May 2008


This is in our new bathroom,

a corner tub with no overfill drain , so we can fill this baby up and soak after we get through with this adventure. It is still about 4 weeks away from the soak, three weeks away possibly from the beginning to unload everything we are loading right now. But the tub is kinda the pot at the end of the rainbow, the light at the end of the tunnel.

We have everything already packed in the POD right now.

We have more to pack though. We went out this morning and did a combination trip by going to Mimi’s and having breakfast, ( something about Saturday morning breakfast out, it sets the tone for the weekend), then we went to Walmart and checked out the bookcases, there are some 6 shelf ones for 28 bucks each, they will do for now, we figure we need 4. On the way out, we saw a hair salon, so I popped in there and got the rest of my perm cut out, it is short, sassy, I like the way it came out. We stopped over at the land, saw that Earl had not only smoothed the area they dug up for the water line, but he seeded it too. ( Thanks Earl!)

Then to Save A lot- spent 17 bucks in there,

and now we are home. The few groceries we got are put away, I am off to the post office, I will take Indi with me, he was in his crate for this mornings journey. I am going to be packing more here, and then Mark and I are proceeding to the shed, should the rain stop later on.

I am going to be cleaning today too,

now that we are free of all the bins, I can clean some more. Earl is taking this home and putting it up the road a piece, I want it to look good for him, he is a nice man. Down home, honest, good man. Sometimes, that type of person is hard to find. He is not out to rip a person off, very giving, and a very hard worker, always a smile on his face, probably wealthy, but does not flaunt it, and every penny he has, I am sure he earned it .

So in 4 weeks,

after we are settled, if I miss a post , it will be because I am image soaking and soaping, scrubbin and bubblin singing at the top of my lungs ” My Way” until my skin is looking like a prune,and my husband makes me get out so he can get in there and do the same thing. ( courtesy of free clipart)

Wish us luck, us ol timers are having fun, aching at times, but making a major change in our lives. We will keep on doing, till there is nothin left to do, looking in the future as the tub gets closer and this park we live in now gets further away. Love to all, Cindy


How many wake up calls does it take for us, as a nation ,

and individually, to look at how we take care of ourselves, and how we take for granted our precious bodies. The heart, a muscle that we can not live with out. ( courtesy of classroom clipart)It never stops for a rest, from the time you are conceived until you leave this world, the heart beats. Normal heart beat is 70 beats per minute, but when you are sick, scared, medicated, drinking caffeine, exercising, this muscle multiplies its beats by 2. And this society keeps pushing for more drive-thrus, biggie your orders, a medium soda is a 32 oz glass at some restaurants, all you can eat buffets, ” If you leave hungry it is your fault” mottos, bigger cars, longer seat belts, larger clothes, easier ways to stay home and watch TV, work on the computer, cripes- kids (and adults) can now “bowl” on a TV video game, standing basically still and pretending to throw the ball, they spend countless hours in their homes on some expensive video game, you can golf on a vending type machine at truck stops, how stupid are we?

What happened to the good ol days

when the kids went out to play and were told to make sure they were in by dinner time, when mom’s had a cow bell they rang to call the kids home, when we played jumping and hop- scotch and kick ball until the street lights came on, hide and seek, Chinese jump rope, there were community pools, and dodge ball games.

What are we doing to our society,

what are we doing to ourselves, what are we doing to our children. I am not immune to any of this, I have spent my whole life playing the weight game, and trying to lose, and juggling too much weight, feeling like I am the biggest person at a function, or feeling envious of those who are trim.

This all came about as I was informed

of a very special 48 year old man and dear friend of my family was admitted to a local hospital with a second heart attack . 48 years young, his first one was in his late thirties, life makes it too easy to not be careful of what we eat, why we eat it, why we do not exercise and why there is always a way around being overweight. Larger booths in the restaurants, tables to slide the chairs back when the booth is too small, cars to step up into instead of cramming the oversized body down into them, vending machines, fast meals , high costs of living make the cheaper foods the only option- so Ramon noodles look pretty darn good, how many varieties of sodas and foods do we need? There is a new ice cream that just came out – it is patriotic— how so, because it is a zillion fat grams, and a cutesy container? Look at the labels, look at the serving sizes, packages to appear it is for one- but it is actually for 4 or 6 people.

