Monday, Monday

Good afternoon, folks. Glad it’s a dry day so far. That can change at any second. We had some errands to do, so the day has been kind of haphazard. I had a dental appointment for the first time since the COVID-19 issue started. It’s quite the ordeal now.

Our dentist came to Omaha from Oklahoma a few years ago when a tornado came through their town, destroying schools and homes and buildings. He knew many people from the news stories. It was very hard with his wife there with the kids, selling their house. He drove home each weekend and has sort of become a friend rather than a dentist. His work is quite thorough and we both trust his opinion.

So the new rules are, you call the office when you park, or message them. Someone will talk with you and ask if you have a fever, etc., then they come out and give you a form to sign, take your temp, and the hygienist comes out to escort you in. What a great way to do it. One of the forms you sign is a specific permission to be treated, and it states the extra risks to everyone to have oral work done. It is a concern, but I figure as long as people all do what they should, this should alleviate any issues. I’m certainly not going to sue anyone, you know?

The hygienist wears a shield over her face, and they don’t irrigate as much as they used to. Alleviating any splash back on either of us. Good idea. They do a little more digging with those pointy instruments, so I still feel it three hours later, but they did their usual good job. Masks and all, it wasn’t a bad experience. The calling from the car will work as long as people have cell phones. I’m sure that will be a point of contention should Mom need to go to the dentist. Even though I would call for her, she would pontificate about her feelings on cell phones. They are something she just can’t abide. Everyone has their opinion. She readily shares her thoughts with the world.

I would love to have bookshelves again.

When we moved to this house almost four years ago, we had donated our very old, inexpensive bookcases to Goodwill. All my books and quilting books are in boxes in the basement. I would find many old friends and memories should I start going through them. I do intend to look through them, donating some, and saving others. I will see if the high school might be interested in the quilting books. They’re pretty good, or the city library may be interested. It’s a place to start. I also could donate the quilting books to my quilters guild library. They are always glad to have them come through the door.

Fighting for Your Dreams is One of the Most Important Fights to Engage In.

I feel a little out of sync today. Going to the dentist really made the coronavirus front and center in our day. Numbers have gone up in parts of Nebraska. We’re considered a hot spot. People are going to restaurants with restrictions. The numbers will probably never reflect what they need to since testing takes different avenues. Are all the tests the same? Are there many false positives? The Babe and I are registered on the Nebraska List. They informed us we could request a test to see if we’d been exposed. You click on the button, and they tell you they’re all filled up for appointments.

I do believe we will find our way through this. I think it’s worse than anyone could imagine. I think there are challenges with many people about staying home. Someone will always act in a disagreeable manner, but I do not think that is the norm. I think most people will behave in a good manner, and we all want this to end well. With as few as possible losing their lives, with as few as possible maimed permanently because of complications, and with all of us back to work and having a comfortable life. We need to act in faith that our medical leaders know what to do, we need to act in hope that we can work together to flatten curves and provide information that is truthful and useful. We need to act in love to our friends, family, neighbors, and anyone who needs a hand that we can comfortably offer. Be open to what your faith, hope, and love lead you to do.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you all have a beautiful evening and know that I appreciate you. I hope to see you again tomorrow, you know I’ll be here. Stay safe.

Twofer-Tuesday

Hold onto your hats outside today in Eastern Nebraska! Wowzers, is it windy. When it’s like this all day long, I tend to stay inside. Asthma doesn’t like windy spring days. Or winter days. Hazard of the condition. What’s on your list for the day? The Babe is mowing again. The grass has greened nicely even in the back yard where the dogs do their thing. It amazes me every year. Each day, things come more alive. I love spring. Sometimes it’s my favorite season. The thought of the earth coming alive again is such a gift. Do kids still plant beans in a styrofoam or clear plastic cup to watch it sprout? We loved doing that as kids. Always a fun thing for science class. But in today’s world, do they use styrofoam or plastic? Probably not. Shoot! What can they use that’s environmentally safe/friendly/etc., that you can see through?

