It’s Saturday!

My friend, Gabbie Wieck, published her new children’s book. Available on Amazon. It’s a delightful story.

I enjoyed Gabbie Wieck’s latest book, a children’s book. One came to my house for Gavin and Addison to read to their puppy, and one went to Colorado to Kayla and Cody. They’ll all enjoy the cute story. Thanks again, Gabbie!

My mission for these last ten or so days has been to get some origin on paper of what Katie’s flaw is, the thing she needs to change, and conquers by the end of the story. All else comes from this story of origin.

Now, if you think it’s creepy when you think of something, then your Facebook ads reflect that, I have to say it’s creepier when you’re looking at books that are in the same genre yours are, you find them AND all I want to know about stories of origin. Right in front of my face! But why did they not even jump out at me before? I believe it’s a God thing, but also, it wouldn’t have made an impact on me if I hadn’t been searching for it. Weird.

You know, I never really got into building puzzles, as some folks call them. My first husband would seal one piece and hide it so he could put the last piece in place. He’d make fun of me because I didn’t have a “sharp eye,” to find things. He’d had a lifetime of that sort of competition with his six siblings, and his mom, so he had more practice! I tried a puzzle in 2000, I think, after I was no longer able to work. Didn’t grab me.

But you know what, I work puzzles all the time. When cutting many pieces out of one piece of perfectly good fabric, then follow a pattern to reunite them all in a beautiful design. All the clothing I’ve sewn over the years is just a puzzle, too. So I might buy one this winter. I suppose the Babe will not like it on the table, but maybe I’ll put it down in the family room. Who knows. Remind me not to buy a hard one! Some are ridiculously hard. My hat is off to anyone who can conquer those beasts.

If Albert Einstein really did say this, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” It sounds like something my dad would say. He often quoted Henry Ford’s “Whether you think you can or think you can’t: you are right.” Very true stuff. We admired Henry Ford right along with Dad. He was mostly a Ford man his entire life. He had a stint as a service station owner, and was very good with cars. Once they progressed to having computers, he gave repair work up. The Jewell’s Standard Station ceased operation when Dad went to Korea. He worked at a Testing Station when I was born in 1952, at least, that’s what’s on my birth certificate. I do remember seeing him there when a was quite young, someone drove us there, maybe so Mom could get his paycheck and deposit it in the bank.

We used to have to have our automobiles “tested”, or checked on so we had safe cars on the streets. They stopped that maybe when I was in my teens. It was a source of taxation for the city and state, and the testers became scarce in the 1970s, I think. If I’m mistaken, please feel free to comment.

I read this morning most authors only sell one hundred copies of their books. And then quit. It could be worse. Always. I think we have enough relatives we can break a hundred. I know a few who may buy one copy and share. The idea is they read it, so that’s ok where you can’t afford it. I don’t expect to be a bestseller right away. That takes time. I do think I’ve kind of narrowed my fiction down to stories of families. Stuff people don’t openly discuss. Nothing illegal or immoral. Codependency, when things are hidden away from people. Lies are told to save face. Excuses made for a loved one. It affects everyone in the family, and not in a good way. What I’m writing are experiences gathered from many households with friends, relatives, and others. The family I tell about is a conglomeration of all of them. No one person or entity is talked about. All put together, they are a fictitious family.

I’m going to curl up with this today.

I have a lot of reading and writing to finish before my self-imposed deadline of 6 p.m. tomorrow evening. I will send Sam all my work and wait to hear from her. One other item on my to do list is to scour Goodreads to find similar genres. It turns out, there are many books about families, their secrets and lies, and the outcomes of each.

I believe as more people are interested in genealogy, more will find disturbing behaviors within their family bloodlines. Many, many men fled other countries and once in the United States, they may have fled another state, leaving whole other families behind. It was also common during the Great Depression. Many children were in orphanages because their dear Mothers could not afford to feed them. Some were placed because the Father’s had no idea how to cope with a houseful of kids if their mother died in childbirth or of smallpox, diphtheria, or some other dreaded disease of the early 1900s. My former father-in-law spent time in an orphanage, as did my Grandfather; the first when his mother died, the second when his father died.

All of these things help make for interesting stories for how and why people become who they are. What they believe about themselves that is categorically wrong. A lot of families just don’t talk about those kinds of experiences. They happened, though. To good people. Good people who deserved better. Life, indeed, is not fair.

I hope you had a good day today. The Babe is putting up a light fixture in the entry. It’s pretty. Film at 11? Thank you for reading. It’s a pleasure to write for you. See you again tomorrow. Be Safe.

