A Sunday to Celebrate!

I’ve shared with you about the great day I had yesterday. If you didn’t see it, here it is. The day got even better! We got to see these guys with the Omaha Symphony. If you know me at all, you know I love these guys, and the lovely Tara Vaughn. Since it’s been awhile, let me re-introduce you. From the left, Matthew McGuigan, Tara Vaughn, Larell Ware, Ciaran McGuigan, Ryan McGuigan, Darren Pettit, Max Meyer, and Billy McGuigan. A couple guys are new, but they fit with the band like a glove. It’s like they all have McGuigan lessons before they join, yet they all are great on their own. All these musicians are multi-talented. They are all huge personalities. Ciaran is in training, taking guitar lessons from Max at the McGuigan Arts Academy in Omaha. He is indeed learning from the best.

Most of the country is open after COVID-19. Omaha has let it’s Mask Mandate expire. Yes, we’ve heard conflicting information, but the Babe and I had both vaccinations, and consider ourselves safe. I believe all these maskless marauders below had the shots, too. Tara Vaughn hasn’t performed with her boys since pre-pandemic, I believe. It was so good to see her back, and hear her strong, beautiful, resonant voice again. These guys are great alone, but now, the band is indeed back together! It became time to unleash this energy on Omaha again.

And it was epic! The sign on the door of the beautiful Holland Center said masks were suggested. We took note of that, and once inside, saw the majority of folks maskless. I’ve never been in jail to be let out of it (except in Monopoly), but it felt like getting out of jail. We were free for the first time in a very long, time.

The conductor for the Symphony had a spring in his step all evening, too. To hear the hits of the era we grew up in was so cool. They sounded so good with a live symphony to back them. One violin player had a constant smile on her face. She enjoyed it, too! The other members kept their stoic faces. Lots of toe-tapping going on, just not smiling. The music filled the heavens of downtown Omaha. I’m sure their Dad Bill McGuigan, had a front row seat from heaven. I wonder what that is like? If I get there someday, I’ll have to ask him. Remind me of that, ok?

I think I’m speaking the God’s honest truth when I tell you it was so apparant these musicians all enoyed performing with each other for the first time in a long time. Their faces were extra-jubiliant. Their execution was right on! Their knowing looks cast at each other and smiles told you you were seeing them at their best. And with these people, you can be sure of that.

We plan on seeing every show they have planned, whether in Omaha, Glenwood, or Papillion. Go to their website and get tickets for the summer series. You will never go away disappointed. If you disagree, we cannot be friends. Go see them. The sooner the better. You’ll be set free, too.

Thanks for reading. Take care out there. Enjoy the fresh air. See you tomorrow!

Aww, Babe; You Did It Again!

Happy Birthday to ME! The Babe isn’t much for words, but he always slams it out of the park with the cards he selects for me. What a thoughtful guy. We don’t do gifts, we figure we’ll just attend things we decide upon. This morning, I signed up for a Painting of the Month Club for $20 per month. Cancel at anytime. They’re the kind of paintings you might see at a Sip and Paint session. Our VFW Auxiliary friends did that several times in the past ten years, and it was a lot of fun. I have a lot of supplies, so I’ll only need some canvas. Why not? It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and the rest of my life is going to be about those very things. I’m so blessed to be able to do them. Painting, here I come!

And back to the card. It is celebrating the “woman that you are.” How sweet. I know he doesn’t want me to get over-extended, since I tend to do that, but he also knows I’m a giver, helper, coordinator, and compassionate person. This last year of coordinating donations for Moving Veterans Forward Nebraska has been so fulfilling. The generosity of our friends and members at the VFW Post 2503 and Auxiliary is overwhelming. These men and women know they could be homeless, have addictions, and and suffer PTSD. Many have PTSD. We work hard to make a safe place for them to be. For them to help other veterans. And be involved in our community. “There But By The Grace of God Go I.”

