The Lowly Geranium

The little plant I used to buy for 99 cents or so at Shopko for many years never disappointed. These days, I’m fortunate to be buying from a local nursery in Gretna; they are a lot more than the 99 cent variety, but they are spectacular! I’ve overwintered some a few times, pulling them out of the dirt, and storing them in a brown paper bag, then putting them inside in a pot of soil in March or April, hoping they grow. They do sometimes. This year, I purchased the flowers in the header photo, and they’re doing quite well in the planters. I deadheaded some this morning, and a memory stirred about the 99 cent variety.

When I was a little girl, Mom took me once in awhile to the St. Bridget’s Mother/Daughter Breakfast. It was an annual event, in May. All mothers and daughters went to the 7:30 a.m. Mass, followed by the breakfast, made by the Men’s Club. Every table of four had one geranium plant. Everyone was given a numbered ticket, and the drawing was held after breakfast. Such tension in the room! I know every other little girl prayed they would win also. When I did win, the plant thrived for a minute or two, in my south facing windowsill. They usually died from lack of water and general neglect. I’m sure they all did. Back then neither Mom nor I knew anything about gardening. I do believe now we would be able to keep them alive at least for the summer. Too bad, the school is closed, as is the convent, and the priest is a young man who grew up in the parish and went to school with us. Father Safranek visits Mom once a month with Communion. She enjoys the visits, despite her disagreements with the Church ideology over the past thirty years or so. Maybe time has healed her heart on that count.

The Babe was home this morning. While he mowed and did the weed-eating in the back yard with the dogs, I was in the front yard, pulling weeds from the stone fill in our landscaping. The rock looks wonderful when you’re not having to spread mulch, it’s a one and done, but dirt accumulates withing the rocks, and it’s just enough to start some dandelions, water grass, and other creeper-type weeds. No one had done it yet, so it was a mess.

Of course, my mind still thinks I’m younger(ish) and still agile. My 70 year old knees and back are protesting. I’ll be sorry later, I think, but at least the weeds are gone in the front. Tomorrow morning, I’ll tackle the back fenced in flower-garden. No weed barrier there, but I may put some down. It’ll be cut into a billion little pieces and placed around the plants. I’m retired, so it’s ok. I’ll make some time and get some good fresh air these next couple of days.

What a beautiful day it’s been! When we finish here, I’m headed out to the patio to water those flowers and plants. It’s supposed to storm again tonight, and I may be over-doing it for today, but then I won’t have to tomorrow. I started reading the book, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’m only on page 29, but so far, I love her writing. She has two other books; “Malibu Rising,” and “Daisy Jones and the Six.” I may put them on my Kindle or my wish list for physical books.

As I have gone on this journey, it’s been such fun to develop stories of plain, every day things. Some people I went to high school with have told me they enjoy the memories they have while reading about my memories. That tickles me to death. I’m glad you get happy memories while reading my words. And I’m even more happy to get to write. I’ve checked with the printing company and am waiting for them to respond.

In the meantime, I’m astounded at a message I have on my screen each time I hit “Publish” on a blog. It tells me how many people will receive notifications on the latest published blog. Yesterday, it was 901. WOW! I’m pretty excited about that. I’m getting near 1,000 blogs published, won’t you do something for me? Ask your friends to follow me, like my author page on Facebook, and my publishing company? I’d love to hit 1,000 followers notified in July. Why?

I’m adding two more pages to my website in July; one for Jewell Publishing LLC, and one for Grandma Kathy Books. I’m also adding one for my illustrator, Jordan Ullom. She is a local graphic artist, and is getting quite a resume together. She’s done another author’s book cover, and a musician’s album cover. How fun! Once Jordan gets her ideas, narrative, and photos assembled, we’ll publish her on a page, too.

With that, I’m going to tend more plants outside. And read about Evelyn Hugo’s Seven Husbands. Enjoy the rest of your day! So much to look forward to! And today is pretty cool, too. Take care; see you tomorrow!

Abraham Lincoln Said:

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light I have.”

What’s your definition of success? Some believe a fancy car, home, and designer clothes are the ticket. As many definitions of success exist as to the number of people who populate the earth. Fame, money, or fame and money are all fleeting. Sometimes the people we know are also fleeting as our fame or wealth diminish. Was it really what we wanted? Not now.

