Today’s Blog

Saturday Night Live

It’s late for me to be blogging today. Not sure why/how I started out so late, did some work on website, watched the Huskers play Ohio today, just a lot of regular Saturday things going on. It’s still been a long day.

The normality of having college football on was nice today. It’s a shame the refs didn’t have their annual eye exams before the game. But it was a loss for us, and there will be another game. No lives lost. Normalcy tasted nice for a little while.

We’re watching a movie, The Outpost. It was the story of the October 3, 2009 massacre of an Outpost in Afghanistan. It sat at the bottom of a valley in the mountains. Like fishing in a barrel. How could the Army really think this was a reasonable place to post up a bunch of soldiers? They rejected repeated requests to close the Outpost. Finally, finally, they did. There were many medals of honor, silver and bronze stars awarded that day, and other honors earned. We see what an American Soldier is. They are love of country, bravery, commitment, training, and dedication. I am proud to call one such man my husband.

I received three new music CD’s in the mail the last two days. More music to create by, won’t that be great? I’m looking forward to hunkering in the next few cold, wet days and creating. Sometimes my mind won’t stay still about what I want to do. Write? Crochet? Blog? Website and Social Media Work? So much to choose from. Next month, I’m going to straighten up my craft supplies, sewing and quilting things, and organize my studio. The Art supplies will go in the Family Room downstairs. I have great storage cubbies for them, they should be together. Organization will make using them much easier and organized.

Thank you for checking in tonight. Tomorrow, I must get started blogging in the morning. I don’t like leaving it until the last thing I do. Some folks have also told me they look for it in the morning to read with their coffee. Or at lunch. Besides, it’s easier to accomplish a blog in the morning when I’m freshest. Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll meet again tomorrow. Be Safe.

Friday on My Plate

It’s midafternoon on Friday, October 23. My oldest’s birthday was Tuesday, and we met for breakfast at Village Inn. I couldn’t tell you the last time we saw each other. He has crazy work days and since he’s in the restaurant business; he likes to relax when there is a rare day off. He works a second job cleaning the restaurant daily, so whether he cooks a shift or two, he is still up super early to clean. He has no responsibility other than himself, and he is a very hard worker. Always has been.

It became a standing joke between us what kind of card I bought him year after year. One year, I really goofed! I bought the same wordy, mushy card I bought the year before. Color me embarrassed! Plus, the mushy ones are long and – well, mushy. So this time I bought a funny one. It was a hit. He’s a good man, and I’m always happy when I’ve been around him. He just gets life. He is always happy, and contented, and doesn’t bother anyone. We reminisced about some stuff and laughed about many things. It was good. I walk away feeling like I did something right. What a great feeling for a parent.

It is a cold, windy day here at the home office in Gretna, Nebraska. Supposed to snow Sunday. I hope it does, Colorado desperately needs moisture. They predict a moderate snowfall to fall over the weekend. The edge of a fire is five and a half miles from my daughter’s house in Fort Collins. She sent the photo of their street yesterday afternoon. It was just like you see on the news. Orange, smoky sky. I pray she, her husband, and their babies and dog are alright. We appreciate prayers.

Rocky Mountain National Park is being pummelled by fire. A friend who lives in Scottsbluff posted on Facebook yesterday a call went out to anyone owning a horse trailer and truck, requesting they come immediately to help move some horses. The poor creatures! I also see photos of Elk herds, all gathering close to lakes in Estes. My heart hurts knowing this. It’s our favorite place to vacation and explore.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Babe removed all outdoor furniture from the deck and patio this morning. Our empty turquoise planters are on either side of the garage door now, waiting for me to create some Christmas decoration to put in them. I need some zip ties and wire, probably, to hold them together and sink the wire deep into the flowerpots, so nothing blows away. First time they do, we’re done with decorating.

The kids and I used to have a lovely tradition of lighting the house up through the Christmas season. They would put up everything during the day on Thanksgiving while I prepared our feast. It was a great deal of fun. We would have dinner between four and five, then gather outside in the street (we lived on a dead end so no, we weren’t in traffic!), and Frankie would throw the switch and Voila! It was magnificent, each year better than the last. They could go on the roof, play with electricity, and have fun being the men of the household, planning the display and working together to accomplish something good. I miss those times, too.

