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, December 2, 2018

Well, my resolve to post more often seems to remain unresolved.  I noticed, it has been another week.

I am such an undisciplined person!  I am easily distracted too.  I have a lot going on.  I lead a very boring life.

Let's see--last Monday we had such a snow storm that I cancelled my hair cut appointment.  Oh, By the way, it is 54 degrees and raining today.

I went to my hair cut appointment on Tuesday and walked out of there with probably....No--actually the worse hair cut I have ever had.  Which seems weird because this stylist has cut my hair a half dozen times, so she should know how I like it.

I like it short, but.........I came out looking like someone's 79 year old grandfather!!!  She cut around my ears--that is fine, but the hair on the sides is 1/4" short and...she cut off my side burns!!!!!  AND...she practically shaved the back.  Like I said, I look like a gray haired man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, when this gray, wiry hair starts to grow out, those sideburns are going to stick out like General Burnsides!!!!!!!!!!!!  I kid you not!!!

Wednesday morning I woke up early with a sharp pain in my left side.  It came and went, so I assumed it had something to do with my kidneys.  I drank water and more water and even more water.  The next morning the pain had subsided a bit, but an even worse pain had settled in my lower back.  Somewhat like the "normal" lower back pain I have constantly, but much worse.

I put my heated rice sock on the area.  Then I put on an ice pack.  Sat with my T.E.N.S device vibrating for a few hours and then finished up with a good rubbing in of horse linament.  I mean, real linament they use on horses.  I get it at the farm supply store.

That pain continued all day Friday and then it occurred to me that I was constipated.  I eat a lot of fiber and just like a cow, that eats too much hay and corn, I was bloated up and needed relief.

Relief takes days.  I used to have some "blockage" busting laxatives that worked over night and gave me two days of diarrhea.  I don't have them any more.  I was too the point of wishing I had that stuff we have to drink before a colonoscopy!  So, I started with the Miralax--which takes 2-3 days to really work.

It occurred to me this morning that I haven't walked enough to keep my system working correctly.  Hours sitting in front of this computer, working on a genealogy is not good.  Hours sitting in my recliner watching football and basketball games is not good either.

I feel a little better today, but still the pain in my lower back, which I suppose could be caused by the blockage.  

We have 28 miles of intestines inside us.  I do believe the traffic is blocked up near the 5 mile sign post from the exit ramp.  
The past week, other than working on this gigantic genealogy, which you know I love doing--I managed to get my Christmas Cards made--plus special ones for the grand kids, kids and sister and a Channukah card for my grand daughters mother-in-law.  Plus I have 4 December birthdays that I made cards for.

My bonus daughter Chris always mails me Christmas stamps, and I have greeting card envelopes, so I am all set.  I just hope I don't forget to put them in the envelopes and mail them.  Around the 10th maybe?

Then next Saturday Karen is taking me to the Nutcracker.  Madeleine is dancing again this year.  She also teaches ballet classes, goes to nursing school and is preparing for her May wedding.

Then on the 13th I have an appointment that took me 4 months to get at the Opthalmologist to get my eyes checked.  I know I need new glasses...don't have the money for them yet, but this genealogy will help cover some of the cost.  I just hope the Doc doesn't think I need cataracts removed.  I do not have time for that!!!!!!!

Because of the eye appointment, I will miss our Gal Pals luncheon on that day.  Which honestly?  Is okay with me.  I am not in the mood to drive that far, well, it's not really faaaaaaar, only like 40 minutes, but.......I really don't have the $$$ for the gas and lunch AND most importantly, if I am to be really honest, Liz, the Senile Senior is really a mood killer, probably because any of her "stories" always seem to include me---even though they never happened and I was not involved.

Or am I senile and have forgotten I was there with her? 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

I just found out that my blog was hacked last week!

Apparently, some old, lonely, cranky woman got into my blog and posted a real pity party for herself.  She was writing under my name and impersonating herself as me!  The nerve!

Well, I've finally gotten rid of her and will try to keep her out.  How she gains access is beyond me, but every now and then, she sneaks in.
My daughter Karen and her hubs Mark, spent Thanksgiving with his mother.  His Dad died just a few weeks ago, and his siblings live out of State.  It was nice that they could be with her.  Those first holidays are so tough on new widows.

Karen called me that night to tell me she missed not being with me on Thanksgiving and that she loved me.  Then Saturday she called again on their way home and made arrangements to pick me up on December 8th to go to the Nutcracker performance to watch Madeleine dance.

Pam called on Friday.  She had spent Thanksgiving day with her friend and his family--she spends each Thanksgiving with them.

Son Mark and his "wife" always spend Thanksgiving with her family.  They usually spend the weekend there and come home on Sunday.

I got all my laundry done that day and had time to sit and crochet on a new project and watch a couple of really good classic movies.

Friday, which seemed like another holiday because regular TV programming was kaput.  My Soap was pre-empted by a stupid hockey game.  So I worked on a genealogy.

Yesterday, I watched the BIG game--big in this area anyway.  University of Michigan played The Ohio State University.  I despise U of M as much as anyone, so I was whooping a lot as Ohio State trounced their arrogant A**es.  

My newly married Grandson Marcus, who graduated from U of M, and his lovely wife, who is a rabid Ohio State fan, had a game watching party.  I wouldn't have wanted to be there!  I hope their marriage can withstand these yearly bouts of intense rivalry.

