October 2011

Halloween is a time when we can become something we are not. We can pretend to be evil, or a princess, an object  or a cartoon figure.

As a child it was kinda fun because we did not go to stores and buy costumes, we did not have money to do that. So my mom would make things for us.

As my own child became Halloween ready, quite often the costume was home made. It became a challenge to figure out what I was capable of making , and have it be something that Jeff would be able to wear…

And now..as a grandmother, as an older person who tends to try to step back or hover above life.. I see Halloween is not a day… for some it is every time they leave their home. At church this week it was a new sermon series and the pastor handed out plain white masks to all of us. The sermon has seeped into me deeply, because it dealt with what mask do we hide behind from God..but to take it further… what mask do we hide ourselves from others.

That is a pretty tough question. Sometimes I will make a facial expression at home and Mark will say he wished he had a picture of it because he would send it to where I work and let them see the REAL me. I laugh when he says that, because I think—or I  thought I was pretty open. But as I look at the mask from church- which I have in the car on the middle headrest in the back seat…. ( so every time I look in the rear view mirror I am reminded of it)—I wonder about who I am real with and who I am not. Who is real with me, and who is an act.

Further more… what do people really expect of each other  when they ask   “How are you?” We often say “fine and you?” but are we really fine? And did they really want to know?

I love this free clip art image of an alien being a little boy. For me, I would definitely want the little boy to be the real thing and not the alien.

Yet how many of us are aliens in our own way?

Life and its bumps and turns , life makes us into being who we are, but more so making us only a part of who we are. And for me, I know some of the bumps and bruises of life have made me become more private in my thoughts. I have become less outgoing, and less real at times. As a child, as a teen..I was always criticized for talking too much..now I am a woman of few words most of the time.

When we get shot down, when we get lied to, when we get hurt…we get a pretty big collection of masks to hide behind.

Through it all.. as I look at the mask in my car..I realize there are many costumes/ masks that cover up  parts of me, parts  I have put to sleep. Some things I care not to remember— ( but a song or a place may awaken them) and some that have knocked me down a few pegs . The mask… the sermon…. has made me think.. Who am I ? and Who are you?

Love to all, be safe… Cindy alias Mrs Justa (or whomever I am !)


Ya know it is so strange when life feels like it is ripping you off. But we need to be not so quick to make that assumption. there are situations when it is easy to assume ripping off and than make them prove they are not. (Kinda like the being guilty and proving your innocence)

We have had 2 episodes with a tire retailer in the past year when we felt we needed to buy 2 snow tires and both times they said NOPE you Must but 4. Now the ripped off mentality thinks… “AHH HAAA yeah..cuz you get more money if I buy 4!!! RIP OFF”>>> but in reality— there are a number of law suits across the country where a tire service center was sued when a person was injured in an accident after getting 2 instead of 4 new tires. And dang 4 tires is a choice that is EXPENSIVE!!

Last year we tried to sell 4 mounted snow tires- with hub caps, with the tire sensors for low air pressure. People came out—and left because they were not the same brand for all 4. Here we thought your cheep sons of guns—you bastards… and really in looking back now—these people were being smart… But I was thinking then they were trying to rip us off… this one guy came out and offered us $$ for 2 but said he would take 4… ( because 2 of the tires were older)… another dude—we drove the tires to his home 28 miles away , only to have him look, and in a rich, stuck on himself tone..he said..”Oh man Cin… why didn’t you tell me they weren’t the same… I do not want them” Again ..in my mind I was being ripped off…. and now foolishly—I realize we should only get 4 tires at once, and not 2 at a time.

I have had the ripped off experience in other situations too.. How about when you go car shopping… there are some sleazy sales people out there…or camper shopping… or electronics shopping… basically shopping in general!. Where the sales people try to make you believe the item was made 033JUST FOR YOU… or they have you sit in it and say you look good in it…. or when we were looking for this house we bought… the sale person had us check it out and than conveniently came in and had us discuss our potential sale while sitting in the living room… so it felt like we were in our home. Dude!! the camper guy did the same thing!!! Over many years , as I look back… yikess… We bought the house, we bought the camper, we bought into the camp site membership and we bought the car… and in the end it was good choices… but there was a time when the sales people opened their mouths—I was already thinking RIP OFF ARTISTS>> So be careful  out there- do not get suckered into the first deal ( like we have LOL) and remember—it is okay to say “let us take the night and think about it” Sales people HATE that… Love to all, Mrs Justa, alias sucker for a deal… Cindy…

I just got done making Rice Krispy treats for a retirement party tomorrow. I forgot how sticky they were… but alas – they are cooling in the fridge—than it is the cutting through them.. If I remember correctly they get pretty hard.

