Saturday Fun Times!

So yesterday we went to the garden center and purchased some beauties. I planted a few things in pots earlier, and one in the ground in the front yard. A smaller hydrangea bush. It should look pretty good next to the butterfly bush that grew so huge last year. We’re planning to keep it trimmed up a bit as it grows, so it doesn’t encroach on the sidewalk to enter the house. Last year it needed to be trimmed a lot.

My back does cause considerable problems when I do work like this, so I sat down on the little front porch steps to rest it a minute. I untangled the wind chimes I purchased a few years ago at Shopko, when they were still open. It was tangled to badly, I was tempted to cut it apart and restring it. But then I started thinking about my dad. He could untangle necklaces that were twisted and tangled so bad you were tempted to throw them out. He was a man of incredible patience when it came to things like that.

I started thinking about him as I sat, trying to untangle the knots of all elements of this wind chime. The more I thought about him, the easier the tangle became. I was truly amazed at how the time passed, the tangles fell away, I thought of how my dad would work on things while working them out, I could smell the freshness in the air, I was aware of the coolness of the concrete, it was such a relaxing, enjoyable experience. And this was the result:

Late getting started, but the front is looking better.

I’m sure now I’ll have those heartwarming thoughts of my dad when I glance out the window while writing or sewing. I’m such a “just look out the window at this or that” kind of person. I hope to experience many more things like this when I’m looking away to let my eyes wander.

The Babe is mowing the yard in between working more on the birdhouse bench he’s building. It’s amazing how thick the grass in the back yard has become, despite the dogs being out and using it as dogs do. I used to think only retired people had nice lawns. I remember mowing our lawn on a big banked hill when my kids and I lived on Nicholas Street. My son Nicholas sure thought it was great to live on a street named after him. I do believe it was named long before he was thought of, but I didn’t want to burst his bubble. I have a bunch of plants to keep planting this afternoon, and I’d better get back to it.

There are a couple plants I need to plant in nicer containers, like the Hibiscus tree, and hope I can keep it alive this winter. Maybe remembering to water it will help, too. Since we have lost our great cleaning lady, we’ll be cleaning now and should be in a better position to be watering plants that need it. Yes, I’m sad to lose Lori, but she needs some benefits and to be more secure for her future. I wish her well, and am glad to have had her since we moved into this home. Good Luck!

Below is an overview of the flower garden the Babe fenced in for me. There are Columbine, a small Hydrangea, and a couple Asiatic Lilies down there. We’re going to lay down Landscaping Cloth and decide where the annuals go. I hope to get everything in and thriving by tomorrow afternoon.

Lots of Potential

There is something about this meme that I love. I do believe many of us have been doing this since social distancing and stay at home were introduced. I know it’s hard for the Babe to put into words how he feels, he just knows things are “off”. I feel the same way. It’s kind of like listening to someone talk, but you feel and hear like you’re underwater. Or you go somewhere and don’t think about driving there, but realize you are there. That’s the time to do like these two little guys do above. If you can’t or don’t want to talk about it, maybe you just need someone to sit with you. Quietly. Just feel the being together. It helps. Try it with someone you trust, love, and respect. It is the best medicine.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Sit by someone you trust and love. Enjoy their quiet company. Or untangle your windchime from last summer. It will take your mind away from your troubles. So relaxing. I will be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then. It’s the Babe’s birthday. I’m off to bake a Red Velvet Cake. The store was out of German Chocolate. So the Babe bought our granddaughter’s favorite. Hope the others like it! Take Care. Drive Safely. Wash Your Hands!

The Day After

Yesterday, my adrenaline must have been excessively high. Today, I’m wiped out, but very happy inside. The family wedding was beautiful. In the words of my late Aunt Carol, ” It’s just so fun to see a young couple so in love with each other, who have plans for their life together.”

Yes, it is. I had a blast sitting with my brother, eating cake and drinking ice water, watching the crowd of friends and relatives. Dan wasn’t feeling up to attending, so he stayed home.

The girls and young women who appeared single were belting out magical, love charged songs. You could tell they were wanting what they were singing about.

