A Weird Wednesday

Hump Day! In a world that was pretty normal just two weeks ago, we now have social distancing, self-quarantine, COVID-19 where Coronavirus used to be and a whole bunch of other stuff. People don’t know what to tell their kids, and in a society where we pick up and go wherever we want, whenever we want, America may have a lot to learn. I heard this morning, in Nebraska we are not to have gatherings of more than ten people in public until after April 30. No Church services. No school. No doctor appointments unless it’s an emergency. My ortho doctor called me to see if I wanted to come for my last Orthovisc injection on Friday. I told him as long as he would have me come in, I’ll go. Being two thirds through an expensive treatment, I feel in the long run, it will help me put off a knee replacement longer. I’m pretty good at avoiding people at the Bergan Clinic. I don’t think it will be a problem.

It just feels so eerie. The grocery shelves were not bad in Walmart in Gretna. I couldn’t find rubbing alcohol or clear Aloe Vera lotion, or hand sanitizer. I gave my mom my hand sanitizer to carry in her purse. It was a perfect travel size. Not a lot of traffic out, and I did witness a couple of teenagers or early 20’s on I-80 from 42 Street to 84 Street traveling at least 85 MPH. You see them on weekend nights after 11 p.m., like it’s a thing they do from Iowa to Gretna. Very dangerous.

The Babe has further endeared himself to me, as if that were possible. Doing the housecleaning while I’m taking Mom. Our cleaning lady is on leave for at least two weeks. He may have himself a job if she’s gone longer. I’d love to help, I just can’t do much stuff like that due to my back issues and injuries. He’s the best gift in the world, and there’s no one I’d rather be self-quarantined with. Check back in a couple weeks and see if that’s still the case! And it goes both ways, folks. I may be living in his shed if things fall apart from his end.

For me, I know I need to do what makes me feel better about everything. I need to create. Really sit down for two to three hours at a time and write. Twelve to fifteen hours of good writing, it will make a world of difference. And then, I need to sew my Poppy Quilt. Everyone needs something, and mine is creating.

Sometimes in the depths of my imagination, my characters will speak up in a way I wouldn’t have thought of, they say something or do something, and I get excited and think, “This is cool, I wonder where he’ll go now.” It’s as much of a surprise for me as it will be for you when you read it. It is amazing how much time it takes to make sure things are just right. Then you talk with your editor. Sam is so gentle, and kind with her critique. I know it will not always be that way. I just appreciate that so much about her. I’m so disappointed the Nebraska Writers Guild had to cancel the Spring Conference. I was going to get to see her again there. We’ll figure it out. Maybe meet for an outdoor meeting on a beautiful spring day in April or May, somewhere between Gretna and Lincoln. At any rate, the conference will be later in the Fall, we hope.

In the midst of writing, it sounds a little weird, but you are supposed to read as much as you can. Why? I’m sure seeing why lately. The things I’m learning about writing are reflected in what I’m learning about how to write. It’s funny sometimes, I’ll be reading and think, “So THAT’s what they mean . . .” And it sticks in my mind for next time I write. The whole thing about this is the amount of things I’ve learned. It’s just so cool. I don’t ever want to stop. That’s when they’re throwing dirt over you.

This screenshot from Facebook reminds us. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be courageous. It’s difficult to say, “Yes, I’m good at this.” And then let people read. That takes real courage.

With that, go draw, write, or learn a new thing. Be courageous and share it with someone. Even if you share it with a child. They appreciate everything. Great place to start! Thank you for reading today. I’m back at it again tomorrow, but it should be earlier. The next four days should yield a good twelve or more hours in here writing. Gotta meet goals, make those dreams happen! See you then.

Hump Day!

How much we wish our lives away! Most of the talk surrounding the days of the week is we wish it were another day. Not like, “I wish every day was my birthday,” but more to the tune of, “I HATE Mondays!”, “Almost Friday!”, “Friday Eve!” and so on. Why isn’t today good enough? There are movements among self-help groups now that everyone should know they are “Enough.” I agree.

Maybe this “Enough” movement ought to include the thoughts that each and every day of the week ought to be “Enough.” I don’t think we find enough joy in each twenty four hour period. If Mondays have the bad rap of being the worst day of the week, the first Monday after daylight savings time begins is always tagged as, “the worst day of the year.” Sad. You could have the best day of your life on that day, but you don’t think it has anything to offer. Kind of how we view people sometimes. “She’s old, she’s not hip with the times,” “She’s too young to teach me anything,” and a good one, “She has such a pretty face, it’s too bad she’s overweight.” Think about it. It’s all a bunch of hooey!

