Vaccination #2; In The Books

Once again, the nurses at Immanuel Medical Center (CHI) in Omaha did themselves proud. Mom got her second vaccination today, so she should be good to go. We picked up lunch and took it to her house. She told me in two years, her house will be 100 years old, so she wants to have a party then. OK, we’ll see how it goes. Always looking forward to parties. That’s Mom.

There was a gentleman there who had a birthday today. Once the nurse noticed on his paperwork it was his birthday today. She started us in singing Happy Birthday to him. It was so nice! Mom commented how wonderful the staff was, they were positive, encouraging, and it was another great experience. Mom is pleased she is finished with the vaccinations, and hopes I get mine very soon.

Later this afternoon, the Babe received an e-mail from our docs office. They have some vaccine that had delivery issues, so our pharmacy will be administering the vaccine by appointment only. I’m glad I got an appointment on Tuesday. Yay!

Today I missed my last segment of Identifying my type of creativity, etc. I didn’t arrive home on time to see it. I’m not sad about it, either. I was getting confused trying to categorize myself, and I decided I’d rather spend my time writing or learning how to brand myself, rather than go down a path and get stuck somewhere. And so it goes!

And now it’s Saturday. I apologize for not finishing this yesterday. There wasn’t enough time between Mom’s Covid Vaccination and leaving for the VFW Post’s Fish Fry. The Babe is on the Kitchen Help Team for this event. It was another success, and we overheard people we didn’t know saying they heard about it last week from friends. Word of mouth is the very best advertisement!

Today, volunteers are working to paint the North Room at the post. It’s the larger room they rent out for weddings, parties, etc. It has new ceiling tiles, light fixtures, vinyl flooring, and next week will have cleaned carpeting and new artwork. It will be a more versatile room to rent and decorate. The volunteers are doing a great job!

The generosity of people is something to behold. There is nothing a focused group of people can’t do. It doesn’t matter if it’s collecting canned goods, essentials for a Veteran’s apartment after being homeless, clothing drives, and sprucing up a facility housing a VFW Post. People are generous with their time, their resources, and are so willing to help if you just put the word out. Moving Veterans Forward is a non-profit organization we work closely with. They help furnish apartments for formerly homeless Veterans. It’s very rewarding to publish lists of what’s needed, and to see it appear in the donation bins. Like magic. Thanks to all who participate.

I am officially registered through my doctor’s office @ Think Whole Person Health Care for my first Covid shot. I will receive it on Tuesday morning. I’m relieved, I’m somewhat compromised due to asthma, but pretty healthy otherwise. It’ll be an experience, that’s for sure. I know many people won’t get a shot. I would rather be safe than sorry about the whole thing. I think back to the Swine Flu in the later 1970s and just recently. I got the shot both times. I had no ill effects. I trust that will be the case again.

Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it. See you again tomorrow, and we’ll visit again. Be Safe out there, it’s a beautiful pre-spring day. The winter hasn’t left yet, but we will enjoy a warmer day whenever we can get one. Be Kind and Courteous, too.

Wednesday, Joell’s Birthday!

How is everyone out there doing tonight? All across America, people are picking up ingredients themselves, ordering online for pickup or delivery, and changing menus accordingly. We’re having our first Thanksgiving in quite a while without family. We usually travel for Thanksgiving/Joell’s Birthday, but this year we’re all being safe. I feel for the young man, we all have so much fun with family and friends together. It just isn’t safe right now. Even when you’re the ripe old age of thirteen, you still look forward to your birthday. I’m a lot older than he is, and I love my birthday. Only one day of 365 is yours. Unless you’re a twin or other multiple; or unless you’re born on the same date, another family member celebrates their birthday. Joell, sorry we have to miss this one, and I hope you’re finding something fun to do today.

Birthdays have always been my favorite. Sure, Christmas is great, but it’s not yours only. And I hear the poor kids unlucky to be born near Christmas get cheated. My dad was born on January 1, 1924. I don’t think Grandma and Grandpa could get many gifts during those years, pre and post depression-era. Granddaughter Addison shared birthday’s with her Grandma Sandy. Our family lost her several years ago to lung cancer, but we still remember her in heaven. It was nice to celebrate with both of them.

