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, November 30, 2014


.....it's getting there.


I put them up in the order they came out of the boxes, LOL


Last night, I caught someone who is not allowed up on the table, enjoying the Thomas Kincaid tree.


Today--I don't care what anyone says--a Christmas Tree should not come out of a box, have to be put together and its branches "fluffed"!

A Christmas Tree needs to come out of the woods--with its natural shape--and decorated.

This plastic world has become ridiculous!!

Friday, November 28, 2014


Considering there was no BIG family get together yesterday, I really had a very nice time.  Most of the time my kids celebrate Thanksgiving with their in-laws.  Some of the time, over the years, I have been invited to their homes--not for the last two years.  It had become a very sad day for me, especially since Fred died.

Then--my little sister moved back "home" and because her son celebrates the day with his in-laws, she has invited me the last two years.

I arrived about 11:30 and she was sitting at her kitchen island working on a craft that I recognized immediately.  A Christmas craft I hadn't done in well over 25 years.

"I was looking in some Christmas wrapping paper boxes that I haven't looked at since we moved.  Look what I found!  The pattern for petal balls!"

She had the gold and red foil paper already cut into the shapes we needed and we started putting them together.

"The last time I tried to make these, I got them all goofed up.  I made like three "hats" and then didn't know how to put them together," I said.

" Remember five on top or one hat, then five for the botton, another hat and then you take five separate ones and glue them to the top and bottom."

"Yes, now I remember!"

We learned how to make these 44+ years ago when our mother was shown the pattern by a friend.  We made them later--with my kids.  We made them every year because you couldn't store them or keep them from being crushed.  

Tiny ones, middle sized ones and large ones, in gold and red, silver and blue.  Whatever our Christmas color scheme was going to be.

Yesterday, we worked on a middle sized one.  It was nice, sitting there together, talking while we worked.  I had a really difficult time, trying to glue each petal together.  My shaking right hand makes that kind of intricate work nearly impossible.  Susie had to finish mine for me.

She is going to hang hers from the kitchen chandelier over the island.  I can't wait for my girls to see them on Christmas Eve.  They are going to scream with "Oh.  I remember those.  Grandma Dorathy's Petal Balls!"

 Mine looks rather like my girls did when they made their first ones at 6-7 years old.  Sad.
I used to help my little sister out with everything.  How to color and cut out paper dolls.  How to cook and take care of a house and what to do to take care of her babies.  Now, the roles are quite reserved.  She has to help me glue paper together!!!

"I so love getting old and decrepit!" said NO ONE EVER!!

After our craft session, we sat down  to eat.  Never turkey as my sister doesn't like it.  They eat so much chicken that they want something different on Thanksgiving.  A pork roast--pork is definitely NOT one of my favorite meat, however, (you don't say that to your hostess) so I ate it and baked potatoes and Brussel sprouts and corn from their garden and pork dressing.  AND the best apple pie I have had in ages.

Then, we chatted about the genealogy discoveries I had found and after about an hour of that, we played a game of UpWords.  I love playing cards and board games.  When I lived in Saginaw, Ernie and I used to play cards or UpWords or Backgammon or Scrabble every night after supper.  I miss not having anyone to play games with.

It started getting grey and cloudy outside, so I started home around 3:30.  It seems strange that this time of year, you notice it is starting to get a bit "dim" outside and the next two minutes, you turn around to look again and it's pitch black!!

I got home about 4:15 and it was difficult driving the last few miles.  It was a really nice day and just the right amount of togetherness.
I wanted to start decorating today.  Had to clean, dust and vacuum first and by the time I was done with that, my back, neck, shoulders, hands and legs were hurting.  So I only put up a little bit.  Just as long as I have it done so the outside and tree lights can go on Monday December 1st.  

Tradition ya know.


