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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Worn Out!!

I am so tired!

I set my alarm for 7:45 this morning because my painter was coming at 9:00 and so was the guy to check out how much  I liked my new fridge.

For some reason, the alarm was set right, but the time on the clock was off by an hour.  

The alarm went off, I staggered out of bed--I mean I really staggered, kind of off balance.  Got the cats fed, grabbed my protein drink and headed in here.  I wondered why I was so tired and groggy.

Turn on my computer and noticed, the clock down in the right corner said, 6:55.  GOOD GRIEF!  No wonder I felt zombie-ized!  I need 9 hours of sleep to function and I had only gotten 6!!

I got dressed anyway and sure enough, eventually 9:00 arrived as did my two expected guys.

Aaron went to work finishing up the cutting-in around the hallway area and the fridge guy and I had a chat.

He was quite a bit taller than me and weighed about 320#, so I pointed out how low the vegetable bins were and asked him to pretend to open one.  Of course, he had to bend farther over than I would have to, but sure enough, when he raised up, he banged his head on the edge of the freezer door!!  

Point made.

Then I told him that the drop-off guys hadn't bothered to level it and, as long as this is a promotion to be more energy efficient and lower my electric bill, I knew it had to be level to function correctly.  So this enormous man got down on the floor and proceeded to screw the leg bolts until it felt level.

Of course, at the time, the fridge was pulled away from the wall so Aaron could paint behind it.

The Big Guy took a picture of it and left.  As I shoved the fridge back into place, it was rocking every time I opened or closed the door.  It is not level.  What a fiasco!!  I could do it myself, but if I got down on the floor, I wouldn't be able to get back up, soooooooooooooooooooooooo--waiting for a visit from my sister and her hubs Chuck and he can level it for me, and swap out the hinges/handles and put in my GFI plug!!!!
It took Aaron 3 hours today to put two coats of paint on all the walls.  He even painted the inside of the front and back doors!  It is finished!!!  He even started to cut up and take up part of the carpeting.  It was 3:00 by then and I told him to go home and start enjoying his weekend early!

 Both before pix

After pix

I am almost done with the genealogy I have been working on.  I've had a lot of time to work on it the last two days, while Aaron was out in the other rooms painting.

I am so exhausted tonight, I am going to bed with no alarm set and just sleep until I wake up on my own.

We are expecting our first rain in 15 days.  I sure hope it doesn't miss us this time.

Tomorrow, I start to reassemble my house!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tired. Blurry Eyed. Smiling. Happy. Giddy!

My painter had the day off his regular work, so he showed up at 9:30.  I was even dressed. :-)

It took him 5 hours to paint the trim around the walls and windows.  He is coming back tomorrow and expects to get the job all done!   Tee Hee.

The carpet measuring guy showed up at 10:00.  All he does is measure.  He turns his measurements into Lowe's then they call me to set up the order.  You used to go to the store, order carpet and have it delivered the next day!  Not so now.  Everything is computerized, which 30 years ago they told us would speed things up.  HAH

He and I had a discussion.  I told him I thought this house was made and then a single sheet of vinyl was laid out from front to back, then the walls put in and the carpet laid.  He told me that wasn't the case.  I thought it was true and wanted to rip up the carpet in my bathroom, expecting to find vinyl under it just like the kitchen flooring.

Then he asked me if I needed them to move any furniture--another cost they can put on the carpet installation.  I told him I hoped that big couch would be gone by then, because it has to be taken apart before it can be moved.

He asked how much I wanted for it, I said, "Nothing" and he said he wanted it for his newly married son, who just moved into a new home and all they have in their living room is two small chairs.  "It's exactly like the one my wife and I have in our basement, only ours is brown."

So--bada boom, bada bing--Aaron (my paint guy) and he pulled the back of the seats off and out it went.  YAY!!!

Now--I have a big empty space!!!  You should have seen what was under that couch.  First of all, Maggie the Cat that came running out once they started to move it, but also........a FULL vacuum cleaner canister of gray cat hair, brown cat hair, and even black dog hair left from Fred's dog that died 6 years ago!!!!!!!!!! 

Also a few small cat toys, Fred's old cigarette lighter (that I like to think fell out of his pocket the first time we made love on that couch.  I remember he couldn't find his lighter after that romp) and one Chocolate covered Peanut M&M!

Then Aaron asked me if Lowe's was going to charge me to cut up and remove the carpet, I assured him they were.  So, on my request, he cut out a small strip along the wall and guess what?  Vinyl flooring underneath it.  HAH!

