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, January 31, 2016

Job. Not a money making one--the one from the Bible.

Dar has a new crisis, and of course, it has over- flowed into my life.

She called at 11:00 Friday night wondering if I had an air mattress.  I did not have one and said, "Why don't you check at work?  I think Meijer (where she works) sells them."

"Oh.  Good idea.  I never thought of that."

Her oldest son Wayne, whom she hasn't had contact with in three years, lived in Michigan, but moved to Seattle.  She had no idea until her daughter Connie called and told her Wayne's wife was dying.

Dar's son and daughter-in-law have lived a sort of 1960's, hippie lifestyle.  Neither one has worked for the last decade, instead living on Welfare.  They have two children, now 17 (boy) and 14 (girl) and neither one has ever gone to school.  

When the wife died, Dar did send her son money to pay for the cremation.  A few months later, CPS was going to take the children and put them in Foster Care and into school.  They thought both could start in 6th grade.  Can you imagine, a tall 17 year-old boy going into 6th grade?

Dar's daughter Connie heard about it from her brother and told them to come to Indiana and live with her.  He and the kids piled in their old van and headed to Indiana.

After two months living with his sister, Connie told him he had to get the kids in school or he couldn't live there anymore.  

For the last month, he and the kids have been living out of their van in a park near Connie's.  They move the van everyday, spend all day pan-handling on the streets of Indianapolis and go back to the park to sleep at night.

So what does his sister do?  She reports him to the police and CPS.  Then she calls Dar and tells her what she's done.  Dar thought her son was still in Seattle.

Dar tells Connie to find him and tell him to come stay with her.  Apparently, he got out of there, two hours before the police showed up.  The police went to Connie's and she told him, he had left and was headed to Michigan and gave them Dar's address!!

Dar has three bedrooms.  She wanted the air mattress for the 17 year old boy to sleep on in her den.  The son could then have his own room and queen size bed and her 14 year old grand daughter the other bedroom.  

I suggested that the boy could sleep in the Queen size bed with his Dad.  Dar seems to think everyone needs their own private bedroom--which would be nice, I suppose, but this is a crisis situation.

The family arrived in the middle of Friday night.  I have not seen any of them come out of the house, except Dar to go to work.

Dar also told me that "I am NOT taking them in!  They can only stay here a few days.  He needs to find a job, and an apartment and get those kids in school!"

The boy, legally doesn't have to go to school and will turn 18 in three months.  The girl needs to be in school and find some sort of life for herself.

I expect police cars to show up any day now, across the street.  I see he has backed the van in so his license plate is not visible.
Dar wonders why her grown children are so messed up.  Well, let's see.

She has four children and, although I don't believe in abortion, thankfully she had two or there would be 6 of her messed up adult children in this world!!!

Three of them have different fathers.  When they were pre-teen, she moved in with a Harlem Globetrotter basketball player.  She and he lived in the upstairs of a mansion, the four children were not allowed upstairs, so they were cared for by a nanny downstairs.  She left him when Connie graduated from high school.

Each child, except Connie the youngest, have alcohol/drug addictions.  Connie is merely bi-polar.

Her oldest Lisa 61, is a Lesbian, living in North Carolina, awaiting a liver transplant, because of being an alcoholic since she was 18.
<These two have the same father.  He died of alcoholism five years ago.> 
Wayne, 57, also an alcoholic since he was 16, is the one now staying with her.

Jeff  50, who comes to visit once or twice a year--always needing money, is presently in his 15th rehab facility, 15th--trying to kick a Vodka and Vicadin addiction he has had since age 14.

Connie 45, who lived with her for a year, along with the four grandchildren, is the one who Dar lived with in Greece for two years, then Connie gave Dar the money to buy the house here.  Connie was planning her own "get-a-way" from her Greek husband.

Connie and Dar both have their names on the title of the house.  Neither one will sign off so the house could be sold, which is what Dar wants to do and go live in Arizona.  

Connie won't sign off because she wants to keep her mother miserable (so says Dar), Dar won't sign off because she needs ALL the money from the house sale, not just her half.

