Friday, Blessed Friday

At last, we have a family wedding to attend today. This cousin did not have to reschedule her big day, thank goodness. It should be a lot of fun for everyone. This family is so sweet, they are all wonderful human beings. It will be beautiful weather, too. Maybe a little rain, but nothing huge. Every day is a perfect day for two people who love each other to get married. We will socially distance, and if it becomes too crowded, we’ll go home.

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

Parents and educators are getting pretty upset with wondering about the virus and kids in school all day. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. Superintendents everywhere are expected to be able to predict the future, and they cannot. No one really can. The experts cannot even agree with all the information, real or not, that is circulating out there. All we can do is prepare for anything. Prepare to homeschool again in a month or so. It may very well ramp up again. Omaha, Nebraska is one area that is ramping up in number of cases. We are steering clear of very large crowds, and distancing when we are out. I hope and pray our grandkids do not become ill, or my mom.

My Pro Writing Aid software add-ons for Chromebook are behaving strangely. While it does a great job of generating reports full of improvements, the format is no longer correct after making and saving changes. Big problem! All sentences are left justified, all centered words, like chapter numbers are left justified. That shouldn’t happen. I’ll have to ask their tech people about it. I may have to use the software on my Microsoft O/S laptop, and not on the Chromebook. I could save each chapter to the cloud, then run Pro Writing Aid reports on it there. Maybe things would stay in place then. (It’d be saved as a Word Doc, not a Google Doc).

Yes, Be Stronger Than Your Storm

There are many, many storms out there being fought by many, many people. Women, Men, Children, Elderly, Young, Middle-aged. Some fight against demons most cannot imagine, thank goodness. But, oh those with unimaginable demons, we don’t judge you by what’s been done to you. It is not your fault at all. Some people’s bad choices create storms, such as a gambler or an alcoholic. Some people learn bad behavior, such as spousal abuse and child abuse. These are not normal things in a life. You should not experience these things at all, as a child or participate in them as an adult. You need to gain power over these storms. Power over the storms and your life; and your future. It can change if you want it to. Yes, it is hard work. There is help.

Know there are people who can help you, regardless of the issue. Reaching our is very hard. It is the first step out of the storm. One step up and two steps back happens often. Don’t give up. It’s worth it.

I hope you find some peace this weekend. Enjoy your days, however they come about. Sometimes, things go nothing but wrong no matter what you do. Other days are perfect, no matter what you do. Have one that’s in between the two. Thank you for reading, I’m grateful you did. I’ll be back tomorrow, and hope to see you then. Be Careful out there. Be safe. Be Kind.

Thursday Insights

Hi, guys. It’s nearly noon and I’m just getting started with today’s blog. I had a great session with Sam, my book coach today. I have more changes to make, and they’ll make my story better. We talked about how different writing a book is from writing a blog. And it is so different, it deserves a moment to discuss it.

This blog is written from my heart. It’s content are my musings on any given day. Some days, I have ventured into current events, but I try to steer clear of them. I talk of things of my heart, people I love, how the Babe and I spend our time, and how grateful I am for the life I’ve had so far. God’s been pretty good to me. It could have gone so many different ways.

Great Words for These Times

Actually, these words are great for any time, not just now. Be rare. Be someone people can trust. I think we all need someone we can trust totally. Those people are the ones who are hard to find. Of course, I trust the Babe. Be a trustworthy friend.

I may have mentioned before, the only bad thing about masks is you can’t smile at someone. That’s not good. Many times while going through Target, I’ll come across some little kids or moms and dads, and want to smile as I excuse myself and walk past. They don’t know I’m smiling as I do it. Isn’t half the communication lost then?

I need to put blinders on as I write about a scene. I notoriously try to cram backstory in while trying to fool myself into thinking it belongs there. Sam cannot be fooled, that’s her job. So, I’m writing some more and reminding myself along the way; “If it has nothing to do with the scene, leave it out.” Much easier to say than do. I have a book to read with good examples of how to give the backstory with few words, usually dialogue. It’s amazing how differently the author has accomplished that. Writing is a lot harder than most people think. I don’t hate my work, I like it. It just needs tweaking.

