...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finally Found It!

When working at the Omega Institute, someone told me about the Stissing Mountain hiking trail.

Jim and I made it a goal of ours to find it and climb it.

After many years of driving around trying to find the trail head we finally located it today, hiked the trail and climbed the fire tower.

 We suggest taking the right hand trail and coming down the very steep left-side trail, but only if you have good knees. The climb up was steep at first, then gradual. The other way is steep and steep...no breaks.

          The views were worth it.

The tower is in need of some repairs, but still safe to climb...Wish some previous guests had taken their garbage with them...Not nice to find empty water bottles and plastic wrapping from candy bars and chips. UGH!

Then we had to climb down the fire tower and down the trail. My knees are not happy.

 We discovered the old remains of the old cabin.

We came and we conquered!

Some pretty flowers (can you identify them?) and slinky friends we met along the way...actually three of them! All harmless Ribbon snakes.

After a hot shower and a nap. I feel normal again.All in all a great way to kick off the summer! Now on to that next bucket list item.

Monday, January 21, 2013


During a strange expedition to seek photographs for my daughter-in-law, Corinn's Christmas gift, I stumbled across this barn at the end of the cemetery where my parents are buried.

It was a beautiful fall day and I captured many photos that turned out to be very nostalgic, educational and satisfying to my creative side.

When I posted this particular one on FaceBook, many suggested it looked like a puzzle. I researched to see what would be the cost to make a puzzle for Corinn who also has a passion for puzzles. The ones I could afford were cheaply made or too small. The larger ones that compared to the quality and size of what she likes, were cost prohibitive.

I wonder how one goes about getting their pictures used for puzzles? That is a research project for another day.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wow, it has been a long time since I blogged. I communicate so much on Facebook, it really deters me from sharing here.

So many interesting things going on. At the beginning of a new year, we stand a precipice of a new adventure that we wouldn't have put in our life, but did watch for none-the-less.

As Jim's dad died of bladder cancer, we feel due to his exposure to asbestos in his car repair business and his poor diet, AND the fact JIm's grandfather died of prostate cancer, we have always been on the lookout for an symptoms of the disease.

Interestingly enough, it was a kidney stone that pointed us in that direction rather than rising PSAs.

So long story short, in November, Jim was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The family kicked into gear, researching through the internet, books, friends, extended family, and every medical professional or prostate cancer survivor we came in contact with.

The GREAT news:  Prostate has one of the BEST cure rates, BEST survivor rates if caught early. While most men don't contact it until they are much older, most never die from the disease.

Though Jim's is an aggressive  form of prostate cancer (hence getting it so young), it is only at Stage 2, so we need to treat it and not ignore as is the offering for others.

After two months of research, we have been fortunate enough to find a urological surgeon who has been performing robotic surgery for more than 20 years and has perfected the process beyond what we were reading.

So in February, Jim will have surgery with Dr. Perrotti of Albany Urologic Oncology.

The actual surgery can be seen here...pretty interesting to say the least:
Nerve Sparing Prostatectomy

Jim & JoAnn  - St. Augustine
The family -- Our wonderful sons in particular -- really kicked it up a notch by contributing toward funds to have us share Christmas with them!

We basically repeated the trip we did in September...starting with going to Jim's sister's home, where we enjoyed some Mexican food and hospitality with Christina; then moved on to Dan and Theresa's for a couple days and got to see St. Augustine at Christmas. Then we went on to Aaron and Corinn's where Dan and Theresa joined us and we exchanged gifts.
Dan & Theresa


Asher & Friend with Grandpa

Trying out Elijah's new gift
Christmas Eve we had dinner with Corinn's parents and Christmas Day were at Bryan and Jess' to celebrate with them and our GRAND sons!!!

Perfect holiday, Perfect Gift, Perfect time of celebration!
Asher's picture of Mom (Jessica)

Heading out to rollerskate.
Jim with Aunt Sylvia
This GrandMA went rollerskating with the boys and even learned that she like inline skates much better than the traditional roller skates! (I secretly expected this all along, but was afraid to try it.)

Jim and I took Asher with us on a visit to Lake Arrowhead to check out possible retirement locales. Beautiful place!

Asher delighted us with conversation, drawings and encouragement, shouting "Go for it Grandpa!" when teetered on the edge of a roller-coaster-like road wondering if our little Focus could make it up the steep hills.

Upon leaving the grandboys we drove on to visit Jim's Aunt Sylvia  and cousins Carol and Jeff, before heading home through the snowstorm (Go for it Grandpa???) and safely arriving home.

Sated and Grateful for all that we had seen, experienced and accomplished.

Now on to a new year with new experiences and new blessings!