Collingswood, Spend a Saturday in July to visit this wonderful town in Jersey!!!

A must see on. Saturday is the town  of Collingswood, a great place to get out and enjoy the fresh air, wearing comfy shoes to walk and explore the many blocks of intriqing places.

One place you must visit if you live in Jersey or near Philly is The town of Collingswood. It is Main Street, USA.

What are the draws? I’m sharing my thoughts, perhaps you would like to see it yourself.

It has been a tradition, I learned, for many years there is a farmer’s market, with representatives of many New Jersey farms selling their fresh produce.
Are you wanting something that you rarely find in a supermarket grocery store?
Zucchini blossoms, no problem.

Arts and Culture:
” Second Saturday Event”
Tonight, the town is having a special event from 6:00 to 9:00 pm , ” A Free Open Air Arts Walk.
On every block of Haddon Avenue, Art and music will be on display.
Dozens of one night exhibitions of jewelers, potters, painters, crafters and artists.
Retailers will offer deals, giveaways and discounts on services.


Antiques abound. It is fun to walk along Haddon Avenue and explore. My favorite place is a cottage, set back from the main road called,” The Painted Cottage”, the owners collect antique furniture, and refinish in white paint, or aqua, silver, pink or sage colors.   In past visits, I’ve dreamed of buying an antique dresser or dressing table/ vanity or wooden desk and satisfied my want by photographing the pretty images. This old style wooden furniture was designed with elaborate carvings that you seldom find in the Big Box type Furniture Stores.

There’s another favorite antique store that I love to browse with my husband. In the display window, the last time we went, there was a small slate board, antique, written in white chalk were the words, ” The First I- Pad”. We smiled and pointed it out and I remarked that as a child, I drew on a handheld chalkboard just like that one. In fact, I still have it!!!

The Restaurants

What to choose is the question. There’s Thai, Latin American, Asian Fusion, Japanese, Mexican, two Indian , American, ” The Pop Shop”, for fountain sodas, shakes, burgers, and belly busting breakfasts, along with several Italian restaurants.

In a review on, a few write of ” That’s Amore” serving a delicious meal called, ” Sunday Gravy made up of meatballs, pork and sausage and a rich red gravy. Growing up in my house, both of my parents referred to mom’s homemade as Sauce of which I have her recipe posted on this blog.

I see a shadow!

Shadows in the backyard today; the beautiful snow is still here.

So what do you talk about while you’re getting a  diagnostic mammogram done?

Since I was the first early am appointment , my mind was fresh with the mornings news.  While  in the first examination room, we talked about the news of Congressman Christopher Lee and what he had done to transpire the quick resignation. I added that I asked my husband, “so what do you think of that?; his answer as he’s preparing a bowl of breakfast cereal, ” you’re safe with me.” I smiled and giggled. The radiology technician had said,  “You can bring that magazine in with you.” So , in between images and waiting for the development and retaking more positions of first the right side and then the left, I continued reading the page on the “Mermaid” that had caught my eye. So, I shared with the technician, since we’re both waiting. The mermaid is a young woman from New Zealand wearing a prosthesis, who lost one leg at the age of seven , a congenital disease, and the other at age 16.  When she was coming out of the water one day, a little boy approached her and asked her if she was a mermaid.  That gave her an idea, and she contacted a scientist , who constructed a prosthesis like a mermaid’s tail with digitally enhanced shiny scales.  She swims in the waters of New Zealand for recreational exercise.

What do you think about while you’re waiting for the technician to perform her duties for the next procedure, an Ultrasound. I say, ” It’s been such a cold winter.”  ‘Do you remember how many days of heat we had in the summer?” She said” Yes”.  I said , we decided to vacation in Maine where we hoped it would be a few degrees cooler and there would be a breeze at Old Orchard Beach.  “Do you know that so many  French Canadians vacation there  that there are signs in some of the store fronts and restaurants that say “we speak French”.  Also, the amusement rides have signs in french , for example , for the “Funhouse”, in neon colors of purple. There is a dessert that we have here in the Middle Atlantic states, called Pizzelle eaten generally during summer carnivals.  In Old Orchard Beach, there is on the menu for fruit fillings such as  apple, cherry, blueberry, as well as the favored tomato sauce or powdered sugar.  “I  haven’t heard of the fruit type before.” I said, they also have something with a brown gravy with fries.  She said, “That’s a New Jersey thing, I’m from Staten Island”. ” Oh really, I’ve never eaten it and I’ m from New Jersey, as I laugh.  She relayed, It’s seen mostly at diners,  french fries with melted mozzarella cheese on top and brown gravy as a dipping sauce on the side.  ” Have you ever prepared this at home?” ; No, I don’t know what kind of gravy it is.  Hmm, I’ll have to look this up, a home-made recipe in the making. The radiologist comes in with the Ultrasound technician to see the actual views.  Let’s look at 1:00, and 12:00, these are positions on the lefts side; these are cysts. Let’s look at 8:00, there is a dark area, ( a shadow ),  is called a nodule.  You will need to call your Dr. and schedule a needle biopsy and get a follow-up mammo  in six months for the left side.  Next , I ask ” how do they do the needle biopsy?  “THe radiologist puts Lidocaine, the same thing that the dentist uses for your teeth to numb the area.  Okay, I say.  Life is a long road full of twists and turns , but I believe, you must stop along the way to appreciate every moment you have.  That’ why I love these new age digital cameras, and I am always taking pictures of every day moments.

