Saturday, Happy Saturday

Today is my little brother’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Steve! Hope you have a nice day and get to do something fun. As you’re in your 60s now, hoping you’re able to start looking at retiring. Yes, health coverage is expensive. And you’re not getting any younger, either. Just hope you have good years ahead of you.

When Steve was born, I received my first store-bought birthday cake. Our dad’s cousin Joann bought it. It was a bundt cake and had a doll in the center to look like a girl in a dress. I don’t remember what the flavor was or what the color was, but I remember thinking she was beautiful. Mom was very practical, cutting the first servings out of the back of the “dress” and keep the front looking perfect. I felt so special! I was six years old at the time. Just finishing kindergarten. The world was my oyster!

Another cloudy day today. It is supposed to be rainy today. Still no visit to the nursery, but we are going to visit the grandkids later today. The Babe saw them yesterday, and he said Gavin has really gotten tall. He’s going to be eight in June, and it amazes me how fast they grow up. He’s got some neighborhood friends now, and is riding bikes with them much of the day, when he’s not doing school work. His dad is working from home, so he’s got the best supervisor there is. I love how these Dad’s express and show their love for their kids. When we were kids, men were pretty reserved about emotions, especially about kids. I’m glad they are able to express themselves now.

How will you make today beautiful?

You never know for sure if someone really did write the quotes you see for Facebook memes. For instance, did Mark Twain really say the one above? If not, he should have. I started to research who may have said it, but got hijacked into mindlessly searching other things, and I ended up distracted. So it’s back to work. The most beautiful day of our life? I’m going to work some more on my grandson Cody’s little wall hanging of a hedgehog family. It’s so cute and it’s tough on the eyes for sure. Very tiny holes to do counted cross stitch. This is definitely a work of love. I’m imagining Cody while I work on it. I’m hoping he sleeps beneath it many, many times during his little life. I did buy a pattern for a hedgehog quilt too. That will be fun, too.

The Babe rolled out some sod yesterday, around the area he poured a new landing at the bottom of the stairs off the deck. She was a pretty naughty puppy this morning and tugged at the corner of the sod. She picked up the whole piece and pranced around the yard with it. It looked hilarious. I was not amused because even though we got it for free, it’s a bad habit for the pup to cultivate. We gave her a stern look, a talking to, and I hope she leaves the stuff alone now. We’ll see.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate your support. I’ll see you again tomorrow, you know I’ll be here! Stay safe. Keep your distance. Make today a beautiful day!

Fabulous Friday

I just viewed a funny video of Chris Farley, rolling down a hill, over and over, with the months of the year in large capital letter. May is where he lands. Wondering what in the heck is going on there. It’s funny, but is a good visual for what is going on in our lives. I also watched GMA this morning. They had a graduation speech given by the actor Matthew McConaughey. He has released a video earlier this week concerning how we are so divided, masks vs no masks, and how he marvelously explains that science needs to catch up to what is going on with the Coronavirus research. We do not have time to fight two wars. One war is the COVID-19. The other war is with each other. We need to unite and stop fighting each other. Science will never catch up if we are divided. Here is the first video.

I think this is very well explained and thought out. I think it needs to be said. Let’s drop the name calling and the divide and just work together to fight the virus and be safe. We may not know what comes next, but I’d rather been safe than sorry. Wouldn’t you? We need to be kind, be good to each other, and pray for our nation. Let’s unite in the purpose we are collectively fighting. Let’s beat this thing, and let’s NOT have us beat ourselves while we’re arguing and acting disagreeable with each other. We are our own worst enemy. Let’s have science catch up and do what it needs to do to and keep us safe. Finger pointing and brazen selfishness has no place in this. Let’s work together, not against each other.

The other thing worth spending your time on is this commencement speech video. As someone who graduated 50 years ago this May 28, I have to say I’m inspired by this speech as well. There are many valid points made and would help all of us be more focused on living our best lives and doing good for not only ourselves and our families, but for our neighborhoods and the world as well. Think! Be inspired. I loved how he said to be proud of the uniqueness of their situations. Wear it proudly. No prom, no graduation. It’s going to be more important how you conduct yourselves in the future.

I find throughout life, there were times that didn’t go as well as I thought they would. That is life. It happens for all of us. When it does, and it will, refer to something inspiring, like these videos. Refer to something that will encourage you to put the losses into perspective, remember the lesson, and try again. I never realized how important it was. I can say I’m proud of the lessons learned in my life, and I know I earned where I am in life now. I was taught to work hard for what you want and do the best job you can. Don’t leave your work for someone else. Some of us learn that better than others. Even now, I’d rather not have something if it meant giving up something like family, integrity, or self-respect. I have made many mistakes in life. I learned from them all. If you have a graduate this May, remind them of these things six months from now. And six years from now. It all bears repeating.