HMMM>.. sometimes the thought is much nicer than the task. But it will be a nice treat for them.

brandon, fami;y, 2008, 2009 094The snow is in the weather forecast, slushy roads a possibility tomorrow, and here I sit trying to convince myself I do not care about the snow coming, but I do.

It is very hard to drive in the deep white stuff at times, it is really pretty once home and safe- to watch it out the window, it is really  tiring to clear the snow for 4 months or more. And yet—it is life as I know it. Life is full of challenges, if I lived somewhere where it never snowed, never changed colors , well I think life would be boring , in a way. Living somewhere with high humidity and HOT temps—naw… not so much.. So this is an okay place to be.

There is a saying that I think of…
There’s No Place Like Home”

Someone asked me where is the best place to live… and after I hemmed and hawed… I had to say.. here is wonderful. Other places are nice to visit, and than give us somewhere to look forward to. We are already talking about returning to OBX next year, oh my goodness, that was so awesome. But to live there year round… hmmm I am not a fan of hurricanes..and where we were—the roads were totally washed out…SO hopefully they will be back to normal by next spring… and we can visit again.

How about the south.. nope— not full time….100_2595 maybe a short stent…. the bugs grow bigger there, too hot…. need AC …. sweat…. hurricanes and tornados….

I am tempted to be a snow bird in another 20 years..but by then I will probably not be up for the trip. So I am snowbirding it in my mind… and facing the fact the snow will come, snow will go….and spring will be here in no time !. I guess for me, I feel lucky enough to love where I live, to realize that each season comes and goes, and with it brings challenges and special moments…and that some of the challenges are hard to anticipate—but once here—they are what they are…and than they go….

Enjoy the weather..whatever it may be… I am off to chisel the rice krispie treats out of the pan, and settle down for the night. I hope this finds you in good health, in good spirits. Love to all, Cindy Alias Mrs Justa.

sept 2011 stuff 023Retirement…. wow… a friend at work.. one of my day time family members ..is retiring this week. She is 8 years older than I am . I remember –what seemed as not so long ago—when retirement was what old people do, it is what is earned from years of working, somehow I believed when I was younger that retirement is something we each are entitled to, a time when there is no more alarm clock, no more worrying about having to drive in through blinding snow storms, and just stay home and relax. I remember  being around retired people and they would pull a wad of money out of their wallet or pocket like it was nothing. As a child it was like the money was just always there for them, because they were older.

Well for me, as the years of working continue and the number worked far exceeds the number left to work…. sept 2011 stuff 030retirement is not what I had pictured as a youth,   the thought that when one retires there is unending money has come to reality that it does not happen that way. There is a 401 K and there is a retirement plan at work, but it is not like working for the state or federal government,,, where retired  employees  get a percentage of their pay for life… that is nice.
The paths chosen in life have led us to where we are now, and I do not regret where we are ..just wish I knew than what I know now. Growing old seemed like something that would never happen … it was like it was an infinite time away.

This lady, she has a retirement plan that is pretty good, her husband too has one from where he was employed, where he receives quite a bit each month, just because he worked at a place that had a contract for the employees when they get to their golden years.

They have sold their home, they found a condo in Florida ( furnished) for less than 20,000.00..they bought a summer trailer for a camp area up here, and they have downsized to the max. She had garage sales where she sold every single thing she could, and made a nice amount of money from it. I am happy for her.

And we… we will be okay when the day hits. And that day could be 10 years away !…maybe more. It will be different than the illusion, than the vision, than the innocence of work amd Oct 2011 054youth image of what the future will be like. We will be frugal  we will downsize, we probably will  be comfortable being in our home, and I guess with that outlook, we will appreciate every penny. If we are lucky in our choices , maybe we could be in warmer climates for the coldest months, but if not..we will probably have to sell this place and move into a place where the maintenance is done for us.

I look at the incredible numbers of people turning to retirement each day… it is pretty overwhelming. The future is so uncertain… but we will walk through it one step at a time. I would love to have the extra time to devote to the grandkids, or to volunteer for those in need. Maybe be like a foster grandparent at the hospital. To lead a simple life, cut down our needs and enjoy every second we have left.

Our kids and spouses seem to have understood the importance of planning for the future, and I am glad they have… for one day, they can live the dream of retirement in  comfort, the way it should be .

I hope you have a plan, that you have had the blocks lined up for the future…. peace to all, Love Mrs Justa..alias Cindy

I posted a video the other night of a song titled “Happiness” and that was all I posted. This is from a sound track to Broadway play “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”

Some may have wondered why I did it, well I did it because the lyrics have held a special part in my heart for years—and I guess I needed to remember them….


Happiness is finding a pencil.
Pizza with sausage.
Telling the time.
Happiness is learning to whistle.
Tying your shoe for the very first time.

Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band.
And happiness is walking hand in hand.
Happiness is two kinds of ice cream.
Knowing a secret.
Climbing a tree.
Happiness is five different crayons.
Catching a firefly.
Setting him free.