The Babe is working on updating some things about the house. New fireplace face, new flooring in the kitchen, entry, and two bathrooms. It’ll be nice, just hope it goes well. People are eager for work, after being quarantined off and on. We should be able to complete both projects before any additional distancing is required. I think having retired from a business that provided updating to existing homes and dreams coming true in new construction, he naturally thinks that way. I just have the benefit of his knowledge. Thanks, Babe!

Well, I have some rereading and rewriting to do. And probably a lot of rethinking. It’s all ok. Blocks of time will be spent now since we no longer have Gavin to keep us busy. Miss that little guy. Gosh, I hope the school kids adapt well. Tuesday will tell for him, Wednesday for Addison. And all the teachers, please be safe. Thank you for doing what you do for our children.

Thank you for reading today. Anything worth having is worth working hard for. My dad always said that. And I’m remembering his words, because I’m working hard to my novel. And I know it will be worth it in the end. Be safe, Be kind, Be thoughtful, and Be courteous. We need to be good to each other. See you again tomorrow.

My Story. So Worth It.

Rainy to Sunny Wednesday

We’ve had all sorts of weather already today. Rain, chilly breeze, and now it’s partly sunny day. Great week is on tap. We have a wedding on Friday, so the weather will cooperate for the beautiful bride and her groom. This couple was fortunate, their wedding and reception was not postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Her sister’s was, and they will have their reception next month. It all works out.

We’re kind of wondering what to do with ourselves. Gavin’s Mom took vacation from today until next Thursday, so we won’t get to have him today or next week. Hard to believe school is starting. He and his sister attend Papillion/LaVista schools, so they are taking the plunge, right back to a full schedule, onsite, masked, no lockers for older kids. I think they need it, psychologically. They need the safety of school, the friendships, the learning to get along with others in a large group, and the learning you can only have in a classroom. The impromptu discussions that happen randomly are important to learning, too. Sometimes you get more from those than from textbooks. My only hope is for all students and teachers, staff, aids, resource officers and the like to have a safe year.

Tomorrow is my conference with my book coach. I shared my list of books I’ve purchased randomly to learn about writing, publishing, Legalities of self-publishing, etc. The list is about 30 books. So much to learn! I also have a GREAT COURSES class on writing. I forgot I had it, I only watched the one I bought about drawing. Time to rotate the writing one out to the DVD player.

Way back in the old days, before we knew about COVID-19, I ordered some cute paint by number canvases. Didn’t realize they came from China. Never got them, I emailed them frequently to let them know I had not received what I paid for yet. Finally, this week, they arrived. I think they look like a lot of fun. These will be a winter project for sure. Here they are:

This is for my granddaughter Kayla’s room.
This one is for our home.

It’s the time of year again the butterfly bush is huge right outside my studio window. The Painted Lady butterflies are beautiful! It makes me feel calm, sometimes there are ten or more lighting on it. Such a sight. We have a bush that is nearly as large as the butterfly bush. It has large leaves, had a few little white flowers in the spring. The fall and winter isn’t supposed to have red berries. We’ll see what it does this year. It may end up transplanted to the back, near the Wetlands. The Hydrangeas are almost large enough to place in the front flower bed as well. We’ll see how the Babe feels about it. Fall is the best time to transplant all this stuff, I think.

Today is a take it as it comes day. I’m going to work on my quilt again. It should go well. Hopefully, photos tomorrow! Stay safe out there, wash up and mask up. The kids need us to all cooperate, so they can learn, feel safe, and get on with their education. Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, Be Courteous. Your day will go much better. See you tomorrow!

Oh Honey, You Have No Idea!

Tuesday Musings

Busy day today already! We have a few hours before Gavin needs to be picked up, so we’ll scurry around doing stuff in the house to accomplish something. I’m wanting to get to writing, blog first, and then go on with my book.

