Super Saturday??

Well, folks, you have stuck with me on this journey for thirty whole days. I have written nearly every day, letting you know what I’m doing and how I was getting ready to write the 50K words in those thirty days. Thank you for doing that.

This is my last day for writing, and I have another 4K words to write today, so I can declare myself a winner. I will finish those 50K words. It’s an accomplishment that boggles the mind.

I am so looking forward to having my life back, so to speak. I have a project I’m completing for a friend that is a Christmas themed item, so I’ll hit that hard next week. I’m going to put up out new Christmas tree, and see how that cheers the household up. The Babe and I have so much to continue giving thanks for, now that his health is improving so much.

I also have a friend whom I haven’t seen forever. We are going to go to a movie or lunch, we both need to get out and away from our houses. There is a luncheon I’m driving my mom to this week, and she has some errands no doubt. Next Friday night, we have tickets to go see Yesterday and Today at our Omaha Community Playhouse. It is a show starring three brothers, who sing the Beatles songs like you cannot believe. They are incredible entertainers and musicians. They do an interactive show, taking written requests before the show, and reading the requests, saying hi to the person who requested the song, and then doing the song. Previously, the second half of the show was all pre-planned, all mapped out and rehearsed, the same every time. They decided to challenge themselves this year, and go to all request. And they will draw the requests live. That will be a neat twist.

I have one package to mail for Christmas, for our youngest granddaughter, Kayla, in Colorado. Her parents do not want her photo on the Internet, including my blog and Facebook accounts, so I can only tell you she is an adorable twenty-one month old. She will be two years old on Pi Day, March 14 this little cutie made her appearance in 2018. We do not see her nearly enough.

I’m dying to buy her some clothes, but her mommy tells me that have no room in their house for storing things, and she prefers to buy clothes. A gift card to Carter’s will be her gift, along with a little musical plush animal that plays Christmas music. Toddlers love those things. And Grandma’s always can give the grandkids noisy toys because it’s the Grandma’s job.

My Grandma Bobell was a real jokester. One year, since there were several little boys within two years of the same age, she bought them all a gun that shot projectiles and made a horrible noise. She giggled as she looked at her daughters and said, “I thought the boys would have fun.” In return, she got the look from each of her four daughters, that indicated they were less than pleased. So, Steve and Tim, Mark and Rick, Joey, and Bobby, all were thrilled to death. I don’t know how long such toys lasted, but they were to play with only when my dad, who was a night worker and day sleeper, was not at home.

I would not do that to any of the grandkids parents, I promise! The rest of today, I’m going to hit my 50K word goal, before midnight tonight. I had an inspiration about a topic this morning, which I think should give me a lot to write about. Goals, reaching them, and being accountable to yourself for something. It’s all just about good living. And living to do good in the world.

So, up until midnight tonight, you may enter to win the $50 Visa Gift Card I’m giving away in celebration of making my NaNoWriMo goal. I just wanted to share something with one of you to thank you for staying with me through this past month. I’ve never done the challenge before, and it’s been fun. You may enter a total of twice a day, for each day I posted a blog, which was 30 days. You can have up to sixty chances to win. Do a little speed reading, like the blogpost, leave a comment, and you’re in!!

Thank you for reading today and every day. I will see you all tomorrow. And remember, at NOON, I will draw and post who the winner of the gift card is. And the Babe will be glad I’m done with that much daily writing. I haven’t told him yet how much fun the next steps sound. Have a beautiful Saturday.

Thanksgiving Eve

Are you starting to prep any dishes for Thanksgiving dinner yet? I’m trying a new sweet potato dish. I’m prepping the dish today, and baking it tomorrow. There are all sorts of dishes you can do ahead of time. I’m going to google and find any others I can do ahead.

The dish I’m making will use sliced sweet potatoes (Slice width-wise after boiling and cooling), lay in greased pan, mix cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and some other spices, pour over potatoes and bake. Sounds easy. Baked sweet potatoes are great at a steakhouse in place of a regular baked potato. And no one else likes them, so I’m going to save portions of it for later. Yum!!

I’m also making the dressing ahead, and whatever else works out ok. No big deal. Last year, we purchased a new gas range, with five top burners (I love it!) and sure enough, it cooked so much faster than our old electric stoves did. I kid you not. We had to call our daughter and her family to come early. I’m hoping that does not happen again.

