Fear is the Base of Worry

The old saying, “If you Pray, Why Worry?” “If you Worry, Why Pray?” is truest when you look at Worry and Faith and Prayer.

Prayer became a part in my arsenal as a single Mom. I prayed for our health and well being, and protection for my kids. I didn’t stay awake at night worrying. Many people are of the opinion good Mom’s stay up all night worrying. I never have. I’m glad, because I need my sleep.

Worry is a self-defeating habit. Yes, I believe it’s a habit. It’s definitely not a virtue by any means. If we have many habits like these, we lose out on the good things life has for us. We’re so busy dealing with unhealthy habits, we miss out on the joy, adventure, happiness, and goodness. Old habits and rules are not worth keeping around when they don’t enhance our lives. Let go of the old, in with the new. You’ll thank yourself later.

I pray, and leave it to God. I ceased praying for the outcome I wanted when I finally figured out God knew best. Not me. Not even close. God is a big-picture guy. I’m not, not even close.

The reasons we follow old rules is we are afraid of different. Yes, change is hard; staying the same can be deadly. Deadly to creativity, joy, happiness, and friendship. We need change if we’re to grow. I shudder to think of people who decide at a young age they will never change or grow. They think they are the best they’ll ever be. Oh my, you have much to learn.

I ask God to keep me changing, growing, learning. This is the decade I’ve read is the most creative during a lifetime. What a perfect time to write a novel and a children’s book, work on more quilts, and eventually learning to draw and paint. It will be a full decade, won’t it? You can bet I won’t waste time worrying. Prayer, and putting it in God’s hand is the answer for me. He’s done good by me so far. I see no reason to worry about things now.

Have a beautiful Saturday. It’s going to be a great day to stay inside today, so enjoy! We’ll see each other tomorrow.

Memories and Fears

Memories are our friends or foes. They’re our friends when we can remember the smell of a freshly bathed baby asleep on our shoulder. They’re our foe when trauma is so vivid it feels as if we’re still in the midst of the battle, or assault from someone who shouldn’t be hurting us.

Fear sets in when these memories cause feelings we’re uncomfortable with, and we often fear those feelings. We don’t like to be uncomfortable, and we’d rather not remember things that make us feel that way. What can we do?

We can learn to work through those feelings, and learn we’ll be ok. The memories cannot hurt us. Yes, they can make us feel uncomfortable, but we will not be hurt in the same way. We need to work through uncomfortable feelings, positive or negative. It is very possible to learn feelings can help us as well as hurt us.

If we recall being burned by fire, we are reminded of the event as painful, panic, and fearful. If we recall play, celebration, joy, and happiness, we come to learn we deserve those feelings, and work to enjoy them as often as possible. We can work our way towards putting memories in their proper places, between trauma and happiness. Eventually, we gain control over where our mind goes.

I remember very specifically when my son Frankie drowned. It was in 1978, when I was 26, pregnant with Becky, and taking Nick to the bathroom. My worst fear came true, my son drowned and would have died, but for the two people who knew CPR were at their going away party with us. One week later, no one would have known how to save his life.

My whole life, I was fearful of water, fearful of drowning. I remember the feeling, the fear, and the shaking I’d go through when I’d smell wet sand, wet clothes, suntan lotion, anything you’d experience at the lake. It took years for me to stop shaking, sobbing, and not hover over my five year old. There was no help back then for PTSD. They didn’t even acknowledge it’s existence. And no, I was told, “just don’t think of it,” by my doctor. I’m so glad things have changed drastically.

Know of someone who needs to talk with someone about trauma? There is help. Tonight, I took my last Peer Support class. Tomorrow is graduation. The time has gone quickly, we’ll meet one last time, and become ready to listen where needed. It’s a good feeling, and I expect it will be rewarding to listen and offer ideas when needed. Mostly, it will be supporting the efforts of people, to live their lives. And that’s always a good thing.

Thank you for reading, we’ll visit again tomorrow.

Homecoming!

It was welcome home for the Babe! I picked him up at the airport Monday night, and the three girls sure are glad he’s home. Of course, I had to wait in line. It’s nice to have him home. More bonding took place and the memories will remain forever. So glad it all worked out.