When this wonderful man, the Babe, asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve, 1997, I told him it would be an honor to be his wife. It still is, more so every day. I’m grateful all over the place. So our gift to us this year is go see Billy McGuigan perform (frequently) this summer. We have the good seats for the concert with the Omaha Symphony. It’s going to be awesome. Yes, it was a lot of money. Last time we saw him with the Symphony, we sat in the very last row indoors at the Holland Center. The acoustics were phenomenal, and the music played very well together. It reminded me of the old days, when you’d have an orchestra recording with music, like Sinatra, TransSiberian Orchestra, Rock and Roll, the Beach Boys, and the like. Go, people. Treat yourselves to the time of your life. Kick the summer off right. And catch all his other productions as well. You will be as hooked as the good people of Omaha are.

As I continue this special day, I’m grateful for friends and family, who make being on this planet more fun than I should be having. I’ve enjoyed getting to know all my adult cousins the past ten years. When they were all little “devils” I was the oldest girl, so I had to watch them. Ugh! The Bobell cousins grew up ok. I love you all.

The Jewell cousins are fabulous people in their own right. I never baby sat them, so all was good. Their fathers all had an impish grin and played pranks, and many of them do that very thing now. The impish grin is inherited by all the boys. I love seeing it. I love you all, too.

Our five kids make a great blended family. Five kids in four different cities is tough, we could never collect them all together at the same time. We enjoy visiting them all, even if it’s just in the Omaha area. They were mostly grown when we got married. I’d highly suggest that for people marrying later in life. We would have had a very full house if we’d met when the kids were young. Love all of you and your beautiful children, too.

There are some stock photos above, some actual photos. They’re all photos of what I look forward to doing this year, along with imags of what I’ve loved most in life so far: Babies, Music, America, Grandkids, Doing over Doubting (took me awhie!), My Doctors, who saved me from becoming paralyzed, Baseball, Ice Cream, celebrating (with a cherry on top!), writing, reading, trying out what comes next. I love what I’ve been through because it’s made me who I am. And I’m eager for all the fun we’re about to have publishing my book in a few months. It will be a real trip to go to the library or book store and see OUR BOOK on the shelf. Cartney will get a kick out of it, too.

This list is not complete yet, it is still growing. I am on a mission to make the rest of my life count for something. I want to make a difference, somehow. Join me along the way. We’re going to have a fun year. Thanks for being here, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be Safe. Have some ice cream with me today.

About Last Night . . .

A night the Babe and I were waiting for since early December 2020 finally happened. To hear TOGETHER, Billy McGuigan’s live performance of his COVID album released a few months ago. The music is reviewed here. The live performance? It was fabulous. Although I’d listened a hundred or more times (yes, I do that with music I love), seeing Billy McGuigan live is always a top-notch experience. Kevin Klimowski, a fan from Des Moines, and I sat near each other and and commented on how good they sound recorded and in person as well. Boys and girls, that’s the sign of a group of REAL musicians. Billy doesn’t mess around. They will never let the music die.

Although I’ve been a Billy and brothers’ fan for a long time, we are still seeing new and exciting things at any function these guys play. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Carly Frolio’s beautiful voice. She sings like an angel and accompanies Billy well. Unfortunately, we missed the Parking Lot Concerts last summer at the Omaha Community Playhouse. If Carly sang there, we missed it. Sorry! Much like her fellow band mates, she has many creative skills, including photography.

In addition to the band, something else new was students from McGuigan Arts Academy as ushers, a wealth of information, and front row fans. Our little girl usher informed us we “could take all the pictures we wanted of Billy McGuigan.” Thank you, honey. She told Kimberly Faith Hickman, “Now, I’m an usher,” before this bespectacled, braided, confident little girl bounced down the aisle, intent on mission completion.” She found our seats with the precision of a soldier on a mission. She waved us over, pointed, and said, “Enjoy the show.” Mission completed, young lady!

All of the children sat in the first row after helping introduce Billy. They all looked thrilled to death. Much like the adults who frequent his shows, they jumped to their feet and danced their hearts out. A new generation of McGuigan’s Minions. Who knew? The Arts Academy is doing great things. Some kids were backstage hands. What a great thing! Hands on learning. Lucky, lucky kids.

