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, December 31, 2016

The Eve...........

the Eve of what?  A new year?  Who says.  The new year used to begin in March, in or around the Spring Equinox--when new life was beginning.  Julius Caesar and some Pope named Gregory decided to change up the calendar and now we celebrate the new year in the dark of winter.  Poor misguided souls, Jules and Greg!

If you read my Face Book post today, you will have learned that I don't care much for new year's Eve.  I just don't see how anyone can get excited about losing another year of their life.  Or is it that they celebrate the coming of a whole new year to a better life?

HA!  Life only gets better when WE decide to make it better.  Forget resentments, forgive others for being mean, and get in touch with what our souls really need.  That doesn't magically happen on new years, no matter how many resolutions you make.  It can happen in March or June, or for me--on a starry night in August 2012, sitting alone on my front porch and realizing that I could not control all the bad things that had been done to me by others, but to forgive, truly forget and from that moment on, forge a new way of thinking and living.

As for new year's eve--how I hated that night.  The dances and parties we went to as a married couple.  The first hour was fun, for me, then my friends started to feel the effects of the alcohol they had consumed, and things got stupid.  SOME normally nice men were propositioning other men's wives.  Normally nice, refined women, were slobbering and sitting on other women's husbands laps.  It seemed to this non-drinker as a bacchanal to end all bacchanal's!

They say alcohol is a depressant.  Why would any normal person want to take something that made them depressed?  Or, just maybe, alcohol is a repressent?  It represses common sense and turns normal people into wildly, stupid human beings?

I say a man, whom everyone "thought" was a loving husband and father of 5 young girls, slap his wife around at one of these parties.  "Drunk", they all said, "or he wouldn't have done such a thing."

Yeah right!  When later questioned about any of these antics, the EXCUSE was always, "I was so drunk I don't even remember."

Of course, being the ONLY non-drinker in the group, I was the designated driver for some of the party-goers.  GOOD GRIEF!  Stopping every few miles to let one or more open the car door to retch and vomit.  Such fun!

When I deposited all the, by then, moaning party goers at their homes and got my own husband into bed, he had to lay with one foot on the floor to "keep the bed from spinning."  Did I lay quietly beside him so as not to disturb the bed?  Is the Pope Jewish?

Oh heck no.  I rolled and tossed and made that bed jiggle and jolt until Dear Hubs had to get up and drape himself over the Porcelain Throne for the rest of the night.  I'd find him curled around said Throne, on the cold, tiled bathroom floor New Year's morning and I'd call out with a hearty and loud cheer of, "HAPPY NEW YEAR'S! Would you like fried eggs for breakfast?"

She who laughs last, laughs all day long. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Almost Done

Let's see--John.  He called last night and is coming over tonight to bring me one of those gigantic blueberry muffins from Costco.  One of those muffins lasts me for 4 snacks, they are huge.  Do I miss his visits?  Not really.  Twice a day for nearly two years got to be a bit much.

My entire house is clean and ready for a clean new year.  It feels really a lot more comfortable to come in here and have it decluttered, cleaned and everything where it belongs.  I also set up my humongous humidifier yesterday so now, I don't get a shock every time I reach out to pet a cat, or touch the light switch.

Now I am wondering what I am going to do for the next couple of months.  There has always been at least one item on my "to do" list and now that list is done.  I need to get another genealogy going.  If you know of anyone that would like one done for them, please give them my e-mail address and I can give them an idea of what they will get and the cost.  Thanks.
Had to go to the grocery store. Had a gift card to Meijer--might as well go there. It was only after I headed toward Brighton that I remembered my vow never to shop in that Meijer again, Should have gone to the one in Howell--oh well, no problems today. Right?

Saw an employee-"Could you please tell me where the air filters are?" "Oh--over that way somewhere." He kept walking as he pointed.  I must have caught him going to his break. 

Later at the deli--"Could you tell me where the packaged Meijer macaroni salad is?" "It's down on the end, over there, on the end of one of those produce aisles."

Then came check-out time.
"Do you want your pop bottles bagged?"

"Excuse me?"
"Do you want your pop bagged?"
"Yes, please." ( how else am I going to carry 8 2-litre jugs of Pepsi into the house? One at a time?)

That was the extent of her greeting. I noticed that when she bagged the groceries, she turned the carousel the opposite way most cashiers do. To load my cart, I had to walk around to her side of the carousel to get the bags. Just as I went to pick-up the last two bags, she spun the carousel the opposite way, so I had to walk back around and pick them off.
"One hundred fifty-seven," she says.
I put my Bridge card in the machine and entered my PIN. Nothing.
I looked at her, she looked at me.

