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

Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Life On The Farm

Because Sally asked:
This is a poorly constructed map of the three farms
(I made it in Excel)

My great, great, great grandparents, Conrad and Margaret, came from Germany to the New York port and lived in Watertown, NY for quite a few years.

Their son Peter and his wife Anne, my  great, great grandparents, moved to Wisconsin for a couple of years and then, in 1855, Anne's brother informed her that a large piece of farm land was available for sale just up the road from where he lived.  Peter and Anne came via Chicago and on up to Michigan by way of oxen cart.  There was a tiny sod house near the road. They had to clear the land, and in 1857, they built a small house.

To the left of the driveway in this photo.

In 1857, Peter built the larger home.  When his eldest son,( my great grandparents) Charles married Sophia Anna in 1892, they moved into the smaller house.  Two sons were born to them.  Roy-1893 and Ray 1895.

Peter and Anne died in 1899 and 1906, so Charles and Sophia, moved to the big house.  When their eldest son Roy and his wife Helene married, they lived in the smaller house.  Their only child Charles (my Daddy) was also born there.

My grandmother was the teacher at the small school on the corner of Beard and Vernon Roads.  As was the custom in those days, she boarded with the nearest family.  That's how she met my grandpa Roy.  Ray remained a bachelor all his life--there was an whispered  family story that he had also been in love with my grandma. :-)
1977

 When my mother died and step-mother came into the picture, she and my Dad (Charles) renovated and moved down to the house of the ancestor's.  1978 or 1979

When my Daddy died, my sister Susan inherited the farm.  She and her husband Chuck now live there.
This farm is the one shown on Vernon Road.















===================================================
My Daddy, Charles John was born in the little house in 1916.  In 1920, his parent's Roy and Helene, bought the farm just east of the ancestor's farm on Beard Road.  They shared the big woods.


 My grandparents, Roy and Helene, had a large sheep herd and also a poultry farm and hatchery.  In 1942, my grandfather and some neighbor's were out hunting for coyotes that had killed some of his sheep.  It was a raw day, he had a stroke and died of pneumonia on February 14th, at the age of 49.

Can you see my grandma and
me standing there by the driveway?
 My grandmother Helene, continued to run the farm until her death in 1966.



We moved to her farm on June 14, 1967, having renovated it a bit.  We only owned the house.  Daddy owned the rest of the land, which he farmed.


 My kids were 9, 8 and 6,
Jennifer was born in 1971.
In 1985, I gave the house to Pammie and moved to Saginaw for 12 years and then down here.



Pam and her husband did a bit more renovation with new siding and a deck on the west side of the house.

When Daddy died, Pammie inherited the whole farm.

This is the heart stone that the mason put in 
the foundation--left side of front door
in the above picture.
==========================
My parents Charles and Dorathy were married March 16, 1938.  They purchased the farm on the north-west corner of Beard and Vernon Roads.  I was born in their bedroom on June 21, 1939.  This is the farm I lived my first 18 years.



Can you see my playpen under that tree?
The room I was born on, is that window on the right.
My placenta and umbilical cord is buried in between 
the two pine tree.


My parents renovated the house in 1955.
Turning their bedroom into a large living/dining room with the fireplace.



The driveway I trudged down to get to the school bus.



After Daddy and step-mother moved down the road to the ancestral farm, Pammie and her husband lived on the farm, tending the cows and doing much of the farm work.

When I moved in 1985, they moved down the road to my house and my son Mark moved to this farm.


The house burned down in the early 1990's.  Mark was living there at the time.  My Daddy bought a double wide manufactured home and put it on a basement.  When Daddy died, Mark inherited the farm.





















Thus, the story of the Waltz, changed to Walts, family.  158 years on the same land.  
Peter, Charles E., Roy, Charles J., Judith and Susan, Mark and Pam.   
6 generations.

Now you know why my heart is still there on the land.
(along with my umbilical cord)  HAH!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




You can see on the map that my step-mom and her husband's farm were just north of my parent's farm--in fact they bordered each other.  They settled there in 1942 and my Daddy taught her husband how to farm.  He was a boy from Detroit and his mother bought the farm to keep him out of WWII.
He died December 1969, my mother in March 1970. (and I think you know the rest of that story)

Now to confuse you further, after my Daddy and step-mom married in 1971, she moved to this farm and rented her place to people who helped my Daddy on his farm.  In 1974, Susan and her first husband moved into step-mom's house, before they were transferred to Grand Rapids.   After Daddy and step-mom moved to the ancestral farm, Pammie and her husband lived on this farm.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Did You Know?