I am going to do a lot of computer work this weekend. I need to upload some things for the VFW Post website and get more active for both Instagram and TWITTER accounts, both for the Post and my personal author one. I also need to reorganize my workspace. I spent the whole Zoom session with Sam without my printed copies of what we were talking about. Right after our conversation, I looked down and saw my open leather satchel, unzipped, with papers and yellow legal tablets sticking out of the top. My papers! I forgot to take them out after my writing session at Panera’s Tuesday, while waiting for Mom to get finished with her perm. It seems like it’s been a very long time since Tuesday. I need to just sit and read a book or two. It’ll happen again, this weekend.

Stay Safe, friends. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out there. Hoping to see you again tomorrow. Thanks for reading today.

Thursday Thoughts

One of the most impactful things Dad ever taught me is to look at things from every different angle you can before deciding on something. In most things, it is prudent to do so. I like that he would tell me to think of where the other person may come from. It has always served me well. As young kids, they expected us to think things through. They, meaning the parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Maybe we didn’t have a stress-free life as kids, but I think we all can operate as reasonably intelligent adults.

Sometimes, someone may remark, “Gee, I didn’t think of it that way.” That’s a clue you may have opened their eyes to a fresh way of thinking. It’s easier if they’re open to changing their way of doing things. If they’re not, it’s much harder. Consensus is easier to achieve with more open-minded people. Face it. Change is hard. People resist as long as they can.

It gets frustrating when someone digs in and belittles your decision or choice and later claims they supported you all the way. The excuse is “Well, things were different.” With some people, it’s just not worth being right. It’s best to know you are and move on. I’ve had to do that a lot about a lot of things in my life. Moving away to a different neighborhood is a big deal in my family. No more, because I’ve done it. Three times. Mom still lives in the same house she and Dad purchased in 1949. That’s seventy-two years in the same house. It has to be some kind of record.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

We have to learn to be comfortable with our decisions. We need to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our actions. All of them. We have a responsibility to admit if we do something bad. Or good. We sometimes learn more from the poor decisions than the good ones. It’s possible. A balanced person never forgets the lessons they learn from the poor ones. And they know not to beat themselves up over them.

I had another Zoom call with Sam, my book coach today. I’m eager to add more description to my second chapter and flesh out the first scene of the third chapter. Slow and steady wins the race. I read something a couple days ago stating it takes three years to write a book. At first I scoffed at that. *Word of the Day – Scoffed! When I think of starting a year ago, January 2019, it’s not so off the mark. That’s about what I’m looking at now, at the current rate. I do like having smaller sections to rewrite.

I have about 40K written in my first book, These Walls Do Talk. I want to finish it someday I see it as a part of a trilogy. It’s not lost work it was good practice. I think back to a conversation Sam and I had once that touched on having manuscripts that will not be the ones to publish. It’s a very common occurrence among writers. That does not surprise me. Among quilters, there are many projects that never see the quilting and binding added. I have a beautiful example of one. I did not finish the first quilt ever made. I kept it as a reminder of how it was to just start learning the craft. The most important thing I learned was the famous quarter inch seams are to be critical. Otherwise, nothing will align properly. I have some rows that look terrible. You can fudge on a seam while dressmaking (I have frequently), but in quilting its unforgiving. Come to think of it, I should put a binding on it and drape it on my studio chair right here. It will remind me there is a learning curve with everything creative. And to be humble.

Goldie Could Enjoy My “Humility” Quilt.

I think I should dig that quilt out and finish it. Just because. I can look at as a failure. I don’t like the colors. It was a practice piece. I can also use it to help me see how much I’ve learned. All the quilting skills I have are self-taught. There were a few classes I took, but most of it is self-taught. With lots of books and magazines.

I’m glad to know how to look at things differently. It’s helped me be grateful, despite having a body ravaged by some weird ailments. I could have become bitter about what I lost at age 44, but I am grateful for what I can still do independently. I am grateful to have a husband who tells me, “whatever you want to do, honey,” when I have an idea for another quilt, blog, or project. We work well together, he encourages me. It stifles a lot of women to have little support for their creativity. My only problem is finding the time to do all the things I’d like to do!