"You don't have any money on that card."
"Sure I do. Sixteen dollars was loaded on it December 21st and I haven't used any of it."
"Well! YOU have to tell me how much is on there."
"Oh, Okay. I didn't realize that. I've never had to do that before."
Done. She looked at me. I looked at her.
"How much do I have left to pay?"
She told me so I swiped my Meijer gift card.
Done. She looked at me. I looked at her.
"How much do I have left to pay?"
Apparently I was supposed to be reading the small print on the card swiper thingie, that had my total. Usually the cashier will say, "One hundred left."
She told me, so I stuck my charge card in the end of the card reader. She looked at me. I looked at her.
"It's not doing anything," I said.
"Is there a message that you're supposed to do something?"
I squinted--"Oh. Press green, I guess."
"Well, then press green!", she replied as she perused her manicure.
"Thank you," I said.
Not a word from her. No. "Have a nice weekend." No, "Happy New Year." No. "Thank you for shopping at Meijers."
I could hear her thinking--"old lady, just get your cart and your ass outta my lane."
On my way out, I saw Kevin the manager and was tempted to stop and tell him about my shopping experience, but then---since I will NEVER shop in that store again--why bother him?

There is a Meijer store in Brighton and, 4 miles away, one in Howell.  The Howell one is easier to get too, directly off the main road I live on--up 2.5 miles, and easier to get home from.  The employees there are pleasant.  The difference in the atmosphere of the store and the employees are like night and day.  I usually don't shop at Meijer's because their prices are higher on the stuff I use.

I have never had a bad shopping experience at Walmart.  If I ask an employee working out in the store, if they could tell me where something is, they will walk me right to the product--and if it's heavy, load it in my cart.  The cashiers are usually pleasant and always ask if I would like a carry-out person to load my car for me.

One good laugh I had today, on the way home, tons of traffic, I noticed on a side street a stopped car, emergency flashers going and unoccupied--apparently the owner had vacated the car to walk for help.  As I sat at the red light, watching this side street, 8 cars pulled up behind the unoccupied car.  Soon they were all blowing their horns.  Obviously they were all so preoccupied, they didn't see the emergency flashers or that there was no driver in the car.  Pay attention and see--then ease your car around and go on your way.  Lordy---nowadays people are such sheep!!!
Ball games tonight!  MSU basketball at 6:00 and the Orange Bowl at 8:00.  University of Michigan playing the Florida State Seminoles.  Am I going to root for the Michigan team?  

Is the Pope Jewish?  Florida State is my second favorite college football game.  Their mascot, the Indian chief rides out on an Appaloosa horse, and spikes a flaming spear into the center of the football field.  I'm a sucker for that kind of theatrics!  Besides, the Michigan Wolverines are such arrogant asses, (we actually called them, "The arrogant asses from Ann Arbor". along with their coach, Jim Harbaugh being some sort of weird ass all by himself--I will NEVER root for Michigan.  Never have.  Never will!!!!!!!!

I know most of you don't understand--the rivalry between Michigan State University Spartans and the University of Michigan Wolverines-- or Michigan Weasels as we like to call them.  Michigan State is a land grant college and eons ago, was known as the best college to go to for veterinary medicine (still is) and agricultural.  Thus we were called the "Cow College".  We are just a kind of "Aw shucks", easy-going, laid back, conservative bunch.  

The U of Michigan is where the doctors and lawyers went for their education.  PLUS--the people, when you ask them where they are from will not say Ann Arbor, but rather, "A2" or "A squared."  They act arrogant, looking down their noses at the rest of the world.  Mostly Liberals and, well--just arrogant.

The reason Fred fell in love with me?  He had been dating A2 women for a couple of years and was tired of being dumped when they found out he didn't have a lot of money and didn't own a tuxedo and wasn't interested in taking expensive trips to Europe.  He rather liked my unassuming attitude about things.

So--yes--I hope Florida State not only wins the Cotton Bowl, but drives those arrogant asses faces into the dirt!!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

In Between

A different feeling this year--the week between Christmas and New Year's.  It's like I'm in limbo--waiting for something to happen.  Like there is something I am supposed to do--an appointment or something equally important--and I've forgotten about it.  I keep looking at my calendar and there are no notations on the days of this week.  For some reason, it just feels odd to me.  Maybe because Christmas came on a Sunday, and to me, it felt like any ordinary Sunday and so this week is supposed to be dotted with grocery shopping, or other errands?