Billy’s son, Ciaran McGuigan keeps coming more into his own more and more as a guitar player. Max Meyer, is a lead guitar player, and Ciaran’s teacher. Max does great things with a guitar you have only heard about with the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton. Love listening to you, Max! We even heard him singing, “Surfin’ U.S.A.” I loved the Beach Boys when I was a kid! You evoked some great memories!

Matthew McGuigan is a favorite, too. He is always consistent, steady, and a great vocal back up. He was mentioned as turning 40 yesterday, and with his second COVID vaccine, he took it all in stride. Go Matthew! This is a banner year for you, too! He and brother Ryan McGuigan stayed pretty much in the background Saturday night. It was Billy’s night. And he rocked it. The love of family really stands out with this group. They are their own family! And the fans, we complete that family. Kate Whitecotton organizes the whole lot, and it comes off without a hitch every time. She’s magical!

I keep wondering what else these guys can do that’s not been done before? A whole bunch, all the talents considered. We will be there, Billy, Ryan, and Matthew. We have heard the life story, and we’re glad you’ve used your experiences for good. Not just your good, but for ours, too. Billy started out playing Buddy Holly at the Omaha Community Playhouse. And the rest is history. He is nowhere near done. At 46, he has at least 30 more years of performing ahead of him. He already knows he can do a Sinatra-Buble-Connick, Jr., type of show. And he killed it! When you can’t jump anymore, when you may have trouble reaching for the strings on your guitar anymore, you can croon. Until then, though, feel free to share your life, thoughts and feelings with your family from Bellevue, Omaha, Gretna, Elkhorn, and the surrounding areas. You guys are home with us, and we couldn’t be prouder. You will tend the music and keep it alive as long as we need it. And you. The Best is Yet to Come!

Spring-y Saturday

Today is the first day of Spring. Ah, yes, I believe we will make it now. Grandson Gavin is attending his first outdoor baseball practice today. I hope and pray we are able to attend his games this year. COVID has taken a lot from us. But, grass is greening up, allergies beginning, we know it’s Spring in Nebraska. During those spring days we can experience lots of weather changes. You can go from 60 degrees and calm to a real snow-dumping blizzard in 24 hours. Some of the bigger ones happen in April, and even in May. It never lasts very long, though. You won’t hear me complain, though. It’ll pass.

Gavin and his Dad, TJ. Two of my favorite guys! Outdoor Baseball Practice Begins TODAY!

One thing I’ve learned in my years on the planet, is things will always get better; and things could always be worse. Is it a glass half empty philosophy? No, I prefer to think it’s realistic. Just as spring always follows winter in nature, in our human lives take us from bad situations, to healing, even to gaining precious insights of all we’ve endured. New life replaces death. Growth expands a life, a soul, a mind. Gratitude and Attitude are everything.

My header photo today is a quilt I made, and the beautiful flower statue was a gift from my kids, Frankie, Nick, and Becky. It was from the times they were all still at home, the boys were working after school, and they pooled their resources and bought a series of these sculptures for me. I will treasure them forever. They pointed out to me they had human fingerprints on the petals; the Italian artist who created these was very precise. He made molds to hold the porcelain, and they bear his fingerprints. What a neat thing!

The Carpodimonte method goes back to the 1700 in Naples, Italy. They’re beautiful. I smile when I think of those kids spending their hard-earned money on me like that. They bought them from QVC, and were so proud. Good Times!

Life has so many passages for us to navigate. We are not meant to stay in one spot. Early death happens when people are too afraid to embrace the next stage of life. You cannot remain rooted in your past, it’s not a place to remain living. Memories are great, but your spirit is a living organism, it introduces every new spring to your soul. Your soul is where you discover new things and grow! Choose Springtime. Choose Creativity. Choose Life!

I love reading to little kids. I get all into the character’s voices, and sometimes the Grandkid’s look at me while I do the voices. They love it! I do too! I dream of having a book launch and be able to read to children. I’ll have get some people with toddlers and little ones. It would be so fun for me! And for them! I am thinking of having a pen name for my Kid-Lit, “Grandma Kathy.” What do you all think? I can add a page to the website for her, and one for “Jewell Publishing LLC.” Comments, please!

