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

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Thursday, I had lunch with my  High School Gal Pals.  I ordered Nachos Supreme and they came out on a small pizza pan.  Needless to say, I brought half home with me for supper.  Warmed-up Nachos aren't too good--the chips get all soggy.

After lunch, I drove on up another 12 miles to visit my 2nd ex husband.  He had called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that something he kept from me when we divorced, he wanted to now give to me.

The item had been a bone of contention at the time.  It was mine, but he said, if he hadn't gotten it for me, I never would have it and then I told him, if I hadn't seen it and asked him to get it for me, he never would have even known about it...and on and on.  He kept it from me just to be mean.  It's not like it's worth anything.  I had seen it the first time I visited him and asked, when he was done with it, could I have it.

So--30 years later, I got my "Rocky" back.  

So silly--we were on our Honeymoon in upper Michigan, walking along a high bank with Lake Michigan far below.  I spotted a rock.  Shaped somewhat like a skillet, with the "pan" eroded away by the swirling water.

He climbed down the bank and brought that heavy thing up to me and we put it in the trunk of our car.  When we got back home, I placed it under the down spout of our eaves trough, in a small garden I had planted.  When it rained, the water would come down into the basin and swirl around before running off the "handle" of the skillet into the garden.  The birds used it as a birth bath.  I loved that dang thing!

So Rocky is now in the trunk of my car, waiting for me to find some strong guy to help me get it out and place it under the down spout off my porch, in a woodland garden I have there.

Too funny, huh?  I wish he felt the need to give me back the $10K I loaned him, but he gets less Social Security than I do and has nothing.  He looks terrible!!  Near 6' tall and probably doesn't weight 145 pounds.  His stomach caves in and his rib bones stick out.  He cinches his pants in to extra holes he has made in his belt.  He looks very creased and old--which, I guess at 87 he should look old.  He's still very healthy, takes no prescriptions and put in a 50'x75' vegetable garden this year.  He dyes his hair, so it looks reddish, as a lot of hair dyes for men do.  He's had white hair since he was 50.  It is very sparse now and with the dye, he resembles a scare-crow.

He looks like he is on his last legs.  I don't know how long he's got, but...................................I got my rock back.
Seriously, I am not a very nice person!
My oldest grand daughter Helene e-mailed me Thursday and asked if she and great grand girl Della could come and visit on Saturday.  Well, of course, being the socially active person I am, I had to check my schedule---------that's a lie, of course I was going to be home like I am every day.  They showed up at noon with lunch.

Della is going to be 2 years old October 24th.  For the last year, she has hated me.  Every time she saw me enter a room or come nearby, she'd start screaming and crying.  I wasn't quite sure how it was going to go with us both in the same small house.

I hugged Helene, but didn't say a word to Della.  I had Helene sit on the couch with Della, while we talked and I busied myself with getting plates out of the cupboard and putting out the lunch they had brought.

I put her lunch and her Mom's on the cedar chest I use as a coffee table in front of the couch and said, "We can have a party on this little table.  It's just your size, Della."  She doesn't like to sit in a chair at a big table, so this worked out great.  She either stood or knelt by the coffee table and ate her salad.  Helene and I chatted of course and laughed and had a good time.

Pretty soon, Della was dumping out her mother's purse and playing with the contents, then she put her mom's sunglasses on, upside down. 
Then she started playing with a puzzle, Helene was sitting on the floor beside her, so I scooched out of my chair and got on the floor and started asking her what sound the animals made--that were in her puzzle.

The next thing I know, she picked up her mom's camera and wanted a picture--so Helene took a selfie of all of us.

I managed to get back up in my chair and then Della came over, grabbed the index finger on my left hand and said, "Go find kitties?"  I basically took her on a tour of the house, she looked in each room and when we got to my bedroom, she got down on her tummy and looked under the bed.  Buddy must have been under there because she pointed, then stood up quickly, grabbed my finger and started pulling me to the living room.

Helene asked, "Did you find a kitty?"

Della nodded and said, "No, no!  No want kitty!"

Helene explained that their cat has scratched Della and so she doesn't like kitties anymore and is afraid of them.

What a hoot!  They stayed about 3 hours and Della came over and laid against my leg and smiled at me and when they left, she threw me a kiss.

She is pretty smart for not even being two.  Of course, her grandma Karen spends each Thursday with her, while Helene works, and knowing Karen, she reads to her and talks to her like an adult.  She does have a strong will--just like her grandma did.  When she says, "No", she means no and isn't afraid to show her emotions.

It was a wonderful afternoon and I was so happy AND exhausted when they left.
As I was looking at these photos, I noticed that at 2 years old, Della and I wear our hair alike.  She just needs a big bow, Like I had.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

We here in the Mitten State, worry about tornadoes.  I don't know why---they are infrequent and only do a small area of damage.  It is unlikely we will ever have a hurricane form over the Great Lakes...although I suppose it IS possible for Michigan someday to "cave in" and the Great Lakes merge over the top of us and create one huge Great Lake.  Not something I get anxious or worry about.

This darn hurricane Florence has me worried.  Will it affect me?  We might get some residual rain, like we did with Gordon, but it will be no big deal.  I don't think I know anyone who lives on the coast of the southern states--Trudy?  How close are you to the coast?  Ernestine?  My Virginia friends--I think you are inland enough to be safe from the "surge".

