A Cold, Windy Tuesday

Wow! What a busy week already. We made a trip to Dan’s surgeon today. He looked at the unhealed incision and said it looked good. Continue with the wound vac and come back in two weeks. Tomorrow, the nurse will come and repack the wound, and we’ll start again on the healing journey.

So, that said, I also had my mom for a trip to the hairdresser. It’s always good when you feel good and put together. A good haircut does that for men and women. Suffice to say Mom should be good until Christmas Eve Day when we’re scheduled to get another haircut.

My cousin from California messaged me earlier tonight with a photo of a framed picture from our Grandmother’s home. Her sister Anna lived with the family. Great Aunt Anna gave my aunt a beautiful picture framed in downtown Omaha. The framer is no longer there. It was neat to hear him say how he loved that framed artwork and always wished he could have it. His mother is now living with him, and she presented it to him tonight. How wonderful.

I love when people value special things like that. Something from Grandma’s and Great Aunt’s home was so special a little boy who lived in California remembered this item and thought it would be nice to have.

It seems the next generation may not have any interest in inheriting any Doo-dads from my home. In a way, I find that sad.¬† We are a blended household, so I know Dan’s kids won’t want any of my Aunt Cynthia’s glass bowls and my kids won’t want any of his Grandma Meirose’s bird salt and pepper shakers.

Maybe it’s all part of the minimalistic movement. Just because you have something from Grandma’s home doesn’t mean you are materialistic. Many items spur pleasant memories. What’s wrong with that?

Not a darned thing. Unless you have all of Grandma’s stuff crammed into your 1000 square foot house along with yours, Uncle Henry’s, and Aunt Jane’s. At some point, things can take the place of people in your life. You become detached from humans and attached to stuff. The stuff takes over, nothing is clean, including you, and it’s a very sad situation. Hoarders are not something to laugh about. A reality show on A & E is not to be thought a dramatization, but it is really how they live and feel. The reality of how dire their situation is cannot be grasped.

If you add hoarding to alcohol and drug abuse, chances are extremely low that both excesses can become under control. It may take years, and with hard work, it would be phenomenal.

If you have any comments, please leave them below. And add a like. You will have two chances on my NaNoWriMo Drawing. On December 1, I’ll draw for a $50 gift card. Will you enter to win?? Hope so.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate it. See you tomirrow.!

Veteran’s Day, 2019

Today is a day to thank all of our veterans for their service. All who served honorably deserve for us to show gratitude. Not just for today, but for every day we live with the freedoms we enjoy. No matter what, we need to be respectful of them and what they have done for us, and for our freedoms.

I read a Facebook post earlier that makes me angry. In West Virginia, there was to be a “21 gun salute”, and the administration cancelled it due to the fact that “loud noises scare their students,” and “the administration felt it was inappropriate due to the amount of gun violence in America. “

I commented, telling them from what I understand a “21 Gun Salute” is only for honoring a national flag, the soverign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President, and President-elect of our great nation.

It is often mistaken at a Veteran’s funeral that they have a “21 Gun Salute.” Three volleys is what they receive. There could be seven Honor Guard people to shoot. That adds up to twenty one, but it is still three volleys. If there are only three Honor Guard people to shoot, it is not a 9 gun salute, it is still three volleys. It’s a common mistake that is present in America. Please, let’s help correct that error by teaching each other what it is, and what it means. God Bless our Veterans, and God Bless America.

I also mentioned that perhaps people need to really learn the real story of our history. All of it. You cannot sanitize the Holocaust. You cannot sanitize the early days of slavery. You cannot sanitize the unrest in the country during the 1960’s. It was all messy, brutal, and disrespectful to the races and religions involved, and to the American people, whom I would still like to believe are good and just. We need to regain our sense of unity and what is right. Politics aside, every veteran deserves our respect and thanks. Please do your part to make them know we are grateful for their sacrifices.

Maybe as children we learned too much about the harsh things in the world. We Boomers grew up with a sense of duty, and history was important for us to learn. Now I don’t remember all those dates the teachers made us memorize, but I do know why WWI started. And WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan, etc., etc., etc., Rather than leave these countries to fend for themselves, we became involved. We wanted to share our great nation’s governing with other parts of the world. Dictatorship cannot allow people to life a free life. Socialism also does not allow people to lead a free life. We are simply trying to help these countries by helping demonstrate what is right. I do not believe we should be demonized for trying.

Proud to be an American
All the men in the Jewell Family. Thomas Jewell Sr was Grandpa, Jr was my dad, Joseph and Robert were his brothers.

