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, May 29, 2013

The Forty-Two Year Secret

My sister and I, now, are the only two people on this earth that know this secret.  It has hounded us for 42 years.  Sometimes, in anger or in retaliation, we have wanted to shout it out and say, "You think you know everything?  Well--you don't know anything.  How about some truth, for once in your life!!"

It will do me good to get it written out.  You don't have to read it--it is more a "purge" via journaling then anything.  A catharsis for my mind.  Glad I didn’t post it on the last blog, but--now I can.  I need to do this.

In 1940 a young man from Detroit moved out onto the farm bordering my parents farm. It was war time.  If you were a farmer, you were deferred from serving.  His mother was wealthy--the farm next to her brother's came up for sale.  She bought it and sent her son out to live on it.

This man, Clarence and my Daddy became very good friends.  My Daddy, a farmer all his life, helped the man learn how to till and plant the fields.  He went with him to an auction sale to purchase some cows.  They hunted in the woods that separated their farms.

My Daddy and mother had been married about 2 years--I was 1 at the time.  My Daddy and Mother's best friends in our small town, had a sister.  All these "kids" knew each from high school.  She was 2 years younger then my parents.  My Daddy and Mother set Clarence and this young woman, Helen up on their first date.  They were married in 1942. Of course, the four of them were now fast friends.  They did many things together, spent a lot of time together.

Clarence and Helen had a daughter in 1945.  She and I became play-mates.  They had another daughter in 1949--my sister was born in 1952.  The four of us girls were together--like sisters.  In fact, until we were older, we thought we were related.  We all loved each other a lot.  We went camping together--spent many happy times together.  Helen was so nice to me.  She made Salmon Patties, which I loved, and if I was down at their house playing, she'd ask me to stay for supper when she made them.  We had so many wonderful times together.  

My Mother didn't have a best friend type of relationship with Helen.  Helen liked to gossip and my mother would never say a bad thing about anyone.  They had another friend Florence.  If Helen was with Mother, she'd talk about Florence.  Mother told me once, "people that gossip about others TO you, will gossip about YOU to them."

Things were good though--Florence and her husband Richard were also friends and the three family's had hot dog roasts nearly every Sunday evening in the summer, card parties every other Saturday during the winter and they vacationed together about once a year--when the men hired men to come in and do the milking and chores for them.

Fast forward to 1969.

It was June of 1969--near my birthday, but I don’t remember what day.  I had been to the doctor for my annual check up.  As I drove home, I decided to stop in and visit my folks.  As I was about to turn into the driveway, I saw Clarence driving out, so I stopped in the road, knowing that as he turned to go home, he would stop and chat.  He waved out the window and turned right to go south on Vernon Road.  I wondered where he was going. 

Mother and Daddy were sitting on the patio.  As I walked up, I noticed Mother was crying and Daddy was leaning forward, his arms propped on his knees, his head in his hands.

I asked what was the matter and Mother told me that Clarence had just come from the doctor.  He had not been feeling well, had a bit of pain in his chest and had some blood tests and x-rays done a week before.  Today, he had been told by the doctor that he had a blood clot, traveling in his blood stream.  It would either lodge in his brain, his lungs or his heart.  There was nothing they could do and he told Clarence he had about six months to live.

Clarence had stopped to tell Daddy and Mother and asked them to “take care of Helen” afterwards.   He also made them promise not to tell her EVER that he knew he was going to die.  He wanted to protect her now and in the future.

Mother and Daddy promised him and he left, on his way to Florence and Richard's to tell them.  I learned later that he asked Florence and Richard if they would go up to the cottage at Christmas time in case something happened to him then.  He didn’t want Helen to be alone way up in Michigan's UP.

He quit smoking immediately as the doctor had told him, smoking would make the blood clot move faster.  Within the next few months, he bought a self-propelled combine and a new camper.  He told Daddy that he paid for credit life insurance on them so that when he died, they would be paid for and that he wanted Daddy to have them and work on the farm, until Helen could get things straightened out. 

Clarence died December 26th 1969 up north, while the four of them were out riding snow mobiles.  Richard and Florence were with them and brought Helen home.

Helen use to call my Daddy to come down and help with things.  She couldn't figure out how to turn the thermostat up to get heat (?)  She didn't know how to use the garage door opener (?)  My Mother thought at times it was a ploy, to get Daddy down there, but then she knew Helen was lonely and she knew my Daddy had promised to help and she trusted my Daddy.

When Mother got very sick, in February, 1970, she told Susan that if she died, Daddy would fulfill his promise to Clarence and marry Helen and take care of her.  She told Susan to "be nice and get along."  Our Mother died about six weeks later--from unknown causes. 

Helen and Daddy got married July 4th, 1971.  Daddy, Susan and I never told Helen or her two daughter's that Clarence had known he was dying.  That he asked my Daddy to promise to take care of Helen.  It was a giant secret--but we have kept our word--all these years.

Now it is written here for you all too see.

Susan and I have always said, someday we would tell our step-sisters.  Wouldn't they want to know?  Even if just for medical history knowledge?  After Helen’s death, we decided not to tell her girls.  Helen and her girls have always been protected from bad stuff, so maybe we should keep the tradition going?

Scary Stuff

Tornado just 5 miles west of my kids and sister.

Skipped over a mile north of them.

On the north edge of my home town--2 miles north-east of my family.

Yes--I am still awake--watching the storms on the radar on my computer.  Flint, MI, took a big hit, as did a town east of there--people at a sports banquet in the school's gym--there are some still trapped.

This is all north of me, BUT--at 5:00 a tornado warning came on the TV for this county.  It looked like it was going to stay south of me, so I wasn't too worried.  I called Merle and Pearl--they didn't even know--of course you know Pearl's theory about tornadoes coming here.  There's never been one, so there never will be one.

Then--my friend Bethie called me and told me I was in the middle of it.  Just as I hung up, the tornado siren just 1 mile west of me went off.  It was raining like a s.o.b.  I didn't stand around and see on TV where it actually was.  I got in my car and grabbed Dar who was just getting home from work and drove a mile east to the small hospital--they have a basement.