Connie and Dar got into a major fight, fueled by bi-polar, hysteria on both sides, and took the four grand children and moved to Indianapolis two years ago.

Which put Dar in a hysterical mental state for 18 months, which, unfortunately overflowed into my life, as I was trying to recover from Fred's death!  

Dar has her own mental problems, as I have posted about more than 50 million times!!!!.  She has been in a mental hospital for 9 months, after she left the black guy, and once for 3 months while she was in Greece.  

She has told me, the only reason she works as many hours, as many days as possible, is to keep her from another breakdown and out of the mental ward.

None of her kids actions are her fault!  The fault lies in their father(S) and of course the black basketball player who would not allow her to interact with her kids.

I haven't had a visit from Dar in two peaceful weeks. I expect one tomorrow, so she can get away from the crisis in her house and dump it all on me.

I can hardly wait!!!

God calls me to help my neighbor's.  He must have purposefully put Darlene in my life to see if I can meet the test?  


The devil has tests too.  Remember Job?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Shiny Day

No Slothiness today.

Stripped my bed,  Washed mattress pad, sheets and coverlet.  Shifted memory foam mattress topper.

Vacuumed all rooms--I only have 5 rooms.

New filters in humidifier and air cleaner.

Filled up squirrel and bird feeders.

Called about my prescription drug plan--one prescription went up $1.00 this month.
My little sister is very sick with the Creeping Crud that has been going around the country.  Luckily she got into the doc's today and got a antibiotic and Mucinex.  The pharmacies are getting low on Mucinex as so many people are so sick.

They have two furnaces for the house, with humidifiers on both.  Her husband insists on heating the house with the big fireplace in the dining room.  They use small electric heaters in the other rooms to keep the chill off.  Every time he opens the fireplace door to stoke the fire, a cloud of oily, sooty smoke pours out.

That, with no humidifier running is why, I think, she got sick.  There is more damn wood smoke in that house then if they both were smokers!!!!!!  He is trying to keep the Propane usage down!  With the electric blower on the fireplace and the electric heaters, isn't that going to drive up their electric bill?

Our Dad did the same thing and Susie's husband used to say, "Why not just run the furnace.  I can barely breathe in there.", and yet, he is doing the same thing.

BUT--that is none of my business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is supposed to get near 50 degrees this weekend.  YAY.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Our Blanket Has Been Adopted!!!

When Chris was here in September, we talked about some place we could donate the crocheted blankets I was testing for her.  I knew of a woman's shelter outside of Howell, as when I moved here, I applied for a job there.  I didn't know if they took these kinds of donations.

Last night, I posted a photo of the blanket and asked everyone in this area if they knew of a place that took these kinds of donations.  Many commented that a lot of churches takes these kinds of gifts and use them for fund raisers.

Well--Chris and I didn't necessarily want it to go to something like that.  Back in the 1990's when I left my abusive husband, I had to stay in a woman's shelter for a couple of nights.  I really wanted this gorgeous blanket to go somewhere like that.  A place where a battered woman might run to safety and upon entering her room, she would see this beautiful blanket on the bed and it might make her feel a bit better.  Plus, being made of yarn, it will absorb a lot of tears and still look grand.

This morning, I got a FB message from one of my "friends" (that I've never met) that her friend sometimes worked at the woman's shelter and YES, they did accept donations of this sort.

I had to go to Howell to pick up a prescription.  The Shelter is on the other side of Howell and I decided to take it up there this afternoon.  I had laundered it and dried it and it was soft and smelled fresh.  I put it in one of those large plastic/cloth, zippered bags you get when you buy a bedspread.  It looked so nice.

The woman at the front desk was ecstatic!!!!  She said she knew exactly the room it was going in.  A room with a Queen Size bed, that housed women who had children with them.  The room also had a crib and a two twin beds for the children.

It made my heart so happy that Chris and I could use this gift to bless someone else.  Someone who would really use it.  

So our blanket will "live" at the shelter for awhile and maybe---someday--it just might leave with a woman who is going on to her new home and needs a bedspread.

