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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A loss for words............

Yes--me.  Who never is at a loss for words and at times, should be--perhaps?

I don't know what to call these unexpected meetings with people that, A.  Should never have happened and B.  Left me in a state of awe.

I want to be able to put a title on it.  "God Sighting"?  "God Whisper"?  "Angel Meeting"?  

"Lovely Coincidence"?  Well, it's more than that because, it never should have happened.  There have always been unexpected or even changes earlier in the day that have resulted in these "occurrences".

Just like with Deputy Lawson, last week.  I ALWAYS--ALWAYS stop at that 4-way stop sign.  I didn't on last Thursday and as a result, got to meet Deputy Lawson and that meeting re-charged my spirit.

"Life Changing"?  No--that's too big a title.  Not life changing.  

All I know is that, these rare occurrences fill me with wonder, because, as I said before, they never should have happened.
Yesterday.  My appointment at the Food Bank.  Like it always is--every third Wednesday of the month at 11:00.  Always.

The night before, I made a list of my Wednesday activities.  Food Bank.  Bank deposit.  Walmart- pick up prescription, milk, tuna, onion, candy, cocoa, bread.  Use food card=$33.00 on it.

I woke up, said my prayers, fed the cats, no milk or cocoa for my hot cup of chocolate, so I grabbed a protein drink, came in and clicked on Face Book.  At 9:30, I looked at my calendar and then glanced over to make sure I had everything I needed for my trip to the food bank and Walmart.

Checked my e-mails, checked some blog posts.  Glanced down at the computer clock and noticed, it was 10:55--froze!  "OH MY GOSH.  I HAVE TO BE AT GLEANER'S IN FIVE MINUTES!!!"

Ran into the bathroom, jumped into some clothes, realized.............11:15, ..........it ain't happening.

I got a Diet Pepsi our of the fridge, came back in the computer room and called them and explained and apologized for missing my appointment.

"We have one opening this afternoon," the lady said.

"Oh good.  What time?"

"Five fifteen."

I groaned to myself.  "Nothing tomorrow?"

"No.  We are filled up until next week."

"I'm afraid there won't be anything left that I use that late in the day."

"We close from three to five to restock the shelves."

"Okay...thanks.  I'll see you at five fifteen.  Thanks again."
Just great!  I had messed up my whole day!   I'd have to go to the bank and Walmart before I stopped at the food bank.  What if I got delayed and was late to the appointment?  Things happen.

So, at 2:00, I went up to the bank and Walmart, picked-up my prescription, got my few groceries = $27.00, I used my Bridge Card (food stamp).

I got home around 3:00, emptied out the car, put everything away and sat down to rest and watch coverage of Hurricane Maria.

I must have dozed off because I woke with a startle, looked at the clock, 4:40.  Good thing the food bank is only 2 miles away.    Traffic was heavy at that time of day, of course, but I pulled into the parking lot at 5:10.
I was greeted by a man that looked familiar to me, but...I'm always seeing people I think I know, but don't know.

He asked if he could help me find anything, "No thanks. I'm good. Thank you."

I walked up and down the aisles in the small store.  I found a gallon of drinking water--which brought me great glee.  No cat food.  I didn't need peanut butter, jelly, flour--no canned goods of any kind.  Pork and beans.  

I am allowed 60#.  Some things don't count toward weight.  Some items are restricted--like 2 meats, 1 peanut butter, 1 sugar.

I walked up to the scales and the same man pulled my cart up to be weighed.  "You only have twenty-two pounds.  Don't you want to go back and get more?"

"No.  I only take what I will need...usually around twenty-four pounds.  I scored today with the gallon of water.  I was glad to find that.  I did need cat food, but.........."

"Wait here a minute."

He walked off and a few minutes later came back, carrying two more gallons of water and said, "If you want, we just got cat food in.  I haven't had time to get it stocked yet, but you can look it over.  See if it's anything you could use."

Oh my Gosh.  Cans and cans of all different kinds of wet cat food.  I picked-up six cans and brought them up to my cart.

"You do know that pet food doesn't count toward weight.  Why don't you go back and get six more cans?"

