Feelings-Sudden and Manageable.

Whether we want to admit it, we all have feelings. It’s just that they exist. Present in our makeup, triggered with a sight, a sound, or a smell, they can take over. We are not responsible for our feelings or how we feel when they overtake us. We are, however, responsible for our response to them. What?

You heard me. If your response is to yell at whoever is near, belittle them, and humiliate them so you feel better, that’s wrong and you’re responsible for the fallout from that. That’s extremely dysfunctional behavior and you own that. You owe apologies to everyone you hurt. They did nothing to you. You responding to those pesky feelings, and here we are.

Learning how to handle those feelings will make you a better person, more settled, and your growth will be great. Feelings management has to be learned. It’s not inborn. We cannot manage triggers. We can only manage what we do with our feelings. Lashing out at people only serves to isolate you when you need support. Alienate enough people and you’ll end up very alone and lonely. Be conscious of this; it’s sometimes impossible for us to undo the damage we’ve done.

I’ve tried very hard to be conscious of this out-of-control behavior. I’ve witnessed this much in my life, and I still hate when I see it unfold before me. It’s so damaging if it’s directed at you. Please, learn to control your emotions, and don’t hurt others because of them. Learning to be honest with yourself. Admitting you’re afraid or feeling threatened is hard work. And the angry outbursts are much better silenced than heard by the entire neighborhood.

Every family has it’s challenges. We all keep our secrets. The fewer the secrets, the more ready you are for challenges. Honesty is the best way to talk about this stuff. Try it. You may like it. Let’s see each other tomorrow, ok?

What’s My Favorite Thing to Cook?

This prompt is courtesy of my friends at WordPress. When I can’t decide on a topic, we’re just going to take their prompt and run with it.

My favorite has changed over the years. When I was a young Mom, I loved having a peanut butter sandwich and apple slices with my littles. We’d picnic in the backyard, or even go with other neighborhood friends to the Zoo. We’d both load up the wagons and food and Kool Aid, and go to walk the Zoo. It was easier back in the 70s and 80s; it was much smaller.

As time went on and I was alone with my kids, I loved cooking Sunday dinner. Roast, whatever we could afford. My kids were all home and Frankie, the elder of the tribe, made it a point to tell the littles (Nick and Becky) it was important to have dinner as a family. He loved those dinners, and so did I. The kids all did. Before my sons worked, we’d start the day on Sunday with Jazz on the local radio station, and a big breakfast. All four of us sat around and read the newspaper afterwards, too. I miss those days. What I don’t miss is the robbing Peter to pay Paul, the nearly overdrawn checking account every day, and the running out of cash and milk on Tuesday when I didn’t get paid until Friday. That was horribly stressful. And the stress of raising kids, praying you get it right. They were good; they made good choices. I was lucky.

I’ve always loved cooking meals for company, holiday meals for our family, and I believe I’m probably just about done cooking solo for holidays. My back just can’t handle all the standing, etc. I will make sure I have a helper from now on. That’s how things get handed down.

My favorite thing to make is dessert. Cake, pie, bites of candies, brownies, etc. It’s no wonder; I’m a person probably addicted to sugar, so of course I’m great at building desserts. I have a few Keto recipes to reduce the bad stuff. Might get some in before Valentine’s Day for the Babe and me. We don’t normally make a big deal out of it; we know we love each other. Some folks live and die by it. Hallmark wins, and Russell Stover, every time.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another 40 + degree day. We actually sat outside for awhile today. The air was fresh, but a little cool with the bit of wind. Each day gets us closer to spring. Cabin fever has driven the Babe a little stir crazy. He just wants out. Out to enjoy and do something. Soon, my dear. Soon.

My study of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is going well. It’s picked up in the last couple weeks, when I realized I have learned some variation of some concepts before, and that I’ve been on the Artist’s Way for a few years now. I’m looking to broaden the stroke of the brush, though. I’m thinking of adding narratives of my quilt making and of my learning to draw and paint. Why does it have to be only writing? Why can’t I showcase all my creative endeavors? Anything can happen, right? What do you think, would you be interested in seeing all or just the writing? Let me know.