Shortly after I returned home from the Radiology office, I received a call from my Gyn Dr’s office, refrerring to my results today as a class 4.   She gave the names of 3 Breast Specialists to call to make an appointment with , asked me “what did the radiologist say?”  She said, that she sees a dark spot, I refer to the title of this post as ” I see a Shadow”. It was time to leave for work, and to be left wonder what consists of class 4.  Class 4 is a suspicious abnormality with , requires a biopsy and this category can be malignant in 25-50 % of the cases.  I’ll have to read up more about this.

I found out this year from my mother that we have a family history of breast cancer, my maternal grandmother’s sister had it.

Rainy Day

rainy day at beautiful Hershey gardens!

We'll walk through the park between the raindrops or umbrella is best.

What are some things to do on a rainy day?

Cook, play music, watch a DVD, there’s more, no wait . There’s something that’s more fun to do. Did you guess it right?
It is to create a photo collage on Picassa 3.
For this week’s Photo challenge with the Faceboook’group Oh SHoot! Digital Scavenger Photo Hunt:

Spices: on my kitchen shelf and plants.

Soup- Vermont Butternut Soup

Vermont Butternut Soup

One of my favorite culinary memories is dining out and eating butternut squash soup at a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia called “Bilbo Baggins.”

This is not their recipe, however I like to read recipe books to replicate it.  Since then , I enjoy the taste of  butternut squash soup each fall season taking me through winter.

Prep: 20 minutes             Cook 45 minutes                                                            Serves 12

Maple syrup brings out the best butternut flavor. 


3 Tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons flour

4 cups warm chicken stock

1 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in large cubes (about 9 cups)

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1  1/2 cups  milk

1/2 cup light cream

2 tablespoons maple syrup or to taste


In a large kettle melt butter and add onion and carrot.  Cook over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes, until onions are tender. 

Sprinkle with flour and continue cooking for 3 minutes while stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and blend in warmed chicken stock.  

Add squash, garlic, and parsley, and simmer  covered for 45 minutes.  Cool.  Puree in batches in blender or food processor.


Transfer to kettle, add milk, cream, and syrup, and heat through.

 Make Ahead:

May be frozen in an airtight container after pureeing but before adding milk, cream, and syrup.  If not using full amount of frozen soup, or if planning to freeze some of it, use 1/2 cup squash puree, 1 teaspoon syrup, 2 tablespoons milk, and 2 teaspoons cream per person.





Ruby Tuesday

a Luscuous lobster dinner here in Freeport Maine

a Luscious lobster dinner here in Freeport Maine

We vacationed in Maine. On one of the days, we took a drive to Freeport, Maine to do some shopping in the L.L. Bean store. Afterwords, we came here for a lobster dinner, that we had read about in one of our travel books.

Under the blue awning is where the people are selecting their fresh lobster and placing their order. To the right of the red building, is the outdoor eating area with picnic tables. It is casual style dining. There was also Ice cream and desserts sold via a walk- up window. As we were eating, I was looking at the dark clouds in the sky, and just as we were almost finished , it started to rain, and we had to make a dash for the car.

Scenic Sunday-Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

a white egret

a white egret

A.C. skyline and nest on pole platform

A.C. skyline and nest on pole platform

Will I see a turtle?

Will I see a turtle?

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
Bring your Binoculars!  Will I see turtles crossing the road?  I hope. I hope.  We took the 8 mile auto tour and stopped to climb the observation tower to view the magnificent  wildlife from one side and Atlantic City’s skyline from the other.  The self-guiding tour can be taken by auto, on foot or a combination of the two. This Atlantic County refuge is also  known as Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge.For this weeks vacation, we decided to say local, that is travel within the state of New Jersey, but to places that neither of us had been before.Between April 20 and May 30  Will Seeshorebirds and wading birds-glossy ibis peak about April 28, Canada geese hatching , usually feeding on dikes by May 20th; May and June, horseshoe crabs spawning. 


Dreams of summer sun and the beach

a beach escape.

a beach escape.

Amid pink plastic flamingos.
Dreaming of hot summer days sitting under a brightly colored umbrella with my toes in the sand whilst listening to  the sounds of the waves crashing and inhaling the  salty air.   One can pretend as if they are in   Florida.  Imagine.

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