Know you are enough. Preach it to the choir if you must. And also know each day of your life is more than enough to do the things you can do to make your day and your month and your year wonderful. I know this from experience. In being a very broke single Mom, I found happiness in the fact I got to make all decisions for myself. No one hassled me if it was wrong If it was wrong, I just made a mental not not to do it again.

If the car broke down, I could have chosen to complain and grouse about the situation. But I could be happy if it only cost $50 to fix instead of $500. You can find something in every situation to be positive about. When my dad died of cancer at 64, I was glad I had someone that the kids and I missed. He was a great man and a good person. A lot of people are estranged from their parents for any number of reasons. But Dad was always present as much as he could be, working at night. He was a good example. He was kind.

It’s Wednesday and so far, Monday and Tuesday have been challenging. I’m happy it’s food night at the VFW and we’ll meet with our friends again. Check in with everyone, and make plans to meet on St. Patrick’s Day at the Post for their dinner. We can use today to plan for a week from now, but I’m not going to waste the next week and all those days have to offer me in terms of living. I can wait as opposed to, “I can’t wait until . . . ” Our lives can be perfect and fulfilling right now. Not when something else happens. It take a mind set change. Be a maverick. Be living in the moment. Be aware of today, not just wishing for tomorrow. This day is enough. You are enough.

Thank you for reading today, I love when you take the time. See you tomorrow, as I’ll be right here. Have a great Wednesday!

Throwback Tuesday (3-3-1961)

I’ll never forget how mad I was this day in 1961. Our mom was at the hospital getting a new baby. I wanted a sister. I already had two brothers. One older, one younger. I thought it was time for a sister. My friends all had at least one. Why couldn’t I have one?

I vividly remember getting ready for school, Grandpa Jewell would drive us to school. We spent the night at his house because our dad was at the hospital with Mom. I’ll never standing in Grandma’s kitchen, next to the sin, and our dad came through their door and said, “Mom had a boy. You have a new brother!” My eyes immediately filled with tears. I turned around and walked fast up the stairs to the bathroom. I cried it all out. My older brother was happy, my younger brother Steve didn’t understand yet, and I was devastated. I got over it when Mom brought this creature home. Sort of.

There is always something about babies. Many people love them. Many people don’t. It’s all good. I happen to love them. Over the years I helped Mom with the creature and learned to entertain him while she was busy. Dad worked nights, so we had a very different schedule and home life than anyone else we knew. Timothy Michael and I became friends. Best friends. We can count on each other. It’s a wonderful relationship. I’m blessed. He’s blessed.


My baby brother, Tim. Happy 59th Birthday, Man!

Like many kids of the 60’s and 70’s, Tim had some moments of bad behavior. He has learned from them and made amends. He was married to his kindergarten sweetheart from 1996 until she passed away from cancer. He’s a widower now. I’m sad she is gone, because she was a sister to me. It was a role I didn’t know enough about for a long time. Laura had a beautiful heart and she loved my brother deeply. I know he loved her the same. He was a wonderful caregiver for her.

Tim’s wife Laura on their wedding day, 1999.

Time has passed and we still miss her. One day, I know, he will meet someone again and have a beautiful rest of the story with her. It just takes time for things to be right. Tim and I laugh about a lot of things, and we have each other’s backs. Our dad is proud of him, I know. Tim changed his life from what it was in the 80s to what it is now. And now it’s good. He’s kind, generous, caring, a hard worker, a good friend, an honest man, and lives up to what Dad told me about Tim before he died, “Tim’s going to be ok.” Yes, yes he is.

This is a great day to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, milestones, and life in general. I love Tim’s positivity, and the fact he can laugh when he’s rather be grumpy. There are so many ways he reminds me of our dad. In all the good ways. I know Dad’s smiling on you, Tim. He knew before any of us that you would be the good man you are. Happy Birthday! Love you. And thanks. Because of you, I always had my own room!

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Hope you will stop back again tomorrow, so we can visit again. I’ll be here.

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.

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.

Wonderful Wednesday Afternoon

One thing I’m quite grateful for is the array of diagnostic testing available today for medical procedures. I remember hearing the phrase, “exploratory surgery,” many times as a child. It was what doctors did when they couldn’t see what may be causing a problem. It was quite frightening. It was the best they could do at the time. As time passed, marvelous inventions of diagnostic machinery helped doctors see inside the body and revealed what was wrong. It took a lot of guesswork out of surgery and diagnosis, recuperation, and recovery.

The modern age is offering unbelievable diagnostic capabilities, treatments and outcomes. I had breast cancer ten years ago. My survival is credited to very early detection. I had two lumps so small they could not be felt. Trust me, everyone tried(!) Not palpable. The only treatment I needed was radiation, which has left some bad aftermath, and a hormone blocker, which changed many things about my body. Weight gain was the lesser of the evils.

