title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood----

...except Pearl didn't have enough strength to even get out of bed on Saturday, Merle called the ambulance and they took her to the little hospital up the road from us.  Being a weekend, complicated getting tests done and the results back.  We found out Monday, she was dehydrated, plus her none-ability to walk, left her completely helpless.

Today, she is being transferred to a nursing home/rehab center and their prescription is for,"intensive/extensive physical therapy!!

Boy-Oh-Boy, she isn't going to like that!!!

Three years ago, I took her to physical therapy a couple of times.  I'd sit in the waiting area and watch her.  If they had her do 10 leg lifts, she'd do 3 and stop.  "That hurts too much."  If they had her on the bike for 10 minutes, she'd do maybe 3 minutes and refuse to do more.  It was like that with every exercise.  She'd do a couple of repetitions and stop.  Refuse to do more, because "it hurt".

I don't know if any of you have been to physical therapy, but it DOES hurt.  Week after week, it hurts and then...it starts to get better.  

I kept telling her that she had to "push yourself a bit".  Her answer was always, "Why?  It isn't going to cure me."

"Not cure you, but help you get stronger so you can at least walk, go shopping and out to eat!"

Oh she is a stubborn old Swede!!

I don't know how long she will be in rehab there, but I'll bet when they let her come home, she will have a couple more months of PT.

I'll go visit her.  She's in the newest place around here, just one mile from us, and a place I have always wanted to check-out.  An assisted living, nursing, rehab center.  I'll visit Pearl, and get a brochure and check-out the lay of the land--in case I ever need it.

After I got done talking with Merle yesterday, I walked across the street to visit Dar.  I haven't seen her in over a month.

Her shoulder surgery was so extensive, that after two month of PT, she has to have another round of it.  Plus, her herpes has come back in her left eye.  Plus, her car insurance now wants her to have more MRI's, X-ray's and tests to make sure her problems stem from the car accident--that happened 2 years ago!!  They still haven't paid any of her medical bills, even though the accident wasn't her fault.

Plus, over the last month, she purchased all new beds, 3 recliners, a rocking chair and a love seat and....the bed bugs still aren't gone.  There was an exterminator truck there last Friday.  This makes the 4th time they have exterminated her house.

Her psychologist--yes, she is finally in treatment, told her that these last few weeks, she has regressed.  She was becoming relaxed and happy and now she's right back in her scattered thoughts, anxiety, fear mode.

Plus, her Dad fell and bruised 3 ribs so she has been having to take him to doctor's appointments.

Yesterday, she was speaking in broken sentences and couldn't remember words or keep thoughts going very well.
So, after I left there, I walked across Dar's lawn to visit Jackie.  I have noticed she has had a lot of visitor's, but I haven't seen her leave to go to her swim aerobics or church.

Jackie was visiting her son a week ago, no hand rail on the front porch, she slipped, fell backwards onto the cement and has a concussion and broken left arm.

Her visitor's have been visiting nurses and physical therapists.

We chatted for almost an hour, then I got Jackie a cup of tea and walked out to get her mail to take back in to her.

Having been feeling a little dumpy and depressed last week and weekend, as I left Jackie's to walk home across the street, I realized how warm the sun was, how the trees are starting to bud out, my Crocus are blooming, and I scolded myself.  Compared to the neighbor's, I'm on top of the World!!!!!

Friday, March 16, 2018


To the Doc's yesterday afternoon for my yearly Medicare Wellness Check.  

New government guidelines---if you have EVER smoked in your life, Medicare now requires you to take a breathing test.  Even though I had one three weeks ago at the pulmonologist's, I had to do another one--passed.

IF you are on any kind of opioid pain med OR anxiety med--I take Ativan--occasionally--you have to have a urinalysis.  To make sure you are taking it, but not taking too much.  To make sure you are taking it and not selling it!!!
I wonder how much I could sell it for?  My script reads, "take 3 daily", I only take 1.  Think of the $$$ I could make!!

Oh yes, and by the way--I asked the doctor if it was all right, when my shoulder hurts so much I can't sleep, if I could take half a Percocet at bedtime?

"Where did you get Percocet?"

"You gave me a prescription two years ago when I was still having pain from my hip surgery.  I have 10 left."

"No--it won't hurt you, but I won't give you anymore."

"Okay.  I don't want anymore.  I have 10 left...at one-half every three to six months, I should be okay.  I just wondered...because I am on a blood thinner, if it would hurt me."

"Percocet is addictive.  If I wrote prescriptions for it, the government could put me out of business."

"Why the heck would it matter if an old person became addicted to a pain med...if it eased their pain?"
I'm thinking about Pearl who is addicted to Tramadol, that this same doc gives her, but at least she finds some relief.

"The government would only see how many prescriptions I write for it and that could cause ME a problem."

"Okay.  So, if in the future, I need an opioid pain med, I'd have to go to a pain specialist?"