It will finally be nice and sunny outside today and the Babe is going to lay some sod near our little flower garden in the back. It will be nice and no more washouts by the air conditioner. Big rains produce a lot of runoff and it just needs to have good turf to drain off. These are things you have to do repeatedly during home ownership. Mundane tasks but they are so important. A lot of life is like that, and help retain order. I have a couple more mundane things to do, then going down to the cutting room to re-pin a quilt I stopped pinning last week. It’ll be a task before I look at the empty flowerpots that are going to the patio later today. Getting ready to buy some annuals and perennials.

Are you planning on planting any flowers this weekend? Comment below and let me know how it goes. If you follow my blog, you’ll receive a notice every time we post a new blog. You’ll also be on the mailing list for when I send news about the projects I’m working on. More editing and story enhancements this weekend. I appreciate you stopping by today. Enjoy those videos. For an actor, he really is sensible about things. I hope you return tomorrow, I’ll be here. Stay safe!

It’s Thursday Again

I’m amazed at the number of “elderly” (our age) people who tell us their kids won’t let them leave the house. What? They don’t live under the same roof at all, but the kids are making their parents stay home. It makes me wonder. Our kids just ask what we’re doing. Does that mean they don’t love us? Hardly. One of the kids picked up toilet paper for us when we couldn’t find any in our stores. Other than that, we speak to them and check in about everyday life but don’t go further than that. Is it that they trust us to be cautious? Is it they don’t think of us becoming ill and dying from it? I choose to look at it that they think we know what to do. What do you think? Have you told your parents to stay home? Our mom doesn’t listen too well. At nearly 91, she still insists on going to Walgreen’s and Hy Vee for groceries herself. She has a good chance at becoming exposed. I’d rather not be exposed.

Our Hamburger Night was good again. We visited and made plans for Taco Night tonight. The Babe heads up the kitchen staff for that. I’m not able to lift anything heavy or stand for a long time, so I come along for moral support mostly. Not sure if I’ll join him or not. It’s that or stay home to let the dogs out, let the dogs in. Let the dogs out. Let the dogs in. Let the dogs out. Let the dogs in. You get the idea.

i’m putting together some notes for the rest of my book. I need more meat in the story at certain chapters. It’ll be hard (maybe) to get another 8K words. Once they start, though, they come easier. It’s not impossible. Just need to get to it. I hope to hear from my book coach in a couple of weeks and see what the assessment of my first three chapters is. At a much younger age I used to agonize over such things. I don’t anymore. I do hope it comes back favorably though. If not, back to the drawing board.

This one is thought provoking.

Thank God for the empathy of others. We especially need that now.

I remain hopeful our Veterans graves will be decorated with the American flags this Memorial Day. It would be a shame if they remained bare. A news story yesterday stated the VA is not allowing groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to plant the flags as they usually do. The National Cemeteries in Long Island, New York have 500,000 graves in them. It sounds as if it will not be allowed at all. I understand the social distancing, believe me. I would think that even if they worked in pairs the Boy and Girl Scouts could find a way to socially distance and still be able to plant the flags. Yes, it is a symbolic gesture, but it is an important one I believe. After all, people are allowed to go the store now, and even pick up dinner from a restaurant. It will be interesting to see what happens. I hope someone regains their mind to let them put the flags in.

The remainder day will probably go quickly. We will start serving tacos to some hungry veterans and Honor Guard members after 4 p.m. More talking with friends tonight, and hoping everyone is well. It will be a good afternoon. Until it’s time for me to leave, I’ll do a little more editing and planning. I hope you all have a good rest of the day, stay safe, and keep up the social distancing. See you back here tomorrow!

Wahoo! It’s Wednesday!

Another dreary day that should produce rain and storms tonight. By Monday, it will be a steamy 86! That should surely be perennial planting weather. Hope we ease into summer rather than go hot and humid already.

Here’s the deal. It doesn’t feel like it’s already May. It’s already mid-May. And in May, we both have our birthdays. Normally by now we’re excited about it, not that we do crazy stuff or buy big gifts, but they fall two days apart. Two cakes! We love cake. Dan’s favorite is German Chocolate. I’ve made one (from scratch) for him before. Maybe this year, too. I love it too, as my Grandma Jewell used to bake the one from the Baker’s Semisweet Chocolate package. It’s not lacking in butter and eggs. The calories don’t count, besides, he’ll be 70, so he deserves one.

