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family reunion 2013 077 (7)

Well another year has past for our family reunion. I am from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, one sister has died and our parents are both deceased. We live in various parts of the country and we try really hard to get together. This year there were some of us, not all of us. This year we went back to the State Park my mom had chosen so many years ago. It was really not bad, we got heavy rain one evening, but the base of the fire was strong enough to withstand the rain and light up some more logs. It was neat to see the cousins spend time together. family reunion 2013 077 (15)Wish my brothers who could not make it had… it was strange not to have them and their families there. We were missing some nieces and nephews and their kids….

We had no cell phone coverage, we had electric on the sites and public bathrooms. Some people tented, some had trailers, some hoteled it….  all seemed to have a good time.

As we entered the weekend and started to observe things, we came to realize there was a passing of the baton so to speak. When we started to go to this part- we were in our 30s and our kids were 7 . Now we are some  of the elders and our kids have kids of their own. Jeff and Amanda became the dinner site- we all gather together for dinner, a dish to pass and eat our family reunion 2013 077 (21)meals, talk, laugh and end it with a nice campfire and s’mores and memories being created.

Adrianne has not been to a reunion for years- but I bet she would like to sometime in the future.. she had mentioned tenting it at some point with her family… and heck if they are more on the line of hotel people, there are some people who do stay in hotels. One year we rented a cabin off site and one year we rented a cabin in a town near by….—that is an option too,.….their kids will be a better age next year… hmmm….maybe they will come too.

The transition was subtle at first, but became more apparent as the clock ticked to 10 PM and Mark and I were headed to the camper to call it a night… leaving behind the 30 something year olds and the younger cousins. Yikes.. we were the “older relatives” who went to bed early…

The kids seemed to totally love the camping experience, and I have to admit I soaked in watching their smiles, there sense of adventure, and looking at how totally exhausted they got from being outdoors, faamily reunion 2013 (89)from going “creeking” and from building sand castles.

I thought about all the electronic devices and the automation we have in our homes- and even though they are nice… … (as Mark says to the boys… _)

“this is living… it doesn’t get any better than this !”

And ya know what he is right!. Regardless of our various challenges in life,

regardless of our stressors our hectic sometimes lives… when we got here—the waters smoothed, the days were peaceful, the experience was something I am so glad we got to share…the only regrets are the people who could not be there…. but than again –we do have next year !!.

So I am off…. kinda chilling tonight…. reminiscing …feeling blessed. Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy,

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100_0171As  the year comes to an end in another day…

It seems that the boys were just screaming HAPPY NEW YEAR yesterday..but in reality—it was a year ago….

I seems like I am still in my 30s… but that was a LONGGGG time ago…

no regrets really… for I truly believe life happens the way it does for reasons….

I look back at all the events of this past year.

Many famous people died, tragic shootings, an election came and went  that totally surprised me, and feeling thankful that I have a job in a time when so many do not.

This year we got to 302763_838411284938_494358476_n[1]100_0646witness our grandchildren growing, and we got to connect in a personal way with our “birth” grand daughter who has grown up to be a camping KOA Canandaigua 7-23 - 25 069beautiful young lady. Her adoptive parents were generous enough to let us spend some time with her. Time which was so precious to my heart.

We have had crazy weather, imagesCA3QUWSSa Hurricane that really did phenomenal damage to the Northeast Coast. We watched as the space program took it’s last voyage. We wept with those suffering from violence and we smiled at those who achieved their goals.

We watched our niece get her license, we camped more. We got to share time at the family reunion with a part of our family, and we witnessed 2 couples wed.

We lost weight , we gained weight, we had a semi successful garden, and disappointments from it too. 100_0621We adopted a dog, and we found a true companion. We witnessed the affects an abusive past can have on a dog, and have worked very hard with her , so she can trust life will be okay.

Yes as 2012 leaves and 2013 comes in, the fear of the future of our country lingers in my mind….and the hope that people can come together for the better of all of us.

I hope the media starts to focus on the good and not the ugly. We should know not the evil ones… we should know those who bring good.

Happy New Year to all…. I hope you find happiness as the New Year comes to our doorsteps in less than 48 hrs. !!.AS I look back, I am thankful… and I am looking forward to all the goodness next year can bring. Love to all. Mrs Justa, alias Cindy

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 …………………….

