Saturday Fun Times!

So yesterday we went to the garden center and purchased some beauties. I planted a few things in pots earlier, and one in the ground in the front yard. A smaller hydrangea bush. It should look pretty good next to the butterfly bush that grew so huge last year. We’re planning to keep it trimmed up a bit as it grows, so it doesn’t encroach on the sidewalk to enter the house. Last year it needed to be trimmed a lot.

My back does cause considerable problems when I do work like this, so I sat down on the little front porch steps to rest it a minute. I untangled the wind chimes I purchased a few years ago at Shopko, when they were still open. It was tangled to badly, I was tempted to cut it apart and restring it. But then I started thinking about my dad. He could untangle necklaces that were twisted and tangled so bad you were tempted to throw them out. He was a man of incredible patience when it came to things like that.

I started thinking about him as I sat, trying to untangle the knots of all elements of this wind chime. The more I thought about him, the easier the tangle became. I was truly amazed at how the time passed, the tangles fell away, I thought of how my dad would work on things while working them out, I could smell the freshness in the air, I was aware of the coolness of the concrete, it was such a relaxing, enjoyable experience. And this was the result:

Late getting started, but the front is looking better.

I’m sure now I’ll have those heartwarming thoughts of my dad when I glance out the window while writing or sewing. I’m such a “just look out the window at this or that” kind of person. I hope to experience many more things like this when I’m looking away to let my eyes wander.

The Babe is mowing the yard in between working more on the birdhouse bench he’s building. It’s amazing how thick the grass in the back yard has become, despite the dogs being out and using it as dogs do. I used to think only retired people had nice lawns. I remember mowing our lawn on a big banked hill when my kids and I lived on Nicholas Street. My son Nicholas sure thought it was great to live on a street named after him. I do believe it was named long before he was thought of, but I didn’t want to burst his bubble. I have a bunch of plants to keep planting this afternoon, and I’d better get back to it.

There are a couple plants I need to plant in nicer containers, like the Hibiscus tree, and hope I can keep it alive this winter. Maybe remembering to water it will help, too. Since we have lost our great cleaning lady, we’ll be cleaning now and should be in a better position to be watering plants that need it. Yes, I’m sad to lose Lori, but she needs some benefits and to be more secure for her future. I wish her well, and am glad to have had her since we moved into this home. Good Luck!

Below is an overview of the flower garden the Babe fenced in for me. There are Columbine, a small Hydrangea, and a couple Asiatic Lilies down there. We’re going to lay down Landscaping Cloth and decide where the annuals go. I hope to get everything in and thriving by tomorrow afternoon.

Lots of Potential

There is something about this meme that I love. I do believe many of us have been doing this since social distancing and stay at home were introduced. I know it’s hard for the Babe to put into words how he feels, he just knows things are “off”. I feel the same way. It’s kind of like listening to someone talk, but you feel and hear like you’re underwater. Or you go somewhere and don’t think about driving there, but realize you are there. That’s the time to do like these two little guys do above. If you can’t or don’t want to talk about it, maybe you just need someone to sit with you. Quietly. Just feel the being together. It helps. Try it with someone you trust, love, and respect. It is the best medicine.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Sit by someone you trust and love. Enjoy their quiet company. Or untangle your windchime from last summer. It will take your mind away from your troubles. So relaxing. I will be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then. It’s the Babe’s birthday. I’m off to bake a Red Velvet Cake. The store was out of German Chocolate. So the Babe bought our granddaughter’s favorite. Hope the others like it! Take Care. Drive Safely. Wash Your Hands!

Happy (Birthday) Friday!

It’s my big day. It’s the day I get to remember where I’ve been and think about where I’m going. I’m moved by the greetings and phone calls, texts, messages, FB Posts, it’s really fun. I appreciate it so much. Thank you all.

It’s just been a beautiful day so far. We went to the garden center. A couple of bucks later, I have two hydrangeas to plant, one is supposed to be 5 – 7 feet high! Holy smokes! Another one is a little dwarf at 18 inches to 24 inches. It’s a replacement plant. A mum bit the dust, so the hydrangea will replace it. So we unloaded the car, and now is a steady rain, just enough to hang inside. And it’s fine with me. We went to lunch at Addy’s for their Monster BLT and it was great. Socially distanced, of course. And now, it’s home time.

The older I become, the more I remember past birthdays. As a young couple we sure didn’t have any $$ leftover. Mothers Day and my birthday fell in the same pay period. I had to choose which event I wanted a card for. I left it up to the kids. The ex would get a coffee cup, put clothespins in it, and the kids were so proud to present it to me. Their little faces always brighten up. Good memories.

