What Makes a Monday?

Depending on which type of printed (or electronic) calendar you use, Sunday is probably the “first” day of the week. Monday follows, and that was traditionally the start of the work week. And all retail stores were closed on Sunday. It really was a special day. Now it’s hard to tell one day from another. That’s not the COVID-19 Blues or old age forgetfulness talking, every day is pretty much the same. Our society makes a big deal about Wednesday being “Hump Day”; a/k/a the middle of the week, but how do we tell?

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When we were kids, my dad worked nights. His weekend was Sunday night and Monday night. That was the least they could do, since back in the day when newspapers were king, the Saturday night print of each early Sunday edition was time consuming, and the papers were big ones. Not like the ones printed today. He would often work close to twelve hours, depending on late front pages, equipment breakdown, etc. It was always something. Sundays we always went with Mom to visit both Grandmas and maybe some aunts and uncles. It just depended on how long Dad needed to sleep. Good times, really.

When I first started working after I was divorced, I didn’t like Fridays, I loved Mondays. That is weird. I hated the house without the kids, the few weekends their father took them. It took a long time for me to settle myself to stay there without them. Just me and their dog, Shadow. It was lonely. I remember what it’s like to be gut-wrenching, bone-chilling lonely those Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Yes, it was that bad. It was like that too for awhile after they were all gone from home, two moving out of state. I miss them and those hard days.

One thing I’ve always remembered during those times, is I have my worst decisions while I was lonely. I’ve stayed too long, not thought about my long term needs, and haven’t bothered to say hello. It was always such a lesson to wait on those kinds of decisions. I learned, finally, thank God! I share that because some of you may learn from it, too. Don’t decide too quickly. Do it when you’re feeling loved, not lonely.

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So what makes a Monday? I believe it has to do with dread, belief in the negative, and maybe from not loving what you do enough. Now I see it as a start. A shiny new week, all ready for me to create and learn. And my book coach and I have a conference on Thursday. I’ve shared my completed homework with her, and am eager for Thursday. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to spending time with Gavin again today, and getting some quilting time in. Whoever said retirement is boring didn’t have hobbies and grandkids.

I think Monday should be looked forward to, and spent wisely. As you age you realize you are running out of time. Right now, I’m hoping to live until at least 90, to make a dent in my fabric stash for quilting. I’m still working on the Poppy Quilt, shame on me! No, other things got in the way, and I chose them instead. Now, I’m choosing a relaxing hobby to get a sense of accomplishment after completing it. All on a Monday. Gosh, Tuesday will be great, too! I’m grateful to have these bonus days of life.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. We are having more followers every day. For that, I’m very grateful. We are steady, and slowly gaining. Nothing flashy or grandiose. Just the great granddaughter of an Irish immigrant who scrubbed floors at the County Courthouse and learned about politics from overhearing discussions of attorneys, city and county officials. My other great grandmother was a seamstress who sewed all the uniforms for Clarkson College of Nursing back in the day. She had a family to support after her husband was gone. I never knew if that meant he left or died. No one ever talked about it. Mom tells me I got my seamstress abilities from her. How cool!

I’ll see you all tomorrow. Progress on the quilt is quite possible. Photos then. See you here then. Keep Kindness in mind. Keep Courtesy in mind. Keep Thoughtfulness in the forefront. Wash up, Mask up. Let’s do this thing.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 244th birthday to our great nation. While 244 is long in terms of human age, it’s relatively young for a country. We are an amazing country. We are a republic. A republic is a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

Our unusual form of government has no equal. Our expectation has been we elect someone who represents our ideas of how the government should govern us. We cast our votes, and see who won. In my lifetime, it appears the quality of candidates has changed dramatically, and often, people are elected who may not do the best job. Without getting political, I want us to remember no president is right all the time nor wrong all the time. It’s the luck of the draw sometimes. We have to hope for the best when our candidate doesn’t get elected. We perhaps can make our opinion heard more loudly in Congress or the Senate, where we elect someone from our own state for a two year (Congress) or four year (Senate) term to more closely represent what we choose for our futures. Either way, there is always the next election, and we have to put up with an opposing candidate now and then. It’s part of being a grownup citizen who has the privilege of voting in our great country. Let’s be civil with each other when we don’t agree when the other guy (or woman) gets elected. We owe that civility to each other as citizens of this great nation. Let’s not ruin our unity by bickering anymore. Please.

Good Advice.

