Monday Morning

What a beautiful sight outside! I still love fluffy snow. It looks wonderful, magical, and almost romantic. The wonders of nature amaze me every day. Every day I live, I try to find something that is wondrous, beautiful, and majestic. My God is that way.

Later today, we’re going to our daughter’s home for dinner with family. Our son from DC will be in town, it’ll be nice to see him. It’s been over a year since we saw him and his family. They will remain home, quarantining and distance learning. President Trump will do a stopover at the airport tomorrow, so they must prepare things for him. He won’t stay long, just speak and leave. That’s fine. Unsure if Blake will leave tomorrow or Wednesday. Family is everything, and we make the most of the times like these. Sending hugs to those who couldn’t be here.

I’m really dug into reading Kaye Gibbons’ book, Emma Foster. It’s a sad but very good story. A young girl overcomes terrible circumstances to rise above her plight in life. Her father, a terrible alcoholic, her mother dies, the estranged grandmother interferes every way she can, and the little girl, Emma, matter-of-factly handles everything. She is brutally honest. It is amazing how mature she is. She has to be. It speaks to how people can rise above their circumstances. Something told this little girl how to stay safe from her father. He was a beast. She often wished him dead. She thought of killing him, as if that were her only way out of this terrible situation. It resolved itself, thanks to her teachers noticing how Emma came to school after her mother’s death. She had bruises on her, and she told exactly how they happened. She hid from her father often and had little to eat.

The story takes place in the South, and the usual white attitudes exist in her mind about “colored” people. She questions the segregation, as her best friend is a black girl. The girls’ family is kind to her. She wonders why she shouldn’t “mix” with them. They are good people. I hope to finish it this afternoon and start its sequel, “All the Life Around Me, by Ellen Foster.” The writing takes you away. I want to learn how to do that. Excellent advice from Sam, my writing coach.

Only one of my to be read piles

Over the winter, I hope to find some bookcases I like for our family room. I have not unpacked my books from the move four years ago. I will donate many, such as quilt books I’ll never use, novels I doubt I’d read again. Even donating things like these will free up space and make me more settled. We rarely use the boxes of toys for the grandkids. They’re all outgrown.

I have a mat for the floor, which looks like a little town. Kayla will receive that, and I’ll probably send her a few little cars for it. Gavin used to set it on our coffee table, and pay with it. Roxie used to steal a car from it and run. Gavin called her SWIPER. He laughed once he decided he couldn’t get her to stop. She let him have the car. She just wanted a little adventure, I guess.

Yes, time is fleeing too quickly. One personal mission is for me to make more time in the day. I need to find time to get more things accomplished. Most people waste some time. The mindset is, “I can do whatever I want, I’m retired.” True, but will you finish things you want to? Will you explore all the nooks and crannies of the earth you want to see? If not, better get started. I’d hate to have you miss it, too. Let’s move forward, even if we are retired!

Thank you for reading today. There will be more tales tomorrow, and I hope to see you here then. Don’t eat any yellow snow! Just be careful out there. Don’t break anything. Please. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Sunny Saturday

Despite lingering smoke from the wildfires, it is a pretty day outside. It will get hot today and tomorrow, then be more fall-like. I’m ready. So is the Babe. I do like to get the windows and screens cleaned before winter. Maybe in the next couple days. We’ll see. It’s pretty easy with the product from Windex, attach it to the garden hose, then rinse the soap off. I do like clean windows.

The VFW Post 2503 new website is up and working well. I have some new updates for it and hope I can get the hang of how to do everything. If you’d like to see, here is where you need to go. The Babe’s brother-in-law, Brad did the heavy lifting, and I get to learn maintenance. It’s WordPress, just like my blog, so some things will be new to me, some things won’t. I believe it’s a good site with lots of info to be added. Baby Steps!

I wish my daughter and son and law would let us post photos of our beautiful grandkids. I ordered Canvas prints to hang in the living room. Little Cody is such a little man! His reddish blonde hair is finally starting to lay down, up until now, it would stick straight up. He’s trying to walk and has two teeth at the age of 9 months. He is so cute. Miss Kayla Jolee does funny face poses for all of her pics. Her picture is of her standing in her mama’s hiking boots, bent at the knees, hands on thighs, with a toothy grin, eyes scrunched closed, hair messed up. How about that? I think she plays a lot with funny faces, running, and being generally goofy. I cannot wait to see them again!

