trust


The holidays are in full swing right now. People going totally bonkers shopping here and there and buying baked goods and gifts and this and that. We had some shopping to do and I totally dreaded the thought of Saturday, 2 weekends left before Christmas and the crowds.

So we hit the stores by 8 AM. yep smartest move of the day. We did not have a lot to get, I had baking to do- I wanted to make some special things for a special time tomorrow.  The goal was to be home and baking while people are out there fighting for parking spaces, and huffing and puffing in line because they are being inconvenienced by waiting in line, yep- got home before the shoppers had their first cup of coffee.

We even finished our journey with a coffee and Dunkin, and some relax time before heading home.  20181215_114907Then the fun times began. This is the end result of my first of 4 treats…. mixing ingredients together and grating apples up, and poof apple muffins about to bake.

While these were baking I started project number 2- making an apple strawberry pie for us to cut into small pieces and freeze, taking one out every once in a while for a small treat. That went in the over when the muffins came out.

While that was baking it was time to make cinnamon donuts and donut holes. I bag each separately and put them in the freezer for a treat. Mark likes to get one for a breakfast type item with his AM cup of coffee.

As the donuts were cooling before their deep freeze, I took the apple muffins and kept some out for tomorrow and the rest individually frozen for sometime in the future.

Last but not least the pie came out and in went a dump cake to cook to a yummy delight. – that too for tomorrow. Finally after hours and hours of shuffling, and mixing and cooking ta da……. ( The pie has “I LOVE YOU” on it, but it is hard to read. )20181215_171616

The dump cake and plate of muffins all set to go over to our special treat.

Tomorrow Adrianne and Josh, Caleb and Mackenzie are coming to Phoenix for a family dinner at Amanda and Jeffs and their 3 kids.

I am looking forward to having everyone in the same place. Adrianne and Jeff have been brother and sister since they were 3. swimming-at-camp-1990-001.jpgLots of years have gone by since then, and Mark and I both tried very hard to have them always feel like they were brother and sister.

I always loved this picture, because it is one of many that shows what I mean.

This was at a pool at a campsite that used to be near here- it is now closed …. Yep, we tried to make weekends special…. we had a pop-up camper and would take them camping on weekends when our schedules allowed. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday, but it was a while ago.

So tomorrow we once again will all be together. The time will be way too fast, and all way special. Life is short, we have one chance at each minute. and tomorrow, I am going to try to make every minute a treasure. Whatever you finish your weekend with, I hope you too treasure the gift each minute is.

Until later… Mrs Justa alias Cindy

This is a lesson in life that is learned and relearned and relearned again. As we grow up, we are impressed by and exposed to many people, places, events, and experiences. Some-end-8-11-and-fair-9-2-11-010.jpgI remember many a time wishing I was more like another or thinking how come they have such and such, or they wear such and such.
The pressures of being feeling you are welcome or trying to be accepted, they can be overwhelming. In growing up that seemed important at times, and also seemed to not be a pathway I was on as far as it went with the “cool kids”.
I remember my mom on more than a few occasions reminding me that it is what is on the inside that counts. I may not be the best dressed, the prettiest, the richest, the most popular as I walk through life. Those things are not what is important. It is how you act, how sincere you are, how empathetic you are, how caring you are, how honest you are. Those are the qualities that make you a person others will want to know, those are the qualities of a true friend.
Material things seem to matter to many people, the best car, the most souped-up technologies, the fanciest name on the clothes … in the end- what really mattered was who we each are. Not what we have. IMG_3476The stores, the commercials, the internet is filled with so many THINGS to get that “special person to show them you care”. That does not show a person you care, spending time, listening, give and take conversations, that is how someone knows you care about them.

 

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Have you ever known of a person who you thought was someone you wanted to know better until they opened their mouth and you realized they are extremely focused on themselves? Or wished for that certain something, only to find it was not worth the effort of getting it.

I knew a person once a LONGGG time ago who had to look in every reflection at himself. I kid you not, I think he liked when it was early morning or dusk because all the windows became mirrors.
There are so many things in life that if we determine it by its cover, by its appearance alone, we just might be focusing on something with no depth, without substance. Life is too short to be artificial. 20171008_162712

As we raise our kids, as we mentor others, as we present ourselves to others, we need to remember it is not just what is seen, it is all those special things, it is what is beyond what is seen that matters. What can we share of us, not what can we buy, but what can we offer from our hearts to others?

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

There is always a beginning and an end. Some beginnings come so slowly that we want to grab the timeline and yank it a bit, we want to get to the end. It is that darn middle between the beginning and end, it is kinda stuck in one spot. or at least the accomplishment we are anticipating seems suddenly so far away.