I don't if many of you follow Donna over on http://cottagedays.blogspot.com/.  Her husband has been battling cancer for quite a long time and is now in Hospice.  I think a few of us know how it feels to have a sick and/or dying mate around the holidays.  It just seems to make it all that much harder to bear.  A prayer for God's comforting arm around her shoulders, might be a nice thing to do for her.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Middle Of The Week Pondering

I ponder a lot--you know that, right?  I have always been a person who is interested in why people act as they do, think as they do, react as they do.  If you were to look at my college "report" cards you would see classes like: Clinical Psychology. Abnormal Psychology, Child Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Human Relations, even a class in Anthropology,

Over the years I have visited with many people;  different races, cultures, beliefs, and circumstances.  In the end, as I have thought of those people in my past, it appears, at least to me, that no matter the circumstances in a person's life, their reaction is based, in large part, on their DNA--their lineage, their culture.

I of course, know there are differences in every culture/race, but it seems to my observations:

Asians are stoic in their reactions.
English and Germanic people the same reserved, stoicism and stubborn.
Irish do seem to have more of a short temper.
Italians are more expressive and loud.
Spaniards, quite the same as Italians.
Puerto Ricans, too--must be the Spanish blood?
Greeks also--a lot of waving of hands and noisy.
Mexicans seem to have a lot of paranoia, even if they have lived in the US for generations.
Blacks seem to react to things in an expressive, loud, sometimes reactionary manner, letting all their emotions out.

 The Japanese man I had known all my life--nothing fazed him.  His parents were US citizens and yet put in the concentration camps in California during WWII.  Their land taken from them.  They did not fight back.  They lived it, got out, went on to college, became professionals and like he often said, "We are gradually buying out the US.  Just look at Hawaii" and then he laughed.

My people are English and German.  Again, fazed very little by whatever comes our way.  No one in my family cries at funerals, well, there may be tears, but no wailing and loud sobbing.  We conduct ourselves in what we perceive a "civilized", proper manner.  Family get-together's are quiet, calm, happy.  There isn't any yelling going on and also, not too much loud laughter. If there is a problem between two family members, you'd never know it.  There is no confrontation--at least not in front of anyone.

I had an Irish friend..the least little thing, set her off in the worse temper tantrum I have never seen.  There was occasional screaming and throwing of objects.  

I have an Italian friend.  There is a lot of gesticulating, and loud voice and when upset, an angry , fierce look to his face.

I had a Puerto Rican son-in-law for a few months.  Holy Cow--his family was dramatically expressive about everything!!  Happy or angry, there was a lot of yelling and gesticulating going on.

I have Mexican friends that I met while I lived in Saginaw.  Although they had lived here for a couple of generations, had good jobs with General Motors--they still were paranoid and felt they were being "profiled" by the police.  Their whole family--3 generations--lived together in one house.  There was a lot of yelling back and forth, but...the food was great.

 I had a relationship with a black man for a few weeks.  (Back then, in my 40's, I deemed myself to be very open minded and a bit Liberal.  My family knew nothing of this short lived relationship)

He was very well educated, very well spoken, a professional with General Motors and very quiet and polite.  I attended church with him once--HOLY COW!!  The congregation not only stood for most of the service, they swayed and danced during the singing (which was kind of cool--kind of), but all the while the minister was giving his sermon, they talked back to him--they cried out--they acted like they were all on some kind of mind altering drug! Like they were in a trance of ecstasy.  

I kept waiting for snakes to be passed around.  

I was both scared and fascinated.  The man I was with, was a bit more restrained, but I could see, he so wanted to stand up and be right there with them.

Then we went to dinner at his parent's house.  HOLY COW!  Here was a man who spoke perfect English--until he got in the door.  There was jubilant yelling and hugging and all of a sudden,  he started talking just like them.  I could barely understand what they were saying.  Strange inflections in their voices, high screeching laughter.

Don't get me wrong, they were all perfectly lovely and nice to me--so welcoming, but all through dinner, there was so much loud talk and gesticulating and laughing, even a few not so gentle nudges to my arms from either side.  By the time we left, my ears were ringing and I was quite worn out.  Once in the car, he went back to the quiet, reserved, English speaking man I (thought) I knew.

While my grandmother was in hospital, there was an old black lady across the hall.  Visitors were limited, back in those days, but it did not matter one whit to that black family.  They piled in that room and when their lady passed, HOLY COW!  They moaned, then they yelled and screamed.  Shouts of, "Sweet Jesus, take Momma home with you NOW!"

