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, August 13, 2018

Karen sent me this photo of Della playing with Maddie's 20 year old toys I made or bought for her.  I wonder how that Unicorn is still so clean looking?  Piglet looks a little frayed.

Karen and Mark just got home from a two week visit to their second child, Susanna, who lives in Portland, Oregon.  They did a lot of hiking the trails in OR and also Washington.

She'll be starting back to teach pretty soon.

My tub garden is growing and yielding, but I think I have a fail with my cucumber experiment.

My cukes look like commas!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I'll be fine!

Remember, a couple of months ago?  I promised not to ever post about my financial problems....and then I did it again!  I guess I was just in shock from getting notice of all the increases in one hour period!  It was like a wall was falling down on my head and I was scared to open another envelope or e-mail.

I get anxious with my budget being so tight, with no extra money.  I worry about a car breakdown.  What is a tree falls on the house in a storm?  I couldn't even pay the deductible.  My house insurance had dropped the replacement of the unit itself, because it is 20 years old.  I had it insured for $35,000.00.  I do have full replacement on the contents though, and that cost just went up.  The contents are the important stuff anyway.  If the house burns up, it would give me an excuse to go live with Pam or Karen or out to New Jersey with Jennifer.  I pick NJ, then I can go to The Shore!!

I don't know why my car insurance goes up.  My car is also 20 years old  I don't have collision on it, only PL and PD, but Michigan has the highest car insurance rates. 

Sorry--I will try to keep that worry to myself.  Nobody wants to read a post about that stuff!  I guess, it's just that this blog is kind of like my journal, with people reading, that will commiserate with me and tell me it will all work out.

...............................and of course it will.  God will sustain me.
I am so sick of this humidity we are having.  I check my inside thermometer weather station, and the outside temps looks good.  But the humidity is sometimes higher than the temperature and that makes for a miserable outside experience.  Even since I had the heat stroke at age 15, I can't bear to high a temp and humidity.  It just makes me nauseous and dizzy.

Which means, I am closed up in this house!  It seems no different to have the A/C blower fan going or the furnace blower fan going in the winter.  I am still all closed up.  In fact, I get out more in the winter than I do now.  Personally?  I am waiting for September and October to get outside and clean up the gardens and the shed and enjoy myself.

I should note here, just because I am a Republican, whatever that is anymore, does not mean I don't believe in Climate Change.  In 1968 we visited the Teton Mountains.  There was a glacier on the side of the mountain formed in the perfect shape of a skillet--thus the name, Skillet Glacier.  When I was back at the same spot in 2001, only part of the skillet bowl part remained.  In fact, that is no longer a brown National Parks sign pointing to Skillet Glacier.

The horrendous fires in California.  The floods, this unusual heat in Michigan, all point to Climate Change.  Besides that, I studied about it way back in the 60's in college Geology class.  The Professor predicted these events way back then.  

However, there is nothing we can do about it and probably not much we have done to cause it.  Climate changes have been going on since earth was created.  We have had ice ages and heat waves that lasted for years.  Animals and humans died.  Volcano's erupting caused giant clouds of ash and dust that shut out the sun for years, and bringing winters of severe magnitude,  causing everything to die.  Then decades of relatively "normal" weather.  The Climate Change chart looks like a giant roller coaster, as it goes up and then down.

Right now we are in another Climate Change era.  The oceans are warming, dust storms are flying, higher snow falls and higher temperatures.

It always has been.  It always will be.
The other day on Face Book, I posted that I was going to start my own business.  I would call it YouBear.  Hire about half a dozen men in their late 60-mid-70's.  You could call them to come pick up, drive you to the grocery store, push your cart out to the car, filled up the trunk, drive you home and carry the groceries into the house.

Or--you could call them to come out and trim hedges, cut-back and clean up the gardens, fix the hose connection and do any heavy work needed done.

Or, if you just wanted some company, they could take you out to dinner or sit and watch a ball game with you and just have some conversation. No Hanky-Panky involved, just Rent-A-Man for a couple of hours.
Remember that afghan I had to rip out 6 times before I understood it?  It's coming along nicely now.

I ran out of yarn, so Monday night, I got into my closet, opened up the end of the plastic yarn storage block and grabbed another skein.  I was watching American Ninja Warrior and didn't realize for two rows that the yarn I was using was a very light Ecru!  The next morning, in the daylight, I pulled the yarn storage box out so I could open it completely and found another skein of white yarn.

Lastly, just to prove I am losing my mind.  I opened up my cable bill and there was a one time charge of $15.99 on it.  Wait.  What?

