Tuesday Trifles

Trifles are defined as insignificant, or things that should not considered important. That’s as a noun. As a verb, trifles is showing a sexual attraction to someone just for fun, or spending time in aimless activity. Wasn’t there a Star Trek episode with Trifles? Little furry creatures? Oh no, a quick Google tells me they were Tribbles. We’re safe from them for now.

So much of our language is changing over our lifetimes. My piano teacher spoke with elegance and used the word trifle. I remember her very well, a kindly old lady from the neighborhood. I was so excited to take lessons. I walked across the street and over one house to her home. She wore typical granny-type dresses and shoes, always a dress, wore her hair in a bun. She could play piano quite well. I do wish I would have practiced more, I could have been good. Kids never realize what opportunities they have – or shall I say many kids don’t realize? I didn’t. I did play the organ in Church, though, from sixth grade until eighth grade. Then I just quit.

I hung out with Joyce Zagurski, a girl I rode the bus with, and I also knew her from our neighborhood. I always thought she was an only child, but she did have a brother quite a bit older than she. Her parents were quite a bit older than mine were. Last I heard, she worked selling cars. Kind of a surprise, since she was kind of shy. But then, I was too.

When I first started to dabble (or trifle?) with writing, of course I joined a lot of mailing lists. As I’ve learned to narrow my focus on information, many of these are unsubscribed to right now. The pertinent ones still make it to my writers inbox. I subscribe from Mary Adkins, who is an author and a writing coach. She is offering some good classes on writing, I will sign up for a couple. I printed and kept an article, called “5 Writing Rules I Broke, to Sell My First Novel.”

From my kitchen sink window

Adkins says there are 5 writing myths:

#1 – Write what you know

#2 – All First Drafts are S*&^

#3 – A writer writes every day

#4 – Show, Don’t Tell

#5 – Learn the Rules Before You Break Them

I find this interesting.

Writing what you know should put you at an advantage; writing what you don’t know stretches your knowledge, you expand your thinking, you learn to use imagination. It is frightening yet exhilarating. Your fire is fueled by gaining confidence in a new arena.

All first drafts need to be edited. Over and over. My original book is probably going to be a sequel or two. In the midst of having over 50K words, I reached a point where I decided the backstory was so important the story needed a prequel. I’m sure that original manuscript will be edited within an inch of it’s life, but I would just say it needs improvement.

A writer writes every day. They might. If they have a day job, kids, elderly parents, it would be hard to make the time. I do write every day, even if it’s this blog. And just like writing fiction, some days are good, some are not. I know that, and I hope you all understand. It’s pretty important.

Show, don’t tell. Sometimes, you have to tell. Telling is stating a character’s thoughts and feelings. Showing is describing the character’s actions. Adkins refers to her favorite book on craft, The Making of a Story, has information on doing both. With practice, a writer learns how to do this. I’m practicing every day.

Learning rules before breaking rules? Adkins’ truth is learn the reasoning before taking rules seriously. Use rules as guidelines to make writing easier, not restrictive. This makes sense to me, at this moment in time. I’m looking forward to the workshops, one a month for the next three months.

Thanks for reading today. We’re taking Gavin (grandson) to lunch today, then attending his ball game at 5:30 p.m. Perfect ending to a perfect day! Be kind, wash up, mask up, be thoughtful, and let’s make each others day better. Be safe!

More Monday!

Good Monday Afternoon! It’s been busy around Raabe Ranch this morning. Did I ever tell you why I call it that? This is the biggest yard the dogs have ever had to roam in. And it goes well with our German last name. Thus, Raabe Ranch. So huge the babe bought a riding lawnmower right when we moved in. He needs it, and I need to learn how to use it. You know, in case I ever need to mow. I did mow before my sons were old enough to mow the yard. We had a huge bank in front of the house, and it was a challenge, but not bad.

I have an appointment with the Allergy/Pulmonary doc on Wednesday. To test my lung function, she wanted me to have a COVID test. If I would have it, it could significantly impact the lung function. Good to know. The staff at UNO have a great setup for these tests required by doctors. They have a special parking lot/garage devoted to testing. You give your name, a Post-It Note with a number gets stuck on your windshield. They motions you to enter when it’s your turn. Window down, double check the patient name/birthdate, then the test. It’s not pleasant, I’m not going to lie. The phrase, “Up your nose with a rubber hose,” came to mind. It sure felt like it. I felt as if part of my left brain was removed via my nasal cavity. At any rate, it was over before I knew it. It did hurt for about an hour afterwards. Great job, UNMC and UNO.

