Thinking About Thursday

This Plant Needs Prayers!

Our beautiful pure-bred hunting dog must be a vegetarian or something. She mangled about four plants this week. I suppose it’s my fault for trusting her too much. She’s a puppy, still. And now, she’s sleeping peacefully on the floor by me while I write and it rains outside. All is right with the world.

She’s Sleeping Near the Bag of Coloring Supplies.

It started out a beautiful day, right now, the clouds are rolling in. It’s still a beautiful day and when the rain comes in, I’ll be grateful to not have to water. Even the plant Goldie tried to eat. Well, I guess she DID eat it.

I am so happy to have these two dogs for companionship. They are great company and comfort, even if they just nap in the room I occupy at any given moment. They are powerful creatures. They sense everything about us. Earlier this week, Lexie didn’t like Goldie tugging at a toy Gavin was going to throw for fetch. Lexie walked over in between them and gave a low, throaty growl, ever so quietly. Goldie let go. Gavin threw the toy, Goldie fetched, Lexie walked away and laid down again. She watches her people, and I love that about her.

I had a great conversation with my book coach Sam this morning. We have developed a plan for July and August. I’m taking a slightly different path in as much as I’m writing a different story over these two months, and will check in regularly to discuss the progress or lack thereof. If you’d like to read about Sam, here is a link to her website. You’ll hear a lot more about Sam and our work later in the summer.

Today is a day filled with significant birthdays! In addition to being Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday, it’s my older brother’s birthday and Dan’s younger sister’s birthday. Tom Jewell and Linda Ulmer, Happy Birthdays! Hope you both have a great day. Don’t need to wish Sir Paul one, after all, he’s Paul McCartney!

It seems the food industry is rebranding several products we have used for decades and probably not realized their packaging was racist. Aunt Jemima is having a makeover. I suppose it must be done. For years, I haven’t given it a thought using these products. I thought the updating done last was just like the Betty Crocker image on packaging, cook books, and other items. Were women offended by an old fashioned representation on the cook books? I don’t remember.

Uncle Ben and the cook on Cream of Wheat simply told me they were pictures on a package. No different than any other picture. And now, things will change. Will it change the violence in the streets? Most likely not. But those offensive photos will no longer be staring out from shelves in the stores. So be it.

Sometimes I can’t help but think there needs to come a point where we stop being offended. Where we stop pointing fingers and placing blame, and sit down and formulate a plan to just stop all of this. Both sides. Just stop it! Start respecting each other, just because God created all of us. Then work on being better humans. As you work together, and have frank discussions, you will grow in respect of each other. And yourselves. Do something that’s never been done. Admit there is fault on both sides. Quit being the stereotypes we all hate. The bad cop. The bad punk. The gangster. The professional rioter. Talk to each other. Talk with each other. Listen to each other. Listen to hear. Hear and act. Act in a rational manner. Make the change you want for everyone. Teach your children how to respect and behave, not show attitude and bad behavior.

We have plans to watch Gavin play ball over the weekend. Being a tournament, there are quite a few games to get in. And of course, the forecast is calling for a whole bunch of rain. It wouldn’t be a ball tournament without it!

I also have a lot of writing things to accomplish in the next three weeks. It will be a great way to spend time, and a great way to move forward with my projects. A plan and a partner work well together. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. It rained quite nicely here, and now appears to be dreary for the rest of the day. Perhaps dreary and rain is what my Goldie – relocated plants needs to come back to life. I’ll see you tomorrow! Stay safe. Wash your mask before you wear it again! Wash your hands. Be a good example. Teach your children well.

Spectacular Saturday

Hi, friends. It’s starting to get back to humid summer weather in Gretna, Nebraska, at the home office and studio. We sat on our deck before the sun rose above the tall trees in the Wetlands behind us. It was beautiful. It’s amazing how busy the birds at that hour. I couldn’t help but wonder about the flight paths of the little creatures. Do they need any air traffic control? Look at how many run into your picture window and bounce off in a season. Do any ever collide in mid-air? Wow. After one week with our grandson, this sounds like a Gavin question. Hopefully I’ll be able to give him an answer should he ever ask me about it.

One morning last week, there was a brilliant red cardinal chirping his head off, and he was sitting right on top of the flagpole. It was such a cool scene. And neither of us had our phones to snap a picture. It brought back the memories of the good old days, when we took in these things rather than only saw them through the site of the camera. We probably do miss a lot around us because of that. But that cardinal was spectacular. Glad we both saw it at the same time.

I’ve mentioned before I start the day with a daily reading from a book of Daily Meditations of Adult Children (of Alcoholics). Today’s is good. An American proverb:

“There is always free cheese in a mousetrap.”

The reading talks about feeding a weakness. The more you feed a weakness, the hungrier it becomes. If it’s food, you can become a boarder- line diabetic before you realize it. If it’s fancy cars, clothes, travel to exotic places, or any of many other things, you’ll be so far in debt you’ll never find your way out. And you’ll be just as hungry for whatever is missing in your life. I’m not an alcoholic or drug addict. The places I’ve tried to back fill my life were with clothes, things for my kids and grandkids, and a few more material things. I created debt for myself that was ridiculous. I did what all the experts tell you, and pait off the highest interest, blah, blah, blah. The Babe and I have always kept our money separate as we both had lots of bills from life before we got married. We are co-owners of accounts, etc., and manage our own stuff. It works for us, I don’t know if it would for others or not.

