A Do-Over Kinda Monday

When we start on a new path in our lives, we never know how far we’ll go forward. It often requires new habits, new activities, new friends, and new environments. Use a family who relocates in a new city, with new jobs, a new home, and a new culture. We do it all the time, and often, don’t think it’s such a big deal.

But it is. We decide what comes with us into our new life in that new city. We get a do-over. Life grants those every now and then. We can create our own do-over, and it’s easier than we think. And it’s harder, too. 

If we decide we want to eat healthier, we need to get in the mindset to eliminate things we snack on that aren’t good for us. Sounds simple enough, but it’s hard! I don’t want to use the phrase, 

“Give it up,” because that reminds me of how Catholics, “Give something up for Lent/Advent.” 

Mom used to give up beer for Lent. She’d lose about thirty pounds, too. Fasting and abstaining was the norm. At 93, she still does, but doesn’t drink beer anymore. 

If we decide to change something big, we may need to start small. Telling the truth is a big deal for me. Don’t lie to me, no matter how small it is to you. In my opinion, if you tell small lies easily, you’ll tell big ones as well. And if I cannot trust you, we cannot be friends. I probably don’t even want you on the fringes of my life. Truth matters. In every aspect of life. 

Omitting important factors is lying, too, it’s lying by omission. Kids do it. Adults shouldn’t. If you are hiding something to keep me from getting angry, it’s wrong. Don’t you get that? Telling the truth is important, and shouldn’t be something you give up just for Lent/Advent. You should give it up for life. Start small if you must, but finish big. Honesty is so necessary in this world, and in our lives. Make this new habit part of your life. And mine, since it affects your friends, too.

Sometimes, we need to change a lot in our lives. Many of us do. We can tackle it one thing at a time. And it should be for forever, not just six weeks on the calendar. That length of time would be used to create the new habit. Why not get started today? Let’s do it together! I’d like to spend more time creating – whether it be writing, quilting, sewing, and reading. 

What are you going to do today to start a do-over and new habit? It can be big or small. The important thing is we begin. Today. Have a beautiful day, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Super Saturday!

The Huskers won their second game last night! Two weeks in a row, that really is a boost to the players and coaches. They CAN do it! Mickey Joseph, you are the man! I love how you interact with the players. It has to be encouraging to them, and the other coaches. You are a humble man, one who appears to hunker down and get to business. No flowery speeches, no false hopes. It is what it is; it is not what it has been.

We, the fans, need YOU, need YOUR method, YOUR enthusiasm, and YOUR leadership right now. I hope you are allowed to interview for the head coaching job. In my opinion, you may be the missing element. If you don’t want to, that’s ok. But I believe you should be allowed the choice before anyone else.

The Babe and I are going to look for a new comfy chair for me, and maybe for him, too. It will be interesting to see what is available with the shipments still at a standstill at the ports. With one of our daughters and son in laws in the railroad shipping business. It’s frightening and interesting all at the same time.

Our hometown Nebraska Furniture Mart has a great story of a Jewish female businesswoman. The way the world was then, women couldn’t own property, they couldn’t have a bank account solely in their name, and they certainly weren’t listened to when running a family business. I wonder what she would think of most of their products coming from China, not American made. It’s not furniture that wears well, that’s why I’m looking for a new chair, it wore poorly during the last seven years. Maybe that’s the life-span of a chair that’s used a lot.

Is anyone in the furniture business? I’d be curious how it’s determined. Mom has a lot of the furniture from over 50 years ago, but only the wooden dining room table and chairs, her bedroom set, and a couple twin beds that were my father’s and uncles! That’s nearly 100 years old! Dad would be 98 right now, 99 January 1, 2023. As you can see, I have no frame of reference for longevity of modern furniture.

How do you use your imagination? I use mine for creating. As one of my writing sweatshirts says: “I Make Stuff Up,” above an old fashioned manual typewriter. I love to make stuff up, and to create things from cloth, yarn, and other raw materials. I suppose that’s making stuff “up,” too!

