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, September 30, 2013

A Blessing

Today's high temperature was:  74 degrees
Cloudy and dripping, then sunny and nice

Oh you guys!!!  What a blessing I had this morning!!

Pammie brought Evan over, after she dropped the three other kids at school.

He got out of the car and said, "Hi Mimi," and ran up to me--I was waiting on the porch, of course.

He gave me a hug around the knees and we came inside.

I so feared he would have forgotten me.  I haven't seen him in five months, but he seemed very comfortable.  He came over to my chair, where I was sitting, and leaned into me and I hugged him and kissed the top of his head and whispered, "Mimi loves you."  and tried not to get tears in my eyes.  He roamed around the house looking for the cats--he remembered!

I gave him his Elmo pillow and he squealed, "ELMO!" and then laid his head down on it.  I was so involved with what was going on, I forgot to take a picture of him holding his pillow!!!

Pammie and I got to talk a bit, while he was investigating and looking under things, trying to find the cats.  She told me that Andrew, who is almost 12, is bossy.  Telling everyone what to do and how to do it.  Elise and Jen spent last week in London and Paris (!!) and Elise is a bit snotty at times, she is 9.  Alex is as calm as ever at 7, but has been in trouble a couple of times at school, with another boy there.

Most of the time, I just sat and watched him.  He had changed so much since the last time I saw him. I know how fast kids that age grow and change.  He is very tall for his age, has long legs and talks so clearly.

He kept going down the hall to my bedroom and saying, "Cats. Cats."  I had told him they were probably taking a nap under my bed.  After he and Pammie left, this is what I found.

He had taken all the cat toys from their toy basket and put them near the bed where the cats could play with them when they woke up.

He did the same thing when he was here in March.


Isn't he adorable?
His hair is longish and curly in back.

Elise and Alex are blue-eyed blonde's, and look more like their Daddy.  

It struck me how much he looks like his mother
and his oldest brother Andrew.
...and they all have my nose!!!


Sally--http://www.whispering-hope.blogspot.com/do you think we ought to get the marriage contract signed now?  

Sally's great grand daughter, is a couple of weeks younger then Evan.  We have decided they need to get together, when they get a bit older.  I borrowed this picture of her great grand daughter off her blog.  Don't you think they would be perfect together?

                          Rylan Benny                                                                  Evan Eric
I didn't do much today--I sat and revelled in the good feeling of seeing that sweet little boy, then watched my soap and went to the Chiropractor.  Stopped at the Rich People's store for some salads and Boar's Head lunch meat and came on home.  

Tomorrow--there will be staining more of the front porch.  I sure hope I get it done before snow comes, LOL.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Evan.

Today's high temperature was: 75 degrees
Sunny and pleasant, once again.
Thank you, God.


8 hours old

Baptisim-3 months old

A year ago 

The last time I saw him


Friday, September 27, 2013

I Love This Weather!!

Today's high temperature was: 74 degrees
Today's humidity was: low
Bright, sunny and gorgeous!

Not too bad a view out my front/computer room windows.

Views from my chair--my east window--to the left.

The view straight ahead--south-west

To my right and ahead--my kitchen--west 

Kitchen, over the sink view

Out my bathroom window view 

View from my bed 

Perhaps not the views I would prefer, but the views I have.  

I worked some more on the porch.  It appears I can only work 2 hours before my neck and shoulders start aching and my arms and hands start trembling from being tired.  It's slow going, but I am kind of liking it.  I think, I would still preferred it to be paint instead of stain--I wanted a nice, hard finish...so...when it wears off, next time I will get a good exterior paint and do it my way.

I have known, in the past month, three elderly gentlemen who have died as results of falls.  Not from the actual fall, but weeks or months later.  My father, also died as a result of a fall.  A fall, he didn't think too much of, but ten days later was hospitalized and three days later---gone.  I wonder what it is that causes death?  Somehow, the organs start shutting down.  Perhaps there is internal bruising?