"Yep.  That is their speciality.  I'm just a primary care doctor....anything out of the ordinary, and I am required to refer you to a specialist."

Two pages of questions to answer--in the last 4 weeks, have you fallen?  Do you eat a good diet?  On and on.

My heart is good, nice and steady.  Lungs are good, nice and clear..no wheezes or rales.  Carotid arteries are good.  Blood work--fantastic.  Gained 2# since last year, but height is the same: 5'9 3/4".  

There is one test that Medicare should include--a memory loss/retention test, as...................

I requested a prescription refill on a med....

That prescription was filled and picked-up by me on March 2nd!  I have no memory of that!

See--good blood work means nothing to the way a person is aging.


Thursday, March 15, 2018


Here we go again--the dreaded Ides of March.

My Mother died 48 years ago today!  How can it be so long since I've seen her?  How have I managed to live this long without her?  How can it be that long ago and yet, the pain sometimes comes like it happened just yesterday.  

She was so vibrant and always smiling and then some mysterious disease took her so quickly.  A disease that was only firmly diagnosed three years ago.

There was and still is no cure for this rare blood disease, which I suppose makes me feel better--nothing could have been done to save her, but at only 54 years old?  

It broke our family--traces of her death still show up in our still broken family.  God didn't bring that disease, but He did take her at her last breath and that gives me knowledge that one day, I will see her again.
Trying to make the Ides of March a better memory day, I moved in here 15 years ago.  I could have moved in weeks earlier, but I chose this day on purpose.  How can it be that long ago?  Sometimes I still don't feel settled in.  I still yearn to move "back home."
Today, I purposefully made an appointment for my yearly "Medicare Wellness Check-Up."  If I am going to get bad news, this is the perfect day for it.

I got my blood draw done on Tuesday, so the Doc will have the results today.  I took a sneak peak at my Patient Portal yesterday morning to see the test results, because you know, I don't like surprises and want to know the results BEFORE I see the Doc.

The blood results are better than they were 8 months ago, when he told me I had the blood work of a 50 year old.  That's all well and good, but.......you  know what?

Good blood tests do not give the whole picture of how a body is wearing out.  The painful joints.  The heartburn that comes for no reason.  The memory dysfunction.  The skipped or rapid heart beat, the shooting knife-like pain in the back of the neck.

The weird thoughts, anxiety, sometimes almost crippling fear I have to talk myself out of.

So the Doc will enter the little exam room, tell me how healthy I am and "come back in six months" and send me on my way.

I suppose on this historically awful day, that alone should make me feel light hearted.

Too bad it won't.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Reporting in.....

Old Coot called late yesterday afternoon.  He was very chipper.  I asked how he was doing and he said, "Doing great!  You know, I was her caregiver for a year and a half and it was very tiring for me.  It's a difficult job...to be a caregiver."

"I'm sure it wasn't too easy on her either. Having to go through those horrible treatments and knowing that she was dying and all."

"Yes, but you know the old saying, 'let the death bury the dead'"

"Yes, I know that saying.  It comes from the Bible.  Do you know the rest of the saying?"


"Jesus said,'but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.'

"Oh.  I haven't done that, unless you count looking out at nature and proclaiming how beautiful it is." 
As per usual, it is all about him.
We chatted more.  He had convinced her to take out a Reverse Mortgage on the home/property, so he gets to live there until he dies.

"I'm surprised she didn't leave it to her children."

"Why?  It's none of their business."
Per usual come between wife and her kids.

"There were still mortgage payments and we couldn't live very easily with them.  So we got the reverse mortgage."

"Did that work out well?  I have wondered about reserve mortgages."
No I haven't.

"Yes.  I put a new deck on the front and back, built a workshop for me...put in new walkway."

"Oh.  You didn't put the money in an annuity to live on?"

"No, but with no mortgage payments, that helped with the monthly bills.  You know I live in the present.  No worries about the past or the future."
I see he got just what he wanted out of it.
I said, "I was surprised...really surprised, when I read that she was so involved in her church.  She was a Baptist...you're an Atheist...how did that work out?"

"I went to church with her....a couple of times.  She went every Sunday and while she was gone, I puttered in my work shop.  She didn't preach to me or try and convert me...she knew that wouldn't have worked.  ha ha"
Then the interesting part of the conversation began...

He said, "I was wondering...ah...I have a test for you...ah..just how young your mind still is.  I thought it would be fun if we got together for a visit."


"I could drive down, we could go to a nice restaurant...not a fancy, expensive one...just a nice one...with good food.  We could talk, then go back to your place and talk some more."


"Here's the test...to see how young your mind is...I could spend the night."

"Why?  Can't you drive after dark?"

"Yes, I can drive perfectly fine."

"Well, I have no place for you to sleep."

"You don't have a bed?"

"Of course I have a bed.  A lovely bed, with a four inch memory foam topper....that I share with no one but my two cats."

"I see.  So you are like the "old cat lady"?"
I see what he is trying to do.  Challenge me by inferring I am old and not open to new things.

