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, July 2, 2017

Every now and then...unexplainable things happen......................

As I've mentioned on here, my faith has grown tremendously in the last five years.  Yes--I was born into a Christian home, learned my prayers and my Bible verses early on and attended Sunday School and church once a week.  We weren't radical in our religious beliefs, it was just common practice in our house to pray before meals and at night at our bed.

So, I've always known and more often than not, taken for granted.  I prayed in church, then stopped going to church.  Started up at a new one, and quit three years later.  In between I just lived my life kind of like how I wanted.  Felt quilt often, but excused it away.

Something happened when Fred died.  He and I had talked about how we never should have met.  It was impossible for us to meet and yet we did and fell in love with each other that first day.  After months talking about it and all the coincidences that had to happen for us to meet, the only conclusion we could come to was that God had to have maneuvered us into place.  It was like we already knew each other that first day we met.  We wondered where we had met before, because both of us felt we knew the other one.

Sure we had so much in common it was spooky, but there was a real feeling that the first time we saw each other, we were meeting an old friend we had known when we were kids.  Both of us looked kind of quizzically at each other.  Eyebrows squinted--trying to remember the last time we saw each other.

Well, when he died, his doctor, two of the nurses coming out of his room crying and I knew he was gone, I had the oddest feeling of --I wouldn't say happiness, but a calmness.  It was well with my soul--as the song goes.

On the drive home, I kept wondering why I wasn't crying--I guessed I was in a state of shock.  Over the next few days and weeks, I realized, I wasn't in shock at all.  People coming up to me with pity etched on their face and there I stood, smiling.

Then one day it hit me.  I was so grateful for having had Fred in my life, the only man that really loved me, warts and all, the I just couldn't grieve that those days were over and that he was gone.  We knew when we met, we would feel very lucky to have a decade together.  I was so grateful that we had 7 years.  Yes, I was lonely, but I never cried one tear when Fred died.

I just kept mumbling to myself, "Thank you, God, thank you so much!"
Then the hard years came--financially.  A new roof.  A new furnace, all within six months after his death.  Trying to live on half the money we had while living together.  All I knew to do, was pray.  For some unexplainable reason, those things were taken care of.  I started seeing all sorts of things that I couldn't handle, being taken care of in one manner or another.

Opportunities that I knew nothing about came along.  Someone told me about a Food Bank.  Someone mentioned in passing, that I ought to check on getting Food Stamps.  Another someone suggested that I try to get an energy credit on my electricity bill.
These last two years have been amazing to me.  I have had more blessings than I can even count.  A new refrigerator, I hadn't thought of needing, a call out of the blue.  

Someone heard that I liked to do genealogies for people and clients started contacting me to do theirs.  That helped to bring in some money to help with monthly bills and last year I even had enough to get my living room painted and new carpet and a new chair and couch.  Come to find out, everyone I did a genealogy for was elated with my work and told others.  I find this amazing!  After all these years, I have found something that I am really good at!
So, along these last five years, I find myself talking to God a lot.  First thing in the morning and last thing at night and all during the day.  Just simple talk like, "Can you believe that idiot, God?", when a driver nearly takes me out.   "God, thank you for this beautiful day."  Mostly thank you words.

Always plagued by deep depressions, panic attacks and anxiety, a year ago, I suddenly realized that--it's gone.  Sure, I still get sad about things, but it doesn't last. 

Terrified my whole life by thunder and winds storms, I don't even pay attention anymore.  I now say, "Take care of me, God," and go on about my day, go to bed and sleep with no worry.

Friday, I put the new shower head on, which appeared at first to be a complicated matter, with no problem, "Thank you, God."  

Being stuck in a genealogy, not being able to find the next generation "up" in any search engine and then, two days later I suddenly see an obscure census and there's the parent's names listed.  "Thank you, God."

I have just really learned that I can't control much, so I reply on God to take care of matters in my life.  I have found true peace and contentment.  It's a mystery to me how this all happened.
All this is leading to my "pitified" state of mind when I found out, on my birthday, that all my kids were going up north, including Jennifer AND HER KIDS!!

