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, January 30, 2018

Proves my point

I e-mailed my sister about how different my kids are.  This was her reply--something her son said on the drive home.

Adam said "they're like 2 separate worlds -Mark and Pam yelling about terrible Republicans - then Karen and Jen talking to you about house and family.  Are they related??"   I laughed.

Monday, January 29, 2018

It was the best of days, it was the worst of days

Karen called me two weeks ago to say that Jennifer was coming in for work related meetings and would be at Karen's on Sunday, the 28th.  We were all getting together and she would call me later with details and times.

She didn't call, so Saturday morning, I called my sister and asked if Jen was in and if we were getting together and what time.  

"Oh.  Didn't you get Karen's text?"

"How would I get a text?  I don't have a cell phone---remember?"

I keep telling these people!   When you send out an informational text, please either e-mail me, or phone me to let me know.  They text each other constantly!  I never know what is going on--which has left me feeling a distance between me and my family.

So--Jen was flying in late Saturday night and yes we were getting together on Sunday--at 11:30.  Just bring snacks--no big meal.

I scurried around and made the chip dip all the kids love and also a batch of Chex Mix, because Jennifer loves it.  I always used to make it for Christmas and I knew she hadn't had any in years.  I filled a plastic bag with some just for her--to take with her.

I arrived at 11:30, greeted warmly by Jennifer and Karen.  Then Karen looked at me and said, "Oh my gosh, Mom!  I forgot to call you!"

"Yeah, you inconsiderate brat!"
Did I really say that?  Of course not.

"I found out from Aunt Susan," I said, amidst more hugs and kisses.

Soon the rest started arriving.  My son Mark and Cindy and daughter Pam, all rode down together.  My sister Susan and her Chuck and son Adam.  No grandchildren--just my kids and me.  It was wonderful.

We all admired Karen and Mark's new addition and their beautiful fireplace.

 Had our snackies and settled in to watch the MSU/Maryland basketball game on their new 65" TV.

I kept wondering where Jennifer was and then I saw her.  Outside on the front porch.  A big deal for her law firm was going astray.  She was on the phone with her partners and then the clients.

I managed to snaggle the brats for a photo.  It's been 4 years since we've all been together at the same time.  I tried to get them in chronological order, which they refuse to do and Mark just kept mumbling, "just snap it!  Take the damn picture!"  Like trying to get a herd of cats to comply!

Then Granddaughter Helene arrived with Della and granddaughter Madeleine came in from ballet practice--see them in the back at the table?--and Jen was back outside and on the phone--see her in the background, through the window?

Della and my son-in-law, her grandpa, looking up at my sister.

I didn't realize how loud my two oldest, Mark and Pam talk.  Then there was yelling about the ballgame, so I had to get outside and sit in my car for a few minutes, just to re-adjust my hearing and mind.
Came back in and sat down at the dining room table with Pam and Jen to hear the biggest shock of my life--well maybe not of my life, but the last half dozen years.  It shook me to my core.

Pam is moving to New Jersey and live with Jennifer and her family.  For two years!!!!!!!

My Pammie, who loves to live alone.  Who hates the city.  Who doesn't get along with Jen's husband.

Did I say that?  Of course not.

I just sat and listened to her plans.

Jen's husband Eric's father, has finally turned one of his prosthetic offices over to Eric to run as his own.  Jennifer will "retire" in two years to be his accountant/lawyer/run the office.

Pam is going to be watching the kids again, while she lives there.  She is going to establish residency so that she can get disability, which she is having a hard time getting here, but can more easily get it in NJ, with Jennifer's support and legal help.

I managed to squeak out, "What are you going to do with your house?"

"Walk out and lock the doors."
smart mouth!

"It's not good for a house to sit empty that long."

"I don't care!"

My Pammie.  Who loves her house and her farm and never has wanted to leave it for more than a few hours at a time.

"Would you like me to go out and check on it.  Maybe spend a weekend, so it looks like someone lives there?"

"Nope!  I don't want anybody in MY house.  My friend Ed is going to drain all the water pipes, put anti-freeze in the toilets, winterize it.  He is going to mow the lawn every week.  It's all taken care of."