I am really ticked off at this whole aging process.  I know, I shouldn't complain.  As my best friend used to say, "As long as I'm on the topside of the grass, I'm happy."  I am very lucky--quite a few of my friends and classmates have passed on.  I just get frustrated.  When I think of the amount of work I used to do when I first moved in here, ten summers ago.  I put in new gardens, bought and hauled 40# bags of top soil and Canadian peat to loosen up the clay.  Planted 5 flats of Impatiens every summer under the Lilac bushes.    Washed the windows, inside and out--all at the same time.  Rearranged furniture, moved things around; mowed my own lawn and shoveled the snow off my driveway.

Now--I can't even stand and paint for two hours?   I just can't get used to a simple chore taking days to do, instead of hours.  I still feel 50 years old in my mind and on the Real Age Scale, I am only 70.5 years old, but in reality?    AND, I always have this feeling that these things must be done because I am running out of time.  I have the feeling most of the time, that I am not that far away from death.

Oh well--onward and upward--ever forward!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Am Re-Learning Things I Used To Know.

Today's high temperature was:75 degrees
Sunny and beautiful

I had to sit and think for awhile about how to get the piping on the pillow.  Two pieces, right sides together, piping in between.  No--that could lead to all sorts of mistakes.  Okay--just put the piping on the front and then, put the backing on and stitch in the same line.

It makes me incredibly nervous to sew anymore.  My hands tremble, which isn't a good thing as I have the tremor in my right hand to begin with.  Got the sewing machine out of its storage cubby hole, set it up on the kitchen table, threaded it (had to read the directions) FINALLY got the thread through the needle, and I was ready to go.

Decided to use a zipper foot to ride close to piping.  Had to read the directions on how to change.

Got it!!  

Sewed along one side and remembered not to try and make the corners sharp angles, but to round them a bit.  Two sides done--went to turn it and the piping fell off.  Should have checked to make sure bobbin was full before I started sewing.  DUH!!

Filled bobbin, started over, had a pin in the wrong direction, so when I slid my hand down, pin ran up into the base of my thumb.  Stopped.  Put band-aid on thumb to keep blood off Elmo, proceeded and got it done.

When I think of the many years and many clothes and outfits I sewed for myself and the kids, I cannot believe that now--I feel like a beginner.  I was so scared of just putting a pillow together--crazy.

Put backing on without too much trouble, trimmed corners, turned pillow.

Gave him a nice press with the iron--looked off center, so I
got out the tape measure and it was off just a tad.
Too late now to do anything about it.

Finally got to relax in chair while I stuffed him with fiber fill.
Remember to get corners stuffed real good. 
Stuff him nice and tight so he won't go flat right away.

Ran out of fiber fill, which is par for the course. <sigh>

Did not want to get in car and run up town, soooooooooooooooooo, spent the rest of Wednesday, researching a bit on self publishing, visiting with Pearl, watching TV, crocheting and cross stitching on my baby bed cover.  Started crocheting nylon net into the pot scrubbers I give everyone for Christmas.  Hard work--hands hurt.  Guess I will make one a day--have time to get 36 done (72 circles crocheted together.)

Detroit Tigers clinched the American League Central whatever.  Now we go to playoffs and maybe, to the World Serious.

Up at 7:00 again this morning.  Felt bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  Did the morning routine, took a shower and planned my day.  As I stepped out of the shower, this is what I saw out the window.

Oh, Oh.  Activity on the lot behind us.

Looks like my view is gone again.  
Hope they don't have a passel of noisy kids!

I had an appointment with the shrink at 11:00.  At twenty minutes after, I was just about to go up to the window and tell the girls I was leaving, when he came out to get me.  This man has some kind of psychological problem with time, in my opinion.

He asked how I was doing, I told him "Great", and then went on to explain that I had stopped taking the drug last Friday because of the edema, and the rash and that I am feeling better.  He said, "Well, we could try a different one."  I replied, "Nope.  I don't want to get into that again.  I am feeling great and if I fall back into the crazies, I will make an appointment."  I was back in my car by 11:30.  Bah Dah Boom, Bah Dah Bing. 

