Sunday Reflections

This was a week of incredible learning for me. My sessions with my book coach are getting even more interesting and deep. Some days, I’m not sure I want to discover all these emotions needed to tell the story that is on my heart. Yet I know I need to do it. It won’t rest until it’s on paper. Once it’s there, I can discover more about it, shape it into what my definition of fiction is. I believe it’s a story that may or not happen in real life, one people can learn from. It has a lesson, as does all of life. It should teach a lesson that is relatable. I suppose I was taught at an early age we learn from everything. Seeing, doing, not doing, doing right, doing wrong, and observing others in the same way. The actual definition of fiction is a narrative of people, events, or places that are imaginary. It will be interesting to see how this all develops.

These Books are Extremely Helpful to an Author

I already have “The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition).”It’s been a Godsend to me. I placed an order for “The Emotional Wound Thesaurus:A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma,” in which I should find a lot of valuable information for conveying the trauma my main character carries, adding depth and soul to the story. These are humbling sessions. I have a lot to learn, and I’m eager to learn it, and welcome the teaching.

Have you ever heard the word Schadenfreude? I included it in a past blog, and loosely defined, it is malicious enjoyment from the suffering or unhappiness of others. We’ve all known people who delight in others misfortune. This is one step beyond. I’m not sure a person is necessarily “right” to do this to another person. A person who is vengeful enough will do this and be delighted by breaking the other person’s spirit. I’ve had it done to me, and it’s no picnic, believe me. Bullying is a form of this, in my opinion. Passive aggressiveness sets in, and continues to destroy another’s confidence. Not a pretty sight or sound. It is defined quite well in the The Emotion Thesaurus. I just ran across it, and thought it may prove useful in the story. A person delights in tormenting Katie, and this would be a great way to describe one of their evil traits.

Be Careful What You Ask For!

Communication is so important, make sure the tattoo artist knows what you mean exactly! I’d rather be remembered for being kind to people than to appear to have money. As the Babe says, I’ve had it, lost it, had it again. It comes and goes. Isn’t that the truth? Mom always told me, “By the time you have enough money, it doesn’t matter anymore.” I remember lean times as a kid. You got new shoes for school. Maybe new Keds for summer. Nothing extra. We wore uniforms, so that cut down on our clothing immensely. She was right. By the time I completed enough education to afford being a single mom of three, they flew the nest and it didn’t matter anymore. Strange how that happens.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I’m starting a list of little things around the house we need to clean vigorously or re-do in the next month or so. Yes, things like washing the outside windows, stuff like that. I’d like one thorough cleaning of everything (and dispose of unwanted stuff) just as fall sets in. It will take me about 5 – 6 weeks to do it all, but that’s ok. If I get it done once a year it’s good. I used to do it all twice a year. Not anymore. My energy has to be saved for the good stuff. The creative stuff. The stuff dreams are made of, that make you happy. It’s a great place to be in life. May you all get there.

Thank you for reading. I’m grateful you are doing this journey with me. Back again tomorrow, hope to see you then. Be Safe.

Friday Fun

Hello from the home office in Gretna, where the magic happens. This is a day to finish up things for the work week and think of something wonderful to do over the next two days you have off the job, and refresh for next week. It’s a whole new game for us retired folks. Since school has started, though, we need to begin picking up our granddaughter after school on certain days so we can get her home with Gavin. So far, so good, on the school days. I hope they continue. The masks are required, and I think these two are old enough to understand it’s a must if they want to keep in school. I think they missed it a great deal. Our grandson in Virginia will be remote learning until at least November, then it will be reevaluated. Cross your fingers, pray, and wear your mask, people!

New Stacked Stone on Fireplace. Well Worth It!

Isn’t the new fireplace nice? It’s amazing how changing to stone from ceramic tiles made such a difference. Yes, there is a board standing there until everything dries, it’s not part of the new look. I love that the trades (hopefully) will see a revival. We will always need someone to do this type of work. Electricians, plumbers, concrete finishers, block and brick layers are all desperately needed as are auto mechanics. It’s a shame the mantra of the 1980s, “You can make more money sitting down than you do standing up.” Yes, tech jobs do pay tremendously well. I had one myself. The salary depended on your skills and abilities, not your sex. And now, it suddenly occurs to the educators and others that we need schooling in those areas. Not a surprise, really.