Joell amazes me every time we are with him. He has a very kind heart, one you do not see often in some kids now. He is polite, walking in crowds, waiting to speak when it’s appropriate, it’s all what kids learn from their parents. The other grandkids are, too, but this is his birthday, and I hope he knows how very special he is. As we looked back on my Facebook photos over the past years, we’ve seen him grow up again, right before our eyes, all in one day. Happy Birthday, Joell! We love you!

So as we go back to figuring out how to make some Keto substitutes for the traditional meal, we’re aware these changes and sacrifices our family is making to keep Covid away will be worth it. We look forward to spending time together again. It may not be as soon as we like, but we will be able to, whenever we all feel safe.

I spent the morning with my Mom, delivering her Mince Pie. To tell the truth, I tried to taste the mince filling. From the smell, I had to pass. Something sweet with apples and raisins should not have beef in it. She was quite excited. The epitome of the times happened between us today. She asked if she could hug me; I said ok. Over and over she told me how much she missed me. Wow. She’s never said that before. The Babe and I quarantined after our friends became ill from Covid. We remained well, but we try not to be around her after being elsewhere. She’s ok with that. It was a pleasant visit, and I was at home in time to bake some Keto Pumpkin Bars, and a loaf of Keto Bread.

We’re not getting too crazy tomorrow, it will be so nice to just sit and drink coffee until we feel like stopping. We rarely have that pleasure anymore. Life goes too quickly and we need these odd days to spend together. I hope you enjoy however you spend your day. I will think about the fun we can have in 2021, at Joell’s fourteenth birthday!

Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, Be Courteous, Be Patient. These times are trying, and I’ve learned myself anyone can snap. Learn to forgive yourself if you do. Apologize and move on. Don’t beat yourself up. Focus more on continuing on your journey to finish this life in the best way you can. Be positive. Be Careful. Be Safe.

OORAH!

Today I’m publishing my #435th blog! OORAH!

I mean, Hooray! It’s also the #245th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Happy Birthday to all of our Marine friends and family. I’ve always wondered what OORAH meant. I set to do some research. It’s interesting what Google and Wikipedia tell you. I think you get to decide for yourselves.

They drill OORAH into every Marine Corps recruits brain. There are many, many definitions of its meaning. Depending on who you ask, it means “Let’s Kill.” It’s been common since the mid-20th century. The word emerged in the 1980s and 1990s. One Drill Instructor commented he assumed it was a tradition passed on from Marine to Marine. Many believe the true origin lies with the Korean Marine Corps Veterans. It began as the recon submarine shuttled Marines. The “Dive, Dive” command is followed by the piercing horn sound, “Aarugha.” You’ve heard it in any movie with a submarine in it. That aarugha became a mouthful, and the resourceful Marines shortened it to “OORAH!”

Same Ages, Marine – Blake and his Army Dad – Dan

These two guys could be twins! The family genes are strong between these two. Blakes Mom was a beautiful brown eyed, dark-haired beauty. The German won in the DNA, I think.

I would imagine tomorrow at our VFW Post 2503’s Dinner & Band, and Coat/Clothing/Food Drive, I will find a few Marines who will also give me different answers. I’ve just always wondered about it, and thought, “Let’s Find Out!” Dad always told us to look up things we don’t know in the dictionary or encyclopedia. They were cumbersome yet reliable. Kids don’t know how to do that now. “I’ll Google it” is now how they do research. You never know if what you select is truthful or not. “Google It” is now our nation’s chant, our catch phrase over “God Bless America.” I’d rather ask God to Bless America. We need it now more than ever.

The weather today is cold, rainy, windy, and icing slightly. I won’t know, as we’re both home today, all day. I believe it should be a good day for getting some more words down for my book. NaNoWriMo is not going too well. I’m pretty far behind. I’m the poster child for “Slow and Steady Wins the Race.” I have another twenty days to write and add to that total. If I write 25K significant words, rather than 50K mediocre words, I’d rather end with fewer.

Goldie went to the groomers last evening. She is super fluffy and smells so good. She’s tired today from the excitement. Lexie whined the entire time she was gone. Poor Baby. Finally, I got Lexie to lie down in front of the fireplace and she calmed down. She was mad she didn’t get to go; I think.

It’s time to write some more. Thanks for stopping by today. Happy Birthday, USMC. See you tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. And Wear Your Mask!