Then, off I went to Wal-Mart to get a bag of fiber fill and then over to Lowe's to peruse for paint for my porch.  Thanks to Melissa, I had two gift cards to help with the expense--I can't being to thank her enough--she also got me a Subway card, which is super because my favorite subway is going to be five dollars for a foot long ALL OCTOBER!!!

A really nice guy in the paint department asked if he could help and I told him, "I want some good, sturdy paint for my front deck."

"Has it been stained before?"

"Yes, but the stain is worn off down to the original wood."

"Then...you want stain."

"No--I want paint.I want white and grey exterior paint."

"Stain comes in those colors.  Stain will stand up better then paint."

"You're kidding me!"

He smiled at this brainless woman.

"Does it go on like paint?"

"Yes, in any color you want."

"Isn't it thin---like water?"

"No--it's like paint.  It has a primer and a sealer built right into it."

"You're kidding me!"

"No. When paint gets weathered, it peels off in big pieces.  With the stain, when it starts to weather, it just sort of rubs off in small pieces.  Stain will last much longer then paint."

"Okay then--I'm sold!" 

So he walks me over and shows me Cabot and Olympic--I had made up my mind I wanted Olympic and we picked out the colors, he mixed the grey, shook them up and put them in my cart.

"Is there anything else I can help you with?"

"Well, yes.  I had all the equipment for painting, but I gave it all away...because I didn't think I would ever paint anything again in my life.  I need a brush and a roller and a roller pan and roller pan inserts and......."

So he takes the front of my cart and pulls it and me, down the aisle.  He got a roller pan, 2 different sizes of rollers, 2 roller covers and a brush all in one kit.  Then he threw in some cleaning rags and a block of sandpaper.

I thanked him profusely and grinned all the way to my car!!

After my soap, I started on the back side--just to re-learn how to paint stain.  I have never stained anything before--it's just like painting!!!
Instead of doing all the spindles all around, I am going to do
one section at a time--two coats.  I will do the floor and steps last.

This is the view out my window--looks better already.
I like it!!!

I am lucky, I can sit down to do most of the posts, but have to get up to do the top part--up,down.  Up, down.  Tonight my calves are mooing, so I know I worked them good.  But--I can do this!!

Tomorrow and Saturday promise to be nice days like today, so--maybe I can all the spindles stained?

Got Elmo stuffed, the bottom part hand sewn and he is ready to go play with Evan.  Doesn't look like there is going to be a birthday party, so I will go over Monday, when Pammie is baby sitting and the bigger kids are at school, and Evan and I can smooze a bit.


Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Today's high temperature was:  66 degrees
Sunny and wonderful!!
The wonderment continues.  This morning, I woke up at 6:45--feeling well rested.  Just 10 short days ago, I couldn't get to sleep until 2-3 in the morning and when I woke  up around 9-10, I felt sluggish and like my mind was MIA.  Now--I am  yawning and ready for bed around 10 at night, and get to sleep near 11:30--sleep well, hardly move all night, and wake up early.  Today was the first day in many months that I saw the sun rise--different perspective for sure.

The yard waste people come today and although I had two bags of my bush trimmings ready, I wanted to get the perennials cut down and the annuals disposed of.  Out at 8:00, in the nippy morning air, (45 degrees) and got it all done and ready for the pick-up.  Now, I just have to put the planters and porch stuff in the shed and I will be ready to prep the porch and get ready to paint.  I know it is going to be a big job--painting all those spindles--TWICE!  If I don't get the floor done, then I will just do the spindles and wait for spring to finish the floor, but....I'll bet I get it all done because.........you know when I am on a project, I get very driven to get it done.

Speaking of which:
"Hi.  It's ELMO!!"

