title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Deck the halls with Holly Loki----

anyone remember Arthur Godfrey singing that?

The two new ornaments arrived today, so I starting adorning the Yule tree.

The white one says, Sweet Great Grand-Daughter on the front with her name on the back.

Then I hung the rest of that family group. 

Jennifer's family on the left side and my oldest unmarried kids in the center. 

Then filled in the rest with ornaments from my grandma's tree and mother's tree and ones I had on our family tree when the kids were little.
(the tree is not crooked, but I was)

My grand daughter's mother-in-law is having a shower for them this Saturday.  I decided to make my favorite baby afghan for Della.  Then I decided to make her a stuffed bunny, that I hope becomes her favorite.  I didn't know how to wrap them, so I will sneak them in and put on the gift table, with no name, and see how long it takes Helene to figure out who the giver is.  HAH 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Onward to Christmas.......'

Our Thanksgiving was calm and nice.  Any political talk was pleasant as all four of us voted for the same Party.  After lunch--Susan does not serve turkey, we had baked chicken, we all adjourned into the living room to watch the football game and conversation came to a halt.  Each of them pulled out their mobile devices and started playing games.  I sat there like a lump.  No conversation was possible.

Finally at 3:00 I used the excuse that I wanted to stop in and visit Pammie and got out of there.  I have my own biases about these damned mobile devices, smart phones and that sort of thing--very rude, in my opinion to get involved with them when it is a family gathering--especially a small family gathering and one of the four has no such device.

So I stopped in to see Pam and we had a great hour long conversation--talking-using real words.  Amazing that one can still do that.

I got home around 5:00--perfect.
Friday morning Karen called and she and Maddie dropped in and brought me some left-over turkey.  YAY!!  I don't really like turkey (or chicken), but I do like a nice thick turkey sandwich, with a couple of bread and butter pickles tucked in between the bread, spread with a combo of Miracle Whip and Horseradish.

Then I started hauling out boxes from my bedroom closet to get ready to decorate for Christmas.  I did get the Nativities up and the angels and Santa's, then pooped out.

Saturday I hauled the heavy Christmas tree box out of my closet and did 7 loads of laundry and watched college football games and cross stitched all afternoon.  Ohio State beat the University of Michigan, which tickled me pink.  Michigan State of course lost to Penn State.  I am really glad Michigan State's football season is over!
Sunday, I did get the tree into an upright position and it seemed easier this year, then when I last did it 2 years ago.  

I also got the outside lights and my front window lighted thingies on timers and ready to go.

Today, I worked much of the morning on Christmas cards.  I create and print special ones for each kid, grand kids and sister.  Then I create and print general ones for everyone else, and Christmas letters for those people I don't see during the year.  

This afternoon, I had to run down to the print shop to get another small genealogy book punched and coiled and then on up to Walmart to pick up a prescription and ON SALE Diet Pepsi.  

It was cold and rainy and windy and not a whole lot of fun going to and from the store, but I did manage to find two people to help and made three others smile.  When I got home, it was still nasty, so I just left everything in the car trunk and will haul it in tomorrow, when it is supposed to be dry and 53 degrees!!

I haven't decorated my tree as yet, because I am waiting for two "name" balls I ordered.  One for my new grandson, Mike and one for Baby Della.  I have glass balls with all the kids & grand kids names on them and I like to group the families together.
After 6 attempts, I finally got a phone call through to the Michigan Medigap Insurance Subsidy people.  It took 90 minutes to finally get someone to answer.  I had sign-up for and sent in all my proofs and October 8th and was worried, as I have heard nothing.  Most of us here in Michigan have Blue Cross insurance and the rates went up about 3.5 times what we have been playing.  Mine went from $40.42 for the last 10 years, up to $146.00.  Hopefully the subsidy will help, but still my insurance will be higher next year.  ARGGH!!!

This baby girl is only one month old.  I think she looks a lot older.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

...and so it begins.........

Toting out the Christmas storage boxes-----------

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kinda sad................

It will be kinda sad tomorrow--of course, no one will mention it because my family tends to ignore the Elephant in the Room, but.......

The reason my nephew is coming to the farm is because he now lives alone in his own apartment--for the first time in 18 years.

