Snowy Sunday

We’ve been out for a little today. The Babe has me copy spreadsheets over to use for subsequent months. I know Excel better than he does, so it’s maybe 1/2 hour at the most. I like to help him out so he doesn’t have to be away from home long. It may be a selfish motive, but I hate to see him struggle with something that wouldn’t take me too long. We’ve done a lot of those days together. One of our old friends from the VFW Post mentioned one time the Quartermaster job “takes a lot of time, and it helps that your wife is helping with other things, instead of complaining you’re gone all the time.” Bless your heart, Bob Fenton, you were a man among men, and I miss you terribly.

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

The Kansas City – Denver football game today is sort of fun to watch. It’s snowing in Denver. They allowed seven and a half percent of capacity for a crowd today. Will the cold kill the virus? Not sure, but it looks cold. Hoping they enjoy themselves. And drinking beer in a snowstorm? Never tried it, but at least there shouldn’t be a terribly long line for the ladies’ room. What a plus!

Our deck is looking shiny, and the wrought-iron fence has ice on it. I don’t think it will be too long before it is snowing flakes. We are snuggly with the fireplace ablaze. How I love a gas fireplace! Whatever the weather does, it’ll get warm again anyhow. Not too big of a deal. Complaining won’t change it. This (below) is nice for a stock photo.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Tomorrow, it’s back to working in the mornings, and reading/relaxing in the afternoon. I don’t care for working so late in my day. I have another deadline one week from today. I’m rapidly approaching the end of my time with Sam, my book coach, for this year. Only two or three more sessions, then we take December off. It’s been money well spent. I need to branch out and see how I can do fewer sessions and hope to remember what I’ve learned.

Yes, that’s a plan for 2021. If we plan for it, it means we still have spirit and determination to face whatever happens next in this soap opera of a life we’ve had this year. As I review what I believed what I would do with my writing career this year, I see by now I thought I’d have a novel published and two or three children’s books printed. Lots of things occurred this year that were unforeseen. I like my novel more, since it’s a distinct part of the story of Katie Fitzgibbons. It’s backstory to what comes in “These Walls Do Talk.” Backstory can be too heavy to share while a different story is going on. Yes, it’s nice to know the who, what, when, where, and why characters are as they are while a plot thickens. Sometimes, it has nothing at all to do with the story being told. That’s when it needs to go. And mine needed to go. I’m glad it did, I’m doing much better work than before.

I hope you have a nice evening, at least what we have left of it. It’s been very restful. How nice! Hope yours was, too. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again tomorrow. Be Safe out there. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Understanding of others. We’re all living a very different life than we thought would be a year ago. Wear your mask, stay well.

Happy National Dog Day!

This is a day we crazy humans invented to give us a day among others to celebrate our best friends. I’m sure a marketing person somewhere must have had a hand in it, but why not? Just in the 68 years I’ve been on this earth, I have seen a tremendous change in how we treat our pets.

Nine out of ten people from a large family or a farm will tell you the dogs were pets, but weren’t allowed in the house. When we did have a dog, it lived in the basement. She walked outside through the kitchen, and that was it. Those who had pets didn’t visit the vet with them unless something might be really wrong, and if it was terminal, often they took them to the woods and did away with them. I never understood that. But people I know did that. I suppose the expense was an issue? I can’t say. I didn’t like to hear of it.

And then, there was the issue of dogs roaming neighborhoods. They did when I was growing up. Our neighbor, two houses away, had a beautiful Black Doberman Pinscher. Susie was a beautiful dog, but I was scared to death of her. She was so big, and I was afraid of being bitten by any of the loose dogs. I’m glad dogs don’t do that anymore, I was even afraid of stray dogs while walking my babies in the stroller. They would run up and I had nightmares of them mauling my child in the stroller before I could intervene. My ex husband was a letter carrier, and the only dog bite he “suffered” was from a little dog, a bite to the calf. I believe he brought it on himself, but that’s another story.

We had a dog briefly, and it was on a chain tied up, inside our fence, because our mom feared her jumping over the fence and biting a neighbor kid who teased her constantly. One day, she broke the chain, and wouldn’t come in the house. I finally got her in, put her in the basement, Mom called the Humane Society and they came to pick her up. Dutchess, a beautiful German Shepherd, was no longer our dog. I’m sure she was euthanized. Mom had an elaborate ruse she would go to the Army and be a Military Dog in Vietnam. I doubt that happened.

