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, July 31, 2013

What Day Is It?

The high temperature today was:  66 degrees
The humidity today was: 58%
It rained all day long.
A blessing, LOL.
     With the blessed rain--one did not even have to consider going out and massacring the last bushes.  AND with all the clippings raked up and taken away--one did not to worry about that mess either.  It is suppose to rain tomorrow and Friday--another blessing--so maybe Saturday, I can go out and get the job done.  By Saturday, my back, legs and arms "may" have recovered.

     Wonder of wonders--since Monday, I have awakened every morning at 7:15 - 7:35 and I am not groggy first thing.  Apparently, since the gas exhaust vent has been put into place and I am no longer being euthanized, I am feeling better!  

     The only thing wrong with getting up so early (to me early)--I still don't go to bed until around 1:00 a.m., so--today at 2:00, after my Soap, I kicked back the recliner, cats climbed up on my lap and we slept until 5:00!!!

    Tonight, there was no baseball game on TV, so I popped in my newest DVD.  It is called "42" and is the story of Jackie Robinson.  The first black baseball player in the major leagues.  What a great movie it was.  What a great player.  What a great man.  He died way too young.  But--his jersey number is the first one to ever be retired for ALL teams.  Every year, for one week, every baseball player in the Major Leagues, wear the number 42 on their back--to prove they are all alike.  My favorite conversation in the movie was when Branch Rickey told his people he was going to sign Robinson.  He said, "He is a Methodist.  I am a Methodist.  God is a Methodist!"  Made me laugh.  

   Speaking of being a Methodist---something I read in Jean's blog tonight.  http://misadventuresofwidowhood.blogspot.com/

     Reminded me of when Fred died.  He was in St. Joseph Hospital near Ann Arbor.  The large hospital where most of us around here go.  Great hospital, by the way.  I never gave it a thought that is was a Catholic hospital.  I never saw any priests strolling around.  Not even thinking that there could be women Chaplain's--even when my own daughter does that --in a lay person sort of way.  

     Our family and friends had been praying for Fred.  The church said prayers for him.  When he died, a woman came to me and asked if she could pray for him.  I agreed.  Then when she was done, she took some oil and made the sign of the cross on Fred's forehead.  It startled me.  I said, "Oh, we are Protestant's"--thinking that she had to know, in case she did something wrong.  I felt like I should get a wash cloth and wipe the oil off his forehead, but she assured me it was all right--then I thought I wanted it too, but I knew, I couldn't ask her.  

    Anyway, after she left, his nurse came back in the room and asked me, "Is everything...are you all right?"  I said, "You know--Fred and I are Protestant's."

    She said, "So am I.  In fact, Fred and I talked about it.  I go to the same church in Saline, where his friend is the minister."

    Then I said, "Well--the lady Chaplain just came in, prayed for him and made the sign of the cross on his forehead.................our Protestant friends and church have been praying for him.  You know what......."


     "If I could just find a Rabbi to come in and say a prayer.....Fred would have all his bases covered!"

   She looked at me for a minute, then just burst out laughing.

    Just one instance of the weird thoughts and things that came out of my mouth that whole week.  GEEZ!!  We just aren't ourselves when our nearest and dearest die.  Or......maybe we are?

     You know what is really cool---three months later--in church--at the end of the service, our minister came out to the front of the church and held up a small bottle and said, "In this is a bit of oil--I put some lavender oil in it too.  If anyone would like to come forward for a blessing---it would be all right."  My gosh!  So Catholic!!!  I had never seen that done in a Methodist Church in my lifetime.  Of course I went forward and he made the sign of the cross on my forehead and said, "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."  I cried all the way back to my pew.  I LOVED IT!!!  I didn't wash my face for days!!!

    I wish we could make the "sign of the cross" in our church.  Why not?  After we take communion, why couldn't we just cross ourselves if we wanted?  

     Well--that's all of the weird stuff I have today, Kids.  I played on the computer.  I knitted on a baby blanket I am making.  I cross stitched on a baby crib cover I am making. (All for a non-existent baby) and I read--and I napped!  And I didn't feel a bit guilty :-)

Oh yeah--I vacuumed, dusted and a bit of that kind of stuff too.

   Oh--I ordered two bras and two pair of panties today also.  The bras are a size smaller and the panties, two sizes smaller.  The bras were on sale--they usually cost 35.00.  The panties--did  you know that a pair of panties now sells for 6.00 and up?  For one pair!!!  Remember when we could 3 pair in a package for five bucks?  