I parked in the parking lot, near the entrance, facing the south west so I could watch for a funnel.  Turned on the local station to listen.  Pretty soon, a few more cars arrived from my park.  I heard on the radio that it was headed right down M-36--where Karen and her family lives--so I quickly called her cell.  She was on her way home!!!  Her hubby and Maddy were home so she called them.  That funnel never came down to touch the ground--thank goodness.

We sat and chatted with the other people in the cars and pretty soon, the rain stopped and the clouds cleared and Dar and I came home.

I was most probably in more danger driving in the torrential rain and flooded road, then if I had stayed here.  Now I will have to endear Pearl's teasing, but...............rather safe then sorry.

The thing is--that damn siren goes off if there is a funnel or tornado in the entire county!!!  I wish we had one just for this area--that storm was about 15 miles south of me.  The later one that went near my little sister's, about 20 miles north of me!!

Bethie was so concerned about me--the later storm went very near her home, by the looks of the radar!!!

Tomorrow morning, I've got to call and see if everyone is okay!!!

We still have a long train of storms coming in--clear back to Kansas--tonight and tomorrow.  Storm all the rest of the week.  As far as I can tell, it looks like the worse of it will remain north of me--Lansing, on over my sister's head and into Flint.  She is probably sleeping like a log!!!!  and here I am, still awake with my eyes crossing from tiredness!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

I looked out my front windows this morning at 8:15 a.m. and this is what I saw.  It kind of creeped me out.

I have never seen a sky like this in my life.
Sort of light on top and that grey area underneath, 
but so defined...straight across.
It almost looked like a hill or mountain range 
behind the trees.

I tried to call Pearl and Dar and Jackie to look out their west windows and see this, but they didn't answer their phones.
I wondered, "What in the world is coming at me!"  Is it a Wall Cloud?  

Half an hour later--it started to break up.

15 minutes later

and now--just going to be a cloudy, cool day.

I won't say Happy Memorial Day because, I don't see how any "memorial" day can be "happy".  

When I was a kid, we called it Decoration Day.  It was on the 30th of May.  We went to the cemeteries where our ancestors were buried, we cleaned and scrubbed off the grave markers and planted flowers. 

My grandmother was the sexton for "our" cemetery, so it was my job to help her get flags on every soldiers grave.  We didn't have the little brass flag holders back then--grandma knew every person that was buried in that cemetery--we'd start at the north end and she would point out the graves and I would carefully push a flag in front of the marker.

"There's the Horcha boy.  Oh, I remember when he went off to the war.  He was such a nice young man.  Terrible...just terrible."  On we'd go--she remembered every person from World War II on.

The flags were only left up that day and the next.  In respect to the flag and country, we went back in the late afternoon of May 31st and took them off the graves and carefully put them away.

When I got older--high school--I marched in the parade in our town.  I was in the band.  We'd gather at the high school and get in line.  There were the old vets who marched in front of us.  Their uniforms strained across their now ample stomachs.  They stood so proud as they carried the flag and their rifles.

Little kids rode behind us with their decorated bikes and--the horses and riders came last--so the rest of us didn't have to watch for horse patties along the way, LOL.

Of course, there were the local fire engines and one or two floats, pulled by a John Deere or Farmall tractor.

We'd march downtown--there was a bandstand where we put on a concert with appropriate military music--The Star Spangled Banner first and then ending with Stars and Stripes Forever.  In between songs, there was honoring of vets in the crowd--each one getting a red carnation pinned on their shirt. Prayers by the two town ministers.  Every single one of us in that crowd--even the little kids, knew what this day was all about.

Then, down through the rest of town to the cemetery.  No playing in the cemetery--the drums were muffled just to keep the beat for our, right, left.  Right, left.  The crowd was quiet!

We'd stop at a monument in honor of the army, marines and then on down to the millpond.  The soldiers lined up facing the water and shot off a three gun salute to the navy--the WRC women threw flower wreaths out onto the water.  I usually had both ears plugged with my fingers while this was going on.

Up on the hill, my friend Bethie played taps on her trumpet. It always gave me goose bumps.  Then we marched out of the cemetery--muffled drums, until we got out of the gate, and then a regular nice loud cadence and playing of marching songs back to the high school.

It sometimes rained a bit at the beginning of the parade, then the sun came out--nice and hot.  We had wool band uniforms at the time and they got wet then hot and itchy, when the sun dried them.

There usually was a baseball game after the parade.  The alumni against the high school team.  A couple of years, my boyfriend was pitching for the high school team and my Daddy was pitching for the alumni.  I didn't know who to root for.

Then home for a late afternoon hot dog roast.  One year, my uncle who sold eggs and chickens to a market in the Big City, got a watermelon from that market.  The first watermelon of the year--it was a big deal, let me tell you.

All this in a town that had around 600 population.  

They still have the parade.  It always gives me a thrill to look up the street and see the soldiers and the marching band coming over the hill.

My hometown--Byron, Michigan.  Small town USA!


Did you know this day wasn't officially called Memorial Day until the mid '60's and wasn't on the last Monday in May until 1971?  The unions pushed for that so their workers could get a nice three-day weekend.

Don't forget.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I got nothing--it was that kind of day.

I think my tender Rosea Vinca got bit by the cold last night.  GEEZ!!

I fell asleep, in my chair, around 4:00 and didn't wake up until Pearl came down for a visit at 6:30.

Groggy the rest of the day.

Wasted day all around.

The high was 43 here today.  GEEZ

P.S.  In regards to my doctor's report--I have lost 30 pounds and I think that is why my blood work was so good.  The other reason--it's good genes.  I must have inherited that from my father's side of the family--he lived to be 92.  His grandparents lived to 88 and 96.  The greats were in their late 80's.

I should not be that healthy--I smoked for over 50 years--never drank alcohol, but smoked--and yet my lungs don't look like it.  But lung damage from smoking is an accumulated thing.  One day, the lungs can look good and 6 months later--you've got COPD.  I have never inhaled smoke into my lungs, but I'm sure the bad stuff got down in them.

There is no cancer gene in my family on either side--that doesn't mean that in this day and age with all the preservatives and the air, I still couldn't get it, but for 6 generations, there has been no cancer--we just have crippling arthritis.

So--it is nothing I am doing right--it's just dumb luck :-)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grey--Cold and Other Stuff

I slept with a couple of windows open last night and when I woke up--it was 65 in this place.  So, like the wimp I am, I turned on the furnace to take the chill off and...have left it on all day!!