Did you know, when the typewriter was invented, there were only male secretaries. I don’t recall where I read about it, but typing was considered too complicated for the female population to learn with their “delicate” minds. It was thought the keys were too complicated for women to master. Yes, that is the thought. How far we’ve come, yet will we remain here? I hope so.

If you use your imagination to build “worst possible” scenarios? Fear makes worst possible burn the whole darned house down. Yes, it doesn’t hurt to anticipate possible problems, but when you build problems that never come true, you are living in Neverland much more than reality. Many Mothers worry far beyond what is even possible, and think worry, loss of sleep over their loved ones problems is a badge of love. It isn’t. It’s part of being codependent. Borrowing trouble from tomorrow wastes today. Don’t waste today. It’s too precious.

It turns out, we couldn’t find anything we liked at Nebraska Furniture Mart. We had a lovely day, stopped to have lunch, and spent the time just enjoying each other’s company. It was fun. These are the days we cherish. I hope you have many of those as well. Have a lovely evening, and see you tomorrow!

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

This book, this work of historical fiction, was the best gift during the sad time of the Queen dying and the country mourning their longest reigning monarch. Prince William may have a shot at reigning longer, but who knows.

Much speculation has been written about the royals, the way life is for them, and other such stories. I love how this story, the real-life marriage of Princess Elizabeth and her Prince Phillip, was such a boost to the moral of Britain after WWII and it’s aftermath, is told. I can certainly understand the plight of the subjects, the ruin the country was in, and the lack of comfort that ruled the land. I can see why many folks would emigrate to Canada, which is under British Rule.

It makes me wonder how many young women, pregnant out of wedlock, relocated and acted as widows, which was respectable over unmarried and pregnant. How good that times have changed, and changed for the better.

The story of the ladies who used their talents for the intricate designs of embroidery on the princesses’ gown is deep with characters, skill of the ladies after years of practice, and the camaraderie of the women who did this work. I envy their skill, and I admire the art they created. I love to embroidery, but I only do stamped cross stitch/other stitches. Even people who do counted cross stitch amaze me. So many works of art, and not many younger women taking up these hobbies. It’s a shame.

This book is for anyone who loves the Royals, fine stitchery, and beautiful gowns. I hope you read it and enjoy it as much as I did. How the world has changed, and how much we needed the changes!

Hope you have a wonderful evening, and see you tomorrow.

Playing Catch-Up.

With three appointments for Mom this week, a visitation and then funeral for our friend. Everything is behind; the laundry, the Hello Fresh meals from last week need cooked before they spoil, my kid book and other projects are on hold momentarily, and my mind and heart are else-where. This happens to me after losses.

I’ve mentioned before how the Babe and I have lost many people in the last two years. With Janet, now the count is eight in 20 months. They were all ages and walks of life; they were ALS, COVID, Congestive Heart Failure, COPD/Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney Cancer & old age, Sepsis/Lung Infection, Lymphoma, and Cancer/Strokes/Dementia. What a list.

In my grief, I’m thinking and remembering how it was to get through every day after Dad died. It was hard, with him dying December 7th, Christmas on the horizon, and his birthday on January 1. All those events within 30 days of his death really left us scrambling to figure out how to cope.

I’m enjoying seeing all the FB photos posted of Janet with family, friends, and acquaintances. It made realize we didn’t have any photos of us together; all our pictures were of the kids. That’s how things were back in the 80s. No selfies or group selfies. But I have wonderful memories and many reasons to smile.

Today was a late day appointment with Mom, and she’s pretty frustrated. It took such a long time to get there, then to find out, we made a useless trip. Things happen, and she gets really upset. We are indeed the sandwich generation: elderly parents and grandkids. My in-laws are deceased, and Mom is the only one left. She is requiring more care and time the older she becomes. The grand kids are spreading their wings and Mom’s needing hers clipped. How about that?

