Thriving Thursday

I swear, this formatting page area for WordPress has changed in the time we’ve been using it. Did you know I’ve posted over 200 Blog Posts?? I’m pretty excited about that. I’m even more excited to be picking up more readers, and folks that like the blog. Some are fellow bloggers, some are selling their services, some are spammy ones, but hey, we can pick and choose, you know? I love that we’re going somewhere with this.

In your social distancing, have you completed your 2020 Census yet? I haven’t. It’s on the list. And so is Mom’s. I have to laugh with her. The first notice comes and tells you to log in blah, blah, blah. She will tell you in no uncertain terms that she does not have internet, computer, cell phone, and furthermore does not wish to be bothered with one! SO THERE! I told her I’d do it online for her. “No, I’ll mail it in.” OK Mom, do it your way. A week later, “Have you done your census yet?” “No, I’m doing it online, so I’ll get it done.” She said, “Why don’t they let us fill them out like we used to.” I’m not even going into it yet. I was sent home with both of her notices to complete it online. In the last two times I took her to therapy she asked, “Did you do my census yet?” “No.” I’m doing it this afternoon, in case she asks you.

One thing we were told that must be done online is renew your license plates for your vehicles. We did. It’s kind of crummy you have to pay an online fee to a third party, the state does not get directly paid by YOU. The third party pays them the correct amount, but it’s about a twelve dollar plus fee on each renewal. We had an extra $25 charged. WHAT? That’s pretty crummy. They force you to go online, then they force you to pay extra. That stinks. What about people who can’t afford that? It’s something they should probably refund under these circumstances.

So many teachers locally are doing parades through neighborhoods their students live in. I think it’s such a neat idea, the kids are lost without their daily school routine and their dear teachers, and the everyday stuff of school. Some kids may say they hate school and like being off, but I’ll be at least they miss their friends. The news stories are cute, some families made poster board signs and had balloons.

If you take your toddler to the park, do not use the playground equipment. I am surprised it would even be a question someone would ask, but I suppose they are being thorough. If you have little ones, I can see how you wouldn’t have been able to see the stories. There is so much to this virus and all that goes with it, I really believe there is no way we can be back to business by April 12, 2020. Maybe May 12, but definitely not April.

Without the wonderful invention of the Internet, what would we be doing at this point? I’d get more done on my book, maybe. Probably get more accomplished on my other hobbies, but who knows? Rush hour video of one of our most busy and dangerous intersections looks like early Sunday morning. I was talking to someone today and told them I just feel so weird driving. Things just feel off kilter and I don’t know why. She said she feels the same way. It amazes me how something we cannot see can impact our lives so greatly. It’s making us afraid, angry, and full of angst. Whatever it is, we just can’t seem to put our finger on exactly what it is, but it’s there.

If you can at all, please support your local restaurants. Not the national chains, the locals who are needing your support right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of even thinking what to make for two or three meals a day. It’d be easier if the Babe wasn’t kind of “picky”. He dislikes fish and isn’t fond of chicken. I could live on the stuff he dislikes. One thing we do agree on is dessert! Ha! tonight, it’s going to be a brownie sundae. Why not? Kind of takes the edge off.

I’ve started a bag of things to give to homeless female veterans when the centers open up again. I decided to stop keeping several pairs of jeans, pants, and other clothing that just doesn’t fit anymore. It’s time to accept the reality. Losing that much weight is highly unlikely at this point in life. I would say twenty five pounds of it is from cancer medication. Glad I’m alive, just wish it was like it used to be. Not complaining, it is what it is.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it so much, and hope you’ll return tomorrow. I’ll be here!

Telling Tuesday

Oh, boy! Just found out a sibling’s been exposed to someone with a deep cough. Not sure if any other symptoms, but they all need to stay home. Probably more people should stay at home than do. I don’t want anything to happen to anyone I love because they didn’t follow guidelines. Kind of how men love to stand outside during a tornado warning and see if they can see anything. Only you can’t see this invisible enemy, this virus. You cannot duck out of the way at the last second before it sweeps you up.

Things happen, don’t they? Hope I can get Mom through one last day of PT tomorrow, then we’ll both be able to stay at home. I’d prefer that to taking a chance. We all have different information depending on who we listen to. I’m going by our Nebraska Medical Center. They have the biocontainment chambers that have been used thus far. They are working on a vaccine, etc. I feel good they are right here where we are. I believe we will all be ok. We need to be positive. Things will be back to normal. I hope it is a new normal where we respect each other more, we are more kind to each other, where we show love before hate, and where we can once again, give people the benefit of the doubt without it being catastrophic for us. Anything can happen.

