Friday, I Think

COVID-19 Quarantine Day # 6,385.

I’ve seen some folks posting on The Facebook they’re in quarantine for 8,365 days. It’s all in how we look at it. I know it’s probably easier for retired people like the Babe and me. If we were gone from a job we loved with or without pay, yes, it would seem like torture.

Unless money is an awful hardship for you, try looking at your time at home in a different way. While I was working, I left for work in the dark and came home in the dark. Yes, it was a long day, every day. And it seemed as if I never saw my house in the daylight. I was on medical leave after a surgery in the early 90s when I truly saw my house at all hours of the day. I realized how nice it was.

My kids and I were alone at that time, and it was really a long time off work and school. And yes, I was younger, 39 I believe. I came to see our home and the isolation in a much different light. I appreciated what I had been working so very hard to earn and possess. It was a time that stopped my daily frenzy and made me grateful. If you’re feeling like you can’t take it anymore, try that. It’s like looking at the world through different lenses. Not rose colored. But reality colored. Big difference.

This is my inspirational plaque.

I mentioned this plaque yesterday, and the computer gods prohibited me from showing you the photo. If you missed the post, here’s a link to it. Thank you, my dear niece and friend, Wendy. It’s hard to imagine that we used to babysit for you. You were a fun little toddler. And you are a blessing to all that know you now. I’m grateful to have you in my life.

It will be a different kind of day. Since our VFW Post is going to launch a scaled back food night for Wednesday, May 6, 2020. They have been closed since before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not just a financial thing, it’s to help life the spirits of people who have formed a family or sorts. We miss each other. None of us know what’s going to happen in the next six months, I have a feeling it could go either way. Nebraska has lifted the stay at home life a bit. Restaurants have been given the ok to open with restrictions, and many have decided to remain take out only. It’s up to the individuals.

I’m going to go to the Post later to do some EXCEL spreadsheets for the Babe who is their Quartermaster. It’s the first of the month, and the books need to be reconciled, despite bringing in $0.00 and having expenses despite being closed. The officer group will meet and decide how to place tables, members, food service areas, and keep the doors sanitized. We have to start somewhere. We will see how it goes. People have to make their decisions. We always have the option to stay home if we don’t feel safe.

I’m really working hard to get my novel to the place of showing, not telling. That is much harder to do than it sounds. Telling is so easy. Showing is hard. I need to find how to show during a narrative of things that happened fifty years before. How the heck do you do that? I have a good reference called “Show, Don’t Tell,” and I hope the answer lies somewhere in there. It will make the process so much better. I have a feeling I have much more to rewrite than I thought. But it goes with the territory.

It is quite nice not having to take Mom to her appointments and errands. It’s been about four years since she quit driving. My younger brothers have been great about helping her out, too, and I’ve been the solo driver for weekday needs. It’s been something you do for your elders when they need it. No questions asked. It feels weird to not have the commitments, but I am enjoying my free time. I’ve told her not to hesitate should she need my help again. The danger of us getting COVID-19 will go down in the coming months. We’re social distancing like we should have been. I’m concerned about her not letting people go to the store for her, but the decision is hers. She’s insisting she needs to go, so I hope she’s surrounded by a mantle of protection from the virus. Check the definition of mantle vs. mantel. Word of the Day!

Truer words were never uttered!

We humans think we can control our destiny. We can’t. The sooner we realize that, and make adjustments in our attitudes and lives, the sooner we can live with much more ease, happiness, and joy. Yes, joy. It’s ours for the taking, all we have to do is relinquish control. Control is really an illusion anyway. We must not lie to ourselves.

It’s about time for me to meet the Babe. It will be a good rest of the day. When I return home, I’m going to layer and pin some quilts. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time, and look forward to seeing you here again tomorrow. Be safe!

Humppp Daaayyy!

It is now nearly 4:30 CDT in the afternoon. I started this blog this morning. Then the Internet Provider crashed everything. For the whole day! It was quite a day for being disconnected. I finished my preview copy of my book for the Book Coach I’m working with. But I couldn’t e-mail it for her. I’m not certain Google Docs even saved the proper words to “the Cloud.” The Internet was wonky all day!

What in the world did we do before all this technology took over? We enjoyed our families and our space. Whatever our space is, we made it ours and enjoyed it. If you were a fifteen year old kid, you had posters on your walls, your own music, and did homework while you waited for dinner to be ready. Your seventeen year old sister may have been talking on the phone to another friend, but it didn’t last all night. You met as a family at dinner and talked. Maybe not a lot. But you noticed your parents at least acted interested in what went on in your world. They probably didn’t share much about their own troubles. You weren’t meant to be their friends, you were their children. Adults didn’t put their burdens on you.

