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, June 24, 2018

Robbie

I found a baby Robin, on the edge of my lawn, directly under the nest he had apparently fallen out of, and near the edge of the street.

I put him by the base of the tree and watched as Momma came to feed him several times a day.

Then, yesterday, I noticed he was not at the base of the tree, but out in the middle of the lawn again.  Not a good place.  We have two feral cats in this area and I was afraid they would get him.  Plus, it was rainy and cold.  So I got a potholder, put it in the crotch of the tree and put Robbie in it.

Man, there must have been half a dozen Robins swooping at me and chirping and carrying on.


But they wouldn't come near him.


So, I went back out and took away the potholder and just put Robbie in the protected area.


He was chirping like crazy.  Dad did a couple of walk-bys and........................

Finally, two hours later, Dad came by to feed him and Robbie was fed every few minutes for the rest of the day.
A steady procession of Momma and Dad and probably Aunts and Uncles feeding him.

Now--this morning, Robbie is not in the tree.  I can't see him anywhere, so I am going to have to do a walk-about to see where he is.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The First Day of Summer, the longest day of the year.  Yesterday, we had 15 hours of daylight.



I have never had a balloon before.
I kept hugging it.



My sister Susan and Chuck came down and brought Subways for us.  Their tradition is a cup-cake with a candle on it.

I made a wish and blew out the candle and it came back on.  So I kept wishing and blowing until the candle finally sent out a few sparkles and went out for good.  I must have had 10 wishes!!!
==================
As is a family tradition, the family member who has just celebrated their birthday, is reminded that the next day, they start on a new age.  So, I was reminded not to worry about being 79, as today I start my eighth decade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not a bit funny and now that it is imprinted in my mind, when/if someone asks my age, I will probably reply, "Eighty".  Just let me enjoy being "only" 79 for at least the next 12 months, okay?
=====================
Seventy-Nine?  It boggles the mind.  Just stop and think, really ponder and think of your own age.  How did we get here so quickly?  To say, "A year from now," sounds so far away.

To have to suffer with a toothache for a year, would be impossible to bear.  To think of not seeing a loved one for a year, would also be heart rendering.  To think of being eighty in "just" a year, and knowing how quickly that year will go, is almost frightening.

But--I will make it and....there better be a big party, with ALL my kids and grandkids and family, with more balloons and cake, next June 21st.  Just sayin'!
==================
Now to be depressed a bit--I am starting my 8th decade AND the days are getting shorter--daylight-wise.  Heading toward the Winter Solstice where we get about 3 hours of daylight, or so it seems.  Again time--moves so slowly from December to June and so quickly from June to December.

...and with that happy thought...........

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Got my hair cut Friday evening.  One side is shorter than the other. The back looks great, but it's a bit ragged where she tried to cut over/around my ears.  $17.00 with a $5.00 tip and pleasant conversation in a quiet salon--worth it. 

We got the heat wave during Friday night.  In anticipation, I closed up the house when I went to bed and turned on the A/C to 74.  The A/C helps so much to keep the house dry--that's the main thing to me, and of course cool.

Saturday, I stayed in all day.  I took down the curtains and washed them and the windows in my office.  This is one of the scary chores I have to do once a year, but I got my spring housecleaning done while it is officially Spring.

See that window ledge between my desk and the windows--I have to stand on that and press my calves back against the desk to keep my balance while taking down the valance and washing the windows.  I clear off my desk, so I can sit on it and spin my bottom around to get to the windows.



Windows all washed--on the inside at least.  The outside would involve a ladder and, well..........

I even dusted that big hunk of driftwood while I was up there.

The hardest and scariest part is hooking the valances back up.  I am so tall that my nose is level with that top frame and it makes me kind of woozy to stand there and bend down to see where the valance hooks are.


Well success.  Curtains washed, starched and ironed.  I didn't put a hand or elbow through the top window pane nor my knee through the bottom  one.  WHEW!

I stepped out at 9:00 in the evening to re-fill the Orioles feeder.  Still hotter than bling! I have to fill it twice a day.  I have two pairs of the beautiful orange and black birds.

Sunday, I stayed in all day too.  Mostly watching the golf tournament and a good movie.

