February 2010

The determination thoughts continue as I witnessed a man, I would say his age about 70, kind of frail, with a right arm braced so it would not flop, but it just hung down at his side, limp, like it was fake.

As I was biking at the gym today, he was directly in front of me- but across the room. Here he is, on a treadmill, going at a cautious speed, one arm able to give him support when needed, and he went on for 30 minutes. He never faltered, never slowed down, he just kept it up.

And I could tell it was not easy for him, but he did not flinch in pain, no … step after step he moved on that belt. What an inspiration.

Than I looked to my left. There was an older woman who had brought in a person who appeared to be mentally challenged. And this young woman was determined to pedal that bike and not stop. The older woman made sure she was seated on it properly and as the girl pedaled, she assisted her with the proper resistance and settings, and this young woman pedaled as if her life depended on it. With a smile so big one would think she was going for the gold medal and could see it in her sights.

I could almost see the wind blowing through her hair. She too was an inspiration to me.

Going to the gym is sometimes a challenge, but it feels good when I am done. Who knows where it will get me, but wherever it gets me is a better place .

I never feel judged there, I do my own thing, I never feel like I am in someone’s way.. I just am there, trying to be a better me.When I am through, the shower feels great as the hot water therapeutically drenches my body. Yes, it is a good feeling when it is the other end of the visit. I wonder if it feels that good to that man too. He seemed to be trying to recuperate from a stroke. Some would let that knock them down, but this guy… he was there for him. God bless him.  I am going to do a few things around the house tonight, and probably hit the hay early. Tomorrow is a busy Monday, I know it will be… So until later, stay safe. Love to all. Mrs Justa… alias Cindy




have you ever been determined to face all odds and go for something, even though you know the mountain is high, the journey long, the challenge more than you have had for a very long time.

I am reminded of that watching poor Indi trying to walk on top of the snow. We all got hit BIG TIME again in the North East, and our side yard probably has 4 foot snow banks . It was the really wet, big flaked, good for snow man snow. The snow is too heavy to really clear the whole area we do for Indi, so we have an area like a corridor for him to scoot out, do his thing and scoot back in.

Last night it got cold enough so that first thing this morning Indi could actually walk on the top and not sink. But today has been in the 30s and Indi can not figure out why he is sinking with each step. It is so pathetic watching all four of his legs go out as he tries to belly scoot across the snow bank. He walks, scoots and sometimes dips … 100_4900_edited

and his front drops down as far as it can go.

I watch him and am inspired by his determination. Nothing is going to stop him from trying to stretch his area some. We got so much snow that the snow bank from the plow that is in our side yard next to the shed, now extends for about 10 feet into the driveway.

But it is closer to Spring… and the roads get wet pretty quickly, the days have more sunlight to them and the calendar is closer to March and further from October… and March leads to April, and April inspires rain to inspire the flowers. But today… today was an inspiration to see determination in the making.

I love this little guy… he is so full of life, and has the will to go to any level to get to where he wants to.

I do not know that I have the determination he has…

Do You???

Love to all… Mrs Justa… Cindy

As we were coming home tonight , in the blowing snow , over the drifted roads, Mark was talking about how neat it would be to have a car with heated seats. I had to laugh because I am not real fond of them.

There was this one cold winter evening when my boss had offered me a ride to meet up with Mark. She had a pretty neat car and I felt like I was riding pretty plush. We had gone down the road for maybe 7 miles and I was feeling a really weird sensation that was gradually becoming more disconcerting as the miles passed.  I was not sure what was wrong with me, but I hoped what ever it was , it stopped soon.

It felt like I had accidently sat in some sort of corrosive material. It was kinda scary and very internally embarrassing. I remember thinking to myself.. “Oh great, here you are in this nice car and there is something wrong with your butt.. “

As the minutes passed I started to try to levitate my butt of off the seat without her knowing I had any sort of a problem. Ya know.. kinda like the way you would have to hold your butt off a really skuzzy public toilet seat when you REALLY have to go.

So here I am, trying to separate my seat from the seat as she is barreling down the highway at 65-70 mph. My legs are not those of a weight lifter, so they were starting to tremble a little, and with any turn my knees started to feel like they were crunching ..oh yeah and the seat belt was fighting with me as I tried to get off the seat inconspicuously. It was so strange, and for a few minutes I thought about telling her I had something terrible wrong with my derriere….but I felt shy and embarrassed.Gees… she is my boss… and I felt awkward riding in this nice car…and here I am feeling like my entire seat is going to melt her seats. 

All of the sudden she said.. “if your seat gets too warm  , you can just turn it down with this adjuster”


Phew.. immediately I relaxed my trembling thighs, my knees slid back into their normal position and the seat belt stopped chomping on my shoulders,  my heart started to adjust to its normal rate as I realized it was a heated seat I was on.