I got up and shut my Grandma's hospital room door--all the commotion was very upsetting to her (and me.)  When she passed, there was a quiet peace in her room.  The last patting of her hand.  A kiss on her forehead, a tear.  That was it.

So, as I watch the reactions of the people in Ferguson or wherever a bad thing happens to a black person--it doesn't surprise me.  Michael Brown's step-father can one minute yell, "Burn the bitch down," and in the next minute ask for peace and prayers.  It is their way.

When O.J. Simpson was acquitted, I didn't see any whites burning, looting or rioting.  Not the case in this situation.

I saw an interview on TV, in Ferguson.  The site was a car lot where all the cars had been burned.  They interviewed a 65 year old black woman.  She said, "Why burn the cars.  What did the cars have to do with it?"  Young blacks came into the background, yelling with glee and taking pictures on their phones of the burned out cars.

The Asian man whose store Michael Brown stole from and punched out the owner, now stands in the ruins of his looted store--he looks sad, but stoic.

I'm not saying that the white race is all perfect.  Take the Westboro Baptist Church people for example.  Take the Ku Klux Klan for example.

Of course race is involved.  The media makes it that way--the President and his friends, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, make it that way.  To me, they seem to be the biggest racists in this country.  Oh how I remember Louis Farrakan coming on my college campus, with a bullhorn, extorting the young black women to, "Have those babies.  Have those babies every year!  That is the ONLY way we will evah become the majority!"  HOLY COW!!

But more than that, as I ponder, it just seems to be a cultural thing.  The ancestry we come from.  Perhaps even the climate of the region our people were born and bred in, comes into play.  The hotter the climate they came from, the more emotional and dramatically expressive they seem to be.

God made us all.  He loves us all.  Our blood, bone and sinew are exactly the same.  It must be a cultural thing that makes us appear to be different?

What do you think?
Well, enough of that pondering, on too more important stuff.

3rd batch of spaghetti sauce done and I see, I will have to make another batch.  I lack about 3 more bags.

After it has simmered and thickened (10 hours), I let it cool and then put four large ladels in each baggie.
I press the air out carefully, hoping I don't shakily push out spaghetti sauce, zip it up and lay them flat in my freezer.

After a couple of days, when they are rock hard, I put two baggies in a gallon bag.  I make Christmasy labels with their names on them, stick the labels on Christmas Eve and take them with me in a large cooler.  I have a small message written to them about their Christmas present that I wrap and put under the tree.  When they open their "present", they know where their present is located.

I set that cooler out on the front porch and as the guys go home, they reach in and get their gallon bag.

Every batch I made always has a bit left over.  That is MY present and a nice spaghetti supper for this weekend.  By the time I eat the left over spaghetti sauce, I don't want anymore for another year!!!  I am getting real sick of the smell of basil, oregano and garlic.

Have a wonderful day tomorrow.  I will be up at my sister's and showing her all the ancestry secrets I found. :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Reports of Me Losing My Mind, Have Been Greatly Exagerrated

I mentioned that I ran uptown yesterday to get a new color inkjet refill and that it didn't work?  

This morning, at 10:00 I decided to run in and get another one.  It is a 10 mile round trip.  No big deal, except when I am trying to keep enough gas in the car until the end of the month.  

I got up to Cartridge World, "Didn't I just see you yesterday?"--she checked the injket and said, "yes", it was dead.  Something goes wrong with those little copper looking thingies that match up with the printer's little copper looking thingies.  I got back home, popped in the new inkjet cartridge and voila--it printed out two pages.  

Then stopped.

The tear drop light for the BLACK inkjet cartridge was now blinking!

I wanted to cry, scream or throw the dang cartridge through the front window--but--taking the path of least resistance, I got in my car and drove back up to the store.

"Didn't I just see you a half hour ago?"

"Yeah.  You will never guess."

"What?  That new one was dead too?"

"No.  It works great.  The black one is acting up.  I don't know if it is empty or what, but it won't print."

So she took it in the back room and weighed it and it wasn't totally empty, so she came out with a new one and did not charge me a thing---and I bought it way back in late September.

Back home--having put 30 miles on the car in the past 24 hours--popped in the cartridge--everything works just fine!


