Thankful Sunday

We’re basking in the love here at home today. Yesterday, we went to visit the grandkids for about an hour. It was wonderful! They have both grown taller and matured even more than last time we saw them. Schooling at home, being quarantined, and other responsibilities have been great for them. Addison has a beautiful heart and will be as tall as I am in the not too distant future. Gavin is much taller and is having the time of his life at home. In addition to doing school work, he’s reading books and playing while social distancing with his neighborhood friends. He learned to ride his bike!! He is quite the social (distancing) butterfly.

We had a nice visit with the whole family, Tracy and TJ are always willing to help us out if we need it. How nice. We also have my Frankie in town who also would help us out if we’d need it but he lives across town and works weekends, and other times we might need an assist. I’m sure this will change as time goes on. This pandemic and quarantining have had us thinking a lot about planning for our lives as we age. It tells us we need to think twice about having control of our situation. We do to a point, and to be realistic, how can we plan for our future now? I think the answer to that is plan as if this virus and everything involved in it are not an issue. I think we will have vaccines for this. I think we may find at least part of it was manufactured. I hope whoever did that is punished.

Back to work on this for the afternoon.
Very slow going!

Was this against the rules? Maybe. I trust our family and I know they are taking every precaution to be safe. So are we. It’s a risk. But the hugs of those two young, strong, grandkids is worth it. The hug and linger. They don’t let go. They convey their love to you. So heartwarming. We are the luckiest people on earth. All of you will feel the same when you are with your families again. It will happen. We will all be careful. We will still socially distance. We will get together with our loved ones again for a brief visit. Once the greeting hugs are done and the long goodbye hugs are finished, we will leave their homes again or have them over. Gavin loves our dogs. They love him. He needs to play fetch with Goldie. They will both love it. More hugs. Puppy loves. It’s life at it’s best. And we will all enjoy it again.

Remember the little things. Remember the warmth of a hug. Remember the love in a child’s smile. Remember the joy when they learn to do things like walk, ride a bike, or write their names. It’s all coming back again and it’ll be old normal back again. To heck with this “new normal” people talk about. Give me the best of the old normal.

I’m still reveling in the love we felt yesterday. I’m just going to enjoy that all day in my memory, Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and I appreciate you stopping by every day. Smile. You will have good hugs again. Back to “work”. Stay safe. Stay distant. Stay home.

Sunny Sunday!

Finally! At Long Last! It’s sunny outside. Not one cloud in the sky. Although it’s quite windy, I do believe there will be some good opportunity to sit on the deck or patio today. I’m currently in my studio to write this so I don’t get sidetracked as I did yesterday.

You may remember I’m not allowed by my daughter to post photos of them, their daughter or their dog. That said, I can finally share. On January 13, 2020, I became a Grandma and the Babe became a Grandpa again, to a little boy, Cody Wyatt. He’s a cutie in his pics and videos. They are quite private about their business, so announcement had to wait until now. Kayla Jolee is a big sister, and loves him. Until he’s being held. Then she wants to be held. You know the drill if you’ve ever been around babies. All is well.

So, every once in awhile, there is a different way people conduct their lives. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just different. I have to respect their wishes, as they’re the parents, not me. So I try to do the best. There will be a little socially distant shopping in my future.

So today is going to be a productive day. I need this sunshine to perk me up. Seriously, I was getting down in the dumps, no matter how hard you try sometimes, and God gave us all a sunny day. After the forty days and nights of rain, God gave a rainbow. If that’s ahead, that’s great. The blue skies are plenty for me right now. We’ve been hearing birds singing for weeks now. You can pick out the Blue Jay calls, the Cardinals, and plain old chirping of Robins, but now we’re hearing a Woodpecker hammering away at something. You’d think those guys would get a headache from the constant hammering all day long. God thought of everything, though. I guess they don’t get headaches.

I’m all for going to buy more bird feed. The Babe’s not quite on board yet but will be. The Gold Finches are plentiful here, as are Cardinals and all kinds of birds I can’t even identify. A couple years ago, I bought binoculars as a shared birthday gift, since our birthdays are only two days apart. I need to make a point to use them this year. That and put orange peels out for the Baltimore Orioles. That one is tough for the Babe, he doesn’t want critters and varmints coming in the yard, but we can place it out of reach. We’ll figure it out.

Sometime today I’ll do a walk around the yard to see if any plants are sprouting. I need the reassurance the hardy stuff will do it’s thing here as soon as Spring is here to stay. It’s also a great time to spot any dandelions who may be sprouting already. Luckily, our neighbor who sported a completely full of dandelions lawn has moved away. The owner gutted the house (I hear it was really bad inside) and I hope he included some extensive lawn service along the line. It has to be an improvement.

