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.

Of Mountains and Molehills

(NaNoWriMo Day 10, written on 11/5/2022)

Have you ever known anyone who made a major deal out of everything? Nothing occurs in their life unless it splashed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all things social media. 

Anyone who writes needs a presence on social media. Our websites need to introduce us to the world in order to gain followers, get yourself out there, and make a name for yourself. It’s hard work. It’s hard to set your audience to Public, knowing full well people you don’t know will know who you are. That makes some folks uneasy. I’m not worried about it, I know if you want people to buy your books; you are public about your life to a certain extent. 

It’s purposeful I mentioned we have two dogs. They’re big dogs, and quite protective of their house and people. The other side of that, is the dogs are a huge part of our lives. They’re part of our family, all our kids are dog lovers, too. Lucky pups live with nearly all of us. 

I want to record my reading some short children’s stories. I plan to upload them to YouTube and pitch Grandma Kathy reading other author’s books. I have several picked out. Then, I’ll introduce the first Grandma Kathy book. That one will have to be purchased. I think it’s a great idea, just need to get it off the ground. 

Soon, a private Podcast group will be available on Facebook. A friend of mine is heading up the group. It will be a free resource for those of us who want to learn how to do it, what to do, what you need, etc. So much to learn besides writing!

I think that explains my presence on social media, my concerns and the things I love about it. I’m using it for a purpose, not to create drama. So, while I’m not using it to make mountains out of the molehills of problems I have, I’m there and hope to gain a following. 

The drama creators make every minor problem that arises a full-blown crisis. There’s codependency in those kinds of crisis. The problem may have nothing to do with your immediate household, yet you adopt the crisis and all that goes with it. It’s for attention. You do it for control. You do it to feel important. 

Others may minimize another’s crisis. You know that type too. “That’s nothing! Thus and such happened to me.” That’s not appropriate to do to someone. We have no right to do that. We need the grace to see circumstances and events in life as they are; no exaggeration or minimizing. 

When we really have a crisis, we need to have a clear head, be ready to decide after gathering all the information, analyzing it, and be confident in our decision. 

I had a good 90 minutes of working on the quilt squares, they’re almost ready to sew together! I’m getting excited. There will be time to layer and quilt it and cut out the next one, for Kayla’s brother Cody. Here’s praying I get finished in time for Christmas!

Saturday Summation.

What a very nice day today. The dedication of the Patriot’s Patio at VFW Post 2503 was at 1 p.m. It was a perfect day outside, and the remarks were short and sweet. The crews that did the work were all very talented men, top craftsmen, one and all. What a joy to see their creation. There was a pictoral history of the progress from day to day, and the men were collectively proud. I love this stuff. It would have been perfect if the Babe’s brother in law Lou Riedmann were still with us. He would have been equally as proud.

This month’s edition of Writer’s Digest suggests Journaling as a Superpower. Also suggested, we begin journaling. It is basically a diary. One type of Journaling could be a novel journal. What a great idea! A novel idea even. Too soon? I suppose.

I’m tempted to journal this NaNoWriMo. It is described as a a collection of novel-in-progress. What are your goals for the scene, what clues do we need to plant? List 10-15 different directions my character might go, based on events of the story. Try different points of view for the character.

Also, an idea journal should be handy. Any ideas for stories, short stories, chapters, novels, etc. should be recorded. I’m liking these journaling ideas. Last night, we talked about journaling being important in learning in peer support. A person learns a lot about how they think and process memories through journaling.

All the words I write, in my novel or not, count as words to be considered for NaNoWriMo. They don’t have to be just chapters, blogs, or notes to myself. It will be good to count everything, and definitely add to the final tally. I hope the flow is conducive to more writing. We’ll have to finesse it as we go along. I’m getting kind of excited. Back to writing Ahhh! It’s been a long time. Remind me of those excited feelings in about a week when I’m tearing my hair out, ok?

It’s been a long day and that king-sized bed looks pretty good to me right about now. Have a great rest of the evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow, ok? Thanks for reading.

Playing Catch-Up.

With three appointments for Mom this week, a visitation and then funeral for our friend. Everything is behind; the laundry, the Hello Fresh meals from last week need cooked before they spoil, my kid book and other projects are on hold momentarily, and my mind and heart are else-where. This happens to me after losses.

