Another Fun Week

It is time I concentrate on our Income Taxes. Again, didn’t we just do these? I thought so!

My header photo on this fine Monday morning is of Cody’s quilt with the pile of threads I plucked from it since Friday, when I discovered I goofed big time on it. It was intense, taking all that thread out, fiber by fiber. With the ripping task finished, I’m ready to work on it tomorrow. But no mention of quilting until I photograph it, going into the box for mailing.

When we’re programmed by people who aren’t open to life and all it offers, we are closed to the outside world. Ideas fall flat from not knowing how to execute them, and the fear of moving into unknown territory. I was not fearful of building my website and writing a blog. I did a lot of research on what to do, why, how, when to do it. It has been steady growth up to the 1,074 followers we have now. Stats do not lie.

One important thing I’ve learned over the last 20 years is I really am much more than I ever believed I was. And no, this is not ego speaking. I had faulty information for many years. Those false facts keep many of us captive for years, if not a lifetime. Don’t let this happen to you for another moment. You deserve better.

When our parents or caretakers pass along faulty ideas about us, it’s not entirely their fault. They passed to us what they received from others. If, like me, you were the one who asked for an explanation of why things were the way they were, you probably pissed them off. When they are followers, they don’t like when someone questions. Especially since no one has the answers. Being different isn’t wrong. It just means you think in a different manner. Follow your heart, not someone else’s. It’s never too late. Today, begin!

Have a beautiful start to the week. Let’s see each other again tomorrow.

Friday Eve

This term became a thing several years ago. It seems to be an American obsession to wish our lives away in hopes of a better day, time, friend, opportunity, experience, holiday, or weekend. Anywhere but here mentality is alive and living in our homes, autos, lives, and calendars.

If we wish over all the ordinary days, think of all we could miss. Starting with a breathtaking sunrise and add from there. A fantastic joke that becomes a standing joke between people who love each other is just too special to miss. It’s a special memory, at the least. You could meet someone who changes the rest of your life. It’s how it went when I met the Babe. Since that day, nothing has been the same. And to think, I could have missed that day if you could fast forward to think you’re reaching something more worth your time. You won’t even realize what you’re missing.

Of course, it’s no fun toiling day after day, week after week; you get where we’re going here. It is all work for what seems to be a very long time. It is hard. The rewards are worth it. Keep your faith and have trust. We can enjoy our lives so much more by living today; at this moment. Yes, the boring and hard parts will be there, and we’ll still get those unexpected gifts from every day. We’ll not miss anything. Our lives will be fuller that way.

At last, I’ll begin quilting Cody’s quilt. I layered and pinned the layers. Tomorrow, I have some things to take care of for Mom, so I might not get the quilting started today. It should not take more than a couple of days to quilt and another day to put the binding on. Then, they get to make the trip to Colorado. I’d love to join them, believe me. Another time.

It sounds as if our family and friends in South Dakota were dumped on again with snow this week. The photos of their yards are pretty incredible. It used to snow like that everywhere in the winter. Not any more. It’s hard to explain to the grandkids so they believe it. They wear lightweight clothes to school as they only walk from the car into school, and from school to the car. I shiver, thinking how cold we were walking to school with all that winter gear on. It would stay that way, as near as I remember. Now, it’s -10 one day and +40 two days later.

In the end, the weather will do what it does. Our lives will go on. We can find joy in even the most mundane, run-of-the-mill days. Enjoy those days, as there are surprises in all of them. And we don’t want to wish them away. Let’s see each other tomorrow, too. Thank you for reading.

Art + Reading + Quilting, Oh My!

It might be a little early, but sounds as if there could be another bout of bad winter weather this week. One former area weather dude said, “Ice, Ice, Baby.” That does not even sound good. The favorable thing about it is winter is nearly over.

