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, April 23, 2018

Fun, Stunned, Despair

Karen picked me up at 9:30 Friday morning to go shopping for my wedding attire. I hate to shop--especially for clothes--especially when I don't know what I want.  I haven't shopped for clothes in 7-8 years, preferring to order my slacks/jeans, tops on-line.

We first went to a store up in Howell that is closing.  Carson's, a branch of Bon Ton, Younkers--all those stores are closing, so there was a mega sale going on.  I grabbed a couple of tops, as did Karen and off to the changing room.  

It reminded me of when Karen was little and I took her shopping for clothes, only this was in reverse mode.

I stood there as Karen "dressed me".  Putting the tops on, pulling them off, putting another one on.  We found a beautiful top.  A blush shell underneath with the over blouse, longer, with fluttery sleeves and irregular hem and the wedding colors, blush and navy.  Sort of water color painted looking.  We put it back to have them save it for us.  The thing cost 90.00, with a 30% discount, down to 63.00.

Off we went to the HUGE mall.  There are crazy round-abouts to maneuver, but Karen shops there often so she knows how to zip through them.  We decided to start at Dress Barn.

An older saleslady came up and I told her I needed something for my grandson's wedding.

"I know just what you need", she said and off we went.  

They had calf-length skirts and then the sales lady handed me a longer skirt--navy and light blue and white.  Perfect.  Karen came along behind gathering up 4 navy tops.  Into the fitting room.

I pulled the skirt on--perfect--it came down to my ankle bone.  Karen pulled a top over my head--too short.  Off that went, by now my hair was standing straight up.  On went another one, really nice, a bit longer, but tummy length and I wanted one that came down to the top of my thighs.  I look better in a longer top--it accentuates my height and makes me look leaner.  I even tried on one of those "cold shoulder" tops--where the top is cut away and shows the shoulder.  I can tell you--skinny, skin-tag spotted Gramma shoulders do not look good exposed!!

Karen disappeared and came back with another top.  She pulled it over my head--perfect fit, perfect length.

Then she chastised me because I still had my blue jeans on under the skirt, so I dropped them around my feet.

"Mother!  Sit down and take those shoes and your jeans off.  I can't get the full effect with them in the way!"

Okay-okay.  I already knew I had what I wanted, but I slipped my loafers off and pulled off my jeans, to reveal dark blue, knee-high socks underneath.  Quite attractive.  HAH!

Then she made me go out and look in the full length mirror.  The sales lady came over and declared me the best  looking grandma she had ever seen.

We bagged it up--the entire outfit cost 45.00.

Karen dropped me home at 11:45.  She had to pick her hubs up at Noon.

I had the best time!  We laughed so hard at times, tears were running down our faces.  I was so happy and giddy the rest of the day.  I didn't have to walk very far or shop very long and I don't remember my back hurting at all.

Look--both sleeves have a cut-out lattice work.  Va Va Voom.

I am going to wear my 26" gold chain, to add even more of a long accent.
I had all my grandkids birthstones hanging from it.

Earlier I told Karen, "I don't want to wear something all glitzy and beaded and sequined.  I just want something that will look elegant and make your Dad regret what he threw away."

She said, "I think you've got the look with this, Mom."
I got up at 6:00 on Saturday morning.  Jennifer had been in town all week on business.  Friday night she drove out to Pammie's.  They were packing up to leave Saturday morning and going to stop by so I could give Pammie a good-bye hug and Jen too, of course.  I got up early so I wouldn't miss them.

I hadn't heard from Pam nor seen them, so I called around 9:30--it went right to voice mail.

I knew they were busy so I just sat and waited.

I needed to drain the water heater, but I was afraid to go out to the shed to get the hose because I might miss their call.  Pam was going to call me when they got close.

Well, about 6:00 in the evening, after a couple more times of trying to reach them, I thought, "maybe they aren't leaving until Sunday morning.  Maybe I misunderstood."

So Sunday morning, I got up early again, got dressed and waited.  Finally at 11:00, I called my sister.

"Did Pam leave yet?" I asked.

"Oh.  Didn't you get the photo she texted?"

