Super Sunday!

It’s been a busy couple of days for us. Last night’s Honor Guard Banquet was very nice. The food was great and we had the pleasure of listening to Bill Williams, the person who sponsored all of the Honor Flight’s to Washington DC to see the monuments built to honor each war. World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Such hard times. Such hard memories. Such healing. Mr. Williams was a good speaker, very personable, very sincere about his motivations. What a labor of love, and a healing event for these soldiers.

The Honor Guard had certificates for all the events they attended for a twelve month period. With parades cancelled this year, and a ban on burials at the Omaha National Cemetery for a couple of months, it was a difficult year to get them to add up. As things continue to open up, more funerals will be done, and more veterans families will hear the bugler play Taps. A hush falls over the crowd, and the bugle plays sorrowfully. What a moment for those who have served. A moment of pride and hope and faith all at once. They believe in their country and what it stands for. And they honor their dead as no one else does. I hope this continues on forever.

Today started a little earlier than usual, picking Mom up to go to another family bridal shower. This was a sister of the same bride we showered earlier this year. Her wedding was COVID-19 delayed. They had a civil service, but no reception yet. The sister from today, her wedding is scheduled in August, so we’re hoping it goes as planned. These girls deserve it! The makeup reception is in September. Good times ahead with my cousins, at happy occasions. That’s the best part!

So after an evening of honoring some of the most patriotic people I know, and an afternoon of laughing and wishing happiness for a young couple and their future, I find it was a wonderful but tiring weekend. In attendance at the shower were a set a twin boys who were identical. As twins usually do, they were premature, and have come a long way with quite a fight. It was amazing to watch them interact with each other. They were only about a pound and a half at birth and are small at four and a half months old. They are beautiful boys, and are very bright and attentive to their surroundings. We come from a long line of baby lovers, so we were smitten. I hope they come to the wedding so the Babe can see them.

It sure won’t be a very late night for us tonight. We’re needing to think of what needs to be done this week, and Gavin will be with us the next three days. It was fun to see our grandkids interact with their cousins Thursday evening, and then to interact with mine today. The circle of life, surely goes on, doesn’t it?

Still mapping out my work schedule for the next two months. I will accomplish more on it tomorrow, for now, I think I’m just going to finish reading Personality Isn’t Permanent. We don’t serve ourselves by adhering to self-limiting beliefs such as, “I’m an introvert. I’m too shy to answer questions about my books.” Wrong! This is exactly the time you will become extroverted! Or such as, “I am retired and think it is foolish for someone my age to take a risk like writing a book so late in life.” Baloney! This is the best time! You’re not limiting yourself because you do not care what people think!

Your personality has really changed all throughout your life. It will continue to change as long as you allow it room to grow and change. Look at how far you need to go to become what you wish to be. And keep on that path until you get there and further. You will never want to quit.

Have you ever been forced to take a personality test for your job? I have. It’s a bunch of hooey, really. One part was answer qualities you need to do your job. The other part was what qualities you think you have. It was a bunch of hooey all right. Who doesn’t want to be precise, technical, exacting, consistent, and accurate when you program software? And who doesn’t want to be flexible, warm, caring, adaptable, and understanding as a human being? Well, they told me I’d never make it as a programmer because I couldn’t pay attention to detail, be consistent, blah, blah, blah, my personality would be my undoing. The president of the company told me I’d better find a different line of work.

Well, I had news for him. I wanted to prove you could be all those wonderful things and still pay attention to detail and program like nobody’s business. And I did. Tests like this are bunk. I’m glad this book tells people that. I’m glad the Meyer’s Briggs test is also questioned. I think it’s too stifling to have only one set of four letters to tell you who you are. People can truly change. I have. People are more interested in what you’re about to become than what you have been categorized as.

Thank you for reading my very late blog today. Hug your cousins when you see them. They’re great people and a lot of fun, too. I appreciate your time tonight and look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow. Be safe. Take care. Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your step, and Be Kind. It’s always in style.

Wed – nes – day.

It was a little cool (57 degrees!) while the Babe and I had coffee on the deck early this morning. Just enough chill until the sun rose above the treeline. It felt as if it will be a glorious day. And it is. Give this a listen. I’ve heard it twice in the past week, and I believe it bears discussion here.

