Sunday Kind of Mind

The last of the geraniums are planted and I must say, it was almost too much for me to do.

With the further deterioration of my spine, ability in my hands and wrists, strength in my arms, it was a bit more of a job than I’d like. I have a couple more plants to re-pot from last winter, so things will be ready to grow and show off their beauty. Next year, I must organize it better to reap the satisfaction that is always worth the effort. Work smarter, not harder.

Back in the day, as a single mom, my oldest would go with me near Mother’s Day and we’d get the bags of dirt, the puny tomato plants, and flats of flowers. He’d unload everything, and I’d be happily planting, after work and on weekends, until I ran out of plants or room. One year, we had over 300 different plants. Bulbs, plants, annuals, perennials, everything. It took a lot of time, but was wonderful therapy.

My brother planted Mom’s stuff again this year. We keep trying to get her outside on her patio, but she’s reluctant to go sit outside. Maybe next time. She’s working on healing, and she prefers to do that privately.

Our Addison got her driver’s license this week. What a lot of fun! Her parents will keep an ever-watchful eye on her, and it’ll be a great help next summer when she is working. I cannot believe she’s 16 already. It went too fast!

As shown in the header photo, I received a bunch of new books, based on true events. Eight new ones, so Happy Birthday to me on Monday. My reading is slowing a bit, I want to stay on the pace of at least 3 a month the rest of 2023. Time to put them with all my others to be read. It will be a busy summer of reading. Maybe I’ll start today. Take care, see you tomorrow.

Beautiful Book

Since my friend Lora and I attended the nationally touring show, “Van Gogh,” I’ve thought about the beautiful images this very talented man created; I’ve smiled to myself. It was such an enjoyable time. Here are the photos:

Since this outing, I’ve looked many times on Amazon at all things Van Gogh. The book of his letters fascinated me. We learned of his letters at the exhibit. I finally placed an order for these two;

The Secret Life of Sunflowers is a work of fiction; Van Gogh’s Letters is a collection of his sketches, with narratives included, to his family from the asylum he lived in. The Letters book is a beautiful book; excellent quality in paper and cover; they are smooth to the touch and have the shine of an upscale page.

To continue with The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I’m finished with the first 25 pages, describing what to do and the key concepts; The Artist’s Date, and The Morning Pages. I think the Artist’s Date will be easier for me to do. I know many, many people I can view their work and talk with them, and receive great inspiration.

I need to review about the morning pages. It really sounds like something I don’t want to do. I need a nice journal to capture those thoughts, whatever they are. Cameron has included a contract in her introduction. She requests people to make a commitment to themselves to complete the course in 12 weeks. Gosh, this will take me into late March! WOW! A lot can happen in 12 weeks.

Tomorrow, I will start on the first week of reading. I think I can catch up on the reading and exercises in time to start the second week. I’m excited to begin. Speaking of the beginning, I signed up for a series of painting sessions online. It was on a big sale, and I need to find which day of the week will be best for this extra activity. Gosh, that could even be my Art Date once a week.

The Babe is putting together three large book cases so we can finish unpacking after 8 years. When we begin our deep cleaning for spring/summer/fall 2023, I’ve eyeballed a few things to get rid of. I have many things I was going to use. We want to disburse the “wealth.” Or the stuff our parents forced us to take and give our kids and no one wants.

I will enjoy digging out our wedding photos, too. It’s been awhile since we saw them, and we’ll celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year. Lots to look forward to. Have a beautiful Sunday and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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.

What to Do? Act or React?

Many feelings are strange things that surface at the worst times. In the middle of a great day, it can strike and cause your good mood to tailspin, feeling abandoned or terribly isolated. As if no one loves you. What brought that on? Hard to say.

A trivial phrase, image, sound or smell can uncover the deeply hidden triggers of our feelings. We thought we had that handled. How dare our feelings do that to us! We all have feelings, much as we don’t want to admit it. We think we are so smart, so hidden, so in control. Guess again.

We’re not responsible for what we feel or where it comes from. It’s part of the patchwork that is all of us. We cannot control the triggers, either, but we can control what we do with our feelings. We can feel them, let them roll over us and turn us into a jerk, who takes it out on everyone who crosses our path. When you allow that to happen, you are definitely not managing your feelings.