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oh Lord--Help Me!!

Today's high temperature was:  75 degrees
Today's humidity was:  46%
Sunny, nice working weather.

Mark, Karen, Derek, Susanna, Marcus, Madeleine, Stephen
Karen will have knee replacement surgery, but I see she made
it to the top of Mt. Bachelor in Oregon!  

Have I ever shown you my vintage wooden box collection?  I love old wooden boxes, trunks--things like that.  I have these and I was dusting them this morning.

My sister got me the stacking boxes and the little round box
is made of cedar that she got me in Bermuda.

This bog box was Fred's grandpa's.  Pam has asked if I will
put her name on it so she will get it.

My stash--Pammie said it would mean even more to her,
if the box was filled with a stash like this, LOL

I use this old box for my pill cases.

Do you remember getting cheese in a cheese box like this one?
We had tons of them--this is what my mother used to line and
put flowers from the woods for me to take to teacher on
May Day.
The box under it, has a sliding top and held bullets.  I love the corners!

A box my mother made and decoupaged--I keep a sprig
of lavender on top.

Susan just found this one in the attic of the Big House.
It probably was our great grandmother's and held soap.

I also have the mini cedar chest my mother got when she graduated high school in 1934. Inside all of her friends autographed it.

Okay--now on to the major maintenance job of this week!!

I started at 2:00 to trim the Privet bushes, on the east side of my place, under the windows.  They reached nearly to the top of the windows.  I thought all I had to do was go out with my electric hedge trimmers and trim back the leaves.  Well, we all know about the best laid plans of mice and women--or something like that.

Because they have not been cut back in six years, since Fred did it, most of the branches are 1/4 to 1" thick.  You don't cut those with electric hedge trimmers.  So---

Step #1--gather needed tools

Step #2--most important tool--a resting place in shade

Step #3--address the chore--in this case--"You overgrown piece of
vegetation--you are going down!"  I find it useful to "address" my projects,
just so they know who is the boss!!

Maggie sitting in bedroom window!
Aha--I see another chore awaiting me--getting all that moldy moss out from between window and screen!

One hour later--one bush massacred!

Second bush under kitchen window.
"Oh Dear God--do I have the strength for this?"

Bush #2--tamed.  Look at all the cut off stuff I will have to pick

It was now 4:15 and my heart was pounding, my legs, arms and hands were shaking so bad and all my strength gone, so...I put away the trimmers and the lopper, left the chair out there and came in the house.  My neighbor, Tami,  mentioned that "You got quite a job going there.  An awful lot of stuff spread out on the lawn."  I did my best impression of Scarlett and said, "I will finish it tomorrow." and walked away from her sorry butt.  You don't like the cut branches--why don't you help and pick them up for me.  Well--no, I don't expect that and besides, I don't ever want to be in her debt because it would be all over Face Book about how SHE helped her ELDERLY neighbor and I don't need that!!

I came in and sat in my chair and waited for my heart to return to it's normal pace, but the shaking is still present.  Actually, I got a bit worried trimming that last bush--I felt like I was going to fall down and not get up. 

What have I got myself into?

Have I bitten off more then I can chew? 

"Fiddle Dee Dee--I'll think about it tomorrow!"

P.S.  Along about 8:00, Pearl walked in with her daughter, grand daughter and great grand daughter.  The next thing I knew, Merle was driving his pick-up on the lawn between Tami's place and mine.  The girls ran out and Pearl and I limped out, and they were raking all the cut off  vegetation and putting it in Merle's truck--he has a place to dump it where he works.

OHMYGOSH!!!  I just about cried.  Having to rake all that up was worrying me.  Now I only have to worry about two more bushes--I'll bet Merle will be down tomorrow evening to pick up those clippings too.  

I would NEVER ask for help, but I was so shaky and exhausted that I just accepted it, without protest.  They had it done in about 15 minutes!!!  As we walked back toward the street, Pearl's daughter mentioned the sun catchers hanging on my porch.  "Mom told me you made hers for her.  They are beautiful!"  So I walked up on the porch and gave her one--not the bumpy one, but the one the same color.  She was thrilled and I told her,  "Thank you so much for helping me.  You cannot imagine how that chore was worrying me."

She said, "I like to help--it makes me feel good!"

