Today’s Blog

Information Needed ?

Before we decide anything in our lives, we need to have as much information regarding different outcomes as possible. If we want to write a novel. There are two different schools of thought on how to map it out.

The first way is the way of the “pantster.” The story goes where it leads you, with no outline, list of characters, a loose idea of where it should go. The total opposite of that is the way of the “plotter.” They have detailed plots, fully developed characters, complete plots, and prolific writing.

Before you write a story during a certain period in history, research the customs, clothing, social mores, language, and everything else before considering it ready for beta readers and editors. Lots of work, but necessary.

Before you purchase a home, you usually have an inspection by a qualified inspector. They can tell you about any problem areas you might miss. A faulty furnace, bad electrical, a leaky roof, and a host of other things can be problems soon.

In these situations and medical issues, we need complete information before deciding a course of action. Mom has some things going on, and we have more tests before she can decide what to do. She is a very good patient and is not afraid to ask questions.

The timetable of my kid book publication depends on some of these things. Nothing is more important than family. More information will be available within two weeks. Thank you for your patience.

Take a walk if it’s nice outside; or read a book. We need to enjoy our lives every day. Even the hard work parts. It all helps make us who we are. Enjoy your Thursday, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Prayers Always Work

What? What do you mean? How can you say that?

Communication with another human is vital. We call it conversation. In business it’s called having a meeting. Socially, it could be a class reunion or a family reunion. People from a lot of different backgrounds and experiences working together for a common goal. Celebrating it.

When we communicate with God, our Higher Power, or Supreme Being, we pray. We may pray only known prayers; novenas, rosaries, litanies, and others are prayers Catholics participate in. I remember the formal days of prayer during Lent, and Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and ending with Easter Sunday. All leading up to the finale, which is bigger than Christmas. People don’t readily believe that, but Jesus being born is not as big as Jesus dying for our sins.

Our Grandmothers all prayed for their grandchildren. Mothers have all prayed for their children. Wives have always prayed for their soldiers. While we pray when we’re young, we try to direct God to the outcome we wish for.

“Dear God, please make my little brother go away,” is not exactly in the proper spirit. I know, I tried for years. Didn’t work. Today, he’s one of my best friends. God always answers our prayers. Sometimes, the answer to our childish questions is, “No, my child. Wait and see the big picture.” I always wanted a sister; I didn’t realize I’d always have my own room without a sister! God, grantor of the prayers, while showing us the big picture.

The thing of it is, God answers prayers, yet the answer is sometimes an emphatic “NO!” We can only see our versions of the world. God is a big picture guy. He sees what is best for our loved ones. He knows what’s best for us, too. Sometimes, it’s best for us to not to get what we think we want. It may not be a true end to the story. Something better may be in store for us.

We may feel we aren’t worthy or God’s time. He loves when we come to Him. He’s what we need more than anything. We learn to listen to where he’s guiding us and anticipate going there. The more we admit we’re helpless, the easier we are able to ask God for help through prayer. He’s got your back, better than anyone.

Think about your Higher Power, your God, your Supreme Being. Whoever it is, pray to Him/Her/Them. Your faith will be built in this relationship. After all, we’re all just a part of a bigger world. We’re not the one in control, calling the shots, and we need to understand there are things bigger than we are. Prayer will help.

Have a beautiful Wednesday. Enjoy every moment. You never know what your life holds ahead of you. We will see each other tomorrow. Thank you for reading.

Accomplishments, 2023

I am excited to review the numbers and note these accomplishments so far.

I’ve posted a total of #1250 blogs since starting several years ago. I have #1,068 followers. How exciting!

I recently renewed the webpage license. We will begin publishing kid books and adding more website pages after I handle some life things. More on that later this week.

I have posted a blog for 244 consecutive days. I want to post for 365 days and hope to get there. Again, depends on the life things happening. More on that later this week.

The Babe and I met our friends Lora and Kris for pizza yesterday. I saw a little girl sitting with parents and grandparents. I had to stop and say, “I’m so happy to see you with a book! A real book!” The parents were happy. I wished I had a book I wrote to give her. That tells me I need to carry a couple spare copies with me for encounters like that. Lots of good opportunities out there. Note to self: carry books and business cards all the time.