"Oh, I don't want to take it all.  Someone else will need it too."

"We have more cases of it in the back room.  Go on.  Help yourself."

So, I did.

While I was waiting to be checked out, the guy disappeared again.  I asked one of the ladies, "That guy looks so familiar to me."

"Ohh, you mean David.  David Seifert?"

"Oh my Gosh!  He is friends with my daughter's (Karen) family.  They go to the same church!"

So when he came back, carrying another gallon of water for me, I said, "David, I'm sorry I didn't recognize you.  I knew you look familiar, but........"

"We met at Stephen's open house and then at Maddie's.  How's the family doing?"

"Just great.  Marcus is engaged."

"I had heard that.  And that great grand baby of yours?"

"They are having her first birthday party in October."

"Could I help carry this out for you?"

When we got to my car and while he was putting the stuff in my trunk, I said, "I knew I knew you when you greeted me at the door, but a different surrounding and I couldn't place where I had met you."

"Well, I don't say anything to our clients unless they recognize me first.  They might be embarrassed."

"A couple of years ago, I would have been.  I've put my pride way up on the top shelf in the closet.  Thank you so much, David.  I so appreciate this place and appreciate you volunteering here.  Thanks again."

"God bless you," he said.

"He certainly has," I replied.
IF I hadn't missed my regular appointment, this lovely encounter wouldn't have happened.  Because he knew me, he helped me get things I would not have seen.

IF I had dozed a few more minutes--I would have missed that appointment.

If, if, if!
A coincidence?  I don't think so.  

What to call these kinds of things?  I haven't any idea.

I just look upwards and say, "I know that was you.  Thank you, God."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Luna--my sister is fine with my messaging her.  She was just hassleing me.  Our family is like that--always has been.  Nothing serious can be taken seriously.  It might be too scary, so we joke about it and are sarcastic.  You should hear the story my girls have about how they are going to commit me to the nursing house, when the time comes.  They have it all planned out and it is quite a hilarious scene to visualize.

I message my sister a different emoji every morning, reflecting my mood.  She answers back with a thumbs up.

My sister and I especially, don't show emotions-not scary or sad ones.    While we both hug our girlfriends, and hug and kiss and say "I love you", to our kids, she and I don't hug each other.  I have in the last two years said, "I love you" to her when we part or when I get ready to hang up the phone.  Last Thursday, I hugged her goodbye.  It feels a bit strange to both of us, I know.  We love and count on each other deeply, we know that, so the extraneous gestures seem not to be needed.  Although, I know they are.
The safety pin I used a month ago to attach the toilet flush handle onto the chain that pulls up the flapper to allow water to rush in and flush, rusted out.  I thought the safety pin was made of stainless steel--apparently not.

I got some picture hanging wire and spent two days fixing the dang thing.  Put the wire through the clip (which broke a couple of years ago) hole on the flush handle and attached it to the chain that pulls up the flapper.  Tried it out and noticed, it was so short it wouldn't pull up the chain far enough to let in enough water.  It had taken me nearly an hour to do that.  No light to see--trying to hold a little flashlight in my mouth, hands shaking like crazy.

The next day, I was determined to re-do it.  This time the wire was so long that it barely pulled up the flapper to let any water down into the toilet bowl.  EGADS!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, I tried again.  The wire was already twisted securely in both places.  I just had to untwist it from the top part on the flush handle, where I could see the best, and adjust the length.  Of course, anything I do like this is impeded by the hand tremors I have.

I thought I had it just right and when I flushed, it isn't quite long enough, but it lets in enough water to flush the "debris" out of the bowl and that is good enough!!!!

I don't know of any man that could fix it any better than I can and of course, you all know why I can't hire a plumber to put all new innards in the tank and have it work perfectly for a few years.

I also put up a solar-motion detector light over my door.  The stupid thing had sticky tape on the back, which of course didn't hold, so I taped all around it with clear mailing tape.   I switched the switch to "automatic on", thinking it would stay off until someone came near it.  The dumb thing appears to stay on all   the   time!  Haven't figured it out as yet, but I will.  or get frustrated and throw the dang thing in the trash!

