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, September 12, 2021

Well, what can I say that is worth reading?

Ever since last fall, when the mechanic told me that my car was "near death" and I shouldn't really drive it because of the power steering fluid leak, I have only driven 4 mile round trips--to the store and now to PT twice a week, which...oh yes, continues.

I have a condition called Drop-Foot.  Who knows what caused it or when/if it will ever get better.  Then April 1st, my left foot started swelling.  "They" ruled out it was caused by the Drop-Foot as that is not one of the side effects.

My Doc thought I had dropped something on my foot...in July, he declared the swelling was caused by the hot weather.  That Idiot is wrong on both parts.

Coincidentally, this swelling started exactly two weeks after my Johnson& Johnson vaccine shot.

I have been researching and reading and think I have come up with my own self diagnosis--which I've always been pretty good at.

Lymphedema.  Not serious, but no cure.  Lymph nodes in the upper legs aren't draining away the fluids like they are supposed to.  I am now wearing compression socks--which take all my strength and prayers for help, to put on!

I will bring this up when next I see the Idiot Doc.


As for the car, since last fall I have had 3 deals on getting a different car fall through.  Finally, a friend of my my daughter Karen told her they were selling their daughter's car.  Then they changed their mind.  Then they changed their mind again.

My car is 23 years old.  This car is 12 years old, but looks like it survived a war.  Bumps and bruises on all sides.  Paint missing.  Every time their daughter bumped into something, they didn't fix it as their insurance would have gone up.  It needs a muffler, hubcaps and a driver's side headlight cover.    BUT..........

it runs great!  

They could get $800.00 from the dealer as a trade-in, but because it was Karen's friend and their daughter is a friend of Karen's daughter Maddie, she said, "If it's for Grandma Judy, I want her to have it."

So I had $500.00 to my name....and that's what they said they would sell the car for.  Great, but how to pay for the needed muffler, hubcaps and headlight?

I opened my mail yesterday and there was a greeting card and inside that card was 3, crisp, new smelling $100.00 bills!


My Gosh!  How do you thank someone for a gift like that?

Now I can get the car fixed and hopefully, take a drive up to The Farm.  I haven't been there in 18 months and I am so homesick.


Friday, August 20, 2021

 Daughter Karen had a party August 1st for all the birthday's and anniversaries for that month.  We have a lot.

I got to meet my newest great grand girl.  Eliana Katherine.  She was born pre-maturely April 4 and only now weighs 8 pounds.  It was like I was holding a new born, but she was alert, smiling and cooing at me like a 4 month old.

She just kept looking at me all the time I held her.

Karen continues to get my groceries for me and I continue to go twice a week to PT.  It's been almost 4 total months.  

Monday, July 26, 2021

 Well, you'd think I could keep up with this blog more than a post every six weeks!

I'm still in physical therapy--nearly 3 months now.  My legs are getting much stronger, but I have what they call a "Drop Foot" on my left side.  I can't lift my toes off the floor, so I take a step with my right foot, heel-toe, and then my left foot just drops on the ground.  I look very similar to how Frankenstein walks.  

The pain in my lower back is better.  It will never go away, but at least it isn't constant anymore.  

My unreliable car, is still unreliable--I drive it 4 miles-round trip, on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the PT.  That makes me frustrated!  I just want to be able to get in my car and drive up to The Farm and visit my sister and my hometown.

The weeds in my garden are taller than my beautiful Lilies.  My front porch needs to be painted, but my balance isn't good enough yet to do any of those chores.

Mobility issues, they call it.  I know what I'd like to call it, but God told me not to swear anymore.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

 If you have been reading this blog for the last few years, you have seen me write about my neighbor Dar.  The strong-willed, strong-minded, assertive Dar.

She visited me one evening about 7 weeks ago.  Her 100 year old Dad lives with her and every once in awhile she needs to escape.  So she waits until he falls asleep for his evening nap and scoots over here for 45 minutes.

She had walked her normal 3 miles that day.  Diagnosed with a very rare blood disease, Waldenstrom Syndrome--a form of Hodgkins cancer, but no symptoms, so they are "watching it".

