Monday, July 28, 2008

Funny Old Photos, Part 2, The Cindy Years

Cindy is the oldest. Almost ten years older than me. She got married and moved out when I was only eight. You'd think that we wouldn't be very close because of our age difference and the fact that she left home when I was so young, but in fact, we are very close. We've even worked together for two different companies.

Mom and dad took quite a few pictures of Cindy when she was young. They must have had a camera then because there aren't very many of the rest of us when we were small. Of course, Cindy was an exceptionally beautiful child, so who could help but take a ton of pictures of her?

Here we go...

What an adorable face!

This is my favorite. I think she must be around two.

From the left: My cousin Helene, cousin Randy, cousin David, and sister Cindy

A school photo. I don't know her age, maybe 15 or 16?

Cindy with her husband, Jim, and my sister Cherry's wedding 25 years ago. I'm happy to say she no longer smokes. The wedding was in Cindy and Jim's backyard and it was beautiful!

I spoke with Cindy right before I started working on this post and I promised her that I wouldn't use the picture of her as a teenager leaning over a car with a bathing suit top on, squeezing her chest togther and trying to look like she has cleavage ;-)

I didn't promise her that I wouldn't share the story of her and my mom on the bus when she was little. Cindy was kneeling on the seat, looking out the window, and mom noticed she didn't have any underpants on!

I also remember Cindy and my sister Cherry having a mashed potato fight when they were teenagers.

All four of us are very close. We try to get together for lunch and a movie whenever possible and we always laugh and have a wonderful time. I'm lucky enough to share a house with my youngest sister and have the other two close by. In fact, Cindy is only about a mile and a half down the road from us.

I'll have to get a more recent picture to add in at a later date. I don't seem to have one on my laptop. Sorry about that...

Next will be Cherry, so stay tuned...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Funny Old Photos, Part 1, The Penny Years

I've been going through a lot of old photos the past few days and found some that I thought it would be fun to share. I want to do a post for each of my sisters, since I found some great pics, but I thought I should start with myself before I embarrass each of them in turn ;-)

So, here we go!

Me at the age of two, with my sister Cherry, and my dad

Clockwise from back left, Cindy, Cherry, Melissa, and me at the age of 7

This one cracks me up. Look at those faces! My sister Cindy is the tall one in the back, then in front of her is Cherry, then my cousin Laura, beside her is Melissa, then my cousin Ricky, and behind him is me, and behind me is my Grandmother

Third grade school photo

Me with our neighbors' dog, Thimble. I think I was the only one to ever spend any time with this sweet girl. She was always chained in the yard.

Me at 22 or 23, I think

With Raeka and Sherman, December 2007

Now, to lead into my sisters, here are some of all of us. This is Mom, holding Melissa who looks to be about 2, making me 4, Cherry 9, and Cindy 13.

Oh my, look at my hair! Not to mention the scowl on my niece Judy's face. Priceless!

Stay tuned. Tomorrow I'll start with my oldest sister Cindy :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today's post is dedicated to....

My cousin, Dan, who passed away three years ago today, and Flower, the cat I adopted two years ago today.

Let me start with my cousin, Daniel. He was my youngest cousin and had suffered for years from rheumatoid arthritis that was crippling to him. The medication he was taking helped him function, but ultimately took his life way too soon by destroying his t-cells. On July 22, 2005, he went to take a nap and never woke up. He was 40 years old.

I became especially close to Dan the last few years of his life. He lived quite a distance from me and it was an effort for him to get out at all, but we talked on the phone quite often. We laughed a lot. I think that's what I miss the most. His laughter. I actually talked to him the night before he passed away. We talked for close to an hour. He was talking about possibly adopting an elderly Pekingese since he finally felt like he "wasn't going to die anytime soon." I later found out that he also talked to my cousin Laura that night, and my aunt, his mom. I think he had a premonition. I'm so thankful for that last conversation with him.

Dan, if your spirit is around me at all, you know how much I love and miss you. Take care of my special girls for me until it's my time to join all of you, okay?

And now, for Flower's story. Two years ago, on July 21st, I was observing surgery at my vet's office as I often do, helping where and when I could, and noticed a cat in the cat room. I went over to see her and she purred and rubbed on the cage door. Before I left that day, I found out that she had been there for weeks and had lost a lot of weight. She needed a home and she was very old. Dr. Fitzgerald estimated her to be 14 or 15 years old. He asked me if I wanted to adopt her. I said "no". I had lost two dogs in a year and I was not ready to take on an elderly cat that could be on it's last legs. Besides, I already had a cat (Phoebe) and didn't want to take a chance that they wouldn't get along. He said that I could just take her on a trial basis, but I stuck to my guns and said no.

