Air Quality in NYC Worst in World

Can we believe this? From the photos on the news this evening, I’m glad we’re in the Midwest. The thing about it is, wildfires in Kansas often affect our air, as do wildfires in the middle of Canada. With my asthma considered well controlled, I notice a big difference in the quality of my breathing.

I cannot imagine what things are like for the folks in NYC who have worse asthma, COPD, or other lung diseases. The very young and very old people often have the worst time. One of my little brothers had croup pretty bad as a young toddler. Allergies always made him sound like he had a stuffy nose. He didn’t outgrow it for many years.

On a day like today, I thought it’d be very productive. It wasn’t, except for the nap I had. Seems I can’t shake the upper respiratory infection I’ve had for several weeks now. It’s always there. OTC stuff is supposed to take care of it, but so far, no good. Summer allergies just are no fun. Sorry to all of you who have them.

It was so humid today, and the air was heavy, I stayed inside all day. Grateful for air conditioning. The weather is just great for reading. I’ve read about 334 pages and have about 90 left. My friend Tammy Marshall really wrote a good one here: “Twinges.” Check it out. It’s got more twists and turns than a road race track. I hope to finish it by tomorrow evening.

Whatever you’re doing on this fine Thursday, enjoy it and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Stay safe out there.

June 6, 2023 – D-Day

In 1944, the United States led the Allies and assaulted the Axis troops as they stormed the northern beaches of France. It was a surprise attack, but hard to make the impact Japan did at Pearl Harbor four years three years earlier. Eisenhower led the troops, and they had heavy losses. Many troops lost their lives. At the American cemeteries, there are some 9,386 US troops buried there. There is also a wall of the missing, containing 1,557 names. Most were killed during the landing and ensuing battles at the entry point to the country. 

It’s been 79 years since this event. I remember learning about it in school, our US History class. Are kids taught those things anymore? What a different world we would live in if the Japanese and Germans would have defeated us. I cannot comprehend the vast differences, aside from a total lack of freedom. 

Of course, growing up Catholic, the freedom we were most taught about was the freedom of religion. Our training back then focused on defending your faith to the bitter end, and dying for it if necessary. That is quite a lesson for little kids, beginning at 7 or 8. 

Our Monsignor taught each class once a week. Looking back, he would concentrate on the torture of the martyrs. It was horribly embarrassing when he would talk about the females having their breasts cut off. Why in the world would he need to focus on that part? Never mentioned about what horrors the males could suffer. It was so uncomfortable!

Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” is a very accurate depiction of what the nuns taught us in the 60’s. The torture, the scourging, the actual crucifiction itself, were all emblazoned in each of our young minds. Yes, Christ died for our sins. We weren’t taught about all the horrific sins grown ups committed, aside from murder, stealing. Rape, incest, and any other atrocity one human commits against another weren’t mentioned. I never could figure out how my lie to my mother could cause Jesus to die like that. 

The movie didn’t upset me with it’s violence. It is what we were taught. Did that make us numb to the atrocity? I don’t think so, and many would disagree with me. Some Protestant women I knew at the time the movie was released said they wouldn’t see it, as it was an assault on their senses. 

We’re not worthy. But He died for us anyway. And He loves us far more than He judges us. 

I certainly am not the one to decide who goes to heaven. As a kid, yes, we were taught you had to be Catholic. We lived in a neighborhood where the little old people were Lutheran, or Presbyterian, or even twice-a-year Catholics. They were all nice people. No one can tell me Mrs. Owens or Mrs. Prochaska who were bonus grandmas for us would not go to heaven. They were wonderful ladies. 

It’s amazing what we learn as we grow up and are exposed to bigger worlds than in the shelter of childhood. 

Growing up, we were fairly sequestered in our local neighborhood, not going past about five miles from our home. After I got married young, the trying new things was intoxicating. Until it wasn’t. I needed more security in my life. I needed more say-so in helping to plot my life, not have the husband do it for me as I was led to believe was the thing to do. 

If your world doesn’t expand in your late teens and twenties, it can’t be lived to it’s fullest! Of course, you need to be cautious, but my gosh, make and take opportunities! It’s a great thing to learn. Try it. You’ll like it. And do it now. You have time, regardless of your age. It’s never too late. Get started!

