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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Am I the only human in the US of A, that hates Halloween?

No, not because of Trick or Treaters, I don't get any here, no not even because it is a reason for the thugs in big cities to vandalize and burn.  I just hate the whole thing about it.

Dead people coming out of their graves to flit and fly among us?  Why would that be fun?

Witches and the bats flying in our faces and poking us with broom sticks?  Why would that be fun?

Zombies trying to drag me into the pit?  Why would that be fun?

Pagans and witches with their blood rituals?  Why would that be fun?

I've never liked it--even as a kid.  I certainly didn't like the Halloween parties I was forced to go to as an adult.  Just another excuse for grown-ups to get drunk and act stupid.

Now, more than ever, it is so mixed up with paganism and the occult, that it repels me.  

Remember my neighbor Tammie?  She was a Catholic, turned Seventh Day Adventist, turned Pagan.  With an enormous pentagram on her front door.  She was even married on Halloween, in the local cemetery.  Last spring she was out, hugging and praying to some godess, for the tree that was going to be cut down.  She's spookier than  anyone I know!!!

I just wondered, am I the only one that hates Halloween?

Monday, October 30, 2017


If any of you are interested, or know of anyone who would like their genealogy researched, please send me an e-mail with your mailing address and I will send a brochure, which explains all that will be compiled and included in your Family Tree.

I am running a special price, from now through the end of year.  $5.00 an hour, instead of the usual $7.00.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

This and That

My clock radio woke me yesterday morning to this song:  You Were Always On My Mind.
and that dang song put me in a mood that started my day off really bad!!!  I have a love/hate relationship with this song.

You see....my husband and I were separated for 18 months before our divorce was final.  We dated off and on.  The last few months he started dating our mutual friend--I had encouraged him to date her.

The night before our court date, we went out.  A dinky, dim bar near where we lived.  There was a country-western group that sang and we danced.  

Then, they sang this damn song.  We got up to dance and hubs started singing those damn words in my ear.  Truest words he had ever said to me.

We drove back to my place--the home we had lived in and raised our children in, we went to bed, probably closer than we had been in years.  He left around 5:00am.

Ten hours later, we sat on a bench in the courthouse ante-room, holding hands and crying, as our lawyers worked out a "deal".  Then into the court room.  I clearly remember hearing the courthouse clock chime 5:00, as the judge brought down the gavel and said, "Divorce granted."

The ever present argument I have with my brain:

“Ooooh. Look at that!”
“I could really use that.”
“I think I’ll get that.”
“Yeah, but…I like it.”
“But—I would really enjoy that.”
“You don’t need it.”
“But…I want it.”
“You can’t afford it.”
“Oh.” (sigh)


Just saw this posted on FB this morning.  Madeleine was sending her ballet teacher a Happy Birthday post.  Maddie was 4 at the time.  So cute.
I drained the stupid water heater yesterday.  My back was killing me.  First I had to removed all my clothes from the closet to get to the back where the heater is, behind the wall.  I piled everything on my bed.  

Dar came over during the process.  After she left, I put it all back together and thankfully, when I pushed the gas control to "On", I heard the WHOOSH of the flame and knew it was all working.  Put the piece of wall back.

Then Dar's friend Sheila stopped in with two cans of soup for me and we talked.

Then it was supper-time and just then my cousin called and we talked for over two hours.  Then I got interested in watching the World Series and it was late by the time I went to bed.......................only to find all my clothes from the closet still piled on my bed.  

So--there I was, near one in the morning, sorting out winter and summer clothes to put back in the closet!!

Today, I am sitting in my recliner and watching back-to-back football games, U of M at noon, Michigan State at 3:30, and cross stitching and crocheting ALL afternoon!!!  My back needs a good rest!!!

Darling Della's 1st birthday photo gallery.

Her constant companion and guard--Rupert

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Score Card

Because Luna Crone asked and my other new blog buddies.

My family Score Card.  LOL

My little sister and only sibling, born when  I was 13.
Susan Ellen

 Susan and her husband Chuck and (our) Ancestral Farm where they live--Farm settled on  in 1855. 

