I am sitting here listening to nothing but the hum of the modem next to me. The dog is sleeping and Mark has just said he was going to bed. I am tired, yet not feeling like I can get to bed quite yet. These last 4 months have been anything but easy for me or for Mark either. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder for a long time. I am trying to pinpoint the actual diagnosis and I think it was around 2004. Before the diagnosis, there were times of extreme energy, and extreme “insight”, extreme anger, enlightening, followed by significant depression and paranoia sometimes on both sides of the spectrum.

  After the diagnosis, as we looked in the rearview mirror of our life, we realized that the times of behaviors that were not his normal self-were most likely  cycling through mania or depressions, and we could pretty much pinpoint the cycling was once every 4-5 yrs, and through the years it became more frequent, cyclical and seemed to be certain months/seasons each year.  After the diagnosis and medical treatment, 3 hospitalizations, and after trying a few types of medications, the docs for the meds that worked for him. Meds that helped to control the highs from getting too high and the lows from getting too low.

Well, this last manic episode, the current one, has been going on for 4 months, and it has been probably the most fluctuating, and high energy one yet. There have been quick decisions, fast changes, to the point that from one moment to the next it can feel like the direction changed  360 degrees. Now I am not saying the changes (as I step back and look are bad, )they are just rapid, and for a non-manic person, it is really exhausting.  I am doing my best to keep up with the latest changes, and I think when everything settles down, we won’t regret the changes, but he will be looking at it like he ran a 1000 mile marathon, and with his disabilities, that would be an impossible feat.      (20180314_193806.jpg  This photo represents the speed and number of thoughts and changes these last 4 months have been like )

Everything he has done, he has learned, he has made happen has been with the best of intention. To secure our future, our kids future, and their kids future. It has been 4 months of very little sleep, learning about how investing works, evaluating and adjusting our vehicle situation, thinking about where we live and where we may want to live in years to come, reaching out to family he had not spoken to in a very long time, realizing life is precious, and analyzing every nook and cranny of our life. He has not meant to, but cannot stop talking at times, assuming how an interaction will go that has not yet happened and having conversations with that person before the event even materializes ( if it ever will)

So that is why I am here typing,  the silence right now is priceless. I love him to pieces, and I am sure he has no idea how many words he can say in a short period of time, or how all the things that make sense to him, are hard to process for me, as his mouth cannot keep up with his mind or his thoughts. I read an article on being in a marriage with a Bipolar spouse, and one of the things mentioned is to deep breathe, well I have been a deep breather for a long time, but I have taken it to new levels, my lungs have got to be the clearest they have ever been.  All of the symptoms mentioned he has displayed, and FINALLY, I feel we are starting to calm the symptoms down. It has got to do a number on his body, the non stop everything, the emotions from ecstatic to such anger and rage, the lack of sleep, the continuing fast pace of his brain, and feeling like he is in a fog at times, that all has to take a toll on one’s body.

  HE tries frequently to take off for a bit to give me a break, and even though it is nice he does that, the mania can contribute to more new ideas, more changes. He will take his kindle and cell phone and head off to the library, or Dunkin Donuts and work on things he is doing there.

His doctor just doubled his one medication, and that is slowly working so he can sleep through the night. Last night was the first night he slept more than 2-3 hrs. Yeah, I think he actually slept for 7 hrs last night. I too was sleeping, as it has been a ride and a half. He said he does not feel as scattered or spinning as he has been. He tries to appreciate my needs during the day, but it is not easy for him.    I have learned many times over that Bipolar is not able to be managed without professional care. That med management or therapy might each work, but for the best care, you need both. The therapist should be one who understands bipolar disorder and also how it affects people in different phases of their life. As a person ages, the disorder takes on different characteristics, at least that is what I am witnessing.

 The internet is such a wealth of information, and there are forums and support groups for anything you can think of, BUT I do feel the internet can also be a trigger for the mania to be refed as it is trying to slow down. There is so much coming at us from all kinds of areas, it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

So as I sit here in silence, I am thankful he can sleep, I am spending some time praying, talking to God, I am trying to gather my thoughts and I am thankful for all the positive things that have happened and also thankful for the support of our family members who have been there through all of this. It has not been easy, not for me, or for him. Thank God for our children, for our grandkids, for his mom, for our children’s spouses, for our friends who understand and for our church.

 One of the MANY things that have been accomplished in a very short period of time, is he signed up for a domain name and will have a website up and running hopefully in a few weeks. We need to take time to dedicate solely to that, to design the web pages and have the platform for him, for me, for others to post on and for him to share some of his thoughts, some of his experiences, some of him that is what makes him the incredible person that he is. So be watching for his blogs to start on his very own website in weeks to come.  There will be things written, that come from his mind through his hands and end up as words on the screen, things that I do not know, things that show what makes him who he is.      So thanks for reading this, thanks for your time. Say a prayer that the meds will continue to slow him down a bit so he can see the world,  so he can stop and hear things being said, so he can stop and see all the gifts God gives us every single minute, every single breath, every single day.

