Simple Saturday

Many things are swirling around in my head this morning. Lots has occurred in the last 24 hours. First thing I’m thinking of my cousin Mike and how grateful they must be to have pulled off two wedding receptions in August and early September now that COVID is peaking again in Nebraska. Rules for bars are again, mask to enter building and leave, and mask to walk around in building.No more standing room only events. Events must drop to below 50% capacity. I would not be surprised if the bars and schools be closed again before Thanksgiving to slow the spread again. Our hospitals are nearing a much higher capacity than they want. I just pray to God we can get the election done, in the books, and move on to whatever is next.

Photo by Annie D on Pexels.com

Second, I’m thinking about Estes Park. It is one of our favorite places to make a destination. We love the nature, beauty, scenery, and people. Always something interesting going on. Flood visited there a few years ago, and now a two month old wildfire is calling for evacuations. Prayers for those folks, their families, property, and the wildlife. It all suffers during events like this.

Third, we had a great Post and Auxiliary meeting last week. Ron Hernandez, the founder of Moving Veterans Forward in the Omaha/Papillion area spoke to us about the Victory Apartments, and the other opportunities that are available for the Post to help him get off the ground that will serve Veterans locally. I see a lot of opportunity here for us and I’m excited about it.

I have some things to update for our Post website, and need some lessons from our Web Host, Image Masters. Luckily, the host with the most is my brother in law, Brad Shuck, and he’s always willing to teach me more about how the website works and can work. Great guy. Great photographer, too. He’s in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Check out his work.

Today is the day to make good on my intentions to bring in any plant that will perish with a frost. We’re due anytime, and I have some succulents that will be great inside the house. I don’t want to lose them. That’s for a little later on, and I might let them sit after spraying them for bugs to see what comes out, if anything. Then the transplanting can happen.

Even if we’re quarantined again it won’t be so bad. I’m already looking at grocery delivery, that’s the one thing I’m no longer crazy about doing. It’s kind of a hassle, and hard for me to carry a lot in from the car, after picking it up to put it in the cart, unloading cart, reloading cart with bags, putting bags in the car, that’s a lot of lifting and moving the same stuff to get home. I need to consult with our daughter Tracy to see how we can get started. She’s on to all the shopping stuff. Bless her!

Gavin Has Been Such a Blessing For Our Pups. And Organic Bones.

I’m organizing all my social media marketing information today, too. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are both used by the Post and by me as an Author. I’m starting up on both of them, so I figure planning them side by side should work. They are both meant to give exposure to the target audience. The Facebook is pretty well established for the Post, and my author page could use some boosting. I still have some online training to review and add to the plans, so that will be some good stuff to sit by the fire and do while the Babe watches football. This is what life is meant for. Being together and getting things accomplished. I’m grateful.

The second chapter seems to be pretty good so far. It’s about 1900 words, which is pretty fair. I don’t want to get hung up on word count, so I’m planning a little ahead. I don’t want to go much further than Chapter 3 before next Sunday night when I send Sam Tyler, my Book Coach, the updated versions for her feedback. I’ve mentioned before, if I’m way off track, I’d rather have just a chapter or two to rewrite than the whole book. Makes sense.

The Babe made some stellar Beef Vegetable Soup late yesterday. It’s reheating now in a great big soup pan. Tis the season for good stuff like that. It’ll be ready after a bit, and will be a welcome break from the morning. Of course, now that it’s afternoon, it’s time to get those plants inside. Life can be mundane, yet accomplishing those tasks gets things done, and you can move on to other tasks and relax. Ahhh. Saturdays. Even retired Saturdays are good.

Thank you for reading, it’s something else I’m eternally grateful for. We’ll meet you again tomorrow, with more tales of marketing myself, the Post, and being an author. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Patient. I’ll try to be, too.

Moving on a Monday

No, Babe! Don’t panic. WE are not moving. I’m talking about moving and working on stuff and gettin’ it done. I always get up and am so thinking I’m still Wonder Woman, and then reality strikes a few hours later. Once the coffee kicks in. So I did an important thing. I went for a pedicure. Right after breakfast, and it felt so good They do all sorts of nice things I don’t do for myself normally. Why not? I guess I wasn’t in the age group that did stuff like that. Even doing one myself, I always ran out of time. Women older than my era rarely took time out to “relax.” My daughter was a champ at that. Sitting down to relax. When I was younger, under thirty, I would sit down after all the work was done, kids were bathed, in bed, and I’d collapse in the chair. That was the extent of my relaxation.

