Sunny Saturday

When you live in the midwest, anytime the temperature is above twenty, it’s not windy, and the sun is out, it’s like a fine summer day upon us. People are nice to each other, the stores are a little less crowded, the grocery stores are pretty much sold down in inventory. Maybe they are planning cook outs? I’m not sure, but the shelves were oddly vacant today.

We just don’t eat at home a lot, so our “grocery list” is probably like a snack supply trip. Bagels and peanut butter for breakfast, with a yogurt, coffee, and we usually eat a late lunch/dinner out. The rest is lettuce for salad, cottage cheese for me, apples, carrots, and crackers and cheese for a snack. I used to fully stock the refrigerator for dinner every night, but we just ended up throwing so much away, it was not good. I think if you eat a balanced diet, the rest will take care of itself. We both could lose several pounds, so I don’t think we’re in danger of malnutrition. I’m just not that hungry anymore. For anything. It might be an aging thing??

I’d rather have lighter fare than restaurant luncheon items. Burger and fries? Maybe once a week, no more often. Tacos? Maybe once a week. I would eat a small steak and salad, or pork chops and a potato. Baked potatoes are great, especially loaded. I like sweet potatoes baked with a dash of sugar and cinnanom. delicious. I’ve never seen the thing about smoothies. To me, it’s just mushing everything up, and sometimes there is so much sugar added. I like the purity of raw fruits and like to eat them as such. Veggies the same way. The closest to natural the better.

We have a birthday in the family on Monday. Addison will be thirteen. She was born on her Grandma Sandy’s birthday, which was really cool when it happened. Sandy lost a hard battle to lung cancer ten years ago. It was such a sad thing and we all think of her often. Sometimes I wonder what she would think of these wonderful grandkids of hers. I know she would love them to pieces. All three of them. All we can do is love the kids and tell them about their other Grandma. As long as we keep her alive in our conversations, she will live on.

It hasn’t been a good day for writing. When I start out late, it seems I cannot get things on paper. Tomorrow will be another day. I’m just going to review my printed pages and figure out where to tell stories about my additional characters. It should work. Instead of my main character just thinking the story, I’m going to have the characters talk the story. Descriptions, narrative, and lots of colorful characters should do it.

I thank you for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope to see you, too.

Finitely Friday

There are only twenty-four hours in this highly touted day of the week. When you are working for a living, you cannot wait for it to arrive. What do you do once it’s there? Maybe we put too much into this one day a week, why should all it’s siblings have a lesser fan club? Especially Monday. What happens when you are retired? You have six Saturdays and a Sunday. Those days are not that different, one from another, and it is difficult for new retirees to keep track of what day it is.

When I was moved into early “retirement” in 2000 due to my health, I was kind of a mess. I was only forty-eight years old and was a newleywed. It just didn’t seem like something I should be doing. It was hard. My body let me down and I was a bit angry about that fact. As one of my brothers’ said, “That’s what you get for taking care of yourself.” Well, maybe.

I have since recovered from the overwhelming feeling to explain my early departure from the working world. When I told my doctor I couldn’t do it anymore, he said, “I’m surprised you made it this long.” What? And the rub is it’s one of those things a person cannot identify on sight. That may be what made it so hard. That and my age. And the fact after keeping it together through being a single mom, college student, friend, sister, you name it, that it finally was my turn. Bitterness could have easily taken over.

I met the Babe right after that horrible illness, and he was more than ok with me having a hidden illness. His mother battled MS for most of her adult life and he was well aware of people who lost their health. From watching his interactions with her over the years, I came to know what type of compassionate caregiver he is. And he is. Like most men, he’s a better caregiver than patient, but that’s another story. Initially I felt I kept him from doing things, but he said no, he’d rather be hanging out with me. And it turns out we’re perfect for each other. Sure, we get frustrated. We’re human. But in the long run, neither of us will give up or quit on the other. And that’s a quality I”m glad we both have.

Each day we have is the same twenty-four hour period on the clock, calendar, and moment in time. I had a boss who would take Monday off instead of Friday for a long weekend. His thinking was everyone takes Friday, Monday can be less crowded and just as special. Just a little change in thought, and powerful things can happen. Try it. You might like it. It could change the way you view your world, life, and creativity.

In the creative realm, for those who create things from other materials, you need to strike while the iron is hot. While the ideas are flowing, get them down, cut the fabrics, paint the pictures, write the words. And then coax them to become their best. I cannot say, “Friday is not a good day for creating, come back Monday,” because the idea most likely will be lost forever. Write down a note to spark the memory when you are able to capture the idea more fully. After a while, it won’t matter where or when you get those ideas. You will be able to make a note then coax it back into a more full statement. Practice. We all have enough time for that.