Home Sweet Home 

Did I tell you, I finished the LapGhan?  It is the kind that works with a wheel chair or just someone sitting in a chair to keep their legs and middle warm.  I have started another one, using this same pattern. A bit bigger--a Throw.   I see it for a gentleman who is in a VA hospital or somewhere like that.

I buy the Caron Pound yarn for the blankets.  Red Heart is also a good yarn to use.  Worsted Weight.  These are done with a K hook.  They wash up and dry like a dream.

Plus, I am testing a knitted shawl pattern for Chris.

I thought you'd like to see my exercise program.  Jane Fonda it ain't, but I can feel it working already.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ah-hh. To Be A Sloth.

Jean, over here, was bemoaning the fact that she is a Slug.  She has lists and goals and she is not motivated to meet those goals and feels like a Slug.

As for me--I am trying to perfect the art of Slothiness.  I am working on a book entitled, "How To Become A Successful Sloth".  Have you ever watched a Sloth?  How slowly they move.  How relaxed and peaceful they seem.

For instance--this morning my alarm went off at 9:30--I turned it off and rolled over for another hour.  A Sloth would do that.

I played a few Face Book games and then ate my salad for lunch.  A Sloth loves his greens.

I climbed into my recliner at noon, picked up my knitting and knitted for the next 90 minutes while I watched my Soap.

Then I switched channels and watched two hours of FOX News, then a two hour movie, while I crocheted and/or petted my cats.

I watched the local and national news from 6-7, switched channels to watch a basketball game, and knit some more and turned off the TV at 9:30.

As you can see--I am quite content to be a Sloth--I prefer that over being a Slug, as Sloths are furry and well..........Slugs are kind of slimy and gross.

I have NO goals for the rest of the days of my life.

I have no adventures planned, other than driving up to the Wal-Mart tomorrow to pick up a prescription and 4 gallons of water for my humidifier.

Of the four loads of laundry I started on Monday, two are done.  One is in the dryer gathering wrinkles and one in the washer.  It can wait until tomorrow.

I haven't been to the mail box in two days.  I have a big enough mail box to hold at least 4 days worth of junk mail.

Life is calm, peaceful and relaxed and very Slothful.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Exercise and Road Rage

Exercise.  Not in my vocabulary!  I have never purposefully exercised.  Oh....I forgot.  I did have a membership at a gym for a year--I went with Fred.  He was into all that nonsense.  (See where it got him?)  HAH!

I have always been pretty active==gardening, mowing the lawn, cleaning, walking, golfing.  I figured that was exercise enough.  Lately The last three years, I've noticed that my always skinny legs, now have no muscle tone.  My skin is so crepey!!!  I need something.  This morning, I devised my own exercise plan and it takes about 10 minutes.

I stand back, arm's length from the wall.  Then, I do push-ups against the wall.  Leaning forward until my nose touches the wall and pushing myself back.  10 times--I hope to double that soon.  Then I stand in front of the kitchen counter, hold on to the edge, and do 10 squats.  It must have some beneficial effect because the backs of my arms as well as my calves, ache tonight.  I vant to pump me up!!
I finished up the Lapghan I was making for Chris.  It is the same pattern as the blankets I have made, but 36x48.  Just the right size for wheel chair use or just sitting in a chair.  

This only took me 9 days to make.  South-Western colors.  The colors aren't quite that vibrant, but there was no sun coming in the window so I had to use my flash.  I just take the photos and send them to Chris and she works her magic, cropping them, or whatever she wants to do.

I am also working on a knitted shawl pattern for her.  It was difficult to begin.  I "Frogged" the thing 4 times before I figured out how to do the pattern.  Now, I have the pattern memorized and am going right along.  I have to work on it later in the day.  It is made with #4 needles and fingering (thin) yarn and in the morning, my right hand is too shaky to get the needle to cooperate.  BTW=Frogged means to rip it out.  Rip It.  Rip It.  (Ribbet.  Ribbet),  Get it?  Knitters are truly weird people!
I felt very good today.  Must have been the exercise?  Energized and motivated.  

