#290! Fabulous Friday!

Here is blog post #290! I’m excited at making this a habit for nearly a year. We have a way to go until we reach 365, but we’re getting closer and closer. I’m just happy for the friends and family who have stuck with me and continue to do so. Thanks for your support.

The Babe and I spent the day doing much-needed “stuff.” Errands, things you put off if you can. Most important thing was the saga of the broken Acer laptop. We have only had it for 18 months or so, good thing we bought the insurance for it. The new service center Nebraska Furniture Mart outsourced their computer repairs to is CPR, not far from where we live. OK, they checked it out, and needed to order a new screen component. Replaced the whole thing. Took it home, didn’t work. Took it back, they ordered yet another new screen component, fixed it, we picked it up. After using it once, it failed again. They certified it was non-repairable.

The Insurance Company who processed the claims took forever. It’s been a good 30 days since we’ve been able to use the laptop. They gave the Babe a very bad time (how dare they!) and finally emailed with info about the credit we received for a new one. It was purchased in November, 2018, and of course, all the models have changed. That’s ok by me.

So when I finish here, I hope the new HP Laptop is charged. It has Windows 10 on it. It should be a good one I’ve always been pleased with HP. I know there are naysayers out there, and that’s fine. For my money, I doubt I’d get another ACER again. Maybe that will change. Unless I live to be 95, I don’t know how many more laptops I’ll need in this lifetime. What a concept to ponder!

And now, in the “What I’ve Learned About Writing,” category, I’ve read a series of articles about manuscripts that aren’t necessarily bad but may not measure up for one reason or another. And it all has to do with beginner author mistakes that are so common. In my mind, I’ve thought, “No way, will I make those mistakes.” And yet, here we are. The manuscript of “These Walls DO Talk” will be put on hold, indefinitely. And that’s a good thing. It’s a little exhausting to write about dysfunctional people. Really. Instead, I’m concentrating on one person (Katie) and chronicle how she grows up and rejects many ideas her family had for decades. No idea how long it can be, but I think it’s got some important messages in it for girls who know what they see before them is not what they want when they grow up.

And it’s been so long since I was a twenty-something. The world has changed so much since 1972, when I turned 20. I look forward to working on it the next couple of months. No writing is wasted, it’s something you need a lot of practice doing. I can tell some days my blog isn’t as good as others, and other days, it almost writes itself. So goes it when working on a manuscript. Even if they are abandoned, there is a lot of learning that takes place. And that’s the best I can hope for in this world. To learn everything I can.

I love my reality, I have no reason to escape it. I write for those who need to escape theirs for a little while.

Song of the day: Sugarland’s “Life in a Northern Town.” Listen here.

Note: this is an audio only, a static picture, no video. Sorry!

I love their singing. The first time I heard Jennifer Nettles sing was for the Super Bowl show where she sang “Who Said You Can’t Go Home,” with Jon Bon Jovi. What a voice! I couldn’t find the Superbowl video, but the one I did find was at Daytona International Raceway. Great combination!

And here’s another version, from the Hurricane Sandy relief fundraising concert of 2012. Here, Bruce Springsteen joins him. Two Jersey boys making their hometowns proud. I am always amazed to hear of their works of charity; Bon Jovi with his restaurants, Habitat Homes, and Springsteen has always collected food for local food banks at his concerts since the 1980s. Generosity abounds.

I am still in Season 1 of Yellowstone. I wanted to review it before the new season begins on Father’s Day. Not sure if I’ll hit that goal or not. It is a very good drama, and the scenery is beautiful. Although it’s supposed to take place in Montana, it was filmed in Utah. Those states are all so beautiful. I’m sure it will be another interesting look at their lives. What a story those people have!

Thank you for reading today, I”ll be here again tomorrow. Hope to see you then! Stay safe. Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Be kind to each other. Set a good example. Have a great weekend.