Don’t wish your life away. Make the most of each twenty-four hour trip around the sun. Give thanks for each day no matter how bad it can be. Tomorrow could be worse, but chances are, it won’t be. Some days the best thing you can say about it is, “It’s over now.” Do-overs. How lucky we are to have one every day. We may look back and decide these days weren’t so bad after all. All the Thursdays, Tuesdays, and Sunday nights have the capacity to be awesome. Just like we do. Every day people. Doing extraordinary things. Every day of the week.

Thank you for reading today. I’m grateful you did. I’ll be back tomorrow, and hope you will be, too. See you then. I’m off to work on my second chapter in the novel re-write. Go figure!

Funky Friday

It’s about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and we’re home by the fire. The dogs are gnawing on their bones and periodically barking at each other. Like children, they want what the other one has, so this dance goes on until they decide the couch looks comfy enough give up gnawing. Wow. Life doesn’t get better than this.

Mom had therapy again today. She’s getting her money’s worth and is actually enjoying the workout. Old people are so good at fibbing about how much activity they get at home. They get defensive, almost. I understand that, however. They don’t want anything to make it necessary for them to be moved from their home to where help is available. And at times, it’s just not safe anymore. That will be a hard day if it comes. Not going to worry about the future. We will deal with it when it comes, if it does.

When we live too far in the future or past we miss the present. The day to day hum of everyday living. Not all of it is happy, rewarding, interesting, or fun. Most of our every day lives is pretty mundane. But if we don’t do those things, life becomes disorganized, out of rhythm, and can teeter in the wrong direction. In learning how we stay in the present, we appreciate small things even more than we may if we’re fixated on the past or the future. Too many people worry so much about what could go wrong they miss opportunities for happiness on a daily basisiness. I believe it was Mark Twain who once said: “I have lived through many terrible events. Most of them, in my own mind.” Relax. Most of what we worry about never happens. And you may ruin today in the process. You cannot get this time back, folks. Just learn from it and move on.

Tomorrow is the first of February. I am particiating in a 30 Day Art Challenge with my friends at I Create Daily. They offer prompts each day and participants are supposed to create something from the prompt. If you come up blank, there are suggestions given. It should be a fun 29 days. Leap year! I did purchase a book about fun lettering and will try my hand at that next month as well as writing.

We should have a weekend at home, so I hope to get a little more writing done. At this point I’ll take what I can get, and just go one chapter at a time, one character at a time. We’ll get there, I know we will.

With being diagnosed with an acute sinus infection, being on steroids and antibiotics, I’m not going to be out running any races. I finished the book I was reading, “Sold on a Monday.” It was a beautiful but sad story. There are many stories about the 1920s and 1930s that people do not have a clue about. Sometimes people had to do drastic things to give their kids a chance at a life at all. Including the unthinkable, selling them. It doesn’t mean they were not loved. It meant the times were desperate.

I’m starting another book called, “Before We Were Yours.” I expect it will be equally as good. Just the thing between naps and meds and writing and laundry and watching the Super Bowl on Sunday. Take care of yourself, do the wise thing and rest when you need to. It goes a long way. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Finally Friday

I am so blessed. Dan and I have been married for twenty-one years. Prior to that, I was divorced for sixteen years. My ex husband had a huge family, since he was the middle of seven children. We actually babysat some of the older nieces and nephews in our early dating and marriage. Some were in high school when we divorced.

Some of the nieces send us Christmas cards. I feel so lucky to receive this mail from them! I can hardly believe their children are so grown and handsome, and the girls themselves are women of strength and spirit. I thank God for those continued relationships even after all these years. Christmas bears gifts of the type you least expect. And those are the best surprises!

Today was another day working on the quilting project I’m finishing for a friend. The deadline is whenever it’s finished, and that will be before January 1, 2020, so I’m not concerned about anything. It’s good not to be stressed during this busy week.

I’m hoping all of you stay well during the next week, too. I hear the flu is at high in Nebraska, based on the number of prescriptions for flu filled at Walgreens. Isn’t it interesting how data is collected sometimes? I wonder how their figures are broken out by age and sex? Have these people had flu shots?? I hope they all recover with no further complications. Flu can be such a wretched disease. The Babe and I are no longer in the “under 65” age category, so we are in more danger of being very ill. Yes, give us the big flu shot, and the jumbo shingles shot, too. Anything else you have for people of a certain age? Sign us up.