Now, I just have to wash him, cut him to fit a 12 inch pillow, cut the backing, sew it, the front and the piping all together and stuff the heck out of him.  The sewing part has me a bit worried---It has been many years since I've sewn anything and it makes me nervous!!!
I wanted to report--the Finish Quantum that the dish washer repair guy told me to use, is really remarkable!  I've used Cascade since I have lived here--thinking it was a much better product then Finish.  I have used the Finish Quantum for about---6 weeks?  I have got to say, I notice a difference, not only in the dishes that are free of calcium and lime, but the (clear) glasses and bowls absolutely shine--as does the stainless ware.  And, I noticed last night, how really clean and white the inside of the dish washer is now.  I'm sold!!!

Speaking with a youngish woman yesterday--early fifties--and I had to bite my tongue until it was practically bleeding!  Her grammar was atrocious!!  She is a beautiful, gifted woman, but the minute she opens her mouth, she sounds like she came from the Hill Country.  "We thought about going, but we haven't went yet." "I seen it the other day."  "They haven't came."   

Ending sentences with a preposition doesn't affect me that much--I do it often myself, but the "word tense" problem she has, just makes my teeth grate.   NO--I am not the teacher of the world, so I didn't say anything, but by the time I got back to my car, my jaw was sore from all the clenching, LOL.
I visited with Pearl this morning.  Tomorrow she starts the colon cleanse for her Colonoscopy, (she calls it a colonectomy) so she will be unavailable for a couple of days.  

Pearl wants me to do some research for her.  In 1968, they bought a gold plated Red Wings hockey puck--as an investment (?).  It cost $150.00 back then.  Now, they "might" like to sell it.  I have searched and searched and cannot find anything on the Internet for one of these things.  What do you think?  Should they take it to a jewelry shop or a pawn broker?  How can they find a collector of this kind of thing?  They think it is probably worth many thousands of dollars.  I think, it is another one of their poor decisions--but--that's just me!

Dar was over this morning.  She wanted to tell me about something on the website for the Meijer's store--she just started her job yesterday.

"It's called Impereks.  I downloaded it myself and actually didn't make any mistakes. You need to download it to get the latest coupons and special sales."

"What's it called?"

"Impereks.  (Em Per x).  You download it to your cell phone."

"I don't have a cell phone."

"Oh.  Why not?  EVERYBODY has a cell phone!"

"Well, obviously not EVERYONE has one, as I don't and I know a few others who don't"

"Oh--well maybe you can get it on your e-mail."

After she left, I came into the computer room and searched on the Meijer website and could not find it.  I kept looking around the site and noticed a word over on the left of the page, "sign up for your MPerks, sent to your mobile device."

MPERKS!  Like--Meijer Perks.  Not IMPEREKS--Em Per X.  GOOD GRIEF!!!  Please, just let me move to a little house in the woods where I don't have to relate to people everyday.  They drive me nuts!!!

This reminds me of Pearl and me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wonder of Wonder, Miracles of Miracles

Today's high temperature was:  56 degrees
Today's humidity was:  I don't know--quite low.
Sunny and nice
Let's catch up---I stopped taking the new med Friday night.  By Saturday night, I could get shoes on and the swelling seems to be going down.  I woke up Sunday morning--I had lost 6 pounds and my socks and shoes fit just fine!!!  This morning, all evidence of swelling is gone, the red rash is subsiding and I have lost another 2 pounds.  Apparently, that is one med I will not be taking ever again.  Actually, I don't know what to think.  I even feel better then I did taking it.  For the last three mornings--I have awakened at 7:00 a.m.!!! Now you know, that is a wonder and a miracle to me--who was dragging out of bed at 10:00 and not being able to sleep until 1-2 in the morning.  So far, no impulsiveness and................I don't want to go back to him on Thursday, but I will.  Pftt.
Saturday, I did very little--couldn't go out because I couldn't get my shoes on.  I took my ceiling fan apart and gave it a good washing and cleaning--even cleaned the light bulbs.  It needed it!!!

