Back to Monday, Again

Monday of a short week was always fun while I was still working. Most of the bosses took off all week, only using three days of vacation. They had more vacation than they could use, yet they were stingier with them than Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. Isn’t it true, the world is full of them, right?

It wasn’t that we goofed around, we were still the consummate professionals; there was just no pressure. It was relaxed, and you did work, getting things done, and enjoying it at the same time. I loved working during those weeks. Christmas week and New Years week were the best. Hardly ever took off during those three weeks of the year.

Is it the same here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska? Well, not really. The Boss Lady is kind and generous. Never had a boss like her (me)! Does she ever take time off? Does she ever say “no?” I’m so lucky to work here. No harassment. No negativity. Just Good Vibes!

Oh, excuse my fantasy. Well, no, it’s not. Isn’t it great working for yourself? While I’m still on this learning curve, it’s fun. Every day is different.

We are all our own bosses, whether we work for ourselves or a big corporation. We call the shots, we decide on our moods, our outlook, our message. Our mess becomes our message.

As soon as I ready to this Monday, I’m hitting the studio for quilting. I hope to get over my case of nerves and anxiety and get that quilt finished. I have to. No more feelings of inadequacy. Just calm, confidence, and collected thoughts. I’m intimidated, I want them to be perfect, and I want to go on to something else. No more talk. No trying. Just do.

Wow. I feel a little silly, but at least I figured out what the problem was. The thread. I was using a 100% Polyester thread to quilt with. I picked it by color, not by fiber. Turns out, the extra motion of the free motion quilting was too much for the thread. It shredded and broke. Over and over again. I switched needles, twice, and figured out while I was driving to lunch with old schoolmates it had to be the thread. I almost loaded up the machine to take back to where I purchased it to ask for help. Didn’t have to. Came home, switched thread, and quilted. Perfect stitches. I hadn’t lost it after all! Yay! Now, I get to rip out the stitches from the first part that I didn’t like. It’s ok. I no longer feel defeated, silly, and not very smart.

After my lesson in humility, I can say nothing is so bad you can’t figure out. Yes, it took a bit, but as soon as I regained faith in myself, the problem was solved. We need to have more confidence when things aren’t going well. Thanks for being patient while I talked myself in off the ledge. It’s getting easier as I get older, but thought if you wondered how to do it, might like a little demo. We are all capable of calming ourselves down, but sometimes we have to really figure things out.

Had lunch with some girlfriends from high school today; what fun! Two live out of state, and it just happened to work out. All these women who are now 70, and graduated in 70. It doesn’t get better than that! We laughed and talked and had a fun visit. Hope we do it again soon! Life is good with old friends. Thanks, ladies! Two Kathy’s, Two Mary’s, and one Gwen. Can we find another one somewhere? I think not.

Have a wonderful evening, and see you tomorrow! And let’s go ahead of #1000followers! Let’s shoot for #1500followers! Hoping we can get there next year. Take care, be safe if you’re traveling.

Thursday, and Thankful!

Now I’m officially back in business, and communicating in all the many ways we do now. I had an interesting discussion with granddaughter Addison yesterday. She was at a Student Council Information meeting for a couple hours; the Babe dropped her off and I picked her up when she was finished. We talked about how we rely on our phones for so much, and how our lives are impacted by them. It’s been a lesson to be without the convenience of instant communication.

I fell off the daily habit of posting on Twitter and Instagram. I was fortunate to be able to keep up the Facebook Author page. Now, I need to get back to the rest of it. We also talked about high school. I told her Friday is my 50 + 1 Class Reunion and I would get to see people I haven’t seen in years. People I met at 14, just like her. She smiled her beautiful smile, and told me how cool that was. I told her it goes so fast, before you know it, you’re attending the reunions. I told her to think of me when she attends her 50th reunion. I know she will.

She has the heart of an old soul, and I pray the world treats her well. Her world is about to expand more than she can imagine right now. I know she’l have her heart broken a time or two; we all do. I know she’ll stand up for herself. She’ll stand up for people being bullied; she does that now. She can do many, many things I could not do at her age. I didn’t know how. She has a terrific sense of humor; she gets that from her Mom and Dad. Her dimples are as deep as the Babe’s are; so are her Mama’s. Can’t deny those genes!

Our grandson Joell had a stellar summer with his competition swimming. He is an excellent swimmer! Made it all the way up the ladder to Divisionals in Maryland. He has really grown a lot, taller than his Mama now. His voice is at that stage where it breaks up and is changing rapidly. He’s six months younger than Addison, so he’s in the eighth grade this year. He’s traveled more miles in his lifetime than the Babe and I have. He’s been exposed to so many cultures and countries! They travel a lot with his dad’s job, and spent a couple weeks backpacking in Europe. What great experiences for a young man to be part of. I hope the world treats him well; he has an old soul, too. Very kind. We’re proud beyond words of all of the kids.

I took the header photo a few weeks ago. The lovely ornament is a Hallmark specialty one from my dear mom. Along the middle of the Quill Pen is “Writing another beautiful chapter.” It was such a nice thing for her to do. She used to work at a Hallmark store, and has purchased many of their collectible ornaments. Mine will go on the Christmas tree, and I’ll hang it from my floor lamp in my studio office. It’s too pretty not to look at on a regular basis. Thanks, Mom.