Many thanks to my friend, Billy McGuigan, the King of “Stuff We’ve Never Done Before.” I’m going to build my brand(s) all on one website. Just because no one’s ever done it, doesn’t mean it won’t work! Right, Billy? Your encouragement and Kate Whitecotton’s is so encouraging. I appreciate it so much! Folks, don’t forget about Billy’s new solo album, “Together.” The stories are rich. They’re real. They’re about love, moving on, uniting as a family in tough times, and all the stuff dreams are made of. They’re about living in a pandemic. The creativity soars. It’s a cure for COVID blues. Also, check out McGuigan Arts Academy. There are opportunities galore for your kids during school breaks and vacations. All COVID-safe, Socially Distanced.

Thanks for reading today. Get outside. Get some fresh air. Get moving. Shake up your routine today. Do something new. Listen to some good music along the way. Call an old friend. Call an elder in your family. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. The world will smile back at you. See you tomorrow, my friends.

Hedwig and The Angry Inch

See this! It doesn’t matter your age, your beliefs, or your taste in music, there is something for everyone here to appreciate. The Acting. The Music. The stage presence of the actors and the band. Even the pre-show where Billy McGuigan sings some old songs and a few from his new album, “Together.”

It felt good to be attending a live show again. When the Babe retired, we tried new things we’d never done before. We became members of the Omaha Community Playhouse, and saw many plays of high quality, and the annual Christmas Show “Yesterday and Today,” which is a Beatles tribute show performed by Billy and his brothers Ryan and Matthew. A very talented group of musicians. Billy has a pool of amazing musicians to choose from and uses everyone in the best way possible.

The people at the Waiting Room did an outstanding job of only selling 25% capacity for the show. We were more than socially distanced, seated at our table. We could remove our masks while seated, which was good. It was safe and gave us a sense of security with the precautions they enforced. The Waiting Room is in Benson, at 6212 Maple Street. Get there super early! Parking is hard. Doors open at 6:30 pm, Billy performs at 7 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm.

Hedwig has one heckuva voice, whether singing as herself or as himself. The Angry Inch is a rock band who backs up Hedwig, the internationally ignored superstar (in her mind). You learn of her past life, her later life, and her quest to escape East Berlin before the wall fell. It was an historic time for sure. Her desperation to leave Germany was so intense, she resorted to some drastic measures.

The quest to find your “other half” is something we all experience. Hedwig’s was of utmost importance to her. Part stand-up comedy, part rock musical, and part play, it has it all! The female lead was fantastic. What a voice! She rocked the place in fine fashion. And the best part? Evelyn Hill is a senior at Central High School. What a young talent! The possibilities that lie ahead for her!

Jesse White is incredible as Hedwig. The stories and songs tell the story how he started out as Hansel in East Berlin. He came to have a sex change operation, which was botched. No wonder he’s angry!

It was hugely entertaining for a chilly Saturday night in Nebraska. It was worth the drive and the price of admission. When it ended, we wanted more. More shows open later this spring and summer. There are post cards available at your seat to remember dates and places of other Rave On Production shows this year.

It’s going to be an exceptional year, being entertained by the genius that is Billy (always up for a challenge), Ryan (he has quite the stage presence, folks! Pay attention, you’ll see why!), and Matthew (the most excellent musical director) McGuigan, Max Meyer (one of the best lead guitarist’s you’ll ever see), Jay Hansen (Superman), and Larell Ware (Drums – my he’s good!). And I have to say, Kate Whitecotton, House Manager and CEO of Rave On Productions, is the most organized person on earth; she excels at coordinating everything for the performers. Kathleen Kersey is the Volunteer of the Year, selling merch at most of the shows. She knows her stuff, and which versions of the bands performed which version of the CD’s.

For your mental health, make a date tonight or next weekend for the remaining shows of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, at the Waiting Room Lounge. You will not be disappointed. Thanks for checking in today. We’ll see each other tomorrow. I look forward to it.