It's probably just me.  I am a weird duck at times.  My thought processes and all.
I have noticed that some blog buddies get upset if they don't have enough visitor's to their blog each day.  I have no clue how to even check and see who or how many stop by for a read.  The only way I know, is from the comments left.  I don't really care how many visitor's I have.  Maybe that's because my blog isn't an educational one?  It's kind of like my diary--where I write down the weird things I think of and tell you to see if you ever have those same thoughts.  It's always comforting when someone says they too feel the same way--makes me realize that I'm not the only one with strange thoughts in this world.  LOL

It would be nice if everyone that stopped by left a comment, but that's not necessary.  I won't quit writing my posts just because people don't comment or even stop by.  I guess this blog is for me--to post in and not feel so alone and lonely.

"You need to get out more," people tell me.  Even my son said, "You should get a job at Walmart as a greeter or go to the Senior Center."  EGAD!!!  Is he trying to give me advice or drive me nutz?  Of course, at 58 years old and out and about to have lunch with his friends everyday, he has no clue.

Going out requires gas for the car.  I am allowed $20.00 a month gas money in my budget.  "Go to the Mall and just walk around."  Why in the world would I want to do that?  I have never enjoyed going to the Mall or shopping, even when I was younger.  If I went to the Mall or any store, it was to get what I needed, get outta there and get back home.

Where I grew up, on the farm, and after I was married--going to town--which was 20 miles away--was for a specific reason.  To get food or a dentist or doctor appointment.  Usually we did two or three of those things in one trip.  Dentist appointment for me and the kids, then grocery shopping.

I make lists of things I have to do and where I have to go and try and do all of them in one afternoon.  Go to the bank, hair cut, stop at the inkjet refill store, stop at Michael's for needed supplies.  I can honestly say that in the 13 years I have lived here--only 2.5 miles away from a lot of stores, I have never gone--what we used to call, window shopping.  Why would I want to browse in a store, knowing full well there was nothing in that store that I needed or wanted?  Such a waste of time.  I much prefer to shop on-line, but then too, it is always for something I need--not just to "look around."

Perhaps it's the money issue.  I don't have a spare dollar to spend and if I went browsing, I'd probably see something that I really wanted and couldn't buy.  I tend to like the Pier One store up the way, went in there twice to buy something I needed, but know enough to stay out.  There would be a trunk or a colored glass canister set or something I'd love to have.  Nope!  Just stay away.
The only shopping I have enjoyed this past few years was shopping for my carpet and furniture.  BUT--I didn't browse.  I did that on-line and knew when I entered the store what I wanted--found it--ordered it--and got out.

No wonder I am bored most of the time.  HAH!

Marcia asked about John--since his dog Maisey died, I haven't seen him much.  He walked her twice a day and they always stopped in so Maisey could get her treat--Cheerios.  For nearly two years--I saw them twice a day.

John took a custodial job at the high school--working nine to five--at night!  Personally, I think it's too much for him with his bad shoulder, knee and foot, but he reacted much like a person whose spouse had died.  Jumping into something new right away.  

I've known a lot of widows/widowers who started dating immediately, or bought a brand new car, or sold the house.  He's kind of acting like that--only getting a job.

I see him maybe twice a month now and it's always for a reason.  He bought muffins at Costco and he thinks I need one.  He stopped over on the 24th with a gift--cashews.  I gave him 2 quarts of spaghetti sauce I had made.  Other than that, if I am sitting in this street facing room, I see him drive by on his way to work, at 8:30 in the evening,  or on his way to church on Sunday.  That's it.

He did clean out our driveways after the big 9" snow drop early this month, but he didn't stop in to get warm, like he used too.  I expect any day, to hear that he is selling his place and moving back to Brighton.  He much prefers living in town where he can walk to everything.

I guess, Maisey was our connection and now that she's gone, so is the connection?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Year

I always like to get a new cross stitch project to start on New Year's day and work on during the winter months.  This is what I settled on this year--sorry it is blurry, I couldn't enlarge it without the blurs.  The pattern cost $7.50.  I already have all the embroidery yarn I will need the the light blue Aida-14ct cloth.  I think this is going to be complicated, a lot of work and beautiful when it is done.