Our little patio garden is in the planning stages. I hope we’ll get to plant sometime right after Mother’s Day. The only things that survived the winter were some random Asiatic Lilies and a few Columbine plants. I love Columbine, they’re so delicate looking and so easy to care for. And they multiply like crazy! I’ll post a pic of the little fence maybe tomorrow.

We had fresh banana bread yesterday and it was so good. It’s been awhile since I baked it, so that made it extra special. The flour supply is a little low in the cupboard, so I need to remember to buy some next trip out. Is it in short supply or is that only on the coasts? That’s a good reason to live in the midwest, we don’t have some of the problems with supply they have further away. Trends are slow to reach us as far as fashion, music, and current movies but who cares about that stuff? We have ground-breaking research and teaching hospitals. We have so many kind people. Farmers are made of tough stuff, and so is the urban population. We’re generations closer to people who had to work very hard (physically) for a living. Yes, we have gang issues, homelessness, illnesses, and other less than desirable things. We also are first to pitch in and help each other. I love that about our people.

Right now, it’s a perfect time for a little nap. Hope you’re all staying well, busy, and happy if you’re at home or working. Keep distancing and washing those hands! We’re nowhere near done with being cautious. Thank you for reading this abbreviated blog today, and I hope to see you again tomorrow. I’ll be here, hoping that wind calms down. Be safe!

Saturday Senses

The Babe used to work at Watkins Concrete Block Co., Inc in Omaha at 144th & Giles. He was a Lead then Supervisor in the truck shop, then became Labor Foreman. He also did Facilities Management, lots of other things. I think most of the guys loved working for him, he would tell it like it is and still be kind with extra chances if someone hit a rough patch. The reason I thought of this, was I saw on Facebook Watkins was going to be open Saturdays for the summer starting this week. We talked about how it used to be a relief for him to be off during the winter. As soon as the summer season started, he worked longer hours, Saturdays, and just ended up exhausted by the end of the summer.

The heat is hard to work in, and although he did have an office, he was in and out of the heat a lot. He’d come home with concrete dust on his boots, jeans, sometimes on his face, but he always came home happy. He loved his job. He was a manager who kept an eye out on the workers. Safety was always an issue, but then he also needed to find the ones who couldn’t work without supervision. Some folks will sneak a nap in, or dawdle on a simple task as long as they think they can get away with it. He saw a lot of humanity in those years. He’d help a guy out if they needed it, as long as they were honest about things. I respected him a lot for that.

As a total contrast, my job was sitting at a desk, writing code, debugging code, and all the things that go with being a “coder”. I was lucky to get to use my HR education the last few years I worked. I worked with the managers, HR, and contracting companies to find suitable candidates for open positions. It was fun, a change from what I’d been doing, and I liked working with the people. I was fortunate to be able to make the salary I did, have the benefits, and be able to go on LTD when I did.

Fast forward to 2020. We’re both retired. Married 22 years. 5 kids and 5 grandkids. We do pretty well spending 24/7 together. That’s a blessing. I love when the Babe is telling someone a line, and I see his eyes crinkle up at the outer edges, his dimples deepen, and he delivers the punch line. BOOM! I still fall for some of the worst spoofs. And he’s still quite proud of himself for telling me yet another fish tale. At this point in life, we both are pretty reflective on how good God’s been to us. This morning, we ditched the usual news and phone browsing, and sat on the deck with the dogs while the earth came alive. The clouds blew from southwest to northeast, and the birds were singing. Nice. It’s refreshing for your soul to look at nature. To think and talk with a background like that.

Look for your blessings today. They are all around you. We’re all tired of hearing about COVID-19, coronavirus, social distancing, face masks, testing, China, and everything that goes with it. People have strong opinions. We’re all tense. We are whether we know it or not. The Babe has admitted it several times. He said the only time in his life it’s been so uncertain is when he was in Vietnam. That statement made me feel sick, truthfully. I was glad he admitted how he felt. Then I didn’t know what to do about it. Except tell him, “I’m here for you, Babe.”

