Another day is dawning,  memories to be made, impressions to leave, moments unchangeable.IMG_0756

As the day begins, as the next step is about to happen, the next minute here among us, I am thinking about life and the effects we have on it.


RESPONSIBILITY:  We all are responsible for our actions. This goes for every single thing we do. We can not choose which things we do we are and are not responsible for. Nope, we own each thing we do.

That is a huge responsibility. Why, because sometimes the things we do, we don’t even realize or think about the end result, we get wrapped up in a moment or jump on the proverbial “bandwagon”. However, as we travel down the twists and turns of life’s journey,  and at the end of our road in life, it is us and us alone who individually made choices.

I say this because of many reasons, many reasons I myself have chosen to do things, and once they were done, well there was no rewind, no “gee I didn’t mean to be that way, or “I didn’t mean to do that” or “I didn’t mean to _______”.  The “I wish I had” thoughts do not count.

There have been things I have said, I can not take back. Actions I did, I can not undo. As a nurse, I have cared for patients who would say, “I knew better” or “If I only had never smoked” or “I took the chance ____”   Notice the similarity– “If I only had not or didn’t”

My parents would say to me when I did something I totally should not have, “You know better than that” or ” Bet you won’t do that again” or “what did you learn from that?”. And as I was growing up, she would wipe the wound ( physical or not) and guide me through the why’s and maybe even have suggestions on how to deal with that scenario in the future. They were preparing me for my future.

As we grow up we are still responsible for our actions. There are consequences to what is done, said, or ignored. If any of us are asked to do something and we say we will, if we then do it halfway, or not appropriately – if we take a risk, a dare—- we cannot go back and get those minutes to undo it.

In our roles in life, ( being a friend, an adult, a mentor, a stranger, a human being ) whether at work or in any environment around us, writing anything in social media, in an article,  we can not take it back. It paints a picture of us that can not be painted over, the “delete” does not remove words or photos or actions done.

Our reactions to something said or done, we can not undo that either. In life I have found to tread softly at times, to think before doing or saying, and to appreciate and take responsibility to every minute I am on this earth.

What image are we giving? What actions are we doing? What consequences because of those actions, or lack of actions are there? What image have I left?

Those are my thoughts this morning, something I will remember as I get ready for another day to be the best I can be.

Until later, 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




Music is a part of so many peoples lives. For me, music is a part of what makes me whole. From as long as I can remember my parents would sing a lullaby type song as we drifted to bed. ( My mom more than my dad, but both did) I loved the jingles from kids shows, and Disney music, and carols at Christmas, nursery rhymes. As I grew older songs in school, singing in church, Sunday School, the radio, records, CDs. Now my goodness I can pop ion Pandora or IHEART RADIO  and make my own favorites into a station. I love, totally love music. ( I am not a RAP, symphony, classical music lover) But all else- pretty much are right up my music filled soul.

This past Sunday  I sang in church for “special music”. Special music is what a person chooses to do, there have been clarinet, saxophone, and other instruments solos, sometimes a duet will be done, sometimes a solo. It is something I can do in a contribution to the church. As I sing I am reminded of how awful it was when I had my voice taken away from me. Music and singing make me whole. Back in the late 1990s, well a very arrogant, barbaric doctor took my voice from me.

I needed an upper endoscopy because I was having food stick when I swallowed sometimes. I chose this man because he had been doing dilatations of my mom’s esophagus for yrs. She had Barret’s Esophagus and I was not sure if I did too. She used to call me after her procedure and would dreadfully say she had to go back in 6 mos- of in a yr. She never liked to go to doctors, so I figured that was why she said that.

The day of the procedure- it was winter, slushy, cold out. I had a winter coat and boots on. He had me leave my boots on, no patient gown, he left me in my street clothes, and he had me get on this stretcher. No one else was in the room. There was no IV or anything to relax me, he pulled my shoulder to get me in an upright position,  sprayed the back of my throat with a couple squirts of novocaine and literally jammed the endoscopic tube down my throat, if I gagged he smirked and jammed harder. He pulled it out and I was beyond terrified at the treatment, trying my best not to cry, and not believing this sadistic look he had. He said he had to put down a pediatric scope with a balloon end to stretch a stricture area. I indicated I couldn’t go through that again, but he said it is a smaller scope and will be easier. No more novocaine and in went the next scope, jamming at each gag and smirking all the way.