Oh, I wanted to see those grandkids!  I have missed them so much in the last 18 months.  It looked like that wasn't going to happen.  Jen's family was coming back Friday night, they had a Saturday wedding and then they were leaving very early Sunday.

I was getting myself all worked up, over something I had no control over.  I'd laid in bed Monday night, tears rolling out of my eyes, down my face and into my ears.

I started praying.  Just a simple prayer of thankfulness and then, pleading for God to somehow make it possible for me to see the kids.

Every morning and night, during the day.  Every time I'd think about those kids, I'd pray.

Finally, Friday night, when they hadn't dropped in on their way to Karen's, I figured that was it.  Nothing to do, but accept it.  Saturday morning I woke up feeling the same way.  Content with it all.  It is as it is, right?
At 10:30, Saturday morning my phone rang.  Just another scammer call, I figured, but I looked at the caller I.D., it was Karen.

I picked up, "Hi Baby!  You ARE alive."
"Yeah, and so are you!."
"Did you have a great trip to Alaska?  Did you kids have fun this week?"
"Oh Mom, it all was wonderful.  I'll tell you all about it later.  I wanted to know if you want to come down.  Eric, Jen and the kids are here, if you wanna drive down to see them."
Silence on my part.
" Yes, yes!  I gotta jump in the shower and then I'll be right down."
"Okay, see ya later."

I was stunned.  I sat here in my computer chair and just looked out the window.  My hands were shaking.  Then it hit me.

I jumped up and nearly ran over Maggie the Cat as I headed for the bathroom, yelling all the way, "THANK YOU, GOD!  THANK YOU, GOD!  THANK YOU, GOD!"  Both cats ran under the bed to hide.

When I got to Karen's and walked into the kitchen, there they were!  Jennifer came up to me first.  I even got a hug from her husband, who has not spoken to me in 4 years.  When the kids heard my voice, they came from all over the house, into the kitchen for hugs.  It was almost overwhelming.

There is this "thing" with all my grandchildren.  They wonder, when they are small, if they will ever grow as tall as grandma.  When photos are taken, I stand behind them so we can "measure" their height.  3 of Karen's 5 have made it.

Now, Andrew has made it too!  He looked "down" on me and said, "I'm taller!"  I have no idea what is going on with 15 year old Andrew and his hair.  He said he wanted to see how long it would grow over the summer.  I asked him if he was going to wear it in a "man bun" and he said, "No way!" 

Elise just turned 13 and nearly as tall as me.  She loves to play Volleyball.  She has my long, skinny legs so I have no doubt, the next time I see her, she will be looking at me eye-to-eye.

Alex is 10 and is the sweetest, most polite 10 year old boy I have ever known.  He has the long, skinny leg feature inherited from his Grandma.  I have no doubt in half a dozen years, he will be looking "down" at me too.  He spent most of the day playing with baby Della.  He just adores her and she him.

 Jennifer and Della.  So good to see Jennifer and she seemed happy to see me.  Della still cries if I get too close.  She was very content with Jennifer, but then, Jen looks like Della's grandma, Karen.

Jennifer and Karen 

Later last evening, I got a call from Pam.  Evan had spent a couple of days with her on the farm and she wondered if I would like them to stop in when she took him back to Karen's.  The perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

Evan is 5 and very shy.  We could not get him to take a picture with me.  He kept hanging onto and hiding behind Pammie.  Of course, he was 3 when they moved and although he had spent a lot of time with me when he was a baby, he hardly knows who I am.  He looks just like Andrew did at that age.


Now, they are on their way back to New Jersey and I am one happy, contented Mimi !!!

I suppose some would call my experience a "lovely coincidence", or "good Karma", something like that.  Why didn't it happen before?  They have been in Michigan a couple times in the last 18 months.  I was never invited to see them.  Why now?

Well.....I know why.  It was God.  I am so grateful!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mini Road Trips

I have gone somewhere every single day this week.


My nosy neighbor told me on Monday that "they" had talked about me and how I go days without getting in my car and going somewhere.  Unlike them--with two cars--who leave and come back several times a day.  Her husband 4 times a day, she, usually 3 times a day.

I didn't think I had anywhere to go today, but a check came in the mail and I wanted to get it cashed before I lost it somewhere in the piles of paper on my desk.  So to the bank I went.