Thankful Thursday

So we did this thing. And the Nebraska Secretary of State accepted it. And my attorney is applying in the places so the IRS knows where I live, etc. I’m proud to announce I am now an official LLC.

I chose this name to honor my dad, Thomas M Jewell, Jr. He was a pressman/printer by trade, and worked for the Omaha World Herald for 37 years. He retired and died when I was 37 years old. I think he’d be pretty modest about this whole thing, but he and Mom instilled a love of books in me and my three brothers. We also had in-depth knowledge of ink, paper quality, and various newspaper techniques used through the years. Thanks, Dad! For everything!

As I’m still plotting my goals, tasks, and projects for this year, the LLC news came at just a perfect time. It’s a great motivator! The mountain of paperwork I needed to sort for our 2020 taxes is culled and tamed, so I’m ready to head into the home stretch of all that. It’s kind of toss up for figuring the new standard deduction vs. itemizing; I still itemize to see what exactly we have. Although 2020 had Quarantine; COVID-19; not getting to meet our new grandson yet; we are lucky we had few medical bills last year. For a couple 70 and 68 years old, that’s a huge win. We are thankful.

Dreams absolutely, positively, come true! Now the fun starts. The hard work. I’m ready for it. Although we’ve never done this before, I hear there’s no reason to stop. Just do it, it’ll be fun, they say. Beginning this company was a lot of the reason I dropped my formerly married name (finally); I felt it kept a connection to the family I still love. We’re in touch. They understand I still love them, and especially my kids. So it was time for a new identity. A new life. Instead of “here goes nothing,” we are saying, “here comes SOMETHING!” Thanks for being along with me on this journey. The best is yet to come.

Thanks, guys, for encouraging people to follow their dreams!

I’ll be finishing up our taxes the rest of the day. And tomorrow is an early eye doctor appointment. I won’t be able to see much after that. We’ll think of something to do. Writing and reading will probably be difficult. And I’m quietly celebrating and thanking my friends Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber, who unknowingly encouraged me to chase my dream. It’s meant a lot. Thanks for sharing my news. It’s going to be a blast! See you tomorrow (but it’ll be fuzzy!).

I Just Had To . . .

I’ve been contemplating for a week now; how to write a blog about this. I received the new Billy McGuigan solo album last week, complete with a nice Polaroid photo (autographed!) and my spirits soared. We had been hearing from Billy via Facebook about the different songs on the album, and what his inspirations were. The guy had a lot of time to think in his little yellow shack in his backyard. We all have this year. After passing time in all the usual ways, Billy took to his shed (Sonny West Studio in Country Club) and started creating. He sang everything (all the parts), played all the instruments, and produced something magic yet real. He hit gold with this music, these stories, these tunes and words that come from his soul.

I’ve been a fan for over seven years now. Regular shows include his brothers (always in his band), and they do a Beatles Tribute show called “Yesterday and Today.” It’s exceptional. He has starred as Buddy Holly in “Rave On,” a musical show at the Omaha Community Playhouse. There are many accolades in their collective resumes, music, acting, arranging, lots of talents to go around one family. Their children are all very talented, too. Check out the videos and info.

Citing inspirations from the Beatles (always), Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Eagles, and countless others, Billy reaches for the stars and touches them. He’s sharing them with us, his fans. On his website, take time to read the info about the album. You’ll find two buttons at the bottom of the ordering page: The Songs, and Liner Notes. You’ll learn the inspirations and events that inspired the words, the music, and you’ll finally have your answer if you’ve ever asked why they don’t talk about their mom. Their dad was a man among men, dying when he was only 42 from cancer. Together, they are a force to reckon with.

Billy, I can tell you, many of us been on roller coaster rides and guilt trips, too. At 91, my mom is still driving that damned bus. And I admire how you put all this together. The truth you speak of; it’s honest, open, and inspiring at the same time. We receive the gift she lost out on. And they can’t help themselves, often, they don’t know any better. Breaking that cycle is difficult. Kudos to your stepmom. What an influential person!

