Super Saturday??

Well, folks, you have stuck with me on this journey for thirty whole days. I have written nearly every day, letting you know what I’m doing and how I was getting ready to write the 50K words in those thirty days. Thank you for doing that.

This is my last day for writing, and I have another 4K words to write today, so I can declare myself a winner. I will finish those 50K words. It’s an accomplishment that boggles the mind.

I am so looking forward to having my life back, so to speak. I have a project I’m completing for a friend that is a Christmas themed item, so I’ll hit that hard next week. I’m going to put up out new Christmas tree, and see how that cheers the household up. The Babe and I have so much to continue giving thanks for, now that his health is improving so much.

I also have a friend whom I haven’t seen forever. We are going to go to a movie or lunch, we both need to get out and away from our houses. There is a luncheon I’m driving my mom to this week, and she has some errands no doubt. Next Friday night, we have tickets to go see Yesterday and Today at our Omaha Community Playhouse. It is a show starring three brothers, who sing the Beatles songs like you cannot believe. They are incredible entertainers and musicians. They do an interactive show, taking written requests before the show, and reading the requests, saying hi to the person who requested the song, and then doing the song. Previously, the second half of the show was all pre-planned, all mapped out and rehearsed, the same every time. They decided to challenge themselves this year, and go to all request. And they will draw the requests live. That will be a neat twist.

I have one package to mail for Christmas, for our youngest granddaughter, Kayla, in Colorado. Her parents do not want her photo on the Internet, including my blog and Facebook accounts, so I can only tell you she is an adorable twenty-one month old. She will be two years old on Pi Day, March 14 this little cutie made her appearance in 2018. We do not see her nearly enough.

I’m dying to buy her some clothes, but her mommy tells me that have no room in their house for storing things, and she prefers to buy clothes. A gift card to Carter’s will be her gift, along with a little musical plush animal that plays Christmas music. Toddlers love those things. And Grandma’s always can give the grandkids noisy toys because it’s the Grandma’s job.

My Grandma Bobell was a real jokester. One year, since there were several little boys within two years of the same age, she bought them all a gun that shot projectiles and made a horrible noise. She giggled as she looked at her daughters and said, “I thought the boys would have fun.” In return, she got the look from each of her four daughters, that indicated they were less than pleased. So, Steve and Tim, Mark and Rick, Joey, and Bobby, all were thrilled to death. I don’t know how long such toys lasted, but they were to play with only when my dad, who was a night worker and day sleeper, was not at home.

I would not do that to any of the grandkids parents, I promise! The rest of today, I’m going to hit my 50K word goal, before midnight tonight. I had an inspiration about a topic this morning, which I think should give me a lot to write about. Goals, reaching them, and being accountable to yourself for something. It’s all just about good living. And living to do good in the world.

So, up until midnight tonight, you may enter to win the $50 Visa Gift Card I’m giving away in celebration of making my NaNoWriMo goal. I just wanted to share something with one of you to thank you for staying with me through this past month. I’ve never done the challenge before, and it’s been fun. You may enter a total of twice a day, for each day I posted a blog, which was 30 days. You can have up to sixty chances to win. Do a little speed reading, like the blogpost, leave a comment, and you’re in!!

Thank you for reading today and every day. I will see you all tomorrow. And remember, at NOON, I will draw and post who the winner of the gift card is. And the Babe will be glad I’m done with that much daily writing. I haven’t told him yet how much fun the next steps sound. Have a beautiful Saturday.

Black Friday??

Can you touch your toes after all that great food yesterday?? Can you still see them?? The best part about Thanksgiving is the leftover turkey in a sandwich. My dad liked his with my mom’s homemade cranberry relish. It was made with ground cranberries, and ground pieces of an orange, and sugar. It was a cold relish and was really good. I didn’t have a grinder to use, but you can chop the cranberries in a blender, filled to the top with water. Just drain the chopped cranberries in a colander, add sugar to taste, and you have a simple way to make something that tastes like it was complicated. I love the stuff.

How do you reheat leftovers?? You know, microwaves are truly incredible machines. They did not exist in my childhood. Or into my adulthood. You had to warm things up on the stove or in the oven. And had to be careful not to dry everything out so badly you could not identify it. Some things, like rolls and bread, are awful heated in the microwave. Trust me, it’s awful. Mashed potatoes are heavenly reheated in a microwave. I’m convinced the inventor of the microwave was a guy who loved mashed potatoes and wanted a decent way to reheat them. Give that man a hand!