I watched college football games and baseball game, watched a couple of DVD's, cross stitched on Elmo and had my supper.

perfect supper--that is only one tomato on that plate--huge, tasty tomato.  As was the sweet corn.  Big kernels so one row filled up my whole mouth.

Then Pammie called to say she went to Arlene's and pick-up the library table and got to chat with her "cousins"--not really blood cousins, but...................she loves the table.  We all love the idea that it home where it originally started life.  I figured it out--the table is 93 years old!  Pammie is going to clean it up and put some dark polish on the scratches, but leave it with it's 93 years worth of bumps and bruises.

I worked on Elmo and only had a little bit left when......................(of course) I ran out of floss.

I went to check my stash and.....(of course) out of the million bobbins of floss I have,
I didn't have that color.


Sunday--now Sunday was a glorious day!!!!

I was awake at 7:00, so I had no problem getting to 10:30 church--it was great.  The choir was back from their summer hiatus and they sang beautiful--I almost cried.  We have about 40 members in our choir and that is good for a small church.

Then, on the way out of town, I decided to stop at a Face Book friends house.  I go right by every Sunday on the way to and from church.  She and her family have been going through a bit of trouble--husband's job loss, things like that.  She has three boys two already graduated and working and one, a Junior.  They are football players and very nice young men.  I just wanted to stop and give her a hug.  She is Jennifer's age and is pretty devastated by all that is going on, but has a really good attitude.  When I was her age, I was going through the devastation of divorce--losing the nice income I had been use to, along with a teenager, trying to find how to support us.  I just wanted to let her see that here I am---and old woman and I MADE IT!!!  As I look back, my divorce was not the worse of what life would throw at me, these last 30 years, but.......

I got to meet her husband and their two wonderful Schnauzer's.  Got kisses from the pups--wonderful little furry balls of energy.  The visit helped me too--I just felt more buoyant.  I don't get to interact too much with people that age.  I see such promise in her life and I am very assured that all of this problem isn't going to make her marriage go down the drain.  They are a very sturdy couple in their life.

I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up some stuff and my prescription.  I was also going to go next door to Lowe's and check out the paint and supplies I need to get for my HUGE porch project.

I picked up a new door mat for my porch and treads for the steps.

I looked for the color floss I needed--Wal-Mart doesn't carry much and they did not have the color I needed.  I need 606--they had 605, 607, 608.  Weird, Huh?

THEN--Ta Dah--I wanted to get another pair of moccasins.  All the women's sizes were too big.  9-10.  Or too small.  7-8.  I needed an 8-9.  I was mulling this who conundrum over in my head, when a cute clerk walked up and asked, "Are you finding everything?"  So I told her my problem and she walked me back to the men's shoe section and handed me a pair of 7-8,  "Try these."  THEY FIT--perfectly.  Kathy--I adore you!!!

Then I went over to the soft drink area and stocked up on Diet Pepsi--they have had it at 1.00 a jug for this entire month!!!  I didn't buy any food or anything--I don't really like Wal-Mart, but I pick-up my prescription.  I DO like the pharmacy staff!!

I was tired by now, so headed out of the store to go to Lowe's.  There was a man, sitting on the bench on the way out.  He had an Air Force cap on and I wanted to thank him for his service, so I went over.

"Did you serve in Korea?" I asked.

"Yes..Korea AND World War Two.  I was in the air force engineers.  We built all the roads so our planes could get in."

"Well, I just wanted to thank you for your service."

(I should have walked away at this point in time, but....................)

"Yahup--we were in India.  Been there.  Have you ever heard of the road to Burma?  Yahup--built that damn thing too."

