topic, but lets face it, veering off topic is pretty much a given where I’m concerned. So in keeping with tradition, I’m about to veer.
Guess what diary? I’m going to Cape May!
I was afraid I’d never be able to go there again since it’s been my Mother/Daughter tradition forever.
How can I do it without her?
I’ll tell you how; me and my bestest friend Shawn are leaving it all behind and taking a mini-break, Thelma and Louise style, only without flying cars.
I just booked the room, coincidently the room my Mom and I usually stayed in, and even though it’s only for two nights, I figure it’s like getting my toes wet.
Another coincidence? We are going exactly one year to the day my Mom and I spent our last Cape May trip together.
I’m thinking dear diary, that perhaps this will give me some sort of closure. I’ll be bringing a bit of my Mom with me, to fulfill a promise I made to her once upon a time.
Legal or not, I will be spreading some of her ashes where she asked me to, in the Atlantic Ocean near Sunset Beach.
She said she’d haunt me forever if I don’t follow her wishes.
And since every time I’ve been to Cape May I’ve had some sort of ghostly experience, I’m not taking any chances.
It wouldn’t surprise me if I do see my Mom, or at the very least, feel her presence. In fact I hope for it.
After all, somebody pulled some strings up there to enable me to be in Cape May a year to the day since Mom and I spent our last week together. (Shut up, if I wanna believe it then I will, so there non-believers! And cut me some slack, I’m still all kinds of delicate and emotional and stuff.)
Knowing my feisty red-headed Irish Mom, she’s the string-puller; so thank you my dear Mother, you will be with me always in my heart, but it’s nice to know you’ll be coming with me one more time to our favorite place in the world.
Leaving a piece of you there in our own personal Heaven on Earth will be a comfort to me, knowing that you will be there always, just like you wanted. Oh and no worries, I’ll be joining you some day but in the meantime, don’t be a stranger.
Ok diary, signing off for now, I really should be writing other stuff. And Muse o’mine? Don’t be so hard on me, I promise I’ll make it up to you.
There’s a burst of inspiration on my horizon. Cape May always has that affect on me, and today I booked my favorite room at my favorite place in the world, The Victorian, just a stone’s throw from the beach. Truth is, it feels like home there, the owners make you feel like Family, it has the best view you could wish for, and, well, it’s magical.
I may have been MIA for awhile my dearest diary, but baby, I am (almost) back.
For the first time in a long time, I feel something I thought was gone forever; hope.
cape may sunrise

 



50qabouutme

Real life has been in my way lately, as well as an awful lot of no internet from this stupidly beyond cold winter, so I haven’t been around these parts too much lately, not like I don’t want to be, just lifestuff. Anyway, timing and fate led me to The War In My Brain’s blog (I suck at links, forgive me)
http://meganhasocd.com/2014/01/29/50-things-about-me-and-lots-of-chester-pics/comment-page-1/#comment-17863
where I found this fun list of 50 questions about yourself. There’s a link there to where the questions originally (I think) came from. So I thought I’d play along, and highly encourage everyone to play along. It’s a fun little way to get to know each other a little bit more, just random questions, nothing earthshattering but it was kinda cool playing along.
Here’s to a round of Getting To Know Me (a bit) in 50 Questions, so with no further ado, I present to you, Answers to 50 Questions About Me. My regularly scheduled schedule will return soon, if the winter starts to cooperate that is. In the meanwhile, why don’t you give it a go? I’d love to read your answers, plus it’s fun learning more about people, yes? I don’t know what ‘pingbacks’ or ‘trackbacks’ actually are, like, are there rules and stuff? I just want to make sure I don’t miss anyone’s answers and I think they’re all connected somehow and stop laughing at me ’cause I don’t know, I just type.
questions
1.WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
My Mom came from an Irish Catholic family, seven siblings and as they married and had kids, every child born before me was
a boy. When I finally came along I was the first girl amongst a bunch of boy cousins (and brother) so my Mom named me after
my Grandfather Joseph and my Grandmother Anne. Middle name Bridget, was my Mom’s middle name, Grandmother’s middle name and Great-Grandmother’s name.

