Morning, Sunshine!

The weeks I have “homework” due for a conference with Sam, my book coach, I need to be working on the next homework in the four days before the Zoom meeting. I need to be refining my story, editing my next words, and have a head start before the meeting, a couple days of goofing off, then frantic activity. Remind me next time, ok?

I’m actually going to work on a quilt after this blog posts. Then tomorrow, I can get going on Chapter 3. My character Katie is going to be a busy girl, discovering her self-worth and finding her voice. It’s a lifetime of work, all condensed down to mere pages. I need to choose words carefully, make sure each one is the best I can find. I’m learning so much.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I adore sunflowers. I need to find my sunflower wreath for our front door, I think it’s in a storage bin in the basement. If it’s too mushed, I’ll just get a new one. It’s time for one, probably. One in, one out. Have you seen how many people are downsizing, getting rid of clutter, things they don’t use, finding out they don’t love most of their stuff. We’re doing our best. I’m the holder on, probably. The Babe lets go much easier than I do. I must say though, when we emptied his house before we got married, besides the new furniture he bought, he didn’t have many clothes at all, the ex took everything of value. It was a sad situation. I’m glad those years are so far behind. We’ve been over some mountains together. Lots of challenges.

I have two beautiful kimonos we’re hanging in our entryway. Our neighbor gave one to me for watching their daughter while they traveled back home, to China itself. It was a nice surprise. The other one is very old. Dad brought it back from his stint in Korea. I believe they went by boat in those days. A total of over 6,000 miles. How long and boring that had to be. I doubt he cared, though. He was going home to his wife and baby son. I have bamboo to hang them from, and need to press the kimonos (carefully) before hanging them up. They should be beautiful. Photos to follow!

I’m hoping to spend time outdoors this afternoon, as it’s going to be a beautiful day. All week will. Some lows may even be below 50 degrees. I’m not ready for that as of yet. The flowers are not nearly finished up yet, either. I have a new hooded sweatshirt to wear, that I’m eager to share with you, but I’ll save the surprise for the first day I need it. It will be selfie worthy. In the meantime, please have a great day. Know I appreciate your time, and hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back again tomorrow, and will see you then. Be safe out there.

Fabulous Friday

It is really a beautiful day outside. I swear God sends cold fronts through the humid and hot areas like Nebraska to give us a break and make us feel like living again. It improves the general feeling of your soul and gives your mind a break. Still, I like the four seasons. Four “alleged” seasons. It seems like we skip a lot of spring and a portion of fall many times. Hope there is comfort to deal with the rest of the pandemic we are having.

Where we live in Gretna, it is very close to Omaha. The VFW Post we attend is in Omaha. We have concerns about the possible mask ordinance Omaha was considering. It appears the health department has backed off from enacting one. I say it’s a shame, the legalities were questioned and they asked people to use their best judgment. With those rights comes responsibilities. To me, it makes sense to wear a mask. We do not often make the best judgments. Some use motorcycle helmets as an example. I favor helmets, seat belts, and wearing masks. Yes, it’s annoying. So are helmets and seatbelts. But I’m safer using them.

My asthma doc ordered me to have a COVID test before my appointment with her last week. I thought I would test negative and did. I believe curtailing my social activity and social distancing, which includes wearing a mask when shopping is helping. Please think long term on the outcome, it may make more sense.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In addition to working on my Poppies Quilt, I’m devouring a couple more books for writers: Write Great Beginnings, and Point of View. It appears there is more competition than ever to attract a reader who will read a book. It also appears there are fewer who start a book who actually finish one. I have only quit reading maybe 4 books in the last ten years. When I buy them, I think it’s a terrible waste to not finish. One was borrowed from the library, a biography by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Brian is a genius and has had mental illness for nearly his entire life. It’s a very sad story, and one that concludes well. There are better versions written, believe me.

In addition to having a hook to attract a reader, you have to do a lot to keep them reading. Each chapter ending should make them just want to keep reading. I love books that do that. They are easy to read and quick. No time wasted. Now to learn how to do exactly that.