I heard this on Facebook this morning. Matthew McConaughey is really a pretty smart guy for an actor. Give him a listen here. We will always have work to do, as he says. There will always be someone or something we need to keep in check, aside from ourselves. But we can all work to keep ourselves where we need to be. We need to work together, whether it’s about COVID-19 or about social justice. Let’s breach the divide. Gather instead of scatter. We need to exchange intelligent ideas and proposals to cure what ails us. Reparations and tearing down statues does nothing in my opinion. It just makes one side more dug in with their opinions, and adds to the frustration of trying to find common ground.

With that said, has diversity gone so far where we honor this and that, and forget to honor what this country stands for? It does not stand for one group of citizens over another. We have equal rights, but now some groups have special favor. That is wrong. Have you ever studied the Constitution in school? I have to say I haven’t since high school. That’s my bad. You can pick up a copy at your Congressman’s office. Google it. Look it up at the library (my age is showing there!). Read it. Talk about it. Talk about the truths in it. Talk about the intent of it. Humans have just enough selfishness in every one of us, we’d love to have it favor us. Our group. Our Ethnicity. Our sex. Our sexual preference. Our religion. Our group of immigrants.

That is not how it works. It works by us listening and hearing each other. It works by us explaining patiently what is right and just and true. If we are wrong, we need to apologize. If we are right, we need to help teach the others what we know. Stop acting like spoiled brats. Be better than that.

Happy 4th of July!

I’m wearing a mask from now on when I shop. It’s about the only place I go unless it’s to the VFW. I feel safe there, as the volunteers work very hard to keep the place clean and sanitized. I’m mad as heck, we had a new grandchild in January, and have not been able to go meet him in Colorado yet. Colorado has stopped their re-opening. My daughter feels it’s too risky yet for us to come visit. I understand the risk. I’m not going to be careless so when she feels it is safe, we can go out there. I could be obstinate and balk about the masks, but I’m choosing to endure them so I can have the pleasure of meeting little Cody Wyatt. I want this pandemic to end so I can hold this little guy before he’s 25! Choose to endure rather than complain about your rights being violated.

The book, Personality Isn’t Permanent has a lot of insight for me. It talks of the past, and we often want to change it. (Kind of like removing statues, etc.) We need to see where we’ve been in order to not repeat the behavior. We also need to leave the past alone and learn how to react to it differently. That’s on us. Those past indiscretions are long gone and over, and we are grateful they no longer exist. We see our past and do not want to repeat it. We think of how we once behaved as we learned from others, not thinking of what we wanted for our goal.

We may not recognize the person we once were. A person petrified of public speaking can learn to speak in front of a crowd. When I was in high school, I did not participate in Drama, Speech, Debate, or try out for the plays we had simply because I was painfully shy and could not speak in front of people. As Club Presidents, we had to appear before the Freshman Class and talk about our clubs, in case someone wanted to join. I’ll never forget it. It was awful.

I stepped up, my heart pounding in my ears, my hands and knees shaking from fright. I opened my mouth, and nothing came out. Nothing at all. I swallowed hard and tried to speak again. Nothing. It felt like twenty minutes, but after a couple more tries, I just walked away. My eyes filled with tears, and my face burned. I wish they had prepared those of us who couldn’t speak in front of people before they threw us to the wolves. I remembered that for a long time.

About twelve years later, I was taking classes from UNOs College of Continuing Education, and a required class was “Public Speaking.” I already changed personality wise and finally had the confidence to take the class. I did well. Then I joined Toastmasters. It was a group of business people who met over lunch downtown. People were from Union Pacific, State of Nebraska, The Courthouse, First National Bank, and me from ConAgra. It was the best thing I ever did.

Now, I’m hoping when my books are launched, I’ll be able to talk with different groups at bookstores, libraries, and anyone who may be interested. Your goals are the key for how your personality changes. Your personality is shaped by your purpose. At one time, my purpose was a stay at home mom. I lived and breathed that. Then it changed to that of a business woman. I became that woman during a time when women could be openly discriminated against. It appeared to some people I had no kids because they didn’t call me with trivial issues and I didn’t talk about them all the time. I didn’t have time, I had so much to learn! Things are not that harsh now. I was lucky to study programming and analysis, so I became a technical person. My pay was strictly based on performance and tech knowledge. I could compete and earn a good living. I’m grateful for that.

