Thriving Thursday

I swear, this formatting page area for WordPress has changed in the time we’ve been using it. Did you know I’ve posted over 200 Blog Posts?? I’m pretty excited about that. I’m even more excited to be picking up more readers, and folks that like the blog. Some are fellow bloggers, some are selling their services, some are spammy ones, but hey, we can pick and choose, you know? I love that we’re going somewhere with this.

In your social distancing, have you completed your 2020 Census yet? I haven’t. It’s on the list. And so is Mom’s. I have to laugh with her. The first notice comes and tells you to log in blah, blah, blah. She will tell you in no uncertain terms that she does not have internet, computer, cell phone, and furthermore does not wish to be bothered with one! SO THERE! I told her I’d do it online for her. “No, I’ll mail it in.” OK Mom, do it your way. A week later, “Have you done your census yet?” “No, I’m doing it online, so I’ll get it done.” She said, “Why don’t they let us fill them out like we used to.” I’m not even going into it yet. I was sent home with both of her notices to complete it online. In the last two times I took her to therapy she asked, “Did you do my census yet?” “No.” I’m doing it this afternoon, in case she asks you.

One thing we were told that must be done online is renew your license plates for your vehicles. We did. It’s kind of crummy you have to pay an online fee to a third party, the state does not get directly paid by YOU. The third party pays them the correct amount, but it’s about a twelve dollar plus fee on each renewal. We had an extra $25 charged. WHAT? That’s pretty crummy. They force you to go online, then they force you to pay extra. That stinks. What about people who can’t afford that? It’s something they should probably refund under these circumstances.

So many teachers locally are doing parades through neighborhoods their students live in. I think it’s such a neat idea, the kids are lost without their daily school routine and their dear teachers, and the everyday stuff of school. Some kids may say they hate school and like being off, but I’ll be at least they miss their friends. The news stories are cute, some families made poster board signs and had balloons.

If you take your toddler to the park, do not use the playground equipment. I am surprised it would even be a question someone would ask, but I suppose they are being thorough. If you have little ones, I can see how you wouldn’t have been able to see the stories. There is so much to this virus and all that goes with it, I really believe there is no way we can be back to business by April 12, 2020. Maybe May 12, but definitely not April.

Without the wonderful invention of the Internet, what would we be doing at this point? I’d get more done on my book, maybe. Probably get more accomplished on my other hobbies, but who knows? Rush hour video of one of our most busy and dangerous intersections looks like early Sunday morning. I was talking to someone today and told them I just feel so weird driving. Things just feel off kilter and I don’t know why. She said she feels the same way. It amazes me how something we cannot see can impact our lives so greatly. It’s making us afraid, angry, and full of angst. Whatever it is, we just can’t seem to put our finger on exactly what it is, but it’s there.

If you can at all, please support your local restaurants. Not the national chains, the locals who are needing your support right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of even thinking what to make for two or three meals a day. It’d be easier if the Babe wasn’t kind of “picky”. He dislikes fish and isn’t fond of chicken. I could live on the stuff he dislikes. One thing we do agree on is dessert! Ha! tonight, it’s going to be a brownie sundae. Why not? Kind of takes the edge off.

I’ve started a bag of things to give to homeless female veterans when the centers open up again. I decided to stop keeping several pairs of jeans, pants, and other clothing that just doesn’t fit anymore. It’s time to accept the reality. Losing that much weight is highly unlikely at this point in life. I would say twenty five pounds of it is from cancer medication. Glad I’m alive, just wish it was like it used to be. Not complaining, it is what it is.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it so much, and hope you’ll return tomorrow. I’ll be here!

Telling Tuesday

Oh, boy! Just found out a sibling’s been exposed to someone with a deep cough. Not sure if any other symptoms, but they all need to stay home. Probably more people should stay at home than do. I don’t want anything to happen to anyone I love because they didn’t follow guidelines. Kind of how men love to stand outside during a tornado warning and see if they can see anything. Only you can’t see this invisible enemy, this virus. You cannot duck out of the way at the last second before it sweeps you up.

