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, December 31, 2013

T'was The Day Before The Day

They tell us we can expect 5.8 inches of snow on New Year's Day

Marcia, thanks so much for letting me know the kids liked the book.  So far, I have had only good reviews from the kids that have it.  :-)

I always wanted a Dyson vacuum cleaner.  I got one about 6 years ago--very expensive.  Two years ago, I had to get a new clutch, belt and brushes, plus two filters put into it= $175.00.  You cannot change the belt and brush by yourself.  Lately I had noticed that it no longer seemed to be picking up the cat litter or anything else, for that matter, so yesterday, I took it to the store to get repaired.  The owner was waiting on a customer, so I looked around at some of the floor models of vacuums.  There was Oreck, Hoover, Riccar and Dyson.  I noticed over in a corner, three Dyson's just like mine--they all had repair tags on them.  I talked to the owner a bit and asked about the Dyson's.  He said, "I'd be out of business if it wasn't for Dyson repairs."


"I thought Dyson was supposed to be the best."

"No way!  They are highly over rated and very expensive."

"Well--I have one out in my car that needs to be repaired...again."

He went out and brought it in for me.

"Yep," he said.  "Needs another clutch, a new brush and belt."

I walked over and looked at an Oreck.

 Then he said, "This machine here is a really good one and a great price, plus it is on sale until the new year."

I looked at it.  Riccar.

"I've never even heard of this brand."

"It's made in the US--Missouri.  In my opinion, it beats any other vacuum I have in this store.  It's got a belt and brush you can replace yourself and the best suction I have ever seen."

He went on to say that most carpet manufacturer's won't honor the warranty on their carpet if you use a Dyson--"The brush on a Dyson will rip out the pile and carpet fibers."

So I came home with a pretty blue Riccar vacuum cleaner and spent the rest of the afternoon vacuuming every inch of carpeting in this house and boy--he was right!!  He also gave me a 5 year maintenance warranty for free.  I can take it in every year and he will clean it and check it all over to make sure it is all right--free.

I didn't quite believe him about the carpet companies not liking Dyson, so I called the local carpet store when I got home and asked.  Sure enough.  If you use a Dyson to vacuum your new carpeting--they will not honor the warranty on the carpet, if something wears.

Then, I Googled, "5 best vacuums" and came upon this presentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFECvZOal14   very interesting.

So--my New Year's resolution is not to use the charge card for anything in 2014--put the vacuum on it, but it was still 2013, LOL.
As an adult, I never liked New Year's Eve.  We either had a party or went to a party or dance--I was ALWAYS the Designated Driver as I never drank. I had fun dancing and all, but everyone else got so drunk!  I never got so many "hits ons" by my friend's husband's as I did on New Years Eve.  Of course, they were drunk, so I excused them for their actions.  But, I always felt uneasy around them for a couple of months after that.  They, being drunk, could always use the excuse that they "didn't remember"--I never bought that for a minute.  Anyway--as the midnight hour drew near, there was cheering and laughing and whooping and hollering and I--just felt sad.  Another year out of my life, is the way I felt--still do.  Then I had to drive the drunks home and stop the car at any given moment so they could open the doors and heave.  At least, I got the bed all to myself that night--my hubs was curled around the porcelain throne, sleeping on the cold bathroom floor.  

I had a pretty rough 2013, so I guess I might look forward to a better year in 2014, but, being the worrier and pessimist that I naturally am--I don't put much hope in this next year.  I think it is just going to be harder then the past one--something is telling me that.

At least my Spartan's are playing in the Rose Bowl, for the first time in 25 years, so that is one good thing to look forward to on New Year's Day.
My cross stitch is progressing.  I am now working on my Grandma's farm--the one where I raised my children from 1967 to 1988.  The house sure was hard to do.  I couldn't make the stone front look like stones--still pondering on how to do that.  Real hard to outline the squares to look like stones.

Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Here We Go Again

Today's high temperature: 41 degrees
On day #7, Pammie, Mark and my Byron friends, got their power back on.  Pammie and Mark lost all the food in their freezers and refrigerators.  Mark had just purchased 1/4 of a butchered steer--Pammie had also just stocked her refrigerator.  Home Owners insurance might pay, but they each have a $1,000 deductible.  The power company is offering a $25.00 rebate on their light bill.  Just go back to trimming the damn trees around the wires every few years, like they used to, and they wouldn't have this problem.
I got Christmas out of here today--8  hours of cleaning and putting away.  Freshened up my drapes in the dryer with a dryer sheet on "air", dusted and polished, washed windows inside.  It sure seems dark without the Christmas tree lights and no outside lights on anymore.  I am going into hibernation now!!

I am fast approaching the 2nd anniversary of Fred's "transition" from here to there.  It's weird.  I feel like I have been alone for years and years.  Sometimes, I wonder if we really had seven years together or if I just imagined all of it.

The first year, actually, to me wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The first few weeks I was in a state of shock.  I did everything by rote--instinct.  I smiled and I smiled and I comforted people and I told everyone how grateful I was for knowing him.

The next couple of months, I was in the fog--the anesthesized brain.  I acted quite normal, to the outside world.  I drove places, I attended family functions, but when I got home, I couldn't remember driving there and back.  I knew I had talked to people, but I couldn't quite remember who or what was said.  Unless, I said or did something really irrational or outrageous--I remembered that and wondered why I had said or done it..so out of character.  Sleep walking through life.

Then, there were things that had to be taken care of.  His bathroom shelf had to be cleared.  His toothbrush, his Old Spice, his special shampoo, his razor.  Closets to be cleaned out, the storage unit and shed to be cleared out, things to give away.

Along about nine months into the journey, I felt like I was doing quite well.  Oh--at times I still said and did irrational things--like ordering Forever Comfy cushions on line, at three A.M.--and at times I thought I was losing my mind or had a brain tumor or something.  Irrational thoughts would come into my mind. But all-in-all, I was doing pretty good.

Just as I was starting to cruise along, getting through all the "firsts" alone--the birthdays, the anniversary, the holidays, in a pretty good state.  Then comes the 1st anniversary of THE DAY!  

BAM--I put myself in a giant hole by reading my journals of our seven years together, looking at vacation photos, watching the video they played at his funeral.  I thought it would be good for me--it would be closure--HAH--it set me back for weeks.
I had heard that the second year is even harder and I wondered how that could be--impossible, but in truth, it has been.

The 2nd year brought reality.  

Fred was not in the hospital, getting better and waiting to come home.  He was not up at the Wal-Mart, buying groceries and would be walking in the front door any minute. He wouldn't be here to tell me when I had an inch long black hair growing out of my neck.  No thumb to hold at night.  No sweet words of how much he loved me.  No hugs and no kisses. 

Reality bites big time!!!

No one spoke his name--it was like he never existed.  I had forgotten how his voice and laugh sounded--how he smelled.  There was no trace of him--anywhere. 

He was gone.  


Never to be seen again.

The Grief Share meetings may have been helpful, but I was so busy thinking about their "pre-determination" theory that I totally do not believe in, that I may have missed the real reason I was there.

Reality is a big slap in the face.  

Then the financial crises.  The problems and no one to talk to about them.  The problem with Jen and I never would have happened if Fred were here. 

I went a little nuts again.  Knew for sure that I had a severe mental problem.  The panic attacks, the heart palpitations--that sent me to the ER.  

"We can find nothing wrong."

"Nothing wrong?  Then why is my heart beating at 127 beats a minute?"

The loneliness seemed to get worse--an icy, cold feeling deep inside.  An actual physical feeling of coldness in my stomach--or could it be a cancer growing?  An aneurysm on my aortic artery that runs down my center?

I never worried or even rarely thought of dying--before Fred died.  Now I wondered all the time.  Would I die in the middle of the night and no one find me for days? Would I die while I was driving?  Fall over in the middle of the Wal-Mart?  Drop dead in church?

