The Tea Pot

When my brother and I were little, Mom had time to take good care of us when we were sick. We’re only one year apart, so we shared a lot. When he went to kindergarten, I missed him so much it was terrible. He shared everything with me. The Measles, The Mumps, The Chicken Pox, The Flu, The Tonsillectomy we had together, and whatever else was going around. Our mom had her hands full, since she was pregnant.

We had lots of Chicken Noodle Soup by Campbell’s, crackers, juice, and lots of water. We were kept separate, each in our bedroom, in bed. Those were the orders anytime we were home sick. I was only four, so I was home anyway. We were in bed constantly, and even were served our meals there. Soup is hard to eat when you’re four and in bed. One thing she did let us have was tea. Hot tea is still a favorite of mine, and I think my brother still enjoys it too.

This was actually a coffee pot (a percolator) our parents received for a wedding gift in 1948. Mom had another one that was electric, so this became her tea pot. She boiled the water, put tea bags in, and enjoy the fresh, steepeded tea. It sat high on a shelf as we grew up and left home. I would notice it when visiting through the past fifty years. I always recalled those feelings of being taken care of when I’d see this pretty blue teapot. I now have it in my home, mostly for decoration, I’m reluctant to put it in the microwave to re-warm the tea should it become cold. The warm feeling is still there. It makes me happy.

The Sight of the Blue Tea Pot Still Warms My Heart.

During those times, Mom was often a little upset with me. I got lonely being in bed alone during the day. I remember her asking me, “Why can’t you be like your brother, he never bothers me?” Yes, he would not call out to her. I just felt like hours and hours went by since she came up to see me. My dad must have felt sorry for me, he would come in and play checkers with me. I loved him for doing that. He was patient with me when Mom was probably overly tired and needed a rest herself. Checkers remains one of my favorite board games today. I played with Addison and Gavin, and recalled how my dad sat with me, playing until I got tired of it. Good memories.

A lot of people were allowed to watch game shows (especially Price is Right) while they were sick from school. Our TV was never allowed to be on during the daytime. Mom didn’t do game shows or soap operas. I loved visiting our Grandma Bobell, she watched the soap operas every day. We had all sorts of adventures together. Did you get to visit your Grandparents for a few days during the summer? It was always fun, too.

Mom’s parents lived in several different houses as we grew up. They moved for reasons I don’t know. Their house on Pine Street was a beautiful brick home, two story, which was cozy. I don’t remember the kitchen much, but I remember the dining room and living room. We didn’t spent the night there, but did when they lived on 60th Street in a raised ranch with the huge backyard and shade trees. It was wonderful. It’s also where Grandpa died on Christmas Eve, 1964, when I was twelve years old. That’s another story, though.

Because Grandma didn’t drive, we would walk to her hairdresser, then catch the bus to downtown. I loved shopping with her. She was so much fun. She always did a craft with me, like making loop hot pads. One year, she cut out a doll dress pattern and had me hand sew it together. You just don’t forget those wonderful moments shared. I’m so glad our grandparents took the time to share their lives and wisdom with us. Our lives are richer because of them.

I have some office /website work to do for the VFW Post today, studying about Marketing for Small Businesses, and maybe be able to sneak in marking a quilt for quilting. I’d love to get this hung by Thanksgiving. It’ll go over our bed, against a pretty blue wall. Not sure if I’ll quilt it in dark invisible thread or choose gold or copper metallic. When the light hits metallic thread, you have glints of it, it’s beautiful.

This Will Be Stunning!

Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it so much. This post is early today, to make up for my tardiness yesterday. It’s good to have a day ahead of me, even though it’s overcast, cold and windy, with a little snowflake here and there. It’s here. And it’s ok. With my flu shot taken, I feel protected. I hope you have a great rest of the day, and come back tomorrow. I’ll be here. Blessings. Be Careful out there.

Sunday Mornin’, Comin’ Down

If you’re of a certain age, or if you’re a Country Music fan, you know my title today is from a Kris Kristofferson song, released in 1970. Kristofferson has had a lengthy career, a successful one, not only in music, but he also starred in the 1970 version of “A Star is Born.” He was the Bradley Cooper to Lady Gaga’s character. In 1970, Barbra Streisand was the Lady Gaga character to Kristofferson. Got it? Good. It was a great movie, but I have to say, I thought the 2019 version was the best. Judge for yourselves.

