Hydrangeas 101

Good Saturday Morning, folks! It’s another beautiful morning in Gretna, Nebraska. Breezy, bright, and full of promise. Maybe that’s the coffee talking? No, it’s my vision for the day.

One of our local nurseries is having a Facebook Live lesson on Hydrangeas. I am interested as we purchased a couple of new plants this year, and had two grow very well this year. I thought those two were dead! Fooled again by foliage! I’m interested in seeing what they have to say.

Did a lot of reading yesterday about personality changes, rewriting your story (life story, that is), writing vivid descriptions, and thumbed through “The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.” Awesome resources. Now to use parts of all of them in my work later today.

I used a little time yesterday to tidy up my studio writing area. It’s amazing how much paper I’ve gathered while printing things I thought were important to my research, learning, and all aspects of writing. One area it all gets fuzzy is if you self-publish. Some advice is market yourself first and foremost. I’m unsure how that will help if you may be two years out from actually having a book ready to publish. You would have exposure but would people be tired of keeping in touch if you had nothing to sell them right away?

Works For Me!

I remember a little kid that used to live near us. If he had a Spider Man shirt on, he was invincible. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had that kind of confidence when we try something new? It’s interesting to watch people in a crowd. I’m totally enthralled by people who sing well in front of a packed crowd, especially if we’re attending and watching a live performance. Of course it takes hours and years of practice to really do it well. The better they are, the more they have practiced. I love being able to reap the benefits of their hard work. Kudos to all of my musician friends!

ABSOLUTELY!

Locally, we had a professor post on Twitter about a “Back the Blue” rally that was scheduled for today. The individuals who planned for this event were Bill and Yvonne Williams, founders of Patriotic Productions, the group who sponsored all of the Honor Flights for Veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Women who served in Vietnam. He was the speaker a couple of weeks ago at VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard’s Banquet and shared information about the event with us before his news conference doing the same.

It seems this professor called it a White Supremacist Rally. How educated he must think he is. How does he feel now, after finding out most of the speakers at the Back the Blue event are people of color? And how dare he criticize the Williams’ family. The college issued an apology, nothing from the professor, he deleted his Twitter account. I hope he loses his job over this. He is an Associate Professor of History (Christian History, no less). No wonder some of our young folks are confused about things of real life. “And that’s all I’m gonna say about that,” to quote Forrest Gump.

One of the biggest challenges as a writer is dealing with “backstory.” The definition of backstory is everything that happened prior to page one of your book. That can be a lot! It’s important because it reveals important events that contribute(d) to the characters personality, lifestyle, and behaviors. It isn’t story, it slows the pacing, it’s often revealed much too soon. Some advise not including backstory until after page 50 of your book. That is really something for me to think about, and figure out about how to introduce my backstory when it’s appropriate.

I find is fascinating the backstory could be included as a flashback, and those also must be placed carefully. They must be short, after the first third of the novel, and be placed after a powerful scene. If they are after a boring scene, the reader has no reason to come back to your story. They may want to stay in the flashback, according to Sandra Gerth, who wrote “Show, Don’t Tell.”

These things and more are why it takes so long to write a novel. In re-writing is where the story often changes and becomes clearer. Even if entire chapters are not used, they are not wasted. They are learning opportunities.

Most of Our Days in Life Are Quite Ordinary.

With all the info I’m reading about writing, I have to be honest with you. When the “50 Shades” trilogy came out, I bought it, just to see what the hubbub was about. I really thought the writing was horrible and the story was terrible. Basically, you had a very rich guy, used to having his own way all the time, take a young girl, and introduce her to the world of S & M and a few other things, and she never seems to question anything. All she can say is, “Oh my.” I became so sick of reading that phrase! Oh, and “Laters, baby.” How cheesy.

I’m guessing the author (this was supposedly her first book) didn’t have a coach, didn’t read any of the books I’m studying, and somehow got lucky the publisher picked her. She made a boatload of money and I’m unsure if she ever wrote anything else. Did she? I’ve never looked for any further books. I’d rather never sell a book if I wrote something that was so redundant, boring, and forgettable. Sorry for the bad review, but I have to be honest. I understand she is now a Romance, Erotica, and fan fiction writer.

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.

Did I Forget Monday??