I’ve mentioned before how the Babe and I have lost many people in the last two years. With Janet, now the count is eight in 20 months. They were all ages and walks of life; they were ALS, COVID, Congestive Heart Failure, COPD/Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney Cancer & old age, Sepsis/Lung Infection, Lymphoma, and Cancer/Strokes/Dementia. What a list.

In my grief, I’m thinking and remembering how it was to get through every day after Dad died. It was hard, with him dying December 7th, Christmas on the horizon, and his birthday on January 1. All those events within 30 days of his death really left us scrambling to figure out how to cope.

I’m enjoying seeing all the FB photos posted of Janet with family, friends, and acquaintances. It made realize we didn’t have any photos of us together; all our pictures were of the kids. That’s how things were back in the 80s. No selfies or group selfies. But I have wonderful memories and many reasons to smile.

Today was a late day appointment with Mom, and she’s pretty frustrated. It took such a long time to get there, then to find out, we made a useless trip. Things happen, and she gets really upset. We are indeed the sandwich generation: elderly parents and grandkids. My in-laws are deceased, and Mom is the only one left. She is requiring more care and time the older she becomes. The grand kids are spreading their wings and Mom’s needing hers clipped. How about that?

It’s time to relax and try to get some sleep. I’m so glad I do not have to leave the house tomorrow. Meals are prepared and only need nuking, and I plan to visit my children’s book again. My friend’s grandson Donnie IV may like my book about Roxie and Gavin. He saw his grandpa very sad yesterday. He is too, and will remember yesterday for a long time. He stepped in front of us and called out to Grandpa, giving him hugs and kisses. It was so sweet. This is what makes life worth living, and it’s what keeps us going on.

Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there.

We Create Our Own Nightmares.

Sometimes, that’s the cold, hard truth. We all want our own way. It doesn’t matter if we’re a cranky toddler, an angst-filled teenager, a broken-hearted mid-lifer, an elder of the tribe, or an angry nonagenarian. We all have our moments.

We think we know everything at those moments. How others need to respond to us, the situation, who should do what, how they should do it, and of the result will be exactly what we think it should be. How could it fail? Let me count the ways, my dear.

We think our power is greater than it is; we’re not supposed to manage other’s outcomes. We have no idea what will work for everyone we think is involved. If everyone actually bends to our iron will, things may work out for a time. Before they backfire in our faces. The feeling of power is short-lived. Wow. We didn’t know what’s best. Imagine that?

Coming from an environment where some tried to control others lives, I know for a fact how true this statement is. Those folks don’t admit they’re wrong, nor when you’re right. Sad. Stay in your lane, people! Most often your own best guesses about my life are wrong, just as my ideas about your life are most likely wrong. The exception in cases of deep addiction to alcohol, drugs, or gambling. You need help not only with the substances, or activity, but also with your mental health. Sometimes, it’s necessary to have another help you figure out what to do. You need to care about your recovery more than I do, though. I cannot and will not do the hard work for you.

Me? I sure don’t ever want to quit learning. I’ll never know it all and I wouldn’t want to. Too much responsibility! A better life lies ahead of all of us who realize we need to be our own navigator. It’s even better when you have a co-captain/navigator in your life, a trusted person to travel with you. It’s not necessary, just nice. Appreciate those who love you and help you grow. Thanks a million, Babe.

Watch out for pitfalls and backsliding while learning to let others navigate their own road, when they’re capable. We’ll all make mistakes, there is no way around our being human. Learn from today’s mistakes. And don’t dwell on them. You’re living in the now and the future is ahead of you, not behind.

Today will be beastly hot, not fit for anyone. Drink lots of water, and rest. Outdoor work will still be there tomorrow. We have a heat advisory in our area, and I expect it to remain too hot for anyone. Grateful for the A/C. I have lots of catch-up work for the Post, and for us. Too many unexpected things happened all week. It’s going to be better. I know it will. Be safe, hydrate, and be kind. See you tomorrow!

Good Girls Rarely Make History.

This phrase just jumped out at me while listening to Jennifer Nettles album/CD “Playing With Fire.” I love her voice. I’ve read before she has a voice “to make a man leave his happy home and follow her anywhere.”

The one thing I’m curious about is writing lyrics. It appears to be like poetry, but adding the words to music adds another dimension that words on a page just can’t compete with. Nettles’ song, “Hey Heartbreak” is an anthem telling Heartbreak to leave her door, she’s taking her life back. Powerful words, and great music. Nothing better.