One place I wouldn’t want to work is the United States Post Office. My former husband retired from there over ten years ago. It was a good job, being a letter carrier. He had an old walking route while I was still married to him, and he did a good job. Back in those days, you had to sort your own mail, and bundle it according to your stops. The carriers seemed to know when someone moved, or if you had a wrong apartment number on a letter, they had sense to see that and still deliver the letter instead of returning it. That doesn’t happen now.

Since the Babe and I got married in 1998, we have received weird mail, it’s as if companies made up more people at our address by using our last name in conjunction with my three kids’ first names. Seriously. Frank Raabe is one. No one by that name. Still, we get one every so often. Those mailing list companies make so many assumptions when they’re eager to sell off names and addresses. And we received one for Rebecca Raabe. Nice name, but we have no one by that name either. Sheesh!

This expresses my studio and craft rooms perfectly

There are days when I get irritated at myself for the creative clutter I have. Not enough (yet) to go through each and every item for each and every hobby or interest, but I get irked nonetheless. Sorting and culling the herd will be a winter project. No, it’s not hoarding, but my daughter and sons have commented there are more boxes of stuff to make stuff than of clothes, kitchenware, and decor. See if I’ll have them help us move again! Lol. No, it’s to the assisted living place next move. I mean it.

Speaking of moving, I think Mom holds the world’s record on living in the same house for the longest. She and Dad married in 1948, had an apartment, then moved into the house in which she still lives in 1949. Seventy-one years living in one house. Wow. She was 20 when they moved in. Just think on that. So, in her life, she only lived at three places: growing up, brief apartment living, and our home. At first they rented three rooms upstairs to a couple from Offutt. There was an actual second kitchen upstairs, one room living room, one room bedroom, and they shared the bathroom. Seventy one years in one house has to be a record.

Can you imagine sharing a bathroom with another family? Even when I got married in 1970, furnished apartments were very common. Kitchen, living room, bedroom furniture came with your rent. Good and bad. Someone else’s old lumpy mattress? Often it was like the one we left at home. People didn’t spend what they didn’t have. The hygiene patrol would probably have a heyday with this.

My studio/office/craft room, it’s where the magic happens!

Hope you have a beautiful rest of the day. Take time to appreciate your surroundings. Appreciate yourself, too. I’m off to do laundry and quilt. That Poppy masterpiece may be finished yet. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate the time you spend with me. See you again tomorrow. Be safe. Wear your mask, wash up. Let’s just do what we need to do and get through this. It’s the quickest way to make our own way into the future. Don’t live in fear. Be confident we are only temporarily inconvenienced by wearing masks. It won’t be forever. Use civility. Use compassion. Use kindness.

Tuesday Gratitude

It’s a blue-skied day again today. I always welcome this time of year. Lots of people had strange wind damage yesterday, it was a weird event which happens once in awhile. Weather is so strange. It has to be respected because it is so powerful. Many kinds of severe weather can happen in Nebraska, and other states. I’d hate a hurricane, Floridians would hate tornadoes. Blizzards aren’t that bad when you’re retired. It doesn’t matter if you get out or not. Just fill the coffee again, and there you are. Light the fire and watch a Netflix series or two.

As we age, we need to have lots of preventative maintenance. Kind of like a car. If you don’t do it regularly, you could have a lot of unknown issues that could be costly for a car, or deadly for a person. The Babe had a colonoscopy today, and all is well. That is a huge blessing. We are grateful. Come back in three years, what is a great outcome.

It appears Joe Biden has a running mate. I have no opinion of Ms. Harris, and it matters not to me that she is a female or black. Neither makes me think a candidate more or less worthy. I have concerns about Biden, and Harris, and about Trump and Pence. I just hope there is never another Presidential assassination. It is a horrible event to happen to a nation.