Sunday, I went up to visit Pearl for an hour.  We were talking about Christmas decorating.

"I'm not putting up a tree this year," she said.

"Oh...that's what you said last year and then you went up to Wal-Mart and bought one...just like mine."

"I didn't buy a tree last year.  I used the one that Marge gave me."

"Marge got you a tree two years ago--at Salvation Army.  Remember, Dar was working there and helped them get it?"

"No.  That was last fall."

"Dar hasn't worked at Salvation Army for almost eighteen months.  Remember, you put up the tree and you didn't like it.  Merle had put the lights on wrong.  You threw out the tree after Christmas?"

"Yes, that was this January."



"Wow.  I must be losing it.  I remember you calling me mid December last year and you asked me where I got my tree.  You wanted one that already had lights on it.  I told you Wal-Mart and you and Merle went that afternoon and bought one and put it up."

"We looked, but we didn't buy one."

"Oh.  Hm-mm. It seems I remember you having a pre-lit tree...over in the south east corner of the living room."  I pointed.

"If we did...where would we have it stored?  We got rid of our storage unit up town."

"Yes...I know.  This past June."

"No it wasn't.  It was last month?"

"Last month?"

"Yes, October."

"But...Marge sold your stuff on the Face Book garage sale this summer.  Remember you were mad because she sold your set of dishes for twenty bucks and you thought she should have got fifty?  It was shortly after my birthday."

"Your birthday?  Your birthday is in June."

"I know."

"Well...whatever.  We never bought a tree at Wal-Mart and we didn't have one last year and...I'm not putting one up this year."

"Hm-mm.  Okay."

Today, Pearl called.

"I was talking to Merle and he seems to remember looking at trees at Wal-Mart last December.  I decided to read back through my journals just to see.  Guess what?"


"It says here...went to Wal-Mart.  Got a tree with lights already on it."


"Yes but...we can't find the tree.  We don't know where we stored it."

"Oh my!   Maybe you stored it at Marge's."

"Why would we store it there?"

"Because you didn't have room at your place?"

So, the call came in this afternoon.

"Guess what?"


"We didn't have room to store it in our shed, so Marge took it home with her and put it in her shed.  I feel like I have a new Christmas tree for this year."

"Great!  Are you going to put it up?"

"I don't think so."


Dar called at 3:00--

"Do you like pudding?"

"Nope.  Only Tapioca."

"I'm going back to work this weekend."

"You got a work release from the surgeon?"

"No--but I'm going back to work."

"How can you do that without a release?"

"I asked them to schedule me to work.  The surgeon has Wednesday and Thursday to get the release---I called and told her office girl to make it happen!"

"But--you only have one day to do that."


"Just Wednesday.  Thursday is a holiday---Thanksgiving."




My last batch of spaghetti sauce (I think) has simmered for 6 hours.  Now into the refrigerator to sit overnight and then out tomorrow, cover off and simmer until it gets nice and thick.

weird looking picture

now you can better see the size of the pot

Oh--by the way--it has NOTHING to do with race.  It is all about behavior!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sorry 'Bout That

I do not have any photos of the decorated farmhouse--that I can find anyway.  I was more into taking tons and tons of Super 8 movies back in those days.

It rained hard all night long.  This morning is was warm--58 degrees by noon.  I had to run into Brighton to pick up some papers from the attorney's office and to get a new color inkjet refill.    I got home, put the new inkjet in and the "tear drop" still blinked, which means the refill is dead!  Has happened way too often at this place I go to--Cartridge World.  So--tomorrow, I will have to drive back into town and get a replacement.  BOTHERATION!!

No more got headed back to the washer and Dar breezed in. 

"Do you notice how calm I am?  Am I like my normal self?"

"Well--lately your normal self has been out of control!"

"Hah!  Guess what?"


"Oh--are you busy?"

"Kind of."

"Okay, I'll make this quick."
<sure you will>

"The surgeon, who says I don't have a hernia, sent me in for that ultra sound and drain last week."


"Well--her office called today.  The girl said that although the people who did the ultra sound and the drain, say I have a hernia, the surgeon still doesn't agree with them."

"So--why did she send you for the tests if she isn't going to take into account the results?"

