Hump Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun Friday

It’s been a funny day. Not haha funny, weird. Yesterday we did well straightening up the storage area in the lower level of our home. I finished detangling the lights today, now to separate the beaded garland and the icicle drapings from each other. What a thrill to be done with something I dreaded from the moment I took the tree down!

Went to the doc to get shots in my knees this morning. As long as they work, I am not a candidate for knee replacements. I want them to work as long as possible. After all the surgeries this old body has endured, surgery doesn’t bother me. Until I see a scar from knee surgery. I can’t see most of my scars, so it’s easier to take.

Thirteen strands of 100 lights each. All in a ball. The Babe said throw them out. I was up to the detangling challenge!

Seeing a knee scar gives me the willies. Not sure why, but it does. My hat if off to anyone who has knee replacement. Rarely will a doctor do a double replacement at the same time. I understand why.

The Babe went to Menards and got some Windex outdoor window cleaner. It works like a charm. We have two very dingy, dirty windows in the family room, along with the patio door. Winter is tough on them, lots of dirt, spider webs, etc. Using the outdoor window cleaner gets the windows and the screens clean. And it’s nice to see outside again from a clean window. I’ve always cleaned windows at least twice a year. I’m not doing much of that stuff anymore. Our cleaning girls do a great job on the insides of the windows and the blinds. This will just add to the spring fever I have right about now.

My next phase of Spring Fever will be watching which of my flowers will start to grow. We have to devise some sort of fence or something so Goldie will stop pulling dead stalks and sticks out of the flower bed. I can’t even find the beautiful Hydrangea’s I bought last year. I know where they’re planted, I hope the had a good root system. Sitting on the patio in the afternoons is such a relaxing experience for us. As soon as the weather permits, we are there! I usually read or do some hand sewing, maybe crochet. For us, it’s like being on vacation. So grateful to have this home.

This late blog makes the whole day feel “off”. I like writing it first thing in the morning, then we can go on to other things, like more writing and reading. The days go by so quickly! The cutest thing today, we received a text message from our daughter in law. Their son, Joell is twelve, and growing into a young man lately. He told his mother he needed a new deodorant. She asked him what kind. He told her, “Old Spice.” The Babe and I just cracked up. I’m glad he likes the classic, manly product, right?

So going to rest these knees and let the medicine work. Isn’t it miraculous what breakthroughs there are in medicine today? I am so in awe of the knowledge it takes to produce things like Orthovisc. In reading up about the drug, I was surprised to learn it is made from hyaluronan acid. It is found in the combs of roosters. That is the strangest thing I’ve heard today. Many, many medications are made from animal “parts”. My first husband worked at a place that processed many of the animal parts to make medications. Bile, for example, was freeze dried into a powder to make tablets or capsules from. Thyroids were used to make thyroid medication. It was pretty fascinating. It had a terrible odor, however. I was so glad the company provided uniforms, because the clothing picked up the odors.

Tomorrow, I hope the Babe can free my recumbent bike from the storage area and move it out to the family room near the patio doors. I can bike and watch the birds. Oh, and the dogs, too. The exercise is great for knee issues, it doesn’t make your sore knees bear any body weight at all to bike. My new plan. And more on the novel tomorrow. It’s coming along. I hope to be finished by April 15th. Tax day.

Thank you for reading today, and I hope you return tomorrow. I’ll be here, see you then.

Thankful Thursday

Don’t need to get Mom anywhere for a few days, so we’re plotting how productive we’re going to be later. I still have some Christmas items to pack away. They’re downstairs littering the storage area. The 1300 lights still need to be detangled and secured. The two beaded garlands need to be unknotted and secured. A few ornaments still belong in their storage containers. It’s just a matter of starting, and I’m sure I’ll finish in maybe an hour. Except for the lights. That could be lengthy. Putting those things in their place will declutter our storage area and lead to getting the patio and deck furniture out for the weekend when it will be great outdoor weather. Rewards make tasks like that go much easier.

My handy daily reminders on how to behave and help others while helping myself

I mentioned this book awhile ago when writing about three places I look for inspiration to write. This one helps me remember how to be a good citizen and help others while providing opportunities for growth. Growth for myself and others. They go hand in hand sometimes. For example, today, March 5 speaks to not having a voice.

People who meet me today have no clue I had no voice about my own life until I took charge of making my voice heard. Growing up, my parents voice was the only one that could be heard in the home. Since I got married after high school graduation, there was no opportunity to speak up while I was still at home. My dad could have a conversation that was an exchange with me, but Mom could not. At times we still use the weather and whatever she talks about as topics for the time we’re together. I tend to shut down while she pontificates about a lot of things. Yes, it’s an unhealthy pattern from life. She can’t see a need to change now, and I’m keeping quiet to pick a better battle. She has always been this way, and will stay this way. I have come to forgive her and leave her quirks in her house, not mine. It’s saved me a lot of frustration. It’s just not worth trying to resolve at this point in her life.