His oldest child, a son, is autistic.  A high level learning form of autism, call Asperger's.  My nephew's wife tends to coddle all 3 of the children.  There are no rules, just do your own thing.  If the girls don't brush their hair, they look disheveled all day long.  If they wear mis-matched clothes, that is their privilege--the girls are 11 and 9.  It's been this way since they were little.  The middle girl has long, curly red hair.  It is always in nests and knots.

We have always thought the wife a bit strange.  She rarely speaks, unless asked a direct question.  I'm not saying she is stupid because she isn't.  She works from home for our State government and is very intelligent, makes a lot of money, but............well for example--I had a wedding shower for her.  When she opened the gifts, she would open one end of the paper, look inside to see what the gift was and pass it on for the next gift.  No thank you to the gift giver, no comment.

I remember one day, Fred and I were visiting my Dad and nephew and his family were there.  Fred was outside walking the dog back in one of the fields.  Nephew's son wanted to go outside and play, but his mother said to him, "You can't.  You have allergies to dogs and cats and the dog is out there."

So the kid started whining and I said, "It will be all right.  Fred and the dog are way far away in the field.  They won't come near you. You want me to take you out and play?"  

His mom said, "Dog dander can carry on the wind.  He has to stay inside."

So the son cried while she held him on her lap and patted his back.

Wait.  What?  Fred and the dog were like 1/8 of a mile away!

It was revealed the next year that the boy had NO allergies to animals or anything for that matter.  The Mom used that excuse because the kids wanted a pet and she didn't.  So she played it up to the boy that he was ill when he really wasn't.
So early this summer, the son, now 16 has decided he hates his Dad, so.........Dad had to move out.  This upset his two daughter's a lot.  He gets to take them every weekend, but he is not allowed into the house--which of course he is paying maintenance on--because it might upset the son.

We all chipped in to help my nephew set up his place.  I gave him my brand new vacuum cleaner that I had only used twice because it was too hard for me to push and pull.  Susan and Chuck got new furniture and gave him theirs--which was 5 years old.  My kids gave him extra dishes and towels and stuff like that and Jennifer, set up his legal "separate maintenance agreement", so he wouldn't have to pay an attorney.

He thought he was having his girls for Thanksgiving and wanted Susan and Chuck to come up to his apartment, but last Friday, his wife announced that she and the kids were going to her parents on Thanksgiving Day.  

This whole situation ticks me off!  Number One, since when does a kid dictate that his parent has to move out of the house?  Number Two, my nephew has always been loving and kind to his only son, it's not like he ridicules him or is strict with him.  Number Three, I'd just like to slap his wife up side her head!
Last week, when I visited Susan, we talked and laughed about what would have happened if WE had told our Daddy he had to leave.  He was mean to us and we both wanted our Mother to leave him and take us to live in some nice little house in town.

"Can you even imagine?" I said.  "If we were able to get up off the floor after he beat us............."

"We'd have to go live in the barn the rest of our lives," Susan chimed in.

I had problems concentrating when I was a kid.  My Dad's way of solving that was to slap me on the left side of my head and say, "Wake up!"

My sister took piano lessons and was very good.  When Daddy walked in the house, all piano playing stopped.  "Can't stand that dang racket!" he'd say.

I had to practice my French Horn, sitting on a bale of straw out in the cold barn.  "Don't play that in the house.  Sounds like a dying moose!"

So anyway, tomorrow we will eat and laugh and play a board game and have a great time, and I will hug my nephew very tightly, but I won't ask him how he is doing or anything like that.

We will push the Elephant over into the corner, throw a sheet over it and pretend everything is fine.  

That's the way we are.  No one is allowed to show any emotion other than happy smiles--sad isn't it?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

53 years ago---

There was not one mention on the NBC national news tonight that this is the 53rd anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination.    I guess mentioning such anniversaries has to end at some time.  If we had a national day of notice/mourning for every tragedy that occurred in our life time, every day would be a sad day of remembrance.  Eh?


My nephew called my sister and asked if he could come down to The Farm for Thanksgiving, instead of them going there.  So this Thursday, I will be driving up to The Farm, with the  little wooden pilgrim figures my Mother always had on our Thanksgiving table, for the center piece of their table, and enjoying the day with my sister, Chuck and Adam, her son.