Today, I did a little more work on the quilt for Kayla and cut more pieces for Cody’s. No writing (until I did this) happening today. I need to get it together again, it seems I’m always trying to get it together. Like Yoda says, “No try, DO!” Yes.

I haven’t even read anything the past four or five days. Usually, I get at least a chapter a day in. That’s another thing that needs to be a daily thing. The holiday season is descending on us, and I’m thinking of my Christmas Tree. Time to decorate, I believe. The Babe has offered to help, so it’ll be much easier for me.

While we decide to make our own traditions for our individual families, we can also decide what kind of home we will have. Will we have one based on honesty and love or one of secrets and lies? One will last through time, the other will fall at the slightest breeze. Which will you build?

I love Judge Judy. Brash? Yes she is. She has no patience for people who don’t use their heads. One of the things she says to people who think they’re putting one over on her is:

“If You Tell The Truth, You Don’t Have To Remember What You Say.”

She speaks the truth. We need to preach this and have everyone practice it. If we did, there would be a lot more honesty in the world. Even if just in our families, honesty is important. Secret keeping is never good. It is especially not good to keep secrets about your health from your family, or only let certain members know the truth. It’s not fair to those kept in the dark. Be open and honest. Your family deserves it.

I remember when I had breast cancer. It was hard to tell the Babe, my kids, and my mom. The worst hard of all was to tell my youngest brother Tim. His wife had just passed away from oral cancer two years before. Nothing could be as hard as that was. Prayers, medical miracles, and God’s good grace finds me still cancer free, 13 years later. God willing, it will remain the same. I will always be honest with my family about issues affecting my health. Yes, many things are personal, and honesty is the best policy.

While we work our way towards the holidays, let’s examine how honest we are. Not just when it’s expected, but even when it isn’t. I can’t lie, you’d know if I did. I still can’t lie to my mom. She can tell, too. I will be honest because it’s the only thing I know. Thank you for reading today. I’m over the moon since we hit #1008followers. We are truly grateful! Let’s work our way to #1500. Onward! Truth all the way! See you tomorrow.

Reminding Myself

We had a lot of traffic at the blog with the post Friday about our grandson’s birthday. He’s such a special guy. Thanks for reading about family.

We had a segment Friday in my Intentional Peer Support class about Addiction and Recovery. The speaker was amazing. He told his own story of addiction and recovery. I am amazed by the number of people our instructor knows and the many areas of expertise they possess. And it’s all from living life and correcting our mistakes along the way. The more the speaker told us about Narcotics Anonymous, the more I wanted to get the book he referred to, just to read. The passage I found fascinating was referring to the concept of craving vs. addiction. From his explanation, there is a huge difference. I want to learn more about it.

Any recovery from addiction or alcoholism entails the same kind of changes to our lives as building new habits over old ones, and a new life in place of the old one. It’s not as simple sounding as one might think. Instead of looking at the whole of recovery or the changes we often need to make in life to live longer, be healthier, start your own business, etc, we need to do one small thing at a time. They add up over time, with consistency, hard work, and practice of new skills. And you never stop learning. Not until they throw dirt over you. I pray I’ll be able to learn that long, and share it with others.

This time of year can be difficult for many people. For those with families that are not close, the Norman Rockwell painting of perfect families sitting down to perfect meals with perfect gifts just isn’t relevant. In fact, it’s more the exception than the norm. It can hurt a lot to be alone on holidays, have nowhere to go, or even to gather and be uncomfortable the whole time.

I used to see houses with many vehicles parked in front on every holiday. It made me feel like I was missing out. We didn’t need social media for FOMO. Madison Avenue had the images in our brains already. Eventually, many families have become spread out all over the country, even all over the world. Gathering is very difficult. People don’t cook like they used to. Many kids don’t know their grandparents, and I find that sad. I’m sad we don’t see the kids in Colorado as much as we’d like to, but we receive lots of photos to keep track of how they are growing. And through the magic of video, we can hear them talking, and how they read to each other. So sweet.

After this Thanksgiving, I no longer feel like I’m missing out on anything. Two couples we know lost the wives this fall; one was sudden, the other from ALS. Either way is bad, watching steady deterioration or never getting to say goodbye. We don’t get a choice in how our loved ones are called home. All we can do is prepare in the best way we know how, and talk with our loved ones. Spouses, especially. But we don’t get to pick. We just get to pick up the pieces.

