Thriving Thursday

I swear, this formatting page area for WordPress has changed in the time we’ve been using it. Did you know I’ve posted over 200 Blog Posts?? I’m pretty excited about that. I’m even more excited to be picking up more readers, and folks that like the blog. Some are fellow bloggers, some are selling their services, some are spammy ones, but hey, we can pick and choose, you know? I love that we’re going somewhere with this.

In your social distancing, have you completed your 2020 Census yet? I haven’t. It’s on the list. And so is Mom’s. I have to laugh with her. The first notice comes and tells you to log in blah, blah, blah. She will tell you in no uncertain terms that she does not have internet, computer, cell phone, and furthermore does not wish to be bothered with one! SO THERE! I told her I’d do it online for her. “No, I’ll mail it in.” OK Mom, do it your way. A week later, “Have you done your census yet?” “No, I’m doing it online, so I’ll get it done.” She said, “Why don’t they let us fill them out like we used to.” I’m not even going into it yet. I was sent home with both of her notices to complete it online. In the last two times I took her to therapy she asked, “Did you do my census yet?” “No.” I’m doing it this afternoon, in case she asks you.

One thing we were told that must be done online is renew your license plates for your vehicles. We did. It’s kind of crummy you have to pay an online fee to a third party, the state does not get directly paid by YOU. The third party pays them the correct amount, but it’s about a twelve dollar plus fee on each renewal. We had an extra $25 charged. WHAT? That’s pretty crummy. They force you to go online, then they force you to pay extra. That stinks. What about people who can’t afford that? It’s something they should probably refund under these circumstances.

So many teachers locally are doing parades through neighborhoods their students live in. I think it’s such a neat idea, the kids are lost without their daily school routine and their dear teachers, and the everyday stuff of school. Some kids may say they hate school and like being off, but I’ll be at least they miss their friends. The news stories are cute, some families made poster board signs and had balloons.

If you take your toddler to the park, do not use the playground equipment. I am surprised it would even be a question someone would ask, but I suppose they are being thorough. If you have little ones, I can see how you wouldn’t have been able to see the stories. There is so much to this virus and all that goes with it, I really believe there is no way we can be back to business by April 12, 2020. Maybe May 12, but definitely not April.

Without the wonderful invention of the Internet, what would we be doing at this point? I’d get more done on my book, maybe. Probably get more accomplished on my other hobbies, but who knows? Rush hour video of one of our most busy and dangerous intersections looks like early Sunday morning. I was talking to someone today and told them I just feel so weird driving. Things just feel off kilter and I don’t know why. She said she feels the same way. It amazes me how something we cannot see can impact our lives so greatly. It’s making us afraid, angry, and full of angst. Whatever it is, we just can’t seem to put our finger on exactly what it is, but it’s there.

If you can at all, please support your local restaurants. Not the national chains, the locals who are needing your support right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of even thinking what to make for two or three meals a day. It’d be easier if the Babe wasn’t kind of “picky”. He dislikes fish and isn’t fond of chicken. I could live on the stuff he dislikes. One thing we do agree on is dessert! Ha! tonight, it’s going to be a brownie sundae. Why not? Kind of takes the edge off.

I’ve started a bag of things to give to homeless female veterans when the centers open up again. I decided to stop keeping several pairs of jeans, pants, and other clothing that just doesn’t fit anymore. It’s time to accept the reality. Losing that much weight is highly unlikely at this point in life. I would say twenty five pounds of it is from cancer medication. Glad I’m alive, just wish it was like it used to be. Not complaining, it is what it is.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it so much, and hope you’ll return tomorrow. I’ll be here!

Wednesday Already?

My cousins and I are mourning the loss of our cousin Rich. Rich died from cancer and he’s the first of our immediate family of our generation to die. We’re so sorry for all of his kids, and hope they find comfort in their memories of him. He served in the USMC in the mid-seventies, and was an excellent carpenter. He must have inherited that from his biological father, who was a carpenter. He was adopted by his step dad, along with his brother Mark, and sister Joleen. Hugs to Mark and Joleen. What a time to lose someone, when you cannot even hold a funeral. Tough times in those situations.