When he finished, he twisted me around, legs facing him and said ” So how do you like me now?” It was like he enjoyed how he treated me. I have no idea why he was like that, but if he was like that with others, I finally understood the dread in my mom’s comments as she realized when her next appointment was.

A few days later I had a fever, felt horrible, and no voice and a very sore throat, deep in the back, beyond my tongue. I went to my primary MD and saw the RNNP. I remember crying to her as I explained what had happened. She said my throat was swollen, injured. She prescribed an antibiotic and a type of relieving med for the pain. I had a follow up with the GI doctor a couple days later and begrudgingly went back- per the recommendations of the RNNP. Funny, now the nurse jotted down how I was feeling, and the problems, and amazing- now this barbaric, evil non-compassionate MD had me get in a patient gown, and was kind to me. I NEVER went back to him again!

For 10 months following, I had no ability to sing, my talking voice was raspy. Every single night I prayed for my voice to come back, and if it did, I promised God I would share it in church, either in a choir or special music. Somehow I would share songs, I never gave up praying. About 8 months into this terrible time when I felt a void that was indescribable from not being able to sing, my doctor suggested I see an ENT. She examined my throat to find my lingual tonsils were damaged, and large. ( I never realized we had lingual tonsils at the back of the tongue…  She prescribed a steroid, but it did not lessen the swelling and 2 months later I had the lingual tonsils laparoscopically removed. Slowly through the healing, I once again could sing.

100_1086So as I sang in church on  12-2-18, as I practice to sing, every single time I belt out a song, I am reminded of how sometimes bad things happen, and it does not always mean they are the end all. Prayers are not always answered how we want them to be. We need to have faith in life, as we have faith in sunsets and sunrises. We can not predict the future, we can predict that there will be good and not so good times.

This time I went through, it made me realize what music can be, should be, and through hard work and prayer, I am able to share songs with others in the church. It is not the same voice I had before, but it is here my spiritual gift. I thank God every day for that.



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


I was thinking this past week about learning something new or doing something repetitively and what is the end result.

Last weekend, we had the Black Belt Ceremony I mentioned a few posts back. Those individuals did not just wake up one morning and poof could work in synchronization with a stage full of other, they couldn’t make those moves and stay focused just by thinking about it.

This thought surfaces a lot to me. Everywhere we go, what we see, our jobs, our walking, driving, interactions, those improve often by doing them over and over again. This becomes even deeper of a thought when we get into every day.

I was reminded the other day of our day to day life. While I was in a waiting room, I overheard a person say on her cell phone that she prefers to text people, and not have them call her. She said to the person on the phone something about being more comfortable communicating that way, she can put down what she wants without to SAY.

That comment she made, well it made me think about all the things we have at our fingertips to make life easier, to be able to move at a faster pace. Each thing has its benefits- however, they should not replace the more personal, hands-on, practicing talent, task, interactions or skill.

When I have been trained, and when I have trained others. The teaching included showing the pieces to the action being taught, having the other demonstrate the action/ talent/ skill being taught, and letting the trainee do it themselves over and over again, but having the steps checked until it is assured they know it more naturally. I currently am going through one of those teachings, showing and demonstrating times in my life. Learning a new role at work, listening, taking notes, seeing it done, and having the “baton” passed so I can demonstrate I am becoming more comfortable and confident in each step. As the days pass, and I look back a couple months, I realize how far I have come, yet am realistic at the journey ahead as more processes and steps are introduced and one day become something I am proficient at. 20160826_104327

Even though life is like that, we need to make darn sure before we take the “easy” way, we have personally become comfortable in a more personal way. We need also to understand practice makes us more proficient. From learning how to walk, and being able to walk… to learning how to add, subtract, speak in an intellectual conversation, cook, doing a game, reading a book, the list is infinite.

Virtual meetings, training, communicating makes so much of life so much better. We can jot a thought in an instant message at 2AM, and the other person can get it whenever they are awake…  Yet, there is a fine line when we could realize that our personal relationships, our whole life has become virtual. If life gets to a point when we could move away, go to a different city, state, country, and our life would be the same, no one would even know we moved, that is a  message that we have not only taken advantage of the virtual life conveniences, we have let them take over us.

When was the last time you …. fill in the blank? And if the power was off / the internet down/ ( that list goes on and on too) … do you know how to improvise?

