title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Nice Surprise

Two years ago, my neighbor across the street when i lived in Saginaw, died.  After Fred died, she called me every Tuesday afternoon at 4:00.  I wrote a post about not knowing and then finding out she had died.

If you have a mind to, you can read that post here.

Much to my surprise, I received an e-mail from the couple who moved into her home.  They had wanted to do a bit of research on this quirky lady they had heard about.  For some reason, my blog post came up.  Apparently because I had posted her obituary?  I guess.

It was nice to communicate with them.  I found out the once large and beautiful gardens I had there, were dug up and turned back into grass, but the little Lilac sprig I planted, has turned into a nice tall Lilac bush.

Then, they told me that a play-scape in the park next to our two properties had placed a dedication to Phyllis.  She always worried that the children didn't have a nice place to play.  She would be so pleased.


I awoke to a cold house--62 degrees.  I had left the bedroom window up last night.  I checked my weather station on the kitchen counter and it was 59 degrees outside and the humidity was 47%.  I opened up all the windows, but it got chilly feeling--that nice breeze was coming from the NorthEast.  I actually had to put on a long sleeved shirt and my socks.  No barefooting today.  It is now about 69, since the sun has finally come out, and a perfect day.  Such a change from the last 10 days of heat and humidity.
I have no plans for the week, but I'm getting homesick so I think I need to plan for a visit up to The Home Stead. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mini Adventures

Thanks to my blog buddies.  I consumed 3-14 oz bottles of water yesterday and nary a dizzy spell.  You are all geniuses!!  But then--too much water can flush out sodium and I don't want to be low in sodium because........that condition causes dizziness.  HAH.  I think 3 a day is my new prescription.

Already had one consumed by noon today.  See--I am catching on and thanks for your advice.
I had to put some gas in the car today.  It is an Ozone Action day here, but that yellow, "fill-me-up" light on the car's dashboard has been on for the last 3 days.  The conditions were cloudy, so I hoped I wasn't releasing very many fumes to add to the hole in the ozone layer.  I had a laugh when I went inside to pay, I was talking to the young kid who was manning the cash register today, have seen him whenever I go in, he's very nice.  We were chatting about the ozone layer, pollution and global warming and he replied, "Those people are weird.  Global warming is a naturally occurring geological event, every few centuries.!"

I laughed to myself at his classification of weird, as I looked again at those huge circle things he has in his ear lobes, a silver half ring in his nose and a small lightning bolt tattooed just above his right eyebrow.  
So as not to feel too guilty about a trip into Brighton and adding car exhaust to the atmosphere, I also stopped at Michael's.  I needed 1 skein of embroidery floss.  One! I walked the 100 steps back to the cross stitch section, then noticed baby yarn on sale so grabbed two of those One Pound Balls of baby yarn.  Pearl's grand daughter is having a baby girl in October.  I feel the need to crochet an afghan for her.
As I came out of the Michael's parking, there was the old "vet" sitting in his wheel chair.  I had stopped last month and given him a twenty.  He has a new sign today, "74 year old Vet.  Homeless and Hungry."  I noticed he was smoking a ciggie--looked like he had rolled it himself.  Today he had a knitted stocking cap on his head, a mustard colored T-shirt and khaki cargo shorts.  I didn't have a twenty, only a ten to give him today, but I got that same missing toot smile as before and a "God Bless you Miss."

As I drove away, I thought to myself, "Probably scammed again.  If he can afford tobacco, he probably can afford food."  My second thought, "Oh who cares.  I'm not here to rehabilitate him, I'm just here to give him money for a beer, or tobacco and make him smile."
Hey--it's only 3:20 pm and I'm on my second bottle of water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nearing the end of July already?

I do believe my neighbors across the street, live in the only home in this park with no Central Air.  Even the old timey mobile home owners have had it installed in their homes.  It's not that these neighbors can't afford it.  They have lots of money and both their cars have A/C.   I wonder why not their house and how they get along in the hot and oppressive weather.  

Well. O.J. Simpson got his parole.  He has served his time for the "robbery" he was convicted of.  In my opinion, 9 years ago he was set up.  The people that had his personal items; family albums and photos, other personal items and were threatening to sell them, set him up.  They knew exactly how he would react.  The guy that told O.J. to come to his room to make a deal to get his stuff back, also set him up.  The guy who confessed that he, not O.J.,  was the only one in the room with a gun, set him up, and the jury who convicted him of the robbery set him up, because of murders they thought he had committed in 1995.

