Another Day, Another Carol

No, not a “Carol” person, but a song. Another song I enjoy during the Christmas Season. I’ve just heard this artist perform this song recently, and I love his voice with it. It’s a voice that commands attention, as does the man himself; he is tall and could intimidate in the wrong situation. (Wrong for you)! But he uses this gift of his to sing one of the most tender songs about Baby Jesus. There is no doubt about his belief this Baby changed everything. Today, I offer Ray Scott, singing O, Holy Night. Enjoy!

The memories of this Christmas Carol go back to my days in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Choir. All the girls were in choir, most of the boys were altar boys. Really strict in those days. No whispering in Church, perfect attention, blah, blah, blah. It amazes me the boys had a choice. Of course, way back in the day, they needed to know the Latin Mass. That is pre-historic, isn’t it? My brother knew it, and I helped him drill on it, so I knew it too. Most of us could read along to it in our Missals (I think that’s what they called it). I don’t know where mine went. It was pretty educational, with Latin on one page and English on the other adjoining page. You could at least try to figure out what the Priest of Monsignor was saying. Midnight Mass in Latin meant we sang the Catholic Carols in Latin.

Oh, Holy Night reminds me of the semi-dark Church. Once the celebrant declared Jesus was born, all the lights turned on immediately and we sang “Joy to the World.” It truly made us feel like the world became a good place again since God sent his Son to save us. Theologians tell us now this is not the feast or event we should celebrate; it actually is Easter. Easter marks Jesus rising from the dead and defeating death itself. Our souls had the chance of eternal life from that moment on. Of course, the nuns told us this too. No little kid on earth could agree with that theory. For believers, however, it is true.

My Faith leads me to believe all things are possible with God. It’s not a Catholic religion but just living on earth all these years. I’ve had many miracles in my life; my 5 and 1/2 year old son survived drowning and is now 49 years old, my younger son, now 45, survived a ruptured appendix at 10 despite a severe abdominal infection, and I can still walk after nearly being paralyzed by an arachnoid cyst in my spinal column twenty-five years ago. God’s love amazes me. So do His miracles.

Just doing some website updates for the VFW Post this afternoon. I’ve been procrastinating on that project a bit, so I just need to finish scanning some documents. New endeavors are a bit intimidating, I hope my hardware is current enough to handle the job. I think it is. Life is all about learning, folks. And I enjoy it all, especially as I get older. Yes, it can frustrate the heck out of a person, but achieving is what it’s all about. Relax. Don’t Stress!

While you contemplate the coming Holiday of Love, spread some of it around yourself, ok? Be Patient. Be Kind. Be Grateful. Be Safe. Wear your mask and let’s get vaccinated as soon as our own personal MD’s think it is a good idea. Thank you for reading, see you tomorrow!

Countdown to Christmas

No, I’m not telling you to hurry and buy something. This isn’t about that part of Christmas. It’s about a subtle yet important part of the holiday for music lovers. I believe the backgrounds of all our lives has the same commonality; some of the most beautiful music of the world.

When I grew up in the late 1950s and 1960s, public schools still sang religious songs; God was present in all schools. Of course, we parochial school kids had more of the religious singing, but we all knew the songs we heard on television, radio, and retail stores since the 1950s. Yes, Muzak was around then. They also used it in work environments to increase productivity.

Maybe I brainwash myself when I write, I do so much better while listening to music. Today’s music to blog by is Ray Scott. He is a country artist, and I love his storytelling. You want to hear a dominant voice, a funny story, listen to Ray. He will have a new album soon, I’m in. And, as an old lady I knew once said, “He’s easy on the eyes, too.” She was a riot, so prim and proper, yet there she was, making observations you’d expect to hear from a 20 something.

So while cleaning the bathroom this morning, I was listening to one of my favorite traditions on Christmas; which sadly doesn’t happen anymore. I’ll save that one for later, but I sat down and listed some songs I think of at Christmas. They may not be on everyone’s list, but they’re around us. Too early (like before Halloween). One of them is “Deck the Halls,” by Omaha’s own Mannheim Steamroller. Chip Davis came out with this unique sound in the 80s, and is world-known for his trademark sound. I believe he doesn’t play concerts anymore, years of playing drums have caused some orthopedic issues in his cervical spine; I empathise with him. It must be so hard to give up what you love.

What is up for your Saturday? The Babe and I have a major cleaning of the house scheduled as soon as he gets home. I miss the cleaning ladies, but I don’t miss having a little extra money in my pocket. I’m using it for my online writing classes and tutorials. It’s all about compromise and imposing limits on yourself.