Many times I wanted to die.  Just sit down in my recliner, put my feet up, close my eyes and "transition" outta here.  Maybe it IS true--that we will see our loved ones again.  I was tired.  Tired of having to do it all.  Tired of no one to talk to that understood.  Just plain tired.

Such deep seated fear gripped me--the fear of needing help and being all alone was the worse. The internal shaking that came at odd times of the day.  The dreams that woke me, screaming and kicking, in the middle of the night.

What if....someone tried to break in at night? What if...the severe thunderstorm made the tree fall on the trailer?  What if the cat got sick and he is too heavy for me to carry out to the car and the vet?  What if the hot water heater sprung a leak and flooded the place. What if a fire started in the middle of the night. 

It's enough to drive a person crazy--all the what if's.

Yeah--the second year has been worse. Especially this New Year's Day--the 2nd anniversary, made worse because Fred and I always watched football bowl games all day and THIS YEAR, Michigan State is playing in the Rose Bowl.  Fred would be so proud and so excited about that.  There would be cheering from both of us, groans at an interception.  We would have our usual platter of New Year's Day snacks--sliced Hickory Stick, some really good Wisconsin cheese, Breton Sesame crackers and some nice sweet Gherkins, he with his Coke, me with my Diet Pepsi, sitting on the table between our chairs.


Life isn't fair--most of the time!


Friday, December 27, 2013

I Am Here

The high temperature today was: 41 degrees
Lots of sun

I did nothing today except cross stitch.

Byron family and friends still without electricity--day #6.

See ya tomorrow.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bye Bye Christmas

Today's high temperature was: 25 degrees
2" new snow and sunny
As yet--no power for my friends and family

Pammie has been staying with Jennifer.  She picked me up on Christmas Eve morning to go up to The Farm--where son Mark is staying with Susan and Chuck.  We had to stop at Pammie's house (where I used to live) first.  It was 35 degrees in the house!  Now--I lived in that area for 50 years.  We had ice storms and we had wind storms that broke off trees and shut off power, but the longest we ever went was 2 days--and that was in the summer.  I have never seen anything like this in my life.  It truly is a state of emergency for most of the county.  The problem?  The county and Consumers Energy USED to trim tree branches back from their lines--especially around their sub-stations.  They cut back on that about five years ago.  So this time, we have line men crews from Kansas, California, Nevada, Ohio and Indiana coming in to get the power back on.  I wonder how much the county actually saved--whatever it is, they will have to pay it to the crews.

So--Pammie and I figured out how to shut off the water and drain the pipes.  Then we got some RV anti-freeze and put it in the toilet bowls and down the drains. Pammie said, "If a man can do it--we can do it!"  and we did!!

Christmas Eve was wonderful!! For the first time in 43 years there was negativity in the house! No critical remarks--no jokes at another person's expense.  Susan had a picture of our Mother and Dad and also a picture of us with our Grandma--back in 1961 when Karen was just 2 months old.  I haven't seen my son so happy and congenial in years!!!

Then Susan sat down at the piano and played Christmas carols and we all sang.  Pammie got tears in her eyes and said, "This is just like it used to be when Grandma was alive.  I remember it so well," and son Mark said, "I remember too.  We always sang songs while Grandma played the piano."  None of my grandchildren remembered as they weren't born until 15 years after my Mother died. but my oldest grand daughter, Helene said, "Oh that must have been so nice!"  We could be "real" again this year, with the step-mother gone, and you could tell that everyone of us in that house loved all the others and knew they loved us.  What a blessing!!!

This is the frame I have had (like forever) for the cross stitch I am working on.
It is 26 x 9".

I have the farm I grew up on all done.  Kind of hard to see in this pix.
I got my Mother's little vegetable garden in there, and the Lilac bushes she loved.
Also the little well house and the windmill.  That group of trees, represents
the woods between our place and my Grandma's.
The white building on the upper right, is NOT a church.
It is the school house on the corner, where my Grandma
taught and my Dad attended for 8 years.
Williams District #10.

Now--this farm, my Grandma's farm and the one I lived on and raised by kids--is next.

The house and the hatchery across the drive.
I am wondering how to do the stone work on the front of the house.