I have run across this so many times. I take on a project, I have a goal and ugg it all of the sudden seems to be dragging on.

That trip you wanted to take forever. It is finally here. You, you and your spouse, you and your family,  you and your friend(s)- ( whatever the situation); you have planned and packed and checked things out and the moment is here. The 6,or 8,or 11, 22 hr drive awaits you, you have picked places to stop, things to see.

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The end it out there somewhere, as the road seems to keep on going. 

Oh the chatter in the car or the music blasting, the excitement that the time is here, those first few hours into it, smiles, dreams yet to fill….and there comes a point where you realize the seat is kinda not comfortable, you really need to pee, you can not believe how long the construction held you up, and that voice inside your head is like the child in you saying “Are we almost there?” And after what seems like a week of traveling, instead of a mere 6,or 8,or 11, 22 hrs…. you make it, all is good, you have a wonderful time.

Maybe it is a meal you are excited about trying this totally from scratch recipe. The list of ingredients and what you have to do with each of them is more detailed than the secrets of the universe. 20180902_142305You are ready, choppers, shredders, cutting boards, washed off fresh herbs, veggies, whatever is needed. You start in on it.  All of the sudden your back is a little stiff from standing, your feet might be a little sore, you are wondering how the author of the recipe said prep time was 25 minutes and you are about 1 1/2 hrs into prepping for this anticipated end result. There comes a point when you might think you have already chopped ____ in the freezer, or in a can… but you endure. It comes out wonderful in the end. You are so thankful you endured…

The list of situations goes on. As I am about to conquer another day,  it is yet another scenario of morning to nighttime sleep—-I am thinking about various things  I anticipate will fill this day, what needs to, and what I would like  to get done, and I will ponder more on how to make the middle- that space, how to make that as exciting as the beginning and end.

Until later, enjoy the middle of those starts and finishes… Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

 

 

On any given day, I can look out the window and think “Oh look, the sun is up”…. period… But no- there is more… see beyond the noticing 20181205_073949of the sunrise in the quiet of things in front of me was a glistening world of diamond-like sparkles. A cold crisp early morning gift, a gift that many may have not seen, a gift that can turn into a snowy plain ol day. 20181205_074029

 

 

 

 

Yet, right there for all to see, a refreshing light show of sparkling colors.

It brought once again to mind thought about life. How when we are faced with things that seem monumental, we look at the proverbial mountain ( or in this case maybe a quick noticing the sun is rising) and we are overwhelmed at the tasks at hand at the end of a particular journey. Sometimes it is easier to dwell on that obstacle, which takes us longer to put it behind us.

Life can feel like it is hard at times, life is full of mountains to climb, sometimes valleys to drudge through. Plenty of times I have slipped on the proverbial mountain wandered off the proverbial path and had to retrace my steps, maybe find a slightly less challenging path to go on.

There was one person in my life that told me once she never had challenges in life. I remember thinking “heck let me share some with you” but I did not offer, and she never asked to take a few from me, so I have gone on in life realizing that at least for me, challenges exist, they can be heart wrenching, they can be touch and we conquer them one by one step at a time.

person wearing shirt standing near tree

Photo by Alex Smith on Pexels.com

As I look back at this person who said this to me, as I came to know her a tad bit more many yrs ago, I now wonder- maybe just maybe she had the ability to look at those diamond-like crystals, and not just at that sunrise from afar. I think that because I truly believe we ALL face moments when life has tried to knock us down.

Maybe this person was able to anticipate but not look for that next roadblock or detour on her journey of life. If we know that challenges will lie ahead, but if we look at them as not roadblocks but the way the path takes us, then maybe we too can feel that life has been good, no matter what part of our journey we are on.

I, myself, and going to try to work on this. As I take each next step on this road of life, I will anticipate some bumps and hairpin curves, knowing the road will straighten up. To now look so far ahead, but to look at now and a few feet ahead. Not so much only living for today,, but planning for tomorrow and in those plans, the “challenges” will become part of the process.

OK, I am off to try this out, Until alter… Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

 

 

I guess I never thought about this until I heard it a whole bunch of times in different settings this Thanksgiving weekend.

I saw myself doing it, and also heard it done to others. First, let me say all the social media outlets CAN BE wonderful when used as a means to give many “friends, family and acquaintances” the same bullet point information at one time. A way to create a page not yet colored in that person’s life.

Let’s say you graduated or had a baby or an exciting time at _______,  it is to share an extremely tough time or the passing of a person that you would never have known about, or a way to type in a verse or 2 about the loss you have endured. It is something, some time had it not been shared on f.b., twitter, or any of the others outlets to communicate.