My cover photo today is a bouquet of roses I bought at Target. It’s nice to give yourself flowers once in awhile. They smell so good. My Grandpa Bobell planted Tea Rose bushes in his yard. I’ll never forget that beautiful smell. I always think of him when I smell them. Funny how the sense of smell is one so many memories are tied to. The scent of cinnamon rolls baking remind me of Grandma Jewell’s house. I can drive past the address even now, and smell the scent of love. It makes me smile.

That is exactly why I love the smell of baby powder. We used to be able to put baby powder on the babies before they found out about it was bad for us. It was such a sweet, innocent smell. Nothing better! The fresh smell of rain, the smell of freshly sawn wood while making a project, the smell of fresh peaches as you take the first juicy bite, all make life sweeter. We will remember because the mind stamps the smells for us. All pleasurable memories.

Smells that some folks don’t like at all: The Stockyards on a humid, summer day, burnt popcorn at the movies, or the musty smell of Grandma’s basement. Lots of room for improvements, right? We were always told the Stockyards was the smell of money, the burnt popcorn, I don’t know how you can make that better, Grandma’s basement, humid, musty air can be lessened with dampness removers in jars, a dehumidifier, and a host of other things.

A smell I used to love was a campfire or fire pit. Not any more. After my son lost everything in the apartment fire last October, burning wood is no longer a good smell for me. He’s had a lot of stuff happen, more than many in 2019 and 2020, and he still has a good attitude. “Oh, well,” is something he frequently says and has since he was a teenager. He’s so resilient.

The smell of fried food reminds me of when both boys lived at home and worked at Grandmother’s on 90th and Dodge. The fried food smell was on them, their clothes, and the yellow residue tracked in the house on the inexpensive vinyl flooring in the bathroom. Smelly stuff. But I was glad they were kids who knew they had to work, and they had to work hard to keep and maintain their cars, insurance, etc.

I have a few personality charts to plan out this afternoon. My character Katie will have six or seven brothers to contend with, along with an aunt who is a mentor and friend. They will all appear in the first chapter, and it should be great fun. There is also a You Tube video describing the difference between Plot and Story. Sam, my book coach is sure keeping me busy! It could be overwhelming to try and piece all of these elements and make sense of them. I’m just glad I have her, and I would highly recommend her. Sam Tyler, The Write Book Coach, http://www.thewritebookcoach.com.

Hugs Are Good for All Of Us.

Memes about hugs are some favorites of mine. One mentions – Did you ever get a hug from someone and you could feel all your broken parts being put back together? Yes, those are the best kind. The Babe is one of the best huggers I’ve ever met. And yes, I feel my broken parts going back together. I do know quite a few very good huggers, too, and always want to greet them standing up, for a really good hug. Those kind last a good amount of time. Go get some today!

It’s late in the day, and I want to thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support. Help each other out, be kind and courteous, and be patient with each other. We need to be good examples. Wash up, wear your masks, and let’s just get this pandemic over with. See you tomorrow.

Superb Sunday

Well, folks. It finally happened. Last evening the Babe and I drove to Glenwood, Iowa to see one of our favorite bands, Billy McGuigan and the Downliners. It was a breath from heaven into our COVID filled lives. They reminisced about October 2019, when they had their last scheduled gig. A cruise. They loved their cruise gigs. Audiences loved them, too. This appearance, at Davies Amphitheater, was the first already scheduled gig they were able to play. If you could imagine Billy McGuigan more exuberant than he normally is, that is who we saw last night. What finally happened? I have not one still picture of the guys during the concert. Not a one.

If you could imagine listening to some of the greatest musicians in the country play standards such as “Burnin’ Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and “Down on the Corner,” and then, just for fun, play for the first time Billy’s own original country style music. A song about his guitar, “Me and Peggy Sue.” A love song for Kate, ” Windows of My Soul.” “Little Metal Shack,” and “Trailer Park Song,” reminiscing about other experiences in the life of the McGuigan brothers. Good stuff. Then the almost finale, original song, “Together.”