Yesterday--was it yesterday?  No, Wednesday I went up to Lowe's and bought me a decent shower head.  I am so tired of the dinky one I have, so I searched on-line and then went to the store to pick it up.  This has 9 different types of spray.

I figured that all shower head attachments would have universal connecting sizes and if that was true, all I'd have to do it exchange just the heads.  It came with all the attachments and the stainless hose.  So, tonight I screwed the old one off and attached this and then spent time trying all the spray positions.

YOWZA!!  I know right now the one I am going to try first.  Water comes out of every hole on the thing.
Now I remember where I went yesterday.  I was printing out a genealogy book and the print started looking a little dim, so I ran into Cartridge World, in Brighton, and got my inkjets refilled.  I really need a new printer.  The one I have is quite old and thus the inkjets have increased in price.  Supply and demand, you know.

I had an ear of sweet corn and a cucumber for supper.  I had heard you can cook corn in the microwave with the husk on so I tried it.  Oh my.  Moist and sweet!!!

When I was at the Food Bank, last week on my birthday, I got a package of ground sirloin.  I had a chance to get a 2# pack, but took the smaller one.  I brought it home and made nice thick hamburg patties, wrapped them in wax paper and put them in a Ziploc bag and froze them.  It was so nice to be able to take one out and cook it in my George Foreman grill and have meat for supper!  Next month, I'm going to get the 2# pack--I ran out before my craving for grilled hamburgers was quenched.

I have a pretty big genealogy book all done--92 pages.  I won't be able to get it bound until next week, after the long Holiday time.  It was very interesting!

I have started on another one.  I gotta keep busy or I get so bored--even with my little trips up to and down to my two shopping towns.

The weather man keeps warning us of severe storms and lots of rain.  I guess that's for his area in Detroit because all we keep getting are sprinkles.  Barely enough to wet the street.  I watered all my annuals today, just in case.

Well--that's it for me.  I hope you all have a nice 4 day weekend.  I'll just be sitting here all alone, like any other day.  Which is okay with me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Almost done with this month--already.  Too bad, I've always liked June better than July.  July is when it normally gets hot around here--well for a few days in a row anyway.

I had to run down to Brighton today--had to get inkjet refills.  No adventures on the way into town, but on the way home, when I got back on the 4 lane road, 50mph speed limit--I was doing 53 and in my rear-view mirror, I could see a pick-up truck weaving in and out of traffic, like he was in a big hurry.

He couldn't seem to make any headway.  He finally settled in behind me, nearly kissing my bumper, then turned left into the 2/42 church.  I don't know if he a church-goer or not, because he sure drove like he was hell bent!

Then a mile ahead, as I got into the left turn lane to turn into my Park, there was a guy, in an electric wheel-chair trying to get across 4 lanes on our busy road.  4:30 in the afternoon, when traffic is heavy and there he is--trying to get to the other side of the road.  The oncoming traffic cleared a bit, I turned in and saw him scoot to the middle lane.  I have no idea if he made it, but I didn't hear any sirens later.
All my kids and grandchildren and great grand daughter are up at Mark and Karen's cottage.  Jennifer was in hospital over last weekend with meningitis, but she and her family managed the 12 hours trip to get up north.

Which makes me feel pitified once again.  On their way up north, they drive on the expressway that is about 4 miles from my home.  Wouldn't it have been nice if they had swung by, for a potty break, and so I could have seen my 4 youngest grand children, that I haven't seen in 18 months?  15 minutes is all I would require.  Time for a hug and a "Do any of you need a bottle of cold water?"  Bye.

That would make me happy for the next year!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday and Monday stuff.

I have an adventure every time I drive out of this park. Today I had to get some cat food and Pepsi and Milk and had a birthday GC for Meijer, so I headed into Brighton. 

I was in the right lane, going about 48 in a 50mph speed zone and out from the Community Bible Church comes an old guy in his car. I had to not only brake quickly, but had to stand on them for a minute because, after he got on the road, he continued on at 35mph--down a mile to turn off into the 2/42 church.

I figured God must be his co-pilot because I almost sent that old guy to the Beulah Land Hotel!!

