Despite the day starting out with Goldie throwing up all over the house after eating. Poor thing, she’s better, and that didn’t ruin our day. The Babe called the folks from 1800gotjunk. They don’t tell you the price until they come out and assess your stuff. They go by weight, length and height. We are now rid of an old tv, treadmill, sewing machine cabinet, and workbench. Decluttering is good!

The latest book I’m reading is “Sheelytown,” about the rise of the packing houses in Omaha. Sheely was the last name of one boss of the packing business. He built a packing plant and a small town, near the railroad tracks, and stockyards. He brought immigrants from Poland, Ireland, and other parts of the US to work at the packing plants. So far, the names of the workers are familiar; they were names from South Omaha when I was growing up, a couple generations after this story took place.

The era of this story took place, the early 1900s, people were very poor. The immigrants were, especially. They left their home country and hoped life would be better in America. It was hard to tell. The young women usually quit school to help their mothers care for smaller children at home. Hopefully, the girls would marry by 15 or 16, and leave the home, freeing up space and food for other family members. The boys hopefully left home at 14 or 15 to get jobs. This often left with siblings to secure a place to live and jobs. This freed up a lot of food for other family members. I cannot imagine what that must be like, but it happened more often than not.

The author, Gary Koenig, stressed this novel was based on true events. He’s not specifying which were true and which weren’t. At the turn of the century, I believe there was some problem with Native Americans. White people stole land and food from the natives. It wasn’t fair to them as they tried to survive. Tensions have not subsided even yet.

Knowing the neighborhood these stories took place makes the story more interesting to me. So far, I like the writing and the pace of the story. There are also reminders of social mores of the time. A young woman (15 years old) leaving home to go to Omaha, scorned for traveling alone with a boy or man, never able to save her reputation, does not heal from the gossip and ill will. I look forward to finishing it next week.

I have five more blocks to piece and applique for Cody’s quilt. These are more dogs, these are more specific breeds than the others. It’s coming along nicely. So is the reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” The more I read, the more I realize it contains a lot of things I’ve learned already in the last 3 1/2 years. I’m further along the way than I thought.

There may be a lot to Cameron’s claim writer’s/artist’s block doesn’t happen; it’s self sabotage, based on lack of confidence, grounded in fear, which most of us let win. We give up. We’d rather live stunted. It’s easier. Imagine if those traveling to Omaha for a job, or to Ellis Island for a new country quit when it was too hard. That will not happen, I cannot let it.

We are picking up on followers again; we have nearly 1050 followers. Over 1200 blogs and probably close to 200+ consecutive days posting blogs. We’re getting noticed, and for that, I’m grateful. Been a long day, and it’s time to R & R. Stay warm, hope your yard’s not too muddy from the melting, and we’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

What’s That Thing In The Sky?

I may be a little sensitive to balloons flying above the earth, the kind that is flying right now, suspected from China, with technology attached to be taking photos and gathering other intelligence over Montana, the Midwest. Call me crazy, but I just don’t trust them. I don’t trust Russia either. They’re up to no good, believe me.

As a kid, the nuns reminded us we lived within 12 miles of Offutt Air Base, home of the Strategic Air Command. They constantly reminded us we would disintegrate in seconds if the Russians/Cubans/whomever has the bomb. It isn’t any wonder some of us grew up with those reminders haunting us. We assimilated the information and grew up despite the constant sense of doom we lived with.

When I went to the surgeon’s office to plot the surgery for my lumpectomy, we checked in and the TV in the waiting had on the escapades of Balloon Boy. Ridiculous. I was angry I could be one of the unlucky ones who could die from their cancer, and this family was goofing around with a balloon, their kid, and the US government and resources, which could be used in a much more beneficial manner.

It was another bitter day in Nebraska. We have a friend and family on different trips to Florida this week. It sounds heavenly, with temps in the 80s. I think my arthritis would be happy there. Is it frigid where you are? Traditionally, February and March can be terrible in the Heartland. These months are hard, it’s too cold to be outside much, and many people end up depressed. Depression is tricky. It can move in and make itself comfortable before you may realize what’s going on.

I believe mental health is one of the most important elements of keeping ourselves and our communities healthy and safe. We all deserve to be healthy and safe. If things are off, we need to find help. The sooner the better. And help isn’t a good word sometimes. It may feel condescending to accept “help.” A better thought is to say the person is a buddy, a comrade, a peer support specialist, which is what I became in December. We are ready to support our peers when and where it’s needed.

The Babe informs me he just saw there is another balloon flying over us. It makes me pretty uncomfortable. I believe our military is at the ready, and will protect us. Faith over fear, every time. Have a beautiful Saturday. Hoping to squeeze in the taxes sometime today. What are you looking at tying up this weekend? Making new progress on our quilt for Cody. Photos by Monday, hopefully. Have a great weekend. See you tomorrow.