reflections, travel, work

My story about Tionesta


No photo description available.Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoorA post I have been planning to write for a while…

First the present – we have been travelling together to Jefferson Co., Warren Co., and Forest Co., PA for Rog’s work for about a year now (he has been going longer) and it has often crossed my mind that I wanted to tell the Tionesta story.  I have not taken the time until now when I’m recuperating from a migraine and feel too tired to do anything else except type my data entry files that I need to do for our work– which I’m going to do next!

So I have become familiar once again with Tionesta (in Forest County) along with the neighboring Tidioute.  We see them every three months.  They are beautiful, in the PA Alleghenies.

My first experience of the Alleghenies and Tionesta was with my dad in about 1979 when I was about 14.  He had begun when I was about 11 to take me on a vacation every summer.  In approximate order it was 1977 – New York City, 1978 – Detroit and Ste. St. Marie, Michigan, and 1979 – Alleghenies, PA.  We started off driving 6 and/or 322 and I remember visiting Corry, Warren, Tionesta, and Oil City.

(we were as a family in 2007 in Oil City when Rog worked there briefly gathering data for work – I have pics somewhere but not findable at the moment, this is from Google)

My dad and I also drove all around the rivers and mountains in the area, visiting Kinzua Dam, especially.

kinzua-dam-spillwater.jpg (550×366)

I was so taken with the area, I decided someday I wanted to move there.  I also remember eating at a restaurant in the town of Tionesta that had delicious pie.  I don’t know if this is where we ate — (2020 dead link) but I know Rog and I had tried to eat there, but they’re only open for breakfast and lunch so we keep missing it!! 

When I was about 14, I wrote my own book about a girl named Karen, that lived in Tionesta, PA.  I loved that book and really thought it was the best writing I ever did.  I put my heart into it and it reflected a lot of things I was growing up with at the time, being overweight, lonely, learning to achieve my own goals, make friends, growing up.  I finished that story in 9th grade and totally was devastated when I no longer had the story anymore, as it was either lost or thrown away.  But that’s how important Tionesta was to me at that time…

Years later in 1984 when I met Roger and we started dating, we took a drive back there and ate at the same restaurant my dad and I did.  We drove many of the same roads as well.

We drove there in 84, and I think in 86 and 87 too – it’s getting a little blurry now!  We also discovered the Allegheny State Park in New York around that time, which my dad and I did not visit.  Camping there in 89 or so, 90, and 94, to my recollection, followed, with lots more wonderful memories!

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, mountain, outdoor, nature and water

Then we have our own NEW memories in Tidoute, which I don’t remember from before.  So we have a neat progression of very old history, with my dad; still old history with my husband going back all the way to our dating years; and then brand new history in a new town in the mountains.



autism, chris, college, residency, transcription, travel

Completely overwhelmed, but still soothed by nature’s glory


Originally uploaded by


I’ve noticed that nature greatly soothes me as well as prayer. And also just being with family and laughing.

But things are crazy, and I just have never any time for blogging, etc. I often think lately that I’d just like to totally quit working so I can catch up on pretty much everything and spend more time just hanging out with my kids and hubby. But I love my work, and right now it’s necessary. So I continue to get up at 3 to type and have toothpicks holding my eyes open most of the day —

  • 97 minutes to get out, proofed, by tonight – I have 6 minutes done – so why am I here? I’ll be quick!
  • Chris is officially discharged from his group home Oct. 1. However, they’re still keeping him while they look for more homes for him. I believe he’ll be home here and G & C along with us will share his care.
  • Chris’s school is going very well and they have him in a new language program that is helping him a lot!
  • We are unable to get Chris’s waiver yet as there’s still a huge huge wait list – like 15 more years maybe.
  • Ryan has a new teacher this year as well as a new autism coordinator in his school. He is doing well but won’t eat lunch or wear his hearing aides – sigh. Sunchips are my friend . . .
  • Colleen is working hard at school and enjoys times with her friends –
  • They’re all growing up so fast.
  • I am seriously seriously considering going back to school in the spring to become a speech therapist, and need to apply for my financial aid. This of course means a little cut in my work but I need to try.
  • We’re going back to the Maryland mountains Tuesday as part of our business trip and I’m going to meet my good friend Pat from a transcription board I’m on!