The best job is a retired Grandma! I’m rocking that every chance I get. I enjoy a lot of things, and writing is now at the top of the list, even ahead of quilting. I didn’t think I’d ever let that drop out of first place. I hope to have it off the back burner once I’m published. Thanks for spending time with me today. I appreciate it, and look forward to seeing you again tomorrow. Be safe. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. I’ll be doing that, too.

Happy Birthday, G-man!

Every family needs a Gavin. Or or r has one. He’s the boy who lives out loud, rides his new birthday bike, calculates how much three digit number are added together (since he was about four), reads new books easily, and plays age-appropriate video games with passion. Yes, he’s an All American Boy from the first breath he took. And we love him to pieces!

We are picking him up later to take him to lunch, then spend time with his puppies at our house. He has been a dog lover forever. I think he may love dogs more than baseball, if that is possible. Our dog Roxie was a stinker, and sometimes I think she knew he was, too, at the time. They “got” each other. Looking back at photos of the two of them, I now see how she’d look at him. It’s sweet. Lexie is protective of him, but Roxie loved him to bits. The day will be capped off with a ball game. Gavin’s team plays in Gretna tonight, so it’ll be close to home. We love watching him. And watching Dad with him, too.

The photo above is one of my favorite totally candid shots of all time. This was not posed at all, folks. It just worked out this way.

The day Gavin was born, Tracy’s brother Blake and family arrived in town the night before. Tracy was in labor at home off and on all night. They went to the hospital in the morning, then we all met up in the waiting area. After Gavin was born, we were able to meet him after big sister Addison saw him first. It was beautiful. This pic started out to be just the two Grandpas, but ended up with all these terrific role models in it. Front, from left; Gavin, Grandpa Randy, Grandpa Dan. Back, from left; Dad TJ, and Uncle Blake.

Sadly, we lost Grandpa Randy a few years ago. We miss him at every gathering, and know when funny things happen he is chuckling along with us. He could be ornery (that’s where G-man gets it!), but also had a heart full of love. I’ll probably never meet another person who wants the song, Time of My Life, played at their funeral and can really mean it. He did, and that’s what he had. It was perfect.

Gavin has taught us many things. And we have taught him many things as well. We love to color and converse. Grandpa and him go to guys lunch once in awhile. Grandpa and him walk Lexie and Goldie. The dogs that pull when I try and walk them don’t pull at all when Gavin has the leash. I’m amazed by that. They must know he’s at the other end.

Gavin tells me all the time, “All dogs deserve to be loved.” And he’s right. He hates to hear of dogs being mistreated. He will tell kids “I can’t be friends with you if you do that.” Seriously, he does. He knows what’s right and what’s not right. The content of his character is developing every day, and I can see he will be a good man when he grows up. He’s a good youngster now. All little boys are silly, inappropriate about body functions, and just plain goofy sometimes. He’s all that and more.

This is the photo I love, and where I learned Roxie “got” Gavin. What a look of love!

Roxie always loved her boy!

Sadly, Gavin’s Dad had to give him bad news after the 4th of July, when Roxie was killed by a car. Someone left our gate open and our dogs ran out. Fireworks went off, scaring Roxie. She ran into traffic on Highway 6/31 by our house and she was hit. She died quickly, thank goodness. It still hurts.

Gavin talks about her. He talks a lot about Grandpa Randy, too. He passed away before a day or two before Gavin’s birthday a couple years ago. Gavin took it hard. He is learning about loss at a very early age. While none of us gets used to it or likes it, we have to handle it. This is what life gives us.

And every once in awhile, we hit the jackpot. We get a Gavin to watch grow up. We get a sweaty, smelly boy who knows Grandma loves his sweaty, smelly hugs. I want everyone he has to offer. He says he will pick me up when I get too old to drive to his house for his birthday. Nothing like planning ahead! I love this boy, his sister and his parents. I hope they all have a wonderful day today. Happy Birthday, Gavin! And many, many more!

Saturday Fun

Saturday already! Wow, more ball games for Gavin, but we have a banquet to attend tonight. It’s for The Honor Guard at VFW Post 2503. They are the largest Post in the state, and I believe they do the most funerals with military honors. This past week they had seven funerals. That’s a lot for young guys, however, the age of most guys is over the age of 70. Always looking for a few good men, so please spread the word! You must be a veteran of a foreign war, honorable discharge, have a DD214, and a join the Post. Males or females welcome.