2.WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I’ve always been a crybaby, tears would flow over anything and everything. But the last time I really cried was when my Mom
died in April. Since then, I’ve been pretty much frozen and unable to cry. I wish I could.

3.DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Sometimes. I went to Catholic School for eight years, back when penmanship was part of the curriculum and we were graded on
our handwriting. I’m capable of writing beautifully if I take the time, but my handwriting changes when I’m in a hurry. I’m
also able to replicate other people’s handwriting easily enough to have kept myself out of trouble when I was in school and
had to have something signed by my Mom or Dad. But I always felt guilty about it and would end up telling on myself. I mean
after enough time had passed.

4.WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
If I can only pick one I have to go with thinly sliced roast beef, the bloodier the better. Add some mayo and a pinch of
salt on either a hard roll or one slice of bread lightly toasted (toasted so I slice it down the middle and poof, two
pieces of bread out of one because, carbs)and there ya go, a perfect sandwich!

5.DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No kids, just three cats; two tabby sisters- Drusilla and Anyanka, and one male Siamese Lynx Point named Mr. Big.

6.IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Yes I would actually, I’m kinda cool while remaining humble about it. 😉

7.DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Who? Me?? Sarcastic??? That would be a big fat yes. I’m also drawn to people who are blessed with the gift of sarcasm.

8.DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Nope. I had my tonsils removed when I was around two and a half years old and for some reason I still remember what I was
wearing on the way to the hospital; a blue plaid skirt and a blue fuzzy sweater. I don’t remember much more than that other
than standing up in a hospital crib/bed thingy crying and eating ice cream.

9.WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No thank you. Not unless it’s a life-saving situation but never would I jump for fun.

10.WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Captain Crunch or Sugar Pops if we’re talking cold cereal. Hot cereal would be farina or blueberry crème instant oatmeal.

11.DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
I rarely wear shoes with laces but when I do I usually untie the laces first, unless I’m too tired or feeling lazy.

12.DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Physically I’m a lot stronger than I look, emotionally, I tend to waiver depending on the situation.

13.WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
If I have to pick just one I’d have to say vanilla but only if we’re talking ice cream. Breyers chocolate or Ben and Jerry’s
Cherry Garcia are right up there with vanilla.

14.WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Usually their eyes, but also their general posture, as in whether or not they feel comfortable with their own damn self.

15.RED OR PINK?
Unfair! Red and pink.

16.WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My inability to stand up for myself, I am much too tolerant and have a tendency to let people get away with treating me like
garbage yet I would go through hell to stand up for others.

17.WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
Without question, my Mom.

18.ANY TATTOOS?
Nope. Nothing against them but not for me.

19.DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
Hmmm, depends on your definition of “hobbies”; I write, I read, I take photos… I guess singing in a band is sort of a
hobby, collecting Christmas ornaments is a thing, going to Cape May has always been my dictionary definition of a hobby
but now that my Mom is gone I can’t imagine going without her. Oh! I know! Collecting all things Buffy The Vampire Slayer!

20.WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
At the moment, black Uggs.

21.WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Raviolis leftover from last night but I’m about to eat a gigantic Angus-burger which I’ll be lucky if I eat half of it since
it’s a half pound burger from the new burger joint down the street. It’s takeout Friday, they deliver, and I’m hankering for
a good medium/well cheeseburger.

22.WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The sound of three drunk men drifting up the stairway as they listen to recordings of their last rehearsal. Loud. Drunk.
Men.

23.IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Blue. Or red. Maybe pink. Or black. Can I just go with the whole box? The large one with the most colors.

24.FAVORITE SMELLS?
The ocean, coffee(love the smell, hate the taste),autumn, snow before it falls, dirt after it rains, grass after it’s mowed,
pine trees, cinnamon, the candles my Mom used to burn.

25.WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My Father.

26.MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Beach house all the way, contrary to popular belief, despite that damn show The Jersey Shore, the Jersey shore really is
gorgeous, beautiful, magnificent, and where I belong.