So as Mark suggested heated seats my face lit up with a smile as my head shook from side to side. I was not impressed with the sensation… Just thought I would share this to anyone thinking about getting heated seats… and it you have heated seats, do you riders a favor and mention it to them right up front. Ha Ha.. did I feel silly.. Love to all, Cindy.. alias Mrs Justa… alias hot pants.

100_4399 I was talking about yesterday and thinking quite often, that the memories behind me far outweigh the ones yet to come. As I was looking in the rear view mirror, down the road of life that has past….I was thinking about being in 5th grade and the feeling of insignificance, living in a world where significance was judged by the amount of money your family had, by how many friends you believed you had , how “in” your clothes were and how great your lunch was that your mom made for you.

Well I kinda struck out on every one of these items… hence the feeling of insignificance. Out of all these items I think the lunches were the top of the list to make me stand out in the crowd … and not in a “we want to be like her” way.

Let’s just say my mom took school lunches to a new height… well maybe an all time low. I am not blaming her, she was suddenly widowed at the age of 42, had 6 kids to care for, and no formal education. So she was in college, trying to keep us all together and not really having a lot coming in from Social Security she received after my dad died.

And I understand she did her best..this came clearer to me as I grew older…but as a ten year old, in “non cool” clothes, with few friends, poor, and …with brown sack lunches.. each day was let just say an adventure. Kids would watch me open it, not out of envy, but more amazement at her sense of creativity. Now mind you.. this was a brown paper bag, .. we did not have juice boxes, or little cute ice packs to keep the food cool… nope it was the temperature of the room by the time I got to open the surprise in the bag.

There are a few lunches that I can still see… one was a cottage cheese and grape jelly sandwich. Yeah that was a big attention getter. Fingers pointing to others at my sandwich as I unfolded the wax paper only to find the grape jelly had bled into the bread, the cottage cheese and luke warm … and it was a smell I can still smell 46 years later.

Than there was the time she decided to make a sandwich with TONS of margarine on the bread and sprinkled sugar between the bread. Yeah that was a hit too. AS I unfolded the waxed paper, sugar sprinkled on the table and the margarine was mushy… 

Oh and how about the American cheese and mustard sandwich on moldy bread… yeah.. that too is branded in my brain…

( And I wondered why no one wanted to come to my house!) As a matter of fact, no matter what the sandwich creation was, it started with hunks of margarine  on each slice. I think she felt it kept the sandwich inners from soaking in the bread. ( Nice theory but I can testify… not always worked out that way. )

She also had a knack to make toll house cookies.. her way. If there was anything she needed to finish up it either ended up in the toll house dough … or the spaghetti sauce. We had rice krispies, cheerios, flaked cereal, in the cookies. And to save money she would have one bag of choc chips to a quadruple batter. So the chips were more like a “Where’s Waldo” ( instead “Where the choc chip”)  game that a cookie filled with chips. They were good.. interesting..and ya just never knew what was inside. We had many good memories from childhood, and my mom would literally have given the shirt off her back if you needed it.. ( and put it in a sandwich …ha ha.. ) I miss her terribly… but I do not miss her lunches..

Love to all… and I love you mom to… as you watch over me from above… Mrs justa… alias Cindy


As we get older there becomes a place in our minds that is like a bank vault full of memories. And it seems like the memories will outweigh the ones yet to come.

There are so many times in life when things are just side splitting funny, and other times when things a frightening. But each time creates a memory. Whether we remember the memory is another thing, but it is there. And without even realizing it, it can pop out like it was yesterday that it happened. it is like a bright light pops on and shines thru the branches of life to remind you of a time gone by.

Today for some strange reason , as I was driving home, I found myself back in 10th grade. Winter break …. We had about 8 of us, guys and gals who just had fun together. Platonic fun. We wanted nothing but friendship from each of us, and it was good that way, because there was none of the pressure of couples.

We all decided to go bowling. The bowling alley was about 3 miles from our houses, but that was okay, we walked down to it. I remember Sparky, he ran the bowling center. Here we were , a winter afternoon, the 8 of us . There was some sort of special if we did the bowling for 3 games and renting shoes on afternoons. I remember I wore these stretch pants, they had these loops that went under the foot, kinda like these here.

Well stretch pants like these and me… lets just say it is not the best pair in the world. I was always pulling at the waist because my legs were longer than the pant leg and stir-rup hooky thing was designed for. Plus I always had what my mom referred to as thick thighs… ( later in life others referred to them as thunder thighs)

So here I am – the bowling alley had maybe 50 lanes, and we get lane 1 and 2. Sparky and his desk are at lane 30 area. We were laughing, and me.. … I was the jokester. Cracking jokes, being witty and trying to feel special I guess thru humor.

