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

Friday, May 27, 2016

Treasures, Traffic, Tolerance

One of the things I snagged from the estate sale, was a Castor Cruet set.  My sister had two.  One with colored glass--pink, light blue, green, red & cobalt blue cruets and this one, which is just pressed glass.  She didn't want this one, so I took it.

I remember this one sat on my great grandparents dining table every day.  The pretty one sat on the side bar/buffet purely for decoration.

Pewter frame with salt & pepper shakers, oil & vinegar cruets and mustard pot with little spoon.

I had good intentions to drain the water heater today, but it is still hot and humid outside and I didn't want to have the back door slightly open for the hose to go outside.  Instead, I stayed mostly inside, with the A/C and vacuumed and cleaned and worked on genealogy.

I spent a few hours, chasing ghosts!  My client had mentioned that she wondered if a certain ancestor had come from Scotland.  The surname certainly was the same, but absolutely no relationship to her family from Ireland.  Then I went on a deeper search and, amazingly, I found a "letter" written by one of the modern day kin, some 11th, fourth cousin, on her mothers side, who just happened to be searching for the same ancestor!!  He had actually been to Scotland, thinking he was hunting dead ancestor's and in  his quest, found they were not related in any way shape or form to the Ireland ancestor's.

How can this be?  Doesn't a surname start out in some ancient generation and remain the same with the spreading out of descendants after descendants?  

 I don't know.  It is another mystery.  I suppose if we hired a professional genealogist, which can run into the thousands and thousands of dollars for his traveling and searching, we might be able to find a record of the very first   man with our surname.  If records had been better kept and some of those files weren't marked "Private" like some I have run into.

It is exasperating.  I want to do the best I can for my clients.  Sometimes I CAN get back 25 or more generations.  Sometimes, there seem to be more Dead Ends after a few generations.
I got a call from Walmart.  My prescription was ready.  I am all out of the pills, so I had to traverse up there and pick it up.  There was so much traffic on the road in front of my park that it took me a long time to get out, cross three lanes and get into the one headed West.

I wondered why there were semi-trucks on the road. Motor homes.  Fifth wheel campers,

I took me 30 minutes to travel 2.5 miles.  Apparently a semi had caught fire on the expressway that comes from Detroit and goes west across our state.  Two other accidents.  So bad, the Police detoured traffic from 3 miles east of Brighton, passed my park and on 2.6 miles to the next interchange, just past the Walmart store.

Coming home was a piece of cake, but at some places on the west bound side, traffic was backed up and sitting still for more than a mile.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend traffic!
Dar stopped in this evening--at my supper time, of course.  She is rattled more than I've ever seen her.  Still not recovered from a simple fender-bender she had, so she can't work and has to stay in her house with her son and grand kids.  She signed up for Disability Insurance through her work, but it doesn't cover car accidents, so she is getting no money!  Her car Insurance just went up $80.00 even though she wasn't at fault in the accident.  They do that in a "No Fault" State.  She filed a claim to repair her car--thus HER insurance went up.

Her arms are numb from her neck down so she has to have an EMG.  She asked if I had ever had one and I said "yes."

"What's it like?" she asked.

"They put needles. connected with wires to a machine, in different parts of your arm and by your neck, then put electric pulses through the needles to see which of your nerves is causing the numbness."


"They have to see which nerves are damaged before they can treat that area."

"Doesn't it hurt?"

"You always tell me you have a high tolerance to pain....so...you should be okay."

I DID NOT tell her it was probably the most painful test I have ever had--short of a spinal tap, which I have never had!  I DID NOT tell her that when I had my EMG, the lady leaving the office just before me was crying from the pain.

You know how hysterical she gets--for any test?  She is just going to love an EMG.  June 2nd.  

Have fun this weekend.  Be careful.  Be safe.  Remember our fallen Vets.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hot--Humid--Too Soon

A week and a half ago, we had snow.  Now we have 84 degrees and 67% humidity.

I don't like to sweat!  I never used to sweat!  I had heat stroke when I was 15 years old and the heat has bothered me ever since.  But--I kept the heat inside me, which is not a good thing.  Now, I sweat!  Which is a good thing.  But, I hate it!

Slimy moisture all over my face and arms.  My hair turning stiff and crunchy from the salt in my sweat.

I feel so much better when it is cool--even cold.  I seem to have more energy.  The heat drains me and makes me dizzy and shaky and....tired.
Karen called me yesterday morning.  She had gone with her daughter Helene, my eldest grand child, to see the ultra sound of Helene's "Avocado Size" baby.  When Helene first told me she was pregnant, back in March, I immediately said, "It's a girl!"