27.FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
I don’t really watch sports, although I used to like watching baseball. The only thing sports related I like watching is ice
skating and maybe gymnastics sometimes but only when the Olympics are on.

28.HAIR COLOR?
Red, as red as I can possibly get it; to be fair, I was born blond and as I grew up it began to turn an auburn/brown. I just
helped make it more red. Truth? I once bleached it blond and I mean blond because I wanted to see if it was true, if
blonds really do get more attention (it’s true), then took advantage of the blond by playing with colors (blue, purple, and
other shades of red) until I got back to my original red.

29.EYE COLOR?
Varying shades of blue, sometimes almost green.

30.DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Ack! I just can’t with the whole sticking in the eye thing so I stick to glasses when I have to wear them to drive, but
usually wear sunglasses just because.

31.FAVORITE FOOD?
Hot sweet milky tea, I could live on tea. But a plate of fried scallops from The Lobster House in Cape May is Heaven on a
plate. And have you tried their chocolate peanut butter brownies with chocolate icing, a swirl of peanut buttery
crème and a peanut butter cup on top?

32.SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Scary movies with happy endings. Like Joss Whedon-happy endings.

33.LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Either Much Ado About Nothing or CBGB:The Movie, I watched them both around the same time in the comfort of my bed.

34.WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Blue.

35.SUMMER OR WINTER?
Autumn really, but better hot than freezing so, summer.

36.HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs that turn into kisses.

37.FAVORITE DESSERT?
Chocolate mousse. No, crème brulee. Maybe cheesecake.

38.STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Umm… I’ll have to get back to you on that.

39.COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Really??? Television. On my computer.

40.WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
About 3 or 4 different books because I’m a lunatic but let’s go with Up From The Grave by Jeaniene Frost because I bought it yesterday and couldn’t help myself, I’ve been waiting for this for so long I had to dive right in but I haven’t read much more than a chapter so far.

41.WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Don’t use a mouse so no mouse pad.

42.FAVORITE SOUND?
The right voice saying the right things. And the ocean.

43.ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Used to be the Stones but I recently realized it’s The Beatles.

44.WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Chicago, when my younger brother graduated from boot camp.

45.DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Oh yeah…

46.WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Montclair New Jersey USA

47.WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Carteret New Jersey when I’m not in Sayreville New Jersey

48.WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
White with blue shutters.

49.WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Maroon and not my awesome dark green Cadillac and I don’t care how fast it goes or that it’s newer and makes that vroom noise I love so much and it’s sportier blah blah blah, I want my green Cadillac back! Curse you Northstar engines!!!

50.DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS?
Sure, give me 50 more, this is fun!

So there you have it, 50 questions asked and answered, all about me. How ’bout you? And you? Up for it? C’mon, tell us 50 things about you. Please and thank you.
abboutme



{January 20, 2014}   Photo Challenge ~ Unusual Angles

tower1
As anyone who knows me knows, I’m obsessed with Cape May and all it encompasses, most specifically the old World War II Fire Tower down by Sunset Beach. The Tower is the setting for one of my WIP’s, an apocalyptic story about a girl who is living out the end of the world at the end of New Jersey, where she has settled into the Tower and made it her home.
The prompt for this Photo Challenge is Unusual Angles, so here are some photos I took of the staircase smack dab in the middle of the Tower. Please enjoy.

tower4

tower2

tower3

http://sonelscornerphotochallenge.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/photo-editing-challenge-unusual-angles/



