November 2010

 100_6677 A night to vent, to speak my mind a bit. I am so troubled by the way it seems that there are some folks who have no respect for human life. Shootings every day in the city- seems like a couple times a day, a young girl ( 20 yrs old) , home for Thanksgiving break, murdered in her home and taken to a wooded area, body dropped and vegetation put over her body… and it is thought to be a result of an x-boyfriends actions,……. and just a couple of evenings ago a 20 month old shot to death in his families mini van.

Life is so precious, and it feels like there are too many who have no idea what they are doing, shooting a gun seems to be like clapping your hands , getting dressed in the morning or buying milk at the store. It is really very demoralizing.

I remember back when our kids were 5 or 6 there were arcades at the mall. We would take them there and they were allowed X amount of money and there were certain games they could play. No shooting, stabbing, robbing games. Just fun type games. I can recall watching other young kids with no boundaries on what they can play, playing games where they were pretending to cut out peoples hearts, or blow people up, murder police, steal cars. I can remember thinking – WHAT THE HELL are we doing to our future generation. With only a quarter or 50 cents, these kids could be exposed over and over again to jumping people, killing them and walking away.

And now- fast forward- 20 years later- that is what I am seeing happen. Except it is real now. It is real guns, real home invasions, real treating people like they are more of a disposable item than a part of the sanctity  of life.

Rumors have it that the shooter intended to shoot the baby! Some stories are throwing words around like they were gang related, or they were really after the babies father. There was an incident this past summer where a guy went a little wacko- took a x relationship person hostage and when the cops came, the dude grabbed his 5 month old son, held him in front of himself and shot the baby infront of the police officers- before shooting himself. Kids holding kids hostage at their schools. Guns too easily available to those who should not have them, 100_6550

We need to as a society STOP_ we need to find a purpose in life,  we need to go back to a time when families meant something and sharing time with family was a must,  we need to respect life and realize the real meaning of life. We need to stop the violence— it may sell— but what price are we paying in society. Stop the ease of guns, stop the lack of family functions, stop the inconsideration of others…. we need to STOP.

Please create a peaceful life in your part of the world, appreciate people for what they have to offer, and teach our children that problems are not solved with a bullet. Peace and love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy


Thanksgiving came and passed,  my sister and her husband have headed back to Michigan, I finished my vacation in a most festive way. I did one of my many favorite things, I decorated for Christmas. I try to get the Christmas decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I gotta admit, I was not sure I would get that done this year.

It was like Satan was pulling on me and saying- “Why decorate? Just put up the 3 foot tree on a table top and forget all the decorations.”  Satan was almost winning with me for a short spell. I had made a list of decorating tasks, but really unsure if I would check everything off. Much to our surprise, when we came home on Saturday at about 5:00 in the evening, we were faced with a section of the trim on the eave of the house flapping in the wind.

So we had to go to the shed and get the scaffolding. It is set up and on wheels, so it rolled out of the shed quite easily. We were using it for a shelf for the Christmas decorations.100_6750_edited So being I had to roll the scaffolding right past the den window- the Christmas decorations came for the ride. Mark came in the house and I passed the plastic bins of decorations thru the window- it is easier than climbing up the steps with them 🙂 The den window is only 6 inches at the most off the floor- so putting them through the window does not cause a problem with lifting them. If we had not had the aluminum piece come off- I do not know if I would have decorated to the extent I did..So the aluminum coming off was a spiritual intervention- a battle between God and Satan.. and Satan lost.

After I was done- it felt right, it felt good.

I tried something different this year. For the past umpteen years we have had some plastic lighted figurines in the yard. As the years have past, I went from trying to weigh them down with rocks inside them, to bungee cording them together to try to get more strength in numbers, to getting tent stakes and pounding them in around the base of each of them them and than wrapping the stakes with bungee cords … and to no avail- the wind would blow them over. And as the world decorations has advanced to 6-8 foot blow up Santas, Snoopies, and  many more forms – our plastic figurines looked kinda cheap in the vastness of the outdoors.

100_6751 So this year… the wind is not going to get these guys…

They are safe inside, guarding the gifts, standing proud in their spiffy uniforms and looking quite handsome.