It was my turn, so I went up and over exaggerated my step and my throw and accidently stepped over the line into the lane. I was unaware until that time that when you cross that line you become air bound due to oil on the lane. Somehow the ball left my hands as I went up in flight, and me and my stirrup pants crashed to the lane, I did not bounce, and my pants did not stretch… are you getting the picture here? The stirrups held tight… so something had to give… the seam from the back to 1/3 of the way up the front blew apart. I had a tunic top on thankfully, because it covered my exposed butt. I sat there in the lane, legs spread and watched the ball make a strike !! I laughed hysterically and somehow jumped up, telling the gang I was getting a drink… I ran down to Sparky , shared my dilemma with him and he frantically gave me every little gold safety pin in his drawer, than I went in the bathroom and pinned this whole seam quickly… soda in hand… .I returned to be in time for my turn again… but it was very hard not to have any of those babies pop open while bowling and for the long walk home…

That is the last time I have worn Stirrup pants.. by the way…

It is funnier now that I am 40 years away from the event. And I wonder if any one of the people I was with.. if they knew what happened. I thought I had fooled them al… but now I wonder.

There was a lot of me showing when the stretch material decided to give way… 

The things we do .. the memories we have… and I am not sure what the heck made that bright light shine on this memory.. But it did make me laugh.. really hard…

Love to all, Mrs Justa… and the memories locked in my head…

Wow the weekend is over… bing bang boom.. over.. it was a good weekend, As I stated a couple days ago we got to spend time with Brandon on Friday, we did a lot on Saturday and today, well it was kinda busy too.

This morning I had to solo in church. It was neat, the pastor was a guest pastor. He actual is an “outdoor” pastor, who spends a lot of time sharing the gospel with people at outdoor events. I am really glad he brought it indoors today! AS we had temps in the LOW 30s… a little too cold for me to be belting out a song. I am really bugged cuz I took a lot of notes


and must have left them on the pew when I got my coat on. it was a very good sermon.

Than off to the gym for a bit and than this evening we got to spend time with both our kids and their spouses and their kids.. alias our grandkids.

This is the second time that Jeff and Amanda, and Josh and Adrianne have gotten together since they both have had their kids. So here are the cousins sitting together. It was so cute to watch them.

We went over for a couple hours after they had had their supper and it was nice to see how well they all get along and seem to connect.

Mark and I had worked very hard to have the kids feel like they were brother and sister when they were young,we wanted them to have each other as they became adults. There were some years when they were each very much involved in their own lives but they really never lost the bond they made as children. It was nice to sit back and observe… proud of who our children have become, proud of who they knew were their soul mates and mesmerized by our grandkids.

So this weekend was a good one.. leading into what may be a very busy week… it got me ready to go forward !. My love to all… Proud mama Mrs justa… alias Cindy

Today is Saturday and there are things we always do on Saturday. First thing in the morning we go out to breakfast with our friends, every Saturday we do this. To regroup and see how we survived the last week and to hear about our kids , our grandkids, our life. Than we leave there and go our separate ways. I always have my grocery list and Mark and I go and shop at Save A Lot first—cuz if we can get it there we “SAVE-A-LOT” and what we can not find there we head off to Wal Mart. We head home usually and my Saturday routine starts with house cleaning and changing the towels, sheet and just getting everything tidied up before the next week starts. I do not have to vacuum cuz Mark does that during the week a few times, which is nice… .

Occasionally there may be time for a gym jaunt, not always. But lugging around the cleaning stuff, cleaning from top to bottom has a lot of reaching, twisting, bending and scooting to the next room. With winter here, ya never can tell if there is also shoveling, snow blowing or roof raking to do, and in the warmer weather—well there is weeding, mowing, gardening.

I have said before and still say it that I really love all these things. I am half way thru the cleaning time- I just have to sweep and wash the kitchen, hallway and 2 bathroom floors and I have a couple loads of laundry to do.

As I clean it is funny because I have these memories, images in my mind of places I have lived in the past and how whomever ran the house cleaned them . My mom bless her resting soul was a clutter type person. I can remember when we would go and visit her she would have piles of papers on the dining room table, and she would move them strategically so we could sit with her and have a cup of tea and her famous toll house cookies. She loved when people came over, and never once apologized for her stacks of papers, or dust, or clutter… nope she just strategically moved what she needed to and we had a nice visit. This was how she was comfortable, and she knew it was kinda messy, but it was who she was. She loved people, and her priorities were not always making sure everything was cleaned.

I grew up in that sort of cluttered lifestyle, and even though I do save things, I believe the house is neat. it is too easy to set things down and not put them away, so I  do try to always put things back where I got them from. Mark is a neat person too, so it makes the process pretty easy. It always feels great when I am through. Fresh smell of the house, hint of lemon from the dusting pray, and the fresh smell of laundry. I love the cleaning part… but I love the finished time too. So off I go to check ion the laundry, and sweep the floors and get them washed, check on the crock pot chicken soup… smells really good… and than we will chill and watch a movie.

Life is good in Fulton NY … I hope it is for you too… Love to all, Cindy… alias Mrs justa

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