mom program this1334853128771mom program back

So unexpected loss is the daily prompt and there is only one thing I can write about, which is, of course, the unexpected loss of my Mom nearly 8 months ago.
It started out with my Mom waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, she slipped her feet into her slippers and tripped, landing on her shoulder. My Dad took her to the emergency room where they gave her a sling and sent her home.
It wasn’t until the following morning when I made my usual morning phone call to Mom when I found out. I felt bad that nobody called me right away but as soon as I found out I packed a bag and went to the house to do whatever I could to help her. After a few days, I woke up early to find my Mom had slipped down the chair she slept in (per doctors orders) and she couldn’t get up by herself. I helped her up but something was off, she seemed confused, unsure of what happened and she asked me if she had a stroke. I didn’t think that was the problem but I called 911 and had an ambulance come, I was petrified but put on a brave face and followed the ambulance to the hospital as my Dad went in the ambulance with her.
We waited hours and hours as they did test after test and said she had a urinary tract infection and she was dehydrated so they wanted to keep her overnight for observation.
I stayed until she was settled in a room and went back first thing the next morning to find she had been moved to the Critical Care Unit. Long story short, they decided she needed dialysis and a blood transfusion. She was coherent, she said she felt fine but she had to stay they said, she needed a few more days of dialysis before they could operate on her shoulder.
A few days turned into 2 weeks, they did the surgery and said she was fine. She was doing so well they said, that they were moving her to a rehab for her shoulder before she could come home.
It was her Birthday while she was in hospital, so we celebrated in her hospital room but due to dietary restrictions she couldn’t have any goodies so we put a candle in her lemon ice and Dad and I sang Happy Birthday to her and spent the day with her until they kicked us out.
The following day she was to be moved so my Mom told me to take the day off, I’d been spending every day sitting and talking with her and she knew that my fibromyalgia had kicked in (I tried to hide it but you can’t fool your Mom), “Stay home today and get some rest, I’ll see you tomorrow when they move me to Briarwood” she told me.
I wish I didn’t listen to her.
They moved her that night around 10pm.
At 5am the next morning I received a call telling me my Mom was gone.
I didn’t believe them. It couldn’t be true, they told me she was fine, they told me she was 100% fine and she was just going there for rehab for her shoulder. She was fine. It couldn’t be true.
I was in shock.
I was the contact number rather than my Dad so it was left to me to break the unbelievable news to my Dad and 2 brothers.
I was a mess as I raced to the house and ran straight into my Dad’s arms and sobbed loudly, holding onto my Dad, who never showed emotion yet held me as I fell apart, crying along with me as my brothers both walked in and I did the same, I couldn’t stop sobbing, I was in shock and denial and now had to go over to Briarwood and see my Mom for the last time, sobbing sniffling and destroyed.
I don’t remember too much after that, I know we went to the funeral home and made the arrangements, I know we all went back to the house and sat in silence and shock, knowing we had to start making those phone calls.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone knowing I’d see that screensaver of a picture I took when Mom and I were in Cape May but that’s not what I saw.
See, I have 2 cell phones and had no sd card in my phone, no pictures in my phone, no screensavers or anything at all to change the picture there, it was impossible to change it when there was nothing in there to change it to. I’d used the phone several times that morning before we went to see Mom for the last time and every time I looked at the screen I was overwhelmed with memories of all our trips to Cape May.
Now we all know that in order to change the screensaver you have to go through several steps to make it happen.
As I pulled out the phone to call my Aunt Judy the picture was gone, replaced by a picture I’d never seen before, a picture that wasn’t anywhere in my phone.
My Mom and I shared an interest in the afterlife and ghosts, and we made a deal, whichever one of us went first we would send a sign to let the other know we were ok, that there was something else after this life we live on earth.
With all my heart, I believe that screen-change was my Mom letting me know she was ok and she was with her Parents and everyone else who’d gone before her.
I’m still in shock, I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her, and for the first time in my life I dread the thought of my first Christmas without my Mother, my Best Friend, my world.
I feel guilty, I remember one day in the hospital my Mom looked at me and asked “Am I dying?”, I looked her straight in the eye and said “No! I wouldn’t lie to you about something like that!”. I know I wasn’t lying, I believed it to be true, yet still, I feel guilt.
The last time I saw my Mother alive was on her Birthday, less than 2 days later she was gone and my life is now forever changed.
Rest In Peace my Dear Mother, I’ll see you one day on the other side and remember, I love you always.
mom and me scottish festivalMom and me at the Scottish Festival a few years ago
20130512_104042-1Mom in the green shirt looking at blond-haired me
phone1This is what my Mom switched my screen saver to, it swirls as if it’s the path leading to the Gates of Heaven