My grandmother always had an 8 x 10 or larger of the portrait each enlistee or draftee has taken when they finish boot camp hanging in her living room. They stayed up the entire time she ived there, and they were returned to each son’s family when her house was sold. My father had already passed away by then.

We Cannot Thank You Enough!
This was my father at the tender age of 19.
Every Generation of Soldiers has the Next Generation to Follow

The photograph above reminds me of the Honor Guard at Benson VFW Post 2503. They are all getting on in years, yet still continue to do over a hundred funerals a year. They are dwindling in numbers. Younger members work during the week and often spend weekends with family on weekends. It is a concern. If you have served in war time in a foreign country and would like to join, please join us at Post 2503, 90th and Military in Omaha, NE. We have a plane in the parking lot.

Thank you for reading. Comment on how you have been aware of Veterans Day in the past and how you honor it in the present. Please like this post, the blog in general, follow me. I am giving away a $50 Visa Gift Card to one lucky winner. You can have two entries per DAY!!

One, like the post. Two, like and follow the blog. There will be ample opportunity for you to enter. In fact, go back and read all the posts for November, and you can be entered twice for each entry you read, like, comment on. A person could have sixty chances! Thank you again. More on NaNoWriMo tomorrow.

Love my Veterans

What I remember about Veterans Day as a kid was about the Armistice which ended WWI. From Wikipedia:

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice signed at Le Francport near Compi√®gne that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices had been agreed with Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Once I started high school in the fall 1966, Father Vernon announced a moment of silence, at 11:11 am, on 11/11, and every classroom was quiet. We understood what it all meant. And we respected it.

Now, in present times, we have a kid in You Tube saying kids shouldn’t know about WWII. It’s too traumatic. Life is traumatic at times. Everyone needs to learn to deal with it. Period. Yes, even little kids. Life isn’t touchy-feely. It will eat you up and spit you out if you do not know to cope with the harsh parts of it.

As the Vietnam War dragged on, I was appalled at how the veterans were treated. It was very wrong. This era may have been when as a society, we began to consider respect a thing of the past. I believe we quit having respect for those who keep us free, those who serve and protect as first responders, and those who are elected to lead our great nation. Can you disagree?? Yes, and you should do it respectfully.

We have many veterans my extended family. My dad and his three brothers all served. A few years ago, I purchased memorial bricks to be placed around the flagpole at the Benson VFW Post 2503.

From the far right, my Grandfather, Father, and two Uncles. The family served in WWI, WWII, and Korea. Proud of them all.

A few years ago, I petitioned the Army to receive my dad’s medals. Two Bronze Stars. We never knew.

Veterans Day isn’t about free meals, it isn’t about a sale at JC Penney or Nebraska Furniture Mart. It is about those who
who served. Those who came home and those who did not. Those who came home and settled into mundane lives, all the while thanking their God that they returned home. Those who returned home but are still fighting a worse war because it is a war within themselves.

The Band of Brothers and Sisters extends through all branches, none are omitted. The example of their brotherhood is amazing. They are always there for each other. When you have entrusted your life to another soldier, you can say you are comrades, brothers in arms.

God Bless all of you. And may God continue to bless America. What do you think of on Veterans Day? Leave a comment, like the blog post and my site, and you will be entered to win a $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing on December 1, 2019. Thank you for reading and see you tomorrow!

The Day After

Yesterday, my adrenaline must have been excessively high. Today, I’m wiped out, but very happy inside. The family wedding was beautiful. In the words of my late Aunt Carol, ” It’s just so fun to see a young couple so in love with each other, who have plans for their life together.”

Yes, it is. I had a blast sitting with my brother, eating cake and drinking ice water, watching the crowd of friends and relatives. Dan wasn’t feeling up to attending, so he stayed home.

The girls and young women who appeared single were belting out magical, love charged songs. You could tell they were wanting what they were singing about.

There were very few young men actively dancing. One young black fellow could really move with the groove of the music. The others were standing about talking, some were in line at the bar. My brother is going to take dancing lessons when he feels ready to meet some ladies again.

I have to say, he is a catch. Good job, devoted, reliable, gentleman (like our dad), and an all around good man. He lost his wife to oral cancer. We could feel her presence last night. He misses her terribly, and I do too. He finished raising her youngest two sons after her death, and he haalways been so good with all four of them.