Monday, stayed in all day again.  This is getting a little confining even for me.  I did get a hit on the genealogy I am doing that took me up to 1260, so that kept me busy all day--or 5 hours of the day.

My Maggie cat likes to sleep on a plastic bag.  I don't know why--seems weird to me.  So when I empty one out, I throw it down for her.  It looks a bit untidy, but.............

 Different day, different plastic bag--same result.
============================
So nice and cool and low humidity this morning.  Daughter Karen came over with an early birthday gift.  15 bags of dark brown mulch for my Lilac/Hosta garden.  I've wanted to get this done for a couple of years, but it was too much for me to do.

It was like a jungle in there.  Lilac suckers growing up all over, weeds, little Maple trees.  I sat in my camp chair and went along digging up what I could reach, Karen was on the inside, contending with cutting down the suckers, little trees and putting Round-up on the weeds.



By the time we got the clean-up done, it already looked 90% better.


Then she went to work, hauling bags of mulch and getting it all put down.

 Beautiful.
While Karen was putting down the mulch, I was packing yard waste bags with the debris we had cut out, trimmed and pulled up.  I wasn't in any hurry because the yard waste people come at 7:00am every other Tuesday morning, and I knew that today I had missed them.  I would have to store the bags in my shed for another two weeks.

I had one bag filled when I heard what sounded like the garbage truck.  I looked around and there went the yard waste truck up the street behind me.

Wait.  What?

I hurriedly filled another bag and hauled both of them out to the street.  Ran back to the wheelbarrow and stuffed another bag with what remained.  The truck was at my neighbor's, as I quickly hauled the last bag to the street.

I told the guy what happened.  

"I can't believe you are this late today.  You guys are never late."

"Well, we had some truck trouble this mornin', " he said.

Lucky me.

Karen was putting the last touches on the mulch and I was hauling tools back to the shed, when it started sprinkling.

Lucky us.

I was tired out, had a sandwich for lunch and watched my Soap.  I knew I had to go to the bank and also to Walmart to get some stuff.  I decided to wait until tomorrow.  Then, I noticed I had 1/2 litre of Diet Pepsi left.  So I hauled myself into my car and headed up toward Howell.  Stopped at the bank and then started on toward Walmart.  There was a lot of traffic and in order to get to Walmart, I would have had to move over two lanes to turn left at the light.  I just decided it was easier to stay in my lane and turn right into the Meijer store--what's the diff, right?

I dragged myself back toward where the Pepsi is located.  I figured I'd just get a couple of jugs to last me until another day when I felt more like shopping.  I saw the yellow sign, "10 for 10.  11th one FREE".  Oh.  My.  Gosh!

Now if I had gone to Walmart, I would have missed that sale and paid $1.58 for a jug of Pepsi.  If the yard waste men hadn't had truck problems, I would have to haul those 3 bags to my shed and in two weeks, remember to haul them all out to the street.  If Karen and I hadn't just finished up when we did, we would have gotten rained on pretty hard.

Those coincidences that I credit to God Happenings.  On the way home from the store, thinking about those 3 incidences, I just laughed and laughed.

What a great day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Frustrated

When I got my second hair cut at a New (for me) salon in town, it cost $35.00.  I wondered about the discrepancy because my first cut there cost $25.00.  As I left I ask the gal at the counter about it.
'I paid $25.00 last time."
She clicked on her computer, "No last time...you paid forty-seven.  It was less this time because it was just a trim."

Well, knowing full well that I couldn't have paid forty-seven dollars for a hair cut and not remembered, when I got home, I checked my Debits from my checking account.  Sure enough, I paid twenty-five dollars.  

Okay--so it looked good for the wedding, but..........here we are, not even two weeks out and my hair is waaay too long in front.  I started feeling around my head.

The tip top of my head--the hair is one inch--which is perfect.  The hair on the crown is 2.5" and the front is over 3"!!  I have this big gray "surfer" wave going on.  It keeps wanting to fall down on my forehead/eyebrows.

Wouldn't you think that a professional stylist at an upscale salon would know how to cut short hair?  Especially after I showed her 3 photos, at different angles of how I wanted it cut?