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy the precipitation we’re having in Gretna, NE. I wish those fires in Colorado would have a gully washer fall on them. The destruction is terrible. Be Open. Think Differently. Love Without Restriction. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Careful.

Second Game, World Series

Hi, guys,

It’s quite late on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. 9:10 p.m., CDT. Second game of the World Series, bottom of the 5th, 2 outs, not looking good for the Dodgers. Well, maybe not so bad. It’s a commercial on TV right now, so who knows? We’ll see. One thing I remember really vividly is the old nuns at St. Bridget’s would ask if someone had a portable TV. Black and white, TV. I didn’t know what that was going on, but I learned quickly.

Turns out, some kids had one they could bring to school for us to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play against whomever, in the World Series. My family wasn’t into sports, but how I loved watching the Cardinals play in the World Series. It was magical. I think that may be when my interest in Major League Baseball started. That and Johnny Bauer and I would play ball in out backyard. Johnny was my brothers friend and age, but my brother didn’t do sports. Still doesn’t care about them, so I remember Johnny telling me about Whitey Ford and Roger Maris, wouldn’t you know I’d hear about Yankees the first time I heard of Major League Baseball? Of course. The Damned Yankees.

The old nuns loved Bob Gibson, and so did I. He was a pitcher for the Cardinals, from Omaha, and they always cheered for him. He was a great player, and awesome to watch I saw many games in black and white TV when I was in elementary school. I learned to cheer him on. It worked, right?

When my son loved the Cubs, I loved the Cubs. He learned to love them when my mom watched my kids while I worked. She took my kids to visit her sister and husband, and my Uncle Joe, a retired policeman, watched the games with my son. It was wonderful, my uncle saw them win a World Series in 2016, and passed away in 2018. I hope they win again before my son ever passes away. It would be fitting and right.

The score is not favoring the Dodgers tonight, and that’s ok. It’s only the second day, so a lot can happen. It’s ok. We’ll see what happens between now and then, the last game.

Have a beautiful rest of the evening. We’ll have more tomorrow, hope to see you then. Take care, be safe, and be kind. Thank you for reading, we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe, Be courteous, and e Kind. It’s the least we can expect from each other right now. See you tomorrow!

Happy Birthday, Frankie!

This is one of the three happiest days of my life. The day I first became a Mom. I was the ripe old age of 19 1/2, and my son was born the morning after his dad finally went back to his Army Post in Fort Eustis, Virginia. It was quite exciting. For once in a very long time, my dad and three brothers all woke up the first time Mom called them to wake up. All she had to add was, “I think Kathy’s in labor.” They scattered like there was a prize for getting out of the house first. She went to the beauty shop to have her beehive hairdo brushed out and re-done quickly. No time for a shampoo.

The sad thing is I remember nothing of his birth and little afterward. My first memory of him was a Demerol induced fog through the nursery window from my bed on the way to my room. When I finally got to hold him the next day, he looked nothing like the memory made me think he would. That was sad. But he was beautiful. All 7 lbs, 9 3/4 ounces of him, I think he was 21 inches long. His dad came back the next day instead of before the birth. My mom thought that was best for me.

The 1970s were crazy times. That happy little baby kept me sane. And has kept me sane his whole life. He was a great big brother to Nick and Becky as he got older. My life was very blessed with this kid. He has an unreal understanding of life and what goes with it. In his 49 years, he’s risen from every low spot he’s been in. He’s helped me when I’ve had major surgery, gotten me moving to recover sooner, and been my partner in Christmas shopping. I miss those times.

Life has scattered his brother and sister to Missouri and Colorado. We rarely see them with strange work schedules, etc. They were all together eleven years ago on Thanksgiving, when I had a lumpectomy for breast cancer. It was a fun time and I hope to be able to do it again.

As of today, it’s eleven years since I’ve become cancer free. It alternately seems like a long time, or a short time, whichever way you look at it. I’m less afraid of it returning than I was at first, and still know it could recur. That’s the gamble there is. But for now, I’m thanking God each and every day to have my life, my family, faith, and friends. I am indeed a blessed woman. I picked this day to have surgery. It had always been a special, blessed day. I was hoping that would continue. It has.

Today was Mom’s day to get a perm after I got my haircut. I have another hour before I can go pick her up, and it is interesting sitting here in Panera’s watching people. I snagged a corner back booth. They route you in, through the store, and out the back door, so no people are standing around without social distancing. I do appreciate it, and it seems like they may be on to something.

