Magical Monday

The Babe couldn’t pick Gavin up today, so I got to. I had big plans. I love the Sun Valley Nursery in Gretna. Since Goldie ate most of my re-planted geraniums from previous visits to Sun Valley, I decided to treat myself and take Gavin so he could see it. It’s overwhelming how many different varieties of geraniums they have cultivated.

We pulled into their parking lot at 10 a.m. on the dot. No one was around. I called their number, and they said they were overwhelmed this year and sold their entire stock of geraniums out. I’m happy for them but sad for me! What an awesome year they had. The only other business they do is at the Christmas season. They grow their own versions of Poinsettias. I just may go browse this winter, but with dogs in the house, I probably won’t buy one. They’re poisonous to dogs. I just can’t trust them to not munch. That’s ok, though.

Thanks to John Cleveland, who wished me this yesterday.

We had a quiet day yesterday. Father’s Day is still a tough holiday for me. Dad’s been gone a long time, but I still feel the void in my life created when he was no longer here. I wonder if anyone might miss me that much someday. And that’s it, we all think we have until “someday.” Some do, many do not. Too often, we have friends or family become ill, and we lose them, despite great medical treatment, prayers, meals, fund raisers, and car pools. It’s so difficult when it’s a child. We all would trade places with a child in those circumstances.

When it is unexpected, the grief hits you where you live. And it moves in on you. You didn’t get to say goodbye. You had one more fishing trip planned. You forgot to ask her for the recipe she made so well. You had no time to prepare. A heart attack, an aneurysm, a stroke, and they can be maimed for life or lose their life altogether. And the grief is deep, and ugly, and hard. We don’t want to deal with this, of all things. It is too hard. It’s too long. It’s not getting better. How do people do it? We do because we have no choice in the matter. None.

What can we do? Pray. Pray for them, their family, their kids, and their parents. Pray for yourself, too. You will get through it. You don’t want to. But you will. And your life will be significantly different than it was. You get to go back in your memories and laugh with them again. Take the part of them you loved and incorporate some of it into your life. Help people. Deliver meals on wheels. Volunteer at the soup kitchen. Help someone else. In doing that, you help yourself. Over time, it does get better.

During the worst year of my life, I was a single mom, 37, with three kids. I lost: my best friend in March, my Grandma in May, my ex-father in law in September, my father in December. I was numb by the time summer came around, and I broke up with someone I’d dated a long time. He was trying to hurry me up in grieving for my friend. You can’t put a limit of two weeks on it. It’s impossible. My kids lost both grandpas in 6 months. It was a blow to all of us. I never thought it would be better. It took such a long time. But I use 1988 as an example of how a person can be stronger than they think they ever could. That doesn’t leave you, either. It’s a foundation for more. God will lighten your load. You have to trust in Him.

Sometimes, people write blogs or articles about their friends. The story telling, however it’s done, is so very important in your healing. As you tell your stories, you start to smile again. You become so grateful you had that person for a dad, or a brother, or a friend. Especially for a friend. I’m lucky to know a few people who are talented enough to write songs about their friends, dads, and grandpas.

Jason “Jake” Mayer wrote this beautiful song after he lost a lifelong friend Jason Diekmann. Jason passed from a stroke. What a tragedy. Jake wrote this beautiful song and dedicated it to his friend, about his loss. Jake’s good friend Jimmy Weber did guitar and background vocals. Jake, this is the first I’ve heard you sing, you’re good. There’s a lot of heartfelt emotion in your voice here. Hugs and prayers for you, Jake, and for Jimmy too. Here’s Jake Mayer, singing “The Rain’s Falling Down Again” (featuring Jimmy Weber). From what I understand, it’s available for download, through all the usual services. I understand it will be on the radio soon. I wish you much success with this, Jake.

Thanks to everyone who took time to read today. Talking about loss and grief may be uncomfortable, but it is so important. Dysfunctional grieving can take a real toll on families. Talk about it. Write about it. Do something with it. It will be a lasting tribute to your friend. Share, and your grief won’t be so heavy. I hope to see you tomorrow.

Memorial Day, 2020

May this day find you all free from threats, feeling safe, and remembering the selfless soldiers who gave their lives for our great country. This is a day we celebrate and think about their lives of duty, honor, and love.