I had another appointment with her on July 3rd--by then my hair will stick out like Bozo the Clown  the sides are getting there already.  I called and canceled that appointment and made one for this Friday at the salon I used to go to.  My stylist there, died 2+ years ago and I haven't had a decent cut since.  I am taking in photos again and "teaching" the new girl that I have gone to twice before, how to get the cut the way I want it, not the way they think it should be!

Besides she charges $17.00 and I can teach her, as we go along, I just might be happy.  My hair is about the only thing that I have pride in.  It is my best feature and I'd like to keep it that way.
===========================
Today I went to the dentist for my 4 month cleaning.  Lately this office as been all in a dither with using the ultra-sound cleaning process.  I don't like it--half the time I feel like I'm drowning and I get so tired of that noise in my ear.  Today, the hygienist used the old way--digging and scraping.  It was so relaxing.  I enjoy have the back of my teeth scraped.  Unfortunately, she found a small cavity so I have to go back.  I just got my bill to them paid off.  Now I will have $210.00 to start paying on.  I send them $40.00 a month and like to built up a credit, but..................
===================
I started cleaning this house last weekend.  I tend to lay stuff on the counter tops and with this open concept plan, anyone who walks in my door, sees the clutter.  Of course my back was killing me.  I started with the bedroom and worked forward to this room.  I got it done the first day--except this office--the messiest, dustiest room in the house.  

I got that done Monday--took me over 2 hours--for one room!!!  I still have to do the windows, which if you watched the video I made last year, I have to clear off my desk, sit on it, then stand on the 4" widow ledge, brace my calves back against the desk, to take down the curtains and wash the window.  It's kind of tricky.  I am doing it Friday.
============================

Tomorrow is lunch with the Old School Gal Pals in a town about 50 miles from here.  Luckily it is going to be a nice day, with low humidity, which is nice as the A/C in my car only works intermittently.
=================
Look at this.  I've been working on it every day since January and not even half done.  The pattern is very complicated as well as the stitching.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

I love these photos.
They are so representative of my Karen's beautiful heart.  Her smile never leaves.







Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Another really difficult month--financially.  $82.00 for new car license tabs, 'cause it's my birthday month. Six months worth of house insurance due.  I was paying by the month and think I'd better go back to that way. Why don't I put away a little  money each month to pay for these extra things?  Hey!  I would, if I could, but every month, the bottom line in my budget is red--in fact, I rejoice if it is only a bit pinkish!!

I wish I had that $20.00 back that I gave to the homeless vet.  Why did I give the next door kid five bucks for carrying in my groceries?  I should put the tags on my wedding outfit and take it back for a cash return.  Of course, I have a new bill each month in the summer--$40.00 a month for lawn mowing.
==================
I decided to get my car washed--needed it soooo badly.  When I drove into the entrance and they hooked my car in, it felt like it was a bit crooked.  But it went through fine--until the last, big brush.  KA-WHAP!  It yanked my driver's side mirror right off!  It was so loud, it made me jump!

I pulled back around to the entrance and told the guy what happened.  He had to shut the wash down, go in and get my mirror.  I asked,"Do I file a claim to get this repair paid for?"

He pointed to the, "We are not responsible for external mirror, antennas, blah, blah, that come of the vehicle during the wash process."

I was about ready to cry, "Could you at least give me my seven dollars back for the wash?"

He looked at me like I had two heads.

The mirror is one of those you can adjust from the inside--wires and all.  I don't need that kind of mirror.  I am perfectly capable of rolling down the window, putting my hand out and adjusting it.  What was this repair going to cost me?  In an already dark red monthly budget.

This morning I drove on down to Brighton to my service garage.  I was singing, "God Will Take Care of You" all the way in.  The guys in there have always been good to me in fixing my old car.  Using not the most expensive parts, but good enough to last years.  Kevin greeted me.  I laid the mirror on the counter.

"Ahh--I want you to pull outta here and go up three buildings to the body shop.  Ask for Ryan.  They can do it better and cheaper than we can."

So I left and drove up to the body shop.  Kevin must have called ahead because Ryan was waiting for me in the drive.  I handed him my mirror.

