Syracuse,Ny


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My dear friend Stephany..I would have made you proud.

I did it again this year. Each year as I have said many times before—you come to mind as I start to take each step.

Life is full of mediocre, life is full of opportunities to either take the bull by the horns, or run like Hell from the bull and get the horns up your buttinsky…. . Tonight was a bull by the horns night. It was a rather busy day at work and I needed to meet Mark at lunchtime to give him something, so we said we could meet and go to lunch. Well don’t cha know it… as I am walking into the booth, my right great toe kicks the base of the booth..and the toe nail pops up… well rips up… dang that hurt.. So as we are eating lunch I am thinking about the Corporate Challenge this evening –the 3.5 mile walk… in 90 % heat with 70 % humidity at least..on asphalt they figure is going to be 120 degrees… and I am now with a toe nail that is throbbing and not all attached.. When I got back to work, I washed it off, had a bandaid in my drawer, taped the nail down and thought – I will take the bull by the horns and go for it.

The closer it got to being the time to start the walk, the stronger my prayers got… ( I hate to admit it..but maybe I was running from the bull!) Oh I was praying for that slight chance of a thunder storm..( lightening might cancel the race..) but NO… so I prayed harder..thinking God tried to get me out of the race by moving that booth in my path… so in my mind I am whirling all sorts of thoughts… than out of sky— a voice came…. it was the announcer stating that since the heat and humidity were so oppresive—they are changing it from a 3.5 mile challenge—a competition ..to a 2 mile “fun run”( ..I am so stupid at times..) I am sitting there and asking –gee so do the runners compete for 1.5 miles and than have a fun run for the next 2??Or do the runners have a fun run for 2 and than compete for the last 1.5??? and  what do we do after the 2 mile fun run..?? People are looking at me like I am having a major “blonde moment”  as I was totally not realizing what they were saying was they were cutting the 3.5 miles down to 2 miles..and there would not corporations competing for the best time.  Once I figured out the 3.5 mile was not an issue in this heat… I  did a foot ball or base ball player move when they make a great play..I looked to the heavens and said

Thank you God… AMEN!. This is still a lot..and there were 8000 people there.. it would still be kinda uncomfortable..but we save 1.5 miles. I did not want to be that person on a golf cart turned mini ambulance somewhere along the way…. none of us did.. a bunch were thinking the same thing… So the announcer tells all to line up in the street…This is looking forwardchase corp challenge 6-19-2012 005 from where I was standing while we waited for the group to start… behind me was a group the same size or bigger.

People –a sea of people… all bunched together on a 4 lane highway.. waiting for the go… no air moving..lots of sweat pouring off many…

My boss said she wanted to walk with me..I warned her that my step would be a little slower because of this new look to my r toe..but she said she wanted to walk with me..So I said Okay……

Our good friend gave me a couple of these bandanna looking things that when you soak them for 1/2 hr before using them, they stay cool for up to 2 days… you wrap it around your neck..and it keeps you cooler than without.. Well at first I was self conscious… but than I was pretty hot—so being one of the only people there with this thing around my neck was a bonus and not a obstacle. I brought the second one and that way I would not be alone..if I could find someone as hot as me… ( which did not take too long) she thanked me over and over for the bandana after the stroll. 

It was a kind of miserable night to take a stroll at 6 30 pm..but the neat thing is knowing I am doing it… and  seeing the half way point..and than seeing the finish line… and knowing I had the bull’s horns in my hands and not up my butt!. Yep..I did it… and I feel great that I did…

Love to all and thanks to Stephany for your inspiration…

Mrs Justa… alias Cindy

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This is LAKE EFFECT snow..

It comes in bands and one spot will have sunshine, the next spot will be next to zero visibility.

It is unpredictable and kind of nerve wracking.

I went to the gym about 6 miles north of here and at the gym it was snowing…than 1 1/2 miles later –bright sunshine and blue skies. Than 1/4 of a mile from here..snowing till I got home.

All day it has been different depending on the minute.snow storm coming in 11-11-2011 010

This shot really shows the dramatic difference between the snow and the not snow line.

It is fluctuating, and depending on which weather person we listen too, we can be expecting over a foot before morning. Oh I really hope not… I am just not in the mood for the shaking and shivering of snow removal and wind blowing snow crystals down my neck… the frozen finger feeling… nope just not ready…

My one brother is a snow plow driver and my son a police officer..Both have to head out on roads untreated and their job requires them to be in the storms no matter what.Mark used to drive a tractor trailer too … he had to drive in whatever the weather was. I could not do any of those jobs.. nope..me I am okay going from here to where I have to get to..but than that is kind of it.. I need to try to focus on work or home… and I do not venture out again till I have to.  Mark had millions of miles under his belt, so I am blessed to have his nerves of steel available when the weather is really bad.

