Sunny Sunday!

Finally! At Long Last! It’s sunny outside. Not one cloud in the sky. Although it’s quite windy, I do believe there will be some good opportunity to sit on the deck or patio today. I’m currently in my studio to write this so I don’t get sidetracked as I did yesterday.

You may remember I’m not allowed by my daughter to post photos of them, their daughter or their dog. That said, I can finally share. On January 13, 2020, I became a Grandma and the Babe became a Grandpa again, to a little boy, Cody Wyatt. He’s a cutie in his pics and videos. They are quite private about their business, so announcement had to wait until now. Kayla Jolee is a big sister, and loves him. Until he’s being held. Then she wants to be held. You know the drill if you’ve ever been around babies. All is well.

So, every once in awhile, there is a different way people conduct their lives. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just different. I have to respect their wishes, as they’re the parents, not me. So I try to do the best. There will be a little socially distant shopping in my future.

So today is going to be a productive day. I need this sunshine to perk me up. Seriously, I was getting down in the dumps, no matter how hard you try sometimes, and God gave us all a sunny day. After the forty days and nights of rain, God gave a rainbow. If that’s ahead, that’s great. The blue skies are plenty for me right now. We’ve been hearing birds singing for weeks now. You can pick out the Blue Jay calls, the Cardinals, and plain old chirping of Robins, but now we’re hearing a Woodpecker hammering away at something. You’d think those guys would get a headache from the constant hammering all day long. God thought of everything, though. I guess they don’t get headaches.

I’m all for going to buy more bird feed. The Babe’s not quite on board yet but will be. The Gold Finches are plentiful here, as are Cardinals and all kinds of birds I can’t even identify. A couple years ago, I bought binoculars as a shared birthday gift, since our birthdays are only two days apart. I need to make a point to use them this year. That and put orange peels out for the Baltimore Orioles. That one is tough for the Babe, he doesn’t want critters and varmints coming in the yard, but we can place it out of reach. We’ll figure it out.

Sometime today I’ll do a walk around the yard to see if any plants are sprouting. I need the reassurance the hardy stuff will do it’s thing here as soon as Spring is here to stay. It’s also a great time to spot any dandelions who may be sprouting already. Luckily, our neighbor who sported a completely full of dandelions lawn has moved away. The owner gutted the house (I hear it was really bad inside) and I hope he included some extensive lawn service along the line. It has to be an improvement.

You know, in our old neighborhood, we had quite a diverse population. No kidding, folks from China, Pakistan, the Ukraine, Viet Nam, and others we couldn’t identify. The front yard of the Pakistani people was filled with trees. No kidding, a peach tree, a couple apple trees, beautiful evergreens, and plants all over too. I think the reason they did that is they never had a green space before. Can you imagine living somewhere you had dirt, no toilet, and little else? They were the nicest people. After 9/11 they were taunted by folks that didn’t live in the neighborhood. I’m glad they didn’t leave, they were very good citizens. And a side of karma to their naysayers: Their boys had scholarships to college, and not long after that, they were driving Porsche’s. Good job, young men. You did very well. I hope the rest of your lives is so productive.

Stretch your legs today. I need to. Crazy, heartbreak, unsureness, you can leave today. Leave your key, and stay gone. Laughter, Love, Living, come on in and stay. I’ll give you a key. But not those other guys. They’re gone. Immediately. Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate you keeping up with me, it’s been a downer of a week, we’re better for it, though. New Life. New Love. New Laughter. We’re going outside! C’mon back tomorrow, I’ll be here! Coronavirus be damned! Stay home and wash your hands. We’ve been thrown out of better places.

Surprise! Saturday

This started as another cloudy day. How many can we have before it really affects everyone? The sky is blue in bits right now, but wow, the clouds are building up like we could have stormy weather later tonight. God knows what he’s doing, but gee whiz, please throw us a bone once in awhile! Please!

And just like that, the blue sky is gone. Started writing late today. The Babe has let me sleep until I wake, which is an hour later than when he wakes me. Kind of nice, I have to admit. We had breakfast and lounged a bit. The new season of Ozark has started, and it’s tough to catch back up with where it left off. We watched a couple episodes, then it was lunchtime. Isn’t it a little boring sometimes? All this being quarantined does mess with your spirit. It’s hard to be positive with so many days of grey skies.

