ACS Write-30-Minutes a Day in May

May 1, 2023

Here I am, a blogger, an author, a grandma, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a creative person who is taking part in a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. I opened the donations with a $25 donation from me. If that’s all we receive, it’s ok with me. What? If you click on link, sign into your personal Facebook page, then you can find my May 30 Minutes donation page. (allegedly. If you have trouble, please let me know, I’ll get a better link). Thank you.

The ACS has a lot of donations. They will always have full coffers because of the way the disease, this source, this plague, devastates the human body, families, lives, and the way it tries to change attitudes from loving life to cursing it. 

When people lose hope, that’s when cancer wins. No matter the outcome, when people lose their ability to be positive and keep the faith, that’s when cancer wins. Please know it is an unspoken fight the patient and their family are also engaged in. Not just a fight for the body; It’s a battle for your hope, mind, outlook, and future. It’s a battle for your very soul.

I’m thinking of making a daily entry, no matter how long it is, and use it as my blog for each day. I’ve long thought of writing a book for families, on the emotional toll a family experiences. No, I’m no expert, not at all. 

It riddled my life and the Babes with this journey; to walk with people we love and their families through the ends of their battles. Mine began when my dad died of lung cancer in 1988. 

In my family of origin, there are six people. Three of us have had cancer. Dad, Mom (twice), and me. Mom had oral cancer about 20 years ago. She had surgery and no treatment. No recurrence. I had Stage 1 breast cancer, had a lumpectomy and 33 treatments of radiation. Survivor and proud of it. Yet, in the back of my mind, there is a healthy fear it could return. I pray a lot. Now Mom has cancer. We’ll discuss it at a later point, along with my sister-in-law’s death from oral cancer. It was the saddest experience. I miss her. 

It is the same, yet very different every time. Every cancer is decidedly different (and that’s what makes it hard to cure), every cancer patient and their families are different, too. The spirit and souls of these groups are different, too. 

We’ll talk about our friends and family, who shall have their names changed to protect their privacy. There are many triumphs and tragedies. And yes, there is one good thing about cancer. You talk with your family and friends, but only if you want to. No one can make you or them. There is the opportunity to do so. If you die suddenly of a heart attack or in a car accident, you do not have that opportunity. It’s there in front of you. Be brave enough to use it. It is a gift.

This is my first entry, written yesterday, for this month of May, 2023. See you tomorrow.

Goodreads Update, #2

I’m updating my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2022. I need four more books, and I have many unfinished books left lying around, so I can finish them and meet the challenge. One such book is “The Four Agreements.”

The Four Agreements deal with deepening our awareness and spirituality. The First Agreement is the hardest to enforce, follow, and continue to enforce. It is, “Be Impeccable With Your Word.” It means speaking absolute truth, and making sure your word is gold. Integrity depends on it. I can handle someone who cannot do their job for reasons that are valid; I cannot tolerate a liar under any circumstances. None. I’m an ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic) and trust is vital in relationships for me. Nothing less. If I cannot trust you, sorry, not sorry, see you later.

The Second Agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally,” is one I’m working on, still. Being human, I’m still imperfect. It’s hard not to take some things personally, when you’ve been led to believe you had little worth. In this world, others are driven to say and do things as they only are thinking of themselves. You do not figure in the equation, so learn to not insert yourself into it. Saves lots of beating ourselves up.

The Third Agreement is, “Don’t Make Assumptions” That is a great piggyback on to #2, and with practice, ensures much better communication.

The Fourth Agreement? “Always Do Your Best.” These Agreements were taught by the Toltec, who were women and men in Mexico who were considered ahead of the rest of the world regarding knowledge, spirituality, and the way to living completely in love. Love for ourselves, for our planet, surroundings, our people, purpose, and especially for our days. Days lived in love are so much better than days lived in fear, hatred, and discontent.

