Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Written Word

Back in March I had a post in which I talked about receiving a REAL letter in the mail! You can see that post here.

It not only made my day, but made my week, and heck, even made my MONTH, because very few of us receive real live hand written letters in the mail. It made me feel so good that I vowed I would start doing the same thing.

Alas, I haven't gotten around to it yet. (I know, I need to quit making excuses and just DO IT!)

However...almost two weeks ago I sent a "thinking of you" card to a gentleman who was our neighbor when we lived at our old house. I wrote a note inside, because I wanted him to know how much we liked him and his family, and we were aware that he was going through some pretty serious health issues. I also wanted him to know that we were thinking about him and praying for him.

This gentleman passed away a few days ago, and we went to the funeral home this afternoon. His wife and his daughters told us how much that card meant to him. Apparently they also told my parents the same thing when they were there right before we were, so it must have really meant something to him to receive that in the mail.

It took me 5-10 minutes to write inside of that card, address it, and stamp it. And it brought some pleasure to a suffering man. I'm so glad that I did it.

How many times have we just "not gotten around to it" when we know we should?

I'm EXTREMELY guilty of that! In fact, I absolutely HAVE TO, HAVE TO, HAVE TO send an email to the person who sent me the letter back in March! She has since sent me a very long email (that I laughed, then cried over) and a card with a letter inside. She is so good about things like that. I'd send her something via snail mail, but an email will arrive so much sooner!

I'm the absolute QUEEN of PROCRASTINATION!! I need to be dethroned!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Yesterday I went to the dealership where we got our vehicle to have the oil changed and the tires rotated. They brought the information up on their computer and asked which vehicle they would be working on. We've gotten a couple of vehicles there, so it was a legitimate question. I told them that it would be the Trailblazer.

They said it would take about 45 minutes or so because they had had a few emergencies come in (I'd had an appointment), and then handed me the work order to sign (standard practice, so no big deal...I've done it quite a few times before). As I began to sign it and had my first name completed, I glanced at the top of it.

This would be a good time to read this post, if you haven't read it before.

At the top of the work order was my name and address, except it was NOT my address. Yep, the "other woman" with the same name as mine, who goes to the same medical doctor as I do, the same eye doctor as I do, and the same vet as I do, ALSO goes to the same car dealer as we do AND has the same type of vehicle!

I'm wondering if there is anywhere else that we might "overlap" in our lives.

And for the record, I told them that it was not my name and address at the top (they had her middle initial, not mine) and they apologized profusely and printed out a new work order with MY information on it.

For those of you thinking this out thoroughly, my name shows up in the system as opposed to Ted's because I am the one who always takes the vehicle in for any maintenance it needs.

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Tia returned my phone call this morning and I have an appointment for next Tuesday afternoon to get my hair cut and probably colored. She was shocked when I told her I didn't want a perm, but something a little different. She also told me that she is moving to Georgia in July because her husband got a great job there. She's extremely close to her family, so I asked how they were handling that news. She said she was planning on telling them this weekend. I wished her luck.

If they would have decided NOT to do this, they would have always wondered if it would have worked out for them, so I give her a lot of credit for packing up her three young kids and making this move. She said that if it doesn't work out, they can always come back home. I wish her the best.

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The weather hasn't been the greatest here in east central Ohio lately. We've had a lot of instability in the air according to Dick Goddard, our favorite weather forecaster on Fox8 news in Cleveland. We have had thunderstorms almost every day/evening/night for the past week and a half, it seems. If it's not raining, it's cloudy and humid for the most part. I was in the pool yesterday for a couple of hours, but it wasn't very sunny.

Even this morning the weather was rather uncooperative. Now that it's almost 3:00 pm here, the sun is making an appearance on and off, it's 83 degrees, and humid. I'd like to go get in the pool, but it's getting close to the time when I need to start dinner, so I would only be in for about 10 minutes. Hardly worth it, in my opinion. I have a routine for getting ready to swim and for coming back in, and I absolutely HAVE TO FOLLOW IT. It takes a little bit of time, but I get really thrown off if I don't adhere to it.

And believe it or not, I am NOT obsessive/compulsive!

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Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Made a Call

Thanks to Jen's post on getting her hair cut, I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've decided that I need to get mine cut too. I usually get a hair cut and perm after school is out, but this year I was sort of just putting it off.

But the time has come.

The girl that has done my annual appointment has worked at three different salons since I've been going to her. And I obviously follow her because she knows my hair. She takes very thorough notes on my hair during each visit and refers to them when I come in.

Yesterday I tried to call the place that Tia was last working, but got an answering machine. I didn't leave a message though, since I wasn't sure if she was still working there or not. I just tried to call again and actually got to talk to someone. She said that Tia is only there at that salon through July, so I just asked her to have Tia give me a call when she comes in tomorrow.

I'm ready for a change.

I'm getting O-L-D and my hair needs to take a new direction. I need to quit the ponytail thing and actually do something a little different.

I'm thinking about about something simple with a cut, almost to my shoulders, with a side part and bangs, yes I said BANGS. I haven't had bangs since I was in 6th grade, but it might be time to revisit them. I also want color...maybe even highlights too! There's way too much gray showing and I might just have to move from the "good for up to 28 shampoos" to the "permanent hair color" YIKES!!

My only requirement is going to be that it's just long enough to put back in a ponytail for when I'm home and not going anywhere. I can't give the ponytail up completely.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I'm a definite list-maker. I make lists of what I need to do most days. If I don't get everything done, I transfer it over to the next day's list. I've been doing a lot of that since school has been out.

In order to get over my compulsiveness about lists, I've tried changing the title of the list.

(Yes, each list must have a title!)

Instead of titling it by day, I've even gone so far as to title it by week recently. Unfortunately, I still don't get everything accomplished, and end up needing to transfer a few things over to the next list.