I am disgusted with how easy society

has made it for us to need the easy way out, how things cost so much that both husband and wife must work, hence no time for the hours our mothers- or our grandparents spent gardening, canning, baking, knowing every ingredient in the foods, doing chores, walking to a store, playing outside with the children. I am disgusted at how most of us do not appreciate the gift of life. I for one, have to continue my battle, I will not be trapped in an attitude that this is what I am destined for.

Come join the journey,

and for those who have done well for yourselves, taking care of your bodies and not being trapped imagein the easy life, well congratulations to you, please do not shun those of us who are not as strong, as focused, or as in shape. Please understand that we are all people, all trying, all aware of how we each look. Speaking as someone who has been overweight for most of my life, I can tell you that life has not been easy street, and people are cruel, and say nasty things to those who are “fat”. It is like people think it is a news flash to tell someone they are overweight. It doesn’t help, it only helps to accentuate the problems. We do not need to be told we are overweight, but we do, individually need to look inside ourselves, and say we are going to do to take control. ( courtesy of classroom clipart)

Good luck to you Jerry,

as you recover from this cardiac event, and good luck to everyone of you who are trying to be better. Love to all, Cindy

I was looking for something to give me encouragement,

to remind me that the trials of life make us stronger, to remind me that anything that comes easy is not appreciated. This is a picture from 1989. The day I graduated from nursing school. I started nursing school 3 weeks before Jeff started kindergarten. We had been living in Lima NY with Mark. I was working at a photo lab earning maybe 10,500.00 per year and getting nowhere. So one day I had decided I needed to better myself, to go for a profession, and my whole life I wanted to go into nursing. So I spoke with Mark about this desire, and I moved to my mom’s house, with my 5 yr old and our belongings to pursue this goal.  nursing graduation

I worked evenings and went to school all day.

I studied every night after work from midnight till I dawn, I got very little sleep. I had Thursday nights off, and that was Jeff’s and my “date night”. We would go to Friendly’s restaurant, he would get a kids meal for $1.99 and I would get something inexpensive, and we would go through his weeks worth of papers from school, we would sit and chat for hours. It was our time. The rest of the nights were rushed, I got out of school around 4:30, rushed to his sitters, got him home , gave him supper, and my mom or sister would watch him while I went to work from 6-12 on Mon, Tues and Weds nights.

On weekends we either went to visit Mark

and his daughter Adrianne at a place he was renting about 45 minutes away, or every other weekend, Jeff would go and see his dad. I studied every weekend, had little time to spend relaxing, it was hard work. Some days Jeff would come in my room as I was studying at my moms, he knew we could not chat, so he would work in some of the age appropriate workbooks I would have in stock for him from the store. He would lay on my bed and do his work, as I crammed all the info for nursing school.

About 6 months before I graduated,

Mark rented a place closer to where my mom lived and Jeff and I moved into there with him. It created a much better living environment for the 3 of us, but it did add more work too, as I juggled the studying, the night job and now keeping a place up all the time. But Mark helped, Jeff did what he could and when  Adrianne came out every other weekend, she too did stuff to help.

My graduation was so rewarding for all of us.

We earned my diploma, I walked down the aisle for it, but we all earned it. As I walked off the stage, diploma in hand, I looked up at the balcony where Jeff, Mark, and Larry ( my x boss from Rochester) were sitting. Jeff was standing at the railing, a huge smile, punching the air and saying “way to go mom”.  This photo , I think was one of the proudest memories I have, a time to look back at the struggles worth fighting for, faith when there were times that it seemed hopeless, challenges bigger then life, we did it, and I was standing there, my son wrapped in my arms, a moment I hoped would not end.

AS we walk through the paths of life now,

it is nice to remember that things do work out in the end, that roads are there to take, and challenges are opportunities. The new house, the land, the economy, the uncertainty of Mark’s comp, of his ability to work , the questions of what is next, ..yes, I needed this to remind me that we can do it.

For anyone reading this,

do not run from tough times, face them overcome them and hold onto that moment of realizing you made it through. I love you Jeff, Mark and Adrianne for believing in me then, and for everyone who believes in me now. With love and encouragement, Cindy

I am one who dreads clutter,

who hates feeling crammed in a place. So I gotta tell you, patience is not a virtue, it is a controlled effort, for I am definitely fighting 100_1336a need to scream at the piles of bins. Our life, condensed into bins. Our history, packed neatly in boxes. Our kitchen, our photo albums, our movies and music. Packed. Awaiting the next step in the journey that will most likely end up in Fulton NY. I am 95% sure everything is fine, but until someone plants a key in our hands at the new land and home, well I am not quite ready to say it is a done deal.