It appears I did. We get to have grandson Gavin hang out with us Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays this summer, and I must have spaced off blogging. I am so sorry! I’ll try not to do that again. It is certainly not quiet in the house when the young man is over. He had a blast with Goldie. She was so happy to have a constant catch player in the house. They need to learn how to deal with each other, and I think they will have fun.

I had a great conference with my book coach Sam, on Monday morning. We talked for thirty minutes and I’ve decided to write my character Katie’s story in first person. It is tricky to show how a character feels without having the character speaking about it. This will have a lot more impact. I feel as if I’ve faltered the last couple months, while I have written, the story is not finished. Sam is directing me to put together a better outline for the story, so I can track scenes and their points, to be certain there will be resolution for all conflicts, significant growth can be identified in characters, and all the issues have been addressed properly. Makes perfect sense to me. Clear as mud.

For a Child to Feel This Way About Their Parent is a Very Sad Thing, Indeed.

In families that are dysfunctional it is not unusual for a child to feel responsible for the bad luck of a parent. We know that is not the fault of a child. The child may have been told things such as, “Look what you made me do!” What a burden to carry. It happens often with children of alcoholics. It steals the spontaneity of childhood and causes lack of confidence in the child. If a parent gives the child and others in the home the silent treatment, it causes lots of anxiety in the child. They may carry that insecurity for a lifetime.

They may ruin future relationships by assuming silence of their partner means the partner is angry or something is wrong. Usually, the total opposite is true. Nothing is wrong. No one is angry. The calm is unnerving and has new meaning. Nothing is wrong. And no one is angry. That’s what silence is supposed to mean. The silent treatment with a child is devastating. The silent treatment with another adult can be childish or it can be a safe boundary setting. Not speaking sets the boundary. I know of someone who said every day you never knew how the day would go until Mom either yelled and blamed you for something, or you would be suspended, waiting for the oer shoe to drop. She never stayed in a good mood for long. At any given moment, the verbal abuse would or could begin.

Please. If you care for young children, parent young children, do not punish them with blame. Do not take your anger out on them. And especially don’t stop speaking with them because you are angry. Reassurance is needed. You need it. I need it. It only takes a second. Since this pandemic has started, I think we all need to check ourselves in how we speak to each other, how we treat each other, and see if we can make improvements. It’s just the right thing to do.

It’s a dark and stormy evening here in Nebraska. Check on your loved ones. Wash your hands. Share your joy. Kiss the kids extra tonight. Let’s all be glad we are home and safe. I appreciate you reading tonight, and should be here again tomorrow. Hopefully there are no bad storms tonight that we Nebraskans need help handling the cleanup for. God Bless You All!

Where’s the Cake?

Happy Birthday to the Babe. He has just turned 70. He’s healthier than he has been in awhile, and we’re just enjoying a few minutes on the deck, waiting for the cake to finish baking. Originally, I was going to buy one, but that didn’t work out, so we decided to bake one. They had no German Chocolate mixes and frosting, so he went to Red Velvet. It’s our granddaughter’s favorite, so he picked it for her. She’s not too spoiled by Grandpa, you know? I miss those days of going to get ice cream with her. It was always some fun. I bet she’d still go today.

The original time for our gathering was after 3 p.m., but now it’s anytime now. The cake needs to cool a lot before it can be frosted. Oh well, it’ll be fine. Dinner isn’t until later on anyway.

The Babe just shared with me fifty years ago today, he was in Vietnam. He consumed his first legal beer. And he was on countdown. A short-timer. That is quite a memory to have. What a time to remember! I know so many guys got within days of coming home and the unthinkable happens. It continues to happen. Our deepest sympathies for all the families who have had that knock at the door. That letter or telegram. The presentation of the flag from a grateful nation. My heart aches for you and the losses you must still feel today. Gold Star families deserve thoughtfulness and thanks. Say a prayer for them.

I cannot imagine how our Grandma Jewell must have felt, at one time she had three sons, all off to war at once. I know she was a woman of great faith, and I know she prayed continually. I know God was good to her. And I know she, in turn, prayed in thanksgiving. I try to emulate her. I believe in the power of prayer and God. Until she moved from her home in the 90s, a photograph of each of her sons graced a small wall in her living room. All fine men in uniform. Her boys all came home to her. She was fortunate. And so am I. I’m thankful my dad made it home, and the Babe made it home. We wouldn’t meet until we were both in our 40s. We both made it through a lot to get here. Thanks be to God!

