(Mumbling) Monday?

It could have been. It very easily could have been. Instead, I forgave myself for being human. For sometimes forgetting where I’ve put things. It’s happened a couple times. The first time, I found what I was looking for by simply moving something else. Like magic! There it was.

The second time wasn’t as magical. I emptied the middle desk drawer in the Babe’s office, and for the life of me, I couldn’t find our Safe Deposit Keys. Oh boy, this will be expensive. Not good. I proceeded to beat myself up, which was old behavior. I could feel my normal good mood start to ebb. It’s going to be rain all day, don’t need it to be in a bad mood! NO! I called the Babe.

He immediately encouraged me. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s ok. Really? Well, yes. Yes it is. Not a big deal. I came in off the ledge. As we were talking, I mentioned some things we had at home that I would place back in the Safe Deposit Box. Passports. Other important papers. I went to the jewelry armoire and opened the bottom drawer. I removed the travel belt I received from a friend’s belongings after she died. It has two pockets. One pocket had the Passports. The other? It had the Bank Envelope with the Safe Deposit Box Keys in it. I thanked our friend Sharon Reidmann over and over for helping St. Anthony find my “lost” items. Whew! I can almost hear Sharon tell me, “You need to be neater.” True. I do. Working on it.

Note to self: Start writing down where we hide stuff. We’re getting to that age where we honestly may not remember everything as we used to. Better safe than sorry! My Catholic upbringing yielded a quick prayer to the Saint in charge of lost items. We Catholics have a Saint for everything. Thank goodness. Not sure who the Saint is for memory. Anyone?

Easter will be upon us in another couple weeks. Growing up Catholic, we learned about all the days surrounding Easter. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and how we remembered each of them on their own special days. There was a lot of ritual connected with them, and somehow, I miss all that. My older brother was an altar boy, I was a choir girl, and our presence was expected at all these ceremonies. We were there, front and center.

Two years in a row, my mother became deathly ill, and we went to stay at our Grandma Jewell’s, while Mom was in the hospital. First time, on Palm Sunday, she had a bad gall bladder attack. She had surgery the next day, and was hospitalized for over a week. The Second time, she was hospitalized and put in traction for her back. Bed rest and traction, along with muscle relaxers ruled her life for another week. She repeatedly counted the tiles in the ceiling. She truly thought she’d go insane.

We attended Grandma’s Church for all the services on those special days. We must have been out of school, but I truly don’t recall getting the whole week off, usually we had school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and were out Thursday and Friday. Grandpa had already passed away, so I know he wasn’t available to take us to school. I’ll have to check on those details.

When the third year rolled around, we were wondering what would cause Mom to be hospitalized that year? It became sort of a joke, wondering what would happen next. Nothing ever did. Good thing, Dad was lost without her to keep the house running smoothly. She did a good job.

As I remain grateful for finding my lost item, thank you for reading today. Take it easy on yourself first. Then a deep breath and calm down. You will find what is lost, even if it’s yourself! Thank you for reading. I appreciate it more than you know. Find some brightness in this gloomy day. The grass will need mowing if the rain keeps up! Take care of each other out there. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Courteous. See you tomorrow!

Buyer, Beware!

I think part of the responsibility of membership in various author groups is to alert others new to this business of scams. Since my attorney is taking care of all the fees, filing fees, and any other costs associated with establishing Jewell Publishing, LLC, I became suspicious of four official looking letters I’ve received since the first of the month.

Of the four photos above, the two middle ones are the only legit paperwork. In fact, they’re the same letter, just zoomed in. The far left and far right are scammers, trying to get money from a newcomer to the publishing business, namely, me. I’m glad I could ask my attorney about them. Two were requests for publishing notices, which the attorney is doing, one is demanding I purchase a Labor Law poster for $94. The Name Publishing Company wants another $117. The four notices could have cost as much as hiring an attorney to tend to your business.

Just a caution, folks. Sometimes in our excitement, we forget to question things. Sometimes we believe things are legit when they’re not. I would not want other newbies to fall for scams. I hope it helps you!