It is dreary out there today--rainy, windy, cold.  BUT--no severe storms so I am happy.

I got a new phone number about eight months ago--when I bundled it with the Internet and Cable TV. On and off over these months, I have received phone calls from three credit companies that wanted to talk to "Frank".  At first, I'd say, "There is no one here by that name."  They kept calling.  Then I'd explain, "I just got this phone number--it must have been his."  They kept calling.  Last week, I finally got his last name from one of the companies.

I went to my computer last Friday and to the White Pages site and typed in the guys name.  Nothing too much came up.  So I put in my phone number and up came everything.

I found his address.  I also found out he was born February 4, 1950 and DIED March 3, 2012.

So Monday, I called back each company and told them what I had found.  They were really quite nice about it all.  One lady said, "Gosh--we use White Pages all the time, but I never found out all that information.  We ought to hire you to find the people who owe us money!"

Which makes me wonder--if I could find it so easily, why couldn't they?  I don't think I will have any more creditors calling for Frank.  Rest his soul!
Pearl needs a new doctor.  Hers is so inept that is it scary.  I have been telling her to call the doctor her husband goes to.  He was Fred's doctor and he is great!  Finally--after months and months, she finally got up the courage to call.  Guess what?  He isn't taking any more patients that are on Medicare.  Why?  Obama Care.  Under the Affordable Health Care Act, doctors are getting paid much, much less from Medicare and so, they can't afford to take on any more, because their costs have gone up.  New office staff has to be hired to fill out the many more paper work.   Despicable!!!!!  We need to repel that program, IMHO!!!

So--while I was at my doctor's I asked him if he still took Medicare patients.  He does!!  He is a fairly young doctor--use to work the ER.  He started his own practice seven years ago.  I was his second patient.  He is also head of the nursing homes in this area--so most of his patients are older.  He said, "This Obama s**t really has messed up the medical community.  No one wants to take on older patients because Medicare no longer pays as much as they used to.  BUT--I am not going to neglect my seasoned citizens!"  I also got the name of a highly recommended rheumatologist for Pearl to see.

It may have been a wasted trip today--out in the rain--fifteen minute delay trying to get through a construction zone, but I guess I am glad I went.  I wanted to talk to him about the blood work, mammogram and chest X-ray I had last week and the lower then normal blood pressure.  I haven't seen him in a year, so............the blood work is perfect!  The good numbers are up and the bad ones, down.  The mammogram is normal.  When I was in the ER last December, they did a chest x-ray and said I had a nodule in my left lung.  It is no longer there--if it ever was!!!  Personally, ER did the x-ray while I was in bed, sitting up.  I think it was a shadow of my left nipple, to be perfectly frank with you.  The x-ray showed clear lungs--no shadows--no problems.  He isn't at all concerned with the blood pressure.

"You should be happy it is low!  That bottom number is when your heart is at rest.  What it indicates is that  your heart and arteries are not old and stiff.  It's great!"  He thinks the loss of the 30# since January 2012, is the "cause".  He listened to my heart, lungs, ankles, carotid arteries and pronounced that I wasn't aging, I was "youngering".  I am in better health then I was last year--2 years ago--five years ago.

He wants to see me in three months.  I only like to go once a year.

I said, "If nothing is wrong...can I wait a year?"

He then said, "Okay--three months."

I said, "Let's compromise.  Six."

He said, "Three is good."

I said, "Okay.  We'll compromise. I'll be back in October (5 months.)".  We shook hands and I kidded around with the office staff--got print outs of my mammogram and chest x-ray and came home.

So--it almost felt like a wasted trip, but with that kind of news, it has me feeling quite high, actually.

Tonight, I drove about 15 miles to watch my grand daughter, Madeleine, dance in her ballet school's Presentation Night--sort of like the year end recital.  Girls--and one boy--from age 4-to young adults.  Maddy has been going to this school since she was 3.  The little ones are so adorable--a bit unsteady on their feet and tippy-toes, but so darn cute.  They danced to "This Little Light of Mine" tonight.  This ballet school is called Fountain Dance Ministry--it is Christian based.  They have over 100 students.  I have seen Maddy dance in the Nutcracker Ballet, which this school puts on every December--three performances, that are always sold out.  Tonight however, I was so emotionally touched by the last dance, especially.  The tears just poured down my face--glad I was sitting in the back row tonight.  I watched Maddy, and it looked like she was transported--to--I don't know how to explain it.  I felt like I was in church.  I wanted to stand, put my hands in the air and Praise God.

Afterwards, I saw one of the teacher's and she recognized me.  She grabbed me by the arm, pulled me over by the wall and said, "When Madeleine dances--the look she gets on her face...it's like...like... she is in rapture!  Do you know what I mean?"

I certainly do!!!

This July, Madeleine will be staying with Susanna, her older sister in Portland, Oregon, and has been accepted to study with the Portland Ballet Company.

Do these young people really realize all the opportunities they have?

Maddy always likes to be able to see me in the audience.  She tells me that me being there, helps her dance her very best.  Well, tonight she couldn't see me from the stage, but she knew I was there.  Afterwards, she came up to me and hugged and kissed me and told me how much it meant for me to be there.  Karen's children--they are always so appreciative of me.  It makes me feel that I really am important--at least to them.

Thank you, God!!!

Tonight, it is 40 degrees outside.  No prediction of frost, so I think my plants will be okay, but when I got home and got out of my car, I could see my breath!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Changes Are Going To Be Made!!!

Last night when I went to bed, I set my alarm for 8:00 a.m.  I hear you laughing!!  You all get up early.  I am a night owl, so I tend not to go to bed until midnight and then, usually not asleep for half an hour.  BUT--that will change.  Well, not my bedtime, but my arising time.  I am such a slug, I will sleep in until near 10:00.  Not good!!!  Too much sleep!!!   

My friends all get up at around 7:00.  They tease me that the "day is half over when you get up."  I tell them, "I see no reason on earth to get up that early, unless I have an appointment or church."

Let's face it, kids.  The days are long and empty enough around here, without adding another hour or so to the morning.  Besides, a lot of my friends take naps in the afternoon.  They are yawning by two in the afternoon. Two in the afternoon is just when I am getting started!!!  So I tell them, if they ask if I nap, I say, "Yes.  From seven until nine in the morning."

