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, September 29, 2016

Dark is the sky, and so am I.

Hot and humid--chilly and wet.  Michigan weather.  We are getting a SouEaster--if there is such a thing.  A big path of rain, coming in from the south-east and just rotating over us, around and around.  Detroit got 6 inches of rain.  People trying to get into work, in the underpasses, were swamped and their cars went under.  

Do dark all morning, I had to turn on the lamp in here so I could see my computer.  My mood resembles the weather today.  It was a good day to stay inside and bury myself in genealogy work.  Even that didn't seem to satisfy me.

I got my fireplace yesterday and have enjoyed it.  I turn the flame on at night, while I watch TV and cross stitch or knit.  Even without turning on the heat, just seeing the flames, seems to make me feel warm

Cats on the couch and rocker.
When I posted my video on Face Book, people suggest I center the fireplace on that wall.  This is the very thing I was concerned with last spring.  Do any of you remember me saying I thought I'd need some kind of small room divider to distinguish between the living room and kitchen?

That's what I liked about my other TV amoire.  I had it angled a bit so that is sort of separated living room and kitchen.  I think if I turned the fireplace a bit, it would look funny.

The fireplace IS centered between the window and the edge of the carpet, but it kind of bugs me that it isn't centered between both living room and kitchen window.  But, if it were--that would look beyond weird.  Half on the carpet, half in the kitchen.

I guess that reason was why I was going to get a shorter fireplace--48", so more carpet would show on each edge.  This one is 55".  It has a bigger firebox, which I like, but........................oh well, I will keep thinking.
I took all my DVD's, I've had stored in a plastic box since I moved my old TV amoire, and laid them on the edges of my desk.  Then I stacked them in categories: Biographies, Christian, Classic, Documentaries, Science Fiction, War and then put them in alphabetical order in their appropriate category.

Then I made an Excel spread sheet with all their names.  Put them in the storage ends of the fireplace and marked on the spread sheet which shelf they are on and which section of that shelf.

If I want to watch "Gone With The Wind", I know it is in with the Classic Movies--2nd shelf, mid section.

Yes--I can be OCD about certain things.  I like organization!
I don't appear to be OCD about clutter however.  I have that counter top between my recliner and the kitchen.  It is supposed to be kept clear of anything not essential.  It is ALWAYS cluttered with mail, or pencils and paper, or dishes I have eaten from for my lunch.  The dishwasher is on the other side of the counter, but for some reason, lunch and dinner plates seem to remain on that counter until the next morning!!!

I have the same problem with taking my bottles back for return.  I wait until I have three bags full and of course with no garage to store them in, the full bags reside in my bedroom or by my back door until I remember to grab them on my way to Walmart.

This room--my office--I wouldn't want anyone to peek in here.  If the litter box wasn't in here, I'd keep the door closed all the time.  Papers everywhere, stacked on my desk, a TV tray table, both carts on either side of the desk and...the dust on the book shelves? It's an embarrassment!

I really can be an undisciplined, lazy person.
GEEZ LOUISE!! I am so depressed and sad and angry now, I will leave you and try for a better attitude next time.

Hey--this is my journal and it is as it is!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fireside Chat

I started getting so nervous and jittery at 7:00 last night.  I was really dreading having to watch the Presidential debate.  It makes me very uncomfortable when people raise their voices, or snipe at each other.  I wondered what else I could watch on TV last night, while I sat and crossed-stitched.

It made me think of the other TV shows I watch.  When Fred was here, we used to watch CSI and Medical shows and crime stories.  After he died, I couldn't stand to watch them--the violence, the noise and I still don't watch them anymore.

So, last night after Jeopardy, John and Maizey stopped in for 45 minutes, then they went home because he didn't want to miss the debate.  I came in and played a couple of Face  Book games and then decided I should watch, at least part of the debate.  I turned it on at 9:30 and Hillary was screeching about something.  Then the Donald started in.  Showing them split screen was interesting--to see their reactions while the other was holding court.  It appeared to me that all the whole Donald was talking, Hillary was looking down at notes or something.  Then when she rebutted, it seemed like she was reading from a well rehearsed script.

Then he'd start in and there she'd be, nodding her head, or sneering, then he'd do the same when she was speaking.

