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.

Stats are Fun

WordPress loves to report statistics to us. Here are the stats for today:

Wednesday’s blog was the 142nd day in a row we published a new blog.

To date, we’ve published 1,148 blogs over the past 3 plus years. Not bad!

The blog was sent to #1005followers. The breakdown is as follows:

Email: 17

WordPress.com 506

Social Media: 482

It appears we lost a few on Social Media, but we’ll pick up some more. I’m tickled for each one of them. And each one of you. We’ve had some fun over the past three years. We’ve had some major losses, too. We’ve gone through a pandemic. We’ve gotten vaccines and boosters, flu shots and doctor check-ups. We’ve had love and heartaches. We’ve done some living, haven’t we?

One of the things I’d like to convey to people through my writing is we’re not alone. We might not have the family we would like to have; it’s rare anyone does. We might not have the life we always thought we’d have; few people do.

I assumed I’d have the three kid family, all married, all local, and a ton of grandkids! Their father and I would host Christmas for years, and we’d smile at each other with pride.

Guess what? It never happened. Oh, I got the three kids. I also got divorced, raised the kids alone, worked two jobs, went to college and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Management of Human Resources.

By then, the kids were 2/3 gone, I was 43 years old, still single, and I thought it was my turn. I was making good money, I pictured a great career for the next 20 years, etc. Then I got sick. Very sick. It threatened my mobility, and my life. 27 years later? I met the love of my life, am married 24 years, and I’ve been disabled since the year 2000.

I’m a creative person, always have been. I’ve learned to quilt, write, and speak in public. I have many things I’d love to learn; drawing, painting (acrylic, watercolor, and whatever else strikes my fancy). Life is so full of possibilities, no matter your age, talents, or abilities. Put yourself out there! Life is too short to spend it on the sidelines. I’ve been shy and introverted, too. I came out of my shell at about age 30 and haven’t looked back. (Coincidentally, it was when I got divorced).

Think about what you’d like to do. Remember, anything is possible. I’m living proof of it. If I can, you can, too. Learning to take calculated risks is the best thing I ever did. It’s never too late, friends. Life is out there, waiting to be lived to it’s fullest. You can do it. Let’s do it together. Thanks for being here. We’ll see each other again tomorrow. Stay safe.

11/29/2022-One Day Left

Have we really reached the end of November? Today is the last day. Needless to say, I didn’t complete NaNowriMo. My writing 50K words will have to wait until another month and maybe another year. The Babe and I spent a wonderful day today, talking about his trip to DC last week and how big the grandkids are getting. Joell turned 15, Addison was 15 last February, Gavin will be 11 next birthday, and Kayla will be 5 in March, Cody will be 3 in January. Where does the time go?

Speaking of where does the time go, I may not be able to finish both quilts for Kayla and Cody before Christmas. Becky and I worked it out, when they’re both quilts are finished, I’ll send them both. It doesn’t have to be Christmas or a birthday, their Mama said. I love that about my daughter. She is forgiving. Now, the pressure is off, and I’ll enjoy working on them a lot more.

Do you get angry? Or do you claim you’re not angry about anything?

If you’re treated a certain way for a lifetime but bury how you feel, it’s probable you have a deep near rage. The anger festers, and becomes deeper. It’s hardly noticeable, until it blows up, which can happen easier than you think. Chronic, buried anger can cause a real problem in dysfunctional behavior. Have you ever gotten the silent treatment? Have you gotten the silent treatment in addition to the silent one banging cabinets, slamming dishes on the table, throwing things, and turning petty things into major problems? A minor inconvenience, like a spilled glass of milk, can set off a tirade that lasts from minutes to hours. You never know.

Some of us are sensitive to angry outbursts. I am. I’d rather hear anything else than some angry, out of control person. I don’t hear anything reasonable in what I’ve described here. I’d rather be able to talk with someone, tell them I’m angry, and go on. If it gets to the point of tirades or silent treatments, it’s too far gone to have a reasonable discussion. I wish you luck in resolving the differences.

As this is the last day of November, I hope it’s a good one for you. Me? I’ll be at the sewing machine, getting all the stitches in I can. And cutting out more small pieces to make Cody’s doggie quilt. It’s a sweet one, I’ll let you see the pattern later on.

Take care, and I hope you’re not angry today. I hope everything is resolvable in your life, or at least you have someone to talk things out with. We all need that. Have a beautiful day, and see you 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.

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.

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!

November 20, 2022; Sunday

While other writers and author-types are deep into NaNoWriMo, feverishly writing to reach the 50K word finish-line on 11/30/2022, I’m on the sidelines, and working feverishly to complete two twin sized quilts for our grandchildren in Colorado. It’s coming along nicely, and the Babe is going to visit our son & family on the east coast, so the pups and I will have 5 days of sewing, with no interruptions or things to take our mind off of the tasks at hand. (Hah!)

I’m delighted, we’ve made it to #1000followers. YES! Yesterday, the count was #1002followers. I think some folks sign up and then change their minds. It’s all good, you know? But as of this moment, we are at #1000followers. I’m over the moon!

As with quilting, writing, living, and all the other things people occupy themselves with, we set goals to achieve, and work to accomplish them. We decide on a path, we learn how to achieve it, and we want to follow through to completion. Yes, we’re full of resolve, and learning new skills, and eager to get going. We have confidence and visions of glory. We’re going to kick butt, aren’t we? You betcha!

And so, the battle begins. The battle between our resolve and our actual getting-stuff-done-energy. We lose steam, and may not get all the reading research done, we don’t write the 1,667 words every day in November, and we just get lost. We don’t want to perform. The goal was stupid. We were stupid. The thought of us publishing a book was stupid.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The goal is not stupid. You are not stupid. Publishing a book is certainly not stupid. You have to work to achieve it, but you really can do it. It’s never too late! The new diet isn’t really that hard, you are on the right path, we need to keep up with our exercise classes even though our muscles are sore.

The thing we need to remember, it’s easy start a project, diet, new habit, new hobby, or even new relationship. The real challenge is persisting with any of them. Accomplishing is much harder than beginning. It doesn’t take money, good looks, intelligence, social standing, or personal favors to achieve anything. It takes persistence more than anything else. We are all capable to being persistent. We are equal as far as that goes, and we have no one to credit but ourselves if we stop before we achieve our goals. Just keep going. The one who persists wins. Period.

Have a beautiful Sunday. Make sure you work to keep your task “fun.” However you can do it, make sure it’s fun. See you tomorrow.