I am a good winter driver..I believe I am.. and have driven through really NASTY storms.. just winter driving is tough at times, because people in this area need to have  1) common sense… 2) snow tires  …3) patience..

snow storm coming in 11-11-2011 009There are people who swear that we do not need snow tires..but unless you have all season that have new tread every year… I think you will find out there is just more control with snow tires. We have snows on the front and back of the cars and a pretty aggressive tread on the pick up..

This year we have the pick-up—it does have 4 wheel drive…so we might find out how that works out too. I personally have never had a 4 wheel drive vehicle..but people who have swear by them.

So I am off… to go and chill.. and get ready for the unknown in the morning… I will let you know if we were spared the snow or not tomorrow… love to all. Mrs Justa…alias Cindy…

I was at Walgreens at lunch time picking up some Ambesol ( yes I have a dental pain that is driving me nuts!!) and this guy was at the photo counter. HE asked if they do passport pictures and was thrilled to hear they did. I was within eye and ear shot of the interaction between the employee and the man… she told him to stand at the screen. As he stood there, I saw he was standing proud, like he was excited for whatever reason he needed that passport.

Some end 8-11 and fair 9-2-11 008She said to him..”No sir.. you CAN NOT smile.” That seemed kind of weird to me… he was happy. But the government only wants poker face, somber people photographed on their passport photo. She said “ Your face changes if you are smiling..” So the guy tried to frown, it was really quite amusing watching this whole thing in quick glimpses over to their little area… . He was like a kid trying not to smile when being reprimanded by a parent or teacher. He had this smirk that was taking control, so she stood there waiting for the frown face.

I had gone down anotherimigration at airport aisle and she said “Okay we have 2 to choose from..” So I guess he became very somber. He said… “Nwo I get it… everyone is miserable at the airport… so we would never be smiling there anyhow..” As I thought about that, I looked around… man there are a bunch of unhappy looking people everywhere it seems.

Mark has a line that I just love… when someone apologized to him for being backed up or slow..if it was Saturday he would say… “That is okay, I do not have to be anywhere until Monday..” It took away some of the stress and actually put a smile on that person.

There are plenty of things to be miserable about, but we need to try to find rays of sunshine in everything we do. It is hard, oh believe me, I can attest to that. We go through losses, deaths, broken hearts, disasters….. but it is through the really tough times we seem to handle the issues and come out stronger because of them. It may take years to figure out how… but it will come to us.  Heck Mark read today that before we are 65 we should have AT LEAST  $300,000.00 put aside for medical bills !! Well I do not know about you… but with all the past restarts in my life I was hoping to reach maybe 90 grand before retirement. HA… that financial advisor who made that comment would love me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!So as I look at it that way… in another 10 years, I will probably be one of the unhappy looking people too. Especially if I can not afford medical care, groceries, utilities and living costs… that is a scary thought…hmmmph… no wonder people are frowning more!

Me.. I am going to smile till it hurts…. ( like my mouth does right bowSad smile ) Peace to all, save those pennies… Mrs Justa alias Cindy

As I sit here, feeling really almost suffocating from the humidity, fans blowing humid air into my face, but nothing really cooling the air…    I have to go to another place in my mind… more 2-8-2011 002

Ahhh..now we are talking. My toes are stinging from the bitter cold..my shoulders remembering the stiffness from heave hoeing snow…by nasal hair frozen together, cheeks aching from the wind… yeah… it is cooler already.

This evening it was 96 degrees… and the gym- even though it is air conditioned- the ceilings are probably 30 feet high, and it is filled with sweaty bodies… it was worse than standing by a stove at 90 degree humid weather and boiling pasta !.

I worked out, and I got the sweatiest I think I ever had. I tried to not focus on it, but when I could feel the sweat beads trickling down the center of my spine, (heck I think my socks were even absorbing sweat off my calves!.)..it was really hard to play mind games and think snow, blizzards and cold fingertips.

The mind is a wonderful thing really… if you give yourself permission- you can go to “happy places” while you are doing things that are difficult. Tonight the elliptical was a Lake Effect Storm 1-16-2011 001little tough because of the heat. The music was not doing it for me… cuz the sweat was soaking my ear plugs too.. So I unplugged my music and tried to focus on the 6:00 news, the weather, even the commercials. Judge Judy was verbally walloping people ( HEE HEE I love when she kicks their proverbial butts with her words…)  and every once in a while… my mind went into winter..snow banks, blustery wind, walking through ice, pellets feeling like they are going to drill into my face, hurting toes and fingers from the below zero temps….( Let me tell you..it I hard to go to that cold memory bank in my mind with sweat running through my bra!..) but I did.. I made it …and I got about 55 minutes into that work out…. now…I am going to go take a REALLY HOT shower..and than the rooms will feel cool.