I am however, worried about my little cottage on the beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Well, it's not exactly "mine", in that I don't hold the deed, but...................

I first visited the Outer Banks in 1986.  I stayed in a high rise hotel.  Had to walk the boardwalk, across the protected dunes to get to the beach.  It seemed like a long walk even back then.

I returned again in 1995, with my friend and traveling buddy, Ernie.  Again, stayed in a hotel and had to walk a ways to get to waters edge.

I determined then that one day I would return, rent a cottage right on the beach and stay for a week.

I scrolled through real estate websites in 2008 and found a neat little place, right at the edge of the dune and steps away from waters edge.  I booked it for the next May.

The night before Fred and I were to leave, car all packed, mail held, all that, he had a major heart attack.  While he was in surgery, I called the real estate agent and told her what had happened.  She graciously returned the deposit I had made.

Fred was doing well by summer's end and wanted to make that trip.  The poor man knew how much I wanted to go...almost needed to go.  I am fearfully afraid of big water.  Almost drowned twice in my younger life.  I don't want to go on or in big water, but had found out years past, how soothing the ocean is.  Hearing the waves, coming in and going back out--that constant rhythm seemed to take all my anxiety and stress away.

So in September of 2009, I called the agent and got that little cottage for May 2010.

I couldn't believe it when we arrived.  There it sat--at the edge of the dune.  Stairs at the far end of the porch, led down to the beach.
Dolphins View it was called and we saw many every day.

The view from my recliner inside.

At high tide, the ocean came in and went under the porch.  Rather unsettling to me, but Fred reassured me that the pilings, holding up the house, were buried deep and we would not float away.

Yes--we traveled way up to Corolla at the north end of the Outer Banks and down to the southern end and the light house at Cape Hatteras.

and up the road a few miles to Kitty Hawk....

but, for three days in a row, we just stayed in our little "home" and enjoyed the ocean.

My sweet Fred and Tootz.
I have been so homesick for that cottage.  I know I will never get back there.  Never see or hear the ocean again.

It makes me worry that Florence is going to take my sweet little cottage off into the deep.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

You gotta love this Michigan weather.  It is quite normal to have the furnace running in the morning and the A/C switched on in the afternoon.  It was in the 90's last Wednesday and the high 60's on Thursday.  This morning when I woke up, having forgotten to close my bedroom window last night, it was 65 in here.  I turned on the furnace while I took my shower.  Turned it off and won't turn it on the rest of the day, as it will be in the upper 60's.  I'm glad I have one of those thermostat's--temperature set at 73 degrees, and all I have to do is move the little slider to Heat or Cool.
Dar is off on vacation with her friend Sheila to the Upper Peninsula--I hope they took warm clothes.  Before she left yesterday, Dar called me twice.  She has a C-Pap machine coming.  It will be delivered by Fed Ex.  When I see the truck, could I go over and get the package off her porch.

2nd call:  Could I go over on Tuesday--specifically Tuesday--and pick all her tomatoes.  The plants are dying, but they are still producing tomatoes and she doesn't want them to go to waste.  In my rebellious mind, I will go over on FRIDAY (she will be home Saturday) and pick the tomatoes, see if Pearl or Jackie want any, take what I need and throw the rest in the garbage.
The genealogy I am having fun with, took me to a standstill.  I couldn't find the man's parents.  Finally, I found a research link that showed his name and his parents.  When I clicked on his parents, there was the next generation up and so on.  I got up 16 generations.  Then researched each one, saved each census or fact I could find, or printed them out, scanned them as a photo and saved them to my picture file.

That way, I can insert the photo/facts when I get to their specific page in the book.  It took me all week and...it was wonderful!!!
I had to run to Walmart to pick up a prescription and some milk and as I was walking through, there was a 42" flat screen TV on sale for $168.00!  That is less then we paid for the 32" one I have, 8 years ago.

I just stood there and stared and went over all the reasons I needed to buy it.  I have wanted a larger TV for the last couple of years.  My eyes are bad enough now, that even with my glasses on, I can't see the print on the TV--print--like the score of a ballgame at the upper right of the screen or the printing that runs along the bottom of the screen.  

Then, as I stood there, I pondered on whether I could afford to use half my grocery money to buy it.  I could have someone tote it out to my car, but I didn't think the box would fit in my car.  How would I get it out and into my house?  

I took a few steps down the aisle, then stopped and looked back.  That is such a good price!  I have been noticing and looking for the last coupe of years.  Usually they are $198.00.

Then, I just shook my head and headed over to the dairy department and got my milk and some gallons of water, and some bathroom tissue, and............................

Of course, all day yesterday, when I watched TV, it seemed I couldn't see anything.  

Oh well.
My sister loves to watch Tennis.  My sister loves Venus Williams.  My sister is very upset with Venus Williams' actions on the court.  I don't watch Tennis.   Yesterday, I was engaged in watching Golf and Tiger Woods, who also used to act like a spoiled brat, until he had to take a couple of years off because of his injuries and back surgeries.

So to soothe my sister, I explained that I had read that Venus Williams has been suffering from post-partum depression, and to remember when our own Jennifer had that, how touchy she was.  Any little thing would set her off in an angry outburst.  And I reminded my sister, how angry everyone is nowadays, and how they feel it is their right to express that anger no matter where they are or what the consequences.   
I live quite a peaceful and serene life.  I know I can't do one thing to change how our politicians act or react.  I can't do one thing to change how my neighbors act or react.  Dar, a lifelong very, extreme, ranting and raving Democrat, voted for and is now a rabid, ranting and raving Trump fan.  OY!  She comes over here with her rants.  I asked her one day, "Can you change any of it?"  She replied, "No."  So I asked her, "Why don't you just not listen to the news?"  

