A New Kitchen in an Older House – First Look

Well, we left Vermont. As planned, we moved to Pennsylvania. Land of my husband’s birth. Where my husband’s been trying to get back to for a few years now. I joke and tell him that I am his war bride. He says that is not accurate, though, as I was in the military, too.

So, we bought a little house. In the area we wanted, and within the budget we wanted. It’s in a nice neighborhood. We have a nice little piece of land.

It is a small house, though. Far smaller than the houses my friends are buying. I am okay with that. As a matter of fact, that was the plan – to live a life that is lived with less material goods. However, walking the walk is different than talking the talk.

We knew going in that the kitchen would need work. However, we are experienced in home renovations. We’ve updated two other homes, after all.

This kitchen will be of work, though. EVERYTHING will need replaced. The flooring, the cabinets, the appliances, the plumbing pipes, and even the underlayment for the floor, too.

Here’s the “blank” canvas:

The view of our kitchen from the entrance from the living room (and the man who will do all of the work – the hubs):

The counters are sparse here. No two ways about it. And the floors! Yikes.


*Refrigerator not included with purchase of home. Neither is the missing cabinet. Also, dishwasher not included. Neither is the plumbing for such. So, you’ll be dishwashing EVERYTHING by hand.


The side patio entrance/exit in the kitchen – one of my favorite things about this house.


This little kitchen might have been a big “no” to anyone else in the market for a home. It was a yes to us, though. It fit a new standard of living that we wanted to adopt. (On that, read this:

Back to work, now. I hope you’ll check in to keep tabs on our progress.


Cindy Rios-Myers


Hurry Up and Wait

The past month has brought with it the type of news that delivers only half of the news.

An irregular Pap smear, a mammogram picture re-take, and the status of a home loan application.

Here are the results I have so far: All is well in woman-land; up north, and down south, too. I’d be annoyed over the second tests I’ve had to take, but I am not. I am old enough and have lost enough people to know that a clean bill of health is not something to take for granted.

On the home loan, though, I still wait.

Something else that we’ve had to wait on here in Vermont is the spring. We actually had a snowstorm on April Fool’s Day. It’s almost as if nature played a joke on us. Or, maybe it is just telling us that things come when they need to.



On the Road, Again

Hello, folks.

It’s been so long since I last updated my blog that I got my password wrong. Only once, though.

Constant change – the kind where you pull roots and transplant from place to place – makes it hard for a writer to write. The constant feeling of impermanence makes real-life seem somewhat fictional. If you are living in a place where things don’t seem real, it is hard to create another world filled with fantastical elements.

So. What’s new? Well, what is new is the fact that we are leaving Vermont. A month ago, the thought saddened me. Today, though, it does not. I’ll get into the why later on.

So. Why didn’t Vermont work out? It wasn’t the beauty. This state is the single most beautiful state I have ever seen (and I have seen over forty of them). It is not the quiet. I love the silent nights. It isn’t the cold winters, either. I love the cold. It isn’t the reserved people, either. I am an introvert and reserved by nature.

Vermont did not work out because it is expensive to live here. It is as simple as that.

It was not a wasted time, though. Not at all. Many lessons were learned. Wonderful experiences were had. Growing up happened, too.

So, where to next? Well…I’ll tell you once I get there. But will that be our final, permanent stop? I don’t know. What I do know is that this family is getting on the road again.

And that’s pretty exciting.

Blog, My Books

Library Dictates

So, Vermont is great. Beautiful. Peaceful. Full of intelligent residents. Hikers and nature lovers abound, which makes me fit right in.

However, the library offerings are a bit wanting. The libraries themselves are gorgeous, by the way. It’s just that they don’t have the greatest selections out there.

My Amazon Wish List book selections are not to be had, unfortunately. I don’t want to pay for them – yet – so I am forced to make due with other selections.

That being said, it’s not that bad.

This week, I checked out Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow and Freedom – My Book of Firsts by Jaycee Dugard.

I’m not the biggest fan of Judd Apatow’s movies. The 40 Year-Old-Virgin was funny and poignant as was Knocked Up. However, in Sick in the Head, he manages to get some of today’s (and yesterday’s) best comedians to open up. I was particularly moved by Roseanne Barr’s interview, as well as Steve Martin’s. My goodness, did Roseanne Barr have a rough childhood! Steve Martin’s interview is not funny at all, but very intelligent and somewhat vulnerable. Jerry Seinfeld’s interview comes off as funny, but guarded. Chris Rock is very fun in his, and very honest. I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would.

I am still working on Freedom-My Book of Firsts by Jaycee Dugard. The light she writes with – and lives in – is so beautiful and bright. I have not read A Stolen Life and I don’t know that I will. I know that the adult – and her children – make it out alive, and I am happy for that. However, I am filled with fear at the thought of hearing the story of 11-year-old Jaycee. I’m a mom. I am also a kid who was almost kidnapped, but got away.

Still, I thank the library for facing me out of my book reading comfort zone. I’ve never been one to read many non-fiction books, but I am now.

So (not the smoothest segue here), you are probably wondering what I am writing.