I don’t have a favorite cake. In fact, I’ve never met a cake I didn’t like. Sort of. Not fond of cream cheese frosting, although it’s a big recipe now on the baking shows and internet recipes. As a kid, my brother liked Angel Food, I would ask for Devil’s Food, so I was not like him. My dad liked the chocolate, too. Although his birthday cake was Fruit Cake. I kid you not. He was born on January 1, 1924, and he was the first New Year’s Baby in Omaha. Cool, huh? Mom baked the Fruitcake and let it age with bourbon baths every week. He loved it. As a kid, I did not. As an adult I came to appreciate it.

I’ll possibly make my own cake with my own buttercream frosting recipe. Might be the yellow cake mix I have in the pantry. We’ll see. Maybe we’ll break curfew and go see the grandkids. That’s the worst, not getting to see them! We signed up to have emails sent to us about Gavin’s ball games. It’s sad to keep getting schedule updates of “cancelled” every week. They may be able to start practice soon, they have to skip sharing snacks, and the governor said only immediate family (living in the same home) may attend games. What’s Grandma Kathy going to do?? I’m so sad, I don’t know. But if it keeps the kids healthy, I’m in. The film footage of those poor little babies intubated with those terrible rashes breaks my heart. When I was a kid, and with my kids too, children had measles, chicken pox, and mumps. When my little brother had chicken pox, our Grandma Jewell was afraid he’d die they were so bad. He even had them on the bottoms of his feet and couldn’t walk. Terrible stuff. I’ll do anything to keep the kids safe.

I was just thinking this morning, what do I miss while being quarantined? Hmmm. First is missing the grandkids. All of them, two in Omaha, two in Colorado, and one in Maryland. I miss going to the store and taking my time to look at fresh fruit and vegetables. Those and bread are my favorite foods. And steak. The Babe makes a great grilled steak on the grill. I miss going to church. I miss going to bookstores. I miss going to fabric stores and browsing. I miss Hobby Lobby and Michaels just browsing the crafts to see what’s new. I’m a simple girl, I suppose. Most of my clothing is ordered online, I’ve never been a traditional woman shopper. I prefer In and Out. Get what you need and get out. I like shopping at hardware stores and looking at gadgets. It’s fun.

What don’t I miss? A lot. Traffic jams. People in a hurry. An overpacked schedule. Having to hurry places. I’m hoping when this is over, people don’t put as much emphasis on things that are superficial: looks, hairdo, percentage of body fat, popularity of “celebrities,” media reporting everything in excess, media crucifying everyone in politics.

Something that scares me? Disrespect. Abuse of children and women. All are on an uptick. Women and kids at risk are in danger. I’m afraid for the children who are no longer seen by their teachers daily who can help by reporting when things aren’t right. If you know someone in a bad situation, keep an eye out for them. Skype, Facetime, Zoom, whatever you can do, make sure you get a visual of them. Their life could depend on it.

Re-opening? I would not go to a crowded place for drinks and dancing right now. Too many people too close together. The VFW Post 2503 did a perfect job last Wednesday, with a limited menu and a chance to test the waters and visit with people other than our quarantine mates. It was wonderful to be out and see other non-quarantine partners. Life continued on during the time we were away. One lady had pancreatic cancer and passed away while we were in quarantine. One had a new grandson. One is going to be a grandma in July. We all felt safe being with those friends. We look forward to going again tonight.

I’m going to finish my search for the 3K missing words in my manuscript, plan the rest of the writing I need to do, and work on a little embroidery project for grandson Cody. How about you? What are you doing today? Leave a comment below, and tell me if you feel we’re opening up too soon. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it so much. I’m be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Stay safe. Masks, Handwashing, Elbow Cough, all the good stuff to keep us safe.

Taco Tuesday?

I have been working on reading my manuscript alongside a former copy with 3K more words. The mystery deepens, I’m up to Chapter 26 and haven’t found it yet. I think there were more paragraphs I moved from their places to the end of the pages so I could use it later if necessary. I’m glad there weren’t a lot of paragraphs that needed to be placed anywhere. At least, this is my working theory of the issue and it’s solution. Hope it’s that simple in the end.

It is an overcast day and chilly. May shouldn’t be so chilly, we keep wanting to go to the nursery but haven’t yet. I think there will be plenty of plants, I’d just really like to get something planted and watch it grow. In the peace of the quarantine social distancing. From the patio. And others from the deck. I’m envisioning warmer weather and pleasant afternoons, without rain, gale-force winds, and Japanese Beetles.