Karen told me yesterday, "It's a girl and everything is perfect!"
I got busy planting my Zinnia seeds yesterday.  I have a raised garden on the west side of my shed.  In the garden, I have grown strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and Zinnias.  I like the Zinnias best.  I like to have them to cut and make bouquets to take to Pearl and Jackie and Dar and for my own house.  They are a humble flower, but very colorful.  The hot sun reflecting off that white shed, directly onto me--made me sweat.

4 packets of seeds.  36", 24", 17" and 6".  Worked up the soil.  Put my rows in with the rake handle.  Put in the seeds.  Tamped them down with the flat part of the rake.  Good to go!

How do you pronounce Zinnias?  Friend Chris said in Texas they pronounce it, Zine Yahs.  Two syllables.  Here we call them Zin ee yahs.  Like it's spelled.  Three syllables.
Then I got started on planting the annuals I had bought for my porch planters.  It's a shady spot to work.  I sweat.  Something happened that has never happened to me before.  I make out a list of what I want to plant.  I count how many plants I will need.  I take that list with me.  This year---I ran out of plants!  So--I have to go back today and buy more.
How did I miss the number I needed?  Senility setting in!

I painted the white railings on my porch and got some gray paint to paint the steps.  Three years ago, the guy at Lowe's convinced me I should STAIN the porch.  That stain has not worked very well.  Last year I got regular, exterior white paint and redid the railings.  This year I got Valspar Porch and Floor paint and will do the steps and maybe even the porch floor with it.  So there!
Around 5:00 I came inside to cool down.  I noticed two teen age girls walking up to Jackie's house across the street.  I wondered what was going on, as I didn't recognize the girls.  Then I saw them bend over and I saw Jackie's feet.  I grabbed my phone and ran across the street.

Jackie, also planting her annuals, had fallen behind her SUV.  Unseen from the street.  She had lain there for 30 minutes, yelling for help.  I was out on my porch and hadn't heard her.  Dar came home, and walked into her house, 50 feet away, and hadn't heard her.  Pearl, who lives across the street from Dar, was sitting out in front, chatting with her daughter, and hadn't heard Jackie's cries for help.

Jackie can't just stand up from a prone position--who of us at 70+ can!  So the two girls and I got her onto a rug and dragged her over to her porch steps.  Then we boosted her up (it took us 3 tries as she is not a skinny woman) up onto the first step and then up to the next and on and on until we got her onto her porch.  I helped her into the house and tried to get her to go to ER, but she was having none of that.

She kept gasping for each breath and holding her side.  Broken rib?  Cracked ribs?  She's on blood thinners, maybe internal bleeding?  I just sat with her.  She was calm.  I was calm.  Then Dar, who must have finally seen the commotion, came busting into Jackie's house, all hysterical like she gets.  I could see the look of disgust on Jackie's face.  We finally got Dar calmed down and out of there!

She finally let me call the ambulance to take her a mile up the road to the little hospital.  "Just to check you out."  Four hours later, she was back home.  So glad that she had gone because they checked her over really well.  They also worried about internal bleeding or even a brain bleed.  CAT scan.  Ultra sound.  X-rays. 

She is fine, but sure is going to hurt more today and even more tomorrow!
Then, all of a sudden it was 7:00.  I was sitting inside, sweating, refusing to turn on the A/C and in walked Pearl!  She hasn't been here in 8 months!  She had walked down--with her walker.  We were having a great chat and in came John and Maizey.  Pearl loved seeing Maizey.  We three had a nice chat.

Then, all of a sudden, it was 8:30 and my phone rang and it was my sister.  She wanted to know how I wanted my portion of the estate sale money.  I didn't really want to talk about it in front of my guests, but just had to ask, "Well, I don't know.  It depends on how much it is."

Less than I expected, although I tried not to expect anything, but enough to give me a nice emergency cushion.

My guests left and I called Susan.  We decided she will keep it in her savings account and when I need something, she will write me a check for the amount.  She has a fit that I keep cash in the house, but never lock my house when I go away.  "Your neighbor's know you never lock-up and they could come in and steal your stuff!"  Obviously, she lived too long in New York.

"My neighbor's would never do that.  We watch out for each other."

"Well then, anyone could come in and take  your cash."

"So, you think, someone is going to drive in this park, drive up and down each street and finally, pick my house out of the two hundred homes, and decide to break in?"

This way will work good, for both of us.  I will not have the temptation to go to my "stash" and grab some bills to buy a spur-of-the-moment something I think I need.  She will feel better that my wee inheritance is safe.  If I die before the $$$ is gone, she will give the remainder to Pammie, who is my advocate.

Susan and Chuck are going to use their share to FINALLY build a deck off their living room.  I am going to leave my share intact.  I have saved enough to get my painting done and half what I need for my living room carpet.  So--I'm a happy camper.

I thought that knowing that $$$ was there and mine would give me a great sense of relief.  Strangely, I have already become less worried and rather content knowing I had nothing.  Being poor for many years and really destitute for the last 4.5 years, I have learned how to live on what I have and if it wasn't always enough, it was okay.  I have made it all these years, and found a real appreciation for whatever I have.  I can't say it has been easy.