All anything like this, is as it is.  Will continue to be as it will be.  If I get involved, by watching the nonsense all day, I am going to become upset and angry.  I don't want that.  The only thing I can control, is what happens in my own home--and sometimes I can't control that.  I try real hard just to stay calm and keep myself peaceful.

Maybe I don't need a bigger TV.  Then, all that stuff on the News would just be, more "in my face?"  HAH!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Dar came over this morning.  It's been about 3 months since she's been here.  I had posted on FB that I woke up with my right eye lid swollen and I couldn't see very well.  She came over because, she said, "I wanted to make sure you hadn't had a stroke."


We chatted--rather she chatted, I sat and listened.  Then I asked why she hadn't gone to church and she told me she left that church.

She had been going for about 5 months and decided she wanted to join.  She took the membership classes.  For the next three Sunday's, the Pastor would call up to the altar new members, so the congregation could greet them.  He never called Dar up.

She finally asked him why and he sort of hemmed and hawed.  She said, "Is it because of my father, I can't be away from home much, so I can't take part in helping the church.  Work in the nursery.  Help with funeral dinners?"

The Pastor just smiled, so she said, "Okay.  I get it."  and walked out and never went back.
I felt so bad for her that I got tears in my eyes.  "That must have hurt." I said.

"It did." she said as she teared up.

I went on to explain or try and figure out why she had been denied membership.

In our church, if you want to become a member, yes you take membership classes.  These explain the doctrine of the church, it's beliefs and such.  No where are you told you have to join the choir, or work the nursery or anything like that.  It asks if you will support the church, but that could mean a lot of things.  I know they would appreciate it if we tithed, because every year, at their "conference", each church has to pay $60.00 for each member on their rolls.

I'm a Methodist, so...... well ya know, we let anyone become a member if they want. We think it shows they have made a commitment to God and the doctrines our church upholds.

Then she said, "The "board" wouldn't approve me, I guess."

"You have to be approved by a........................"

"The board and the congregation have to accept me as a member," she said.

"Wow!  That's rather exclusionary and biased and......snooty," I said.

"I would have been an asset to that church too.  I often helped the Pastor there.  One Sunday he was preaching from the book of Matthew and he didn't explain to the congregation that the last two chapters of Matthew, weren't written by Matthew.  They were added centuries later, by someone else with their own interpretation.  I told him after the sermon that I thought he should have informed the congregation of that and not let them think that was part of what Matthew wrote!"

Oh. oh.

"Another Sunday he mis-pronounced the names of two Greek cities.  I have been to both of those cities, so I told him the correct pronunciation." 

Hm-mm.  Now I understand what went on.

Dar got on her, "I know more about the scriptures than you do...high horse."

"Ah...have you ever thought that maybe you intimidated the Pastor and made him uncomfortable when he preached, because he knew, you know more about the Bible than he does?"

"Well, wouldn't he like that?  Wouldn't he like to have a member who could help him be a better teacher?"

Oh Dar--once again...it's all about you.

Did I say that?  Of course not!

"Well, I'm real sorry it didn't work out for you.  I know that you long to have a church."

"What I can't figure out," she said, "is why God would put me in that church, for so many months, only to take me out of it."

Perhaps God didn't put you in that church.  You saw it one day when you drove by.  You attended and thought, because it was a small church, you would have greater influence.

Did I say that?  Of course not!

"You just have to keep praying and asking God.  He will find you a church that is a perfect fit for you."  That's what I said.

Dar and I are quite different in our church needs.  She went to church with me one day and declared she didn't know why I even went to church.  "You go in, you sing, you listen to the sermon and then you leave.  Plus, I don't think your church is very spiritual."

Well, I never!!!! 

When Dar goes to church, she goes as much for the social interaction as the message from the pulpit.  She is gone at least two-three hours.  There is meeting people before the service and there is the social hour after church and then meetings with the Pastor or different "influential" people in the church.

She's right.  When I go to church, I enter the sanctuary, I sit down, I pray.  I do not talk to people in the pew in front or behind me.  I do not whisper.  We are all going to acknowledge each other later when the Preacher calls for the "greeting".  I love the songs, I love the choir anthem, I get what I can out of the sermon and then, as I leave, I shake the minister's hand and say Hi to people that greet me on my way out the door.  I have absolutely no interest in joining one of the Ladies groups.  I used to sing in the choir and loved that, but I never went to coffee hour after church.  I guess I'm odd.

In our Church, we don't have a lot of shouting, raising our hands upward, or people yelling out, "Yes."  "Tell it Brother", stuff like that.  We do get into an occasional Amen, but it isn't shouted out.  Like I said.  I'm a Methodist.  We don't get emotionally swept up too often.

Now Dar--she likes that sort of thing.  She has her hands up for most of the service.  She yells out.  She goes down to the altar every Sunday, after the sermon.  In our Church the only reason, other than for communion, anyone would go down to the altar is if they wanted to get "saved".  So, after she attended church with me that day and went through all her gyrations, which I must say startled my calm Methodist pew sitters, and she said, "I go down to the altar to show that I am a Christian."

