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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kansas City Royals 2015 World Champions!

Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals Team and fans! I watched the team win the World Series back in 1985, and it was a sight to behold!  But I had even more appreciation for it this year.  I didn't get to watch all the games, due to some technical problems with my internet and tv, but I did get to stay up to watch the last game from beginning to end. It was awesome!

On the other hand, I was very disappointed in the way the newspapers flailed the Mets for losing the series. The headlines were horribly insulting and sounded very "sour grapes". Royals fans have had their ups and downs, with many seasons being more losing than winning, but I've not seen the bitterness and just plain meanness displayed by the Eastern papers.

Teams need their fan support.  The Royals, the Chiefs, and our Kansas collegiate football and basketball teams, as well as teams in other sports will have our support, always. Win or lose. Because it's the way we believe. 

Retiring From Nursing: But Not From Life

As of midnight, Halloween night, I am no longer a registered nurse. I enjoyed my 24 year nursing career. It gave me a feeling of identity. I loved helping others. I miss that feeling of being knowledgeable and being the "go to" person in our family for health care advice. My daughter, Becky, has taken over that role, and she is even better at it than I ever dreamed I would become.

But, even though I am no longer able to practice nursing, that doesn't mean my life is over. Not by a long shot! I am now volunteering for church activities, school promotions, and civic affairs. I have, per hubby's request, discontinued my sales of costume jewelry, home scents, and other direct marketing products. He believed all that lifting during setting up for parties and events and taking it all back down to be hard on my already damaged back, and I agree.  Online sales have not been sufficient to keep me busy, so I am retiring from all of that business.

What I am focusing on now, is my art and my writing.  I remain President of the Clifton Art Buffs, a post I have held for over 12 years.  I am excited about the possibility of getting back into my oil painting and watercolors, which I have neglected for many years. My difficulty is in finding a place to do my painting where I can leave my work set up. My kitchen table offers a central place to work, but requires taking everything down and putting it away at mealtime.  My basement is too dark.  But I plan on fighting these obstacles and doing the work I love regardless of the inconvenience.

My writing is much easier to manage, because all I need is my laptop and a good supply of paper and ink for my printer. I have a young adult novel that is close to completion of the first draft, at any rate. I want to finish it before the end of the year. That will be my focus, to finish that first draft by the end of this year. So, if you don't see me on Facebook as much as I was, that is why. I still check Facebook almost daily, but I wait until after my other chores and duties are done. 

My dogs are very supportive. They are content to lie on the floor at my feet or on the loveseat beside me while I write. They guard the door and let me know if anyone is at the door, or if a cat or squirrel is outside in the yard. They are very good at their jobs. 

Dennis is gone most of the week in the truck. When he is home, if we aren't gallivanting around doing shopping or errands, he is glued to the tv, while I am on my computer. It all works out very well.

Anyway, I need to get back to my story, A Door In Time. Hopefully, you will get to read it on your Kindle or in paperback form soon. That is my goal.  I might even create a series of Door in Time novels. That would be fun. Catch you later!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Memory Lane has changed for this Living Fossil!

Tonight I tried taking a trip down memory lane. But my memories are a lot different from present day reality.  I went to bingo.

Back in the early 1970s, my mother in law loved going to bingo, and to keep her company, I usually went along.  She  usually drove her car.  I drove by myself tonight, but I thought of her as I drove. It felt a little strange.

First I stopped at Walmart to pick up a couple of things I forgot on my last trip to town. As I was leaving, my daughter in law stood just outside the door visiting with a mutual friend. We talked for a few seconds and she complimented me on my outfit. I thanked her and told her I was going to bingo. Then I asked her to come with me.  She seemed happy to be invited.  She had a little shopping to do, so I told her I'd go on ahead and she could meet me at the Legion hall.

I drove to the Legion and parked in front. I was surprised to be able to park so closely, because years ago, when I went with Georgia, my mother in law, we sometimes had to park in the next block and walk, it was so crowded.

