hurricane sandy

All posts tagged hurricane sandy

Loving Sundays!

Published June 9, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1193I love my husband!

Today was great! My husband and I took a ride down to one of our favorite towns, Keyport.

We like to eat at McDonagh’s Pub. They have such great veggie sliders, which I always get on a salad. (See photo below!)


I forgot to say “no tomatoes” because I only eat organic tomatoes and this wasn’t an organic restaurant. So I picked them off — no worries! I love the restaurant so much because they play rock every time we’re there. (And more obscure stuff, not overplayed classic rock!)

One of the coolest things happened today — which is why I love my husband so much. We were in an antique store that we always shop in and buy stuff. We usually deal with the female owner who is awesome, but today she was very busy with someone who seemed to be giving her a hard time. So while my husband shopped, I asked the male owner if I could use the rest room. He wouldn’t let me and sent me out to Town Hall.

I let my husband know where I was going. I walk out, passed my husband’s car and saw two idiots (middle-aged, so they should know better!) leaning on his car. Seems it was guy getting an autograph from some author. I said, “Could you please get off our car!” They apologized and said they weren’t doing anything damaging. Regardless, you don’t lean on other people’s property, especially when it’s a gorgeous (almost classic!) car! With all the dumpy cars around, they had to choose ours!

So I’m walking back and then I saw my husband looking for me.

He said that he walked out of the antique shop without buying.

I asked him why.

He said, “That jerk wouldn’t let my wife use the restroom so he’s not getting any business from us!”

Go Dennis! He defended me, then I told him how I defended him in regard to his car.

It’s so cool that around the same time we were taking care of each other, without the other knowing! It’s so cool to be on the same page, knowing someone loves you and always has your back and you have his. After seven years I’m still like a teenager in love with my heart beating so fast around my husband. I love him so much!

And for the record, a nice young kid in a coffee shop (Espresso Joe’s) let me use their bathroom. Since he was so nice, I suggested going there for coffee next time. See — it’s good business to be kind to others ’cause you never know if people will come back — and since we’re good karma kinda folks, we most certainly will!

So giving a shout out to Espresso Joe’s for having nice workers! (And they have some great art displayed there too! Check them out:

Good to know they have vegan snacks and gluten free items on the menu! Put this on the “to do” list for a snicky snack!

On the ride down to Keyport, we saw a group of Hell’s Angels on the parkway, so I got this shot:

SAM_1191Hell’s Angels (photo by me!)

Now that is the way to be a responsible biker! Note the proper biker attire, note that they are driving according to the rules of the road, going a decent speed, not cutting people off. Very cool! If God forbid they get into an accident, the leather jackets, jeans and biker boots will protect their body a great deal.

Unlike these other idiots (non-Hell’s Angels) on dirt bikes that were riding like imbeciles, cutting off cars, driving recklessly, and dressed stupid — in shorts, sleeveless shirts and sandals (two guys and a girl on a back of one bike). If those buffoons get into an accident, their skin will be ripped to shreds! DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!

Anyway, a great ride down and a great ride back on this gorgeous New Jersey day. We caught a lot of the Glen Jones radio show on WFMU. Got to hear some great songs by Psychedelic Furs, Big Country, The Alarm, The Go-Gos (which started with a drum roll that sounded similar to Stiv Bator’s “It’s Cold Outside”) and The Rolling Stones — a favorite you NEVER hear on the radio, “Far Away Eyes.” So I had a blast singing/talking along with ‘ol Mick Jagger in a hillbilly accent.

Thanks Glen Jones for playing so much great music and being the soundtrack to our Sunday Love Days!

Last night we took a ride down to another one of our favorite places, Perth Amboy and walked along the Raritan bay. Hurricane Sandy hit very hard at Perth Amboy. So many beautiful homes were destroyed, including one we almost considered getting on the waterfront. But people are moving on with their lives. We took a nice walk through the back streets. It’s a historic town and we visited the Kearny Cottage from 1781.

Ben Franklin’s son William Franklin, also lived in Perth Amboy, he was the Royal Governor of the town.