Ah yes.  I think "show" is the operative word here.  It's all for show.  Oh, I shouldn't say that.  Maybe the spirit over takes her.  She has told me that she often speaks in tongues and when she does that, people will rush to lay hands on her.

Maybe they think she is in need of an exorcism?  Sorry--that was bad................................

All churches worship differently.  I guess it depends on the way you were raised.  My Mother taught me that when you enter the sanctuary, you are in the presence of God and you are to be quiet and in a prayerful mood.  My sister says, "What makes you think God is only in the sanctuary?  He's out in the hall...down in the basement."

It's just that I was raised in the older times in church and I have never quite gotten into the "charismatic movement."
 I guess that's why I now enjoy watching church on TV.  There is no distraction.  I can center in on what the preacher is saying.  I can sing in my raggedity voice, all the while, sitting in my pajamas.  It's either that, or I have become a lazy bum.  

Friday, August 31, 2018

I had a dream.  A man, faceless, I could only see his hands, slid a beautiful yellow gold, sapphire, surrounded by diamonds, ring on my finger.  I can still see it.  It was beautiful.

Then he slid another ring on my finger--dull, silver color like pewter or tin and had engraved symbols on it.  It was so wide that it nearly covered the other ring and scraped against my knuckle.

It rubbing my finger and made it sore, but when I tried to get it off, it was kind of like glued to my finger and I couldn't remove it.

Anyone have a Dream Dictionary and can figure this out?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

It's alive! It's alive!

I am alive, although I have felt better.

Changing meds, a week ago.  You know how that goes.  It takes awhile for it to get out of your system and then, when it does, it may cause a different feeling.  Dehydration.  Then blood tests every other minute to see what's going on with the electrolytes.  It all leaves me dizzy and disoriented and generally feeling punk.  But, my friend Trudy sent me an e-mail asking if I was all right, so--I thought I'd better post.

We have had a break in the weather.  50 degrees when I woke up this morning, so it feels cold...especially after having temps in or near the 90's and humidity of 79% for the past week.  So today, would be the perfect day to get outside and trim the bushes and cut back the straggly looking perennials, if I thought I could stay upright.  

I finished the baby afghan last weekend.  This is the one I ripped out 7 times before I could figure it out.  Even then, near the top when I was on my last few rows, I found another mistake and had to rip back 10 rows.  It turned out fine however, and such a fascinating way to crochet that I have never done before, that yesterday, I started another one--different words.

Aretha Franklin.  Living only 60 miles north west of Detroit, my news channel is filled with tributes and interviews and on and on.

"She" arrived in a white Cadillac hearse at the place for her public viewing.  In a gold casket, full open casket, dressed in a red gown and red high heels.  That was Tuesday.

Wednesday, much to every one's surprise, she was dressed in a powder blue gown with blue sparkley heels.

I haven't yet heard what she is dressed in today or for her funeral tomorrow.

This means, each evening after the public viewing, the funeral home production team, takes her back to the mortuary, changes her gown, redoes her make-up and restyles her hair.

Now--if that doesn't creep you out--nothing will!

She is a big, heavy woman.  I know that her gowns are cut in the back, so all they have to do is "re-wrap" her gown around her and tuck it in under her, but..........they still have to lift up that body and reposition it and....................it's dead!!!!!!!!  

It's not a plastic mannequin.  It's a heavy, cold, hard, dead human body.


They say that's what she requested be done.  Can we say, Super-ego, vain, haughtiness here?

To me it's just macabre and the public goes back every day to see what she's dressed in for that day.  The whole think smacks of D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T to me and has turned into a media circus.

It would not surprise me if for her funeral, they have her strapped, upright in a golden throne chair as if she is sitting there witnessing all the performers paying her tributes!
On the other hand--John McCain.  I have respected this man for years and years.  What a servant to our country he has been.  Given a chance to get out of the POW camp, he declined unless they released all his fellow prisoners.  He is not without minor scandals in his life, an affair, or two.  The end of his first marriage.  To me, that doesn't take away my respect for what he had done in his time in Congress.
What politician hasn't had scandal?  Maybe not the Bush men or Obama.

There he lays.  In his flag draped simple casket, as it should be.  Not to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, where he certainly should be, but buried instead on the grounds of the Naval Academy, where he wanted.  A long way from his home in Arizona.  Not easy for his family to make the trip to visit his grave, if they want.
I have started work on another genealogy.  Which means I need to feel better and have my full mental capabilities.  My client supplied me with a lot of information her family had already found, but it is laid out in such a manner, that it is kind of confusing--trying to find where one generation stops and the next beings.

Pedigree charts that list not just a person, but all their children, and children's children, and aunts and uncles, and cousins and friends.  I don't get that specific, because the book I make would be 500 pages long and much too difficult to decipher.

I stick to direct ancestor's...except...occasionally I will happen onto a great grandmother who has an interesting family and trace that.  Usually genealogies deal with the father first.  As we all know, men are the most important because they are the sires of the family "limbs".   

Bah Humbug!  There are some pretty interesting great grandma's out there who also have interesting family lineages and by gosh!  they are going to have a few pages in the genealogy book too!!

Like the lady whose 5th great grandma was the last "witch" hung in Salem, Massachusetts.  She needed to have her story told and printed out and included in the book.

Well, you know how obsessed I get when working on a genealogy.  I have no idea what time it is and will hear the cuckoo clock tell me it's five in the afternoon and realize,  I've been sitting here for three hours and had no idea.  

