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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Your Assets My Ass!

Today's high temperature was:  46 degrees
I did think of tacking a pretty piece of fabric over my door--I still may do that.  Or a quilt?  I remember when I was a kid, we didn't have a furnace with duct work.  We had an oil heater in the middle of the dining room and that was suppose to keep the house warm.  Then, when we did get a coal furnace, it only had one of those big registers in the middle of the floor to heat the whole house,  I loved standing over it while I got dressed in the winter.  Our living room and dining room were open to each other--one big room, then a hallway down to the two bedrooms.  During the winter, we did have one of great grandma's quilts hung up at the hall entrance to keep the dining/living room warmer.

When I was 13 and my baby sister was born, I moved upstairs--which was only heated if I left the stairs door open.  I'd wake up many a winter morning with the ribbon on my blanket frozen from my breath.  Mother put a warm water bottle at the foot of the bed each night and I had wool blankets on my bed, so I was warm and toasty--only my nose, sticking out from the covers was always cold. LOL.

After I got married and left, they installed hot water heat--my little sister enjoyed a nice warm house during most of her years.
I got the membership at Costco last January so I could get my glasses cheaper.  They use to cost me $400.00 when I got them at the optometrist office and also $300.00 the last pair I got at Wal-Mart.  The ones I got at Costco last spring were $189.00.  I figured the $50.00 membership was cheap enough to get less expensive glasses.  I will not renew my membership until I need new glasses--3 years?  My prescription changes very little and I only get my eyes checked every 3 years.
The World Series is very good this year.  Close games--weird calls ending some of the games.  Boston was predicted to win in five games.  St. Louis is giving them a run for their money!!  The games also are keeping me up--I can't just fall into bed after one and go right to sleep.  I need to take an hour to calm down, get it quiet in here, take my Melatonin and THEN I can get to sleep.  I have been sleeping very well lately--I credit the Melatonin--something our bodies naturally have, but decreases as we age.  I have been having some really strange dreams, but they don't wake me up.  I just remember a fleeting image when I first wake up.
It's been a week since I sent that letter to the step brother-in-law.  No response--which is what I expected.  That family has always been protected from anything that might be unpleasant.  The step-mother never knew that her husband knew he was dying.  My family all knew it, but my Dad told us never to say a word to her or the girls--they must be protected.  We all knew, including my mother, that my Daddy had promised their Dad that he would take care of their mother.  In fact, when my mother knew she was dying, she told my sister and I, "When I die, Daddy will marry Helen--he promised--he gave his word.  Be nice to her and get along."

As you can see, our family was never protected from anything!!!  We were suppose to deal with whatever came along and not talk about it.

So--they aren't going to acknowledge any of this--they will pretend it never happened and if they see me again, they will smile and inquire after my health and all will be very superficial.

The thing of it is, if it were the other way around and they told us that our Dad told them they would get some of his estate when he died, Susan and I would have given it to them.  Even if we didn't know how much, we would have divided our shares up and given them part.  Because we feel, they would have no reason to lie.  We have known these girls since they were born!  We lived next door to each other!
Late breaking news---

I received this in the mail today--and just opened it tonight--from my oldest step-sister.

I so wanted to write back and tell her, her knowledge was wrong. That I was not given any Walts assets in Chuck's will, that HER MOTHER kept them and that HER MOTHER told me, I would receive them when she died.


Instead, I e-mailed her and said, "I got your note today.  Thanks.  I appreciate you letting me know."

Somehow, I have to get over the anger and the feeling that, once again, I was cheated and punished.  Not for anything I did wrong.  It just seems so unfair, but then, as I know all too well, life is rarely, completely fair--except to those girls who were pampered and protected all their lives, and were wealthy in their own right BEFORE their wealthy mother died!

To say the least--the last 42 years have been a strain!!


I fixed my mail box.  It is on a wooden ornamental post, stuck over a pipe (metal fence post) driven down into the ground.  The bottom of the wooden post has rotted away, making it very sloppy fitting on the metal post in the ground.  It leans way forward.  So--I got an idea.  If I pounded another metal post into the ground in back of the wooden post, I would wire it on to that metal post and make it more stable.  I went looking and found an old metal stake used for playing horseshoes.  Worked great--glad the ground was soft to pound it in--snipped off the hanger hook off a heavy duty metal coat hanger and wired it nice and tight.  Now my mailbox is standing tall and proud once again and no wobbling!!!

Manic Monday

Today's high temperature was: 43 degrees
Partly sunny.

Woe is me.  Woe is me.  I am not a happy camper, but trying the best I can.  This is what I have to look at every day for the next four months.