So I panicked and called the company.  They informed me that on July 27th, at 7:11, I watched an On Demand Movie, call, "You were never there."  I told they lovely young lady that Number One:  I would never, ever pay that much for a movie.  Number Two: at 7:11 I was watching Wheel of Fortune, and Number Three:  I had never, ever heard of that movie title.

She took the charge off for me and then walked me through how to put a PIN number in my TV so that if I ever watch an On Demand movie, I will have to enter that number.  "To keep children or visitors from accessing On Demand."  I told her no one was here except me and two cats.  We decided to blame the cats.  One of them must have stepped on the remote.  (Sure.)

I must have hit the wrong button on the remote control when I was channeling hopping.  I had to go into Parental Controls to set up the PIN.  I think maybe I need a parent to watch me!!!  I really felt like I had done something so senile oriented that I was losing it.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I spent the last two weeks of July with not enough gas in my car and no money to buy anymore.  I sure wanted to visit my sister.

I got some money on Thursday, $25.00 filled only  3/4 of a tank and took off to visit my hometown, the cemetery and The Farm.  Boy, it was wonderful driving the familiar roads.  A little sad as I passed Pammies' house, in fact, I drove in the drive, got out and just sat on "my" back porch for awhile.  The sounds are the same as when I lived there--basically nothing unless a car goes by on the road.  I sure miss her being away!

I stopped in at the cemetery to visit family and Fred, and moved the cement angel dog statute to the other side of Fred's marker.  I change it around every time I stop there.  It gets water under it and stains the head stone, if it isn't moved often.  Then I drove over around the cemetery a bit and got out and stopped by my best friend's grave.  I have been having a lot of dreams about her the last week.  In fact, I woke up one morning last weekend when I heard her voice say, "Jude.  You awake?"  It was so realistic, that I leaned over the edge of the bed and looked down the hall to see who had walked into my front door.  

Sister and I had a great time.  We sat in her parlor, she on the couch, me in the recliner and talked and laughed and cooked up schemes to kind of shape up people we think need shaping up.  Of course we'll never carry out those schemes, but we had a good time coming up with some very imaginative ideas.  Then she got up and played the piano as I hummed along to a few hymns in the hymnal she has.  I can't sing anymore, but it was nice.  

It was so nice, sitting in the little parlor, with carpeting on the floor and a normal height ceiling, instead of the high ceiling and hard wood floors in her family room.  I could hear every thing she said.  In the family room, her words bounce off the hard surfaces and it is hard for me to hear her.

I was so relaxed that I practically dozed all the way home.  LOL

I probably won't have enough gas to drive to the Old School Gal Pals luncheon, but this visit "home" was so much more important for my heart and soul.
I woke up Friday, still feeling relaxed and happy.  Then all heck broke loose.

I opened the mail from the day before to find that my house and car insurance both went up.  The next letter I opened, was a notice from the park that our rent has been raised.  An e-mail informed me that the budget payment on my electricity had gone up $5.00 and another e-mail informed me that my food assistance has been cut from $20.00 to $15.00.

Within an hour of waking up, my budget had increased over $50.00 for expenses.  My budget is always in the red, but this month, it showed I would only be short $2.69.  How, I will be short $48.00.  

I didn't know what to do.  I could feel a familiar chill of fear, kind of around the middle of my stomach.  I wanted to just cry, but I am always afraid if I ever start crying, I won't stop.  That is why, I never allow myself to cry--EVER!  

So, I glanced over at the picture of Jesus I have sitting on the edge of my desk and said, "Lord, I need some help here."  And went about my day.

What good would it do to worry and become anxious?  That wouldn't solve any problem and just add stress.  So, I will just assume that everything will work out.

I am like my 6 week old balloon--a bit deflated, but still up and happy!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Our friend Sally over here, posted about going back to see her childhood home.  

Her post brought up a whole lot of memories because it looks almost exactly like the first house we built after we were married.  I'll bet it was the same floor plan.

Ours was built on a slab, so no basement to put a furnace in.  Just a wall oil heater, expected to keep the whole house warm.  No registers in each room.  In the winter time, the kids beds, shoved up against each wall, would have their blankets stuck to the wall with ice.  Apparently not much insulation in the outer walls either.

3 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining room and living room.  It was all we needed.
but I must admit, 10 years later I was ecstatic to move into my grandma's big two story home!

From this:

To this:

...but when we were first married, we started out with this...

I had a total crop failure on my sweet corn experiment in the raised bed out by my shed.  I think either crows or raccoons dug up and ate the corn seed as soon as I planted it!  My cherry tomatoes are coming in now and I have two tiny cucs on my "tub" cucumber plant.