This trial was a "comeuppance" for O.J.  People said at least he would have to serve time.

I guess these last 9 years, while he was imprisoned, he was a model prisoner.  Commended by his jailers.  Took classes and counseled other prisoners.  Organized a softball league of 18 teams, that he was rules and conduct chairperson.  He also spent quite a bit of time with the Chaplain and has said that God has forgiven him for his actions, and he has grown deeply in his faith.  Yeah--he's still an arrogant cuss, but at 70, I think he's going to calm down a lot as he ages.   

Besides that, "they" will be watching him constantly.  He's just going to get older and fatter as he lives out his days in Florida with his kids and friends. 

To me, he is a sad case because when he came out of poverty to play at USC, he was phenomenal.  After college he was still a great football player.  Then he got all caught up in the Hollywood big time lifestyle and that was his downfall.  He got the arrogant, know-it-all, my way or the highway temper that a lot of those people "out there" fall into.  Everyone tells them how wonderful they are and they can do no wrong, and...they believe it.

Oh well--we'll see how he does now.
I went up to check out Merle and Pearl's ramp.  Holy Cow!!!  It looks like a mini-deck.  Merle has even put his chair on the level part before the last part of the ramp starts.  It is NOT too steep and I think it will work great, if Pearl ever gets brave enough to use it.
It's getting hot again, so I'm about to close this place up and turn on the A/C.  Have a good one.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good day

It is hot and humid again, so we are all closed up inside our homes--kind of like in winter, but the A/C blower is running, instead of the furnace blower.

I'm feeling pretty content and happy tonight because, I had errands and appointments this week and now I look at a blank calendar for the rest of the month.  I just simply enjoy the feeling that I don't HAVE to go anywhere.

I scored big time at the Food Bank this morning.  I found a 2# package of ground beef that I can make up into patties, freeze and have them when I crave a hamburger AND a package of 3 Rib Eye steaks!!!!  3!!!  Also got some Sweet Corn, Cucumbers, a few cans of cat food, 6 bottles of water, 1# of sugar, a box of biscuit mix and Cherry Turnovers!  I am just so happy to get the meat.  Maybe I can make it last for a month.

Came back home and what a mess.  My neighbor across the street, Jackie, has 6 car loads of people staying at her house, during the day, until Sunday.  They have no place to park, so they park on the edge of this narrow street.  I had a hard time getting my car out and back in my driveway.

Merle has parked his car in the other spot on my parking pad, because there were 3 large trucks, parked along the street by his house.  They are putting in a ramp for Pearl.

I managed to get down our now 1 lane street and out to the Doctor's.  He had a nurse practitioner student working with him today.  I gotta tell you, she's a lot better than he is.  I got a real check-up.  I even had to get up on the table so she could listen to my tummy sounds and check my legs and ankles.  Then she sat me up and checked my heart, my lungs, looked in my ears, nose and throat and listened to my carotid arteries and checked for lumps on my neck.

When she was done, the Doc came in and said, "Your blood work is perfect again.  Are you having any problems?"

"Nope.  Just back pain and the arthritis.  I wish I could take Prednisone every day for the pain."

"I know.  I'm sorry....because you are on the blood thinner, you can't take anything except Tylenol."

"That doesn't really work very well for me."

"I know...sorry.  You're very healthy otherwise.  Now get outta here and I'll see you in February."

On the way home, I noticed the traffic light at the main intersection was out.  So we treat it like a four-way stop, right?  Except at that intersection, we have 5 lanes of traffic on each side of the street.  A right turn lane, 2 going forward and 2 left turn lanes--going in each direction.  The lights are coordinated to let the lanes go at different times.  It was 5:00, heavy traffic.

As I got to the dead light and was going forward, people were trying to turn left in front of us and come across from the other street.  Let's just say I was lucky to get out of there alive.  Just as I proceeded to cross other street, a guy decided he was going to come across from the street on my left--I saw him, stepped on the gas hard and he narrowly missed my back fender.

When I got home I walked down to Merle and Pearl's to check out the ramp.  It comes off their narrow back porch--they had built a wider landing, which is nice, but then the ramp goes down at a steep, at least it looked that way to me, angle.   If Pearl tries that in her wheeled walker, the walker is going to get away from her and she is going to fall.  If she tries to go up it with her walker or in a wheel chair, she won't have the strength of make that steep angle.