I have some real characters to introduce once I build them. It is such fun to be able to do that. There is something I read to make sure to appeal to the theater of the reader’s mind. What does that mean? Simply put, have you ever enjoyed a book more than a movie? Yes, an author needs to write so well the images in our minds are vivid and our imaginations can take us through the story. That’s the challenge.

Conflict is the center of fiction. Intensifying the troubles that stand in a main characters way. The problems are big, and he or she drive the story with their decisions. Because they chose this, something else happens. I’m told it gets easier the more I understand it. I trust Sam Tyler, my writing coach. She has made this endeavor so good for me. I’m so lucky to know her from the Nebraska Writers Guild. She is a writer and coach. Very good with critique. Asks hard questions. All with good reason. If I can’t answer the questions, how can I write my answers to them?

AHA! There it is! This is also a great living example of why/how to outline everything (major events) in the story you want to tell. Sure, you have it all in your head, but trust me, your memory isn’t that great some (most) of the time. As I write, other ideas spill out and I can end up in a completely different area than I wanted to be. I’m learning to be a planner, not a pantster. A pantster is writing by the seat of your pants. When you think you have a great idea, it’s easy to think you don’t need to plan anything. I can be foolish at times!

Just as maps are not always up to date in Google, our outlines can leave a bit to be desired. We need to be open (always) to modifying the outline. Even if you’re well into the story. Lots to think about. Lots to wade through.

And There You GO!

Off to work on another unrelated issue. I’m helping get information together for the new VFW Post 2503 website. It should be a fun project. The one we have is pretty outdated and cumbersome to work on. I’ll be learning some WordPress tricks I don’t know and will benefit tremendously from it. Thank you for taking time to read the blog today. I appreciate it, and hope to see you tomorrow. Stay Safe, my friends. I want you all with me the rest of this journey. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out There!

Masterful Monday

Can that be right? Masterful is defined as imposing one’s will on others. It’s being domineering, imperious, imperative, and peremptory. Huh? It does sound pretty unflattering, even to call Monday. But I don’t mean it in a bad way. My intent is all that matters here, and my intent is good. It’s a good thing. How so?

I do not want to be a person who regrets not doing things they always wanted to do. I will publish a novel and some children’s books. Before I don’t have the opportunity any more. In order to do that, I need to have my ambitions and my skills and my purpose defined, mapped out, and get with the work. In a way, I’m imposing my will to do this on my ability to procrastinate. I’m making it the most important thing to accomplish in the next couple of years. Seriously. It’s got to be first. The hitch is here: it can’t be more important than spending time with the Babe, our families, our grandkids. Moderation is the key. And work like hell in the block of time I can spend on it every day.

Some Days!

Song of the Day: “I’m Going to Love You Through It,” by Martina McBride. I’ve been the woman waiting for that phone call. I’ve been the woman who hung up and thought, “Shit, now what?” It was terrible calling the Babe at work and telling him. He cried out, “No!” And he said, “I’m on the way home.” I felt terrible telling him on the phone. We always know when each other is upset, by the tone of voice. I couldn’t hide it at all. No, I’ll never play poker.

The month was October. Boy, was I aware of Breast Cancer by the end of the month! My mammogram came back needing an ultrasound. I went to have that done. The radiologist and nurse told me, yes, it’s a definite lump, and I’d need a needle biopsy. All through this, I was thinking about Dan’s ex-wife, Sandy. She was just diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. She had immediate chemo and radiation. We were establishing a friendship, as she was no longer working. I wasn’t either. It was wonderful talking with her about her kids with Dan. We were blessed to be able to be friends.

The Babe went with me to the biopsy. He told them he was going to be in the room with me while they did it. They tried telling him, “You might want to wait outside.” He wouldn’t hear of it. ‘I was in Vietnam, so nothing bothers me.” They talked throughout the whole procedure, and as I placed my right arm above my hand, the Babe took hold of it. He didn’t let go until the doc and nurse left the room. I knew he’d love me through it. There was never any doubt about that.

