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

Friday, November 27, 2015

Best Black Friday Ever

The kids and sister have known for years that I can't drive after dark.  Come to find out, my sister and her hubs sat home alone Thursday.  They had Thanksgiving with her son's family on Wednesday.  She said, "You should have come out.  We don't really do Thanksgiving anymore, but you could have come for lunch."

I explained that I thought her son would be there celebrating with his family and didn't feel right about just intruding.

Anyway--Karen must have realized something because she called us all this morning and invited us down for a "craft" day at her house.  "Be here by 11:00.  Bring whatever craft you are working on and we'll go down in the basement, watch "White Christmas" and yak."

Susan picked me up on her way.  Pammie came too.  Jen was invited, but turned us down.  Her MIL was visiting and although Karen invited the MIL to come too, they didn't.

Well--what a great time we had.  This day will keep me happy until Christmas which we found out today, is going to be at Pammie's house!!!!!  The first time I will celebrate Christmas Eve back in my own house since 1988.  We will start the festivities at noon!!!  I WILL GET MY FOUR HOURS OF BEING WITH THE KIDS--well, Jen may not show up, but.....................

 Karen has an enormous storage room just off her basement.

My sister playing the piano

My sister singing Christmas carols as loudly as she can to bring the others down stairs.

 Pam was crocheting an afghan and checking her phone.

Maddie was crocheting an afghan and Helene a scarf.

 Susan had been working on her scrapbooking and Karen was sewing on a quilt.

We all had a try at lifting the 35# bar bell,  Susan got it about 6" off the floor, I got it up to my waist and Karen did several reps, squats and over her head.

We sang all the songs along with the movie--we've seen it many, many times.

Then, things got a bit crazy

Pammie got to talking about how she loved the trunk with all the old clothes in it that my kids used to make Halloween costumes.  Madeleine made the comment that they had a "dress-up" trunk with "Gramma's old prom dresses."  Helene went into the storage area and pulled out the box.  There it was.  My beautiful Senior Prom formal.

Then they wanted me to try it on to see if it still fit.  Someone took a video of me dancing around the basement, but I haven't seen it as yet.

Maddie found a purple number from someones bridesmaid dress and Helene put on the negligee I had made for her mother and a kitty hat I had made for one of Jen's Halloween costumes.      

We settled down and went back to our handiwork and finished watching the movie.  Maddie had to run to ballet practice.  We did manage to get one photo where we look like proper women, lovely ladies.  Which of course is a lie, because we are more normal in the rest of the photos than the last one.

Three trying to sit in a space for two.

Ah-hh,  There we are.  Very prim, proper 
and looking so normal!

Then tonight, I got this picture of my son and Cindy.  He sure doesn't look like he has cancer, does he?

Thank God.  The infusions he gets every few weeks have not made him sick and his "numbers" are near normal.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Way It Was

I miss the way is was.  We always dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma's, and it was dinner, 1:00 pm precisely.  None of this eating at four in the afternoon nonsense!

After my Grandma died, we were always up to Mother and Daddy's.  After Mother died, I had Thanksgiving dinner for everyone.  I cooked all day Wednesday--two or three recipes that my Grandma and Mother always had.  I made 4 or 5 different pies.  Pumpkin, Mince, Apple, Cherry and usually Banana Cream.  My Dad and step-mother came and my hubs family.  The women all worked so I had them bring nothing.

I used my Grandma's best long linen damask table cloth, her china dishes and crystal water goblets and my Mother's pure sterling silver-ware.  The kids loved it!!  They were on their best table manners that day.

When I lived in Saginaw, I always fixed Thanksgiving dinner for my house mate Ernie and his mother.  Just the three of us, but I made all the trimmings.  It was their custom to have peel and eat shrimp as an appetizer.

Then, when I moved down here, the whole family was still going up to The Farm, with Daddy and Step-mother.  After Daddy died, step-mother always went to her daughters and Fred and I always went to Jennifer's.  Her mother- in-law would come in from New Jersey and we'd  have a big meal and then while the men watched football, we women played Canasta.

Then Fred died and everyone felt sorry for me and I had invites to everyone's place!!  Then Jen got mad at me and the next year I went to Karen's, with all her in-laws.  When Susan and Chuck moved to The Farm in 2012, I had Thanksgiving with them.  We'd usually get Pammie to drive on up for dinner with us.

My son and Cindy always go to her Mother's for Thanksgiving.
So this year, when I hadn't heard anything by yesterday, I realized that NO ONE was going to extend an invitation.  That pretty much hurt!    So--when I got up this morning, I decided to treat it like any other Thursday.