When I turned 40, those kids gave me a great gift. We lived in a different house. When I went to bed the night before, they blew up 40 black balloons, and stuffed them inside my 1989 Pontiac Grand Am. They fell out when you opened the door. I left them in the car, I had a chuckle all day at work. A young guy helped me out to the car with my stuff that night, in the rain, him carrying my birthday cake, me holding an umbrella over his head. The balloons fell out in the puddles by the car. I about died laughing. Great memory!

These are the really exciting times. I’m writing my novel, have ideas for some children’s books, and one for families. Thanks to the Babe, my daughter Becky, and friends who are encouraging, I’m writing and enjoying it a lot. This year will continue to be a good one, despite the quarantine, Coronavirus, and masks. I’m grateful to God for His blessings and mercy.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today is National Poppy Day. I love it’s on my birthday, as I love the flowers, and love the Poppy campaign the VFW does to help support Veterans through the funds raised from donations for the handmade flowers. Please support them if you see them out this weekend. Many Memorial Day services are cancelled, and that is sad. Our Post is having a small ceremony, Don Bacon will speak, and we’ll have Sloppy Joes for lunch afterwards. It will be a small, socially distancing event. God Bless our Veterans who gave their all so we may have the freedoms we have.

The 1970 graduating class of Archbishop Ryan Memorial High School is sharing something with all the kids who weren’t able to graduate normally this year. We had to cancel our 50th Class Reunion this year! We’re shooting for 2021 instead. Someone posted a little quip that’s 100% truth at this age, “We just hope we are still alive in another year!” And we do. The celebration will be sweeter when it’s safe to go out and mingle. And it gives us another 12 months to crash diet and get into shape for people we haven’t seen in years.

In the meantime, this meme is my slogan, my anthem, my brand and my toast to living a most excellent year ahead. I’m happier than I could have ever imagined, and am so grateful for friends old and new, young and old, authors and songwriters, and those I’ve yet to meet. I’m praying for another 30 years as long as I know what’s going on. Hugs to all of you who have inspired me to do this journey, the things I’ve always wanted to do. Some of you don’t even realize how much you influenced me. Thank you. God Bless you. See you back tomorrow. Back to work then!

Thankful Thursday

Hi, friends! Every year when this day comes around, I almost feel like a kid eager for their birthday. Actually, I’m a senior citizen, eager for her birthday tomorrow. I have always loved birthdays, mainly because if the moon and stars align just right, you probably will be the only one in your family with YOUR birthday. Numerology and multiple births aside, it’s a pretty cool happening. I suppose it’s because to me the day of a person’s birth is so special. With my children, I eagerly awaited their entrance into this world. So special. Those little babies who are the closest thing to angels and God Himself, I just cannot believe how precious they are. I think we should have this trait throughout life. We are all precious and special to someone on earth, and for sure are special to our Creator. In the grand scheme of things, we have no idea how special we are. Start thinking on that when you feel if no one notices or worse yet, cares.

The Babe has a birthday two days after mine. We used to go to dinner on the 23rd, but this year we will grill steaks at home. That will be perfect. We’ll go out later. The issue of cake has been addressed a couple times. We’ll have a buttercream frosted cake for me, then purchase a German Chocolate sheet cake for a cookout we’re going to on Sunday. It’s family, so we feel safe. It will be nice to gather with people again.

I’ve got quite a list of things I need to study up on for my book and talking with my writing coach again. In addition to updating the working copy of my manuscript, I have a couple worksheets that will require some decisions and a lot of thought, a lot of work with the book and workbook “Structuring Your Novel.” Kind of neat the author of that book and workbook is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild. Just like me. It’s fun to meet these people and be able to ask questions of them.

There is a lot of editing I need to do regarding conversations among the characters. They need to be separated by person, line by line. I erred by making the whole conversation a paragraph, not separate sentences. I will be easier to follow. And it will do something very important! Increase the page count. LOL. I’m grateful I met some fellow writers that I consider friends and colleagues. Colleagues can teach you about your similar interest. A friend can really get to where you are able to dig deep and pull out emotion, description, and reaction that are deep. They exist but you have to dig. Right now, I’m digging. It’s there. I know it is.

Have you ever heard the term “head hopping?” It’s a phrase that describes what happens when the writer tells you what each character is thinking. It’s confusing and frowned upon in writing. It conflicts with point of view. I do a little of it, so I need to remove it. I’ve heard the term several times, but now I know what it is and why I shouldn’t do it. No wonder it takes so long to write a novel!

