I remember a very long time ago, a time when my mom was helping me each step along the way as she taught wrong and right. At a very young age, I found that I should fess up with the things I had done. At the age of 4 ( almost 5)  is when I remember a lie I told. We were at a new house in a new state. The house sat atop a hill, and the driveway up to the house ( at least in my 4 yr old impression) was like a mountain road.

The driveway had 2 openings, as there was a hill on the property, so if you were coming from one direction, there was an entrance as you crested the hill, and coming from the other direction you could enter the loop driveway before the top of the hill.

I was a child who was blessed with having a stay at home mom. Which also meant I was a child who did not know life being away from mom. It was my first day of getting the bus for kindergarten. Mom had a toddler in the house. So I had the responsibility to walk down the driveway and wait for a bus. We had had a dry run before that day, and I remember mom taking me down the driveway pretending it was my first day. Now it was me and the bus, and my mom watching from a window.

I remember being frightened and scared, but not letting mom know that.

back bus education school

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I was going to get on this bus, and not be with my mom, I remember fighting back tears. AS the bus was seen from afar- way down Rte 20, I remember seeing a tree, a pine type tree. And in a moments notice, my body took off and hid in the welcoming arms ( branches) of the tree.

Mom saw the bus stop and assumed I had gotten on it. I did not. When the bus left, I remember crying, cuz I knew I should have gotten on it, yet I was too scared to. So I unwrapped myself from the protecting branches of the tree, and trudged up the driveway and went in the house.

Mom was not pleased, and I was crying. I told her the bus would not wait for me.

This was lesson one on lying… she kept grilling me in her oh so gentle fashion until I finally went into a sobbing mode and confessed what I did. It was then, once I could absorb her wisdom and lesson in life #5000, ‘ the lesson was that we should not lie. If we are caught in a lie, we end up with people never believing us, or having a less then pure trust of us. ( I have to admit, I did have to be taught that lesson a few times more in my very young years) but I learned that I should always face every situation truthfully and right on.

For this incident, well I delayed my first day of kindergarten by a day. Mom called the bus garage and spoke to someone and explained what I had done,  and mom walked me to the bus stop the next day, a toddler in one hand and a 4 yr old child in the other hand, and she spoke to the bus driver, and from then on. I was a kindergartener bussed to school. The bus driver was so nice to me, let me sit close to the front, as I knew no one and even was new to our house and the town.

Mom was wise, she did trial runs with me, and she felt confident I would be okay, I realize that. I think she herself was surprised to see that all she thought would go smoothly, well I had a plan of my own.

Lesson eventually learned, be honest, be trustworthy, and know that every action has a reaction, every word, every motion, there is a cause and effect. That choices we make are just that, choices WE make. We own our emotion, we own how things make us feel.

So as I am about to enter a new day, a new weekend, I say… Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy



Have you ever been overwhelmed by all the things that appear in front of us, things we can’t “unsee” .

photo of women s clothing

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The touchable, visual things in life. From things that people have, to gestures people do, to what is brought to us via sensationalism by media, TV and movies, many electronic type games and programs.  All these things we can see, they do not matter really. They are in the form of being visual to us, touchable, or within our sites. The materialistic components of life. These things seen are all temporary.

bullion gold gold bars golden

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The list is endless really. And the truth is no matter how endless it is, in the end, there is not a luggage rack on a hearse, there are no storage bins or centers in heaven. We can get so wrapped up on those things seen that we don’t always take time to focus on the unseen.

There are our feelings, our kindness, our hurt, our joy. The unseen things that make us who we are. And the unseen things are not boasted about, they are not to be placed on a proverbial mantel in a touchable form. The unseen thing are what is inside us. How good a person we are inside. Trust in the kindness, goals to be compassionate, kind thoughts that are not smothered my negativity. Faith in today, faith in things unseen.

This is tough to do, because unseen things do not increase attendance at movie theaters, or increase profits for vendors and manufacturers of all the touchable things that surround us.

Personally, I can think of a lot of times

sunset hands love woman

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I have wasted precious moments, precious days and years comparing me and what I have or don’t have to others. Why am I not ____, or I wish I could have ____, or how come “they” have the money to do ____. As I look back,   such a fool I was. Because, today,  as I sit here, I realize all the time I spent in the past of doing that, it was precious time never to be replaced again. And so many of the things seen that consumed me- years later are gone, or tarnished, or no longer as they appeared in the past.

Focusing on the unseen, that is eternal. May your day give you times of comfort.                 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



I often find my mind taking me back in time, and remember that through most of the years of my life, it was the times spent with the special men in my life, not the times away from that I remember most. me and my dadAs a very young girl, it was my dad. He was the comfort, the strength, a gift. His job had him away during the week and home on Thurs nights and back out on a short sales run, returning usually Friday nights.

Our time together meant everything to me. I remember his hand holding mine securely, his voice was deep, his love for all of us was unending. I remember his hugs, his laughter.

