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.

Sunshiney Saturday!

It looks as if Spring is teasing us again. Today and tomorrow may be near sixty degrees. Not six or sixteen, sixty! It’s below freezing now, but fooling with us. Hope you enjoy it, get outside for a walk at least. I should follow my own advice on that. It’ll be a good break from the task of the day. Can you guess?

First time wearing this “merch”. Thanks, I Create Daily!

I must say, I really enjoy writing every day. I love this part of the writing. If I hit a mark, I can uplift, encourage, teach, present a different point of view, make someone laugh, help someone who may want to learn more, and let people know I love them. We all can do that. A funny text, a phone call, a card for no reason, a “you know, I’m thinking of you.” We all need that outside interaction. It’s relatively simple to do this, blogging. I was fortunate to find WordPress. I am a fan of Quilters who use it for their communications, and when I checked it out, decided I’m in. When I’m closer to publishing, I’m going to add pages to the website/blog, then it will all be in one place. How good is that? I’m happy with it.

Today is a day I hope to spend six hours writing. Counting the blog. I woke today with a feeling of peace and comfort knowing I don’t have to leave the house at all. Yay! So I can delve in and create some more stories within the novel. Yesterday, I mentioned the character Katie would have seven brothers. She does, but she is NOT the middle child. Eight kids, no one is the middle. Silly me! She has four older brothers, three younger. There, I printed a correction. You remember the old wives tale? Girls are no good at math? Maybe that used to be the norm, but no longer. I know an increasing number of young women are becoming engineers, so I’m glad that misinformation has been put to rest.

One topic I want to write about here is a list of the top ten women who have influenced my life. In sitting down and making the list, I couldn’t narrow it down from twenty women and I was amazed! So I will write about the top ten women in the two sections my life is divided into: 1952-1982; and 1983-preesnt. I think the complete list is too much for one day’s blog, so I may pick a week and do three to five each day, and summarize the last day of the week. It’s still a thought, not a solid plan yet. More on this later.

Have you ever had a dog who loved to squeak the squeaky toys for five minutes straight at a time? Goldie loves to do this. I didn’t realize the tennis ball toys had a squeaker in them. She really goes to town on them. Right now, she’s circling my chair at the kitchen table, squeaking all the while. She wants to play. Tossing the ball into another area is one of her favorite things to go fetch. She is the first dog we’ve had that will actually fetch and bring the item back to whoever threw it. Took this long, from 1982 until now. She is a purebred lab, so I guess that may have something to do with it. I’m so glad the Babe wanted to get her this past October. It was a crazy, busy time in our life, but I think this pup gave Dan a sense of purpose. He was so depressed after losing Roxie last July, we had to do something. Roxie was a funny, naughty, crazy pup. She was scared of loud noises and thunder. She was needed extra understanding and love. She got it from us. So do Lexie and Goldie. We have this conversation with each other that states if something happened to one of us, the other will need a dog for companionship. It’s truer every day we live, now. The Babe will turn 70 in May. Since I’m his much younger wife, I’ll be 68 in May. Praying we have at least ten good years left with each other.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll be here tomorrow, hope to see you then! In the meantime:

Yes. I will!

Wow! It’s Wednesday!

Good morning, everyone! It’s a cold, cloudy Wednesday at my Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Winter just doesn’t want to let loose of her grip on us. That’s ok. Before you gather outside my window to let me know how you feel about that, consider this: When I was in high school, the Prom was held on the first Wednesday of May. Always. The weather should have been beautiful. It wasn’t. We had a late spring snowstorm every time. Enough to mess up the hair, dress hems, and cast a pall over the folks who were able to go. You had to be a Junior/Senior, and someone had to invite you. A boy, to be exact. No group dates, no groups of boys or girls like they do now. No one invited me when I was old enough to go. My senior year, it did not snow. And I went with my then boyfriend, Frank. Never went to Homecoming, but did Prom. It wasn’t that huge of a deal after all. Oh well.