Who is shopping today?? I am not, I assure you. Crowds do not entice me. I have some 8,000 words to write and finish up before Saturday at midnight. I sure hope to be able to tell you I accomplished the goal of 50,000 words. I want to be able to wear the t-shirt declaring me a winner. I hear there are some prizes from NaNoWriMo for we who finish the challenge. I confess I did not do well writing last evening after the festivities of the day. My old, aching back decided it would not work anymore last evening, so we spent the evening in the recliner with the heating pad and my TENS unit.

There is still time to enter my drawing for NaNoWriMo, and to enter again! You can have two entries for each like on the blog you like, and make a comment. Two entries a day. There are thirty days times two chances each. You can really go back and submit on previous ones back to November 1, 2019. Sixty chances to win! Read the previous blogs while you wait in line to check out with your purchases today!!

Drawing is December 1, 2019, NOON. I will announce the winner on the blog that day, and on my Facebook page. If I do not hear from the person drawn by the next morning, I’ll draw a new name. I’d love to draw your name and mail you a $50 Visa Gift Card. Enter!

Our dinner yesterday was perfect. We are so blessed to have the kids and grandkids we have. Gavin is seven, and he just git his first pair of grown up man kind of shoes. Black dress shoes look great on any gentleman, and Gavin is proud to be dressing up. He is such a blessing in our life. He has such a beautiful heart, and if he loves you, you know it. Addison is at the age where she would rather be with her friends, or in her room. Good kids are a blessing.

Dan has two children, I have three. We laugh and say it’s a good thing we didn’t meet when they we were younger. That would have been quite a herd of kids. Our boys are forty-eight, forty-six, and forty-four, and the girls are forty-two and forty. Their birthdays are in the months of October, August, November, October, and January. It would have been quite a household even if they were only all together on weekends. As it is, they were almost all off on their own when we met. It’s just about impossible to get them all together for an event, vacation, or just a meal. Three of them live in different states, so it’s complicated.

If you go out shopping in the Midwest today, please be careful. We have some wet, icky weather. It will take longer to get to where you are going. Your family would rather have you, healthy and happy, than some great deal for a gift and have you maimed or worse.

Thank you for reading today, I greatly appreciate it. We will see you again tomorrow, and just be safe today!

Thanksgiving Eve

Are you starting to prep any dishes for Thanksgiving dinner yet? I’m trying a new sweet potato dish. I’m prepping the dish today, and baking it tomorrow. There are all sorts of dishes you can do ahead of time. I’m going to google and find any others I can do ahead.

The dish I’m making will use sliced sweet potatoes (Slice width-wise after boiling and cooling), lay in greased pan, mix cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and some other spices, pour over potatoes and bake. Sounds easy. Baked sweet potatoes are great at a steakhouse in place of a regular baked potato. And no one else likes them, so I’m going to save portions of it for later. Yum!!

I’m also making the dressing ahead, and whatever else works out ok. No big deal. Last year, we purchased a new gas range, with five top burners (I love it!) and sure enough, it cooked so much faster than our old electric stoves did. I kid you not. We had to call our daughter and her family to come early. I’m hoping that does not happen again.

NaNoWriMo successful conclusion is still in sight. I believe 2,971 words per day for the next four days will put me in the “winner’s ” circle. It will be great to be finished. Don’t forget to enter my drawing for the Completion of NaNoWriMo. Just like the posts and comment on each day for the month of November, and you could have sixty chances to win. Use tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday to catch up!! You can read them while you’re in line waiting for Target to open! Be safe out there.

If you are a Black Friday shopper, do you know when it started?? The first recorded use of the term was in 1969, and had nothing to do with shopping. It signified the crash of the gold market on September 24, 1869.

History.com reports the city of Philadelphia coined the phrase to describe the crush of traffic and pedestrians from the suburbs out shopping the day after Thanksgiving. The cops worked twelve hour shifts in an attempt to control the chaos. Poor guys! Shoplifting was rampant. In 1961, the city fathers tried to rebrand the day to be called “Big Friday” since it had a better connotation. Didn’t work. Additionally, some businesses were also open on Friday after Thanksgiving, and many, many people called in sick, thus creating a worker shortage.

So, whatever you do, if you are out and about on Black Friday, take precautions. Hydrate, eat well, and be careful to stay out of the way of anyone who thinks a cheap TV is worth trampling people for. Keep an eye on your belongings, as thieves will mix among the shoppers like always. Be aware of your surrounding. And keep up being grateful for everything you thought of on Thanksgiving.

If you are traveling over the next few days, I hope the bad weather misses you. We got some slushy stuff and a bit of snow last night, so nothing bad. The sidewalks are tricky, but watch where you’re going, you should be fine. Walk carefully. Enter to win. Thank you for taking time to read today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

Groceries, Doctor, and more!