"I don't really need this fancy mirror.  Can you get a regular mirror from the junk yard and just put it on?"

"Come with me," he said.

He sat down at his computer and put the VIN of my car in.  Then he called a parts place.

I'm standing there thinking...two, three, four hundred?

He put some more information into his computer, looked up at me and said, "A hundred dollar bill."

All of a sudden, water started coming out of the corner of my eyes.  I was soooo embarrassed!

I never cry!  I didn't cry at the wedding.  I don't cry at funerals.  I never cry.

"I'm sorry for being so emotional.  I thought it would cost more and...I guess I'm relieved."

"That's okay,  We'll get the part and call you for an appointment.  You won't need to find a ride home because the fix will only take about thirty minutes."

So I asked for a copy of the paperwork, so in case I get stopped by a cop, I had proof I was going to get my mirror fixed.

I drove back to the service garage--Kevin was the only one at the counter.  I gave him a hug, still with tears in my eyes.  "Thank you so much!"  He got one of those "aww shucks" looks on his face.

Then I had to drive all the way up to Walmart in Howell to pick up a prescription.  Not too worried about the cost.  Probably $3.00.  The pharmacy guy handed it to me and said, "No co-pay today."

I sat in my car.  Why was there no co-pay?  There was three months ago.

I use the Walmart Savings Catcher.  I put in my receipt number, they check other stores and if a product I bought is cheaper somewhere else, they give me the difference and it goes on a card I can use the next time I shop.

I had over $22.00 on that card, but last week when I tried to use it, it showed zero balance.  So I called their Corporate office.  They don't use that card anymore.  They put the savings on your Smart Phone and you use that at check-out.

I explained that I didn't have a cell phone.  How was I going to get my savings money?  I had let it build up purposefully to use in a RED month.

The service guy didn't have any help for me.

"That doesn't seem fair," I said.  "Not every old person has a Smart Phone.  I don't."

He was sorry, but couldn't help.

I said, "I understand.  Thanks for trying to help me."  and hung up the phone.

Hours later, I noticed an e-mail from Walmart.  I thought it was a notice that my prescription was ready.  I opened it to read it and there, from the customer service guy, was a e-gift card.  All I have to do is present it at the check-out.  They will scan the code and I will get my money.
========================
Coincidences?  I don't think so.  I just  looked upwards and said, "Thank you, God!"

Tuesday, June 5, 2018



and this one will be getting married on
May 29th, next year.


===================================

I am feeling bad about Dar.  She came over yesterday evening to talk.  Her conversation left me feeling pretty shaky.

April of 2016, her car was rear-ended by an SUV.  She still has no settlement from it.

She has many health issues since then.  Related to the accident?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Caused by her emotional/mental issues?
Some.

She has had over a year of physical therapy.  Then, she had to have hernia surgery.  Two months ago, shoulder surgery.  

About six weeks ago, she had another AFib and had to have her heart shocked back into normal sinus rhythm.  Two days later, she had an ablation.  

Two weeks ago she started swelling up.  She gained 15# in two days!!  She has been to the Cardiologist every other day for the last two weeks, having tests, MRI's, Echo, EKG, and a heart cath.

She has been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension.  The arteries in the lungs narrow and not enough blood can get through to the heart, thus raising her blood pressure--200/120.

It is also a progressive, fatal disease.  No cure, very little drugs to help maintain it.  The longest most patients live is 3 years.

It is not caused by smoking, but rather a rare genetic gene she was born with, although no one in her family has ever had it.  It will probably progress to heart failure.
===============
This really shook me up!  She's younger than I am and has always appeared so physically healthy.  

I don't know anything else to do except pray for her.

Sunday, June 3, 2018


I hurt from the back of my neck to my toes.  I am not kidding!!
===================================

I had quite a fiasco with my make-up.  I actually had to Google, which to apply first, concealer or foundation.  Strange how I could forget a process I did every day when I worked.

When I opened up the light brown, white swirly Cover Girl foundation I had last used two years ago, it was kind of dried out.  So---like any normal woman, I spit on it a little, to get it to a more moist, creamy state.

