This Thursday

As all anatomical auras are, Allison ached at an idea in an anthology of ideas. Allison inched along, acting as if all’s A-#1. An inkspot advanced around an Asian artwork. Allison iced an elbow as aching ebbed. “Always, an energy aching,” as Allison’s extremity acted unquestionably unusable.

Zelda rang the bell. She was not wanting someone to come to the door. Zelda crept the perimeter, holding the crucifix near her head. The magic would come soon. Most would then be forgiven, noted, brought to the jail per the magistrate, following the hearing.

When All Else Fails . . .
Consult a Book of Prompts!

Hoping you are still reading. Did you think I totally lost my mind? My ChromeBook was malfunctioning? Someone changed my keyboard to type gobblygook? None of the above.

Most of the time when sitting down to write my blog, I already have an inspiration of some sort. Either it’s an experience, someone did something funny, aggravating, illegal, or I try to capture a strong feeling that is in my heart and on my mind. There is so much out there to share, and I’m lucky you listen by reading.

Some days, the ideas, words, thoughts, and stories just don’t happen. I would imagine a songwriter or poet experiences much the same. Poetry, I’ve read, forces you to use fewer and more exact words to get your point across, to complete your story, and help the reader use their imagination. A songwriter uses fewer words, also. The music can fill in where words cannot, where they are inadequate or fail to convey what is intended. A beautiful song, thoughtful lyrics, and a melody that sweeps you away, in my mind, is a huge #1 hit. It doesn’t matter how much airtime it gets, how many people buy it, if it strikes me in my heart and soul, it’s done it’s job. I’ll always remember what I felt when I first heard it. That songwriter did their job well.

For the times the words don’t come, when the ideas are elusive, when no words exist for a writer, the feeling keeps nagging, and you are still coming up empty, prompts work sometimes. Prompts like I pictured above, Writer’s Digest presents A Year of Writing Prompts. The second photo lists specific dates and ideas. February 27, Vowel-uable Writing. I wrote the first paragraph all with words that began with vowels, the second paragraph is written with words that began with consonants.

I know my readers are very bright people and have already seen what I just described along with the prompt. The whole idea of this is to get the brain thinking, how can you phrase this with only vowels, are consonants easier (you bet!), do people still use a Thesaurus? I just did. For the first time ever, I think. You could entertain yourself all day doing this. You may come up with some unintelligible sentences, but you would have exercised your brain. This is why I blog every day. If there is no time to work on my book or my quilting or my art, it all goes into my blog. I enjoy it so much.

Yes, I noticed also the prompts are only for 365 days and we have the elusive 366th day this year, since it’s Leap Year, an election year, and we have to even up the Gregorian Calendar. We have used this calendar for over 400 years. The primary motivation for this was primarily religious, to calculate when Easter would be. Lent begins 40 days prior to Easter.

All in all, it helps even time out. In reading this Huffington Post article, I was unaware of skipping a leap year. I don’t recall ever doing it, but is sounds as if it does happen. Read the article here. Why did we not know this before?

All the while I worked as a programmer, coder, systems analyst, and before the Y2K date stuff hit the fan, we used Julian Dates to define our date fields in the programs we used. It’s just what we did. I liked the old COBOL programs we wrote and maintained. I’ve heard many companies are searching for us old, retired COBOL programmers and will pay a good chunk of change to those of us who know what to do with these programs. Done right the coding is a masterpiece. When debugging, it was always one little thing, like a period, that usually caused your program to loop on into infinity and beyond! Some could be out there, still chugging away. Usually it fixed the problem when you either deleted the period, or added it in. Sometimes, when I finally found an elusive error, I would state, “Sometimes, I even amaze myself.” It keeps your ego in the humble zone for sure. I loved being able to write something from scratch or even modify someone else’s program, and make it work, adding an entirely new function. So glad I had a mentor who steered me towards that field of work so I could earn the amount of money I needed to help raise my kids, have a house, retirement, and all the things normal families do. It was a great run.

