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!

Fine Friday.

I’m reading a new book on my brand new Kindle. I have a lot of books on there, free offerings I’ve browsed over the years, and the book, “The Soldier’s Guide to PTSD: A No S*it Guide to Regaining Your Life,” came up as something I may like to read. I’ve read about 11% of it and it’s pretty straightforward and concise. So far, so good. I’m interested in it because of the “Intentional Peer Support” class I’m taking.

It’s no secret I love our Veterans. I want to make a difference in their lives. I want to offer a listening ear, a hug, and support as they transition back to life. Many have difficulty. Many don’t know how to handle life back home. There are a lot of reasons for that. Our families are scattered across the country. Friends often move on as well. Finding a group to relate to is often difficult, as they may having trouble getting in touch with themselves and what they need to do now that the military is in their rear view mirror. What next? Lots of pressure and little guidance is not a good combination.

Our training is about six weeks long, and we have three people including myself. The instructor is Joel Schneider, a tireless volunteer in the mental health arena specifically for Veterans. Check out the story of Intentional Peer Support.

It will be another great weekend with the Babe. The dogs go to the groomers, and we’ll do house stuff again. It really helps me catch up. I’m finally getting to the machine work started on my quilt for Kayla. It’s going to be adorable!

Have a good rest of the evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Free Monday!

Yes, it’s my first free Monday after helping host/cook for an event yesterday. I spent time with my quilt blocks again today, and then the Babe and I picked up Addison from school, then we took Gavin with us to eat a bite. Tracy joined us on her way home, so it was a nice little family visit. Nice having no schedule, you know?

The quilt blocks are coming along nicely, thank you for asking! It won’t be too long until I can sew the rows together, then do the last step for the top – set the blocks. I predict I’ll be there before the end of the week. It’d be great to start quilting it Saturday.

I had to take a break from “Wired for Story.” It’s pretty dry even though I’m learning something. I decided I needed a story/short book to make me laugh. “Nobody Will Tell You This But Me,” by Bess Kalb. Bess is a writer on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! It’s a memoir, based on her grandmother’s life lessons, left via voice mail (many of them), and it’s hilarious. It’s also heartwarming, thought-provoking, and touching. You hear stories of women raised by women who encourage them to become doctors (way before the women’s movement), and women who were taught to be independent thinkers. The fact that they’re all Jewish may have something to do it, or it may not. It’s a different way to tell a story, which is pleasant and funny at the same time.

I love the relationship portrayed between Grandmother and Granddaughter. The Grandmother told her granddaughter many words of wisdom, some outdated and funny. The more outdated, the funnier. I hope Addison and I can someday have these kinds of conversations. I’m sure I’ll sound as outdated with my wisdom as Ms. Kalb’s Grandmother. Addison will know I mean it in the same loving manner Ms. Kalb’s Grandmother did.

You see, this book is keeping me reading. 85 pages in two days. I’m interested in the telling of the story, and what the story will show. What happens next? I want to continue reading to see. Maybe even finish it tomorrow. It could easily happen. The Babe will do yard work tomorrow. I have lots of weeds to pull, too. Lots of them.

What do you plan for this week? I’d like to make it to 1,000 followers. We’re only about 24 away. Help a girl out? That’d be a great way to end the week and the month of September. Have a good evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe.

Experience the Reality of Life

Do you know anyone who believes life is one problem after another, with little time for enjoyment? I believe we all do. “Born under a bad sign,” is one way to put it. There is a lot of good in the world whether we see it or not.

Struggle is a huge part of life. It is not the only thing, though. Yes, we’ve all hard very hard periods of time, and then good comes to stay. It’s relative. As I’ve said before, we need to remain positive to be positive, and concentrate on that instead of the negative things that occur once in awhile. I believe good outweighs evil, and I believe it will win in the end.

This morning, I was gluing my quilt block pieces, and Goldie wanted to play catch. She gave me a sad look with those big brown eyes, and I was powerless to deny her. As soon as I stepped on the deck, the beautiful day smacked me awake and I was in awe of the pure, blue sky. Goldie knew what she was doing. It was just the break I needed. The sky was a glorious sight; it was easy to go back to working on my quilt blocks after that sight.