What I love most about the Honor Guard is their camaraderie the guys have. All veterans seem to share that, and I love to see it in action. When the Babe had his quad bypass surgery, I couldn’t tell you how many of them called and told me (during his recuperation) if we needed something, just let them know. I trusted them to keep an eye on him when he went back to his duties. Their concern has stayed with us even six years later. They’ve all been through the ischemic heart disease in all of it’s glory (remember Agent Orange), so they understand. It’s a wonderful group of friends.

Our next door people are moving by the 30th. They’ve been such perfect neighbors. They have grown kids and they all drive. No noisy teens gathering around causing trouble (we’ve had that before, believe me). It’s been so quiet. The house may go up for sale, and I know it won’t last long. The other neighbors didn’t, and neither did ours three and a half years ago. Gretna is a small town right now, 5K population, but many of us haven’t been annexed yet. I understand that usually happens after the debt of the SID is paid down.

Funny thing, as kids if we couldn’t spell a word, Dad always said, “Look it up!”

We’d ask him, “How can you look it up when you don’t know how to spell it?”

He would reply, “Do your best to sound it out, then look. You might not find it right away, so just use the time to learn a few new words. You’ll find it eventually.”

I laugh about this now, because I just tried to look up camaraderie and it was NOT in the dictionary I was using. Can you believe it? I had to Google it. I don’t mind looking words up, it’s a good refresher and way to keep your brain sharp. Old fashioned? Sure, why not? Old school is more like it.

The flowers are looking so nice. It makes the work worth it, doesn’t it? Important tidbit about a common outdoor plant, Hostas. The grow profusely without a lot of effort. Great in shade or sun, depending on the variety. I googled them today, to see if they are poisonous to dogs. Yes, very poisonous, as it happens. For some reason, Goldie will pull a couple out by the roots and eat them. They have a sticky substance that expands in the gut, and can cause all sorts of problems. The Babe is going to put a chicken wire fence around them to keep her safe. Can’t have our girl get sick from something so simple. Be safe, secure your Hostas from your dogs.

Writing is sometimes a challenge. No, not for ideas or words. I’m talking about while Goldie thinks I’m her personal playmate. Throw the ball, I may just get my chair back to the desk before she brings it back. Sheesh! It’s a good thing I’m not doing NaNoWriMo.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is “National Novel Writing Month.” The goal is to write 40K words. I succeeded last year, and have the t-shirt to show for it. It’s free participation. Blogging counts. I wrote the bulk of “These Walls DO Talk” during that time, so I did produce a lot. At times, folks don’t produce a lot that is useable after all is said and done. I can certainly see where having an outline, a plan, and following it would help.

I’ve learned that people who don’t outline or plan are “pantster” writers. Yep, “by the seat of their pants.” With the idea in my head, it seemed as if it would be no problem at all to follow the map in my mind, and automatically end up where I could type “the end.” I am becoming convinced outlining may be a better way to go. The outline can be modified while writing, so I would need to be flexible with it. What I don’t want to do it write myself into a corner with no way out.

I’ve read either way is acceptable, with some very famous writers never outlining. Until I get the hang of it, I’ll commit more to planning than just an idea to run with. Some of this will start this weekend, and continue into early next week. I’m planning what to do when for July and August, since I’ll be working with my book coach. Another new adventure! Retirement is not for the faint of heart after all.

I was amazed by an article I read last night in the current issue of Writer’s Digest. It discussed being a travel writer. The article stated you do not have to travel to the places you write about. I would think that could be a drawback, since for me a new place has sounds and smells and music all of it’s own. Sure, you could regurgitate information about those things from other articles on the same places, but would it be as effective? I’m voting no, what do you all think? Leave a comment in the Comment Section, below, please! Convince me I’m wrong. To me, you can’t review a show or restaurant if you don’t attend of dine there, how can you tell what it’s like to travel to a place you have never been?

This afternoon, we’re taking it easy. Since we’ll be out later, it’s a sure thing we’ll need to. It’s going to be hot and humid this afternoon. Be careful out there! Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it a lot. I’ll be back later in the day tomorrow, Mom and I have an early wedding shower to attend. It’ll be great to see my cousins again.