Whatever the weather does, there’s lots to do inside. One thing is, yes . . . Cody’s quilt. Seriously, it takes a lot to trim the threads from the back. The threads are not threads from sewing so much as threads from the woven fabric. They fray a lot while handling them.

My new goal for this week is to actually finish Cody’s quilt. Then it’s tax time at Raabe Ranch. The month of February has been full of breakthroughs, insights, and progress. Lots of good reading and planning. The Babe is now the keeper of all the finance files for at Raabe Ranch. He’s tallying expenses for every month, so we have a running total. 2023 taxes will be easy that way. This is the first year we’ve tried this, so we’ll see how it goes.

Goldie had fun with the snow last week. She would beg to play fetch with her favorite toy, the rope. We stand on the deck and throw it. She goes to where it fell in the yard and brings it back to us. Except for when there are 6 + inches of snow. She waits for the rope, then plays by herself. How? She throws the rope up in the air, then waits for it to fall back under the snow again. She’ll nose it out, and toss it up in the air again. If she feels it with her paw, she’ll pull it across the yard a way, and toss it up when she likes. She’s worn herself out for the last week doing this. Silly dog. She brings a lot of joy to our days.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday. Make sure you get provisions in case you are ice/snow/slush bound on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Be safe out there, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Fab Friday!

Good Morning!

I’m hoping to make a big dent in grandson Cody’s quilt today. I’m pretty excited about how it’s taking shape, these are the middle blocks:

What we have here are sixteen different dogs. The big rectangles have the nose on them, you can see the body below and the ear in the air. I’m happy to be able to create something like this, even though it’s a pattern created by someone else. This is still a creative endeavor because all of these fabrics are mine, from my stash. I find myself feeling a lot of happiness while stitching the rows, pressing the seams, arranging the blocks. It’s mesmerizing and magical, all at once.

I feel the same way after writing something I feel good about. My kid book will be short(er) and sweet. Teaching children about grief and loss is hard, but so necessary. If we don’t learn to cope with both of these, we will not have a balanced life. It isn’t all good and happy. Sometimes, it’s bad and sad to cope with. But it’s part of all of our realities. The sooner we learn this, the better.

How about you? Do you remember how old you were when you experienced loss to your family? Do you remember how your family handled it? Let’s compare notes. It will help me construct a better story. I want to tell the truth. It will help children learn. And how to learn to deal with life.

Tell me what you think. Do you need help sharing life’s hard realities with children? Kids are stronger than we think. The truth is better than no information. Thank you for reading today. Have a wonderful Friday and see you tomorrow.

Great Way to Wake Up

I love when a day starts when the Babe wakes me, asking if I’d come talk to him. It starts my day knowing how much I mean to him. He’s making some important decisions, and asked me what I thought of his ideas. All good. If you’re single, make sure you hold out for someone who is your best friend. And you know every day you mean a lot to that best friend, and it’s reinforced in every day life. It’s bound to be a great day when it starts that way.

I’m  finished with sewing the rows together for Kayla’s quilt. Today, I put them on the design board downstairs in my craft room. Here’s how it looks:

There is something wonky (technical term) with the blocks, etc., so I need to figure out how to fix it and sew the rows together. It’ll work out. I know it will!

I collected bunches of scraps and pieces from my stash today to make Cody’s quilt of the puppies. I think a little nearly three year old boy will love puppies. I’m looking forward to the process of cutting a bazillion little squares out and putting them all back together again. Creating is creating. 

I had a wonderful time picking out buttons for the flowers. The button box, tucked away in the storage room, was filled with buttons from a special friend’s closet. She passed away several years ago, and it was fun to look through the buttons from some of her wardrobe. I imagine she’d be pleased I used the buttons for a pretty little girl’s quilt. Happy thoughts.

Hope you had a lovely day today. Not much else going on today. Yesterday, we made it to #999followers! Still working on passing #1000! Thank you so much for reading and coming back every day! See you tomorrow!

This is Thursday?

