Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 2014!!!

I wish you all a happy, healthy & prosperous new year!  
It's the only 2014 you'll get, make the most of it!

I know I will 
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Popcorn Park Zoo

Every once in a while I like to wander down to the Popcorn Park Zoo.  It's a wonderful zoo made up of animals that were either injured or were peoples pets!

Their latest addition is a mostly blind white tiger Kya. I've been dying to get down there and see her (and take some pictures)  She is just beyond beautiful.  I was basically the only person around so I got to spend a lot of time just watching her and the other big animals in the enclosures near her.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Trip to Sandy Hook, NJ

I know I went to Sandy Hook as a kid, but other than my cousins wedding 2 years ago
I've never gone to just take pictures.

Found some interesting things along the way. 

My 12 year old son took this shot of the Freedom Tower & NYC Skyline.

We were hoping to be able to see seals, and we did!  Yeah!
(please always remember that they are very cute & EXTREMELY dangerous. I am very far away & using a 300 mm lens)

 It was a beautiful 55 degree day and I'm so glad we went!

Friday, December 27, 2013

An Open Message to Jen O

She'll probably never read this... and I probably should message her directly... but I'm not sure yet.

Dear Jen,

Before I got married I was engaged to your husband.  We really should have never gotten past our first date, much less engaged.  It wasn't a healthy relationship. 

Over the years since we broke up we'd email birthday or holiday greetings back and forth occasionally. When you two got married I emailed him a congrats, etc. This past spring he started to text me occasionally about how his work would take him near my house & how we should go out to lunch.

I kept putting him off and our conversation died out. Then a few months ago he started up again. Once a week or so I'd get a "hey how are you doing" message.

Then he'd call occasionally.
This all went on during "working hours" (see red flag below)
You see where this is going, right?

It got more frequent after I told him I was getting divorced.(see red flag below) I told him that I felt he needed to know that I was no longer married because it changed the dynamic of the friendship. We were no longer 2 married friends. He said no big deal.

Around Thanksgiving he called and I missed it. When I went to call him back he was in the process of calling you.   I said "go call her I'll talk to you later" and he said "no, I want to talk to you" (see red flag below) This bothered me a lot and later I started asking him in text if you knew about our friendship, he said yes. Deep down I knew he was lying.

I decided to see how far I could push him before he told me the truth about what you actually knew, so I invited you two to come join my birthday celebration.  He declined stating you were not comfortable being I was an ex. "But she's OK with all the texts and talking we do?" I asked. 

He said you were, but the text messages & calls stopped instantly. One message on my birthday, one on his and nothing else.

Yesterday I got a "hope your holidays were good" EMAIL. 

I wrote back thanks and then because I had a buzz (it was 11pm, his email was from the morning *during working hours*) I sent him a text "Why are you emailing me instead of a text, I'm not mad at you"

Yes, I did it on purpose. If he thinks for half a minute that I will be a party to him contacting another woman against his wife's wishes, he's got another thing coming. I got an email back this morning that yes, you were unhappy with the amount of texts and calls, so he sent an email so it wouldn't upset you.  (see red flag to the right)

I ended the friendship right there. I told him that I had my own issues to deal with and had no time for whatever issue was causing him to continually contact me when you were not happy about it. I am no home wrecker.

He swears up and down that he's not doing anything wrong.
(see red flag to the right)

I want you to know that I felt the amount of time he and I spent talking and texts was wrong.  I am sorry if it caused you any stress. I asked him several times if you knew about our friendship and he said you were fine with it, that he didn't keep any secrets from you. 

I told him in my last email that our friendship ends now.  He wrote back that we'd always be friends..... (see red flag above)

You deserve to know the truth.  It could have very easily turned into an emotional affair, but I kept it as light as possible.  He actually doesn't know why I'm getting divorced.  After all I've been through, I know confiding in him would have been wrong because he is a married man.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2014 should be interesting

I'm getting divorced.

It took me a long time to get the balls to finally say so, but yes I'm getting divorced.

If you know me, you know why.  Otherwise it really doesn't matter why.  Marriages fall apart or grow apart or are ripped apart every day. Mine was no different.  I knew a long time ago that it wasn't going to last, we were never going to be the old couple walking down the boardwalk holding hands... We tried.  We went for counseling and did different thins to try, but it just was not meant to go the distance.

While of course I'm going to say it's his fault, it does takes 2 to Tango.  Though I'm not really sure what I could have done differently. I do know I pulled away after a while and didn't try anymore.  That was because I felt my life was the definition of insanity... you know, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Plus I'm not the only adult here, so why did I feel like I was?

