There were a couple of surprises this morning. We woke up later than usual. After an emotional day yesterday with our Veterans and their stories with Jay Miralles, we went to bed super early. Even the dogs didn’t wake up on time. At 7 a.m. we were having the first cup of coffee. The second surprise was how it snowed last night!
It must have been enough to cancel many schools, and the dogs like the romp. It looks pretty, and won’t last long. Enough to make it a brilliant morning. Today is the followup for my crown work. I’ll be glad to have it over with.
I’ve collected some books on estrangement of adult children. It seems I’m drawn to family behavior, and finding outcomes from dysfunction. I find it interesting. It serves as research for the novel I’m writing about breaking patterns of dysfunction. I hope others find it interesting and healing.
I also have a great interest in children’s books. I’d like to write to help kids reduce their fears, anxieties, and help them learn some things about the world around them. All kids want is to be loved, feel safe, and paid attention to. It’s not asking for too much, is it? Not at all.
I need to be about other work this afternoon. After yesterday, I’m drained. Hope you have a beautiful evening and pleasant night. See you tomorrow!
The header pic today is my actual view from the home office in Gretna, Nebraska. It’s been snowing all night, and snow all day expected. How wonderful! Yes, I don’t have to go out in it, but for many years, I did. Before that were the glorious times at home with the kids when we could go play in the snow multiple times throughout the day. Each time we came in, the boots, hats, gloves, scarves all were in front of the vent, in hope they would dry before the next excursion occurred. It was fun, time I wouldn’t trade for anything. I miss snippets of those times.
I read a good article today about “goals vs. resolutions.” Usually, resolutions have to do with habits we’re not serious about changing. Losing weight. Drinking less. Spending more time away from technology. It’s why gyms look entirely different on January 2 vs. March 31. Human nature assumes or misses a YouTube sensation, or doesn’t care bars sell N/A beer, or doesn’t think they can lose any weight, anyway. We like nothing we consider “painful” or penance. We don’t.
I’m forming Goals this year again. I’ve touched on them the last couple days. Of course, the world changed in March and will never be the same. That’s a wonderful thing. We can rethink so much. What’s important. How we should treat people. How to conquer a fear. Or live a dream. We’re lucky! Never forget that! Yes, some days it’s a bitter pill, hard to swallow. Others, things fall into place. That tells you you’re on the right track. Hard work requires our heart to be in it all along. Remember that. If your heart is behaving contrarily, take a break. Pick up where you left off. You’ll get there.
I’m looking back at projects that went back-burner last year. I will put them back toward the front burner after a month. It’ll be re-adjusting and visiting them with fresh eyes. They have promise, and once I test market my first children’s book, others will follow. It seems there is a recurring theme in everything I’m writing. Helping people. I suppose you can’t stray from your basic make-up, and what you feel is your purpose in life. It would be ridiculous if I thought I could write vampire stories, or zombie books effectively. Or would it?
The thing I hope people take away from a book on grief, whether for kids or adults, is it IS a positive topic. It’s there to help a person learn. It’s helping you learn what it took forever for a lot of us to learn. The better equipped we all are for this thing called life helps us all along the way. I fervently wish I had been better prepared for grief when my father died. I retreated, which was unhealthy.
I have several books to read over the next months. Some are references for writing, some are books for fun, some are books for learning. A good mix, I keep on my side table in the living room. It’s better than checking Facebook and playing Solitaire constantly.
I’ve got some emails to write today, hoping if you are snow-bound like we are or enjoying the warm sun, you are making it a great day. Grateful. Blessed. Safe. Thanking God!
I’m keeping a watch out the windows for the snow predicted this morning. I enjoy a pretty snow, with little traffic impact. Goldie had a blast running in it last winter. I think she’ll be just as happy this year, too. I think it’s in the breed. Labs are smart, beautiful, and so happy.
I’m trying to teach her to be patient and wait until I can take a break from writing to play fetch. She isn’t too happy right now, but she went to the living room for a nap. The rope toy is at my feet. Good girl!
She likes the Christmas tree so far. It’s only half put together, I just ran out of energy yesterday. The top pieces go on today, and it’s pre-lit, so it complete half of the work. I hope to finish decorating and stowing everything by late tomorrow, then just relaxing on Sunday. The best laid plains of mice and men, right?
