Fun Friday & #596!

Good Morning, everyone! Hope you’re having a great day. I’m getting started a bit earlier. Son in law is traveling for his job again, and the Babe is taking Addison to school at zero dark thirty since Wednesday. It’s early for retired folk, but a great reminder what we’re retired from – early days.

Don’t get me wrong. We are still up by 7 a.m. Just not ready to go anywhere! I like to apply my Frankie’s attitude towards weekends to our life now. He said he always got up early on weekends to make the day go slower. If you sleep in until noon, you don’t get as much time you don’t have to be at school. Wise words from him.

And just think. However you choose to spend your time, you can do it for many more hours. If I’m tired later in the day, a “recliner nap” is a welcome respite. Today? We have some donations to gather up from the Post and deliver (Monday, I think) to a non-profit we support. We’re loading my car so I can deliver the items. The Babe invited me to have lunch with him after that. After that, I finally got into the information for the Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference 2021. I was missing a code. I’m eager to dive in and listen to the presentations. This way, we can see ALL of them, not just the one we select at each time frame.

Since I’m a retired I/T person, it frustrates the heck out of me when I can’t get something to work on a computer. I feel like a failure (for a minute) and want to let the person I’m telling my woes to that I really am not your typical “old person” user. I’ve been in the business. Maybe it’s just an ego thing? Hmm. I need to think on that.

This will be a weekend we can actually sit outside, I believe. At long last! The Babe and crew will be replacing ceiling tile at the Post again. They have moved to the second room from the banquet room. It has a dance floor in the middle, and a small stage with all the VFW banners, flags, and other memorabilia. I will go watch Gavin’s ball games since the Babe can’t. I’m eager to see him play. It will be fun.

Today, I’m listening to “A Letter to You,” by Bruce Springsteen. No, I don’t care for his politics. I do appreciate his music, though. He is America’s Poet, in a way. When the economy was so bad in the late 70s, when the Vietnam Veterans were suffering unmercifully, he was there to tell the story. Like Pete Seeger in the 60s, he told us all what we needed to know. Telling the story is important. Telling us how to feel and react to the story politically is wrong.

Bruce has told us the story of wanting to leave your dying small town; falling in love over and over; avoiding being drafted for Vietnam, and dealing with the mental illness of his Dad. That story is deeply personal and explains why Bruce never tried drugs. He was afraid of what it would do to him. And now, he tells us different stories. The aging rocker and the Babe are the same age. I’m really glad we saw him in concert prior to the Babe retiring. (It was the first concert he ever attended. That’s setting the bar pretty high!). This music talks of long love, telling your loved one all the things that are your truths, and love everlasting. I’m there. It’s great.

I find songwriting fascinating. I am amazed at how carefully the words need to be chosen. The music perfectly complements the lyrics. Calling the words lyrics make them sound, well, musical. The giant story you can tell with few words has to be a challenge, yet people do it all the time. Think of all the music generated by the Covid Quarantine. Vast numbers of songs exist now that didn’t before. Lucky us!

As I’m ready to close Blogpost #596, I want to thank each and every 300+ followers I have. Feel free to share. I am grateful for all of you. Please, feel free to comment and it’d be great if you’d leave your email address for my mailing list. I won’t bore you with multiple emails, just news about the books. You are helping my dreams happen. How exciting! I’m putting together some merch ideas, and some give away once my books are published. I’d love to share the wealth with you. I will never share your information, either. That’s just wrong!

See you tomorrow! Enjoy your day. Your nap. Reading. Listening to the NWG Conference. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. You’ll feel wonderful!

Awesome Monday Morning

I’m listening to Kevin Costner and Modern West. There are many songs that are perfect for the long, loving relationships, marriages, friendships. It’s where I find myself right now with the Babe. True Companions. “The One.” Being my protector, the one who helps me rise above the negativity in life. A true heart. I can protect him, too. From negativity, from himself, as he does for me. We’re so lucky to have this life together. I’ve been encouraged to go for my dream by this man. He may not understand it totally, but he’s on board for the duration.

