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.

This Day. This One Here.

Life takes some strange turns, you never know from one minute to the next. You can be going along, all happy and everything, and then you get a call, a text, or some other way news is communicated to you that may change your life forever. You might internalize and over think it, and fear the same could happen to you or one of your loved ones. It’s human nature. We all do it.

Back when the murderer known as Nikko Jenkins was loose, committing four murders within a , month of being released from prison he left two victims in a park near where our mother lives. Another victim was killed and left in the street at an intersection we use frequently. There is a cross/flower memorial for the woman. She contributed to society, she was a mother of small children, and worked late nights while her husband worked days so one of them was always with the kids.

This happened in Omaha, Nebraska. The Police Chief stated at his news conference, “You might as well give yourself up. We have a team of the very best in law enforcement on you trail. They will get you.” And they did.

Horrible things are happening all over Omaha again. Many murders. Some with guns, some not. Whatever the murder weapon, I cannot imagine murdering another human, much less a relative. Oh, people joke about their mother-in-law or a sibling, but those aren’t in very good taste, IMHO. Neither are the, “I NEED a drink!” declarations, but that’s another blog. Our legal system is quick to stress the degree of the crime, First or Second Degree, and prosecutors may feel the degree should be First, but they need to charge and try a person on what they’re sure they can convict on. Justice may not be served where it’s needed.

Things like these happen. We have to recognize the evil in the world, and we cannot let it destroy it. It’s easy to become hardened and think the world is a horrible place, people suck, and there is no hope for any of us.

Yes, we can feel this way for a brief time. And then, we have to recognize there are more good people than bad people in the world. We must. We must keep doing good for those around us. We have to keep trying to make the world a better place. We need to be kind to each other. We must remember all of that, and raise our spirits however we can with positive thinking and doing.

If you’re a praying person, pray for the victims, their families, and even the criminals. What makes them the way they are? I cannot imagine. If you don’t pray, you can still think about the situations and how we all need good to triumph over evil. We’re all doomed if we don’t.

Humans are resilient, we are resourceful, we are guided towards protection, healing, and carrying on despite all sorts of horrible things. We need to impress on our children and grandchildren the differences between right and wrong. We need to follow our laws and encourage others to do the same. After all, the laws we abide by in our towns, cities, states, and country are based on the Ten Commandments. Don’t lie, steal, cheat. Don’t kill, maim, or torture. Don’t break laws. It’s not that hard.

No, it’s not wrong to do this. There needs to be a guideline, and our founding fathers all had some sort of religion. Even as a kid, we were surrounded by Protestant people/Catholic people in the neighborhood, and nearly everyone went to Church on Sunday. There was a common belief in something bigger than ourselves. Today, many people don’t hold themselves accountable to a Higher Power of any kind. What is yours? Who do you feel you’re accountable to? I’d be curious to know.

Let’s all keep up the noble fight of good vs. evil. Our survival depends on it. Won’t you join me in the battle? It’s all part of this life as we know it. And it beats the alternative. We all have contributions to make. Let’s do this! Thank you for reading today. I appreciate you all, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow.

The Listening Path

At 5 p.m. CST, I’m joining a free class by Julia Cameron. She is the Godmother of Creativity from what I’ve read about her. She is a best selling author, poet, songwriter, filmmaker, and playwright. She has penned over forty books. It’s an impressive resume. For some reason, I’m late to this party. But glad I’m here, nonetheless.

Sometimes I get bogged down with all the creative interests I have. I don’t know what exactly to work on. I want to do it all. I’ve already put “learning to draw and paint” on the back-burner. In fact, I removed all the new supplies I purchased from my studio office and put into storage in the basement family room. I wanted to do art this year. Maybe later.

Finishing my children’s book became “urgent” to me after New Year’s Day this year. It’s a story about our grandson Gavin and our puppy Roxie. It is full of life lessons and hope. Everyone needs to have hope, and especially children. It’s very exciting to know something Cartney McGuigan and I are creating will help children. It can help children understand some hard things about life. Yes, and give them hope, too.

Ms. Cameron’s new book, “The Listening Path – The Creative Art of Attention” sounds as if it will be very interesting and be sound advice to apply to life itself. It is a free class, you can register on Julia Cameron’s website or Facebook page, I believe. I need to get all of this creativity together and out of my mind, heart, and belly, and get it on pages, canvas, fabric, and wherever else it needs to go. Sharing it with the world gives comfort, joy, peace, and all the things we need as humans. Even if people thing they don’t care for art, they are influenced by it. They like it or hate it, but it evokes feelings.

I know during hard times throughout my life, I need to be creating something. Before I started writing, it was quilting. I really want to get some quilting squeezed into my life. The problem is getting my crooked spine to cooperate with me. It prohibits my sitting very long, either at the desk, writing, or at the sewing machine, stitching. The writing is on the front burner right now, and I will see it through.

Speaking of not sitting very long, my MRI showed nothing I didn’t already know, and feel on a daily basis. The neurosurgeon said if there were to be any surgery, he’s sure he could not do it. It would be stabilizing my spine, and straightening the scoliosis, which would require a lot of hardware. He’s not sure if anyone could rebuild me. And if they could it would be several years regaining strength and stability. The lower spine is compromised from stenosis (moderate to severe), and arthritis in the severe stage, too. I told him at my age it would be foolish to try and have it fixed. He said he agreed. God will help me continue. I pray for a positive attitude every day. I think most days, God blesses me with one.

It’s so hard to pick when you love a lot of things. I just have to keep going, every day do something! It will all settle down. I’ve recently joined a page called, “Rage Against the Manuscript.” Of course, the title piqued my curiosity. Steff Green is an author, and a “call it as I see it” woman. She’s young, tends toward the Gothic look, has numerous tattoos, and is a good author. She hails in New Zealand. I’m not sure how I came across her, but she talks a lot of sense to me. I need to read all her ideas about “Raging Against the Manuscript.” I like her style. You can always learn something from people who are different from you. Your world becomes bigger simply by listening. Thanks, Dad!

For today, it’s going to snow. I’m putting my snowman collection out for fun. I used to put them out at Christmas, but it’s nice for January, too. I have some winter-themed plaques, and they brighten the rooms with optimism. I like that.

Stay warm and safe today. Thank you for reading. We’ll see each other tomorrow, but later in the day. The Babe and I have a meeting at the VFW, so it’ll be later in the day I think. Help someone out today. They’ll be grateful and you’ll feel good. Make our world better. We can all make a difference!