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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.

OK… I am trying to focus on writing and the wind is blowing so hard..I thought our furnace was malfunctioning and blowing super forced air through the vent. Our house is normally pretty quiet… do not hear wind… but tonight… holy shmolly… it is blowing big time. Just started—all of the sudden..The dog is pacing… and the wind smacking against the house.

So as I proceed..let’s hope the power and internet stay on. I was thinking about mental illness, and how many people suffer from it. Heck I look at this poor dog and see she even has a tad bit of mental illness . I had tried to tape a video of us trying to coax her in her crate..when she heard us say on the video to get in her house, she started trembling in here… oh I hope we can find things to work amd Oct 2011 055calm her down. This wind reminds me of what it is like to see a person ( or the dog !!) go through acute episodes of depression, anxiety or mania. It comes over them like a gust of wind, like huge waves… beating on their souls and emotions –like the wind is beating against the house.

Anxiety is a tough disorder, so is depression and mania. They all are real, and when they hit, the person going through it usually recognizes the problem and becomes more symptomatic realizing they can not stop it. It is like watching a person be a prisoner in their own body. I have taken care of patients and have been personally exposed to individuals who suffer from all of some of these illnesses. And there is nothing I can do to help when a full blown attack happens.

Oh I can try to stay calm, I can look for the sun ray through the dark cloud… but I feel inadequate, because I can not help to make to acute episodes subside. I can recognize when they are about to happen. But depending on the level of intensity they have..they can be like a tornado—taking down anything in their path.

For Riley… in the crate..when anxiety hits… NOTHING I can say or do will stop her from panting, trembling and bending the cage.

It is so opposite of her when she is not having an anxiety episode.

When I watch Mark deal with his high levels of anxiety, depression , mania—man again it hurts to watch, because there can be a path of destruction… he said the other day that it wears him out.. wears him down.

People I have met in life who have had similar disorders..they too felt at times that they were losing a grip at times.

So as the night hours begin to pass…africam 1-24-2012 011 I want to send a cyber hug out to all who suffer from mental illness…and to all who know someone with mental illness. Support them, never ever give up on them, and know that when an acute episode happens..that is when they need you most.

I learned a long time ago… that when an acute episode happens..that is when you find out who your friends are… and also who are not your friends .

I love you Mark… through your highs and your lows… you are a good man… a man passionate about your beliefs…. –It is a ride sometime s!!.

Love to all, Mrs justa alias Cindy…..

work and home oct 2012 176Mid way through a 4 day weekend for me, and I am feeling blessed we were able to have Brandon and Preston for a couple of nights. Jeff came and picked them up around lunch time. We had lunch and he took off for home with 2 boys who we were pretty sure would take a nap today!

They are such fun to be around. Anything I went to do, Brandon was right there asking to help. As I would tell Brandon he could help, Preston was coming to see what he could do too. They helped load the washer and dryer, they helped put the detergent and fab softener in, they helped with dishes, helped with cooking,helped fold clothes, helped with reading, helped bake cookies, … we had a race in the side yard, we walked the dog, we did a bunch of puzzles, read books, played cars, read more books…. oh and had freeze pops… Yeah it was fun !.

It was a busy 2 days, but days in life that brings memories, smiles and makes one appreciate what special times we can have with children.

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I love the magic of life in a child’s eyes. I love watching them try to figure out things. I loves watching them interact with one another and with their adults in their life.

Tom and Sher came over last evening and spent some time with us and the boys. it was fun to see them interact with Tom and with Sher.

The boys had new adults to try to figure out. We had pizza and wings and lots of smiles and laughs. Bubble baths, games to play, chatting and just being. It was a fun evening.

Yesterday was supposed to be pumpkin patch day with the preschool Class. But it was canceled because it was really cold, wet and would have been miserable. So I got to take Brandon to pre-K. It was so cute to see each kids line up to go to their class, each one looking at the adult who brought them there,,,and than all of the sudden this line of 18 4 yr olds blow kisses to their families. They all go in one by one into a class room. It was precious.

I was lucky to have been able to take the time off to spend with them …. it was a good 2 day.

