Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Nick on his Kindergarten Graduation Day.

Nick is my second son, born this day in 1975. Wow. That seems like such a long time ago. I was twenty-three years old. There was the blizzard on January 10 1975, the tornado May 6, and then along came Nick in November. Here I go with a story he has heard probably too many times.

Since their father couldn’t miss bowling night, I took Frankie, his older brother, Trick or Treating that night. In an old neighborhood like ours, many houses on a street may have one side of the street up on high banks, with two sets of stairs going up to the houses. It was crazy. There were fences in between the yards, so there was no cutting through the yards. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. And so on, over and over again.

With all this activity, I prayed God would not make this baby come tonight on Halloween. I’m glad he wasn’t, it really didn’t matter. I would have loved him the same. He was one of three babies in the hospital nursery who had black hair at birth. He always looked older, I thought. One baby was black, and the other dark haired baby was our neighbor’s grandson. Nick was easy to pick out in the nursery. As time went on, he did bear a resemblence to my father, who had black hair and big brown eyes. So did Nick.

Nick has a big heart, loves to help people, is a talented handy man, has learned a lot of things from taking stuff apart and puttinig it back together. He was always tearing apart his wagon, bike, and toys. He didn’t try with my car, however.

He amazed me as a toddler, he loved being read to. I was shocked because he could read at the age of four. I thought he should go to kindergarten early so he wouldn’t be bored when he got older. He wasn’t, and he loved numbers. When he was three, he spread the financial page of our newspaper out on the floor, and moved his index finger along the lines of numbers and said, “I just love the little tiny numbers.”

Today he lives with his husband in Gladstone, Missouri. I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like, he has an odd work schedule. I do miss him, it’s always fun to get together. Hope we can soon, Nick.

Lve me some Snoopy!

As far as writing goes, it’s 4 p.m. and my blog isn’t finished yet. Had to get Dan out to do his duties at the VFW Post he Quartermaster’s at, I got to see our dentist, we did some errands, had lunch, and poof, it was 3:30 p.m. I swear, the days go far too fast.

Still adding flesh to my characters, it takes a bit more than I thought. Describing everything about these characters may be overload, but I most likely will edit out anything that is a back story to the story at hand.

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon, only 34 degrees, though. The early darkness is helping make it cozy by the fireplace in the evening. I’m wishing you a cozy evening, too.

What do you like to know about characters in stories before you begin to read?? Or do you just like to discover quirks and faults as they become evident?? Or should they be spelled out in a prologue?? Let me know what you think. I’m interested in your thoughts. Leave a comment, give a like and you will have two entries in my NaNoWriMo giveaway, one $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing will be December 1, 2019. It could be you with a little extra Christmas cash!

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.

Super Saturday

It was a day of hilarity yesterday. In counting the words written, the words in my blog qualify since they are being published. Being a novice with WordPress, I thought I’d just go ahead and get a word count by typing the blogs into Google docs and copy to the WordPress daily blog spot.

Guess again!!! I have to release the doc to the Internet, copy the link, insert in in WordPress, kill a thousand year old chicken, turn to the left four times, following by hopping on my right foot to the count of 90. Sheesh!!

So upon discovering this, setting appointments for Dan and his wound vac nurses, I simply printed out the Google doc and proceeded to type it in again. It worked. Then at about 5 p.m. discovered there were conflicting versions. I deleted one, but it turned out to be the wrong one. I deleted yesterday’s blog.

Enter Dan, sweet husband of mine, who came up from the man cave to tell me he liked what I wrote, and I tackled him for his cell phone, so I could re-type for the third time the 740 words I had deleted. NEVER AGAIN will I delete any version when trying to view on my Google Pixel 3 phone. Gosh, so instead of doing 740 words, I typed it three times. Shall I report 2200 words instead of 740? It’s not cheating, is it?? What do you think??

Today, I’m working on the actual book. I am adding the Table of Contents. From that, I can create another outline and commit to paper or computer my thoughts and ideas for expansion. The meat and potatoes of the story. What I have already is just the appetizer.

Day 2 on the road to 55K words!

Some folks are again noting daily what they are grateful for during the month of November. It is very fitting to do that.

GRATITUDE NOTE: November 1, Grateful to be relatively healthy. My issues are mostly orthopedic in nature, not life threatening. For that I’m grateful.

November 2, Grateful to have relatively whatever I could want. I don’t want a million bucks or bigger houses and cars. I have a great blended family for which I am very grateful. We hope to spend more time with all of them next year.

