Monday’s Creations

Somehow, the photo I wanted to use and talk about Monday Sunshine isn’t available. We can talk about it another day, but we’ll talk about Monday’s Creations, instead.

The header photo is one I saved from Facebook. A woodworker saved a triangle of all the knots that marred his pieces of wood, and created this cool sphere with all of them. I love it! What a collection!

I felt quite silly, putting a circle called a yo-yo on one of two quilt blocks, and I appliqued it upside down. It looked weird, but I kept going. I made some others for five other blocks, and realized they looked better on the side I sewed on. Oops! I applied them backwards. I removed the two that were sewn down, and put them on correctly. Much better! I’ve been sewing since about 1968. I never cease to amaze myself at the mistakes I can make. I laugh at them, and then change things around.

One thing I learned first with quilting. The pieces must be cut accurately, and the seams must be 1/4″. Nothing else will make it look like it should. Sewing clothing always has a fudge factor in it. Bigger or smaller seams are ok, depending on how you need it to fit yourself, or whoever you’re sewing for, and adjustments are welcome and necessary. Not so with quilting. Seams are not so forgiving.

I’m learning with writing things have changed dramatically from when in college (the 1980s), I took English Composition, Creative Writing, and some other course, and you could use flowery prose, lots of adverbs, and you were a writer. Not so much anymore. I’m glad I purchased Pro Writing Aid, a lifetime subscription. I don’t plan to stop anytime soon! We’ll get there. There are just too many things to create.

I have a Kindle that is over ten years old. Trying to figure out if it’s worth replacing. I love real books, but if I can spend $0.99 instead of $12.99 that could save me a ton of money. Until I decide, I may use the app on the good old Chrome Book to read. It’s big enough, and I could read in bed, so it might not be a bad idea to get a new Kindle. Or not. What do you all think?

Thanks, for your opinions. I value your time, and your following me. We have #980 + followers now, and will have more. Let’s get to #1000K! Help a girl out. Have a great evening. See you tomorrow.

Understanding Life, Backwards?

So here’s the deal.

“We can only understand life by looking backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren Kierkegaard

Wait. Isn’t that an apparent contradiction?

No, it’s the truth. By examining our family history, we learn more about ourselves, not them. It isn’t genealogy. We may know our family tree backwards and forwards. That isn’t what we need to learn. Where we came from is important, and it’s quite a hobby now days.

To understand ourselves and our choices in life, we must examine our past to find out why we do what we do. Why we are who we are. And especially where our feelings come from. It’s a lot of hard work. Many of us don’t want to do it. If you’re like me, and feel as if you didn’t fit, you were different, and still don’t understand some things we feel and why we’re where we are. It’s very hard. You may not like the answers. But you have to ask the questions.

The key to all of this investigation is to do it with compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. We owe that to our parents, grandparents, and our children. My dad’s family was different, so was mom’s. And you take two people who don’t know each other’s inner lives, they marry, have a family, and then you learn about each other.

The kids inherit things from generations back. Things like never talking about feelings, keeping secrets, and being so stoic you hold back even love, out of fear, fear of others falling short again, not loving you as you need to be loved. Toss in a man’s PTSD from serving in two wars, and a woman’s dysfunction from being an adult child of two alcoholics, and you really have an interesting concoction, to say the least. They did the best they could.

I am stating facts here, not being judgmental, whiny, or looking for pity. (Pity is the last thing I want). By examining your past, you come to understand yourself better. Sometimes, you realize a parent is toxic. Other times you learn how to still deal with a family member who uses you. You learn to set boundaries with your family, which can be an absolute necessity with some family members. If you can’t imagine this kind of situation, I’m so happy for you. It’s the reality of many, many people all over the world. I’m glad you’re not one of them.

For those of you who do understand, I’m sorry you went through this. And, I encourage you to learn how to overcome this bad treatment. It is hard, but so worth it. If you are care giving to the person who belittled you, you are a wonderful human. You have forgiven them enough to offer them the help they need. You need to have boundaries as to how they treat you now. It’s necessary.