I flipped over to HGTV to watch Tiny House Hunting, but on their commercials, I'd switch back to the debate.

I don't think the debates are going to show anything new.  I don't really care what either one says because they both lie.  Neither one is fit to hold the most high office of the land.  I don't think it will really matter who wins.  Our country is in such disrepair, I'm not real sure it can ever be great again.

Thankfully, we only have six weeks to wait and then...Dear God, help us all!
I have to go to the doctor on Monday.  A follow-up on my chest x-ray.  Probably will have to have a CAT scan of my lungs.  I have had a "nodule" off and on for the last 4 years.  It shows up on an x-ray and then the next x-ray, 6 weeks later, it is gone.  Still, when the doctor's office called to set up an appointment, I got that icy cold band feeling around my middle.  That band of fear.

Last time I had to go back for a second mammogram.  I am almost waiting for that call to come too.  

My horoscope said 2016 was going to be a fantastic year for me.  I don't believe in such things, but at the time, I thought, "YAY!"  Well, it may or may not be true.

Whatever--my fireplace is being delivered tomorrow morning and I am going to enjoy it for as long as I have on this earth.  God will take care of the rest.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The end is near-----

Five years ago, this month, I mentioned to Fred that I had always wanted a fireplace in my home.
Of course, impossible here. But a few days later he came home from getting groceries and said, “I found a fireplace we can use in here.  It is electric and you can put your TV on the top.  They have them at Walmart.”  So, I hopped in the car and he took me back to look at them.  Hm-mm, not quite what we wanted.  So we drove over to Lowe’s and looked at theirs.  Too expensive and a bit too large.  He checked on-line and found one we both really liked.  “Free shipping,” he said.  “I can put it together.”

Then, over the next two months, he was in and out of hospital a couple of times, and then on New’s Year Day, he passed away.
Any thought of getting a fireplace or anything else left my mind.  I was in survival mode.

6 weeks later, I had to buy a new furnace.  4 months later, a new roof, the next month, a hip replacement, the cost of which was not entirely covered by Medicare and Supplemental Insurance. .  There was hardly enough money in my (now) decreased budget to buy food, let alone think of buying anything new for this house.  Then $3000.00 worth of repairs on my old car, over the next two years, then dental work, not covered by insurance at all.

A friend hired me to knit or crochet her designs to see if they fit, before she put the patterns up for sale. I put half my “pay check” away and used the other half to pay off my debts.  Then, just for fun, I did a genealogy for a friend.  I mentioned that I loved doing genealogies and by word of mouth, I got more clients.  I paid off my debts and started socking away the money from the genealogies.

This early spring I was ready to finally get my electric fireplace, BUT—my walls and ceilings had needed painting for 7 years.  So I got that done.  My carpet was covered with small scatter rugs to cover up the “worn down to the jute” places.  I got new carpeting.  My old recliner had broken, so I went shopping and got a new recliner AND a new couch to take the place of the broken down, faded, 20 year old one I had.  Then, of course, the dark Cranberry curtains I had, looked terrible with my new clean and bright living room, so new curtains were obtained.  You know how it is.  You do one thing and it leads to another and another.

So--this re-do all started with wanting an electric fireplace--just that, is all I intended.  Crazy, BUT---
Now, I am ready for my electric fireplace!    I will get it Wednesday!!  The end of the re-do is near.

Of course, there is still one very important item missing in my living room, but it can’t be purchased.
This “re-do” hasn’t been quite as exciting, without Fred here to enjoy it with me.  In a way, It seems all for naught.
I got my mammogram and chest x-ray today.  I will probably get called back for a second mammogram--it seems I have the last two times I had one.  I have very dense, cystic mammo's.

Got an e-mail from my little sister--with a picture of the Devil's Tower.  They had just completed the walk around it.  She told me they were only going to S. Dakota and the Black Hills.  Devil's Tower is in Wyoming!!!  Glad they are seeing all the sights!!!
I did not watch the debate tonight.  Well, that's not quite true.  I just didn't have the emotional fortitude to watch the yelling, screaming, lying "match", so I watched HGTV and every commercial break, I clicked over to the debate.  GEEZ LOUISE!  Every time I saw Hillary, she was looking down at her notes and every time I saw Donald, he was talking about what a "beautiful" plan he had.