One short week ago, Gavin, Goldie, and Grandma. Time flies when you’re having the time of your life!

I create the best when I’m listening to music. I often listen to the same musicians for a long period of time. Then the mood strikes for something different, and I swap CD’s out from the basement collection. Getting out the Christmas music is always fun. I can tell you with certainty this will not happen until December 1. I don’t rush it.

My mother and her three sisters were really nutty about Christmas decorating for their homes. My mom had the biggest house, so she really decorated a lot. She still has an overabundance of theme trees in every room, except for the bathroom and basement. I sort of did the same sort of decorating thinking it was normal but since my kids all left home and the grandkids in town visit less than they used to, it sort of seems to be a lot of work for just us to see. Dan (a/k/a “Babe”), thinks the decorations are pretty, but too much work.

Last year, I was down in the dumps and did not decorate at all. This year, I hope to. I can’t be down in the dumps, it’s not how to get things done. Chronic, intense, debilitating pain causes depression. This year, things are better, so it’ll be ok.

When do you start your decorating? Do you go crazy or do you do a small tree, stockings, etc.?? I love how things are so sparkling and beautiful. It’s very hard to let go of the glow of Christmas for the dark gloom of January. With that in mind, I decided not to display my snowmen with the Christmas decorations. I put them out in January, and it makes things brighter and more fun. Why not celebrate winter??? Winter has a bad rap, in my opinion. I think it’ll be a crazy winter again, and all we can do is buckle up for the ride. Complaining won’t make it better or make it go away. Have a good attitude whatever the weather.

Tell me about what you will do this month to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Will you travel? Will you go to a warmer climate? Comment below, and like my blog. You’ll be entered in a November giveaway I am announcing today.

For every time you comment or like a post, you will be entered in a contest to win a $50 Visa Gift Card to use for your Christmas shopping for 2019. Yes, every like, every comment, will get you an entry. This is for the entire month of November, 2019. Enter today, maybe you’ll be lucky!! I’d love to send you a gift card in the mail. Tell your friends!!

p.s. Babe, you’re not eligible. You have my heart and soul, but I’m not giving you $50 for reading my blog. Thanks for entering!!

Never Thought THIS Would

actually happen. I’m an attractive brunette. I’ve kept myself up. Sure, I’m getting older but so is he. How could he???

I was the at the top for so long. Thought my place was secure. I’ve been so faithful. I’ve greeted him every time he comes home from wherever he goes when he’s away from me. I alert him at every leaf that falls off the trees, the people walking by, and don’t even ask about when the doorbell rings. Why, I just join in when they say “No Bark!”, “Quit!”, or the always ineffictive “NO!” I’m barking because they are.

I have gone with him on the walks he needs for controlling his heart disease. I’ve known when he is unhappy, upset, worried (he worries a lot!), happy, anxious, depressed, and having bad dreams about Vietnam. After all of this, he did the unthinkable.

Saturday, I got the shock of my life! He comes home with this little blonde. It’s always a blonde, isn’t it?? The little tart. Well, who does she think she is??

Woe is me!

Why should I even like her?? Well, it’s a little fun to run outside with her in the yard. MY yard. She seems to be looking to me for guidance. Why would I do that?? Why help the enemy? And I’m certainly not sleeping with her in my luxurious king sized bed.

I do not want that little blonde hussy in my house. But they let her in anyway. Well! I’m just going to lay in the sun on my king sized bed. No kennel with bars for me! Perfect place for a girl to let her thoughts organized. I’ll show them!

And the other female in the house. My adopted Mom. She’s no better. No matter how much I give her the stink eye, she is even holding the blonde. Why, I never! She should be loyal to me at least! What’s her issue?? I don’t potty in the house anymore. Isn’t that a good girl??

You’d think the sun rose and set in Goldie. The boy they call Gavin came over yesterday to see her, too. He does love and miss Roxie, my sister who died. We have all been sad. “Hey! Wait a minute!”

They might have something here. If the boy and his Grandpa and Grandma aren’t so sad, maybe I shouldn’t be either. Since I can’t play with Roxie anymore, maybe I’ll play with Goldie. I guess she’s not so bad after all. It might take a bit. But she might be fun. As long as she knows I’m in charge. I can teach her how to get treats.

Yeah! It’s the perfect plan! If I just stand by her she will be a treat 🧲 magnet. That’s the angle I’ll play now, they’ll never see through my master plan. Humans. They’re all just putty in our paws. Foolish mortals.

It will work out after all. She’s not so bad.

I can still tell her, “Go away kid, you bother me!” whenever I want to be alone.