The song describes a guy waking on Sunday morning, pretty bad hangover, can’t move without hurting. He makes the genius move of having beer for breakfast, and another for dessert. The smell of frying chicken triggered a memory of what he’d lost, his bad behavior caused a lot of losses. This is very common with people deep into addictions with alcohol or drugs. And it’s very sad to see.

There was a special on some obscure Direct TV channel last night about drug addiction in New York City. A man they interviewed described his heroin addiction. He detailed how it felt as it worked it’s way from the needle in his arm, down to his feet and up to his brain. He said it’s what he lived for. It’s all he had left. How he never thought it would be so addictive. How sad.

The one addiction our society overlooked for so long was that of alcohol. It used to be socially accepted as a “boys will be boys” activity, but not any more, thank goodness. I never drank in high school, and did rarely until I was 30. Yes, I’ve overdone it at times, but not anymore. It’s something I can do without, so why? I’ve never understood an addictive personality, and there are many, many people who have one, some in my immediate family of origin. I find no shame in that. Admitting is the first step towards education, assistance, and healing.

There are so many who think, if a little is good, then more is better. Doesn’t matter what it is since the human spirit can be addicted to many things. Phones, gambling, alcohol, drugs, sex, television, and many, many more things. Some of us become co-dependent and it wrecks our lives until it’s treated, admitted, and handled. I didn’t realize I was co-dependent, I thought I was responsible for a lot of things. I always wanted to make things better. By doing that, you enable bad behavior.

I’ve learned to say “No.” I’ve pulled back from people who are toxic to me. The ones I loved don’t exist anymore, as long as they are practicing their dysfunction. They are totally foreign to me. Their addictions have made their values, patterns, and what they love different than my memory and image of them. And just to answer the questions ahead of time, no it was not my current husband. He is my rock. We are blesssed to go through this life with each other.

And it’s ok. It’s better for me, and for them. I know in order to protect my mental health, I need to use my caring in other ways. It’s one reason I’m happy to be involved with helping Veterans. They are working to get better, and so am I. Everybody wins that way. Everybody does right things and feels good doing them. It’s how love is supposed to work.

I reveal these things not so you feel bad for me, I’m good. Why I reveal it is there is help for everyone on both sides of addiction to get help. You both need it, believe me. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and tell someone, “No” if it doesn’t serve either of you well. Don’t sacrifice yourself for someone who wouldn’t do the same for you. It’s taken me a long time to learn, and I’m so glad I did. You can do it, too.

If you are a survivor of any type of intergenerational trauma, this is a book from which you will learn a lot of things. It’s “From Generation to Generation. Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling,” by Emily Wanderer Cohen. It certainly hasn’t been a “light read” for the weekend, but in between rests and naps these last two days, it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things I can now understand. Life is a continual lesson. Take the things it teaches you, and improve everything around you, starting from your soul outward. It will make a huge difference.

We have cleaned up the house to be ready for the next week. It feels good to have a fresh start for a brand new, shiny week ahead of us. Who knows what it will bring to each of us? Each day will be as good as you make it. Choose happy, grateful, productive. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. See you tomorrow! It’s virus-y out there. Be Safe. Mask Up. Be Careful

Amen.

Sentimental Sunday

I’m in heaven again today. The Babe and I celebrated our wedding anniversary a week late, and attended Yesterday and Today at the Omaha Community Playhouse last night. Usually, the show runs after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve. Not this year. Billy McGuigan along with his brothers (and daughter and son!), tweaked the show and presented us with all of this!

Upper left, Ryan, Billy, Matthew, and Jay (Superman) Hanson cover one of the many, many Beatles songs of the night. Soon, they’ll have to rename the show to Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow to showcase all their children. They each have a child with a Beatles-related name. The lovely Cartney sang with the band and her dad, Billy, to one of my favorite songs, Here, There, and Everywhere. She has a very beautiful voice. She hit some hard notes, and Dad couldn’t help but smile. (Upper right, Uncle Ryan, Cartney, Billy). She is also an accomplished artist, and has some merch on the website. How cool would that be for a senior in high school?

