Happy Wednesday!

School is closed, there are weather alerts, and we will see between one and seventy-two inches of snow in the area, depending on who you listen to and where you live. Weather forecasting in the heartland is pretty interesting.

Some kids need to tune in to remote learning tomorrow, and others get to sleep in and forget about it. I don’t know how the administrators figure out who will remote learn and who gets to sleep in. What a job to have. Kids will love you or hate you, just for deciding about school. They’ll survive.

Mom had a doctor visit today. It’s interesting how old people need to go have someone clip their toenails. I hope to never become so stiff I cannot do that anymore. It’s such a simple everyday task. There are so many of them that elude older folks. Simple, everyday things. Mom doesn’t use lotion on her feet anymore. She says her feet are slippery on her wood floors. The Doc asked if she had slippers to wear. Mom said, “Yes, but they’re not in bed with me.” Gosh, Mom, neither are the wood floors! I’m not sure what she means by that.

The Nail Tech was wonderful. She was kind to Mom and trimmed everything up, then massaged her feet with lotion. It made Mom’s day. It was such a treat for her and made her happy. She is already looking forward to her next Podiatrist’s visit.

Such a simple thing. Don’t take things for granted. Things we can do for ourselves at a young age are gifts when we’re older and people need to perform them for us. It’s kind of sad. You start out doing things for your baby; they grow and do for themselves, and then someone needs to be a helper for them at the end of their lives. Life is a circle, isn’t it?

The snow is supposed to begin around 9 a.m. this morning. You will have been able to read this anytime four hours earlier. I hope it’s a beautiful day of snow and watching the dogs play in the snow, not of rain, ice, and all that goes with that. If we’re going to have a once a winter snowstorm, it should be a wonderful event, one to enjoy. I’ll let you know if this really comes true or not.

My sewing machine is at the shop, just investigating if everything is in alignment. I had a mishap that was my fault, so it needs looking at. I didn’t want to let it go and possibly mess something up worse. Back to the Bernina for the blocks on Cody’s quilt. I think I goofed and have 38 blocks to rip up and re-sew. A great thing to do on a snowy day in Nebraska.

Hope you are in a cozy place today. And if you’re around this snowstorm, hunker in and enjoy yourself. Life is too short to drive in ice storms. Have a lovely day, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Day 2 – NaNoWriMo- 2022

Technically, it’s still Day 1, but I’m working ahead of myself to get to the required 2,000 word count for the first day. I decided it would be easier to write ahead a blog or two, then maybe work on book things for a couple days. Change it up a bit, you know?

I haven’t checked the official NaNoWriMo website yet, or logged in at all to confirm I’m present and accounted for. Since I have Mom things two days in a row, I believe working at this changed up plan will help me stay writing and not give up when I don’t have time to engage. My determination tells me there is a way, and my brain is just trying to get it organized in a way to see it through to completion.

I have the World Series on. Wow. Phillies, at home, just hit a homer and scored two. In the bottom of the first inning. It might be a long night. A little trivia, here. In addition to Kyle Schwarber coming from the Cubs to the Phillies, two young men from Nebraska are in their first World Series. How cool! One on each team. What a story. I will love watching Gavin all through his baseball career, wherever it takes him. Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Dan will be cheering him on from the stands. Or bleachers. Or a Suite, who knows?

It’s always a trip taking Mom to the foot doctor. She goes to have them trim her toe nails. I’m glad, I’m not a foot person. I find feet are kind of creepy, but they’re workhorses. I can no longer wear fun, cute shoes. I’m doomed to sensible shoes, but have found some online places to buy fun designs on sneakers, etc. I have quite a collection, and three pairs of combat boot style boots. I decided since I can’t wear the ones I love, I might as well have fun with comfortable ones. And my back is thankful, too. I tried walking around in the house in the slides I used to wear for dress, and they hurt so bad, I refuse to wear them anymore. Most women would rather be in pain than give up their pumps or slip-ons.  