"I'm eight years younger than you and just happen to have two cats."

"Oh.  I just thought you were still young at heart and mind to be open to a shared bed.  I wasn't proposing anything...well, you know...anything...just to sleep next to each other and listen to each other breathing."
oh, good grief!  Does this mean that his "anything" still works?  At 87 years old?  UGH!

"Well, I am young at heart and young in mind, but...I am a lot smarter than you remember.  Sharing a bed with ANYONE other than my cats, sounds like...not only a weird idea, but a stupid one.  Something that would really mess up my content and stable life."

So that idea squelched, we chatted a bit more.  Then he said, "Look at the time!  We've talked for over an hour.  It's six o'clock!"

"It's seven o'clock."

"Seven...no..I'm looking at the clock on the stove and it says six."

"We had a time change this morning.  Daylight Saving time kicked in."

"It did?  Why am I unaware of that?"

"I don't know...perhaps your mind isn't young enough to remember?"
Went right over his head.

"Do you realize how many clocks there are in this house.  It's going to take me an hour to change them all!"

"Well, you better get to it."

"Yeah--we'll talk later...goodbye."
So--my psychological experiment continues.  I think I have him hooked into thinking I am interested in his life and concerned about him.

Don't worry.  I can handle Old Coot.  Ten years ago, just hearing his voice would have sent me into a panic attack.  Now...there is going to be some reckoning.  Some more remembering to see, the what and why.  

....because I don't have anything better to do and this is beginning to be fun..........

Friday, March 9, 2018

Well, well, well...

The "Old Coot" sent a note requesting a phone call, so Tuesday afternoon, feeling adventurous, I called him.  I think he was napping as it took him awhile to realize who it was.

I used a sympathetic tone and asked how he was doing.  Did he feel "foggy brained".  Could he concentrate.  All those things we who have lost loved ones go through.

No--none of those.  He was feeling fine.  "You know, I have gone through so many losses and disconnections, that this is just another one."


His voice is still strong.  He is still healthy--no prescriptions.  AT 87?

Still disconnected from his 5 children and all his siblings, who he "thinks" have all died, but isn't sure.

Wait.  What?  His younger brother lived on the property next to him.  I had heard that Old Coot had erected a "spite" fence between the properties, when he moved in with his last wife.

There are a lot of things that are strange.  I did not ask about them, but am wondering.

He is still living on his dead wife's property and home.  Why didn't that go to her children?  Does he have a life lease?

The funeral bulletin he sent me, has a photo of him and her and his one son, but no photos of her and her children.  She was married for 40 years to her first husband.  If there are going to be photos, why isn't there one of her and her children?

She was in Hospice for the last two months of her life, or so the obituary stated.  Did he spend each day with her?  I rather doubt it.  I think most probably, when she first got sick, he detached himself emotionally.

He referred to his family as "dysfunctional", which he never admitted to when we were married.  I doubt he realizes that HE is the dysfunctional one.  I always thought his siblings and kids were lovely people.

I think Old Coot is incapable of that kind of "bedrock" love that exists in (some) marriages.  He "loves" intensely at the start of a relationship.  There isn't anything he wouldn't do for his partner.  So considerate, kind and sweet.

But the second there is the tiniest, most minute conflict, he goes into control mode.  It then becomes all about him.  This is probably an old habit to protect his feelings?

After all, he has been optimistic enough to marry 7 times and 6 of those didn't work out the way he first perceived.  I do believe he put these women on a "perfect" pedestal and the second a chip of that pedestal fell, he didn't want to put the effort into fixing, what he perceived as damaged.  He just wanted to smash it and go on with his life.
I don't know if I want to meet him in person for a visit.  I certainly am not going to go to visit at his wife's home.  I would rather meet him on my turf.

Phone calls are easy.  We shall see, what we shall see.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What is this?

My sister came down.  My microwave had died and she had one she wasn't using, so she brought it down for me.  Her hubs Chuck is recovering from double hernia surgery, but Susan and I managed to get the heavy thing in the house, and my dead one in the back of the pick-up truck so she can take it back for their spring recycling thingie.

She said, "It's like I woke up one morning and every thing was different than the day before.  I look different, I feel different, everything I have to do, seems to be such a big effort!"

I told her that I had experienced the same thing, but I found it happens about every five years with me.

At 60, I noticed that my body was changing its shape.  I hadn't gained or lost weight, but was becoming thicker in the middle.  My backside was flattening out.  My skin losing tone and becoming crepey.  My bust getting larger.

Something changed when I hit 65.  All of a sudden, I couldn't work in the gardens, as hard as I had the year before.  All of a sudden, my hips went out.  All of a sudden--it seemed.

Then, those things stayed that way for about 5 years.

Then at 70, all of a sudden I couldn't walk as far as I used too.  My back hurt all the time.

