Thankful Thursday

This morning started out at zero dark thirty. 4:30 a.m., to be exact. We have a guy as we speak (at 7:16 a.m.) upstairs tearing off the old stone on the fireplace. It will be nice when he is finished. I get to spend the day in the lower level of the home office in Gretna, Nebraska with Lexie. Goldie is going (alone) to the groomers. Hope she’s good, she’s a handful.

The Babe is very sore, the doctor x-rayed his ribs. Nothing appears broken, but it will probably take a long time to resolve itself. Chostochondral separation is not fun, boys and girls. It’s a separation of the cartilage from the ribs. All they can do is give you pain pills and feel sorry for you.

What a blessed life we have. Two areas of gratitude already this morning. God is so good to us. We witnessed a beautiful time at the VFW Post 2503 last night. Our friend, Emma, came in with her birthday cake. If you recall, the first case of COVID-19 in Nebraska was a lady who was at our Hamburger Night back in March, before St. Patrick’s Day. It was our Emma. Her father was Case #2.

She burst through the door, and started to wave at those of us who applauded when she returned for the first time after her horrible illness. It is a true miracle she is still alive. After greeting her favorite friends last night, complete with a new hair-do, Emma, her friends, and family, celebrated Emma’s 37th birthday. God is so good. We have a renewed hope in the midst of masks and mania. We love you Emma. You make our hearts happy. Life can be so good. We just have to be open to seeing it around us.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Today, for the most part, will be spent between the family room and the patio. It’s at ground level with the beautiful wetlands behind our home. We will have a beautiful new “face” on the fireplace, which will be fun. The next step in the great COVID remodel of 2020 will be new flooring upstairs, both bathrooms, kitchen, and entry. LVT (Laminated Vinyl Tile) will be the material, and it will be great with the dogs.

Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

This beautiful library is one dreams are made of. Yes, it’s “old.” Yes, it’s “cluttered.” Marie Kondo would NOT approve. The furniture would work only if the chairs are comfy. I have to have a comfy chair these days to read in. I would also allow the dogs only if they’re “dog” (so sorry, I had to!) tired. Otherwise, I barely get a paragraph started before they begin their, “I want out, I want in, I want out, I want in, I want out,” dance. I re-read the same paragraph for what seems like days.

But yes, I’d like a library room. Right now, I’ll settle for a couple nice bookcases. Then I can meet my books again and decide which ones to keep, and which ones to donate. I’m hoping the local library or high school could accept some. My quilting books could help out anyone from a home ec student (do they still teach sewing?) to an young lady in the library. Hope to find them a home somehow.

In writing my book, it’s amazing the number of words we used in the 1970s that aren’t used much if at all in 2020. The examples I found are “peignoir” and “negligee.” A Peignoir is a light dressing gown or negligee. A negligee “is a loose women’s dressing gown, especially when lacy or revealing.” My only questions would be;

  1. Do they mean “loose women’s” or do they mean “loose, women’s dressing gown?”
  2. They’re so beautiful, why don’t we use them anymore? The world lives in t-shirts and flannel pj’s. It’s really kind of sad.

Research, my dears, is what we need to do. It’s a lot to remember things about the decade. These things are true, things women could not do in the 1970s. Believe it or not, these things were the law.

Women could not have credit in their own name.Women could not be guaranteed they would not be fired for being pregnant.

Women could not sit on a jury. It took until 1973 for all 50 states to allow women to be on juries.

Women could not fight on the front lines in the military. They could only serve as a nurse or support staff. The ban was lifted in 2013.

Women could not get an Ivy League Education.

Women could not take legal action for sexual harassment. It took until 1977 for a court to recognize office sexual harassment.

Women could not decide to decline having sex with their husband until 1993.

Women could not obtain health insurance at the same rate as a male until 2010. It is a belief in the industry and government women “don’t mind paying more.”

Women had no access to birth control pills until the late 1960s, and then only in extreme situations. The pill was considered the same thing as abortion. Some religious sects still ban anything but “natural family planning.”

