Thank You . . .

for trusting me with your personal issues, secrets, and heartbreaks. I’m blessed to have friends who trust me with their hearts and heartbreak. That is one of the most valuable gifts there is. I am grateful to receive their trust. Disappointing people by breaking that trust, is something I’d rather not do at all. It has disappointed me when people I thought were trustworthy, were not. It is devastating when that happens.

Shakespeare once said, “In thy face I see the map of honor, truth, and loyalty.”

One of the many things people risk telling each other is how they value putting trust in people they want to have a relationship with. Trusting their word, their faithfulness, and their honesty. Once the heat of the moment cools a bit, and the infatuation settles down, the reality of everyday settles in and you learn about their true trustworthiness. And they learn about yours. This is where people actually become themselves. All the good and bad habits.

If our person isn’t in our corner, what good is the union? Are they there for us? If not, it’s not worth pursuing. If you feel more alone with them than without them, they’re not for you. If another person has no integrity when you meet, it’s doubtful they’ll learn it soon. Being alone is better than not being able to trust. Promises and good intentions are empty unless you can trust them.

We see this on a smaller scale as kids in school. We try to be nice to everyone and treat everyone as our friend. This doesn’t guarantee. Some kids develop other characteristics which contribute to them being untrustworthy. We need to do all we can to help kids in our lives learn the good way. They are watching. Be a good example.

I hope you have a wonderful Friday today. Wherever you go, remember to be a good example. See you tomorrow!

When Spring Comes . . .

. . . the grass grows by itself.

Right along with the seasons coming in their time and on time every single time since God created all of this. Eager as we are for spring to begin, it will in its own good time. What we need to do in the meantime, is relax. That is a tall order with all the anxiety flying about in the world.

I’ve found the older I become, the less I need to work at relaxing. For that, I’m grateful. I’ve learned we can’t force an outcome simply because we think it is in our best interest. We only know the small part that affects our world. God knows what the big picture is. When I was still married to my first husband, I was a bundle of nerves. It was awful. I had muscle spasms in my stomach, and I was a mess. Didn’t really drink coffee, just tea, and wanted the pain to just stop. It did. After counseling, filing for divorce, and him moving out, the pain stopped. I’ve never had it again.

That was the last bit of information I needed to change my life. My short-sighted plan didn’t seem to be such a sure plan. I didn’t belong in a happily ever after life with that man. But I do with the Babe. We met 27 years ago, and in October, will be married 25 years. So happy. So calm. And this time, I’m sure.

I’ve noticed a great change in the Babe, too. He used to have a hard time just staying at home. We did vacations and then eased off the traveling; so we had about ten years of kids getting married and having babies, and now, just enjoy being home. We’re good to watch the seasons surround our home with lush foliage, flowers, crisp leaves, bare branches, and snow. All in its own good time. Every year, new birds make themselves known. Waiting their visitation and hatching eggs on the patio, above the rafters.

The less rigid we are results in an opening of our hearts, minds, and souls. We can settle in, watch nature unfold in its own time. We slowly learn our perfectionism and rigid rules are not conducive to enjoying successful execution of what we do well. Being perfect doesn’t register anywhere with being satisfied in what we do. Learn to relax. Foremost. And forever.

Have a great Wednesday. See you tomorrow.

“Unforgettable Friends”

A friend and I talked today for the first time in quite a while. As we caught up, we laughed. I felt so much stress dissipate throughout my whole body. Thank you, my friend!

We talked about friends who are unforgettable. She asked me, “What makes a friend unforgettable? You should blog about that!”

What a great idea! Two great ideas!

First great idea? Ask for people to comment on things they’d like to read about. They can be story prompts, they can be questions about things like Unforgettable Friends, or they can even be general things about me – only politically correct questions, nothing creepy or inappropriate.

Second great idea? “Unforgettable Friends.”

The song, “Unforgettable,” came to fame by the most wonderful Nat “King” Cole singing it with his velvety voice. I remember hearing it as a child. Even though I was very young, I knew it was good. I just didn’t know why.

I remember being at our Uncle Joe Jewell’s home once. It must have been my cousin Jilla’s First Communion Party. Uncle Joe was playing some music on the hi-fi. He put on Nat “King” Cole, and told my dad, “This is the best singer that has ever lived.” I don’t remember what Dad said, but I know he was a huge Sinatra fan, as well as Big Band. He liked Elvis as well. I love the exposure we had to varied music while growing up.

As time went on, they encouraged Cole to move from the keyboard to standing while singing. He was expert at the lyrics of whatever he sang. He is one person with perfect pitch. Unbelievable and rare, but you know it when you hear it.

Unfortunately, race played a big part in his life: he couldn’t live in certain neighborhoods, stay at certain hotels, etc. What a black eye for America. We did that a lot, didn’t we?

