Here we go, another batch of random thoughts, photos and musings that don’t merit a whole post of their own. Ready? Let’s do this.

Reza is being walked to school considering we live about 3 blocks away. I was dropping her off this morning and she is already doing this whole “runs off with the other kids and ignores her mommy” bit. Look, she’s excited and I got to let her do her thing. The bell rang and they were being funneled into the building, Reza calls for me, I gaze over and she blew me a kiss. I know the days of being hugged and kissed in front of the school are well on their way to dwindling and you know what? I will take all that I can get.

Speaking of the nugget, I was watching her interact with the other girls and it hit me. I’ve come to the conclusion that Reza is going to go through that awkward toothless phase and when that time comes she’s going to look just like Peppermint Patty. Right on Chuck.

I am trying to make a more conscientious effort of getting exercise and getting out on the bike. Time proves difficult when you have one car and a kid that goes to school only 2.5 hours a day. This morning I dropped her off and took off for a very relaxing bike ride all over Haddonfield. I am glad I went when I did cause it got hotter by the minute and by the time I arrived home I was a lobster red, drippy mess.

I have such a love/hate affair with this place. On one hand I can’t wait for the day we get out of here, then I have days like today where I know there are things I will miss. The Fall kicking in, the sounds of the cicadas over my headphones, the old world architecture and dude, a riding along dragonflies racing me through a cemetery. There’s something inherently cool about being in a cemetery when it’s just you, the bugs, your headphones and the dead. I serenaded them to Fun.’s “We Are Young” quite loudly. I can imagine they rolled over in their graves and told me not to quit my day job.

If being in New Jersey has afforded me one thing, it has been the ability to really enjoy nature, vegetation, seasons and the critters. Reza and I walk around the neighborhood a lot and between that and my bike rides I have been able to score what I call “back yard treasures”. I am sure people are skeeved out enough over all my bug photos but the cicadas are on their way out for the Summer and I have been lucky enough to roll up on some perfectly intact specimens. My first pinning job came out quite nicely! And yes, that is almost a whole bird wing I found on the sidewalk.

Then of course there is Fall. Yes, it still feels like Summer temperature-wise but the feeling in the air and the trees are telling us otherwise. We are already seeing the leaves change and soon it will be October when lots of yard work comes into play. The stores are already jumping the gun with the Halloween merchandise and while I would usually complain about the retail world forcing a holiday on us before its time, Halloween is the one exception to the rule. Yes we are biased and we are more than ok with this. Again, with the love/hate with this place. Just when we are feeling like we have open wounds in the shape of the state of California, the Autumn comes just in time to put a big band aid over it.

We got to see Dead Can Dance a couple weekends ago. Diana, who I have known online since before Josh and I were married, drove up from the DC area and we got to finally meet in person, partake in some tasty brunch and went to a totally epic show. Scratch that, epic is not even a good enough word… more like FLAWLESS. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard are complete and total vocal perfection. I guess being here has afforded me the luxury of getting to meet several of my East Coast e-friends of many years and so far all of the ladies I have met have been an utter pleasure. I guess I am lucky in that sense that I end up aligning with a lot of good people and fate have it our paths finally got to cross. So yes, Diana is money as F and I am looking forward to hanging out with her again. She gets me. And yes, that croque madame was fantastic.

And then there are the massive amount of photos I take. Josh was ripping on me the other day cause I had 2000+ photos on my iPhone. Hey! I am a visually driven person, what can I say? Here are some of my recent favs…

I have been very fortunate to get some really cool items in the mail as of late. Dinah & Derek sent me some really cool, blank vinyl figures and I got all into it. Never painted on these kind of guys before but they really were fun to do. I still have a Frankie to do so when he’s done there will be better photos. I am also working on a kidrobot figure, the sketch in the middle is concept art.

So onto the real nitty gritty here. This post makes it look like all is well, perfect and coated in maple syrup. Look, I am not fooling anyone, much less myself by saying all is well. Things always could be better and Josh and I are doing our best to find the purpose and reason for all of this. We try to find the silver lining in everything and staying distracted is key. I am going to be real… our hearts are not here. We hold each others but there are so many factors that contribute to our overall well being and there is nothing in this state that will ever fill what the West Coast has engrained in us. NOTHING. So we power on till another door opens. In the meantime we are lining up our cards, making smart decisions and doing lots of talking to make sure we are ALWAYS on the same page.

the rest of my recent batch of photos can be viewed on flickr

jersey fresh

Things around these parts are settling down a little. Yes, the house still looks like it exploded from the sea of boxes (empty or not) but there has been a lot of progress in the unpacking department. Slowly but surely.

