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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Almost Done..........

Almost done and done in.  WHEW!!!

The power wash guy, I call him Guy because that's his name, arrived at 7:00 on the dot.  When I heard him hooking up his hose to the outside faucet, I woke up.  It was daylight outside.  I don't get up at 7:00, so I don't really know when the sun rises.

It took him two hours and what a beauty.  My house is clean and white, no mold on the skirting and got the outside of my windows washed. He even did my shed.  $80.00.

It was chilly and cold, but all of a sudden, the sun came out about noon and I got busy.

I put my pots back in place by the front of the house, got everything on the porch put back together and then hit the little raised garden out by the shed.

A hot pink, purple and Chartreuse color scheme this year.

The Stack 'N Grow, is all stacked and ready to grow. 

Every one of these weeds had to be yanked out by hand.  I don't know what kind of weed it is, but if I don't pull each one, and get the roots, they will be back in a week.

I loosened the soil with a garden fork, then pulled the weeds, worked up the soil with my 3-tined hand digger (my favorite tool).  Punched three holes , equal distance in the back and dropped in a Sun flower seed, made a nice straight line with the handle end of the garden rake, planted, 36", in first line, 24", middle line and 6" near front-- Zinnias.

Zinnias are the easiest , sturdiest, most colorful flower to grow from seed.  I will cut them and make bouquets for my neighbors--late summer.
After I got them all planted and a Grape tomato plant at the end, I covered the seeds and tamped the dirt down firmly, with the flat part of the garden rake.

Now--I wait.
I'm worn out.  My shoulders and back ache--my legs feel weak.  But, emotionally I feel really good.  There is nothing that calms this old farm girl/gardener, than working in the dirt and planting the "promise" of seeds.    They are miracles.
Got this by e-mail tonight.  Della--7 months old and pulling herself up and walking along furniture.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gray, cold, drippy

I have my porch pots planted, but not in place.  Tomorrow they are coming to power-wash my wee house, so I have my planters pushed way back out of the way.  I still haven't planted my Zinnia seeds because, #1: It's been to wet and #2:  I have to till that raised bed first and....it's been too wet.

I feel like I am late planting everything, but in reality, when I lived 25 miles north of here, we waited until Decoration Day weekend to plant, so....................

I got the 9th baby quilt done.  I have 9 grandchildren and decided 5 years ago that I wanted to do a cross-stitched baby quilt for each of them to choose from, for their first child.  I now have them all done.

If my grandson Marcus, marries that little farm girl,
this will be theirs.

This is the one Helene choose for Della

Finished yesterday
There will be one quilt left over.  My 2nd grand daughter, Susanna is not going to have children.  Which in a way is a good thing, as she is not the motherly type and is constantly traveling for New Balance shoes, running in marathons.  

Now I can stitch on my Nativity Scene, which has teeny-tiny holes and stitches.  I made a mistake yesterday and had to pull out stitches today, but it is going to be beautiful with the metallic threads and beads.

I have also, over the years, made afghans for the grand kids.  They have them, except for Jennifer's kids.  I have theirs packed away in nice tight plastic boxes and will ship her oldest, Andrew's to him on his 16th birthday this November.  I made it in MIT (Massachusetts Institute for Technology) colors because he's wanted to go there since he was 9.  It's a very handsome Claret red, gray and black.
It has been a week since I bit my tongue all the way through, and it is still hurting.  I checked out the spot and it is healing, slowly.  I swished with warm salt water and dabbed a bit of Hydrogen Peroxide on it last night before I went to bed.  I did get a mouth guard and managed to get the impression good so it fits well, but during the night, I must spit it out because I spend a couple of times each night, patting around the bed, trying to find it to put back in.  HAH!
I had fun yesterday at Michael's.  I got in line, waiting for the cashier, and a guy came up behind me with his cart.  He had on a dark navy shirt, pants and hat with a big yellow "M" (Michigan) on it.  His cart was filled with 2 large poster frames and several 8 x 10" poster frames.  He looked receptive to chat, so I said.
"Hm-mm.  Gathering sports memorabilia?"
"Yes.  Hey!  Good call.  How did you know?"
"I am a Spartan.  I went to the smart school."
"I oughta have you help me put all this stuff together."
"Oh, I've done it lots of times.  For award banquets, or displays, stuff like that.  I was involved in youth athletics for years."
"Then you're an expert!"
"No.  I'm a Spartan and don't you ever forget it," 

I could hear him laughing as I walked away, up to the cashier.

Some days are more fun than others. HAH!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

33 years later-------

The prediction is coming true.....

