December 2011

Wow 2011 is coming to and end in one day. Gee…I do not have nearly everything I set out to do last January…I wanted a lot more out of me…., to have written a book, and won the lottery, and learned something new.

Well… I guess if I was not specific..this blog is kinda like a book, and I ache a little more in the morning( so that is more out of me) , and I did win a few 2.00 scratch off lottery tickets, and I have learned that life is never guaranteed to bring you what you think you want. So I guess, if I really stretch..maybe I kind of achieved my desires for 2011.

We are surviving, we have had some ups and downs, and we are still standing. I made it through being 57… I dreaded that entire 12 mos, cuz my dad was 57 when he died, and everyone in the family always said that the Gaines’s die at 57 quite often.. so I made it through that.

Caleb, Mackenzie, Rochester, Sept 30 2011 0062011 brought us a 4th grandchild…that is priceless… and we finally got a hard shell camper… after 57 years of tents, pop ups and worrying about touching the canvas.. we finally made it to being one of the “old folks” with a hard shell.  ( We will be 74 when it is pd for…but what the heck… keeping the economy going..right?)

We learned we can not trust the 401 K plans, and we can not trust the elected officials to bring about “CHANGE” like they promised.. Oh we have gotten change… but it was not the picture that was drawn.

Life has taught me 11-12-11 thanksgiving with our kids and their kids 016that childhood is too short, and toddlers are God’s gift … they bring magic to the room, they bring wonder and they want to be just like their parents and love life.

2011 started out with tons of snow, and reminded us that we can make it through some pretty scary days. The folks in the Northeast—well we are used to snow and we have highway crews who respect it.

100_3761We were reminded that no matter how much you wish for life to continue, no matter how much money you try to spend for health. that life hurts..and we lose lives that meant a lot to us…and am very thankful for the few photos we have, to remind us of how blessed we were to share our lives together….


As we end the year, I am going to shed a bit of trivia… do you know what “aude lang syne” means?? It means  "times gone by." It is always funny to hear people sing it when they have no idea what is is saying… it is like listening to a chorus of hooked on phonics… some will sing out like no ones business any of these phrases…….                        Far hold ang zyne  or

For old aunt Gzyne  or

Farheld ang zyne  or

Farheld ang sign or

For old ang sign –not having a clue what they are singing..but they know it must be meaning something to someone.

So for all you New Year’s Evers… sing it proud as “Aude Lang Syne” and know now you are singing about the times that have passed..the good ol days…

Love to all.. Happy New Year…. Mrs Justa alias Cindy( thanks google free clip art for the images!!)


One more day of a week that has been super busy. Holiday weeks are tough to begin with because people want them off. When we give folks days off at the holidays, we know we are going to miss them. The work continues, and we all like when we too get vacation, but it is hard when we are not full staffed. Than add a long holiday weekend, and well it just gets kinda crazy. But I guess it is good that I love going to work each day.

This week imagewe had the added stress of WINTER. decided to come and visit us in the upstate NY area. Cold, blowing snow, black ice, frozen nose hairs, thick coats, walking like a penguin, comforters nestled tightly around the shoulders, warming the car , shoveling pathways, driving slower, being super aware of the idiots driving around you… yes WINTER HAS ARRIVED>

I knew winter would come, and it is so comforting to hear the furnace come on and off. I have had soup for lunch and dinner for a few days, there are thing that bring comfort in the winter months.
Syracuse Chiefs - Alliance Bank StadiumLike the sign by the ball park in Syracuse. Every day it counts down how many days are left before opening season. (Kinda like my “one day closer to Spring philosophy”)
well today is was 98 days ! hey that is not bad… 3 months and a couple days.. We can do this… Another theory I have as winter bites this area is &(seven) lousy driving days a year is what I feel we average. We in my humble opinion- yesterday was day one. So 6 more lousy days till Spring. See how my warped mind works – my “Pollyanna “ outlook… it is just a way to keep one foot in front of the other. It keeps me sane in a rather unpredictable world…

So in this sometimes crazy, 018always interesting, unpredictable life we have… I find peace in my optimism. I hope you have some sunshine even on the gloomiest of days… and if you are in snow country… just remember.. we are thru November..almost through December..and in February/March —things start to warm up some. We have a January thaw… a February thaw…. ahhh… tulips will be here before you know it !!.

Love to all… a rather chilled Mrs Justa… alias Cindy 

fallKind of depressing task we are about to undertake.. ( ooo that is not an appropriate word for this task…) going over our “Last Will and Testament “ to make sure it is still what we want them to say. It is very weird to write down what my wishes are after I die. It brings death closer to the surface. Not that I plan on going anywhere yet… but my life on earth is a temporary stop to my real home..where I hope someday I am headed to. (Just not too soon!)

