title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Today's high temperature:  45 degrees
November and February--two of my very least liked months of the year.  Everything is dead or dying and the weather is cold and grey.  Nope!  Don't like it--besides...I'm still waiting for the summer we really didn't have.

My view out these front windows
The arthritis, that destroyed my hips and affects my neck and spine, has now decided it will attack the knuckles on my hands!  I have two knots on my left index and middle finger--it is also making my index finger crooked.

On my right hand, it has already affected my thumb, and taken away my ability to write long-hand, by pulling it in toward the palm of my hand--so far no knuckle bumps on my right hand.
That reminds me--today is the 66th anniversary of my stubby index finger.   I missed the Halloween party of my 3rd grade that year because I was in so much pain I couldn't attend.

Anyway--my hands are beginning to look like my Daddy's--and with good reason.  The arthritis comes from his side of the family.  Plus, it aches.  When I type, my left index finger hurts--and you know I do a lot of typing.  RATZ!

Gosh--I have awful looking hands!You can pull the loose skin up into a "tent" like you used to do with your Grandma's!
My sister has just recovered from some sort of upper respiratory virus that is going around.  She felt pretty good yesterday, but every time she got out of the car, the wind made her cough.  She was flat in bed for 5 days!  

My neighbor, from when I lived in Saginaw, calls me every Tuesday.  Every Tuesday--of every single week!  What is there to talk about with someone I haven't seen in eleven years?  She has a card, with people's names on it.  She calls certain people on certain days, and I am a Tuesday Person.  I usually don't have too say too much, as she is quite talkative--like Dar--so I just listen and put in an occasional, "You're kidding!", or "OHMYGOSH!"  She never, ever asks me how I'm doing.  Never!

So, she called me today.  Kind of threw me off as it's Wednesday--I think.  She has also had the respiratory virus and was out for 6 days!  She went to the ER on Sunday and they put her on a Z-Pack, Flonase and Claratin D, because the virus had worked it's way into a sinus and ear infection.

I got my flu shot 14 days ago--it takes two weeks for it to become "good", so--I think I am now protected.  And yet--I hate to go shopping or to the doc's office, or anywhere there are people.  I am not a germaphobe, but I certainly use the sanitizing wipes on the grocery cart and Purell when I get in my car and wash my hands when I get home.  Hm-mm, maybe I am a germaphobe?

My sister gave me some gas money so this afternoon, I went up to the Meijer gas station.  Their gas is always lower than any other place.  It was $2.91, but because I put in my MPerks number, I got it for $2.71.  Then I stopped into the store (wiped down the cart handle with a wipe) and got a gallon of milk, some baked beans, potato salad and my little cake--that I haven't had in over a week!  GASP!  They had a sale on Halloween candy--bags of fun size--buy 1 get 1 free.  I don't ever have any kids come to the door, but........I do like candy bars, LOL.

I had my $18.00 food assistance, so it cost me nothing.  
I haven't heard a thing from Dar in two days--which is good.  I also haven't heard from Pearl in two days--which is bad.  I'm sure she saw Dar and I leave together and then come back and Pearl may be a bit put-off by that.  I am planning on walking up to her place right after supper tonight.

Sometimes, this whole thing reminds me of elementary school.  "Why did ya pway wif her at recess?  I fought you were my fwrend!"


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Best Day In A Very Long Time

This greeted me last night as I stumbled into the bedroom...ready to fall into bed at 12:45 a.m.
This might the reason I sneeze over and over in the morning?  Perhaps I have developed an allergy to cats?

My sister and I had planned an afternoon adventure for today and, we woke to heavy rain and 50 degrees.  She e-mailed at noon that the rain was suppose to stop any minute and the afternoon was supposed to be dry and a bit of sun, sooooooooooooooo

She got here at 2:15 and we took off.  I wanted to drive because I wanted to take an unknown road and see if it led to where we wanted to go:  Holly, Michigan, where our great grandparents on our Mother's side are buried.

Susan and Chuck had been to Holly, looking for the cemetery, but they thought it was in town...and it is, but on the northern outskirts of town, invisible from the main drag.

I was last there when I was ten years old--to my great grandfather's burial.  You think 65 years later I could find it?

I drove right to it, LOL.

"How in the world did you know...after all this time?"