If you live where it snows, do you appreciate the beauty of it? Seriously, we often complain. Do we view it as a nuisance or with childlike wonder? It’s all in the attitude. I remember joining the guys I worked with during their “perilous journey to work” stories. I had three stops to make every day before going to work, since each child went to a different school. It was quite a ride.
Snowstorms are never a perilous as they once were, and that’s kind of too bad. From what I understand, the coveted “Snow Days” will no longer exist in this age of remote learning. We rarely had school called off, but my kids often did. They were great at shoveling the driveway out for me, and that was so nice. They shoveled, then played. Bless their hearts.
No, our snow won’t look this beautiful, but it will be pretty enough. It’s all in the attitude. Everything is. Although you can mouth the words over and over, sometimes it takes a while before it penetrates your soul. Being human, we resist learning certain things that would make our lives easier. We’d rather hold our grudges until they sink us than let loose of them. Why? They have taught us that way. They can be our parents, teachers, friends, trusted adults. It doesn’t always have to be that way.
Seeking revenge is another area we make more difficult than it needs to be. Revenge is not ours to have. It’s spiteful and probably damages the host as much as the object. Let Go. Give it to God. Lighten your own load for things like love, peace, harmony, brotherhood and forgiveness.
You heard me. Love, peace, harmony, brotherhood, and forgiveness. Forgiveness is hard. Yet your load lightens when you forgive. And just because you forgive doesn’t mean you forget. Resentment keeps you in the past where things decay and die. Is that where you want to dwell? I didn’t think so. I know several people who court their resentment grandly. You’d think it was an actual living thing. Well, it is, as long as they keep it alive and destructive in their heart, their life, and their mind. They become permanently stuck, bogged down and unable to move. How unhappy their lives are and how heavy the burden became.
At one time in my own life, I was very unhappy and rarely smiled, except with my children. A new neighbor moved in next door before my first husband left and she commented to me after he moved out, “You are finally smiling. You never did when he was still here. You know, that means it was the right thing to do.” I couldn’t believe it. I thought I hid the unhappiness. Guess again. I learned a lot from that statement.
It’s snowing! Goldie just alerted me it’s time to go outside. I’ll be finishing the tree today and hope to have photos tomorrow. Have a beautiful day today. Forgive someone, you’ll feel better. I’m working on that one, too. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful. Spread love, not the pandemic. Take care. I’ll see you again tomorrow.
It’s midafternoon on Friday, October 23. My oldest’s birthday was Tuesday, and we met for breakfast at Village Inn. I couldn’t tell you the last time we saw each other. He has crazy work days and since he’s in the restaurant business; he likes to relax when there is a rare day off. He works a second job cleaning the restaurant daily, so whether he cooks a shift or two, he is still up super early to clean. He has no responsibility other than himself, and he is a very hard worker. Always has been.
It became a standing joke between us what kind of card I bought him year after year. One year, I really goofed! I bought the same wordy, mushy card I bought the year before. Color me embarrassed! Plus, the mushy ones are long and – well, mushy. So this time I bought a funny one. It was a hit. He’s a good man, and I’m always happy when I’ve been around him. He just gets life. He is always happy, and contented, and doesn’t bother anyone. We reminisced about some stuff and laughed about many things. It was good. I walk away feeling like I did something right. What a great feeling for a parent.
It is a cold, windy day here at the home office in Gretna, Nebraska. Supposed to snow Sunday. I hope it does, Colorado desperately needs moisture. They predict a moderate snowfall to fall over the weekend. The edge of a fire is five and a half miles from my daughter’s house in Fort Collins. She sent the photo of their street yesterday afternoon. It was just like you see on the news. Orange, smoky sky. I pray she, her husband, and their babies and dog are alright. We appreciate prayers.
Rocky Mountain National Park is being pummelled by fire. A friend who lives in Scottsbluff posted on Facebook yesterday a call went out to anyone owning a horse trailer and truck, requesting they come immediately to help move some horses. The poor creatures! I also see photos of Elk herds, all gathering close to lakes in Estes. My heart hurts knowing this. It’s our favorite place to vacation and explore.
The Babe removed all outdoor furniture from the deck and patio this morning. Our empty turquoise planters are on either side of the garage door now, waiting for me to create some Christmas decoration to put in them. I need some zip ties and wire, probably, to hold them together and sink the wire deep into the flowerpots, so nothing blows away. First time they do, we’re done with decorating.