The doc seemed almost cocky, though. She said the three samples didn’t look like cancer at all. I chose not to believe her. The Babe, however, believed her. So much that he was dumbstruck when the news came. I wanted to scream at her. How could she give us false hope like that? Wow. I hope she never did that again to another woman and her family. I was angry for how hurt the Babe was.

Next step was surgeon, he was quite thorough. The lump(s) were too small to be felt, trust me, everyone tried. To get clean margins, he removed enough tissue that was baseball sized. Ponder that. I’m pretty lopsided, but not bad, didn’t have reconstruction. I was in my late 50s, and I’m so fortunate to be an eleven year survivor. I don’t like the fact the medication added 30 pounds to me while removing all the estrogen from me. I’d had a hysterectomy at 39, so I was already a “quart low.” Or more. I don’t know. It’s not ever been the same, but I’m so grateful to God. Screw the 30 pounds.

Tell Your Much Needed Story

My friend Sandy, mother of the Babe’s children, lost her battle. Her sister also had the same cancer, she is gone now, too. Oral cancer claimed my sister in law, Laura. All around us, it’s been a battlefield. How it picks and chooses is a mystery. Sounds strange, though, I have always felt I would have breast cancer. I don’t know if you’d call it a premonition or not, but I was not surprised at all when I got the call. Hard as it was to tell the Babe, it was the worst to tell my baby brother, Tim, all 6+ feet of him, lean and lanky, tattooed man. He is the kindest person I’ve known. I’m lucky he’s my best friend after the Babe. He was still reeling from his loss.

Somehow, we all made it this far. And we’ll keep going. It’s what’s in the plan for our lives, I believe. Without being cocky myself, I do find it easier to see the signs God gives me. They are everywhere. See if you can tell where your signs are. They are things you would never have considered, they must be acted upon with logical thoughts and plans, not reckless abandon. While it might be God’s plan for us, we have to do our part. Just practice, it will come to you.

Thank you for all your support and reading. You’re giving me a boost that is important. We’re getting closer and closer to that year mark for blogging. It’s kind of fun to look back, and see how the writing has changed, and how many things I discover about WordPress. I’m a work in progress, and it feels so good! Wash up, Mask up, Be Kind, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

“It’s Not Too Late and I’m Not Too Old!

Silent Sunday

Well, judging by the way the street looks, some folks had fun last night. It wasn’t our dogs, that’s for sure. Lexie spent the night in our closet the past two or three nights. She wasn’t afraid of fireworks until last year. One year ago today, Roxie and Lexie got out of our yard. One of the neighbors must have entered our yard to retrieve a firework or something. They left the gate open. Both dogs escaped, someone lit a firecracker, and Roxie (who was petrified of them) ran into the highway and was killed by a car. Here’s the tribute to her, such a naughty girl but such a lover. We miss you, Sweetie. Wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge with Shadow, Mocho, and Mollie. You’ll be in good company.

A year later and we still miss her. The Babe’s heart was breaking the rest of last summer. In September, he had a heart cath that didn’t heal properly. Wound Vac time, complete with Visiting Nurse every other day. In the middle of that, he decided we needed a friend for Lexie. She was just laying around all the time, sleeping. She wouldn’t go outside without us. The Vet said he’s seen dogs mourn for years. (Dab at my tears in eyes right now). How she must have missed her sister!

2014. Roxie and Lexie. Beautiful Blue Eyes!

So now, we have this beautiful Yellow Lab. She’s about 50 pounds by now. Big paws that carry her up and down the steps on the deck to play fetch. First dog we’ve had that would fetch. Must be the breeding in her. The old dogs would just stand and stare at us. “Get it yourself!” was their attitude. She used to have a taste for landscaping cloth, didn’t eat it, just tore it up. Hope she’s over that by now. She still needs to remember to go potty, but she’s filling a void. A big void. I think Roxie would have liked her.