"I have no idea, Suz."

"Do you know where the graves are?"

"Yes, right up this drive...to the top of the hill..and turn left.  I remember, going up this hill."

So, I drove to the top of the hill, turned left and drove to where I thought the graves were.  Couldn't spot them, so I kept driving and about half-way down, Susan yelled,  "Hudgins!  There they are!"

Someone has since put a marble seat with the family name on it.  There they were, our great grandparents.  He was a Methodist minister, as was his father, and his son (our grandfather), His grandchild (our Uncle) and his great grandchild (our cousin.)

Our great grandmother's family.
The lake in the background is named for them
Bush Lake

Then Susan said, "According to the family tree stuff, Great Grandma's nephew fought and died in the Civil War and there is suppose to be a monument, somewhere in here with his name on it.

So I drove along the drive and out toward the front in a different direction and all of a sudden, she yelled again.  "Look!  That looks like some kind of war memorial."

and it was, and on this side--there was his name.
He was with the Michigan Cavalry--
Alexander Bush, Jr.

...and he died on Missionary Ridge in Tennessee.
He was only 17 years old!!!
We got to talking about it and both realized, at almost the same time, this man's great nephew, our Grandfather was also in the Cavalry---in WWI--also a medic and a Chaplain.

So, we drove away and I turned toward town.

"I'm going to try and find their house...so I can show you."

"How can you possibly know...and...after sixty-five years, don't you think things have changed?"

"I remember, it was down at the end of a street---just before you get to the railroad tracks.   Just a block east of the main corners in town."

Drove right to it.  LOL.  I wish I'd taken a picture.  The house HAS changed, but the enclosed front porch is still the same.

Our Great Grandparents on our Mother's father's side.  Ida May Bush and James Alfred Hudgins.  She looks pretty healthy, but...she died just four hours after this picture was taken.

We drove around, trying to find the Methodist Church, but it was gone.  They have built a new, larger one on the south end of town.

Susan and I were only gone two hours---but nearly 70 miles on the car and we had a wonderful afternoon.  

We have done this very thing a few times--going to cemeteries and trying to find our ancestor's.  It's good that I am much older than she is--she wasn't even born until after these great grandparents died--and, although she has the family history of where the people are buried, I usually remember going to the funerals/burials, so I can find the graves, without having to walk all over an entire cemetery.

It was a wonderful afternoon!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Just Don't Know

Very, very warm today--mid 70's--we are having our Indian Summer.

I have been spending many hours working on my How-To manual.  I am trying to format it right now and get it into some semblance of order so I can make corrections, additions, add images, that sort of thing.  I could get more done if the woman kitty-corner across the street would leave me alone!  Meaning Dar!

I just don't know what is going on with Dar.  She has been over here every day since Thursday, sometimes, twice a day!  This morning I saw her coming this way, so I scooted to the back bedroom and laundry room and when she knocked, I just ignored her.  That wasn't very nice, but I have to tell you, that woman is wearing me out.

She cares not one whit what I am doing, when she comes over--yesterday I was watching a great Turner Classic Movie and she looked at the TV, said, "Oh, are you watching a movie?" and when I said, "Yes", she just plopped down in the rocking chair and started in on her dissertation of the last day.

She left just as the (muted) movie was ending.  THEN--she was back last night at 8:00 to tell me that she had to get blood work this morning and her sister was taking her to the eye doctor.

I .  Do.  Not.  Care.

She returned this afternoon at 2:00 to tell me that she didn't get her blood work done and she didn't go to her eye appointment, but that she did buy a new coffee table and two end tables.  Then she went on and on about how the District Manager at Meijer's thinks she's so great that they want to make her a store manager. 
<I quite forgot to remind her she was being boastful, like she has asked me to do--she didn't shut up long enough for me to say anything!>

Then she kept telling me she could hear something beeping in the back of the house.

"There it goes again.  Beep-Beep...then a second and Beep-Beep."

I went back, nothing making any noise back there.

"Can't you hear that?"

"No.  I have Tinnitus and all I hear is the ringing in my ears."

"Oh--I forgot and your hard of hearing too--that's probably why you can't hear it.  It is really annoying."

"The next time you hear it, run back to the bedroom and see if you can figure it out," I said.