SAM_1183Me at the Kearny Cottage garden

Enjoy the rest of this gorgeous day! For dinner we’re cooking together, a simple dish of brown rice pasta and an organic salad. Perhaps some wine too. It’s nice enough that it’s not too humid so we can eat outside — yay!

I found this amazing organic, vegan friendly wine, called Our Daily Red. You gotta love it!

Our Daily Red

When Harry Met Sandy

Published May 14, 2013 by Maryanne

New York And New Jersey Continue To Recover From Superstorm SandySeaside Heights Roller Coaster in Ocean since Hurricane Sandy

(Photo swiped via Google Search)

The roller coaster that is stuck in the ocean since Hurricane Sandy will finally be dismantled today, during a visit from Prince Harry who is visiting the seaside towns that have been hit hard by the hurricane.

Looks like Seaside Heights will be up and running in time for Memorial Day weekend, which is an amazing comeback. I’m so happy to hear that the shore towns are recovering so beautifully and will be back in business. This is just so great!

Happy Birthday Dick Dale!

Published May 4, 2013 by Maryanne

dick-dale-mary-anne-and-dennis-surf-clubDick Dale, Me, Dennis (2007 or 2008?)

At the Surf Club (now demolished thanks to Hurricane Sandy)

Happy Birthday to legendary Dick Dale!

My husband and I make it a point to see him perform whenever he comes to New Jersey. For a few years he was struggling with cancer so he wasn’t touring, but last summer we saw him again. I posted about it on my Maryanne’s Jukebox page: There are pictures and some video footage, from The Surf Club that no longer exists  thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Here’s his best song ever, “Misirlou” from 1963

Here’s another goodie:

I think Dick is coming around again in August — I can’t wait!

Another Amazing Animal Story

Published May 3, 2013 by Maryanne

vintage cats

No, this isn’t yet another story about how smart my kitty Derick is.

This is a story that I heard on the news last night. A story that blew my mind!

During Hurricane Sandy, a woman and her daughter in Chadwick Island were rescued by boat, with their kitty Porsche, and ended up staying with family nearby in Point Pleasant, eight miles away. Porsche was disturbed by some loud noises and ran away.

The mother and daughter didn’t think they’d see the cat again.

Then six months later, the Porsche showed up — at the  home in Chadwick Island!

Read the full story (and see the video) here: Cat lost during Sandy finds way home!

HOW, did the cat know how to get back to the original home? I can only imagine an angel coming down from heaven, directing the cat to it’s home. And that owner must have been something special for the cat to be that determined to get back home. The cat was well fed too. Didn’t even look like it was lost.

Imagine that? Traveling eight miles, coming back healthy, avoiding getting hit by a car and other catastrophes! Don’t forget, this cat was traveling through the winter time.

I want to go to Chadwick Island and meet this cat. Maybe he’ll tell me the secrets of the universe!


This reminded me of a similar story several years ago.

My mom was friends with a woman whose dad had a chihuahua. When the dad died, the chihuahua was missing.

Three days later they found the chihuahua at the father’s grave site.

Amazing … just amazing.

Happy New Year!

Published January 4, 2013 by Maryanne

Happy New YearRetro image swiped from Google

Okay, let’s try this again!

Two days ago I wrote a Happy 2013 but it didn’t turn out as positive as I normally am, which is good in one way because life isn’t always peaches and cream and I do like to “keep it real,” but bad in another way because I am not one to dwell on the negative and I think even when venting (which is healthy in some ways) getting responses to negativity only snowballs it and that is not what I am about. Moving forward I should only vent to my husband or trusted friends/family.

So I deleted that entry.

My negativity was on my business. After Hurricane Sandy, business took a nose dive and I wasn’t a happy camper. My webmaster also had a problem getting my site going because of some technical problems, which magnified my woes and since I am a perfectionist, it was like the world falling apart for me. I wanted my website to look perfect when I sent out my “Happy New Year” email and it took longer than expected to get it to my high standards.

Then once the website was fixed — miraculously so was my business! The updated website went out in my mass email and THREE old clients came back — two within minutes of the email going out!

THAT, dear readers, is the power of positivity! (My home-based company Pear Tree Enterprises website, always offers good words to my clients and readers — and whenever I am down, my husband says, “Get some of that Pear Tree spirit!”)