I lived the first 45 years of life very comfortably.  Never wanting for anything.  Divorce took that away, but a few jobs, kept me fairly good for 12 years.

What did St. Paul say?  

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


When I work in my garden, I ponder things.  Very, deep, philosophical things.  Tee Hee


Hanging around my neck.  I used to have many and now---?

I was a daughter and acted accordingly, as a daughter should.  Then my label was ripped in half, but I still had the label and acted accordingly, even though the half the label that was left didn't treat me very well.

Then, I was a wife and once again acted accordingly.  Doing all the things the books told me I should do to be a good wife.  Even though my Wife Label got scribbled on with words that told me I wasn't doing a very good job.

Then I put on the label Mother.  To me, the best label I ever had.  I loved being pregnant.  Never a day of morning sickness.  Nice, big, healthy, round-headed babies came from my body.  Every one of them was cute from the minute they were born, beautiful when they were grown and still are very handsome and pretty.

Then my Wife label was ripped off and I was labelled, Divorced Woman.  Such a hard label that came with perceptions from others, that I never expected.  Women friends thought I was after their husbands.  Men thought I must need sex from them.  GEEZ!

Then, the best label of all--Grand Mother.  Such a love for the babies of my babies.  I could see all the wonder of life in them that I may have missed with my own, when I felt strongly it was up to ME to raise decently.  The Grand children were not my job to discipline.  Just to play with and teach and enjoy.

My daughter label is gone.  My wife label is gone.  My mother label is still there, but very dim and faded because they are busy and have their own life and don't need mother anymore.  My Grand Mother label is quite dim now too.  Once again, busy lives.  If I want my Grandma label to "shine", I have to go to them.

I also was proud to wear the label, "Loved, Sweetheart, nearly Wife, Care Giver."  Of course, that was ripped from my neck in a very painful way.

No Labels.  I wonder what people see when they look at me?  There are no labels for them to make a determination of "what IS this woman."

I no longer have the labels, so I am prone to wonder, "Who am I anymore?"

In reality, free from the labels, I can now become whomever I want to be.  That's kind of cool.

I have been working at it for the last 3+ years.

I know that I am a really good friend to people.  A good listener.  In the past, I wouldn't have had the time to take the time for a Dar rant, a Pearl senility, a John constantly repeating the same stories over and over.  Now I can and it no longer wears me out.  I listen.  I hear it.  I focus on them.  They leave and I put it entirely out of my mind.  Their, weirdness shall we say, doesn't bother me as it once did.

I know that I am more content to be here, doing my own thing, than to have to be "going" all the time.  I guess I have learned to like myself?  At earlier times, I had to be acknowledged by others to find any worth.  

Socializing?  "They" tell us, older people need to socialize or we will get depressed and feel un-needed.

Oh my.  If I HAD to go to the Senior Center once a week.  If I HAD to take a day trip with a group.  If I had to get out and converse with people on a regular basis, THAT would make me depressed!!  Nervous!  Chaotic feeling!  My worse case scenario.

What fills me with great joy?  Creating!  Losing myself in a genealogy for hours at a time.  It's history to me and it is fascinating.  Knitting or crocheting or cross stitching an item.  Knowing that someday it will go to someone who will really appreciate it and I wonder, what that baby or that person will feel when they receive it.

This time of year, piddling around in my gardens.  NOT the six hours I used to spend twice a week to make the most beautiful garden in the neighborhood.  Now, planting and enjoying what I want to plant.  What I want to see.  Such freedom.

My personality HAS changed.  Without the labels.  Some people are confused by it.  I no longer am the same Judy they have in their perception of me.  Expectations and perceptions from others, no longer matter to me.  I think, for the first time in my life, I just might be a rebel.  LOL

My faith is stronger than it has ever been in my life.  Although I always knew it, I really believe and feel that God is in control and I don't worry about anything anymore.  I have been through really hard times in my life and every single time, something has come to save me.  I choose to truly believe it is God and not just a coincidence.  

I was a worry-wort from the time I was a small child!  Wanting to control to keep everything calm and peaceful and right.  Wanting to be whatever I was supposed to be to every one.  Reacting in a way that was expected of me.

Now--I still hear distressing news.  I am still hurt by people.  Things come that are hard to bear.  It's like I hear it and I know it and my mind just says, "Whatever."

Onward and Upward.  Ever Forward!

No matter what, life is soooooo good!

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Weekend of Blessings

Soooooooooo busy!  It is that busy time of year.  Eh?