No, I’m not complaining. It’s just that things have changed so much for the good, it’s great. Women are no longer destined to a life in the kitchen, ironing, cleaning, doing laundry, scrubbing toilets. Although I spent a good deal of my adult life doing that while still married to my first husband, and spending the first years of my kids’ lives home with them. In no way was that something I regret doing. That was where I belonged during that time of my life. I miss parts of it.

I’m working on my scenes again today. It will probably take up most of the day, and I can take my time with them, since the Babe will be gone most of the day. That is, after the fireplace maintenance guy leaves. I like to have him home to deal with service people. He has a lot of questions I don’t like to relay and he’s more chatty than I am about that stuff. I handled my own household, service men, roofers, plumbers, carpet layers, etc., etc., etc. I don’t mind sharing the load of this. Traditional role for a man? Maybe, but he also knows so much more about block, brick, fireplaces, pouring concrete, building walls, curbing, gravel vs. decorative rock, I learn something about construction every time we do a new project. This man, the Babe. He’s priceless, and I don’t mind saying so. Out loud.

This, my friends, was heavenly.

In my excitement to talk about the show we saw Saturday night, I forgot to mention we also late-celebrated our anniversary with dinner before the show. We went to Longhorn’s in Omaha. They are a pretty consistent with their fare, except in these times, they no longer have Prime Rib. If you’ve ever met a South Dakota or Nebraska boy, you know they love their prime rib. And then, no NA Beer. That lessened our experience, but it was still good. The dessert was incredible. So light, you didn’t feel you were eating anything. What a great night it was.

My scenes are going to be crafted to tell the backstory through dialogue among the main characters. That is much harder to do than what you may think. Whomever is the narrator, they cannot intrude on a character point of view. I have done that more than I’d care to admit. The right amount of backstory helps make sense of the conflicts the main character has with others. My story has one main character, two less main but important characters. Katie is the main character, her mother Evelyn is a lesser main character, and her husband John is the second lesser main character.

Through backstory, you will discover how Katie’s Mom treated her, how it formed her character, timid, bashful, extremely codependent and naive. As it turns out, empaths like Katie seem to be drawn to people who need help, who need her strengths, and who take from her without giving. Not knowing any better, she complies gladly. Until she can’t.

It always feels like it’s a good idea at the time.

It’s so good to be free from all of that. It’s a full time job to keep working on staying free. That’s what happens when we break tradition, break fallacies, break away from “we’ve always done it that way.” Honoring a way that no longer works is a call for change. “But, how about if we do it this way,” is usually met with negativity. A new idea, a new way is hard, because it can be very lonely. My character Katie feels every bit of that loneliness. Being the black sheep is just as lonely. Finding one person who says, “Gosh, I admire your moxie,” propels you into a whole other world.

I’m off to write scenes for a few hours. I love the time spent, I know it will be worth it. Thank you for stopping by today, I appreciate it and hope to see you tomorrow. Blessings, and be safe out there.

Thursday Insights

Hi, guys. It’s nearly noon and I’m just getting started with today’s blog. I had a great session with Sam, my book coach today. I have more changes to make, and they’ll make my story better. We talked about how different writing a book is from writing a blog. And it is so different, it deserves a moment to discuss it.

This blog is written from my heart. It’s content are my musings on any given day. Some days, I have ventured into current events, but I try to steer clear of them. I talk of things of my heart, people I love, how the Babe and I spend our time, and how grateful I am for the life I’ve had so far. God’s been pretty good to me. It could have gone so many different ways.

Great Words for These Times

Actually, these words are great for any time, not just now. Be rare. Be someone people can trust. I think we all need someone we can trust totally. Those people are the ones who are hard to find. Of course, I trust the Babe. Be a trustworthy friend.

I may have mentioned before, the only bad thing about masks is you can’t smile at someone. That’s not good. Many times while going through Target, I’ll come across some little kids or moms and dads, and want to smile as I excuse myself and walk past. They don’t know I’m smiling as I do it. Isn’t half the communication lost then?