Today, I have done laundry and no issues so far.  I do need to go outside and clean out the dryer vent with the big long, round wire brush head thingie.  I like to do that while the dryer is running.  Oh, and I forgot.  I have to drain the water heater!!!  I'll do that when I clear out my closet to swap out my summer clothes.  I can wait on that I guess, as the rest of the week and weekend are supposed to be in the mid-80's.

We had autumn in August and now we are having summer in September.  Mother Nature must be getting way senile because she sure has been confused this year!
Look at these two loaves of bread.  They look just alike, don't that?  Both 12 grain bread, which I love, because it has whole pieces of wheat and oats to bite into.  Both wrappers have the same colors.
While the one on the right is delicious and made by Brownberry, the one on the left is tasteless and the grains are ground up finer.  The one on the right is being eaten and enjoyed--the one on the left is being torn up in pieces for the squirrel/bird feeder.  This is what happens when one doesn't take their glasses to the grocery store.    and yet--I'll bet, here are people way smarter than me that might get the two mixed up!
I have really been enjoying the new PBS Ken Burns documentary of the Vietnam War.  It is on every night at 8:00, on PBS.  So  much I didn't know about the early part and how the whole fiasco got us involved.  The documentary is done really well because it casts no political judgment.  There is no slant to it.  Ken Burns researched and documented it for 10 years, interviewing people from both sides.  It sure has been enlightening to me.  I was one of those all for it people in the mid 60's and all against it by the 70's.  

Sending "advisers" over there to teach the ARVN (South) how to fight.  Hard to do when they didn't want to fight--all they wanted was the French to get out and for them to form their own independence.  Kind of reminds me of our "advisers" now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seems the only people getting killed are the advisers!

This documentary let's you form your own opinions about the War.  I know, mine have changed.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weirdos in my life.........................

I do love Monday's!!!  Always have.  When I was a kid, living out in the country with no neighbor kids to play with---I loved Monday's to get back to school and see my friends.

When I was divorced and living alone out in the country--I loved Monday's to get back to work and see my friends.
When I visited my sister on Thursday, I told her of the reoccurring fear of dying in the middle of the night and no one finding me for days or weeks.

The fear, which is rarely thought of, came back after the Tachycardia I had middle of the night Tuesday.  I wondered about, who would find me if my heart just stopped and I died.

"Your neighbors would notice after awhile."

"You know how my car is sometimes parked in the drive for three-four days.  They'd just think I was inside."

Chuck walks in.  "Chuck, Judy is afraid she will die in the middle of the night."  Chuck:"Well, I guess you can't stop that from happening."  "No, she's afraid no one will find her for a week."  Chuck: "Why would you care...you'd be dead.  Wouldn't the neighbor's notice after awhile?"

"No--only by the stench coming from the house, four days later!"

"Keep your air conditioner on, says Chuck as he walks out of the room.

" I thought you and Pearl had a signal," said Susan.

"That was when I had hip surgery.  I put my bedroom blinds up every morning to signal her that I was okay."

"Well, do the same now."

"That was five years ago.  She doesn't even look out her bedroom window and if she did, she wouldn't remember if the signal was blinds up or blinds down."

"Well, so what.  You'd be dead.  Why would you care?"

"I don't care about me.  I worry about the person that would find my rotting pile of flesh.  I worry about the cats not being fed for a week."

"The cats would probably start nibbling on you!  she laughs.  If you were decomposed, then we'd just cremate you."


"Why not?  It would be cheaper."
I'm about to slap her laughing, sarcastic face!  She is not taking any of this seriously!

"Because--it gives me the creeps!  I don't want to be burned up in an oven.  Fred was and it creeped me  out for the two years I had his ashes up on the shelf in the bedroom closet!"

"Well, when we are raptured, we take on new bodies anyway."

"Fine.  I want the bones I died with.  Not a pile of ashes that God has to reassemble.  Besides that--I'm not talking about funerals.  I am afraid I will die in the middle of the night and it will be a horrid shock for my kids to have to go through."