Lower right, is the amazing Ciaran, playing the hard parts. His guitar teacher is the incredibly talented Max Meyer (sorry, no pic). Max and Ciaran played before the show, and you can tell there is something magical between the teacher and pupil, that comes out through the guitar. Go witness it, you will be amazed.

Aside from having their own talent and gifts, these two kids are having OJT with some of the best performers we’ve ever seen. Brother Ryan is also an actor, and he made an entrance right in front of us (socially distanced, as per the rules), that left us speechless for a bit. What an actor! Lower left is Ciaran and Brother Matthew. He is quieter than his brothers, but speaks through his music. He’s accomplished on the guitar and vocals. What a group!

Folks, their show continues through November 1st. Give yourself an early Christmas gift. Your heart and soul will warm so much from the absolute love in the theater you’ll have your faith restored in the future of mankind. It’s so refreshing to be away from COVID and television for awhile (except for wearing a mask, and being separated by groups in the theater).

I will say though, I was not comfortable wearing a mask the whole time. When you go, either wear a paper one or one made of cotton. Mine was knit fabric, and they hold a lot of heat in. I just needed the music and display of love from these guys tonight. And the lovely Tara Vaughn. Her voice is like that of an angel. Being in the large theater, and socially distanced, she was so far away! Luckily, she has a giant voice perfect for the song she and Billy do so well together, “Oh, Darling,” from the Abbey Road album. I’ve loved it since I first heard it. You will, too. Then come back when Tara does her show, “Women of Rock.” She is pictured in the upper left photo, between Matthew and Jay. See what I mean, far away.

She won’t leave my side since we got home.

Poor Goldie! We think something stung her this morning. Her eyes and snout started swelling on one side. I gave her three Benadryl to try and stop it. Didn’t help. By the time we drove from Gretna to the Emergency Vet in the Mockingbird area of Omaha, it was very swollen.

They don’t allow people in the building because of COVID, so they came to the car and got her. Luckily, someone saw her right away and they dosed her with steroids and Benadryl. She’s supposed to sleep as much as she wants, and we continue the Benadryl for a couple days and hope it stops any ill effects. These dogs get into your heart and it’s the least you can do – keep them well.

Thank you for reading today. I have a beautiful pup to tend to. Call the Playhouse and go see these guys. You’ll feel like you just were sprung from solitary confinement. Let’s keep moving that direction, out of this pandemic, and become civil to each other again. Show your love to those you are close to. Enjoy the talents of others while you learn what yours are. We all grow and learn from each other. If not for that, we would truly be lost. Keep Hope. Keep Faith. Keep Safe. See you tomorrow.

Writing Today

Good Morning, from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. I’m busy already with planning what to write today. The Poppy Quilt is in the “finished” pile now, and boy, it feels good to finish something.

In my attempt to become more of a planner with my storyline, I’m working on three big, meaningful scenes today. They have to do with my character Katie dealing with the news her husband is getting drafted. She handles it better than he does, really. She expected it all along. Katie does a lot of her growing up and accepting responsibility during this time when he is in training and his early assignments. John, does not grow up. You are taken back to one of the last years the draft was drawn, on July 1, 1970. The draft officially ended in 1973, as the Vietnam War was winding down.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Many of the freedoms women enjoy today are not shared by women in the 1960s and early 1970s. It may amaze some readers to learn these specific areas a woman still needed a man’s permission or even signature when attempting to open a bank account, get a credit card, and even use their first name. A woman was not referred to as “Mary Smith.” She was referred to as, “Miss Smith,” or as, “Mrs. John Smith.” My sweet Grandma Jewell told me a woman’s name was in the newspaper twice in her life. The First, when she marries, it’s in the Women’s News Section; the Second, when she dies, it’s in the Obituary Notices. The Women’s News Section in our local paper is now called the “Living” Section.

