Friday’s Session

It’s 10:26, the breakfast dishes are soaking, I made the bed; the dogs are napping, and I’ve just read through another edit of my Chapters Three and Four. I’ve read it’s best to read out loud when doing that. It’s true, you hear some weird things when you do that. I feel pretty confident about the two chapters. I may get bold and share a part of them on the creative FB groups I belong to. And here, as I become braver. I can tell I’m learning, and that’s a good feeling.

The red pencil needs sharpening. I have to laugh at the Pro Writing Aid software I use. I’ve been happy with it, but lately, I see them suggesting to use, say “beat;” and then you correct it, they tell you “beat ” and you could chase your tail all day long. If you turn off the suggestion, you turn it off not just on that one example, but on all occurrences of it until the end of time! Be careful what you wish for. The thing is, don’t totally rely on the software. Sometimes it makes little sense.

Stories. We all have them. We all tell them. We share some; we keep others hidden away and shout others from the rooftops. How do we decide which ones to share? I believe it may work the same when writing a song, and you need the very best of all words for the perfect song. Lennon and McCartney proved that. Brian Wilson lived that. Bruce Springsteen preaches that. Jon Bon Jovi gets that done in fine fashion. They bless us with rich stories of words and sounds of music which tell our stories better than we could have ever hoped to. How do they know?

They know because they have a gift. They’re aware they need to share the gift with others. How generous! We’ve met some wonderful musicians in the past seven or eight years who are local, some are not. We’ve discovered they are very down to earth for all being geniuses. I believe they are. Their messages are always positive, they are all very grateful people, too. You just don’t hear that from a bean counter, you know? There are difficulties, especially now during the Pandemic. Travel and late night gigs are tough on relationships. They make great sacrifices to share their creations with us. How lucky we are.

Writers? I’m finding out how hard it is to write a novel, not just gush words as we do when speaking. When I was a kid, I had a fantasy of being a reporter for our local newspaper. I wanted to see my name in print. My dad worked there my entire life. I was on our school newspaper for a while, and it was cool to see your name in print. That fantasy remained a fantasy. As I got older, the fantasy morphed into writing a children’s book. I have a few manuscripts, I’m looking for a young artist to help me out. I’m contacting her after Christmas and hoping we can work together. She’s very good, and I know children love whimsical artwork in books.

Words, words, words. It’s hard to choose the right ones from time to time. Other times, they flow like a river. Writing against the tide can be difficult. But going with the flow isn’t always the right thing to do. I’m really enjoying the book I’m reading by Carol Gino, “Me and Mario.” It’s about her twenty-year relationship with Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather. Yesterday, as she as describing her learning from him about writing, this phrase struck me: “What you need to learn is the carpentry of writing.” She questioned him further, and he replied, “Writing can’t be taught but it can be learned. Carpentry is the nuts and bolts of writing.” And there you have it. Ms. Gino, if you read this, know I’m fascinated by the advice he gave you. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

One thing our entire family learned from Dad had to do with quality paper. Newsprint has transformed over the years, from 1952 until present day. They have shaved it down, the width is much less than years ago. The thickness of the paper has gone from much thicker to onion skin thin. While the Babe and still took the paper, I remarked the paper itself was so thin you could see through it, making it hard for aging eyes to read. In a bright light, you could see the shadow of the next page interfere with what you were attempting to read. Poor quality.

And don’t get me started about printed books! Oh my gosh, the slick glossy paper is the stuff they make my dreams of. It would be so expensive to have a book printed on that. I’m jealous of the folks that can do that. Maybe someday, I can too. You never know. Thanks, Dad. It’s funny when someone else in our family and I look at a book, we open and feel the pages. “Excellent stuff, Dad would approve.” It’s a warm, wonderful memory. I know, we’re a weird lot.