So, she has learned that helping others makes you feel just as good inside as the help made them feel.  I have to remember to let people do things for me--it is difficult.  I was always the one helping neighbor's or other people.  I guess I am too prideful to remember how good it made me feel.  I need to smile and say "thank you" and let them.

Now---I feel renewed to get out there tomorrow and finish up!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Pretty Good Day--for a Monday

Today's  high temperature was:  64 degrees
Today's humidity was: 55%
Sunny, breezy, cool

I don't know why, but I didn't wake up until 10:00, a cat was kissing my nose--apparently he was hungry?  I felt kind of guilty when Pearl came down at noon and I was just heading to the bedroom to get dressed.  She scolded me because she was up at 6:30.  

"The day is half over!" she exclaimed.
"No, it's not.  My day doesn't end until midnight or later, so at five o'clock, my day is half over."
"Well, don't you have work to do?"
"Like what?"
"Oh--go around and pick stuff up.  Clean up the bathroom.  Do laundry."
"Look around.  Is there stuff sitting around that needs picking up?  My bathroom is nice and clean and...I did my two loads of laundry Saturday afternoon."
"Well--you forget.  I live with a man.  He leaves stuff laying all over."
"Well--lucky for me...I do not, so...........I can sleep in.  Besides, I have nothing to do today, so why get up early...to do nothing?"

She stayed for an hour and then went home when my Soap came on and....as usual, at 2:00, I gathered up my empty Pepsi bottles, got my list and off to the Rich People's store I went.

Today--the Rich People's store was not just for the rich!!  They had Diet Pepsi on sale at 10 for $10.  I got 10 and am going back before the end of the week to get 10 more!!  I got my gallon of milk for .99 cents because I had their rewards card.  AND I found that they do have Boar's Head meats--I got a half pound of sliced Pastrami!!  And I got tuna/macaroni salad, chicken salad, 2-antipasto salads, chef salad, small 7-layer salad, fresh water melon spears that were "imported" from a town 15 miles from here--Wal-Mart and Meijer, have the same and it is imported from Honduras!!  They make all their salads on site, so I know they are fresh.  My antipasto salad will be as fresh Friday as it is today.  Pearl got a fresh salad from the Meijer store and in two days, the lettuce was limp and slimy.  

So--I have decided that I don't have to go back to Wal-Mart again for food.  I can buy my fresh stuff at VG's Market, my other packaged stuff at Meijer's and my big bulk stuff, like bathroom tissue, at Costco.  I do like the kids that work in the Pharmacy at Wal-Mart (two of them took off work to come to Fred's funeral) and I will continue to get my prescriptions there, but...our local Wal-Mart is becoming very run down.  It smells in there--there are areas that are dirty--weird people shop there and some of their clerks appear to be not living with a full deck of cards--if you know what I mean.

The VG's is big enough for me to find everything, small enough for me not to have to walk 17 miles up and down the aisles, the clerks are wonderful, the other shoppers very nice.  There is no music playing, no loud voices over an intercom and I have never seen anyone shopping there in their flannel pajama bottoms.  It is a peaceful, quiet, wonderful shopping experience there.
As I was leaving, I saw what appeared to be a small cat in Jackie's driveway.  After I got to the front of the park, I called Pearl to ask here what she thought it was.  When I got home, I stopped at her place and she said she went over to look and it was a young cat--she tried to bend down to look at it and it got up and ran away.  She said it looked like it was almost dead.  That really upset me--years ago, it wouldn't have.  It's just an animal--a feral cat we have here.  I know I can't afford another cat--nor a vet bill--nor a spade/neuter bill, but it just broke my heart to think about that poor animal.  I would like to sneak some cat food outside for the feral cats--but the park would not like that.  They try and discourage them from the area.    It just makes me sad, because at one time, Buddy and Maggie were living on the street, and someone got them and took them to the shelter and then I found them and now they are my furry kids!!!  I look at Buddy's sweet face and I just can't stand the thought of him having to fend for himself out in the world.
I worked some more on my 2013 Christmas card--I know, it's a bit early, but...I am in the mood.  This is the front--what do you think?

I didn't send any Christmas or letters in 2012, so I need to start again.  To out of state friends or people I never see anymore (co-workers--old friends from my other life), I will enclose a short note.  It will say in red, 'MERRY CHRISTMAS   FROM OUR HOUSE   TO YOURS' on the front above the picture.  It will be a half-fold card for those that get the note (inside) and just the one piece of this picture for people I see all the time.