We’re watching Omaha’s Creighton Bluejays v Villanova Basketball game right now. We’ll see each other again tomorrow, ok? Have a great Sunday.

2-3-2023. Friday’s Things.

Yesterday was Ground Hogs day. Phil saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter. But six weeks is around the Spring Solstice anyway, so what difference does it make? I don’t know how or why this spectacle began, but I suppose it’s fun. I didn’t question as a kids, the nuns taught us about it, and I’m surprised they did. There is no religious significance to the day, at least I don’t recall learning that. What do you know about it?

Yesterday was also the birthday of a very special Veteran I know. Marion Logermen turned 99 years old. He is a WWII Veteran. He was stationed in Italy, and earned a Purple Heart. The Battle of Anzio is one part of the war he witnessed. He is a very kind man, and someone I’ve been lucky to get to know and talk with. It’s folks like him who make it hard to not be as active at the VFW. At this point of winter, and due to his age, we most likely wouldn’t be seeing him anyway. I’ll have to call him and let him know we were thinking of him today.

I worked on the borders of Cody’s quilt today. Didn’t get them all finished, but they should be tomorrow. Hoping to wrap that project up next week. Next week will also include filing taxes, finishing the quilt, and looking at the kid book with fresh eyes after too long. February is turning into such a productive month. Let’s check back again in about 25 days.

Finished my third book for the 2023 Reading Challenge. So far, on track! Still coaxing the creative spirit out from the storage shed. I’m really tempted to sign up again for monthly art (painting) projects, but since I didn’t do any of the others I signed up for last year, I just can’t right now. I need something to get me going on it. It will happen.

Once we start committing to our creative journey, it is not selfish to want our own, private time. If we don’t carve that out of our day, we may become resentful. And that’s not healthy at all; not for our spirit, soul, or creativity. Let’s remember that.

If you’ve ever had a martyr in your life, you know how guilt-producing they can be. And you’re not even guilty. That’s how they work. They make everything your fault. You’re always the one who is wrong, at fault, doesn’t know what you’re talking about. They use words like always and never. If you are programmed with that message, it takes a long time to find out it’s not true. And, it’s not only false, it’s abusive. Don’t let them get to you. Don’t let them steal your joy. Create. And make the world a much better place. See you tomorrow.

February 2, 2023

Just a little more to read and I’ll finish “All the Perfects” by Colleen Hoover. It’s a little confusing, each chapter is either “Then” or “Now.” We are winding up to a big finish, and I hope it’s a good ending. We’ll see.

It’s kind of interesting. Some of the last few books I’ve read have different timelines. They sometimes meander all over the place. At other times, they are linear, in correct sequence. This one relies strictly “Then,” and “Now.” I may have become lost a couple times. Hope I get back on track very soon; like in the next two pages.

Today, there was more info on the possible shooter at our local Target store. He was schizophrenic. How very sad. There is no good reason this all happened. There is no excuse for it. The mental health field should be more able to get patients to comply with protocol that will keep them functioning in society and living a life that is safe for them and society.

It is not one element of the storm, it is all of them; untreated mental illness, instability, and many, many other unseen issues even before you add in the weapon element. We cannot blame only one. The problem will not be solved by banning one element. The entire problem needs addressing all at once. Equal blame can be assigned to all.

We saw the Metro in the DC area had yet another shooter loose today. Hearing it was the Metro caused us concern. Our grandson rides with some of his homies to school. Further reports clarified it was nowhere near our grandson’s area. Another thank God. The heightened sensitivity towards the news cycles is not unusual, it happens all the time. We’re honed in on it, then life goes back to normal.

My heart broke yesterday for one of the young Target workers. She was being interviewed about her experience and mentioned it was ingrained into them after having their entire school career filled with active school shooter training. What a shame, having that be a part of a young person’s life. My generation didn’t have that to worry about. Our kids and grandkids do. What kind of world do we have?

