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!

Thinking Thursday

Today was a weird day. The Babe (bless his heart) took the dogs to the lower level all day while I cleaned carpets. As I’ve said before, with a puppy in the house, they needed cleaning. I wanted to do them before I put up our new Christmas tree, so today was the day. It took several hours. I’m always amazed at what gets picked up, as well as what is picked up with the vacuum. Good thing we have those helpers in this modern world.

One thing I discovered today is all the magazines on my side table in the living room. Yes, I still subscribed to magazines until recently. I have two piles of magazines for quilting, sewing, coutour sewing, and others from Omaha Magazine, and Smithsonian Magazine. Quite a few were free subscriptions, and I’m a sucker for printed matter, especially that I can learn from. Does anyone else subscribe to magazines anymore? I do.

As most of them were for hobbies, there comes a time when you realize you probably will never, ever have enough time to make even half of those quilts you affixed a Post It note to. And don’t get me started about the outfits I once sewed with great success. I did love creating clothing throughout my life. I sewed my clothes, my kids’ clothes, and many, many beautiful bridesmaids dresses. And dressed two beautiful brides. I loved every minute of it.

I tried picking up where I left off with clothing construction a few years ago. And wow! It really was different! The patterns were way different the way they explained how to do things. Some were better, some were way worse, some made no sense at all. Sizing?? Well, the patterns for a younger, fitter me were quite different than the ones for retired, post-menopausal and breast cancer me. And fitting?? I used to be 5’9″ tall, much smaller in the waist, almost no bustline, and a bit hippy. I’m now 5’5″ tall, have nearly no waist, quite a bustline, and still hippy. Twenty five years ago, I could always just lengthen the torso, adjust the waistline, lengthen sleeves, crotch depth, and presto, change-o! There was a perfectly fitting garment. I’ve made a couple of tops in the past three years, nothing too great.

I do need to make the decision about to sew or not to sew. I have a lot of great fabric purchased for a lot of great clothes, along with a lot of great fabric for some really nice quilts, so next year will be the year of truth. I will either go back to creating clothing or I will not. If I do not, I will find a local school who is participating in the complete education of kids which will include domestic arts, sewing, or whatever you want to call it. It is a wonderfully creative art. You will not be outfitted like anyone else. That is what I loved about it. I just need to find out how to fit my later in life body. Quite a challenge.

It’s a funny thing about me. I see clothing on tv or in print, and I wonder how they made it. I see an outfit on a rack, and I have to touch the fabric and see what kind of body it has. I have to look at the seams and the lining and see how it was made. I wonder if that looks or sounds strange?? It’s just a huge part of me. And no matter how long you wait, certain things always come back in style. The “modern” sleep sacks for babies?? I made many of them in 1971 when I was expecting my first baby. I finally gave them to Goodwill a couple of years ago. They were still in great shape, clean, unstained. I tried to give them to homes for unwed mothers, but they only accepted new things. That made me sad. I hope someone got them that enjoyed them.

Whether or not I continue sewing clothing, I will for sure keep quilting. Even if I make a quilt from a pattern and use the same color ways as the pattern, it’s still my own creation. It’s amazing how I can see the progression in my skills in quilting over the past fifteen years. I know fifteen years from now, I will be able to see the improvement in my writing, too.

All of these hobbies I have are creative and they all take practice. All of them. I enjoy it all a lot. If only there were more hours in a day!

Tomorrow is definitely decorate the tree day. It will be fun. I hope you all have a good evening. Thank you for reading today, and I hope to see you again tomorrow.

Weird Wednesday

Today I’m just taking a quick break from a very busy day. You who have had a puppy and wear glasses might have had the pup knock into your face while your specs are on. Throws them out of whack for sure. The day started with a trip to the optical company we do business at. They did the adjustment in a short time. Then on to Mom’s house.