Be a Survivor, Not a Victim.

This afternoon, after the Babe finished weed-eating and mowing the “field” (We have a big yard) we sat on the patio and talked. I couldn’t do this work, he needed to just relax. He said, “This is retirement. Isn’t it great?” Absolutely. The Babe has taught me, who was always organized, the Fine Art of Procrastination. Some days I think I was too good and eager a student, but now the world doesn’t end if I don’t meet a self-imposed deadline. It doesn’t, and I’m not as stressed as I used to be about them. Thanks, Babe!

I had a great writing session this morning, tying up loose ends in my first eight chapters that will go to the book coach I’m working with. I’m taking the night off and going to re-read it all in the morning. The Internet was down as I finished writing, so who knows what was saved at the last minute to the cloud for Google Doc? I was a clerk/secretary for too many years to let it go out in the world without proof reading it one more time. So that’s tops on the list for tomorrow.

It may sound strange, but as I’ve added extra characters to my heroine Katie’s family, I really want to see one brother make a 180 degree turn about in his life. Could be the optimist in me, but I’m thinking he’s going to want to have a family life with his siblings before he dies. He has miles to go before they can trust him again, and it could happen. It may not, but it could. We’ll see where the rest of the rewrite takes us. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m ready to sign off here, sorry to be so late today. Below is a screenshot from Facebook, mentioning an event that was cancelled due to Coronavirus. My friend Jimmy Weber was nominated for an award, the Babe and I are watching to see if perhaps he wins. No one is more deserving. Good luck, Jimmy!

Tune In, Folks! Hopefully, we’ll see our friend Jimmy Weber win in the category he was nominated!

As always, thank you for reading. I appreciate your time and will see you tomorrow. Unless the Babe uses one of my measuring cups for baking to measure out his Weed Kill concoction. Then he’ll be the Carol Baskin of Gretna! Stay tuned all of you Tiger King fans. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Superb Saturday

The Sweatshop shut down early today. Now it’s up to the shipping department!

I’m sitting outside in the sunshine where the temperature is about sixty degrees, according to my Google Pixel phone. Except for a bit too much breeze, the day is perfect. That’s Nebraska in the Spring, boarders on bipolar many years. I do miss some of the flower garden I used to have. Peonies and beautiful Iris, the first flowers of my garden. I’d take them to my dad’s grave on my birthday, before the Memorial Day grave decorators are out.

It’s too beautiful to stay inside. After a false start a couple weeks ago here we are again. The dogs love it, we love it, it’s out happy place, either on the deck or patio. Right now it’s the patio, more sun is present at this hour. I’m so grateful to be here for another day of life. I finished a bunch of facemasks today. The sweatshop is closed. The shipping department will do it’s thing later today, and the Babe will mail the packages on Monday. Funny thing. The IT Department in Sioux Falls notified me they actually DO need the power cord for the backup hard drive they need to troubleshoot. I just have to laugh. We humans make funny boo boos, don’t we? So it will be mailed to the IT Department in South Dakota. Probably not until Monday. Neither of us are going anywhere anytime soon, you know?

I’m looking forward to watching my friend, Jimmy Weber, sing tonight and play some of his new songs. Folks, I’m making a public confession here. I was not a great country fan until I heard Jimmy perform alone and with friends. He can play like nobody’s business, sing with heartfelt emotion, and make it entertaining and fun. I’m a fan, and have been introduced to other performers through him. I appreciate his expert guitar playing on any genre. And he’s a great human being. He will go live tonight from 8 – 9:30 p.m. CDT. You will be amazed at this talent. He will be assisted by his manager, (Handsome Jake Meyer), tech guy, songwriter, and moral support division. He’s a good guy, too.

The incomparable Jimmy Weber.
7 – 8:30 Tonight, on Facebook Live, Jimmy Weber’s Page.

There are quite a few things to do before I settle in to watch and listen to Jimmy Weber tonight. Finish my Intake Q & A for my Book Coach, submit it and the first ten pages of my manuscript (I get goosebumps when I say that word), edit some more with Pro Writing Aid, and do those meals we need. Probably a late lunch/early dinner. The Chicken Chimichanga’s were awesome! We had pineapple and peach salsa, so it covered all the food groups, folks. Leftovers today and one more meal (frozen).