Fast forward a few years, and one day, when Mom went to pick up my brother from work at our uncle’s Auto Parts Yard, Tom came to the car with a puppy in his shirt. Someone brought the pup in, and we were supposed to raise the dog until he reached full size, then give him back to the Auto Parts Yard. He would be one of the Junk Yard Dogs.

Our dad named him Charlie Brown. I didn’t like the dog. I acted like Lucy does with Snoopy. My dad loved him. Since it was a male, he did what male dogs did, and I liked him even less. Ugh! He reached full size alright. About six inches off the ground. Although he was touted as a Collie/German Shepherd mix, they forgot to mention there must have been some Beagle in him. He howled like one. Looked like a Collie, but had Beagle legs, was six inches off the ground. I never bonded with him.

After that, I left home, got married at 18, we bought a house, and I still wasn’t a dog fan. Once my husband left when I was 30, the kids wanted a dog. The neighbor’s dog had pups. Best $10 I ever spent. They had a new responsibility, and they loved Shadow. She lived 16 1/2 years. Just after the Babe and I married, we had to put her down. It wasn’t a month later, the Babe decided my daughter Becky and I needed a dog. We adopted Mocho.

Two years later, in 2000, I became disabled, and we got Mollie. They lived long and were my quilting buddies. They loved my basement studio at our old house. I did too, but it had no window. No good! They were with us until about 2013. Wet then were dog-less until the summer of 2014. Adopted Lexie and Roxie. They had a difficult time, as we were engaged in a lot of health problems with the Babe. They were pretty untamed. Our fault. They still were pretty good pets. They loved moving here to Gretna, where they have a huge yard, fenced-in. I have dubbed it “Raabe Ranch.”

How skinny and little they were at 4 weeks. Mom was sick, so we took them early.

We’ve lost our beloved Roxie, and now keep out gates locked to make the yard more secure for Lexie and our beautiful Goldie. Lexie suffered greatly when Roxie was killed by a car. It was unbearable. Despite another health issue, the Babe decided Lexie needed a companion this time. Goldie is now a year old, and such delightful dog. She’s a handful, but we needed her. She brings a lot of joy. The header photo are a family of wild turkeys who passed through the neighbors yard this morning. Our purebred, Yellow Lab Retriever, stood behind me on the deck and barked. She’s one heckuva bird dog, folks! Worth every cent!

Goldie, like me, loves the Babe to pieces. I, however, do not lick his chin. Just sayin’.

So while we continue our love of man’s and woman’s best friends, join us to be happy with our furry friends. It just gets you outside of yourself to care for a pet. I’m happy to watch our girls love their home and Raabe Ranch, and for little Josie to make her mark on Addison’s and Gavin’s hearts. It’s the best experience when they’re healthy, and the worst experience when you lose them. No one, not even your mom can love you that unconditionally their whole life. Let’s hear it for our best friends!

Thank you for reading and celebrating with me today. I appreciate it so much. Keep the mask up, the hand washing continuous, and be kind, courteous, and helpful to everyone around you. We will get through all of this. We need each other. Be careful out there! See you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

I saw this guy on the deck last week. It was pretty cool, watching him move ever so slowly. He seemed to move one segmented joint at a time. It was fascinating to watch. I love seeing the creatures of the world from a safe distance. One bug I hope to never see again is the Japanese Beetle. They are so beautiful yet so destructive. The dragonflies, and butterflies are welcome!

August is month with a lot happening. School again (we think), and I don’t envy parents at all. I think our children will be behind where they should be if remote learning would continue for an extended period of time. I don’t think our grandkids are finding enough challenge in the work assigned and I’d hate them to lose out on some critical learning as Addison is in eighth grade and Gavin is in third. They are both very bright and need to be challenged.

Goldie has a blast with butterflies. She could have stood there watching this one for hours. I love showing puppies and babies to watch butterflies. Dragonflies are a lot harder, they move very quickly.

