Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hendricks Grave Desecration

So this happened... Descendents file complaint over site "desecration"

Now I'm worried about Phebe's gravestone. Fantastic. Fortunately, I think her graveyard is on property owned by the town. So... unless they need that land, we're good. Until one day we're not.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My New Favorite Historian

I checked out a book from the library a while ago and am just now getting to read it. Or to start to. Books like this take forever for me to get through. So dense, and frankly, a teeny tiny bit boring. But, since it's a subject I'm very interested in, I'm going to keep trying. I'm going to bring it to my son's speech therapy session today, so that I can read it instead of Elle magazine from one year ago. (For real, that's the best they've got.) So I'm trying!

Anyway, there's a great chapter to this book specifically about the plight of women during the Revolution. I know John Taylor, Esq. was here in Middletown in 1777, because the Baptist Church had big discussions about him and decided to kick him out. He was, in fact, put under arrest at that time, I believe, for his role as the Royal Sheriff of Monmouth County. I need more first hand accounts of that, but I'm going with it.

At the time, Phebe would've been about 70, according to the age at her death that's been reported. It's possible she's younger, but no real confirmation on that. I'd thought that she would've been out of everything because she was 70. But I'm rethinking that because of John's prominence. She would've been most likely very affected by the events of the time because of her husband's official role as a kind of representative of Britain.

The chapter of this book that's about women's lives at that time is written by a former Drew University historian, Delight W. Dodyk. I love her name, first of all. She would be a great resource, if I could somehow talk to her. She's retired from the University, though. And I have no time. And (see my last post) I'm not really great at introducing myself to strangers. Plus I'd need to be better prepared. But that's a new goal of mine. To somehow meet her and pick her brain about the time period. And just to talk to her about Phebe. I'd love to hear her thoughts.

Off to the speech therapist and to delve into some military history. Deathly boring to me, but I really need to be able to understand what was happening at that time. I need to grow up, frankly, just in general. This will be another aspect of that.

Here's the link to the book, and although she's in the contents page, her chapter isn't on Google Books. But the link to the book is, any case.

Maybe it's me. It's probably me.

Hey there! Well, I've been on an emotional roller coaster lately. So, when I'm feeling down, really especially down, I don't like writing. I'm negative enough as it is, and I really don't need to put down the oh-my-god-this-is-so-so-horrible negativity that sometimes courses through me. I probably need meds to level this out, but I hate medicine and I always somehow come through it. Plus I've had some bad med experiences. Wow, this paragraph is an emotional roller coaster!

Almost back to normal, just wanted to check in. We were invited to a few barbecues this past weekend. A family friend's party on Saturday and a church picnic on Sunday. Always at these kinds of things, I feel a bit like a sociologist or anthropologist studying the human beings of this particular region interacting with each other. Hence my title. It's probably me, the reason I don't fit in.

But I did try on Saturday. And I met a fair amount of transplants to the area and immediately started regaling them with the story of my daughter's horrible, scarring "ballet" recital and my horrible neighbors. Again, hence my title. It's me. Even possible friendly, normal people, I somehow try to find a way to alienate. Even my husband is getting clued in on this and is trying to "help" me by putting pressure on me to make friends. Which is what my mom used to do and doesn't really help at all. I know they both, though, just want me to be happy. Roller coaster.

Then the church picnic on Sunday. Well. I didn't even try there. When the hostess to the party has no real interest in welcoming anyone (because they're all good friends and know each other so well, that's not really normally appropriate? Fuck if I know.), well, that's just it. Fuck if I know what to think. It was classic provincial New Jersey. I don't understand anything really. Hence the sociologist thing. Hence the title. Eventually, though, some nice older church ladies started talking to me. And a teenage girl, who probably felt as out of place as I did. Oh, crap, she's me. I'm her. Ahhhh, making some sense.