I also worked on my funeral plans.  OCD seems to be in full mode today, LOL.

A thought I had today--about the mess our country is in---I don't think it's a matter of race, nor of financial status--it seems to be a complete break down of our morals and our culture.  The President isn't too blame for that.  I know I will get flak for this, but I can see how the Woman's Movement back in the early '70's caused a lot of our problems.  At the time, "we" were quite content to stay at home and raised our children.  Then Gloria and others started telling us we were unfulfilled and we needed more out of life; some of us wanted a "career".  Then, our kids came home from school to an empty house, all the better to get into trouble. If our husband's resisted our new found freedom, we divorced them--break down of the family.  I know this is simplistic, but to me, the best career in this world is raising the next generation.  I enjoyed that a whole lot more then my second "career". 
There was no baseball game on tonight so, I watched the DVD of "The King's Speech"--nice movie.  

Tomorrow--tomorrow--I have another huge outside maintenance job--cutting down the 8' Privet hedge to it's normal height of 4'.  It is going to be hard, painful work.  I may only be able to do one bush at a time, but that's all right.  In the end, it will once again look neat and nice.  I also need to trim back my Forsythia and Wegelia bushes.  

A little warmer tomorrow--mid-70's, which will be nice to work in.  If I live through it--I will have pix for tomorrow's night post.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Got Nothing

Today's high temperature was:   65 degrees
Today's humidity was:  75%
Yes, I wimped out and turned the furnace on for a few minutes to take the chill off.

I made it to church--could have stayed home for all I got out of it.  We had a lay person who spoke in a low, monotone voice.  We had special music from an older lady who thinks she can still sing--she was professionally trained in operatic singing in her twenties, but now in her late sixties--too much vibrato and no one could understand a word she sang.  Then we had a lady give a talk on her motorcycle accident last year.  <yawn>.  The best thing?  One of the hymns we sang was "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."  As we walked to our cars, Pearl's husband said, "Almost as much fun as going to the dentist!"

Came home--rainy and cold all day.  I saw no one outside of their homes  Watched the Tiger's baseball game--they are beating up on the Philly's.  Watched a movie--watched a couple of Little House on The Prairie episodes--knitted on a baby blanket, cross stitched, read, fell asleep for an hour in my chair with cats laying on me and--believe it or not--worked on creating this year's Christmas card.

Then, I saw these pictures posted on Face Book.  Karen, Mark, Marcus and Stephen are in Portland, Oregon, to pick up Madeleine from Susanna and Derek's, where she has spent the month of July, studying ballet with the Portland Ballet Company.

Stephen, who will be a Sophomore at MSU this fall.
I didn't know he was wearing a beard!  Handsome!

The Rivard Family Pyramid
Marcus, Stephen, Mark
Derek and Susanna
Maddie on top

and my pretty Karen

Also this--my nephew Adam, Susan's only child.
He turned 39 today.
I didn't know he was bearded either!
He works in the Michigan State Senate and is his township's commissioner

That's all I've got today kids.  Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rainy Saturday Tidbits

Today's high temperature was:  71 degrees
Today's humidity was:  54%

This is what I have--have had for the past 5 years.

Kinetic Benign Essential Tremor--shaking in hands that gets worse during activities, such as eating or shaving.

I might add to that list--writing, hand sewing, trying to pluck eyebrows, clipping cats claws, putting on mascara, trying to use screwdriver, painting finger or toe nails---the list goes on and on.  It is only in my right hand for now.  My right hand not only shakes, but can jerk from time to time.  It only happens when I am trying to do something "precise" with my right hand.  It does not shake if I stick my hand out in front of me--nor does it shake or jerk involuntary--only when I try to pick up something small or when I am doing a "controlled" movement that requires steadiness--thus the word Kinetic.

Of course it is worse if I am nervous.  Sometimes, I have to steady my right hand with my left when I am eating (in public).  Trying to put the back on my pierced earrings is a nightmare!  When I write--at times the pen can go off in an upward direction--my handwriting is very shaky--like that of a person 100 years old!!!  Writing out checks to pay bills, is not a lot of fun.  I have to brace my right hand and wrist down on a hard surface so it won't move, and then use just my fingers to write.  Sometimes I have trouble placing the cursor on my monitor when using the mouse.  I brace my right thumb and wrist on the desk and then move the mouse.  I think the whole thing has been caused by Carpal Tunnel that I acquired while I was a Secretary--all that typing and writing.