She was ready but we still hung out for a little bit. She had to mail bills and go to the bank for some cash. It’s funny, she refuses to use her DEBIT card at an ATM. She writes a check and cashes it at a teller in the bank. She refuses the drive through lane. “The only banking that should ever take place is face to face, in the institution.” I find it funny. All you can do is allow enough time for her to get out, walk inside, and stand in line. She is so hard of hearing she and has limited vision, so it’s hard. She insists on going in alone. The days of the banker who could call you by name are long gone. I did get to experience that from Packers National Bank, Laddie Kozeny. He was a wonderful man, and knew my parents.

We went to the Omaha World Herald B-62 Luncheon. It is for retirees. She did not work there, but my father did from 1952 – 1988, and my older brother did for another thirty some years. Mom still attends as she is included in the group. Nice, nice people.

Tom Shatel, a sports columnist for the OWH was the speaker today. I read his column from time to time, and it was nice to hear his talk. He spent a time on Scott Frost, Nebraska Football, and Creighton/Nebraska volleyball. All worthy subjects and he did a great job. One thing he did discuss was the Omaha Press Club, which may open up and accept membership from other than newspaper, radio, and television news. By today’s standard, this is a daily column. I wonder if I could apply?? More on that later. It could be fun.

This week is half over and my gosh! I need to get some big stuff finished up this week. Having a puppy in the house means we need to clean the carpeting before I put up the tree. I will feel better with a fresh carpet. Then decorate. There are so many things to decorate with, I will have fun doing it. And today, I received a new nutcracker in the mail. It’s a fun one. The other six I have are from the 1980’s when Shopko sold them for $10 or so, when you spent so much on gifts. So, I did. They were quite nice. Hope Goldie leaves them alone.

Hope we meet again tomorrow. I’ll be here, will you? I hope so. Thank you.

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.

Puppy Update/Grateful for . . .

We have had new puppy for about ten days. Ten days of jumping out of our chairs when she has sniffed out a spot on the floor, ten days of saying “Good girl” when she whimpers to go outside, and ten days of reassuring Lexie that we love her more.

Gavin is coming to visit Goldie today.

It’s funny how this little creature has brought a lot of work to our home, yet she also has brought a lot of joy, happiness, and something to distract us from Dan’s difficult recovery. I do think it was part of the vast plan to change our lives yet again.

Dan (a/k/a Babe) and I are talking about a lot of things most retired folks discuss. We reminisce about our world’s as kids, we discuss the four most intelligent and beautiful grandchildren to Grace the earth, and we tell each other how much we love each other. We don’t ever want to forget to tell each other we are grateful to have each other.

Yes, we get irritated with each other. We can both be stubborn. We get tired and frustrated. But we each know the other is always in our corner. Devotion trumps irritation.

Just as Goldie trusts us to take care if her, we trust each other to care for the other. Anyone can have trust issues. Puppies, children, teenagers, men and women all can have trust issues. If you are fortunate to love someone you can trust, your life is so much better! You won’t be in danger from them.

Goldie and Gavin can trust us and are learning to trust each other. Lexie is more timid, and we’re not sure why. It could have with her lineage and temperment. Those things fall outside of home and heart. Some things you just can’t train or love out of an animal. She just was never the affectionate pup that Roxie was.

At 9 a.m., I met with a research group about participating in a study to test an RSV vaccination.  I was willing, however, I was eliminated from the study. There are so many criteria to meet, and I didn’t fall on the right side of the investigation. Oh well, I was paid very well for my time. That’s cool. 

Dan’s home health care nurse was pretty late yesterday, 4:30. She is coming at 8 a.m. tomorrow. That will start the day out early. She is amazed at the number of people she has for patients who do not want her to come before 10 a.m. We are the exception, so it will be another early start to the day. We’re both up by 7:00 a.m. anyhow. It’s a blessing these angels travel to your home to save you having to make trips to a clinic three times a week.

After awhile, we will pick up Addison and Gavin, drop off Addison, bring Gavin home with us to play with Roxie, and wait for our son in law to pick up Gavin. Hopefully, by then, the dogs will be tired and sleep on the couch so we can just sit down.

New Years Eve, 2018/2019
I cannot believe Babe stayed up this late!!