First time hearing the song, it’s a little hard to keep up with understanding the lyrics. It talks of how close the family is. Their dad taught them they would always get through life’s hard things together. The phrase “when cancer came to call,” jumped out at me, not once, but twice. I’m guessing it’s referring to losing their dad to leukemia at a young age. The other one, I believe is for brother Ryan’s wife who also passed away from cancer. A very hard blow for the family. And what a beautiful song. They truly band together, not just for music, but for living. Kudos, guys.

By going last night, I have a renewed hope for life. Music inspires me to get through things. I have always relied on it. So do my kids. Thanks the Davies Amphitheater for accommodating us safely. It was so good to get away for a while and not think of anything else. The Babe and I talked with Kathy Kersey, a volunteer, and met Kevin Klimowski. He recognized me from the blog yesterday. Billy fans stick together, too. Pretty cool to be recognized for what I’m just branching out and doing. Thank you, Kevin! It was a thrill!

Again, if you’d like to see a show that will rock you, go see Pop Rock Orchestra at the Omaha Playhouse in August. Check it out here. And p.s. Billy has a new look. It’s a little startling, but I’d say he’s gone to beast mode. Bearded and lots of hair, but looks great. Sounds even better.

I’m still on Cloud 9 from last night. It was even hard to wind down to go to sleep last night. I’m just going to revel in the love I experienced last night. It was stuff dreams are made of. Thanks for helping me pursue mine by reading every day. I appreciate it a lot. Be safe. See you tomorrow.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Summery Saturday

Tonight is a special night. We are finally able to go see live music, outdoors, and socially distanced at the beautiful Davies Amphitheater in Glenwood, Iowa. We are going to see “Billy and the Downliners,” a/k/a Billy McGuigan and his talented band. It’s going to be great. Although they have performed at the Omaha Community Playhouse as a Drive-In production, we didn’t attend that one. It stinks being in the “old person” category, and having some health issues. It stinks being responsible about it, but I’d rather we both be here in the future to see him perform than go now and be sorry we did. I’ve never seen such talented musicians gathered together. They all have their moments to shine, and together, it’s stuff that you will probably hear from the angels in heaven. The best part of all? They love their fans, and appreciate them. No egos here. Just confident people sharing their gifts with us. How lucky Omaha is to have them. My heart feels lighter.

I’m feeling the COVID-19 Blues lifting already! It’s nice to have something to look forward to, aside from waking up every morning. It’s sure become a habit to sit out on the deck with the dogs every morning. Just watching the sky, the trees, the birds. It’s so awesome. I don’t like to think what we will do in late fall when it’s too cold to sit out there. There has to be something equal that’s inside, and not the morning news. It’s just so dark anymore. I think America as a whole are really trying to be safe in this pandemic. We can’t always get what we want. My generation heard that phrase in a Rolling Stones song back in the day.

Sure we have rights, and with rights come tremendous responsibility. Wearing a mask is in that category, in my humble opinion. My freedoms are still there, I’m just thinking of all of us by wearing one. Please, pick something else to be stubborn about. Don’t get me, my 91 year old mom, my 70 year old husband, or my little grandson (I haven’t gotten to meet yet) sick by thinking you’re proving a point. It’s not worth it. I’d rather live, and I would bet you would too. Help me help you never meant more than right now.

New Words to Live By

Too often we become complacent in our lives. We don’t have to have fireworks and parades all the time. We accept things that are holding us back as people. We accept people who hold us back, too. The best situation for improving your life is to have a partner who has your back. That is rare, especially if you want to do some projects or take up a new time-consuming hobby. That’s when you can really tell if you have the right person with you or not. If they aren’t happy for you in your growth spurt, there could be trouble if they have a temperament that needs their ego fed.

That said, you can be contented and support your S/O if you are secure in your life, your relationship, and are genuinely happy for their future, which is also a part of your future. I re-discovered that treasure in my life this week. After nearly 22 years of marriage, it’s still there, and better than ever. The Babe supports my endeavors whatever they are. He may not want to participate, or understand why I want to write, but he supports me, and I support him, too. He knows writing is important to me. When he told me that this week, I felt like the keys to Fort Knox were handed to me. That’s a huge, huge gift to a creative person. May you all have that someone in your life. And if not now, may you find it soon. You deserve it, too. I’m grateful.