It’s exactly at this point, we need to stop and be positive. There are far more people who are good, kind people. Bad things happening is the exception, not the norm. Many more of our days go by uneventful than deadly and frightening. Yes, give me a boring day any day of the week. Here’s to a boring next couple days. Stay safe out there, and see you tomorrow.

February 1, 2023

Today is the beginning of the shortest month of the year. A Dad joke exists, that February isn’t the shortest month of the year – they ALL have 28 days. Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk. Yep, my dad had a million of them. How about yours?

Yesterday was a blessed day in the grand scheme of things. It was quite nerve-wracking, though. We awoke to news of two Omaha police officers being shot by a burglar at a storage facility; the unit, known to have guns and ammo, was a mark for burglary. Our concern was for the safety of the officers. They are both doing ok, one released, one requiring surgery.

Our concern was our neighbor Rosa. Rosa is an Omaha OPD officer. She is a such a wonderful human and often works the area the crime happened. Thankfully, it wasn’t her, and she is safe. She and her husband are both in law enforcement, and they introduced their children into participating in politics, particularly the last presidential election, and congressional race. I am amazed at this family. We are so lucky to have them for neighbors.

As if all that wasn’t enough, while we were feasting on Nachos for lunch, I saw our Target, which is where we shop a lot, frequently picking up grocery orders or in-store shopping, had an active shooter situation. Oh my gosh. It is too close to home. Too close to home everywhere it happens.

Within six minutes, all law enforcement from the city of Omaha, and nearby towns and counties responded, and the suspect was dead. No one else is injured. I am grateful I was not inside the store, witnessing anything, and especially not being injured or killed. It’s a hard word to say, much less have to think. Killed. Thank God for the response. I am grateful we live in a part of the state where there is a lot of law enforcement, ready to act and keep us safe.

I know there are many corrupt police officers in the country now committing horrible crimes against people. Excessive force is often deadly and not warranted. This is not the case today, in Omaha, Nebraska. And for that, I am grateful. I hope you are all safe in your home, school, and shopping areas. Take care and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Saturday & Sunday Fun.

Things are quiet this weekend so far. We had a little extra sleep last night, and that is a glorious way to start the day. Things just sort of went along today, morphing from cleaning to working on taxes, to cutting some quilt applique pieces. The eyes are ready to be sewn on some dogs, and I set more pieces for bigger dog blocks are on tomorrow’s list of to-do’s. Looking forward to another day of relaxing and enjoying the day.

I finally caught up a bit with “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron. Truthfully, I read a rather sarcastic review of the book. I thought some had merit; and I found it may make more sense or seem more meaningful, fresher, whatever you want to call it, if the audience was younger. Much of what I read now seems I’ve heard before, or read, or even lived it.

The recovery for this week is a sense of possibility. I don’t feel the need to make lists of 5 things I want to do, things I haven’t done yet because of fear, and so on. I’ve really identified things I want to learn, and know I will do them, as soon as I can.

Toni Morrison says she thinks we make too big a deal of doing all our domestic duties and raising our families and maybe squeezing in a creative work or two and giving our highest praise for what might be the genuine talent a person has. The talent they should perform full time. Enough of waiting until the kids, raised and gone, have left the nest. Why make yourself wait a lifetime?

Good question. Don’t fret over the answer, though. It will waste more valuable time. Just do it. I believe I need to try drawing and painting. If I’m terrible, so be it. Then I’ll know. I can create more hours in a day by doing what we’re doing, downsizing stuff we don’t have use for anymore, and making sure we always pick the house up, and the laundry caught up. It is happening as we speak.

I’m glad to be at this point. My deadline for getting back to my kid book is February 1. I will finish the quilts after the first of the month. Taxes, rearranging the quilt studio, finish the office. It’ll all be good. New habits to achieve more.

How about you? Do you have anything you are working to achieve in your retirement, your weekends, before your next birthday? There is something freeing and frightening by putting it out here for everyone to see. I did it, now it’s your turn. Let’s get started! Still time to get the mystery solved on Dateline tonight. Stay warm, it’s frigid out there! Be safe. See you tomorrow!

