Sunshiney Saturday!

It looks as if Spring is teasing us again. Today and tomorrow may be near sixty degrees. Not six or sixteen, sixty! It’s below freezing now, but fooling with us. Hope you enjoy it, get outside for a walk at least. I should follow my own advice on that. It’ll be a good break from the task of the day. Can you guess?

First time wearing this “merch”. Thanks, I Create Daily!

I must say, I really enjoy writing every day. I love this part of the writing. If I hit a mark, I can uplift, encourage, teach, present a different point of view, make someone laugh, help someone who may want to learn more, and let people know I love them. We all can do that. A funny text, a phone call, a card for no reason, a “you know, I’m thinking of you.” We all need that outside interaction. It’s relatively simple to do this, blogging. I was fortunate to find WordPress. I am a fan of Quilters who use it for their communications, and when I checked it out, decided I’m in. When I’m closer to publishing, I’m going to add pages to the website/blog, then it will all be in one place. How good is that? I’m happy with it.

Today is a day I hope to spend six hours writing. Counting the blog. I woke today with a feeling of peace and comfort knowing I don’t have to leave the house at all. Yay! So I can delve in and create some more stories within the novel. Yesterday, I mentioned the character Katie would have seven brothers. She does, but she is NOT the middle child. Eight kids, no one is the middle. Silly me! She has four older brothers, three younger. There, I printed a correction. You remember the old wives tale? Girls are no good at math? Maybe that used to be the norm, but no longer. I know an increasing number of young women are becoming engineers, so I’m glad that misinformation has been put to rest.

One topic I want to write about here is a list of the top ten women who have influenced my life. In sitting down and making the list, I couldn’t narrow it down from twenty women and I was amazed! So I will write about the top ten women in the two sections my life is divided into: 1952-1982; and 1983-preesnt. I think the complete list is too much for one day’s blog, so I may pick a week and do three to five each day, and summarize the last day of the week. It’s still a thought, not a solid plan yet. More on this later.

Have you ever had a dog who loved to squeak the squeaky toys for five minutes straight at a time? Goldie loves to do this. I didn’t realize the tennis ball toys had a squeaker in them. She really goes to town on them. Right now, she’s circling my chair at the kitchen table, squeaking all the while. She wants to play. Tossing the ball into another area is one of her favorite things to go fetch. She is the first dog we’ve had that will actually fetch and bring the item back to whoever threw it. Took this long, from 1982 until now. She is a purebred lab, so I guess that may have something to do with it. I’m so glad the Babe wanted to get her this past October. It was a crazy, busy time in our life, but I think this pup gave Dan a sense of purpose. He was so depressed after losing Roxie last July, we had to do something. Roxie was a funny, naughty, crazy pup. She was scared of loud noises and thunder. She was needed extra understanding and love. She got it from us. So do Lexie and Goldie. We have this conversation with each other that states if something happened to one of us, the other will need a dog for companionship. It’s truer every day we live, now. The Babe will turn 70 in May. Since I’m his much younger wife, I’ll be 68 in May. Praying we have at least ten good years left with each other.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll be here tomorrow, hope to see you then! In the meantime:

Yes. I will!

Forever Friday!

A beautiful sunny afternoon is upon us here in Gretna, Nebraska. I took Mom to a balance session today. They had her work on a couple of weight machines today. She feels like the muscles from Brussels right now. Tomorrow, another feeling. She wasn’t intimidated, and I’m proud of her for trying. She has one session left, then in March starts individual therapy sessions for her back, twice a week. Not sure how my involvement shakes loose in that, we’ll see.

I started to read my friend, Shannon Schofield’s book, Perfectly Imperfect, today. Wow. She has it categorized as fiction, although it is her story, her life, and her traumas revealed. I’ve always wondered about families where the parents smoke weed, party hardy, and with other drugs, and have no limits. Sure, their kids can play outside for awhile, eventually the kids are wise to what the grown ups are doing, and it affects them. It has to. When my kids were little, I never even drank. I knew I was the one who had to get up with them the next day and never wanted to be hungover while doing it. I started to drink after my early thirties, and never had a problem with it. Some folks aren’t so lucky.

All I can say, is hold onto your hats, when you read Shannon’s book. I’m surprised she survived at all. God bless her. I hope she finds an audience and is successful with it. It’s a story that needs to be told. And it is a real eye opener. Get it from Amazon today!