How was your Monday?? Ours was a little crazy, I’m hoping Tuesday is a little more laid back. (It wasn’t!) Dan’s nurse came yesterday, and I misunderstood so the cleaning lady came too, instead of today. It worked out. Goldie needed to go to the Vet, and Dan to the Post to do some work. We loaded up Goldie in her kennel, and took off to let him do payroll at the Post, we went to Blair with Goldie to see the vet. He prescribed a couple of medications for her, and a special food that is supposed to change the environment of the GI tract. It’s all about medicine and science nowadays. Still hoping Goldie will get over this quickly and not have issues anymore. We kind of need a break!

We picked up Addison from school, stopped for late lunch, and were going to stop to buy the Thanksgiving fixings. Until we saw the line of cars lined up to turn into Walmart in Gretna. And decided to go this morning instead. Dan sees his doctor, so we will go right after that.

Today’s visit to the surgeon is to check on the amount of healing the wound vac has accomplished and determine how much long it’s needed. I know the Babe is tired of not driving. He is taking pain pills when the surgery site is dealt with. He is not supposed to drive while on those pills. I can tell they change his thinking and reaction time. It isn’t safe. I can’t blame him for being antsy, he’s been pretty patient thus far. It’s going to be over soon, I hope, for his sake. He deserves to feel better.

We have sort of laughed sometimes about “what else can go wrong?” Remember my son’s apartment going up in flames before his birthday in October?? He is doing ok, got his insurance settlement, and is getting settled in the new place. Until the car broke down. Just out of warranty, the catalytic converter went out. A big chunk of cash to fix that baby. What rotten luck! He deserves for things to go better for him, too.

Breaking News!!!! Dan has been removed from the wound vac!! He’s happy about that. And he can drive again. Glad to be rid of that huge, gaping wound on his groin. He still knows it’s there, and the skin can recover from the clear tape that has held him together the past month or so. Whew!! Now, I’m going to wonder what to do with all my spare time. HAH!!

NaNoWriMo is still on my horizon for finishing Saturday. I was a bit short Monday, because I wasn’t able to start writing until 6 p.m. It’s very doable. I need 2,972 words for today. I’d like to add another 765 to that to make up for being short yesterday. Don’t forget!! I’m drawing for a $50 Visa Gift Card giveaway on Sunday, December 1, 2019, at NOON. You can get two entries a day, just like my post, and leave a comment. It won’t hurt a bit.

I thank you so very much for reading my post today. I received a very nice message from our grandson Joell. He loved being featured in yesterday’s blog. I tell you, that boy is going to the Olympics as a swimmer! He will make Mark Spitz (1972) look like a slacker. Michael Phillips, too. Thank you so much, I’m hoping you’ll come back tomorrow. Lots to talk about the next few days.

Happy Birthday, Joell!

Today is a very special day in our family. Our oldest grandson, Joell, turns twelve today. It is so hard to believe! He is in sixth grade, which is middle school where he lives in Maryland. We visited in May, 2019, and were present for his Promotion Ceremony from elementary school to middle chool. He has attended a Spanish Immersion program since first grade, and the school is pretty amazing. He will continue the SI program until he graduates from high school, I believe. His mother’s family is Puerto Rican, so it is good that he can practice the language with his mother and some relatives.

No More Elementary School for This Guy.

I hope Joell realizes how special he is to us. We talk about you a lot at our home. We are getting better at texting you and communicating since you now have a phone # of your very own. We love you for a lot of reasons, one being your big heart, so full of love.

You have been taught to share from a young age. Sometimes, when we have been visiting you for Thanksgiving/your birthday, we have seen your parents take boxes of hot meals they have shared from our dinner table to downtown Washington DC and you have helped give them away to the homeless. You were with your Mama on Thursdays to deliver Meals on Wheels. You saw many older people who were lonely and couldn’t afford nourishing meals. You and your mama took food to them and visited them. You helped them be less lonely. You think about other peoples’ feelings. You are a generous young man. I remember when you, your parents, cousin Addison, Grandpa and me, and Shucks from South Dakota went to Puerto Rico.

You were happy to show cousin Addison the places your family loves in Old San Juan. You and Addison posed for photos at the ruins there, and flew kites as your mama did as a little girl when she visited her Grandma who still lived there. And when you and Addison came upon the man who sold ice cream from a cart on the street, you pulled out your wallet so you could treat your cousin. What a generous soul!

Through the years, we have seen you have parties with your school friends, and were happy with all the good friends you have made. You will continue to be a good friend to many people who will continue to meet and get to know. It’s part of a balanced life. Your parents have taken great pride in making sure you learned from an early age about the important things. Family. Friends. Faith.