The key to emotion management is positive thinking. Hard to believe? Not really. There are negative emotions in all of us. Some reactions we have to memories of are those we saw growing up. If our parents became angry and ranted while raving, chances are we might do that. I did that for a while. It was what I saw many times. Then we repeat the behavior.

How much better to accept things are not working correctly, and choose to remain calm, and find a positive thought. Make that positive thought your focus. You will become better able to deal with situations that bring up terrible memories, and learn to take positive action until it becomes a habit. You can conquer it.

You have learned how to act instead of react. It takes practice and confident. I can manage emotions with positive, consistent action. This is the definition of emotional management.

The Babe did a tremendous favor for me today. I purchased a couple of bookcases, and he put one together. It was a nearly all day project. The pieces were too heavy for me to hold in place while he pushed the parts together. And, if I ever think I can get down on the floor, sit cross-legged, and hold a shelf in the air while the Babe secures it, would you remind me of my aching knees, my inability to get up from the floor easily and of my inability to get down on the floor? It’s crazy how our minds make us think you can still do them. In my brain I am 25, but the body is nearly 70! That sure sets me back. I’ll have to think about this.

At any rate, I’m putting all the random books purchased in the past five years together in one shelving unit. I’ll share a photo of the spot in the bedroom. I love the way it invites me to sit and read a bit. The other day, I worked on catching up with my read the Bible in one-year program. Yes, a lot of it is repeating, yet it still makes in impression. Over the last 20 years, I’ve joined many Bible Studies. They may have been parts of the Bible, or one book. Intensive study, watching video and reading. A lot of reading. I’ve enjoyed the process, learning more each time.

I’m reading a fascinating book, a true story, “My Life with Karma.” The man tells his story. It’s a story of an alcoholic, abusive father, and the abuse Travis Sackett endured. Also, it’s a story of his life and experiences with opioid addiction. It’s a story of how he became a functional addict until he had to break the law. I am about half finished with it, and I find it fascinating. He was a law enforcement officer, and he criticizes the training of police. Specifically, training to handle a person who is non-compliant to verbal commands, (put your hands up, sit down on the curb, put your hands in the air,). He criticizes the next step being using some sort of force. I will finish the book before I form an opinion on that subject.

Have a beautiful evening. I’m going to finish cooking dinner and might put some more books on their new home. They are all books I have not read yet. (p.s. Don’t tell the Babe!). I cannot wait to have the other smaller bookcase ready, then the three tall bookcases. All my photo albums, wedding photos, and quilting books. Like old friends at a reunion. I look forward to it. Thank you for reading today, and we will see each other tomorrow! Take care.

Saturday and Sunday! WOW!

What a great day Saturday! I shared a table at the Holiday Market at the VFW Post 2503 with info for Guitars for Vets. I purchased a supply of Nebraska Writers Guilds 5th Anthologies to sell. I made just a couple dollars on each sale, but I got a real kick out of doing it. We were warned the price would increase by December 11. When I purchased my 24 books, they were $12.99 each. I just checked Amazon, and the price increased to $18.99. I’ve sold eleven books already, and am so excited. Here’s a link to Amazon, in case you’d like to order directly from them.

Sunday, I had another occasion to spend with some cousins and their families at a baby shower. My cousins are expecting their first grandchild in February, 2022. What a happy, happy event in their near future. The whole family is Gaga over the little miss already. As it should be. I cannot wait to see photos and to hold her. Until then, what a fun time. And the cookies here reflect the baby woodland nursery theme. Simply adorable!

Cuteness Overload!

As I’m writing this early Monday morning, I’m saddened by the devastation in Illinois, Kentucky, and other places with the deadly tornadoes. Those poor people. Events like this show the absolute power nature has to turn our lives upside down while others are unaffected during the same moments. When we live our lives unscathed, we know there, but by the grace of God, go I. It could be any of us, it could happen at any time.