Thursday, I drove 20 miles north to have lunch with the Old School Gal Pals.  The 3 annoying ones stayed home, so it was a lovely lunch with conversations back and forth.  Lovely.  I drove up the access road--the one that runs along the Expressway, but on the way home, decided to take the Expressway.  It has been a long time.  I nearly had a panic attack!  I used to drive 75-80 on the Expressway, now I was barely going 65 and felt like I was flying and not in control.  So I got behind a semi, who was going 65 and got off at the first exit (4 miles) and relaxed and drove home the rest of the way on the side road.  EGAD!!

Friday, I spent a lot of time on the genealogy, then weeded my small garden in front.  I had grass in there taller than the Iris and Lilies.  I can't dig with the shovel anymore.  It seems when I step up on the shovel to push it into the dirt, it feels like my hip socket is going to pop out.  EGAD!!

Saturday, I drove 20 miles south to see Madeleine dance in a recital.  All Interpretive dance, choreographed by the dancers.  The dance company is Christian based, so a lot of the music was praise music.  One girl, a few years older than Maddie, had recently had her fiance' call off the wedding.  She came out and danced a solo to, I'm Only Human.  Well, I wept through the whole thing.  The words spoke to some of my experiences.  

Madeleine is by far the best of the Academy--everyone says so, including her instructors.  She has a certain way.  The older girls are all beautiful dancers, but when they stand posed, with their chins up and arms extended and hands in a pose, Maddie's chin is just a teeny bit higher, her arms and hands, just a bit more expressive and...the look on her face when she dances---she looks like she is transformed to another place.  She once told me that when she gets on stage, she is not aware of the audience, only the music and feels she is dancing in praise of God.  More weeping from Grandma.

Then we traveled back to Karen & Mark's house for hamburgers and hot dogs grilled and a nice supper on the deck.  My grandsons were there and my oldest grand daughter Helene and her fiance' Michael Benjamin.  They are getting quietly married in June, by a judge, with only parents and siblings present.   Then they will move into their new little house and we will have a baby shower in late August.  It's all good.

Sunday--I went up to The Farm and stopped in at the cemetery on the way.  My sister decorates the graves now.  It used to be my job, for 30 years, and then when she moved back, she took over.  YAY!  The flowers look nice in the urns.  I talked with Fred for awhile and then admired my own headstone waiting for me.  It is a really nice marker, if I do say so myself.

Then I drove the two miles over to The Farm and helped Susan and her hubs Chuck, pack stuff away that hadn't sold--mostly dishes and that sort of thing.  My sister and I have never discussed it, but she remembers in our father's Will, it states: "It is my desire that my said named daughters, meet privately at my home for the division of my personal property.  My daughter, Susan----supervise and divide of said personal property equally between my said named living daughter's."

So--as I was leaving my sister said, "I will get you an itemized list of all that was sold and write you a check for half the net profit." 

I have no idea how much that will be and it really doesn't matter to me.  My sister and her husband were the ones that had to store it, and keep it clean and help get it placed for the sale.  The Estate Sale Planners take 20% of the gross sales.

What really matters to me?  My sister is an honest, lovely person who is going to share with me.  I FINALLY will receive something from our Father's estate!
I have told the story before of how my kids got two of the farms, my sister the other one, my two other kids and Susan's son got $10,000.00 cash each.  Susan and I were supposed to share the GM stock our Dad had inherited from his mother--which in 2008 was worthless.  There was also an investment put into trust, 1/3 for his wife, 1/3 for Susan, 1/3 for me--around $125K each.

However, because the markets were so bad at the time, our step-mother said we should just leave it and not cash it out.  She would give it to us when the market improved or when she died.  There were many witnesses in the house who heard what she told us.  Then she died.  No trust in our names to be found.

In the last few years, since her demise, we have found out that when she moved into her $4,500.00 a month Senior complex and all the trips she took, she used the money from that trust.  She left HER investments, retirement, etc. alone, in her girls names.  Everything was in trust so there was no Probate.

So--Susan and I have the final laugh on this one.  At least the bitch step-mother didn't steal quite all of itll!
Today, I am again weeding gardens.  Not too bad in the shady gardens, but at 2:00 when I was working in the full sun, I got dizzy and shaky and had to come in.

Tomorrow I go on an expedition to buy a few annuals for my porch pots!!!

Life is so good and filled with so many blessings!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mother Nature

It "appears" that Mother Nature has decided to finally give up May weather.  Of course, it's nearly June, but................................Mother Nature is a crazy old, starts with a B--itchy woman for sure!

I can't really get into the mood to weed gardens, plant flowers or paint my porch when the weather is cloudy, cold and rainy.  Perhaps it is just a state of mind, but I have always been affected by the weather.  When it is sunny and nice, I get energetic and crave to be outside.  When it is cloudy--I don't care if it's 70 degrees outside, I just don't have the fortitude or mood to do anything outside.
Today--I finally got the laundry done that I started Monday.  EGADS!!  However, I haven't taken a walk up to the lake since last fall--which I promised myself I would do every day.  I haven't re-made the dental appointment I canceled in March and, it's almost time for my six months check in with the doctor--blood draw included.