Today's high temperature was:20 degrees
A bright, shiny day
=========================

Did you know?  You can go to the Rit Dye website, e-mail them a color you want and they will send back the information of the colors to mix to get that exact color?

My Amethyst sheer curtain panels and valances I use at my living room windows for summer, are very faded from the sun.  The curtains are still in excellent condition.  I can't afford to buy new ones, so I wondered if I could dye them.  Rit Dye does not have that particular color--they have violet and purple, of which I want neither one.  So I went on their site and lo and behold, they have a color formula section.

At $1.80 a bottle, I think I can nicely afford to dye my curtains.   I have dyed polyester sheer curtains before and it worked out great---so, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

YOWSER!
================================!
This color because I have a darker Amethyst for my round table cloth and area rugs.

I have blue and green and white color scheme.  Burgundy is my accent color for winter and Amethyst for spring and summer.   Plus, I have a lot of blue, green and amethyst colored glassware that sits around the house, plus the beautiful Dark Amethyst blown glass lamp that was my Mothers.

==============

Did you know?  If you have a driveway and sidewalks covered in ice and snow and you can't get to your car because it is so icy, to go to the store because you have run out of the Ice Melt pellets, you can use a can of 7 year old pickling salt and another can of 6 year old sea salt, even if they  have clumps--just crush up and spread over the ice and it disappears, so you now have a path to your car.

 YOWSER!!

=============

Did you know?  You can't work at your desk if you can't see your desk?


and that if you don't dust the very top of the book shelves and just sorta, hit and miss the shelves themselves--there can be a lot of dust in a years time.  You gotta move everything off the shelves and the top and really dust them good.


Did you know?  It feels a lot better to work in a room that smells fresh and clean and everything is shiny and bright?

=============

Did you know?  I looked up at the ceiling fan in the living room and I saw actual streamers of dust hanging over the edges of the blades.  I suppose I could have turned the fan on high and let wind force and gravity takes its natural course, but...I wiped them down instead.

Did you know?  I have nice blinds on every window in this house and...they are always pulled way up to the top and locked into place.  I never put them down--except the ones in the computer room in the morning.

Did you know?  The sun is coming in at a different angle this time of year and all my windows look smudgey.  I washed the windows on the inside and they still looked streaky.  I checked.  It is not the window glass, but the outside screens that are the culprits.

Did you know?  The above is what I did today :-)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Slip Sliding Away...................

Today's high temperature was: 30 degrees               
Gray.
A glaze on everything from overnight freezing rain.
Maybe snow later.  I hope.
========================

Man Alive!  I felt wonderful when I woke up.  Really rested and...my neck wasn't stiff!!  Yes--I got a new pillow.  Yes--it was one I tried three years ago.  Yes--it was one of those My Pillows--on sale--50% off and...Yes, for some reason, this time, it seems to be all it's cracked up to be!!

I am thinking ahead to my spring cleaning and rearrangement of the living room.  Taking down the heavy drapes and putting up sheers at the two big windows.  Changing side tables around and putting my old wicker trunk back in front of the couch.  Making it lighter in here--both sunlight wise and fabric wise.

Now--I am lusting after this photograph--because it goes with my summer theme and it speaks to my heart and I can just see it, over a small table with my shells on the table top.


and I have a shell just like the one in the picture AND a glass float ball!    I will have to see how much $$ I can wrangle out of my monthly budget this month.  Maybe--just maybe?

Do you know that they make Bead Board wall paper?  It actually looks like wood!  I love Bead Board.  Have it in my bathroom cupboards and my entertainment center and the cupboard in my computer/den.  I would love to put it in my living room and kitchen, under the chair rail, so it would look like Wainscoting.  But....I won't.  It might be too much?  Not money wise, but..........you know.  

Although my sister has Wainscoting all through her house--the original that was built with the house, 158 years ago.  Hers is wood color with painted or wall papered wall above it.   Just something to think about--eh?
====================

I have felt so good--emotionally.  As I pondered on this--you know by now, how I sit and ponder on life.  It occurred to me--the one toxic relationship that was in my life for so many years, is now gone.  Well--a few toxic relationships are gone, but this was the main one.