More Monday

Today started an hour earlier for me today. It is so beautiful on our deck in the mornings, I don’t want to waste the view and fresh air by sleeping an extra hour. I can always sleep in the winter when it’s dark and cold, but it’s worth getting up early. The Babe is always up by 6 am with the dogs, so why not join him? I do stay up later than he, but a nap is always ok.

Music of the Day is the soundtrack for “A Star is Born,” by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. I have the song, “I’ll Never Love Again” as my ringtone for when the Babe calls me. Not only do I love the song, but it serves as a reminder to be patient with him. Sometimes he’ll call when I’m in the middle of something. I don’t want to be grumpy at him when he doesn’t deserve that. Kindness is always the best way to go. Patience, too. Being human, I need a reminder now and again, and it works to keep me respectful and loving. He deserves no less. I like to encourage my single friends, both men and women. It is possible to find lasting love in your life no matter what age you are. We both were married previously, and it didn’t matter. Those weren’t our everlasting loves. They were strong, they were good but they didn’t last. And that’s ok. You can all find love. You will. Just keep being a good person and be kind. It always happens when you least expect it.

I read some research about later in life love yesterday. Much, much later in life. Like the people were in their late 80s, early 90s, and were widows or widowers. That’s pretty late, but not too late. The researcher said it never dawned on her that people at those ages would even think about love. Love isn’t just for the young. It’s about fitting with someone else. It’s about having a best friend. It’s about companionship. If it includes some great sex, then you’re doubly blessed. If not, closeness is demonstrable. How? I’ve read about holding hands. It never stops making your heart beat a little faster. It’s wonderful, in fact.

When Gavin and Goldie First Met
Two Friends for Life!

These pictures were of Goldie when we first got her back in October. Wow, I think the Babe better cut her food back a tad. We’ve all gotten fluffier since the quarantine, but she really grew into her loose skin. Seriously, she still has a lot, but you can’t see her ribs anymore, so the Vet wants her to lose some pounds. Just like people, right? Of course.

Doesn’t October seem like such a long, long time ago? I remember the crisp fall days, and the sadness we felt after losing Roxie. Roxie, our sweet, lovey, sister to Lexi, mixed lab/basset. The Babe had a heart cath and the wound didn’t heal. He was prescribed a wound vac. That day, he was especially down in the dumps. He was watching the paper for puppies and found Yellow Labs at a house near us. It was such a happy meeting. She bonded instantly with the Babe, what girl wouldn’t? Here’s what Lexie thought of the whole thing. I must admit, they are friends now, and Lexie isn’t afraid to keep Goldie in line, though.

Today, I’m doing more writing, yesterday was a good day with 1,560 words. I’m writing about an event that is based on an experience I had years ago, and it’s pretty emotional. It is still very fresh in my memory and I’m forever grateful to God for how it all turned out. Be careful today, I’ll be safely replanting some flowers in pots and writing. And spending time with our young man, Gavin. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. See you back here tomorrow! Stay healthy. Be Kind. Wash your hands (I’m afraid it’s going to surge). Wear a mask. Please.

I believe this is pretty accurate. Please, wear a mask.

Spectacular Saturday

Hi, friends. It’s starting to get back to humid summer weather in Gretna, Nebraska, at the home office and studio. We sat on our deck before the sun rose above the tall trees in the Wetlands behind us. It was beautiful. It’s amazing how busy the birds at that hour. I couldn’t help but wonder about the flight paths of the little creatures. Do they need any air traffic control? Look at how many run into your picture window and bounce off in a season. Do any ever collide in mid-air? Wow. After one week with our grandson, this sounds like a Gavin question. Hopefully I’ll be able to give him an answer should he ever ask me about it.

One morning last week, there was a brilliant red cardinal chirping his head off, and he was sitting right on top of the flagpole. It was such a cool scene. And neither of us had our phones to snap a picture. It brought back the memories of the good old days, when we took in these things rather than only saw them through the site of the camera. We probably do miss a lot around us because of that. But that cardinal was spectacular. Glad we both saw it at the same time.

