Simply Saturday

Wow, it’s tepid in my studio this morning! No, it’s COLD! Our home faces west and the two bedrooms at the front of the house are freezing when it’s this frigid outside. We are in Nebraska, and it’s January. We no longer dress as Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story, but maybe we should. When we trudged to school in four feet of sleet, eight feet of snow, and no provisions, we never thought about being chilled. If you were unfortunate enough to be female during that era, you had to wear a dress, a uniform skirt, or uniform jumper. It was cold! Wait, I remember in kindergarten and first grade I had leggings. They were not the skin tight clingy kind we wear now that are fashionable not serviceable to wear. They were more like snowsuit coveralls. Wool. Lined and warm. Hot. But while you wore them to school, you had to shed them once you removed overshoes, hat, sweater, muffler, mittens held in by elasticized clips. If you were a cool kid whose Mom didn’t care about your health, you had earmuffs. We refrained from outdoor recess on those days.  We would have to get dressed almost after we undressed, to leave by the bell. The good old days. Nope. Oh, and since I went to Catholic school grades one through twelve, first grade saw me and countless others sit through an hour Mass every morning with all those clothes on in Church.  I swear it wasn’t heated for that hour, because it never felt that hot, unless you were coming down with something. 

Have you known someone who seems to get angry a lot? Very riled up over the slightest little thing? I know of quite a few. It is unnerving for the bystanders. The angry ones usually throw temper tantrums of sorts. They may slam items down on a table. They may slam doors, windows, items, or anything they might get their hands on. Or cuss a blue streak. Or kick a dog, or hit another human. None of this is acceptable behavior. I am so glad to be away from this behavior now. It rattles me when I experience it. Intimidating people is never ok. All you do is make them glad they’re not around you when you behave like this all the time.

What good does this do those who have outbursts? They think they are just venting. Just venting is discussing what made you angry, not making people around you jump and hope you can’t see them should your anger spew any further. Letting of steam is liable to burn those you love. You have no right to affect other people with your tantrum. Period.

A tirade cannot solve a problem. You cannot rain on other people because you want a storm. Be kind. Be patient. Be gentle. And learn to deal with anger rather than spew it.

New selections for Raabe Ranch

On a brighter note, how does it go when you and your partner/spouse/friend/whoever lives with you pick out paint colors? First, my referral to Raabe Ranch is a joke. We live in a neighborhood but our lot is probably twice the size of our old house, in a newer neighborhood. We have a beautiful treeline behind us and a little creek. I joke it’s Raabe Ranch because the dogs have so much room to run in. And play in. And get tired in. Like a corral. We loved the house and adored the yard. Even though it’s large, when we can’t take care of it anymore, we’ll hire it done.

Back to selecting paint colors. The Babe and I always talk things out first. He did some painting three years ago when we first moved in here and did the master bath last summer after the big remodel by Re-Bath. He can officially retire from doing so again. Unless you love painting, by the time a guy is nearly seventy, he can hire it done. This will be the first time we hired a company, so I’ll let you know how it goes. The price was great so we’ll proceed. The colors are bright and happy. We seem to favor that type. The blues are for the master bedroom. Above the blue will be the laundry room. Left of the blue is gentle grape for the main bath. I can just see deep purple towels or even black ones in there. Luxurious! We will get the woodwork repainted in both bathrooms, too. It always seems to show wear and tear because of the water, humidity, and steam. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I am off to do more reading and hopefully some note taking or outlining for this re-write. Writing and publishing the blog in the morning opens up my afternoon so I can spend more time doing creative things. Might consider hand quilting a quilt my grandma hand pieced early one hundred years ago. By the fire, where it’s warm. Or even crochet on a project I’d like to do. By the fire. Or read a book for pleasure. By the fire. Are you sensing a theme here?

By the time we publish this, I have put away Santa where he belongs!

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this morning/afternoon. I’m grateful you did. Hope you stop by again tomorrow. I’ll be here, cold or not!

Thoughtful Thursday

Yesterday, I mentioned this book for when I’m out of sorts, not feeling my best because of overthinking or just a pick me up.

The wisdom in this little book sort of dovetails well with the memes, topics, and exercises in my I Create Daily Facebook Group. It’s amazing to see when it happens.

