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, May 22, 2018

Spring Time

I have 4 Lilac bushes to the west of my house.
When I open the one living room window and my kitchen window, the scent that comes in
just about hynotizes me.  I have such wonderful childhood memories of the large
Lilac bushes my Mother had--also west of the house.  
"So the breeze from the west will blow their scent into the house." she said.

It's Spring time here!
I made out a schedule or "to do" list or whatever you want to call it.
Monday--clean planters, arrange, plant.  Corn in raised bed by shed.  Cherry tomato in one pot, Bonny Best tomato in the other.  Large blue tub, plant cucumber to climb on trellis.
Plant annuals in 3-tiered planter.  Pull Quack grass from front garden.

Reality:  Monday, it rained all day.  Vacuumed and dusted house.  Washed bedding.
Tuesday (today)--do Monday.

Reality:  It is going to rain most of the day.  Run to Walmart and Michael's.  Buy garden hose.
Wednesday--do Monday??

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I deleted the post I published on Thursday.
I had written about something/someone that if someone found out would send me back into "ignoring you" prison.
I have no people from Russia that read my blog like pal Jean does, but I just might have spies.

Monday, May 14, 2018


May 1st--by budget was in the red $67.00
May 3rd-I received notice that my monthly budget payment for my electricity was being lowered by $7.00 a month.
May 5th- I received a check from one of my genealogy clients to pay account in full.


May 9th-the pilot light on my water heater blew out again.
May 10th-lunch with the Old School Gal Pals--cost more than I had in cash--had to use Debit card.
May 11th- service guy lit pilot light and told me I probably needed a higher exhaust flue up on the roof to keep it from blowing out every time we have a storm.  Cost estimate: $200.00
May 11th-evening, microwave oven blew up.  Made horrible noise, grinding noise, then light started flashing, sparks started flying and door popped open.  Cost estimate for new one-$50.00-$70.00


May 12th-Got Mother's Day check from Jen- $100.00--new microwave in the future, with some left over.  Also got a call from Pammie.  She is having so much fun and sounds so relaxed and happy that I could not be sad that she has moved out to NJ.

May 14th- Shoes arrived I had ordered for wedding.  So low cut on sides that my foot spreads out.  Have to return to Mall, which involves driving through two round-abouts!
May 14th-Got car license renewal from state.  Cost-gone up from $71.00 to $85.00 for my 20 year old car.

I can't wait to see what disasters await me the last half of this month!!!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Grandma's, Godsends and Goodness

Grandma Irene, the bride Morgan, Grandma Judy-the groom's grandma.
We both look like our hands are crippled.

Well, you know I was worrying about this month's budget.  I just had to put that worry out of my mind and keep thinking, "God will provide."

The next morning, I got an e-mail from my gas company.  I am on a budget plan where I pay the same amount every month--year around.  It was a notice to say that my budget payment had been lowered by $7.00.  I read it twice and then said, "Well now.  Ain't that something?"

Two days later, I opened my mail and there was a check from one of my genealogy clients.  She was paying me off by the month.  I had totally forgotten and thought she had paid in full.  There was her final payment check.  Guess what?  My budget for May is no longer in the red.

Yeah--I know, a lot of you will think, "What a nice thing for Judy.  A nice coincidence that these just happened to come when she needed them."

You can think that, it's okay, but...I know that I know that I know...
Hey, I got a phone call from the Old Coot last night.  We talked for an hour and it was nice--kinda nice.  He stated that I was an amazing woman--generous, compassionate, forgiving.  I told him the forgiveness was selfish on my part, because things were still in my mind after all these years, made for some bad dreams and the only way to save my own sanity, was to forgive him (and others).  The thoughts went away, along with the night terrors.

Then he went on (trying) to discuss his political beliefs.  I thought perhaps he had moderated on them in the past 30 years.  Not so.  I didn't comment, just sort of "hm-mm" every now and then.  We may both belong to the same political party, but he is so far out there, that I can't agree with any of his views.  So best to direct the conversation to how he is feeling--emotionally.

The day I saw him, he was a mess.  Skinny, unshaven, emotional.  He's doing better.  Concentrating on eating better, getting lots of protein for strength and has no more grief because, "Life is for the living."  Okay.