With that fond memory, it’s time to get back to writing. It’s been a great day so far, and I’m working so it continues. Thank you for reading today, hope you return tomorrow. I’ll be here, as usual. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Let’s all work to make this world a kinder place. Thank you.

Old Stuff

If you’re an old typewriter fan like me, isn’t the header photo today just the most fabulous thing you’ve ever seen? It would be fun to have those on a wall in the home office, right here in Gretna. Trouble is, they’d have to go in my craft room downstairs. Up here, I have other things. Such as:

When the Babe painted this room, I ordered all these stencils to adhere to the walls. I didn’t know I’d begin writing, thus making this not only a sewing room, but an office/studio for writing too. I’m working towards incorporating a shipping department in here, too, to ship off my books when folks order them. I’m looking ahead with positivity, and that’s what I see. I do have a couple pictures to hang, like the antique typewriter with the magnolias on top of it. I’d certainly buy some more little doo dads that reflect that if I come across any.

I saw this the other day, and it made me smile. It’s from the Typewriter Guy’s Facebook page. He does some rather fine things, check him out! Also, a fellow named Topher Kearby does typewritten verses, sayings, etc. on original artwork. I like his work, too. Check his beautiful renderings out, too. I enjoy his work, also.

Goldie wore a path in the grass playing fetch.

We had an absolutely delightful time on the deck this morning. The Babe was out there earlier than me, and he reported seeing a huge owl flying out from the trees, the height of the shed, and fly south and back into the trees. I so wish I could have seen it! We had three pots of coffee in the two hours we lollygagged and dawdled around before getting ready for the day. It was so nice. With him doing what he does at the Post everyday, we don’t get that extended, uninterrupted time together too much. Those are the best times, aren’t they? Impromptu hours that could go on forever? I think so.

Goldie wore quite a path in the grass from a whole spring and summer playing fetch, hasn’t she? She plays at least three times a day. I swear, she can run down the steps from the deck to the yard, pick up her toy, then run to the outer edge of the yard, by the fence, and back up the stairs and eventually give it to you to throw again, upwards of a hundred times. Sometimes, she’ll stop and go potty, but not often, then back to the business of playing. It’s wonderful to see a dog so healthy and happy.

It’s going to be a busy weekend for us. We have plans to take care of a lot of stuff at home we haven’t had time to do this summer. Some deep cleaning, then we’ll be good to go. And of course, my writing, my quilt, hanging my kimonos, and all the good stuff. First action after this post, it’s clean up my work surface my Chromebook is on, and all the papers, books, folders, etc. A straightened up work area makes the work go better.

My conference with Sam, the book coach, went well. I seem to go in and out of a good writing mode. I still try and cram so much backstory in, it distracts from the story’s message. I need more discipline and practice, so that is what the next two weeks will be about. I hope my brain can empty itself once we do the chores around the house I’ve been neglecting. Just dusting and a little shining things up, we’ll be good. It’s tough with two dogs, but they live here, too. I expect dog hair and dander. I’d rather have them than a spotless house. They’re good for our hearts and souls.

I hope you all have a safe weekend. Don’t get the COVID-19 virus from too much togetherness at gatherings this long weekend. The safer we make each other, the sooner we can put this behind us. Whenever the vaccine is made available, things will look up. Let’s make sure it’s real before we set out hearts on it. Disappointment will not be good at this point. I feel so badly for the people who feel forgotten and deserted in the nursing homes. They give up, and have a high mortality rate. Send a note, card, whatever you can, make a call. Do something for those old folks who gave us the world.

Until I see you tomorrow, thank you for reading today. I appreciate your interest and support so much. It helps more than you realize. Stay safe, be polite, appreciate the hot but beautiful weather.

Rainy to Sunny Wednesday

We’ve had all sorts of weather already today. Rain, chilly breeze, and now it’s partly sunny day. Great week is on tap. We have a wedding on Friday, so the weather will cooperate for the beautiful bride and her groom. This couple was fortunate, their wedding and reception was not postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Her sister’s was, and they will have their reception next month. It all works out.