I only had about 40 more pages to finish in this book, but I found it so interesting, I went to Amazon and ordered the other 5 to the set of training in Toltec Wisdom. I figure it will be a great study for when I have a little down time after the first of the year, right? It will be a great way to start the year out. 2023, my year of wisdom.

You know, that’s usually the way it goes for me. I have a book, read it, and then decide I need to order another book to learn more about what the first book talked about. Does it ever end? For a book nerd like me, no. Just like my music collection never ends, nor my fabric acquisitions, nor my library. The world is so full of beauty and knowledge, I just want to marvel at all of it.

The Babe has near pneumonia and is on three medications. Yesterday, I came down with a cough like he started out with, and I may be going to the doctor before the day is over. I’ve had a couple of bad days as far as energy is concerned, and resting didn’t seem to help. Hopefully, things will change by tomorrow.

I hope you have a lovely day today. Today is the 34th anniversary of the death of my father. He was a youngster of 64, just retired. I still miss him. I wish he’d met the Babe. They’d have gotten along famously. They will meet some day. Just not now. I will have a lovely day, despite the anniversary it is. The world is such a beautiful place, and I can enjoy that a lot. The pups we have convey a lot of affection, and that’s wonderful. Such creatures, great and small. We all have a lot of beauty and joy in our lives. Let’s make sure to enjoy it. See you tomorrow!

11/29/2022-One Day Left

Have we really reached the end of November? Today is the last day. Needless to say, I didn’t complete NaNowriMo. My writing 50K words will have to wait until another month and maybe another year. The Babe and I spent a wonderful day today, talking about his trip to DC last week and how big the grandkids are getting. Joell turned 15, Addison was 15 last February, Gavin will be 11 next birthday, and Kayla will be 5 in March, Cody will be 3 in January. Where does the time go?

Speaking of where does the time go, I may not be able to finish both quilts for Kayla and Cody before Christmas. Becky and I worked it out, when they’re both quilts are finished, I’ll send them both. It doesn’t have to be Christmas or a birthday, their Mama said. I love that about my daughter. She is forgiving. Now, the pressure is off, and I’ll enjoy working on them a lot more.

Do you get angry? Or do you claim you’re not angry about anything?

If you’re treated a certain way for a lifetime but bury how you feel, it’s probable you have a deep near rage. The anger festers, and becomes deeper. It’s hardly noticeable, until it blows up, which can happen easier than you think. Chronic, buried anger can cause a real problem in dysfunctional behavior. Have you ever gotten the silent treatment? Have you gotten the silent treatment in addition to the silent one banging cabinets, slamming dishes on the table, throwing things, and turning petty things into major problems? A minor inconvenience, like a spilled glass of milk, can set off a tirade that lasts from minutes to hours. You never know.

Some of us are sensitive to angry outbursts. I am. I’d rather hear anything else than some angry, out of control person. I don’t hear anything reasonable in what I’ve described here. I’d rather be able to talk with someone, tell them I’m angry, and go on. If it gets to the point of tirades or silent treatments, it’s too far gone to have a reasonable discussion. I wish you luck in resolving the differences.

As this is the last day of November, I hope it’s a good one for you. Me? I’ll be at the sewing machine, getting all the stitches in I can. And cutting out more small pieces to make Cody’s doggie quilt. It’s a sweet one, I’ll let you see the pattern later on.

Take care, and I hope you’re not angry today. I hope everything is resolvable in your life, or at least you have someone to talk things out with. We all need that. Have a beautiful day, and see you tomorrow.

Happy 15th Birthday, Joell!

A very happy birthday to our grandson Joell. The Babe, (a/k/a Grandpa) is in Maryland celebrating with part of the family this Thanksgiving. Because he’s been filing live reports since he arrived Wednesday, we have up to the minute photos and feedback. It does everyone good to remind ourselves how important we all are to each other. I stayed home with the dogs and the two quilts I need to finish for Christmas and mail off to Colorado. Busy time for sure.

