mans black hat

What do you think when you see this hat?

Do you think of a certain type of man that would wear it?

Maybe a certain age of a man that would wear it?

Would you relate it to a man wearing a dress coat when he wore it?

Some may think of guys with dark shades- kind of like the blues brothers.

Some may think of  men in their 50s, maybe in executive type positions.

Well, a man walked in the restaurant we were at with 2 of our grandsons a few weeks ago. As soon as Preston saw this man – out of total excitement he whispered to me……”Gramma, a cowboy is in here. I see a cowboy!”A big ol’ smile on his face, eyes twinkling and smiling too….just like he  saw Santa Claus or something !

I told him quietly it was not a cowboy, it was a man with a black hat. The man sat at a table right behind ours, his back towards Preston- I watched the man carefully place his hat on the chair next to him, Preston still watched him quietly, as if waiting for magic to begin.

We proceeded to eat breakfast, and Preston had finished with the rest of us. He had gotten up to walk over by his brother.They were to get their coats on. Well lo and behold the man with the hat stood up next to Preston. Preston just looked straight up at this over 6 ft tall ,man in his late 60s. The man carefully placed the hat on his head…Preston looked in awe.

AS the man walked out of the restaurant, ever so quietly, I could just barely  hear him….… Preston started singing a song as he swayed back and forth , arms bent and swinging in front of him… “I wish I was a cowboy, I wish I was a cowboy……””””It was so innocent, so precious, he really felt he had seen a cowboy…

TO be that innocent…. Love to all, Mrs justa alias Cindy

PHEW…. I made a purchase a while back… it was chap – like maybe at the dollar store.

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YES it was an EASY crossword puzzle book. I mean this baby was CHEAP…

So I set it in the basket with my puzzle books which is next to the toilet in my bathroom….

and one day thought –“Oh I think I want to do a crossword puzzle..” I saw this EASY book- and figured I could whip is through before I was done going to the bathroom…

So I put on a pair of glasses, grabbed a pen and book, sat down on the “throne” and tried to do one puzzle.

Well I gotta tell you .. DID I FEEL STUPID!!None of the clues even made sense, I did not know what the words even meant- let alone what they wanted me to put in the boxes… Now I am no whiz kid—but this was pathetic!

I thought—“Oh maybe this is just a bad one” … so I went to the next…again….  I might have known ONE clue…

It was asking for characters in books I never heard of, asking for things I thought someone made up. Finally I got to the point of tossing the book out and admitting to myself that I have totally lost it. Gone… my crossword days are over… woe is me….

I resorted for months to either the FIND THE WORD or the FILL IN books— until a couple week ago. End of December—stocking stuffers… a DELL Easy crossword book— Santa could bring me that !

As I carefully opened it last night—as I read the first clue—I was ecstatic!. I knew the word and what they wanted me to fill in… Oh this was good… yes… so I looked at the next clue—AGAIN I KNEW THE WORD !!!.

So the moral to my story—a lesson in life… is NEVER BUY A CHEAP crossword puzzle book—if it is not DELL- it may be one that was made elsewhere and the attempted to interpret it to English….

I am glad to say—I CAN DO EASY CROSSWORDS>>> you have no idea how relieved I was to learn – I HAVE NOT LOST IT. 

Now with a new found confidence- I am going to proceed to sorting the 2013 receipts for taxes—and maybe doing another puzzle…

Love to all, Mrs Justa Alias Cindy.

(more…)

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I have been known to do some pretty unusual stuff, often it leads to me laughing at myself.

Like tonight…..

I was at the fitness room at work. I went to listen to my MP3 player but the battery was low…

but  ah-ha I thought… I have a smart phone and Pandora on it… I will just plug the ear buds into that and work out. AH HA came the second thought….I do not have a holder for the phone and the MP3 holder is too small…. hmmm what to do?

I figure out a plan… I will carefully pass the phone down under my shirt / ear buds in my ears… and than put the phone in the cup holder on the elliptical…that way the wires won’t be dangling  over my shirt-chancing my phone to go flying and possibly break. Now mind you.. cell phone photos 414I thought I was alone in the gym..