We’re kind of wondering what to do with ourselves. Gavin’s Mom took vacation from today until next Thursday, so we won’t get to have him today or next week. Hard to believe school is starting. He and his sister attend Papillion/LaVista schools, so they are taking the plunge, right back to a full schedule, onsite, masked, no lockers for older kids. I think they need it, psychologically. They need the safety of school, the friendships, the learning to get along with others in a large group, and the learning you can only have in a classroom. The impromptu discussions that happen randomly are important to learning, too. Sometimes you get more from those than from textbooks. My only hope is for all students and teachers, staff, aids, resource officers and the like to have a safe year.

Tomorrow is my conference with my book coach. I shared my list of books I’ve purchased randomly to learn about writing, publishing, Legalities of self-publishing, etc. The list is about 30 books. So much to learn! I also have a GREAT COURSES class on writing. I forgot I had it, I only watched the one I bought about drawing. Time to rotate the writing one out to the DVD player.

Way back in the old days, before we knew about COVID-19, I ordered some cute paint by number canvases. Didn’t realize they came from China. Never got them, I emailed them frequently to let them know I had not received what I paid for yet. Finally, this week, they arrived. I think they look like a lot of fun. These will be a winter project for sure. Here they are:

This is for my granddaughter Kayla’s room.
This one is for our home.

It’s the time of year again the butterfly bush is huge right outside my studio window. The Painted Lady butterflies are beautiful! It makes me feel calm, sometimes there are ten or more lighting on it. Such a sight. We have a bush that is nearly as large as the butterfly bush. It has large leaves, had a few little white flowers in the spring. The fall and winter isn’t supposed to have red berries. We’ll see what it does this year. It may end up transplanted to the back, near the Wetlands. The Hydrangeas are almost large enough to place in the front flower bed as well. We’ll see how the Babe feels about it. Fall is the best time to transplant all this stuff, I think.

Today is a take it as it comes day. I’m going to work on my quilt again. It should go well. Hopefully, photos tomorrow! Stay safe out there, wash up and mask up. The kids need us to all cooperate, so they can learn, feel safe, and get on with their education. Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, Be Courteous. Your day will go much better. See you tomorrow!

Oh Honey, You Have No Idea!

Fabulous Friday

It is really a beautiful day outside. I swear God sends cold fronts through the humid and hot areas like Nebraska to give us a break and make us feel like living again. It improves the general feeling of your soul and gives your mind a break. Still, I like the four seasons. Four “alleged” seasons. It seems like we skip a lot of spring and a portion of fall many times. Hope there is comfort to deal with the rest of the pandemic we are having.

Where we live in Gretna, it is very close to Omaha. The VFW Post we attend is in Omaha. We have concerns about the possible mask ordinance Omaha was considering. It appears the health department has backed off from enacting one. I say it’s a shame, the legalities were questioned and they asked people to use their best judgment. With those rights comes responsibilities. To me, it makes sense to wear a mask. We do not often make the best judgments. Some use motorcycle helmets as an example. I favor helmets, seat belts, and wearing masks. Yes, it’s annoying. So are helmets and seatbelts. But I’m safer using them.

My asthma doc ordered me to have a COVID test before my appointment with her last week. I thought I would test negative and did. I believe curtailing my social activity and social distancing, which includes wearing a mask when shopping is helping. Please think long term on the outcome, it may make more sense.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In addition to working on my Poppies Quilt, I’m devouring a couple more books for writers: Write Great Beginnings, and Point of View. It appears there is more competition than ever to attract a reader who will read a book. It also appears there are fewer who start a book who actually finish one. I have only quit reading maybe 4 books in the last ten years. When I buy them, I think it’s a terrible waste to not finish. One was borrowed from the library, a biography by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Brian is a genius and has had mental illness for nearly his entire life. It’s a very sad story, and one that concludes well. There are better versions written, believe me.