And their Broccoli Cheese Soup! It’s so good. It was a treat, for sure. I could not have done this fifty years ago. I would have been a bundle of nerves, felt like a loser, and all sorts of negative stuff. Not now. I kind of enjoy the quiet.

I think of my kids playing together, making stuff up because we were too poor to buy video games. That’s ok. They worked, they inherited that from both their parents. My family always goes the extra mile, maybe tending towards workaholism, while their Did what was required, finished early, and was done.

I remember when he left, we got a puppy a couple months later. It was good for them to take care of the puppy. It did us all good. Shadow lived 16 1/2 years. A very long time, and she was a very good girl. She lived until the Babe and I got married, in 1998. He went with me to see her go to the Rainbow Bridge. What a sad thing, the first time we did it. We’ve been there three more times and will a couple more, probably.

I’m meeting Frankie for his birthday lunch Friday. We don’t see each other often, but we talk, and laugh a lot. It’s how family should be. We are lucky to have grown up together. And we’ve had many heated disagreements. Together. And we get over them. Like family should. He’s an exceptional friend to many, a reliable worker, loved by coworkers and managers alike. He adds a lot to life, not just my life but to everyone’s. At the age of 49 (WHAT?), he’s lived a quiet life. A good life. A satisfied life.

Those are all great qualities we all should have to get through all this pandemic and unrest. We should all come out together on other side better people. Thank you for reading today. Do you have a special day? Tell me about it. I’ll see you again tomorrow. Be Calm. Be Kind. Be Careful out there.

The Tea Pot

When my brother and I were little, Mom had time to take good care of us when we were sick. We’re only one year apart, so we shared a lot. When he went to kindergarten, I missed him so much it was terrible. He shared everything with me. The Measles, The Mumps, The Chicken Pox, The Flu, The Tonsillectomy we had together, and whatever else was going around. Our mom had her hands full, since she was pregnant.

We had lots of Chicken Noodle Soup by Campbell’s, crackers, juice, and lots of water. We were kept separate, each in our bedroom, in bed. Those were the orders anytime we were home sick. I was only four, so I was home anyway. We were in bed constantly, and even were served our meals there. Soup is hard to eat when you’re four and in bed. One thing she did let us have was tea. Hot tea is still a favorite of mine, and I think my brother still enjoys it too.

This was actually a coffee pot (a percolator) our parents received for a wedding gift in 1948. Mom had another one that was electric, so this became her tea pot. She boiled the water, put tea bags in, and enjoy the fresh, steepeded tea. It sat high on a shelf as we grew up and left home. I would notice it when visiting through the past fifty years. I always recalled those feelings of being taken care of when I’d see this pretty blue teapot. I now have it in my home, mostly for decoration, I’m reluctant to put it in the microwave to re-warm the tea should it become cold. The warm feeling is still there. It makes me happy.

The Sight of the Blue Tea Pot Still Warms My Heart.

During those times, Mom was often a little upset with me. I got lonely being in bed alone during the day. I remember her asking me, “Why can’t you be like your brother, he never bothers me?” Yes, he would not call out to her. I just felt like hours and hours went by since she came up to see me. My dad must have felt sorry for me, he would come in and play checkers with me. I loved him for doing that. He was patient with me when Mom was probably overly tired and needed a rest herself. Checkers remains one of my favorite board games today. I played with Addison and Gavin, and recalled how my dad sat with me, playing until I got tired of it. Good memories.

A lot of people were allowed to watch game shows (especially Price is Right) while they were sick from school. Our TV was never allowed to be on during the daytime. Mom didn’t do game shows or soap operas. I loved visiting our Grandma Bobell, she watched the soap operas every day. We had all sorts of adventures together. Did you get to visit your Grandparents for a few days during the summer? It was always fun, too.

Mom’s parents lived in several different houses as we grew up. They moved for reasons I don’t know. Their house on Pine Street was a beautiful brick home, two story, which was cozy. I don’t remember the kitchen much, but I remember the dining room and living room. We didn’t spent the night there, but did when they lived on 60th Street in a raised ranch with the huge backyard and shade trees. It was wonderful. It’s also where Grandpa died on Christmas Eve, 1964, when I was twelve years old. That’s another story, though.