Goldie needs us to cut back on her food. She weighed 58 pounds when we had her spayed. She does seem like she just changed into a fire plug overnight. We cut back a noon feeding, which was one cup of dog food. Don’t want her to have a lifetime of bad health. It will take a little time, but I’m sure she’ll even out nicely. She was sort of a stinker this morning. She got Dan’s VFW magazine and ran outside with it.

Naughty Girl!

She eventually gave it up for a little treat, but my! She can run from you when she thinks you’re playing her game. The Babe still takes her out on the leash in the morning after the paper arrives, and she does her business and picks up the paper. We get it from her before she can run with it. See what scattered color we are seeing here in the past week? The grass is greening up nicely. I’m so happy about that. Yes, having dogs makes it take a bit longer, but here we are, and it’s starting up. Flowers won’t be far behind. Cross your fingers the hydrangeas grow back!

I’m going to take my characters and write a chapter about each of them. I think this will tell their individual story within the novel of how they fit together. The book may only include paragraphs about each person, but I want the whole story available, should I want to publish with a chapter on everyone. Right now, I just don’t know. Katie appears to be the main character, as she is telling a lot of what she remembers growing up to her younger and older brothers. The other characters each play a big part in the story of their family, and the reader needs to learn about them, their flaws, their strengths, and their downfalls. They all have at least one.

Don’t know about you all, but I just love baby toes! I love rubbing them, nibbling on them, and watching the baby learn how to make a face when they see you do it from their “stinky feet.” They are such delicate little things, and those feet grow to take you miles and miles through your life before it is time for you to go at the end of your life.

Miles to Go Before You Sleep!

So today I’ll write a bit about the oldest brother, Patrick. Patrick, being the oldest, was the test child, as the oldest often is. He was born in January, 1949, right before the great blizzard that made everyone think spring would never come that year. Patrick was very intelligent, and liked school. He did not like the nuns, however. In high school, when his mother was very busy with the rest of the children, Patrick skipped school often as he could, and frequently drank with his chums. He wasn’t a bad kid, he just wanted school over with and a job to go to everyday. He also loved his girlfriend, Rosemarie. Rosemarie lived up the alley, and her parents had their hands full too. All the families at that time did. Rosemarie became pregnant and they married the day after their high school graduation.

That’s a little bit of it. Don’t want to get too carried away as I find no way to cut and paste into or out of WordPress. It has to exist somewhere, but I’ll be darned if I can find it was yet. Until I do, I’ll just share small parts that can be re-typed quickly. Thank you for reading, hope you’re well. I appreciate your time today. I’ll be back here tomorrow, so I hope to see you then. Until then, “This Little Piggy Stayed HOME!!”

Sunny Saturday

It is a beautiful blue-sky, sunny day in Gretna, Nebraska. The day reminds me of one that starts out cool and turns beautiful. Like when you rise early and load the car to go on vacation. You remember vacations! I imagine we’ll all want to go on one when this Coronavirus is over. It could be awhile.

I’ve always thought these to be stunning, but not too functional. Perhaps their time has come?
This is pretty much all on my mind today.
Blog, write, and later some block sewing. And thinking of our grandkids. I’m missing them all!

The kids and grandkids are all on my mind this morning. I’m praying for all of them, hoping all are well and going to stay that way. In the family are: a chef, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, his stay at home wife who is a great homeschooler, a truck driver, a real estate agent, two who manage trucking of railway goods delivered to trainyards by the Union Pacific railroad (essential personnel), a health care worker, and a project manager director. Some of them are parents of our four grandkids, two in Omaha area, one in Maryland, one in Colorado. That’s a lot of diversity and some important, essential people on that list. They may be more exposed than most, and we have to keep living our lives. With common sense at the helm.

Common sense for them will be adequate distance from others while on the job, probably avoiding the subways, and washing their hands – a lot. All we can do is check in on them once in awhile and pray we’ll all come out on the other side of this ok. I believe we will. If not, we will learn how to deal with the end results.