Another August event I’m looking forward to is working with a company to set up a new website for the VFW Post 2503. I’m involved in maintenance on the old one (probably twenty years old), and it is in serious need of an update. It needs to be done, and I’m glad for what I’ll get to learn about WordPress. I can use the knowledge to add pages to my website, and the blog will continue to be one page of many. As I get closer to finishing my book, I’ll add pages to my website.

The Babe and I couldn’t find anything to watch on TV last night, so we watched an Amazon Prime movie, “Fathers and Daughters.” It was quite sad. The daughter was very young when her mother died in a car accident. The father was a writer (go figure!), and mentally ill/struck with seizures after the accident, loss, and having a child to help. He went to a mental hospital for seven months, had ECT (Electric Current Therapy) and other therapy, and returned to raise his daughter. It paralleled his life with hers. She had little understanding how to have a personal relationship with anyone else. She was a social worker, helped a little girl who lost her mom, yet couldn’t commit to her boyfriend. It was a weird story to track. At the end, there was this beautiful song: “Fathers and Daughters Never Say Goodbye.” Yes, it’s a tear jerker. It makes me miss my dad.

Sometimes, it seems as if it’s silly to still miss him after all these years. I have already lived longer than he did. He was cheated out of enjoying his retirement by that tyrant, cancer. I miss his support. Not a “good job,” kind of guy. More of a, “keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get there,” kind of guy. He’s still with me. And that is all I need to know.

I have a lot of work to ready and send to my book coach for this week’s conference (Thursday morning). For some reason, it seems to just jump at me from nowhere. Lots to do, so cutting this a little short. Have a beautiful day. It’s cloudy, but you can make it sunny in your heart. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Help someone. Hold the door open. Small things add up. You’ll feel better, too. I appreciate you reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and we’ll catch up. Be careful out there.

Fun Friday!

No matter what, we always have some beautiful sights around us, and some outright gifts from God if we keep an eye open for them. Last night, the Babe had the monthly meeting at the VFW, and I stayed home with the dogs. I let them out for the last time later than usual, it was after dark. They’re usually done by 8:15 p.m. or so.

I’m so glad I went out with them. The lightening bugs were out like I haven’t seen in a long time. At first, the both just looked, trying to figure out what those strange things were. Finally, I coaxed Goldie to go down the steps and go potty. She just stood in a corner of the yard, looking up and around her at the wondrous sight. She opened her mouth and tried to catch a few, but missed. She kept tilting her head from side to side and frolicked, it made me smile down into my soul.

No, have no photos of it. It would have been way too dark, and besides, if we’re clicking away all the time, we miss half of life. That will be a memory for the old folks home someday. Goldie is such an addition to our home, I hope we have her for a long, long time.

It’s Never Too Late; Not Until They Throw Dirt Over You

I believe that sight was God telling me to get back with it. Today, I’m drafting a new Chapter 1 for “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons.” I need some story about Katie’s world before the inciting event, it will be pretty much plain living up until then. So much about crafting and planning to learn. There is no “recipe” for a novel. You could follow convention and write according to someone else’s formula, but then it wouldn’t be my story, it would be theirs.

I’m going to start and see where it takes me. Hopefully, right where I want to go. There are surprises, though. Sometimes the characters take you places you didn’t know existed. I’m thinking this may happen with Katie’s story. I’ll let you know.

This morning, I went to Dulce Salon and Spa in Gretna and had a pedicure. Basic stuff, but it was so nice. The people are super nice, and I’ll definitely go back, that’s for sure. I rarely pamper myself, so it was a treat. They had a shop in Lincoln but closed it. They have been in Gretna for about eight years. And after the buffing, shaping, priming, painting, and massaging, I came home. As soon as Goldie was out of her kennel, she kept licking my toes. Dang, dog! It tickles! She makes me laugh all the time. I’m sure there were all sorts of scents for her to investigate. I just need to watch out so she doesn’t trip me up. Silly puppy.

October, 2019 Seems Like Such A Long Time Ago!

It sounds as if the weekend could be beastly hot. At one point through this week, I heard it could reach 100 degrees. That’s hot. The humidity is what’s oppressive when the temperature is up there. Thank goodness for Mr. Carrier, the inventor of air conditioning. I do not know how my dad slept during the day without A/C. Of course, eventually his workplace was air conditioned, but still. Wow.

