Today’s Blog

Announcing . . .

Folks, you’ve been with me from the beginning. Today we are celebrating two milestones. This is post #500. This is huge. But the other announcement is bigger and better!

You all are the first to know I have found the perfect artist for my children’s book. Introducing Cartney McGuigan! I am over the moon to be able to have a young artist to work with, one that shows a lot of promise. We’ve both never done this, so it will be an adventure. Here is Cartney’s bio.

Cartney McGuigan is thrilled to be the illustrator for “Roxie, What Are You Doing?”. She is currently a senior in high school and plans to go into acting after graduation. Cartney enjoys singing, dancing, and drawing. If it’s artistic, she’ll do it! She has participated in a varsity show choir at her school for three years and will be an art instructor at the McGuigan Arts Academy this summer. Most recently, Cartney created a show logo for a production of Paul Williams Songbook in California and also specializes in custom artwork for any occasion. Her work can be purchased in Car’ts Art Mart on Etsy and also in Billy McGuigan’s online merchandise store.

A Sample of Cartney’s Art

Cartney, I’m excited to learn with you. We will have the support of the McGuigan Arts Academy, and they specialize in things “we’ve never done before.” I’m honored we have their support. It’s going to be such a fun project. We’re going to do meetings to check out each other’s telling of the story, and I will reduce my word count as the pictures tell the story of Roxie and Gavin. It’s going to be a wonderful experience. Cartney, oh the things we’ll do, and we will learn alongside each other. One creative inspiring another. What can be better?

Celebrate with Cartney and me today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow. We have more life stories and observations to share. As we progress, we’ll share Cartney creating her sketches and talk about the inspirations she has. It’ll be fun for all of us. Take care and be safe out there.

Blizzard Friday

I’m looking out the Home Office window, seeing the snow dance across the driveway. As a kid, I always thought there was a requirement of a lot of snow (over eight inches), and very high wind. Now, as an adult, we’re told it’s simply the high wind and the blowing of snow that makes a blizzard. It could simply be blowing existing snow. I have to say, the view is magnificent. My thoughts are with those who don’t have warm coats, homes, and food. Help them out, if you’re able. Together, we can make a difference! Our friends at Moving Veterans Forward Nebraska can give you some ideas for some immediate needs as they move some of their clients into apartments, out of the cold.

I have an announcement to make tomorrow on the occasion of my 500th blog! It’s huge for me, and it will be shared right here, in Blog #500, tomorrow.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Today, I’m watching more educational/craft videos on writing, producing books, being your own publisher, with a KidLit slant. What’s interesting, is when I first started learning about all of these things, I had to pull back and not read the barrage of email from everyone and their dog, touting their classes/kits/fool-proof plans for success. I had to put them all out of my mind and just write. I felt torn, according to the folks peddling their wares, I had to market, sell, entice readers and build my sacred email list.

I am a skeptic to all these offers and claims. Luckily, I’ve asked a group of writer friends from Nebraska Writers Guild if they’ve seen or bought any of these great things, we share that kind of information, and help each other avoid scammers. It’s a good practice.

Whatever information I gleaned from those who weren’t scammers, I’m recalling now and it isn’t confusing or so foreign. My brain is telling me, “You’ve heard this before, and this is how you can use it now.” It’s a good feeling. That all tells me this plan of publishing a book for children is coming together. Accomplishment is what spurs a creative human on to create more.

My “makeup” class from Picture Book Challenge by Storytellers Academy is about Crafting Voices for your character/drawings. Looking forward to it. My “live” class today is, “How to Make a Picture Book Summary,” and I’m waiting to enter it via Zoom right now.

Stay warm, if you’re in the blizzard region. Be Safe. Help each other out! Have faith, everything will be ok again. I’m sure of it. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow! #500!

Thursday

I’m glad we’re not without a furnace today. It’s a balmy 36 degrees, and we are currently enjoying a high wind warning. It will be colder tomorrow, with blizzard conditions. And we’re not talking Dairy Queen! It’s probably not a good day tomorrow to take Mom out, I could lose her in the blizzardly winds. I’d have some explaining to do for sure!

I watched an excellent session of my Picture Book Challenge, courtesy of Storyteller Academy. It is very good. Yesterday’s session was Composition Techniques for Illustrators. I learned so much. For a children’s book, you need a focal point, eye path, and storytelling. The first illustration must capture attention, and the main character better be in it. Your story is established then. All eyes of other characters should be cast on the main character and what he/she is engaged in.