It’s time to relax and try to get some sleep. I’m so glad I do not have to leave the house tomorrow. Meals are prepared and only need nuking, and I plan to visit my children’s book again. My friend’s grandson Donnie IV may like my book about Roxie and Gavin. He saw his grandpa very sad yesterday. He is too, and will remember yesterday for a long time. He stepped in front of us and called out to Grandpa, giving him hugs and kisses. It was so sweet. This is what makes life worth living, and it’s what keeps us going on.

Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there.

Saturday 7/23/2022

No matter our vision, being in the mood, sometimes things just don’t go as you want.

This extreme heat, humidity, and general funk has settled in my ankle hardware, so it’s been a pretty miserable day walking around the house. And breathing. Asthma flares in humid weather, and in cold weather. I have never smoked, and I can’t imagine what that must feel like if you have asthma, COPD, or any other lung issues. I feel badly for the elders at the VFW who are on oxygen. Must be awful!

The dogs don’t want outside, but they went to the doggie spa today for baths. They really love their new groomer, and always come home with cute scarves. We went out to lunch and came home, waiting for the dogs to be finished. Other than that, it’s not much of a day, really. I’m reading a whole bunch of “Enchantress of Numbers.” If we don’t watch a movie, I may read the rest of the evening.

I hope you’re having a good Saturday. Ours is quiet and that’s fine. It may be another resting day tomorrow. Stay in from the heat, stay hydrated, and don’t be in the sun long! We all have more books to read. See you tomorrow.

A New Monday!

The coffee is gone, the music is going, the brain is in gear, what’s up for today?

I am considering something I have come to agree with. With wrestling many tasks these last few months, I’ve decided to uncomplicate my life. Yes, there is a lot to do. Fortunately, humans can only do one thing at a time.

“Meditation is a mental discipline that enables us to do one thing at a time.”

Max Picard, a Swiss writer and philosopher, made that statement. How wise it is. It’s why we tell kids to focus. Many people are scattered about these days, with no real schedule or plan. Mom’s claim they’re multitasking. Multitasking is a fallacy; while the human can perform two tasks at once (driving and texting, although it’s illegal and just plain not good), something will not be done correctly. We see drivers all the time, with their phone perched in the middle of their steering wheel, weaving through the streets and interstates. Not a good thing to do. Dangerous, and you’ll be sorry eventually.

My daily meditation mentions we should not pile more on a full plate. When we consistently have too many things to do and think about, we become worn out, crabby, and not pleasant to be around. I’ve stopped doing a to do list; I was getting overwhelmed. Now, I do an accomplishment list. Then I feel more successful about how I spent the day. Oh, the to do list is in my mind, but right now, I’m needing to feel more successful about getting some things done.

I know I’ll develop more mental discipline by one thing at a time and also have more things accomplished. I’ll do more because I’ll get more done. I’m struggling with things now, and I need to be patient until I correct all these bad habits; the biggest of which is thinking I’ll get way more done if I multitask. Not going to happen.

Using my energy wisely will be the mantra, the way by which I need to live. Not sure how I strayed from this common sense approach. Sometimes, we are too influenced by society. While sayings like, “I Mom So Hard,” are kind of catchy, we’re doing far less work than women who stayed home all day with no conveniences to use. I can say that because I’ve done both; stay at home Mom and working Mom.

Yes the world was different. We just didn’t have the money for every sport imaginable or every lesson on earth. There was much more family time and eating at home. I get it. I see our kids who have kids arranging schedules to shuttle them back and forth. They have varied interests and have found a way to shine, each of the oldest three. Dance, Swimming and Mountain Biking, and Baseball/Football/Basketball. The little ones in Colorado are just starting swim lessons at age four; not sure what they’ll be involved in. I’m sure their life will be very busy, too.