Anyway--I am going to start getting up earlier!!!  At least during Daylight Savings Time.

I am also drinking less Diet Pepsi and more water and iced tea.  I bought some special tea bags just for brewing iced tea.  BLECH!!!  I noticed my sister buys her iced tea.  It comes in a jug and has a bit of lemon and sugar in it.  BLECH!!!  So I went looking and found TradeWinds--which comes sweetened or not.  I got the unsweetened and BOY HOWDY is it ever good!!  It is mellow and tasty and no bitterness.  

This morning, I was out on the road by 10:00--on a quest to find one of those expandable, flexible hoses like advertised on TV.  I have a nice box that contains my two hoses--with a handle to reel it up with, but--the dang hose is so heavy to pull out.  I have to tug it and lug it over to the the extreme side of my lot in order to get enough hose to then, walk around to the front--without dragging it through my gardens.

My Face Book friends have been raving about this new type hose.  How light-weight it is.  How easy to use.  When you turn off the water--the dang things coils itself up!!!  I mean--it looks like a living thing!!

This was the Consumer's Report review:  "We even found a clear winner, the Pocket Hose, if you want higher flow far from the spigot but have wimpy water pressure."

My FB friends told me what stores, in their area, sold them.  So--off I went to the same stores in my area.

The opening question was, "Do you sell the expandable, flexible, pocket hose that is advertised on TV?"

Home Depot, Howell--"I don't think so. Let me check. No."
Home Depot, Brighton--"I just started work here. You'll have to check along the back wall."
Ace Hardware--"The what? Nope. Oh, wait. You mean this? Well it's flexible!"
Bordines Nursery--"Let me check. No--sorry."
Bed, BB--"Is that for a dryer? We don't carry those kinds of things."

Came home--Website--click, click, put in mailing address, click. It's on it's way. Seven days.
Had to pay shipping--cheaper then running all over the county.

I can't wait to get it and test it out--we shall see how good it works.  Then--just maybe, Merle and Pearl will want my hose reel box and I can get rid of it--they can have the hoses in it too.  Just come and get it, LOL

Merle fixed the brace on the bottom of my shed door.  He wanted too--I didn't even notice until last week that it was falling apart.  Oh, I gotta tell you this conversation--Sunday afternoon.


"Hi, Pearl.  What's up?"

"Can you hear that sawing?  It's driving me nuts!  Someone is sawing down your way."

"I don't hear anything."

"There--now do you hear it?"


"Well, someone is sawing down there.  Go tell them to stop!  ha ha."

So I hang up the phone and walk outside--down to the next corner--only about 50 feet, down that street to the next corner and then cut cross lots by the neighbor behind me and came in and called Pearl.

"I have been around the block and there is no one sawing down this way.  Are you sure it isn't behind you.  You know how sounds echo in this place!"

"You walked all around the block?"

"Well, no--but I walked down to the corner and up that street.  No one is even outside, let alone sawing."


I hang up.

It wasn't a minute and she called back.

"It's Merle.  He's sawing out here in the patio--by the shed."

I started laughing so hard, I started coughing and couldn't get my breath.

"It's Merle?  Right outside your window.  And you--didn't know?"

"I thought he was out riding his bike.  I didn't know he had come back.  He's making the thingie to fix your door."

OMG.  I hung up and laughed for another ten minutes.  Didn't know it was right outside her window!

So--anyway--every morning, when I threw the cat litter clean-up bag out in the garbage pail, I looked over at my shed.  That door still looked the same.  White, with black trim on the corners and around the door.  I didn't see any new, raw wood brace.

Tuesday afternoon, Merle called.  "Did you notice I fixed your shed door?  It should open easier now."

"No.  I didn't see any new wood on there."

"I painted it black.  Gotta keep it from rotting."

I walked to the porch and saw it.

"You painted it?"


"Well---why didn't you paint the rest of the trim?  It needs it!"

He started laughing.

I said, "I mean--there you were.  Paint brush in hand.  Can of black paint open and...you couldn't paint the rest of the trim?  What kind of friend are you?"

So we hooted and hollared for awhile and then hung up.

I transplanted 3 hostas today--the varigated ones.  The big leafed
green one was already there.
I have another green one that will go on the other side of the
other varigated one--these are under my Lilacs and Rose of Sharon bushes.
Yes--I dug the holes by myself   :-)

I noticed today, when I was out working my in gardens, that the huge Rose of Sharon bush in back of my house is dead!  That's two that I have lost since I lived here.  They are a beautiful bush, that blooms in August, but--it appears that when they get old, they get rotten.  I was outside when one of the maintenance men that works in the park, came walking by.  Aaron--who used to do lawn work for me before he got the maintenance job.  I waved him over and asked, "Do you have a chain saw?  I need this cut down to ground level and hauled away."

"Sure--I can do it for ya."

"Whenever you have time.  No rush.  It isn't going anywhere!"

So that chore will be taken care of.  Probably cost me fifty bucks--but worth it.

We got three nice rain storms today and it is getting real chilly tonight.  Just a nice rain--no lightning or thunder with it.  I knew Mother Nature could give us rain without all that other chaos thrown in.

Tomorrow afternoon, I have my doctor's appointment-  I haven't seen him in a year.  Since my blood work was all right, and no one has called to say anything is wrong with my mammogram or chest x-ray, I assume everything is fine.  I want to talk to him about this low blood pressure issue I am having.  The severe dizzy spells are driving me nuts!!


F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real

I sure have a way of getting myself all worked up!  I kept watching the coverage of the OK tornado.  I told myself to turn off the TV--and I did, but within a half hour, I was back in my chair, cross stitching and watching it again.  FOX news had the best coverage--even better then the Weather Channel and certainly much better then CNN.  CNN seems to like to go up to survivors, in these tragedies, stick a microphone in their face and say, "How does this make you feel?"

"Oh--I just love it!  Couldn't happen to a better place!  My house and all my possessions are gone.  My child is buried under the school.  Isn't this exciting?"   I think I might say something like that to an idiot CNN reporter.  Blasted people!!

So--I then turned to my local station to see our weather report and there on the screen--the radar picture, showing big severe thunderstorms heading our way.  Coming out of Chicago--trailing way back to Kansas--a long train of thunderstorms, with damaging winds and hail--bright orange--heading right toward me.

