Wahoo! It’s Wednesday!

Another dreary day that should produce rain and storms tonight. By Monday, it will be a steamy 86! That should surely be perennial planting weather. Hope we ease into summer rather than go hot and humid already.

Here’s the deal. It doesn’t feel like it’s already May. It’s already mid-May. And in May, we both have our birthdays. Normally by now we’re excited about it, not that we do crazy stuff or buy big gifts, but they fall two days apart. Two cakes! We love cake. Dan’s favorite is German Chocolate. I’ve made one (from scratch) for him before. Maybe this year, too. I love it too, as my Grandma Jewell used to bake the one from the Baker’s Semisweet Chocolate package. It’s not lacking in butter and eggs. The calories don’t count, besides, he’ll be 70, so he deserves one.

I don’t have a favorite cake. In fact, I’ve never met a cake I didn’t like. Sort of. Not fond of cream cheese frosting, although it’s a big recipe now on the baking shows and internet recipes. As a kid, my brother liked Angel Food, I would ask for Devil’s Food, so I was not like him. My dad liked the chocolate, too. Although his birthday cake was Fruit Cake. I kid you not. He was born on January 1, 1924, and he was the first New Year’s Baby in Omaha. Cool, huh? Mom baked the Fruitcake and let it age with bourbon baths every week. He loved it. As a kid, I did not. As an adult I came to appreciate it.

I’ll possibly make my own cake with my own buttercream frosting recipe. Might be the yellow cake mix I have in the pantry. We’ll see. Maybe we’ll break curfew and go see the grandkids. That’s the worst, not getting to see them! We signed up to have emails sent to us about Gavin’s ball games. It’s sad to keep getting schedule updates of “cancelled” every week. They may be able to start practice soon, they have to skip sharing snacks, and the governor said only immediate family (living in the same home) may attend games. What’s Grandma Kathy going to do?? I’m so sad, I don’t know. But if it keeps the kids healthy, I’m in. The film footage of those poor little babies intubated with those terrible rashes breaks my heart. When I was a kid, and with my kids too, children had measles, chicken pox, and mumps. When my little brother had chicken pox, our Grandma Jewell was afraid he’d die they were so bad. He even had them on the bottoms of his feet and couldn’t walk. Terrible stuff. I’ll do anything to keep the kids safe.

I was just thinking this morning, what do I miss while being quarantined? Hmmm. First is missing the grandkids. All of them, two in Omaha, two in Colorado, and one in Maryland. I miss going to the store and taking my time to look at fresh fruit and vegetables. Those and bread are my favorite foods. And steak. The Babe makes a great grilled steak on the grill. I miss going to church. I miss going to bookstores. I miss going to fabric stores and browsing. I miss Hobby Lobby and Michaels just browsing the crafts to see what’s new. I’m a simple girl, I suppose. Most of my clothing is ordered online, I’ve never been a traditional woman shopper. I prefer In and Out. Get what you need and get out. I like shopping at hardware stores and looking at gadgets. It’s fun.

What don’t I miss? A lot. Traffic jams. People in a hurry. An overpacked schedule. Having to hurry places. I’m hoping when this is over, people don’t put as much emphasis on things that are superficial: looks, hairdo, percentage of body fat, popularity of “celebrities,” media reporting everything in excess, media crucifying everyone in politics.

Something that scares me? Disrespect. Abuse of children and women. All are on an uptick. Women and kids at risk are in danger. I’m afraid for the children who are no longer seen by their teachers daily who can help by reporting when things aren’t right. If you know someone in a bad situation, keep an eye out for them. Skype, Facetime, Zoom, whatever you can do, make sure you get a visual of them. Their life could depend on it.

Re-opening? I would not go to a crowded place for drinks and dancing right now. Too many people too close together. The VFW Post 2503 did a perfect job last Wednesday, with a limited menu and a chance to test the waters and visit with people other than our quarantine mates. It was wonderful to be out and see other non-quarantine partners. Life continued on during the time we were away. One lady had pancreatic cancer and passed away while we were in quarantine. One had a new grandson. One is going to be a grandma in July. We all felt safe being with those friends. We look forward to going again tonight.

I’m going to finish my search for the 3K missing words in my manuscript, plan the rest of the writing I need to do, and work on a little embroidery project for grandson Cody. How about you? What are you doing today? Leave a comment below, and tell me if you feel we’re opening up too soon. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it so much. I’m be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Stay safe. Masks, Handwashing, Elbow Cough, all the good stuff to keep us safe.

Mastery Monday

Good Monday Morning! I’m trying to use different words, still starting with “M” to call Monday besides Marvelous. Do you have any suggestions for me? I have a thesaurus, but they’re not set up that way – all the suggestions begin with a different letter. Darn! They’re not Marginal, or even Meager, at least not if I’m trying to be positive! Measurable, possibly, Medicinal, surely! No way they’re Melancholic, Melodramatic or Menial, but could be Mellow, Memorable, or Model. What will you choose as your Monday?

I’m selecting Mastery. In being a creative person, I seek to Master the quilt I’m making, here’s a “so far” photo:

The Poppies Quilt for Our Living Room
Still a Work In Progress

This is a little bit at a time project, since in between we’re letting the dogs in and out, seeing what the dogs are barking at, sitting still so the dogs will go to sleep, then napping ourselves, it’s all just a bit crazy. Peace will reign again, my friends, just hope it’s sooner than later. So, I hope to Master the little bits and pieces I can get accomplished today. I’m also going to assemble the goods to make a fabric mask or two for the Babe and myself. I’m hoping to talk my mom into wearing one when she goes to the store. I know, ideally she should be staying at home. We’ve told her that. She said she doesn’t worry about the virus. But she should. We all should. And I certainly don’t want to catch it. But if she insists on going out, she should at least wear a darned mask.