Then 75 and I found I had lost the strength in my arms.  I couldn't lift or carry heavy things anymore.  I tended to walk "crooked", my balance was off.  I had to walk up steps, one step at a time.  I was getting age spots on my hands and the thick skin thingies (Keratinitis) all over my back. 

Now, I am going through changes again...and it hasn't even been five years.  I look in the mirror and I look much older than I did even last summer.  My "apron", that roll of skin under my stomach that wants to lay on the tops of my thighs, seem to have gotten bigger. I notice when I walk, my left foot tends to turn out.  I haven't gained weight, but I had to buy a new bra--one size larger.

Emotionally, every thing is an effort.  I don't want to go anywhere--even family functions are an effort to get ready for, drive too and participate in.  Too noisy.  Too tiring.  I am sooooo dreading my grandson's wedding this summer.   A year ago, I had no problem with getting all dressed, with heels and the whole thing to attend my great granddaughter's christening.  I had a great time.

My sister will turn 66 in two weeks.  I told her, "The changes are going to continue.  Plus all the changes you are feeling right now aren't going to go away.  They just stay with you and in a few years, more changes are going to pile on top of them!  It just keeps piling on until you are so tired you won't want to get outta your chair!"

I wondered if any of you have noticed this?  One day you wake up and things are different than the day before.  You get it figured out and go along with less things you can do and then, in a few years you wake up one morning and notice, there are new changes.

The good thing, we usually can adjust our lives to these changes.  It just shocks me when the new ones pile on.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

March wind doth blow and we shall have snow and what will poor Robin do then, poor thing.

Craziest winter we have ever had.

We got 8" of snow here and yet my sister, who lives 20 miles north, only got 1".  My cousin who lives 15 miles west, got 2".  We must have been in one of those "snow" bands.   Sunny yesterday and today, but when I went out to get the mail, I noticed the heavy snow had broken off two, fairly large Lilac bush branches.

At least we don't have Nor'Easters.  High tidal water and flooding can be as devastating as fire.  Both of them tear down houses.  I wouldn't care for those strong winds battering at me for a long time either.  

I went down to visit Pearl, as it was her 82nd birthday.  She kept trying to tell me she is 83, but I finally convinced her that she was born on March 1, 1936.  "Then what year did I get married?"

"1955.  You and Merle eloped to Angola, Indiana."

The conversation continued like that for awhile.  She asking me how old her kids were and was I sure she was born in 1936.

She has been diagnosed with early Stage II diabetes, as if we all didn't know that was coming on.  She only had to take a pill, not injections.  Then she said something that sort of stunned me.

"You know...this is my won fault."

"What's that?"

"The reason I can't walk.  When my legs started paining, I quit walking.  Every one told me I had to keep walking, but I just sat down and quit.  The more I sat, the worse the pain got.  They were all right.  The less I walked, the less I could and now look at me."

I didn't give her the "I told you so", what good would that do?  They had a ramp built from their back door down to their driveway.  It's 2 years old.  Pearl has never used it.  She's afraid of it.  So afraid, that if she does go out to get in the car, she still has to have Merle and her daughter take her down the 3 front steps--which is far more hazardous than the ramp.
I haven't seen Dar in a coon's age.  Almost a month.  I have no idea what is going on over there and should probably walk on over for a visit.  She is still in PT, as I see her leave twice a week, before 9:00.  She's was always a walking fanatic, but I never see her out walking either.

Which reminds me--I never see myself out walking either.  I count my weekly trips to Walmart, walking the length of the store as my exercise, but---another resolution to walk every day, once spring arrives.  
This genealogy I am trying to finish up--the one for my friend, is tough.  They don't have e-mail, so every time I have a question I have to call or write.

I called twice--apparently her husband didn't recognize my name--although he does know who I am, and hung up the phone.  So, I called back and when he answered, I quickly said, "May I speak to Liz."

I had two questions.  The call lasted an hour!  Every time I asked about a certain ancestor, that brought on a dissertation about their lives or their cousin's life, or maybe that Indian lady he had a child with.

"Was it that grandpa Richard, or the other one?  Judy needs to know."

Liz is one of our School Gal Pals that comes to our luncheons, and usually dominates the conversation.  She hasn't attended the last two, which has been kind of nice as we can all talk to each other.

She's mad at us now because we canceled our December lunch because of a big snow storm...one of the girls called Liz and told her and that we would not have another luncheon until January.

Well, wouldn't you know it, Liz went the next week and couldn't find us.  Then she went the first Thursday in January--we meet on the second Thursday, and once again couldn't find us, SO..she thinks we are meeting in private and won't tell her where.  Last week I sent her a note, with genealogy questions, but also the place we are meeting, next Thursday, directions, a map and a photo of what the place looks like.  One of the other girls is going to call her the day before for another reminder.
It's hard to see one friend's going downhill.  I don't mean forgetful, not being able to come up with a certain word--that is happening to all of us, but I mean really----sliding down that slippery slope faster than I can keep up.