Trying to get the head of the screwdriver into that plug on the water heater yesterday was hilarious!!!  If I managed to get it in the slot, when I tried to turn it, my hand would shake and out of the slot it would go.  SO--I used my left hand.  I am becoming quite adept with my left hand.

I suppose some day, I will be one of those old ladies you see who's head shakes back and forth a tiny bit--like that lady in front of you in church, who's head shaking drives you nuts!!! LOL

We had five rain storms go through today and with them---bring really cool weather.  Right now at 11:00, it is 53 degrees outside.  The first two storms carried no drama--the third storm has lightning, thunder and hail--the last two storms, no drama only very hard, heavy downpour.  I did hardly anything--in fact I haven't even gone out to get my mail.  I did some laundry, watched a couple of movies, some of the baseball game and just messed around.
I hope all of you take this everyday.  My cardiologist said it would protect my heart and arteries--keeping them clean and elastic.  My Primary Care doc told me to take two a day as it helps with memory and keeping our brains "alive" AND my orthopaedic surgeon told me to take it because it really helps with the arthritis pain.   I think they are all right.  

Also, if you take a prescription drug for high cholesterol, you should be taking one CoQ10 capsule a day.  It helps counteract any adverse effects of the cholesterol lowering med.

This is also a great antioxidant and especially important for your heart.

Of course, research these two supplements and ask your doc about them.  I assume you all are taking Vitamin D--right?:  There is a lot of women that have Vitamin D deficiency--my blood work always includes a measurement for it.

Okay kids--I am done with my tidbits and going to bed.  Tomorrow morning, I MUST get up and go to church--I have been so lazy lately that I have been skipping every other Sunday!!

See ya later---

Friday, July 26, 2013

How To Drain and Flush a Gas Water Heater

Today's high temperature was: 73 degrees
Today's humidity was: 34%

Okay kids, are you with me?  10:33 a.m. Friday, July 26, 2013.  A written record--just in case I die from a gas explosion!

Step #1--take a Naproxen, because this is going to hurt your back, hips and knees.
 Gather tools you think you might need and your instruction sheet

Oh yes--and your drink of  choice--mine is Diet Pepsi
You might need the adjustable wrench to tighten hose on coupling.
You will need a big flashlight to see what the heck you are doing.
You will need instruction sheet so you can keep track of what the heck you are doing.

Step # 2:  address the closet where the "evil animal" is hiding.  "What lies behind door number One? " is how I addressed it.

Step #3:  empty closet

Step #4: closet empty--clothes piled on bed

What evil lies behind the white panel or door number two?

Hello Mr. Lochinvar--you don't look too scary.
Installed 7/14/06--someone with OCD must have put that 
date on there.
Ya Think?

But wait---isn't that vent pipe suppose to be attached to the top of the heater?
To vent the gas fumes out through the roof?

Go to phone, call office, they will call their water heater/furnace/A/C guy.  He calls back--"I am up by Owosso, but I will try and get there this afternoon.  Just go ahead and drain the heater, but don't turn the gas back on until it is fixed."

Okay.  So--questions in my mind.  "How long has the vent been detached?"  "Why aren't I dead from the fumes?" "Carbon monoxide isn't good for you--right?"  GEEZ!!!

Step #5:  ignore problem and get back to work.  Acceptance--remember, if I can't put my own two hands around it and fix it--acceptance!!  (I did try and get it back aligned, didn't work!)

Step #6:  turn gas from ON to PILOT

Do not be afraid--it isn't going to explode--it is only an innocent looking knob (I hope)

Step #7:  connect hose to water heater drain plug

that brass thingie

 Make sure hose is lower then water heater level and draining on grass

Tie back door to adjacent closet door to keep cats inside
You can use knitting yarn, if that is all you have.
(That is all I had.)

Step #9:  turn off water inlet supply.
There is a lever behind that front pipe attached to 
the inlet hose

The lever will not move--go get WD-40 and a screwdriver
Spray with WD-40 and let set--while you go sit in your chair
and rest your back.

Fifteen minutes later, go back into evil cubby hole to see if water shut-off lever will move.  Nope!  Repeat spray with WD-40 and play game on Face Book .