View from the kitchen

View from the bathroom 

I need a new back door.  I cannot afford a new back door.  I rarely use the back door.  Last winter, when it so very cold in January, ice formed on the opening side of the door, clear up to the door handle.  Before that, I could feel the cold air coming in whenever I walked by that door  The rug I have in front of the door, froze to the bottom edge of the door.  I knew something had to be done this winter.

I thought of many fixes--tape duct tape over the edge of the door onto the molding.  Stuff it with newspaper--like we did in the old days to keep out the air leaks.  Put plastic covering over it--OR--to make a better sealant, staple two batts of insulation at the top of the door, along the sides of the molding and put a 2 x 4 across the bottom and staple it to that too.  Then, cover the whole dang thing with a sheet of plastic.. Leave about 4 inches of plastic at the bottom, put the rug back tight up against the 2 x 4 at the bottom and...........live with looking at this ugly area.  I will probably be glad when the lower gas bills come in, but I can't say it is pleasing to my sight!  ARGGH!!

I made my quarterly pilgrimage to Costco. You know how I hate that store. Too big, Too crowded and the aisles aren't marked so I don't know what's down them. 

90 minutes later,I have NO food, but I do have enough garbage bags, Zip Lock freezer bags and paper products to last me the rest of my normal life! Then out to the car and all sizes too big to fit in the trunk. It is so obvious--this store is created for people who have a passel of kids and drive a 9 passenger van to haul groceries in. Then you gotta haul all that stuff in, one at a time because they don't give you sacks and, to put the stuff in a box, makes it too heavy to carry in the house! Okay--done with the rant!

Oh yes--and the people standing there saying their memorized spiel as they hawk their samples. Sometimes, they don't even look at you--they just keep talking.

I saw one old guy--he showed up on every aisle I was on--his cart was empty, but he stopped at every sample station and had at least two of what was offered. He looked like he had just discovered a free Smorgasbord!

Oh wait--another rant. I filled up with gas a week ago, because the car was running on fumes and that annoying gas pump light, on the dashboard, was continually glowing. $3.43 which I didn't think was too bad. Today, gas is $3.11. I cannot catch a break!!!

So--I had to stop at the Rich People's store to get some food--deli salads and cake--have to have cake in this house.  Also a bottle of Virgin Olive Oil because all Costco has is gallon jugs of it--like wise olives and Tuna.  I do not want or need 24 cans of Tuna or 2 quarts jars of olives!  

I needed to stop at Michael's, but I was so worn out I just drove on home.

Driving down the highway, going 5 miles over the speed limit and still someone is riding your back bumper. Have you ever just wanted to slam on your brakes just to see what they'd do?  Just to see if their air bags were working properly?  The lane next to us was empty--why she didn't get over there and pass me--who knows.  

I got all the stuff into the house, but, when it all gets put away is another thing.  I wish I had a pantry.  This trying to find cubby holes for everything to fit into just is not happening!  Where do you put a 3' x 2' bag of 12 JUMBO rolls of paper towels?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Karen

You all mentioned how cute she was as a baby.  We thought she looked like the Gerber Baby.
Karen was due September 23rd.  I got pregnant New Year's Eve/Day 1961.  When October rolled around and she still wasn't born, I questioned the doc.  He said, "Mother nature knows best.  The baby will be born when the baby is ready to be born."  He didn't believe in 10 month babies--no such thing.

She was born October 24th, with those big brown eyes and two tiny teeth.  When the doctor took out his pen light to check her eyes, she quit crying and followed the light around with her eyes.
The doc changed his mind. "Well-I don't believe in 10 month pregnancies, but I gotta say--if it is possible...she is.  She looks and acts two months old!!"

We were so excited to have a brown eyed-dark haired child in our family of washed out, pale, blue-eyed, light haired Dutch/Germans.

She is still as beautiful today at 52, but more importantly, she is the most wonderful, caring, kind and spiritual woman I have ever known.  Everyone says that, not just me.  She is completely accepting of everyone, she never gossips, she is so unconditional in her love for me.

...and she and Mark have a beautiful family

When people talk to her, she leans towards them, so as not to miss a word.
This always makes you feel like you are the most important person to her at that moment.

Mother's aren't allowed to have favorite children, but if I did..............well, you know.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fantastic Friday

Today's high temperature was: 45 degrees
Sunny until late afternoon.

Today was the day to take Pammie to the Ophthalmologist!  I got up early.  Our appointment was for 9:45.  She got here about 8:30 and we spent 45 minutes talking and laughing and cussing out my step-mother LOL.