Goldie, with her favorite pastime.

Gavin loves her. He tells us frequently how he misses Roxie. I’m printing all the pictures from all the dogs we’ve had since Gavin has been alive. I’m going to put them in a photo album for him. He’ll be able to look at the pictures and be happy. He’ll get his own dog sometime probably soon. He is just such a dog lover, and I applaud that. Kids need pets. They really need dogs. Something to take care of, to learn responsibility.

Right now, I love how quiet it is on the street. It will hopefully stay that way all day long. There are some strange cars parked all over the place. Lots of people had house parties and didn’t socially distance. I’m going to wear a mask when I go to the store, so maybe that will help this pandemic resolve and I can go to Colorado to meet our new grandson. He was born in January, how I wish we could go now!

Today is the day I dot i’s and cross t’s to make sure my works are ready for my book coach, Sam. I need to send them off to her tonight for tomorrow’s deadline. We have a Zoom meeting on Thursday, and I can’t wait! I will do book stuff today and tomorrow is a Gavin day. We’ll have fun, we always do.

Enjoy the quiet today – except for the leaf blowers the pyromaniacs are using to clean up the street now. So many people can’t operate a broom anymore. They’d rather lose hearing than do sweep. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Tomorrow, I’ll see you back here again. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Wash up. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be empathetic. Someone might really need you to be. And that, it will be good for both of you.

Wed – nes – day.

It was a little cool (57 degrees!) while the Babe and I had coffee on the deck early this morning. Just enough chill until the sun rose above the treeline. It felt as if it will be a glorious day. And it is. Give this a listen. I’ve heard it twice in the past week, and I believe it bears discussion here.

Treat the Janitor with as much respect as you do the CEO. He (or she) may have a much better idea of what really goes on.

This man is so wise. And wise to know where he learned the most important things in life – from a third grade dropout. So glad to know he and his brothers had enough respect and honor for his father to know the man was far more intelligent than his schooling indicated. I’ve always felt this way about people I know and love.

My husband is a high school graduate, and didn’t like school. He learned by OJT through his career at Watkins Concrete Block, Inc., in Omaha. He was a diesel mechanic for many years. When I met him, he was starting up his ladder, and we both rose, step by step, cheering each other on. He retired as Labor Foreman and Facilities Manager. He has extensive accounting experience and it shows in his work as Quartermaster at VFW Post 2503. He learned by doing.

He always was a boss who considered the tribulations of his workers in his advice to the higher ups. Things that don’t matter in the eyes of management like they do in the eyes of the worker bees. Don’t increase Health Insurance premiums the first of the month. Most guys had to pay their rent or house payments. It makes sense, and his guys never learned all of the ways he looked out for them. He was a combination boss and older brother or Dad to them. Part of why I love him is the way he treats everyone. He’s no pushover, however. Do your job, don’t cut corners, earn your pay. Not that hard. But necessary. Even more so in today’s world.

I’ve seen some impactful videos of folks like Condoleezza Rice discussing the status of America today. She has some great advice for all of us. And a young black fellow, who happens to be a conservative , discussing BLM, voting, and racism with a group of his peers. It was quite enlightening. They learned from him, about how to look at issues instead of only skin color when voting. It was one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. I like the civil discussion. This is what we need. Find Your Broom, folks.

And this example. It was a commencement speaker who talked about the smartest man in the world, his father. The man had a third grade education, but he was more intelligent than anyone about living. It lifted my spirits. I hope it does yours, too.

I was fortunate to have a janitor for a very good friend in the late 1980s. I worked for one of ConAgra’s “Independent Operating Companies”, ConAgra Pet Products, in Omaha, Ne. They occupied a long-since torn down building at 39th and Leavenworth. It was a Manufacturing and Distribution Company, and I started my I/T career there.