Per usual, Maisey stopped in today.  She now arrives around 11:00 and when my Cuckoo clock strikes twelve, she looks up at it and I say, "Lunch time, Maisey.  Time to go home??"  Hint!!! Today, her Daddy, John had to get to his volunteer job at the elementary school, so he was in a hurry.  If you call, sitting and talking for an hour being in a hurry to get going.

I was thinking about the campaigns that are going on.  I think that Jeb Bush would make a really good President.  But not in these times.  Conservative, establishment Republican--he would have been good,... back in the 80's.  I guess now, with the way our society has changed in the last 8 years, we need someone a bit younger, perhaps a more liberal conservative.  If there is such a thing.  If I were voting in the Iowa caucus, I'd probably vote for Marco Rubio.  Since I'm not in Iowa, I have 10+ months to make up my mind.
I got a bit crazy and ran up to Subway at 5:00.  Not the best time to be out on the road that runs in front of here, but hey--I was feeling adventurous.  Instead of getting my usual Spicy Italian Sub, I had it made into a salad.  Oh.  My.

Two meals for sure.  Kind of like an Antipasto Salad, which is my favorite.  Tomorrow for lunch I will put in some Mozzarella cheese bits and green olives.

The most fun I've had in ages--on the way back, the light up the road a bit was red, so I had a clear shot at getting out onto the road.  I got in the inner lane--no one behind or in front of me.  There was another car beside me in the right lane--the left front bumper of his car, near my right rear bumper.

All of a sudden, this huge pick-up zoomed up behind the other car.  One of those big pick-ups the guys like to drive to prove how manly they are?  He was in a big hurry.  Then he pulled in behind me--right on my trunk.  I was going 53mph-3 miles over the speed limit, and instead of going a bit faster, I just stayed steady on my speed--and so did the car to the right of me. 

That guy couldn't get past either one of us.  He was penned in and although, it only lasted a mile, until I turned left into the park, it was so much fun.  He so wanted to go busting up the road at 60mph, which a lot of folks do at 5:30 in the evening, but I wouldn't let him.  My Passive-Aggressive way of keeping him under control--at least for a little bit.  HAH!

Monday, January 25, 2016


From: Karen Rivard
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 5:00 PM
To: Mom
Subject: yesterday...

Hey Mom, I just wanted to write and apologize for yesterday.

I wasn't sure what the schedule was for yesterday, but on Saturday Jen had arranged with Cindy to bring Mark down to celebrate both Christmas with her and also Mark's birthday.  I thought they would be coming down for dinner, but I wasn't sure about the details (I only saw Jen briefly on Saturday before going to bed before 6:30 p.m.)  I wasn't sure if anyone had invited you.  When you dropped by my house unannounced I wasn't sure what was going on.

You remember what happened when I invited you the day after Thanksgiving-Jen didn't come.  That's not the only time she backed out of an event because you were going to be there.  It's not in my head to figure that out.  That's business between you and her.  

What I do not like is being in the middle of all this mess.  Dinner yesterday was at my house because Jen is living with us.  The dinner was her idea which I agreed to.  Beyond that I was out of the loop (being in Europe last week). 

I feel sad that you felt you had to leave yesterday.  That is not something I would ask you to do.  I'm sorry that the situation is still very uncomfortable (at least for me), painful, and awkward.

I hope you can forgive me for not knowing what to do when put in such difficult situations like yesterday.

I hope that in the future you can communicate with Jen and Mark directly by calling them if you have a question for them.  You can also call me at anytime, and it would probably be best to give me a quick call before you drop over so I know you are coming.

Take care,
Love, Karen
My reply:
Oh Sweetheart---There was no problem yesterday, at least none I was aware of.

Jen and I had talked on Monday and she said she thought the kids were coming in for the weekend, and maybe I could see them.

She and I had a really nice talk yesterday out in the kitchen and she told me all about her “commuting” plans for the future.  I don’t think she and I have a problem anymore, at least she doesn’t act like it and hugged and kissed me good-bye.

