A little slice of life

It’s been a weird month.

I’m a little scattered so instead of a thoughtful, cowboy centered, post with humor and heart.

I’m just going to list my odd December life.

My 92 year old mother, before she got locked down last March, with 10 of her 28 great-grandchildren…and three of her 29 grandchildren.

My mom had Covid-19. She was asymptomatic but she was isolated in her room at the nursing home she lives in and it was terrible for her.

She’s well now and back with her roommate. The nursing home was hit hard enough they are slow opening things up again. But as of yesterday, lunch is in the dining room instead of Mom being served a meal alone in her room. They have activities and a regular afternoon coffeetime all in the dining room and that’s going again.

I hope she gets some energy back. I’ve been going to see her, through her window, talking on her phone or FaceTime, she has an iPad but can’t use it, but the staff helps her answer and gets it situated, and it’s usually at least a little successful.

It’s cold here now in Nebraska so the window visits aren’t able to be very LONG these days. I went to see her yesterday and stood in 23 degrees for a while. Considering people go to Nebraska Cornhusker football games (in better years–Covid’s put the kibosh on that this year) and sit for three plus hours in this weather, I’m a major wimp if I can’t stand outside my mom’s window for a while.

A saying in Nebraska…there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.

I saw an eagle yesterday. I live in a place where you can stop in the road, sit there for many minutes, and snap pictures of eagles and no one comes along. 

So the upside of country life…seeing eagles and stopping in the road, is also the downside of country life, if you need help on the road, because you’re alone, no one is there to help. But if someone DOES come along, you will always know them and they will always help you.

Also, I did Nano in November. A large part of my December weirdness, because I wrote a LOT, pretty successful for me. I’m a dependable 1000 words a day person, but for Nano, National Novel Writing Month, I hit about 40,000 words and only now do I realize it was so “Full Steam Ahead” that I didn’t do the revising-as-I-write thing I usually do. So I am REVISING all these 40,000 words and I’m finding ridiculous mistakes and so MANY of them. Yeesh. Example:

He was sure they were sisters. And well-off gentile sisters.
Another one that drove me nuts and I KNOW BETTER:
I named a character Cap. He was a former captain in the army, served in the Civil War.
Okay, dates were failing me. He can’t have served in the civil war, he’d be too old for my purposes.
Frontier forts? Nope. Okay, forget Cap.
So I changed his name to Zane.
And I did a find and replace for Cap to Zane.
To my surprise (duh) I changed every Cap in the book to Zane including the letters ‘cap’ tucked into the middle of longer words.
In my revisions I’ve now found esZaneed, and just now Zaneable
escaped, capable? It turns out I have three sisters…runaway brides and they did a LOT of escaping………….


Also at times, disguised as servants my heroines wore mob caps. or should I say Zanes….shaking my head. So many typos–beyond the Zane nonsense. So much annoying madness, it slowed me down fixing it until I’m not sure Nano even sped my writing up.

What else? My Christmas gifts are wrapped, my tree is up. Very minimal decorating this year, and that’s from a woman who does minimal every year, so that’s saying something. But no one is coming here. Unless the UPS man peeks through the window in the front door…which would be creepy…and yet…at least someone would see my tree!

And that include me…the tree lights show through the window but only I turn them on. So yesterday I turned them on and left the house (the eagle viewing) and thought,..when I come home, I’ll see my own lights.

Except I was home and inside and after about an HOUR I realized I forgot to look at the lights when I drove in…which probably means they aren’t real noticable, right?

So looking forward to a probably very quiet Christmas. And hopefully a huge improvement in 2021. 

And a new series begins in March.



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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

35 thoughts on “A little slice of life”

  1. I’m SO glad life is slowly returning to normal for your mom. Your glimpse into her world was fascinating. We were all worried about her. I hope your Christmas will be a bit more merrier knowing that she is doing a bit better.

    Merry Christmas, Mary!

    • Hi Pam. It’s so weird she had it and had no symptoms. How can a 92 year old manage that? She’s honestly, a very healthy woman. Increasingly unsteady so she’s wheelchair bound. But heart? Lungs? She’s really just very healthy.

  2. Oh My the word replacement, how frustrating. I’m still not sure what our holiday is going to be like. We want to go to my parents like we do every year but that may not happen due to Covid.

    • I ho0e you have a Very Merry Christmas! It is going to be a very sad Christmas for those in nursing homes that are used to lots of visits, parties, carolers…

      • I know sejoc, the isolation, it’s been so bad for her. And talking to her through glass reminds me so much of PRISON. The staff at the home works so hard, I know they’re overwhelmed and just following the guidelines they’ve been given but it’s a terrible situation.