Because Grandma didn’t drive, we would walk to her hairdresser, then catch the bus to downtown. I loved shopping with her. She was so much fun. She always did a craft with me, like making loop hot pads. One year, she cut out a doll dress pattern and had me hand sew it together. You just don’t forget those wonderful moments shared. I’m so glad our grandparents took the time to share their lives and wisdom with us. Our lives are richer because of them.

I have some office /website work to do for the VFW Post today, studying about Marketing for Small Businesses, and maybe be able to sneak in marking a quilt for quilting. I’d love to get this hung by Thanksgiving. It’ll go over our bed, against a pretty blue wall. Not sure if I’ll quilt it in dark invisible thread or choose gold or copper metallic. When the light hits metallic thread, you have glints of it, it’s beautiful.

This Will Be Stunning!

Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it so much. This post is early today, to make up for my tardiness yesterday. It’s good to have a day ahead of me, even though it’s overcast, cold and windy, with a little snowflake here and there. It’s here. And it’s ok. With my flu shot taken, I feel protected. I hope you have a great rest of the day, and come back tomorrow. I’ll be here. Blessings. Be Careful out there.

Sunday Mornin’, Comin’ Down

If you’re of a certain age, or if you’re a Country Music fan, you know my title today is from a Kris Kristofferson song, released in 1970. Kristofferson has had a lengthy career, a successful one, not only in music, but he also starred in the 1970 version of “A Star is Born.” He was the Bradley Cooper to Lady Gaga’s character. In 1970, Barbra Streisand was the Lady Gaga character to Kristofferson. Got it? Good. It was a great movie, but I have to say, I thought the 2019 version was the best. Judge for yourselves.

The song describes a guy waking on Sunday morning, pretty bad hangover, can’t move without hurting. He makes the genius move of having beer for breakfast, and another for dessert. The smell of frying chicken triggered a memory of what he’d lost, his bad behavior caused a lot of losses. This is very common with people deep into addictions with alcohol or drugs. And it’s very sad to see.

There was a special on some obscure Direct TV channel last night about drug addiction in New York City. A man they interviewed described his heroin addiction. He detailed how it felt as it worked it’s way from the needle in his arm, down to his feet and up to his brain. He said it’s what he lived for. It’s all he had left. How he never thought it would be so addictive. How sad.

The one addiction our society overlooked for so long was that of alcohol. It used to be socially accepted as a “boys will be boys” activity, but not any more, thank goodness. I never drank in high school, and did rarely until I was 30. Yes, I’ve overdone it at times, but not anymore. It’s something I can do without, so why? I’ve never understood an addictive personality, and there are many, many people who have one, some in my immediate family of origin. I find no shame in that. Admitting is the first step towards education, assistance, and healing.

There are so many who think, if a little is good, then more is better. Doesn’t matter what it is since the human spirit can be addicted to many things. Phones, gambling, alcohol, drugs, sex, television, and many, many more things. Some of us become co-dependent and it wrecks our lives until it’s treated, admitted, and handled. I didn’t realize I was co-dependent, I thought I was responsible for a lot of things. I always wanted to make things better. By doing that, you enable bad behavior.

I’ve learned to say “No.” I’ve pulled back from people who are toxic to me. The ones I loved don’t exist anymore, as long as they are practicing their dysfunction. They are totally foreign to me. Their addictions have made their values, patterns, and what they love different than my memory and image of them. And just to answer the questions ahead of time, no it was not my current husband. He is my rock. We are blesssed to go through this life with each other.

And it’s ok. It’s better for me, and for them. I know in order to protect my mental health, I need to use my caring in other ways. It’s one reason I’m happy to be involved with helping Veterans. They are working to get better, and so am I. Everybody wins that way. Everybody does right things and feels good doing them. It’s how love is supposed to work.

I reveal these things not so you feel bad for me, I’m good. Why I reveal it is there is help for everyone on both sides of addiction to get help. You both need it, believe me. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and tell someone, “No” if it doesn’t serve either of you well. Don’t sacrifice yourself for someone who wouldn’t do the same for you. It’s taken me a long time to learn, and I’m so glad I did. You can do it, too.