Thank you so much for reading today, I am appreciative of your time. For not knowing what to write, this prompt took us a few places I would never have expected when I started writing. And in that, dear friends, is where I can say humbly, “Sometimes, I even amaze myself!” And it’s a good thing. See you tomorrow! Have a great afternoon!

Wonderful Wednesday Afternoon

One thing I’m quite grateful for is the array of diagnostic testing available today for medical procedures. I remember hearing the phrase, “exploratory surgery,” many times as a child. It was what doctors did when they couldn’t see what may be causing a problem. It was quite frightening. It was the best they could do at the time. As time passed, marvelous inventions of diagnostic machinery helped doctors see inside the body and revealed what was wrong. It took a lot of guesswork out of surgery and diagnosis, recuperation, and recovery.

The modern age is offering unbelievable diagnostic capabilities, treatments and outcomes. I had breast cancer ten years ago. My survival is credited to very early detection. I had two lumps so small they could not be felt. Trust me, everyone tried(!) Not palpable. The only treatment I needed was radiation, which has left some bad aftermath, and a hormone blocker, which changed many things about my body. Weight gain was the lesser of the evils.

The medical breakthroughs of tomorrow should be interesting to say the least. I hope the breakthroughs will continue to be life saving, early healing, and ground breaking. As we continue to lengthen lives through better and more thorough care. I hope we also consider the ethics of lengthening lives to be lived that are merely people whose lives are prolonged simply as an experiment. I hope we consider the ethics of testing and treating people like lab rats. It’s not ethical to do that. It is not a way to honor our elderly or be caring towards our disabed.

While I have noticed a lot of changes simply because I reached the age of 65, it kind of makes me a little mad that a lot of things need to be pre-approved before I go have them done. One big thing is the injections the ortho doc needs to do again for each of my knees. Since I improved enough to not need quarterly injections last year, they might need more xrays etc., before I can go get the help I need. The problem I have is they consider each event a new occurrence of the issue. I certainly am not making it up that I need the injections. I also know I’m not letting someone go take them in my place. Fraud is prelevant in some health care situations and the administrators are just being cautious. Patience is needed all the way around.

Thank you for reading this very late post, and I hope to see you tomorrow. Have a good evening.

Tuesday Fun

Mom had her last balance class today. I think she’s going to miss it, it was more social interaction than she wanted to admit and she enjoyed that more than she thought she would. Plus, she is stronger. She was a little wobbly after having lunch, and I made sure she got back in the house safely. No more now until her back therapy starts on Monday. So, here we go again.

There was a delightful lady in the waiting area talking with the coordinators before her individual therapy. She spoke rather loudly, and was so funny. She was English, and had a fun way of telling her story about why she needed therapy. She started back in the 1990’s, and gave a blow by blow description of every ache she had from then on. She talked of gardening and said, “What would an old biddy be doing gardening?” I haven’t heard that phrase “old biddy” for a long, long time. It struck me as rather funny. I would imagine those coodinators hear many a story, tall tale, and life story of the folks they have for patients. It would be quite a book, wouldn’t it?

I’m finishing reading the book by my friend, Shannon Schofield. It’s a story that follows the young lady telling it from childhood through adulthood and tells the trauma suffered and overcome. It would be an inspiration to a person who had been through similar trauma. Many, many people have stories of how they have come through the dark, into the light of healing, joy, and love. In these times, there is no reason for a person to suffer. Find someone who can help you through a doctor, educator, family services agency, or a clergy person. And prayer. The power of prayer is far reaching and complete. Give it a chance.

The rest of the week will be a good time to rearrange some storage stuff from Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and my snowman collection. Once that is done, I want to unearth my recumbent bike to start working out with it March 1. I want to use it for the next six months and get some exercise along with the knee injections I’ll get starting March 7. If it’s sitting in the middle of the room downstairs, I’ll use it. I’ll make myself use it. And I can read while pedaling. Win, win!