Did my thing at Meijer and then stood in line 25 minutes at the check-out. Even with 452 thousand Self Check-out lanes, which were all being used, there are some old people like me that like to go through the regular check-out lane. 

The lady behind me and I conversed on how we keep saying we are never coming back to this store to shop, but..............she usually shops at Kroger, she was only at Meijer because her favorite ice cream was on sale. She told me that she just returned from driving up north for the weekend.  Her daughter didn't want her too, but she did.  The town she visited is about 250 miles from here.  The lady is 87!  

I was there, instead of the Howell Meijer because I had to go to the Meijer gas station and the Howell Meijer doesn't have one. That poor kid at the gas station, busy time of day and he's working all alone and had a line that went clear back to the coolers! 

Too bad they can't keep their employees at that store--guess it might be bad management? NEVER AGAIN!!!
It has been nice and cool here.  Daily temps in the mid 60's, nighttime temps in the 50's.  I admit, I turned on the furnace this morning to take the chill off.

I woke up to the sound of a riding lawn mower.  I thought it was my lawn mowing guy Don, but it was my nutzy-cuckoo neighbor who lives behind me.  I looked out and saw her going round and round, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts.

A couple of minutes later, my lawn mowing guy showed up.  He had on a sweatshirt!

I looked at the outside temperature.  It was 59 degrees!  She never has been the brightest bulb in the package!
I was feeling a bit pitified this morning.  Tears were very close to the surface--which is nutz because I never cry!

Karen hasn't called me since they got back home from their trip last Wednesday.  No birthday card from her either, which has got to be the first time in my life.

Yeah--she's busy.  Apparently there is not 15 minutes in her day to call her Mom.

My kids have a text group thingie on their phone.  When one of them wants to text, they hit one button, type in the text and it automatically goes to everyone in that group.  Kind of like a group e-mail.

I do not have a cell phone, so I am not in the group.  I miss out on all the news.  I have often asked if it is family news, could the "textor" just send me an e-mail.  "Oh sure, Mom."  Never happens.

When I hear one of them say, "I got your text and laughed 'til I cried," or something like that, I feel pretty left out.  

It gets pretty lonely here and feeling left out of the family doings, was the reason I felt pitified.  BUT--there is nothing I can do about it, I guess.

Perhaps I should start a campaign of my own.  Make a note on my calendar and call Karen one week and Pam the next and send Jennifer an e-mail the next and include my sister in there with a phone call or a visit every couple of weeks.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

This 'N That and Nothing in Partticular

Finally--no lightning, or thunder, just a nice full down-pour.  I think I hear my flowers singing.


 A birthday card from my only nephew. 
Adam Charles--I have always called him Adam Chuckie and he has hated that since he was 13. 
So I quit.  HAH

The color of my pedicure polish.  Never worn this color before.

This guy stopped by after the rain.

Now, don't be telling me it was Fred's spirit come to visit.  It was merely a hungry Cardinal coming in to my newly filled bird feeders.   Followed shortly by this Grosbeak.

I like the looks of the rest of my June calendar.  Not a thing to do for the next week.  Of course, there will be a food or Pepsi run, but no definite places to go or things to do.

Which will leave me lots of time for this

and this--------

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Solstice

The summer solstice started early for me--I wanted to enjoy as many of the long daylight hours I could!  The weather was perfect!  Sunny, 74 degrees, low humidity, with a slight breeze.

You see, the First Day of Summer, the longest day of the year, is the day I was born!  

It was also my cousins 6th birthday, which she has informed me, over these last 78 years, I completely ruined for her.

She was my Grandmother's niece and her namesake.  My Grandmother doted on her and then....my Grandmother had to miss her birthday because....Grandma was waiting for me.  When I was born, the nurse (my mother's sister), took me and handed me to my Grandma.  Grandma said, "My precious baby!" and that's how it was until she died.

Sure, my Grandma had a huge capacity to love and she loved my cousin, but I took up a lot of her time and well..............................as I have told my cousin over and over, "It's not my fault!  I was supposed to be born the end of May!"

My cousin and I on our birthday--I was 1, she was 7.