For the first time in quite a few years, we don’t have any graduates. How about you? We had one wedding postponed and two others will be in held during the summer, depending on which way the social distancing goes. I understand the disappointment the graduates feel. I cannot imagine the disappointment brides and grooms feel after all the planning they’ve done.

When I graduated from high school, because of our modular scheduling and other advances Sister Pacis introduced to the Archbishop Ryan Memorial High School, we had a lot of things that weren’t as we thought they would be.

For the first time, we had no yearbook. Normally, the yearbooks were hard covered, had the usual photos and copies of all our Ryan EYE (school newspaper) published during the school year. At the last minute, there was a small, paperback edition for a yearbook. Disappointing at best. We also weren’t called “Seniors.” The class distinctions were done away with. Some of my class graduated six months early, as they had their requirements met. I could have, but had no plans for after graduation, so I just hung out for another semester. I tutored a couple “Under Classmen” and spent my spare time in the Library, and Art Room Lab. Didn’t skip classes, I didn’t drive or carpool. I would have had to walk several blocks to get the bus if I wanted to leave. So much for sneaking out!

For my first three years, my homeroom was on the second floor. Traditionally, the Junior and Senior classes had homerooms on the first floor. I was so looking forward to not having to walk up both flights of stairs. I was the only one of my group of friends that had to go to the top floor (AGAIN). I was not happy. Yes, it seems silly now, but nothing seemed to be turning out as I dreamed my senior year would be. We had a ceremony, my parents couldn’t find me in the line or on the stage. We were arranged by height, all the girls seemed to have long, straight hair and tortoise shell glasses. (We did).

We thought we were on top of the world, despite the changes and things we lost. I’m sure the kids who missed graduations, the last quarter of classroom work, and saying goodbye to everyone will be fine, too. We don’t get a choice about these things. We have to be ok. If we’re not, we might miss the next best thing that’s coming down the line for us. That would put us a day late and a dollar short for the rest of our lives. We can’t let that happen. Mourn the loss (because it IS a loss). And get ready for the next great adventure of your life. C’mon. You’re just starting out. Keep going on adventures. Keep reaching for the next star. Don’t ever stop. You will soon forget about the things that didn’t happen.

Thank you for reading today, and for your support. I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a good evening and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow. Stay safe, hydrate, wash those hands, wear your mask, and socially distance to stay safe. See you tomorrow!

Monday, Monday

Good afternoon, folks. Glad it’s a dry day so far. That can change at any second. We had some errands to do, so the day has been kind of haphazard. I had a dental appointment for the first time since the COVID-19 issue started. It’s quite the ordeal now.

Our dentist came to Omaha from Oklahoma a few years ago when a tornado came through their town, destroying schools and homes and buildings. He knew many people from the news stories. It was very hard with his wife there with the kids, selling their house. He drove home each weekend and has sort of become a friend rather than a dentist. His work is quite thorough and we both trust his opinion.

So the new rules are, you call the office when you park, or message them. Someone will talk with you and ask if you have a fever, etc., then they come out and give you a form to sign, take your temp, and the hygienist comes out to escort you in. What a great way to do it. One of the forms you sign is a specific permission to be treated, and it states the extra risks to everyone to have oral work done. It is a concern, but I figure as long as people all do what they should, this should alleviate any issues. I’m certainly not going to sue anyone, you know?

The hygienist wears a shield over her face, and they don’t irrigate as much as they used to. Alleviating any splash back on either of us. Good idea. They do a little more digging with those pointy instruments, so I still feel it three hours later, but they did their usual good job. Masks and all, it wasn’t a bad experience. The calling from the car will work as long as people have cell phones. I’m sure that will be a point of contention should Mom need to go to the dentist. Even though I would call for her, she would pontificate about her feelings on cell phones. They are something she just can’t abide. Everyone has their opinion. She readily shares her thoughts with the world.

I would love to have bookshelves again.

When we moved to this house almost four years ago, we had donated our very old, inexpensive bookcases to Goodwill. All my books and quilting books are in boxes in the basement. I would find many old friends and memories should I start going through them. I do intend to look through them, donating some, and saving others. I will see if the high school might be interested in the quilting books. They’re pretty good, or the city library may be interested. It’s a place to start. I also could donate the quilting books to my quilters guild library. They are always glad to have them come through the door.

Fighting for Your Dreams is One of the Most Important Fights to Engage In.