She just shook her head.  She wasn't very sympathetic to my problem.  Of course, she's not a widow, old and living all alone, so she cannot relate!
Someday.  Someday, you just wait little sister.  You'll be all alone and scared in the middle of the night too!

Did I say that?  Of course not!

 "Do you check Face Book every day?" I asked.

"Oh--after I wake up and have breakfast.  Some days, around ten, I open it up, just to see what's going on."

"Would it be inconvenient to you if, when I got up in the morning, I sent you a private message just to let you know I'm alive?"

"Okay.  It would have to fit in with my schedule.  You'd have to do it before ten in the morning."

"I can do that."

"If you private message me, it goes to my phone, so even if I didn't open Face Book, I'd still see the message."

"Thanks.  That would really be a comfort to me."

"What if you forget?"

"I won't!"

"You might."

"If you don't see a message, call me."

"I guess I could do that."

Lord a mercy!!!  You would have thought I had ask to take over her entire life!!   Little Brat and a half!!!
Dar, her Dad and friend Sheila are gone on vakay until September 25th.  She commanded me to go over and pick the cherry tomatoes, so her Dad wouldn't come home to find his veggies rotting away. She instructed me to share them with Merle and Pearl and also Jackie.

 I took my little bucket over yesterday afternoon.  GOOD GRIEF.  He had six large tubs planted with cherry tomato plants.  Too different pepper plants in two other tubs and a sad looking cucumber vine in another tub.

I picked all the ripe tomatoes I could find--I noticed the ones laying on the floor of the porch hadn't been picked.  Her back hurts--she wouldn't bend over.  Well, I DID--so there, and my back is in worse shape than hers!

I took the bucket over to Merle and Pearl's and gave the veggies to them.  Jackie wasn't home, so I figured when I picked again this Wednesday, I give those to Jackie.

At 2:00 this afternoon, I saw Shelia's car parked in Darlene's driveway.  Oh, oh!  Back  already?  Maybe 96 year old Dad got sick?

I trotted over.  "Why you back so soon?" I asked Sheila.

She rolled her eyes, "Darlene can't stand all the driving.  It makes her back hurt."

Just then Dar appeared, "I thought maybe Dad got sick, "I said.

"No.  It's me.  I can't stand the riding."

Sheila looked at me and said, "This has been an eye opening experience for Dar.  I think she is finally realizing what all the doctors and us have been telling her.  This is as good as it gets.  She has all the recovery she is ever going to get!"

"I don't like to hear that!!!  Last year I didn't go because it was just a few months after my accident.  I am so much better now." Dar said.

"Apparently not," quips Sheila.

"Remember the last time you and I talked Dar.  I told you that you were going to have to come to grips with the knowledge that you are older and you are just going to have to learn how to live with the aches and pains that come with that.  Sheila has.  I have.  Your Dad has.  It happens."

"Nope!" Dar said.  "I will find another doctor.  There has to be a specialist that knows how to deal with this and can cure it!"

"Well" I said as I started to walk away, "I'm real sorry you had to come home early."

She can hunt for all the specialist's she wants, but when she refuses to do what they say, or take any medications to help, refuses to go get mental therapy, which now three of her last doctor's have advised, I think she is just making herself more miserable.

At least she got her dang tomatoes and peppers picked!
I have filled up the squirrel feeder a bit early this year.  I want to give them a chance to store up their goodies before, what I hear is going to be a harsh winter, sets in.  I have shelled corn, peanuts, sun flower seeds and other bird seed in the planter.

I am not discriminating.  Fur and fowl are welcome to the Miller Diner Buffet.
It's easier than trying to keep all the bird feeders filled and they seem to like it just as much.

Sammy Squirrel

Sassy Blue Jay, who screeches and carries on so over the peanuts

Daddy Cardinal

My favorite, Chippie

...and I sit in my recliner and see all that goes on.

...or I look off to the side of my recliner and see these two..

Buddy is by far the sweetest of the two.
He was enjoying the view, but when Maggie came along,
he jumped down and let her have a turn.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Works in mysterious ways........

I sat here, Thursday morning, and composed a post entitled, "Lost My Joy".