Christmas came early this year, folks. Last night, since the first live performance at Iowa Western Community College was COVID-cancelled, through the magic of Facebook live, we got to watch a live performance of the album, complete with the most talented band there could be. You can view it at Billy’s Facebook page, “Billy McGuigan,” and you will spend about 90 minutes in my sunny place. You’ll laugh, it will touch you, and you’ll hear some grim realities of life. And they’ll all be true, from the heart of a very talented singer/songwriter. I know we will hear from Billy again. I look forward to it. Hope we’re able to see you at a live show again soon!

As Billy now joins the esteemed ranks of singer/songwriter, he joins the groups of people the Babe and I met by attending other local music shows. Jimmy Weber, (he’ll perform live today from Johnny Cash’s farm in Tennessee, check out his Facebook page for the 2 p.m. CST gig); Rick Tiger, (a prolific songwriter and singer on his own, he has written many songs you’ve heard others sing, and he prays for me when I ask. Good, good man); Ray Scott, (he performs on Facebook Live nearly weekly, check him out), I have a bunch of his CD’s.

A cool thing about Ray Scott, his latest album, “Nowhere Near Done,” is in a top album of the year named by American Songwriter Magazine. This is an esteemed list. It’s so cool someone we’ve seen at Buck’s in Venice, (Nebraska). You may catch him in person there sometime. Buck’s Bar & Grill, Facebook page worth watching.

Gentlemen, I hope all of you knock ’em dead today. Our year will be complete when Jimmy Weber releases his new album. I have a feeling it’ll be soon. We’ve heard some of his original music, too. More on that later. Thank you, on behalf of music lovers everywhere, for sharing your talents with all of us. You make this COVID-Post Election World a much kinder, gentler place to live. Keep writing, we’ll keep listening. Be Safe out there!

Magical Monday, 9/28/2020

It’s a chilly, sunny day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Fifty-two degrees! Brrr. But it was great to open the windows again for some fresh air. As we enjoy these beautiful fall days, I can’t help but think of two fall seasons years ago when I was pregnant, and hoping I wouldn’t give birth on Halloween. Both of my sons were due around then. Luckily, neither was. The last Halloween before Nick was born was brutal.

Nick was born on November 7, one week after Halloween. It was bowling night, so I took Frankie trick or treating. He was four. We lived in an old neighborhood, the kind with half of the houses on a hill, with stairs from the street up to the yards, and more stairs up to the porch. We knew all the people in the neighborhood, so we went up, trick or treat, then back down. There were fences separating the yards from each other, so you had no choice but to go up and down all of those stairs. I remember praying, “Please don’t let this put me into labor, God, Please?” Silly as it sounds now, I was concerned about it. The little guy showed up a week later.

Four years prior to that, Frankie arrived early. So was Nick for that matter, and of course, the third baby, Rebecca, was late. How does that happen? It was a very hard pregnancy, with a niece dying of spinal meningitis, Frankie had a drowning accident (and survived with no ill effects, thank God), and the baby laid on my sciatic nerve constantly near the end. First time I ever took a nap in the afternoon, to try and alleviate the pain.

But you forget all that once that baby is in your arms. She was wonderful. So sweet. I loved taking care of all of them. You miss babies once they’re not near you anymore. Gavin and Addison were frequent visitors, and so was Joell. He was a toddler but fun nonetheless. Now Kayla and Cody are our in Colorado and they may as well be in Europe, as we can’t visit until their Mama feels it’s safe as far as the CORONAVIRUS goes. I can’t stand it!

So instead, I have photos directly above the TV in the living room. I look at them a lot and talk to them in my mind. They will know me when I see Kayla again and meet Cody. There is always hope. If we lose hope, we lose everything.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Today? I’ve spent a bunch of time with several places where I’ve received emails saying I’ve reset my password. What a bunch of clowns. Don’t people have anything better to do? I guess not. There will always be a criminal element in whatever we do, you know? I love technology and am grateful I don’t fall for scams. I feel sorry for folks who do. Even the old grandkid calling grandma from jail scam. It happens so much. And once people are old, PLEASE, leave them the heck alone! They don’t deserve that!