So often, we feed our weaknesses and hide behind them, never satisfied. We’ve all done it at some time in our life. It’s human nature, and doggone it, we’re so human. We might be slow learners that the problems aren’t “out there” but “within us.” What?? In us? It’s so easy to try and point fingers and place blame elsewhere. Anywhere but where it belongs. With us. In us. It is’t you, it’s me. Really.

You Will Get Better

You can survive many things throughout a lifetime. Some people seem to be able to survive one disaster after another. There is no other choice, is there? If you don’t survive, you perish. You may not want to go on, but you do. God gets you through things you cannot believe. I’m glad there is help for me, and love for me, when I need it. Friends help, families help, but God gets us through.

First Hibiscus Bloom of 2020.

Yesterday, the Hibiscus on the deck was about to pop open. I wanted to get a photo of it beginning the process. I got dressed and everything, went back outside, and the bud popped open! It must have opened when the sun hit it 20 minutes earlier. Dang! Missed it. But isn’t it beautiful? I hope I can keep this living over the winter in the house. The blooms only live for 24 hours. That’s it. Such anticipation, and then they die. Nature is so grand!

The reading for yesterday was certainly timely as today’s was. It was:

I have to remember this: People at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

I think this is so timely with all the talk about socio-economic differences in our country, and issues with it. The people I know who have had good lives, regardless of color, have stayed in school at least through age 18, then gone to college, the military, or trade school. Their parents didn’t pay for them to become educated. They learned how to get loans or grants for students.

They have been dedicated to their mission of a degree, a life of service, or a life as a tradesperson. They have all earned good livings, learned to handle their finances and business, been morally uncorrupted, and do what good people do. I do believe if we all lived this way, there would be more people at the tops of the mountains. I think it is a tried and true method to get there. No excuses. No blame placing. Good mentoring helps. If your parents aren’t able to do that, ask someone who can.

I do plan to write some more today. I am writing more of significant events in my character Katie’s life, and will reassess how that will go with what I already have. I believe there is a way, I’m just not sure of the how yet. Great things to ponder on another beautiful, sunny, hot Nebraska day. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it so much! See you again tomorrow. I can’t wait!

Ain’t Technology Grand?

Wow. I know we live in a disposable world. We have an Acer Swift 3 laptop with Windows 10, I think. Maybe 10. When you power up, you just get a black screen. Oops! Gosh, I purchased it when I started writing. I write on my Chromebook, and the Babe uses the other device. I do sometimes. I don’t think it’s had much use at all. Now, to find the warranty papers, if we bought one.

Just thinking back on the devices I’ve owned. I bought my first desktop in 1995. I was finishing my degree, and I could use it to log in at work. Back in those days, it was strictly dial up. And they called you back to connect. Pretty crazy stuff. If you had call waiting, a call coming in would knock you offline for work. Then you dialed up again, they called you back for the connection. Still better than driving to mid-town at 2 a.m. Still frustrating, though.

After that first one, there was a second desktop. Of course it had a Microsoft Operating System, it was probably Windows 95? Don’t remember that either. It was ok as far as Internet searching goes. I believe we had AOL for email. That was a whole new venture. I wasn’t much of a chatter, however. That could turn weird really fast.

My first laptop was right before I had surgery on my foot for a tendon problem. I was looking at eight to twelve weeks on non weight bearing living. It was probably there I really got hooked on Facebook, since I was really busy finding beautiful quilts to make and adding to my fabric collection. It turned into almost six consecutive months of non-weight bearing activity. It was boring day after day. But I could learn quilting techniques from Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company. She and her business literally saved the town of Hamilton, Missouri. I still have yet to drive there, but I sure spent a lot of money there from the confines of my recliner, foot in a cast up to the knee, ice, and trying to figure out how to pass the day. I had a knee scooter, which was good. Crutches wouldn’t work for me. When I had breast cancer the sentinel lymph node they removed was right where the padding from the crutches would go. It would cause lymphedema from the pressure. The woodwork didn’t do too well with the pain pills and knee scooter, but I survived.

That laptop lasted quite awhile. A year later, I fell on the ice and broke the ankle of the foot that had the two surgeries. What great luck! Get that woman a lottery ticket!! Well, the laptop took ill at a later date. The one that replaced it is still running, although slow. I think it’s Windows 7, so it’s obsolete. The Acer was supposed to be last longer than it’s predecessor.

When I worked in the IT arena, we had software programmers (me) and hardware people (the other guys). We couldn’t add software to our desktops at work, blah, blah, blah, otherwise we’d be tsk’d at. At that time, I didn’t even know how to. And now, I can find my way around a network fairly well. And I have learned all that in the past twenty years, since I quit working. I’m amazed at what we have now for technology, and am glad for what I’ve learned. Not bad for a girl, or for a Grandma!!

I love my IT department in Sioux Falls. My brother in law, Brad. We are friends, and when we talk, I realize how much we miss seeing him, Cindy, Alex, Ona, and their families. Just have to start making plans when we can get out and drive. Brad has patiently walked me through a lot of stuff. And I’ve actually taken stuff apart with a screwdriver and installed a new hard drive in the dual backup we have. It required more stuff than I could be walked through, so he fixed it for us. What a great guy.

Anyway, so now it’s deciding what is wrong and what Dan the Computer Man (in Omaha) can do. He takes care of the network at the Post, and he also has private customers. He’s a good guy, too.

I will finish, I will finish, I will finish . . .

As I ponder the mysterious realm of technology, I thank you for reading today. What are some fun things you’ve had happen with your devices? It’s pretty strange, how we are dependent to such a degree. Log off. Wash your hands. Go outside. Socially distance. Wear your mask. Smile with your eyes. See you right back here tomorrow. Be safe!