What did I do?  Did I take an Ativan and pray for God to protect us and go to bed?  ARE YOU KIDDING?  That makes sense!

Oh no.  I stayed up until 2:30--every half hour, coming into the computer, clicking on the TWC site and the radar map, clicking on the button that would let me watch the progression of the storms for six hours into the future.

Finally--when I had determined that the storms would not hit here until 6-6:30 a.m. and daylight, I went to bed and slept.

I woke up this morning at 9:00..  Not a drop of rain. The sky sunny and blue with a few puffy white clouds.  I got on the computer and checked the same radar, only this time, I checked the "past" progression of the storms.  At 4:00 this morning, they seemed to break apart.  What rain we got went north of us.

I felt like an idiot!!!

Why do I do these kinds of things?  Do I think that somehow, by knowing something, I can control it?  STUPID!!

I was better off last summer, when I didn't care if I lived and kind of wanted to die, and was never scared of any storms.  In fact, I'd stand out on the porch and say, "Come and get me!"

Well- I don't like thunder, but I have ear plugs that keep out all loud, sharp noises for that event--or fireworks, or whatever.  I have a very strong startle response--have had it for most of my life.  My Daddy used to love to light firecrackers and throw them under my lawn chair (outside) in the summer.  I guess he thought THAT would teach me not to jump at the sound of a loud pop?  I have been in or near two tornadoes when I was little--the noise I will never forget.  I suppose that has something to do with it.  I have
Ligyrophobia--the fear of sharp or loud noises. 

I can go to a stock car race and the loud, continual noise doesn't bother me.  It's the loud, sharp noise.

I wasn't as afraid when I lived in a  house with a basement.  Sometimes, if the thunder got intense, I'd just go down in the basement where I couldn't hear it as much and relax.  But--I have no place for shelter in this place.  You have seen what even a small tornado does to a manufactured home--right?

I walked down to visit Pearl for a half hour this morning.  Told her what I had done last night and she laughed at me.  She started in with her sound(?) reasoning.

"This park has been here forty-five years.  There has never been a tornado come through here.  We are not on a tornado path!"

"Then, the odds are getting smaller that we are due for one."  My sound(?) reasoning.

I think it comes from the fact that I am alone.  When darkness comes, it feels much lonelier then it did when Fred was here.  It's not like HE could control things and keep dangers away, but...just to have someone else, is very reassuring.  Pearl had to admit, that if her hubby was gone, she'd probably get a little scared too.

In other years, when the warnings came on the TV and we were told that there "might" be a super cell, Fred and I would load the dog in the car and go to Jen's big house with the big, finished basement.  Now--I am not even allowed to do that.  AND--how would I ever get the cats in the car?  They run and hide under the bed at the first rumble of thunder.

I wonder....do they make "Thunder Shirts" for people?

Buddy isn't scared.  He's going to take a nap, lying on Momma's jeans.

Do you see the length of that cat?  I love this big guy so much!

As I left Pearl's--Dar came rushing out of her house, shouting.  "I just heard--we are going to be without water for a couple of hours.  Get home and draw some water!!!

Jackie came to her porch and said, "What's the matter!?"

Dar repeated her shout--Jackie said, "Okay, thanks for letting me know."

Pearl said, "Go good grief," and went back in her house.

I said, 'It will be all right, Dar."

"But you gotta get home--they are turning off the water right now!  You will need some to flush!"

Two hours with no water is not a crisis to me.  I said, "Okay--thanks for letting us know."

I came home.  I did not run around trying to find a bucket to fill.  No big deal.

Dar--erratic and panicky--about most everything.

Jackie--calm--except when she gets mad at the guy who mows the lot next to hers and spreads Dandelion fluff on her lawn.  .

Pearl--who cares--unless it's something that doesn't work right--then she gets all in a tither. .

Me--inordinate fear of storms.

We are all old.  We are all weird, in our own ways.
I have waited all day for the rains to come.  They have been in the area--but not at my house.  Tonight at 7:00, I went out, unreeled the heavy, long hose and watered my vegetable garden (2 tomato plants and a cucumber), then got an empty gallon jug, filled it and watered the plants on the porch.

"They" are predicting we "may" have rain during the night--tomorrow,  and Thursday.  I sure hope so.  This area has had no rain in May.


I watch Mother Angelica on EWTN on Tuesday evening at 8:00  She is now 90 and most of these broadcasts are twenty years old--but surprising how relevant they are for today.  I really like her.  She is warm and pleasant.  She speaks of Jesus' great love for us.  How, we may draw away from Him, but he never draws away from us.  I have drawn away from God and Jesus, at times in my life.  You know what--when I came back, He was waiting for me--put His hand on my shoulder and stays very near.

No--I am not a Catholic, but I love listening to this nun.

Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Day of Disasters

I was watching FOX news--Shepherd Smith, and all of a sudden they came on with breaking news that a tornado was forming in Oklahoma--I watched as it snaked down and then grew and grew.  It was awful watching it--yelling at the TV--"Stay away from that farm!"  75-100 horses were killed on that farm.  Then seeing pictures of the devastation in Moore, OK.

Can you imagine seeing this coming at you.  I want to yell,
"Put down the damn camera and get in  your underground storm shelter!!"

It's one of those horrible things on TV that you don't want to watch, but you can't quit watching.  Like Newtown, or 9/11, or the Kennedy assassination.  Then you hear that 24 little kids drown when the "safe" storm cellar they were in, flooded?  Incomprehensible!  The pictures on TV look like the town was hit by an Atom Bomb!

We had a severe thunderstorm watch and updated to warnings around me, but we got no rain.  We did get a bit of wind, but no big deal.  My Maple trees released their seed pods in the wind.  As they came whizzing down, I could hear them hitting the sides of my house.

Storm clouds building

Maple tree whizzers cover everything.  Those little devils
will bore down in the ground and everywhere one landed
will try and grow a tree.  So it is out and picking them up
or waiting until they start to grow and pulling them out. 

I hear we will have more watches tomorrow--that nasty storm is heading this way.

I'll bet you can tell me which one is Pearl and which one is Darlene.

Look at the eyes--which looks wilder, LOL.

Look at that mouth--it says, "Don't argue with me!"

I won't get sued for posting pictures of them.

They don't know I have a blog and no one who knows them reads this blog.

