Monday, May 31, 2004

The Legend of the Corned Ham Once upon a time, Jimmy, the Magnificent Sea Lyon, had a Hobie Cat sailboat he stored overhead in his garage. It was quite heavy and was held up with ropes and pulleys. So, for many years, every Spring he had a party so he could get enough guys to haul the boat out and another party in the Fall to put it back. The main dish at this feast was a Corned Ham. A large, fresh ham is soaked in brine then slow cooked till it falls off the bone. It is fantastically delicious! The rest of the feast was "pot luck". Friends and family came from all over to partake. The Hobie is no longer, but the tradition continues... Twenty-seven people, including Odie, attended the festivities. It is so great to have friends, old and new, together to laugh and share. Emily discovered how cozy our loft can be, especially when shared with a furry friend. The morning after...Yummy Omelettes!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

We started the Memorial Day weekend yesterday. Up with the flag: Then over to Jo Ellen's sister Vicki's for a nice lunch and visit. Jo with nephew Casey: More tonight as Jimmy is having a 'Corned Ham' party. We hoping to see a few more relatives and friends that we've missed so far.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Visitors from Florida What a trip! Here we are 'living' in Long Beach Island, and Jo Ellen and Bob come to visit from Florida for the Memorial day weekend. Jo Ellen is Jim's ex-wife, part of our extended family. She also grew up here and has lots of family. She and Jim used to be snowbirds - running the Pumpernickel restaurant here on the island during the summer and spending winters in Florida. Here's Jo with her brother Steve: Goin' Fishin' After the visit, Jim and Jimmy decided to go fishing. I said 'no, thanx'. A little alone time watching the sunset sounded great to me. So I waved goodbye and sent my men off to catch dinner. I didn't really expect dinner - I knew I had a nice can of soup that would be just fine. Odie waves goodbye too I enjoyed a gorgeous sunset Then, whaddaya know ... as Jim says, they didn't go fishin', they went catchin'! That was the biggest fish, but not the only one. So, they had a good time. And, we had a good dinner. The big striped bass fed all three of us with some leftover. Oh boy, I've been waiting for an opportunity to post a copy of an old photograph. This seems like a good segue because this photo is of another famous 'catch'. You see, Jim and Jimmy know each other because they got started in scuba diving together. Jim got certified in 1974 and met Jimmy who was already certified. They would go diving on the wrecks in the waters off Long Beach Island and they would get real lobster. The kind with claws. They're a lot bigger than the clawless 'spiny lobster' that we get in Florida. A few of them formed a club they called the "Mobby Lobster" club and this photo, taken in July 1984, shows the members of the club all holding a lobster. All but one of these lobsters were caught by Jimmy in one dive. Later note: I thought it was obvious, but others have told me they can't tell which ones are Jim and Jimmy. Jim is on the far right and Jimmy is in the middle, 3d from the left.

Friday, May 28, 2004

An Insurance Tale (a good one!) I like to complain about insurance. Actually, I don't think I like it, but I sure find myself doing it a lot. Ever since we got the RV though, I've been saying "Now, our car insurance isn't so bad since we joined Good Sam". We used to insure 2 cars. When we bought the RV, we still had the 2 cars. We joined Good Sam and put all three vehicles on one policy for less than we had been paying for just the two! I still don't understand it, and I keep waiting for them to find the mistake, but it's been a year now. I'd still complain that insurance was money being paid for nothing, since you never use it. The worst thing that has happened to us so far is when our awning blew away. I didn't even think to check with our insurance because I understood that awnings were never covered. You had to buy a special 'awning only' policy for that. We just grit our teeth and paid the $1,000 bill to replace it. Well, the other day we were watching 'RV Today' and noticed the ad for Good Sam's VIP insurance. It showed a couple saying 'Remember when that tree fell on our awning ... and it was covered?' So, I got right up and called. Sure enough, our policy covers 'acts of nature' like storms blowing away the awning! We have a $500 deductible, but they said that if I would mail in the receipt they'd send me a check for the balance right away! I was so impressed, I rushed right over to their website and signed up to be an affiliate. If you're interested in getting a quote for car insurance, especially if you own an RV, click on the link at the left. It does remain to be seen how fast the check gets here ... and, if our rates go up. Stay tuned ...