"There it goes again." and she leaped up and trotted to the back of the house.  "I don't hear it now.  It must have stopped."

"Are you sure it isn't your cell phone?"

"Oh know.  It would ring...and I recognize my ring...it just a funny sound.  There it is again."

"Check your phone."

So, she did.  She had it set on something where it beeped if she had a voice mail.

"Oh...I guess you aren't deaf after all."
<no, but I have a real low tolerance for stupid people and...I'd like to just slap the nonsense right outta your head!>

She finally wound down around 3:30 and left, but was back again at 5:00.

"I am taking you out for dinner.  I won't take 'no' for an answer.  Get in my car."

"I'm really tired Dar......"

"You have to eat.  I'm buying.  GET IN THE CAR!" and out the door she went.

She wanted to take me to Outback and I said, "No.  I'm not that hungry.  I want to go to the new burger place."

So, that is where we went.

It wasn't too bad an hour.  She actually asked ME some questions and listened to my answers!  We actually had a conversation!  Amazing.

Then, when we got in the car she said, "I've been wanting to take you out for dinner to thank you."

"For what?"

"For saving my life two years ago."

"You remember how out of control, mentally, I was.  Remember when you took me to the ER for my toe and I went out of my mind for awhile?"

"Yes...you were a bit looney that day."

"Well, you have no idea how looney I really was.  Judy, I was on the edge of suicide for many months.  I'd get so scared, like I couldn't breathe, like the ceiling was coming down on my head, the walls were coming closer and closer, like my head and heart were going to explode... and I'd run from the house...run over to your place and you'd just let me talk it all out.  You saved me!"

"Sounds like an ordinary panic attack, but...I'm, glad I could help."

"Yes you did, but I want to apologize."

"For what?"

"Fred had just died.  I am sure you were struggling and yet...you seemed so peaceful and calm and...you let me dump all my craziness on top of you and all you were going through."
< like I had a choice when she'd come busting into my house?>

"I have to admit...there were times, when you left, I was shaking and exhausted and had to take an Ativan because my heart was racing and my insides shaking."

"See!  That's what I mean...and yet...you never said a word.  You just listened.  You really did...save my life."

"Well...I sure am glad you are better(?) now.  I think your job has really helped you."

"I work so many hours and days now...I don't have time to worry or even think about my crazy life."

Then she went on to tell me about her meeting with the store manager....and truthfully, I quit listening because I was really getting tired of her continual chatter.

I think her other friends here in the park, are a bit tired of her as she never says anything about going out with them, or playing Scrabble.  She may be on a mission to make me her new BF and...that is NOT going to happen.

She talks so fast and so much and jumps from topic to topic that she just wears me out!!!  Her next day off is Wednesday and thank goodness---my sister and I have plans for that day!!
I walked up to Pearl's yesterday morning to tell her of Shawn's visit--they both liked him so much too.  I figured Merle would be at work, but he wasn't  After we had talked for about 45 minutes, I got up to leave and Pearl said, "We have two baby squirrels out in our bird house."

"You're kidding.  I love squirrels."

Merle said, "C'Mon, I'll show you."

I felt a bit uncomfortable, but we were just outside the windows and Pearl was watching from inside, so I wasn't too nervous.  Merle tapped the bird house with a stick, but squirrels were gone.

So I walked around the house to come on home and he followed behind.

"Don just cleaned up all your leaves, but I noticed you had a whole lawn full again."

"Yup.  I'm thinking of raking up some myself.  I think I can do it...if my back doesn't give out"

"Be good for ya," he said.  "Build up your chest."


Reminds me of old men in the nursing home who always want to flirt with the staff.  Grosses me out!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


After all my leaves were raked, I found this little leaf on my front porch.
What makes it strange...I have no trees nearby that are that color.
Perhaps a Canadian Maple Leaf?

The Intra-State rivalry football game was yesterday.   University of Michigan football players came out on the field and while in their pre-game huddle, one of the players drove a large stake in the middle of the field.  This goes a bit above and beyond the antics that go on during the week before, like, Michigan State University has students guarding the big statue of Sparty, because U of M kids like to sneak on campus and spray him with blue paint.  Some MSU students, sneaked onto the U of M campus and in their quad, sprayed their big gold M, with green paint.  All good fun.