This is a shot in the arm for my energy, in addition to losing about 20 pounds. We’re still doing Keto, and doing well. For me, I know it will be a slow but steady process. The whole point is to end up healthier, and it’s easy for us to keep going. I’m hoping for the longevity my Grandma Jewell had; she lived to 97. She was such a beautiful woman. Her heart was pure gold.

I told a little backstory yesterday about the craziness going on while I was trying to write the blog announcing Cartney McGuigan as my illustrator. The whole thing just came together, and I believe we all have opportunities that are golden, right in front of us. We have to be open to them; no idea is a crazy one; they’re ideas. They can be expanded and made into things that are not only possible but become vital to pursue. That is how I feel about writing. This whole prospect of possibilities makes me so happy!

I know I’m late, but our goal this week is to thoroughly clean the house while packing away all the Christmas decorations. So far, the tree is stowed, so we’re going well. The ornaments are all on the kitchen table, they’ll be put away later today. Having all the time in the world is helpful when you can only do so many things in a day. I always overestimate what we can accomplish, but never give up. We do what’s most important to us as a couple, and that is spend time with each other. Sure, we get grumpy at each other, but we’ve both learned what’s important and what isn’t. It saves a lot of petty disagreements most people have. It just isn’t worth it.

Next week, we go for sorting everything to do our income tax. That will be a wildebeest that needs taming. Seriously. Every year, I believe in my heart I will absolutely keep better track of our receipts, documentation, the whole thing. Every year, I have a box and desk like this:

Maybe next year I won’t do this again. LOL. Mom always says I had my father’s filing system genes. Oh well. I could have inherited worse!

It is snowing lightly outside my window. They are pretty flakes, that seem to be melting on contact. The view is nice, and I feel a warmth in my heart that I want to keep burning forever. It’s contentment, it’s satisfaction after creating. Any creative person can tell you what it is. It’s the feeling I used to get after expertly tailoring a suit for my business career; it’s the feeling I get after completing a beautiful quilt; it’s the feeling I have when I write. You made that thing; you wrote those words, you created those bridesmaid’s dresses, you created with ideas that filled your mind. It’s a purpose in life for some people. It makes others happy, too. It’s there for the sharing.

Thank you for reading today. I have a bunch of ornaments to wrap, stow, and some more instructional videos to watch and share with Cartney. Hope to get caught up and on the right track to have everything in order to allow for some more creativity. Quilting is calling to me right now.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Let’s all be kind to one another. How we behave in the next couple weeks can determine where we as a country will go in the future. I pray it’s a good path, I pray it’s a peaceful path, I pray it’s a kind and loving path. Let’s do our part. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Friday Finale

This is how my day started. Bon Jovi was on GMA this morning. I’m quite a fan of his, even since the 80s during the hair band era. He is an extremely handsome man, even in his 50s. I admire two things about him, aside from his musical talent. He operates a restaurant in his hometown, and the meals are free. It is quite an operation, and he continues to work there many days. The other thing, he is still married to his high school sweetheart, marking 40 years this year. How unusual. I can’t imagine the early days were easy for her. But, nonetheless, they’re still a couple who love each other and their family very much.

This song came from a photograph his wife took of him washing dishes in the kitchen of the restaurant. She asked him to come up with a caption for it. He said, “When you can’t do what you do, you do what you can.” And that, boys and girls, is how this song, “Do What You Can,” was born. Some people can just take ordinary words and make them magical. I hope to be able to do that, for you and for myself.

Do What You Can – And Do It Today!

How inspiring. And there are lessons in the lyrics. We need to be loving each other much more than we are. We need to be kind, we need to do what we can especially now, to make the world a better place during this crazy time we’ve all bought into. No, I’m not talking about wearing masks, I do believe there is a virus out there that can kill us. We lost two gentlemen from the VFW Post, both in their 90s last week who died of COVID. One just wanted to go fishing, and he became ill. I’m glad the poor guy was able to go fishing. But who’d thought he would become ill then. Seems unfair to them.

What I’m talking about is the ugliness I read every day on Facebook. I swear George Stephanopoulos had a gleam in his eye as he talked about “order of succession” should Trump, in his advancing age, die, and Mike Pence die, and then Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, would be President. Wow. Have we really come to that? I’m just so tired of it all.