Mom is supposed to wear a very sturdy pair of New Balance shoes. She refuses to. Says they’re “Frankenstein Shoes.” They are sturdy for a reason: to keep her stable and decrease the chance of her falling. She doesn’t care. And each time I have to take her in, I ask, “are we taking the New Balance shoes today?” Today she about growled, “No! We don’t have an appointment with that girl who fits things.” That wasn’t even close to what went on last time. Last time, she bought some off the rack inserts, and was to switch them into and out of the shoes she wore. I can’t get her to understand, I wear custom orthotics, and could put them in her shoes, and tell her if they fit or not. She refuses. Oh well.

The shoes she wore today were horrible. Worn away at the toes, nearly holes in them. No support whatsoever. None. She refuses to throw them away. I guess if she falls, it’s on her. Roles really do reverse, when you start to give care to your parents. Wish we would have had a chance to help Dad out. He died way too soon.

Going to watch the rest of the World Series game. Have a good evening. See you tomorrow.

#980Followers! And On To Plan X.

We may have a few new ones, but as of publishing time yesterday, we were at #980. I’m so excited about this! I really hope we can get to #1000followers. I’d like to get rolling on that front as well as others.

I’m making another adjustment in life. Getting used to having more Babe time, since he’s working pretty much from home. We are used to having time apart most of the time. We aren’t arguing or anything, just trying to readjust to communicating each other’s ideas of how we will spend the day – each working on our own projects, and taking breaks with each other. Over the past few days, we’ve spend a number of hours discussing things and planning on how to adjust again.

There are lots of stray feelings of hurt and being undervalued by others that need to be dealt with. Those things need to be talked out until they’re placed where they need to be, and people can move on. It’s human nature. We need connection to help resolve issues. Communication solves many of our problems and disagreements. Not communicating hurts individuals, groups, and organizations. I love being the sounding board the Babe needs now. He certainly does the same for me.

If someone is dismissive of me, I tend to fade away from them. Not listening, not remembering issues discussed, and not respecting me enough to tell me the truth is a sure fire way to get me to leave a group or organization. The Babe feels the same. We’re good together that way. It’s part of being a good partner. It’s part of being a good friend. It’s part of being a spouse. These things take the time it takes. There is no way to pre-plan chunks of time for this. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

I’m also reviewing the quilt that seems will never have a finishing date. Those eight blocks and two rows of fabric may be enough to discourage me permanently. This is a time to be positive: I will get it finished, and it will get to Kayla before Christmas. Negativity will only delay the finish. I need a few hours to dive back in and regain my momentum, positive attitude, and time to devote.

Before my day took a turn to non-productivity, I grabbed one of the best collection of songs in the world – those of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, LIVE, 1975-1985. It’s such a catalog of important songs in the lives of blue collar kids as we grew up, faced with a bad economy, businesses leaving the state, and wrestled with our angst as we listened. I was 23 in 1975, and the Mom of two kids. It still sang to my soul as I was still growing up. Two hours went by before I knew it. I need to put that music back on tomorrow.

Actually, Mom called & needs to have me do something for her. So, we’ll listen to Bruce on Thursday, and get back to doing the quilt. Anyone have these things going on? We’re all in this together, it appears. Let’s all stay positive and know we will get our things done. Even if you’re on Plan X. You can do this.

Happy Birthday Rosemary!

Today is Mom’s birthday! She’s had a steady stream of visitors already. Two neighbors, complete with balloons, cupcakes, cards and a lei for her to wear all day. I brought strawberry croissants from Donut Run in Gretna. They were great.

Mom was born at home in 1929. Grandma told the story of no air-conditioning, sometimes no fans, either. It was 105 degrees that day in August. She swears she didn’t notice the heat once she held her baby girl, her first of four.

Grandma and Grandpa were married six years before Mom came along. It was another six years before Lois was born, another four before Judy was born, and Carol two years after Judy. Poor Grandpa! All those girls and only one bathroom.

Mom was born just a couple months before the Stock Market crashed, and the family was very poor as were most people. All they needed in the world was within walking distance. Groceries, school, the neighborhood “beer joint” Grandpa and Grandma loved to frequent, and school. They went on picnics, played with cousins, all the stuff families still do.

When she grew up, there was no television only radio. The streetcar was the mode of transportation. They all read voraciously, and played outside after all the chores were done. A simple life, occasional movie (picture show, as they called it) and life was good.