The sad thing to me is that should we have died,

these bins would be full of things that no one really needs, that mean more to us then anyone else, that would probably be thrown in a dumpster- like my mom’s house full of belongings ended up.

We have thrown a lot away.

Old home made VCR’s of various movies or tv shows, books that we have read, utensils that were melted a little. We have donated incredible amounts of things, and yet look at these bins, awaiting the POD which will be here on Friday.

One by one, we will carry these out,

carefully stack them and go get another. 100_1328 Then the POD will be brought up here, placed just to the right of where the car is parked, the house should be on the dirt gravel area to the right of this photo, and then we will once again carry each one, one by one, to its new home.

I will love the first night in our bed there,

with everything in its new place, with the breeze off the lake that we constantly feel there, that is IF it all goes through. We are close, we are really close, just waiting for the loan check from my 401K, and we are there…. I am scared, just because it is a big move, a huge step, 11 miles further from work, and gas is increasing,but I am moved to go this way, I feel this is what we are supposed to do. Hopefully we can make extra payments on the house, and pay it off sooner, it will take a lot of conserving, being crafty at holidays, being thrifty with everything, but I think we will be happy there.

Close enough to our family,

yet not in the mercy of the slugs in this park. Our own place, a piece of paradise that no one can take from us. A little piece of heaven, I hope. I am off, to fold a little bit of laundry and get ready for tomorrow. My love to all, Cindy

This brave little soul found a way to escape the jaws of life and hide from a fate worse then death. He did not go without being unscathed though, if you look at the bend on this stem, the little guy did get a nick. But look at the fate of all his neighbors, lives cut short, into millions of little pieces. That is kinda how it feels right now, as we struggle through the uncertainty, we are 100_1335_edited looking at the park in which we live and it is out of control in a way. Kids riding bikes till late at night, people with outdoor HUGE bon fires, people abusing the privilege of the dumpster by throwing away items that are not meant for a dumpster for residential trash, people not mowing their yards, riding 4 wheelers like this is a race track, and having bags of garbage at their front doors.

Here we are, trying to hide from the problems outside, packing like crazy and feeling like we have so much more to do, and some of our neighbors, who have chosen to stay here, they are getting inundated with rules and new management that is going to be punishing those who care, along with those who do not care.

I am all for rules, and this place is suffering from 3 years of no one here to enforce them, so it is almost like an anarchy, so people are either going to try to ignore the rules, or they will rebel them, and the good folks are going to feel the struggle.

One rule that is being introduced is that if you have a dog more then 16 inches tall, or more then 25 pounds ( regardless of if you keep it inside or not)- you either get rid of the dog, or leave and take your home with you. Now there are people in here that have larger dogs that are inside dogs, well behaved. What are they to do?  And then there are some with small yippeee dogs that are left tied out, and the dogs bark all day. ( They no longer can leave a dog tied out) There is one person with a beautiful German Shepard, and it is tied to their porch ALL THE time, the dog is thin, I feel bad for it, but this is private property, so the dog warden prefers not to get involved.

So I hope our packing is not for naught, and that we are able to proceed with the move to Hoffman Heights, but if something happens tomorrow, and it is another announcement that we have to shell out more money, well  I think we will back out, and just sell our existing home to Earl, and find a town house or duplex to live in.

We will see, I think we are well over 1/2 packed, we still have our clothes and the shed, there is stuff not packed that we may need in the next 4-5 weeks, but we are getting there. It is hard though, depressing in a way, because we were so excited, then G&I dropped the “There is a problem” so we had to come up with the additional $3677.00, then we are back on again after I withdrew the money as a loan from my 401 K, so tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow night I should have a good idea if it is a go or not,  and if it is a not, then I think we will reassess the situation. SO until tomorrow, we will be bending down, avoiding the blades of destruction, and knowing  ( As reminded to us tonight by our daughter-in-law Amanda 🙂  )if it was meant to be, then it will be. Love to all, Cindy

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The clouds have cleared for now,

at least, and we think we can see the sky and the direction things are going in. It looks like the packing resumes, the sleepless nights wondering if we have covered everything and going forward to our retirement home. As you know, if we pay no extra on this endeavor, we will be 84 when everything is paid for. So hang on everyone, at 85 yrs of age, we are going to be having one heck of a party. 100_1029

It is hard to know what is right and not right.