If I were to illustrate my current storyline, it may resemble this!

Guardians of the threshold would be dogs, not cats. I do wonder about those shopping carts, not to mention the card readers! Holy smokes! There are many schools of thought on what to do now, how to do it, and what not to do at all. Getting tired of hearing about it. Let’s just get through it, whatever it will be now, and however long it takes. As I recall, H1N1 has happened at least twice in my lifetime, as has Swine Flu. I was vaccinated for Swine Flu both times. Never became ill. I get a flu shot every year, too. Pneumonia shot, then the super Pneumonia shot for old people. I’ve had both a regular shingles shot (at my own expense, after radiation. I wasn’t considered “old” enough to get it.) and the two shots now for shingles. I get a tetanus shot when prompted and follow the directions on most everything else.

So, the question is: Do the Babe and I go get COVID-19 tested tomorrow?Weigh in below, in comments.

Folks, while I get back to work, I wanted to tell you all thank you for reading. It means so much to me. Tomorrow will be another session, I hope to see you all back then. Take care. Stay safe.

Hump Dayyyy!

The week is half over, if you live in a regular Monday through Friday world. I have six Saturdays and a Sunday, myself. Without Church in the equation, it’s more like seven Saturdays. You know when a person is young, charting out their careers, families, their place in the world, they never have enough time. I remember talking to my Grandma Bobell one time, after my daughter was born. She was my third child, and although I didn’t work away from home, I was very busy. I did my own cooking, baking, cleaning, and a lot of things like that. I enjoyed sewing and crocheting, too.

I was visiting Grandma with my kids and she said, “Just remember, when you get old, you’ll have all the time in the world, and nothing to do.” She kept busy, but it was very sedentary. TV watching. Smoking. Reading. Smoking. It was a time when old people were thought of as just “old.” Glad that as I’m entering into my “late 60s” that we no longer think that way. She was a very intelligent person, read a lot, and studied a great deal about World History. She was well versed in Roman times and Greek eras. She knew exactly where she wanted to go when one of her daughters went to Italy with her. Grandma may have only been on a plane ride once in her life, and here she was, flying to Italy with Aunt Judy. To be a fly on the wall! She enjoyed seeing things she only knew about by reading. She couldn’t walk very well, so many of the tours she stayed on the bus. At least she was there.

You Can Only Eat an Elephant
One Bite at a Time!

One step at a time is how I’ve had to live for over 25 years, since a medical emergency caused a large portion on my spine to be disassembled without reconstruction. I have lingering pain, scoliosis, fibromyalgia and a bunch of other stuff because of it, but in those 25 years, one step at a time, have been beautiful! We’ve traveled, I met the Babe, we married, so did four of our five kids, become grandparents, and have a lot to look forward to in each other’s company. I’m so lucky to have found someone who didn’t take my “slowness” as a problem. His mother had MS for many, many years. I loved to watch how he was with her. I experience that same kindness and love when I have a bad day. Which isn’t a lot (when I actually complain) but when I do, he usually knows by his observations than by me saying something. God’s been good to me.

After talking with my book coach yesterday, I am deep into researching my main character. What do I want her to convey? What is her weakness? What can she show the readers that they can learn from? What can I learn from her? I don’t have it written down, but by writing it, I’ll know if she’s working or not. Then the rest of the story may be told. I need to touch very deeply on her emotions about things. To show how she’s changed and grown. Sounds as if that’s a lot of deep, thoughtful work. I’m eager to do it.

I have also discovered where the “extra” words exist and what they’re about. I have saved the ideas, to see if they fit into anything I have written. If not, they may be useful for something else. I’m just glad to discover where they were and that I’m really not missing a lot in the story.

My character learns this in her life. Her most important lesson.

Today will be another Wednesday Night Hamburger Night at the Post. Their special is Chicken Fried Steak, a real crowd pleaser. I’m not a fan, but usually that menu item is really a top seller. It will be great to connect with our friends again. It was a long time we were away from each other!

I find the information available about the ongoing pandemic to be kind of confusing. It is we just stayed home to ease the hospital run on ventilators? So when we go out and if we become ill, they just have ventilators for all of us now? So we avoided it thus far, does it mean we’re safer now? Our Test Nebraska site allows you to make an appointment to be tested whether you are symptomatic or not. Should we all be tested? What do you all think? Comment below, I’d like to know your take on it. I shudder to think what will happen late in the fall and next winter.

My character needs to learn this during her journey.