My children:
Mark-14, Pamela-13, Karen 11- Jennifer 1
 2013-Mark, Pam, Jen, Me, Karen

Mark Templeton

and his "wife", live on the farm where I was born and grew up.  This farm 1/8th mile north of ancestral farm.  Mark is a disability retired GM machinist.  Cindy drives school bus


Pamela Ann
Works as night janitor at High School

Lives on my grand parents farm--1/2 mile east of Mark's farm

Where we moved in 1967 and raised the kids 

Karen Helene

Her children--Madeleine, Stephen, Marcus, Susanna, Helene
(youngest to oldest)

Karen & Mark and family
Stephen--Michigan State University-- medical school
Helene--married to Mike with Della--works in the same company as her Dad
Susanna--lives in Portland, OR, works for New Balance Shoes, travels around the US, running marathons and promoting New Balance
Karen and hubs Mark--married August 29, 1979
Karen teaches math at a Catholic high school
Mark works for government contractor--studying satellite photos--top secret
Madeleine--the ballerina, studying nursing at Eastern Michigan College and teaching ballet
Marcus--graduated University of Michigan--Nuclear Engineer, works for DTE, engaged to Morgan

2017-House with addition on left

Their eldest child Helene Mary and her Hubs Michael

and Della Helene

Karen's oldest son Marcus and his fiancee' Morgan
Wedding date--June 2, 2018 
Jennifer Dorathy

Jennifer and Eric
Married in Boston, MA, September 23, 2000
Jennifer is a partner in a Corporate Law Office
Eric is a Prosthetics and Orthotics Engineer

Andrew, Alex, hubs Eric
Elise, Jen, Evan

Their home here.  Now they live in New Jersey

How Della got her name.
My fathers mother--my precious Grandma
Helene Mary

My Mother
Dorathy Della

My Karen Helene

Her Helene Mary

Her Della Helene

Whew!  Are there any questions?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 24, 1961-October 24, 2016-2017

It was a sunny, 72 degree Indian Summer afternoon, when my 3rd child, Karen Helene, was born,  October 24, 1961.  Her middle name was to honor my Grandmother, Helene Mary.  We called Karen our Gerber Baby.

Last year, on the morning of Karen's birthday, her oldest daughter (Helene Mary) presented her with her 1st grandchild, Della Helene. 

Today, they celebrate their mutual birthday's.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Deep in a dark hole. Up in the sunny skies.

It's been awhile since I posted.  I just didn't have it in me, so to speak.

I found out Wednesday that I would not be able to attend Della's 1st birthday party on Saturday.  I got an e-mail from Karen that they were going down early in the AM on Saturday and staying overnight--so I wouldn't be able to ride down with them.  Had I called Pam?  I could ride down with her.

Well, I didn't even know Pammie was invited.  They all text each other back and forth and of course, I get left out of that communication.

So I called Pammie Thursday, before she went to work and she said she was riding with Mark and his partner, Cindy.  In Mark's truck, that only has a teeny-tiny back seat.  No room for me.  She asked why I didn't drive down myself?

Because these kids know so much about my life--NOT-- apparently they are unaware that I have no idea how to get to my grand daughters, that the party was to start at 4:00, which meant I would have to drive back in the dark, which I can barely do and on unfamiliar roads?  Impossible.

By Thursday night I was pretty bummed out--especially since I had left a message on Karen's phone at 11:30 that morning and she had not returned my call.
I asked God to figure something out, but didn't really think that was going to happen.  Hey--I can handle a
"no" answer to my prayers.

Friday morning, I finally felt at peace about it.  I didn't care anymore.  I would just sit home on Saturday and crochet/cross stitch and watch football.

Friday afternoon, about 3:30 the phone rang and it was Karen.  "Mom, I've been trying to figure out this whole party transportation for you, that's why I didn't call you back last night.  I just don't  know what to do."

"Oh Karen.  Don't worry about it Honey.  I have to realize at my age and not being able to drive a distance or after dark, I am going to miss out on some things and it's okay.  Just send me photos from Della's party."

We hung up.

The phone rang again, about a half-hour later.  "Mom, I'm here shopping for food and it just occurred to me.  We are having supper tonight to celebrate Marcus' birthday.  Helene and Della will be there, along with Marcus and Morgan, Maddie--Susanna is in from Oregon--all except Stephen will be here.  Would you like to come down and have supper with us?"

"Of my  Gosh!  That would be wonderful!!!"

"Can you get home from our place after dark?"

"Sure.  I have before.  I come up the service drive next to the expressway, then come through Brighton and home.  Lots of street lights all the way."

"Okay--we'll eat around six.  See ya.  Love ya."

I hung up the phone and starting laughing.  "God, you have a weird sense of humor," I said.  "You crack me up!  I'd like to slap you sometimes, but...thanks".

I often forget the promises to stop worrying and give it to God.
I had a better time than if I had gone to the Saturday party with all the people that were invited.  It was such a lovely evening and I got home just fine.  

The new addition to Karen and Mark's home.
Enlarged the living room, now that their family is growing.

Della looked at me and I said, "Rip and tear!"
 and...she did!
It was so nice, weather-wise, that we ate out on the deck.
Photos from her party--

Sunday afternoon, I had just come back from a walk down to visit Pearl, ate a couple of string cheese and was wondering what to do with the rest of my day.

I heard someone coming up the porch steps and in walked, Jennifer.

No big deal, right?

This is Jennifer!  Jennifer who lives in New Jersey and I rarely get to see.