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

The rest of today? Hope to knock the dirt off some succulents I need to bring inside. Some of them are really looking great. I need to keep them alive during the winter. They should do well, as long as they’re not overwatered. Or underwatered. Or get too much sun. Or too little sun. If you’ve ever tried to troubleshoot a sick looking plant, you know what I mean. It needs to be awhile before we cut things down for the winter. But then, it always catches us by surprise. How about you?

I have more scenes to write scenes as prep for working more on my book. Katie’s story is taking shape, and I hope I’m on the right track. I’ll know in about ten days, when I have a new session with Sam, my book coach. It’s been great working with her. She is helping me focus and concentrate on what I’m trying to get onto paper. A lot of what people write is junk. Filler words. Words that aren’t necessary to the story. Their story gets lost. I’m working to avoid that. Wish me luck, skill, light a candle, say a prayer.

There will be more work on the VFW Post 2503’s website today. I successfully added their October Newsletter last night. Thought I should quit while I was ahead! One day, I hope a year from now, I will have a Newsletter. Won’t that be fun? I look forward to all of it. You’ll be with me all the way, I hope.

How Sad! This is what I get searching for a photo of a NEWSLETTER.

I am starting to tally what I’ve spent on writing this year. Of course, I don’t have any income yet from writing, so it’s all written off now, but I will find it interesting. Having a website, memberships, online training, book coaching, books to learn from, and the Nebraska Writers Guild FALL Conference 2020 cancelled but paid for (since the spring one was, too) should have a hefty price. I’m guessing less than $3K. Nothing wrong with investing in yourself. Your dream.

One of the reasons I love to hear my local musician friends is there is a common theme aside from gratitude in their talking with their audiences. Billy McGuigan, and Jimmy Weber are two of the best and nicest entertainers you could ever meet. The common theme is following your dreams. I have heard them both say those words from the stage, and one time, I thought, “Why not?” There was no reason not to. Their (unknown) encouragement has propelled me thus far. So guys, thank you. I still love to see you both perform, and we need to again. Soon. Very soon. My world gets set right by music.

Hope you all have a beautiful day. Listen to music, it cures everything. Thanks for reading, stay tuned for tomorrow, we’ll have another adventure. Or Katie will. Stay safe, be courteous and kind, and live your dream. It’s possible. Even probable. Get started today.

Superb Sunday

Well, folks. It finally happened. Last evening the Babe and I drove to Glenwood, Iowa to see one of our favorite bands, Billy McGuigan and the Downliners. It was a breath from heaven into our COVID filled lives. They reminisced about October 2019, when they had their last scheduled gig. A cruise. They loved their cruise gigs. Audiences loved them, too. This appearance, at Davies Amphitheater, was the first already scheduled gig they were able to play. If you could imagine Billy McGuigan more exuberant than he normally is, that is who we saw last night. What finally happened? I have not one still picture of the guys during the concert. Not a one.

If you could imagine listening to some of the greatest musicians in the country play standards such as “Burnin’ Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and “Down on the Corner,” and then, just for fun, play for the first time Billy’s own original country style music. A song about his guitar, “Me and Peggy Sue.” A love song for Kate, ” Windows of My Soul.” “Little Metal Shack,” and “Trailer Park Song,” reminiscing about other experiences in the life of the McGuigan brothers. Good stuff. Then the almost finale, original song, “Together.”

First time hearing the song, it’s a little hard to keep up with understanding the lyrics. It talks of how close the family is. Their dad taught them they would always get through life’s hard things together. The phrase “when cancer came to call,” jumped out at me, not once, but twice. I’m guessing it’s referring to losing their dad to leukemia at a young age. The other one, I believe is for brother Ryan’s wife who also passed away from cancer. A very hard blow for the family. And what a beautiful song. They truly band together, not just for music, but for living. Kudos, guys.