Two nights later, as I sat here in my computer room, looking out at her house, I saw an ambulance pull up and attendants going into her house.  I naturally thought it was her Dad, but about a half hour later, the gurney came out and it was Dar, sitting on it.

The next day I called a couple of her friends here in the park--Jackie, who lives next door to Dar and right across the street from me--was in bed asleep and didn't know anything.

Dar's housekeeper who lives down at the end of the street didn't know either, but had Dar's daughter's phone number and would find out.

Dar's daughter, from North Carolina, had just come in that very morning.  They were getting together so that Dar could make out her Will.

Two days later, I heard that Dar had been having extreme stomach pains and vomiting, so the ambulance was called.  Tests had been done.  She was to have surgery.

Now, this rare form of blood cancer can remain dormant for years and then appear in an internal organ.  There is no known cure.

Dar had a tumor, the size of a large bake potato removed from her Pancreas and two smaller ones--lemon sized, removed from her kidney, liver and had her spleen removed.  

She was in hospital for 10 days and then came home on Friday, May 8th.  The next morning, her daughter, Dad and her sat down for breakfast and all of a sudden, Dar said, "Oh", and fell over onto her left side.  The day before Mother's Day--when her granddaughter was expected to arrive.

Back into hospital.  She had a stroke.

She was in hospital for 10 days and they wanted to move her to a care/rehab facility, but the facility said she wasn't well enough for them to take care of her.

Finally got her moved in the last of May.  Even though Dar could speak a bit and knew her daughter/Dad/granddaughter, within four days, she suddenly decided to turn her back to the door, refused to eat or drink and kept her eyes squeezed tightly shut and refused to speak.

Jackie went to visit her at the care center and said it was awful.  Dar looked awful and Jackie wished she hadn't gone.

I told Jackie and Dar's other friends, "Dar is just waiting for her Angel to come and escort her home.  Her faith is very steadfast and deep and she doesn't want to be here anymore."

Dar died Monday, June 7th.

Everyone was shocked, but I thought, if she did make it through the stroke with rehab, she'd still have some debilitating effects from it and then the cancer?  Would she want to deal with the treatments?  Would she want the pancreatic tumor to come back and kill her?


It feels very strange to look out these front windows and see her house all closed up, her car removed from the driveway.  I keep expecting to see her pull in with her car.  I keep waiting for her to open my door and walk in.

She had such a dynamic, strong, vibrant personality, that it feels like something is missing from out neighborhood.

Today, her kids opened up her house so family, neighbors and friends could gather together and talk about memories.  It was a nice gathering.


Darlene C. Nadeau

May 13, 1942 - June 07, 2021

Darlene C. Nadeau, age 79 of Brighton, passed away after an extended illness on Monday, June 7, 2021. She was born May 13, 1942 in Detroit, the daughter of Clovis and Betty (Holtz) Nadeau. She is survived by her children Lisa Nalepa, Jeffory Nalepa, Connie Hetu and Wayne Hetu. Grandmother of Jeffory, Ashley, Zoe, George, Eleni, Hopejoy, Corey and Shea. Great-grandmother of Cooper and Hunter. Also survived by her father Clovis and brothers Mike and Terry Nadeau. Darlene was a manager of several restaurants. She enjoyed taking her day trips to to many places especially Frankenmuth, liked attending church, was an avid walker, liked her coffee and enjoyed spending time with family and her father. A memorial gathering will take place at a later date. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

  Well last Friday was one of those kind of days, that left me emotional, but so happy. I had talked it over with my sister, last month when she took me up to her house. My mother built me a doll house for my 3rd Christmas. No young girls left to play with it and I wanted to say where it went before I die. Just one of those things you want done...just in case.

Today, my daughter Karen, her oldest daughter Helene, my great great granddaughter Della and her little brother Harrison drove on up to Susan's house to pick it up...to go to my gg daughter Della.
I wrote the history of the doll house and rolled it up like a scroll, tied with a little piece of leather and put it in one of the small closets to stay with the doll house.