And than Santa- 100_6752_edited well Santa is in from the cold too. Safe in the corner , greeting people as they come into the house. These three figurines were all lit up and ready to say HI as I came in from work tonight. I remember when Jeff was about 10 and he and I went to K mart- I wanted to do something special for him for Christmas and have decorations, something he would feel special from- I remember we did not have a lot of money. We found these 3 guys at the front of the store- I think we paid less than $9.00 for each of them . We had strands of lights that I had stored in “Fays Drugs Bags” from years before and we had thumbtacks. I remember how Jeff had a riot thumbtacking strands of lights down the hall and around the ceilings. I loved seeing the magic of Christmas in his eyes as he plugged in all these lights . He had the magic of Christmas….  Ha—for a whole month at night he did not want any regular lights on – we just had all these tiny lights lit. It seems like just yesterday…

I find a sense of peace, a sense of ‘things are going to be okay”, a sense of calmness.

And  in a very weird sort of way feel blessed that the piece came off the house… because it kicked me in the butt, it reminded me how special a time of year this is, and I am glad I got this done.

I think had I not, I would have felt down all season. The joy of Christmas, the warmth of the decorations, the comfort of home. I hope you enjoy this season too.

Life has not always been easy for me at the Holidays, as it has not been for probably most of us…there have been heart breaks,  missing people who are no longer with me, finances, regrets… but through it all-

I believe there is a Magic of Christmas that lives in each of us.

Love and peace to all, Mrs Justa- alias Cindy

Today was a special day for me, yes a very very special day. A day where I felt a connection to my sister, a connection that has been there embedded in my heart, in my soul forever, 100_1107 but not one that comes to the surface . Life has a way for us to muffle feelings so we do not miss a person as much as we really do. I chose this photo because all the people who have meant something to me, all the events in my life, are like individual droplets- I think in life we tend to focus on certain ones and not on the whole picture- that way we do not feel a loss or a longing for people we care so much about.

My sister Karen is ten years older than I am, and from the day I was born I idolized her. She was everyone’s friend ( it seemed like to me ) when as I was growing up . And she was always what I had pictured as the sister who had it all together. I liked her friends , I was too young to hang out with them, but when they came over I would listen to them and watch them. I remember how cool it was when she went to nursing school, that was when I wanted to be a nurse.

Oh many years have passed and many miles apart , many life changing moments, and family reunions. But I came to realize that the family reunions are drop ins- we never really have time to just have one on ones- there are so many people, kids to keep an eye on, meals to contribute to , adventures to have, that we see each other, but we do not have quality time.

Today we met up and went to lunch, just she and I, her husband Tim  and my husband Mark. We went to a place that is a relaxed atmosphere, not crowded, not rushed, reasonable prices, good food and happens to be the place Mark and I were married in years ago. There was a fireplace going, at times some big lake effect snowflakes flickering outside the windows, and I felt that connection to her.

We sat and chatted for a long time, I enjoyed every moment of it, I wished the moments had been longer, never ending… and than we went to the gravesite of our dad, our mom and our sister. As we stood there at the grave site, the commonality of our life became so apparent. We spoke of times waiting for dad to come home, anxious for the moments he would arrive. Karen talked about how she would go to the end of the street waiting for his car- he was a traveling salesman, and there was not set time he would arrive- but at 5:00 she was on the corner waiting for him. We spoke of the wisdom that mom shared with us, and her compassion. And we spoke of our sister Pam, whose life ended after only 47 short years, and how she loved Karen’s husband Tim. Tim was reflecting on how Pam had a unique relationship with him, he could see her smile. We mentioned how we missed them.

100_5845 I can not begin to explain how alive mom, dad and Pam felt to me as we stood there. Or how much it became apparent that time flies, life is so short, and I regret that I am not living close to all my relatives. I hope they know how much they all mean to me. We have connections, we have blocks in our foundation of our lives with their names on them.

As I gave Karen a hug good bye, wishing her and Tim a safe trip back, I felt a deep appreciation that they made the trip from Michigan for this Thanksgiving weekend, and I realize too that  her gentleness, her compassion , her love of life are all part of what has made the foundation blocks of my life. I have known her my whole life, and I am very thankful for this weekend.

As I looked down at the grave stones with the names of my family on them I felt love, warmth, and regrets for the years I have missed with each of these people. I  think each of us need to stay in contact with people who helped mold us .