P.S.  Bella,  you need new glasses.  I haven't colored my hair in six months.  It is grey all around the front and dark in the back.  I look like the old woman I am!!!  
But, thanks anyway.

Christmas Eve at The Farm

Today is the 5th day with no power for my family in Byron.  Thankfully my sister insisted they put in one of those $5K whole house generator's when they did the renovation, so our Christmas Eve was warm and happy.

This is was the oldest oak tree in the county, and one
of the oldest in the State.

My son Mark and his lady, Cindy

Pammie making Pumpkin Dump Cake

Pammie and Susan--Susan's son Adam behind them

Daughter Karen's crew all together this year

Susan's son and his family

This to prove that some have grown taller then Gramma.

I said, "I need a baby to hold on my lap," so
Madeleine obliged.

Monday, December 23, 2013

My Christmas Card To You

From our house to yours---
Judy, Buddy & Maggie

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you
and be gracious unto you;
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you
and give you peace.

May the joy of Christmas fill your home
May the Lord bless you with a healthy and 
Happy 2014.

Love to all--Judy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two Days Work

It took two days to figure out and place the house.
I was born in the room behind the far right window.
(No, the chimney isn't crooked-just the cloth.)

The photo I went by and memory

December 22, 2013

Looks like an inside, cross stitch, kind of day to me.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Perfect Day To Cross Stitch

Today's high temperature was:  35 degrees
Cloudy, misty
Freezing rain coming tomorrow.
As for my book, crafts and other things--I would quote: "Truly I tell you," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown." 

When I first found out my book was being published as an e-book, I was so excited and told my father and family.  The announcement was greeted with an, "Oh--that's nice," and a pat on the head.

If I make a cross stitch or crocheted project for someone outside the family, it is raved over and appreciated.  If it is going to a family member, it is usually unwrapped and, "Thanks.  It's cute."  That's just the way life is.

It does hurt though, doesn't it?  Usually when we are creating something for someone else, we think of that person all the time we are working on it.  We have a perception in our minds of how they will react.  That's the problem with expectations--they rarely are as good as we think they are going to be.  

That's why, I do these craft projects and other things--just for myself!!!  That's why I decorate my house at Christmas time.  That's why I plant and work in my gardens--just for me, because, nobody else comes to visit or cares.

As for the luncheons, 4 or 5 of the gals belong to the Red Hat Society and live in or near the old hometown.  They see and talk to each other often and know all the gossip.  The other 3 or 4 of us, moved from the hometown years ago and are unaware of what is going on and they forget to fill us in--assuming we know, I guess. When I die and my funeral is in the old hometown church, they will send me a nice, small floral display and attend the funeral.  As will my children who don't have time for me now.  What more can I expect?  Nothing, actually.

So the warm weather moved in, melting the snow, which uncovers the icy roads underneath.  It is slushy and slippery on the streets in this park.  Once out on the main roads--they have all been salted and have been clean and dry for days.  At least, the weather looks good for Christmas Eve when I have to drive up to The Farm and drive home after dark.
A perfect day to cross stitch and watch TV.  That is about all I did today.  My eyes are just about crossed and everything is a bit blurry right now.

I got my corn planted and moved my cow back away from the fence

Got my John Deere tractor in there and got the little
school over on the corner done.

Tomorrow is predicted to be a day of afternoon freezing rain.  I think I will start on the house--which will go in below the barn.  I not only am obsessed with this, I am addicted now--I can't seem to put it down!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Strange and Weird

Today's high temperature was: 38 balmy degrees
A bit of sun, now and then
Last night, there was weather prediction of a bit of freezing mist this morning--but it did not happen--of which I am glad.  Today was the School Gal Pals Christmas luncheon.  Bethie wanted some more apples from Susan, so she and I met up at The Farm, and then rode together to the luncheon.