Having a person who understands the situation helps you get through this. Talk with them. Let them help you realize your loved one cannot help how they are until they want to change. Yes, it’s obvious they need to. But they won’t simply because we point out their shortcomings and abuse. It’s always our fault.

I promised my dad, as did two of my three brothers, that we would watch out for Mom. Mom was 59 when he died at 64. I was 37 at the time. My heart hasn’t recovered from that. He was my champion, my biggest fan. No, I was not a spoiled brat of a child. I’m glad. It all helped make me a strong woman to weather all the storms of life, keep my shoulders squared, my head up, and walk through fire. No one ever knew I felt like unset Jello, wobbling all over the place inside. They couldn’t see that. I’m grateful to God, every second of my life, and how we arrived here.

All of this said, I love my family. I love Dad for being the man he was, son of a father who was in an orphanage for many years, an Irish woman who had a mean father but a heart of gold; I love Mom for the years when she would put such love into Christmas and Thanksgiving, help me with my kids as a single Mom, the daughter of two people who were raging alcoholics in their younger years but were loving grandparents; I love the memory of a brother who is estranged from all of us by his choice; I love the brother who checks on Mom many times a day, who has a sense of humor that was built on Loony Tune Cartoons; I love the brother who is constantly conquering his addictions, he has grown up into the man Dad always said he would be.

It’s a risk, sharing all of this. You don’t end up satisfied with life by forgetting the past. You only end up grateful and happy by working through things. Avoidance always gets in the way. Guaranteed.

Find your way through the past and focus on what’s in your present and future. It’s the only things we truly can have control over, by our attitudes, intentions, strength, and knowledge. Finding out what’s important to you, who you are, and who you want to be. Work hard. You won’t be sorry, trust me.

Have a beautiful day today. It’s new and exciting and yours, not theirs. You’ve come this far. Keep going. See you tomorrow! I’ll tell you all about the outdoor musical we’re going to tonight, “Don’t Stop Me Now,” another production from Rave On Productions. Praying the rain passes by us.

The World Continues On

Today, I’m grateful for my bank, with it’s ever-constant vigilance. I briefly posted earlier someone stole my info from online shopping at Walmart, and proceeded to purchase an iPhone from a Council Bluffs store. My card is now cancelled, I’m over it, just grateful more damage wasn’t done. Today, all is right with the world again.

Thievery makes me very angry. People taking what isn’t theirs is a sin against society, not just individuals. Still, I believe most of us are honest as the day is long, and God will deal with us in due time. Or, as the character Maude used to say, “God will get you for that.” Maude was Archie Bunker’s cousin, I believe. And she was introduced to Saturday night television in the day when network TV was worth watching. It was the best.

We had some major coffee on the deck this morning. The Babe loves getting up at zero dark thirty, making coffee, and sitting out there before I’m awake. I don’t sleep until noon or anything, but wow. Here we are at 9:45 a.m., and I’m back at the keyboard, trying to make sense of today. My trust is no longer in question by my inner critic, and I am working to make it a good day again today. The pups are pretty hot as it’s already 85 degrees already. They lounge a lot on days like this. They are smarter than people are, you know? They just chill. Retired people get a chance to try to learn that technique. Glad we made it there.

I’ve talked some about trying some new habits to help myself be less “messy”, to fold all the laundry the day it’s washed instead of 3 – 5 working days later, to build time for myself into each day. The laundry thing has made a big difference! It was a simple thing to start with, and it’s going well.

I also started a 50 Squat a Day Challenge to bring attention to Heart Disease. The Squats themselves are not hard, since I’m doing the “Sink Squats.” They aren’t hard, I’m not really sore, but I can tell I’ve done something more than normal. I have to guard these old knees, but they’re not hurting too bad right now. And since I’ve seen it took nearly two years for my supplemental insurance to pay for injections after they approved them, in 2019, maybe I’ll just stop with them. Jury’s still out on that.