Today still had many, many errands, the Babe had an eye doctor appointment, and we met for pizza. Groceries, then dropping some donations for Moving Veterans Forward. The day seems over before it was started, really. Tomorrow will see more quilt block gluing and deciding how to begin sewing those pieces down. I’m getting excited about sewing on my new sewing machine for the first time, finally.

We have another day at home tomorrow, and hope to see our friends at the VFW in the late afternoon. The rest of the week will be filled with planning how to finish up the 2022 yard work and cleanup of the shed/garage/patio/basement storage. There is so much to be grateful for, making us positive in this life. I hope the same for my friends and this family of followers. See you tomorrow!

Divesting

There are a few different meanings for divesting. Today’a meaning is simply ridding oneself of something they no longer want/need, etc. Today, I am meeting with my replacement for the Website and social media for the VFW Post 2503. My friend, William Hackenberg has I/T talents and skills that blow me out of the water. It’s time to have a younger, more up to date skilled person. And, I need the time to go back to my interests, my quilting, and especially, my writing. It’s time. And we’re darned lucky to have him to take over.

The past eight years have been a roller coaster and real learning experience, but we hung in there. I’ve enjoyed interacting with all the members, friends, and visitors to the Post. I don’t plan to go anywhere, I’ll still do community outreach with the groups we’ve established relationships with, and will be visible. The big difference will be having more time to spend the way I want to, and having no guilt about being behind in postings, calendar updates, etc. It’ll take a few weeks to be fully divested, but I can feel the relief already.

With the eight losses of close friends in the past two years, I am looking very closely at how I spend my time, and what the results are. We should all do that every once in awhile. Taking stock and deciding how to spend your time is part of de-cluttering for sure. Our schedules need that just as much as our closets.

I am happiest creating things, and sometimes those things are with fabric, sometimes with words. I hope to add drawing to the mix, and painting. It never ends, I have a curiosity about many things, and hope to investigate all of them. So far, so good!

The whole point of spending your life wisely is to leave the world a little better for you being here. Leave every person you meet and love better off than when you met them. We all try to do that. I feel if we all concentrate on that very hard, we’ll be able to achieve some level of those goals. Let’s all try it in our circles of friendship, business, and partnerships. It certainly cannot hurt.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty sad making this move. I liked knowing a little more about what was going on and helping communicate those things to the public, the members, and guests. My dad always said what’s in this header today. I’m giving something up that has taken eight years to build. Some of it feels like “my baby.” And at the same time, with a new, young, more talented I/T guy coming along, it’s time to step aside. It’s what we older folks are supposed to do. Many don’t. So, that’s what I’m doing later today.

What can you divest of that will give you more time to spend how you wish? Sometimes we don’t realize how much time we waste, until we don’t have a chance to change. Don’t let that happen. No one is on their deathbed and states, “I wish I would have spent more time working.” Don’t be that guy or gal. Free yourself up to enjoy something else. It’ll make a difference in your life!

Thank you for reading today. We’re still looking for about 50 more subscribers, to reach 1,000. We have about 956. There is room for everyone! Have a beautiful afternoon and evening. See you tomorrow!

The Day After Birthday

This morning, it was still darkish out, but the bed was empty of both canines and the Babe. I heard nothing going on in the living room. They can’t have gone far. I listened to the birds for a while and dozed. It was heavenly. I got up and saw the family on the couch, all snuggly. It was sweet.

And sharing coffee amongst good mornings is such a wonderful thing. I’m not the griddle cook getting the husband out the door, or the kids off to school. I’m his equal. He’s my equal. Yes, we sipped on our coffee for another hour. It was sweet. Other married couples may not think this is a big deal. I really noticed it today. I noticed because it was missing from my life before the Babe.

I know many other women of all ages who haven’t experienced this kind of laid back before in their lives. Many, many women and even men haven’t experienced this in a relationship. Much as I was told, it doesn’t happen; it does. Single friends, take heart. Leave your heart open, but protected.

I met my son, Frankie, for brunch. It is like visiting the best part of yourself to meet your adult kid out. It was the best catch up there was. He is always in a good mood and satisfied with his life. We laugh about if I am an old widow someday and need someone to monitor me; he would be the one. We make up scenarios and I know he’d always help me out. Seriously, I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Today was a followup visit to the ortho doc for my shoulder. Over the past six months, I’ve had three injections for pain. If this doesn’t help, it’s on to an MRI next time. Hoping it’s not a torn rotator cuff. But if it is, we’ll deal with it.