The placement of the characters is important, and the lesson about following the characters through the illustration showed the character could show up at many intervals throughout a room. A cat, for instance, could pounce, land, and destroy many things on it’s way through a living room when left home alone. At various stops along the way, the cat destroys a plant, shreds a rug, tangles wires, and many other naughty things. The drawings are delightful.

If you’re an author and/or illustrator of children’s books, there is still time to register, I think. It’s free, and each of five classes is one hour, including questions and answers. Storyteller Academy is offering more in depth classes later this month, hence the sampling now. I take advantage of these free offers. Various companies often reinforce each other’s teaching points. When they do, it’s a good thing.

Today’s episode is Crafting Voice. Your character must have the right voice. It should be another good one. I’ll have to wait for the video again since an appointment starts at 1 p.m., I won’t be able to watch it. We must choose the best words for our characters and theme. Sound patterns are important. Some will enhance our story. It’s important to identify them.

I was surprised to hear sentence length is important, and you must change them up to match characters. I’m sure you’ve heard children’s books are supposed to be lilting, rhythmic, and a pleasing rate. Hard sounds and short words increase speed, soft sounds and long words slow your reading down.

I’m guessing the pace should pick up just before the ending. I’ll find out when I watch class later on. My friends at Pro Writing Aid also had a free training session last week, I missed that one, too. It’s about editing your book once – the right way. I love what I’m hearing here. There probably will not be time for that, either. No problem, I have time to watch it later, too. I’m a member of Pro Writing Aid since I purchased their software last year to help edit my novels.

I’m working on my 500th blog post. It will happen in just a few days, Saturday to be exact. On Saturday, I’ll have some really great news to announce for my writing, especially my children’s book. Don’t forget to check in if you’re not a daily reader. I’m pretty excited about it. Stay tuned for more fun!

Life is really an adventure. We had a new furnace, air, and water heater installed yesterday. The water is HOT!; the furnace makes no noise whatsoever. The old one sounded like putting on the brakes of an old rusty truck, and a series of loud grinding noise. I’m so glad that noise stopped. Turns out, the blower motor was warped and rusted. I knew it didn’t sound right. Thanks, Dad! You taught us to listen to cars, machinery, water, and any kind of motors. I’ve used the skill many times.

Have a beautiful day. I’m off for more medical stuff. Be kind. Be helpful. Be thoughtful. Be happy. It’s such a good day to be alive. See you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

A Cozy Wednesday

How lucky are we? Not only do we get a new furnace today, it will be over fifty degrees today while it is installed. We will be without water, but that’s ok. I got a few pitchers of water from the refrigerator dispenser, so we should be good.

At the moment, I’m seeing four workmen, two trucks full of equipment, and a big box sitting in the driveway. It has a rendering of Dave Lennox on it; the guy in overalls, a shirt and tie, and a Peaky Blinders cap. The dogs are in the bedroom, and I hope they’ll be good. I figure once the trucks are unloaded I can release the hounds. They’re not protesting too badly yet.

My kids book is coming along nicely. We’ve received a ballpark estimate on printing, which appears manageable. We met with our illustrator yesterday, you’ll be hearing more about her later. I had several people critique it for me, and they have great ideas. Writers are good people. Who said they can’t be social? Not me.

You already know how I love books. I love the feel of them, the smell of them, the way they look proudly displayed, and I now love actually creating them. In due time, they will all be printed. And I have to say, the printing industry itself is one I’ve been enmeshed in for my whole life.

My dad worked at our local newspaper for my entire life. He started in September, 1952, when I was four months old. He worked at the daily paper at night, and eventually, he picked up one day shift at the local small weekly paper, too. For years, he would come home from the night job, get a couple hours sleep, then get up, and go work all day as a pressman. He would be home, exhausted, around 4 p.m. He would have dinner, then go to his full time night job, and arrive home around 4 a.m. On Thursday, he slept as long as he could. I don’t know how he did it, but I know he did it to provide for our family.

Dad taught us many things from his work. My brothers and I always feel the paper in a book. Glossy paper is one of the finest feeling papers in the world. The color seems to jump off the page. It’s costly, but beautiful. I may have taught my kids the same thing. It’s hard for books to compete with electronics. Many kids just are not interested in spending all that time reading. They’d rather play video games. I do find it sad, but the world has changed.