I left because I figured you kids were getting together for your Christmas or Mark’s birthday and thought that was very cool.  So happy that my kids still like each other enough to get together.
I was just glad I got to see ALL my kids together at one time.

I was tired all day anyway and sleepy enough to want to come home.
I didn’t feel I HAD to leave, or was forced to leave.
I was getting ready to leave  when they all started coming in.
If you had asked me to stay, I would have excused myself anyway.  J

I hope my brief presence didn’t cause discomfort to anyone.
I drove home with a big smile on my face because I had gotten to see you all, PLUS Evan!!

Love you, Mom
So, even when there is no problem, there is a problem?
We are all so afraid of stepping on each others toes that we can't even be normal.  Sad.
I hope my reply to her e-mail helped--who knows

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Last Friday, I took off early and went up to The Farm. 

 As I turned onto the road I was born on, five miles from The Farm, I was lost in my memory.  Almost every half mile along those five miles is a memory. 

 The house my best friend was raised in and just up the road, the house where my second best friend lived.  Another half mile and the big dip in the road, where a deer once came out of the ditch and actually jumped OVER my car.  

The next mile, houses of people I went to school with--bus stops at each of those homes.  The place where Pam had her near fatal accident the night before her 18th birthday.  The corner where I could turn, if I wanted to visit the cemetery--then the house where I raised my kids, the woods I played in and where I wanted to build my little retirement-dream house.  The corner and I look to the farm where my son lives and see his truck is gone, so I know he is well enough to be...somewhere and then turn and there is The Farm.

I took the Queen Size blanket I have been crocheting for Chris.  I wanted to try it on Susie's queen size bed to see if it was correct width/length and...it was.
Then I went through that door, on the right, and saw the progress they are making on their dressing room/bathroom.  It is going to be very nice.

We chatted a bit while we both crocheted, then lunch with Chuck, then the three of us played the USA version of "Ticket To Ride", then Susie and I played a game of "Upwords" and then it was time for me to leave so............I could stop in and see Pammie, just before she left for work.  I was home by 4:30, long before dark.

All day Saturday, I stayed in and knitted/crocheted while I watched a couple of basketball games.  Both Michigan teams won.  I was real concerned about Mark and Karen, flying home from Rome and Jennifer's husband and kids--driving here from New Jersey.  So much snow on the East Coast.  I didn't see any FB postings that Karen and Mark arrived home, but I figured, no news is good news.  If their plane had crashed, it certainly would have been on the News.

I woke up this morning feeling like I had been dragged through a knothole, backwards.  My head felt full and heavy and my eyes didn't seem to want to focus very well.  At noon, I got a "nudge" and made a HUGE decision.

I decided that if I wanted to know what was going on and get a chance to see Jen's kids, I would just drive on down to Karen and Marks--where everyone is staying.  So--I did!

Karen and Mark had a direct 13hour flight home from Rome to Detroit, no stop-over at JFK, so they missed all the snow.  Eric and the kids left NJ early Friday morning, so they got outta there before the storm.

Eric was in the garage, working on his truck.  Jennifer had taken Elise to stay overnight with a friend and Andrew and Alex had stayed in NJ.  Little Guy Evan had spent the overnight with Pammie, and wasn't there.

I stepped out into the garage and had a nice chat with Eric.  He was captive in the closed up garage and couldn't escape talking with me.  Banal, how's everything going, kind of chat.

Karen and I talked for awhile and she didn't offer anything about when Pammie would bring Little Guy back or when Jen would get back.  We talked about her trip.

All of a sudden, I heard voices and in walked my son Mark and Cindy.  Then Pammie came in with Evan, followed closely behind by Jennifer with an arm load of food.  Apparently they were going to have a Siblings get together and a nice supper.

I got to talk to all of them for a few minutes, then out in the kitchen with Jen.  She has acquired a terrific situation with the law firm she is with here in Michigan.  She is going to commute!!!??

They have given her a car and some kind of plane ticket where she can get a flight from NJ to Michigan anytime she wants/needs, PLUS a raise in pay.  She has a meeting on February 3 and the 12th.  She will be staying at Karen's while she is here.  They don't want to lose her expertise in Non-Profit Fund knowledge AND she will also be in contact with their side partner in Manhattan.