(She said, about her last blog, and a distant cousin rat finked her out.)
Our state has had some deadly tornadoes--one last year in a town just 20 or so miles south of here.  Dexter, Michigan.  They had never had one before in history.

So, this afternoon I called Pearl to give her a weather update, as I was watching the radar on my computer and could put it in motion to see what was coming at us in the next six hours.

"I've checked.  The bad storms are going to go north of us."

"Why do you worry so much about storms?"

"Because, we live in a glorified trailer--we have no protection--we have no shelter in this park.  I want to be prepared so I know, if a tornado is coming, I can get in the car and get up to the hospital and hope to find shelter there."

"Oh pooh!" she says.  "I have lived in this area for seventy-seven years and we have never had a tornado!"

"That's what the people of Dexter said--until last year."

"Listen--I know about these thing!  Tornadoes follow certain paths.  We are not in that kind of path!"

"A tornado can happen anywhere.  There are super cells that can drop out of a severe thunderstorm--with no warning."

"No--that's not right.  Tornadoes follow certain paths and we are NOT in one of those kinds of paths!"

"Well--what would you do if you SAW one coming at you?"

"I'd go out and get in my car where I would be safe."

"Have you seen what happens to cars hit by tornadoes?"

"Well--we don't live in Oklahoma--we don't get tornadoes like that here!"


You do not argue with Pearl--I keep telling you that, LOL

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Sunday Is Good Day For Thinking

Karen brought me the flowers she had purchased for me for Mother's Day.  The student's at the girls high school, where she teaches, were selling them.  All proceeds went to Right to Life.
I keep think about my blogger friend, Balisha.  Knowing the pain she is going through this weekend.  Well--not REALLY knowing, as I have never lost a child to death.  But, knowing, grief is similar in all cases.  There is the mind numbing feeling--people around you, talking to you, and later--you can't remember a thing that was said.  You get this "fog" that permeates your mind and life for months.  You go through all the motions, but you are going on "rote"--your body feels heavy--like you are almost moving in slow motion.  You get forgetful.  The reason being--your consciousness is filled with thoughts of your loved one who has passed.

You are remembering the memories.  You are going over everything that has happened.  Why?  Could more have been done?  How can everything be fine one day and completely destroyed the next?  Did God do this?  What was the reason?

There are absolutely NO answers.  You just have to live through the fog--the heaviness--the (sometimes) wanting to die so you can be with them again.  One day at a time.  One foot in front of the other until, one day, the fog starts to lift and you begin to see brightness again.

It is by far the hardest thing you will ever go through!!!

I am also thinking about my life.  I have read your comments--thanks--about patience and frustration, and the weird or nutsy-cuckoo people I live around.  and I realize--I fit right in with them.

I have read blogs where the author is fairly young and they become frustrated with their parents.  Their parents seem to get so easily upset now--with trivial things.  They get in a panic.  They are demanding.  They call on the phone and want help from that child--RIGHT NOW!!  They can't carry on a normal conversation with their parents because their parents seem so distracted and only want to talk about THEIR issues--medical problems, money problems.  Sometimes, their parents will say or do strange and weird things, that the child can make no sense out of.

I want to say to them, "Call me in twenty years and tell me how you are feeling."  Because twenty years from now--their kids are going to be saying the same thing about them.

I am in no way the parent my children grew up with.  I am sure, by now, they have gone through that moment, when in a normal family setting, they look at me and think, "Oh my gosh, Mom is getting old!"  I remember going through that with my Daddy.  The wrinkles are there.  The grey hair is coming in.  The not so vigorous walk.  The slow down in speech, as we try to connect out thoughts to be able to express them.  It is shocking when that moment comes--when your parent has always been strong and vibrant and then--all of a sudden--you realize--they aren't anymore.

It is an age thing.  Usually exacerbated if your parent lives alone.  I have those anxiety attacks.  The fear is very real to me.  The frustration with things breaking--knowing I can't fix them.  Oh--I used to be able to--but now, I can't bend over that far--or I can't lift that heavy thing--or it just seems too much to handle.  You should have seen me struggle to get the bottom storm window off my screen door to try and clean it--took me a long time--it was awkward and heavy and it wouldn't go back in easily.  It had to be done.  I wanted it done NOW!!  If I had called one of my kids for help--they would wonder why I was so frustrated and upset and of course--they don't have time to run over here and help.

If Fred were here, he might not be able to help, but he would be sitting there--giving me encouragement.  Saying, "Take it down a bit farther until you get to the slot where it lifts out."  or "You have to start at the bottom to put it in--then you push it up and lock it in place."

Pearl gets so frustrated when she is talking and all of a sudden, loses her train of thought or can't remember the next word she wants to use.  Dar gets panicky when she is running low on water and there is no one to take her to get anymore.  I get scared when I get heart flutters and wonder--"is this it?  No one will know I'm dead for days!"

We get cranky.  We get crotchety.  We get angry. We get scared.  Some live in constant pain and it reflects on our personality.

Some of the kids say, "Let's go shopping!"  and they take you to the mall and off they go and you are trying to keep up, but your back or hips or legs are killing you and you just can't keep up--you can barely walk fifty feet without stopping to rest.  They don't get it.

Some of the kids say, "You need to get involved!"  In what?

"You ought to do this."  You ought to do that."  Yeah, yeah, yeah--you're just too damn tired.

"You ought to just get in your car and drive over to Lake Michigan and spend the day.  You love being by the water."  Yes--it would be wonderful--something I would have done in my '60's.  But now--the thought comes into my head--"What if I have car trouble.  How would I get help.  It's not like I can walk two miles to the nearest gas station."  "It's over a hundred miles over there.  What if I can't drive that far without getting tired."  "What if I have one of my major dizzy spells."  Thoughts that NEVER would come into their minds-- or yours ten years ago.

Some will say, "We are taking you to the basketball game!"  YAY!  But you have to walk three blocks to the stadium and climb up three sets of steep, tall stairs with no handrail and, yes, it was fun, but it takes you three days to get over the pain of your adventure.  You go because it was a nice thing for them to do for you.

But--one day their spouse will die and they will be left to do it all.  Or they will be divorced and one day the arthritis or some debilitating illness will come and they will hurt all the time.  One day they will be scared, critical, crotchety and angry and alone--then they might say, "Oh--this is how Mom felt."