By the time the USA was involved in WWII, many a young high school lad enlisted in the Army. Our nation stayed out of the war until we experienced the attack at Pearl Harbor. It was the absolute worst thing that ever happened to our country ever. Until 9/11 happened. How could we be attacked twice on our own soil? Did we not have the best military forces in the world? We did then and still do now. We let our guard down.

We let our guard down that Sunday morning in 1941 when most of those alive went to Church that day and may have been headed to Grandma’s house for dinner. Then it happened. A day that has lived in infamy. Many, many young men found their way to various recruiting offices to sign up for the Army or Navy, they wanted to defend our country against the aggressor. So many of those that died were fresh-faced teenagers who may have lied about their age to enlist. They left to go with others and defend our country. Many never returned.

Between the battlefield and the end of their lives, many soldiers met my father, Sgt. Thomas Jewell, Jr. He was initially a young medical supply/surgical tech and helped rescue the fallen from the battlefield, applying tourniquets or pressure to wounds and prayers with frightened young men. He was with medics all through Europe in General Patton’s Army. He served in Korea, caring for North Korean POW’s. He returned home to never really talk about things. Parts of him died with each of those young men. Many who survived told him at his 1987 Blackhawks Division reunion they had prayed for him every day because he saved their lives. One described him as self effacing, one who simply went about his work dodging bullets, carrying the wounded on stretchers. He was always an extremely modest man, never boastful about his accomplishments. He has always been my hero because of his unending support, quiet manner, and experiences in life that made him a good man. I am a very lucky daughter to have had that kind of father. He passed away in 1988, six months after retiring and three months before he was set for the first vacation of his life: flying with the Blackhawks to trace their steps through Europe on the liberation of Europe operation. Our mother still made the trip.

To help us think of those young fallen soldiers, here is an excellent video and rendition of TAPS. Jimmy Weber sings. Peace. Thanks. Gratitude. Let Freedom Ring. God bless you all. And God Bless America!

TAPS by Jimmy Weber

Sunday Songs

It’s another perfect day outside. I’m in writing this blog post, closed up the sewing machine temporarily (I have another quilt ready to put together in rows.) This will be an exciting year for our decorating in the bedroom. And the rest of the house. I’m taking my hedge hog project outside for in between the chapters to re-write. Even if we can only do one chapter a day, I’m happy with that. It would be finished before the end of May. It could happen.

This pandemic has taught me one thing. At this point in my life, the stuff I get done is more important that the stuff I don’t get done. I want to do a lot of things, but I’m accomplishing what’s important – sitting and talking with the Babe. Texting the kids. Calling my mom. Talking to that pesky baby brother who has grown into a good man who happens to be my best friend. There is a high probability I will outlive the Babe. We know this. Why not waste the day enjoying the view and talking? It’s not a waste. Money cannot buy those kinds of days. A quilting friend of mine in Kansas lost her husband a couple weeks ago. I’m not sure if he had been ill or not. That aside, this life is precious. We just never know.

While my “outing” yesterday was somewhat shocking, I decided one thing I really dislike about wearing a mask is you cannot smile at anyone. That’s the biggest thing, a smile. Everyone is a bit edgy, you know you are, too. A smile lets people know they’re around someone who understands. They’re around a nice person who wants to share a smile. That person could become encouraged with a smile to do something they are dreading. During difficult times in my life, I remember how a smile added something to my day, made me remember the world is good and beautiful.

I treasured that slight human action that means so much. Maybe I’m a sappy romantic, but I love if I approach someone and their face lights up in a smile. It tells me they’re glad to see me. You can tell a fake one, too. Just wait until this mask thing is lifted. You’ll see what I mean. In the meantime, I have to come up with an alternative to a smile. I have a tendency sometimes to be thinking about stuff and have a furrowed brow (some would call them wrinkles, but I refuse. They are a furrow.) and be considered a crabby old lady. Gosh, I hope not. I’m really not. Unless you mess with our kids or grandkids. They certainly don’t need me to protect them, their parents are so in tuned to everything about those precious children. As it should be. Kids should get to enjoy their childhoods, without someone stealing it from them.

Gavin, our nearly nine year old grandson told me we couldn’t be around each other because of this virus thing. Had I heard of it? Yes, Gavin, I have. Well, we can’t go to school, and we have to stay home, but I can have fun playing in my yard or riding my bike. He is having a blast, I’m so glad. He will remember the positive about this, not the bad stuff. God Bless our Children!