My Adult Children of Alcoholics daily meditation tells me today that once I accept things as they are, I can create things as they might be. What does this mean? It means I need to go forward and not face backwards with regret. Regret is a powerful magnet drawing us back there, where we cannot change anything. Too many people stay stuck here, and never budge. You cannot go forward while facing backwards.

This applies not only to people with addictions and substance problems. It can apply to all of us. We can have rage or blame about anything else in our lives. As long as it is behind us, it needs to stay there. We need to start now and face forward. Today is what it is because of what we did yesterday.

Our new mindset needs to be what’s in the windshield, not the rear-view mirror. Today’s seeds, ideas, and changes are tomorrow’s trees, realizations, and new habits. Let’s begin. And continue. Forward.

Think about all the adventures, new habits, and better life that lies ahead. As long as we keep looking that way. No regrets. No self-pity. No more “shoulds” or “if only’s” and “what ifs.” Ifs never equal Is’s. Reality is all we can build on. Let’s get going.

Thank you for reading today. We will see each other again tomorrow. Be safe out there.

Loneliness v. Solitude

These two are somewhat the same, yet vastly different. How?

We’ve talked about loneliness before. It’s gut wrenching, and I’ve experienced it many times. It was the worst when my kids were gone to their Dad’s. I couldn’t stay home alone with the dog. I had to go somewhere. Movie alone, anything as long as I wasn’t alone. After a couple years, I learned to enjoy the quiet. It was great. I missed the kids, but knew they’d be home soon enough. That is solitude. Being ok with being alone. Happy with your own company. Comfortable with you. That is a huge accomplishment.

Can you have solitude with two people in a home? Why not? The other morning, the Babe told me when he got up early with the dogs; he made coffee and didn’t even turn on the television like usual. I’m happy for him. He wasn’t like that 27 years ago when we met. He never took a vacation day and stayed home. Long weekends? He’d go to Sioux Falls to visit family. Now? Our deck and patio feel like vacation every time we hit the chairs. Ahhhh. Cannot wait for the weather to break so we can do it again.

It’s amazing what you learn to do when you mature and age. Life is full of lessons along the way. When we think we know it all is when we know the least. As we admit we’re wrong often, we are free to absorb life and its lessons. As we learn, we grow.

I love the learning I’ve done since diving into this author part of my life. So much knowledge, so much more to learn. I love that the stories I tell are my own. While many memories may not have exact historical information in them, I believe that is not the point. The point is the memories and how you tell the stories of them. Some authors choose historical novels. Some historical fiction. I like historical fiction. Jennifer Chiaverini writes wonderful historical fiction. She began with the Civil war era, concentrating on the Lincoln administration and family. One I particularly enjoyed was “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.” I have others to read about World War Two and the resistance women.

Lots of quilting today. Might finish that tomorrow. Hoping so. Hope you had a productive weekend. I believe we did. Anyone else have ideas on what I might blog about? I’m collecting quite a few ideas. I appreciate and welcome your ideas. Take care, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there.

Unforgettable, Part II

We’re continuing with the Unforgettable Friends theme from yesterday. A good friend suggested we talk about the grief that can accompany the loss of those Unforgettable Friends.

Some are friends for certain times in our lives. They are with us for a season, for a reason, and they do not stay in our lives. We learn lessons, both good and bad, from having them in our lives. How do we deal with that?

Oh gosh, those who are friends for even a period of years, can have a positive effect on us, even sharing valuable life hacks with you when you need them. You can be friends for thirty years, Things can often change dramatically and you are no longer friends. You’re grateful for them when you were friends. The time is no longer right for you to be friends. You go your separate ways, and have no further contact. It happens, and usually it’s for the best.

We made room for other relationships. Sometimes the new people you meet are the ones you need right now in your life. You learn and grow further. God puts them there sometimes. Show your gratitude to them, to your higher power or God, and recognize the gift they are. You come to recognize those chance meetings are really part of a big picture.