An online creative group I belong to is I Create Daily. It caught my eye about a year and a half ago, when I hadn’t even blogged yet, but was researching how to get started writing. Some of the best advice I found was, “Just write.” LeAura Alderson knows her stuff. I’ve joined in on her challenges for writing and art, and am following now for inspiration. She definitely incorporates life challenges within the confines of her coaching us to keep moving. We will, and she encourages us to take care of ourselves as we continue on our creative and caregiving journey’s. Here is today’s post, from the Facebook page. I’m referring to the segment about Hepaestus, the Greek God of Creativity.

I relate very strongly with Hepaestus. I’m disabled with chronic pain, yet I am not broken. I can still contribute. We all can, regardless of our infirmity, still create beauty for others and ourselves to enjoy. So can they. Hepaestus was injured by his own family; sometimes that happens to us humans, too. Perhaps the family knew what they were doing, I would hope not. I just don’t think I dislike anyone enough to wish them harm. Perhaps they knew no better. Once they know what they’re doing, it becomes intentional, and I don’t want to go there.

He rules over the forge, creating both beautiful jewelry and powerful weapons. We can direct our creativity one of two ways; for beauty and protection or for dazzling and destruction. It’s up to us how we use our talents and abilities. Sometimes, it’s necessary to do one or the other, depending on your situation in life. And where you want to go. Pick a good path. Mom, when referring to computer hackers or criminals in general, says, “If they’d use their intelligence for good, think how much better the world would be.” Yes, Mother.

I want my writing to bring happiness and encouragement to people; to little kids (when I write my children’s books), to families (when I write my book about losing Grandpa), and to anyone else who chances to read them. I’m aiming for many published works and musings. It’s great to have the encouragement of the book coach. Speaking of encouragement, I have a writer friend, Gabbie Weick, who just released this children’s book, “Corgis In the Wild.” It’s available now on Amazon. Gabbie did a great job! Help a girl out and order one now for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. They’ll have fun reading it with you. It is possible to order through Gabbie, the cost is $13, and she can autograph it if you like. I’ll be ordering mine today, later.

I think Gavin and I may do some creating this afternoon. I viewed the first Mixed Media Class I signed up for, to create a cute little picture for the laundry room. Come to think of it, I may tack some twine on the walls in there and make it look like a clothesline. And hang the pictures on the line. Pictures later, but don’t hold your breath! I’m a little slow with things.

What I need to do for writing? I need to start with ideas for my Chapter Two. I have some, it’s fleshing them out that is the challenge. I’m looking forward to Thursday morning and talking with Sam, my book coach again. Baby steps, but I’m learning so much along the way. I am so glad I hired her. Check out her website. She may be able to help you, too.

Off to make a list of things to accomplish this afternoon. #1 will be Taco Tuesday Lunch. The Babe is starving, he says. Have a beautiful day. Be Kind. Thanks for reading. Check out Gabbies book and Sam’s services. Good stuff. See you tomorrow!

Courageous. Word of the Day

Magical Monday

Today was bittersweet. Mom asked me to take her to the ENT today. We made a stop at her favorite Half Price Bookstore afterwards. She has terrific trouble with her vision from a stroke several years ago and has extremely poor hearing, even with hearing aids. Either of these things will cause a person to be isolated from the rest of us. She has not wanted to attend the last couple luncheons for the retiree group from my dad’s job at the Omaha World Herald, and has turned down invitations to the two wedding receptions our family is looking forward to. It’s probably part due to her age and infirmary, and part due to more isolation because of COVID-19. Last November, she was not comfortable attending the wedding of a one of her favorite grandsons, because she wouldn’t be able to hear the ceremony.

The Old Days . . . Come and Gone.