The kids and I used to have a lovely tradition of lighting the house up through the Christmas season. They would put up everything during the day on Thanksgiving while I prepared our feast. It was a great deal of fun. We would have dinner between four and five, then gather outside in the street (we lived on a dead end so no, we weren’t in traffic!), and Frankie would throw the switch and Voila! It was magnificent, each year better than the last. They could go on the roof, play with electricity, and have fun being the men of the household, planning the display and working together to accomplish something good. I miss those times, too.
I am going to do a lot of computer work this weekend. I need to upload some things for the VFW Post website and get more active for both Instagram and TWITTER accounts, both for the Post and my personal author one. I also need to reorganize my workspace. I spent the whole Zoom session with Sam without my printed copies of what we were talking about. Right after our conversation, I looked down and saw my open leather satchel, unzipped, with papers and yellow legal tablets sticking out of the top. My papers! I forgot to take them out after my writing session at Panera’s Tuesday, while waiting for Mom to get finished with her perm. It seems like it’s been a very long time since Tuesday. I need to just sit and read a book or two. It’ll happen again, this weekend.
Stay Safe, friends. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out there. Hoping to see you again tomorrow. Thanks for reading today.
Do you like Thursday as a day of the week? If Thursday had feelings, it would probably not have good feelings. Like if you are a boy or girl with a perfect sibling, one that behaved impeccably, got perfect grades, with swimsuit model good looks. I know how that goes. My older brother earned very good grades in school. I wanted to be as smart as he is. Until someone told me I was as smart, and smarter. That made me feel good.
If he was sick, he wanted to be alone in his room. I wanted someone with me. That was not a bad thing, since children are different. I was told, “Why can’t you be like your brother?” That left me feeling like something was wrong with me. I was Thursday. A perfectly good day on my own. I was just not Friday. I did my thing quietly. My dad would come into my room when I was sick and play checkers with me. He showed me how to stay cool as a cucumber when I could see I could double jump someone. He was tricky that way. He even taught me to wink with sunglasses on. So people would know I was winking at them. That was a big deal when I was four. It was fun and passed the time.
Young parents today may not realize how it hurts a kid to be compared to a more successful sibling. Please stop doing it. It is hurtful. We are not them. Thursday is not Friday, and never will be. Why wish for a different day when you have a perfectly good one in front of you? Thursday can be productive or relaxing, snowy or clear, memorable or something to forget. But it can never be Friday. Ever. No matter how much you compare it. It can’t be Monday, either. Now that’s a day no one seems to wish for, either. Even less than Thursday.
Monday can be ready for you to start anew, give it your best, and have a different outcome than you did last week. Just follow with that same enthusiasm on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. Go to those new days enthused and you won’t believe what you can achieve when your expectation is not overshadowing what each of these beautiful twenty-four-hour units of time is on their own. Just like people. Similar, but not carbon copies of each other. God does not make them that way. Neither are people copies of each other. Or kids. Or babies. Or teenagers. Or retirees. Or baby boomers. Thank goodness for the variety we have in the people and days that surround us. Spend them wisely. Treasure their differences and similarities.
I think because the holiday weeks differed from the regular weeks of the calendar, I’ve had a time adjusting to the full week schedules now. I have been thinking Thursday was Friday the past two weeks. I love Thursdays. We get to pick our granddaughter up from school. Seeing a young person who is eager to tell you what they did at school is fun for us at this stage in our lives. It takes me back to when my kids were middle school age, and their descriptions of how their days went, all those years ago. I have that same memory Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays every week. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
I hope you enjoy this Thursday and all it offers. I hope you value each of your children, grandchildren, neighbor kids, etc. for all they offer. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate the time you took. I will be back again tomorrow. I hope to see you here. Enjoy!
Lots of great things are on the horizon for me and other Nebraska Writers Guild members. Last week, they announced we will again have our Spring Conference in Omaha, and it’s in April. I am so looking forward to meeting up with some folks I met at the Fall Conference and learn more about the craft I am learning now.
The NWG announced on their Social Media Page some training for Pinterest. I listed Pinterest and other Social Media platforms as what I would like to add to my presence. I’m excited the Guild is ahead of me and wants to teach me at the same time. How fortunate I am to be here at this moment. For those who believe, I call it a God moment. For those that don’t, I suppose you’d call it Karma. Either way, I’m delighted. It just further convinces me this is time to be writing. I’ve waited a lifetime for the “right time.” So grateful.