Our family has always been very competitive when it comes to sports and games.   Nobody gets mad, but the winners do strut around for awhile.  I distinctly remember when Karen was 10, the first time she beat me at Canasta.  She ran through the house, upstairs and down, waving the score sheet,  yelling, "I beat Mom!  I beat Mom." and the other kids and Dad gave me a good "nah, nah, nah, a nah, nah."  We learn early on how to be a good loser.
BTW--she still has that score sheet, packed away in a cedar chest.

Karen's large family has taken on this attitude.  Their kids, as were mine, were taught how to play games and cards when they were young.  They were playing Chess at 10 years old.  I taught mine how to play Backgammon at about that age.  

We always had a game day between Christmas and New Years.  We'd all stay in our pajamas, even Dad, and play different games.  Have a Backgammon tournament or an intense game of Sorry.

Karen kept this tradition going.  I went one year and found myself involved in a game of Trivial Pursuit.  How those kids thought they could beat grandma and all the wisdom in her brain was beyond me and of course, I beat them all.  I even got up and did a "strut" around the big dining room table.   After that, whenever the kids wanted to play Trivial Pursuit, there were calls for, "I want Gramma on my team"...ah the joy of it all.

Part of that is supposed to take place on December 27th when we get together for our Holiday family gathering.  All the grand kids and their significant others will be there, my kids (except for Jennifer's family) and my sister, BIL and her son Adam.   

I'm trying real hard not to have any expectations, but Grand Girl Helene has already asked me if I will play a game of Cribbage with her.

Life is good.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

It's not everyone that can find time to post on their blog on busy Thanksgiving Day.  Only us, who are alone; neglected by family and friends.  Even the poor and homeless are hauled into churches and centers to be fed the feast of bird, stuffing, potatoes and gravy.  I will be dining on half a sandwich of thinly sliced Hillshire Farms pastrami.

Do I really care?  Not really.  I don't have the energy to get cleaned up and drive to where ever for dinner...I don't really like Turkey all that much.  I guess it just ticks me off that tradition has it to have this day be all about family.  Gathered around the huge table.  Memories shared.  The Matriarch of the family honored.  Grand children waiting with baited breath for grand mother to speak her words of wisdom.  

Then I remember last year.  I was invited to drive up to The Farm and share the day with sister, BIL and her son.  We had chicken--as none of them like turkey.  After dinner--1:00, we cleaned up, went into the living room and they all hauled out their phones and IPads and spent the next hour on them, while I sat on the couch, staring at some football game I had no interest in.

If I asked a question or tried to engage them in conversation, their replies were one or two words--never looking up from their electronic devices.  I remember feeling a slow burn starting in my head, so before I could stand up and let go with a diatribe, laced with curse words, on how rude they were, I gathered my things and came home.

So this year, I can just stay home and not have to go through any real or perceived hurts.  It's just another Thursday and I can do laundry, watch a couple of good movies, crochet and work on a genealogy.  It just might be the nicest Thanksgiving I have had in the last 7 years.
Sister and BIL came down yesterday to put plastic film over the inside of my back door to keep out the winter drafts.  I had found a new blind to put up, to replace the broken one, it however was one of those new cordless ones and didn't fit the holders that were already up, so BIL had to put up new ones and hang the blind.

I don't like it.  You have to pull on the bottom of the blind to get it down to cover the window.  The apparatus holding the blind at the top, feels very flimsy and BIL said to hold onto it while pulling the blind down.  Luckily, I don't raise and lower that blind, only turn the handle to adjust the angle of the blinds, so I guess it will be okay.

One toddler, somewhere, 10 years ago, strangled on the cord from a set of blinds so now we have to live with cordless ones.  I could not find a pair of blinds with  cords!!!  I would like to get 3 new blinds for this computer room.  The kind that help to darken the room, because with the sun at its winter angle, even with these blinds down, it gets so bright in here, and my desk faces the south, that I can't do a thing on my computer from 10:00 until 3:00.  BUT if I can't find any with cords, that means I would have to have BIL install them and I am not going to do that.
I think I have lived too long!!

Everything seems to be so difficult.  Our weather was so weird, I never did get my perennial garden cut back and cleaned up.  We had no Spring, we had no Fall, no Indian Summer...maybe a January thaw?  Maybe it will be 60 degrees in January and I can finish up?

Our society is going...........I don't know where it's going, but it seems to be going crazy to me.  People are becoming so oriented into "it's all about me" attitudes....they are angry and rude and moving way too fast.  

I was using the self-checkout yesterday at Meijer, and the lady at the one behind me was arguing with the check out machine.  I kid you not.  Every time that automated voice gave a command, she replied, angrily, in a not too soft voice.  "I already did that!"  "What the hell?" "No.  I already did that!"

 I got so caught up in the whole thing that when my machine said, "Thank you for shopping at Meijer," I replied "Your welcome."  EGADS!!!!!

People are so tuned into their electronic devices.  The devices are their constant companions.  No wonder they don't need real people around to talk to.

Even I am wondering if I could afford to get a Echo Dot or Alexa.  I would change it to a male voice with a British accent and have someone to talk to all day.  

Then I wouldn't even care that I am also going to be alone on our family traditional Christmas Eve and Christmas day because someone decided to have our family get together on December 27th.  

Yep.  I've lived too long.  Six years ago, "they" promised, as long as I was alive, to have our family Christmas on Christmas Eve, as we have always done.  If I weren't here, they could have it or not have it any dang time they wanted.  I wouldn't feel hurt or neglected and they wouldn't have to give any thought to my feelings--which they don't do now.

But.....I'm fine.  I really don't care.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

You know?  Sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind.  Today is one of those days.  I can't seem to concentrate on anything and thus, I've sat in my chair, watched a basketball game and a movie.