Foundation--concealer--blush--more concealer.  Big poufy brush on cake powder.  Smaller poufy brush, more blush.  More concealer.  More poufy brush powder.  Highlighter under the brow--a bit of bluish eye shadow at outside corner of eyelids.  

Mascara--the scariest part of all.  I told my right hand tremor to just hold still and brushed upwards as best I could.  I discovered in the process, that I have really short eyelashes.  Where did they go?  Another coat of mascara--let it dry.  Should I chance another coat?  Nope--not taking any more changes of sticking the mascara wand into my eye!!  A bit of lipstick on my thin, disappearing lips and a final spray with a fine mist of water--just to set everything.

Hair?  That's easy.  A run through with the brush and spray.

Susan and Chuck picked me up at 12:30.

You can tell we were born 13 years apart.  She obviously came at the end of the gene pool!  HAH!

When we got to the big Catholic church, I sought out the groom's room, and presented  his "lucky penny for his pocket", to Marcus, which also gave us a few minutes to kiss, hug and for me to give him his blessing.

6'5" grandson Stephen walking me in.
I had to whisper to slow down a bit,
he was taking such big strides.

 Our side of the family
Della, Helene& Mike, Madeleine, my ex's wife, my ex, Morgan, Marcus, Me, Karen & Mark, Susanna and Stephen
Karen & Mark and Morgan & Marcus

The back of me and Grandma Irene's head
I now have her e-mail address.
She will be moving up here this fall 



The newly constructed Rivard clan.
Stefan & Maddie, James & Susanna, Morgan & Marcus, Mark & Karen, Carolyn & Stephen
Della, Helene & Mike in the back.
Stefan & Maddie to be married a year from now.
James & Susanna, dating.  He lives in Alaska, she in Portland, OR.
Carolyn & Stephen, dating, both in pre-med at Michigan State.

Me and my girls
Jennifer, Cindy (DIL)
Moi & Karen
Missing our Pammie a whole lot!!

 My Mark & Cindy

The reception was held on the grounds of Michigan State University, in the Horticultural gardens and conservatory.


 Chuck & susan



Karen and her eldest son
the groom.
I have tons more, but this is enough.




Interesting Note: 
Marcus graduated from University of Michigan--the inside lining of his Navy jacket was Maize.  The rest of us in Marcus' family either went to, graduated from or just love Michigan State University.  Morgan and her family moved here or still live in Ohio and are huge Ohio State University fans.  This makes for interesting conversations when we get together to watch college football and basketball.  It's a good thing we are all nice people, as there never is any picking on whoever's team loses.

Our family is now comprised of Catholics, Protestants (Morgan did not convert), Jews, Agnostics.  Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians.  Again, because we are all nice people, we never argue about differences...heck, we don't even think about it.  We are family and family means (should mean) acceptance of each member.
====================== 

BTW--the bathroom at the reception was 864 steps away.  There was a blue painted line on the cement walkway, that led through green houses on each side, through the loading dock area, around passed classrooms.  864 steps!  I counted.  I made the trip 3 times.  Plus all the walking on cement parking lots and sidewalks--thus the severe back, hips, feet pain today.

Worth every bit!!!!


Friday, June 1, 2018

I'm ready

I have my schedule make for tomorrow.  Susan and Chuck are going to pick me up instead of me having to drive to their place.  12:30 is the time--to get there by 1:30 for wedding at 2:00.

I have developed a UTI which is making my small bladder even more irritated.  I hope the ceremony doesn't last very long.  I will be sitting in the front of the church and would have to stand up and leave to seek a bathroom, while everyone watches me.

I shined up my old navy blue shoes and they will work.

I have everything ready to go.


I ran the top and skirt through the dryer,
on low heat, with a dryer sheet.
Hoping to prevent static cling.


I have my purse, knee highs, two scrubbies I made for
the bride,s aunt because I heard her mention how
much she liked and needed them.
Mints, a cough drop, tissues in the purse.


The gift


An Marcus' lucky year-he-was-born
penny for his pocket.
A cool front coming through tonight promises temperature of 72 tomorrow!!
Good thing, because the reception is held in the Michigan State Horticultural gardens--conservatory.  All that glass might be a bit too warm if we had temps like we had this past week.