Whether an old biddy or an old broad, I want to be a work of art! The Babe already is!

Dan and I were young (in our 40s) when we met, dated, and got married. The comic Pickles (above) reminded us of our neighbors, Darwin and Pryllis. They were such great neighbors when I moved next door to them with my three kids. They were a watchful eye, a place to go if the kids needed help, and they overlooked normal teenage noise later on. Good people. Now, Pickles reminds me of the Babe and me. We’ve grown into that age of our lives. It goes by so quickly!

For all the jokes about Coronavirus, it is appearing to be quite a huge thing. The CDC is issuing warnings. We had better realize if we do have an outbreak here, it could very well mean we have to quarrantine in our own spaces. Americans, in my opinion, are going to be reluctant to give up their freedom to jump on a plane or into a car and go wherever we want whenever we want. If we have to stay home for any length of time, we had better prepare ourselves mentally for it. It would be in the interest of everyone should we have to stay confined. I’m not worried at all about the folks at the National Guard Camp in Ashland. What would concern me are the people who insist on going out when they are clearly ill – coughing all over everyone, sneezing, and contanimating everything they approach. And everyone. In the meantime, I think I need to stay stocked up on staples we can cook meals with, just in case.

I always love when it’s time to get out the patio and deck furniture and hose everything off for the season. It’s way too early to do it, but not too early to think about it. Once it’s warm for a good amount of time, I like to sweep the concrete patio and deck, and hose it all off to get the dirt off. The hose works great to clean all the screens off as well. The basement windows haven’t been cleaned too often lately, so it’ll be great to get that done. Once we get the blizzard we always get this time of year. Between now and May, it will snow like crazy at least once. It has to. We’ve only had 14 inches of snow so far. Last year, we had three times that much by now.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. I’ll be here tomorrow, hope you can join me then.

More Monday

I just had a scare. After the Babe left for the VFW Post to do bookwork, I saw a clip of the news with firefighters at yet another apartment fire at 106 & Charles. My pulse quickened, my stomach rolled, my heart was in my mouth. Not again. Not another crappy life event for my eldest, Frankie and the roommate, Ryan. Not again. Please God.

Luckily, the Babe was at 108 & Maple and could run over to see exactly where the fire was. Whew! It was in a different building, one Frankie lived in when he thought his girlfriend would move in with him. So glad he dodged the bullet – (both of them). All is well, my pulse is now normal, stomach back where it belongs, and my heart is back on my sleeve. Back to normal.

This morning is a trip to the dentist. I’m a teeth grinder. I’m not aware of it, I just do it a lot. I often wake up with huge bites in my cheeks that I have no idea where they came from. My son Nick does it, too. I have some triangular bone fragments in my lower jaw that are sharp enough to interfere with my partial bridge. Sometimes they dull on their own, other times a grinder has to have surgery to remove the bone fragments. Wow. I’m hoping they are better than a month ago and don’t need a surgical intervention.

Yesterday afternoon, we attended the Parents/Grandparent’s show for Addison. She has attended Acapriccio Dance Studio since age two and a half. She has come a long way from that little girl who, at her first recital, marched on stage and faced the back curtain. After her first twirl, she figured it out and was flawless the rest of that first performance. Now she can flip without putting a finger on the floor, she can twirl again and again and again and again . . . until I get dizzy watching. She is tall, beautiful, and man, can she dance. You can tell she has put ten years of hard work into competition dance. As has her family. The families dedicate themselves and all the members of each family to competition dance each year. It keeps the kids busy beyond belief.

Watching the girls yesterday – all of them, from the tiny tots to the high school girls – I saw little girls with dreams become young women with crazy skills. We have seen many of the high schoolers grow up in front of our eyes. They have all bloomed where they are planted. They believed and worked hard. It was a joy to see them.