We know this much, here is not where we want to stay, here is not where Jeff wants us to be either.

It is a nice home,

it is new and should hopefully hold up as well as this one has. It will be fun, a
lot of work, but fun. A nice open area for grand kids and for holiday adventures and even friends over.

Speaking of friends over,

we are having 2 of our friends over here tomorrow for a while. We love hanging around with them we all get laughing so hard at times.

With all the boxes and bins around,

heck, we could be manipulative and have a packing party . I am keeping it a casual type meal, just some relaxing times, around all our stacks of life.

I got a call from the salesman this evening.

It appears I will be signing a bunch of papers on Tuesday, and then the papers go to the financial dude, they set up the closing, and bang- possible starting on the site work by 6-16-08.

Uggg, I am packing all weekend I think, packing, relaxing with our friends and packing some more. I am the packer, Mark is the engineer, he carries the packed container, as his leg will allow,  to the assigned area. I am getting there, 100_1041 no leaf will be left unturned, we will have touched everything in the house in the next 19 days.

I will keep you posted,

for now though I am going to turn over some more leaves from the past, and ponder about  how important each leaf is, or is it a treasure for someone else, or something of no value.

One leaf at a time, one memory hiding, waiting to be rediscovered, and then trying to see if the emotion, if the heart string is worth saving or not.

May you all find these memories you forgot were there, treasure those that really tug at your heart, let go of those that do not. My love to all, Cindy

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I am a mom, and I can not imagine what worth I had before I was a mom.

Being a mom has provided me with opportunities and unending periods of pride. Being a mom has made me more focused, more careful with my choices, more conscious of my actions. 100_0630 Motherhood has been good to me, it has been hard at times, but not because of my son, but because of the boulders that life has thrown at me.

I remember as Jeff was going through his first 5 years in life,

folks would tell me how lucky I was to have such a happy child. No matter what life dished out, Jeff had a chuckle that could set a room into hysteria. He had a creativity that simply amazed me, and so much love that words can not describe it.

I look back at those years,

and do not get me wrong , they were not without gut wrenching heart ache. At the age of 2 1/4 , Jeff and I were set off on our own, to face the world without Jeff’s dad. Jeff and I had spent the first 2 1/4 years together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I knew every noise he made, and what it meant. BRRRR meant he wanted a cold drink; glee gla meant he found something that he wanted to throw in the garbage, ta-tee was a hot dog. So when his dad announced he “wanted some time alone” , Jeff and I moved out, packed everything I could fit into our Chrysler K car and went to live at my mom’s house until I could figure out what we were going to do next.

After about 1 1/2 months

I was able to find a $10,500.00 a yr job, a day care, an apartment and a totally different life. We had struggles, but we made it. After about a year of him and I doing the work all day/at day care all day and sharing our evenings together, I stretched out to a peer support group and met Mark. Mark, his daughter and Jeff got to know one another gradually, and we had good times and not so good times. That is to be expected when we blend different families together.

At 5 1/4 years old,

Jeff was once again uprooted , so that he and I could move back into my moms and I could go to nursing school. Mark was still a part of us, but he got a place 1/2 way between my moms and his daughters home, and we saw each other on the weekends. All through these years, we did not have a lot of money, so Jeff learned that things in the store are to look at, and leave for other kids to be able to look at them too. He never was a terrible two, a trying three or a wild four year old. He really was a good kid.

I look at this picture and I think how very lucky I am,

some kids get in with the wrong crowd, demand to have designer clothes, lack respect for money, have no respect for their parents, or become involved in alcohol, drugs, crimes. I feel blessed, for he seems to have avoided a lot of the evil temptations of youth.

He gets along with Mark and with his dad,

and he and Mark’s daughter really are like brother and sister when they get together. Yes, I have been blessed, I have loved being a mom, and loved being loved by my child, and am loved by Mark. And now Jeff  and his wife are about to be blessed with their own gift of love.

So to Jeff and Amanda,

I wish you both the joy that Mark and I have had , I wish your little guy all the laughs and love that life can offer, and for Mark and me, we will be blessed once again with a child to love and cherish. With love and hopes that everyone enjoys the gift of life. Cindy

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