I should be braver in these situations and just say, "Hi! I'm Penelope! I don't believe we've met." But that's not my personality and even when I have done that, I feel like it's accusatory or something. Like I'm calling them out for not introducing themselves. It's aggressive and hells bells, what if I have met them before? Sometimes I have. My gd memory. Also, I don't get the flow. The politeness and gentleness isn't there and I don't understand. I don't understand how it normally happens. How it's supposed to happen. Christ, I sound like I have Aspberger's. Maybe I do. Sometimes, though, I do fine. Roller coaster again.

Alright. I shouldn't be writing this, I just wanted to say, somewhere, at some time, that probably all my social problems, here and elsewhere, are due to my own crazy self. Just so you know and don't think, "My God, that Middletown place sounds fucking horrible." It's probably not. It's probably me.

Until later...

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Hey there. Yesterday or so, I wrote a whole long post detailing how I feel specifically about how, specifically, it sucks here. And then I deleted it, because I was depressing even myself with that one. It was good to get it off my chest, but once I did, I realized that this wasn't the place. I need Phebe more than ever and I want to stay true to the spirit of the blog, which is, or should be, about researching her life.

I'll just summarize where I'm at right now by saying that things are hard. On a few different fronts. I visited Phebe's gravesite yesterday and weirdly that helped some. I think I'll spend some time reading about the history of the Baptist church in the colonies.

Then I'll work on my about section, because that needs to be written in order for the blog to make any sense whatsoever.

I'm working outside right now and I believe that my neighbor is trying to annoy me to death with his riding lawn mower. But it's beautiful out - it really can be so beautiful here - and I miss my husband - who had to drive quite a bit away for a wedding today - and I'm trying to enjoy this weather before it changes.

It's hard, but I am trying to remember how lucky I am. How lucky I am to have my wonderful husband and kids here with me.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's been forever!

Well, hello there, sweet blog. I've missed you. Not just no time, but also the fact that I've been feeling horrible lately has been keeping me from here. And I still have the whole Twi-thing and how it relates to NJ thing to go over! Are you dying from the suspense? No? Yea, that's what I thought.

I won't get into that today, though. I really do feel awful. I finally figured it out yesterday. You know how hard going to county fairs/festivals is? What I mean by that is how hard it is to walk around, eat greasy food, be hot, be in close contact with tons of people, when all you want to do is lie down in a bed somewhere and regain your equilibrium after that last ride. Cause the last ride was a doozy - I'm thinking the spinning tea-cups - and you still can't quite walk straight and you have to catch yourself from falling every once in a while, and your stomach still isn't settled and you kind of feel like throwing up, but realize you probably won't. That's how I feel. Constantly. Like every minute of the day. And have so for a few weeks.

I was able to rest a lot this past weekend (and read The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons - fucking hot, is all I have to say), much to the dismay of my husband. His parents were here and I excused myself to our bedroom and was horizontal for almost two days. It was heavenly. But I'm not fixed. I'm not as weak as I was when I started, but not fixed. And that scares the crap out of me. I've got a lot of stuff going on right now - getting my daughter ready for Kindergarden, getting myself ready to teach this night class, going to the grocery store, getting the car fixed, driving my son to speech therapy, getting my daughter's outfits and equipment for dance and soccer. I do all this with very little energy and with a whole lot of dizziness.

I have an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor on Friday but am not optimistic. Big sigh. Also, I desperately want to finish this romance short story I'm writing to submit it in the end of September to a one-shot fan fiction contest. I'd love to do that. But, well, there's no time. And I feel absolutely horrible.

Good news is that I think I'll get a massage tomorrow and that my sister comes this weekend, so maybe I'll have some time. Maybe the doctor will tell me something good on Friday. What to do, besides taking Sudafed, which doesn't help and just makes my heart race.

Alrighty then. Just wanted to say hi. And I miss you. And Phebe. A lot. If it helps, I think about her all the time. All the time.

I should write a post about my in-laws some time and how they drive me absolutely insane, but won't. Instead, I'll do them like they do us and just forget about them. Ignore it and move on. Normally, with family members, I wouldn't do that, but quid pro quo, you know? My house is really really clean now, though. So that's something.

Until later...