I was in sixth grade when Kennedy was shot. We heard all the gory details. After all, we learned everything about the crucified body of Jesus Christ by the time we were seven, there was no reason to spare assassination details. And we all witnessed the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. When you consider the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy happened in 1968, as did the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; we experienced a lot of violence. The violence human beings are capable of.

That violence happens often and daily in America now. Life seems to have lost it’s value to the killers. As many grandmothers and mothers do, I pray none of our family is harmed by this violence. One of our sons serves in the U.S. Secret Service, and he is trained beyond what we could ever imagine. He is a perfect man for the job he has. We are nothing but proud. He is actually safer than we are, if you think about it. God will be good to him, and to his beautiful family.

So true . . . let’s all have a good heart.

I fared well with a quick review from my book coach, regarding my rewritten Chapter One. Very minor things, which I will submit to her again, along with a draft of Chapter Two. I have an idea of what will happen in Chapter Two, and I’ll try to behave with my verb tenses, keep the protagonist in all the scenes, and keep to the timeline. All the stuff I learned in Chapter One so far. It’s a great process, I’m glad to be experiencing it.

It’s a couple days late, but the Babe and I are going to watch this week’s Yellowstone. He can’t stay awake on Sunday night for it, so we record it for later. It’s continuing to be a great story line again this season. The scenery is so beautiful. Makes me want to go back to Montana again. We left the back entrance of Yellowstone National Park to see Big Sky Country. It was breathtaking!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Be safe out there. Some schools started back up today, and more will go back tomorrow. Take a little time for yourself, be kind, be courteous, be smart. I will see you right here again tomorrow. Thank you very much.

Friday, Blessed Friday

At last, we have a family wedding to attend today. This cousin did not have to reschedule her big day, thank goodness. It should be a lot of fun for everyone. This family is so sweet, they are all wonderful human beings. It will be beautiful weather, too. Maybe a little rain, but nothing huge. Every day is a perfect day for two people who love each other to get married. We will socially distance, and if it becomes too crowded, we’ll go home.

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

Parents and educators are getting pretty upset with wondering about the virus and kids in school all day. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. Superintendents everywhere are expected to be able to predict the future, and they cannot. No one really can. The experts cannot even agree with all the information, real or not, that is circulating out there. All we can do is prepare for anything. Prepare to homeschool again in a month or so. It may very well ramp up again. Omaha, Nebraska is one area that is ramping up in number of cases. We are steering clear of very large crowds, and distancing when we are out. I hope and pray our grandkids do not become ill, or my mom.

My Pro Writing Aid software add-ons for Chromebook are behaving strangely. While it does a great job of generating reports full of improvements, the format is no longer correct after making and saving changes. Big problem! All sentences are left justified, all centered words, like chapter numbers are left justified. That shouldn’t happen. I’ll have to ask their tech people about it. I may have to use the software on my Microsoft O/S laptop, and not on the Chromebook. I could save each chapter to the cloud, then run Pro Writing Aid reports on it there. Maybe things would stay in place then. (It’d be saved as a Word Doc, not a Google Doc).

Yes, Be Stronger Than Your Storm

There are many, many storms out there being fought by many, many people. Women, Men, Children, Elderly, Young, Middle-aged. Some fight against demons most cannot imagine, thank goodness. But, oh those with unimaginable demons, we don’t judge you by what’s been done to you. It is not your fault at all. Some people’s bad choices create storms, such as a gambler or an alcoholic. Some people learn bad behavior, such as spousal abuse and child abuse. These are not normal things in a life. You should not experience these things at all, as a child or participate in them as an adult. You need to gain power over these storms. Power over the storms and your life; and your future. It can change if you want it to. Yes, it is hard work. There is help.

Know there are people who can help you, regardless of the issue. Reaching our is very hard. It is the first step out of the storm. One step up and two steps back happens often. Don’t give up. It’s worth it.