I just saved this and once again, the Chromebook is misbehaving, not saving my manuscript. It appears to be frozen on auto save, and never completes the task. Not sure what the solution is, I just know it seems the days I struggle a little to write (or accomplish anything), those are the days tech issues happen.

We had Green Chef for lunch today, and will have another meal this evening. I want to get all the previous meals used up before starting this week’s. There are already some subtle differences between GC and Hello Fresh, although they’re owned by the same companies. It’s interesting to see the differences. One difference is before roasting vegetables, you cut, place in a bowl, add oil and seasoning, then mix. Hello Fresh has you cut veggies, place on sheet pan, drizzle oil, mix with seasonings. This method, in my opinion, burns the pan and food. Mixing in a bowl is such an improvement.

Saw today marks two years since Eddie Van Halen died. What a talented man. I’m shocked, he was much older than I thought – only three years younger than me. I learned a lot about the depth of his addictions, and always find those so terribly sad. The talented usually seem to help with their own tragic demise. The people we often look up to have all the same insecurities and hangups we do. And we usually don’t believe that.

Hoping you have a pleasant rest of the evening, and a great Friday. See you then.

#980Followers! And On To Plan X.

We may have a few new ones, but as of publishing time yesterday, we were at #980. I’m so excited about this! I really hope we can get to #1000followers. I’d like to get rolling on that front as well as others.

I’m making another adjustment in life. Getting used to having more Babe time, since he’s working pretty much from home. We are used to having time apart most of the time. We aren’t arguing or anything, just trying to readjust to communicating each other’s ideas of how we will spend the day – each working on our own projects, and taking breaks with each other. Over the past few days, we’ve spend a number of hours discussing things and planning on how to adjust again.

There are lots of stray feelings of hurt and being undervalued by others that need to be dealt with. Those things need to be talked out until they’re placed where they need to be, and people can move on. It’s human nature. We need connection to help resolve issues. Communication solves many of our problems and disagreements. Not communicating hurts individuals, groups, and organizations. I love being the sounding board the Babe needs now. He certainly does the same for me.

If someone is dismissive of me, I tend to fade away from them. Not listening, not remembering issues discussed, and not respecting me enough to tell me the truth is a sure fire way to get me to leave a group or organization. The Babe feels the same. We’re good together that way. It’s part of being a good partner. It’s part of being a good friend. It’s part of being a spouse. These things take the time it takes. There is no way to pre-plan chunks of time for this. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

I’m also reviewing the quilt that seems will never have a finishing date. Those eight blocks and two rows of fabric may be enough to discourage me permanently. This is a time to be positive: I will get it finished, and it will get to Kayla before Christmas. Negativity will only delay the finish. I need a few hours to dive back in and regain my momentum, positive attitude, and time to devote.

Before my day took a turn to non-productivity, I grabbed one of the best collection of songs in the world – those of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, LIVE, 1975-1985. It’s such a catalog of important songs in the lives of blue collar kids as we grew up, faced with a bad economy, businesses leaving the state, and wrestled with our angst as we listened. I was 23 in 1975, and the Mom of two kids. It still sang to my soul as I was still growing up. Two hours went by before I knew it. I need to put that music back on tomorrow.

Actually, Mom called & needs to have me do something for her. So, we’ll listen to Bruce on Thursday, and get back to doing the quilt. Anyone have these things going on? We’re all in this together, it appears. Let’s all stay positive and know we will get our things done. Even if you’re on Plan X. You can do this.

Experience the Reality of Life

Do you know anyone who believes life is one problem after another, with little time for enjoyment? I believe we all do. “Born under a bad sign,” is one way to put it. There is a lot of good in the world whether we see it or not.

Struggle is a huge part of life. It is not the only thing, though. Yes, we’ve all hard very hard periods of time, and then good comes to stay. It’s relative. As I’ve said before, we need to remain positive to be positive, and concentrate on that instead of the negative things that occur once in awhile. I believe good outweighs evil, and I believe it will win in the end.