On a lighter note, have I told you about the VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard ammo? The Honor Guard, when attending to a Veterans funeral rites, fire three volleys. It it NOT a 21-gun salute. It is three volleys. 21-gun salutes are reserved for the President, and heads of state. In reality, if eight guys are firing, you have a 24-gun salute. It’s a common misconception. I just learned the real story a couple years ago.

In order to fire these three volleys, they need blank ammunition. Where do we get it? From the DOD (Department of Defense). There are rules to follow when ordering the ammo. It needs to be delivered to an address where someone can receive it and sign for it. The first time the Babe ordered it and had it sent to our address, I was shocked. The Fed Ex guy was bringing two wooden boxes of clearly marked “Ammunition” to our house. I signed, then closed the door.

“Hey, Babe, what’s with the Ammunition delivery? We don’t have a firearm, do we?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot to tell you.” He then explained the rules, and it was fine. I’ve received many boxes of ammo since then. Usually the delivery guy will put it in the back of my SUV. At that height, it’s easier for the Babe to move it to his car. In fact, there are two boxes of it in the back of my Honda Passport right now.

Yep, I’m Sure The Delivery Guys Wonder.

Right after I finished yesterday’s blog, the delivery came. I had to head up to Walmart for our grocery order. I didn’t think twice about the two boxes of ammo in the cargo space. As I looked in the rear view mirror as the back door opened, I saw the Walmart employee do a double take. It was humorous to say the least.

I wonder if he told anyone, “Yeah, this Grandma looking lady had two boxes of ammo in her trunk. Wonder what she’s doing with that?”

“You’ll never believe what I saw in a car when I was loading a grocery order.”

It is kind of funny. There is a shooting range about six blocks from Walmart. This is how stories get started, you know? It just takes one odd thing we want to expand on. Footprints in the snow. A dog whining and acting nervous. You can create a great story and watch it grow.

Today is the third day of five for a Facebook Group session on Write Without The Fight. We’re learning to identify our style and work through impasses in our working. Trouble for me is, just as I use both sides of my brain, creative and logical, I also can use different thinking styles: Fast or Slow paced, Divergent or Convergent, and Ideate and Implement when necessary. I’m not bragging here, I just cannot pick one I do best and one I do worst. I’ll have to ask Julia Roberts, the facilitator, if that’s possible. I do think it’s from working in IT. We would have to do all these things at once to solve problems.

What a difference a year makes?

25 pounds lost, a business founded, and a kids book nearing publishing. It’s been a good year.

Thank you for reading today. Watch out for scams, whatever you do! And just think of the stories lying about, waiting to be told, embellished, and turned into novels. I need to put all the backup papers into the storage boxes, and claim our kitchen table back from the tax prep man. See you tomorrow! Make it a great day. Be Safe.

Monday, Full of Promise

Good morning, from the sunny Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. If you don’t appreciate the beautiful blue I can see this morning, I’ll say a prayer for you. It’s been dark and overcast for a few days. Even without talking with Mom, I know she’s grateful for more light to maneuver around in. It also makes the day go faster, your internal clock gets off kilter with too much darkness. Hang in there, Mom!

Listening to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen right now, “Letter to You.” It’s a nice collection, all what I would expect from him in his later years – he’s 71 years old. The words ring true in my heart right now, as I listen. We all have fears and doubts that haunt us right now.

I see it through the eyes of a believer in God. He provides for us, maybe not what we want, but what we need. We sometimes don’t know the difference between the two. It’s amazing if you’ve seen His timing in your life. An event can happen that puts you on a totally different yet much better path than you are on at the time.

I put my worries in God’s hands right now. I don’t know how we will end up at the end of the week, but I cannot drive myself crazy about it. What good does that do any of us? Our mental stability is shattered and that is when trouble happens. We hear all sorts of rumors and dis-information, I don’t trust most things I read online anymore. And television news? I think not. I suppose my information will all become “after the fact,” and my primary concern is for law enforcement in Washington DC, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and all the other agencies who are keeping order in our nation’s capitol until after the Inauguration. I hope Biden and Harris help us settle down. He is my president, whether I voted for him or not. Let’s just move ahead.