NaNoWriMo successful conclusion is still in sight. I believe 2,971 words per day for the next four days will put me in the “winner’s ” circle. It will be great to be finished. Don’t forget to enter my drawing for the Completion of NaNoWriMo. Just like the posts and comment on each day for the month of November, and you could have sixty chances to win. Use tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday to catch up!! You can read them while you’re in line waiting for Target to open! Be safe out there.

If you are a Black Friday shopper, do you know when it started?? The first recorded use of the term was in 1969, and had nothing to do with shopping. It signified the crash of the gold market on September 24, 1869.

History.com reports the city of Philadelphia coined the phrase to describe the crush of traffic and pedestrians from the suburbs out shopping the day after Thanksgiving. The cops worked twelve hour shifts in an attempt to control the chaos. Poor guys! Shoplifting was rampant. In 1961, the city fathers tried to rebrand the day to be called “Big Friday” since it had a better connotation. Didn’t work. Additionally, some businesses were also open on Friday after Thanksgiving, and many, many people called in sick, thus creating a worker shortage.

So, whatever you do, if you are out and about on Black Friday, take precautions. Hydrate, eat well, and be careful to stay out of the way of anyone who thinks a cheap TV is worth trampling people for. Keep an eye on your belongings, as thieves will mix among the shoppers like always. Be aware of your surrounding. And keep up being grateful for everything you thought of on Thanksgiving.

If you are traveling over the next few days, I hope the bad weather misses you. We got some slushy stuff and a bit of snow last night, so nothing bad. The sidewalks are tricky, but watch where you’re going, you should be fine. Walk carefully. Enter to win. Thank you for taking time to read today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

Groceries, Doctor, and more!

How was your Monday?? Ours was a little crazy, I’m hoping Tuesday is a little more laid back. (It wasn’t!) Dan’s nurse came yesterday, and I misunderstood so the cleaning lady came too, instead of today. It worked out. Goldie needed to go to the Vet, and Dan to the Post to do some work. We loaded up Goldie in her kennel, and took off to let him do payroll at the Post, we went to Blair with Goldie to see the vet. He prescribed a couple of medications for her, and a special food that is supposed to change the environment of the GI tract. It’s all about medicine and science nowadays. Still hoping Goldie will get over this quickly and not have issues anymore. We kind of need a break!

We picked up Addison from school, stopped for late lunch, and were going to stop to buy the Thanksgiving fixings. Until we saw the line of cars lined up to turn into Walmart in Gretna. And decided to go this morning instead. Dan sees his doctor, so we will go right after that.

Today’s visit to the surgeon is to check on the amount of healing the wound vac has accomplished and determine how much long it’s needed. I know the Babe is tired of not driving. He is taking pain pills when the surgery site is dealt with. He is not supposed to drive while on those pills. I can tell they change his thinking and reaction time. It isn’t safe. I can’t blame him for being antsy, he’s been pretty patient thus far. It’s going to be over soon, I hope, for his sake. He deserves to feel better.

We have sort of laughed sometimes about “what else can go wrong?” Remember my son’s apartment going up in flames before his birthday in October?? He is doing ok, got his insurance settlement, and is getting settled in the new place. Until the car broke down. Just out of warranty, the catalytic converter went out. A big chunk of cash to fix that baby. What rotten luck! He deserves for things to go better for him, too.

Breaking News!!!! Dan has been removed from the wound vac!! He’s happy about that. And he can drive again. Glad to be rid of that huge, gaping wound on his groin. He still knows it’s there, and the skin can recover from the clear tape that has held him together the past month or so. Whew!! Now, I’m going to wonder what to do with all my spare time. HAH!!

NaNoWriMo is still on my horizon for finishing Saturday. I was a bit short Monday, because I wasn’t able to start writing until 6 p.m. It’s very doable. I need 2,972 words for today. I’d like to add another 765 to that to make up for being short yesterday. Don’t forget!! I’m drawing for a $50 Visa Gift Card giveaway on Sunday, December 1, 2019, at NOON. You can get two entries a day, just like my post, and leave a comment. It won’t hurt a bit.