Treat the Janitor with as much respect as you do the CEO. He (or she) may have a much better idea of what really goes on.

This man is so wise. And wise to know where he learned the most important things in life – from a third grade dropout. So glad to know he and his brothers had enough respect and honor for his father to know the man was far more intelligent than his schooling indicated. I’ve always felt this way about people I know and love.

My husband is a high school graduate, and didn’t like school. He learned by OJT through his career at Watkins Concrete Block, Inc., in Omaha. He was a diesel mechanic for many years. When I met him, he was starting up his ladder, and we both rose, step by step, cheering each other on. He retired as Labor Foreman and Facilities Manager. He has extensive accounting experience and it shows in his work as Quartermaster at VFW Post 2503. He learned by doing.

He always was a boss who considered the tribulations of his workers in his advice to the higher ups. Things that don’t matter in the eyes of management like they do in the eyes of the worker bees. Don’t increase Health Insurance premiums the first of the month. Most guys had to pay their rent or house payments. It makes sense, and his guys never learned all of the ways he looked out for them. He was a combination boss and older brother or Dad to them. Part of why I love him is the way he treats everyone. He’s no pushover, however. Do your job, don’t cut corners, earn your pay. Not that hard. But necessary. Even more so in today’s world.

I’ve seen some impactful videos of folks like Condoleezza Rice discussing the status of America today. She has some great advice for all of us. And a young black fellow, who happens to be a conservative , discussing BLM, voting, and racism with a group of his peers. It was quite enlightening. They learned from him, about how to look at issues instead of only skin color when voting. It was one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. I like the civil discussion. This is what we need. Find Your Broom, folks.

And this example. It was a commencement speaker who talked about the smartest man in the world, his father. The man had a third grade education, but he was more intelligent than anyone about living. It lifted my spirits. I hope it does yours, too.

I was fortunate to have a janitor for a very good friend in the late 1980s. I worked for one of ConAgra’s “Independent Operating Companies”, ConAgra Pet Products, in Omaha, Ne. They occupied a long-since torn down building at 39th and Leavenworth. It was a Manufacturing and Distribution Company, and I started my I/T career there.

The janitor was named Henry. He was a rather famous person. If you look back on old Stevie Wonder Albums, (Songs in the Key of Life), you’ll see in the album notes the alto sax on songs # 5,6,10,13,and 17 was played by a cat named Hank Redd. Hank Redd, of Stevie Wonder band fame, is my friend, Henry. I haven’t seen him in probably 30 years. The year he played for our company Christmas party was the night I was at my father’s wake and rosary. I hated missing his performance, but he did let me borrow a tape. It was great.

He left the music world because of the craziness going on in the early 80s with drugs, etc. He said Stevie Wonder was a great human being, and he hated to leave him. But he had to. He came home to Omaha to take care of his mom and aunt. And he worked as a janitor. He would see me leave every day at lunchtime to go to the hospital and visit Dad. He’d tell me, “Be Strong.” And I could be. When I’d come back, he would be where I had to walk through the warehouse, sweeping his floor. He’d stop me and tell me I could get through this. I doubted him at the time, but he was right.

I’m forever grateful to Hank Redd, for his friendship, love and support during the worst time of my life. One night, I caught an old video about the making of “Songs in the Key of Life,” and I saw Henry playing. It was wonderful. How lucky I was to have that kind of friend at that moment in my life. Henry, if you’re still with us, maybe we’ll meet again some day. And if you’re already gone, I will meet you then. I’ll bring my broom.

Mobile Monday

A Sunny Day or Six Would be Great!

Getting a late start today for the blog. I had two early appointments this morning, and the rest of the day had a conference with my writing coach, and a lot of thinking about what we talked about. It started out gloomy again. Maybe tomorrow. There is always hope.

I’ve had my temperature checked more today than I have in the past five years. Well, not really. I’m surprised Walmart didn’t check it. They had no disinfecting wipes to clean off the cart handles and didn’t require people to wear masks. They did a good job reconfiguring the aisles. They have some dividers in the middle of 12 foot aisles and nice markings in the aisles indicating the six foot apart rules. It was perfect. I found Butter Beans! And Dog Treats. Essentials for Cowboy Beans and for keeping the dogs happy. It was a win-win.

