Fabulous Friday

It’s nearly the end of February 2020, and I’m looking at readjusting my Goals for 2020. It has to be done. I have honestly wondered if I could have adult ADHD or ADD and have come to the conclusion of “No, I just love too many things.” That can be a problem, just as not having creative juices flowing can be. I need to go back to my right brain thinking, and make some Goals based on all the things I dearly love to do. I’ve come to love blogging, and it will be at the top of my writing list.

Much as I want to learn to draw and brush up my creative lettering and calligraphy skills, they will have to wait for a bit. Even if they need to wait until January, 2021, right now they need to. I just don’t have enough time in a day to do these things. I deleted all my emails pertaining to classes on these topics, I just have to ignore those opportunities for now. Done and done.

Right now, I volunteer for Benson VFW Post 2503 as the back up newsletter person and the one who posts newsletter to their website. For a few years now, the website has seriously needed a facelift, drastic plastic surgery, or something to bring it out of the 1990s and into the 2020s. I am involved in conducting an investigation into the cost to move to WordPress, which is what I use for my website/blog. Along with that, I am still planning on adding pages to my website, and as my books are finished, they will be included on my website. The websites have different functions and purposes, so I’m not worried about doing them both for awhile. The goal is to make it much simpler than it is now so someone from the VFW can assume the role of Administrator. The current package doesn’t allow for simplicity. At least I did self-learn it over the past four years and became fairly proficient at it. Old coders never die, they just are assigned a Legacy System!

So, it’s back to plotting These Walls DO Talk, creating the family that lives in the house where the walls know so much of them. No, it’s not science fiction, and the walls don’t REALLY talk, but too many memories exist there. You’ll see.

And then the wall art I’m creating with quilting kits I’ve had in inventory. The Poppies will grace our wall when I piece, layer, and quilt it, along with the colorful Dahlia that will be on display in our newly painted bedroom. The lovely new tools I purchased for drawing, doodling, coloring, and painting will have to wait for now. Sometimes I extremely dislike being sensible and grown-up.

Here’s a little quilt I did about three years ago when we moved into this house. I loved the colors, and I’ve always been fond of elephants. I machine pieced it and hand quilted it, and it was to hang in our old plain colored bathroom. Fast forward to today, and after the painters completed the lovely shade of purple bathroom, it suddenly doesn’t go anymore. It goes perfectly in the living room. There is truly a place for everything, and a time for everything. I just try to cram too much stuff in a day.

My Elephant Quilt

I love this little guy. It adds a touch of brightness during this late winter time. Later today, I’m going to cut out the pieces for the beautiful Poppy Quilt and maybe get started on that in the next day or two. I also need to sandwich the Dahlia quilt for quilting. That will be easiest, since it doesn’t need any sewing together at all. It’d be great to get those both done during March. Working on them will be my reward for working on my book. Mental rewards are a great incentive, aren’t they? Food rewards are frowned upon anymore, but Mom used to promise dessert if we were “good.” We never knew what “good” meant, because we always had homemade chocolate chip cookies in the cookie jar. She baked them every week. The neighbor kids loved them. My nephew Don Kraft makes them every time he visits Omaha, on the last day in town. What a neat tradition, from such a neat guy.

Thank you so much for reading today! I will see you here tomorrow, and we’ll have more fun. Have a beautiful Friday.

More Monday

I just had a scare. After the Babe left for the VFW Post to do bookwork, I saw a clip of the news with firefighters at yet another apartment fire at 106 & Charles. My pulse quickened, my stomach rolled, my heart was in my mouth. Not again. Not another crappy life event for my eldest, Frankie and the roommate, Ryan. Not again. Please God.

Luckily, the Babe was at 108 & Maple and could run over to see exactly where the fire was. Whew! It was in a different building, one Frankie lived in when he thought his girlfriend would move in with him. So glad he dodged the bullet – (both of them). All is well, my pulse is now normal, stomach back where it belongs, and my heart is back on my sleeve. Back to normal.

This morning is a trip to the dentist. I’m a teeth grinder. I’m not aware of it, I just do it a lot. I often wake up with huge bites in my cheeks that I have no idea where they came from. My son Nick does it, too. I have some triangular bone fragments in my lower jaw that are sharp enough to interfere with my partial bridge. Sometimes they dull on their own, other times a grinder has to have surgery to remove the bone fragments. Wow. I’m hoping they are better than a month ago and don’t need a surgical intervention.

Yesterday afternoon, we attended the Parents/Grandparent’s show for Addison. She has attended Acapriccio Dance Studio since age two and a half. She has come a long way from that little girl who, at her first recital, marched on stage and faced the back curtain. After her first twirl, she figured it out and was flawless the rest of that first performance. Now she can flip without putting a finger on the floor, she can twirl again and again and again and again . . . until I get dizzy watching. She is tall, beautiful, and man, can she dance. You can tell she has put ten years of hard work into competition dance. As has her family. The families dedicate themselves and all the members of each family to competition dance each year. It keeps the kids busy beyond belief.