I should be working on this big genealogy my friend Beth gave me.  But I can't seem to figure out what I should do.  Start writing the book?  Design and make a pedigree?

I have a crochet project, but my hands are so shaky that I can't get the hook in the right hole and it's like, I can't figure out the complicated pattern.
Maybe it's because my mind is on daughter Pam?  She came home Friday.  To stay.  She is unable to work and wanted to get on Disability, and thought sister Jennifer could help her, but that didn't work.  Then she was using her Food Assistance card in New Jersey and Michigan called and told her that because she hadn't used it in Michigan in months--they were closing that account.

So--at least her house is still standing and a flip of two switches brought her hot water tank and furnace back into working order.  Plus, she has an appointment this Wednesday to meet with the people at Health & Services to see if they can get her on SSI and get her health insurance re-established.

She did have a good visit out there and helped so much with the kids and said that leaving them was awfully hard, but she also said that Jennifer's life/house is so chaotic that she is enjoying the peace and quiet of living alone once again.

I've prayed so long for her to come home and now I am happy she is nearby once again--although I do worry about her health and financial problems.
Also heard via the family grapevine that son Mark's "numbers" were up at his 3 month check-up and he had to get an MRI to see if his cancer tumors are growing again.  He has been in remission for a year, but you know, with cancer..................it can always come back.  I won't find out until my sister does and tells me because....none of my kids want to tell me anything.
I heard a strange sound this morning while I was waking up.  I thought Maggie the Cat was up on the counter and knocked something off.  When I got up, I noticed that a very light-weight cross stitch I have hung up over my back door, had fallen.  Apparently when it fell, it caught on one of the mini blind slats and broke it off.

My sister and BIL are coming Tuesday to put clear plastic on the inside of the back door to keep the drafts out, so...looks like now I have to trudge out to find a new mini blind.  No big deal--they cost less than 10 bucks--it's just the hassle with my back hurting so badly, to have to get in and out of the car, walk way back to the curtain section of the store and hope to find one the right size on my first try.

Do you ever get so tired of not feeling well, of the pains in your joints, of all the little annoyances life throws at you, that you just want to lay down and go to sleep---forever?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

For one who lives such a mundane life, I sure get busy at times!  Before I know it, it's bedtime and too late to post anything on here.  "I'll do it first thing in the morning."  Then the next day comes, with more distractions and.............I forget.  
I need to get on one of those, "I'll post everyday" kicks.  Hm-mm.  Every other day?  Twice a week perhaps?  I just know, I need to do better.
Last Thursday, I had lunch with my Old School Pals.  There was only 5 of us, so it was easy to talk and hear each other.

One of the ladies, the one I have known since I was born, seems to be getting very senile.  Or something--I don't know what to call it.  She has always been an exaggerator, I've known that, some of the other's don't, so when she went off on one of her stories, I didn't bother to let on that over half her story came from some imaginary place in her mind.

Now--she has taken to a bit of paranoia in her stories.  The other day, she claimed that Beth's husband called her and told her never to call Beth on the phone again.  Never!  The rest of the gals looked a little stunned.  Then she went on with a tale of her voting experience and how she knew her ballot had been thrown away, how another of the people working at the polls had told her she couldn't vote after the age of 80, and that ALL absentee votes are not counted.

Ruth Ann, one of our gals, has worked at the township voting place for over 20 years.  She got a bit irate and started to tell Liz (senile) that she was absolutely wrong in her thinking.  Liz went on to tell Ruth Ann that she had been told these things and it must be different in her township.

Then Liz told us that Beth's husband is so mean to her.  He wouldn't allow her to take any of their stuff from their home to their new retirement condo.  Well, that remark sparked June into saying, "We were at Beth's last month for lunch.  All their furniture is what they had in their home.  She has all her antiques.  Didn't you see them?"

So Liz dropped that and went on to tell a story about how Beth's husband had offered to give one of us a ride home, but he kept stopping to run errands and it took 6 hours to get home.  I just kept on eating my Taco's and then Liz said, "Don't you remember, Judy?  It was you!"  My head sort of snapped up and I said, "Wasn't me.  Must have been someone else."

Now all eyes are on me.  Liz said, "You told me how tired and exhausted you were when you got home.  You said you thought maybe he was kidnapping you!"

"Wasn't me," I replied.  "I've never even ridden in a car with him."
Pretty soon it was time to leave.  Liz got up to go, said she had to leave early to get home so she could curry and brush her husband's new registered race horse. (?)

I motioned for the other gals to wait a minute--when Liz left we all sat down and my other gal pal Sandy and I, who have talked a lot about Liz's problem, filled in the other gals with what is going on with her.  Sandy, who is a retired nurse said, "Don't confront her, just smile and nod and keep eating while she tells her tales." 

When I got home, I e-mailed Beth (who wasn't there) with all the sordid details of what Liz had said about her and her hubs and that her hubs had "kidnapped" me.  Beth's hubs and Liz's step-son are very good friends.  They are aware that Liz is falling off the edge.

What puzzles me...most senile people are forgetful, but she tells some of the same stories every month...with the same detail.
Saturday, Grand daughter Helene invited me down to her Mom's, daughter Karen's, to watch the MSU football game on their big TV.  Of course, Great Grand Della was there and now that she has warmed up to me, we had a great time.

Instead of downsizing when their kids moved out, Karen and Mark opened up one end of their small living room and built on a 30 feet extension.  With their 5 kids getting married and having babies and the way their family does everything together, they need more room now than when the kids were at home.