11:30--lost on Candy Crush!  Go back into evil cubby hole and check again--YES!!  Hard to move, but it does--kind of. No water can come into the tank now.

Step #10:  turn on hot water tap in bathroom sink to prevent air bubble back-ups!

Step #11:  open drain plug with standard sized, screwdriver.  Quit shaking!  Hold flashlight with right, shaky hand and use left hand to screw open plug!  No leaks, YAY.

Step: 13:  undo yarn tied on back door to look out and see if water is running all right and if there is any calcium or lime coming out.  NO calcium or lime coming out.  Realize this was probably an un-needed project, but should be done every few years, so will continue!!  Re-do yarn tie-off.

While waiting for tank to drain, why not take down shower sprayer and inlet tube and soak in Lime-A-Way to clean it out too?

 Unscrew shower head and put in bathroom sink.

Unscrew pipe thingie.
Fill up sink with a bit of water and pour in Lime-A-Way
Be careful, it burns your hands.
How do I know this?  OUCH!!

Pour Lime-A-Way down tube and brace on mirror so it 
won't leak out.
Let set for a couple of hours.

Look out door to see if water is still coming from hose.  It is! Sit down in chair to rest back and calves.

Step #14:  when water quits coming out of hose, go back into cubby hole and turn on water inlet valve-  Let new water fill tank for a few minutes--this is to roil up the sediment.  Shut off water inlet valve and let water drain out of hose.

Step #15:  repeat step #14.

Step # 16.  12:45 p.m.  tighten up drain plug.  disconnect hose and keeping the end above your head, so no water will drain out on your carpeting/floor, take to back door and throw out on the lawn.  turn water inlet lever back to ON position and listen as the water rushes in to fill the tank--bathroom faucet starts running and spitting a bit of air out of it, splashing all over your newly shined vanity counter.  when air quits spitting water all over the place, turn off faucet and wipe up spatters with towel.

Step #17:  1:00, sit down, eat a salad, watch your soap!

2:15--men in truck arrive.  YAY!!  They inspect water heater vent.  They inspect roof.  Apparently when new roof was installed, vent got twisted--I TOLD THEM IT WAS FINE UNTIL MY NEW ROOF WAS PUT ON!!!

2:45--vent is straightened--at roof and in evil cubby hole and attached to the water heater.  Man says, "You are lucky.  With that panel closing off the heater, any gas fumes when up the hole in the roof anyway."  (Thank you God from whom ALL blessings flow!)

"What do I owe you?"

"Not a thing, Ma'am.  God bless you."

"He already has!"

I hand him one of my large sun catchers.

"My wife is going to love this!!! Have a great weekend, Ma'am."

"Thank you, guys.  I appreciate it so much."

Go back in evil cubby hole.  Check to see if vent has been properly fixed. Women living alone cannot take ANYONE'S word that things are done correctly.  You gotta see for yourself!!

It appears to have been properly fixed.

--now comes the true test of your faith, your wits and your hope-Stop shaking, bend over, reach down and.....turn gas inlet valve back to ON.  Wait for it.....hear flame come on and roar into life.  Didn't even jump in fright!!!

Step #18:  put panel back on evil cubby hole and tape instruction sheet on front.

Vacuum closet floor and replace clothes.

Put away tools!

You are still alive.  You aren't singed.  

and it only took half a day, LOL.

"If I have to, I can do anything.  
I am strong!  I am invincible!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fantastically Fun Day

The high temperature today was: 75 degrees
The humidity today was:  30%

A walk about my place this morning---gardens are going by, annuals still doing good, Rose of Sharon, purple and pink, and Maggie watching Momma.

Then--I saw the most amazing thing at my bird feeder.  Something I have never seen in my 74 years.
Sorry it is a bit distorted--I had to use my zoom, which isn't very powerful.
It is a White Sparrow.  
Not an Albino because it's eyes are black and it's 
beak is yellow.
This just floored me--I am still amazed.
If any of you have ever seen one, please tell me
what you know about them.  Thanks.

Then I chased a bunch of birds out of my Hummingbird tree, headed back into the house and saw her come raging out of her nest and dive bomb a Blue Jay!  YAY for Momma.  Then I decided to move her feeder closer to her nest--tried to get it high on the branch.

Then Susan came and off we went to Bethie's.  Now--I didn't ask Bethie's permission to put these photos in this blog.  I hope it is all right.  This is a private blog, so no one knows her or where she lives to invade her privacy.  If it isn't all right Beth, please tell me and I will delete them.