He used to say I was his princess. I remember how he tried to take time for each of us. and my time I saved in a vault in my mind, in my heart. It brings me comfort in so many ways.

I remember how he was one who would remind me through the years he was alive, that life never promised to be all good, me and my dad at beardsley park ctbad things happen, and that somehow the bad turns into good again.

Karen was 10 years older than me, and it is funny in the couple of pictures I have of her with me and dad, she is always looking back at me. I can only imagine I was a chatty little one.

We all remember dad in different ways I am sure. Karen was 10 when I was born, so she already had 10 years of memories before my dad times started.

Pam my next older sister was 1 1/2 yrs older than me. She and I had a lot of fun and not so fun times, just due to age, and I always felt a tad bit of jealousy from her. She too had memories of dad, and dads death took a really bad toll on her. To the point that as an adult woman, every anniversary of his death she would end up in a severe depression. Sometimes to the point of needing an inpatient admission to help her get to the other side. pam, karen me and our dad

As I got older, there have been men in my life who also had employment that required they be gone a good percentage of the weeks. I never ever regretted that, I accepted it without any second thought, because the time they were home, was valuable, treasured and never taken for granted. It is not the amount of time spent, it is how we use the time when we have it to spend. To be constantly together, 24/7; I think it becomes an expectation, I think there are moments that would be more special if they were not routine.

During the first 10 years of my life, I remember my mom, however times I remember more vividly are those in which my mom and dad were there. I wonder often how life would have been had he not died when I was 10. Time with dad, it was quality time, the pieces fit together.

As I look back on my own adult life, seneca lake 5-1990Mark was away often for his job, just like my dad was. It was how life was. When our own kids were growing up- we tried to spend quality time with them when Mark was home. We would go to some places – often places that did not cost a penny, yet their value priceless. Walks in parks, sitting on docks, camping in our pup tents, later advancing to pop-ups. Playing ball, frisbee, Yahtzee, the list goes on.

And now the times with our grandchildren, the moments are treasured, they are not routine, and we do things with them. It is the special times, times giving of oneself and really focusing on the other person, those are quality times.

AS I am off for a new week, I am going to work on quality and not quantity…

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

We live life sometimes feeling like we know exactly the next step. Our alarm clock will go off, we will get up, we brush our teeth, do whatever routine in the morning we do, and move to the next part of our day. However when the alarm clock does not go off, or there is no water pressure, or maybe we fall out of bed instead of getting up the usual way, well it kinda puts our synched life out of order.

We trust everything will go as planned, and yet there are the things that don’t.

It gets even trickier when we take the next step, drive the car, reach for something, heck even getting something from a cupboard. Everything we do we trust will end the same way.

Now we can try to protect ourselves from areas where things can’t go wrong, but we become people in bubbles. Less can go wrong, but things happen.

I was thinking about trust and faith to extend beyond flyingthe simpler bullet points of a day. I was reminded in my thoughts of this day, this fall day when this never could have been, had life been kept inside the bubble. I took this at an angle to show the freedom, the joy of the moment. Jeff trusted he would get caught, and he loved the feeling of freedom. The look on his face, the total relaxation of his body, he trusted thigs will be okay, and without that trust, the picture would have been totally different- it might have been a terrified face and fingers clutching so tight to the neck of his dad- like please don’t make me do this. But no– he totally trusted and because of that experienced something way out of the ordinary.

As we get older and heavier, that opportunity – that specific scenario – could not be, or would probably not end in a laugh. However, as we age, gliderinventors have created ways to get that feeling and beyond. I takes a lot more effort from the person achieving the liftoff, however, it needs to be accompanied by trust. Trust that the winds are right, trust your legs are ready for a rather fast run, trust the equipment was not faulty. If however, you have the trust, that sense of freedom can be yours. This person was on an elevated area, beyond the takeoff fallarea was an incredible valley, miles of land colored with the brilliance of fall.

Life has been full of trusting, we trust in relationships, we trust in our day to day activities, our jobs, our everything……and yes we also trust we will be cleaning the bruises- whether inside or outside, and some scars that show the roadmap of my life. I want to always feel that feeling that life is going to be okay, that feeling I get every time I remember that fall day with Jeff. I never ever want to stop trusting that even when things don’t go quite as planned, the trust and faith are so important.

Until later,  Mrs Justa alias Cindy


I was listening to music in my mind, it is like I have a jukebox ready to play a song, no one else hears it, so anywhere I am, a melody, lyrics, a place in my past comes to life. This one song seems to come back over and over again.

“Cause who’s gonna know but me
Who’ll help me recall those small memories
When I’m all that’s left of this family of three
Who’s gonna know but me” Kathy Mattea

As it played I had looked up on a shelf, IMG_3644and so quietly sits this little doll. She has quietly sat in places I have been since I was 9 years old.

No one knows or even asks why, and she sits there doing what she has been doing for many many years.

This little braided blond-haired doll was a gift to me. I received it at a very scary time in my life.

