November 20, 2022; Sunday

While other writers and author-types are deep into NaNoWriMo, feverishly writing to reach the 50K word finish-line on 11/30/2022, I’m on the sidelines, and working feverishly to complete two twin sized quilts for our grandchildren in Colorado. It’s coming along nicely, and the Babe is going to visit our son & family on the east coast, so the pups and I will have 5 days of sewing, with no interruptions or things to take our mind off of the tasks at hand. (Hah!)

I’m delighted, we’ve made it to #1000followers. YES! Yesterday, the count was #1002followers. I think some folks sign up and then change their minds. It’s all good, you know? But as of this moment, we are at #1000followers. I’m over the moon!

As with quilting, writing, living, and all the other things people occupy themselves with, we set goals to achieve, and work to accomplish them. We decide on a path, we learn how to achieve it, and we want to follow through to completion. Yes, we’re full of resolve, and learning new skills, and eager to get going. We have confidence and visions of glory. We’re going to kick butt, aren’t we? You betcha!

And so, the battle begins. The battle between our resolve and our actual getting-stuff-done-energy. We lose steam, and may not get all the reading research done, we don’t write the 1,667 words every day in November, and we just get lost. We don’t want to perform. The goal was stupid. We were stupid. The thought of us publishing a book was stupid.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The goal is not stupid. You are not stupid. Publishing a book is certainly not stupid. You have to work to achieve it, but you really can do it. It’s never too late! The new diet isn’t really that hard, you are on the right path, we need to keep up with our exercise classes even though our muscles are sore.

The thing we need to remember, it’s easy start a project, diet, new habit, new hobby, or even new relationship. The real challenge is persisting with any of them. Accomplishing is much harder than beginning. It doesn’t take money, good looks, intelligence, social standing, or personal favors to achieve anything. It takes persistence more than anything else. We are all capable to being persistent. We are equal as far as that goes, and we have no one to credit but ourselves if we stop before we achieve our goals. Just keep going. The one who persists wins. Period.

Have a beautiful Sunday. Make sure you work to keep your task “fun.” However you can do it, make sure it’s fun. See you tomorrow.

Sunday; PTSD & Mental Health

Today was an informative event at the VFW Post 2503, thanks to the generosity of Kim Erickson and Tammy Marshall, Donna Wolff, and Silouan Green. Mr. Green is an author and speaker on PTSD, and does training for many types of organizations, military, law enforcement, and others. He was an incredible and informative speaker on the subject of PTSD.

It is a subject people don’t want to talk about. Mental health is just as part of your health as your gall bladder, your heart, and muscles. Anyone can have PTSD. It can be from a direct event that happened to you, or can be something you hear about that causes you great distress. It’s amazing. I wish you had all been there. We learned so much.

I learned a lot I didn’t know, and am disappointed Donna didn’t do her presentation on Talk Saves Lives. I was looking forward to it, but it wasn’t to be. Silouan ran over, and Ms. Wolff needed to drive back to where she lives near western Nebraska.

It was my last formal involvement in a VFW Post activity; I’ve made it known I need to spend more time pursuing my passions. Writing, Quilting, and learning new things are tops on the list. I want to take art lessons as well. This will allow me much more time. It’s time. Time to make time for myself and what I wish to do for myself. It’s all part of being well-rounded. I’ve loved my time volunteering with Veterans outreach, and we’ve made friends to cherish from these years. My life is very good, and I’m proud of what’s been accomplished. Time to step back.

I remember when I was a kid, a great aunt on Dad’s side of the family was hospitalized with mental health issues. I was about 10 or so, I think. We went to visit her at the mental hospital near the regular hospital. Mom threatened us with an untimely demise if we told anyone where we went to visit her, such was the scourge of mental illness. I remember the poor lady was troubled with depression, and she could have been bi-polar, I don’t know. There was no shame in it at all. But Mom thought so, as did many folks during those years. I overheard she had shock-treatments. I didn’t know what those were, but they sounded awful.

If you talked to a “head doctor,” you carried a stigma. The feeling was strong in the families, and society back then. Our aunt was unmarried, so according to the protocol of the times, she lived with her sister (our Grandma) and her family. It was totally normal for us. Like having two grandmothers. She was such a sweet woman, always dressed in her own classic style, and a lady through and through.