It’s time to go finish some tasks. Folding laundry. Putting my quilt pieces together in a nice basket so they’ll be safe. Get that ironing board put up in the office/studio. One thing at a time. One day at a time. And remember I’m only one person. And I have all week to finish all these things. Take time every day for me, and look forward to living in this moment.

The header photo is from a Facebook group called Nebraska Through the Lens. The participants post beautiful photos they’ve shot in Nebraska. This particular one is of a sunset. I love the colors; I feel every day looks like this. It’s up to us to carry the beauty of it through our days, making them all good ones. Be careful out there today in the heat. See you tomorrow!

Another New Start Today!

Nothing revs me up more than considering that each and every month begins with a brand new, shiny group of days that we get a do-over. Today is no exception. What will we do this month? We hope a lot. Both personally and as volunteers. Of course, the first thing will be with getting back to my novel. That should begin this week, with just reading what I’ve written so far. It will require reading all my notes, especially the ones from my sessions with Book Coach, Sam Tyler. I’m hearing her voice when I’m working now, little reminders of memory to remind me of what I should remember while writing.

Next, we’ll get better organized with blogging, publishing by taking advantage of pre-scheduling the publishing. It’s worked well as a trial, and some days are more conducive to writing blogs, others lead me to wanting to quilt. I’ve had a project sitting on the sewing machine for nearly a year now. It’s time to put the blocks together by rows and sashings, followed by adding boarders. It’s a beautiful quilt, all with batik fabrics. They have fascinated me since I learned in high school art class how the combination of dye and wax create the beautiful fabric.

I felt all smart when I was re-introduced to the word batik, and how the fabrics were so unique. They’re also expensive. I’ve been a miser with the few batik fabrics I’ve purchased, and whenever I use them, I know the resulting project has more love in it. Creating anything is very fulfilling, and calming. There are certainly a lot of ways to do it. Find one you may like. If you don’t, try something else. Small risks and changes to find something you may love to do.

It’s with gratitude we look at doing more outreach for the VFW Post we belong to. There are always countless opportunities to offer help for groups in the area. Right now, we want to concentrate on NE COPS, Moving Veterans Forward, and Guitars for Vets. We may add another one or two, but want to do each one well, not spreading ourselves too thin. Common sense should always prevail.

Friday of this week is my 50 + 1 High School Reunion. I expect it will be a time for renewing old friendships. The people who remain in your lives for that long are indeed special. I expect there will be touching base with people we knew, but didn’t hang out together. Maybe new friends will be cultivated from former acquaintences. I am looking forward to it. It’s another “New Beginning.”

It’s early Sunday morning, it’s going to be a perfect day for our Car Show, benefitting Guitars for Vets and Moving Veterans Forward’s scheduled 50 Mile March later this month. It is a march from Lincoln to Omaha, highlighting Veterans homelessness and those who suffer from PTSD. Very worthy organizations. Praying for a great outcome today. Time to get ready, and get out there! Be a blessing today. Let’s plan on seeing each other tomorrow, ok?

Monday; Just the Start!

It’s a bright, shiny new week, and we’re going to have fun. Cartney is working on her drawings in between the life of a very busy high school graduate, who is a very involved person. She’s involved with all aspects of life. Shouldn’t we all be that engaged? I think so.

At my age I don’t have the energy I used to. At the same time, the ideas are flowing faster and fuller than ever before in life. I suppose that’s how it is being a creative sort of person. My problem at the moment isn’t ideas, it’s time and energy. Once you get the mind straight, it’s hard to get everything else in line. Some days.

Meetings today about our fundraiser for NE Cops (Concerns of Police Survivors). The Babe and I attended a concert a month ago and learned about the cause. It’s phenomenal what they are doing. This event will help raise funds to send three Nebraska families to Washington, DC for the Police Memorial Week in October. It’s a good and right thing to do for the community around us. And my heart goes out to the families.

