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, 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.


  1. I love Red Robin and I'm glad you and Andrew had such a nice time. It sounds like you communicate well with him and vice versa, so that's a huge positive. I hope that after he moves away, he'll stay in touch with Gramma. I don't know about teenagers these days either. Thimbleberry jam sounds pretty great. In Moncks Corner, South Carolina, there is a Trappist monastery named Mepkin Abbey. The monks there make a product called Drizzle, a berry syrup you can use on everything from pancakes to ice cream. I almost made a trip down there last week to get some for gifts, but then I lost my nerve. I hope I get to go soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you dear Judy. Have a great day. I'll be thinking of you. xoxo

  2. What a nice visit with Andrew. I do not think he looks sloppy or that his hair is too long. He's very cute, and I Iike the pic of you guys. Sweet.

    Let us know if you like your thimbleberries. Lucky you to get "special" jam. I bet it is delicious.

  3. What a gorgeous experience you had with Andrew. Imagine having that confidence at 14 years old without being arrogant about it. It sounds like he has a solid foundation, and you are part of it. What comes through is your LOVE for him, and how you believe everyone in his family is a treasure. Now, THESE are beliefs will go with him wherever he goes.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Judy. I am so grateful you are in my life, cyber buddy!

  4. What a cute grandson you have. I am glad you got to take him out for his birthday. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving Day and I will be thinking of you. VickieOkc

  5. So very happy you had a wonderful dinner and conversation with your grandson. I have to agree, long hair on guys seems to have made a come back. We even see old guys with long pony tails. My brother says when he retires in March he's letting his grow long again.

    I wish you were here among this rowdy crowd today. You could help me bring some "law and order". LOL

    Love you, Judy.

  6. I'm so happy for you that you had your dinner with Andrew. It sounds like you two have a good relationship which isn't always easy with teenagers. He is very mature and you gave him great advice.

    Have you tasted your jam yet? How does it differ from huckleberry?

    Being alone on a holiday seems strange, doesn't it. We should take a page from Awkward widow's book and gather up other single people in the area to plan a dinner with. Have fun printing your book.

  7. Celebrating with Mr. 14 going on 20 sounds like the perfect date! The best way to stay in touch with teens is TEXTING! Actually, anyone under 35 seems to prefer texts. I prefer texts if it's something important. Otherwise email works. Then I can respond and not worry if I am interrupting anyone.

    It really does seem odd that with that much family near enough for you to visit ... that none of them checked in to be sure you had dinner plans! We always had an extra relative or friend join us. And with Mr. Ralph, it was just the THREE of us but we usually had 12+ for holiday meals.