In addition to having a hook to attract a reader, you have to do a lot to keep them reading. Each chapter ending should make them just want to keep reading. I love books that do that. They are easy to read and quick. No time wasted. Now to learn how to do exactly that.

I have some real characters to introduce once I build them. It is such fun to be able to do that. There is something I read to make sure to appeal to the theater of the reader’s mind. What does that mean? Simply put, have you ever enjoyed a book more than a movie? Yes, an author needs to write so well the images in our minds are vivid and our imaginations can take us through the story. That’s the challenge.

Conflict is the center of fiction. Intensifying the troubles that stand in a main characters way. The problems are big, and he or she drive the story with their decisions. Because they chose this, something else happens. I’m told it gets easier the more I understand it. I trust Sam Tyler, my writing coach. She has made this endeavor so good for me. I’m so lucky to know her from the Nebraska Writers Guild. She is a writer and coach. Very good with critique. Asks hard questions. All with good reason. If I can’t answer the questions, how can I write my answers to them?

AHA! There it is! This is also a great living example of why/how to outline everything (major events) in the story you want to tell. Sure, you have it all in your head, but trust me, your memory isn’t that great some (most) of the time. As I write, other ideas spill out and I can end up in a completely different area than I wanted to be. I’m learning to be a planner, not a pantster. A pantster is writing by the seat of your pants. When you think you have a great idea, it’s easy to think you don’t need to plan anything. I can be foolish at times!

Just as maps are not always up to date in Google, our outlines can leave a bit to be desired. We need to be open (always) to modifying the outline. Even if you’re well into the story. Lots to think about. Lots to wade through.

And There You GO!

Off to work on another unrelated issue. I’m helping get information together for the new VFW Post 2503 website. It should be a fun project. The one we have is pretty outdated and cumbersome to work on. I’ll be learning some WordPress tricks I don’t know and will benefit tremendously from it. Thank you for taking time to read the blog today. I appreciate it, and hope to see you tomorrow. Stay Safe, my friends. I want you all with me the rest of this journey. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out There!

Taco Tuesday?

I have been working on reading my manuscript alongside a former copy with 3K more words. The mystery deepens, I’m up to Chapter 26 and haven’t found it yet. I think there were more paragraphs I moved from their places to the end of the pages so I could use it later if necessary. I’m glad there weren’t a lot of paragraphs that needed to be placed anywhere. At least, this is my working theory of the issue and it’s solution. Hope it’s that simple in the end.

It is an overcast day and chilly. May shouldn’t be so chilly, we keep wanting to go to the nursery but haven’t yet. I think there will be plenty of plants, I’d just really like to get something planted and watch it grow. In the peace of the quarantine social distancing. From the patio. And others from the deck. I’m envisioning warmer weather and pleasant afternoons, without rain, gale-force winds, and Japanese Beetles.

For the first time in quite a few years, we don’t have any graduates. How about you? We had one wedding postponed and two others will be in held during the summer, depending on which way the social distancing goes. I understand the disappointment the graduates feel. I cannot imagine the disappointment brides and grooms feel after all the planning they’ve done.

When I graduated from high school, because of our modular scheduling and other advances Sister Pacis introduced to the Archbishop Ryan Memorial High School, we had a lot of things that weren’t as we thought they would be.

For the first time, we had no yearbook. Normally, the yearbooks were hard covered, had the usual photos and copies of all our Ryan EYE (school newspaper) published during the school year. At the last minute, there was a small, paperback edition for a yearbook. Disappointing at best. We also weren’t called “Seniors.” The class distinctions were done away with. Some of my class graduated six months early, as they had their requirements met. I could have, but had no plans for after graduation, so I just hung out for another semester. I tutored a couple “Under Classmen” and spent my spare time in the Library, and Art Room Lab. Didn’t skip classes, I didn’t drive or carpool. I would have had to walk several blocks to get the bus if I wanted to leave. So much for sneaking out!

