Day One – NaNoWriMo

And Day One of Gratitude

Sure, some folks think it’s cheesy to write what we’re grateful for during November. I want NaNoWriMo to be only one thing we talk about this month. I set up my 3 ring binder yesterday afternoon. I’m a nerd that way, I guess. When we were in grade school, I loved the feel of a new binder and a fresh ream of paper at the start of the year. Pristine, I suppose.

So the first thing I’m grateful for is the memory I have of starting school every year. I know the folks weren’t even middle class when we were all young. Dad probably didn’t start earning a great salary until after I left home. Years after he retired, I was making what he was making at the newspaper. I worked in I/T and finished my college degree, along with numerous certifications along the way.

And my kids and I struggled while I bought them school clothes, supplies, etc. It was hard for me, as it was hard for the folks. Our grandkids don’t know those struggles. Their parents make considerable higher salaries than we and our parents made. Unless your kids wear uniforms to school or have a strict dress code, you don’t really have any added expenses for school clothes.

My big thing was wearing brand new socks. Our family did not have a clothes dryer until I was a junior in high school. Seriously. Mom hung clothes in the basement during the winter and outside in the summer. The socks and underwear were always sort of stiff. Yuck! To this day, I marvel at a brand new, fluffy, soft pair of socks. It doesn’t take much to please me, what can I say?

I have mixed feelings about my novel at the moment. It seems like I wrote a huge amount last year with my coach. I submitted the first chapter as a stand alone short story to the Nebraska Writers Guild Anthology for this year. It was accepted to be published. I’m over the moon about it! Where I get concerned is probably by my own thinking that is timid at the moment. Much as I know I can do this, and I will do it, I’m looking at eating the elephant with one huge bite to gag on. That won’t happen. Not all 50K the first day. (Would that even be humanly possible?)

Of course not! I’ve now got some experience behind me, some coaching, the NWG printing Chapter One in December, and the excitement of a new undertaking. Now I know a few things I didn’t two years ago. I have better skills. I have the support of the Babe and all my friends. It’s going to be fun.

This will probably be it for today, I’m writing a day ahead and will have more to talk about tomorrow, after my writing session. We will have great fun this month, after getting the first day nerves out of the way. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it so much! See you tomorrow!

Fall Back Halloween

Doesn’t this work out nicely? You gain an hour of sleep tonight, unless you’re out reveling. I find it fascinating the night sugar will hop the kids, and you think you’ll get an extra hour of sleep tonight. It could work out, who knows? Good luck to those in the trenches. I did like taking the kids out when mine were little. They were cute. I made costumes if I could. My oldest son went as a Native American one time – you can’t do that anymore, but he enjoyed the costume. They were studying about settling of America and there was no disrespect intended.

My younger son was so shy. He had brown eyes the size of saucers. He picked out a mouse costume. It was perfect for his personality. I think the photos were in the box I gave each kid of stuff I had belonging to them. The last time we moved, I decided they needed their pictorial history.

And my daughter. She wanted to be a mermaid the year we saw Splash. She had long blonde hair, which I braided wet and she left it in overnight. I had a set of pinkish long underwear she wore, and I fashioned bra top and sewed it onto the pink underwear. Then, made the bottom skirt of green fabric, sewed random sequins on it, and split it up the back so she could walk. The front looked like mermaids’ flippers. It was fun.

The following year, my younger son Nick wanted to be a carrot. Yes, a carrot. It was unique, just as Nick is. It was adorable and easy. Took orange fabric, sewed a tube with a slit to walk free, cut a hole for his face, and put long green yarn on the top. His teacher had a good time laughing about it. Funny boy, my Nicholas is.

Last year, we received a photo of Kayla. They dressed her in pink scrubs. It was adorable too. Can’t wait to see what she is this year. Things have changed in the last forty years. We will not be handing out candy, I’m going to make a little Ziplock bag for about six neighbor kids, but nothing else.

Country Over Party

Let’s get through the next three days with civility, class, and keep our collective cool. It’s hard to guess who may win, and whoever does, they will be our President. Just like always, some we win, some we lose. We need to not lose our collective minds. Your mental health is too important to jeopardize getting through this Pandemic. We must have strength and unity. God help us, please.

The Babe bought a new carpet cleaner and is eager to use it. I need to rearrange things and make way for him. I will use spare time later to read and relax. It’ll be a wonderful Saturday. Hope yours is too. Let’s meet again tomorrow, ok? I appreciate it. Be safe out there.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Nick on his Kindergarten Graduation Day.

Nick is my second son, born this day in 1975. Wow. That seems like such a long time ago. I was twenty-three years old. There was the blizzard on January 10 1975, the tornado May 6, and then along came Nick in November. Here I go with a story he has heard probably too many times.

Since their father couldn’t miss bowling night, I took Frankie, his older brother, Trick or Treating that night. In an old neighborhood like ours, many houses on a street may have one side of the street up on high banks, with two sets of stairs going up to the houses. It was crazy. There were fences in between the yards, so there was no cutting through the yards. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. Up the hundred stairs, trick or treat, then down the hundred stairs. And so on, over and over again.

With all this activity, I prayed God would not make this baby come tonight on Halloween. I’m glad he wasn’t, it really didn’t matter. I would have loved him the same. He was one of three babies in the hospital nursery who had black hair at birth. He always looked older, I thought. One baby was black, and the other dark haired baby was our neighbor’s grandson. Nick was easy to pick out in the nursery. As time went on, he did bear a resemblence to my father, who had black hair and big brown eyes. So did Nick.