The time goes so fast, but when I look back, I haven't done a dang thing of any importance.  I think things are going to pick up however.

My sister and brother-in-law are FINALLY having the estate sale to get rid of the Great greats, Greats, Grands and father's stuff.  My ancestor's on my Dad's side never threw away a thing!  There are boxes and old farm equipment from the mid 1800's.  As well as clothes our great, great grandparents wore.  Plus dishes, an old, beautiful with nickle trim and dragon heads, wood cook stove as well as a wood/coal burning stove, looks similar to the cook stove, with ising glass front and sterling trim, that sat in the middle of the living room when I was a teeny little kid.

They have horsehair furniture, an old Victrola, a Wilton velvet carpet.  This is a treasure trove of antiques--for people that like that kind of thing.

The sale starts Thursday, with mostly antique buyers coming in early.  The Estate Sale planners have notified all the people they deal with.  They have also arranged and priced all the stuff.  It is not an auction and not a garage sale.  My sister and BIL, either leave for the day, or stay in the house.  They do not mingle.

Here's the link if you want to look at the stuff.


I am a bit peeved that I see an old Fenton Stag and Ivy bowl that belonged to our Great Grandma and I had for 40 years but only returned it to her last year because I didn't use it very often and thought it should go back where it used to live, for sale.  If I had known it was going to leave the family, I would have kept the damn thing or given it to one of my girls!  I suppose I could sneak out tonight and steal it out of the garage?

I have realized later this afternoon that I mustn't look at any more of the photos.  I am old enough to remember visiting the Great Grand Parents and seeing or using most of the stuff.  There goes my heritage and it breaks my heart.....but I need to be practical--right?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I's Here!

Here I am.  Honest it's me and not Judy's secretary, but she could use one!  And a house keeper, laundress, gardener, chauffeur.

It snowed here on Sunday morning.  May 15th and it snowed.

Night time temps in the low 30's.  I know this is Michigan, but this weather is just weird, even for us/.  I checked my journal and every year I've lived here (13), I have ALWAYS had my porch pots filled with annuals and seeds in the ground on May15th or the week after.  This year it will be Memorial Day.  Plus--this kind of weather does not even inspire me to "work up" my raised bed garden for the Zinnia seeds, or stop in at the garden center to even look at annuals.  I haven't even opened the file folder I make each fall, with what I want to plant the next spring.  So depressing!

Because of our large snow falls in April, only the very tops of my Lilac bushes have blooms.  They still smell as sweet, but.......................................and yet, the grass keeps growing and Don the Lawn Mowing Man keeps coming every Monday, at $20.00 a time.
I have been so busy with the genealogies I am doing.  Finishing up one and knee-deep in another.  Last night at 9:00, I discovered a "thread" up from like a 6th great grand father, that took me to 106 AD.  106!  That's like a mere 100 years after Jesus died!  I actually got chills.  Back then the names of the people were things like, "Woden, King of the Saxons." One guys name is Bodacious, but they called him Bodik. I finally stopped with the "climbing up the generational ladder" at midnight and have taken a rest this morning, but I hear Bodik calling me.

I gotta get a good look at those 45 generations and make sure they really are connected to the 6th great grand father.  

I have subscribed to International Records, so that is why I am finding records from Germany and Norway and England and................it is truly amazing what good records they kept of baptisms and marriages and deaths--if you can read their writing, which is sometimes near impossible.

Oh yes.  There was a Farfeal too.  His title was "Farfeal the Arguer."  What would your old world title be?  "Judith The Tall.  Princess of the Germanic Women Warriors!"

This guy has a perfectly beautiful Oriole feeding station, filled with nectar, grape jelly and half an orange.  Why does he instead want to sip from the Humming Bird feeder and scare my Hummers away
Bird brain!!!

Can you see the Hummer up on the right?
My phone was out for 4 days and I didn't even know it.  HAH!  The Comcast guy came out yesterday and the problem is not the Modem, although he gave me a brand new, up to date one.  It is the telephone lines that run under the house.  I asked him lots of questions, while I sat near him to watch what he was doing.  He explained everything!

I didn't know that because I have phone service through Comcast, I don't need to plug the phones into the wall phone jack.  I just need to plug the base phone into the Modem and all the extensions run off that.

I also didn't know I didn't need the router that is hooked up.  The minute he unhooked it, the light green light on the Modem turned a bright green and my Internet connection ran faster.

At one time, there were two computers in this room.  Thus the need for the router--I guess.  When Freddie died, I disconnected his stuff and gave it to his son.  Then I moved his desk over here and just reconnected everything that way it was.

So--needing two new phone extension because mine are really, really old--I ran into Brighton to Best Buy and got a 3-phone pack.  Did you know, you can get packs of up to 10 phones?