I got the tree and all the decorations put away.  What I used to do in 3-4 hours, now takes me 3-4 days.  My back is killing me and I know it would get better if I just went to physical therapy, but I can't get motivated to go 2-3 times a week--even though the place is only 1 mile away from home.
GEEZ LOUISE--I am such a stick-in-the-mud!!!  It still surprised me that I was strong enough this year to do it all in one day.

Today I did 6 loads of laundry, vacuum, dusted and cleaned, living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and put my hanging room divider back up, without dropping any of the blown glass balls.  Have hauled out two cans of rubbish for tomorrow pick-up and tomorrow I WILL start on this room.

I can't even bring myself to show you a photo of this room.  There are papers and boxes, cocoa mugs, USB port wires--scrapbooks and extra yarn laying all over in here--plus dust is very visible on every surface.  Why I haven't attacked it long before now, is some kind of mystery.

It's simple enough,  start at the doorway and worked my way around clock-wise--to the right.  It does get messy when I am working on a genealogy and have extra folding tables and stacks of print-outs sitting in here, but I don't have that excuse.  I finished my last one and mailed it out on the 21st.

The one I did for the young woman--for free--and have heard nothing back from her.  Which I suppose is typical.  As I remember her, she never said Thank-You all the time (2.5 years) I knew here.  Guess just because she is now 23, she hasn't changed.
The cute little white cloche hat I made for the baby, wouldn't even fit over her head.  3-6 months size--on the large size of that.  So I am remaking it in 12 months size--hoping that might fit, at least in and through the spring.  
The latest report I have on Dar--on her 9th doctor.  No one can find anything that resulted from her accident 7 months ago.  Her insurance has dropped her $$$ from the other insurance company.  Her personal injury attorney has told her she doesn't have much of a case, and the Meijer store she worked for is going to fire her.  BUT--even I wonder, why a woman could work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, standing up all the time as a cashier and only after this accident, is she in such pain she can barely walk, sit or sleep.  Could it all be psychosomatic?  

The last time I saw her, she was upset that her son hadn't called or come to visit her Dad.  The son that she kicked out, along with two grandchildren, and told him never to come back again--that son.  She invited her older son to live with her and Dad, while he gets "established" after his last stint in re-hab--the same one she vowed she would never let in her house--and three months later, has found out he is drinking again.

Her 95  year old father is driving her nuts--we ALL knew that would happen--because he HAS to go out either for breakfast, supper or an ice cream cone every day.  No matter what.  When we had the big 9 inch snow storm--she had to call a professional to come clear the driveway and part of the streets in the park so she and Dada could get out onto the road.
As for Merle and Pearl.  I need to get down and visit them again--maybe tomorrow.  Merle is doing great!  Once his Parkinson's was diagnosed and they got him on the meds for it. he's a new man.  He walks or rides his bike all over the park every day.  His hands don't shake anymore and his voice is clear and strong.  He shovels his own driveway!  Takes out the garbage and -
Just got a phone call from Pearl to come right down!

I ran out of here in my slippers and no coat and walked really fast.  I thought maybe she was in trouble and Merle wasn't home.    

Whew!  Nothing wrong.  Merle and their daughter were grocery shopping and Pearl?  She just wanted to show me a glass butterfly she had bought for herself.

She can't put a complete sentence together without forgetting words.  I try and think of what she might be trying to say, or a place she is trying to tell me about, so I can help.  She is failing and knows it.  She is back at another physical therapy place where they are trying to get her body "opened up", so she can walk better.  She is using a walker and can barely walk with that! She has fallen twice in the grocery store because the cart moves too fast and she can keep up with it, so down she goes onto her knees.  She fell last week, trying to get out of bed and to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  She is so heavy that Merle couldn't get her up, so he had to call 911 to come help.

I feel bad and know she is in a lot of pain, but in reality--it IS her own fault.  A couple of years ago, she mentioned that she just wanted to be in a wheel chair and she stopped moving around very much.  She is at least 80 pounds overweight, which of course is causing pain in her knees and feet.  She mainly sits in her chair and watches TV all day.  Once you stop moving, you're in trouble.  

I have explained it all to her and she knows it.  This is her third physical therapy this year alone, but she never keeps up with it.  Won't do any of the recommended "at home" exercises.

She has someone come in and clean every week and her daughter gets her groceries for her.  I would LOVE to have someone get groceries for me, but.......I purposefully go to Walmart--start at the Pharmacy end of the store and walk up and down aisles on my way to the other side of the store.  I figure that's about the only good exercise I get in the winter and I count my steps.  It's 400 steps from the sports area over to the grocery area.  I know I can walk 400 steps now, so sometimes, I walk in at the grocery door, walk over to the pharmacy and then to the back of the store than over to the grocery side--just to increase my steps.