Watching the girls yesterday – all of them, from the tiny tots to the high school girls – I saw little girls with dreams become young women with crazy skills. We have seen many of the high schoolers grow up in front of our eyes. They have all bloomed where they are planted. They believed and worked hard. It was a joy to see them.

None of the girls yesterday thought their dreams were dumb. They believed they could do it. The little faces of the smallest girls reflected fun, magical transformations. They were all in it to be their best. I don’t believe the dream I’ve had of publishing books is dumb. I’m on my way, and it takes a lot of practice, too. I’ve imagined myself at a book launch party. I’ve imagined being interviewed about the book. Only my son Frankie knows who I imagine is interviewing. He laughed and said, “That’s cool, Mom.” He is my best fan, followed by the Babe. I’ve just known Frankie longer!

Thank you for taking the time to read today. Go out and make it a great day, I am! A lot could go and it will still be a great day for us because the worst (a second apartment fire) did not happen. We are all forever grateful. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Where Did Wednesday Go?

I ran out of hours in the day yesterday, and almost did today. Did the VFW Newsletter, mailed to the printer, emailed everyone on the electronic copy list, put it up on their website, then found out I left off a few days in February. Oops! Big Goof. It happens. It will be corrected. No lives were lost. Hope people are forgiving, if not, that’s a shame.

I saw a post yesterday that was delightful to read. An old high school friend, Tom Dolphens, was interviewed about his artwork. He has had a prolific career, and that is no surprise. Even as a young high schooler was above and beyond anyone else’s. He has a gift. He has shared it with the world, and I’m delighted for him. What a blessing he has been to people through his religious art icons. I tried to include a link, however, it would not work. I’ll investigate further and see if I can include it tomorrow.

How wonderful it must be to have been able to pursue your passion throughout your life. As I’ve said before, it’s never too late to follow a dream. That is exactly why I am writing. I hope to make a difference in someone’s life, to offer encouragement and support by sharing things I’ve experienced or witnessed in life. Life can be very hard. Sometimes it helps to have someone show you their way, so you can see others have survived hard things. I want to offer hope to people who may need it. I want to do it with words and perhaps some art, someday. And in between, I want to write some good stories. I have time. So do you, to follow your dreams.

It is almost the end of the month. I foolishly thought at the beginning of the month I could sit down and rewrite my whole novel by the end of January. If there were no other people or things to do in life, I could have. My arthritis and fibromyalgia keep me from being able to sit at the laptop for extended hours, so adjustments must be made. But every day, to be able to fit in a little work towards the goal, you will get there. Don’t give up. Don’t quit before you get started. I keep telling myself that, too.

Tomorrow morning is another class for Mom. No classes next week, she has some other appointments. She enjoys the Half Price Book Store when we are out. We go a few times a year. And lunch at IHOP. These events will make for a busy Monday. Hope she enjoys her day out tomorrow.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. See you tomorrow, I’ll be here. No more Hooky for me!

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

Still studying the structure of a novel book. I learn something on every page I read. Things are clearer, ideas are flowing. I will continue on that path the rest of the week, in between appointments for Mom and myself.

I read a good post today written by a fellow writer. Sharing a link and hope you enjoy it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/iCreateDaily/permalink/1449687195208145

Mackenzie Clench wrote about silence. I did not see “2001 A Space Odyssey” I remember hearing people talk about it. It might be fun to watch it now, if I could stream it somehow from some service. The fact it was void of dialogue intrigues me. If I’m in a room with a lot of talking, I find it hard to hear or think. I like silence. I need silence to study or read. I’m getting better at reading while the Babe watches television, but when I was studying at night at home after work, with three kids in the house, I had to be in a different room. No TV. No radio. Quiet. I like it. I imagine someday should I become a widow, I will live in a world that is way too quiet. I understand that. I want to hear all the Babe has to say to me in the meantime.

The life we had at home when I was a kid was one of being quiet. We had a father who worked at night and slept during the day. We had no air conditioning, so the house was never closed up in the summer. We couldn’t run through the house, yell outside, fight and argue in the living room, it just wasn’t an option. Dad needed his sleep. Mom made it clear we were to be quiet. And we were. I would bet many kids could not perform like that now.

Maybe that’s where I learned to like silence. Some people don’t like it at all. You could miss out on an experience you find rejuvenating, enlightening, spiritual, or calming. After the grandkids go home, our house is so quiet. The Babe and I marvel at how much fun it is to have them over and how much noise they add to life that we are no longer used to. It’s funny how you adjust to changes in life like that. When the home clears out, so does most of the background “music”.