With the changes to the name and logo of the Washington Redskins, there are some other businesses who are re-thinking their logos. Mutual of Omaha is one of them. I worked for them for ten years, and grew up knowing about Wild Kingdom, Marlin Perkins, Jim Fowler and the like. I thought it was named after Omaha, which is named for the Omaha Indians. Not a big deal.

Fast forward to 2020, and they are removing their Indian Chief logo. What in the hell?? What will you call the company now? It has called Omaha home for a very long time. I’m pretty disappointed with this move. Just curious, did they do away with the “Big Chief” writing tablet with the red cover on it? What about the FSU Seminoles? Have they made a move yet? The Atlanta Braves with the “chop, chop” motion while chanting? Kansas City Chiefs? Just won a Super Bowl and their name might be changed forever?

My opinion is changing all these names will not erase any bigotry people carry inside them. To me, it’s like putting a band aid on cancer. Looks good, but ineffective. Until the bigotry is erased from both non-white people AND white people;s hearts, we’ll never have peace.

Stay cool this weekend. Check on anyone you know who may not have a fan or A/C. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Wash your hands, sanitize, wear your mask. I’m wearing one more now than ever before. It’s not a big deal, really. Thanks for reading today! I’ll see you right here again tomorrow. Be careful out there.

Saturday Fun

Saturday already! Wow, more ball games for Gavin, but we have a banquet to attend tonight. It’s for The Honor Guard at VFW Post 2503. They are the largest Post in the state, and I believe they do the most funerals with military honors. This past week they had seven funerals. That’s a lot for young guys, however, the age of most guys is over the age of 70. Always looking for a few good men, so please spread the word! You must be a veteran of a foreign war, honorable discharge, have a DD214, and a join the Post. Males or females welcome.

What I love most about the Honor Guard is their camaraderie the guys have. All veterans seem to share that, and I love to see it in action. When the Babe had his quad bypass surgery, I couldn’t tell you how many of them called and told me (during his recuperation) if we needed something, just let them know. I trusted them to keep an eye on him when he went back to his duties. Their concern has stayed with us even six years later. They’ve all been through the ischemic heart disease in all of it’s glory (remember Agent Orange), so they understand. It’s a wonderful group of friends.

Our next door people are moving by the 30th. They’ve been such perfect neighbors. They have grown kids and they all drive. No noisy teens gathering around causing trouble (we’ve had that before, believe me). It’s been so quiet. The house may go up for sale, and I know it won’t last long. The other neighbors didn’t, and neither did ours three and a half years ago. Gretna is a small town right now, 5K population, but many of us haven’t been annexed yet. I understand that usually happens after the debt of the SID is paid down.

Funny thing, as kids if we couldn’t spell a word, Dad always said, “Look it up!”

We’d ask him, “How can you look it up when you don’t know how to spell it?”

He would reply, “Do your best to sound it out, then look. You might not find it right away, so just use the time to learn a few new words. You’ll find it eventually.”

I laugh about this now, because I just tried to look up camaraderie and it was NOT in the dictionary I was using. Can you believe it? I had to Google it. I don’t mind looking words up, it’s a good refresher and way to keep your brain sharp. Old fashioned? Sure, why not? Old school is more like it.

The flowers are looking so nice. It makes the work worth it, doesn’t it? Important tidbit about a common outdoor plant, Hostas. The grow profusely without a lot of effort. Great in shade or sun, depending on the variety. I googled them today, to see if they are poisonous to dogs. Yes, very poisonous, as it happens. For some reason, Goldie will pull a couple out by the roots and eat them. They have a sticky substance that expands in the gut, and can cause all sorts of problems. The Babe is going to put a chicken wire fence around them to keep her safe. Can’t have our girl get sick from something so simple. Be safe, secure your Hostas from your dogs.