Sure, I could shut it down, stay away. I don’t want to. I’ve made some wonderful acquaintences from groups I belong to, such as Quilting and Writing. I won’t give those up. So I scroll further and further between posts these days. Let’s. Just. Stop.

From the clinic visit yesterday, I’m experiencing much more swelling just below the ear, into the jaw. I have no toothache, but man, it’s hurting. The doc said do what you can do for the discomfort until you either start to run a fever or something else comes up. OK, I’m hoping it’s not a toothache, abscess or something ugly like that. It about had me declaring a day to live in PJ’s and lounge. But, once I heard that great new song by Bon Jovi and the incredible Jennifer Nettles, I couldn’t let a day slip away. Music motivates me. Helps me look on the bright side.

I was smart, finishing all the laundry yesterday, and I’d like to finish my scenes/outlines today. That may free up part of the weekend for me. And that would be a good thing. Sunday, there is a Show & Shine Car Show at the Post, we look forward to going up for that. It’ll be fun.

And then, this will propel me into the rest of my day. This rendition of the old “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” by Bon Jovi saw performance at a Superbowl Half Time Show. It was the first time I heard Jennifer Nettles. I love her voice. She has such a strong, great voice. It’s quite a collaboration. If I could sing, I’d want a voice like that.

As I make way to writing some more scenes, I’d like to challenge you to think of how you could make a positive impact in the world. Learn how to do it in a small way. We don’t need to open free restaurants for the homeless or very low income folks, we can make a small donation to a food bank. We could collect things for charity. Pick out a charity like Moving Veterans Forward who gives everything to the Veterans they’re helping. And the recipients of the help have to work for it, too. It’s not a free ride.

A long time ago, a very smart person told me there’s nothing better for a teenage boy like being able to earn a few bucks and have his own money on his person as he walks down the street. Now, same would be true for females, too. And I saw that. If you’re financially stable, even if it’s just a first paycheck, you walk differently. You talk differently. You have some confidence in yourself. That’s what MVF helps these people achieve. And that’s definitely worth our time.

Comment below and let me know what you’re doing. Help each other. Call an elderly neighbor. Say hi to people you encounter. Let’s all start making this a more positive world. We need it. Thanks for reading, I hope to see you again tomorrow. Let’s do this!

Wednesday

Wednesday again already! This is an absolutely perfect day outside. Enjoy it, won’t you? I just walked through the house, thinking how beautiful it looks with the sun streaming in. It makes me smile and feel good. I’m so grateful for what the Babe and I have.

It was an early start to the day, Addison needed a ride to school. The Babe goes and then gets the bookwork for the day done at the Post. And as it’s Wednesday, they have “Hamburger Night” from 5 – 7 p.m. We love seeing our friends and getting out for a bit. We’ve been members for probably seven years, and have met many wonderful people there.

When the Babe and I went to drop off donations at Moving Veterans Forward, we were fortunate to have a grand tour of their facility and a brief summary of all the things they offer. It’s phenomenal. We will have him come talk to the Post and Auxiliary in the near future. What a worthy organization. If you’re in the Omaha, Nebraska area and want to help, or if you know a Veteran in need to help, send me a message via my Facebook page, Kathy Raabe, Author.

Speaking of loving sunny days, I remember a time when I couldn’t tell you how my house looked in daylight. When I was working two jobs, I left home in the dark and came home in the dark. It seems that period of time had overcast, dark skies. I appreciate it very much. That’s what a person needs to do if they’re not having a good day, is concentrate on the good things. The sunny days. The fact you are warm, clothed, and fed. So many people don’t have enough to survive, through no fault of their own. Some folks expect they’re entitled to everything free, and I disagree with that. I have no problem with assistance, but it needs a beginning and ending date. Generations on assistance doesn’t make sense to me.