One is the base and sits in here plugged into the Modem, the other two are to replace my living room and bedroom phones.  I let them charge for 16 hours, then plugged in the base to the Modem this morning.  Voila!!!  Really no static, which I had been experiencing.  Wonderful!

I had 11 voice mails since Friday.  3 from Walmart Pharmacy suggesting it would nice if I came in and picked up my prescription that had been ready since Friday morning.  HAH!

I am also finishing up a Toddler knit sweater for Chris and starting on the very cool crocheted vest she has created.

Plus, I expect a call from the painter any day now, so I gotta climb up and wash down the ceiling fan blades.  

Ya know.  When you are climbing tree branches up into the very tippy top of a family tree--all things seem to pale in comparison and other work is completely forgotten.  LOL

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Taking Risks on Friday the 13th.

Today, between genealogy searches, I decided to wash my front windows and curtains.  A need a bit of brightening up in this room I spend so much time in.

Last year, when I tried to wash that middle window, I walked along the window ledge, lost my balance and fell back onto the desk.  This year, I figured out how to do it with a bit more caution.

So, while the curtains were washing, I cleaned off the windows.


...and put the clean curtains back up.  Now I am ready to get back to work.


Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fixes and Fakes

The repair guy was here at 11:30 to fix the leak in the back of my refrigerator.  It was a loose connection where the water line goes into the fridge and feeds up into the ice maker.  I have the incoming water turned off, so why was it leaking?

"So much lime and rust that you can't get the intake handle turned all the way off!"

So, if and when I get my new FREE fridge, I will let the installers worry about shutting off the water completely.  My new fridge will not have an ice maker, which is okay with me.  Our water here is so bad that I prefer making ice cubes out of bottled water anyway.
So--there I was, climbing my way up another family tree.  Doing really well, branch after branch, with all data looking correct.  Up around the 10th branch, I was hunting for Matthew's parents names and I thought I had them.

To make sure, I clicked on another website, the one from the Mormon Church in Utah, which is supposed to have the best records and this is what I found:

"When Matthew XXXXX was born August 29, 1576, his father John was 6 and his mother Mary Alice was 5."

WHOA!  We have a miracle birth here!  His father was 6 and his mother 5?  YOWZA!
I run into this kind of thing all the time!  Once, I had written down six children, filled in all their data, only to discover that four of them were born after their "supposed" father had died!

How does this happen?

People doing their own genealogical searching see a person designated as anothers' father or child and throw in the dates and "assume" all is well.  Most of the time they don't check the data deeply enough to see the errors.  Then they upload it to the Internet genealogy search sites and................it becomes "carved in stone."
Our weather here is still in the 30's at night.  I am not even considering spending money and planting my planter pots with annuals until Memorial Day.  I have always planted on May 15th, but not this year.  The soil is still too cold to plant seeds.  The soil is still too wet to even get out and work up the garden.  It's weird and maddening!!!

But life is very good--so I don't worry about insignificant things like planting on May 15th or May 30th. :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


I don't know what's going on, but for some reason, blessings are raining down on me the last couple of weeks. like today--I stopped st Staples to buy a box of real expensive paper. I use in to print out the genealogy books I create for people. They had one box--it was open and roughed up, no plastic wrap on the paper, but the pages weren't bent. I took it up to the counter and the clerk thought that I was bringing it back for a return because it looked so rough. smile emoticon I asked if they had more in the storeroom, nope. I laughed, "I hope there are 150 sheets in there like it says." "Do you want to count them?" I said, "No. I'll just trust there are." He said, "Let me give you $10.00 off." Okey Dokey!
Then, I went to Cartridge World to get some black inkjet refills, but I didn't have any empty cartridges to turn. The clerk knows that I keep them in business, so she said, "I won't charge you for the empty cartridge fee because I know, you've come in before needing one refill and given us three empty cartirdges." WOW! $3.00 off, not much, but.......................
Then I stopped at the garage where I always take my car, because I have finally saved up enough ($700) to get the last major repair done on it--rear suspension. I asked my guy if they do the kit to take off the etching on the headlight covers. He said "No, we never have, but that guy right over there is trying to sell us kits to do that." I said, ":Well, I know it is pretty expensive." The sales guy says,to me, "How old is your car?" I said, "It has less than 50,000 on it, but....it's 18 years old." He goes outside, looks at my car, comes back in and says to my service guy, "You know--that would be the perfect car to use as a demo for the kit." So--I am getting an $89.95 fix for my headlights for---free!
I called to have a local painter come in and give me an estimate on painting my living room/kitchen/hallway walls and ceiling. I could do the walls, but the popcorn ceiling--well let's just say, I don't wanna. My ceilings haven't been done in 18 years and anyone who has visited me, knows--they are a fright! I had a figure in mind for labor and he came in right at it. Plus, I had a gallon and a half left of the wall paint I used last time, which he is going to match and buy another gallon and use mine too! Plus? He said he'd do my bathroom ceiling as a bonus, because it would take him less than an hour. !!
Plus--and here is the icing on the cake. A woman from OLSHA called me last week and said that for low income families, like myself, they are coordinating with DTE to help lower electricity bills and if my refrigerator is older than 2005, they will put in a new refrigerator and recycle mine. SAY WHAT!!?
I refused and told her that my refrigerator was fine and to give mine to a needy family with kids. She replied, "We have lots of new refrigerators and plenty to give to all our Livingston County low income families."
I again said, "No thanks. I'm fine." and she said, "I'm going to send you the form to fill out anyway. You look it over and please take advantage of this. Okay?"
It will be the same size as mine, but more energy efficient. Mine is 18 years old and does make a strange sound, soooo---maybe I should take them up on this? I don't quite know yet if I'm going to. It doesn't feel right--like I'm an old, poor woman on food stamps, or something (which I am, but--that's beside the point)!
Anyway--so many blessings after 4 1/2 tough, long years. I don't want to get too excited, but maybe, just maybe...2016 IS going to be a better year?