My sister Susan and daughter Pam drove down from Byron, about 4:00, and brought Subway sandwiches.  This is my favorite way to celebrate.  I would much rather eat in than go to a restaurant.  That way, we set up our TV tables and ate and talked and laughed loudly and hooted and laughed some more.  Can't do that in a restaurant.

I had cleaned my earrings the night before and with my hand tremors, I couldn't get them back in my ears.  So Susan did that for me, although she had to sit down because it made her knees weak.

Then Pammie helped me fix the toilet flush handle, which I had worked on for two days, but again, with the hand tremors could not get the wire I had to connect from the handle to the chain.

Then we went outside.  I asked Pammie if she would paint my toenails, because, with the hand tremors, it is impossible for me to do it and keep the polish only on the nails and not all over the toes.

Then we went back inside for cake and a wish.  What to wish for?  At my age, I wished for a few more years.  LOL

They left at about 8:00.  Pam had worked all day and had to get up at 4:00, this morning.

I found out at 8:30 that daughter Karen and her hubs had arrived back safely from their 3 week vacation in  Alaska.  It was a perfect day!
One of the neat things about Face Book?  When it is your birthday, a notice appears at the top of the page, so all most of your friends wish you a Happy Birthday.  I had over 100 wishes--where else can you get that?  HAH!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Weather Break

Ah-hh!  The joy, the bliss, the pure sublimeness of cooler temps and having windows and doors open.  Last night it almost felt cold.
 Note: Sublimeness is not a valid word.

We have had rainstorms predicted all weekend and all today.  I see the dark clouds and hear the distant thunder, but about 3 miles before they get here, the separate--one storm going north-east (over Howell) and one going south-east (over Brighton).  We got sprinkles--twice today.  So--I went out and watered all my flowers.  Now the dark clouds are coming in again.

While I was watering, I found a sweet Cardinal feather under the bird feeders.  It will go in my  Anasazi Indian bowl with the rest of my collection.

I cut off my stray out growing branches off my Forsythia and Wegelia bushes and up the trunk of my Maple trees.  Stuffed them in a yard waste bag for pick-up tomorrow.

I really need to tear apart my little front garden this fall.  All the Iris need to be spread out, perhaps in their own bed and almost all of the Lilies need to be divided and replanted.  Sounds like a big job, but I know I can do it over a period of a week.  I say this now, who knows what September and October will bring.

Karen is posting photos on FB from Alaska.  They are there for three weeks.  Their second child, Susanna, who lives in Oregon, does a lot of advertising and marketing work for New Balance shoes and just happens to have a boyfriend who lives in Alaska, so she went with her parents for a couple of weeks.  They sure are seeing some splendor up there.

My hubs and the kids and I were going to drive up through British Columbia and up the ALCAN highway to visit Alaska--that was back in 1970.  We had the camper and the plans and then my Mother died and a year later Jennifer was born, so we never made it.

You might remember me posting that at grand daughter's wedding, he and I were talking about our missed Alaska trip and how we still would like to go there.  He can't drive and I certainly couldn't drive that far, but his wife drives--everywhere.  So I told him, we'd throw our stuff in the back of their van.  He could stretch out in the back seat and I'd sit up in front and chat with Diane while she drove us to Alaska.  HAH!

I had to run down to Brighton this morning and got into an insane construction fiasco.  It is 4 miles to the Meijer store.  It took me 30 minutes.  The back-up started just about 1.5 miles up the road.  When I got into town I could see what was happening.  They were moving the right lane over into the left.  A few yards ahead they were merging the left lane over into the center lane.  So now they had two lanes of very heavy traffic all in one lane in the center left turn lane.

All during this time, traffic was exiting from the Super Highway.  We were very orderly, letting one car in off the expressway in front of us, then the car behind me would let one in and so it proceeded.  Drivers in this area are nothing if not polite.  When I got about a block from the merging insanity, I turned right and scampered up a couple of streets and basically took a back alley way to Meijer.  I was not the only one.  HAH.  When I got out of there, I took the back way home--out into the country and down a road just west of me 1/2 mile and home. It took me 17 minutes to get home from Meijer.
Now I am finishing up laundry and working on the latest genealogy book.

OOOH--I hear thunder.  Maybe we'll get lucky this time?

Nope, it's going south east.  DRATS!!!!!!!!!