Spectacular Saturday

Hi, friends. It’s starting to get back to humid summer weather in Gretna, Nebraska, at the home office and studio. We sat on our deck before the sun rose above the tall trees in the Wetlands behind us. It was beautiful. It’s amazing how busy the birds at that hour. I couldn’t help but wonder about the flight paths of the little creatures. Do they need any air traffic control? Look at how many run into your picture window and bounce off in a season. Do any ever collide in mid-air? Wow. After one week with our grandson, this sounds like a Gavin question. Hopefully I’ll be able to give him an answer should he ever ask me about it.

One morning last week, there was a brilliant red cardinal chirping his head off, and he was sitting right on top of the flagpole. It was such a cool scene. And neither of us had our phones to snap a picture. It brought back the memories of the good old days, when we took in these things rather than only saw them through the site of the camera. We probably do miss a lot around us because of that. But that cardinal was spectacular. Glad we both saw it at the same time.

I’ve mentioned before I start the day with a daily reading from a book of Daily Meditations of Adult Children (of Alcoholics). Today’s is good. An American proverb:

“There is always free cheese in a mousetrap.”

The reading talks about feeding a weakness. The more you feed a weakness, the hungrier it becomes. If it’s food, you can become a boarder- line diabetic before you realize it. If it’s fancy cars, clothes, travel to exotic places, or any of many other things, you’ll be so far in debt you’ll never find your way out. And you’ll be just as hungry for whatever is missing in your life. I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict. The places I’ve tried to back fill my life were with clothes, things for my kids and grandkids, and a few more material things. I created debt for myself that was ridiculous. I did what all the experts tell you, and pait off the highest interest, blah, blah, blah. The Babe and I have always kept our money separate as we both had lots of bills from life before we got married. We are co-owners of accounts, etc., and manage our own stuff. It works for us, I don’t know if it would for others or not.

So often, we feed our weaknesses and hide behind them, never satisfied. We’ve all done it at some time in our life. It’s human nature, and doggone it, we’re so human. We might be slow learners that the problems aren’t “out there” but “within us.” What?? In us? It’s so easy to try and point fingers and place blame elsewhere. Anywhere but where it belongs. With us. In us. It is’t you, it’s me. Really.

You Will Get Better

You can survive many things throughout a lifetime. Some people seem to be able to survive one disaster after another. There is no other choice, is there? If you don’t survive, you perish. You may not want to go on, but you do. God gets you through things you cannot believe. I’m glad there is help for me, and love for me, when I need it. Friends help, families help, but God gets us through.

First Hibiscus Bloom of 2020.

Yesterday, the Hibiscus on the deck was about to pop open. I wanted to get a photo of it beginning the process. I got dressed and everything, went back outside, and the bud popped open! It must have opened when the sun hit it 20 minutes earlier. Dang! Missed it. But isn’t it beautiful? I hope I can keep this living over the winter in the house. The blooms only live for 24 hours. That’s it. Such anticipation, and then they die. Nature is so grand!

The reading for yesterday was certainly timely as today’s was. It was:

I have to remember this: People at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

I think this is so timely with all the talk about socio-economic differences in our country, and issues with it. The people I know who have had good lives, regardless of color, have stayed in school at least through age 18, then gone to college, the military, or trade school. Their parents didn’t pay for them to become educated. They learned how to get loans or grants for students.

They have been dedicated to their mission of a degree, a life of service, or a life as a tradesperson. They have all earned good livings, learned to handle their finances and business, been morally uncorrupted, and do what good people do. I do believe if we all lived this way, there would be more people at the tops of the mountains. I think it is a tried and true method to get there. No excuses. No blame placing. Good mentoring helps. If your parents aren’t able to do that, ask someone who can.

I do plan to write some more today. I am writing more of significant events in my character Katie’s life, and will reassess how that will go with what I already have. I believe there is a way, I’m just not sure of the how yet. Great things to ponder on another beautiful, sunny, hot Nebraska day. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it so much! See you again tomorrow. I can’t wait!

Thankful Sunday

We’re basking in the love here at home today. Yesterday, we went to visit the grandkids for about an hour. It was wonderful! They have both grown taller and matured even more than last time we saw them. Schooling at home, being quarantined, and other responsibilities have been great for them. Addison has a beautiful heart and will be as tall as I am in the not too distant future. Gavin is much taller and is having the time of his life at home. In addition to doing school work, he’s reading books and playing while social distancing with his neighborhood friends. He learned to ride his bike!! He is quite the social (distancing) butterfly.