Needless to say, I am so busy I am turning down work again for next week!

So aside from my business being back on track, I had a few wonderful days during the time between Christmas and New Year’s. On Sunday, the first day my husband and I had together in a long time that didn’t involve holiday shopping or house cleaning, we took a couple long rides. First to a restaurant called Cracker Barrel where they have lots of retro goodies. It was a bit of a challenge eating there because there weren’t many vegetarian options, as even many of their vegetables are cooked in a meat broth, but the waitress was wonderfully patient with me and we had a super romantic time dining right in front of the fireplace.

As we were leaving, we spotting an adorable Teddy Bear that sang, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in a children’s voice. Dennis and I fell in love with the bear and just couldn’t bear (pun intended!) to leave him behind! He was just so cute.

New Year’s Eve we went to Imperial 46, a wonderful Japanese restaurant in West Paterson — er, excuse me Woodland Park (the fancy new name because residents didn’t want to be associated with the negativity of Paterson due to the high crime rate, but screw you imbeciles who voted for the new name, Paterson is an amazing town with so much culture, museums, great schools and a grand falls — just 15 minutes from NYC! You are totally FOOLISH for not wanting to be associated with it!) ANYWAY, Imperial 46 is special because they serve sushi with brown rice. I was so happy I got to use a little Japanese which I learned several years ago while planning a trip to Japan that I never quite made.

After that we visited my Mom, sister, nephew and their doggies and had a blast. Then rang in the New Year with Dennis’ father, brother and his girlfriend. We had so much laughs.

The next day we went to a party that our friends Daniel and Patty had at their home in Neptune (Jersey shore) which was spared from the storm. After the party we took a ride to the beach, which looked like a war zone.

New Jersey beaches are so gorgeous in the winter and you’ll always see people walking on the beach with their dogs no matter what season it is. But the entire Belmar boardwalk was demolished. We saw homes that were destroyed and evacuated. It definitely put a sad tone on the day.

The streets nearest the beach were blocked off and only residents were allowed to drive on those roads. We took a walk and it was just too depressing. I said it reminded me of two things: 1. The devastating ending of “Planet of the Apes” where everything was destroyed and 2. 9/11. The exception was that Mother Nature did this, not man.

So that was my last few days in a nutshell.

In spite of all the fun I was so downhearted because of my business being slow. I felt de-energized and so exhausted. I also had some sciatica which I am sure was due to stress. So I went to acupuncture last night and slept almost around the clock. My sciatica is completely gone and I am coming to life! I was starting to feel a little positive with two new clients coming back, but then I went through the roof when the third one called today!

Next week it will be a typical Pear Tree week. I am happy beyond belief!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!

I am especially excited because this year is a milestone for me, as I will be turning 50 on August 19!

It’s the Perfect Time to Adopt a Pet in New Jersey/New York

Published November 19, 2012 by Maryanne

Photo from Google Search (no credit available)

Last night I was in Pet Smart with my husband because we needed kitty litter liners.

A girl was in the shop with a beautiful chihuahua that was a rescue from the Sandy Hurricane. She said she was temporarily fostering the dog until it had a permanent home. Believe me, if I didn’t have two elderly cats, I would have taken that dog in a heartbeat. The dog was beautiful, lovable, well trained and well-behaved. The story was the dog was found without a collar or a microchip so it was impossible to find the owner.

My heart goes out to all the poor animals that lost their homes and families due to the storm. My two kitties don’t know how lucky they are to be safe with us.

There is no better time than now to adopt a pet or foster one if you can.

You can always call your local pet shelter or pet store. Currently the North Shore Animal League has over 300 animals that were displaced when their owners had to evacuate their homes during Hurricane Sandy.

Believe me, I’ve had all kinds of animals my whole life — dogs, cats, turtles, ferret, snake, turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs — and they bring you nothing but joy and happiness.  By adopting a pet, you may be saving a little soul’s life, but the pet will give back to you tenfold — unconditional love throughout his/her lifespan!

Awww, Man, Do We Have to Go Back to Normal?