It will be quiet and nice.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pilgrimage home................

I have been having IBS lately, like I had in July and it went away--it's back.  I left here yesterday at 10:00 and at 10:20--20 minutes away from The Farm, the cramps hit.  I must admit, the last 4 miles I was going 70 mph, which is not a smart thing to do on a country road during white tail deer hunting season.  Deer are on the move then and could leap out in front of a car at anytime.

I flew into Pam's drive, she came to the door, and I flew past her to the bathroom.
"Momma?  Are you all right?"
"I will be now."
Thankfully she was home and awake and not in her bathroom!
We chatted for half an hour, while I relaxed and waited for my gut to settle down.
"What are you doing today?" she asked.
"Going up to Aunt Susie's for lunch.  I've been real lonely and just needed to come home and get a hug."
So, she hugged me and said, "I love you, Momma."

Then, up the road and I noticed my son Mark's truck was in his drive.  So, I drove up to see him.  He had just climbed down off the roof from cleaning out the gutters.  He was bent over in severe pain in his back.  I walked up to him and hugged him.

"I'm so sorry you are in such pain, Honey."

Then, he started in.  Scared me, almost.  Shocked me, totally.  He was raging with anger and frustration.  It wasn't like he used a cuss word every other word, it was he used a cuss word every word.  On and on.  His words hit me like a smash in the head.  I know I stepped back in recoil.  I haven't heard words like that in 30 years--haven't heard anger and rage like that--ever!

He couldn't get anyone to clean out the gutters.  He couldn't get anyone to come and clean and restain his deck.  He couldn't get anyone to put a load of gravel in his driveway.  Different ones said they would, but they never showed up.  He called and called and they said, "Yes", but never showed up.

"Every ****************************************************one of them, friends, yeah ***********************************friends. ****************************never showed up!  **********************************************all of them."

I stood there. hands in my pockets, huddled, hunched over in my coat.  I thought to myself, "At least he hasn't taken the Lord's name in vain, but......................."

I stepped up in front of him, "Mark...I really need a hug from you.  I've been sad and lonely and I just drove out here to feel at home again and I need a hug from you."  He wrapped his arms around me, I nestled into his chest and oh....it felt so wonderful to get a hug from this 6'2" strong man.  

Then I noticed--"Your hair has grown back in curly.  Just like when you were a little boy."
"Well, I'm never going to *******************************chemotherapy again.  ****************************almost killed me."

This is the first time he has mentioned that he has cancer--to me anyway--and the first time I have acknowledged it to him.

"Are you still getting you infusions?"

"Yeah. *************************** doctors."

"Well, I've got to get down to Aunt Susie's.  They are expecting me for lunch."

"I'm heading that way too.  Gotta get this ******************** ladder back in the barn."

So he headed down the driveway and I followed and when he drove up near the barn, I followed, got out of my car and said, "Let me help you carry that thing in."

"Naw, Ma...I don't want you to hurt your back."

"Hey--I can carry one end and you the other and it will be easier."

"It's aluminum--it's pretty light.  I can get the ****** put back."

"Okay.  I love you, Mark", and I pulled back onto the road and up the drive to the house.

I was still shaking when Susie met me at the back door.

"Are you okay?"

So I told her about my pit stop at Pammie's and what happened with Mark.

"Oh Suz.  He is such a lost soul!"

"Jennifer was here last week working.  On Friday night, she came out to visit Mark and Cindy.  At 7:00, on the spur of the moment she called us to come up for a visit.  Mark seemed in really good spirits.  I know he is on some powerful pain meds and has started drinking beer again.  He is in an awful lot of severe pain."

"Maybe I just got him at a really bad time.  I have never, in his entire life, seen him like that! It struck me, where is that sweet nine year old who wanted to be a minister?'"

So Susan. Chuck and I had a nice salad lunch.  I didn't mention Mark to Chuck and neither did Susan.  Then we all played a game and I headed home.  