I can see a vulnerability in Mom I have not seen before. She is aging, she has taken excellent care of herself, and that can be a double-edged sword. Her independence has been reigned in due to limitations. I’m eternally grateful she quit driving on her own. With her hearing issue, it was easy for her to get rattled in traffic. It was hard at first, but we went on in-town errands and always had lunch. The first Wednesday of the month was always Shopko day. She’d stock up on paper products and what not. We’d ooh and aah at the baby clothes and laugh at goofy things. It was fun. I’m sad Shopko closed, it appears she’s kind of been declining bit by bit since then.

Of course it’s expected, especially at her age. She’ll be 91 later this month, and I’m astonished at that. She hasn’t had an easy life. Our Dad worked nights, and she was in charge 24/7. I was a junior in high school before he transferred to working days. Our two younger brothers had Dad at home while they were in high school. They had different parents than my older brother and I did. It was different at the end of the 1960s when we graduated from high school. Our younger brothers graduated in the mid 1970s, a much different time. A different generation.

We lost Dad in 1988, just after he retired. It was so unfair for him. He worked hard all his life to provide for his family and never got to enjoy retirement. He died six months after he retired. Half of the time he was fighting cancer, the other half, he was home alone while Mom tended to her dying mother with her sisters. Grandma died in September, Dad in December. What a burden on Mom. No time for grieving, there was business to attend to.

Sometimes I think it’s harder for someone to release their independence if they’ve had it for a long period of time. If you’re still independently living in your 80s, it will be hard if you have your wits about you and you need to give some independence up. Many older people don’t get a real choice, some tragic circumstance dictates the end of their driving, or living alone, or walking without assistance. Mom was really brave to give up driving when she did. It could have come sooner in my opinion, because I could see how shook up she would get in traffic.

When the low income high rises were popular in the 1970s, Mom swore if she had to live in one of those, she’d die a slow death, filled with misery. She helped my brother Steve with his South Omaha Sun paper route, and saw the inhabitants of the 10 – 12 story high rises first hand. After her mother died, she swore she would leave her affairs in good order. For that, my brothers and I are grateful. We know she’ll leave us someday. It’s just a matter or when. It will be unexpected, but it will still cause sadness.

But we will celebrate her because she did the darndest things (quote from her mother-in-law). She was a docent at the Zoo for over 25 years. Babysat the baby gorillas and orangutans in the nursery, and was on tiger-birth watch if a female tiger would start labor in the middle of the night. She might call me up and say, “If you call late at night and you can’t reach me, I’ll be at the Zoo, doing . . . .” We’d tease the hell out of her, but were always glad she was so active and out and about.

So yes, we’re grateful. And sad at the same time. She’s having a hard time not being able to go about her life. And we have to be patient even in the worst moments. My two younger brothers are good men and help her out a lot. Taking care of a house is a chore at 91. Heck, it is at 68, too. But at least I have the Babe. Another thing my brothers and I are be blessed with; she has wonderful neighbors, who help her, and who scold her when she’s pulling weeds where she shouldn’t be. Thank you, David _________. We appreciate it!

So as I recall her telling me the ENT’s mother (also in her 90s) was on her hands and knees, scrubbing the floor before her cleaning lady came over, and how she was scolded by her son the doctor, I will also remember the story of her pulling weeds in an unsafe area. The neighbor simply said, “What do you think you’re doing?” several times, relieved her of her bucket and loppers, and waiting in the driveway until she went inside the house, and say, “You kinda are doing silly things too, that aren’t good for you.” She laughed, and said, “Well, I suppose so.” And all I can say is, “Rosemary; you do the darndest things!”

South Dakota Sky

It is a spectacular Sunday morning out there friends! The dogs slept in (until about 6:30 a.m.), so the Babe and I got to sleep in, too. Great way to start a Sunday. When I got coffee and went out on the deck, woo hoo, it was a bit chilly! But not enough to get a jacket, robe, or blanket.