As we scan over what we wrote 10+ years ago, we have found a few areas that definitely need tweaking. I have been through experiences where people have died without a will, and what a pain in the neck… the estate becomes “intestate” which means the NYS takes over the estate and the state divides the assets of the deceased according to the law. This takes a really long time, and it drags out, it really causes unnecessary pain and stress to those left behind.

So we are trying to make sure our wills are up to date. Fortunately the lawyer who we worked with in 2001 is still around , so at least we do not have to start at square one.

I want my passing to go smoothly..well as smoothly as possible..I also want it to be at least 50 years from now !By than our grandkids will be in their 50s, and our kids pushing 80. Than I will believe I have lived a full life.

I find myself wondering Preload 12how IT will happen.. it is kind of scary to me to think one moment you are here and the next you are gone. I want everything clearly done, the bills, the insurance info, the clutter out of my life and not to burden anyone with it.
Have you ever known a situation when a person dies and the loved ones are left almost overwhelmed with everything the person had..and having to clear it out.  Worried about missing something important, yet kind of in shock going through the persons life.

When my mom died I remember she had bought Christmas presents throughout the year. She died in November ( on the 3rd) and as we worked through each nook and cranny we found these gifts , unwrapped, hidden in a closet. It was so difficult to try to get into her head and figure out which item was for which person.

She did have a will, but it left out a lot of stuff…she had 76 years of stuff… bless her heart, she tried, but as we worked to go through every area of the house… we came across a lot we knew nothing about what it was ..what it stood for..what it meant to her. At that moment, I realized all I thought I knew about her…there was much I did not know..and it was too late.

It is impossible to cover every inch of our lives, to open our memories to those left behind. To make sure that people know what they meant to us… FOr me, I want to  have things in such a way , that people remember me for being me..and not for my disorganization…

I will try to have as much in order as possible. Depressing as it is… if we accept life.. we accept death too. Can not have one without the other. I just want to delay for MANY years the second half…

If you do not have a will… I would recommend having one.. it gives YOU the power to make life a little easier for those in your life… spouses, siblings, pets, charities..whatever is important to you alive.

Love to all. Mrs Justa..alias Cindy..

whoa.. all of the sudden the four days that seemed to be a really long time , well they are gone. Tomorrow is work for 4 days than off for 3 more.

Tomorrow is gonna be tough.. we were closed Fri thru Monday- so we will have 4 days of clinical information on patients to review. We love the time off… but gotta tell ya..the day after a holiday weekend is beyond busy!. Fortunately I work with people who care about their jobs and are committed to help each other out.

So Christmas 2011 is now a Christmas past. 100_0158That seems weird. Santa and his soldiers are nestled back in the shed, the tree is apart an in it’s tree bag, the ornaments and decorations wrapped in paper towels and tissues and secured in their boxes, all sleeping for another year.

The house seems kinda sterile looking when the colored lights are all packaged up.

It feels good, but sort of depressing… that magic is a memory.

We taped a Christmas movie,,a chick flick and watched it while the Christmas cheer was being packed up in tight little spaces. As I reflect on the days that have passed, it is kind of melancholy. It was different not buying for our own  kids or each other, just for the grand kids…. ..but we were definitely filled with the magic of Christmas through the eyes of the children. There was less stress with trying to figure out what someone would want, and it really brought down the materialistic part of Christmas.

We drove around and looked 100_0128at Holiday lights on Christmas Eve. There is one house that is really cool. These people have over 60 inflatable decorations that they put out…

The have music playing and lights flickering and flashing, and the really cool thing is they have bins where people can donate canned goods and non perishables, which they give  to the food pantry at the church these people go to.

Wow.. how neat…     

   Yesterday Mark and I were together for our Christmas meal.. I did roast beef  in the crock pot, Yorkshire pudding and a veggie. Again.. no major pigging out –we ended the evening with fresh baked gingerbread..

J100_0159eff, Amanda, Preston and Brandon came over mid morning and left about 12:30..and for lunch we just did soup and sandwiches.. which was nice too. No pressure of trying to fit a huge meal all together , (as Jeff had to work evenings today..) ..and we just did big meals for Thanksgiving…

Christmas… there is an advertising slogan… Let’s put Christ back in Christmas… ( because people use Xmas for Christmas..) but in church Pastor Carl said… Let’s put Christ back in the other 364 days of the year too…. how true that is..

I hope the holidays have been okay for you… and that you did not get that NASTY stomach bug that seems to be going around… ( throw up and die stuff..yuck..) fortunately for me and Mark –as of right now..we have not been sickened with it… but many others have.

Enjoy the last few days of 2011…. 2012 will hopefully bring us good luck and a NEW PRESIDENT!. Love to all.. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Today is day one of 4 off from work. It is kinda weird having both Fri and Monday off as holiday days..but today I will not be complaining about it… now on Tues. after being off for 2 business days…well that might be a totally different me coming out of the cyber world.