Every single day.

I believe we all realize how fragile life is. As our scientists scramble to identify something every case of COVID-19 has in common (I’m betting there is nothing), we are kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The other big bang in our lives that will let us know what we are dealing with. We may never know. Science is precise, exacting, and takes time we may not have. Have we over reacted? I don’t think so. Should we be working on re-opening our lives and businesses and entertainments? I think we’re a little early on that. Wearing a mask might not be a bad idea should you go places where business is being transacted. Maybe wearing a mask in cubicle world at your job is a good idea. Be mindful. We have a lot to lose, people. Please put up with these little inconveniences to save others lives. It could be your baby, toddler, teenager, forty-something child, or your Grandma who you save. It’s what good people do. Think of others right now. Be kind. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Keep doing what you’re doing to keep our world going.

Music is an important part of my world. It helps me cope with the unthinkable. A local musician, Jimmy Weber, did a “show” from Buck’s Bar in Venice, NE last night. I hope you were able to catch it on FB Live. If not, I’m sure it will be reposted. You have to tune in just to see the most beautiful guitar I may have ever seen. He introduces it and plays one song on it. Hotel California. Shut the Front Door! It was awesome. You have to hear it for yourselves. Jimmy Weber, Facebook Live Video, from last night. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading today. I’m hopeful this will be a very productive week for all of us. What have you planned? I’m working on a list for the week. I appreciate being part of your day. You’re definitely part of mine. See you tomorrow!

Superior Saturday

It’s another nice day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. I did the unthinkable. Today, I went by myself, to the store. I selected Target because they have so many flavors of the Greek Yogurt we like. I felt like I was on another planet after not shopping for over a month. At least there was no line to wait in to enter the store. The carts were being sanitized by an employee, who set them off to one side for you to have one all ready for as you enter. Nice. I hope that continues all summer.

The shopping wasn’t too bad, except I spent a whole bunch of money. We were out of a lot of things. And no snacks. The Babe isn’t happy. Anyway, the store definitely had a lot of empty spaces. I got the last squeeze pack of pickle relish. Love pickle relish mixed in tuna for a sandwich. I skipped the cookies, the snacks aisle, the stuff we tend to eat up fast. Got some good Italian Sausage to make a pasta meal with next week. I needed a lot of Health and Beauty Items. Make up. Make up remover. Sunscreen. Body Wash. Hair Spray. The essentials.

Some people opt to live in their pajamas during quarantine, and even during illness. If when I’m ill, I manage to stay out of bed except for a nap, I’ll get dressed. Dressed everyday in quarantine. I suppose it’s because now we’re the old people, but the Babe does too. It helps us have a better mindset for the day. And I wear makeup every day. It’s a habit, I suppose, but it makes me feel better so I’ll continue to do it while I still can. So, if you see me out somewhere and I need to blend a little better, give me a heads up, ok? And let me keep my dignity.

It feels strange in this age of COVID-19 that we are being allowed (May 4) to come out of quarantine a bit. That scares me to death. Of course numbers go down when people are staying home. It’s WHY they stay home! I’m just concerned it will kick up again with a vengeance and quarantine us until Christmas. That would be horrible for people, their psyche, their relationships, their pets, neighbors, and co-workers. And the health professionals! Wow. The VFW is talking about doing something during the month of May, and following the rules in place. It would be good for the morale of the members, whichever are able to come.

Favorable things I saw today included so many apartment building going in north of Highway 370 on Highway 6/31, also known as 204 Street closer to Omaha. Traffic signals, too. They are expecting people to move in and they’re getting ready. The traffic will increase, as the population does, and we’ll see more schools being built, more places to shop, and so on. Gretna will be the place to be in a few more years. An issue on the ballot in May concerns a huge park, including ball fields, baseball diamonds, splash park, and many other things. It will be good for the families. I love to see that.

All is well, I’ve unloaded the groceries, put them away, and got an Iced Chai Tea to relax a minute and bring you all up to date on things. More book editing later on, and this morning, I finished piecing the Poppy Quilt this morning! Here it is, thanks for holding it Babe and Goldie.

Needs trimming, layering & pinning, and quilting.

