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!

Silent Sunday

Well, judging by the way the street looks, some folks had fun last night. It wasn’t our dogs, that’s for sure. Lexie spent the night in our closet the past two or three nights. She wasn’t afraid of fireworks until last year. One year ago today, Roxie and Lexie got out of our yard. One of the neighbors must have entered our yard to retrieve a firework or something. They left the gate open. Both dogs escaped, someone lit a firecracker, and Roxie (who was petrified of them) ran into the highway and was killed by a car. Here’s the tribute to her, such a naughty girl but such a lover. We miss you, Sweetie. Wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge with Shadow, Mocho, and Mollie. You’ll be in good company.

A year later and we still miss her. The Babe’s heart was breaking the rest of last summer. In September, he had a heart cath that didn’t heal properly. Wound Vac time, complete with Visiting Nurse every other day. In the middle of that, he decided we needed a friend for Lexie. She was just laying around all the time, sleeping. She wouldn’t go outside without us. The Vet said he’s seen dogs mourn for years. (Dab at my tears in eyes right now). How she must have missed her sister!

2014. Roxie and Lexie. Beautiful Blue Eyes!

So now, we have this beautiful Yellow Lab. She’s about 50 pounds by now. Big paws that carry her up and down the steps on the deck to play fetch. First dog we’ve had that would fetch. Must be the breeding in her. The old dogs would just stand and stare at us. “Get it yourself!” was their attitude. She used to have a taste for landscaping cloth, didn’t eat it, just tore it up. Hope she’s over that by now. She still needs to remember to go potty, but she’s filling a void. A big void. I think Roxie would have liked her.

Goldie, with her favorite pastime.

Gavin loves her. He tells us frequently how he misses Roxie. I’m printing all the pictures from all the dogs we’ve had since Gavin has been alive. I’m going to put them in a photo album for him. He’ll be able to look at the pictures and be happy. He’ll get his own dog sometime probably soon. He is just such a dog lover, and I applaud that. Kids need pets. They really need dogs. Something to take care of, to learn responsibility.

Right now, I love how quiet it is on the street. It will hopefully stay that way all day long. There are some strange cars parked all over the place. Lots of people had house parties and didn’t socially distance. I’m going to wear a mask when I go to the store, so maybe that will help this pandemic resolve and I can go to Colorado to meet our new grandson. He was born in January, how I wish we could go now!

Today is the day I dot i’s and cross t’s to make sure my works are ready for my book coach, Sam. I need to send them off to her tonight for tomorrow’s deadline. We have a Zoom meeting on Thursday, and I can’t wait! I will do book stuff today and tomorrow is a Gavin day. We’ll have fun, we always do.

Enjoy the quiet today – except for the leaf blowers the pyromaniacs are using to clean up the street now. So many people can’t operate a broom anymore. They’d rather lose hearing than do sweep. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Tomorrow, I’ll see you back here again. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Wash up. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be empathetic. Someone might really need you to be. And that, it will be good for both of you.

A Milestone #300 Monday!

Today marks the three hundredth blog I’ve written. I’m so thankful for all of you, reading about the adventures of two retired folks and their dogs. And their family. And their ideas. And their joys. And my writing adventure. And their hard times. You are a part of all of this, some support when I need it, and a cheer when I need that, too. It all helps. Thanks again!

Grandson Gavin will join us again. The Babe went to pick him up then swing by the VFW to count the drawers from yesterday. We will be so glad when they find a new bar manager. It really puts a lot of extra work on the Babe he doesn’t need to be concerned about. I imagine there will be the usual coloring session, coupled with Gavin’s talking a mile a minute. I love it though. The house is too quiet sometimes. God gave us grandkids to solve that issue. We are so blessed!

Today is like a blank canvas, spread before us all. It looks the same, stark white, blank, and full of promise. If you’re like me, you always plan to accomplish so much more than you actually can complete in a day. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because you are interested in a lot of things and want to dabble in all of them. Bad because you may take a lot longer to actually finish things.

Well. What if?

For today, I’m concentrating on what Sam, my book coach, calls “Inside Outline.” Noting major plot points in your story is a good way to start putting pen to paper. An event or scene, has a point. Simple, eh? The point is my characters emotional reaction to the event. That will take some thinking, and I hope to not be interrupted. Since I began this post, Goldie has interrupted me twice and Lexie once. They want in. Or out. Or to play. Or to drink. Or to . . . Well, you get the idea. When the Babe leaves, he says, “They’re tired and should sleep now.” Oh honey, if that were only true. Still, I can’t imagine life without any of them – the Babe included.