Let me know your thoughts on introducing new fur babies to the family. Maybe my masters will learn something!

Thank you to our guest blogger today, Lexie, the big, beautiful, four legged lovey we are so lucky to have. She just had to let you all know her misgivings through all of this. For her, it’s pretty tough, but we’re hopeful she comes around. We just want her spunky again.

As Lexie said, let us know if you have tips for us. Transition is hard, whether you have two or four legs. How do you cope with it? I’d love to hear from you. Like our blog post, and share with your friends. Hopefully, it will brighten your day and their day, too. We appreciate you reading!

Oh! And here is Goldie. It’s tough being the new darling of the family!

Likes her kennel now. Trust me, she does not nap this much!

One Day Into Puppy Parenting

You have owned puppies before. I’ve had Shadow, Mocho and Mollie, Lexie and Roxie, and now we have Goldie. We love the companionship and entertainment. Every time we lose one, we swear there will not be another one. And we cave every darned time. Why?

It is hard to explain. Some of my favorite books to read have been about dogs. Bruce Cameron has made me ugly cry all over 😭 the place with his book “A Dog’s Purpose.” It reminds me of the depth of love animals have for us. We are their everything. Every minute of every day. No matter what. People should be more like that.

It hurts my heart 💔 to hear of humans who abuse animals. Chances are, they are abusing children and women too. The abusers are individuals who think might makes right. They will beat an animal, child, or woman into submission. What a horrible thing to do to any living being. It proves who the biggest bully is. What a horrible thing to live with. The fear of being lashed out at at any second. God did not intend this. It is pure evil in it’s worst form.

Earlier today, our grandson Gavin came over to meet Goldie. He is a dog lover 😍 also. He made sure Grandpa knows where to pick him up after school so he can come play with Goldie at least three times this week. The kid really knows how to seal the deal.

These dogs are a lot of work. They are a great example for kids on caring for another living being besides themselves. Many, many years ago, I read an article about why children, especially boys, needed a pet to care for. It taught them caring skills. You have to remember, it was the early 1970’s, when boys weren’t taught responsibility for caregiving to their siblings or younger children, when “boys will be boys” was the thinking if the times. We have come a long way since then. Men and women can take the lead in caregiving or breadwinning, and that is a very good thing. Everyone’s strengths are different, and I’m glad we have come to realize that. The modern new Dad’s I’ve met are amazing. They are in the trenches with their wives, contributing. It’s a good thing to witness.

A brief nap in the middle of exploring.

Yes, it’s bedlam right now. Puppies are needy. It’s ok. And we will be better for helping teach Gavin about the responsibility of pet ownership. Hopefully, Lexie will come to realize she is the Alpha. She will be better with a little time. We all will.

And a huge nap with Mom. Mom’s softer than a memory foam mattress.
Had a pup sized nap earlier today. She is so cute, we can’t stand it.

Until then, it’s off to try and get something else done today. Thanks so much for reading. Life is meant to be shared, and thank you for letting me share with you.

Have you ever had a favorite pet? Comment here and tell me about it. I’d love to hear about it. Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

The Human Body . . .

God’s very best creation.

I have always been fascinated by our human body. It’s an awesome mix of mechanics, electricity conduction, anatomy and physiology, and I am a constant student of this magical mystery.

As I wrote earlier, Dan had a heart cath in early October. The femoral artery didn’t close properly. He had some bleeding, had an ultrasound, diagnosis, and went under the knife. It’s very painful with all the staples in for another week. He is slowly healing, and just wants to be over this. Our neighbor said he’s earned about ten years of good health. That would be great!

What kind of books do you like to read?? I love crime stories, true crime, cop stories, mysteries, historical fiction, history, and based on true events books. And of course, anything educational about the human body.

What am I writing? A realistic fiction book. It details memories and events that happened in a home as a family grew up and older. It is called “These Walls DO Talk.”  It follows a woman through the rooms of the family home, as she is taking one last look. The memories of a lifetime flood into her and she sees how she has grown and learned about life. Her life. She has learned her value. And has answered hate and discontent with love and acceptance.

I am also working on some books to introduce children and families to grieving in a healthy manner. Events such as the loss of a dog can be a child’s first experience with loss. It is best to be honest with them.

There is also book about losing a grandparent on a major holiday. It is very hard to recover from a loss like that. This is a true story, and I have a co-author for that one. It is a labor of love.

My very first book idea for children is called “Bonus Grandma’s.” It is about a little boy trying to understand why he had six Grandma’s instead of only two. He and his cousins talk about families, step parents, and the positive things about large families.

