Sheelytown

Despite the day starting out with Goldie throwing up all over the house after eating. Poor thing, she’s better, and that didn’t ruin our day. The Babe called the folks from 1800gotjunk. They don’t tell you the price until they come out and assess your stuff. They go by weight, length and height. We are now rid of an old tv, treadmill, sewing machine cabinet, and workbench. Decluttering is good!

The latest book I’m reading is “Sheelytown,” about the rise of the packing houses in Omaha. Sheely was the last name of one boss of the packing business. He built a packing plant and a small town, near the railroad tracks, and stockyards. He brought immigrants from Poland, Ireland, and other parts of the US to work at the packing plants. So far, the names of the workers are familiar; they were names from South Omaha when I was growing up, a couple generations after this story took place.

The era of this story took place, the early 1900s, people were very poor. The immigrants were, especially. They left their home country and hoped life would be better in America. It was hard to tell. The young women usually quit school to help their mothers care for smaller children at home. Hopefully, the girls would marry by 15 or 16, and leave the home, freeing up space and food for other family members. The boys hopefully left home at 14 or 15 to get jobs. This often left with siblings to secure a place to live and jobs. This freed up a lot of food for other family members. I cannot imagine what that must be like, but it happened more often than not.

The author, Gary Koenig, stressed this novel was based on true events. He’s not specifying which were true and which weren’t. At the turn of the century, I believe there was some problem with Native Americans. White people stole land and food from the natives. It wasn’t fair to them as they tried to survive. Tensions have not subsided even yet.

Knowing the neighborhood these stories took place makes the story more interesting to me. So far, I like the writing and the pace of the story. There are also reminders of social mores of the time. A young woman (15 years old) leaving home to go to Omaha, scorned for traveling alone with a boy or man, never able to save her reputation, does not heal from the gossip and ill will. I look forward to finishing it next week.

I have five more blocks to piece and applique for Cody’s quilt. These are more dogs, these are more specific breeds than the others. It’s coming along nicely. So is the reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” The more I read, the more I realize it contains a lot of things I’ve learned already in the last 3 1/2 years. I’m further along the way than I thought.

There may be a lot to Cameron’s claim writer’s/artist’s block doesn’t happen; it’s self sabotage, based on lack of confidence, grounded in fear, which most of us let win. We give up. We’d rather live stunted. It’s easier. Imagine if those traveling to Omaha for a job, or to Ellis Island for a new country quit when it was too hard. That will not happen, I cannot let it.

We are picking up on followers again; we have nearly 1050 followers. Over 1200 blogs and probably close to 200+ consecutive days posting blogs. We’re getting noticed, and for that, I’m grateful. Been a long day, and it’s time to R & R. Stay warm, hope your yard’s not too muddy from the melting, and we’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

What’s That Thing In The Sky?

I may be a little sensitive to balloons flying above the earth, the kind that is flying right now, suspected from China, with technology attached to be taking photos and gathering other intelligence over Montana, the Midwest. Call me crazy, but I just don’t trust them. I don’t trust Russia either. They’re up to no good, believe me.

As a kid, the nuns reminded us we lived within 12 miles of Offutt Air Base, home of the Strategic Air Command. They constantly reminded us we would disintegrate in seconds if the Russians/Cubans/whomever has the bomb. It isn’t any wonder some of us grew up with those reminders haunting us. We assimilated the information and grew up despite the constant sense of doom we lived with.

When I went to the surgeon’s office to plot the surgery for my lumpectomy, we checked in and the TV in the waiting had on the escapades of Balloon Boy. Ridiculous. I was angry I could be one of the unlucky ones who could die from their cancer, and this family was goofing around with a balloon, their kid, and the US government and resources, which could be used in a much more beneficial manner.

It was another bitter day in Nebraska. We have a friend and family on different trips to Florida this week. It sounds heavenly, with temps in the 80s. I think my arthritis would be happy there. Is it frigid where you are? Traditionally, February and March can be terrible in the Heartland. These months are hard, it’s too cold to be outside much, and many people end up depressed. Depression is tricky. It can move in and make itself comfortable before you may realize what’s going on.

I believe mental health is one of the most important elements of keeping ourselves and our communities healthy and safe. We all deserve to be healthy and safe. If things are off, we need to find help. The sooner the better. And help isn’t a good word sometimes. It may feel condescending to accept “help.” A better thought is to say the person is a buddy, a comrade, a peer support specialist, which is what I became in December. We are ready to support our peers when and where it’s needed.

The Babe informs me he just saw there is another balloon flying over us. It makes me pretty uncomfortable. I believe our military is at the ready, and will protect us. Faith over fear, every time. Have a beautiful Saturday. Hoping to squeeze in the taxes sometime today. What are you looking at tying up this weekend? Making new progress on our quilt for Cody. Photos by Monday, hopefully. Have a great weekend. See you tomorrow.

February 2, 2023

Just a little more to read and I’ll finish “All the Perfects” by Colleen Hoover. It’s a little confusing, each chapter is either “Then” or “Now.” We are winding up to a big finish, and I hope it’s a good ending. We’ll see.

It’s kind of interesting. Some of the last few books I’ve read have different timelines. They sometimes meander all over the place. At other times, they are linear, in correct sequence. This one relies strictly “Then,” and “Now.” I may have become lost a couple times. Hope I get back on track very soon; like in the next two pages.

Today, there was more info on the possible shooter at our local Target store. He was schizophrenic. How very sad. There is no good reason this all happened. There is no excuse for it. The mental health field should be more able to get patients to comply with protocol that will keep them functioning in society and living a life that is safe for them and society.