It was nice for Beth to see all of Susan's decorating.  Susan's first year decorating her new space.  Susan has three trees (doesn't everyone?)--each a different style, one in her new family room--all pink, gold, silver and crystal.  One in the living room--teddy bears are the theme and home made ornaments, and then one in her bedroom--a memory tree with ornaments made by her two boys.  Plus she has a nice Santa collection, little Hallmark wooden houses, crystal trees and angels==on and on.  She is only 61, so she will continue to decorate like this until she gets near our age and figures it is a bit too much work :-)

Before Beth got there, Susan showed me a picture that she has on her refrigerator--"for everyone to see!", she said.  It is a picture of our mother and father.  Susan said, "Finally, after all these years, we can now put out pictures of our REAL Mother and our Dad."  (No step mother around to pretend the first marriage didn't exist.)

Susan said that my son Mark, who lives on the farm just 1/8 mile north of her, was down the other day and brought Susan a real, evergreen wreath for her front door.  She showed him the picture and said, "Do you know who that lady is?"  Mark said, "Yes--my real grandma."

Now my son Mark acts all tough and grumpy to everyone.  He's really pro-gun and inherited all my Dad's hunting guns and a couple from his other grandpa.  Mark says things like, "Just let them set foot on my land and I'll blow their head off"--things like that, but I know this kid.  He was very close to my Mother and when she died, at age 53, Mark was 14 and it affected him in a really bad way.  He would no longer go to church--just the year before, he proclaimed he was going to be a minister.  

So anyway--Susan made him a copy of the picture.  Mark was outside talking to a couple of older guys he knows who were hunting on Susan's farm.  She took the picture out and handed it to him.  She went back inside and peeked through the window.  Mark turned the picture to the guys and said, "Do you know who this woman is?"  and the guys said, "Yeah.  Charlie's first wife, your grandma."  and Mark said, "My REAL grandma."  His girlfriend Cindy called Susan later and told her Mark showed her the picture and had tears in his eyes.  My son--the real tough one--yeah, sure!
Okay--now for the lunch.  Bethie was a little late to pick me up and told Susan and I that she was upset because she made loaves of different sweet breads for the gals and she had left two loaves of banana-nut bread in the freezer at home.  So we ride over to the really, scruffy restaurant where the lunch was going to be.  We normally don't exchange Christmas gifts, but I had made Scrubbies for the gals and Beth had the loaves of bread.  Each gal could pick out the kind she wanted.

After lunch, we did our gift thingie.  One of the gals there is not really part of our group--she is a sister to one of the gals and she took TWO loaves of bread.  Didn't ask, "if you have any left over, I'd like another loaf," none of that, just said she wanted TWO.  

Then, I got my children's book out, in case anyone wanted one.  Bethie got 5 of them and another gal got one.  So I passed one around for them to look at.  The gal on the end of the table, practically read the entire book and then passed it one to the next gal, who did buy it.  Then another gal asked, "How much is it?" and I told her "seven dollars" and she said, "well, I guess I better get one."  Then the next gal, sitting next to me didn't want one.  Now--this is all well and good, but it ticked me off!!

It's not that you need the book or even have a grandchild to give the book to--to my way of thinking, this is a book that one of your friends managed to get published and printed and you ought to buy one damn book just because she is your friend!!! and you can afford seven bucks and you know she is living in poverty and...and...and.

Petty?  Who me?  Yes I am!!!

Above all, these lunches are becoming tiresome to me.  More of a duty then a "want to."  I think I know why.  To begin with, Beth and I, Sally, Arlene and Judy were always at the lunches.  We are the group who sort of did most things together in high school.  I have hardly anything in common with Ruth, Marlene, June--didn't in high school, don't now.  Well--Sally is in Arizona and Arlene and Judy are dead--all I have is Beth.  We usually have to sit at a long table and, being hard of hearing, I can't hear what the girls at the other end of the table are talking about.  Ruth rarely says one word!

We used to have some great discussions, but now, if something even the least profound is brought up,.you get the "I never heard of that," even though it's been all over the news programs.  In the last six months, I have started to feel invisible.  Today I was asked a question and I proceeded to answer it, within a few words, you could see their eyes start to glaze over and they just turned their heads and started talking to each other.  I just stopped talking in mid-sentence and no one even noticed.  I think if I go next month, I am going to not say a word and see if anyone notices.  