The most uncertain I ever was, 1978, July 23. My son drowned. He was revived but stayed in a coma for over 15 hours. That whole week was touch and go, and he did regain consciousness. His 2 1/2 year old brother was a mess. I was a mess. He had no memory of it. I was pregnant, and tried to bargain with God. I got my son back from God. It was so close. I’ve been grateful these some 40 years and longer. Whenever I hear of a child drowning, it feels like the worst gut-punch every time. It physically hurts for a few seconds, just like it did that day. He will be 49 years old this year (did I mention I was 5 when he was born?). Good man. Happy. Hard worker. Great friend. So grateful he was spared and he had no lasting damage. My marriage did not survive. But that’s ok. I don’t think it was meant to.

Somedays it feels like we are in the middle of waiting out a tour in Vietnam, or in a hospital CCU, waiting, waiting, waiting for some news. Do the best thing we can do. Pray. Love your family. Communicate what’s going on in your mind. And when we shift to be on that plane ride home, the release from the hospital, the hugs from our family, friends, and grandkids, Pray Again! Thank God from now until forever for Him being so good to us.

Thank you so much for reading today. I appreciate it so much. I’ll be back tomorrow, and I hope to see you then. Give Thanks. Be Positive. Pray. Be Strong. Pray. Wash your hands. Hang in there, and most definitely hang on!

Friday, I Think

COVID-19 Quarantine Day # 6,385.

I’ve seen some folks posting on The Facebook they’re in quarantine for 8,365 days. It’s all in how we look at it. I know it’s probably easier for retired people like the Babe and me. If we were gone from a job we loved with or without pay, yes, it would seem like torture.

Unless money is an awful hardship for you, try looking at your time at home in a different way. While I was working, I left for work in the dark and came home in the dark. Yes, it was a long day, every day. And it seemed as if I never saw my house in the daylight. I was on medical leave after a surgery in the early 90s when I truly saw my house at all hours of the day. I realized how nice it was.

My kids and I were alone at that time, and it was really a long time off work and school. And yes, I was younger, 39 I believe. I came to see our home and the isolation in a much different light. I appreciated what I had been working so very hard to earn and possess. It was a time that stopped my daily frenzy and made me grateful. If you’re feeling like you can’t take it anymore, try that. It’s like looking at the world through different lenses. Not rose colored. But reality colored. Big difference.

This is my inspirational plaque.

I mentioned this plaque yesterday, and the computer gods prohibited me from showing you the photo. If you missed the post, here’s a link to it. Thank you, my dear niece and friend, Wendy. It’s hard to imagine that we used to babysit for you. You were a fun little toddler. And you are a blessing to all that know you now. I’m grateful to have you in my life.

It will be a different kind of day. Since our VFW Post is going to launch a scaled back food night for Wednesday, May 6, 2020. They have been closed since before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not just a financial thing, it’s to help life the spirits of people who have formed a family or sorts. We miss each other. None of us know what’s going to happen in the next six months, I have a feeling it could go either way. Nebraska has lifted the stay at home life a bit. Restaurants have been given the ok to open with restrictions, and many have decided to remain take out only. It’s up to the individuals.

I’m going to go to the Post later to do some EXCEL spreadsheets for the Babe who is their Quartermaster. It’s the first of the month, and the books need to be reconciled, despite bringing in $0.00 and having expenses despite being closed. The officer group will meet and decide how to place tables, members, food service areas, and keep the doors sanitized. We have to start somewhere. We will see how it goes. People have to make their decisions. We always have the option to stay home if we don’t feel safe.

I’m really working hard to get my novel to the place of showing, not telling. That is much harder to do than it sounds. Telling is so easy. Showing is hard. I need to find how to show during a narrative of things that happened fifty years before. How the heck do you do that? I have a good reference called “Show, Don’t Tell,” and I hope the answer lies somewhere in there. It will make the process so much better. I have a feeling I have much more to rewrite than I thought. But it goes with the territory.

It is quite nice not having to take Mom to her appointments and errands. It’s been about four years since she quit driving. My younger brothers have been great about helping her out, too, and I’ve been the solo driver for weekday needs. It’s been something you do for your elders when they need it. No questions asked. It feels weird to not have the commitments, but I am enjoying my free time. I’ve told her not to hesitate should she need my help again. The danger of us getting COVID-19 will go down in the coming months. We’re social distancing like we should have been. I’m concerned about her not letting people go to the store for her, but the decision is hers. She’s insisting she needs to go, so I hope she’s surrounded by a mantle of protection from the virus. Check the definition of mantle vs. mantel. Word of the Day!