Aunt Anna always talked about having class. That was a phrase that meant you had manners, style, were appropriate in any situation, and could carry on a decent conversation. After she passed away, I tried on a dress that reminded me of something she would buy. I heard her, in my mind’s eye say, “Kid, you’ve got class in that.” Even after over 40 years, I miss her. She had such an influence in my life. When I’d stay at their house, I’d get to go downtown on the bus with her on Saturday to go shopping. It was such a wonderful time.

Writing takes your mind on many trips down memory lane. Yesterday, it was about the brownies from three wars; today, it was mental illness, family secrets, and having class. I appreciate you listening and reading and coming back every day as you do. We have #975 followers, which is awesome! I’d like to see us add #25 more, and get to #1000followers since we passed #1000blogs a little while ago. Help a girl out? It’s be fun!

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a beautiful evening and a great Monday morning. It’s going to be a wonderful week. Eight days until our 24th Wedding Anniversary. Some days it feels like yesterday, others it seems like a long time ago. Blissful all the way. See you tomorrow!

Friday Fun

Is it really the end of the week? It’s been a roller coaster again, folks. Lots of meetings, lots of planning to help folks out, lots of dreams being made. And, we have spent some quality time on the deck, enjoying the peacefulness of our view. It’s like being on vacation. I never get tired of looking at the trees and just letting my mind freely roam.

When the Babe asks me if I “want to come have coffee?” I immediately say, “Yes!” I don’t want to waste a moment with him. Life from here on is uncertain due to age and health issues. When you find gratitude, more blessings follow you. It’s amazing. Try it, you’ll like it!

Trusting was always an issue for me. And very low expectations. I didn’t have any confidence in myself or the fact I deserve to be loved. Lots of bullying led me to cracking jokes back at the bullies. Or I’d think of snnappy comebacks in my room. I retreated a lot. The Beach Boys song, “In My Room,” was my anthem.

I was fortunate to have my own room. Much as I hated having three brothers, I did have that perk. I made the most of every inch of it. It was my safe haven, the best thing I had many days. My baby brother Tim took his first step to me in my room. Mom let me out of having to dry dishes to watch him in my room. Cool! I played with him and acted silly where no one saw me. He was a happy little guy. Got into everything, though.

I was so excited when he walked to me. He was, too. It was the start of his life getting around on his own. He had trust in me catching him if he fell. That became our relationship for our life. We are best friends and I just cannot believe what we talk about to this day! I’m glad to have him in my life. I trust him. And of course, the Babe.

I still have a room of my own, the office/studio I create in. And yes, I make the most of every inch there. Kind of full of books, ideas, my latest sewing project, etc. It’s also my haven, my place to dream and create. There is a comfort in creating I cannot explain, I just have to do it. Always. And reading, too. Dad always told us, “If you can read, you can do anything!” I tell the grandkids that every chance I get. That’s why I want to write kids books, so they can learn and grow.

You know, I think of trusting a lot. I did trust Walmart to keep my debit card info safe. Somehow, someone got my card # and tried to make a purchase for pick up! That was a couple weeks ago, and boy, it really made me angry. The Bank was on it, and things are fine, but why do people do that to each other? I still trust people generally, but not sure about grocery pickup service. It’s easy, and I do like it. Maybe, but I won’t save the credit card info. Reduce my risk.

God forbid something happen to the Babe, but I don’t think I could trust Internet dating. Age aside, scammers are everywhere. Just keeping the creeps away from my Author FB page is time consuming. And all these dudes are Generals, widowed, and have big dogs. Sure, Jack. My philosophy is I’ve already had my soulmate. Truly. It took me 14 years to find him. I don’t think I’d want to look again.

So it’s another day in paradise, all things considered. I’m off to do some errands and hope you have a beautiful day. Hot and humid again. We sat on the deck last night as it rained. Monsoon! The wind shifted and we were soaked, just running into the house, couldn’t have been more than 5 feet! It was funny. Things like that are what life is about. Find something to laugh at today. Make light of a situation. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Life is meant to enjoy. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. See you tomorrow!

Eyes + Brain + Heart = Seeing Truth

Again, here we are on a chilly but sunny day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. The Robins are bouncing along on the lawn, eating their favorite bugs, and the Finch feeder hangs on a Shepherd’s hook just outside my window. It’s a very peaceful scene. Have you ever looked at something and not really seen it?

My reading today quoted someone named Matthew Arnold, who said;

“The endeavor, in all branches of knowledge, is to see the object as in itself it really is.”

The theory is we see only what we think we see; or we see what we want to see; or we altogether miss what’s right in front of us. Things may not always be what we think. The seemingly aloof person may simply have no confidence, fearing rejection and being ignored. We assume our impression is correct, when it really isn’t. The little old lady with the scowl on her face may mean she has difficulty hearing. That causes sensory overload in a large crowd.