January 9th, for instance, the saying is:

“A life without discipline is a life without joy”. – Muriel B.

The folks at I Create Daily encourage us to write goals, write steps to achieve them, write if we achieve them, do what it takes, then report back. Tomorrow, start all over again. I believe we need discipline to accomplish our goals, especially when writing a novel, a daily blog, or a children’s book. My 90 day goal planner is near me almost constantly. This week is booked with appointments for my mom, so the goals for the week had to transform a lot.

Discipline isn’t easy or fun. But it’s the best friend we can have. We won’t achieve anything if we don’t have a plan, moxie to stick with the plan, to say no when we do not have the time to chat or to do something unnecessary that would severely impact you, your schedule, or your state of mind. It’s hard to say no or enforce boundaries if we have never had them.

There are definitely a lot of things to learn while writing. Discipline gives us structure, all art needs structure. Structure does not limit creativity but helps increase it. It is a challenge I hope I’m up for.

This evening, I’m reading more in “Structuring Your Novel”. Setting, Character Introduction, Plot Points. I never heard of all these things before. Or maybe I have. Haven’t used them lately, but I will now. All while showing, not telling. It’ll come to me.

Thank you for reading today. Remember to return tomorrow, I’ll be here. I hope you will be.

Wednesday and Still Counting!

I’m excited we are together on this frosty Nebraska morning (no relation to our new football coach, but it could happen, someday). It’s another sunny day here. In the eastern part of the state has reported some mysterious drone sightings last night. I think it has something to do with our defense system and am not worried. I grew up in South Omaha, in the shadows of StratCom, Offutt Air Force Base. Since about the age of ten I knew the “Underground” of our nation existed. What is it? Anything our great United States needs to conduct business, be it war or peace, is here in Nebraska.

George HW Bush came here during the 9/11 attacks. It amazed me at the time many young news reporters/talking heads did not understand why he ended up here. I have always felt very safe living so close. If something ever happened, it would make no difference, I would not live long enough to know of it. As I get older, that is a comfort of sorts. No sense worrying about it until it may be close to happening. I just believe God will be good to us.

Welcome to my one hundred and thirtieth post! I’m excited to write another blog post about my journey as a writer. As I’ve stated before, each day of research and reading I do, it seems I learn some cool stuff to use in my writing. “How can you find something to write about every day?” some people ask me. I have learned the days I write of happenings around the house it’s not as good as days I write of ideas, actual activity about writing, or even a news headline or two. The creativity ebbs and flows. I keep writing to stay in the habit of doing it. I have discovered three very full place to extract writing ideas.

The First is Wall Art
The Second Is Facebook Memes.
My Hazelden Meditations from 1987.

Ideas are everywhere around us. Wall art, memes, and books are full of ideas. The book I picture here is for Adult Children of Alcoholics. I am an adult child of an alcoholic. My mother is the alcoholic, not my father. I have siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, old boyfriends, and friends who are all alcoholics. I am not. Their alcoholism affected my life in a negative way. I do not say this for pity or sympathy. I say it to let others know there is help for everyone who wants it. I have never attended Al-Anon meetings, but could have. This Adult Child book of meditations taught me many things were not my fault. It was not my responsibility to make life better for Mom, a brother, aunt, boyfriend, husband, or child.

A group of ladies I worked with in 1982 told me about Al-Anon. I listened to them when they talked about their alcoholic ex-husbands, physical abuse, verbal abuse, child abuse, and a whole gambit of things I had never seen in my life. I’m grateful for that.

This tattered book has had water spilled on it, and has a part of the index missing. I bought a new copy and still use the tattered one. It reminds me of what I’ve been through to get to where I am today. Learning, growth, and change for the better has been a long journey. If you are on that long journey, please know it is worth it. You will need to examine yourself and a lot of things to deal with everything but it is worth it. Trust me it is. Even after all these years, sometimes I still need to refer to my daily guide and sure enough, the words and lesson are exactly what I need that day. Sometimes, if I leave the readings alone for a long time, you can bet a situation will arise, and I’m looking for the lesson of the day.

As always, I thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. I will return tomorrow and hope to find you right here, too.