Nick has a big heart, loves to help people, is a talented handy man, has learned a lot of things from taking stuff apart and puttinig it back together. He was always tearing apart his wagon, bike, and toys. He didn’t try with my car, however.

He amazed me as a toddler, he loved being read to. I was shocked because he could read at the age of four. I thought he should go to kindergarten early so he wouldn’t be bored when he got older. He wasn’t, and he loved numbers. When he was three, he spread the financial page of our newspaper out on the floor, and moved his index finger along the lines of numbers and said, “I just love the little tiny numbers.”

Today he lives with his husband in Gladstone, Missouri. I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like, he has an odd work schedule. I do miss him, it’s always fun to get together. Hope we can soon, Nick.

Lve me some Snoopy!

As far as writing goes, it’s 4 p.m. and my blog isn’t finished yet. Had to get Dan out to do his duties at the VFW Post he Quartermaster’s at, I got to see our dentist, we did some errands, had lunch, and poof, it was 3:30 p.m. I swear, the days go far too fast.

Still adding flesh to my characters, it takes a bit more than I thought. Describing everything about these characters may be overload, but I most likely will edit out anything that is a back story to the story at hand.

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon, only 34 degrees, though. The early darkness is helping make it cozy by the fireplace in the evening. I’m wishing you a cozy evening, too.

What do you like to know about characters in stories before you begin to read?? Or do you just like to discover quirks and faults as they become evident?? Or should they be spelled out in a prologue?? Let me know what you think. I’m interested in your thoughts. Leave a comment, give a like and you will have two entries in my NaNoWriMo giveaway, one $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing will be December 1, 2019. It could be you with a little extra Christmas cash!

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.

Halloween Costumes

I remember Halloween of years past. As kids, my brother Tom and I would wear the costumes our mom decided we should wear. Grandma Bobell gave her a box of old costumes from her other three daughters. Whatever was in there was likely generic, angel, clown, a hobo who rode the rails, devil, or what have you. Chances are, it was sewn by Grandma.

Mom bought a costume for Tom. He was very small for a child and is now a slightly built man. My dad had a brother who was also slightly built. His costume for several years was a skeleton. It was perfect for him.

Mom took us out, and I think she let us go alone by the time my youngest brother was born. Too hard to herd two little ones and watch us. Of course, we knew all the neighbors, they knew us and our parents. Yes, times were different. It also helped that Our dad grew up in the area of St. Bridget’s Church/School and his father owned the local pharmacy/sundries store two blocks away. Our grandparents knew every kid in South Omaha. That hardly happens anymore.

I remember Grandma Jewell telling me how my family doctor, Dr. Michael Haller, worked driving a cab to pay for medical school at Creighton Medical School. He would come in to the store and get coffee and a snack if he could when he could afford both. She approved of him wholeheartedly as the doctor who cared for me and her first great grandchild.

I do not remember ever being bothered by anyone while collecting treats. The last year I went, eighth grade, a girl I went with had an egg smashed on her head. A boy she knew did it. I was unscathed.

I remember taking my three kids out after my divorce in the 80’s, a car pulled up on a dark street in our neighborhood. Some guy asked something rude, my daughter asked me what that meant, I said never mind. At the next house, I told the Mom about it. She called 911. They found drugs and knives in the car and arrested them all. Good job, Omaha Police Department.

It doesn’t hurt to teach your kids how to be aware. You do not have to scare them to death about the dangers lurking in the dark or the daylight. All we can do is do our best, and trust they will be able to act if confronted. More kids are safe than not. I really like the idea of shopping centers, churches, schools, and neighborhoods sponsoring their own Trick or Treat, Trunk or Treat, parties and Haunted Houses.

Favorite costumes ever?? Like my Grandma Bobell, I see. I loved making costumes for my kids. My middle child Nick had a mouse costume. It was perfect for him. He was a shy four old at the time. And his best one was the year he wanted to go as a carrot.

Yes, a carrot. I have no photos of them, my kids have been gifted all their baby/growing up photos. Frank’s were all destroyed by water in the fire. That makes me quite sad. But I remember a lot of them. Mom’s usually do.

Whatever species, Mom’s and Dad’s are always there to give their hand, trunk, or paw in dire circumstances.

And we had the parties at school and dressed up. Of course, being a Catholic school, the nuns wanted us to dress like saints. The brown nosers dressed like Mary, Joseph, and their patron saints. There was no St. Kathleen, so I’d go as a clown, angel, or gypsy.

And those unfortunates of us who wore glasses, who were just about blind with myopia, never could wear those dreaded plastic masks. Horrible. Hated it!

I still love the toddler’s costumes. Those little chickens with fluffy feathers, dinosaurs who roar at you, sixties kids with poodle skirts, firemen wanting to be like their Daddies or Mama’s, police officers who want to be like their favorite uncle’s, all are my favorites. It’s the innocence I love. May it stay that way for a very long time for all of them.

Check my friend Ritch Cassidy’s I Heart Radio FB page. As a PSA, he listed a nap of all of Omaha to help keep kids safe. Sadly, it’s from the Nebraska Sex Offenders Registry.

Knowledge and Awareness can help you have an innocence filled Halloween for your kiddos, and you can increase awareness of the bad folks around you.

Isn’t this adorable??

Thank you for reading. Share if you’d like to, I appreciate every set of eyes and mind that settles on my writing. Comment, Share, and Like our pages. I deeply appreciate it.