Yes, the time is getting shorter before Christmas. I only have two gifts to wrap, for Gavin, and I hope we have enough wrapping left to do those two gifts. I do wish we had more to wrap, it wasn’t a bad task overall. It used to take me a couple of nights (very late at night) to wrap gifts when the kids were still at home.

If you are driving to where you will be celebrating Christmas, please be careful. In the Omaha, Nebraska area alone, there have been several fatal accidents. Many were folks not wearing seat belts, some were speeding and using alcohol, some were due to weather. Please be careful as you travel, we want you back home safe and sound.

Once again, thank you so much for reading today. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. And I’ll see you back here tomorrow. One day closer! Have a good evening.

Looking Ahead

Three of Symbols of What I Plan to Do More Of in 2020.

The great debate will begin soon about what your New Year’s Resolution will be. Losing weight, quit smoking, work out more, you know, the usual stuff people resolve or “give up” if you’re Catholic and do Lent or Advent.

Would it make more sense to decide to change yourself or your habits?? Maybe it would become more of a permanent thing. A lifestyle change. Nothing trendy or hit or miss. The three ornaments I shared at the top of this blog are symbols of how I would like to spend more time next year. First, is read more, and sell books next year. I have been in contact with my editor friend, and we will proceed together with edit/rewrites on my novel. It will be a learning experience, and I’m glad to have a friend for guidance. Her name is Sam and we met through the Nebraska Writer’s Guild Fall Conference. Nice woman, I will learn well from her. There are other books very close to being ready to publish, and with God’s grace, I will publish them next year also.

Second, I plan to make more time for quilting and sewing. One of the ways we waste time the most (and I am guilty as charged) is on our smart phones. Yes, I’ll play crosswords, word games, endless games of solitaire, and read Facebook until my eyes ache. And then not have time to work on a project I’d been planning to start for a month or two. In the past two years, I’ve joined a challenge through All People Quilt. It’s called a UFO Busting Challenge. In the quilting world, there is a term “UFO” to described all of our Unfinished Objects (a/k/a/ quilts). I have so many of them. So many. My group is culled because of working on a certain project each month until they’re finished. Some make it to be finished, others do not. But, they’re all closer that they were. I can share those too, once I make up the list for 2020.

Third, I plan to continue writing often, in addition to the daily blog. I can tell that some days the blog is good, some days not as good. General mood, level of enthusiasm, and topic all make for a good or fair blog. I deeply appreciate you all coming back day to day, and having the interest to continue doing so.

Right now, we are waiting for Gavin to come over to spend the night. Do you have fond memories of spending the night at your grandparents? I do. Sometimes it was with a cousin, other times it was alone. It was wonderful! Hoping he has good memories after he’s grown up. I’ll be here again tomorrow, I hope to see you then. Thank you!

A Beautiful Tuesday

It’s so hard to believe it is winter. Blue skies outside and warm temps. Good for getting errands finished, hoping it stays nice through Friday. Or it can do what it wants, which is usually what it does anyway. We really fuss and stress over the weather and it takes up a lot of time. Try not to panic. The most important thing to do is to be safe and calm.

I went to the bank to get some giftcards for Christmas giving. They don’t sell them! I would think a major bank in Omaha, Nebraska would sell gift cards. Anyone know why they don’t?? Some folks are getting cash instead. Spends the same, right? Hope you like green, kids.

I went into the Carters Outlet store and purchased a gift card for there. Kayla is growing pretty fast, and her mama prefers to pick out her clothes. The stock they have is unbelievable. The Outlet Mall seems to be a place where you need to know where you are going. Not good for someone who has back or knee issues. A beautiful day to be outdoors, though.

I am reading some books now that I’m having a little break from writing. One, “Elmwood Park,” written by John Brodston, is my first one. Nearly finished with it. It is a mixture of fact and fiction, based on an event that happened in Omaha’s Elmwood Park in 1960. Six young people were killed in a horrible car accident. It details the rescue turned recovery, it also tells a lot about the city at the time. I was only nine years old in 1960, so I really don’t recall much about the whole incident. It was very, very sad. The author was one year ahead of me in high school at Ryan, and he had some interesting takes on the local newspaper, the city itself, and the operations of the local County Hospital. I’d love to find out if this is where the fiction part was, or if it was elsewhere.

There is an interesting running story line within the book about a Catholic clergyman who was very outspoken on morals, Catholicism, and sin. I remember our Monsignor giving fire and brimstone like this, and it is not fun to sit and listen to. I remember this particular clergyman because he was at Holy Cross, where my grandparents attended. I need to ask my mom if she remembers Grandma talking about any of these issues and sermons. I love local stories. So much history!