And now, the pandemic is here. We are taking precautions and distancing socially, while gradually getting out. Today will be a small family gathering, which we’re looking forward to. The world is waking up and we’re going to live our lives. It would be great for all of us to take the advice above. The world will be better if we love without measure. Our health will be better eating less, and walking twice as much. That said, I’m going to try and implement it. The loving will come easy. I do love people, I love friends, I love meeting new friends. Now to eat better and exercise more. Not a lot to ask of me, I just need to commit. So I will.

Better go frost that Red Velvet Cake. It will be pretty and delicious. Thank you for reading today. Tomorrow, I’ll see you back right here. Take care. Socially distance. Wash your hands. Love your people.

Fabulous Friday

I just viewed a funny video of Chris Farley, rolling down a hill, over and over, with the months of the year in large capital letter. May is where he lands. Wondering what in the heck is going on there. It’s funny, but is a good visual for what is going on in our lives. I also watched GMA this morning. They had a graduation speech given by the actor Matthew McConaughey. He has released a video earlier this week concerning how we are so divided, masks vs no masks, and how he marvelously explains that science needs to catch up to what is going on with the Coronavirus research. We do not have time to fight two wars. One war is the COVID-19. The other war is with each other. We need to unite and stop fighting each other. Science will never catch up if we are divided. Here is the first video.

I think this is very well explained and thought out. I think it needs to be said. Let’s drop the name calling and the divide and just work together to fight the virus and be safe. We may not know what comes next, but I’d rather been safe than sorry. Wouldn’t you? We need to be kind, be good to each other, and pray for our nation. Let’s unite in the purpose we are collectively fighting. Let’s beat this thing, and let’s NOT have us beat ourselves while we’re arguing and acting disagreeable with each other. We are our own worst enemy. Let’s have science catch up and do what it needs to do to and keep us safe. Finger pointing and brazen selfishness has no place in this. Let’s work together, not against each other.

The other thing worth spending your time on is this commencement speech video. As someone who graduated 50 years ago this May 28, I have to say I’m inspired by this speech as well. There are many valid points made and would help all of us be more focused on living our best lives and doing good for not only ourselves and our families, but for our neighborhoods and the world as well. Think! Be inspired. I loved how he said to be proud of the uniqueness of their situations. Wear it proudly. No prom, no graduation. It’s going to be more important how you conduct yourselves in the future.

I find throughout life, there were times that didn’t go as well as I thought they would. That is life. It happens for all of us. When it does, and it will, refer to something inspiring, like these videos. Refer to something that will encourage you to put the losses into perspective, remember the lesson, and try again. I never realized how important it was. I can say I’m proud of the lessons learned in my life, and I know I earned where I am in life now. I was taught to work hard for what you want and do the best job you can. Don’t leave your work for someone else. Some of us learn that better than others. Even now, I’d rather not have something if it meant giving up something like family, integrity, or self-respect. I have made many mistakes in life. I learned from them all. If you have a graduate this May, remind them of these things six months from now. And six years from now. It all bears repeating.

It will finally be nice and sunny outside today and the Babe is going to lay some sod near our little flower garden in the back. It will be nice and no more washouts by the air conditioner. Big rains produce a lot of runoff and it just needs to have good turf to drain off. These are things you have to do repeatedly during home ownership. Mundane tasks but they are so important. A lot of life is like that, and help retain order. I have a couple more mundane things to do, then going down to the cutting room to re-pin a quilt I stopped pinning last week. It’ll be a task before I look at the empty flowerpots that are going to the patio later today. Getting ready to buy some annuals and perennials.

Are you planning on planting any flowers this weekend? Comment below and let me know how it goes. If you follow my blog, you’ll receive a notice every time we post a new blog. You’ll also be on the mailing list for when I send news about the projects I’m working on. More editing and story enhancements this weekend. I appreciate you stopping by today. Enjoy those videos. For an actor, he really is sensible about things. I hope you return tomorrow, I’ll be here. Stay safe!