I believe some day I will write words for a song. I have experienced a lot of themes. Bone crushing lonely Saturday nights, before I met the Babe. I think when you’ve lived through those, you can pretty much get through anything. Loss of good health is another thing that tests your mettle. Not having an adult in your home to help you is another kind of lonely and hopelessness. If I hadn’t had my kids, I may not have made it through. But we did. All those experiences are back in the vault of my memories. I will do something with them in the future. You cannot make up the things every day people make it through. No one could believe it all happened. But it did. And I’m still here!

This is where my overwhelming sense of gratitude grows from. I could not have lived through these things without hope, faith, and especially love. God is in charge. I no longer try to affect outcomes; I pray, “However you decide, God. I’m along for the ride. Tell me what you’re teaching me now.” Many years ago, I prayed, “Please make my husband be kinder to the kids,” and learned it doesn’t work that way. The prayer became, “Show me what you want me to do to improve this situation.” Boy, did He!

I was the quintessential “good girl.” I was obedient, always followed the rules, never expressed my opinion, deferred always to my first husband, and didn’t rock the boat. Never again! The book I will finish reading today has stirred many memories of how women’s role in society has changed. In the Victorian era, women were not allowed to study things like math or science. It was believed their delicate makeup would be upset if they used their minds too much. Hogwash!

When I was a Programmer Trainee in 1987, I asked a question that was quite technical in nature. The boss that was training me said, “That’s too technical for you.” I asked someone else later who said, “He probably didn’t know the answer.” I finally got the explanation but not from who should have answered me. My first review after transferring to another department of I/T included, “You are way more skilled than he would give you credit for. He kept you down.” How about that?

Truth of the matter is, there were not very many women in the field in the late 80s. Most were men, and I had to learn to go to lunch with them, hang out with them, and not be relegated to the “secretarial staff.” It’s a hard stop to be in, but you have to make the best of it. Thank God it has changed! We need to remain equal. We were made to be equal. I never broke out in hysterics from debugging an old COBOL program. Nonsense!

And while I may not go down in history as a “bad girl” I know that would have been one who talked back, (I was just asking questions no one liked), wanted to take a class only boys took (I wanted to take Mechanical Drawing. The nun who enrolled me that year said “absolutely NOT! You’re too shy!”), and “You’ll probably never finish college, even if you attend. Go to beauty school or nursing school or become a teacher.” No offers of financial help were ever discussed. How was that supposed to happen?

In the 1950s, the thing that made a girl “bad” was being one who smoked, hung out with the boys, one who stole boyfriends, and had sex before marriage. The worse thing was if your daughter “had to get married.” The scorn! In the late 60s and 70s, it mattered no more. Now, often people live together for years, have multiple children, then get married if they even do. I’m glad young teens are no longer forced into marriage. It used to be the air was clean and sex was dirty. Now, the air is dirty and sex is clean. In my opinion, God made male and female to enjoy each other in every way possible. There is nothing better than a caring lover. That, along with commitment, love, faith, and trust in each other transcends to a beautiful life together. I have that with the Babe. I wish it on my friends to know what that is.

Does that make me a bad girl? Oh well! I’ve been called worse! When I was single for so long, I used to say, “If I could be guilty of half of what people have thought I’ve done, I’d be having a great time!”

Have a great time today! Be good to yourself and to each other. Show respect and kindness everywhere you go. You’ll receive it back tenfold. Do it out of goodness, not out of what you may get from it. Let’s see each other again tomorrow!

Help a girl out, we’re around #946 followers. Help me get to #1000! It’ll be fun! Thank you!

August 1, Monday, 2022

Hello from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. This week, I should get lots of inside with my writing time. The low high temp this week will be upper 90’s, with heat indices over 100 almost every day. Not fit for dogs, writers, or mankind.

Our weekend was delightful. Attending Willy Wonka Saturday night was fun. I can’t wait to see what McGuigan Arts Academy comes up with next. Whatever it is, they will do a fine job and surprise their audiences again.

By the end of the month, we will have a book at the printer. Lotta work until then, but it will be worth it. I need to visit libraries and indie bookstores to see if they would stock some. Until you ask, the answer is no. I will be asking around, believe me.

This is the last month I’m doing any work on the VFW Post 2503’s website, Facebook page, and other social media. I’m ready to have some extra time, believe me. The end of summer is a perfect time to transition, but I’ll still volunteer with some select events. I love our Veterans and feel by volunteering, I’m trying to make their sacrifices worth all they’ve been through. We owe them our freedoms. We need to put them to good use. It will make the world a less harsh place. Do good, it will come back in ways you never dreamed. Start small. Then, Go Big or Go Home!

