Tuesday Fun

Mom had her last balance class today. I think she’s going to miss it, it was more social interaction than she wanted to admit and she enjoyed that more than she thought she would. Plus, she is stronger. She was a little wobbly after having lunch, and I made sure she got back in the house safely. No more now until her back therapy starts on Monday. So, here we go again.

There was a delightful lady in the waiting area talking with the coordinators before her individual therapy. She spoke rather loudly, and was so funny. She was English, and had a fun way of telling her story about why she needed therapy. She started back in the 1990’s, and gave a blow by blow description of every ache she had from then on. She talked of gardening and said, “What would an old biddy be doing gardening?” I haven’t heard that phrase “old biddy” for a long, long time. It struck me as rather funny. I would imagine those coodinators hear many a story, tall tale, and life story of the folks they have for patients. It would be quite a book, wouldn’t it?

I’m finishing reading the book by my friend, Shannon Schofield. It’s a story that follows the young lady telling it from childhood through adulthood and tells the trauma suffered and overcome. It would be an inspiration to a person who had been through similar trauma. Many, many people have stories of how they have come through the dark, into the light of healing, joy, and love. In these times, there is no reason for a person to suffer. Find someone who can help you through a doctor, educator, family services agency, or a clergy person. And prayer. The power of prayer is far reaching and complete. Give it a chance.

The rest of the week will be a good time to rearrange some storage stuff from Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and my snowman collection. Once that is done, I want to unearth my recumbent bike to start working out with it March 1. I want to use it for the next six months and get some exercise along with the knee injections I’ll get starting March 7. If it’s sitting in the middle of the room downstairs, I’ll use it. I’ll make myself use it. And I can read while pedaling. Win, win!

Whether an old biddy or an old broad, I want to be a work of art! The Babe already is!

Dan and I were young (in our 40s) when we met, dated, and got married. The comic Pickles (above) reminded us of our neighbors, Darwin and Pryllis. They were such great neighbors when I moved next door to them with my three kids. They were a watchful eye, a place to go if the kids needed help, and they overlooked normal teenage noise later on. Good people. Now, Pickles reminds me of the Babe and me. We’ve grown into that age of our lives. It goes by so quickly!

For all the jokes about Coronavirus, it is appearing to be quite a huge thing. The CDC is issuing warnings. We had better realize if we do have an outbreak here, it could very well mean we have to quarrantine in our own spaces. Americans, in my opinion, are going to be reluctant to give up their freedom to jump on a plane or into a car and go wherever we want whenever we want. If we have to stay home for any length of time, we had better prepare ourselves mentally for it. It would be in the interest of everyone should we have to stay confined. I’m not worried at all about the folks at the National Guard Camp in Ashland. What would concern me are the people who insist on going out when they are clearly ill – coughing all over everyone, sneezing, and contanimating everything they approach. And everyone. In the meantime, I think I need to stay stocked up on staples we can cook meals with, just in case.

I always love when it’s time to get out the patio and deck furniture and hose everything off for the season. It’s way too early to do it, but not too early to think about it. Once it’s warm for a good amount of time, I like to sweep the concrete patio and deck, and hose it all off to get the dirt off. The hose works great to clean all the screens off as well. The basement windows haven’t been cleaned too often lately, so it’ll be great to get that done. Once we get the blizzard we always get this time of year. Between now and May, it will snow like crazy at least once. It has to. We’ve only had 14 inches of snow so far. Last year, we had three times that much by now.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. I’ll be here tomorrow, hope you can join me then.

Satisfying Sunday

Ahhhh. It’s another fantastic weather day here in Gretna, Nebraska. We went to Church today and are mentally preparing for the week ahead. We talk about what we each need to do, what we might want to do, and what we can do together. The more time I spend with the Babe, the more I miss him when our schedules take us away from each other for days on end. In the seven years since Dan retired, we have really changed a lot in our schedules and habits.

For example, he always went to lunch at 11 a.m. Even though we don’t have breakfast until 8:30 or so, he still wants lunch at 11. This drives me nuts. I was a late luncher when I worked (1 p.m. or so), and still would rather lunch later. Depending on what we have, it can take me through until a small snack in the evening, and I’m good. It’s still hard to regulate us and come to a happy medium. A work in progress for sure.

And the Babe prefers to go out for lunch. That means somewhere with Keno. I’d rather not, and instead of one more drink, one more drink, it’s one more game, one more game. I’m not a gambler at all. We played the slots in Council Bluffs on occasion, but I never spent more than $20. We no longer go there, I think because now it’s quite a jaunt.