Now I feel the road falling away under my feet, at times too.  New shows are coming on TV and if I don't write down the day/time/channel I will forget to watch.  When I have to go into town, I write down my "map"--bank, post office, grocery store, Michael's.  Not only do I do that so I won't forget, but I figure out where I have to go, the easiest route and no left turns.  LOL
I am filling up my March calendar.  Hair cut on Monday.  Lunch on Thursday.

Blood draw and doctor's appointment the next week.  Yes and other places I need to stop on the days I go.  I can't be wasting gas or my time.  LOL

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Just a Note

Yesterday, sunny and 65 degrees.  Window and screen door open.  Raked my front lawn.

Today, 7" of snow, so far.

This is Pure Michigan.

March coming in like a Lion

Tuesday, February 27, 2018



My 2nd ex-husband has mailed me a small letter.

He thinks it might be nice to "meet for coffee" and visit.

I am intrigued.

This is the man who abused me physically and emotionally.  The man who's 7th wife died a few months ago.

I am intrigued.

I haven't seen nor heard from him in 27 years.

I am intrigued.

Would he expect the same woman he knew back then?  Wouldn't it be kind of fun to show him the
much different, strong, carefree woman I am today?

Is he interested?  Wouldn't it be fun to show him the same open minded, happy, smiling woman he knew 30 years ago, without all the neediness?

I am intrigued.

He's 87 years old.  What could he do or say?  Nothing that could possibly affect me in any way.  I am not afraid of him in any way, shape or form.  I am not interested in him (or any man), but he might not know that.  

"Well, Hi, Don.  What have you been doing these last thirty years, other than getting married and divorced...and married and divorced?"

Hm-mm.  I am intrigued.  It might be fun.

In the least, it would make an interesting blog post.  HAH!!!

Sunday, February 25, 2018


As you know, my genealogy research findings sometimes stun me.

One of my clients is related to William the Conqueror.  A couple of months later, in another genealogy, I suddenly, around 8 generations "up", start recognizing names.  Come to find out, she too related to William the Conqueror.  These two women, that I knew, but they didn't know each other, are related from different sides of their family.  

I suppose if we could trace our roots back far enough, we'd all be related, right?

Another genealogy found that on both sides of the family and the "in betweens", they were all the same nationality.  They lived in the Netherlands and married neighbors--so they were Dutch.  When they came to America, they moved into Dutch settlements and married neighbors.  This went on, generation after generation.  I couldn't get over that, as most of us have many nationalities in our lineage.

The genealogy I finished in January, showed a family where three of their youngest sons were killed in the same battle, on the same day, in the Civil War.  I got teared up over that one.  They also had several ancestor's that fought in the Revolutionary War--one with such heroic valor that he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  Some dying in battle and buried in mass grave at the battle site.

Now--I think I have found the ultimate.  My client's 8th Great Great Grandmother was the last woman to be hung and killed at the Salem Massachusetts Witch trials.  September 22, 1692.  The last.  

When she and her husband came to America, they were given a small piece of land by the government to settle on.  When her husband died, she inherited the property.  She lived as a widow for 21 years, with only a small garden and a cow to sustain her.

They had had 8 children, five had died either at birth, in infancy, or young children.  

She sometimes begged the neighbor's for food.  Then there came along a wealthy man who wanted to buy her small piece of land.  She refused to sell because after she died, it was to go to her remaining living son.

How to get the land?  Buy witnesses who would proclaim her a Witch.  If she were to confess, she would be beaten and jailed, her life spared and the land would be sold to whomever wanted it.  If she were to deny and be killed, the land would remain in her family.

Neighbor's told that if they refused her begging she cast a spell on them and they were harmed.  Young people said that when she passed by, if she looked at them, they got sick.  Because so many of her children had died, that too proved her to be a witch.

Because she had been widowed so long and never remarried, meant men were afraid of her because she was a witch.  One testified that she repelled his advances.

For 6 weeks she was jailed and brought to trial every day.  She denied.  Witnesses were brought.  She denied.  So, she was hung, her body laid on the ground at Gallow Hill until it rotted, then thrown in a mass grave.  Her son was able to keep the land.

2 weeks later, all those jailed were cleared and released by the State government.  There were no more trials or hangings after her group.

In 2013, 309 years later, on Halloween, the government stated none of the people killed were witches.  Their names were cleared a memorial monument with all their names, erected in the Salem Cemetery.

I wish I had known about this.  My Jennifer lived in Boston and then Salem for 7 years.  I traveled there often.  I've seen Gallows Hill and the cemetery and heard the stories.  If I had only known of my clients Great Grandmother, I would have taken photos and studied more about her life.  As it is, luckily, on the internet and in one woman's blog, her lifestory was told.

This is going to shock my client, who is also a life long friend.  Give her something to talk about at our Gal Pal luncheons!

That's why I find genealogy so fascinating and become obsessed with these ancestor's.  They went through things that would kill us.  I think most of us get our strengths from those hard working, never quitting ancestor's of ours.