I walked in the door to the hall, and immediately noticed a big difference.  Before, the sturdy cardboard cards, with little red plastic windows over the numberswere all piled on top of a few long tables, which overflowed onto the floor.  Women and some men, sorted through the pile, searching for those favorite cards.  My mother in law, usually watched for certain numbers or sets of numbers in the corners of the cards. For instance, the card with all fives in the corners, 5, 15, 65, and 75, would be a huge favorite of hers. All threes, fours, twos and ones were also favorites. Next she would make sure she had at least one of every number from 1 to 75. She played between 8 and 12 cards every game. The cards cost $1 for the first card, and 50 cents for each additional card.  The games paid around $10 to $25 per game. 

Now, there were no tables in the hallway, and the cards were now paper, three cards to a sheet or more, some in pads of several thicknesses, some were single sheets of various sizes.  The sheets were $1 for the small single sheets, and $13 (gasp) for the larger sheet pads.  There was also a white sheet with all the games for the evening listed, like a program. I bought at least one of each, and found a place to sit, where I could spread out a bit, with room for Jackie to sit when she arrived. 

I also bought a purple ink dauber bottle for a dollar.  Gee, this is costing a lot more than I had expected. But looking at the program, I see the games pay out $30 to $50 for the regular games, and the jackpots were $950, $450, and $300.  Definitely better payouts..if you win.

I read for a while, checked my cell phone for messages, made a to do list for tomorrow, and then started reading in my paperback novel again. Jackie arrived about 15 minutes before bingo was due to start.

It was a little confusing at first, trying to figure out which cards are to be used for which games, what the special games actually were, and learning how to daub the numbers without soaking the page below the top level..but we soon were comfortable with it. We had some great help from a friend of Jackie's. Several people from our hometowns were there, so we did have some support of sorts.

We didn't win anything tonight, even though I just knew I was going to win that $950...NOT!  LOL!

We did get invited to come back by  our friends and even asked to ride with one of them, so will think about that prospect. Since I have retired, I'm becoming quite the hermit, and I start thinking of my two shih tzus as human.  So it is time to get out a little more.

I may start going to the convent to go swimming too.  Haven't decided about that yet.  

Anyway, the culture shock is starting to wear off, and I'm already thinking of how to make my next bingo experience more comfortable and more profitable.  Here's to Memory Lane!  Even with the changes, it was good to revisit.  Night all!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Writing is My Passion

Having just finished another session of F2K3 in WVU, I am currently enrolled in another class at WVU (Writers Village University) entitled  F300 Crafting Stories for Children.

Wait? What is F2K3?  I'm sorry. That is a free fictionwriting class sponsored by WVU four times a year.  I have been an intern and a mentor in F2K3 off and on for several years now. I took the class myself many times over the years since my first time back in 1998.

I retook the class this last session as a refresher class..to get back to the basics.  My writing has been on the shelf for quite a while, due to moving, surgeries, illnesses, new grandchildren, my pets, and the demands of a career heading south.

I had to retire from my nursing career, due to my  health and physical impairments, but am not disabled to the point of qualifying for a disability.  So, a friend and I decided to join forces and we opened Eagles Nest Boutique, a little shop on the main street of Clyde, Kansas.  We sell Paparazzi Jewelry & Accessories, Pink Zebra home fashion scents, purses, wallets, scarves, knick knacks, my paintings and drawings, crafts, and home decor items.

I can't say it's been easy.  We almost closed the doors last month, but were granted a reprieve by the landlord, who agreed to work with us on the rent.  So we're staying open for a while longer, and praying that business picks up, so we won't have to close later down the road.

In the meantime, I hope to spend some of my quiet time at the shop on those "slow" days, doing more art and writing. One of my new year's resolutions was to do the things I like to do more often. Enjoy life.

My husband is out working himself half to death just to keep my health insurance paid until I turn 65 in 2016.  I'm already on early Social Security benefits, which aren't making me rich by any means, but it does pay a bill or two. 

I'm praying that our government doesn't steal what little retirement money I have left.  I've had to cash in several retirement funds just to keep the bills paid during our medical catastrophies. I have one left, and I'm hanging on to it with every bit of strength I have left.

Ok, so I'm done whining.

My next post will be a story I wrote a while back.  It's a kind of thriller story I wrote for a flash fiction class.  I hope you get a little chill from it. ;)