For the last couple of months, I have been sad, depressed, no ambition to do anything.  I was dreading going to lunch that afternoon.  Just didn't want to drive--see people--have to make conversation.  I didn't even feel like stopping in at The Farm, on the way home.

Hunting for a logical excuse to stay home.  There was none.

I figured I HAD to go.  I didn't publish that post, hoping that perhaps, if I went to lunch, maybe I'd have something better to post when I got home.

I dragged myself into the shower.  I loaded the dishwasher.  I kept looking at the clock, dreading Noon, when I had to leave.  I slowly got dressed, I don't even remember what I wore.

The Cuckoo clock told me it was Noon.  I loaded up my stuff, and with a sigh, got in the car.
I wasn't particular with my driving.  I had set my cruise control on 55mph and was looking around at the fields and the changing colors on the trees. Trying to find something to smile about.

Noting different houses, farms.  The roads so familiar to me, meeting another car, every few miles.  Never any traffic of any kind, until I get to Durand.

That is probably why I didn't make a full stop at that stop sign.  I know that corner well.  When coming from the Farm, which is west of that stop sign, I always stop.  The brush is so high on one side of that corner, I usually stop twice.  Once at the sign, then ease out and stop again, trying to see.  This time, I was coming from the East and I could see real well.

Also, I had been thinking about my best friend, Arlene's childhood home, that I just just passed.  Thinking about her and our times together.  I saw no traffic, besides it is a 4-way stop, so I just turned right and went on.

At the next stop sign, another 4-way stop, I was so enthralled at noticing and exclaiming about the Purple and Gold mums, no cars coming, I "may" have idled through.
Then I had my encounter with Deputy Lawson.  After our 15 minute relationship, I found my self laughing.  Smiling as I drove along.  Excited to tell my friends about the encounter.  Knowing they would laugh and joke about it with me.  I was a real speed demon in High School, so they thought I had been stopped for speeding.  "Ah--you finally got caught!" they all said.

I don't remember much about lunch, I was still thinking about Deputy Lawson.

Out to The Farm where I told my sister and BIL about my encounter.  

"We always stop at that stop sign.  I've seen cars blow right through there."

"Hm-mm.  Maybe that's why Deputy Lawson was there. Complaints to the Sheriff and he sent him there that day to watch?"
Friends, I don't know the how or why, but I have found my joy again, and it's Deputy Lawson's fault.

I wake up every morning smiling again.  I say a prayer for him, with a smile.  I can still see his face and hear his voice and all we talked about.

As one of you commented on my Friday post, "It was a God sighting."

I had been praying for God to help me find my joy again.  Praying for the last month.  So discouraged.  So sad and depressed.  Feeling so alone.  Then I met Deputy Lawson.

Nothing has changed in my circumstances.  I still don't have enough money each month.  I'm still alone.  I still fear dying in the middle of the night and not being found for a week--or more.  Everything is still the same, but...I have found my joy and positiveness that God will sustain me.

There is no one that could ever convince me, being stopped by the Deputy was just a coincidence.  God put Deputy Lawson in my path that day.  I know it for sure!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A New Adventure

Yesterday was the 2nd Thursday of the month, and thus, lunch with the Old School Gal Pals.

On my way to Durand to meet friends for lunch, I turned off Oak Grove road onto Beard and up to New Lothrop Road.  A 4-way stop sign there that I kind of looked both ways and rolled through and turned right.  This is my home turf.  These are roads I have ridden/driven on for 78 years.  I know them, so I may have become too casual in how I drive them.

On up to Bath and New Lothrop--another 4-way stop sign.  Someone had recently planted purple and gold mums, the school colors, in front of the Byron Village sign, in time for the Homecoming Football game today.  I said to myself, "Oh--that is so great!" I may have "idled" through. No traffic coming from either way. I think I stopped, after all I noticed and looked at the flowers, but……………

I got about an eighth of a mile when I noticed in my rear-view mirror a small, dark car behind me with flashing lights.  I thought at first it was the mail delivery car, but noticed it was going kind of fast. I decided I’d better pull over to let him get by.  It took me a few yards to find a place on the shoulder that was wide enough for me to pull over.  The car didn’t go by me, he pulled in behind me.  Oh My Gosh!  It must be a cop!

