I remember when my mom passed away, it was not expected at all in our day to day lives. It is not that we thought she would live on forever, but it was more that she was there for our whole lives. So it became a part of life.

She was an extremely private, giving, compassionate and not the most organized person. 3-18-2012 feels like springtime 004She put her family first to the point that to avoid us worrying about her, when at all possible, she quietly dealt with her pains, her ailments, and her finances. In many ways her life was open to us, however the framework of it, she kept to herself.

Her death was while traveling in Germany, and her death was a surprise to the people she was visiting and a shock to all involved. So when the storm cloud cleared a tad that early morning we received the news that she had died in her sleep, the searching for information began. We had to represent her birth certificate, her marriage certificate, our dad’s death certificate. We had to present documentation explaining why her name on her birth certificate did not match the name on her marriage license and did not match her passport. And the clincher was we had to get all the information translated in German and sent ASAP to the funeral home in Germany.

Now that in itself was beyond overwhelming because she never shared where important papers were. We also had to find her financial paperwork, what bills she had, did she have any life insurance, the deed on the house, information on all her belongings, and we did not really have time to soak in the pain and loss because we were on a rush timeline to get everything in order.

We did, fortunately, know a friend of hers was a lawyer, and he had some idea of some things,  however, there was a limit to what he had available. Fortunately, she had a will, and that did help alot.

So this leads to our Sunday. I went through our papers, our financials, our personal papers, and I believe I have at least IMG_20190120_162553started to get all the information labeled and the information put into an excel sheet- a ledger. It was easier to start this ever-evolving log of our life now than it would be for someone else. I will update it as life changes. But at least, when Mark or I pass on, our information will not need to be the goal of a scavenger hunt. It was one of those good intention tasks that I have thought about for YEARS. and now I feel a little better should I get hit by the proverbial bus.

I may be here for another 30 years– but life— well it has no guarantees.

With that , I am closing, getting really for my day at work.

Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

I feel like we have come to the last lap of winter. It is nice to feel that way, as these past few months have been bitterly cold. 20190225_075858It is so much easier to stay inside than to go out. It is hard to find time to see sunsets when it sets before the work day ends. It is too cold to be on the deck. Spring is knocking on the virtual door of the future, and I am super excited to know that is about to happen.

I am far from an extravagant person, and often I am so much like a nonperson, as I am quiet, a tad shy, and accepting of most things as they cross my pathway. I realize as I look at my many years of life, that I am a doer, and observer and unfortunately at times a person who wondered why I could not be as _______ as someone else.

Life is way too short to worry about what

photography of one us dollar banknotes

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

we don’t have and focus on what we do. I say that because we can strive for things, but we need to always be aware that things happen for a reason. In school I wished I was one of the popular crowd, now I look through various encounters with those who I thought had everything, and they didn’t. They were just like me, there was nothing special about them. Oh they had nice clothes, or they were from wealth, or they were always with groups of people, the sports stars talked to them, people invited each other to parties. Their social life left little time to sleep. I guess I put them in a pedestal because they seemed in my brief encounters to “have it all”.

Now though, I realize that each day is a day that IMG_3496is for each of us, gift-wrapped for us to embrace each minute.  It never comes back, and it is where we are at right now. I am so thankful for being blessed with a husband that truly loves me for who I am. I am thankful for God, and the comfort of faith. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a mom, a wife, a grandmother a sister, and a friend.   Thankful for each time I get out of bed, the ability to ambulate on my own, the incredible family I have, Riley, the ability to absorb the world around me,  to be able to feel, to smile and to cry, to find humor in life and to laugh, and that I have a job that keeps my mind going and helps us build for the days that lie ahead.

I was reading some posts on a forum, and people are boasting about how they have a few million dollars, how they have no worries about finances, one person wrote something about getting advice on how to spend all the money he has. On the surface, they sound like they “have it all”, but do they? I am not going to waste one precious minute of my life envisioning their wealth, their lives. Instead, I am going to treasure each moment of mine. I will never have millions of dollars, I do not know what one would have to do to obtain that. I would say that not having money abound, that keeps my focus more on the gifts we have in front of us.

My “millions” are made up of seconds, minutes, hugs, smiles, silence, being loved, music, singing, writing, reading, creating. With those things- why life is just fine,

Until later, Mrs Justa alias CIndy

The good and the bad, one goes with the other, problems 20190303_103833we all face, tragic losses, lives are filled with weighted down problems and hurts, with sickness and death, with times we find almost unbearable.

AS the news shares so many terrible things that happen, abuse, neglect, weather, accidents, it is so easy to become bitter. The loss of a child, of a loved one, violence, the loss of our possessions, life-changing moments. Somehow we get through them, the weight of the hurts and the pain feel unbearable at times, and yet, like this little tree holding the weight of the snow, we make it through. Not saying we are the same as we were when the problems arise, life is never the same.