I felt so guilty when my Daddy died.  We never had a good relationship.  My Mother was the glue that held our family together in unconditional love and happiness and making everyone around her feel like they were the most important people in the world.  When she died--all of that was gone.

My Daddy was the critical one--always cutting us down to size.  I felt guilty because I thought--for as long as he and I lived, that it was my fault that he didn't really treat me very well.

If I could just be a better person.  If I could just find the key to getting close to him.  If I could just figure out how to make him proud of me.  All through the years, it just seemed that everything I did, made me appear worse in his eyes.

I was pregnant when I got married--he was ashamed.  I had three children in four years--he was embarrassed that I was such a breeder.  My son, who wanted to be a farmer, didn't take instructions very well--how could I have raised such a stubborn kid.  I got divorced.  When my sister got divorced, it was her husband's fault.  When I got divorced, apparently it was my fault.

Then I couldn't afford the family home I lived in--I got a lecture.  Instead of selling that home and getting money to live on in a cheaper place, I gave it free and clear to my daughter.  At least I kept it in the family--but I was viewed as a failure and heard about it.  Of course, the step-mother had an influence on my Daddy by then and told me, "You won't be inheriting any farm or house.  You had one and you let it go."

So when Daddy died, I felt guilty that I had let him down.

But guess what?  Now, both Daddy and step-mother are gone and with them, the toxicity.  It used to be whenever my sister or I visited the Big House, we got a bit nervous as we drove up the drive.  What lecture or criticism awaited us when we walked into the house?

Now--that house--that same house seems light and brighter and full of laughter once again. I mentioned it to her one day a couple of years ago and she said, "I know.  I feel the same way.  As soon as Chuck and I moved in, it seemed the rooms got bigger.  More sunlight came in the windows.  I can almost hear the ancestor's laughing and having a good time."

Strange isn't it?  I didn't equate that with how emotionally free I have felt and I think, as bad as it is to say this--I think it is because that relationship is gone.  I feel more able to do and say what I want--without worrying that the critical responses will come.  That my Daddy or step-mother aren't going to ask me what is going on and then lecture me on how I should or could have done better.  Now, when I drive out to visit The Farm, I drive as quickly as I can to get there and there is no nervous flutters in my stomach as I drive up the long driveway.  I can't wait to get in that house!

I can finally breathe.  In a way, it's all very sad.  In a way, it's all very relaxing.
===============================

We got a thin coating of ice--I looked out and noticed it on my car.  Around noon, I went outside to get something out of my car and the driveway was very slick.  I tried to hang on to the car, but it was covered with ice and not a good grip.   I inched my way back into the house.  I don't need to fall and break one of my new hips!  Then we got a dusting of snow this afternoon, and I'll just bet, that makes it even more slippery.  I may be inside until the spring thaw, LOL.
==================
This is what I did tonight, for entertainment--while I watched my Spartan's whip the Rutgers Knights.

All right, all right.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hey! What Day Is It?

Today's high temperature was: 37 degrees
Third shiny day in a row.
==============================
So relieved to wake up and hear that the blizzard has moved on and all my friends survived.  Even my Spartan's basketball game in Piscataway, NJ was canceled and will be played tomorrow night.  Why or how Rutger's ever got in the Big 10 is beyond me--along with Maryland.  Big Ten league is supposed to be Central-Mid West teams.  BAH!!!

During this night, we are expecting freezing rain and snow--perhaps 3" of snow.  No biggie for us that's for sure.  Unless you have to travel to work early in the morning, but then, Michigander's know how to drive on that stuff.
========================
Today, I had a consultation with my dentist to see about getting another crown put on.  Right next to the one I had done last spring.  My new insurance pays up to $1,000 a year for dental work and 2 free cleanings, x-rays and dentist check per year.  I will have to pay $500.00 for this crown, to keep some back in case I need fillings or something like that.  The dentist will let me pay $50.00 a month to pay it off.  Actually she said, "You pay me whatever and whenever you can."  I am putting $50.00 or more a month into my budget for it.  I already send them $30.00 a month to build up credit.  Now, I don't need credit for dental work, I will pay the $50.00.  I start the crown work on February 18th.  I hate it, but I do love to be able to chew without fear of breaking a tooth of losing a filling!!!