I am writing more scenes this morning, and I’m really enjoying the process. Next week is another session via Zoom with Sam Tyler, my Book Coach. I feel like I’m improving a lot, and it’s hard for me to say that. I was raised during a time when women were not supposed to be egotistical. And you were egotistical if you bragged about what you do. Today, they call it self-love. No, I didn’t have much of that. Mom was pretty clear, don’t spend all day primping, looking in the mirror, don’t be a braggart. Be compliant. Go along to get along. Don’t make waves. Girls don’t sweat. I wanted to play baseball with Johnny Bauer, but wasn’t allowed to. Girls don’t do that. He always talked about the Yankees, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris. So here I am, not being egotistical, just telling the truth.

In case you’re wondering, this is a no-politics zone. I will vote. It’s my personal business who that is for, and in making that decision, I’ll look closely at the VP’s. Succession is a very real possibility given the ages of both Presidential candidates. Enough said.

Let’s get along in the next however many days we have until the election. Let’s start practicing our manners again. Everyone. Republicans and Democrats. We need to be civil, and we need to do it now. We can change how we behave. Let’s do it for our great country, who could use a break from all of the fighting. I’m sure by January, 2021 there will be talk about the 2024 election and so it will go. Frankly, I’m just so tired of negativity.

The quilt in the upper left pictures is finally pinned and prepped for quilting. It’s so pretty, it has Swarovski crystals with embellishments on the embroidered Hibiscus flowers. It took quite a while, it’s a good size, and I’m keeping this one. I love the backing fabric.

The front door wreath I made last week. So glad to have painted the door, it’s much brighter than the dark navy blue it was. Just a couple of dollars worth of paint makes a world of difference, doesn’t it?

And then the perennial at lower left keeps growing. I don’t get to that side of the house often, so it surprises me when I do. I used to love gardening, and now, with the arthritis in my spine, knees, and feet makes it very hard to get down and do it. It could be worse, my dad would always say. Yes, it could, Dad. Twenty-five years ago, I had a tumor that impacted my spinal cord. It wasn’t cancerous, but I nearly ended up paralyzed from it. I thank God every day for my mobility, such as it is. God is very good. After going through all that, I met the Babe. What great timing God has!

Be Kind, Be Civil, Be Courteous to everyone you meet today. I plan to, even if someone riles me up. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow! Be Safe out there.

Is It Thursday?

By the time I go from the bedroom to the kitchen, I can lose track of what day it is. I also lose it by the afternoon or early evening, even though it doesn’t matter. Losing track. Used to be we needed to at least act we were with it, on top of the world, holding our finger on the pulse of business, industry, creation, religion, and whatever else arena we needed to compete in. It just isn’t that important any more. In some ways, I hope that remains, so we don’t put so much pressure on ourselves. So that our jobs, society, and leisure times don’t put so much pressure on our psyches. It’s too much. I hope we never get that way again.

I hope we don’t because the time we are making for our families right now shouldn’t be lost. Yes, parents probably need a break right about now, but so do the kids. If you’re unfortunate and have badly behaved kids, you can fix that right now. Before school starts again. Before sports start again. Before work starts again. The most important thing for us all to learn is be kind to the world. Be kind to your kids, school, sports teams, and co-workers. We can unlearn any bad habits we have, so can our kids. Make up for lost time in what’s left before we can go out again with no masks. Think long and hard about it. Your whole life can change for the better right now.

We must begin somewhere

After my breast cancer treatment and after my wonderful niece and friend Wendy lost her husband, she came to see me and brought a gift. It was a plaque and stand. It helped me get up out of the chair, start walking, start doing all the things I’d stopped doing while I was too tired to do anything. It did the trick. And since that day over ten years ago, I put it out where I can see it when I need a jumpstart to get back to living. I took it out this week, and it’s now on the mantle again. The Babe and I both see it every morning while we have coffee. It’s gotten us both going. Let’s all get going. Let’s be interested in life whether you’re still in quarantine or whether you’re going to ease back into life outside of your home. Be cautious, but do it. You have to start somewhere. We all have to start somewhere.

Due to technical difficulties, I cannot post a photo of the plaque. It says “today BEGIN”. I’ll post a pic when it is available. The words are powerful for me, and I hope they are for you, too, it you need them. At different times in life, we all do. And in times of pandemic, we all do at the same times.