So Monday is a “Mastery” Monday, where I’m working my darndest to Master the Masks, my quilt, and some book writing/editing. Tomorrow may be “Tiger Tuesday,” where we watch more of the Tiger King. So far, I think the TK and that woman are in cahoots with each other. It’s all publicity stunts, over and over. They’re quite colorful, aren’t they? They make so much off of those poor cubs. I don’t see why people want their pictures with wild animals. You cannot even be sure a well trained family dog won’t bite you should a situation go terribly wrong, much less a wild animal. It seems perhaps those older men who had the younger guys live with them and gave them access to the animals used them to lure those young men and women into their beds, homes, and lifestyles. Sad. They not only prey on the animals, they prey on vulnerable people, too. Not good.

Although the sun is not out today, my scene brightens when a goldfinch flies across the yard. Against the brown of the trees and bushes in the Wetlands behind our house, the brilliant yellow of those birds lights up the background. It’s beautiful, and is a nice reward for feeding them. The little red house finches all sit in the branches of our Linden Tree (About fifteen feet from the deck and patio), and sing at the deck and patio. They’re so pretty and very proud of their songs. Already, so much right at our back door to be grateful for, and therefore be happy about.

That reminds me! I have two more quilts to finish for hanging in the house. One is embroidered blocks with Swarovski crystals hand sewn onto for embellishment. The blocks are Hibiscus flowers. The other quilt is of a Goldfinch. Both simply need layering, pinning, and quilting. Very near done. I should make every effort to finish those by the end of this COVID-19 pandemic. There. I said it out loud, so that will hold my feet to the fire to get it done! Baby steps every day. We’ll all get there. Just keep at it. Don’t give up! Dreams of finished projects can get us through to the other side. Finished quilts, books, artwork, music, whatever you can do, just do it. We’ll all be fine when this is over. Remind me, should I forget, ok?

We all have a bit to do, don’t we? Then let’s get about our business. I really appreciate your taking time from your day to read the blog. I enjoy seeing that people really are reading and relating. If you think of it, share it with your friends, and encourage them to like and follow, also. We can all cheer each other, encourage each other, and watch each other bloom. I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you and your friends, too. Take care!

Thankful Thursday

Hi, friends. Hope you’re staying amused, being productive, and getting done what you need to. I know I’m not. Well, I am, and I’m not. The sun and warm went away this morning, and now we could have freezing rain/snow. After this virus outbreak and quarantine, nothing surprises me. How could it? About the time we think we’ve seen everything, something comes along and trumps the last event. I love talking to my oldest, who will be fifty years old next year. He has a good memory of things from his youth. He actually remembers the awful tunnel at 84th and I-80. Remember it? He remembers going to Brandies when he was three to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory displays. He remembers being afraid of some of the characters in Star Wars. It makes me laugh when he wonders what’s wrong with kids nowadays. For those conversations, I am so thankful.

English – the hardest language to learn.

I’m glad I grew up in a family of readers. My parents both read every chance they got. We were good at looking stuff up in the dictionary and encyclopedias. Dad never told us how to spell something. His philosophy was start where you think it should be. Then, if it’s not there, look further until you find it. You’ll become familiar with so many more words. Good advice, although we disliked it at the time. He would be so amazed by PC’s today. I wish he could have lived long enough to have had one. It would have been fun to help him learn how to use it. It’s hard to hear about kids who don’t read, or who don’t like to. It is so much harder when you dislike it. Dad also used to say if you could read you could do anything. There is 100 % truth to that. Directions, reading a recipe, reading a dress pattern, putting together a car, model airplane, whatever you need to do, you usually have to be able to read to accomplish it. I’m thankful to the gift of reading.

And the meme above points out an important thing about reading. For as difficult as English is, you must be able to know read from read, excuse from excuse, and so on. Would that be in language class? I truly don’t remember. Wherever it’s taught, I’m thankful to have learned it.

I sort of led my life backwards, compared to how some of my classmates lived. I married very early, had three kids by the age of 27, and was divorced at 30. I attended college classes for a long, long time and graduated from college in 1995. Twenty-five years after graduating from high school. It’s the only thing I ever regretted, was not being able to graduate from college. Dad told me, “Just keep working at it, you’ll get it done.” He was right. I’m so thankful he gave that advice and that I followed it. It meant a lot to me.

Of course, I’m thankful for the Babe. This being quarantined at home tries everyone’s patience, but there still is no one I’d rather be quarantined with. No one else may be able to put up with me, you know? It works two ways. We are watching Netflix, we finished the Ranch, are watching Ozark, it’s really good. I don’t know if we’ll watch the Tiger King or not. There is certainly a lot of hub-bub about it. What do you think? Watch it or skip it? The promos remind me of the Jerry Springer Show. Or Honey Boo Boo. Or hokey stuff like that.

Today hasn’t been that great of a day. The weather change was predicted by the fibromyalgia/arthritis combination and is currently about to put me down for the count. Even with the Super Arthritis Formula 650 mg. Acetometaphine the Babe brought home for me to try. I took two. Haven’t started to work yet and it’s been a couple hours. Wow. How are people who have this fibro stuff supposed to know when they have body aches? It’s a sign of the virus, yet so many of us live with conditions that already cause a lot of pain. How does one tell?

Maybe it’s time to go sit by the fire and read. That’s it, boys and girls. Hope you have a good rest of the evening, and I’ll do the same. Thanks for reading, be grateful, wash your hands, come back tomorrow. I’ll be here, too. And for all that, I’m grateful, too.