Here I sit, with two children’s books written, one family book waiting for my co-author to offer their contribution, and a novel ready to be re-written. A year ago I wouldn’t have ever thought all of this would happen. It is. I have discovered the more professionally I approach the tasks of the day, the better the outcome. Instead of being in my cozy studio/office, I am at our beautiful marble-topped table in the kitchen. It’s a beautiful view out the window. See for yourself! This view in any season never disappoints me. In the spring it is teeming with life. In the summer, the birds are vocal. In the fall, the colors are pretty but not very varied. Still, it’s lovely to see.
With the Babe out on VFW errands this morning, I can hardly believe the dogs both laid down on the couch for naps. I will let those sleeping dogs lie, believe me! They continue to surprise us with their own shenanigans and hijinks only our four-legged friends can. After we lost our two dogs over six years ago, (they were old and worn out), we hesitated to adopt any more pups. We did because we both felt if something happens to one of us we would want a pet for company. Something to get you out of bed in the morning. Here we are, six years and three dogs later.
Losing one of our dogs led me to write my first blog, back on July 5, 2019. You may read it here if you would like:
I am so happy you like what I write! And I know it’s not my mom, she has no computer and likes nothing! Seriously, she likes nothing to do with one. I have to laugh. I drive her to the bank; she refuses to use a drive through or an ATM. To get cash, she walks inside, waits in line, writes a check for CASH, and comes back out to the car. She claims it’s the only way to do proper banking. I’m amazed sometimes. But then I shouldn’t laugh. As the meme goes: she taught me to use a spoon.
Today, it looks, feels, smells, and sounds as if it’s winter. The wind is freezing on your cheeks, blowing snow into your face and everywhere. Drivers backed traffic up for who knows what reason. The howling of the wind, the frozen air in your lungs, and frozen hands on your face, are enough to make us wish for Florida or Arizona. This weather can be great once the wind calms and the road crews sand and salt the streets. I love how the bare trees look with snow stuck on them. Days like these a gas fireplace is welcoming. A good book is not far away.
A heart full of gratitude helps a person become more aware of their surroundings, and in tune with the world. Makes sense to me. I have a sign hung at eye level so I can’t help but read it when I leave the bedroom. It reminds me to begin each day with a grateful heart. I smile when I look at it. I make a much longer list of gratitude than I do of complaints. Even on the crummy days. I get grumpy, though. The Babe can confirm.
After coffee and a nice hot shower, the day is a blank page on days I don’t have to take my mom to appointments. Today, I had my eyes examined. I ordered new glasses that will block the blue from computer screens. It is better for your health. The blue enters the retina and reduces melatonin. Melatonin is what you need to get a good night’s sleep. That should help tremendously. I look at screens a lot, but not as much as when I was programmer/systems/analyst.
Tomorrow I think we don’t even need to leave the house. I need to get back to plotting my plan of action for re-writing my book. Life has gotten in the way this week, but I should be ready for a couple good days of work coming up. One thing I know needs to be re-learned, and that is that after a “.” you only leave one space, not two. It is no longer necessary, and it ages the typist/writer. Funny how things change. Did you know when the typewriter was first invented they thought it too complicated for a woman to operate. Men were the typists. Go figure!
Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it very much. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope you will be, too.
Maybe Gretna, Nebraska isn’t considered a suburb, since it is it’s own little town. We don’t associate closely with Omaha, or Papillion and LaVista, so I suppose I should have titled this Small Town Saturday. The gist of it is, I’m snug at home, working on a quilt that has a darling scene on it. After it’s gifted, I will make sure to post the finished project. It’s a labor of love. Tomorrow, if time permits, I will begin quilting it.
I simply love to create things. Whether it’s with words or fabrics and thread, I love the whole process. My parents instilled in all of us a great imagination. Some of that, I believe, is from reading. Reading in and of itself helps create things in your imagination, your mind. Whenever I read a book as a child, I usually pictured scenes in my head. The characters were real people. Sometimes, the people resembled the characters in television shows or movies we saw. It was my brain, making something concrete out of something in my imagination, that happened to come from a book. Maybe that is why I still love fiction to this day. To think next year, I will see my name on the spine of a book I wrote is a thrill beyond belief. It won’t be without hard work. My goal is to get the process of writing so ingrained in me that it will be similar to doing a large quilting project, or a remodeling project. I’ve done lots of those over the years. When I was a single mom, it’s how my sons learned to use power tools, and make things. I had learned from watching my dad, and was able to teach them some basics, and with the help of shop class (before schools did away with it).
