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.

Where Do All the People

hang out who left all this dirty laundry in the laundry room? It’s exploded again. Wow. It doesn’t take long to overwhelm itself. So, after all the sorting and wrestling Goldie for the socks she steals from the baskets/piles as I’m sorting, it doesn’t seem so bad. It seems to go from a couple items to six loads in the blink of an eye. Any other retired folks have that same problem? There are two of us, and we haven’t adopted the “wear everything two or three days” like some older folks do.

My mom wears one outfit “out” when she leaves the house, then rushes home to change clothes. That’s a throwback to the days with “school clothes” and “play clothes” and “good clothes.” Of course, my “school clothes” consisted of a uniform, all twelve years. I suppose we saved a lot of laundry that way. I haven’t counted her outfits she can wear again before washing, she’s still in charge of her closet. She does ok.

Isn’t this a beautiful photo? I’m in awe of it, I don’t want to know how to do it, I just want to enjoy it. You know that feeling? It’s from another free site, used by my friends at I Create Daily. And that’s just it. This group on Facebook has given me courage, strength, ideas, and momentum towards creating the goals I now have which I didn’t have three or four years ago. Writing was a “someday” thing.

I know why I waited so long. It was because I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t strong enough. It has nothing to do with confidence, I don’t think. I learned after the age of 30 I finally had some confidence. It grew, wavered, and grew some more. It was nice to reach the age where I could believe in myself. Some folks never get there. We all have hidden potential. Find out what yours is.

We’ll do a pic tomorrow, but yesterday I actually completed my poppy quilt quilting. Today, I need to square it up, and add binding. I machine sew it on, then hand sew the backing. This one will need a hanging sleeve, since it’ll go right up on the wall. I’m happy to finally finish. My brain still thinks I can do what I used to be able to do at 40 and 50, not taking into account I’m a hair past those decades. Ssshhh! Let me live in denial a bit longer.

See the hanger, up near the top, in the middle, just waiting for the quilt.

Also going to put away all the summery stuff around the house. Tulips, spring towels, etc., will all make way for the vast collection of fall stuff. It’s my favorite time to decorate, until Christmas comes along. And, yes, I will cull the herd of stuff, so that’s a win for the storage room. Great job for today.

So I’m going to be working in and out today, it’s in the upper sixties here (like me!), and very windy, so sitting outside won’t be a calm experience. The skies are dusty not blue, so it might not be a good asthma day. Lots of stuff to do, though.

Thank you for reading today. It’s a little short, but some days are really like that. Tomorrow, I dive headfirst back into my writing. There’ll be more to write about then. Have a beautiful day today. Here’s something good to think on today while you’re enjoying the outside. Or the inside. Keep it inside of you.

Be glad the car started, the water heater worked, the bed was warm.

See you tomorrow, and we’ll make it another good day! Be safe. Be courteous, Be kind. Be you!

Morning, Sunshine!

The weeks I have “homework” due for a conference with Sam, my book coach, I need to be working on the next homework in the four days before the Zoom meeting. I need to be refining my story, editing my next words, and have a head start before the meeting, a couple days of goofing off, then frantic activity. Remind me next time, ok?

I’m actually going to work on a quilt after this blog posts. Then tomorrow, I can get going on Chapter 3. My character Katie is going to be a busy girl, discovering her self-worth and finding her voice. It’s a lifetime of work, all condensed down to mere pages. I need to choose words carefully, make sure each one is the best I can find. I’m learning so much.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I adore sunflowers. I need to find my sunflower wreath for our front door, I think it’s in a storage bin in the basement. If it’s too mushed, I’ll just get a new one. It’s time for one, probably. One in, one out. Have you seen how many people are downsizing, getting rid of clutter, things they don’t use, finding out they don’t love most of their stuff. We’re doing our best. I’m the holder on, probably. The Babe lets go much easier than I do. I must say though, when we emptied his house before we got married, besides the new furniture he bought, he didn’t have many clothes at all, the ex took everything of value. It was a sad situation. I’m glad those years are so far behind. We’ve been over some mountains together. Lots of challenges.

I have two beautiful kimonos we’re hanging in our entryway. Our neighbor gave one to me for watching their daughter while they traveled back home, to China itself. It was a nice surprise. The other one is very old. Dad brought it back from his stint in Korea. I believe they went by boat in those days. A total of over 6,000 miles. How long and boring that had to be. I doubt he cared, though. He was going home to his wife and baby son. I have bamboo to hang them from, and need to press the kimonos (carefully) before hanging them up. They should be beautiful. Photos to follow!

