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

Saturday, March 26, 2022

 My youngest granddaughter.  18 years old, taller than MiMI and a Volleyball whiz.

When she was 1 year old.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

My newest great grandson, Niklas,
who looks just like his Momma.


Monday, February 28, 2022

I promised I would post something in this blog every Sunday.  That didn't last very long.  It is hard to post when I am just angry at everything.  I have noticed that my lips are pressed together most of the day.  When I see myself in the mirror, I look like a grouchy, old woman--I guess mirrors don't lie.

I had an appointment with an electrical physiologist--to discuss the results of my heart monitor test and talk about Pace Makers. My daughter Karen wasn't home so my sister and BIL offered to drive 25 miles down here to take me and my sister would go in the room with me and take notes.

The appointment was at 2:40.  It started icing up at 2:00 and snowing by 2:30.  BIL brought his truck for the bad weather and I had a deuce of a time trying to get up on the seat.

We got there, the electrical guy came in, told me my heart monitor test was fine...that I didn't need a Pace Maker--probably never would and come back to the Cardiologist in six months.


It took sister and BIL over an hour to get home!


The next week Tuesday, I had an appointment for a CT scan with contrast on my left Kidney.  Karen took me.

I had an ultra sound on my Kidney's end of October. everything was fine.  .  I had a CT scan on my abdomen early November when I was in hospital, everything, including Kidney's was fine.  The second time I was in hospital, end of November because of my fall, I had a contrast CT scan on my innards and they found a teeny something on my left Kidney.  So I had to have this new scan.

I was told to be there an hour early, because I had to drink Barium.  Why would I have to drink that for a Kidney scan.  We got there an hour early and finally at 10 after 3:00--the appointment was for 3:30, Karen asked the nurse when I was going to get the "drink".

"Oh--your Mom doesn't have to drink anything.  You only needed to be here 15 minutes before your appointment."


So in I went.  They popped an IV line in my arm--OUCH--I hate those things.  They took 3 passes without the contrast, then warned me I would feel warm all over and think I had to pee, and did 3 pases with the contrast.  I love the contrast--like how it makes me all warm inside.

The Tech came in, removed the IV, asked me how I felt and because I was feeling relief because it was over, I smart mouth replied, "That's the closet I've come to an orgasm in 20 years!"

She looked at me...old, skinny, wrinkled up woman and then she burst into laughter.  Every thing had been very professional until my comment.  I probably won't be able to go back there again.

The test results revealed, a 1cc cyst--BENIGN--get it scanned again in 4 years.


So there is nothing seriously  wrong with me.  All my innards are working just fine.  I should be happy and relieved, but I fell again the other day...landed on the cat food station which sent water and dry cat food up into the air and down onto me.  I had to butt-walk across the kitchen floor, with hard, dry cat food embedding itself into my bare hind end--as I only had my nightie on--to get to my recliner where I could get on my knees and pull myself up onto the seat.

All because of this dang dead-foot.  

Thursday, February 3, 2022


I am not a spontaneous person.  I like to know who, what, where and when and make a plan for that time frame..  I love schedules.  I suppose, growing up on a dairy farm, where schedules were kept—no matter what, has caused me to be like this.  Cows had to be milked 12 hours apart.  I don’t care if it was the birth of your first child or the deathbed vigil for your father.  When it was milking time—you were in the barn, milking cows.

The first year of the pandemic didn’t throw me off too much, I was still mobile.  I still had my schedule of chores around the house to do.  Certain jobs on certain days and I could do 2 or 3 chores in a day—dusting, vacuuming, washing down counter tops, working in the garden.

Then I got this dang drop-foot, along with balance issues, and there are some chores I just can’t do anymore.  I am an independent person, I could take care of myself—until the drop-foot. This has rattled me and made me feel very unsettled

So, over the weekend, I decided which chore I could adapt to fit my condition and make a schedule.  I knew that I could only do one major chore a day, so I made an Excel spreadsheet (that’s part of the OCD I have) and made a schedule for each day with one chore.  I call it my BIG CHORE Day.

Today, I dusted.  I can do quite a lot of it sitting on the seat of the Rollator.  The higher shelves and stuff, I rest one hand on the Rollator for balance and use my right hand to work with.  Then I wiped down the kitchen counters, using my legs braced against the lower cupboards.