Then my sister, who had heard a bit of the conversation said, "Do you want us to have a key, so we can check on it, once in awhile?"

"Nope!  Nobody has a key to my house, except me.  I don't want anybody in  my house.  If you ever see a blaze coming from the East, call the fire department and then call me."
I had the strongest desire to just slap her!
My Dear friends.  This is not going to work!  Jennifer and Eric aren't going to like Pam living with them.  The two older kids resented her when she used to live at their home two days a week.  She bossed them and they didn't like her rules.  Eric is not fond of her.

I think Jennifer is doing this to help her sister and thinking that Pam can help her.  While they get their business going and build their new house.

This is not going to work!!!

I'm still in shock and the only way I know how to deal with it all, is.....try and not think about it and go with the flow.  It is as it is.  But...............
this is not going to work!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

added thought to yesterday

I did a bit more researching the whole Larry Nassar thing.
In 1997--20 years ago, a girl told her gymnastic coach at MSU--Kathie Kleges, about Nassar's "procedure" and her coach told her it was "all right", that it was a medical procedure and would help her.

The Coach actually thought that.

When the girls told their parent's, the parents sided with the coach and the "doctor"

After all--he had a great reputation and was world renowned at what he did.

When the Athletic Director at MSU heard about this, a year ago, he fired the gymnastics coach.

Then when I found out that the "doctor" was into child pron--that sealed it for me.

He got everything he deserved, but first, I still think he should have been horse-whipped, castrated, his offending hand cut off, THEN sent to prison for 200+ years.

How horrible for the girl's and their parents.  The girl that committed suicide because no one believed her.  The father that also committed suicide when he found out, because he hadn't believed his daughter.
How horrible even for the coach who had heard these stories for 20 years, and still believed in the doctor.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

How did this happen?

It's been a whole week since I posted!  How did the week go by so fast?  Self-absorbed, for sure.  Just doing my genealogy thing and watching basketball games when they are on.

Which makes me think--this whole Larry Nassar thing.  I think first he should be horse whipped, then castrated, then his offending hand cut off, THEN jailed for 175+ years.  Most of you may not know who or what I am talking about.

A sports doctor who worked at Michigan State and for the Olympic gymnasts, who has sexually abused gymnasts for decades.

Some 160 of those gymnasts came forward with "victim" statements at his trial in Lansing, last week.

Now--it seems the University is taking the heat for his actions.  The President has resigned and yesterday, also the Athletic Director, which makes me sad because they were not aware of the situation.

Now--last night, the football coach and the basketball coach had to have press conferences to address sexual abuse.  They didn't even know the guy!  I can vouch for both coaches--early this summer a couple of the football players were charged with sexually abusing a young woman at a party.  The football coach immediately took away their scholarships and kicked them out of college.

The Olympic Committee had praised this "doctor" for years, turning him into a world renowned gymnastic doctor.  Sending him gymnasts from different States, sending him to the training camps around the States.

What I can't figure out, a lot of times he "treated" these girls while their mother's were sitting a few feet away from the "table".  How did they not know what was going on?  Didn't the girls say anything?

Now "they" want to blame the University?  Just because someone, who no longer is even alive, hired said "doctor" eons ago?  Calling for the coaches to resign?  They were not even aware of any of this until a few weeks ago.

What about the OIC?  They are the ones who built him up?  I guess their membership board is being forced to resign also.

What did he do?  Apparently his "procedure", which he has maintained is a long time proven medical procedure, was to insert his fingers into the girls vagina opening to stretch the pelvic bones, in turn making those bones more flexible.  It must have worked, as many of his "patients" have won Olympic gold medals in gymnastics.

I can think of many things doctor's have done to me and friends of mine, that while were totally acceptable years ago, could now be viewed as sexual abuse.  