When we were growing up in suburbia..alias no windia…no air-ia…. alias sticky summer nights when no skin can touch another part of skin,,, and mosquitos would get in the house and find our ear drums to buzz in while we were trying to go to sleep…well..I would gather my 2 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters and we would go into the bathroom..close the door and stand on the floor as I ran totally hot water in the bathtub. we would let the bathroom get super steamy and when we could not stand the steam any longer- we would open the door..ahh now the house felt cool-cuz the bathroom was so hot !!!/////so we would all zoom to our beds and try to fall asleep really quick- before our brains processed that it was NOT COOL in the house.

Hey anything to get some sleep… more 2-8-2011 012now as an adult—I would kick someone’s butt if they ran our  hot water like that…

so I am off.. a hot shower.. a zoom to bed… and than off to work tomorrow.

Peace to all.. Stay cool somehow…

think SNOW!!

Love Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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That is me….

Yep.. I did it… (Stephany I was thinking about you as I walked , how you go for goals and achieve them)

This is the annual  Chase Corporate Challenge. They have these signs on the start line for people to go to. The signs indicate the speed each person figures they do a mile in. I figured 15-20 minutes, so I am walking through a crowd of thousands, going to the back of the line… I get towards the back with 6500 of the 7000 people in front of me.. and find the longest time for a mile is 12 minutes. Bummer… my 20 minutes a mile I was proud of just fizzled into a “BIG DEAL” thought in my mind.
So here I stood , amidst a total mob of people , wondering if the heat and humidity escalated by being crunched in around a sea of not so fit bodies, was going to make me sick before I started. Than I am wondering if because I am at the 12 minute a mile mark, if I was going to be in a stampede when the gun gets shot off… needless to say… there was no trampling..and the top picture shows me off and getting ready for the jaunt…

This is my third year. It is a 3.5 mile run or walk ( I am the walk part) and let’s see… the first year..( I was about 55 pounds heavier)  I got 1/2 mile at the most, huffing and puffing all the way…..….

last year about 2 3/4 miles….huffing a little but I did okay….  this year BABY I did it all !! Me and my MP3 player. So I counted songs- and tried to focus on the music and not the walk.

At the gym I have been doing a 20 minute mile, at the corporate challenge I did 3.5 miles in 56 minutes.

I had signed up to walk with a friend..but she ended up canceling her enrollment because of a personal issue. So I was buddiless… but really enjoyed having the music playing.. it kept my mind in happy places instead of thinking about the 85 degree, humid walk down asphalt. I had a cross necklace on, and I kid you not !!!____ there were times I held the cross and prayed for a breeze… and instantly this calming breeze came over us.

They close the Onondaga Lake Parkway and this year 210 companies had employees partake in this corporate challenge. The money earned goes to a local charity. It is really a challenge as each step pounds the hot pavement, but I had new jogging shoes… ( HA don’t cha worry they did not jog !!!) but I guess their support and weight is supposed to be favorable..and My feet did not hurt !!.

SO here I sit… proud of myself really… ( it was funny the winner ran this in 16 minutes…) He was floating through the air as he passed me, and I had not hit the first mile mark yet. I think he was probably home, showered, shaved and snoozing before I got back to the finish line ! But for me.. the ol lady that I am… I feel good.

Next year watch out 16 minute runner… you won’t know what flew by ya !!! ( yeah right !!)

Love to all.. I am off to take a well deserved HOT shower… ( Thank God for hot water heaters, for freedom to run a shower when you want to and for opportunities like tonight. ) Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Mark said something to me the other day on my way off to work. He made a comment about how I am traveling south to go to work and others are traveling north to go to work. AS I thought about that, it is weird. Why do we work away from where we live? Why is where we live not good enough for us, but is good enough for others to come to ? There are threats of increase in gasoline prices. That has got to be a scary thought to many of the people in this country of ours… in the world really.

I spend at least $50.00 a week for gas right now. And that is as long as we do not go anywhere extra. Plus Marks car needs fuel, not as much as mine. But still. People who live in the major city areas can be in traffic for hours to get to and from work.I can not even imagine the cost for fuel for them. All this fuel, to get away from where we live, to go somewhere else, and than come back again.

What the heck would we all do if all of the sudden there was limited fuel. Like in the 70s when you could only get fuel on an even or odd day, depending on what the last number of your license plate was. If you needed fuel on an odd day- and you were even—too bad… so sad. And the lines to wait for fuel were LONG!!