"I don't have text capabilities," I reminded her.

"Oh.  She sent a photo of the Welcome Home Aunt Pammie, sign the kids made for her.  She and Jen got in about 10:00 last night."

"She's in New Jersey then?"

"Yes.  They left here about 9:00, I ran down to give her a hug goodbye.  Then they stopped in at Karen's for about an hour.

"Okay, thanks."
I had to hang up because my throat was tightening up and the tears were coming.

You know I don't cry!  Never!

I continued to cry the rest of yesterday, until I made myself sick because I forgot to eat.  I didn't sob, the tears just kept running out of my eyes and my eyes swelled up and..................today, I look awful!

Come to find out--there was a big rush to get everything packed, the water shut off at Pam's house and for them to be on their way.

They took the expressway that is 2 miles from here, stopped at Karen's for an hour, waiting for Helene and little Della to show up so they could see her.

Apparently they didn't have 15 minutes to take to stop here for good-bye hugs.

Apparently it never occurred to Karen to call and tell me so I could have driven the 20 minutes down there to see them off.

Pam will be gone for 2 years.  She is not coming back for the wedding as it is during the end of school year.  She will stay with the kids in NJ, so that Jen and Eric can come to the wedding.

I carefully wrote an e-mail to all 3.  Although there is no blame on Jen, Pam never opens her e-mails, but Karen and Jen do and I knew one of them would tell Pam about it.

I didn't condemn anyone, just said that I was disappointed and sad that I didn't get to give her a good-bye hug and kiss.

I got an answer from Pam this morning.  

"I didn't promise I'd stop in.  I said I would if we had time.  It took longer to close up the house and we had to get on our way.  Nothing can be done about it now."
Yeah, but.......they had an hour to sit at Karen's.
They had a siblings going away party at my son's on Friday night.
They had time enough to take a few minutes to visit with my sister.
To me it shows total disregard for my feelings.  Maybe I am being selfish, but I always feel left out, or as an after thought.  Of course, I have posted about how they never visit or call.  Pam was the only one who called once a month.

I thought she was the closest one to me.  I acted happy that she was moving.  I supported her in everything, helped her with a little money, when I could.

It just hurts really, really badly that she could find time for everyone else, but not her MOTHER!!

Oh, I can't write about it anymore, the tears are flowing again and my eyes are nearly swollen shut.
I did get the water heater drained yesterday.  Today I need to go to the bank and get groceries, but I can't leave the house looking the way I do!

As Pam said, "Nothing can be done about it now."  I gotta find an "I don't care" attitude, "it is as it is" attitude, forgive them all and carry on as if........

Honestly?  Yesterday afternoon, I thought that if I had a gun, I'd go out on the front steps and blow my brains out.  The neighbor's would hear the noise and find me, so I wouldn't lay there too long.  Then the police would notify one of my kids.  I wouldn't have to go through anymore hurt or loneliness.  How restful and peaceful it would be.  The kids wouldn't have to even think about me anymore, which would probably make their lives a whole lot easier.

Onward and upward!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Prayers, Promises, Weddings and...the dang snow and cold continue.

I talked to daughter Pam last night.  She said her Dad, my 1st ex and father of my children, who winters in Florida, had been in hospital.  He had several blood clots in his lungs!  They had to do surgery to get them out.  That sounds pretty serious to me.

This man was my high school sweetheart--actually I had a crush on him since 6th grade.  Anyway, I loved him deeply and a divorce, while nasty and angry,  doesn't kill that love.  We see each other at the grand kids graduations and weddings and we are cordial.  Always sharing a hug and usually a laugh or two.

I was so worried about him that I couldn't get to sleep last night.  They haven't made the trip back to Michigan as yet.  He just isn't up to it.  Plus, there is 30" of new snow up north, where they live, so they might as well stay in Florida longer.

I finally just prayed for him...which is all I can do.  I don't want the man to die.
although if and when he does, my Social Security will raise about $500.00 a month.
On a lighter note--my granddaughter Madeleine (the ballerina) and her fiance', had their betrothal blessed this past Sunday.  I had no idea this was a sacrament in the Catholic church.  