I’m hoping to spend time outdoors this afternoon, as it’s going to be a beautiful day. All week will. Some lows may even be below 50 degrees. I’m not ready for that as of yet. The flowers are not nearly finished up yet, either. I have a new hooded sweatshirt to wear, that I’m eager to share with you, but I’ll save the surprise for the first day I need it. It will be selfie worthy. In the meantime, please have a great day. Know I appreciate your time, and hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back again tomorrow, and will see you then. Be safe out there.

Marveling It’s Monday!

So this is the view from the office today. You can see the streak from an airplane above the trees and there is enough shade yet for the pups to take a nap in. They love being outside! I do too.

Can’t See This Too Much. Fresh Air is the Best Therapy for Your Soul.
The Finch Family Was Rude Last NIght!

However, the neighbor up above on the beam over the table isn’t too nice. While arranging my stuff to work, I discovered we needed a clean up on – well, Table 5? The Finch Family left some gifts for me. Ack! Note to self: Move the table away from the nest to avoid incoming. There, now where were we?

This is such a perfect time of day. It’s just warm enough to be comfortable, especially in the shade. In some ways, I was flashing back to summer mornings when I was a kid in South Omaha. Of course, when I was in 6 – 8 grades, the girls had to go to Mass and sing every morning. Yes, every morning. There was no sleeping in ever at our house. Not weekends, not summer. If we were out too late from the night before, Mom woke us up earlier.

We had no air conditioning the whole time any kids lived at home. Don’t know how Dad, a night worker, slept during the day in that oven of a house. With maybe just a window fan. Anyway, the days were pretty much all alike, kind of like now. Get up, Church, breakfast, change clothes, play. Or read, or whatever you were going to do. Riding bikes was a lot of fun with my friend Peggy. We imagined we had cars, or were part of the Cartwright family on the Ponderosa. It didn’t matter. We used our imaginations and had fun. It’s funny now to think of it. Oh, or be Ricky Nelson’s girlfriend. That was a good one. Swoon!

Goldie, the Office Manager

My productivity took a nose dive yesterday after lunch. When that happens, I need to sit in the recliner with the heating pad on my back. Hate when that happens. Had a nice short nap, and just did some reading the rest of the day. I have four quilts to quilt, three need layering right now. Poppies, Psychedelic Flower, Hibiscus Blocks, and a Wintery Cardinals Quilt I bought last fall. Those are all about the same size, and I’ll only need one King Sized Batting cut in fourths for them all. That makes it so much easier. Hope to get those all layered and pinned this week.

The Babe brought up a good subject. If one of us becomes sick, we probably should have the room ready for the patient. We have a full little apartment downstairs, minus a kitchen, but have a refrigerator, bathroom with a huge shower, and a queen sized futon couch in the craft room. Now, that means I’d need to straighten up the craft room. It is disorganized, and I’ve never finished moving into it. A day or two (depending on how my back holds up) will accomplish the task. I’m hoping to start that this week.

I don’t know that the bed needs sheets on it as of yet, but maybe that’s what he’s going for. I suppose either way, I need to get the bed ready for the Babe, since he’s probably the one who will vacate the upstairs, regardless of who gets sick. Meals on wheels? Room service? I’m not sure. We’ll have to see how he works out that little detail.

Our dog Lexie is worse than a kid. When she decides to be naughty, she’ll drink out of the big bowl she shares with Goldie. Then she sticks her paw in it to spill it. That’s OK outside, but I frown on that in the kitchen. She knows we love her, she just has to be ornery once in awhile. That’s the Raabe in her. Come bedtime, though, she snuggles right up next to my side, and I’ll often wake to find her head laying on my stomach. I’d like to think it’s because she loves me, not because I’m extra fluffy as a result of quarantine weight gain/ Maybe a little of both?

Lexie is in charge of Security!

I’m off to do some research on Alcoholics Anonymous. I purchased their 75th Anniversary Edition of their Big Book. It reminds me of the Missals we carried in the 60s to Mass in the Catholic Church. It has a ribbon page marker like they had, it’s a plain black cover, and the edges are gilded in red metallic. It’s beautiful. There is a companion book called “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions that I hope to learn a lot from. It is research to figure out how to deal with the family created to write about.