This daily discussion piece tells of not having power or choice without a voice. It’s true. Children often have no voice. In a baby boomer world, you were seen and not heard. Currently, children are often allowed the same voice as an adult. I think you can only have an adult voice when your experiences and level of learning are equal to an adult. No five year old should be allowed to choose where to eat, what time to go to bed, what time to get up, etc. They can, however, learn to make those choices for when they’re older.

In highly dysfunctional homes, homes with high levels of drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and violence, the children have no choice in what happens to them. It is a devastating result all the time. They know no better. They need to learn an alternative exists and how to achieve it for them. I must stress here, there was no violence in our home. My dad was a perfect gentleman to my mom. My mom was the alcoholic as I’ve revealed before. My younger brothers, like most kids in the 70’s, experimented with whatever their friends were doing. No longer. Thank God!

Society told me I needed to rely first on parents, then husband #1 to provide for me, protect me, and yes, even think for me. I was a latecomer to the whole equality issue. Yes, I was a very late bloomer. When I filed to divorce at 29 was when I found my voice. Maybe I went a little crazy with it, but eventually, I loved speaking up and out about what was best for my life. What was best for my kids’ lives while they were young and lived with me. And I made sure they learned their voices by teaching them respect of others’ opinions, decisions, and life choices. I think they had massive doses of reality before they set out on their own.

Compared to the wallflower I used to be, I enjoy speaking up. One thing I have noticed is if I get a bad vibe from someone, chances are they are a manipulator and either alcoholic or drug abuser. I don’t want to stop being a caring person who helps others. I want to be a caring person who helps others without being taken advantage of. I’m learning how to use my voice loud and clear. I know who I have to stay away from. I know when to leave. I know who to avoid. I’ve learned the hard way in some instances.

I am grateful for the miracle of growing and finding my voice. It’s not my mom’s, or my dad’s, my husband’s or my children’s. It’s mine. And God gave it back to me, ready to use at my discretion. I tell you about this voice because it’s in my book. Katie is the main character who needs to find and use her voice. She recalls the family dynamic, the lessons that taught her she had a voice, and even lets it roar when it needs to. It’s a journey many women take in their lives. You can too, male or female. Young or old. Gay or straight. Use your voice to make your own best life. I hope to see you again tomorrow. Thank you for reading today.

Special Sunday

Yesterday, after I wrote awhile and the Babe was finished with the Honor Guard after a veterans funeral, he called for me to meet him at Addy’s in Elkhorn for lunch. It was closer to 2 p.m. and we were starved! Usually on Saturday there is a tournament of some sort, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc. and the parents take kids to Addy’s to eat. No problem. We love kids. All ages. That said, we also believe there is appropriate behavior expected in public places like restaurants from children who are eight years and up. You would expect them to sit at their table and talk, play video games, and you would expect their parents to enforce some sort of rules for when they are in public. Not so yesterday.

We just received our food and started to eat. These kids started running (yes, running) between the tables, over to the game machines, and weaving all around the tables. There was not much room, and there were people eating at many of the tables, ours being one of them. Nothing from the parents. They didn’t look up from their beverages or anything. OK. The kids then started yelling loud like they were in a game or on a playground. Ten boys and one girl. The little girl was probably seven or eight, one boy was probably two years old. The little girl was in charge of the little boy. All the other boys were at least ten years old or very close to it. Old enough to know better.

A boy yelled out “all the boys to the bathroom,” and all nine of them ran into the men’s room. The servers were trying to do their work, and were concerned the little girl went into the men’s room too. She didn’t. The baby did, though. All nine boys ran back out and to the machine that mimics deer hunting. They picked up the rifles and turned around with them, pretending to shoot the crowd. Yes. I am not anti-gun. I am for teaching children the proper way to handle firearms when they are old enough. Did a parent correct anyone? No. Even when my little brothers played cops & robbers or cowboys, our parents always told us never point a gun, a toy gun, a nerf gun, at anyone. Period!

Cue all eleven kids now, and they ran up to the digital jukebox, and five of them pounded on it with their fists. Any correction? No. They kept doing that until they all decided to run around all the tables again. All in different directions. By then the Babe went to the restroom. While I was looking at my phone, a boy approached the chair the Babe left out a little bit, put his foot on the seat, and jumped over, landing right next to me. All I could say was, “What in the hell?” Another diner looked at me and shook his head. By then, the waitstaff were all watching these kids, waiting for a reprimand. Was there one? No, not at all.