These two have known each other since their home school days.  They re-met in college 3 years ago.  When they were both 14, at different churches, they took a vow of purity until marriage.  You have heard me talk about Maddie and me glancing to see if she still wore her purity ring.  LOL

So this sacrament is almost the same.  They were blessed by the priest, to signify that they were betrothed and still vowed to remain pure until their marriage.

Who does that nowadays?  In these days, is anyone still a virgin when they marry?  Seems like most have lived together for years before they marry.

These two are and have been so deep in their faith and their Catholic beliefs...well, I for one, think it's beautiful!  They will be married next May, 2019.
Stefan and Madeleine
Speaking of weddings--Karen called to set up a date for her to drag take me shopping for wedding attire for the upcoming June 2nd wedding for my oldest grandson Marcus and his bride Morgan.  

I have exhausted all attempts to find anything on-line, so it's off to trek through the many clothing stores in the mall, down by the round-abouts.  

These Round-About are famous around here.  Not for their ease of use, like a normal traffic circle, but for the many accidents and road rage incidents.

Karen will pick me up in the Costco parking lot, a block away, and then SHE will traverse the round-abouts because she has done it many, many time.

You have no idea how much I dread this!  Yes, it will be fun with Karen, but before we get to the back of the store where the pretty clothes are, my back will be screaming in pain.  The outfits won't fit right because I am a size 18 on top and 14 on the bottom.  I have a feeling I am going to settle for a pair of navy blue dress pants, my white shell I already have and hoping I can find some sort of multi-colored, flowing, gauzy tunic-like jacket to bring it all together.

The wedding colors are Navy and Blush.  I do not look good in Blush--I need more color up by my face.

Oh well--I am going to take a forbidden Advil an hour before we leave.  One Advil certainly shouldn't cause internal bleeding.  Will it?  Just one?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Truth Is Out and Closure

I traveled up to Durand Thursday afternoon--about 40 miles north of here--for lunch at the Old School Gal Pals.  It was real nice.  My BFF's daughter came with her daughter and two grand babies.  My BFF's daughter is moving over to the west side of our State, from a home she has lived in 50 years.  She wants to be closer to her daughter and grandkids.  I can't blame her, but it just might be the last time I ever see her.  It was an emotional good-bye, as she does love to lunch with us on occasion and listen to us reminisce on how we were in High School and what her Mother was like at a younger age.

Plus, I've known my BFF's daughter since she was 6 hours old, so.........almost like one of my kids leaving me.
After we left, I sat in my car for a few minutes.  My sister wasn't home, so no trip out to the farm for me.  It was a beautiful, sunny day in the low 70's  I felt adventurous, which is not me.  I am not spontaneous, but I decided, "Nobody will know," and off I drove to see if I could find where the Old Coot lives.  

I've been thinking and praying about this for a couple of months.  I kept getting the feeling that I probably shouldn't do it, but.....I have been depressed, bored and kind of ticked off at my life lately, so---I headed north and west--knowing that area, and knowing his address, I figured I could find his house.

I took me about 45 minutes and I went passed it and had to turn around and go back.  He was just pulling into his driveway.

You should have seen the look on his face!!! My initial reaction was, Oh My Gosh!  He is really old looking!  Super skinny.  Sort of stooped over.  Of course, it has been 26 years since I've seen him and I suppose at 87, he has aged a bit more quickly than I have in those years.

He's always been a super neat freak--when I stepped up into his kitchen--there was not an inch of counter or table space that wasn't covered.  The living room was a bit better, but crowded with a lot of furniture.

I was very relaxed, which showed me that I truly had healed and forgiven him.  It was like talking to friend John or someone like that.  No attachment.  I was determined not to bring up anything from the past--what good would it do, but rather started my conversation by asking how he was.

Buried in paperwork.  Had to have a new well put in--an unexpected cost.  Then he went on to tell me of his wife's long illness, and how care giving had worn him right down.  She had Hospice at home and then, woke him in the middle of the night to say, "You better call the ambulance."