Writing is sometimes a challenge. No, not for ideas or words. I’m talking about while Goldie thinks I’m her personal playmate. Throw the ball, I may just get my chair back to the desk before she brings it back. Sheesh! It’s a good thing I’m not doing NaNoWriMo.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is “National Novel Writing Month.” The goal is to write 40K words. I succeeded last year, and have the t-shirt to show for it. It’s free participation. Blogging counts. I wrote the bulk of “These Walls DO Talk” during that time, so I did produce a lot. At times, folks don’t produce a lot that is useable after all is said and done. I can certainly see where having an outline, a plan, and following it would help.

I’ve learned that people who don’t outline or plan are “pantster” writers. Yep, “by the seat of their pants.” With the idea in my head, it seemed as if it would be no problem at all to follow the map in my mind, and automatically end up where I could type “the end.” I am becoming convinced outlining may be a better way to go. The outline can be modified while writing, so I would need to be flexible with it. What I don’t want to do it write myself into a corner with no way out.

I’ve read either way is acceptable, with some very famous writers never outlining. Until I get the hang of it, I’ll commit more to planning than just an idea to run with. Some of this will start this weekend, and continue into early next week. I’m planning what to do when for July and August, since I’ll be working with my book coach. Another new adventure! Retirement is not for the faint of heart after all.

I was amazed by an article I read last night in the current issue of Writer’s Digest. It discussed being a travel writer. The article stated you do not have to travel to the places you write about. I would think that could be a drawback, since for me a new place has sounds and smells and music all of it’s own. Sure, you could regurgitate information about those things from other articles on the same places, but would it be as effective? I’m voting no, what do you all think? Leave a comment in the Comment Section, below, please! Convince me I’m wrong. To me, you can’t review a show or restaurant if you don’t attend of dine there, how can you tell what it’s like to travel to a place you have never been?

This afternoon, we’re taking it easy. Since we’ll be out later, it’s a sure thing we’ll need to. It’s going to be hot and humid this afternoon. Be careful out there! Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it a lot. I’ll be back later in the day tomorrow, Mom and I have an early wedding shower to attend. It’ll be great to see my cousins again.

Monday, Monday

Today my fellow author and I talked for three hours! It was wonderful. We talked about my book, why I chose certain things to write about, and how including more things could explain some areas better. It’s all food for thought and it comes at a good time. I have printed the entire book off, and will be able to edit and add to my story in the proper places. It becomes more real, something you can hold in your hand. We talked about her book, too. It was fun to talk about all the possibilities we have.

The rest of the day was interesting. Goldie was not too keen on going outside every time she needed to. She needs to learn a bit more about going potty outside in Nebraska in the winter. I would hate to do it! Holy smokes, can you imagine? The pioneers must have had a very hard time, even though it was all they knew. I have a new appreciation for indoor plumbing and baths after seeing our beautiful pup trying to get the hang of everything. She is doing very well, but today was a tough day.

The Babe has found a great pet store that has the largest selection of bones for chewing on. Rawhide bones are not good for their digestive system. It’s amazing how long they’re occupied with a very large looking hip joint bone.

Goldie is enjoying the bone a lot!

Then when Lexie has it, she can’t be bothered with anything else.

I’m excited about getting back to working on my book. It will be a challenge, but I think I will take 90 days to be thorough with it. It may not take that long, but I’d rather allow a lot of time than not enough.

In between, I can finish the children’s books that are ready for artwork. It will be fun to look for just the right photos or drawings. It will be good to fill in days when I’m not working on the book.

So tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Do you have plans? We will have dinner and visit with friends at the VFW. Probably be home before the rush home starts. We have no desire to be driving when people are inattentive and possibly impaired. After hearing the report today about the four Gretna girls who were killed last summer, I believe there are a lot of kids out there who drive impaired often. The trick the kids are using is putting Vodka in water bottles. Who would think of checking each kid’s water bottles? They do it at school, on school grounds, and all over. I find it sad. Four lives were lost. And for what? Nothing that will make the world a better place.

If you are planning to go out, please be careful tomorrow. Get a sober driver if you need one. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it a lot. I’ll be here again tomorrow, I hope to see you here, too.

Sweet Sunday

Good Sunday Morning!!

Goldie did not have a good night, therefore, neither did Dan. He went to bed before I did. When I was turning out lights, Goldie started crying, and had made the most awful mess in her kennel. In her sleep! Needless to say, I needed help keeping her dirty feet away from cleanup in Aisle 5. And Aisle 7. And Aisle 15. Wow! Such a little body could not produce so much waste!