The Babe tells me the last time he felt this way was in Vietnam. Not having any idea of what will happen is the feeling of loss of control. I get it. My feeling of loss of control was in December, 1995, when I had a tumor compressing my spinal cord and in a week lost the ability to walk without assistance. That was the worst feeling in the world, as my daughter was still at home. My sons had just moved into an apartment. I had to get better for my kids. And for me. The Babe had his wife, Sandy to come home to. He was never the same for her.

I would bet every adult who has had a feeling like this is having flashbacks, dreams, whatever there is that tells us we know this could go very badly. Acknowledge them. Don’t let yourself dwell on them, though. Yes, we were afraid after 9/11. We need to remember how we, as a country of free individuals, came to a new normal. A new normal of a free people. We will do that again. Things will not be the same as they are now. Hopefully we will be appreciative of people who really matter in life. Doctors, scientists, first responders, nurses, truck drivers, train operators , and our military all keep our counntry going. It’s time we reorient our thinking to look up to people who really make a difference in our every day life, not sports figures, movie stars, celebrities, and people who are famous for absolutely nothing. I find it very sad we need to get a Kardashian to go on social media to get young people to understand they need to stay home while school is out. It tells me some have lost their concept of real life. You won’t find it on a reality show, despite all you hear on social media or television or in the movies.

In the meantime, keep yourself busy with positive things. Create something with words, music, paints, anything you may have around you. Be inventive. Write a note to your Grandma or Great Uncle and mail it. They will love it! Talk across the fence to your neighbors. Take your dog for a walk. It’ll do you both good. Get some fresh air. Thank you for reading. I’ll be here tomorrow and hope you are, too. Now for some creating!

These folks have my deepest respect and admiration.

Timely Tuesday

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all. A lot of people are upset everything is cancelled today. Many people celebrate the day simply as a day to party. I’m not upset that part is cancelled. What I feel badly about are places like our VFW who have a dinner today to help pay for contributions to help fellow Veterans. They, like many others, cooked a LOT of corned beef today to sell dinners. They can freeze and use it later, so it’s not as if it is wasted. For those who are missing non-profits events today, think about a donation anyway. The economy is going to feel pinched enough over the coming months.

Union Pizza and Sports Bar, on 156 & Maple is staying open from 11 a.m to 8 p.m. as a call ahead carry out restaurant or delivery through Grub Hub, 402-614-2755. They have the best cook in the world, my Frankie! I really hope he doesn’t experience an interruption in his income, not after having the loss of his home last fall in the apartment fire. He isn’t the only restaurant worker who needs his income. Waitstaff with no tips will be hit hard. Just call ahead and see if your favorite place is taking orders for pick up or delivery. Let’s help each other get through this. I believe local places like Union need a little more help than corporate franchises. Thank you, Omaha!

I’m feeling like I need to tell you a little more about why I chose the topic of my book. It is about generational alcoholism, dysfunctionalism, and the misconceptions that go along with it all. It sounds like a total downer, doesn’t it? Well, on the surface, yes it is. The reason I’m telling the story is to point out these three things affect everyone in the family, not just the people who are active alcoholics, drug addicts, or abusers. People can rise above what seems like a family curse and can lead functional lives. They are perhaps black sheep of the family (contrary to popular belief of the alcoholic being the black sheep) who often wonder if they were adopted or feel like they don’t belong with the other members of the family. I did for a long time and it had nothing with me being the only girl.

It had to do with taking or leaving the actual act of consuming alcohol or drugs. This act AND your behavior while you do it. And after you do it. If you become angry and try to pick a fight when you drink, along with feeling sorry for yourself, then you probably have a problem. Alcohol is a depressant, and combined with a depressed person, the result is never good. If you can take it or leave it, if you are happy and outgoing normally and continue that way, you probably don’t have a problem. A lot is based on family history, genetics, social influences, and your own reaction to the substance whatever it is. Can you have none or one and be finished? Does it influence you negatively? Are you agrumentative while drinking? Do you get into physical fights when you drink? You probably want to change those results but may not know how. There is help, you just have to ask for it.

Changing a habit is hard. Changing a generational family curse is very hard. This is what my book is about. The good, the bad, and some of the ugly. But in the end, many, many people from my character Katie Ray’s family work on overcoming how the family curse has affected them. It’s liberating, exciting, and earth shattering to those who choose a different way. It can be lonely, too. Until you find some friends who think like you do, that there has to be more, something different. I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s not. I’m saying it’s worth it. It was worth it for me to hold on for a person who thought having a relationship and a marriage as equal partners was the right thing to do. It pays to think differently and hold on for what you believe in.

