Happy July First!

Good morning from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. It was a rainy night last night, and all the lawn chairs, cushioned or not, are soaking wet this morning. And, much like any other humid July in Nebraska, well, you know the rest. It will probably be this way until school starts again, in about five weeks.

I feel badly for parents when school begins again. Blended families, families with students in different levels of education, working parents, and parents who work at home, are all in for another round of, “Will my child really benefit from the education he or she will receive during the next phase of the pandemic?” One can only hope and pray. I really don’t know what the answer is. I am leaning towards masks for all, then sanitizing to beat the devil.

I’m making a bootleg calendar for my next couple of months. Trying to carefully measure out what is possible while meeting deadlines and Zoom schedules. We all need a little structure in our lives. At times Ihen wonder if I need as much as when we were younger? No, I think no. Retirement is supposed to be about spending time whatever way you feel like. That said, I believe we should still be contributing something to others, to still shine our lights out in the world. The Babe has his Quartermaster duties at the VFW. I love to watch the kids, and yet, there needs to be more than that. You can’t count on having enough grandkids to spend your time that way.

That’s probably a lot of the why I decided to write. I’ve always wanted to write Children’s Books. My daughter encouraged me over and over, until finally, I decided, “Why Not?” In the nearly two years since that revelation, I’ve worked on a novel, started another, and have outlines for several children’s stories. One is about the loss of a family pet based on our experience last summer, losing our Roxie. I think it could do some good for kids.

I had a very loose outline when I began my novel. I definitely see now where I could have made an easier time of it to have a better outline before. Those who never outline are called “pantsters,” who write by the seat of their pants. The planners are “outliners,” who know exactly what they will write. I suppose each writer learns what works for them, then proceeds. What a learning process!

I’m going to organize all my information in a sectioned binder, so everything is organized and together. I hope this works. Time will tell, won’t it? I have the “Personality Isn’t Permanent” book to finish, too. It will help describe the transition my character experiences through her life.

Reading is a Joy!

I just printed countless photos of all our dogs who have known Gavin. I want to have a themed book for him about all of his doggies. He loves the stories he has in his mind, and I want to preserve those for him. It’s neat to listen to him talk about his doggies. What a good thing we can share with him.

The school district our grandchildren hasn’t announced yet how they will handle the school year yet. Three districts in the area will do full time, every day for everyone. Two others will have a split schedule, 3/2 and every other week they switch who has 3 and who is the 2 group. Too complicated for me. It has to be hard for working parents, single parents, and those with no one to help them out. I think we’re all a few cases away from home schooling again and stay at home suggestions again.

We have to dig in, be positive, wear masks, and think of others than ourselves. I know, that’s what we have been doing. It is going to take all of us. It is going to take a very long time for the danger to subside enough for us to abandon our efforts. Our generations have never had to make a sacrifice for a national cause, for a unified effort. Most wars in my lifetime have been undeclared (Korea, Vietnam), and lack of national support deeply affected the veterans and the outcome. Lack of national support in this pandemic is affecting us and will affect the outcome.

Let’s put our pride aside, and our sense of entitlement, and wear a mask. Always in public. Shopping, in the stores, and if we go to eat. Remove it while you eat and drink. Be vigilant. Be on your guard. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. Clean frequently used items such as your phone; all the remote controls, the controls on your stove, oven, and microwave, and your refrigerator handles. Door knobs and handles. Yes, it’s not fun, it’s necessary. It’s boring, but it’s necessary.

Make sure you are around to attend all the postponed weddings, graduations, and family events. Make sure your grandparents are, too. Let’s take better care of each other. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it a lot, and am now going to do some more cleanup on Chapter 1 of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons.” I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful.

Booyah Saturday!

Today, I’m naming this Booyah Saturday. Booyah is used to express joy, especially over a well played or victorious moment. Although it pertains to sports, I’m exclaiming it because I just electronically filed our taxes. Woo hoo! Now I can cram all the papers into the appropriate folder and forget about it for another ten months or so. It’s always good to get a refund, too. Yes, it’s a job gathering everything up. In the realm of being grateful, I’m so grateful we have assets and income in retirement. When I think of my grandmothers, they had little to nothing to live on. It had to be terribly hard. Social security isn’t meant to support people, but I’m glad I paid in all those years. We can live decently with that and my pension. Our riches are in our hearts, not in the bank.

Today I’m listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Western Sky. It’s full of good tunes, that has me thinking of the westerns we watched growing up. Of course, Mom was a huge Western fan. But not of John Wayne. Clint Walker, Chuck Connors, Lorne Greene, Richard Boone, and a host of others. I was always fascinated by the dance hall girls, having no clue what their role was in the western towns. Wow. Naive. But it was ok, you know? I just liked their dresses.

This morning I read an internet article about Chuck Connors. It spoke of his cigarette habit of at least 60 cigarettes a day. How many are in a pack? I’ve never smoked, so I really don’t know. Maybe 20? The Babe quit smoking before I met him. Good thing. He also was a very heavy smoker, three packs a day. He could smoke while he was working, as a mechanic. I’m glad he quit right after his father died. We might have had a different outcome had he been such a chain smoker.

It’s fun looking out my studio window to see the houses with kids shooting hoops. They’re getting outside and getting some exercise, good for them. Some houses in my view have changed hands over the past six months. Do you have nicknames for your neighbors if you don’t know their names? We have lived by: “Camper Dude,” “Car Guy,” “Plumber Dude,” “Nails Lady,” “Party House,” and “Fireman.” At our old house, we would sit on the tiny front porch and watch all the families go for a walk at night. They called us, “Porch People.” I loved it.

It is supposed to start raining overnight and possibly snow 1 – 3 inches in Nebraska tomorrow! I hope the Easter Bunny finds your kids and grandkids. I just learned yesterday where the Bunny became involved as a symbol for Easter. Check this out:

At last, this is where the bunny entered into the Easter equation!

I know this social distancing may put a damper on things for big families who congregate. At the same time, it wouldn’t be good to spread anything to the rest of the family. We are not at our peak yet here in Nebraska. We cannot let frustration or boredom undo all of our good efforts thus far. We can do this, people. Keep on. We’ll get there.

The longer we stay in, the more I don’t feel like going out anywhere. I can completely understand how elderly people just end up at home, and get lonely. Although, some personalities need more stimulation and attention than others. The Babe needs to visit with people, or he gets antsy. I would bet some folks who perform are getting antsy not only about their incomes but about performing. That is their life and livelihood. I hope this ends soon for folks like you.

The nurses and doctors are the heroes. The nurses spend much more time with patients than a doctor ever does, and she or he may have a better understanding of a patient’s mental state, social needs, and everyday life than the doctor ever is. Don’t forget the male nurses. My nephew Don, who was married last fall, is a nurse in the Emergency Department in Arizona. I’m sure he could write a book about the cases he’s seen. All within HIPAA regs, of course! Prayers for you, Don, you are doing an excellent job.

I did not make any masks yesterday. I need to have one to venture out on Monday. It’s a wellness check required by Medicare. Woo Hoo. More fun than I should be having, I know, but they will start calling me if I don’t keep up. Thank you for visiting and reading today. Stay safe, Happy Easter, and see you here tomorrow!