I’m grateful today for the love I wake up to every morning. We might have slowed the step but I have never loved more deeply or been sure I was loved this much. It’s the best!

Dan has a way to go with his healing.  Many folks are praying and sending good thoughts.  We thank you all for doing so. Keep them coming!

My writing for today will include creating some character depth. I’m trying to describe in more detail the people in the novel who live in the house that is telling its secrets. They are based on real people, so I’m sure my family will be wondering which character they are. They’re all a bunch of characters, believe me!! It’s a good study in human nature, making sure my characters aren’t flat or predictible. Again, I can assure you my family are neither!!

Thank you for reading, and please leave a comment at the end, and like the post. The contest is stil going on, all you have to do is like the post in WordPress, and/or leave a comment in WordPress. You can have two chances a day to win the drawing on December 1, 2019. This will run through the end of November, so catch up if you’d like. I’d love to have you all have 60 chances each for free!!! The prize is a $50 Visa Gift Card. Hope it’s an offer you can’t refuse, and that you love our journey on the way to finishing this book! See you tomorrow!

Super Saturday

It was a day of hilarity yesterday. In counting the words written, the words in my blog qualify since they are being published. Being a novice with WordPress, I thought I’d just go ahead and get a word count by typing the blogs into Google docs and copy to the WordPress daily blog spot.

Guess again!!! I have to release the doc to the Internet, copy the link, insert in in WordPress, kill a thousand year old chicken, turn to the left four times, following by hopping on my right foot to the count of 90. Sheesh!!

So upon discovering this, setting appointments for Dan and his wound vac nurses, I simply printed out the Google doc and proceeded to type it in again. It worked. Then at about 5 p.m. discovered there were conflicting versions. I deleted one, but it turned out to be the wrong one. I deleted yesterday’s blog.

Enter Dan, sweet husband of mine, who came up from the man cave to tell me he liked what I wrote, and I tackled him for his cell phone, so I could re-type for the third time the 740 words I had deleted. NEVER AGAIN will I delete any version when trying to view on my Google Pixel 3 phone. Gosh, so instead of doing 740 words, I typed it three times. Shall I report 2200 words instead of 740? It’s not cheating, is it?? What do you think??

Today, I’m working on the actual book. I am adding the Table of Contents. From that, I can create another outline and commit to paper or computer my thoughts and ideas for expansion. The meat and potatoes of the story. What I have already is just the appetizer.

Day 2 on the road to 55K words!

Some folks are again noting daily what they are grateful for during the month of November. It is very fitting to do that.

GRATITUDE NOTE: November 1, Grateful to be relatively healthy. My issues are mostly orthopedic in nature, not life threatening. For that I’m grateful.

November 2, Grateful to have relatively whatever I could want. I don’t want a million bucks or bigger houses and cars. I have a great blended family for which I am very grateful. We hope to spend more time with all of them next year.

One short week ago, Gavin, Goldie, and Grandma. Time flies when you’re having the time of your life!

I create the best when I’m listening to music. I often listen to the same musicians for a long period of time. Then the mood strikes for something different, and I swap CD’s out from the basement collection. Getting out the Christmas music is always fun. I can tell you with certainty this will not happen until December 1. I don’t rush it.

My mother and her three sisters were really nutty about Christmas decorating for their homes. My mom had the biggest house, so she really decorated a lot. She still has an overabundance of theme trees in every room, except for the bathroom and basement. I sort of did the same sort of decorating thinking it was normal but since my kids all left home and the grandkids in town visit less than they used to, it sort of seems to be a lot of work for just us to see. Dan (a/k/a “Babe”), thinks the decorations are pretty, but too much work.

Last year, I was down in the dumps and did not decorate at all. This year, I hope to. I can’t be down in the dumps, it’s not how to get things done. Chronic, intense, debilitating pain causes depression. This year, things are better, so it’ll be ok.