World War II erupted, and Mom remembered Victory Gardens, steel drives, women no longer wearing nylon stockings, since the silk became used in parachutes. Toilet paper and soap became premium commodities, and sugar was rationed.

Mom met Dad in 1947, they married in 1948. Dad was called up for Korea in late 1950. Mom was pregnant for the third time (one miscarriage, one died the day after birth), and moved back in with her family. All the changes in life led her back to our home when Dad came home from Korea. Mom has lived in the family home for 73 years. That’s longer than I am old!

I wonder how much longer she’ll live there. I wonder if she’ll ever be compliant with how she uses her walker, finally wear the right kind of shoes (for her own good), and relax instead of having all the anxiety she has.

Not going to happen. The lesson I have from this is the fact I know I don’t get anxious about life events. I don’t but into our kids’ lives and worry about their outcomes. I have faith they will all work out. They always do. How they’re meant to. Sure not for me to decide.

I will consider myself fortunate to live that long, as long as I can still see and hear. If I can only use my hands to quilt, embroider, and crochet, I’ll be a happy old lady. Lord knows I have enough supplies to do all three! And writing. Yes, that, too. What would you like to do as you age? After retirement? Life is meant for enjoying. Do that this evening. And I’ll see you tomorrow. Take care.

Thursday Thoughts

There were a couple of inches of snow on the deck this morning. I opened the door to throw Goldie’s toy for her. Instead, I made the first snowball I’ve made in at least ten years. She loved them. She didn’t catch them, when they fell to the ground and burst, she couldn’t figure out what was happening. It was fun for a morning of errands for my mom.

I don’t know why she insisted on going to the store today. It was cold this morning and with the little of snow; I was worried she would slip on a random spot. You never know when that can happen. As it was, she did all right, aside from being quite agitated. For quite a while, she has been complaining, “Now, they went and moved everything again.” No, Mom. They didn’t. She got exactly what she has had me buy for her the last two times I went. Six or eight boxes of cereal, six cans of cat food, a few pieces of fruit, and green bananas. That’s it. Most of what she eats for meals is from Meals on Wheels. She enjoys their service. She’s the only person I know who does!

Next week, we have a day for haircuts, then a day for the luncheon for World Herald retirees. She enjoys that and we haven’t gone for quite some time. It will be hard to have her out two days in a row; she’ll be tired when we’re done, but at least she’ll be out. She is facing many more challenges in living her life. Limited sight and hearing are very hard for her. It’s hard to watch her struggle and sometimes we have to scold her for doing things she shouldn’t be doing. Yes, you really change roles with your parents.

Today marks 912 blog posts! That’s going on for three years. How exciting! I ordered new business cards today. They are aqua with teal printing. Double sided with all my info. I like them. Hope they get here before the Bombshell Patriots Conference next weekend. It will be the first time I can circulate them with all my contact information. It will be exciting. The month of April will be super busy for us. We have something every weekend, and I have a writing conference, too. Busy but good month.

Hope you have a good evening, and the sun shines tomorrow. It will help a lot of things. See you tomorrow.

Yogi Berra

The world’s most famous blunderer aside from any political person, has to be the loveable Yogi Berra. His Yogi-isms are famous. One of my favorites, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” is a classic. And it’s as true as the day is long.

The Yankees are the team America loved to hate; no one can deny they were one of the hottest teams with Reggie Jackson back in the 70s. I remember seeing them in the new stadium in Kansas City about 1980. It was great fun, although people did not yet tailgate and we arrived with three small children three hours before the gates opened. The kids and I sat in the car while their father canvassed the parking lot looking for other people from Nebraska.

We finally got to our seats. Talk about nosebleed section! Oh my gosh, it was the very last tippy top row. It was hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement. We were relatively poor, lower middle class I suppose, and couldn’t afford all the things the vendors were hawking. The boys had sunflower seeds, and out of my view they spat them out, flinging them into a lady’s beehive hairdo who sat in front of them. I did not see this, because our four tickets had two on one side of the support pole and two on the other side. The children’s father insisted on sitting next to me, but refusing to hold his daughter, a baby who insisted on trying to crawl on the floor in front of our seats. I suppose it couldn’t have hurt her, but the smell of vomit emitted and my mind knew some fool was sick from cheap beer, high heat and humidity, and no food at a double header between the Yankees and Kansas City. Good Lord!