I bring them in and let them ripen on the counter.  Then I pop them in my mouth!!
I have started a new baby afghan.  I have ripped it out 6 times!  The pattern is one I have never done--with puff stitches to make letters to spell out words.  As you can imagine, I have to count the stitches carefully or the letters won't line up correctly.  Plus, the puff stitches are done while I am working on the opposite side--so I can't see how they line up until that row is done.  I think I've got it now though.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Still waiting for rain.  Over the weekend, places down by Detroit got flooding downpours.  Up north of me, got flooding downpours.  The weather radar map showed green stuff right over where I live, but it never made it to the ground.  Howell--which is 2.5 miles west and a skosh north of me, got rain.  Brighton--which is 2.5 miles east and a skosh south of me, got rain.  We got sprinkles and not even enough to wet down the street.  Today's forecast--severe thunderstorms, heavy downpours, but probably not for this area.

I got my grandson-in-law's afghan done.  It had a neat edging I had never done before.  Reverse, half-double crochet.  It made a real nice rope-like edging all around the afghan.  It almost looks like red, white and blue in this photo, but it is light gray, claret and navy.  The thing is over 6' long--he's 6'5".

I have been concerned about my big gray Buddy Cat.  

Once plump (too plump) and feisty, he was frightened horribly about 18 months ago.  Since then, he has lost weight.  He acts scared and won't come out into the living room if the ceiling fan is on.  Then I noticed he wasn't jumping up on the couch for his nap, and couldn't jump up on the bed at night.

I decided he probably has arthritis in his hips.  I started him on glucosamine/chrondrotin and within two weeks, he started losing the fur on his hind quarters.  So I stopped the supplement.

There was gray and white fur all over the place.  I watched him.  He wasn't pulling it out, the fur was just falling off him.  Alopecia for sure.  I read up on it and guess what, it can be caused by stress!

In June I noticed he just seemed to be failing.  He slept under the bed all day.  He was still eating well and not over drinking, so I didn't think he had diabetes, but he just seemed...........sad.

I bought him an "egg-crate" memory foam bed for him to nap on, behind my chair.  That seemed to help a bit.  Then two weeks ago, I started him back on Cosequin.  WOW!  What a difference.  He walks a lot faster and even runs now.  He has started eating more and seems more playful.  Yesterday, he went over to their toy basket, pulled out one of the bigger toys, held it and was laying on his back giving it "rabbit kicks".

He and Maggie were wrestling last night and having a good time.  I tried to take a photo, but when they saw the camera, they stopped and wouldn't look at me and looked away, like they were guilty of something.  I noticed he had somehow jumped up on my bed and was taking his nap.  I think he was in so much arthritic pain it affected his personality.

He's still scared of the ceiling fan and if I walk behind him, while they are eating, he will run into the bedroom and crawl under the bed until I go into another room.  My poor baby has emotional problems!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Best adventure so far this summer.

Down to Brighton, Staples, Bank and because Meijer is near, I stopped in to get a couple of Liters of Diet Pepsi. IT WAS ON SALE--10 FOR $10.00, 11TH ONE FREE. Yipee.
I had to run over to Michael's, but when I opened my trunk to put the groceries away, there was a medium sized toad, sitting in the channel of the trunk lid. I almost slammed the trunk lid down on him! I grabbed him, he whizzed all over my hand because he was scared.
I looked around on where to put him. There are no grassy areas in the Meijer parking lot or any other parking lot. So I emptied out one of my plastic bags, dumped him in there and tied the top.
I drove over to Michael's, parked in the only shade I could find and in and out of Michael's in 15 minutes. He had hopped around inside the bag and was nearly under the front passenger seat.
I told him to hang on tight and sped home--at 50 mph the allowed speed limit. I brought him into the house, carefully opened the bag and put a dish of cool water in for him--he didn't seem very interested.


I was going to put him in my woodland wild flower garden, but decided that would be too small for him. He might venture out onto the lawn and get chopped by Don the Lawn Mowing Man.
So I carried him across the street to the woods behind my Jackie's home and placed him down in a lovely patch of Lilies of the Valley and Violets.

I found out later it is called a Fowler Toad--found in the south-eastern part of Michigan.

So that little toad somehow got into the trunk lid channel and rode all the way with me down to Brighton.  I have a Roadie Toadie!
I hope he learns how to hibernate before winter comes.
We have been so dry here, but my perennial garden has done well.  The flowers seem taller with more blooms than last year.  My Star Gazer Lily is beautiful.  I just had to cut one bloom and bring it inside, to place near my recliner, so I could smell the scent.