Of course, we have lifelong friends. Those are hard to lose. Death, the final goodbye, is such a thief. Stolen from our lives and our hearts, grief from these losses can be crippling. The Babe and I have had substantial losses in the past three years. All ages, walks of life, and beliefs. Our veteran friends Nugent, Danny, Jay, Lenny, and Kenny. Our songwriting friend Rick Tiger. Our lifelong friends Lou, Janet and Patty. And work friends Gary, and Tony.

They have all left our lives and we miss the places they were filling. We cannot fill the emptiness they leave. Excesses does not fill the voids; alcohol, gambling, overeating, random encounters, etc. Some folks become angry, negative, and act out. There is no shame in needing to talk with someone. Many people claim talk doesn’t help. It does. Sharing helps us give voice to what we need, what we fear, and what we need to heal. If we don’t, we can cause lots of damage to others.

The damage can affect our children, our jobs, our personal lives, and our future happiness. After our dad died, I withdrew. I held back even from my kids. That was damaging to my daughter, who was the youngest. Losing my dad was so enormous, I wanted nothing else to hurt that bad. My grieving was not healthy. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about loss, grief, and going on. For my future, I hope knowledge will help me cope when I think I cannot. I learned the hard way, withdrawing is not a healthy way to deal with grief, no matter how big it is. It’s also part of why I became a Peer Support Specialist. I hope to be a listening ear for folks who need to talk. I’m available.

Katina, thank you for suggesting we write about this part of Unforgettable friends. We have wonderful memories of friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues. Those keep us, along with our faith we will all be together again. If you need help with grief, contact our friends at the Centering Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska. They are the oldest grief organization in the United States. They have been present with Gold Star Families, survivors of 9/11, Oklahoma City Bombing, and many other terrible disasters, losses, and attacks.

Have a beautiful Sunday. More quilting in my future today. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what I did while quilting. I’ve never done it in over 50 years of using a sewing machine. Such a deal! See you tomorrow! Thanks for being here. I appreciate all #1067 of you.

“Unforgettable Friends”

A friend and I talked today for the first time in quite a while. As we caught up, we laughed. I felt so much stress dissipate throughout my whole body. Thank you, my friend!

We talked about friends who are unforgettable. She asked me, “What makes a friend unforgettable? You should blog about that!”

What a great idea! Two great ideas!

First great idea? Ask for people to comment on things they’d like to read about. They can be story prompts, they can be questions about things like Unforgettable Friends, or they can even be general things about me – only politically correct questions, nothing creepy or inappropriate.

Second great idea? “Unforgettable Friends.”

The song, “Unforgettable,” came to fame by the most wonderful Nat “King” Cole singing it with his velvety voice. I remember hearing it as a child. Even though I was very young, I knew it was good. I just didn’t know why.

I remember being at our Uncle Joe Jewell’s home once. It must have been my cousin Jilla’s First Communion Party. Uncle Joe was playing some music on the hi-fi. He put on Nat “King” Cole, and told my dad, “This is the best singer that has ever lived.” I don’t remember what Dad said, but I know he was a huge Sinatra fan, as well as Big Band. He liked Elvis as well. I love the exposure we had to varied music while growing up.

As time went on, they encouraged Cole to move from the keyboard to standing while singing. He was expert at the lyrics of whatever he sang. He is one person with perfect pitch. Unbelievable and rare, but you know it when you hear it.

Unfortunately, race played a big part in his life: he couldn’t live in certain neighborhoods, stay at certain hotels, etc. What a black eye for America. We did that a lot, didn’t we?

Back to my friend and what makes you unforgetable?

The dictionary (remember that?) defines it as “not to be forgotten,” or “lasting in memory.” But what makes a person, a soul, a being, an entity UNFORGETTABLE?”

To me, an unforgettable person can be an excellent memory or a bad one. The first person I dated at 30 after being married for 12 years was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. I learned I was desirable as a woman, but that most of the guys I would meet, being who I was, wouldn’t be more than temporary for me. I had low self-esteem and was naïve. A terrible combination. But I learned quickly. Mark was certainly unforgettable, for the good and bad.