"I know.  Weird isn't it?"

"So, let me get this straight.  The ER doc said you had a hernia--way back on October twenty-first.  The technician that did the CAT scan said you have a hernia.  Your primary care doc says you have a hernia.  The doc who did the ultra sound and drainage says you have a hernia.  But the surgeon says you don't."

"Yes..and she says she is the authority because she is the surgeon."

"It's time for you to get a second opinion from another surgeon."

"I know."

"Did you go back to work?"

"No.  I can't until the surgeon signs off."

"But...the surgeon doesn't think you have a hernia...so...why isn't she signing a release so you can go back to work?"

"I don't know...and it's driving me crazy that I can't get back to work.  You know how I hate staying home!"

"Well...you haven't exactly been staying home.  You've gone out everyday--even the day we had the freezing rain."

"I have to get my Bigby coffee every morning.  If I don't...I get cuckoo."
<well now, that explains everything>

"Finding a surgeon that does hernia repair can't be all that difficult.  You need a second opinion.  Hernia surgery is relatively simple, nowadays.  They do it out patient...four hours and you're home."

"It won't be that simple for me.  You know--something will happen and I will be hospitalized."

She finally left an hour after she arrived.
As I was walking back to put laundry in the washer, I noticed...my kitchen curtains looked a bit limp and dingy.  So...I ripped them off their rods and threw them in the washer.  Because they are 100% cotton, they had to be ironed and I felt they should also have a bit of spray starch on them to "crisp" them up.
I had forgotten how much I actually enjoy ironing.  

Of course, getting them back on their rods without them getting new wrinkles is always a trial.  Especially when I got them on the rods and then realized that I had the curtains on the valance rod and the valance on the curtain rods, and had to switch them out!!  GEEZ LOUISE!

These birdies came by yesterday afternoon, after I filled all the feeders and put out the suet cake.

Yes--I got my two large lighted Christmas balls up on the porch overhang yesterday and today---at 3:00 when the 50 mph winds came in, I took them down and stashed them in the house for safety.

The temperature fell 20 degrees in less than two hours.  At least, the extension cords are up and when it calms down, all I have to do it hang and plug the light balls back in and hang the lighted wreath back up on the porch front and all will be good.

At supper time, I enjoyed a bit of cat watching. Maddie is feigning sleep and Buddy is watching. Minutes later, he went over and patted her face and she jumped up and wrestled with him and I had my evening entertainment.

Then, when I was done eating, Maggie jumped up on my lap and licked up all the cracker crumbs that had fallen on my shirt front.  Such sweet little kids.

Oh--I almost forgot.  There is a lady up the street, about five houses up from Dar...Dar's friend Judy L. who is decorated outside to the nines!  Looks rather like a tacky carnival to me, but......

Pearl called me at seven tonight and said, "Did you see Dar's outside decorations?"

"No, I didn't know she had any up."

"Yes--she has a big green wreath and some red lights on the end of her house.  Go and look out your front windows."

So I did and...I saw nothing.  

"What do you mean you can't see them!"

"I am looking out my window at this very moment and Dar has NO Christmas lights on her house."

"Well, I've got my neck craned around and looking out this back, side window and I see them!  You must be looking somewhere else!"

"I am standing here.  Looking directly at Dar's house.  She has no Christmas lights anywhere on her house."

"Well, I don't know what's wrong with you, but you've got a problem!"  and she hung up.

Three minutes the phone rang again--it was Pearl.

"Guess what?"


"Dar doesn't have any lights on her house."

"I know."

"I told Merle you were nuts, so he got up and went to the front door to look straight across at her house and he said, 'Pearl..you're the one who's nuts.'  So I got up and went out there and....."

"They are the reflections of Judy L's. lights on your window and when you are sitting down and look back out the window, it looks like they are on Dar's house?"

"Yes.  Why didn't you tell me that!"

"Because my dear friend, once you have made your mind up, there is no changing it, until you change it on your own."

"Well--that IS true."  and we had a good laugh.

...........and, so goes life in the hood!.............

Friday, November 21, 2014

Waaaaaaaaaay Behind!

