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.

Tuesday Gratitude

It’s a blue-skied day again today. I always welcome this time of year. Lots of people had strange wind damage yesterday, it was a weird event which happens once in awhile. Weather is so strange. It has to be respected because it is so powerful. Many kinds of severe weather can happen in Nebraska, and other states. I’d hate a hurricane, Floridians would hate tornadoes. Blizzards aren’t that bad when you’re retired. It doesn’t matter if you get out or not. Just fill the coffee again, and there you are. Light the fire and watch a Netflix series or two.

As we age, we need to have lots of preventative maintenance. Kind of like a car. If you don’t do it regularly, you could have a lot of unknown issues that could be costly for a car, or deadly for a person. The Babe had a colonoscopy today, and all is well. That is a huge blessing. We are grateful. Come back in three years, what is a great outcome.

It appears Joe Biden has a running mate. I have no opinion of Ms. Harris, and it matters not to me that she is a female or black. Neither makes me think a candidate more or less worthy. I have concerns about Biden, and Harris, and about Trump and Pence. I just hope there is never another Presidential assassination. It is a horrible event to happen to a nation.

I was in sixth grade when Kennedy was shot. We heard all the gory details. After all, we learned everything about the crucified body of Jesus Christ by the time we were seven, there was no reason to spare assassination details. And we all witnessed the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. When you consider the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy happened in 1968, as did the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; we experienced a lot of violence. The violence human beings are capable of.

That violence happens often and daily in America now. Life seems to have lost it’s value to the killers. As many grandmothers and mothers do, I pray none of our family is harmed by this violence. One of our sons serves in the U.S. Secret Service, and he is trained beyond what we could ever imagine. He is a perfect man for the job he has. We are nothing but proud. He is actually safer than we are, if you think about it. God will be good to him, and to his beautiful family.

So true . . . let’s all have a good heart.

I fared well with a quick review from my book coach, regarding my rewritten Chapter One. Very minor things, which I will submit to her again, along with a draft of Chapter Two. I have an idea of what will happen in Chapter Two, and I’ll try to behave with my verb tenses, keep the protagonist in all the scenes, and keep to the timeline. All the stuff I learned in Chapter One so far. It’s a great process, I’m glad to be experiencing it.

It’s a couple days late, but the Babe and I are going to watch this week’s Yellowstone. He can’t stay awake on Sunday night for it, so we record it for later. It’s continuing to be a great story line again this season. The scenery is so beautiful. Makes me want to go back to Montana again. We left the back entrance of Yellowstone National Park to see Big Sky Country. It was breathtaking!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Be safe out there. Some schools started back up today, and more will go back tomorrow. Take a little time for yourself, be kind, be courteous, be smart. I will see you right here again tomorrow. Thank you very much.

God: Please Bless America

Whatever happens with this COVID-19 over the next year, some folks will be wrong about it, and some folks will be right about it. I can’t even begin to predict what will happen to us all. Even the experts cannot agree. We need to stop being “them” vs. “us.” It is defeating us before we can even begin. Divide and conquer. Since the beginning of time, that has been the most effective way to defeat an enemy. We are close to being to so argumentative with each other we cannot see how dangerous we are. And we’ll only hurt ourselves in the long run.

I shudder to think the anarchists, the AntiFa, the Chinese, the Russians, or any other hateful group could conquer us because we are insisting on our “own way.” The quickest way to lose our rights, in my opinion, isn’t wearing a mask. It’s refusing to do something for the common good of all of us. It’s refusing to give up a convenience for something bigger than ourselves. I wonder how this nation could behave given rationing of coffee, meat, flour, sugar, or certain textile components needed to manufacture parachutes, uniforms, tarps for trucks, oil, and gasoline. If you think a toilet paper shortage was bad, think if you could no longer go through the drive through at Starbucks and grab a mucho-latte-sugared-up-too-strong-coffee to go. (Yes, I made up the name). If you had enough gasoline to get there.

I remember in high school, during the late 1960s and the Vietnam War, there was a shortage of some components of yarn. We had a change in our uniform code that would allow for knitted vests with our plaid uniform skirts. The principal said the reason the uniform company couldn’t order them was because the goods were necessary for something the military needed. We simply accepted that fact. What good would it have done to protest that? None. We knew that.

Sometimes in life we are called upon to do something we don’t want to. Many times, in fact. It’s a test of our character, of our will, of our love for others. Our love of our country. I love America. We are still the best country in the world. Our soldiers have provided our freedoms are secure. I love each and every one of you for the sacrifices you all made for our country. You are all people who have put the good of your country (and us) ahead of whatever you wanted. For that, I, and many others, are eternally grateful.

Right after the military, the police keep law and order in our cities, states, small towns, and everything in between. Yes, there are bad police officers. Too many bad officers undo the good the others do. The majority of them love us as the military do. They want to make our worlds safer. 99 % of the time, they do. We need to help them do their jobs, not defund them. We need to support them in small and big ways. They are our sons and daughters, neighbors and friends. We all deserve to return home safely after our shift is over. Let’s help that become the norm, not the exception. The law and order we enjoy is because of the peace created by our police, sheriffs, deputies, and other First Responders. Who are you going to call if we have no First Responders? It won’t be “Ghostbusters,” that’s for sure.

How can people help? Despite the pandemic, volunteer to help others. Organizations such as our VFW Post 2503 are looking for volunteers to help with different events. We have projects to help our homeless vets, help formerly homeless vets to attain apartments through Victory House, help our vets who have legitimate needs getting to the next payday, help vets get through the legal system, as well as help vets with PTSD mainstream back into society again.

Volunteering is the best way to get outside of ourselves and think of others. You come to realize how well we have it, and realize volunteering leaves a great feeling in you. Look for a place to help. There will be so many opportunities available, you will have a hard time selecting only one. Help out. It’s the American Way. We take care of our own, and always have. Thank you for considering volunteering today

GOD, Please Bless America!

I am working on some projects around the house the rest of the day. Little, silly stuff that needs to be done. Hope you’re all safe, well, and having a beautiful day. The pups are still tired from their great escape yesterday. Just glad they’re all ok. Thank you for reading today, you know I appreciate it very much. Take time to considering being one of the helpers, not a hinderer. American needs that now. And they need it from all of us. God Bless you all. Stay safe. Be Kind. See all of you tomorrow!