Back to my friend and what makes you unforgetable?

The dictionary (remember that?) defines it as “not to be forgotten,” or “lasting in memory.” But what makes a person, a soul, a being, an entity UNFORGETTABLE?”

To me, an unforgettable person can be an excellent memory or a bad one. The first person I dated at 30 after being married for 12 years was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. I learned I was desirable as a woman, but that most of the guys I would meet, being who I was, wouldn’t be more than temporary for me. I had low self-esteem and was naïve. A terrible combination. But I learned quickly. Mark was certainly unforgettable, for the good and bad.

An unforgettable friend is one who you may grow up with. It could be someone who shares the angst of the teenage years. My friend Karen was the first person I wrote with. We would act out plays and talk about boys. We were early teens and searching for answers in life. When you find answers with a special friend, you find they are unforgettable.

Having friends from high school who you have first jobs with are unforgettable. You bond with in Spanish lecture, alphabetized by last name, can become unforgettable. And friends you still talk with after 50 years are the best. All unforgettable.

In my opinion, these things make my people unforgettable:

Sense of humor, loyalty, friendship, understanding, empathy, listeners, huggers, people who back you up no matter what, generosity, and those with similar values. Yes, they may have different political views than you, but you value their presence in your life. You both allow for off limits topics: politics, religion, etc. Both sides respect this. They value their bond too valuable to argue about something with no right side or wrong side. They agree to always be civil, respectful, and each place the same value on their friendship.

Don’t forget! Comment on a topic or question you’d like to see me blog about. We’ll pick some and go with it. It could be fun!

If you are lucky enough to have unforgettable people in your lives, you have a gift. They don’t have to be family. Treasure them. Consider yourself blessed. And let them know they’re important. Just as you must be to them. Have a beautiful Saturday. See you tomorrow!

Friday, What a Week!

Yes, it’s been quite a week. Two major things going on at once is rough. The Babe had his second followup yesterday, and today, the whole day is ours. I don’t want to leave home. I made Mom six grilled cheese sandwiches and she said to stay home. I need it. I’m staying home Monday, too. Then two days of stuff again. We’ll get through. Mom dubbed the Babe the “Fourth Man” of her four “man” team, of the Babe, Steve, Tim and me. We’ll get her through the changing times ahead.

All the learning in the world is no good if you cannot apply it. I’m amazed at how much writing has changed since the time I began my blog. If you are telling a story about something in your childhood, you are telling your recollection of how an event was explained to you or your recollection thereof. It may not be historically correct, it’s the story we are writing about. A lot of what we write is exactly that. It’s not meant to be a thesis, news story, or other report of fact. Recollections are different.

I started reading an old book today. It wasn’t required in high school, but I read it anyway, or so I thought. Let me tell you, I’m only twenty-one pages into the book, and it’s not anything I recall reading at all. Lots of life has been lived since then, and it’s no wonder the story didn’t remain familiary. It’s frightening, though. The thought-police are kind of all over the place now, and the world way different than when it was penned in 1945. Very thought-provoking. More on it later.

Due to the craziness in our life I’m calling it quits for today. Have a great rest of the day, and know we’ll see each other tomorrow. Take care, be safe out there.

Weekend, here we come!

Thursday, Post-Opt Visit

Busy day today. The Babe has a post-op followup to his second cataract surgery. All I can say is, it’s getting busy. We won’t have time to drop the Babe back at home before picking Mom up for a doctor’s appointment. Maybe we can do lunch if we don’t get a snowstorm. We’ve heard varying degrees of bad weather for tomorrow. Nothing sounds too bad, but we need to be prepared.

Scenes from an elders life:

It seems Mom let us know how she likes Fish Sandwiches from Burger King. Monday this week, she told me she doesn’t want them this week. It seems she had five brought to her last Friday. She’s kind of over them! I’m taking her some grilled cheese sandwiches this week. Hope she doesn’t get a dozen of those!

After finishing the book, “Broken Angels,” I’m a little puzzled about the critical reviews I’ve seen. I can only speculate the reviewers are young and don’t understand the scope and ramifications of the Holocaust, and the horrors of the death camps. My father was with Patton’s troops as they freed Auschwitz. He never told us about it, but an aunt said she asked him once. He went up to his library to get a book, which he loaned her to read. The book would tell her more than she wanted to know. I did not get the name of the book, and my aunt is no longer with us, either.

What evil my father saw, along with many, many young men. Throughout the wars of history, and “conflicts.” Anywhere men or women died, it is a war in my estimation.

I find it a little funny to see the commercial for the vision center who did the Babe’s cataract surgery. We’ve probably spent 5 or 6 hours there over the past two days. One of the frequent running commercials during the news hours is for the vision center. Perfect photos of the chair I sat in by the windows, but none of the Otis Spunkmeyer freshly baked cookies, baked fresh daily. Those are the cure for everything. Smells so good.