I derive great pleasure in crossing things off my list, once I've completed them. It's such a wonderful feeling to know that things are getting done, but I think I can pretty much say with total confidence that I absolutely NEVER have a completely crossed out list. Other things just keep popping up.

When we get ready to go on vacation, I even make a list of the various lists I have going on! I realize that's going just a tad overboard, but that's how I function best.

I created a template for the different sections of the grocery store and when I look at the weekly ad, I put the things we need under the proper section, along with the size of the product, the price, and how many to get! I'm extremely lucky because Ted does the weekly shopping. What a guy!! And get this...I actually SAVE the grocery lists on my computer!

In case you're interested, this is my list for Monday, June 23, 2008:
* spend half an hour working on re-organizing the pantry
* work on laundry (do at least 5 loads)
* send out four retirement cards (those lucky people)
* spend half an hour working on straightening the "stuff" in the den
* straighten one corner of the garage (gotta start small)
* look through recipes and decide on dinner
* go through box of stuff I ordered that arrived last week
* make phone calls to schedule:
- oil change/tire rotation
- carpet cleaning
- hair cut

I know I'll think of more things as the day goes on, but they will need to be added to Tuesday's list, unless I make up a new list encompassing the entire week.

Yep, I need to get a life!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I wasn't sure what the topic was going to be for today when I sat down here, but after looking at a few blogs I follow regularly, Jen had a post that was almost crying my name!

Jen got her hair cut...12" of it!

When I was young I had long hair. One summer Saturday my dad took my brother and me to see my aunt and grandma (his sister and mom). My mom stayed home and was able to get some things done, as we would be gone all day. They lived about an hour and 20 minutes away.

My aunt happened to be a beautician and her shop was in her house. She didn't work on Saturdays, so it was the perfect day to visit, especially since my dad was off that day too. I'm a little fuzzy on exactly how it "went down" because I was only about 6 years old, but someone suggested I get my hair cut. It could have been my dad, but more than likely it was me. My aunt, always happy to oblige, cut it. My hair is naturally STRAIGHT and very fine, and I definitely did NOT want to sit still for a permanent, so I came home with short, straight hair.

Apparently my mother almost cried. She had made an appointment for my brother (four and a half years younger than me) and I to have our pictures taken. Way back then, having a professional picture taken wasn't at all like it is now. Nowadays, you can basically just show up at Sears or Wal*Mart any time. Back then, you needed to go to a studio to have it done. She was not able to cancel the appointment, so off we went, just a few days after the haircut.

Still hanging on their living room wall are two of me and one of my brother, taken that summer. Heck they were taken so long ago that the pictures are in black and white!

That was the last haircut for a while.

The summer between 5th and 6th grade I went to Girl Scout camp for a week. I had been asking my mom if I could get my hair cut continually, so she finally agreed. It was much easier to take care of when I was at camp with it short. The woman who cut it asked if I wanted to keep it. Of course! What a great idea! So I took it home and put it in my jewelry drawer. She had cut my long hair to shoulder length and gave me bangs.

After that, except for occasional trims, my hair wasn't cut until I was in my last year of college. It was well past my waist and it was at the point where it was really getting in my way. Besides, I was thinking ahead to job interviews and wondering how many teachers were out there with long, straight hair, parted in the middle, and worn behind the ears. Not many, I was sure. So it was time to have it cut off. My aunt cut it for me again. And I kept it again. It was a little above my shoulders this time.

A year or so after getting married, I got it cut pretty short. This time there wasn't enough to save. And this time I kept it short for a few years. And I also started doing the permanent thing too. Then the time came to let it grow again.

When I had Joey it was a little below my shoulders. When I had Alex, three and a half years later, it was a little shorter. Coincidentally that's when I had absolutely NO more time for anything like haircuts, so it began to grow. I had Ted just trim some off the ends occasionally. I mean, how hard could it be? Just hold it and cut straight across, right? I rarely just wore it hanging down anyway.

Sometime around 2000-2001 I decided to get it cut again, and saved about 8" of hair. I even got a loose perm, so it didn't look too bad. A year or so later, I got it cut again, but didn't save it.

In late 2002 I had a hysterectomy. In early 2003 my hair suddenly started coming out by the handfuls. In the shower I would wash my hair and have all these strands in my fingers when I finished. I was getting really worried, so I went to my doctor. He told me that it was a combination of the anesthetic, the immediate change in hormones, and my age.

Gee, how crappy was that?

He told me it would last around 3 months, then it would stop falling out and most of it would start growing back in.

I also went to a beauty salon for a consult. I needed more than just the doctor's opinion. The hairdresser they "assigned" to me was great. She looked at my hair really close, checked the follicles and texture and she basically gave me the same info the doctor did. She also suggested a shampoo and conditioner designed just for people who have hair falling out. It was supposed to help keep the follicles open so that new hair would have an easier time growing. I wish I could remember the name of the stuff, because it really did help.

I made another appointment with her for a cut and perm. This time before I could even say anything she suggested that I keep my hair.

My thoughts were that if for some reason my hair did NOT grow back in and it kept falling out, I might have enough hair saved to have a wig made for myself. Apparently that's what she was thinking too, but at the time she didn't know that I had hair at home.

A couple of years later she cut my hair again. By this time a lot of it had grown back in, so it was a little thicker. It also grows fast, so she braided it for me and then cut it off. She didn't even ask about saving it, but put it in a bag for me. She knew I would want it.

Since then, I get my hair cut about once a year. I usually get about 6" or so cut off. I just tell her that I want it long enough to be able to put it in a ponytail, and that's it. I usually have her perm it too, so I can have a little bounce to it.