An unforgettable friend is one who you may grow up with. It could be someone who shares the angst of the teenage years. My friend Karen was the first person I wrote with. We would act out plays and talk about boys. We were early teens and searching for answers in life. When you find answers with a special friend, you find they are unforgettable.

Having friends from high school who you have first jobs with are unforgettable. You bond with in Spanish lecture, alphabetized by last name, can become unforgettable. And friends you still talk with after 50 years are the best. All unforgettable.

In my opinion, these things make my people unforgettable:

Sense of humor, loyalty, friendship, understanding, empathy, listeners, huggers, people who back you up no matter what, generosity, and those with similar values. Yes, they may have different political views than you, but you value their presence in your life. You both allow for off limits topics: politics, religion, etc. Both sides respect this. They value their bond too valuable to argue about something with no right side or wrong side. They agree to always be civil, respectful, and each place the same value on their friendship.

Don’t forget! Comment on a topic or question you’d like to see me blog about. We’ll pick some and go with it. It could be fun!

If you are lucky enough to have unforgettable people in your lives, you have a gift. They don’t have to be family. Treasure them. Consider yourself blessed. And let them know they’re important. Just as you must be to them. Have a beautiful Saturday. See you tomorrow!

Friday, What a Week!

Yes, it’s been quite a week. Two major things going on at once is rough. The Babe had his second followup yesterday, and today, the whole day is ours. I don’t want to leave home. I made Mom six grilled cheese sandwiches and she said to stay home. I need it. I’m staying home Monday, too. Then two days of stuff again. We’ll get through. Mom dubbed the Babe the “Fourth Man” of her four “man” team, of the Babe, Steve, Tim and me. We’ll get her through the changing times ahead.

All the learning in the world is no good if you cannot apply it. I’m amazed at how much writing has changed since the time I began my blog. If you are telling a story about something in your childhood, you are telling your recollection of how an event was explained to you or your recollection thereof. It may not be historically correct, it’s the story we are writing about. A lot of what we write is exactly that. It’s not meant to be a thesis, news story, or other report of fact. Recollections are different.

I started reading an old book today. It wasn’t required in high school, but I read it anyway, or so I thought. Let me tell you, I’m only twenty-one pages into the book, and it’s not anything I recall reading at all. Lots of life has been lived since then, and it’s no wonder the story didn’t remain familiary. It’s frightening, though. The thought-police are kind of all over the place now, and the world way different than when it was penned in 1945. Very thought-provoking. More on it later.

Due to the craziness in our life I’m calling it quits for today. Have a great rest of the day, and know we’ll see each other tomorrow. Take care, be safe out there.

Weekend, here we come!

Thursday, Post-Opt Visit

Busy day today. The Babe has a post-op followup to his second cataract surgery. All I can say is, it’s getting busy. We won’t have time to drop the Babe back at home before picking Mom up for a doctor’s appointment. Maybe we can do lunch if we don’t get a snowstorm. We’ve heard varying degrees of bad weather for tomorrow. Nothing sounds too bad, but we need to be prepared.

Scenes from an elders life:

It seems Mom let us know how she likes Fish Sandwiches from Burger King. Monday this week, she told me she doesn’t want them this week. It seems she had five brought to her last Friday. She’s kind of over them! I’m taking her some grilled cheese sandwiches this week. Hope she doesn’t get a dozen of those!

After finishing the book, “Broken Angels,” I’m a little puzzled about the critical reviews I’ve seen. I can only speculate the reviewers are young and don’t understand the scope and ramifications of the Holocaust, and the horrors of the death camps. My father was with Patton’s troops as they freed Auschwitz. He never told us about it, but an aunt said she asked him once. He went up to his library to get a book, which he loaned her to read. The book would tell her more than she wanted to know. I did not get the name of the book, and my aunt is no longer with us, either.

What evil my father saw, along with many, many young men. Throughout the wars of history, and “conflicts.” Anywhere men or women died, it is a war in my estimation.