They have a 72" TV and a 15' curved couch.  I camped myself on one end, put up the recliner, pulled out my crocheting and was happy as a tick.  Pretty soon, Grand daughter Maddie came in with pizza's and salad.  We had a girls afternoon and it was lovely!!!  MSU lost and I didn't even care. :-)
Monday Beth came over with two cloth shopping bags full of her family tree research.  Different members of her family have done a lot of research on their family--even going to Europe to trace down other cousins, towns, churches.  

Beth wants me to sort through, organize and put it all into a book, like I do with other's genealogies.  Basically the research is all done.  The sorting through and figuring out to get it all in order to put in book form and be cohesive and understandable, may take a few months.  She mentioned one of the ancestor's on her mother's side has been traced back to Roman times!
Tuesday, I got a pattern and yarn to test for my Bonus daughter.  It's a pretty involved pattern.  I work the pattern and then tell her if there are mistakes in the writing of the pattern--that sort of thing, and crochet her up a "mock" item.  

This means, I have to figure out a work schedule for myself.  Work on the genealogy in the morning and the crochet in the afternoon and evening.
My yard guy got all the leaves up and put them up on the porch until next Monday, when he promised he would haul them out to the street for pick-up early Tuesday morning.

I managed to get a new furnace filter in place.  Vacuumed out my dryer tube.  Made sure all my windows are closed tightly and locked tight.  Got the humidifier ready to turn on.  I also got the yearly oil change on my car.  I had pushed the Trip Tik last year when I got the oil changed and found out yesterday, when I went to set it back to zero, that I drove all of 2,322.6 miles in a year.  Can you even imagine?  I think back to my working years and I drove 80 round trip a day.  Oh well, my 20 year old car only has 55,000 miles on it.  It is going to rust out before the motor gets bad.  LOL

This morning, I wended my way through the bags of leaves to get to my squirrel and bird feeders.  I have them all filled up and ready.

All this has been brought on by our early winter.  Last spring, we jumped from about 4 days of spring into an unusually hot and dry summer.  Then we had about 5 days of nice autumn weather and jumped into cold and snow.  We've had no Indian Summer.  Man--the earth is going through some climate changes for sure!
I will sign off now and let you get back to your life.  I am feeling great physically.  Emotionally a bit heavy, snitches of worry trying to creep in, but very satisfied and happy with things.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I am truly humbled.  The help I have received from you all staggers me.

Thank you Trudy, I did get your card.
Thank you Carol in Ontario, I got your card too.
Jenny, please thank pastor for his prayers, he sure does good ones. LOL
I have been extremely busy, trying to put my perennial gardens to bed for the winter, finishing up a small genealogy for my neighbor.  A funeral for my Karen's father-in-law.  And my water heater went out twice in 3 days.

PLUS--I got a notice from the DHS--Department of Human Services--Welfare, that as of December 3rd, the State WILL pay my Medicare.  So the paperwork I sent in, even though I was still 2 cents over the limit for income, they must have rolled it up to the nearest dollar amount of $4.00, which put me just under the limit, and took pity on me.

They also lowered my food assistance from $41 to $23.  That's fine.  I will have $$$ for my other bills.

Through the gifts I have received from you blessed people and a grocery gift card from my cousin, I will be able to pay all my November bills.  This just blows my mind and makes me weep.  Help from people I have never met---it is amazing and a godsend.
I decided to drain my water heater, like I do every six months, because of the heavy rust and lime in the water here.  We do not have city water and are not allowed to have a water softener.  Everything seemed fine when I closed up the unit, the gas was heating up so I put all my clothes back in the bedroom closet--where my wh resides.

The next morning, no hot water.  I called for repair and emptied the closet.

The guy that came was 6'2" and easily weighed 300#.  He had one heck of a time trying to wedge himself in that closet and get down low enough to relit the pilot light.  After half an hour of struggling, all seemed well and he left.  About an hour later, I wanted to wash my hair and I did have warm water, so I ASSUMED the heater was working.  I put all the clothes back in the closet.

The next morning, no hot water.  That was yesterday.  So I called and asked for an appointment for today.  I told the girl about the tight working area and asked if she could send out a smaller guy.

Then, I drove on up to the graveside service for Karen's father-in-law.  I didn't know where the cemetery was, but I knew the road name and the area so I thought I'd have no problem.

I stopped in at the gas station in my home town to use the facilities and get a bottle of Diet Pepsi to tide me over.

Then made my first mis-cue by coming south east, out of town, instead of going north up to another little town.  I knew the cemetery was south-east of that town.

I got on the right road and headed north and then....the road ended--arrow right or left?

I had to ponder for a moment on which way to go. Hm-mm. I hadn't been in that area in 30 years, but......I thought if I went left, I'd go into the little town and then find my way around or stop and ask.

As I got near the town, I veered off to the right and turned onto a street, vaguely remembering that it turned into the road I needed once I got out of town.


Trying to watch for the road I needed to turn on--I didn't know which way I needed to turn, and all of a sudden realized that I was behind four or five cars turning left down a gravel road.

Now--why would four or five cars, on a dreary, cold rainy  Tuesday morning, all be turning down a gravel road? An auction, perhaps. A direct way over to the highway? 

I followed them and there we were, soon pulling over on the side of the road to park. I was the last car in the "procession".

I could see the cemetery off in the distance and wondered how I was going to manage to walk that far. Thankfully, I had my cane to lean on and off I went.

As I got near the cemetery, there was my oldest grand girl quickly coming to me--I leaned on her, and then appeared the other two grand girls and they all led me up the hill to the grave site.

They were the pall bearers, but as they lined up behind their Dad and his siblings, I stood behind the girls and just leaned on them.

My two grandsons weren't there.  One had to work and one, in medical school, had to be on his rotation at the hospital.  Karen also had to teach.  They had all been to the funeral on Monday.