I leaped out of my chair and ran to hug and kiss her!  She brought me a plant in a heavy earthern jug with a froggie on the side of it.  So cute!

So surprised.  She is on business in Michigan all this week.  Speaking four different times at a conference on Impact Investing.  Apparently she is the expert on Non-Profits and at these conferences, people are coming in from D.C., New York, Dallas and Atlanta.  There will be around 3-4 thousand people at the conference.  She isn't a bit afraid to stand up in front and talk.

She sat beside me and showed me tons of photos of the kids, she has on her phone.  

They are breaking ground on their new home construction this week.  Her hubs is home and will handle all of that.  She is the main bread winner (she always has been, which kind of ticks me off), but it looks like his father may be ready to turn over his Prosthetics and Orthotics business so that her hubs will make some better money and.........she longs to retire from the active law work.

She has had Lyme Disease since June and she is very tired.  She's also tired of traveling all over the country and over seas to the conferences.  Evan is only 6 and she wants to be able to spend more time with the kids AND she has all  sorts of plans how she can do consulting, pro bono, volunteer, etc.

There is one thing with Jen.  She will never be one to sit still.  She is a Type A+ personality, has an enormously high IQ and is driven to help people.

She is a Republican with a Liberal agenda.  HAH.  She loves big business and the money the corporations bring in and she loves to tell them about Impact Investing, Non Profits and getting their money to people and programs that need it. 
She has been working pro-bono and representing some of the DACA young people.  She's only 45, so she still has a lot of time for a new "career".
So, all in all, at the beginning of the week, I was not posting, nor was I on Face Book.  I was so discouraged and frustrated, sad and depressed that I couldn't talk to anyone and now.............?

Which just shows to go ya, hang in there, because you never know when a rainbow is end in a pot of gold in your front yard!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Me--at the Food Bank  Look at this Rib Eye steak!  It's almost as thick as a roast.  Look at the original price.  My Gosh.  Are there really people in this world that could afford to buy that?  I think I will cut in half and grill only half at a time.

Supper for two nights.  Corn and baked potato and Rib Eye.  YOWZA!!
I had to re-certify today and luckily my income is still below the cut-off of $1,200.00 for one person.
Dar was over last night.  She always drops in around 6:30 and stays until 7:45.  That way, she catches me as I am finishing up supper and allows me to miss the national news, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.  She cares for none of these shows, but she makes sure she gets home in time to watch The Voice.

Anyway--she had been for her first session with the shrink they found for her.  He is well known, but she won't put up with any of his guff!  He asked her, "Well, how do you think I can help you?"

She took offense and though he meant, "How do you think I can help you when no one else has."

So right away, she felt he was just going to blow her off and send her on her way with a few words.

Then, he was sitting on a wheeled, stool, like the doctor's have and he rolled closer to her chair, Until he was about 8 feet away.  "What is the outcome you'd like to see come out of our sessions?"

"You're the doctor..you tell me!"

He rolled a couple of feet closer and she put her hand up and said, "If you don't move back behind your desk, I'm leaving!"

Can't you just see this poor guy, scurrying back to sit behind his desk?

Then she said, "After he got back behind the desk, I stood up so that I would have the dominant position and walked around, while we talked."

I guess one of the things he told her was that she "probably" won't ever be able to go back to her cashier job.

I said, "I told you that six months ago.  Sheila told you that last month."

"Judy--can't you say anything nice.  Encouraging?"

"Sure.  I encourage you to start dealing with reality and acceptance.  You'll feel less depressed when you make up your mind this may be as good as you get, pain wise, and do what you can.  You can still walk for miles.  You can still drive, where ever you want.  You're life isn't over."

Then she grabbed the top of her head.  "Oh--the horrible pains I get....in my head....They can't find anything wrong, but I get such a pain."

I said, "I can tell you what that is from."

"You can?"

"After I lost my promotion, for three months, every time my therapist or anyone asked me about it and I had to recount it, I got terrible pains in the top of my head and my blood pressure went very high.  It is part of PTSD.  It's as if the incident just happened and you physically react and feel all the emotions you did then."

"They do say I have PTSD."

"Well, that is one symptom I had.  I know.  It is very painful."

She started feeling a bit better.  I sure try, but I can't help her too much.  Even when I can identify with her on panic attacks, and fears, and night terrors and everything I had gone through that she is going through--it doesn't matter to her.  Since she is one of those "it's all about me" people, she thinks that whatever she has or suffers is unique to her and no one else could have ever felt like her.  

I say something to her about how I went through the same thing and she'll say, "Yes, but, with me........"  Her "condition" is always worse.