Who knows?  He's off to jail for 200+ years and heads will roll.
On a lighter more positive note--my son was told a year ago that he was in remission for prostate cancer. He got his tests results back on Wednesday, a week after his 60th birthday.  Still in remission!!  Thank you, God.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Lovely Day

I was sitting in my recliner this evening--looking out the westerly window at the antics of my critters at their feeders and thought something felt....different.  I glanced at the clock and it was after 5:00 and still daylight!!!!!  I had noticed the sun is coming up at a different time now and the angle isn't hitting my computer monitor as much, but I hadn't noticed the lengthening days.  How lovely it is.

Today was a sunny, warm 48 degrees.  After lunch, I pulled on my fleece jacket and went for a walk up the street.  Usually, I can count on my back to start hurting at a particular spot--the same spot every time I walk, but today, it felt good.  As I came back home, I stopped in to visit with Merle and Pearl.  My, oh my.  She is going downhill so quickly.  She hasn't been out of the house since Thanksgiving.  It is just too hard for her to walk.  I don't think she has ever used the ramp the volunteers built for her.  She can't remember anything and realizes it and just laughs about it, which I guess is the best way.  Merle has grown a beard and looks very thin and scruffy.  They had just purchased a new, huge--too big for their living room--sofa bed, in a rather garish bright red.  They got it from one of those ultra-cheap furniture stores.  The sofa bed is for when they get too ill to care for themselves and one of their daughters (they expect) will come in to care for them and sleep on the bed.  It is so large, that if they pulled it out to make a bed, they would have to move their TV stand and Merle's recliner out of the room, which of course neither one of them realizes.

After I left there, I decided to walk across the street and visit Dar.  I haven't seen her since her shoulder surgery on the 9th.  She's a real mess.  She just purchased 3 new recliners and gave her sofa and love seat (2 years old) to the Salvation Army.  Now she is having the recliners returned.  They are supposed to rock, but I noticed the one I was in, and all of them, when you rock forward a tiny bit, they stop dead on the floor and about throw you out of the chair.  

She hasn't even started physical therapy, but she's angry because she is still in pain.  She expected to be healed up and using her arm by this weekend.  She was even more frustrated when she found out our other neighbor Jackie, who had the same surgery a year ago, still can't lift anything over 5 pounds with pain in her shoulder.

I told Dar that the orthopeadic surgeon's like to talk in terms of 6 weeks--3 months, where in reality, it takes at least 9 months and sometimes up to a year to feel like the joint really works like it's supposed to.  In fact, 6 years later, if I lay on my side a certain way, the area where I had my incision on my hip still hurts from the pressure of my body.

Dar plans on returning to work as a cashier at the super store, by May.  She just keeps setting herself up for disappointment and.........how can she take of her Dad if she is gone all day?

I have finished my genealogy and going to get it bound on Monday, ready to send.  I have never had a genealogy that was a "pure breed" like this one.  Every ancestor came from the same area in the same country.  When they immigrated to America, they settled in an area where people of their nationality lived and their children married neighbors, on and on, down through the years.  It is only with the present generation that they have married outside their nationality.

Plus, I think I told you that ancestor's had written bios of themselves, which really has added to the facts and figures I came up with.  I can visualize in my minds eye, 50+ years from now, a great, grandchild reading the book and learning about his DNA.  With the bios added, it is going to be a wonderful family treasure for years to come.

That makes me the happiest.  I want these "history" books I do to be around and read for many generations.  


Tuesday, January 16, 2018


I find these family trees so interesting.

In the olden days, father's named their first born son, either after them or after their grand father's--which makes for confusion when tracing ancestors.

In my own family, I have a Conradt, Peter, Conrad, Peter, Charles, Roy, Charles.  You have to look at the birth dates so carefully to get the correct generation.

Also, back then, if a child died, the next child to be born of the same gender, was given the dead child's name.  Kind of creepy to name a live child after one whom had died.  They however, did it to honor the baby or child that had died.  Of course, most of those families had upwards of 9 children and many children died, either at birth or within the first few years.

We use death people's names on our newborns too.  My son's middle name is the same as his grandpa.  My daughter Jennifer Dorathy, middle name is the same as my mother's first name.  Even little Della has 3 middle names.

