Special Sunday

Yesterday, after I wrote awhile and the Babe was finished with the Honor Guard after a veterans funeral, he called for me to meet him at Addy’s in Elkhorn for lunch. It was closer to 2 p.m. and we were starved! Usually on Saturday there is a tournament of some sort, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc. and the parents take kids to Addy’s to eat. No problem. We love kids. All ages. That said, we also believe there is appropriate behavior expected in public places like restaurants from children who are eight years and up. You would expect them to sit at their table and talk, play video games, and you would expect their parents to enforce some sort of rules for when they are in public. Not so yesterday.

We just received our food and started to eat. These kids started running (yes, running) between the tables, over to the game machines, and weaving all around the tables. There was not much room, and there were people eating at many of the tables, ours being one of them. Nothing from the parents. They didn’t look up from their beverages or anything. OK. The kids then started yelling loud like they were in a game or on a playground. Ten boys and one girl. The little girl was probably seven or eight, one boy was probably two years old. The little girl was in charge of the little boy. All the other boys were at least ten years old or very close to it. Old enough to know better.

A boy yelled out “all the boys to the bathroom,” and all nine of them ran into the men’s room. The servers were trying to do their work, and were concerned the little girl went into the men’s room too. She didn’t. The baby did, though. All nine boys ran back out and to the machine that mimics deer hunting. They picked up the rifles and turned around with them, pretending to shoot the crowd. Yes. I am not anti-gun. I am for teaching children the proper way to handle firearms when they are old enough. Did a parent correct anyone? No. Even when my little brothers played cops & robbers or cowboys, our parents always told us never point a gun, a toy gun, a nerf gun, at anyone. Period!

Cue all eleven kids now, and they ran up to the digital jukebox, and five of them pounded on it with their fists. Any correction? No. They kept doing that until they all decided to run around all the tables again. All in different directions. By then the Babe went to the restroom. While I was looking at my phone, a boy approached the chair the Babe left out a little bit, put his foot on the seat, and jumped over, landing right next to me. All I could say was, “What in the hell?” Another diner looked at me and shook his head. By then, the waitstaff were all watching these kids, waiting for a reprimand. Was there one? No, not at all.

I’m always ready to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Especially kids. But these kids were so out of line in so very may aspects of their bad behavior it isn’t even funny. I know kids have excess energy. The place to expel it is not in a restaurant. I know kids get excited and forget sometimes. Again, the place to forget is not in a restaurant. Most kids know the difference between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior by the time they are eight or nine. We had to know the difference much younger. Like about four or five. They appeared to have no control over anything. Their parents certainly didn’t. I would hate to have these kids in a classroom. Or try to coach them. I hope they learn very soon how to control themselves. There could be consequences. I hope there would be some from the parents. Letting them run wild is never appropriate. If you child is autistic, ADD or ADHD, they can still learn to exhibit appropriate behavior. Someone has to be the grown up and let them know what they’re doing isn’t right. And please, parents, do it soon. You may end up with a real problem child on your hands before you know it. Boundaries. Set them. Enforce them. You will be sorry if you don’t. I have seen it happen before.

I know, I know. Get off the Babe’s lawn, too. Other diners should not have had to put up with this while they were out paying for a meal, even at a sports bar. The End.

I do. I’m writing this book, you see . . .

What will March bring for us? I hope reasonable moisture. Not a driving, torrential rain, but nice showers. That don’t make too much mud in the yard, so that the dogs track it in everywhere. It would be most appreciated. March is a special month for our family. On the 3rd is my youngest brother’s birthday. On the 14th is our beautiful granddaughter Kayla’s birthday. She will be two. How the time flies! Hope we get to see her soon, it’s been awhile. Her parents don’t allow photos on FB or in my blog, otherwise I’d post a pic of her. She’s so sweet. On the 19th is both our daughter in law’s birthday (in Maryland) AND our son in law’s birthday (in Colorado). Lots of celebrating and happiness all around.