Taco Tuesday

It was an early start to the day for us today. There is some animal who makes a horrid noise during the night and early in the morning. No, the Babe is wearing his CPap machine faithfully. It could be a raccoon, or do possum make noise? It’s not a cat. Well, it makes this awful noise and wakes me up about 4 a.m., and I can’t see what time it is. If you don’t know what time it is, you have no concept of how horrible it is that you were awakened by some animal shrieking in the Wetlands. If it’s 3 a.m., you can go back to sleep, hopefully. If it’s 6:30 a.m., you may as well get up for the day. It’s important to know the time, so you know how miffed to be.

This morning, the wonderful cleaning duo came to work wonders to our house. It’s always such a welcome thing to have them in and do more work in two hours than I can do in a week. No guilt anymore, I do need the help, and it takes the work off the Babe’s plate. He can do it, too, but he deserves a break, too. The house always smells so good when they leave. I admit it, we have two dogs, and two adults who are home all day. It gets dirty and stuffy smelling. It’s home. It’s lived in.

We often have eight Goldfinches at a time at our feeder.

The birds are loving their perches around the fence. I read a post today that said the Baltimore Orioles are in Bellevue, so I’d like coaxing some with the Grape Jelly feeders. I’ll have to look at Amazon later. Heck, I’d be attracted to a Grape Jelly feeder! What a treat. Once when I was pregnant with my oldest, I craved buttered toast with Grape Jam. It was so good!

It sounds as if some places are going to slowly reopen May 4. It is the choice of restaurants if they want to. Union, where my son works, is opting to stay pick up service only. They are eliminating the possibility of anyone getting ill that way. Good for them! I know there are other folks who are adamant about opening everything. I also know there are folks who are adamant about staying closed. Period. We’re not going to go crazy, but will wear masks where we should. There was a second style I wanted to try. Maybe by the time Church reopens, I’ll have them finished.

After a bit, I’m going to sit down on the patio and work on an embroidery project I’m making for our new little grandson, Cody Wyatt. I wish I could show you a photo. His Mom and Dad do not want photos out there of their kids. I respect that, they’re the parents. He looks like a little man. Our daughter Becky tells me his sister Kayla is a sweet sister to him. She just turned two. My, Becky has her hands full! Two in diapers, my hat is off to them. Lots of work. Also lots of love.

I just did a couple more chapters of re-writing and am calling it quits for the day. Going outside to enjoy the Babe’s company. Thank you for your time today. Stay safe, washing hands, and don’t venture out until you feel safe to. I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Monday Morning!

It’s another beautiful day here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. We are on location this morning, on the deck, overlooking the Wetlands behind our home, listening to all the birds. There are so many we don’t know by their call or sight, the thing is to actually separate out one call from the other, and then identify what they are. We have a reference book, but just as in trying to describe the sound your car makes to the mechanic, one man’s tweet or whine is another man’s chirp or screech. The Cardinal is always the one, hands down, that we know no matter what.

Anyone watch Good Morning America today? The specific part about Jon Bon Jovi writing a song about “when you can’t do what you do, do what you can.” Apparently, he is scrubbing pots and pans at his restaurants in Jersey which I find so commendable. He has gone online, asking fans to write their versions of the next verses of his song, what are they out there doing while they can’t do what they do. What a great idea! It was a thoughtful segment, one I hope more people consider.

I am still doing what I do, while I can. I want to encourage people who may not get encouragement from others. I want to help people find their way from the dark to the light. The dark is insecurity and feelings of worthlessness. The light is loving, laughing, and living. I’ve been in both places myself, and it’s hard to move from the familiar to the unknown. It’s hard when no one around you knows there is a difference or has the guts to think something else may exist. It’s hard to be brave on a solitary journey. You can get there. If I can, anyone can. And one very important thing I’ve learned along the way, is when you question your “normal,” everyone around you gets nervous. They don’t want their “normal” questioned, or abandoned, or rejected in any way. It takes moxie to go your own way.

My character Katie has questioned, abandoned, and rejected the family “curse,” alcoholism. Even if a person is not an active alcoholic, the mindset, the codependency, the sickness is there. As an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, I can tell you many folks think if they don’t drink and have behavior issues with they don’t need to worry. You do, indeed need to be concerned. It has poisoned you in ways you may deny at first, but can discover later in your life.