I did not watch the parade.  I stayed in this computer room and worked on getting my last genealogy book printed out.  Then, at noon, I went out into the living room, had a bowl of Cheerios and watched a bit of the Lion's football game. I got my last batch of spaghetti sauce going and then I watched a really good movie with Ryan O'Neil, Shelly Somebody and Drew Barrymore called "Irreconcilable Differences."

I was working on a new knit project for Chris, while I enjoyed the movie.

Then, between 1:00 and 3:00, Karen called and invited me down.  They were eating at 4:00.  I can't drive after dark, so the minute I got to her house, I would have had to start back.  Then my sister called, she is coming this way tomorrow.  Then Pearl called and was so angry at my family, she invited me to go with them to her grand daughter's.  Then John stopped by with two pieces of the Pineapple Cakes he had made from the recipe I gave him.

Then, it was 6:30 and the MSU Spartans were playing basketball and now--just look--it's after nine and I will be going to bed soon!

It was a pretty good day--62 degrees and sunny. 

I still miss the way it was, however.  Now, I am waiting to see how they can all screw up the (once a year) four whole hours I get to be with family on Christmas Eve!  I can't wait for it all to be over!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2 in 1

What a lovely time Andrew and I had at supper.

I told him to choose where he wanted to go and he picked Red Robin.  Their family used to go there all the time, but haven't been in a couple of years.  It IS quite expensive.  I had a hamburger and our bill came to $32.38.  I told him to order anything he wanted, and he did!

We talked about so many things.  Their move--he is not happy, but says, "I don't really have a choice, so I will make the best of it."  We talked about college--he still wants to go to MIT--that hasn't changed since he was 6.  We talked about choices he will be making in the next few years.  I cautioned about making spur-of-the-moment choices and how that could hurt his life.  We talked about drugs--he says cigarettes, alcohol and weed are very prevalent in his class and the high school.  I was quite amazed, as  his school is rather a small townish atmosphere.  We talked about religion and how he likes their new church because, "I can ask questions.  I can voice my opinion, and I'm not going to be judged or thrown out.

We talked about his siblings--he's very keen on the youngest Evan because, "He is very smart!"

I told him that the move is going to be hardest on Elise, he agreed and said, "She just cries about it all the time!"  I said, "Girls form really strong friendships.  They have a deep emotional connection to their friends.  Elise is really going to miss Violet, that shes known since she was three.  Right now, she probably doesn't think she will make any new friends, but she will.  Just be nice to her and don't tease her."

I asked about his friends.  He only has a couple in his own class.  He has three really good friends who are Seniors this year.  Why is that?  He is taking Senior AP classes, so he is with the Senior Gifted kids more than he is with his own Freshman class.

Andrew has a very high IQ and is super intelligent.  At 12 1/2, he built his own computer.  Not just a regular computer, but one of those with extra hard drives, lots of megabytes and other bytes I can barely understand.  He has been told by family and teachers, since he was 4, how brilliant he is and...he believes it and knows it.

He doesn't act haughty, at least not around me, but when I said to him, "You are very intelligent," he didn't give me one of those "Aw shucks," looks, he nodded his head in agreement.  "Just don't let your intelligence make you weird like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.....don't let it isolate you from other people.  Be as smart as you want, but be humble about it and interact with all kinds of people."

He is very courteous, to everyone.  He uses his "Please" and "Thank Yous" to the waitress and to all others.  I like that about him.

We talked about politics.  He's a lot smarter about that,  than most adults I know.  He said, "The way our Constitution was written up, the Congress is supposed to have as much or more power than the President.  The Congress who is supposed to represent the people.  Nowadays, the President has all the power and the Congress, with their unlimited terms, aren't representing the people.  They are just there getting and doing favors from their other buddies and working on a nice retirement package."

Andrew just turned 14.  14 going on 20.  He is unlike any 14 year old boy I have ever met and talked with.  His knowing that he is exceptional in the brain department seems to give him a certain sense of confidence.  I suppose he could be a pain in the ass, and I hope he learns to tone that down, before some Jersey Boy beats it out of him.

Andrew has also lost the uncomfortableness he used to have at 10-12 about hugging Gramma Judy.  He not only hugs me now, but easily said, "I love you, Gramma."

I do not know why he is wearing his hair long like this.  I also don't know why he dressed so sloppy when we went out to eat.  I said nothing about it.  I don't really understand teenagers all that well anymore.

This morning, John and Maisey stopped in.  I was still in my pajamas.  Luckily I wear flannel pajama pants and a waffle-weave thermal top, so I was clothed.  He gave me a jar of special jam he bought in the UP.  Thimble Berry, which he noted was special.  I had never heard of it before, so I Googled it.