When do you start your decorating? Do you go crazy or do you do a small tree, stockings, etc.?? I love how things are so sparkling and beautiful. It’s very hard to let go of the glow of Christmas for the dark gloom of January. With that in mind, I decided not to display my snowmen with the Christmas decorations. I put them out in January, and it makes things brighter and more fun. Why not celebrate winter??? Winter has a bad rap, in my opinion. I think it’ll be a crazy winter again, and all we can do is buckle up for the ride. Complaining won’t make it better or make it go away. Have a good attitude whatever the weather.

Tell me about what you will do this month to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Will you travel? Will you go to a warmer climate? Comment below, and like my blog. You’ll be entered in a November giveaway I am announcing today.

For every time you comment or like a post, you will be entered in a contest to win a $50 Visa Gift Card to use for your Christmas shopping for 2019. Yes, every like, every comment, will get you an entry. This is for the entire month of November, 2019. Enter today, maybe you’ll be lucky!! I’d love to send you a gift card in the mail. Tell your friends!!

p.s. Babe, you’re not eligible. You have my heart and soul, but I’m not giving you $50 for reading my blog. Thanks for entering!!

Never Thought THIS Would

actually happen. I’m an attractive brunette. I’ve kept myself up. Sure, I’m getting older but so is he. How could he???

I was the at the top for so long. Thought my place was secure. I’ve been so faithful. I’ve greeted him every time he comes home from wherever he goes when he’s away from me. I alert him at every leaf that falls off the trees, the people walking by, and don’t even ask about when the doorbell rings. Why, I just join in when they say “No Bark!”, “Quit!”, or the always ineffictive “NO!” I’m barking because they are.

I have gone with him on the walks he needs for controlling his heart disease. I’ve known when he is unhappy, upset, worried (he worries a lot!), happy, anxious, depressed, and having bad dreams about Vietnam. After all of this, he did the unthinkable.

Saturday, I got the shock of my life! He comes home with this little blonde. It’s always a blonde, isn’t it?? The little tart. Well, who does she think she is??

Woe is me!

Why should I even like her?? Well, it’s a little fun to run outside with her in the yard. MY yard. She seems to be looking to me for guidance. Why would I do that?? Why help the enemy? And I’m certainly not sleeping with her in my luxurious king sized bed.

I do not want that little blonde hussy in my house. But they let her in anyway. Well! I’m just going to lay in the sun on my king sized bed. No kennel with bars for me! Perfect place for a girl to let her thoughts organized. I’ll show them!

And the other female in the house. My adopted Mom. She’s no better. No matter how much I give her the stink eye, she is even holding the blonde. Why, I never! She should be loyal to me at least! What’s her issue?? I don’t potty in the house anymore. Isn’t that a good girl??

You’d think the sun rose and set in Goldie. The boy they call Gavin came over yesterday to see her, too. He does love and miss Roxie, my sister who died. We have all been sad. “Hey! Wait a minute!”

They might have something here. If the boy and his Grandpa and Grandma aren’t so sad, maybe I shouldn’t be either. Since I can’t play with Roxie anymore, maybe I’ll play with Goldie. I guess she’s not so bad after all. It might take a bit. But she might be fun. As long as she knows I’m in charge. I can teach her how to get treats.

Yeah! It’s the perfect plan! If I just stand by her she will be a treat 🧲 magnet. That’s the angle I’ll play now, they’ll never see through my master plan. Humans. They’re all just putty in our paws. Foolish mortals.

It will work out after all. She’s not so bad.

I can still tell her, “Go away kid, you bother me!” whenever I want to be alone.

Let me know your thoughts on introducing new fur babies to the family. Maybe my masters will learn something!

Thank you to our guest blogger today, Lexie, the big, beautiful, four legged lovey we are so lucky to have. She just had to let you all know her misgivings through all of this. For her, it’s pretty tough, but we’re hopeful she comes around. We just want her spunky again.

As Lexie said, let us know if you have tips for us. Transition is hard, whether you have two or four legs. How do you cope with it? I’d love to hear from you. Like our blog post, and share with your friends. Hopefully, it will brighten your day and their day, too. We appreciate you reading!

Oh! And here is Goldie. It’s tough being the new darling of the family!

Likes her kennel now. Trust me, she does not nap this much!