"This doll house was made by Dorathy Della Walts in 1943.
She gave it to her daughter, Judith Jean Walts on Christmas Eve that year. Judy was 4 ½ years old.
When Judy’s little sister, Susan Ellen Walts, was born in 1952, she played with it.
When Judy had children, Mark, Pam, Karen & Jennifer, they played with it.
When Judy had granddaughter’s, Helene, Susanna, Madeleine (Rivard) & Elise (Oertel), they played with it.
Judy gave it back to Susan to have in her house and Susan’s granddaughter’s, Kate and Elizabeth played with it. 2015
Now that all those little girls have grown up, Judy is giving it to her great granddaughter, Della Helene, her oldest granddaughter Helene’s daughter, to have. 2021"
They loaded it into Helene's car, I took one last look at it, with my arm draped over my little sister's shoulders, and could remember the exact moment I saw it for the first time. That Christmas 78 years ago.

Sister Susan, daughter Karen, Granddaughter Helene, holding Harrison.,
Della and me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

 A month and a week since I've posted.

Is there an excuse?  Not a very viable one.

Just not in the mood, I guess

This past year plus has made me old.  

I started physical therapy mid May and it has helped.  It is going to take a long time even to learn how to walk again, without staggering from the back pain and the weak legs.  I am booked twice a week through July 15th, with an extension if I need it.

Last Thursday, I finally got up enough courage to allow Kiera (the PT) to stick a couple of acupuncture needles directly into the spot, where it feels hard as a marble.  On my left side--the same spot that has hurt for the last 9 years.  

I woke up the next morning to a bit of soreness, I suppose where the needles went in, but no pain in that area and the "marble" went from one of those big ones, down to a regular size.  I couldn't believe it.

Then yesterday, I bent over to put the cat dishes down on their feeding mat, like I do every morning and when I went to stand back up, my right leg gave out and down I went...banging my right elbow, shoulder and hip.

I had to scoot across the kitchen floor and the living room carpet to get to my recliner chair, where I got up on my knees, grabbed the cushion and pulled myself up enough so I could collapse into it.

When I woke up this morning, I could barely get out of bed, I was in such pain.  My elbow and shoulder are bruised a bit, but it is the right lower back and right thigh that are so painful.

Here I am getting my left back fixed up and now I've set us back by racking up my right back.

I did have an appointment with her this afternoon, but when she saw me, she said my back was so inflammed that we couldn't do any exercises and she just massaged it for about half an hour.

Expecting a prescription of steroids to be delivered tomorrow.


That reminds me...I heard a knock at my door Saturday and when I opened it, there Kiera stood with her freckled face 10 year old boy.  She handed me a salad and said, "You sit and eat your salad while we weed your gardens."  My gardens are thick this year and the plants are taller and fuller than they have ever been, but I have long grasses that are taller than the flowers.  They cleaned them up good.  Does that qualify for going above and beyond?  She said she was afraid that I'd go out to weed and fall.  Which, I probably would have.


You remember Dar?  My neighbor.  I certainly have filled this blog with stories about her over the years.

"They" found out in January that she has a very rare blood cancer.  Nothing to do but monitor it to see if it starts invading her organs.

First part of May she became very sick and went into hospital.  They waited a week than did surgery, to find she had a very large tumor in her pancreas and small tumors in her liver and kidneys.  They removed them, but didn't want to pursue chemo right now.

She came home the day before Mother's Day.  Her daughter had driven up from North Carolina to be with her.

Mother's Day breakfast, Dar was at the table with her 100 year old father, who lives with her, and all of a sudden, she said, "Oh!" and fell to the left.  She had had a stroke.

Back to the hospital.  Clot in her brain.  They couldn't operate because her other major surgery had been a short while ago.

The hospital wanted to put her in a care/rehab place, but the rehab place said she wasn't well enough.  So the hospital kept her another week.