In my humble opinion, neither one of them is good enough to be OUR President and I sooo dread the next 4 years!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Every time I turn around..............

...it's a Friday.

How ridiculously fast the weeks go by now.  

"For it's a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
And the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
And I haven't got time for the waiting game
And the days dwindle down to a precious few
September, November
And these few precious days I'll spend with you
These precious days I'll spend with you"

actually written for Walter Huston in 1938, but Frank Sinatra gave it a good rendition. It reminds me of Fred and me.  We thought we had days and days, but that last year, from September on, he just started going downhill very quickly it seemed.
My sister and her hubs Chuck headed out today for South Dakota.  Neither one have ever been west of the Mississippi,  They have been to every National Monument and area of interest on the East Coast, but never to the west.  They are going--only for a week--only to see the Badlands, Mr. Rushmore and the Black Hills.   Leaving Wyoming and Yellowstone for the next trip.  I hope they have years and years to enjoy making these road trips together.
I made all my appointments this morning.  Mammogram and chest X-ray scheduled for Monday, will meet with PT office, this week and dental appointment October 21st.  I shouldn't complain about having to go to appointments.  I have far less than many my age.

I have told you that I collect old boxes--haven't I?  I have a large old lidded tool box by my chair to store my crochet/knitting/x-stitch in.  The more beat up the box, the better.

This was a box that always set on Fred's mother's desk.  She kept her bills and check book inside.  When she died, instead of putting it in her estate sale, I confiscated it.

Close enough to my chair, but not easy enough to reach without getting out of my chair.

This is what it holds.  It is nearly always this full.  It goes to Pammie when I die and she wants everything that is in this box at the time....so I have to keep it full.  For Pam, you understand.  LOL

John has gone to the Upper UP of Michigan to visit his family.  You know, it is almost a relief that I don't have to worry about when he is going to call to tell me he and Maizey are at the corner, heading my way for a visit.  I can lounge in my nightie as long as I want.  I don't have to wonder if he is coming while I'm watching Jeopardy.  
The other night, around 11:00 as I was sitting here in the front room playing a game on Face Book, a Firetruck pulled up in front of my house, then an ambulance and another firetruck behind that.

They never run the sirens while inside the park.  I couldn't see or smell any smoke and didn't know which house they were going too, but I shoved into my shoes and stepped outside.

I have only seen two firetrucks and an ambulance in this park at the same time, on two other occasions.  That was when the young man who lived where Dar does now, dropped over dead and the other time, when the old man who lived across from died during the night.

So, seeing all the apparatus, I figured Dar's Dad had died.  I hotfooted it across the street and up near her driveway.  "Is it the old man or the woman?" I asked the ambulance person.  "I can't tell you that."

Okay. "I'll just stand here and see which one you bring out on the stretcher!"

It was Dar's Dad.  She came out right behind him, saw me and came over.  I put both of my hands strongly on her shoulders.  "Tell me what happened."

"Daddy had a nose bleed and we couldn't get it stopped.  You should see all the blood---all over my house!"

I was trying to distract her while they attended to her Dad.  "Does he have high blood pressure?"

"No.  His is always way lower than mine."

"Is he on Coumadin?"


"Okay.  Good.  Okay, they are getting ready to leave.  Do you want me to drive you up to the ER."

"Nope."  She seemed steadier.  "I will follow behind the ambulance.  I know where it is."

They were gone less than an hour.  They got the bleeding stopped.  Made an appointment for him with an ENT on Monday and they came home and went to bed.

I think I was a bit more shaky then they were.  My Dear Uncle bled to death from a hemorrhage from his nose!

Come to find out--the two firetrucks and one ambulance came because when Dar called 911 and mentioned that her 95 year old father was bleeding--they thought they were going to arrive to a death scene.
Tomorrow will be a perfect day for me.  Back-to-Back college football games.  Michigan State starts at Noon and U of Michigan starts right after them at 3:30.

I see a lot of x-stitching on that baby quilt in my future!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Here it is, Wednesday, and I have been remiss in posting.  