Yesterday, I checked out my sewing machine before getting ready to make the grandkids in Colorado their quilts for Christmas. I plugged in my trusty Bernina Activa 220. Nothing worked. The lights didn’t go on. Nothing responded. Carried it to another room, electrical circuit, and plugged it in and turned it on. Nothing. Tomorrow, it goes to the Bernina Store. I hope it’s not expensive or I’ll be shopping for a different machine. Cross your fingers! Good thing I started early on the Christmas projects!

Have a beautiful evening. I need to get some ice for the shoulder. See you tomorrow!

Today’s Concerns-Really?

As I watched the news yesterday morning, I realized how shallow we seem to the rest of the world. My heart breaks looking at the refugee children, crying and holding a stuffed animal while standing next to their mothers on the trains to Poland. The rubble from civilian office buildings is a daily image. It generates a real punch in the gut daily.

The next “newsy” blurb lasted longer than the reporting on the crisis in the Ukraine. That blurb subject was about the maternity wardrobe of singer Rhianna. Excuse me? Wardrobe? It seemed to me it was simply a bunch of narrow ribbons draped over her belly with no actual structure in mind. It strikes me it is pure sensationalism and attention seeking. I’m no prude and I have to ask, “Is nothing sacred anymore?”

And don’t get me started on today’s story about the effect of TikTok on young teens’ mental health. Some of us are raising kids to be emotionally immature and too sheltered. They are used to their parents doing too much for them, some are the center of attention in their homes, and their mere existence trumps the marriage as the primary relationship in the home. Google John Rosemond and read. He makes some interesting points. I believe children should be heard, listened to, valued, and know the world doesn’t revolve around them.

Not sorry America, I think the world events are much more important than a celebrity’s baby bump, TikTok, and the new music tour of New Kids on the Block. Sorry, guys.

Pat Sloan wrote an article. I’ve followed her for several years. I like her style, her heart, and her way of honoring people. The quilters of the world are acting. A quilting leader in the Ukraine is heading up the efforts to evacuate the children from Ukraine to Poland. The woman has a quilt shop in both countries. Often, quilts are made for refugees and given to them. After the tsunami in Japan a few years ago, another group of quilters asked for donations of a certain type of block, and led the efforts to sew the blocks into quilt tops, then layer, quilt, and bind them. They went to Japan and into the hands of people who lost everything. I was a good feeling, knowing the blocks helped people.

Pat Sloan designed a block representing the Ukraine, in signature blue, yellow, and white. She explains the symbolism of the double star, representing the strength of the Ukrainian people. For your listening and hopefully action, here is my quilter friend, Pat Sloan, with a call to action; let’s make a difference for the refugee children of the Ukraine. The link takes you to the video. Below the video is a link to download your pattern. There is also information about donating to this special UNICEF fund. Let’s do something we are assured will make a difference for 7.5 million children. When I make the block, I’m putting it on our front door. How about you?

There is a lot to do today! I’d better get to it, and organize my thoughts for the rest of the day. Thank you for listening to my rant, and I pray it spurs it prompts all of us to help those children. Children deserve better. They deserve security, love, constancy. Let’s help provide some of that. Blessings. See you tomorrow!

Hump Day, 2022

So here we are, the middle of the first week of 2022. How does it feel?

I’m pretty tired today. I woke up at 4:45 (yes, a.m.), and the restless night I had is catching up with me . . . at 8 a.m. It’d be easy to give up and lounge on the couch today. I have to resist that at this early hour, as I’d like to keep with my idea of having the house undecorated by Sunday this week. It was sweet, I asked granddaughter Addison if she’d like a couple items I’m not crazy about anymore. And she wants them! I’m happy I have something she’d like to have. It’s important for kids to have some thing from previous generations. I hope granddaughter Kayla will someday want something of mine.

I have a Grandma Book that poses questions for me to answer for one of them, maybe Addison will want it. We’ve had 14 years together, going on 15. I tell her how I’ll never forget Grandma Sandy handing her to me right after she was born. Grandpa’s and Grandma’s had the opportunity to hold her. Sandy brought this beautiful baby to me and said, “It’s your turn now, Grandma.” She smiled, and her brown doe-like eyes with awning-length lashes shone with her tears of joy. She was beautiful. And her heart was, too. I am so grateful we had a strong friendship, not the usual problem between the ex-wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. It was a gift for both of us. Sandy died of lung cancer about eleven years ago.

