Saturday Fun Times!

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

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

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

Late getting started, but the front is looking better.

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

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

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

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

Lots of Potential

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

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

Mobile Monday

A Sunny Day or Six Would be Great!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Thursday Again

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

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

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

This one is thought provoking.

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

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

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

Fabulous Friday

Hi, friends!

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

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

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

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

Unrealistic? Uhm, maybe.

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

Fabulous Friday!

Hello, friends. I hope you are having a wonderful Friday. Our pretty (deep) snow has begun to melt. We have pretty much stayed inside today again. The Babe and the dogs are continuing walking twice every day. It’s good for all of them, and I should be doing it, too. We did dig out my recumbent bike and I want to be on it beginning tomorrow.

I’m making Chicken Chimichangas for dinner. They’re ready to pop in the oven, red beans and rice are also on the menu. It’s a new recipe, so I’ll let you know what the verdict is. The face masks are more than halfway done. I hope to get them mailed either late today or tomorrow. I have sewing friends all over the world who are making hundreds of them. I’m just not able to sit at the machine that long. Some are quite beautiful.

About 25 masks, early this morning.

Since I’ve become a quilter, I can tell you quilter friends are some of the most generous people I have ever met. One Canadian friend coordinated an effort during the Tsunami in Japan to send quilts to many, many people. I made two squares from the pattern block they used. It was beautiful when they finished it. It was fun to be part of such a far reaching project. Another time, a friend managed the International Quilt Festival in Ireland. Many of us made a block with our hand appliqued on it. It was another satisfying world-wide group effort.

The President has wisely given each state it’s own latitude in reopening after the pandemic. We are not even close to being ready to be thinking of that. It is still the safest to stay home. Period. I know it’s difficult for people who are not earning their full salaries, some of our family aren’t working their full number of hours either. We need to be kind, we need to be aware of people who may need someone to talk to, we need to check on our elders and people who live alone, and we need to stay home for now.

I’m going to do some more editing using Pro Writing Aid over the weekend. It’s a really good way to flag if you’ve repeated common words, or need to find a different group of words to describe something. It helps my writing become better. I’m happy with the software and it makes my job easier. What won’t they think of next?

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha has a world famous zoo, is home to the College World Series, had the Olympic Swimming trials four years ago and was to host them this year. They are rescheduled for 2021. These events help bring in millions of dollars in tax revenues. Not this year. The city will have a massive budget shortfall and has no way to make that up. Trouble is, Federal Relief will not go to the City as an entity. The City does not have the required 500,000 people. It’s a way many cities and towns will slip through the cracks all over the country. There are things we may not even realize yet that will be impacted by this virus.

Hope you have a nice evening. I’m going to go finish cooking dinner now. Thank you for reading today, and I hope to see you tomorrow. I will post earlier. See you then!

Thankful Thursday

Hi, guys!

We’ve been outside before the wind picks up to the 50 mph they’re predicting. It was a good time to get the winter layer of dirt off the deck, patio, and few lawn chairs we’ve put out. The rest will come out and be cleaned off after the snow goes away. They’re predicting something frozen for the Easter weekend. It’s ok. It’s not as if we are going anywhere anyhow. Yes, we’ll watch the FB Live of the Service at our Church. It’ll be a good day.

I’m listening to Ray Scott for inspiration music today. And I have to say, I’m hooked. I will snag up all his music today. His voice is unbelievable. So far, I have “Guitar for Sale,” and “Nowhere Near Done.” We saw only a couple songs in person last November at Buck’s Bar. Our friend Jimmy Weber opened for him, but by the time we had several beers and dinner, listened to Jimmy’s set, the Babe wasn’t feeling well. It was when he still had the wound vac to heal the huge wound still open after a heart cath. It was not a good time to stay out late. The Babe apologized all over the place, sweet man that he is. Next time, Ray! I’m loving your work.

Music of the Day. Go Ray Scott!

Our son-in-law is stopping by with his battery charger later. The Babe needs to borrow it to re-charge his riding mower battery. We’re so lucky to have some kids here. I suppose people with no children at all have a network of people who are able to help them. Having kids is no guarantee they will help you when you get older. They may not live nearby. They may also not be able to help. Emotionally or financially. It’s best not to expect things from them that they can’t or won’t do. It saves a lot of hurt. Lord knows we don’t need any more hurt in this world.

Although the Feds have extended the deadline for paying your taxes, the deadline for filing will be in about a week or so. I’ll get finished, just a matter of totaling up all the medical, dental, and drug costs for us retirees. I’m so grateful I have good insurance. It’s been a blessing all through my single Mom life, my married and working life, and the retiree/author life. For all the bad press corporations receive, I cannot badmouth them at all. They have generously reimbursed my tuition for a college education, and have covered my many and unusual long term illnesses. I’m grateful for them.

This morning, as we were having coffee and listening to the news, the topic of unemployment came up. We are so fortunate to not be impacted by that. Of course, our IRAs and other investments have dropped substantially, but we are still getting pensions and are fine. God has been so very good to us, and we’re grateful for that, too.