I can still bend over to feed the cats and clean up their litter box and put dirty dishes in the dishwasher for a future wash and I have no problem emptying the dishwasher—I haul the dishes from the dishwasher, resting on the Rollator seat, to the varying cupboards where they belong.

The same way with laundry…I load a load of dirty clothes into the bag under the seat of the Rollator and wheel them out to the washer.  When they are done drying, I sit on the seat of the Rollator, easily reach in to the very back of the dryer, and fold them or put them on hangers and then wheel them back into the bedroom.

I feel a lot better emotionally, working from the schedule and knowing there are still things I CAN do.  I have to stay as independent for as long as I can.

Monday, January 24, 2022

 I watch a couple of cross stitchers who have their own You Tube channels. I think these women are nuts!!!

They must be rich too because they go shopping every week.
One has 50 projects "kitted" up, which means, in a decorative plastic zipper bag, (50 separate bags) she has 50 projects--pattern, fabric, thread all set to go...some over a year old...and not one stitch put in the fabric.
They never seem to get any one project fully finished. They fully admit they can't stand to work on only one project from start to finish.
Their way would drive me nuts! I am what they call a "monogamous" stitcher. I start a project and work on it until it is done. I might have a pattern, on the side, that I want to stitch up someday, but not until I have this project done. I might work on 2 projects at the same time, but one would be cross stitch and one would be crochet.
This past week was just horrendous!
Smoke alarm going off in the middle of the night, for no reason. I finally got it twisted off the wall and threw it in the bottom of the clothes hamper.
Furnace acting the fool. First it would come on about every 7 minutes, run for 8 and shut down. Then it got so it came on and only ran half a cycle, shut down, the blower would come on and blow only warm air. Then it got so it ran continuously, but could never get up to 72 to click off the thermostat.
I called our electric company, that I pay additional each month for appliance service plan--no outlay of money from me for their repair guys.
They told me the furnace hadn't been included on the plan. Thankfully, I had "minutes" and the name of the woman I talked to two weeks ago to have it added.
A guy couldn't get out for two days...but when he did...he was marvelous. I told him I thought it needed a new thermocouple and he agreed, but informed me, they now call that part a "sensor". Before he left, he wrote down his personal cell phone number and said to call him if there were any more problems.
Sure enough, two hours later, it was still doing the same thing, so I called and he came back.

He inquired as to how old the furnace filter was, I told him I had replaced it the first of December, but on further checking, he could tell it was loaded with white like dust. I had purchased two small humidifiers first of the month...one for bedroom and one for living room. They do not have filters so that warm mist that comes out is laden with lime from this terrible water we have and had not only laid down a fine white dust all over the furniture...I had just dusted the day before, GRRR, but the furnace filter had sucked in enough to clog it up a bit. Thankfully, I always buy the filters in pairs so I had a new one for him to put in. Furnace runs great!!!

I have since ordered some kind of thingie to put in the humidifier water tank that is "guaranteed" to demineralize the water and prevent the lime laden misty-dust. We shall see.
We haven't had much snow this month. I haven't been out of this house since December 30th, but had a hair cut appointment today. Guess what? We are under a weather storm advisory!!! Hair cut canceled. and I need to go to the bank before the end of the week.

It's not the driving---I grew up in Michigan, I know how to drive in snow, plus all the main roads around here are clear. The problem is getting from my front door to the car door and then back up the porch steps when I get home. I do not need to slip and fall on cement...if I'm going to fall, I want to fall inside, onto the nice, thick, soft carpeting.
Last week, I got a call from my PCP (primary care physician) that I need to go to little hospital up the road for a contrast ultra sound on my left kidney.

Now I had one of those on Oct. 21 and everything was normal and fine. I had another non-contrast one the first time I was in hospital, first week of November. All was normal.

Apparently this "spot" showed up when I had a contrast one when in the hospital second time...after I had fallen and cracked a rib, bruised my right lung and had fluid buildup. I saw the report and figured it was just a bruise spot on my kidney. No big deal. Now, it sounds like a big deal.

I am not going to make the appointment for the scan until February because truthfully, I just can't handle it emotionally right now.

I wore that fancy heart monitor for a month and was able to take it off and will send it to the lab this coming Friday. I am assuming the monitor will show nothing out of the ordinary because I didn't have any pulse irregularities while I was wearing it.