They'll get it one day, but we won't be around to see it.

One last thought--I saw this on the Internet and typed it up and put it in my funeral box where my daughter's will find it.  I didn't write it, but it pretty much says it all--well, I did write the fourth and third paragraph from the end, but that is only because it pertains to us.

I probably should mail it to them now, LOL.

"My dear girls, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say, “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please.

Try to remember the times when you were little and I read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.  

When my house isn’t as clean as you think it should be, just remember your younger  years when you lived in a clean one--your messes that I picked up daily--your laundry always done.  Perhaps my eyes aren’t as good as they once where and I cannot see the dust.  Perhaps I am just too tired to keep the house neat all the time.

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, or don’t remember a long ago instance you are referring to, just give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. 

All our memories are there in my mind, it is just difficult to recall them sometimes.  Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

If I say or do something that doesn't make sense to you--remember, I am alone a lot.  Sometimes I don't talk to another human being for days at a time.  My mind wanders.  It becomes befuddled.  I might have, to me, a profound thought that needs to be expressed.  I will say it. I might do something that seemed right, to me, at the time.  I will do it.  Later, I will realize that what I said or did, makes no sense at all.  I will wonder why I said or did it,  but it is too late to take back.  

When I am scared or fearful or filled with anxiety and you can't see the reason why.  Don't become frustrated with me.  Remember the times you were scared or fearful or filled with anxiety, and from experience I knew and told you, "It's going to be all right."

When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me, with love and patience, while I get to the end of my life.

I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughters.”

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pearl--or Pearlie Mae--or Auntie Pearl

I just found out, my blogger friend Balisha's son Tim, passed away.  The had given him six months--which always instills a bit of hope, but a few days later, he was in trouble and they transferred him to the Hospice area and within a few hours, he died.  Her husband posted on her blog this morning.  I am heart broken at the news.  We had all been praying so hard for him.  I wish I were closer to her so I could just go and hug her tight!!!  May 18, 2:00 p.m.

Something you have to know about Pearl.  She does not like the name Pearlie Mae.  I called her that once and she got very incensed.

"Don't call me that.  I'm not from the South!"


So the next time she came down, she stepped into my house and says, "Buddy--Maggie--Auntie Pearl is here."  So, now when she comes in, I say, "Auntie Pearl is here,"--she likes that.  Then she pets Buddy and shakes her finger in Maggie's face until Maggie swipes at her and catches her with a claw, then Pearl yells and says, "The little brat just clawed me!"  and I say, "I've told you--she thinks your playing with her."  And that routine goes on every time she comes down to visit.

Pearl is not very emotional about anything.  She doesn't cry very often.  If I get tears in my eyes, she will say, "Now don't start that!"  She likes to argue about everything--mostly stuff she doesn't know or doesn't remember.  You see--Pearl has a hard time remembering things.  She will start a conversation and then forget what she was going to say.  She will look at me and say, "Now--don't say anything until I get this whole sentence out."

 So, I sit quietly and wait for her to talk--sometimes, in the middle of the sentence, she can't remember the word she wants--then she looks at me and says, "Oh--you know what I'm trying to say?"  and I will add the word I think she is trying for and usually I am correct because I have been listening really hard and trying to figure out where she is going with her sentence.  I don't think she has dementia, but just really forgetful--at least I hope she doesn't have dementia.

I think this whole argument has actually been good for her mind.  It has caused her to think and search and read and really get into it so she can prove her point.  Thanks for your knowledge about "the trees".  I have now found out that the tree Pearl is referring to is a Tulip Poplar.  The tree I have is a Tulip Magnolia and then there is the Regular Magnolia--which I don't think grows this far north--but I may be wrong about that.  I've never seen one in this area.

Anyway--Pearl's mother left her Dad when Pearl was two years old.  She was raised by her grandparents and they were quite indulgent of her.  Things are to be done her way.  She is always right--even when she is incredibly wrong, but I have found, it is best to let her "win" in all situations.  When she gets something on her mind, she will go after it like a dog with a bone--no one better get in her way because she is going to get whatever she wants.  Like the whole cat scenario.

She was very upset on the way home because every cat she went to, either swiped at her or nipped her.  She said, "I just don't understand why none of them like me."

So--I told her.  "Well--in the first place--to go up to their cage, open the door quickly and stick your hand in--you scared them and they defended themselves the only way they know how.  You aren't suppose to open the cages.  You go up--place your palm flat against the cage and let them smell you and rub against you.  Then you ask one of the workers to open the cage--I mean--there's a sign right there that says, "Do not open cat cage doors."  Then if you are interested in one, the worker will get the cat and bring it to you in the cat room and you sit in the chair and let the cat get used to you."

"Well--there were too many workers in that room anyway.  I didn't feel comfortable."

Then when we got home, I went in her place for a minute and Merle, her hubby was there and he says, "How'd it go?"

and she tells him the story about the cats hating her and he says--in his droll way, "You probably scared 'em."

She looks at him and then at me and rolls her eyes.


She wants a cat to cuddle.  Her's won't.  I can see why.  He walks by--she reaches out, grabs him and holds him up close to her to hug him.  He turns around and nips her hand and she throws him on the floor.  Strange because he never bites me--but then I don't grab him and hug him.  I let him come to me and then I lean over and talk to him and pet him a few times and go sit down.  I found out yesterday from Bethie who works at an animal shelter, that front de-clawed cats tend to be biters--that is their only defense, so I will pass that on to Pearl also.

This is a woman that use to breed bull dogs--you'd think she'd know how to relate to animals!

When she and I went to the nursery across the road to get our annuals--she started planting hers the minute she got home.  I walked down to see what she was doing.  "You got your plants in yet?" she asks.

"No--I'm going to wait until the fifteenth--in case we have a late frost."

"Oh--we won't have a frost," she says.  "It's almost Mother's Day!  I used to work in a florist shop--I know all about plants."


So--on Mother's Day night, when it was predicted to get down in the 20's--I see her out there near dark, running around the yard laying towels and sheets over all her annuals.  I went down to help and didn't say a word.

She has severe back pain all the time--and neuropathy in her legs and feet.  She's the one that got the shots in her back with the bad cortisone last fall.  Thankfully, she never got meningitis!!!  Now she is going to another doctor to, "Get a Cortisone shot in my hip."