I will not be taking my camera, but hoping someone takes photos that I can get them to e-mail.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I have been remiss----

Over a week since I posted.  What can I say?

It's too dang hot!!!  We are not used to 94 degree temps, with 80% humidity.  Here in the Mitten State, surrounded by cool Great Lakes and many trees, we shouldn't have to endure this kind of weather.  If I wanted to sweat and feel faint all the time, I'd move to Florida!!!

While my neighbors open their windows and doors in the morning, I have my A/C on all the time.  If it is cool, it doesn't come on.  It's the humidity, you see.  To keep it comfortable inside, one must keep it dry.  To keep it dry, one must run the A/C.  I once had an HVAC guy tell me, when the A/C comes on, it will run for an hour to cool and dry the house.  Sofa's, carpets, curtains all hold the moisture and heat---it takes a long time to cool those things off.  It is cheaper to keep the A/C on than it is to try and cool everything down in the afternoon.  So, until we get that cool, less humid front
to come through tomorrow or Friday, I will keep the house shut up.  That way, my A/C comes on infrequently.

Anyway--expecting a break in the weather and for the wedding this Saturday--72 degrees and low humidity.  YAY!

I have all my gardening done.  I only have one pot of annuals.  A day after I finished, we got a good, soaking rain.

Madeleine had a ballet recital last week, that I attended.  Not only does she still dance, but now she choreographs dances and teaches two classes.  It was delightful and I got home at 8:55, just as it was getting dark.

Yesterday, I got my hair cut and my eyebrows arched.  As I was reclining in the waxing chair, I heard someone say, "MOM!"  It was Karen, there to also get her hair cut.  I thought for the wedding she was probably going to wear her hair "up", but she said, "I'm here to get this hot mop chopped off!"  What that means to Karen and what that means to me are two different things.  She probably is going to get an inch cut off.  When I say that, it means, I want it a half inch short all over my head.

Although I got it trimmed, with still a bit of length to bring my hair over the top of my ears, after the wedding--------I will go back to have it cut around my ears, and short, short on top!

I was so lucky that one of my genealogy clients had mailed me $150.00 check, as being the end of the month, I have no money.  I cashed that check, filled the car with $3.09 a gallon gas, $39.00, got my hair cut and brows waxed = $50.00,  and a couple refilled ink jets=$50.00.  I still have $$$ left to buy food, which is needed, but too hot to drive a car that A/C only works intermittently.

I have never in my life seen so many Maple tree whizzers, falling and laying on my driveway.  I have heard from sister and friends that they too have this problem.  I wonder what is causing it.  Too cold and wet an early spring?  Too hot and dry a late spring?  Whatever, in my long life, it is not a natural occurrence.



I need to sweep them off because when rain comes,
they will turn mushy and start to decay
and stain my driveway.

First Lord Baltimore comes

Then Lady Baltimore comes 

Then Lord Baltimore checks out the Hummingbird
feeder to see if the juice in there is tastier than in his feeder. 

I did write about the genealogy I am working on, right?  Trying to find the correct "blood line" surname.  

It took me days, but I finally figured it out and have gone back 12 generations.   I decided though, that because I had done research on the adoptive families, I would also enclose a pedigree of those ancestors.  I have his book done--90 pages.

Now to start his wife's book.  At first they wanted them together, but you know, nowadays with the divorce rate and all, I figured I would do separate books--one of his family, one of hers.  That way, if any unforeseen divorce happens in the coming years, they won't have to fight over who gets custody of the genealogy--although probably that worry would be the last thing on their minds.

I just have this obsessive, perfectionist thing going on with my genealogies.  I want them to be true, accurate and perfect in every detail.

After all...what else do I have to do around here, but sit at the computer and work 5 hours a day.

Oh--yes--there is laundry and cleaning that needs doing.  I can barely walk into this room for all the "stuff" that needs putting away.  Dust an inch thick in here.  I haven't washed the windows or the curtains as yet.  I have too many papers and research stuff on my desk to even think about clearing it off.

Ahhh--there will be time for that...later.