As I move closer to tomorrow night, I’m recalling what girls I knew at school. A group of seven of us hung around together. Sometimes your friendships were built on a common lunch module (each module was only 20 minutes. Try getting into line after going to your locker, the restroom, and bookstore if you needed something from there. It was ridiculous to do that to us. I remember many times waiting in line and the bell would ring, I’d have a class right away. Three minutes in between. We were always on the run.

What are your memories of high school? I thought it would be different than it was in some ways. They were good times and bad times, all rolled together. And life continues to be the same. Oh to be as wise then as we all are now. These six other women I knew as girls helped shape me in some ways, and I helped shape them. I hope we have a great time, and all have long and happy lives into old age. We’re not there yet! Share you memories in the comments, please.

Have a beautiful afternoon. I hope you help someone today. It will make all of us be kinder and gentler. The world needs it, and so do we. See you tomorrow.

The Shoes

I suppose I have to confess, I’ve kind of been a shoe freak all my adult life. Having flat feet as a kid, Mom always made me wear tie-on shoes for more support. It didn’t matter. All my friends wore cute ballet flats and penny loafers. In high school, the fad was suede two tone brown tie on saddle shoes (once we could wear anything but black shoes). I was right at home. During my stint as a Pom Pom girl, we wore black and white saddle shoes.

Earth shoes came and went. I never owned Birkenstock’s (not a sandals person). I loved wearing high heels. During my career in HR and IT, I wore three-inch pumps. At 5’8″ tall, I became 5’11” tall. There was much less of me to love back then (translation – I was in good shape!), and I know I turned heads. If I tried to wear those shoes now, the only thing I’d turn would be ankles if I tried to walk very far.

After my major spine surgery in 1996, there was no way I could wear heels again. At least, not for a while. I bought sensible tie on Hush Puppies to wear with my slacks and jackets. It looked more professional than wearing sneakers, which was not allowed. Huh. I realized I’d come full circle in the shoe department. It’s the brand Mom bought for me. I hated them but knew my new limitations.

Funny thing is, if I’m taking Mom somewhere, I wear my very sensible and supportive New Balance shoes. I wear them all the time I have to walk, shop, all that stuff. I have to. There is no choice anymore. Mom’s doctors want her to wear the New Balance brand. She doesn’t want to. She claims she trips. She complains they bend very little. I tell her, “Mom, they’re not supposed to. They’re to help you be more stable!” She won’t wear them. If she falls, she’ll be sorry, but there’s not much I can do about it. She’ll do what she does. It’s all over at 92 if she falls and breaks something. Funny, I didn’t want to wear mine either, but she forced me. The circle of life never ceases to amaze me.

Before 1995, I had pumps in 2 1/2 and 3 inch heels. Colors? Dark Brown, Navy Blue, Black, Black Patent, Nude, White, Taupe, and Beige. I had dress winter boots (with 3 inch heels, and I never slipped and fell) in black, taupe, brown suede, and flat heeled black ones for casual. I kept every pair in their original box, stacked on shelves by color. Easily selected. that way. We had one bathroom, and all four of had to be ready to leave by 7 a.m., so there was no time for messing around.

The first time the Babe ever looked in my closet, he asked, “Are you related to that Marcos woman?”

Funny man. The woman he referred to was the wife of the Dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. Her name was Imelda. She was the queen of 80s excesses. They reported she owned 1,200 pairs of shoes. Oh, Babe. My collection paled in comparison!

After we dated longer and became engaged, we lived in my house since my daughter was still at home. I needed to make room for this man who would become my husband. The hardest thing and the first things to go were all my shoes I couldn’t wear anymore. It pained me a lot. True to the Babe’s sense of humor, he outstretched his arms and said, “But look at what you’re getting in return!” Yes. It remains to be a good trade-off.

A few years ago, I found a couple places who had fun flat soled shoe designs. I had fun shoes, despite being doomed to wearing oxfords forever. Here is a sample of the shoe fun I have now. I’m adaptable.

The Sunflowers and Hexagons are new to the collection. The Sunflowers are happy; the Hexagons remind me of quilting (I’ve been working on a hexagon quilt, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, for years). My love of music resulted in the matching musical note shoes and purses in yellow and black. My Irish heritage inspired the boots with shamrocks and green, and the pretty colors resulted in purchasing the black and multicolored boots. Believe it or not, the boots soothe my screwed together ankle break from nine years ago. It hurts a lot less when I wear them. And my Cubs shoes. They speak for themselves. Go Cubs, Go! This will be your year!

When my Kid-Lit book is ready, help me decide which shoes to wear, ok? I’m sure I’ll be asking. All bets are off if the Cubs play that day, though. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it. It’s a sunny but chilly day out today. I love the brightness. It helps keep the spirits up. BTW, after yesterday’s second Covid Vaccination? The site the needle entered doesn’t even hurt. I have no after affects. I’m grateful! Make it a beautiful day today. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. Let’s watch out for each other, ok? See you tomorrow. Be Safe.