Each year, hundreds of jars of thimbleberry jam are produced and sold by local jam makers to feed the appetites of visitors hungry for a taste of Keweenaw. Each year, many more jars are produced in homes throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula to feed families hungry for a sweet breakfast companion or after school snack. But even seasoned jam makers must learn new ways to meet the unique challenges facing them throughout the entire process. Two characteristics of thimbleberries present the first hurdles to a would-be jam maker: It grows only in the wild, and it is extremely fragile.

 It is not unusual for home jam makers to gather their berries in the wild. Wild blueberry and strawberry jams have been popular for decades, perhaps centuries. However, these fruits can be gathered in just about any type of container, including  boxes, baskets or pails. Not so the thimbleberry. So delicate are these berries that they break open from the weight of the berries above them in the pail. Even the most careful picker cannot avoid bruising them. To prevent the juice of the berries from being lost to the forest floor, only a watertight- or in this case juice-tight-container will do for gathering. Plastic five-quart ice cream pails are perfect for the job.

The Monks have this place to sell UP items to support their monastery.

$15.00 for a pint of jam!!
The rest of my day was spent copying out my next to last genealogy book and making a quick trip up to Cartridge World to get my color and blank inkjets refilled!!

Tomorrow is looking like I am going to be alone on Thanksgiving day.  I have no invites from no one.

Kind of sad in a way.  I have four children and a sister and yet none of them thought about the old lady.  It will be so much more convenient when I'm dead!!

BUT, rather than let those kinds of thoughts creep into my mind, I will content myself with finishing up the printing of the book, knitting and crocheting and starting my last batch of spaghetti sauce.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Make Some Popcorn.......................

.....and watch my movie debut.
<de but?  What is a de but?>

Friday--it arrived from UPS.  It took me several minutes to get the heavy box back to the bedroom. 

My back was already killing me!


Sunday, it's ready for it's test run


Monday, November 23, 2015

The First Snow Fall

We were the "epicenter" of the snow fall, with an official depth of 16.8 inches. It was marvelous!!  Wish I could post my own videos on here--I tried by I guess Blogger doesn't allow.

I knitted and crocheted all day and watched my Spartans, upset and stun the unbeaten Buckeyes of Ohio State.  My Spartans using 2 second-string quarter backs because our main man had a shoulder injury.  It was amazing and quite unexpected!!!!  

Sunday, I stayed in all day too because my drive-way wasn't cleared and my car covered with 16.8 inches of snow.  John was still in the Upper Peninsula with his dying sister and did not get home until late last night.

At around 10:00, I heard a knock at my door.  It was Jackie's three grandchildren.  The youngest one (11) asked, "May we please clear off your driveway for you?"

"Sure.  May I please give you some money for doing it?"

"No ma'am.  We just want to do it.  We just did grandma's and we still want to do yours."

"Okay.  If you really want to."

"Yes we do!  Thank you so much.  God bless you!"

"You too!"

Nine kids in that family.  All home schooled in a Christian group.  They remind me of Karen's kids.  

It seems to me that these kinds of kids get such a kick out of just helping people with no thought for anything in repayment.  Earning stars in their Heavenly crowns.
I got my 3" inch memory foam mattress topper Friday, opened it and let it lay flat until Sunday afternoon.  Man that thing is heavy!!!  I got it on the bed and slept on it for the first time last night.

It is nothing like I thought (and feared) it would be.  I did not sink into it.  I was afraid I would not be able to roll over or get out of the "hole" in the morning.  It is like a nice firm mattress--not hard, but nice and supportive.

I must have slept well because I went to sleep on my right side and woke up this morning, still on my right side and the covers on the left side of the bed were still in place, just like I had made the bed.  Amazing!    

Usually, if I sleep on one side all night long, the scar area of my hip replacement is kind of sore.  Not this morning.  I could easily get off the bed, just swung my legs over to the side and stood up.  I don't have to push myself up from the bed, which helps my painful left shoulder.

My bed was already high, but with the added 3", when I stand by it, the edge comes up to just below my bottom, so it is easy to get in and out of.  Now, if you were 5'4" with a high mattress to start with, you might need a ladder!  LOL

It is perfect!
This morning, John called to see if I needed him to remove any snow from my drive-way or car.  He sounded exhausted and I imagine he was.  It's a 350 mile drive up to where his sister is.

I told him, "Nope.  My drive-way is all cleared off."

Then I went out and tried removed the snow from my car.  


