Countdown to Christmas

No, I’m not telling you to hurry and buy something. This isn’t about that part of Christmas. It’s about a subtle yet important part of the holiday for music lovers. I believe the backgrounds of all our lives has the same commonality; some of the most beautiful music of the world.

When I grew up in the late 1950s and 1960s, public schools still sang religious songs; God was present in all schools. Of course, we parochial school kids had more of the religious singing, but we all knew the songs we heard on television, radio, and retail stores since the 1950s. Yes, Muzak was around then. They also used it in work environments to increase productivity.

Maybe I brainwash myself when I write, I do so much better while listening to music. Today’s music to blog by is Ray Scott. He is a country artist, and I love his storytelling. You want to hear a dominant voice, a funny story, listen to Ray. He will have a new album soon, I’m in. And, as an old lady I knew once said, “He’s easy on the eyes, too.” She was a riot, so prim and proper, yet there she was, making observations you’d expect to hear from a 20 something.

So while cleaning the bathroom this morning, I was listening to one of my favorite traditions on Christmas; which sadly doesn’t happen anymore. I’ll save that one for later, but I sat down and listed some songs I think of at Christmas. They may not be on everyone’s list, but they’re around us. Too early (like before Halloween). One of them is “Deck the Halls,” by Omaha’s own Mannheim Steamroller. Chip Davis came out with this unique sound in the 80s, and is world-known for his trademark sound. I believe he doesn’t play concerts anymore, years of playing drums have caused some orthopedic issues in his cervical spine; I empathise with him. It must be so hard to give up what you love.

What is up for your Saturday? The Babe and I have a major cleaning of the house scheduled as soon as he gets home. I miss the cleaning ladies, but I don’t miss having a little extra money in my pocket. I’m using it for my online writing classes and tutorials. It’s all about compromise and imposing limits on yourself.

We’re cooking a bunch of chicken pieces to eat on salads over the next few days. The diet’s going pretty well. We both want to stay on it, and it’s easier with a buddy who cooperates with the plan. My ex husband was a thin wiry guy. Even before I was overweight, he made comments about my weight, a “should you eat this?” kind of guy. He ate constantly and just burned it up. The Babe’s not been like that in all the time I’ve known him. What a kind man he is. I always tell him, “You’re my favorite husband.”

Getting There, One Pound at a Time!

I read in my “Days of Healing Days of Joy: Daily Meditations of Adult Children of Alcoholics,” how we all make a difference. We can be an example of positivity in someone’s life; or we can be agents of hurt. There are four ways to do that. I’ve lived through all four, folks. And it’s so good to recognize those aren’t the way to treat people; and it for darned sure isn’t the way to treat yourself. Let’s work on these things the last seven days until Christmas. Make your world brighter. And some else’s, too.

  • Criticizing: It’s our not our business nor our place to judge other people. If you make rude comments in public about morbidly obese people, you’re wrong. Keep quiet. You can be totally wrong about “how they got like that.”
  • Insulting: Snide comments rob people of their dignity. Nothing gives you the right to blurt out things to another, especially in front of other people. It damages their self-esteem.
  • Name-Calling: You’re not “only kidding.” This is abuse. And you’re abusive. Knock it off.
  • Ignoring: Why be indifferent to someone? Why give someone reason to doubt their value? Who put you in charge? Ignoring people can lead them to question their own value. If you say, “Good morning,” to a homeless person gives them value and dignity. Try it.

Our thoughtlessness and bad habits have more effect on people than we think. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Especially during this time of Love and Joy. Be Safe, Wash Up, Masks Where They Belong; I’m looking forward to 2021, and I’d like all of you in it, too. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday Wariness

This will be the first full day masks will be required in Omaha, in businesses, stores, and people will undoubtedly grouse about it. Facebook and Twitter will blow up, and tempers will flare. In the end, if we just do it, let’s see how the numbers are (with some kids in school), and maybe we will prove to ourselves it works. There is also the chance it won’t work, and we’ll prove it doesn’t help. The factor of some kids still being home may impact the outcome either way, but hey – it’ll be over before we know it. It’s from now until September 15, I believe? Let’s just do the right thing and we’ll know if we make a difference or not.