A few months after my cancer surgery in 2005 I sort of expected it to begin falling out again and it did. About three months later, it stopped...just in time for me to have my colostomy "take down" surgery. And it happened again. By the time August of 2006 rolled around my hair was starting to look a little thin. Thank goodness I had been blessed with really thick hair when I was younger.

Now a lot of it has grown back in, but it's not nearly as thick as what it was when I was a child, but if it all falls out for some reason or another, I have a LOT of hair in my dresser drawer.

It's about time for my annual cut and perm and I'm really ready to have it cut now. It's about a third of the way down my back and I'm ready to go short...I'm sick of messing with my hair. If it didn't grow so fast I would probably go with a stylish, layered cut, but I don't want to be tied down to going to the beauty shop every six weeks.

But maybe I should start seriously thinking about it....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Reading

I like to read. I read enough professional things during the school year, so throughout the summer I read fiction for entertainment. There are certain authors and/or series that I really like.

James Patterson is great EXCEPT that I just don't care for the Alex Cross series. However, I LOVE the Women's Murder Club series. I read the first of the series several years ago when we were in Myrtle Beach, SC. I can remember sitting by the pool and being absolutely shocked when I read certain parts of 1st to Die. I've been reading the rest of the series in order, pretty much immediately as they come out. I just finished 7th Heaven. They're very good...I wouldn't keep reading them if they weren't! (The TV series is another thing though.) I also read his individual books. Step on a Crack was excellent, as was Beach Road. Others are also very good, but those two I absolutely could NOT put down! He is fabulous at character development and that's important for a good author. I also like that the chapters are very short. I know I'm always only a couple of minutes from a good stopping point.

Years and years ago I just loved Danielle Steel. Most of her books included a horrendous childbirth experience and were at least partially set in San Francisco. About 7 or 8 years ago I noticed that her writing had begun to diminish. I think that the editing has also gone down the tubes. In the last 8 or 9 books or so I've read of hers, it seems as though information is mentioned in the book several times as though it had never been mentioned before. I also noticed that in one book (I can't remember which one) a conflicting description was given of a main character. That's something that should have been caught not only be Danielle Steel herself, but also her editor. However, I will still read some of her things when I don't have anything else to read.

Several years ago I read a book by Sandra Brown, called Envy. It was absolutely FABULOUS! A friend had been telling me to read it and I finally got around to it. Once I started it, I just could not stop. I didn't cook, I didn't do laundry, I didn't go anywhere, I didn't answer the phone, I didn't do ANYTHING until I finished the book! The Witness was another of her books that was very good. I think that's all of her books that I've read so far. I definitely plan on reading more though. I like the level of suspense that she creates.

I enjoy reading Mary Higgins Clark too. The level of mystery is always great in her stories. I just finished Where are You Now? and loved it. It's much more mystery than romance, but that's okay. I tend to like romance in books too, but occasionally will gravitate toward more mystery. She also writes short chapters.

There are a couple of others that I enjoy, but I'll save them for another time.

I need to start a new book today...since it's cool again, I know I won't be out in the pool, so a good book is definitely a necessity!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Breezy Days

The last couple of days it's been pretty cool outside, so I've had the windows open. Seeing the curtains blowing in the breeze reminds me so much of when I was little and would spend time at my grandparents' house.

Back then air conditioning was a luxury and very few people had it. To stay cool throughout the summer, people would have the windows open all the time and hope that there was a breeze. My grandparents didn't have AC, and neither did we at our house. On a breezy day, the wind would blow so hard that occasionally the curtains would become almost parallel to the floor. I remember just loving that feeling.

Seeing our bedroom curtains blowing like that the other day took me back to that simpler time. I was reminded yet again of the pleasures of youth, when the biggest problem I faced was which outside toy was I going to play with first that day.

When we moved into our first house back in 1983 (we'd lived in an apartment for a few years after getting married) we didn't have air conditioning. Our front porch faced east, so it got the morning sun. By noon it was shaded, and the evenings sitting on the porch to cool off were so pleasant. A few other neighbors would be outside too, enjoying the evening breeze. One by one, we got AC and fewer and fewer people would be spending time on their porches.

However our next door neighbors were not at all interested in having AC put in. They had a whole house fan and felt it kept their home cool enough AND they didn't like AC. In fact, Dr. H had been the county school superintendent and flatly refused to have air conditioning in his office. Their office was in an old house a few blocks from the town square and room air conditioners were purchased to be installed in the various rooms.

Dr. H's unit sat in the box in his office. He would open the windows and be perfectly content. He once told us that by NOT having AC people didn't like spending time in his office. He chuckled as he told us that it was the best way for his "visitors" to come in, say what they needed to say, and go on their way. In fact, he told us that he just used the box that the unit was in as another piece of furniture.

I would occasionally tease him during a real hot spell and ask him if he was warm enough the night before. Our neighborhood consisted of older two story houses, and the upstairs of these houses were notorious for getting really hot since heat rises.

No matter what, he would make a point of telling me that he had to get up during the night to close the window because it got so cold. We'd always laugh about that.

Mrs. H just went right along with whatever Dr. H wanted...she was not hard to please at all. She was also involved in education, being the librarian for a nearby school district until her retirement.

I always enjoyed sitting outside on the front porch, enjoying seeing what was going on throughout the neighborhood, watching the kids, saying hello to people as they walked by. I think the evolvement of affordable whole house air conditioning has taken a little bit of Americana away.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Mother and Her Surprise

Yesterday afternoon my mom called to see if it was alright if she and my dad came over to use our pool. We've told them time and time again, that they can use it absolutely ANYTIME they want! We want them to use it.

While waiting for them to come over, I was thinking about her first visit to our pool last summer, and I was chuckling to myself. You really need to read about it here before you go any further.

Don't worry. I'll wait.











Finished? Okay.