None of the girls yesterday thought their dreams were dumb. They believed they could do it. The little faces of the smallest girls reflected fun, magical transformations. They were all in it to be their best. I don’t believe the dream I’ve had of publishing books is dumb. I’m on my way, and it takes a lot of practice, too. I’ve imagined myself at a book launch party. I’ve imagined being interviewed about the book. Only my son Frankie knows who I imagine is interviewing. He laughed and said, “That’s cool, Mom.” He is my best fan, followed by the Babe. I’ve just known Frankie longer!

Thank you for taking the time to read today. Go out and make it a great day, I am! A lot could go and it will still be a great day for us because the worst (a second apartment fire) did not happen. We are all forever grateful. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Satisfying Sunday

Ahhhh. It’s another fantastic weather day here in Gretna, Nebraska. We went to Church today and are mentally preparing for the week ahead. We talk about what we each need to do, what we might want to do, and what we can do together. The more time I spend with the Babe, the more I miss him when our schedules take us away from each other for days on end. In the seven years since Dan retired, we have really changed a lot in our schedules and habits.

For example, he always went to lunch at 11 a.m. Even though we don’t have breakfast until 8:30 or so, he still wants lunch at 11. This drives me nuts. I was a late luncher when I worked (1 p.m. or so), and still would rather lunch later. Depending on what we have, it can take me through until a small snack in the evening, and I’m good. It’s still hard to regulate us and come to a happy medium. A work in progress for sure.

And the Babe prefers to go out for lunch. That means somewhere with Keno. I’d rather not, and instead of one more drink, one more drink, it’s one more game, one more game. I’m not a gambler at all. We played the slots in Council Bluffs on occasion, but I never spent more than $20. We no longer go there, I think because now it’s quite a jaunt.

The Pastor talked about faith and fear today. That isn’t necessarily a sermon topic only, it’s a topic we all deal with every day. When we have faith, we don’t fear. And when we fear, we don’t have faith. Faith in ourselves, faith in God, faith in our abilities, fear of the unknown, fear of other people, fear of living. I do believe strongly in God. He’s gotten me out of a lot of bad situations and medical conditions. Part of the belief comes from growing up Catholic, with twelve years of Catholic schools. My parents sacrificed for the tuition, which doesn’t seem like much right now, but it was a lot back then. After I divorced at 30, I stopped going to Mass, mostly because whatever parish I took my kids, they talked about people not committing as they should, that’s why divorce was so prevalent.

Of course, I had to tell my kids something. I told them I believe in marriage, which is why I got a divorce. It’s because marriage is about sharing, caring, working together, and cherishing each other. Their dad and I didn’t have that. We weren’t growing together, we grew apart. I was angry at my church, but never lost sight of God. He was always there. During my best and worst moments. I never stopped believing. My faith wasn’t the dwelling I went to once a week. I carried it with me everyday. My faith wasn’t the humans who were just as flawed as I am, and who preached to condemn any of us who were human. Except for them.

Whether you believe in God or not, you still operate on what you have faith in – yourself, your partner, your job, whatever it is. Believing is what makes the difference, even if you call it a higher power. Something is larger than life, larger than you. Lots of us know there is something greater than we are. Hopefully it is real, and something that is static in your life. My God never leaves me. I leave Him by fearing, doubting, and being angry.

This guy was singing his song so brilliantly this morning!

Nature is what tells me there is so much greater than me. This cardinal was singing his heart out at the top of a Cottonwood tree while I sat on the deck earlier. You know how high Cottonwoods are? About 70 – 100 feet tall. I’d guess this tree is closer to 100 feet high. How all of this exists within my view and enters different seasons to beautify my environment just amazes me. I’m so grateful to live in this Wonderful World!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support, and hope you come back tomorrow. I’ll be here for sure. Enjoy the sights and sounds of your world today. I hope it awes you!

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!