Love to all, Mrs Justa.. alias Cindy


This was the start of my day today. About 2 hours into my day today. I am thankful for so much, and right now I am thankful for the family I have, for the friends I have, for the fact that I did not super stuff myself, and that the propane was full enough to cook a ton of food today!

Oh it was a beautiful sunrise- and it was at a time when I was feeling like my list of 20-30 things to do was never going to be reached by 3:30 or 4 when I expected to start to see people arrive. It was like God was saying to stop and appreciate life, not worry about life.

Last weekend I had done my regular weekend cleaning- but with cooking and baking and such, I wanted to go through again and sweep and wash the floors and do the counter tops and just perk up everything. And than hoping I had things made and timed correctly.

I started the day doing the touch up house work at oh around 4:00 , and than around 7 I was going great guns getting everything ready. Washing the turkey and getting it ready for the oven at 12, and making the yams, green bean casserole and stuffing in advance. Cutting up the cheese and getting the dip and veggies ready, 100_6742 At one point everything was waiting to get baked- and sat in the fridge—

I could not have fit one more thing in that fridge. It was fun getting everything ready, I am tired though, what a busy day.

I wanted things to be just right, it is kinda hard to plan everything to be done at the same time, and for everything to be cooked just right. I am like the nerd cook—at 10 this morning I am doing a time line for when what goes in where.

And we had to strategically plan the table setting, did we want the kids at a separate table or mingled with the adults- we ended up with no “kids” table and all gather around together.


I have to laugh at this picture- it was taken about 3:30 this afternoon, before anyone had arrived. Notice on the right side of the table the dog and cat looking up at me, as if to say “ I don’t like the looks of this “

it is different for the pets, they are not used to too many people here at once, they are affected by their turf being open to folks they do not see a lot. They were both very well behaved and I am thankful we have the pets we do.

I think 18 people is the max in this 2 area setting, we could have had 3 more but they would have been sitting in the kitchen, and 4 additional bar stools could have sat 4 people too.. but I think this was a good number.

Black Friday- I am leaning away from the 4:00 AM push and prod of people, my idea is maybe the gym for 5 hrs… even though I do not believe I pigged out, my plate had more food than what I eat daily.

But it was a great day, and once again – my tradition lies firm…. I left the dang cranberry sauce in the fridge ……….uggg. And this year I even took it out of the can and had it on the serving plates do I would remember… but NOOOOOOOOOOOO not till clean up did I find out the cranberry sauce survived the day unscathed.

So I am going to be winding down in a bit, resting my weary legs, and body, cranking up the mattress cover and trying to snooze for a bit. I hope you have a special memory from today. I have many, ……thanks to God for a perfect day, and thanks to everyone for coming over and sharing today with us.

Love to all…. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Man oh Man I am so sick of hearing people talking about the darn security checks at the airport.

100_6264 Yes we live in America, land of the free- so they say. And in many ways we are free. But in this crazy world we live in, not everyone likes us in this country. Crap ( literally almost !!) some creep last year had explosives in his underwear – in an attempt to blow up the plane he was on.

There are probably all kinds of places in this great country of ours where people who want to hurt us hide out.

So here is how I am thinking about the pat down and body scanner news items that seem to have consumed every darn talking head from all stations.

If you do not want to have the security scanner or a pat down- than don’t buy a plane ticket. And give me a break already— if you go to get an x ray at the doctors- you are seen thru your clothes, it is a generic body- so they see your pubic area- guess what folks—you are either a female or a male— unless you have something that no one else has- I am thinking it is looking the same to the poor folks who have to stare at the screen for hours on end. 

And to refuse the scanner to get some dude with gloves on pat your body—yuck… for both the patter and the pattie.

Me- I am not flying this season- no where specifically to go. Me.. I do not fly places really. My travel is from here to work and Walmart !

But if I have had a trip to go on, I have gotten there by car. Now that is not saying I am never going to fly- who knows by that time they might be doing cavity checks too !. But my thought is- I would rather have someone on the ground, in a designated area, in a scanner see my body parts attached to me- than have some folks combing the fields or ocean trying to find my body parts.

If the government did not care about your safety- I am sure none of these folks would be signing up to look at thousands of people through a scanner- or patting people down. Man—these talking idiots on the air are trying to make a huge protest over something- and get people all riled up. I just saw on the news that the air travel is running smoothly with the check points. I am glad the citizens of the US are more rational than the voices of the AM radio station. I love the USA, I love being an American, and I love that we unite together.