I'd just like to take one thing at a time. Maybe I can fake my way back into hospital where they could do all these tests all at one time, in one place and I wouldn't have to worry about getting back and forth or if my daughter has time in her teaching schedule to take me, so I don't have to walk so far from car to hospital lobby with my Rollator.
It has been a blessing to me to have Merle's daughter Marge come down every Monday afternoon to haul my garbage can out to the street. It is difficult enough for me just to get the can loaded up, as it is slippery on my porch and the can is unwieldy and hard to move around. She usually gets my mail for me to. I don't notice if the mail delivery is bad or not...I only get mine when she brings it in...once a week. LOL
A Face Book friend--a kid that was in Pammie's grade and I haven't seen in 45+ years, sent me two of those reacher-grabber sticks. What a blessing!!!
This morning the garbage pail was too far out for me to reach, so I grabbed the handle with that grabber stick and because the can has wheels, I could pull it right up to the open storm door and throw the bags of trash in it.
It also is so finely tuned on the grabber ends that I can pick up cat hair fuzzies off the floor and pieces of dry cat food.
When Walmart delivers my prescriptions, they just throw them at the top of the porch stairs. I can reach out with that grabber and pick up the package without having to go out on the porch and take a chance at falling when I bend over to pick up the package.
This being disabled with mobility issues sure isn't any fun. There is not one thing I can do in my normal before movement. I can even put down the cat dishes and then pick up their empty ones with the grabber.

Every time I use that grabber, I ask God to bless that kid. Well, he's 62 so not a kid, but you know....they'll always be kids to me.
Like I said before..."If you can't do it. Adapt it." I've even learned how to sweep my kitchen floor by sitting on my Rollator.

Friday, January 14, 2022

 I keep telling myself that I am going to start blogging on a regular basis and yet...I think many of us are now on FB and post there about our raves and rants and are too tapped out to have anything cogent to blog.

On December 19th, we had our family Christmas up at The Farm, as so many generations before us...same house...where my sister lives.  Not all my grands could be there, not all my children, but all my greats were present.

My sister played Christmas carols on the piano and we all sang.  It was traditional and gave me a sense of peace and comfort.

Two days before Christmas I was fitted with a heart monitor that I have to wear until the end of January. Nowadays, they have a small transistor kind of sensor that sticks on my chest and sends heart beats and any kind of irregularity, to a small monitor that looks like a smart phone.  They are checking to see if my heart goes into AFib.  So far no irregular beats noticed.

Then on January 5th, Karen's youngest Madeleine gave birth to another son.  She decided to have a home birth...two midwives brought in a large tube--like a hot tub without the jets, and Madeleine delivered the baby herself!  Labor took 4 hours.  Karen was there to encourage.

(Aside...I don't get how women do this.  I didn't even want to watch my own kids being born..."Take that slimy baby over there, clean him up, put a diaper on him, wrap him in a blanket and THEN bring him over here for a snuggle and bonding."  I did not witness either of my girl's giving birth.)  Karen said because it was so calm and quiet, she felt a certain spiritual serenity about it all.

Niklaus Adeodatus Loretto Caspar John Stefan Gaudete von Buelow

Welcomed by his 19 month old brother:

Benedikt Leonel Lourdes Aquinas Anton Dominic Athanasius von Buelow

Karen with her fifth grandchild, in 5 years, 2 months

Why all the names you ask?  I have asked the same.  Daddy Stefan comes from a family of 7 boys--Very traditional, German Catholic family and that is just the way they do it.  We call the oldest Bennie and I suppose this one will be Nick or Nickie?


"If you can't do it.  Adapt it."

I've been doing a lot of that lately.  So many things I can't do anymore with these mobility issues, but I am learning tricks to get things done with my Rollator walker.

In the morning, I put a dishtowel on the seat of the Rollator, get the wet cat food into two feeding dishes, fill up their dry food and water dish and roll it over to their feeding mat.  Thankfully, I can still bend over to put the dishes down on the mat.  

So I don't have to bend over and reach so far back into the dryer, I sit on the seat of the Rollator, which puts me on a level where I can get the clothes out of the dryer, fold them, or put them on a hanger and then get up, lay them on the Rollator and walk them into the bedroom to put away.

I can easily dust tables, entertainment/fireplace and even lower book shelves while seated on the Rollator.  and yesterday, I found I could vacuum this office space, while seated.