Did you know jobs used to be listed under “Men Wanted” and “Women Wanted?” That changed in the 1980s, I believe. And lots of folks would look for someone to rent out a room to, those ads were also based on sex, which was probably a good idea. Apartments were often furnished or unfurnished. I can’t imagine today, sleeping on a mattress someone else used, or fifty others used. We didn’t think anything of it during those times. The furniture was often worn somewhat. It was easier to move, however.

Good To Know!

I would so much rather have my nose in a book than someone’s business. It’s a much safer place to be these days. Some folks are pretty stressed at the restrictions, the rules, the laws, whatever you want to call them, and cooler heads do not prevail sometimes. That is unfortunate. I hope we all can take a moment to calm ourselves, and realize confrontation doesn’t help in some situations. If you’re shopping, in line at a reduced capacity sporting event, or out enjoying the outdoors in a park, please be careful, will you? It doesn’t take long for a situation to go out of control sometimes. Just be careful.

Those pages won’t write themselves, so I’d better move on. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Hope to see you right back here tomorrow. Be Calm. Carry On. Wash Up. Mask Up. Keep a Positive Thought!

Happy First Day of Autumn

It’s been a comedy of errors today. I’m getting behind with writing and everything. Life does that to you once in awhile. God planted lots of lessons in my morning. Maybe they were about things I was doing, but it got my attention. Now to find the messsage.

The Babe was a dear, sweet husband, and instead of going to do errands all day, he stayed home to keep the hounds occupied. They can get underfoot, wanting in and out, so I don’t get much done. But today, I. got the machine work accomplished on on the Poppies Quilt. You may recall, I’ve been trying every day to get to this point, but haven’t made it. I did today.

Poppy Quilt on our new kitchen flooring.

In the meantime, however, I dropped a plain sewing needle on the floor. It is no easy task for me to get on hands and knees to look for a needle on a carpeted floor. But I did, ever so ungracefully. Both my knees are ready for another set of injections, it’s been six months since I saw Doc P. for the Orthovisc injections. Getting up is another ungraceful task, but with the flashlight on my phone, I was able to find it. And lots of dog hair. Note to self, “Your studio needs a good vacuuming.” I may be getting a couple of new knees in the next five years.

With needle in hand, I mended what was needed and got ready to secure the binding to the quilt, along with the hanger sleeves. In 45 x 4 = 180. In 180 inches of sewing, I broke two needles. I hardly ever do that. The machine came unthreaded 2 more times. The bobbin ran out. Any one of those mishaps is a rarity with my sewing/quilting. I do see it as a message from God. I’m still wondering what it means. A seamstress or quilter will tell me maybe something is “off” in the machine. It could have been because I was sewing with invisible thread. (OK, let loose with the wisecracks, I know you want to!) The machine adjustments made need to be reset. It might need servicing. If it continues, I’ll have to take it in.

It’s looking so “Homey.” Thanks, babe, for your help!

While I ponder the message (if any) God is sending to me, I’ll try to finish some things that need attention, like dusting where it needs it and introducing the vacuum to the studio. It’s been a while. Not terrible, but it needs to be done. Lots of little things add up if they’re not done. Kind of like my writing. I’ve been stressed, doing a lot, and trying to get to “done” every day. Going to adjust things – attitude (mine), take fewer breaks, spend more time thinking before diving in.

My attitude adjustment is to remind myself why I’m writing. And it’s just as important as anything else I’ve done, raising kids, graduating from college (finally) in 1995, and I need to speak up and carve my time out of the 24 hours the Babe and I both have in a day. We are equal partners at this. While it’s not new in our relationship, it’s new in my thinking. He’s the perfect person for me to have learned to speak up to, he considers what I want important simply because it’s important to me. That is a treasure I thank God for every day, at least once.

And it can be the fact we’re still living with unknown due to COVID. I do think people are being a little brazen going to crowded places, assuming they won’t get sick. It’s a crap shoot, isn’t it? Still? We have been places to eat, and the staff is masked. That’s good, I suppose, I’m not sure how they do it, wearing a mask all day. And health care workers. God bless you all!