The conversation with my writing coach was good. I got some honest feedback to help me take my idea and what I’ve written so far, add some things, and be able to make it the best telling of my story about Katie and her seven brothers: Patrick, Andrew, Edward, John, Marty, William, and Michael. It is amazing to make the decisions about characters, their flaws and strengths, and the perils they will interact during. It’s a continuing process, and sometimes I get an idea and decide that may be in a follow-up story, maybe in a trilogy. That would be quite exciting!

Those of us in the 1970 Graduating Class from Archbishop Ryan High School will not be having our 50th Reunion this year. That is sad, but since we are all “of a certain age,” maybe we’ll start a new tradition of a 51st Reunion. It could become a thing, you know? And perhaps our good friend, Anna Merola, will be able to come from Italy. It would be wonderful!

As I left the dentist this morning near 144 & Fort in Omaha, I did see the Nebraska National Guard flyover doing a tribute flight to honor the state’s heroes in the trenches of treating COVID-19 patients. It would have been more spectacular against a blue sky, but the clouds accentuated it as well. The special tributes to those in harm’s way are incredible.

My nephew Don is an ER (ED) nurse in Arizona, and I know he is an angel to his patients. He is in the profession because of his mother, who died from oral cancer in 2007. He was a graduating senior at Bellevue East High School then. Wow. Talk about your graduation being messed up. Her funeral was the day after his 18th birthday. What a lot to overcome! Don enlisted in the USAF, and served his country. I love what he’s done with his life. And, still a newlywed, he married the lovely Carrie last November in Omaha. I’m so happy for them, proud of them, and am just waiting to see their new chapter. You, Don, are my hero. May God continue to bless you!

I’m issuing an apology in advance of you reading this meme. It is an important part of a theme in my book, and it is important for all of us to own our actions, words, and behaviors. If you do not you will never be able to be your best. It is especially hard for people who were raised in dysfunctional families. There is no shame in it, the shame is in not changing the things that are wrong. Not calling out the bad behavior within our own groups leaves the door open for passing along the bad things. And you don’t want to do that. Be strong. Be aware. Be brave enough to say, “It stops here. My family did the best they knew how. And some things need to change for the future.”

I thank you for reading today. I appreciate you so very much. See you again tomorrow, you know I’ll be here ! Stay Safe. Wash your hands. Call a Friend. Learn something new! Take care.

It’s Thursday Again

I’m amazed at the number of “elderly” (our age) people who tell us their kids won’t let them leave the house. What? They don’t live under the same roof at all, but the kids are making their parents stay home. It makes me wonder. Our kids just ask what we’re doing. Does that mean they don’t love us? Hardly. One of the kids picked up toilet paper for us when we couldn’t find any in our stores. Other than that, we speak to them and check in about everyday life but don’t go further than that. Is it that they trust us to be cautious? Is it they don’t think of us becoming ill and dying from it? I choose to look at it that they think we know what to do. What do you think? Have you told your parents to stay home? Our mom doesn’t listen too well. At nearly 91, she still insists on going to Walgreen’s and Hy Vee for groceries herself. She has a good chance at becoming exposed. I’d rather not be exposed.

Our Hamburger Night was good again. We visited and made plans for Taco Night tonight. The Babe heads up the kitchen staff for that. I’m not able to lift anything heavy or stand for a long time, so I come along for moral support mostly. Not sure if I’ll join him or not. It’s that or stay home to let the dogs out, let the dogs in. Let the dogs out. Let the dogs in. Let the dogs out. Let the dogs in. You get the idea.

i’m putting together some notes for the rest of my book. I need more meat in the story at certain chapters. It’ll be hard (maybe) to get another 8K words. Once they start, though, they come easier. It’s not impossible. Just need to get to it. I hope to hear from my book coach in a couple of weeks and see what the assessment of my first three chapters is. At a much younger age I used to agonize over such things. I don’t anymore. I do hope it comes back favorably though. If not, back to the drawing board.

This one is thought provoking.

Thank God for the empathy of others. We especially need that now.