I need to check out the craft room and see what fabric I have for backing and if there is enough batting to layer it. Hope so, otherwise a large order will go out for a roll of batting. Might be enough for five or more quilts, so it’s worth it. I’m really glad to have finished piecing the quilt. It all will be completed, in due time. It’s fun to have all these different interests, and hard to pick what to work on.

More reading to do this afternoon, and dinner later. This evening, Jimmy Weber will do another Show, this time from the empty bar at Buck’s in Venice, NE. It’s just down the road from us, but they won’t allow people in. If you’re interested, go to his Facebook page, Jimmy Weber Music and watch the Facebook Live. I’m looking forward to it very much. Tonight, on FB Live, from 8 – 9:30 p.m. Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting today, I appreciate it. Have a beautiful evening and I’ll see you tomorrow. It’ll be another beautiful day!

Superb Saturday

The Sweatshop shut down early today. Now it’s up to the shipping department!

I’m sitting outside in the sunshine where the temperature is about sixty degrees, according to my Google Pixel phone. Except for a bit too much breeze, the day is perfect. That’s Nebraska in the Spring, boarders on bipolar many years. I do miss some of the flower garden I used to have. Peonies and beautiful Iris, the first flowers of my garden. I’d take them to my dad’s grave on my birthday, before the Memorial Day grave decorators are out.

It’s too beautiful to stay inside. After a false start a couple weeks ago here we are again. The dogs love it, we love it, it’s out happy place, either on the deck or patio. Right now it’s the patio, more sun is present at this hour. I’m so grateful to be here for another day of life. I finished a bunch of facemasks today. The sweatshop is closed. The shipping department will do it’s thing later today, and the Babe will mail the packages on Monday. Funny thing. The IT Department in Sioux Falls notified me they actually DO need the power cord for the backup hard drive they need to troubleshoot. I just have to laugh. We humans make funny boo boos, don’t we? So it will be mailed to the IT Department in South Dakota. Probably not until Monday. Neither of us are going anywhere anytime soon, you know?

I’m looking forward to watching my friend, Jimmy Weber, sing tonight and play some of his new songs. Folks, I’m making a public confession here. I was not a great country fan until I heard Jimmy perform alone and with friends. He can play like nobody’s business, sing with heartfelt emotion, and make it entertaining and fun. I’m a fan, and have been introduced to other performers through him. I appreciate his expert guitar playing on any genre. And he’s a great human being. He will go live tonight from 8 – 9:30 p.m. CDT. You will be amazed at this talent. He will be assisted by his manager, (Handsome Jake Meyer), tech guy, songwriter, and moral support division. He’s a good guy, too.

The incomparable Jimmy Weber.
7 – 8:30 Tonight, on Facebook Live, Jimmy Weber’s Page.

There are quite a few things to do before I settle in to watch and listen to Jimmy Weber tonight. Finish my Intake Q & A for my Book Coach, submit it and the first ten pages of my manuscript (I get goosebumps when I say that word), edit some more with Pro Writing Aid, and do those meals we need. Probably a late lunch/early dinner. The Chicken Chimichanga’s were awesome! We had pineapple and peach salsa, so it covered all the food groups, folks. Leftovers today and one more meal (frozen).

Cooking fiasco. I couldn’t believe it. On Easter Sunday, the bread was baking in the oven. All of a sudden, black smoke came rolling out of the top vent, and filled the kitchen, living room, and everywhere. The butter on top of the bread melted and fell to the bottom of the oven. Right on the hot metal that covers the flame in the newer gas stove we have. Wow. It was really something. We got it cleared out pretty quickly, but it was pretty amazing. I have not done anything like that ever. I do actually know how to cook, bake, and a few other things. It troubled me, the smoke detectors never went off. Never. They are hard wired into the electrical system, so even if the batteries were dead, they should work. Hmmmm. After watching Tiger King on Netflix, maybe my suspicions are aroused. I’ll have to check it out. Damn that Carole Baskin person!

Thanks for reading today. Listen to Jimmy Weber tonight, you’ll be glad you did. It’s like you’re sitting down with him talking over a beverage and he’s playing just for you. Enjoy! I’ll see you again tomorrow. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Informed.

Thankful Thursday

Hi, guys!