and then.............grandson Stephen graduated from Michigan State.
Helene, Susanna, Karen, Stephen, Mark, Marcus, Madeleine

and then...............
Grand daughter Helene got engaged..

and then.................Mother's Day.  Out for brunch with Pam, Karen and Madeleine.

 Such lovely daughters

Pammie is chocking me, Karen is pretending she doesn't see and Maddie is yelling, "Elder abuse!  Elder abuse!"

and then:

Had a bit of excitement around here. My girls pulled out my refrigerator to clean behind and under it. There was no way I was going to let someone come in here to bring in a new refrigerator and see all the dust behind mine. They got it all cleaned up and the fridge pushed back into place. Two hours later, I went into the kitchen to make supper and walked onto a flooded floor! YIKES!
I pulled and yanked and got that big, heavy thing out of its place, then panicked and called my neighbor. She came over with her daughter and grand girls and we figured out where the water shut off valve was--two of them no less. One grand girl crawled back under the sink to shut one off, I WD40'd the rusty one behind the fridge and finally got that turned off.

The fridge still stands in the middle of the kitchen while the floor dries out. I think when they cleaned behind the fridge, my girls took TOO much of the dirt & dust off the tube so the water could leak out. HAH
Yes, OLSHA and DTE, I WILL take one of your new refrigerators after all!

and then...............

I took my car in for her last major repair--rear suspension.  NOW--everything on the under neath part of my car is new and she still doesn't have 50,000 miles on her engine, but 18 years old. :-)

and today.
So--the refrigerator repair guy is coming out to disconnect the ice maker tubing, so it will quit leaking. No charge to me because I have the DTE Service Plan! YAY!

WOW! Called Comcast to downgrade from my newest line-up, that I upgraded to in January, as I didn't watch many of the channels and it was costing $10.00 more a month than what I paid before. The CS lady gave me a $20.00 a month discount and kept me at the same Preferred package. So I still have all the ESPN channels. WOW!

(and, I even got a Mother's Day card from Jennifer!)

Friday, May 6, 2016

I Think, Spring is Here.

I don't want to admit and I am almost embarrassed to admit I am hiring someone to paint!!  Yes--the ceilings, but I am perfectly capable to paint the walls.  It might take me a few weeks, but I COULD do it.  But hiring that done too.

Hank stopped in yesterday evening.  Such a nice man.  I fell instantly in love because he looks so much like my BIL Chuck, who I adore.  Hank is a bit taller--around 6'6"!  Skinny as a rail and no wedding ring, but--I think too young for me.  He is friendly without being overly chatty--kind of quiet AND he doesn't ever use tape around the edges.  He just cuts it in using his very steady hand.  That proves to me he is a professional painter because I know, those guys NEVER use blue tape to cover the window edges, doorways, etc.

One coat of primer and two coats of paint on the ceilings, and only need one coat on the walls  With that much paint on the ceilings, they will be easier to clean because those little plaster thingies that hang down, won't catch the dust anymore.  YAY.

He will buy the paint because he has a 10% discount at Home Depot.  I will need about 3 gallons--at $30.00 a gallon.  

I had an estimate figure in mind.  Had decided if he came in on that figure or under, it was a go.  If not?  Sorry.

He came in exactly on the labor figure I had in mind, PLUS I am also getting the bathroom ceiling done--kind of as a bonus because he figures it will take him way less than an hour.

He is backed up because of the weather and apologized that he can't get to me for a couple of weeks and I told him--whenever you have time.

I adore him!  His personality, his mannerisms, the calm, quiet way he talks.  A local painter with great reviews.  