I’m hoping we are able to get some plants in the next few days. The Babe constructed a nice wooden fence (with a small gate) to keep my new plants safe from a curious puppy. He is also building a cute bench for extra seating or holding flower pots. We’ll decide after it’s finished. The back is shaped into different sized bird house fronts. They’re painted different colors. Not sure if it will go on the patio or the front porch. It would fit there perfectly, or we could put it on the deck, too. This is what makes new things fun, figuring out where to put new things you have made. We have fun!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time so much. I’ll be here again tomorrow, and I hope to see you then! Stay safe. Wash your hands. Help your neighbor, wear a mask. See you!

Terrific Tuesday

A Dance. Not a Light Switch.

Almost all of us have been in situations we don’t want to be in. Some of us are expert at saying, “This is not what I want, I’m gone,” and leave. And never come back. We protect ourselves and know we deserve better. We don’t feel guilty, we feel appropriately balanced.

Others of us are so dependent on others, we may ask our kids if we can go see our friends today. We’re the adult! You don’t need their approval! If you ask permission of your mate, that’s not good, in my opinion. If you’re checking about the family calendar that’s different, but know you’re coordinating schedules, not asking permission. Permission to me is requested of a higher up, like a boss. Not an equal partner, spouse, or friend. Yet, there are many who always seek permission, as if they are not able to make their own decisions.

Still others of are still learning about these things. We know when something is uncomfortable, but we are more called to duty than anything. It could be this way for dealing with an aging parent. We make statements that go unheard, simply because another person has never acknowledged or honored our boundaries. They were the bully and manipulated you into doing what they wanted. They cannot do that once we learn our worth. It is more like a dance, when we are still dealing with those troublesome personalities who bullied and bossed us around. They become frustrated at not getting their way, and we may feel badly for saying, “No.” But we have set out boundary. They are trying to bully their way across it. “No” reinforces it well. They become more uncomfortable and leave us alone. Nothing to feel bad about. You were firm. It’s a victory! A dance, not a lightswitch. And it’s ok. You’re learning. You’ll also learn not to feel guilty.

Yes. First Thoughts. Yes!

A whole new world opens up for a person who learns to stop accepting second thoughts (or no thoughts) and “Maybes” as answers to invitations. I used to accept those from people. From people I asked to do thing, to go places, invitations to events in my life. There is no silence as long as the wait after someone asks a question only to be met with, “Well, I’m not sure, maybe.” Or just met with more silence. Like your question doesn’t exist. Like you don’t exist. They deserve a “Yes” or a “No.”

It is tricky to learn these new things. I’ve been working on it all for about forty years. I’m no longer brainwashed. I’m no longer feeling second best. I’m no longer feeling ignored. I will only spend time with people who want to be in my life. No second bests. Not any more.

And some people think I’ve changed. Some people think I’m terrible. I have changed. I no longer sell myself short. I no longer think I don’t deserve good treatment. It’s been a long and winding road. There is always some old programming left you hear once in awhile. That you’re boasting if you stand up for yourself. That you have an inflated ego. Blah, blah, blah. Not true. Not anymore.

And it is exhilarating!

In the novel I’m writing, I’m examining a character who learned to stand up for herself, for what is right, and has learned to speak up, despite the cold shoulder and bullying by her family. It’s lonely. But she becomes used to it. And she realizes the people who treated her the worst were the ones she loved the most because they were family. She also learns you can select a family who accept you for who you are, who support you and your dreams, and who treat you well. She sees where she started the journey and still has a few triggers with certain words and situations. It’s a gift she gave herself. And it keeps giving to her and those who love her.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. I will see you here again tomorrow. You know I’ll be here!

Mobile Monday

A Sunny Day or Six Would be Great!

Getting a late start today for the blog. I had two early appointments this morning, and the rest of the day had a conference with my writing coach, and a lot of thinking about what we talked about. It started out gloomy again. Maybe tomorrow. There is always hope.

I’ve had my temperature checked more today than I have in the past five years. Well, not really. I’m surprised Walmart didn’t check it. They had no disinfecting wipes to clean off the cart handles and didn’t require people to wear masks. They did a good job reconfiguring the aisles. They have some dividers in the middle of 12 foot aisles and nice markings in the aisles indicating the six foot apart rules. It was perfect. I found Butter Beans! And Dog Treats. Essentials for Cowboy Beans and for keeping the dogs happy. It was a win-win.