And, he is now going to cut the carpet up, bundle it into three feet long rolls, tie it up and put it out for garbage pick-up!!!!!
I was busy working on my genealogy while Aaron did trim painting.  Then he broke for lunch and I grabbed my purse and traveled the 3 miles up to Art Van.  My Sales Person, Cassandra, met me at the door.

"How can I help you today?"

"Let's sit over there by your sales desk and talk."

I ordered the $1,000.00 couch and the $699.00 Lazy Boy recliner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  I actually did it!  

She figured out the total bill and showed me the bill, I gulped and then she started putting in discounts.  They will pay my Sales Tax.  The couch is discounted--even though it is a special order to get it made with the same fabric as the chair.  The recliner then was discounted.  Then another discount because I am NOT using their credit card (?). Plus, two really nice pillows in a fabric she let me choose!

They will be the same size, and color as my pillow, but in geometric shapes. I'm geeked about that!


When she got done?  $500.00 in discounts!  

I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open. Literally.  I could feel tears gathering in the corners of my eyes.

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  I actually did it!

Because of the special order for the fabric, it will take 6-8 weeks to get it.  Do I care?  NO!!!  I rarely sit on my couch, and I will keep my old chair until the new one arrives!!!  Or maybe Pammie would want it because Fred's chair that she took has broken down on one corner!

For the next month or so, I can sit in my ratty, old chair and gaze over at that nice open space and the new carpet!!!
The DTE man is coming tomorrow to interview me about how I feel about my free refrigerator--that I hate.  

John told me that he never knew anyone that could complain about something new they got free.  I said, "In the first place I didn't want or think I needed a new fridge.  I loved that nice big one I had.  In the second place, free is nice if it is correct.  I was promised the same size fridge as my old one and this is way smaller."

Being a nice Christian man, John did not say, "You'd bitch if you were hung with a new rope," but I'll bet he was thinking it!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm A Nervous Wreck!!!!!!!!

Oh. My. Gosh.  I am soooooooo nervous!

The guys are coming tomorrow morning to measure for my carpet.

 It is so difficult to get a photo that shows the true colors.  The one on the left is a lot lighter than that, with a teeny hint of green.

The one in the middle has just a hint of blue 

The one on the right is darker and has more blue in it

I had made up my mind to go with the last one.  Then last night, after looking at the couch and chair I want to get, I changed my mind!  I am going with the middle one.  Even if I can't get my couch and chair for awhile, it will go with the couch and chair I have now.

A  I know for sure, I am so ready to get rid of the emerald green, worn to the jute, carpet that is in there!  I just hope I make the right color choice, because it is going to cost close to $800.00!

Do you know?  They charge $35.00 just to come out and measure!  Thankfully, that price does go toward the carpet installation, but......Geez!  

I was sitting on my couch last night and looking toward the kitchen and hallway and, oh my gosh!  Where that white square is was where my cuckoo clock has hung for 7 years.  I honestly had no idea how grungy my walls have become.  We live with something and we don't see the ugliness anymore, until we see the difference.

I'm doing a "no no".  Painting the ceiling and walls the same color.  I have never done something so rebellious in my life.  The ceiling always has to be white and the walls a different color or shade.  I wondered why and said, "To heck with that.  I want clean, crisp, bright white on everything!"  So it is spoken.  So it is done.  

I wish Arron would get back here and finish up!  The clutter is beginning to get to me.  But he has a "real" job everyday and he will get to me when he can.  I told him it was no problem.  (Why do I always do that?  I have a fear of inconveniencing people!)  Plus, I paid him for half the job.  Probably another mistake. I can be too nice at times, which always works to my detriment!!
Now I, on the other hand, if someone pays me a bit in advance for my genealogy, I feel bound and determined to get hopping and get my research and information done as quickly and as accurately as possible.  I have at times stayed up until the wee hours to do that, also to my detriment, but....Hey!  I have a job to do and I don't want to make people wait on me.
Oh. My. Gosh!  You know what?  As I sit here, I just know that I am going to get that new couch and chair.  I should take my carpet sample with me, go back to Art Van, check it with the couch/chair color and just order it!!!  

I have enough cash for half of it and I could put the rest on my charge card and then make a payment with the cash I have and then.........pay the rest over time?

I so question myself on everything nowadays.  Would that decision be an "okay" from God, or is the Devil prodding me to get into trouble?   Is it a sane idea?  Or am I having a "high" manic depressive moment?