For my first three years, my homeroom was on the second floor. Traditionally, the Junior and Senior classes had homerooms on the first floor. I was so looking forward to not having to walk up both flights of stairs. I was the only one of my group of friends that had to go to the top floor (AGAIN). I was not happy. Yes, it seems silly now, but nothing seemed to be turning out as I dreamed my senior year would be. We had a ceremony, my parents couldn’t find me in the line or on the stage. We were arranged by height, all the girls seemed to have long, straight hair and tortoise shell glasses. (We did).

We thought we were on top of the world, despite the changes and things we lost. I’m sure the kids who missed graduations, the last quarter of classroom work, and saying goodbye to everyone will be fine, too. We don’t get a choice about these things. We have to be ok. If we’re not, we might miss the next best thing that’s coming down the line for us. That would put us a day late and a dollar short for the rest of our lives. We can’t let that happen. Mourn the loss (because it IS a loss). And get ready for the next great adventure of your life. C’mon. You’re just starting out. Keep going on adventures. Keep reaching for the next star. Don’t ever stop. You will soon forget about the things that didn’t happen.

Thank you for reading today, and for your support. I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a good evening and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow. Stay safe, hydrate, wash those hands, wear your mask, and socially distance to stay safe. See you tomorrow!

Beautiful Sunday

It’s a banner day in Gretna, NE today. Cool enough for a jacket, but not in the sunshine. We took a little drive earlier and saw a lot of people out at trails in Sarpy County and just hope they socially distance as is advised. Reinfection in Round 2 will probably be bad. Let’s try and prevent doing that.

The Facebook Live event Jimmy Weber did last night was top shelf. So many good songs. So many good new songs. It was a delightful way to spend a Saturday night. The only way to top it would be in person. Soon, my friends, soon. Here is a link if you either missed it or would like to watch again. I’m sure I’ll watch again. Enjoy!

The masks are ready to be shipped out. We stopped by my mom’s while we were out and dropped her mask off. She has talked it up to some folks and asked if I had enough fabric to make a few more. What a question for a quilter! Don’t quite have the time. On a mission! Needing to complete my book and a couple other projects. Time’s a wastin’!

Our Goldie has discovered her voice. Oh my, can she bark. She is alerting the Babe to the fact he needs to toss her rope and ball toy off the upper deck. She runs down the steps, grabs it, and runs back up the steps. Wears her out! She has strongly suggested a couple times a day that it’s play time. And walk time. And food time. We cut her back to just one cup of food twice a day. She was getting a little plump. She has filled out too nicely. She should thin down during the nice weather. She loves to run in her yard. We have a big lot, and I laughingly refer to it as “Raabe Ranch”. I’ve even listed it as a place I check into. It’s kind of fun. Yes, I’m easily entertained.

One thing I’ve noticed since this quarantine has started is The Babe and I seem to talk some smack to each other. He has a great sense of humor. I’ve always loved it if I can make him laugh. He’s laughing with me a lot lately. (or is it at me-hmmm)? Any other empty nesters notice that? Despite being married for twenty two years, we still can make each other laugh. I love that about us. Hope it never stops. Laughter helps a lot of things go better. And, love cures people. Both the one who gives love and the one who receives love. It’s a win/win when you look at it. And it’s not just the physical attraction part of love. It’s the deep, respectful, spiritual kind of love when your soul is involved with theirs. It’s the best. I wish it for all of you.