Of course, it was wet and heavy.  I had to use my plastic snow shovel to get the first two layers off the roof, trunk and hood.  I was exhausted, so I hopped in the car, started it up, turned on the front and rear defrosters and just let it run for 20 minutes.  After my Soap, I took off up to Wal-Mart.

Sunny tomorrow and Wednesday and 50's, will clear all the snow away from my car and probably most of the grass.
Andrew sent me a message early this morning that he had a dental appointment after school so we are going out for supper Tuesday night.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Grateful Day #19

Another e-mail from my grandson:

This friday I'm going over to a friend's house, but Monday would be fine!

On Nov 18, 2015 5:19 PM, "Judith Miller" <jjmiller6213@comcast.net> wrote:
What do you have going this Friday after school?

If not Friday, how about next Monday or Tuesday?
I will pick him up around 4:00 :-)

Today I had lunch with my Old School Gal Pals.  Quite a distance away.  Well, really not that far, but it seemed like it.  35.7 miles one way.  That's the most I have driven in months. :-)  A nice surprise, my BFF Arlene's daughter stopped in with her daughter and grandson, just so I could meet him.  My BFF's first great grandchild.  He is 11 months old and we fell in love immediately.  While we were eating, he kept pulling on my shirt, wanting me to pick him out of the high chair.  While I was holding him, I tried to pass him off to his mother and he turned toward me and snuggled his head in my shoulder and wouldn't let go of me.

I don't know if I mentioned here, a couple of months ago, how I physically longed to hold a baby in my arms.  He isn't quite a baby, but holding him seemed to do the trick.  He wiggled so much, I was worn out.  LOL

Tears after they left.  I miss Arlene so much and it makes me sad and a bit angry that she died just a few months before her grand daughter's wedding.  She was trying to hang on so hard, just to be at the wedding.  Anger that she never got to see and snuggle with this adorable little boy.

Anyway, it was lots of love from them.  Hugs and shared tears and I love yous.  Truly something to be grateful for.  I can't tell you much of what else was going on around me.  I did hear that one of our friends is in the hospital, recently in ICU and barely made it.  Apparently, she had a bowel blockage, but it or something, led to her not being able to breathe and problems with her heart.  Plus, her mind was very bad.  I suppose that could be caused by not enough oxygen.

We just go along, minding our own business, living a nice life and BAM, we get sick and die in a matter of a few days.  Another reason I am grateful every morning when I wake up and I'm still here.  As my BFF used to say, even when she was dying, "As long as I'm on the top side of the sod, it's a good day."

I didn't get out to The Farm on the way home.  By the time I drove out there, it would be time to head home before it got dark, so I called my Lil' Sister and explained.  Then, on the way home, I drove through my home town for a few minutes and headed on home.  Got here at 4:45--it gets dark by 5:15 nowadays.

I had to do something tonight that I didn't think I'd ever do.  I have a Face Book "friend"--I have only met her twice and that was 10 years ago.  I will call her Lynn, because that is her name.

She is a very Intolerant Liberal--the kind that preaches tolerance, but does not practice it.  She can't take an opinion that doesn't agree with her political leanings.  She likes to ridicule me on some of my political posts.  She wants to argue.  She says I am "hate filled" and once called me a "racist" because I disagree with the President's policies.  She uses crude language.  

If any of my other "friends" make a comment on my post, she gets into arguments with them.  I don't care how she rags on me, but to get into long winded "comment" fights with my other friends, really bothers me.  Plus, I believe it is so against etiquette.  Aren't you just supposed to comment on the original post and not what others comment?

I have her restricted so I don't see any of her posts.  I made a mild comment on one of her posts, years ago, and three of her "friends", commented that #1: I was stupid.  #2: I was a racist.  #3:  I was so ignorant that I had no business even commenting on her post.  YIKES.  These tolerant Liberals are kind of scary.

So, today while I was away from home, there was a lot of activity about a joke link I had posted.  She and another of my younger friends apparently were going back and forth with each other.The younger friend thought Lynn had disrespected me (which she had) and was standing up for me.  So, Lynn attacked her.

This has been going on for the last few years.  I have decided to block Lynn.  I never thought I'd ever do a thing like that.  It seems impolite, it seems rude.  I try to be nice to everyone.  However, considering the fact that this next year is going to be a heated one, I don't think I want the stress of her rants on my Timeline, on everything I post.  Considering the fact I have only met the woman twice and only for a few minutes each time, and the person we were connected through died five years ago--I shouldn't worry about her feelings.

But I do.   It makes me feel bad.  
This morning, I found out from Karen that Jennifer and Husband have sold their house.  They got what they were asking. $1M.  I guess right now, they are trying to figure out if they should pull the kids out of school and move them to a new one in January, or if Eric will go to NJ, start taking over his Dad's business and start building their house while Jen stays here with the kids so they can finish out this school year.