I never used to have such decision problems.  When I had to have new carpet, I'd walk in the carpet store, look around and say, "I want that one..there.  When can you lay it?"  and be happy with my choice.  The same with picking out paint or furniture.  I always knew right away what I wanted, and was never disappointed.  

Now, everything scares me.  What if I don't like it?  I sure can't return it.  What if I don't like the color of the couch and chair fabric.  There is no sample to bring home and try.  It is a special order to get the couch in the same fabric and color as the chair.

That is why now---I wait days, nay--I wait months and go back and forth on these kinds of expensive decisions.  I have to make sure it is a "good" decision and I am not going off half-cocked just to make myself feel good.

I will have it for the rest of my days--however long that is and also with a mind on the resale value of this place after I'm dead.  I even wondered yesterday, if Pammie would like the couch and chair because she will probably get it when I'm dead.  

Maybe I should just take up the carpet and put down vinyl like I have in my kitchen?  Maybe I should just get a plain gray color carpet?  (I hate gray).  Maybe I should get a laminate floor put in instead.  (I hate wood floors).  Maybe--maybe I should just stay with what I have?

All I know for certain?  Blue and white are my favorite colors, with touches of jewel tone Burgundy here and there and oak furniture. 

Gosh.  Right now, I'm not even sure I should paint the walls that color white.  Should I have gone with an off white?

You know what?  I better run up to Art Van right now and check my carpet sample with the fabric color on that chair--just in case I get that chair!!!!!!

I'm so nervous!!!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

If Wishes Were Horses.....................

Our climate sure is weird the last few years.  There is either floods or fires.  Heavy rain or drought.

Living in Michigan, the nice summer moderate area shaped like the right hand of God and surrounded on three sides by Great Lakes, we usually only have a few days of heat in mid-July or August.

This year, we had snow in April and a bit the first week of May.  Now we have hot and dry with no measurable amount of rain for over a week.  While it is hot and dry, it is also hot and humid--which I know makes no sense.  I do not like hot and dry or hot and humid.  I want 72-75 degrees and humidity at or around 35%--maybe 45%.  I want open windows and doors and low 60 degrees at night, for fresh air and good sleeping.  I want a nice freshening breeze coming through the open windows and doors.  The weather used to be like that, until a decade ago when Mother Nature went into menopause and went all crazy!

Maybe that is why I love the months of May and October.  Balmy weather, windows and doors open and I do love winter.  I feel much better physically in colder weather.  Perhaps, that is because my ancestor's came from the Northern area of Germany?  I have their light skin, blue eyes and (once) white blonde hair.

Big thunder and rain storms are predicted here the last few days and the next few days and yet, just before they get here, the radar shows them fizzling out.  We had a nice soaker on June 16th--that's the last of our rain.  Oh well--it's nice in one way.  I'm saving money on NOT having to pay Don the Lawn Mowing Man for a cut every Monday.  HAH!
I have noticed on Face Book and also the Blogs I read, no one is discussing politics anymore.  I guess we all are pretty sick of all the junk going on?  As I have mentioned, I became interested in the political system when I was 12.  We got a TV that year, and I laid on the floor in front of that TV and watched both Conventions and was fascinated by the process.  I have worked for and on many a local or state campaign for a candidate.  I have been absorbed--especially every four years for the Presidential election.  Now, I feel................


I don't listen to the National News anymore.  I don't watch C-Span or FOX news or CNN.  Actually, I couldn't care less!  I am sick to death with the way our Government works.  They don't represent us in any way, shape or form anymore.  I may not even vote because, I don't feel like it matters. Neither candidate is right for the job.  Whomever gets in the White House is just going to go with their own personal agenda.  You've got a crook on the Left and a crook on the Right.  Blech!
Okay--this is the (maybe) new couch and recliner.  It looks gray, but it is sort of a blue.

Which carpet color?  A


High traffic area, just inside the front door.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Long Day

I was on a good run, up through the branches of my client's family tree.  Clear up to the 15 generation.  Everything lined up.  Dates, names, places where they lived.  Than, all of a sudden, things got weird.  The 16th generation "father" showed being born 10 years before his son was born.


Plus it showed him being born in France, which is feasible, but he NEVER came to England where all the rest of his descendants were born and died.

I hate when people do that!  They so want their ancestor's to be Royalty or something, that they feed false information into their family tree and then post it on Ancestry--for all the other genealogist to find.

It sure would ruin my reputation if I didn't notice things like that and sent it off to my clients.  Plus, it would be a huge embarrassment to me.