Last Day of Safety Patrol, May, 2019

You are an accomplished world traveler! You have been many, many more places than some adults have been in your life. You and your family were in Hawaii for a couple of Christmas’, have traveled to Europe and seen good and bad parts of world history. The beauty of Rome and the horror of Auschwitz have made impressions in your young mind. You are curious about things like this, and make it a point to learn the lessons the world needs to learn about such events. You have learned about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad and saw where many of the slaves crossed into Canada. Your experiences have been very rich, thanks to your parents. What a lucky young man!

At the Vietnam Wall, Summer, 2019. You are helping your Grandpa heal.

Your dad took this photograph at you and Grandpa at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, his summer. It is a perfect reflection of the two of you, a first and third generation of males of this family, and signifies your importance in Grandpa’s heart, and mine too. You can learn about Grandpa by knowing what experiences he has had in life, just as we learn about you by going to swim classes and competitions with you. You are an incredible swimmer! It’s something I never learned because I was too scared. You have mastered something that is a real accomplishment.

One day, we hope we can all go on a trip through South Dakota, so you may learn about the family and surroundings Grandpa Dan had as a boy your age. We look forward to spending more time with you, and would love to show you Mount Rushmore, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life. The Black Hills played a huge part in Grandpa’s life. We’d love to show it to you. Great camping, but we will probably stay at a motel. I think our camping in a tent days are over. Yours are just beginning. You have been to many National Parks in your area, which is rich in history and stories.

So Happy Birthday, Joell. We hope you have a year as incredible as you are to us, and that Grandpa gets better so we can visit again. He is feeling much better, thank you. Don’t forget how much we love you, and remember, you can text or call us, too!! Love you, Grandpa Dan and Miss Kathy.

To my regular readers, I hope you remember the $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway drawing is December 1, 2019 at NOON. Like the post, comment on the blog, you can have two entries per day during the month of November. If you haven’t read all the blogs, catch up during the Thanksgiving Days off! Read while you’re in the Black Friday shopping lines. I’ll be cozy at home, writing. Thank you for reading, and see you tomorrow!!

Fun Friday

Why, you might ask, would a retired person be happy it was Friday, or look forward to a Friday when their week already consists of six Saturdays and a Sunday??

Tonight, the Babe and I are going to a hole in the wall bar and grill in Venice, Nebraska, to have a great dinner and see the entertainment. We bought tickets to see Ray Scott, a country star, and our friend, Jimmy Weber, perform. We’ve seen Jimmy many times and have formed a friendship. They just returned from a Country Cruising 2019 gig where I hear it was a real chore to do all the work.

Those of you who have known me for years may say, “Country?? You???” Yes, me. I’ve always liked Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Martina McBride, Sugarland, and a few others. Over the past few years, Babe and I have gone to see other local groups where Jimmy has been a part of the band, and he really is a good musician, has a good stage presence, and is an all around good person. We had a chance to see him perform in a small venue three years ago, and have been fans/friends ever since. It’s the storytelling kind of music. Real stories. That’s what we like, along with the mastery of the instruments he and his friends have.

We have heard about Ray Scott through Jimmy, and it just seems like we’d enjoy the show, so we’re going to Buck’s tonight. It’ll be an experience for sure. We were there once before and would call it cozy. Great food, so dinner will be involved. Should be a great night.

Left to right:
Jimmy Weber, Buck, Ray Scott
Gonna be a fun night.

To catch up on NaNoWriMo, there are about nine days left to make the goal of 50K words. I’m at a strong 27,627 words right now. Nerd that I am, to hit the target, I need at least 2,445 per day for the next nine days. I was bold to order the t-shirt before I started to write, and I wouldn’t feel right wearing it if I don’t make it. It’s just words. That should make some sort of sense. Of course, vigorous editing must follow the writing.

My workspace this morning.

That is not a lot, considering I’m learning to show, not tell. Big difference, from what I’ve read. I know for sure creative writing is much better than business writing! Learning something new is all part of the process. It’s kind of strange, but I’m not concerned about failure. I’m not concerned if anyone will like it or not. Of course, it’d be great to become a NYT Bestselling Author, but I won’t be disappointed if I don’t “make it big.” I want to sell books, but my next meal does not depend on it, so that probably takes a lot of self-imposed pressure off.

I’m grateful to the people who have read the blog every day. It’s a mental challenge to write about something every single day. Putting things all down in writing makes the thoughts and ideas real. It’s kind of scary to share personal stuff, but I feel in order to be real, I need to. What do you think about all that??

Folks, there have been some things in my life that I look back at and it’s hard to believe they even happened and that we lived to tell about it. Child drowning and recovering, child with ruptured appendix (found up by the liver, not a usual place!) and recovered, unusual benign growth in my spine that grew to about eight inches long and pinched spinal cord, surgery performed on growth, punctured and will not fill up anymore with spinal fluid, recovered with no data on recovery from such a thing, lived to walk again and tell about it. My surgeon took photos and published in a medical journal. I guess you could say I’ve already been published!!