Today was a multitude of tasks day. Last night we did our weekly grocery shopping, as we had a funny feeling today was going to be starting the final Christmas push.

This morning I got up and Mark was sleeping. SO I thought I would finally try out the

the “Eggies” … he bought them in July and I just have not gotten to try them,

We got 1,2 and 3 egg size..the bigger ones you can mix 2 eggs with ingredients for an omelet and you are supposed to be able to put it in this contraption.

Than you put them in a pot with warm water, deep enough water that these thing-a-ma-jigs float..and boil for 15 –20 minutes.. WHAT A WASTE OF $$ and 4 eggs!. Geesie… first there were strings of egg stuff in the water… and than the one came apart a little and gobs of egg stuff was all over the water, and when we decided to cease the operation ( 5 minutes into it) – the other one kinda exploded… looked like someone hurled their breakfast in the pot of water… GROSS to the MAX>>>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!So the Eggies are no longer… out in the trash… unbelievable what a rip off they were…

Than let’s see—off to run a few errands and head to the gym. I went to Save A Lot first to get stuff for home made soups and I found out I needed a few more ingredients for the preparations of 3 different Christmas Treats. I got most stuff there. At Save A Lot there was this petite lady with a smile that not only went from ear to ear..but I think it wrapped around her head 3 times too. Her Christmas gift to herself was she paid her mortgage was her last payment. She was talking to everyone and anyone in her area..saying for 8 years she did not buy a lot at the holidays and she  was careful with every penny…and in 8 yrs her mortgage was paid off. ( I have no idea how big her mortgage was..but that is very nice..) We were all congratulating her and she was so thrilled..she said she will never have to worry about the bank again.

Than I went to K MArt to look for a ME gift. Each year Mark and I buy something for ourselves, wrap it and that is our Christmas gift. It is impossible to find anything for my gift. Finally I found ( shh it is a secret… Do not tell me !!) a thin weather/radio AC/DC for the bathroom. I have a big ass one in  there now and it takes up 1/2 the counter, and I got a pair of black jeans, and water filter for our Kehrig. So I am all set now. ( The pathetic thing is when we did this last year..we did it in November… … HA!!!!!!!!we forgot what we got ourselves and were surprised when we open it. ( Getting old has many perks LOL)

I zoomed over to Byrne Dairy ( milk from a local plant… in glass bottles… doesn’t get better than that !)

Than off to the Fastrac for fuel, and the gym for some relaxation from the stress of the week by going great guns on the elliptical machine and bike.

Stopped at Walmart… and got coconut and looked for creamer…(grr) they still were out of it… and than home to make cookie batter, make no-bake cookies, and fuss free toffee.

At K I strolled around the store looking for a gift for me.. I began to wonder why do we do this anyhow? Why should we buy gifts for each other for Jesus’s birthday? It brought back memories of this same question when I was a child… it did not make sense.. but as a kid I LOVED Christmas cuz I knew we would all be giving and receiving a kid I NEVER was going to ask why the heck we buy gifts for each other?? (It is not our birthday??)… cuz I did not want the adults to agree with me… ( Call it greed I guess)

I think it is great we celebrate the Birth of Jesus…traditional  Christmas Carols ( not “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer “ kinda is not funny anymore !!LOL) … Christmas Caroling, Evening church services and wishing people Merry Christmas… that is all making sense… but this spending hundreds or thousands on gifts…. in my warped mind—if it really is a time for celebration—the gifts should go to Jesus… or go to something Jesus would give a gift to.  ( And news flash—I do not think Jesus would be buying cars, video games with killing and shooting, graphic movies, big screen TVs …. or diamonds for people) So as I wondered around.. wondering what I would like that I would not just go out and buy… I came across the radio..

At  WalMart I was watching people frantically shop… I mean some of these people had a mission and there was nothing getting in their way. I tried to focus on stuff people were saying to one another, this one husband/or significant other..said to the lady he was with..” Why did you wait till now to do this?”  Than there were 5 other male units leaning on whatever they could..watching their woman unit pick through stuff, and plop things one after another in the cart. And THAT is when it hit me… Christmas has become a chicks holiday preparation… if it was up to all the men in the world..I think the gifts bought would be much less…and there would not be all the pretty frilly Christmas Décor, the towels and sweaters and window decorations. Yep..somehow a civilization..have taken the birth of Jesus and turned it into an “all about me” holiday. The guys I saw were there, but their body language was saying I am only here because I do not want her to complain I was not there. They could not give a darn about what their partner was looking at, they were just wondering how much longer the torture was going to go on… .