Della was my mother's middle name, Helene was my grandmother's name, my daughter Karen's middle name and Della's mother's first name--Whew!  Her other two middle names are Ruth and Hannah.  At her Jewish name-giving ceremony, she was pronounced as "Della Helene Ruth Hannah Klar".  The Ruth and Hannah coming from her other two great grand mother's.

My sister and I are originals.  Named after no one in the family and no one in my family has had the guts to take on the name, Judith, for any of their girls. LOL
This genealogy I am finishing up has been truly fascinating.  Usually I end up with names and dates and locations and perhaps an obituary or small story written about the person.

In this genealogy, I have biographies written by the people themselves!!!  Saved by their descendant.  I can put these pages in with the facts and figures and get a truly keepsake kind of book for upcoming generations to read.  It is like a history book, only one that is a history of their own family.  Wonderful!
What else is going on in my world?  Not much.  It snows a little bit every day.  it is still cold, but warmer temperatures predicted for the weekend.  I have a dental appointment this Friday, and you know how I look forward to that.  NOT!!

My son will turn 60 years old tomorrow, which is scary because I was 60 years old just the other day.  Jennifer is coming into town for business the end of the month and Karen is having a family get together, which is going to be wonderful!!

The days meander along and I flow along with them, climbing around in the "trees", ever trying to find the highest branches possible.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

What day is it?

I'm still discombobulated from the holiday weeks we had, when I had no idea what day it was, unless I looked at my calendar.

I have been so busy this last week and had no errands to run that it didn't really matter what day it was, but still, I was shocked to realize that today was Saturday and only realized it when at 11:00, I realized that Michigan State and University of Michigan were playing the rival game today at noon.

We (Michigan State) lost, which wasn't really unexpected by me.  Two weeks ago, we were the #1 college basketball team in America, beating teams by 28 points.  BUT--that was preseason and you can't really tell how good or bad a team is until they start conference play.  

Oh well--you don't need to hear about all that.
The genealogy that I am working on now, has been interesting.  Probably made more so because my client has biographies written by her grand parents.  I can print those pages and put them in with the "facts and figures" pages and plump up the book.  Just imagine what a treasure to have for the generations still to come.  

I decided to renew my subscription to Ancestry.com International, so that I can access birth and marriage records from European countries.  My client's ancestor's are fairly new emigre's and if I could only access USA records, I'd only get a couple of generations.  

I'm near the "top of the tree" now, so I may be able to finish writing the book this week.
We are back in the deep freeze.  All the snow had melted by Thursday evening, with a temp of 57 that day.  Then Friday the snow started--we got 3-4 inches, which was nice because it covered up all the mud and dead grass and is once again, a pretty, white wonderland outside.  Along with that, came the single digit temps again.  

I wanted to run up to Subway and get me a Spicy Italian Foot Long sub for supper this afternoon, but every door on my car was frozen shut and I wasn't in the mood to wrestle with that problem.  I DO have to go up to Meijer tomorrow to get cat food, milk and bathroom tissue, so I'll pour some water on the driver's side door, to get it unfrozen, and then when I get home, try and remember to spray the rubber around the door with PAM cooking spray.  That helps the doors from freezing shut--or so I heard.
My grandson is getting married June 2nd, so the other day, I did spend some time on a few websites looking for an appropriate "Grandma" dress to wear.  That was quite an experience to tell you about later.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Crazy weather

Our predicted temperature for tomorrow is 50 degrees.  4 days ago, it was -20.  So that means, our temperature difference will be 70 degrees in five days.  Yes, I know.  That's just plain weird.

The park's maintenance guys kept scraping our street today, as the sun shone and the snow melted.  Unfortunately, with all this action, they filled in the end of my driveway with lots of chunks of un-melted snow.  I wasn't planning on going anywhere today, but I decided I needed some fresh air, and get away from this computer.

I went out and started the car and then drove forward and back until I had the end of the drive pretty much flattened.  Then I sprinkled some ice melt on it.  The ice melt will work even in very cold temps.  I just didn't want those chunks of snow to harden and ice up.  We are expecting another big snow this weekend.