He is still buried in paperwork and things that need doing, but also preparing his garden for planting season.  He still has a huge garden.

So we reminisced about things--I racked my brain to come up with funny memories that would make him laugh and we ended the phone call on a positive note.

He didn't offer to come down here for a visit...I didn't offer to stop in at his place for a visit.  I can see that phone calls could be nice.  I would like to be friendly.  I'd like for both of us to end our lives without rancor towards each other, or at least with me having no rancor towards him, as he has said many times lately, it was none of my fault and that he was in the midst of mental illness.

Boy!  He sure was!! I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  LOL

Sunday, May 6, 2018

YAY! YAY! WHAT A DAY...............

...I HAD!!!
My soon to be grand daughter's bridal shower.I was kind of dreading it--you know, the figuring out what to wear--especially shoes.  I had an Alfred Dunner top of navy and tan, and tan pants, wore a pair of navy heels I had from my work days.  I knew better than to purchase that top--I've tried two other times over the last 20 years, and Alfred Dunner does not bit me right.  Too short--too boxy--looks very grandmotherly, but--hey, that is what I am.

I even managed to put make-up on!  Hell must have frozen over.  I even managed a bit of mascara with my shaky hand.  Except when Karen arrived to pick me up, she said, "I brought mascara to put on you Mom."
"I already have it on.  Doesn't it show?"
"Not really."
"Well, that's because I don't have many eyelashes left.  It's good enough."

That was my first good thing of the day.  Karen picked me up for the ride up into Lansing AND also in the car were Madeleine and Helene and little one Della Helene.  Let the fun begin.   Della started to tear up when she saw me, so I ignored her.  She just loves everyone, except her Great Grandma.

It was an odd place for a shower--a bakery called "Glazed and Confused".  Well, ya know, it's a college city so they have to be hip or clever or something.  No air conditioning, but the front and back doors open for air flow.

Graduation week there.  We had to park a block and a half away.  That is way more than the 200-400 steps I can manage.  The girls were all laden down with boxes of flowers and snacks, and baby, so I told them to go ahead and I mainly just strolled along at my own pace.  I was over half-way there, when I met the girls coming back for their second trip to unload the car.

I got in, got sat down, introduced myself to unknown people and got served a Diet Coke.  Blech!! No diet Pepsi on the premises and no iced tea.  Ice coffee, coffee and Coke products.  I got up to look at some of the photos and the bride's mother tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You must be Gramma Judy?"
"Yes.  I am glad to me you."
"I wanted to introduce you to the other Grandma, my mother, Irene."

We decided to sit together on one of the cushioned seats along the wall.  She said, "I can't sit on hard chairs anymore."

...and, therein started the magic!

As we sat heads close because we could not hear each other over the swirling conversations, we found out---we have so much in common, that, as she mentioned--"are we long lost sisters?"

For two hours we talked--many times the phrase, "I feel the same way", was uttered.  She has been married twice, widowed 6 years ago, finds that living alone is more fun that she ever thought.

We played some of the games, but not the gift Bingo, as I sat there not having filled out my card, I noticed she hadn't either.  "Aren't you going to play?"

"I hate  Bingo," she said.
"Me too!" I answered.
"How are we going to share an apartment in the Assisted Living place if neither one of us likes Bingo?"
"We'll play Backgammon."
"Oh, I love Backgammon," she said.  "I haven't played in years.  I miss it."
"Me too."

I was sitting at the end of the bench seat so it was easier for me to get up.  I asked her if she'd like some ice water or a soda.  "Do they have Diet Pepsi?" she asked.
"Nope,  Diet Coke."
"Oh, yuck.  I'm addicted to Diet Pepsi.  I hate Coke."
"Me too!"
"Put a lot of ice in it.  Maybe I can swill it down."

Then she told me that when her second husband died, it was hard.  I thought she meant loneliness, but she went on to say, "He had been married before and had four children.  They always acted like they liked me.  I was real good to their Father.  I let them make the decisions for his funeral.  He wanted to be cremated, but two of the kids lived away, so his oldest daughter wanted him embalmed, so they could see him.  He was cremated after wards.  That cost a lot more for the funeral."