My vegetable garden, planted in pots, seems to be doing well too.  Even my experiment, of growing a cucumber in a pot, is doing okay.  The cucumber plant climbing the trellis like it is supposed too.
My perennial garden is fading fast.  Cone Flowers are now in bloom.  My Rose of Sharon bushes have very few flowers.
It is supposed to rain all weekend--even now I see dark clouds coming in from the south-west.  I can't wait!  I hope it rains all day today and tomorrow.
Friends are mad because they wanted to go to the many street and art fairs in the area.  Hey!  Those fairs will be here next year and there are later fairs to come in August.
If we don't get rain, crops are going to be very low yield, which means the farmer's won't get as much money per bushel, which means it will be difficult for them to save up money to buy seed and fertilizer next spring.  It also means higher prices in the grocery store.  It also mean an early Autumn.  I see bronze leaves on my Maple trees already.
This afternoon I get my hairs cut.  I had just taught that new girl how to cut my hair and then she left to move to another salon.  I got a call last week that if I still wanted to go to my regular salon, the manager would now be my stylist.  Still the same price--$17.00.  YOWZA!!  I assume, and probably shouldn't, that the manager should know how to cut short hair.  Right?

The rest of the weekend, I will be in my chair finishing up my grandson-in-law afghan, cross stitching, working on a new baby afghan and watching TV.  

...and hoping it rains and rains and rains--nice and steady, for 48 hours!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Yesterday, we had one of those, or what I would call, a perfect summer day.  Temperatures in the high 50's when I woke up.  The window open in the bedroom, made it feel almost chilly as I got out of bed.  There was a lovely breeze and lots of sun.  Of course the temps went up during the day, but I never had to close up and turn on the A/C---which I had done most of the weekend and Monday.

At our Old School Gals Lunch last Thursday, two of the Gals were talking about cleaning under their beds and how difficult it is now that we can't get down on the floor.  I felt a bit guilty as I haven't vacuumed under my bed since I painted the bedroom way back in twenty-aught nine.

Friday I decided that I would vacuum under there. I laid flat on the floor and looked under the bed.  I couldn't see any dust.  In fact the carpeting looked brand new.  I turned on the vacuum and used the long hose with the duster/fabric thingie attachment to go back and forth, back and forth--all the way down the length and breadth.

I didn't see any dust or debris under that bed!  Apparently the bed itself and the dust ruffle had kept anything from settling under the bed!

Done!  Then the problem arose.  How was I going to get up?  

I rolled over on my back and sat up.  Great, but still no way to hoist myself up into a standing position.  So I got on my arthritic old knees and crawled over to the edge of the bed.  Now all I had to do was hang on to the bed and stand up.  For some reason, my knees didn't want to push my body up.

I thought of crawling into the bathroom and using the toilet to pull myself up, but the thought of using my knees to crawl across six feet of tile, didn't sound very comfortable.

So I put my hands up on the mattress--a very high 22" mattress and pushed with my knees and hands to get up right--then I collapsed face down on the bed.  Rested a bit, turned over and swung my legs around so I could stand.

Then I felt it!  Awful, terrific pain all across my lower back.  I couldn't stand upright.  Bent over at my waist, I hobbled into the living room and my recliner.    After about a half hour, I got back up, still bent at the waist and got my "supplies".

I took 2 pills, rubbed the horse liniment over my back and a half hour later, heated up my rice sock in the microwave and put that on my back, Kicked the recliner back and tried to rest.

By the time I went to bed on Saturday night, I was still in a lot of pain and still couldn't stand straight.
I would have given anything for half a Percocet.  Even though my doctor knows, I had a prescription for 30 of them, that lasted almost two years, because I only take half a one at night, when the back pain is so bad, he won't write me another prescription.  With all the drug crazed people in the world now, the government is watching doctor's to see how many prescriptions they write for opiates.

I Woke up Sunday,  still bent over, but the pain had receded a bit and now my bad shoulder was hurting like crazy.  More Tylenol, more liniment.

Around 3:00 in the afternoon, I remembered my TENS unit. 
I got it and pasted those pads over the two bad areas, cranked that thing up to 30 and let the electrical stimulation pulsate for 20 minutes.  Then turned it off.  I kept doing that, at 20 minute intervals the rest of the day.

I woke up Monday morning with just residual pain in my back and shoulder.

What a horrendous weekend I spent, and for what?  

Imaginary dust bunnies that didn't exist.