I’ve mentioned before I start the day with a daily reading from a book of Daily Meditations of Adult Children (of Alcoholics). Today’s is good. An American proverb:

“There is always free cheese in a mousetrap.”

The reading talks about feeding a weakness. The more you feed a weakness, the hungrier it becomes. If it’s food, you can become a boarder- line diabetic before you realize it. If it’s fancy cars, clothes, travel to exotic places, or any of many other things, you’ll be so far in debt you’ll never find your way out. And you’ll be just as hungry for whatever is missing in your life. I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict. The places I’ve tried to back fill my life were with clothes, things for my kids and grandkids, and a few more material things. I created debt for myself that was ridiculous. I did what all the experts tell you, and pait off the highest interest, blah, blah, blah. The Babe and I have always kept our money separate as we both had lots of bills from life before we got married. We are co-owners of accounts, etc., and manage our own stuff. It works for us, I don’t know if it would for others or not.

So often, we feed our weaknesses and hide behind them, never satisfied. We’ve all done it at some time in our life. It’s human nature, and doggone it, we’re so human. We might be slow learners that the problems aren’t “out there” but “within us.” What?? In us? It’s so easy to try and point fingers and place blame elsewhere. Anywhere but where it belongs. With us. In us. It is’t you, it’s me. Really.

You Will Get Better

You can survive many things throughout a lifetime. Some people seem to be able to survive one disaster after another. There is no other choice, is there? If you don’t survive, you perish. You may not want to go on, but you do. God gets you through things you cannot believe. I’m glad there is help for me, and love for me, when I need it. Friends help, families help, but God gets us through.

First Hibiscus Bloom of 2020.

Yesterday, the Hibiscus on the deck was about to pop open. I wanted to get a photo of it beginning the process. I got dressed and everything, went back outside, and the bud popped open! It must have opened when the sun hit it 20 minutes earlier. Dang! Missed it. But isn’t it beautiful? I hope I can keep this living over the winter in the house. The blooms only live for 24 hours. That’s it. Such anticipation, and then they die. Nature is so grand!

The reading for yesterday was certainly timely as today’s was. It was:

I have to remember this: People at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

I think this is so timely with all the talk about socio-economic differences in our country, and issues with it. The people I know who have had good lives, regardless of color, have stayed in school at least through age 18, then gone to college, the military, or trade school. Their parents didn’t pay for them to become educated. They learned how to get loans or grants for students.

They have been dedicated to their mission of a degree, a life of service, or a life as a tradesperson. They have all earned good livings, learned to handle their finances and business, been morally uncorrupted, and do what good people do. I do believe if we all lived this way, there would be more people at the tops of the mountains. I think it is a tried and true method to get there. No excuses. No blame placing. Good mentoring helps. If your parents aren’t able to do that, ask someone who can.

I do plan to write some more today. I am writing more of significant events in my character Katie’s life, and will reassess how that will go with what I already have. I believe there is a way, I’m just not sure of the how yet. Great things to ponder on another beautiful, sunny, hot Nebraska day. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it so much! See you again tomorrow. I can’t wait!

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.

Wednesday’s Words

How do we use ordinary words to explain to our kids and grandkids what is going on in the world right now. Give me the pandemic back, please! They understand they don’t want Grandma and Grandpa to get sick, really sick. This unrest? They don’t, because it can come into their neighborhood, to their school, to their grocery store, or to the place Daddy or Mommy go to work every day. When it turns violent, everyone is at risk.

Having grown up in the 1960s, I remember all too well hearing stories about segregation. EXTREME segregation. Read anything about Josephine Baker (from the 1920s), Lena Horne (1940s), Sammy Davis Jr. (1950s-1960s and beyond), George Wallace and his hatefulness, the Tuskegee Airmen, and you will learn how one world was ok for us, and another was ok for them. Read “The Help” or watch the movie. It was true. All true. So much misinformation about how people of color functioned as humans. They can run faster. They cannot learn as well. They will pass diseases if they are allowed to use white only facilities. Really?? How sad. It makes me ashamed to be remember hearing these things. Not from my parents, but from “others.”

Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who had cervical cancer. Her journey to immortality took place at Johns Hopkins University where she was treated for her cancer. She was also experimented upon and used as a guinea pig by researchers. How they used her is sinful. It is criminal. And they just thought because she was black she couldn’t understand and didn’t bother treating her as one of God’s children, and experimented on the poor woman. After she passed, her family discovered all the ugliness that happened, and finally, her story was told. Shame on Johns Hopkins. Shame on everyone involved. The book about her life is called, “The Immortality of Henrietta Lacks.” It’s very educational.

Right in the middle of the 1960s, the unthinkable happened to my white, Irish (Polish, German, Dutch, Catholic School in South Omaha. My dad and all his brothers and sister attended there as young kids, too. We were getting a new gym teacher. We heard he was black. What? Tongues were wagging. How can that be? It was, and that was the way it was going to be. My folks didn’t say much, except to say he was attending Omaha University (now UNO), and he was a black man. We didn’t know what that would mean to us.

I’ll never forget the apprehension on his face as our class entered the gym. He introduced himself. He was a large man, very athletic. Muscular. He had a soft, gentle voice. Over the months that ensued, he gained our trust and love. Even through dodge ball. He was kind to us all. We learned he was married, with a little girl, and a wife who attended college also. Sometimes they were without child care and he would bring his little girl to class. The girls took turns playing with her. It was fun.

At Christmas time, my mom always went overboard doing what she loved. Baking Christmas cookies. She baked over 167 dozen cookies one year. This particular year, when giving my brother and me boxes to deliver to the teachers, she gave me one and told me, “This is for Mr. Hepburn.” I was happy and nervous to deliver it to him.

I approached him before class and handed him the package. “This is for you, Mr. Hepburn.” I was too shy to tell him it was from my brother and me. He thanked the whole class and they looked at me funny. I felt the flush in my face. After class I went to him and told him, “Mr. Hepburn, I forgot to say this was from my brother and me.” His eyes lit up. He was so grateful. I’ll never forget that look in his eyes.

A week later, he gave me a beautifully handwritten thank you note. My mom was tickled pink. He was always so nice to me as an individual person after that. In high school I learned he was on the semi pro football team the Omaha Mustangs. I was so proud to have known him, his name was often in the Sports section of the Omaha World Herald.

And then, in the fall of my sophomore year of high school, the worst happened. We heard Glen Hepburn sustained a serious head injury in a game played that Saturday night. He died two days later. I was stunned. He was such a nice man. And he had two little girls and his wife to take care of. How can this be happening? I never could understand that. But at least it was an accident. No malice or prejudice took his life. He was a good man, and I’ve remembered him often as one through the last fifty some years. A good man, gone far too soon. I wonder if his wife remarried, and I wonder about his children. I hope they had good lives, too. I just know their Dad is proud of them from heaven.

Kindness is a great teacher. I saw my mother’s kindness taught to me, her daughter, and reflected in the face of a kind black man. I’m grateful for that memory that is so fresh in my mind today. Care for each other. Share a cookie or two.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Have a good day today, be kind to someone new, and I’ll see you tomorrow. You know I’ll be here.

Now What?

It’s Sunday, May 31, 2020. Omaha is one of many cities with riots last night. The protesters became criminals when they started destroying things because they simply thought they should. Many of the people arrested in Omaha were young, white people. Not very many black or hispanic people. The Police Department HQ was assaulted also. So many people in the Old Market area of town were destroying property. Breaking windows in our beautiful historic Orpheum Theater. Someone started a fire in a coffee shop, three young men grabbed a fire extinguisher from their apartment in the area and put the fire out. Quick thinking.

