Gifts of Birthdays Past

*** Originally planned for Monday, May 22, 2023. A technology glitch lost the blog, and I am reconstructing it after the fact. The topic came to me after a friend, Jay Miralles, wished me Happy Birthday and told me to write something special. It is nothing like the one lost.***

Yesterday, May 22, 2023, was my 71st birthday. My mind doesn’t feel that old, but my body does.

It’s from the disability, which was determined when I was 48 years old. I went on early Social Security/Medicare at the ripe old age of 50. It was depressing as hell. I was angry.

I met the Babe less than six months after I had a very invasive surgery to remove a tumor from my spinal column in 1995. It was crushing my spinal cord, and would have paralyzed me if left to continue growing. The spine had much less support and developed a 27 degree curve of scoliosis. It is most likely much more than that now. My uan neducated guess is well over 40 degrees by now.

The Babe is the one who first mentioned he thought I should go on disability because, “I didn’t have to work anymore.” My daily pain was on the rise every day; my relief was scant, even with pain pills. They did not help much after a while. I quit taking them. When I told the doctor I needed to stop working, it was the year 2000, five years after surgery. I’d been married a little over a year. The doctor told me, “He’s surprised I made it so long.” Wow. Gift of my 48th birthday.

In that huge change in my life is one of the Gifts of Birthdays Past – Someone to celebrate my special day with. He’s my partner in eating ice cream. Today, we met for iced cream, at Freezing Thai Rolled Ice Cream. It was so special!

After the bust of a birthday I had Monday, with Mom in the ER for several hours, this was a bonus surprise after lunch with the babe Tuesday. Such unexpected fun things are out there, all waiting to be discovered.

I’ve been fortunate to have the Babe, who is a very understanding man about a lot of things. My disability is the most important thing I needed understanding about. The other is/was the walls around my heart. He identified them, their reasons, and dismantled them. I learned to trust, that love doesn’t hurt, and how to stand up for myself like never before. Color me grateful.

We’ve built not only a life together, with the tangible things like homes, vehicles, etc. We’ve built a family together, with our kids, grandkids, and especially each other, and extended family. We are each other’s anchor. We’re each other’s best friend. We learn from each other. All gifts that are given to both of us, increasing with each birthday, Christmas, whatever holiday you want to name.

This is certainly not written as well as my piece that was lost in cyberspace. The point was to look back on some of the things I saw as gifts, and know these things are given to us on a daily basis. We are are all rich in gifts from the universe, or from our God. It’s up to us to be grateful for them and to use them well.

What do you see as your birthday gifts from your God, the universe, and how are you using them? Hopefully you recognize them, and know how to use them.

I hope you have a great Wednesday. Today is the Babe’s birthday. He wants no fuss, but we will (finally) have cake. The corners are mine. See you tomorrow.


There are a few different meanings for divesting. Today’a meaning is simply ridding oneself of something they no longer want/need, etc. Today, I am meeting with my replacement for the Website and social media for the VFW Post 2503. My friend, William Hackenberg has I/T talents and skills that blow me out of the water. It’s time to have a younger, more up to date skilled person. And, I need the time to go back to my interests, my quilting, and especially, my writing. It’s time. And we’re darned lucky to have him to take over.

The past eight years have been a roller coaster and real learning experience, but we hung in there. I’ve enjoyed interacting with all the members, friends, and visitors to the Post. I don’t plan to go anywhere, I’ll still do community outreach with the groups we’ve established relationships with, and will be visible. The big difference will be having more time to spend the way I want to, and having no guilt about being behind in postings, calendar updates, etc. It’ll take a few weeks to be fully divested, but I can feel the relief already.

With the eight losses of close friends in the past two years, I am looking very closely at how I spend my time, and what the results are. We should all do that every once in awhile. Taking stock and deciding how to spend your time is part of de-cluttering for sure. Our schedules need that just as much as our closets.

I am happiest creating things, and sometimes those things are with fabric, sometimes with words. I hope to add drawing to the mix, and painting. It never ends, I have a curiosity about many things, and hope to investigate all of them. So far, so good!

The whole point of spending your life wisely is to leave the world a little better for you being here. Leave every person you meet and love better off than when you met them. We all try to do that. I feel if we all concentrate on that very hard, we’ll be able to achieve some level of those goals. Let’s all try it in our circles of friendship, business, and partnerships. It certainly cannot hurt.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty sad making this move. I liked knowing a little more about what was going on and helping communicate those things to the public, the members, and guests. My dad always said what’s in this header today. I’m giving something up that has taken eight years to build. Some of it feels like “my baby.” And at the same time, with a new, young, more talented I/T guy coming along, it’s time to step aside. It’s what we older folks are supposed to do. Many don’t. So, that’s what I’m doing later today.

What can you divest of that will give you more time to spend how you wish? Sometimes we don’t realize how much time we waste, until we don’t have a chance to change. Don’t let that happen. No one is on their deathbed and states, “I wish I would have spent more time working.” Don’t be that guy or gal. Free yourself up to enjoy something else. It’ll make a difference in your life!

Thank you for reading today. We’re still looking for about 50 more subscribers, to reach 1,000. We have about 956. There is room for everyone! Have a beautiful afternoon and evening. See you tomorrow!

#994 And Counting

Here we are, folks! We’re heading into 1,000 blogs published very soon. If you’ve a minute, please subscribe. I’d love to hit 1,000 followers just after the 1K blogs are published. It’s a goal, and one I’d be very proud to reach. I can’t do it without you, so please, help a girl out! Recommend me to your friends, share away!