Fonts became important to me when I started work after my divorce. We had IBM Selectric Typewriters (this was the 80’s), and no one had desktops yet. I’m not sure if they even existed yet. I never became a secretary, I was a Compensation Clerk, although I had many secretarial duties. I was so glad to get away from them and begin software design and maintenance. Lots of paperwork there. I always vowed if we programmers had a secretary, I would treat her well because many people don’t. Surprise! I was doomed to do my own typing my entire career. The secretary jobs were phased out. We all did our own emails, etc. No big deal.

In early desktop dealings at work, we had “dumb computers.” We cranked out code, business reports, information galore, and compiled the programs, which converted the English in COBOL to Assembler, which then “ran.” Major files were updated. Reports were printed. Invoices, Paychecks, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, it all was important to know. It really wasn’t so much the writing code and making it “worked,” it was the business knowledge that became most sought after. If you could code and knew the business, you were good at your job.

And now, I’ve sort of circled the block, and I’m composing my stories and producing copy to read. I’m grateful to my parents for making readers of us. I think it’s important to being a well rounded person. I’m excited to join in the millions of authors who have written and been printed. I’m not there yet, but I’ll get there.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention today is our grandson Cody’s first birthday. I hope he has a great day, and he gets a lot of good cake. Hmmmm, birthday cake! The best thing about the parties!

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate your time. I cannot believe how early we have this blog finished today! On to more work! (or a nap). Another positive out of having to get a new furnace, etc. Who would have thought it? I’ll see you tomorrow. Be Safe out there.

Tuesday Trifles

Bet you’ll all wish you could do what the Babe and I just did. We just signed paperwork to invest in a new HVAC System for our home. We figured it would be an expense when we moved in, and the current one is the original system. Knowing that, we’re glad it lasted a few years after we moved in. Nowadays, a Water Heater is included in the package. Good thing. The hard water probably destroyed our old on. Furnace, A/C, Water Heater, and a device that cleans the air. It sounds as if all the cool kids are getting them.

I’m not going to grumble about it, though. We could choose to, but it would only rob the joy from the day. We are grateful to have a home. We are grateful to be able to afford a new furnace. They will come tomorrow to install it. The good thing, installers are not very busy during this time of year. They were available and we’ll get it all taken care of. Lots of reasons to be happy and grateful!

Two brothers and I met with our mom this morning. She is having some adjustments made within her home to make life easier for her. We support her decision. And, at the same time, we know change is hard, especially with older people. Accepting things are so different now is hard for her, too. Banking must be done in person. Drive through banking is not real banking. There are a number of things she remains steadfast about. Baby steps, I suppose, are in order again. And lots of patience. On everyone’s part.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We are not experiencing anything many experienced before us. If anything, we’ve been very lucky, and we know it. Mom’s fiercely independent, which is good and bad. It’s good because she won’t ask for anything, and it’s bad because she won’t ask for anything. The three of us are working with her very hard to keep her in her home. She’s usually pretty grateful, and today was tough for her. We all have our parts to do, and I’m grateful my younger brothers are so helpful. It makes things easier.

I’m taking a Picture Book Class from Storyteller Academy. Yesterday’s class was awesome, it talked about how important the feelings of little children are in any story. They have a lot of fears as kids, some are reasonable, some are not. They need to feel safe, they need to feel calm. So much anxiety can be alleviated if kids are treated as people, too. Their feelings are big, their fears are big. I missed the session today, I’ll watch it later, or tomorrow.

Ah yes, tomorrow, the workers will be here, and the furnace, water heater, and A/C will be replaced. We will also get a great newfangled air cleaner that will rid the air or dust, allergens, dog dander, etc. It will help my allergies and asthma, so it’ll be great. The only trouble will be the dogs being cooped up a lot. The workers will enter and leave through the sliding doors in the lower level, but they will have to be sure the gate is closed, so the dogs don’t get out.

I’m sure it will be a day. Hope you all have a great evening, and night. See you here again tomorrow. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Let’s be good to each other. It’ll help in the grand scheme of things. Take care.

Monday, Full of Promise

Good morning, from the sunny Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. If you don’t appreciate the beautiful blue I can see this morning, I’ll say a prayer for you. It’s been dark and overcast for a few days. Even without talking with Mom, I know she’s grateful for more light to maneuver around in. It also makes the day go faster, your internal clock gets off kilter with too much darkness. Hang in there, Mom!