So after Mom and Dad got here and we talked for a few minutes, they went ahead and got in the water. I had a couple of things to do, as did Ted, then we got ready to go in.

I have a routine that I follow when I get in the water. First I check the level of the chemicals (so I can report the results to my wonderful "Pool Man" aka Ted), then I go over to the thermometer to check the water temperature. I like it about 89-90 when the air temp is hot, and about 91 when it's just warm.

Then I usually go out to the deep end and move around there for a little while. After that I'll either swim or float on a raft for a little bit, then switch. I'll go back and forth between floating and swimming for a few hours and then get out.

Well yesterday after I got out to the deep end I saw my mom standing at the very edge of the shallow part. I told her to be really careful because (and she already knew this) the bottom of the pool starts to go down and it keeps going down until you get to the deep end.

She said, "I know it goes down, now just be quiet."

Well, excuse me for being worried about my own mother.

Then she held on tight to her noodle and came out to the deep end! AND THEN...she laid back and floated!!! This was something that she'd NEVER done before!

She said, "I've been taking swimming lessons at the Y!"

I am so dang proud of her!

She works out there three times a week and one day as she walked in, she glanced over at the pool and ended up signing up for adult beginning swimming lessons. It was seven sessions, once a week on Monday evenings and there were only three people in her class.

She has the confidence now, and that's what she needed all along. Kudos to "Susan," her instructor.

She said she came home from the Y the day she signed up and she told my dad what she did and then told him that he was NOT to tell me. She wanted to keep it a surprise, and it definitely WAS!

She still feels as though she needs the support of the noodle, but she was going all around the deep end like she had been doing it for years.

This again proves that you can ALWAYS learn new things, no matter what stage of life you're in.

I'm just so happy for her and extremely proud of her!

Look out Esther Williams!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Fifteen

I woke up that morning of June 14, 1980 after a restless night's sleep. Mary must have sensed that I needed some time alone. She pretty much hung out with my mom that morning, while I did some last minute things.

We had already received a fair amount of wedding gifts in the form of money and Ted and I had decided that we were going to buy a washer and dryer. I knew absolutely nothing about appliances, nor did he. We had seen an appliance store ad in our local paper that advertised a Whirlpool washer and dryer for around $500 (hey, it was a long time ago, so I can't be absolutely sure of the price, but I think I'm pretty close).

Being that Ted was the youngest of his family, he never knew what it was like to have a younger sibling, so he occasionally liked to "bond" with my brother. And Ted chose the morning of our wedding to continue the bonding process. He stopped by the house and picked up my brother (who is about four and a half years younger than me) and they went off to buy a washer and dryer. Can you really think of anything more manly than that??

In the meantime I decided to lay out in the sun for a little while. I guess I just wanted to have a little tan in my wedding dress. After an hour or so out there, I came in, took a bath, and started working on my hair and make-up.

Nowadays women go to the salon and have their nails done professionally, their hair done professionally, and their make-up done professionally. It would be nice to have those people fussing over me, but that's not how things were done back in 1980.

I've never been a person to spend a lot of time on my hair or my make-up so I knew that this was definitely not the time to experiment! I had almost always had long hair, so I knew the style would be something simple, and definitely NOT just hanging down. The make-up would consist of the very basics only.

Once those things were done, I polished my fingernails...with clear nail polish. I didn't want anything bold or bright, so a simple shine was enough for me. Good old Sally Hansen nail strengthener!

After my nails were dry, it was time for us to head up to the church. We got dressed in the basement of the rectory (where the priest lives). Fortunately all the girls in the wedding knew that I needed to sort of be left alone with my thoughts and we all did our own thing. After we were all dressed and ready to go, we went up to the living room and the photographer took some pictures.

Everyone looked so pretty. The dresses were simple but the pastel colors I had chosen really added some variety. And Holly looked absolutely adorable in her flower girl dress. She had very long naturally curly hair and had her hair back in a ponytail with the long curls hanging down. She had just recently turned four and was so cute! Although the aisle at the church was very long, we knew that she'd be able to walk down it with no trouble at all.

After the pictures were taken, we had about 10 minutes before the music was scheduled to begin. That's when I decided that I wanted to be over at the church so I could hear it. I had taken a long time selecting the music and we had an excellent organist and vocalist, so I wanted to hear them. We all went over to the church (right next door) and went into the stairwell that led to the balcony. No one saw us there and we got to hear the music, so it all worked out.

And then, before we knew it, it was time to start.

This was it.

There was no turning back now.

And I had no desire to turn back anyway!

The bridesmaids walked down the aisle.

Holly walked down the aisle, and did a fantastic job.

Mary walked down the aisle.


my dad and I started down the aisle.

I was smiling while holding onto my dad's arm and didn't look over at him on our walk.

We got to the front of the church, and the ceremony went off without a hitch. I recall looking down at my watch at one point and noted that it was 2:20 p.m. The music had started at 1:30 and the wedding had begun at 2:00. Don't ask me why I looked at my watch, or why I was even wearing a watch, because I HAVE NO IDEA!!

After the ceremony we had a receiving line in the vestibule of the church, then went outside amid flying birdseed and I somehow got a mouthful of it. I know, I know...I need to keep my mouth shut!

We took off in Ted's car with his brother Tim driving and Mary in the front seat too. Tim was honking the horn as we drove all over town. The guys had decorated the car, so of course we drew a lot of attention.

Now that I think about it, I can't remember the last time I heard horns honking after a couple got married. I suppose that's another tradition that's out of style, sigh.

We went back to the church after a short ride and posed for pictures. Fortunately it was not too hot or humid, so we were pretty comfortable. The photographer took sooooooooo many pictures! My cheeks actually began to hurt from all the smiling, but it was well worth it.