I am not in the mood and haven't been thinking about it, therefore, I am waaay behind in my outdoor Christmas decorating.  I just realized that Thanksgiving is less than a week away.  I always have my outside lights up, even though I don't turn them until December 1st.  Of course, this last week's weather was not conducive for being outside trying to hook up lights.

I have downsized a lot in the last couple of years, so my entire outside light show consists of two large multi-color light balls, a lighted garland around the porch railing and a wreath on the front of the porch.  That's it!  Takes me about half an hour to get it up and another 15 minutes to get the extension cord from the porch, along the side of the house, along the back of the house and along the other side to reach the plug in.  Then I have to wrap all the connections against rain and snow.

When I lived in my farmhouse--I had over a hundred strings of lights, plus spot lights, plus a large garage sized door cover of the nativity that I had on two sheets of plywood with a blue spot light on it.  Yeah--back in the day when I could climb on top of the roof and ladders and haul heavy stuff around.  I even made the local newspaper once with photos of the house.  It was gorgeous.

The inside was all shiny and gleaming with clear lights on a mirror and twined around my crystal glassware.  Chandeliers swagged in greenery and lights, a reach the ceiling real tree, candles and lights and on and on.

Back in the day, when the salary was high and the cost of decorations was low.  It was fun.  

One main reason I can't get into the spirit for decorating--it seems like it isn't that time of  year.  Yes--we have snow and cold, but...I still feel like I am waiting for summer, which never quite arrived in it's usually hot and humid way.

Perhaps Jimmy Carter had it all right and we ARE headed toward an ice age.  
I had a productive morning, working on my How To manual/book.  It is easy for me to write the words, construct the sentences, do the manuscript and edit it.  What I am having a difficult time with is getting in the correct format required on the "build a book" site I am using.  For some unknown reason, the type font keeps wanting to change on each page!  What's up with that?  So I copy and paste from Word to the formatted page and then I have to check and make sure the font size is correct.  Then to add photos--I have to draw in a photo box and hope my photo will fit inside it AND that it has good resolution to print.  

It shouldn't be this hard and it probably isn't this hard--it's just that I am not very familiar with doing it.  It would be easier for me to use html code, like I did on my website when I put in my stories.  Oh well--I will figure it out!!
I did something today that is making me nervous and shaky.  I hope I have done the right thing for me and...unfortunately, I won't know until I get into the new year.

I called my dental office this morning to move my cleaning appointment from December up into January.  I usually get my teeth cleaned every four months, but knew I couldn't afford it next month.  I asked the office girl if they worked with MediCAID because my welfare case worker told me if they did, Medicaid would pay $300.00 toward the crown I so badly need.  She said they didn't.  Then she said, "Have you checked a Medicare Advantage Plan?  A lot of them have dental insurance and vision insurance.  Everybody seems to be jumping on them now."

I said, "Medicare doesn't cover dental or vision."

She said, "Medicare Advantage Plans are like insurance and they pay for part of those services."


I took out a Medicap Health Insurance policy 10 years ago.  It was cheap ($40.42) a month and covered all I needed, until I had hip surgery, then I had to pay $1,200.  I have never thought of changing that insurance.  Never looked into anything different, but...after what she said.  Perhaps it wouldn't hurt for me to call Blue Cross and see what they had.

I spent 90 minutes on the phone with a lovely young man who went over three different plans.  They include health insurance, hospital, dental and vision, some even help with hearing aids.

I said, "John, if I was your Mother or your Grandmother, what plan would you recommend?"

He knew my medical history by then and seeings as how I don't make many doctor's visits and am quite healthy, he suggested a plan.  

I enrolled. 

I will have to pay $25.00 for each doctor's office call.  $60.00 to a specialist.  My maximum out of pocket is higher, but, I get dental cleaning, examination, x-ray for 0.  They pay 50% of any procedure like extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges.  I get $200.00 toward a pair of glasses, once a year, and I pay $20.00 for my ophthalmologist visit.  I would have to pay $70.00 for an ambulance.  

My premium is $19.90 a month.  

It just seems to me that there has to be a gimmick somewhere in that.  John assured me there isn't.  I can see that if I suddenly need a lot of medical treatment, or hospital stay, I am going to run into trouble, but then, I can always work with the hospital on their plan, where they pay part of the cost because of my low income level.

