Welcome to Neufer's Mad Thoughts

Thank you for calling, er, I mean, thank you for reading the mad thoughts of me. If you are wondering just what the mad means, be it, ANGRY mad or CRAZY mad, well, that will probably just depend on my mood and what I'm rambling on about. Most of what you will read will be unedited, straight from my head to my keyboard and to your eyes so should I offend, upset or anger you, by all means, yell at me through the screen, leave me angry comments and feel better for doing so. I promise never to respond as I have found it's just not worth my time to respond to angry people I have never met. :) Have a nice day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Spring Break

First, I am still doing my Wii Fitness stuff, just not the 30 day challenge right now, making a few of my own routines and also finally was able to hook up the second remote and tonight I challenge Ellie and James at some very simple routines (all upper body right now) and I was very proud of James, he held his own and even beat me on the hitting the boxing heavy bag.  That's my boy!
Ellie had to work at keeping up and when we were done she said her arms were so tired that she could barely feel them.  Well girl, that's what happens when you don't work out with your momma like she told you too! :)
As for the trip.  We had a great time!  Left Elmira, arrived in Pittsburgh, found the motel very easily and the first thing the kids did was get those swimsuits on and hit the pool.  The next day we went to the Zoo and had a great time!  Got there first thing and walked all over the place.  The best part is that I never got tired or out of breath!  Yeah me!
We had Ellie's BFF Trinity with us and you have to understand these two have a very special relationship.  They have know each other going on 10 years and there are no secrets, no walls between them at all.  They fight like sisters and love like sisters.  Well, while at the zoo I swear their influence was being felt by some of the animals.  First the gorillas, there were two of them that just reminded all of us of them.  The bickering, the love, the teasing, it was great to watch.  And then the polar bears started up, it was hilarious!  We had a really good time and when we first walked into the aquarium area I swear Ellie forgot to breath for a moment.  She was just so taken by the huge tanks and the beautiful fish.  And then she got to pet a Mantra or Sting Ray, to watch her was so sweet.  She wants to be a marine biologist and I saw that in her during this trip.  Then the tank with the Black Tip Reef sharks, White Tip Sharks, Zebra Sharks and Shovelhead Sharks.  She just sat and watched.  We moved along to the tunnels and when that first Sand Tiger Shark swam up we all caught our breath and just were awed by the beauty of this creature.  The water was really murky because of the change of weather and seasons and they said it would probably be clear again in a week but we could see them just fine since they kept swimming right by the glass.  It was difficult getting Ellie out of that tunnel, LOL!
After that I came out and was looking for Ellie and Trinity who had headed down the hill and I hear this little voice calling, "MOMMY!! MOMMY!!!"  I didn't think much of it until I turned around and saw a woman come out of the tunnel and standing there looking like she was going to cry.  I walked over to her and asked if she was okay.  She said she had gotten separated from her son and had no idea which direction he went.  I told her I heard someone calling from down the hill and we headed down there.  She went ahead and I saw a golf cart with some zoo workers and told them what was going on.  I was very impressed how quickly they organized and got the search going.  I saw Ellie and Trinity and asked if they had seen him and they said there was a little boy over by the big playground looking for his mom.  Turned out it was him.
The mom, Julie, was so happy to find him but then couldn't get him to leave the area.  I asked James to watch Blake, her son and told her to just come and sit and breath for a moment.  We talked a little bit and then I looked at her again and she looked so sad and scared.  I asked her, "Do you feel really bad right now?"
"Yeah, I do, I can't believe this happened."
"I know how you feel.  Like you are the worst mom in the world and what ever made you think you could raise a kid, right?"
"Exactly!  How do you know?"
"Let me tell you a little story about a bad mom..........." and I proceeded to tell her the story of when Melissa was a baby and how I locked her in the house and she had pulled down her bottles and cut herself and how I ended up calling the police to break into my house and how I shoved the cop aside to find my baby covered in blood and called my mom to come take her away because there was no way I was ever going to be able to do this.  I told her about the time I lost Melissa in a Target, right by the front doors and how they found her in the back by a Lion King display and when Terry lost her by the dyke that was almost overflowing with spring runoff.  And then I told her that despite our best efforts to totally mess this kid up, she's now a beautiful 17 year old Senior who is going to graduate this June.
I let her know she's not alone, she's not the first and certainly won't be the last for this to happen to.  She felt a little better when I got done talking.  But Blake was still refusing to budge from the playground area.  So I asked if I could bribe him with pudding.  "Sure, he didn't eat breakfast so he might just go for that."
He did, we all went down and had a snack and then started walking out together but then got separated when Blake went one way and we were going the other.  Well after about a minute we heard, "JAMES!!! WAIT FOR ME!!!"  Blake realized he lost James, his new buddy and had to come find us!
They were so sweet, I gave her my card and told her to email me so I could send the pictures of them that I took but I haven't heard from her. :(
So, anyway, after that, it was our intention to find the Aviary and see the birds.  Well, the directions sucked that we got from MapQuest and I got totally lost in downtown Pittsburgh BUT did end up in Carnegie and we found the Science Center there and had a blast there instead.  They had a robot display going on and a Sports Center next door.  It was a great way to finish off our day.  And I even managed to find our way back to the motel after getting lost again and going in the totally wrong direction, LOL!
That night we were deciding if we were going to head home or stay another night.  At first Ellie wanted to go to Gettysburg but that was at least 3 hours from where we were and kind of in the wrong direction of where I wanted to go.
So I got online and realized that Cleveland was only 2 hours away and we could go to the Zoo and Science Center and Natural History Museum there for little or no cost.  I found a great room at a Super 8 in Westlake for only $50 a night so I booked it and the next morning we headed out.
Went to the Zoo first, which was really amazing.  The Rain Forest Exhibit and building were fantastic!  And the Zoo itself was really a lot of fun.  They have wonderful displays and the walking up and down the hills, again, difficult but not impossible!  If you look through the pictures you will find the sign for the Sky Walk and a picture from the top.  I walked that thing and I paid for it the next day but it felt great to be able to do it!
We then left there and found the hotel.  The pool they had was an outdoor one and not open yet so I was looking for something for us to do that evening.  Turns out we were literally 2 blocks from a Dave and Busters and after checking with the front desk to make sure it was truly kid friendly (the commercials are really geared to the adults) we headed over.  It was fantastic!  Great food, lots of games to play, something for everyone from age 7 to 47!
The next day we headed downtown and saw the Cleveland Indians home and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (didn't go in, to expensive) and went through the Science Center.  And right across the street was the Home of the Cleveland Browns!  Lots of fun right there!  Then we headed out to the Museum of Natural History but again, thanks to really crappy directions from MapQuest, we got totally lost.   Spent the next 2 hours finding our way back and finally had to start heading home.  James was very sad but he understood.
Then on the way home, I completely missed the turn off I90, to head toward Jamestown, NY (something about that town that I always miss the turns) and ended up almost all the way to Buffalo!  But it was okay because the service area on the toll road was really cool.  You parked and then had to walk over this raised, enclosed sidewalk to the center area and you could stand there and watch all the traffic go under you.  James thought that was really cool.  We had dinner there and then I looked at the map and that's when I realized just how far off we were.  I was so ticked at myself!
I called Terry and got directions and found our way back down south and east towards home.
A great time was had by everyone and wonderful memories were made. 
Was extremely glad to get home! :O)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