We’ve been outside before the wind picks up to the 50 mph they’re predicting. It was a good time to get the winter layer of dirt off the deck, patio, and few lawn chairs we’ve put out. The rest will come out and be cleaned off after the snow goes away. They’re predicting something frozen for the Easter weekend. It’s ok. It’s not as if we are going anywhere anyhow. Yes, we’ll watch the FB Live of the Service at our Church. It’ll be a good day.

I’m listening to Ray Scott for inspiration music today. And I have to say, I’m hooked. I will snag up all his music today. His voice is unbelievable. So far, I have “Guitar for Sale,” and “Nowhere Near Done.” We saw only a couple songs in person last November at Buck’s Bar. Our friend Jimmy Weber opened for him, but by the time we had several beers and dinner, listened to Jimmy’s set, the Babe wasn’t feeling well. It was when he still had the wound vac to heal the huge wound still open after a heart cath. It was not a good time to stay out late. The Babe apologized all over the place, sweet man that he is. Next time, Ray! I’m loving your work.

Music of the Day. Go Ray Scott!

Our son-in-law is stopping by with his battery charger later. The Babe needs to borrow it to re-charge his riding mower battery. We’re so lucky to have some kids here. I suppose people with no children at all have a network of people who are able to help them. Having kids is no guarantee they will help you when you get older. They may not live nearby. They may also not be able to help. Emotionally or financially. It’s best not to expect things from them that they can’t or won’t do. It saves a lot of hurt. Lord knows we don’t need any more hurt in this world.

Although the Feds have extended the deadline for paying your taxes, the deadline for filing will be in about a week or so. I’ll get finished, just a matter of totaling up all the medical, dental, and drug costs for us retirees. I’m so grateful I have good insurance. It’s been a blessing all through my single Mom life, my married and working life, and the retiree/author life. For all the bad press corporations receive, I cannot badmouth them at all. They have generously reimbursed my tuition for a college education, and have covered my many and unusual long term illnesses. I’m grateful for them.

This morning, as we were having coffee and listening to the news, the topic of unemployment came up. We are so fortunate to not be impacted by that. Of course, our IRAs and other investments have dropped substantially, but we are still getting pensions and are fine. God has been so very good to us, and we’re grateful for that, too.

I don’t know of anything that is so joyful for me as answering the phone to hear grandson Gavin say, “Grandma, I really miss Lexie and Goldie.” They miss him, too. So do Grandpa and I! It’s been way too long since we saw the kids. Addison isn’t a dog kid, so she will never say that. She does say she misses us, however. Grandkids are the bonus round of life, you know? They are so much fun. I can’t wait until Gavin starts to play baseball again this summer. His new team practices all year, but they of course cannot right now. That’s too bad, but necessary at this time.

The Mayor of Omaha had to close all the city parks. Some people (over 200) were gathered at a park the other night at 10 pm for a barbeque (!?) and of course, someone shot three people. One died, two wounded. Pitiful. People have been behaving badly at a few places, and I hope they stay away from everyone now. Yes, it’s hard. But don’t think the rules don’t apply to you. There is always someone, isn’t there? The naughty kid who misbehaved and made everyone in the class have to stay after school. The cheater in high school who stole the test beforehand and aced it, causing everyone’s grades to be tossed out. And now there is the person who gathers at the dog park, the playground equipment, or the baseball field, causing all city parks and trails to be closed. It never fails.

And, amongst those ranks are the people who do what is right, what is the next right thing to do, and follows the rules and directions. There are, fortunately more of us than the other kind. Continue being a good citizen, ok? That is how we will all survive this quarantine and the aftermath. Do what’s right. Be grateful. Learn to smell the roses while being cautious of the thorns. Thank you for reading today. I deeply appreciate it, and hope to see you again tomorrow. I’ll be here. See you then.

Sunny Sunday!

Greetings from the Home Office Studio in Gretna, Nebraska! It is a scrumptious day out there, a bit chilly, but the sun is shining. That makes all the difference in the world. As you know, with all this social distancing going on we are not able to go out to movies, shopping, stop off and have a beverage, and go see our favorite musical entertainment. I shared yesterday about our friend, Jimmy Weber, who did a gig last night from his home. It was so good to hear him sing live again! The seating was great, no lines at the ladies room, and they stocked our favorite beverages! There were a couple technical issues, but that stuff is even happening to Netflix these days. (Buffering is still alive and annoying while watching your favorite series’ new season!). That aside, he sang a lot of his new songs that will be recorded later this year in Nashville. Hope they’re ready for you, Jimmy! Stay well.