Pearl relies on her husband and her daughter's a lot.  I don't have that luxury, so I gotta keep my own self in some sort of shape or my goose is cooked!!!

I'm ready for the new year.  My house will be ready for the new year by end of tomorrow.  Bring on the Bowl games and my annual snack plate of Summer Sausage, sharp cheddar cheese, Ritz crackers and Sweet Bread and Butter pickles.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Pictorial Christmas 2016

Friday-Dec. 23rd:  Our family gathering

Della Helene Hannah Ruth's 1st Christmas

Mark, Pam, Maddie & me

This daughter of mine is a brat n' a half--photo bombed me with the rabbit ears
or devil horns or whatever.

The best photo Susan and I have had taken together in years and years

My sister collects bird figurines of all the birds she sees at her feeders.  I have given her the ones I had collected and this year, I added to her Lenox collection with a Blue Bird.

Karen made Pammie a beautiful quilt.

The annual "stair" Christmas Grand kids photo.
L-R back row:  Stephen--Marcus
Helene and sleeping Della

My grandson Marcus' girlfriend--Morgan
Just a tiny little thing that dances ballet
raises hogs and shows them at the fair

Della's 1st Hannukah

The only unspoken irritant I had?  The grand kids sat at the end of the room, on their phones, texting each other.  Not watching anyone else open gifts and only engaging when they opened one of theirs.  In my humble opinion--cell phones should be banned during family get togethers!
Christmas Eve evening, my sister called.

"Did this day seem strange to you?"

"Yes.  Strange and sad.  For seventy-seven years I have celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve.  It's been a very long, lonely, sad day."

"I know.  Me too.  Plus, I've been sick all day."
On Christmas Day, I accepted an invitation from Pearl and Merle to go to their son's house to join their family Christmas.  

Let's just say--it was a different kind of Christmas gathering than I have ever witnessed.
Now, this grumpy, old, critical woman is going to get the decorations outta here and get my house cleaned up, ready to meet a clean, new year.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah, which started today at sundown.  Some people refer to this time as the “Festival of Light”—I like to call it the celebration of the “Miracle of the Oil”, because it truly was a miracle from God

Hanukkah is an eight day and night Jewish festival to celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which took place in the 2nd century B.C. The Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV had tried to force Greek culture on the Jews in Judea (Israel). 

This rededication of the Holy Temple took place after the Maccabees (Jewish religious rebels) reclaimed the temple. Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for dedication. 

Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which can occur any time from late November to late December, depending on the Hebrew calendar. To celebrate Hanukkah, a nine-branch candelabrum called a Menorah, is lit one candle each night until the eighth night--January 1st, this year. The additional branch and light (9th candle) is used to light the other candles.

The celebration lasts for eight days for historical reasons. When the Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple, there was enough purified oil to keep the temple lit for only one day. By some miracle, the light burned for eight days.

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 Christmas Letter

What a wondrous year I have had.

Last Christmas Eve found us celebrating at my daughter Pam’s house—the one where I lived and raised my children.  Jennifer and her family were in the midst of moving to New Jersey on that day, so they weren’t with us---
My son-in-law Eric, will take over his father’s prosthetics/orthotics business.  Jennifer is commuting between NJ and the law firm she is partner with, here in Southfield, MI.  She is an expert on setting up Non-Profit organizations, so she travels to Washington, DC often and all over to different States and abroad. 

This past September, she was with our Governor and State representatives on Mackinaw Island.  They have a busy life and so unlike the one she grew up in.  Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it?

To say I miss these 4 Grandchildren, would be an understatement.

 The rest of us were together.
My son Mark in the front, his wife Cindy; back left, my Karen, Pam and Karen’s husband Mark.

I also acquired a new grandson—to my right, Mike, husband to Helene, holding their dog, Marcus, Susanna, Stephen and Madeleine.

In June, grandson Stephen, graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Physiology.  He had his “white coat” ceremony and started medical school in August.  Madeleine, far right, is studying to be a nurse.  The first medical people we have ever had in our family

Another first, on my daughter Karen’s birthday, October 24th, she became a grandma for the first time and I became a great grandma.
Four generations
Grand daughter Helene Mary, Karen Helene and precious 11 day old Della Helene. 

She was named after my mother’s middle name, Della and my grandmother Helene, and her momma and grandma.