We have some more pictures to hang, and today we may also hang my Kimonos. They are beautiful. I can’t wait to share them with you. I’m picturing my dad, a young soldier, buying one for my mom when he was on the way home from Korea. It was still in the paper sack it came in, with tissue paper that disintegrated when I picked it up. It’s probably close to 70 years old. Wow. A good example of holding on to something and never using it. That sort of thing has always made me kind of sad. Finally, it will be hung to be enjoyed and admired.

Use the good dishes. Wear perfume every day. Eat the Pie/Cake/Donut/Dessert. I really believe God intended us to enjoy the things He’s given us. Denial is good for times of penance, but not every day for the rest of your life. No, I’ve not lived through a depression, but I’ve seen some recessions and bad economic times. I’m not a tightwad, but I’m not a big spender, either. I have no problem saying how happy seeing certain things makes me. Little babies, toddlers, old people, newlyweds, The Babe, The grandkids, our kids, my brother, grown up cousins, their kids, God’s been so good to me.

Words to apply every day.

More scene-writing today. I’ve always got writing to do. I feel I had a good, productive session yesterday, and hope to duplicate it today. Some things are finally clicking. Yay!

I love how this turned out – finally!

When I finish quilting a couple more quilts, it’ll be time to piece some more. I like to keep ahead of them, right now I have four more to quilt. One to go above our bed, two for the stairwell, one when winter comes, another for spring. One for my chair or the family room in the spring or summer. By then, there should be another king sized quilt made. I’m still cutting one for winter, a snowflake quilt. I think that’ll be my December piecing project, as I’m taking the month off from coaching with Sam.

What might be your plan for the fall? I have some in the house stuff to do and maybe some transplanting in the yard. We always have longer lists than what we can accomplish, don’t we? Part of becoming older, our brains still thing we’re young and capable, our bodies tell us otherwise!

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Dream big! Use the good china, ok? You’re certainly worth it. Be kind to yourself, and to others. Give a kid a chance. Give yourself a break. Let’s cooperate and be courteous. Wash up, Show up, and Mask up. We’re not through this yet. And, get a flu shot. It could save your life.

Sunny Saturday

Despite lingering smoke from the wildfires, it is a pretty day outside. It will get hot today and tomorrow, then be more fall-like. I’m ready. So is the Babe. I do like to get the windows and screens cleaned before winter. Maybe in the next couple days. We’ll see. It’s pretty easy with the product from Windex, attach it to the garden hose, then rinse the soap off. I do like clean windows.

The VFW Post 2503 new website is up and working well. I have some new updates for it and hope I can get the hang of how to do everything. If you’d like to see, here is where you need to go. The Babe’s brother-in-law, Brad did the heavy lifting, and I get to learn maintenance. It’s WordPress, just like my blog, so some things will be new to me, some things won’t. I believe it’s a good site with lots of info to be added. Baby Steps!

I wish my daughter and son and law would let us post photos of our beautiful grandkids. I ordered Canvas prints to hang in the living room. Little Cody is such a little man! His reddish blonde hair is finally starting to lay down, up until now, it would stick straight up. He’s trying to walk and has two teeth at the age of 9 months. He is so cute. Miss Kayla Jolee does funny face poses for all of her pics. Her picture is of her standing in her mama’s hiking boots, bent at the knees, hands on thighs, with a toothy grin, eyes scrunched closed, hair messed up. How about that? I think she plays a lot with funny faces, running, and being generally goofy. I cannot wait to see them again!

We have some more pictures to hang, and today we may also hang my Kimonos. They are beautiful. I can’t wait to share them with you. I’m picturing my dad, a young soldier, buying one for my mom when he was on the way home from Korea. It was still in the paper sack it came in, with tissue paper that disintegrated when I picked it up. It’s probably close to 70 years old. Wow. A good example of holding on to something and never using it. That sort of thing has always made me kind of sad. Finally, it will be hung to be enjoyed and admired.