Nothing guarantees we will be winners or succeed. We need to be true to who we are and what we believe, and we are bound to shine whatever light we have in every nook and cranny of darkness ahead. Speaking our own truths and being who we really are is important; we also need to project our light into the universe out from us. It could be just what someone else out there needs to hear.

Giving of ourselves beyond ourselves is the ultimate in giving. And being a giver is to be successful. Of course, we need to be givers to be good citizens, humans, Christians, and fulfill what God created us for.

I am a volunteer with the VFW, Moving Veterans Forward, Guitars for Vets, 50 Mile Walk, and other organizations. I believe in their purpose, which is to serve our veterans. We send young people to training to fight and we expect them to just fit into life when they come home like they never left, saw the things they’ve seen, or done the things they’ve done. Founder of Moving Veterans Forward, Ron Hernandez, has said, “I wouldn’t leave you on the battlefield and I won’t leave you alone when you get home.”

I am inspired by the generosity I see from these organizations. It also inspires me to see the good they do. It’s what we’re supposed to do for each other. Care. Tend. Lend a hand. What could be more Christian or American than that? It’s the best of what there is on earth. More about our volunteer work later.

I hope you have a warm rest of the weekend, enjoy the big game tomorrow, and know we’ll see each other tomorrow. Thank you.

Wednesday; A Sense of Purpose

Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives to achieve our sense of purpose, we need to be on board with the process. We need to do the work we need to accomplish before embarking on the journey to find our purpose. Whatever we need to change before we can achieve, we need to be consistent. Here or there effort will not move you forward.

Whether we need to come to terms with an addiction (shopping, drinking, drugs); and all that goes with it (crushing debt, loss of job, loss of family, loss of health, loss of spirituality); or overcome procrastination and all it feeds (low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, increased fear of failure); we need to remain focused on our goals and be consistent with our activity.

I’ve done some reading on so-called “Writer’s Block” and find some folks don’t believe in it for a minute; they simply call it procrastination due to fear of failure. That may be. There are always words to write. Whether they fit into your novel is for you to decide. When I feel a strong call to abandon what I’m working on currently and move to another project, I usually follow the call. I believe it is an inspiration to add depth and meaning to another project. Time will come when I’m called back to the original project, and the extensive work of the novel will begin again. Sometimes you have to let creativity call the shots.

The pictures above resulted from a Pexels search for “dedication.” Anything we commit to takes dedication. Dedication to purpose and expected result. Some things, granted, are more fun than others to be dedicated to. I believe it takes about three weeks to form a new habit, a new mindset towards whatever we want to change. After those first twenty-one days, we get bored, want to have fun instead. We figure we’ve proven we can give up that unpleasant habit. We figure we can Netflix binge all day and still achieve our goal. “Give ourselves a break,” the little voice tells us. “We deserve it.”

It’s a slippery slope, my friend. If we don’t keep performing those necessary tasks, we’ll lose the battle. The battle to finish the novel, swim well, write new songs for an album, work out for good health, enjoy the benefits of another way to eat, kick the addiction, and be in recovery from alcoholism. It begins and ends with how much commitment we can consistently have towards our achievement. Sure, you deserve a break, but consider them carefully, or you may find yourself back at Day ZERO, not Day Twenty-One.

And when we slip or falter, we need to be kind to ourselves. We all falter. Don’t beat yourself up. Your friends are your support. They may be new writer friends, gym friends, writing coaches, a FB Group, your meeting friends, your sponsor, people you can confess your failures to without being judged. They have been there. They have gotten back on track. You can too. You have to. For yourself.

Where are you going to be today in your quest for personal growth and change? Today, I’m going to work on placing words from my kids’ book onto the pages for Cartney to illustrate. The more detail that is put in the drawings, the fewer words we’ll need. I am so excited to see this happen! We are nearing the goal more every day.

Clutter busting is always on the list, so some of that, too. It never hurts. And if your surroundings are tidier, your mind is more focused. Always keep a daily goal. And since it’s Wednesday, later today is Hamburger Night at the VFW Post 2503. It is always a nice outing. Having a meal with friends is a pleasant break in routine, and we enjoy it a lot. Feeling that it’s easier to dig back in Thursday and work. We have a wedding Saturday and a benefit concert on Sunday. The weekend will be outstanding!

Stay the course. Be Kind to yourself. Get back up if you backslide. You’re still on track. You will get there if you are consistent! Thanks for reading, we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Forward is the only way to go from here wherever you are. Let’s travel together.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on