As usual, I thank you for taking time during this age of self-quarantining and homeschooling to read my blog. If you’re a mom at home with kids, I envy you. Yes, the happiest time of my life (except for right now) was when my kids were young and at home. We always found something to do. If you’re an older person alone, get involved with the world around you. We all go through times of alone-ness, loneliness, and even feeling forgotten. Let your people know how you feel about them. What you do with those feelings maps the rest of your world and life. Be involved with where you journey. Take an adventure despite others leaving you out of theirs. You’ll find other like minded souls. Baby steps. We’ll all get there.

See you tomorrow, I’ll be here!

It absolutely is! Join me as I write mine!

Friday Highlights!

Today has been full of surprises. A National Emergency has been declared. The President has met with heads of major corporations and has negotiated cooperation and coordination of efforts to help people who are sick, lacking food, and need to be tested for the virus. I applaud all of this because we need some direction. Our govenor has told us if two more people are diagnosed with the virus, schools will remain for six to eight weeks. I feel badly for people who have children young enough to require care in that situation. They are not old enough to be home alone, and maybe there is no money available for pay for day care. I’ve been there, and it’s no fun. I’ve also been where you’ve started a new job and the sick leave benefit did not start until your first anniversary of your start date. Nowdays you may be lucky to get that. I hope there is a allowance made for these people.

On another note, I had to go to two different doctors today, both non-emergency visits. At the Bergan Mercy Offices, no delivery trucks were in the drop off area today. The parking garage had a lot of empty spaces. Not a lot of patients either. The other office at Lakeside had many, many parking places. Usually it takes awhile for them to be found. The Babe and I are having grilled steak, baked potatoes, and veggies for dinner tonight. It will be weird, but we’ve decided we need to quit lunching out all the time.

It is almost 4:30 p.m., and I didn’t feel like writing until now. Just kind of burned out on everything at the moment. I think it’s the sinus infection. Going to rest and read a lot the next couple of days. We are prioritizing little things that need to be done around the house. Right now, I want spring and Easter decorations all over. We do expect snow late tonight and tomorrow, but it’ll melt quickly. It always does.

Our city of Omaha, Nebraska will take a huge hit in the pocketbook here over the next quarter. The NCAA cancelled the basketball tournaments, the College World Series and everything associated with it. The health department cancelled the Catholic Church Fish Frys held on Fridays during Lent. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled, and I think the Corned Beef Dinners probably should be also. Why let that go on if you can’t have a Church Fish Fry?

Great way to start the day!

So this morning, the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska looked beautiful at about 7:30 a.m. when Goldie wanted company outside on the deck. No wind and the temp in the 40s was pretty. You can see the steam from my coffee here if you look closely enough. I love sitting on the deck or on the patio below. We have two different views of the tree line behind our home, which is a wetlands. There are lots of birds, squirrels, and critters wandering about there. I could sit there all day, so relaxing.

My headaches are still happening despite the sinus infection meds. Not sure what’s causing it, usually the barometric pressure stabilizes quickly and they’re gone in a couple hours. We’ll see. It’s kind of distracting and disturbs my train of thought. With that said, I hope you are well today. I hope you stay out of large crowds. Our Nebraska Writers Guild has no plans to cancel the conference in April as of this time. Since most writers are introverts, they will be an arms length away anyhow. I suppose if someone coughs or sneezes on you, you can bop them with the closest manuscript and tell them to go away. Hoping this is the way it goes, as another month from now, the whole pandemic could change it’s shape and direction. I am still looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Wash your hands! Be Safe!

Fabulous Friday

It’s nearly the end of February 2020, and I’m looking at readjusting my Goals for 2020. It has to be done. I have honestly wondered if I could have adult ADHD or ADD and have come to the conclusion of “No, I just love too many things.” That can be a problem, just as not having creative juices flowing can be. I need to go back to my right brain thinking, and make some Goals based on all the things I dearly love to do. I’ve come to love blogging, and it will be at the top of my writing list.

Much as I want to learn to draw and brush up my creative lettering and calligraphy skills, they will have to wait for a bit. Even if they need to wait until January, 2021, right now they need to. I just don’t have enough time in a day to do these things. I deleted all my emails pertaining to classes on these topics, I just have to ignore those opportunities for now. Done and done.