Today, I’m going to write, write, write. Until I can’t anymore. I want some real progress this week with my rewrite. Still learning a lot, and maybe finding things that could possibly go in a sequel (oh no, don’t say that out loud)!

The dogs are loving this weather. Birds are out, and their song is loud! I’m so grateful God has given us sunshine again. I was getting worried there for awhile. The Babe is up at the Post, his only reprieve from all these girls at home. If it’s still warm and not windy later today, we may clean off the house, windows, and screens with the stuff you wash windows with using the hose. It’s great stuff. this day, it’s out Take this day. It’s out there for us to enjoy, and make our own. So I ask you, what are you going to do when you can’t be out there doing what you do? What’s the something else you’ll be doing? Please comment below. .

I do know one thing. Bon Jovi and I have the same hair right now. See for yourself!

Today: Me , Bon Jovi.
I guess his part is on the other side. But you get the idea. LOL!

Ha, Ha, my neighbor teaches guitar, so maybe I could learn that, too! I hope you had a good laugh. I did when I thought about it. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Going to do what I do. You do the same. See you tomorrow.

Surprise! Saturday

This started as another cloudy day. How many can we have before it really affects everyone? The sky is blue in bits right now, but wow, the clouds are building up like we could have stormy weather later tonight. God knows what he’s doing, but gee whiz, please throw us a bone once in awhile! Please!

And just like that, the blue sky is gone. Started writing late today. The Babe has let me sleep until I wake, which is an hour later than when he wakes me. Kind of nice, I have to admit. We had breakfast and lounged a bit. The new season of Ozark has started, and it’s tough to catch back up with where it left off. We watched a couple episodes, then it was lunchtime. Isn’t it a little boring sometimes? All this being quarantined does mess with your spirit. It’s hard to be positive with so many days of grey skies.

How are all of you doing? Hope you’re keeping it together. We will see our cleaning lady again next week. We have straightened, cleaned toilets, vacuumed, etc., but she’ll do her usual great job. It’ll be ok. And now, it’s raining. Very windy. My rewrite is getting there. I’ll have 45K words later today. It seems it takes forever, then goes quickly, the slows again. May have something to do with the moodiness of authors? Are we really moody and crazy, as some folks would have you believe? I hope not. I’m in too deep to go back now.

What amazes me is how at times we have nothing to say (write), and other times we could write (talk) into the night. And the part of being “introverted”. I am to a point, but nothing like I was as a kid/high schooler/young Mom. Became extroverted at about 30 years old. I am still intimidated by some people. People I have trusted who proved untrustworthy. But that’s a book inself!

I hope all our Grandkids know how very much we love them.

My mind is a little boggled today. I miss our grandkids, yet it is probably not safe to be around them. It’s surely not safe to, so we’ll live with the separation. I have to say, I’ve never lived during anything like this quarantine. Getting outside will help dramatically, when it’s finally warm enough. I have a stack of books to lend my friend Kris whenever it’s ok to drop them by her house. Maybe Monday. I started reading, “Grateful American” by Gary Sinise. I admire what he does for Veterans. He is truly grateful to be an American, living with all the freedoms we have. I admire his humility. Looking forward to the rest of his story.

And in reading other books, I hope with my hard work, that someone will look forward to reading my stories someday. It would be so cool to know they did. I would be so grateful. As grateful as I am that you’re reading the blog on what’s been a rough day for me. It will be a story for the future, but I need to digest it a lot more. Take care, wash your hands, and come back tomorrow! I’ll be here. Hope you are, too. Thank you.

Is it Finally Friday?

The bane of staying home is with us all. Not knowing what day it is for sure has been a thing for me since 2000, when I stopped working. Now, I have it happen several times a day. During the same day. Not just when waking up, when working around the house throughout the day, we are always asking each other what day it is. The Babe has it too. Do any of you who are safe at home? I’d appreciate knowing we’re not alone. Thanks.

In the grand scheme of things, I hope we stay self distancing until at least the end of April, May if necessary. I hope the school kids maybe get to see their classmates, friends, and teachers one more time before they go on to the next grade. It’s important to their development. It will ease their worries. They shouldn’t have to worry. As I’m reminded of my new friend asthma (I’ve had it for four or five years now), I hope to God the occasional wheezing I feel is from the asthma, not the COVID-19. I’m not invincible, I know. I have to acknowledge these feelings, put them in their place, and go on living. Thank God for inhalers! If wheezing lived through two shots of those, I’d be calling my Doc.

