Winter time in upstate NY is like other areas in the country, we all have our special unique situations. Some have more rain then not, some have hurricanes, some have ice, some have tornados. We, well we are among the many folks with snow. IMG_3250

Somehow, a very long time ago, I started counting the actual days per winter that driving was beyond horrendous when the wind was whipping the snow around so bad that visibility is zero,. My in my brain counting is 7 really super bad days a winter. I mean really bad. I have experienced some drives where you are driving along and POOF all of the sudden you can only see your windshield. Some days it is snowing 2-3 inches an hr. Those are the days that I am telling myself- “One day closer to Spring”

Often though, in our winter months, the road is snow covered and you just have to drive carefully. Anticipate stops from way back, don’t make sharp turns, and hold the wheel with both hands, and focus. Lake-Effect-Storm-1-16-2011-001_thumb.jpg

In the fall I would choose designated roads, and those I would look for any type of landscape or landmarks that could help me know where I am. Often a straight road, ( but those aren’t always possible, but whatever road it was, as soon as I knew I was on it, I felt like I was home. Like one road has different areas with large pine trees, and just after them a curve. I would carefully look for those trees when the roads were not plowed or visibility lousy, and know what to expect as far as the layout of the road.

Another thing I would do is keep the radio off, and hum “The Lord’s Prayer” if it was really bad the humming went to a more vocal version.

image.pngThe other thing I would do is not travel the interstates if I did not have to. I knew ways to and from home that I felt comfortable on, and no matter what- the speed limit on dry roads is 30 or 40, so I knew I would not have any idiots driving 65 mph, like they do on the interstate. Some people think because they have 4 wheel drive that they are indestructible, and they do not seem to care about who they are pushing out of the way. And not that I wish anyone bad fortune, but I more than once mumbled “KARMA” as I went by them as they were off in the median or snow bank.

Yeah, the winters bring on steel nerves, a tad anxiety, and a major appreciation of Spring.

So for those in the upper snow areas, be careful, and remember ” One Day Closer to Spring”

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy


Whoa, this is a tough concept to grasp. Personally, I am surprised I have any teeth left after the times’ life has kicked me in them. I would think it is safe to say that by the time we reach even 20-30 years old, we have had some not so good times happen. If I listed all of mine, well it would be a tad longer than the novel Moby Dick. For today I am going to reminisce on one.

First I have to admit as the bad moments seem to engulf my life, there is absolutely no one or any way I can think of, see, or believe that there is anything good from it.


Life is like pebbles on the shore, some pretty some jaded

It may take years or decades to even have the courage to look at those times from afar. However, personally, I have been able to see the whole picture the further and further away I get from it.

There are times I do not know the whole picture, components I should not know, will never know, and that too is intended to be. Sometimes I just have to step back and comfort my pain with, the thought there was a reason. No one has the answers, and none of us can know why God’s plan hurts at times.

This particular realization I am looking at today, it took me 40 + years to look in the tapestry of my life and see some light in the dark colors.

For the first 10 yrs of my life, my family continued to grow in numbers ( a new child every 1 1/2 to 2 yrs )and we lived in rental places. I had 4 yrs of life in an upper flat in Bridgeport Cn, that followed with 3 different home in the Skaneateles NY area.

Four months before I turned 10, my parents found and bought a home in Bayberry. This was such an amazing event, it was fairly new, in a suburban neighborhood, we could walk to school, to church and stores, we were safe playing kickball in the street, we had lots of other kids, places to ride our bikes for hours without ever leaving the community, a great place to raise children, and mom could be a stay at home mom, comfortable with the safety of her more dependent children as we frolicked outside like happy puppies.

And then 4 months into this life, we were blessed to be in , boom….  the month of my 10th birthday, our dad was in the hospital he had had a heart attack. Mom had told us when dad came home he would be in a wheelchair at least until he regained his strength, we knew life was going to be way different.

Well, he never left that hospital, my mom at that time was 9 months very pregnant with her 6th child. Mom went into labor on the night before dad was to come home, a neighbor took her to the hospital, and the next morning VERY early… dad had died and mom gave birth.