Beth has a beautiful home, down a gravel road, up a private gravel road, up a steep drive.  I have loved her home forever!!!  It is on the east side of what used to be a ski club and in earlier years, we'd sit in her living room and watch the skiers.  Now, the ski club no longer exists and someone REALLY rich bought the property and put their house on top of the hill.  BUT--Beth's is a lot nicer!!

Beth put this terrace in all by herself--yes, she was in her forties, but
still a big job!!  It is covered with Myrtle and other ground covers and four hundred million Lilies of the Valley.

Down the drive we walked to meet "Audrey"--a life size doll made by a friend.

I am standing on a small hill--that is why I look so tall--honest!!
(Both Beth and Susan are like 5'2" shrimps.)

One of the walkways into the garden off the drive.

Of course, her lilies are going by also--it's that time of year.

Beth has 36 different varieties of Hosta and a lot of shade loving plants.

It was so funny, we came across a plant, blooms gone, so just looking at the leaves and Beth said, "This is a.........oh I will remember in a few minutes. and then Susan said, "Oh I know, it's ah---starts with an "L", right?"  None of  us could remember.  Finally about 10 minutes later, I yelled, "Astilbe!"  "Yes--tha'st it!  Doesn't start with an "L" does it!" Susan said.  Beth and I are 74 and Susan is only 61 and yet, not a one of could remember that dang name!!  She also has many Lenten Rose plants--lots of plant starters she can give Susan for her new garden.

I love fungi--thought this was a frog at first!!!

...another plant that I loved the leaf on--can't remember what it
was called.  Beth told us--I have forgotten already!!

Back up in the tree tops on their gazebo front porch.
Bethie is holding a Chihuahua they are fostering.
Lovable little dog that has kennel cough.

Not enough pictures taken to show Beth's gorgeous garden and yard.  So many plants I can't remember--lots of woodland plants and shade loving plants and on the other side of her drive, is a stone wall just covered in Lavender, Thyme, Yucca Lilies, ground cover.  Her place is so quiet and peaceful and lush and beautiful!!!  We had a wonderful visit!!

When we got back, I had Susan pick the sun catcher she wanted--she only took one and the one she took was one like my favorite one--kind of bumpy--she likes bumpy too.
The one between the multi-colored one and the pinkish one.

I had the most fantastic day I have had since my birthday!!!!  

Thank you so much Beth and I know we will see you again soon when Susan is ready to transplant some of your generosity in her new garden.

So tonight, I had one of my salad's--not one I will buy again.  A Cobb Salad--it had crumbled bleu cheese, that I scraped off into the garbage pail and some slices of slimy Avocado--YUCK--that went the same place the cheese went.  The rest of it was okay--not great--but okay.  Then I had a blue berry muffin that neighbor Tami brought over--made from berries off some bushes she has planted behind her shed--it was yummy.

Then--I looked out my computer room windows and OHMYGOSH--there was Dar getting out of a 2010 silver Mazda!!!  Her Dad was with her. Sure enough--just like I told her 2 months ago, Daddy was going to buy her a car and--he did!!!  Pearl and I have wondered why he didn't because he is a millionaire and has moved here from Arizona, to live with Dar's youngest brother.  So I ran over and jumped around and squealed with her a bit and got to meet her Dad--who is 92, and her brother and SIL. I thanked her Dad and told him he had done the whole neighborhood a favor--which Dar laughed about and then I said, "Now--you owe me a ride in this new car!!!"  

So after they all left, she pulled up to the end of my drive, I jumped in her car and she drove up and down the streets here in the park.  She hasn't driven for two years and hasn't driven on the expressway for 14 years, so.....she was practicing tonight.  It was actually fun watching her as she put on her blinker light, which caused her window wipers to come on--then pulled the other lever, which caused her washer fluid to come out.  We laughed so hard.  Now--she can go and get her own damn Bigby Coffee, cigarettes, groceries--whatever!!!  No--I shouldn't have said that.  I really am happy for her. 
So--kids--tomorrow is THE DAY!!!  I will take pictures along the way and "talk" to you as I go about the steps to drain and flush the water heater.  I know if I pretend I am talking to you--like perhaps giving a demonstration, I will be okay.  YIKES!!!

If I live through it, I will post the pix and the commentary.