You could tell she felt bad. She just hung her head. Wasn’t her fault. Dan took her outside for a bit and she just laid at his feet while she just looked up at us. No, sweetie. It wasn’t your fault.

At first we thought maybe she caught something from the other dogs. No, we decided it was the rapid fire treats she received for doing a good job at Puppy School. They may have been liver or something too rich for the amount she ate. Lesson learned, next week we bring our own treats. And skip your noontime feeding. AND begin to offer praise only. We want her well behaved without being a little butterball. She is a great addition to our home, and even Lexie is starting to tolerate her better. That is a huge relief.

I gave both dogs a bath this morning. Wow. What a workout! Lexie and Roxie used to go to Petsmart. The groomer was good with them, but they clearly did not like the dryers. Or the grinding tool for nail trims. Clipping is just fine and it’s less expensive. The groomers prefer grinding I think because it’s an upsell. What do you think??

Goldie wasn’t too sure about the bathtub, but she seemed to be ok after a few minutes. There’s something about a wet puppy that makes it almost impossible to hold but adorable at the same time. She squirmed but didn’t jump out. She let me take her out and bundle her up with towels to dry her. She did really well and I got to cuddle her.

Lexie, the most stubborn dog in the world, acted as if she were a water-hating cat. All four paws spread out, claws out, and I swear she weighed 200 pounds. She got in the water and was obstinate the whole time. Obstinate, isn’t that a great word unless you’re dealing with a being who is obstinate? My mother said I was an obstinate child. It’s a word I’m not too crazy about, but in this case, the word is aptly used.

Lexie didn’t allow me to get parts of her wet, so the soap and rinsing was especially tricky. She probably needs to go to the spa for a day, and get the nail trim too. The cleaning ladies are coming tomorrow, so any lingering mess will be handled, and they’ll get the carpet vacuumed super well. We will be doing carpet cleaning late Monday or early Tuesday, then the house should be rid of any puppy explosion remnants.

How, might you ask, am I doing on NaNoWriMo?? I am at 30,145 words now, and need 2,836 words per day for the next seven days. It’s still doable. Yesterday was a much needed take it easy day for both of us. We can still make it in good order. Let’s stay positive all week about it. I’ll structure my days around it, and should be ready then to edit in December, between decorating the tree that I haven’t purchased yet. I am actually looking forward to it. I’ll let you know in a week, after Goldie sees it.

Our Roxie was such a swiper!! Gavin said we should have named her “Swiper!” I had a playmat, like a rug, that we’d put on the coffee table at our other home. Gavin played with his cars on this mat that was printed to look like a city. When he wasn’t looking, she would grab a car and run into the other room with it. She just wanted something of his. Crazy dog! At this house, I had a number of sparkly, sequined birds that she would grab and try to run with. Luckily, she had a soft mouth and didn’t crunch into them. Crazy dog. We do miss her, but Goldie is a wonderful girl. Can’t replace them, but you can have them settle in a new place in your heart.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Not having plans is really having plans. You may plan to do nothing, which is sometimes a great relief. If your families don’t get along or gathering causes an issue, not going is an option. You owe it to your sanity and peace of mind to do something you want to do. Something that is not stressful.

This is it for today. I hope you have a good rest of the day. Sunday’s can be so good. Thank you for reading, leave a comment and like, you’ll have two entries for the $50 Visa Gift Card I’m giving away for NaNoWriMo. Drawing one week from today, December 1, 2019 at NOON. Stay tuned!

Thoughtful Thursday

This day is pretty blustery compared to the last two. It will be like this for a few days, so we’d better get used to it.

I usually start days like this with big intentions. Anyone with chronic anything will understand this. If you don’t move too much, it doesn’t seem too bad, so you should be able to get through several tasks and still be ok to do more. Blustery days, when the barometric pressure goes wild, are so hard to overcome.

And I refuse to give up hand sewing, embroidery, and other things that make time pass while creating something beautiful. It’s just not in my DNA. And typing doesn’t help, nor does hand writing. But we persist, don’t we??