Not kidding. I’ve done zero quilting the past two days. It will be done when I can. Things are a little crazy at the moment. But I finished an enormous book. That counts. How about you? What will this fine Thursday find you doing? Tell me in the comments. Have a great day, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Another Weekend

It was another pretty day in the Heartland today. Tomorrow will be great as well.

No matter where we are in life, I think living takes a lot of faith in what’s beyond all of this. Faith in a future, an eternity, and faith in God. God will always take care of us as long as we believe in Him and His goodness. We all have His mercy and we need to believe in His timing. His timing is not our timing. He does all things in His good time. When He feels we are ready.

We are not smart enough or in tune enough to know what His way is. He shares His way when He feels we should know about it and what it is. It may never make sense to us. But it is the final say, and He always has it. We are along for the ride.

I had some stuff to do for Mom yesterday, and on Friday, she always wants fish, no meat. Way back in the day, the Catholics ate only fish on Fridays. Every Friday. Now, it’s only During Lent (and Friday?)? I picked up a couple fish sandwiches from a local fast food place. She was happy.

We have talked a lot about how life is funny, disappointing, and surprising. She was a volunteer for 30 years at the Omaha Zoo. During that time, she had a wildly good time. And a lot of hard work.

Before computers, the Docents (means teacher) were older people who studied like crazy about every animal, their habitat, their reproduction, and their habitat. She could quote line and verse. She loved her role and what she was doing. Mom’s been away from the volunteering world since she quit driving. She misses it. She loves the news about the newest baby elephant, and all the new babies of other species.

I remember one time, she called me to tell me if I needed to reach her and she didn’t answer, not to worry. She was spending the night at the nursery at the Zoo. She would babysit the Baby Gorilla or the Baby Orangutan overnight. We weren’t to worry. She was fine. I’d tease and ask her was she sure she wouldn’t be out at the local pool hall? She took it well.

I’ve reminded her of some funny things over the past few days. Usually it was something I did that was a little crazy. Like being mad at her both babies she had after me were silly boys! I wanted a sister so badly. Everyone I knew had a sister. Why couldn’t I? I guess the answer was no.

More quilting over the weekend. I hope yours is a good one, as I plan on mine being good. Take care, we’ll see each other tomorrow.


So much goes into giving care to one of our elders. They may be fiercely independent – which is a good thing, most of the time – and they may hold onto the reins with cold, dead hands. Long after they’re gone. Some folks try to control things from the grave. Conversely, they may be fiercely dependent – which isn’t such a good thing at any time – and they let anyone into their business. The family may never know of all the people who have insight into their business. That’s where elders can be taken advantage of, where things may go south.

I had an uncle who trusted anything Veteran or Police related. What that translated to, was when the telemarketers called and claimed to be either Veteran or Police related, he would donate. His kids had to lower the boom, and say, “If it happens again, you’ll need to go to assisted living.”

And then, there was the unscrupulous cousin of the neighbor, who got into the bank account and slowly depleted their Mom’s checking account; no one knew anything was amiss, until it was time to pay the funeral expenses. There was no money for that. How sad; their own kids would cause that issue for their parent.

What do your parents have set-up for when they’re aging quickly? Has your family discussed it at all?

Most people would rather sweep all this under the rug. The less said, the better. That is in no way how to deal with reality. Grown-ups talk about their business with family or someone they can trust. Believe me, there are some folks who cannot trust their kids, step-kids, cousins, and other relations to tend to business when we’re near the end of our journey’s and need someone to facilitate our final wishes.

I am so glad attention is cast upon elder abuse now. There are laws, law firms, lawyers whose specialty is elder law, and it’s a darned good thing we have them. The elderly are sometimes trusting, and that can cause trouble if they trust the wrong person. I’m so glad we haven’t seen that in our family, to my knowledge.

There can be no hint of impropriety when it comes to our elders. They have worked hard their entire lives, and deserve some peace in their twilight years. Too often, we hear of their kids or others who have an unscrupulous agenda at heart. That sort of news makes me so sad. Sad for the elders who trust; sad there are such bad people in the world, and sad the elders suffer because of it. If they pass away not knowing, that’s one thing, but if they know the person they trusted violated that trust that is inexcusable.

I have to say, I’m proud of the people Mom has around her. My two younger brothers are spending time each week with her, doing chores, errands, etc. I’m going to add two days a week, with time spent visiting, catching up, doing bills, etc. Taking Care of Business. When someone is nearly deaf and nearly blind, they could use a hand. It doesn’t mean they’re incompetent, it just means they need eyes and ears to assist. They can still be in charge. Delegating is hard, but possible.