Sadly, in many states, the age of consent was 10 or 12 in most states. Delaware had a different age, which was 7. Those poor little girls! No date was given when the age of consent was raised.

I am amazed at all nine statements above that women could not do. Even though I lived this, it’s not something I thought of growing up. I came late to the equal rights party. I firmly believe in it now. And with rights come responsibilities, just like any rights we fight for. We need to address both sides of that coin as well.

I’m grateful for my freedoms, the later in life interest in them, the awareness that is required for them. I’m grateful for you, my readers, and the time you take to read my blog. Instill the love of reading into your young people, and they will be able to do anything.

Stay Safe. Mask Up. Wash Up. Look Up.

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!

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, 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!

Mid Week Risk Taking

Whatever you think you can do, or think you can, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power, and magic with it. – Goethe

One thing I clearly noticed about myself upon going out Monday, after being in quarantine for three weeks, I seemed to be low on confidence. I think it’s (hopefully) normal to feel that way. And it’s going to take awhile to regain all that is ours, and that includes confidence, remembering what day it is, and being more inclined to wear clothes, not pajamas, every day.

That said, I think I need to show myself that I’m still as competent as I was two months ago. And that I can still do any number of things well. Maybe practice some of all of those things this week. Since the annual monkey of filing Income Taxes is off my back, I’m free to do whatever. To begin, I’m going to fill out a Client Intake Q & A to work with a coach on my novel. I need someone to help me focus, and I’d really like to still publish by October 1 at the latest. Big order. The date can certainly wiggle a bit. But the idea is, I want to finish the novel and go further on this road.

My reading and inspiration for today is listed at the top of this post, and I’m applying it to my book. And in applying it to my book project, I’m applying it to my life. Yes, I’m at least beginning to see the end in sight. I need to get myself moving, even if I’m not sure of some of the next steps. They will make themselves known, just as prior steps have. I’m a beginner, and I have enough knowledge to keep going. No, I have no idea what the outcome will be. I know what I want it to be, and it will be that and more. Inertia must be overcome, and that’s what I’m doing by continuing this “finish writing the book” step. The next step cannot come until this one is nearly complete. Makes perfect sense.

At this point, people freeze often and express fear, ineptness, lack of confidence, and other negatives. Do it anyway. Do it afraid. Do it lacking confidence. The fear will subside. The confidence will build. You will be glad you stayed the course. You will succeed. Enjoy the journey. Trust your gut instinct and your judgement. To do that, act boldly. You will find the momentum in the boldness of your actions.

Even if no one is watching, we are. We know we are succeeding. We are doing well with those baby steps towards the goal. Being bold enough to do it afraid gives us the confidence to keep going. Keep stepping towards the goal. You’ll be back to the good place of creativity in no time, you just have to keep going. The confidence builds. The trust in ourselves builds. The work is getting done. The trust gives us more momentum. We are the only ones we can trust with our futures. Our parents don’t know what’s best for us. If they did, we would never leave home. Once the magic of succeeding happens, we can see we do know what we’re talking about. And we know what’s best for us. So go on that journey. Draw, paint, write, create in whatever way you want. You will find yourself along the way.

You may be surprised to meet yourself, all confident, creative, sporting a level of consciousness you never thought possible. You are the best version of yourself. You may have days you doubt, but don’t let them last long. Create some more, that will reinforce your new image of you. Practice improves your abilities. Reinforces your new image of yourself. Helps you go boldly where you have never gone before. Trust me, you will go there again, and again, and again. Look forward to it.

Today’s part of moving to the goal:
Fill out the Intake Q & A and prep the attachments needed.

Part of what I need to do is fill out this paperwork and submitting some of my rewritten novel to the coach I’m working with. I will submit all necessary parts of this by the end of the week. And I’ll dig in to finish the re-write. I’d love to have it finished by May 1. (Another goal, made public!)