We haven’t seen Joell for a year, and at that time were sure shocked to see the result of his growth spurt. His voice emits from his feet, I swear. I imagine it’s deeper now. He is a competition swimmer, so he has a swimmer’s body, lean but muscular, and so strong! His passion for swimming was nothing compared to his passion for mountain biking. He is in races every weekend, holiday, and special occasion. His dad describes him as a beast. I do believe that’s a great word.

Beast aside, Joell has always had such a kind heart. Since he was a little boy, he’s helped the underdog feel superior, the left out feel part of the family, and everyone feels his love. I cannot wait to see how far he goes, armed with life experiences that no one his age has. He’s been to Hawaii for Christmas several times, has seen the Pope’s motorcade, and has visited the White House on numerous occasions. The list is much longer and even more distinguished. You could probably make a movie about it and keep the interest of a varied audience.

Joell, we are so proud of you. The man you are becoming is just around the corner. You will continue to shine as a good human, son, grandson, cousin, nephew, student, and especially friend. The picture below shows his workbench in the family garage. He has become pretty proficient at servicing his mountain bike. The neighborhood kids have an additional bonus to his friendship; he can fix their bikes with some expertise many of their dad’s don’t have. Way to go, kiddo! It’s been a joy being with you for all the birthdays we’ve been able to travel to your home to celebrate you! You know how Miss Kathy loves birthdays. And yours holds many, many special memories for us all. I’ve loved watching your parents decorate the dining room for your parties over the years. They have just as much fun and excitement as you have!

Enjoy the photo collage below. It’s been a hard couple years for the Babe and me, losing all the people we have following the pandemic, and now with the life change of the Babe’s second retirement from the VFW. He needed this reminder that all that is worth it in life is in the members of our blended family. Our five adult children and our five grandchildren are reminding us what a wonderful place this world is during these times. And that is all that matters. Happy Birthday, Joell. And have some cake for me!

To everyone reading, I thank you for indulging me today. Celebrating birthdays is important to me, celebrating each and every person helps them become themselves, whomever they are meant to be. As you have your deserts today, send a good birthday wish to this extraordinary young man. The world is watching him. He’s a good one. Let’s see each other again tomorrow. Quilting and Yellowstone are ahead of me for the rest of the time until the Babe comes home. How about you?

Happy Thanksgiving, 2022 #1141posts, #1000followers

May you all have blessings to count, people to love, and folks to celebrate with. This year is a little different for us, the Babe is in Maryland with Grandson Joell, for the holiday and Joell’s birthday Saturday. I have a quilt to finish and another one to make, so I stayed here. I’m cooking, and my oldest son Frankie is coming over for dinner and visiting. It’ll be nice.

I’m grateful for all of you 1000 followers, after #1141 posts, and we are growing every day. That makes the writing every day worth it. Building that habit has helped get my writing out there, and we’ll keep adding more followers and get those books published. The goal for this next several months of work will be not only to publish the children’s book, but to have a book launch, complete with autographing them to some of my favorite children. What fun!

After dropping the Babe off at the airport, I stopped to see Mom for awhile. She had such a lot of stories to tell; my younger brothers are such good men. They’re helping her get her Christmas trees lit, decorated, and she’s in heaven. She shared last time I was there, it could be her last Christmas, we never know. She is certainly feeling festive. Glad she loves the season so much. She, her mother, and sisters, all loved Christmas and all that goes with it. Decorating being high on the list.

As I listened to her tales of the last couple weeks, I couldn’t help but smile. Memories of previous holidays when my brothers and I all lived at home ran through my mind. I thought of the year she sewed all the Barbie wardrobe for me; the year brother Tom and I received ice skates, and all the years in between. She always put love into the holidays. The stuff that didn’t go well wasn’t in her control. We all do the best we can do with what we know at the time.