Cooking fiasco. I couldn’t believe it. On Easter Sunday, the bread was baking in the oven. All of a sudden, black smoke came rolling out of the top vent, and filled the kitchen, living room, and everywhere. The butter on top of the bread melted and fell to the bottom of the oven. Right on the hot metal that covers the flame in the newer gas stove we have. Wow. It was really something. We got it cleared out pretty quickly, but it was pretty amazing. I have not done anything like that ever. I do actually know how to cook, bake, and a few other things. It troubled me, the smoke detectors never went off. Never. They are hard wired into the electrical system, so even if the batteries were dead, they should work. Hmmmm. After watching Tiger King on Netflix, maybe my suspicions are aroused. I’ll have to check it out. Damn that Carole Baskin person!

Thanks for reading today. Listen to Jimmy Weber tonight, you’ll be glad you did. It’s like you’re sitting down with him talking over a beverage and he’s playing just for you. Enjoy! I’ll see you again tomorrow. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Informed.

Monday Madness

Hi everyone! It’s been a very busy day, and I’m ready for a relaxing time!

I went out today for the first time in about three weeks. It felt weird to drive, although the streets weren’t too busy. If felt like I was going against the rules by being out, although it was to go to the doctor, for a regular check-in.

The first thing I noticed was the half of the first floor that is a gift shop sort of area was stripped bare. Nothing on any of the shelves. It made sense, since people touch the merchandise, so it would spread the virus. Can’t have that. I missed the gifts. They have such unique, reasonably priced things. I hope it’s back in October when my next check up is. My mammogram won’t be scheduled until they start seeing patients in that area again. If I find a lump or whatever, since I’ve already had breast cancer, they’ll schedule one, but not annual ones yet.

Miss me some baseball!
(And my hairdresser!)

When you hit 65, they see you every six months. Medicare also requires a mental health eval once a year. It’s ten questions dealing with depression. I’ve known this Doc for probably twenty five years. I’ve trusted him with my life and the Babe has done the same, he is very thorough, very good at problem solving, and not afraid to perform tests to get answers he doesn’t want to put off getting. We had time to visit a bit, too. He said this pandemic is not going to get better until there is a vaccine. With every place infected on a different timetable, the virus will ebb and flow over and over. I think this makes sense. It won’t be over until we are vaccinated. Period. I’ve heard others say this too. This is reality. It’s not negative, it’s how it is.

I told the Doc it’s hard to fill out that depression eval during a pandemic. I told him sometimes I’m afraid. He said he understood. It’s a big deal. It’s changed all of our lives in ways we never could have imagined. He said we need to do the best we can and pray a lot. Good advice for all of us. And being afraid is normal.

I’m amazed despite being aware of the bit of depression I’ve had, it has affected everyone. People have described it as feeling as if you’re in a fog. Like your head just isn’t right. I think once people can get outside and enjoy the weather, plant in a garden a little, and feel the sun on our faces, it will start to feel normal again. There is something in dirt that releases hormones in us as we fill flower pots, dig in the garden, and see the beauty of the nature we are nurturing that makes everything right with the world. My world will be much more right when I see if my hydrangeas are still alive or not.

Thank you for reading tonight. I appreciate your time. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope to see you then! Stay hydrated. Keep your spirits up. Stay home, wash your hands, and all that. Have a good evening.

Thankful Thursday

Hi, guys!

We’ve been outside before the wind picks up to the 50 mph they’re predicting. It was a good time to get the winter layer of dirt off the deck, patio, and few lawn chairs we’ve put out. The rest will come out and be cleaned off after the snow goes away. They’re predicting something frozen for the Easter weekend. It’s ok. It’s not as if we are going anywhere anyhow. Yes, we’ll watch the FB Live of the Service at our Church. It’ll be a good day.

I’m listening to Ray Scott for inspiration music today. And I have to say, I’m hooked. I will snag up all his music today. His voice is unbelievable. So far, I have “Guitar for Sale,” and “Nowhere Near Done.” We saw only a couple songs in person last November at Buck’s Bar. Our friend Jimmy Weber opened for him, but by the time we had several beers and dinner, listened to Jimmy’s set, the Babe wasn’t feeling well. It was when he still had the wound vac to heal the huge wound still open after a heart cath. It was not a good time to stay out late. The Babe apologized all over the place, sweet man that he is. Next time, Ray! I’m loving your work.

Music of the Day. Go Ray Scott!

Our son-in-law is stopping by with his battery charger later. The Babe needs to borrow it to re-charge his riding mower battery. We’re so lucky to have some kids here. I suppose people with no children at all have a network of people who are able to help them. Having kids is no guarantee they will help you when you get older. They may not live nearby. They may also not be able to help. Emotionally or financially. It’s best not to expect things from them that they can’t or won’t do. It saves a lot of hurt. Lord knows we don’t need any more hurt in this world.