Personally?  I don't think they should pull the kids out of school mid-year.  It is going to be hard enough on them to start at a brand new school next fall.

It is going to be hardest on Elise.  She is best friends with their next door neighbor girl.  They have known each other since they were 3 and have been in the same class for the last 6 years.

It won't bother Alex a bit.  He is so calm and unperturbed by anything.  He can make friends in half a minute and just goes on.

The little guy Evan, won't know a bit of difference.  The only problem he is having right now, is missing his Aunt Pammie.  He cries almost everyday for her.  Jen texts Pam and tells her how Evan cries for her.  It upsets Pam.  Does Jen think she is showing Pam how much Evan loves and misses her?  She's not doing it in the right way!

I don't know how Andrew feels.  I might find out Monday, without prying too much. He probably will adjust just fine.

I will not be voicing any of my worries to any of them AND NOT to any of the rest of the family.  Keep my mouth shut and just smile and nod and make appropriate noises in my throat.

Is it going to break my heart that they are moving?  Not really.  I haven't been part of their family for nearly three years.  It might make it even easier because now they won't be so close that I feel left out of everything.  They will be far away and that will be a good excuse?

I am anxious to know how Jennifer is going to get along--with a SIL that she can barely tolerate.  A FIL that treats her like she's a "woman" and of no consequence and a MIL that regards Jen like she is her son's wife and thus a slave to the family.  It should be interesting. 

The only REAL concern I have?  Them living on the East Coast and Eric working in Manhattan.    Can anyone say "ISIS"?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

All is Right With My World

From: Andrew Oertel [mailto:drewoer@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 4:41 PM
To: Judy

Hi grandma! I just saw that you called about taking me to birthday dinner. Im excited for it, and any day would work for me. Thanks!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Grateful? Hm-mm, Let Me Think Now.

I am pretty depressed today.

As I told you, my oldest daughter Pamela-Pam-Pammie, isn't working for my youngest daughter anymore.  My middle-man, in their home/life is gone.  Pam was the one that arranged my visits with my four youngest grand children.

Jennifer still isn't speaking to me, it's been nearly three years now.  I was hopeful because at the start of fall, she did stop in twice after church on Saturday night.

I got to take my 3rd grandson Alex out for his birthday supper and we had a great time.  Pam talked to his parents and got that all arranged for me.  That same day, I was talking with my oldest of the four, grandson Andrew.  We talked about where he wanted to go for his birthday supper.  He would pick the place.

His 14th birthday was November 3rd.  His father's Dad was visiting that and the next week so I knew he'd be busy.

This past Saturday, I called Jennifer on her cell.  She did not answer so I left a message asking her when it would be a good evening for Andrew and I to go out.  I don't know his after school schedule.  She didn't return my call.

On Sunday, I sent her an e-mail, nicely requesting the same thing.  No response.

Pam suggested I call their home phone.  Last night at 8:00, knowing they all would be home, I called.  No answer, so once again I left a message.  "Hi, this is Grandma Judy.  I am calling to find out when Andrew and I can go out for supper.  I don't know his schedule, so I'm hoping you will get back to me.  Thanks."

I was hoping with a message on the home phone, Andrew might hear my message, or one of the other kids.  Their Dad would ignore it, I'm sure, as might Jennifer.

She told me 3 years ago that even if she didn't want to see or speak to me, she would never keep the kids from their "grandmother".

I think she is doing that very thing!

Her message on the home phone just about made me want to throw-up!  In a soft, Jackie Kennedy sort of voice is Jennifer--"This is the Oertel residence.  I'm sorry we can't take your call right now.  Please leave a message and we'll get back to you shortly.  Thank you and have a blessed day."

Yeah--everyone have a blessed day----except your own mother!

I can't enlist Pam or Karen to help me because they told her long ago to give up the grudge and be "pleasant to Mom."

I just hope Andrew doesn't think that I have deserted him.

Monday, November 16, 2015

It All Started Saturday Morning...............

I was all prepared to take a shower fairly early Saturday morning, but for some reason, I had no hot water.  So, I tore into that end of the closet in my bedroom, took out all my winter clothes and laid them on the bed.  Removed the stuff on the floor, took off the door and opened the bottom of the water heater and could see no gas burning nor pilot light lit.

I uttered a word that I won't print here, and called my handy-dandy service technician.  I have a service contract for all my appliances and furnace through my electric company.  The guy took my information and checked around.  "I can get a tech out on Monday."