I used to have a short-cut icon for my blog on my monitor desktop and saw it every day and that jogged my memory to post.  Since I have had problems with my 'puter, that icon is gone.  Outta sight, outta mind.

I made a To-Do list.  I like lists.  They inspire me to get things done and they also jog my memory.  Too bad I'm not all that inspired.  I have 20 things To-Do NOW, so I decided 5 a day for a week would get it done.  

Monday was a great day.  I got my 5 things done.  Crossed them off my list and felt great.

The disappointment came on Tuesday.  I had stopped at Art Van on Monday, ready to order my media/electric fireplace--at last--after waiting 5 years.  This is the picture of the one I have wanted.
Of course, they only had 2 in stock.  One I hated and the other one would be okay, but--not quite what I have wanted.  My sales girl showed me 3 websites to go on that they order from.

I stayed up Monday night until after 1:00 am, looking and I found two that I liked and one that I fell in love with.

I liked this one, the one I saw in the store, had glass in the side doors.

I loved this one!

So--she called their rep and guess what?  Can't order it--wrong company, but I can get it at Lowe's and Home Depot--that's what my sales girl said. She actually told me where I could get it and it isn't her store!!!

The thing of it is, she has been so helpful and so efficient at getting my couch special ordered to match my chair--at no extra charge, and my table, that I want her to have my final buy--the fireplace.

If I get it at Lowe's or Home Depot, I would have to pay $100.00 (at least) to  hire one of their contractors to put the thing together, and whatever delivery charge they have.  

I asked my brother-in-law to be honest.  Did he want to put it together or not.  He said, "I'd rather not."

Perhaps it's a good thing not to go with it because it is much bigger and might look overpowering in the space I have for it.  My max length is 55" and this one was 57.5", but I do love the curved part on the bottom front.

She and I spent almost 2 hours going through sales books.  Either the pieces were too big, too expensive or don't come in the burnished oak color I need.  Plus I want the Mission Style furniture.

She is going to call Art Van head office and have them e-mail her photos of the inventory our store here is going to receive this year and look it over and let me know.

The one they had on the floor at the store is okay, so she had me put a down payment on it.  That way I got the 25% discount.  If we find another one, I can get it also for a 25% discounted price because I locked it in yesterday, and it will come to my house and the delivery guys will put it together--free.  Well, almost free.  Art Van charges a $100.00 delivery fee, but do charge extra for set-up.  She waived the delivery fee.

Anyway, the more I think of it, the more I like the one in the store.  It has a bigger firebox than the one I have lusted after for 5 years and is a bit larger--54".  So...maybe I will get that one after all.  

The price is $699.99 on the ones I looked at.  With the discount, delivery, set-up, I will pay $620.00.

I came home and took the 8 -100 dollar bills I had with me and stuffed them back into my hidey place and will wait and see what she finds.

Last night, I got on-line, found the big one I loved and read customer reviews.  Most liked it, but did mention that it was cheaply made.  It can't be moved after installation or it falls apart.  Maybe God had His hand in the process of me not being able to order it?
I was so worn out that I did nothing else the rest of the day, except--I got my latest genealogy book bound, safely wrapped and in the Medium Flat Rate box--it weighed 4#!! and set up a pick-up schedule.  The mail lady picked it up today and, as we speak, it is wending its way to California to my client.  YAY!!
Of course, today--I had 7 things to do on my To-Do list to make up for yesterday's "not-doing", so far I have filled up the bird feeders, cleaned up the kitchen, run the dishwasher and 2 loads of a 4 load laundry.

I really need to call and make my mammogram and chest x-ray screening appointments, and set-up a plan to start PT in October.  Supposed to have done all these appointments in August and have put them off.  What would it take?  An hour out of my day?  BIG DEAL!  Get with it, Jude!!!

I so HAVE to go out and cut back my perennials and clean up the yard and put away all the porch pots and...I just keep putting that off too.

This summer has really discombobulated me!  Not a normal summer by all means.  Cooped up in the house with the A/C running because of the heat and humidity.  Normally, I would be outside in the summer, playing in the gardens, tending to my pots of annuals--I did not do that this year.

Now, it's the first day of Autumn, with lower humidity and NOW, I am ready to start my planting and gardening and........NOW it's time to put it all to bed!