I had a noon class today with the Storyteller Academy. It’s a free, seven day series of classes about Picture Books. I gleaned something very important during the class today. Jim Averbeck mentioned you need to consider the child’s emotions. I’m so glad to hear this. It is about the child, and things which may evoke some strange feelings they are unfamiliar with. My book talks about loss, and how they feel. It is offering ideas to cope and heal, too. It’s a topic people don’t like to talk about, which is exactly why we need to talk about it. Grief can derail your life if you don’t know how to handle it.

Let’s have a positive attitude for the rest of the day. I’ve accomplished a lot, although I wish I could have published this sooner in the day. I’m plotting about how to do more in a week than we do now, and if it’s possible. These books won’t write themselves!

Thank you for reading today, we’ll see each other tomorrow! Be Safe. Hugs and Love to all of you.

Countdown to Christmas

No, I’m not telling you to hurry and buy something. This isn’t about that part of Christmas. It’s about a subtle yet important part of the holiday for music lovers. I believe the backgrounds of all our lives has the same commonality; some of the most beautiful music of the world.

When I grew up in the late 1950s and 1960s, public schools still sang religious songs; God was present in all schools. Of course, we parochial school kids had more of the religious singing, but we all knew the songs we heard on television, radio, and retail stores since the 1950s. Yes, Muzak was around then. They also used it in work environments to increase productivity.

Maybe I brainwash myself when I write, I do so much better while listening to music. Today’s music to blog by is Ray Scott. He is a country artist, and I love his storytelling. You want to hear a dominant voice, a funny story, listen to Ray. He will have a new album soon, I’m in. And, as an old lady I knew once said, “He’s easy on the eyes, too.” She was a riot, so prim and proper, yet there she was, making observations you’d expect to hear from a 20 something.

So while cleaning the bathroom this morning, I was listening to one of my favorite traditions on Christmas; which sadly doesn’t happen anymore. I’ll save that one for later, but I sat down and listed some songs I think of at Christmas. They may not be on everyone’s list, but they’re around us. Too early (like before Halloween). One of them is “Deck the Halls,” by Omaha’s own Mannheim Steamroller. Chip Davis came out with this unique sound in the 80s, and is world-known for his trademark sound. I believe he doesn’t play concerts anymore, years of playing drums have caused some orthopedic issues in his cervical spine; I empathise with him. It must be so hard to give up what you love.

What is up for your Saturday? The Babe and I have a major cleaning of the house scheduled as soon as he gets home. I miss the cleaning ladies, but I don’t miss having a little extra money in my pocket. I’m using it for my online writing classes and tutorials. It’s all about compromise and imposing limits on yourself.

We’re cooking a bunch of chicken pieces to eat on salads over the next few days. The diet’s going pretty well. We both want to stay on it, and it’s easier with a buddy who cooperates with the plan. My ex husband was a thin wiry guy. Even before I was overweight, he made comments about my weight, a “should you eat this?” kind of guy. He ate constantly and just burned it up. The Babe’s not been like that in all the time I’ve known him. What a kind man he is. I always tell him, “You’re my favorite husband.”

Getting There, One Pound at a Time!

I read in my “Days of Healing Days of Joy: Daily Meditations of Adult Children of Alcoholics,” how we all make a difference. We can be an example of positivity in someone’s life; or we can be agents of hurt. There are four ways to do that. I’ve lived through all four, folks. And it’s so good to recognize those aren’t the way to treat people; and it for darned sure isn’t the way to treat yourself. Let’s work on these things the last seven days until Christmas. Make your world brighter. And some else’s, too.

  • Criticizing: It’s our not our business nor our place to judge other people. If you make rude comments in public about morbidly obese people, you’re wrong. Keep quiet. You can be totally wrong about “how they got like that.”
  • Insulting: Snide comments rob people of their dignity. Nothing gives you the right to blurt out things to another, especially in front of other people. It damages their self-esteem.
  • Name-Calling: You’re not “only kidding.” This is abuse. And you’re abusive. Knock it off.
  • Ignoring: Why be indifferent to someone? Why give someone reason to doubt their value? Who put you in charge? Ignoring people can lead them to question their own value. If you say, “Good morning,” to a homeless person gives them value and dignity. Try it.