If you are a survivor of any type of intergenerational trauma, this is a book from which you will learn a lot of things. It’s “From Generation to Generation. Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling,” by Emily Wanderer Cohen. It certainly hasn’t been a “light read” for the weekend, but in between rests and naps these last two days, it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things I can now understand. Life is a continual lesson. Take the things it teaches you, and improve everything around you, starting from your soul outward. It will make a huge difference.

We have cleaned up the house to be ready for the next week. It feels good to have a fresh start for a brand new, shiny week ahead of us. Who knows what it will bring to each of us? Each day will be as good as you make it. Choose happy, grateful, productive. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. See you tomorrow! It’s virus-y out there. Be Safe. Mask Up. Be Careful

Amen.

Simple Saturday

Many things are swirling around in my head this morning. Lots has occurred in the last 24 hours. First thing I’m thinking of my cousin Mike and how grateful they must be to have pulled off two wedding receptions in August and early September now that COVID is peaking again in Nebraska. Rules for bars are again, mask to enter building and leave, and mask to walk around in building.No more standing room only events. Events must drop to below 50% capacity. I would not be surprised if the bars and schools be closed again before Thanksgiving to slow the spread again. Our hospitals are nearing a much higher capacity than they want. I just pray to God we can get the election done, in the books, and move on to whatever is next.

Photo by Annie D on Pexels.com

Second, I’m thinking about Estes Park. It is one of our favorite places to make a destination. We love the nature, beauty, scenery, and people. Always something interesting going on. Flood visited there a few years ago, and now a two month old wildfire is calling for evacuations. Prayers for those folks, their families, property, and the wildlife. It all suffers during events like this.

Third, we had a great Post and Auxiliary meeting last week. Ron Hernandez, the founder of Moving Veterans Forward in the Omaha/Papillion area spoke to us about the Victory Apartments, and the other opportunities that are available for the Post to help him get off the ground that will serve Veterans locally. I see a lot of opportunity here for us and I’m excited about it.

I have some things to update for our Post website, and need some lessons from our Web Host, Image Masters. Luckily, the host with the most is my brother in law, Brad Shuck, and he’s always willing to teach me more about how the website works and can work. Great guy. Great photographer, too. He’s in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Check out his work.

Today is the day to make good on my intentions to bring in any plant that will perish with a frost. We’re due anytime, and I have some succulents that will be great inside the house. I don’t want to lose them. That’s for a little later on, and I might let them sit after spraying them for bugs to see what comes out, if anything. Then the transplanting can happen.

Even if we’re quarantined again it won’t be so bad. I’m already looking at grocery delivery, that’s the one thing I’m no longer crazy about doing. It’s kind of a hassle, and hard for me to carry a lot in from the car, after picking it up to put it in the cart, unloading cart, reloading cart with bags, putting bags in the car, that’s a lot of lifting and moving the same stuff to get home. I need to consult with our daughter Tracy to see how we can get started. She’s on to all the shopping stuff. Bless her!

Gavin Has Been Such a Blessing For Our Pups. And Organic Bones.

I’m organizing all my social media marketing information today, too. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are both used by the Post and by me as an Author. I’m starting up on both of them, so I figure planning them side by side should work. They are both meant to give exposure to the target audience. The Facebook is pretty well established for the Post, and my author page could use some boosting. I still have some online training to review and add to the plans, so that will be some good stuff to sit by the fire and do while the Babe watches football. This is what life is meant for. Being together and getting things accomplished. I’m grateful.

The second chapter seems to be pretty good so far. It’s about 1900 words, which is pretty fair. I don’t want to get hung up on word count, so I’m planning a little ahead. I don’t want to go much further than Chapter 3 before next Sunday night when I send Sam Tyler, my Book Coach, the updated versions for her feedback. I’ve mentioned before, if I’m way off track, I’d rather have just a chapter or two to rewrite than the whole book. Makes sense.

The Babe made some stellar Beef Vegetable Soup late yesterday. It’s reheating now in a great big soup pan. Tis the season for good stuff like that. It’ll be ready after a bit, and will be a welcome break from the morning. Of course, now that it’s afternoon, it’s time to get those plants inside. Life can be mundane, yet accomplishing those tasks gets things done, and you can move on to other tasks and relax. Ahhh. Saturdays. Even retired Saturdays are good.