The most uncomfortable conversations are the ones that need to be had. Every single time. Spouse to spouse. Parent to child. Sibling to sibling. Friend to friend. Wherever you are in life, make sure a trusted someone knows your wishes. Yes, it’s hard. But you are doing your survivors a huge favor. When the State gets involved, everyone loses. Give a gift. Make your final wishes know. Whatever age you are.

We’ll see each other again tomorrow. Have a safe, productive Monday.

Bright, Sunny Day

Saturday flew by. Feeling better when I woke, I was ready to set the world on fire. Until after taking a shower and getting dressed. Then common sense took me captive, and I decided to set the world on fire another day. Not well enough yet. We didn’t stray too far off the couch, believe me. The Babe has excellent advice: “You’re not well yet. Take another day.” Don’t have to tell this girl twice.

I’ve spent quite a number of hours trimming threads from the back of Cody’s quilt. And I’m still not finished trimming them. The weather was bright and sunny. I love those days. If a person were to keep track, I wonder how many days would be all sun, no clouds, and others all clouds, no sun. Anyone have an idea? Just curious.

It’s a good idea to keep people around you who are on your side. Those who see the best in you. Those who remind you you it’s there, deep inside of you when you forget. Since I’ve started writing, the more people I’ve shared about it, the more who have said, “Keep writing. You have something to say.” Do you know how far that goes in keeping me grounded and moving forward? I think if we all share that kind of encouragement with each other, we’d all keep going towards our creative goals.

We all know people who could use some encouragement just to get through the day. Cancer patients. people coping with loss. People with earth shaking decisions to make. Those who are estranged from their families through no fault of their own. And we sometimes need to stop, evaluate, and be deeply grateful for what goes well in our lives. Doing that has a way of giving us strength to go the extra mile. Gratitude does that for a person. A soul. A being.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately back in the years when we were all kids living at home. Still in school. And the excursions we would go on to visit our aunts’ and uncles’ homes. Dad didn’t accompany us often to see Mom’s family; he was usually just off a long Saturday night, printing the Sunday paper, and settling down for some sleep. One of my little cousins asked one time, “Who is that man who lives with Aunt Rosie?” They didn’t come to our house hardly ever, and Mom would take us around to visit on Sundays. It was funny, what my cousin said. I wondered how many other people wondered if we had a dad or not?

Growing up, I only knew two kids whose parents were divorced. And I didn’t meet them until high school. Now, it’s hard to find people who are married to their child’s other parent. I do not believe people should ever stay together for the sake of the kids. The kids are worse off if you are always arguing with their Dad or Mom. And a hostile home environment is where lots of bad things breed. And bad family traditions are passed down to yet another generation. Think about being the one who breaks tradition. It’s so well worth it.

Start small. Gain confidence. Before you know it, you’ll be going big or going home. You can do it. Again, have a few good people who support your dreams and goals. You’re worth it. Have a beautiful Sunday, and think about who your people are to support you when you decide you need to change something in life; your living situation, your family, your career. They’re all big things; chosen wisely, you can make your whole life better than you’ve ever imagined. Take care. See you tomorrow.

Want vs. Willingness.

Aren’t they the same thing?

No, not even close.

You can want to lose 50 pounds and become healthier. Are you willing to do the hard work? Are you willing to deny your want of potato chips, ice cream, and cream cheese?

Want to write a novel that becomes a best seller? Prepare to pay your dues. There is a lot of work to do to scratch your way to the top of the pile. Hey! This is hard!

I’m reading a book about the National Meatpacking industry in Omaha, Nebraska, 1910. The owner named Sheely, and the housing area for the Polish immigrant workers, also bore the named Sheelytown. It was rough. I’ve heard references to the area during my lifetime, but this story is based on true events. It is an excellent book. I highly recommend it. These people had the want of a life better than in their homeland. They will do whatever they had to do to make it happen.

The bill I received from my rheumatologist was strange. I only see him once a year. I used to be billed for a visit. No other charges. Now, they are charging for the visit and the actual room you use. Kind of more like having to pay for the OR for surgery. A visit for less than 15 minutes was $280. Thank goodness I have good insurance. Grateful. Blessed.

Today, I’m taking time to spend with my good friend, Kris. We haven’t talked for a very long time. We are celebrating her last birthday in December, after she had another stroke around Christmas. Kris has recovered nicely and has some PT to complete. I really admire her determination. She lost her husband a couple years ago, and her kids have stepped into caregiving/hanging with Mom so well, I’m glad they’re all good adults. Kris deserves nothing less.

Does your family have a plan in place should your parents need help? We don’t exactly. But we have an idea. We’re concentrating right now on making things easier for whichever of us survives the other. Nothing huge, just easing the loads, and sharing a lot of information with each other. We don’t want to plan for these things, but we have to do so, to make things easier for our families. It’s the right thing to do. Have a wonderful Friday. See you tomorrow.


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.