Monday, October 31, 2005


We have a tandem bike--a bicyle built for two. Hubby bought it at a fleamarket a long time ago, but we really never used it. We gave it to my sister and her husband, but after a while they gave it back to us. However, yesterday was such a gorgeous day, that we decided to try out the bike on the bike trail at Sandy Hook. This is a lovely trail that winds through the old holly forest at one point.

The hard part was getting the bike on the roof of the car, but once that was accomplished we were on our way. We parked next to the old Nike missile site and rode our bike to the north end of the trail. Yesterday happened to be Fort Hancock day and there things to see--the most interesting of which was the old Nike missile site itself. From 1954 to 1974 there were over 200 sites in this country with two nuclear warheads at each site. There were lots of them in NJ. We could have been blown to smithereens if there had been an accident. Though the guide at the site explained all the safeguards used at that time, it was rather chilling to realize I grew up completely unaware that the missiles were there.

We hoisted the bike back up on the roof rack and drove home feeling considerably younger after our bike ride. We're going to polish up that old bike and use it again. There are many new bike trails being built and we're going to try them all. :^)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween Party Time

Some of daughter #2's high school friends were throwing a Halloween party so daughter #2 and her boyfriend hopped on a train in the city after work and arrived here before eight. Then they dressed as Quagmire and Andy Warhol. I had no idea who Quagmire was since I watch very little television. We did not have a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup in the house, and so daughter #2 had to substitute a can of Campbell's Low Sodium Chicken to complete her outfit.

Daughter #2 told me one of her other friends dressed as Abe Lincoln and another--a rather large fellow--claimed to be a Chippendale dancer with the white cuffs, but no shirt, the bowtie with a collar and money in his belt. She said there were a lot of zombies, some witches, and a nurse. Someone else was Professor Snape and one came as an anchorman in a suit. There was a devil along with Jack, the Pumpkin King. Mary Poppins showed up. And one fellow came in a white lab coat and carried a toy chainsaw. Quite a variety.

They played games, too. There was a doughnut eating contest. Professor Snape won.

It's nice that daughter #2 keeps in touch with her high school buddies.

Monday, October 24, 2005

NCP's Birthday Bash

New Concepts Publishing is celebrating their ninth year in e-publishing by having a Birthday Bash.

For all the details check out:

New Concepts Birthday Bash.

There will be plenty of prizes!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

No More Carving

I went to the pumpkin farm this week and bought a small pumpkin for a table decoration. I am not going to carve it and make it into a jack o'lantern. My jack o'lantern days are over. Until our daughters grew up I carved out a pumpkin every year. Then last year, I bought a ceramic jack o'lantern. I can put a candle in it and voila! No mess. Never again will I have to dig out all the slimy seeds.

I still like singing Halloween songs, but I don't miss carving the pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Bell House at Pemaquid Point

Here's another painting I did. Hubby and I visited Pemaquid Point in Maine several years ago and I took a photo of the bell house just below the Pemaquid Point lighthouse. I used a bit of artistic license and made the roses more flamboyant. :^)

Maine is a nice place to visit. We had a wonderful vacation there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

To Be...Or Not To Be...What?

I need a costume. Last year, I dressed as a clown--even though I have never liked clowns. I find them scary. I bought a rainbow wig and a red nose and wore a crazy sweater I got in a thrift shop. The year before that, I was an angel. I used a white graduation gown from one of my daughters and bought wings and a halo. The year before that I was really lazy and used a black graduation gown and cap from one of my daughters. I have been a queen, an equestrian, the Blue Fairy, and a mummer. The mummer's costume was the best of all. I just borrowed it from my husband's closet. He's in a string band.

But what now? I don't want to be a witch, or a vampire, or anything very mean and wicked. What can I be for Halloween that isn't going to cost much money but will make everyone smile?

Any ideas?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Picking Up Branches

Everytime the wind blows, we have fallen branches in our yard. One rather large limb fell down yesterday--big enough to be a small tree. It landed in a verticle postition only inches from the outside air conditioning unit and very, very close to the house. If it had landed on the roof, it might have put a hole in it. The branch came from one of the tulip trees. Those trees shed large branches on a regular basis and this is not the first close call we've had. A few years ago, one large branch hit one of the gutters and dented it. We've had some of the trees removed, but that was terribly expensive. We still have still several more tulip trees on our property. They are extremely tall and a few are scarred from being hit by lightning.