Until later….                                     Mrs Justa  is signing off.




The Holiday time seems different each year.

Some things always fill my heart with smiles. Like going around and looking at peoples decorations.

100_6830_editedThis house has been amazing for the last few years. I can not wait to go check it out again.

This was in 2010 …………………….





The year I took this ( Dec 2011) , as we were driving by… we stopped and came across this sign.




someone had stolen one of their inflatable yard ornaments..but these people did not lose faith though. 100_0125Someone else came and replaced it for them. They have a can to put non perishables in for a local food pantry. They are people who give to others they do not know by decorating and collecting.

As a grandparent—it is warming for me to know our kids are with their kids opening gifts in the morning and spending those special times together. I always felt Christmas morning was a private time, a personal time for the parents and their children or for the couple with their life. My mom never demanded Mark and I be at her house in the morning with the kids… we gathered together on Christmas eve…

100_0125Christmas is a time to be thankful for those you share your day to day life with. Over the years I have watched as friends have gone through the turmoil of trying to balance between grandparent houses..Worrying about whose house you have to be at, or who you have to plan on entertaining on Christmas morn. I swore I would never be that demanding parent/grandparent.. And I do not think I have been—nor will I ever be.

Now we are older… our kids are grown and have kids of their own..Christmas is a different kind of special. It still has it’s same meaning… but it is Mark and I… we have no alarm clock… we have a quiet breakfast… sip on our hot beverage of tea or coffee..and just enjoy the time of being. I am so thankful we had all the years of having our kids excitement flow over a quick breakfast but I do not feel cheated now..life is chapters in our books of life. Nothing stays the same. Oh there are constants in life… like watching ITs A Wonderful Life…and Decorating for Christmas… and sending cards…baking special cookies, making special gifts….and I totally love the happiness I feel around –it is a time a solitude, a time of appreciating what we have—no matter how much or little.

I no longer feel pressured by buying things..we do it gradually..Mark and I actually go out together and chose a gift or 2 for ourselves..and wrap it and than we open it on Christmas morning. One year we did it way before Christmas..and when we went to open them.. we forgot what we bought ourselves!.

I love Christmas carols 100_6755when it is closer to Christmas… I love church and the amazing scripture of Mary and Joseph and Jesus. I just can not begin to explain how much I love the season. I feel so blessed to be able to live in a country where people can decorate, where people can freely go from neighborhood to neighborhood enjoying the lights and decorations. I love that we have had Christmas magic when we were children, when we had children and now with grandchildren.

It is truly a special time of the year for me.

I hope you can go look at decoration where you live..and hope you feel the magic of the season….. My love to all.. Mrs Justa alias Cindy.

We are just back from a 5 day camping span at East Coast Resorts. It was a nice weather spell of camping, I did work this week so it was just commuting from work to there instead of to here. It was nice once Friday night arrived, to be able to not worry about the alarm going off and missing work.

The weather was cooler than it has been for the majority of this summer, and we got to do a fire Saturday night, did the S’Mores things, got some pretty relaxing moments..and now we are home..laundry almost done, and we are about to have a 4th birthday celebration for Brandon.

On the way home I was humbled . Often I find myself thinking about how nice it would be to be this or that..to win the lottery, …and than I was leaving Nice and Easy after placing the order for pizza and wings for the party for Brandon.

AS I opened the door there was an older man. He was walking with a stride of maybe 3 inches a step. His left foot was totally curled in and he was walking literally on his ankle bone. He had a cane. The gas pump says “Pay before fueling”, it is at least 30 feet from the pump to the door…. and he wanted $20.00 worth of fuel. SO he was hobbling to the store to pay 20.00 dollars and than going to hobble back to his car to pump the gas. ( actually hobbling would have been faster than he was able to move)

As I watched this , 6-1 2012 East Coast resort 009I felt horrible for this man. People coming and going..it was like he was invisible. Mark was parked away from this person, but could see the man from the pick up. He had Riley with him… I came up to our pick up, gave Mark the coffees I bought and said I would be right back.

I was able to get back to the man-and he still had not made it to the store entrance. I asked if I could help..and you would have thought I offered him a million dollars. He explained he was going in to pay for his gas, I asked if he wanted me to do that for him. With shaking hands he gave me $20.00 from a weathered black billfold—held together with a rubber band….…his skin translucent ..his body hunched and frail. I told him he could wait for me..or head back towards his car. He headed to his car..and got maybe a foot when I got back outside. When I came back out and asked if I could help him. He said if I held his arm—he could walk faster. ( his gait was 3 1/2 inches max with assistance).