I had enough time to drive on over to the family plot at the cemetery on the way home.  Walked around talking to my ancestor's.  Ended up crying over my Mother's grave, Mark absolutely adored her and he changed when she died so young.  Brushed off my own marker--ready for me.

I moved the cement dog statue on Fred's stone, told him I wished more than anything that he were here, because he would make it ALL better.  He had a way of doing that.

Then, I strolled on over, about 150 steps to my BFF's grave.  I heard her voice as plain as day, "If I can't fix it with my own two hands, I give the control up to God and quit worrying."  That was her motto all her adult life--even her last 4 years fighting ovarian cancer.  I patted her marker and walked back to my car.

I stopped on the way home at the new Culver's drive through.  Ordered  up a double butter burger deluxe and a small order of fries.  Came home, sat in my recliner and ate my supper in the dark.

I went to bed kind of early and prayed that God would help Mark and dim the horrid words he yelled, out of my mind.

A pilgrimage is not always easy.  For all of the day's events, I DID feel better--just being in the quietness of the fields and tree lined country roads.  I almost wished I had not gone to Mark's but perhaps I allowed him to vent and perhaps my hugs helped him too.

Now--it is onward and upward.  Ever forward into the holiday season--taking it all in stride, grateful for what time I might get with my family.  So very thankful I can still go home again and walk through homes and yards that are familiar to me.

My sister told me I HAD to decorate this year and when I asked, "Why?  No one will visit to see it."  She shook her finger at me and replied,  "You do it just for YOU!"

I will, but what she and most don't understand, sometimes a brightly lit Christmas tree and decorated house just makes it feel even more lonely.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Happy 3 weeks old, Della.  Auntie Madeleine is trying to make you into a ballerina.

The underlying anger, depression, loneliness, tears remain so---I am going "home", up to the Farms, to feel and connect to my roots.  I need to get centered again and that will do it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I'll be fine........

#1.  I would never take my own life.  It's against my religion.  I am pro-life and that means any beating heart should not be stopped by any means, other than God's.

#2.  This time of year is a lonely time for me.  If Fred where still with me, I would make "Turkey dinner for Two," and we'd have our very own Christmas morning together.

#3.  I would never ask my daughter or sister to make a 25 or a 50 mile round-trip to come pick me up and bring me home and I can't leave my cats alone all night.  They get wet food at 8:00 at night and 8:00 in the morning.

#4.  The time change with the early darkness and the Super Moon have made me a bit depressed and looney.

#5.  I'll be fine.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fiddler on the roof--

I feel like Tevye.

Perhaps if I climbed up on my roof and started yelling about TRADITION, the news cameras would come and my kids might see me on the news and know that I am sad and angry.  Most probably, the police would come and take me to the Nursing Home--which wouldn't be all that bad.  At least there would be a reason why I would be alone at Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Tradition! I am big on tradition.  Every Thanksgiving our entire family met on that day.  Not the day before, not the day after--ON THAT DAY!  There were no excuses.  We KNEW we would be together ON THAT DAY!  After my Mother died, I kept up the Tradition.  When my kids got older and married, they would come to the house--the Grandmother's house for dinner--1:00 precisely, and then later in the afternoon, go visit their in-laws.

Christmas Eve--always at my Dad's.  7:00 pm, then changed to 4:00 pm because Karen and Mark and their kids had to leave to go to Mass with his parents.  Then changed up to 1:00, so my son and his girlfriend could go to her Mom's, because her Mom always had Christmas Eve in the evening.

After Daddy died, we still kept the same tradition.  At the ancestor's house where my sister now lived.  We accommodated Mark and Cindy and the Catholic Rivard's.  We had our Christmas Eve at noon then.

I didn't like it, but I kept my smile pasted on my face and was joyful.  At least, once a year we all were together.
Now, I find out that this year my oldest grandson will be hosting Thanksgiving at his house.  Near Toledo--some 100 miles away.  "You could ride down with us, Mom," said Karen, "but we will be getting home late and you can't drive after dark."

My sister and her hubs are going to her son's house--some 65 miles away.  I could ride up with them, but would have to drive from their house, home, in the dark.
I also have found out, Christmas Eve will be celebrated on the 23rd.  Why?  Because Karen's brother-in-law is coming in on Christmas Eve.  So?  Why does that mean we can't have our celebration on the 24th?  He can join us.