A Tale of Two Birthday’s

As I mentioned yesterday, today is Mom’s birthday. For 91, she’s doing great. Of course, the baby of the family (Timmy!) presented her with flowers last night so she could enjoy them all day. I kid a lot about how she really likes him best (it’s true), we now use that to our advantage. If she needs to be told something, he’s the one who does it. She listens to him. HAHA! All in good fun. Tim’s a good man, we just have to give him a bad time. Mom loves us all, each in a different way.

Mom and brother Tim (her favorite!)

I recall the story Grandma told about the day Mom was born. Grandpa and Grandma were married for six long years before they had Mom. On a 105 degree day, August 25, 1929, Rosemary entered this world. She was born at home, and Grandma said, “Once I got my hands on that baby, I forgot about how hot it was.” I believe her. Can you imagine giving birth at home in 105 degree heat? I can’t. Not at all. Grandma, my hat’s off to you. What a trooper! The Babe and I are taking lunch to her today, and will visit for a bit before we pick up Addison from school.

The other birthday I have a story about today is about our cousin, Rich. I believe he would be 63 years old today. Rich passed away earlier this year. He had cancer, and was in Grand Island, under the care of the VA. Like all of us, he had his problems. We all do. But I do remember him today. He was always so happy his birthday was the same day as Aunt Rosie’s. As kids, we couldn’t believe it, we didn’t hear much of two people in the same family being born on the same day, although many years apart.

As the oldest girl in the family, I babysat nearly all my cousins. Not so much the Conrad family, but the Wheeler’s and Burbank’s, yes. Uncle Mickey and Aunt Judy went out every Saturday night. Mom decided I would babysit, (I had no choice in the matter, ever), so either my uncle or aunt would pick me up. I ended up spending the night, it was late), after Creature Feature, by the time they got home. I’d sleep on the couch, then we’d all go to Mass at St. Agnes, where the kids went to school. Simple times for sure.

I earned a whopping fifty cents an hour at all my babysitting gigs back then. $3.00 for six hours. Sometimes the three kids (Rich, Mark, and Jolene) would be good, sometimes they were not. I’d feed them, clean up the kitchen, we’d make popcorn and watch TV. Rich was always building stuff, even at about 8 or 9 years old. He sorta had a temper, and often, he’d break his masterpiece apart because something wasn’t right. Bed time! I felt bad for him, and tried to cheer him up.

Fast forward a bunch of years, after he graduated from Creighton Prep, he entered the Marines. I was married and had my second son on November 7, 1975. Rich was home on leave, and came to see me. He wore his uniform, and I was so happy to see him, all grown up. It was one of the nice things he did for people. He continued his training, and became a guard at Camp David. He had to have a good record to qualify for that. I don’t remember when he crom hisame home to work for his dad, but he settled in back in Omaha. In later years, he became one heck of a carpenter. Maybe he inherited it from his biological dad who was also one heck of a carpenter. Gifted.

Fast forward to about 1982. He installed carpeting in my bedroom. He refused to be paid for it, and even went to Christmas Eve Mass with me and my three kids. I divorced in 1982, and Frankie was in the procession as an altar boy, Nick was 7 and Becky was 3. He offered to help me with the kids, in case they fell asleep. What a very kind thing to do. I’ve always remembered him that way. Offering help. He later married, had kids, and lived life. We lost touch until the wonders of Facebook reunited everyone.

I knew he was ill. So sad to see a young person suffer and die early. Mom is the only one of that generation left in her family. All her sisters are gone, and one uncle lives in Valentine, but we never see him. It’s an exception to lose a cousin before the previous generation is gone. Something just isn’t right about that. He cared for his mom before she passed a few years ago. Wow. Sobering. In September, other cousins, his children, grandchildren, and I will gather at the Omaha National Cemetery to tell him goodbye. Rich, tell Grandma, Grandpa, and all our aunts and uncles we miss them. And my dad. Especially my dad. Thank you!

Rich, on behalf of your extended family, we love you. We are glad you’re safe from all this world stuff. And we hope your first birthday in heaven is the best. Save a few spots for all of us. Whenever it’s our time. Then, heaven will see celebrations like never before, with the four fabulous Bobell girls and all their families. What a great thought!

Richard Wheeler, Sr.

Have a blessed day, everyone. Remember. Call you family. Tell them you love them. There’s never enough time. Be safe.