Thank you for your time again today. I will be here tomorrow, and will appreciate it if you come back as well. Going to spend the rest of the day practicing creating something beautiful. And something useful. A quilt and some COVID masks. It doesn’t get better than that at the moment!

Joke of the Day

Hump Daaaaay!

A pessimist would say, “Why bother? Hump Day? Every day is the same as another when you’re stuck at home.” An optimist would say, “Wednesday is just a great as any other day! You woke up today, the sun is shining AGAIN!” And aren’t we lucky we have some place, whatever it is, to self-distance/quarantine ourselves? Yes, we are. When you look at countries like China, India, the Middle East, Africa, they don’t even have basic sanitation and clean water to drink. How on earth would we survive that? We need to count our blessings and be grateful.

Even if you are diagnosed with Corona Virus (COVID-19) chances are, you will survive with little damage to your lungs. People like myself, who have asthma or any other underlying health issue, will have a harder time if they have the lung damage associated with the virus. This IS different than the flu. The mucous is extra thick once it settles into your lungs. It causes permanent damage to the lungs where it sets up house, so to speak. I’d hate like hell to have my lungs compromised because some person decided they were bored and gathered with a crowd, playing a game of soccer, went shopping to Target to get their Starbuck’s and just browse the racks, or sent their kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa because they needed a break from home-schooling. Please, don’t do it!

Even though we need to be vigilant, we can still keep occupied and not go stir crazy. If you are a person who is still working, maybe enjoy how your home (apartment or house) looks all day long. You’re usually at work and don’t often get to enjoy it during the day. It makes you have a different perspective of your abode. You may (safely) have a little talk over the fence with the neighbor. The Babe is out doing that all the time. He knows everyone by first name. I love that about him. Everyone loves him. I’m lucky. And so is he!

A cousin’s daughter scheduled her wedding for April 4, 2020. They have had to cancel the reception. They will still have the ceremony, reduced to 7 people, them, the officiant, and have rescheduled the reception for later this year. Her younger sister is set to marry in August, along with another cousin’s son, also in August. Hoping these young people get started on their lives together and all brides and grooms get to have their time. I can imagine how devastated they all feel, and at the same time, they’re all very responsible people who know they must follow these new rules for living. They’re temporary restrictions, not permanent ones. God Bless all of you!

As a fund-raiser for their tip wage staff, Union Pizzaria and Sports Bar in Omaha, NE, printed some t-shirts with their various businesses on it and is donating all the proceeds to a fund for their impacted workers. What a great employer in the food and beverage business! My son works at Union, along with his room-mate. When they lost everything in an apartment fire last fall, these guys were right there, making sure they were getting what they needed, time off, whatever needed to be done. So grateful my son is associated with people like this. God Bless you guys! Go to their Facebook post for more info!

A great way to feel better? Help someone else. There are many, many restaurants who have gone to pick-up food to keep their doors open. Try ordering out! I don’t know about you, I’m a bit tired of cooking, but I do like it’s healthier than what we eat out. I just need to get back to salads and the like. It just all takes time. I’ve probably had quite enough comfort food for awhile. I truthfully don’t even like french fries that aren’t done to a certain degree of crispness. Nothing soggy, thank you very much.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. Union’s tip wage staff would appreciate it greatly if you’d stop by 156 & Maple for a t-shirt or two. Order their daily special before you go and you can solve the dinner problem. They appreciate it greatly. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope you come back. Have a happy, safe day.

Sunny Saturday

It is a beautiful blue-sky, sunny day in Gretna, Nebraska. The day reminds me of one that starts out cool and turns beautiful. Like when you rise early and load the car to go on vacation. You remember vacations! I imagine we’ll all want to go on one when this Coronavirus is over. It could be awhile.

I’ve always thought these to be stunning, but not too functional. Perhaps their time has come?
This is pretty much all on my mind today.
Blog, write, and later some block sewing. And thinking of our grandkids. I’m missing them all!