A lot of people recognized me, and I recognized a lot of people but couldn't remember names. It's that way whenever I go where there are people that I haven't seen in the 30 years I've been away.  They recognize me because basically I haven't changed.  I am still tall and slender.  Still wear my hair short, except it is now gray instead of blonde.  Some of those people have changed a lot.  Shorter.  Fatter.  More wrinkled.  

What was really strange, I went up to a "used to be", next door neighbor and she didn't know who I was.  Although, as she talked, I could see that senility was her enemy now, so I filled her in, but by the look in her eyes, even though she "pretended" she then remembered me and all I had relayed to her............she hadn't.

The best part, it was wonderful for me to see my son-in-laws siblings--I've known those kids since my Karen married into the family 37 years ago, so they seem like my own family.

There was much hugging and kissing and I love you's and "so glad to see you", and "thank you for coming."

Well of course I went. This man that was laid to rest, is one.....could very well be...the finest man I have ever known. You can see it in his 5 sons and daughter. Nothing could have kept me from honoring him. Nothing!

I feel sad for his wife though.  She was always spoiled by him.  Four years ago they moved up north to their retirement cabin.  Then last year he got sick.  He had a rare disease called Amyloidosis.

Amyloidosis (am-uh-loi-DO-sis) is a rare disease that occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in your organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein that is produced in your bone marrow and can be deposited in any tissue or organ.
Amyloidosis can affect different organs in different people, and there are different types of amyloid. Amyloidosis frequently affects the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system.
His affected his heart and lungs.  He even tried a new treatment using chemotherapy.  He was sick for a year.

She found it difficult to cope because he had always done everything (I used to be jealous of her) and then, she was the one that had to set up doctor's visits, staying with him in hospital and caring for him at home, and she wasn't well equipped for that.

Now, I worry how she is going to cope.  Always one to have a glass of wine at her elbow, I fear now she is alone............................well, you know.
This morning, I emptied the bedroom closet again and the repair man came.  A thin, short little guy who scrambled back into that closet like a little monkey, relit the pilot light and was done in 7 minutes.

I have done a load of laundry and a full dishwasher cycle.  Lots of hot water.

We shall see.  I know I need a new heater, but am going to coax this one along as long as I can.
Michigan had the highest turnout of voters for the mid-terms, than they have had in 56 years.  Want to know why?

Proposal 1 was to legalize recreational marijuana.  People from ages 20-50 that had never voted in their lives, came out to vote, and being the Liberal little scamps most of them are, filled in the square for the Democrat running for governor.  Even parts of our State that are normally Red--were Blue yesterday.

I saw some interviews of those voters on TV--even the repair guy this morning--I asked if he had voted yesterday.  He said, "Yep.  Got registered and voted....for the first time."  (He was in his 30's)

I said, "How did you know the judges and Senators to vote for."

"Oh.  I didn't even mark them.  Just the governor and........I wanna get my pot."


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

After our rain last night, Rocky once again has water in his basin.

Someone from Phoenix, Arizona, who reads this blog, mailed me a $20 dollar bill.  I don't know how you got my mailing address, but thank you so much!  It went into the nearly dry gas tank on my car!

I also got a grocery store gift card from my cousin and I took that and shopped for all those expensive things we need--like bathroom tissue, laundry and dish detergent--those things we need and can't eat!  I also had enough to buy a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, some lunch meat and cheese.  

The end of last week I spent calling businesses and companies.  Trying to get lower prices on my utilities, health insurance, car insurance--those monthly bills.  I am at the lowest health insurance available.  NO--I did not get another Advantage Plan with Zero monthly payment.  You won't remember, but I got roped into one of those 4 years ago.  It was great because I did not see the doc very often, so the $20 co-pay was no big deal.  But...then I had the emergency AFib, with an ambulance ride, and 3 days in hospital and came out with a bill for $2,600.00  If I had Traditional Health insurance, like I did before and do now, everything would have been covered.  

I did get my gas bill lowered--some sort of 12 month plan.  I pay $39.00 a month which is lower than a regular budget payment.  Couldn't get my electrical bill lower, but did get my cable TV/Internet/Phone taken down $10.00 for two years.  

My friend Bethie, had her genealogy done years ago.  She has it traced back into the 800's!!!!!  BUT, it is in separate files and folders and pages stuffed in manila enveloped.

She wants me to organize it and put it all in chronological order in a book like the genealogy books I make for my clients.

Now, I know Bethie is doing this to help me out financially, but because it isn't an outright "pity" job and it will take lots of work on my end, I can't wait to do it!!!!!  Just think, the research, the hardest part, is already done for me.  YAY!!!  I get to do the fun part of organizing and writing her family history.
So--things are working out.  I can't believe the number of people who have notified me that they are praying for me.  My friend Jennifer in South Carolina had her pastor pray for me at Sunday night services.  I watch her church Sunday mornings, live streaming on my computer, but I am not a member of that church and to have the pastor pray..........for me?  That brought a lot of ease and comfort to me.  
Tomorrow is Halloween--a "holiday" that I have detested most of my life.  My Mother loved it--even as a kid, I hated it.  My kids loved it and all of my friends, so I never ruined it for any of them, but oh....how I hated the dressing up and the stupid parties.  Oh well--no one will come here asking for candy, so I can just ignore the whole thing.

In fact tomorrow, I will empty my bedroom closet to switch my summer clothes for warmer ones and while that closet is empty, I will hook up and drain the water heater.  When I get some extra money, I will get a new furnace filter too and next month, my sister and BIL will come down to put plastic over the inside of my back door to keep out the winter drafts.