And this all has to do with the photo in the header this morning. I looked up to the sky above us, and told the Babe, “This is a South Dakota Sky today!” He agreed and we drank coffee. You see, he is from South Dakota, and the only vacation I got to go on as a kid was to South Dakota. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis wanted to take either my brother or me along to have another kid to keep their son company. Rod was (and still is) five years younger than me. We had so much fun. My aunt and uncle were gracious hosts, and made sure we had a good time.

The absolute most beautiful sight I ever saw and remember to this day was Mount Rushmore in the morning. The sky was this exact color. South Dakota Sky Blue. It wasn’t humid, which dilutes the deep, intense color, and the sun shone exactly correctly. I’ve been disappointed in later years to view the monument in the afternoon, and the sky isn’t as pretty. Usually it’s cloudy, and just not the same.

I love South Dakota almost as much as Nebraska, I’m a city girl, from a very blue collar family, and I had all brothers, which makes you have a unique view of the world, for a girl. On Dad’s side of the family, I only have one girl cousin, in fact. Outnumbered, to say the least. We’d shoot marbles in the dirt, do a demo derby car crash up in the backyard, and lots of other fun stuff. Much like a country girl might. But Mom stopped letting me play with the neighbor kids at about nine or ten. I had to behave like a “lady” by then.

I remember in the 1980s, when I was first divorced, there was a calendar called “Dakota Men.” It had hunky ranchers and farmers from North and South Dakota, pictured going about their daily tasks. Tame, compared to the things produced today, it enchanted me. They were all so handsome! I always wanted “to meet me one of them! “

Fast forward to the late 1990s. I did meet one. And there went my heart. The Babe was so worth waiting for. His eyes remind me of those South Dakota Skies. Every day. I’m so lucky. And so is he. We’re perfect for each other. Yes, there is occasional strife. The advantage to falling in love later in life, is you learn which battles to pick. You learn most of what people argue about is unimportant. You both check your egos at the door, if you know what I mean. You’re still an individual, but you’re also a team member.

I know marriage is completely different without raising children. Aside from the obvious, children are one of the things people disagree about. How many, if any, to have. How far apart. Is there such a thing anymore as a primary caregiver? My children’s father rarely, if ever, changed a diaper at all. It was the end of that era when I was married before. The Babe and his brother grew up babysitting for his younger sisters while their Mom worked as a waitress. He still loves babies, and isn’t above changing diapers.

Anyway, in the spirit of this whole South Dakota Theme today, I want to share a video and song with you today, written and performed by another Dakota man, and featuring yet another one! Yes, they’re both hunky, talented, and make beautiful music. Jason “Jake” Mayer wrote this song as a tribute to his family, and it’s beautiful. Jimmy Weber joins him, and he is always a treat. The song, “The Plains of South Dakota (featuring Jimmy Weber)” is one I know will go far.

It’s so cool to know people this talented. I get a whole blog and book(s) to tell my stories; these guys have a much shorter time to do so. And then putting it to music. I’m amazed at how they do this. Keep an eye on Jake Mayer. He’s going to do great things.

Jimmy Weber does, and will keep growing and going. He is a member of the South Dakota Music Hall of Fame, a well deserved honor. Like most of his fans, I’m waiting for his new music to be released. I hear from a reliable source there is one coming. Thanks, Handsome Jake!

Folks, I have a lot of writing to do today. I’m sending my first chapter and other homework to my Book Coach today, and we’ll have a conference about it on Thursday. I cannot believe it’s due already. I may have spent too much time gawking at the sky this morning, but trust me. It was well worth it!

Have a beautiful Sunday. Be Thankful. Be Kind. Be Courteous. I’m so grateful for all of you, reading daily as you do. We’ll meet again tomorrow, my friends. I look forward to it. Be Safe!

Great Advice

Saturday, August 1, 2020

I saw this guy on the deck last week. It was pretty cool, watching him move ever so slowly. He seemed to move one segmented joint at a time. It was fascinating to watch. I love seeing the creatures of the world from a safe distance. One bug I hope to never see again is the Japanese Beetle. They are so beautiful yet so destructive. The dragonflies, and butterflies are welcome!