The janitor was named Henry. He was a rather famous person. If you look back on old Stevie Wonder Albums, (Songs in the Key of Life), you’ll see in the album notes the alto sax on songs # 5,6,10,13,and 17 was played by a cat named Hank Redd. Hank Redd, of Stevie Wonder band fame, is my friend, Henry. I haven’t seen him in probably 30 years. The year he played for our company Christmas party was the night I was at my father’s wake and rosary. I hated missing his performance, but he did let me borrow a tape. It was great.

He left the music world because of the craziness going on in the early 80s with drugs, etc. He said Stevie Wonder was a great human being, and he hated to leave him. But he had to. He came home to Omaha to take care of his mom and aunt. And he worked as a janitor. He would see me leave every day at lunchtime to go to the hospital and visit Dad. He’d tell me, “Be Strong.” And I could be. When I’d come back, he would be where I had to walk through the warehouse, sweeping his floor. He’d stop me and tell me I could get through this. I doubted him at the time, but he was right.

I’m forever grateful to Hank Redd, for his friendship, love and support during the worst time of my life. One night, I caught an old video about the making of “Songs in the Key of Life,” and I saw Henry playing. It was wonderful. How lucky I was to have that kind of friend at that moment in my life. Henry, if you’re still with us, maybe we’ll meet again some day. And if you’re already gone, I will meet you then. I’ll bring my broom.

Taco Tuesday and Other Truths

You won’t believe what I just did. After about 45 minutes of working on a pretty good blog (if I must say so myself!), I hit the wrong key and exited from the 700 word masterpiece I was nearly finished with. Much to my dismay. Wow. It’s vanished in cyberspace. Do I have any idea how to reconstruct it? Heck, now. So for now, it’s:

Take Two Tuesday and Other Truths

There is a reason anyone who uses a computer will always tell you: Save Often! Save Before Printing! Save After Changing! So I just committed the #1 mishap in computer use history. I hadn’t saved. So now, upwards and onwards, while saving often.

Today is another Gavin day for the Babe and I. We will pick him up and he’ll be contented to play with the dogs all afternoon. They like him, too. He has loved many of our dogs through his eight years, some he remembers, some not. But we have photos, and he asks questions about their personalities and quirks. He tells me, “Grandma, all dogs deserve love.”

I tell him back, “Yes, Gavin. And all kids deserve love, too.” And he agrees with me. A long time ago, a good friend of mine told me how kids do listen to what you tell them, even though it seems as if they have no idea you exist. They listen and you can see they did when you observe them growing up and being a leader with others. And she was right.

My friend passed away several years ago, and it was sad for everyone who knew her. She was a good lady, always there to help. Always there if you needed to talk. She had several types of cancer in her lifetime, which eventually took her. She was so strong, but what choice did she have? I’m so glad to have good memories of many talks with her. I still consult my mental pages of the Joyce Cross Alexander Book of Hope, Faith, and Love.

Confidence is a great asset if you have it. It is so eluding if you can’t stand up for yourself, either not caring to or by not knowing how. My lack was in not knowing how. There was a fine line between confidence and vanity, according to our elders in the 1950s and 1960s. Especially if you were a girl. I believe this is why many Moms lived lives through their children. Their children’s successes became theirs. Their children’s failures became theirs, also. (The term, “I have failed as a Mother,”) that TV character Beverly Goldberg uses is used for humor, but I believe there were a lot of Mom’s who felt they were failures. It’s a shame it took women so long to find their worth in additional areas besides motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is wonderful and fulfilling, as long as you raise those children to leave you. Your job is to teach them so they can leave you, as it should be.

I have to say, it’s harder to let go when you’re a single parent, in my opinion. I struggled for a long time trying to figure out, “So, what’s next?” I still had a good relationship with my three kids, but I hadn’t a clue what to do with all that time, despite all my hobbies. I finished college for me. I was happy to have earned a promotion at work, so I would finally have a great income. (Mom always said when you don’t need money anymore is when it comes your way.)

I became ill after that, and within six years could no longer work. At the age of 49. That was a blow to me. I turned it into gratitude, though, but being grateful I was well and working until my kids could go out on their own. After that I met the Babe. By the time I couldn’t work, we were married and my time was filled. I’ve picked up on a lot of my old interests and some new ones, too. Filling my time is no longer a problem.