Therein lies the rub; if we don’t know any better, we can’t be held to a better outcome. When we know better, however, we must improve the outcome. We must improve the situation, and break the ties that have bound us to the status quo. Time for a new way of doing things.

No quilting took place yesterday, I spent the day in the kitchen. The meals from Green Chef Keto Dinners piled up, and I had three meals to cook off before the produce went bad. Another Green Chef delivery came yesterday, so I had to use up the older stuff first. Today will be devoted to turkey and all the trimmings. Leftovers for Friday, and then, back to the Green Chef. Yes, it should work.

Hopefully, you’ll share some time with family and/or friends today, and experience gratitude. The pause during this fall season is good for reflection and defining how to proceed into the next season of our lives. New adventures or hobbies could await you; reading some books or introspection may offer you some guidance to better spend your time. It’s the time to look ahead, making you the best you can be. Let’s proceed together, keeping each other company all the way. Works for me! See you tomorrow.

Giving Thanks

By the time you read this, I’ll be on the way to drop the Babe at the airport for his flight to DC. Shhhh! He’s going to surprise our grandson Joell for his birthday on the 25th. More about this later. The holiday will be nice and quiet with my oldest son and me. Looking forward to it, and he loves leftovers! So I won’t be eating them until the devil wears ice skates.

While we know the first Thanksgiving isn’t how we were taught in school, we still remember we need to give thanks for living in the land we do, and that we are free. My sincere apologies to the indigenous peoples, we were terrible to you.

I have to say, Nebraska’s new governor has committed his first faux pas already. He posted a photo of his wife, him, and two grandkids at the kids’ Thanksgiving programs. The little girl was dressed like a pilgrim girl. The little boy, an American Indian. Didn’t anyone in his campaign educate him how bad that is these days? It always should have been bad. We need to respect the Indigenous People. This is not how we do it.

So to prepare for Thanksgiving, I baked Mom’s Mince Meat Pie. Have you ever tasted that? It’s awful, in my opinion. Mom also happened to give me a Pumpkin and Mini Chocolate Chip Bread recipe last time I saw her. She thought it sounded good, which I took as a big hint she wanted me to bake it. So I did today. Made four loaves. Hope she likes it. I’ll drop off her pie and bread tomorrow on the way home of the airport.

And the rest of the holiday weekend? The pups and I will be left to our own devices. Turkey, goodies, and a new Sweet Potato Salad I’m trying, and working on Kayla’s quilt, now that I know I haven’t lost all my skills and confidence. While we don’t know what the first Thanksgiving was really like, we do know it wasn’t idyllic as we were taught. The pilgrims were allegedly thankful for the harvest (and for being alive after their voyage across the ocean). The winter would nearly wipe them out, but they didn’t know that then.

None of us know where we’ll be a year from now. Too many of our friends didn’t make it through this year with us. We remember, and will not forget. We need to give thanks for how our lives are right now, today, and for the hope of what they can be in the next year. A good friend is waiting to hear the fate of a former co-worker; she has disappeared and the Sheriff’s Department is involved, it’s even searching a home in another state; it doesn’t sound good. Another two good friend lost their wives in the last six months, and their lives will never be the same. We can only hope, keep our faith, and give thanks for wherever we are at any given time.

Should the worst happen to us? Our only choice is to continue on. Yes, it hurts like hell when someone we love more than life itself is taken from us way too soon. We can give thanks because we knew that kind of deep, forever love. It can be from a friend, from a parent, or from a spouse. When we lost my dad, I never wanted to be close to anyone again; I never wanted the chance of something hurting that badly again.

Eight years later, I met the Babe; I learned he had ischemic heart disease. Dang! Finally met someone who would stay, and he had a bad ticker. I was afraid to love him; I was too afraid of losing him before we were even together. That was foolish of me. I’m so glad we talked over my fears. I knew I would have more joy with the Babe than without him. No matter how many years we’d have together, they’d be our best. All these years later, I’m grateful for him and the life we have. We are both lucky, to have each other. Thankful for it all.