By this time I was mesmerized, as this was the same as Fred and my funeral story.  I didn't say anything, just nodded my head.

"His oldest daughter and son said for me not to worry.  They would help pay for the funeral.  It never happened.  They didn't pay one single dollar."

I nodded.

"Then to top it all off, after the funeral, they came to the house and roamed around and took anything of his that they wanted.  They even went out in the shed and the boys took tools that belonged to MY son.  Then, what I really thought was odd, none of them wanted his ashes.  I paid to have him buried with his first wife!"

I nodded again and then said, "Well, let me tell you my story."

Her daughter was listening by now.

"My story is exactly the same as yours, except his oldest son took his bike from the shed--a bike I wanted to keep for myself.  And, since none of his kids wanted his ashes, I paid for a stone and buried him at the end of my own family cemetery plot."

She looked at me with her mouth open.

Her daughter said, "Mom.. it sounds like you and Judy have lived parallel lives!"
I have never connected so quickly and completely with another woman, other than my BFF.  We both stated that it felt like we had known each other for years and years.  We sat holding hands.

When the gifts were being opened, Irene said, "I can't hear a thing they are saying and I am only ten feet away!"

"I can't either.  It's all that extraneous noise.  I guess I need a hearing aid."

"Me too."

Then I said, "I can hardly see what they are opening.  They are sitting right in front of the sun, shining in the window and it makes everything look blurry to me."

"Me too," she said.
When we left, Karen said, "Mom, I didn't get to sit with you.  You looked like you were having fun.  Did you know that lady?"

"No.  Never met her in my life.  She's Morgan's grandma, Irene."

"You're kidding!  Every time I looked down that way, you were deep in conversation or hugging.  I thought you had probably met her before."
Well, Irene and I can't wait for the wedding and we are figuring out how to sit together again--no matter where our place cards are, at the reception, we will just move them, because as she often said, "We are old.  We can do anything we want and we don't care what people think!"

She lives in Pittsburgh, but is planning on moving back this way to live with Morgan's parents.  They only live about three miles south-west of my sister, on a farm.  Irene and I are making plans to get together after she moves.
After we left, we stopped in for a quick visit to my other grandson, Stephen.  He lives on the Michigan State campus so more walking from the parking lot, but I got to see his apartment and get a big hug.

We left here at 1:00, got home at 8:00.  My feet, back and hips didn't hurt a bit, but I fell asleep quickly, I was so tired.  This morning a few aches from so much walking, but oh...........so worth it.

What an awe-some day.  I still can't believe it!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Everyday an adventure in how to exist meaningfully.....

There is much to do around here, and none of it getting done.  Curtains need washing.  Windows need washing, at least on the inside.  I will have to leave Mother Nature to do the outside with a nice rain.  Mulch needs to be put down on my garden by the porch.  I have two bags of dark mulch that I bought late last fall, that have resided in the trunk of my car all winter.  It's no big deal to haul them out and put it down.

Well, it's been too darn hot!  85 degrees yesterday, May 1st and 80+ today?  It was winter here about 10 days ago and now we have July temperatures.   Yes, yes--I know.  All my Northern friends will yell at me for complaining about the heat, but--I do not deal well with heat and humidity.  I wish it would just stay 72 degrees all summer.

I have tried to walk everyday.  It is 250 steps from the end of my driveway up to Fred's special tree.  I did it Monday with no problem, up and back.  Yesterday, I barely made 100 steps before my back and hips started feeling like there were knives embedded.  As I was walking back, my balance was so off from the pain that I looked like I was drunk.  Mind you--I've never been drunk, but I've seen drunks trying to walk and I can only assume, that is the way I looked.  Merle was raking his side lawn and he called out, "Are you okay?"  I just waved and kept on walking.  It is only 50 steps from Merle and Pearl's--I had to keep going.  Collapsed in my recliner and the pain went away.

I have come to the conclusions, that if I want to walk, I am going to have to put a recliner chair at the half-way point!!!!  Or...maybe...suck up my pride and use my fancy-smanchy walker with the seat to walk with.  I think I need the handles to hold onto because when I grocery shop, I walk about 1,500 steps around the store, but with the cart to hold onto, it doesn't seem too bad.