We had a nice visit with the whole family, Tracy and TJ are always willing to help us out if we need it. How nice. We also have my Frankie in town who also would help us out if we’d need it but he lives across town and works weekends, and other times we might need an assist. I’m sure this will change as time goes on. This pandemic and quarantining have had us thinking a lot about planning for our lives as we age. It tells us we need to think twice about having control of our situation. We do to a point, and to be realistic, how can we plan for our future now? I think the answer to that is plan as if this virus and everything involved in it are not an issue. I think we will have vaccines for this. I think we may find at least part of it was manufactured. I hope whoever did that is punished.

Back to work on this for the afternoon.
Very slow going!

Was this against the rules? Maybe. I trust our family and I know they are taking every precaution to be safe. So are we. It’s a risk. But the hugs of those two young, strong, grandkids is worth it. The hug and linger. They don’t let go. They convey their love to you. So heartwarming. We are the luckiest people on earth. All of you will feel the same when you are with your families again. It will happen. We will all be careful. We will still socially distance. We will get together with our loved ones again for a brief visit. Once the greeting hugs are done and the long goodbye hugs are finished, we will leave their homes again or have them over. Gavin loves our dogs. They love him. He needs to play fetch with Goldie. They will both love it. More hugs. Puppy loves. It’s life at it’s best. And we will all enjoy it again.

Remember the little things. Remember the warmth of a hug. Remember the love in a child’s smile. Remember the joy when they learn to do things like walk, ride a bike, or write their names. It’s all coming back again and it’ll be old normal back again. To heck with this “new normal” people talk about. Give me the best of the old normal.

I’m still reveling in the love we felt yesterday. I’m just going to enjoy that all day in my memory, Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and I appreciate you stopping by every day. Smile. You will have good hugs again. Back to “work”. Stay safe. Stay distant. Stay home.

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.

Schadenfreude

Back in the 70s, I remember the tv character Maude (Bea Arthur) had a saying. “God will get you for that!” How funny that was, but it was true. God gives us a rap on the head now and again to get right with him and ourselves when we need to. My dad would say, “They’ll get theirs.” Quietly. With conviction. He knew what he was talking about. But he didn’t dwell on a person, their evil acts, or their bad mouthing him. He knew that wasn’t the way to be. My mom, on the other hand, carried grudges. I think her sisters were capable of the same thing to a degree. Mom had more and carried them longer. She still does today. That is a classic adult child move. (Adult child of an alcoholic). We may be doing the same thing and not even realize it. Sometimes, I listen to mom talk about people and I wonder if there is anyone who she really likes. Cousins, let’s not be this way!

So called “sinful” behavior has been around ever since Adam and Eve fell and were evicted from Eden. It’s in our lives, too. I read my daily meditations today, and it was, “Never find delight in another’s misfortune.” Pubililius Syrus, a Latin writer. He was a Syrian, who was brought as a slave to Rome, Italy. His master educated him. He was known for his philosophical sayings, many of which are quoted today. Shakespeare quoted ideas of his often. Muddy Waters did when singing, “A Rolling Stone” (Gathers No Moss) in 1950.

We all have been guilty of wishing wrong on people who hurt us directly or indirectly. It is an unattractive habit, and being human, we all have many unattractive habits. I’ve wished hurt on people who have hurt me, my kids, or my family. I may not wish physical hurt on them, but I know they will get theirs. Then I can let go of it. I just don’t trust them as I may have before. The German word Schadenfreude means “delight in the troubles of another.” That’s a big word for it. The older I get, the more I am in favor of letting God sort it out. He’s the final judge, not me. Too late smart, too soon old!

We are often quick to judge. At the beginning of the Coronavirus, the VFW Post 2503 we support was on alert due to the first patient being on the premises for an hour the last time we were open. At first there was a lot of condemning of this poor woman because no one knew her story. Her identity remains private, but we know who she is. She is a special needs woman who was adopted as a small child whose parents could not care for her. Her family now consists of a half brother and two loving parents. They traveled to Britain to celebrate a grandparent’s 100th birthday. While coming home, the woman became ill. Because of the nature of special needs people’s frequent respiratory infections, this was deemed to be that. She made more than five ER trips and was sent away each time. She was not really ill. Just like a cold.