Fun Friday Night

We had a low-key day at home, then met a couple of our lady friends for dinner at the American Legion. Broasted Chicken. Excellent stuff!

It’s always nice to reconnect with old friends, and see some newer places. We caught up to date with our friends, and look forward to meeting up again. We don’t want to lose contact with the friends we have. It’s important to keep the friends we have through the years. The demographics of those friendships have transformed in the past three years. We’ve lost male friends, spouses of our lady friends, and individuals from out of town, many people. It’s expected at this point in life, but a surprise. You are never ready for when it happens.

The Legion hall we attended had a one-man band, didn’t catch his name, but he claimed to hail from Nashville. Played a lot of old country stuff. (Said his dad was friends with Willie Nelson, etc.) I had to google when he referred to this song, recorded by several folks, written by Danny Flowers. The artist was Eric Clapton, the song was Tulsa Time. Here it is: Living on Tulsa Time. A great song, and new to me tonight. I love these discoveries. They are always a surprise; often a gift. This is one of them.

There are many things that go through my mind. These things are from the heart, mind, memory. We love our friends, all of them, living and gone. The ones who are gone have left for reasons that were not of natural loss. Losses because of illness, organ dysfunction, COVID, etc., are different. Yes, they are still losses. Their impact is far-reaching and long lasting.

Any of us could fill in for anyone who is suddenly gone. We could be the one with the organ failure, the fluke slip in the bathtub and fall, the just not waking up in the morning. Yes. I may sound as if I’m borrowing trouble from tomorrow. But it’s the reality of life right now. It’s what is happening. Too many folks don’t take things seriously enough to care for mental health during the process of death, loss, and recovery afterwards.

We are so ill-equipped to deal with grief, loss, dramatic changes in our lives that we can’t fathom what has happened, much less helping someone else navigate this hidden area of life. This part of life no one ever wants to admit exists. And life needs to acknowledge it exists, learn to deal with it, and help others learn to deal with it.

We complicate life and the world is hard while learning to cope; our success is contingent on dealing with our reality. How do we do it? We do it the best we can. And hope to God it all turns out well. Take care today, and have a beautiful Saturday. Football playoffs later, and results tomorrow. See you then!

Another Day in Paradise

Don’t we all deserve this? Of course we do. Just by the fact we’re human beings makes this so.

Some days, we need to work at seeing the Paradise in our surroundings. The house we live in may or may not be our home. I prefer to think of our house as a home, and home is wherever my loved one is. The Babe is my loved one now; years ago, it was my three kids and me. Some day, it may be where my dogs and I live or where the dogs and the Babe live.

Asked about home, Mom answers it’s where she lives now, and has lived since 1949. And it’s not anything but her dwelling. Nothing but that will be home. I’m not sure if other elderly folks feel this way or not. Although I grew up there, I don’t consider it my home. I’ve lived away from her home longer than I lived there. My folks worked hard to provide the home they did. Dad worked away from the house, Mom worked at home with us while Dad worked at night. It was certainly a different life than anyone we knew.

I wonder what homes of the future will look like, what will families be like? Will people work at home and never have to leave home? Will school be all online? I hope not. Humans need interaction with each other; we’re social beings. Introverted or not, we all need some degree of human interaction. What do you think it will be like?

In direct contrast to the weather in Paradise, we’re expecting another cold, then frigid, few days. This is the time of year we see people with mental health issues. The dark skies, lack of sunshine, people staying in from the cold, crowds, and calamity make us feel isolated, alone, and insignificant. Spring cannot come soon enough.

I have a lot of hobbies, just not a lot of spare time to work on them. It’ll be ok, though. We’ll adjust. Almost finished collecting the tax info, waiting for the Babe’s W-2 from the VFW. This may be the earliest I’ve ever filed an income tax return in recorded history! More later, I’ll let you know if I’m calling the Guinness people on my world’s record.

Hope you all have a beautiful day. Take care out there, and we’ll see you all tomorrow.