Following a lot of folks on the Facebook, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loses track of what day it is. It’s the bane of retired folks, but with so many people home all day, I think it has finally struck the general population. I think it’s perfectly normal, and we’ll get adjusted how humans have adjusted for centuries, and then it will be time to go back to whatever normal will be. Retired folks will still have the problem, but it’s an ok problem to have. Really. Trust me!

Music of the Day. Love to have Jimmy serenade me while driving to and from Mom’s. Relaxing!

My listening stuck at Jimmy Weber today while driving to Mom’s for her last PT appointment. It’s been a very long three months (for me) and it has helped her a great deal. She’s still not super steady on her feet, balance is affected by her loss of hearing and sight. At least she’s stronger. Her right leg remains much weaker, which is from the strokes a couple years ago. She is looking forward to working in her gardens this year. Mostly all flowers. I always joked, “It keeps you out of pool halls.” And it does!

We are truly living in strange times. Just driving into Omaha and back, the number of cars is fewer than before. It seems like a lot more semis are using the roads, and a big thanks goes to the truck drivers. You and the railroads are moving much needed goods in America right now. I’m just going to need to by some toilet paper by the weekend, I do believe. We have three bathrooms, so each is stocked, but with sharing back and forth the supply is dwindling right now. I think a lot of people that aren’t in their 60’s are going in at old people hour and stripping the shelves earlier. We, as a country, need to share with others better. C’mon, let’s be good humans. Leave some for the rest of us. Please. Thank you!

I typed over 1,000 words for my book yesterday. One of the characters really started to take form. I’m telling about each person separate from the story. It’s a hard choice to make, backstory, as they call it, ruins the flow of the telling of the story. I’m trying it out to see if the juicy tidbits about this crazy family can be told alongside the story to fill in what may be missing. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have more research to do. How do you introduce characters who are close to seventy years old and reveal how they got the way they are? Any suggestions? Ideas? Leave me a comment at the end here, we’ll learn how to do that together.

It’s too late today to really dig in and get much done but I’ll be able to do that tomorrow. It’ll free up a lot of my time now that Mom’s finished with therapy. Another new normal. And pray she doesn’t fall and get hurt! She’s been so fortunate thus far. Hope it continues.

I also want to take a walk around the yard and see if there are any flowers trying to push their way skyward. I didn’t get tulips planted in the ground, but did in a pot. Might be time to start watering that and hope for the best. They can go in the ground anytime after they bloom. Crossing fingers, hoping the dogs didn’t dig everything out. Goldie will have to be taught not to eat the stems, leaves, and blooms. They all go through the billy goat stage, I just hope hers doesn’t last long.

I think the reality of our nation’s situation is business will not be back by April 12. Not if we want to live. I see more info regarding quarantining for at least another six to eight weeks. That sounds much more reasonable to me. I think the President is trying to say what everyone wants to hear. I think some folks dislike him so much, whatever he says will be criticized. No, he’s no wordsmith, I’ll agree with that. I would bet there is so much more to everything right now he must be switching gears quicker than anyone can. He gets stuck going back and forth, hence the hesitation. Let’s just be civil. And safe. And stay home. Wash. Be positive. We all need it!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Please be safe. Be positive, and we’ll meet again tomorrow. I’ll be here.

Telling Tuesday

Oh, boy! Just found out a sibling’s been exposed to someone with a deep cough. Not sure if any other symptoms, but they all need to stay home. Probably more people should stay at home than do. I don’t want anything to happen to anyone I love because they didn’t follow guidelines. Kind of how men love to stand outside during a tornado warning and see if they can see anything. Only you can’t see this invisible enemy, this virus. You cannot duck out of the way at the last second before it sweeps you up.

Things happen, don’t they? Hope I can get Mom through one last day of PT tomorrow, then we’ll both be able to stay at home. I’d prefer that to taking a chance. We all have different information depending on who we listen to. I’m going by our Nebraska Medical Center. They have the biocontainment chambers that have been used thus far. They are working on a vaccine, etc. I feel good they are right here where we are. I believe we will all be ok. We need to be positive. Things will be back to normal. I hope it is a new normal where we respect each other more, we are more kind to each other, where we show love before hate, and where we can once again, give people the benefit of the doubt without it being catastrophic for us. Anything can happen.