Have you ever waited and waited for something your whole life and then been disappointed? We all have. When I drive past the Gretna High School, I think back on how the athletes and cheerleaders seemed like their lives were perfect. They weren’t, but we didn’t know that. It was the height of wishing your life was different than whatever it was for you. Sad. I’ve not experienced that disappointment after my first marriage ended in divorce after twelve years. I wanted it to end, and I filed. I don’t think he ever really got it. The only part of the marriage was happy was about my kids. I loved being pregnant and wondering if it was a boy or girl. They were such a gift from God. No ultrasounds were done back then unless your doctor might be concerned about something, and even then, I think it was rare to see the sex of the baby. The happiness continued until the baby was about two years old. Something told me I had to let them learn their independence even at that age. I didn’t want to be a Mom who managed everything or hovered. My mom was like that, and I didn’t want to be. My three were responsible for their own stuff. After the divorce, they learned they had to help with chores or we’d never get to go to Blockbuster, get carry out, or have a fun night. I miss those days, but not the poverty. We were broke-ass-poor. That bad. Yes.

Ours was more frequent

Speaking of Beanie Weenies! This was the only dish my dad made. My kids laughed because Grandpa would take a kitchen towel and tuck it inside his belt, and use it for an apron. They giggled when he cut up the hot dogs and opened the Van Camp Pork & Beans. What a gourmet cook he was. They loved his concoction. It was the best. My little brothers had this often after I left home and Mom was gone in the evenings. Yep, Dad was great for making the best of a bad situation.

LOL! I’ll bet he is

I love cartoons like this. It takes a place like heaven, which I would think was quiet as a Church except for the choir singing, and does this. Until Michael Jordan arrives, Kobe will be bugging the angels for quite a long time. Then Jordan will show him!

Some of you have asked how my son has recovered from the apartment fire last October that left him and his roommate homeless and with only the clothes on their backs. They are doing ok. They were able to get the “stuff” for daily living and although devastated, Frankie is grateful he wasn’t home. If he hadn’t been at work, that was the time he took a nap everyday. He may not have made it out alive. He is the best at rolling with life’s punches. As his mom, I marvel at how he adjusts and looks forward. Never looks back. His employer, Union Pizza and Sports Bar, on 156 & Maple in Omaha, Nebraska has been incredible. They have offered every kind of help there is, and are sincere in the offers. They are a small business, but are a great place to work. And great food. Stop on out, you won’t be disappointed. They also run Two Fine Irishmen, and Voodoo Lounge, both in West Omaha.

Shoopy has it right.

I finished the book I was reading, The River People by Margaret Lukas, fellow Nebraska Writers Guild Member. It is the first in a series about the women who lived on the river long before this Nebraska Territory was settled and populated, and before women were treated as more than property. It is excellent. Thank you, Margaret, for this tale of fighting dying. It is very inspiring.

I’m looking forward to the Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference in April, 2020. It will be the third conference I have attended, and I intend to learn even more from this one than the last two. I look back to one year ago, when I started my novel, and how much I’ve learned. Holy Moly! It is unreal first how much there is to learn, then which things are the most important in the beginning, the middle, and the end of the journey to getting published. Glad I learned about vanity publishing, so I still have a nest egg to spend on publishing my book. The NWG is so great in teaching members how to use Social Media as a place to promote yourself.

Self promotion is hard to me to even fathom. As a good Catholic girl, calling attention to myself was never something that was acceptable. I am still kind of shy talking about myself, but I’ve learned if I don’t tell you about me, you won’t care what I do, it’ll be self-defeating. Can’t have that happen. Can I take rejection? Sure, in fact, I think I’m pretty good at accepting when things don’t work out. My ego isn’t fragile. Do I want you being rude about it? No, I don’t think that’s necessary for either of us. Just say, “Sorry, no,” and walk away. No need for anything else.

I can see by my Cubs clock on the studio wall it’s noon. Time to spend time with the Babe before we pick up Addison from school and go to the VFW for our weekly dinner night. More time with good friends. I love Wednesdays! Thank you for reading. I hope you come back again tomorrow. I’ll be here. I appreciate your support!