I don’t want to be that person who gets seriously ill in the next round of the virus. I’m convinced it’s not just going away this spring or summer. I can only trust that God will keep us all safe. I live in His safety every day. Some days are harder than others, but we’re always here for each other in this house. I’m so blessed. So is the Babe. And the dogs just love the extra attention.

Speaking of Income Taxes, I am going to start working on them tomorrow. I’m hoping to be able to copy the backup files onto a mini drive and onto our new laptop, which doesn’t have a regular sized USB Port. We also have some things to sort out today, papers, receipts, all that stuff. Could you guess we have a ton of doctor stuff? Even with the Babe using the VA, he still has civilian doctors for his surgeries, etc. We have good insurance through my old job at Mutual of Omaha, so it’s all good.

So that leaves us with the activities of today. Going to work a bit on the book, and some on the quilt. I need to create some things, get my system calmed down and relaxed before tackling anything. Writing and sewing do just that. How about you? What are you doing consistently do give yourself come calm, some sense of normalcy? For now, comfort food is ok. I’m lifting the ban on comfort food. NOW what are you all doing? You know what I’d love to have now? Movie theater popcorn. A large bucket. I just have a taste for it. Who knows when we can go back to the movies? I’ll have to wait.

That reminds me of a funny story, when I was an adult, I had braces. I was about 38 years old. I worked with a good friend named Rod. Well, the day I came in late because the braces came off. When I got to work, there was a huge bag of popped corn on my desk. I laughed my head off and enjoyed every bit of it. It had been a long eighteen months, trust me. What a friend. And today, he’s the only co-worker who keeps in touch with me. That’s friendship. Thanks again, Rod.

Every day, you can find it. You just have to look hard enough.

Our Nebraska Medical Center had a nice program last night that our friend, Jimmy Weber, was able to perform live on. The music is the best part. I’m eager to have Jimmy make another “album”, as his playlist grows in our collection. Good to see you performing again, Jimmy! Hope it’s not too long until you and all your friends are out there again. The link is Facebook dependent, so I hesitate to include it here.

Folks, you can go to Facebook and go to the News Channel Nebraska page. There is a show called Quarantine Tonight on News Channel Nebraska. It was on last night from 7 – 9. There’s some great music in there, trust me. I attempted to share it, Facebook gets in the way. News Channel Nebraska is moving the link on their site, and FB is the only static way to get to it right now. I’ll keep searching for a link directly to the program.

Background music today is “A Star is Born” with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I have the the music from “I’ll Never Love Again” as my ringtone for the Babe. I loaded it on a day I was a bit upset with him. I always try to remind myself how long it took to find him, (fourteen years!), and how lonely I was before that. My worst mistakes have been made when I was lonely. I freely admit that. And, when the phone rings and I hear that song, I go from peeved to grateful. Instantly. I’d never find another Babe. So, I choose to be grateful. No matter what.

Thanks for reading, I’m glad you took your time to do so. Stop by again tomorrow, as we’ll sure be here. Whatever day it is! Be grateful. Be safe.

Sacred Sundays

Good Sunday morning, friends! Hope you are all well and safe. We are here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska! Alas, it’s cloudy again today. No sun or blue sky to be seen. Darn! I can only imagine what people go through who suffer from diminished vision as our mom does. Makes for long days. It’s been a banner day so far. We had home made cinnamon rolls, fruit cups, coffee, and watched our local Gretna United Methodist Church service on FB live. What a weird experience, but Pastor Gary Main hit it out of the park with his sermon about Surprises from God. Go figure! We certainly are living amongst one right now.

This was a great way to start the day. Yum!

I never thought I’d live long enough to see the Catholic give dispensation for the weekly Sunday Mass. That was always a deal breaker, a mortal sin, you had to immediately confess your wanton ways and beg forgiveness. I don’t know if they are still so strict with that, I’m guessing they are. My Protestant friends have always laughed how Catholics are the only faith who time services, offering advice on the shortest Masses in the city, which priest overlooks leaving early, which ones don’t. I never thought about how funny we are. Yes, I was baptized Catholic, attended twelve years of Catholic school, and switched when Dan and I got married. I had been in the group that had fallen away. I’m grateful for my upbringing, and for what my parents gave me. That said, for me, God is way bigger than that, and I’m ok with knowing God loves me despite divorce, remarriage, and the life we have. God loves us all, no matter which Church we support.