Today while I was reading, my writing assistants were in the living room with me. Lexie napped while Goldie worked on a huge bone. It’s the size of her head, I swear. In the background, I played Big Band Music. I realized how many of the tunes I knew. My dad loved the music, but I also knew the words from hearing them in my life. It was a lot of fun remembering.

Lexie Loves Her Naps!
Goldie Working on Her Dream!

Thank you so much for reading tonight. I appreciate it so much. I’ll be back tomorrow, and hope you are, too, and I hope you have a quiet night if you need it to be!

Monday with All the Magic

It’s been a little weird the last few night’s sleep-wise for me. Lexie had an upset tummy for a day or so, and she wouldn’t stay on the bed to sleep. We don’t like her roaming the house at night because a couple times she had an accident or two. She’s old enough to know better, so not sure what that was about. We make her go out at night now, and night for us can be 8:30 p.m. I can’t stay sitting upright any longer, and Dan goes to sleep. I watch TV until maybe 11 then lights out. But Lexie would have none of that. So she slept in her kennel two nights.

I read an article stating women sleep better with a pet. In that couple hours before I turn off the lights, I massage her ears, her neck, rub her belly, etc. She was tired after being sick. I hope she sleeps well tonight. And me, too. Six a.m. is an early call without enough sleep!

I am shocked to hear after two weeks off for Winter break, one local public school was not in session today. They gave the reason of teacher planning day. What??? It just seems they could have at least gone four days and taken off Friday to make it look good.

Next month I am doing a challenge for Art. The idea is to create a small work of art every day for 30 days. I’m taking some photographs of sunrises, close-ups of objects around the house and some photos of the dogs to use as models of what to draw and paint. Just a little practice every day should be manageable.

Tomorrow I’ll have a day at home before a couple more days of taking Mom where she needs to be. After a quiet month with few appointments for her, there are three this week. I hope to get a lot of reading about my story structure done.  It will make getting started a lot easier.   

Thank you for reading tonight. I appreciate it a lot. And I’ll see you here again tomorrow.  We’ll talk about story structure.

What day? Friday?

Hopefully, with no holidays next week, we’ll all be back to remembering what day it really is. Just about the time I remember which day it is, the Babe will say, “Really? I thought it was . . . ”

Busy again today. I took the quilt to my friend, and we decided to go to breakfast. It was so nice to get to talk without interruptions. We had some errands to do, and here we are, now. My brain is so full it almost hurts. Goals are great, and birthing them is worse, it is so hard figuring out which way we should go. There are so many choices.

My Mantra

In cleaning out e-mails just now, I discover I have a few free classes I’ve signed up for and never watched. If I’m still interested in them, I’ll keep the emails, if not, they’ll get deleted. Have you found yourself signing up for free things, or am I the only one?

All part of tidying up my mind to make these goal decisions. I will need to learn about posting on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. I already have an author page on FaceBook, and have a blog on WordPress. The website will develop more after I publish my first book. So that is a goal that is written down. Now to figure out how long each step will take.

Tomorrow, I will start reading my novel and assess how it flows. It has been out of my mind for a month or so. This is the time to do it. I’ve been told I need more dialogue to demonstrate what is going on. This is called showing, not telling. It’s amazing how I thought I knew what that is, but found out I made the same beginner mistakes every author does.

New Art Work for my Studio

I love old typewriters. I love pictures of them, replicas of them. I even have one on my business card. Since my battery is almost dead, I’m going to stop for now. I can’t wait to start reading and rewriting tomorrow. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. I’ll be back tomorrow, and hope you do too.

And So It Begins . . .

This is officially a new year for us to spend however we may. We have an advantage this year, as there will be an extra day to give us 366 do-overs. What will you do with these 366 chances? The mind may be a little boggled with all this freedom to choose, with so many possibilities.

I belong to a group online called “I Create Daily.” I’ve been a member for about a year. It is a group of people who are creative in many different ways, some artists, some writers, some fiber artists, some photographers, who are united in finding more ways to push our creative selves to do all we can do. This takes a different mindset than just wandering through our lives, creating a little here, and a little there. We are reexamining how we spend our time, how we think, and how we can create better than we believe we can. LeAura Alderson and Devani Alderson are the leaders who ask the tough questions and encourage our answers. It helped me write the first draft of my novel last year. I wrote during a thirty day challenge, and learned new ways to encourage the words out of me.

Because of the group, I looked for any writing groups I could find. I found the Nebraska Writers Guild, and joined. There were two conferences I attended last year. The first one, I was surrounded by romance writers (I’m a fiction girl, or children’s books) and terminology I couldn’t decipher. It was a little tough to remain optimistic. I was also older than many people, and probably the same age as others. The second one, I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of women of all ages that clicked with me, and several I’ve kept in touch with. It is wonderful. We are learning about each other and encouraging each other to write, to tell our stories, and to keep telling them. I’m really looking forward to spending more time with these smart, dedicated women, all of us learning about ourselves and what we are capable of.