Whatever you do today, I hope you have an easy task of it. When I was tempted to quit, the Babe told me, “Nope, just go finish it. You’re fine. The older we both become, the more I want to spend time with him. Just sit and enjoy each other’s company. Someday, we both won’t still be here. Reality, not negativity tells me that. I want to spend all the time we can. Have a great afternoon on this beautiful first day of Autumn. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.

topher kearby, I love your stuff!

Where Do All the People

hang out who left all this dirty laundry in the laundry room? It’s exploded again. Wow. It doesn’t take long to overwhelm itself. So, after all the sorting and wrestling Goldie for the socks she steals from the baskets/piles as I’m sorting, it doesn’t seem so bad. It seems to go from a couple items to six loads in the blink of an eye. Any other retired folks have that same problem? There are two of us, and we haven’t adopted the “wear everything two or three days” like some older folks do.

My mom wears one outfit “out” when she leaves the house, then rushes home to change clothes. That’s a throwback to the days with “school clothes” and “play clothes” and “good clothes.” Of course, my “school clothes” consisted of a uniform, all twelve years. I suppose we saved a lot of laundry that way. I haven’t counted her outfits she can wear again before washing, she’s still in charge of her closet. She does ok.

Isn’t this a beautiful photo? I’m in awe of it, I don’t want to know how to do it, I just want to enjoy it. You know that feeling? It’s from another free site, used by my friends at I Create Daily. And that’s just it. This group on Facebook has given me courage, strength, ideas, and momentum towards creating the goals I now have which I didn’t have three or four years ago. Writing was a “someday” thing.

I know why I waited so long. It was because I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t strong enough. It has nothing to do with confidence, I don’t think. I learned after the age of 30 I finally had some confidence. It grew, wavered, and grew some more. It was nice to reach the age where I could believe in myself. Some folks never get there. We all have hidden potential. Find out what yours is.

We’ll do a pic tomorrow, but yesterday I actually completed my poppy quilt quilting. Today, I need to square it up, and add binding. I machine sew it on, then hand sew the backing. This one will need a hanging sleeve, since it’ll go right up on the wall. I’m happy to finally finish. My brain still thinks I can do what I used to be able to do at 40 and 50, not taking into account I’m a hair past those decades. Ssshhh! Let me live in denial a bit longer.

See the hanger, up near the top, in the middle, just waiting for the quilt.

Also going to put away all the summery stuff around the house. Tulips, spring towels, etc., will all make way for the vast collection of fall stuff. It’s my favorite time to decorate, until Christmas comes along. And, yes, I will cull the herd of stuff, so that’s a win for the storage room. Great job for today.

So I’m going to be working in and out today, it’s in the upper sixties here (like me!), and very windy, so sitting outside won’t be a calm experience. The skies are dusty not blue, so it might not be a good asthma day. Lots of stuff to do, though.

Thank you for reading today. It’s a little short, but some days are really like that. Tomorrow, I dive headfirst back into my writing. There’ll be more to write about then. Have a beautiful day today. Here’s something good to think on today while you’re enjoying the outside. Or the inside. Keep it inside of you.

Be glad the car started, the water heater worked, the bed was warm.

See you tomorrow, and we’ll make it another good day! Be safe. Be courteous, Be kind. Be you!

Monday, Monday

This morning, I spent a couple hours watching a video designed to convey to “small business owners” the changes Facebook/Instagram made that will affect our abilities to still be seen by our “customers” or members. Authors are included as small businesses as are musicians, artists, and many other creative ventures.

My head is kind of swimming. After hearing Facebook will possibly stop musicians from having Facebook Live concerts from home, I’m pretty steamed at FB, if that is true. Some of those folks had no income during the pandemic, and that is not a good thing. In a world where we need the soothing, healing calm music provides, please don’t take them away from us! Virtual Tip Jars were available for most of them, some requested a donation be made to a charity in their area. I believe they were fair with the distribution of tips, too.

I’m glad I learned about the changes we can have our friends, customers, fans, members make now to their FB feeds so they see us above the rest of the crowd. And I’ll get into Instagram and Facebook Ads, which are supposed to really put you ahead of the pack. It helps find your group of readers, customers, supporters, etc. That will be worth the price for sure.