There are remarkable stories in all of these events. And you can’t make this stuff up, folks! Each and every day, I’m so grateful to God that these things did not turn into major tragedies, as they well could have. They were very difficult situations that tested my faith in God, medicine, and miracles. I firmly believe there are miracles around us every day, especially in the field of medicine. Think about it. People are healed by some really miraculous discoveries.

Immunizations have stopped horrible diseases. As a child, I had measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Every kid got them. My kids had chicken pox, one as a baby still in diapers. I remember how horrible it was to be that sick, and not be able to do much for yourself or your child. My little brother had them so bad they were inside his eyelids, he could not walk to the bathroom, and my mom and I took turns rocking him to sleep and holding him. He has some scars from the pox. Not worth the risk. Whooping cough should be a thing of the past. So many people died from it at the turn of the twentieth century until there was a vaccine invented. My former father in law’s mother and twin sisters died of the disease. The surviving children went to an orphanage until their father could get back on his feet and have them back in the home. Unless we know and tell the stories of some past things, we will not fully realize what can happen when we decide we know more than doctors and authorities. For my money, I’ll continue to trust medicine.

That said, I do ask a lot of questions. I don’t blindly follow their advice. Our internist explains the why when he prescribes something or wants us to follow a certain protocol. I trust this professional’s advice because I believe that twenty some years ago, he did an EKG on Dan due to some complaints he had. Our doc didn’t like the results. He was immediately put in the hospital and they did Babe’s first heart cath. I do believe he would have had a widowmaker heart attack if the visit never would have happened. I believe his life was saved and I’m the beneficiary of a very deep love and friendship. We are both so blessed.

Going to need a nap today to be out late tonight. We believe we’ll be able to keep our eyes open until the show’s over. Life is indeed, very, very good. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Full report on our date night, with photos.

Like, comment, and you ‘ll be entered in my NaNoWriMo giveaway. Drawing December 1, 2019 at NOON. I hope you’re the winner!

Thoughtful Thursday

This day is pretty blustery compared to the last two. It will be like this for a few days, so we’d better get used to it.

I usually start days like this with big intentions. Anyone with chronic anything will understand this. If you don’t move too much, it doesn’t seem too bad, so you should be able to get through several tasks and still be ok to do more. Blustery days, when the barometric pressure goes wild, are so hard to overcome.

And I refuse to give up hand sewing, embroidery, and other things that make time pass while creating something beautiful. It’s just not in my DNA. And typing doesn’t help, nor does hand writing. But we persist, don’t we??

The thing of it is, I just hate to give up on anything. Especially myself. It’s not too great to wait until you retire and then find you can’t do what you were waiting to do. So do it anyway, unless it will cause you or someone else danger, harm, or a terrible injury. Chances are, it won’t. Hang Gliding would, hand sewing wouldn’t. My orthopedic surgeons have provided me with devices and other aids to still live my life. The aches kind of add to the triumph in a way. It means I didn’t give up. I didn’t cave. Sometimes you need extra rest or ice, or acetaminophen. But you will have another try at it, maybe allowing extra time, frequent breaks, or putting it away for a bit. Giving up is totally different than deciding that you have had enough. Huge difference. Think about that and comment if you’d like.

And that brings me to Goldie, the young blonde the Babe decided would come home with us about a month ago. She is delightful. She is a very smart dog, like one I’ve never seen. It must have to do with her breeding and the family who raised her to ten weeks of age.

When Babe takes her out first thing in the morning, they walk out the front door, and into the yard. While doing her business, Babe picks up the newspaper from the driveway. I swear on all that is holy, Goldie now walks out and picks up the newspaper, gives it to Dan, and goes to do her business. Totally uncoached. She just learned by watching. It is pretty cool the things she is learning. They are diligently working on homework for the next puppy class on Saturday. What a great team they are!!

She sits at Dan’s feet and sleeps sometimes. She truly is a good girl.

As this blustery day continues, it’s easy to let the grey skies and cold wind make your mood the same way. Don’t let the weather win. If it takes happy music in the background, play some happy music. The people who truly have a challenge are those who cannot drive themselves anywhere to get out of the house when they need to.

I see this a lot with my mother. She is a great worrier, the best worrier that ever worried her way through any crisis, real or imagined. I tend to not worry. By that I don’t mean I’m not concerned about a situation, but I don’t let my thoughts get all out of control by adding my imagination to the facts, creating the worst possible scenarios. She does. She doesn’t see that this type of thinking/worrying doesn’t help an unknown situation. It destroys things. I read once a Mark Twain saying. “I have survived many terrible ordeals. Most of which, only happened in my mind.”

