Jeff and I were driving around today and you can imagine my excitement when I spotted this sign:

I asked my husband to pull over, and I think I might have jumped out of the vehicle before it came to a complete stop.  Ailsa, at wheresmybackpack, had thrown down the gauntlet and challenged us with her new Travel Theme: Parks, and I was getting nowhere fast.  I had stopped at a few places in my travels, but I just wasn’t happy with any of the photos I took, or the places we visited.  I think Jeff was starting to wish he was back at work, because I’ve been dragging him around, looking for a park that struck my finicky fancy. Garfield has nothing on me.  Finicky was turning into fanatical.  But, then there it was.  Shark Park.

My first thought was, “This is the park I’ve been looking for.”  My second thought was, “The grand kids are going to LOVE this!”  And after climbing around a little (while Jeff was waiting in the car playing Sudoku – smart move, hon.”) my third thought was, “How do I get outta here!”

Well, next week, the kids will be up from Georgia and Shark Park is going to be the place to attack, Jack!

Maybe it’s the Peter Pan in me, but I can’t wait until they get here.

Thanks, Alisa.  If it wasn’t for your challenge, I don’t know if I would have ever found this Shark Park!


This challenge worried me because I don’t have access to a village.  Not in the form of a settlement or community of people, nor a fishing village, which I think either would have been so right for this post.  With a suggestion and a little help from a friend, I decided to go with a shopping village.  Maybe it’s a stretch, but, still, a nice place to visit.

Sign leading to the entrance of Smithville Village, NJ

Some of the shops in the village.  You’ll find clothes, food,

antiques, jewelry, candles, and tons more.

Just follow the quaint signs directing you to the various shops and restaurants.

No respectable village is without Ye Olde Tavern.  There’s even an area in the back of the Baremore that can be used for weddings or other blissful celebrations.

There are gardens and gardeners.

There are rides, then there are rides 🙂

If you’re looking for silly lawn ornaments…

Or decorative, glass candle holders…

Native American Jewelry…

Or just some wild and crazy conversation piece…

The VILLAGE GREEN AT SMITHVILLE is the place to be.

After all, a little wine and a lot of bear claw, well, no wonder there’s an Angel Oasis.  A little slice of heaven.

For a taste of more villages, stop by Jake‘s.  Also, check out his animations. His work is outstanding!  Click on his link or on the wonderful widget of the flying dragon on the right sidebar of my post.  Happy browsing…


Here are a few of my picks for the Fun  Under the Sun Challenge, put out there by IslandTraveler.

After searching for this picture, which I knew I had but couldn’t for the life of me find it, I decided that one of my summer projects will be to catalog my photos.  (Thanks for the idea, Russel)

My muscle-bound grandson having fun under the sun…

My muscle-bound husband having fun under the sun…

My not-so-muscular mom, all 89 years of her, having fun under the sun, octogenarian style…

Don’t know who these boys are but they seemed to be having fun under the sun…

I’m guessing this guy was having fun under the sun …

And then the sun goes down …

School’s out for summer!

School’s out for ever!

No more pencils, no more boo-oks, no more teachers, dirty looks…


This was a dual effort CREATE my first graders and I put together to honor American soldiers.  The kids put a lot of thought into this poster, so I am going to super-size it.  Still, you may have to zoom in to get a good look, but it’s worth the effort.  They did a magnificent job cutting out all the flowers and CREATing the cards with their messages. I hope you enjoy looking at it half as much as we did putting it together.


It was incredibly hard to pick just one flick, so here’s just a few I’d tell you to view.  Corny!


Maybe not the funniest line, but one of the most memorable.  Chief Bromden (RIP) never spoke throughout the entire movie, until McMurphy offered him a stick of gum.

“Mmmmmm, Juicy Fruit. ”

I guess, in the craziest of places, those were the only words worth speaking.


Many a quote, but after scanning a few I decided none were appropriate for a mixed audience.  Check out the movie. Hysterical!


Vinny Gambini: (After a sleepless night, Vinny and Lisa receive their breakfast orders, Vinny looks at his kind of cross-eyed.  There were only two choice for breakfast to begin with!) “What’s this over here?”

Cook: “You never heard of grits?”

Vinny Gambini:  “Sure, I’ve heard of grits.  I just never actually ‘seen’ a grit before.”

If you haven’t seen this movie, you are in for a boat-load of laughs!


Ladies.  Three hours of Kevin Costner, looking all buff and tan.  Need I say more?


Seriously intense.  If you haven’t seen this, please do.

Well, grab a friend, some popcorn and a drink, and click on that On Demand button, or Netflix, or whatever it is that takes you to Movie Land.

And enjoy!

Click here to view more movie choices at Jakesprinter.


There’s a place I visit that is rarely occupied, and I can’t imagine why.  It’s peaceful and beautiful and if I told you where it was, it wouldn’t be a secret place.  If you know me, or follow my blog, you might guess-ta-mate where it is, but, the whole point of a secret is not to tell.  So I won’t.

For more secret places visit wheresmybackpack.  Thanks to Ailsa for posting a new Travel Theme Challenge.


It seems what makes me happiest lately is blogging, posting, and photography.  I’m one of those people that’s been looking for some kind of hobby, interest, or talent that will keep me occupied and smiling while I’m doing it.  I’ve tried Music: accordion (not MY idea!), piano, organ, guitar, mandolin – Art: drawing, painting, sculpting – Crafts: beading, flower arranging, stained glass – Do you get where I’m going with this.  I’ve tried and maybe not failed as much as lost interest.  After so many attempts, it’s become increasingly depressing, thinking that maybe I’ll never have the stick-to-it-ness to find something I could enjoy and, some day, get really good at.  Enter WordPress.  Now, I have found happiness.  Writing and photography.  I played around with stalking a – ah – stalk.  Specifically, a Black-Eyed Susan (I think), that’s growing randomly all over my front yard.  This is a slide show of her progress over the week or so that I captured her growth, each a.m. and p.m.  Click on the first Susie Q for the slide show to begin.

I hope you all find lots of happiness, just like me.  If you need some help doing this, visit Island Traveler’s Weekly Challenge to see what gets some other bloggers happily blossoming.

Thanks, Island Traveler…


“The sea was angry that day, my friends.”

I can’t think of the ocean without hearing that famous line uttered by George Costanza, as he explained his whale saving escapades to his Seinfeld buds.

Sometimes, the ocean can be wild and crazy.

Sometimes it can be calm and soothing.

A place of peace and solitude.

And sometimes it simply means love.

Look closely.  Jeff wrote my name in the sand.


L-o-v-e 🙂

Thanks to Ailsa, again, for coming up with another great challenge idea.  Click here for more ocean views.