I was on a staycation this past week. I still am, for that matter. It's over when I go to work tomorrow morning. I really didn't do a heck of a lot of anything other than relax. In the beginning of my week, the weather kept me in. Then there was a nice day, then more rain. Then we went into a heat wave.
Now, if I were a "normal" New Jersey person, off for a week during a heat wave, I would have headed down the shore. But I'm far from normal. I do love beaches and the ocean. I really do. I just don't like them crowded with people when the water is still too cold to go in. I'm not a lay on the beach blanket all greased up to tan (burn) type of person. I'm pale. I prefer to stay pale. The only alternative to pale for me is red. Plus, I'm not good at getting up from the floor with the knee replacements. I can get up, but it's very awkward. I don't need strangers pointing and laughing at my exploits when I don't even have much clothing to hide me. "Hey! Look at the chunky old chick trying to get up!"
Nope, not for me, thankyouverymuch. My perfect beach day is anytime that it's not summer. Stormy winter weather on the beach? Gorgeous! Sunrise off season? I'm so there! But during heat waves, my best friends are my air conditioner and some good books. Oh. And a cat. Can't forget the cat.
Same random observations on the week (or on life, too):
- I didn't travel far during my week off. The farthest I went was to the farmers market in Scotch Plains, an adjacent town. I saw not a one cicada. So much for the 17-year invasion around here.
- My upstairs neighbor, still a stranger to me, seemed to have a child up there last weekend. Thankfully, it went away.
- The rowdy new people in the front of the building who arrived in March are already gone.
- The elevator of my building smelled like Braunschweiger yesterday. That's not good. I prefer it smell like fresh laundry from the basement, please.
- I visited Park Liquors in Scotch Plains on my outing yesterday, buying some Brooklyn Lager and some Samuel Adams Summer Ale. The liquor stores around here in Plainfield tend to Budweiser and various Central/South American beers. I'm not a big beer drinker, but I do like to have one now and again on summer days. I like to experiment around trying different kinds. I can't recall the last time I had a Budweiser.
- Yes, yes, I can. It was in the 1980s. That was also the last time I had a kamikaze. Do you know they glow in black light?
- I don't like to sweat unless I'm doing something physical. Standing still in the shade is NOT physical. It's too early for heat waves.
- Vincent was supremely spoiled all week, more so than usual.
- I'm tired of television commercials for the Jersey Shore singing "we're stronger than the storm." Enough already.
- There was a shooting last night at Kennedy Fried Chicken on Park Avenue in Plainfield. I heard it on my scanner. The police were already dispatched to a fight when the Shot Spotter doohickey indicated shots fired. A man was shot in the shoulder. The police stopped a car driving away with no lights on. Voila! A gun. Good work, Plainfield PD!
- Of course, I wouldn't be there at 2 in the morning.
Onto the photos I took this past week ...
I took this shot on Berckman Street in Plainfield. It's odd -- directly across the street, the allium flowers have passed. It's like they're in two different climate zones or something. Did you know that the generic "allium" is the Latin word for garlic?
|She went and CLOSED the window!|
Yes. In the second day of the heat wave (three days at 90 degrees or more), I closed the window and put on the air conditioning. Sorry, Vincent.
Typical me, I have no clue what this flower is. I can tell you it's growing on Berckman Street in Plainfield, though! I wouldn't know what allium is except for someone telling me. Maybe someone will tell me what this one is and I might even actually remember. Maybe.
Ohhh! Ohhh! (Doing my best Horshack impression.) I do know this one! It's deadly, but very cool.