Project for today, in addition to studying more about writing.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you have something safe and special planned. Pop Rock, with Billy McGuigan will play for an extended time at the Omaha Community Playhouse, if you’re up to going. You won’t be sorry, trust me. Dates are August 5 – 23. See you tomorrow, right here. Be safe. Be kind. Be courteous. Let the music blow your socks off.

Friday Fun

It’s been such a busy day again. Those are the best. Someday, I’ll probably wish time wouldn’t drag by. Not now. I had another Zoom meeting with Sam Tyler, my book coach. I am learning so much about the mechanics of writing a good story. Of being a good writer. Of tricks and rules I had no clue about. It is exhilarating! As she told me today, it’s easier to learn these techniques and write well to start with, than it is to have 358 pages right now, and have to re-write all of it. My original story has morphed over and over. I really like where this is going. I believe this will be a story about change, so much that the person who experienced it can hardly believe her journey as she looks back at it.

The Babe and I visited the VFW, he worked on the business part while I sent their newsletter to the printer, and emailed it to members who receive it electronically. It’s something I’ve done forever. I know how elderly people love mail, and I’m happy to make sure they receive some. It’s good to feel remembered. Sometimes a widow will send a note to not send one anymore, her husband has passed. Or they’ll call. No one is there most days to answer the phone, but it is always nice to talk with them. Some day, that may be me. Hope someone is considerate then.

Well, now the neighbors on either side of us have moved. The first couple moved to a newer home they purchased, and the other side just finished up yesterday. We didn’t realize it was the last time so we didn’t get to say goodbye. That makes me sad. They were such nice people and we’ll miss them. We’re getting a younger couple, and we don’t know if there are kids or not. Always an adventure, isn’t there?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I remember how hard it is to move. Especially if you have a lot of “stuff.” I do, and probably half of it is fabric for quilts and clothes. It will all have to go whenever we move again. I’ll have enough stuff to work on. Books, embroidery, etc. Hope I have another ten to twenty years in this home I love. Hope the majority of it is with the Babe, too.

In the falling in love department, I love this meme from Jekyll Doesn’t Hyde. It makes you think, doesn’t it? I once read women fall in love much more than men do. Not sure if that’s true or not. I know love after 40 is way different than it is at 20 or even 30. Having been a repeat offender by choosing the wrong type of person to spend time with, my spark was under lock and key. I’m glad it was the Babe who put the spark back in my soul. Ladies, may you all fine one of your own. And gents, remember, there are a lot of good ladies out there. Make good choices, you’ll all find your spark again. It’s just so special. You’ll see.

It’s getting a little later in the afternoon and after that most excellent BLT at lunch, it’s hard to concentrate right now. The tomatoes are so perfect this time of year, I think this was the best BLT I’ve had in quite a while. Kudos to Addy’s Bar and Restaurant. Pure heaven.

Our local health department, state, and county are working together to come to a conclusion regarding wearing masks. The metro area of Omaha has quite a spike in cases, and I don’t think that’s a good sign. Folks, wash your hands, wear a mask. You never know, it could help more than anyone knows. My rights will still be intact when this is over, I just want my life and the lives of my family still intact, too. It won’t hurt us. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be courteous. We all need it.

Thanks for your time today. I’ll see you again tomorrow. Much earlier, I promise. Hang in and hang on.

Thursday, Again?

The past week has been a whirlwind again. Lots of stuff going on. I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment, and I know it’ll pass. It always does. How about you?

The VFW had quite a few people at Hamburger Night. Some restrictions are still in place; the kitchen staff wears masks and gloves, we order and pay for food individually, the servers bring our food to the table. No lines to wait in. Not sure how long this will all be going on, or if we will have to close again for more COVID outbreaks. We haven’t been called a hot-spot, but cases are increasing. I don’t see how they won’t continue to grow after schools are in session. In 30 days, we’ll know more. Just praying no one becomes ill.

I’ve done more reading in Personality Isn’t Permanent. Zig Ziglar is credited for the saying,

Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future.