At midnight, Tuesday night, I found something interesting to search for.  If I had waited until morning, I may have forgotten, so here I sat, into the wee hours.  I told my Face Book friends that I got this mental picture of me....sitting high in a tower in the dark of night, candles lit, my quill dipping into the ink well, scratching my findings on the parchment paper, which of course was dotted with ink splotches.    Sort of like those photos we see of Nostradamus, except I am not predicting the future, but rather sorting through old census reports and military records and the like.

I rather deem myself a detective, not a prophet.  HAH!!

Anyway--if I don't post regularly, you will know why.  I have used all my mental strength typing genealogy material and have no strength left to report on the boring life I normally live.

Love to all--Toddles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Well folks, we have a bit of a sticky wicket here on the home front.

John stopped by last week to give me a plastic container of blueberries he had picked.  I haven't seen John in months.  He works nights.

We sat and chatted for about an hour and as he was leaving, I walked over to the door to tell him goodbye.  We hugged, as we always have.

He said something I didn't quite understand, something about a cuddle?  I thought he was referring to the simple hug.  I said, "Yes, hugs are nice."

Then he said, "Call me when you need me.  I can stop by."

No big deal.  I have called John before to help me lift something heavy out of the trunk of my car.
The next day, while I was out shopping, when I got home, my answering machine was blinking.  It was a call from John.

"Do you want me to come over tonight?  Call me back and let me know."

What?  Why would I want him to come over?  Had I invited him over and forgotten about it?

So I called him back.

"I didn't understand your phone message," I said.
"I wondered if you wanted me to come over tonight."

"No...I...don't need anything.  You can come over for a visit if you want."

"No.  I meant...what we talked about the other day?  I thought maybe you wanted me to come over for a cuddle."

"For...a...cuddle?  I don't understand."

"Remember...as I was leaving.  I said, 'Maybe I can come over for a cuddle and you said, yes, hugs are nice'."

"I remember saying hugs are nice, but I don't remember anything about a cuddle.  What is a cuddle?"

"Well, older people, because they miss and get lonely for human touch, have what they call 'cuddle sessions'"


"Cuddle sessions. They just sit on the couch and cuddle while they watch TV or talk.  Sometimes they lay on the bed and just cuddle."

"That doesn't sound like a good idea to me."

"Oh...no...no.  There is no romance involved.  So sex or undressing or anything like that.  Just a cuddle."

"Oh....well....ah...I don't think...well...that's not for me, John."

"Okay.  If you change your mind, call me."
What the What?

I've known John for 4 years.  We've been good friends.  He has never ventured more than a hug when we part.  What the heck is this "cuddle session" all about?

So--I Googled it and this is what I found.

About Cuddle Comfort

More than 121,000 people from the United States and around the world use Cuddle Comfort. We created a platform so you can get a cuddle, whenever you want one, at no cost.
We help you create friendships based on cuddling that are pressure free and with no expectation of something more.
Cuddle Comfort started in 2011 with the goal of bringing physical affection to more people without the romantic prerequisites.
The cuddle industry is now booming, and as the inventors of online cuddling, we’re proud to have been part of its conception.

Well, for goodness sake!!!

I may have missed a great opportunity.

I'm just wondering.  John is 5'5".  I am 5'10".

Does the taller one cuddle the shorter one?

Or am I supposed to schootch way down so he can cuddle me?

I may have to contact Cuddle Comfort for answers to these questions.

I think John is ticked off at me.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Karen sent me this photo of Della playing with Maddie's 20 year old toys I made or bought for her.  I wonder how that Unicorn is still so clean looking?  Piglet looks a little frayed.

Karen and Mark just got home from a two week visit to their second child, Susanna, who lives in Portland, Oregon.  They did a lot of hiking the trails in OR and also Washington.

She'll be starting back to teach pretty soon.

My tub garden is growing and yielding, but I think I have a fail with my cucumber experiment.

My cukes look like commas!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I'll be fine!

Remember, a couple of months ago?  I promised not to ever post about my financial problems....and then I did it again!  I guess I was just in shock from getting notice of all the increases in one hour period!  It was like a wall was falling down on my head and I was scared to open another envelope or e-mail.

I get anxious with my budget being so tight, with no extra money.  I worry about a car breakdown.  What is a tree falls on the house in a storm?  I couldn't even pay the deductible.  My house insurance had dropped the replacement of the unit itself, because it is 20 years old.  I had it insured for $35,000.00.  I do have full replacement on the contents though, and that cost just went up.  The contents are the important stuff anyway.  If the house burns up, it would give me an excuse to go live with Pam or Karen or out to New Jersey with Jennifer.  I pick NJ, then I can go to The Shore!!

I don't know why my car insurance goes up.  My car is also 20 years old  I don't have collision on it, only PL and PD, but Michigan has the highest car insurance rates. 

Sorry--I will try to keep that worry to myself.  Nobody wants to read a post about that stuff!  I guess, it's just that this blog is kind of like my journal, with people reading, that will commiserate with me and tell me it will all work out.

...............................and of course it will.  God will sustain me.
I am so sick of this humidity we are having.  I check my inside thermometer weather station, and the outside temps looks good.  But the humidity is sometimes higher than the temperature and that makes for a miserable outside experience.  Even since I had the heat stroke at age 15, I can't bear to high a temp and humidity.  It just makes me nauseous and dizzy.