Today, our friend Rick Tiger and a friend are on FB Live from 4 to 6 p.m. Tune in, you’ll know you’ve heard Rick’s songs before. He’s written a treasure trove of them. He’s a good guy, and you’ll feel you’ve known him forever. Thanks in advance for supporting our friends!

While high school athletes and seniors mourn the loss of their time in the sun, there are couples all over the world who are having to postpone the most important day of their lives together – their weddings. I truly feel sorry for them as weddings are something they look forward to for months and even years. How disappointing to have quarantines in place, where no more than ten people can gather together. Some can’t even include their entire families!

Which brings me to the point of this story. My cousins Mike and Mary have four grown kids, three girls and a boy. The son is in college, so they’re all grown for the most part. Their oldest had a wedding scheduled for yesterday, April 4. After much discussion, they went forward with the ceremony, in the groom’s parents yard. They were so blessed to have such a pretty day. From the photos, it was a beautiful wedding. They adjusted. They got through it. They didn’t like having to change their plans, but they did. They were grateful and everything went well. That’s what being married is about. Things don’t always go the way you want, but a compromise is found, and you go on, being grateful for the gift of each other. It’s a testament to their parents and to Marc and Katelynn too, for picking out the important part and going with it. You kids are off to a great start.

In addition to adjusting, you also need to keep your sense of humor in marriage. The Babe and I have found it to be our most important and most used tool in the arsenal. While going through the photos online, we were blessed with this one. It was the groom’s idea, and it truly speaks to their sense of humor and grace, and will be a story to tell their grandkids about. I absolutely love this!!

What a great way to start a (COVID-19) marriage.
With laughter!

Do me a favor? If you get down in the dumps over all this staying at home, come back to this blog post, and have a good laugh on Katelynne and Marc! Congratulations to them!

It ought to be interesting, my cousins Mike and Mary have another daughter getting married in August, 2020. I wish them the best of luck in keeping their schedule amidst this looming crisis. This is a family who believes in their faith, the goodness of God, and the kindness of people. They will all be ok. I hope the same for all of us.

Better days are coming again.
Be aware and receive them fully.

At the present moment, I have to say, this isn’t the worst bad time I’ve had – yet. Sometimes, as a single mom, I thought we might go bankrupt, but that worst never happened. Sometimes, as a single mom, I prayed my kids would have enough of a teacher in me that they would break the stereotype of “bad kids come from broken homes,” and they grew up good, responsible citizens. (I still hate the term “broken homes”to this day). Sometimes, as a breast cancer patient, I was afraid the cancer would have a mind of it’s own, destroying my life and taking me from this earth, but it didn’t. The list goes on and on of the things that would qualify as my worst hard/bad time. Yes, many could have happened, but by the grace of God, they did not. I am praying for all of us, that this global pandemic, is not any of our worst hard times.

Thank you for reading today. I hope it made your heart a bit lighter. I appreciate you very much, and hope to see you again tomorrow. Who knows what fun we’ll have then? I’ll be here.

Stupendous Saturday

It’s another Saturday here at the Home Office at Gretna, Nebraska. Another decent day, and it will be in the 60s and 70s next week. For the first time in about ten days, I’ve left the house to go with the Babe to his office in the VFW Post 2503 in Omaha. It feels strange to be out of the house, yet I don’t want to venture too far away. I feel the best at home, truthfully.

Our musician friends are making it easier to be quarantined. There are many local and national performers who are doing FB live concerts from their homes to ours. Some are posting previous performances to keep the interest piqued. All of them are done to help us get away from what’s going on right now, even if just for an hour. You will feel better after listening to music, I guarantee it.

That said, our good friend, Jimmy Weber, is performing tonight from 8 – 9 p.m. Just go to his FB page, Jimmy Weber Music, or Jimmy Weber and watch. You’ll be glad you did! Singer and Songwriter Rick Tiger and a friend will share some songs tomorrow afternoon from 3 – 4 p.m. You’ll enjoy this one, too. I’m so happy to be able to share these events with all of you, it’ll help reduce your stress and introduce you to two of the nicest and talented men I know. I’m so lucky to call them both friends. Enjoy!