"Monday?  Don't you have anyone working today?"

"Yes, but they are all booked all day.  We have had a lot of problems since the high winds went through the area.  A lot of pilot lights blown out on water heaters, from the down drafts."

"Okay.  Monday.  What time?"

"Anywhere between nine and four.  The tech will call you when he's on his way."

So I hung up and uttered another word.  Not the same one as before the call, but one slightly worse.

I saw John and Maisey walking by so I opened the front door and flagged him down.  Maisey gladly ran up to the porch.  She can't make the steps up anymore so John carried her.

"You told me the next time the pilot light on my water heater went out, to call you because you know to light it."

"Yep.  I do.  Let me take Maisey back home and I'll come back and get it done."

Meanwhile, I went back to the bedroom, got my long flame lighter, and my flashlight and put them down by the bottom of the water heater.  John knocked and I ran walked quickly up to the front to let him in.

He goes in the closet and lays down on his tummy.  Thank goodness he is a short man so he fits in the area. 

He opens the door where the burner is, lights the long lighter thingy, and pushes down on the red button to bring in the gas.  


"Oh oh," I said.  "This happened last spring when Merle tried to light the thing."

"No, no.  Let me try again.  I am having a hard time holding this door open and pushing on the gas button."

So I got into the closet, put a foot on either side of him and bent down and held the red gas button down while he tried to light it.


He leaned up and turned the whole thing to "Off".  Let it set for awhile and then turned it to Pilot, flicked the lighter, stuck it into the burner area and I bent over and held down the red gas button.


We attempted this four more times when I finally cried, "Forget it!"  My back was killing me from bending over and I was just about to fall down right, on John's back!  Not a good thing!

"What are you going to do with no hot water?"

"I've got a service guy coming sometime on Monday."

"MONDAY?  You are going to need hot water before then.  What are you going to do?"

"Well, the first thing I am going to do is yank all these clothes off my bed and throw them on the floor so I can sleep in my bed.  Then...I'm going to watch football all day and knit and crochet.  On Sunday, I will just pretend I am roughing it out in a primitive camp ground or something.  I'll be fine."

John said, "That tech that comes--be sure and watch what he does so we know next time this happens.  He'll probably just crawl in there and light it first time.  Call and let me know."

And....today when the tech finally got her at 4:00 pm. that is exactly what  he did.  Crawled in there, turned the gas on to pilot, stuck MY flame lighter into the burner, flicked the flame, pushed down on the red button and on came the pilot light.  He let it warm up for a few seconds and then turned the dial to "On" and it whoosed into full flame.

I called John and told him.  He just roared with laughter.  

I had so much I wanted to do today.  Places I had to run to.  Laundry piled high.  Dishwasher full of dirty dishes and greasy hair!  Well....in the last couple hours I've got the dishes done anyway.
Just as I was getting ready for lunch, Dar came over.  Egads and Little Fish Hooks!!!!

"I have been so busy and I can't stay long, but I had to get over here and say Hi, so you'd know I was still alive and wouldn't worry."

Then she went on to regale me with her life in the last 10 days.  Somewhere in there she mentioned that, "I've been so stressed that my Herpes have flared up and I am having a heck of a time!"

Then on and on she went some more.

An hour later when she got ready to leave, she used my bathroom!!!  The minute she walked out the door, I was back there with the jug of bleach, spray Lysol and toilet bowl cleaner.

I noticed she had not used the sink to wash her hands, but I filled it with water and bleach and tossed the hand towel in the washing machine--just in case she touched it.

After I was all done cleaning, and spraying Lysol on door knobs and flush handle and the entire toilet (even after bleaching), I washed my hands with antibacterial soap and bleach!  Paranoid?  Perhaps, but I am not taking any chances with Herpes invading my world.


I did have time today, while I was waiting for the service tech, to finish the man's hat I was testing (knitting) for Chris.  It had to be large enough to come down well over the ear lobes, forehead and back of the neck.  I tried it on, figuring if it fit my huge (men's size 7.5) head, it will fit any normal man's head.  It is really a nice pattern.

I had asked Pearl's daughter Marge to stop in the next time she was in this area.  She had wanted me to repair a pair of knitted slippers she had.  I couldn't, so last week I crocheted her a pair like the ones I made for me and my girls.  She loved them.

Pearl fell again, last Friday morning.  She is very bruised and her ankle is swelled up badly.  Marge was asking me for help to find an agency around here that would help with building an outside ramp for Merle and Pearl.  Both are now having a hard time getting up stairs and it isn't safe for Pearl to walk down the front steps anymore.  These two are declining so fast it is scary!!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

It Was A Day

You all, take a look at this blog post, that my "daughter from another mother" posted.  Profound and insightful.  The first time I had heard this part of her story.