My dad had a philosophy, “Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. You never know what’s going on in their lives.” How very true. I’ve met people and disliked them at first. After getting to know them, I find a different person inside of them. I discover the truth about them. Do we reveal our truths to each other? No, you don’t have to spill all your secrets upon meeting someone, but when fostering relationships, do we share important parts of ourselves? If it’s a relationship worth having, revealing your heart is necessary. Trust is necessary. You may uncover some truths about yourself.

It’s hard to step back from situations and let people handle their own decisions and lies, especially if it could affect you. If your adult child refuses to get a COVID vaccination, you have to take measures to keep yourself safe. We don’t like things like this, and we must learn to live with their decisions no matter how bad we believe they are. No two humans react the same to any situation.

It occurred to me the other day, my daughter moved to Colorado twenty years ago. That’s half of her life spent in another state while growing into her own. She is a completely different person now than when she left. It’s good she grew up, and learned to be self-sufficient. I’m proud of her for that. I thought we would always be close, and now we are not. That makes me sad, but I can’t change it. I need to live with it. If I dwell on it, I could make myself crazy. Instead, I choose to write and create things. It saves my soul. Just like music does.

In the meantime, we need to fill our lives with what makes us feel fulfilled and joyful. I love babies.I enjoy my nieces photos on Facebook of their grandbabies. They’re so fortunate. I love other nieces photos of their baseball playing children, and accomplishments of friends’ grandkids. Life is full of happiness.

I hope children learn from my books yet to be written. I hope women (and men) learn from my novel of a young woman learning to be strong, learning the lies she was told growing up were not true. She could, indeed, make her own decision and plot her own course. And that she does. The struggle is real, and it still happens. She learns to believe in herself.

The world is full of possibilities, my friends. We need to make sure we have accurate information and truth before we make decisions about others. We may change our minds, there is no shame in that. Be true to your convictions, gained from thoughtful deliberations. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Fair. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. It will help make you a fair human. See you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Suddenly It’s Sunday Again!

Wow! What a week! It’s been the longest short week I’ve had for quite a long time. It was a great one, though. How about for all of you? I hope you’re all well and able to enjoy this beautiful Sunday, wherever you are.

The Babe and I had a big list of stuff to do this week. Probably 75% of it was done. But even at that, washing windows was not in the cards with all the much needed rain. Probably this week. I once had a house with 36 windows. They were old, cheap combination windows I cleaned twice a year. What a job! Now, instead of having to take the parts out, I can take out the screens, and use a product that hooks to your garden hose. You can clean the window, switch the product off, then rinse. Five minutes, then give the screen a shot of suds and rinsing, it’s all clean and ready to put back in when dry. Since we have a ranch style home, you can squeedge the water off or dry with a cloth. You can see again!

We went to the Post this morning for the first Sunday breakfast in a long time, and we enjoyed a good meal for $8. They did well, and it shuts down at Noon. We had breakfasts once a month for quite awhile, then stopped because not a lot of people were coming up, and that was before COVID. Good call to start them again. A new group of helpers makes the work go well.

Today, I will put the finishing touches on my stories of origin. It’s been a fun project and I’ve learned a lot. This has also been the week to unveil the new VFW Post 2503 website. The Babe’s brother in law Brad is a web designer, among other things, and he put it together for us. I’ve learned a lot more about WordPress this week, so that time has been so worth it. It’s been a fun as well as frustrating week. My stubbornness has kept me from calling him for help in figuring things out. Some things I still needed help with, but it took me back to my working days and the triumph of trouble shooting problems. A victory when you figure stuff out, for sure.

There will be a learning curve to keep going, and it’s ok. I’ve actually improved my website too, in case you didn’t notice. The new “Home” page has a bit about me and my headshot. I’ll need a new one since my COVID hair has grown almost shoulder length. I decided to keep the hair. I’ve missed it. I’ve had long hair most of my life, it’s sort of a signature. So what if it’s gray. No one cares anymore. Part of my brand, actually. “It’s Not Too Late, and I’m Not Too Old.”

The newest blog for the day is under “Today’s Blog” and a collection of all my blogs is available on the “Blogs at a Glance” page. There is a page to “Contact” me, and I’d sure like my followers to fill that out. I’ll keep e-mails to a minimum when they start, trust me! I haven’t published yet, but I’ll have your contact information for when I need it. I’d appreciate your help with that.