Listening to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen right now, “Letter to You.” It’s a nice collection, all what I would expect from him in his later years – he’s 71 years old. The words ring true in my heart right now, as I listen. We all have fears and doubts that haunt us right now.

I see it through the eyes of a believer in God. He provides for us, maybe not what we want, but what we need. We sometimes don’t know the difference between the two. It’s amazing if you’ve seen His timing in your life. An event can happen that puts you on a totally different yet much better path than you are on at the time.

I put my worries in God’s hands right now. I don’t know how we will end up at the end of the week, but I cannot drive myself crazy about it. What good does that do any of us? Our mental stability is shattered and that is when trouble happens. We hear all sorts of rumors and dis-information, I don’t trust most things I read online anymore. And television news? I think not. I suppose my information will all become “after the fact,” and my primary concern is for law enforcement in Washington DC, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and all the other agencies who are keeping order in our nation’s capitol until after the Inauguration. I hope Biden and Harris help us settle down. He is my president, whether I voted for him or not. Let’s just move ahead.

I had a noon class today with the Storyteller Academy. It’s a free, seven day series of classes about Picture Books. I gleaned something very important during the class today. Jim Averbeck mentioned you need to consider the child’s emotions. I’m so glad to hear this. It is about the child, and things which may evoke some strange feelings they are unfamiliar with. My book talks about loss, and how they feel. It is offering ideas to cope and heal, too. It’s a topic people don’t like to talk about, which is exactly why we need to talk about it. Grief can derail your life if you don’t know how to handle it.

Let’s have a positive attitude for the rest of the day. I’ve accomplished a lot, although I wish I could have published this sooner in the day. I’m plotting about how to do more in a week than we do now, and if it’s possible. These books won’t write themselves!

Thank you for reading today, we’ll see each other tomorrow! Be Safe. Hugs and Love to all of you.

Sunday, Sunday

This is a late Sunday afternoon. The Babe and I went to the VFW Post to do a little office work ad have a meeting regarding the outreach our Post has in the community. We already work with Moving Veterans Forward, a local organization that works with homeless Veterans. They commit to help themselves move from homelessness to nice housing, with the help of MVFNE. It is an honor to personally volunteer with them. Ron Hernandez is a stellar human being, humble in his works, and friend to all the Veterans. They respect him, and it’s mutual.

Once we returned home, I thought I’d just whip through a blog. Guess again. My brain isn’t whipping anything today but me! It’s another very overcast, humid, cold day. The humid cold days are tough for anyone with arthritis. It’s a given. It’s nearly time for me to sit with the heating pad on my back. Yes, it is. Take a break, get a snack, be right back.

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

The Sunday’s of childhood always began with “Children’s Mass,” where the entire school sat with their classes, not their families. I always thought that was weird, but Mom attended Mass at 6 a.m when Dad just got home from work/Mass at St. Joseph’s Hospital Chapel. He attended on his way home, usually just him and all the nurses and doctor’s. Dad was a very devout Catholic. Mom converted when they got married. As kids, we attended, in high school, and when I married the first time, we did too. After divorcing in 1982, I just wavered in my church affiliation, but never my faith in God. That’s still very strong.

In some ways, I’m reeling from all we’ve seen in our nation the past year. Last week about did me in. I cannot tolerate such blatant disrespect, regardless of who it’s from. I may re-register to vote as an Independent. I was one my whole voting life until 2001. I will re-think my current affiliation.

Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

We were fortunate the Babe had a COVID-19 Vaccine. The VA administered it on Saturday, and he is scheduled for the second shot in three weeks. He reports it was very well organized, and easy to deal with. I’m glad, it’s going to be easier for some of the more infirm veterans. They deserve a break.

Sorry, folks. The well is dry tonight. Tomorrow will be another day. More organized, less random thoughts. We, as a Nation, need to get our act together and unify. Party doesn’t matter. Do you want to survive as a Nation? That is what matters. Forget the rest of the problems. We need to not sweat the small stuff. Time to get it together.

Let’s be kind to one another. Don’t be rude on Social Media. None of us is greater than the other. Not really, when you get down to it. Young have always thought older folks to be decrepit in their thinking. It’s nothing new. Let’s behave like we know better, because we do. We are above what’s been going on. Stop pointing fingers, we’re all guilty of some bad behavior. Let’s be AMERICAN.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you again tomorrow, and we’ll talk about all the new, fun stuff we’ll be doing all week. Life’s a joy. Get ‘ya some! Be Safe.