The Babe and I spent a little time at the VFW this afternoon. I volunteer to help him in the office, so I updated the spreadsheets they use for inventories and accounting, to prepare them for another month of keeping track of all the parts of the business side of the volunteer organization. It’s a good way to use some of my abilities to help the veterans out. I enjoy it a lot.

Yesterday, I mentioned it is my Dad’s birthday today. It dawned on me this afternoon, I made a mistake reporting his age. I have corrected it in the blog, and am here to announce I made the mistake, and fixed it, and am continuing on. It’s my first humility lesson, and I’m listening. Instead of 95, he would be 96 today. I loved his birthday. Since it was a big holiday, the family actually came to our home and celebrated New Year’s as well as his birthday. It was a fun day. At that time, all the bowl games were played New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Some folks grazed at the buffet, the men had adult beverages in front of the TV, and the women sat at the dining room table with their wine or cocktails and talked. I usually had to find the kids when they escaped the room. Most of them played either in my little brothers’ bedroom or in the rec room in the basement. It was a great way to start the year.

Dad died in 1988, three weeks before his 65th birthday. What a shame, he had just retired. We miss him, and I really wish he could have met the Babe. They would have gotten along famously. So plan your goals. Set them out in front of you, and think of how you will execute them. Join the FaceBook group I mentioned if you’d like. The people are becoming friends and quite a support system.

My goal for this year is to publish several children’s books, and my novel. I have 365 more days to work with, and I don’t want to waste any. We all only have so much life, so many days allotted to us. I’ll be sixty eight years old in May. That’s entering the age where you never know what may happen. The body is aging. Many of our friends have had strokes. I pray I don’t have one. Everything I enjoy requires use of my mind, my vision, my hands, and attention. I pray these all stay intact.

With our good VFW Friends.
back row: Judy, Nugent, Lora
front row: The BABE (Dan), me, Kris, Lenny
The Babe and me on New Year’s Eve

Thank you for reading today! I appreciate your time and your input. Any topics you’d like to see covered? Anything but politics, thank you. Come back tomorrow, I’ll be here. I hope you are, too.

2019 Winding Down

With Christmas over, many folks are taking the tree down, exchanging gifts that weren’t right for them, spending gift cards and cash they received, and all the things that go with after Christmas sales. I read a great meme today that spoke of not forgetting the Christmas spirit after the decorations are put away. Let me second that statement. Don’t forget to be kind to people, hold a door for the people behind you, tell someone they look nice. You never know what those around you are going through. That doesn’t change because the calendar does.

As we look towards 365 new chances, let’s remember that although we have a lot of chances, let’s spend them as wisely as we can. Many of us, me included, spend too much time on our smart phones. I try to justify it because it’s either crossword puzzles or grueling strategy of solitaire that I’m spending some time on, that can keep my brain functioning. In reality, it is time that could be used more wisely. Since my goal for next year is to publish several books, I have a lot to learn about that whole process. Learning the ropes is the perfect way to keep me focused so my goals don’t go by the wayside. If I need to take a break and relax, playing those games is perfectly ok. Brief breaks, not lost days are allowed.

Today has been a relaxing one. Cozy clothes, watching the rain and grey skies, and starting to read, “Show, Don’t Tell”. I need to do a lot more showing than telling with my book. I’m beginning with the first five chapters, that my editor has reviewed. I’m nervous, yet exhilarated to be starting back working on my dream. I’ve also found “WordPress for Dummies” which will help me grow the website and blog in conjunction with book releases. Being self taught on WordPress is a blessing and a curse. I’ve learned some things by accident, and have added features that were needed. I can now load a video for you all to see, it was just a matter of paying a little more annually.

If I get really gutsy, I will vlog, too. I’m not crazy at all about having my photo taken or being recorded while talking, but in today’s world, I may need to do that to market my books and myself. Adjusting to new things keeps a person young. Just so they catch my good side, I’ll be happy.

Although the Babe and I don’t exchange gifts, I did acquire a lot of books during December. Some about writing, some reading for pleasure, and some books by John O’Donohue, who wrote about Celtic Wisdom, Blessings, and Beauty. I look forward to reading all of them, in between many works of fiction, stories about young, unwed mothers and a real story about a woman named Carol Gino, a nurse and author, and her relationship with Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather. I’m really looking forward to that! I need to unpack all my other books and find a good storage area for them. Three years of not seeing my books displayed is long enough. Don’t you think?

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it and will see you here tomorrow. I’m ready for and look forward to the new year. Who’s with me?

These ornaments will remain out all year, in my studio. Reminders of my future and the good ways to spend my time.