I gotta tell you that moment in our lives was hard to figure out the whys. It was a time when it would be easy to not believe in anything. We had the cutest new sister, and dad never came home to enjoy the new addition to our family. Plus our “stay at home mom,” could no longer be. Mom went to college got her bachelors degree as she worked as a teaching assistant during the day at the local school district. Pam and I ( 11 and 10) became the child care in the after school/ evening times.

For years it was not easy, but looking back now… had we not had that bought home, where would our family have ended up?  We owned no residence before that time, I think in the plan of life, coloring in the grays with brighter colors, the move to Bayberry was one of those times when the bad, really also was a blessing for our future after dads death.

We were safe, we had a precious bundle of joy to help ease the pain, we  had neighbors helping neighbors, people helped us without ever being asked, so even as heartwrenching, as deep the hurt was, as scary, and as dark as those moments were, we were in the best place considering the whole picture.

Once I really looked beyond the pain, I was reminded once again, that life was never meant to be easy, but life is a blessing every single day I see the sun rise and set.

Until later, my love to all… Cindy, alias  Mrs. Justa

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…..

6-8-2012 Jeff and Amanda's 001Preston is home, he is not feeling 100%, still seemed kinda tired, but at least he is home. We got to spend some time watching the boys last night, it is always fun. Initially we thought ( before the hospital issues this week) to have them here for the night –but I can totally understand why his parents preferred to have them home. Man—how scary to have your little kid admitted to the hospital!

We had a fun time with the little fellows, but as I was there, watching them interact and have the ability to roam around their home where they want, I was taken back to life a few days prior when Preston, his dad and mom were in a hospital room for 2 1/2 days. 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 022

Fortunately Amanda and Jeff were able to take a few days from work to be there..But what if you could not do that? A 2 yr old can not just be told to stay in a hospital room and do not leave it

So would the hospital have to have a nurse in the room with him at all times? And then would that mean that he would have had to get used to 3 different nurses each day.

Heck, it broke my heart 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 019seeing him peering out of the glass door at the nurses walking by, looking for his parents to come back, and to just see the world moving around some.

We were in the room with him, so he and we knew he was safe… but what about all those kids who are in the hospital without that support of family.

I was thrilled he was discharged on Thursday…and I was thankful to have experienced the compassion , the professionalism, the patience of the entire staff we were exposed to there.

What an awesome place. I had never been in a Children’s Hospital before—only worked on the peds, neonate and maternity floors—that is different than this experience was.

Thanks to all who kept him in your prayers… and let’s keep praying for wisdom of doctors and nurses as they care for other sick children ….

Love to all, Mrs. justa…alias Cindy

Ya looking for a job? Well check out this site!

Yep, I spent a little while looking at all the different jobs they advertise, that I never thought about people being hired for…but after reading some of the job descriptions, I am amazed at my taking certain things for granted.

My favorite one—is the “Roadkill Collector Jobs”. Now I never knew people applied for that. I figured it was who got the shortest straw 100_4399at the DPW that day.

Dang—someone actually trains and applies for it.. Now the very disheartening part is when they talk about what they do with the road kill once they get it..

I was okay with bringing it to a landfill.. composting facilities… but A SOUP KITCHEN!!!!

there is only one word for that.. Y U C K >

I love how it says this job is not for animal lovers… So does that mean that “RoadKill Collectors” are mean heartless people? Bet that is a fun class to be a part of!.

There are other jobs there that sound kinda neat though.. An elephant trainer… how 100_3707about training to be Santa Claus… or an Elvis Impersonator… I do not know if I could survive the becoming an embalmer… although I always have done IV and blood draws well… and there are many things I just know would not be a profession I would ever have tried for. (like taxidermist, bounty hunter, bomb squad job, airplane repossession job…) I am not knocking these jobs…just I am not made for them…

Nursing has been my passion since I was 10.. my older sister was in nursing school than, and I LOVED my older sister.. She was a hero type figure in my mind.

So I am glad as I was learning different trades and talents in life..that finally I went to nursing school and fulfilled that dream…

BUT looking at this list of stuff…if I was 18 and wondering what to do with my life… there are some pretty neat things ….

