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

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I have to tell you about the weirdest, strangest and mind boggling thing that happened Tuesday night.

I was sitting in my recliner, not paying too much attention to what was on the TV.  My cats were sitting in front of me like they wanted something.

All of a sudden, I thought of cat treats.  I haven't purchased any cat treats for my cats in a year.  I reached over to my table, grabbed the little pad that sits there and wrote down Cat Treats--thinking I would get them some the next time I go to the store.

I laid the pad back on the table and heard my neighbor "you hooing" from the porch.  I went over and opened the screen door and she said, "God has been bugging me all day to get you some cat treats."

She works at Pets Mart and handed me a sack with two XL bags of cat treats.  I just stood there with my mouth hanging open.  "Don't you want them?" she asked.

I said, "Tammy, come in and sit down you gotta hear this!"

Serendipity or........................God Whispers?
I was up at the Food Bank and saw Pearl's daughter Marge, just ahead of me.  She provides for her daughter and the two grand babies too, so she had a cart full.

She went through the check-out ahead of me--by then she had a cart and a half--I heard them say she was allowed 130# of food and she could have two gallons of milk this month instead of the normal one.

She went out to load her trunk.  I had 21# is all, I'm allowed 60#..  They asked me if I wanted cheese and I said, "No."

As I walked out, Marge was coming back in for her second cart.  "I thought we were supposed to get the government cheese?"

"Yes." I said.

"Hm-mm.  They didn't ask me if I wanted any.

I loaded up my trunk and was walking back in while she was still unloading.

I pushed my cart back inside and asked the guy that I know, "That lady in front of me didn't get her cheese."

"Oh, she has to be old to get that."  I stared at him.  "Ah, I mean older."

"Well she's got kids to feed.  She needs it more than I do...clogging up my arteries.  Ah...since I didn't get mine, can I change my mind and get it?"

He looked at me and winked.  "Sure," as he handed me the big block of cheese, "but you have to know, any exchanging of food can't be done within our sight."  Big smile.

So I walked back outside and over to Marge's car and said "You can't get cheese until you get older.  I can.  I don't like it, so please take mine."

She hugged me.  I got in my car and smiled all the way home!

Today I had lunch with my Old School Gal Pals.  Only 5 showed up so we got to sit close enough to talk.  The two ladies that dominate the conversation weren't there.  We had a very pleasant time.  

The heat is coming back tomorrow, so, once again, I will be locked up in my house, blinds drawn, A/C running for as long as the siege lasts.  I hate it!

Friday, July 6, 2018


7 continual days of temperatures in the 90's, with heat indices in the 100's!  This is not the Michigan weather I know!

I had a heat stroke--yes, not heat exhaustion, but a real heat stroke when I was 15.  I was in and out of consciousness for 3 days.  I cannot tolerate heat, especially when it comes with humidity in the 70% range!

Being closed up in my house for seven days, with my blinds closed and the furnace fan noise every 30 minutes, bringing in cool, air conditioned air, does not make for a happy mood on my part.

This morning, I got up at 7:00.  A.M., that is, which is very early for me.  I had heard of a predicted cool front and 70 degree temps.  I ran around, pulling every window blind up to the top of the windows, pulling back curtains, raising every single window.

I shivered in the, what felt like cold air, coming in.  I opened the front door.  Oh.  My.  Gosh!

I felt like I had broken free from my prison!!

The cats went from window to window, jumping up on the ledge to look out.  When I opened the front door, they both went over and sat down in front of the screen.  Maybe they could, once again, watch the birds and the squirrels and the chipmunks.

The most perfect blue sky.  The most perfect cool breeze.  

I survived!  I'm alive!!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Let me see...where did I leave off?

Ah yes.  Pammie is home from New Jersey.  She has 4 different doctor's appointments, an appointment with the Social Security office and an attorney.

She and Karen came over on Thursday and stayed for 4 hours!!!!!!!!!!!  Karen brought food and Pam painted my toe nails for me.

Oh my--we had some great conversations and a lot of laughter. 

Karen said, "Mom, your house looks great!"

I said, "I got busy and cleaned up the clutter, dusted, vacuumed and mopped the kitchen floor.  When kids visit their elderly parents and see messes, they start thinking about nursing homes, because Mom can't take care of herself anymore."

Pam said, "We've discussed this Mom.  Karen is going to drive, you will sit in the back with me and when we get to the nursing home, Karen will slow down, I will open the back door, say 'drop and roll Mom' and gently push you out!"

Karen was nodding her head.

I said, "I'm staying here as long as I can!  I don't want to end up in one of those places, sharing a room with Ditzy Donna!"