I’m concentrating on being positive about the interruptions. It’s been nearly a year since we lost our Roxie on July 5, and, just like people, as annoying as they can be, you’d still rather have them with you. After that loss, that is the first time I really posted something. That loss got me started. Until then, blogging was just an idea. I’m glad we’ve stuck with it for nearly a year.

An embroidered hibiscus block, with Swarovski crystals.

This is one of twelve blocks I made with hibiscus on them. The crystals were hand sewn on. All I need to do is quilt it. I think that should be some winter day or a cold fall day, in anticipation of the next growing season. I think it’s quite pretty, and I have some new machine quilting tricks to try on it. When the time comes along. And it will tell me when it’s here.

It’s always on my “in between” to do list to work on the website. I’m getting ready to add some more pages as my writing projects gain more form and get closer to becoming “live.” Exciting times ahead. Each day is another baby step towards them. I’m so grateful! I’m also grateful to all of you for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope to see you all then! Invite a friend! Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Safe. Hug your family while you can, and keep distances when you need to. We need each other a lot more than you think. Family is everything!

Thankful Thursday

Every morning, there are tons of posts on the Facebook feeds marking everyone’s take on the state of the United States right now. Some are worth watching, some are not. I have viewed, and even liked, YouTube videos from The HodgeTwins. Twin black men who give a sometimes humorous answer to some of today’s odd situations. It is much food for thought. Check them out. CAUTION: Language. And encouragement to use plain English. Their post is about Bubba Wallace. How terrible his situation was a hoax! Why do people have to do this type of thing? I’m a NASCAR fan, but wow. This is a new desperate attempt to try and get attention for a sport that is having a severe image problem. It’s just not the same since Tony Stewart retired. He was the last great scrapper of a driver, in my humble opinion.

It’s a big day today. It’s official. Book Coach Sam Tyler and I have entered into a contract to work on my book, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons. It is a prequel to what I’ve spent the last year writing, These Walls DO Talk. Walls is now on hiatus, and Freeing is the work in progress now. I’m very excited and have a lot of work to accomplish before our first meeting date of July 9. It seems as if that’s a long time away, but it isn’t.

In the work we’ve done so far, I’m finding Sam knows things I’m not aware of about my characters and how they behave. She can coax it out of me and onto the paper. You think you know all about your characters. Creating them doesn’t equal knowing about them. I didn’t believe it myself until just now when I wrote this. It’s eerie and comforting at the same time. She is helping me become a much better writer. And if I become a better writer, I’ll be a better author when my body of works become reality.

Are you an empath? I am.

Shannon Schofield, a friend from I Create Daily, wrote the poem above in the spirit of Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer.” I wanted to share it with you since I found it to be perfect for the current world, in the grand scheme of things.

I don’t believe being an empath is a bad thing. Care must be taken when an empath cares for someone. Caring can be listening to, counseling, walking miles for friends, and many other gifts of giving empathy. It’s a learning process. At first, we are trusting everyone has a good heart. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if everyone did? Unfortunately, empaths often attract narcissists. It’s a hazard of the empathetic soul. After awhile we learn which souls are pure and which ones aren’t. We learn to spend our gifts on the genuine souls. I think some folks have discovered the empath in them since the pandemic started. It can be exhausting, and we need to learn to hold space for our own care every day. That’s a hard thing for me but I’m working on it.

Tonight will be the official party for Gavin’s birthday of June 30. Out of town relatives will help make a great celebration for him. I love birthdays, it’s a day that’s just YOU. Unless you’re a multiple. Strange, Goldie must have missed Gavin all morning. The Babe was gone, and I swear I’ve stopped every five minutes to see what she wants. Finally settled down to sleep awhile. It’s worse than trying to figure out what a fussy baby wants. I think Goldie’s an empath, too.

Going to take it easy this afternoon. Just read a little and make some more notes for my next book writing session. I’m reading “Personality Isn’t Permanent,” by Benjamin Hardy, PhD. While dealing with self-limiting thinking, you cannot become anything else but what you are limited to. Introvert? I was terribly as a kid. I really was in high school. And I was until about age 30 when I got divorced. Hmmm? I had to be different. It was the biggest decision of my life so far, and I had to make it work. It did, and I’ve never looked back to my self-limiting living. More on the book tomorrow.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Hope to see you tomorrow, you know I’ll be here!