When was the last time you looked into a personal eyes and spoke – face to face? When was the last time you touched a deck of cards or held a book? Have you ever done a no electronics evening or weekend?

Even though the modern conveniences make life able to be more productive, more chaotic, more impersonal, we need to stop and not let it replace the 3D life we are blessed with. I would rather hold a child’s hand, then hold a cell phone and screen chat.IMG_3468 I would rather sit at a table and play a game of ( the list is so long… ie: cards, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Sorry, Trouble….. and on and on) than to only ever play it on my electronic device.

Yes, the books on our electronic devices are great, and being able to do a 1000 piece puzzle and never worry about that one lost piece or someone messing it up… those are all great. I just do not to ever become so dependent on the “no touch” that it becomes me.

As this weekend begins, I am looking forward to what the day will bring, who will I personally see face to face? Who will I talk to and not type my words to? What will I do that is hands on? What will I remember more vividly because of those one to one moments? I am off to experience life and all there is in the minutes ahead.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy





Continuing on the subject of words. I wanted to share a time from long ago.

We lived in Spafford NY in my first few yrs of elementary school. We had one car and my dad was a traveling salesman. So living FAR away from the school did not leave an option for our mom driving us.

It was a long bus ride, and it brings back fun and not so fun times. One thing was our last name became the laughing subject for the first few miles of each journey. We would no sooner get on the bus and certain kids would ask if we have Gaines Gravy Train for dinner gravey train pouting pupand if we eat it dry in the morning. Their pals would wait for a reaction as they laughed at the words said and gravey trainobserved to see if they got a reaction.

We would tell mom about the trip, but what really could she do, but provide advice and call the bus garage. So her words of wisdom ( and I say that with the sincerest most meaning of the words) she said just stand tall, be proud and say back:  “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me”

Well, I gotta tell ya, that had a nice ring to it, but really did not do anything to stop the name mocking. Nope just kinda fueled the laughter as people said things like “What was that can you say it again?” And me – in my proud Gaines Family fashion would repeat it.

What changed was Pam and I became able to hide the sadness and dislike, and that, and only that slowed down the mocking. It never totally went away because “Gaines Dog Food ” folks were coming up with cute adds and more products. gaines burgersWe advanced to questions like “Did you have burgers last night… GAINES BURGERS?”

Yep, words can be powerful, and being I woke up this morning with the kid’s laughter running through my mind, I felt it needed to be shared.

Lesson learned from this, as a parent I was listening for mention from our kids, and if there was any hint of something like this happening to them, I worked to explain that when we react to words, we are giving strength to the people calling you a name. If you react, the others have found a way to annoy you. DO not react, as hard as that is, and their game is no longer anything more than solitaire. Their words come out and get lost in space.

As I move into today, I hope the day is good for you. Words can be so powerful.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

6-25-2012-Syracuse-and-Oswego-NY-004_thumb.jpgOh boy, it seems like every single Election time that I have experienced in my life, they get nastier and nastier. The ads on TV are almost nauseating. She did this, he did that…instead of totally focusing on themselves and what they see as their contribution to each of our futures.

After MONTHS of rather pointed shots at one another, it is kinda hard for me personally to see the sense in all that money for advertising.

My intent of this is not to specifically talk about one side of the fence or the other. Political parties should be a personal thing. Not something that is what you wear, but more something you trust is the best for you.

Friends, families, employment, relationships may never mend or new ones ever form, precious moments are all torn apart by nasty comments or cynical actions. Once upon a time, in a land long ago, we talked to one another in person or, in a letter, or on the phone. The voting was personal, at least in my life. We did not flaunt with the support of our 800 friends on social media how the political figure is either a blessing or a curse. We did not have the capability to unfriend a “friend” in a keystroke those who did not believe what we believe, our friends were really our friends. A person you knew you could call at a moments notice, and they would be there for you.

And ya know what, at the end of the day, all the people go about their day to day activities, our new elected officials start focusing on their new roles, no matter what we do, our days go on, and if we don’t like it– well do not fret- in only 6 months the next 18 months of political jargon starts again – this time for a major election. BUT FOR NOW- I am so looking forward to hearing about how this product is better, or where to get the best vacation memories from.  Ahhhhh…..

Have a great day ! Mrs. Justa… alias Cindy



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