The scenery around these parts is actually quite nice. SO MANY TREES. The Fall around here is going to be gorgeous. The drive to get Reza from school is super scenic, literally a canopy of trees almost the entire way. Our neighborhood is very close to the Cooper River park and we drive over this bridge almost every day. The park is popular and every day you see tons of people walking/running/cycling around it. You look over to the West and you can see the sun setting over the Philly skyline. I haven’t got used to the fact the sun doesn’t set on the ocean here. Josh snagged this shot yesterday (on the left)… sadly missing the sun that was a radiant harvest shade of red/orange. The other shot is the Patco train tracks that run parallel to our house.

Speaking of trees… our backyard. Jesus. It’s like an episode of National Geographic up in this piece. At any point in time I get to see bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, cardinals, blue jays. I am not used to so much wildlife but Reza and I are loving it. This morning we watched the squirrels pulling out the yard mushrooms for breakfast. My landlord says there are also racoons, an occasional fox and that if we put out bird feeders we will attract a lot of wild birds. And don’t even get me started on the bugs. The house has lots of floral bushes and trees (we also have holly trees!) and there are big, hairy bumblebees collecting pollen from our porch daily. Then of course the crickets and cicadas at night and I keep managing to score on capturing some of them on film… like these guys…

The pic on the left is our back yard. Can’t really grasp it much, we have a very large tree outside our kitchen window. Speaking of we need to get on that renters insurance stat, cause with the idea of falling trees and possible flooding basements full of electronic equipment, uh yeah…

I had my first non Jason+Eryc hair appointment last weekend. It went well and I like it… it’s just not them. You get so used to someone, it is hard to give that up so easily. Needless to say I like Jo, she’s nice, easy going and is obsessed with Duran Duran. Plus the salon is really relaxed, no snootiness. We hit it off and once we get more familiar with one another, we will be a-ok.

Josh and I have braved 2 trips to IKEA in Philly on a weekend and man… And people back home complain about it being a zoo. Holy shit was it nuts. I have such a love/hate relationship with that place. I love the stuff but the some of the people that go there make my brain assplode from their stupidity. I go, in and out… no problems! but we got stuck behind some people who spent more than 15 minutes at the register cause they were just that stupid. Obvious college students. The future of uhmurrcah right there. Josh, who thinks I don’t notice, has devised a plan that entails him leaving to another part of the house the minute he sees me pulling out IKEA parts for assembly. It shouldn’t be this complicated to put together a square bookcase. My frustration and impatience with their picture only instructions only turns me into Miss Pissy Pants 2011 and all we end up doing is snapping at each other. Well played husband. IKEA, you will make my blood boil yet I keep going back to your land of Swedish Delight, mocking me with your names. A tool set called FIXA? OH OK. You pricks. I hate you and the freshly baked cinnamon rolls you pump out by the register, only mocking me further.

Living here is gonna be easier on the waistline. Thank jeebus. I get the urge for Mexican food/froyo/tasty something… “oh there isn’t any anywhere near here” and the idea of getting in the car doesn’t appeal. Not the way people drive here. Serious pricks of the road! Either they are stupid as all F or they ride your ass like a drunk slut on a mechanical bull. Jesus. And dude, you can only eat so much Italian food. I am already over it and I shouldn’t even be having it anyway, lately my body is REALLY hating glutinous products. No, really. Leaving the house isn’t an option so I am relegated to the tasty I may have in the house which is… Nothing. I don’t buy that business cause I know what will happen. Ironically, getting into the house I have somehow managed to lose a couple pounds. Making better choices paired with not eating out as much wins. I don’t own a scale cause seeing numbers really messes with my head. But I can feel it. I haven’t lived in a house with stairs since I was a teen and now I have 3 floors to go up and down to, pair that with lugging boxes, groceries, laundry on said stairs. Oy, my thighs and shoulders are on FIYAH. I found a pilates studio around here that has a cool vibe, the owner was awesome and they combine it with TRX training which I have always wanted to try and the class sizes have low attendance which makes it even better. Excited to get back into it.

So the nugget started Pre-K last week. So far she has really dug being around kids again and I have been getting much needed time to myself. So far I like her school, only bummer is the serious lack of play time which she has already complained about. I knew this going into it, wanting to focus on the academic but I am having my doubts.. kids her age should play outside and there isn’t much of it. I really need to find her some extra-curricular activities like dance or something.

She came home with this drawing on the first day. It’s “our new house, Nena and the cat we are going to get”. Heh.