We didn't have much of a summer here--so hot and humid we couldn't enjoy being outside and stayed closed up with the A/C running and soon the snow will come and we will be closed up again with the furnace running.

I hope I get some good genealogies to occupy me through the winter months.  I do love the snow, but not fond of the really cold.  

Friday, October 26, 2018

My sister and brother-in-law came to visit today.  They brought me doughnuts and cider from the cider mill they stopped at on their way.

As long a strong BIL was here, I had him get Rocky out of the trunk of my car and place him under the down spout of my porch roof.

On October 30, 1988, my 2nd husband and I were on our Honeymoon in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
I should say, "Horrormoon" because it turned out that way...

We were high on a bluff, looking down at Lake Michigan, when I spotted this rock with a basin carved out by the hundreds of year of the swirling waters of the lake.

I scrambled down the hill, but I couldn't lift it from the waters edge, so hubs came down, carried the rock up the hill and stashed it in the trunk of the car.

Thank goodness it was October so no one, including DNR rangers were around, because it is probably illegal to take a rock that big.

I always had him under the down spout--every time we moved, he went long and was put under the down spout.  When it rained, the water swirled in that basin than flowed out into my garden.

Then, when I left that man, I had to leave the rock too.

You know the rest of the story--how I met up with the ex and he asked for my forgiveness for the abuse he bestowed on me and I told him I had forgiven him years ago.

As I was leaving, I noticed the Rock.

"Rocky"! I yelled.  "You still have Rocky!"

"Well, of course I do.  He's mine."

"Oh really?"

"Yeah...really.  I toted him up a very tall hill."

"You never would have known he was there, if I hadn't gone down the hill first to get him."

So, a month ago, the ex called to say he had cleaned Rocky up and if I wanted him, I could come and get him.

AND I did.

So, nearly 30 years to the day when I first found him, Rocky is with me and under my down spout.  

I call that...WINNING!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sorry, not much time to post.

Making so many business calls, trying to get expenses lowered--nearly impossible.

I'm exhausted.

Please keep praying for me.

 XX OO  Jude

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Well, I've have another disaster on my hands!

Not of my own doing, but I don't quite know how I'm going to survive this one.

When I had my re-determination with DHS (Welfare) in early September, I was supposed to have a telephone conference with my Case Worker.  Because I am soooooo good about getting all the required forms and proofs organized and sent in, apparently she found no reason to call.  I waited all day for the call.  It is noted that if you miss the call, your benefits will be cancelled.

My only benefits are food assistance and the State pays my Medicare payment.  They don't take it out of my Social Security.

I got a paper in the mail from DHS stating that my Medicare would be paid and my food allowance went up from $23.00 to $41.00 a month.  YOWZA!!

Tuesday, I received another notice from DHS that they were going to stop paying for my Medicare and because it should have been activated in October, my November SS would have DOUBLE the payment taken out.  $238.00, taken out of my November 3rd SS deposit.  Then, from December on, $134.00 would be taken out each month.
I called my Case Worker and for once, she answered the phone, instead of it going to voice mail.  I asked her why.  She said she didn't know and would have to check it out.  She put me on old.

While I was sitting there waiting, I could feel that cold sensation around my middle.  The one I get when I am told really bad news.

She came back on the line.  The cut-off on monthly income is $1,234.00.  My income showed, $1,238.00.  I had made $4.00 too much.

What to do!  I was shaking so hard.  Then I remembered that just last week, I got a notice that on a very small annuity I have, the State was going to start taking out 4.10% withholding.  It totaled $3.98 a month.

I told her about that and my income had dropped $3.98 a month since my re-determination.  

She told me to send in "proofs"--bank statements showing the deposit in September and the one in October showing the decrease.  I did that--scanned them and uploaded them to the DHS website, then called her back and left a voice mail so she would know and perhaps could get this whole thing fixed.

BUT--it won't be fixed, if it can be fixed, for two months. You know how tight my budget is now.  In November, I will be $261.00 short.  In December, $127.00.
I don't know what to do.  Let my health insurance lapse?  My car insurance?  

I consulted with my blogging buddy Jean about selling stuff on EBay.  She told me I probably wouldn't make enough to go through all the hassle.  She was right.  I checked the price on a Japanese Wooden artifact I have from "Occupied Japan", made in 1948.  There was one just like it--sold for $6.99!


I had a place setting from my Mother's Sterling Silver ware.  My grandmother, my Dad and I got my Mother a service for 12 over the years.  We ended up with service for 13.  I had it and used it for family dinners in the 70's & 80's.  My kids loved to eat off Great Grandma's china and Grandma's "real" silverware.  Last year, I kept one place setting and gave the rest, in it's nice velvet lined box, to my sister.

I took that place setting into a jeweler's yesterday.  A reputable man.  He looked it all over, weighed it = $27.00.  When we bought in for Mother, back in the '60's, it was $50.00 a place setting.

I almost cried having to part with it, but sold it to him.  It will help pay for the last bill I have this month.
What really annoys me; if my Case Worker had called me in September, like she was supposed too, as we went over the paperwork I had sent in, she would have noticed I was $4.00 over the limit and I would have known then, instead of being totally shocked!!!

Well, you know my theory.  God has always provided for me.  I can only be assured He will with this problem too.  I have to be strong and not let fear and panic get to me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I don't quite know what to say.  I didn't intend for my last post to "scold" you all into leaving a comment, but..........Oh.  My.  I was over whelmed.  So many I have not heard from in such a long time.  I did a good job of replying to your comments too--didn't I?