Bicycles and Books

Yesterday, I had a great session with Sam Tyler, my Book Coach. The hardest thing about writing is it’s been so long since I had formal training about writing, much less about writing fiction. And then, deciding what kind of fiction. I’m trying to learn how to dig deep, deep into feeling to write about a young woman and her changes in life. The changes were choices to get her to a place she’d never been before: acceptance, self-love, confidence, and peace. She knew it existed, and it was a struggle to break through and arrive there. My coach is teaching/reminding me of the formal aspects of writing, and overseeing my demonstration of what I’ve learned.

The kind of books I like to read? Cop stories, mysteries, long forgotten stories about little children during the depression, stories so far away from feelings and healings it’s not funny. Well, I never did want to do things the easy way, according to my mom. Yes, I prefered to find my own way, not the easy way. My job for the next couple weeks is to keep writing new stuff and dig deep. Harder than it sounds.

The Babe and I are getting things cleaned up and placed back in our living area after the new flooring and fireplace facing. It looks so nice, we’re planning on enjoying it a lot this winter. We love the gas fireplace and spend a lot of time there. The dogs love to lay facing away from it, with their butts right near the glass and sleep the day away. They know how to enjoy life, you know?

Yep, I’m learning to make this a fine art.

Thanks to my fellow author Rhonda M. Hall for the meme above. This woman bikes all over the place, all over trails over hills and flats, every day. Bikers are devoted people. No, not the Harley riding, leather wearing, tattooed, club members. The bicycle crowd. They are an industrious lot. A few years ago, when I lived at the top of a hill, I bought a bike and cycled the Keystone Trail just after it opened. I could do the trail to and from, but to get up that hill at the end never was even a remote possibility. Ever. Couldn’t ride anymore after my giant back surgery in 1995, so gave it up. Great exercise, though. I have a stationary recumbent bike I need to do every day. Always new goals to add, aren’t there? I will if you will. You go today, and I’ll go tomorrow.

Part of writing includes reading. You’d think not. One thing I’ve learned, is the more you read in your genre, the better you are able to write in your genre. I didn’t know that before. I figured, reading was reading, writing was writing. Nope, not at all. I have a book Sam suggested I briefly review on Amazon (the first 10 pages are free, often). I liked what I was reading an ordered the book. It’s called, “As Waters Gone By,” by Cynthia Ruchti. It’s a beautifully written book, full of great examples. I’ll be trying to read during quiet moments this weekend.

Bicycles and books, reminds me of the Summer Reading Club at the Omaha Public Library. When we were old enough, we would ride our bikes to the South Branch and go inside to check out books. We would take a long time to peruse the shelves for what was available. Every summer we raced to finish the ten books first. We never did. A girl from my class had rheumatic fever, and couldn’t run and play outside. She always first or in the top ten. We were forced outside every day, every morning. Dad was a night worker, so we had to be quiet, inside and outside. No a/c. I always felt bad for him.

So many books, so little time! Addison commented to me on the way home from school yesterday, “Grandma, I don’t know how you can read so much.” I told her it was my way to have fun. I do believe if you don’t instill reading in kids when they’re young, they will find some other way to entertain themselves. My folks both read a lot. Magazines, books, everything. Not the Enquirer, though. That doesn’t qualify, in my opinion.

Right now, just outside my window, there are probably ten Painted Lady Butterflies on my Butterfly Bush. It’s so pretty. I tend to gaze at them a lot. I’m glad to have not only a window in my studio/office, but a beautiful view, too. I chose this bush and wanted it outside my window. Good choice, it’s lovely.

Hope you find a good book to curl up with and just relax this weekend. I’m on a mission to get out house back in order, then the book is getting my attention. Oh, and I have a new grandpup to meet sometime, too. Can’t wait to see how excited the kids are with Josie. Hope to introduce Lexie and Roxie to her later on, too. Stay safe out there, distance, do the mask, wash the hands, be kind, thoughtful, courteous, and patient. We all need people to do the same for us. Thanks for reading. And I’ll see you tomorrow, right here.

South Dakota Sky

It is a spectacular Sunday morning out there friends! The dogs slept in (until about 6:30 a.m.), so the Babe and I got to sleep in, too. Great way to start a Sunday. When I got coffee and went out on the deck, woo hoo, it was a bit chilly! But not enough to get a jacket, robe, or blanket.

And this all has to do with the photo in the header this morning. I looked up to the sky above us, and told the Babe, “This is a South Dakota Sky today!” He agreed and we drank coffee. You see, he is from South Dakota, and the only vacation I got to go on as a kid was to South Dakota. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis wanted to take either my brother or me along to have another kid to keep their son company. Rod was (and still is) five years younger than me. We had so much fun. My aunt and uncle were gracious hosts, and made sure we had a good time.