....and for the next forty minutes, I learned all about the Air Force Corp of Engineers,  how the "japs" were worse to fight against then the Germans, where he was born, ninety-three years ago, where he went to school, his move to Detroit to work in the factory, at $1.00 a day.  How these "damn young people nowadays are spoiled, disrespectful brats,"  how "we don't live in the united states of American anymore.  There isn't any united states!"  "I don't mind people coming here, that's how my great grandparents got here, but....do it legally--not like them wet backs coming in here and then wanting the government to support this. Hell!  They ain't even citizens!"  How, "the damn government is taking us down the road to hell."  "That son-of-a-bitch in the White House won't be happy until we all are under government support and control,"--on and on.

I realized that he doesn't get to relate to many people either during the day, so-----it was a nice visit.

  I was very weary, so I just walked out to my car, loaded up my stuff and came home.  Too tired to go to JoAnn's for floss, or to Lowe's for browsing painting information.

No more then walked in the door and my sister called--she and a friend, visiting from Binghamton, NY were out driving and wanted to stop in.  We had a great visit.

Monday--today--woke up at 7:00--did the morning routine, laundered my nice, Egyptian cotton sheets--I love those things, worked a bit and then got ready to get outside and to some trim work.  Got the Rose of Sharon bushes topped and trimmed up a bit and that was all for this morning.

Ate, watched my soap and off to the Chiropractor. Then to the Rich People's store for some salad and cake--always cake.  Then to Meijer's and then to JoAnn's and then to Taco Bell for a couple of soft taco's for supper.

Then home to bag up the trimmings from this morning, as the yard waste people come tomorrow.  I hope tomorrow to get up early enough to get the rest of the annuals pulled and out to the curb before they arrive.

I wanted to post this early, as I know you kids were worried.  Not to worry--I figured it out, as I usually do and---it's all good!!

Friday, September 20, 2013


Today's high temperature was:  83
Today's humidity was: 69%
Humid!  Rainy!  Blech!
Cold front coming tonight.
I honestly thought it was Saturday most of the day!!!  Geez kids--I'm losing it fast!!!

For the last two weeks, I have had swelling in my feet and ankles--especially the right one.  I also have what looks like a red rash.  No pain--no marks from a spider bite, that I can see.  I do not have a fever and no "warm" places on my legs--in fact, I feel great!  I have also gained 10 pounds in 14 days!  I take a water pill and HBP meds and my blood pressure is not high.

Three weeks ago, I started that new medicine the shrink gave me.  I am not taking any tonight--nor forever, I don't think, because that is the only new thing I have done.  I go back to see him next Thursday and we shall see--unless it gets worse, then get in to see the primary doc on Monday.

I can't get my shoes on, I could my moccasins, but someone took them, so I haven't gone anywhere today.  I need to take some stuff back to Wal-Mart and I need to "browse" Lowes to check on my paint and supplies.  So---today, I worked on my "job" for a full three hours and I did laundry and I cross stitched.

We are getting there.  One more arm.

I also watched a DVD on Muhammad--his life and the religion, Islam, that he created.  Very interesting and very enlightening.  The whole religion is based on non-violence, tolerance and kindness.  Quite a bit different then what we see by the Radical Jihadist's that quote the Quran (wrongly I might add) and think it is their God given duty to kill all pagans/infidels--those that do not practice Islam.  Just reminds me of how so many take scripture, turn it around to mean what they want it to mean and then quote it as if it were truth.  

Tonight, I might have time to watch the DVD on The Amish--who I pretty well think are the most non-violent people here!!!!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

It Must Be The Third Thursday

Today's high temperature was:  78 degrees
Today's humidity was: 57%
Muggy, but sunny

It must be the third Thursday of the month because, I had lunch with my school pals, in Durand--about 45 minutes north of here. Today it took over an hour, because..........................

A young local volunteer fire fighter died of a massive heart attack last week--one of those, stand up from your chair, fall over dead, heart explosion kind of thing.  On my way up toward Byron, I had to wait while his funeral procession passed a corner---a very long procession.  I didn't really mind however,  I got out of my car and stood with my head bowed as they passed by us.