Wednesday & Thursday

The overcase skies yesterday resembled what I would call “snow skies.” It feels dampish, dark, and looks like a snowstorm will happen later. In some ways, I hope it does. I’d love to have to stay home tomorrow. Yesterday was Hamburger Night at the VFW, and our usual gathering time with our friends. Simple enough, yet rich with memories. Good memories of good friends.

It has occurred to me lately how many friends we have lost. I have a number of them from my cell phone contacts and Facebook friends. Many more lie in the pages of my address book. It’s amazing how you just no longer have that person or those people in your life. Friends and family, then a memory. It’s all the more reason to be kind. You never know how long you’ll have these people in your life so make the most of it.

Once the Babe and I do our household tasks, it’s so freeing to decide what we’d like to spend time on the rest of the day. After doing this blog, I think I’ll read more of Margaret Lukas’ River People. It’s about life in Nebraska in the 1890s and are a glimpse into what women endured in that era. Anyone who lived through the hardships the prarie presented to them had a story, that is for sure. We are so fortunate to live in a time of equality. Yes, we still have some wrongs to right, but we are not where we were in the 1890s.

Have you ever watched REELZ channel on Direct TV? They have real life autopsies on celebrities which are kind of interesting. They also have a series called, “I Lived with a Killer.” Today the story is about a mob killer and it’s amazing how deep down evil those guys are. The wife and one daughter of this guy plot to put drugs and poison in his meatloaf to kill him. What a very tangled and messed up life the families had. Psychological abuse is one of the very worst things to inflict upon another person and this man was a master at it.

Evil has existed since the dawn of time. It is an inevitable thing in the world. So many people who couldn’t overcome a bad environment, or who just fell in with the wrong people are victims of themselves often. I find it sad, although many kids come from a terrible environment and somewhere, someone inspires them to break a cycle. Breaking out a cycle of family dysfunction is extremely difficult. Often your family or origin doesn’t see the dysfunction. You may be accused of thinking you’re better than they are. That isn’t the case, you simply want something different for your life. Settling isn’t what you want to do. It is no reflection on them, it’s just not in you to go along to get along.

The dysfunction doesn’t need to be evil. Any change or attempt to improve will boggle the minds of some in your family. Just expect it. If it doesn’t happen, you are fortunate. The dysfunction could be domestic violence. It could be alcoholism. It could be opiod abuse. I am from a family that has many alcoholics on both sides. I don’t think it was uncommon for men returning from WWII and Korea to drink. To drink too much. At that time in our history, men were expected to be “manly.” To not show tenderness, weakness, upset, and not to question what they did during the war. They were soldiers, and they were following orders. My own dad was in the medic corp. He was out running around on the battlefield with another guy and a stretcher to retrieve the wounded. He saw many, many horrors of war. He wasn’t even twenty years old. He returned home for six years, and was called up to do the same thing in Korea. Patching up the wounded, hoping they’d make it home. He did drink when he returned home, but not excessively once he married Mom. They probably couldn’t afford it.

The bad memories didn’t go away, they became part of his normal life. An aunt asked him what the Concentration Camps were like. He said, “I’m not going to talk about it, but here’s a book to read. This will tell you better than I can.” He was awesome taking care of my kids when they were sick and I had to work. He recorded temps, times of medications, etc. It was great. Somehow, he learned to live with his thoughts. Never a teetotaler. He just relaxed if he drank, and was very funny. I’m lucky I didn’t grow up in a home where violence lived.

And by now, it’s Thursday, late morning. I’m working on this blog, then more editing and writing on my book. I’m so glad to have a day at home to try and catch up. We still have some rearranging after the painters finished, and I’m glad that big job is done. It is quite cold outside now, five above zero, and the feels like is -9. Sunny and clear, but wow, It’s cold.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. We returned home a little too late for me to post yesterday, so sorry about that. I’m working on editing again today. It is coming along. We become impatient sometimes while waiting for the process to take care of itself, and yet, here we are, busy everywhere and not having the time to finish a thought. It will even out when Mom’s finished with therapy at the end of April, I’m hoping. I will return tomorrow, this time I’m certain.