It is not one element of the storm, it is all of them; untreated mental illness, instability, and many, many other unseen issues even before you add in the weapon element. We cannot blame only one. The problem will not be solved by banning one element. The entire problem needs addressing all at once. Equal blame can be assigned to all.

We saw the Metro in the DC area had yet another shooter loose today. Hearing it was the Metro caused us concern. Our grandson rides with some of his homies to school. Further reports clarified it was nowhere near our grandson’s area. Another thank God. The heightened sensitivity towards the news cycles is not unusual, it happens all the time. We’re honed in on it, then life goes back to normal.

My heart broke yesterday for one of the young Target workers. She was being interviewed about her experience and mentioned it was ingrained into them after having their entire school career filled with active school shooter training. What a shame, having that be a part of a young person’s life. My generation didn’t have that to worry about. Our kids and grandkids do. What kind of world do we have?

It’s exactly at this point, we need to stop and be positive. There are far more people who are good, kind people. Bad things happening is the exception, not the norm. Many more of our days go by uneventful than deadly and frightening. Yes, give me a boring day any day of the week. Here’s to a boring next couple days. Stay safe out there, and see you tomorrow.

(SIGH)

Some days no matter what you try to do, things don’t work out too well.

I’m referring to my old friend, technology. We have three laptops, one Chromebook, and two cell phones. I’m changing over from Norton to AVG security. It’ll be a good thing.

I’ve installed it on the phones and one laptop. I did the other laptop today and downloaded the HR Block software for this year. The Babe and I also sorted through the box of papers we need to complete the input for the software. Chomped and ready at the bit.

Got the credit card out to purchase the software for HR Block. It appears they don’t have you pay before downloading. I’m guessing they make you when you complete the forms before filing with the IRS. At least I hope that’s what’s going on. So, I saved the return I started after downloading everything from last year’s return. All the same blah blah info. Done. Saved. Not ready yet, need to tabulate lots of numbers for totals.

OK, all good. Now for the Chromebook. OK, the Google Playstore has the software. Here we are. Password, then. What? It will download later. What in the holy heck does that mean? I’ve not seen this before. Hmmm. OK. Try again. Same result. Wow. Still nothing.

My best hunches haven’t panned out. I know WordPress uses extensions of software. Maybe there’s a secret compartment somewhere to find what I need. Nope. doesn’t appear so. My last resource is my I/T Department at an offsite, secure location. Got a suggestion from my FBIL (Favorite Brother in Law), and I’ll try that tomorrow. I’m just brain dead right now. It will have to be tomorrow.

I had great plans yesterday. I was going to finish the main part of Cody’s quilt; didn’t happen. Tomorrow. First thing. It will be a new day tomorrow. Have a great day and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Memories of the Best Kind

I had a weird thought today. Probably when my aunt and uncle, Lois and Joe Conrad, were getting ready to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary, I had the honor of pressing her wedding dress for display at their reception. I was about 4 or 5 when they got married, and I remember going to the reception for a little while. My dad’s cousin JoAnn and her husband Chuck picked my brother and I up after dinner and took us to Grandma Bobell’s home until the party was over. We fell asleep because we were tired, and were just a couple little kids.

Fast forward to pressing her gown 50 years later. They wanted me to iron in the kitchen, and I went to the sewing room where the ironing board was. I picked it up the iron, and took it to the kitchen. I followed them, and they insisted on moving the ironing board. Rather than closing it, and proceeding, they decided carrying it folded out, each of them carrying one side. It was clumsy, really, and I really smiled to myself they were so cute. He still wanted to be the strong man, taking care of his wife, and making sure she didn’t over exert herself. They were both in their early 70s. It’s the first time I noticed how much they aged.

Fast forward to present day? We are deep in the throes of decluttering and deep cleaning. I have to say, the Babe is the best. Saturday, we were looking through the Christmas decorations we were deciding what to donate and what to keep. He was adamant I not pick up anything heavy because of my back. I also tried to make his work easier. I can only stand up for about 15 minutes, and then my back bothers me. I thought back on Uncle Joe and Aunt Lois. And then I said to myself, “And there we are!” It made me sad, yet I smiled.

I smiled because despite the fact the Babe and I only have been together for 25 years, we’ve a lot to celebrate. Despite the fact we didn’t have any children together, we have a blended family we are proud of. Five kids, five grandkids, four sons/daughters in law, and a lot of love. We’re along for the ride now.

As a person who’s been disabled for over 25 years, I thanked God today so I made sure to be grateful for the man who is now my husband. I’ve wished my dad could have met him; it’s enough Uncle Joe met him. The same day I pressed Aunt Lois’ wedding dress, Uncle Joe told me, “You know, I didn’t like that Frank guy you were married to; he was kind of a cocky guy. But this Dan, I really like him. You did good.”

Not only did Uncle Joe, from Mom’s side of the family approve, Uncle Bob, (Dad’s brother) and Uncle Joe (Dad’s other brother) liked the Babe too. A double vote of confidence. Dad approved.

I am a lucky woman to have the experience of having these good men be concerned for me and my welfare. I have no uncles anymore. I do have one aunt, in California. Dad’s sister Mary Ann is still with us, and just celebrated her 93rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Aunt Mary Ann! We all love you. Stay well.

What do you fondly remember about your aunts and uncles or other family members? I’m so fortunate to have good memories about relatives. More to be blessed about. Have a great day, and we’ll see you tomorrow.