We are going to be in this quarantine/social distancing for quite a while I believe. I want to be sure it’s safe before I venture out too much. I’ll wear a mask. We might have to do that for a while, too. What we need to try not to do is worry. More time has been spent worrying than anything. More sleep has been lost that way. My mom worries incessantly. Maybe it is a badge from that generation of Mom’s. I didn’t worry. I’d be concerned about some things my kids were doing, but I didn’t lose sleep over it. Maybe I’m not a good Mom. My dad always told me not to worry until I get all the information about a situation. Then I could act on the information and would not need to waste the time and energy on worry. I’m so glad I learned that from him. Try and practice it. Your anxiety will reduce. Your rest will be better. Your outlook will improve. Most really awful things we fear never happen, do you know that? Worry doesn’t prevent the loss of anything but our peace of mind. Incessant worry is a learned behavior. It would be great to unlearn it. You will feel so much better.

Have faith. Have hope. Love your people. Appreciate everything. Thank you for reading today, I hope it finds you well. Let’s all stay that way. I’ll be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Hang in there and hang on.

Monday Madness

Hi everyone! It’s been a very busy day, and I’m ready for a relaxing time!

I went out today for the first time in about three weeks. It felt weird to drive, although the streets weren’t too busy. If felt like I was going against the rules by being out, although it was to go to the doctor, for a regular check-in.

The first thing I noticed was the half of the first floor that is a gift shop sort of area was stripped bare. Nothing on any of the shelves. It made sense, since people touch the merchandise, so it would spread the virus. Can’t have that. I missed the gifts. They have such unique, reasonably priced things. I hope it’s back in October when my next check up is. My mammogram won’t be scheduled until they start seeing patients in that area again. If I find a lump or whatever, since I’ve already had breast cancer, they’ll schedule one, but not annual ones yet.

Miss me some baseball!
(And my hairdresser!)

When you hit 65, they see you every six months. Medicare also requires a mental health eval once a year. It’s ten questions dealing with depression. I’ve known this Doc for probably twenty five years. I’ve trusted him with my life and the Babe has done the same, he is very thorough, very good at problem solving, and not afraid to perform tests to get answers he doesn’t want to put off getting. We had time to visit a bit, too. He said this pandemic is not going to get better until there is a vaccine. With every place infected on a different timetable, the virus will ebb and flow over and over. I think this makes sense. It won’t be over until we are vaccinated. Period. I’ve heard others say this too. This is reality. It’s not negative, it’s how it is.

I told the Doc it’s hard to fill out that depression eval during a pandemic. I told him sometimes I’m afraid. He said he understood. It’s a big deal. It’s changed all of our lives in ways we never could have imagined. He said we need to do the best we can and pray a lot. Good advice for all of us. And being afraid is normal.

I’m amazed despite being aware of the bit of depression I’ve had, it has affected everyone. People have described it as feeling as if you’re in a fog. Like your head just isn’t right. I think once people can get outside and enjoy the weather, plant in a garden a little, and feel the sun on our faces, it will start to feel normal again. There is something in dirt that releases hormones in us as we fill flower pots, dig in the garden, and see the beauty of the nature we are nurturing that makes everything right with the world. My world will be much more right when I see if my hydrangeas are still alive or not.

Thank you for reading tonight. I appreciate your time. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope to see you then! Stay hydrated. Keep your spirits up. Stay home, wash your hands, and all that. Have a good evening.

Stupendous Saturday

It’s another Saturday here at the Home Office at Gretna, Nebraska. Another decent day, and it will be in the 60s and 70s next week. For the first time in about ten days, I’ve left the house to go with the Babe to his office in the VFW Post 2503 in Omaha. It feels strange to be out of the house, yet I don’t want to venture too far away. I feel the best at home, truthfully.

Our musician friends are making it easier to be quarantined. There are many local and national performers who are doing FB live concerts from their homes to ours. Some are posting previous performances to keep the interest piqued. All of them are done to help us get away from what’s going on right now, even if just for an hour. You will feel better after listening to music, I guarantee it.