I’m always ready to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Especially kids. But these kids were so out of line in so very may aspects of their bad behavior it isn’t even funny. I know kids have excess energy. The place to expel it is not in a restaurant. I know kids get excited and forget sometimes. Again, the place to forget is not in a restaurant. Most kids know the difference between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior by the time they are eight or nine. We had to know the difference much younger. Like about four or five. They appeared to have no control over anything. Their parents certainly didn’t. I would hate to have these kids in a classroom. Or try to coach them. I hope they learn very soon how to control themselves. There could be consequences. I hope there would be some from the parents. Letting them run wild is never appropriate. If you child is autistic, ADD or ADHD, they can still learn to exhibit appropriate behavior. Someone has to be the grown up and let them know what they’re doing isn’t right. And please, parents, do it soon. You may end up with a real problem child on your hands before you know it. Boundaries. Set them. Enforce them. You will be sorry if you don’t. I have seen it happen before.

I know, I know. Get off the Babe’s lawn, too. Other diners should not have had to put up with this while they were out paying for a meal, even at a sports bar. The End.

I do. I’m writing this book, you see . . .

What will March bring for us? I hope reasonable moisture. Not a driving, torrential rain, but nice showers. That don’t make too much mud in the yard, so that the dogs track it in everywhere. It would be most appreciated. March is a special month for our family. On the 3rd is my youngest brother’s birthday. On the 14th is our beautiful granddaughter Kayla’s birthday. She will be two. How the time flies! Hope we get to see her soon, it’s been awhile. Her parents don’t allow photos on FB or in my blog, otherwise I’d post a pic of her. She’s so sweet. On the 19th is both our daughter in law’s birthday (in Maryland) AND our son in law’s birthday (in Colorado). Lots of celebrating and happiness all around.

Spring training is ongoing in MLB. The Cubs have put Kris Bryant in as lead off batter; a slight promotion in the ranks, he was the second batter before. Have fun watching your favorite teams. My very favorite is our grandson Gavin’s. He is playing in a higher age group, more appropriate for his skillset. He will have to pay attention to keep up, and that’s a good thing. He was surrounded by kids before that played in the dirt, goofed off, and naturally he would do the same thing. It’s going to be fun to see how he does. And his Daddy is helping coach. I’ve looked forward to watching him, too. He was a heckuva player. I didn’t know him during high school, so I missed out on watching him.

As I get ready to work on another chapter or two today, make sure your get outside and enjoy the nice day. In March you never know when it’ll be bad so enjoy the good days. Blizzards happen now and in April but they melt quickly. Thank you for reading, comment and like if you will, please. I appreciate your support and will see you again tomorrow. I’ll sure be here.

Superb Saturday & #180!

Happy Saturday, friends, family, and followers! It’s nice enough at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska to have the windows open a little. Of course, this morning the furnace is still kicking on, but it won’t be soon as it warms up. I’m fortunate, the writing staff is napping and the Babe has gone to the VFW Post 2503 for some office work and to help the Honor Guard pay last respects to a veteran who is being buried today. I’m so proud of his participation in this ritual. I sat next to my mother and heard the words said upon presenting the flag, and it has made me tear up every time I hear them. The nation is indeed grateful to each and every veteran who served with honor. I am too. Thank you all for what you all continue to do for this great nation.

Awhile back, I downloaded a free sample of the software Pro Writing Aid. I must say, I do like it a lot, and have used it on my book before the re-write after my first edit. My editor Sam cautioned me to make sure suggested changes make sense before accepting them. That is a good point and I’m glad she told me that. I would have double checked anyway, heck, being a retired software coder, I know they are only as good as the coder who wrote them. I freely admitted when I made some colossal goofs when writing code and pre-testing it. “Sometimes, I even amaze myself” was what I’d laugh and say when catching errors I made. It always only did what I told it to do. Admitting mistakes. That gets you far in life and work, too. Just don’t keep on repeating the same ones.

Anyone who has ever been burned by autocorrect can attest to the weird stuff that shows up since autocorrect and spellcheck really don’t know what they’re doing. Again, limitations enforced by the coder. Grammar mistakes are king, aren’t they? We need to be patient and proofread what we write. Memos, e-mails, letters, books, and texts take on a way different meaning when words are substituted without our knowledge or checking. Protect yourself, take the time to read.

That said, because we’re all human and no one is perfect, cut each other some slack. At times when someone posts a lot of grammatical errors in a Facebook Post, it only bothers me when the one who makes all these errors claims to be smarter than everyone else. Haughtiness doesn’t get you anywhere when you’re making a statement like that.

I’m having a good time during my re-write. I’m in Chapter 10 right now. Nearly halfway. At this rate, I may be able to get it back to my editor by the end of March. This year! Yay! I’ll keep you posted for sure. I’m a sucker for accessories. Fashion accessories, computer accessories, and now, writing accessories, commonly known as references. Here’s a book I’ve enjoyed perusing.