I told him late in August, after he lied to me again, that I was done.  It took us until the end of September to tell the kids, then until late October to tell the rest of our families.

Telling the kids was the hardest thing.  The 15 year old said he "knew it" and the 12 year old just cried.  If you dare to ask me if I'm sure, you're going to get back a very passionate response that I would NEVER put my children through that if I was not 1000% sure.

What does fall on the "different" side of our divorce is we are still living together.  Right now we can't afford to move out.

We had hoped to be able to share the house for a few years to make things easier on the kids...  After a while I knew the original thought of staying until the kids graduated (6 years) was not going to happen.  We agreed to not dating while sharing a house, and that is a long time.  So I started thinking 2 years.  Let's get through the older one graduating and then maybe things would work out better financially.

In the mean time life around the house is still pretty status quo. He works full time and has a part time job. I have my part time day job from home & my business.  The house is still running like it was, including me making sure that family dinners still happened as often as possible.  On the nights he had to work his part time job I was making sure dinner was ready so he could eat with us between jobs.  So I was still playing the "good wife." Even doing laundry. I don't want to sound like he doesn't do anything around the house, he does, but I will still acting like everything was fine but that we were just sleeping in separate rooms.

Then I learned that he did something pretty stupid in early November. Again, what it was does not matter. But it was something that solidified my decision.  Not only was it stupid and dangerous, but it was selfish and betrayed what little trust I had left, and it was also a betrayal as a father.  Though the kids will never know what he did unless he decides to tell them.

When I found out, I was FURIOUS. I felt once again that I had been fucked over.  I'm sorry for the language but there really isn't any other way to describe it.  I was doing what I was "supposed" to do to make things easier on the kids and he just did whatever he wanted to do without any regard to the very realistic consequences that could have happened.  I tried to burn our wedding photo that night....  only to learn that the canvas must have had some sort of flame retardant on it because it wouldn't light & then smelled like plastic melting... so I just threw it away...

Thanksgiving was horrible.  It was just a week or two after the discovery and it just blew everything out of the water.  I was already playing nice for the kids, but now, after this discovery, I had to pretend for our families and serve 18 people Thanksgiving diner?  Was.Not.Happening.

I don't think I've cried as hard as I did before he left with the kids Thanksgiving morning.  The plan was he was going to take them to his moms & then bring them to my aunts later in the day. All I could think of was how it wasn't fair that *I* had to be without my kids AT ALL when he was the one who did wrong.

It worked out in the end, but it sucked HARD.

My birthday was uneventful and as Christmas approached he invited me to his mom's on Christmas day, but I did not invite him to my brothers on Christmas eve.  I didn't see the point.  I did go to his mom's on Christmas day & made the most out of it with his niece & nephews and our kids.  Then we all went to my aunt's for lasagna.

It was very weird but any kind of drastic change is going to be weird.

My friend went through something similar to what I am going through and she described it as mourning the relationship before ending it basically.  The relationship is over but you're still involved in each others lives and it is weird.

We have kids so we'll basically always have some interaction, but I am currently planning on moving out with the kids come summer.  Neither of us can afford to keep the house alone, so we will put it on the market and hope for the best.

I no longer put him or his needs first and I wonder how he's dealing with that.  I took care of him for a long time and now he needs to learn how to take care of himself by himself and I need to learn to let go.  I did a few things this Christmas that I would not have done if we weren't living together, like buy his niece & nephews presents that look like they're from both of us (i just put to, not from)... and remind him to buy his mother something...  I couldn't just not buy the kids presents and I knew he'd come up short because things like set holidays always seemed to sneak up on him...

While we have still agreed to not date while we are living together I can no longer guarantee that he can keep that promise... So I need to stop checking to see if he's dating. I have a bad habit of being nosy. It started when I was a kid and would read the notes the girls gave one of my older brothers and I still do it now. I'm good with keeping boundaries with my kids, I'm not up their asses or completely in their business, but they know I will check up on then at any given moment, that seems to help keep them in line.  I'm finding being nosy and looking for bad things just hurts me.  Sure it helps me too but so does just relying on me and no one else.

My therapist tells me I need to stop explaining myself.  That's harder than I thought!  I noticed my sister in law does it too and I said to her "don't explain, those that need it already know and those who don't know, don't need to know" and even though I'm blogging about getting divorced, it's what I'm keeping in mind while writing.