In the world around us, last week a fine young man and the love of his life were married. What a happy thing to see on Facebook! And the more we are positive, reading affirmations, living them, and defeating fear and negativity, the better the world becomes. This doesn’t mean we’re living perfect lives. Quite to the contrary. Things are not perfect. Those are not what we concentrate on. We have to let things build us up, not tear us down. I know it’s hard. There are two major things in my life that are very far from perfect; they cause me great sadness. I have decided either I accept them or I let them ruin my whole life. Yes, it creeps in at times. I allow myself to feel sad about it. And then I move on. I have to. Or life and I would be miserable. The Devil cannot win.

I use the energy to do good for other people. It feels good. Organizations are grateful. I don’t do it for me; I do it because it’s good for other people, I’m occupied with something positive, and good happens because of it. I am so tempted to buy the shirt that reads:

Underestimate Me

That Will Be Fun

It doesn’t necessarily mean something negative. It’s just when it gets down to the wire, I’ve pulled myself out of some incredible situations. All with God’s help. It’s not that the ego is leading, it’s simply I know I can go up against obstacles. And come out well. I don’t look at it as winning or losing. I see it as achieving vs. fearing. I know things become clearer the further I go into the unknown. It took a lifetime to learn that. It has taken the last twenty years to say it out loud and realize it’s how God has worked in me for me. And I’m grateful. I need to use it for good. I try to.

Good things continue when you get into the habit of looking for them. Make it a daily habit and you’ll be surprised at how well your days are. A baby in the store, a puppy on a leash, nature, the neighbor kid, they can all be a source of joy. Let’s keep looking at the good. See you again tomorrow. Be Safe out there, and hold the door open for someone. It’ll be a nice thing.

You’re Always My Home. Never Obsolete.

Wow! I discovered some ancient electronic devices yesterday, in the Babe’s office closet. A Garmin. A camera with film still in it. A full camera setup you could print photos from when it’s docked. There are three or four boxes of “ink” cartridges for it. We got it when the grandbabies started to come. It was perfect. Fourteen years ago!

And then the very first digital camera we purchased. It was in 2001. We attended Stephens Ministry Training in Orlando and saw Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr. driving in the 24 Hours of Daytona. They drove Porsche’s. I remember this, because the Babe accidentally erased all the photos we took that day. The Museum. The part of the race we saw. It was upsetting at first, but we remember that day. And we shared it. No big deal, in the grand scheme of things.

So here we are, gathering things to de-clutter a closet. I do remember the fun we had learning to use those advances in technology. Until the next one came along. When the kids started getting married, we bought a movie camera! Wow. That was a hard one to part with. We just never used it. And now, all those things that were once another item are now included on your cell phone. I will probably keep the last slimline camera we bought. It would produce adequate photos without having to scale them down for use on WordPress.

And just like that digital camera, we can have do-overs every day of our lives. God gives another chance to do good things. I love signs all over the house. We have some from Redline Steel. It’s a company we have followed on Facebook. They have specials all the time, offering a free item for a delivery fee. The sign, “Thankful Grateful and truly Blessed,” was one the Babe picked out. We talk often of how good God’s been to us. We try to live that gratitude every day.

Somehow, I picked out two of this sign:

Two of these? No Problem! I’ll use them both.

For us, the word home is almost sacred. Like Church. No matter where we live, as long as each other are there, we’re home. I’ve been able to leave every home I’ve lived in without tears. Moving on is a natural part of life. I’m sure new good times will happen in a new-to-us home. Billy Joell sang a song titled “You’re My Home.” I love it. The Babe’s my home, and I am his. We truly are Blessed. This home is our favorite. Ranch style, three bedrooms, large kitchen, living room with gas fireplace. Laundry on the same level. We’ve made upgrades to the counter tops, master bath, added new paint, and a beautiful fence. It’s us.