Spring training is ongoing in MLB. The Cubs have put Kris Bryant in as lead off batter; a slight promotion in the ranks, he was the second batter before. Have fun watching your favorite teams. My very favorite is our grandson Gavin’s. He is playing in a higher age group, more appropriate for his skillset. He will have to pay attention to keep up, and that’s a good thing. He was surrounded by kids before that played in the dirt, goofed off, and naturally he would do the same thing. It’s going to be fun to see how he does. And his Daddy is helping coach. I’ve looked forward to watching him, too. He was a heckuva player. I didn’t know him during high school, so I missed out on watching him.

As I get ready to work on another chapter or two today, make sure your get outside and enjoy the nice day. In March you never know when it’ll be bad so enjoy the good days. Blizzards happen now and in April but they melt quickly. Thank you for reading, comment and like if you will, please. I appreciate your support and will see you again tomorrow. I’ll sure be here.

Superb Saturday & #180!

Happy Saturday, friends, family, and followers! It’s nice enough at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska to have the windows open a little. Of course, this morning the furnace is still kicking on, but it won’t be soon as it warms up. I’m fortunate, the writing staff is napping and the Babe has gone to the VFW Post 2503 for some office work and to help the Honor Guard pay last respects to a veteran who is being buried today. I’m so proud of his participation in this ritual. I sat next to my mother and heard the words said upon presenting the flag, and it has made me tear up every time I hear them. The nation is indeed grateful to each and every veteran who served with honor. I am too. Thank you all for what you all continue to do for this great nation.

Awhile back, I downloaded a free sample of the software Pro Writing Aid. I must say, I do like it a lot, and have used it on my book before the re-write after my first edit. My editor Sam cautioned me to make sure suggested changes make sense before accepting them. That is a good point and I’m glad she told me that. I would have double checked anyway, heck, being a retired software coder, I know they are only as good as the coder who wrote them. I freely admitted when I made some colossal goofs when writing code and pre-testing it. “Sometimes, I even amaze myself” was what I’d laugh and say when catching errors I made. It always only did what I told it to do. Admitting mistakes. That gets you far in life and work, too. Just don’t keep on repeating the same ones.

Anyone who has ever been burned by autocorrect can attest to the weird stuff that shows up since autocorrect and spellcheck really don’t know what they’re doing. Again, limitations enforced by the coder. Grammar mistakes are king, aren’t they? We need to be patient and proofread what we write. Memos, e-mails, letters, books, and texts take on a way different meaning when words are substituted without our knowledge or checking. Protect yourself, take the time to read.

That said, because we’re all human and no one is perfect, cut each other some slack. At times when someone posts a lot of grammatical errors in a Facebook Post, it only bothers me when the one who makes all these errors claims to be smarter than everyone else. Haughtiness doesn’t get you anywhere when you’re making a statement like that.

I’m having a good time during my re-write. I’m in Chapter 10 right now. Nearly halfway. At this rate, I may be able to get it back to my editor by the end of March. This year! Yay! I’ll keep you posted for sure. I’m a sucker for accessories. Fashion accessories, computer accessories, and now, writing accessories, commonly known as references. Here’s a book I’ve enjoyed perusing.

Tired of “nod” and “sigh”? Me, too.

This amazing little 88 page book has chapter divisions by body part. Eyes, Noses, Mouths, all body parts, except for the genitalia. Had to say it, you know you were wondering. The gist of this 1,000 Character Reactions from Head to Toe is that my characters need to do more than sigh, said, heard, and stand still. They can take a long drag from a cigar, parrot back, hear as if everything was under water, and sashaying away from someone. Don’t get too crazy with these words, though. Jerry Jenkins, who wrote the “Left Behind” series and who is a successful author, says to quit with too many descriptive words for “said.” It may be appropriate in some genres and not others. I’ll have to let you know about that theory, too.

BTW, this is our 180th published blog since last July 5, 2019. In the beginning, I didn’t write every day, but I do now it at all possible. I’m sad it took our dog Roxie being run over by a car to make me start writing every day. You never know what will strike your heart and be a story you want to share. It helped us with our grief, too. If you would like to read that first blog, here is a link for you to read. Bring Kleenex. She was a charmer.