Yes, I’m a bragging big sister. More than that though, he is a very good friend. I used to help our mom with him when he was a toddler. Yes, he was the pesty brother I wanted to make vanish when I was in high school, but no matter what, we would always be friends. And it’s such a gift.

Sitting with him at midnight at his wife’s bedside, we had some very deep discussions. I was honored he shared his thoughts with me. As I reached for his hand, I remember thinking, “when did he get into our dad’s hands??”.

The shoe is on the other foot, so to speak. Since that night, I’ve many times felt him reaching out to care for me. Life has taken us both to the place where I may need his help some day. We share a strange sense of humor, and many folks may not understand, but we are family. I tease him and tell him, “You’re the sister I never had!” Well, at least I had my own room!

Tim, left, Don, right.
My brother and nephew.

As unhappy as I was when he was born, I’m so very happy to have this great guy for my baby brother.

Hope you all had a good Saturday! Leave a comment, like my post and follow my page. I’ll enter you in my giveaway. $50 Visa Card Giveaway. Drawing held Dec 1, 2019.

A Wedding Kind of Friday

Looking forward to going to a wedding later today. My nephew Don Kraft is marrying Carrie Grinnell. I would be correct in saying she is the love of his life. They have known each other since high school.

When Don’s mother died of oral cancer, it was a few days before Don’s birthday. She didn’t make it to his high school graduation because she had a terrible bout of being very ill that day. Don never complained, or acted out because of that. He just made his life plans, and set about completing them. And boy, did he have plans. And perfect execution. He deserves all the great things that come to him.

After starting at UNO, Don entered the USAF shortly thereafter. Talk about a man with a plan! He has always been a fabulous student, every teacher’s dream I would think. He planned to commit to the Air Force and planned to have them pay for his schooling later on. And after leaving the service of our country, he went to nursing school. He excelled at all of it. He had a very good reason and inspiration to go into nursing. His mother, Laura. His mom fought hard against a cancer that plagued her family. There is no better profession for a man like Don. He is very caring, attentive, and acts purposely. He gathers information, assesses, and makes a plan of action.

Don (right), what a great experience for him.

And so today, after waiting for each other since high school, after each becoming successful people in their own areas of expertise, after getting a house, planning their future, and working together, he is going to marry Carrie. After all, he proposed in Italy last year, where they went on holiday. You can bet he had it all planned out.

Carrie and Don. Congratulations!

Don and Carrie, Dan and I wish you every wonderful thing in life that you can imagine, and plan for. You will weather the bad things, you already have. The whole family is happy for you, and know you will be best friends forever, and an example for young or old people. Seriously. Keep loving each other more every day. The rest will come in it’s due time.

Much love,

Aunt Kathy

Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Nick on his Kindergarten Graduation Day.

Nick is my second son, born this day in 1975. Wow. That seems like such a long time ago. I was twenty-three years old. There was the blizzard on January 10 1975, the tornado May 6, and then along came Nick in November. Here I go with a story he has heard probably too many times.

Since their father couldn’t miss bowling night, I took Frankie, his older brother, Trick or Treating that night. In an old neighborhood like ours, many houses on a street may have one side of the street up on high banks, with two sets of stairs going up to the houses. It was crazy. There were fences in between the yards, so there was no cutting through the yards. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. And so on, over and over again.

With all this activity, I prayed God would not make this baby come tonight on Halloween. I’m glad he wasn’t, it really didn’t matter. I would have loved him the same. He was one of three babies in the hospital nursery who had black hair at birth. He always looked older, I thought. One baby was black, and the other dark haired baby was our neighbor’s grandson. Nick was easy to pick out in the nursery. As time went on, he did bear a resemblence to my father, who had black hair and big brown eyes. So did Nick.

Nick has a big heart, loves to help people, is a talented handy man, has learned a lot of things from taking stuff apart and puttinig it back together. He was always tearing apart his wagon, bike, and toys. He didn’t try with my car, however.

He amazed me as a toddler, he loved being read to. I was shocked because he could read at the age of four. I thought he should go to kindergarten early so he wouldn’t be bored when he got older. He wasn’t, and he loved numbers. When he was three, he spread the financial page of our newspaper out on the floor, and moved his index finger along the lines of numbers and said, “I just love the little tiny numbers.”

Today he lives with his husband in Gladstone, Missouri. I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like, he has an odd work schedule. I do miss him, it’s always fun to get together. Hope we can soon, Nick.

Lve me some Snoopy!