Loving someone for nearly 25 years is an accomplishment these days. It’s not impossible. Meeting in our 40’s was a good thing. We both knew what we didn’t want. We learned quickly to trust each other. It wasn’t easy after a lifetime of disappointments for each of us. We were mature enough to know what was really worth arguing about. We are home with each other. Nothing goes obsolete with us. We value between us. We respect each other, and our relationship. Every day is new. I love our time together.

I’m going to spend the rest of the day (until my back cries for mercy) going through the “stuff” in the Babe’s office. And today is the last Carol Gino session about being more aware of what’s around you. It should be interesting. Be Safe out there, my friends. Be Grateful. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. Masks and Vaccinations. We’ll rebound better than before. Together. See you tomorrow!

What Makes a Monday?

Depending on which type of printed (or electronic) calendar you use, Sunday is probably the “first” day of the week. Monday follows, and that was traditionally the start of the work week. And all retail stores were closed on Sunday. It really was a special day. Now it’s hard to tell one day from another. That’s not the COVID-19 Blues or old age forgetfulness talking, every day is pretty much the same. Our society makes a big deal about Wednesday being “Hump Day”; a/k/a the middle of the week, but how do we tell?

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

When we were kids, my dad worked nights. His weekend was Sunday night and Monday night. That was the least they could do, since back in the day when newspapers were king, the Saturday night print of each early Sunday edition was time consuming, and the papers were big ones. Not like the ones printed today. He would often work close to twelve hours, depending on late front pages, equipment breakdown, etc. It was always something. Sundays we always went with Mom to visit both Grandmas and maybe some aunts and uncles. It just depended on how long Dad needed to sleep. Good times, really.

When I first started working after I was divorced, I didn’t like Fridays, I loved Mondays. That is weird. I hated the house without the kids, the few weekends their father took them. It took a long time for me to settle myself to stay there without them. Just me and their dog, Shadow. It was lonely. I remember what it’s like to be gut-wrenching, bone-chilling lonely those Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Yes, it was that bad. It was like that too for awhile after they were all gone from home, two moving out of state. I miss them and those hard days.

One thing I’ve always remembered during those times, is I have my worst decisions while I was lonely. I’ve stayed too long, not thought about my long term needs, and haven’t bothered to say hello. It was always such a lesson to wait on those kinds of decisions. I learned, finally, thank God! I share that because some of you may learn from it, too. Don’t decide too quickly. Do it when you’re feeling loved, not lonely.

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

So what makes a Monday? I believe it has to do with dread, belief in the negative, and maybe from not loving what you do enough. Now I see it as a start. A shiny new week, all ready for me to create and learn. And my book coach and I have a conference on Thursday. I’ve shared my completed homework with her, and am eager for Thursday. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to spending time with Gavin again today, and getting some quilting time in. Whoever said retirement is boring didn’t have hobbies and grandkids.

I think Monday should be looked forward to, and spent wisely. As you age you realize you are running out of time. Right now, I’m hoping to live until at least 90, to make a dent in my fabric stash for quilting. I’m still working on the Poppy Quilt, shame on me! No, other things got in the way, and I chose them instead. Now, I’m choosing a relaxing hobby to get a sense of accomplishment after completing it. All on a Monday. Gosh, Tuesday will be great, too! I’m grateful to have these bonus days of life.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. We are having more followers every day. For that, I’m very grateful. We are steady, and slowly gaining. Nothing flashy or grandiose. Just the great granddaughter of an Irish immigrant who scrubbed floors at the County Courthouse and learned about politics from overhearing discussions of attorneys, city and county officials. My other great grandmother was a seamstress who sewed all the uniforms for Clarkson College of Nursing back in the day. She had a family to support after her husband was gone. I never knew if that meant he left or died. No one ever talked about it. Mom tells me I got my seamstress abilities from her. How cool!

I’ll see you all tomorrow. Progress on the quilt is quite possible. Photos then. See you here then. Keep Kindness in mind. Keep Courtesy in mind. Keep Thoughtfulness in the forefront. Wash up, Mask up. Let’s do this thing.