Why not?

This Peanuts is so apt for where I am headed now. The publishers of the world will beat a path to my door as soon as I decide where the end is on my novel re-write. (HAH!) I’m maybe five or six chapters in, and it’s a job, keeping all the brothers straight. Katie is my main character, and she has seven brothers. Three older and three younger, she is the middle child. In most ways she is the oldest, seeing as her older brothers are all alcoholics who are not dependable when their Mom needs help. Only Katie and the three younger brothers are reliable. There is animosity among her older brothers for her, and they exhibit characteristics of the biggest chauvinistic pig you may know. Katie shares family stories with the them all, the older brothers argue with her over facts, and the younger brothers love to hear stories of their early lives and their grandparents. And how their Mom was before her alcoholism made her depressed, cynical, rude, and unhappy. The gist of the story is family curses can be broken. Cycles can be broken open and freedom exists on the other side. Katie has done it, and is helping others find the way out. It is a story of survival, seeking, strength, and stamina. Katie does all that and more.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be great days for writing. No real plans, and nothing pressing to do. I hope to catch up a couple more chapters and add depth to these crazy brothers my character Katie has. What a group! I have know people with some of these characteristics. I’m taking all the worst ones and making separate people of them. It will make sense later, when you read the book, it will all ebb and flow. Life is full of lessons, my friends. Katie has learned many of them.

Have a fun Friday night, thanks for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, see you then!

Thoughtful Thursday

Hi, friends. We had a wonderful time last night with our friends at the VFW. I even won a couple of steaks. Today,the Babe had a doppler on his left carotid artery which had the endarterectomy last year. It’s still 100% clear, and his right one is still less than 50% blocked. All systems GO until next year! Thank God for the UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, where our doc referred him.

To tell you the truth, I’m not up to par today. Monday I did a lot of walking and scouring the grocery store for Mom. It kicked up some pain again. This time, it’s rib pain, from my scoliosis. It takes a bit for it to calm down, and I’m not there yet. Lots of heating pad time, along with the usual meds. Ugh! I just hope the pups are good girls for me. The Babe has a VFW Post meeting tonight, so hoping they are good.

Look what I received today from Amazon!

My friend, Shannon Schofield’s first book. I’m so excited for her!

Shannon worked tirelessly last summer and fall on her book. She worked on it during a challenge from our I Create Daily group. I am honored to call her a friend, and so proud of her for achieving this. It gives me hope, and makes me think I can do this, too. I’m eager to begin reading her story. This book is available on Amazon, paperback or Kindle. Buy it and read along with me!

The next week will be pretty busy, the Babe and I both have appointments, and so does Mom. I seriously need to get rid of this rib pain before Monday when we both need to hit the ground running. And Sunday is Parents Show for Addison’s Competition Dance. It will be a wait, she is in eight dances this year, I believe. She has developed her skills very well and we’re both looking forward to watching her again this year.

We went to a place to eat lunch we’ve been to before. I’ve learned to not order any potatoes except fries, because unless they fry it in grease, their potatoes are not hot. Temperature is key for baked and mashed potatoes. Last week, I had to send them back to be nuked. I hate to do that, but sometimes you have to. If butter won’t melt, the potatoes are not hot enough. Not even warm enough. Please get it right. Your patrons appreciate it.

The responses were overwhelming for the Poppy Quilt. I’ll get started within the next week on that. It will be a fun fill-in project. It’s my art besides writing for now. I’m so glad to have more interests and hobbies than time. I think it ensures I’ll always be busy and productive if I keep chipping away at the projects. It’ll be a creative and good life. Any time wasted is a commodity you cannot recover. Ever. I don’t like that as an option. I love to look at progress as I create things. I also love to enjoy the finished product, whatever it may be. I feel blessed to be able to create things, it is a stress reducer, time filler, and learning opportunity.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it very much. Please return tomorrow, I’ll be here then. It’ll be great to have you back again.

Love this saying.

Wow! It's Wednesday!