We’re cooking a bunch of chicken pieces to eat on salads over the next few days. The diet’s going pretty well. We both want to stay on it, and it’s easier with a buddy who cooperates with the plan. My ex husband was a thin wiry guy. Even before I was overweight, he made comments about my weight, a “should you eat this?” kind of guy. He ate constantly and just burned it up. The Babe’s not been like that in all the time I’ve known him. What a kind man he is. I always tell him, “You’re my favorite husband.”

Getting There, One Pound at a Time!

I read in my “Days of Healing Days of Joy: Daily Meditations of Adult Children of Alcoholics,” how we all make a difference. We can be an example of positivity in someone’s life; or we can be agents of hurt. There are four ways to do that. I’ve lived through all four, folks. And it’s so good to recognize those aren’t the way to treat people; and it for darned sure isn’t the way to treat yourself. Let’s work on these things the last seven days until Christmas. Make your world brighter. And some else’s, too.

  • Criticizing: It’s our not our business nor our place to judge other people. If you make rude comments in public about morbidly obese people, you’re wrong. Keep quiet. You can be totally wrong about “how they got like that.”
  • Insulting: Snide comments rob people of their dignity. Nothing gives you the right to blurt out things to another, especially in front of other people. It damages their self-esteem.
  • Name-Calling: You’re not “only kidding.” This is abuse. And you’re abusive. Knock it off.
  • Ignoring: Why be indifferent to someone? Why give someone reason to doubt their value? Who put you in charge? Ignoring people can lead them to question their own value. If you say, “Good morning,” to a homeless person gives them value and dignity. Try it.

Our thoughtlessness and bad habits have more effect on people than we think. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Especially during this time of Love and Joy. Be Safe, Wash Up, Masks Where They Belong; I’m looking forward to 2021, and I’d like all of you in it, too. See you tomorrow.

I Just Had To . . .

I’ve been contemplating for a week now; how to write a blog about this. I received the new Billy McGuigan solo album last week, complete with a nice Polaroid photo (autographed!) and my spirits soared. We had been hearing from Billy via Facebook about the different songs on the album, and what his inspirations were. The guy had a lot of time to think in his little yellow shack in his backyard. We all have this year. After passing time in all the usual ways, Billy took to his shed (Sonny West Studio in Country Club) and started creating. He sang everything (all the parts), played all the instruments, and produced something magic yet real. He hit gold with this music, these stories, these tunes and words that come from his soul.

I’ve been a fan for over seven years now. Regular shows include his brothers (always in his band), and they do a Beatles Tribute show called “Yesterday and Today.” It’s exceptional. He has starred as Buddy Holly in “Rave On,” a musical show at the Omaha Community Playhouse. There are many accolades in their collective resumes, music, acting, arranging, lots of talents to go around one family. Their children are all very talented, too. Check out the videos and info.

Citing inspirations from the Beatles (always), Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Eagles, and countless others, Billy reaches for the stars and touches them. He’s sharing them with us, his fans. On his website, take time to read the info about the album. You’ll find two buttons at the bottom of the ordering page: The Songs, and Liner Notes. You’ll learn the inspirations and events that inspired the words, the music, and you’ll finally have your answer if you’ve ever asked why they don’t talk about their mom. Their dad was a man among men, dying when he was only 42 from cancer. Together, they are a force to reckon with.

Billy, I can tell you, many of us been on roller coaster rides and guilt trips, too. At 91, my mom is still driving that damned bus. And I admire how you put all this together. The truth you speak of; it’s honest, open, and inspiring at the same time. We receive the gift she lost out on. And they can’t help themselves, often, they don’t know any better. Breaking that cycle is difficult. Kudos to your stepmom. What an influential person!

Christmas came early this year, folks. Last night, since the first live performance at Iowa Western Community College was COVID-cancelled, through the magic of Facebook live, we got to watch a live performance of the album, complete with the most talented band there could be. You can view it at Billy’s Facebook page, “Billy McGuigan,” and you will spend about 90 minutes in my sunny place. You’ll laugh, it will touch you, and you’ll hear some grim realities of life. And they’ll all be true, from the heart of a very talented singer/songwriter. I know we will hear from Billy again. I look forward to it. Hope we’re able to see you at a live show again soon!