I can't believe this new insurance I have.  $19.90 a month for the payment and all the coverage?  There has to be a catch, but I have read their booklet and...I don't see where I am going to have to outlay a lot of out of pocket.  There's gotta be a catch--I guess I'll find out.
=============================
I didn't tell you, but when Dar was here yesterday, she was looking through my bags of groceries from the Food Bank.  She said, "You didn't get any eggs."

"Nope.  I don't need them."

"Well, you could have given them to me."

Then she proceeded to tell me that she made thirty-two thousand dollars last year.  She works at the grocery store, where she gets a discount and yet...she wants me to give her stuff from the Food Bank?

It was the same way when she worked at The Salvation Army store.  She saw everything when it first came in and if she saw something she liked, she'd put if off to the side and take it home.

When she was on Welfare, she told them she wanted to go to work, but needed a car.  So, they gave her $2K.  She took that money and paid off a credit card and when she found a job, her Daddy bought her a 2012 Infinity.  I was so hoping that Welfare would ask to see the title on the car they gave her money for, but they never did.

Am I wrong or is this woman weird?  

To me it's just like stealing.  I am allowed 60# of food at the Food Bank.  No way can I use that much.  Yesterday it was 35#.  I only take what I need and even then, they forced 2 extra pounds of ground beef on me yesterday, which I gave to Pammie and feel guilty about it.    

I do not like the way this woman operates in her life.  Oh and by the way, ALL four of her children have liver problems because they are alcoholics and drug users.  Now--that either is a strange coincidence, or it stems from the way she (didn't) bring them up.  They all started drinking at about 12 years of age and using drugs at 15.

Just saying.
======================
Tomorrow is garbage day and I have been cleaning out a bit.  I am now down from 7 pillows to 4.  I got rid of the flat ones that were all stained and yucky.    

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All Alright

Ms. Graysea/Kitty/Marcia, who lives on Cape Cod is all right.

Thank you God!

Snow Hurricane

Today's temperature was:  27 degrees
Another Shiny Day!
============================

A Snow Hurricane--that's what they are getting out there on Cape Cod, where Ms. Graysea/Marcia lives.  Lots and lots and LOTS of snow with a Nor'Easter bringing in hurricane force winds.   She hasn't told me that--I've been watching the Weather Channel.  They also showed pictures of Boston.  No traffic.  Hardly any people outside.  I think I'd like Boston if it were like that all the time.

Speaking of Boston, I have been watching "The Sons of Liberty" on the History channel every night.  Samuel Adams and Paul Revere and those guys--they were thugs!!!  Always inciting the Red Coats, trying to get them to fire on them, so the Rebels could blame them for starting more trouble.  I am sure, if I lived back then, I would probably be on the side of King George.  After all--they WERE British citizens and yet went against British rule.

BTW--Paul Revere did not ride through the streets yelling, "The British are coming.  The British are coming!"  That would have made NO sense, since they were ALL British citizens.  Rather he yelled, "The Red Coats are coming".

Sure, later we see they had every reason to be p.o.'ed and now we revere them as the first who fought so we could have our very own Country, ruled by our very own people, but at first?  I would not have been on their side for sure!  and, the way our country is right now, I'm not so sure we wouldn't do better with a Prime Minister and the Queen.
============================
So this morning, I had my appointment at the Food Bank.  They had a lot of fresh, new stuff.  I got a nice bag of salad fixings to put my canned chicken in.  They had Cauliflower!  I love steamed Cauliflower!!!  I got 6 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of kidney beans to make more Chili.  They had freshly brought in tubes of ground round.  Because they were only 1# tubes, they told me to take two.  Since I am allowed two frozen meats, I got four tubes of ground beef.  

I also found someone to bless today.  A young mother with a four year old boy, who sang "Old MacDonald's Farm" to me and then I asked him the animal sounds and he knew all of them!  She was ahead of me all the way through the little store and out to our cars.  I walked over and gave her my free toilet paper and jug of detergent.  She was so happy--I knew she needed them more than I did.  She has kids--I have only me.