Think about what you would like in your heart this holiday season, and find out how to put it there. It’s become easier for me to think about it from a place of gratitude. Thoughts form differently around it than those formed from envy, want, and concentrating on what you don’t have. Try it. You’ll learn what I mean. It may take more than a month, though. It’s worth the wait.

As you enjoy this last day of Thanksgiving weekend, think of how we want to spend the last weeks of this year and of how we want to grow next year. We may have to regroup multiple times and replan, but the important thing is to do it. Get started now. You’ll be glad. See you tomorrow!

Happy 15th Birthday, Joell!

A very happy birthday to our grandson Joell. The Babe, (a/k/a Grandpa) is in Maryland celebrating with part of the family this Thanksgiving. Because he’s been filing live reports since he arrived Wednesday, we have up to the minute photos and feedback. It does everyone good to remind ourselves how important we all are to each other. I stayed home with the dogs and the two quilts I need to finish for Christmas and mail off to Colorado. Busy time for sure.

We haven’t seen Joell for a year, and at that time were sure shocked to see the result of his growth spurt. His voice emits from his feet, I swear. I imagine it’s deeper now. He is a competition swimmer, so he has a swimmer’s body, lean but muscular, and so strong! His passion for swimming was nothing compared to his passion for mountain biking. He is in races every weekend, holiday, and special occasion. His dad describes him as a beast. I do believe that’s a great word.

Beast aside, Joell has always had such a kind heart. Since he was a little boy, he’s helped the underdog feel superior, the left out feel part of the family, and everyone feels his love. I cannot wait to see how far he goes, armed with life experiences that no one his age has. He’s been to Hawaii for Christmas several times, has seen the Pope’s motorcade, and has visited the White House on numerous occasions. The list is much longer and even more distinguished. You could probably make a movie about it and keep the interest of a varied audience.

Joell, we are so proud of you. The man you are becoming is just around the corner. You will continue to shine as a good human, son, grandson, cousin, nephew, student, and especially friend. The picture below shows his workbench in the family garage. He has become pretty proficient at servicing his mountain bike. The neighborhood kids have an additional bonus to his friendship; he can fix their bikes with some expertise many of their dad’s don’t have. Way to go, kiddo! It’s been a joy being with you for all the birthdays we’ve been able to travel to your home to celebrate you! You know how Miss Kathy loves birthdays. And yours holds many, many special memories for us all. I’ve loved watching your parents decorate the dining room for your parties over the years. They have just as much fun and excitement as you have!

Enjoy the photo collage below. It’s been a hard couple years for the Babe and me, losing all the people we have following the pandemic, and now with the life change of the Babe’s second retirement from the VFW. He needed this reminder that all that is worth it in life is in the members of our blended family. Our five adult children and our five grandchildren are reminding us what a wonderful place this world is during these times. And that is all that matters. Happy Birthday, Joell. And have some cake for me!

To everyone reading, I thank you for indulging me today. Celebrating birthdays is important to me, celebrating each and every person helps them become themselves, whomever they are meant to be. As you have your deserts today, send a good birthday wish to this extraordinary young man. The world is watching him. He’s a good one. Let’s see each other again tomorrow. Quilting and Yellowstone are ahead of me for the rest of the time until the Babe comes home. How about you?

Happy Thanksgiving, 2022 #1141posts, #1000followers

May you all have blessings to count, people to love, and folks to celebrate with. This year is a little different for us, the Babe is in Maryland with Grandson Joell, for the holiday and Joell’s birthday Saturday. I have a quilt to finish and another one to make, so I stayed here. I’m cooking, and my oldest son Frankie is coming over for dinner and visiting. It’ll be nice.

I’m grateful for all of you 1000 followers, after #1141 posts, and we are growing every day. That makes the writing every day worth it. Building that habit has helped get my writing out there, and we’ll keep adding more followers and get those books published. The goal for this next several months of work will be not only to publish the children’s book, but to have a book launch, complete with autographing them to some of my favorite children. What fun!