I hope you find some peace this weekend. Enjoy your days, however they come about. Sometimes, things go nothing but wrong no matter what you do. Other days are perfect, no matter what you do. Have one that’s in between the two. Thank you for reading, I’m grateful you did. I’ll be back tomorrow, and hope to see you then. Be Careful out there. Be safe. Be Kind.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

I saw this guy on the deck last week. It was pretty cool, watching him move ever so slowly. He seemed to move one segmented joint at a time. It was fascinating to watch. I love seeing the creatures of the world from a safe distance. One bug I hope to never see again is the Japanese Beetle. They are so beautiful yet so destructive. The dragonflies, and butterflies are welcome!

August is month with a lot happening. School again (we think), and I don’t envy parents at all. I think our children will be behind where they should be if remote learning would continue for an extended period of time. I don’t think our grandkids are finding enough challenge in the work assigned and I’d hate them to lose out on some critical learning as Addison is in eighth grade and Gavin is in third. They are both very bright and need to be challenged.

Goldie has a blast with butterflies. She could have stood there watching this one for hours. I love showing puppies and babies to watch butterflies. Dragonflies are a lot harder, they move very quickly.

Another August event I’m looking forward to is working with a company to set up a new website for the VFW Post 2503. I’m involved in maintenance on the old one (probably twenty years old), and it is in serious need of an update. It needs to be done, and I’m glad for what I’ll get to learn about WordPress. I can use the knowledge to add pages to my website, and the blog will continue to be one page of many. As I get closer to finishing my book, I’ll add pages to my website.

The Babe and I couldn’t find anything to watch on TV last night, so we watched an Amazon Prime movie, “Fathers and Daughters.” It was quite sad. The daughter was very young when her mother died in a car accident. The father was a writer (go figure!), and mentally ill/struck with seizures after the accident, loss, and having a child to help. He went to a mental hospital for seven months, had ECT (Electric Current Therapy) and other therapy, and returned to raise his daughter. It paralleled his life with hers. She had little understanding how to have a personal relationship with anyone else. She was a social worker, helped a little girl who lost her mom, yet couldn’t commit to her boyfriend. It was a weird story to track. At the end, there was this beautiful song: “Fathers and Daughters Never Say Goodbye.” Yes, it’s a tear jerker. It makes me miss my dad.

Sometimes, it seems as if it’s silly to still miss him after all these years. I have already lived longer than he did. He was cheated out of enjoying his retirement by that tyrant, cancer. I miss his support. Not a “good job,” kind of guy. More of a, “keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get there,” kind of guy. He’s still with me. And that is all I need to know.

I have a lot of work to ready and send to my book coach for this week’s conference (Thursday morning). For some reason, it seems to just jump at me from nowhere. Lots to do, so cutting this a little short. Have a beautiful day. It’s cloudy, but you can make it sunny in your heart. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Help someone. Hold the door open. Small things add up. You’ll feel better, too. I appreciate you reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and we’ll catch up. Be careful out there.

Fabulous Friday

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

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

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

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

And There You GO!

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

Winning Wednesday

So much to create, so little time. Do you feel this way? Not just about writing, but crafting and creating together. Unfortunately, I have interest in a lot of creative endeavors. I sewed my own clothes for many years. To dress like the job I wanted, I tailored my own suits for nearly my entire working career. As I progressed in salary, I did purchase them, but still sewed for myself. I’ve probably also made about 40 bridesmaids dresses, and two wedding dresses. I loved doing it all.

Then, after I could no longer work at the age of 48 due to my wacky spine condition, I went on Medicare at age 50. And straight into depression. I felt washed up and useless. I was used to being very physically active, and just couldn’t anymore. Over the next 18 years, I had breast cancer, two foot surgeries, a badly broken ankle (all on the left foot!), and been through the Babe’s extensive visits/procedures thanks to the US Government’s use of Agent Orange during his tropical visit to Vietnam, and thanked God every single thing has eventually turned out well.

The new passion I had for quilting and creating ended the depression, I needed the creative outlet to feel like I was worth something. It worked. And even now, when I start to feel less than great for a period of time, all I need to do is make a quilt, a wall hanging, something, to bring me joy again. There is a sense of accomplishment I receive from that. It’s cheaper than meds or therapy and does the trick. The quilters I’ve met both in person and in Facebook Groups are the best people I know outside of longtime friends I have. Generous, creative, supportive, sharing, and willing to teach and learn. Good stuff.

