The Jersey Shore
June 21 through July 15
At my Cousin Marty's House

I've been lingering here in New Jersey for an extra week due to the disaster with the low bridge. In the middle of a hot summer, replacement airconditioners are hard to come by and I had to wait for one to be shipped from the manufacturer. At this very moment however the motorhome is in the shop having a new unit installed, and I hope to be on the road again by early tomorrow morning.

The first week of my visit I spent with my cousin Marty and his family. Marty is a handyperson par excellence, and the first thing he did after I arrived was fix my generator (YAY!!) and disassemble and fix my door latch. (HURRAY!!) My return trip should be much more comfortable, even though it will be right through a major heat wave in the Western and Plains states. :-(

Marty bought an old wreck of a Corvette, took it apart down to the chassis, sandblasted rust off of everything and painted every part from the chassis up, put it back together, and gave it a whole spanking new interior. Marty's corvette It looks like it just rolled off the assembly line -- absolutely gorgeous. It's worth a lot of money now, but how could you sell anything that you put so much of yourself into? From original purchase to finish, it took 2 years. Here's Marty next to his gorgeous Corvette. He's got it entered in a car show next weekend, and I hope it gets him a prize -- it SHOULD!

My favorite room in their house is the sunroom, which Marty built with his own hands. My cousin Marty his wife Wendy He did an outstanding job, as he does with most handyman sorts of things. Pity he lives so far away from me!! Here are Marty and Wendy sitting with me in the sunroom one day...

The second week I moved down to my cousin Kathy's house in Manalapan, where she lives with her husband Joey and my Aunt Evelyn. I'm separating that visit out into a separate page to keep the number of pictures per page within reason. Click here to see pics and blurb

I came back from Kathy's on July 1, with the intention of spending the 4th weekend with Marty and Wendy, getting the motorhome repaired on the 5th, then heading out towards home on the 6th. Best laid plans were ruined by delays getting the replacement airconditioner, and then getting a bracket necessary to mount it. I ended up spending an extra week with Marty and Wendy -- no hardship since I was very much enjoying my visit. I look forward to reciprocating when Marty and Wendy come out to California next April, to see the state while I still live in it. :-)

While I was there, Marty and daughter Ann managed to wear Wendy down on the issue of a second dog to play with Toby the Dobie. Wendy wanted a young adult dog, not a puppy, and was looking at a 2-yr-old Boxer that was for sale in the paper. I was able to do my cousins a service by tracking down the origin of the dog -- from a puppymill in Missouri -- and researching health problems in Boxers -- notably cardiomyopathy. Reputable Boxer breeders do Holter monitor tests on their breeding stock to minimize the chance of a puppy having cardiomyopathy, but of course with a puppymill dog there is no protection whatsoever. The dog might drop dead with no warning -- as happened to one Boxer of Wendy's acquaintance, but she never knew why it died. Marty and Wendy with Toby and Gracie I strongly recommended that if Wendy really wanted a Boxer she should wait until she could get a properly-bred one; and recommended that if she wanted the 2nd dog now, she consider a Greyhound rescue. I found some local Greyhound rescue outfits on the Internet, and the morning of July 4 we went down to one of them and came home with Gracie the Greyhound. Gracie the couch potato She's a real love of a dog, and it is absolutely accurate what they say about ex-racing greyhounds being couch potatos!

When she runs in the field though she moves like lightning -- Toby tries desperately to catch up, barking with frustration as she just sails out in front of him. She ought to keep Toby well exercised. :-)

I had my acrylic paints stored in a hatch of the motorhome, so I told Wendy if she gave me a shirt with a close knit or weave, I would paint her dogs on it for her. Here is Wendy wearing her newly painted shirt -- and a closeup of the painting so you can see it better. I think I should have made Gracie's nose just a little bit slimmer. Oh well, it's still nice although not perfect. Wendy wearing her dog shirt Closeup of dog shirt

Marty and Wendy live in a house built on a subdevelopment of the lot Wendy grew up in, next to the house Wendy's parents owned. They now own that house also and rent it out. Marty's house Marty's house Notice the sunroom Marty built, on the rear view of their house. Marty's house

Wendy is an avid gardener, and the grounds of their house are just beautiful. Wendy's garden While sitting in the sunroom one can hear the sounds of the waterfall in the koi pond. It's really an idyllic garden. Wendy's garden I'd love to have one half as beautiful -- but firstly I don't have the will to spend the amount of time Wendy does taking care of it, and secondly California is not so beneficial a place for gardens. New Jersey is the "Garden State", dontcha know. Their summers, warm and humid with plenty of rain, are much more garden-friendly than California's dry air, occasional blistering heat and rain-free summers. Unless of course one plants strictly Mediterranean gardens, which I never seem to do. ;-) You should see New Jersey's hydrangeas!! They make my hydrangeas next to the front walk look really sickly, Wendy's garden the koi pond Wendy's garden