I thank you so very much for reading my post today. I received a very nice message from our grandson Joell. He loved being featured in yesterday’s blog. I tell you, that boy is going to the Olympics as a swimmer! He will make Mark Spitz (1972) look like a slacker. Michael Phillips, too. Thank you so much, I’m hoping you’ll come back tomorrow. Lots to talk about the next few days.

Happy Birthday, Joell!

Today is a very special day in our family. Our oldest grandson, Joell, turns twelve today. It is so hard to believe! He is in sixth grade, which is middle school where he lives in Maryland. We visited in May, 2019, and were present for his Promotion Ceremony from elementary school to middle chool. He has attended a Spanish Immersion program since first grade, and the school is pretty amazing. He will continue the SI program until he graduates from high school, I believe. His mother’s family is Puerto Rican, so it is good that he can practice the language with his mother and some relatives.

No More Elementary School for This Guy.

I hope Joell realizes how special he is to us. We talk about you a lot at our home. We are getting better at texting you and communicating since you now have a phone # of your very own. We love you for a lot of reasons, one being your big heart, so full of love.

You have been taught to share from a young age. Sometimes, when we have been visiting you for Thanksgiving/your birthday, we have seen your parents take boxes of hot meals they have shared from our dinner table to downtown Washington DC and you have helped give them away to the homeless. You were with your Mama on Thursdays to deliver Meals on Wheels. You saw many older people who were lonely and couldn’t afford nourishing meals. You and your mama took food to them and visited them. You helped them be less lonely. You think about other peoples’ feelings. You are a generous young man. I remember when you, your parents, cousin Addison, Grandpa and me, and Shucks from South Dakota went to Puerto Rico.

You were happy to show cousin Addison the places your family loves in Old San Juan. You and Addison posed for photos at the ruins there, and flew kites as your mama did as a little girl when she visited her Grandma who still lived there. And when you and Addison came upon the man who sold ice cream from a cart on the street, you pulled out your wallet so you could treat your cousin. What a generous soul!

Through the years, we have seen you have parties with your school friends, and were happy with all the good friends you have made. You will continue to be a good friend to many people who will continue to meet and get to know. It’s part of a balanced life. Your parents have taken great pride in making sure you learned from an early age about the important things. Family. Friends. Faith.

Last Day of Safety Patrol, May, 2019

You are an accomplished world traveler! You have been many, many more places than some adults have been in your life. You and your family were in Hawaii for a couple of Christmas’, have traveled to Europe and seen good and bad parts of world history. The beauty of Rome and the horror of Auschwitz have made impressions in your young mind. You are curious about things like this, and make it a point to learn the lessons the world needs to learn about such events. You have learned about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad and saw where many of the slaves crossed into Canada. Your experiences have been very rich, thanks to your parents. What a lucky young man!

At the Vietnam Wall, Summer, 2019. You are helping your Grandpa heal.

Your dad took this photograph at you and Grandpa at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, his summer. It is a perfect reflection of the two of you, a first and third generation of males of this family, and signifies your importance in Grandpa’s heart, and mine too. You can learn about Grandpa by knowing what experiences he has had in life, just as we learn about you by going to swim classes and competitions with you. You are an incredible swimmer! It’s something I never learned because I was too scared. You have mastered something that is a real accomplishment.

One day, we hope we can all go on a trip through South Dakota, so you may learn about the family and surroundings Grandpa Dan had as a boy your age. We look forward to spending more time with you, and would love to show you Mount Rushmore, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life. The Black Hills played a huge part in Grandpa’s life. We’d love to show it to you. Great camping, but we will probably stay at a motel. I think our camping in a tent days are over. Yours are just beginning. You have been to many National Parks in your area, which is rich in history and stories.

So Happy Birthday, Joell. We hope you have a year as incredible as you are to us, and that Grandpa gets better so we can visit again. He is feeling much better, thank you. Don’t forget how much we love you, and remember, you can text or call us, too!! Love you, Grandpa Dan and Miss Kathy.

To my regular readers, I hope you remember the $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway drawing is December 1, 2019 at NOON. Like the post, comment on the blog, you can have two entries per day during the month of November. If you haven’t read all the blogs, catch up during the Thanksgiving Days off! Read while you’re in the Black Friday shopping lines. I’ll be cozy at home, writing. Thank you for reading, and see you tomorrow!!