Goldie needs us to cut back on her food. She weighed 58 pounds when we had her spayed. She does seem like she just changed into a fire plug overnight. We cut back a noon feeding, which was one cup of dog food. Don’t want her to have a lifetime of bad health. It will take a little time, but I’m sure she’ll even out nicely. She was sort of a stinker this morning. She got Dan’s VFW magazine and ran outside with it.

Naughty Girl!

She eventually gave it up for a little treat, but my! She can run from you when she thinks you’re playing her game. The Babe still takes her out on the leash in the morning after the paper arrives, and she does her business and picks up the paper. We get it from her before she can run with it. See what scattered color we are seeing here in the past week? The grass is greening up nicely. I’m so happy about that. Yes, having dogs makes it take a bit longer, but here we are, and it’s starting up. Flowers won’t be far behind. Cross your fingers the hydrangeas grow back!

I’m going to take my characters and write a chapter about each of them. I think this will tell their individual story within the novel of how they fit together. The book may only include paragraphs about each person, but I want the whole story available, should I want to publish with a chapter on everyone. Right now, I just don’t know. Katie appears to be the main character, as she is telling a lot of what she remembers growing up to her younger and older brothers. The other characters each play a big part in the story of their family, and the reader needs to learn about them, their flaws, their strengths, and their downfalls. They all have at least one.

Don’t know about you all, but I just love baby toes! I love rubbing them, nibbling on them, and watching the baby learn how to make a face when they see you do it from their “stinky feet.” They are such delicate little things, and those feet grow to take you miles and miles through your life before it is time for you to go at the end of your life.

Miles to Go Before You Sleep!

So today I’ll write a bit about the oldest brother, Patrick. Patrick, being the oldest, was the test child, as the oldest often is. He was born in January, 1949, right before the great blizzard that made everyone think spring would never come that year. Patrick was very intelligent, and liked school. He did not like the nuns, however. In high school, when his mother was very busy with the rest of the children, Patrick skipped school often as he could, and frequently drank with his chums. He wasn’t a bad kid, he just wanted school over with and a job to go to everyday. He also loved his girlfriend, Rosemarie. Rosemarie lived up the alley, and her parents had their hands full too. All the families at that time did. Rosemarie became pregnant and they married the day after their high school graduation.

That’s a little bit of it. Don’t want to get too carried away as I find no way to cut and paste into or out of WordPress. It has to exist somewhere, but I’ll be darned if I can find it was yet. Until I do, I’ll just share small parts that can be re-typed quickly. Thank you for reading, hope you’re well. I appreciate your time today. I’ll be back here tomorrow, so I hope to see you then. Until then, “This Little Piggy Stayed HOME!!”

Sunny Saturday

It is a beautiful blue-sky, sunny day in Gretna, Nebraska. The day reminds me of one that starts out cool and turns beautiful. Like when you rise early and load the car to go on vacation. You remember vacations! I imagine we’ll all want to go on one when this Coronavirus is over. It could be awhile.

I’ve always thought these to be stunning, but not too functional. Perhaps their time has come?
This is pretty much all on my mind today.
Blog, write, and later some block sewing. And thinking of our grandkids. I’m missing them all!

The kids and grandkids are all on my mind this morning. I’m praying for all of them, hoping all are well and going to stay that way. In the family are: a chef, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, his stay at home wife who is a great homeschooler, a truck driver, a real estate agent, two who manage trucking of railway goods delivered to trainyards by the Union Pacific railroad (essential personnel), a health care worker, and a project manager director. Some of them are parents of our four grandkids, two in Omaha area, one in Maryland, one in Colorado. That’s a lot of diversity and some important, essential people on that list. They may be more exposed than most, and we have to keep living our lives. With common sense at the helm.

Common sense for them will be adequate distance from others while on the job, probably avoiding the subways, and washing their hands – a lot. All we can do is check in on them once in awhile and pray we’ll all come out on the other side of this ok. I believe we will. If not, we will learn how to deal with the end results.