Use the good dishes. Wear perfume every day. Eat the Pie/Cake/Donut/Dessert. I really believe God intended us to enjoy the things He’s given us. Denial is good for times of penance, but not every day for the rest of your life. No, I’ve not lived through a depression, but I’ve seen some recessions and bad economic times. I’m not a tightwad, but I’m not a big spender, either. I have no problem saying how happy seeing certain things makes me. Little babies, toddlers, old people, newlyweds, The Babe, The grandkids, our kids, my brother, grown up cousins, their kids, God’s been so good to me.

Words to apply every day.

More scene-writing today. I’ve always got writing to do. I feel I had a good, productive session yesterday, and hope to duplicate it today. Some things are finally clicking. Yay!

I love how this turned out – finally!

When I finish quilting a couple more quilts, it’ll be time to piece some more. I like to keep ahead of them, right now I have four more to quilt. One to go above our bed, two for the stairwell, one when winter comes, another for spring. One for my chair or the family room in the spring or summer. By then, there should be another king sized quilt made. I’m still cutting one for winter, a snowflake quilt. I think that’ll be my December piecing project, as I’m taking the month off from coaching with Sam.

What might be your plan for the fall? I have some in the house stuff to do and maybe some transplanting in the yard. We always have longer lists than what we can accomplish, don’t we? Part of becoming older, our brains still thing we’re young and capable, our bodies tell us otherwise!

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Dream big! Use the good china, ok? You’re certainly worth it. Be kind to yourself, and to others. Give a kid a chance. Give yourself a break. Let’s cooperate and be courteous. Wash up, Show up, and Mask up. We’re not through this yet. And, get a flu shot. It could save your life.

Fall Festiveness and Memories

Fall is a favorite time to decorate in the house. I suppose it comes from my knowing the snow will fly in a few months (or should fly) and once the leaves are down, the outside turns dusky, dark, and dank by five p.m. once CDT is over. And I do just love the way it all looks. Yes, even pumpkin flavored tea is on the shelf in the pantry. Sipping hot tea makes me feel all wise and librarianish. Lol.

I am ready for jeans and sweatshirts, leather boots, (gosh, I miss wearing high heels!) and a warm scarf. It seems as if we get to that point each year like we’ve never been there before. Each year, the seasons bring something new. This year, some say, it will be a super-flu bug, a Flu-Corona-20, if you will. Whatever it is, I’m getting a shot for it. I always get a flu shot, and so does the babe. It’s kind of careless to not. I know, some folks claim they become ill from it – often, it doesn’t take effect until two weeks later. In those two weeks, if you get the flu, it’s because of that lag in between the time of exposure and the time the shot kicks in.

This was Tyler Perry‘s acceptance speech for the Governor’s award at the Emmy’s last night. I did not watch the program, but was glad to hear something about my hobby. I saw this earlier today on the Facebook page of Pat Sloan. Pat is a well known quilter, designer, teacher, and such a fun quilter to follow. I selected WordPress because of her; I’ve spent a number of years learning from her through her blog, and I liked what I saw. Of course, hers is full of great stuff, and she has wonderful free patterns all the time. If you want to learn, check Pat out.

Yes, we all have quilts that are our lives. Some are torn and tattered, indicating they either weren’t cared for well or they have been used beyond their time. Some are pristine and beautiful, not allowed to be touched. They live in a temperature controlled atmosphere, and rarely see the light of day, for fear they will fade in the sun. I have made quilts for people and tell them I want them to use them. The quilts I made for Mom’s three sisters were each made for them, their personality, their beliefs, or something beautiful that made me think of them or some experience I had with them in their lives.

Now, Mom doesn’t want a quilt. She says she’s not “a quilt person.” I have to remember, the first afghan I ever made was for her. After all, she watched Frankie while I went to class. It has never been used. It used to sit on her antique rocking chair. She has given that to my baby brother, and I don’t know where the afghan is. I imagine it will find its way back to my house someday. All the afghans I’ve made (well over 50, I think), I’ve never made one for me. Strange, isn’t it? I’ll have to remedy that someday.

So after all is said and done, I will probably make her a quilted jacket from a sweatshirt and fabric. I have wild animal fabrics to use on it. I’d probably better get started with that. At 91, she won’t be here forever. So she’ll have a different kind of a quilt. But she’ll get one. Haha!