I have mentioned how I "hated" this summer.  It's the worse one I have ever experienced and must be I am not alone.  Neighbor's and friends are saying the same thing.  "Didn't get to enjoy summer because it was too hot and now, winter is 6 weeks away!"

None of my annuals grew or lasted like they should have.  First time in my life--I planted Morning Glories and although the vine grew, kind of wimpy, I had NOT ONE blossom.  

I love October, so....maybe I will get inspired to do the garden clean-up then?

Okay--going back to the laundry.  Does one load count as one "To-Do" thing or is ALL the laundry counted as just ONE "To-Do"?

I better call and make those appointments first.  Oh--yeah, I need a hair cut--BAD too!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It was the best of days-----------------

My oldest grand child's baby shower was Saturday, at Karen's.  A pictorial review:

To start off--this lady--my ex's wife, met me in the garage.  She said, "We've seen each other more in the last two months then we have in the last five years!"  Which is true--with the wedding, the class reunion and now the shower.

I replied, "When are you guys leaving for Florida?"

"First of October."

"Well, enjoy your winter of golf."

"Gary doesn't golf anymore."


"He hasn't golfed at all this last year.  With his bad eye and then his knee replacement--he just...."

"My gosh.  What does he do if he can't golf?"

She gave me one of those side-long, narrowing of the eyes look--"Nothing!"

"Oh oh.  You mean he follows you around and................"

"No--he sits in his chair and when he isn't sleeping he's 'Can you get me this...can you get me that.' "

"Oh....  Gosh.  I'm sorry,"  I replied, trying not to smirk.  Then she said the funniest thing..............

"You wouldn't want him back, would you?"
Wait. What?

I did laugh then.  A loud guffaw.  "Ah...no thanks.  I enjoy living alone."
Jennifer was there too.  She is working at her "home" office in Michigan all week.  She said she is coming over for a visit one evening.   She and Pammie were helping Karen cook and get everything ready for Helene's shower.

This little Munchkin is grandson Marcus' girl friend.  I met her years ago as she dances in Madeleine's ballet company.  She has called me Gramma Judy for years.  She wanted to sit on my lap.

We played a few shower games--fun ones I have never played before and then Daddy showed up.  He wanted to be there to see/help Helene open the gifts.  I can truly say, the first time I have ever seen the Daddy show up for a baby shower.

Mike is 6'5", Helene is 5'10".  I think we might have
a nice big and tall baby girl.  

Who says Daddy's don't get excited by little baby things?  His face was just radiant every time Helene opened another package.

I gave them this--"promise"--

A picture of what the baby quilt looks like now--

and what it will look like--hopefully--before the baby comes.

 So--they have a pretty good start on things....except no crib for the crib quilt to go on............GiGi (I think that stands for Great Grandma = GG?) may have to send along a bit of cash to get that baby a crib...

The obligatory photos:

 Soon to be: Great Grandma Judy, Grandma Karen, Momma Helene, Grandma Reva (Mike's Mom) Great Grandma Rivard (Karen's MIL) and Great Grandma Diane (ex's wife)

Soon to be Aunties:  Great Aunt Pam, Karen, Momma, Aunt Madeleine, Great Aunt Jennifer, we were missing Aunt Susanna, who lives in Oregon.  

"I love you", my Sweetest Girl!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A lovely day indeed.

I left the blinds up on my bedroom window last night and the sun woke me at 8:00.  Perfect way to wake up.

I messed around on the computer, then took a nice long shower at 10:00, jumped back into my nightie to air dry off, tidied up the kitchen and bedroom, finished a load of laundry and then at 11:30 started getting dressed.

I had a nice, sunny 35 mile drive to have lunch with the Old School Gal Pals--we had 11 today, which is a good crowd.  I ordered Nachos Supreme--Oh my--delish.  I have enough for tomorrow's lunch, of course the chips will be soggy, but the rest will be tasty.

After lunch and an 90 minute chat-up, I drove on out to the Cemetery to check on Fred and all my other ancestor's and best friend, then on over 3 miles to The Farm for a nice two hour chat-up with my little Sister.

She filled me in on all the news. 