The absolute most beautiful sight I ever saw and remember to this day was Mount Rushmore in the morning. The sky was this exact color. South Dakota Sky Blue. It wasn’t humid, which dilutes the deep, intense color, and the sun shone exactly correctly. I’ve been disappointed in later years to view the monument in the afternoon, and the sky isn’t as pretty. Usually it’s cloudy, and just not the same.

I love South Dakota almost as much as Nebraska, I’m a city girl, from a very blue collar family, and I had all brothers, which makes you have a unique view of the world, for a girl. On Dad’s side of the family, I only have one girl cousin, in fact. Outnumbered, to say the least. We’d shoot marbles in the dirt, do a demo derby car crash up in the backyard, and lots of other fun stuff. Much like a country girl might. But Mom stopped letting me play with the neighbor kids at about nine or ten. I had to behave like a “lady” by then.

I remember in the 1980s, when I was first divorced, there was a calendar called “Dakota Men.” It had hunky ranchers and farmers from North and South Dakota, pictured going about their daily tasks. Tame, compared to the things produced today, it enchanted me. They were all so handsome! I always wanted “to meet me one of them! “

Fast forward to the late 1990s. I did meet one. And there went my heart. The Babe was so worth waiting for. His eyes remind me of those South Dakota Skies. Every day. I’m so lucky. And so is he. We’re perfect for each other. Yes, there is occasional strife. The advantage to falling in love later in life, is you learn which battles to pick. You learn most of what people argue about is unimportant. You both check your egos at the door, if you know what I mean. You’re still an individual, but you’re also a team member.

I know marriage is completely different without raising children. Aside from the obvious, children are one of the things people disagree about. How many, if any, to have. How far apart. Is there such a thing anymore as a primary caregiver? My children’s father rarely, if ever, changed a diaper at all. It was the end of that era when I was married before. The Babe and his brother grew up babysitting for his younger sisters while their Mom worked as a waitress. He still loves babies, and isn’t above changing diapers.

Anyway, in the spirit of this whole South Dakota Theme today, I want to share a video and song with you today, written and performed by another Dakota man, and featuring yet another one! Yes, they’re both hunky, talented, and make beautiful music. Jason “Jake” Mayer wrote this song as a tribute to his family, and it’s beautiful. Jimmy Weber joins him, and he is always a treat. The song, “The Plains of South Dakota (featuring Jimmy Weber)” is one I know will go far.

It’s so cool to know people this talented. I get a whole blog and book(s) to tell my stories; these guys have a much shorter time to do so. And then putting it to music. I’m amazed at how they do this. Keep an eye on Jake Mayer. He’s going to do great things.

Jimmy Weber does, and will keep growing and going. He is a member of the South Dakota Music Hall of Fame, a well deserved honor. Like most of his fans, I’m waiting for his new music to be released. I hear from a reliable source there is one coming. Thanks, Handsome Jake!

Folks, I have a lot of writing to do today. I’m sending my first chapter and other homework to my Book Coach today, and we’ll have a conference about it on Thursday. I cannot believe it’s due already. I may have spent too much time gawking at the sky this morning, but trust me. It was well worth it!

Have a beautiful Sunday. Be Thankful. Be Kind. Be Courteous. I’m so grateful for all of you, reading daily as you do. We’ll meet again tomorrow, my friends. I look forward to it. Be Safe!

Great Advice

Saturday, July 18, 2020

We’re leaving for the Post pretty soon, so I hope I do justice to this before we need to leave. Yesterday was the birthday of a very good friend of ours, Danny Lang. He was a Douglas County Deputy before retiring twenty years ago. He is a very loyal Honor Guard Member at the VFW. He attends nearly every funeral where they provide honors. He has trained many a new member and they almost always are perfectly synced with shooting, marching, salutes, and all they need.

Danny has become good friends with the Babe and me, too. He is a wealth of information, history, and all else. He is still living independently, and still driving. What a great guy. So the guys are surprising him with an impromptu birthday party today. He will be touched, I’m sure. His family is invited to stop by also. I’m looking forward to seeing his reaction since it’s a surprise. Shhhh!

Yesterday I had a good writing session. I have about 800 words for my new first chapter. I’m several years back in Katie’s life, about ten years earlier, to give a better flavor about how her life is. I’m learning to show, not tell. I have some homework due with Sam Tyler, my Writing Coach by Monday morning. I’ll get it finished by tomorrow evening. I think we’ll have a great session next week on Thursday. Lots to accomplish the rest of this month.

The Girls Are Doing a Little Light Reading.