Things got in motion today for my paint job.  My painter came and got started around noon, and by 1:30 he was done with the ceilings and not one single chunk of that dang popcorn ceiling fell off from the wet paint.  That was a big worry for us.

Look at the difference:

I have known this kid (48) since I moved in here.  He used to come around asking for handy-man jobs.  "Pay me whatever you want to," he used to say.  He did a lot of yard work for me.  Then, he was made Maintenance Manager of the park here and didn't have a whole lot of extra time.

Now he has gone into business for himself--$35.00 an hour for the professional jobs he does.  Not for me however, just a job quote not an hourly quote.

Besides all that, he knows exactly how to swap the hinges on my refrigerator, put in a new GFR plug for the media center/electric fireplace, install a new back door to stop the winter ice leakage so I wouldn't have to pack it with insulation every winter, put in a new kitchen sink and faucet--whatever I need, he can do it.  (If I can afford it)  LOL

Before he was grounds maintenance manager, he worked on the homes people wanted to sell in the park, so he knows manufactured homes inside-out.

Five years ago he painted my bathroom walls and did a great job, but at the time was kind of scared of painting the dreaded popcorn ceiling.  Now, he's done so many that he isn't too scared, but those popcorn ceilings can also cause trepidations.  If they get too wet, whole chunks of the ceiling finish can come falling down.

He is going to come over everyday, after he gets out of work or has a day off.  I told him if I wasn't here, just to come on in and work away.  You know, I never lock my front door.  (Which drives my sister nuts).  

The second he starts working on the last wall, I am going to call Lowe's and have them come out and measure for my carpet.  As long as my house in a wreck, I might as well get the carpeting done too.  Then I can put everything back and enjoy.
Merle and Pearl's cat Tiger, has turned kind of nasty the last couple of years.  I used to go visit and he'd hop up into my lap and fall asleep, while I petted him.  Then a couple of years ago, every time ANYONE came into their house, he'd jump out and bite ankles.  Their kids and grandkids--anyone.  It got so when their daughter Margie dropped in, she get the broom off the porch and keep it between her feet and the cat.

That really made Pearl mad.  "That's not very nice of her to do that.  He's my precious and he won't hurt anyone!"  Pearl kept denying he did any such thing--even after we'd show her our blood stained ankles.

Friday, I was in this front room and I looked out to see Tiger walking across the lawn.  Merle was following him.  I went outside.

"Did he get out of the house or are you taking him for a walk?"   I asked. 

"Pearl had the door open and he ran out.  I'm trying to herd him back home."

So, I went closer to the cat to get him to turn back home.  He did and Merle followed along behind.  I could hear Pearl calling him.  I came back in figuring the crisis was over.

Come to find out.  Tiger kept going up the street and when Merle finally got to him, close enough to gather him into his arms, Tiger took into him and bit Merle's arms and hands.  

Merle kept walking back home so he could get the cat inside the house, then he went up to the ER and got stitches in several places on both hands and arms.  His left hand is swollen just awful!  

If you have ever been bitten or clawed by a cat, you know how painful it can be and how quickly those cuts can get infected.

John called me this morning to tell me about the incident.  I haven't gone up to Pearl's to see the damage.  I guess they are going to turn the cat over to the Humane Society.  I would think Animal Control would be better, where they would just put Tiger, night, night forever!!!

Pearl is going to be devastated, but she has wanted a new kitty for a long time, so maybe now she can get one.
Well, I am pretty exhausted, so I am going to take the drop cloth off the TV, make some popcorn and sit down and watch TV, or knit, or something equally relaxing.

Have a good week.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Moving Fast

I'm on the trail again, with a new client, looking for her roots.  I spent 3 hours yesterday and today and am climbing up branches on her tree, like I'm a monkey in search of the best banana!  Back about 12 generations already.  

I find it amazing that many of my own ancestor's lived in the same area or even town as some of the other genealogies I have done.  My 2nd Great Grand Father was a shoe maker in Hannover, Germany.  I wonder if he made or repaired shoes belonging to my last client's ancestor's.  Then they all ended up in a little town in Jefferson County, New York.  They were farmers like my ancestor's who lived there too--in the same time period.

My new client's ancestor's came from Herfordshire, England, where my English ancestor's came from--same time period.  Wouldn't it be something if I found a marriage between one of my ancestor's and one of theirs?  YOWZA!!
A calm morning and then all heck broke out!  A neighbor who lives two streets over and once worked as handy boy for me, is now a professional painter and he came over to give me an estimate.  I am canceling the guy who didn't seem to want to get back to me and couldn't even remember being here and giving me an estimate.