Before and after 

Thursday night, the Marching Band Trumpet section
guarded Sparty all night.
My little buddy, Kyle, bottom left, bending over.

The stake however ticked off our coach, who constantly gets rants from U of M players that we are underdogs, and calls us the "Little Brother" in the state--even though we have won 5 out of the last 7 times we played them.

This has gone on for years.  At one time, the U of M sports teams were the best in the country, and they were very arrogant about it.  If you met someone that rooted for them and they asked about your college and you said, "Michigan State", their upper lip would curl, just a bit, and their noses would go up and you might have to take a joke about "oh, you went to the Cow College?"  MSU is a land grant college and used to be called Michigan State Agricultural College.

We called them "The Arrogant Asses from Ann Arbor"--with good cause.

So, after the spike incident, we proceeded to trounce their Arrogant Asses.  What amazed me is, that usually with a few seconds to play, the team that is ahead, if they have the ball, will spike it or take a knee.  It's considered the polite thing to do and, it's rude if you "pile on points", if you are ahead you don't need to throw their loss in their faces. 

MSU was down by their goal line...they could have stalled a bit or tried for a field goal, but instead, our coach told the boys, "If you can take it in--take it in" and with 21 seconds to go, we got another touchdown!!  

We whipped their Arrogant Asses, 35-11.

Their coach apologized to our coach this morning for the stake incident.  This is the same coach who let his quarterback play with a severe concussion.  Me thinks, his days are numbered at the UofM.

A coach for U of M, many years ago, Lloyd Carr--man of great class, donated a children's wing to the U of M hospital.  It was just discovered his little grandson Chad Carr has a brain tumor and is taking treatment in that very wing.

After the game, both bands came onto the field and together, made this formation.

Here's two of MY kids from Brighton that got to be together yesterday.
Brian Tang, one of my Horn players and little buddy Kyle Hanson, trumpet player.

How cool is that?  Note* The school emblems are always over the band member's hearts.

Friday, October 24, 2014


I had three Angels visit me today.  Angels are so very elusive.  They don't tell you their names and they don't tell you exactly where they came from.  They just drop in, give you their blessings and then, they fly away, but you know---because you REALLY know, that they are nearby and keeping an eye on you and all the while, you are not even aware of how much they care about you.

One of them, who flew in from the State of Washington said:

"In hard times, she had learned three things-
she was STRONGER than she ever imagined,
Jesus was CLOSER than she ever realized
and she was LOVED more than she ever knew."

That message took my breath away, because it is so very true and it spoke directly to my heart and soul!

The other Angel came by from Colorado.  Can you imagine?  I didn't even know I had an Angel in Colorado.  I LOVE Colorado.  She said, "Thank You."  She's thanking me?  For what?

I never see comments from these Angels.  Like I said, they are elusive.  How do I thank them?   Perhaps only to remember them in my nightly prayers?  Just to say, "Dear God, please bless my human Angels?"  

You, my Dear Blog Buddies out there, wherever you are, I have to tell you.  I DO say a prayer for you every night.  As I go through my "list" I thank God for everything He has given me, then I ask Him to 'bless and protect, my sister & Chuck, my nephew and his family, Mark & Cindy, Pammie, Karen & Mark, Helene, Susanna & Derek, Marcus, Stephen, Madeleine, Jennifer & Eric, Andrew, Elise, Alex, and Evan.  Bless all my cousins, friends, the people who read my blog and their families.  Bless the President and please God, heal our nation.'  
Today, I have an extra blessing.  It is the 53rd birth day of my third child, Karen Helene.  She was a 10 month baby, which my doctor said he didn't believe in, until he saw her--dark brown eyes and two tiny teeth poking through and looking as wrinkled as if she had been in bath water for a month.  

She was the easiest of my children to raise.  So loving and giving, right from the start.  She is now, still the same.  She and her hubby have raised five of the most remarkable children I have ever known.  They are all so considerate and giving also.  She is involved in her church and her community.  I don't know why God blessed me with such a wonderful gift, but I am forever grateful that I got to be in her life.

My lawn mowing guy came by today and mowed the lawn and mulched and bagged all my "visible" leaves.  Seven bags full!  My big Maple tree hasn't let down his leaves as yet, but...I think I can rake them myself!  I am going to give it a try anyway because....I don't want to spend any more $$$ on the lawn.  At least this winter, I won't have that expense.  It's only $40 a month, but still.....