Why did all of them respect my Daddy enough (or fear him) to ALWAYS, no matter what, celebrate on the 24th, but they don't worry about me, now the Matriarch of the family, to continue our tradition?

Of course, Jennifer will be no where around here.  They are going to Disney World.  That's fine.  She wasn't here last year, even though she promised they would be.  They were moving and for some reason, couldn't take 2 hours out of their day to celebrate with the rest of us.  
If I didn't know it would end my life, I'd like to write a note and commit suicide somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It would take some good planning on my part because I might not be found for three weeks, but.........................fill them with guilt.  Spoil their holidays for the rest of their lives.  HAH!

Or--if I could afford it, not tell a single soul and book a flight on Thanksgiving day and return on December 28th.  Better yet!  HAH!  Of course, I have my pets to worry about.  I'd have to leave them in a pet hotel for that long and I know, they wouldn't like that one bit.  Poor Buddy might die of loneliness, although Maggie would be okay.
I am reasonable--at face value.  None of them will ever know exactly how I feel  Maybe they should?  Maybe I should rant and rave, like an angry, cranky, senile old woman?  Would it really matter? They don't exactly include me in much of their life anyway.

Why don't I?  Because all of my life I was told to be compliant.  Don't make waves.  Don't complain.  Smile and be nice, no matter what.  Which is the very same reason I ended up in terrible relationships and marriages.  

I would like to be more like a Jewish/Italian/Polish mother who would voice her opinion--loudly--and yell, "WHAT do you MEAN.  The day BEFORE.? The day AFTER?  NO more of this STUPID talk!! We meet on THE DAY and that's ALL there is about it!" 
I wonder.  Do any of my older blog buddies feel they are just in the way at times?  Only invited or considered when it is convenient for "them"?

Tradition, tradition! Tradition!

Friday, November 11, 2016

A long observation---

I was shocked more than once, these past few days.

My family (ancestor's) have been Republican since they got off the boat.  "The Republican Party.  The Party that freed the slaves and brought equality for all."  After all, wasn't there a photo of Abraham Lincoln on the top of the ballot?

One of my great grand father's, higher up on our tree, (1888) was nearly on his death bed, but on election day, he hired a small flat bed wagon to come to his house.  They put a feather tick on the wagon, lifted him up and laid him on the "bed" and took him, "over heavily rutted roads," to the voting house, where they had to carry him in on a chair and he made his "X" for Benjamin Harrison--our 23rd President.  All of this was written in his obituary, when he died in March 1889.

We never discussed politics in my family.  I had no clue nor was I aware of who my grand parents and parents voted for or if they even voted.  When I was 9, President Truman, running for re-election came to a nearby town on a whistle-stop.  For some reason, our school buses loaded all students into buses and took us to that town.  I can still see him and Bess standing on the platform on the back of that train.  Our teacher had told us it was an honor to see the President and we were to behave--and we did.

I only got a glimpse of my family's political leanings when, the day after that election, my grandma said, "Start hoarding sugar.  We'll be going to war soon."  So, of course, the next day in school, I reported her statement.  My 4th grade teacher said, "Now stop that kind of talk," and one of my friends wouldn't speak to me for days.  I still had no clue.  I guess I thought everyone felt the same way my grandma did.

We got a TV when I was 12--purposefully for my Dad to watch the Red Wings hockey championship games.  There was another election the next fall and I remember, laying on the cold living room floor watching the conventions.  I was fascinated.  I had the most wonderful hologram sort of "I like Ike", button.  If you turned it one way, it showed his photo, turned to the right a bit, it showed the words.  Of course, my whole family was voting for Ike.  My uncle had served with him in WWII and spoke of him often.  I thought we were related to him.

My first time voting, I was scared stiff.  You had to make your "X" on a very long paper ballot and fold it up just right, with a corner bent over.  If not folded just right, the clerk would throw it away.  I remember shaking so hard when I went to make that "X".  My two little children sat on chairs in the room, scared to move or make a sound.  This was very important stuff going on.