The medical breakthroughs of tomorrow should be interesting to say the least. I hope the breakthroughs will continue to be life saving, early healing, and ground breaking. As we continue to lengthen lives through better and more thorough care. I hope we also consider the ethics of lengthening lives to be lived that are merely people whose lives are prolonged simply as an experiment. I hope we consider the ethics of testing and treating people like lab rats. It’s not ethical to do that. It is not a way to honor our elderly or be caring towards our disabed.

While I have noticed a lot of changes simply because I reached the age of 65, it kind of makes me a little mad that a lot of things need to be pre-approved before I go have them done. One big thing is the injections the ortho doc needs to do again for each of my knees. Since I improved enough to not need quarterly injections last year, they might need more xrays etc., before I can go get the help I need. The problem I have is they consider each event a new occurrence of the issue. I certainly am not making it up that I need the injections. I also know I’m not letting someone go take them in my place. Fraud is prelevant in some health care situations and the administrators are just being cautious. Patience is needed all the way around.

Thank you for reading this very late post, and I hope to see you tomorrow. Have a good evening.

Tuesday Fun

Mom had her last balance class today. I think she’s going to miss it, it was more social interaction than she wanted to admit and she enjoyed that more than she thought she would. Plus, she is stronger. She was a little wobbly after having lunch, and I made sure she got back in the house safely. No more now until her back therapy starts on Monday. So, here we go again.

There was a delightful lady in the waiting area talking with the coordinators before her individual therapy. She spoke rather loudly, and was so funny. She was English, and had a fun way of telling her story about why she needed therapy. She started back in the 1990’s, and gave a blow by blow description of every ache she had from then on. She talked of gardening and said, “What would an old biddy be doing gardening?” I haven’t heard that phrase “old biddy” for a long, long time. It struck me as rather funny. I would imagine those coodinators hear many a story, tall tale, and life story of the folks they have for patients. It would be quite a book, wouldn’t it?

I’m finishing reading the book by my friend, Shannon Schofield. It’s a story that follows the young lady telling it from childhood through adulthood and tells the trauma suffered and overcome. It would be an inspiration to a person who had been through similar trauma. Many, many people have stories of how they have come through the dark, into the light of healing, joy, and love. In these times, there is no reason for a person to suffer. Find someone who can help you through a doctor, educator, family services agency, or a clergy person. And prayer. The power of prayer is far reaching and complete. Give it a chance.

The rest of the week will be a good time to rearrange some storage stuff from Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and my snowman collection. Once that is done, I want to unearth my recumbent bike to start working out with it March 1. I want to use it for the next six months and get some exercise along with the knee injections I’ll get starting March 7. If it’s sitting in the middle of the room downstairs, I’ll use it. I’ll make myself use it. And I can read while pedaling. Win, win!

Whether an old biddy or an old broad, I want to be a work of art! The Babe already is!

Dan and I were young (in our 40s) when we met, dated, and got married. The comic Pickles (above) reminded us of our neighbors, Darwin and Pryllis. They were such great neighbors when I moved next door to them with my three kids. They were a watchful eye, a place to go if the kids needed help, and they overlooked normal teenage noise later on. Good people. Now, Pickles reminds me of the Babe and me. We’ve grown into that age of our lives. It goes by so quickly!

For all the jokes about Coronavirus, it is appearing to be quite a huge thing. The CDC is issuing warnings. We had better realize if we do have an outbreak here, it could very well mean we have to quarrantine in our own spaces. Americans, in my opinion, are going to be reluctant to give up their freedom to jump on a plane or into a car and go wherever we want whenever we want. If we have to stay home for any length of time, we had better prepare ourselves mentally for it. It would be in the interest of everyone should we have to stay confined. I’m not worried at all about the folks at the National Guard Camp in Ashland. What would concern me are the people who insist on going out when they are clearly ill – coughing all over everyone, sneezing, and contanimating everything they approach. And everyone. In the meantime, I think I need to stay stocked up on staples we can cook meals with, just in case.

I always love when it’s time to get out the patio and deck furniture and hose everything off for the season. It’s way too early to do it, but not too early to think about it. Once it’s warm for a good amount of time, I like to sweep the concrete patio and deck, and hose it all off to get the dirt off. The hose works great to clean all the screens off as well. The basement windows haven’t been cleaned too often lately, so it’ll be great to get that done. Once we get the blizzard we always get this time of year. Between now and May, it will snow like crazy at least once. It has to. We’ve only had 14 inches of snow so far. Last year, we had three times that much by now.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. I’ll be here tomorrow, hope you can join me then.