The conversation with my writing coach was good. I got some honest feedback to help me take my idea and what I’ve written so far, add some things, and be able to make it the best telling of my story about Katie and her seven brothers: Patrick, Andrew, Edward, John, Marty, William, and Michael. It is amazing to make the decisions about characters, their flaws and strengths, and the perils they will interact during. It’s a continuing process, and sometimes I get an idea and decide that may be in a follow-up story, maybe in a trilogy. That would be quite exciting!

Those of us in the 1970 Graduating Class from Archbishop Ryan High School will not be having our 50th Reunion this year. That is sad, but since we are all “of a certain age,” maybe we’ll start a new tradition of a 51st Reunion. It could become a thing, you know? And perhaps our good friend, Anna Merola, will be able to come from Italy. It would be wonderful!

As I left the dentist this morning near 144 & Fort in Omaha, I did see the Nebraska National Guard flyover doing a tribute flight to honor the state’s heroes in the trenches of treating COVID-19 patients. It would have been more spectacular against a blue sky, but the clouds accentuated it as well. The special tributes to those in harm’s way are incredible.

My nephew Don is an ER (ED) nurse in Arizona, and I know he is an angel to his patients. He is in the profession because of his mother, who died from oral cancer in 2007. He was a graduating senior at Bellevue East High School then. Wow. Talk about your graduation being messed up. Her funeral was the day after his 18th birthday. What a lot to overcome! Don enlisted in the USAF, and served his country. I love what he’s done with his life. And, still a newlywed, he married the lovely Carrie last November in Omaha. I’m so happy for them, proud of them, and am just waiting to see their new chapter. You, Don, are my hero. May God continue to bless you!

I’m issuing an apology in advance of you reading this meme. It is an important part of a theme in my book, and it is important for all of us to own our actions, words, and behaviors. If you do not you will never be able to be your best. It is especially hard for people who were raised in dysfunctional families. There is no shame in it, the shame is in not changing the things that are wrong. Not calling out the bad behavior within our own groups leaves the door open for passing along the bad things. And you don’t want to do that. Be strong. Be aware. Be brave enough to say, “It stops here. My family did the best they knew how. And some things need to change for the future.”

I thank you for reading today. I appreciate you so very much. See you again tomorrow, you know I’ll be here ! Stay Safe. Wash your hands. Call a Friend. Learn something new! Take care.

Thankful Sunday

We’re basking in the love here at home today. Yesterday, we went to visit the grandkids for about an hour. It was wonderful! They have both grown taller and matured even more than last time we saw them. Schooling at home, being quarantined, and other responsibilities have been great for them. Addison has a beautiful heart and will be as tall as I am in the not too distant future. Gavin is much taller and is having the time of his life at home. In addition to doing school work, he’s reading books and playing while social distancing with his neighborhood friends. He learned to ride his bike!! He is quite the social (distancing) butterfly.

We had a nice visit with the whole family, Tracy and TJ are always willing to help us out if we need it. How nice. We also have my Frankie in town who also would help us out if we’d need it but he lives across town and works weekends, and other times we might need an assist. I’m sure this will change as time goes on. This pandemic and quarantining have had us thinking a lot about planning for our lives as we age. It tells us we need to think twice about having control of our situation. We do to a point, and to be realistic, how can we plan for our future now? I think the answer to that is plan as if this virus and everything involved in it are not an issue. I think we will have vaccines for this. I think we may find at least part of it was manufactured. I hope whoever did that is punished.

Back to work on this for the afternoon.
Very slow going!

Was this against the rules? Maybe. I trust our family and I know they are taking every precaution to be safe. So are we. It’s a risk. But the hugs of those two young, strong, grandkids is worth it. The hug and linger. They don’t let go. They convey their love to you. So heartwarming. We are the luckiest people on earth. All of you will feel the same when you are with your families again. It will happen. We will all be careful. We will still socially distance. We will get together with our loved ones again for a brief visit. Once the greeting hugs are done and the long goodbye hugs are finished, we will leave their homes again or have them over. Gavin loves our dogs. They love him. He needs to play fetch with Goldie. They will both love it. More hugs. Puppy loves. It’s life at it’s best. And we will all enjoy it again.

Remember the little things. Remember the warmth of a hug. Remember the love in a child’s smile. Remember the joy when they learn to do things like walk, ride a bike, or write their names. It’s all coming back again and it’ll be old normal back again. To heck with this “new normal” people talk about. Give me the best of the old normal.

I’m still reveling in the love we felt yesterday. I’m just going to enjoy that all day in my memory, Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and I appreciate you stopping by every day. Smile. You will have good hugs again. Back to “work”. Stay safe. Stay distant. Stay home.