Published November 12, 2012 by Maryanne

Halloween Night During the Storm, I loved how everything was so quiet in our town!


From three days ago, beautiful anniversary card by photographer Darlene Foster.

We were in our own little “bubble” for the past two weeks! An unexpected vacation!

It goes without saying that my heart goes out to everyone who lost heat, cars, homes and God forbid lives during Hurricane Sandy.

But in my selfish little way, I have to admit I loved being displaced for a few weeks. My husband and I (and our kitties) were living in a little bubble land where we didn’t have to see or hear from the ugly, outside world. And when we did, I loved the way everyone was nice and helping each other. I even felt a sweeter compassion inside myself, liking people I don’t normally like. The storm changed many for the better.

Now, while people are getting back to normal, I’ve noticed the “nasty” has returned. Yesterday in a health food store, I was once again PUSHED because I wasn’t moving fast enough for a customer with a sense of entitlement.

Yeah, New Jersey, you’re really coming back STRONG. (*note sarcasm!*)

It’s sad to say, this reminds me of the weeks that followed 9/11.

During the first two weeks after 9/11, people on the subways in NYC looked each other in the eyes for a sense of hope. It was beautifully surreal. Then by the third week, people were fighting on mass transit again.

It’s a sad world that we live in that we need something horrible and tragic to bring out the good in us and then when things go back to normal, people are cruel, rotten and self-centered.

The good  news is that I do have my own business and I can make it “Maryanne Land” as much as possible. But I do need simple things in life, like groceries.

I do not wish for another horrendous storm, but I do wish people would hold on to what they’ve learned from the storm just a little bit longer.

But they won’t.

Ups and Downs During Aftermath of Sandy

Published November 7, 2012 by Maryanne

The past couple days have been filled with ups and downs as we try to get our lives back together.

The Downs: As much as I’m a positive person and have been applauded for making the most of a devastating situation and have been so lucky that the worst thing that happened to me is loss of electricity and losing a lot of business for the past two weeks. There have been so many horror stories that our dear friends and family have been going through (no deaths, but loss of homes, loss of cars, concerns about pets due to lack of heat, and people I care about that I STILL haven’t heard from!)

And on a more personal note, there hasn’t been mail in our neighborhood for days and I have checks out there due to me that I haven’t seen yet and major clients are still without power.

It’s so easy to fall into a depression when life is so unsure, but I am keeping my chin up.

Now for the good news …

The Ups: Yesterday I set my alarm early to check my emails, eat a hearty breakfast, work out and shower. My two major goals for the day were to VOTE and GET GAS. I thought it would take hours, but I was in and out at the voting booth and only sat in line for gas 11 minutes. Score!

I had something to take care of in Piscataway, which is a half hour from my home. Driving on a nice sunny day gave me a freedom, independence that I’ve lacked since Hurricane Sandy. I even found a beautiful health food store in the area I was in and stocked up on some raw food goodies.

I’ve bonded over the election with two like-minded girlfriends. I told both of them that several months ago I had a prophetic dream (I’ve had many in my lifetime) that Obama won. “Don’t worry, he will win,” I told them.

His win took the edge off and put me at ease. (Mind you, this is not an opportunity for a political debate, as I will delete/ignore anyone who gets into it.)

My heart and prayers continue to go out to everyone in need at this trying time.

Hope for the Near Future: I’ve always said it’s a good idea to make plans (and back-up plans). Whether they go through or not, the fact that you have something penned in on the calendar gives you a sense of hope and anticipation of something good. Over the next few weeks I can look forward to the following things:

Nov. 9 — My one year anniversary  with my amazing husband, Dennis!

Nov. 16 — Smokey Robinson concert!

Nov. 22 — Thanksgiving!

Nov. 24 — Even though her birthday was in October, I’ll get to celebrate with my fantastic friend, Darlene, who is like a sister to me.

Nov. 30 — Almost Queen, a Queen tribute band will be performing locally.

To everyone out there who is still struggling, keep your chin up — one day at a time! Please be safe and keep the faith!

Pear Tree Enterprises: Back in Business a Week After Hurricane!

