Just a Small Town Girl...

Hey there, welcome to Peach Tea & Passports, two of my favorite things. Peach tea is a Godsend and have passport, will travel!
Poke around and get inside my head as far as I've allowed...I promise I don't bite unless provoked.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Look for the Light in the Pouring Rain

A little over a week ago on October 29th, Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the Jersey Shore and devastated millions of homes in the tri-state area. I am blessed enough to be among those whose homes were not utterly destroyed or damaged in some way, but also among those who were without power for over a week. It is amazing what we take for granted in our daily lives. Just being able to walk into a room and flip on the light switch is miraculous, and don't get me started on having hot water for washing dishes and taking showers!


In the Country Village neighborhood of Jersey City, the water from Newark Bay came in waves and covered Route 440, streaming in through these streets like a river. Some of the folks who were keeping vigil all night from their second floor apartments told us that the water was so high that it came over the top of this MINI Cooper.  http://photos.nj.com/jersey-journal/2012/11/hurricane_sandy_aftermath_in_c_25.html

Our first dinner by candlelight in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (Tuesday, October 30th) - my ingenious and industrious mother made creamy potato soup, cheesy potato soup and wedge salads with balsamic glaze as she organized everything we had in the refrigerators and freezer. Thank God, we were able to make wonderful meals each day and share with family, friends and neighbors. We got to use much of the food we had and only threw a small portion away.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Without an oven, we relied on our grill for a lot of things such as reheating slices of pizza, making bagel pizzas and grilling up bacon-wrapped filet! One of our successful endeavors were these grilled nachos with salsa and cheese and served with spicy guacamole. Mmmm! Delicious smoky flavor.

By Thursday and Friday evenings we were hosting upwards of 20 people for dinner each night at our home. This feast from Saturday night looked like a Thanksgiving dinner! One family member had an oven that could be lit, we utilized our stove top and the grill and everyone brought food that was rapidly defrosting in the powerless freezers. Despite the cold (50 degrees indoors) and discomfort, we enjoyed wonderful fellowship being together every evening, often keeping the night alive until 11pm!

The spread of desserts so generously brought by many guests for our Sunday dinner. We had closer to 30 people for dinner that day! Games of Dutch Blitz and Taboo commenced by candlelight and were aided with flashlights as the sun went down. We ended up playing Taboo for 5 hours and it's now a family-favorite.

Thank God, we had our power restored around midnight yesterday after being without heat, hot water and power for 7 days and 4 hours and we were able to crank the heat on and up and take hot showers today before exercising our right to vote.

We had friends who joined us and worked together for several hours cleaning out one of our family member's homes in Jersey City. They had 7 feet of water in the basement so everything inside was destroyed (thank God, it did not come into the first floor of the house) and her 3-week new car in the driveway was also ruined. One friend out of town had power restored when she arrived home Wednesday morning and she immediately began bringing hot pizzas, coffee, bagels, donuts, milk and ice as could be found back into our town to help feed and warm members of our family without heat and power. She opened up her home to several of us, allowing me to stay there one night so I could work remotely and complete time sensitive reviews, and taking in another relative of ours who was suffering from an infection and the severe cold inside her home. Folks in our church checked in on us and others and made shopping trips, bringing food items to people who were in need, offered to bring people to their homes for some warmth and were willing to share extra blankets and supplies as some had power last Friday evening and others waited until the late hours of Monday night and early Tuesday morning to receive power.

Many many thanks to the PSEG workers who pushed through and restored our power, to the PSEG man who came to our house at 11pm after we arrived home to find the carbon monoxide alarm going off (you leave home for one night in a blackout and look what happens...), the National Guard members who descended on NJ to evacuate, rescue and bring supplies to those in need, Team Rubicon for being amazing and Rangering Up to help the people of NJ, and to my mom who made every day as comfortable as physically possible for our family, extended family and friends who took refuge in this little outpost while the storm raged on in various ways. It was incredible to have people rise to the occasion and put themselves completely out there to help and bless others as folks struggled in different ways and with multiple needs.
Sandy may have kept us down for a bit, but while we were all down there we banded together, and for that we are much stronger and better as Christians and a family. I cannot even begin to recap all of the fun moments we had together in this last week, or the tough ones. But it was a true delight to have so much time spent with people praising the Lord for His goodness by protecting each of us, preserving our properties and blessing us with so much in Him and the company of one another.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go readjust to using the bathroom without a flashlight and remembering to turn on the lights when I enter a room!