These poor people, who own businesses in the area. So sad. As if loss of revenue from the Pandemic wasn’t enough, you add this . . . a person could really lose heart and desire to continue trying to succeed. And the protestors. Do they really know why they went from making a point to making the conscious decision to start destroying property, being disrespectful, and thinking it is perfectly ok to do this? Or are they doing it just because the guy next to them was doing it?

Omaha has a curfew at 8 p.m. tonight. No one should venture out. It will be in force for three days. I hope it puts a lid on the rioting and destruction. You are not helping your cause by being lawless. Peaceful disagreement would be much more effective. Just as Dr. King proposed. We need to pick up where he left off, not just go off in a frenzy of mayhem and destruction. A cool head must prevail for any change to take effect.

But there will always be that one person who thinks they are above the law. Maybe it’s a cop. Maybe it’s a rich white kid. Maybe it’s a poor black kid. Or an Hispanic who has to translate for his parents who don’t speak English. All of this started with a cop using a method of detention that has been frowned upon. And four of his colleagues standing still. Standing there. This is not acceptable. Period. Why did he think that was a good idea? Why didn’t the others intervene? Will we ever know the truth?

And now in cities all over our country, there are people who really want to protest peacefully. They come out in the daytime. Just after work. And they go home. They don’t hang out for hours and hours and turn the tide and mood of the crowd to breaking the law and destroying property. Why do they think this is a good idea? When you stoop to using those tactics, you are not helping anything. Why give credence to a stereotype when you could do something constructive and good for the situation?

So, please stop and think, my friends. What can you do? What will you do? Whom Will You Be? This editorial cartoon is shared with permission from Jeffrey Koterba of the Omaha World Herald.

Jeffrey has an unbelievable knack at depicting exactly what the people are thinking. We look to him in times like these to put our feelings and thoughts into something we look at and say, “Yes, that’s it.” I believe his cartoon for tomorrow’s edition is spot on, and I wanted to share it with the rest of you. Whichever city you live in, it’s time for all of us to ask ourselves, “Whom do I want to be??” Thank you, Jeffrey Koterba, for helping us at times like these. Be safe. Honor your curfew. Wash your hands. Stay at home.

Memorial Day, 2020

May this day find you all free from threats, feeling safe, and remembering the selfless soldiers who gave their lives for our great country. This is a day we celebrate and think about their lives of duty, honor, and love.

By the time the USA was involved in WWII, many a young high school lad enlisted in the Army. Our nation stayed out of the war until we experienced the attack at Pearl Harbor. It was the absolute worst thing that ever happened to our country ever. Until 9/11 happened. How could we be attacked twice on our own soil? Did we not have the best military forces in the world? We did then and still do now. We let our guard down.

We let our guard down that Sunday morning in 1941 when most of those alive went to Church that day and may have been headed to Grandma’s house for dinner. Then it happened. A day that has lived in infamy. Many, many young men found their way to various recruiting offices to sign up for the Army or Navy, they wanted to defend our country against the aggressor. So many of those that died were fresh-faced teenagers who may have lied about their age to enlist. They left to go with others and defend our country. Many never returned.

Between the battlefield and the end of their lives, many soldiers met my father, Sgt. Thomas Jewell, Jr. He was initially a young medical supply/surgical tech and helped rescue the fallen from the battlefield, applying tourniquets or pressure to wounds and prayers with frightened young men. He was with medics all through Europe in General Patton’s Army. He served in Korea, caring for North Korean POW’s. He returned home to never really talk about things. Parts of him died with each of those young men. Many who survived told him at his 1987 Blackhawks Division reunion they had prayed for him every day because he saved their lives. One described him as self effacing, one who simply went about his work dodging bullets, carrying the wounded on stretchers. He was always an extremely modest man, never boastful about his accomplishments. He has always been my hero because of his unending support, quiet manner, and experiences in life that made him a good man. I am a very lucky daughter to have had that kind of father. He passed away in 1988, six months after retiring and three months before he was set for the first vacation of his life: flying with the Blackhawks to trace their steps through Europe on the liberation of Europe operation. Our mother still made the trip.