Published November 5, 2012 by Maryanne

My company logo designed by Anthony Rizzo of Haberdash Design

After going an entire week without work, my home-based small business, Pear Tree Enterprises ( is up and running! So my Monday is filled with promoting and writing — yay!

In regard to promotions, my jazz singer client, Carol Erickson ( gave me the “OK” to work for her today and I scored her a gig out in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (which seems to be up and running in some sections but not others, just like New Jersey).

Then my other music client, Jim Cuthbert ( came back on board after a little hiatus. I’ll be making his calls shortly.

Paterson Press gave me a writing assignment, interviewing another author, which always makes me happy. That will wind up my day nicely. And the local health food store needs me to help out later this week.

I am still waiting to hear from three other major clients (ghost writing, marketing and personal assistance) but that said, the little bit that rolled in is a godsend!

In other news, I’m so happy to be able to get to Shop Rites that have organic produce and the local health food store for my kombucha. The gas lines are still long, but I figured out that I have another blessing — an “even” numbered plate. Why is this a blessing? Because vanity license plates without numbers will be considered “odd” making the odds (no pun intended) of the lines longer on odd days! So just a little triumphant thing to be joyful about.

Regardless, I’m all prepared, mentally, to spend the entire day tomorrow on lines — gas lines and voting lines! It will be a day off from business, but a day well spent, nonetheless!

Hurricane Sandy Survival Guide for Health Nuts

Published November 3, 2012 by Maryanne

One of my favorite fruit dishes: kiwi, mashed bananas, topped with cacao nibs

I’m sitting in my home with no work (none of my clients have power, so I can’t do business) and limited gas, yet wondering what I can do to help others who have been hurt by Hurricane Sandy. While not a certified nutritionist or anything special, health has been a passion of mine for over 10 years and I do know quite a bit.

I can confirm this by sharing that one of my doctors (actually a chiropractor/nutritionist) once had me make a list of everything I ate for a week and told me, “Of all my patients, you and one other person are the only people that know how to eat right.” And two years ago I had a health column for an online local newspaper and I was also the editor for NJ Health & Fitness before it folded.

So, as my gift to anyone who is struggling right now, I am offering some tips on how to eat as healthy as possible when choices are limited due to grocery stores running out of fresh produce and having limited amount of gas to travel to places that have better food choices. Or the fact that trying to get somewhere and many streets are still blocked off.

I hope this list helps many, and feel free to pass on. If you are used to shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or even your favorite health food stores that you can’t get to, and now are stuck with your local supermarket, give it a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.

When fresh fruit is limited. If you have to resort to non-organic fruits, go for the fruits with a thicker skin: bananas, oranges, pineapple.

When fresh greens are limited. You can  find concentrated greens in a lot of local supermarkets (go to the vitamin section). Mix with water and you have your greens for the day. Some supermarkets carry kombucha. GT’s makes one with greens.

Best canned protein choices. Canned sardines are a great choice. A sardine is a small fish, so there is less mercury than tuna. Go for “wild” instead of “farm-raised.” Beans are also a good choice of protein. Find brands that have low sodium. You can also find protein enriched pastas.

Nuts. Nuts are an awesome source of protein. If you can find raw, that’s the best.

Pastas. All grocery stores are now starting to carry healthier pastas: quinoa, whole wheat, protein enriched, spinach, rice noodles, etc.

Soups. This is the easiest to find! Healthier versions (with low sodium, low sugar) include: Amy’s and Imagine.

Other canned goods. If you’re lucky, go for the obvious: low/no sodium, organic, no sugar. Beware of labels that say “fat free” or “low fat” — as they are probably loaded with sodium and sugar.

Treats. During a crisis it’s so easy to get carried away and pig out. Some of my favorite “pig out” foods include: Paul Newman’s cookies and Annie’s Bunnies natural crackers (YUM!)

Milks. Many local supermarkets carry a variety of shelved milks that can last in the refrigerator up to 10 days: soy milk, rice milk, almond milk. I’ve also seen goat’s milk in a can.

Good luck on your shopping trips. Stay safe. Stay calm. And please note, this is not the time to be fanatical about what you put into your body. Just do your best. Remember being less stressed is the most important thing for your health!