I kept any and all opinions to myself and will wait and see what happens.

She also has a new doctor that her daughter found for her.  She doesn't like my doctor anymore because he told her the reason she can't walk very well is because she rarely walks and just sits in her chair.  He advised her to keep moving and gave her instructions to at least walk out to the mailbox everyday.

She doesn't like the new doctor either.  "I don't like her attitude," she said.

"What was her advice?"  I asked.

"She told me I had to move around more.  I had to walk more."

Which, of course, is the same advice I have been giving her for the last two years.  When she sits in her recliner 12 hours a day, then tries to get up and walk, her legs are weak and her back hurts.  She did that all winter last year and then wondered why she could barely walk this spring.

Use it or lose it, Baby!!!

I did get some advice today from the nurse practitioner today.....drink more water.  She thinks the dizzy spells I get are from dehydration AND Diet Pepsi doesn't help, because of the caffeine.  I told her I was up to one bottle of water a day now.  LOL.  She told me to work my way up to at least 3 bottles a day.   I've had two today.  I have to pee every half hour!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


My sister had her DNA tested and a few months later, I did too.  I found it strange that as siblings, our percentages of shared DNA were different.  I have 2.0% Native American, my sister has 0.2%.  She has way more Irish than I do.

Now my daughter Pam had hers tested and called me last night.

We all have the highest percentage from Great Britain.

I have French and German, Pammie has Italian and Greek. Greek?  Italian?

She has less than 1% Native American.

What is really amazing to find out, 30 years ago, Pammie was diagnosed with a very rare Hemophilia C blood disorder--1 in a million Caucasian people have it.  In her DNA results there she is listed with 2% European Jewish.  1 in 8 Jewish people have the disorder.  SO--now we know, AND she didn't get it from me--so there.

She is also 1.8% African--the Congo--she didn't get that from me either, but she is thrilled. "That must be where I got my extra curly hair from."

So now, she and I want her brother and sisters to take the DNA test and also their Dad!!!  I can't even begin to tell you how much I will laugh when he finds out he has African AND Jewish DNA!!!!!!  The man will probably have a heart attack.  HAH!

I'm not sure my son would get tested either, for the above reasons.  Karen refuses and thinks we are all nuts for "letting the government know all that stuff about you."  I had no clue Karen was so paranoid and what makes matters even more laughable, her husband WORKS for the government and has a high security clearance.  Don't you think the government already knows his blood type and DNA, and everything about his lifestyle?...and hers?  

I told Karen that these labs are confidential and secure and the only way the government could get the results, they would have to file an affidavit and why would they want to know anything about HER DNA?  And as my Pammie says, "The government can learn anything they want about me, I don't care. I ain't done nuttin' wrong."

Perhaps Karen thinks the Radical Extremist's are going to raid the labs and then go hunting for Christian's DNA.  Oh--that's right.  Your religious beliefs don't show up in your DNA.  HAH

Speaking of Karen, here is a photo of her 2nd child, Susanna, running a 50K around Mt. Hood.  The photo is so perfect it looks photo-shopped.  The photographer sets up at that point and takes every racer's photo.  That's my little Portland, Oregon girl, who works for New Balance shoes.  A good place for her to live--she is very Liberal.  

Speaking of politics--my family is as mixed there as is their DNA.  ALL and I do mean all of my ancestor's were Republicans.  One great great grand father, was in the last days of dying and yet had himself hauled to the polling place, on a mattress on a flat bed wagon, so he could vote.

My sister is Conservative, her son is Ultra and works in our State Capitol for the Senate and is the County Commissioner.  My ex was a George Wallace fan.  The other ex, was a David Duke fan.  UGH!  My son is--I don't know what.  I think the last time he voted was for Ross Perot.  Daughter Pam was a Republican, but is now a Democrat.  Karen is a Conservative Republican.  Jennifer was a Liberal Democrat and now she is a Republican.  

I fit in no where because I am a Moderate.  I am against the death penalty.  I am also against abortion--unless in cases of rape/incest/or a severely brain damaged fetus, and I am all for birth control.  I am against guns, like AK47's and those kinds, but for gun ownership for hunters.  I don't like illegal immigrants, but am all for immigrants who want to do it the legal way.  I don't want war, but I just wish we could drop a big bomb on North Korea and go on about our business.