The Pastor talked about faith and fear today. That isn’t necessarily a sermon topic only, it’s a topic we all deal with every day. When we have faith, we don’t fear. And when we fear, we don’t have faith. Faith in ourselves, faith in God, faith in our abilities, fear of the unknown, fear of other people, fear of living. I do believe strongly in God. He’s gotten me out of a lot of bad situations and medical conditions. Part of the belief comes from growing up Catholic, with twelve years of Catholic schools. My parents sacrificed for the tuition, which doesn’t seem like much right now, but it was a lot back then. After I divorced at 30, I stopped going to Mass, mostly because whatever parish I took my kids, they talked about people not committing as they should, that’s why divorce was so prevalent.

Of course, I had to tell my kids something. I told them I believe in marriage, which is why I got a divorce. It’s because marriage is about sharing, caring, working together, and cherishing each other. Their dad and I didn’t have that. We weren’t growing together, we grew apart. I was angry at my church, but never lost sight of God. He was always there. During my best and worst moments. I never stopped believing. My faith wasn’t the dwelling I went to once a week. I carried it with me everyday. My faith wasn’t the humans who were just as flawed as I am, and who preached to condemn any of us who were human. Except for them.

Whether you believe in God or not, you still operate on what you have faith in – yourself, your partner, your job, whatever it is. Believing is what makes the difference, even if you call it a higher power. Something is larger than life, larger than you. Lots of us know there is something greater than we are. Hopefully it is real, and something that is static in your life. My God never leaves me. I leave Him by fearing, doubting, and being angry.

This guy was singing his song so brilliantly this morning!

Nature is what tells me there is so much greater than me. This cardinal was singing his heart out at the top of a Cottonwood tree while I sat on the deck earlier. You know how high Cottonwoods are? About 70 – 100 feet tall. I’d guess this tree is closer to 100 feet high. How all of this exists within my view and enters different seasons to beautify my environment just amazes me. I’m so grateful to live in this Wonderful World!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support, and hope you come back tomorrow. I’ll be here for sure. Enjoy the sights and sounds of your world today. I hope it awes you!

Tenuous Tuesday

I’m amazed the results are not in for the Caucus in Iowa. I never knew what that was until several years ago when my eldest son, Frankie, went there to get autographs from Bill Clinton, Hillary, and several others. He watched the process and told me what went on. I just can’t help but wonder how in the world we rely on hand counting people, who can move from one section of the room to the other, and be counted several times if someone from another group can persuade them to come to their side and be counted. Is there a minimum number of people participating? It seems the groups we saw on the news were only older people, I mean my age and older, and some impressionable high school kids.

Don’t get me wrong. I was an impressionable high school kid once. And the first time I voted for president was in 1972. I voted for Nixon, because he ended Vietnam and my husband came home early. I suppose there are worse reasons to vote for someone. But ever since then, I’ve been disallusioned by the process. And the lack of good candidates. And by how you can lie instead of telling the truth. And now, social media can really sway people who do not do their own fact checking.

I was an independent for the majority of my life, neither wanting to be Republican or Democrat. I am probably a liberal conservative now. I have grown to ask how things will be paid for before I think it’s a good idea. Being a Computer Systems Analyst and Coder for a number of years has brought out the information gathering in me. Getting all the information is important.

I voted for Al Gore in 2000, because I didn’t think a former baseball team owner could be president. I was wrong. I came to respect George W Bush for his leadership after 9/11. I actually became a Republican. It has caused some rifts in my family, but I cannot stop other people’s feelings. We have to respect people for who they are in their hearts, not for their political party. As an American citizen, an aging American woman, I feel our country has the best hope being led by someone with business experience. I have felt that for a very long time, if government were run like a business, there would be more attention paid to financial details, and less to hand shake deals, good old boy buddy systems. I believe as a nation we need to all examine our moral fiber and go back to thinking of God, family, faith, nation. What does that make me? Someone who believes in America, what it stands for, and that life is primarily good. People are primarily good. The world is a beautiful place. The grandmothers of the world can help teach our children the world will be as good as they help make it. We have to respect each other, authority, disagree respectfully, and work very hard for change that is good for all of us. There is no free lunch anywhere. Not even at Grandma’s house.

There will be those who refuse to read my work because of this revelation. Sorry you feel that way. It certainly isn’t my intent. My intent is to tell you I care about the shape of the nation and the world. And as the politicians, who left Iowa without any results, ran off to New Hampshire to troll for more votes, different caucus, same rhetoric, I’m still here. You left us in a lurch. We Grandma’s have a lot of influence, character, intelligence, and moxie. All the while we had no rights, we really ran the base of the nation. The family. Our unit of responsibility. We raised the children who bore the children who rose to greatness. Whatever party they were. Those who had good moral character, made their decisions after much consideration. I shudder to think it matters more now what party the person is representing than their character. That is not what Dr. King had in mind, or in his heart. We must come back to finding our similarities, not our differences. Come back together. With respect.