After FB Church, I received a message from a cousin’s wife letting me know our Grandma’s home was on the market again. I tell you, if we could handle steps again, and had $250K, we’d go look. It’s been updated a lot. I’d love to bake in Grandma’s kitchen, work on the countertops that replaced her old wooden ones, and have my studio in her now finished attic room. What a lot of memories. Each photo brings back so many. The owners do the home justice, and their updates are fantastic. 3324 Center Street in Omaha, Nebraska is the address. Check it out. I’m sure you’ll have time to look at it. The house was always quiet, just Gram and her sister Anna lived there after Grandpa died. The front porch was always enclosed as long as I can remember. I’d love the heck out of that, too. She had a porch swing, though. Wicker furniture. It was the play place for the cousins. Lots of love in that home.

A number of years ago, when one of my all time favorite bands reunited to go on tour, they produced an album, “When Hell Freezes Over.” Of course, it was the Eagles. We were hungry for more of the genius of Don Henly and Glen Frey. They produced some fantastic music sober, didn’t they? The trick was, they were musicians, not just a band. I got to see them in concert twice. Both times it was unbelievable. The fact they sound as good if not better in person as on an album says a lot – it says they are musicians. The world will always miss Glen Frey. His brilliance wasn’t finished yet. Awesome his son has joined the band, as has Vince Gill. Vince Gill is another brilliant musician. The point of this is, on the “When Hell Freezes Over” album was a song I have loved for over twenty years. It’s called, “Learn to be Still”. This meme reminded me a lot of the song. Here’s a link to the song, enjoy.

“Learn to be Still” Meme for Self Distancing

I feel this song and it’s meaning is very important to each and every one of us now, as we practice self-distancing, health safety like never before, and learning to be alone with ourselves. I’m hoping younger people learn to be alone and keep the rest of us safe. I’m hoping we all learn it before it’s too late. This will not be over quickly, folks. It will last much longer than any of us wants it to. You see, it’s not up to us. This is a critical, serious situation. I ache to see our family, our five kids and their spouses, friends, grandkids. It just isn’t safe.

No, we’re not over reacting or being drama queens about it. Throughout history, mankind has experienced terrible illnesses. Luckily, vaccinations have erradicated many of them, namely, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diptheria, Pertussis, and the flu. All this said, times like these are exactly why I believe in vaccinations. I like living too much to die. I also valued my family too much to go without them. I got a Swine Flu shot in the 1970s when it was a scare. We got the tDap shot to keep our grandkids from whooping cough. I get flu shots every year. I got the old people’s pneumonia shot, both kinds of Shingles shots, and whatever our doc tells us about. I trust his judgement. He’s the smart one, he knows more than I could ever hope to. You can bet when they have a vaccination for Coronavirus I’ll be in line to be protected from it. Hope you will be too.

Anyway, it might be hard to be alone with your thoughts if you are not used to it. Many people need their “tribe” to hang out. You can’t do that now and be as safe as you would be cocooning at home with a movie, good book, etc. Boring? Challenge yourself to find something to do. And I don’t mean video games, taking selfies, etc. Get outside of yourselves. Or maybe I should say get inside of yourselves. In your head. Where you form your opinions, values, and depth. The place you emanate from. Learn what you think. Learn how you think. Learn how you react to things. There is so much more in life than one Target run after another. Seriously. Your world will be as big as you let it be. Let it be all around you, not just on the device you hold in your hand. Talk to people via Facetime, Skype, FB Live, whatever. Look at your people. Think about what you love about them. Think about how you’d like to be like them. What will you miss about them when they’re gone? How can you let them know how you feel? A huge amount of personal growth can happen while you are self-distancing. You’ll become a better human for it. And so will our communities, once we can come together again. Here are the words to the Eagles song, “Learn to be Still.

Thank you so much for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Get started to know yourself from your soul on out. It’ll be good. I’ll be here, see you then.