You know, in our old neighborhood, we had quite a diverse population. No kidding, folks from China, Pakistan, the Ukraine, Viet Nam, and others we couldn’t identify. The front yard of the Pakistani people was filled with trees. No kidding, a peach tree, a couple apple trees, beautiful evergreens, and plants all over too. I think the reason they did that is they never had a green space before. Can you imagine living somewhere you had dirt, no toilet, and little else? They were the nicest people. After 9/11 they were taunted by folks that didn’t live in the neighborhood. I’m glad they didn’t leave, they were very good citizens. And a side of karma to their naysayers: Their boys had scholarships to college, and not long after that, they were driving Porsche’s. Good job, young men. You did very well. I hope the rest of your lives is so productive.

Stretch your legs today. I need to. Crazy, heartbreak, unsureness, you can leave today. Leave your key, and stay gone. Laughter, Love, Living, come on in and stay. I’ll give you a key. But not those other guys. They’re gone. Immediately. Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate you keeping up with me, it’s been a downer of a week, we’re better for it, though. New Life. New Love. New Laughter. We’re going outside! C’mon back tomorrow, I’ll be here! Coronavirus be damned! Stay home and wash your hands. We’ve been thrown out of better places.

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!

Introducing: Goldie

Some of the sadness we’ve had since 💔 July when Roxie was killed by a car is about to take a back seat.

We met this beautiful blonde girl last night. We are bringing her home later today!

We knew we needed a pal for Lexie. Last week, we went to see our vet, Dr. Dave Johnson in Blair. He related he has seen animals mourn for years. His advice is always good and we value him a lot. Great human being. So glad Dan’s former boss at Watkins recommended him.

We had been looking online for an established pet (potty trained). Even applied   to a rescue, but got turned down. Admittedly, we were behind in Lexie’s heartworm. So much happened between 2017 and 2018 when the Heartworm pills ran out. Refilling them simply got lost in the shuffle. We feel awful about it, but we’re back on track now. Sometimes things just happen.

We’ll be sharing Goldie’s and Lexie’s adventures here, so stay tuned. Our dogs have survived much longer than the 10 years estimated for the “mutt” variety. I wonder about this one. It will be an adventure. Stay tuned.

So, just checking WordPress’ stats, for the week, we are doing pretty well. It’s exciting to see where you are located.

I know a girl from high school who lives in Italy. I have FB friends in Canada, and Germany. Lovely people. How fun this is!

As of 7 am today, these are our “stats”. Thank you all for reading! To hit International Readership is unreal. Thank you all so much!

Please like and follow here in WordPress, if you will. It will help me determine how to reach more of your like-minded readers. Share with your friends, please. We all have a lot of life to share. Remember:

It’s not too late!

And we’re not too old!

Enjoy your Saturday. And thank you for reading and sharing.

Sunday

I am amazed at some of the stuff is on for kids. Over the weekend, I saw Captain Underpants. Wow.

It’s pretty weird. There is a principal who doubles as Captain Underpants, two kids who write a comic book. Strange stories and stranger conclusions. There is a series of books that are to encourage reading. I suppose it gives kids something to read that keeps their interest. I just don’t get it though.

The best part was spending time with our younger grandson, Gavin. He is seven, and really becoming thoughtful. We talk about so much stuff. He can be a stinker, but I’ve never met a kid yet who couldn’t be one.

He just left with his dad. The house is quiet. The dog went to take a nap. And I’m smiling about all the fun things we did. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the zoo. It is a lot of walking, but it’s worth it. We have a grandparents membership so we can go anytime.

Now, it’s back to our quiet Sunday, and hoping it’s a productive week. We will tell September goodbye, and greet October. We know how unpredictable the weather can be from now until about April, but that doesn’t send us anywhere warmer. We’d miss the grandkids who live here too much.

What do you have planned for today? Time with family and friends? Nieces and nephews? Grandkids? Parents? Whatever it is, I hope it’s great. Tell us in the comments.

Give us some ideas for a future blog. There could be a prize involved if your suggestion is used. Get on our Newsletter list for when we start sending specific news out about our books, publishing schedules, and plans for future manuscripts.

Until then, thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

Scrumptious Saturday

At soccer with Gavin today.

I must say it’s a game I don’t know a lot about. Not touching the ball with your hands is a big deal. OK. Girls didn’t play sports when I was just, except volleyball in grade school. High school was only tennis.

I’m glad that has changed. Girls are just as capable and should learn all the lessons that go with team sports.  Boys learned a long time ago if they don’t like Johnny but Johnny can hit a home run every time at bat, they want Johnny in their team. Period.

Girls used to have a harder time with this. If you didn’t like Susie, you didn’t care what she could do, you shunned her. So did your friends. No way to be a team player. I hope mean girls become a thing of the past. It’s awful to be the odd girl out. I know. I was.

Grandpa Dan and Gavin

After lunch we went to the Omaha Zoo. It is beautiful. No wonder it’s the #1 zoo in the world!

We just saw the giraffes, elephants, other hoof stock, and the beautiful grounds before we ran out of steam.

Decorated for Halloween
The grounds at Omaha Zoo

And now, we are waiting for the game to come on. It will be a bit, and somewhere in there, we’ll be grilling hot dogs for dinner.

What have you done today that was fun? Comment and know how much I appreciate you reading today. Enjoy your evening.