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, Mom wanted me to meet her friend who had a different stage of breast cancer, and who had a much different journey than mine was. She had a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. She was quite ill. She has been ill for a long time. I chose to not meet Mom’s friend. I wanted to take my own journey with my husband and our kids and grandkids. I didn’t need to worry about what could happen. I knew God would be good to me, regardless of the outcome. I was so blessed.

I had a lumpectomy, followed by radiation treatment, followed by medication. I’ve addressed how those affected me in another post, Simply Sunday, on October 20, 2019. Meanwhile, our extended family (stepkids, grandkids) were all in a much greater and much harder cancer fight. Dan’s former wife Sandy, the mother of his children, had lung cancer, Stage 4. She e was given about six months with treatment. She had two and a half years with treatment, support, and love of a huge extended family. She looked cancer in it’s face and stood up to it. She did a wonderful job. The most important thing to her was time with the kids and grandkids. We became friends, good friends. I was blessed to know her as I did, and miss her. I know the Babe will always love her too, and that’s ok.

One thing I didn’t want to do was shout out my triumphs when she had news that was not so good. I still don’t want to boast about surviving, because you never know if something worse is ahead. I’m content to be grateful to God for being cancer free at this time. Always, at this time.

Now, this is not idle worry. I know the odds. I know the chance of it coming back. It could at twenty-five years. It doesn’t steal my time and make me worry about it. My dad was very calm about things until he knew what he was dealing with. I’d like to think I inherited that from him and I believe I did. For that, I’m grateful.

Submit a comment, like the post, and you’ll receive two chances for my NaNoWriMo giveaway of a $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing is December 1, 2019 at NOON. Join us tomorrow, and we’ll have fun again then. Make your own sunshine. Be grateful.

Two Within Twenty Four Hours

With last night’s late blog, and my starting much earlier this morning, you’ll be getting 4 chances to register within a twenty four hour period. Take advantage of it while you can! You can comment here, at the end, scroll way past the ending, and you’ll see a box for “Leave a Comment.” That is where you can comment.

I must share with you the photo Tracy took of Gavin with us last night. He was so happy we were at his concert. He must be deep in thought because he said, “I’m so lucky to have you two for grandparents,” and said that the last time we were together. Of course, some naysayers will say, “He’s just sucking up for Christmas gifts!”

I beg to differ with you. Isn’t that a nice phrase? Rather than becoming uncivil with a comment, one may choose to “Beg to differ.” And there were no hurt feelings or name calling involved. Let’s try and think “Beg to differ” instead of “Those stupid Republicans,” or “Those damned Democrats!” Let’s be above name calling and be civil.

Anyway, while begging to differ with you, I say I do believe some kids really do realize when they are lucky. And it doesn’t have to do with material things, they can actually feel the love someone gives them. And they appreciate it. And kids are honest, they will tell you what they believe. I love their honesty. It’s so pure.

So, call me crazy, I know Gavin meant what he said. He wasn’t schmoozing.

Gavin after his “The Giving Tree” program last night.

I’m still thinking about the message from the tree decorations my mom bought yesterday and the fact I’m getting a new Christmas tree for home this year, AND the fact that Gavin’s program was about The Giving Tree. I do believe there is a message there for me. I believe it’s telling me something about Christmas, giving, and the past. Maybe like Marley (In The Christmas Carol) I’m weighted down by something in the past about Christmases. Maybe I’m not giving as much of myself where I should be doing so. Maybe the best thing I can give myself is a different outlook on things.

One thing I want to do is concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas. It has nothing to do with Black Friday (I honestly do not know when that became a thing!), with last minute bottom lines, how much money businesses make this shopping season, and with who wins the next debate. Those things don’t warm my soul or make me feel good.

So what is it I should do?? Be generous with the Red Kettles I see at shopping centers.

Be willing to help someone out. I am finishing a project for someone who is unable to. I will make time to finish their project for them. In keeping my word to another human being, I am helping others a lot.

Learn to graciously say, “I just can’t do this.” No explanation. Sometimes you need to know when to turn things down that you can’t possibly do and still function well. The wisdom to know the difference is worth our weight in gold.

There is a great deal of wisdom existing in the world, and I think some comes from out of the mouths of children. Their innocence is unbelievable at times, yet they can be wise beyond their years. Many little children are exposed to things they never should be.

When my oldest son was in kindergarten, a classmate came over to play. They played house within sight of me. I heard the little girl give a detailed explanation of a scenario. “You didn’t come home from work, and I went out with my friends to a movie, dinner, and drinks. You got mad I wasn’t home and I’m not going to tell you where I was.” This was really way too old for a kindergartener. I don’t like how it makes me feel at my age right now!