Taco Tuesday and Other Truths

You won’t believe what I just did. After about 45 minutes of working on a pretty good blog (if I must say so myself!), I hit the wrong key and exited from the 700 word masterpiece I was nearly finished with. Much to my dismay. Wow. It’s vanished in cyberspace. Do I have any idea how to reconstruct it? Heck, now. So for now, it’s:

Take Two Tuesday and Other Truths

There is a reason anyone who uses a computer will always tell you: Save Often! Save Before Printing! Save After Changing! So I just committed the #1 mishap in computer use history. I hadn’t saved. So now, upwards and onwards, while saving often.

Today is another Gavin day for the Babe and I. We will pick him up and he’ll be contented to play with the dogs all afternoon. They like him, too. He has loved many of our dogs through his eight years, some he remembers, some not. But we have photos, and he asks questions about their personalities and quirks. He tells me, “Grandma, all dogs deserve love.”

I tell him back, “Yes, Gavin. And all kids deserve love, too.” And he agrees with me. A long time ago, a good friend of mine told me how kids do listen to what you tell them, even though it seems as if they have no idea you exist. They listen and you can see they did when you observe them growing up and being a leader with others. And she was right.

My friend passed away several years ago, and it was sad for everyone who knew her. She was a good lady, always there to help. Always there if you needed to talk. She had several types of cancer in her lifetime, which eventually took her. She was so strong, but what choice did she have? I’m so glad to have good memories of many talks with her. I still consult my mental pages of the Joyce Cross Alexander Book of Hope, Faith, and Love.

Confidence is a great asset if you have it. It is so eluding if you can’t stand up for yourself, either not caring to or by not knowing how. My lack was in not knowing how. There was a fine line between confidence and vanity, according to our elders in the 1950s and 1960s. Especially if you were a girl. I believe this is why many Moms lived lives through their children. Their children’s successes became theirs. Their children’s failures became theirs, also. (The term, “I have failed as a Mother,”) that TV character Beverly Goldberg uses is used for humor, but I believe there were a lot of Mom’s who felt they were failures. It’s a shame it took women so long to find their worth in additional areas besides motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is wonderful and fulfilling, as long as you raise those children to leave you. Your job is to teach them so they can leave you, as it should be.

I have to say, it’s harder to let go when you’re a single parent, in my opinion. I struggled for a long time trying to figure out, “So, what’s next?” I still had a good relationship with my three kids, but I hadn’t a clue what to do with all that time, despite all my hobbies. I finished college for me. I was happy to have earned a promotion at work, so I would finally have a great income. (Mom always said when you don’t need money anymore is when it comes your way.)

I became ill after that, and within six years could no longer work. At the age of 49. That was a blow to me. I turned it into gratitude, though, but being grateful I was well and working until my kids could go out on their own. After that I met the Babe. By the time I couldn’t work, we were married and my time was filled. I’ve picked up on a lot of my old interests and some new ones, too. Filling my time is no longer a problem.

So with all that, thank you for reading today. Keep good thoughts in your heart today. Be positive. Wash up, wipe down, wear masks. We’ll all come out on the other side of all this in a better place. I’ll see you tomorrow. And by then, maybe I’ll remember what I wrote about in the blog that is now forever lost, out there floating in the wasteland of the Internet, unfinished.

Thinking About Thursday

This Plant Needs Prayers!

Our beautiful pure-bred hunting dog must be a vegetarian or something. She mangled about four plants this week. I suppose it’s my fault for trusting her too much. She’s a puppy, still. And now, she’s sleeping peacefully on the floor by me while I write and it rains outside. All is right with the world.

She’s Sleeping Near the Bag of Coloring Supplies.

It started out a beautiful day, right now, the clouds are rolling in. It’s still a beautiful day and when the rain comes in, I’ll be grateful to not have to water. Even the plant Goldie tried to eat. Well, I guess she DID eat it.

I am so happy to have these two dogs for companionship. They are great company and comfort, even if they just nap in the room I occupy at any given moment. They are powerful creatures. They sense everything about us. Earlier this week, Lexie didn’t like Goldie tugging at a toy Gavin was going to throw for fetch. Lexie walked over in between them and gave a low, throaty growl, ever so quietly. Goldie let go. Gavin threw the toy, Goldie fetched, Lexie walked away and laid down again. She watches her people, and I love that about her.