"That's what you got last fall in your back and it didn't help." says I.

"I didn't get Cortisone---I got something else--it starts with an M."

"You mean Depo-Medrol?"

"Yes--that's it."

"That is a corticosteroid--like Cortisone--it helps relieve the inflammation in your joints or tissues."

"No--Cortisone is a pain drug."

"It helps the pain because it relieves the inflammation," says I.

"NO!  It's a pain drug."


"Do you want me to take you to the doc to get the shot?"

"I don't know," she says.  "Should I get it?  I'm taking that pain medicine--what's it called--it starts with a T."


"And that other pill--starts with a P."


"Yes--that's it.  You should be a nurse--you can remember all the names of all the drugs."

"I only know them because if a doctor wants me to take them--I research it and find out the side effects and see if I should take it or not.  A lot of those anti- inflammatories can cause real problems with your system.  I don't think you should get a Cortisone shot if you are on Prednisone AND Tramadol."

"Well, my doctor told me to get the shot.  Wouldn't she know what I am already taking?"

"Not necessarily."

So whether she gets the shot or not--I don't know.  If the injections in her back last fall didn't help--they never helped me--I don't know if the Cortisone shot will help either...but, it might for awhile---it's up to Pearl!!!

So--this woman is opinionated.  She will flat out tell you to your face if she thinks what you say or do is stupid or wrong.  She can be so wrong about something, but will not listen to anyone who tries to inform her.

She got mad at me because I wouldn't go out shopping with her because I wanted to watch the NCAA basketball tournament when MSU was playing--she hates basketball.  BUT--she won't move from her chair when the World Series is on TV--she loves baseball. 

She repeatedly yells at me because I drink Diet Pepsi and it isn't good for me.  Yet, she will sit in her chair and eat half a bag of chocolate and complain that she is eighty pounds overweight.  Her doctor told her to walk and exercise and lose weight to help her arthritis--she won't--just sits in her chair.  I ask her to go out with me for a "short" walk--she won't.  I say, "but you need to walk to keep your joints working."  "I don't care," she says and then complains because she can't walk from the handicapped parking spot to the door of Wal-Mart.  She thinks I'm a snob because I don't like shopping at The Salvation Army.  She goes at least twice a week. She orders all that stuff on the TV ads--gets it--it doesn't work and she throws it out.  She spends huge amounts of money that she can't afford on the TV infomercial junk.  Her hubby gets frustrated and keeps his mouth shut.

She won't go shopping at Wal-Mart with me anymore because, "you left me in the store!"  Because, when we first got there we agreed where we would meet.  She went out the wrong door.  I looked for her on the bench because she had finished before me--she wasn't there, so I thought perhaps she was in the car, so I went out.  Pretty soon--I see her standing way down the way at the opposite door--so I drove down and picked her up.  "Why did you leave me in the store?  I am never going shopping with you again!"

"I didn't see you waiting on the bench, so I thought you were in the car.  You came out the wrong door."

"What bench are you talking about.  Didn't we come in this door?"

"No--we came in the retail door--this is the grocery door. There is a bench down by that door--you know, by the pharmacy.  We agreed to sit and wait on it--whichever one of us got done first."

"I didn't agree to sit on any bench!"


BUT--- she would give you the shirt off her back.  She came down to my house every morning for 6 weeks and fed my cats and cleaned the litter box-while I was in hospital, rehab and after I got home with my hip surgery.  She checks every morning to see if my bathroom blinds are up--so that she knows that I am awake.  If they are still closed by 9:30--she is on the phone seeing if I am all right.  She has a key to my house in case she needs to get in--in case I'm dead in bed or out, flat on the floor.  I have to beep my horn when I go by her place on the way to anywhere and beep when I return, or she gets worried.  One day, I forgot, and she called me.  When I didn't answer the phone--she walked down here before she realized my car was not in the driveway.  If she knows I am going to Wal-Mart, when I beep on the way back, she sends her hubby down to carry in my heavy stuff.  Needless to say, I call and tell her every time I am going anywhere!!!

It is nice to know someone is looking out for me--even if she thinks I'm weird.

Even if she goes through the exact same routine every time she gets in my car.

"Dammit--your doors are so stiff to open!"

"Oh--dammit, why is your seat buckle so hard to get in?"

"Turn on the air (or heat)--I'm too hot (or cold.)"          
all this before we get out to the street.

"Why are you driving so fast?"     
well--the speed limit is 50 and I am going 46.

"Turn the air (or heat) down--I'm too cold (or hot.)"

"Watch out for that car!"

"I hate your shoulder strap--I'm unbuckling it!" 
if I get pulled over, you are paying the fine.

I rode with her...once.  She narrowly missed taking out two mail boxes in the park on our way out to the road.  She drives in the right lane with her two outside wheels, often on the shoulder because, "One of those cars could hit us head on!"  She drives 35 in a 50 mph zone.  People blow their car horns at her.  "Boy," she says.  "It sure is noisy out here today."

When she parked--she took up two spaces.  Sort of parked over the dividing line and kitty corner-wise. When I noticed I said, "You might have to get back in and re-park the car.  You've taken up two spaces."

"I don't care, they can just find another space.  I don't want someone banging their door into my car."

Her car is 16 years old, rusted out and I don't think anyone would notice if it got a new ding in the door..  Besides, she uses the handicapped slots and you know how wide they are?  She takes up TWO!!!  That is why--I drive when we go together!!

She is crotchety.  She is blunt!  She is a hoot.  I love, Pearl!!!
I heard his call and saw him--finally!  I haven't seen one in 15 years.  A Baltimore Oriole!!  He and his mate came back for lunch--I tried to get a picture, but the batteries were dead!  He came back just a few minutes ago and I finally got him.
He seems to prefer the orange to the grape jelly.  It is an off brand of
jelly--he probably is a connoisseur and prefers Welch's?

I sat down to eat my supper and this is the view that greeted me across the room.  This picture of Buddy just cracks me up!!
He's on his way to a nap in the early evening sun.

Maggie couldn't care less about napping.  Not when there are
red squirrels and birdies to watch.  Her jaw quivers--she just wants
to get out there, bite off their little heads and drink their blood!!!

Have a great weekend--I hope you aren't in the storm/tornado area!!!