The neighbor guy wants to start tomorrow!!!  I had to run to Lowe's and get 4 gallons of paint.  Had it matched to what I used before and going to have the ceiling and walls the same color.  Sort of an off-white.  So I started scampering around to push all the furniture in the middle of the rooms, take down the curtains, everything off the walls--exhausted!!!

Then the delivery truck came with my new, unwanted, unneeded refrigerator.  The one kid came in and measured my fridge.  "Hm-mm.  The fridge we have for you is much smaller.  They are supposed to give you the same size."

I had a 21 cu ft' fridge, the new one is 18 cu ft'.  He told me to refuse it and they'd take it back.  

I declined.  It will be all right.

Then when they toted it in, I noticed that it opened on the left.  I needed one to open on the right.  Which the lady at OLSHA assured me it would...I asked twice to make sure.

"By code, it has to open on the opposite side from your stove."

"What?  I rarely use that stove."

So, there it sits, all shiny and new and opens on the left side and my microwave and cooking area is on the right.
Plus it's lower and I have to bend way down to get to the vegetable bins and probably bang the top of my head every time I do!

I am not very happy with the government telling me I HAD to get a new fridge.  Mine was perfectly fine.  Yes--it was nearly 20 years old, but it ran great.

I am ticked-off!  Plus, it has no ice maker.

I'm sorry.  I sound like an ungrateful b**ch!

After I cooled down a bit, I figured out I can get my painter guy to reverse the hinges/handles.  I did that once on a new fridge I bought, so....if I can do it, he should be able too.  

Plus, I bought a GFR outlet plug while I was at Lowe's and going to have him put that in to the outlet that goes behind my eventual media center/electric fireplace.  The electric heater used in those things can over heat and the plug catch fire.  I probably will NEVER use the heater part, but just in case, I need a GFR plug that would shut off the electrical current.

Hoping to get to Lowe's and get my carpet ordered next week and get it laid while all my stuff is out of the living room.  Then get up to Art Van or order on-line my media center/fireplace.

My house looks like I am either moving out or moving in.  I don't know which may I am moving--just onward and upward--ever forward!!! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Computer Glitch. Right!

Have any of you tried those new Cool Touch, Kleenex?  I didn't even know I had purchased them.  When I opened up a new box, I reached in to grab a tissue and it felt kinda damp and very cool.  They are supposed to be cool.  How they do that, I have no clue, but they sure are nice in hot weather and I imagine they would be nice when you have a cold and the raw nose that goes with it.
I don't know if you remember, but a couple of weeks ago I got a letter from the Social Security Administration, stating: "The State of Michigan will no longer pay for your Medicare Part B insurance."  That meant a $104.00 cut out of my SS.  I didn't get too jacked out of shape because the State of Michigan raised my food allowance from $15.00 up to $65.00, so it would only be a "real" cut in my budget of $35.00.

I was curious as to why, so I did call my case worker. She never answers her phone, so I left a voice mail asking her to call me back---which she never did.

Then last Thursday, while visiting Pam, I told her about it and she called later to tell me she had heard on the News station that 12,000 low income Seniors had received the same notice and it was a computer glitch on the part of the State of Michigan Social Services(welfare).

Whenever the State changes our benefits, an e-mail is automatically generated to Social Security Admin.  Apparently some idiot, pushed the wrong button, causing the SSA to send us letters.

Of course, we all know the term "computer glitch" is a general cover-all term which actually means, P.E.B.C.A.C. = Problem Exists Between Chair and Computer.  Computers don't make mistakes.  People do!

Sure enough, yesterday I received another notice from the SSA stating:  "The State of Michigan WILL pay your Medicare Part B insurance."

Thankfully, in the past two years, I have been forced to practicing to not worry about things I have no control over, so the whole thing didn't even cause me 2 minutes of stress.
Now I know you won't believe this, but.......yesterday I didn't do any genealogy research all day!  

Tuesday, I mailed off the massive genealogy I had finally finished.  Plus it was my birthday and I was busy.  Yesterday, I guess I needed to rest my brain and get some stuff done around this house.  

I do not understand how so much clutter occurs in this house with only one person living here!  I have become very lax in picking things up and putting them away.  Laundry that I did Monday, still hangs from the pole in the laundry area or is laying, folded, on top of the dryer.  Two cases of protein drink that Karen gave me for my birthday, are still sitting on my kitchen counter.  Dirty dishes, two feet away from the dishwasher, still sit in my sink.  It is just ridiculous!!