That said, our good friend, Jimmy Weber, is performing tonight from 8 – 9 p.m. Just go to his FB page, Jimmy Weber Music, or Jimmy Weber and watch. You’ll be glad you did! Singer and Songwriter Rick Tiger and a friend will share some songs tomorrow afternoon from 3 – 4 p.m. You’ll enjoy this one, too. I’m so happy to be able to share these events with all of you, it’ll help reduce your stress and introduce you to two of the nicest and talented men I know. I’m so lucky to call them both friends. Enjoy!

This pandemic is going to get worse before it gets better, according to some of the experts. This means we will be under these stresses for a while to come. It is important to put things into perspective and be calm. Yes, things have gotten away from me several times already. I freely admit it. Some days, I’m terrified for our families, our old folks and our babies. I am afraid for myself since I want to see those grandkids all grow up too. There is way too much for all of us to lose, and that’s not even talking about the financial aspect of it. We’ve all survived with less money, fewer belongings, and in tougher times. God will be good to us.

I am going to make masks for my family should they want any. And I’m going to create from my studio, deck, and/or patio every day. It is what I know will make me feel better. You make sure you find what will make you feel better and do it. Music, creating, and being with my best friend top my list. The Babe is true blue in good times and in bad times, as I am with him. I have learned, however, that he has many women friends, whom I’ll gladly share him with. After all, he shares me with my men friends. It’s a grown up relationship, no jealousy, just as it should be. Lucky me!

Truer words never spoken!

I want to thank you for reading today. I suppose we have dawdled enough today, and it’s time to publish this post. We ended up having drive through lunch and going for ice cream on the way home. I’m ready to cocoon again for awhile. We don’t ask for much, and we’re so richly rewarded!

The photo above and story that goes with it is humorous yet sadly true. Just remember the moral of the story as you go about this quarantine. Wash your hands, stay home, and keep the jackasses under control. Thank you for reading today, tune into Jimmy Weber tonight and I’ll see you again here tomorrow. Be safe until then.

Sanguine Saturday

Good day, folks! I hope you’re having a decent day. If it isn’t yet, try and make it one. Remember last week when I posted the blinking overhead lights in my studio? We replaced one bulb that was definitely burned out, all three worked, and now, one is blinking again. I suppose once Congress entered into our light bulb stash, it was all over. I’ve had more allegedly “longer life” bulbs die than the old ones. What’s up with that?

Kind of like about twenty years ago when they decided toilets had to conserve water. Good Lord, they legislated the power out for the people to flush their toilets with enough water power to get the sewage out to the curb. Now, in the words of a plumber who once did service for a family member, “There isn’t enough force behind these new ones to get rid of an adult bowel movement. So flush it twice. It’s the only way around it.” Although this may be controversial and uses the same amount of water as the old tanks, it is the only solution to the problem. Perhaps those we elect do not have the right amount of “street smarts” or ability to relate to the common person.

Just try me!

I just love this t-shirt that arrived yesterday. A girl needs some good writing fashion, doesn’t she? Do you want to be a good guy or a bad guy? Or girl?? We can make that happen. Remember, that’s where we get ideas to build character. I’d hate to inflict my imaginary friends on all of my unsuspecting readers. Or should I?

The father of an old friend passed away yesterday. My best friend from elementary school, Peggy, lost her dad. He was into his 90’s. I believe. He was a nice man, loved his family, and his wife. They have each had health issues for the past ten years or so. I’m glad she had her dad this long, and I pray her mom is OK at this awful time. It will be hard on her mom for sure. All of their six kids will have a different kind of grief to deal with, no two people ever grieve the same. I hope God is good to the family.

Yesterday on Facebook, I reposted something my nephew posted about PTSD, depression, etc. It said I’ll know who I can talk to. Today, a dear lady sent me info on a mental health conference in town that she attended. Wasn’t that thoughtful? Someday it could be me, and it’s nice to know there are people who will reach out. You know who you are, and I thank you!