Thursday, May 27, 2004

A Travel Day Yesterday we drove the motorhome down to Ocean View to visit an RV park who is interested in Coach Connect's Wi-Fi services. It's a beautiful hour and a half ride down the Garden State Parkway. It felt good to be on the road, even if just for one night. Actually, especially just for one night! We so enjoy our spot at Jimmy's "Sea Lyon Beach". Anyway, the park we visited is Ocean View Resort. There's no way they have an Ocean View .. but they are in the town of Ocean View. It's a very forested place actually: And, you know what 'forested campsite' means right? No satellite Internet. Oh well, it's good to take a night off from the computer once in a while. You might notice that the dish is up, but, it never did find the satellite. Jim had a great meeting with the manager of the park as they discussed the proposal for installing 17 antennas to distribute the Wi-Fi. That's the most antennas we've heard of, but I even wonder if 17 will be enough - they have over 1100 sites - and all those trees. On our way back today, we stopped at a grocery store. What's great about living in a motorhome - you don't have to wait till after you drive home from the store to have your lunch! If you look closely, you can see Jim in the window eating a sandwich. Home IS where we park it! We took the scenic drive back, along highway 9. What a gorgeous area! The lush woods and the old Victorian homes. And we went thru a town where Jim knew he had relatives who owned a business called Miami-Somers. We spotted it and stopped. Jim went in and found Cousin Rick: Once we got back, parked, and checked our email, we decided it was about time we drove up to the north end of Long Beach Island to see Barnegat Lighthouse. The end of another beautiful day ... g'night.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Toastmasters Just to prove that Jim does have a tie, we got dressed up to attend the Tom's River Toastmasters club. One of our regular activities when we lived in Fort Lauderdale was going to our Toastmaster's club. We belong to EarlyBird Toasmasters #3659 of Fort Lauderdale. Both Jim and I have belonged for many years and have given many, many speeches. Here's the weblog entry from our last EarlyBird meeting. We love Toastmasters and promised to visit other clubs as we traveled around. All clubs welcome guests, and, this one was no exception. In fact, they welcomed us so heartily, that they asked us to volunteer for the positions of Toastmaster and General Evaluator! For you non-Toastmasters out there, that basically means we ran the meeting! Thanks to the training we've had in years of Toastmastering, I'd say we did a fine job. And it was great fun getting to know some nice local folks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Paddle in the Bay The bay was so calm this morning, we couldn't resist. So, we grabbed a couple of Jimmy's kayaks and went for a paddle. Look close in the background and you can see our motorhome on the beach. We paddled north on the Bay to the jobsite where Jimmy is renovating a house. Anyone involved in home building or renovating around here is as busy as can be. For the last three years they've been saying 'recession? what recession?' How would you like to have this for your backyard? Then, we paddled back. Kayodie had a great time! He's still dry in the first picture, but it didn't take long before he was in the water. Hey! there's no alligators around here - so, let him swim. His cute little life jacket has a very handy handle to pick him up with and put him back in the boat.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Danny and Judy's Danny is Jim's brother-in-law by his first wife. Danny and Judy have been married 30 years. If you think you're rereading yesterday's post, nope, it's true - this is the second 30 year happy marriage I've written about. Isn't that nice to know it's possible?! They built this house when they first got married. Both Casey and Erin were born here. You can tell that they take pride in every detail. Here's Judy on the phone. Take a look at this phone ... it actually is a pushbutton, but the buttons are arranged around the dial. When the kids are gone .. I think this could be a great B&B! Here's the living room with Casey, Danny and Jim. And, here's the outside of the house. Here's Erin And, here's Judy with Erin's friend Michael

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Walk on the Beach What a gorgeous day. These fences are all over the place and the planting in an attempt to keep the dunes in tact. Jim says he remembers many boy scout outings where their job was to plant plugs of grass in the dunes. Apparently this is about the best surfing on the whole East Coast, ooops, or should I say "Shore"? And, these jetties are placed at about 1 block intervals all up and down the beach. I wonder how much they really help in keeping the sand here? Notice the sand level on either side of the jetty. Jim and I figured we could make a little extra cash by renting Odie out to single guys who want to meet girls on the beach ...
31 years of happy marriage We visited Jim's high school buddy, Tom, last night. Tom and Betty got married shortly after high school and have been together and happy ever since. Their daughter Jamie, 16, is attending the same high school 'Southern Regional' that her parents (and Jim) did. What a trip listening to Tom and Jim reminisce about their science lab shenanigans and then have Jamie chime in with tales of her own. We were all laughing so hard it hurt! Their younger daughter, Emily was sleeping over at a friend's, so we'll have to wait till our next visit (we hope to get them to come to our home next week!) to show photos of her. Here's Betty and Jamie holding up photos of themselves at similar ages. I had to ask which one was which. They definitely look like photos of the same person. You can tell the one that was actually Betty at 16 because they made you wear that black drape for the class photos back then. And here's Tom. Hard to believe that he was the long-haired hippy rock-and-roll band member in the 70s. Now he's a professor at a local college and loves it. He teaches Electrical Trades and Integrated Cabling (video/voice/data/fiber optics)@ Ocean County Vocational Technical School’s Toms River Center