Good morning, everyone! It’s a cold, cloudy Wednesday at my Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Winter just doesn’t want to let loose of her grip on us. That’s ok. Before you gather outside my window to let me know how you feel about that, consider this: When I was in high school, the Prom was held on the first Wednesday of May. Always. The weather should have been beautiful. It wasn’t. We had a late spring snowstorm every time. Enough to mess up the hair, dress hems, and cast a pall over the folks who were able to go. You had to be a Junior/Senior, and someone had to invite you. A boy, to be exact. No group dates, no groups of boys or girls like they do now. No one invited me when I was old enough to go. My senior year, it did not snow. And I went with my then boyfriend, Frank. Never went to Homecoming, but did Prom. It wasn’t that huge of a deal after all. Oh well.

Have you ever waited and waited for something your whole life and then been disappointed? We all have. When I drive past the Gretna High School, I think back on how the athletes and cheerleaders seemed like their lives were perfect. They weren’t, but we didn’t know that. It was the height of wishing your life was different than whatever it was for you. Sad. I’ve not experienced that disappointment after my first marriage ended in divorce after twelve years. I wanted it to end, and I filed. I don’t think he ever really got it. The only part of the marriage was happy was about my kids. I loved being pregnant and wondering if it was a boy or girl. They were such a gift from God. No ultrasounds were done back then unless your doctor might be concerned about something, and even then, I think it was rare to see the sex of the baby. The happiness continued until the baby was about two years old. Something told me I had to let them learn their independence even at that age. I didn’t want to be a Mom who managed everything or hovered. My mom was like that, and I didn’t want to be. My three were responsible for their own stuff. After the divorce, they learned they had to help with chores or we’d never get to go to Blockbuster, get carry out, or have a fun night. I miss those days, but not the poverty. We were broke-ass-poor. That bad. Yes.

Ours was more frequent

Speaking of Beanie Weenies! This was the only dish my dad made. My kids laughed because Grandpa would take a kitchen towel and tuck it inside his belt, and use it for an apron. They giggled when he cut up the hot dogs and opened the Van Camp Pork & Beans. What a gourmet cook he was. They loved his concoction. It was the best. My little brothers had this often after I left home and Mom was gone in the evenings. Yep, Dad was great for making the best of a bad situation.

LOL! I’ll bet he is

I love cartoons like this. It takes a place like heaven, which I would think was quiet as a Church except for the choir singing, and does this. Until Michael Jordan arrives, Kobe will be bugging the angels for quite a long time. Then Jordan will show him!

Some of you have asked how my son has recovered from the apartment fire last October that left him and his roommate homeless and with only the clothes on their backs. They are doing ok. They were able to get the “stuff” for daily living and although devastated, Frankie is grateful he wasn’t home. If he hadn’t been at work, that was the time he took a nap everyday. He may not have made it out alive. He is the best at rolling with life’s punches. As his mom, I marvel at how he adjusts and looks forward. Never looks back. His employer, Union Pizza and Sports Bar, on 156 & Maple in Omaha, Nebraska has been incredible. They have offered every kind of help there is, and are sincere in the offers. They are a small business, but are a great place to work. And great food. Stop on out, you won’t be disappointed. They also run Two Fine Irishmen, and Voodoo Lounge, both in West Omaha.

Shoopy has it right.

I finished the book I was reading, The River People by Margaret Lukas, fellow Nebraska Writers Guild Member. It is the first in a series about the women who lived on the river long before this Nebraska Territory was settled and populated, and before women were treated as more than property. It is excellent. Thank you, Margaret, for this tale of fighting dying. It is very inspiring.

I’m looking forward to the Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference in April, 2020. It will be the third conference I have attended, and I intend to learn even more from this one than the last two. I look back to one year ago, when I started my novel, and how much I’ve learned. Holy Moly! It is unreal first how much there is to learn, then which things are the most important in the beginning, the middle, and the end of the journey to getting published. Glad I learned about vanity publishing, so I still have a nest egg to spend on publishing my book. The NWG is so great in teaching members how to use Social Media as a place to promote yourself.

Self promotion is hard to me to even fathom. As a good Catholic girl, calling attention to myself was never something that was acceptable. I am still kind of shy talking about myself, but I’ve learned if I don’t tell you about me, you won’t care what I do, it’ll be self-defeating. Can’t have that happen. Can I take rejection? Sure, in fact, I think I’m pretty good at accepting when things don’t work out. My ego isn’t fragile. Do I want you being rude about it? No, I don’t think that’s necessary for either of us. Just say, “Sorry, no,” and walk away. No need for anything else.