So with all that, thank you for reading today. Keep good thoughts in your heart today. Be positive. Wash up, wipe down, wear masks. We’ll all come out on the other side of all this in a better place. I’ll see you tomorrow. And by then, maybe I’ll remember what I wrote about in the blog that is now forever lost, out there floating in the wasteland of the Internet, unfinished.

Thinking About Thursday

This Plant Needs Prayers!

Our beautiful pure-bred hunting dog must be a vegetarian or something. She mangled about four plants this week. I suppose it’s my fault for trusting her too much. She’s a puppy, still. And now, she’s sleeping peacefully on the floor by me while I write and it rains outside. All is right with the world.

She’s Sleeping Near the Bag of Coloring Supplies.

It started out a beautiful day, right now, the clouds are rolling in. It’s still a beautiful day and when the rain comes in, I’ll be grateful to not have to water. Even the plant Goldie tried to eat. Well, I guess she DID eat it.

I am so happy to have these two dogs for companionship. They are great company and comfort, even if they just nap in the room I occupy at any given moment. They are powerful creatures. They sense everything about us. Earlier this week, Lexie didn’t like Goldie tugging at a toy Gavin was going to throw for fetch. Lexie walked over in between them and gave a low, throaty growl, ever so quietly. Goldie let go. Gavin threw the toy, Goldie fetched, Lexie walked away and laid down again. She watches her people, and I love that about her.

I had a great conversation with my book coach Sam this morning. We have developed a plan for July and August. I’m taking a slightly different path in as much as I’m writing a different story over these two months, and will check in regularly to discuss the progress or lack thereof. If you’d like to read about Sam, here is a link to her website. You’ll hear a lot more about Sam and our work later in the summer.

Today is a day filled with significant birthdays! In addition to being Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday, it’s my older brother’s birthday and Dan’s younger sister’s birthday. Tom Jewell and Linda Ulmer, Happy Birthdays! Hope you both have a great day. Don’t need to wish Sir Paul one, after all, he’s Paul McCartney!

It seems the food industry is rebranding several products we have used for decades and probably not realized their packaging was racist. Aunt Jemima is having a makeover. I suppose it must be done. For years, I haven’t given it a thought using these products. I thought the updating done last was just like the Betty Crocker image on packaging, cook books, and other items. Were women offended by an old fashioned representation on the cook books? I don’t remember.

Uncle Ben and the cook on Cream of Wheat simply told me they were pictures on a package. No different than any other picture. And now, things will change. Will it change the violence in the streets? Most likely not. But those offensive photos will no longer be staring out from shelves in the stores. So be it.

Sometimes I can’t help but think there needs to come a point where we stop being offended. Where we stop pointing fingers and placing blame, and sit down and formulate a plan to just stop all of this. Both sides. Just stop it! Start respecting each other, just because God created all of us. Then work on being better humans. As you work together, and have frank discussions, you will grow in respect of each other. And yourselves. Do something that’s never been done. Admit there is fault on both sides. Quit being the stereotypes we all hate. The bad cop. The bad punk. The gangster. The professional rioter. Talk to each other. Talk with each other. Listen to each other. Listen to hear. Hear and act. Act in a rational manner. Make the change you want for everyone. Teach your children how to respect and behave, not show attitude and bad behavior.

We have plans to watch Gavin play ball over the weekend. Being a tournament, there are quite a few games to get in. And of course, the forecast is calling for a whole bunch of rain. It wouldn’t be a ball tournament without it!

I also have a lot of writing things to accomplish in the next three weeks. It will be a great way to spend time, and a great way to move forward with my projects. A plan and a partner work well together. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. It rained quite nicely here, and now appears to be dreary for the rest of the day. Perhaps dreary and rain is what my Goldie – relocated plants needs to come back to life. I’ll see you tomorrow! Stay safe. Wash your mask before you wear it again! Wash your hands. Be a good example. Teach your children well.