As Billy now joins the esteemed ranks of singer/songwriter, he joins the groups of people the Babe and I met by attending other local music shows. Jimmy Weber, (he’ll perform live today from Johnny Cash’s farm in Tennessee, check out his Facebook page for the 2 p.m. CST gig); Rick Tiger, (a prolific songwriter and singer on his own, he has written many songs you’ve heard others sing, and he prays for me when I ask. Good, good man); Ray Scott, (he performs on Facebook Live nearly weekly, check him out), I have a bunch of his CD’s.

A cool thing about Ray Scott, his latest album, “Nowhere Near Done,” is in a top album of the year named by American Songwriter Magazine. This is an esteemed list. It’s so cool someone we’ve seen at Buck’s in Venice, (Nebraska). You may catch him in person there sometime. Buck’s Bar & Grill, Facebook page worth watching.

Gentlemen, I hope all of you knock ’em dead today. Our year will be complete when Jimmy Weber releases his new album. I have a feeling it’ll be soon. We’ve heard some of his original music, too. More on that later. Thank you, on behalf of music lovers everywhere, for sharing your talents with all of us. You make this COVID-Post Election World a much kinder, gentler place to live. Keep writing, we’ll keep listening. Be Safe out there!

Summation Saturday

I’m enjoying music by Ray Scott this morning. The Babe and I saw him briefly about a year ago with our friend Jimmy Weber at a local hole in the wall, Buck’s. It was a fun night, but the Babe was dealing with a wound vac and wasn’t feeling well enough to stay for the entire show. What we heard, we liked. We bought up all the CD’s I could find online. He’s very good. The songs are making me think, which helps me create. Thanks, Ray!

It’s been quite a week. I’ve experienced some weird memories and dreams, when I figure out what they meant, I’ll let you know. Messages come in your dreams, and if you keep your eyes open, you can see them all around you. Mentally, I’m getting more in the Christmas spirit than before. Not sure why, but these holidays can be very tough for some of us. I’ll leave it at that for now. Remember that with your friends and family. Help them get through these days. It’s not all silver bells and tinsel. And now, we get to add in the Covid-19 which just adds to funk and fog. Be gentle with yourself and others.

My Writing Space. I love the laptop stand.

Yesterday, I mentioned this stand I purchased from a small company through Amazon. It’s the best investment I’ve ever made. With the stand all the way down, it raises the Chromebook up about three inches. I am not putting stress on my neck by looking down while writing. I can write longer! It’s a Christmas miracle! Get one for anyone in your life who needs some ergonomics in their life. The company is Lifelong.

Today, I’m going to sift through all the papers and printed things I’ve accumulated during this writing journey we’re on. It’s a good time to keep what I have found useful and toss everything that isn’t helpful. Later, I’m going to mark a quilt for quilting and tomorrow, going to hem a dress for a beautiful young lady. Time will fly by, as always.

Go for a walk today, or just get a little fresh air. From my studio window, I can see a couple houses putting up Christmas lights on their homes. It’s always fun to see them lit at night. If there are sound effects with them the dogs get a little nervous. They’re such cowards when it really gets down to it. They make me laugh out loud!

The last but best happening this week; When I talked about what I learned about writing from Carol Gino, Mario Puzo’s twenty-year companion and fellow writer, she took the time and e-mailed me. I am over the moon! We’ll talk more about that all later. I’m just going to enjoy the orbit I’m in. Thanks for reading, I’m headed out to the deck for a little fresh air. Be Kind. Be Careful. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. Slow down. You’ll get there. Just get there. See you tomorrow!

Thursday’s Child

There was an old nursery rhyme called “Monday’s Child.” It was a little ditty supposedly for children to help them learn the days of the week. I was born on a Thursday. Ascension Thursday, no less. “Thursday’s child has far to go,” was meant for me. From what I’ve read, I can take this one of two ways: First, I will have a long life. I’m hoping for that. Women have good longevity in my family. Both Grandmothers lived long. Mom is 91. Second, it could mean I have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Have you known me long? There were mountains and hills worth of obstacles. Faith and Hope have gotten me through. Sure there are more to come, too. Just realistic, not negative. God has been so very good to me. I’m forever grateful.

Either way, whatever that phrase means, I am here and so happy to be. Life gets better and better. Heck, this morning, I felt great and started a crock pot dinner an hour ago that will be ready at about 6 p.m. or so. Planning ahead. Chicken and noodles. Thanks, Peggy Fischman! My grade school, neighbor, and quilting buddy. Always has a new recipe or two.