I will just pat myself on the head for that because.........you know.........I am one of those needy people that needs praise, even if it is only from myself.  HAH!!
Did I tell you?  I got that big genealogy in the mail on Friday--just like I wanted.  She should get it today.  I hope she likes the presentation.  That book weighed 3 pounds!!!!!  170 some pages--well, that's double sided, so..........85 single pages?   She mailed me a thumb drive with a lot of old, old photos to add to the book.  Some so dark they were difficult to see, but I put them through Pic Monkey photo editing and lightened them up a bit and "crisped" up the images.  They printed out pretty well.

Funny thing about the thumb drive.  I have never used one and had quite a time for awhile figuring it out and learning how to save the photos.  I always make a File Folder with my client's name in my pictures in a main Genealogy folder.  In that file under the clients name, I make sub-files with the 4 main families I am researching.  Then I save the photos to those sub-files so I can remember who goes where.  It gets real fun when I have photos that have the same "male" name only generations apart.

As in the old days, men tended to name their first son after them, and so I end up with a lot of William's, same last name.  Sometimes, I have to make sub-folders in the sub-folders.  LOL  William I, William 2, William 3, and so on.  Then, I have to make sure any records, photos, cemetery and grave marker photos I find on line, go into the correct folder, so that when I make the book, I get the right photos for the right person.  Anything I find on line, like census reports, marriage, birth, death notices, I print out, trim to an appropriate size, scan and then save as a photo.

Yeah--it takes time, but when I am ready to write the book and put it together, everything I need is in that person's photo file folder and it makes it easier.

Complicated?  Yes.  and  OH LORDY...I DO LOVE DOING IT!!!
 Frost on the Pumpkins this morning and on the roof tops and the cars and shady places on the lawn.  I still have a major garden clean-up to do.  Maybe this afternoon?

When the sun comes out and starts to "burn-off" the frost on the roof tops, it almost looks like smoke.  The first time I noticed it, I thought Dar's house was on fire!!!  
Sunday, I got the planter that sits on my deck railing, filled with shelled corn, sunflower seeds, peanuts in shells and shelled peanuts.  It is for the squirrels and I figured, with it getting colder now, they would be gathering and storing up for winter.  Mostly they just sit there and eat their fill right now.

Blue Jays also like this.  The main reason for the squirrel feeder was to keep them off my bird feeders.  Now, the birds come in to enjoy the squirrel food!  Oh well.

I'm not much of a photographer, but I got this lucky shot Sunday.  Isn't he adorable?

That second photo looks like he is calling in his buddies to come eat.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

It makes me kinda sad when I come in here to read other's blogs.  I look over on the right side-bar of this page at the list of blogs I follow, and it seems posts are becoming fewer and fewer.  Many people have just quit posting in their blogs.  I miss them so much!

I think Face Book has ruined it for us bloggers.  People have their list of friends, a lot of those friends from their blog days, and instead of posting on their blog, they just post quick messages on Face Book.  I really hate that!!!

I want to know what is going on in my blog buddies lives and they aren't going into the detail they used to in their blog, on Face Book--where just anyone could read it.  Our blogs always felt safe to us, I think.  A place where we could write out our feelings and thoughts.  Things that trouble us, when written down, seem to become less.  Plus we have our blog buddies who leave supportive comments or suggestions on how to help.  You won't find that on Face Book.  You are liable to get slammed by someone if you post the simplest thing.  I have found that out way too many times.

I've also noticed that comments readers leave has decreased a lot too.  Do people still come in to read my ramblings?  Or, because they don't post on their blogs anymore, do they not read anyone else's?

Maybe that's why some quit posting.  No one reads or if they do, they don't leave a comment.  I always leave a comment on any blog that I read.  It seems the polite thing to do and I know that I am always interested in where my followers are from.

To me, this blog is important.  I can go days without speaking to another human being and those I do talk with, I wouldn't share with them as intensely as I share with you guys.  I can share everything here, too much so at times, but like I said before, it helps me emotionally to write it out and get it out of my mind.

If I'm angry about something, I feel safe here writing it out.  If I am depressed, or sad or scared, I feel safe writing it out here.  There seems to always be an encouraging comment that helps me get through it all.  Perhaps I am just one of those people that needs a pat on the head every now and then.

It feels like my blog buddies are "family", or even better, "friends".  Sometimes family members can be very critical.  Most of the time, blog buddies, if they are critical, do it in a gentler way.  I respond much better to making changes in my way of thinking by gentle criticism than by someone blasting at me at the top of their lungs.

I mentioned on Face Book that I had filled out my absentee ballot, but I didn't fill it all out.  I left empty the place for voting for school board members, trustees at the colleges and judges.  I don't know those people, and who gets elected really doesn't matter to me.

My older cousin blasted me with a "Shame on you.  You should study each of those people and be an informed voter."  What's it to her, Huh?  She's always been a busy body.  No one else blasted me, they merely said they were ready to mail theirs in too.   I would expect that same response if I had posted it on this blog, or no response to that at all.

So--I am sad to see so many of my blog family stop posting.  I enjoy reading all the blogs I follow, even if I don't agree with some of them--there is always some tidbit that is interesting.
Prayers for our Dear Friend Ernestine at "My Journey to Mindfulness", she is dealing with severe health issues.  I have read her blog for the last 7-8 years.  She has been my mentor.  My encourager.  I am worried about her, because..................she is part of our family.  Sisters--all of us.

Friday, October 12, 2018

I would tell you what happened each and every day this past week--if I could remember.  I don't write every day in my journal, like I used too, so there is no going back to recall the days.