As far as writing goes, it’s 4 p.m. and my blog isn’t finished yet. Had to get Dan out to do his duties at the VFW Post he Quartermaster’s at, I got to see our dentist, we did some errands, had lunch, and poof, it was 3:30 p.m. I swear, the days go far too fast.

Still adding flesh to my characters, it takes a bit more than I thought. Describing everything about these characters may be overload, but I most likely will edit out anything that is a back story to the story at hand.

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon, only 34 degrees, though. The early darkness is helping make it cozy by the fireplace in the evening. I’m wishing you a cozy evening, too.

What do you like to know about characters in stories before you begin to read?? Or do you just like to discover quirks and faults as they become evident?? Or should they be spelled out in a prologue?? Let me know what you think. I’m interested in your thoughts. Leave a comment, give a like and you will have two entries in my NaNoWriMo giveaway, one $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing will be December 1, 2019. It could be you with a little extra Christmas cash!

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.

Wacky Wednesday

Have you ever been friends with someone from over the pond who pronounced all the syllables in Wednesday?? When I worked at ConAgra, a lovely lady named Janet Richardson interviewed me for the job I started in April of 1982, my first job in twelve years. I was newly divorced, had three kids, the house payment, and for the first time in my life, confidence.

Janet became a good friend and ally, I learned a lot from her and enjoyed working for her. In the 1980’s, ConAgra had their fabulous Christmas Parties first at the Red Lion, then at Peony Park in the Royal Grove Ballroom. I could not believe the first one I attended. It was a very dressed up affair, and was a lot of fun. Subsequent parties were also a lot of fun, and arranged by Janet.

She was from England, met her husband Rich while he was in the Air Force. He was from Milwaukee, and they were stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. Nice couple. If I ever hear someone say, “Wed-Nes-Day,” I think of Janet. There were a couple of other words she pronounced differently, but they fail to come to mind right now. She was a great lady. I believe she works at Blue Cross Blue Shield by now, if she isn’t retired.

Working on Today’s Word Count. Hope to reach 1,677.

What ELSE Can Happen Category??

Dan’s nearly new dentures broke late last weekend. I dropped them off at our dental office, they cannot be repaired, they need to do impressions for a new lower plate. Today, he has an appointment at 2 p.m., I’ll grab the granddaughter in Papillion, drop her at home, get his cargo pants order from Kohl’s, get him and we’ll go to the Post for dinner. Unless I get too forgetful. That’s happening a lot these days. P.S. I NEVER say, “What ELSE Can Happen,” out loud. Because then it usually does. Don’t jinx yourself!!

Talked with my cousin Joey on the phone this morning. He’s about 6 or 7 years younger than I am. He lives in western Nebraska with his husband and they are such good friends as well as relatives. We were talking about his parents and I told him how I remember his dad and mom from before they were married. He told me I needed to write those things down. What a great idea!! That will be my project after “These Walls DO Talk.” Our extended family was pretty fascinating and pretty funny, all things considered, and boy, could they put away the beer. We pretty much only gather for funerals and weddings now. Stay tuned next year for thoughts on that.

I find it really fun to talk with my adult cousins on both sides of the family. Usually, news was passes along through the grapevine of their parents to my parents, and now just my mom is living on her side of the family, and my dad’s sister Mary Ann is the only one of my dad’s siblings left. Both sides turned out a good representation at Mom’s 90th Birthday Party in August. Right now, that seems like such a long time ago. We all have settled back into our own lives again, waiting for some new special events. A wedding and a baby shower (two different families) are coming up in the next two weeks, two very happy occasions to gather for.

Gavin and Goldie really know how to pose!

Family history – do you find it fun to hear old stories about your parents and aunts and uncles?? It can be a blast to hear about their antics. It can also be surprising. Whem Mom and Dad were young, Mom helped a teenager across the street sneak back into her house after curfew and the door was locked. They laughed pretty hard about it. Wow, our mom. Queen of the Curfew, thought it was OK to help Sharon sneak into the house. Wow. What a surprise!

This day has lots of miles left in it. I need to get back to the book. I’m describing characters again today. Or I’m describing the basement most old houses have. Wherever it takes me, that’s where I’m going.

Remember! In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m counting each daily like and/or comment you leave so you will be entered in a drawing on December 1, 2019 for a $50 Visa Gift Card. You can have two entries a day for 30 days!!! I’m keeping track by hand, as I’ve not joined MailChimp for that yet. I’ll get there. One baby step at a time Share with your friends! Let’s have lots of entries!! Thank you for reading, sharing, liking, and commenting. I appreciate it all! See you tomorrow.