This morning, I had to rein in my outlook and output. The day didn’t start well. The Babe and I took care of a lot of business this week, and need to fill out some paperwork online to complete the week. I do not like to do that on my phone. I became frustrated from overwhelm, and in the overwhelm, I decided not to share what I was thinking about the whole thing. Arghhh! Reigning in my frustration helped me say I’m overwhelmed, then stepping away made it easier for the moment. Some things are still unresolved, but the whole day didn’t fall apart because of it. It could have easily been a totally wasted day, letting frustration build into anger, into angry words, into a bad mood all day. Each day is much too precious to let that happen.

The author is talking about all the distractions on the internet. Most of it has to do with your future self. That is true. We have so many choices as to how we spend our time, and most people cannot function with that many choices and not be intimidated by them. I suppose that could be true. While given all these choices, many people get anxious about making a decision. This can cause something he calls “decision fatigue,” that can paralyze many people.

Many of these “choices” are dark rabbit holes that lead nowhere. They don’t help your cause at all. They simply waste your time. We are all guilty of doing that from time to time. If we want to achieve goals and move forward from wherever we are in life, we have to intentionally block out a lot of the world. That is not saying becoming closed-minded. By knowing what we want, we can limit our vast possibility of options, and made the choices that really are best for us. Best for our goals. We won’t become lost on the way to achieving our dreams.

This fine fellow was occupying the deck railing yesterday. I was watching him for a few minutes as he moved slowly to fly away. He had to know I was so close, I think he was just trying to fake me out. I love distractions like this, it gives you a mental break. Sometimes it’s just enough for you to go on creating for another bit of time.

The Poppy Quilt is taking my time today and hopefully tomorrow. I started yesterday. I’m using “Invisible Thread: Color: Smoke.” It’s not really invisible, but you’d think it was while trying to thread the needle. I needed the machine light, my phone flashlight, tweezers, and a steady hand while trying to accomplish the mission. I started quilting and see it won’t be long before the middle is quilted, and the rest shouldn’t take too long. It’d be great to have it finished by Monday. I’ll keep you posted.

As always, thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support and time. Stay safe out there. Washing and Masking are more important than ever, with schools starting up just around the corner. Let’s help each other stay well. We don’t know all that is ahead of us. If we stay civil, united, and respectful of each other, things will go a lot better.

Wonderful Wednesday

Hi, folks! It’s another sunny summery day in Nebraska. I know we need rain, it’s just so much more beautiful when we can enjoy sunshine. The pups have been in and out, and in and out. They’re just getting warmed up! The header today has a picture of Lexie when we first had her. She weighed 4 pounds and was 4 weeks old. We did get Roxie at the same time, she had a parasite and only weighed 3 1/2 pounds. The mom was sick, so they were placed as soon as possible. They were only on solid food for two days. Lots of love later, we’ve had wonderful companionship with them.

I’ve seen many articles written on forgiveness lately. Not sure if I’m being told something or if it’s a coincidence. It is hard to forgive another who hurt you to the depths of your being. I believe it’s worse when you don’t know why they did what they did to you. In situations like this, I think women tend to overthink and take too much responsibility for doing something wrong. Nothing is further than the truth! You picked the wrong person with which to share that part of you!

That last sentence is truth spoken with the utmost love. Really. I have done that more than a few times. Not everyone is a candidate to know you and your insecurities/faults/secrets. They gain your trust (because you’re a trusting person), and use the information to hurt you deeply later. Been there, done that, over and over.

One thing I can tell you, it’s not always the guys fault. They are either a cad or they don’t care. Or they are a cad and they don’t care. We women are by nature sharers. Adult Child of an Alcoholic? You’re probably just following the family tradition of dysfunction. It manifests itself all over your life, and you don’t even drink. The dysfunction is learned behavior, passed down from generation to generation. If you want to change your life, you can learn a new behavior. It took me a long, long time to unlearn behaviors that no longer served my life. Once I learned my truth, life has been so incredible. I believe I was in the dark all those years, struggling with who I was and who I attracted, I wasn’t ready to see I played a part in all of it. Not playing that game anymore.

I’m also reading a lot about creating new habits. It is very hard to do that if you historically have done the opposite, that is, discouraged new habits. Being positive and forward thinking is hard to do, you need a lot of practice. Before I started thinking for myself, I was negative. I thought all people were. I thought all adults were.

