Wise Wednesday

It’s a nice day in Gretna, Nebraska. It is sunny, with a few fluffy clouds here and there. Normally, this would be a fantastic, beautiful day. I cannot say that since the wind is pre-Hurricane force. And in Nebraska, that’s damned windy! Late yesterday, I tried to sit out on the patio, and with that wind, I was cold! I got an afghan off the pile that my wonderful mother-in-law Liz Raabe made for Dan over the years. She made so many for so many people. She’s been gone six years now, I think, and we miss her a lot. She always had a happy attitude. Sure, she had days, we all do. She always was happy to see everybody, and no matter what, made you feel as if you were the most important person on the planet when she talked with you. Liz, thank you for raising such a wonderful man. The Babe has your big heart. We’re lucky to have each other.

I’m feeling a little bit “off” today. It might be we ate take out tacos from a place near home. I’m not used to eating anything that’s fried, especially for the last month or so. My innards feel all twisted up. So, lots of tea today, probably a lot of resting.

The Babe is making a little fence to keep Miss Goldie out of my flower bed by the patio. He hopes to finish it today. I am so impressed by how he cuts here and there, mixes a little instant concrete up, and voila! A fenceline. He is awesome. Glad he’s getting back to his shed. He had it built when we moved here, as a place to keep everything and work where he won’t get the mess in the house. A Man Cave/Cabin/Shed, whatever! As a shed warming gift, our friend(s) Lenny (and Kris) gave him his very own radio/CD Player. He plays the radio, mostly. After his adventures with ischemic heart disease the last two years (stroke, endarterectomy, wound vac, etc.) he’s been a little adrift trying to get back into living again. He’s finally there!

It feels good to complete a project, whatever it is. I’ve decided since I’m doing a hedgehog themed picture for our newest grandson Cody, he really needs to have a quilt to go with it. I sent a cow painting (like from Hobby Lobby) for Kayla’s room, and found the fun paper pieced cow quilt as the finishing touch. It was so fun to make, and every day when I stopped for the day, I just sat and laughed at how funny the cow was. Had the perfect piece of fabric in my stash for the back, too. It was a furry cowhide.

What are you reading today?
Where are you going today?
What kind of story are you part of now?

I’m reading several different things, some for research, some for pleasure, some to make me laugh, some to learn, some to see how other authors do it. Goodreads App probably wants to give up on me. I have about 15 books going at once. Some, I’ve lost interest in, some were too sad at the time I was reading them (like any book where the dog dies. I’m a mess when that happens), and one I thought was written by a man who hated women (his descriptions were archaic, almost chauvinistic).

I have only abandoned four books in the past ten years. One was, “Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl,” (Really a SteamPunk type of world, sent it to my daughter,) “Wouldn’t It Be Nice: My Own Story” by Brian Wilson, (It was so sad about his mental illness and the mis-treatment he went through, a lot of this was repetitive), “I am Malala,” (Story of her fight is incredible, but over half of it was repetitive and very politically slanted,) and “Miriam’s Healing,” (I gave it away before we moved).

I adore this little mouse in the picture above. Some of my most favorite books are children’s books. I have a ton of them from Addison and Gavin. I think they’ll come in handy for Kayla and Cody. Kayla loves to read, I’m so glad! Her Mama and Daddy read to her all the time. She’ll probably be pretty smart, as they both are, too. Hope we can go visit when this pandemic is over. Really over.

If you have ever wanted to read something funny yet truly happened, pick up a Bill Bryson book. He wrote the book which the movie, “A Walk in the Woods,” was based on. The movie starred Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Nolte was perfect for this part. He should have had an Oscar nomination for it. Redford is always good, no matter what. He wanted Paul Newman to be in the movie (instead of Nolte), but Newman told him he knew he couldn’t handle the terrain of the Appalachian Trails, where the movie takes place. That would have been the BEST! Nolte was fantastic, nonetheless.

The first half of the book was the movie. The second half of the book caused me to howl out loud because the writing was that good at describing things. Another Bryson book I loved was “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.” It’s available on Amazon. Bryson grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. Anyone who grew up in the 50s or 60s will relate to all of this story. It’s a beauty, read it, you’ll be amazed at how good it makes you feel.

We can all use this as our motto, our daily goal, our mantra.

I’m grateful for your time today. I’m going back to work on my chapters from yesterday. I’ve split up one long one, moved another one away from where it was, and am seeing there may be a huge critical point that could see resolution, far away from where this journey started a year ago. Yes, I started to write the book a year ago. It doesn’t resemble its former self, but that’s a good thing. I believe it has more appeal to more people, more ages, and certain groups of readers. It’s kinda cool when the author isn’t sure of where they will end up in their own story. The process leads you there. I’m amazed at how it works. I hope to see you tomorrow. Come on back!

Wow! It’s Wednesday!