Things happen, don’t they? Hope I can get Mom through one last day of PT tomorrow, then we’ll both be able to stay at home. I’d prefer that to taking a chance. We all have different information depending on who we listen to. I’m going by our Nebraska Medical Center. They have the biocontainment chambers that have been used thus far. They are working on a vaccine, etc. I feel good they are right here where we are. I believe we will all be ok. We need to be positive. Things will be back to normal. I hope it is a new normal where we respect each other more, we are more kind to each other, where we show love before hate, and where we can once again, give people the benefit of the doubt without it being catastrophic for us. Anything can happen.

Goldie needs us to cut back on her food. She weighed 58 pounds when we had her spayed. She does seem like she just changed into a fire plug overnight. We cut back a noon feeding, which was one cup of dog food. Don’t want her to have a lifetime of bad health. It will take a little time, but I’m sure she’ll even out nicely. She was sort of a stinker this morning. She got Dan’s VFW magazine and ran outside with it.

Naughty Girl!

She eventually gave it up for a little treat, but my! She can run from you when she thinks you’re playing her game. The Babe still takes her out on the leash in the morning after the paper arrives, and she does her business and picks up the paper. We get it from her before she can run with it. See what scattered color we are seeing here in the past week? The grass is greening up nicely. I’m so happy about that. Yes, having dogs makes it take a bit longer, but here we are, and it’s starting up. Flowers won’t be far behind. Cross your fingers the hydrangeas grow back!

I’m going to take my characters and write a chapter about each of them. I think this will tell their individual story within the novel of how they fit together. The book may only include paragraphs about each person, but I want the whole story available, should I want to publish with a chapter on everyone. Right now, I just don’t know. Katie appears to be the main character, as she is telling a lot of what she remembers growing up to her younger and older brothers. The other characters each play a big part in the story of their family, and the reader needs to learn about them, their flaws, their strengths, and their downfalls. They all have at least one.

Don’t know about you all, but I just love baby toes! I love rubbing them, nibbling on them, and watching the baby learn how to make a face when they see you do it from their “stinky feet.” They are such delicate little things, and those feet grow to take you miles and miles through your life before it is time for you to go at the end of your life.

Miles to Go Before You Sleep!

So today I’ll write a bit about the oldest brother, Patrick. Patrick, being the oldest, was the test child, as the oldest often is. He was born in January, 1949, right before the great blizzard that made everyone think spring would never come that year. Patrick was very intelligent, and liked school. He did not like the nuns, however. In high school, when his mother was very busy with the rest of the children, Patrick skipped school often as he could, and frequently drank with his chums. He wasn’t a bad kid, he just wanted school over with and a job to go to everyday. He also loved his girlfriend, Rosemarie. Rosemarie lived up the alley, and her parents had their hands full too. All the families at that time did. Rosemarie became pregnant and they married the day after their high school graduation.

That’s a little bit of it. Don’t want to get too carried away as I find no way to cut and paste into or out of WordPress. It has to exist somewhere, but I’ll be darned if I can find it was yet. Until I do, I’ll just share small parts that can be re-typed quickly. Thank you for reading, hope you’re well. I appreciate your time today. I’ll be back here tomorrow, so I hope to see you then. Until then, “This Little Piggy Stayed HOME!!”

Monday. The Start of . . .

The Lunch of Champions!

This wasn’t such a bad lunch. Took Mom for PT again today then to her accountant’s to drop off tax prep stuff. Usual Monday things that you do in everyday life. By the time I had a glass of iced tea with her and visited, it was 1:30 p.m. before I arrived home. The Babe ate already, so this seemed like a good option at the time. Busy day for us.

Measure Twice, Cut Once!

So this thing happened. My half square triangles (lower left) should have measured 4 1/2 inches at this point. Just like the 4 1/2 inch squares (top right). So now, everything must be adjusted. Good thing it’s not a quilt for a bed. You would think after doing this for twenty plus years, I’d check the instructions better. Human Ego gets in the way from time to time, no matter what we are doing. So, in the words of my dad, every contractor with an apprentice crew, and quilters all over the world, “Measure twice, cut ONCE”. It bit me again. No lives lost. No one but you and me will ever know.

You know though, years ago, a mistake like this would have devastated me for days. It would have. OCD or perfection, or fear of failing can make us crazy sometimes. When I think of when I was young and would be upset by stuff like this, it’s sad the time we waste. We know we are but mere humans, and mere humans make lots of mistakes. Yet we cannot accept when we make those very human mistakes. It’s making them ten or fifteen times that would concern me now. Not learning or not caring would concern me a great deal now. How about you? Perfectionistic or not?