There were very few young men actively dancing. One young black fellow could really move with the groove of the music. The others were standing about talking, some were in line at the bar. My brother is going to take dancing lessons when he feels ready to meet some ladies again.

I have to say, he is a catch. Good job, devoted, reliable, gentleman (like our dad), and an all around good man. He lost his wife to oral cancer. We could feel her presence last night. He misses her terribly, and I do too. He finished raising her youngest two sons after her death, and had always been so good with all four of them.

Yes, I’m a bragging big sister. More than that though, he is a very good friend. I used to help our mom with him when he was a toddler. Yes, he was the pesty brother I wanted to make vanish when I was in high school, but no matter what, we would always be friends. And it’s such a gift.

Sitting with him at midnight at his wife’s bedside, we had some very deep discussions. I was honored he shared his thoughts with me. As I reached for his hand, I remember thinking, “when did he get into our dad’s hands??”.

The shoe is on the other foot, so to speak. Since that night, I’ve many times felt him reaching out to care for me. Life has taken us both to the place where I may need his help some day. We share a strange sense of humor, and many folks may not understand, but we are family. I tease him and tell him, “You’re the sister I never had!” Well, at least I had my own room!

Tim, left, Don, right.
My brother and nephew.

As unhappy as I was when he was born, I’m so very happy to have this great guy for my baby brother.

Hope you all had a good Saturday! Leave a comment, like my post and follow my page. I’ll enter you in my giveaway. $50 Visa Card Giveaway. Drawing held Dec 1, 2019.

Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Nick on his Kindergarten Graduation Day.

Nick is my second son, born this day in 1975. Wow. That seems like such a long time ago. I was twenty-three years old. There was the blizzard on January 10 1975, the tornado May 6, and then along came Nick in November. Here I go with a story he has heard probably too many times.

Since their father couldn’t miss bowling night, I took Frankie, his older brother, Trick or Treating that night. In an old neighborhood like ours, many houses on a street may have one side of the street up on high banks, with two sets of stairs going up to the houses. It was crazy. There were fences in between the yards, so there was no cutting through the yards. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. And so on, over and over again.

With all this activity, I prayed God would not make this baby come tonight on Halloween. I’m glad he wasn’t, it really didn’t matter. I would have loved him the same. He was one of three babies in the hospital nursery who had black hair at birth. He always looked older, I thought. One baby was black, and the other dark haired baby was our neighbor’s grandson. Nick was easy to pick out in the nursery. As time went on, he did bear a resemblence to my father, who had black hair and big brown eyes. So did Nick.

Nick has a big heart, loves to help people, is a talented handy man, has learned a lot of things from taking stuff apart and puttinig it back together. He was always tearing apart his wagon, bike, and toys. He didn’t try with my car, however.

He amazed me as a toddler, he loved being read to. I was shocked because he could read at the age of four. I thought he should go to kindergarten early so he wouldn’t be bored when he got older. He wasn’t, and he loved numbers. When he was three, he spread the financial page of our newspaper out on the floor, and moved his index finger along the lines of numbers and said, “I just love the little tiny numbers.”

Today he lives with his husband in Gladstone, Missouri. I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like, he has an odd work schedule. I do miss him, it’s always fun to get together. Hope we can soon, Nick.

Lve me some Snoopy!

As far as writing goes, it’s 4 p.m. and my blog isn’t finished yet. Had to get Dan out to do his duties at the VFW Post he Quartermaster’s at, I got to see our dentist, we did some errands, had lunch, and poof, it was 3:30 p.m. I swear, the days go far too fast.

Still adding flesh to my characters, it takes a bit more than I thought. Describing everything about these characters may be overload, but I most likely will edit out anything that is a back story to the story at hand.

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon, only 34 degrees, though. The early darkness is helping make it cozy by the fireplace in the evening. I’m wishing you a cozy evening, too.

What do you like to know about characters in stories before you begin to read?? Or do you just like to discover quirks and faults as they become evident?? Or should they be spelled out in a prologue?? Let me know what you think. I’m interested in your thoughts. Leave a comment, give a like and you will have two entries in my NaNoWriMo giveaway, one $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing will be December 1, 2019. It could be you with a little extra Christmas cash!