I can see by my Cubs clock on the studio wall it’s noon. Time to spend time with the Babe before we pick up Addison from school and go to the VFW for our weekly dinner night. More time with good friends. I love Wednesdays! Thank you for reading. I hope you come back again tomorrow. I’ll be here. I appreciate your support!

Tuesday Voting

OK, since primaries may be going on in some states today, I thought I’d ask your help in deciding which quilt I will make to go on our new gray wall in the living room. It’s by the stairs, and we had a very heavy Bed, Bath and Beyond picture on it. We still like it, but would like to change it up a bit. Here’s the wall (with Goldie playing Vanna):

The grey wall needs some artwork.

So, here are the candidates. Left, is a black, white, and grey print on a white background; red pots accent “Poison Ivy.” On the Right, is Red, purple, green, and poppy panel for a lovely quilt called “Poppies.” So, it will either be Poison Ivy or Poppies you’ll cast a vote for. Leave a comment, and you’ll help me decide. I love them both, so eventually the other one will also be made, and rotate in and out with the winner. Thanks!

Please, in the comments below, vote either for (left) Poison Ivy, or (right) Poppies. Thank you for helping me decide.

So today was balance class for Mom. She is always pepped up after class, so today, she had a stop at Family Fare for a couple groceries, and Walgreens for stuff. Family Fare was crazy. It’s primarily Hispanic in South Omaha where she lives, so the store is basically Hispanic in stock. We have to hunt for things. She always says, “They moved things again.” She doesn’t realize she forgot. I remember from the last time we were there, more than six months ago.

There we were. She must be watching too many cooking shows on Create again. Red Wine Vinegar. Rice Noodles. (Are you kidding me?) White Vinegar. Well, the bottle was too big for her. Laundry soap. No, it’s cheaper another place. And you can’t buy a huge laundry soap, because she couldn’t lift it to use it. And she has no shelf to set it on up high.

And laundry! Wow, my two younger brothers and I are having a great time with helping Mom figure stuff out. She swore by Sears appliances and now that they’re closed, she is lost. Brother Tim got a great deal on the washer a couple years ago at Christmas. She reluctantly agreed not to buy a maintenance policy on it, FINALLY! They were a smart thing when you’re young and may not be able to afford a replacement, but Sears could have stayed open until Doomsday with the money they got from Mom on her appliances.

As of late, her dryer wasn’t drying things very well. She has a gas dryer and it’s twenty years old. We thought it would be good to just replace it. Nebraska Furniture Mart had a sale, so Brother Steve secured the goods. It was delivered Saturday, and she was in heaven. Until Sunday afternoon when Steve was told it wasn’t drying well. He examined her towels, which were sopping wet out of the washer. Mom is puzzled and thinks maybe it’s operator error, since she can’t see that well. The manual for the washer is MIA. I can print one from the internet, but it will take a day or so to get it to her.

I told her the load was probably off balance and that caused the spin cycle to not work well enough. Agitator-less washing machines don’t make that awful sound when the load shifts. They usually ding or just stop. She said, “Well, that’s inconvenient as hell.” I laughed. Change is hard when everything is different. And while you’re struggling to remain independent. Brothers Steve and Tim and I have the attitude we need to laugh, otherwise it would be too sad. Luckily, she laughs along with us, and shakes her head. New things are hard. Especially for old people. Be patient with them. They taught you to do everything, so help them learn what they need to to remain independent.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll let you know how the saga of Mom and the new machines goes. Remember to select either the “Poison Ivy” quilt (A) or the “Poppies” quilt (B). I appreciate the help! I’ll sure be back tomorrow, and hope you will, too. Until then.

Monday Coming at You!

Monday is here again! What kind of week will you have? No matter what the world throws at you this week, you can choose to have a great week. I know, there are bad things that happen to mess you up, and mess your attitude up. Don’t react. Act instead. It takes practice. Years of practice. The Babe and I have come up with some things to make us laugh. Not that we don’t take things seriously, we do. We are cued in on the positive rather than the negative. Yes, sometimes it takes a day or two. Or a week. But we are conscious of making the best of anything.

Today, I’m working on editing and re-writing more chapters of my novel. It doesn’t seem like too much work, but you know, it takes a lot of time. Foolishly, a month ago I thought it would be totally possible to knock out a chapter a day. How funny! No, it takes longer, and I’m incorporating some other paragraphs into what I wrote, and that takes time to get it exactly where it flows. Sure, it may not be the best method, but as a novice, I’m trying this way first. There are no guarantees, especially while you’re learning. Such fun.