Thankful Thursday

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

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

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

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

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women could not get an Ivy League Education.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spectacular Sunday

I mentioned yesterday we were going to a surprise birthday celebration for our dear friend, Danny Lang. He became 90 on Thursday, and due to the covert actions of the Honor Guard Captain Tom, assisted by Bryan and Leigh, Danny was welcomed by a crowd of about 50 friends of the Honor Guard. It was great.

Friday, he had a birthday parade. The Sheriff’s Department he worked for had a steady stream of deputies, complete with lights and sirens, passing him in front of his building at an assisted living community. As he told me about it, he laughed, “They should have cut the sirens, it’s not a good sound around old people.” He has a wonderful sense of humor.

Danny Lang, VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard’s Best!

It was no surprise to see a table of about ten men who were some of Danny’s fellow retirees. There was so much joy present in that room. All brought together by someone who didn’t have much of a family as a kid. He could have made some bad turns, but he didn’t. He joined the Marines as a young man. He lost fingertips to frostbite in Korea. He came home to Omaha, met and married the love of his life, and had a beautiful family. They are one of the neatest families I’ve met. He lost his wife a few years ago, and best friend Bob earlier this year. He’s slowing down a little (not much for 90, though), and he is always joyful.

He is first to tell you what he thinks, and will shake your hand after he disagrees with you. He learned to be a man’s man. Every fatherless boy should have him as a mentor, role model, and guardian angel. He entertains a line of members’ wives for hugs and kisses when he enters a room, and makes you all believe you’re the love of his life. Just for fun, nothing creepy. No one deserves it more than him.

He thanked everyone, telling us he’s had four families in his life; His own family, The Marine Corps, The Sheriff’s Department, and The VFW, especially the Honor Guard. He teaches the new guys and gently corrects the seasoned guys when they need it. Everyone should know a Danny in their life. I’m glad the Babe and I both know Danny. He’s a treasure. May he have many more birthdays.

Photo by Dan Prado on Pexels.com

On this cloudy Sunday morning, it’s remarkably cool outside. Might be for a couple days. That crazy humidity makes it easy to stay inside and do anything. It’s almost like inside living is about all you can do regardless of the season.

I’m finishing up my homework from my first Zoom meeting with Sam, my book coach. I try to send it ahead of her Monday morning 8 a.m. deadline, because mornings are a little crazy for me. I’d rather be early than late. A year ago, I never heard of book coaching, and now, I believe in what she’s doing for me. She’s making me a better writer. Seriously! We have three more Zoom meetings between now and September 1, so I’ll have about six weeks of good work, then we re-negotiate a contract if we decide to continue.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. Do you have someone in your family or friends who needs to be celebrated? It’s a good thing to do for people who matter to us. A drive by waving hi could go pretty far for folks that can’t visit with us up close. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Wash Up. Mask Up. For yourself and others. This thing is far from over. I want you all around to celebrate with me when my books are published! See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

We’re leaving for the Post pretty soon, so I hope I do justice to this before we need to leave. Yesterday was the birthday of a very good friend of ours, Danny Lang. He was a Douglas County Deputy before retiring twenty years ago. He is a very loyal Honor Guard Member at the VFW. He attends nearly every funeral where they provide honors. He has trained many a new member and they almost always are perfectly synced with shooting, marching, salutes, and all they need.

Danny has become good friends with the Babe and me, too. He is a wealth of information, history, and all else. He is still living independently, and still driving. What a great guy. So the guys are surprising him with an impromptu birthday party today. He will be touched, I’m sure. His family is invited to stop by also. I’m looking forward to seeing his reaction since it’s a surprise. Shhhh!

Yesterday I had a good writing session. I have about 800 words for my new first chapter. I’m several years back in Katie’s life, about ten years earlier, to give a better flavor about how her life is. I’m learning to show, not tell. I have some homework due with Sam Tyler, my Writing Coach by Monday morning. I’ll get it finished by tomorrow evening. I think we’ll have a great session next week on Thursday. Lots to accomplish the rest of this month.

The Girls Are Doing a Little Light Reading.