We did not finish picking up branches yesterday. So I'll be getting more outdoor exercise today. In addtion, hubby is going to have to saw some of the large branches into smaller pieces. Oh well.

Often when I'm doing menial chores, I'm working out plot problems in my head--so picking up branches was actually a good thing for my current work in progress. Inspiration comes at the strangest times.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Cranberry Everything

After a week of rain, the sun finally came out so hubby and I drove to the Cranberry Festival in Chatsworth,deep in the heart of the Pine Barrens. This is what the road to Chatsworth looks like.

There are lots and lots of very short pine trees, the landscape is rather flat, and the soil is sandy. Most of the time, there is very little going on in Chatsworth--other than the growing of cranberries. However, once a year people from everywhere inundate the town to buy cranberry everything--cranberry bread, cranberry cookies, cranberry wine, cranberry hot sauce, etc.

In addition, there are the usual craft tables and festival food. I bought cranberry jam, no-salt sesame sticks, and a new cookie sheet. Maybe I'll make my own cranberry cookies. I bought a cranberry cookbook last year, but I haven't tried any of the recipes in it yet. :^)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

One of My Paintings

Yes, I paint with oils, too. At the urging of a friend, I signed up in Grace Graupe-Pillard's painting workshop when daughter #3 was a baby. Ever since then, I paint once a week. Every painting takes me forever to finish because I love to use outline brushes and put in every blade of grass.

This is a painting of Nauset Marsh on Cape Cod.

When our daughters were young, we used to go on camping trips every summer. The year we went to Cape Cod, we took a boat ride around Nauset Marsh and I took a photograph that I later used for the painting.

On that boat ride, the crew pulled up a bunch of sea creatures from the marsh. My children were thrilled when they got to hold a tiny starfish in their hands. Maybe that had something to do with daughter #1 becoming a marine scientist.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Doughnut Day

After Mass today, there were doughnuts, coffee, juice, and bagels for all in the cafeteria. Daughter #1 and I opted for the juice and bagels--we decided that would be lunch. Hubby nearly ran down the stairs so he would not miss out on getting a jelly doughnut, one of the more sought after treats usually snatched up first by the young children.

It happened to be Vocation Awareness Sunday. All the church ministries had sign-up sheets ready and were scanning the crowd, looking for fresh volunteers. After talking with one of the women, I signed up to be a Eucharistic minister. I have been involved with a number of the other ministries, but this is a new one for me.

Our pastor told us he has several photos of hubby playing the accordion at the church picnic. Hubby was delighted. Right now, I guess hubby's vocation is in entertainment.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

An Overload of Romance

I have returned from the New Jersey Romance Writers conference. My mind is still spinning. I am suffering from an overload of information about romance writing.

I went to a variety of workshops--on blogging, on the male point of view, on promotion, on rewriting, about adding steam to romances, and an editors' panel.

I always find the editors' panel one of the most interesting. Last year, just about every editor wanted chick-lit. This year, they all want dark paranormal romances. Nevertheless, they all want something fresh and interesting with a different voice.

Right. To me, it seems as if they are all jumping on the same bandwagon.

Anyhow, I had a wonderful time seeing many of my writer friends. It was a great conference!

Friday, October 07, 2005

The First

Yesterday I discovered that my upcoming January book has already been reviewed. It's the first review for A Rush Of Light and it was a really nice one. :^)

Among other things, Gene King of said, "A Rush of Light by Penelope Marzec is a romance for all ages....The characters are very real, they come alive in their thoughts and interactions....I look forward to seeing more Ms Marzec stories. I recommend A Rush of Light for those wanting to explore a sweet, spirit filled story."

You can read the entire review at

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Aquarium Visit

Hubby and I visited the Adventure Aquarium in Camden today. It is directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. I have visited lots of aquariums--Sea World in San Diego, the Coney Island aquarium, Mystic Seaport's aquarium, the Mote aquarium, and Tampa's aquarium. But none of those had a shark tunnel like the Camden aquarium. It is really awesome to see sharks swimming above you.

We saw the 3D movie, too. Hubby had a good laugh and so did a lot of other people in the audience. I just thought it was silly.

But it was a nice way to spend a rather gray day.