I was terribly upset that night when the TV revealed Kennedy had won.  I thought he was a mob influenced, rat.  Probably going to make all of us convert to Catholicism.  His father was a rum-runner, a mobster.  He had stuffed the ballot box in Chicago with dead people's ballots and the like.  I thought we were doomed!  Still, I cried as hard as anyone when he was killed--even though I still didn't like him.

So--again on my next election, I took a stand. I had power!   Johnson and Goldwater.  I couldn't vote for either one.  Goldwater had stated he wanted to send more troops to Viet Nam and end the war.  Johnson had said "I will not send anymore of your boys to war."  I couldn't vote for the war-monger, but Johnson was a Democrat and I couldn't, in good conscience, vote for him.  I left the top part of my ballot unmarked and voted for all Republicans on the "down ballot."
I felt the same way this year.  How could I vote for either one?

My husband too, although he worked for GM and was thus a Union member, also was a Republican and his family had been, since the beginning of time.  Our kids grew up hearing us talk about when and who we would vote for.  Although the year husband voted for Wallace nearly caused our divorce!

My family were quiet Republicans.  No signs in our  yards.  No discussions with friends or neighbors.  As my Daddy always said, "It's no body's business.  That's why we have a secret ballot."

When it came time for my kids to vote, they were so proud.  At that time, I had no idea who they voted for and didn't ask.  It was none of my business.  I assumed they voted Republican.

Over the years I have found that my son has consistently voted for the Green Party--whatever that is.  Pammie is a Democrat.  Karen has remained on the Republican side.  Jennifer, being influenced by her Liberal professors in college and studying for a degree in Social Work, voted for Clinton.  Four years later, she voted for Bush.  I have no clue who she voted for this year, probably Hillary, which means she and her husband cancelled out each other's ballot.

The shock came this year when my oldest grand daughter stated on FB Wednesday morning, how frightened she was for her baby daughter.   I guess that can only mean one thing?  She must have voted for Hillary.  Comments I heard her youngest sister make on FB, I guess my ballerina Madeleine voted Democratic in her first election too.   I know their two brothers voted Republican.  I can imagine Karen is shaking her head more than I am.  

Then I saw a post by my sister's daughter-in-law.  My sister's son is Township Supervisor and works for the Republican Senate at our Capitol in Lansing.  I was shocked by the rant his wife had posted.  She was angry and sad and couldn't see how "Trump could get 59 million people to vote for him.  What is wrong with this country?"  I imagine there might be some tense moments in that household.
It is strange to me how my family has changed--just in the last 25 years.  Once a pure, white, conservative, Protestant group for 20+ generations, we are a melting pot in our own right.  I can only imagine how my father and grand parents would cringe.  

As for me?  I kind of enjoy watching the changes and I am awfully glad we have a family that respects each other enough to love and support each others beliefs and choices.  
If my kids/family are diverse, it's my fault.  As I think about it now--shortly after my Mother died and I fully realized how critical and judgmental my father had been and still was, and how much I had relied on my Mother's love to keep me going and now-that was gone. She was the one I had always gone to for advice and I felt lost after her death.  What if I suddenly died and my children were only influenced by their father and grand father?

I got this crazy idea-- I wanted my children to grow up independent of my viewpoint.  I didn't want them to have to rely on me for their decisions.  I gave them a lot more leeway in their choices--reminding them there would be good or bad consequences of those choices, so think hard before making a decision.  

To my husband's dislike, I also talked more openly at the supper table about how differing opinions on a subject are okay.  We might not agree, but each person is allowed to have and speak their opinion, if they want too.  Be respectful of everyone, no matter color or belief. Be helpful and kind to everyone you meet in every situation.  Be honest and trustworthy so people know your word and handshake is as good as a written contract.  Be polite and considerate and loyal to friends and family.

Even at 14, 12 & 10, they took it to heart, which meant, when my son let his hair grow past his shoulders and he looked like an idiot--I kept my mouth shut.  When he got suspended from school, I let him take the consequences.  When he got arrested for drinking and driving and spent 30 days in the county jail, I did not bail him out.