I put my flasher’s on, cranked down my window and watched as he walked up real slowly and cautious like to my window.  I decided I’d better put my hands on the steering wheel, where he could see them.

“Ma’am, I’m Shiawassee County Deputy Lawson.  Do you know why I stopped you?”

“I think so.  I didn’t make a full stop at New Lothrop and Beard Road.”

“That’s where I first picked you up.  (I'm, pretty good at spotting a "bear on the side", but I never saw him.) You also didn’t come to a complete, full stop at New Lothrop and Bath either.”

I wanted to argue a bit about that stop, after all, I saw the flowers and looked for traffic, but he was wearing a gun on his hip and had a taser at his belt, so I kept my mouth shut.

“Do you have a driver’s license, Ma’am?”

I handed it to him.

“You’re from Brighton?  Are you familiar with this area?”

“Yes.  I lived on Beard Road most of my life. Went to school here.  ”

“Where are you going today?”

“The girls I graduated with from Byron High School, sixty years ago…we get together every month for lunch.  Today we are meeting in Durand.”

“Where are you meeting?”

“At the Iron Horse Pub.”

“Oh, they have pretty good food there,” he says.

He goes on, “Do you think you deserve this ticket?”

“Yes, Sir.  I didn’t make a full stop…that is illegal, so…yes I deserve the ticket.  I don’t know how this works though.  Do I have to appear in court in Corunna (dreading the 50 mile trip to the County Court House)to pay the fine, or can I mail it in?  Oh, don't you need my registration and proof of insurance too?”
He never took my license back to sit in his car and check it out.

“Nope, I won't need those. You’ve never had a ticket before.”

“No Sir.  I’ve been driving 62 years and I’ve never even been stopped.  I’ve never had an accident, where I was at fault.  I’ve never even had a parking ticket.  So I don’t know how to go about paying this.”

Then he says, “Well, maybe you won’t have to. Are you a Godly woman?”  Which I guess was an unusual question, but I didn’t think so at the time.  Nice young man.  I'm near my hometown.  That might be a normal question.

“Yes, Sir.  I pray at night and in the morning and during the day.  I trust that God is always with me, keeping me safe. I talk to him all day.”

“If you would please, promise to pray for my safety every night.  Please pray for Deputy Lawson—spelled L.A.W.S.O.N.”

“Well, of course I will.”  And he handed my license back to me.

Business over I said to him, “Do you know Bill Bohman?” (This is a friend I have known since he was a little kid.  He was a County Sheriff Deputy too, long since retired.)

“Sure I do.  I love Billy, Ryan, Brenda…the whole family.  How do you know Billy.”

“When he was a kid, he lived right up here on Lehring Road, I pointed up to the next cross road, next to my in-laws.  After my divorce, when my daughter and I were living alone, out in the country, on Beard Road and Bill was on patrol, he used to go past our house to make sure we were okay.  If it was night time, he’d slow down and shine the car spot-light in through the big living room windows and I’d wave.”

“Well, that’s why you and I met today.  The County Sheriff Department are now back…patrolling these rural areas again."

"Oh!  I am so glad!  I had a break-in once and it took the Deputy forty-five minutes to get to us.  They didn't have the patrols then.

"We started doing it back in January.  Our new Sheriff reinstated it again."

"Oh, Brian?"

"You know Brian too?"

"Well, not in person, but he was at my sister and brother-in-laws sale and bought the old cook stove and old heater from them for his new house."

"I've seen them both.  Rather remarkable old antiques."


"Now when you see Billy, you tell him I said “Hi”.

"I probably won't see him, but he's on Face Book and I'll tell him you sent your regards."

"How are you going to explain how we met?" he asked.

"Guess I'll have to tell him the truth.  He will get a chuckle outta it for sure!"

So—that’s how I met the gracious Deputy Lawson.  I so wanted to give him a grandma hug, such a handsome, sweet young man, but you know—the gun and taser—I decided not to make any quick moves.
So I contacted Bill on Face Book when I got home.  He told me I had met the famous Craig Lawson of the Lawson Brother's Christian Band group.