I remain hopeful our Veterans graves will be decorated with the American flags this Memorial Day. It would be a shame if they remained bare. A news story yesterday stated the VA is not allowing groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to plant the flags as they usually do. The National Cemeteries in Long Island, New York have 500,000 graves in them. It sounds as if it will not be allowed at all. I understand the social distancing, believe me. I would think that even if they worked in pairs the Boy and Girl Scouts could find a way to socially distance and still be able to plant the flags. Yes, it is a symbolic gesture, but it is an important one I believe. After all, people are allowed to go the store now, and even pick up dinner from a restaurant. It will be interesting to see what happens. I hope someone regains their mind to let them put the flags in.

The remainder day will probably go quickly. We will start serving tacos to some hungry veterans and Honor Guard members after 4 p.m. More talking with friends tonight, and hoping everyone is well. It will be a good afternoon. Until it’s time for me to leave, I’ll do a little more editing and planning. I hope you all have a good rest of the day, stay safe, and keep up the social distancing. See you back here tomorrow!

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday, I wrote about venturing out for the first time. Or rather, the anticipation of going out for the first time. If you’d like to read it, check yesterday’s post, Woo-Hoo Wednesday. We all felt very strange going somewhere to dine again, and to especially see our friends after two months.

I spoke with a lady who reiterated what I felt yesterday. She mentioned feeling safe because we all know each other. I wholeheartedly agreed. It was wonderful to be out. To be among friends. To feel safe while relaxing some aspects of social distancing. The Post strictly adhered to the guidelines the Health Department insisted be followed for reopening. People understood. People were kind to each other. As I reflect back on it today, I am thinking of those who did not come out. They were not convinced they should be out yet. And that’s ok. We took a risk, and it was a good one.

It did our hearts good. Sharing a meal with friends who are like family is almost a sacred act. I can only imagine the joy we’ll feel when we are able to be with our grandkids again. Hugs for all! We all miss those the most. Yes, it felt like forever since we were able to gather. We tried to catch up on the news from each other. We had a limit of six to a table, and had to rotate in and out to not break the rules. It was so worth it. Some men hadn’t shaved for awhile. Some women needed haircuts. None of that mattered, we were just glad to be out.

All that said, I can’t say I have a desire to get on a plane, drive to Colorado (really hard to not go, with a new grandson and all!), go shopping in a crowded place, or attend a outdoor concert yet. I don’t feel we’re safe enough to do that yet. We may not be for a long time. Yes, warm to hot weather is going to make the virus unable to make us ill, but traces will still be around. It will be round two in a few months with a double punch from Coronavirus and the flu. Lucky us. We’re going to be doing this for a long time, folks. We can do baby steps getting out again. In time we will be more secure about it. Just pick a place you know you’ll feel safe. And go, when they’re open. And you will experience joy at being with your friends again. A reward for staying home these past two months, that we were all present. It will happen for all of us soon. Enjoy the experience. Savor your people.

I may have lost 3K words from my book while editing with Pro Writing Aid. Not sure if the word counter had a hiccup or anything, I don’t see where they are missing. It may take awhile to locate the gaps. There are some chapters that need more work, and I’d still like to reach 50K words or more. Lots of loose ends to tie up, and relationships to mend (those that can be mended). Hoping I can find them sooner rather than later. It will work out, things always do!

Ancient Chinese Proverbs May Be The Best

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate you taking the time to do so. Hope to see you again tomorrow. I’ll be here! Stay safe! Wash hands, Be Kind, Call a Friend Today!

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.

Fabulous Friday

Hi, friends!

An overcast, almost chilly day here in Gretna, Nebraska. We are seeing a lot of green things growing here, and the one house in the neighborhood who doesn’t believe in weed control has infected our lawn with the blight of suburbia! Dandelions! I know, we should be all organic about them and let them live, but no, not like he did. No grass at all. Just dandelions. The Babe is on the hunt for them, so watch out!

Already this morning, I’ve gone through a bunch of my book, editing and changing things up. I’m on about page 50, Chapter 10. It’s fun. Changing descriptions to spoken words by the characters is a good way to show, not tell. If someone in the story is relating family stories it’s a lot more interesting than reading words. I learned that in my first submission. Good one, too. It’s important to story telling. Sometimes, I just pick up a book and read. If it piques my interest, I pay attention to the writing. Dialogue from characters? Yes. What a process.