<So--let me see.  The reason they were moving was so Eric would work and support the family and Jennifer would stay home and be Momma.  Hm-mm.>

They found out Thursday, they have been approved to build on the lot they found, so when Eric gets back, he is going to meet with the contractor's and get things going.  He has yet to start working with his father in ANY of the offices in NJ or New York.
It was nice to see all my kids together.  I know they have been trying to put some sort of gathering since before Jen moved.  Today was to celebrate Mark's birthday, last Sunday.

I hugged and kissed them all and left with a smile on my face.  I didn't want to interrupt their get together and... no one had suggested I stay.  LOL

It is still difficult for me to get used to the idea that at one time, I was the center of their world and now...barely tolerated.

I am just thankful for any scraps I can get and am glad that today--I answered a God Whisper and drove on down to Karen's.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Never Much of a Fad Follower..........

Adult coloring books are the newest fad.  Intricate designs and lovely coloring pencils.  "They" say it is a great way to relax.  I'll just bet my sister would love them.  


Not so much.  It wouldn't be relaxing for me!  Can you imagine--me with my "perfectionist" personality and my shaky right "coloring" hand?  GOOD GRIEF!!!  I'd probably have a nervous breakdown!

Years ago, a friend wanted me to take a cake decorating class.  "It will be fun," she said.  "Think of all the money we will save, making our own cakes for family parties."

Fun?  Out of two dozen pink roses, I may have made one that actually looked like a rose.  The rest looked like some sort of pink puff-ball flower unknown to botanists.

Save money?  By the time she purchased all the pans, supplies, flower pins, on and on, I could have ordered birthday cakes for all my kids for the rest of their lives, and spent less.  So--I ordered them from her--to help pay for her decorating supplies.

I am not into intricate!  Well--I am, but not the above kind.

I can sit for hours, cross stitching.  These take three months to make: 

or these baby crib quilts

Or crocheting.  I am almost done with the Queen Sized blanket.

Or testing a new, knitted intricate design for Chris.
To me--this is fun.  Cake decorating is tedious.  Coloring would be nerve wracking.   

Maybe it's because with the X-stitch, crochet, knitting, I can sit in my recliner, feet up, cats snuggled in and listen to the TV and just get something done while being lazy? That's probably it.  

Today is my grandson Stephen--Karen's 4th child, 22nd birthday.  Like Helene and Marcus (Susanna and Maddie had no interest), his goal was to grow taller than Gramma.  Helene is as tall, Marcus is 6'2" and Stephen made it!!  6'4" and still growing.  
Now, in his Senior year at Michigan State, and going into Medical School next fall.  Who would have ever imagined!

 10 years old              
13th birthday--still chubby

Christmas       16th year

Karen has a tape on the wall to measure the kids.
The highest mark on the tape was my height.
Stephen passed it on his 16th birthday.

Eagle Scout--17 years old

High School Graduation               

Freshman year at MSU.
ESPN showed him to the world!
2015--Tall and lean and handsome as can be
...and the most important--polite, considerate, nice, compassionate, conservative, Catholic man--because, after all--he is Karen's child!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fiddle Dee Dee

Cold, but sunny each day this week.  

The spurt of energy and the lifting of the depression I felt last week...lasted two days.  That's it.

I have absolutely NO motivation to do anything.  I go to bed at Midnight and if I don't set my alarm, I sleep until 10:30.  I'm tired.  Just tired.  Not physically tired, that would be impossible because I do nothing, but I suppose emotionally tired?

So many people I know have had the NASTY BUG!  The cold/flu, whatever it is, where they feel so miserable for weeks, then the cough for more weeks and then the awful tiredness.  I don't have that excuse.