August is month with a lot happening. School again (we think), and I don’t envy parents at all. I think our children will be behind where they should be if remote learning would continue for an extended period of time. I don’t think our grandkids are finding enough challenge in the work assigned and I’d hate them to lose out on some critical learning as Addison is in eighth grade and Gavin is in third. They are both very bright and need to be challenged.

Goldie has a blast with butterflies. She could have stood there watching this one for hours. I love showing puppies and babies to watch butterflies. Dragonflies are a lot harder, they move very quickly.

Another August event I’m looking forward to is working with a company to set up a new website for the VFW Post 2503. I’m involved in maintenance on the old one (probably twenty years old), and it is in serious need of an update. It needs to be done, and I’m glad for what I’ll get to learn about WordPress. I can use the knowledge to add pages to my website, and the blog will continue to be one page of many. As I get closer to finishing my book, I’ll add pages to my website.

The Babe and I couldn’t find anything to watch on TV last night, so we watched an Amazon Prime movie, “Fathers and Daughters.” It was quite sad. The daughter was very young when her mother died in a car accident. The father was a writer (go figure!), and mentally ill/struck with seizures after the accident, loss, and having a child to help. He went to a mental hospital for seven months, had ECT (Electric Current Therapy) and other therapy, and returned to raise his daughter. It paralleled his life with hers. She had little understanding how to have a personal relationship with anyone else. She was a social worker, helped a little girl who lost her mom, yet couldn’t commit to her boyfriend. It was a weird story to track. At the end, there was this beautiful song: “Fathers and Daughters Never Say Goodbye.” Yes, it’s a tear jerker. It makes me miss my dad.

Sometimes, it seems as if it’s silly to still miss him after all these years. I have already lived longer than he did. He was cheated out of enjoying his retirement by that tyrant, cancer. I miss his support. Not a “good job,” kind of guy. More of a, “keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get there,” kind of guy. He’s still with me. And that is all I need to know.

I have a lot of work to ready and send to my book coach for this week’s conference (Thursday morning). For some reason, it seems to just jump at me from nowhere. Lots to do, so cutting this a little short. Have a beautiful day. It’s cloudy, but you can make it sunny in your heart. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Help someone. Hold the door open. Small things add up. You’ll feel better, too. I appreciate you reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and we’ll catch up. Be careful out there.

Fabulous Friday

It is really a beautiful day outside. I swear God sends cold fronts through the humid and hot areas like Nebraska to give us a break and make us feel like living again. It improves the general feeling of your soul and gives your mind a break. Still, I like the four seasons. Four “alleged” seasons. It seems like we skip a lot of spring and a portion of fall many times. Hope there is comfort to deal with the rest of the pandemic we are having.

Where we live in Gretna, it is very close to Omaha. The VFW Post we attend is in Omaha. We have concerns about the possible mask ordinance Omaha was considering. It appears the health department has backed off from enacting one. I say it’s a shame, the legalities were questioned and they asked people to use their best judgment. With those rights comes responsibilities. To me, it makes sense to wear a mask. We do not often make the best judgments. Some use motorcycle helmets as an example. I favor helmets, seat belts, and wearing masks. Yes, it’s annoying. So are helmets and seatbelts. But I’m safer using them.

My asthma doc ordered me to have a COVID test before my appointment with her last week. I thought I would test negative and did. I believe curtailing my social activity and social distancing, which includes wearing a mask when shopping is helping. Please think long term on the outcome, it may make more sense.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In addition to working on my Poppies Quilt, I’m devouring a couple more books for writers: Write Great Beginnings, and Point of View. It appears there is more competition than ever to attract a reader who will read a book. It also appears there are fewer who start a book who actually finish one. I have only quit reading maybe 4 books in the last ten years. When I buy them, I think it’s a terrible waste to not finish. One was borrowed from the library, a biography by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Brian is a genius and has had mental illness for nearly his entire life. It’s a very sad story, and one that concludes well. There are better versions written, believe me.