It was an exceptionally long day, and the kids were all tired out for the ride home. Our boys had lots of fun, as brothers often do, and our daughter, well, she survived well. She was tough even then, she wanted to do everything her brothers did. No, she did not have sunflower seeds. She was about 16 months old, so her food was appropriate.

So back to Yogi. He’s also famous for saying, “Baseball is 90 % Mental. The other half is Physical.” Really? Despite the Yogi-isms, he was present for 22 World Series, either as a player, or a coach. “Pair Up in Threes.” “It’s deja vu all over again.”

Yogi was so right in his observation. It’s never over until it’s over; whether it is working on retraining your sweet tooth, adjusting to retirement and filling your days, or working on a new craft such as painting or writing. Simply starting isn’t finishing, and we need to consider that. Starting is just a step towards finishing. We need to keep going, persist despite discouragement or obstacles. Daily work yields long-term accomplishments. Just get started. You’ll gain momentum as time passes.

Today was a day to get Mom to a doctor appointment, Hobby Lobby, lunch, Walgreens. The usual outing. She got exhausted and gets upset with herself and worried. I just tell her don’t worry, I’ve got all the time in the world. It must be hard to not be able to do much anymore. I can only hope I have her long life, and a life where I can still get around, be of help to the community, and have a life that is fulfilling. Hope the good Lord is willing.

Tomorrow is another much needed day at home. It will be another beautiful day outdoors, and we’ll see you then. Take care out there, mask up where you have to (vaccinated or not) and enjoy every minute of every hour. They pass too quickly. Make the most of the time we all have to be together. Thank you for reading!

A Weird but Good Day.

The best laid plans of mice and men. The best laid plans of authors and others.

Yesterday, for some reason, I became convinced it was Monday. I texted my two brothers, “Happy Monday,” along with a punny meme. One reminded me it was only Sunday. I knew that, but gee. How does the human brain do that to us? And then, today, I was further convinced it was Tuesday. Gosh. Not another day of being clueless! Where does that come from? Wow.

Mom called yesterday, and asked if I could do her a favor. It was a grocery run. No problem! But I had to come to her home first and see what cereal she wanted (she has very low vision, so some days reading packages is not in the plan). So, I made a list and set off on my quest.

I had a big flashback to when my older brother Tom and I sometimes had to walk to our neighborhood Safeway store. We only had one car, Dad worked nights, and when the two younger brothers came along, it was hard for Mom to get to the store.

Tom and I walked three blocks to the store; we cruised the aisles with Mom’s handwritten list, wondering what the heck a “loof of bird” was. Her handwriting wasn’t too legible. Our analysis revealed it meant a loaf of bread. That’s ok, Mom. We broke the code. We proudly presented the cash she gave us, and each took a nice brown bag filled with the good stuff she sent us for.

We reached the end of the first alley shortcut. Tom had such a heavy bag, we had to stop and re-bag some of his things. I gave him some of the lighter items and took the package of chicken. We made it the rest of the way home with no problems. Mom was thrilled. We felt rather victorious.

It’s funny, I found everything Mom wanted today. She insisted I call her from the store, in the cereal aisle, specifically, to report how much a certain store brand cereal cost. I reported in, and she determined at 2 for $4, she needed six boxes of that particular type of cereal. At this point in life, whatever makes her happy. Whatever my two brothers and I can do to make her life easier and hopefully worry free, the better days she’ll have for the rest of her life. A 92 year old widow shouldn’t have to worry about her food supplies, her comfort needs, or anything else. It amazes me that she is still a homeowner. She needed another roof last summer, and luckily, my brother who lives across the street from her handled the project. She deserves a rest. And thanks, Steve.

Now that the cereal supply is complete again, the quest is to find the cat food her fussy cat eats. No vet or pet store in Omaha has any. This supply line is weird, it’s an American company, not a foreign one. The cat is getting old, and Mom’s had him for probably 10 years. His name is Hugo, although my youngest brother calls him, “Pffatt Ass.” Very fitting, for sure. I’m not a cat person. Sorry, folks. Dog lover until the end!