Restrictions in restaurants are lifted, with certain new rules in place. Many places are continuing take out orders only. Some are opening. The VFW Post 2503 is planning on opening on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at 4 p.m. for a Hamburger Night. A limited menu will be available. No drinks sold unless they are sold with a dine-in meal.

Fabulous Friday

Hi, friends!

An overcast, almost chilly day here in Gretna, Nebraska. We are seeing a lot of green things growing here, and the one house in the neighborhood who doesn’t believe in weed control has infected our lawn with the blight of suburbia! Dandelions! I know, we should be all organic about them and let them live, but no, not like he did. No grass at all. Just dandelions. The Babe is on the hunt for them, so watch out!

Already this morning, I’ve gone through a bunch of my book, editing and changing things up. I’m on about page 50, Chapter 10. It’s fun. Changing descriptions to spoken words by the characters is a good way to show, not tell. If someone in the story is relating family stories it’s a lot more interesting than reading words. I learned that in my first submission. Good one, too. It’s important to story telling. Sometimes, I just pick up a book and read. If it piques my interest, I pay attention to the writing. Dialogue from characters? Yes. What a process.

This afternoon, I want to work on my Poppy Quilt. It needs three different boarders on it, then I can select the backing for it, layer it, and add it to the stack that needs quilting. That will be a good bit of work for May. If I could quilt one quilt a week and finish it, it will be a very good month! A challenge since the weather is finally nice, but they need to be done.

Goldie has so much fun fetching in the yard. It’s so nice in the mornings that I can just go out in my pajamas and throw her toy. She has so much energy. She loves her people, too. Has to be with us. Lexie acts as if she could care less, but snuggles in bed every night. She’s on a kick now that she won’t get into bed until I do. Kind of cute, really. But then she gets in my place! Huh. We’ll have to do something about that.

Unrealistic? Uhm, maybe.

It’s about time for lunch now. A quick sandwich then off to finish the Poppy Quilt. Stay tuned for a photo tomorrow. There. Now I have to finish it! Thanks for reading, I hope you have a good day, stay home, wash your hands, straighten out your office, and be kind. I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Fabulous Friday!

Hello, friends. I hope you are having a wonderful Friday. Our pretty (deep) snow has begun to melt. We have pretty much stayed inside today again. The Babe and the dogs are continuing walking twice every day. It’s good for all of them, and I should be doing it, too. We did dig out my recumbent bike and I want to be on it beginning tomorrow.

I’m making Chicken Chimichangas for dinner. They’re ready to pop in the oven, red beans and rice are also on the menu. It’s a new recipe, so I’ll let you know what the verdict is. The face masks are more than halfway done. I hope to get them mailed either late today or tomorrow. I have sewing friends all over the world who are making hundreds of them. I’m just not able to sit at the machine that long. Some are quite beautiful.

About 25 masks, early this morning.

Since I’ve become a quilter, I can tell you quilter friends are some of the most generous people I have ever met. One Canadian friend coordinated an effort during the Tsunami in Japan to send quilts to many, many people. I made two squares from the pattern block they used. It was beautiful when they finished it. It was fun to be part of such a far reaching project. Another time, a friend managed the International Quilt Festival in Ireland. Many of us made a block with our hand appliqued on it. It was another satisfying world-wide group effort.

The President has wisely given each state it’s own latitude in reopening after the pandemic. We are not even close to being ready to be thinking of that. It is still the safest to stay home. Period. I know it’s difficult for people who are not earning their full salaries, some of our family aren’t working their full number of hours either. We need to be kind, we need to be aware of people who may need someone to talk to, we need to check on our elders and people who live alone, and we need to stay home for now.

I’m going to do some more editing using Pro Writing Aid over the weekend. It’s a really good way to flag if you’ve repeated common words, or need to find a different group of words to describe something. It helps my writing become better. I’m happy with the software and it makes my job easier. What won’t they think of next?

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha has a world famous zoo, is home to the College World Series, had the Olympic Swimming trials four years ago and was to host them this year. They are rescheduled for 2021. These events help bring in millions of dollars in tax revenues. Not this year. The city will have a massive budget shortfall and has no way to make that up. Trouble is, Federal Relief will not go to the City as an entity. The City does not have the required 500,000 people. It’s a way many cities and towns will slip through the cracks all over the country. There are things we may not even realize yet that will be impacted by this virus.