Enuff of Dar---at least now, when she leaves, I don't struggle the rest of the night, thinking and worrying and trying to figure out how to help.  She goes out the door and I forget about it--which is a self protective mechanism on my part.
Today has been another lovely day, weather-wise and will have right through the weekend.  Next week predicted rain and cooler temps and, no doubt, our first frost.
Hey--did any of you see this?

Michigan State basketball unanimous pick to win Big Ten title

Oh, it's going to be a wonderful winter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Triumphant Tuesday

A nice day, weather-wise.  We will have high 60's, low 70's all week. Which is great for me!!

I finished up my side garden today.  Cut everything back, raked it good and put on a top dressing of the Garden Soil Amendment.  I'm not putting the mulch on this one until next spring.  The bags of mulch I have left can just ride around in my car all winter!

Several times I wanted to quit and finish up tomorrow, but I kept pushing on.  The last trip I made to my shed, with the wheelbarrow loaded up with porch pots, garden and porch ornaments and my tools just about did me in.  Then I noticed, the raised bed by the side of my shed, where my Zinnias are planted, is still doing well.  They must have loved the 3 straight days of rain we got.  I didn't have the heart to pull them out and will wait---or forget it and they will rot away and I can clean up their mess next spring.

Tomorrow morning is my trip to the Food Bank--hope I don't forget like I did last month.

Oh, and I got Della's present finished.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Saturday I traveled up, through torrential rain, to my home town.  The Elementary Gym was where the Alumni luncheon was held.

When I consider all the graduates from this school, over the 120 history, there weren't many attendees.  The "youngers" just aren't interested in these hokey, old fashioned kinds of things.

I smiled as the program progressed, led by a prayer, group singing of, "In The Garden" and "Proud to be an American", where every single person stood.  I looked around, every single person, of the 100 present, was singing and praying.  Small town America.  Where else could you get away with this?  I love it!

Pammie was there, only 3 from her class showed up.  Her class was recognized for 40 years, ours was recognized for 60.

When I used to attend these Alumni banquets, they were held at night, we dressed to the nines and there was a dance after the meal.

I used to look at the old graduates and marvel that they were still alive 60 years after graduation.  Now, I am one of those old graduates.

My favorite teacher was there--still alive at 96.  He graduated the year I was born and was celebrating his 78th year from graduation.  He is sharp as a tack and looks as young as me.

Out of 36 graduating in my class, we have 19 survivors and 7 of us showed up.

If I had been smarter in High School, I would have accepted a date with the lovely man standing next to me, hung onto him and married him. He was one of those "late bloomers" and in High School he was kind of goofy, with the blush and sort of stumbling ways.  Now, he is wealthy and one of the kindest, gentlest, sweetest man you'd ever meet.  

Oh no.  I had to go for the popular jock and look where that got me!

The ladies in this photo are some of the ones who do lunch every month.  As you can tell, the one on the left front is not smiling.  We took 5 photos and she is not smiling in any of them.  She appears to us to be getting a bit senile and will say things that she should not.  I can remember, when my grandma first started in with her forgetfulness and senility, she quit smiling too.  Every photo we have of Grandma, in her last few years, she looked very sad and would sit with her head down, looking worried.  This may be happening to our girl.  
Afterwards, I traveled out to The Farm to visit sister for an hour and then started home.  It was now getting foggy and dark (5:00) and I had a heck of a rough ride getting home.  I never would have made it if I hadn't remembered that in the console of the car, I had those special yellow glasses to use to drive after dark.  I put those on, and it made it seem a bit brighter outside, but it still was a long journey.
It was a real nice time anyway and worth the scary drive home.  I wondered around the new parts of the school that have been added on since Jennifer was in elementary school.  This gym used to be our  High School gym, but with a burst of residency in the mid 60's, they tore down our two-story brick school, and added buildings for elementary school and built a new middle school and high school up town.

Lots of memories in that gym.  I even sneaked up on the stage, behind the heavy curtain and remembered choir concerts, Jr. and Sr. Plays, band concerts, talent shows--all those memories came back crystal clear.

Yesterday, still feeling sentimental and nostalgic and the fact that we ARE NOT having a 60th CLASS reunion, I got to wondering about those kids that live out of state....and really too far away now to come back home.

I have decided to send them all a letter asking them to write a brief synopsis of their life now and enclose a present photo.  Then, I am going to make up a newsletter with the info from each person and mail that out to everyone.  I used to make booklets for our class reunions, kind of like this, and pass them out at our Class reunions.  We probably won't ever have any more Class reunions and I have this real need to connect to everyone.  To have all of us be connected again.  After all...most of us started Kindergarten together and graduated together.  In a small town school like ours, we all were kind of like brothers and sisters.
I started my next project.  It is the strangest pattern I have ever worked.  There are only squares with color symbols in them and no out-line of the figures.

Look at all the colors!

I think this project is probably going to be the most difficult one I have ever done.
I have started at the upper, right hand corner, and off I go.