Oh my!  Darlene came over this early morning.  That poor woman!  

A couple of weeks ago, she dropped in to tell me that she had a pulled muscle in her lower abdomen.  She "showed" it to me (yikes) and I told her I thought it looked like a hernia.

"Women don't get hernias," she said.

"Sure they do," I replied.  "It is a weakening in your abdominal wall and part of the intestine is bulging through.  You shouldn't be lifting anything.  And...you need to get to your doctor!"

So, she finally went to the doc on Monday and ...she has a hernia.  She will need surgery and has been put on restrictions at work.  She is now the store Greeter, which is driving her crazy---she hates it!  I can't say as I blame her.

So--this morning she came in, so upset, she was near tears.

"I have black mold in the little bathroom!"

"Oh my gosh."

"Remember, I had all that insurance work done last spring?"


"Well, I signed off on the papers that everything was taken care of and now...they won't pay to have the black mold taken out!"

"I saw there was a pick-up over at your house this morning."

"Ya...that's Craig.  He is cutting out a part of my ceiling and wall and....sure enough...black mold behind.  DAMN!!  How am I going to pay for this?"

"Don't you have extra money put away?"

"Yes...I don't want to use it though.  I do have a no interest credit card I could put it on."

"Well--rather than touch your cash---your liquid asset, put it on the card.  If they don't charge you any interest, you can pay for it each month and be okay."

"I was just thanking God the other night and now look........he's sent me a hernia AND black mold!"

"Ah...Darlene...you know very well that God didn't send you these things.  God doesn't work that way!"

"Well...it just seems that every time I get ahead, something comes along to knock me back down!"

"Yes...I know, but...that is just part of life ya know.  It keeps us humble."

"Okay.  I gotta go.  I just knew that I had to come talk to you...to get it off my chest and out of my head. I feel better now."

...and off she went.  

I missed my Soap today, but...it was worth it.  At 12:30 a knock at my door and...there stood Tami's ex husband--Shawn!  I was so glad to see him.

"I didn't see your car."

"I parked over on the other street and walked in the back way.  I don't want Tami to know I'm here."

I love Shawn.  We all loved Shawn.  One of the reasons we tolerated Tami was because of Shawn.  His Mother died about seven years ago and he has called me Mom the last five years.  I have counseled him many times, but haven't seen him in over a year.

We talked and talked.  He told me all about his new marriage and the two children that came with it.  He always wanted children and just adores them.  He is going to church regularly and is so happy now.  

He was up the road to our little hospital for heart tests.  He's been off work for two months with heart issues and finally had an ablation, which has fixed him up good as new..he doesn't need a pacemaker.  He can go back to work on Monday.

"I wish I could help you with some money," I said.

"I wish I could help YOU," he said.

So we just sat and talked and laughed and helped each other out that way.

Another visit by an Angel!!
I have a question.  Have you ever intentionally purchased a bag of Halloween candy, knowing full well you wouldn't have any Trick or Treat kids coming to your door?   Fun Size Snickers--nom, nom.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Oh my!

I barely had my clothes on and Dar came running in.  She was all flustered and hyper.

"I have just used 440 minutes on my phone!"

"440 minutes?  What did you do.  Start talking in the middle of the night?

"No!  Eight o'clock this morning!"
<it was 10:00 now>

"Sit down.  Take a deep breath and tell me, what in the world is going on?"

"My alcoholic son called me.  He has stopped drinking."

"Didn't he do that a month ago?"

"Yes.  But now he says, it's for good.  He wanted to know if he could come live with me."

"And, what did you say?"

"I said 'no'--just like last time.  So I expect, just like last time, he'll call me back in a few hours, drunk again and cursing me out."

"Or maybe...he really means it this time."

"The phone rang fifteen minutes later and it was...Connie!"

"Oh my gosh!  You're kidding.  What did she want?"

"She called me 'Mommie" and said that she wants to bring the girls and come and visit me for a weekend.  That she wants us to talk and reconnect our relationship!"

"Oh...that's wonderful!"

"No.  It.  Is.  Not!"

"But, if you do reconnect, than  you will be able to see your grandkids."