You know, I know some folks are anti-RGB strictly because of her stance on abortion. I have to look at the whole career of such a woman, though. I shudder to think what my life would have been like if she had not championed the causes of women. I was not on the “women’s lib” bandwagon early on, I quickly got on board, though for equality. I had credit although I hadn’t worked in over twelve years, I could open a bank account in my name, I was able to earn a very good living in the IT World, because it was one arena your technical knowledge determined what you were paid. I was equal to a man who did the same work. My life has been very blessed because of the good this tiny, mighty woman did. Thank you, RBG, for standing for me before I realized I needed your help. I am forever grateful.

For too long, decisions were made about my life that didn’t include my opinion. Thank God those days ended.

Maya Angelou has been credited with saying something like “Don’t be hard on yourself what you accepted before you knew better. Once you know better, though, you need to make changes.” I did. Boy, it was not a popular decision. And oh, how family can judge. It was lonely to become divorced in 1982. I lost so many of my favorite people, the ex’s siblings. All these 38 years later though, we have a good relationship, for which I’m grateful. The nieces and nephews have all become adults, parents, and some are grandparents. So very grateful to still have them all in my life.

What will you do with the rest of the day? I’m finishing a project I’ll reveal tomorrow. I hope you all have a beautiful Monday, it’s half over already! Make it count, make yourself shine, and I hope you are blessed today. Find the goodness. Listen to the music of life. Ponder what your life quilt looks like. Be kind, be thoughtful, be aware of others, be courteous. Your quilt will be much more beautiful.

Thank you for reading, see you tomorrow!

Saturday Sensibility

The world has been rocked by many things, one being the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I admire much of what she has done, and think she is a good role model for girls and boys. Boys can learn to accept a girl that is smart, educated, savvy, intelligent, confident, and realize they add much more to life than someone who is simply physically appealing. I simply think if they learn to appreciate a girl like that when they are young, they will come to appreciate her even more when they are older. And wiser. Bless RBG and her family.

It was my honor to be invited to the Ribbon Cutting at Victory Apartments yesterday in Omaha. The program was informative, and the speakers were good. I cannot wait to do more work with gathering donations for them, thank you Margie Smith, for letting our groups at the VFW Post 2503 assist!

My high school graduating class experienced a big loss this week. One well-liked, wonderful gal passed away. I do not know what the cause of death was, I just know from the outpouring on Facebook, she leaves quite an empty space in the earth. She had a family, a husband of 40 years, and a nursing career that cared for many people during her life. She was a lot of fun in high school, although I didn’t hang out with her people. We should all strive to make the world a better place, just like she did. RIP, Barb. Hugs and prayers for your family.

These times are different, difficult at best. I’m dismayed by folks who are sure the sky is falling. I am not one who looks through rose colored glasses in a make-believe world. I was raised to think and anticipate cause and effect. Yes, things can go badly at any time, I’m enough of a realist to know that. I do believe, deep down, if we were to be obliviated for being sinful, it would have happened long before this.

I feel bad for the people who are suffering from so much anxiety over the state of things. I have concerns. At this time, I’m pretty busy living and trying to make the world better to wile away with anxiety that is crippling. That’s not a judgment, it’s just saying I found a way to quit worrying and impacting the quality of my life. The more I worried (as I was taught growing up), the less I could do. Once I learned to give it to God, things changed dramatically. I think there is a point where choices must be made on how you will spend your energy. Will the worry and anxiety help anything? No, it won’t. Will participating in the world help? Yes, as long as you stay willing to accept an outcome that may be other than what you have in mind. Participating in life doesn’t guarantee an end result that matches your idea of what should go on.

We, as mere humans, don’t know enough to know what is the best outcome. God only knows that. Want to make him laugh? Tell him your plans. Seriously. He has the time. He’ll love you anyway. Sometimes a challenge presents itself to me, and I say, “Oh God, what is it you think I need to learn NOW?” I’m grateful He’s communicating with me. You’re never too old to learn to listen. Never.