I am about to call it an evening..and drift off to wherever my dreams take me…. heck last night I was with some pretty interesting people—we were working on some project..that when I woke up I felt like I had deserted my job !. Than reality hit..and I went to my I love, I am so thankful for, and one that makes Mon thru Fridays fly right by…

Good night or good day to all,

Love, Mrs. Justa alias Cindy

Ok.. so the solo for Sunday… well in addition to tossing the 2 songs , battling which one to do… Saturday I was tossing my cookies (so to speak) at about 4:30 in the afternoon. So the songs took the back seat to some funky viral GI thing I had going on.

Yep.. around 5:30 I called the Pastor—I felt really bad..both physically and commitment wise, but there was not a darn thing I could do about it.

We had gotten up Sat morning rather early… it really was a way… Brandon came next to my side of the bed… about 2 inches from my sleeping face..and said “Gamma the sun is it is time to get up.” Than hew said  “ Will you sing a song for breakfast?” I was touched…. I was trying to figure a way to settle his ready to go 3 yr old body down..and than he said.. Preston is up too. I asked if Preston woke him up, he said.. No..”I said good morning and Preston got up.”..”Can we have french toast sticks and sausage now?” So we all tried a bed cuddling session and we were up starting our day with the roosters. Lesson learned… 1) Do not tell them what breakfast is after he and his brother wake up.. 2) It is okay to tell him it is too early to get up and have him go back to bed….

By 6:00 AM The boys over 4-27-2012 002they had helped me get laundry started…

they love sitting in front of the washer and watching the clothes slosh back and forth.

Some kids like Sat morning cartoons… these guys liked Sat morning laundry.

Asking about what was happening and telling me when the soap was bubbling.


During the day I was feeling kinda tired..but thought it was just that. We were to have Jeff and Amanda come over , all have  lunch, than the kids were going to go home for nap time. Well I was feeling so tired and kind of blah..that when they kids left with their parents, I got in my PJS 100_0326and took a nap for myself. The nap went on for 24 hrs !! With the exception of getting up to throw up, or go to the bathroom.

Needless to say…. it is a heck of a weight loss plan—but I HATE..and I mean HATE throwing up. Than add to it.. once you are an older person and have a lower partial… as you are waddling to the bathroom to bless the toilet…. you have to yank the partial out of your mouth… uggg… the trials of aging.

I am feeling better than I was at 4:30 last night…looking forward to continuing to feel better. Love to all…Mrs Justa alias Cindy

sept 2011 stuff 030We live longer because we know more about how the body works, and we can do various tests to see when symptoms arise— to find an answer for those symptoms.

Being in the medical field, I appreciate what medications can do. When is it that the person is actually having symptoms based on an abnormality, and when could it possibly be due to the medication?

One has to be careful though, as medications can help…but they can hurt too.

I am watching a person who is super sensitive to meds, and who has a slew of symptoms, go through numerous tests, no answers yet, and the docs are trying to alleviate the symptoms with meds, while trying to find an answer.

For this person, it is very hard, because masking the symptoms is not working, they are still there..only adding the adverse reactions to the meds on top of the problems that the various treatments and tests are being done.

I am hoping that soon, very soon, the next few tests will indicate what is causing the symptoms, so the meds or treatments can be geared towards fixing what is wrong.

It does make sense to me to try to subside or quell the symptoms while each test is being requested and waiting for approval…. but the hurry up and wait is hard for the person going through this problem.  In a way ..wouldn’t it be nice if we could just get checked into a diagnostic type place for 2 days and let them test away. Mri here and there, blood work, diagnostic tests…and come out at the end of 2 days with an answer and a treatment plan.

I remember a very sept 2011 stuff 038long time ago I had hurt an ankle at work. I hurt it in November…and do you know… because we had to wait for comp to approve each next step… it took until the fall to have the surgery approved. By then the damage to my ankle was 10 times worse than had I just been able to get and different tests, a diagnosis and fix the darn thing.

Sometimes I think we get in our own way in the medical field. There should be a team of doctors all working together to get the answers and go forward with the treatments. What I find more- is the patient is like a racket ball that was hit hard in a small 4 walled room. Bouncing here and there..very hard to have all the points come together.

Patients need to have someone be their advocate with them…. it is not imposing on the docs—it is working to help gather information for the patient. Love to all.. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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