And since I need to add some cardio to my life, I’ll start the recumbent bike by July 1. I also entered a 2200 Squat challenge, to raise awareness for the 22 Veterans who commit suicide daily. The 71 squats a day required to add up to 2200 in 31 days will be time my consciousness will be raised. Our VFW Post is becoming more involved with these causes, and raising funds and awareness. We must help each other. It’s what kind humans do for each other.

As you go about your day, be aware of the world around you. Hold a door open, smile at a baby. Let Grandma or Grandpa ahead of you in line. Soon, countless little gestures will add up and you will have a whole awareness of your world. It opens your eyes and your hearts. Try it. You’ll like it. See you tomorrow!

For Today

Sometimes, I take on more than I can do. None of you ever do that, do you? I didn’t think so. How do you fit it all in, since it’s all a top ten priority? Beats me. All I know is for today, I have to select THE most urgent things I can do today. And listen to some wonderful music while I do.

First order: The Music. Glen Campbell, “I’ll Be Me” soundtrack. It some really beautiful music, and I think it reflects not only his long career and his musical abilities but also his deepest gratitude for the beautiful life he lived. Yes, his addictions required he deal with them. He resolved them one day at a time, like any other addicted person does.

The music helps me think, eases my mind, and helps me make sound (haha) decisions. There’s no other way to state it. My Second order: Make the list and prioritize.

I’m behind on NaNoWriMo (about 5,250 words behind). If I keep this pace, it’ll take me until January 2, 2021 to finish (2)

Consider if blogging five to seven days’ worth of blogs at once (4); (Have them readied to publish. If a topic becomes more timely than one “in the can,” definitely write the new one, but keep the others ready. Perhaps in entire hours available per day would allow more words written in the novel for NaNoWriMo. Many people do that very thing. It is definitely an option, and it could allow me to return to my beloved hobby of quilting. I haven’t touched hands to fabric in what feels like forever).

I need to publish a blog every day (3);

I need to prep and bake some items for our meals next week (4);

Load the car with the contributions we have for Moving Veterans Forward; (5)

Cleaning up the house (vacuuming, dusting, mopping floors); (6)

Reading a memoir while writing Katie’s story; (7).

The memoir I selected was of Carol Gino, a nurse, author, and twenty-year friend of Mario Puzo. He taught her much about writing. I love reading his advice to her while she was beginning her writing career. He considered his book, “The Godfather” to be a commercial sellout. He hated his writing in it; yet he desperately needed the income for his wife and five children. This was a book I purchased because of Carol Gino’s name. I’ve been Facebook friends with her in a group for years. Never met her, never knew she knew “The Godfather’s” creator. What a cool thing to learn about! Unexpected surprises every day help make life an adventure, no matter how many decades you live.

No, these things don’t sound like very much, but they are time-consuming. And great to accomplish during regular times, much less during busy days. Oh, I’m not finished with the jotted list yet.

Get groceries from Walmart; (2A) This has a timeframe of Noon to 1p.m. I chose that time, so I need to comply. A break in the action always disrupts my progress. Note to self: learn to dig in after interruptions. I had that ability as a Mom, I’m a little rusty now.

Post on Instagram, (Twitter, Facebook (3A): This is not only for my author pages but also for the VFW Post FB, Twitter, Instagram accounts. This is time consuming, since I’m creating content for both entities. I love doing it, be aware, however, it’s a time-warp if you are not careful. It’s quite easy to wander around in those apps and not accomplish what you set out to do.

The Babe is right with me. He needs to complete some work outside before these gale-force winds make it impossible to use the hose attachment of soap to wash the windows. After today, it will be too cold to do that. But Goldie needed some attention and play time. She wins! Kind of like Walmart for me – I’m heading there in a few minutes.

For today, don’t stress over everything. Yes, the list is long. Time is short. You can only do so much. Do What You Can. See you tomorrow!