The reason I wanted Pam to go to a REAL eye doctor is, four years ago she had an inflammation in her left eye and had to have steroid shots in her eye.  Pretty painful.  Then a year ago, she went back to the Optometrist and he told her she needed glasses--$400.00 kind of glasses.  I use to go to an Optometrist and know, they are in the selling glasses business too.  So........ get checked out by a specialist, he gives you a prescription and we go to Costco and get her a pair of progressive lenses for less then $200.00.  I am just so tired of her not being able to see and not being able to afford glasses.

This is the Ophthalmologist that Fred went to and raved about.  But Medicare wouldn't pay for the $200.00 exam unless you had Diabetes or Cataracts.  The last time I went to the Optometrist, he said I had the beginnings of Cataracts so...I went to the REAL eye doctor the next year.  

While she was filling out the forms that are required she said, "Momma, how old are you?"

"Well, two days ago I told someone I was seventy-three, but I think I am really seventy-four.  Do they need to know that?"

"No, but...I forgot how old I am and I know I am twenty years younger then you, so........."

"You were born in 1959--subtract that from 2013."

"You know I'm no good in math."

"Well, can you subtract nine from 13?"


"Okay then."

"That's four.  What number goes in front of it?" she giggled.

"I'd feel better if you put a three in front of it.  I can't believe I have children in their fifties!!"

We got to laughing and nudging each other--the office girls were watching us and laughing too.

Fred liked this doctor.  I liked this doctor and Pammie liked him too.  I must say I am IN LOVE with this guy because he told Pam, "the inflammation is completely gone!"  Also SHE DOESN'T NEED GLASSES!!  He told her to go to Wally World and he wrote down what strength of "cheaters" to get.  Use them for reading, computer work, even TV, if she wanted.  He wasn't trying to sell her anything!

HOWEVER--because of the steroids the Optometrist poked in her eye,l she has the beginning of a Cataract on her left eye.  Our doc said that, "the steroid injections will cause the Cataract to grow faster."  WELL CRAP!!!  Wish I had taken her too him when she first had the inflammation, but then....I didn't know about him then.

Because Pam has NO insurance--it only cost me $60.00!  AND no trip to Costco for $200.00 pair of glasses.  WOW!!  Really good news.  She wanted to pay--I had already talked to the office girl and she said, "No!  You aren't allowed to pay!"

I said, "That's right!"  I walked over to get my purse and I heard Pam say, "She's an old lady.  I'll bet I could take her down!"

I walked back up to the desk and the office girl said, "I don't think you can even see her with your eyes all blurry."

Then I looked at Pam.  "My, what big blue pupils you have my dear.  Now--step back so I can conduct my business here."

So we came back here and she came inside to let the dilation wear off a bit before she drove home and we laughed some more and hooted and hollared and talked about all the rotten men we have ever known, and cussed out the step-mother some more and by the time she left--I was on a real high.  I wish I could spend time with her more--we have such a great time together--we are so much alike!

I was going to go to Costco after she left because I need bathroom tissue and paper towels and Kleenex and that would be the only reason for me to go to that hated store, but...I decided to go on Monday morning.  

I have just relaxed all the rest of this day, but I noticed, I have been smiling all day long!!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pretty Much, A No-Nothing Day

Today's high temperature was: 45
Feels like temperature: 39
Sunny, breezy
Here is the link for the Kennedy book I am reading.

I saw this quote on Ernestine's blog post and had to go to the link to read the whole post. I am amazed that this is so exactly how I feel most days.  And again amazed that someone else feels the same way, which makes me feel so much better, because you know, at times I feel I am losing my sanity.  Now, I know--the up and down emotions are quite normal :-)

"I am amazed at the rainbow of feelings that can overtake me in the span of a week, or, even, a day. I can swing in the clouds, full of confidence and competence and, in short order, slide onto the ground, bereft, lost, larval in my capacity to grapple with life.

In those moments, or hours, or days, when I feel so inept, drenched in inadequacy, I rail against the uncertainties and disappointments in life. As if life came with a map and I’d taken the wrong turn. Or life were a test and I’d simply, tragically failed."

Karen's 52nd birthday today.  I posted a Happy Birthday to her on Face Book with a picture of her at two.  I'm sure she isn't mad at me for that :-)  I gave her a pair of those wonderful Egyptian Cotton sheets I got last spring.

Wasn't she adorable?  When she was younger, she looked exactly
like the Gerber Baby.

Do you know what I did today?  Nuttin' Honey!  I sat in that chair and I made two nylon net scrubbies, I crocheted two rows on a baby afghan and I crossed stitched on another baby crib cover.  

Dar came over this afternoon, but I am not going to post about her conversation because the whole experience was way too taxing for me.  Let's just say, she is off her meds again, LOL.  Telling her manager at her new job that he doesn't know what he's doing.  Confronting a lady at church.  And snooping at her sister-in-law's house to find her daughter's address.  I was worn out when she finally left!