Fortunate Friday

This, is what I needed yesterday

Today is already a much better day than yesterday was. For some reason, I was ready to burn all my manuscripts, all of my “how to write” books, and just give up. I tried all my tricks to get out of the funk. Every single one. Except for the most important one. Give into the physical fatigue I was feeling and get a good night’s sleep. Guess what? It worked.

Each and every time I commit this crime of omission, I feel pretty silly. Why? Because I know the best thing for me, when things are out of control, is to just go to sleep. I wake up again and my soul is refreshed, the fight is still in me, and I’ll go slay the dragons of my mind again. Every time. I’ve known this for over forty years. Why did I forget it?

Because the world has gone crazy, the messages are in an out of control feeding frenzy, and I got caught up in the vortex of the tornado. Again. The fact that I’m feeling silly is just because I’m human. Most of us don’t like to admit all humans are flawed. We are all flawed. Being imperfect is something we need to admit. Once we admit it, we can work on it. We’ll never become perfect, at least not in this world, on this earth.

I believe that is for whatever Heaven is. I sometimes think Heaven is whatever is best for us on earth, it is what we have in heaven. Family and friends, kids and grandkids, music and dance, puppies and dogs, flowers and breathtaking scenery, it’s all going to be there. And never end. No one will die. Or fall out of love. No one will be mean. Or bullied. No one will murder the body with objects or the heart with words. We will have never seen anything like it. It sounds pretty incredible.

Whatever you believe, I think belief in something bigger than ourselves is critical to living now. We are not the “it” that exists at the top of the heap. We are simply sharing the middle ground with others we need to get along with. Don’t infringe on others. Share with one another. Don’t hurt or kill each others. Do good. Do be good to each other. Do know you’re all just as lovable in God’s eyes. And your mama’s. You’re equal. Now all of us need to act like it. And stop the insanity. Please. Before it’s all too late for all of us. I have hope it is not too late.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate you returning after a sub-par blog yesterday. I feel it’s necessary to share those to show we all have terrible days we can and do recover from, believe it or not. Show, don’t tell. That’s what authors are supposed to do. Have a beautiful day. Get some rest. Make some progress. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be the change. I’ll see you tomorrow.

My Hope for All of You!

Thursday Thoughts

On our way to the VFW Post yesterday about 4 p.m., we were in the first traffic jam we’ve been in for a long time. It was noticeable enough we commented on it. It would be nice if traffic kept being sparse, smooth flowing, and uneventful. Probably not going to happen. It was again great to be among friends and share a meal and beverages.

Why Do We Think We Know Better Than God?

This is a part of our “normal” back. That said, it will never be “normal”. There is a new Commander taking over next month. The other new officers need to learn the ropes and keep the place running. The Babe is still Quartermaster. He offers the members some continuity, and that’s a good thing. The bulk of income is from room rentals, and those are beginning to pick back up. All good signs. We need to keep social distancing when in public, though. And we are meeting the requirements to be open.

God will help us adjust somehow. The whole pandemic, and the protests turned riots, have made our heads swirl. It’s intense and crazy and not civil. I posted a comment about being safe at home during riots and pandemics and some smart aleck posted I should stay home for the next 20 years. What? Wow. The invincibility of youth. You too, will be more cautious someday, young man. I hope you live long enough.

Today has not been an easy day. Pandemic blues are lingering, along with the apprehension of the tension in the nation. I still believe in my country, the United States of America. I believe we are fortunate to live in the best country in the world. I’m uncertain about current events, for sure. It feels as if the media whips us into a frenzy on a regular basis, as if we are on a bad reality show. It is very stressful for a mind and heart to endure that kind of stress continually. We need a break. We need some peace. We deserve it.