This afternoon, I want to work on my Poppy Quilt. It needs three different boarders on it, then I can select the backing for it, layer it, and add it to the stack that needs quilting. That will be a good bit of work for May. If I could quilt one quilt a week and finish it, it will be a very good month! A challenge since the weather is finally nice, but they need to be done.

Goldie has so much fun fetching in the yard. It’s so nice in the mornings that I can just go out in my pajamas and throw her toy. She has so much energy. She loves her people, too. Has to be with us. Lexie acts as if she could care less, but snuggles in bed every night. She’s on a kick now that she won’t get into bed until I do. Kind of cute, really. But then she gets in my place! Huh. We’ll have to do something about that.

Unrealistic? Uhm, maybe.

It’s about time for lunch now. A quick sandwich then off to finish the Poppy Quilt. Stay tuned for a photo tomorrow. There. Now I have to finish it! Thanks for reading, I hope you have a good day, stay home, wash your hands, straighten out your office, and be kind. I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Beautiful Sunday

It’s a banner day in Gretna, NE today. Cool enough for a jacket, but not in the sunshine. We took a little drive earlier and saw a lot of people out at trails in Sarpy County and just hope they socially distance as is advised. Reinfection in Round 2 will probably be bad. Let’s try and prevent doing that.

The Facebook Live event Jimmy Weber did last night was top shelf. So many good songs. So many good new songs. It was a delightful way to spend a Saturday night. The only way to top it would be in person. Soon, my friends, soon. Here is a link if you either missed it or would like to watch again. I’m sure I’ll watch again. Enjoy!

The masks are ready to be shipped out. We stopped by my mom’s while we were out and dropped her mask off. She has talked it up to some folks and asked if I had enough fabric to make a few more. What a question for a quilter! Don’t quite have the time. On a mission! Needing to complete my book and a couple other projects. Time’s a wastin’!

Our Goldie has discovered her voice. Oh my, can she bark. She is alerting the Babe to the fact he needs to toss her rope and ball toy off the upper deck. She runs down the steps, grabs it, and runs back up the steps. Wears her out! She has strongly suggested a couple times a day that it’s play time. And walk time. And food time. We cut her back to just one cup of food twice a day. She was getting a little plump. She has filled out too nicely. She should thin down during the nice weather. She loves to run in her yard. We have a big lot, and I laughingly refer to it as “Raabe Ranch”. I’ve even listed it as a place I check into. It’s kind of fun. Yes, I’m easily entertained.

One thing I’ve noticed since this quarantine has started is The Babe and I seem to talk some smack to each other. He has a great sense of humor. I’ve always loved it if I can make him laugh. He’s laughing with me a lot lately. (or is it at me-hmmm)? Any other empty nesters notice that? Despite being married for twenty two years, we still can make each other laugh. I love that about us. Hope it never stops. Laughter helps a lot of things go better. And, love cures people. Both the one who gives love and the one who receives love. It’s a win/win when you look at it. And it’s not just the physical attraction part of love. It’s the deep, respectful, spiritual kind of love when your soul is involved with theirs. It’s the best. I wish it for all of you.

We are going to be in this quarantine/social distancing for quite a while I believe. I want to be sure it’s safe before I venture out too much. I’ll wear a mask. We might have to do that for a while, too. What we need to try not to do is worry. More time has been spent worrying than anything. More sleep has been lost that way. My mom worries incessantly. Maybe it is a badge from that generation of Mom’s. I didn’t worry. I’d be concerned about some things my kids were doing, but I didn’t lose sleep over it. Maybe I’m not a good Mom. My dad always told me not to worry until I get all the information about a situation. Then I could act on the information and would not need to waste the time and energy on worry. I’m so glad I learned that from him. Try and practice it. Your anxiety will reduce. Your rest will be better. Your outlook will improve. Most really awful things we fear never happen, do you know that? Worry doesn’t prevent the loss of anything but our peace of mind. Incessant worry is a learned behavior. It would be great to unlearn it. You will feel so much better.

Have faith. Have hope. Love your people. Appreciate everything. Thank you for reading today, I hope it finds you well. Let’s all stay that way. I’ll be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Hang in there and hang on.