Our thoughtlessness and bad habits have more effect on people than we think. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Especially during this time of Love and Joy. Be Safe, Wash Up, Masks Where They Belong; I’m looking forward to 2021, and I’d like all of you in it, too. See you tomorrow.

Monday Morning

What a beautiful sight outside! I still love fluffy snow. It looks wonderful, magical, and almost romantic. The wonders of nature amaze me every day. Every day I live, I try to find something that is wondrous, beautiful, and majestic. My God is that way.

Later today, we’re going to our daughter’s home for dinner with family. Our son from DC will be in town, it’ll be nice to see him. It’s been over a year since we saw him and his family. They will remain home, quarantining and distance learning. President Trump will do a stopover at the airport tomorrow, so they must prepare things for him. He won’t stay long, just speak and leave. That’s fine. Unsure if Blake will leave tomorrow or Wednesday. Family is everything, and we make the most of the times like these. Sending hugs to those who couldn’t be here.

I’m really dug into reading Kaye Gibbons’ book, Emma Foster. It’s a sad but very good story. A young girl overcomes terrible circumstances to rise above her plight in life. Her father, a terrible alcoholic, her mother dies, the estranged grandmother interferes every way she can, and the little girl, Emma, matter-of-factly handles everything. She is brutally honest. It is amazing how mature she is. She has to be. It speaks to how people can rise above their circumstances. Something told this little girl how to stay safe from her father. He was a beast. She often wished him dead. She thought of killing him, as if that were her only way out of this terrible situation. It resolved itself, thanks to her teachers noticing how Emma came to school after her mother’s death. She had bruises on her, and she told exactly how they happened. She hid from her father often and had little to eat.

The story takes place in the South, and the usual white attitudes exist in her mind about “colored” people. She questions the segregation, as her best friend is a black girl. The girls’ family is kind to her. She wonders why she shouldn’t “mix” with them. They are good people. I hope to finish it this afternoon and start its sequel, “All the Life Around Me, by Ellen Foster.” The writing takes you away. I want to learn how to do that. Excellent advice from Sam, my writing coach.

Only one of my to be read piles

Over the winter, I hope to find some bookcases I like for our family room. I have not unpacked my books from the move four years ago. I will donate many, such as quilt books I’ll never use, novels I doubt I’d read again. Even donating things like these will free up space and make me more settled. We rarely use the boxes of toys for the grandkids. They’re all outgrown.

I have a mat for the floor, which looks like a little town. Kayla will receive that, and I’ll probably send her a few little cars for it. Gavin used to set it on our coffee table, and pay with it. Roxie used to steal a car from it and run. Gavin called her SWIPER. He laughed once he decided he couldn’t get her to stop. She let him have the car. She just wanted a little adventure, I guess.

Yes, time is fleeing too quickly. One personal mission is for me to make more time in the day. I need to find time to get more things accomplished. Most people waste some time. The mindset is, “I can do whatever I want, I’m retired.” True, but will you finish things you want to? Will you explore all the nooks and crannies of the earth you want to see? If not, better get started. I’d hate to have you miss it, too. Let’s move forward, even if we are retired!

Thank you for reading today. There will be more tales tomorrow, and I hope to see you here then. Don’t eat any yellow snow! Just be careful out there. Don’t break anything. Please. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Simple Saturday

Many things are swirling around in my head this morning. Lots has occurred in the last 24 hours. First thing I’m thinking of my cousin Mike and how grateful they must be to have pulled off two wedding receptions in August and early September now that COVID is peaking again in Nebraska. Rules for bars are again, mask to enter building and leave, and mask to walk around in building.No more standing room only events. Events must drop to below 50% capacity. I would not be surprised if the bars and schools be closed again before Thanksgiving to slow the spread again. Our hospitals are nearing a much higher capacity than they want. I just pray to God we can get the election done, in the books, and move on to whatever is next.