And you will never guess what else I found in the freezer--no you won't--you could not possibly guess or even imagine--

               ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  
MY FAVORITE SEA FOOD? 
 AT THE FOOD BANK?
HALLELUJAH!
and they had cake--those little round ones that I love.
=========================
After I left the food bank, I had some stuff for Pammie, so I drove over to Jen's.  I wanted an excuse to see Little Boy-Evan.   I had some of those Box Tops for School thingies you sometimes get on cereal boxes and Zip Lock bag boxes.  Alex takes them to his school.  I put two tubes of the frozen ground beef, a can of soup, baked beans, peanut butter and jelly in a bag for Pammie and stuck them in the front seat of her truck.  She will be going home tonight.  and then...I knocked on the door and she opened it.

Guess what--both Evan and Alex were there--both have bronchitis and both have been in ER over the weekend, because Alex was very close to pneumonia!  I guess it's a good idea Jennifer doesn't call me anymore and let me know what is going on.  In the old days, she would have called from the ER and I would have been in a panic.  Better to find out AFTERWARDS--when everything is all right.

So--I got to see both of them, ruffled Alex' hair and a kiss on top of his head, and a nibble on Evan's ears.  I said, "Mimi won't eat your ears--I just want a tiny, nice little nibble," and he stood very still so I could nibble and then he giggled his head off.  I love three year olds!!!

Then Pammie told me all about her cooking experiment.  She made Kraut Brouke--one of my kids favorites, and Pammie especially loved them, but had never made them.

"Did they turn out all right?"  I asked

"Oh Momma--I ate five of them on Saturday!"

OMGosh!
==============================
I got home at around noon and Dar walked in right behind me.  GEEZ!!

"I just had to come tell you, Jeff is in the hospital part of detox now.  He got to make one call last night and he called me.  He can't have any family contact for the next three months."

"So after the hospital stay--then he goes into the treatment center?"

"Yes, for three months or longer.  Then he goes to a half-way house.  I probably won't get to see him for at least six months.  I am so glad!"

"You're glad you can't see him?"

"Yes, because he will be in sessions with a shrink and I know, it's all going to come about his childhood and the bad way I brought up him and the other kids and...well...really, I don't want to visit and take a chance of running into his doctor's."
<of course not, because, after all, it is all about you>

===============================
I had guests for lunch.
Baby Boo

Smokey


and a couple of their friends that didn't 
have reservations for the 
Feeding Station Squirrel Cafe
===========================






Monday, January 26, 2015

Worries

Today's high temperature was:  26 degrees
It was a Shiny Day!
====================

It seems I do love to worry about things I have no control over--like the weather.

Nothing will stop my day, like a predicted severe thunderstorm.  I listen to the weather channel, the local TV station and track the storm's approach on radar on my computer.  I want wind speeds and I want to know precisely where that storm is and if there are any Hook Echoes near me.  I pay no attention to the siren, because that goes off if there is trouble in any part of the County.  I want to know what is coming directly at me!!

Today, I am worrying about Flo out there in the North-East and Marcia on Cape Cod and my one reader in Binghamton, NY and Cheyenne in Pennsylvania.  I know I will get no reports from then because they are probably going to be without power.  Hurricane force winds coming into the Cape.  You take even one foot of snow and mix it up with Hurricane force winds and you are going to end up with snow drifts eight feet high.  I know people near the New Jersey shore--they are going to get it.

There are 50 million people in this storm's path.  Have you EVAH driven up I-95 into Bahston and beyond.  It is nearly impossible on a good day, but with snow of any amount?  I hope they close it down!

New York City?  I don't know anyone who lives there, but with it's heavy population.  Can you even imagine.  They are shutting off the lights on the Great White Way and and all traffic forbidden, except for emergency vehicles.

 I fear there is going to be many deaths from this storm.  They don't have the equipment to take care of something this big.  Our power company employees have already left Michigan, headed out that way to help.

I pray for my friends in that area.  Please, if you have power to read this, be careful.  DO NOT take ANY chances!!! 

Carrie, Cheyenne, Judy Frey, Julie, Marcia, and Binghamton, this means you!!!  Please let me know, as soon as you can, that you are all right.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

DAMMIT!!

You're going along in life--trying to eat healthy, being kind and gentle to everyone, being a good person.  Everything is fine, you feel great, until you get the bad diagnosis.  