After the pictures, we were off to the reception. Fortunately we'd had cookies at the reception, and the bar was open, so everyone had had a chance to get a little something to eat and drink while they were waiting for us.

Back then we had a real band, not a deejay for the music and they weren't completely set up yet. They did it quietly while we all ate and talked. But the one thing that wasn't done back then, but is done now, is introducing the bridal party as they come in. I wish we had done that, but I never even thought of it, nor do I know who would have done it.

After we'd been at the reception for an hour or so, I really needed to go to the bathroom. Before I headed there, I was trying to think the process through and realized that I was not going to be able to accomplish this task on my own. Mary and Barb (a bridesmaid) came into the bathroom with me and held my dress up over my head so I could "relieve" myself. We were quite the sight! Fortunately the stall was big and we were all able to fit in there. They even held my dress up while I washed my hands in case there was water on the floor anywhere around. I wouldn't have been able to do it without them!

The food was wonderful, the band was great, and everyone had a super time at the reception. After the dancing, the bouquet toss, and the garter toss, it was time for us to leave. We made it out of the reception hall and had to stop at the my folks' house so I could change clothes. My mom was going to take my dress to the dry cleaners while we were gone.

We left their house, with Ted still in his tux, and me in jeans and a tee-shirt! We looked like a real mish-mash! When we got to our apartment, we were going in as our next door neighbors were coming home. The guy said, "It looks like you were in a wedding today!"

Ted said very simply, "I sure was....OURS!"

He congratulated us as we closed our apartment door and began our journey into marriage.

Happy 28th Anniversary Ted!

I love you so much!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh My

Yesterday our new computer arrived. My plan was to get it up and running last evening and use the "Easy Transfer Cable" to simply move everything from one computer to the other. Since our old monitor had kicked the bucket, the HP guy I ordered the new computer from assured me that it wouldn't be a problem to transfer things with only the new monitor.

I should have known better.

I'm not totally inexperienced at setting up a new computer. This is our third desktop for family use. I'm on my second laptop, and both of the boys each have a computer in their bedrooms. I also have set up two for my parents and one for my aunt.

HOWEVER...last night was enough to make me pull my hair out.

Hooking up the keyboard, the mouse, the monitor, and the computer was a very simple task. However, the "Easy Transfer Cable" was anything but! I've never gone through so much of a hassle just to move things from one computer to another. I still don't think it's right.

There are things in places that I don't want them, but I don't know where they are, nor is there a simple way to get them to where they need to be.

And this whole "User" and "Administrator" thing is crazy. We never dealt with that before and it has totally messed me up this time. I swear I transferred things over from the old one to the one 4 or 5 times, AND I STILL CAN'T FIND THEM! Yes, I've done searches, but these things are buried so deep it's ridiculous.

I need to find all my pictures and Ted's itunes library.

And Windows Vista? What the heck was wrong with XP?? Why do they always need to change things?

Since I'm on a roll here, let me continue. The mouse is not as nice as my old one, so I might switch it. The new keyboard isn't nearly as nice as the old one, so that will definitely be switched. I finally broke down and got MS Office Home and Student 2007. My previous version was Office 2000.

The new version of Office has too much. It's too fancy for my tastes, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. There are way too many options in Word and I don't like that.

The new monitor is GREAT! I'm extremely pleased with that.

What I'd really like to do is just use the new monitor with the old computer, but that would pretty much be a big waste of money, so I guess I'll just have to work on getting used to this.

Probably a month from now I'll be thrilled with all this, but in the meantime, I'll just muddle through.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Do They Really Need to Use THAT Word?

Tomorrow morning I will get up early (well "early" is a relative term...early during the school year is anything before 5 am, and early during the summer is anything before 9 am!). Oliver needs to be at the vet's office around 7:30 for his neutering.

When we were there two weeks ago, they gave me an estimate for the procedure and right there in black and white was the word. I know what neutering means for a cat or a dog, but do they really need to be so blunt about it? When I read it, I immediately squeezed my legs together (even though I'm female, I can still have compassion for male organs) and thought, "OW!" Yes, right there it was...CASTRATION.

Apparently Oliver got wind of what's going on because after spending most of his time inside the past several days, he saw a very slight opportunity for escape this evening, and OUT HE WENT!

Backing up a little, we've been keeping him inside so that he will be used to it after his neutering tomorrow. We've been letting him out at night, but last night we kept him inside. We've been trying to get him to use the litter box, but so far either he hasn't gone potty or we've missed seeing him use it. We haven't discovered any "accidents" so we're just not sure if he's going or not. We put him in there, and he immediately jumps out. This afternoon he went in on his own and Joey and I noticed but we wouldn't look at him directly because we thought it might make him jump back out if he knew he was being watched. However, out of the corner of my eye I could see that he was just sniffing around (hey, that's a start at least) and then he got out.

We let him outside this afternoon to see if he would go potty, but he only lasted almost 2 minutes out there. It's been in the 90s here the past few days and the humidity is really bad too. It's been fairly miserable. I was reluctant to let him out because the alfalfa field on one side of us was cut the other day and the hawks are flying around. Today they were baling it. On the other side of us, work is beginning on Ted's sister's new house. They have the basement dug out and I couldn't see what all they were doing down there today. So I didn't want Oliver to be in any danger, but I knew he needed to relieve himself. If he constantly holds it in, well, that can mean trouble for him and we certainly don't want that to happen.

So he stayed out for almost 2 minutes, then meowed at the door to be let back in.

Early this evening, right after dinner, we gave him a bath, so that when he gets home from the vet tomorrow he'll be clean and it will be fine to let him hang out on the bed and stuff, even though we've pretty much been doing it anyway.

He was NOT crazy about his bath. Find me a cat who is. Afterwards he just let me hold him in a towel (that we naturally warmed up in the dryer first) for a little while.