Hope you have a nice evening. I’m going to go finish cooking dinner now. Thank you for reading today, and I hope to see you tomorrow. I will post earlier. See you then!

COVID-19 Blues

When I opened WordPress this morning, I was greeted with a meme that wished me Happy Anniversary. It was one year ago today I started my website and blog. I established it and wanted to learn more before I dove in headfirst. You see, I don’t swim. At all. Water terrifies me. I can use pool noodles and not hyperventilate, but take them away, and I sink. It’s a fear I’ve never overcome. I’d rather speak in front of an auditorium than try to swim. And I have spoken in front of an auditorium. I emceed a dinner at Metro Community College once about twenty five years ago. Probably a thousand people attended. Bob Boozer was a speaker. I knew nothing about it until the emcee was sick and they called me. What a surprise! I lived to tell about it.

I blogged a couple times between April and July, 2019. When we tragically lost our Roxie was when I started daily (almost). I can see a lot of differences depending on the day, and I’m glad for those of you who continue to follow. As soon as I finish my book and get closer to publishing, I will add website pages, about ordering, what we’re working on, and whatever else that entails. But as of now, we’ve met over two hundred times! That’s a lot of blogging, a lot of reading, writing, and a lot of trying to decide what to talk about. Thank you for bearing with me.

I’m sure you all know how much I love quilting. In ten years, I hope to see the improvement in my writing just as I’ve seen the improvement in my quilting skills. At first, I thought I’d never be able to make a nice quilt. Quilters always feel the need to confession, sort of like the Catholics do. It’s not necessary at all. Most of the time, no one else even notices mistakes. We are often our own worst enemies. Writers are also their own worst enemies, believe me.

As a quilter, a lot of friends have shared this pattern with me. I purchased it, and it arrived a couple days ago. I love the irony there is in this piece. The overs and unders of roll placement, patterned vs. white, and the glaring example of that one piece left on the roll, half covered with glue. What good is that? Who does that? It might make a good raffle prize for the Nebraska Writers Guild Fallish Conference later this year. I’ll have to see if my good intention comes to fruition. It might make a good memory quilt for our youngest grandson, Cody, who was born in January, before all this hoarding started. That remains to be seen.

I just couldn’t resist!

Do any of you have the problem of enjoying too many creative endeavors? Like art, writing, quilting, photography, etc., etc., etc.? I do. It’s a hard thing when you like a lot of things. Even back in the 80s when I took a placement test at the community college to see what areas of interest I had. It’s hard when you like a lot of things. It’s great if you can devote enough time to each facet, but not if you are simply hacking away at each part. I did decide to forgo the art part until I finish the novel. And relax starting another one for at least six months, unless there’s a valid reason to start another novel right away. If a publisher is hounding me for a series, and I must get started quickly. It could happen. Not likely, but I’m new at this, how am I to know?

Once Bitten Twice Shy?

Wasn’t there a metal band in the 80s who sang a song “Once Bitten Twice Shy?” Through the blessing called GOOGLE, I find it was by White Snake. Yes, my oldest liked Metal and Hair Bands (Bon Jovi & Van Halen), heck I even liked those last two. And now you can hear them all on elevator music. It happens to all of us. My younger son Nick liked the boy bands, Pointer Sister, girl soloists, etc. Daughter? She liked the Death Metal garage band that went onto become the Faint. Yes, the Faint. She had a boyfriend (Mike) who was the lead singer/guitarist. She broke up with him before they got big. Funny how things go along. She now likes Country music, and they have their two beautiful kids, named after western heroes (Cody Wyatt) and a Country singer (Kayla Jolee). I can’t help but wonder what those kids will listen to. Hopefully not rap. Sorry, I just don’t like angry sounding stuff that rattles my fillings. I can even get to like lots of stuff, but not rap. Not in me.