Wherever we are next year, I must remember to be grateful for all of this life we’ve had so far. Because we never know. And we’re going to make the most of it all. Thank you for reading; be grateful; see you tomorrow.

Back to Monday, Again

Monday of a short week was always fun while I was still working. Most of the bosses took off all week, only using three days of vacation. They had more vacation than they could use, yet they were stingier with them than Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. Isn’t it true, the world is full of them, right?

It wasn’t that we goofed around, we were still the consummate professionals; there was just no pressure. It was relaxed, and you did work, getting things done, and enjoying it at the same time. I loved working during those weeks. Christmas week and New Years week were the best. Hardly ever took off during those three weeks of the year.

Is it the same here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska? Well, not really. The Boss Lady is kind and generous. Never had a boss like her (me)! Does she ever take time off? Does she ever say “no?” I’m so lucky to work here. No harassment. No negativity. Just Good Vibes!

Oh, excuse my fantasy. Well, no, it’s not. Isn’t it great working for yourself? While I’m still on this learning curve, it’s fun. Every day is different.

We are all our own bosses, whether we work for ourselves or a big corporation. We call the shots, we decide on our moods, our outlook, our message. Our mess becomes our message.

As soon as I ready to this Monday, I’m hitting the studio for quilting. I hope to get over my case of nerves and anxiety and get that quilt finished. I have to. No more feelings of inadequacy. Just calm, confidence, and collected thoughts. I’m intimidated, I want them to be perfect, and I want to go on to something else. No more talk. No trying. Just do.

Wow. I feel a little silly, but at least I figured out what the problem was. The thread. I was using a 100% Polyester thread to quilt with. I picked it by color, not by fiber. Turns out, the extra motion of the free motion quilting was too much for the thread. It shredded and broke. Over and over again. I switched needles, twice, and figured out while I was driving to lunch with old schoolmates it had to be the thread. I almost loaded up the machine to take back to where I purchased it to ask for help. Didn’t have to. Came home, switched thread, and quilted. Perfect stitches. I hadn’t lost it after all! Yay! Now, I get to rip out the stitches from the first part that I didn’t like. It’s ok. I no longer feel defeated, silly, and not very smart.

After my lesson in humility, I can say nothing is so bad you can’t figure out. Yes, it took a bit, but as soon as I regained faith in myself, the problem was solved. We need to have more confidence when things aren’t going well. Thanks for being patient while I talked myself in off the ledge. It’s getting easier as I get older, but thought if you wondered how to do it, might like a little demo. We are all capable of calming ourselves down, but sometimes we have to really figure things out.

Had lunch with some girlfriends from high school today; what fun! Two live out of state, and it just happened to work out. All these women who are now 70, and graduated in 70. It doesn’t get better than that! We laughed and talked and had a fun visit. Hope we do it again soon! Life is good with old friends. Thanks, ladies! Two Kathy’s, Two Mary’s, and one Gwen. Can we find another one somewhere? I think not.

Have a wonderful evening, and see you tomorrow! And let’s go ahead of #1000followers! Let’s shoot for #1500followers! Hoping we can get there next year. Take care, be safe if you’re traveling.

The Green-Eyed Monster

We have talked about jealousy before; you cannot be a friend if you are jealous, you spend all your time being angry they have something you don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s a car, house, spouse, job, the list is endless. Perfect teeth and nice hair could be a source of envy, too. I’d guess that doesn’t happen much after high school, but who knows?

Since we are humans, on this earth together, all imperfect, all making mistakes, of course we succumb to sinful ways; Envy is one of the ways. We fault others when they have what we want, but don’t want to work hard for. The temptation comes to obtain what we are coveting and want immediately.

An envious person probably doesn’t have a lot of friends; they seldom can hold up their end of a friendship. Begrudging your friend all they work hard for does not help us find any satisfaction in the what we’re supposed to be working towards. We’re not a real friend, we can’t truly be close as a friend is because we need distance from the person we’re envious of. What a twisted scenario it is.