Fun Friday

Why, you might ask, would a retired person be happy it was Friday, or look forward to a Friday when their week already consists of six Saturdays and a Sunday??

Tonight, the Babe and I are going to a hole in the wall bar and grill in Venice, Nebraska, to have a great dinner and see the entertainment. We bought tickets to see Ray Scott, a country star, and our friend, Jimmy Weber, perform. We’ve seen Jimmy many times and have formed a friendship. They just returned from a Country Cruising 2019 gig where I hear it was a real chore to do all the work.

Those of you who have known me for years may say, “Country?? You???” Yes, me. I’ve always liked Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Martina McBride, Sugarland, and a few others. Over the past few years, Babe and I have gone to see other local groups where Jimmy has been a part of the band, and he really is a good musician, has a good stage presence, and is an all around good person. We had a chance to see him perform in a small venue three years ago, and have been fans/friends ever since. It’s the storytelling kind of music. Real stories. That’s what we like, along with the mastery of the instruments he and his friends have.

We have heard about Ray Scott through Jimmy, and it just seems like we’d enjoy the show, so we’re going to Buck’s tonight. It’ll be an experience for sure. We were there once before and would call it cozy. Great food, so dinner will be involved. Should be a great night.

Left to right:
Jimmy Weber, Buck, Ray Scott
Gonna be a fun night.

To catch up on NaNoWriMo, there are about nine days left to make the goal of 50K words. I’m at a strong 27,627 words right now. Nerd that I am, to hit the target, I need at least 2,445 per day for the next nine days. I was bold to order the t-shirt before I started to write, and I wouldn’t feel right wearing it if I don’t make it. It’s just words. That should make some sort of sense. Of course, vigorous editing must follow the writing.

My workspace this morning.

That is not a lot, considering I’m learning to show, not tell. Big difference, from what I’ve read. I know for sure creative writing is much better than business writing! Learning something new is all part of the process. It’s kind of strange, but I’m not concerned about failure. I’m not concerned if anyone will like it or not. Of course, it’d be great to become a NYT Bestselling Author, but I won’t be disappointed if I don’t “make it big.” I want to sell books, but my next meal does not depend on it, so that probably takes a lot of self-imposed pressure off.

I’m grateful to the people who have read the blog every day. It’s a mental challenge to write about something every single day. Putting things all down in writing makes the thoughts and ideas real. It’s kind of scary to share personal stuff, but I feel in order to be real, I need to. What do you think about all that??

Folks, there have been some things in my life that I look back at and it’s hard to believe they even happened and that we lived to tell about it. Child drowning and recovering, child with ruptured appendix (found up by the liver, not a usual place!) and recovered, unusual benign growth in my spine that grew to about eight inches long and pinched spinal cord, surgery performed on growth, punctured and will not fill up anymore with spinal fluid, recovered with no data on recovery from such a thing, lived to walk again and tell about it. My surgeon took photos and published in a medical journal. I guess you could say I’ve already been published!!

There are remarkable stories in all of these events. And you can’t make this stuff up, folks! Each and every day, I’m so grateful to God that these things did not turn into major tragedies, as they well could have. They were very difficult situations that tested my faith in God, medicine, and miracles. I firmly believe there are miracles around us every day, especially in the field of medicine. Think about it. People are healed by some really miraculous discoveries.

Immunizations have stopped horrible diseases. As a child, I had measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Every kid got them. My kids had chicken pox, one as a baby still in diapers. I remember how horrible it was to be that sick, and not be able to do much for yourself or your child. My little brother had them so bad they were inside his eyelids, he could not walk to the bathroom, and my mom and I took turns rocking him to sleep and holding him. He has some scars from the pox. Not worth the risk. Whooping cough should be a thing of the past. So many people died from it at the turn of the twentieth century until there was a vaccine invented. My former father in law’s mother and twin sisters died of the disease. The surviving children went to an orphanage until their father could get back on his feet and have them back in the home. Unless we know and tell the stories of some past things, we will not fully realize what can happen when we decide we know more than doctors and authorities. For my money, I’ll continue to trust medicine.

That said, I do ask a lot of questions. I don’t blindly follow their advice. Our internist explains the why when he prescribes something or wants us to follow a certain protocol. I trust this professional’s advice because I believe that twenty some years ago, he did an EKG on Dan due to some complaints he had. Our doc didn’t like the results. He was immediately put in the hospital and they did Babe’s first heart cath. I do believe he would have had a widowmaker heart attack if the visit never would have happened. I believe his life was saved and I’m the beneficiary of a very deep love and friendship. We are both so blessed.