That night, I had a dream about her, and when I woke up the next morning, I couldn't get her off my mind. Then I remembered that it was the first anniversary of Dan's death, and what better way to honor him than to adopt this ancient kitty that he would have loved so much. Dan's own cats were like his children. Especially his Siamese, Nephi. So, off I went to find out more about her. Well, her kidney levels were a little off, and she weighed less than 5 lbs., but when I picked her up she purred and purred. Dr. Fitz said that he would cover her vet bills for as long as I had her and that if I'd give it a month and it didn't work out, he'd take her back. I came home and talked to my sister, Melissa, and asked what she thought. She said, "You have to take her. I'd be on my way back to get her right now." That's just what I did.

Flower is now a 12 lb., healthy, happy girl. I found out later that Dr. Fitz really thought he was just sending her to me for hospice care. He really didn't expect her to become as healthy as a horse and still be doing well two years later. She has just thrived on love.

We had our share of hard times at first, but I'm so glad that this little one entered my life when she did. She is the sweetest lap kitty you could ever hope to find.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fun at the Dog Show

My friend, Kapi, and I make a point of meeting at the Vermont Scenic Cluster Dog Show every year that is held over three days at the Champlain Valley Exposition The show is only a few miles from my house, but Kapi has to drive close to two hours to get here. We see what we want at the show, which for the past two years has included watching the Rally competition, browse through the vendors, and then leave to have a nice lunch before she has to head back to Rutland. I always have a great time and love seeing all of the dogs that are on my list to someday share my life with.

This is Steven, the Peke. I usually get there ahead of Kapi so I can see the Pekes. This little guy is adorable, don't you think?

I brought my camera and got a few shots, but am amazed by some people that are there for confirmation and when you ask if they'd mind if I took a picture of their dog, they act downright put out or annoyed. Others are proud and gladly agree. Thank goodness for the friendly folks!

There were 10 dogs in a long down that were amazing (you can't see the Weimeraner that was over to the right). The owners put them in a stay then filed out of the building. The dogs never budged. I think it must have been a 5-minute stay.

I just had to get a shot of this sweet little German Shorthaired Pointer pup. Her face reminds me so much of Daisy Mae, especially when she was a puppy.

A couple of the many French Bulldogs. They are such little clowns!

Beautiful Leonbergers. I wanted to just scoop up that puppy and run :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Caring Friends and Sweet Flowers

I have a wonderful email friend in Australia who is one of the most thoughtful, caring people I know. Not only does she send me surprise packages now and then but she also emails me and inquires about mine and my family's life in general. She sincerely cares.

Yesterday, a package arrived from Heather for my mom who is dealing with a terminal illness. She was shocked when I handed the package to her to open. There were many special little trinkets, but her all time favorite was a beautiful knitted scarf that can be worn on the head as a kerchief of sorts, or around the neck. She tried it on both ways so I took a few pictures of her to send to Heather.

Heather, thank you again, from both me and my mom. You are a very special person and I'm fortunate to have you in my life. My wish is for us to meet face to face one day....

And now, for the flower portion....If you recall a month or so ago, I posted about my memorial garden. Well, the daisies that my vet gave me last year in memory of my sweet Daisy Mae, have finally started opening up. They are beautiful! I've always loved daisies, and these are very special not only because of where they came from but because of what they stand for.

Lastly, the miniature roses that I planted in memory of my darling Olivia Rose are also blooming.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I'm on vacation this week so today a friend and I took my great niece, Morgan, and my great nephew, Noah, letterboxing. They've been wanting to go the the Colchester Causeway and find the letterbox that I planted there in Daisy's memory. It's the "Daisy Love" letterbox.

Morgan and Noah at the entrance to the Colchester Causeway

The Colchester Causeway is an old rail bed built at the end of the 1890's for the Rutland Railroad, opening up transportation from Rutland Vermont north to Canada. For more about the causeway, please visit, or (great pictures on this one), or It's a beautiful stretch out into Lake Champlain.

This is Law Island, one of the landmarks I used in the clues for finding my letterbox

Morgan and Noah had a great time and were able to find my box by following the clues. I was helping them with the stamping and forgot to take pictures of them actually stamping their journals! Darn! I could kick myself!

Looking out onto beautiful Lake Champlain

We also tried to find another letterbox that is on the Causeway not far from mine, but try as we may, we could not find it. We'll try again in the fall when there isn't so much brush to wade through.

Morgan and Noah sitting on the rock that I always sat on with Daisy.

She and I could sit there and watch the lake forever...