I finally got to Doorand, which is how we all pronounce it--Durand.  It "was" the railroad capital of Michigan at one time.  Now the round house is gone and there really isn't much rail traffic.  At one time, if in labor, we had to know a route to get to the hospital, without going through Durand, because you sure didn't want to get stopped and wait thirty minutes for the trains to clear the tracks!  

Today, they have turned the Depot into a museum and also have the Farmer's Market there on the weekends.  My Mother and I boarded a train many times from that Depot on our way to the east side of the State to visit her parents.  Such fun, riding those trains.

Coming into town.  
This is one of four sets of tracks I had to
cross in a three block area.

The clock tower.

The famous Depot.

My sister was in town, buying some groceries she forgot yesterday, for her out of State visitors.  She dropped in and talked to all my friends.  I had given her "cliff notes"--picture of all of them and what their maiden names were so that if she ever ate lunch with us, she'd know them.  Most of them haven't seen her in 56 years, because...............we all graduated in June 1957 and she started Kindergarten the next September.  

One of our ladies, Liz, is getting married~!!!!!  Her husband died of cancer about four years ago--he was also an alcoholic, but a nice guy.  She had the breast cancer gene and after her bout with breast cancer, had an elective double mastectomy.  She has often said, "No man will ever want me because I don't have any boobs."  Well this guy told her, "Personally, I'm a leg man....so as long as you have two legs--I am happy!"  He has a horse farm and likes to travel and is well off--and so is she--so they met yesterday to sign a pre-nuptial agreement.  

ONE BIG WEIRD THING HOWEVER==they knew each other as kids.  They haven't seen each other in 60 years, both being married 50 years, both spouses dying of cancer, BUT.....they are first cousins!  

When she stated that, a dead silence--none of us gasped, but...almost...then I said, "Well it's not like you are going to have a passel of imbecilic kids, so....no problem."

Then she said, "We can't get married in Michigan though.  Our pastor is going with us to Indiana to perform our wedding!"

I just had to ask..."Why are you getting married?  Wouldn't it be better to just live together--better for you both financially?

"Because...I am not going to live with a man and share his bed every night, without being married.  We go to church and it just wouldn't be right!"

"So--you can both perform sexually?"  (Yes, I know--that is a personal question, but I have known her since we were two years old and we all have known her since Kindergarten, and it is not a really outrageous thing to say in our group, so.........)

Then Sally said, "Is this a shot-gun wedding?"

Liz said, "NO!  I'm not pregnant!  I haven't had sex in fifteen years because my husband had his prostate removed and he hasn't had sex in ten years because his wife was so sick, but........(blushing) it seems that both of our bodies are waking up and remembering.............." (hides her head down on her arm on the table she is so embarrassed.  So we all had to tease her a bit more, but we are very happy for her.

She was sitting next to me and I hugged her and said, "Look...at our age...who knows how many years--days even--that we have left. Enjoy the life together and the closeness and the love that it brings."  and I got tears in my eyes.

She acts like a 16 year-old girl.  She is so giddy with love.  I so remember that feeling with Fred.  I guess no matter how old we are---when we fall in love---it is like we are teenagers again--with all the feelings.  

I am very happy for her.

On the way home, I stopped at my best friend Arlene's house. Her kids have finally cleaned out the barns and house and were having an estate sale.  I wanted to get something personal of Arlene's and also get something for Bethie (who is out in San Diego).  

I got a couple baskets, a couple of Christmas ornaments, one with her name on it and a couple with "Merry Christmas from Byron," on them--Bethie and my home town.  

Then I got the library table that I had given Arlene forty-six years ago.  It was my grandma's and the time I moved into her home, I didn't have a need or room for it.  Arlene liked it, so it was hers.  It stood by a window in her dining room all this time.  Kathy wanted to give it to me and I refused.  I told her and her brothers to figure out how much "storage" for all that time cost.

Her youngest brother (my Jen's age) said, "Well--how about ten dollars a year?"

"Are you kidding?"  

Her other brother (my Karen's age) said, "I think one hundred dollars sounds about right."