The header photo today is my music of the day. I posted it on my personal FB account, asking what was missing? More Jimmy Weber CD’s. I hope there is one despite this pandemic. Jimmy’s a very creative guy, if anyone can produce it, he can. (No pressure, my friend!). Dayna Jones’ CD is great. You can order it from her, and she has a really cute shirt, too. I ordered a long sleeved one and know it’ll rotate into the fall wardrobe a lot. Go Dayna!

I’ve said before, music gets me through a lot of hard times. As a single mom, I was glad to have the drive time from downtown to the 90th & Dodge area near home to just decompress from the day, and relax. It was then much easier to get home to my three kids and spend the evening with them when I wasn’t in school or working my second job. Music is always there, even if no one else is. Now, the Babe and music are always there. Grateful and blessed.

I Love Eleanor Roosevelt. Such an unsung hero.

Still working on character definition for my book, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbon’s. Katie has seven, count them seven brothers. They are characters, believe me. It’s fun to make this stuff up. I can do that since I’m doing an actual fiction novel. A couple weeks ago, I was considering creative nonfiction. My book coach, Sam Tyler, mentioned I could be sued. That would certainly be an unfortunate end, wouldn’t it? Since I have no interest in that happening, I have ventured back to fiction. The common disclaimer you see after every movie and at the beginning of every book should cover me. I don’t look good in horizontal stripes, you know? On a writer’s merch website, I saw a shirt that read:

If people don’t like what you write about them, they should have treated you better.

It’s certainly to the point now, isn’t it? I did buy the one that reads:

Careful! Or you’ll end up in my novel!

Another thing I’m learning about with this venture is “Character Agency.” It’s something vital to the story. Plot is driven by the decisions the protagonist (main character) makes. The writer needs to make clear why the character makes a decision they do. An inciting incident voids any possibility of a character continuing to live a normal life. Will they fight or flee?

Writer Topher Kearby sells his creations at http://www.topherkearby.com

I admire Topher’s work, and am Facebook friends with him. His typed words are beautiful. There is also art that go with some of the musings. Check him out.

As I go to do some more domestic chores this early afternoon, I want to thank you for reading today. I hope you have a great day today. I’ll be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Stay Safe, Wash Up, Mask Up, Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, and Be Courteous. It’ll help us all. Thank you!

Fun Friday!

It’s a good Friday out there! The Babe says it’s really hot, the dogs do not want out. It’s a mid-morning nap on the couches for them. Works for me!

It’s going to be a great, FUN weekend!

We had early mail call this morning, too. All for me, and not a bill in the stack! Adding music to my collection always makes me happy. Two new favorites (along with all my established favorites!) are Dayna Jones and Ray Scott. Dayna’s music is so uplifting and makes me feel happy. Her voice is beautiful. Strong and gentle at the same time. Trust me, she does it. South Dakota has another great product. (The Babe is from Sioux Falls). You can’t go wrong.

Ray Scott has many great stories and I enjoy them in the background while I write. Stories in songs are similar to stories in books, yet very different. The story a song tells is often shorter than four minutes, yet can tell of a lifetime. A story in a book or a song can give you pictures of events in your imagination. Movies often spoil that for us, in my opinion. I love imagining a story in my mind. Or a song. His songs are great for that.

Writer’s Digest is a publication I enjoy as a writer. I have so much to learn, and I know that. I’m hungry for wherever I can learn more and more. I do believe I’m headed in the right direction. I have a lot of good guidance from a lot of new friends. Support is so great in creative communities. With my experiences with quilters around the world, I have seen how generous quilters are. They want to swaddle everyone in a beautiful quilt made just for them. They are such givers, I love to see it!

We had the absolute joy of celebrating Gavin’s birthday last night. He won’t be eight until Tuesday, but family was in town and it was so fun to see him play with his cousins. There was no more happy look than a boy who just got a brand new bicycle. It’s a great story, about the bike. There are no 24 inch bikes available in Omaha. None. Everyone has bought one to ride during the pandemic. With that in mind, our son in law did a commute out to Denver for his job on Monday. They don’t want the employees flying, they feel it’s safer driving between location. I have to agree with that.

I-80 stretches west, into the plains of Nebraska. With Lexington, NE in his sight, he spied a WalMart. Stopped in, and found the very last bike for a boy in the exactly right size. Things like this are no coincidence, you know? He sent a photo to his wife, and he bought it on the spot. Anyway, Gavin is in seventeenth heaven. Or at least in eighth heaven for now. It made my heart happy. Don’t we all need our hearts to be happy right about now? Good job, Dad!