When my Pammie started bringing home not only stray animals, but stray kids because she wanted to show them what a "normal" family was like, I welcomed them to our supper table and talked with them about their problems and coaxed them to go home and talk it out with their parents.  When between her Junior and Senior year of high school, she stated she was going to hitch-hike to California to visit her brother, I cringed and coaxed her Dad to let me buy her a round-trip plane ticket.

When my sweet, Bible school teaching, deep down Methodist church involved, deeply religious Karen announced she was engaged to a Catholic boy--I may have stumbled half a step, but immediately turned to show her my joy and love and prepare for the wedding.

When my Jennifer stood up in front of her college classmates, being given her award for Outstanding Student and proclaimed to the world and her family that she was "proud to be called a flaming Liberal" and watched my Dad, sitting in front of me, almost fall out of his seat, I smiled and applauded.    

Has it been difficult for me at times?  Oh, heck yes!!, but if I wanted to get away from my father's,  "My way is the only way and if you don't behave to my way of thinking, I want nothing to do with you", point of view, I had to put my money where my mouth was and stop that from going on to my kids generation.

So now--unlike all the generations before us, my family consists of Rabid Republicans, Flaming Liberals, Moderates, and 3rd party lovers.  Pro-life, Pro-abortion, Gun toting, gun hating, death penalty, anti-death penalty, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Agnostics and undecideds.  Germans, Hispanics, Irish and Hebrews.  Union members, Farmers, Attorneys, Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Ministers.  Poor and rich.

And---I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Well, that was a stunner, wasn't it?  No matter which candidate you voted for, I think we are all in a state of shock today.

I had to laugh at the pollsters and the NBC TV crew.  I thought Chuck Todd was going to have a heart attack, when his board started turning Red.  The thing of it is--Exit Polls mean not one dang thing.  Democrats are likely to stop and take the Poll and talk about their candidate.  Republicans push on by and say, "Sorry--I have other things to do."  As for the pollsters?  When have they ever come out into the rural areas and asked?  They stick in the cities and think they are getting a "real" test of what is going on in our country.

Even my State of Michigan went Red--eventually.  First time in 30+ years, I think.  The Silent Majority?  52% of white women voted for Trump--that's unreal.

In my opinion, I don't think this election had anything to do with abortion, women's rights, immigration, or gun rights.  I don't think the vote was against Hillary as much as it was more of a message to our government.  People were just sick and tired and angry about how life altering things have been rammed down their throats and into their daily lives by the present President.  If he didn't get his way via congressional vote, he wrote an Executive Order.  People didn't like that.  President Bush did it too and angered a lot of people.

Congress hasn't been very representative of how their constituents feel on either side of the aisle and that has angered people too.  Apparently last night, 59 million people told the government just how they feel.

One thing that makes me sad is our race relations.  I thought the present President would have helped, but it seemed he did not.  Many African American thinkers have stated that he just made it worse by giving them a feeling of entitlement to do whatever they wanted without reprisal.  Now--I don't know if that is true, but it sure felt that way to me.  I do know, the present President has not helped their life situation.  Black on black crime is at a higher rate than ever.  Blacks are living in object poverty, more than ever.  He just didn't help them with his Hope and Change method.  I don't think I have ever seen it this bad--even back in the 60's and 70's with the race riots.

I have a dear friend on Face Book.  A friend of my daughter Karen.  She is a Liberal and posted the most vile, hateful post I have seen in the last 18 months.  Now, "they" tell me that the Trump supporters are posting vile and nasty stuff--I did not see that--not on my FB page.  I did see a lot of Liberals seething and angry and striking out.  Which I did not expect.  Where is the tolerance they preach?  Even my grand daughter posted a negative status.  Oh well--this too shall pass.

Our society has become nasty, vile and immoral over the last two decades and I don't ever see it getting any better--when you have the likes of Miley Cyrus strutting around the stage with a giant penis strapped to the front of her.  When you have the likes of JayeZ and the other nasty thug rappers spewing out their hatred.  When you see those kinds of people supporting a candidate?  That doesn't help.

I do know one thing for sure--the Democratic Party is not like the one I've known and the Republican Party?  It has nothing that looks familiar to the one I grew up with.  Scary stuff all around.