It took 45 minutes of moving stuff, vacuuming, moving stuff back, vacuuming, either seated in my desk chair or the Rollator...10 whole feet of carpet, but I got it done!

"If you can't do it.  Adapt it."

There is a warning, "DO NOT MOVE ROLLATOR WHILE SEATED" or I'd be using it like a wheel chair.  I suppose they are worried about the contraption collapsing?


I am waiting for January to get over with and then will get back into physical therapy.  Right now, our (Michigan) Omicron numbers are the highest in the United States and my grandchildren doctor's, who work in ICU in a hospital on the west side of the state, tell me that the hospitalizations are higher than they've ever been. I figure if I stay in my house, I have little chance of picking up a bad buggie.

The same as last winter--hibernating until the worse is over and then peeking my nose out of my den.

If you can't do it.  Adapt it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

 4weeks ago--Nov. 7th--11th

I’ve felt rotten for a few weeks.  I had seen the Cardiologist P.A. on Oct. 21, and they added a new BP med to lower my BP.  I told them that I thought it was already low enough, as I was having feelings of light headiness.

So last Saturday, I sat in my chair all day and watched football games.  Sunday morning I woke up and felt so weak and faint.  I took my BP and saw it was 92/45—and my heart rate was 140.  Usually I can feel a high heart rate in my neck, but I couldn’t feel this.

I decided I had better call 911.   I knew I had to let my sister  know, but at that moment, I couldn’t remember even how to use the phone to get her number.  Someone said, “Why would you post that on FB?”

Well, I knew my sister would see it that way.  Like I said I was, “out of it”.

When I got to the ER, my BP was 89/38—they wondered how I was still conscious…AND I was in active AFib.  High heart rate and it was tap dancing all over the place—140 to 100 to 150 to 108.

My daughter-in-law had thankfully seen the FB post and texted my sister and daughter’s.  My daughter Jennifer, way out in New Jersey, called two of the local hospital’s until she found me and called the ER department and insisted she talk to me.  I did not have my cell phone with me—never even thought about it.

The ER was full—all beds taken and people waiting in the waiting room to get in.  After 12 hours of laying there, they finally had a bed open up on the “heart” floor and I was admitted.

I had gone through this AFib nonsense 6 years ago and the med they gave me then had worked just fine, until the Cardiologist decided to stop it and put me on 3 different ones.  BTW—I have a  new cardiologist now.

So, back on the original med—Metoprolol—to get the BP stabilized and then a cardioversion yesterday morning. That’s where they shock the heart and it goes back into normal sinus rhythm—takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, no big deal—I had it 6 years ago. 

I did have fun in the hospital—with me, the more concerned I get, the more I joke around, so the nurses/techs/residents, thought I was their comic relief for the week.  Of course, I knew what to expect.  One MD told me, “You are the most knowledgeable patient I have ever treated.”  I wanted to reply, “Yeah Doc.  The better to know so you can’t kill me!”  But I didn’t say that.  Like I said, I actually had fun and if it weren’t for their insistence to poke needles in me to check blood levels, it would have been a lot more fun.

So—end result.  They took away 4 BP meds and kept me just on the Metoprolol, which had worked so well for 6 years and 2 months and sent me home.  I’m fine.  Worn out of course.  Back hurts from laying in that hospital bed, but no heart flutters, which is a good thing.


Last Sunday-yesterday

First of all, if someone tells you that COVID is still rampant—believe them.  I just got home from a hospital with over 500 beds—about 75 beds per floor—and they have 3 floors devoted to COVID patients only, plus over flow in their Emergency Department Trauma Center…about 250 COVID patients.

Adventure 2.0:  I had been feeling so dizzy and tired.  I thought it was because my BP was high, than low and all over the place…not so and not related to what I was in hospital for Nov. 8-11th.

I was short of breath on Saturday, Nov. 27th, but there was an important football game on TV, so I decided to get through the day and if I didn’t feel better, to call Sunday morning.  I woke up at 2:00am Sunday morning, fighting to breathe.  If I sat upright in my chair, it was easier, so I sat in my chair, trying to nap for the next few hours.  I wasn’t going to call anyone in the middle of the night nor early Sunday morning, so at 8:30, when I realized that I needed to get help, I just posted a quick FB post, knowing that my DIL or sister would see it and text the other kids, by then, I was shaking so hard that I couldn’t have made a phone call to anyone and have to explain—911 was the best I could do.