It won’t be all fun and no work this weekend. I can listen to my new tunes and do some planning for the next two months. The Babe is on board. He’ll pick up my slack if I’m not available to do some things around the house. My days will mostly revolve around writing, analyzing, learning, and making progress. I am looking forward to having to work against deadlines with Sam, my writing coach. It will be another adventure to share with you.

Boy, Does This Resonate With Me!

I’m reading a book right now called “Personality Isn’t Permanent.” I’m a perfect example of that. I became someone who was hiding inside myself for many years. I did not know she was there. The more of her who emerged, the more surprised I was. It took many years for me to stand up for myself. It’s no problem for me now with some people. Others, I’ve still got work to do. But not as much as thirty or forty years ago. It’s a work in progress.

The older I become, the more I love living. We make mistakes, and they are no longer so devastating. No one who truly loves us criticizes us for them. After a time, with the distance of hindsight, you can identify your own rock bottom. Drugs and alcohol don’t necessarily have to be involved. If they are, I think the bottom is deeper and more prominent. Getting out is what’s important. If you slide back in any way, you can adjust your direction. Just keep showing progress, however tough it is. Apply this to all aspect of your life, and I believe we will all have a good one.

This kind of growth happens for my character, Katie. She is much stronger than anyone ever thought, including herself. You will see this in her story. Someone told me once, “You have to watch out for the quiet ones.” That was me, one of the quiet ones. No more. Stay tuned for more information about our writing adventure.

As always, I appreciate your time spent reading my blog today. Stay safe out there, wear your mask, wash your hands, be kind, be thoughtful, and be a good example. Help our world become a better place. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, Woo-Hoo!

I cannot believe it’s Wednesday again so soon. Time flies when you have a nearly eight year old grandson to talk with all day. He and Grandpa went to lunch while I did errands. Got groceries (Too much to carry in!) and found myself buying snacks for a growing boy with a hollow leg. One day next week, we’re going to make our own mini pizzas for lunch. Today, probably hot dogs. That’s ok once in awhile. One thing that is fun to do is sit and color with a child. I hope we finish our pictures today.

If you know anything about Zentangle, good. I have a coloring book that is full of animal pictures done with that technique. Here is a link to their website. I’m just fascinated by the technique. It is very relaxing as long as you simply let the pen do the work. You will surprise yourself. I’ll try and post our pictures tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll be finished. You never know how the schedule can change with an eight year old in the house.

It’s a good thing I have other staff members, here at the home office in Gretna, Nebraska. Why, right now, we’re having a conference in the studio. The Babe is gone and the dogs surprisingly are hanging out with me for awhile. Kind of a surprise. Oh, and we’re listening to some Ray Scott Music. The tunes are good, folks. Song of the Day is, “Ashtray on a Motorcycle.” It’s a broken up love song of sorts, but the comparisons are quite humorous. Writing a song must be quite like writing a book. The words must be precise. So must the melody. Ray Scott does it all quite well. Check him out.

The Meeting isn’t that boring!
Seriously, folks!

It was funny, I think Lexie (left) just came in to look out the window. Goldie (right) followed her and Lexie became trapped. She won’t walk past Goldie, and Goldie won’t walk past Lexie. It must be another girl thing I don’t understand. I had three brothers, so I don’t “get” the chick stuff. Guy stuff, yes, but not girl stuff. My only girl cousin on my dad’s side of the family, along with our one aunt, Dad’s sister, share that exclusive club. It is unique. But then, I always had my own room. Blessings abound when you search for them. Try it. You’ll like it!

Our first severe weather forecast late yesterday was for apple-sized hail. I have never heard a forecast calling for hail that size before. I had all sorts of bad visions in my imagination. Actually, they were based on what we have experienced previously. At our old house, we had two separate hail storms where all the siding had to be replaced. The total was about $17K. Thank the Lord for insurance! For everyone’s sake, I think damaging hail could be a no-show this year in Nebraska and other areas that usually get hit with bad hail storms.

As the boy has entered our home now, I’m cutting this short today. Stay safe. Hydrate. Be kind to each other. Right now, the Babe and I are going to do the grandparent thing, you know. Color and go get ice cream. It has to be done and it’s a perfect day for it. Enjoy! See you here again tomorrow.

Thankful Thursday

Hi, guys!

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

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

Music of the Day. Go Ray Scott!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

My workspace this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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