I noticed as I drove by my old farm, that Daughter Pammie is have the almost falling down barn, taken down.  She found someone who wanted the wood so he is paying HER instead of her paying him to take it down.  She was at work, so I couldn't stop in.

Sister Susan said that my son Mark was down for a visit and he is feeling great!  The Chemo is finally all out of his body, his hair is coming back and he doesn't have to go back to the Oncologist for another infusion of the testosterone killing med until December.  He feels very strong and Susan said, the usually non-talkative Mark, spent almost an hour there chatting with them.  YAY!

I checked on my way home, thinking to stop in and see him, but he wasn't home either!

I got home around 6:00--clocked 72 miles on the car, with a non eventful drive.

Perfect day!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It was a beautiful day---for awhile...................'

I shouldn't bicker with John!  It's just that I feel he is so condescending to me and that irritates.  I've had so much of that in my life, from men, and would never argue back.  I know that I know that I am pretty intelligent and now that I live alone, I guess I feel I can "fight" back to prove it?  I just can't believe that he can be so brain-less at times.

Then I look out my window this morning and see him, down on his knees, changing a tire on the neighbor's car.  He really is a nice guy.

Today was my day off.  That means, I didn't go anywhere in my car.

I enjoyed it!  Of course I spent hours on a genealogy and of course I watched my Soap and of course, about 10 minutes into to, Dar barged in.

She looked terrible!!!  Hair

She looked awful!  Hair sticking up all over her head.  Deep wrinkles showing around her mouth and eyes.  My Gosh.

"Oh.  It's during your program isn't it."

"Yep and there is a hostage situation right now."

"I wondered if you could scan and print these forms for me.  I can't figure out how to do it on my scanner, printer, and I need to Fax them to my attorney."

I am so selfish I didn't even take my eyes off the TV.  "Just lay them there and come back at 2:30 and I'll have them done."

"I have to take Daddy to get his hearing aids tested at 2:00"

"Okay.  When you get back, come on over.  I'll have them done."

and she left.

Now, a few months ago, I would have jumped right up and done what she wanted.  But--she and most everyone else in my life knows that I don't take visitors or answer the phone from 1-2:00 every weekday--I just don't.  She wouldn't miss America's Got Talent for anything in this world, so she can dang well understand why I don't like to miss my Soap--a 50+ year tradition.

She has to Fax all her medical records, payments, test results--all of it to her attorney.  She is so unorganized that she can't figure out how to do it.  Which papers go where.  They all had the same date, so I looked at the different invoice ID numbers on each sheet and put them in order.

Then I scanned each one, saved them in a picture folder with her name and today's date, organized them by the ID numbers and put them in a file folder that said, "Copies to be Faxed".  I stapled her originals together and put them in order too.  She said she had them all in three piles at home--some for the insurance co, some for where she works, and some for her attorney.

So, I went ahead and made her file folders with stickers on the tabs:  Insurance,  Meijer,  Attorney.  How she claims she was such a good manager at so many stores and is so unorganized--I can hardly believe it.

I guess she just needed a good secretary?
I just looked out my front windows.  The moon is rising in the east.  I think I'll call John and tell him about it.  LOL

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

So Much For Socialzing

John and I argue every day, it seems. 

Last Wednesday night when he stopped by he said, "You better get your garbage taken out, Girlie. They pick up tomorrow."

"Au Contraire, Young Boy," I said.  They will pick up on Friday this week."

"No.  They pick up on Thursday.  You should know that by now."

"If we have a Holiday on Monday, they pick up a day later--on Friday."

"I think you're wrong!"

"Didn't we have this same discussion on the week of July the fourth?  Remember--they picked up on Friday."

"Yes they did that week, but..................."

"I have lived her thirteen and one-half years.  If there is a Holiday on a Monday, they pick up the garbage on Friday.  Why do you think, that for the first time in nearly fourteen years, they are going to change their schedule this time?"

"You just wait until early tomorrow morning when you hear the garbage truck.  You are going to be mad."

"I will put mine out tomorrow night for Friday pick-up."

"Five dollars says your wrong."

The garbage pick-up was early Friday morning.  John handed me a fiver on his morning walk that day.