So as I’m off to see if my plot will bite me again, I hope you have a beautiful day today. We have winter ick again, but it won’t last long. The last couple days I think I’ve given in to some of the COVID-19 Blues, and I don’t want to give away any more of my time to him. Not unless I could write a blues song about it like an old, wise, gravelly voiced black man could. With that life experience, it’d be a great song, don’t you think? What a character he would be. I think he could tell a lot of stories about lives he’s lived. But that’s for another time.

And thanks for reading today. I’m glad you were here with me, it’s given me a boost to keep working today. I hope your day is good. Do whatever you wish to. Reward yourself for staying in. We must if we want to emerge on the other side of this with our communities intact. Please don’t think you won’t catch it. You might not, but you could infect me. Or the Babe. Let’s be sensible. Thanks! See you tomorrow.

Thankful Thursday

Hi, friends. Hope you’re staying amused, being productive, and getting done what you need to. I know I’m not. Well, I am, and I’m not. The sun and warm went away this morning, and now we could have freezing rain/snow. After this virus outbreak and quarantine, nothing surprises me. How could it? About the time we think we’ve seen everything, something comes along and trumps the last event. I love talking to my oldest, who will be fifty years old next year. He has a good memory of things from his youth. He actually remembers the awful tunnel at 84th and I-80. Remember it? He remembers going to Brandies when he was three to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory displays. He remembers being afraid of some of the characters in Star Wars. It makes me laugh when he wonders what’s wrong with kids nowadays. For those conversations, I am so thankful.

English – the hardest language to learn.

I’m glad I grew up in a family of readers. My parents both read every chance they got. We were good at looking stuff up in the dictionary and encyclopedias. Dad never told us how to spell something. His philosophy was start where you think it should be. Then, if it’s not there, look further until you find it. You’ll become familiar with so many more words. Good advice, although we disliked it at the time. He would be so amazed by PC’s today. I wish he could have lived long enough to have had one. It would have been fun to help him learn how to use it. It’s hard to hear about kids who don’t read, or who don’t like to. It is so much harder when you dislike it. Dad also used to say if you could read you could do anything. There is 100 % truth to that. Directions, reading a recipe, reading a dress pattern, putting together a car, model airplane, whatever you need to do, you usually have to be able to read to accomplish it. I’m thankful to the gift of reading.

And the meme above points out an important thing about reading. For as difficult as English is, you must be able to know read from read, excuse from excuse, and so on. Would that be in language class? I truly don’t remember. Wherever it’s taught, I’m thankful to have learned it.

I sort of led my life backwards, compared to how some of my classmates lived. I married very early, had three kids by the age of 27, and was divorced at 30. I attended college classes for a long, long time and graduated from college in 1995. Twenty-five years after graduating from high school. It’s the only thing I ever regretted, was not being able to graduate from college. Dad told me, “Just keep working at it, you’ll get it done.” He was right. I’m so thankful he gave that advice and that I followed it. It meant a lot to me.

Of course, I’m thankful for the Babe. This being quarantined at home tries everyone’s patience, but there still is no one I’d rather be quarantined with. No one else may be able to put up with me, you know? It works two ways. We are watching Netflix, we finished the Ranch, are watching Ozark, it’s really good. I don’t know if we’ll watch the Tiger King or not. There is certainly a lot of hub-bub about it. What do you think? Watch it or skip it? The promos remind me of the Jerry Springer Show. Or Honey Boo Boo. Or hokey stuff like that.

Today hasn’t been that great of a day. The weather change was predicted by the fibromyalgia/arthritis combination and is currently about to put me down for the count. Even with the Super Arthritis Formula 650 mg. Acetometaphine the Babe brought home for me to try. I took two. Haven’t started to work yet and it’s been a couple hours. Wow. How are people who have this fibro stuff supposed to know when they have body aches? It’s a sign of the virus, yet so many of us live with conditions that already cause a lot of pain. How does one tell?

Maybe it’s time to go sit by the fire and read. That’s it, boys and girls. Hope you have a good rest of the evening, and I’ll do the same. Thanks for reading, be grateful, wash your hands, come back tomorrow. I’ll be here, too. And for all that, I’m grateful, too.