I had a great conversation with my book coach Sam this morning. We have developed a plan for July and August. I’m taking a slightly different path in as much as I’m writing a different story over these two months, and will check in regularly to discuss the progress or lack thereof. If you’d like to read about Sam, here is a link to her website. You’ll hear a lot more about Sam and our work later in the summer.

Today is a day filled with significant birthdays! In addition to being Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday, it’s my older brother’s birthday and Dan’s younger sister’s birthday. Tom Jewell and Linda Ulmer, Happy Birthdays! Hope you both have a great day. Don’t need to wish Sir Paul one, after all, he’s Paul McCartney!

It seems the food industry is rebranding several products we have used for decades and probably not realized their packaging was racist. Aunt Jemima is having a makeover. I suppose it must be done. For years, I haven’t given it a thought using these products. I thought the updating done last was just like the Betty Crocker image on packaging, cook books, and other items. Were women offended by an old fashioned representation on the cook books? I don’t remember.

Uncle Ben and the cook on Cream of Wheat simply told me they were pictures on a package. No different than any other picture. And now, things will change. Will it change the violence in the streets? Most likely not. But those offensive photos will no longer be staring out from shelves in the stores. So be it.

Sometimes I can’t help but think there needs to come a point where we stop being offended. Where we stop pointing fingers and placing blame, and sit down and formulate a plan to just stop all of this. Both sides. Just stop it! Start respecting each other, just because God created all of us. Then work on being better humans. As you work together, and have frank discussions, you will grow in respect of each other. And yourselves. Do something that’s never been done. Admit there is fault on both sides. Quit being the stereotypes we all hate. The bad cop. The bad punk. The gangster. The professional rioter. Talk to each other. Talk with each other. Listen to each other. Listen to hear. Hear and act. Act in a rational manner. Make the change you want for everyone. Teach your children how to respect and behave, not show attitude and bad behavior.

We have plans to watch Gavin play ball over the weekend. Being a tournament, there are quite a few games to get in. And of course, the forecast is calling for a whole bunch of rain. It wouldn’t be a ball tournament without it!

I also have a lot of writing things to accomplish in the next three weeks. It will be a great way to spend time, and a great way to move forward with my projects. A plan and a partner work well together. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. It rained quite nicely here, and now appears to be dreary for the rest of the day. Perhaps dreary and rain is what my Goldie – relocated plants needs to come back to life. I’ll see you tomorrow! Stay safe. Wash your mask before you wear it again! Wash your hands. Be a good example. Teach your children well.

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.

Evidence shows . . .

In Omaha, NE, after two nights of demonstrations and subsequent riots, there will be no charges in the death of a black man Sunday night. It appears we have video evidence that shows the shooter was defending himself. The whole thing should have never happened. The demonstration turned somewhere, and it became a riot. The best advice I could give someone is, demonstrate. But be keenly aware. To younger people who don’t have a lot of experience out in the world, it just takes less than a minute for things to go terribly wrong. The best choice is just stay home. You will be safe. It’s the only 100% sure thing in life.

New Life and Growth in the Garden.

All that’s left for us to do now is stay home and pray. We are safest there, just as with COVID-19, which is still very much on the horizon. Do what makes sense. The best sense.

The Babe is the world’s best husband for me. He planted all the perennials I purchased where I wanted them. There is a little cleanup/leveling that needs to be done, but they are getting a great start. After my confession I just can’t do this anymore, he did what needed to be done. Bless his heart! To the left is the brand new fence he built so Goldie wouldn’t eat the daisies, hibiscus, columbine, and all the other beautiful plants. Last fall she ate the sticks from a hydrangea, and by gosh, it grew back. It’s the greenery in the middle of the photo. I can’t wait to see how this will all look in a few months. It will be a great distraction from the virus, the civil unrest, and the rest of the stuff that disrupts life as we know it.

I feel especially bad for people who live in areas this rioting is taking place. They have been advised they may want to find somewhere else to stay, since they may not be safe at home until this is over. There are so many beautiful lofts and apartments in the Old Market area, things like this just shouldn’t happen. Most people disrupted by all this are not even perpetrators of anything immoral or illegal. They are collateral damage. It’s just not right.