I don’t know of anything that is so joyful for me as answering the phone to hear grandson Gavin say, “Grandma, I really miss Lexie and Goldie.” They miss him, too. So do Grandpa and I! It’s been way too long since we saw the kids. Addison isn’t a dog kid, so she will never say that. She does say she misses us, however. Grandkids are the bonus round of life, you know? They are so much fun. I can’t wait until Gavin starts to play baseball again this summer. His new team practices all year, but they of course cannot right now. That’s too bad, but necessary at this time.

The Mayor of Omaha had to close all the city parks. Some people (over 200) were gathered at a park the other night at 10 pm for a barbeque (!?) and of course, someone shot three people. One died, two wounded. Pitiful. People have been behaving badly at a few places, and I hope they stay away from everyone now. Yes, it’s hard. But don’t think the rules don’t apply to you. There is always someone, isn’t there? The naughty kid who misbehaved and made everyone in the class have to stay after school. The cheater in high school who stole the test beforehand and aced it, causing everyone’s grades to be tossed out. And now there is the person who gathers at the dog park, the playground equipment, or the baseball field, causing all city parks and trails to be closed. It never fails.

And, amongst those ranks are the people who do what is right, what is the next right thing to do, and follows the rules and directions. There are, fortunately more of us than the other kind. Continue being a good citizen, ok? That is how we will all survive this quarantine and the aftermath. Do what’s right. Be grateful. Learn to smell the roses while being cautious of the thorns. Thank you for reading today. I deeply appreciate it, and hope to see you again tomorrow. I’ll be here. See you then.

Sunny Sunday!

Greetings from the Home Office Studio in Gretna, Nebraska! It is a scrumptious day out there, a bit chilly, but the sun is shining. That makes all the difference in the world. As you know, with all this social distancing going on we are not able to go out to movies, shopping, stop off and have a beverage, and go see our favorite musical entertainment. I shared yesterday about our friend, Jimmy Weber, who did a gig last night from his home. It was so good to hear him sing live again! The seating was great, no lines at the ladies room, and they stocked our favorite beverages! There were a couple technical issues, but that stuff is even happening to Netflix these days. (Buffering is still alive and annoying while watching your favorite series’ new season!). That aside, he sang a lot of his new songs that will be recorded later this year in Nashville. Hope they’re ready for you, Jimmy! Stay well.

Today, our friend Rick Tiger and a friend are on FB Live from 4 to 6 p.m. Tune in, you’ll know you’ve heard Rick’s songs before. He’s written a treasure trove of them. He’s a good guy, and you’ll feel you’ve known him forever. Thanks in advance for supporting our friends!

While high school athletes and seniors mourn the loss of their time in the sun, there are couples all over the world who are having to postpone the most important day of their lives together – their weddings. I truly feel sorry for them as weddings are something they look forward to for months and even years. How disappointing to have quarantines in place, where no more than ten people can gather together. Some can’t even include their entire families!

Which brings me to the point of this story. My cousins Mike and Mary have four grown kids, three girls and a boy. The son is in college, so they’re all grown for the most part. Their oldest had a wedding scheduled for yesterday, April 4. After much discussion, they went forward with the ceremony, in the groom’s parents yard. They were so blessed to have such a pretty day. From the photos, it was a beautiful wedding. They adjusted. They got through it. They didn’t like having to change their plans, but they did. They were grateful and everything went well. That’s what being married is about. Things don’t always go the way you want, but a compromise is found, and you go on, being grateful for the gift of each other. It’s a testament to their parents and to Marc and Katelynn too, for picking out the important part and going with it. You kids are off to a great start.

In addition to adjusting, you also need to keep your sense of humor in marriage. The Babe and I have found it to be our most important and most used tool in the arsenal. While going through the photos online, we were blessed with this one. It was the groom’s idea, and it truly speaks to their sense of humor and grace, and will be a story to tell their grandkids about. I absolutely love this!!

What a great way to start a (COVID-19) marriage.
With laughter!

Do me a favor? If you get down in the dumps over all this staying at home, come back to this blog post, and have a good laugh on Katelynne and Marc! Congratulations to them!

It ought to be interesting, my cousins Mike and Mary have another daughter getting married in August, 2020. I wish them the best of luck in keeping their schedule amidst this looming crisis. This is a family who believes in their faith, the goodness of God, and the kindness of people. They will all be ok. I hope the same for all of us.

Better days are coming again.
Be aware and receive them fully.

At the present moment, I have to say, this isn’t the worst bad time I’ve had – yet. Sometimes, as a single mom, I thought we might go bankrupt, but that worst never happened. Sometimes, as a single mom, I prayed my kids would have enough of a teacher in me that they would break the stereotype of “bad kids come from broken homes,” and they grew up good, responsible citizens. (I still hate the term “broken homes”to this day). Sometimes, as a breast cancer patient, I was afraid the cancer would have a mind of it’s own, destroying my life and taking me from this earth, but it didn’t. The list goes on and on of the things that would qualify as my worst hard/bad time. Yes, many could have happened, but by the grace of God, they did not. I am praying for all of us, that this global pandemic, is not any of our worst hard times.

Thank you for reading today. I hope it made your heart a bit lighter. I appreciate you very much, and hope to see you again tomorrow. Who knows what fun we’ll have then? I’ll be here.