How are all of you doing? Hope you’re keeping it together. We will see our cleaning lady again next week. We have straightened, cleaned toilets, vacuumed, etc., but she’ll do her usual great job. It’ll be ok. And now, it’s raining. Very windy. My rewrite is getting there. I’ll have 45K words later today. It seems it takes forever, then goes quickly, the slows again. May have something to do with the moodiness of authors? Are we really moody and crazy, as some folks would have you believe? I hope not. I’m in too deep to go back now.

What amazes me is how at times we have nothing to say (write), and other times we could write (talk) into the night. And the part of being “introverted”. I am to a point, but nothing like I was as a kid/high schooler/young Mom. Became extroverted at about 30 years old. I am still intimidated by some people. People I have trusted who proved untrustworthy. But that’s a book inself!

I hope all our Grandkids know how very much we love them.

My mind is a little boggled today. I miss our grandkids, yet it is probably not safe to be around them. It’s surely not safe to, so we’ll live with the separation. I have to say, I’ve never lived during anything like this quarantine. Getting outside will help dramatically, when it’s finally warm enough. I have a stack of books to lend my friend Kris whenever it’s ok to drop them by her house. Maybe Monday. I started reading, “Grateful American” by Gary Sinise. I admire what he does for Veterans. He is truly grateful to be an American, living with all the freedoms we have. I admire his humility. Looking forward to the rest of his story.

And in reading other books, I hope with my hard work, that someone will look forward to reading my stories someday. It would be so cool to know they did. I would be so grateful. As grateful as I am that you’re reading the blog on what’s been a rough day for me. It will be a story for the future, but I need to digest it a lot more. Take care, wash your hands, and come back tomorrow! I’ll be here. Hope you are, too. Thank you.

Is it Finally Friday?

The bane of staying home is with us all. Not knowing what day it is for sure has been a thing for me since 2000, when I stopped working. Now, I have it happen several times a day. During the same day. Not just when waking up, when working around the house throughout the day, we are always asking each other what day it is. The Babe has it too. Do any of you who are safe at home? I’d appreciate knowing we’re not alone. Thanks.

In the grand scheme of things, I hope we stay self distancing until at least the end of April, May if necessary. I hope the school kids maybe get to see their classmates, friends, and teachers one more time before they go on to the next grade. It’s important to their development. It will ease their worries. They shouldn’t have to worry. As I’m reminded of my new friend asthma (I’ve had it for four or five years now), I hope to God the occasional wheezing I feel is from the asthma, not the COVID-19. I’m not invincible, I know. I have to acknowledge these feelings, put them in their place, and go on living. Thank God for inhalers! If wheezing lived through two shots of those, I’d be calling my Doc.

I don’t want to be that person who gets seriously ill in the next round of the virus. I’m convinced it’s not just going away this spring or summer. I can only trust that God will keep us all safe. I live in His safety every day. Some days are harder than others, but we’re always here for each other in this house. I’m so blessed. So is the Babe. And the dogs just love the extra attention.

Speaking of Income Taxes, I am going to start working on them tomorrow. I’m hoping to be able to copy the backup files onto a mini drive and onto our new laptop, which doesn’t have a regular sized USB Port. We also have some things to sort out today, papers, receipts, all that stuff. Could you guess we have a ton of doctor stuff? Even with the Babe using the VA, he still has civilian doctors for his surgeries, etc. We have good insurance through my old job at Mutual of Omaha, so it’s all good.

So that leaves us with the activities of today. Going to work a bit on the book, and some on the quilt. I need to create some things, get my system calmed down and relaxed before tackling anything. Writing and sewing do just that. How about you? What are you doing consistently do give yourself come calm, some sense of normalcy? For now, comfort food is ok. I’m lifting the ban on comfort food. NOW what are you all doing? You know what I’d love to have now? Movie theater popcorn. A large bucket. I just have a taste for it. Who knows when we can go back to the movies? I’ll have to wait.