Happiness is being alone every now and then.
And happiness is coming home again.
Happiness is morning and evening,
Daytime and night time too.
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you.

Happiness is having a sister.
Sharing a sandwich.
Getting along.
Happiness is singing together when day is through,
And happiness is those who sing with you.
Happiness is morning and evening,
Daytime and nighttime too.
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you.


It reminds me of the simple things in life and that is what happiness is really about. I guess I seem to overlook that at times. Last week I bought 2 scratch off lottery tickets for my birthday, and one was a $100.00 winner… so I went back and bought 10 more and pocketed the 80.00,,, and Mark and I scratched them… another 100.00 winner… whoa.. talk about luck.. SO off to the store… this buying 10 thing is making sense… woo hoo… humming in my mind.. “I’m in the money” when in reality we are still probably thousands   in the hole from all the looser tickets we buy. I thought I was “happy’ and than all ten- zippo—no winner…. Huge bummer… huge temptation for Satan to convince me that if I go right back in and buy another 10 or 20 that I have to have a winner… but instead I stopped, I turned a loosing ticket over and there was a thing about the gamblers hotline—I smiled in a sad sort of way realizing how very addictive this could be…..the “I feel lucky” thoughts- or “I am hot..gotta keep it going..”    but instead I stopped—I took a deep breath, I spoke with Mark..told him there were no winners…… than —   the ignition was turned on and off I drove.

As I was driving down some back village street this song again came into my mind.

“Happiness is morning and evening.. daytime and nighttime too..” yes that is happiness..not some lottery ticket.. ( however if it had been the 1,00.00 a week for life-I might change my tune LOL)….

So this weekend was a non busy weekend, spending the whole weekend with Mark–catching up on stuff around the house, breakfast out, watching the shows we had DVR’ed, sleeping in, going to the gym, cutting coupons, organizing and some thinning out of stuff, read some of a book… no real plan—no real need to be anywhere at any time… just enjoying our home—our life-  for a weekend. It was nice. This was happiness….

Now..off to make dinner… maybe shower early..nestle with the book or watch a movie..who knows…. it will be a quiet- ( and it is REALLY QUIET HERE) an old foggies night with my old foggie husband….Have a good evening, Love to all.. Mrs Justa..alias Cindy…

Happiness….I can not get this song out of my mind. The lyrics are really cool. I am leaving this song to be my post… it says so much..Love Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Reflecting –sunset fulton ny that is what today is about to me. Today was my birthday, and it is funny how birthdays change in meaning the more I go through them . I remember as a young kid looking forward to my birthday- for no one reason except it was a day it made me feel really special. My parents were very loving parents, and they would never over extend on gifts. First they did not have much money, but secondly my parents were not materialistic type people. Oh sure there would be a cake, candles and ice cream ( only on birthdays did we get cake and ice cream on the same day!!) – and family would sing to me around the table, I would have a moment to make a wish and blow out the candles, and my siblings would always ask what the wish was. There would be gifts, but it was being around family that mattered.

We did not do huge birthday parties- it was a day that was just a time where I felt like it was MY day. I think maybe because on our birthdays the attention was more on us. Other days- there were all 6 kids in a constant rebounding of where the attention went- and often that depended on who was doing something wrong.

Today- many years Caleb, Mackenzie, Rochester, Sept 30 2011 045after those childhood days, was a nice day. Birthdays are now so different, but not in a bad way. We each have basically anything we need, we are not extravagant people, and if something breaks we try to replace it when it happens. So Mark and I have started to just enjoy the day of the birthday, not try to figure what gift to buy, instead we go to a dinner somewhere and wish each other happy birthday- on our special day. It just so happened for me, I was home today, so I looked forward to getting up and shampooing the carpets. I LOVE how it feels when they are done.

Unfortunately my idea of a time for getting up and Indi’s idea of the time to get up were slightly off. As he had a grand mal seizure at 3:15 this morning and was pretty insecure  after his seizure, he had to go out, than whimpered for hours, just wanting to be right next to us . So I had laundry going before 6AM this morning and carpets are all done. Mark and I got to spend the day together. We did bran-muffin-closeup[1]a Walmart run.. as I was frantically looking for a bran muffin mix—all I wanted was to make fresh bran muffins. Alas—after going to 4 stores- I settled for an already made one from the bakery. ( HA… growing up I looked forward to cake,((loved the double layer ones…chocolate…ummmmm)  lots of frosting and ice cream!!..and at 58 I am looking forward to bran muffins!!) 

So as the day ends, I am thinking about what a nice day it was, we went to Outback for dinner, and Indi has not had any more seizures… so life is okay for right now… Love to all… I am off to relax a bit before going to bed. Mrs Justa.. alias Cindy

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