I can not find concrete evidence of why things happen, only  I know that they do.  I prefer to look for the balance of the good that came also, and sometimes the answer for the “good” is not visible for years.  IMG_0403In my own life, people sometimes have said to me when tragedy happens – “Well what is the good from that?” I can not answer those questions, I can only personally believe with all my being, that life never was promised to me to be easy, there is not one place or store or person or being that has a magic wand that protects me from bad things. Life can feel like violent storms rolling in, and with the turbulence, there will be calmness again.

img_0792To survive the moments of hurts, of losses, of pain, — those moments when it is much easier to run from faith in God,  personally I have found turning my problems over to God – that has helped me take the next step.

When towns are destroyed, when lives are lost, tangible things demolished, the people often come together, pray together, and even though the scars of the tragedy will be there, the road to a less terrible situation is long, and being held up in those times is a faith, a strength, a proverbial light in the darkness.

Personally, if I really look beyond the pain, beyond the losses, beyond the things at some point I thought were important in life, the “Why me?” times, or the “What is the good from this?” moments — I find comfort in knowing not one time, was I alone.

I am reminded of something I read a while back from Billy Grahambilly grahams verse on challenges. No one has all the answers, no one will ever have all the answers. I found this interesting and honest.

As I close, I say a prayer for those who recently lost so much in the tornados that hit the south. Lives of children lives of others, personal belongings, lives turned upside down.  Prayers can not bring back what is lost,  the strength needed to get through this is not bought in a store or found in a pill, it is inner strength and the need for “hands”  to hold us up, hands we often can not see, and don’t realize are even there… but I truly believe they are there always. Until later, Mrs. Justa. alias Cindy



As I got out of bed the other day, 100_0326_thumb.jpgslid my feet to the floor, felt the carpet underneath them, went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth with water that comes on by a turn of a faucet, sat on the warm seat of the porcelain toilet and cleaned myself with soft toilet paper, washed my hands in warm water and using a fresh scented soap, proceeded to the shower stall and washed in the heated bathroom, I stopped and thanked God for everything we have.

This got my old brain thinking about times when houses were the outdoors, or if you were lucky you might have a  hut or a cave; when a bed was made by cushioning leaves and brush on the ground, and a bathroom was a place in the wilderness,  toilet paper a leaf, a blanket might be made from branches. Do you know how thankful I am that I am here now !!!

There were no rules, no electricity, no running water, no closets and dressers with clothes bought already made,  no phones, no Walmarts, no Amazons, no Home Depots or Lowes. To see how someone is, you hot-footed to where they were, barefoot unless you created a foot covering. There must have been winters, oh my goodness, how the heck could I have ever felt warm? My husband affectionately refers to me as an ice cube when I climb into bed. ( IN SUMMER and winter) .

I just finished cleaning the 100_0313_thumb.jpgkitchen and bathrooms. As I carefully looked at every single thing, soap bars, shampoo that comes out with a simple push of the spout on the top, a refrigerator, cupboards with spices, microwave, oven, washer and dryer, and canned goods, a freezer with food ready to thaw, plates silverware, music playing with a touch of a button, I could go on and on… I am overwhelmed with gratitude and disbelief.

Bottom line is there are so many things I think we take for granted, things that never would be here had someone not had created a vision, an idea. Look at the things around us. Every single thing probably had years of trying ideas until it was perfected. From water flowing to septic needs met. From the clothes on our backs to the pillows we lay our heads on. The environments we live in, the transportation we take advantage of.

It only accentuates to me ever so loudly, IMG_0771that we need to feed and encourage ideas, teach our children, encourage thinking, not to become dormant, we need to stop and be thankful for everything and every breath we take. For many trails and thoughts, many failures and retrying surround us.

AND TO NEVER GIVE UP.  If everyone gave up if everyone did not even attempt to invent, create— well we would live in a world, life would be full of totally different scenarios.

UNtil later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

I have to tell you, I feel bad for those 20160819_140500 (1)who have never been loved by a dog, who have never loved a dog. For a good part of my life, a dog has helped to make me whole. I truly believe, in my life, no other living being has ever been as faithful, trustworthy, compassionate and loving than a dog.

I have had a number of dogs, various breeds, 20190204_091610-1various sizes. Each and everyone had a personality of their own, and if given attention and watching them, their lack of words does not lessen their amount of communication. They are silly, they smile, they do strange things, they fill the heart and soul with a love that is unmeasurable and irreplaceable.

I have never 100% of the time had a person greet me at the door with so much excitement and joy. Never once was a dog sitting at the door with a scowl, or a “And where were you this late” attitude that I would get from a parent at times. I have never had a better friend, never had another show unbiased acceptance for who and what I am, never felt as whole as I have in the times shared with our dog.

A dog is there when you hurt when you are sick and when you are just being. And a dog protects those who love it, to make sure danger stays as far away as possible.

I feel bad for those people who have never shared clone tag: 3559830722623208867the time with a dog. It is so easy to walk past the dog journeys on the road of life, and honestly, it leaves a person without the “inconvenience ” of having a dog. They can pound their proverbial chests and have so many reasons why they don’t like dogs, do have dogs and would never live with a dog.