My blogging friend Balisha (Pat) is going through that now and I HATE IT!!!  

I love this woman, that I have never met.  I've read her blog for quite a few years now.  Read the painful experience she so bravely shared when her son died.  

She had her yearly check-up in November and all was fine.  That's the way Ovarian cancer is.  It doesn't show up in a PAP test or a physical check-up.  My BFF had it and the only way she knew...she put on a pair of slacks she had worn the month before, and she was so bloated, she couldn't get them on.  

Sure there is a special blood test you can get, CA-125, but it is costly and insurance won't pay for it until AFTER the diagnosis.  Then they do it all the time to "check your numbers."

I HATE IT!! We should all have hysterectomies when we are done with child bearing!!  

I am just asking that you all take a moment today--right now--and say a  prayer for Balisha.  She deserves only good things in life AND she will have remission--after the treatments, but it will take a while.

She has very strong faith and that will help get her through.

God, hold Pat in the palm of your hand, help the doctor's find the correct treatment and bring her to remission.  I pray this in Jesus name!  Amen.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Oh Yeah!

I am not a spontaneous person--in any way shape or form.  For some reason, the people I have lived with most of my life, were not Spur-of-the-Moment people.  I like things scheduled, prepared for--I think it is a control thing.

So, this morning at 10:30, Pearl called and said, "We want to invite you out to supper tonight, our treat.  You pick the place and the time."

I opened my mouth to make an excuse and then I said, "WOW!  Golden Door Chinese restaurant at 5:00."

She said, "We will pick you up at 5:00."

It's the same place Dar and I stopped for take-out after Maddies' ballet performance the first weekend of December.  I loved the food and had wanted to take Merle and Pearl there because, last year we went to their idea of a Chinese restaurant, a buffet place, and there was not one single thing that tasted like Chinese food on the entire buffet.

So, they picked me up and off we went up the road.  

I told them, "Now you don't have to order off the menu.  You tell the guy what you want and they will make it for you."  Then I remembered, Merle doesn't really like Chinese food--oops.  I should have suggested Bob Evans.

They were pretty adventurous however.

Pearl said, "I want shrimp with fried rice, and Won- Ton soup."

Merle said, "I want sweet and sour pork with fried rice, and Won-Ton soup.

I said,"I want beef with Chinese vegetables, steamed white rice, a small bowl of sizzling rice soup, and a pot of Oolong tea."

We had our tea--Oolong is the only kind of hot tea I like, and we had our eggs rolls--made on the premises.  

Pearl said, "These are good!  They taste so much better than that place we go to, Merle."

Merle nodded his head.

Then our dinners came--plates piled high with what we ordered--more than any of us could eat. 

Oh man--it was soooooo good.  I haven't had "real" Chinese food since I moved here.  Ernie and I used to go out once a month and have it--at a Chinese family owned place where they grew their veggies in their own garden.

Pearl ate her food with gusto, as did I--we chattered along as we ate.  I don't Merle liked his, but he did eat half. 

On the drive home, I thanked them over and over. I said, "I think it is good for me to get out once in awhile.  Did you like the food?"

Merle replied, "I liked the Fortune Cookie."

HAH.

In the Olden Days

When I was born, in the bedroom of my parent's farmhouse, there was much celebration.  I was the first girl child born in three generations.  I am sure that is the ONLY reason my father had a child--to shut up his mother and grandparents.  After all, my parents didn't have another child for 13 years and she certainly wasn't planned.

Anyway, when I was born, the next day, our old neighbor's just to the west of our farm, came up the road, leading a Holstein heifer calf.  It was their gift to my parents for having a baby.  

That sounds odd, doesn't it?  I thought it was funny when I first heard about it, but my father soon stopped my laughter with his explanation, "You don't realize how dear that animal was to our neighbor.  That calf grew into a wonderful cow, one of my best producers of milk by weight.  She in turn calved and all her calves were heifers.  She turned out to be one of the best assets we had."

What a boon to my parents the baby Golden Girl (me) was.  Too bad he didn't put the money that cow brought in, into a trust fund for me.  Eh?  Oh well, the baby Golden Girl drank the milk and grew to be tall and strong and very healthy, and at my age now, that's more important than money.