Plus, the knitted bath mitt patterns, Chris designed and I test knitted, are up for sale.  These are quick to make.  I love mine to use in the shower and little kids love them to use in the tub, with a bar of soap or their body gel.
When I came in this room this morning, the sun was shining brightly through the front windows.  This time of year, the angle the sun is at, causing it to be in my eyes and I can't see the monitor very well.  So, I lower my blinds and go on.  This morning, as soon as I lowered the blinds, the sun went away.  It started spitting snow and got very dark.  

I wondered. "Did I cause that to happen?  Did the sun get mad at me for shutting him out?"  So I got up and pulled the blinds up to the top of the windows.  Guess what?  Within a minute, the sun came back out.  I just had to laugh, but I take credit for it anyway.  LOL
After my Soap, I decided to drive on up to Howell.  West of here (left).  As I went out to my car, John and Maisey were walking by.  Maisey stopped and came up to me.  John and I chatted a bit, it was cold and windy and I only had a fleece jacket on.  I told him he should head for home because it looked like it was going to rain.  Real dark clouds coming in.  

After I drove out, I saw he and Maisey had continued on their walk.

I no more got out of the park and onto the road when a blizzard like you'd see in January hit.  Plus it was pelting rain.  I don't think any of us motorists could see fifty feet in front of us because everyone slowed down to a crawl--like a 20 mph crawl, and at times that seemed to fast.  Kind of idling the motor and just letting the car coast along.  It stayed that way for my entire 2.5 drive.

All I could think of was John and Maisey, probably clear up to the end of our street and getting caught in it.

I was in the store for maybe all of 10 minutes and when I came out, the storm was gone and the sun was out.  The minute I got home, I called John.

"Did you and Maisey get caught in the blizzard?"

"Man...did we ever!  We were clear up to the corner when it hit.  I didn't have my ski hat on--just my baseball cap and I just about froze my ears off.  Maisey and I both had frozen snow hanging off our hair."

"I worried about that.  I could just see you trying to get home...lost in the blizzard...not being able to see...and getting turned around and lost in the woods or fall into the lake!"

"Yeah.  I was thinking I should have tied a rope to my house so I could follow it back home.  and the thing is, when we got to your house, Maisey went up your drive and sat down.  I tried to explain to her that your car was gone and you weren't home, but she wasn't going to move."

"That's because she wuvs me and she knows I wuv her!"

"That's true, but...there we were in the middle of a blinding blizzard and she wouldn't move.  I had to pick her up and carry her the rest of the way home!"

"You should have stepped inside here and warmed up and waited for the blizzard to pass.  Did you wipe her down?"

Yep.  Wiped her down and also myself.  We're still kind of cold."

"Well, take a hot shower or a nap.  Either one would be in order I think."

"I think you are right!"

<I'm afraid I have become too close to this dog.  She's on her last legs and I am going to grieve awfully hard when she dies.  Whenever she sees me, she wags her tail and starts walking my way and then stops and just looks up at me with those big brown eyes and I bend down close and she licks my nose--well.............>
I've always been a sucker for big, brown eyes.
A year or so ago, "Isis is just the JV team."  Just this morning, "Isis is contained."  That man in the Big White House, is just about as bright as a 10 watt light bulb.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Just A Way of Life

Is having credit cards, just a way of life?  It seems to be that way nowadays.  Of course, since I filed for bankruptcy a year ago, I haven't had any.  Cash on the barrel head, so to speak.  Actually it has been a huge relief for me.  I am back to my old way of life by saving for whatever I wanted.

"Wanted"--that is the operative word here.  NEEDED?  Quite something else.  There comes emergencies.  Car repairs.  Dental bills.  Doctor bills.  Luckily, I have been able to pay my medical and dental bills by sending them $50.00 a month and they were happy with that.  Car repairs?  Couldn't do it.  The particular service garage I use does not offer a time payment system.  Credit card or check.

About six months ago I received a credit card offer--to rebuild my credit (which two years ago was at a FICO of 800).  Of course, with that kind of card, there is an annual fee and a huge interest rate of 22.99%.  My credit limit was $500.00.  I was accepted and used it for my first of 5 car repairs--much needed front brakes.  I would be granted a higher credit limit if I paid the minimum payment and on time.

From knowledge I got somewhere from someone--Suze Orman maybe?--it is better to make a bit higher amount than the minimum payment, earlier than the payment date.