Saturday Summary

Lots of busy stuff today. My illustrator and I will meet next week which is better anyway. I’ll have more prepared for her. Life always works itself out, doesn’t it? I used the time freed up to try and organize my project better. As I see this:

Email is Great When You Keep It Current!

I realize there are some of these emails need reading, some just need to go. That was my first order of business when I got home. There is a useful week long free class (one hour a day) on Picture Book Challenge Week. I think there will be something to glean from it, so that’s going to be high on the daily to do lists.

I do like knowing when people follow my blog. I receive an email when someone follows it, and I can respond in kind if I think the topics interest me. It’s nice when people like your work and follow it. The number is now over 200, which is just from plugging away at it. It’s posted every day on Facebook, both to my Author page and my personal page, and on Twitter. I need to tweak it to go to Instagram too. I usually forget to do that.

No matter how you spend your time, there comes time to re-vamp. I love writing this blog every day, and I do wonder some times if I wrote two at a time, I could schedule one to be uploaded and work just on the book every other day of so. That could be a plan for the future, freeing up some time for other things. Still trying to tweak time and get the most accomplished.

Up until today, we have always kenneled Goldie when we have left the house. It’s not that we don’t trust her, it’s we think it’s safer for her. Being a crazy kid, if she plays too hard or too long, Lexie often puts her in her place. Lexie is older and the alpha. I did leave them today for about fifteen minutes while I went to the Post Office. Luckily, there was no line. Both girls crowded into the crack of the door from the garage to greet me, and promptly walked away when I patted them on the head. No one hurt each other, no one ate the couch, no one was naughty. What a relief! I suppose I’ll start doing that more often, but not for extended periods of time. The puppy is growing up!

These are stock photos, but the dog really resembles Goldie. As a child did you ever hear about the “Inch Worms?” This one looks more like a tomato worm to me, but I could be wrong. Kinda scary. What a creature!

I don’t know if Lexie would let Goldie sleep on the bed or not. I’m thinking no, and we do need room for both of us. Lexie is territorial, and until we lost Roxie, they both slept in their kennels. When Roxie died, we let Lexie sleep with us. She cried and looked everywhere for Roxie. They were from the same litter and never were away from each other. She mourned for a long time, and sometimes, I think she still does.

I feel a nap coming on, followed by finishing watching some training videos for publishing. It will be a good rest of the day, hope yours is too. Thank you for reading, I’ll see you again tomorrow. Rest. Relax. Renew.

Fab Friday!

This is a late start today. My gosh, Goldie has a lot of pent up energy. She wanted to play. She finally stopped and now she went off elsewhere to take a nap. I almost need one! She is a sweet girl, and I hope someday I’ll get some strength back to be able to walk her. Maybe by then she’ll walk better. Until then, the Babe is also the dog walker.

By the photos shared today, I suppose it seems I’m feeling a little mushy. Mushy is ok. I know people who are angry all the time. I think they’re just scared because they can’t control everything around them, and it causes anxiety. Anxiety is often what fear creates, and most don’t want to admit they are afraid. They’d rather act angry. Anger can be appropriate, it can be valid, it can be justified. What you don’t want is have it rule you. You lose so much then.

Later, I’ll be organizing the photos I have of Roxie. They’re a look back not only at her, but also of Gavin. They grew up together. They both could be a couple of stinkers at times, but when they were together, wow! They were good together, and she loved to just look at him. She trusted him. He loved her. It was sweet.

I have a little rewriting to do on the children’s book project, and will do that before the end of today. I want it fresh for a meeting I have tomorrow. Not sure how long it takes to get an LLC established, but once my attorney gives me notice, we’ll have cause for celebration!

I want to keep an open mind in 2021. Not that I didn’t before; it’s been a few years since I’ve thought, “Oh, I can’t do THAT!” I’ve listened to both my smart daughter, my sons and their encouragement, and of course, the Babe, who have all said, “Go do it!” Learn how, you’ve got time. By having an open mind, we can have new opportunities. Keep yourself open. I’ve found if I can’t come up with an immediate why I shouldn’t, I need to at least try.