That reminds me of a funny story, when I was an adult, I had braces. I was about 38 years old. I worked with a good friend named Rod. Well, the day I came in late because the braces came off. When I got to work, there was a huge bag of popped corn on my desk. I laughed my head off and enjoyed every bit of it. It had been a long eighteen months, trust me. What a friend. And today, he’s the only co-worker who keeps in touch with me. That’s friendship. Thanks again, Rod.

Every day, you can find it. You just have to look hard enough.

Our Nebraska Medical Center had a nice program last night that our friend, Jimmy Weber, was able to perform live on. The music is the best part. I’m eager to have Jimmy make another “album”, as his playlist grows in our collection. Good to see you performing again, Jimmy! Hope it’s not too long until you and all your friends are out there again. The link is Facebook dependent, so I hesitate to include it here.

Folks, you can go to Facebook and go to the News Channel Nebraska page. There is a show called Quarantine Tonight on News Channel Nebraska. It was on last night from 7 – 9. There’s some great music in there, trust me. I attempted to share it, Facebook gets in the way. News Channel Nebraska is moving the link on their site, and FB is the only static way to get to it right now. I’ll keep searching for a link directly to the program.

Background music today is “A Star is Born” with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I have the the music from “I’ll Never Love Again” as my ringtone for the Babe. I loaded it on a day I was a bit upset with him. I always try to remind myself how long it took to find him, (fourteen years!), and how lonely I was before that. My worst mistakes have been made when I was lonely. I freely admit that. And, when the phone rings and I hear that song, I go from peeved to grateful. Instantly. I’d never find another Babe. So, I choose to be grateful. No matter what.

Thanks for reading, I’m glad you took your time to do so. Stop by again tomorrow, as we’ll sure be here. Whatever day it is! Be grateful. Be safe.

Thriving Thursday

I swear, this formatting page area for WordPress has changed in the time we’ve been using it. Did you know I’ve posted over 200 Blog Posts?? I’m pretty excited about that. I’m even more excited to be picking up more readers, and folks that like the blog. Some are fellow bloggers, some are selling their services, some are spammy ones, but hey, we can pick and choose, you know? I love that we’re going somewhere with this.

In your social distancing, have you completed your 2020 Census yet? I haven’t. It’s on the list. And so is Mom’s. I have to laugh with her. The first notice comes and tells you to log in blah, blah, blah. She will tell you in no uncertain terms that she does not have internet, computer, cell phone, and furthermore does not wish to be bothered with one! SO THERE! I told her I’d do it online for her. “No, I’ll mail it in.” OK Mom, do it your way. A week later, “Have you done your census yet?” “No, I’m doing it online, so I’ll get it done.” She said, “Why don’t they let us fill them out like we used to.” I’m not even going into it yet. I was sent home with both of her notices to complete it online. In the last two times I took her to therapy she asked, “Did you do my census yet?” “No.” I’m doing it this afternoon, in case she asks you.

One thing we were told that must be done online is renew your license plates for your vehicles. We did. It’s kind of crummy you have to pay an online fee to a third party, the state does not get directly paid by YOU. The third party pays them the correct amount, but it’s about a twelve dollar plus fee on each renewal. We had an extra $25 charged. WHAT? That’s pretty crummy. They force you to go online, then they force you to pay extra. That stinks. What about people who can’t afford that? It’s something they should probably refund under these circumstances.

So many teachers locally are doing parades through neighborhoods their students live in. I think it’s such a neat idea, the kids are lost without their daily school routine and their dear teachers, and the everyday stuff of school. Some kids may say they hate school and like being off, but I’ll be at least they miss their friends. The news stories are cute, some families made poster board signs and had balloons.

If you take your toddler to the park, do not use the playground equipment. I am surprised it would even be a question someone would ask, but I suppose they are being thorough. If you have little ones, I can see how you wouldn’t have been able to see the stories. There is so much to this virus and all that goes with it, I really believe there is no way we can be back to business by April 12, 2020. Maybe May 12, but definitely not April.