I need to put blinders on as I write about a scene. I notoriously try to cram backstory in while trying to fool myself into thinking it belongs there. Sam cannot be fooled, that’s her job. So, I’m writing some more and reminding myself along the way; “If it has nothing to do with the scene, leave it out.” Much easier to say than do. I have a book to read with good examples of how to give the backstory with few words, usually dialogue. It’s amazing how differently the author has accomplished that. Writing is a lot harder than most people think. I don’t hate my work, I like it. It just needs tweaking.

The Babe is working on updating some things about the house. New fireplace face, new flooring in the kitchen, entry, and two bathrooms. It’ll be nice, just hope it goes well. People are eager for work, after being quarantined off and on. We should be able to complete both projects before any additional distancing is required. I think having retired from a business that provided updating to existing homes and dreams coming true in new construction, he naturally thinks that way. I just have the benefit of his knowledge. Thanks, Babe!

Well, I have some rereading and rewriting to do. And probably a lot of rethinking. It’s all ok. Blocks of time will be spent now since we no longer have Gavin to keep us busy. Miss that little guy. Gosh, I hope the school kids adapt well. Tuesday will tell for him, Wednesday for Addison. And all the teachers, please be safe. Thank you for doing what you do for our children.

Thank you for reading today. Anything worth having is worth working hard for. My dad always said that. And I’m remembering his words, because I’m working hard to my novel. And I know it will be worth it in the end. Be safe, Be kind, Be thoughtful, and Be courteous. We need to be good to each other. See you again tomorrow.

My Story. So Worth It.

Thursday, Again?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swinging Saturday!

Yeah! Gavin started playing ball last night in his Youth League. They have a tournament all weekend. Nothing like going big or going home! I’m excited about this for many reasons. I love baseball. I love when kids get to learn and play. I love this team because his dad, our son-in-law, is one of the coaches. From what I hear, he was quite the player in his day. Never got to see him play, but I’ve heard the stories. Good ones, of course. His dad is a good father to both the kids, and a terrific son in law. We have three great ones, TJ, Aaron, and Brian.

So if the rain holds off, we may get to go to the game later on. Addison is back at dance now, and she’s enjoying seeing her friends. I don’t think there are many girls in her neighborhood to hang out with, so she’s glad to have human contact again. While it’s all good now, I’m concerned about what will happen later, in October and November. Just praying and taking precautions for now.

I am having some challenges with the office help this morning. Letting them in. Letting them out. Getting them water. Right now, a squeaking squirrel is making it’s way up my thigh, complete with bad doggie breath making it a little warm in here. And now, here is the dinosaur, doing the same. If I stop writing and go to the living room to sit with them, they go to sleep. Can’t win, but I can laugh while I’m doing it. Finally, twenty minutes later and she found a place to lay down and nap. Lexie prefers the couch. In fact, she knows the word “couch.” Funny what we do for our pets.

I am writing a scene/point page for my new story about a girl who has to find courage to leave her unhappy marriage. She is discovering many resources to help her leave, she just has to be vigilant to make sure she sees them, and has the courage to act on them. The more she discovers, the more there is to discover. I think life works this way. The scenes are major events she experiences, and the points are the way she feels about the experiences.

I’m beginning to think ideas are full of fluffy, filler words. It’s a real challenge to tone them down and not make the meaning difficult to find. I think we speak with a lot of filler words, and tend to try and write that way, too. Quite different from business writing. Then it’s the facts, summarized for an executive in fewer words. Almost as if they don’t want to waste their time knowing what goes into researching what they ask us to, then only wanting to know the important things.

And technical writing is really precise, with all the details, and sometimes hard to understand. Learning ASSEMBLER computer language was so painful. I attended a two night per week school and my younger son had his appendix rupture during that time. He required emergency surgery and I missed two of twelve classes. He nearly died. I almost didn’t pass the class, too. Neither of these things happened, thankfully. Never want anything so awful again. Either that class or one of my kids nearly dying.

This is going to be an afternoon I need a little nap, so I’m heading that way. Hope you have a wonderful rest of your Saturday. Thank you for reading, I appreciate your support. Wash your hands. Wear your mask, thank you. Call your mom. Be a good example. Share a smile with someone. Listen.

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!

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!