Although the Feds have extended the deadline for paying your taxes, the deadline for filing will be in about a week or so. I’ll get finished, just a matter of totaling up all the medical, dental, and drug costs for us retirees. I’m so grateful I have good insurance. It’s been a blessing all through my single Mom life, my married and working life, and the retiree/author life. For all the bad press corporations receive, I cannot badmouth them at all. They have generously reimbursed my tuition for a college education, and have covered my many and unusual long term illnesses. I’m grateful for them.

This morning, as we were having coffee and listening to the news, the topic of unemployment came up. We are so fortunate to not be impacted by that. Of course, our IRAs and other investments have dropped substantially, but we are still getting pensions and are fine. God has been so very good to us, and we’re grateful for that, too.

I don’t know of anything that is so joyful for me as answering the phone to hear grandson Gavin say, “Grandma, I really miss Lexie and Goldie.” They miss him, too. So do Grandpa and I! It’s been way too long since we saw the kids. Addison isn’t a dog kid, so she will never say that. She does say she misses us, however. Grandkids are the bonus round of life, you know? They are so much fun. I can’t wait until Gavin starts to play baseball again this summer. His new team practices all year, but they of course cannot right now. That’s too bad, but necessary at this time.

The Mayor of Omaha had to close all the city parks. Some people (over 200) were gathered at a park the other night at 10 pm for a barbeque (!?) and of course, someone shot three people. One died, two wounded. Pitiful. People have been behaving badly at a few places, and I hope they stay away from everyone now. Yes, it’s hard. But don’t think the rules don’t apply to you. There is always someone, isn’t there? The naughty kid who misbehaved and made everyone in the class have to stay after school. The cheater in high school who stole the test beforehand and aced it, causing everyone’s grades to be tossed out. And now there is the person who gathers at the dog park, the playground equipment, or the baseball field, causing all city parks and trails to be closed. It never fails.

And, amongst those ranks are the people who do what is right, what is the next right thing to do, and follows the rules and directions. There are, fortunately more of us than the other kind. Continue being a good citizen, ok? That is how we will all survive this quarantine and the aftermath. Do what’s right. Be grateful. Learn to smell the roses while being cautious of the thorns. Thank you for reading today. I deeply appreciate it, and hope to see you again tomorrow. I’ll be here. See you then.

Schadenfreude

Back in the 70s, I remember the tv character Maude (Bea Arthur) had a saying. “God will get you for that!” How funny that was, but it was true. God gives us a rap on the head now and again to get right with him and ourselves when we need to. My dad would say, “They’ll get theirs.” Quietly. With conviction. He knew what he was talking about. But he didn’t dwell on a person, their evil acts, or their bad mouthing him. He knew that wasn’t the way to be. My mom, on the other hand, carried grudges. I think her sisters were capable of the same thing to a degree. Mom had more and carried them longer. She still does today. That is a classic adult child move. (Adult child of an alcoholic). We may be doing the same thing and not even realize it. Sometimes, I listen to mom talk about people and I wonder if there is anyone who she really likes. Cousins, let’s not be this way!

So called “sinful” behavior has been around ever since Adam and Eve fell and were evicted from Eden. It’s in our lives, too. I read my daily meditations today, and it was, “Never find delight in another’s misfortune.” Pubililius Syrus, a Latin writer. He was a Syrian, who was brought as a slave to Rome, Italy. His master educated him. He was known for his philosophical sayings, many of which are quoted today. Shakespeare quoted ideas of his often. Muddy Waters did when singing, “A Rolling Stone” (Gathers No Moss) in 1950.

We all have been guilty of wishing wrong on people who hurt us directly or indirectly. It is an unattractive habit, and being human, we all have many unattractive habits. I’ve wished hurt on people who have hurt me, my kids, or my family. I may not wish physical hurt on them, but I know they will get theirs. Then I can let go of it. I just don’t trust them as I may have before. The German word Schadenfreude means “delight in the troubles of another.” That’s a big word for it. The older I get, the more I am in favor of letting God sort it out. He’s the final judge, not me. Too late smart, too soon old!