So, I am off here and cleaning up what I didn't get done yesterday. I just wanted to let you know that my SS is going to remain the same, so my budget will remain the same with its normal shortfall of $50.00 each month.  I can live with that.  :-)

Addendum:  Just got a notice from Social Services.  They have lowered my food assistance back to $15.00 a month.  Government work at its finest!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It's Been A Long, Short Time

This photo appears to be that of a sweet, darling little girl.  All blonde ringlets, bow in her hair, smiling sweetly.

This photo appears the same.  Blonde ringlets, bow in hair, pretty little gold locket from her Grandma for her 6th birthday.
This photo years later, shows a pensive sort of young woman.
Strange how photos can cast a person into something they are not!

Under that exterior, was a real, live Tom-Boy.  

I spent most of my young life in dresses, but most of the time, those dresses hung over my head as I swung, upside down,  from a tree limb or Monkey-Bars, or did cart-wheels across the school playground.  Apparently there was some concern as my mother made me wear TWO pairs of underpants.  Cotton underneath and a nice nylon pair over those.

She had tried to explain that "nice little girls" didn't hang upside down or do cart-wheels in a dress and let "their underwear show", but when that failed, she went practical.

Once that little girl and even that young lady in her Senior Prom dress got away from the photographer, she was running free!  Climbing up on the barn roof. Climbing trees.  Swinging from the rope in the top of the barn to sail out and drop into the hay mound.  

Crawling along the ditches, pretending she was escaping Nazi soldiers, with her three little kids crawling along with her in a game of Combat.  The rule: if the neighbor's dog spotted us and barked, we were caught and the game was over.

Showing her three little kids how to lasso a post, and then ride fast on their bikes in a game of Rawhide.  Showing them how to grab on to the lowest limb and climb up into the top of a Maple tree.

Oh Lord help us!  She just has never grown up!

Just yesterday, she was hiding behind her big Maple tree out in front, so she could jump out and scare her friend John as he walked by.  Pointing her right index finger at him and yelling, "Bang.  Gotcha.  You're dead!"  Scared him good too!

Yesterday was a special day.  The first Day of Summer.  The Longest Day of the Year with 15 hours of daylight, a day half-way between Christmas....and her birthday!
Where have the years gone?  I pondered on that yesterday.  I remember them all so well.

My Mother taught me to howl at a full moon.  We'd go outside, stand on the back porch and let out a good wolf howl.  I remembered me doing the same thing.  My three kids standing there with me.  Me the Momma Wolf, they the little cubs, all trying to howl as loud as I did.

Pammie called me early yesterday to wish me a Happy Day and tell me she had to work last night so she would miss our supper together.  Then she asked, "Momma, did you see that big full moon last night?"

"I sure did!"

"Did you go out and howl at it?"

"I sure did!  Did you?"

"I sure did!  You taught me well.  Last month, as I was walking out of work with some of my friends, the moon was full and I let out with a howl and they just looked at me and shook their heads."

"I get that a lot of that, Pammie.  People looking at me and shaking their heads."

Like Mother like Daughter.  Some traditions just carry on down through the generations.  
After I scared John, he and Maizey came up for a porch chat and so I could give Maizey her Cheerios treat.

About an hour later, my sister and Chuck came down and stopped in.  Chuck disconnected the water tube from the refrigerator ice maker.  The people delivering my new fridge on Friday, told me the ice maker had to be disconnected because, "We are only delivering and setting up.  We don't disconnect anything. It has to be done before we get there."  Lah Dee Dah!

Pearl painfully walked all the way down for a porch chat, which was going nicely until Dar walked up.  Then the conversation was all about her and her Dad.  I kept trying to turn the conversation back to something we could ALL join in on, but...........

It is just weird how she does that.  Pearl or I could ask her a question or a comment, totally unrelated to her, and she manages to not really address the comment, but go off on a tangent that involves only her and off she goes.

She finally left and as Pearl was getting up to leave she said, "That woman is weird!"

"Ain't that the truth," I replied.
Half an hour later, Karen pulled up to pick me up.  She had my oldest (pregnant) Grand Girl Helene with her.  I thought Madeleine was coming too, because I thought she was home from Guatemala, but...it seems her two week vacation there has turned into a month long one.  (That girl is so obsessed with Guatemala!  Why can't she get obsessed with Appalachia or somewhere here in the States?  We have so many people that need houses built and help right here in our own back yard.  I kept my thoughts to myself.)

Karen said, "Jennifer is in town.  She is meeting us at the Grand River Grill.  She said you liked it there."

I hate that place, but I kept my mouth shut!