The Babe tells me the last time he felt this way was in Vietnam. Not having any idea of what will happen is the feeling of loss of control. I get it. My feeling of loss of control was in December, 1995, when I had a tumor compressing my spinal cord and in a week lost the ability to walk without assistance. That was the worst feeling in the world, as my daughter was still at home. My sons had just moved into an apartment. I had to get better for my kids. And for me. The Babe had his wife, Sandy to come home to. He was never the same for her.

I would bet every adult who has had a feeling like this is having flashbacks, dreams, whatever there is that tells us we know this could go very badly. Acknowledge them. Don’t let yourself dwell on them, though. Yes, we were afraid after 9/11. We need to remember how we, as a country of free individuals, came to a new normal. A new normal of a free people. We will do that again. Things will not be the same as they are now. Hopefully we will be appreciative of people who really matter in life. Doctors, scientists, first responders, nurses, truck drivers, train operators , and our military all keep our counntry going. It’s time we reorient our thinking to look up to people who really make a difference in our every day life, not sports figures, movie stars, celebrities, and people who are famous for absolutely nothing. I find it very sad we need to get a Kardashian to go on social media to get young people to understand they need to stay home while school is out. It tells me some have lost their concept of real life. You won’t find it on a reality show, despite all you hear on social media or television or in the movies.

In the meantime, keep yourself busy with positive things. Create something with words, music, paints, anything you may have around you. Be inventive. Write a note to your Grandma or Great Uncle and mail it. They will love it! Talk across the fence to your neighbors. Take your dog for a walk. It’ll do you both good. Get some fresh air. Thank you for reading. I’ll be here tomorrow and hope you are, too. Now for some creating!

These folks have my deepest respect and admiration.

A Weird Wednesday

Hump Day! In a world that was pretty normal just two weeks ago, we now have social distancing, self-quarantine, COVID-19 where Coronavirus used to be and a whole bunch of other stuff. People don’t know what to tell their kids, and in a society where we pick up and go wherever we want, whenever we want, America may have a lot to learn. I heard this morning, in Nebraska we are not to have gatherings of more than ten people in public until after April 30. No Church services. No school. No doctor appointments unless it’s an emergency. My ortho doctor called me to see if I wanted to come for my last Orthovisc injection on Friday. I told him as long as he would have me come in, I’ll go. Being two thirds through an expensive treatment, I feel in the long run, it will help me put off a knee replacement longer. I’m pretty good at avoiding people at the Bergan Clinic. I don’t think it will be a problem.

It just feels so eerie. The grocery shelves were not bad in Walmart in Gretna. I couldn’t find rubbing alcohol or clear Aloe Vera lotion, or hand sanitizer. I gave my mom my hand sanitizer to carry in her purse. It was a perfect travel size. Not a lot of traffic out, and I did witness a couple of teenagers or early 20’s on I-80 from 42 Street to 84 Street traveling at least 85 MPH. You see them on weekend nights after 11 p.m., like it’s a thing they do from Iowa to Gretna. Very dangerous.

The Babe has further endeared himself to me, as if that were possible. Doing the housecleaning while I’m taking Mom. Our cleaning lady is on leave for at least two weeks. He may have himself a job if she’s gone longer. I’d love to help, I just can’t do much stuff like that due to my back issues and injuries. He’s the best gift in the world, and there’s no one I’d rather be self-quarantined with. Check back in a couple weeks and see if that’s still the case! And it goes both ways, folks. I may be living in his shed if things fall apart from his end.

For me, I know I need to do what makes me feel better about everything. I need to create. Really sit down for two to three hours at a time and write. Twelve to fifteen hours of good writing, it will make a world of difference. And then, I need to sew my Poppy Quilt. Everyone needs something, and mine is creating.

Sometimes in the depths of my imagination, my characters will speak up in a way I wouldn’t have thought of, they say something or do something, and I get excited and think, “This is cool, I wonder where he’ll go now.” It’s as much of a surprise for me as it will be for you when you read it. It is amazing how much time it takes to make sure things are just right. Then you talk with your editor. Sam is so gentle, and kind with her critique. I know it will not always be that way. I just appreciate that so much about her. I’m so disappointed the Nebraska Writers Guild had to cancel the Spring Conference. I was going to get to see her again there. We’ll figure it out. Maybe meet for an outdoor meeting on a beautiful spring day in April or May, somewhere between Gretna and Lincoln. At any rate, the conference will be later in the Fall, we hope.