Need to update all our devices with new virus protection, etc. That will take a bit. Working on more editing, and hoping to finish reading a 400 + page book today which I’ve really enjoyed.

What are you doing today? What are you doing to remain positive? What are you doing to pay it forward? And very important; What are you doing for yourself today? Have a great day, and I’ll see you tomorrow. It always works out the way it’s supposed to. Let’s get out there and make it happen!

Thursday’s Thinking.

Do you have a place of comfort in your home? Not necessarily your bed (mine is great – firm mattress, I can let my spine decompress like nobody’s business), but somewhere you can sit and reflect. Maybe you have a spot where you can just consider your day, your life, your direction. Even for a retired person, this is necessary to keep living life, not just existing.

My thoughts go back to our grandparents. German on one side, Irish on the other. All very hard workers. Our dad’s parents had their own business, a drug and sundries store. Something for everyone. Dad told me a story once when I was telling him how hard it was with my oldest, who wanted to be our playing past dark, when it was time for bed. He could see the other kids outside, no supervision, riding their big wheels on the sidewalk of our busy street. Luckily, he obeyed me, didn’t try to go outside, he was a good kid.

Dad told me it wasn’t anything new. When he was a kid, he and his siblings were babysat by Great Grandma Hurley while his mother worked evenings at the drugstore. Never met the woman, but she ruled with an iron fist. She had to. She was widowed and didn’t have much. Her family lived with her, which was common in those days. Dad said he also wanted to be out with the kids. He didn’t dare cross his Grandma. She had a shillelagh, which she would use to bop them on the head when they were in need of an attitude adjustment. It got their attention. She died while my dad and his brothers were all away at the war. They were not allowed to come home for her funeral.

The more we think no one has done what we’re doing in these times, the more the similarities leap out at me. What has changed? Well, Grandma Hurley would not be bopping a kid on the head with her shillelagh. And our mom’s Great Uncle Roy walked with a regular cane. When he wanted the nieces to come talk with him, he would use the curved handle of his cane to hook them by the arm or leg. They laughed. Mom and her sisters always fell for it. What’s changed? Well, now everyone is on red alert about children being molested, accosted by pedophiles right in their own homes. It needs to come out of the dark.

That has gone on forever, it’s just now we talk about it. We need to. We need to help children through these terrible events and keep them safe. I believe we are teaching children to be aware, stand up for themselves, and tell a safe adult when things are not right.

I feel so lucky that as kids, we didn’t have to worry about anyone hurting us. We rode our bikes around, roller skated, walked to the library, and other stuff kids do. We loved going to the air-conditioned library when it was blistering hot outside. It was an oasis from the oppressive heat. And of course, there were wonderful books there. Great time, well spent. Thanks Mom!

Author Jennifer Chaverini is someone I’ve followed because of the theme of her books, The Elm Creek Quilters. Alex Anderson had a quilting show I started to watch when I started on my LTD. I was depressed, and I really was inspired by watching her create quilts. I made many purchases of thread, fabric, patterns, lots of stuff. I now have a full room of stuff for making quilts. There are other hobbies covered there, too.

Ms. Chaverini now writes historical fiction. She’s covered Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, and other women’s story throughout history. I just started “Enchantress of Numbers,” about the famous poet Lord Byron’s daughter, who was highly educated in math and science. That never happened in the 1800s. I’m only in the prologue.

Funny, authors debate the use of prologues to set the backstory. Most say not to use it. Could this very long prologue serve as the first chapter? I’ll have to let you know. Not having knowledge about that era and how social mores were so strict, I think it’s necessary to set the tone. More on that later.

I’m shooting for a productive day today. How about you? I like this new way of looking at my to-do list. Of course, there is a huge list of stuff that comes to mind that I want to do. I can cross it off when I write down what we’ve accomplished. I like seeing the done list grow and the to-do list shrink. It’s motivating.

Have a beautiful day, folks. Let’s keep going for more followers! We have jumped up to 938 readers as of publishing time yesterday. Let’s keep going! Love it! Thanks for going on this journey with me. I appreciate the company. Take care, see you tomorrow.

Making Space & Boundaries

That’s what I’m doing. We need to clear out things in our lives that aren’t working anymore. Yes, they were great when we started. When things like volunteering end up being more of a job than contributing to the community. Don’t get me wrong. We took on more things willingly. And now, we need to release some things to come back to the most important relationship we have; the one with each other. In the coming years, we’re aware one of us will leave this world before the other. We want to spend all the time together, just us, just enjoying each other’s company.