My sister Susan and her husband enjoy living in our ancestor’s home they renovated, and are enjoying their retirement.  I am so happy to have them close.

Yes—she is a Mini-Me.  We look a lot alike.

I have been truly blessed this past year.  A friend designs and sells patterns for knitted and crocheted items.  She sends me the design pattern and I work it up to make sure the pattern is correct.  She pays me for sitting in front of the TV and knitting and crocheting.  Who can beat that kind of job?

I also started doing genealogy research for clients.  When I am finished with all the research and everything I can find about their ancestor’s, I write it up in book form, with photos, census reports, marriage licenses, whatever I can find.  I have become quite obsessed with doing genealogy. So, if you want your genealogy traced, just let me know.  I do a great job!! J

This added income has enabled me to get most of the interior of this place painted, along with new carpeting and furniture for the living room and, something I have wanted for years and years, a “fireplace”.  Yes—it is electric, but it does have a heater inside.  I usually only use the flame setting for ambiance on a cool evening. 

     The fur kids, Buddy and Maggie seem to enjoy it a lot.         
Thankfully, we are all fine, healthy and happy.  My last doctor visit revealed I have “the blood work of a 50 year old,” which is great.  However doctor had no ideas on how to “cure” the pain of arthritis, tinnitus ringing in my ears and sometimes, dizzy spells from my meds.  HAH!!

So, in this joyous season, I pray God has blessed you and will continue to bless all of us in the new year.   



Thursday, December 22, 2016

All of a sudden.....

because that's the way it always goes, my depression has lifted and I am smiling and happy.

It's always like that.  I can go to bed, content and happy and wake up the next morning in a depression that gets deeper as the days go by.  I come out of it just as quickly.  I have no reason why it happens like that, but...........glad it's gone.

Maybe it's because the sun is shining and it's 40 degrees today?  Maybe it's because I posted a Merry Christmas on FB to all my extra grand children--the ones I have met through my real grandkids, and I got really loving comments back from some of them.

Maybe it's because tomorrow at noon, we will meet at Karen's and have a good time.  Yes, my youngest and her family will be absent, but my original 3 will be there--the 3 of my youth and my son's cancer is not active, right now.  Right now!  Who knows what next year will bring, but right now--I am happy and grateful for that.

All five of Karen's kids will be there, plus my 2 month old great grand baby, and Pammie and sister Susan is even bringing her 3 grand children--my great nephew and nieces.

So--at this moment in time, and really, isn't that all we ever have?  I am happy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Cause for Celebration?

Today is my half-year birthday.  Is that a cause for celebration?  Nope!  There is always the thought, I could be dead by this time next year.  I suppose that is why I pack away my Christmas decorations--all carefully marked with names on the boxes of who is to get certain ornaments.  I'm like a Boy Scout--always be prepared.

Christmas is coming soon--Friday will be our family get together.  Not Christmas Eve, as it has been for the 77 years of my life, but Friday.  Bah Humbug!!!  Put the smile on my face and make sure I "appear" happy so I don't make anyone feel bad.

So this year, not only will I be alone on Christmas Day, but Christmas Eve also.  I may use those two days to put all the decorations away!!

This is what I posted on Face Book:

"I wish I knew where this black cloud of depression came from. I have no reason to be blue or sad or depressed, but I sure as heck am and have been for a couple of weeks. I won't listen to Christmas music because it just makes it worse. and, if I hear "I'll be Home for Christmas", one more time in a store, I am going to stand in the corner and cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I was really surprised at how many of my FB friends feel the same way.  Even those who are married and will have ALL their family gathered together on Christmas Day.

I decorated to the hilt this year, because my sister insisted that it would make me feel better.  It just makes me sadder.

So what is there to celebrate on this half-year birthday of mine?  It is the Winter Solstice and as of tomorrow, the day-light hours are going to start to become longer.

I'm real happy about that, but honestly--I do prefer the Summer Solstice!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Nutcracker

This year, my Precious Girl, Madeleine (Karen's youngest) was:

The ballerina doll that comes to life:

and the Shepherdess

as usual, she was flawless in her dance and won high praises.

I made a photo collage for her with Nutcracker photos from the years she has danced.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ungrateful witch........

...that's what I am.

John got rid of the snow in front of andtwo passes beside my car.  How sweet.  Then he quit and went home.