"Look you little Brat--if I HAD a hundred dollars I sure wouldn't buy some old scratched up table!  I'd get a new one."

Then Arlene's daughter Kathy (my Pammie's age) said, "How about five dollars?"

Then I said, "How about twenty?"

They all said, "no!", but that's what they got!!!

It's going back to my grandma's house.  Pammie will pick it up Saturday, at the end of the sale.

Then there were  hugs and kisses all around and I turned to go and said, "I love you kids."  and they all chorused in with, "We love you too, Aunt Judy."  and off I hiked back to my car--tears running down my cheeks and dripping off my chin.

Our two families did so many things together--from high school when Arlene and I doubled dated with our guys, to being in each other's weddings--having our kids at the same time--getting them baptized together--going on trips and vacations and camping and ....well, you can see.  

We were family--she and I closer then sisters, if that is possible.  As I walked through her house and looked at their stuff---there was the granny square crocheted tree skirt that we both made--sitting side by side at her house, working on it.  There was the crocheted Christmas tree we made--sitting side-by-side at my house--cussing every time we had to pull out a row because, as she said, "This GD thing isn't turning out like it should!  Are you sure this pattern is right?"

"Yes, dammit--the pattern is right.  YOU are making your stitches too loose!"

Holding on to each other when our Mother's died.  Holding on to each other when our nephews died.  Squeezing each other hands hard, trying not to cry when our kids graduated high school and got married. Her and her husband holding me up when Gary and I got divorced and then years later, welcoming Fred as if he were family.  Memories--just tear me up.  It's gone--it's all gone!!!

Damn those doctors, twenty years ago.  When she wanted a hysterectomy and they wouldn't do it!  She never would have died from ovarian cancer.  She would have been at the lunch today with all of us.  We probably would have ridden over together and stopped back at her house and chatted for an hour.


I stopped on the way home at a vegetable stand out in the country.  Unattended, as they are around here.  We have the honor system--always have had and it works very well.  I was a bit confused and didn't have a calculator.  Sweet corn was $4.50 for a dozen ears--I only wanted 2.  Beautiful big tomatoes, were 3.50 for a box of five--I only wanted 2.  So I dropped a five in the money box and wondered if I had short-changed "Mary B. Vegetables For U, Since 1987".   When I got home I calculated:

   $4.50 divided by 12 - 38 cents an ear.  I got two = 76 cents.
   $3.50 divided by 5 = 70 cents a tomato.  I got two = 1.50 

I owed $2.16, I paid $5.00--guess I didn't cheat her after all, LOL.  

HEY--as everyone who knows me knows--I am no mathematician!!!!!

Tonight, I went out around 10:00 to put a couple of cards in the mail box.  The full moon was so gorgeous, that I stopped and howled up at it.  Just then, I heard Tami's say, "YES!"  She was sitting, on her porch, in the dark! Scared me to pieces!!!

I found out what it will cost for me to get the minimum 50 copies of my print book.  With shipping and fees, it is kind of scary, but perhaps.  I don't know.  I will let the offer sit for awhile. If it is in THE PLAN, then God will tell me how to raise the money.  

You know what--I have found out in the last two to three years, it is a lot easier if you just give this kind of stuff to God and see how it all plays out.  I have been a control freak for 30 some years--actually letting go of control, fear and anxiety is really so much easier. 

It's like the Little House On The Corner--10 years ago I would have HAD to move there and I would have gone in debt forever to do it.  Or make a quick decision and rented it and then not be able to keep it up.  Now--when I realized that it was not possible, I just smiled and figured it was all for the best and have become even happier right here where I DO live.  It's even that way now with the step-mother's Will.  I'm like, "Whatever."

Amazing!!! You have no idea how I have changed--just in three years.  I guess an unexpected death of your loved one will do that to a person.  You just gotta realize someday that---there is very little we can control in our lives.  Better to let it go and truly believe that whatever happens, is the best, in the long run.

See ya--Jude