Which I did.  The minimum payment was $35.00.  I paid $50.00 each month.  In the charges each month were the annual fee, divided by 12 and that damn high interest rate.  BUT my credit limit has now been raised to $1,500.00.

Yesterday, I received a Capitol One offer for a card with a $3,000.00 credit limit, NO annual fee, NO APR on purchases for a year.


From knowledge I got somewhere from someone, I will do a credit card transfer and use the new card to pay off the older card and pay it off, on the new before the APR kicks in.

Then that credit car will remain in my top desk drawer.  Not to be used for anything, except an emergency.

BUT with knowledge I got somewhere from someone--never let the card be paid off entirely.  To build up my credit rating, When it gets near zero, I need to use it.  Like put $100.00 charge on it and make a payment on it every month.  Consistency in paying is the key to all of this.

I am saving monthly with cash in my Car Repairs envelope.  I figure by March,  I will be able to get BOTH #4 and 5 on the repair list done.  $1,200.00. Cash on the barrel head.

It will take years and years to get my interest rate lowered, but my FICO score is going up, near 700 now.  It was at 600, after my bankruptcy.  

I know it may sound weird, but to me, it feels good to have a card, "in case" and barring any unforeseen  "NEEDS", like a funeral, or a new roof, or a car transmission, that got me in trouble three years ago, I should be fine.  

Security.  That's all this old person really needs and with my new found part-time job and an "in case" credit card, I FEEL IT!!!!

It's been a long hard road these last, nearly, four years!

I want to thank all of you who helped me.  You fed me.  You clothed me.  You sent me stamps.  You sent me checks.  

Sounds like something Jesus said to do.  They all came in the nick of time, so to speak.  Took away some of my pride, but filled my heart with love.

I pray God continually blesses all of you for your generosity to me and now, I can pay it forward!

A $20 here, a $10 there, a ball or two of yarn to make a pair of slippers for a friend or strangers need. A few bucks in the Red Kettle.  I haven't been able to do that for the last few years.
My sister called me on her way home from her colonoscopy.  Everything is fine--a bit of scar tissue from her cesarean 39 years ago and one teeny diverticulitis pocket, that the pain is coming from.  The minute she did the "prep" all the pain went away.

So glad she is fine.  I knew she would be, but it was so thoughtful of her to call me right away.

Once Again

People in our society are going absolutely nutsy-cuckoo all over the place!

We have christians (notice small "c") boycotting Starbucks because they aren't going to use their Merry Christmas cups this year.

Social media allow kids to bully and fight and spread untrue rumors, then get a gun and going to shoot up a very small town school about 15 miles from here.  Thankfully, someone heard something and told someone.  I liked it better when, if two kids had a beef, they took it out on the play ground and beat the tar out of each other.  The teachers didn't interfere unless it got bad.  The kids got up off the ground, shook hands and went on with life.

Today on Face Book, a group of people with OCD are angry with Target for selling a cute shirt that says, "OCD  Obsessive Christmas Disorder."  I have a slight case of OCD and I'm not offended.

I was talking with a lady in line at Wal-mart this afternoon.  I was picking up a couple of Snickers bars and they had labels on them.  "Grouchy", "Loopy", "Momma Drama".  I showed her and she said, "I know someone I could give that Momma Drama one too."

I said, "Me too, but it isn't my Momma."

She said, "I'd give it to my younger daughter!"

I laughed, "Me too!!"

She had just returned from a visit with her daughter in Missouri.  Her daughter is very accomplished, has a good job and worked hard to get it.  During one conversation, this lady said something which she thought was a joke and a bit sarcastic.  Her daughter took offense and got mad.  The lady then said, "Look!  I'm sixty years old and I can say anything I want!  Can't you take a joke?"

I could see she was still troubled by the incident.  "I can't figure out why what I sad was so bad.  My God--she was raised in a family of jokers and wicked wit."

I just nodded in agreement.  It was like she was echoing my words exactly.    I said to her:


Not many veterans in my immediate family.  My male ancestors were mostly farmers and were exempt from going to war.

A distant cousin, killed at the age of 16, in Missionary Ridge in TN  He is buried in the National Cemetery in Murfreesboro, TN

My mother's father, in WWI--he was a conscious objector, so he was a Chaplain, medic and bugler with the Cavalry.
My mother's oldest brother in the Navy.  
My mother's youngest brother.  He is buried in the     Great Lakes National Cemetery, just up the road in     Holly Michigan

 I finally got my new glasses today.  Not much difference than my last pair.
Can you tell which ones are the new ones?

And I went to the dentist for my four month cleaning.  No cavities, no problems.  (Gee, I haven't had a cavity for years and years.

(Lordy, I need a nose job!!!)