In the midst of writing, it sounds a little weird, but you are supposed to read as much as you can. Why? I’m sure seeing why lately. The things I’m learning about writing are reflected in what I’m learning about how to write. It’s funny sometimes, I’ll be reading and think, “So THAT’s what they mean . . .” And it sticks in my mind for next time I write. The whole thing about this is the amount of things I’ve learned. It’s just so cool. I don’t ever want to stop. That’s when they’re throwing dirt over you.

This screenshot from Facebook reminds us. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be courageous. It’s difficult to say, “Yes, I’m good at this.” And then let people read. That takes real courage.

With that, go draw, write, or learn a new thing. Be courageous and share it with someone. Even if you share it with a child. They appreciate everything. Great place to start! Thank you for reading today. I’m back at it again tomorrow, but it should be earlier. The next four days should yield a good twelve or more hours in here writing. Gotta meet goals, make those dreams happen! See you then.

Friday Highlights!

Today has been full of surprises. A National Emergency has been declared. The President has met with heads of major corporations and has negotiated cooperation and coordination of efforts to help people who are sick, lacking food, and need to be tested for the virus. I applaud all of this because we need some direction. Our govenor has told us if two more people are diagnosed with the virus, schools will remain for six to eight weeks. I feel badly for people who have children young enough to require care in that situation. They are not old enough to be home alone, and maybe there is no money available for pay for day care. I’ve been there, and it’s no fun. I’ve also been where you’ve started a new job and the sick leave benefit did not start until your first anniversary of your start date. Nowdays you may be lucky to get that. I hope there is a allowance made for these people.

On another note, I had to go to two different doctors today, both non-emergency visits. At the Bergan Mercy Offices, no delivery trucks were in the drop off area today. The parking garage had a lot of empty spaces. Not a lot of patients either. The other office at Lakeside had many, many parking places. Usually it takes awhile for them to be found. The Babe and I are having grilled steak, baked potatoes, and veggies for dinner tonight. It will be weird, but we’ve decided we need to quit lunching out all the time.

It is almost 4:30 p.m., and I didn’t feel like writing until now. Just kind of burned out on everything at the moment. I think it’s the sinus infection. Going to rest and read a lot the next couple of days. We are prioritizing little things that need to be done around the house. Right now, I want spring and Easter decorations all over. We do expect snow late tonight and tomorrow, but it’ll melt quickly. It always does.

Our city of Omaha, Nebraska will take a huge hit in the pocketbook here over the next quarter. The NCAA cancelled the basketball tournaments, the College World Series and everything associated with it. The health department cancelled the Catholic Church Fish Frys held on Fridays during Lent. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled, and I think the Corned Beef Dinners probably should be also. Why let that go on if you can’t have a Church Fish Fry?

Great way to start the day!

So this morning, the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska looked beautiful at about 7:30 a.m. when Goldie wanted company outside on the deck. No wind and the temp in the 40s was pretty. You can see the steam from my coffee here if you look closely enough. I love sitting on the deck or on the patio below. We have two different views of the tree line behind our home, which is a wetlands. There are lots of birds, squirrels, and critters wandering about there. I could sit there all day, so relaxing.

My headaches are still happening despite the sinus infection meds. Not sure what’s causing it, usually the barometric pressure stabilizes quickly and they’re gone in a couple hours. We’ll see. It’s kind of distracting and disturbs my train of thought. With that said, I hope you are well today. I hope you stay out of large crowds. Our Nebraska Writers Guild has no plans to cancel the conference in April as of this time. Since most writers are introverts, they will be an arms length away anyhow. I suppose if someone coughs or sneezes on you, you can bop them with the closest manuscript and tell them to go away. Hoping this is the way it goes, as another month from now, the whole pandemic could change it’s shape and direction. I am still looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Wash your hands! Be Safe!