Without the wonderful invention of the Internet, what would we be doing at this point? I’d get more done on my book, maybe. Probably get more accomplished on my other hobbies, but who knows? Rush hour video of one of our most busy and dangerous intersections looks like early Sunday morning. I was talking to someone today and told them I just feel so weird driving. Things just feel off kilter and I don’t know why. She said she feels the same way. It amazes me how something we cannot see can impact our lives so greatly. It’s making us afraid, angry, and full of angst. Whatever it is, we just can’t seem to put our finger on exactly what it is, but it’s there.

If you can at all, please support your local restaurants. Not the national chains, the locals who are needing your support right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of even thinking what to make for two or three meals a day. It’d be easier if the Babe wasn’t kind of “picky”. He dislikes fish and isn’t fond of chicken. I could live on the stuff he dislikes. One thing we do agree on is dessert! Ha! tonight, it’s going to be a brownie sundae. Why not? Kind of takes the edge off.

I’ve started a bag of things to give to homeless female veterans when the centers open up again. I decided to stop keeping several pairs of jeans, pants, and other clothing that just doesn’t fit anymore. It’s time to accept the reality. Losing that much weight is highly unlikely at this point in life. I would say twenty five pounds of it is from cancer medication. Glad I’m alive, just wish it was like it used to be. Not complaining, it is what it is.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it so much, and hope you’ll return tomorrow. I’ll be here!

Wednesday Already?

My cousins and I are mourning the loss of our cousin Rich. Rich died from cancer and he’s the first of our immediate family of our generation to die. We’re so sorry for all of his kids, and hope they find comfort in their memories of him. He served in the USMC in the mid-seventies, and was an excellent carpenter. He must have inherited that from his biological father, who was a carpenter. He was adopted by his step dad, along with his brother Mark, and sister Joleen. Hugs to Mark and Joleen. What a time to lose someone, when you cannot even hold a funeral. Tough times in those situations.

Following a lot of folks on the Facebook, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loses track of what day it is. It’s the bane of retired folks, but with so many people home all day, I think it has finally struck the general population. I think it’s perfectly normal, and we’ll get adjusted how humans have adjusted for centuries, and then it will be time to go back to whatever normal will be. Retired folks will still have the problem, but it’s an ok problem to have. Really. Trust me!

Music of the Day. Love to have Jimmy serenade me while driving to and from Mom’s. Relaxing!

My listening stuck at Jimmy Weber today while driving to Mom’s for her last PT appointment. It’s been a very long three months (for me) and it has helped her a great deal. She’s still not super steady on her feet, balance is affected by her loss of hearing and sight. At least she’s stronger. Her right leg remains much weaker, which is from the strokes a couple years ago. She is looking forward to working in her gardens this year. Mostly all flowers. I always joked, “It keeps you out of pool halls.” And it does!

We are truly living in strange times. Just driving into Omaha and back, the number of cars is fewer than before. It seems like a lot more semis are using the roads, and a big thanks goes to the truck drivers. You and the railroads are moving much needed goods in America right now. I’m just going to need to by some toilet paper by the weekend, I do believe. We have three bathrooms, so each is stocked, but with sharing back and forth the supply is dwindling right now. I think a lot of people that aren’t in their 60’s are going in at old people hour and stripping the shelves earlier. We, as a country, need to share with others better. C’mon, let’s be good humans. Leave some for the rest of us. Please. Thank you!

I typed over 1,000 words for my book yesterday. One of the characters really started to take form. I’m telling about each person separate from the story. It’s a hard choice to make, backstory, as they call it, ruins the flow of the telling of the story. I’m trying it out to see if the juicy tidbits about this crazy family can be told alongside the story to fill in what may be missing. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have more research to do. How do you introduce characters who are close to seventy years old and reveal how they got the way they are? Any suggestions? Ideas? Leave me a comment at the end here, we’ll learn how to do that together.

It’s too late today to really dig in and get much done but I’ll be able to do that tomorrow. It’ll free up a lot of my time now that Mom’s finished with therapy. Another new normal. And pray she doesn’t fall and get hurt! She’s been so fortunate thus far. Hope it continues.