And now, this young woman is about to turn 15 years old. Wow. What memories! All good ones. She amazes me with her confidence. She’s all about sticking up for herself. I wish I had known about how to do that. It’s a gift to me at this point in my life. Yes, I say I’m late to the party. At least I made it. I’m grateful for that.

The Raabe/Shuck family up in Sioux Falls is about to grow again. Alex and Meagan Shuck will have another baby girl in May! We have so many birthdays in that month! The Babe’s Mom Liz was on the 5th, Mine is the 22nd, the Babe’s is the 24th. I better get to the fabric store for this little one! I think I owe Kenna a quilt, too (and Cory and Amber Davis’ Trisha, too). This Grandma loves to make stuff for babies. And toddlers. It’ll all get done some time.

Psychologically, we know if it’s cloudy outside, that makes a dome over this part of the earth and the weather becomes a bit warmer. It defies logic how our moods lift with sunshine and blue skies; after all, the cold deepens with clear skies! We have sun, blustery winds, and WCI’s of minus to minus 15 below zero. Wow! Lots of people go to Arizona, Texas, Florida or Mexico during this time in a Nebraska Winter. I don’t blame them, really.

These temperatures don’t do a lot for my arthritis, my broken ankle hardware, or my ailing shoulder. At the same time, I’m grateful I don’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s terribly crippling. See? Yes, we can find positive things when we’re not feeling well, we are tired, we feel the ravages of aging and injury. I’ll be fine. I’m certain of it.

I want to straighten up the area around my sewing machine today. I didn’t quilt my cardinal quilt but want to get it done and displayed this weekend, too. Goals, all help a lot. I’ll get stuff done. We’ll be ahead of the game before we know. Small steps. Patience. It’s all part of our process of the word for my year. “Progress.” I have lots of ideas, lots of plans. Stick around, and I’ll share them with you! Stay warm today, stay inside if you can. We’ll see each other tomorrow!

Thursday Thoughts

One of the most impactful things Dad ever taught me is to look at things from every different angle you can before deciding on something. In most things, it is prudent to do so. I like that he would tell me to think of where the other person may come from. It has always served me well. As young kids, they expected us to think things through. They, meaning the parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Maybe we didn’t have a stress-free life as kids, but I think we all can operate as reasonably intelligent adults.

Sometimes, someone may remark, “Gee, I didn’t think of it that way.” That’s a clue you may have opened their eyes to a fresh way of thinking. It’s easier if they’re open to changing their way of doing things. If they’re not, it’s much harder. Consensus is easier to achieve with more open-minded people. Face it. Change is hard. People resist as long as they can.

It gets frustrating when someone digs in and belittles your decision or choice and later claims they supported you all the way. The excuse is “Well, things were different.” With some people, it’s just not worth being right. It’s best to know you are and move on. I’ve had to do that a lot about a lot of things in my life. Moving away to a different neighborhood is a big deal in my family. No more, because I’ve done it. Three times. Mom still lives in the same house she and Dad purchased in 1949. That’s seventy-two years in the same house. It has to be some kind of record.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

We have to learn to be comfortable with our decisions. We need to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our actions. All of them. We have a responsibility to admit if we do something bad. Or good. We sometimes learn more from the poor decisions than the good ones. It’s possible. A balanced person never forgets the lessons they learn from the poor ones. And they know not to beat themselves up over them.

I had another Zoom call with Sam, my book coach today. I’m eager to add more description to my second chapter and flesh out the first scene of the third chapter. Slow and steady wins the race. I read something a couple days ago stating it takes three years to write a book. At first I scoffed at that. *Word of the Day – Scoffed! When I think of starting a year ago, January 2019, it’s not so off the mark. That’s about what I’m looking at now, at the current rate. I do like having smaller sections to rewrite.