I thought love always hurt. That’s what all the music I listened to told me. I saw examples all around me. I came to expect hurt and disappointment in love. Movies always portrayed dramatic arguments between couples, “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” I heartily disagree with that statement. Love Story was the movie people talked about when I married young (19). Now that I’m a grown woman, I’ve learned.

Love is exactly why you have to say you’re sorry.

You will be surprised by what you hear.

Forgiveness is for you, not for them. It doesn’t let them off the hook, it doesn’t mean you have to accept treatment that is abusive, verbally and certainly not physically. Abuse starts out verbal. That’s what kept someone like me under control. I’d go along to get along, never thinking there was a choice. Now I see nothing but choices. Time changes everything. So does knowledge. And self-esteem.

When the Babe’s mom was clearing out her home before going to the nursing home, she made a photo album for each of her kids. It was so fun to look back at the Babe’s life in photos. An ornery little tow headed kid, dimples galore, and such an impish grin. Handsome, strong, young. We all were once. It was beautiful photos of him holding his children the first time, coming home from Vietnam, gathering with his extended family, and the like. When he turned the page to his second marriage, his mom said, “Oh, I should have cut Debbie out of these.”

I told her, “Oh, it’s ok, I have a past, too. I’m with him now, that’s all that matters to me. The Debbie years have been over for quite a while.”

I joked with her when we got to the photos I was in, “Now we’re in the Kathy years!” She laughed. How I miss that beautiful lady. She raised a good man. And his brother. And two good women in his sisters. We don’t see them nearly enough. The Babe’s sister-in-law passed about six months after his mom did. She was adamant we need to seek each other out, keep the connections alive. She was right. Miss her, too.

It’s a good feeling to forgive past loves, past friends, past hurts. It doesn’t mean you forget. You need to remember what people are capable of to forgive them. That keeps you from repeating the mistake. And yes, they were mistakes. Situations that happened are over, please work to put them in their proper places. Forgiveness. A mighty gift you give yourself.

I love the sentiment expressed here!

This is a great sentiment. I would change it to read: “Because I do not want to live without you.” We are both grown enough to know life will go on without each other. One of us will be left alone when one of us dies. That is what we mean by this. I’m delighted to be the last. Trust me, we have words. We get mad at each other. We get over it quickly. We try to live every day like it could be our last together. No regrets that way. It’s never, ever too late!

My wish for all of my single friends: May you find the kind of love you need and want. I know it’s hard. When you least expect it, you will find it. Be open. Protect your heart, though. It will happen. Like you, I was skeptical (maybe even negative). I was never more wrong in my life. You will see. Message or comment to me when it happens for you.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Keep distancing, masking, washing hands, sanitizing, and being safe. No political agenda here. Just want you all to be healthy. If you are, then I am. And I’ll be one step closer to being able to meet our newest grandson. Yes! Be safe. See you tomorrow!

Taco Tuesday

It’s 3:30 p.m. and I’m just starting to write the blog for the day. It was a day to take Mom to the Cardiologist for an annual visit. She has an appointment for next year, July 20, 2021. She thought it was silly to make an appointment a year in advance at her age. I told her it was an optimistic way to look at it. It’ll be here before you know it, right?

After the doctor, she “needed” to go to Hobby Lobby. She replaced some 30 year greenery in hanging baskets on the enclosed front porch. She gets her money’s worth out of stuff, for sure.

One of the best projects my folks did to their house was to enclose the front porch. It’s good sized, has combination windows, and has offered a nice place to sit in the evening without bugs of summer. It’s good for about three seasons if you push it. I spent hours playing on the open porch, and my kids all played there too. Although she lives in the house we all grew up in, it’s her home, not ours anymore. Our homes are where we live. Of the houses my kids were raised in, only one is still standing. They remember “the white house,” and talk about the neighborhood. The house was razed by the city for street improvement.

The home they left for adulthood is still standing. It’s the house I bought by myself and the house the Babe and I first lived in after we married. Home is wherever we live. Mom has only lived in probably two houses her entire life. I can’t imagine her moving to assisted living on her own. I think she’d be mad at us if we suggested it as a good idea. That big house just wears her out. Bathrooms are on second floor or in basement, there is nothing on the main level.