The Western Maryland Mountains–


Originally uploaded by criscollrj

The new header I made (first one on!) is of the Maryland Mountains we saw on our business trip in early July. I know I “facebooked” about it in the pictures on there, but never typed on here. Then I found out a friend of mine from the transcription board lives RIGHT there at Deep Creek Lake. We’re going to meet the next time we go out there.

Deep Creek Lake

Then I saw another friend on Facebook had just seen the Backbone Mountain in Maryland near that area and had beautiful pictures of it as well. It’s so neat that such beautiful mountains are so close to our business trip area (we did travel a few hours East in the evening to get there, but it was so worth it!)

And check it out, googling for images, and there’s a lot for sale!

What a beautiful lot! Wish we had the $$!










Atwood Lake, ’08

I wanted to post our pictures of the trip to Atwood Lake with Rick and Nance. Unfortunately Rog had sprained his ankle and was unable to come. Hopefully we can all get together again soon. We were going to bring Chris but needed Rog to come for that. It was strange to go without Chris.

I’d not driven anywhere that long for a while either – and was proud of myself that I kept up with Nancy the whole way there – the traffic was heavy and I lost her a few times — It was about 2 hours away.


Road trip!

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Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

our road trip

Though I was kinda aggravated that our batteries died right at the end when we went to an awesome park North of Oil City!

Rog started working in PA recently and was near some of the hills we always liked to travel to when we were dating. So we had a nice autumn day today [told that it would be one of the last good ones of the fall] and so we set off for a drive with our family and friend Amber.

After just planning to visit Meadville and eat there and go home, we ended up traveling to Oil City and north of there to the Oil Creek State Park where we had the kids play on the playground and we hiked a bit down a bike trail. Unfortunately THAT was wear my batteries died, but you still see a lot of great pictures I took out the car windows!

We want to go back now – it was so beautiful! So hard to leave the mountains behind, but so nice to know they’re only 2 hours southeast of us!

One thing I’ll never figure out is that to get my photos to show the right way on the slideshow, I need to somehow enter them backwards. Since I’m too lazy to figure that out now – let me just say the first pictures are around the destination, then after that they kind of go to the beginning of the trip, with the earlier ones showing up later on the slideshow. The ones where you see an amusement park is Conneaut Lake Park. We had never seen it, and just wanted to see what it looked like. Little did we know we could drive in that close and take pictures – obviously it was closed! My kids wished it was open though. Apparently they were going to be open tonight from 8-11 for a Haunted House or something, but we weren’t planning on that.

We didn’t actually get to see this overlook because we didn’t hike that far, but you can see just how big the hills were and the colors were just about like that as well.  Ahhhh.


health, travel

Harrison the Mouse, and our trip story

and other every day occurrences!  In a life that’s so unique sometimes, it’s kind of liberating to know we have problems like other people’s. 😉

After our oldest son Chris enjoyed quite a bit of a movie downstairs with us (RV – pretty cute!) we were getting ready to go upstairs (he had wanted a shower a few times during the movie and had gone up for his 2nd or 3rd one).  I was going in the laundry room to check on the towel load (it never dries in one cycle) and Rog drew in a deep breath and I said, “What is it?”  He replied that he saw the mouse (the phantom mouse that we’ll see once or twice and never see again so we think it’s gone).  Colleen had already named it Harrison.  We had half-heartedly bought traps last early winter and set them, but then de-activated them when we’d seen nothing of Harrison(s) for weeks and our lovely Spice escaped down into the basement and in her 8th life did NOT get trapped by one (she later did die in the basement in the sump pump though). 

Continue reading “Harrison the Mouse, and our trip story”

college, relocation, travel, weight

short update

things are fine – BUSY!

We went to Port Clinton on vacation last weekend and it was GREAT! Busy though – 3 kids, 2 with kinda special needs, tends to keep one running on vacation! Soon I’ll post a few pictures.

I decided NOT to go to school at this time. It was a very hard decision. However, we are talking MORE and M O R E about moving, and that overwhelms me anyway (12 years in this same house and our possessions increasing during that time from those of 3 people (one a 2 year old) to those of 5 people (14 year old, 11 year old, and 3 year old children), and that makes a big difference when moving!! So we’ve been seeing houses and planning when and if and where to move, so school on the top of that just seemed too much. So once again it’s on the back burner.

More of an update soon — the summer is flying by!

I have lost 7 1/2 pounds now.