Introducing . . .

Roxie, the illustration by Jordan Ullom.

Jordan is my graphic artist I met through volunteering. What a great way to meet, and see what she can do! She does illustrations, album and book covers, and has musical talents, too. The whole package. She has worked very hard to earn her degree and establish herself in the Omaha area. Hoping to work with her for a long time.

Today, I’m editing. Starting from scratch in a way. By asking people I trust to give an honest opinion, I got straight answers as to how I can improve my children’s book. It’s easy to sit in my studio, thinking I did a great job, when I know it could be better. I’ve read where feedback is horribly painful. It’s not when people are kind to you. It also helps to know you don’t have all the answers. It’s good to be realistic. That said, it is hard to delete your photos, words, and change things. It’s not going to be it’s best unless I use the feedback.

I’m listening to the music of Billy McGuigan, and brothers Ryan and Matthew. The CD Yesterday and Today plays a part in showing how naughty Roxie, my little white puppy was. She tried a bite of the CD (she was a counter surfer. Naughty girl)! I was heartbroken. The Babe just had open heart surgery a couple days before Christmas in 2014. We had just seen this show at a local playhouse. The whole story about the show, the family, is a great story. We’ve been fans ever since. We rarely miss a show they’re a part of locally.

So, once the Babe was home from the hospital, Roxie did this terrible deed. I was able to get another copy of the music that got me through nearly losing the Babe. It helped me remain positive and certain things would be OK. And they were. Thanks to these guys and their music, it was much easier to be positive. Those months of recovery were the hardest thing to go through in our life together.

It only seemed right to me to write my first children’s book about our Roxie and how she taught our grandson Gavin about grieving and healing. My first regular blog was about the day we lost Roxie. Someone left our gate open (4th of July fireworks retrieving we think), she ran out, went to a busy highway and was killed by a car. We were heartbroken. Gavin was devastated.

So as I once again look at Eric Carle’s quote, it’s all making much more sense. I believe things come across my FB feed and into my mind for a reason. They serve as encouragement. A kind word to keep me going. Sure, the easy thing would be to quit. But that’s an automatic failure to succeed. I can handle trying and failing. I can’t handle quitting and failing. I won’t quit, either. Not unless I become mentally or physically unable.

Today, I’m down to 150,000 words. More to cull!

I need a break from the computer and my words right now. Going to pull weeds while the dogs play outside. This is the start of a great weekend, and I hope yours is, too. Be grateful, be humble, and be open to new things. It helps keep you young. See you tomorrow!

Friday Fun

Gosh, what a busy day! I’m still catching up after events of last week, family in town, and taking time this morning to do some monthly work at the Post for the Babe. All is well. And I still have some things to finish to be caught up.

It’s also the first of April. Forget the April Fool’s stuff, I just love it’s another brand new, shiny month to plan and plot and cross things off that to do list. The sun finally came out today, and the air wasn’t biting. Isn’t that great? Spring is really teasing us this year. That’s ok, at least we’re not shoveling snow. If it snows now, it won’t last long.

I just got the approval from my daughter to make a quilt for each of the kids for their Christmas gifts. Yes, it’s early, but those months will go by quickly. And as I can be a little slow completing things, I need to get ahead of the game. Photos to come as we dive into this project in a couple weeks.

April will be the busiest month on record so far. Bombshell Patriots Nebraska Conference next weekend, Moving Veterans Forward Open House the following weekend, the Nebraska Writers Guild Annual Conference on April 21-23, and the VFW Post’s 90th Anniversary on April 28 -29. How’s that for a month? I’m almost tired just thinking about it. The writers’ conference should be great. I’ve been twice before; first time it was all romance writing, the second time, it was a mixture, and I met some pretty neat people. I’m still in touch with many of them. Then COVID interrupted our reaching out and creating friendships. I welcome resuming this activity.

I am making a to do list of fun things I’ve wanted to do for a while now. International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, houses a very large quilt collection. I live 30 miles away and have yet to visit. I’m getting my friend Kris and we’re going. She doesn’t know it yet. Other things, like going to Baker’s Candies, in Ashland, Nebraska, and a Chapel off the Interstate nearby. They are all tourist attractions and I want to see them. I have lived here all my life and didn’t visit Boys Town until the year I made a quilt for a guild who provided quilts for Father Flanagan’s home decorations for an Irish Christmas. They still exhibit it at Christmas time as far as I know.

What’s on your to do list in your own area? We can find adventure wherever we are. If we can appreciate the small things in life, the big things are larger. Appreciate each day, my friends. Have a good evening. Let’s see each other tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Monday Mayhem

So the first day back to normal, whatever that is, and things may go off the rails. The phone calls I intended to make are postponed until tomorrow; I didn’t get the updates done on the website, FB page or elsewhere for the Post. Tomorrow is another day! We will succeed no matter what.

With the start of April this week, Post activities and supporter activities are full speed ahead. All of them. Kind of like herding cats, if you know what I mean. At least all these events are not on the same day, along with the 90th Anniversary of the Post itself. Big party.

After the funeral and sadness last week, there was a spark of regular life, back to the regular pace of life. Our Gavin, a talented baseball player, had a poor year last year. His hitting was not what it had been the previous year. He was quite upset. The header photo is of Gavin, clutching a baseball, while Grandpa Dan gives him a bottle as a baby. I love those little hands clutching the ball.

It turns out the school eye test revealed he needed a professional evaluation. The Doctor determined he is farsighted. What a shock. What a surprise. We did not know. With glasses?

Holy smokes, boys and girls, he is doing well.

Sunday, he had a scrimmage game. Reports are:

First scrimmage was great. His team is 9U. (He will be 10 in June.)

Starting pitcher faced 6 batters, recorded 6 strike-outs.

In his second at bat, he hit one deep into the outfield.

He then played catcher, and he threw out a kid attempting to steal 3rd base.

This player was our grandson, Gavin. He is 9 years old. His dad was an All State Baseball Team Player. I did not know him then. I can tell he was a skilled player. His son carries that athletic talent. It is fantastic to watch it blossom. This Grandma cannot wait to see it all play out. So proud.

I’m proud not only of our grandson, but of our son-in-law, TJ. He is a great Dad. We are so blessed. We plan on having a fantastic summer, attending games. Who cares how hot it is? I surely don’t. Just give me water, and I’ll be fine. So grateful for this opportunity, to see a kid who loves baseball. And has a dad who loves it too. We are so blessed.

My summer is booked. How about yours?

Thank you for reading today. We’ll see each other tomorrow, hopefully, earlier than tonight was. Be safe out there.