Yep, I know this one, too. See? I can sometimes remember my plants! This is growing rampant, a good four feet high, outside of Park Liquors in Scotch Plains.
|More deadly nightshade|
Right alongside the spotted knapweed grows the deadly nightshade. These plants are the tallest I've seen. I usually see it around the Westfield and Bridgewater Train Stations. The plants were a good 3½ feet high or so.
|In a planter|
I wasn't impressed with the flowers in the planters on the streets of Scotch Plains. They were reminiscent of spotted knapweed, yet short and stout. But, at least the planters themselves weren't humongous and bright orange like the Plainfield street planters.
|Scotch Plains farmers market|
I was tempted to buy a lavender plant while I was there, but little gnat-like flies kept surrounding them. I didn't want to bring any of THOSE into my apartment!
Mmm, mmm, good! As I still had a lot of fruit from my grocery delivery the Sunday before, I bought a heavenly blueberry tart from a bakery shop booth, some cucumbers and cherries. I'm fussy about my cherries. I need to see them before I buy.
East Front Street in Plainfield.
These are growing outside the Scottway Townhomes on East Front Street in Plainfield.
|No, I don't know what they are|
Thanks to my cousin Sue, I now know this is columbine (not to be confused with the school).
This truck was delivering goods to a store on East Front Street in Plainfield. With that kind of graffiti on the side, I expected it came out of NYC. Nope. Pennsylvania license plates. I contend it must have parked in the city. All of the graffiti-upped trucks I've seen in Plainfield have come out of Manhattan, Brooklyn or the Bronx.
Now, I am an open-minded kind of person. I relish diversity and all. Yet, this reminds me of grammar schools when I was very young with separate entrances for the boys and girls. As I grew up, I felt everyone should be able to go through the SAME doors in life. This "Sisters" entrance is at the rear of the Islamic Center on the corner of Gavett and North in Plainfield. Hopefully I'm in error and women can also enter through the front of the building.
But with a beauty all their own. East Second and Roosevelt in Plainfield.
|Fruit salad extravaganza!|
I took advantage of a Peapod grocery delivery $5 off if you order $20 in fruit promo code. This was my breakfast one day and snacks for three days. Honeydew melon, cantaloupe, white (green) grapes, blueberries and strawberries. I got bananas, too. But they don't last well in a salad. So I made chocolate-banana milkshakes with them!
|Y'know, squirrel, I do see you|
I accidentally threw my bag of trash on this little guy. I didn't know he was in the Dumpster! (Better than a bear, I guess!) He jumped up on this nearby tree and flattened himself down to hide from me. Ignore the Sandy-fallen tree in the background; more on that later.
From that house on the corner of Richmond and East Front in Plainfield.
|And even more|
I take the shots at the Richmond/East Front house through a chain link fence and don't always quite get the focus I want. I kind of like this one with the off-focus flower in the foreground, though.
|More East Front/Richmond St. flowers|
|Back to Berckman Street|
This is across the street and the same day I took the nice allium shots. Notice the allium here has gone to seed and collapsed.
|Back across the street|
Most of the irises are passing or have gone by now. Yet these thrive on the one side of Berckman Steet.
|As do the allium balls|
|Last of the rhododendron|
Also on Berckman Street.
|Big Daddy is back!|
During the winter I photographed this car with the front end all smashed. It's back now, all fixed. It still has the Pennsylvania license plate on it. (NJ requires front and rear plates.) The car owner has obviously lived here more than the 30 days within which cars need to be re-registered in New Jersey. On this little section of East Front Street, all residential, I noticed five out of the ten always around cars in a row had out of state plates -- Maryland, North Carolina and Pennsylvania seem to be the popular ones.
Now, had I done that when I moved from CT to here, you know I would have gotten a ticket. It must be cheaper to have the cars registered in those states.
|It's forming its own ecosystem|
This is the Sandy-fallen tree at the rear of the backyard next door to my apartment building. The lawn is very deep, so it's possible they don't or can't see it from their house with their garage in the way. But I can see it out my window, plus it's right in back of our trash Dumpsters for my building. As a matter of fact, part of the tree had to be removed from atop our Dumpsters. Now their landscapers (doesn't anyone mow their own lawn anymore?) are dumping lawn debris there.
|Make her open the window, please|