Truer words were never uttered!

We humans think we can control our destiny. We can’t. The sooner we realize that, and make adjustments in our attitudes and lives, the sooner we can live with much more ease, happiness, and joy. Yes, joy. It’s ours for the taking, all we have to do is relinquish control. Control is really an illusion anyway. We must not lie to ourselves.

It’s about time for me to meet the Babe. It will be a good rest of the day. When I return home, I’m going to layer and pin some quilts. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time, and look forward to seeing you here again tomorrow. Be safe!

Is It Thursday?

By the time I go from the bedroom to the kitchen, I can lose track of what day it is. I also lose it by the afternoon or early evening, even though it doesn’t matter. Losing track. Used to be we needed to at least act we were with it, on top of the world, holding our finger on the pulse of business, industry, creation, religion, and whatever else arena we needed to compete in. It just isn’t that important any more. In some ways, I hope that remains, so we don’t put so much pressure on ourselves. So that our jobs, society, and leisure times don’t put so much pressure on our psyches. It’s too much. I hope we never get that way again.

I hope we don’t because the time we are making for our families right now shouldn’t be lost. Yes, parents probably need a break right about now, but so do the kids. If you’re unfortunate and have badly behaved kids, you can fix that right now. Before school starts again. Before sports start again. Before work starts again. The most important thing for us all to learn is be kind to the world. Be kind to your kids, school, sports teams, and co-workers. We can unlearn any bad habits we have, so can our kids. Make up for lost time in what’s left before we can go out again with no masks. Think long and hard about it. Your whole life can change for the better right now.

We must begin somewhere

After my breast cancer treatment and after my wonderful niece and friend Wendy lost her husband, she came to see me and brought a gift. It was a plaque and stand. It helped me get up out of the chair, start walking, start doing all the things I’d stopped doing while I was too tired to do anything. It did the trick. And since that day over ten years ago, I put it out where I can see it when I need a jumpstart to get back to living. I took it out this week, and it’s now on the mantle again. The Babe and I both see it every morning while we have coffee. It’s gotten us both going. Let’s all get going. Let’s be interested in life whether you’re still in quarantine or whether you’re going to ease back into life outside of your home. Be cautious, but do it. You have to start somewhere. We all have to start somewhere.

Due to technical difficulties, I cannot post a photo of the plaque. It says “today BEGIN”. I’ll post a pic when it is available. The words are powerful for me, and I hope they are for you, too, it you need them. At different times in life, we all do. And in times of pandemic, we all do at the same times.

Restrictions in restaurants are lifted, with certain new rules in place. Many places are continuing take out orders only. Some are opening. The VFW Post 2503 is planning on opening on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at 4 p.m. for a Hamburger Night. A limited menu will be available. No drinks sold unless they are sold with a dine-in meal.

Taco Tuesday

It was an early start to the day for us today. There is some animal who makes a horrid noise during the night and early in the morning. No, the Babe is wearing his CPap machine faithfully. It could be a raccoon, or do possum make noise? It’s not a cat. Well, it makes this awful noise and wakes me up about 4 a.m., and I can’t see what time it is. If you don’t know what time it is, you have no concept of how horrible it is that you were awakened by some animal shrieking in the Wetlands. If it’s 3 a.m., you can go back to sleep, hopefully. If it’s 6:30 a.m., you may as well get up for the day. It’s important to know the time, so you know how miffed to be.

This morning, the wonderful cleaning duo came to work wonders to our house. It’s always such a welcome thing to have them in and do more work in two hours than I can do in a week. No guilt anymore, I do need the help, and it takes the work off the Babe’s plate. He can do it, too, but he deserves a break, too. The house always smells so good when they leave. I admit it, we have two dogs, and two adults who are home all day. It gets dirty and stuffy smelling. It’s home. It’s lived in.

We often have eight Goldfinches at a time at our feeder.