Considering my doctor advised us to get a ranch style house and forgo steps, I’m so glad we did. I’m looking at knee replacement whenever I decide I can’t take it anymore. I’m not ready yet. For all the surgeries I’ve survived, this one gives me the willies. I can’t see any of my major scars very well. A knee, well, it’s out there. I’m not vain about it, just gives me the creeps. And the creeps are not good.

My Memories of Summer Reading Club at the Omaha Public Library. Good Times!

Isn’t this little saying by Julia Donaldson just lovely? It reminds me of every summer, my brother and I raced to see who could read the first ten books. He usually beat me. He spent more time reading and just did it faster. That’s ok, I wasn’t a slouch at it. Almost all the kids in class received a bookmark as the award when we started back to school in September. The stories usually captivated me, and I loved the true to life stories.

Three of our grandkids say they don’t like to read. That makes me sad. I hope someday they change their minds. The two grandkids in Colorado are read to a lot, and chances are, they will read on their own when the time comes. Books are my favorite gift to give and receive. Gift cards to book stores are the best.

Now Here’s An Idea!

It’s just so easy to order books on Amazon for delivery. I do like bookstores, I just haven’t been out to one for a long time. It still feels weird to go out and get necessities. A friend of mine is releasing a children’s book. I’ll share a link when it’s available online. Shouldn’t be too long. I’m excited for her! She has a nice little family, a husband and two little boys. One was just born in the last couple months.

As I watch my mom toddle along, I wonder how long we’ll have her. She’ll be 91 next month, and still lives alone. It was old folks day at the cardiologist, and saw many “children” bring “Mom” or “Dad” to the clinic. Some couples were there, but not many. Although she complains about the cost of the blood thinner, I think it’s kept her from having any more strokes the past few years. And the Babe is on blood thinners, too. So two main people in my life are kind of living on the edge, either of them could have an event at any time. I’m not going to worry about it. It it occurs, we’ll deal with it. I’m just not ready to give anyone up yet. Prayers are always welcome.

For tonight? I’m going to read a book I’ve had going since pre-COVID. I just haven’t finished it. It’s my kind of story – former Navy Seal, Cop in Colorado, solves murder cases, etc. I just want to see if perhaps I can make good on the Goodreads estimate of number of books I may read in 2020. It’s not too exciting, but it’s an accomplishment. How about you?

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support so much. Wash up, Mask up, Be Kind, Be Tolerant, Be Courteous. We all need each other to treat each other well. This will pass much more easily if we do. Do what’s right. Do something your grandma could be proud of. See you tomorrow, be safe.

What Makes a Monday?

Depending on which type of printed (or electronic) calendar you use, Sunday is probably the “first” day of the week. Monday follows, and that was traditionally the start of the work week. And all retail stores were closed on Sunday. It really was a special day. Now it’s hard to tell one day from another. That’s not the COVID-19 Blues or old age forgetfulness talking, every day is pretty much the same. Our society makes a big deal about Wednesday being “Hump Day”; a/k/a the middle of the week, but how do we tell?

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When we were kids, my dad worked nights. His weekend was Sunday night and Monday night. That was the least they could do, since back in the day when newspapers were king, the Saturday night print of each early Sunday edition was time consuming, and the papers were big ones. Not like the ones printed today. He would often work close to twelve hours, depending on late front pages, equipment breakdown, etc. It was always something. Sundays we always went with Mom to visit both Grandmas and maybe some aunts and uncles. It just depended on how long Dad needed to sleep. Good times, really.

When I first started working after I was divorced, I didn’t like Fridays, I loved Mondays. That is weird. I hated the house without the kids, the few weekends their father took them. It took a long time for me to settle myself to stay there without them. Just me and their dog, Shadow. It was lonely. I remember what it’s like to be gut-wrenching, bone-chilling lonely those Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Yes, it was that bad. It was like that too for awhile after they were all gone from home, two moving out of state. I miss them and those hard days.

One thing I’ve always remembered during those times, is I have my worst decisions while I was lonely. I’ve stayed too long, not thought about my long term needs, and haven’t bothered to say hello. It was always such a lesson to wait on those kinds of decisions. I learned, finally, thank God! I share that because some of you may learn from it, too. Don’t decide too quickly. Do it when you’re feeling loved, not lonely.

