New Jersey

I’ve been being wild.  Off in Southern New Jersey – waaaay southern.  Ruth and Matt now live in Rio Grande which is the town before Cape May which is the end of Joyzee.  It’s actually an amazing place.  Cute, small homes, very affordable and normal to me.  Just the Jersey I grew up with back when kids shared bedrooms, homes had one bathroom and the yard was perfect for a push mower.  We never heard big mowers on Saturday, lawn mowing day, just the click, click, click of the push mower and raking leaves by hand – who invented those stupid, loud blowers anyway?  Horrible things.  Anyhow – I was there for about 5 days taking care of doggies, Gomer and Easter.  Unfortunately the “birds were nesting” at the beach so no dogs on beach!  Our main activity.

This is a photo of a terribly depressed doggie, Luna (our dog).  All three, Gomer & Easter included were so depressed and so was I.  What we’re wishing wasn’t so.  This is the Delaware River side of where the kids live – it’s about 6 blocks from the house, maybe.  Incredible tide.  When I went in the morning it was right up to pretty much where the car was and then later….it’s gone, way, way out, hardly a speck on the horizon.  Pretty cool spot and Ruth says an awesome play area for the dogs.  Hummm.  The weddings they go to (while I dog sit) should be organized around beach permissions.  Because of the postage stamp properties the dogs don’t have far to roam and because I am not a poop picker upper the idea of walks down the road was a tough one.  Three dogs…….yuck.  We did do loops around the block but my gag reflex was in high gear so we sat, and sat and sat for the days I was there.  When Ruth came back she and I got out and did a carriage tour of Cape May; checked out restaurants and looked at “gift” shops.  Oy vey, how many can you have squished in one town?  And, they all sell the exact same stuff.  I hate shopping anyway.

I believe the fat cycle in the U.S. may be all originating in New Jersey.  Every other corner has some kind of ice cream place – honestly, I have never seen so many and all different.  Crazy stuff, very ethnic.  After trying a few we decided Rita’s was the one.  It’s a fruit ice with custard on the bottom and top.  I don’t care for blending cream with food but if you could keep it separate it was awesome and I do like the ice bit.

Does anybody else have this?  When I left Ruth yesterday I was in tears, it was awful.  I drove for two hours before I felt like my heart was not breaking.  That always happens when I see my kids – I hate leaving them!  So, actually I have a hard time going to see them cause I know it’s really going to hurt when the eventual happens and we depart.  Man, I wish I could get over this.  They are happy, well adjusted, with great partners.  But, about two hours up the road I let it go and move on.  Once, I’m ashamed to admit, I left Jesse at college and stayed in the same town in a motel cause I just couldn’t get on the highway.  Granted, he did have a MAJOR sad thing happening (girlfriend left him) and I did call him and tell him I could not leave.  The next day was much easier.  Anyhow, as I was driving yesterday I remembered all the times when I was younger leaving my parents and thinking “whew, on my way home, YES”.  Is that because when we are young we have forever in front of us so separation is real easy?  I thought about that yesterday; it made it easier. 

Happy to see Paul when I got home…..I arrived to the 6th. straight day of rain here in Maine that I had missed (yea) and the sun came out at exactly 6:00 – we wrapped up our eyes with two sets of welding glasses and for me my normal glasses with bi-focals underneath to watch Venus.  Awesome!  We saw it – so we spent the next two hours running in and out to watch it traverse (didn’t move far but it started at about 11:30 on a clock (if the sun was a clock) and moved to 2:00.  Cool.  Goofballs, people were driving by and beeping at us.  It’s amazing, we are pretty far from the road – gawkers in our area.  Zip privacy here.

That Ruth!  She takes after her mom!  Before I left yesterday I made my usual vege/fruit drink with what was available: Beet, apple, pear, cucumber, spinach, strawberries, celery.  It was tasty but neither sweet or vegeish, kind of bland.  I had made it in her Quisinart so it was a bit too chunky for drinking but I left it and told her on the phone if she added some more stuff it could become a cold soup – like gazpacho.  Well, she added more beets, tomatoes, lemon & lime juice, onion, salsa and topped it off with ricotta salata that I had brought down.

What a smart girl – she said it was totally awesome when she sent this picture this morning.  Pretty healthy – lots of cool stuff.  It was kind of generic tasting at first I’m glad she swung it another way and it became dinner.  Cool. 

As to that cheese.  A few weeks ago I had made the ricotta salata – I think probably one of the easiest cheeses to make.  Well, it sat for two+ weeks, patted it with lime salt and dried with a paper wrapped around it (changed every few days).  The result is an almost dry, easily grated cheese.  One of my best! 

And, here it is grated on top of our garden fresh (first of the season) arugula, baby lettuce and baby kale.  How awesome to pick greens after that terribly long drive though all those hugely populated east coast cities…..not many gardens there!

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