By going last night, I have a renewed hope for life. Music inspires me to get through things. I have always relied on it. So do my kids. Thanks the Davies Amphitheater for accommodating us safely. It was so good to get away for a while and not think of anything else. The Babe and I talked with Kathy Kersey, a volunteer, and met Kevin Klimowski. He recognized me from the blog yesterday. Billy fans stick together, too. Pretty cool to be recognized for what I’m just branching out and doing. Thank you, Kevin! It was a thrill!

Again, if you’d like to see a show that will rock you, go see Pop Rock Orchestra at the Omaha Playhouse in August. Check it out here. And p.s. Billy has a new look. It’s a little startling, but I’d say he’s gone to beast mode. Bearded and lots of hair, but looks great. Sounds even better.

I’m still on Cloud 9 from last night. It was even hard to wind down to go to sleep last night. I’m just going to revel in the love I experienced last night. It was stuff dreams are made of. Thanks for helping me pursue mine by reading every day. I appreciate it a lot. Be safe. See you tomorrow.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Summery Saturday

Tonight is a special night. We are finally able to go see live music, outdoors, and socially distanced at the beautiful Davies Amphitheater in Glenwood, Iowa. We are going to see “Billy and the Downliners,” a/k/a Billy McGuigan and his talented band. It’s going to be great. Although they have performed at the Omaha Community Playhouse as a Drive-In production, we didn’t attend that one. It stinks being in the “old person” category, and having some health issues. It stinks being responsible about it, but I’d rather we both be here in the future to see him perform than go now and be sorry we did. I’ve never seen such talented musicians gathered together. They all have their moments to shine, and together, it’s stuff that you will probably hear from the angels in heaven. The best part of all? They love their fans, and appreciate them. No egos here. Just confident people sharing their gifts with us. How lucky Omaha is to have them. My heart feels lighter.

I’m feeling the COVID-19 Blues lifting already! It’s nice to have something to look forward to, aside from waking up every morning. It’s sure become a habit to sit out on the deck with the dogs every morning. Just watching the sky, the trees, the birds. It’s so awesome. I don’t like to think what we will do in late fall when it’s too cold to sit out there. There has to be something equal that’s inside, and not the morning news. It’s just so dark anymore. I think America as a whole are really trying to be safe in this pandemic. We can’t always get what we want. My generation heard that phrase in a Rolling Stones song back in the day.

Sure we have rights, and with rights come tremendous responsibility. Wearing a mask is in that category, in my humble opinion. My freedoms are still there, I’m just thinking of all of us by wearing one. Please, pick something else to be stubborn about. Don’t get me, my 91 year old mom, my 70 year old husband, or my little grandson (I haven’t gotten to meet yet) sick by thinking you’re proving a point. It’s not worth it. I’d rather live, and I would bet you would too. Help me help you never meant more than right now.

New Words to Live By

Too often we become complacent in our lives. We don’t have to have fireworks and parades all the time. We accept things that are holding us back as people. We accept people who hold us back, too. The best situation for improving your life is to have a partner who has your back. That is rare, especially if you want to do some projects or take up a new time-consuming hobby. That’s when you can really tell if you have the right person with you or not. If they aren’t happy for you in your growth spurt, there could be trouble if they have a temperament that needs their ego fed.

That said, you can be contented and support your S/O if you are secure in your life, your relationship, and are genuinely happy for their future, which is also a part of your future. I re-discovered that treasure in my life this week. After nearly 22 years of marriage, it’s still there, and better than ever. The Babe supports my endeavors whatever they are. He may not want to participate, or understand why I want to write, but he supports me, and I support him, too. He knows writing is important to me. When he told me that this week, I felt like the keys to Fort Knox were handed to me. That’s a huge, huge gift to a creative person. May you all have that someone in your life. And if not now, may you find it soon. You deserve it, too. I’m grateful.

Project for today, in addition to studying more about writing.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you have something safe and special planned. Pop Rock, with Billy McGuigan will play for an extended time at the Omaha Community Playhouse, if you’re up to going. You won’t be sorry, trust me. Dates are August 5 – 23. See you tomorrow, right here. Be safe. Be kind. Be courteous. Let the music blow your socks off.