This afternoon, I’m taking a break from writing and will work on some other things. It’ll be worth the time out, I’ll be more refreshed and able to dig back in. Tomorrow afternoon, I have a webinar on including backstory when it’s necessary, and what to leave out. Hope that one is worth it, too. It’s a second of three that I paid for. The first one wasn’t too great, but I have hopes for the next one.

Saw this morning on GMA and Rachael Ray, Rachael’s home in upstate New York had a terrible fire. It was from a chimney block, creosote lined the chimney, which I believe caught fire because a critter made a house in the chimney. The creature house caught fire, and immediately, a guy on an SUV alerted them and called the fire department. What a shame.

Just want to remind folks to have their wood burning fireplaces cleaned and inspected by a professional. This is the season, and I’d hate to have anyone go through what my son did last October – his apartment building went up in flames from improperly disposal of smoking materials, at someone else’s apartment. It was awful. Here’s that story.

How did you like the header photo today? That is one of my favorite Beatle songs ever. I hope it’s played (or sung) at my funeral some day. The best thing anyone can learn is to Let It Be – whatever It is. And the solution will come to you. You have to listen in the silence. Have faith. Exhibit hope. And you will discover such love. It’s all from God. Yes, I’m a believer. (Another good song, but I didn’t mean to bring that up here.)

The more I see around us, the more I am grateful every day for all the small things in my life that help make my life what it is. Writing is a good way to take the questions, answers, feelings, and anger, put it on paper, and not keep it inside of me to ferment and cause negativity. I could burn it once it’s on paper, but I probably won’t since I don’t want the smoke detectors to go off, or the countertops to be singed. It wouldn’t be a good thing.

I’m also grateful for all of you who take the time to read my blog give feedback. The best place to do that is below on this page, with a comment. I’d love it if you’d get on the mailing list I’ll start collecting in October. It’ll ensure you stay up to date with all the ins and outs of our journey. It’s my journey, but you’re along the trip with me.

Again, thanks for being here today. I hope you return tomorrow. It’s going to be another pretty day her at the home office in Gretna, Nebraska. Hope it will be where you are, too. Be Safe!

Mumbling Monday

So this morning, Goldie was being a sweetheart while the Babe was in the shower. She kept going to the door, to the couch, to her throw toy, and I decided to finish coffee on the deck, in my pajama’s, and let her play some. It went great, she ran and fetched and brought it back to me, and the time I try to throw if farther, this happens.

She wasn’t too happy. I laughed out loud, and got the Babe to see what I did. Evidently Goldie jumped and got it out of the tree, because it was by the fence when the Babe came out. Silly Goldie. Yes, I throw like a girl. Wait. Come to think of it, I throw like a Grandma! That’s even worse. Sorry, Goldie. I won’t get crazy next time. I know my limitations. Try not to let it happen again!

So it seemed I could get some good work done today. It is now nearly 2 p.m., I just emailed my Client Q & A to my book coach Sam, and am just now writing the blog. I had a phone emergency, got weird messages about voicemail, and it said my mailbox was full. I hadn’t seen any for awhile, apparently an upgrade happened, and my voicemail box needed to be opened via password again. I had to call to have it reset. Frustrating and a time waster. I was concerned maybe it was my elderly mom calling. Somehow, they saved a bunch of messages from January, 2020. Who knows? It wasted precious time, which is unfortunate.

So, since it’s a beautiful day, I’m going to take the printed copy of my book outside and sit and read it. I will at least be able to do that and make notes and not waste the whole day. Again, trying to do too many things, but I’m glad Mom’s ok, and you just adjust and go on. Whatever life throws at you, just go with it. Protesting, cussing, and getting all upset won’t help anything. Let It Be.

So we will. The rest of this beautiful day will find me out reading a book. My book. And making notes, doodles, and revisions all over it. The Chromebook needs recharging before I can go further. And I need recharging. It’ll happen on this pretty day. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it so much, even when you’re finding me frazzled, you still come back. Stop on by again tomorrow, I’ll be here. Hopefully earlier. Be safe. Be informed. Be careful. And remember. Just don’t throw like a Grandma!