No more lightning bugs for Goldie last night. She is a little shaken after watching a wild turkey in the neighbors house a few days ago. She did not like that creature at all, even from two houses away. This morning, her ball rolled under the raised dog bed we have on the deck, and she went behind it, near the railing to see if she could get it or not. She moved the bed out, but not enough. You could tell she was trying to work her way out of the situation. Another time, the ball rolled just under the railing, and hung on the edge of the plank. It didn’t fall, but she ran down the steps to see if she could find it. I hit the ball and it shot into the air, falling behind her. She jumped then proceeded to secure it firmly in her large mouth. Never a dull moment, for sure.

It feels as if the month is over, but there are still a couple weeks left, more or less. With all the discussion about school opening or not, it seems later. I hope whatever decisions the schools make, I hope it’s sound and I hope the kids are safe. Wearing a mask isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Sometimes I think the anxiety people have is self generated by not wanting to comply. Don’t put your fears and anxiety on your kids. Don’t put your reluctance to comply on your kids. You don’t want them ill. Period. You don’t want Grandpa to become ill, either.

Photo by Swapnil Sharma on Pexels.com

Although I can make masks, I ordered some premade ones from Ruby Ribbon. They’re a company who sells camisoles for women of all sizes and shapes that are pretty remarkable, especially for a breast cancer survivor like me. It helps keep the lymphedema at bay and provides a comfy fit even though I’m pretty lopsided after the lumpectomy. I don’t even think of it. Anyway, they are pretty colors, and thought if they were pretty, they might be less cumbersome to wear.

So as you’re enjoying your Saturday, please don’t overdo in the heat. The temp is 93 and the “feels like” is 102 already, at 12:23 p.m. Hydrate, use sunscreen, and check on your older folks who may not have A/C or use it properly. Be Kind, Be Courteous, Be Thoughtful. Be a good human to those around you. Thank you for reading today, I hope you have a great rest of the day. I’ll see you all tomorrow.

Thankful Thursday

Every morning, there are tons of posts on the Facebook feeds marking everyone’s take on the state of the United States right now. Some are worth watching, some are not. I have viewed, and even liked, YouTube videos from The HodgeTwins. Twin black men who give a sometimes humorous answer to some of today’s odd situations. It is much food for thought. Check them out. CAUTION: Language. And encouragement to use plain English. Their post is about Bubba Wallace. How terrible his situation was a hoax! Why do people have to do this type of thing? I’m a NASCAR fan, but wow. This is a new desperate attempt to try and get attention for a sport that is having a severe image problem. It’s just not the same since Tony Stewart retired. He was the last great scrapper of a driver, in my humble opinion.

It’s a big day today. It’s official. Book Coach Sam Tyler and I have entered into a contract to work on my book, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons. It is a prequel to what I’ve spent the last year writing, These Walls DO Talk. Walls is now on hiatus, and Freeing is the work in progress now. I’m very excited and have a lot of work to accomplish before our first meeting date of July 9. It seems as if that’s a long time away, but it isn’t.

In the work we’ve done so far, I’m finding Sam knows things I’m not aware of about my characters and how they behave. She can coax it out of me and onto the paper. You think you know all about your characters. Creating them doesn’t equal knowing about them. I didn’t believe it myself until just now when I wrote this. It’s eerie and comforting at the same time. She is helping me become a much better writer. And if I become a better writer, I’ll be a better author when my body of works become reality.

Are you an empath? I am.

Shannon Schofield, a friend from I Create Daily, wrote the poem above in the spirit of Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer.” I wanted to share it with you since I found it to be perfect for the current world, in the grand scheme of things.

I don’t believe being an empath is a bad thing. Care must be taken when an empath cares for someone. Caring can be listening to, counseling, walking miles for friends, and many other gifts of giving empathy. It’s a learning process. At first, we are trusting everyone has a good heart. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if everyone did? Unfortunately, empaths often attract narcissists. It’s a hazard of the empathetic soul. After awhile we learn which souls are pure and which ones aren’t. We learn to spend our gifts on the genuine souls. I think some folks have discovered the empath in them since the pandemic started. It can be exhausting, and we need to learn to hold space for our own care every day. That’s a hard thing for me but I’m working on it.

Tonight will be the official party for Gavin’s birthday of June 30. Out of town relatives will help make a great celebration for him. I love birthdays, it’s a day that’s just YOU. Unless you’re a multiple. Strange, Goldie must have missed Gavin all morning. The Babe was gone, and I swear I’ve stopped every five minutes to see what she wants. Finally settled down to sleep awhile. It’s worse than trying to figure out what a fussy baby wants. I think Goldie’s an empath, too.