This Thursday

As all anatomical auras are, Allison ached at an idea in an anthology of ideas. Allison inched along, acting as if all’s A-#1. An inkspot advanced around an Asian artwork. Allison iced an elbow as aching ebbed. “Always, an energy aching,” as Allison’s extremity acted unquestionably unusable.

Zelda rang the bell. She was not wanting someone to come to the door. Zelda crept the perimeter, holding the crucifix near her head. The magic would come soon. Most would then be forgiven, noted, brought to the jail per the magistrate, following the hearing.

When All Else Fails . . .
Consult a Book of Prompts!

Hoping you are still reading. Did you think I totally lost my mind? My ChromeBook was malfunctioning? Someone changed my keyboard to type gobblygook? None of the above.

Most of the time when sitting down to write my blog, I already have an inspiration of some sort. Either it’s an experience, someone did something funny, aggravating, illegal, or I try to capture a strong feeling that is in my heart and on my mind. There is so much out there to share, and I’m lucky you listen by reading.

Some days, the ideas, words, thoughts, and stories just don’t happen. I would imagine a songwriter or poet experiences much the same. Poetry, I’ve read, forces you to use fewer and more exact words to get your point across, to complete your story, and help the reader use their imagination. A songwriter uses fewer words, also. The music can fill in where words cannot, where they are inadequate or fail to convey what is intended. A beautiful song, thoughtful lyrics, and a melody that sweeps you away, in my mind, is a huge #1 hit. It doesn’t matter how much airtime it gets, how many people buy it, if it strikes me in my heart and soul, it’s done it’s job. I’ll always remember what I felt when I first heard it. That songwriter did their job well.

For the times the words don’t come, when the ideas are elusive, when no words exist for a writer, the feeling keeps nagging, and you are still coming up empty, prompts work sometimes. Prompts like I pictured above, Writer’s Digest presents A Year of Writing Prompts. The second photo lists specific dates and ideas. February 27, Vowel-uable Writing. I wrote the first paragraph all with words that began with vowels, the second paragraph is written with words that began with consonants.

I know my readers are very bright people and have already seen what I just described along with the prompt. The whole idea of this is to get the brain thinking, how can you phrase this with only vowels, are consonants easier (you bet!), do people still use a Thesaurus? I just did. For the first time ever, I think. You could entertain yourself all day doing this. You may come up with some unintelligible sentences, but you would have exercised your brain. This is why I blog every day. If there is no time to work on my book or my quilting or my art, it all goes into my blog. I enjoy it so much.

Yes, I noticed also the prompts are only for 365 days and we have the elusive 366th day this year, since it’s Leap Year, an election year, and we have to even up the Gregorian Calendar. We have used this calendar for over 400 years. The primary motivation for this was primarily religious, to calculate when Easter would be. Lent begins 40 days prior to Easter.

All in all, it helps even time out. In reading this Huffington Post article, I was unaware of skipping a leap year. I don’t recall ever doing it, but is sounds as if it does happen. Read the article here. Why did we not know this before?

All the while I worked as a programmer, coder, systems analyst, and before the Y2K date stuff hit the fan, we used Julian Dates to define our date fields in the programs we used. It’s just what we did. I liked the old COBOL programs we wrote and maintained. I’ve heard many companies are searching for us old, retired COBOL programmers and will pay a good chunk of change to those of us who know what to do with these programs. Done right the coding is a masterpiece. When debugging, it was always one little thing, like a period, that usually caused your program to loop on into infinity and beyond! Some could be out there, still chugging away. Usually it fixed the problem when you either deleted the period, or added it in. Sometimes, when I finally found an elusive error, I would state, “Sometimes, I even amaze myself.” It keeps your ego in the humble zone for sure. I loved being able to write something from scratch or even modify someone else’s program, and make it work, adding an entirely new function. So glad I had a mentor who steered me towards that field of work so I could earn the amount of money I needed to help raise my kids, have a house, retirement, and all the things normal families do. It was a great run.

Thank you so much for reading today, I am appreciative of your time. For not knowing what to write, this prompt took us a few places I would never have expected when I started writing. And in that, dear friends, is where I can say humbly, “Sometimes, I even amaze myself!” And it’s a good thing. See you tomorrow! Have a great afternoon!