The kids and grandkids are all on my mind this morning. I’m praying for all of them, hoping all are well and going to stay that way. In the family are: a chef, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, his stay at home wife who is a great homeschooler, a truck driver, a real estate agent, two who manage trucking of railway goods delivered to trainyards by the Union Pacific railroad (essential personnel), a health care worker, and a project manager director. Some of them are parents of our four grandkids, two in Omaha area, one in Maryland, one in Colorado. That’s a lot of diversity and some important, essential people on that list. They may be more exposed than most, and we have to keep living our lives. With common sense at the helm.

Common sense for them will be adequate distance from others while on the job, probably avoiding the subways, and washing their hands – a lot. All we can do is check in on them once in awhile and pray we’ll all come out on the other side of this ok. I believe we will. If not, we will learn how to deal with the end results.

The Babe tells me the last time he felt this way was in Vietnam. Not having any idea of what will happen is the feeling of loss of control. I get it. My feeling of loss of control was in December, 1995, when I had a tumor compressing my spinal cord and in a week lost the ability to walk without assistance. That was the worst feeling in the world, as my daughter was still at home. My sons had just moved into an apartment. I had to get better for my kids. And for me. The Babe had his wife, Sandy to come home to. He was never the same for her.

I would bet every adult who has had a feeling like this is having flashbacks, dreams, whatever there is that tells us we know this could go very badly. Acknowledge them. Don’t let yourself dwell on them, though. Yes, we were afraid after 9/11. We need to remember how we, as a country of free individuals, came to a new normal. A new normal of a free people. We will do that again. Things will not be the same as they are now. Hopefully we will be appreciative of people who really matter in life. Doctors, scientists, first responders, nurses, truck drivers, train operators , and our military all keep our counntry going. It’s time we reorient our thinking to look up to people who really make a difference in our every day life, not sports figures, movie stars, celebrities, and people who are famous for absolutely nothing. I find it very sad we need to get a Kardashian to go on social media to get young people to understand they need to stay home while school is out. It tells me some have lost their concept of real life. You won’t find it on a reality show, despite all you hear on social media or television or in the movies.

In the meantime, keep yourself busy with positive things. Create something with words, music, paints, anything you may have around you. Be inventive. Write a note to your Grandma or Great Uncle and mail it. They will love it! Talk across the fence to your neighbors. Take your dog for a walk. It’ll do you both good. Get some fresh air. Thank you for reading. I’ll be here tomorrow and hope you are, too. Now for some creating!

These folks have my deepest respect and admiration.

A Weird Wednesday

Hump Day! In a world that was pretty normal just two weeks ago, we now have social distancing, self-quarantine, COVID-19 where Coronavirus used to be and a whole bunch of other stuff. People don’t know what to tell their kids, and in a society where we pick up and go wherever we want, whenever we want, America may have a lot to learn. I heard this morning, in Nebraska we are not to have gatherings of more than ten people in public until after April 30. No Church services. No school. No doctor appointments unless it’s an emergency. My ortho doctor called me to see if I wanted to come for my last Orthovisc injection on Friday. I told him as long as he would have me come in, I’ll go. Being two thirds through an expensive treatment, I feel in the long run, it will help me put off a knee replacement longer. I’m pretty good at avoiding people at the Bergan Clinic. I don’t think it will be a problem.

It just feels so eerie. The grocery shelves were not bad in Walmart in Gretna. I couldn’t find rubbing alcohol or clear Aloe Vera lotion, or hand sanitizer. I gave my mom my hand sanitizer to carry in her purse. It was a perfect travel size. Not a lot of traffic out, and I did witness a couple of teenagers or early 20’s on I-80 from 42 Street to 84 Street traveling at least 85 MPH. You see them on weekend nights after 11 p.m., like it’s a thing they do from Iowa to Gretna. Very dangerous.