Going to take it easy this afternoon. Just read a little and make some more notes for my next book writing session. I’m reading “Personality Isn’t Permanent,” by Benjamin Hardy, PhD. While dealing with self-limiting thinking, you cannot become anything else but what you are limited to. Introvert? I was terribly as a kid. I really was in high school. And I was until about age 30 when I got divorced. Hmmm? I had to be different. It was the biggest decision of my life so far, and I had to make it work. It did, and I’ve never looked back to my self-limiting living. More on the book tomorrow.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Hope to see you tomorrow, you know I’ll be here!

Thankful Thursday

It is so beautiful outside this morning. It started a little cool, but that’s ok. The Babe is mixing concrete (by hand), to replace a slab at the bottom of the deck stairs. He made a temporary extra wooden step previously, but with all the dog traffic, it didn’t hold up too well. Goldie doesn’t know what to think. She is a bit timid about new things. She kind of hangs back and watches. You have to love her. She’s been a Godsend to the Babe since we lost Roxie.

As I told you last night in my late post, the Internet was down almost all day yesterday. Wow! Does that make your life different. It really brought to mind how much we rely on it for everyday stuff. Not only does it entertain people all day, my Google Docs weren’t available since the Internet was down. Word Press was also unavailable. It made me re-think my whole day. I read a book, relaxed outside with the Babe and the pups. It was great.

Today, it’s back to work. Proofread my preview for the book coach, send it to her via e-mail (which was also down yesterday), and continue doing work on the book. I’m really getting to like one character that I didn’t think I’d like at all. It amazes me how things can change just as the story develops. It’s just something that happens in your mind during the process. I wonder if other authors have that happen? Excuse me, are there any writers out there who have had that happen? I’m new at this, I’d love to know if it’s normal.

This will be for our new grandson, Cody Wyatt, who lives with his sister Kayla Jolee and their parents and dog Chief in Colorado. The ad didn’t say it was counted cross stitch so I’m cheating. Grandma’s go the extra mile for their grandkids!

I think this little picture will be cute for a little boy. His Mama loved hedge hogs. We even had a pet one, she named him Cliff (after Cliff Claven). I’m thinking of baby toes and smiles and good scents while I’m counting stitches, etc. Babies are just the best. Our world needs more of them, who are welcomed, and loved, and cherished. We all need to feel those three things.

Our friend Jimmy Weber did not an award last night, but we did see him perform the Star Spangled Banner. He always does such a great job on a difficult song. His love for our country shows with every note. It’s refreshing to experience that. When a link becomes available, I’ll post it.

There is a bird’s nest under our deck. It’s been there since we moved in. At first, Robin’s used it. This year, however, they did not return. There are many House Finches in our wooded area, and they have now called the nest home. They sit and sing to us, then go check on the eggs. It’s a pretty neat experience, and I wish the grandkids could come see it. Next year. One year, House Finches made a nest in a hanging planter with a Fuchsia plant. We could look in on the baby when we watered. It was pretty cool to be able to do that.

Every little bit helps!

I’d better get on with the day. I appreciate you checking in today, I appreciate you taking the time. Be positive about everything today, it will make a huge difference in your day. I will be back tomorrow, and hope to see you here. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Sneeze into your elbow. These things will help keep you safe. Blessings.

Good Friday

Hello, hope this Good Friday finds you in a good place. At home, with clean hands, no cough, no headache or fever, and with a mask at the ready should you need to go grocery shopping. I’m going to be making some masks later today or tomorrow, I’ve been the lucky one who gets to stay home, so I’m a bit lazy at getting them made. I should just get the one for the Babe before he goes to the store later. He’ll be my test case.

There are so many different possibilities for making them. Cotton, no cotton, flannel is too thin, too “holey,” polyester? Whatever you do, do NOT sanitize them in your microwave. People have tried this and they will spontaneously combust, a/k/a start on fire! Yes, they will. Don’t add homelessness to your troubles in this quarantine, ok? I’ve gone to my extensive fabric stash and found some pieces that are nearly the right size. I’m going to start with the rectangular size that you pleat. I hope that will do. The Babe will get one that is the American flag flying. It’s appropriate for him, don’t you think?

There is a type of mask that has a pipe cleaner inserted at the top middle, that helps fit it over the bridge of the nose. That seems like a good idea. Do I still have the craft bin with those in it? The search will begin. There are many other types, and they are all better than nothing. You must have all parts of your nose, face, cheeks, and jawline all covered with the mask. When you arrive home, remove it by touching the elastic ONLY. Do not wear it again until it is laundered. Regular laundry soap is sufficient. The key is only wearing a mask for one trip out of the house. Yes, they may fog your eyeglasses or sunglasses, but it’s worth the inconvenience. At the most, try inhaling deeper and gently blow the breath out through your mouth. No one will see you. You’ll have a mask on. Thank you for keeping us safe. I’ll keep you safe in return.