Photo by Annie D on Pexels.com

Second, I’m thinking about Estes Park. It is one of our favorite places to make a destination. We love the nature, beauty, scenery, and people. Always something interesting going on. Flood visited there a few years ago, and now a two month old wildfire is calling for evacuations. Prayers for those folks, their families, property, and the wildlife. It all suffers during events like this.

Third, we had a great Post and Auxiliary meeting last week. Ron Hernandez, the founder of Moving Veterans Forward in the Omaha/Papillion area spoke to us about the Victory Apartments, and the other opportunities that are available for the Post to help him get off the ground that will serve Veterans locally. I see a lot of opportunity here for us and I’m excited about it.

I have some things to update for our Post website, and need some lessons from our Web Host, Image Masters. Luckily, the host with the most is my brother in law, Brad Shuck, and he’s always willing to teach me more about how the website works and can work. Great guy. Great photographer, too. He’s in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Check out his work.

Today is the day to make good on my intentions to bring in any plant that will perish with a frost. We’re due anytime, and I have some succulents that will be great inside the house. I don’t want to lose them. That’s for a little later on, and I might let them sit after spraying them for bugs to see what comes out, if anything. Then the transplanting can happen.

Even if we’re quarantined again it won’t be so bad. I’m already looking at grocery delivery, that’s the one thing I’m no longer crazy about doing. It’s kind of a hassle, and hard for me to carry a lot in from the car, after picking it up to put it in the cart, unloading cart, reloading cart with bags, putting bags in the car, that’s a lot of lifting and moving the same stuff to get home. I need to consult with our daughter Tracy to see how we can get started. She’s on to all the shopping stuff. Bless her!

Gavin Has Been Such a Blessing For Our Pups. And Organic Bones.

I’m organizing all my social media marketing information today, too. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are both used by the Post and by me as an Author. I’m starting up on both of them, so I figure planning them side by side should work. They are both meant to give exposure to the target audience. The Facebook is pretty well established for the Post, and my author page could use some boosting. I still have some online training to review and add to the plans, so that will be some good stuff to sit by the fire and do while the Babe watches football. This is what life is meant for. Being together and getting things accomplished. I’m grateful.

The second chapter seems to be pretty good so far. It’s about 1900 words, which is pretty fair. I don’t want to get hung up on word count, so I’m planning a little ahead. I don’t want to go much further than Chapter 3 before next Sunday night when I send Sam Tyler, my Book Coach, the updated versions for her feedback. I’ve mentioned before, if I’m way off track, I’d rather have just a chapter or two to rewrite than the whole book. Makes sense.

The Babe made some stellar Beef Vegetable Soup late yesterday. It’s reheating now in a great big soup pan. Tis the season for good stuff like that. It’ll be ready after a bit, and will be a welcome break from the morning. Of course, now that it’s afternoon, it’s time to get those plants inside. Life can be mundane, yet accomplishing those tasks gets things done, and you can move on to other tasks and relax. Ahhh. Saturdays. Even retired Saturdays are good.

Thank you for reading, it’s something else I’m eternally grateful for. We’ll meet you again tomorrow, with more tales of marketing myself, the Post, and being an author. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Patient. I’ll try to be, too.

Woo Hoo, Time Crunch!

First, I need to make a correction. Yesterday I mentioned Detective Herrera was to be buried at the Omaha National Cemetery, I was wrong. He will be buried in Lincoln. He is not only a Lincoln, Nebraska Police Officer, he is also an Army Veteran. This man served us well in many, many ways. Sorry for the confusion on my part.

Today is another rainy, dreary day. I’m starting to get a little down in the dumps, but will make a comeback. It’s going to be better, I just have to make up for lost time and get a some writing done. I’m still working on character origin stories, and so far have Katie’s husband John, her dad, and her mother. In between learning some new things with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and WordPress.

Photo by Ludvig Hedenborg on Pexels.com

Now, it’s time to finish homework today and tomorrow. This work is fun, assigning character traits that are negative yet also thinking of how they could be good under the not so good. People are the model for these behaviors. And we all know how interesting they are!