Like I said, I am stuck in this for a year and only time will tell.  I'm just geeked to get half my crown of $1,140 paid.  I can take the $30.00 I send to them now, put the extra I save from the premium cost and send them the $50.00 each month for 10 months.  My dentist will let me do that because I am so good about paying ahead so I have a credit with them.  Plus I need new glasses this year and didn't know how I was going to do that.

I hope I've done the right thing.  

I might be able to drain and flush my water heater, but when it comes to stuff like this--I'm kind of lost and of course, no Freddie to discuss with an think it through.
Dar was over this afternoon.  Four doctor's and the ER doc have told her she has a hernia.  The surgeon that she went to said it's not.  She isn't going to get another opinion from a different surgeon.  She wants to go back to work because she can't stand being in her house.  We have had blizzard-like conditions off and on for the last 4 days and she has gone out in her car everyday.

I parked my car Monday, after I went to the food pantry and I haven't moved it since!  Today and yesterday, I didn't even unlock my front door!  I sure do enjoy my "hermit" personality. :-)

Tonight, at 6:30, in the pitch dark, I walked up to Merle and Pearl's.  

Their house is so dry, I kept getting shocks.  

Pearl said, "I've been getting shocks all week.  How do we stop that, Merle?"

I said, "Use a humidifier."

Pearl:  We have one...back in the bedroom."

Judy:  "Yeah--it's small and your bedroom is four hundred and fifty-two thousand feet away from your living room."

Merle: "I think we need to get another small one for up here in front."

Judy:  "Great idea, Merle.  Get right on that.  Okay?"

and we all had a good laugh.

Plus, they have the gas log insert Pearl insisted they have to save money on their heat bill and keep their living room toasty.  It has cost them about $80.00 more a month, it dries out that end of the trailer just awful, it gets way too hot, she turns it off and 15 minutes later, they are freezing.  

I suggested they use the ceiling fan to push the hot air down from the ceiling.  At 5'7" and 5'2", neither one had a chance of ever reaching the chain without a ladder.   After I got the blades rotating the correct way for winter and pulled the chain for low---it seemed to be working well.  We could already feel the warmer air.

I have made myself a promise--the weather is suppose to warm up this weekend--I am going outside, get my snow shovel out of the shed and up on the porch, put the leaf rake in the shed and...put up my meager outside Christmas lights.

I'll let you know Monday if all goes according to MY plan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I'm Good.

I'm fine--really.  Just so much typing during the day on my genealogy and How To book that I don't feel much like typing at night.  Done with the genealogy--all done.  Boy, what a lot I found out--so much fun.  No thieves in my family--all the obits I read speak of what upright, honest people they were.  I think my favorite was a G G Grandfather, who got up out of his (almost) death bed, and hired a coach to take him to the polls so he could vote.  A staunch Republican, I might add.  All of them church goers--although different churches.  Not a Catholic nor Democrat in the bunch---until you get to my kids, Apparently, I gave my children the freedom of Independence and, also apparently, I did too good a job! LOL

Darlene had her procedure and lived through it, LOL.  They drained the liquid filled sac and she DOES have a hernia--which one doctor and I have been telling her for the last two months.  An operation will follow--someday.

Talked to Pammie this morning.  She said that Jen and family ARE intending to move to New Jersey next summer.  I don't know if Jennifer is going to be happy--ever.  She will be going from a high powered career, traveling, speaking to huge groups of people to...staying home?  The last time she tried that, she just about went crazy.   I just happened to run across the picture of her on Linkedin.  More beautiful than she's ever been.
The photo is so tiny, I tried to make it larger and now, it's kind of distorted.

So--snowing tonight--supposed to get 3 inches.  Doesn't bother me, I've been so busy inside.  Two pots of spaghetti sauce done and two to go.

I've been feeling so content and peaceful and...happy lately, until I talked with Pam this morning. Funny how one little comment, about Jen moving, just took the bottom out of my good mood.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Too Early For This

It might be difficult to see, but this is what's going on outside at this very moment.

Looking out my living room window, past my porch toward the street light.