I feel a little out of sync today. Going to the dentist really made the coronavirus front and center in our day. Numbers have gone up in parts of Nebraska. We’re considered a hot spot. People are going to restaurants with restrictions. The numbers will probably never reflect what they need to since testing takes different avenues. Are all the tests the same? Are there many false positives? The Babe and I are registered on the Nebraska List. They informed us we could request a test to see if we’d been exposed. You click on the button, and they tell you they’re all filled up for appointments.

I do believe we will find our way through this. I think it’s worse than anyone could imagine. I think there are challenges with many people about staying home. Someone will always act in a disagreeable manner, but I do not think that is the norm. I think most people will behave in a good manner, and we all want this to end well. With as few as possible losing their lives, with as few as possible maimed permanently because of complications, and with all of us back to work and having a comfortable life. We need to act in faith that our medical leaders know what to do, we need to act in hope that we can work together to flatten curves and provide information that is truthful and useful. We need to act in love to our friends, family, neighbors, and anyone who needs a hand that we can comfortably offer. Be open to what your faith, hope, and love lead you to do.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you all have a beautiful evening and know that I appreciate you. I hope to see you again tomorrow, you know I’ll be here. Stay safe.

Happy Sunday Mother’s Day

When we were kids, there was a Mother/Daughter Breakfast every year on Mother’s Day at St. Bridget’s Parish, where I attended grade school. If Mom came to Mass and breakfast with me, that meant Dad got home early enough from his night job working at the Omaha World Herald. He stayed up long enough to make sure my three brothers stayed out of trouble, and then went to bed when Mom and I got home after breakfast. I loved going to breakfast, and it baffled me how many of the fathers of my classmates were serving food, bussing tables, and calling raffle numbers.

The raffle was for assorted prizes but the one I wanted badly and hardly ever won was the potted geranium plant that were centerpieces for the tables. I knew I had to have those beautiful pink flowering plants. Once or twice I did, but mostly no. When I was grown up and could buy garden flowers of my choice, I saw a potted pink geranium and my mind went back to waiting for my number to be called. I’ve planted them every year, and now know the trick where you can let the plants go dormant in the fall, then replant them in spring, and they will come back to life. It’s still a beautiful memory.

During the years I was a single mom, my oldest son and I would go shopping for garden plants and pick up a million of them. Once, I picked out over 300 individual plants, all in little dividers in plastic trays. Towards the end of planting, I was really tired! Had to dig up half the yard. It was worth it. I miss doing that with him, just like I miss Christmas shopping with him. Good memories. It’s pretty cold here yet in Nebraska for someone to be planting anything yet. The Babe and I might go to a garden center tomorrow after my dentist appointment, but we’ll see.

This can be a very happy day for young mothers, and for older mothers whose kids are nearby and actually do things for Mom. Good for them, what a nice thing to do for Moms who really do a lot for their families. Sometimes, it’s not that happy for people, though. Just like Christmas isn’t always a Hallmark moment. Some have mean Moms. Some have abusive, addicted Moms. It might be hard to even think of that person on a day like this. Just know you’re not alone, that’s all. You’re not the only one, there are many who have a similar situation. Some kids don’t think of anyone but themselves. Some kids are ungrateful, some are in jail, some are at a place unknown to their Mom, and there are many, many of those. Some Moms have broken hearts for who knows why. They’re not alone, not any of them.

Whatever your situation, remember there are those who don’t share the joy you have in your lives. Our kids are in four different states, and we’re kind of quarantined due to this COVID-19 thing. Even at that, our kids are pretty busy living their own lives. And that’s a good thing, because that’s what you raise them to do. To keep crowds at a minimum, we’re not gathering for my mom, either. I’ll probably read a book and maybe we’ll watch a movie. Low key. I’ve heard from each of my kids and stepkids. I miss their kids so! Maybe we can see them by Father’s Day.

Some people have lost their Moms. It’s sad when young mothers die, when grandma’s die, and when anyone loses someone too soon. I’m including a video of a brand new song, “When They Go,” by Dayna Jones of South Dakota. Dayna released this today, and I’d like to share it with you all. It’s a beautiful song for today. Enjoy today for all it is worth, friends. It changes in a moment. Remember happy times. Think good thoughts about all you’ve learned about what is good and right. Make your life rich in blessings by thinking of them. If you have the blessing of an awesome Mom, great! Otherwise, be an awesome Mom, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Nephew, Niece, for someone who needs you. You’ll know. Blessings on you all.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. See you right here tomorrow, where I’ll be when you come back. In the meantime, I’ve got some reading to catch up on.

Searching for those missing 3,000 words!