Let’s spend the time getting our house in order. Not the dwelling, but the heart and soul. How do we want this country and this world continue on for what I hope is another 200 years? Yes, some things must change, but socialism isn’t the answer. Churches have tried it before, the money runs out. Believe me, it will.

You know yourself, you cannot spend and spend and spend and not replenish the bankroll. Taking all of Bill Gates’ money away from him will not make the entire country run well for the rest of our lives. Things are not all equal, nor were they meant to be. People have their own ideas of what they want to work for. And what they will spend their money on. Many waste their money. I’ve done it myself when I was younger. Some will spend it on immoral things. (In the Bible, the story of the Prodigal Son. Remember?)

I can’t answer for everyone what the best thing is. For myself, I want to spend time contributing to helping people in need. There are many veterans organizations to help our soldiers. Many are suffering from PTSD. Too many commit suicide. Many are homeless. Some experience domestic violence. Some don’t want help. That’s ok, until they will accept it. You can’t force someone to “get better.” Whether it’s mental health, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, or verbal abuse, it all hurts the soul and damages the heart. Healing takes a long, long time, and people heal at different rates, on different timetables. Sometimes it’s such a slow progression you don’t realize it has happened until you experience something, then stop and realize, “It didn’t hurt this time,” or “I can finally sleep all night.”

Photo by Naveen Annam on Pexels.com

Let’s work on being better humans to each other. Let’s just get along during this pandemic rippling like hot lava around us. Let’s get through this hard time. Let’s continue with civility and grace. It will help the time pass quickly if we’re a help and not a hindrance. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Let’s get through the rest of this. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it very much. See you again tomorrow.

Tuesday Gratitude

It’s a blue-skied day again today. I always welcome this time of year. Lots of people had strange wind damage yesterday, it was a weird event which happens once in awhile. Weather is so strange. It has to be respected because it is so powerful. Many kinds of severe weather can happen in Nebraska, and other states. I’d hate a hurricane, Floridians would hate tornadoes. Blizzards aren’t that bad when you’re retired. It doesn’t matter if you get out or not. Just fill the coffee again, and there you are. Light the fire and watch a Netflix series or two.

As we age, we need to have lots of preventative maintenance. Kind of like a car. If you don’t do it regularly, you could have a lot of unknown issues that could be costly for a car, or deadly for a person. The Babe had a colonoscopy today, and all is well. That is a huge blessing. We are grateful. Come back in three years, what is a great outcome.

It appears Joe Biden has a running mate. I have no opinion of Ms. Harris, and it matters not to me that she is a female or black. Neither makes me think a candidate more or less worthy. I have concerns about Biden, and Harris, and about Trump and Pence. I just hope there is never another Presidential assassination. It is a horrible event to happen to a nation.

I was in sixth grade when Kennedy was shot. We heard all the gory details. After all, we learned everything about the crucified body of Jesus Christ by the time we were seven, there was no reason to spare assassination details. And we all witnessed the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. When you consider the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy happened in 1968, as did the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; we experienced a lot of violence. The violence human beings are capable of.

That violence happens often and daily in America now. Life seems to have lost it’s value to the killers. As many grandmothers and mothers do, I pray none of our family is harmed by this violence. One of our sons serves in the U.S. Secret Service, and he is trained beyond what we could ever imagine. He is a perfect man for the job he has. We are nothing but proud. He is actually safer than we are, if you think about it. God will be good to him, and to his beautiful family.

So true . . . let’s all have a good heart.

I fared well with a quick review from my book coach, regarding my rewritten Chapter One. Very minor things, which I will submit to her again, along with a draft of Chapter Two. I have an idea of what will happen in Chapter Two, and I’ll try to behave with my verb tenses, keep the protagonist in all the scenes, and keep to the timeline. All the stuff I learned in Chapter One so far. It’s a great process, I’m glad to be experiencing it.