While I was working on my project today, it occurs to me to be mindful of those who dread the thought of Christmas. There are many, many people who are alone this year. I have been in that position, and it is hard. Yes, I had my children, but it was not the same as having an adult man to be in a relationship with. God blessed me with the Babe, and he even asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve, 1997. I couldn’t make that up. It was wonderful.
Some folks aren’t happy with their lives for one reason or another. Other folks need to make major changes in their lives to have a chance at staying alive until this time next year. Obesity, Alcoholism, Smoking, are all conditions people have control over. Their lives are dependent on it. All around us are people who are not secure in their lives and situations. Jobs can be unstable. Homelessness abounds. Children are cold and hungry. Women (and men) can be afraid of their partners. Abuse, both physical and verbal, is so rampant in life today, we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to situations in front of us. Find a way to become involved to help people who cannot escape these situations on their own.
My brothers have worked out with a cousin to surprise my mom tomorrow afternoon. You’ll see it here, I think we may render the old girl speechless, which is quite a task. Good job, brothers! Can’t wait to share it with you all.
Keep your spirits up this next week. If the holidays are hard for you, take heart. They are hard for me, too. I’ll tell that story later. It’s another one you cannot make up. I like to think of soldiers who are away from home, and hope they know how we appreciate their sacrifices. It’s tough on a family to be separated at times of family celebrations. We are such a great country because of our soldiers, who have kept us free all these years. Thank you all for your service.
First responders, nurses, doctors, workers in nursing homes, hospital workers, anyone in the service industries, know we are grateful for what you do. These are usually thankless jobs. Make sure to thank those who perform these duties.
Thank you for reading today. Let’s meet again tomorrow, and you can hear about our surprise for our 90 year old mother. I’ll be here, I really hope you are.
It looks beautiful outside. It’s snowing, and who knows for how much? I thought we were on the edge of the snow line, but maybe we weren’t. We have the Cookie Exchange this afternoon, along with the soup supper, so I hope we all make it there and back.
Gavin was such fun last night. We watched a couple of Christmas movies and ate pizza. He is so easy to please. This morning, we re-watched the Grinch. When he got his clothes out of his bag to get dressed, he said, “And I didn’t even take my electronics out of my bag.” No, he did not. Between the dogs, Grandpa, and the movies, he was entertained enough.
Goldie is really loving the snow. She runs and plays and rolls over when she takes a corner too fast. It’s pretty sweet. Lexie prefers to go out, do her business, then hurry back in. Kind of like me. I could stay home a lot of times when the Babe wants to go somewhere. I’d rather snuggle by the fire, watch a good movie or read a book. Time goes by pretty quickly then.
This could be a busy week again, between doctor appointments, meeting up with friends, and working on a last minute special project, so I plan on just reading a book in between posting the blog for today and leaving for the Cookie Exchange. It’s fun to watch how the kids decorate their sugar cookies and carefully select which special one to enter the contest with. A good time is always had by all.
I really am looking forward to digging into my book again and assessing how to improve it along with the suggestions from my editor. This is the real stuff author’s do, and wow, do I ever appreciate their work, it’s hard to go from thinking you wrote something ready to publish and realize you really can’t publish it very soon. Humility is good for the soul. And the writers ego.
The good thing about doing re-work, is you really do get a chance to tell the story in the best way possible. Adding some points of view from other characters, for instance, will help you tell a more complete story. It also helps to define and refine the characters. Something I hadn’t considered by simply telling from a narrator’s point of view. A reader probably would lose interest in that. If you’re the praying kind, say a few for me over the next few months. It may take that long.
It has come to my attention this is about the 106th post I’ve written. That’s getting up there! I’m glad to share a little every day with all of you, and really happy you stop to read when you get the time.
Whatever you may be doing today, stay warm and safe. If you’re where it’s sunny and hot, then have a cold one for me. Thank you for reading today. I’ll be here again tomorrow, and I hope you are, too.