Thank you for reading, it’s something else I’m eternally grateful for. We’ll meet you again tomorrow, with more tales of marketing myself, the Post, and being an author. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Patient. I’ll try to be, too.

Focused Friday

Today’s theme in my daily meditations book is about more gratitude, less coveting. Yes, I said coveting. If that doesn’t highlight my twelve years of Catholic education, nothing does. The word means wanting something belonging to someone else. The nuns would really delve into this sin with detailed explanations. Envy is the cause of coveting. Coveting is wanting what your neighbor has. Not something like it, what he has. It could be material things, a job that seems perfect, or even a wife that you think should be yours. It always got tricky for the good sisters to try and explain adultery, we just weren’t supposed to do it, whatever it was. (The other thing they never explained was the meaning of virgin, but I digress).

At any rate, here we are, trying not to covet a neighbor kid’s bike, dolls, hula hoop, parents, or anything about his or her life. I’m unsure if it was envy that struck me while I was a single mom, and I saw how some women I worked with treated their husbands. Not so much Envy as empathy for the husband, being talked about behind his back, being damned for not putting lettuce on the sandwich he made her for lunch, and all the while demeaning him. I often said, “Gee, I’d be glad if someone would make a sandwich for me.” I didn’t understand why some really nice guys could be treated so badly. Of course, there may have been a perfectly good reason for the wife to be as she was. But maybe there wasn’t. I suppose it’s the same reason some really nice women are mistreated by their husbands. They don’t know they deserve better. And that’s a topic for another day.

Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

After years of going to the office Christmas Party alone, I learned you could tell the couples who were arguing in the car on the way to the Party. It was a formal affair, I loved wearing a gown I created with my trusty sewing machine. Everyone was dressed beautifully. And there were so many who didn’t have a good time. I was grateful to be alone when witnessing that. It can always be worse, and I already left the worse. I would never settle again. Not permanently. Many times, my choices weren’t ever after, and it was ended before it went further. My theory is it takes three years to see exactly how someone is before you can begin to think about if they could be someone you could spend your life with them. I’d never live together before knowing someone three years.

The Babe sold his house after we were engaged, and he moved in about four months before we got married. That worked well. I did think long and hard if I was ready to “give up” some aspects of life alone. Yes, I was. What I’ve gained in the past 22 years is immeasurable. It’s what I was waiting for, warts and all. They happen. He still says he would never think of standing in the way of what I wanted to do, especially with my writing. He says it’s important to him because it’s important to me. He may not understand it, but he supports it. That’s what love looks like, folks. That’s what unconditional love looks like. I’m lucky, so is he. For all this, I’m grateful.

Sounds Easier Than It Is.

The more I write, the more I think about all of the things I’ve had to reject to find the me that was buried for a long time. Some people never get there, some may not want to, some don’t know they need to. I started noticing little things in the 1970s to question. Not big things, just things that were always done a certain way, and nothing changed it all. Something as simple as household products. At that time, my mom always used Tide. She still uses Tide to this day. She has never wavered from Crest toothpaste, either. She was never tempted by a new and improved product. Ever that I remember.

By comparison, my ex-mother-in-law was always trying new products. Shampoo, detergent, soap, you name it, she tried it. I always considered that adventuresome. You never know when you might find something worthwhile. It can be different and still be fine.

The same goes with people. I did not have to be a copy or a clone of my mother. Neither did my daughter need to be me. We each need to find our own person inside, whoever they are. Growing up, the more I questioned, the more resistance I met. When a person becomes who they need to be, it’s met with resistance from those surrounding them. It’s only natural. Besides, if they happen to look at themselves, they may see they’re unhappy in who they are, too.

As I straighten my notes and prepare to write more of my book, which describes the stages a young woman struggles through to become herself, I need to remind myself how fortunate I was to be able to figure out the same things for myself as my character Katie does. The rest of the day will be work, cooking something for a change, and relaxing with the Babe and dogs by the fireplace. I covet nothing. I covet no one. It’s a great place to be.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back tomorrow. I appreciate your time and hope something wonderful happens for you today. Make it your choice to get the most our of your day, week, and life. It truly is up to you. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Courteous.