It just isn't fun anymore or even worth the time and the gas money.  Perhaps once every quarter would be enough--maybe then, we'd have something to talk about?  The last exciting thing was when our one friend Liz got remarried--we were all happy for her--even when we found out the groom was her first cousin!!!  Now, we had a lively conversation that day!!

Anyway--Beth and I got back in her car to start home and we got to pissing and moaning and getting more ticked off at greedy people and "why don't people act like they are suppose to!!" and saying as how we are getting old, petty and crotchety!  Then we filled the car with some blue words and got to laughing and acting crazy--just like in the old days.  The best time I had this whole day was on the ride over to and the ride home from, with Bethie.  AND she gave me some cat food!!!!  The best gift ever!

By the way, I added cows and the first few rows of corn to the farm tonight--the cows are pitiful.  They either look like a blob or sheep!!  

I did get a half-way decent fence on the other side to keep the cows out of the corn field, LOL   That front cow looks like a cat sitting on the fence.  Oh Lordy!!!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's The Strangest Thing

Today's high temperature was: 24 degrees
Feels like temperature: 16

Today was one of those days when I just felt real peaceful and content.  I have no idea why--just like I have no idea why on the days I feel shaky, depressed and weepy.  There is no rhyme nor reason.  But...I like this kind of feeling much better.  I just felt real mellow--wish I knew how to keep that feeling.

This time of year is the happiest time of year--according to all the polls.  It is also the saddest time of year--according to a lot of the polls.  There are so many people that are sad this time of year, because a loved one is missing from their family gathering.  A parent, child, spouse, sibling.  Even if it isn't talked about, someone in the group is missing and someone is thinking about them.

Nostalgia reigns  supreme.  I miss my Mother and the way she made Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.  I miss the fact that most of my grand children are all grown up now--it is so fun to have little kids at Christmas time.  Of course, this year I will be missing my youngest daughter and her family.  I miss the way Christmas was back when I was married and the kids were young and so excited about everything.  Going to the Sunday School Christmas program where they had all parts to play and pieces to say.  

For us that are alone, it is really hard this time of year.  I have the house all decorated and lights inside and out and...no one will see it. It is just for me and it seems all too much work at times, but I know I need it.  There are no presents under my tree--no secrets packages for Fred (or me) to shake and see if we can guess what is inside.  No one to wake up with Christmas morning and eat cinnamon rolls and open presents with.  No one to ride home with, in the dark, after the family Christmas Eve and talk all about it.  Yeah--it is so hard.  BUT--we put smiles on our faces and we dress up with a bit of glitter in our ears or around our necks and we laugh and talk and maybe go to Christmas Eve late church services.  

No wonder that on December 26th, I take down the tree and get rid of all the decorations.  It is over!  I want it out of my house!  Then of course, I have New Year's Day, the second year of Fred's "transition" date.  This year, it too will be hard, because he would have been so excited to watch Michigan State play football in the Rose Bowl!!  I still may make "our" platter of Game Day goodies--some Hickory Stick, slices of good Wisconsin cheese, some sweet Gherkins and those wonderful Breton Sesame Seed crackers to put it all on and munch to our heart's content.  <sigh>
It is the strangest thing.  I cannot draw--for the life of me--I cannot draw a picture.  I can't get the perspective right so things look like they should--some near, some far.  But--I take a blank piece of cross stitch fabric and I can stitch what I want to see.  I can see it in my mind and just start stitching and along comes ideas and how things should look and.....
I got the front of the barn done and then figured out how to put the back end on it==a row up so it would look like it was farther back.  Then I decided, it needed steps by the door that led into the calf pens--cement color.  Then, I wanted a silo back behind the barn--like it actually was, so..how to do that.  Ah yes.