Which means, I am closed up in this house!  It seems no different to have the A/C blower fan going or the furnace blower fan going in the winter.  I am still all closed up.  In fact, I get out more in the winter than I do now.  Personally?  I am waiting for September and October to get outside and clean up the gardens and the shed and enjoy myself.

I should note here, just because I am a Republican, whatever that is anymore, does not mean I don't believe in Climate Change.  In 1968 we visited the Teton Mountains.  There was a glacier on the side of the mountain formed in the perfect shape of a skillet--thus the name, Skillet Glacier.  When I was back at the same spot in 2001, only part of the skillet bowl part remained.  In fact, that is no longer a brown National Parks sign pointing to Skillet Glacier.

The horrendous fires in California.  The floods, this unusual heat in Michigan, all point to Climate Change.  Besides that, I studied about it way back in the 60's in college Geology class.  The Professor predicted these events way back then.  

However, there is nothing we can do about it and probably not much we have done to cause it.  Climate changes have been going on since earth was created.  We have had ice ages and heat waves that lasted for years.  Animals and humans died.  Volcano's erupting caused giant clouds of ash and dust that shut out the sun for years, and bringing winters of severe magnitude,  causing everything to die.  Then decades of relatively "normal" weather.  The Climate Change chart looks like a giant roller coaster, as it goes up and then down.

Right now we are in another Climate Change era.  The oceans are warming, dust storms are flying, higher snow falls and higher temperatures.

It always has been.  It always will be.
The other day on Face Book, I posted that I was going to start my own business.  I would call it YouBear.  Hire about half a dozen men in their late 60-mid-70's.  You could call them to come pick up, drive you to the grocery store, push your cart out to the car, filled up the trunk, drive you home and carry the groceries into the house.

Or--you could call them to come out and trim hedges, cut-back and clean up the gardens, fix the hose connection and do any heavy work needed done.

Or, if you just wanted some company, they could take you out to dinner or sit and watch a ball game with you and just have some conversation. No Hanky-Panky involved, just Rent-A-Man for a couple of hours.
Remember that afghan I had to rip out 6 times before I understood it?  It's coming along nicely now.

I ran out of yarn, so Monday night, I got into my closet, opened up the end of the plastic yarn storage block and grabbed another skein.  I was watching American Ninja Warrior and didn't realize for two rows that the yarn I was using was a very light Ecru!  The next morning, in the daylight, I pulled the yarn storage box out so I could open it completely and found another skein of white yarn.

Lastly, just to prove I am losing my mind.  I opened up my cable bill and there was a one time charge of $15.99 on it.  Wait.  What?

So I panicked and called the company.  They informed me that on July 27th, at 7:11, I watched an On Demand Movie, call, "You were never there."  I told they lovely young lady that Number One:  I would never, ever pay that much for a movie.  Number Two: at 7:11 I was watching Wheel of Fortune, and Number Three:  I had never, ever heard of that movie title.

She took the charge off for me and then walked me through how to put a PIN number in my TV so that if I ever watch an On Demand movie, I will have to enter that number.  "To keep children or visitors from accessing On Demand."  I told her no one was here except me and two cats.  We decided to blame the cats.  One of them must have stepped on the remote.  (Sure.)

I must have hit the wrong button on the remote control when I was channeling hopping.  I had to go into Parental Controls to set up the PIN.  I think maybe I need a parent to watch me!!!  I really felt like I had done something so senile oriented that I was losing it.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I spent the last two weeks of July with not enough gas in my car and no money to buy anymore.  I sure wanted to visit my sister.

I got some money on Thursday, $25.00 filled only  3/4 of a tank and took off to visit my hometown, the cemetery and The Farm.  Boy, it was wonderful driving the familiar roads.  A little sad as I passed Pammies' house, in fact, I drove in the drive, got out and just sat on "my" back porch for awhile.  The sounds are the same as when I lived there--basically nothing unless a car goes by on the road.  I sure miss her being away!

I stopped in at the cemetery to visit family and Fred, and moved the cement angel dog statute to the other side of Fred's marker.  I change it around every time I stop there.  It gets water under it and stains the head stone, if it isn't moved often.  Then I drove over around the cemetery a bit and got out and stopped by my best friend's grave.  I have been having a lot of dreams about her the last week.  In fact, I woke up one morning last weekend when I heard her voice say, "Jude.  You awake?"  It was so realistic, that I leaned over the edge of the bed and looked down the hall to see who had walked into my front door.  

Sister and I had a great time.  We sat in her parlor, she on the couch, me in the recliner and talked and laughed and cooked up schemes to kind of shape up people we think need shaping up.  Of course we'll never carry out those schemes, but we had a good time coming up with some very imaginative ideas.  Then she got up and played the piano as I hummed along to a few hymns in the hymnal she has.  I can't sing anymore, but it was nice.  

It was so nice, sitting in the little parlor, with carpeting on the floor and a normal height ceiling, instead of the high ceiling and hard wood floors in her family room.  I could hear every thing she said.  In the family room, her words bounce off the hard surfaces and it is hard for me to hear her.

I was so relaxed that I practically dozed all the way home.  LOL

I probably won't have enough gas to drive to the Old School Gal Pals luncheon, but this visit "home" was so much more important for my heart and soul.
I woke up Friday, still feeling relaxed and happy.  Then all heck broke loose.