About now are you having long days but still feel like you’re running short on time? I do. I can’t be the only one. When I’m writing, the time flies by. When I’m doing something less fun, it drags. I suppose that is normal, but during these times it just seems to magnify the passage of time. I’ve just read a fiction novel by my fellow Nebraska Writers Guild author Bonnie Lacy. It’s the third of a series about a man wrongfully convicted of murder who was in prison for a long time. It was quite a series of three books, and it made me really wonder how does time pass when you’re really confined for a lifetime? I hope to never find out first hand, but I’m curious.

I have talked to a lot of people who have been held captive by alcohol and drugs for years and years. Those years are long and hard from what I gather. The life is hard on a human body. The treadmill of getting high/drunk to escape, to dull pain, to relax an overly shy person, to take the edge off anything. The list of “reasons” (excuses) is long and probably endless. I applaud a person who can get off that treadmill and never set foot on it again. Their life is better. It takes hard work but it always ends up better. You, of course, need to do the work to make it better. It won’t improve your negative outlook unless you recognize your negative outlook. It won’t cure your depression, but it probably won’t be as deep and soul-consuming. Being aware is part of the work. Being willing to change a habit is a huge part of it. And working on the awareness and change is a life long piece of work. It is worth it.

No, I am not a person stuck on the treadmill. Never used drugs. I do drink alcohol. It does not control me at all. I refuse to let the words, “I need a drink/glass of wine/beer,” pass my lips. I’ve had people tell me, “Have a drink, then it won’t seem so bad.” I absolutely will not drink because things are bad. I have other things I need to work on. Like being too nice sometimes. Like doing for others at my expense. It’s hard to say no, sometimes. I’m learning it’s ok to say no. If you no longer like me, it is your loss, not mine.

As the Christian world prepares to celebrate their biggest holy day of the year, think about how you may be able to make your life better. Give more. Be more accepting. Give that money you don’t need for cigarettes or Keno right now to the area food banks. Our economy is only going to stagger before it gets better. It may take the rest of the year for a new normal to emerge. My hope for all of you is it emerges with more awareness, more loving, and more caring for each other. God gave his Son for our sins. I didn’t deserve that much love. But I’m learning God thinks I do. So do you. Right your wrongs. Make your amends. Reach out to mend fences. Even if you didn’t destroy them. Make the move. If the other person doesn’t respond, keep reaching out. It’s the next right thing to do.

Thank you for reading today. May your day be one of soul searching and growth. It’s yours and mine for free. All it takes is our time and commitment. I’ll be here again tomorrow. Hope to see you then. Peace and Love.

Sunny Sunday!

Greetings from the Home Office Studio in Gretna, Nebraska! It is a scrumptious day out there, a bit chilly, but the sun is shining. That makes all the difference in the world. As you know, with all this social distancing going on we are not able to go out to movies, shopping, stop off and have a beverage, and go see our favorite musical entertainment. I shared yesterday about our friend, Jimmy Weber, who did a gig last night from his home. It was so good to hear him sing live again! The seating was great, no lines at the ladies room, and they stocked our favorite beverages! There were a couple technical issues, but that stuff is even happening to Netflix these days. (Buffering is still alive and annoying while watching your favorite series’ new season!). That aside, he sang a lot of his new songs that will be recorded later this year in Nashville. Hope they’re ready for you, Jimmy! Stay well.

Today, our friend Rick Tiger and a friend are on FB Live from 4 to 6 p.m. Tune in, you’ll know you’ve heard Rick’s songs before. He’s written a treasure trove of them. He’s a good guy, and you’ll feel you’ve known him forever. Thanks in advance for supporting our friends!

While high school athletes and seniors mourn the loss of their time in the sun, there are couples all over the world who are having to postpone the most important day of their lives together – their weddings. I truly feel sorry for them as weddings are something they look forward to for months and even years. How disappointing to have quarantines in place, where no more than ten people can gather together. Some can’t even include their entire families!

Which brings me to the point of this story. My cousins Mike and Mary have four grown kids, three girls and a boy. The son is in college, so they’re all grown for the most part. Their oldest had a wedding scheduled for yesterday, April 4. After much discussion, they went forward with the ceremony, in the groom’s parents yard. They were so blessed to have such a pretty day. From the photos, it was a beautiful wedding. They adjusted. They got through it. They didn’t like having to change their plans, but they did. They were grateful and everything went well. That’s what being married is about. Things don’t always go the way you want, but a compromise is found, and you go on, being grateful for the gift of each other. It’s a testament to their parents and to Marc and Katelynn too, for picking out the important part and going with it. You kids are off to a great start.