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.

Puppy Update/Grateful for . . .

We have had new puppy for about ten days. Ten days of jumping out of our chairs when she has sniffed out a spot on the floor, ten days of saying “Good girl” when she whimpers to go outside, and ten days of reassuring Lexie that we love her more.

Gavin is coming to visit Goldie today.

It’s funny how this little creature has brought a lot of work to our home, yet she also has brought a lot of joy, happiness, and something to distract us from Dan’s difficult recovery. I do think it was part of the vast plan to change our lives yet again.

Dan (a/k/a Babe) and I are talking about a lot of things most retired folks discuss. We reminisce about our world’s as kids, we discuss the four most intelligent and beautiful grandchildren to Grace the earth, and we tell each other how much we love each other. We don’t ever want to forget to tell each other we are grateful to have each other.

Yes, we get irritated with each other. We can both be stubborn. We get tired and frustrated. But we each know the other is always in our corner. Devotion trumps irritation.

Just as Goldie trusts us to take care if her, we trust each other to care for the other. Anyone can have trust issues. Puppies, children, teenagers, men and women all can have trust issues. If you are fortunate to love someone you can trust, your life is so much better! You won’t be in danger from them.

Goldie and Gavin can trust us and are learning to trust each other. Lexie is more timid, and we’re not sure why. It could have with her lineage and temperment. Those things fall outside of home and heart. Some things you just can’t train or love out of an animal. She just was never the affectionate pup that Roxie was.

At 9 a.m., I met with a research group about participating in a study to test an RSV vaccination.  I was willing, however, I was eliminated from the study. There are so many criteria to meet, and I didn’t fall on the right side of the investigation. Oh well, I was paid very well for my time. That’s cool. 

Dan’s home health care nurse was pretty late yesterday, 4:30. She is coming at 8 a.m. tomorrow. That will start the day out early. She is amazed at the number of people she has for patients who do not want her to come before 10 a.m. We are the exception, so it will be another early start to the day. We’re both up by 7:00 a.m. anyhow. It’s a blessing these angels travel to your home to save you having to make trips to a clinic three times a week.

After awhile, we will pick up Addison and Gavin, drop off Addison, bring Gavin home with us to play with Roxie, and wait for our son in law to pick up Gavin. Hopefully, by then, the dogs will be tired and sleep on the couch so we can just sit down.

New Years Eve, 2018/2019
I cannot believe Babe stayed up this late!!

I’m grateful today for the love I wake up to every morning. We might have slowed the step but I have never loved more deeply or been sure I was loved this much. It’s the best!

Dan has a way to go with his healing.  Many folks are praying and sending good thoughts.  We thank you all for doing so. Keep them coming!

My writing for today will include creating some character depth. I’m trying to describe in more detail the people in the novel who live in the house that is telling its secrets. They are based on real people, so I’m sure my family will be wondering which character they are. They’re all a bunch of characters, believe me!! It’s a good study in human nature, making sure my characters aren’t flat or predictible. Again, I can assure you my family are neither!!

Thank you for reading, and please leave a comment at the end, and like the post. The contest is stil going on, all you have to do is like the post in WordPress, and/or leave a comment in WordPress. You can have two chances a day to win the drawing on December 1, 2019. This will run through the end of November, so catch up if you’d like. I’d love to have you all have 60 chances each for free!!! The prize is a $50 Visa Gift Card. Hope it’s an offer you can’t refuse, and that you love our journey on the way to finishing this book! See you tomorrow!

Balloon Boy??

It has been ten years since the Balloon Boy was allegedly sailing through the air, causing the world to halt, not realizing we were being scammed.

I remember those reports vividly. Not because I was drawn into the story. I remember because Dan and I were sitting in a doctor’s office. It was a follow-up visit to the surgeon who did my lumpectomy. We were there to have a look, removing the bandages and determining what I was to do next. I was frightened.