Later in the afternoon, I did take the cover off the outside A/C unit, filled up and hung my Hummingbird feeder and the bird feeders.  I already have my Baltimore Oriole feeder up and saw a scout stop by the other day, so they must be migrating into the area.
Last evening I did something so out of my realm of possibilities, that it isn't funny.  I seem to have a touch of Agoraphobia again--not liking to be in enclosed areas with a lot of people.  Haven't been to church in 4 years.  Can't see well enough to drive after dark, comfortably.  I wanted to go to a seminar a friend was giving.  What if this program ran until after dark?  To heck with it.  I figured it would be another adventure.  The road was familiar, I could drive home blind, if need be.

Anyway--a Dear Friend of mine had been invited to give a presentation to the Audubon Group located about 10 miles from here.  I have known her and her husband since they were little kids--they went to school with my kids and I knew their parents.

I remember when she first picked up a camera to take photos of her beautiful gardens--she has 18 gardens.  I knew the minute I saw her first photos that she had an "eye for photography".  Then she started building natural habitats for the birds in the area.  She has since had several photos published in Birds and Blooms and other magazines.

So, she had been invited to give a presentation to this group.  It was held in the Senior Center.

Now, the people in the group are serious Birders!  They travel all around the state and even other states to find and count different birds.  They mentioned some birds I have never even heard of. I thought I heard someone mentioned a Red Bottomed Fly Sinker, but I am hard of hearing, so I may have misunderstood.

She only did the presentation on her Backyard Buddies--the birds that are in her own backyard.  It was fantastic!!!  She knocked those experienced photographers and birders off their seats, with her photo slide-show and then videos.!!  I couldn't have been prouder if I was her own Momma.

These people all have very expensive cameras and big zoom lenses that they tote around with them.  She still has a fairly simple camera, not big lenses to struggle with and yet...her photos are amazing!

So now that group is going to make plans to drive out to her home, near Byron, and spend time touring her gardens and her bird habitats.

Oh--I pulled into my driveway just as it was really too dark to drive.  Glad I made myself conquer my fears and go.

You can find her website here and view her photos.

May 1st--yesterday, May Day--our winter has been so long that there are NO wildflowers blooming to make a pretty May Basket treat.  No violets.  No May flowers.  No Trilliums.  No May Apples.  Na Da.  But my Daffodils are blooming and Tulips ready to burst into blossom any day now, and a few pretty, bright yellow Dandelions sprinkled around the yard.

Just before I went to bed, being the first of the month, I printed out my budget.  Not a good thing to do late at night, when worries can keep me awake.

I'm $66.00 short this month.  A new bill from the CAT scan place.  Dentist bill, with another cleaning coming up next month.  Health insurance nearly doubled, even with my subsidy.  Gas for the car?  I only allow $20.00 a month for gas for my car--even if the price is near $3.00 a gallon.  It is worrisome, every month, even if the budget has a few dollars left over, but when it is in the red so much................?  Lawn mowing starts this month and that will be $40.00 a month, if I only get it mowed twice a month, and this time of year, it needs a weekly mow.  I will just have to live with longer grass, simple as that.

Plus, just this moment, I remembered--I have to get a pair of shoes and a small purse before the wedding.  Oy Vey!!! Oh my Gosh--and next month my license tabs are due--$71.00.
Well, enough of that.  I will do the best I can and God will provide the rest.  He always has.

The United Methodist Church has had some pretty funny memes lately.  I laughed out loud over this one.

Friday, April 27, 2018


One easy peasey trip up to Walmart to pick-up a prescription.  No other shopping needed.  I decided to take in the 3 bags I had filled with empty Pepsi 2 liter bottles.  No problem.

Except--the machine would not take my bottles.  There were 5 machines open and not a single one of them would take the bottles.  I even tried each machine twice--with two different bottles.

So, I lugged the bags down to Customer Service.  The 2 cashiers were busy, but the manager, in her bright, yellow vest, came up and asked if I needed any help.  I explained the situation to her and she replied:
"I just checked an hour ago and all five machine are working."
I said, "I just came from there and none of the five machines are working."