These projects are like adding to my family. More siblings for our kids. I hope you like them. Please, tell me what you think about any and all of these ideas. After all, if people won’t read them, no one will know these stories.

As always, please comment and let me know your thoughts. Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.

In Sickness and in Health

For everyone who takes these vows, many are young and vibrant, some are mid-life and still doing well. And then there are those of us, who in middle age, meet and marry the loves of our lives but . . .

But we know full well that both our spouse and ourselves have some health issues that may loom at any moment.

The happiest day ever. Still an honor to be this guy’s wife.

For us, Dan has ischemic heart disease. That comes with a lot of ups and downs. By the grace of God, he has not had a heart attack.

What he has had is a roller coaster of procedures and scares. What WE have had. We are equals and partners. We are here for each other no matter what. Much easier said than done.

Two weeks ago, Dan had a heart cath to see if he had any blockages since the quad bypass five years ago. No blockages, yay!

However, two weeks later, after too much tenderness at the site he returned to the doctor. Ultrasound reveals a psuedo aneurysm. Since the site was bleeding internally, it required surgery to get the bleeding stopped and clean out the area. More recovering for a guy who’s already been through the mill.

Last summer, he had a stroke followed by an left carototid endarterectomy. That was very scary. His stroke was at the base of the brain, causing a visual field blackout. This healed and recovered about 95%, so he can drive again.

It’s been one thing after another, and men may have less patience to recover. Their pride is hurt. They are slower to admit they’re scared or apprehensive. They may not want to be patient while recovering. They may be so angry they’re not 100%, a normally upbeat person could become a crabby old curmudgeon. It happens.

That’s where that vow comes in. A little complaining is normal, but no one can be verbally abusive and be normal. Abuse is never acceptable. Ever. A reminder is in order about what’s appropriate and what isn’t.

Encouragement and positive reinforcement of the patient to recover is vital. It’s exhausting for the caregiver. Take care of yourself. You cannot give when you are tapped out. Take time out for you.

It’s not all been Dan’s issues. I’ve had a bunch. Orthopedic, cancer, a lesion on my spinal cord in the neck area that could have been MS but wasn’t, and he has given care beyond what I could hope for.

We’re good together. I’m praying it will go on for a very long time.

He’s only a dancer once in awhile.

Thank you for reading. I’d love your comments, we can encourage you as well. That’s why we are all here, to be kind to each other, and help each other, within respectable boundaries. Have a happy Wednesday!

Eye of the Beholder

Dan and I have loved this little old couple since before we got married in 1998. We were still relatively young, 46 and 48. And poof! Here we are now, 67 and 69.

We have lumpy, bumpy bodies that ache where we never knew existed, one of us doesn’t hear too well (ahem!), neither of us see that great (but cataract surgery helped greatly), sometimes young drivers get impatient following us (they have a lot to learn), and we don’t have to hurry to get anywhere.

Nothing is too urgent anymore except health issues, we have learned the fine art of spending time together while not doing a lot, and we love spending time with our kids and grandkids. Money cannot buy any of that because it is all priceless.

Best friends and love of each other’s lives.

I’m thinking a lot about my grandmother’s now. Grandma Bobell kind of always smelled like cigarette smoke and Grandma Jewell always smelled fresh and clean. Grandma Bobell knew a lot about many things she learned by reading and doing. She taught me to sew by hand. Grandma Jewell was very aware of the world and the vast changes that happened during the 97 years of her lifetime. She is the person who is most beautiful to me. Her spirit was strong and gentle.

She loved her children fiercely. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren gave her great delight. Her deep faith in God carried through the years. She was crushed when my dad, her oldest child, died of cancer when she was 95. He was only 64. I’ll never forget her words when she found out Dad died. “This is the worst shock of my life”. Nothing else can be said after that.

I can only pray that I never lose an adult child. I nearly did, a son drowned and his brother had a burst appendix. I still thank God every day that they both survived and we’re normal in every way. Yes, life would have gone on, but it would never be the same. A sister in law lost a toddler and an adult son. That was so devastating to her family. Prayers continue for her family.

You have no choice in circumstances like that. You just go on, it’s never up to you. Still, it has to take more than we can imagine just to get out of bed after losses like that.

Hug your kids, be they toddlers or adults. Hug your spouses, sisters and brothers. The ones that are your people need you in their lives, too. Be there for one another. And be kind.

Who is/are your favorite older people?? What makes them so? Leave comments, please, along with a like. Come back again. Thank you for reading.