All this just proves that our DNA does not show a certain genetic predisposition as to our political choices.  HAH!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

It Is Well With My Soul.

This is what Becky's house looked like when they moved in.
Now there is a deck that wraps the house.

 Five years ago, it looked like this, with just a few flowers.

Three years when I visited, she had put the long garden
along the sidewalk up to the house.

This shed and the gardens around it were put in 2.5 years ago. 

She is also into photography and has received many awards from Birds & Blooms and other bird and gardening magazines.  If you'd like to see her photos, click here .
What perfect weather we are having.  70ish, and 60ish at night.  Sleep with all the windows open.  It has been so quiet today and I have nothing to do.  How strange that feels.  Laundry and house cleaning done over the weekend.  I went outside and watered all the potted plants, for something to do.

The Rose of Sharon bushes are blooming--a bit ahead of schedule, if I remember correctly.

 At one spot, two bushes have grown together so I have pink and lavendar
 My white bush hasn't quite gotten full enough for a photo.

I cut one of my Lilies--the wonderfully scented
Star Gazer Lily.  It is my favorite, but be careful.  If you get too close for a sniff, that orange pollen on the stamens will stand your white blouse, forever!!

I also ran up to the Meijer store yesterday.  Now, what would drag me out of my house, on a Sunday, to go to the store?   10 for $10 with an 11th one free.  Then a neighbor kid just happened to be walking passed, so I bribed him ($2.00) to carry these heavy jugs inside for me.  As my back is still growling.

This morning I made an appointment with my Doc for my 6th month check in.  No problems, but he wants me to come in every 4 months, and I finally argued him into 6 months.  I will get my blood drawn tomorrow morning and the results will be at his office by Wednesday afternoon, when I show up.

In fact, the results will be available in my Patient Portal way before I go to his office, so I will know the results before he does--which is the way I like it.  If there is a wonky reading, I can Google it before I see the Doc.  

No surprises!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Happy Times

I had a sweet day Thursday.  Lunch with the Old School Gal Pals and a visitor came.  A girl who graduated the year ahead of us, but of course, in our small school we all knew her and besides, she was in the band, as we all were.  She is losing the battle with metastasized breast cancer and is taking no more chemo.  She is here from Montana, visiting her younger sister.  You wouldn't know there is a think wrong with her.  She ate a lot of food, laughed a lot, seemed way more stable in her mind and her walk than a couple of girls in our group.  It was wonderful seeing her.
My sister and brother-in-law weren't home yet from their death vigil to Virginia.  My BIL's brother called a couple of weeks ago with the news he had liver/colon/pancreatic cancer.  He wanted his siblings to come for a visit so they could have some laughs and share memories.  He was quite all right for the first couple of days they were there.  Didn't eat much, but sat in his chair and laughed.  Then one day, he just slept most of the day.  Still got up to use the bathroom.  The next day, his children called in Hospice to help out.  At least the Hospice people didn't immediately inject him with morphine and put him into the "death coma", they just kind of hung around and every now and then, he'd waken and talk a bit.  He died, naturally, two days later.
Knowing sis wasn't home, I stopped in at a woman's house--Pammie's friend--that has the most amazing gardens and bird feeding stations!!!  I spent about 45 minutes walking around and taking the tour.

This is the view from my parked car, in the back.

As I walked up to her house
 Her deck by her front door

 Her deck by her back door--this is where her many bird feeders are located

The view from the back deck down a slope to her woman cave.  Which just happens to be carpeted, a small settee, a ceiling fan and where she stores all her gardening tools.

Her back lawn continues back to the river

My gardening attempts fall far short.

 I planted three sunflowers as a back ground for my Zinnias.  They did not germinate.

 My Grape tomato plant is doing fine, but my Zinnias, planted in three rows of 36", 24" and 8", for some reason have all floated down to the north end of the planted and are coming up in a jumble of sizes all together.
 2 planters of Sweet Peas.  Lots of vines, no buds.

As well has this--Morning Glory Vine of blue and hot pink.  Lots of vines, no buds.

I just want you to know that one time, I had a 100' long garden, 6 feet wide, that extended from one edge of my front lawn to the other.  On a slight slope, where the lawn sloped down toward the road.
It was filled with flowers for every season.  I can't find a photo of it, but ....you would be impressed.  HAH!