Ironic Thursday

Irony generally means a sarcastic turn of events. This morning while Googling it, an article popped up referring to it as the most misused word in the English Language. It could be. I’m using it correctly, I believe.

Scrolling through Facebook posts this morning, I saw a meme stating this is National Grumpy Person’s Day. So noted, I find that funny. After getting ready for the day, I saw today’s meditation in my Days of Healing, Days of Joy book from Hazelden Meditations. It was truly ironic.

Today, October 15’s meditation is: “Be patient with all things, but first of all with yourself.” I can only guess, but I believe most grumpy people are impatient with everything. Themselves, the coffee pot, the kids, the wife, the car, the co-workers, the check out clerk at the grocery, and especially with all inanimate objects.

We have reached the sad point in society that believes fast is best. It’s all around us. Instant Pots to cook meals fast. No more smelling the roast cooking all Sunday afternoon. It can be done in 30 minutes of less. So much for anticipation. If you are of a certain age, you will remember the Hunt’s Ketchup (or Catsup) commercial with Carly Simon singing her hit song, “Anticipation,” as someone is waiting, waiting, waiting, for the product to finally pour out of the bottle. Worth waiting for.

I think there are a lot of things still well worth waiting for. It still takes 9 months for a baby to grow and be born. It is a short 18 years for a child to complete their basic education. We teach kids more now than ever before, yet our ability to compete has slowed and even fallen. We don’t all learn at the same rate.

I think some of us are simply late bloomers. I believe I am. I was painfully shy through school and high school. Very low self esteem. I grew out of it and into confidence, and a much improved sense of self. It took me until I was 30 years old, but I got there. We all can use some encouragement. Receive it graciously and return it abundantly.

I remember when computers first came to the office. We had “dumb terminals,” at our desks to code programs in COBOL. Usually, the data that served as input to the program was batch processed after business hours, and put through inventory programs, billing programs, invoicing programs, and others. A wide range of activity. We wrote programs to produce reports printed on green bar paper, that was fed through the printer with tractor-feed wheels that held the paper in place.

Early in the 90s, the old timers told us stories about how slow the system was on the mainframe. You could press enter, go walk a mile outside, come back, and the egg-timer icon was still showing. They were very slow. The battle began with processors. We purchased desktop computers for our homes in order to work more, and dial up was invented. Very slow, unstable, and aggravating. More development led to faster processors. Now, we all carry around our phones, with more processing power than the mainframe computers every had. And we process in milliseconds. Good? Or Bad?

Good for getting your work done. Not good inasmuch as we are trapped in an instantaneous mindset. We get impatient in traffic. We are impatient in retail stores (when we choose to go). We are impatient with our kids because they don’t act like mini adults. Truth is, they can’t nor should they. They are kids. Please don’t rush them.

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Rushing. It’s what causes us to be impatient and often rude to others. Berating a waitress is not kind at all. She may have a sick child to care for and get little sleep. Maybe her feet hurt after her long day. Think outside of yourself. You have to slow down to do that.

I feel sad for little kids who have the parents saying, “Hurry. Hurry.” Sometimes, Mom and/or Dad have wasted time or not used it well, and they have to hurry the kids along since they’re later. It’s not the kids’ fault. Don’t make them pay for your bad habit.

You may disagree with me, but I believe all great things take time. A Butterfly spends time in it’s cocoon and emerges grown and beautiful. Personal growth is slow, two steps up and one step back. Progress is slow, but so worth it. Changing habits is timely, evident by the number of people in America who yo-yo diet. Lose weight too fast, you’ll gain it back and then some. Fads don’t work. Quick fixes fail nine out of ten times. Maybe ten out of ten times.

Waiting is worth it. I’m patient, and I think it’s a good quality to have. My dad was more patient when dealing with life than my mom is. She is generally an impatient person, and used to carrying on instead of carrying out things. She does finish things, but it’s also quite a narrative that goes with it. It’s her unique feature, her habit, part of her personality. Dad just simply did with no fanfare.

Practice Patience today. We have our meetings at the Post and Auxiliary tonight. It should be good, with a speaker from Moving Veterans Forward. Folks seem to be pretty eager to meet Ron Hernandez and help our local veterans. It’s good stuff happening right now. There, but by the grace of God, go I. Thank you for reading. I appreciate it and hope to see you tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Patient.