"I don't trust her.  I'm not letting her in MY house."

"But---it's her house too.  Her name is also on the title.  She bought the house."

"I don't care!  I'm scared of her and I am not letting her in.  I told her I'd get us a motel with a pool and we can spend the weekend there."

"Oh.  That doesn't seem a place that would be very conducive to an intimate, personal conversation."

"Well, what would you do...if Jennifer called and said she wanted to come over and talk about your relationship...try to repair it."

"I'd ask her how soon she could get here!"

"How could you forgive her that easily?"

"Because...she is my child."

"Oh.  You're the wrong one to ask!!"
<I felt some heat arising>

"Well Dar, you wanted to know what I'd do and I told you.  If you want someone to only agree with you...then I guess I am the wrong one to ask."

"Well...I just came over for a minute.  I have to go get my Bigby coffee and some cigarettes.  I am just so upset."

She got up and put on her coat.

"Okay," I said.  "Hope you get it all worked out.  Bye."
I had to run up to Howell after she left and, as I drove by Pearl's, this is what I saw.

Sand Cranes walking between her and her neighbor's place.

I noticed that most of our trees are coming into their last phase of color.  Not as vibrant as last week and, losing most of their leaves.

A view off my back porch.

View out my bedroom, bath and kitchen window

 Down by the park and lake at the end of my street

There is a really nice large lake on the way to Howell.  Sometimes, like today, I stop in the park and just look out at the glistening water.
 This spot reminds me of Fred.  Every single time he went
up to Howell, he'd stop here for a few minutes.

This is a photo he took in 2010

My neighbor's across the street have their deck finished and both sets of steps done.  Looks nice, doesn't it?
If I miss a day of posting here, do not be alarmed.  I am working on a "How To" book that my friend Chris has encouraged me to write.  It is taking a lot of writing and taking photos of maintenance stuff and gardening stuff.

I can't come up with a decent title.  She wants me to put my name in the title and I don't want too, LOL.

So, If I don't post, it is because I am tired of writing all day. :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What I Did Today

Alex was 8 years old yesterday.

I took him to his favorite restaurant this evening.
He loves his new school, because...
#1--there is no dress code
#2--he doesn't have to wear a button-up golf shirt type of shirt
#3-the work is way more interesting
#4-the playground is way bigger and has better stuff

He went to a dirt bike place last Sunday and he had a small mark on his face from, "when I wiped out."  Thinking of my friend Sally's grandson--this adventure of Alex' made me nervous.

I had to get him back home within 90 minutes so Aunt Pammie could get him to Soccer practice.
I also found out today that Alex' older brother Andrew, who will be 13 in two weeks, is almost as tall as I am.  Alex' older sister Elise is in 5th grade band and is playing her mother's flute!!!!! Which truly warms the cockles of my heart AND little Evan who turned 3 last month came running out for a hug yelling, "Mimi. Mimi."

Nice evening.  I cried on the way home because I can't see them more often.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Earthly Angels

Jackie's son, grandchildren and great grandchildren
came to rake her leaves

...26 bags ready for tomorrow's pick-up 

I have an earthly angel in Wisconsin, who sent me an e-mail, telling me they were praying the 9 day St. Jude Novena for me.  St. Jude being the Helper of the Hopeless and the Saint for Desperate Causes.

I have an earthly angel in Texas, named Christine.

I have an earthly angel in Indiana, named Marla.

I have an earthly angel just up the street, who invited me out for pizza tonight and...they picked up the tab.

I have an earthly angel from Brighton, who brought out 10 cans of wet cat food and left them on my porch.

Earthly Angels all around me.

I am so blessed!  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's All Good--For Now Anyway!

I just noticed.  If I peek carefully between the two houses, I can still see a bit of the walk and the woods.

I'm still not "allowed" to have Jennifer's kids in my house and I can't go into their house.  Tuesday, I will drive over to Jen's when the kids get home from school.  Pammie is with them that day.  I will wait in the car, in the driveway until Alex comes out--the other kids will probably either wave from the open door or come out to say Hi.  He and I will come back to Brighton for his special supper and then I will take him home again.  That's all I get and I am grateful for it!!

