Charming River Town, Frenchtown

In my recent post, Book Launch Buddies, I mentioned visiting Frenchtown, NJ and, hon, I have to tell you about this charming river town. It’s the kind of town I love and where Hubby gets hives–meaning he’s allergic to my ability to window shop in every adorable store!

After joining my writer friends at The Book Garden, I was walking through town when I spotted a familiar store, Lord Ivy.  So, that’s where it moved! The store, which had been in Summit for many years, was one of my favorite places to find lovely gifts, fun accessories and pretty tops. If I had time when I got off of work, I’d stop in to see what was new. (shout out to owner, Inge!)

I hope to visit again with my daughters or girlfriends. Hubby can come, too, as long as he finds something else to do while we take in the town.

The Borough of Frenchtown, comprising just over 1 square mile, was settled over 200 years ago. Variously known as the village of “Sunbeam”, “Sherrod’s Ferry” and other names through Revolutionary War days, it finally came to be known locally as “Frenchtown” in reference to a French-speaking Swiss immigrant who settled here in the late 1700’s. M. Mallet-Prevost left French military service before being called to the guillontine during the French Revolution. He bought a large tract of land from a local Irish landowner and settled down to a somewhat quieter life in west Hunterdon County.

Frenchtown, N.J. is a quaint little town at the western end of New Jersey’s State Highway 12, which cuts across beautiful, rural Hunterdon County on the Delaware River. The well-known River Bridge at Frenchtown crosses the Delaware to Uhlerstown and Tinicum in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The first train came to Frenchtown February 4, 1853. Frenchtown was served by the railroad for just about one hundred years. The former train station is now a cafe. The old railroad right of way is now a hiking/biking path.

Photo Sources: Love Frenchtown, Huffington Post


Book Launch Buddies!

from left to right: Guy Olivieri, Paula Cohen Martin, Linda Kujawski, Yvonne Ventresca, Laurie Wallmark, Cathy Daniels, Jeanne Balsam, me.
I recently joined Laurie Wallmark for the launch of her new picture book biography, Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor at The Book Garden in Frenchtown, NJ. It was so nice to see other SCBWI peeps at the book launch. So wonderful and supportive! And I have to get back to Frenchtown–so cute!
From Laurie’s site:
HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFEMeet savvy scientist and inventor Hedy Lamarr, also known for her career as a glamorous international movie star. Dubbed “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” Hedy actually preferred spending time creating inventions in her workshop to strutting down the red carpet. Hedy co-invented the technology know as frequency hopping, which turned out to be one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century! Today’s cell phone, computers, and other electronic devices would be more vulnerable to hacking without the groundbreaking system discovered by a world-famous actress and gifted inventor.



Mushrooms and Fairies

It must be all the rain, but I’ve seen more wild mushrooms in the past few weeks than I’ve seen, maybe, in my entire life! Wild mushrooms make me think of fairies, especially when they look like little umbrellas.


Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. C.S. Lewis

Since I’m always drawn to children, I was curious where a bunch of little kids were running. They’d piled out of a car and were headed to the Fairy Trail.

Related Posts:  Fairy Furniture, Part 1, Fairy Furniture, Part 2, Fairy Trail Finale

Coon Mama Jama

Raccoon Mommy For a Day!

The strangest thing happened to me last week. After running an errand and returning to my car, a couple of people flagged me down. They implored me to look on top of my car where they had spotted what they thought was a dead animal. They’d written a note, but were anxiously awaiting my return so they could point the animal out. What the now small group of onlookers and I found was a badly injured baby…something. An opossum? A raccoon? What else?

I wrapped the tiny animal in a towel, hurried home, tended to its wounds–it had a big gash on its side, cuts on its back, and a broken tail, filled a box with rags, swaddled it, and got on the internet.

The baby–now I knew what it was–raccoon was so young, its eyes weren’t open yet. I rushed to a pet store where I picked up a teeny, tiny bottle and KMR, special formula to feed orphaned kittens, but the raccoon wouldn’t eat. It needed help, but who to call? My vet? Doubtful. The local zoo? Nope. The site for NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife  lists people who rescue animals and, about ten calls later, I reached Suzanne at Woodlands Wildlife Refuge in Pittstown, NJ. She had room for the little guy. Bingo!

The mission of Woodlands Wildlife Refuge is the care and release of orphanedand injured native wildlifeback to their natural habitat. We also provide educational programs about the habits and habitats of our local wildlife. Woodlands is a NJ state licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility and is a non-profit 501(C)(3) charitable corporation. Woodlands receives no state or federal funding.

Woodlands Wildlife Refuge cares for over 1,000 animals annually. As our communities continue to grow, and loss of habitat continues, the number of human/wildlife encounters increase. We are dedicated to keeping up with the needs of our communities and our wild neighbors. Woodlands cares for hundreds of animals a year, and enjoys a high success rate of release. Some of the animals Woodlands provides care for include raccoons, skunks, opossums, rabbits, woodchucks, foxes, squirrels, coyotes, bats, otters, porcupines, bears, venomous snakes, and even the occasional bobcat.

Woodlands has a staff of highly trained volunteers who care for the animals until their release. The doctors and staff at the Animal Hospital of Clinton-Perryville and Voorhees Corner Veterinary Clinic generously treat animals needing more extensive care such as X-rays, fracture repair or surgery. All animals are maintained until they are healthy enough to survive in the wild.

While I drove to Pittstown, the swaddled newborn took a couple of naps when it nestled its nose close to my skin. I’ve called to check up, but it was touch and go since the little guy wasn’t eating on his own. I’ll call again in a few days and let you know what happens. 😦

Sad update: The little guy didn’t make it. At least, he was in good hands figuratively and literally. 

Sources: Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, The ARC-Animal Rehabilitation Center