I am NOT going to the Old School Gal Pals luncheon tomorrow.  #1--it is being held in a place some distance from here.  #2-it is being held in a really (to me) deplorable restaurant in a small, caution light only, town.  #3-my 2nd ex occasionally eats lunch there and although it would probably perk me up to see him and stare darts at him or go over and introduce myself to his now wife with a, "Hi.  I'm Judy.  Don's fourth wife--I think fourth.  Aren't you his seventh?"  I just don't have the energy after all that to come home and spend the rest of the day on my knees, asking God to forgive me for my nastiness.

I AM going up to The Farm on Friday, to have lunch and spend the afternoon with my Lil' Sis.  We shall play a game and it will be a great day.

Other than that?  I am the most boring person I know

Tonight, I have determination to get up in the morning and clean up this place, dust and vacuum and wash my bedding.

Tomorrow morning, that determination may be buried, along with the junk in the corner of my bedroom.

I almost wish I were on the East Coast where I could get excited about the expected blizzard.  At least, that would be something.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Very Nice

Jen, Helene and Maddie picked me up at 7:30.  It was snowing like crazy and so we just went up the road about half a mile to a plain, regular restaurant.

Were we in for a surprise!!

The restaurant, taken over by new owners two weeks ago.  Going to be an Italian restaurant.  We were the only customers.  The owner came out and served us.  A true Italian.  Flirtatious, New Yorker.

My grand girls didn't know what they wanted, nor did Jen so he said, "Let me make you a pasta dish.  A real Italian pasta dish."  They all agreed--I had Shrimp.

Out he came from the kitchen and with a flourish he sat the large pastas dishes in front of them.  They took a taste and all three looked like they had been transported to Heaven!!!  Apparently it was so good.  Jennifer was jabbering to him in Italian and making all sorts of hand gestures.  His face just lit up.

Good grief!  You would have thought we were in Italy, the way they all went on.  Even my grand girls know some Italian words.  Helene and Maddie have been to Italy, Jennifer has traveled all over Europe.  I sat there, dumb like the plain, old farm girl I am.

I don't care for white sauce or chicken and that is what the pasta dish consisted of.  He said that he wanted to make me a pasta dish with Marsala sauce, but I was busily munching on my over fried Shrimp, so I declined.

Oh my!  He was gorgeous--with his really tanned skin, big brown eyes, dark hair with gray around the edges and accent!!  Be still my heart.  Jennifer asked him if he and his family were moving here.  He said, "My children are all grown and I am divorced."  She nudged my foot under the table.  Good Grief!  He probably is in his sixties.  

I hope he does well with this restaurant, but I doubt it.  There is another Italian restaurant in Brighton that everyone goes too.  It WAS good 15 years ago, but now you need a steak knife to cut the Lasagna, it is so rubbery.  But, you know how people are.  They will keep going to a restaurant just because it's been in town so long--even if the food is no longer all that great.  We are such Provincials!!

Jennifer said the kids have adjusted to the move better than she has.  She still misses her "home".  Apparently the area they are building their home in is quite upscale--Union Township--out in the country a bit, but with excellent schools.  12-15 students in each class room.  

Andrew is in the accelerated class, Elise has already been invited to a birthday party.  Alex has made 10 friends and of course, Little Boy Evan doesn't care--except he cries a lot because he misses Aunt Pammie.

It was a lovely couple of hours tonight.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016 Might be a decent year after all-----

E-Mail from Jennifer:
"Hey Mom -- I'm taking Helene and Maddie out to dinner on Monday.  Would you like to join us?  It may be 6'ish --I have to check everyone's schedules, if that isn't too late for you.  We can pick you up, and you can decide where we go.  Thx."


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ups and Downs

One thing about life.  It is in a continual flux of change.  

You are up one day and the next, you could be out on the street.  Feeling great one day, die in your sleep that night.  Feeling healthy as a horse on a Friday, cancer diagnosis on the next Monday.  

The only thing that doesn't change in life, is change.  The only constant in life, is change.

I have two "friends" that died in their sleep on Christmas Eve morning.  Hard on the family, easy for the deceased.  Apparently, neither one had been or was sick.  Pam had seen one of them the day before in the store.