In addition to adjusting, you also need to keep your sense of humor in marriage. The Babe and I have found it to be our most important and most used tool in the arsenal. While going through the photos online, we were blessed with this one. It was the groom’s idea, and it truly speaks to their sense of humor and grace, and will be a story to tell their grandkids about. I absolutely love this!!

What a great way to start a (COVID-19) marriage.
With laughter!

Do me a favor? If you get down in the dumps over all this staying at home, come back to this blog post, and have a good laugh on Katelynne and Marc! Congratulations to them!

It ought to be interesting, my cousins Mike and Mary have another daughter getting married in August, 2020. I wish them the best of luck in keeping their schedule amidst this looming crisis. This is a family who believes in their faith, the goodness of God, and the kindness of people. They will all be ok. I hope the same for all of us.

Better days are coming again.
Be aware and receive them fully.

At the present moment, I have to say, this isn’t the worst bad time I’ve had – yet. Sometimes, as a single mom, I thought we might go bankrupt, but that worst never happened. Sometimes, as a single mom, I prayed my kids would have enough of a teacher in me that they would break the stereotype of “bad kids come from broken homes,” and they grew up good, responsible citizens. (I still hate the term “broken homes”to this day). Sometimes, as a breast cancer patient, I was afraid the cancer would have a mind of it’s own, destroying my life and taking me from this earth, but it didn’t. The list goes on and on of the things that would qualify as my worst hard/bad time. Yes, many could have happened, but by the grace of God, they did not. I am praying for all of us, that this global pandemic, is not any of our worst hard times.

Thank you for reading today. I hope it made your heart a bit lighter. I appreciate you very much, and hope to see you again tomorrow. Who knows what fun we’ll have then? I’ll be here.

COVID-19 Blues

When I opened WordPress this morning, I was greeted with a meme that wished me Happy Anniversary. It was one year ago today I started my website and blog. I established it and wanted to learn more before I dove in headfirst. You see, I don’t swim. At all. Water terrifies me. I can use pool noodles and not hyperventilate, but take them away, and I sink. It’s a fear I’ve never overcome. I’d rather speak in front of an auditorium than try to swim. And I have spoken in front of an auditorium. I emceed a dinner at Metro Community College once about twenty five years ago. Probably a thousand people attended. Bob Boozer was a speaker. I knew nothing about it until the emcee was sick and they called me. What a surprise! I lived to tell about it.

I blogged a couple times between April and July, 2019. When we tragically lost our Roxie was when I started daily (almost). I can see a lot of differences depending on the day, and I’m glad for those of you who continue to follow. As soon as I finish my book and get closer to publishing, I will add website pages, about ordering, what we’re working on, and whatever else that entails. But as of now, we’ve met over two hundred times! That’s a lot of blogging, a lot of reading, writing, and a lot of trying to decide what to talk about. Thank you for bearing with me.

I’m sure you all know how much I love quilting. In ten years, I hope to see the improvement in my writing just as I’ve seen the improvement in my quilting skills. At first, I thought I’d never be able to make a nice quilt. Quilters always feel the need to confession, sort of like the Catholics do. It’s not necessary at all. Most of the time, no one else even notices mistakes. We are often our own worst enemies. Writers are also their own worst enemies, believe me.

As a quilter, a lot of friends have shared this pattern with me. I purchased it, and it arrived a couple days ago. I love the irony there is in this piece. The overs and unders of roll placement, patterned vs. white, and the glaring example of that one piece left on the roll, half covered with glue. What good is that? Who does that? It might make a good raffle prize for the Nebraska Writers Guild Fallish Conference later this year. I’ll have to see if my good intention comes to fruition. It might make a good memory quilt for our youngest grandson, Cody, who was born in January, before all this hoarding started. That remains to be seen.

I just couldn’t resist!

Do any of you have the problem of enjoying too many creative endeavors? Like art, writing, quilting, photography, etc., etc., etc.? I do. It’s a hard thing when you like a lot of things. Even back in the 80s when I took a placement test at the community college to see what areas of interest I had. It’s hard when you like a lot of things. It’s great if you can devote enough time to each facet, but not if you are simply hacking away at each part. I did decide to forgo the art part until I finish the novel. And relax starting another one for at least six months, unless there’s a valid reason to start another novel right away. If a publisher is hounding me for a series, and I must get started quickly. It could happen. Not likely, but I’m new at this, how am I to know?

Once Bitten Twice Shy?