  3. 2020 has for sure been weird. So glad your mom was asymptomatic. I tested positive right before having my baby. Never had any symptoms either. But it certainly made my delivery experience weird.

    • Jess! No symptoms? Not even fatigue? Can’t imagine being sick added to the exhaustion of a new baby. God bless you.
      My niece had covid, discovered while she was in labor! My nephew had it at home and they knew there was exposure. But they got through it and my brother FINALLY after at least two weeks (It’s honestly more like six I think, but nephew was almost well when his wife got it, then they have a two year old, but I never heard he got it, but they kept extending and extending the quarantine time. Finally my brother got to hold his new grandbaby!!!

  4. Thank you, Mary. Always good to hear from you in another venue. Glad to hear your mom is better.
    Everything has changed, hasn’t it? We need to hunker down and cherish what we still have.
    Have a wonderful if scaled down holiday if I don’t talk to you again.
    Kathy Bailey
    Your Kaybee

    • I’m one of eight kids. We grew up only knowing my grandmothers. My own kids had the full set of grandparents and when they were very young two great-grandmothers.
      Now my grandkids have the full set of grandparents and had years with at least a few great-grandparents. The older people are living longer and that’s such a gift and blessing.

  5. Merry Christmas! This covid has been so hard on everyone. My 82 year old MIL has had it and she is better but still not eating much. Not sure what Christmas is going to be like. I did put some lights outside and put up a little tree. Its just not going to be the same.

  6. Merry Christmas. I can totally understand with your mom. My mother in law is locked down in her retirement community. No leaving for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Too many residents and employees getting covid. Sigh. This is so tough on these people. We do what we can. Thank goodness for the phone. I am happy that your mom is well again. My mother in law went through a tough time physically because all the lock down was effecting her mentally which translated to effecting her physically. And if she left to see a doctors she was quarantined in her room for 14 days. Sigh Oh my, you will get through this with “Zane” I personally have a love/hate relationship with my computer. Thank goodness my husband is an IT person and works at home. He helps me so much. I look forward to your new series.

  7. So glad your mom was asymptomatic rather than suffering with Covid! The lockdowns are so hard on our kids and elderly. I’m especially grateful for the special spirit of Christmas this year. So excited for your new books!!!

  8. Merry Christmas! Thank you for brightening my day with your blog from the heart. The best kind. Enjoyed your pictures too. I enter a journey dealing with breast cancer on Monday. So I will be laying low for several months. It will be my joy to visit Petticoats and Pistols everyday. God is with me and I will find my joy somehow working through this journey. Give your sweet mom a gentle hug. So hard for our loved ones.

  9. Mary, I’m so happy your mom got out of quarantine! Woo-Hoo! Being isolated like that is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Bar none. It can take sure a toll on a person’s mind. Congratulations on the new book and new series coming! That looks soooo good. Merry Christmas my Filly sister.

    • Thanks, Linda. Talking to you about your isolation has helped me keep struggling to be in contact with Mom. 29 degrees out today but I bundled up and stood outside her window. She can’t hear well and we use the phone or the iPad and Facetime but she STILL can’t hear well. But I think of you and I just keep going even when it’s hard!
      God bless you for sharing your own struggles.

  10. I am so happy that your mom is doing good, God Bless her sweet heart,Thanks be to God. Your books sound like Great reads. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. God Bless you and your family.

    • Hi Alicia. Have a wonderful Christmas…the best one you can manage this year.
      I think my books are a lot of fun. Try one, through the library or interlibrary loan. If you like them, I’ve got 64 books published. I can keep you entertained for a LONG TIME!

  11. It is wonderful that your Mother pulled through so well. That generation was and is tough. I am glad the home is able to start some social activities for the residents. That is so necessary for most people, especially those who are older and do not do well insulation.
    The old haste makes waste adage is true. I think the corrections and rewrites would be more annoyingly difficult than the original writing. The new sister series sounds good. I like the covers for the new brother series and am sure it will be good.
    You are ahead of me. No tree up yet this year and I don’t think there will be one. I have a 2 foot tree stored somewhere and if anything, that will be what we have. We did get the big outside wreath and the lights around the porch up at Thanksgiving . so that is something. I will miss the children and their families this year, but we will plan a celebration when we can safely get together.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and a terrific 2021.

  12. I am so glad your Mom is doing better. My Mom is in a rehab section. This is her second trip this fall. She is in now because of large kidney stones that made her septic. She cannot have the stones crushed until January 6. The center she is in is not allowing any visitation even through the window. We can Facetime, Zoom and speak on the phone. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

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