In addition to having a hook to attract a reader, you have to do a lot to keep them reading. Each chapter ending should make them just want to keep reading. I love books that do that. They are easy to read and quick. No time wasted. Now to learn how to do exactly that.

I have some real characters to introduce once I build them. It is such fun to be able to do that. There is something I read to make sure to appeal to the theater of the reader’s mind. What does that mean? Simply put, have you ever enjoyed a book more than a movie? Yes, an author needs to write so well the images in our minds are vivid and our imaginations can take us through the story. That’s the challenge.

Conflict is the center of fiction. Intensifying the troubles that stand in a main characters way. The problems are big, and he or she drive the story with their decisions. Because they chose this, something else happens. I’m told it gets easier the more I understand it. I trust Sam Tyler, my writing coach. She has made this endeavor so good for me. I’m so lucky to know her from the Nebraska Writers Guild. She is a writer and coach. Very good with critique. Asks hard questions. All with good reason. If I can’t answer the questions, how can I write my answers to them?

AHA! There it is! This is also a great living example of why/how to outline everything (major events) in the story you want to tell. Sure, you have it all in your head, but trust me, your memory isn’t that great some (most) of the time. As I write, other ideas spill out and I can end up in a completely different area than I wanted to be. I’m learning to be a planner, not a pantster. A pantster is writing by the seat of your pants. When you think you have a great idea, it’s easy to think you don’t need to plan anything. I can be foolish at times!

Just as maps are not always up to date in Google, our outlines can leave a bit to be desired. We need to be open (always) to modifying the outline. Even if you’re well into the story. Lots to think about. Lots to wade through.

And There You GO!

Off to work on another unrelated issue. I’m helping get information together for the new VFW Post 2503 website. It should be a fun project. The one we have is pretty outdated and cumbersome to work on. I’ll be learning some WordPress tricks I don’t know and will benefit tremendously from it. Thank you for taking time to read the blog today. I appreciate it, and hope to see you tomorrow. Stay Safe, my friends. I want you all with me the rest of this journey. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out There!

Thursday’s Child

There was an old nursery rhyme called “Monday’s Child.” It was a little ditty supposedly for children to help them learn the days of the week. I was born on a Thursday. Ascension Thursday, no less. “Thursday’s child has far to go,” was meant for me. From what I’ve read, I can take this one of two ways: First, I will have a long life. I’m hoping for that. Women have good longevity in my family. Both Grandmothers lived long. Mom is 91. Second, it could mean I have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Have you known me long? There were mountains and hills worth of obstacles. Faith and Hope have gotten me through. Sure there are more to come, too. Just realistic, not negative. God has been so very good to me. I’m forever grateful.

Either way, whatever that phrase means, I am here and so happy to be. Life gets better and better. Heck, this morning, I felt great and started a crock pot dinner an hour ago that will be ready at about 6 p.m. or so. Planning ahead. Chicken and noodles. Thanks, Peggy Fischman! My grade school, neighbor, and quilting buddy. Always has a new recipe or two.

The header photo today is my music of the day. I posted it on my personal FB account, asking what was missing? More Jimmy Weber CD’s. I hope there is one despite this pandemic. Jimmy’s a very creative guy, if anyone can produce it, he can. (No pressure, my friend!). Dayna Jones’ CD is great. You can order it from her, and she has a really cute shirt, too. I ordered a long sleeved one and know it’ll rotate into the fall wardrobe a lot. Go Dayna!

I’ve said before, music gets me through a lot of hard times. As a single mom, I was glad to have the drive time from downtown to the 90th & Dodge area near home to just decompress from the day, and relax. It was then much easier to get home to my three kids and spend the evening with them when I wasn’t in school or working my second job. Music is always there, even if no one else is. Now, the Babe and music are always there. Grateful and blessed.

I Love Eleanor Roosevelt. Such an unsung hero.