So, I signed up to make this cute little picture for my laundry room. It needs something on the walls. If anyone would like to sign up, go to the above FB posting. It’s $10. Three one hour sessions teach the techniques. It runs August 2, 4, and 6 and the time zones are posted worldwide. 6:30 p.m., CDT. The project is called “Laundry Day.” The Website is: and it appears there is a waitlist for the class now. The project I’m making is pictured on the right side of the website page.

No, I don’t need more to do. I have plenty to do. I just want something to spark my creativity. So, something different is in order. The idea is to use vintage patterns, fabric, trims, buttons, etc., and you’ll recall some memories and good people from your treasures. I need to do this. A scrap of lace trim my Grandma Bobell crocheted or tatted, a button from Aunt Lois’s sewing treasures, and some fabric that was used long ago. It’ll make me smile, and enhance creativity, too. And calm my restlessness.

Any minute now, the Babe will return home with Gavin. We’re having sliders for lunch today, it should be good. After that, I’ll work a little on my quilt, and more on my additional characters for Katie to deal with in “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons,” my novel. Little bits, and I’ll accomplish a lot.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you are well. I just found out today my COVID test is negative. That’s great news. I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Be careful out there.

Taco Tuesday

It’s 3:30 p.m. and I’m just starting to write the blog for the day. It was a day to take Mom to the Cardiologist for an annual visit. She has an appointment for next year, July 20, 2021. She thought it was silly to make an appointment a year in advance at her age. I told her it was an optimistic way to look at it. It’ll be here before you know it, right?

After the doctor, she “needed” to go to Hobby Lobby. She replaced some 30 year greenery in hanging baskets on the enclosed front porch. She gets her money’s worth out of stuff, for sure.

One of the best projects my folks did to their house was to enclose the front porch. It’s good sized, has combination windows, and has offered a nice place to sit in the evening without bugs of summer. It’s good for about three seasons if you push it. I spent hours playing on the open porch, and my kids all played there too. Although she lives in the house we all grew up in, it’s her home, not ours anymore. Our homes are where we live. Of the houses my kids were raised in, only one is still standing. They remember “the white house,” and talk about the neighborhood. The house was razed by the city for street improvement.

The home they left for adulthood is still standing. It’s the house I bought by myself and the house the Babe and I first lived in after we married. Home is wherever we live. Mom has only lived in probably two houses her entire life. I can’t imagine her moving to assisted living on her own. I think she’d be mad at us if we suggested it as a good idea. That big house just wears her out. Bathrooms are on second floor or in basement, there is nothing on the main level.

Considering my doctor advised us to get a ranch style house and forgo steps, I’m so glad we did. I’m looking at knee replacement whenever I decide I can’t take it anymore. I’m not ready yet. For all the surgeries I’ve survived, this one gives me the willies. I can’t see any of my major scars very well. A knee, well, it’s out there. I’m not vain about it, just gives me the creeps. And the creeps are not good.

My Memories of Summer Reading Club at the Omaha Public Library. Good Times!

Isn’t this little saying by Julia Donaldson just lovely? It reminds me of every summer, my brother and I raced to see who could read the first ten books. He usually beat me. He spent more time reading and just did it faster. That’s ok, I wasn’t a slouch at it. Almost all the kids in class received a bookmark as the award when we started back to school in September. The stories usually captivated me, and I loved the true to life stories.

Three of our grandkids say they don’t like to read. That makes me sad. I hope someday they change their minds. The two grandkids in Colorado are read to a lot, and chances are, they will read on their own when the time comes. Books are my favorite gift to give and receive. Gift cards to book stores are the best.

Now Here’s An Idea!

It’s just so easy to order books on Amazon for delivery. I do like bookstores, I just haven’t been out to one for a long time. It still feels weird to go out and get necessities. A friend of mine is releasing a children’s book. I’ll share a link when it’s available online. Shouldn’t be too long. I’m excited for her! She has a nice little family, a husband and two little boys. One was just born in the last couple months.