The gym is a nice size- and I like going down at the end of the day. SO I am on the elliptical on the back row

RIGHT HERE >>>>>>

I am slower moving the pedals, and maneuvering the phone down my shirt- kinda half lifting up my shirt and grabbing the phone with my left hand –when all of the sudden I hear a bathroom door open …The bathroom doors are down at the end of this room—in that alcove like area. So I panic…I move quickly to  get my shirt down and act like I am just working out. Well. as this guy walks by, I smile kinda… but I can hear the camera on my phone going off with each move..the phone got caught in my bra strap… so as I am leisurely smiling as I am  pumping the pedals.under my shirt I am taking pictures of my breast….as soon as the guy got out of the room- I finished the process of  situating my phone in the real cup holder…(instead of the cup of my bra)….and I deleted a lot of photos of my boob.!!…AS I did that I can not help but wonder if each photo had a flash going off under my shirt. HA HA…. I can not ask the guy if I ever see him there again—but if there was—- I wonder what he was thinking.

I am still laughing… how “so CINDY”  this was…. I get myself in the strangest situations.

Hope you have a great night….. and a lesson to be learned…. do not try to put your phone down your shirt. HA HA>>>>> Love ya. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

After we came back from the first family reunion,100_1023 which was my side of the family,3 weeks later  we went to a camp site North East of Lockport NY and had our family reunion with our kids and our kids kids.

This is the 2nd year we have done this and it is really nice to do it.

We can focus on one another and being less people it is a great way for the cousins to play together and our kids to spend time together.

Life is so darn short, life is so darn busy, we just do not get together enough. We were there for 2 full days, leaving on the third day in the morning. 100_1065As I look back at the time I think I was most moved by just watching the interactions and realizing that all of this could not have been possible without Marks and my children. Adrianne and her kids came out on the 1st full day we were there for an afternoon and evening, her husband unfortunately was not feeling good and could not make it. She said maybe next year she will plan to camp the full time too… It was awesome to spend time with them.

The other part that was special to me was 100_1061some one on one time I was able to spend with Emily. Emily is now 16 and being a teen is not easy ever, I think it is tougher in 2013 than it was when I was a teen. Emily is a smart young lady and she has a pretty good sense of humor. I just like spending time with her. That was special.

I also love time with our kids and their spouses, it is so neat to watch them interact, like they just saw each other the day before, we did miss Josh though. The time separated seems to disappear. And their kids – our grandkids are funny to watch. Jeff and Amanda’s kids are 3 and almost 5 and Adrianne and Josh’s kids are almost 2 and 4. 100_1053So they go right up the totem pole of toddler ages. They walked around, they rode bikes, they watched as we tried to fly kites, they played until they dropped with exhaustion. The magic of the fire, the wonder of the sunset, the toasting of s’mores, the memories are priceless.

I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I look back at all the bumps in the road, the hills of life climbed, the slopes sometimes slipped on—they all led us to here. And ya know what— every tear, every smile, every wonder, every pray— it was all worth it. 100_1114

Until the next post…. hang on to the blessings that come before you..watch for the simplest things that mean so much. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

One of the things that the boys faamily reunion 2013 (2)did was come over to our site and use sidewalk chalk and draw on our driveway. We moved our truck down to give them room and kind of create a boundary line form the park road.

They decided to draw emergency vehicles… the top big one is a police car, the middle was an ambulance and the bottom one became a fire truck.

a little later on I needed to move the truck back up in the driveway about 5 feet. Then I was going to go in the camper and get stuff ready for dinner . The boys wanted to join me. Being the truck is pretty high up in the air, I told the boys they had to get in the truck and I would move it. ( That way I did not have to worry they were in the driveway as I moved it.)

From LONG ago— if I had a kid in a vehicle, before I closed the door I would say—“Hands on heads” ( that way the fingers were not going to be in the door frame… ) So I had the boys pop up in the truck on the passengers side and I said “Hands on heads..” I saw they were both doing that and I closed the door. faamily reunion 2013 (55)I moved quickly to the drivers side and opened the door…I had to laugh as Brandon said “ Gamma how long do we have to hold our heads?”

After taking the photo, I released them from position !!

Camping is a time to remember that you have places things go, and they need to get back in their place when you are done with them. You want to make sure what ever it is, that you have what you need and know where it is…

Like the shower stuff goes in a tote bag, you go to the shower, almost methodically take things out in a certain order, and put them back after. I was a little anal with the shower, wanting to make sure it was clean when I got in and clean for the next person. So on the tote bag, in a pocket was a spray bottle of Mr Clean and a squeegee. I really did not mind spraying it before and after, and felt that I was helping somewhat to make it more comfortable.