Then I decided I wanted a fence that looked like it was back behind the barn and I came up with this and the gate.  I think I will take that fence kitty corner up from the barn to the blue line and on the other side too--to give the illusion of a fenced in field because....I gotta get a tree or two on the left upper, so I can have a few cows there.  A corn field over to the right of the barn, and of course, I have to figure out how to get a green tractor in there and--perhaps a driveway coming down past the house.  Guess I will put in the house first and the driveway later--when I am sure of the placement.

But--that's how it's going and I think the perspective looks good.  I don't need a pattern!!  I just need to let my mind wander and figure it out. It really does look like our barn--in a sort of sampler/Amish/Grandma Moses/provincial way.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Obsessive and Completely Undisciplined!!!

Today's high temperature was:  26 degrees
2" of snow over night and this morning
Every single morning, when I come out into the living room, this sight greets me.  Maggie must do it during the night.  Cats are so sneaky--she pays no attention to it during the day.
It is hard to get straightened out properly.  I use my Grabbit stick
I had after hip surgery, when I couldn't bend over for 6 weeks.

I find myself talking to the cats like I did my kids.  When I swing my legs out of bed, they are all over me.  Meowing and carrying on.  "Are you ready for breakfast?  Just give Momma a minute to go potty."  "What's the matter, Honey?"  "Maggie, I said no!"  "Hey--quit wrestling...someone's gonna get hurt."  I guess, when you have no one else to talk to in the house, you talk to your pets!!

A couple more inches of snow and Dan--my snow digger-outer guy showed up again.  This young man has ADHD and is very hyperactive.  He moves so fast, which gets him in trouble AND he will talk FOREVER!!!  But, I like him.  I didn't think a mere 2 inches of snow needed cleaning off the parking pad, but he cleaned off my car, swept the porch and railings and beat the snow out of my welcome mat, and shoveled the parking pad clean, so I gave him a 10 spot.  I am going to call on him, after Christmas, to haul all my heavy stuff back out to my shed and back to my bedroom closet.  Yes--I could do it, if I had too, but it makes my back and hips ache--so--I will pay him five or ten bucks and it will help both of us.
I went searching for a microwave yesterday.  I stopped at the Habitat for Humanity place, and the Salvation Army store, but they had nothing.  Then I went to Wal-Mart, Lowes and Home Depot.  I knew the one I wanted, so I was just checking prices.  
Lowes = 126.00
Home Depot = 79.57
The same oven--such a price spread!

...AND, if I opened a charge card with them, they would take off $25.00.  So I did, although I will never use it--I don't like the Home Depot store all that much.  I prefer Lowes.  

The kid loaded it up for me and when I got home, I called Merle and he came down and brought it in and unboxed it for me.  I like it!  It is smaller then the one I had, but it is perfectly good enough for what I use one for. (Mine does not have any black on it--all white)
Then I went over to the JoAnne's store--just to check on cross stitch fabric--just to check.  I found just what I wanted!!!  A yard long and a yard wide--$5.00--off white.  So I got it.  Going to put it away until January 1st when I start the project of stitching the farm and town on it.

Undisciplined and obsessive as I am--I got it out this morning, measured it, marked it off with a chalk pencil and then--WOE IS ME--I had to start it while I watched my soap.

Starting with the barn

I have a photo of the house I grew up in (before the remodel), and I found other pictures that resemble the buildings on the farm and the town (school and church) and I scanned them and printed them out on graph paper and charted them so I would know how large they were going to be when stitched.  Of course, I have every color of floss known to mankind, so no need to buy that.  All this stuff was rattling around in my mind, so I just HAD to start--just to see--honest!!!  I have no self discipline or control!!!!!
The house is printed out on graph paper.  It will go down a bit and right of the barn--somewhere.  I gotta get a John Deere tractor, a couple of cows and a silo next to the barn first.  Just going on instinct and color choices and we will see what happens. It, of course, won't look like the photos, but it will do.
I got a deal on gas yesterday too.  I have allotted $40.00 a month for gas.  Yesterday, I stopped to fill up--it was $3.09 a gallon.  I filled it up for $30.99.  YAY
I took Pearl and Merle's Christmas gifts up to them.  I made spaghetti sauce for Merle and two scrubbies for Pearl.  I also enclosed one of my books for their great grand daughter and a scrubbie and lottery ticket for their daughter--who have just moved into our park.