Sometimes, I wonder what happened to this little girl. She was a good kid but came from a really dysfunctional family. Alcoholism in spades, generational and it was severe. A lot of us had difficulties in our childhoods, and may still be shaking off the past. This year is the time to find out how to shed it for all time. The rest of our life doesn’t have to be how the first part was, especially if it was bad. It was there to shape us and teach us what to do or not do.

In the next week, many people will be gathering for their Thanksgiving dinners and “Thanksmas” and whatever else may be scheduled. Some will be happy gatherings, some may not. Whichever yours is, be sure you stop and think about what you have to be thankful for. Sometimes, it is hard to think of things. Just remember that there is good everywhere. We just need to look for it. There have been times in life when things have gone so wrong that I was thankful for the fact my car started. Period. Presently, my life is so abundantly blessed it’s hard to find things that are so wrong they will ruin my day.

Today, I’m grateful for Gavin, Joell, Addison and Kayla. They’re the best grandkids I could ever hope for. I’m grateful for a man like Dan who encourages me to be myself. It’s a relationship that is perfect for me. I’m grateful that my children grew into good grownups, and that they are independent in their lives. All mothers probably wish they could see their grown kids more often, I am no exception.

I’m so grateful that we have the home and environment we have. It’s a very contented, happy place. Our two dogs add considerably to it.

Think of what you are thankful for. Really think. You may even surprise yourself. Leave a comment on these things. Give us a like and you are on your way to chances to win the $50 Visa Gift Card. It will be given away on December 01, 2019, drawing will be at NOON. Thank you for reading, and please, come back tomorrow!

Messy Characters and More

After attending the Nebraska Writers Guild Fall Conference, I arrived home with a renewed sense of purpose, charged to jump headfirst into NaNoWriMo, and easily finish my novel with 50,000 words that all made sense with each other, and simply breeze into the sunset come November 30, 2019, with a deep sense of accomplishment about the novel being close to finished.

Today is November 17. I’m running behind with the number of words per day, but it’s still in the realm of completing. I could have some fantastic days coming up after doing some more research about what I’m missing in the first 40,000 words. It’ll come, I know it will.

I came across a mysterious Post It note in pink, that had scribbled diagonally across it,

“Chuck Windig – Messy Characters.” I’m assuming that was an author and book that I really needed to seek out to get answers on how to keep going, and make sure the characters are completely fleshed out.

I’m completely wrong about what is written there. Why can’t I remember why this is so important to my destiny? My story? My characters? Googling proved I spelled Mr. Windig’s name wrong. It is really Chuck Wendig, and he is a science fiction writer. Not my genre, but ok. Why did I make this note?? Could it be because he is not only a writer but a blogger as well?? His blog is TerribleMinds. If you Google his blog and go back to November 1, 2019, (Not now, when you’re finished with reading mine, silly!) he discusses two things. Writing a novel is hard, because it’s supposed to be hard. Writing a novel is hard, because it has to be done your way. Wow. This blog hadn’t yet been written when I jotted this down. And now, I’m finding something that is speaking volumes to me.

How did this happen?? Is it yet another sign that I really do have a story to tell?? Yes, yes it is. I cannot waver and say, “Well, I’m not sure,” because I have to be sure. I have to be sure this is very hard, it will probably get much harder before it gets easier, and I haven’t even begun to see hard work yet. And I have to be mentally ready for it.

It is hard. It is hard because I have a story I want to tell. It will be a story realistic in as much as I haven’t sanitized anything, left uncomfortable parts out, or failed to tell the complete truth about a situation because I didn’t want to have to explain where that idea came from. It’s coming from life. It’s coming from observations from life for a period of sixty seven years. That’s a long time, really. And to find each and every just right word to tell that story is hard. Somedays it flows, somedays it’s clogged up worse than an old septic tank. (That’s all I could come up with folks, sorry!)

The days you can coax the words and they flow endlessly are the days your energy level goes through the roof and you feel great. Nine out of ten times, this one day of brilliance is followed by one to ten of clogged up words, gelling together to make a tremendous mess if they ever are broken apart and allowed to flow, unfettered, into the great beyond. Lots of cleanup is required after that, and usually, it all goes in the sewer. Sorry, that’s the fact, the reality of writing. Not as glamorous as it sounds. And I haven’t even gotten near the hard part yet.

So now that I discovered how a note to look Mr. Wendig up ended with my finding him giving me some great advice that he hadn’t written yet when I jotted his name down, I will say good day for now and go on to writing more on my book. After all, I have been told it will be hard because it’s my own. And it will be.

Thank you so much for reading today. Make sure to comment in the blog and like to have your name entered in my NaNoWriMo Giveaway. I will draw on December 1, 2019 to give away a $50 Visa Gift Card. Comment, like blogs and you can have two entries a day! That makes 60 free chances in all, just for reading, commenting, and liking. Easy enough.