The birds are loving their perches around the fence. I read a post today that said the Baltimore Orioles are in Bellevue, so I’d like coaxing some with the Grape Jelly feeders. I’ll have to look at Amazon later. Heck, I’d be attracted to a Grape Jelly feeder! What a treat. Once when I was pregnant with my oldest, I craved buttered toast with Grape Jam. It was so good!

It sounds as if some places are going to slowly reopen May 4. It is the choice of restaurants if they want to. Union, where my son works, is opting to stay pick up service only. They are eliminating the possibility of anyone getting ill that way. Good for them! I know there are other folks who are adamant about opening everything. I also know there are folks who are adamant about staying closed. Period. We’re not going to go crazy, but will wear masks where we should. There was a second style I wanted to try. Maybe by the time Church reopens, I’ll have them finished.

After a bit, I’m going to sit down on the patio and work on an embroidery project I’m making for our new little grandson, Cody Wyatt. I wish I could show you a photo. His Mom and Dad do not want photos out there of their kids. I respect that, they’re the parents. He looks like a little man. Our daughter Becky tells me his sister Kayla is a sweet sister to him. She just turned two. My, Becky has her hands full! Two in diapers, my hat is off to them. Lots of work. Also lots of love.

I just did a couple more chapters of re-writing and am calling it quits for the day. Going outside to enjoy the Babe’s company. Thank you for your time today. Stay safe, washing hands, and don’t venture out until you feel safe to. I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Humppp Daaayyy!

It is now nearly 4:30 CDT in the afternoon. I started this blog this morning. Then the Internet Provider crashed everything. For the whole day! It was quite a day for being disconnected. I finished my preview copy of my book for the Book Coach I’m working with. But I couldn’t e-mail it for her. I’m not certain Google Docs even saved the proper words to “the Cloud.” The Internet was wonky all day!

What in the world did we do before all this technology took over? We enjoyed our families and our space. Whatever our space is, we made it ours and enjoyed it. If you were a fifteen year old kid, you had posters on your walls, your own music, and did homework while you waited for dinner to be ready. Your seventeen year old sister may have been talking on the phone to another friend, but it didn’t last all night. You met as a family at dinner and talked. Maybe not a lot. But you noticed your parents at least acted interested in what went on in your world. They probably didn’t share much about their own troubles. You weren’t meant to be their friends, you were their children. Adults didn’t put their burdens on you.

Be a Survivor, Not a Victim.

This afternoon, after the Babe finished weed-eating and mowing the “field” (We have a big yard) we sat on the patio and talked. I couldn’t do this work, he needed to just relax. He said, “This is retirement. Isn’t it great?” Absolutely. The Babe has taught me, who was always organized, the Fine Art of Procrastination. Some days I think I was too good and eager a student, but now the world doesn’t end if I don’t meet a self-imposed deadline. It doesn’t, and I’m not as stressed as I used to be about them. Thanks, Babe!

I had a great writing session this morning, tying up loose ends in my first eight chapters that will go to the book coach I’m working with. I’m taking the night off and going to re-read it all in the morning. The Internet was down as I finished writing, so who knows what was saved at the last minute to the cloud for Google Doc? I was a clerk/secretary for too many years to let it go out in the world without proof reading it one more time. So that’s tops on the list for tomorrow.

It may sound strange, but as I’ve added extra characters to my heroine Katie’s family, I really want to see one brother make a 180 degree turn about in his life. Could be the optimist in me, but I’m thinking he’s going to want to have a family life with his siblings before he dies. He has miles to go before they can trust him again, and it could happen. It may not, but it could. We’ll see where the rest of the rewrite takes us. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m ready to sign off here, sorry to be so late today. Below is a screenshot from Facebook, mentioning an event that was cancelled due to Coronavirus. My friend Jimmy Weber was nominated for an award, the Babe and I are watching to see if perhaps he wins. No one is more deserving. Good luck, Jimmy!

Tune In, Folks! Hopefully, we’ll see our friend Jimmy Weber win in the category he was nominated!

As always, thank you for reading. I appreciate your time and will see you tomorrow. Unless the Babe uses one of my measuring cups for baking to measure out his Weed Kill concoction. Then he’ll be the Carol Baskin of Gretna! Stay tuned all of you Tiger King fans. Hope to see you tomorrow!