After he decided he'd had enough of being held, he got down and Ted said he was going to walk out to get the mail.


Oliver was out the door and GONE! He only stopped for a few seconds to roll around on the grass, then he disappeared around the corner of the house.

Ted went after him and even tried to crawl under a truck over at his brother's house to reach Oliver, but as soon as he got close, Oliver ran out the other side. He walked quickly along the buildings on the farm and over toward some other homes. Ted lost sight of him and came back pretty upset. We were out back looking for him and Ted said, "You should have seen him. He was so happy to be out in the grass. He's an outside cat and we shouldn't be trying to make him an inside cat. He's gone for good. I just know he is. Don't be shocked when he doesn't come back."

This is Ted's way of dealing with things. He's a pessimist for the most part. I said that he would come back like he has been every night since he first showed up, and that he could be trained to be an indoor cat. I know that's the safest thing for him too.

Joey was at class tonight (yea for summer classes, yeah, right) but Alex, Ted, and I kept checking the doors for him, and listening for him to meow. Eventually Ted went to bed and Alex went to his bedroom. I was in the living room watching TV, but we all kept going to different doors looking for him. Joey had come home and he was concerned about Oliver too.

I felt pretty strongly that he would show up in the morning.

Suddenly I heard Ted get out of bed and open the door in our bedroom. I thought he was just looking for Oliver yet again, but then I heard a meow. Ted walked out with Oliver and didn't say a word, but put him on my lap.

I really think Ted wasn't able to say anything. He's much more attached to Oliver than he wants to let on.

But the important thing is that Oliver is back home now, and unbeknownst to him, is about to castrated tomorrow.

I hate that word.

Same Name Woes

Ted's several greats grandfather founded our town over 200 years ago. This man had 10 children. Out of those ten, at least seven of them each had fourteen children. The next generation, in general, again contributed very well to the population of the county. Each generation was roughly 50% male and 50% female.

Although Ted's dad was an only child, there were many "distant" cousins in the area. When I need to tell someone my last name, inevitably they ask if I'm related to "so-and-so" and my standard answer is "distantly...we all go back to the founder of the town". As far as CLOSE relatives with the same last name, there is really only Tim, Ted's older brother. Peg, his older sister, is married and has a different last name now.

Not long after we first got married, we lived in an apartment that was just outside of town. It had an address with a "number" and a street name. However the main road that led to our townhouses was also referred to as simply, Rt. 1.

I received several items of mail that first summer, addressed to me, but with the first name spelled CINDY. That wasn't so unusual, as many people just assumed that I spelled it that way. However, these items had to do with things that I knew absolutely nothing about. They were addressed to Cindy *******, Rt. 1. After a few weeks, I began writing on the outside of the envelope "Delivered to wrong address" and put them in the mailbox at the post office. I didn't think much of it at the time and after we purchased our first house (and of course changed our address), it stopped.

Fast forward a few years. I was at the doctor's office to get a new prescription for my blood pressure medication. This was back when all the info on the charts was handwritten. The woman who was noting my BP, pulse, etc. began writing it on the chart, and I was looking over her shoulder. As a rule, I discovered that the office employees guard the charts with every line of defense they have, even if it's your own chart! As I looked over her shoulder, she would move the chart so I couldn't see it. I just moved along with her. After she had written every thing in, I simply said, "That's not me."

She looked at me quizzically. "What?"

"That's not my chart."

"It has your name on it. How old are you?"

I told her and she said that that was how old the chart said I was.

"But that's NOT me."

"How do you know?"

"It says, 'd/c bcp' right at the top (discontinue birth control pills) and I've NEVER taken birth control pills."

"What's your date of birth?"

I told her and she said, "Ahhhhhhhhhh...well apparently you and THIS Cindy ******* are only about 5 months apart in age."

I was just very glad that I was nosy enough to read the chart. Now when I need to call there or when I show up for an appointment, I take great care in making sure that they know WHO I AM and WHO I AM NOT.

But a few years later I went to the eye doctor's office to pick up my new glasses. As soon as the girl pulled them out of the envelope, and before I was able to see the optometrist, I told her, "Those are not my glasses."

She checked the envelope and commented that they were indeed my glasses.

I told her that the frames were not what I picked out. Then I briefly tried the glasses on and the prescription was totally wrong.

She was quite perplexed and then asked me for my address. I told her and she said (and I quote), "Ahhhhhhhh...wrong Cindy *******."


It got even more interesting at the eye doctor's office. They use middle initials on names there. They had inadvertently switched the OTHER Cindy *******'s middle initial with mine, so that totally confused them even more. When I tried to explain that, they were so confused they didn't know which end was up. They eventually got it straightened out, but what really ticked me off was that I'd made the trip to their office and MY glasses weren't even there.

About 4 or 5 years ago I was shocked to open up the newspaper on a June Sunday morning and find my name in the obituaries! It was listed as "Cynthia *******" and that required a double-take. Yes, Cynthia is my given name, and although I've never liked it, it's my official moniker.

The late Cynthia was several years older than me and had died at her home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She was divorced and had a couple of adult children. As I recall she died of complications from emphysema brought on by years of heavy smoking. Nope, that definitely was NOT me!

Ted's sister called me later that day and said that she was glad to know that I was still alive. I don't like to laugh or joke about the recently departed, but our conversation really was pretty funny.

A year or so after that, another Cynthia ******* and her husband were getting a divorce. Our local newspaper lists divorces and dissolutions under the "Court Monitor" section of our paper. I didn't think anything of it, because it had both her name AND his name listed and surely anyone who knew me would know that it wasn't Ted and me.

I was wrong. A couple of months after that appeared in the newspaper I had taken Alex to the orthodontist and I always got along very well with the women who work there. We were all talking about something and I said the words "my husband" in the conversation. The two women I was speaking with looked at each other, then me, and one of them said, "So you AREN'T divorced??"