Also, I have to remember that I don't owe anyone an explanation.  Maybe people look for or need that 1 thing that tells everyone this THIS, this ONE THING is why I'm getting divorced.  But sometimes, often, there isn't just one thing.  It's just not working.

I think my explaining and being nosy are part of my making sure that everyone, or maybe just me, knows that I made the right decision.  

I haven't come up with a quick "why" when I tell people I'm getting divorced, I've started saying things like "it just wasn't working" and people seem to understand and that is all I really need, understanding.

Especially in the next year.  Lots of changes will be going on and I need to really dig deep into my business.  I NEED to make it so I can support myself and the kids as much as possible.  At 44 years old, finding a full time job will not be easy, nor will be finding one that pays what I make now working part time from home. Plus I still want to be home for the kids as much as possible.  So that means working my business. I've made an awesome business contact who loves my business and we are working together making money.  I just need to push myself more.  No more sitting around waiting for my business to be an overnight success, it's been 3+ years, time for me to MAKE it a success!

I'd like to thank you for reading this.  It's been beneficial to get it off my chest and out in the open.  Also, if you have any ideas to help my business grow, I'm open for ideas!

Help me make 2014 rock!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


A little late, but in honor of "selfie" making it into the dictionary, here is mine.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Disrespect & the Marching Band

I sent this to our high school principal today. 

I've struggled all week with emailing you my concerns because I am not the voice of the Marching Dragons, I am just a parent. But after reading this article about a marching band being FORCED off the field by the football coach, I felt it was necessary that I contact you.

Last Friday night was not only an important football game,but it was Parent Appreciation night and Band Day.  I realize this is a lot to coordinate in the time allotted for halftime, but the event was poorly handled.

I don’t know exactly why the cheerleaders had a miscommunication, it’s not important, but it caused a delay in recognizing the supportive parents of the Cheerleaders & the Senior Marching Dragons.

This delay also caused the band cut short their 7 minute show,and for the middle school senior band to only be able to play one song.  Obviously things happen and we have to be flexible, however, I’m afraid that the middle school band left that night with bad feelings over how they were treated and we may have lost potential future Marching Dragons.

I feel the issue lies in how this delay was handled.  I’m not sure if it affected the cheerleaders, but I saw the band director & the Marching Dragons be completely disrespected by the football staff & team.  Their running back on the field with no regard to the band performing was uncalled for.  The band member work hard to perfect their performance and should at least be able to be able to perform it in it's entirety for their home fans.   Sadly, this was not a onetime occurrence.  At every home game, children are allowed to play on the field while the band is performing.  So not only do the band members have to play perfectly, they have to march perfectly and, only at home games, they have to watch for children playing near them, as well.

The band and the cheerleaders are there to support the football team.  Without the team there’d be no game to cheer, without the cheerleaders there’d be no spirit and without the band, the cheerleaders & the fans would have nothing to move to!  One away game last year the band was late because of a competition. I was approached by a football mom asking why the band wasn't  there.  I explained they were on their way and she went on to tell me that it’s not a game without the band!  Thankfully the band did arrive shortly thereafter.

So, why is this lack of respect allowed to happen? How can the high school encourage respect and have a no tolerance policy for bullying within its halls, yet allow it on the football field?  Something needs to be changed.  I think if Brick starts itand shows the nation that each group on the field is as important as the other,it can be a leader in fostering mutual respect between the groups.  This shouldn't be a “them vs us” this should be about everyone working together and respecting each other.  Maybe they should be encouraged to work together as a team off the field to foster it on the field.

I’ll be at the game tonight as a chaperone for the band if you would like to further this discussion.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Odie at the Beach

Odie helped me find some sea glass today too. 

I think I've been over doing it with sea glass jewelry so I'm taking a break from making any new stuff.  BUT I am going to take the sea glass and make other things.

I'm thinking maybe some picture frames and candle holders and coasters.  

Of course wind chimes too. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Seaside Boardwalk Fire

Around 2:30 this afternoon a small fire started on the boardwalk in Seaside Park.  

To say it escalated quickly, is an understatement. 

It quickly grew to a 5 alarm fire, then reaching 10 alarm status in the blink of an eye.

Photo Courtesy of Jersey Shore Hurricane News

Sandy was bad, Sandy was horrible,
but we didn't watch Sandy destroy the boardwalk.

Watching this happen in basically real time is like watching your childhood home burn to the ground.

My heart is very heavy tonight.
And my thoughts go out to everyone on the scene responding to putting out this fire,
the volunteers bringing the supplies
the families of both
and the business owners.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The beach angel

I took this picture in June of 2011

I loved this statue.