This morning, I was gluing my quilt block pieces, and Goldie wanted to play catch. She gave me a sad look with those big brown eyes, and I was powerless to deny her. As soon as I stepped on the deck, the beautiful day smacked me awake and I was in awe of the pure, blue sky. Goldie knew what she was doing. It was just the break I needed. The sky was a glorious sight; it was easy to go back to working on my quilt blocks after that sight.

Today still had many, many errands, the Babe had an eye doctor appointment, and we met for pizza. Groceries, then dropping some donations for Moving Veterans Forward. The day seems over before it was started, really. Tomorrow will see more quilt block gluing and deciding how to begin sewing those pieces down. I’m getting excited about sewing on my new sewing machine for the first time, finally.

We have another day at home tomorrow, and hope to see our friends at the VFW in the late afternoon. The rest of the week will be filled with planning how to finish up the 2022 yard work and cleanup of the shed/garage/patio/basement storage. There is so much to be grateful for, making us positive in this life. I hope the same for my friends and this family of followers. See you tomorrow!

Spiders?!?! Uhm, Hard Pass.

Yesterday morning, we couldn’t figure out why Goldie was going to behind the loveseat before we finished our morning coffee. What was she doing? Couldn’t figure it out.

Might have figured it out this morning. The Babe left for the VFW Post 2503 for bookwork then a funeral with the Honor Guard. I finished my coffee, then see this creature you see in the header photo. What in the holy heck?

First, I’m so grateful it wasn’t the gigantic WOLF SPIDER I saw on the patio earlier this summer. He had a backpack and everything. This guy isn’t as scary, but I don’t care for spiders at all. Snakes, reptiles, mice, all in my firm “NO” categories. I don’t think they are necessary in the world, but I’m sure God had a plan in there somewhere. Sure, certain creatures eat them, but couldn’t they as easily eat corn or a nice potato now and then?

I worked on another two blocks today for Kayla’s quilt. It feels so good to feel the fabric in my hands again, to prep the pieces, glue them down, and apply the pieces to the blocks. I’ll work on sewing them down with embroidery stitches this week. I’m eager to see what it all looks like, but we have a long way to go.

We’re checking the Facebook feed to see how our friends with Guitars for Vets, Moving Veterans Forward, and 50 Mile March are doing as they left the steps of the Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska at 5 p.m. It’s now 7 p.m., and they may be close to their first break. They walk all night, and should arrive at the end by 2:30 p.m. tomorrow. It is grueling. Each participant has $2500 they pledge to raise, and there were about 60 participants this year. They trained, tested, qualified, and met since February of this year to get to this day. Their goal this year is $200,000, to share among Veterans aid groups, G4, MVF, and a Veterans Suicide Prevention group. There is time to donate if you’re inclined. Google 50 Mile March and follow the instructions.

Another note about grief:

I saw this today in my daily meditation book. Ironic after losing my friend in the past couple weeks, I would come across this one today:

“Death is the Mother of Beauty.”

Death and birth are natural occurrences. We cannot wish it away or protest it out of existence. Dealing with our sadness on top of that at times makes the whole thing seem impossible. How can we get through it?

We have to work through our grief as individuals. No two people grieve in the same way. We certainly can’t judge some else’s grieving. We can share what works for us. We can offer to have coffee, lunch, any number of ways to meet up. We can listen. We can give hugs. Too man people are uncomfortable with the silences we fall into when we don’t know what to say. We don’t have to say much. Often, just being present or simply available is the best thing to do.

It’s hard work, all growth is. We can remember our loved on is no longer tied to the pain they had; we can be glad we had the time we did with our loved one; we can be grateful and grief stricken at the same time. We will find our way through, with a little help from our friends. Hugs, to those who need it.

Thank you for reading today. Here’s hoping you have a good evening, and know we’ll see each other tomorrow.