My Great Grandma, lived just down the road (where my sister lives now).  Helped her 3 male cousins homestead in South Dakota.  Carried a gun on her hip to kill the rattlesnakes she came across while out plowing up the land.  When she came to Michigan and married my Great Grandpa, she helped clear the land here too.  She was still tending her garden and playing the piano on her 90th birthday.  Even at age 96, when she became ill, she refused to lay down in her bed.  She stayed propped up with pillows against the high head board.  Staying like that for a month, until the day she slumped over and was dead. Who cared for her--changed her diapers, bathed her, fed her?  Her daughter-in-law, my Grandma.

These before us worked hard, had children, year, after year--always a baby on the way and many of those babies died.  My Great Great Aunt had a 2 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, died on the same day in 1918, mere hours apart, from the flu.

Now--we complain if the power goes out for a couple of hours, if we get snowed in.  We are such wimps!!!  If we had to step into their lives, the way it was then, the way we are now,...we wouldn't last a year! 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Having fun

I've been having a lot of fun lately--places that you wouldn't think of as fun places, but  I manage to find humor.

It surprises even me that I can have so much fun at Walmart.  Tuesday, we were in the midst of a 3-day rain deluge that had me thinking of how much Gopher Wood Lowe's might have on hand.  Instead, I had a prescription to pick up, so I headed to THE Walmart.

While I watched other people run through the torrent to get from car to store, I calmly opened my umbrella and strolled in.  Why don't more people have umbrellas...and use them?

I picked up my script and started roaming the store--this classes as exercise in my book.  I start at one end of the store and end up at the opposite end.

I had never seen so many employees on the floor.  They were re-stocking shelves like there was a predicted national emergency.  If I stopped for more than a second, just to look around, there appeared a blue shirted human to ask, "May I help you find something?"

I kidded one guy in the Office section, "It's about time you re-stocked this section.  I have been looking for 9x12" Kraft envelopes since Christmas!"

He glanced around and said, "And we still don't have them out, do we!"

He did help me find a 5x7" frame and White-Out.  We roamed up and down two aisles and couldn't find any White-Out.

"Maybe they quit making it," I said.  "You know, nowadays, people don't make mistakes."

He got on an electronic device and exclaimed, "Aisle sixteen, section F," and off he went with me trying to catch up,

There it was--way down on the bottom shelf.  "No wonder I didn't see it," I said.  "That shelf is six feet below my vision area."

Then he said, "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

I suggested he take my cart to the grocery end and do the rest of my shopping.  He reached out his hand and said, "Give me your list and I'll be glad to."

...and I think he really would have.

It was still in the deluge stage when I got to my car, but I pulled my cart up close to the trunk, lifted the trunk lid, put one edge of my umbrella over the lid, the rest over me and my cart and loaded up--I did the same when I got home and got everything inside without nary a hair out of place.
Yesterday I had another fun morning.  Back in March 2017, I got a CAT scan on my lungs--it was offered free by Medicare up until age 78.  Their findings were I had a small nodule, 2mm's, at the bottom of my right lobe.  Nothing to worry about.  Many people have lung nodules.  Have another scan in six months.

I had forgotten all about it, but my doc scheduled me for another CAT scan in November.  No big deal.  No needles involved--takes about 3 minutes.  Their findings this time--the nodule had grown another 2mm's.  No big deal, could check with a Pulmonologist if I wanted too.  Well, I didn't want to, so I just forgot about it again.

All of a sudden, last week, you would have thought I 
was near death.  The Pulmonologist called me!!  Had to have another scan and appointment two days later.

Okay.  Okay--why not?  I had the scan Monday afternoon.  Went for my appointment yesterday morning.  

I thought I knew where their office was.  In the hospital up in Howell.  I parked at the side entrance and began my sojourn!  After many, what seemed like, miles of twists and turns and finding nothing resembling a breathing lab, I found a janitor and asked.

"Oh--that's over on the west side of the hospital.  You can't enter it from here.  You gotta drive around the back and their office is right there.  Suite 1100."

"Good thing I left home early," I thought as I meandered my way back to an exit, which turned out to be the Main Entrance and my car was parked half a block away.

I entered their office at exactly 11:30--my appointment time.

Have you ever had a breathing test?  Fun times.  They put a pincher thingie on my nose and then I had a hose like thingies that I had to close my lips around.  Breathe in deeply and then blow out as fast and as hard as I could and keep blowing out air until the tech told me to stop.

"Are you okay?" she asked.  "Are you dizzy or feel faint?"

"No.  Am I supposed to?"

So we did that three times.  I was determined and the last time, I kept pushing out air even after she told me to stop.  So there, Missy!

I was hoping I could keep that pincher thing.  I'll bet if I wore that every night, it would take my wide nose and make it smaller.

Oh well--the doctor came in soon enough.

Tiny little thing from some country other than the USA, but impeccable English.

"You're breathing test was good.  Your lung capacity if really good, for someone your age."