She was placed in a place last Monday.  Her daughter and father got to visit her.  Then her daughter went back to NC for a month, her father had to go live with his son, that he can't stand.  They removed all the cable boxes from the house, put her car in storage, set up the house like you would if you were leaving for a long time and closed it all up.  When I look out my left front window over there, it looks very lonely.

Jackie, my neighbor directly across the street and next to Dar's house went up to visit Dar on Sunday.  She called me afterwards to tell me...she regrets going.

Dar lays raised in her bed.  She will not open her eyes.  She will not speak, even though she can.  She has a feeding tube because she can't swallow.  Jackie said she has lost a lot of weight and "looks just awful."

They expect her to be there 3 months...maybe longer.  I'm thinking the pancreatic cancer might take her before then.

Personally?  I think Dar is just waiting for her Angel to come and get her and take her to the Lord.

It's amazing how quickly things can happen.  Just the day before she first went into hospital, she walked around the block then stopped in to visit me.  She seemed just fine.  Spunky as usual.


On a brighter note:

My granddaughter Madeleine--the ballet dancer, who now teaches ballet, was married just 2 years ago end of May, came to visit and brought my great grandson Benedikt.  It was wonderful to be able to hug and kiss and sit close to talk.  She also brought news that she is expecting in January.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

I have been so down in the dumps lately.  Lonely and lonesome.

It's been over a year since I've been up to The Farm.  My car is not stable enough to make that 25 mile trip.

Yesterday, my sister came all the way down from The Farm to pick me up.  We stopped at Culver's to get a butter burger for lunch and then drove the back roads up to our home town.

I don't know why, but she has a key to the church--a church I attended from the age of 6 weeks of age on, so we went inside so I could look around in the sanctuary.   They have added those large video screens up behind the altar.  I don't like them.  I like to hold a hymnal, so I can see the notes so I can harmonize.  Nowadays, they post the words on the video screen and, I guess, people just sing the words in unison with no harmonizing.

I have been having a lot of trouble with my legs.  They are very weak.  I had walked around the church quite a bit and when we got ready to leave, I stepped down on first step of the stairs...my left leg went out and down I went...landing on the step on my behind.  I couldn't even pull myself up by the railing, so I just bumped along, down each step, until my feet were on the floor, then I grabbed the hand rail and my sister grabbed my other arm and I was able to stand.

Then we drove around town a little bit, remembering who used to live where and what stores used to be on main street.  We drove on out of town and stopped at the cemetery where all of our Daddy's ancestor's are...and where we both will be too.  I walked a bit, finding it difficult and painful in my back to walk on uneven ground.  My sister put the flowers in the urns and then we drove around the perimeter lane in the cemetery and stopped to "see" friends and family members who are buried there...my best friend and her husband are there.

Then we drove the 3 miles over to her house.  I enjoyed that drive.  Some of the farmers are already tilling their fields...it's a bit early, but we've had an early spring.  We drove by my oldest daughter's home--was my grandparents home and after my grandma died, we moved over there and raised the kids in that home.  Then up on the corner where my son lives on what was my parents farm and the place I was born.  Then 1/8th mile down to sister's place.  The farm our great great grandparents settled on in 1855.  5 generations of my family have lived in that house.  Of course sister and her hubs updated it a  bit when they moved in 9 years ago.



Instead of leaves, that entire front lawn is covered by tiny purple May flowers.

We talked.  Some serious talk about things I want to go to certain people after I die and she will take care of the distribution.

We laughed and then she got out some old home movies our Mother had taken and I had put on a DVD and we watched.  Once again, so many friends and family members.  It was great to see my sister when she was little and I was a teenager.  To see your Daddy and Mother and grandparents and great grandma walking around.  We wish there had been sound so we could hear their voices again.

Then, she brought me home.  I had been so lonesome to go back "home"...where I know every inch of those houses, the fields, the woods.

It was such a wonderful day..
Of course today, my legs hurt so bad I can hardly walk.  I rubbed them down with some horse liniment I got from a Vet.  It helps horses that have gone lame and...I tell you the truth...this old nag has gone lame in the last few months...but at least I'm not homesick anymore.