Then, of course because I'm old, she questioned my mental capabilities.
"Perhaps you tried to put them in too fast."
"No.  The minute I placed the bottle into the machine, the red light came on and it quit working."
"Did you put it in bottom first?"
"Are they bottles from another State?"
"No.  I purchased them in this store."

Now she's going to get her huff on.
"Well, I don't understand.  I personally checked and all five machines work perfectly!"

Just as I was about to raise my hand and slap that snotty face, one of the ladies behind the cash register, spoke up.

"The Pepsi rep was in yesterday.  They made some changes, but he forgot to re-calibrate the bottle return machines.  They won't take any Pepsi products."

Miss Huffy turned and walked out, headed down to the bottle return area.  The cashier said, "Here let me help you."

She dragged an empty cart over to where I was and we started counting bottles.  Then she went to the register and gave me my $4.60.

I walked down to the Pharmacy, was first in line for my script.  No other customers.  When the girl said, "Ms. Judy.  How is your day?"  I told her of the incident and all the Pharmacy staff laughed and laughed.  As I left, the one kid called, "Always a pleasure to see you Missus Miller.  You brighten our day."

Bah Humbug!!!
I have created a problem.  I feed the squirrels and birds all year 'round.  I decided years ago to feed the squirrels separately to keep them out of the bird feeders.  Worked great.  Usually, in the spring, the squirrels would quit eating from their feeder and go off to forage for themselves.

I filled the bird feeders and dumped out what was left in the squirrel feeder.  An hour later, I looked out and there were four squirrels, covering the bird feeders, tipping them to the side and gorging themselves, while my poor Finches, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Chick-A-Dees, Blue Jays, sat in the nearby bushes watching.


I watch Dr. Phil once in awhile.  He is very big on enabling and how not to do it.  You don't reward bad behavior.  Apparently, I have enabled the squirrels and now, if there is no feed in their box, they will just eat from the bird seed.  

So, off I went to the Tractor Supply farm store to get more shelled corn and peanuts.

As I walked in the store, I noticed a couple of cages with baby chicks and ducks in them.  I had to stop and talk to the fuzzy, yellow baby chicks.

Just then an older man came up and said, "Just buy a dozen of them.  You'll have all the eggs and roasters ya need."

I explained. "Oh...no thanks.  I don't like to eat eggs or chicken.  I grew up on a poultry and hatchery farm and I just wanted to see the baby chicks and listen to them peeping."

I've got forty-six Guinea fowl," he said.  "I could give you a couple of them."
"Oh my gosh!  It must be noisy at your place."
"Yep.  They are noisy...and ugly."
"Well, they make good watch "dogs.  Anybody drive in and you'll know it."
"I have them because they eat ticks.  All the tall grass around the out buildings are full of ticks.  Those ugly things eat ticks, so they don't get on my other animals."

Click here to see Guinea Fowl.

I went on to get two 5# bags of shelled corn, and a bag of shelled peanuts and unshelled peanuts.  Only cost $20.00.

On my way out, there was a much older man having a sales clerk load his pick-up truck with 6 heavy bags of fertilizer.

Of course, I had to engage him in conversation.

"How you gonna unload that when you get home.  It looks pretty heavy to me."
He looked frail and had a frail voice.  I noticed his hands shaking and thought he probably had Parkinson's.

"I don't know.  I like to spread the fertilizer on my garden and then roto-till it in before I plant."
"You know...hm-mm...you could put a wheel barrow under the tail-gate and slide a bag off and wheel it out to your garden.  That would be easier than trying to carry the bags."

He looked at me like I had just discovered sliced bread.

"Well now...gol damn...that sure would work.  I could split the bag and just spread it around by the shovelfulls."
"I think that would work great!"
"Ya know...I ask my son to come over and help, but he's always so damn busy that by the time he gets to it, it's a week past planting time."
"Oh boy, I know about trying to get help from kids.  They have time for everything else except helping their parents."
"Ain't that the damn truth?"

I walked on and loaded my trunk with my supplies and as I drove away, he lifted a shaky hand and waved good-bye.
That adventure took just about as long as the one the day before at Walmart, but it sure was a lot more fun.  I felt like I had been conversing with a couple of neighborhood farmers.  Reminded me of home.

Got the squirrel feeder filled up and now it appears, that everyone is happy and at their proper feeding stations.