 Now, all we have to do is burn all the history books and print new ones, written by the most liberal of professors and then, we can mold and form the minds of the children.  We can build a beautiful socialist society, where everything is free to everyone.  Everyone is the same and has the same.  We could name it, The Socialistic Republic of Russmerica.  

To be politically correct we must demolish this statue too...

because:  "For much of his career, Lincoln believed that colonization—or the idea that a majority of the African-American population should leave the United States and settle in Africa or Central America—was the best way to confront the problem of slavery. His two great political heroes, Henry Clay and Thomas Jefferson, had both favored colonization; both were slave owners who took issue with aspects of slavery but saw no way that blacks and whites could live together peaceably. Lincoln first publicly advocated for colonization in 1852, and in 1854 said that his first instinct would be “to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia” (the African state founded by the American Colonization Society in 1821)."

In the sky or on your phone,  
GPS or by a drone.
The camera in your monitor,
Or by your neighbor who lives next door.
The micro-chip in your wrist,
Just gives them yet, another twist.
Big Brother is watching you.  

I am probably getting close to my "call".  It is nearing my time when I will be carried to the beautiful hospice house, given my injections of morphine to calm me down--they say it's for pain--watch the beautiful movie as I stare at the ceiling and lapse into a coma, another injection and, down the conveyor belt I go--into eternity...or your next meal.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Was it a nightmare?  Was it sleep apnea?  Something triggered me to bite all along the right edge of my tongue.  I even bit though it, in one place!

Woke up with a start from the pain.  There was blood coming out of my mouth.  Because I am on a blood thinner, the bleeding would not stop.  I got kind of scared, but didn't feel I could maneuver myself to the ER.

I sat up for awhile, I lay back down.  I knew I didn't want all that blood going into my stomach.  Finally, I just hung over the bathroom sink and let it drain--trying not to spit and make it worse.

Finally, I got a white linen napkin, put an ice cube in it, packed that between my tongue and bottom teeth and went back to sleep.  

When I woke up this morning, it looked like a bloody murder had occurred on my bed and in the bathroom.  It is sorer than anything.  I think I better buy a mouth guard to wear at night!!!!!


From time to time, I have been known to spend $300.00 on annuals to fill pots and baskets and planters.  Last year, we had such a hot and dry summer that every annual I planted died.  I spent $279.00 last year.

I am proud to say, I showed great restraint today.  I had my garden planting list with me and went to Lowe's to buy annuals.  Now, granted they aren't as large as the fancy gardening center I like to shop at across the road from me, but they will catch up.  I had 3 of the Chartreuse vines I always use that I couldn't find at Lowe's, so on the way home, I stopped at the fancy gardening center and got them.

All total today, I spent $111.19.  Instead of putting Impatiens and Petunias in the three planters that fit on my porch railing, I am going to use only two planters and planting Sweet Pea seeds in them.  If they succeed, they will trail as nicely as a Wave Petunia and if they don't succeed, it's no big out of pocket loss.

Today it was 88 degrees with 25 mph straight winds and an occasionally 40 mph gust.  I unloaded my plants and put them in the shade, came in and turned on the A/C.  Tonight it will get down into the 50's and tomorrow's high is predicted to be 62.  It should make a nice day to get all my pots cleaned up and planted.  Put the rug down on the porch and get my chairs in place.

Tonight, as I go to sleep, I am going to keep chanting, "Don't bit your tongue, don't bite your tongue"......and I think I will sleep on my left side, so in case I do bite, it will be on the other side.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What a great day.....................

We have jumped from April weather in the 50's and 60's, to July weather near 89.  Last night, before I went to bed, I flipped on the thermostat to "Cool" to cool it down inside. Something just didn't feel right.  It was 82 inside and I knew it would take a while to get everything cooled off so the thermostat would click off--I had it set for 74, and went to bed.

I woke up at 4:00am and the A/C fan was still running.  I checked the inside temperature--77 degrees.  So in nearly 5 hours, it had only cooled down 5 degrees.

At 8:00, I jumped on the phone and called my electricity company, that I have my Appliance Service Plan through.  They would send a guy out by noon!  YAY!  I was hoping it wouldn't be a Freon leak or the condenser had died.

Then I heard a racket, looked out and there was a Stump Remover company pulling in the yard between Tammie's house and mine.  Seven years ago, there was a 30 feet tall Willow Tree between our two houses.  It made me a bit nervous because I know how Willows, when they get old, can split right down the trunk, putting part of the tree on her roof and part on mine.