I’m getting through some books I’ve wanted to read, and the Magdalene Girls is a good book. It makes me so angry how these girls were treated, even in the early 1960’s. The story takes place in Ireland, and this nunnery takes in wayward girls. Very few of them are pregnant. They are disobedient to their parents, etc., and stuck in this terrible place to toil at work that is so demanding it makes them lose their will to live. They exist as mere shells of their former selves. Only about fifty more pages, so I’m hoping I finish tonight.

Writing, I’m going to just work a little bit at this late hour. I do so much better in the mornings. I’ll start right away tomorrow, and get more done. I’m just glad to be getting anything done on the book, it’s somewhat hard to concentrate these days. I’m glad there will be an economic stimulus passed and paid out, and I believe it should not contain ANY pork. No Planned Parenthood dollars. No forgiving Student Loans, nothing. JUST the stimulus money. Period. The other stuff can be discussed later. You know, no one forgave our student loans. We learned to budget. Forgiving $30K is out of the question. I am open to forgiving month by month payments, but not big chunks like the folks tried to push through. Don’t mess around with that stuff now. Get some work done. You don’t deserve to represent us if you are holding onto your pet projects and promises. It must benefit the whole nation NOW.

I cannot imagine being a parent of young kids, pre-teens, and having aging parents at the same time. This may not happen a lot, but just dealing with one generation is enough work. I admire couples and singles who do both generations at once. I feel badly for Mom, but she does great with keeping herself busy. Sometimes she goes off on tangents but then she’s better by the next time I see her. She seems pretty nervous in traffic. We were driving today and a car got close, but she gasped and hollered, scared the heck out of me. I get it. She can’t see very well. Sometimes she makes me think I’ve overlooked something, so it’s a challenge. I just want to get her out and home with no incidents. That would be great. Just want her safe!

It’s just not very warm outside. The overcast skies make it seem as if it could be a really long time before spring actually gets here. Hope not. Either way, we’ll be home experiencing it. Yep, not going anywhere different anytime soon. Cancelled haircuts for tomorrow, the hairdresser just got back from a trip to Florida. Needs some time to self-quarantine, so Mom and I will oblige.

I’m going to get back with my book and the girls of Magdalene House. I hope it has a better ending than it probably will. Thank you for reading today! Stay home, be safe, wash those hands, and we’ll all come out the other side of this as better humans. See you tomorrow!

Sunny Saturday

It is a beautiful blue-sky, sunny day in Gretna, Nebraska. The day reminds me of one that starts out cool and turns beautiful. Like when you rise early and load the car to go on vacation. You remember vacations! I imagine we’ll all want to go on one when this Coronavirus is over. It could be awhile.

I’ve always thought these to be stunning, but not too functional. Perhaps their time has come?
This is pretty much all on my mind today.
Blog, write, and later some block sewing. And thinking of our grandkids. I’m missing them all!

The kids and grandkids are all on my mind this morning. I’m praying for all of them, hoping all are well and going to stay that way. In the family are: a chef, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, his stay at home wife who is a great homeschooler, a truck driver, a real estate agent, two who manage trucking of railway goods delivered to trainyards by the Union Pacific railroad (essential personnel), a health care worker, and a project manager director. Some of them are parents of our four grandkids, two in Omaha area, one in Maryland, one in Colorado. That’s a lot of diversity and some important, essential people on that list. They may be more exposed than most, and we have to keep living our lives. With common sense at the helm.

Common sense for them will be adequate distance from others while on the job, probably avoiding the subways, and washing their hands – a lot. All we can do is check in on them once in awhile and pray we’ll all come out on the other side of this ok. I believe we will. If not, we will learn how to deal with the end results.

The Babe tells me the last time he felt this way was in Vietnam. Not having any idea of what will happen is the feeling of loss of control. I get it. My feeling of loss of control was in December, 1995, when I had a tumor compressing my spinal cord and in a week lost the ability to walk without assistance. That was the worst feeling in the world, as my daughter was still at home. My sons had just moved into an apartment. I had to get better for my kids. And for me. The Babe had his wife, Sandy to come home to. He was never the same for her.