Now that I am on the other side of this rather weird experience… I can laugh …so here goes…..  on Weds….it was hot and humid, so I decided to wear capri pants that day. Well I  wanted to get my A.M shower and thought that I should shave my legs, so I  made sure I packed the razor—along with all the other stuff… I went over and cleaned the shower, turned on the HOT water..ahhh…. got the razor out and went about my business, when all of the sudden I felt a stinging… I cut my leg !! ( I had not done that since I was 13 !!!) So here I am… all I have is my soap, a scrunggie, shampoo, Mr Clean, clean clothes, my dirty clothes, a white towel and a squeegee. So I am frantically spraying the shower , trying to hold my leg up in mid air and press on the area, as hot water is pouring down on me, wondering how the heck I am going to get from the shower to the camper. I still had to wash my hair—so I did that on one leg- the other kinda swinging back and forth in the air, my body swaying with it…. occasionally needing to grip the wall and I am envisioning me totally loosing my balance and falling out of the shower with my less than taut wet body slapping on the floor..and who knows who would be standing there looking at me… fortunately that did not happen- . But I was still in a predicament – see if I lowered my leg it was going to bleed- so I am trying to maneuver around in this rather precarious position. I knew no one in there..and was thinking ( my mind was like a slot machine –tick tick ticking..) I am looking at my clothes, my white towel and finally came up with tying my slightly used underwear around my leg like a tourniquet and hobbling faamily reunion 2013 (16)back to the camper.  I was relieved to see I had not brought my capris there—for the underwear would have been showing as it soaked up the blood… as I walked back. It was a definite Girl Scout move !!.   I slowly dried off my body, quickly towel dried my hair, did the Mr Clean squeegee process—all as I wobbled on one leg…. then back to the camper.. Oh I can assure you that I carefully stepped ..as I did not my make shift tourniquet to fall off on the pathway… I got in the camper—and put on a rather tight band aid, shared my experience with Mark… and chuckled at the what could have beens as I rinsed out the blood…

Looking at my leg today- I am amazed my process kept it from bleeding—I did not nick it.. I skinned it about 1 1/2 inches long !!. dang !! No wonder it stung… HA.. the joys if improvising..the joys of camping…I love camping… but think my bath bag will now include band aids.. LOL.. Have a great night..more family reunion thoughts to come again soon… Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

family reunion 2013 077 (7)

Well another year has past for our family reunion. I am from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, one sister has died and our parents are both deceased. We live in various parts of the country and we try really hard to get together. This year there were some of us, not all of us. This year we went back to the State Park my mom had chosen so many years ago. It was really not bad, we got heavy rain one evening, but the base of the fire was strong enough to withstand the rain and light up some more logs. It was neat to see the cousins spend time together. family reunion 2013 077 (15)Wish my brothers who could not make it had… it was strange not to have them and their families there. We were missing some nieces and nephews and their kids….

We had no cell phone coverage, we had electric on the sites and public bathrooms. Some people tented, some had trailers, some hoteled it….  all seemed to have a good time.

As we entered the weekend and started to observe things, we came to realize there was a passing of the baton so to speak. When we started to go to this part- we were in our 30s and our kids were 7 . Now we are some  of the elders and our kids have kids of their own. Jeff and Amanda became the dinner site- we all gather together for dinner, a dish to pass and eat our family reunion 2013 077 (21)meals, talk, laugh and end it with a nice campfire and s’mores and memories being created.

Adrianne has not been to a reunion for years- but I bet she would like to sometime in the future.. she had mentioned tenting it at some point with her family… and heck if they are more on the line of hotel people, there are some people who do stay in hotels. One year we rented a cabin off site and one year we rented a cabin in a town near by….—that is an option too,.….their kids will be a better age next year… hmmm….maybe they will come too.

The transition was subtle at first, but became more apparent as the clock ticked to 10 PM and Mark and I were headed to the camper to call it a night… leaving behind the 30 something year olds and the younger cousins. Yikes.. we were the “older relatives” who went to bed early…

The kids seemed to totally love the camping experience, and I have to admit I soaked in watching their smiles, there sense of adventure, and looking at how totally exhausted they got from being outdoors, faamily reunion 2013 (89)from going “creeking” and from building sand castles.

I thought about all the electronic devices and the automation we have in our homes- and even though they are nice… … (as Mark says to the boys… _)

“this is living… it doesn’t get any better than this !”

And ya know what he is right!. Regardless of our various challenges in life,

regardless of our stressors our hectic sometimes lives… when we got here—the waters smoothed, the days were peaceful, the experience was something I am so glad we got to share…the only regrets are the people who could not be there…. but than again –we do have next year !!.

So I am off…. kinda chilling tonight…. reminiscing …feeling blessed. Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy,

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