I would absolutely love for you to continue this journey with me, right along to when we reach the 360th blog post and beyond to buying a book once we publish them. In the meantime, thank you for reading today, I’ll be here tomorrow, as I hope you are. Go out and have a beautiful Saturday.

Fabulous Friday

It’s nearly the end of February 2020, and I’m looking at readjusting my Goals for 2020. It has to be done. I have honestly wondered if I could have adult ADHD or ADD and have come to the conclusion of “No, I just love too many things.” That can be a problem, just as not having creative juices flowing can be. I need to go back to my right brain thinking, and make some Goals based on all the things I dearly love to do. I’ve come to love blogging, and it will be at the top of my writing list.

Much as I want to learn to draw and brush up my creative lettering and calligraphy skills, they will have to wait for a bit. Even if they need to wait until January, 2021, right now they need to. I just don’t have enough time in a day to do these things. I deleted all my emails pertaining to classes on these topics, I just have to ignore those opportunities for now. Done and done.

Right now, I volunteer for Benson VFW Post 2503 as the back up newsletter person and the one who posts newsletter to their website. For a few years now, the website has seriously needed a facelift, drastic plastic surgery, or something to bring it out of the 1990s and into the 2020s. I am involved in conducting an investigation into the cost to move to WordPress, which is what I use for my website/blog. Along with that, I am still planning on adding pages to my website, and as my books are finished, they will be included on my website. The websites have different functions and purposes, so I’m not worried about doing them both for awhile. The goal is to make it much simpler than it is now so someone from the VFW can assume the role of Administrator. The current package doesn’t allow for simplicity. At least I did self-learn it over the past four years and became fairly proficient at it. Old coders never die, they just are assigned a Legacy System!

So, it’s back to plotting These Walls DO Talk, creating the family that lives in the house where the walls know so much of them. No, it’s not science fiction, and the walls don’t REALLY talk, but too many memories exist there. You’ll see.

And then the wall art I’m creating with quilting kits I’ve had in inventory. The Poppies will grace our wall when I piece, layer, and quilt it, along with the colorful Dahlia that will be on display in our newly painted bedroom. The lovely new tools I purchased for drawing, doodling, coloring, and painting will have to wait for now. Sometimes I extremely dislike being sensible and grown-up.

Here’s a little quilt I did about three years ago when we moved into this house. I loved the colors, and I’ve always been fond of elephants. I machine pieced it and hand quilted it, and it was to hang in our old plain colored bathroom. Fast forward to today, and after the painters completed the lovely shade of purple bathroom, it suddenly doesn’t go anymore. It goes perfectly in the living room. There is truly a place for everything, and a time for everything. I just try to cram too much stuff in a day.

My Elephant Quilt

I love this little guy. It adds a touch of brightness during this late winter time. Later today, I’m going to cut out the pieces for the beautiful Poppy Quilt and maybe get started on that in the next day or two. I also need to sandwich the Dahlia quilt for quilting. That will be easiest, since it doesn’t need any sewing together at all. It’d be great to get those both done during March. Working on them will be my reward for working on my book. Mental rewards are a great incentive, aren’t they? Food rewards are frowned upon anymore, but Mom used to promise dessert if we were “good.” We never knew what “good” meant, because we always had homemade chocolate chip cookies in the cookie jar. She baked them every week. The neighbor kids loved them. My nephew Don Kraft makes them every time he visits Omaha, on the last day in town. What a neat tradition, from such a neat guy.

Thank you so much for reading today! I will see you here tomorrow, and we’ll have more fun. Have a beautiful Friday.

Satisfying Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

This guy was singing his song so brilliantly this morning!

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

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

Sunshiney Saturday!

It looks as if Spring is teasing us again. Today and tomorrow may be near sixty degrees. Not six or sixteen, sixty! It’s below freezing now, but fooling with us. Hope you enjoy it, get outside for a walk at least. I should follow my own advice on that. It’ll be a good break from the task of the day. Can you guess?