AS we were slowly walking to his car..he told me he has a crooked foot..and he is going to have surgery in December..He said something about “maybe I should ask if they could do it sooner”… I agreed that might be good. I asked him how bad his pain is? He said “pretty bad..but I get by… “ We talked about after surgery, I asked if he had thought he might need rehab? He said that he figured he would go to rehab and hopefully be able to walk again before he goes home.

I asked is he had ever seen the walkers with seats on them? He said he had but did not know where to get one. So I shared with him various places I had seen them… my goodness I was tempted to tell him to hang out there and run to Walgreens and get him one.

I asked him if there was anything else I could do to help..he said pumping his gas would be nice. So I got him to his car..pumped his gas… and watched as he got into his car.

6-25-2012 Syracuse and Oswego NY 027All of the sudden anything I have wrong is not so bad.  Most things I can take care of myself… this man … he was “getting by” …he is going to have a long road to walk correctly again…and he can not fix what is wrong by himself. I wonder why a doctor would put off that surgery for at least  5 months? Golly gee— this guy can not walk !! What is he supposed to do? Who is his advocate for care?

I can not get him out of my mind. I wish I had asked him where he lived..I wished I had been able to do more. This man –he was the poster child for determination..for fighting adversity….God Bless him..I hope he gets his surgery sooner than December.

Love to all… our summer is winding down..that means my posting will be getting more regular. Mrs Justa alias Cindy…

Family reunions… they are neat to have. Our family is pretty large, and unfortunately not many could attend, but those who did, I am thankful for the time with them. It was the first year my oldest brother Don and his wife Sally could not attend. That was weird. They are the rock for the reunion. Sally loves to plan it and organize it, and that component was missing this time around. Don LOVES the kids… and the kids who are now adults with kids of their own. They are very wise and giving of themselves people, they are real people..not pretend. They were missed.

It is strange but even family who live within a 20 mile radius of each other here in the Syracuse area—we do not spend nearly enough time together, so it was good to have quality time with them too. I felt bad for my nephew—who has 4 siblings, and none were there. His mom and step dad were there though and his kids got to spend time with their grandparents.

My brother, his wife, Mark and me, our new dog Riley Regan, my sister and her 2 kids , my nephew , his wife and 2 kids, and another sister and her husband were there. It was a hot humid few days. A few of us had campers with AC- and that was great for Riley, and the grandkids and their parents…—Riley  was not feeling 100%, so the cooler temps were good for her too. . Our nights were more comfortable than they had been in years passed when we had a pop up without AC, and when we were tenting. 100_0446

100_0447I was over at Jeff and Amanda’s one night as the fire flies were darting back and forth. Brandon was trying to figure out what they were. So Jeff caught one in his hands and let Brandon peak inside and see the fly light up… it was magical, it was heart warming , it was wonderful to see the wonder and excitement in Brandon’s face..and the love in Jeff’s face as he was explaining to Jeff what these lights were.

This is living..this is what life is about. Not the DVDs, or the Nike at nite channels.. no nature, parents, kids, spending time with one another ant not I phones, computers, I pads. 100_0435

Taking the nap under the tree, 100_0473

playing with bubbles. 100_0429



playing cards at a picnic table







having the grandkids help walk the dog…



100_0464Having a grand child help with the dishes….



100_0480100_0462Just enjoying each moment. Now it will be another year before we all come together.

That is a long time. We are hoping all can come next year… each person not there was missed terribly.

I am thankful we were able to share the 5 days though with all who could come for all or part of it.

I love my family… I love my husband who came into my family through marriage and shares in this annual event ! I feel truly blessed.

Love to all.. Mrs Justa alias, Cindy

100_0027The anticipation of getting a pet is overwhelming at times. Did we get everything we will need? Will she like the food? Will she tell us when she has to go out? Will she listen? Is she a chewer? How long will Imus and the new dog take to accept one another?

Tomorrow we hope we can get her. She was spayed today and they said by around noon she should be all set to come home. 

We met our friends tonight and had dinner. It was kind of weird-our excitement and their not even beginning to comprehend why we would do  this life changing event. They are not pet people.. we are. It is similar to my not liking boating, or having horses.

We all have our interests, our compassions. I try to understand those who really like something that I just look at and say “ What am I missing?”