Good morning, everyone! It’s a cold, cloudy Wednesday at my Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Winter just doesn’t want to let loose of her grip on us. That’s ok. Before you gather outside my window to let me know how you feel about that, consider this: When I was in high school, the Prom was held on the first Wednesday of May. Always. The weather should have been beautiful. It wasn’t. We had a late spring snowstorm every time. Enough to mess up the hair, dress hems, and cast a pall over the folks who were able to go. You had to be a Junior/Senior, and someone had to invite you. A boy, to be exact. No group dates, no groups of boys or girls like they do now. No one invited me when I was old enough to go. My senior year, it did not snow. And I went with my then boyfriend, Frank. Never went to Homecoming, but did Prom. It wasn’t that huge of a deal after all. Oh well.

Have you ever waited and waited for something your whole life and then been disappointed? We all have. When I drive past the Gretna High School, I think back on how the athletes and cheerleaders seemed like their lives were perfect. They weren’t, but we didn’t know that. It was the height of wishing your life was different than whatever it was for you. Sad. I’ve not experienced that disappointment after my first marriage ended in divorce after twelve years. I wanted it to end, and I filed. I don’t think he ever really got it. The only part of the marriage was happy was about my kids. I loved being pregnant and wondering if it was a boy or girl. They were such a gift from God. No ultrasounds were done back then unless your doctor might be concerned about something, and even then, I think it was rare to see the sex of the baby. The happiness continued until the baby was about two years old. Something told me I had to let them learn their independence even at that age. I didn’t want to be a Mom who managed everything or hovered. My mom was like that, and I didn’t want to be. My three were responsible for their own stuff. After the divorce, they learned they had to help with chores or we’d never get to go to Blockbuster, get carry out, or have a fun night. I miss those days, but not the poverty. We were broke-ass-poor. That bad. Yes.

Ours was more frequent

Speaking of Beanie Weenies! This was the only dish my dad made. My kids laughed because Grandpa would take a kitchen towel and tuck it inside his belt, and use it for an apron. They giggled when he cut up the hot dogs and opened the Van Camp Pork & Beans. What a gourmet cook he was. They loved his concoction. It was the best. My little brothers had this often after I left home and Mom was gone in the evenings. Yep, Dad was great for making the best of a bad situation.

LOL! I’ll bet he is

I love cartoons like this. It takes a place like heaven, which I would think was quiet as a Church except for the choir singing, and does this. Until Michael Jordan arrives, Kobe will be bugging the angels for quite a long time. Then Jordan will show him!

Some of you have asked how my son has recovered from the apartment fire last October that left him and his roommate homeless and with only the clothes on their backs. They are doing ok. They were able to get the “stuff” for daily living and although devastated, Frankie is grateful he wasn’t home. If he hadn’t been at work, that was the time he took a nap everyday. He may not have made it out alive. He is the best at rolling with life’s punches. As his mom, I marvel at how he adjusts and looks forward. Never looks back. His employer, Union Pizza and Sports Bar, on 156 & Maple in Omaha, Nebraska has been incredible. They have offered every kind of help there is, and are sincere in the offers. They are a small business, but are a great place to work. And great food. Stop on out, you won’t be disappointed. They also run Two Fine Irishmen, and Voodoo Lounge, both in West Omaha.

Shoopy has it right.

I finished the book I was reading, The River People by Margaret Lukas, fellow Nebraska Writers Guild Member. It is the first in a series about the women who lived on the river long before this Nebraska Territory was settled and populated, and before women were treated as more than property. It is excellent. Thank you, Margaret, for this tale of fighting dying. It is very inspiring.

I’m looking forward to the Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference in April, 2020. It will be the third conference I have attended, and I intend to learn even more from this one than the last two. I look back to one year ago, when I started my novel, and how much I’ve learned. Holy Moly! It is unreal first how much there is to learn, then which things are the most important in the beginning, the middle, and the end of the journey to getting published. Glad I learned about vanity publishing, so I still have a nest egg to spend on publishing my book. The NWG is so great in teaching members how to use Social Media as a place to promote yourself.

Self promotion is hard to me to even fathom. As a good Catholic girl, calling attention to myself was never something that was acceptable. I am still kind of shy talking about myself, but I’ve learned if I don’t tell you about me, you won’t care what I do, it’ll be self-defeating. Can’t have that happen. Can I take rejection? Sure, in fact, I think I’m pretty good at accepting when things don’t work out. My ego isn’t fragile. Do I want you being rude about it? No, I don’t think that’s necessary for either of us. Just say, “Sorry, no,” and walk away. No need for anything else.

I can see by my Cubs clock on the studio wall it’s noon. Time to spend time with the Babe before we pick up Addison from school and go to the VFW for our weekly dinner night. More time with good friends. I love Wednesdays! Thank you for reading. I hope you come back again tomorrow. I’ll be here. I appreciate your support!