Now off to shrink the table down to it’s smallest size… and maybe read my book a bit…

Yes life is special… Love to all, Mrs. Justa alias Cindy

Oh my goodness… As if I did not have time before ..now add WORDS WITH FRIENDS to the mix!!!

This is addictive… I mean worse than smoking , drinking and eating all together.

It takes me twice as long to clean on Saturdays..cuz every time my phone does the chime that someone just played a word—well I gotta go and see what they played.

I like to play with people my speed.. ( Mentally challenged !!LOL)

No but really… see when there are games on line—than some creep will design sites to go to where you can enter your letters and it gives you words you NEVER heard of. There are some whiz folks who entwine the words so one work will fit next to another—and the person gets 80-100 points with words I never knew existed… Those people are not real fun to play against. I refuse to go to those sites…and well I am just not as smart as they are in this game.

I am more on the level of “the”…”it” .. “qi” maybe throw in a 5 letter word every once in a while… Oh my goodness… lunches at work—I run out to my car and play a few words on my smart phone..than turn it off and go back to work.

Making dinner—phone is on and charging and every “bling” sound… I scoot over and play a word.

I am PATHETIC!!!. I was wondering if I could get a waterproof cover and play a word in the shower LOL

So needless to say… I have not posted—cuz I have been wording it with friends.

It is fun… it is kinda nerve wracking—because people will start a game and not play a words for DAYS!!!. There have been nights when Mark and I are sitting on the couch playing a game against each other… when we went camping—9:00 PM hit—and out came our smart phones— and off for word with friends. Now mind you we have a scrabble board—but heck this seems more adventurous.

I guess it is better than other addictions… but dang.. it is a time filler too.

We are okay… Mark has his emotional issues that tend to bring him on highs or lows… and the highs keep him from sleep… the lows keep him in bed more.

Riley is a good dog.. we are lucky to have her—I think. She is very affectionate… loves to be with us… and is chomping on this beef bone I bought today and baked for her…… She is a little obsessive compulsive—I think she has been scraping it for 5 hrs now !!.

Our kids and grandkids seem to be all doing well…and the rest of the family is too…

Life is FLYING by… but at least I am alive to watch it fly by—so I guess that is a good thing.

I am off to cook dinner.. and do some more stuff for work…

Love to all. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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My life… I sat on the floor in the corner of this room, looking for something specific. And to my surprise I found much more than I intended to. The bottom two shelves are the photos and music of my life….

I was looking for a picture of a lady I work with. She is retiring in a couple of weeks and this photo was from when I met her, back in 1989. She oriented me to hospital nursing. She and I have had our paths cross for years on end, and then for a bit we may work in different places..but we never lost contact.. And times along the way we end up back in the same place again. She is a special lady. As I looked for this one photo I ran across my life. Things that have been pigeon holed in places in my mind.

It is funny how a photograph can bring you back to that year. It can make you remember a smell, or a breeze, or a sense of wonder . It brings back a feeling of being special, or discovering a place you had never been to before. It also can bring back a feeling of loss, or pain. It reminds you of relationships, of stages of youth, of people who have left this temporary home on earth to go to their destination. It kind of reminds us we are alive.

To relive these moments, to watch my little guy and Marks little girl grow up in photos. To  see their kids growing up… 100_3398

To realize that even thought it seems the years have flown by..those photo albums on the lower 2 shelves represent miles of life’s highway. The whale watches, the camping trips, the mini vacations Jeff and I took, the whale watches that Jeff ,Mark and I went on, the seemingly endless precious weekends that Jeff and Adrianne got to share with us, the evolving of my family from me being a baby to having all my brothers and sisters, smiles, reunions, marriages, births and deaths. All in-between sunsets and sunrises..each one different.

A100E0347nd as I soaked in the memories as they came to life.. I thought about how lucky we are to live in this country. The unrest in other parts of the world.. I wonder if these people have good memories. Have they stopped to see the beauty of the world? My heart says they have missed a lot of the soft sides of life… for they carry around such anger and hatred.

Yes … my journey through time that has been, it has  reminded me that I have been truly blessed. I thank God for that, over and over again.

I hope you have memories of your life captured somewhere. Stop and take a moment to remember. Good night all. Mrs Justa alais Cindy

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