Photo by Coco Championship on Pexels.com

Do you ever people watch? The Babe does a lot. Sometimes I don’t even notice that he is. He watches interactions between people and is especially honed in on older people and little children. He is always the first one to jump up and help hold the door or otherwise help an older person. He was like this with his mom who had MS. Watching that made me know he’d always look out for me. And he does.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

When he watches little children, babies play hide and seek with him, they smile and wave at him, and play hard to get. Kind of like I did. Haha! They are a joy to watch, and you just hope they have a happy and safe environment to grow up in. Such sweetness is missed when you don’t have babies in close contact with you anymore.

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

There is nothing so sweet as a baby just learning to smile and respond to you. The whole world usually takes notice. There are, however, some people who don’t stop and gush (like we do) over a stranger’s baby. And that’s ok. Some people may mistake our interest in a bad way. I usually try to tell them our youngest grandkids live far away, and we just have to share the love. We don’t touch or bother them. It’s pretty sweet, really. Most young parents are open to it. Who doesn’t thing their baby is the cutest, smartest, and best?

I’m going to dig in and accomplish a lot today, not just writing, but around the house too. I plan to spend as much time as possible outside next week. The forecast appears to have every day with a sun icon on it. What IS that strange ball of fire in the sky, anyway? It’s going to be great to see it again.

Take care! Be safe. Let’s do this Saturday up right. I appreciate you spending time with me, and I’ll see you tomorrow! Thanks, let’s go do this!

Summery Saturday

Back in the day, when I was in my 20’s and we first bought a house, washer and dryer, the yard had a clothesline to dry laundry. I loved hanging clothes on the line. Of course, the jeans were stiff, the towels weren’t very soft, and I resorted to drying them for comfort. When our second son was born, I was back out in the spring, hanging diapers to dry in the sun. There was a time in life when a woman’s “worth” was determined by the laundry she hung to dry. I suppose if it was orderly, hung out early, and taken in before dark, you were viewed as orderly, industrious, and efficient. My great aunt once said, “Oh, that Kathy Jewell hangs our a fine wash.” Aunt Anna, you were such a dear, and you were not overly fussy with compliments, so I’m going to take that as the compliment it was meant to be. And I’m proud to have received it.

She was such a fine lady, classy, and the unmarried aunt who lived with Grandma and Grandpa. She worked nearly 50 years at the “phone company,” (boys and girls, back then, there was only ONE phone company!). She could have been a very successful female in the 1990s or 2000s, if she were born 30 years later. Even though she was a supervisor and great employee, there were not the kudos paid to women who worked in the 1950s and 60s as there are now. There was no equality. Women who became pregnant even if married, were fired.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Can you believe it? THIS is the closest Pexels.com could come to “baby diapers hanging on line to dry.” Cute baby, but kind of misses the point.

As I’m thinking back to days I willingly hung diapers out on the line, I’m wondering what Aunt Anna would have to say about my writing. She would insist on truth, I believe. And perfect grammar. And being dignified. That I be a complete lady. And that I thank God for the gifts He’s given me. The being a complete lady may not ring entirely true, I mean, the language could be unladylike at times. Sorry, Auntie. But I do thank God. Frequently. Often. Every day.

And the next thing, aside from having my own website, blog, and Author Facebook page, is I’m starting up pages on Twitter and Instagram for my Author news. There may be a little personal news on there, where it’s pertinent to my writing. I’m glad to take the leap into the exposure needed now to make a bigger impact on the world, so more may find my musings, books, articles, and photos. Of course, I know not a damned thing I’m doing. (Sorry, Aunt Anna. Yes, I’ll light a candle in Church).

The idea is, not only will a newly posted blog create a post on my author page (Kathy Raabe, Author), it will also post on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s crossing my fingers, making the magic happen yet again, and making the post available on two more platforms. Yay!

Yes, Doubters, Haters, and Critics Need Not Pay Attention

And it’s kind of fun working with it until it might make some sense. I need to do the same for the VFW Post once we establish a new website. That’s another project, I’m working on with my brother in law, Brad, from Image Masters. (Think, “Jake, from State Farm.”)