I find it a little funny to see the commercial for the vision center who did the Babe’s cataract surgery. We’ve probably spent 5 or 6 hours there over the past two days. One of the frequent running commercials during the news hours is for the vision center. Perfect photos of the chair I sat in by the windows, but none of the Otis Spunkmeyer freshly baked cookies, baked fresh daily. Those are the cure for everything. Smells so good.

Not kidding. I’ve done zero quilting the past two days. It will be done when I can. Things are a little crazy at the moment. But I finished an enormous book. That counts. How about you? What will this fine Thursday find you doing? Tell me in the comments. Have a great day, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Hump Dayyy!

Hope you’re having a fabulous day on this fine Wednesday. It’s been so overcast in Nebraska it almost seems like the dark days of November.

It’s kind of ironic, we’re watching an old episode of COPS on Reelz. This was from the Y2K, before 9/11 occurred, and when people were still somewhat respectful of law enforcement. It seems longer and further away than 23 years.

The Babe had his first cataract surgery done yesterday. It is followed by the second surgery today. It is an amazing procedure. The surgeon is young and top shelf. You want a young doctor and an old lawyer. Makes all the difference in the world.

I hope after the Babe’s surgery today I have time to quilt a little. I have some appointments for Mom on Thursday and next Wednesday, along with a haircut next Tuesday. Another busy week when this one is only half over! I need to be twins; I think. It’s difficult to do any of my creative endeavors with all these life things. There may be a lot of changes made to our business plan for 2023. More on that later.

What is your favorite middle of the week dinner? We had crack crock-pot chicken about a month ago, and now, I’m thinking of making it again later this week. My mouth is watering just thinking of it. You take about four chicken breasts, put two 8 ounce bricks of creamed cheese on top, and sprinkle Ranch dressing mix over it all. Cook for 6 – 8 hours on low. Sprinkle with shredded cheese when finished. It is heavenly.

The book I’m reading, “Broken Angels,” by Gemma Liverio, is an amazing story. I haven’t read if it’s based on a true story, but it could be. The stories of the children, stolen from their families by Nazi soldiers and sent to camps for brainwashing using Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” are many. I’m sure that is true. Those poor children. Just as my heart breaks for the women and children in the Ukraine. War is hardest on them. When the war is over, they all have PTSD, and the soldiers experience it right along with them. So very sad. War, as they say, is hell.

The book is quite long, 458 pages. It’s the longest I’ve read. If I were smarter about it, I’d read 250 page books during the challenge. I had three books picked out to read during March, but I’m still on this long one. It was time well spent.

Well, I need to tend to the Babe today. He deserves it, but don’t tell him I said so. I’ll be able to see those mesmerizing Paul Newman blue eyes just like when we met, 27 years ago. He didn’t wear glasses then, and man, he had a gaze that was arresting. Lucky me.

Hope you’re having a good Hump Day, and you have some time with special people this week. See you tomorrow.

Another Great Day This Week

Here are some positive thoughts for you on this delightful Tuesday. Waking up every day, we receive our first gift. Making the day as good as possible is our gift back to God. How?

As an example, last week, our coffee pot stopped working. It didn’t keep the coffee hot after it brewed. What? Oh wow. I suppose we had our use of the Bunn coffee pot. About five years’ worth. Not much, but we made three pots a day. They don’t make things like they used to. We were grateful we could go buy a new coffee pot without waiting until payday, like when we were young.

That same day? We discovered another appliance wasn’t working, and it tripped the circuit breaker. What? Darned crock pot. Wassup? Oh. Crock pot quit working. To not burn the house down, it tripped the circuit breaker, cutting electricity. Yay! Not a problem. That’s why God invented Air Fryers. No further incidents. Gosh, they spared us really terrible stuff, and we only have inconveniences. God is so good.

So, today and tomorrow, the Babe has cataract surgery. He’s been having an awful time with his vision lately. I’m glad he has a good eye doc/surgeon/ and eyeglass place. We are glad to have who we have to help us out. We’ll highly recommend our people once we know we can.

The Babe and I have some things to get taken care of before his surgery this afternoon. Sorry I abbreviate this morning, we have a lot to handle before this afternoon. Have a beautiful day, and a great tomorrow. See you then.