Thursday Thoughts

One of the most impactful things Dad ever taught me is to look at things from every different angle you can before deciding on something. In most things, it is prudent to do so. I like that he would tell me to think of where the other person may come from. It has always served me well. As young kids, they expected us to think things through. They, meaning the parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Maybe we didn’t have a stress-free life as kids, but I think we all can operate as reasonably intelligent adults.

Sometimes, someone may remark, “Gee, I didn’t think of it that way.” That’s a clue you may have opened their eyes to a fresh way of thinking. It’s easier if they’re open to changing their way of doing things. If they’re not, it’s much harder. Consensus is easier to achieve with more open-minded people. Face it. Change is hard. People resist as long as they can.

It gets frustrating when someone digs in and belittles your decision or choice and later claims they supported you all the way. The excuse is “Well, things were different.” With some people, it’s just not worth being right. It’s best to know you are and move on. I’ve had to do that a lot about a lot of things in my life. Moving away to a different neighborhood is a big deal in my family. No more, because I’ve done it. Three times. Mom still lives in the same house she and Dad purchased in 1949. That’s seventy-two years in the same house. It has to be some kind of record.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

We have to learn to be comfortable with our decisions. We need to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our actions. All of them. We have a responsibility to admit if we do something bad. Or good. We sometimes learn more from the poor decisions than the good ones. It’s possible. A balanced person never forgets the lessons they learn from the poor ones. And they know not to beat themselves up over them.

I had another Zoom call with Sam, my book coach today. I’m eager to add more description to my second chapter and flesh out the first scene of the third chapter. Slow and steady wins the race. I read something a couple days ago stating it takes three years to write a book. At first I scoffed at that. *Word of the Day – Scoffed! When I think of starting a year ago, January 2019, it’s not so off the mark. That’s about what I’m looking at now, at the current rate. I do like having smaller sections to rewrite.

I have about 40K written in my first book, These Walls Do Talk. I want to finish it someday I see it as a part of a trilogy. It’s not lost work it was good practice. I think back to a conversation Sam and I had once that touched on having manuscripts that will not be the ones to publish. It’s a very common occurrence among writers. That does not surprise me. Among quilters, there are many projects that never see the quilting and binding added. I have a beautiful example of one. I did not finish the first quilt ever made. I kept it as a reminder of how it was to just start learning the craft. The most important thing I learned was the famous quarter inch seams are to be critical. Otherwise, nothing will align properly. I have some rows that look terrible. You can fudge on a seam while dressmaking (I have frequently), but in quilting its unforgiving. Come to think of it, I should put a binding on it and drape it on my studio chair right here. It will remind me there is a learning curve with everything creative. And to be humble.

Goldie Could Enjoy My “Humility” Quilt.

I think I should dig that quilt out and finish it. Just because. I can look at as a failure. I don’t like the colors. It was a practice piece. I can also use it to help me see how much I’ve learned. All the quilting skills I have are self-taught. There were a few classes I took, but most of it is self-taught. With lots of books and magazines.

I’m glad to know how to look at things differently. It’s helped me be grateful, despite having a body ravaged by some weird ailments. I could have become bitter about what I lost at age 44, but I am grateful for what I can still do independently. I am grateful to have a husband who tells me, “whatever you want to do, honey,” when I have an idea for another quilt, blog, or project. We work well together, he encourages me. It stifles a lot of women to have little support for their creativity. My only problem is finding the time to do all the things I’d like to do!

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy the precipitation we’re having in Gretna, NE. I wish those fires in Colorado would have a gully washer fall on them. The destruction is terrible. Be Open. Think Differently. Love Without Restriction. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Careful.

Moving on a Monday

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

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

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

This, my friends, was heavenly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Summary

This Grandma feels so much better since getting to see our grandson Gavin play baseball again. He has moved up to a league where he is younger than a lot of the kids. The good thing about that is his skillset is way better than the kids his age, and he will be better challenged to grow his skills with the more practiced and older kids. His dad is a coach, and was a great player himself. The boy has had a ball in his hand ever since he could clutch something with his tiny fist. I just absolutely love it. The whole thing. I told him this is the first normal thing I’ve gotten to do in a very long time.