He said the Hospice nurse came with the ambulance to take her to the Hospice home and the nurse said, "Pat, we've talked about this.  It's time."

He said, "It was like the Grim Reaper showed up, made his declaration and off they went!"  Then he broke down and sobbed and sobbed.

I didn't move to console him.  I felt it was better for me to remain seated and wait for him to gain control in his own way.
Then we talked about his Mother and siblings--all gone now.  I worried about him being all alone and he mentioned a friend he had by the name of Craig Lawson, that call him every other day and stops in to visit.

"You don't mean Deputy Lawson of the sheriff's road patrol do you?"

"Yes.  You don't know him do you?"

"Well, let me tell you a little story--and went on to tell him how I had met Deputy Lawson when he stopped me for idling through a stop sign....'way out in the country over by Byron".

That gave us a good laugh and then he got real serious, tears in his eyes again.  I have never seen this man cry in the 4 years I knew him.

"Judy....I've thought----over the last...how many years did you say?"


"I should have shared more with you before we married.  I was a broken man.  Hurt....angry....filled with rage.  Left over from my marriage.  We had five children.  I was building a house for us up north."

"And she was cheating on you back at home.  You told me all that."

"Yes...but I never told you.  I loved her and those kids so much.  She nearly destroyed me when she left.  I never felt that she ever loved me.  I tried so hard, but.........it was never enough."

"Ah.  I felt that way with you."

" I was so hurt and angry and filled with such rage."

Then I just blurted it out--"Is that why you tried to choke me to death when I mistakenly hung the bathroom hand towel up crooked?"

"Oh...God....did I do that?"

"Yes.  Or the time you gave me a black eye because the sheets were the not the same amount of overhang on each side of the bed?"

"Oh....I remember that."

"Or the time you said I could plant anything I wanted in the garden and after I did, you roto-tilled it all up because you said my rows were crooked?"


"Or the time you slapped me around and threw your coffee mug at me because I had spilled a little sugar on the table?"

"What?  Oh no!"

Then I was quiet as I realized that he didn't remember a lot of those times and it was just stupid to bring it all up.  He is a broken man.

"Judy...I was mentally ill.  I was sick.  It wasn't you!  My anger was so out of control, that any minor thing set me off and I struck out at the person nearest me."

"Well--I don't know about that.  Maybe I was a bit too independent for you.  I've met two of your ex wives and they said you never abused them.  Why me?"

"I guess because.....you were there at the wrong time in my life?  I was mentally sick, Judy.  Can you ever forgive me?  Please!  I will get down on my knees and beg your forgiveness!"

"That's not necessary.  Yes, I was traumatized for a long time after you kicked me out, but.....Oh, Donnie, I forgave you years and years ago."

He started crying again.  "I don't know how you ever could."

"Hey--do you remember that beautiful entertainment center you made for us?"


"You don't?  You worked weeks on it and it was a beautiful piece of furniture.  Remember the little sewing room you made for me when we lived in the Town House?   Remember---one day we were sitting in the living room, when we lived in Mother's mobile home and I said, "I wish we had a screen door on that back door.  We could get a nice, cool cross breeze from the front door through to the back.  I went off to work and when I got home, you had built a beautiful screen door, it was all painted and hung.  Remember that."

"I remember that door.  It's still on that unit."

"Donnie--you could repair, fix and build anything!!  You are a master carpenter....you do such beautiful work!"

He said, "Do you remember those Backgammon games we had every night?  We'd bet a nickle.  You won more nickles than I did."

"I remember."

"Remember the first time I beat you?"

"Yes...you ran over to Mom and Marcia's trailer, whooping and hollering that you had finally beat me."

We were quite for a moment and then I said, "Remember one Valentine's Day, we had no extra money...."

"We never had any extra money."

"I walked in from work and you had made me a pan of home made chocolate fudge--you had made it in my heart-shaped cake pan.  Remember?"
The rest of our conversation was nice.  We laughed, we joked.  I stayed for about 90 minutes and decided I'd better start home.  I asked if I could use the bathroom--he said, "Wait a minute, I'll put up a clean hand towel for you."