Then this morning, a friend posted this:

Deputy Craig Lawson was assigned to the Secondary Road Patrol at the beginning of the year and has strived to make the roads in Shiawassee County safe for all of us. On Thursday Deputy Lawson took a few minutes off from traffic enforcement near Laingsburg High School to recruit our newest member-Deputy Evan.

It is my pleasure to inform you that Deputy Lawson was selected as the State of Michigan's Secondary Road Patrol Deputy of the year by The Office of Highway Safety and Planning and The Michigan Sheriff Association. Deputy Lawson will be presented the award at the MSA conference next month in Traverse City.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication Deputy Lawson.

What a wonderful experience, that seemed kind of intimidating at first, but turned out to be one of the best of my last few years.

You bet I will pray for him each day!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

High Cotton

Way back, near the first of August, I received a letter, notifying me that I would have my DHS (Department of Health and Services) in other words, "welfare", re-determination, via a telephone call on Tuesday, Sept 5, between 8:00am and noon.

In the meantime, I had to gather all my "documents", i.e., proofs of income, assets and expenses--the ones that count for welfare.  Rent, utilities, that sort of expense.

I had about 15 pieces of proofs that I mailed back on August 21st, a whole week before the due date.

On Sept. 5th, I got up at 7:30, just so I would be awake and alert by 8:00, when my case worker might call.

I didn't leave the house all day--not even to walk across the street to get my mail.  I carried my phone with me when I had to go to the bathroom.

There was no call.

I stayed at home the next day, thinking maybe my case worker got overloaded on Tuesday and would call.

There was no call.
This past Friday, I got a notice in the mail that because I had "missed my re-determination interview," I would have to call and reschedule or I would lose my benefits.

I called my case worker right then and of course it went to her voice mail.  I left my message and waited.

Monday morning, I decided to call again and leave another message.  I was shocked when she actually answered the phone!!!

I explained that I didn't know how we had missed connecting on Tuesday, as I had stayed home and by the phone all day.

She said, "I didn't call.  I didn't have your paperwork yet."

"Oh....I got a notice in the mail that I might lose my benefits because I had missed your call."

"That notice is automatically generated if I don't note, on your file that I have called you."

In other words, "you could care less than one shit that you struck panic and fear in the heart of an old woman?" 

NO!  I didn't say that.

"We can do your interview right now," she said.

All she did was ask me questions that were on my proofs.  Like, "Is your income still Social Security?"  "Is your rent still.....?"  She had the signed proof from the park office as to how much rent I pay, right in front of her.  Did she think it had changed in two weeks?  Perhaps.

Our interview took exactly 7 minutes.  "You'll get a notice in the mail on whether you will still receive the benefits."

So--"why don't you take those benefits and just shove them in a file where the sun don't shine."

NO!  I did not say that.  I said, "Thank you so much."

Sure is a heck of a lot of time and stress just to get $23.00 in food assistance and I know darn well, my food assistance will drop to $15.00--I just know it.
But, I have to play this game because DHS also pays my $104.00 a month Medicare, so it doesn't come out of my Social Security.   

I get 900.00 a month for Social Security, so if they took that 104.00 away-----I don't know what I'd do.  My budget is always in the red with the help.
I remember the day when I'd walk into the grocery store and buy all our family needed, write a check and think nothing of it.

I remember, growing up with nary a worry about money.

I remember the days when I sponsored a child in Mexico for $50.00 a month and sent extra clothes and things twice a year, and never gave it a thought.

I remember when I could tithe 10% of my income to my church, and never gave it a thought.

Golf memberships, bowling leagues, new cars every 3 years, college tuition for the kids.  No hardships, financially, at all.

I can remember, looking down my nose, at people on welfare.  The woman I saw in the grocery check-out lane with a passel of kids, whipping out her food stamps and tearing off whatever amount was needed.  I was sure she was trash!

Then the divorce.  Having to give up his nice GM pension and free insurance.  Five years later, having to give up my house.  Having to go to work for $5.00 an hour.