Go out and share your own unique light with the dark world. Protect your light, so you shine it where it will grow not diminish. When you share in the right place, it will energize you, not deplete you. I learned that the hard way, too. I’m glad I finally know. Go out and be a Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Be a Barb. Be a man or woman who cares deeply. Be someone who shares their gift and makes the world a better, more hopeful place. Let’s meet again tomorrow, ok? I’m so glad you were here. You make my dreams more attainable.

Suddenly It’s Sunday Again!

Wow! What a week! It’s been the longest short week I’ve had for quite a long time. It was a great one, though. How about for all of you? I hope you’re all well and able to enjoy this beautiful Sunday, wherever you are.

The Babe and I had a big list of stuff to do this week. Probably 75% of it was done. But even at that, washing windows was not in the cards with all the much needed rain. Probably this week. I once had a house with 36 windows. They were old, cheap combination windows I cleaned twice a year. What a job! Now, instead of having to take the parts out, I can take out the screens, and use a product that hooks to your garden hose. You can clean the window, switch the product off, then rinse. Five minutes, then give the screen a shot of suds and rinsing, it’s all clean and ready to put back in when dry. Since we have a ranch style home, you can squeedge the water off or dry with a cloth. You can see again!

We went to the Post this morning for the first Sunday breakfast in a long time, and we enjoyed a good meal for $8. They did well, and it shuts down at Noon. We had breakfasts once a month for quite awhile, then stopped because not a lot of people were coming up, and that was before COVID. Good call to start them again. A new group of helpers makes the work go well.

Today, I will put the finishing touches on my stories of origin. It’s been a fun project and I’ve learned a lot. This has also been the week to unveil the new VFW Post 2503 website. The Babe’s brother in law Brad is a web designer, among other things, and he put it together for us. I’ve learned a lot more about WordPress this week, so that time has been so worth it. It’s been a fun as well as frustrating week. My stubbornness has kept me from calling him for help in figuring things out. Some things I still needed help with, but it took me back to my working days and the triumph of trouble shooting problems. A victory when you figure stuff out, for sure.

There will be a learning curve to keep going, and it’s ok. I’ve actually improved my website too, in case you didn’t notice. The new “Home” page has a bit about me and my headshot. I’ll need a new one since my COVID hair has grown almost shoulder length. I decided to keep the hair. I’ve missed it. I’ve had long hair most of my life, it’s sort of a signature. So what if it’s gray. No one cares anymore. Part of my brand, actually. “It’s Not Too Late, and I’m Not Too Old.”

The newest blog for the day is under “Today’s Blog” and a collection of all my blogs is available on the “Blogs at a Glance” page. There is a page to “Contact” me, and I’d sure like my followers to fill that out. I’ll keep e-mails to a minimum when they start, trust me! I haven’t published yet, but I’ll have your contact information for when I need it. I’d appreciate your help with that.

The other thing you could do under comments, is suggest a topic for the daily blog. If there is some part of writing you have questions about, I’d be glad to try and answer them. You’ll be helping me a great deal.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I have to say, I’m scouring the free photo sites and looking for typewriter photos. I marvel at how big they are now. I hated typing on an old manual typewriter, the very old kind, because I had to address envelopes for advertising. The darned shift hold wasn’t in too good of shape, so it would type off center of the line. Arghhh! Had to throw them away, the boss wouldn’t let me erase it and white out hadn’t been invented yet. It was embarrassing!

I have to say, owning one of these typewriters would be fun for messing around, but I’m personally very happy with the ease of computer software. It’s awesome. Easy to correct. I don’t know how many words I can type, but wow, it’s way better than the hunt and peck method most people seem to use now. I cannot imagine typing an entire 80K novel using the hunt and peck method!

Photo by Logan Fisher on Pexels.com

I love these Aspen trees in Colorado. This is the perfect time of year out there. Well, summer can be, too. I have never been there in the snow, or a blizzard, so I can’t speak to that. Our daughter Becky moved there in 2001, and it’s our favorite place to go, even before she lived there.

This afternoon will be spent re-reading my character origin stories, and maybe actually reading a book for pleasure. The deck is just perfect right now, so I plan to enjoy it. How will you spend your day?

Thank you for spending part of it with me. I’ll be here again tomorrow, and I hope to see you, too. Have hope in your hearts, we all need it now more than ever. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Safe. And definitely, Be Aware of all around you.