Hopefully, there will be time to work out my Chapter 2 of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” today and tomorrow. It’s time to send more work to my Book Coach Sam Tyler. We will continue our working relationship on a month to month until we agree I can go it alone. Right now, I need guidance. It’s good I found it early, rather than have to scrap 80K words.

Besides writing, I’d like to accomplish more on that quilt I’ve been working on forever. Next week will be more workers in the house, we’re having LVT flooring (Laminate Vinyl Tile) laid in the kitchen, entry, and two upstairs bathrooms. Assembling strong young men to move the marble topped huge kitchen table AND the matching marble topped server from the kitchen to the living room. Same strong young men welcomed a couple days later to move very heavy furniture back in place. Photos to follow of finished projects. The Babe is really happy beautifying our space, and it’s so nice. Partners, it’s what we are. Blessed.

The Babe. Most Thoughtful Guy.

So yesterday, the Babe stopped at the store after I met him for lunch. He bought my favorite guilty pleasure, a Midnight Milky Way. The dark chocolate really makes this taste delicious. It was such a sweet surprise. Thanks, Babe! Be thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Kind. Be Safe. We need to treat each other well, even strangers. Wash up and Wear your mask.

I watched the interview Matthew McConaughey did with Dr. Fauci yesterday. It was very well done. Thoughtful and full of good information. Rumors put to rest, and common sense in the house. They said what I have been saying. Yes, we need to wear masks. To get the spread under control, and to stop having peaks and valleys in numbers. It does no good if we keep peaking. We need to keep falling to get to a safe place. The temporary inconvenience will be worth it, once we can open everything for good. We’ll never get there if we don’t all pay attention. Complying is something Americans don’t like to do. But I don’t want to spread illness to a cancer patient, grandma, my grandbabies, or young parent either. Think beyond yourself. Watch the video here.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you all tomorrow, and please share with a friend, won’t you? Or share on your Twitter or Instagram. I appreciate it.

Friday Fun

Hello from the home office in Gretna, where the magic happens. This is a day to finish up things for the work week and think of something wonderful to do over the next two days you have off the job, and refresh for next week. It’s a whole new game for us retired folks. Since school has started, though, we need to begin picking up our granddaughter after school on certain days so we can get her home with Gavin. So far, so good, on the school days. I hope they continue. The masks are required, and I think these two are old enough to understand it’s a must if they want to keep in school. I think they missed it a great deal. Our grandson in Virginia will be remote learning until at least November, then it will be reevaluated. Cross your fingers, pray, and wear your mask, people!

New Stacked Stone on Fireplace. Well Worth It!

Isn’t the new fireplace nice? It’s amazing how changing to stone from ceramic tiles made such a difference. Yes, there is a board standing there until everything dries, it’s not part of the new look. I love that the trades (hopefully) will see a revival. We will always need someone to do this type of work. Electricians, plumbers, concrete finishers, block and brick layers are all desperately needed as are auto mechanics. It’s a shame the mantra of the 1980s, “You can make more money sitting down than you do standing up.” Yes, tech jobs do pay tremendously well. I had one myself. The salary depended on your skills and abilities, not your sex. And now, it suddenly occurs to the educators and others that we need schooling in those areas. Not a surprise, really.

One place I wouldn’t want to work is the United States Post Office. My former husband retired from there over ten years ago. It was a good job, being a letter carrier. He had an old walking route while I was still married to him, and he did a good job. Back in those days, you had to sort your own mail, and bundle it according to your stops. The carriers seemed to know when someone moved, or if you had a wrong apartment number on a letter, they had sense to see that and still deliver the letter instead of returning it. That doesn’t happen now.

Since the Babe and I got married in 1998, we have received weird mail, it’s as if companies made up more people at our address by using our last name in conjunction with my three kids’ first names. Seriously. Frank Raabe is one. No one by that name. Still, we get one every so often. Those mailing list companies make so many assumptions when they’re eager to sell off names and addresses. And we received one for Rebecca Raabe. Nice name, but we have no one by that name either. Sheesh!