Thank you for reading today, it was a tough one to write. I try to stay middle of the road, but gee, sometimes you just can’t. Come back tomorrow, and we’ll look at some writing stuff again. See you then!

Superb Saturday

The world looks quite different at 3:49 a.m. That’s when I got up this morning. The Babe got up a few minutes ago, and I tried like crazy to fall back asleep, and it was apparent that would not happen. Coffee tastes different at this hour. Dawn takes longer to get here. I could have purchased a lot of neat stuff from the Internet. I read all the posts I missed after 9 p.m. You must have all been out having fun last night! Not a lot of stuff going on.

There is a brand new, 29 day month ahead of us. It’s Leap Year, where we add all those spare hours and minutes together since 2016, which gives us a bonus day every four years. I have a lifelong friend, Barb Moffatt, whose birthday is the 29th. I think that may have been strange growing up. Choosing your birthday? It would have been kind of fun.

Today is the day I’m going to plan some goals for February. My friends at I Create Daily have an Art challenge this month. It encourages us to create something in our chosen medium. Of course, the 90 day challenge is still going and that is all about my books. The goals are the same, my reality is in place and those goals will face adjustments.

My chosen mediums will be: Art, (drawing and water color); Clothing, (dusty rose colored jean jacket and pants); Quilting, (cut out “Snowflake Quilt” (king sized, 56 squares). This way, I’m ready for whichever of my muses should summon, I’ll be ready for it (them). We’ll see how that works. It is feasible to do Art one day, Clothing one day, Quilting one day, and write the other three or four days. Theory and Practice, oh what a foolish mortal I am. My theories seem to lag seriously behind my practices. It could just happen. More on that later.

A friend of mine has published her first book. Shannon DeAnna Schofield wrote “Perfectly Imperfect”. It is available on Amazon Kindle. I applaud her, I think it will sell well. It is about her journey through life. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but is honest, raw, gripping, and is about her redemption. Put it in your basket and read it this weekend! I hope to follow in your footsteps late this year.

I’m on Pinterest thanks to Nebraska Writers Guild!

Exciting times in the Nebraska Writers Guild! There is currently training on our FB page for Pinterest, and Instagram. A member has graciously offered to make board covers and pins for us. I have my blog, and they are including blogs as a board. Thank you to Renie Loeffler Rutten for doing all this work! Love it! Clicking this on Pinterest will take you to a specific blog. How fun! My Pinterest page is Kathy Raabe, Author. I have a NWG Members books board and am pinning them. There is a huge selection of genres, something for everyone.

Would you like to see all the blog covers? I could include them and post them on Facebook. It will be yet another free way to go increase our presence even before publishing a book. For those of you who may not know, I’m on Facebook as Kathy Raabe, Author visit me there! I so appreciate you reading today, and hope you’ll return tomorrow. More on goal planning then. I think it will be a great month for creativity. Hope it is for you, too. I will see you tomorrow. Have a beautiful day!

Friday Frolics

Here it is, late in the afternoon, and I’m again just starting to blog. It’s been a busy last 24 hours. Mom had PT today. Inspiration hits a writer at the oddest times. This morning, for instance, I was brushing my teeth, getting ready to leave the house to pick up Mom.

And an idea came to me about some brothers I need to add for my novel I’m rewriting. They will fit nicely into the theme of the story which is people can escape family “curses” if they learn there is another way to live. And some of these characters will escape, others will not. Some will not even realize they’re doomed. It mirrors life.

When the therapist came to the lobby for Mom, I pulled out my cell phone and typed as fast as I could. I couldn’t let this idea evaporate into thin air. It happens more than I’d like to admit, so noting it was a good call. I just finished embellishing the notes from this morning onto note cards, one for each of the characters in the novel. They all have their shortcomings. Some over come insurmountable odds to beat, heal, and grow. Some overcome nothing and blame the world for their ills.

And the Nebraska Writers Guild is making a push to get the authors’ books on Pinterest. Apparently the pins will stay fresh for an incredible number of days, while Facebook and Instagram do not. There is a member, Renie Loeffler Rutten, who offered to make board covers for pins for book covers and author blogs. I asked if she do one for me. I think it’s beautiful. Lovely. Here it is:

Look for my Author Blog Board on Pinterest. It will link you here to my website and blog.

I will let you know when any book covers are added. I am nowhere near to being finished with the kids books, but it will happen all at once, I believe. It’s such a neat thing, all of this free exposure for writers, readers, and other creative sorts. What a great time to begin writing!

It was another early to rise morning, and I think this will be it for me today. I am so grateful you visited today, and hope you’ll return tomorrow. You know I’ll be here. Thank you!

Snowy Wednesday and Gray Hair

Here we are, snuggly under my new sherpa throw, sitting by the fire, and enjoying the snow falling. It is beautiful. The Babe gave me a dirty look over the top of his blue glasses. We both spent many years commuting in this stuff and are glad to be retired and not HAVE to go somewhere in bad weather. When my kids were students they attended three different schools because of their age differences. This was the case for several years. Now that it’s over, I marvel at how we managed. The big thing was we only had one bathroom! They all understood I could NOT be late for work. We left the house at 7 a.m., I dropped them off at three different locations, and was at work by 7:45 a.m. I miss those days yet am glad they are over.

A great suggestion came in from my longtime friend, Janet Nichols. She suggested I include the recipes I talk about. It’s a great idea, thank you Janet! Yesterday I talked about Pasta e Fagioli. I used ground turkey in place of the ground beef/sausage. The Babe has such bad heartburn we substitute even for Chili. We use ground turkey. Good stuff.

I have tried repeatedly to include a link to the recipe, and for some unknown reason, it is not working. Too much snow, I guess. But you can Google “Pasta e Fagioli”. Select the results from Damn Delicious, and you will have Olive Garden’s recipe for it. Funny thing? I forgot to add the pasta, the last ingredient, to be added at the very last hour. It’s still good!

This morning I was reading some varied articles about women letting their hair turn grey. Yes, it is a natural thing. I colored my hair while I was working because I felt it helped me appear relevant, as I do not look my age. I was in my 40s while still working. I started working later in life, after my divorce and was competing with kids right out of high school. Since I started greying in my late 30s, I wanted a cover up. I kept it until my breast cancer diagnosis in 2009. After the lumpectomy, I had my hairdresser cut my long beautiful light brown hair OFF. I wanted to be ahead of the curve if I was to lose my hair with chemotherapy. I didn’t need chemo. Boy, was I fortunate. I kept my hair short these past eleven years and like it. I miss longer hair. I want to let it grow again and maybe get some curl in it. I still have very thick hair, and I don’t wish to spend nearly an hour drying it. I’ll see how far I get. Until then, it’ll be lots of gels, combs, and maybe a Cubs hat.

Going to be a long day with the snow, ice pellets, and whatever else falls from the sky. At least it’s not iguanas! Seriously. It’s a thing in Florida. Warning people because of the cold, Iguanas may fall from the trees. Poor things! Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it very much. I hope you have a great day and come back tomorrow. I’ll be here.

Terrific Tuesday

Sitting by the fire, and the events of the day are helping me to smile. Today was a day for me to Uber Mom over to Think Physical Therapy. She calls me her seeing eye person, or her driver. Oh well, as long as she gets there. I hope someday she tells someone I’m her daughter. She doesn’t think like that, however. She had to go to Menards, to stock up on cleaning supplies. She also purchased a wreath for next Christmas. She also purchased some other odds and ends. The girl that cleans her house knocked over one of Mom’s Christmas trees, breaking the stand. It doesn’t stand up well anymore.

Mom asked several sales people if they had any more Christmas tree stands. One said they thought so. About forty minutes later, she had a new artificial tree stand, for $6.38. And eleven percent rebate. Heck of a deal. The two women who searched the store, the storage, the basement and checked with other stores could have told Mom, “No, we don’t have any.” They really went above and beyond to look for the item she needed. Maybe they knew she decorates in October, or maybe they just wanted to help. They made her day, and I’m sure she’ll pray for them tonight. We need more of this in the world, don’t we?

The videos I viewed yesterday were helpful in drawing some basic creatures, elephants, giraffes, and other shapes. I will break out my dad’s Cartoon Drawing books and review how they teach drawing basic shapes. The fun lettering book came today from Adornit. I’m happy this can be part of my artwork for the February Challenge.

I did a lot of lettering in Art Classes in High School. Enjoyed it a lot.

Just not enough hours in the day! My mom wishes for more time. Not sure to do what, because she swears she’s always busy but doesn’t tell us what she does. She insists she still needs the 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, a huge living room, dining room and a kitchen that is her home since 1949. She is a constant worrier so I guess that takes up some time.

The Babe and I are having homemade Pasta e Fagoili for dinner. It’s a great easy slow cooker meal that is perfect for these cold winter evenings. Hope you stay warm. Thank you for reading and know I’m grateful for you doing so. I will be here tomorrow, too, hope you will.