The thing of it is, I just hate to give up on anything. Especially myself. It’s not too great to wait until you retire and then find you can’t do what you were waiting to do. So do it anyway, unless it will cause you or someone else danger, harm, or a terrible injury. Chances are, it won’t. Hang Gliding would, hand sewing wouldn’t. My orthopedic surgeons have provided me with devices and other aids to still live my life. The aches kind of add to the triumph in a way. It means I didn’t give up. I didn’t cave. Sometimes you need extra rest or ice, or acetaminophen. But you will have another try at it, maybe allowing extra time, frequent breaks, or putting it away for a bit. Giving up is totally different than deciding that you have had enough. Huge difference. Think about that and comment if you’d like.

And that brings me to Goldie, the young blonde the Babe decided would come home with us about a month ago. She is delightful. She is a very smart dog, like one I’ve never seen. It must have to do with her breeding and the family who raised her to ten weeks of age.

When Babe takes her out first thing in the morning, they walk out the front door, and into the yard. While doing her business, Babe picks up the newspaper from the driveway. I swear on all that is holy, Goldie now walks out and picks up the newspaper, gives it to Dan, and goes to do her business. Totally uncoached. She just learned by watching. It is pretty cool the things she is learning. They are diligently working on homework for the next puppy class on Saturday. What a great team they are!!

She sits at Dan’s feet and sleeps sometimes. She truly is a good girl.

As this blustery day continues, it’s easy to let the grey skies and cold wind make your mood the same way. Don’t let the weather win. If it takes happy music in the background, play some happy music. The people who truly have a challenge are those who cannot drive themselves anywhere to get out of the house when they need to.

I see this a lot with my mother. She is a great worrier, the best worrier that ever worried her way through any crisis, real or imagined. I tend to not worry. By that I don’t mean I’m not concerned about a situation, but I don’t let my thoughts get all out of control by adding my imagination to the facts, creating the worst possible scenarios. She does. She doesn’t see that this type of thinking/worrying doesn’t help an unknown situation. It destroys things. I read once a Mark Twain saying. “I have survived many terrible ordeals. Most of which, only happened in my mind.”

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, Mom wanted me to meet her friend who had a different stage of breast cancer, and who had a much different journey than mine was. She had a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. She was quite ill. She has been ill for a long time. I chose to not meet Mom’s friend. I wanted to take my own journey with my husband and our kids and grandkids. I didn’t need to worry about what could happen. I knew God would be good to me, regardless of the outcome. I was so blessed.

I had a lumpectomy, followed by radiation treatment, followed by medication. I’ve addressed how those affected me in another post, Simply Sunday, on October 20, 2019. Meanwhile, our extended family (stepkids, grandkids) were all in a much greater and much harder cancer fight. Dan’s former wife Sandy, the mother of his children, had lung cancer, Stage 4. She e was given about six months with treatment. She had two and a half years with treatment, support, and love of a huge extended family. She looked cancer in it’s face and stood up to it. She did a wonderful job. The most important thing to her was time with the kids and grandkids. We became friends, good friends. I was blessed to know her as I did, and miss her. I know the Babe will always love her too, and that’s ok.

One thing I didn’t want to do was shout out my triumphs when she had news that was not so good. I still don’t want to boast about surviving, because you never know if something worse is ahead. I’m content to be grateful to God for being cancer free at this time. Always, at this time.

Now, this is not idle worry. I know the odds. I know the chance of it coming back. It could at twenty-five years. It doesn’t steal my time and make me worry about it. My dad was very calm about things until he knew what he was dealing with. I’d like to think I inherited that from him and I believe I did. For that, I’m grateful.

Submit a comment, like the post, and you’ll receive two chances for my NaNoWriMo giveaway of a $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing is December 1, 2019 at NOON. Join us tomorrow, and we’ll have fun again then. Make your own sunshine. Be grateful.

Two Within Twenty Four Hours

With last night’s late blog, and my starting much earlier this morning, you’ll be getting 4 chances to register within a twenty four hour period. Take advantage of it while you can! You can comment here, at the end, scroll way past the ending, and you’ll see a box for “Leave a Comment.” That is where you can comment.