I have about 40K written in my first book, These Walls Do Talk. I want to finish it someday I see it as a part of a trilogy. It’s not lost work it was good practice. I think back to a conversation Sam and I had once that touched on having manuscripts that will not be the ones to publish. It’s a very common occurrence among writers. That does not surprise me. Among quilters, there are many projects that never see the quilting and binding added. I have a beautiful example of one. I did not finish the first quilt ever made. I kept it as a reminder of how it was to just start learning the craft. The most important thing I learned was the famous quarter inch seams are to be critical. Otherwise, nothing will align properly. I have some rows that look terrible. You can fudge on a seam while dressmaking (I have frequently), but in quilting its unforgiving. Come to think of it, I should put a binding on it and drape it on my studio chair right here. It will remind me there is a learning curve with everything creative. And to be humble.

Goldie Could Enjoy My “Humility” Quilt.

I think I should dig that quilt out and finish it. Just because. I can look at as a failure. I don’t like the colors. It was a practice piece. I can also use it to help me see how much I’ve learned. All the quilting skills I have are self-taught. There were a few classes I took, but most of it is self-taught. With lots of books and magazines.

I’m glad to know how to look at things differently. It’s helped me be grateful, despite having a body ravaged by some weird ailments. I could have become bitter about what I lost at age 44, but I am grateful for what I can still do independently. I am grateful to have a husband who tells me, “whatever you want to do, honey,” when I have an idea for another quilt, blog, or project. We work well together, he encourages me. It stifles a lot of women to have little support for their creativity. My only problem is finding the time to do all the things I’d like to do!

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy the precipitation we’re having in Gretna, NE. I wish those fires in Colorado would have a gully washer fall on them. The destruction is terrible. Be Open. Think Differently. Love Without Restriction. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Careful.

Where Do All the People

hang out who left all this dirty laundry in the laundry room? It’s exploded again. Wow. It doesn’t take long to overwhelm itself. So, after all the sorting and wrestling Goldie for the socks she steals from the baskets/piles as I’m sorting, it doesn’t seem so bad. It seems to go from a couple items to six loads in the blink of an eye. Any other retired folks have that same problem? There are two of us, and we haven’t adopted the “wear everything two or three days” like some older folks do.

My mom wears one outfit “out” when she leaves the house, then rushes home to change clothes. That’s a throwback to the days with “school clothes” and “play clothes” and “good clothes.” Of course, my “school clothes” consisted of a uniform, all twelve years. I suppose we saved a lot of laundry that way. I haven’t counted her outfits she can wear again before washing, she’s still in charge of her closet. She does ok.

Isn’t this a beautiful photo? I’m in awe of it, I don’t want to know how to do it, I just want to enjoy it. You know that feeling? It’s from another free site, used by my friends at I Create Daily. And that’s just it. This group on Facebook has given me courage, strength, ideas, and momentum towards creating the goals I now have which I didn’t have three or four years ago. Writing was a “someday” thing.

I know why I waited so long. It was because I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t strong enough. It has nothing to do with confidence, I don’t think. I learned after the age of 30 I finally had some confidence. It grew, wavered, and grew some more. It was nice to reach the age where I could believe in myself. Some folks never get there. We all have hidden potential. Find out what yours is.

We’ll do a pic tomorrow, but yesterday I actually completed my poppy quilt quilting. Today, I need to square it up, and add binding. I machine sew it on, then hand sew the backing. This one will need a hanging sleeve, since it’ll go right up on the wall. I’m happy to finally finish. My brain still thinks I can do what I used to be able to do at 40 and 50, not taking into account I’m a hair past those decades. Ssshhh! Let me live in denial a bit longer.

See the hanger, up near the top, in the middle, just waiting for the quilt.

Also going to put away all the summery stuff around the house. Tulips, spring towels, etc., will all make way for the vast collection of fall stuff. It’s my favorite time to decorate, until Christmas comes along. And, yes, I will cull the herd of stuff, so that’s a win for the storage room. Great job for today.

So I’m going to be working in and out today, it’s in the upper sixties here (like me!), and very windy, so sitting outside won’t be a calm experience. The skies are dusty not blue, so it might not be a good asthma day. Lots of stuff to do, though.

Thank you for reading today. It’s a little short, but some days are really like that. Tomorrow, I dive headfirst back into my writing. There’ll be more to write about then. Have a beautiful day today. Here’s something good to think on today while you’re enjoying the outside. Or the inside. Keep it inside of you.

Be glad the car started, the water heater worked, the bed was warm.

See you tomorrow, and we’ll make it another good day! Be safe. Be courteous, Be kind. Be you!