Good Friday

Hello, hope this Good Friday finds you in a good place. At home, with clean hands, no cough, no headache or fever, and with a mask at the ready should you need to go grocery shopping. I’m going to be making some masks later today or tomorrow, I’ve been the lucky one who gets to stay home, so I’m a bit lazy at getting them made. I should just get the one for the Babe before he goes to the store later. He’ll be my test case.

There are so many different possibilities for making them. Cotton, no cotton, flannel is too thin, too “holey,” polyester? Whatever you do, do NOT sanitize them in your microwave. People have tried this and they will spontaneously combust, a/k/a start on fire! Yes, they will. Don’t add homelessness to your troubles in this quarantine, ok? I’ve gone to my extensive fabric stash and found some pieces that are nearly the right size. I’m going to start with the rectangular size that you pleat. I hope that will do. The Babe will get one that is the American flag flying. It’s appropriate for him, don’t you think?

There is a type of mask that has a pipe cleaner inserted at the top middle, that helps fit it over the bridge of the nose. That seems like a good idea. Do I still have the craft bin with those in it? The search will begin. There are many other types, and they are all better than nothing. You must have all parts of your nose, face, cheeks, and jawline all covered with the mask. When you arrive home, remove it by touching the elastic ONLY. Do not wear it again until it is laundered. Regular laundry soap is sufficient. The key is only wearing a mask for one trip out of the house. Yes, they may fog your eyeglasses or sunglasses, but it’s worth the inconvenience. At the most, try inhaling deeper and gently blow the breath out through your mouth. No one will see you. You’ll have a mask on. Thank you for keeping us safe. I’ll keep you safe in return.

About now are you having long days but still feel like you’re running short on time? I do. I can’t be the only one. When I’m writing, the time flies by. When I’m doing something less fun, it drags. I suppose that is normal, but during these times it just seems to magnify the passage of time. I’ve just read a fiction novel by my fellow Nebraska Writers Guild author Bonnie Lacy. It’s the third of a series about a man wrongfully convicted of murder who was in prison for a long time. It was quite a series of three books, and it made me really wonder how does time pass when you’re really confined for a lifetime? I hope to never find out first hand, but I’m curious.

I have talked to a lot of people who have been held captive by alcohol and drugs for years and years. Those years are long and hard from what I gather. The life is hard on a human body. The treadmill of getting high/drunk to escape, to dull pain, to relax an overly shy person, to take the edge off anything. The list of “reasons” (excuses) is long and probably endless. I applaud a person who can get off that treadmill and never set foot on it again. Their life is better. It takes hard work but it always ends up better. You, of course, need to do the work to make it better. It won’t improve your negative outlook unless you recognize your negative outlook. It won’t cure your depression, but it probably won’t be as deep and soul-consuming. Being aware is part of the work. Being willing to change a habit is a huge part of it. And working on the awareness and change is a life long piece of work. It is worth it.

No, I am not a person stuck on the treadmill. Never used drugs. I do drink alcohol. It does not control me at all. I refuse to let the words, “I need a drink/glass of wine/beer,” pass my lips. I’ve had people tell me, “Have a drink, then it won’t seem so bad.” I absolutely will not drink because things are bad. I have other things I need to work on. Like being too nice sometimes. Like doing for others at my expense. It’s hard to say no, sometimes. I’m learning it’s ok to say no. If you no longer like me, it is your loss, not mine.

As the Christian world prepares to celebrate their biggest holy day of the year, think about how you may be able to make your life better. Give more. Be more accepting. Give that money you don’t need for cigarettes or Keno right now to the area food banks. Our economy is only going to stagger before it gets better. It may take the rest of the year for a new normal to emerge. My hope for all of you is it emerges with more awareness, more loving, and more caring for each other. God gave his Son for our sins. I didn’t deserve that much love. But I’m learning God thinks I do. So do you. Right your wrongs. Make your amends. Reach out to mend fences. Even if you didn’t destroy them. Make the move. If the other person doesn’t respond, keep reaching out. It’s the next right thing to do.

Thank you for reading today. May your day be one of soul searching and growth. It’s yours and mine for free. All it takes is our time and commitment. I’ll be here again tomorrow. Hope to see you then. Peace and Love.