Last Saturday he asked me if I knew what the Big 10 College Conference schedule was. I told him I did and read the schedule off for him.  I had already printed it out and had it nearby.

When I mentioned that we play Maryland and Rutgers, he said, "Oh. Those aren't conference games.  Those are just schools we play for fill-ins."

I said, "They are in the Big Ten Conference--along with Penn State and Nebraska."
We play them for real!

"The Big Ten is called that for a reason," he went on.  There are only ten schools in the conference."

I said, "The last few years they have added four more schools to the conference."

He said, "I know how you hate to be wrong, but in this case.  You are wrong.  It's called the BIG TEN conference because there are ten colleges involved.  Other wise they would call it something else.  I got five dollars that says your wrong.  Check it out and you'll see."

I quit arguing.  I had the dang schedule right in front of me, besides that--I know a lot more about the Big Ten conference than most people.

So after he left, I jumped on the Internet, found where the schools are listed in the BIG TEN conference and e-mailed the link list to John.

He was over the next afternoon and handed me a fiver.  I just simply said, "Thank you."

"I'm still going to check with my son because I think you're wrong!"

Then yesterday, during our evening chat, we were pondering on what would happen if either presidential candidate died.  Who would "they" put in the election?  The second one with the highest delegates?

Then he said, "It's happened once before."

"It has.  When?"

"When Dewey and Truman were running against each.  Dewey sent him a congratulatory note and died three days later.  Just think.  What is he had won and then died."

"You're referring to Thomas Dewey from Owosso?"

"Yes,  It happened."

Ah--err- that election was in 1948.  Dewey was a Republican running for President.  Truman was the democrat.  He barely beat Dewey.  Dewey didn't die until 1970 something.  He was dating Kitty Carlisle at the time, living in New York, working as an attorney.
He had a sudden heart attack and died.

"No.  You're thinking of someone else.  I mean Thomas Dewey.  He died three days after Truman won.  I saw it on a documentary."

I didn't argue because i knew it wasn't true and---there was no five dollars involved.  HAH

I did however Google Thomas Dewey's bio and send John the link.

Then last night, we were talking about the 2 planets and one star that is visible in the south-west sky, right after it gets dark.  We were out on my porch and both looking toward the sky.  I was looking off to my right a bit, he was looking east.

I said, "South west is kind of behind you."

He turned and said, "Ah, yes.  I get my directions confused.  There's the full moon rising up from the west."

Wait. What?

"The moon rises in the east--the south east kind of, travels across the sky and sets in the West."

"No it doesn't!" he said.  "The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but the moon rises in the west and sets in the east."

I gave the excuse that the mosquitoes were biting me and came inside.  He and Maizey continued their walk.  I just wanted to go over to the wall and bang my head on it!

Where did this guy go to school?
I did get up to the bank and the store today AND I did see Pearl AND I started putting my porch pots away in the shed.

Monday, September 12, 2016


I am so mad at myself!

Last night I made out a mental list of what I would do today.

Up at 8:00
Take a walk at 10:00
Stop in to see Pearl
Go up to the store at 2:00

What did I do?
Alarm at 8:00--hit snooze until 8:45
at 10:00- still playing on Face Book
at 11:00- genealogy
at 2:00--back to genealogy

GEEZ LOUISE!!!  Why am I so undisciplined?

A young girl, whose father I dated when I first moved here, said she didn't know very much about her Dad's family and she wished she could afford to get a family tree book like I make for others.

Her Dad and Mom were never married.  Her mother had been told she would never have any children.  Then she met "A" 15 years older than her and lo and behold!

I met this girl when she was 10.  Every other weekend she'd visit her Dad.  Her Dad didn't get up until 2:00 in the afternoon and then spent the next 6 hours on his computer.  Her Mother was not the greatest woman I ever met either.

I'd take her shopping, or play with her outside, or bring her back here to spend the weekend with me.  I was there, when she was 12 1/2 and woke up in the morning when she realized she had got her first period.  I took her out to breakfast and bought her a bouquet of flowers to celebrate.  

Her Dad died in 2007 from blood cancer.

She is 22 now, married and has two little daughters.   I think she needs to know about her roots.

