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



This morning I read a passage in Matthew, “Come to me all who are burdened, and I will give you rest.” That is pretty heavy, extremely comforting and inspiring.100_0308

It made me think of life, and of Mother’s Day, and about my Mom. Those 3 letters mean more than words can ever express. Mom, a person who was there always, as I aged, she never was not there, she never once turned away from me, she never once made me feel anything but worthy, special and even in the worse times as I grew up, she was my rock.

She tackled incredible odds, and raised 7 children, ( as my sister Karen was only 7 when mom married dad. She had times in her life where she was faced with tough times, and through it all, if I ever needed that pillar to hold me up, if I ever needed wisdom, if I ever was in the darkest areas of life, she was a beacon, and when I focused on that light in the darkness, when I set my compass on that light, It was Mom waving the lantern of life, she was there.

Now I can not always say she had approval for situations, however she had strength and a way to teach lessons, a way to help me find the next step to take. SHe had times often of “tough love” wherein situations I would have liked to run from, she stood next to me and helped me face them

Mom had the ability to let “things go” 20190128_072245that were material; that were “busy jobs” and tasks, and could shuffle the clutter of life and make time for me ( for us). Dishes, vacuuming, laundry, organizing would never have priority over time needed to talk, to support to inspire. There never was a time when she did not have time to put the tea kettle on, brew some cups of tea, and share a cookie and her unending, uncanny ability to enrich my life.

There were many winding paths, many of life intersections where there were too many choices of which direction to turn, and many special moments that meant so much to share, she was the person I knew would always be there. And it is so comforting to know….

She is still here, her spirit lives within the precious moments of my life, and way to often I do not stop to think more about how incredible she was, so this morning, as her spirit is filling my heart, my soul, I say Happy Mother’s Day Mom, without you … well, I would not be. Happy Mother’s Day Mom,  Until later, Mrs Justa alias CIndy

Last weekend Mark got the mower out and hooked the trailer to it. We have a corner lot, and that mean 2 sides of the property are a roadway. The very determined plow folks like to make sure the road is wide enough and that means they sometimes get a little overzealous in widening it, they do this by taking our edges and gouging them into mounds of sand, sod, and ugliness. Fortunately, they came and fixed the worse side.

We went out to handle the side not done. We work together, that way we can complement each other on things we can do and things we can no longer do. Now my part, weel it is not that it is things not to be done, but after a long few months of winter, the old lower back muscles were awakened rather abruptly, and I ended up with a pretty significant lower right back discomfort. The kind that makes one walk like the floor is squeaky and you don’t want to make noise.

The muscular discomfort ( alias PAIN) also makes changing positions rather interesting, had my manuevers from going from sitting to standing, had they been filmed, I think one would think the replay was shot in SLOW Motion. One gets kind of creative the days following an over strenuous activity. Every movement is a result of very careful planning and consideration.

Thursday- was the day it seemed like I was on the final path to being my old self- it still ached to stand for long periods of time, but it was better than Monday for sure.

I got out of bed normally, it was 6AM and went in to get my shower. I was being ever so quiet, as Mark and Riley were still sleeping. After my shower my routine for this week has been to roll on a pain relief liquid, it really works well. I had experimented a few ways in the past couple days- like rolling it into my hand, and then spreading it on the sore area, rolling it while standing up. Neither worked great.

I had a solution. I would bend over and that way my back would be horizontal and not vertical. yeah, that is the ticket.

(Here comes the public service warning ) DO not try this at home, actually, do not try this ANYWHERE. AS I applied the stuff, I was so pleased with myself, I got the area perfect. I stand up straight, yeah I got the spot. I put on my shirt, and start to pull up my pants and a strange sensation took over.

The pain med had run down into the crack of my butt. And that did anything but relieve pain. Oh, I did not feel my back pain anymore because I was quietly trying to not fall over, pants halfway up, and I think I lept a height I had never achieved in my whole lifetime! I mean straight up, like an Apollo launch. Wow, that was not in my plan.

I needed to stop and figure out how to undo this rather intense feeling.

In the end, no pun intended- I did survive, I did not wake up Mark and Riley, and if there is a hole in our ceiling from me taking flight- well we might put a skylight in.

So my advice is, do not, ever, try too bend over and put a roll on pain relief on your back.

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” .

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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

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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


As I think of life and the challenges it brings I am reminded of my grandmother. The first 4 yrs of my life we blessed with her presence. In that time though, this woman left a lasting impression on me. She had lost her vision before I was born. My mom had told us she had undergone surgery for glaucoma and her optic nerve was so damaged that she lost her vision.

We lived in an upper flat in Bridgeport Conn, and it is amazing what I remember from those beginning years of my life. We lived there together, my parents, my grandmother, my older sisters and me. Karen was 10 yrs older than me, so I am sure she remembers much more than I do. Pam was 1 1/2 yrs older.