Let’s take a moment- pray for safe travel for all who are traveling this week, pray that this security check system stops anyone who might have gotten thru the other way, and let’s enjoy whomever we share the holiday with. Peace and safe travels… Love, mrs Justa.. alias Cindy

As much fun as I have in the holiday season, I love for it to come—but after Christmas Day, I am glad another year has come and gone.

We do different things around the Holidays, and this year there is a teeny weenie part of me that is thinking about doing the 3AM Black Friday thing- just so we can say we did it. We need to see what is going to be on sale where and decide if there is anything we really want to get at 3AM on a Friday morning. Heck I guess Toys R Us is open at midnight!. But , like I told Mark earlier today- I have to get past Thanksgiving first.

I100_6697_edited have a bunch of thoughts all flying through my brain about Thanksgiving, making sure it is a very nice day for everyone who comes over and making sure that I have 100_6702_edited thought of everything I need. Thinking about the dishes, the silverware, the table cloth, the seating. oh my mind is swirling.

The couch has been moved to the front windows and what I figure is Thursday morning the blue recliner can be moved next to the couch and that will open up the area for the dining room table and a banquet table to get stretched out.



I think the teen- preteens will be 100_6699_edited at the dinette in the kitchen- they are 3 kids that will be in there. They can enjoy each others company and talk about teen stuff. I remember my mom always tried to have a “kids table” as her grandchildren were coming for Thanksgiving.

The really young ones obviously will be at the “adult” table.

I love doing the Thanksgiving dinner- and it always is nice when all the things fall into order- and everything is done, no glitches. In a little while I am going to bake the breads for Thursday, and a SMALL recipe of sugar cookies. I have the big butt turkey thawing in the fridge, and I think it will be okay by Thursday AM to start cooking away.

Today was day one of my vacation officially. I did sleep in a little, and no one called from work- so they must be holding things together without me. It is a great group of people I work with and there are many who can and have covered for me. So I do not ever feel like I can not take time off.

Got up around 8:30, did a few things around the house, we went out for breakfast and to the gym. Stopped and visited Amanda and Jeff for a bit and now we are here— I have a trial recipe of Yams in the oven right now- want to see how it is before making it on Thanksgiving.. so I am off- to get dinner ready and than to start baking. Maybe will practice my song for church in 2 weeks tonight—and than chill.. Love to all. Mrs Justa—alias Cindy

100_6707_edited What brings you comfort at the end of the day?

What brings you comfort when just want to stop

and take a breather in life?

Where can you go to find consolation?

And how come a 6 month old can find that comfort that many of us are looking for?


To have a daddies lap to find security on, to feel the strength and protection of a parent, to have a crook of daddies arm to mold into and be rocked .

As we age- we do not have these safety nets any more. We seem to have to be strong and find the comfort in ourselves.

It is funny how each of us deal with the tribulations of life. It would be kinda weird if thumb sucking was what people did from birth till death,

Can you imagine driving in a traffic jam and looking in the next vehicle to see the driver sucking his / her thumb?

Or when you get called in the office to discuss something at work- to pop the ol thumb in your mouth.

I bet things would be calmer if we all did.

Instead , adults get vocal, some yell, some get all teary eyed, some get nasty.

I think we need to relook at how we handle stress, handle challenges, handle disappointments—- we need to look at the adversities of life as a way to make us stronger. Maybe we need to look at them as chance to make a difference.

We need to take our proverbial thumb and find the same comfort that Preston found in his tonight.

A nice evening was spent with the grandbabies and Jeff and Amanda… yes a nice evening…. ended in a nice thumb sucking for Preston, and a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie 100_6713_edited

made for Brandon- just the perfect size for his little hands,

and fresh coffee and hot chocolate for the parents and grandparents…

We live a pretty quiet life out here in the boonies-

100_6697_edited and for a little while this room was filled with the wonder of life,

the innocence of a baby,

the magic of a 2 year old, the love shared by all.

A nice change, a nice reflection of how our lives were filled with toddlers and challenges 25 years ago.

And as the kids pack up their kids and head south to home… I have to say, I once again feel blessed.

I thank God for all I have learned , loved, lost, and all the challenges in life.

Have a good night, Love Mrs. Justa alias Cindy

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