There will be some work on Chapter 10 of the book, too. And embroidery on the little hedge hog picture for baby Cody’s room. Looking forward to the rest of the day. Thank you for spending this time with me, I hope you have some goals for the day, even if it’s to work on your Quarantine Tan. Sunscreen, please! We all should use it. Hope to see you tomorrow, and we’ll see if this day went according to plan! Enjoy!

Sunday Songs

It’s another perfect day outside. I’m in writing this blog post, closed up the sewing machine temporarily (I have another quilt ready to put together in rows.) This will be an exciting year for our decorating in the bedroom. And the rest of the house. I’m taking my hedge hog project outside for in between the chapters to re-write. Even if we can only do one chapter a day, I’m happy with that. It would be finished before the end of May. It could happen.

This pandemic has taught me one thing. At this point in my life, the stuff I get done is more important that the stuff I don’t get done. I want to do a lot of things, but I’m accomplishing what’s important – sitting and talking with the Babe. Texting the kids. Calling my mom. Talking to that pesky baby brother who has grown into a good man who happens to be my best friend. There is a high probability I will outlive the Babe. We know this. Why not waste the day enjoying the view and talking? It’s not a waste. Money cannot buy those kinds of days. A quilting friend of mine in Kansas lost her husband a couple weeks ago. I’m not sure if he had been ill or not. That aside, this life is precious. We just never know.

While my “outing” yesterday was somewhat shocking, I decided one thing I really dislike about wearing a mask is you cannot smile at anyone. That’s the biggest thing, a smile. Everyone is a bit edgy, you know you are, too. A smile lets people know they’re around someone who understands. They’re around a nice person who wants to share a smile. That person could become encouraged with a smile to do something they are dreading. During difficult times in my life, I remember how a smile added something to my day, made me remember the world is good and beautiful.

I treasured that slight human action that means so much. Maybe I’m a sappy romantic, but I love if I approach someone and their face lights up in a smile. It tells me they’re glad to see me. You can tell a fake one, too. Just wait until this mask thing is lifted. You’ll see what I mean. In the meantime, I have to come up with an alternative to a smile. I have a tendency sometimes to be thinking about stuff and have a furrowed brow (some would call them wrinkles, but I refuse. They are a furrow.) and be considered a crabby old lady. Gosh, I hope not. I’m really not. Unless you mess with our kids or grandkids. They certainly don’t need me to protect them, their parents are so in tuned to everything about those precious children. As it should be. Kids should get to enjoy their childhoods, without someone stealing it from them.

Gavin, our nearly nine year old grandson told me we couldn’t be around each other because of this virus thing. Had I heard of it? Yes, Gavin, I have. Well, we can’t go to school, and we have to stay home, but I can have fun playing in my yard or riding my bike. He is having a blast, I’m so glad. He will remember the positive about this, not the bad stuff. God Bless our Children!

Every single day.

I believe we all realize how fragile life is. As our scientists scramble to identify something every case of COVID-19 has in common (I’m betting there is nothing), we are kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The other big bang in our lives that will let us know what we are dealing with. We may never know. Science is precise, exacting, and takes time we may not have. Have we over reacted? I don’t think so. Should we be working on re-opening our lives and businesses and entertainments? I think we’re a little early on that. Wearing a mask might not be a bad idea should you go places where business is being transacted. Maybe wearing a mask in cubicle world at your job is a good idea. Be mindful. We have a lot to lose, people. Please put up with these little inconveniences to save others lives. It could be your baby, toddler, teenager, forty-something child, or your Grandma who you save. It’s what good people do. Think of others right now. Be kind. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Keep doing what you’re doing to keep our world going.

Music is an important part of my world. It helps me cope with the unthinkable. A local musician, Jimmy Weber, did a “show” from Buck’s Bar in Venice, NE last night. I hope you were able to catch it on FB Live. If not, I’m sure it will be reposted. You have to tune in just to see the most beautiful guitar I may have ever seen. He introduces it and plays one song on it. Hotel California. Shut the Front Door! It was awesome. You have to hear it for yourselves. Jimmy Weber, Facebook Live Video, from last night. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading today. I’m hopeful this will be a very productive week for all of us. What have you planned? I’m working on a list for the week. I appreciate being part of your day. You’re definitely part of mine. See you tomorrow!