Still working on character definition for my book, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbon’s. Katie has seven, count them seven brothers. They are characters, believe me. It’s fun to make this stuff up. I can do that since I’m doing an actual fiction novel. A couple weeks ago, I was considering creative nonfiction. My book coach, Sam Tyler, mentioned I could be sued. That would certainly be an unfortunate end, wouldn’t it? Since I have no interest in that happening, I have ventured back to fiction. The common disclaimer you see after every movie and at the beginning of every book should cover me. I don’t look good in horizontal stripes, you know? On a writer’s merch website, I saw a shirt that read:

If people don’t like what you write about them, they should have treated you better.

It’s certainly to the point now, isn’t it? I did buy the one that reads:

Careful! Or you’ll end up in my novel!

Another thing I’m learning about with this venture is “Character Agency.” It’s something vital to the story. Plot is driven by the decisions the protagonist (main character) makes. The writer needs to make clear why the character makes a decision they do. An inciting incident voids any possibility of a character continuing to live a normal life. Will they fight or flee?

Writer Topher Kearby sells his creations at http://www.topherkearby.com

I admire Topher’s work, and am Facebook friends with him. His typed words are beautiful. There is also art that go with some of the musings. Check him out.

As I go to do some more domestic chores this early afternoon, I want to thank you for reading today. I hope you have a great day today. I’ll be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Stay Safe, Wash Up, Mask Up, Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, and Be Courteous. It’ll help us all. Thank you!

Winning Wednesday

So much to create, so little time. Do you feel this way? Not just about writing, but crafting and creating together. Unfortunately, I have interest in a lot of creative endeavors. I sewed my own clothes for many years. To dress like the job I wanted, I tailored my own suits for nearly my entire working career. As I progressed in salary, I did purchase them, but still sewed for myself. I’ve probably also made about 40 bridesmaids dresses, and two wedding dresses. I loved doing it all.

Then, after I could no longer work at the age of 48 due to my wacky spine condition, I went on Medicare at age 50. And straight into depression. I felt washed up and useless. I was used to being very physically active, and just couldn’t anymore. Over the next 18 years, I had breast cancer, two foot surgeries, a badly broken ankle (all on the left foot!), and been through the Babe’s extensive visits/procedures thanks to the US Government’s use of Agent Orange during his tropical visit to Vietnam, and thanked God every single thing has eventually turned out well.

The new passion I had for quilting and creating ended the depression, I needed the creative outlet to feel like I was worth something. It worked. And even now, when I start to feel less than great for a period of time, all I need to do is make a quilt, a wall hanging, something, to bring me joy again. There is a sense of accomplishment I receive from that. It’s cheaper than meds or therapy and does the trick. The quilters I’ve met both in person and in Facebook Groups are the best people I know outside of longtime friends I have. Generous, creative, supportive, sharing, and willing to teach and learn. Good stuff.

So, I signed up to make this cute little picture for my laundry room. It needs something on the walls. If anyone would like to sign up, go to the above FB posting. It’s $10. Three one hour sessions teach the techniques. It runs August 2, 4, and 6 and the time zones are posted worldwide. 6:30 p.m., CDT. The project is called “Laundry Day.” The Website is: and it appears there is a waitlist for the class now. The project I’m making is pictured on the right side of the website page.

No, I don’t need more to do. I have plenty to do. I just want something to spark my creativity. So, something different is in order. The idea is to use vintage patterns, fabric, trims, buttons, etc., and you’ll recall some memories and good people from your treasures. I need to do this. A scrap of lace trim my Grandma Bobell crocheted or tatted, a button from Aunt Lois’s sewing treasures, and some fabric that was used long ago. It’ll make me smile, and enhance creativity, too. And calm my restlessness.

Any minute now, the Babe will return home with Gavin. We’re having sliders for lunch today, it should be good. After that, I’ll work a little on my quilt, and more on my additional characters for Katie to deal with in “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons,” my novel. Little bits, and I’ll accomplish a lot.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you are well. I just found out today my COVID test is negative. That’s great news. I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Be careful out there.