Tomorrow is going to be a great day.  Spent with Pammie!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Today's high temperature was:   45 degrees
Sunny--gorgeous--a few snow flakes

Outer Banks of North Carolina--2010


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Terrific Tuesday--at least the evening was

Today's high temperature was:  47 degrees
Sunny--cloudy--sunny--cloudy, but no rain!

They are having snow in our Upper Peninsula and we are expecting a few wet flakes on Thursday.  Good thing I don't have anywhere to go on Thursday.  Although--it is my daughter Karen's birthday.  The day she was born, we were into Indian Summer and it was 73 degrees and sunny.  Most everyone of her birthday's, it has been warm and sunny.  Probably this year, our Indian Summer will come in November, because we haven't had a freeze yet.

I was getting dressed this morning and I heard the front door open and in walked Pearl.  She called out and looked down the hallway and there I stood in my underpants, putting on my bra.  "YIKES!" she yelled.  "My eyes have been burned.  I'm blind!!"

"Oh, shut up and sit down."  I retorted.

She had a good laugh seeing me in my nothings!

She came down to bring back the new Nicholas Sparks book I lent her.  She got the new one first this time because I hadn't seen my sister when I first got it.  I will give it to Susan next. 

 I am reading a fascinating book on Jack and Jackie Kennedy right now.  Those poor kids--they sure had a tumultuous life!  Neither one of them had a decent childhood, so they grew up with trust issues and not knowing how to give love.  Reminds me kind of like Charles and Diana--married because Jack's father said it was time--picked her out--all for political reasons.  Jack kept right on with his affairs--Jackie knew all about them.  She refused to let it bother her--after all her father was a womanizer too.  The only one she really worried was the year long affair he had with Marilyn Monroe.  J. Edgar Hoover found out about it and told Jack to end it before it got out in the press.  Three days later, Marilyn killed herself.  Jackie smoked over 2 packs of cigarettes a day, which they figure caused her miscarriages and still births.  Jack was very sickly and in constant pain.  They both took a lot of drug injections to keep going.  They put on a good show, but that's all it was.  They were suppose to be the perfect young family, so that is what they portrayed to the country.  Jackie was very unhappy, Jack didn't really care.  He was just going to live as he wanted.

Isn't it strange.  The media never said a word about it.  Back in those days, they protected the President at all costs.  Now that fifty years have past, a lot of the records are being opened up for public knowledge.  Sad--very sad.


I looked out my window this morning and sure enough, the Hummingbirds nest is still there.

Then I saw something else in Jackie's tree.   

A huge wasp/hornet/yellow jacket nest.

As I walked back across the street, I spotted this little
beautiful red leaf in with all the ugly brown ones.
I looked around--there is not a tree that color around here--
where did that little leaf come from?

I didn't do much today.  At six fifteen, I left to get over to the high school for Madeleine's band and marching band concert.  They charged me five bucks!!!  Usually they are free.  It was a looooooooong concert.  A concert band, two symphony orchestra's,and their best wind ensemble (which Maddie plays in) and then the marching band--which is my favorite part.  250 kids marching into the auditorium, playing as loud as they can--sends shivers through my whole body.  Then, they played the school fight song, which I have been working on memorizing and I could sing along--fun.

I don't know if any of you remember, but at the first Marching Band concert, when Maddie was a Freshman, when the band played, "God Bless America"--I stood and sang along.  Half-way through, I noticed that in an auditorium that holds probably 1,200 people, I was the only one standing.  I asked my daughter why and she said, "I don't know.  We always stand at the football games when they play it."

So--I apologized to Maddie, hoping I hadn't embarrassed her.  She said she thought it was cool.

So feeling of a rebellious nature (which I seem to have become in my old age)--the last two years, I have always stood and didn't care if anyone did or not--and no one ever did.

Tonight, I couldn't get my regular seat, so I had to sit down in front, about five rows from the stage.  When the band played "God Bless America", I stood up and noticed that my daughter Karen stood up beside me.  Then I noticed everyone else in the place started standing.  I guess it's kind of hard not to see a six feet tall woman, down in front standing and they thought they all should, so---like a bunch of sheep--everyone followed my lead.

After the concert, Maddie and a couple of her friends came up and grabbed me and said, "Gramma, you accomplished your goal!!"  I guess, over the years, she has said something to her band friends about her Gramma being the only person standing for the song.

To me--that song is very patriotic.  It is almost like a hymn or a prayer.  We all stand for the National Anthem, why shouldn't we stand in respect for the playing and singing of God Bless America?