It is hard to concentrate on what I need to be doing right now, enhancing my novel. I should be able to do a lot tomorrow. I just need to stick with it for several hours. Perhaps tomorrow. Someday, we won’t have to hope for a normal kind of day to accomplish something we may have taken for granted. I miss those times. Normal days. With normal events. Not Pandemics and Riots.

After waiting patiently for spring, we have turned full tilt into summer, at least weatherwise. It’s pretty humid out, and was near ninety degrees. It’s going to be this way all week and probably beyond. Summer already. Where does the time go?

After checking in with our kids, we feel safe and know our family is. The words on our last text from one of the kids was so sweet, yet said so much. In light of the unrest that is in the area right now, the words leapt from the screen and said, “Love you guys. Stay Home.” This says it all. My heart is warm and happy. We will all be ok. We have to be. Wishing you all a safe night, and if you be kind, wash your hands, and stay home, we will all have a wonderful day tomorrow. One day at a time, we will all get better. See you tomorrow. Thank you for reading.

Friday Facts

The Facts Ma’am. Just the facts.

This is what Sgt. Joe Friday told every distraught witness he interviewed on the TV show “Dragnet.” It was a cop show while I was growing up. Friday reminded me a little of my dad, serious, to the point, never dilly-dallying around. A good trait in the late 50s and early 60s. It was inherently clear who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. No chance of mixing them up.

In the late 60s up until now, the lines are so blurred. Many cops have done bad things. Very bad things. Kent State. Selma, Alabama. Omaha, Nebraska. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Do you know who hates bad cops the most? Good cops. I know they exist. My uncle was one. He was the Sarge to Larry Minard, who was killed in 1970 by a booby trap bomb in a suitcase. Jimmy Wilson, Jr. was one. Jason Tye Pratt was one. Kerrie Orozco was one. My uncle retired in the 1980s. With every news story of wrongdoing by cops or by perps, he commented how glad he was no longer on the job. That people had changed too much. Cops and citizens.

One of our sons is in Federal Law Enforcement. I know most of the cops are good cops. Unfortunately, the few bad ones and the reactions that follow are what sickens all of us. Us, the good, help out a neighbor folks who aren’t racist. Or hateful. Or vengeful. We are the ones who make masks for the first line responders. We are the ones who buy lunch for an entire shift of nurses. We are the ones who SHOP at Target, not loot it because we can. Mob mentality is terribly dangerous in the wake of this good man being killed by a police officer.

To the people protesting, I say yes, please protest. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. You have to live in the neighborhood someone has burned it down. What does activity like that promote except violence. What good does it do to destroy stores your neighborhood may never have open again? Yes, it sends a message, but what message do you want to send? More violence and destruction of property just makes everything worse.

George Floyd was a good man. He did not deserve to die, especially not in the way he did. What in the world was wrong with the cop who knelt on his neck, compromising his airway? How did he think that was a good idea or even necessary? Why did the others stand by and do nothing? Was he their superior? Why in the world didn’t someone intervene? We wouldn’t be discussing this again if they had? Or called a medic to assist?

I am sickened by what we have seen this week. Were tempers flaring because of the quarantine? My heart breaks for the Floyd family, and for the family of the firefighter who put his life savings into the bar that was torched by a mob before it could even open on June 1, 2020. I am sickened at what human beings can and do to each other. Repeatedly. My heart is heavy and sad.

I do believe we need to be civil to one another. Cop or not. I believe no one is above the law. Cop or not. I believe this has made it harder for the good cops out there with their lives on the line every shift. They must learn to trust the black people who are not breaking the law. Who are not resisting. Who are within their God-given rights. How can they do that? Their guard must stay up when talking to anyone they stop. Black or not. White or not. Hispanic or not.

Is it a question of training? I have no idea, I am not a Police Chief or advisor. Order needs to be returned. We need to be mindful of many, many things. Start at the neighborhood level. Don’t tolerate or join anti-black conversations, or anti-cop conversations. Get to know your neighborhood police officers. They are where you should be able to go for help. You should be able to trust them. Trust needs to come from both sides. Communication needs to come from both sides. Respect needs to come from both sides. Talking smack is part of hateful behavior. Just stop it. NOW.

I believe it was part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream to end this kind of event in America. End the hatred, indifference, bias, and destruction of life and property that starts with a bad act. A bad act by a cop, no less. I am embarrassed for America. How can we pretend to know what’s best for the world when we behave so badly ourselves?

God help us. God help us all.

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