Manic Monday/History Lesson

The staff and I are hunkered in the bunker at Raabe Ranch. The Babe is talking to the workers, and we’re on our way to new flooring in the kitchen, entry, and both bathrooms upstairs. It will be quite a project, and I’m glad we hired it out. Twenty years ago, or even ten years ago, we would have done it ourselves. Yes, we’re both handy. But not at 68 and 70. We now leave it to the professionals. We’re good to pay someone. They can fix their boo-boos much quicker than we amateurs can.

Speaking of amateurs, I committed a boo-boo yesterday. I said you could share my blog posts on Instagram and Twitter. Not true. Instagram isn’t a possibility at all. But you can share these on Facebook and Instagram. Sharing is good, if you read a post that you like, love, or otherwise. If I write something you want to share, please, share away. There, I printed a correction, so we’re good, right? I’m learning these things as we go along, so thanks for bearing with me. As I’ve said before, I’m not too old, and it’s not too late!

I’m grateful to get to learn these new social media platforms. I love Facebook, but it doesn’t reach the demographic I need to reach. I think my book, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” is a tale that young women without much support in their lives could definitely relate to. Older women who have lived a life without support can certainly relate to it; and those who went for broke and defeated the odds of success will certainly relate to Katie. There are many Katies in the world, and they can succeed at making their decisions and steering their lives in a much different direction.

Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri on Pexels.com

In my volunteering at the VFW Post 2503, in addition to office tasks, I am their webmaster for site maintenance, and administrator on their Facebook page. They are great tools to get the word out to the members and friends about events, sharing information where Veterans can go for help, and where Veterans may gather for fun and recreation with other like minded people. I love the camaraderie among the men and women. Regardless of branch of service, they treat each other as brothers and sisters. Yes, there is a lot of joking Army vs. Navy, vs. Air Force, vs. Marines, vs. Coast Guard, etc., it’s all in good fun. We have yet to meet anyone from the Space Force.

One way to try and reach out to our younger Veterans of Foreign Wars is to become visible on Twitter and Instagram. I am working on setting up a presence for the Post on both of those. What is shared on Facebook will be shared across Twitter, and photos will all be shared on Instagram. The younger veterans need to have their place at our tables. They need to establish their network of friends and give back as the older folks have done.

That said, the challenge is to be grateful of the contributions of the older folks. The Post would certainly not have survived all these years (over 80!) if no one cared about it. We have one WWII Purple Heart member still living, and his health doesn’t permit him to come up and join us anymore. We miss him. He is a dear, sweet man. He also had to be a badass soldier. His Purple Heart was awarded for Anazio. 29,200 combat casualties were suffered by the Allied Soldiers. 4,400 dead, 18,000 wounded and 6,800 missing or captured.

The Battle of Anzio was critical in the outcome of WWII. Why? While the Germans were occupied to the south with Italy, the Allied forces were able to penetrate and enter France under a little campaign called D Day. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Terrible losses of men and equipment. But General George S. Patton, God Bless his salty soul, led men like my father and our members, to put the Germans where they belonged. Lesser men would have given up. Thank God they didn’t.

As we go forward, honoring those who built the Post we’re trying to keep vital, we need to seek out those Veterans, men and women, who have fought a desert war with people who live in terrible conditions. The desert is as stark as the Vietnam jungles were overgrown. Extreme conditions and an enemy that hides, morphs, and smiles at you while trying to beat you gets into your head after awhile. We want to honor the next generation of heroes. We need to tell them we’re grateful to them for keeping our freedoms intact. Do you have any suggestions for us?

As I prepare to have a staff meeting with the girls (Lexie and Goldie) about their whining, think for a moment about those people who secured our freedoms through the ages. Thank a Vet today. And tomorrow. It’s a beautiful thing for them. And it will be for you, too.

P.S. The dogs are whining 1 – They want to know what all the noise is upstairs, and 2 – They hate when the Babe leaves us. I do too, but we’ll survive. They don’t know that. I played some Chicago music (First Album), and as the horns took over, they sat down and were quiet for a few minutes. Time to turn the music up! Have a fabulous day. I will see you back here tomorrow. Thanks for reading. Be safe. Take Care. Give care.