Puppy Training Class

What a fun Saturday morning! We enrolled Goldie in puppy class and it was a big day for her. The breeder already socialized her quite well, she spent time with some busy teenage girls, other puppies, all sorts of different stimuli. When we got her three weeks ago, she could already sit. She had never had a collar on, walked on a leash, or been in a kennel. She did all three within the first four hours of coming home, and sleeps pretty much through the night.

I cannot imagine a more fun job than working with puppies. Similar to a baby exploring their world, puppies explore even more thoroughly by sniffing every square inch over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they’re the same. There are similarities. And yes, babies can think, they have a soul, they are not animals but mammals, but for this discussion, it’s sort of similar.

Yes, I’m glad people don’t greet other people like dogs do, that would be quite uncomfortable. Of the four pups present, they were all younger than the one who was afraid to play with the others. She was beyond the socialization window they say puppies have – fourteen weeks, then they are not as apt to socialize. I can’t imagine only having fourteen weeks when it’s takes some people a lifetime to comfortably meet, greet, talk, and socialize with others. People seem to change over the lifetime. If you can introduce loud noises into the puppy’s life and they seem to tolerate them, they may not end up afraid of fireworks. That would be a plus. I’m hoping a Goldie, the purebred lab won’t be afraid of them.

Learning the trick behind getting them to sit, down. Interesting!

The puppies really seemed to enjoy the play time afterward. It was fun to watch them all running and playing. I would have thought Goldie would have been tired after all of that activity but she was a live wire this afternoon. I’m afraid there will be more of those days than quiet days ahead.

I have had a dog since 1982. I got one for my kids after their dad left. They were great at taking care of her, and Shadow, a mixed mutt purchased for $15, lived for sixteen and a half years. She lived until Dan and I got married. Once she was no longer with us, Dan decided Becky and I were too lonely without a dog. We adopted Mocho, a brownish/black lab mix, from the Humane Society. She was a good girl. Her kennel was in the basement next to Becky’s bedroom, so Becky let Mocho sleep with her every night so she didn’t have to hear her whimper. Wow.

When I went on disability in 2000, Mocho was two years old and a good company for me being home all the time. Dan thought I needed my own dog, so we got Mollie, a Shepard/Lab mix, also from the Humane Society. She was a timid dog, but she was totally house trained by Mocho. Every time one went out, the other one did too. It was unbelievably easy. They both left us together, in 2014 I believe. Mocho had severe hip dysplasia, and Mollie had congestive heart failure. Poor things! We were never going to have dogs again, wanted more freedom, blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to after Dan retired, I was really lonely for another dog. After over thirty years of having one, it just didn’t seem right to not have one. And then we adopted two, who were four weeks and just taken from their Mom. Mom was ill, the pups were three and a half and four pounds, and so beautiful. They had sky blue eyes. Mix of Lab/Bassett. What???? People do a double take when they’re told about that. Love is indeed strange.

So these two crazies crept their way into our hearts. They were a real challenge, too. We didn’t know Dan would become quite ill with a mosquito bourne illness like West Nile. He had Chikengunya. It was terrible and lasted several months. While this was waning, he was developing some more severe fatigue and generally feeling terrible. He had some pretty big symptoms of heart issues, did not have a heart attack, but had a quadruple bypass. By then, the pups were six months old. They were still into everything and misbehaving. They eventually got better, but it feels like we had them longer than the six and a half years we have.

When Roxie was hit by a car in July, we were devastated. Lexie missed her sister terribly. By September or early October, Dan decided Lexie needed a friend. So here we are again, with a puppy. This is not for two retired people in their late sixties. Well, it is now. Lots of work, but we will hopefully have a great companion when one of us is left without the other. It’ll be good to learn how to make Goldie into a good pet while we learn how to be better pet parents.

Lexie is doing better every day with this pesky puppy in the house. She is starting to play quite a bit in the yard with Goldie, and yesterday, Lexie was laying in the sun on the ground, and Goldie came up, laid down by her and started cleaning her ears. Lexie didn’t mind a bit. Roxie and her used to do it all the time.

So it’s been a good day again. I’m not overwhelmed by everything like I was yesterday. Things are not so out of control as they seemed.

Leave a comment and like this post, you’ll get your name entered in the drawing I’m doing on December 1 at NOON. It’s open to everyone who comments and/or likes a post. Comment below here, and you’ll be entered. Come back every day, like, and comment. Are you a dog person or a cat person?? If dog, how many have you owned in your life?? How many owned you?? Which one was most special?? I won’t tell the others.

Come back tomorrow for another blog. I hope you have a good evening. Thank you so much for reading tonight.