It’s a couple days late, but the Babe and I are going to watch this week’s Yellowstone. He can’t stay awake on Sunday night for it, so we record it for later. It’s continuing to be a great story line again this season. The scenery is so beautiful. Makes me want to go back to Montana again. We left the back entrance of Yellowstone National Park to see Big Sky Country. It was breathtaking!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Be safe out there. Some schools started back up today, and more will go back tomorrow. Take a little time for yourself, be kind, be courteous, be smart. I will see you right here again tomorrow. Thank you very much.

God: Please Bless America

Whatever happens with this COVID-19 over the next year, some folks will be wrong about it, and some folks will be right about it. I can’t even begin to predict what will happen to us all. Even the experts cannot agree. We need to stop being “them” vs. “us.” It is defeating us before we can even begin. Divide and conquer. Since the beginning of time, that has been the most effective way to defeat an enemy. We are close to being to so argumentative with each other we cannot see how dangerous we are. And we’ll only hurt ourselves in the long run.

I shudder to think the anarchists, the AntiFa, the Chinese, the Russians, or any other hateful group could conquer us because we are insisting on our “own way.” The quickest way to lose our rights, in my opinion, isn’t wearing a mask. It’s refusing to do something for the common good of all of us. It’s refusing to give up a convenience for something bigger than ourselves. I wonder how this nation could behave given rationing of coffee, meat, flour, sugar, or certain textile components needed to manufacture parachutes, uniforms, tarps for trucks, oil, and gasoline. If you think a toilet paper shortage was bad, think if you could no longer go through the drive through at Starbucks and grab a mucho-latte-sugared-up-too-strong-coffee to go. (Yes, I made up the name). If you had enough gasoline to get there.

I remember in high school, during the late 1960s and the Vietnam War, there was a shortage of some components of yarn. We had a change in our uniform code that would allow for knitted vests with our plaid uniform skirts. The principal said the reason the uniform company couldn’t order them was because the goods were necessary for something the military needed. We simply accepted that fact. What good would it have done to protest that? None. We knew that.

Sometimes in life we are called upon to do something we don’t want to. Many times, in fact. It’s a test of our character, of our will, of our love for others. Our love of our country. I love America. We are still the best country in the world. Our soldiers have provided our freedoms are secure. I love each and every one of you for the sacrifices you all made for our country. You are all people who have put the good of your country (and us) ahead of whatever you wanted. For that, I, and many others, are eternally grateful.

Right after the military, the police keep law and order in our cities, states, small towns, and everything in between. Yes, there are bad police officers. Too many bad officers undo the good the others do. The majority of them love us as the military do. They want to make our worlds safer. 99 % of the time, they do. We need to help them do their jobs, not defund them. We need to support them in small and big ways. They are our sons and daughters, neighbors and friends. We all deserve to return home safely after our shift is over. Let’s help that become the norm, not the exception. The law and order we enjoy is because of the peace created by our police, sheriffs, deputies, and other First Responders. Who are you going to call if we have no First Responders? It won’t be “Ghostbusters,” that’s for sure.

How can people help? Despite the pandemic, volunteer to help others. Organizations such as our VFW Post 2503 are looking for volunteers to help with different events. We have projects to help our homeless vets, help formerly homeless vets to attain apartments through Victory House, help our vets who have legitimate needs getting to the next payday, help vets get through the legal system, as well as help vets with PTSD mainstream back into society again.

Volunteering is the best way to get outside of ourselves and think of others. You come to realize how well we have it, and realize volunteering leaves a great feeling in you. Look for a place to help. There will be so many opportunities available, you will have a hard time selecting only one. Help out. It’s the American Way. We take care of our own, and always have. Thank you for considering volunteering today

GOD, Please Bless America!

I am working on some projects around the house the rest of the day. Little, silly stuff that needs to be done. Hope you’re all safe, well, and having a beautiful day. The pups are still tired from their great escape yesterday. Just glad they’re all ok. Thank you for reading today, you know I appreciate it very much. Take time to considering being one of the helpers, not a hinderer. American needs that now. And they need it from all of us. God Bless you all. Stay safe. Be Kind. See all of you tomorrow!