The Babe has further endeared himself to me, as if that were possible. Doing the housecleaning while I’m taking Mom. Our cleaning lady is on leave for at least two weeks. He may have himself a job if she’s gone longer. I’d love to help, I just can’t do much stuff like that due to my back issues and injuries. He’s the best gift in the world, and there’s no one I’d rather be self-quarantined with. Check back in a couple weeks and see if that’s still the case! And it goes both ways, folks. I may be living in his shed if things fall apart from his end.

For me, I know I need to do what makes me feel better about everything. I need to create. Really sit down for two to three hours at a time and write. Twelve to fifteen hours of good writing, it will make a world of difference. And then, I need to sew my Poppy Quilt. Everyone needs something, and mine is creating.

Sometimes in the depths of my imagination, my characters will speak up in a way I wouldn’t have thought of, they say something or do something, and I get excited and think, “This is cool, I wonder where he’ll go now.” It’s as much of a surprise for me as it will be for you when you read it. It is amazing how much time it takes to make sure things are just right. Then you talk with your editor. Sam is so gentle, and kind with her critique. I know it will not always be that way. I just appreciate that so much about her. I’m so disappointed the Nebraska Writers Guild had to cancel the Spring Conference. I was going to get to see her again there. We’ll figure it out. Maybe meet for an outdoor meeting on a beautiful spring day in April or May, somewhere between Gretna and Lincoln. At any rate, the conference will be later in the Fall, we hope.

In the midst of writing, it sounds a little weird, but you are supposed to read as much as you can. Why? I’m sure seeing why lately. The things I’m learning about writing are reflected in what I’m learning about how to write. It’s funny sometimes, I’ll be reading and think, “So THAT’s what they mean . . .” And it sticks in my mind for next time I write. The whole thing about this is the amount of things I’ve learned. It’s just so cool. I don’t ever want to stop. That’s when they’re throwing dirt over you.

This screenshot from Facebook reminds us. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be courageous. It’s difficult to say, “Yes, I’m good at this.” And then let people read. That takes real courage.

With that, go draw, write, or learn a new thing. Be courageous and share it with someone. Even if you share it with a child. They appreciate everything. Great place to start! Thank you for reading today. I’m back at it again tomorrow, but it should be earlier. The next four days should yield a good twelve or more hours in here writing. Gotta meet goals, make those dreams happen! See you then.

Monday Measures

The Internet is becoming one of the most important commodities we have right now. No, you can’t eat it, drink it, or anything like that, but we can communicate with it. We can learn with it. We can be entertained with it. We can learn what is going on in the world while we practice social distancing at home.

So what does this all mean, the world changing so dramatically in the past seven days? We need to be grateful. By that, I mean that although the media could have been crying the sky is falling in the beginning, at least we have had some advance warning about this terrible virus. I’m most concerned about my mom, who is almost 91 and, well, she’s old. She’s been to the grocery store and to physical therapy. Period. Her parish priest visited her on the First Friday of March, after returning from South America. I must say I think the priest has some extra protection, not only because he’s a priest, but because two of his brothers are top-notch epidemiologists. He’s got the best insider information that exists in the State of Nebraska!

Many things have changed. For one, I no longer have to look up the word epidemiologist. I’ve always been a good speller. In fact, I beat one of those now-epidemiologists in a spell down in grade school. I was so thrilled! I’ll never forget it was the word “satellite.” He must have had a brain toot or something, he spelled it with one l. I won a statue of the Virgin Mary, a Holy Card, and the sweet taste of victory. I had a lot to tell my mom after school that day. I also lost a tooth that was ready to fall out, making way for an adult tooth. Fourth grade was quite memorable. Isn’t it funny how we remember some things so well?

Our Nebraska Writers Guild may cancel our conference this Spring. I’m so sad about that! I had such a great experience at the Fall Conference, I was so looking forward to it. Since the CDC has suggested banning gatherings of fifty or more, I’d say we’re doomed. The Board will meet today and email us later today. Teleconferencing may be an option.

All any of us can do right now is be calm, wash our hands, don’t hoard household supplies, and be patient. Since we’re more or less at home constantly for awhile, be patient with your housemates, children, spouses, partners, and medical workers. They are most at risk and they are our best chance of regaining our health. Be respectful, they deserve it.