I opened the mail from the day before to find that my house and car insurance both went up.  The next letter I opened, was a notice from the park that our rent has been raised.  An e-mail informed me that the budget payment on my electricity had gone up $5.00 and another e-mail informed me that my food assistance has been cut from $20.00 to $15.00.

Within an hour of waking up, my budget had increased over $50.00 for expenses.  My budget is always in the red, but this month, it showed I would only be short $2.69.  How, I will be short $48.00.  

I didn't know what to do.  I could feel a familiar chill of fear, kind of around the middle of my stomach.  I wanted to just cry, but I am always afraid if I ever start crying, I won't stop.  That is why, I never allow myself to cry--EVER!  

So, I glanced over at the picture of Jesus I have sitting on the edge of my desk and said, "Lord, I need some help here."  And went about my day.

What good would it do to worry and become anxious?  That wouldn't solve any problem and just add stress.  So, I will just assume that everything will work out.

I am like my 6 week old balloon--a bit deflated, but still up and happy!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Our friend Sally over here, posted about going back to see her childhood home.  

Her post brought up a whole lot of memories because it looks almost exactly like the first house we built after we were married.  I'll bet it was the same floor plan.

Ours was built on a slab, so no basement to put a furnace in.  Just a wall oil heater, expected to keep the whole house warm.  No registers in each room.  In the winter time, the kids beds, shoved up against each wall, would have their blankets stuck to the wall with ice.  Apparently not much insulation in the outer walls either.

3 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining room and living room.  It was all we needed.
but I must admit, 10 years later I was ecstatic to move into my grandma's big two story home!

From this:

To this:

...but when we were first married, we started out with this...

I had a total crop failure on my sweet corn experiment in the raised bed out by my shed.  I think either crows or raccoons dug up and ate the corn seed as soon as I planted it!  My cherry tomatoes are coming in now and I have two tiny cucs on my "tub" cucumber plant.

I bring them in and let them ripen on the counter.  Then I pop them in my mouth!!
I have started a new baby afghan.  I have ripped it out 6 times!  The pattern is one I have never done--with puff stitches to make letters to spell out words.  As you can imagine, I have to count the stitches carefully or the letters won't line up correctly.  Plus, the puff stitches are done while I am working on the opposite side--so I can't see how they line up until that row is done.  I think I've got it now though.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Still waiting for rain.  Over the weekend, places down by Detroit got flooding downpours.  Up north of me, got flooding downpours.  The weather radar map showed green stuff right over where I live, but it never made it to the ground.  Howell--which is 2.5 miles west and a skosh north of me, got rain.  Brighton--which is 2.5 miles east and a skosh south of me, got rain.  We got sprinkles and not even enough to wet down the street.  Today's forecast--severe thunderstorms, heavy downpours, but probably not for this area.

I got my grandson-in-law's afghan done.  It had a neat edging I had never done before.  Reverse, half-double crochet.  It made a real nice rope-like edging all around the afghan.  It almost looks like red, white and blue in this photo, but it is light gray, claret and navy.  The thing is over 6' long--he's 6'5".

I have been concerned about my big gray Buddy Cat.  

Once plump (too plump) and feisty, he was frightened horribly about 18 months ago.  Since then, he has lost weight.  He acts scared and won't come out into the living room if the ceiling fan is on.  Then I noticed he wasn't jumping up on the couch for his nap, and couldn't jump up on the bed at night.

I decided he probably has arthritis in his hips.  I started him on glucosamine/chrondrotin and within two weeks, he started losing the fur on his hind quarters.  So I stopped the supplement.

There was gray and white fur all over the place.  I watched him.  He wasn't pulling it out, the fur was just falling off him.  Alopecia for sure.  I read up on it and guess what, it can be caused by stress!

In June I noticed he just seemed to be failing.  He slept under the bed all day.  He was still eating well and not over drinking, so I didn't think he had diabetes, but he just seemed...........sad.

I bought him an "egg-crate" memory foam bed for him to nap on, behind my chair.  That seemed to help a bit.  Then two weeks ago, I started him back on Cosequin.  WOW!  What a difference.  He walks a lot faster and even runs now.  He has started eating more and seems more playful.  Yesterday, he went over to their toy basket, pulled out one of the bigger toys, held it and was laying on his back giving it "rabbit kicks".

He and Maggie were wrestling last night and having a good time.  I tried to take a photo, but when they saw the camera, they stopped and wouldn't look at me and looked away, like they were guilty of something.  I noticed he had somehow jumped up on my bed and was taking his nap.  I think he was in so much arthritic pain it affected his personality.

He's still scared of the ceiling fan and if I walk behind him, while they are eating, he will run into the bedroom and crawl under the bed until I go into another room.  My poor baby has emotional problems!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Best adventure so far this summer.

Down to Brighton, Staples, Bank and because Meijer is near, I stopped in to get a couple of Liters of Diet Pepsi. IT WAS ON SALE--10 FOR $10.00, 11TH ONE FREE. Yipee.
I had to run over to Michael's, but when I opened my trunk to put the groceries away, there was a medium sized toad, sitting in the channel of the trunk lid. I almost slammed the trunk lid down on him! I grabbed him, he whizzed all over my hand because he was scared.
I looked around on where to put him. There are no grassy areas in the Meijer parking lot or any other parking lot. So I emptied out one of my plastic bags, dumped him in there and tied the top.
I drove over to Michael's, parked in the only shade I could find and in and out of Michael's in 15 minutes. He had hopped around inside the bag and was nearly under the front passenger seat.
I told him to hang on tight and sped home--at 50 mph the allowed speed limit. I brought him into the house, carefully opened the bag and put a dish of cool water in for him--he didn't seem very interested.