The trouble is, when you want to do a lot of things, all of them different, it’s hard to pick what you’ll do right now. In the fall, I removed all the shiny new art supplies I bought. They went to storage in the crafting room, I can’t have them in my sight right now. I took a month off from writing about Katie Fitzgibbons, and my children’s book caught my attention. It’s “almost done.” Well, the words are “almost done.” I think inspiration got my attention and told me this project will finish soon. The wheels are in motion. 

Who knows what other opportunities will reveal themselves this year? 2021 will be good. The nation will heal. We have too many good people to not heal. The politicians all need to take a cold, hard look at themselves. And each other. Term limits will help. New ideas will never come to light by old, stinking thinking. And age has not a thing to do with it. Let’s all do away with stereotypes for groups we encounter this year. No, Republicans are not all old men. Democrats aren’t the only ones with heart and souls. We all have those things. You can be chronologically old yet have young ideas and heart. We all have to get over ourselves. Yes, all of us. We live in a world where we all affect each other eventually.

Thanks for joining me today. I appreciate it and plan to see you tomorrow. Let’s all be kind, be safe out there, too. Pray for our great nation. Let us remember we are supposed to be leaders, not followers. Have a beautiful afternoon.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Busy Thursday

Today started early but the blog didn’t. I had a 7:15 a.m. appointment with my neurosurgeon today. More tests are coming to figure out some pesky rib pain. They are so thorough, they read the entire story of me from my chart before they talked to me. I imagine they started early! The history of my spine issues began in 1995, when both I and my neuro guy were young. How great they look at the whole picture, since it is a story where one thing has deteriorated after another, so they need to know the whole thing. I love that. This is not the neuro who did my surgery.

The thought is the ribs are affected by the scoliosis that has developed over the past 25 years. They may be pinching nerves by now. An MRI will tell. Thank goodness for the miracle of diagnostic testing; IF your insurance company approves. C’mon, Aetna! I’ve got a lot to do! I’d like to be a little more comfortable.

While waiting for the x-ray at the surgical hospital complex (this group of doctors owns the whole complex), I was reading Michael J. Fox’s newest book, “No Time Like The Future.” I became very lost in his story.

His description of what the Parkinson’s feels like to his body is amazing. He talks of the amount of planning and execution necessary to walk from his office, make a right turn, another right turn, and a third is masterful. His description of the way his therapy may help him become a multi-tasker again is handled with such grace. My admiration of his fight and positive attitude has multiplied a thousand fold. The chapter, “What to Expect From My Back In The Future,” is so well done. His sense of humor has never wavered. His description of the tumor in his spine caused my mind to flash back to the discovery of my spine tumor. Mine was an arachanoid cyst, his was an ependyoma cyst.

Like mine, his reared it’s ugly head and there was huge risk if surgery was done or not. Either way is a crap shoot. Mine was entwined around the spinal cord, his was right down in the fibers or the spinal cord, and required delicate 5 hour surgery. Mine was an 8 hour surgery. The next day, my face looked like a cabbage patch doll. From lying on my stomach for eight hours and more, the fluids all pooled around my face, which was the lowest point for all those hours.

I was surprised at how emotional I felt while reading this part of the book. I thought it was “handled,” I thought since it was so far back in my life it wouldn’t affect me, but it did. I have often thought how lucky I was paralysis didn’t become my life; I’m even luckier today to still be moving independently. About every five years, I can tell there has been substantial loss of ability and movement with ease. It’s the way it is. I am confident the keen eye and steady hand of the doctors I have will keep me going for a long time. Michael J. Fox may not have that luxury, with his PD advancing so much.

I will read the rest of his story with gratitude, I will pray for him all the way. He has done so much for people with PD, and has done it with grace and humor. He is grateful to his wife for her upbeat attitude when his isn’t. They have had a family while fighting this battle; they have done good for the world while in the trenches. I salute them both, and their children, who are now adults.

While we relax tonight and plan for another day, be kind to your people. Be grateful for your good health. I’m glad the Babe and I started the Keto Diet in November. I’ve lost a little more than twenty pounds, and so has the Babe. Slower than we would have liked, but we’re still having progress. It will help us as we continue aging.

Be Kind, Let’s not argue about who did what in Washington, it will rile up your blood pressure. That’s bad for your health, and arguing only makes it worse. Goading people into arguing is ridiculous. Bad language is not the way. There is plenty of blame to pass around, and many people are guilty of very bad, reprehensible behavior. Pray for our great country. I want her to continue for another two hundred plus years. Let’s help her get there. We are American’s first. Let’s concentrate on that.