Another friend, worried about her brother, with the cancer diagnosis.  Surgery and the doctor's "think" they got it all.  Which no doubt they did, but they never give you a 100% guarantee, because one teeny, tiny little cell could have gotten loose and...........................but we rejoice and Praise God because, right now--at this particular time--all is well.

A neighbor up the street, Sheila's mother is dying from what my own mother died from.  I have never known anyone that had the same (non) diagnosis, the same treatment (none), the same--whatever.  

Years ago, my doctor told me that if we had CT scans and MRI's back in 1970, they could have pinpointed my mother's disease and helped her.  Now, that is weird because Sheila's mother has the same thing, even with all the tests, they can't do a thing to help her.  They have NO idea why her bone marrow won't make red blood cells.  It isn't Leukemia, cancer--nothing.  They don't know what it is or why.

My own son, is feeling well.  The infusion he gets every six weeks has not made him sick or weak.  He has lost none of his hair.  His PSA numbers are nearly what normal would be.  But--next week, it could all change.

We just never know and I think that knowledge comes to us the older we get.  It could be us--any day.  How do we get philosophical about that?  How do we come to terms?  I guess we just keep ourselves from thinking about it.
So--a week ago today, I was trying not to pass out in the Wal-Mart store.  For months and months, I have had no motivation to do one dang thing!!  A quick vacuum. Once every couple of months, run the dust cloth.

Things get set out on the kitchen counter tops.  Stains occur.  Whatever.  It matters not to this once, organized, tidy person.

Today, I was sitting in my recliner, minding my own business, my Soap just over and all of a sudden, this weird sensation hit me.  I HAD to get up and clean the kitchen.  So, I did.  For two hours, I cleaned and scrubbed and bleached out the stains and then noticed that my big mirror was all streaky so I Windexed it and then my two glass lamps, and vacuumed the whole house.  Moved the heavy cat's table for looking out the window, from my bedroom to my living room.

I was filled with such energy and such a light heart.  It reminded me of how I felt last spring.  I was alive and life was wonderful!!  I have been in depression since September and I "think" today, it might be lifting!!

Now, we won't know until we see how we feel tomorrow and the next day and the next, but.....wouldn't THIS change be nice?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Snowy Day

E-mail from Jennifer--who is staying at Karen's a mere 12 miles away.

"Happy new year Mom.  Thanks for the great photo page for my bday.  Those memories are priceless, and the kids really enjoyed it.  Karen gave me the box of Christmas gifts for the kids, which I sent home with Eric this past weekend – they’ll have something fun to enjoy. 

Thanks again, Jen"
Did I ever mention that these last four years are the first time in my life I have lived alone?  I went from Daddy's house, to Gary's house and after our divorce, Jen was still at home.  Then I went to Don's house and after he tried to kill me, to Ernie's house, then down here, then met Fred.

Never secure enough in myself.  Always had to have that security of a man, to fall back on if need be, to fix things, to lend me money--whatever.  I haven't had any of that in four years and 12 days and---


I must be a real selfish person because I love the fact that I don't HAVE to please anyone, other than myself.  No grand kids to have to baby sit.  No kids wanting to move back home.  No man around to turn the noisy TV on first thing in the morning.  No man to have to cook for, do laundry, clean up his inadvertent urine sprays around the toilet, hear him belch or fart, let watch what he wants to watch on TV, no picking up after, listen to him snore in the middle of the night or worry about.

I can decorate my wee house in any eclectic way I want.  I can have a tree branch in the corner of my living room with a birds nest on it and no comments.  Anything I need doing, I can hire it done or ask my friend John for help.

I have never known such freedom!  The best time of my life.  I just wish I was younger so I could enjoy for many more years.

My squirrels doing acrobatic tricks to get to the bird feeder, because theirs was nearly empty.

So, I went out and filled it up and then the Cardinals started stealing the squirrel feed.

Then, baby squirrel came in and scared the Cardinals away.

...and they waited patiently until he had his fill 
and left
and, there he is.  Our strange little duck of a neighbor, John.  After he got home from work--nearly dark, as he wields his enormous snow-blower down the street, cleaning every driveway along the way.

Precious Man