Why do they always have to use those last 3 words?

"Would you have another CAT scan for me?"

Wait.  What?

"I had one Monday.  They said you would have the results yesterday."

"Oh.  I haven't seen them.  Excuse me.  I will go and find them."

She was back before I could scope out the room to see if there was anything worth taking--like one of those pincher things, or a few tongue depressors--nothing.

"Your scan is fine.  The nodule has not changed.  It is smooth edged and round, still at 4mm's.  You are doing great!  Strong and healthy."

Well, alrighty then!

"We will call and schedule another appointment in a year.  Okay?"

So now I have two specialists I see every year.  A Pulmonologist and a Cardiologist.  I is important!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Quit yelling at me!  I'm fine.  LOL

I have been trying to get on here since last Saturday.  I either get side-tracked or it is time to go nite-nite.

Sorry.  I know how I worry about my blog buddies when they disappear for a while.

I have not disappeared--still here.  My life as boring as ever.

In other words, no news is good news--right?

I will be back in the next few days to post something more scintillating.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Life--so tenuous.

I haven't seen hide nor hair of my blogging buddie, Lily Scott--Moon Spinners.  Did she just quit blogging?  Anyone know?
I get attached to some of the genealogies I do--well practically all of them.  I did one 2 years ago, for the clients father and wife's family--her parents.  I worked day and night on it to get it done for his 103rd birthday.  Recently, I had a funny feeling.  I kept thinking of him and wondering.  So, last week I finally remembered to e-mail her and......he passed away in January.  He would have been 105 in...May, if I remember right.  As I read her e-mail I cried.  I had gotten attached to him while researching his family and his life.  She had attached a photo of him taken at Christmas, and he was standing as straight and as tall as photos I had seen of him as a young man.  She also attached his obituary.  I printed them both out and put in his file folder.

One I did in January was fascinating to me.  I could tell as I researched, what a wonderful family I was dealing with.  My client's parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this summer, so I printed out a book for them.  Her mother is a wonderful writer--her whole family is--many of them had written biographies of themselves--even the men.  My client sent them to me and I copied them and put in her book.  It sure made that family come alive to me.

Now this last one.  I just mailed it out last Friday.  Oh my!  Her earlier ancestor's came here and without a thought, they fought in Wars to defend their new homeland.  Many of the great grandfathers, fought in the Revolutionary War.  One is even buried at Arlington National Cemetery--and I don't have to tell you, that is a big deal...at least to me it is.  As I researched on, getting nearer to her father, I find 100 years later, her great grandfather's and their sons, fighting in the Civil War.    As I was working on a couple of her grandfathers, I notice that the father and three of his sons fought in the Civil War--on the same day, in the same battle, the three sons all died!  One of the sons, her direct ancestor had a small son--also her direct ancestor.  It brought tears to my eyes, thinking of how I'd feel if 3 of my children were killed...on the same day!  Buried in an unmarked grave in a different State.  How can anyone deal with that?

Or the findings of young mother's who had 10 children in 11 years and then died shortly after their last child was born.  Natural causes--they were just worn out.  And the babies that died at childbirth, or within a few years of life.  

Unique custom in those days--when a child died, the next child born of the same gender, was given the dead child's name.  Now to me that would be bad luck, but to them, it was done to honor the child that had died.  Some of the children died on the ship ride to America.  The man makes the decision to go to the "new world" and the wife has to tag along with all the kids.  Such bravery.....we have NO idea.

 I'm not a crying person, but I have had tears cloud my eyes on more than one occasion.  Some days, I am drained by supper time, it has been so emotional.
The one I'm working on now?  For a friend.  Not so great.  Stay tuned for my dissertation on that one.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

What's happening, Kids?

Snow!  That's what's happening here.

Thursday, I went to lunch with my Old School Gal Pals--windy but a nice day.  Stopped out to The Farm to visit with "Lil" Sister for awhile, then home, parked, put my windshield wipers up so they wouldn't freeze to the windshield, came inside and haven't been out since.

Snow started at 3:00am Friday morning and didn't quit until 7:00 pm last night (Friday).  We only got about 6".

My snow removal kid stopped in Friday around noon and wanted to clean out the drive.
"No!  We've got more coming."

So he went down to Dar's and did hers.  

He came back around 4:00--"No!  We've got more coming."

So he went down to Dar's and did hers again.

He showed up this morning.  "No!  We've got more coming.  Come back Monday morning, okay?"

So he went down to Dar's and did hers.

We are supposed to get another 6" Sunday (tomorrow).  Every time he cleans, it's $20.00.  He has a snow blower so he can clean up a foot of snow, as easily as he can 6".

He knows that Dar is where the money's at.  LOL  Besides she had a physical therapy session yesterday afternoon and thought she was going out.  The roads outside the park were nearly impassable, couldn't see the lane lines besides that, her shoulder is still in a sling.  She planned on driving in a blizzard, with bad roads, with just her left hand?