I would bet every adult who has had a feeling like this is having flashbacks, dreams, whatever there is that tells us we know this could go very badly. Acknowledge them. Don’t let yourself dwell on them, though. Yes, we were afraid after 9/11. We need to remember how we, as a country of free individuals, came to a new normal. A new normal of a free people. We will do that again. Things will not be the same as they are now. Hopefully we will be appreciative of people who really matter in life. Doctors, scientists, first responders, nurses, truck drivers, train operators , and our military all keep our counntry going. It’s time we reorient our thinking to look up to people who really make a difference in our every day life, not sports figures, movie stars, celebrities, and people who are famous for absolutely nothing. I find it very sad we need to get a Kardashian to go on social media to get young people to understand they need to stay home while school is out. It tells me some have lost their concept of real life. You won’t find it on a reality show, despite all you hear on social media or television or in the movies.

In the meantime, keep yourself busy with positive things. Create something with words, music, paints, anything you may have around you. Be inventive. Write a note to your Grandma or Great Uncle and mail it. They will love it! Talk across the fence to your neighbors. Take your dog for a walk. It’ll do you both good. Get some fresh air. Thank you for reading. I’ll be here tomorrow and hope you are, too. Now for some creating!

These folks have my deepest respect and admiration.

Friday, Friday

Hello, fellow self-quarantineers. Was out this morning for a brief appointment to get my third OrthoVisc injection in each knee. The doc called me Wednesday to see if I still wanted to come in, that he would be present, and he left it up to me. Don’t think I encountered another person on my way into the building or on my way out. The Health Department is no longer interested in if the Babe or I have a temperature or any symptoms, their twice daily text messages ceased on Wednesday. That was the fourteenth day since we were under the same roof as we were at our VFW Post 2503. No one at all has taken ill who was present that night. Great news for everyone!

Just had a lunch of salad and cheesy breadsticks. It was a nice break from sandwiches. The Babe has ham and cheese sandwiches every day. Add chips and that’s what he lives for – crunchy stuff. Not raw veggies, however. Chips of some sort. I never used to buy potato chips, it’s just so easy to binge on them. Which, being human, I do from time to time. I’m making Chicken Alfredo later and baked a Red Velvet Cake (mix) for dessert. You’ve got to have dessert to keep up your strength. If we need an unexpected carb load, we’re ahead of the game. Lol.

I believe all of this will go much better if we just quit playing politics. Our elected representatives need to pull together and act in the best interest of America. We’re all we have. C’mon, let’s have some common sense, decency, and civility out there, people. Politicians, journalists, everyone. Just stop it. Just stop it now, before it’s too late. The mayor of New York is bad-mouthing the President. The President spoke to the Governor of New York about the NYC situation. As a civilian, it sounds as if the chain of command should have been followed. City -> Governor ->President. None of us is that important to skip right to the top. Life just doesn’t work that way.

The Studio is in the sewing/quilting configuration for today.

And while this isolation goes on, the work of the day today will be to start – wait for it! – yes, the Poppy Quilt! I’m slow, but I’ll get there eventually. just sewing some squares together. It will be so pretty when we’re finished. The Babe is watching his daily dose of tv, and I don’t have to listen to the people holler at each other. Yes, Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos. Sadly true. This pesky overhead light is still trying to eitiher put a hex on me or drive me bonkers before it burns out. When I type about it, the blinking stops. Now, I bet ads for light bulbs show up on my Facebook feed.

So, for today, to keep things interesting, go for something a little out of your normal. If you love to do a hobby, get your stuff back out again. It will help you declutter and help you see if you want to continue doing the hobby. The Babe will not be able to contain his joy at this one: I’m going to shuffle through about a week’s worth of newspapers that have accumulated. I hate paying over $55 monthly for the Omaha World Herald and never getting to read the newspaper. Even if it’s old news. It’s more sentimental than anything else. Both my dad and older brother worked there for over thirty years each. That’s a lifetime in today’s employment records. Longevity must run in the family.