She's a lot like Dar and had kept after her husband to cut it down.  She was having panic attacks every time we got a 10mph wind. He talked to me and we agreed to split the cost to get that tree down.  It cost $800.00, which is ridiculous.  Shortly before he was going to pay me half, because I had paid for the whole thing at the time, she kicked him out and filed for divorce.  So, of course, he needed money to find a place to rent.  Over the next year, he paid me in bits and pieces and I never did get the full half.

Anyway, when they took down the tree, we wanted the stump removed.  That thing was huge!  and I mean YUGE!!!  They wanted $400.00 to take out the stump.  That was not going to happen.

So this morning, here is a guy, with a remote controlled machine with a big saw on the front.  I had never seen a machine so fancy.  I saw Tammie in the yard so I scooted over.  "Ohmigosh!  You are finally getting rid of that thing.  "I am going to put in a pond with a fountain," she said.

This girl!  She owes the IRS back taxes, she owes the hospital and she is in arrears on her mortgage, but the minute she gets a bit of change............)

"It's not costing four hundred, is it?"

"No.  He's only charging me a hundred."


So when he was finished, I asked him if he had time to remove the smallish stump from where I had the Mulberry tree removed.  

"Sure," he said.  He reminded me of my only nephew Adam, at a younger age.

"How much?" I asked

"I'll do it for nothing.  I'll just get it out."

"Oh no," I said, "I gotta pay you something.  
After all, I had a price on the removal three years ago and it was $150.00.

"How about, hm-mm, forty or fifty?"

"Fifty is good,"I said.

He not only removed that stump, he filled in the hole.  Usually they leave you with a huge mound of dirt.

"I don't have fifty dollars," I said.  "I couldn't find a ten.  All I've got is these three twenties."

He broke out in the biggest, red-faced grin.  I expected him to start kicking the toe of his shoe in the dirt and say, "Aw shucks!"
The A/C repair guy arrived at noon-thirty, checked out the unit to find that the Freon pressure is still at the top end (this unit is 20 years old) and that it needed a new capacitor, which had died because it was old.  Just for kicks, he put brand new fuses in the fuse box.  He praised me for keeping the unit so nice and clean and I told him, that although most people around here don't cover their units in winter, I always make sure the screens around the sides are clean, no leaves in the unit and then, cover it for winter.

Like the doc always tells me, "Well, just keep doing what you're doing." he says.

The "normal" charge would have been around $175.00, my cost = zero.  I pay $29.95 monthly for my all appliance service plan and since I have had three service calls already this year, I'd say that plan has paid for itself and more.

After my Soap, I attacked the porch.

Skritch marks from the squirrel claws, on two railings

Badly worn steps, that I sanded

 Done and done.

I almost fell off the steps because I had been bending over to paint the porch floor and got a bit dizzy.  That's why that chair is there, to sit in and get my bearings.

Now, I can clean up my porch pots and get some seeds and annuals planted and rest easy for the rest of the summer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Am I too harsh?

I was sitting and thinking last night.  About Dar.  I've known her 6 years.  I thought and thought and tried to remember.  I think the only time she has ever asked how I was doing, was the week after Fred died.

I was in my recliner and had snoozed off.  I heard the door open and there she was.  I didn't know her very well at the time, but she stepped inside and said, "I was just checking to see if you are all right."  I said, "I'm fine.  Just taking a little nap."  and she left.

Not at any time, when she comes through my door, does she ever ask about me or my family or anybody.  It is always, all about her.  Her whole world revolves only around her and her needs, her pain, her---whatever.  That's all she thinks about.  

The first words out of her mouth when she walks in are, "I need to talk.  I need you to calm me down."

Yesterday she was going on and on about the treatments and therapies she CAN'T take, because they take her back to a time when she was abused.  So, I asked, "Did your husbands (4) ever beat up on you?  Did they ever try to kill you?  Were your parents abusive to you?"

"No.  But there was emotional abuse."

"My Dear," I said, "both of my husbands beat me.  My second one tried to kill me twice.  My father slapped me around and called me "stupid" from the time I was five.  Now, if I can get over all that, I don't see why you can't."

"It's just different with me," she said.  
Oh, of course it is because you are such a rare and unusual person., with such intricate maladies.

"I've been given black eyes and had my nose broken, yet I don't get hysterical when someone puts their hand up by my face.  I was rear ended, push into the oncoming lane of traffic and front ended, and then T-boned by another car.  I don't have PTSD about driving. "
I guess I get so mad at her that I tell my story to try and best her and show her she isn't any worse off?

"Well, you're just lucky."

"No, I'm not.  I sought help to get over it.  I put it in the back of my mind and tried not to think about it.  You keep all those thoughts active in your mind all the time.  You have trust issues and control issues."