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/daily-prompt-unexpected/



{November 24, 2013}   Weekly Photo Challenge~Unexpected

AUTHORS NOTE: Random unexpected photos I’ve snapped over the past year…please enjoy, and Mom, I still miss you everyday
unexpected seagullUnexpected Seagull at Lobster House Cape May

unexpected momUnexpected Photo of my Mom taking a photo of above seagull

unexpected feetUnexpected shot of my feet

unexpected snow2Unexpected Snow 11/23/13

unexpected kittenUnexpected Kitties born underneath shed

unexpected kitten1Unexpected Kitties playing near shed

unexpected snowUnexpected Snow in March 2013 Cape May taken from Victorian Hotel

unexpected snow1Unexpected Snow in March 2013 Cape May Washington Mall
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/photo-challenge-unexpected/



clockss
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

When American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr composed the Serenity Prayer I have a feeling he wasn’t referring to changing the clocks twice a year.
It’s all simple and easy right? “Spring ahead, Fall back” is the phrase we all learned as children adults, you know, to make it easier to remember if we change the clocks back one hour or forward one hour, in other words, Daylight Savings Time.
Easy peasy*. That is, if you’re someone who’s not me.
Not-me would go around the house, usually before bedtime, and change all the clocks back one hour and there ya go, Bob’s your Uncle* and all that.
Not-me might even wait until waking up in the morning to turn back the clocks, somehow doing it that way makes it seem like more of a bonus, you wake up at 7am and say “yay, it’s really only 6am” so you roll over and go back to sleep for an extra hour. Allegedly.
There is an embarrassing point I’m working my way toward here, so lets say it all together: I changed the clocks yesterday for my Dad only I sprang ahead instead of falling back.
Feel free to laugh long and hard, I did.
It wasn’t until last night when my Dad phoned me to let me know so of course I felt it would be necessary to make that drive over the bridge to fix my mistakes.
But wonder of wonders, Dad called me this morning and I was able to talk him through the changing of the clocks.
I’m totally impressed that he was able to do it himself, and more than a little proud of his unwanted knowledge of all this new-fangled technology. I’m even the slightest bit proud of myself for being able to talk him through it over the phone, prouder still that I didn’t freak out, have a temper tantrum lose my cool at the idea of having to waste use my extra hour to drive down to Dad’s house just to push a few buttons, especially considering that I will be there tomorrow morning to spend the (internet-less) night.
It’s Election day here in the US of A on Tuesday so I will once again do my civic duty (aka earn the money needed to go to Cape May) and get my ass to the Polling Center at 5am, conveniently located half a block away from Dad’s house.
Providing the clocks are set to the correct time.
change
If the link doesn’t show the video I’ll make it easier for you, it’s a clip of The Brady Bunch singing “Time To Change”, here’s hoping it works out better than my clock setting adventures yesterday.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyooALwfxO8
*Any mangling or misuse of the English language is all on me aka I am a word-mangler.



{November 1, 2013}   Weekly Photo Challenge~Eerie

ufo1UFO or falling star?

ufo2These photos were taken in the order presented here in a matter of minutes.

ufo3Perhaps a falling star, though I don’t recall falling stars zig-zagging up and down and sideways

ufo4It was silent as it moved closer to the water

ufo5Whatever it was disappeared into the ocean. Was it a UFO I saw? Having seen UFO’s twice before in my life, the first time as I was driving over a bridge late at night, as the road was empty, I and three other people saw a USO/UFO as it rose out of the water without a sound, the red lights surrounding the disk shaped object caused the water to look like dripping flames… it’s hard for me to believe that in this huge universe, we are the only ones here. Do UFO’s exist? I can only speak of what I witnessed with my own eyes, and if ever there was an eerie sight, possible UFO’s, at least for me, fall under the heading of ‘eerie’.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/photo-challenge-eerie/



et cetera