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It is a great way to share photos of a gathering many attended, or maybe that perfect moment you stumbled on. Those times when without sharing on social media, well it would never have been experienced in a very 2D way.

Looking at this picture- one that was probably on a facebook post, it shows a wedding, but without the personal touch, the conversation, the painting done with words, there is so much more that can fill in the outline of a “wedding”

If, however, someone starts face to face- or voice to voice on the phone- about something- well that is the beginning of an opportunity to converse. They want to make that 2D, quick blurb into a 3D moment. Voices, faces they add expression to the time they are referring to, or to the sad or happy moment captured and shared. That person wanted to put color into the social media bullet point. We ( and I can not count the times I did it) can stop the conversation, we can keep that moment just a bullet point in time, we can portrait we do not really care by interrupting- or making our first ( and often our last) response by saying ” Yeah , I already know” or “Yeah,I saw it on f.b.” .

Now if the same person starts the conversation and mentions they also had it on Facebook, ( or whatever media they put it on) we need to stop and listen. That conversation you are about to be blessed with, well it adds the personal component.

Or if you see that person, you could always start the conversation with that tidbit of their life they shared. An opportunity to bring a personal touch to a moment they shared on facebook. That can be a great time to show you care and want to hear more.

We will never ever know what we missed if we close that opportunity to have color added to social media bullet points if we stop the conversation before the colors fill in the moment in their life.

My mission for today and going forward is to let the other person not only bring up the topic but to let them take that outline, that bullet point, and add their words to it, their nonverbals, their feelings.

Until later, Mrs. Justa/ alias Cindy

 

There was a very popular song from the mid-1970s that Paul Anka had done and Kodak used it as an advertising jingle. The lyrics are very meaningful to me- and as I take photographs and look at photos from times gone by, as I reminisce on times captured in the Windows or my mind and heart, well this melody and its’  words- it plays in my head.

“Good morning, yesterday
You wake up and time has slipped away
And suddenly it’s hard to find
The memories you left behind
Remember, do you remember?

The laughter and the tears
The shadows of misty yesteryears
The good times and the bad you’ve seen
And all the others in between
Remember, do you remember
The times of your life? ………..

Reach out for the joy and the sorrow
Put them away in your mind
The memories are times that you borrow
To spend when you get to tomorrow

The seasons are passing one by one
So gather moments while you may
Collect the dreams you dream today
…….. will you remember
The times of your life?

……….
Do you remember the times of your life?”

For me, as this weekend with family enters its last day and a half, the June-2013-029_thumb.jpgmoments already created and those yet to come, I want to remember the laughter, the realization that we were all placed in the places we are now, because of the roads we have traveled. My wish is that everyone has those moments, those “TImes of Your Life”, that can play over and over again as the days become moments in our journey, little monuments or landscapes.

Until later, Mrs. Justa alias Cindy

I have read and seen movies reflecting back on the days of long ago. Days before people had the numerous opportunities that are available now to earn money. For many, that remains true to them today.

The thought becomes more real as life challenges face each of us. I see people on street corners holding signs asking for help, I see lines at food kitchens, all the agencies that help to feed people without.

It is hard for me to know how I would handle life if I had nothing left. I think there is an inner strength people get, a deep-rooted

clouds dark dark clouds darkness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

, incredible strength. Look at your past or someone you know of, and when the rug got pulled out from under their feet, when the darkness filled the skies around them, did they find an inner strength.

 

Back in the days of my 19th year, I stood with a friend and held a cardboard sign with her, a time when her life was totally changed and she had nothing. I remember at those moments not feeling anything but strength and determination to help her get financial help for her personal needs. We felt gratitude to those who helped us out. Our goal was not to make this a new normal for her, but to get her some hope when hope was looking the other way.

I remember myself at times when we were growing up and we found strength in how we could make things the best they could be, in times when we had little. My mom never ever made us feel poor, she found ways instead to have us see what we had, not what we didn’t.

red star decor

That first Christmas –  6 weeks after my dad passed away, mom came over to the table with a box of aluminum foil and gave us some pieces for us to make gifts for one another. We made each other ornaments, in shapes sometimes unidentifiable. But the pride of doing that was so much more then the sadness had she just said there was no money.

I am reminded of this as I see commercials after commercials with talking Amazon Boxes and Black Friday deals, and tonight I was thinking how much more effort was made with our pieces of silver, then the efforts made by buying something, just because you can.

May you find those special personal moments, create special memories in this hustle, the bustle of the holiday season. As you grab our keys, remember to grab change for the Red Kettles.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

 

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