=============================
Can you see all the squirrel tracks on my driveway?  They are such well mannered little rodents--as long as I keep the Flaming Squirrel mix on the bird feeders and corn and peanuts in the squirrel feeder.


I think I see some bunny tracks in there too.
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At Christmas, my best friend Bethie gave me a gift card to the Rich People's store and today....I went there and got myself some treats.  I do love their deli salads--Antipasto, Crab Salad and Tuna Mac, cake, plus the biggest cinnamon rolls I have ever seen and candy bars.  I also got some cat food for the fur kids and a bag of potato chips.  I didn't want to waste my gift on more sensible stuff and besides that, those salads will do me for 7 meals!!  I'll be living high on the hog for the next week!  Thanks Beth--I love you!


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A lot of my blog buddies are posting such profound words lately.  Thoughts and feelings and ponderings.  I can't come up with any of that right now.  I feel so calm and relaxed and lazy that I am hard pressed to know what to blog about.

I have had 10 days straight of perfect sleep--no dreams, no monster nightmares.  It could be the little Melatonin tab I take at bedtime, but I think it is because I have practically secreted myself away from the world.

On Face Book, if I see a link to a story about cruelty to animals, I refuse to even look at it.  The same goes for missing children/adults/pets.  I refuse to read any stories of what is going on in the East and I truly try not to read anything political.  I also have quit watching the news.  I turn it on to get the weather report, just out of curiosity because I couldn't care less if we get a snow storm or blizzard of two feet of snow, then I turn to another channel to watch a classic movie or I turn it off and read.

I have only been out in my car, four times this month and that basically was to meet with friends or family and to get food.  I filled my car with gas on December 27th, and it is still more than half full.

The most excitement I have had all month is playing games on Face Book, reading your blogs and cross stitching the baby quilt.  There has been a bit of drama on my Soap, but there's supposed to be, LOL.

My "Stay-cation" is about to end however, as next week I have a dentist's appointment, and go to the food bank and doctor appointment and blood draw coming up.

This has been the best January I have had in a long time.  
  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Good Times

Excuse me for a moment.  I don't have Flo's e-mail addy, so I have to connect with her here.


The only way you can train a squirrel is with behavior modification.  This stuff not only is mixed in with my bird seed, but I also spray it on my copper silo feeder, that is just like yours.  You can buy it on amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Coles-FS16-Flaming-Squirrel-16-Ounce/dp/B003XR9QWA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421877693&sr=8-1&keywords=squirrel+away&pebp=1421877681178&peasin=B003XR9QWA

Once they wrap their little squirrel lips around bird seed treated with this--they will not come back to the bird feeders.  Actually, it's kind of fun to see them, when they first get a taste, fly off the bird feeder and try to cool off their little rodent mouths in the snow!!!  It doesn't bother the birds at all--they seem to like it.  

NOTE:  Wear gloves when you use it AND wash your hands after you take the gloves off OR, you will invariably get it in your eye, nose, mouth or, when you go to the bathroom and wipe--well, it is quite warming on parts of your body you don't want warmed!!!

The squirrels will really appreciate the corn and peanuts you put out for them IN THEIR OWN SPOT.  I see my squirrels look up from THEIR feed box and eye the bird feeders nearby, then sort of shake their heads as if to say, "NOPE!  Ain't going near there ever again."
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Maddie arrived safe and sound in Guatemala--thank you God.

Karen and Mark went up to East Lansing to take Stephen out for supper and his first beer.  Karen said to the waiter, "You gotta card him to make sure he's old enough.  Today is his twenty-first birthday."

The waiter said, "Nah, he looks old enough."  Karen said she was trying to embarrass Stephen, but it didn't work.  At least he got his beer free.

Then they all went to the basketball game and Stephen sat, cheering in the IZZONE.  MSU barely beat Penn State--barely.

Karen posted this on Face Book.


Guess who's 21? Happy golden birthday golden boy! —
I commented back and asked her what her excuse was for drinking a beer--"you're not 21."
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Dar came over last night.  She drove in and came in before she went home.  Semi hysterical, but more tired than anything.  I actually felt really sorry for her.  

She spent ten hours, registering her youngest son into an alcohol, drug rehab place.  I think he finally hit rock bottom, because he went in voluntarily.  He was drinking a gallon of Vodka a day!  How can you drink that much liquid--let alone alcohol?