Dar is one of those people that get antsy and nervous when she is snowed in and can't leave.  I mean, she gets practically hysterical--she feels trapped.  She's paying the neighbor to bring her mail in everyday.  She can't walk 30 feet to her mail box, but she was going to drive, 4 miles in white-out conditions, with just her left hand.  Oh--the PT office called her and canceled her appointment.

I, on the other hand, love being snowed in.  It's so quiet, beautiful to watch the snow falling, lots of birds and squirrels at the feeders.  I could care less how many advertisements and junk mail is building up in the mail box.  I'll get it Monday.  HAH!
I didn't watch the Olympic opening ceremony last night.  I wondered if they were going to have "Lil" Kim light the flame.  LOL  They are really promoting these Olympics as a huge political scenario.  Well, if it tames Lil Kim down, more's the better.

Big News!  Karen's oldest son Marcus is getting married June 2, I told you that, but last weekend?  Her youngest, Madeleine, the ballerina, got engaged!  Totally shocked me.  She's only 21 and today, these kids at that age seem so immature.  They are still into giggling and having fun with friends and constantly on their phones.  I don't know.  I had 3 kids by the time I was 21, but nowadays--they just don't seem as old as we did at the same age.

Oh well.  It is a marriage made in Heaven.  They've known each other since their home school days.  They both are very spiritual and active in their church.  He proposed to her in their church chapel and they are both strong Catholics.  AND he is German!!  Stefan von Bulow.  They aren't getting married until May 2019, after they both graduate from college.......

I have decided, after asking advice from other grandma's, that it is quite all right for grandma to wear an elegant pant suit to Marcus' wedding.  

Karen wanted to take me "dress" shopping.  I'm thinking, "dress--which means heels, panty hose, aching back and legs.  With a pant suit, I can wear a nice pair of flat sandals.  I already have the white lace shell to wear under it.  Now I am just waiting for the spring clothes to come out so I can get a light blue pant suit, sleeves down near the elbow to cover up my ugly upper arms, straight cut pants to cover up my ugly, age spotted legs, and closed toe white sandals, to cover up my ugly feet and toes.

My sister is trying to convince me to color my hair blond again.  She says, since I have gone gray, my face looks colorless, and I won't "stand out" in the wedding photos.

Good Grief.  I don't want to stand out in the photos.  The guys are wearing navy blue, the girls dresses are light blue, I figure if I wear light blue, I will blend into the background.

She said, "You can let it grow back after the wedding."  Then I'd have to color it again for Maddie's wedding?  Oh, Lordy.  Hey--this is Gramma Judy--I am gray and wrinkled and old.  That's just the way it is.  Although, because I am a little vain, I WILL wear make-up that day--if I can find where I stashed it and it isn't all dried up!

Isn't life fun? 

Monday, February 5, 2018


A good movie came on TV at noon.  "Martian", with Matt Damon, an astronaut left behind on Mars.  He had to figure out to live until rescue came.

It was a 4hour movie, which worked out well.  When the commercials came on, I got up and dusted and vacuumed, put away the clean dishes, and the clean clothes.  Straightened up areas.  When the movie came back on, I sat in my recliner and rested.  I even got my couch and recliner vacuumed.

4 hours was just the right amount of time!!

Oh yes--bird feeders and squirrel feeder box filled, new suet cake in the little cage.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

What is wrong with me?

Such laziness abounds in this house!!  I can't believe how I let things go.  I see gray cat hair on my navy blue couch and shrug.  I see pieces of thread, cat hair, crumbs on my almost new gray/blue carpet and shrug.  I step on bits of dry cat food, or cereal on my kitchen tile, and kick it off to the side.  

There is a lovely layer of dust, very visible on all surfaces in the living room.  Oh well.

For some unknown reason, in the bathroom the other day, I decided to clean it.  That cleaning "frenzy" lasted all of the half hour it took me to clean.

The top of my dryer is layered with clothes that have been folded, but not put away.  My bra, that has been dry for a week, still hangs from the hanger on the pole above the dryer.

My dishwasher is sitting, door open, racks pulled out, with clean dishes that were washed yesterday, still sitting there, not put away in the cupboards above.

This computer/office/den room looks like a hoarder lives here.  My cooler that I used for the Christmas spaghetti sauce Christmas gifts, sits by my dusty book shelves.  My nice long table, where I like to lay out and put genealogy pedigrees together, is so covered with...stuff, that there wouldn't be enough space to lay an 81/2x11" page, without having to move something.

The desk?  Stacks of paper, the only clear space is where my keyboard sits and room to move the mouse around.

The bird feeders are empty!

What is wrong with me?
I don't like nor do I watch professional football.  Except for the Super Bowl.  That comes on tonight at 6:00.  It is now 11:00.  That gives me 7 hours to clean up this place.

Unless, of course, I sit down in my recliner to rest my back and notice there is a good movie on TV and pick up my cross stitch or crochet project and get distracted.

What is wrong with me???