First time wearing this “merch”. Thanks, I Create Daily!

I must say, I really enjoy writing every day. I love this part of the writing. If I hit a mark, I can uplift, encourage, teach, present a different point of view, make someone laugh, help someone who may want to learn more, and let people know I love them. We all can do that. A funny text, a phone call, a card for no reason, a “you know, I’m thinking of you.” We all need that outside interaction. It’s relatively simple to do this, blogging. I was fortunate to find WordPress. I am a fan of Quilters who use it for their communications, and when I checked it out, decided I’m in. When I’m closer to publishing, I’m going to add pages to the website/blog, then it will all be in one place. How good is that? I’m happy with it.

Today is a day I hope to spend six hours writing. Counting the blog. I woke today with a feeling of peace and comfort knowing I don’t have to leave the house at all. Yay! So I can delve in and create some more stories within the novel. Yesterday, I mentioned the character Katie would have seven brothers. She does, but she is NOT the middle child. Eight kids, no one is the middle. Silly me! She has four older brothers, three younger. There, I printed a correction. You remember the old wives tale? Girls are no good at math? Maybe that used to be the norm, but no longer. I know an increasing number of young women are becoming engineers, so I’m glad that misinformation has been put to rest.

One topic I want to write about here is a list of the top ten women who have influenced my life. In sitting down and making the list, I couldn’t narrow it down from twenty women and I was amazed! So I will write about the top ten women in the two sections my life is divided into: 1952-1982; and 1983-preesnt. I think the complete list is too much for one day’s blog, so I may pick a week and do three to five each day, and summarize the last day of the week. It’s still a thought, not a solid plan yet. More on this later.

Have you ever had a dog who loved to squeak the squeaky toys for five minutes straight at a time? Goldie loves to do this. I didn’t realize the tennis ball toys had a squeaker in them. She really goes to town on them. Right now, she’s circling my chair at the kitchen table, squeaking all the while. She wants to play. Tossing the ball into another area is one of her favorite things to go fetch. She is the first dog we’ve had that will actually fetch and bring the item back to whoever threw it. Took this long, from 1982 until now. She is a purebred lab, so I guess that may have something to do with it. I’m so glad the Babe wanted to get her this past October. It was a crazy, busy time in our life, but I think this pup gave Dan a sense of purpose. He was so depressed after losing Roxie last July, we had to do something. Roxie was a funny, naughty, crazy pup. She was scared of loud noises and thunder. She was needed extra understanding and love. She got it from us. So do Lexie and Goldie. We have this conversation with each other that states if something happened to one of us, the other will need a dog for companionship. It’s truer every day we live, now. The Babe will turn 70 in May. Since I’m his much younger wife, I’ll be 68 in May. Praying we have at least ten good years left with each other.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll be here tomorrow, hope to see you then! In the meantime:

Yes. I will!

Forever Friday!

A beautiful sunny afternoon is upon us here in Gretna, Nebraska. I took Mom to a balance session today. They had her work on a couple of weight machines today. She feels like the muscles from Brussels right now. Tomorrow, another feeling. She wasn’t intimidated, and I’m proud of her for trying. She has one session left, then in March starts individual therapy sessions for her back, twice a week. Not sure how my involvement shakes loose in that, we’ll see.

I started to read my friend, Shannon Schofield’s book, Perfectly Imperfect, today. Wow. She has it categorized as fiction, although it is her story, her life, and her traumas revealed. I’ve always wondered about families where the parents smoke weed, party hardy, and with other drugs, and have no limits. Sure, their kids can play outside for awhile, eventually the kids are wise to what the grown ups are doing, and it affects them. It has to. When my kids were little, I never even drank. I knew I was the one who had to get up with them the next day and never wanted to be hungover while doing it. I started to drink after my early thirties, and never had a problem with it. Some folks aren’t so lucky.

All I can say, is hold onto your hats, when you read Shannon’s book. I’m surprised she survived at all. God bless her. I hope she finds an audience and is successful with it. It’s a story that needs to be told. And it is a real eye opener. Get it from Amazon today!