My sister stopped in yesterday, but since the other part of my driveway wasn't cleared off, she had to walk in from the street and no cars are supposed to park on the edge of the street.  Then the mail lady came with a delivery and there wasn't enough space for her to drive in and she wasn't happy.  Then this afternoon, Bethie stopped in for a few minutes and she had to walk in from the street.

As long as John was out there, clearing off other's driveways, why didn't he do ALL of mine?  I was taught, as long as you are going to do a job, you do it until it is finished!  So I sent him an e-mail saying, "The next time it snows and you have your snow blower out, could you take a couple more passes at my driveway so I have enough room for visitor's to park?"

Yeah--ungrateful.  I'd do it myself, if I could!
It's hard enough for me to get the gumption to go out.  It's not the cold--I was born and have lived in Michigan all my life and I have never and still don't wear a hat or gloves.  It's not that--it's the getting dressed and getting in the mood to go.  It seems to take such an effort.  

I had to get out today.  Had to--is the operative words here.  The young girl that I am doing the genealogy for, just found out her mother's lung cancer has returned.  So I got up to the Print Shop, got her pedigrees copied and put in the book and got the book bound.  It is ready to go.  It took me 45 minutes, but I did feel good after I got home.  Now she can come out and get it or I can mail it to her.  I'd like her mother to see it too--I think it will give both of them a lift.  

Tomorrow--the 3rd and final batch of spaghetti will be bagged and frozen.  22 quarts. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

It all began in the dead of night.........

and continued for the next 20 hours.   9.6 inches of snow fell Saturday night and all day Sunday.  I am so glad it didn't happen last weekend when I had the Nutcracker to attend.

 Merle-80 years old-arrived this morning to clean off my car

   and my porch

and steps
 and a pathway around my car                                                                                                                  

John (73) had already done 11 driveways when he hit mine on his way back home. 

The 30 year old kid who lives across the way, did his driveway--his own driveway and it wouldn't even enter his mind to help anyone else, I don't suppose.

What would we alone women around here do without Merle and John?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It smells like Little Italy in here---

Spaghetti sauce making continues.

It looks like there is a Christmas tree outside on my front porch.
Just a reflection from my tree in the living room.


Along with making spaghetti sauce, I am finishing up a genealogy.  Kind of a big one, that will bring me no $$$.

I met this young girl when was just barely 11 years old.  Her mother and father were not married--I was dating the father who had grown children and grandchildren.  This girl was the same age as his grandchildren.

He was kind of a rat--buying all the young ladies drinks.  Her mother would sleep with anyone who bought her a drink--so..............................

The mother was "supposedly" unable to get pregnant.  Well apparently not.  I always wondered if the little girl was really his.  I think he was so flattered to think that he at 51, could get a woman of 37 pregnant, that he never questioned it.  He supported the mother and her--although the parents hated each other.  She spent every other weekend with her Dad, who did absolutely nothing with her--so that's where I came in.

I would sometimes bring her to my house for the weekend, take her shopping, take her out to the farm, take her over to Jennifer's mansion so she could play with the baby, take her to our family gatherings.  She saw and learned a whole different way of life.  Nice table manners, respectful, lots of laughter.  She knew nothing of any of these things, at the time I first met her, she laid her head on her arm, on the table, and shoveled food into her mouth with her hands.  Everyone in my family was very nice to her and complimented her on how well she held and played with Andrew and Elise--Jennifer's kids at the time.

One of those weekends with me, she started her period.  So, I took her out to lunch and bought her a bouquet of flowers and made a big deal over the fact that she was now, "a woman".  No--I didn't explain the "facts of life" to her, I figured that was up to her Mom.

She is now 23, married and two little girls, 4 and 10 months..  When I mentioned on Face Book that I was doing genealogies, she said that she sure wished she could learn more about her father's ancestor's.  

I researched her father's side and then I wanted to do her mother's side too, but her mother didn't trust me with her parent's names. (?)  People don't understand that tracing a family tree is NOT going to show up family secrets or anything bad--unless of course, their ancestor's are well known criminals.  Finally, when explained to her mother, she gave me the names.

Well, my gosh!  I got back 720 years--19 generations on her father's side and 920 years--26 generations on her mother's side.  Ancestor's of hers fought in the American Revolution, and the Civil War and WWI and WWII, Korea and Viet Nam.  On her Mother's side, at one time her people owned an estate in England, that puts Downtown Abbey to shame.  She has a great family history.

It has turned into a large book and I think the information will make her feel good and might even help her mother's self esteem.