I was going to put him in my woodland wild flower garden, but decided that would be too small for him. He might venture out onto the lawn and get chopped by Don the Lawn Mowing Man.
So I carried him across the street to the woods behind my Jackie's home and placed him down in a lovely patch of Lilies of the Valley and Violets.

I found out later it is called a Fowler Toad--found in the south-eastern part of Michigan.

So that little toad somehow got into the trunk lid channel and rode all the way with me down to Brighton.  I have a Roadie Toadie!
I hope he learns how to hibernate before winter comes.
We have been so dry here, but my perennial garden has done well.  The flowers seem taller with more blooms than last year.  My Star Gazer Lily is beautiful.  I just had to cut one bloom and bring it inside, to place near my recliner, so I could smell the scent.

My vegetable garden, planted in pots, seems to be doing well too.  Even my experiment, of growing a cucumber in a pot, is doing okay.  The cucumber plant climbing the trellis like it is supposed too.
My perennial garden is fading fast.  Cone Flowers are now in bloom.  My Rose of Sharon bushes have very few flowers.
It is supposed to rain all weekend--even now I see dark clouds coming in from the south-west.  I can't wait!  I hope it rains all day today and tomorrow.
Friends are mad because they wanted to go to the many street and art fairs in the area.  Hey!  Those fairs will be here next year and there are later fairs to come in August.
If we don't get rain, crops are going to be very low yield, which means the farmer's won't get as much money per bushel, which means it will be difficult for them to save up money to buy seed and fertilizer next spring.  It also means higher prices in the grocery store.  It also mean an early Autumn.  I see bronze leaves on my Maple trees already.
This afternoon I get my hairs cut.  I had just taught that new girl how to cut my hair and then she left to move to another salon.  I got a call last week that if I still wanted to go to my regular salon, the manager would now be my stylist.  Still the same price--$17.00.  YOWZA!!  I assume, and probably shouldn't, that the manager should know how to cut short hair.  Right?

The rest of the weekend, I will be in my chair finishing up my grandson-in-law afghan, cross stitching, working on a new baby afghan and watching TV.  

...and hoping it rains and rains and rains--nice and steady, for 48 hours!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Yesterday, we had one of those, or what I would call, a perfect summer day.  Temperatures in the high 50's when I woke up.  The window open in the bedroom, made it feel almost chilly as I got out of bed.  There was a lovely breeze and lots of sun.  Of course the temps went up during the day, but I never had to close up and turn on the A/C---which I had done most of the weekend and Monday.

At our Old School Gals Lunch last Thursday, two of the Gals were talking about cleaning under their beds and how difficult it is now that we can't get down on the floor.  I felt a bit guilty as I haven't vacuumed under my bed since I painted the bedroom way back in twenty-aught nine.

Friday I decided that I would vacuum under there. I laid flat on the floor and looked under the bed.  I couldn't see any dust.  In fact the carpeting looked brand new.  I turned on the vacuum and used the long hose with the duster/fabric thingie attachment to go back and forth, back and forth--all the way down the length and breadth.

I didn't see any dust or debris under that bed!  Apparently the bed itself and the dust ruffle had kept anything from settling under the bed!

Done!  Then the problem arose.  How was I going to get up?  

I rolled over on my back and sat up.  Great, but still no way to hoist myself up into a standing position.  So I got on my arthritic old knees and crawled over to the edge of the bed.  Now all I had to do was hang on to the bed and stand up.  For some reason, my knees didn't want to push my body up.

I thought of crawling into the bathroom and using the toilet to pull myself up, but the thought of using my knees to crawl across six feet of tile, didn't sound very comfortable.

So I put my hands up on the mattress--a very high 22" mattress and pushed with my knees and hands to get up right--then I collapsed face down on the bed.  Rested a bit, turned over and swung my legs around so I could stand.

Then I felt it!  Awful, terrific pain all across my lower back.  I couldn't stand upright.  Bent over at my waist, I hobbled into the living room and my recliner.    After about a half hour, I got back up, still bent at the waist and got my "supplies".

I took 2 pills, rubbed the horse liniment over my back and a half hour later, heated up my rice sock in the microwave and put that on my back, Kicked the recliner back and tried to rest.

By the time I went to bed on Saturday night, I was still in a lot of pain and still couldn't stand straight.
I would have given anything for half a Percocet.  Even though my doctor knows, I had a prescription for 30 of them, that lasted almost two years, because I only take half a one at night, when the back pain is so bad, he won't write me another prescription.  With all the drug crazed people in the world now, the government is watching doctor's to see how many prescriptions they write for opiates.

I Woke up Sunday,  still bent over, but the pain had receded a bit and now my bad shoulder was hurting like crazy.  More Tylenol, more liniment.

Around 3:00 in the afternoon, I remembered my TENS unit. 
I got it and pasted those pads over the two bad areas, cranked that thing up to 30 and let the electrical stimulation pulsate for 20 minutes.  Then turned it off.  I kept doing that, at 20 minute intervals the rest of the day.

I woke up Monday morning with just residual pain in my back and shoulder.

What a horrendous weekend I spent, and for what?  

Imaginary dust bunnies that didn't exist.