So far, one person doesn’t understand we’re doing this to do the things we want/need to do. Reducing our time outside the home to make room for us and the things we have planned doesn’t mean filling up that time to be “on call” for when they decide they want to do something. No, I’m not saying I won’t help this person; I’m saying asking for help would be much better than saying, “Then you can come here and do so and so. . .”

It would have been much better for the person to have asked, “Could you help me out one day a week? Maybe every Wednesdays?” The key here is, their pride keeps them from asking. They are used to giving orders and everyone complies. It leads to all sorts of anger, resentment, and ill-will. Disregarding the fact that others have a busy life is selfish. Someone who will not ask for help cannot ask, in their way of thinking. And, contrary to their saying they’re “Fine, I’m just fine,” they’re not. They’re fearful and upset and angry even though they’ve had a long, productive life.

This is hard for those of us who have disabilities which began in our 40s. We’ve had limitations due to illness and near-death events. We didn’t get to have 85 years before we had limitations of age forced on us. We had limitations of our body failing us and had to put our pride aside at a very young age. Sometimes, it’s hard to have empathy when dealing with someone who thought they had aging beat. It results in ungraceful aging, and negativity.

So if you have this same type of challenging person in your life, know you’re not alone. It’s hard to establish boundaries with them, but we need to. Boundaries keep us all sane and safe. Boundaries keep unwanted things out. Boundaries make our time more accessible for what we want/need to do.

And we can offer assistance to others when needed. It just needs boundaries around it. Then we don’t start something we need to do and have the interruption at 10:30 a.m. of the person who wants (non-emergency) help (different than needing (emergency!) and ruining our day because we haven’t established a boundary.

The meme in the header today first caught my eye because of the beautiful color. Then the words hit me. Yes, the Babe and I are going to intentionally decide how to spend the space we’re creating in our lives. You should too. Continue helping other humans, but do it with intention. And boundaries. You’ll all be happier.

Hydrate in this awful heat! Stay inside with your pets, and fill your day with what you love. I’m doing that very thing! Please, help me get to 1,000 followers who will be notified when a new blog is posted! We’re above 1,000 blog posts published now, I’d love to see our followers get over 1,000 too! We’re hovering around #929. Help a girl out, please! I appreciate it. See you tomorrow. Take care.

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (?)

Happy Wednesday! I just saw a meme that read:

Make today so fantastic that yesterday gets jealous!”

So, at first read, I didn’t care for it because of the word jealous. Jealousy is the cause of a lot of bad things; mistrust, unhealthy competition, rage, relationships ending, and lots of other bad stuff. As young Catholics, we were taught jealousy is sinful. In a lot of ways, I believe jealousy is unnecessary among well-adjusted adults. Key words: well-adjusted.

In relationships if someone goes to great lengths to make their partner jealous, the whole thing is doomed. Games should not be played there at all. Period. A well-adjusted adult is secure in their knowledge of what they have to offer. Ideally, trust should be paramount in any relationship. Yes, many of us have trust issues. I did, until I met the Babe. He’s pretty much up front about everything. No worries. He has female friends; I have male friends. Not even a second thought about anything inappropriate. We’re lucky to have that with each other. Nothing makes a person feel more confident than absolute trust being placed in your hands by the one you love.

Mom and I went to a luncheon today, and new/old/schoolmate Steve Paschang was present again. It’s weird talking to someone who was in a class two years ahead of you in high school. Once you graduate high school, go through life, and make your place in the world, it’s amazing how we all blend together. It’s funny now we all realize those things we valued as children are not that important. As you get older, nationalities, races, educational levels, all fade. We’re all more the same than we are different. Nothing to disagree about if your take politics out of the equation, which I insist on here and on my FB things. We just don’t need the hassle.

It’s been another different kind of day, didn’t get much done, there is still tomorrow. Oh, I heard back from the DeGroot group; I did not advance for consideration for a grant for writing. It’s ok, though. I entered, did it a little scared, and didn’t make it. No lives lost. I feel by just entering I won. I could never have done this 50 years ago.

Life is a series of steps from one stage to another; many are similar at the stages, many are not. The trick is to keep moving. I’m moving right now out to the couch and pick up my crocheting. And fight the urge for a nap. It’s a comfortable life, this retired life is. I hope you enjoy yours as I do. Let’s see each other again tomorrow.