Going to need a nap today to be out late tonight. We believe we’ll be able to keep our eyes open until the show’s over. Life is indeed, very, very good. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Full report on our date night, with photos.

Like, comment, and you ‘ll be entered in my NaNoWriMo giveaway. Drawing December 1, 2019 at NOON. I hope you’re the winner!

Messy Characters and More

After attending the Nebraska Writers Guild Fall Conference, I arrived home with a renewed sense of purpose, charged to jump headfirst into NaNoWriMo, and easily finish my novel with 50,000 words that all made sense with each other, and simply breeze into the sunset come November 30, 2019, with a deep sense of accomplishment about the novel being close to finished.

Today is November 17. I’m running behind with the number of words per day, but it’s still in the realm of completing. I could have some fantastic days coming up after doing some more research about what I’m missing in the first 40,000 words. It’ll come, I know it will.

I came across a mysterious Post It note in pink, that had scribbled diagonally across it,

“Chuck Windig – Messy Characters.” I’m assuming that was an author and book that I really needed to seek out to get answers on how to keep going, and make sure the characters are completely fleshed out.

I’m completely wrong about what is written there. Why can’t I remember why this is so important to my destiny? My story? My characters? Googling proved I spelled Mr. Windig’s name wrong. It is really Chuck Wendig, and he is a science fiction writer. Not my genre, but ok. Why did I make this note?? Could it be because he is not only a writer but a blogger as well?? His blog is TerribleMinds. If you Google his blog and go back to November 1, 2019, (Not now, when you’re finished with reading mine, silly!) he discusses two things. Writing a novel is hard, because it’s supposed to be hard. Writing a novel is hard, because it has to be done your way. Wow. This blog hadn’t yet been written when I jotted this down. And now, I’m finding something that is speaking volumes to me.

How did this happen?? Is it yet another sign that I really do have a story to tell?? Yes, yes it is. I cannot waver and say, “Well, I’m not sure,” because I have to be sure. I have to be sure this is very hard, it will probably get much harder before it gets easier, and I haven’t even begun to see hard work yet. And I have to be mentally ready for it.

It is hard. It is hard because I have a story I want to tell. It will be a story realistic in as much as I haven’t sanitized anything, left uncomfortable parts out, or failed to tell the complete truth about a situation because I didn’t want to have to explain where that idea came from. It’s coming from life. It’s coming from observations from life for a period of sixty seven years. That’s a long time, really. And to find each and every just right word to tell that story is hard. Somedays it flows, somedays it’s clogged up worse than an old septic tank. (That’s all I could come up with folks, sorry!)

The days you can coax the words and they flow endlessly are the days your energy level goes through the roof and you feel great. Nine out of ten times, this one day of brilliance is followed by one to ten of clogged up words, gelling together to make a tremendous mess if they ever are broken apart and allowed to flow, unfettered, into the great beyond. Lots of cleanup is required after that, and usually, it all goes in the sewer. Sorry, that’s the fact, the reality of writing. Not as glamorous as it sounds. And I haven’t even gotten near the hard part yet.

So now that I discovered how a note to look Mr. Wendig up ended with my finding him giving me some great advice that he hadn’t written yet when I jotted his name down, I will say good day for now and go on to writing more on my book. After all, I have been told it will be hard because it’s my own. And it will be.

Thank you so much for reading today. Make sure to comment in the blog and like to have your name entered in my NaNoWriMo Giveaway. I will draw on December 1, 2019 to give away a $50 Visa Gift Card. Comment, like blogs and you can have two entries a day! That makes 60 free chances in all, just for reading, commenting, and liking. Easy enough.

Puppy Training Class

What a fun Saturday morning! We enrolled Goldie in puppy class and it was a big day for her. The breeder already socialized her quite well, she spent time with some busy teenage girls, other puppies, all sorts of different stimuli. When we got her three weeks ago, she could already sit. She had never had a collar on, walked on a leash, or been in a kennel. She did all three within the first four hours of coming home, and sleeps pretty much through the night.