This pandemic is going to get worse before it gets better, according to some of the experts. This means we will be under these stresses for a while to come. It is important to put things into perspective and be calm. Yes, things have gotten away from me several times already. I freely admit it. Some days, I’m terrified for our families, our old folks and our babies. I am afraid for myself since I want to see those grandkids all grow up too. There is way too much for all of us to lose, and that’s not even talking about the financial aspect of it. We’ve all survived with less money, fewer belongings, and in tougher times. God will be good to us.

I am going to make masks for my family should they want any. And I’m going to create from my studio, deck, and/or patio every day. It is what I know will make me feel better. You make sure you find what will make you feel better and do it. Music, creating, and being with my best friend top my list. The Babe is true blue in good times and in bad times, as I am with him. I have learned, however, that he has many women friends, whom I’ll gladly share him with. After all, he shares me with my men friends. It’s a grown up relationship, no jealousy, just as it should be. Lucky me!

Truer words never spoken!

I want to thank you for reading today. I suppose we have dawdled enough today, and it’s time to publish this post. We ended up having drive through lunch and going for ice cream on the way home. I’m ready to cocoon again for awhile. We don’t ask for much, and we’re so richly rewarded!

The photo above and story that goes with it is humorous yet sadly true. Just remember the moral of the story as you go about this quarantine. Wash your hands, stay home, and keep the jackasses under control. Thank you for reading today, tune into Jimmy Weber tonight and I’ll see you again here tomorrow. Be safe until then.

Wednesday Already?

My cousins and I are mourning the loss of our cousin Rich. Rich died from cancer and he’s the first of our immediate family of our generation to die. We’re so sorry for all of his kids, and hope they find comfort in their memories of him. He served in the USMC in the mid-seventies, and was an excellent carpenter. He must have inherited that from his biological father, who was a carpenter. He was adopted by his step dad, along with his brother Mark, and sister Joleen. Hugs to Mark and Joleen. What a time to lose someone, when you cannot even hold a funeral. Tough times in those situations.

Following a lot of folks on the Facebook, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loses track of what day it is. It’s the bane of retired folks, but with so many people home all day, I think it has finally struck the general population. I think it’s perfectly normal, and we’ll get adjusted how humans have adjusted for centuries, and then it will be time to go back to whatever normal will be. Retired folks will still have the problem, but it’s an ok problem to have. Really. Trust me!

Music of the Day. Love to have Jimmy serenade me while driving to and from Mom’s. Relaxing!

My listening stuck at Jimmy Weber today while driving to Mom’s for her last PT appointment. It’s been a very long three months (for me) and it has helped her a great deal. She’s still not super steady on her feet, balance is affected by her loss of hearing and sight. At least she’s stronger. Her right leg remains much weaker, which is from the strokes a couple years ago. She is looking forward to working in her gardens this year. Mostly all flowers. I always joked, “It keeps you out of pool halls.” And it does!

We are truly living in strange times. Just driving into Omaha and back, the number of cars is fewer than before. It seems like a lot more semis are using the roads, and a big thanks goes to the truck drivers. You and the railroads are moving much needed goods in America right now. I’m just going to need to by some toilet paper by the weekend, I do believe. We have three bathrooms, so each is stocked, but with sharing back and forth the supply is dwindling right now. I think a lot of people that aren’t in their 60’s are going in at old people hour and stripping the shelves earlier. We, as a country, need to share with others better. C’mon, let’s be good humans. Leave some for the rest of us. Please. Thank you!

I typed over 1,000 words for my book yesterday. One of the characters really started to take form. I’m telling about each person separate from the story. It’s a hard choice to make, backstory, as they call it, ruins the flow of the telling of the story. I’m trying it out to see if the juicy tidbits about this crazy family can be told alongside the story to fill in what may be missing. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have more research to do. How do you introduce characters who are close to seventy years old and reveal how they got the way they are? Any suggestions? Ideas? Leave me a comment at the end here, we’ll learn how to do that together.

It’s too late today to really dig in and get much done but I’ll be able to do that tomorrow. It’ll free up a lot of my time now that Mom’s finished with therapy. Another new normal. And pray she doesn’t fall and get hurt! She’s been so fortunate thus far. Hope it continues.