I also want to take a walk around the yard and see if there are any flowers trying to push their way skyward. I didn’t get tulips planted in the ground, but did in a pot. Might be time to start watering that and hope for the best. They can go in the ground anytime after they bloom. Crossing fingers, hoping the dogs didn’t dig everything out. Goldie will have to be taught not to eat the stems, leaves, and blooms. They all go through the billy goat stage, I just hope hers doesn’t last long.

I think the reality of our nation’s situation is business will not be back by April 12. Not if we want to live. I see more info regarding quarantining for at least another six to eight weeks. That sounds much more reasonable to me. I think the President is trying to say what everyone wants to hear. I think some folks dislike him so much, whatever he says will be criticized. No, he’s no wordsmith, I’ll agree with that. I would bet there is so much more to everything right now he must be switching gears quicker than anyone can. He gets stuck going back and forth, hence the hesitation. Let’s just be civil. And safe. And stay home. Wash. Be positive. We all need it!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Please be safe. Be positive, and we’ll meet again tomorrow. I’ll be here.

Telling Tuesday

Oh, boy! Just found out a sibling’s been exposed to someone with a deep cough. Not sure if any other symptoms, but they all need to stay home. Probably more people should stay at home than do. I don’t want anything to happen to anyone I love because they didn’t follow guidelines. Kind of how men love to stand outside during a tornado warning and see if they can see anything. Only you can’t see this invisible enemy, this virus. You cannot duck out of the way at the last second before it sweeps you up.

Things happen, don’t they? Hope I can get Mom through one last day of PT tomorrow, then we’ll both be able to stay at home. I’d prefer that to taking a chance. We all have different information depending on who we listen to. I’m going by our Nebraska Medical Center. They have the biocontainment chambers that have been used thus far. They are working on a vaccine, etc. I feel good they are right here where we are. I believe we will all be ok. We need to be positive. Things will be back to normal. I hope it is a new normal where we respect each other more, we are more kind to each other, where we show love before hate, and where we can once again, give people the benefit of the doubt without it being catastrophic for us. Anything can happen.

Goldie needs us to cut back on her food. She weighed 58 pounds when we had her spayed. She does seem like she just changed into a fire plug overnight. We cut back a noon feeding, which was one cup of dog food. Don’t want her to have a lifetime of bad health. It will take a little time, but I’m sure she’ll even out nicely. She was sort of a stinker this morning. She got Dan’s VFW magazine and ran outside with it.

Naughty Girl!

She eventually gave it up for a little treat, but my! She can run from you when she thinks you’re playing her game. The Babe still takes her out on the leash in the morning after the paper arrives, and she does her business and picks up the paper. We get it from her before she can run with it. See what scattered color we are seeing here in the past week? The grass is greening up nicely. I’m so happy about that. Yes, having dogs makes it take a bit longer, but here we are, and it’s starting up. Flowers won’t be far behind. Cross your fingers the hydrangeas grow back!

I’m going to take my characters and write a chapter about each of them. I think this will tell their individual story within the novel of how they fit together. The book may only include paragraphs about each person, but I want the whole story available, should I want to publish with a chapter on everyone. Right now, I just don’t know. Katie appears to be the main character, as she is telling a lot of what she remembers growing up to her younger and older brothers. The other characters each play a big part in the story of their family, and the reader needs to learn about them, their flaws, their strengths, and their downfalls. They all have at least one.

Don’t know about you all, but I just love baby toes! I love rubbing them, nibbling on them, and watching the baby learn how to make a face when they see you do it from their “stinky feet.” They are such delicate little things, and those feet grow to take you miles and miles through your life before it is time for you to go at the end of your life.

Miles to Go Before You Sleep!

So today I’ll write a bit about the oldest brother, Patrick. Patrick, being the oldest, was the test child, as the oldest often is. He was born in January, 1949, right before the great blizzard that made everyone think spring would never come that year. Patrick was very intelligent, and liked school. He did not like the nuns, however. In high school, when his mother was very busy with the rest of the children, Patrick skipped school often as he could, and frequently drank with his chums. He wasn’t a bad kid, he just wanted school over with and a job to go to everyday. He also loved his girlfriend, Rosemarie. Rosemarie lived up the alley, and her parents had their hands full too. All the families at that time did. Rosemarie became pregnant and they married the day after their high school graduation.