Christmas is almost here… and the gym is closed on Sunday… …maybe we can go out for a stroll … the day after Christmas we will have a soup and sandwich lunch and watch Brandon and Preston open their gifts. All along,,, Christmas Carols are playing in my mind… I just love the magic, the tranquility….

Love to all… Please Stop!! and just enjoy the real meaning of Christmas.

Mrs Justa alias Cindy. here I go again… sorry. BUT

A mail carrier spreads cheer at the holidays and it makes a co-worker UNCOMFORTABLE! Stating that the person felt the Santa Claus was not in the government approved USPS uniform.

Give me a break.

Who the heck is this co-worker—wonder if their first name is “Ebenezer?”This has got to be someone who is just a miserable son of a gun..someone who can not stand for others to be happy.

And than what really frosts my buttinski..the USPS told “Santa” he had to stop because of this one miserable, whaa whaa coworker.

Santa Claus has been around for YEARS, Santa Claus is a sign of the season, Santa Claus delivering mail is cool. This guy has been doing this for over a decade! And one lousy stinking little voice stops the whole tradition of this jolly carrier.

Man that totally screams UNBELIEVABLE!!! And ya know what stuff like this give POWER to the small little pip-squeak—and the little pip-squeak will be complaining about something else before you know it.

GRRRR>.. makes me want to scream!! I am not a rebel… but I  am someone who will share a thought, especially when it stinks like  Bull-poo…

I do not know who I am more irritated with… the wimpy complainer… or the USPS for being a wet noodle…

What about the rights of the other people involved? What about the disappointment to all those who looked forward to this display of cheer…

Yep, sorry folks..but this thing really has me all kinds of upset tonight. I will be better in the morning… and this jolly guy..I send a salute to him in a cyber-space sort of way.

I hope that the sun will rise and things will be more fair for this postal carrier, but you know what… even if they force him to take off the Santa suit.. no one… NOT the wimpy miserable person who complained.. NO ONE  ..can take away this mans peace, his smile, his love for others, his spirit.

And ya know what??? That miserable little creep… is  still going to be that same angry person…

How can they sleep at night? ( Maybe they can’t, cuz they are too darn unhappy)

Sad to say… but in a way I kinda feel sorry for the creep…To be that scroogey…. people get what is coming to them… I just gotta keep reminding myself that.

Please do not be afraid to wish other good tidings, to spread cheer….

Love to all, Mrs Justa..alias Cindy

I heard a commentator making a joke out of Christmas cards today…saying what a joke it is to send cards to people . Well I tend to disagree.

I love the Christmas season, dec 2011 002and to is a time to stop and at least once a year let people know they are on your mind all year. People may send an electronic greeting… me I sit down with Mark and we get the cards out right after Thanksgiving. It is kinda of a pattern, a tradition in a way.

Thanksgiving comes and we have a family dinner either here or at my Brothers and sister-in-laws home. It is a symbol of the togetherness that fills my heart a lot—but we do so seldom. I truly love my family…

Than Friday after Thanksgiving… the Christmas tree comes from the shed , Christmas Carols from CDs play and the lights light up the tree, the plastic Santa and Soldier take their place in the house. They have earned it… I think they spent 18 Christmases outside getting blown over, tied down with bungee cords and tent stakes and cords frozen in the plastic bags they were sealed in… (This is much nicer for the figurines—and for us with take down and put up..) dec 2011 001THAN it is time for the Christmas cards. It is just how it goes. I look up the addresses of people who have meant so much to me in my life, family, friends, neighbors…and off go the cards. It is not a competition, or a roulette type game to see who sends cards back..that is not why we send them. We send them to bring a smile to those people, to give an update on how life has been the past year. Many  also share how their lives have been, and send smiles to us.

So I found offense at his humor over this part of the season that means so much to me. I know I am probably being over sensitive… but it is just such a meaningful part of the season to me.

At work we exchange them internally- so we do not have postage—just put them in the peoples in boxes… we are all taping them on our cubicles, we can look at them…  in the chaos of the day to day events of work… we have a sense of peace.

I love Christmas.. dec 2011 003the season brings to me  a feeling of comfort, a feeling of accomplishment that another year has passed, a feeling of wonder in the eyes of children everywhere, and feeling of family. The religion does not change the holiday season changes what people celebrate, or what meaning in life they have.

For me the Story of Jesus is what I have known my whole life… I find the story amazing, magical in a way…we are individuals and with that we have the right to believe what we believe. In the stores, on the streets..I do not stop and ask people if they are Christians.. I just may say to  them a Happy Holiday, or a Merry Christmas. I hope you find some peace in this season… and that you have someone to share some time with..unless of course you prefer to be alone. Find peace the craziness of the times we live in..we each need to find peace. We need the solitude of a crystal clear night, bright moon light, shining stars, quiet. 

Love to all… Cindy alias Mrs Justa…

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