I have been working for my author friend Chris, and I had a few hours built up and she transferred the money into my Pay Pal account, which I immediately transferred part of into my checking account--SO--BIG BREATH--I will make it through this month!!!!  and, I will put out of my mind what is left in my Pay Pal account so I don't spend it and next month, if I get an unexpected again--I will remember I have some "stashed" away.  All is good!

I am having the best time.  Chris has asked me to write up a sort of How To book on home maintenance and gardening ideas and stuff like that for women who live alone.  How To drain and flush the water heater, How To get the house ready for winter.  Did you know, on your ceiling fans, you have to change the rotation of the blades for winter or summer?  How To clean out the dryer vent, inside and outside.  Things like that.  I take photos as I do these things and include them in the book.  It gives me something to do--makes my brain work..and she is paying me to do it.

I think she finds "busy" work for me to do, so she can help me and I can save my pride, by not having to ask for help!  

I know I have told you the story of Chris and I before, but...she is like my daughter--probably closer than a daughter because I have shared thoughts and feelings with her that I would not have shared with a daughter...or my sister for that matter.  She lives in Texas and occasionally Idaho, while her Army career hubby is stationed overseas.  She is constantly trying to get me on a plane to visit her ...when she was in Germany, then Italy, now Texas.  

It would be nice...but logistics just don't allow me to travel.  Who would take care of the cats?  I don't fly, so I'd have to drive--can't drive that far.  Not comfortable being away from home for any time.  At least, now that she is back in the states, it FEELS like she is a lot closer.

Chris is the one who wrote the wonderful cookbook.  She is also a children's author.  Here is a blatant promotion for her.  Buy one of her cookbooks for a bridal shower, or a grandchild who is moving, for the first time, into their own apartment, or...for yourself.
Are you ready for some "Pearlables"?  Kind of like a parable, but there is no moral or spiritual meaning to the story.

Pearl walked down last week.

"Something is wrong with our car."

"What happened?"  I asked.

"I drove up to Wal-Mart, got groceries and put them in the trunk and as I was backing out, there must have been a car coming behind me because I heard a loud horn and I jammed my foot on the brake and...the car just slide over to the right and banged into the car parked next to me."

"How could that happen?"

"I don't know!  It just slide over to the right, all on it's own!"

"Are you sure you didn't put your foot on the gas pedal?"

"I'm not that stupid!  I know the gas pedal from the brake pedal!  The car moved on its own, I tell you."

"Okay.  I wonder what caused it to do that?"

"I don't know.  Merle is going to check the steering."

"Did you damage your car...the other car?"

"I broke up my right front fender, but it only scratched the back fender of the other car."

"Gosh.  What did Merle say?  Was he mad?"

"Nope.  He doesn't care anymore, about anything.  He just looked at it and shook his head.  He said he can't fix it because its made out of plastic and he doesn't know how to fix that."

I was up to Pearl's the other morning and when I walked in, the house was full of smoke.

"You taking up smoking again?"  I asked.

"No.  Something's wrong with this microwave oven!  I'm throwing the dang thing out!"

"Why.  What happened?"

"It caught on fire!"

"Oh my gosh!  The wiring you mean?"

"No.  Fire on the inside."

"Did you put metal in there?"

"No!  I'm not that stupid!  I know how to run a microwave!  I put in two of those frozen, ready to eat sausages...with a paper towel over the top, and the paper towel caught on fire.  Burned those sausages right up too."

"Wow!  What setting did you use?"

"I used high.  High for six minutes."

"Ah--hh, high for 60 seconds."

Big sigh as she stomps over to the freezer, pulls out the package and says, "Read the directions yourself, Smartie Pants."

And so I did, "microwave on high, 60 to 70 seconds." and I handed the package back to her.

As for Dar?  I've only seen her once in the last ten days--she called at 10:30 last Tuesday night...

"Do you have any Kaopectate?"


"I thought you had a pharmacy in your bathroom cupboard!"

"I do, but I don't have Kaopectate."

"I've got diarrhea just terrible and I need something."

"I've got Imodium D.  That will work."

"Okay.  I'll be right over."

So, I went and got the Imodium and walked out on the front porch because she isn't bringing nasty germs into my house!!!
My fur kids are certainly enjoying the window bench I made for them, out of two of Pearl's thrown away end tables.
As an added bonus, Pearl can look out of her bedroom window and see them. :-)