When I went in, I noticed the towel--so old and threadbare---and hung precisely, with all edges even.  So after I washed my hands, I put that towel back on the rod....as crooked as I could make it.

We hugged.  He thanked me profusely for visiting.  I thanked him.

As I drove away, I was smiling.  I was  laughing out loud!  I felt better than I've felt in months.  Although, it is true, I have forgiven him years ago and haven't even thought about him in a very long time...I guess I needed his apology and asking for my forgiveness.

His explanation of his  mental illness made those years all make sense to me now--nothing made sense back then---when I was living through it.

Closure.  That word that society bandies about nowadays.

I know what that means now.  Such peace.  The last couple of days, when I've thought about Don, I remember all the fun and good times we did have.

When it was good, it was very, very good.  When it was bad, it was terrifying--so angry his eyes would get red, and I didn't recognize him.  Fearing for my very life.

It's all good now.  Besides that, if he ever came at me with his hand raised now...I could take him down into a heap of old bones in a second.  He is a frail old man.
P.S.  I am so wondering what he thought the next time he went into the bathroom and saw that hand towel, hanging all crooked on the rod.  HAH!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Weird Woman

I am a total nut case!!!

I swear--sometimes I think I am totally losing it!  For instance--last night as I was brushing my teeth, rinsing my toothbrush in hot tap water--as I walked into my bedroom, I noticed that I didn't hear the hot water tank come on.  Now--it usually does whenever I use any hot water.

So, I lay there in bed, petting the cats--listening for the gas to come on in the water heater.  Nothing.  This started worrying me.

I have lunch with the Old School Gal Pals today.  i needed to shower in the morning.  What if the pilot light on the heater had gone out---again.

Should I get up and run hot water to see if the heater comes on?  Should I just let it go and hope the water stays warm enough, in the tank, overnight?

When I woke up, this was still on my mind.  I decided to wash my hair at the kitchen sink.  If the water was cool, it would be okay--at least my whole body wouldn't be all soapy and I'd have to rinse off in cold water.

I had enough warm water to get that done.  Then I was going to heat up a pan of water and carry it into the bathroom and wash all my important parts with that.  You've heard of a P.T.A. bath--right?  Well, if you haven't--I am not going to spell it out for you.  Google it!!

While the water was heating, I listened again--nope the water heater wasn't on.  

I carefully carried the pan of warm water into the bathroom and poured some in the sink.  I stepped out into the hallway, by the washer and dryer to grab a clean towel and heard the rumble of a low gas flame. I figured the furnace was about to click on.

Just out of curiosity, I walked into my bedroom, opened my closet door, stuck my head way back in there, next to the water heater closet and---the water heater was on!!!

Good Grief!!  Anyway--I had a nice shower and re-rinsed my hair.   

The things I put myself through when my nervous mind takes over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Life at a slow pace..

I watched the Master's Golf tournament this weekend.  Golf is such a nice calm, relaxing, quiet sport to watch.  Quiet--nice and quiet.  I felt kind of sorry for the winner--on the 1st Tee, the crowd cheered wildly and long for his opponent Rory Mcilroy and only clapped politely for Reed.

None of the other golfer's like him--he won't talk to them, he is very OCD and takes a long time to make a shot.  I hear he has "divorced" his parents, who apparently have been very supportive, even moving their home to an area where he could "major" in golf in college.

Well, he won anyway.  Dumb kid.  He'll regret his choices someday!
Golf and/or baseball are wonderful sports to watch on TV while cross-stitching.  I can listen to most of what is going on and only look up to see the re-play, if things get exciting.

Most X-stitch patterns have the "picture" of what I am working on, on the pattern page.  Like this one.
After  I have it done, I out-line it and it shows up real nice.

This Last Supper thing, I've been working on since New Year's Day, has no picture on the pattern pages (15 pattern pages!).  Only the squares with the symbol for what color is stitched into that square.  This piece has nearly 70 colors--very dark to lightest of each color.  

Placing the colors correctly makes the picture come alive under the needle.  I have no idea what I am working on, until a face/person starts appearing.