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So what makes a Monday? I believe it has to do with dread, belief in the negative, and maybe from not loving what you do enough. Now I see it as a start. A shiny new week, all ready for me to create and learn. And my book coach and I have a conference on Thursday. I’ve shared my completed homework with her, and am eager for Thursday. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to spending time with Gavin again today, and getting some quilting time in. Whoever said retirement is boring didn’t have hobbies and grandkids.

I think Monday should be looked forward to, and spent wisely. As you age you realize you are running out of time. Right now, I’m hoping to live until at least 90, to make a dent in my fabric stash for quilting. I’m still working on the Poppy Quilt, shame on me! No, other things got in the way, and I chose them instead. Now, I’m choosing a relaxing hobby to get a sense of accomplishment after completing it. All on a Monday. Gosh, Tuesday will be great, too! I’m grateful to have these bonus days of life.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. We are having more followers every day. For that, I’m very grateful. We are steady, and slowly gaining. Nothing flashy or grandiose. Just the great granddaughter of an Irish immigrant who scrubbed floors at the County Courthouse and learned about politics from overhearing discussions of attorneys, city and county officials. My other great grandmother was a seamstress who sewed all the uniforms for Clarkson College of Nursing back in the day. She had a family to support after her husband was gone. I never knew if that meant he left or died. No one ever talked about it. Mom tells me I got my seamstress abilities from her. How cool!

I’ll see you all tomorrow. Progress on the quilt is quite possible. Photos then. See you here then. Keep Kindness in mind. Keep Courtesy in mind. Keep Thoughtfulness in the forefront. Wash up, Mask up. Let’s do this thing.

Spectacular Sunday

I mentioned yesterday we were going to a surprise birthday celebration for our dear friend, Danny Lang. He became 90 on Thursday, and due to the covert actions of the Honor Guard Captain Tom, assisted by Bryan and Leigh, Danny was welcomed by a crowd of about 50 friends of the Honor Guard. It was great.

Friday, he had a birthday parade. The Sheriff’s Department he worked for had a steady stream of deputies, complete with lights and sirens, passing him in front of his building at an assisted living community. As he told me about it, he laughed, “They should have cut the sirens, it’s not a good sound around old people.” He has a wonderful sense of humor.

Danny Lang, VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard’s Best!

It was no surprise to see a table of about ten men who were some of Danny’s fellow retirees. There was so much joy present in that room. All brought together by someone who didn’t have much of a family as a kid. He could have made some bad turns, but he didn’t. He joined the Marines as a young man. He lost fingertips to frostbite in Korea. He came home to Omaha, met and married the love of his life, and had a beautiful family. They are one of the neatest families I’ve met. He lost his wife a few years ago, and best friend Bob earlier this year. He’s slowing down a little (not much for 90, though), and he is always joyful.

He is first to tell you what he thinks, and will shake your hand after he disagrees with you. He learned to be a man’s man. Every fatherless boy should have him as a mentor, role model, and guardian angel. He entertains a line of members’ wives for hugs and kisses when he enters a room, and makes you all believe you’re the love of his life. Just for fun, nothing creepy. No one deserves it more than him.

He thanked everyone, telling us he’s had four families in his life; His own family, The Marine Corps, The Sheriff’s Department, and The VFW, especially the Honor Guard. He teaches the new guys and gently corrects the seasoned guys when they need it. Everyone should know a Danny in their life. I’m glad the Babe and I both know Danny. He’s a treasure. May he have many more birthdays.

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On this cloudy Sunday morning, it’s remarkably cool outside. Might be for a couple days. That crazy humidity makes it easy to stay inside and do anything. It’s almost like inside living is about all you can do regardless of the season.

I’m finishing up my homework from my first Zoom meeting with Sam, my book coach. I try to send it ahead of her Monday morning 8 a.m. deadline, because mornings are a little crazy for me. I’d rather be early than late. A year ago, I never heard of book coaching, and now, I believe in what she’s doing for me. She’s making me a better writer. Seriously! We have three more Zoom meetings between now and September 1, so I’ll have about six weeks of good work, then we re-negotiate a contract if we decide to continue.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. Do you have someone in your family or friends who needs to be celebrated? It’s a good thing to do for people who matter to us. A drive by waving hi could go pretty far for folks that can’t visit with us up close. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Wash Up. Mask Up. For yourself and others. This thing is far from over. I want you all around to celebrate with me when my books are published! See you tomorrow.