So, I spent four hours today working on her genealogy.  I want to be able to make and mail her a really nice book
Tomorrow I am going to do all the things I didn't do today.

I promise!!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Family Genealogy Book

Some people have asked me what the genealogy books I do, look like.  Debbie asked me specifically the other day to show her.  So, here ya go, Debbie.  Not very good pictures as my camera is acting up.

After I have found every tidbit of information I can find on the person's ancestor's, I print out, scan and save into photos, things like Census Reports, newspaper clippings, Town histories of where they lived--everything I can find.  Then I index the photos into two folders--one for the person's father's side of the family, one for their mother's, because it can get confusing if the scanned articles are all in one folder.

Then I find historic photos, cemetery signs and gravestone photos I can save as a photo image.  Sometimes I get real lucky and find a photo of the 10th Great Grandpa.  Birth notices, death certificates--things like that.  Also, photos my clients send me that they might have and want me to scan and insert in the book.

Then--I put all the "numbers and names" information into my Family Tree Maker software.  Making sure every birth and death date is correct and all the children are named.  This is called a Family Group Sheet.

Then, I begin the fun part of putting the book together and writing the story of their lives.
 I write it in a Word document, adding the scanned images and saved photos as I go along with the story.  Then I have to go back and read every page to make sure there are no mistakes on dates and no typos.  Then I load up my printer with a special heavier bond paper and start to print the book--reading each page again before I hit the print button.  One page at a time, most are double sided.

Then I take it to the print shop for them to put the clear plastic cover on the front and a heavy back cover.  Then, they put it in the machine a bit at a time, to punch the holes along the left side and insert a nice, hard plastic coil.  Not one of those el cheapo tab thingies, but a nice heavy coil so the pages will lay flat.

I've used my own book as an example here.  Again, please excuse the out- of- focus photos.

 I like to google a photo of the region where the ancestor's came from.

Perhaps another one of the region they settled in America

Before I put in a new family, I insert and fold the pedigree I've made on the right side of this page

They can then fold it out--no matter how many generations long it is.  To see the names and dates for their DIRECT ancestor's.  Just a simple pedigree.

 This is the family group sheet--one family and children with vital statistics

If I have photos of that family, I can insert them and then write a bit about them

Sometimes I am lucky enough to find something written about the person.  Like in the Early Settlers of New York, or micro-fische files I can look through about wherever the ancestors settle, sometimes there will be something written about them and what prominence they held in that area/town.  I also find military records that I insert in the book.

I am real keen on finding where they are buried.  I want to get a photo of the cemetery sign and the ancestor's grave marker.  One day, my client might just want to take a weekend jaunt to that cemetery to physically where the Greats are buried. 

Then I wrap the book really well, put it in a box, along with the invoice that shows my time sheet and expenses for any supplies, lay my hands on the book and pray that my client will find peace, comfort and interest in what I have found and mail if off.

Of course, with a book that is near 200 pages, there is a lot more information, but this is generally what the finished book looks like.

One thing I have to note here.  I am ONLY researching your DIRECT ancestor's.  I am not researching your aunt's husband's family or finding your 3rd cousins twice removed married name.  ONLY your direct Grand Parents and their children's information will be in the book.

Plus--I don't ever find stories about bad things in the family, UNLESS you are related to Captain Black Beard--then I might and I for sure would include that.  LOL

I keep what I find confidential and don't list any names here in this blog or on Face Book, other than to use the term "Client" and perhaps that I found 30 generations up their tree. 
Sometimes I find things that the client didn't know.  That can be a bad or good thing.  When I did my friend John's genealogy, I found a newspaper account of when his brother was killed in a paper mill.  John was from a large family and much younger than the brother.  Had heard it whispered about, but no one would tell him how it happened.  Now he knows and was very happy to find it out.

The one I am finishing up now has been fascinating.  My client, a widow, decided that she wanted her deceased husband's family history also included.  Perhaps for books for her children.  I found photos of him in his high school year book!  The sports he was in.  Also photos of where he had worked.  Amazing.  Her book will be well over 200 pages thick.  
So if any of you are interested in having your genealogy done and put in a nice book, or know of anyone that would like that, please give them my e-mail to contact me and I will go over the costs with them and what they can expect.