I wrote something, darn it. Lol. I wrote Take Care of Youwhich is available at Amazon. It’s about a big sister who is forced to pick up after her sister in the worst way possible, which is covering the nature of her younger sister’s disappearance. It’s sentimental. It is hopeful. It is scary. Give it a whirl.

Take Care of You - High Resolution

As far as other stuff is concerned, I am not currently writing. I am reading. I am keeping house. I am hiking. I am homeschooling my son.

But I am still writing stories in my head. I am committing funny, poignant and clever things to memory. I’ll keep you posted as to what will make it to print next.


Cyndia Rios-Myers


November 9th, 2016

Chances are that you or a friend woke up to bad news this morning. I’m in the “bad news” group. I did not vote for the top two, but voted for someone else.

However, after forty plus years of life in this wonderful country, I’ve learned some things.

Our country exists on a pendulum. We have the far left group, the far right group, and the ones in the middle. I am in the middle, as are many of my friends.

If our pendulum swings too far left for too long a period of time, the folks on the right get upset. And rightly so. So, when the time for change comes, the pendulum swings to the far right and lingers there for a while. The same applies for the opposite swing.

If I were going to get on a soap box of sorts, I would say that our government and our leaders need to learn how to compromise. Give and take. Don’t just take and take and take and expect people to want more of the same.

Now, I am off my soapbox.

I cannot change what happened during yesterday’s election. I can change my focus, though.

With that in mind, I have thought of the happy things  I have enjoyed and the other things I have to look forward to. I’ll share those with you.

  • The Crown – Netflix’s awesome TV show on the British royals. (I finished the series yesterday, though).
  • Good Girls’ Revolt – Amazon Prime’s awesome series on 1960s working girls fighting for their rights in the workplace. I’ve seen over half of the episodes so far.
  • Mud Season by Ellen Stinson – a non-fiction book on a woman moving her family to Vermont. Funny, clever, and very insightful. Completely read, and thoroughly enjoyed.
  • The Dirty Life by Kristan Kimball – a non-fiction book on a writer who leaves the big city for the love of a farmer and of good food. Completely read, and thoroughly enjoyed, too.
  • Good Grief by Ellen Stinson – another non-fiction book on this funny lady’s life in Vermont. I’m about halfway through this one.
  • Sewing. I have some fat quarters of cotton that I want to sew…into something. I don’t know what, but I am going to make something like these lunch bags
  • Baking cookies. I found a great recipe for Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies I don’t know when I’ll cook them, but it will be soon.
  • Educational videos on how to improve your work life and your real life. If you can afford it, you can swing for a subscription to; if you are a military veteran (like me), you can get a free subscription. ( is available as a Roku channel).
  • Fall and the great outdoors. No one can take that from us.

 So, be sure to look away from your fears. Look at what you can enjoy and what you can change.


Cyndia Rios-Myers


Old Songs for New Memories

I was going through stuff in my junk drawer, as I was sure that there were things I could purge. You see, I am still using the Marie Kondo method of decluttering. While going through a junk drawer, I found my old Case Logic book of CDs.

I don’t listen to CDs much anymore, thanks (or no thanks) to iTunes. But I keep them. I paid for them, after all. Also, I worry about losing all of my online songs. If that happened, at least I would have these ones to listen to.


My son has very strong opinions about some of my CDs. He didn’t understand why I would buy an entire CD for just one song. I explained it. He then asked why I bought such bad music.

At first, I explained that tastes in music change. But then I remembered that I was thirty-nine-years-old to his nine-years-old. I told him straight out that I would not defend music choices I made nearly twenty years into the past.


The last time this was my name was about nine years ago. The last time this was my address was eighteen years ago.

Even with the questions regarding my purchase decisions, I was glad to let him use my CDs at his leisure. He can learn what he likes and doesn’t like. He can use the CDs I am not using. He can learn to operate a CD player.


If I am being completely honest, though, it is kind of about me, too. Seeing him listen to my CDs reminds me of listening to my mom’s records and her eight tracks. My stepmother’s records, too. I learned about Camilo Sesto, El Gran Combo, and Rocio Durcal. You probably don’t know those names, but that’s okay. I connected with the music and I connected with my mother’s past.

Maybe the takeaway from this is that my son will think of me when he hears this song. When he hears Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, he’ll think of me. (He won’t have my memory of 1997 San Francisco and cutting my hair short). When he hears Best That You Can Do by Christopher Cross, he’ll think of mornings spent in our kitchen in Essex Junction, Vermont, (and not visits to the shores of Lake Michigan when his mother was just a girl.)

I’m glad that I let him play the songs at his leisure. I am so happy that my mother did the same for me, too.



The View from Up Here

I am not afraid of heights. Never have been. The truth is that I should be. A constant scenario during dream time is myself standing on a bridge with no handrails. I fall off the side. I don’t remember anything that comes after. Maybe it’s how I died in past life.

Still, I am unafraid. I like climbing to the highest of heights and like looking down at everything else.



I think that this is where I am supposed to insert a metaphor for life. I am not going to do that. I am going to keep climbing, though. Forever.




Thanks for reading!

Cyndia Rios-Myers