Much Better Day

Yesterday was much better than the day before. I am devastated with WordPress counting consecutive days of publishing a blog. I did not schedule my Sunday morning blog; it was manually published in the afternoon on Sunday. WordPress considers that missing a day. It I’d been up at 5 a.m. and published the one I wrote Saturday night, it wouldn’t have upset the counter. I wasn’t up at that hour on a Sunday, so the counter lost it’s mind.

I’m not going to fret about it, I know I didn’t miss a day. I’m going to ignore when WordPress congratulates me on 4 days in a row. Go away, you fool.

I finally conquered that inner boarder row on Cody’s quilt! I’m happy about that. It was wonderful to finally get those boarders all around the four big puppy blocks. Tomorrow, after picking up my sewing machine from the repair shop, I’m going to work on the last boarder, then the applique blocks with the puppies on them. I’m adding another puppy, too. My daughter’s family has the biggest dog I’ve ever seen. Chief is a French Mastiff, I think. He is the header photo today. Isn’t he handsome?

I think Cody will get a kick out of having Chief on his quilt. The other dog designs are with the pattern I’m using are the same size as a blown up (a little bit) Chief head. This next part will be fun! All these adorable puppy heads, paws and faces. I can’t wait to show

We’re making a lot of progress with our office reconfiguration. It will be my writing office, and the home office for my company, Jewell Publishing LLC. I’ve asked the Babe to keep my books, and to take the responsibility to keep track of all of our household paperwork, etc. I’ve done it the first 25 years of our marriage; the Babe will for the next 25. How about that for fair? I thought you’d agree.

One thing I love that being older teaches you. The bad day I had recently has just been forgotten. I had some issues working on the quilt today, but I didn’t give up; I kept at it. The older I get the less I think I should just quit. I cannot quit now; I’m close to publishing my kids book. It’s coming soon. I set a deadline of February 1 to finish the work on the children’s book. I have another one in my mind, perhaps we can get two on the shelves this year. I can dream as big as I want. We all can. Let’s be creative this year. Let’s get it done. Published. See my name in print. I can’t wait.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you have a great day, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe.

p.s. Happy Birthday Becky! Becky is Cody’s Mom, my daughter. I’m so proud of her, and of what she’s done with her life. She’s a wife, Mama, Mammography Tech, certified and various x-ray tech positions, and worked in Interventional Radiology until she and hubby Brian had children. I’m sure you’ll wear #44 well. Love you, Mom.

(SIGH)

Some days no matter what you try to do, things don’t work out too well.

I’m referring to my old friend, technology. We have three laptops, one Chromebook, and two cell phones. I’m changing over from Norton to AVG security. It’ll be a good thing.

I’ve installed it on the phones and one laptop. I did the other laptop today and downloaded the HR Block software for this year. The Babe and I also sorted through the box of papers we need to complete the input for the software. Chomped and ready at the bit.

Got the credit card out to purchase the software for HR Block. It appears they don’t have you pay before downloading. I’m guessing they make you when you complete the forms before filing with the IRS. At least I hope that’s what’s going on. So, I saved the return I started after downloading everything from last year’s return. All the same blah blah info. Done. Saved. Not ready yet, need to tabulate lots of numbers for totals.

OK, all good. Now for the Chromebook. OK, the Google Playstore has the software. Here we are. Password, then. What? It will download later. What in the holy heck does that mean? I’ve not seen this before. Hmmm. OK. Try again. Same result. Wow. Still nothing.

My best hunches haven’t panned out. I know WordPress uses extensions of software. Maybe there’s a secret compartment somewhere to find what I need. Nope. doesn’t appear so. My last resource is my I/T Department at an offsite, secure location. Got a suggestion from my FBIL (Favorite Brother in Law), and I’ll try that tomorrow. I’m just brain dead right now. It will have to be tomorrow.

I had great plans yesterday. I was going to finish the main part of Cody’s quilt; didn’t happen. Tomorrow. First thing. It will be a new day tomorrow. Have a great day and we’ll see each other tomorrow.