Melisa is Awesome.

Everyone has a story, here's yours!

I'm headed to Chicagoland to visit my sistuh-from-anuh-thuh-muh-thuh, Melisa (YAY!) so my husband dropped me at the airport a little early before going into work, today.

Ticketing Agent: I'm sorry, but you can't check in any earlier than 4 hours before your departure.

Fiiiiiiine, I was waaaaay earlier, but it's okay.

Garth (NHRN): Maybe you can see if there is an earlier flight you can get on.

The thing is, here's the thing: This particular flight has first come first served sort of seating and I had a pretty good boarding spot.

Me: I don't mind, I'll just watch all the people.

Yep, I'm a people-watcher. I can sit and observe and imagine all sorts of stories, for hours. Good thing I have a couple of hours (or twenty) before my flight leaves. Take these guys, for example:


They are a father and son traveling together, but there's a problem. The son has declined his spot in the university generously funded by his father, insisting he'd much rather go into the family business of importing olive oil, but dad has higher aspirations for his son and, although the business has kept their family well fed and allowed each of them to live better than most, it isn't exactly legit.

Father (talking as if his mouth was filled with cotton balls): Michael, you are my youngest son, I want more for you.


What? You heard this story already?

**sound of crickets, chirping**

I'm from Jersey, what'ya want from me?

Oh, HEY! We're about to board, now! Good thing it took me 2 hours to hunt and peck this post out on my phone.

Maybe I'll figure out how to upload a picture that is not sideways, on my way back -- you're welcome!

Edited to add: A big THANK YOU to Melisa for emailing me my blog post, after I went back in to edit a typo and then accidentally deleted it, because I am a special sort of that...yo!

Watch Out, Watch Out, She's Got Man-fingers!

I have NEVER been (or will ever be) associated with anything even remotely petite. I was one of the lucky ones to have blossomed earlier than the rest of my entire second grade class, which earned me the nickname "Amazon", because SECOND GRADE and...flash-forward eleventy-three years...SARCASM!!!

Then, sometime around the fall of 6th grade, the Wonder Woman television show hit the airways:


Aaaaand, I was all...BOOM!!!...POW!!!...NOW all the world is ready for me, and all the wonders I could do! Even though I wasn't as...uhhhhhh...tricked Lynda Carter was (still is) ...physically...or any other 'cally...especially, in the 6th grade...or ever.

Not to mention, the show had pretty much ended by the time we got into high school and then John Hughes brought back petite...dammit.

Disclosure: I am a HUGE John Hughes fan, literally.

Still, after birthing 4 babies, I've grown to love my 5' 9", size 12 body frame -- bumps, lumps, hug-worthy squishy parts and all -- my man-fingers, not so much. Most especially, texting with my man-fingers. On the other hand (see what I did there?!?), they come in very handy when:

  • Opening wine bottles
  • Opening pickle jars
  • Opening ALL the jars
  • Poking holes into packages
  • Ripping open cardboard boxes
  • Poking and ripping ALL the things
  • Flipping someone the bird (don't even make have to!)
  • Epic 5 stars -- my teens gave me that one, I still don't know what that means

Yesterday, I came up with a new one:

  • Scrubbing grout into total submission

Yah, that's right, no grout is safe! Unless, it's bathroom floor-type grout that's been multiplying since last New Year's Day. Then...OH's gonna get ugly, real fast.

Flash-forward this afternoon: I mentioned how the tips of my fingers hurt while chatting with Melisa (because she's a good listener and NEVER judges me and I love her!), but even she had a hard time imagining why the tips of my fingers would hurt.

Me: Yah, it sort of looks like the prune-y skin you get after swimming.

Melisa: [waiting for me to finish, because REALLY?!?]

Me: I think maybe it was the fact that I used straight-up bleach, to clean the grout.

[one beat, two beats]

Melisa: Because, CHEMICAL BURN!

[blink, blink]

I looked down at my man-fingers.

Manfingers, busted
Getting all up close and personal with my man-fingers...

UPSIDE: I didn't even feel burning them while making dinner, too much.

Manfigers, fried
Deep-fried man-finger, it's what's for dinner!

Sooooo, I guess there's no use in hiding it any longer...[heavy sigh]...YES!!! name is Wonder Dork...and I have man-fingers...and you should be feeling really, really good about yourself...right now!

You're welcome.

©2003 -2015 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! Also, I'm attempting to blog EVERY DAY in 2015, I hope it lasts! #TFH365

Wordless Wednesday: Goodnight (and good job!) Sun

I love it, whenever I get the chance to introduce folks to a few of my favorite things, here in Jersey -- sharing them with the ones I love most...priceless. 

Sunset Beach -- Cape May, NJ

Thanks so much for indulging this Jersey Girl and sharing in some spectacular seaside moments, Melisa. And good job, sun.

Linky Love BytesWordless Wednesday HQ

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

Thanks for the memories, we miss you already.

Melisa and I drove down to Seaside Heights, yesterday.  I hadn't been back since Superstorm Sandy ripped through the Jersey shore a little over a year ago, so it was a bittersweet moment for me.  Melisa wrote a beautiful post about our trip to Seaside Park and captures the meaning behind "Jersey Strong," perfectly.

Which is truly ironic, considering this is her first trip to our neck of the woods and that many folks have openly questioned Melisa why, of all places, she would even consider visiting New Jersey.