Changing this behavior is necessary for us to trust ourselves, others, and to have friends. A true friend is genuinely glad when we achieve something. The things in store for us are greater than anything we can imagine, if we correct our own shortcomings.

Some folks don’t think of themselves as ever in the wrong; I cannot abide those people. They are smug, correcting everyone around them; and don’t listen to hear and understand. Rather, they listen to respond. They compose their snappy comebacks to your comments. It’s all about them, and not at all about you. Communication cannot take place.

It’s important we keep our eyes on our goals, and don’t look elsewhere; we stay in our lane, we offer suggestions only when we are asked our opinions. We all run our own races. The prize is ours alone. Each of us wins. And boy, how we can win!

As our week of Thanksgiving starts, we need to keep in mind all the people who have lost family this year. Their holidays will not be as happy or merry as before. Loss changes many things. Make a phone call, send a text, drop a card in the mail. It only takes a little bit of time. They’ll be glad to be remembered.

As for me? I’m going to make another attempt at quilting Kayla’s quilt tomorrow. My new machine isn’t as simple as I thought it would be. It’s me, not it. A different setup makes a difference I didn’t expect. I just need to get used to it. I also need to be wide awake, first thing in the morning, and take breaks. It’ll happen. It has to. Back at it tomorrow.

Have a wonderful evening, see you tomorrow!

Great Way to Wake Up

I love when a day starts when the Babe wakes me, asking if I’d come talk to him. It starts my day knowing how much I mean to him. He’s making some important decisions, and asked me what I thought of his ideas. All good. If you’re single, make sure you hold out for someone who is your best friend. And you know every day you mean a lot to that best friend, and it’s reinforced in every day life. It’s bound to be a great day when it starts that way.

I’m  finished with sewing the rows together for Kayla’s quilt. Today, I put them on the design board downstairs in my craft room. Here’s how it looks:

There is something wonky (technical term) with the blocks, etc., so I need to figure out how to fix it and sew the rows together. It’ll work out. I know it will!

I collected bunches of scraps and pieces from my stash today to make Cody’s quilt of the puppies. I think a little nearly three year old boy will love puppies. I’m looking forward to the process of cutting a bazillion little squares out and putting them all back together again. Creating is creating. 

I had a wonderful time picking out buttons for the flowers. The button box, tucked away in the storage room, was filled with buttons from a special friend’s closet. She passed away several years ago, and it was fun to look through the buttons from some of her wardrobe. I imagine she’d be pleased I used the buttons for a pretty little girl’s quilt. Happy thoughts.

Hope you had a lovely day today. Not much else going on today. Yesterday, we made it to #999followers! Still working on passing #1000! Thank you so much for reading and coming back every day! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, Thanks!

It was a day spent trimming tiny threads from Kayla’s quilt, before I sandwich it with batting and backing for quilting. It took most of the day, turning it over and over. You trim the right side, the wrong side, and all the seams to make sure nothing is hanging or dangling, or even frayed all over the place on a seam. It’s trimmed now, and ready for tomorrow’s work of pinning it all over for quilting.

I feel as if I don’t have both oars in the water, things feel “off”. I don’t know how else to describe it. Most of the time, I’m all about the business of what we’re doing, but today, not so much. I hope tomorrow is better.

One of Those Days

Those days you feel out of it

Are just an off day or two

No need to try and analyze it to death

Or over-think it

You’re just not up to snuff

It’s not a major catastrophe.

Soon, you’ll be yourself again

You’ll be on top of your game

And surprised at all you accomplish

And you’ll be grateful for the focus

For the productivity

And for the check marks on your lists.

Is that what it’s all about?

Or is it about enjoying, observing, learning

And experiencing God’s creation, in all it’s glory.

Thanks for Noticing!