After dropping the Babe off at the airport, I stopped to see Mom for awhile. She had such a lot of stories to tell; my younger brothers are such good men. They’re helping her get her Christmas trees lit, decorated, and she’s in heaven. She shared last time I was there, it could be her last Christmas, we never know. She is certainly feeling festive. Glad she loves the season so much. She, her mother, and sisters, all loved Christmas and all that goes with it. Decorating being high on the list.

As I listened to her tales of the last couple weeks, I couldn’t help but smile. Memories of previous holidays when my brothers and I all lived at home ran through my mind. I thought of the year she sewed all the Barbie wardrobe for me; the year brother Tom and I received ice skates, and all the years in between. She always put love into the holidays. The stuff that didn’t go well wasn’t in her control. We all do the best we can do with what we know at the time.

Therein lies the rub; if we don’t know any better, we can’t be held to a better outcome. When we know better, however, we must improve the outcome. We must improve the situation, and break the ties that have bound us to the status quo. Time for a new way of doing things.

No quilting took place yesterday, I spent the day in the kitchen. The meals from Green Chef Keto Dinners piled up, and I had three meals to cook off before the produce went bad. Another Green Chef delivery came yesterday, so I had to use up the older stuff first. Today will be devoted to turkey and all the trimmings. Leftovers for Friday, and then, back to the Green Chef. Yes, it should work.

Hopefully, you’ll share some time with family and/or friends today, and experience gratitude. The pause during this fall season is good for reflection and defining how to proceed into the next season of our lives. New adventures or hobbies could await you; reading some books or introspection may offer you some guidance to better spend your time. It’s the time to look ahead, making you the best you can be. Let’s proceed together, keeping each other company all the way. Works for me! See you tomorrow.

Giving Thanks

By the time you read this, I’ll be on the way to drop the Babe at the airport for his flight to DC. Shhhh! He’s going to surprise our grandson Joell for his birthday on the 25th. More about this later. The holiday will be nice and quiet with my oldest son and me. Looking forward to it, and he loves leftovers! So I won’t be eating them until the devil wears ice skates.

While we know the first Thanksgiving isn’t how we were taught in school, we still remember we need to give thanks for living in the land we do, and that we are free. My sincere apologies to the indigenous peoples, we were terrible to you.

I have to say, Nebraska’s new governor has committed his first faux pas already. He posted a photo of his wife, him, and two grandkids at the kids’ Thanksgiving programs. The little girl was dressed like a pilgrim girl. The little boy, an American Indian. Didn’t anyone in his campaign educate him how bad that is these days? It always should have been bad. We need to respect the Indigenous People. This is not how we do it.

So to prepare for Thanksgiving, I baked Mom’s Mince Meat Pie. Have you ever tasted that? It’s awful, in my opinion. Mom also happened to give me a Pumpkin and Mini Chocolate Chip Bread recipe last time I saw her. She thought it sounded good, which I took as a big hint she wanted me to bake it. So I did today. Made four loaves. Hope she likes it. I’ll drop off her pie and bread tomorrow on the way home of the airport.

And the rest of the holiday weekend? The pups and I will be left to our own devices. Turkey, goodies, and a new Sweet Potato Salad I’m trying, and working on Kayla’s quilt, now that I know I haven’t lost all my skills and confidence. While we don’t know what the first Thanksgiving was really like, we do know it wasn’t idyllic as we were taught. The pilgrims were allegedly thankful for the harvest (and for being alive after their voyage across the ocean). The winter would nearly wipe them out, but they didn’t know that then.

None of us know where we’ll be a year from now. Too many of our friends didn’t make it through this year with us. We remember, and will not forget. We need to give thanks for how our lives are right now, today, and for the hope of what they can be in the next year. A good friend is waiting to hear the fate of a former co-worker; she has disappeared and the Sheriff’s Department is involved, it’s even searching a home in another state; it doesn’t sound good. Another two good friend lost their wives in the last six months, and their lives will never be the same. We can only hope, keep our faith, and give thanks for wherever we are at any given time.

Should the worst happen to us? Our only choice is to continue on. Yes, it hurts like hell when someone we love more than life itself is taken from us way too soon. We can give thanks because we knew that kind of deep, forever love. It can be from a friend, from a parent, or from a spouse. When we lost my dad, I never wanted to be close to anyone again; I never wanted the chance of something hurting that badly again.