I said, "Noooooooo...why do you ask?"

"Well, we saw something in the paper about Cynthia ******* getting divorced and were upset thinking it was YOU."

So I told them that there were several of us floating around town and it was NOT me.

Right after we moved into our new home, there were still a few outside things that needed done and the guys came back to do them. One of the things included pouring the concrete walkway from the driveway to the front porch.

Our builder had a high school student helping him on his time off from school and he was one of the guys who showed up on a spring day to work on this. I innocently asked him why he wasn't in school that day and he told me that it was the day before spring break and they weren't doing anything in school, so he decided to work instead. I really got on his case, discussing the importance of education and how inappropriate it was for him to be here instead of at school. By this time he knew he was in for a real lecture and asked one of the other guys for some moral support as he was sinking fast with his explanation. Once I started on him, I just didn't quit. I asked him if his parents knew where he was and whether or not they would approve of his decision NOT to go to school. Then I told him that I knew his dad and perhaps should give him a call. The poor kid (who happened to be about 6'5" tall and around 280 lbs.) was sinking fast and he knew it.

Then I asked him if he knew what I did for a living and he said, "You're an accountant, right?"

"Nope...WRONG Cindy *******. I'm a teacher!" and I just laughed and laughed.

He turned bright red, and buried his face in his hands.

And now for the latest in the Same Name Story. When I called the vet's office a couple of weeks ago to make Oliver's initial appointment with them, the woman on the phone looked me up on her computer and said, "well let's see...which one are you?"

I gave her my address and asked her if there was another Cindy ******* who took her pets there and she said YES. I'm thinking that perhaps she just recently got a pet, because this was never an issue before when I would take Pepina or Marina in.

Changing the "y" to an "i" at the end of my name really didn't help these situations, but at least it makes me a little different when I write my name!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


The other day was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Robert Francis Kennedy. Although I was young at the time, I remember finding out about it.

I was staying with my grandma, my aunt, and my cousin for a few weeks in a town about an hour and a half away. My cousin Lynne is 7 years older than I am and when I was young I absolutely idolized her. I worshiped the ground she walked on, and therefore just LOVED spending several weeks with her at the beginning of each summer.

My aunt ran a beauty shop out of her home and always got up early because some of her customers were early birds. It was nothing for her to have her first appointment of the day at 6:00 am!

On June 5, 1968 she came into the bedroom to wake Lynne and me up, to tell us about RFK. Although I didn't know much about politics way back then, I did know that he was young, charismatic, and an extremely popular politician. My aunt was shocked. Lynne was shocked. Grandma was shocked.

Over the next several days we watched all the news reports on TV about RFK's assassination, funeral arrangements, and the actual procession. I can remember seeing the funeral train.

I can recall being so surprised that Bobby and Ethel had TEN children and she was expecting number ELEVEN at the time! Much later on I was even more surprised to find out that apparently all eleven were delivered by c-section!

Thinking of all those children growing up without their father really upset me at the time. I was vaguely aware that his death would have an impact on our nation, but I was young and my thoughts were more focused on his kids. Now as a parent, I have SO much respect for Ethel, having been left to deliver a baby 6 months after her husband died, and then take care of that daughter and all the other children.

Of course it's been all over the news the past few days, and the question of the day seems to be "How would our country be different if Robert Kennedy had been president?"

I sure as heck can't answer that, but for me, his death sort of took away my childhood innocence.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Fourteen

I really wanted to add some pictures to this post, however I have a little problem.

We moved into our new home TWO years ago and I can't find the wedding pictures. I knew exactly where they were at the old house (in the cedar chest) but they're not there now, AND I have NO IDEA where they are. There are two albums, each in a white box with a red rose on top. But I can't find them. The search WILL continue, but I'm going to go on with the story.

So as soon as the rehearsal was finished, Ted's brother-in-law took us out to his car to give us a gift from the plumbing shop where he and Ted both worked. It was a Charmglow gas grill and we were thrilled with it! Our new apartment had a back door with a little porch and we would get a lot of use out of it. I mean, how hard can it be to cook on a grill??

(It might be a good time to mention that I knew nothing about cooking. Nada. Zilch. Zero. But I was willing to learn.)

After checking out the grill, we all went to the rehearsal dinner at a well known restaurant about 6 miles out of town. This place was well known for its steaks and seafood and we were very excited about having a nice, relaxing meal.

Little did I know that my nerves would be getting the best of me and I would hardly be able to eat a thing! We also gave our attendants their gifts. The girls all got heart shaped necklaces with their initials ingraved on them, and the guys all got ingraved money clips.

There were toasts all around, and everyone had a great time. Then the girls in the wedding party, except Holly (Ted's niece, and soon to be mine), decided that they were going to take me out to a couple of places so we could have a few drinks. Holly was the flower girl and only 4 years old, so she was just a tad underage.

I can only actually remember one place we went to, but I know that we went to two or three different spots. I can even remember what I drank, believe it or not! I don't like beer...never have, so I opted for mixed drinks. I had a couple of Tom Collins, also known as a Gin Fizz. I know that two are my limit, so that was all I had. I had a Pepsi at one place too. My cousin Davene was definitely underage at the time (15) so there was no alcohol for her.

We all laughed and had a great time. It was fun to be with them, but it began getting late, a little close to midnight. I knew that the next day was going to be a big day, so I was ready to head home.

Although I'm not extremely superstitious, I didn't want to press my luck. The day of the rehearsal was Friday the 13th and things had gone fine up to that point. I sure didn't want to spoil it.

We took Davene back to the hotel where her family was staying, dropped Barb and Melanie off at their homes, then Mary and I went back to my family's house. I was definitely ready for bed. Mary, however, stayed up and talked to my mom for a while.