But it is natural for us to 100_0022prepare for a dog.. my goodness, dogs can be such an intricate part of our lives..and we swore we would never get another..but her story—her smile… she won us over… This is like preparing for a new kid in 24 hrs!. Oh you will have to watch for some photos… her leaving the shelter, her riding in the car..her coming to her new home…

yep—a new little girl in the house. Can not wait!.

Have a great night…. love to all.. it is late—I am going in a zillion directions..and I gotta stop and SLEEP… love to all.. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_6086We are all experts in life… well at least it seems at times like we pretend to be. I find myself..and others seeming to know the pathways others are taking are not wise, or they seem to be very critical, or they are too cheap, or too lush..

Oh we see the errors of others ways.. But in reality—none of us know what is right for someone else.. not until we have walked at least a mile in their shoes.

Come on, I know you each have run across a friend or a relative.. and you wonder why they can not see what they are doing wrong? Or we wonder why they can not see a path they are headed down.

We shake our heads and go on in our life.

But news flash…. I bet dollars to donuts—those same people are trying to figure out why you are not doing things a certain way.

None of us are perfect enough to judge others.. We never will be… I do not think any of us were given the power to control or judge anyone.

We can teach our children, we can work closely with co-workers as peer support type people,we can work to train people as they are new to a job or an experience… but we can not judge people. No matter their age, no matter their race, no matter their behaviors…. We are maybe more apt to look at others—than spending the time looking at ourselves. I is easier to focus on others than on our own faults and weaknesses.

It hit me as I was in the ladies room… Sept sky fog 005at Denny’s.  These 2 VERY old women were talking as I was sitting there trying to do the business I went in there for. And they were talking about getting older, about how people misjudge them..thinking that their age is stopping them from being totally there… and they regretted that the body ages slowly—and not just all at once. But they kept coming back to how they are looked at, how they are treated, some people treat them like they are not smart, like they are deaf, like they are vulnerable…. … I felt guilty flushing the toilet and coming out of the stall..because it was a pretty intense conversation they were having… I felt like I was plopped into their world uninvited.. But alas—I came out ..at the sink one of the woman came out and looked at me… she was kind of frail appearing—but her spirit was STRONG>>> and she said.. “Honey, getting old is tough, the 90’s are no picnic. ! Look at stock-photo-elderly-frail-woman-not-having-enough-money-for-her-medication-8959864[1]me..I am just skin and bones… my brain is sharp—my body thin…but as I figure it.. God knows what He is doing..and I guess he wants me really thin when it is my turn to go to heaven….. “ I told her she was looking pretty good to me!… She said” I am going to be 90 on 5-12….yep I was born 5-12-22.” I told her Happy Birthday…. She said” I am tired of all the doctors…. I am tired of all the waiting rooms… But I am not quitting.” … she was a spunky lady… and as I walked out to the car… smiling.. I was wondering where her shoes have gone over these 90 years…. what roads in life led her to here…..

Love to all. Mrs Justa… alias Cindy

nite time 9-6-11 001

As the day turns to dark… what goes through your mind?

As the day ends, do you feel blessed to have just come through the day, or regrets for a day that has passed?

On my way in today there was a contest on the radio. This man called, he sounded rather monotone—he had a deep voice, spoke slow and clear. He won the contest and the station has what they refer to as “a shout” , where the contestant can say something to someone or a group of people… people say hi to spouses, or co workers, or kids, or maybe a group they are a part of…. and they offered him a “Shout” …. silence…. the radio personalities asked him if he was still there… and he said yep… than they were kinda pep talking to him for his chance to “shout out”..and he said ..”I have no family… I have no friends…I have no one…. “ The radio guy and gal did not know what to say….it was one of those moments when words do not come….out of the darkness of the awkward silence the man said “I will shout out to everyone trying to make the world a better place.”

I wonder if this person 100_6248had just recently become all alone in the world..or has it been for a very long time. Did he have a big family..or was he an only child? He did not sound like he had activities outside of the home…. he sounded truly alone. I felt so bad for this person….

And than I thought about many of us…. how many of us would be in the same situation on the bumpy road of life. Those people who live their life with one person, their every move and breath feels at times it is for the other person, and in a blink of an eye—you can be alone. I know a lady who is recently widowed…they had no children…it was them..He had kids from a previous marriage who are all grown up and have places other than here to be.. and I wonder about how she feels as the daylight turns to darkness… She has a strong faith, she believes in God and in the wonders of life beyond here… but she has asked we not ask her too much about how she is..she is trying to heel the pain from the loss….

When my mom became a widow—she had just given birth to her 6th child..so I do not think she had time to feel the darkness the way I think this woman might be.

Life is what we make it… but sometimes I think it becomes overwhelming—exhausting—to make it anything but lonely.

Love to all…

I hope you have at least one somebody in your life… Mrs Justa alias Cindy 

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