Eight years later, I met the Babe; I learned he had ischemic heart disease. Dang! Finally met someone who would stay, and he had a bad ticker. I was afraid to love him; I was too afraid of losing him before we were even together. That was foolish of me. I’m so glad we talked over my fears. I knew I would have more joy with the Babe than without him. No matter how many years we’d have together, they’d be our best. All these years later, I’m grateful for him and the life we have. We are both lucky, to have each other. Thankful for it all.

Wherever we are next year, I must remember to be grateful for all of this life we’ve had so far. Because we never know. And we’re going to make the most of it all. Thank you for reading; be grateful; see you tomorrow.

The Green-Eyed Monster

We have talked about jealousy before; you cannot be a friend if you are jealous, you spend all your time being angry they have something you don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s a car, house, spouse, job, the list is endless. Perfect teeth and nice hair could be a source of envy, too. I’d guess that doesn’t happen much after high school, but who knows?

Since we are humans, on this earth together, all imperfect, all making mistakes, of course we succumb to sinful ways; Envy is one of the ways. We fault others when they have what we want, but don’t want to work hard for. The temptation comes to obtain what we are coveting and want immediately.

An envious person probably doesn’t have a lot of friends; they seldom can hold up their end of a friendship. Begrudging your friend all they work hard for does not help us find any satisfaction in the what we’re supposed to be working towards. We’re not a real friend, we can’t truly be close as a friend is because we need distance from the person we’re envious of. What a twisted scenario it is.

Changing this behavior is necessary for us to trust ourselves, others, and to have friends. A true friend is genuinely glad when we achieve something. The things in store for us are greater than anything we can imagine, if we correct our own shortcomings.

Some folks don’t think of themselves as ever in the wrong; I cannot abide those people. They are smug, correcting everyone around them; and don’t listen to hear and understand. Rather, they listen to respond. They compose their snappy comebacks to your comments. It’s all about them, and not at all about you. Communication cannot take place.

It’s important we keep our eyes on our goals, and don’t look elsewhere; we stay in our lane, we offer suggestions only when we are asked our opinions. We all run our own races. The prize is ours alone. Each of us wins. And boy, how we can win!

As our week of Thanksgiving starts, we need to keep in mind all the people who have lost family this year. Their holidays will not be as happy or merry as before. Loss changes many things. Make a phone call, send a text, drop a card in the mail. It only takes a little bit of time. They’ll be glad to be remembered.

As for me? I’m going to make another attempt at quilting Kayla’s quilt tomorrow. My new machine isn’t as simple as I thought it would be. It’s me, not it. A different setup makes a difference I didn’t expect. I just need to get used to it. I also need to be wide awake, first thing in the morning, and take breaks. It’ll happen. It has to. Back at it tomorrow.

Have a wonderful evening, see you tomorrow!

Thursday, Thanks!

It was a day spent trimming tiny threads from Kayla’s quilt, before I sandwich it with batting and backing for quilting. It took most of the day, turning it over and over. You trim the right side, the wrong side, and all the seams to make sure nothing is hanging or dangling, or even frayed all over the place on a seam. It’s trimmed now, and ready for tomorrow’s work of pinning it all over for quilting.

I feel as if I don’t have both oars in the water, things feel “off”. I don’t know how else to describe it. Most of the time, I’m all about the business of what we’re doing, but today, not so much. I hope tomorrow is better.

One of Those Days

Those days you feel out of it

Are just an off day or two

No need to try and analyze it to death

Or over-think it

You’re just not up to snuff

It’s not a major catastrophe.

Soon, you’ll be yourself again

You’ll be on top of your game

And surprised at all you accomplish

And you’ll be grateful for the focus

For the productivity

And for the check marks on your lists.

Is that what it’s all about?

Or is it about enjoying, observing, learning

And experiencing God’s creation, in all it’s glory.

Thanks for Noticing!

And In The End

You will never forget

The real, true friends

The ones you prayed with

The ones you toasted with

And the ones whose funerals you attended.

Real life events

Shared with real friends

Their stories of war

And of loves and losses

And of gratitude and blessings

And of all being well

When it ends well

And oh, how well we ended.