Well, I had a topic all written, and my Chromebook decided to have an issue saving all those words of wisdom. It was stuck on Autosave forever. I exited. I was warned it might not save my work. It says that to me all the time, yet it still saves. CLICK. I was in the black hole of cyberspace. And I lost it all. About an hour and half of hard work, since the words didn’t come too easily.

My topic was addictions and how we can have our own opinions about the SCOTUS, I’m not landing one side or the other of that discussions. Now, we’ll punt, based on what happened about five minutes ago.

So here’s where a mostly positive person needs to practice what they preach. We can do one of two things:

ONE – you can let it ruin your entire day. You can focus on the hour and a half you just lost and you can lose the REST of the day by telling everyone you meet about your bad luck this morning. You can be angry, kick the cat, growl at your significant other and justify it by your bad luck this morning.


TWO – you can get started on the work you lost, telling an entirely different story than you did first, laugh at yourself, your bad luck, and make it a great day in spite of your bad luck this morning. You can tell your friends about your bad luck, let them laugh with you, and know well, things happen. Even very experienced computer systems analysts have things happen. Not gonna ruin my day.

You’re perfectly free to choose ONE. I hope we don’t run into each other, though. I don’t need anyone to rain on my parade. One reason I’m choosing to be positive about it, is just by looking out my office/studio window, I can see things that cause wonder and happiness for me. Life is too good for us to waste it being crabby about everything.

I just was watching the little twin toddlers from across the street running through the sprinkler, laughing and having a fantastic time. Why don’t adults get to do that? Of course, my running days are over. I may stroll through the sprinkler. I would laugh and have a fantastic time, too. It’s fun. Why not have fun? There are no age limits on having fun.

Are you going to run/stroll through the sprinklers with me today? I hope so. We’ll have a marvelous time. And have ice cream. No one’s every grumpy when they have ice cream. At least, they shouldn’t be. I’ll meet you on Main Street. Noonish. How about that? Here we go. See you tomorrow!

Where Did Wednesday Go?

Thursday, December 3, 2020. It’s about 4 p.m. and I honestly lost Wednesday. After getting injections in both my knees and feeling kind of punk last night and into today, here we are. I’m caught up with the minor sewing project for a friend. This weekend, I believe we’ll see some Christmas decorations in our future. I’m getting to feeling a little festive, we only have one gift left to purchase, and that’s for our grandson in Maryland. It’s hard to know what to get for a thirteen-year-old young man. Next week, I’ll send gifts to the grandkids in Colorado. I wish so hard we could see them. Not yet. COVID is rearing its ugly head still. Someday, we’ll have a normal world. Not a new normal, but a normal one.

Hope keeps us alive and thriving. I hope sincerely we have normal again. I don’t want to forget the good things about life before COVID. At our stage in life, we were enjoying our time immensely and have endless discussions about many things. Life is wonderful. There are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we really want to do. Not travel, not feats of adventure, just simple, everyday life. We talk a lot about how our parents sacrificed for all of us, and about we never knew we were “poor.” We were the same throughout our neighborhoods, and as kids, we didn’t know better.

I believe the sacrifices of our parents were proof of their generosity, and their hope to provide us with the magic and wonder of Christmas. I used to love to make gifts for people. One year, I made seventeen tied blankets for various neighbors, friends, family, others. I’ve made quilts for people, embroidered Christmas pillowcases for the Grandkids, and want to continue doing things like this. I may make them and sell them at a craft show, because not everyone likes handcrafted items. I’ve crocheted afghans for people, one year, everyone received one. Nieces, nephews, everyone. I enjoyed it so much. It’d be wonderful to have that type of Christmas again. Giving from the heart is what I enjoy the most.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I think it will be harder this year with Christmas since the churches are not holding services. It was always a big deal, attending a Catholic grade school, after fourth grade, almost all the boys were altar boys, and all the girls were in the choir. We practiced those expected duties until we were blue in the face to assure near perfection. No excuses. No missing rehearsals. No one questioned.

Come Christmas Eve, at about 10:15, my brother Tom and I would walk the three and a half blocks up F Street in South Omaha, and arrive in time to take our appointed stations. The organ played Christmas Carols solo for a while, then the choir sang with the organ. They blessed me to play the organ after proving I could. I didn’t take lessons from the nun who taught piano; I took from a neighbor lady. I will never forget our enormous church, packed to the gills by worshippers, the smell of incense, and Monsignor chanting in Latin. Brother Tom and I practiced the Latin just to make sure we could both pronounce it,

We sang many of the songs in Latin at first. By the time I graduated from eighth grade, it was all English. Amazing times they were. I still love Christmas music. Come to think of it, it’s time to gather up those CDs for my music of the day to create by. Note to self: Don’t forget Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr., and all the others. There are a lot of memories in those old songs. Good memories, worth keeping.

I have to say if you need a gift for a laptop user, get one of the laptop ergonomically correct holders I bought from Amazon. I swear by it, it’s improved my neck pain 50% in the couple weeks I’ve had it. Worth the $60.

Love this – it really helps my neck pain and headaches.

After an unplanned day off, know I missed visiting with you. I cannot imagine performers, musicians, small theater actors, and others how they miss their people. Yes, I hope things pick up for them. I’m going to try to not miss visiting with you again. Be Kind, Be Careful, Be Courteous, and Be Safe out there. You don’t want to pass the virus to someone who may not make it out the other side. Thank you for reading, I’ll see you again tomorrow.