In case you are interested, here are the instructions on how to make the lighted Christmas balls that I have hanging outside.  Sounds like a good craft for you or your husband to make for next year. :-)


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snowy Weekend

Today's high temperature was: 22 degrees
Snowed all day
Snow total for the weekend--7 inches.
Suppose to be 40+ on Friday this week :-)
It snowed all day Saturday.  We expected it.  We were ready.  We did not expect the snow that came today--it was suppose to shut off around midnight, but it didn't.

Merle came down to shovel me out--I sent him back home.  I don't want him working that hard in this cold weather.  Instead, I have a young man that comes--cleans off the car, the porch and steps and the entire parking pad for $10.00.  He is 47 and has two kids to support--has been without work for five months, so I would rather give him the work.  He came yesterday and today--I hope the snow quits or I am going to go broke, LOL.  Today, I gave him $20.00 for the job and he cried!!  I told him it was a Merry Christmas gift.  

Also got the mail carrier's card and $20.00 in the mail box so she will get it tomorrow.  Twenty dollars seems like such a minuscule amount today, doesn't it?  What with little kids getting $400.00 IPad's and Smart Phones--twenty dollars seems like five dollars to them.  <Sigh>
I spent most of Sunday (today) working on trying to make cross stitch patterns out of photos.  I have a long frame-26 x 6" and I want to stitch a series of scenes from my childhood--the house, barn, school, church, tractor, cows, dog, etc.  So I have had to scan the photos and print them out on graph paper to see how big they are.  Also been looking online for free cross stitch patterns for cows, tractor, dog--that sort of thing.  It will be a project I start in January.  I always have to have a new cross stitch project to start the new year and get me through the winter months.   I am crocheting a sweater/bootie/bonnet/afghan baby set for my friend Bethie, who works for an animal rescue group and they have a silent auction in February.  Hope I get it done by then--however, I need to have two different projects, so when my wrist gets tired from crocheting, I can switch over to cross stitch.
Yesterday, I finished my 3rd baby crib cover/quilt for the non-existent great grand children. LOL  For some reason, it soothes me that, even though I may be dead when a great grand child is born, at least my grandchild will have something for their baby from her grandma.

1st one

  2nd one and my favorite

Just finished.  This is the one I got at
The Salvation Army store for $2.99

I need to get to town tomorrow and we aren't suppose to have any more snow until nighttime.  I was feeling so blessed Thursday night and woke up Friday morning to find my microwave had died.  I turned it on to warm up my milk for cocoa and it made a terrific racket and no heat.  I unplugged it to see if it might reset itself, but when I turned it back on, a few sparks flew so I yanked out the plug.  It hadn't been heating properly for the last month, so I should have known.

Isn't this just great?  My life seems to be, one step forward and three steps back, BUT, I thanked God for having it last these past 11 years.  I'll tell you one thing, you don't realize how often you use the microwave, until you don't have a microwave.  I have to warm up my milk in a pan on top of the stove--just like I did 20 years ago.  OH--we are so spoiled!!!  Perhaps I can find a re-furbished one?
I have been watching Season 3 of Downton Abbey--catching up, getting ready for Season 4.  I can hardly wait!!

I have all my gifts wrapped--just waiting for Maddie's $10.00 laser cut ornament from the Nutcracker Ballet place I ordered.  I got an e-mail, it has been shipped, so I should get it any day now.

I paid end of month bills today, gas, electricity, cable company, health insurance, life insurance and have $50.00 left in the checking account.  That is good--usually by now I am down to $15.00, LOL.

I got my notice from Social Security of our cost of living raise--I get $14.00 more a month.  I just don't know what I am going to do with such riches!!!

Life is good!!!

Underdogs and Little Brother-PREPARE!!

We are called Little Brother by that other university in South-East Michigan.  Well--we trounced them good AND we beat Ohio State that hadn't been beaten in 24 games and we are on our way to GLORY!!