Wasn’t there a metal band in the 80s who sang a song “Once Bitten Twice Shy?” Through the blessing called GOOGLE, I find it was by White Snake. Yes, my oldest liked Metal and Hair Bands (Bon Jovi & Van Halen), heck I even liked those last two. And now you can hear them all on elevator music. It happens to all of us. My younger son Nick liked the boy bands, Pointer Sister, girl soloists, etc. Daughter? She liked the Death Metal garage band that went onto become the Faint. Yes, the Faint. She had a boyfriend (Mike) who was the lead singer/guitarist. She broke up with him before they got big. Funny how things go along. She now likes Country music, and they have their two beautiful kids, named after western heroes (Cody Wyatt) and a Country singer (Kayla Jolee). I can’t help but wonder what those kids will listen to. Hopefully not rap. Sorry, I just don’t like angry sounding stuff that rattles my fillings. I can even get to like lots of stuff, but not rap. Not in me.

So as I’m off to see if my plot will bite me again, I hope you have a beautiful day today. We have winter ick again, but it won’t last long. The last couple days I think I’ve given in to some of the COVID-19 Blues, and I don’t want to give away any more of my time to him. Not unless I could write a blues song about it like an old, wise, gravelly voiced black man could. With that life experience, it’d be a great song, don’t you think? What a character he would be. I think he could tell a lot of stories about lives he’s lived. But that’s for another time.

And thanks for reading today. I’m glad you were here with me, it’s given me a boost to keep working today. I hope your day is good. Do whatever you wish to. Reward yourself for staying in. We must if we want to emerge on the other side of this with our communities intact. Please don’t think you won’t catch it. You might not, but you could infect me. Or the Babe. Let’s be sensible. Thanks! See you tomorrow.

Hump Daaaaay!

A pessimist would say, “Why bother? Hump Day? Every day is the same as another when you’re stuck at home.” An optimist would say, “Wednesday is just a great as any other day! You woke up today, the sun is shining AGAIN!” And aren’t we lucky we have some place, whatever it is, to self-distance/quarantine ourselves? Yes, we are. When you look at countries like China, India, the Middle East, Africa, they don’t even have basic sanitation and clean water to drink. How on earth would we survive that? We need to count our blessings and be grateful.

Even if you are diagnosed with Corona Virus (COVID-19) chances are, you will survive with little damage to your lungs. People like myself, who have asthma or any other underlying health issue, will have a harder time if they have the lung damage associated with the virus. This IS different than the flu. The mucous is extra thick once it settles into your lungs. It causes permanent damage to the lungs where it sets up house, so to speak. I’d hate like hell to have my lungs compromised because some person decided they were bored and gathered with a crowd, playing a game of soccer, went shopping to Target to get their Starbuck’s and just browse the racks, or sent their kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa because they needed a break from home-schooling. Please, don’t do it!

Even though we need to be vigilant, we can still keep occupied and not go stir crazy. If you are a person who is still working, maybe enjoy how your home (apartment or house) looks all day long. You’re usually at work and don’t often get to enjoy it during the day. It makes you have a different perspective of your abode. You may (safely) have a little talk over the fence with the neighbor. The Babe is out doing that all the time. He knows everyone by first name. I love that about him. Everyone loves him. I’m lucky. And so is he!

A cousin’s daughter scheduled her wedding for April 4, 2020. They have had to cancel the reception. They will still have the ceremony, reduced to 7 people, them, the officiant, and have rescheduled the reception for later this year. Her younger sister is set to marry in August, along with another cousin’s son, also in August. Hoping these young people get started on their lives together and all brides and grooms get to have their time. I can imagine how devastated they all feel, and at the same time, they’re all very responsible people who know they must follow these new rules for living. They’re temporary restrictions, not permanent ones. God Bless all of you!

As a fund-raiser for their tip wage staff, Union Pizzaria and Sports Bar in Omaha, NE, printed some t-shirts with their various businesses on it and is donating all the proceeds to a fund for their impacted workers. What a great employer in the food and beverage business! My son works at Union, along with his room-mate. When they lost everything in an apartment fire last fall, these guys were right there, making sure they were getting what they needed, time off, whatever needed to be done. So grateful my son is associated with people like this. God Bless you guys! Go to their Facebook post for more info!

A great way to feel better? Help someone else. There are many, many restaurants who have gone to pick-up food to keep their doors open. Try ordering out! I don’t know about you, I’m a bit tired of cooking, but I do like it’s healthier than what we eat out. I just need to get back to salads and the like. It just all takes time. I’ve probably had quite enough comfort food for awhile. I truthfully don’t even like french fries that aren’t done to a certain degree of crispness. Nothing soggy, thank you very much.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. Union’s tip wage staff would appreciate it greatly if you’d stop by 156 & Maple for a t-shirt or two. Order their daily special before you go and you can solve the dinner problem. They appreciate it greatly. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope you come back. Have a happy, safe day.