Karen walked me out to my car, after the concert, so I could give her birthday present to her.  She said, "Mom--it's suppose to be cold and maybe even snow on my birthday!  What is wrong?  It is always sunny and warm on my birthday.  Mark even said, "your Mom is going to be mad because it is always sunny and warm." "  

I told her that I was sorry--that when I heard the weather report, I was upset too, but..."You make my whole life sunny and warm and that's all that matters."  Then we hugged and "love you's" and went on our way.  I tell you--without her and Pammie, I don't know what I would do!!!

Okay--I got no response from the note I sent a couple of weeks ago to my step brother-in-law, so today, I sent him this longer note.  Tell me the truth.  Is it too much?  I don't think I sounded angry or accusatory, do you?

Now I wait to see if there is any response to this one.  I doubt it because that family, doesn't like to confront anything that might be objectionable--much like my own family.  We all are a bunch of stupid Ostrich's--never voicing an opinion, never bringing up any subject that might make someone uncomfortable.  We wouldn't want to broach a subject honestly--someone might not like us if we did!  I tell you my friends--I do believe I AM becoming a rebellious old woman!!!

October 22, 2013

Hi Alan,

I suppose you think I have gone “ ‘round the bend”.  By your non-response to my first note, it is apparent that you have no idea what I was talking about.  So, an explanation.

Six months after Dad died, Helen took Susan and I aside and said, “I don’t want you girls to worry.  You will get the rest of your Dad’s money when I die.” 

The next year, while she was still living at the farm, in the summer, she told us, “I have decided to put everything in trust.  It will make it much easier for everyone.”

Therefore, I assumed that she had set up a trust for each of us, for what was left from Dad’s investments.

It has been six months and I hadn’t heard anything.  I am preparing my own final distribution and wanted to make sure I had the beneficiary correct on the trust.  That is why I wrote the note to you.  Wondering the status on the process of the trusts.

I guess there were none set up for us or surely you would have known about it.

I am sorry for the confusion my first message may have caused.

Take care,


I don't think it should hurt any one's feelings.  I certainly am not angry with my step-sisters--they probably have no knowledge that their mother STOLE MY SISTER AND MY INHERITANCE!!!

I need to put this behind me and just forget it.  But DAMMIT (sorry), you all know how stinking poor I am.  A hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars would sure have helped me live out the rest of my life without worry and left something for my own kids!!!

(Okay--so now, not only am I becoming a rebel, but a nasty, mean, cranky, critical old woman!!)

So--let's see what happens tomorrow.  Maybe I can get through one day without wanting to slap the heck out of someone, LOL.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Moody Monday

Today's high temperature was: 54 degrees
The start of a very busy week.  I have something going on every single day.

My Tiger's lost the pennant to the Boston Red Sox.  My Tiger's played awful!  We found out this morning, that our manager Jim Leyland decided in September that he would retire at season's end.  We are all rather sad--well most of us are.  He has been a great manager.  He said he is too old to do it anymore--it is a very physically taxing job.  He will stay within the Tiger's organization, which is a good thing.  As with all sports, if the team does well, it is to the player's credit.  If a team does badly, it's all the manager's fault.  It shouldn't be that way in this case.  We have player's that are getting paid millions to do their job, and they didn't.  We have a first baseman who is paid $200M, and he hasn't gotten a hit in weeks.  We have two very good pitcher's--that's about it.  Our bullpen failed us.  So--onward and upward--there's always next year!

Now, I will root for the Red Sox to win the World Series.  I wish they'd shave off those ugly beards!  It makes the guys all look old and scruffy, but, they probably think they are good luck for them.  We shall see.

I have been extremely depressed the last couple of weeks.  Oh--I can put on a good face, when I have too--when I am around people, but, when I am alone, there is no smiling, no real energy, no real purpose to even get up in the morning.  All I want to do is sleep.

I forced myself to go pick up a prescription and fill the car with gas yesterday afternoon.  Then, I got a Subway for supper (thank you Melissa!).  I slept ten hours and by noon, I was yawning.  Perhaps my Circadian clock is getting ready to hibernate?  The changing seasons sometimes affect me this way--especially in fall.  I don't know.  I just have no desire to do anything, but I am forcing myself to get out.
Things got a lot better this late afternoon.

Pammie stopped by after picking the kids up from school.  I got to see and talk to each of them and then Alex got out and we got ready to go birthday shopping.  We came in the house and we did the whole financial thing.  About how much we had to spend and if his "present" didn't cost that much, he would get the money left over.  He knew exactly what he wanted so off to Target we went.  It took him 15 minutes, to find a remote controlled quad--he loves motorcycles, dirt bikes, quads--anything that goes fast over dirt trails.