Ya know--that was 32 years ago.  I have lived in poverty more than I lived in comfort--and I still can't get used to the fact.  I am embarrassed by it all!

My grand parents, my family--we used to be the ones to help others and now...I've got my hand out?  It has destroyed my pride--which, in the long run, according to the Bible, is a good thing.
I heard a rumor last week that President Trump wants to raise all poverty stricken seniors Social Security to $1,300.00 a month.  I doubt that will happen, it seems to me that the Democrats would like that, they like social programs.  Just think!  $1,300.00?  Man, I would be living in  high cotton!
So thankful I don't live in a hurricane/flood/wild fire/earthquake zone!!

I await my re-determination results.

Monday, September 11, 2017

There's going to be a morning after-------

I got to use my new Black & Decker, corded, 17" hedge trimmers today! You know.  The ones I bought in July and have been sitting by my front door ever since.

I have so much gardening work to go and less then zero gumption to do it.

Why?  Because I know it is going to hurt!!!

The four Privet bushes on the east side of my house, had major ice damage, the winter of 2013.  That spring, 2014, they barely grew at all.  I thought they had died.  But, instead of having them pulled out, I had my BIL Chuck, come down and cut them off at ground level.
That fall, they started coming back.

Last spring and summer they grew even more and looked healthy.  This summer, one, the scrawniest one of the bunch looks the healthiest and had grown up to the bottom of my window and a few branches taller than that, brushing the screen.

What normally would take 20 minutes, took me an hour.  I could only hold the trimmer and cut for a few minutes before my back started screaming.  So, I got my folding canvas chair out of the trunk of my car and hauled it over to where I was working.

I trimmed the top and sat down to rest.  Then trimmed the back and both sides and sat down.  Then trimmed the front, hauled the chair and trimmer down to the next bush and sat and rested.  This routine x 4 bushes.

I hung up my trimmer in my shed and threw the long electrical cord in the wheelbarrow.  No, I didn't coil is up around my arm and hang it up because I will be using it again--maybe tomorrow.

I got the rake and a yard waste bag and swept up the branches from one bush, sat in my chair and put the branches in the yard waste bag--x 4 bushes.  That way I didn't have to bend over and pick them up from the lawn.

HEY!!!  You know me--where there is a will, I will figure out a way!  HAH!
I found it curious that a Rose of Sharon was growing up the middle of one of the Privet bushes.  How that seed got from the west side of my house to the east, is beyond me.  You know darn well, if you wanted to grow a Rose of Sharon and planted a sucker, the dang thing would die before the next blooming season.  This capricious little seed pod, wasn't planted or cared for and was growing 5 feet tall already--and she wasn't there last year.
 I sat in my recliner all day Sunday and watched the coverage of Irma--all day!!  Switching back and forth from The Weather Channel to FOX news, then CNN, to see who had the best, latest coverage.

By 10:00, I thought my head would explode!!!  Information overload!!!  Of course, as soon as I woke up this morning, I had the TV back on.  

I was kind of worried about my ex hubs and his sister--both family's have small manufactured homes that they winter in.  They are inland, but I was worried about the winds and/or a tornado.  His wife had mentioned at one time, that their trailer is "tied" down with large metal chain links into the cement slab.

I said, "Well mine is too.  So if a tornado comes along, the frame of your house will stay connected to the cement slab, but the rest will be destroyed."

Like I keep telling you, most of Florida is just a swamp, covered over with tons and tons of dirt so investors can build communities on top.  It's still a swamp underneath and when you get lots of water, you can get sink holes and when you get wind, you can get destruction.
I was/am worried most about Jacksonville.  Although it wasn't going to take a direct hit, I was worried about the storm surge coming up the river and into town--which it has done.  

and--was it fascinating to see the ocean being driven way out.  In one place, the edge of the ocean was 1/4 of a mile from from where it normally met land.  Almost be like a mini-Tsunami when it came back in.  Weird.
Well, selfish person that I am, I was just thinking how great the shelling will be at Sanibel or Captiva, today and tomorrow.

I got my one chore done, so tonight I am going to sit in my recliner, cross stitch and watch American Nija Warrior show.  I find it most interesting.