We got there and got set down and were talking and then I saw Jennifer walk in the door.  I jumped up, ran over and just grabbed her into my arms.  Hugs and kisses and "I love you's".

Gosh!  It was a wonderful time.  They came back here for another hour after supper and we just talked and talked and laughed.  Planned a baby shower in September for Helene, talked about my son Mark and how he is doing.  The 4 siblings had just spent Father's Day weekend  up north together.

"Mom," said Karen, "when we siblings get together...it's like all the years just slip away and we are like we were when we were kids.  We all stood outside and howled at the moon Sunday night!"

Warms the cockles of my heart!

Where have the years gone?

by age:  Helene, Jennifer, Karen, Moi

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Gotta Be Careful

I guess I am not politically correct enough in my speech and I have to be careful of that.  I hate having to stop and think before I make a wise crack.  I don't want to hurt any one's feelings.

I don't think I have a racist bone in my body.  Growing up out in the rural farm area, there were no other races to be racist about.  People were judged on the way they lived their lives.  Honest people or dishonest people.  Pretty plain and simple.

Growing up, I don't think anyone is my family was racist.  After all, my Grandmother had a Japanese man working for her during WWII.  He was a professional chicken sexer and came every Sunday to determine the sex of the baby chicks that we had just pulled from the incubators, and before the chicks were sold.  None of our neighbor's had a problem with him either.

His entire family, who were born in the US and all citizens, but who lived in California, were put into interment camps by President Roosevelt, but he wasn't bitter about it.    It was as it was.

When I was older, we had men from Flint come out to the farm.  They wanted permission to train their coon dogs back in the woods.  If asked, we would have called them "Negros".  They were great guys.  

They never trampled down a fence back in the woods.  They never damaged anything.  Not like some of the white guys who came out and wanted to hunt in the woods.  After my Daddy saw the careless way they acted and hunted, he quit allowing them that privilege.  If asked, we would have called them, "City People", which was not a nice connotation back then.  

My Daddy had a bad experience with a couple of neighbor boys who had moved out from the city. They wanted him to show them how to repair a wagon.  He did.

After they left, he found most of his tools missing.  The tools were laying on the ground under the wagon they had repaired.  "City people!  They'll steal anything that isn't nailed down," was his comment.

After I was married and moved out, my Uncle told my Daddy about a man he knew, who knew a man, who knew another man who had been living with his niece and nephew.  The niece and nephew were moving away and the man needed a place to stay and work.

Daddy hired him and moved him into a trailer on the farm.  The man could not write and he barely spoke English.  "I just dumb Pollock," he always said.

He was a hard worker and a very sweet man.  We called him Pete, because that was his name.  When he died many years later, with no family around, we had a funeral and he is buried on our family plot in the nearby cemetery.
BUT--phrases or comments made back in the old days, that elicited no response or carried no offense then, now do.

On Face Book the other day, a friend had posted a video showing a Black Labrador dog running around and around and around a tree.  Round and round and round.  I commented, "He reminds me of Little Black Sambo", but before I hit the "post" button, I reminded myself that it was not PC to say that.

 Didn't we all grow up with the story about Little Black Sambo?  He and that tiger ran around and around that palm tree until the tiger turned into butter.  The little boy lived in Africa.  His skin was black.   He was cute and I thought his name was cute.  Not so cute nowadays.

When I was a little kid, I had a Hopalong Cassidy cap pistol/holster set, a black cowboy hat and vest and a pair of cowboy boots.  I used to get on my bike and ride up and down the road, shooting (imaginary) Indians that were hiding in the bushes and going to ride out and scalp me.

My Mother also made me an Indian princess dress out of burlap, a beautiful headband with a feather in the back, bought me a pair of beaded moccasins, and also built me a 10 feet tall Tee Pee out of canvas.  I had an Indian blanket in the Tee Pee and I'd play in there all day.

One of my favorite things were the cardboard dividers that came in the Shredded Wheat box.  All about Injun Joe and how to make a stove out of an old Crisco can.  Or how to make a whistle out of reeds found in the roadside ditch.  Or how to make a halter to tie my big dog up to the sled or wagon to get a ride.  My Mother and I spent almost one whole day making a Wikkiup, for that big dog to haul around.

I still love anything Indian Native American. I have had that doll since I was 8 years old.  I watched as those sand paintings were made.  The lady who made them was such an artisan!

I didn't think any of these scenarios were racist or prejudicial.  As I ventured out into my adult life, I had no prejudices that I knew of.  I met my first Negro African American, when I attended college at age 24.  Her name was Lorena and we shared a gym locker in Phys Ed. class.  