Have a beautiful Wednesday, and see you tomorrow!


Twinges is a book written by my friend, Tammy Marshall, who is also a Nebraska author. It is a story about an elementary school teacher who has sensations she calls twinges. They predict a student’s future. After a frightening prediction, she becomes deeply concerned if she can somehow change the prediction and head off a tragedy.

What amazes me is the depth of horror there is in this prediction. If it comes true, it will be disastrous. Would you chance it? Would you try to avert it? Could you?

Tammy is a really great friend and a good person. Her writing is very good, and I can’t wait to read some more of the book. It amazes me how these amiable people can write stories full of horror. Where does their inspiration come from? It’s not as if Tammy has a group of witches she hangs out with regularly. Or does she? Just joking.

Of course, there are plots which are very dark, and people create them who are completely normal with good imaginations. They need to dive deep in researching crimes, the minds of criminals, how they arrive at their decisions, and what they do and expect to get away with.

I’m a big fan of mysteries and whodunits. I can’t wait to figure out the rest of the story as Tammy reveals it. It’s my first read for June, and won’t be my last. So far, I’m on track, having read 15 books so far in 2023, 3 each month. What are you reading? Share it here, please.

I love to read, especially in the summer. It reminds me of going to the library in South Omaha and joining the Summer Reading Club, reading 10 books each summer. Thanks to our mom, for getting us started. Speaking of libraries, your local one will have all five of Tammy’s books. Pick one up today. You’ll be glad you did. Take care, see you tomorrow.

Another Day of Rest.

It was too hot again for me to go with the Babe to watch Gavin play ball today. They won a game he pitched and had eight strike-outs and only 2 hits; final score was 2 – 1. Love that he did that. I hated not seeing it, but once again, the Babe was right. I needed the break. The rest. The refueling.

Most women are not good at doing that. I’m not. And that is why it is important to have a partner who is observant that way. It’s not that I need someone to take care of me; I need a reminder sometimes that I need to rest. It may be because of the codependency I’ve inherited. I am never sure how much help I should offer to Mom. She’s quite independent. Yes, that’s where I get the good parts of my personality. And some of the bad parts.

I am a work in progress, as we all are. I’m not as I used to be; I’m just not yet to where I’ll end up. God loves us all, even when we forget and don’t keep our resolutions to become better people. We have ourselves to thank for that; and ourselves to blame when it doesn’t go well.

I’ve enjoyed not feeling rushed; not feeling hassled; feeling the pressure off; and not having to be somewhere at a certain time. Next week, I’ll see Mom probably daily again, and see how her PT is going. I hope she stays a few weeks. She needs the rest and strength building. And we need a break. I feel bad for old people who have no one. How sad.

The blessings I’ve experienced in my life so far have been greater than anything I could have ever hoped and prayed for. There is something when people like me don’t feel as if they “fit in,” it puts us on a quest to learn. Learn how people live and cope and interact with each other; how they communicate. And when you need to communicate with your partner, it is the utmost rejection when they clearly don’t listen or worse; don’t care to listen. If they discount you and your feelings, you need to know you are not the one who is wrong. It takes a lot of work, a lot of learning and communication to get to where you feel heard and valued as you should be. I’ve had a deaf ear turned to me and had ridicule when I expressed what I needed. And I learned to walk away. No more. It works.

Have a great Monday, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Stay safe out there.

A Good Rest

Yes, I’ve been taking care of me today. And I can see I needed it. I mistakenly posted yesterday’s blog on my personal Facebook page, and my business page. It’s ok, though. We all make mistakes.

Have you ever noticed how cleaning a closet even partway can settle your mind? Or is it just me?

Our bedroom closet has needed some serious straightening up for some time now. This morning, as I was trying to figure out something productive to do, I decided the closet was it. It was oddly satisfying to re-fold stacks of t-shirts and sort them. I started some bags for charity, and we’ll have a good donation when we’re finished. I feel as if I’ve accomplished something.

And I did. Those things we often procrastinate about can provide a positive feeling when we need some positive reinforcement. And it often spurs us on to do other things we’ve been putting off. And you know what? It all pays the same!