I must share with you the photo Tracy took of Gavin with us last night. He was so happy we were at his concert. He must be deep in thought because he said, “I’m so lucky to have you two for grandparents,” and said that the last time we were together. Of course, some naysayers will say, “He’s just sucking up for Christmas gifts!”

I beg to differ with you. Isn’t that a nice phrase? Rather than becoming uncivil with a comment, one may choose to “Beg to differ.” And there were no hurt feelings or name calling involved. Let’s try and think “Beg to differ” instead of “Those stupid Republicans,” or “Those damned Democrats!” Let’s be above name calling and be civil.

Anyway, while begging to differ with you, I say I do believe some kids really do realize when they are lucky. And it doesn’t have to do with material things, they can actually feel the love someone gives them. And they appreciate it. And kids are honest, they will tell you what they believe. I love their honesty. It’s so pure.

So, call me crazy, I know Gavin meant what he said. He wasn’t schmoozing.

Gavin after his “The Giving Tree” program last night.

I’m still thinking about the message from the tree decorations my mom bought yesterday and the fact I’m getting a new Christmas tree for home this year, AND the fact that Gavin’s program was about The Giving Tree. I do believe there is a message there for me. I believe it’s telling me something about Christmas, giving, and the past. Maybe like Marley (In The Christmas Carol) I’m weighted down by something in the past about Christmases. Maybe I’m not giving as much of myself where I should be doing so. Maybe the best thing I can give myself is a different outlook on things.

One thing I want to do is concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas. It has nothing to do with Black Friday (I honestly do not know when that became a thing!), with last minute bottom lines, how much money businesses make this shopping season, and with who wins the next debate. Those things don’t warm my soul or make me feel good.

So what is it I should do?? Be generous with the Red Kettles I see at shopping centers.

Be willing to help someone out. I am finishing a project for someone who is unable to. I will make time to finish their project for them. In keeping my word to another human being, I am helping others a lot.

Learn to graciously say, “I just can’t do this.” No explanation. Sometimes you need to know when to turn things down that you can’t possibly do and still function well. The wisdom to know the difference is worth our weight in gold.

There is a great deal of wisdom existing in the world, and I think some comes from out of the mouths of children. Their innocence is unbelievable at times, yet they can be wise beyond their years. Many little children are exposed to things they never should be.

When my oldest son was in kindergarten, a classmate came over to play. They played house within sight of me. I heard the little girl give a detailed explanation of a scenario. “You didn’t come home from work, and I went out with my friends to a movie, dinner, and drinks. You got mad I wasn’t home and I’m not going to tell you where I was.” This was really way too old for a kindergartener. I don’t like how it makes me feel at my age right now!

Sometimes, I wonder what happened to this little girl. She was a good kid but came from a really dysfunctional family. Alcoholism in spades, generational and it was severe. A lot of us had difficulties in our childhoods, and may still be shaking off the past. This year is the time to find out how to shed it for all time. The rest of our life doesn’t have to be how the first part was, especially if it was bad. It was there to shape us and teach us what to do or not do.

In the next week, many people will be gathering for their Thanksgiving dinners and “Thanksmas” and whatever else may be scheduled. Some will be happy gatherings, some may not. Whichever yours is, be sure you stop and think about what you have to be thankful for. Sometimes, it is hard to think of things. Just remember that there is good everywhere. We just need to look for it. There have been times in life when things have gone so wrong that I was thankful for the fact my car started. Period. Presently, my life is so abundantly blessed it’s hard to find things that are so wrong they will ruin my day.

Today, I’m grateful for Gavin, Joell, Addison and Kayla. They’re the best grandkids I could ever hope for. I’m grateful for a man like Dan who encourages me to be myself. It’s a relationship that is perfect for me. I’m grateful that my children grew into good grownups, and that they are independent in their lives. All mothers probably wish they could see their grown kids more often, I am no exception.

I’m so grateful that we have the home and environment we have. It’s a very contented, happy place. Our two dogs add considerably to it.

Think of what you are thankful for. Really think. You may even surprise yourself. Leave a comment on these things. Give us a like and you are on your way to chances to win the $50 Visa Gift Card. It will be given away on December 01, 2019, drawing will be at NOON. Thank you for reading, and please, come back tomorrow!