A strange conversation that first day.  All the other girls got their lockers and put away their clothes to change into shorts and T-shirts. I asked Lorena if I could share with her.

She said, "Are you sure?"

"Sure.  Unless you don't want too."

"No one wants to share with me," she said.


"Because they think niggers stink and I will stink up their clothes."

I was speechless.  She was the only Black, Black American, African American, girl in the class.  We became friends, although that was the only class we shared.
<back in 1964 the term "Blacks" was still used>

We met in the Cafeteria for lunch every day.  I sat with her friends.  She teased me because I ate my Muskmelon with a fork.  I teased her because she called is Mushmelon.  "It's not MuShmelon," I'd say.
It's MusKmelon."  We jokingly argued about that.

Then she said, "Let's just call it Cantaloupe.  You eat it with a fork and I'll pick it up and eat it like your "possed" to."

"Huh?  Cantaloupe?  I thought that was the green kind of melon."

She just shook her head at the uneducated, farm girl I was.

Then I met two guys in my Sociology class.  One was sort of light brown color, with jet black, straight hair.  He had a very aquiline nose and broad forehead.  I thought he was probably an Indian.  The other kid was almost purple he was so dark.  He was kind of small and his speech was fast and quick.  I could barely understand him.  We used to meet in the Student Union every afternoon for an hour between classes.  One day, we were joined by a blonde guy.  He was very handsome.  His name was Len.  Then a beautiful girl joined us, she had olive colored skin .

We looked liked the United Nations, sitting there. 

Over the course of time, discussing our Sociology class, and life in general, I looked at the guy I thought was Indian and said, "Are you an Indian?"  Before I could answer, the kid who was purple black said, "No.  I'm Indian, he's Native American."


Then the blonde guy said, "I'm German."

"Oh.  So am I," I replied.

"Yeah, but I'm a  German Jew."


Then the girl piped up and said, "I'm Lebanese."
<Oh, she must be a Catholic, I thought.  What did they call them?  Chaldean Christian?>

"I'm a Lebanese Jew."


They kind of looked at me and all I could think of saying was, "Oh--I'm just a country farm girl and I don't know anything!" 
I grew to love every single one of those kids.  Every day we met in the Union for that glorious hour.

I learned that the Indian had grown up on a reservation up near Midland Michigan. He was part of the Isabella tribe. When little, he had been forced into a white school to be "indoctrinated."  The purple Indian was from India. His father was a professor at the college.  He was Catholic, instead of Hindu.  The Lebanese girl's family had fled because of religious persecution from the Arabs, even though---she was Arabic!  The blonde German had grown up in Germany during WWII.  He had the scars on his legs to prove it.  A beating, with chains, by a Nazi youth group.  His family fled just as the persecution of Jews was beginning.

And---there I was.  Just a white  pinkish colored farm girl who had never gone through anything scary or ever been persecuted.
What I've learned, doing genealogy?  ALL of our ancestor's have been persecuted in some way.  Whether because of their religious beliefs, or ethnicity, or just because of where they lived.   AND--every single one of them had the same desire.  To make a better life for their descendants.  

Every.  Single.  One.

We all have different ethnicity's in our DNA.  We think we are, "German, English."  or,  "Catholic, Protestant, Jewish"  and then we find out, waaaaaay back in time, our 10 Great Grand Father married a Native American.  Or our Protestant 9th Great Grand Father married an Irish Catholic girl.  Perhaps, like a guy I met once, his 3rd Great Grand Father (white) married an African American girl.  There have been wars fought over religion and ethnicity and yet...somehow people ignored that in the name of love.

We really are all the same on the inside!  We have absolutely no reason to be biased against any other human being.  However, I do think we are allowed to judge individuals on how they live their lives and how they act.  

I do not discriminate against any ethnicity, religion, creed, lifestyle or political leanings.  I have ALL in my family, or have known all.  But...I do want to spend my time with those that are loving, kind, gentle and honest.  If they aren't, I don't want to spend time with them.  So...I guess I am judgmental.

Be they white, black, yellow, tan or red.  Be they Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Muslim or my Wiccan neighbor.  Be they Conservative or Liberal.  Be they NRA members or anti-gun.  Be they straight or gay or somewhere in between.  Be they mentally whole or slightly over the edge.  Or even those "City People"!

I just have to be careful and more PC and more sophisticated and not respond like the uneducated, naive, farm girl that still lurks inside my head. LOL