It felt almost like early spring, out there, in the sun, so I took the opportunity to fill up the bird feeders and the squirrel food box.  Within minutes of coming back in, I saw 4 Cardinals, 6 Blue Jays, Chick-A-Dees, Titmouse, Nut Hatch and two squirrels having an afternoon snack.

I also got my bedroom and bathroom and kitchen cleaned up and will mop the kitchen floor tomorrow.  I have felt a bit overwhelmed lately and getting these chores done, really calms me down and makes me feel good.

It is always better for me to have chores done before I get involved in the computer/genealogy.  I can concentrate much better.  I think I finally have a time-schedule in place to give me ample time to climb branches AND keep my house in some semblance of order.  
Dar had shoulder surgery this morning and was home by 2:00.  I can't even imagine coming home that quickly.  If I get cut into, I am going to at least spend the day and night in a hospital.  

She's home with a pain pump!!  Are you kidding me?  That kind of equipment and procedure belongs in a hospital setting, in my opinion--especially at our ages!
I haven't heard from anyone in the family all week, so I can assume that means everyone is all right?  No news is good news?  Right?
Dang kids!

Well, if I don't see or talk to them, then I won't make a mistake and say or do something that is misinterpreted, so I guess, it's a good thing.  HAH!

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Today it was 20 degrees--we are expecting a warming trend.
Yesterday it was 10 degrees.  It felt colder today.
Yesterday we had sun and no wind.  Today we had no sun and a breeze, and probably the reason for it to feel worse!

I had to go to Walmart and get some supplies today.  I rarely shop on Sunday--only in an emergency situation---I considered this an emergency.  1 can of cat food left.  No milk for me.  No lunch meat for noontime sandwiches.  1/2 bottle of Diet Pepsi.

No whole milk in Walmart!  How can that be!  The manager said they had a lot of customer's yesterday and must have purchased all the whole milk.

"That seems odd.  There is always racks and racks of it in the cooler behind the front shelves."

"Well, the one percent and the two percent have vitamin D in them, so they are good for you."

"I'm not worrying about the vitamin D," I said.  "I'm concerned with the taste.  Those other ones taste like the milk has been watered down."

He was not sympathetic.

Then I went looking--no typing paper, no greeting card envelopes, no filter for the air cleaner--all I normally buy there and....worse of all?  No Marie Callander frozen cherry pie!!

I was going to go across the street to the Meijer store to get what Walmart was out of, but by the time I got the groceries in the trunk, I was miserably cold.

I should have gone to Meijer to begin with!!

The Climb Cart Karen gave me for Christmas really helps when I get home.  Just 3 trips to get everything in from trunk to kitchen.  Hauling them, 2 bags at a time, would take me 6-7 trips.
I mailed out the genealogy I had finished on Friday and started a new one on Saturday.

Already I have managed to get 9 generations back.  This one is unusual.  This family is pure Dutch.

Usually there is a predominant nationality in a family,  but I have never done one where the nationality on both sides is the same.  There isn't an Englishman, or Irishman, or German in the lot.  At least so far.

This is why I find genealogy so fascinating.  
I am trying to get some sort of schedule written down.  I am becoming overwhelmed with the way my house is such a mess.  I can't just get motivated in my mind and figure out what to do and when to do it, I need a list!!

A definite schedule with times and duties.  It probably wouldn't hurt if I got up an hour earlier.  Then spend an hour on FaceBook, then 2 hours on the genealogy, then lunch and Soap and at 2:00, housework.  At this time of year, the sun comes directly in these windows and I can't really see my monitor from 11:00 to 3:00-4:00, so that would give me a 2 hour window to do housework.  Then I can work on the genealogy in the evening--if there isn't a basketball game on, of course.  LOL

We are expecting 2-4" of snow tonight and then warmer temps.  47 degrees on Thursday?  Time to get my shorts and T-shirts out.  HAH!!

We have set records--it has never been this cold for this long a period.  15 days under 20 degrees.  I love winter, but I am soooooooo ready for some above freezing temps.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


I had to run to the bank and the print shop yesterday and it was 14 degrees--outside temperature.  I don't know what the wind chill factor was, but it was cold.