I also want to take a walk around the yard and see if there are any flowers trying to push their way skyward. I didn’t get tulips planted in the ground, but did in a pot. Might be time to start watering that and hope for the best. They can go in the ground anytime after they bloom. Crossing fingers, hoping the dogs didn’t dig everything out. Goldie will have to be taught not to eat the stems, leaves, and blooms. They all go through the billy goat stage, I just hope hers doesn’t last long.

I think the reality of our nation’s situation is business will not be back by April 12. Not if we want to live. I see more info regarding quarantining for at least another six to eight weeks. That sounds much more reasonable to me. I think the President is trying to say what everyone wants to hear. I think some folks dislike him so much, whatever he says will be criticized. No, he’s no wordsmith, I’ll agree with that. I would bet there is so much more to everything right now he must be switching gears quicker than anyone can. He gets stuck going back and forth, hence the hesitation. Let’s just be civil. And safe. And stay home. Wash. Be positive. We all need it!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Please be safe. Be positive, and we’ll meet again tomorrow. I’ll be here.

Wonderful Wednesday

Today is a special day for the world. It is Rick Tiger’s birthday. I want to wish him a happy day and hope for many more for him. Rick is a storyteller/singer/songwriter, and the Babe and I met him a few years ago.  He has written many beautiful songs. Check out his catalog of songs, and you’ll likely find something you like that he wrote. Today in my studio, we’re being serenaded by Rick. I love being able to create my own playlists. Google Rick and you’ll see his many accomplishments. It’s a great story. Here is a link to his website. http://www.ricktiger.com

It’s also a special day because they have nominated a very special friend of ours to the Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards, Jimmy Weber, as Musician of the Year.  Wow! No one works harder than Jimmy to achieve what he has. I’m delighted for him, hope he wins. Find more info on
Jimmy go to: http://www.jimmywebercountry.com

Back in time, both Rick and Jimmy, these creative people have been where I am. Just starting out. They are two of the many people who inspire me to create, who I listen to when they have talked about their dreams and encouraged all of us to just to out and follow ours. Good stuff! If anyone enjoys my writing as much as I enjoy their music, it will thrill me to death. Until then, I’ll be here in my studio, working on my dream. Just like they did. Dan and I love both of you guys!

Meanwhile, back at the Raabe Ranch, I am studying the second part of Pinterest training. An online group is offering guidance as the Nebraska Writer’s Guild did on posting in Pinterest. I’m amazed by the numbers provided for how long a shelf life advertising has on Pinterest. About 8,760 days. 24 years. WOW! Let that sink in. So I believe I’d better learn this pronto!

I also had a call yesterday from Constant Contact, an organization that works with WordPress helping collect email addresses. It is something I’m looking at. I realize full well Mail Chimp does that for free or darned near. It’s all about finding out about choices and how to spend my time well. The Constant Contact call was from expressing interest, not a cold call. I like that. I also like he could quote a lot of my blog posts. I know, he’s a salesman. At least they took the time to read some of what I wrote. More looking at options to come.

YES. Yes. yes. Some folks believe retirement is the time to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’ve always had hobbies. Mostly of the “girly” kind; sewing (garment construction, quilting, and decorating), embroidery, crocheting. I’ve created many, many gifts for people and clothed myself, even sewing business suits for me. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot. Mom told me the other day my maternal great grandmother worked at Clarkson Hospital. Her job was sewing the nurse’s uniforms. Hats, dresses, cloaks, all of it. Mom said, “You come by your outstanding sewing skills naturally.” That made me happy to make that connection with Great Grandma Riss. Mom is not sure whatever happened to Grandpa Riss, no one said. So many disappearances back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. So many questions that will never have answers. So glad to have those hobbies.

And in February, I’m joining others in the private Facebook group in a 30 day creative challenge. I will focus on a creation every day that I will either draw, write (maybe poetry), or photograph. There are prompts given, and it’ll be another great experience. The last time I did this artistic challenge, I overloaded myself with too many things. I did not finish the month and I was exhausted. Note to self: hard as it is to accept, you’re not in your 20s anymore. Or 30s. Or 40s. Or 50s. I refuse to go further until it’s time to! I have a few good years left!

I’ll let you know when I successfully pin some real Nebraska authors’ books to a board on my Kathy Raabe, Author Pinterest page. Until then, thank you for reading along today. I will be here again tomorrow, and I’d love to see you here! Stay warm, be careful out there!