I appreciate you reading today. Let’s all give each other the benefit of the doubt today. Let’s not be Democrat or Republican or Independent. Let’s be Americans. Let’s be Americans who love our country and who want to see it recover and succeed. Let’s not hold ourselves back by pettiness and squabbling. It needs to end now. Let’s all do our part. Period. Our future depends on it. See you tomorrow. I’ll be here.

Thankful Thursday

All things considered, it’s a good day to be above ground.

Some days, some folks will have to dig deep to find something to be positive about. And Lord knows, we NEED to remain positive about things while we deal with this COVID-19. As a person who blogs daily, I can tell you, it’s hard to ignore that it’s out there. It is consuming our airways, our conversations, and our lives. In talking with Mom the other day she said, “I’m not dwelling on it. I just don’t know why I’m not sleeping.”

Our Mom is from the generation of women who wore worry as a badge of honor. I have had concerns about my kids and family, but have never lost sleep over their decisions and so forth. Mom has lost sleep over what my brothers and I haven’t – and it’s been about our lives. My attitude has consistently been God will take us through things. He’ll be good to us. Miracles happen every darned day. And they will continue to. How do you get to that place?

I think my first thing has always been to believe in God. Faith is everything. Faith needs to guide you through things you don’t understand, be it loss, a pandemic, or cancer. Don’t try and wrestle the problem away from God. He’s waiting for you to hand it over to Him. Pray. Do good things for others. Distract yourself. You may need some practice. Just note how you feel when you’re living life, even being self-quarantined, vs. how you feel while you’re sick with worry. Or sleepless with it.

It takes extra work to try and have a normal life right now. Do it. Do it afraid. Be grateful. For today, I’m going to concentrate on the miracles we see with medicine in our times. Just the fact that scientists and doctors have been able to identify this COVID-19 is a miracle. The fact it didn’t have to kill millions before it was discovered is a miracle. The fact we’re self-distancing is such an easy thing to do, if we adhere to it. We will not be ill if we don’t go on Spring Break, to the beach, in Florida. A friend who lives there told the Babe yesterday that he went on a motorcycle ride yesterday and the beaches were packed. And now, younger people are becoming ill. I know most of them are smart enough to follow directions. I know many of them don’t care, and at the same time, many more DO care what happens. They don’t want their parents and grandparents to take ill. As a grandparent myself, I’m thankful many of you are that thoughtful. You can always go to the beach when this is all over. And it will be, trust me.

The Polio Epidemic was the first time I remember something that was big and scary. I was maybe four years old? Mom, my older brother and I walked to his school for kindergarten, and we waited in line for what felt like forever. When it was our turn, a nurse in a crisp, white uniform, complete with starched nurses hat, gave all three of us a little cup like they serve nuts in. It had a clear liquid in it. We all drank it and left. And that probably protected us from that horrible epidemic. We knew one man who was affected by it, and it left one hand useless for the rest of his life. Despite that, he was an incredible carpenter, handy man, and artistic creator. I think he was one of two “away from work friends” my dad had. They were fast friends until Martin moved his family back to Florida. We all survived Polio.

The second memory of something scary was the Cuban Missle Crisis. Living less than twenty miles away from Strategic Air Command and the underground at Offutt Air Force Base, we knew this area would be hit first by enemy bombs. I was in ten years old at the time. Younger than our oldest grandchild. I was in fourth or fifth grade. Being Catholic, the nuns spared no details from us. We were to pray, and be calm because God would take care of us. Little did we understand at the time, there would be no survival in bomb shelters. We would have all died. Looking back, that was a lot for such young kids, but still, we knew the reality of our world. It probably helped us more than hurt us. We survived this crisis.

I’d like to share my trust and faith with anyone who is afraid right now. You can overcome your anxiety. If you are working with a medical professional to do so, good for you. I’d like all of us to come out on the other side of this with some life experiences that are good. Reconnecting with people is a great thing to do right now. Do that. Reach out if you can. Talk to your family if you can. Watch videos of babies laughing. Watch some music videos. Try a different genre, expand your horizons while you’re social distancing. Let’s use this time to grow and be grateful we live in these miraculous times.

I want to thank you all for reading today. If you have a minute, share my FB post about my blog with your friends. I’d appreciate it very much. I’ll see you again tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how my writing went. It’s where I’m headed now. Be safe. Be healthy.

Hope this gives you a good laugh and something to talk about.

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.