Had a proud grandma moment x 2 this weekend. Grandkids Addison and Joell each showed what kind of great teenagers they are. Addison was a last minute sub for a senior at the regional Dance Squad competition on Saturday. The whole family went to Minnesota. The team came in second. Second! So proud!

Grandson Joell was celebrated by his immediate family after his first official day of work. He just turned 14 so I was surprised he got a job. He is a fantastic competition swimmer out in Maryland. His job is that of a swim coach for the younger kids. It’s perfect! We’ve watched him develop from a beginner swimmer to a tough competitor. So proud of him for doing what he loves and the growth he’ll experience by teaching younger kids. So proud!

Addison, back row, middle; Joell, surprised by his family after his first day of work. Life is a celebration!

As we gather our thoughts on whatever day this is, I hope you’ve also had a great day. There’s another new opportunity happening in the morning, too. We an make the day as good as we want. Be positive, and see how it unfolds! See you tomorrow, whatever day it will be.

Monday Scheduling!

Old folks can be especially wiley. Like Wile E. Coyote. The original definition of the word means devious manipulations to get what she wants. It’s apt. A certain young lady doesn’t want to go to therapy so I called to make arrangements for them to come to her home to do it. How easy do they make that? Hopefully, it will get her to cooperate and do what’s necessary. Change is indeed hard.

Had brunch with #1 son today. It’s always a good time. We go back nearly 50 years. Wow. He’s been in my life a very long time. So glad to have him in town. I was telling him about Mom today. I told him to promise me to tell me if I get so- well – wile. He laughed and said not to worry. Glad we understand one another!

What’s on your plate for the week? I’m going to look at software that makes caricature’s from photos and try it out for my kids book. We’ll see how it goes. Hope it works. If not, we’ll go to Plan C. I hope one day Cartney has time to do drawings for a future kids book of mine. Just starting college classes and living off campus has her quite busy, and I agree she probably doesn’t have enough time to work on the project. Bummed, but on to Plan B. I applaud her honesty and candor!

It’s been quite a nice few days, and I’m going to finish on the deck this afternoon. Have new books to start, I think I’ll begin with Rebecca Cooper’s book, “The Light Brigade.” It’s short but packed with poetry. I enjoy her writing on Facebook, and expect to enjoy her book, too. Next will probably be Carol Gino and the angel in her computer. She’s a FB friend I also admire. She was a companion to Mario Puza, who wrote “The Godfather.” I’ve listened to her on podcasts and other learning videos. Learn something from all of them.

It’s almost time to go pick up Addison. It’s a nice few minutes of the day to have contact with the younger generation and learn more about her at this point in her life. She is always so polite and thanks us every day for picking her up. I love the polite kids all our grandkids are. We’re so lucky! Joell and his parents are coming to visit next week, it’ll be great so see them again.

Lots to look forward to! And time to play with the software to see if it’ll work for me. Thanks for reading, enjoy your evening. See you tomorrow!

Mom’s New Wheels

This morning, I’m reflecting on life since Mom fell. That’s kind of how life of an elderly person is gauged. At 92 and insisting on aging in place, it’s my brothers and my job to make sure she’s as safe as she can be. Whoever said parent becomes child, and child becomes parent was right. And it’s meant with the utmost respect. I’m thinking back on when I lived with Mom and Dad when my son Frankie was born, 50 years ago this October 20. I stayed with them while my first husband was in the service. He isn’t a Veteran of a Foreign War but of the Vietnam ERA. He was stationed in Europe.

They were doing a huge remodeling project to prepare for their 25th wedding anniversary party in their home. Once Frankie started walking (he did at 10 1/2 months and has been on his feet ever since!), it was our job to make that same house safe as he manipulated through it, walking or crawling at break-neck speed.

I’ll never forget her laughing when he grabbed a handful of her brand new white sheers and started chewing on them. Somehow, he snagged them. Instead of blowing her top, she laughed. Who was this woman? Her prized, very expensive sheer curtains, snagged. Ruined, really. She’d have killed any of my siblings or me for the same action. Wow. Wasn’t the first time my son has amazed me.