I’m disappointed I didn’t go to Gavin’s games this morning. The Babe said it would be too hot for me, and sure enough, I wasn’t feeling that great this morning. It’s good to not have to go somewhere the first thing in the morning. Most of my days have been like that for the past couple of months. You don’t realize how tired you are until you rest and don’t feel you did. It’s a very odd feeling. Waking up, I feel full of fire. Getting up, I feel worn out. Every single day.

Long Day, Long Week

It’s Saturday. Glad for the weekend.

I haven’t seen one ball game of Gavin’s for a very long time. Today , I get to see two. 9 and 11. I look forward to it, far more than you can probably believe.

My brothers will look after Mom over the weekend. It works well. They are so easy to work with. The three of us are a good care team.

Last weekend, Memorial Day weekend, was the unofficial summer start. We have had a couple of days hot and humid so far, and we will have many more ahead. It’s time. And I have some baseball to catch up on.

It’s so hard to believe Gavin will be 11 this year. He loves baseball, and I love to watch him play. It’s great. Best fun I’ve had in years.

My oldest played Little League ball. He was a skilful player at 10, just like Gavin. His dad coached, but that was when we separated, and his dad refused to pick him up for practice and games. I had to work until 5 every day, and did not get home in time to take him to practice or play games. His dad wouldn’t since it I filed for divorce. His dad was the coach. My son told me he could forgive his dad for everything else but baseball. I’m so happy my grandson doesn’t have that situation.

The rest of the weekend? I will spend time with the Babe. We haven’t seen each other much this week. We have a lot to catch up on. I feel so lucky to do that. There are a lot of husbands who wouldn’t have it if their wife needed to tend to her mom. Mine knows family is everything and knows we all have only one Mom. I’m a lucky woman.

You know, we have a lot of things to do to finish preparing for summer. I’m so sad there will no longer be a specialty nursery in Gretna who raises seed planted Geraniums for summer and poinsettias for Christmas. I should be able to re-start the geraniums every spring, for as long as I want. It will be wonderful to have those same plants, year after year. Such a keepsake.

We have some things to take care of this weekend; hope you get to enjoy yours. Have a great Saturday! See you tomorrow.

June 2, 2023

My challenge is over. I wrote 30 minutes a day every day during May. I chose different topics based on situations the Babe and I have encountered with the many friends and family members diagnosed with cancer. It gave you an overview of situations, feelings, and processing all of it.

It turns out we’ve finished the challenge, raised $345 for the American Cancer Society, and raised awareness of some situations and feelings. This month, I want to finally finish editing my narrative for my children’s book. I’ve had it on a shelf, because life got in the way.

My book, about grief and loss, is for children. It is about the hard lessons our grandson Gavin learned about losing his Grandpa Randy and our dog, Roxie. I wanted it to be finished for his birthday last year. That didn’t happen, but I hope this year, I can at least present a draft copy to him on his birthday.

One thing I’m experiencing now since Mom’s treatment is over is I feel like I need to see her every day. Five weeks of being with her five days a week built a habit or expectation I didn’t have before. It takes up about four to six hours a day. When I return home, I’m tired and don’t feel like doing much. This is sabotaging my creativity and the things I do for myself. I believe those feelings are normal, and I need to integrate my creativity back into my daily routine.

In two weeks, we visit the oncologist again, and probably have scans to check how Mom’s treatment did its job. And that’s a lot to have on my mind as well as hers.

It’s hard to keep doing the things to get through the day, while life is changing so drastically around me. I care little about cooking, eating, and most other things. The best thing I can do is read a book, if I can concentrate on the story. Another best thing is to do my embroidery stitching or work on a small quilt. The act of working with floss, thread, a needle, and a pattern for color and stitch placement occupies the part of your mind where worry originates. It nips the problem at the bud. Try it.

Hope you have a beautiful Friday. We get to go to a ballgame tonight and see Gavin play. It will be a wonderful way to spend the time while we’re waiting to see what comes next. See you tomorrow.

A Summery Day in June

Saw a fun thing today. Although I thought the kids were a little young to be out alone, minibikes in tow, complete with racing helmets, it evoked thoughts of summer as a child.

We saw two minibikes parked in the same parking place in a lot, and two little boys, at a high tabletop and bar stools on the patio at the restaurant. Their racing helmets, perched on the table next to each of them as they drank large sodas and ate their burgers and fries. Yes, life was large for these two lads.