He did look at a motorcycle and was impressed because, "it even has a real kick stand!"  Okay--apparently most of the toy ones don't?

This kid didn't say barely a word until he was three years old.
Last year, I had to drag every word out of him.
This year--he was chattering away a mile a minute.

He told me all about what he did this summer.  How school is so boring because, "I am suppose to be in second grade, but I'm in first because I was born too late.  They are going to let me skip a grade, like Andrew did, in a couple of years.  I hope I can stand to wait that long.  The only thing good about school is when someone has a birthday and we get treats and a small party!"  

"I love Soccer.  It is the best sport.  Mimi, do you know who Pele is?  I have a Brazilian soccer ball with his name on it.  He was a really great Soccer player--before I was born, so I never got to see him play."

"Oh look--over there on that wall,  There is a picture of the Mona Lisa--not the real one.  The real one is in a museum in Paris."

"How do you know that?" I asked.

"Hm-mm." he scratched his head.  "I can't remember.  I don't know--it is just in my head, that I know."

"I think cigarettes should be illegal.  Do you know that every time someone smokes a cigarette it takes eleven minutes off their life?  The people keep making them, so the people keep buying them and smoke more and more.  It's really weird.  Why would people do something that is going to make them die?  I don't understand."

When he took a breath, I said, "There are a lot of weird things in life.  Sometimes we wonder why people do certain things.  It seems weird and confusing."

"Yeah, I know," he says.  "It gets weirder and weirder the more I live.  I see such weird things people do."

Here we are at Red Robin, his favorite place to eat.
Can you tell he is seven by the missing tooth?
I cannot figure out who this kid looks like.  He and his older sister Elise are blue eyed blondes.  His parents are both dark haired with brown eyes.  I think he may look like his Dad's side of the family because I don't see any of me or my family in him.  

When I got him home, he thanked me profusely.  Then Elise came out to give me a hug and baby boy Evan came running out yelling, "Hi Mimi.  Hi."  It was a really nice time and in a couple of weeks I will take Andrew, who is about to turn twelve, if he wants to go....and from what he said today....I think he does.
When Karen's five kids were younger, I used to take them, one at a time, for a weekend in the summer months.  I figure it is good for them to be alone with me and have undivided attention from me where they can do whatever they want, say whatever they want and chatter away.  It is hard for children to get one-on-one when they are many other children in the family.  My oldest grand daughter, Helene, is 28 years old, now living in LA and going for her Master's at UCLA and---she remembers every time we were together, what we did, even the fact that the first thing we always did was stop at the grocery where she could pick out any food she wanted to eat for the weekend.  

So--I figure, this is building memories time!  ...and that, in my opinion, is what grandma's are all about.  A staunch advocate for your grand child--unconditionally.  Let their parents set rules and discipline them.  The few times they are with grandma, they can just be.  

Now--if I had them a lot, if probably wouldn't be that way.  This way--no body is going to scold if they don't eat all their supper.  No body is going to tell them how to think or what to say.  I am very thankful I have well behaved grandchildren though--it makes it a whole lot easier then if they were brats and acting up all the time, LOL.

Because of his love for motorcycles, I know exactly what I am going to give Alex for Christmas.  It was Fred's and when Alex was little and use to come over more. he'd sit and look at this. He never touched it, but he'd look at it from all angles.  I think he will like it.

It has a real leather seat AND a real kick stand.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm Still Here!

The high temperature today was:  61 degrees--sunny
Yesterday, 51 degrees, Rained all day.  Cold and damp.

WOW--it's like I fell off the face of the earth for a couple of days.  Did ya miss me?

I was so busy on Wednesday and Thursday and by the time I got done watching the baseball games, it was too late to write anything coherent and I just fell into bed.

Wednesday, I swapped out my clothes in the bedroom closet, put the cover on the air conditioner unit, brought my planter of succulents in the house and then I went to the Chiropractor, the Rich People's store and got my hair cut.  My hairdresser calls my hair a "wild weed" because it grows so fast...and it has been 7 weeks--way over due.  I haven't colored it in 3 months and am enjoying watching as the grey creeps in all around the edges.  The back is very dark and the crown is blonde--so I sort of resemble a Calico Cat, but.....I don't really care.

Thursday, I had lunch in a small town north of Durand, with the school gal pals.  They had Coney Islands--real ones, not chili dogs and of course I had one.  It was not as good at the ones I get near the Flint area (where they were kind of invented), but good enough.  Next month we are going to a tea room.  Lord knows what I will get to eat there--maybe I will eat before I go?