Today, I have to go back to the print shop AND up to Brighton to get some ink jet refills.  The high today is 7.

I don't wear a hat.  I noticed yesterday, there are a lot of older women, with short hair, that also do not wear hats.  We get out of our cars and hurry into the store.  Guess we figure no hat or gloves are needed.

If I have to take the garbage out or fill the bird/squirrel feeders, I DO pull on a knit hat (actually crocheted one that my Pammie made.)

I also run around the house barefooted.  

Apparently this lifetime Michigander is used to this cold?

Although, for it being this cold, this long, is unusual even for us.  And today, the Northeast is being battered by a Nor'Easter complete with ice and snow and worse than anything we here have ever seen.  Even coolish in Florida, I hear.

As yes, the climate it is changing.  I don't know if we are headed for a new Ice Age or a Heat Wave, but having studied geology in college, I know the earth goes go through climate changes every now and then--like every thousand years or so.

What can WE do about it?  Not much.  It is going through its normal cycles.  The hole in the ozone layer is already there and the industry that built this country, probably is to blame.
As you can tell, by my absence of posting, I am finishing up a genealogy--thus the running to and fro to the print shop.  I want to get it in the mail by Friday.

I also finished up the Newsletter for our 60th class reunion, that was in June, but has taken me this long to get people to cooperate and send me their profiles!  I told them all that it's a wonder they didn't fail English composition because they aren't very good at getting their "assignment" done in a timely manner.  HAH!  I got all but 3 profiles, so those people WILL NOT be in the Newsletter.

They think our Senior English Composition teacher was tough?  They don't know who they are messing with in me!!!
I have another genealogy waiting in the wings and 2 more after that one.  YOWZA!!!

I hadn't had any since last April and in September I starting praying to God to, "please send me a genealogy", and in October I got one.  Then these have come on fast and furious.

My sister told me, "Don't you know you are supposed to be specific with God?  You should have prayed, 'please send me one genealogy, a month,  for the next six months.'"
This last one was difficult.  I had to figure out how to get into records from Denmark.  Then I had to figure out the translation of people's names and dates.

How could a woman's maiden name be different than her father's surname?  Elaine Rasmusdatter.  Her father's name, Rasmus Hansen.  Rasmusdatter actually means, Rasmus' daughter.  So in reality, her name is Elaine Hansen, but she is listed as Rasmusdatter.  

As an example, on my wedding certificate, I would be listed, not as Judith Walts, but as Judith Charlesdatter, my father being Charles Walts.  I was going to be married, so my maiden name wouldn't mean much from then on anyway.  I wouldn't be, Judith Charlesdatter Miller, but just Judith Miller.

If the name I was searching was male, his name, instead of Hans Hansen, might be listed as Han Rasmussen.  The "Sen" meaning son=Hans Rasmus' son.

Oh, it was fun to work through, with a lot of checking back and forth, if I had the right child with the right parents.  I don't charge my clients for that "back and forth" checking.  That is something that I have to do to make sure I have the correct lineage.  I might work 5 actual hours, but only charge for 4 hours.

My sister says I am an "obsessive perfectionist" and that would be a correct adjective, when it comes to the genealogies.  BUT--you should see my house!

It is a filthy mess in here and one I must correct!  I have to start in the back bedroom and work through this place to the this room in front.  

So, I will see you when I can.  LOL

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Good Man

He was simply a fine, good man.  He had such enthusiasm for life.  Never an argument or unkind word.  My life changed, when I met him.  I was much happier, content and peaceful. We adored each other.

This photo was taken just a few days before he passed.  He wasn't feeling well, but you would never know it by the way he acted.

He got through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my sister and her husband, and the day after Christmas with his daughter and grandson.

On the 27th, late at night, he said, "I better go to the hospital."

New Year's morning, 2012, he said, "I love you, Sweetheart."  I kissed him and he squeezed my hand and a few minutes later, he gently passed.

He was simply a fine, good man, who came into my life and changed it forever.