"Well, why don't I?  I've been through the same or worse than you.  I accept the reality of it all, know I can't do one thing to control or change what happened, but can change my thinking by the way I react to it.  I choose to let go and let God and move forward."

"I don't know," she said.  "I can't.  I guess I am just unique in my way of thinking.  They told me at physical therapy that I am a special case. They've never seen anything like me before."

Oh Sister--you aren't unique, or special.  You are selfish, self centered, over dramatic and paranoid.  Go help someone else, volunteer, think of someone else for awhile and the pain will lessen.

"All of these people are trying to help you and yet, you won't do half of what they want to try."

"Nothing seems to help."

"It's going to take a long time, Kiddo."

"I just want the pain to go away."

"Of course.  A lot of that has to do with your mind--your thinking."

"I had a doctor tell me that, a few months ago.  He's nuts!  The pain is very real!  Why would anyone in their right mind keep the pain active in their mind?"
My question exactly.

"I just want it to go away so I can go back to work."


"I want to go back to work."

"Okay..now let's think about that.  You've told me that you have to take your Dad with you, or he gets nervous being alone.  How are you going to be away from home for eight hours?  What is he going to do all alone?"


"You're seventy-five years old.  You don't need the money.  You can't stand for more than ten minutes, they won't let you sit at your job.  You certainly can't stock shelves with your bad right arm..."

"But, I need the social interaction."

"Get a volunteer job then."

"I had thought I would try and volunteer at the hospital, in the nursery, rocking newborns."

"That would be great!  Just one thing.  The hospitals here don't have delivery or nurseries.  That means you would have to drive thirty miles to St. Joes--expressway driving.  You can barely drive to Brighton to physical therapy, four miles away, without getting a panic attack."

"I never thought of that."

"You and your Dad could go to the Senior Center once a week.  You would both meet new people.  He'd be the hit of the place at ninety-six and as active as he is."

"Hm-mm....I don't know."

"Well, get involved in church again.  You said you liked that new church you were going to last year.  Start going again and get involved in what is going on there.  Take your Dad."

"He's an Agnostic.  He wouldn't want to go."

"Maybe, if he tried it, he might enjoy being around all the people.  No one is going to drag him down the aisle to the altar."

She laughed.  "They'd suffer if they tried."  

"I'm just trying to think of things that YOU could do...for YOURSELF...to take your mind off the pain and make YOU feel better."

"If I felt better, Dad and I could take a few trips.  I know how to drive up to my brother's.  We could go to Indianapolis and visit the grand kids. I know how to get there."

"That would be great!  I just hate to see every minute of every hour of every day...your whole mind, body and soul are consumed with the constant thinking about your pain.  I'd hate to see you make a career out of being the victim."
That was our 90 minute conversation, while she sat and had her muscles stimulated.  HAH!

Am I too harsh with some of my words to her?

Monday, May 15, 2017

What is going on?

The strangest thing!  

I got ready to paint the white part of my porch--railings, stair risers, etc.  I had paint spattered jeans, t-shirt and canvas shoes I used 3 years ago when I first did the whole porch.  I washed them and put them in a bag on the top shelf of my bedroom closet.

I got them down, and started to dress.  I could not button my jeans.  The T-shirt felt tight in the chest.  I said right out loud, "What is going on?"

I weigh the same as I did 3 years ago.  The clothes are tight.  They weren't tight 3 years ago.  Is this another one of those "body shifts" that have no rhyme or reason?  Why would my boobs get bigger?
At least the shoes still fit!  

I got all the white painting done and was going to start on the gray porch deck and steps and just then, "you know who" came over.  She got a new TENS device and today at physical therapy they put the pads on for her and hooked her up, but she couldn't get it to work.  One of the little plug-ins had come undone.  I got it plugged in and she turned it on.  

She asked if she could stay awhile, while she was getting the muscle stimulation, because she was afraid that, #1.  she might get an electrical shock.  #2.  it might be set too high and she wouldn't know how to turn off the machine.  ARGGH!!

I assured her that the device ran on batteries and there was no way she could be electrocuted, and that she had control of the device on how high to move the stimulation and to hit the "Off" button if she didn't like it.

Her highest number is 20.  She sat it on 2 and thought that was too much, so she clicked it down to 1. 

I set mine on at least 10.  She didn't like the way it felt like it was 'grabbing' her muscles.  I told her it was supposed to feel that way--thus stimulating the muscles to get the inflammation outta there.

An hour and a half passed.  Now it's five o'clock and not a good time to start painting my porch steps or deck.  So------maybe tomorrow I can get that done?  If it doesn't rain and I have to wait for the wood to dry out.