It's okay, we're used to it.  Also, it's mid-November; if I had my choice, I'd probably pick somewhere a little, you know, warmer to spend my frequent flyer miles, too.  

Still, it was very important for me that Melisa was made to feel right at home and I asked my kids to help by treating her as if they would any other member of our family.

We invited her to attend my son's last football game of the season with us and, after teasing each other, giggling in unison like a bunch of school girls and then huddling close together (it was like Antarctica cold, last night) my youngest daughter turned around to ask Melisa a question.

"Hey mom...wait...I mean, Melisa..."

I feel it safe to say that...THAT alone...was most likely worth the 1,600 miles. 

Glen's Cheering Section

Aaaaaand, it's okay.  I didn't mind one bit, because anyone who knows Melisa would probably agree with me when I tell you that SHE REALLY IS sort of hard to resist, like that.

Thanks for all of the wonderful memories, we miss you already, Melisa.

 ©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

Sharing in a little bit of November magic.

When my husband, Garth (not his real name) heard that Melisa was going to visit with us, his initial reaction was, "Uhhhhhh, okay then, where are you going to take her?" 

Considering it is November and summertime is pretty much over on the Jersey shore, after traveling all the way from Chicago, he was afraid the weather would not cooperate and that she would be bored. 

Me and Melisa Fall 2013 in New Jerrrrrrrrrrrsey

On the contrary, Melisa and I have been going non-stop since she got here:  we dropped her bag at the front door and headed back out to explore the hiking paths that run through Longstreet Farm in Holmdel Park.  My kids have been going "to the farm" since they were babies and it is still one of our favorite places to go to walk, talk or just air out our brains, a little.

Sandy Castle

We hit the beach on Tuesday: visiting the world's tallest sandcastle (seriously, it was AWESOME!) in Point Pleasant Beach.  It was built to help raise money for Restore the Shore and we're hoping that it will stay intact long enough for Melisa to come back and see it in the springtime...when our faces won't freeze off...hopefully!

Melisa, Patty and Me

We rode the train into Manhattan on Wednesday to meet up with our dear, sweet friend Patty (she blogs at Enjoying This Life).  I adore Patty and absolutely love the pic we took after our lunch date.  It took us a couple of tries: it was a very windy day, which is conducive to taking ridiculously unflattering selfies.

Central Park Turn on Your Heart Light

Melisa and I then decided to head into Central Park and, although the weather was still on the chilly side, it really did turn out to be a perfect autumn day and we each found new and exciting things to explore.

Central Park Castle
Belvedere Castle: the official Central Park weather station .

The tree behind me cast a shadow on the stone of the Belvedere Castle that I think is both cool AND creepy.

Central Park Alice in Chains
Alice in Wonderland, in Central Park

There are many bronze statues found throughout Central Park, but Alice in Wonderland is my absolute favorite.

Central Park Tunnel Vision
Bethesda Terrace Arcade in Central Park

We also found another cool staircase, followed it down and...WOW!!!...we were both blown away by the beauty of what we found.  There are literally thousands of Minton tiles found in this awesome walkway in the center of Central Park that leads to the Mall and Central Park Lake.

Central Park Tiny Dancer

I was also reminded of another reason why I love living in New Jersey:  it's right next door to NYC, one of the most magical places in the world and I am SO glad I got the chance to share it with Melisa, in November.

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

Sandy Castle, the world's tallest sandcastle.

One of the many reasons I love living on the central Jersey coast (yes, ON PURPOSE!) is our close proximity to, well, everything.

Agricultural and dairy farms, campgrounds, hiking trails, lakes surrounded by two state parks and OF COURSE our favorite beaches are ALL less than a 30 minute drive from our front door.

Problem is, I want to show ALL of it to Melisa or, at the very least, do my best to make know...want to come back to Jersey.

Yesterday was our first full day of exploring, so first thing on my list of "show Melisa ALL the things" is:  Sandy Castle at Jenkinson's Beach in Pt. Pleasant.

World's biggest sand castle OMG

Sandy Castle was declared the world's tallest sandcastle by Guinness World Records on October 29, 2013:  one year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy.

World's biggest sand castle frozen
Sandy Castle was built to raise money to help Restore the Shore.

Although, my brain was too frozen to think about having her stand next to it (the temperature didn't go above 38 degrees, yesterday) she did manage to snap one off of me...because, she's smart AND really good at this blogging thing, like that.

P.S. Check out to see all the awesome stuff going on in our community of helpers, here in Jersey.

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

Summer in a bottle...

It's the start of our busy season of celebrations here at This Full House of mismatched socks and stinky feet, beginning with the birthdays of my three oldest in November, December and January.

The youngest is my summer baby, but she's okay wit-it. 

Throw in a couple of holidaze and, well, we're talking non-stop de-crudifying sessions of getting this house "holiday clean", my friends.

Also, the unveiling of my signature scent:  Eau de Lysol, with hints of Clorox and Windex.

I love the fall, but there is a certain sadness to saying goodbye to the summer landscape, while watching the trees and flowering bushes ready themselves for the long hibernation of wintertime.

Rose bottlesI knew saving all these empty Stewarts Root Beer bottles would come in handy, one day!

This is my latest attempt at bottling up a little summertime, until Melisa gets here and I play tour guide for a week, giving her a taste of the REAL Jersey Shore.

Just two more sleeps and...YES!!!...there will be zeppoles and fried Oreos :) 

©2003 - 2013 This Full House

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!