I thought of her as a guardian angel, watching over me, especially when I was on the beach alone for sunrise. 

After Sandy destroyed something like 80% of the homes in  Mantoloking, I hoped they had brought her in.  

When I saw the house amazingly survived, my hopes skyrocketed that my guardian angel had survived.

I'm not a very ballsy person. 

Back when I was 11, we had a house fire & I remember how upset my mother was by the "circus" in front of our house.  Because of that I never got into shooting peoples misery.  I took a few shots of businesses that had been destroyed, but that even bothered me, I wasn't going to take pictures of people homes.

But I put a 5x7 of this photo in my glove box with the intent on giving it to the owners if I ever saw them outside.

I haven't set foot on the beach in Mantoloking since October 26th or 27th, but every time I drive by this house I look to see if anyone is outside.

Today there was a guy outside and I figured what the heck, and I stopped.

I was sad to learn that the angel did not survive. 

I was even more saddened to learn that the spot were the angel lived was where the ashes of their son & daughter were buried.

I gave him the copy of the picture and my condolences.  

It's the stories like this that make Sandy suck even more all over again. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Please vote for me!

One of my goals is to make more steady income from my business.  I'm not looking to immediately get rich, but that would be nice LOL.

Anyway, besides the marketing I do, I've also entered in the Martha Stewart American Made contest.  

Please go vote for me.  You can vote up to 6 times every day!

Thank you!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Dragon Clef

The Dragon Clef is the symbol of the Brick Marching Dragons.  Today was their end of band camp pool party and I wanted to make them something special, so I made a Dragon Clef cake.

First, the icing.  This is just the Viva paper towel buttercream icing.

Then I took the 2 round cakes & made this shape. 

Iced it with the buttercream and here is where the Viva paper towel comes into the picture.  The icing is the kind you can smooth to look like fondant.  It's very easy to make and loved by everyone but me.  I will eat a little bit of it, but it's too sweet for me, I like whipped cream.  But I can't do this with whipped cream! 

Once it's set & smoothed, I take a tooth pick & drew the Dragon Clef in the icing.  This is one of those tips that when I read it I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it sooner.  It works well from drawing designs like this or just writing Happy Birthday so it all fits!

Then I filled in the drawing.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just me & a little news

Hi everyone :)

Just wanted to tell you that I've opened a 2nd online store.  http://beachwritingsnj.thecraftstar.com/

It has basically the same photos as my etsy shop (listed over there -->  )  but all of my new sea glass items will go in my new shop.

In a nutshell, I just wanted to get all of my eggs out of one basket. I really should look into setting up my own online store.  One day! :)

Hope you are all doing well and have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Part 2

I think I already have a post titled The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, but I'm not 100% sure and just too lazy to look!

I had no plans to go to the beach this morning.  Weather report said cloudy with possible showers in the morning.

The Good!
So I was VERY surprised when I saw sun streaming through my windows at 6 something this morning (forgot to close the blinds last night) so I slowly gathered my stuff and went to the beach.

Only to find this; the Bad

Not one of my beach writing orders were simple ones today so there was no way I was getting any work done, so I took a seat on the edge of the drop off.

OH hey, what's that on my ankle... why it's one of my bracelets made into an anklet.  Need to get those listed in my shop. 

There were some guys surfing so I figured I would take some shots of them.   I call this one

Lone Surfer

He wasn't really alone though.

So I take a few action shots. I liked when they got between me & the sun because they ended up in silhouette and looked pretty cool.

That is until I got home and saw this; The Ugly

I saw this on a few pictures at the end of my last trip to the beach and figured it was just a stray hair.  I guess it is just that, a stray hair, but apparently its INSIDE my camera.

So it was good that I got up and went to the beach, because let's face it, the beach is awesome.  It was bad that I couldn't do any writings because they would have had that ugly hair in them.  But then I guess it goes back to being good that I couldn't get any work done because I'd have to redo them all and that means another trip to the beach tomorrow, which is also good!

I think I just confused myself LOL

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday August 4th, 2013

I did this Farmers Market a few weeks ago and really liked it, so I'm doing it again!

Asbury Fresh

It's in Kennedy Park in a very lovely area.  Big beautiful trees and there is a lake across the street where you can rent those swan paddle boats.

I'll be there from noon to 6, come buy and see me!

Get Directions

Friday, August 2, 2013

More Sea Glass

Hope you don't mind a picture only blog post :)

www.beachwritingsnj.com is where you can get any of these :)