This is the true test of a positive person. First, it’s important to be grateful for our daily good fortune. Some may question, “How can God allow things like this to happen?” I have no answer for that. I am a mere mortal, and have no right to question God, nor try to understand His way. Perhaps it’s a test for the rest of us, to see how generous we can be in helping rebuild these communities, to see how much we can pray, see how we react and treat each other. This season of love, we need to be more and do more in the true spirit of giving, presence, and attitude.

A meme I saw the other day was perfect: “The First Christmas wasn’t perfect; what makes us think ours should be.” Don’t let Pinterest make you feel less; don’t let Social Media make you feel as if you should do more tablescapes and backyard harvest creations. No, your toddlers don’t care. Your teenagers don’t care. Don’t be pressured into thinking there is success in these excesses. Your spouses would rather have you feeling calm and collected than decorated to the hilt. Makes you reevaluate, doesn’t it?

Blood donations, searching and rescuing for family pets, feeding people where they shelter in place, it all matters. It all helps. I know as we speak, there are Church Quilt groups who are cutting, layering, and sewing or tying quilts to give to people who have lost everything. There are Red Cross groups all over the nation, collecting blood, blankets, money, clothing, and water.

Maybe acquire a few less things for storage through the years and use annually. Do we need all that? Probably not. Sometimes we need to struggle with the sentiment and see if these things make sense anymore. Many of my decorations were acquired over the years. Some make me happy with the memories. I’ll keep them for a bit. Not forever. The Babe is all for getting rid of everything. He’s not a fan of Christmas. I am, but have struggled over the past few years.

For all this man has done for me and taught me about love, he made me understand I overdid with gifts and my kids. And him. Now, we only do gifts for the grandkids. We truly can buy anything we want during the year. It would be nice to have a gift to open, but it’s really about what’s in your heart. It’s about the love of the Christ child and God’s love for us. Don’t lose that focus. It’s easy to, but He’s always there. If it’s hard to find Him in our lives, it’s because we’re not focused on Him.

As you work through the days we have left before Christmas, keep in mind what we are here for. Don’t let the News cycles concentrating on disasters and negativity keep you down and make you stay there. Do something positive to help the folks who are less fortunate and have come upon hard times. It happens for all of us at some times. We need to remain positive. It’s the only way to keep sane.

It’s true people never speak from their deathbeds they wish they could have worked more. A friend of ours is in town to help bury his son, who passed this week, possibly from COVID. So very sad. Young and healthy, life on track, and just had a baby and plans for marriage. Our heart goes out to them all. Life is way too short. See you tomorrow.

Winding Through Wednesday

Today, Mom needs to go to the dentist. If I don’t get this finished before I need to leave, I can finish it in the waiting room. Or I can start reading another book. The book may win, as I have several that sound very interesting. “Ticker Tape,” by Nebraska Author Tammy Marshall is probably the one I will land on. It’s about a Vietnam Veteran returning home and his life after the war. It could be any of the men I encounter daily at the VFW Post we volunteer at. It could be the Babe, or any of our friends. I’m looking forward to reading the story.

It’s kind of amazing, in the last three years, since I started writing, I look at stories completely different now. The stories, the scenes, what happens on camera, what happens off camera. What belongs, what doesn’t. It’s a whole different way of thinking. Not saying it’s better, just different. I’m finally coming to understanding of my craft and I can see my own progress. We’ll keep going!

I am greatly encouraged when I can see my own progress. On a daily basis, we get busy doing and may not realize how far we’ve come. And I’m becoming a better writer every day. I want to be a better story teller all the way around. My stories just happen to be written down with words. Some folks make their stories into songs, some folks make their stories into art.

My friend Rick Tiger and I talked about writing, both in the context of songs vs. stories. He told me we would write a song next year, when he returned to the VFW to sing again. Unfortunately, he came down with COVID after he returned home, and the world lost him September 1. I’m still reeling when I think of this wonderful man, this friend who would help pray you through difficulties and check in with you later, is gone. I’m so sad for his wife and family. His story is not finished, not by a longshot. And I may write a song someday, but I know he will still guide me through it. That’s how it works with friends and family who pass on. They’re still with you. You have to be still and feel them. Spirits are strong.

It appears I forgot to post this on Wednesday, so you get two blogs today. See you later!