Of course, this search and book will bring in zero income to me, but instead of me mailing it, she is coming out to pick it up, along with her hubby and two little girls.  I haven't seen her in 13 years, so that will be my payment. :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

No excuses--well maybe a couple?

Whip me with a wet noodle for not posting!!!  I have just been so busy and tired by the end of the day.

Saturday, Karen picked me up and we drove down to near Detroit (complete with all its people and traffic) to a party my Grand daughter Helene's MIL had for them.  It was a baby shower, house warming party AND the baby naming service.

Helene, Mike, Della, Karen and me stood up in front and they explained how Della got her full name.  Helene explained that Della was my mother's middle name and although she had never met my mother, she had been told what a wonderful woman she was, and also, she wanted Della's middle name to be after her and the great grandmother she was named for.

Then Karen explained that I had named her after my grandmother, Helene Mary, and used my grandmother's name for her middle name.  Karen went on to explain that her great grandmother had died on her 5th birthday, but she still remembered her, and how kind and loving she was and that when Karen was a teenager, she determined that her first girl child would be named Helene Mary, after her great grandmother.

I then explained that I was my grandmother's only grand child for many years and that she called me Precious until the day she died, and before Karen was born, I knew if she was a girl, her middle name would be to honor my grandmother, Helene.

Then the Rabbi blessed Della in Hebrew, and we all said a prayer in English and then all the women started singing and calling "Mazel Tov" while we clapped along.

65 women present!  Most of them Jewish.  All decked out in their furs and rings and face made up and hair poufed and perfect.  I felt like a yokel for sure.  All talking and laughing loudly, constantly, even while we ate--"Just being Jewish Mommas," Helene's husband said.  I actually had to get up and go outside and walk around the parking lot at one time, just to get away from the noise.  I am not used to such crowds and noise.

Gosh--we had a good time.  The MIL is a lovely lady--not with furs and rings and made-up and hair coiffed perfectly.  Her friends are warm and friendly and wanted to know all about me and my family.
Many said, "Ah--now we know where Helene gets her height."  They are all so short!

My little girl is a Grandma!  I can hardly believe it.

The other grandma, Reva

I got to know Mike's brother, Jonathon better-he is a hoot!!
We had a great chat. 

    Blessing--Reva, Rabbi Ruth, Helene & Della, Mike, Karen and me (looking kind of in rapture) 
I (for one) was relieved that Della is a girl or this would have been a Bris and I am sure I would have fainted when my great grandson had to be circumcised!!!

BTW--Della will also be baptized in the Catholic church.  I think I will sit by Reva and hold her hand--I am sure she has never been in a Catholic church, and me not very often.

Sunday, was my 10th attendance at the Nutcracker Ballet.  This year Madeleine dance the part of the Ballerina Doll and the Shepherdess, herding the little kids dressed as sheep.  It was delightful and after 10 years, it seemed shorter to me this year.  My grandson Marcus, was one of the Arabian slaves that carried the Sedan Chair that the Arabian princess rode in, he also assisted in carrying her, high over his head, across the stage.  Their Dad, Mark was behind the scenes working the snow machine, and Karen worked the concession stand during the intermission.

I do not have one decent picture from the performance, which makes me very irritated!!  Just this one after wards of Maddie, me and Marcus--and it's not a very good pix.

The life size dolls that come alive.
Maddie in pink

 Maddie Shepherdess and Arabian slave, Marcus.
That is Maddie's real hair.  Look how long it is.
Going to the Nutcracker is always a treat for me.  No one, except the cast, is suppose to go backstage and the dressings rooms, but after the show, I always do.  After 10 years, I have watched these little girls grow up and when they spot me, skulking along the hallway, they scream, "Gramma Judy!  Gramma Judy's here!" and they come flying out of the different dressing rooms for a hug and their compliment.  Even the director knows me and when I say,  "I'm not suppose to be back here," she says, "Yes you are!  You're Gramma Judy!"

Age does bring its privileges!!!
Monday--I got all my Christmas cards and letters completed.  I guess I have more than usual this year, because I had to buy an extra book of stamps.  My special daughter Chris, always sends me Christmas stamps--which I think is pretty darn caring of her!!!

Today--I started the "Boys Spaghetti Sauce" Project.  It take a day and a half to make about 5 quarts.  I need 20 quarts this year.  I haven't purchased any meat in almost a year.  The price of ground, lean Chuck is out of this world--and it isn't all that lean!!!!  Of course, I let is drain real well and also the Italian Sausages that I make the meat balls out of.  I want the sauce to be thick and no film of grease on top!!!