No more lightning bugs for Goldie last night. She is a little shaken after watching a wild turkey in the neighbors house a few days ago. She did not like that creature at all, even from two houses away. This morning, her ball rolled under the raised dog bed we have on the deck, and she went behind it, near the railing to see if she could get it or not. She moved the bed out, but not enough. You could tell she was trying to work her way out of the situation. Another time, the ball rolled just under the railing, and hung on the edge of the plank. It didn’t fall, but she ran down the steps to see if she could find it. I hit the ball and it shot into the air, falling behind her. She jumped then proceeded to secure it firmly in her large mouth. Never a dull moment, for sure.

It feels as if the month is over, but there are still a couple weeks left, more or less. With all the discussion about school opening or not, it seems later. I hope whatever decisions the schools make, I hope it’s sound and I hope the kids are safe. Wearing a mask isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Sometimes I think the anxiety people have is self generated by not wanting to comply. Don’t put your fears and anxiety on your kids. Don’t put your reluctance to comply on your kids. You don’t want them ill. Period. You don’t want Grandpa to become ill, either.

Photo by Swapnil Sharma on Pexels.com

Although I can make masks, I ordered some premade ones from Ruby Ribbon. They’re a company who sells camisoles for women of all sizes and shapes that are pretty remarkable, especially for a breast cancer survivor like me. It helps keep the lymphedema at bay and provides a comfy fit even though I’m pretty lopsided after the lumpectomy. I don’t even think of it. Anyway, they are pretty colors, and thought if they were pretty, they might be less cumbersome to wear.

So as you’re enjoying your Saturday, please don’t overdo in the heat. The temp is 93 and the “feels like” is 102 already, at 12:23 p.m. Hydrate, use sunscreen, and check on your older folks who may not have A/C or use it properly. Be Kind, Be Courteous, Be Thoughtful. Be a good human to those around you. Thank you for reading today, I hope you have a great rest of the day. I’ll see you all tomorrow.

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!

Thinking About Thursday

This Plant Needs Prayers!

Our beautiful pure-bred hunting dog must be a vegetarian or something. She mangled about four plants this week. I suppose it’s my fault for trusting her too much. She’s a puppy, still. And now, she’s sleeping peacefully on the floor by me while I write and it rains outside. All is right with the world.

She’s Sleeping Near the Bag of Coloring Supplies.

It started out a beautiful day, right now, the clouds are rolling in. It’s still a beautiful day and when the rain comes in, I’ll be grateful to not have to water. Even the plant Goldie tried to eat. Well, I guess she DID eat it.

I am so happy to have these two dogs for companionship. They are great company and comfort, even if they just nap in the room I occupy at any given moment. They are powerful creatures. They sense everything about us. Earlier this week, Lexie didn’t like Goldie tugging at a toy Gavin was going to throw for fetch. Lexie walked over in between them and gave a low, throaty growl, ever so quietly. Goldie let go. Gavin threw the toy, Goldie fetched, Lexie walked away and laid down again. She watches her people, and I love that about her.

I had a great conversation with my book coach Sam this morning. We have developed a plan for July and August. I’m taking a slightly different path in as much as I’m writing a different story over these two months, and will check in regularly to discuss the progress or lack thereof. If you’d like to read about Sam, here is a link to her website. You’ll hear a lot more about Sam and our work later in the summer.

Today is a day filled with significant birthdays! In addition to being Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday, it’s my older brother’s birthday and Dan’s younger sister’s birthday. Tom Jewell and Linda Ulmer, Happy Birthdays! Hope you both have a great day. Don’t need to wish Sir Paul one, after all, he’s Paul McCartney!

It seems the food industry is rebranding several products we have used for decades and probably not realized their packaging was racist. Aunt Jemima is having a makeover. I suppose it must be done. For years, I haven’t given it a thought using these products. I thought the updating done last was just like the Betty Crocker image on packaging, cook books, and other items. Were women offended by an old fashioned representation on the cook books? I don’t remember.

Uncle Ben and the cook on Cream of Wheat simply told me they were pictures on a package. No different than any other picture. And now, things will change. Will it change the violence in the streets? Most likely not. But those offensive photos will no longer be staring out from shelves in the stores. So be it.