Bethie had plants to give to my sister, so we stopped at the farm afterwards.  The last time Beth saw the house, the kitchen was not done, so she got to see that and she got to get some apples from Susan.  The apple crop this year was a bumper crop---well, actually, well over a bumper crop.  About four times more then last year.  Susan got out her "map" of the house and the gardens she wants to put around it.  Of course my sister has a garden map--doesn't everyone?  She and I both have the obsessive gene, LOL.

Beth's knowledge of plants and where they will grow best and where they should be placed, was of great help to Susan.  I interjected that I thought she needed an Eastern Red Bud tree, which was accepted into the plan.  I have always wanted one, so now, Susan will have one I can look at.  If I live long enough to see any of this garden come into full production!!

On the way to Susan's I drove down a particular part of a road that was my mother's favorite fall time drive.  The trees form a canopy over the road and this time of year it is gorgeous.  Sort of like this picture--which I stole from Google Images.

Then we drove into the cemetery so I could show Beth Fred's stone and mine.  She is the one who gave me the little angel dog statue that sits on Fred's stone.  His stone was already covered with grass clippings--the one reason I dislike flat markers--they get so dirty. 

My sister's front yard

The house where I grew up and our long driveway.

This is what the woods between Susan's and Pammie's home will look like in a week.
I love to wander through it this time of year.

This tree is just up the street in our park.  I like all the
different colors it has right now.

With all the hard woods we have in Michigan, it is truly beautiful this time of year.  However, in my opinion, there is no better viewing for fall colors then "out east"--where there are mini-mountains and high hills and you can view the colors as they range up the elevations.  Any trip I have taken out east, always were planned for mid to late September, early October.

So the ball games will start again tomorrow night in Boston.  The Tigers will win.  You see--it is all planned out in advance, LOL.  We play seven games--so Tigers won the first, Boston won the second, the Tigers the third, Boston the fourth and fifth, the Tigers should win tomorrow night and then in game seven--it's all up for grabs.  That way each team makes a lot more money if it goes to game seven.  LOL  Something like that--I may have the wins incorrect--who can remember?  That was a week ago!!!
So today--what did I do?  Not one dang thing!!!  I woke up at 8:00 and did the morning routine--laundry to be done, which I did not do.  Vacuuming to be done--which I did not do.  I walked up to Pearl's to take her some of my tops that are too big for me and then I came home, watched my soap, leaned my recliner back and cats and I slept from 2:00 until 6:00 !!!  It almost feels like my body wants to go into hibernation mode. 

We are getting a Polar movement from way up in Canada and the jet stream is falling clear into the southern states, so we are going to be 40 & 50's and 30"s at night.  We need a freeze before we can have Indian Summer--which is liable to be in the 70's for a few days and then settle in to really cool temps.

I went around and made sure all the windows are shut tight and locked into place.  My back door is leaky, so Merle is going to put insulation on it and I am going to cover it for plastic for the winter.  I dread that, as I have a window in that door and it helps to light up my hallway.  Now--just another dark area all winter--I have enough "dark" areas in my life.  I NEED SUNLIGHT EVERY DAY!!!!!  I do have a "daylight" lamp that I sit under to cross stitch and all and, it really helps, but I must admit, as much as I like the snow of winter, I do get S.A.D. during January and February. 
I have "permission" to take Alex, who will be 7 on Sunday, for his birthday shopping and supper.  Pammie will drop him off after school.  I sent Jen an e-mail to ask her and this is what she responded back:

I’m sure he would love to go.  I will ask him tonight, 
and you can make arrangements with Pam to get him on Monday. 

I would never stop my children from seeing their grandmother, 
although I do have to say that I hesitate given the fact that 
you complained on your blog so horribly about us 
and then talked about how you would still make the sacrifice 
 to take Elise out for her birthday.  
No blogging or photos of this trip (nor Facebooking)  please.  

I replied with a "Thank you."

She would never stop the children from seeing their grandmother--although I am not allowed to go to their house, nor their school, nor their church--but other then that.  Perhaps when they are old enough to get a license, they might be able to drive over here?  I wonder why she will do about our family Christmas get together?  Probably travel to New Jersey and spend the holiday with her in-laws so that she won't have to make excuses or be in my presence?  She's a lot like her Dad--she can hold a grudge like--forever!!!  I have always tried to reason with her and respond to her comments/thoughts/feelings, justify myself.  Not this time.  I will not get into an e-mail back and forth.  She is an attorney.  In her super logical mind I am guilty.  Case closed.

So anyway--Pammie said Alex is really looking forward to Monday, so he and I will have fun.  I can let him talk a streak and ask pertinent questions about what he did over summer and what he is interested in at school.  PFFT to you know who.