In the long-run, it is what it is.  To my Liberal friends?  If I have managed to live these past 8 years with a man in the White House that I disliked more than any other President, then you can manage to live the next 4 years with this guy.    Unless of course, as one of my Liberal friends stated this morning, "Trump is a dead man", then we will have Mike Pence and he's a really good guy--IMHO.

As I said before the election--God help us all.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Weekend--

Friday--the leaves in my driveway were ankle deep.  My car was covered, so I drove uptown, to blow the leaves off and parked on the other side of the drive.

 Soon, the spot I had left, was covered.

Saturday--Pammie picked me up and we drove down to Karen's.  Helene and the Baby were there.

I got the quilt done Thursday night.

I have never seen an 11 day old baby so alert.  Maybe because she was delivered C-section and didn't have to go through all that trauma?
Great Aunt Pammie, Baby Della and Grandma Karen

4 Generations!!

Sunday--the kids and I enjoying a nice quiet evening.

This morning, my Lawn Guy came to take care of the leaves.  Even while he was blowing them into piles and filling bags for pick-up tomorrow, the Maple trees were shedding more leaves.  I guess I better buy more yard waste bags because this chore isn't completed.  :-)

I don't ever remember having 69 degrees and sunny on November 7th.  What glorious weather we are having--unusual for Michigan this time of year.

Tomorrow is the big day.  Thankfully, after 18 torturous months of campaigning.  Suddenly, today, Michigan, who has been a Blue State for a generation is tilting toward the Republican side and becoming a Battle-Ground State.    

I will be glad when this is all over.  It has made many of us depressed, angry, confused and tired--just plain tired.  No matter which of the Devious Duo wins, Wednesday will still arrive and life will go on.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Floating room divider........

Quirky, to say the least, but...........

when my sister walked in and saw it, she actually squealed.

"How did you ever come up with that!"

"I don't know.  It appeared in my head one morning when I woke up."

"I had a bet with myself that you would hang a sheer, blue curtain there."

"No!  Ugh!"

"That looks like something Mother would do."

"Kinda.  Doesn't it."

"I think you are channeling Mother."

"I doubt that.  Mother and you have the decorating gene, me not so much.  I can change a car tire or milk a cow, but I sure don't know how to decorate."

"Well, this is very cool.  It does stop my eye from looking directly down the hall.  That is so unique.  I am really proud of you!"

Sister Susan called me 2 hours later and said, "You know what?  An arrangement like that would look great in the corner of a room.  I've been thinking about it all afternoon!"

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


When I first met Dar, six years ago, she reminded me of someone I had known.  I couldn't quite place it, but in her looks and her temperament, she reminded me of that long ago someone.

As Chris and I were talking Sunday, it suddenly came to me.  Chris' mother Donna and Dar not only look alike enough to be sisters, they were both emotionally nutzy cuckoo and prone to hysterics!!

Chris' folks lived just down the road from us.  Her mother and I used to ride to church choir practice together.  She too, like Dar, always talked about what a wonderful Christian she was and how Jesus guided her every move.

Chris rode the same school bus as my kids--a year older than my oldest, Mark.  The kids picked on her unmercifully, her name at that time being Gay Christine, and at one time, my Pammie, ever the champion of the underdog, took on a kid who was bullying Chris.

Chris later moved away to Flint.  I didn't see her again for 12 years.  She knocked at my door--two large black trash bags dragging along behind her and asked if she could come in and call her sister to come and get her.  She had had a child, given to her husband's family and had come home to live with her parents and straighten out her life.

Her mother, just arriving home from time spent in the mental ward in a hospital in Flint, refused to go into the house unless Chris left.  Her Dad made her leave so that her Mother would go in the house.

Chris called her older sister, who refused to come and get her.

I went down to the parent's house the next day.  Told them Chris was staying with me, so they wouldn't worry, and boxed up the rest of Chris' stuff and went back home.

In the year she stayed with me, her Dad visited her once--her parents living about 1/4 mile away.

This so reminded me of Dar--inviting her homeless son and grandchildren to come live with her for six months and then insisting they get out after four months.

Now I remember.  Why the two women resemble each other.

Chris' mother is long gone, but the scars still remain--a little bit.

Now, Chris is taking care of me.  I love her like she was my own!!!