And being human, even I was among the ones who wondered why the heck she did not stay home. Red-faced embarrassed, I have now changed my tune. I didn’t have the information about the person or the virus to make an educated assessment. I had neither all the facts nor a sense of what anyone deserves to have happen to them. Quick to judge, we humans must take a step back. Assess. Don’t judge, you could make a totally wrong diagnosis of what the problem is. Schadenfreude is “a canker of the heart. If we find it there, we must root it out at once.” Once again, my handy Days of Healing, Days of Joy daily meditations has given me much food for thought. And it goes with a lot of what my dad taught us, too. They’ll get theirs. Not by our judgement, by God’s.

In the spirit of reaping what we sow, may all of our conclusions about others be kind and gentle. Let’s give others what we would like to have ourselves. Let’s just slow down and not be so quick to criticize. Let’s be kinder and gentler with each other, and especially with ourselves. It will help these times be much less harsh on our beings. Thank you for reading, I hope to see you right here again tomorrow. Go enjoy the beautiful day, in your own yard or deck, or patio!

COVID-19 Blues

When I opened WordPress this morning, I was greeted with a meme that wished me Happy Anniversary. It was one year ago today I started my website and blog. I established it and wanted to learn more before I dove in headfirst. You see, I don’t swim. At all. Water terrifies me. I can use pool noodles and not hyperventilate, but take them away, and I sink. It’s a fear I’ve never overcome. I’d rather speak in front of an auditorium than try to swim. And I have spoken in front of an auditorium. I emceed a dinner at Metro Community College once about twenty five years ago. Probably a thousand people attended. Bob Boozer was a speaker. I knew nothing about it until the emcee was sick and they called me. What a surprise! I lived to tell about it.

I blogged a couple times between April and July, 2019. When we tragically lost our Roxie was when I started daily (almost). I can see a lot of differences depending on the day, and I’m glad for those of you who continue to follow. As soon as I finish my book and get closer to publishing, I will add website pages, about ordering, what we’re working on, and whatever else that entails. But as of now, we’ve met over two hundred times! That’s a lot of blogging, a lot of reading, writing, and a lot of trying to decide what to talk about. Thank you for bearing with me.

I’m sure you all know how much I love quilting. In ten years, I hope to see the improvement in my writing just as I’ve seen the improvement in my quilting skills. At first, I thought I’d never be able to make a nice quilt. Quilters always feel the need to confession, sort of like the Catholics do. It’s not necessary at all. Most of the time, no one else even notices mistakes. We are often our own worst enemies. Writers are also their own worst enemies, believe me.

As a quilter, a lot of friends have shared this pattern with me. I purchased it, and it arrived a couple days ago. I love the irony there is in this piece. The overs and unders of roll placement, patterned vs. white, and the glaring example of that one piece left on the roll, half covered with glue. What good is that? Who does that? It might make a good raffle prize for the Nebraska Writers Guild Fallish Conference later this year. I’ll have to see if my good intention comes to fruition. It might make a good memory quilt for our youngest grandson, Cody, who was born in January, before all this hoarding started. That remains to be seen.

I just couldn’t resist!

Do any of you have the problem of enjoying too many creative endeavors? Like art, writing, quilting, photography, etc., etc., etc.? I do. It’s a hard thing when you like a lot of things. Even back in the 80s when I took a placement test at the community college to see what areas of interest I had. It’s hard when you like a lot of things. It’s great if you can devote enough time to each facet, but not if you are simply hacking away at each part. I did decide to forgo the art part until I finish the novel. And relax starting another one for at least six months, unless there’s a valid reason to start another novel right away. If a publisher is hounding me for a series, and I must get started quickly. It could happen. Not likely, but I’m new at this, how am I to know?

Once Bitten Twice Shy?

Wasn’t there a metal band in the 80s who sang a song “Once Bitten Twice Shy?” Through the blessing called GOOGLE, I find it was by White Snake. Yes, my oldest liked Metal and Hair Bands (Bon Jovi & Van Halen), heck I even liked those last two. And now you can hear them all on elevator music. It happens to all of us. My younger son Nick liked the boy bands, Pointer Sister, girl soloists, etc. Daughter? She liked the Death Metal garage band that went onto become the Faint. Yes, the Faint. She had a boyfriend (Mike) who was the lead singer/guitarist. She broke up with him before they got big. Funny how things go along. She now likes Country music, and they have their two beautiful kids, named after western heroes (Cody Wyatt) and a Country singer (Kayla Jolee). I can’t help but wonder what those kids will listen to. Hopefully not rap. Sorry, I just don’t like angry sounding stuff that rattles my fillings. I can even get to like lots of stuff, but not rap. Not in me.