My grandmother though, singer-closedeven though she had not literal sight, she did amazing things. We, as children, needed to make sure we did not move furniture or leave toys on the floor.  I remember wanting to help hold my grandmother’s hand to help her at times. In the apartment, I remember there was this sewing machine and it seems like it was in a corridor or a hallway. She loved sewing, and even though she could not use her eyes, she used her sense of touch. This sewing machine was totally manual. singerWe would open up the table and she could sit at it, put her feet on the pedal plate and as she pushed up and down on the treadle, the machine would sew.  I would watch her sew aprons, napkins, things the had square pieces of fabric. My mom must have cut the squares of material, but my grandmother would sew the pieces together, rocking back and forth on the treadle. If something moved out of place, I would help her by getting it.  I loved the time with her and I remember trying to imagine not seeing, and amazed by her ability to not let that stop her.

I do not remember her doing things in the kitchen, but I also remember her holding me on her lap.March 1953 with Gramma and first birthday (2) It was a sense I just always remember being there. This picture is me on her lap and Pam next to us.  I remember bedtime stories as she “read”. Pam and I would help turn pages as she seemed to be at the next part of the story, and sometimes we would tell her she skipped a page.

When you are born and people are a part of your life from the start, they are a part of why the sun rises and sets. You just know they are there. I truly loved her, Dec 1954 with grammaher embrace was comforting, her love was welcoming, her determination to live life to the best she could, she was such an inspiration to me. I often wonder if I ever drove her crazy. Pam and I were so different, she was more subdues, me I think I was always kinda silly, active, and hmmm probably a little overwhelming at times.

I remember the day I saw her last… I was 4,  she was at the sewing machine and she said was unable to lift the needle, her hands were not working. I remember her being frightened, and me being scared and getting my mom. I remember an ambulance coming, the men who came and got her, and as they drove away, not understanding what was happening. That was the end of that chapter in my life, she never came home. When she left her earthly home, ended up in her eternal home, she may have left the world in a physical sense, but the things that matter, her soul, her spiritual gifts, those never died, and as confusing as it was to me at four, her determination, her accepting adversity, her unending appreciation for each moment, that lives on. What a blessing she was to me, she helped to lay the foundation blocks of my life, and to remind me that life was never promised to be easy, it is a gift and a matter of attitude how we handle it.

Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Lessons we learn in life. I was once told a VERY long time ago , as I experimented with things, that I would remember these moments in life. I do remember a lot of crazy things I did, and  to this day  I can not even imagine why i did some of them !

As the temperature drops and the wind chills 20181205_074029-2bring it to the negative  double digits .. yeah BELOW ZERO, I would like to share a moment that you need not repeat- nope this is one of those many things I recommend you just take my word for .

Now, most people would not even have thought of this in the first place, however, I might just save one person from this rather memorable experience.

Let me paint the picture- first back when we were kids, we played outside no matter what the temperature was. We loved gathering with the kids on the block and we would do things depending on the season, temperature and weather. Sometimes we would do things to be funny. This was one of those moments when an action resulted in a science experiment, even though it was not meant to be that.

There were a bunch of us together on our front porch, it was really cold out, snow everywhere, and the sun shining. I was being a wisecracker and somehow thought this would be funny. ( Well it was to all around me… at first)

I was pretending I was my mom, carrying in a hand full of groceries, storm-door-handle-1and I did a little skit- the kids all followed me as I put on this make-believe skit… I came to the storm door and demonstrated how she did not need to put the paper grocery bags down she could just bend over and open the door with her mouth. I bent down and put the door handle totally in my mouth. Immediately the kids laughed, HA HA Ha…oh such fun, and immediately I was wishing I had not thought of this really not so smart move.

Yep- my tongue and lips were feeling like they were permanently a part of the front door. I could not move, I was stuck and everyone was roaring laughing for a few seconds, the laughter changed and became more like a terror for all. No one could go in the door to get me help. So one of my siblings ran to the garage door screaming “Mom, Cindy is stuck to the door, come quickly.” She first came to the front door, and upon opening the inside door saw me bent over with my face at door knob level- I am sure she glimpsed a look of terror in my eyes. she closed the door- and I heard her going down the stairs to the garage…

Mom came running out, and at first, she asked something like “Did you put your mouth around the doorknob?”  If I had not been in such a panic I might have said something I would regret later…. , but the tears were only making matters worse. My mom, she was a fast-thinking troubleshooter, so she calmly told me to breathe deep breaths. She told me the warm air would help to melt the attachment.  TA DA…… She saved the day, but not without the mom questions like ” What were you thinking ???” ( Well that was not very easy to answer) … and she ended with her comment she said to me OFTEN.. ” Bet you will think twice before doing that again !”

So as it is getting super cold…. please take my experience and do not put your mouth on ANYTHING outside. My mouth still remembers the pain…

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

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