Tired of “nod” and “sigh”? Me, too.

This amazing little 88 page book has chapter divisions by body part. Eyes, Noses, Mouths, all body parts, except for the genitalia. Had to say it, you know you were wondering. The gist of this 1,000 Character Reactions from Head to Toe is that my characters need to do more than sigh, said, heard, and stand still. They can take a long drag from a cigar, parrot back, hear as if everything was under water, and sashaying away from someone. Don’t get too crazy with these words, though. Jerry Jenkins, who wrote the “Left Behind” series and who is a successful author, says to quit with too many descriptive words for “said.” It may be appropriate in some genres and not others. I’ll have to let you know about that theory, too.

BTW, this is our 180th published blog since last July 5, 2019. In the beginning, I didn’t write every day, but I do now it at all possible. I’m sad it took our dog Roxie being run over by a car to make me start writing every day. You never know what will strike your heart and be a story you want to share. It helped us with our grief, too. If you would like to read that first blog, here is a link for you to read. Bring Kleenex. She was a charmer.

I would absolutely love for you to continue this journey with me, right along to when we reach the 360th blog post and beyond to buying a book once we publish them. In the meantime, thank you for reading today, I’ll be here tomorrow, as I hope you are. Go out and have a beautiful Saturday.

Fabulous Friday

It’s nearly the end of February 2020, and I’m looking at readjusting my Goals for 2020. It has to be done. I have honestly wondered if I could have adult ADHD or ADD and have come to the conclusion of “No, I just love too many things.” That can be a problem, just as not having creative juices flowing can be. I need to go back to my right brain thinking, and make some Goals based on all the things I dearly love to do. I’ve come to love blogging, and it will be at the top of my writing list.

Much as I want to learn to draw and brush up my creative lettering and calligraphy skills, they will have to wait for a bit. Even if they need to wait until January, 2021, right now they need to. I just don’t have enough time in a day to do these things. I deleted all my emails pertaining to classes on these topics, I just have to ignore those opportunities for now. Done and done.

Right now, I volunteer for Benson VFW Post 2503 as the back up newsletter person and the one who posts newsletter to their website. For a few years now, the website has seriously needed a facelift, drastic plastic surgery, or something to bring it out of the 1990s and into the 2020s. I am involved in conducting an investigation into the cost to move to WordPress, which is what I use for my website/blog. Along with that, I am still planning on adding pages to my website, and as my books are finished, they will be included on my website. The websites have different functions and purposes, so I’m not worried about doing them both for awhile. The goal is to make it much simpler than it is now so someone from the VFW can assume the role of Administrator. The current package doesn’t allow for simplicity. At least I did self-learn it over the past four years and became fairly proficient at it. Old coders never die, they just are assigned a Legacy System!

So, it’s back to plotting These Walls DO Talk, creating the family that lives in the house where the walls know so much of them. No, it’s not science fiction, and the walls don’t REALLY talk, but too many memories exist there. You’ll see.

And then the wall art I’m creating with quilting kits I’ve had in inventory. The Poppies will grace our wall when I piece, layer, and quilt it, along with the colorful Dahlia that will be on display in our newly painted bedroom. The lovely new tools I purchased for drawing, doodling, coloring, and painting will have to wait for now. Sometimes I extremely dislike being sensible and grown-up.

Here’s a little quilt I did about three years ago when we moved into this house. I loved the colors, and I’ve always been fond of elephants. I machine pieced it and hand quilted it, and it was to hang in our old plain colored bathroom. Fast forward to today, and after the painters completed the lovely shade of purple bathroom, it suddenly doesn’t go anymore. It goes perfectly in the living room. There is truly a place for everything, and a time for everything. I just try to cram too much stuff in a day.

My Elephant Quilt

I love this little guy. It adds a touch of brightness during this late winter time. Later today, I’m going to cut out the pieces for the beautiful Poppy Quilt and maybe get started on that in the next day or two. I also need to sandwich the Dahlia quilt for quilting. That will be easiest, since it doesn’t need any sewing together at all. It’d be great to get those both done during March. Working on them will be my reward for working on my book. Mental rewards are a great incentive, aren’t they? Food rewards are frowned upon anymore, but Mom used to promise dessert if we were “good.” We never knew what “good” meant, because we always had homemade chocolate chip cookies in the cookie jar. She baked them every week. The neighbor kids loved them. My nephew Don Kraft makes them every time he visits Omaha, on the last day in town. What a neat tradition, from such a neat guy.

Thank you so much for reading today! I will see you here tomorrow, and we’ll have more fun. Have a beautiful Friday.

Wonderful Wednesday Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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