So as I’m off to see if my plot will bite me again, I hope you have a beautiful day today. We have winter ick again, but it won’t last long. The last couple days I think I’ve given in to some of the COVID-19 Blues, and I don’t want to give away any more of my time to him. Not unless I could write a blues song about it like an old, wise, gravelly voiced black man could. With that life experience, it’d be a great song, don’t you think? What a character he would be. I think he could tell a lot of stories about lives he’s lived. But that’s for another time.

And thanks for reading today. I’m glad you were here with me, it’s given me a boost to keep working today. I hope your day is good. Do whatever you wish to. Reward yourself for staying in. We must if we want to emerge on the other side of this with our communities intact. Please don’t think you won’t catch it. You might not, but you could infect me. Or the Babe. Let’s be sensible. Thanks! See you tomorrow.

Thriving Thursday

I swear, this formatting page area for WordPress has changed in the time we’ve been using it. Did you know I’ve posted over 200 Blog Posts?? I’m pretty excited about that. I’m even more excited to be picking up more readers, and folks that like the blog. Some are fellow bloggers, some are selling their services, some are spammy ones, but hey, we can pick and choose, you know? I love that we’re going somewhere with this.

In your social distancing, have you completed your 2020 Census yet? I haven’t. It’s on the list. And so is Mom’s. I have to laugh with her. The first notice comes and tells you to log in blah, blah, blah. She will tell you in no uncertain terms that she does not have internet, computer, cell phone, and furthermore does not wish to be bothered with one! SO THERE! I told her I’d do it online for her. “No, I’ll mail it in.” OK Mom, do it your way. A week later, “Have you done your census yet?” “No, I’m doing it online, so I’ll get it done.” She said, “Why don’t they let us fill them out like we used to.” I’m not even going into it yet. I was sent home with both of her notices to complete it online. In the last two times I took her to therapy she asked, “Did you do my census yet?” “No.” I’m doing it this afternoon, in case she asks you.

One thing we were told that must be done online is renew your license plates for your vehicles. We did. It’s kind of crummy you have to pay an online fee to a third party, the state does not get directly paid by YOU. The third party pays them the correct amount, but it’s about a twelve dollar plus fee on each renewal. We had an extra $25 charged. WHAT? That’s pretty crummy. They force you to go online, then they force you to pay extra. That stinks. What about people who can’t afford that? It’s something they should probably refund under these circumstances.

So many teachers locally are doing parades through neighborhoods their students live in. I think it’s such a neat idea, the kids are lost without their daily school routine and their dear teachers, and the everyday stuff of school. Some kids may say they hate school and like being off, but I’ll be at least they miss their friends. The news stories are cute, some families made poster board signs and had balloons.

If you take your toddler to the park, do not use the playground equipment. I am surprised it would even be a question someone would ask, but I suppose they are being thorough. If you have little ones, I can see how you wouldn’t have been able to see the stories. There is so much to this virus and all that goes with it, I really believe there is no way we can be back to business by April 12, 2020. Maybe May 12, but definitely not April.

Without the wonderful invention of the Internet, what would we be doing at this point? I’d get more done on my book, maybe. Probably get more accomplished on my other hobbies, but who knows? Rush hour video of one of our most busy and dangerous intersections looks like early Sunday morning. I was talking to someone today and told them I just feel so weird driving. Things just feel off kilter and I don’t know why. She said she feels the same way. It amazes me how something we cannot see can impact our lives so greatly. It’s making us afraid, angry, and full of angst. Whatever it is, we just can’t seem to put our finger on exactly what it is, but it’s there.

If you can at all, please support your local restaurants. Not the national chains, the locals who are needing your support right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of even thinking what to make for two or three meals a day. It’d be easier if the Babe wasn’t kind of “picky”. He dislikes fish and isn’t fond of chicken. I could live on the stuff he dislikes. One thing we do agree on is dessert! Ha! tonight, it’s going to be a brownie sundae. Why not? Kind of takes the edge off.

I’ve started a bag of things to give to homeless female veterans when the centers open up again. I decided to stop keeping several pairs of jeans, pants, and other clothing that just doesn’t fit anymore. It’s time to accept the reality. Losing that much weight is highly unlikely at this point in life. I would say twenty five pounds of it is from cancer medication. Glad I’m alive, just wish it was like it used to be. Not complaining, it is what it is.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it so much, and hope you’ll return tomorrow. I’ll be here!