I cannot imagine a more fun job than working with puppies. Similar to a baby exploring their world, puppies explore even more thoroughly by sniffing every square inch over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they’re the same. There are similarities. And yes, babies can think, they have a soul, they are not animals but mammals, but for this discussion, it’s sort of similar.

Yes, I’m glad people don’t greet other people like dogs do, that would be quite uncomfortable. Of the four pups present, they were all younger than the one who was afraid to play with the others. She was beyond the socialization window they say puppies have – fourteen weeks, then they are not as apt to socialize. I can’t imagine only having fourteen weeks when it’s takes some people a lifetime to comfortably meet, greet, talk, and socialize with others. People seem to change over the lifetime. If you can introduce loud noises into the puppy’s life and they seem to tolerate them, they may not end up afraid of fireworks. That would be a plus. I’m hoping a Goldie, the purebred lab won’t be afraid of them.

Learning the trick behind getting them to sit, down. Interesting!

The puppies really seemed to enjoy the play time afterward. It was fun to watch them all running and playing. I would have thought Goldie would have been tired after all of that activity but she was a live wire this afternoon. I’m afraid there will be more of those days than quiet days ahead.

I have had a dog since 1982. I got one for my kids after their dad left. They were great at taking care of her, and Shadow, a mixed mutt purchased for $15, lived for sixteen and a half years. She lived until Dan and I got married. Once she was no longer with us, Dan decided Becky and I were too lonely without a dog. We adopted Mocho, a brownish/black lab mix, from the Humane Society. She was a good girl. Her kennel was in the basement next to Becky’s bedroom, so Becky let Mocho sleep with her every night so she didn’t have to hear her whimper. Wow.

When I went on disability in 2000, Mocho was two years old and a good company for me being home all the time. Dan thought I needed my own dog, so we got Mollie, a Shepard/Lab mix, also from the Humane Society. She was a timid dog, but she was totally house trained by Mocho. Every time one went out, the other one did too. It was unbelievably easy. They both left us together, in 2014 I believe. Mocho had severe hip dysplasia, and Mollie had congestive heart failure. Poor things! We were never going to have dogs again, wanted more freedom, blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to after Dan retired, I was really lonely for another dog. After over thirty years of having one, it just didn’t seem right to not have one. And then we adopted two, who were four weeks and just taken from their Mom. Mom was ill, the pups were three and a half and four pounds, and so beautiful. They had sky blue eyes. Mix of Lab/Bassett. What???? People do a double take when they’re told about that. Love is indeed strange.

So these two crazies crept their way into our hearts. They were a real challenge, too. We didn’t know Dan would become quite ill with a mosquito bourne illness like West Nile. He had Chikengunya. It was terrible and lasted several months. While this was waning, he was developing some more severe fatigue and generally feeling terrible. He had some pretty big symptoms of heart issues, did not have a heart attack, but had a quadruple bypass. By then, the pups were six months old. They were still into everything and misbehaving. They eventually got better, but it feels like we had them longer than the six and a half years we have.

When Roxie was hit by a car in July, we were devastated. Lexie missed her sister terribly. By September or early October, Dan decided Lexie needed a friend. So here we are again, with a puppy. This is not for two retired people in their late sixties. Well, it is now. Lots of work, but we will hopefully have a great companion when one of us is left without the other. It’ll be good to learn how to make Goldie into a good pet while we learn how to be better pet parents.

Lexie is doing better every day with this pesky puppy in the house. She is starting to play quite a bit in the yard with Goldie, and yesterday, Lexie was laying in the sun on the ground, and Goldie came up, laid down by her and started cleaning her ears. Lexie didn’t mind a bit. Roxie and her used to do it all the time.

So it’s been a good day again. I’m not overwhelmed by everything like I was yesterday. Things are not so out of control as they seemed.

Leave a comment and like this post, you’ll get your name entered in the drawing I’m doing on December 1 at NOON. It’s open to everyone who comments and/or likes a post. Comment below here, and you’ll be entered. Come back every day, like, and comment. Are you a dog person or a cat person?? If dog, how many have you owned in your life?? How many owned you?? Which one was most special?? I won’t tell the others.

Come back tomorrow for another blog. I hope you have a good evening. Thank you so much for reading tonight.