“The truth shall set you free but first it will make you miserable.” (Garfield)

Truth is wonderful. Sometimes though, knowing the truth and what you should do to change a bad habit, for instance, are at opposite ends of the spectrum. You know you need to lose forth pounds but consume all sorts of junk food when you are nervous. You know you drink too much, but after the first beer, it’s all downhill from there. You claim, “I can quit anytime I want.” Sure you can. But do you want to?? Most likely not. And you know your seventh grader is addicted to games. He misbehaves so badly when he can’t have them, it’s just too hard for you to enforce the rules. He knows it, honey, he knows it. You need to be the strong parent.

No change is easy at all. Learning new behavior even when you know it’s for the best is not easy. It’s so easy to let it go on and on and on. Until you can’t. Then the road back could be a transcontinental plane ride instead of a walk down the road to recovery. Think about a habit you’d be better off without. It could be picking up after yourself. Don’t make someone else do it. It could be walk everyday. Don’t sit on the couch and veg out. It could be write your novel, draw your art, sew your quilts. Don’t wish your time away, wishing you had more of it. Lose one bad habit that keeps you from doing something you need to do. Like riding an exercise bike. I’m getting mine out of the storage room this weekend. More on that later.

Thank you again for reading. I’m off to write some more, then go get my sinus infection Rx. Might as well go have lunch in the meantime. Union Pizza, here we come! Have a beautiful day and I’ll be here tomorrow. Hope to see you again then.

Forever Friday!

A beautiful sunny afternoon is upon us here in Gretna, Nebraska. I took Mom to a balance session today. They had her work on a couple of weight machines today. She feels like the muscles from Brussels right now. Tomorrow, another feeling. She wasn’t intimidated, and I’m proud of her for trying. She has one session left, then in March starts individual therapy sessions for her back, twice a week. Not sure how my involvement shakes loose in that, we’ll see.

I started to read my friend, Shannon Schofield’s book, Perfectly Imperfect, today. Wow. She has it categorized as fiction, although it is her story, her life, and her traumas revealed. I’ve always wondered about families where the parents smoke weed, party hardy, and with other drugs, and have no limits. Sure, their kids can play outside for awhile, eventually the kids are wise to what the grown ups are doing, and it affects them. It has to. When my kids were little, I never even drank. I knew I was the one who had to get up with them the next day and never wanted to be hungover while doing it. I started to drink after my early thirties, and never had a problem with it. Some folks aren’t so lucky.

All I can say, is hold onto your hats, when you read Shannon’s book. I’m surprised she survived at all. God bless her. I hope she finds an audience and is successful with it. It’s a story that needs to be told. And it is a real eye opener. Get it from Amazon today!

Why not?

This Peanuts is so apt for where I am headed now. The publishers of the world will beat a path to my door as soon as I decide where the end is on my novel re-write. (HAH!) I’m maybe five or six chapters in, and it’s a job, keeping all the brothers straight. Katie is my main character, and she has seven brothers. Three older and three younger, she is the middle child. In most ways she is the oldest, seeing as her older brothers are all alcoholics who are not dependable when their Mom needs help. Only Katie and the three younger brothers are reliable. There is animosity among her older brothers for her, and they exhibit characteristics of the biggest chauvinistic pig you may know. Katie shares family stories with the them all, the older brothers argue with her over facts, and the younger brothers love to hear stories of their early lives and their grandparents. And how their Mom was before her alcoholism made her depressed, cynical, rude, and unhappy. The gist of the story is family curses can be broken. Cycles can be broken open and freedom exists on the other side. Katie has done it, and is helping others find the way out. It is a story of survival, seeking, strength, and stamina. Katie does all that and more.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be great days for writing. No real plans, and nothing pressing to do. I hope to catch up a couple more chapters and add depth to these crazy brothers my character Katie has. What a group! I have know people with some of these characteristics. I’m taking all the worst ones and making separate people of them. It will make sense later, when you read the book, it will all ebb and flow. Life is full of lessons, my friends. Katie has learned many of them.

Have a fun Friday night, thanks for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, see you then!