I have a beautiful large Dahlia print on fabric panel we’ve chosen for me to quilt and hang on the wall above our bed. I need to layer it and get going before I get distracted any more. I know, just what we need is something new to do. I bought the panel a long while ago, and it will complete decorating in one room we just had painted. And I’m not spending any money, just my precious time. It will be worth it. Adjusting to these fun things is not a hard thing to do, I just want to continue focusing on big things, like the daily blog, the novel, and several of my other books I want to see published this year.

Isn’t it beautiful?

I’m still doing reading and research about co-dependency and other issues non-alcoholics learn from living with alcoholics. There may be a book later about dating while being co-dependent. It’s a wild ride, and not a good one. It seems the folks who can take advantage always find a way to fool you, then use your weaknesses to hurt you. It happens. It’s happened to me, luckily over twenty years ago, and will not happen again. If something happens to the Babe, I’m going to the convent!

Yes, it’s about time for me to take the pups upstairs so the cleaning girls can spruce up the family room area. Hoping you all have a creative day, and thank you for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, so stop by then.

Ahhhh Sunday!

Today is a special day for my cousin’s family. We gathered at a local winery to have a wedding shower for his oldest daughter. What a happy family. They have two daughters getting married this year! Mike and his wife Mary are taking it in stride. They are one of the best couples you could ever find. They are very devoted to the Knights of Colombus, and have traveled well with the group. Mike has been blessed to kiss the ring of the Pope during a special audience. What an honor!

Mom will be in her glory, since she is the elder of this tribe. She loves to see the kids, their kids, and grandkids. All of her sisters will be watching from heaven. Aunt Lois will play jokes on everyone. Aunt Carol will be in the food line four times, claiming each trip is for another person each time. Aunt Judy will be making funny faces at any babies present. I miss my aunts, and am glad for all the good memories with each of them. Aunt Lois and Uncle Joe in particular would have been so proud of the events of the day. Cousin Mike is the host with the most, just in line behind his dad, who was the quintessential host of all time. Such good memories.

Brides are so happy at their showers. Katelynn look stunning! She had the most beautiful off white lace dress on, I loved it. Can’t wait to see her wedding dress. My late Aunt Carol told me about her granddaughter in Rapid City, who is getting married at a later date, and said, “It’s so nice to see a young couple so in love and working together, when they are just starting out.” She was right. Sometimes you get jaded or forget the thrill or just don’t think about the spark anymore. My cousins are happy people and happy couples. The men married to the girls were all present in another room. They jumped into action when it came time to clean up the room and carry stuff to the cars. I know Lois and Joe were smiling down from heaven. Their six noisy, crazy, good people kids, are all doing fine. You can tell they had good teachers of good values, caring, and taking care of each other. We didn’t get to meet the new baby in the family, but her mama was wise to stay home, she doesn’t want to expose the baby to any flu or strange germs. I don’t blame her, babies are too precious, and that’s a parents job, protect those babies! We’ll meet her later. Stay safe, sweet baby!

I realized yesterday, I’ve hit a milestone of sorts with my novel re-write. I’ve got 40K words now! That’s up about 6K, so it seems I’m making more progress than I thought. Love when that happens! Tomorrow is a morning with the house cleaning crew, so I’ll be entertaining the pups while the girls clean the house up and down. So fortunate to be able to afford this service. It helps me so much.

More novel work tomorrow, hoping time permits. And I’m seriously behind on the I Create Daily Art Challenge for February, 2020. I need some serious catching up. Need to locate the jean jacket pattern I bought to make a dusty pink jean jacket from. There is enough for pants, too. The fabric is a yummy soft draping stretchy denim. Hope to at least get it cut out during February. Folks, it’s a problem when you like a lot of different creative things. Hope to coordinate them someday. Soon.

In the meantime, if you live in town or close to family, plan an event like a pot luck where everyone brings a dish and gets together. The sooner the better. Life is so scattered anymore, keep in touch with the people who came from where you came. Who came from the same folks you did. Their kids and grandkids will have a rich history, and lots of memories to fall back on.

Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it so much. Have a great Sunday evening, and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Good Evening!