Monday--the guys that the park had come around and trim my big Maple trees, did a piss poor job.  They used one of those long poles with a saw on top and apparently, cut through branches that got caught up in lower branches.  They didn't climb up in the tree and lower the comes they cut--so for the past month, every time we have a slight breeze, these semi-cut branches, some 3" in diameter, fall on my lawn, driveway, roof, car!!!!!!!!!

Now, for the yard waste people to pick up branches, they HAVE to be cut into 4' long lengths, bundled together and tied in several places with strong twine.  Well--how do I, with no hand saw, cut through those 3" branches?  I don't.  I used my loppers to cut off all the side twigs and branches and managed to get them all bundled and then, ran out of twine.    Duct Tape is of course verbotten, as this stuff all has to be degradable.   I moved one twine tie around, down from the top and the other down towards the bottom of the huge bundle, put it out, and it was taken early Tuesday morning, along with a yard waste bag I had filled when I massacred my Forsythia bush.

Monday night I got a Face Book message from a friend that she had baked a ham and did I want her to save the ham bone and juice for me.  YES!!
Tuesday--My appointment at the Food Bank and what did I find?  A bag full of clean and peeled vegetables--potatoes, onions, carrots AND one nice size cabbage.  Can we all say Boiled Dinner for Jude?

I wanted to work outside all afternoon, but, it rained.
Wednesday--hotter than Hades and the humidity around 75%.  Not a good day for me to work outside, unless I want to die.  So, I finished up the genealogy and took it to the print shop to be bound.  Alas and alack--or should I say, as my world usually goes, their binding machine was broken and might not be fixed for a month.

Wait.  What?  I wanted to mail the genealogy on Friday.

"Oh, the UPS stores have that equipment.  They will do it for you."

So up to Howell to the UPS store.  Sorry, we only have the "comb" binding.  You know the plastic kind with rectangular holes and plastic tabs that go through and can break off?

So, I turn around and drive down to Brighton to that UPS store.  We don't have that kind of binding.

So, on the way home, I stopped at the print shop to tell them and the lady in there that usually does all my work for me said, "Well yes they do!  I'm going to call them right now!"  and she did and the Brighton UPS assured her they did have the "coil" binding.

By then, I was exhausted by the humidity so I just came home.

The blue baby afghan I was working on, for a baby boy, just wasn't working out.  I just couldn't get the pattern I had designed to fall into place with the right spacing.  I sat in my chair, frogging the whole thing --"frogging" = ripping out.  Rip it!  Rip it.

Then, like a bolt from the heavens, I got an idea.  Take the pattern I have--scan it, print out a million copies.  Take the words on it, cut them out and paste them in the space I want them to go over the words on the original patter.  AHA.

I'll be a darned.  It worked!  So, now I have started a new afghan, in pink, for a baby girl.  It seems to be moving along at a smooth pace with all letters/words correctly spaced.  I feel like a blinking, creative genius!!!
Thursday--it was 85 on Wednesday and 51 today.  I had my Old School Gal Pals luncheon to attend.  It was up the road a few miles at Bethie's new condo.  She and her husband have downsized from their home in the country to a condo in town.

Now, as luck or the grace of God had it, the Brighton UPS is right on the way to Bethie's!!    I stopped and spoke to the same guy as the day before, he apologized for confusing me, I apologized for my old, misunderstanding brain.  We confirmed how the book should be bound and he promised to do it perfectly and..."can you pick it up later today?"
"Well, yes I can.  I will be coming back by here just a bit after three this afternoon."

I left and had a nice drive up the service road that runs along the expressway--avoiding that race way/death trap all the way to Bethie's town.  Found her condo quite easily and what a beauty it is!!

It looks like it was made just for her!  Her hubs has an office at the front of the condo, she has her own office at the back with the patio/deck just outside.  Perfect!!!

They have a hillside view of colorful soft wood trees, pines and a lovely courtyard at the front door.  Bethie sees deer out her office or bedroom window all the time.

Their beautifully finished basement has more square footage than my place, so I announced to her and her husband that I would be moving in middle of next month and.........I would appreciate it if they could get their packing/moving boxes emptied and out of my way.  Her husband asked me if I wanted a bath with a tub or shower or both--I replied that I preferred a shower as I can't get down and up from a tub anymore.  Than he and I discussed on how we could get one of those--now required by law--dug out access windows.  It would give me a way out in case of fire and also bring some more light into my basement suite!!

As you can see, we had a nice gathering of the Old School Gal Pals.  As I've said before, we have known each other since Kindergarten/First grade, so there are no pretenses.  We all know of each other warts, we have seen each other's yearbooks and any scandalous thing any of us have done, will die with us.  Our lips are sealed!

You can see, we always dress in our finest for these luncheons.  Like I said, no pretenses--which includes no make-up, plastic surgery, or fake anything.  Some of these ladies are quite well-off, but you'd never know it.  

Beth is on the back left.  The one who talks too much is on the back right.  The one with slight dementia and exaggerates all her stories, is on the couch, 3rd from the left.  Sally, the one who's daughter just died from a brain tumor is sitting on my right.  Sandy--on my left, is so short and stout she couldn't sit back on the couch and ever have a chance of getting up, without having to call a wrecker with a winch!  So she is hanging on my knee for dear life and my left hand is behind her, holding her up and forward.

When we were done with the photo shoot, I got up grabbed on to Sandy's hands and Sally got behind her and we hauled her up from the couch!

Oh Lordy--we are quite a group!!!
Friday--well that would be today.  41 degrees and expecting rain.  I got the genealogy book mailed out.  176 pages long, an inch thick and weighed 3# !!