If I put a color in an incorrect space, that guy's face and eye would not show up.  Plus, there is no outlining done afterward.  It will look like an oil painting.

The way I keep track on where I am.
This is by far, the most challenging X-stitch I have ever done!  When finished, it will be 35.7" x 24.9".
I thought the Nativity one I did was difficult.  HAH.

The one neat thing that has come out of this--I did a bit of research on Da Vinci's notes, when he was setting up to paint this and he has all the disciples names and listed in chronological order--from left to right.
I have lived quite a long time.  I have lived out in the country and more aware of my surroundings.  I have always been a bird watcher--could identify many by the time I was 6 years old.  We have a lot of birds out on the farm land.  My Mother could tell by their "call" and then she and I would have to search out that Blue Jay or whatever.

Robins eat only worms.  Right?  You don't see Robins sitting on bird feeders, eating the Sunflower seeds, the small bird seed.

I looked out my window yesterday afternoon and I saw something I have never seen in my life.  A big Red Robin, sitting on the suet cage, pecking at the suet!!!  
"Hey!  Go out and buy me some mealy worms!"

He must be really starving, and of course the ground is still frozen and no worms coming to the surface.
I have 4 Robins here.  I am looking out right now and they are hopping around the front yard, in the sun.

We need a good hard, warm rain!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Cabin Fever

I am bored outta my gourd!!!

I have been searching on-line for a pant suit to wear to the June 2nd wedding of my grandson.  Something simple, yet elegant.  I don't want to "stand out".  I am the grandma, not the mother.

Remember, back-in-the-day, when you could walk into any ladies store and find rack after rack of pant suits?  Not so anymore, unless they are black/gray pin stripe for work.  I have a black pin-stripe pant suit.

I thought I had found just what I wanted.
It has white lace embroidery on the left shoulder and right hem.  I have a white lace shell to wear under it.

In stock?  Yes!  Size 4.

Okay, well maybe I will have to go a bit more glamorous.  The men are wearing navy, the girls blush.  This would work for the colors.  In stock? Yes!
The pants are about 4 inches too short.

The pant outfits for weddings usually now, are all chiffon and flowing and....yes!  I would wear if I were mother, but a bit too much for grandma, in my opinion.

I would like to find something I can wear to this wedding and then also to granddaughter Madeleine's wedding next May.  ARGGH!

Karen called me in February to say she wanted to take me wedding shopping.  She suggested Spring Break, which ends today and I haven't heard a word from her.

She also mentioned perhaps a wedding shower on April 15th--haven't received an invite as yet.
Oh--I'm bored.  It keeps snowing, with cold winds.  I want to go out and pick up fallen branches or something.  Lay down mulch.  Dig.  Can't do it yet!  We are all complaining about our long winter, but a memory popped up on Face Book this morning and showed a photo I had posted on April 6, 2017--a year ago.  We had 3" of snow.  So, I guess this year isn't all that unusual.
I am waiting for family information so I can start a new genealogy.  It will encompass the woman's family and her husband's family.  4 different families just to begin with.  This is going to be a big genealogy and I do so need something to occupy my brain!!!!  I wish they'd get their "stuff" together and e-mail it to me.

Yes, they're young and yes, they're busy and the woman just finished up her mid-terms, but.....

I'm always too impatient!
I do believe this room I spend all morning in, just might be my favorite room in this place.  I have often wished I lived across the street, but then, my house would back up to the woods and I would have no view OF the woods, so...this location is pretty perfect.  I just wish that long gray one had not moved in 3 years ago.  It took away my view of the drive up into the woods, the deer that I used to see there, and the view of the wetlands.
My next door neighbors--I wonder if he is still in the psych ward.

Hm-mm.  Large limbs have fallen on Dar's roof.
I wonder if she knows?
I should tell her--that would drive her nutz! 

Jackie broke her arm a month ago.
She hasn't been able to drive anywhere.
I need to get over there and visit again  !

The people that moved in and took my view. 

 If I look out of just the tops of my windows--then I feel like I am in a snug, little cabin in the woods.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Perils of False Spring

"Ma'am. could you possibly buy me some worms?
I'm, starving out here!"