"When my mind is free
You know a melody can move me
When I'm feeling blue
The guitar is coming through to soothe me...
Thanks for the joy that you're giving me
I want you to know I believe in your song
Rhythm and Rhyme and Harmony
You've helped me along
Making me strong"

("Drift Away", Dobie Gray)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Taking Back the Velvet Revolution


Doing my part in the blogosphere! God bless folks like Michelle Malkin for spreading the word and informing her readers!

This disgusting, vile man and his organization need to be stopped. How horrifying and sickening that in the United States of America, stuff like this can happen to innocent people and guilty crooks can get the 'law' on their side.

Vote out Obama and his cronies like Eric Holder and the idiots behind Fast in Furious and radical Jeremiah Wright and the rest of the race baiters!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Until They All Come Home

I am breaking my blog-silence for a really good cause!

On Saturday, September 8th I will be participating in the USO 9/11 Remembrance Walk in lower Manhattan as the Team Captain for JPMorgan Chase. This special event is being held in honor of those we lost on September 11th and in support of the troops that sacrifice so much to protect our freedom every day.
Two of my brothers are in the Army, one as an officer currently serving in Afghanistan, and the support of our troops, financially and otherwise, is very important to me!

The USO is a not-for-profit whose mission is to support the well being of our troops and their families. All proceeds from this event will be used to fund important USO programs that help wounded warriors and families of the fallen, make it possible for deployed service members to connect with their loved ones, and provide a “home-away-from-home” at USO locations around the world.

I invite you to join my team and walk with me in support of the USO and our troops! This link takes you to the Team JPMorgan Chase page. If you want to donate to a specific walker, click on their name. If you want to join the team and walk with us that day, click the 'Join Our Team' link and complete the registration which is free.

The details are as follows:

WHEN: Saturday, September 8, 2012

WHERE: Hudson River Park at Pier 46

HOW: Let me know if you are interested and I will send you all of the information and materials you need to begin fundraising. My goal is for each team member to raise at least $250.

Thank you for your consideration! I look forward to the opportunity to participate in this exciting and patriotic event and to having you as part of the team.

"From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to LA
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and it's time we stand and say

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA."

Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the USA"

Monday, April 25, 2011


Day 25. A picture of your day.

My sisters have scolded me for being delinquent in my blog entries. Apparently having a full-time job, helping around the house upon arriving home in the evening and exercising regularly is inconsequential when compared to maintaining a blog!

Anyhow - here is a picture of my Resurrection Sunday which was yesterday. My beautiful sisters and handsome, sweet youngest brother. We missed our other two brothers and darling sister-in-law but had a great day with our family and friends.

Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son to die on the cross for our sins and be raised from the dead so we might have salvation and an eternity in heaven by believing on Him!

He is risen, indeed!

"Raise your joys and triumphs high
Sing ye heavens and earth reply
-Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Right Now

Day 24. A picture of something you wish you could change.

I'd change all of the bad decisions I made in the past so that my current and future relationships were devoid of baggage and more deserving of the love and sacrifice shown to me by people I love.

This picture was taken at the laundromat by Bayonne's A&P during our youth group's 2009 scavenger hunt. We had to take a photo of at least one team member in front of a laundromat (we managed to cleverly fit all six of us into the photo and I think it came out great!). All in all, it was a difficult time but such an amazing day. God's patience and grace was very evident.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We Will Slay the Dragons

Day 23. A picture of your favorite book.

The Bible. Nothing more needs be said.

BUT - it would be a kind of boring post if I didn't say any more than that, right?

Well, the Bible is my favorite book and by far the most important in the world. I do, however, enjoy reading Charles Dickens ("Our Mutual Friend" is my favorite), Agatha Christie, Mark Twain ("The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"...one of my favorite books EVER), "The Man Who Was Thursday" by GK Chesterton, George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" and scads more. I've loved reading since I was like 3 years old (my mom says I learned to read so early because she could not devote enough time in the day to read to me so I learned in order to read for myself lol)...I've enjoyed having mom read the Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings and Little House on the Prairie series to us as a family (many more books, too but these series stand out in particular) and I plan on passing my love of reading down to any kids the Lord gives me.

"I'll read him stories

From picture books all

Filled with wonder

Magic worlds where the impossible

Becomes the everyday

We'll find a mountaintop

And some moonbeams to sit under

I'll lead because I know the way"

("Stories", from Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Day 22. A picture of something you wish you were better at.

I want to be better at learning my languages!! I've been taking Spanish on and off since high school and recently started learning Russian through the Rosetta Stone program and Early Advantage's Muzzy program. Practice makes perfect...but I am convinced that the best and quickest way to learn a language is through immersion. Oh well, I'm trying!