That was when I bought my PINTO and traded in the 1964 grand prix gas/oil hog. ( That sucker got 10-15  mpg!!) Worse than a truck. It had issues !! It had no rear springs, the guy who sold it to me crammed old tires in the rear area where the springs were supposed to be. ( I did not find that out until it needed to get lifted up in the repair shop.) I was wondering why my teeth were chipping over every bump… it literally bounced and swayed down the road…And when you would step on the gas to go from stop to a moving position , this car would leave  a HUGE cloud of black smoke so bad that the bugs were gone and no one tailgated me. Needless to say the gas shortage/ rationing  was a good inspiration for me to make a change.

It was so funny though, when I bought the Pinto my salesman had come out in the parking lot an eyed the grand prix. The crisp clean white leather interior impressed him. He gave it a quick look and than offered me 500.00 on a trade.. I did not squawk… The day for me to exchange the grand prix for the Pinto came. The salesman surprised me—as I thought I was parking the grand prix and leaving quickly… but he  said he had to  drive the grand prix about 3 miles down the road to their used car lot, he asked if  I could follow in my new car, give him a ride back. My heart went into my stomach… . Well I can not being to explain how funny the look on the salesman’s face was when he started the car, gave it a little gas  and this cloud of black smoke almost engulfed the entire dealership parking lot. When we got to the used car lot, he just looked at me, and said –“ Ah you never mentioned it burned a little oil…” My response was…. “You never asked me!” Heck I bet I could still find remnants from the black smoke if I looked hard enough. And that was 1971 !.

Talking about traveling, this weekend I went to work both days. There is a report I am expected to hand in by days end tomorrow, and I was waiting for the specifics of what is needed in the report. Tomorrow I am really ties up with a couple meetings and the way the days have been going these past few weeks, there are many questions to work on with others. So I figured, I would guess the best I could on what needed to be on this report, and than I had to design it, and than I had to look for the cases that applied for this report. The frustrating thing was my computer at work would not come on !!! So I found another cubicle where the computer did come on, I used that yesterday. Today,,, not so much.. I think on Sundays the system shuts down for weekly maintenance—so I had to hand write everything I need to get on the report, and I will try to get on from home tonight. GRRRR… computers are great when they work… So that was an extra 140 miles of driving this weekend. It becomes the norm for me, for people who live in the urban area and travel maybe 5,000 miles a yr… well I guess the drive to work would be like a day trip to them.

So I am off, we have a movie to watch from Netflix, and I have 25 cases to enter on the report—if I can get on.

Consolidate your driving… gas prices are climbing!!! Love to all, Mrs Justa..alias Cindy

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I wish I could claim these as products of my garden, each one looking perfect yet having it’s own characteristics. Fall, pumpkins, Halloween, apples, wood burning fires, crackling of leaves , cool breezes, frost on the windows. I went by this pumpkin wagon today and the pumpkins have been replaced by those tiny squash. As I drove by this wagon I wondered what each of these pumpkins look like now. How many have the normal triangular eyes and nose carved in them with a toothy smile. How many have really spooky faces . Are some faces just drawn on the outside of the shell, so that the pumpkin could get cooked up later? 

That was what I started to do a few years back, not even carve it. Then after Halloween I still have a pumpkin to boil down and mash and freeze. It was great in pumpkin pie, having it as a dinner squash and pumpkin bread or cookies. We have not yet gotten a pumpkin, I do not know if we will. I did get a few bags of Halloween candy in anticipation of the6 kids we got last year returning. We are out in an area with no street lights, and I think some folks get spooked coming to the door. So again I will probably have a bag full of candy to bring to work.  100_4382

Fall is not long enough for me, next week is already Halloween, already November 1st. A time when I watch  the brilliant colors of the trees disappear as the trees prepare for the bitter cold winds for the next few months, the reds, yellows, oranges and purples are all turning brown, the snow tires are on, the rock salt close by, the shovel is in the doorway of the shed, the plow man ready to help us clear a way for work, scarves  and gloves will be washed and ready, boots in the front of the closet, ice scrapers and snow brooms need to be pulled from the rafters and winter coat cleaned. The cycles of life, the changes of each of us. Are you different today then you were last year at this time? Are you more pessimistic, or optimistic? Are you thinner or fatter? Are you more bitter or more compassionate? We too change. We have our seasons… Are you the best you can be? this is a good time to look in the mirror of life, see everything and see if you like what you see. Do not let life take you by the horns.. you need to take life by the horns. Peace, warmth, faith, Love Mrs Justa … alias Cindy

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