Sometimes I can’t help but think there needs to come a point where we stop being offended. Where we stop pointing fingers and placing blame, and sit down and formulate a plan to just stop all of this. Both sides. Just stop it! Start respecting each other, just because God created all of us. Then work on being better humans. As you work together, and have frank discussions, you will grow in respect of each other. And yourselves. Do something that’s never been done. Admit there is fault on both sides. Quit being the stereotypes we all hate. The bad cop. The bad punk. The gangster. The professional rioter. Talk to each other. Talk with each other. Listen to each other. Listen to hear. Hear and act. Act in a rational manner. Make the change you want for everyone. Teach your children how to respect and behave, not show attitude and bad behavior.

We have plans to watch Gavin play ball over the weekend. Being a tournament, there are quite a few games to get in. And of course, the forecast is calling for a whole bunch of rain. It wouldn’t be a ball tournament without it!

I also have a lot of writing things to accomplish in the next three weeks. It will be a great way to spend time, and a great way to move forward with my projects. A plan and a partner work well together. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. It rained quite nicely here, and now appears to be dreary for the rest of the day. Perhaps dreary and rain is what my Goldie – relocated plants needs to come back to life. I’ll see you tomorrow! Stay safe. Wash your mask before you wear it again! Wash your hands. Be a good example. Teach your children well.

Happy (Birthday) Friday!

It’s my big day. It’s the day I get to remember where I’ve been and think about where I’m going. I’m moved by the greetings and phone calls, texts, messages, FB Posts, it’s really fun. I appreciate it so much. Thank you all.

It’s just been a beautiful day so far. We went to the garden center. A couple of bucks later, I have two hydrangeas to plant, one is supposed to be 5 – 7 feet high! Holy smokes! Another one is a little dwarf at 18 inches to 24 inches. It’s a replacement plant. A mum bit the dust, so the hydrangea will replace it. So we unloaded the car, and now is a steady rain, just enough to hang inside. And it’s fine with me. We went to lunch at Addy’s for their Monster BLT and it was great. Socially distanced, of course. And now, it’s home time.

The older I become, the more I remember past birthdays. As a young couple we sure didn’t have any $$ leftover. Mothers Day and my birthday fell in the same pay period. I had to choose which event I wanted a card for. I left it up to the kids. The ex would get a coffee cup, put clothespins in it, and the kids were so proud to present it to me. Their little faces always brighten up. Good memories.

When I turned 40, those kids gave me a great gift. We lived in a different house. When I went to bed the night before, they blew up 40 black balloons, and stuffed them inside my 1989 Pontiac Grand Am. They fell out when you opened the door. I left them in the car, I had a chuckle all day at work. A young guy helped me out to the car with my stuff that night, in the rain, him carrying my birthday cake, me holding an umbrella over his head. The balloons fell out in the puddles by the car. I about died laughing. Great memory!

These are the really exciting times. I’m writing my novel, have ideas for some children’s books, and one for families. Thanks to the Babe, my daughter Becky, and friends who are encouraging, I’m writing and enjoying it a lot. This year will continue to be a good one, despite the quarantine, Coronavirus, and masks. I’m grateful to God for His blessings and mercy.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today is National Poppy Day. I love it’s on my birthday, as I love the flowers, and love the Poppy campaign the VFW does to help support Veterans through the funds raised from donations for the handmade flowers. Please support them if you see them out this weekend. Many Memorial Day services are cancelled, and that is sad. Our Post is having a small ceremony, Don Bacon will speak, and we’ll have Sloppy Joes for lunch afterwards. It will be a small, socially distancing event. God Bless our Veterans who gave their all so we may have the freedoms we have.

The 1970 graduating class of Archbishop Ryan Memorial High School is sharing something with all the kids who weren’t able to graduate normally this year. We had to cancel our 50th Class Reunion this year! We’re shooting for 2021 instead. Someone posted a little quip that’s 100% truth at this age, “We just hope we are still alive in another year!” And we do. The celebration will be sweeter when it’s safe to go out and mingle. And it gives us another 12 months to crash diet and get into shape for people we haven’t seen in years.

In the meantime, this meme is my slogan, my anthem, my brand and my toast to living a most excellent year ahead. I’m happier than I could have ever imagined, and am so grateful for friends old and new, young and old, authors and songwriters, and those I’ve yet to meet. I’m praying for another 30 years as long as I know what’s going on. Hugs to all of you who have inspired me to do this journey, the things I’ve always wanted to do. Some of you don’t even realize how much you influenced me. Thank you. God Bless you. See you back tomorrow. Back to work then!