This day has flown by, and now is the time to relax. This is the best time of the day. Tomorrow is a luncheon with my mom, and the VFW with friends for dinner. Nice day ahead!! Thank you for reading, I hop to see you back again tomorrow.

Thoughtful Thursday

This day is pretty blustery compared to the last two. It will be like this for a few days, so we’d better get used to it.

I usually start days like this with big intentions. Anyone with chronic anything will understand this. If you don’t move too much, it doesn’t seem too bad, so you should be able to get through several tasks and still be ok to do more. Blustery days, when the barometric pressure goes wild, are so hard to overcome.

And I refuse to give up hand sewing, embroidery, and other things that make time pass while creating something beautiful. It’s just not in my DNA. And typing doesn’t help, nor does hand writing. But we persist, don’t we??

The thing of it is, I just hate to give up on anything. Especially myself. It’s not too great to wait until you retire and then find you can’t do what you were waiting to do. So do it anyway, unless it will cause you or someone else danger, harm, or a terrible injury. Chances are, it won’t. Hang Gliding would, hand sewing wouldn’t. My orthopedic surgeons have provided me with devices and other aids to still live my life. The aches kind of add to the triumph in a way. It means I didn’t give up. I didn’t cave. Sometimes you need extra rest or ice, or acetaminophen. But you will have another try at it, maybe allowing extra time, frequent breaks, or putting it away for a bit. Giving up is totally different than deciding that you have had enough. Huge difference. Think about that and comment if you’d like.

And that brings me to Goldie, the young blonde the Babe decided would come home with us about a month ago. She is delightful. She is a very smart dog, like one I’ve never seen. It must have to do with her breeding and the family who raised her to ten weeks of age.

When Babe takes her out first thing in the morning, they walk out the front door, and into the yard. While doing her business, Babe picks up the newspaper from the driveway. I swear on all that is holy, Goldie now walks out and picks up the newspaper, gives it to Dan, and goes to do her business. Totally uncoached. She just learned by watching. It is pretty cool the things she is learning. They are diligently working on homework for the next puppy class on Saturday. What a great team they are!!

She sits at Dan’s feet and sleeps sometimes. She truly is a good girl.

As this blustery day continues, it’s easy to let the grey skies and cold wind make your mood the same way. Don’t let the weather win. If it takes happy music in the background, play some happy music. The people who truly have a challenge are those who cannot drive themselves anywhere to get out of the house when they need to.

I see this a lot with my mother. She is a great worrier, the best worrier that ever worried her way through any crisis, real or imagined. I tend to not worry. By that I don’t mean I’m not concerned about a situation, but I don’t let my thoughts get all out of control by adding my imagination to the facts, creating the worst possible scenarios. She does. She doesn’t see that this type of thinking/worrying doesn’t help an unknown situation. It destroys things. I read once a Mark Twain saying. “I have survived many terrible ordeals. Most of which, only happened in my mind.”

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, Mom wanted me to meet her friend who had a different stage of breast cancer, and who had a much different journey than mine was. She had a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. She was quite ill. She has been ill for a long time. I chose to not meet Mom’s friend. I wanted to take my own journey with my husband and our kids and grandkids. I didn’t need to worry about what could happen. I knew God would be good to me, regardless of the outcome. I was so blessed.

I had a lumpectomy, followed by radiation treatment, followed by medication. I’ve addressed how those affected me in another post, Simply Sunday, on October 20, 2019. Meanwhile, our extended family (stepkids, grandkids) were all in a much greater and much harder cancer fight. Dan’s former wife Sandy, the mother of his children, had lung cancer, Stage 4. She e was given about six months with treatment. She had two and a half years with treatment, support, and love of a huge extended family. She looked cancer in it’s face and stood up to it. She did a wonderful job. The most important thing to her was time with the kids and grandkids. We became friends, good friends. I was blessed to know her as I did, and miss her. I know the Babe will always love her too, and that’s ok.

One thing I didn’t want to do was shout out my triumphs when she had news that was not so good. I still don’t want to boast about surviving, because you never know if something worse is ahead. I’m content to be grateful to God for being cancer free at this time. Always, at this time.

Now, this is not idle worry. I know the odds. I know the chance of it coming back. It could at twenty-five years. It doesn’t steal my time and make me worry about it. My dad was very calm about things until he knew what he was dealing with. I’d like to think I inherited that from him and I believe I did. For that, I’m grateful.

Submit a comment, like the post, and you’ll receive two chances for my NaNoWriMo giveaway of a $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing is December 1, 2019 at NOON. Join us tomorrow, and we’ll have fun again then. Make your own sunshine. Be grateful.