That’s a little bit of it. Don’t want to get too carried away as I find no way to cut and paste into or out of WordPress. It has to exist somewhere, but I’ll be darned if I can find it was yet. Until I do, I’ll just share small parts that can be re-typed quickly. Thank you for reading, hope you’re well. I appreciate your time today. I’ll be back here tomorrow, so I hope to see you then. Until then, “This Little Piggy Stayed HOME!!”

Monday. The Start of . . .

The Lunch of Champions!

This wasn’t such a bad lunch. Took Mom for PT again today then to her accountant’s to drop off tax prep stuff. Usual Monday things that you do in everyday life. By the time I had a glass of iced tea with her and visited, it was 1:30 p.m. before I arrived home. The Babe ate already, so this seemed like a good option at the time. Busy day for us.

Measure Twice, Cut Once!

So this thing happened. My half square triangles (lower left) should have measured 4 1/2 inches at this point. Just like the 4 1/2 inch squares (top right). So now, everything must be adjusted. Good thing it’s not a quilt for a bed. You would think after doing this for twenty plus years, I’d check the instructions better. Human Ego gets in the way from time to time, no matter what we are doing. So, in the words of my dad, every contractor with an apprentice crew, and quilters all over the world, “Measure twice, cut ONCE”. It bit me again. No lives lost. No one but you and me will ever know.

You know though, years ago, a mistake like this would have devastated me for days. It would have. OCD or perfection, or fear of failing can make us crazy sometimes. When I think of when I was young and would be upset by stuff like this, it’s sad the time we waste. We know we are but mere humans, and mere humans make lots of mistakes. Yet we cannot accept when we make those very human mistakes. It’s making them ten or fifteen times that would concern me now. Not learning or not caring would concern me a great deal now. How about you? Perfectionistic or not?

I’m getting through some books I’ve wanted to read, and the Magdalene Girls is a good book. It makes me so angry how these girls were treated, even in the early 1960’s. The story takes place in Ireland, and this nunnery takes in wayward girls. Very few of them are pregnant. They are disobedient to their parents, etc., and stuck in this terrible place to toil at work that is so demanding it makes them lose their will to live. They exist as mere shells of their former selves. Only about fifty more pages, so I’m hoping I finish tonight.

Writing, I’m going to just work a little bit at this late hour. I do so much better in the mornings. I’ll start right away tomorrow, and get more done. I’m just glad to be getting anything done on the book, it’s somewhat hard to concentrate these days. I’m glad there will be an economic stimulus passed and paid out, and I believe it should not contain ANY pork. No Planned Parenthood dollars. No forgiving Student Loans, nothing. JUST the stimulus money. Period. The other stuff can be discussed later. You know, no one forgave our student loans. We learned to budget. Forgiving $30K is out of the question. I am open to forgiving month by month payments, but not big chunks like the folks tried to push through. Don’t mess around with that stuff now. Get some work done. You don’t deserve to represent us if you are holding onto your pet projects and promises. It must benefit the whole nation NOW.

I cannot imagine being a parent of young kids, pre-teens, and having aging parents at the same time. This may not happen a lot, but just dealing with one generation is enough work. I admire couples and singles who do both generations at once. I feel badly for Mom, but she does great with keeping herself busy. Sometimes she goes off on tangents but then she’s better by the next time I see her. She seems pretty nervous in traffic. We were driving today and a car got close, but she gasped and hollered, scared the heck out of me. I get it. She can’t see very well. Sometimes she makes me think I’ve overlooked something, so it’s a challenge. I just want to get her out and home with no incidents. That would be great. Just want her safe!

It’s just not very warm outside. The overcast skies make it seem as if it could be a really long time before spring actually gets here. Hope not. Either way, we’ll be home experiencing it. Yep, not going anywhere different anytime soon. Cancelled haircuts for tomorrow, the hairdresser just got back from a trip to Florida. Needs some time to self-quarantine, so Mom and I will oblige.

I’m going to get back with my book and the girls of Magdalene House. I hope it has a better ending than it probably will. Thank you for reading today! Stay home, be safe, wash those hands, and we’ll all come out the other side of this as better humans. See you tomorrow!