I remember being bothered by the hoopla surrounding the hoax that was the Balloon Boy. I had much more important concerns, like if the cancer would come back? Back then, I couldn’t imagine reaching ten years being cancer free. Would I need any reconstruction? I opted not to even think of it. I’d seen a younger woman at the warm water therapy pool who had reconstruction. She was so bruised from the donor area it made a real impact on me. It looked so terribly painful I decided against it. Would it ever quit hurting? Due to lymphedema, no. Some days are worse than others, but it’s a small price to pay for escaping with my life so far. We just had our twenty first wedding anniversary, and we have four beautiful grandchildren. There is so much left to experience.

And what would I look like, eventually? In ten years there have been probably a hundred exams. Many doctors have exclaimed, “That is beautiful,” followed by an embarrassed, “your surgeon did such a good job.” In my mind I laughed. What a funny but honest reaction. I knew how they meant it. It still makes me laugh now. In spite if the #metoo movement.

Would my husband still love me? Of course he would. And he still does. It was my own fear as a woman that was speaking, not my heart or mind. Fear does all kinds of things to you. Self doubt is one of them. It passed, thank God.  It rears an ugly head now and again. The price we pay for being human!

In retrospect, I’m grateful I had such good examples of lives well lived. My dad, his mother and father, brothers and sister, my mom and her family all gave us a normal or (at times), Abby Normal examples of how a person lives.  Love God, work hard, respect our elders, soldiers, teachers, and especially  police officers and firefighters. No one in my extended families has ever felt the urge or need to fake-launch one of our children into space and still insist it happened. We are not so dysfunctional after all!

I’m hoping the media doesn’t continue to have such a hard time reporting actual news that they report the same story about Balloon Boy twenty years out. If they do and I’m still on the earth, I hope I can reflect on twenty years cancer free. There’s so much to do until then!

Friday, I’m joining writers from all over the country in a challenge to write 50K words during National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for shirt. Seriously, what did we do before we had acronyms?? How did we ever communicate with one another??

I’ll leave you with this meme. Ponder it and comment at the end if this post which you prefer. It’s important for authors to know what their readers may want. We will have all kinds available when we publish. Give us a like, and comment. It will help me provide what you like.

Thank you for reading, for commenting, and for being here with me. It’s so special.

I must confess. I prefer paper books. We are a family who had two members in the newspaper business. We comment on paper, how it feels, how expensive it must be, and the covers!! They must tell a story too. Don’t get me started on fonts! We had lively discussions at home, believe me.

Early for this . . .

Today was spend time with Mom day. As I’ve told you before, Mom is now 90 years old and still in her home. Her last living sister passed away on Friday, September 13. My cousins are convinced she will haunt them for sure.

Something else about Mom and her three sisters and their mother before them: they are all Christmas Decorating freaks. And I do mean freaks. As in lots of decorations, lots of themes, very festive.

Since Mom has a large home with a huge attic for storage, she at once had sixteen trees up and decorated in her house from October 31 until February 1. Yes, it could be considered excessive. It makes her happy. And keeps her busy. It keeps her active but she is slowing down a lot.

So today was a pilgrimage to Hobby Lobby to look at their Christmas decorations. Oh boy, it’s early for that. She found a few she liked and some new woodland creatures. She does theme trees, like all NFL players, all Santa’s, all Snowmen, all Harley Davidson ornaments, etc. On the way to the car, she said the woodland creatures could mean another tree. Oh boy!

Over the years, she has said she will consolidate. Ok, so she donated three small trees from the dining room but bought one bigger tree to replace it. Not my idea of consolidation, but it is hers.

Every year, Mom says it could be the last time she gets to decorate. Some day, it will be her last time. So until then, we need to humor her and make sure she decorates safely. No ladders or stepstools. No carrying up and down the stairs. She is stubborn, though. She has limited vision so it makes it hard to see her masterpieces, but she just enjoys the lights.

I hope she can continue to do this insane decorating. It’s still something from old times that she has. My brothers and I will have a lot for donations or passing down. In the meantime, we’ll try to keep her from buying out all of Hobby Lobby’s stock.

How soon do you start to decorate for Christmas? Leave a comment and share your thoughts. And thank you for reading.