VA Hospital, Parking, and More

It’s 10:17 am on a beautiful, sunny morning. I’m currently waiting for Dan (Babe) after a check in with his research team for the study he is participating in. It’s been awhile since I’ve been down here, and wow, has it changed.

Isn’t there always chaos when any entity attempts to change the configuration of their campus, grounds, territory, or property. What do you view as the most impacted service during the chaos?

I believe it is parking. No matter what, I believe parking is impacted the most. The VA Hospital tries quite hard, providing shuttles to ride. So many of these veterans have conditions that prohibit them from walking far. And face it, I’d venture to say most of the patients here have at least one disability. You must arrive early to attempt a spot in the Handicapped Lot. The rest of the day, you get one by dumb luck.

The Visitor/Patient Lot is a terrifying place. Just observing here for the past 30 minutes, I know my life will be on the line backing out of this parking place. Cars all gather, each vying for the spot. Pedestrians are everywhere, not really looking for a car backing up much less out of said parking spot.

I see the parking for construction workers is close to their worksite, a luxury never afforded by the hospital workers. I wonder what would happen if someone were to park in the “Hard Hat Area”. Might the earth swallow them up? You never know.

When I worked at Mutual of Omaha, their lack of parking was well known. As their employment level dropped along with their insurance business, it became routine for a new employee to be assigned a parking area on the first day. In my time, it took five to seven years to creep up the list. Many folks would not work these that long.

The Midwest may be different from New York City or Los Angeles as far as vehicles go, but I’d like to hope we are “Nebraska Nice” with how we deal with driving during construction while parking is chaotic.

Parking will be disrupted with all the people out Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping too. Please stop and think about being kind and cooperative while you are out on extra trips during the next month or so. It will help things go a lot smoother. If we are all thinking only of ourselves, there will be much more of a chance for tempers to flare, accidents to happen, and failure on our part to remember the reason for the season.

Give a like, make a comment in WordPress, and I’ll put your name in my drawing for the $50 Visa Gift Card. Thanks so much for reading, and make sure you come back tomorrow. I’ll be right here.

Three Young Sailors

Back in the Korean War, three young men from South Omaha, Nebraska, set out on the journey of their lives. Soon, they were trained in Naval flight deck procedures and set off to protect their country. Two were brothers, Joseph and James Conrad. And a fellow named Bob Blakeman. All three served on the USS Essex. I never knew this bit of family history until my uncle, Joe Conrad, passed away a few years ago. The Honor Guard from Benson VFW Post 2503 provided Military rites at his service, along with the Honor Guard from the Omaha Police Department.

The next time I saw Bob Blakeman, he and his wife, Mabel Vankat, were at the VFW. Bob told me about his connection to Joe Conrad, and asked how Jim was doing as well.

James (left) and Joseph (right) Conrad

I posted this photo on Facebook for Mabel to show Bob. In her nineties, Mabel was up on FB and loved it. Back to the story though, it was awesome to know the three men had a connection, and I knew them all. That sort of thing happens frequently in South Omaha. Everyone is connected in some way or another. Directions are given by “You know where Darby’s is?? Go up the hill across from it, and you’ll find our house.” Bars are the way to find your way around, and Lord knows there were enough of them.

Bob Blakeman felt awful he was not physically able to attend my uncle’s funeral. It really touched my heart. That’s how these older veterans are. If they knew someone, they felt they should see them home. Band of Brothers and then some.

The next person to lose was Bob himself. He had many struggles with health issues, making it difficult for him to get around, Mabel had to drive, his prosthesis didn’t fit or work properly. Struggles that were hard to witness. And such a nice man. I think he didn’t give compliments readily, but when he acknowledged the job my husband Dan was doing as the Post Quartermaster, he told him he was doing a good job, and thanked him. You could tell he meant it.

All that was left was Jim Conrad. He just passed away this week. I immediately thought of these three young kids, these three musketeers, these three amigos from South Omaha. I hope they have one heck of a reunion, reunited and swapping stories for eternity. We here on earth will miss the three of you. Thank you all for what you did for the world, the United States Navy, the Korean War, your families, friends, and the folks you were kind to. This world is a better place for your kindness. Be kind to people today, it’s National Kindness Day, and it would be a great way to remember these three kids in uniform.