Tomorrow is another great day for cross stitching and crocheting and reading.  MSU plays Purdue at noon.  U of M plays Indiana at 3:00 and the Tigers play the Red Sox at 8:00.  

Onward and upward--ever forward--one day, one step at a time!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Cool Day--in Everything.

Today's high temperature was: 60 degrees
Cloudy all day

Autumn is on his way, Dear Friends.  I call autumn "HE" because he's cloudy and rainy and tearing the leaves off the trees.  Men are destructive that way, you know--and grumpy!

I sure didn't do much today.  I need another project!  I think I will swap out my clothes in the closet tomorrow--I think we are done with warm weather, until we get our freeze and then Indian Summer--around the 24th.

After my Soap (which is really good right now), I drove into Howell to go to the doc's to get my flu shot and my prescriptions renewed for another six months.  He wants to see me every three months, I think every year, so we compromised on every six months.  

As I walked into the waiting room, there was this enormous black man sitting in one of the chairs.  It startled me as this area is as white as snow.  I've only seen half a dozen black people in the 10 years I've lived here. He had on more gold then Fort Knox.  A big gold ring on all eight fingers.  A huge gold watch and bracelet on his left wrist and two enormous gold cuff bracelet's on his right wrist.  He stood up and the pockets on the back of his blue jeans were stitched with gold thread--gold eagles.  He talked about how he was getting ready to go to West Palm Beach for a few months, then on to California--spending all winter with friends.  I thought he must be a retired athlete or something.  When I asked if he were coming back in the spring, he said, "Yes.  I got me a new place at Oak Manor."  Oak Manor is a government subsidized apartment building for old people.  

Then, the nurse called me into the inner part of the offices and there was, standing in the hall, petting the doc's big Golden Retriever, a small woman with reddish hair.  She looked up and............
Recognize her?

She had on no make-up, no jewelry and her hair is shorter, but...I knew her instantly.  As I walked past to my appointed room, I nodded and said, "Hi."

Then I got in the room and fainted!  No, not really.  My nurse was all agog anyway and we whispered a bit.

Melissa Gilbert and her new husband, Timothy Busfield, got married early summer and moved almost immediately to Howell, end of July. I knew that, but didn't think I'd ever run into her.  They wanted to get back to "normal", small town living.  He is from Lansing, so they chose Howell.  I don't know why.  There are a lot of nicer towns near Lansing, but if they wanted small, they got it.  She just wants to live a quiet life, with neighbor's who bake casseroles and get together for coffee and talk about their kids.  They don't want to be hounded.

Of course, I wanted to gush and all that, but I stayed cool.  

At my doctor's office?  He is not the best known doc in the area, by far.  I just can't believe it!!

When he walked into my room, he says, "Why are you here?"

"Because you told me you wanted to see me, but I don't need seeing.  Nothing has changed since May, in fact, I feel better then I did then.

"Okay.  Get going.  No wait--as long as you had to wait for me, I'll see you."

"Just lay a stethoscope on my chest--tell me why my blood pressure and heart rate are low and that will do for today."

He left the room to go find his stethoscope.  When he opened up his practice seven years ago, I was his first patient, other then his referrals from the nursing home.  He is head of the nursing home in Howell.

He came back in.

I said, "My, my.  Doctor to the celebrities are you now?

"Did you recognize her?"

"Yes.  Of course."

"I didn't even know who she was!"

"By the way--was that guy with all the gold a celebrity too?"

"I don't think so," says the doc.  "He might be for all of me."

"You'll be so high falutin', you won't even want to see me anymore."

"I'll always want to see you!  You are my first and my best patient!"

So he said my blood pressure and heart rate are just fine and they are low because I am so healthy now.  Then he waved me out and said, "Be back in January!"

"I'll see you in March," I replied.

Michelle, the nurse came back in for my flu shot and I said, "Well, aren't you all coming up in the world?  A real life celebrity!  She didn't look sick to me."

Michelle said, "Well, I can't say--private information you know.  HIPPO laws and all that, but....." she whispered, "apparently she picked up a chipmunk and it bit her."

"After all those years on the prairie, you'd think she'd know enough not to mess with the critters, wouldn't you?" said I.    

We had a good laugh.
Then I stopped at Wal-Mart, where I knew, I'd never see Melissa Gilbert--no doubt she shops at the Rich People's store.  I got some Diet Pepsi and potato chips and some frozen Taquitos.  Such a diet--no wonder I am so healthy!  Eh?

After watching the ballgame, I noticed how dark it was outside and thought, probably bedtime.  I forgot the game came on at 4:00--it was only 8:00.  I do not like these early dark nights!!!