I’m weighing how to do my outlining and structuring part of my book. Being overwhelmed makes it difficult to know which way to go at this point. I’m going to do some reading on those topics tonight, and hope it’s enough to make a difference with my being stuck in neutral. It’s hard being so far along and not able to keep the momentum going to finish. If I don’t get in gear tomorrow, I think a day off may be in order. Do other creative people out there have problems like this? It’s seeming to come and go, and I so hope I’m normal. Not Abby-Normal.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate you sticking with me on bad days like today and good days like yesterday was and tomorrow will be. Have a fruitful evening, that’s my plan! See you tomorrow.

Thanks for hanging in there with me today.

Saturday Fun Times!

So yesterday we went to the garden center and purchased some beauties. I planted a few things in pots earlier, and one in the ground in the front yard. A smaller hydrangea bush. It should look pretty good next to the butterfly bush that grew so huge last year. We’re planning to keep it trimmed up a bit as it grows, so it doesn’t encroach on the sidewalk to enter the house. Last year it needed to be trimmed a lot.

My back does cause considerable problems when I do work like this, so I sat down on the little front porch steps to rest it a minute. I untangled the wind chimes I purchased a few years ago at Shopko, when they were still open. It was tangled to badly, I was tempted to cut it apart and restring it. But then I started thinking about my dad. He could untangle necklaces that were twisted and tangled so bad you were tempted to throw them out. He was a man of incredible patience when it came to things like that.

I started thinking about him as I sat, trying to untangle the knots of all elements of this wind chime. The more I thought about him, the easier the tangle became. I was truly amazed at how the time passed, the tangles fell away, I thought of how my dad would work on things while working them out, I could smell the freshness in the air, I was aware of the coolness of the concrete, it was such a relaxing, enjoyable experience. And this was the result:

Late getting started, but the front is looking better.

I’m sure now I’ll have those heartwarming thoughts of my dad when I glance out the window while writing or sewing. I’m such a “just look out the window at this or that” kind of person. I hope to experience many more things like this when I’m looking away to let my eyes wander.

The Babe is mowing the yard in between working more on the birdhouse bench he’s building. It’s amazing how thick the grass in the back yard has become, despite the dogs being out and using it as dogs do. I used to think only retired people had nice lawns. I remember mowing our lawn on a big banked hill when my kids and I lived on Nicholas Street. My son Nicholas sure thought it was great to live on a street named after him. I do believe it was named long before he was thought of, but I didn’t want to burst his bubble. I have a bunch of plants to keep planting this afternoon, and I’d better get back to it.

There are a couple plants I need to plant in nicer containers, like the Hibiscus tree, and hope I can keep it alive this winter. Maybe remembering to water it will help, too. Since we have lost our great cleaning lady, we’ll be cleaning now and should be in a better position to be watering plants that need it. Yes, I’m sad to lose Lori, but she needs some benefits and to be more secure for her future. I wish her well, and am glad to have had her since we moved into this home. Good Luck!

Below is an overview of the flower garden the Babe fenced in for me. There are Columbine, a small Hydrangea, and a couple Asiatic Lilies down there. We’re going to lay down Landscaping Cloth and decide where the annuals go. I hope to get everything in and thriving by tomorrow afternoon.

Lots of Potential

There is something about this meme that I love. I do believe many of us have been doing this since social distancing and stay at home were introduced. I know it’s hard for the Babe to put into words how he feels, he just knows things are “off”. I feel the same way. It’s kind of like listening to someone talk, but you feel and hear like you’re underwater. Or you go somewhere and don’t think about driving there, but realize you are there. That’s the time to do like these two little guys do above. If you can’t or don’t want to talk about it, maybe you just need someone to sit with you. Quietly. Just feel the being together. It helps. Try it with someone you trust, love, and respect. It is the best medicine.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Sit by someone you trust and love. Enjoy their quiet company. Or untangle your windchime from last summer. It will take your mind away from your troubles. So relaxing. I will be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then. It’s the Babe’s birthday. I’m off to bake a Red Velvet Cake. The store was out of German Chocolate. So the Babe bought our granddaughter’s favorite. Hope the others like it! Take Care. Drive Safely. Wash Your Hands!