One thing I discovered last night was I’m getting slower and slower walking through the grassy outfield to where we were able to sit. That’s the chronic pain, arthritis, and old age creeping in. That’s the way it goes, you know? I’m so grateful to be able to get to the fenceline and watch him. He’s lost his other Grandpa and Grandma, and the Babe and I are still standing. That’s all that matters.

This humid weather is great for arthritis, you know? If you do, I’m sorry. If not, hope you never do. When I think of my beautiful Grandma Jewell’s hands, they were knotted with arthritis and age. What things she did with those hands, though. I couldn’t count the babies she held, the dough she kneaded, the change she made at Grandpa’s Drug Store, the embroidery she did, and so on. It is amazing when you consider all those things.

I’m looking at taking a couple days and work on a quilt instead of working on my new manuscript. The name is, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons.” I’m working on the second chapter now, and they’re short. They always are at first.

My little puppy, Goldie, is sleeping on the chair mat in my studio. She must be tuckered out from the Babe playing with her and walking her this morning. He is off doing some office work at the VFW Post. When I was very young, about twenty-five (gosh, that’s young!), my doctor told me the older you get the faster time flies. If I thought that was fast, it’s a million miles an hour now. Make the most of your time.

I get so frustrated I get too worn out to do everything I’d like to do in a day. I have so many projects to do. That’s the problem with being creative in several areas. Embroidery, clothing construction, quilting, writing, and drawing. I’m convinced I’ll just go ahead and do my DVD Learning to Draw Art Class over the winter later this year. After all 2020 has thrown at us, don’t you think we’ll have a lot of snow? Haha, nothing will surprise me at the point in time.

Yes, God Will Make Good of the Mess Called 2020

At what point does a person become elderly? Is it merely a comparison of others in a crowd? Is it how you age in your heart and mind? Is it a number? I suppose I haven’t thought that much about it. My 50th Class Reunion was to be this summer. Now, it’s cancelled until August, 2021. A number of us wondered out loud on Facebook hoping we’d all still be here to attend. That’s where we are, I suppose. I’d like to think since Mom is 91, her mom (smoker) died at 84, and Dad’s mom at 97 that I have a pretty good chance at living into my 90s. Hope so! I have a bunch of grandkids we need to see grow up.

Many years ago, 1980 or 1981, I was called to Jury Duty. I had to get a babysitter for my daughter, and took the bus to the Courthouse to arrive on time. I was picked on about three juries. I had the perfect face and demeanor of a perfect juror. I was totally honest, and gave people the benefit of the doubt. I totally enjoyed the experience. Most folks don’t. For the first time in my life, what I thought mattered. It mattered so much because I could find someone guilty who would have to go to jail. It was at a time in my life when I didn’t have a lot of say so in my life. I had an awakening.

If I could help put someone in jail, why couldn’t I pick out my own washing machine? My ex had the idea it was “his” money, so he was to spend it how he wanted. I loved being a stay at home Mom. It was the best time in my life, teaching my babies what they needed to learn, and loving them all the way. It’s hard to believe I was a doormat. I let it happen, I didn’t know any better. When I pushed back, the marriage didn’t work at all. I no longer went along to get along. I found my voice. And it was a relief. And I haven’t stopped using it, either. My life has gone many different directions after that. All good, mostly.

We are a bit paranoid right now. Our neighbors on both sides are moving. One was a renter who purchased their own home. The other was a homeowner looking to retiring to an acreage. Both are great people, and we’re sad to see them go. With two slots open, we’re hoping we get people just as nice as are here. It’s quite a gamble, you know. Right now, we value our peace and quiet, especially in the morning when we’re outside having coffee. It still feels like vacation to sit there, in the quiet, and hear only birds calling out to each other. We’re hoping for good people, cross your fingers for us! Speculation can make you crazy.

We’ve had the greatest neighbors all along. When I bought a house in 1987, a retired couple were next door. They kept an eye on my kids during the summer. It was a blessing. We’ve had a neighbor who had a long criminal history, theft, assault, drugs, dealing, etc., etc, etc. I pray to God that doesn’t happen again.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate your time. C’mon back tomorrow, I’l be here. Hope to see you then. Be safe. Love your kids. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Let’s all live to 90!