Mom will have therapy again this morning and Wednesday. I hope they are open. The clinic has no waiting area in the PT area, so I must wait in the reception area of the clinic. That said, I choose a seat in a row, by the windows, with a table on one side, and I put our coats and purses in the chair next to me. No one will sit beside me, and I feel pretty safe doing that. If that seat is not not available, I will simply go wait in my car. Safety first, folks!

Love this beautiful picture!

I have a project for the Babe when he gets home later. I hope he feels like hanging all the pictures we haven’t re-hung since we had the house painted inside. He might not, since he took our Goldie this morning to the Vet to be spayed. We can pick her up after 3 p.m. It’s so weird with only one dog here this morning. I’m glad we have the two, and I know Goldie will be different when she’s older. Right now, she sure keeps us moving! We can hang our art later.

Thanks for reading today, I’m off to pick up Mom right now. I hope you have a good day, whatever you’re doing. I’ll be back tomorrow and hope to see you then.

Friday Highlights!

Today has been full of surprises. A National Emergency has been declared. The President has met with heads of major corporations and has negotiated cooperation and coordination of efforts to help people who are sick, lacking food, and need to be tested for the virus. I applaud all of this because we need some direction. Our govenor has told us if two more people are diagnosed with the virus, schools will remain for six to eight weeks. I feel badly for people who have children young enough to require care in that situation. They are not old enough to be home alone, and maybe there is no money available for pay for day care. I’ve been there, and it’s no fun. I’ve also been where you’ve started a new job and the sick leave benefit did not start until your first anniversary of your start date. Nowdays you may be lucky to get that. I hope there is a allowance made for these people.

On another note, I had to go to two different doctors today, both non-emergency visits. At the Bergan Mercy Offices, no delivery trucks were in the drop off area today. The parking garage had a lot of empty spaces. Not a lot of patients either. The other office at Lakeside had many, many parking places. Usually it takes awhile for them to be found. The Babe and I are having grilled steak, baked potatoes, and veggies for dinner tonight. It will be weird, but we’ve decided we need to quit lunching out all the time.

It is almost 4:30 p.m., and I didn’t feel like writing until now. Just kind of burned out on everything at the moment. I think it’s the sinus infection. Going to rest and read a lot the next couple of days. We are prioritizing little things that need to be done around the house. Right now, I want spring and Easter decorations all over. We do expect snow late tonight and tomorrow, but it’ll melt quickly. It always does.

Our city of Omaha, Nebraska will take a huge hit in the pocketbook here over the next quarter. The NCAA cancelled the basketball tournaments, the College World Series and everything associated with it. The health department cancelled the Catholic Church Fish Frys held on Fridays during Lent. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled, and I think the Corned Beef Dinners probably should be also. Why let that go on if you can’t have a Church Fish Fry?

Great way to start the day!

So this morning, the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska looked beautiful at about 7:30 a.m. when Goldie wanted company outside on the deck. No wind and the temp in the 40s was pretty. You can see the steam from my coffee here if you look closely enough. I love sitting on the deck or on the patio below. We have two different views of the tree line behind our home, which is a wetlands. There are lots of birds, squirrels, and critters wandering about there. I could sit there all day, so relaxing.

My headaches are still happening despite the sinus infection meds. Not sure what’s causing it, usually the barometric pressure stabilizes quickly and they’re gone in a couple hours. We’ll see. It’s kind of distracting and disturbs my train of thought. With that said, I hope you are well today. I hope you stay out of large crowds. Our Nebraska Writers Guild has no plans to cancel the conference in April as of this time. Since most writers are introverts, they will be an arms length away anyhow. I suppose if someone coughs or sneezes on you, you can bop them with the closest manuscript and tell them to go away. Hoping this is the way it goes, as another month from now, the whole pandemic could change it’s shape and direction. I am still looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Wash your hands! Be Safe!