To help us think of those young fallen soldiers, here is an excellent video and rendition of TAPS. Jimmy Weber sings. Peace. Thanks. Gratitude. Let Freedom Ring. God bless you all. And God Bless America!

TAPS by Jimmy Weber

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!

Thankful Thursday

Hi, friends! Every year when this day comes around, I almost feel like a kid eager for their birthday. Actually, I’m a senior citizen, eager for her birthday tomorrow. I have always loved birthdays, mainly because if the moon and stars align just right, you probably will be the only one in your family with YOUR birthday. Numerology and multiple births aside, it’s a pretty cool happening. I suppose it’s because to me the day of a person’s birth is so special. With my children, I eagerly awaited their entrance into this world. So special. Those little babies who are the closest thing to angels and God Himself, I just cannot believe how precious they are. I think we should have this trait throughout life. We are all precious and special to someone on earth, and for sure are special to our Creator. In the grand scheme of things, we have no idea how special we are. Start thinking on that when you feel if no one notices or worse yet, cares.

The Babe has a birthday two days after mine. We used to go to dinner on the 23rd, but this year we will grill steaks at home. That will be perfect. We’ll go out later. The issue of cake has been addressed a couple times. We’ll have a buttercream frosted cake for me, then purchase a German Chocolate sheet cake for a cookout we’re going to on Sunday. It’s family, so we feel safe. It will be nice to gather with people again.

I’ve got quite a list of things I need to study up on for my book and talking with my writing coach again. In addition to updating the working copy of my manuscript, I have a couple worksheets that will require some decisions and a lot of thought, a lot of work with the book and workbook “Structuring Your Novel.” Kind of neat the author of that book and workbook is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild. Just like me. It’s fun to meet these people and be able to ask questions of them.

There is a lot of editing I need to do regarding conversations among the characters. They need to be separated by person, line by line. I erred by making the whole conversation a paragraph, not separate sentences. I will be easier to follow. And it will do something very important! Increase the page count. LOL. I’m grateful I met some fellow writers that I consider friends and colleagues. Colleagues can teach you about your similar interest. A friend can really get to where you are able to dig deep and pull out emotion, description, and reaction that are deep. They exist but you have to dig. Right now, I’m digging. It’s there. I know it is.

Have you ever heard the term “head hopping?” It’s a phrase that describes what happens when the writer tells you what each character is thinking. It’s confusing and frowned upon in writing. It conflicts with point of view. I do a little of it, so I need to remove it. I’ve heard the term several times, but now I know what it is and why I shouldn’t do it. No wonder it takes so long to write a novel!

If I were to illustrate my current storyline, it may resemble this!

Guardians of the threshold would be dogs, not cats. I do wonder about those shopping carts, not to mention the card readers! Holy smokes! There are many schools of thought on what to do now, how to do it, and what not to do at all. Getting tired of hearing about it. Let’s just get through it, whatever it will be now, and however long it takes. As I recall, H1N1 has happened at least twice in my lifetime, as has Swine Flu. I was vaccinated for Swine Flu both times. Never became ill. I get a flu shot every year, too. Pneumonia shot, then the super Pneumonia shot for old people. I’ve had both a regular shingles shot (at my own expense, after radiation. I wasn’t considered “old” enough to get it.) and the two shots now for shingles. I get a tetanus shot when prompted and follow the directions on most everything else.

So, the question is: Do the Babe and I go get COVID-19 tested tomorrow?Weigh in below, in comments.

Folks, while I get back to work, I wanted to tell you all thank you for reading. It means so much to me. Tomorrow will be another session, I hope to see you all back then. Take care. Stay safe.