This expresses my studio and craft rooms perfectly

There are days when I get irritated at myself for the creative clutter I have. Not enough (yet) to go through each and every item for each and every hobby or interest, but I get irked nonetheless. Sorting and culling the herd will be a winter project. No, it’s not hoarding, but my daughter and sons have commented there are more boxes of stuff to make stuff than of clothes, kitchenware, and decor. See if I’ll have them help us move again! Lol. No, it’s to the assisted living place next move. I mean it.

Speaking of moving, I think Mom holds the world’s record on living in the same house for the longest. She and Dad married in 1948, had an apartment, then moved into the house in which she still lives in 1949. Seventy-one years living in one house. Wow. She was 20 when they moved in. Just think on that. So, in her life, she only lived at three places: growing up, brief apartment living, and our home. At first they rented three rooms upstairs to a couple from Offutt. There was an actual second kitchen upstairs, one room living room, one room bedroom, and they shared the bathroom. Seventy one years in one house has to be a record.

Can you imagine sharing a bathroom with another family? Even when I got married in 1970, furnished apartments were very common. Kitchen, living room, bedroom furniture came with your rent. Good and bad. Someone else’s old lumpy mattress? Often it was like the one we left at home. People didn’t spend what they didn’t have. The hygiene patrol would probably have a heyday with this.

My studio/office/craft room, it’s where the magic happens!

Hope you have a beautiful rest of the day. Take time to appreciate your surroundings. Appreciate yourself, too. I’m off to do laundry and quilt. That Poppy masterpiece may be finished yet. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate the time you spend with me. See you again tomorrow. Be safe. Wear your mask, wash up. Let’s just do what we need to do and get through this. It’s the quickest way to make our own way into the future. Don’t live in fear. Be confident we are only temporarily inconvenienced by wearing masks. It won’t be forever. Use civility. Use compassion. Use kindness.

Wednesday Wariness

This will be the first full day masks will be required in Omaha, in businesses, stores, and people will undoubtedly grouse about it. Facebook and Twitter will blow up, and tempers will flare. In the end, if we just do it, let’s see how the numbers are (with some kids in school), and maybe we will prove to ourselves it works. There is also the chance it won’t work, and we’ll prove it doesn’t help. The factor of some kids still being home may impact the outcome either way, but hey – it’ll be over before we know it. It’s from now until September 15, I believe? Let’s just do the right thing and we’ll know if we make a difference or not.

Let’s spend the time getting our house in order. Not the dwelling, but the heart and soul. How do we want this country and this world continue on for what I hope is another 200 years? Yes, some things must change, but socialism isn’t the answer. Churches have tried it before, the money runs out. Believe me, it will.

You know yourself, you cannot spend and spend and spend and not replenish the bankroll. Taking all of Bill Gates’ money away from him will not make the entire country run well for the rest of our lives. Things are not all equal, nor were they meant to be. People have their own ideas of what they want to work for. And what they will spend their money on. Many waste their money. I’ve done it myself when I was younger. Some will spend it on immoral things. (In the Bible, the story of the Prodigal Son. Remember?)

I can’t answer for everyone what the best thing is. For myself, I want to spend time contributing to helping people in need. There are many veterans organizations to help our soldiers. Many are suffering from PTSD. Too many commit suicide. Many are homeless. Some experience domestic violence. Some don’t want help. That’s ok, until they will accept it. You can’t force someone to “get better.” Whether it’s mental health, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, or verbal abuse, it all hurts the soul and damages the heart. Healing takes a long, long time, and people heal at different rates, on different timetables. Sometimes it’s such a slow progression you don’t realize it has happened until you experience something, then stop and realize, “It didn’t hurt this time,” or “I can finally sleep all night.”

Photo by Naveen Annam on Pexels.com

Let’s work on being better humans to each other. Let’s just get along during this pandemic rippling like hot lava around us. Let’s get through this hard time. Let’s continue with civility and grace. It will help the time pass quickly if we’re a help and not a hindrance. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Let’s get through the rest of this. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it very much. See you again tomorrow.