It took the ambulance guys about 8 minutes to get here and determine that I should go “in”, I fought hard once again to have them take me to the “small hospital” in Howell, rather than the Main hospital 35 minutes away—where they wanted to take me.  I won the battle and we arrived at a once again, over loaded ER—people in beds all along the wall, every ER room full.  They did a chest x-ray and came in to tell me they were transporting me down to the “mother ship” big hospital—as the hospital in Howell is a satellite hospital.  Never been in an ambulance before and now I got 3 rides in 3 weeks!

We arrived there an hour later, into a bigger ER department with an over-flow in their new Trauma Center—all the rooms there were full with 17 of us on beds along the wall.  The next few hours are kind of a blur—bright lights—noisy—so much activity.  They did take me for a chest scan and by midnight, I was in a room “upstairs”.  More people coming in to check me out—vitals and then at 2:00am, some doc prescribed that liquid LASIX be put in my IV line.  Lasix—a water pill, at 2:00 am?  I felt so bad for my nurses and tech, because I had to pee every half hour and they had to help me to the bathroom.  I told them I could manage with the walker, but “hospital policy” says…….and they had snuck an alarm pad into my bed, where if I got up, because of course, I tried it…loud alarms sounded and 2 quite large, male techs showed up, scolded me and told me they were required to help me to the bathroom.  GEEZ!

Monday was a day of tests—another Echo Cardiogram and the Doc told me my heart was very strong and healthy and “it won’t be your heart that takes you out!”—HAH.  Then another tech and wheelchair showed up at my door and the words I was scared to hear, “we are here to take you for a needle aspiration of your right lung, you have fluid build-up—no wonder I couldn’t breathe!  I had heard about needle aspiration—they stick a 6 foot needle in your back, through the ribs and into the lung to drain the fluid, so I was scared, but, it wasn’t bad at all.  I silently prayed, “Dear God, help me be brave” and He did.  NO—the needle isn’t really 6 feet long—it’s pretty long, but………..

600 ml fluid off that lung—helped with my breathing.  The fluid was clear and I asked if I had any lung problems like COPD or anything and the needle tech wondered why I would ask.  “No you don’t have COPD or chronic bronchitis…no stenosis…your lungs are in very good shape, why did you think otherwise?”  “Oh,,” I replied, “because I smoked for 60 years.”  “WELL, YOU’D NEVER KNOW IT BY LOOKING AT YOUR LUNG SCANS.”

 Tuesday noon, the head of PT came in to inform me I had a fractured right scapula (shoulder blade).  “I do not!” I said.  He went on to try and convince me that the fall I had taken on the day after I got home from my first adventure, had broken my scapula and caused the retention of fluid in my “bruised” right lung.  He said the fracture had showed up on the x-ray from the Howell ER.  Now I had fallen, but I didn’t tell anyone and  I (thought) I had recovered because I had no pain for the last couple of weeks, but I do remember someone asking me if I had fallen recently and I said, “Yes”, but didn’t explain further.  “You know,” I said, “the equipment at Howell is probably older than what you have here, maybe you should take another x-ray because……I do not have a broken shoulder blade!”

So he put me through some tests with my right arm and I did all of them really well.  He just stood and stared at me.  Then he wheeled me down to the PT clinic and had me walk around with a walker and up and down steps and checked my right shoulder and……..I had no pain.  Then he said, “I’m going to notify your Doctor, write you off and have you released this afternoon.”

What a dummy I am!  I know very well that a fall can cause internal bleeding or fluid build-up.  Heck—my Daddy, at age 92, died a few days after a fall when his kidney area filled up with blood and his kidneys couldn’t get rid of it and his kidneys failed.  Why did it never occur to me that I could have a similar problem?  A lot of “olders” die from falls every year and it’s usually from internal injuries.  Why did I not think of that?  Because I can’t get it through my head that I AM OLD and if there is no pain, I think everything is okay.

So—it took me 3 ambulance rides, a myriad of scans and procedures to find out—the earlier hospital stay and this one were entirely unrelated—this was caused by a fall that I didn’t pay attention to AND my heart, my lungs and all other innards are really in very good shape.

Once again, I found my hospital stay to be interesting and I actually had fun.  More social interaction than I’ve had in nearly two years. LOL.