Right now, I volunteer for Benson VFW Post 2503 as the back up newsletter person and the one who posts newsletter to their website. For a few years now, the website has seriously needed a facelift, drastic plastic surgery, or something to bring it out of the 1990s and into the 2020s. I am involved in conducting an investigation into the cost to move to WordPress, which is what I use for my website/blog. Along with that, I am still planning on adding pages to my website, and as my books are finished, they will be included on my website. The websites have different functions and purposes, so I’m not worried about doing them both for awhile. The goal is to make it much simpler than it is now so someone from the VFW can assume the role of Administrator. The current package doesn’t allow for simplicity. At least I did self-learn it over the past four years and became fairly proficient at it. Old coders never die, they just are assigned a Legacy System!

So, it’s back to plotting These Walls DO Talk, creating the family that lives in the house where the walls know so much of them. No, it’s not science fiction, and the walls don’t REALLY talk, but too many memories exist there. You’ll see.

And then the wall art I’m creating with quilting kits I’ve had in inventory. The Poppies will grace our wall when I piece, layer, and quilt it, along with the colorful Dahlia that will be on display in our newly painted bedroom. The lovely new tools I purchased for drawing, doodling, coloring, and painting will have to wait for now. Sometimes I extremely dislike being sensible and grown-up.

Here’s a little quilt I did about three years ago when we moved into this house. I loved the colors, and I’ve always been fond of elephants. I machine pieced it and hand quilted it, and it was to hang in our old plain colored bathroom. Fast forward to today, and after the painters completed the lovely shade of purple bathroom, it suddenly doesn’t go anymore. It goes perfectly in the living room. There is truly a place for everything, and a time for everything. I just try to cram too much stuff in a day.

My Elephant Quilt

I love this little guy. It adds a touch of brightness during this late winter time. Later today, I’m going to cut out the pieces for the beautiful Poppy Quilt and maybe get started on that in the next day or two. I also need to sandwich the Dahlia quilt for quilting. That will be easiest, since it doesn’t need any sewing together at all. It’d be great to get those both done during March. Working on them will be my reward for working on my book. Mental rewards are a great incentive, aren’t they? Food rewards are frowned upon anymore, but Mom used to promise dessert if we were “good.” We never knew what “good” meant, because we always had homemade chocolate chip cookies in the cookie jar. She baked them every week. The neighbor kids loved them. My nephew Don Kraft makes them every time he visits Omaha, on the last day in town. What a neat tradition, from such a neat guy.

Thank you so much for reading today! I will see you here tomorrow, and we’ll have more fun. Have a beautiful Friday.

Wonderful Wednesday Afternoon

One thing I’m quite grateful for is the array of diagnostic testing available today for medical procedures. I remember hearing the phrase, “exploratory surgery,” many times as a child. It was what doctors did when they couldn’t see what may be causing a problem. It was quite frightening. It was the best they could do at the time. As time passed, marvelous inventions of diagnostic machinery helped doctors see inside the body and revealed what was wrong. It took a lot of guesswork out of surgery and diagnosis, recuperation, and recovery.

The modern age is offering unbelievable diagnostic capabilities, treatments and outcomes. I had breast cancer ten years ago. My survival is credited to very early detection. I had two lumps so small they could not be felt. Trust me, everyone tried(!) Not palpable. The only treatment I needed was radiation, which has left some bad aftermath, and a hormone blocker, which changed many things about my body. Weight gain was the lesser of the evils.

The medical breakthroughs of tomorrow should be interesting to say the least. I hope the breakthroughs will continue to be life saving, early healing, and ground breaking. As we continue to lengthen lives through better and more thorough care. I hope we also consider the ethics of lengthening lives to be lived that are merely people whose lives are prolonged simply as an experiment. I hope we consider the ethics of testing and treating people like lab rats. It’s not ethical to do that. It is not a way to honor our elderly or be caring towards our disabed.

While I have noticed a lot of changes simply because I reached the age of 65, it kind of makes me a little mad that a lot of things need to be pre-approved before I go have them done. One big thing is the injections the ortho doc needs to do again for each of my knees. Since I improved enough to not need quarterly injections last year, they might need more xrays etc., before I can go get the help I need. The problem I have is they consider each event a new occurrence of the issue. I certainly am not making it up that I need the injections. I also know I’m not letting someone go take them in my place. Fraud is prelevant in some health care situations and the administrators are just being cautious. Patience is needed all the way around.

Thank you for reading this very late post, and I hope to see you tomorrow. Have a good evening.