His blood alcohol level was at 3.  When it gets to 4, I guess there is a great possibility you will die.  It's what caused his first heart attack, a year ago.

He is in a hospital for two weeks--where they give him alcohol, but taper off.  If he quit cold turkey, that could send him into cardiac arrest.

Then he will go to the rehab place for three or four months and then...he will go to live in a half-way house for a year.

She seems more relieved, than anything else.  She stopped enabling him about four months ago.  No one in the family will help him anymore--which is kind of what you have to do with people like that.  At Thanksgiving time, he had visited her brother and after he left, her brother found that an envelope he had with $600.00 cash in his desk drawer, was gone.

Her son confessed today that he stole it and used it to buy a "professional girl" for an all nighter.  He said it was a waste of money because he was so drunk he couldn't have sex so he and the girl sat up and watched TV and he fell asleep on her shoulder.  (I'll bet the girl wished she had more customers like that)!

Hopefully this time, it will work.  He has never tried total rehab before--only tried AA meetings and they did no good.

I also went up to Pearl's and got on the phone with the bank customer service and fixed it all nice and new so she can get in to check the balance in her checking account.  She was in a panic, because they get their SS today and she ALWAYS has to check and make sure the money was deposited.  

That's something I have never worried about.  I guess I just assume my SS will be in the bank when it is supposed to be in the bank.  I asked her if in 15 years it ever happened that they didn't get their money on time and she said "No."

So I wondered why she thought she has to check it out every month.  Who knows?

When I first arrived there, she and Merle were having a "discussion" about her latest on-line purchases.  So I just headed to the back bedroom where the computer is and stayed out of their way.

She's so nervous of how they are going to get along if Merle doesn't work this summer and/or doesn't get unemployment.  Instead of socking some money away, she just keeps on buying things she sees on TV or in a catalog.

I don't know and she and I have had "the talk" about her shopping, so...just like with her health--I ain't chasing those monkey's anymore.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Where Does The Time Go?

We got about 2 inches of snow during this night and this morning.  Pretty--it doesn't bother me, I like snow.  Merle quickly dispatched what snow there was on my driveway.

Here it is, 10 days until the end of January or 21 days into the new year.  Where does the time go?  How does it go by so fast.  It is all relative, isn't it?  When we are little, a year seems like such a long time--we don't even think about it, we aren't concerned with time at all.  Except, it seems a really long time between birthday presents and Christmas presents.

Even when I was married and having babies every year, it seemed time went as it was supposed to.  It didn't start flying by until the kids started graduating and leaving home--then I'd look back and wonder at how fast the years had gone by and that my kids, didn't seem old enough for all that was going on in their lives.

Now of course, the only thing that makes time drag is when something bad has happened.  It takes forever, to make it through the grief of losing someone we love.  It feels like we are in the dentist chair or the hospital for ages--when it might only be hours or a few days.  It feels to me, right now, that Jennifer has been angry with me for ten years, but it's only two years.

Then, I look at my Grand Babes and it all hits me--time has really flown by!  

This precious, funny, lovely Christian girl flew out early this morning to Guatemala.  She will be gone on a mission for three months.  Helping to build homes, create vegetable gardens, put in fresh water wells and teaching little children and helping in a medical clinic.





  Off she goes into her life and all Grandma has to worry about is: planes falling from the sky--hurricanes--earthquakes--kidnappers--rapists--snakes--typhoid--ebola and cholera!
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Today, her older brother turns 21.  He so wanted to grow taller than Grandma.  He was a chubby little kid all his life and then, suddenly at 15, he told his Mom, "I'm only going to eat when I'm hungry. I'm not going to eat snacks and stuff just because I'm bored."  By sixteen, he was lean and taller than Grandma and now, he's 6'4" and a pre-med student at Michigan State.


















What do I worry about with this young man?  Not a darn thing!!!

Karen and Mark have instilled in their kids such strong Christian values.  Showed them how to always help people, by taking them to the Rescue Mission every Thanksgiving to feed people, ever since the kids were four years old.  By going into Detroit inner city and cleaning up junk filled vacant lots, every summer for the last four years.  By letting them explore and take risks.

I am truly blessed with those five Grand Babes, but boy oh boy, they sure make the swift passage of time--IN MY FACE!!!