Why not?

This Peanuts is so apt for where I am headed now. The publishers of the world will beat a path to my door as soon as I decide where the end is on my novel re-write. (HAH!) I’m maybe five or six chapters in, and it’s a job, keeping all the brothers straight. Katie is my main character, and she has seven brothers. Three older and three younger, she is the middle child. In most ways she is the oldest, seeing as her older brothers are all alcoholics who are not dependable when their Mom needs help. Only Katie and the three younger brothers are reliable. There is animosity among her older brothers for her, and they exhibit characteristics of the biggest chauvinistic pig you may know. Katie shares family stories with the them all, the older brothers argue with her over facts, and the younger brothers love to hear stories of their early lives and their grandparents. And how their Mom was before her alcoholism made her depressed, cynical, rude, and unhappy. The gist of the story is family curses can be broken. Cycles can be broken open and freedom exists on the other side. Katie has done it, and is helping others find the way out. It is a story of survival, seeking, strength, and stamina. Katie does all that and more.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be great days for writing. No real plans, and nothing pressing to do. I hope to catch up a couple more chapters and add depth to these crazy brothers my character Katie has. What a group! I have know people with some of these characteristics. I’m taking all the worst ones and making separate people of them. It will make sense later, when you read the book, it will all ebb and flow. Life is full of lessons, my friends. Katie has learned many of them.

Have a fun Friday night, thanks for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, see you then!

Thoughtful Thursday

Hi, friends. We had a wonderful time last night with our friends at the VFW. I even won a couple of steaks. Today,the Babe had a doppler on his left carotid artery which had the endarterectomy last year. It’s still 100% clear, and his right one is still less than 50% blocked. All systems GO until next year! Thank God for the UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, where our doc referred him.

To tell you the truth, I’m not up to par today. Monday I did a lot of walking and scouring the grocery store for Mom. It kicked up some pain again. This time, it’s rib pain, from my scoliosis. It takes a bit for it to calm down, and I’m not there yet. Lots of heating pad time, along with the usual meds. Ugh! I just hope the pups are good girls for me. The Babe has a VFW Post meeting tonight, so hoping they are good.

Look what I received today from Amazon!

My friend, Shannon Schofield’s first book. I’m so excited for her!

Shannon worked tirelessly last summer and fall on her book. She worked on it during a challenge from our I Create Daily group. I am honored to call her a friend, and so proud of her for achieving this. It gives me hope, and makes me think I can do this, too. I’m eager to begin reading her story. This book is available on Amazon, paperback or Kindle. Buy it and read along with me!

The next week will be pretty busy, the Babe and I both have appointments, and so does Mom. I seriously need to get rid of this rib pain before Monday when we both need to hit the ground running. And Sunday is Parents Show for Addison’s Competition Dance. It will be a wait, she is in eight dances this year, I believe. She has developed her skills very well and we’re both looking forward to watching her again this year.

We went to a place to eat lunch we’ve been to before. I’ve learned to not order any potatoes except fries, because unless they fry it in grease, their potatoes are not hot. Temperature is key for baked and mashed potatoes. Last week, I had to send them back to be nuked. I hate to do that, but sometimes you have to. If butter won’t melt, the potatoes are not hot enough. Not even warm enough. Please get it right. Your patrons appreciate it.

The responses were overwhelming for the Poppy Quilt. I’ll get started within the next week on that. It will be a fun fill-in project. It’s my art besides writing for now. I’m so glad to have more interests and hobbies than time. I think it ensures I’ll always be busy and productive if I keep chipping away at the projects. It’ll be a creative and good life. Any time wasted is a commodity you cannot recover. Ever. I don’t like that as an option. I love to look at progress as I create things. I also love to enjoy the finished product, whatever it may be. I feel blessed to be able to create things, it is a stress reducer, time filler, and learning opportunity.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it very much. Please return tomorrow, I’ll be here then. It’ll be great to have you back again.

Love this saying.