PSA bullying_0001.wmv

This was done by my daughter Melissa, a very powerful message! :)

Friday, April 9, 2010


Cat likes going to the basement and hiding sometimes, which is not a big deal normally. She usually comes out when Ellie gets home and calls her so I don't think to much about it.

Well, today, Cat is officially banned from the basement forever. Why you may ask?

Well, today Ellie came home and went down to get her and she never responded. She does this occasionally. So Ellie comes upstairs to get a few chores done before heading out for the weekend then while in the kitchen starts freaking out.

"MOM!! There is something in the wall!!!"

"What? Quit goofing around!"

"I swear to God Mom, there is something in the wall behind the stove, you can hear it loud and clear."

So I go into the kitchen and sure enough you can hear something in the wall, it almost sounds like it's in the cupboard above the stove but you can hear it walking back and forth over the vent for the hood exhaust.

So, I go over there and tell Ellie there must be a really big squirrel in the wall (there is an opening in the siding on the second floor and I've seen squirrels going in there) so I figured it was a just a matter of time before they found their way into the walls.

I told Ellie I would call the landlord to have something done and to go get Cat from the basement. She goes back downstairs and starts calling Cat and then I hear it.



"WHAT MOM? What is it?"


So we start taking the hood down, hoping we can pull the vent out far enough that she can squeeze through and get out. Just as I get the last screw out to pull it out, no more noise. Nothing.

"Mom, where is she?"

"I don't know, start calling her again."

We called her for another 10 minutes with no response. Now mind you she's only been in the basement/wall for a couple of hours so I'm not overly concerned about starvation or dehydration but if she lost her footing and fell down or got stabbed by a nail or did encounter a squirrel and got into a fight................




"I hear her MOM!"


"It's very faint, it sounds like it's above us."

"No, NO, NO!!! She moved upstairs!"

Now, we live in the downstairs of a two story house, the upstairs is vacant, has been for a few months and there is a lock box on the door to the upstairs since the house is up for sale.

But, we have a connecting door to the stairs that go upstairs and luckily there is only a chain lock on it, which I can get undone. I get the door open and head upstairs.

We start calling her again and sure enough I can hear her in the walls between the kitchen and bathroom upstairs. Lovely.



There is a panel in the wall where at one time they had to get into the pipes for the tub. There are two screws holding it in and I can hear her near that.

I told Ellie to keep talking to her so she didn't head out again as I frantically started unscrewing the screws.

Finally get the second one and remove the panel and "CAT!!!"

There she is, a little dusty but otherwise no worse for wear.

She wouldn't let Ellie hold her right away, turns out she really needed the litter box and thankfully didn't go in the walls!

So she is safe and sound once again and I set up a hook system on the inside of the basement door so we can close it behind us (it doesn't have a latch like a regular door, just a slide lock on the dining room side) and not have to worry about Cat going to the basement EVER AGAIN!

On the upside I did manage to capture this picture tonight: