Friday Facts, Just for Fun

The week is nearly over. It’s been a strange one. I’ve had a second COVID test, it’s negative. I’ve had swollen glands in my neck that turned into nothing, just a weird viral infection. Glad for that. We’ve had a couple of socially distanced dates this week, and they were nice. Tonight, we’re meeting up with the kids and grandkids for dinner to reconnect. Since Gavin got his own puppy, he’s been pretty busy caring for Josie instead of coming to visit Goldie and Lexie. We miss him, too! And Addison.

Cross Country is now over, so it’s back to picking our girl up from school to help out Mom and Dad. We love it. She’s full of stories to tell. I should think back to those ancient times and remember what it’s like. Your priorities are certainly different, that’s for sure.

This is 10,000 % TRUE!

There have been massive attempts this week to hack my FB page, my Twitter Account, my Instagram Account, and my email. I think it’s a coincidence. In the process of changing passwords 8,392 times, I got a little jammed up and the blog didn’t post Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week. I believe it’s been fixed now, and I re-posted to keep up. I couldn’t believe my stats went from 60 readers on Monday to 0 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Technology can be a real bugger when it’s misbehaving. In case you missed them, here they are again: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

I am reading “Charms for the Easy Life,” by Kaye Gibbons. I picked it up at the used book store last time I took Mom. It’s a beautiful story, about three Southern women, who have their own family, with no men. The men folk left their women behind. Took off and never showed back up again. The Grandmother reacted very differently to the situation. She is a homeopathic healer, herbalist, and the like. She is very clear, however, she does not practice voodoo. And she will not use the power to maim anyone. She is a rock, the whole area in walking distance depends on her. It’s a fascinating story.

I’ve read 122 pages of the 254 in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I sort of forgot to see how the scenes took place in only one place at a time, the characters were solidified through dialogue for backstory (boy, were they!), and I can’t wait to see how the second and third generations handle being left by the men in their lives who are supposed to be reliable, steadfast, and kind. The grandfather and father of the girl telling the story were totally opposite of those characteristics.

The author uses a phrase to define the matriarch, “who is a self taught healer, treating everything from broken bones to broken hearts. They are protected by the eccentric wisdom and muscular love of the remarkable matriarch Charlie Kate, a solid, uncompromising,” I love the phrase muscular love. It sounds unbreakable, solid, and something you can count on always. We all need that kind of love in our lives. Unconditional love is like this.

It makes me appreciate my dad so much. He never wavered in working and taking care of his family. He loosened up and enjoyed his oldest grandson Frankie a lot. He took him on excursions to Hobby Town, to shop for used cars, and Frankie adored him. I think it was hardest on my 17 year old son when Dad died. I didn’t think anyone could hurt any more than I did, but I was probably wrong.

This morning, I’m feeling nostalgic. I’m listening to Glen Campbell’s last album, “Adios.” I knew it was a Jimmy Webb song, and previously heard Linda Ronstadt sing it. Linda makes every song lovely. When Glen Campbell sang it, knowing he had Alzheimer’s, it took on a new meaning. He really was telling his fans goodbye. It was beautiful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if anyone with the disease could say goodbye? Usually it’s too late for that by the time a diagnosis takes place. We don’t get to choose how we go or when. It’s the biggest risk there is in life, is to live every day. Don’t count on doing it tomorrow. You never know what will happen. You need to lead your life as each day is the last. Always let your words with someone be positive. Regrets do no one any good.

The rest of the day? One thing I’m adding to the TO DO list is rewrite my “about” paragraphs. The one I wrote first is ok, but it needs some telling about me. That’s hard for me to do. Really. I don’t talk a lot about myself, believe it or not, because I had never thought I was that noteworthy. That’s not a lack of confidence, at least I don’t think it is. What do you say? What would you say about me, if you’ve been following me very long. Seriously, add it in the comments below. Maybe you can help me with ideas I need that are better than the ones I have. Thanks, it’ll be fun reading them.

If you don’t wish to add it in the comments below, add it in the FB comments under the blog when it’s posted. I’d love some ideas. Thanks. And thanks for reading today. Hope you get caught up with the other blogs through the links above. So writing the bio, doing a little writing, and finishing reading my book today are going to happen around Raabe Ranch this afternoon. I appreciate you reading, and will see you again tomorrow!

Dogs Don’t Care!

If you have a four legged best friend, you most likely have a lot of dog stories. They can be happy, sad, uplifting, and bring back great memories. Losing this friend who loves unconditionally can be devastating. We’ve had a series of best friends, each different from one another, yet still, they have some similar habits and personality traits.

The Babe left early this morning to take Addison to school. Our son in law returns home today from working out of town. It’s been such a blessing to be around our smart, beautiful granddaughter on her way to or from school. She’s quite talkative, and we get the low down on all things important in an eighth grade girls life. The kids are getting a dog over the weekend. Puppy love will be all over their Instagram accounts, their every waking moment will be spent in adoration of a mixed lab/shepherd female pup they have already named Josie.

Pets are important to the lives of people, and I think especially for kids. When my children’s father left, three months later we adopted from neighbor’s litter of pups. She was a black lab/mix too. (Aren’t they all?) Shadow was with us for 16 1/2 years. One time, she broke her collar connector and ran away. We hadn’t installed our fence yet. We all sat on the patio after combing the neighborhood looking for her. My son Nick said, “Shadow has been with us longer than Dad was!” It was indeed a sad day.

Shadow was found and held at the Nebraska Humane Society. My son Frankie called me at work, and told me he had $28 to bail her out of jail. He was taking his brother and sister to get their pet and bring her home. I hesitated, if she was hurt or anything, it might be too hard for them. “Nope,” Frankie said, “you won’t get home until after they close, we should have her home with us” You can’t argue with an 18 year old with a good heart and a mission. He loaded his brother and sister into his 1975 Olds Cutlass and they rescued Shadow.

I loved that the kids learned to care for another living being. I love that grandson Gavin has such a love of dogs. He tells me, “Grandma, all dogs deserve love.” He is right. Dogs don’t care if you’ve had a shower, got a promotion, aced a test, had a date to homecoming, got your driver’s license, your makeup is perfect, they just love YOU. They just want to be with you. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, they just want to be with you. It’s good for them, and probably better for you.

Dogs love unconditionally. After playing catch a little earlier, Lexie wanted in the house. She went directly back to bed. Goldie just followed me into my studio/office, and laid on the chair mat, right next to my foot. She just wants to be with her people. Lexie comes in to check on the risk of burglars, random kids walking to school, or the Amazon prime guy delivering things. She looks at me, then goes back to her place on our bed, and resumes her nap. The Silent Sentinel. Until she barks at perceived danger. And barks. And barks. And barks.

Sometimes I wonder if people could be more like dogs, would the world be a better place? I think so. Unconditional love is the most wonderful thing in the world. It’s even greater than a mother’s love for her children. And dogs love unconditionally. All the time. When they’re tired. When they’re hungry. When they’re out of sorts. That door opens, and the run to greet you. Happy. Always happy.

Let’s take a page from the dog book of unconditional love today. Let’s overlook each other’s shortcomings. Let’s stop judging. Let’s stop arguing about masks and candidates and who killed Jimmy Hoffa. Let’s learn to be more accepting. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt. Let’s give ourselves and each other a chance. A chance to show we can get along. We’re happy to see each other. We put aside pettiness and just show appreciation. We can change our little part of this big world. We can make a difference. And we will. One friend, one dog, one soul at a time. Be safe out there today. Make it a great day. Thank you, we’ll see you again tomorrow. Be someone’s unconditional bestie. It’ll change the world.

My Lexie at 4 weeks. 4 pounds, and big blue eyes. She was beautiful.

Manic Monday/History Lesson

The staff and I are hunkered in the bunker at Raabe Ranch. The Babe is talking to the workers, and we’re on our way to new flooring in the kitchen, entry, and both bathrooms upstairs. It will be quite a project, and I’m glad we hired it out. Twenty years ago, or even ten years ago, we would have done it ourselves. Yes, we’re both handy. But not at 68 and 70. We now leave it to the professionals. We’re good to pay someone. They can fix their boo-boos much quicker than we amateurs can.

Speaking of amateurs, I committed a boo-boo yesterday. I said you could share my blog posts on Instagram and Twitter. Not true. Instagram isn’t a possibility at all. But you can share these on Facebook and Instagram. Sharing is good, if you read a post that you like, love, or otherwise. If I write something you want to share, please, share away. There, I printed a correction, so we’re good, right? I’m learning these things as we go along, so thanks for bearing with me. As I’ve said before, I’m not too old, and it’s not too late!

I’m grateful to get to learn these new social media platforms. I love Facebook, but it doesn’t reach the demographic I need to reach. I think my book, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” is a tale that young women without much support in their lives could definitely relate to. Older women who have lived a life without support can certainly relate to it; and those who went for broke and defeated the odds of success will certainly relate to Katie. There are many Katies in the world, and they can succeed at making their decisions and steering their lives in a much different direction.

Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri on Pexels.com

In my volunteering at the VFW Post 2503, in addition to office tasks, I am their webmaster for site maintenance, and administrator on their Facebook page. They are great tools to get the word out to the members and friends about events, sharing information where Veterans can go for help, and where Veterans may gather for fun and recreation with other like minded people. I love the camaraderie among the men and women. Regardless of branch of service, they treat each other as brothers and sisters. Yes, there is a lot of joking Army vs. Navy, vs. Air Force, vs. Marines, vs. Coast Guard, etc., it’s all in good fun. We have yet to meet anyone from the Space Force.

One way to try and reach out to our younger Veterans of Foreign Wars is to become visible on Twitter and Instagram. I am working on setting up a presence for the Post on both of those. What is shared on Facebook will be shared across Twitter, and photos will all be shared on Instagram. The younger veterans need to have their place at our tables. They need to establish their network of friends and give back as the older folks have done.

That said, the challenge is to be grateful of the contributions of the older folks. The Post would certainly not have survived all these years (over 80!) if no one cared about it. We have one WWII Purple Heart member still living, and his health doesn’t permit him to come up and join us anymore. We miss him. He is a dear, sweet man. He also had to be a badass soldier. His Purple Heart was awarded for Anazio. 29,200 combat casualties were suffered by the Allied Soldiers. 4,400 dead, 18,000 wounded and 6,800 missing or captured.

The Battle of Anzio was critical in the outcome of WWII. Why? While the Germans were occupied to the south with Italy, the Allied forces were able to penetrate and enter France under a little campaign called D Day. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Terrible losses of men and equipment. But General George S. Patton, God Bless his salty soul, led men like my father and our members, to put the Germans where they belonged. Lesser men would have given up. Thank God they didn’t.

As we go forward, honoring those who built the Post we’re trying to keep vital, we need to seek out those Veterans, men and women, who have fought a desert war with people who live in terrible conditions. The desert is as stark as the Vietnam jungles were overgrown. Extreme conditions and an enemy that hides, morphs, and smiles at you while trying to beat you gets into your head after awhile. We want to honor the next generation of heroes. We need to tell them we’re grateful to them for keeping our freedoms intact. Do you have any suggestions for us?

As I prepare to have a staff meeting with the girls (Lexie and Goldie) about their whining, think for a moment about those people who secured our freedoms through the ages. Thank a Vet today. And tomorrow. It’s a beautiful thing for them. And it will be for you, too.

P.S. The dogs are whining 1 – They want to know what all the noise is upstairs, and 2 – They hate when the Babe leaves us. I do too, but we’ll survive. They don’t know that. I played some Chicago music (First Album), and as the horns took over, they sat down and were quiet for a few minutes. Time to turn the music up! Have a fabulous day. I will see you back here tomorrow. Thanks for reading. Be safe. Take Care. Give care.