I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 11, 2019

Back to the Beach ~ Winter

January! The first blast of winter has arrived! And "blast" is exactly how it's has been the past few days, with bright skies but frigid temps and strong gale winds, in the 40 mph range. So cold your bones cringe, so cold you must snuggle with your pug and drink hot chocolate. Tea is no longer enough.
The wind blew out all wifi and internet and TV for three days. Even my phone had no internet.

Earlier in the week I had to go into the bigger town for a doctor visit.  They always make me check in in January, I  hate being blackmailed/ coerced by doctors! The office was empty. I could see they were drumming up business, scheduling well-patient checkups. The good news is there's a place to park, hallelujah, and the unpeopled office meant I wasn't sitting in the waiting room next to someone gasping with the flu; the bad news is the doctor has free time to to experiment with new drugs he's been sold on. I get suspicious when the secretary checks my Rx insurance coverage ahead of time. Well people do not belong in doctors offices, in my opinion. Afterwards I treated myself to a short walk along the deserted boardwalk.

This car caught my eye. I've never seen a Range Rover SUV convertible, have you!? Pretty cool. If it had NJ plates we'd know which fictional guy bought it for his equally fictional not-girlfriend, wouldn't we. {Plum series.] Range Rover Evoque

The planks are so pretty. I must come back to photograph them for string quilt inspiration. [more on that in a later post.]

It was warmish, before the wind started up. Monochromatic, greys, tans, black. Desolate? But then just think: parking.....

I liked the wreaths on the benches, old fashioned and festive, fun that they were still here in January.

This beach is clean, white, big and beautiful but urbanized. ''They" are trying to restore it to a more natural state now. The plantings, looking like hair transplants!---will fill in and naturalize as well as over many years  rebuilding long gone dunes.

The planting is somewhat odd, bayberry and roses mixed densely with beach grasses. Dune shrubs never grow within grassy areas, but in protected areas, on edges and in hollows. Nor do they grow in such close proximity to one another. I don't think sand has enough nutrients for dense shrubbery, nor will grass grow underneath or alongside. [Who chooses this stuff anyway?]

I'll be interested to see what grows over the coming years.

And the mystery of the wooden piling construction, the Stonehenges, here and on my beach, is now solved! These are not sand catchers or dune underpinnings. They are the foundations of permanent wooden boardwalks that will arch over the growing dunes.

Meanwhile, dredgers added sand to the beach's edge, even though it looks no different. All this effort is both ecologically inspired as well as hurricane protection readiness. Storm surges will have to go higher and further to again devastate the town as Sandy did. [It is hoped.].

Another day I bundled up and walked out onto my own beach. I mostly stayed up by the dunes to get some shelter from the blowing sand,

Full moon tides a few weeks ago brought some large driftwood. Wouldn't this make a great shelf! Big, maybe 8  feet long 12" high.

Someone else likes it too. See the tiny foot prints scurrying into the tiny cavelike opening! I have to think it was a small bird; it's much too cold for it to be an insect or a sand creature like a crab,  I think.

Later, home for the mentioned hot chocolate and a quiet hour with Mo while I knit. I have decided  I'll take time for handwork this winter, if possible. Every free moment need not be busily sewing at my machine. Mo of course is so pleased.

The house is drafty and cold. I try to make Mo wear a t-shirt indoors but somehow he removes his shirts after an hour or so. If he is cold he prefers the new heated throw we indulged in instead.

Despite less hours sewing I couldn't resist making a brief trial block for Blue Baskets. It is really fast and fun! No corners, no points! No cutting even, I just tear strips from the plaid shirt pile.

---But more on this project next week.

For now, have a great weekend! I plan to bake bread and make a huge pot of Bolognese sauce , red meat sauce, for nice hot spaghetti dinners this weekend. What are your plans?

"Easy" Artisanal Bread



gone to the beach....


  1. How fun to be on the deserted boardwalk!!
    Love the blue strings!! Stay warm! We are heading to TX in the wee hours of the morning.

  2. Cool to see the Range Rover - don't see many of them around here. The deserted boardwalk looks interesting if a little lonely. A 'plank' quilt would be very fun!

    The big chunk of driftwood looks like part of someone's deck, lol. You've got great eyes to spot the hole and those tiny footprints!

    Happy to hear you're back to some knitting, I know Mo will love to have you sitting with him! Mmm, hot chocolate does sound good - we're getting a 'winter mix' falling tonight and tomorrow. I'm glad I already went to the store!

    Nice to see what you're up to, stay warm and dry!

  3. Those plaids are winners. You're definitely in strip quilt mode!! I can see an exciting result ahead.
    The boardwalk reminds me of lovely woven ikat fabric in subtle tones.
    Keep warm with the knitting supervisor. Penny

  4. Lovely walking space--reminds me of the boardwalk in New London at Ocean Beach...cold and windswept today, I'll bet and most likely empty...so far no power losses here (knock on wood!) just frigidity....
    I am pretty much inside these days--except for necessary errands..dashing from car to door to car....
    Mo looks very contented on his heated comfy spot...clever boy!!
    I began tearing up some of my hubby's old pj's into strips and deboning them...nope, not that kind of bone, Mo lol;)))

    Mostly, unhappy with any project I turn my hand to lately--I think a break is in order.....
    Stay warm hugs, Julierose

  5. The blue shirt pieces make for interesting string blocks. Hadn't thought of using shirts that way.

  6. The boardwalk looks beautiful. Something about a quiet boardwalk that I find inviting. And wreaths, still! (Took a quick trip to MD last week, very happy to see poinsettias in the airport and car rental building) My cousin shared some pics of the Ocean City, MD boardwalk blanketed in snow earlier today. It looked so clean and peaceful.

    Hunh, never have seen a Land Rover convertible. Lol, yes, def a Steph loaner.

    Glad the mystery of the Stonehenge pilings is solved. We WERE curious.

    Knitting, Mo, and hot chocolate. Life is good :) Are you working on the hat the kids gave you?

    Keep warm...maybe share Mo's heated blanket if he'll let you.


  7. Oh how I love looking at your beaches! I miss it and when you show the boardwalk I remember being a kid and running down the boardwalk at Sea Side. :) Kit

  8. It is such a treat to see pictures of the beach in January! How peaceful it must be this time of year and then to go home to your beautiful, cozy home and snuggle in! I am late to the party regarding weekend plans but we get our granddaughters every other weekend and this past weekend we did crafts, watched a movie, played games, and made bread. We had big slabs of buttered bread with our hot chocolate. (sigh)

  9. There is something so soulful about a beach in the wintertime. I don’t envy you walking Mo in the cold. Lovely start on your string blocks!


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