The other thing you could do under comments, is suggest a topic for the daily blog. If there is some part of writing you have questions about, I’d be glad to try and answer them. You’ll be helping me a great deal.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I have to say, I’m scouring the free photo sites and looking for typewriter photos. I marvel at how big they are now. I hated typing on an old manual typewriter, the very old kind, because I had to address envelopes for advertising. The darned shift hold wasn’t in too good of shape, so it would type off center of the line. Arghhh! Had to throw them away, the boss wouldn’t let me erase it and white out hadn’t been invented yet. It was embarrassing!

I have to say, owning one of these typewriters would be fun for messing around, but I’m personally very happy with the ease of computer software. It’s awesome. Easy to correct. I don’t know how many words I can type, but wow, it’s way better than the hunt and peck method most people seem to use now. I cannot imagine typing an entire 80K novel using the hunt and peck method!

Photo by Logan Fisher on Pexels.com

I love these Aspen trees in Colorado. This is the perfect time of year out there. Well, summer can be, too. I have never been there in the snow, or a blizzard, so I can’t speak to that. Our daughter Becky moved there in 2001, and it’s our favorite place to go, even before she lived there.

This afternoon will be spent re-reading my character origin stories, and maybe actually reading a book for pleasure. The deck is just perfect right now, so I plan to enjoy it. How will you spend your day?

Thank you for spending part of it with me. I’ll be here again tomorrow, and I hope to see you, too. Have hope in your hearts, we all need it now more than ever. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Safe. And definitely, Be Aware of all around you.

Friday Fun

It’s been such a busy day again. Those are the best. Someday, I’ll probably wish time wouldn’t drag by. Not now. I had another Zoom meeting with Sam Tyler, my book coach. I am learning so much about the mechanics of writing a good story. Of being a good writer. Of tricks and rules I had no clue about. It is exhilarating! As she told me today, it’s easier to learn these techniques and write well to start with, than it is to have 358 pages right now, and have to re-write all of it. My original story has morphed over and over. I really like where this is going. I believe this will be a story about change, so much that the person who experienced it can hardly believe her journey as she looks back at it.

The Babe and I visited the VFW, he worked on the business part while I sent their newsletter to the printer, and emailed it to members who receive it electronically. It’s something I’ve done forever. I know how elderly people love mail, and I’m happy to make sure they receive some. It’s good to feel remembered. Sometimes a widow will send a note to not send one anymore, her husband has passed. Or they’ll call. No one is there most days to answer the phone, but it is always nice to talk with them. Some day, that may be me. Hope someone is considerate then.

Well, now the neighbors on either side of us have moved. The first couple moved to a newer home they purchased, and the other side just finished up yesterday. We didn’t realize it was the last time so we didn’t get to say goodbye. That makes me sad. They were such nice people and we’ll miss them. We’re getting a younger couple, and we don’t know if there are kids or not. Always an adventure, isn’t there?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I remember how hard it is to move. Especially if you have a lot of “stuff.” I do, and probably half of it is fabric for quilts and clothes. It will all have to go whenever we move again. I’ll have enough stuff to work on. Books, embroidery, etc. Hope I have another ten to twenty years in this home I love. Hope the majority of it is with the Babe, too.

In the falling in love department, I love this meme from Jekyll Doesn’t Hyde. It makes you think, doesn’t it? I once read women fall in love much more than men do. Not sure if that’s true or not. I know love after 40 is way different than it is at 20 or even 30. Having been a repeat offender by choosing the wrong type of person to spend time with, my spark was under lock and key. I’m glad it was the Babe who put the spark back in my soul. Ladies, may you all fine one of your own. And gents, remember, there are a lot of good ladies out there. Make good choices, you’ll all find your spark again. It’s just so special. You’ll see.

It’s getting a little later in the afternoon and after that most excellent BLT at lunch, it’s hard to concentrate right now. The tomatoes are so perfect this time of year, I think this was the best BLT I’ve had in quite a while. Kudos to Addy’s Bar and Restaurant. Pure heaven.

Our local health department, state, and county are working together to come to a conclusion regarding wearing masks. The metro area of Omaha has quite a spike in cases, and I don’t think that’s a good sign. Folks, wash your hands, wear a mask. You never know, it could help more than anyone knows. My rights will still be intact when this is over, I just want my life and the lives of my family still intact, too. It won’t hurt us. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be courteous. We all need it.

Thanks for your time today. I’ll see you again tomorrow. Much earlier, I promise. Hang in and hang on.