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, 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???