We all laughed and laughed.  Then Karen said,  "Mom, I have wondered though, if you would ever want to move into an assisted living place.  You can get assistance or none, whichever you prefer."

"Sure.  They cost about $3,000.00 a month.  Are you going to pay for that?  Besides I have a plan."

Pammie says, "What's that?"

"When you go back to Jersey, I'm going to move into your upstairs."

"How you gonna get in my house.  I'm the only one with a key."

"Pammie, Pammie, Pammie.  I lived in that house long enough to know which window I can jimmy open, or how to take the outside basement door off the hinges.  I got locked out twice and managed to get inside by myself.  I can do it again, Girlie!"

Pam pulls out her smart phone and writes something down.

"What are you doing?" asks Karen.

"Just writing a reminder.  'Make sure all downstairs windows are locked tight and basement door is bolted, chained and reinforced!' "

More laughter.

Then Pammie suggested that I move my trailer over to Karens'.  "You could put it over on their side lawn, where they used to store their camper."

"Sure," said Karen.  "The grass won't grow over there anyway."

"Mark could run me an electrical line and hook me up to your septic tank and I'd be all set.  Then you could check on me everyday so you would know I was still alive."  I said.

"I don't know, Mom.  I get so busy some days.......and what would you do when Mark and I go up north?"

"Guess that won't work," I said.

Pam said, "Guess you'll just have to stay here.  If you die during the night...probably one of your neighbor's would notify us......after awhile."
Pam looks great!  So relaxed and happy and has lost over 25# in the last six months.  I miss her, but I can't be sad that she is staying "out there" with Jen and Eric and the kids.  She is loving it so much!
The rest of the weekend, I stayed inside with the blinds lowered and closed to keep out the hot sun and the A/C on, set at 75.  Our heat indices were 104 on Sunday, with humidity at 72%!  Unbearable!!  We Michiganders aren't used to this kind of weather.  I HATE IT!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I just finished a magnificent genealogy.  It has taken 2 months.  What a surprise my client will get when she opens her book to find, she is not Irish, like she thought.  

Her first immigrant ancestor DID come from Ireland, but his ancestor's originated in Scotland and only fled to Ireland, because of religious persecution by the (English) Anglican Church.  They were protestant Presbyterians so off to Northern Ireland they went.

I got "back" or "up" 20 generations.  Her first known ancestor was a personal friend, armor bearer and fighter for (King) Robert the Bruce.  For his service, he was given 10,000 acres of woods and built a castle on the edge of the woods.  17 generations of her direct ancestor's have lived in that castle--up until 1975.  

Her  ancestor's that emigrated to America, settled in Pennsylvania, were given several hundred acres of land there and made a settlement and eventually a town, that today bears their name.  It is in south west Pennsylvania.

I can't wait until she opens her book and gets her first glimpse of that loooong pedigree of her father's family.
Therein lies the problem.  Printing the book.

I got the pedigrees printed and put together.  Took them up to the print shop to be printed out on long architect paper to fold into the book.

I came home and commenced to print out the pages for the book.  My new $40.00 printer is fantastic.  The colors for the photos are vibrant, the black print is sharp and clear.  Half way into the job, a notice came up on my page that the two inkjets were nearly empty.

No problem.  I snapped them out and ventured down to Brighton to Cartridge World to get refills.

They had no refills!  This printer is so new that they haven't received any cartridges as yet.

No problem.  On the way back home, I stopped at Staples.  The cartridges from the manufacturer only cost $26.00 for a twin pack!  
That's why I bought a new printer.  The inkjet refills for my old one cost, $35.00 for black, $50.00 for color.

Staples was out of stock for those particular inkjets.  BUT they could order them online and I would have them delivered to my home the next day--Tuesday.

While I was there, I decided to get a pack of the special paper I use.  It is 40#, matte finish, acid free paper.  Staples had none and guess what?  The manufacturer doesn't make it anymore.  They still produce the glossy paper, but not the matte.  The nearest kind they had was 28#, acid free.  It will work, but not what I really wanted.

So home I came.  No inkjets, but I could wait one day for them.  I'd do other stuff.
Tuesday arrived.  I had to go to the dentist for a filling, but when I came back, I saw a UPS truck pull out of the park and assumed he had delivered my new inkjets.

I really wanted to get the books mailed out before the end of the month.
I really wanted to do that so I could get my last installment payment from my client.
I really wanted that payment so I could pay off my dental bill.
Maybe the inkjets will come today?  Although I was guaranteed next day delivery, you know how it is.  Businesses today seem to "over promise and under deliver".


Still and all, it's a magnificent genealogy and I think my patient client will be more than happy with what I found.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


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.

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!