Isn’t life just full or ironies? I’m glad God has a sense of humor. Wouldn’t life be boring if He didn’t? I think it would be, definitely. Mom’s doctor told her she had to quit using the cane, and use walkers 24/7. Mom had been resisting. Sure, it’s a symbol of some independence lost. I had been trying to convince her all summer to use one. I pitched how much steadier she would be, and how it would actually save her some energy, something we’ve witnessed declining over the last 4 months.

Now, it’s a great idea since her doctor told her. Well, that along with if she keeps falling, it’s an assisted care center. Mom doesn’t understand how nice they are, and if she doesn’t want to participate in activities, she doesn’t have to. That also is a topic for another day.

The Babe looked in the closet the Post has with durable medical equipment in it, and found a walker with the seat on it. Old folks love them, they can stow snacks in them, and have a more secure walk. She’s a firm believer now. We did a maiden voyage Sunday to the wedding shower, and a second trip out yesterday to get her haircut and a perm. She was eager to try her new wheels out, away from the house.

She kept asking “What do you want me to do?” Who is this woman? I told her how I thought moving about to the driveway should go. She jumped right on it. It reminded me of how a baby can scoot around once they get used to their walkers. Back in the day, they had round walkers, with wheels on them. (Sadly, they’re no longer allowed. Too dangerous). Unless they were stopped by an ill placed throw rug, they could pretty much cruise on, full speed ahead. First, my babies, now my mom. Moving around is no longer such an effort for her. We’re thanking God she had enough of a scare to get her attention, and nothing was broken.

One of the most important things? Her spirit and zest seems to be somewhat restored. Her courage is restored. She is less afraid than a month ago. She has seen how she needed the assist of a walker. She says she had no idea how tired it made her trying to stay upright with just a cane or holding onto furniture while navigating her house. It’s a win-win. And nothing is broken. Not even her spirit anymore.

While my brothers and I enjoy a beautiful fall day in Nebraska (well, I will. They’re both stil working!), think about what you may be deep-down fearful of. Trying out a new hobby? Drawing? Art? Making new friends? Is something in you holding you back from enjoying your life? Get some new wheels for yourself. No, not a car. Send fear packing. Get your sense of adventure back. No matter what, you can still Live a Great Story! See you tomorrow.

It’s Been a Week.

We rode high from the outstanding success of our awards ceremony at the Post Sunday. We raised $2,020 for Nebraska COPS; a donation of $3,500 from ABATE and our Car Shows/Raffles fundraising produced $2,240 checks for both Guitars for Vets and Moving Veterans Forward. Life smacked my family with a giant, undeserved comeuppance at 4 a.m. Monday morning. No cause for alarm cousins. Just know mom fell and hit her head. She is ok, nothing at all broken.

Very lucky, for being ** years old; and truthfully, she looks like hell.One brother lives across the street. He and his wonderful partner called 911 and he went to the ER. He texted my younger brother and me; and took the day off and cared for her the rest of the day once she could go home. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday with her, going to her doctor and adjusting some things. No more canes for stability, she has to use a walker. Therapy at the house, too. Help her build some strength up. All normal stuff in the life of an elderly person.

Mom has been an exception to every rule since Dad died 33 years ago. She just picked up and went on with life. She worked, volunteered, learned, traveled, and did a lot of thing. Like hand feed an elephant at the zoo. Like babysit a baby orang and gorilla when their mama’s rejected them. If we couldn’t find her at home, she’d be at the zoo. Her stroke and reduced vision took that from her a few years ago. She gave up driving on her own; she knew it was no longer safe for her or others. She gave us a gift there.

I’ve decided to tell you about the rest of the week after I catch up around the house and the Post website. It’s got to be done to get the balance back as well as we can. Mom will lose a little independence, but she’s still at home, where she’s lived since 1949. Yes, you read that right. 1949. Bless her heart! Prayers gratefully accepted!

If you have your parents, call them. Tell them how you love them. Help keep them in their home as long as possible. It all takes work, but you will be glad you did it. They will thank you. Be Kind today. Be Grateful today. Make a difference today. See you tomorrow!

P.S. No, the photo is not of our mom!