A photo, an Eagle, and Bob’s favorite beverage at his table in the Canteen. It took my breath away. God Bless Him.
Joseph Conrad was laid to rest next to his wife, Lois. VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard and the Omaha Police Department provided honors for this good man. God Bless You, Uncle Joe.

And now, Jim’s family will be laying him to rest too. Thank you, God, for allowing all three of these kids in uniform to come home, meet their sweethearts, and raise families, contribute to their communities, and help make the world a better place.

Today is National Kindness Day. Be kind to people today. It would be a great way to honor these three kids in uniform. Please leave a comment, like this post, and like the Blog, please. You’ll be entered (limited to once a day) for every comment and every like (limited to once a day) to win a $50 Visa Gift Card, in honor of NaNoWriMo. Drawing is December 1, 2019. Who couldn’t use an extra $50 at this time of year?? Thank you for reading, I appreciate it very much.

Veteran’s Day, 2019

Today is a day to thank all of our veterans for their service. All who served honorably deserve for us to show gratitude. Not just for today, but for every day we live with the freedoms we enjoy. No matter what, we need to be respectful of them and what they have done for us, and for our freedoms.

I read a Facebook post earlier that makes me angry. In West Virginia, there was to be a “21 gun salute”, and the administration cancelled it due to the fact that “loud noises scare their students,” and “the administration felt it was inappropriate due to the amount of gun violence in America. “

I commented, telling them from what I understand a “21 Gun Salute” is only for honoring a national flag, the soverign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President, and President-elect of our great nation.

It is often mistaken at a Veteran’s funeral that they have a “21 Gun Salute.” Three volleys is what they receive. There could be seven Honor Guard people to shoot. That adds up to twenty one, but it is still three volleys. If there are only three Honor Guard people to shoot, it is not a 9 gun salute, it is still three volleys. It’s a common mistake that is present in America. Please, let’s help correct that error by teaching each other what it is, and what it means. God Bless our Veterans, and God Bless America.

I also mentioned that perhaps people need to really learn the real story of our history. All of it. You cannot sanitize the Holocaust. You cannot sanitize the early days of slavery. You cannot sanitize the unrest in the country during the 1960’s. It was all messy, brutal, and disrespectful to the races and religions involved, and to the American people, whom I would still like to believe are good and just. We need to regain our sense of unity and what is right. Politics aside, every veteran deserves our respect and thanks. Please do your part to make them know we are grateful for their sacrifices.

Maybe as children we learned too much about the harsh things in the world. We Boomers grew up with a sense of duty, and history was important for us to learn. Now I don’t remember all those dates the teachers made us memorize, but I do know why WWI started. And WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan, etc., etc., etc., Rather than leave these countries to fend for themselves, we became involved. We wanted to share our great nation’s governing with other parts of the world. Dictatorship cannot allow people to life a free life. Socialism also does not allow people to lead a free life. We are simply trying to help these countries by helping demonstrate what is right. I do not believe we should be demonized for trying.

Proud to be an American
All the men in the Jewell Family. Thomas Jewell Sr was Grandpa, Jr was my dad, Joseph and Robert were his brothers.

My grandmother always had an 8 x 10 or larger of the portrait each enlistee or draftee has taken when they finish boot camp hanging in her living room. They stayed up the entire time she ived there, and they were returned to each son’s family when her house was sold. My father had already passed away by then.

We Cannot Thank You Enough!
This was my father at the tender age of 19.
Every Generation of Soldiers has the Next Generation to Follow

The photograph above reminds me of the Honor Guard at Benson VFW Post 2503. They are all getting on in years, yet still continue to do over a hundred funerals a year. They are dwindling in numbers. Younger members work during the week and often spend weekends with family on weekends. It is a concern. If you have served in war time in a foreign country and would like to join, please join us at Post 2503, 90th and Military in Omaha, NE. We have a plane in the parking lot.

Thank you for reading. Comment on how you have been aware of Veterans Day in the past and how you honor it in the present. Please like this post, the blog in general, follow me. I am giving away a $50 Visa Gift Card to one lucky winner. You can have two entries per DAY!!

One, like the post. Two, like and follow the blog. There will be ample opportunity for you to enter. In fact, go back and read all the posts for November, and you can be entered twice for each entry you read, like, comment on. A person could have sixty chances! Thank you again. More on NaNoWriMo tomorrow.