A dog is not okay to be beaten or abandoned, it is not ok to lock them up and let them come out for meals, they are not JUST A DOG. If a person can not take in 100% of what a dog really offers, what a gift a dog can be, well those people should never have one.

To me, a dog is not meant to be left outside, in a caged area or tied on a chain, why would I have a dog just to make it an outside animal? Some say their dogs have thick coats and love the cold, okay– I think that perhaps those people should put on their own heavy coats and share that outside environment with that dog.

camping-KOA-Canandaigua-7-23-25-009.jpgSure you can live without a dog, and you think you aren’t missing anything because of that, unfortunately, those people will never experience the unconditional love a dog gives. They won’t know the void a dog can fill, for me…. my life has been better with a dog in it.

A dog is a responsibility, a step taken knowing there are costs for caring, feeding, and nurturing. If a person is not willing to give all the care to a dog, they should not make that step. For me, for each dog that has filled my love with so much, there is no price, no amount of money that can match how much better my life is because of them.

I also can say that when a dog has had to die, 20181223_141334the void, the soul riping loss ( for me) has been worse than the severe feeling of loss of a loved one. With that being said, a passing of a loved one goes on and on, and it feels like the world should stop as you take it all in.

The passing of a dog, it is different. It is so heart wrenching, and it can be days to not cry at a dog commercial, or looking at a photo or belonging of the dog, yet the footprints in my soul are treasured.


For me, I am so thankful to have known the various dogs in my life. Each one has been inside the house, protected from the elements. Each ones short life ( compared to our lives) has given more than I could ever have given back. If you truly watch a dog, you find so many neat qualities, neat personalities, and realize why dog is God spelled backward. A dog is not “Just a dog” and more than a person is “Just a ___”

I am going to get ready to venture into work. 20190115_083926Our dog has come in and nudged her nose on my leg to say good morning, she has had her breakfast and gone out, and now she is in sleeping with her dad, watching over him as he sleeps his last little while before araising to a new day. She reminded me how great it is to have her in our home, in our hearts, and a part of our family.

Love to all, Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy



We are all different, some quiet, some are known when they are in the presence of others, and some are darn right annoying because their behavior is that they are the only one that matters.

I wonder what makes us be the way we are. bouyI was thinking about me, if I had to look for something I am like, I find a buoy is probably that best description. Buoys are just there, they can provide safety to alert of danger, they do not cause harm, they are pretty simple and bob along as the world goes by calmly, or thrashes around me.

As I bob through every minute of my life- going forward and for the minutes that have  gone by, I watch, I observe, I say few words, and if the waters are calm, I am still… if the waters are rough I tip back and forth, look like I might lose my purpose, but in the end, I am still there.

Birds can perch on me, a boat can be warned of danger by me, I guide to safety and I can be held onto in a bind. A buoy is always there as life goes by. Winter makes me more of a buoy, but this spring, as the weather warms,  I think my weighed down buoy is going to be more like a leaf in a breeze, and we may take time to explore places not visible in my buoy existence. God gave us life, and such breathtaking things to do, every once in a while, Mark and I – well we are going to start seeing them again.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy


We all have had times when life can seem overwhelming, or a day is coming quicker than we want it to and we have so much to do to prepare for whatever that day is marked for. It can be a situation at home, at work, a special event, a party, a wedding, a change-in-life event. The bottom line is, we can be all focused on the moment way before it happens, and it can stress us to the max.

One thing I have learned from life,

altitude clouds cold daylight

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

and also have to steadily remind myself that I have learned it is you get to the peak of the mountain one step at a time, if we look up at it and know we need to get there, we see it as one giant step, but it isn’t.

It is true for every single thing really. A shawl is crocheted one stitch at a time. A novel is written one word at a time. A driveway full of snow is cleared one step at a time.

img_0814.jpgNature itself takes one step at a time. If it did not, we would not experience a walk through deep snow or sand between our toes.  How many grains of sand make a seashore? How many snowflakes does it take to make an inch of snow?

That currently is how I look at everything. The important thing is we take those steps. We have our lives in order, we lessen the “good intentions” and turn them into works in process, and at some point a completion, a check off the to-do list of life.

Just think of all the things that would never be- if the focus on the summit discouraged the process to begin. If the thought of the finished bridge made it overwhelming to begin…

I currently am updating a reference sheet of our life, it is a good intention, meant to do it a zillion times in the past few YEARS, and now I will take the steps to get it completed for right now.

A reference sheet of life informs those who might be covering for us if we are sick, or have to be away for a while, or when we leave this earth for our permanent home. It tells who is owed what, what insurances we have, what accounts we have, is there a will, who is the lawyer. Where things are filed and kept. It is never finalized, as things will change, but it needs to be updated and checked for currentness probably every year at the max.

I looked at ours and it has information that is no longer accurate. So that is my mountain summit for right now. One word at a time, one line at a time– it will feel good to get to the top.

I hope you have a great day, take one step at a time. Until alter, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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