We are often quick to judge. At the beginning of the Coronavirus, the VFW Post 2503 we support was on alert due to the first patient being on the premises for an hour the last time we were open. At first there was a lot of condemning of this poor woman because no one knew her story. Her identity remains private, but we know who she is. She is a special needs woman who was adopted as a small child whose parents could not care for her. Her family now consists of a half brother and two loving parents. They traveled to Britain to celebrate a grandparent’s 100th birthday. While coming home, the woman became ill. Because of the nature of special needs people’s frequent respiratory infections, this was deemed to be that. She made more than five ER trips and was sent away each time. She was not really ill. Just like a cold.

And being human, even I was among the ones who wondered why the heck she did not stay home. Red-faced embarrassed, I have now changed my tune. I didn’t have the information about the person or the virus to make an educated assessment. I had neither all the facts nor a sense of what anyone deserves to have happen to them. Quick to judge, we humans must take a step back. Assess. Don’t judge, you could make a totally wrong diagnosis of what the problem is. Schadenfreude is “a canker of the heart. If we find it there, we must root it out at once.” Once again, my handy Days of Healing, Days of Joy daily meditations has given me much food for thought. And it goes with a lot of what my dad taught us, too. They’ll get theirs. Not by our judgement, by God’s.

In the spirit of reaping what we sow, may all of our conclusions about others be kind and gentle. Let’s give others what we would like to have ourselves. Let’s just slow down and not be so quick to criticize. Let’s be kinder and gentler with each other, and especially with ourselves. It will help these times be much less harsh on our beings. Thank you for reading, I hope to see you right here again tomorrow. Go enjoy the beautiful day, in your own yard or deck, or patio!

Hump Daaaaay!

A pessimist would say, “Why bother? Hump Day? Every day is the same as another when you’re stuck at home.” An optimist would say, “Wednesday is just a great as any other day! You woke up today, the sun is shining AGAIN!” And aren’t we lucky we have some place, whatever it is, to self-distance/quarantine ourselves? Yes, we are. When you look at countries like China, India, the Middle East, Africa, they don’t even have basic sanitation and clean water to drink. How on earth would we survive that? We need to count our blessings and be grateful.

Even if you are diagnosed with Corona Virus (COVID-19) chances are, you will survive with little damage to your lungs. People like myself, who have asthma or any other underlying health issue, will have a harder time if they have the lung damage associated with the virus. This IS different than the flu. The mucous is extra thick once it settles into your lungs. It causes permanent damage to the lungs where it sets up house, so to speak. I’d hate like hell to have my lungs compromised because some person decided they were bored and gathered with a crowd, playing a game of soccer, went shopping to Target to get their Starbuck’s and just browse the racks, or sent their kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa because they needed a break from home-schooling. Please, don’t do it!

Even though we need to be vigilant, we can still keep occupied and not go stir crazy. If you are a person who is still working, maybe enjoy how your home (apartment or house) looks all day long. You’re usually at work and don’t often get to enjoy it during the day. It makes you have a different perspective of your abode. You may (safely) have a little talk over the fence with the neighbor. The Babe is out doing that all the time. He knows everyone by first name. I love that about him. Everyone loves him. I’m lucky. And so is he!

A cousin’s daughter scheduled her wedding for April 4, 2020. They have had to cancel the reception. They will still have the ceremony, reduced to 7 people, them, the officiant, and have rescheduled the reception for later this year. Her younger sister is set to marry in August, along with another cousin’s son, also in August. Hoping these young people get started on their lives together and all brides and grooms get to have their time. I can imagine how devastated they all feel, and at the same time, they’re all very responsible people who know they must follow these new rules for living. They’re temporary restrictions, not permanent ones. God Bless all of you!

As a fund-raiser for their tip wage staff, Union Pizzaria and Sports Bar in Omaha, NE, printed some t-shirts with their various businesses on it and is donating all the proceeds to a fund for their impacted workers. What a great employer in the food and beverage business! My son works at Union, along with his room-mate. When they lost everything in an apartment fire last fall, these guys were right there, making sure they were getting what they needed, time off, whatever needed to be done. So grateful my son is associated with people like this. God Bless you guys! Go to their Facebook post for more info!

A great way to feel better? Help someone else. There are many, many restaurants who have gone to pick-up food to keep their doors open. Try ordering out! I don’t know about you, I’m a bit tired of cooking, but I do like it’s healthier than what we eat out. I just need to get back to salads and the like. It just all takes time. I’ve probably had quite enough comfort food for awhile. I truthfully don’t even like french fries that aren’t done to a certain degree of crispness. Nothing soggy, thank you very much.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. Union’s tip wage staff would appreciate it greatly if you’d stop by 156 & Maple for a t-shirt or two. Order their daily special before you go and you can solve the dinner problem. They appreciate it greatly. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope you come back. Have a happy, safe day.