Expected 3-4 inches tonight.  Where is it coming from?  The  West side of the State--lake effect snow off Lake Michigan and yet, we are miles and miles and miles away from there--185 miles away and it's effecting us.  The winds are carrying it to us--25-30 mile an hour winds.

Oh well--it is expected to be 50 degrees by Sunday and warmer next week.
I had my appointment at the Food Pantry this morning at 10:15 and I did better this time, but still...not what I am allowed.  I have 60# of food I can get.  Last time I got 25 and this time 42.  I have asked them to move me back down to 40#--I just don't need that much stuff.

I did score big on the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce so I can cook another 2 batches of spaghetti sauce for my guys for Christmas.  I had heard we were going to get a turkey, but I did not.  Maybe only families get turkeys.  They did throw in a pound of cheese--that awful slimy processed cheese that they give out for surplus needs.  I don't eat much cheese.  I tried to think how I could use if, but couldn't come up with a thing.  Pearl didn't want it, so......maybe Dar would like it?

Speaking of which--Dar had her procedure today.  They drained off a bunch of stuff from the "sac" and have come to the determination (like the ER doc), that she DOES have a hernia.  Which is also what I told her over a month ago.

She thought they could repair it with a laser, I told her I didn't think so and sure enough, they will do it out patient.  Put a screen in and fix it.  Takes about 4 hours and then they let you come home.  She had taken one of her tranquilizers and seemed in good spirits when she got home--she called, so I know.
That's about all I have for today.  Tomorrow will be busy--making more spaghetti sauce, laundry, etc.  Glad I went out today so I can just stay home and watch it snow tomorrow.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Dad's Side Of The Family

Confusing because:

Peter Waltz             1710-1790
Conradt Waltz        1739-1816
Peter D, Waltz        1760-1807
Conrad E. Walts     1788-1873  (Note the name change)
Peter Walts            1819-1899
Charles E.  Walts   1860-1943
Roy U.   Walts       1892-1942      
Charles J. Walts     1916-2008
Judith J. Walts       1939

They kept naming their kids after their father's or themselves.  Glad I wasn't a male or my name probably would have been Conrad Peter!

Lovely, in that I found out we came from Prussia, Germany on my Great Grandfather's side and from Hanover, Germany on my Great Grandmother's side.  And--for some reason, they all belonged to the German Reform Church in Jefferson County, New York.

I've been at this all day--and most of the past month and getting real close to the end.  I am entering all the "new" stuff on Family Tree Maker and when I am done, I will upload it to Ancestry.com--YAY.

Then I got the bright idea that I should put all this information and pictures I have found in a Shutterfly book for my kids.  I have given them all 3-ring binders with the info, but that was way back in 1999.  I have learned so much since then.

This project would give me something to do all winter--like I need that, as I am also working on my "How To" book.

At least--I am busy and that makes me very happy!!
So, I laid low all day and watched as Dar's car was gone most of the day, but...suddenly she appeared walking on the street, headed this way.  Right when I was in the middle of trying to figure out if Conradus Walts was related to me--he wasn't, thank goodness.

So, I had to stop.  She was all in a frustration mode because she couldn't figure out how to get her turkey at a reduced rate on the website where she was suppose to get a coupon stating that fact.  The website is for the store WHERE SHE WORKS!!!!!

After I tried for an hour and couldn't access the coupon, I said, "You ought to just go to the customer service desk and ask them."

"Great idea!"  she shouted.  "I'm going up there right now."

and off she went--thank you Lord.

So I went back to work until I got all of Conrad's kids worked out and their children's names.  My word--people had a lot of kids back in the old days.  I suppose because so many of the kids died young?  In his family, he had a son Nelson and a girl Lucinda and although 12 years apart, they died on the same day.  I wonder if it was from smallpox or the flu.  Sad.

Monday I have a 10:15 appointment at the food bank and this time--I have a list and I am ready.  Now that I know, I am not restricted on how many canned goods I can get--other than meat meals--I think I will do better to get closer to my goal--they always get so upset with me because I never get enough stuff.

I think I better set my alarm--I have been known to sleep in until after 9:00 ya know.  :-)