As I watch my mom toddle along, I wonder how long we’ll have her. She’ll be 91 next month, and still lives alone. It was old folks day at the cardiologist, and saw many “children” bring “Mom” or “Dad” to the clinic. Some couples were there, but not many. Although she complains about the cost of the blood thinner, I think it’s kept her from having any more strokes the past few years. And the Babe is on blood thinners, too. So two main people in my life are kind of living on the edge, either of them could have an event at any time. I’m not going to worry about it. It it occurs, we’ll deal with it. I’m just not ready to give anyone up yet. Prayers are always welcome.

For tonight? I’m going to read a book I’ve had going since pre-COVID. I just haven’t finished it. It’s my kind of story – former Navy Seal, Cop in Colorado, solves murder cases, etc. I just want to see if perhaps I can make good on the Goodreads estimate of number of books I may read in 2020. It’s not too exciting, but it’s an accomplishment. How about you?

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support so much. Wash up, Mask up, Be Kind, Be Tolerant, Be Courteous. We all need each other to treat each other well. This will pass much more easily if we do. Do what’s right. Do something your grandma could be proud of. See you tomorrow, be safe.

Masterful Monday

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

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

Some Days!

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

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

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

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

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

Tell Your Much Needed Story

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Morning

Hi, folks! It’s going to be another hot, humid day in Gretna, Nebraska here at the home office. It’s another Gavin day, too. We pick him up for lunch, drop his sister off at dance, hang out awhile, then take him home when Dad gets home from work. Ballgame tonight. I’m so happy he feels more comfortable with his team and understands he’s learning skills and the more he plays and practices, the better he’ll be. Dad and Mom are doing a great job helping him learn it won’t happen overnight. I do believe with his natural talent, and playing/practicing with his team, and more home coaching with Dad, he’ll be a great player some day.

I have to laugh at how the grandkids of a certain age (7 – 8) talk incessantly!) Addison used to say, “Grandma, guess what?” then share what she needed. Gavin is funny. He says, “Grandma, can I tell you something?” Not sure what he’d do if I said, “NO!” I just can’t do that to the kid.

I need to be pinning and quilting!

Today, I’m taking a break from writing except for this blog. Going to finish prepping my poppy quilt, which I haven’t revisited for a month or more. There are just not enough hours in a day to finish things. The mornings we don’t have Gavin, we may linger a little longer on the deck with coffee. It’s the best time of the day. The dogs are quiet. The day is just beginning. There is a lot of promise for the next 24 hours. There may be a nice breeze, blue skies. Birds singing. It’s great. I love it so much, it’s like being on vacation at a rental cabin. We were so lucky to find this house. I hope we can stay here for many, many years.

I have to say, I’m going to miss our neighbors when they move. We had some moving boxes Dan offered to them, the kind from Home Depot, that break down nicely. It’s getting real, now that the boxes are going to be filled. This couple is about our ages, and I hope we can keep in touch when they relocate. They are fun to talk with and have been so patient with our dogs. You can’t get better than that!

It seems I’ve “arrived.” I’m on someone’s snail mail list for “Professional Writers.” La-de-dah! There is a magazine called Poets and Writers, I can subscribe on the cheap. Might be worth looking at. I can always not renew. I have to confess, I don’t think I’m a good e-reader. It’s just not a magazine or book. I need it in my hands. I love the portability of a magazine or book. I know, I can carry 80k more on my Kindle. Well. Maybe I’ll do that someday.

It seems Lee Gutkind, the author of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” is also the founder/editor of “Creative Nonfiction Magazine.” This is another one I think would be very informative. Might look at a year’s worth of it, too. It’s all deductible. Why not? Gutkind explains things succinctly, something an author of creative nonfiction needs to achieve. Say more with less. Say it better with less. I need to learn that.

I love this kid!

Thank you for reading today. This is brief, we’re leaving to get the G-man so he can tell us stuff. You know, the heart of an 8 year old if open and totally honest. Wouldn’t miss it for the world! I’ll be here again tomorrow, see you then! Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Wear a mask, Wash up.