Maybe next year I can get this over crowded room done as well.

Speaking of John.  Huh?  Lol. 

Last spring, John and Maizey would stop in if he saw me outside.  We'd sit on the porch and chat.  Then during this past winter, he'd occasionally call and want to know if they could stop in on the way back from their walk, to get warm.  Then it got to be every single day--usually in the morning.

Now--John and Maizey stop in TWICE a day!  Once in the am and around 8:00 at night--just when I am sitting down to watch my programs.

He tells me that Maizey won't walk by my house--she won't walk up the service drive either.  She gets to the corner and sits down and refuses to move until he starts walking this way.  At the end of my driveway, she sits down and won't move.

Really?  Who is the leader of this dog walking stuff? Apparently Maizey?

John is a nice man.  He does like to be helpful.  He is DRIVEN to help others.  He helps even when people don't want him to help!

Possibly being the 7th child in a family of 13, gives him a need to be recognized?  He wants to be liked by everyone?  He goes over and above board to be helpful.

Like when he snow plowed 16 driveways in early March and injured his foot/ankle and now has to wear an air cast.  He didn't need to plow that many driveways--some places have husbands that plow their own drives.  He seemed a bit obsessed and crazed that day.

He's a nice man, but sometimes his "company" comes in to visit at an inopportune time for me.  Shall I say anything to him about it?  Of course not!  Because, he is a nice man.
This guy is not only hungry, he is very loud!  Sharp, shrill chirp, surprised me and startled me and made me jump.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Poohey Phooey On This Weather

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, God whispered in my ear, "Remember?  You've wanted to paint the ceiling in your living room for years?"

No, actually I had forgotten.  Which is so stupid because I have wanted to paint the popcorn ceiling in my living room, kitchen and hallway for about 7 years!!!  At the time when I painted all the walls in this place.  But I didn't have a tall enough ladder and I was told, that kind of finish is difficult to paint.  Get it too wet and it starts falling off in sheets!

The minute I woke up this morning, I knew.  "Carpeting is off the table right now.  Get this place painted!"  Seeing as how I can no longer (comfortably) do it myself, I am going to hire it done!!
I had an odd experience this afternoon.  On my way to Walmart to get groceries, I stopped in at the local carpet place to return the samples from Monday.  The owner was there.  I asked, "Do you carry Stain Master flooring?"

He said, "It's in a lot of carpets. I 'd have to know which brand."

"Stain Master carpet."

"Well, they use that in Shaw, Mohawk.  What color do you want."

No.  Stain Master is a stand alone carpet brand."

"I've never heard of it," he said.

I retreated to my car and thought, "Either I am going nuts or that guy mis-understood and thinks I was talking about a stain resistant product they put on carpets!"

Considering the fact that he has owned that business since 1974, I figured it was me.

So, I went back to Lowe's, which is next door to Walmart and talked to the guy I talked to yesterday.

"Is Stain Master a carpet brand?"

"Yes.  We have four rows of samples.  That's what you looked at yesterday."  and he looked at me like I had lost my mind.  So I had to explain my encounter with the carpet store owner.

"Oh.  That business only carries the very top brands of flooring.  He probably doesn't even know Stain Master exists."

That also explains why, on Monday when I was at the carpet store, when I told the guy what I wanted, he showed me two "perfect" colors, one beige and one gray, and these are only $6.95 a square foot.
With padding and installation, we can get you set up for around thirteen hundred dollars."

I think he was trying to push his beige and/or gray carpeting!!!  I don't like either color.
So--then I drove on over to the Walmart parking lot and found a handicap parking spot right in front of the "Home" door.  Hung my tag on the mirror and off I went.  The sun wasn't shining, but it was a nice day.

I started down at the cat food end of the store and worked my way, across the back of the store to the grocery section.

There I was just a walking down the aisles, singing Doo Wah Diddy, Diddy Dum, Diddy Dee, snapping my fingers and shuffling my feet and having a great time.  I checked out, over full cart, walked back down to the exit and stepped out into a torrential, cold rain!!  By the time I got my "seventy-eleven" bags loaded in the trunk and back seat, I was chilled to the bone!

I got home and it was still pouring so I backed my car in, near the porch, came inside and got warmed up and just sat, watched TV and waited for the rain to stop.  Time?  3:41

At 5:00, I went out to unload.  After seventy-eleven trips in and out, I was just about to shut my trunk when John drove by, stopped, backed up and asked, "Would you like help?"

"Oh heck no!  I so enjoy carrying in 10 bags of Diet Pepsi liters, 15# of cat litter and all sorts of heavy stuff in the dang cold rain!"

Instead I said, "No.  I got it.  Thanks.

I got everything put away in the next few hours...except...10 bags of heavy Diet Pepsi liters that are still sitting by the front door.

Fiddle Dee Dee.  I'll worry about it tomorrow!