We thought there were maybe about ten or eleven. Too young to take out the minibikes and have lunch at the local sports bar. As a mom and grandma, I’m hoping they made it home safely. And I hope they never lose their sense of adventure. While following the rules. Be safe, guys. Be safe.

This was the quintessential view of summer and reminded me of going on our bicycles down to any soda fountain in South Omaha, and having a cherry coke. It was the sense of freedom for us. It was great. Our initial debut in the world.

Young men, be careful out there. I hope you are safe this summer, and I hope you have a blast at the same time. You will always remember these days. See you tomorrow.

American Cancer Society Fundraiser

Followup, May 31, 2023

So, here we are.

Mom’s cat, Hugo, misses her a lot when she’s gone to the doctor’s or to treatment.

He made himself right at home, next to my Chromebook this morning. I’m not a cat person, and I believe he knows that. But he knows I’m one of the other humans that will be here today, and I can tolerate him. 

Mom thinks he cannot jump up on the table when his stool is upended on the chair that is left out. Guess again, Granny! He can! 

Hugo’s world is rocked since Mom’s been ill. Animals know when their humans are sick, it’s a sense they have. Amazing, and now we can use those senses to assist humans in their lives and keep them safe. I marvel at that. What a force to harness. 

So here we are; at a fork in the road for Mom, waiting to hear the results of her treatments, and on the second to the last day for my fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. I invite you to use my link and check out the Facebook page with my fundraiser. 

I joined to raise awareness. Our family, of my parents, and three brothers and myself, three of six of us have had cancer. Dad had lung cancer, diagnosed in 1988, died 51 days after diagnosis; I had breast cancer, and am cancer-free for 14 years; Mom had oral cancer in 1997, cured with surgery, and now has cancer again in 2023. 

In case you might have a small donation to support the cause, please go to my Facebook page and find Fundraisers. I’ve raised $345 of my $500 goal. I beat the original $250 goal, and I’m happy with that. I raised it when you went over, and if we meet the $500, that’s ok, too. Thanks to all who have supported me in my quest. You rock!

My topic this month, while meeting the goal of writing 30 minutes a day for 31 days, the challenge is to write 30 minutes a day for the 31 days of May. My topic is discussing different aspects of how a cancer diagnosis, treatment, recovery and aftermath affects not only the patient, but also the family and/or friends.

So today’s topic has to be the pets. Hugo has been with Mom for a very long time. She adopted him from the Humane Society while she was still driving. I’m not sure what they would do without each other. I know he misses her terribly when she leaves the house.  

I know our dogs miss the Babe something awful when he goes to the grocery store. So what if I am still there; it’s him they howl and cry over. I feel like chopped liver.

If you have a pet and enter treatment, or need to be hospitalized, please get someone you can trust with your animal. They deserve it! And so do you. See you tomorrow.

And Just Like That . . .

The weekend is over.

The flags, folded and stored. The bugles back in their holders. Uniforms hung to use at the next funeral. The veterans and Honor Guard of the towns and cities are alone with their thoughts of comrades lost. Gold Star Families have empty seats at their tables. Precious, yet painful memories.

The beach goers are shaking sand off everything and drying towels and swimsuits. Little kids are getting their nightly baths to remove the grit of the day and cool the sun from their skin.

Do you feel you had enough relaxation? Me neither.

While memorials and gatherings were going on the last three days, doctors and nurses were still tending our sick in the hospitals. Our military was still standing guard. Priests still visited the sick. Families still visited their elders.

Life, strangely, still goes on while many are doing other things. Celebrating holidays, swimming, picnicking, boating, and enjoying the first event of summer. Where ever we are in the moments of our lives, others are experiencing their worst events ever. It is strange to notice those things, coexisting.

We had mixtures of those kinds of things. Visiting with Mom, going to a graduation party, and snacking on summer foods. Life takes you from one side of it to another. And tomorrow, it’s back to business as usual. Mowing the lawn, walking the dogs, and living your best life.

As you enter regular life again today, wear the nice outfit, put on the special earrings, save nothing for special occasions. Every day we live is a special day, a good day, a day to consider special. Remember that as you move through your day. Make special moments and memories. You will have them forever. See you tomorrow.