I tossed and turned and couldn't sleep. There were too many things running through my mind. Did I have everything I needed for the wedding dress? I was going to be changing at the church, so was everything set for that? Was there anything else I needed to do for the reception? Did my suitcase have everything I needed inside for our honeymoon? What was I forgetting? What if my shoes got too tight at the reception? Would I be able to get through the day without crying? Would everyone have a good time at the reception?

But the one thing I was NOT questioning was whether or not this was the right thing to do. I KNEW IT WAS.

I loved Ted and he loved me. We were going to be so happy together!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Almost two weeks ago, a cat showed up at the family farm. Apparently that cat took a real shining to Alex. However, we have two indoor cats, both female, and do not NEED another one. Therefore, I tried to find it a good home. If we just let it "hang out" around here, it would surely get hit by a car and killed.

Within about an hour this cat had a name. Oliver. In fact, Oliver Douglas; which may ring a bell for those of you oldtimers who remember the old "Green Acres" television show.

Well, Oliver is here to stay. Alex and I took him to the vet last Tuesday and had him all checked out. He's very healthy, does NOT have feline leukemia, and weighs 8 lb. 10 oz. I'm sure that close to a pound of that weight was gained since he showed up only 5 days before. When we first saw him, he was sooooooooo skinny. During one day, he ate 3 cups of dry food, a can of wet food, and drank 2 cups of water. Since then, he's slowed way down, but I think he was starved and dehydrated.

I also thought that he may have been an indoor cat. I mentioned this to the vet while we were there. I told him why I thought this, then asked him what he thought. His answer was, "I don't know. Let me ask him." It's always nice to have a vet who can be a smart a**.

Anyway, Oliver got his first set of kitten shots, even though the vet thinks he's about a year old. We made an appointment for him to get his second set in another couple of weeks. We also have an appointment for him to be neutered next Tuesday.

We've been letting him in the house on and off, but will try to have him be a total indoor cat once he's neutered. I have a feeling that's not going to be easy, but we'll give it a try. He shows up at the door off of our bedroom between 5 and 6 am each morning, meowing like crazy until we let him in.

Yesterday morning around 9:45 Alex found him on the back porch, eating a MOUSE! Alex, being a typical teenage boy, told me that there was blood all over the porch and Oliver was eating the mouse's gut, but the mouse was dead (thank goodness...I just hope the mouse didn't suffer long.). Alex went back to check on him again and Oliver was still there, but the mouse was gone. Alex hosed off the porch. I told him that "MouseBreath" was NOT coming in the house until he had something else to eat to get any mouse yuck out of his mouth.

Suffice it to say that Pepina and Marina aren't too happy with this turn of events. Pepina seems to be adjusting a little, but Marina will hiss at Oliver like crazy, then bat at him with her front paws and then growl. Pepina now just pretty much ignores him.

Last evening when Oliver was inside, he was sleeping on the floor. Ted got up off the recliner to lie down on the floor next to him so he could pet him while he slept. As soon as Ted got down there and stretched out, Oliver promptly jumped up onto the recliner and fell back to sleep. And then he slept there for a couple of hours. I guess it really wears you out to chase a mouse, catch it, and then eat it.

In my heart, I just couldn't turn Oliver away. I know I can't save the world, but at least this is one less cat that will have a rough life.


Monday, June 2, 2008

It's That Time Again

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my surgeon. It's a regularly scheduled 6 month follow-up appointment from my cancer surgery almost 3 years ago.

I think the world of my surgeon. I just think he's the absolute best. Not only is his "bedside manner" fabulous, but he always makes me feel as though I am the only patient he has and has never once rushed me through. He is extremely knowledgeable, but says things to me in layman's terms, so I can understand them. He is wonderful with eye contact too. I always feel really good when I leave his office.

However, the few days leading up to an appointment with him are filled with anxiety. I still worry about having a recurrence, and I probably always will. I'm always afraid that he'll be telling me that he suspects a problem. Of course my mind just lets all of this fester and grow until I have myself so worked up, I can barely even see straight.

I just hope it's a "happy" appointment and that there's nothing to worry about. Just think. I'll get to go through this again in another six months.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Still Shaking My Head

Friday was our last day at school with kids. Tomorrow is our work day and then we're finished for the summer. There is talk that some of us may need to come in a day in early August for training for a new reading program, but so far nothing is etched in stone.

Let me share with you the top "still shaking my head" story of the year.

I had a second grader who would share way too much information on what all was going on in her household. At the very least, it was pretty confusing.

It seems as though her grandma is the head of the household. Her younger (kindergarten) brother (as in FULL brother) also lives there. So do her older FULL sister and HALF sister, who happens to be the FULL sister's twin (are you following me here? yes, there are junior high age twins, but they each have different fathers). Additionally, there is an older HALF brother in high school, another HALF brother who is in 3rd grade in our building, and a few cousins, who are either FULL or HALF siblings to the other cousins.

If you can follow this, you're really on the ball, because sometimes I lose my head on this one.

So about a month ago "Lisa" (not her real name) commented to me that her older cousin was not able to run track this year. This older cousin is a senior in high school and extremely talented in track and field. She was possibly on the way to getting some kind of a scholarship, until "life" got in the way.

I asked Lisa why her cousin "Marla" (again, not her real name) wasn't running track this year.

Lisa said, "She just had a baby."

I said, "I didn't know Marla was married."

Very indignantly and shockingly, Lisa replied, "She's not MARRIED! She's too YOUNG!!!!"

To which I replied, "Well Lisa, let me tell you something. In most cases you get married BEFORE you have a baby!"

She was absolutely shocked when I said that. She looked at me as if I had two heads and five arms.

It is perfectly acceptable in her world to have babies and not be married.

That Grandma sure has her hands full.