When I was 9, I was admitted for simple tonsillectomy. It was in June, I remember the excitement of being able to be through with school early because of my surgery. It was also a time of anxiousness and chaos because we were about to move from Skaneateles to Bayberry, into our very first new house and not a rental.

The hospital had a ward for all the kids getting the surgery. It was little an assembly line that day. When I arrived with mom and dad it was surreal in a way, the kids were all in stages of the procedure day. Some scared and waiting their turn, some sleeping after they had had their surgery, some getting sips of cool drinks, and some- yeah they hit the top and got a little dixie cup of ice cream. Dad saw me looking around at the “unknown what next expressions” and he said in a little while I will be able to drink and get ice cream.

Off to surgery, I remember my trembling on the stretcher from being scare. My mom and dad tried to tuck the blanket (it looked like a large receiving blanket ) and talking so softly to try to help me calm down.

The operating room was huge, and this man put on my face a clear mask, the stuff tasted like something I will never forget, aether. Next thing I know, I am back in the ward. As I became aware of the room and my parents, I also became aware of my sore throat. I felt super sick, and they kept telling me to not throw up. However, there was an emesis basin ready if I did.

And low and behold, I needed it, and the was lots of red blood … the cold drinks and ice cream rewards changed to a rush return to a procedure area because my surgery had torn an area and they had to work to stop the bleeding. It was terrifying, I felt alone,  and the man doing the procedures did not speak English very well, and kept saying to me “one more time” as he held these long cotton covered type rolls and pushed them in the back of my throat using his very large gloved finger. It hurt, it was awful, each gauze roll tasted like crap, I was not supposed to swallow as he did this ( but I did swallow one in the process) After the 6th one more time, that huge finger came into my throat and a clamped my teeth down and literally bit through the latex. He was dancing around and saying ouch… and that was his last “one more time.

They took these swabs and somehow ties them together – one tight against the outside or my nostrils, string thru my nostrils and another was attached at the back of my throat. I was not going home, I had to stay overnight.

When I got back to the ward, dad had this doll sitting on my nightstand. He said she would watch over me when he wasn’t going to be there. See mom was pregnant for Martha, and there were 4 kids at home – 11,6,5,2,.. we were in moving mode, and plans just took a turn because I could not come home.

All night long though, this little doll became my comfort, she watched over me that night and still has, all these years later. IMG_3644She has been everywhere I have lived since I was 9. She has gone through the moments of sadness and joy, the various events of my life. She has been comforting, encouraging, and show patience. But most of all, she represents the love of a parent a love that lives on long after their earthly bodies have not. And not once has she let me down… she always has the angelic look that everything is going to be ok.

I wanted to share her with you.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy



I am kind of amazed at the attitude of some businesses, some employees, some people who do just enough to let a person know they exist, but not enough to be done to the full need. There are plenty of people who do things well, that attitude is not gone, it is just frustrating when it is the other way.

Today it just happened to be a dealer for Honda. But it does not start and stop there. I am sure you have experienced the same thing more often than not. We received a notice in the mail stating we need to call our dealer. It seems our car has a defect within the software that can cause gas to go into the oil.

Now a couple weeks ago, we actually had the car there for an oil change early because the oil did not look right and smelled like gasoline. The service folks said it was nothing to worry about and our VIN number was not listed, so basically away with you.

Well, Honda sees it differently and wants us to be aware that we need to get the vehicle in for the repair. So Mark calls there this morning, he asks for service, he is put on hold for God knows how long by the receptionist, as jolly Christmas music plays in the background. When the service department never picks up, the receptionist comes back on and tells him the service department is very busy, and can’t answer the phone, someone will call back.

4 1/2 hours later, Mark calls back…. again jolly Christmas music, and no one answers, and the receptionist comes back on again to say the service department is very busy, and can’t answer the phone, someone will call back. Mark says- “You said that 4 1/2 hrs ago” . She apologized and said someone will call, that the phones are busy because people are calling back because no one has called them.

No one has called back yet. I think if the company cared about the customers, someone could at least return a call to help to get an appointment scheduled. Or just to give an update on when we might expect a callback. But no, nothing. And this is supposed to be ok?

It seems there is a thought process that some people have, that so much effort is good enough, but to put only part effort in, no matter what it is, is not something to be proud of. IMG_0767

Briella did these puzzles, and she never gave up, she concentrated and gave them her all, you can see her self pride..




You can see it when the boys helped grandpa and cleared the deck of snow last winter.

It just makes you feel good to do something and do it well.             To do a task, and give it 100% attention, that is self-satisfying, it feels like a sense of accomplishment.

Life is like that, no matter what it is. Our interactions with others, our time by ourselves. Time with our youth, at work, in public or at home… we need to set examples and help others see how doing it fully-     (whatever “it” is)  is something we all should strive for. From the moment we wake up until we go to sleep, no matter what our actions, our task, our missions are, no matter the scenario, we need to be the best we can be. Driving, living, walking, doing… do it and do it well…

Okay, that is my thought for this moment in time.

Until later, Mrs. Justa alias Cindy


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