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!

Fun Friday

Why, you might ask, would a retired person be happy it was Friday, or look forward to a Friday when their week already consists of six Saturdays and a Sunday??

Tonight, the Babe and I are going to a hole in the wall bar and grill in Venice, Nebraska, to have a great dinner and see the entertainment. We bought tickets to see Ray Scott, a country star, and our friend, Jimmy Weber, perform. We’ve seen Jimmy many times and have formed a friendship. They just returned from a Country Cruising 2019 gig where I hear it was a real chore to do all the work.

Those of you who have known me for years may say, “Country?? You???” Yes, me. I’ve always liked Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Martina McBride, Sugarland, and a few others. Over the past few years, Babe and I have gone to see other local groups where Jimmy has been a part of the band, and he really is a good musician, has a good stage presence, and is an all around good person. We had a chance to see him perform in a small venue three years ago, and have been fans/friends ever since. It’s the storytelling kind of music. Real stories. That’s what we like, along with the mastery of the instruments he and his friends have.

We have heard about Ray Scott through Jimmy, and it just seems like we’d enjoy the show, so we’re going to Buck’s tonight. It’ll be an experience for sure. We were there once before and would call it cozy. Great food, so dinner will be involved. Should be a great night.

Left to right:
Jimmy Weber, Buck, Ray Scott
Gonna be a fun night.

To catch up on NaNoWriMo, there are about nine days left to make the goal of 50K words. I’m at a strong 27,627 words right now. Nerd that I am, to hit the target, I need at least 2,445 per day for the next nine days. I was bold to order the t-shirt before I started to write, and I wouldn’t feel right wearing it if I don’t make it. It’s just words. That should make some sort of sense. Of course, vigorous editing must follow the writing.

My workspace this morning.

That is not a lot, considering I’m learning to show, not tell. Big difference, from what I’ve read. I know for sure creative writing is much better than business writing! Learning something new is all part of the process. It’s kind of strange, but I’m not concerned about failure. I’m not concerned if anyone will like it or not. Of course, it’d be great to become a NYT Bestselling Author, but I won’t be disappointed if I don’t “make it big.” I want to sell books, but my next meal does not depend on it, so that probably takes a lot of self-imposed pressure off.

I’m grateful to the people who have read the blog every day. It’s a mental challenge to write about something every single day. Putting things all down in writing makes the thoughts and ideas real. It’s kind of scary to share personal stuff, but I feel in order to be real, I need to. What do you think about all that??

Folks, there have been some things in my life that I look back at and it’s hard to believe they even happened and that we lived to tell about it. Child drowning and recovering, child with ruptured appendix (found up by the liver, not a usual place!) and recovered, unusual benign growth in my spine that grew to about eight inches long and pinched spinal cord, surgery performed on growth, punctured and will not fill up anymore with spinal fluid, recovered with no data on recovery from such a thing, lived to walk again and tell about it. My surgeon took photos and published in a medical journal. I guess you could say I’ve already been published!!

There are remarkable stories in all of these events. And you can’t make this stuff up, folks! Each and every day, I’m so grateful to God that these things did not turn into major tragedies, as they well could have. They were very difficult situations that tested my faith in God, medicine, and miracles. I firmly believe there are miracles around us every day, especially in the field of medicine. Think about it. People are healed by some really miraculous discoveries.

Immunizations have stopped horrible diseases. As a child, I had measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Every kid got them. My kids had chicken pox, one as a baby still in diapers. I remember how horrible it was to be that sick, and not be able to do much for yourself or your child. My little brother had them so bad they were inside his eyelids, he could not walk to the bathroom, and my mom and I took turns rocking him to sleep and holding him. He has some scars from the pox. Not worth the risk. Whooping cough should be a thing of the past. So many people died from it at the turn of the twentieth century until there was a vaccine invented. My former father in law’s mother and twin sisters died of the disease. The surviving children went to an orphanage until their father could get back on his feet and have them back in the home. Unless we know and tell the stories of some past things, we will not fully realize what can happen when we decide we know more than doctors and authorities. For my money, I’ll continue to trust medicine.

That said, I do ask a lot of questions. I don’t blindly follow their advice. Our internist explains the why when he prescribes something or wants us to follow a certain protocol. I trust this professional’s advice because I believe that twenty some years ago, he did an EKG on Dan due to some complaints he had. Our doc didn’t like the results. He was immediately put in the hospital and they did Babe’s first heart cath. I do believe he would have had a widowmaker heart attack if the visit never would have happened. I believe his life was saved and I’m the beneficiary of a very deep love and friendship. We are both so blessed.

Going to need a nap today to be out late tonight. We believe we’ll be able to keep our eyes open until the show’s over. Life is indeed, very, very good. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Full report on our date night, with photos.

Like, comment, and you ‘ll be entered in my NaNoWriMo giveaway. Drawing December 1, 2019 at NOON. I hope you’re the winner!

My Inspirations to Create

If you were to look just above the top of your phone, notebook, laptop, desktop, what can you see, right in front of you, at this very moment?? This is what I see:

My view at this very minute. Inspiring me.

If you have a human sitting across from you, please, you can read my blog later. Interact with your friend/spouse/lover/child/sibling/parent. If it’s a stranger, smile. Be kind. If you have no one close by, observe.

Listen to the sounds you hear. I’m not going to video, but I swear I have music on right now by Rick Tiger. Learn about Rick at

http://www.ricktiger.net.

Rick has written and recorded many, many thoughtful, storytelling songs. I am inspired by that. It’s creating at it’s best. Rick and his wife Joyce are such nice people.

Dan and I met him a few years ago, and we’ve become fans. We met Rick through Jimmy Weber, who is also in my creative soundtrack arsenal. Jimmy has an extensive musical background that you can check out for yourself at

http://www.JimmyWebercountry.com.

Jimmy is a remarkable human being I’m proud to call a friend. He’s deeply involved in his community and with fellow veterans.

We met Jimmy through Billy McGuigan and his vast assortment of very talented friends. Billy, Ryan, and Matthew McGuigan have our attention whatever and wherever they are performing. Songbird Tara Vaughn has taken major part in the productions and my, she has grown as a performer. She can still belt out a song, but she has been creative herself by starring her own show, “She Rocks.” And I can assure you, she does. New guy Max Meyer can do things with a guitar I can only watch in awe. My hubby Dan gets a kick out of how Max has blossomed, become more comfortable on the stage with Billy and the others. It’s such a neat thing to watch. Visit their schedules and story at:

http://www.billymcguigan.com

Yesterday and Today, Rock On, Legends of Rock, British Invasion (with the Omaha Symphony), Billy and the Downliners, Rock Twist, and everything they do is superb. It inspires me to try and do something superb.

About a year ago, I sat down to start jotting ideas, lists, books to consult, etc. So much to learn!

All these folks have closed shows with words like, “Follow your dreams!” “Dream On” “Do what you love.” It really set me to thinking. I could do what I want right now.”

About a year ago, I purchased this book from Amazon. I started reading and thinking about how I’ve always wanted to write books for children. My daughter, Rebecca, has always encouraged me to do that. I miss her, she’s lived in Colorado for the past 18 years, has a great guy for a husband, and a beautiful baby girl named Kayla. They prefer I not post photos of them and especially not Kayla, and I respect that wish. So, with Rebecca leading the charge, and those generic encouragements from the stage, I’m following my dream.

For me, this is the perfect time of life to create, write, and publish my stories. I’ve always wanted to, I like to create, and my living doesn’t depend on it. I wouldn’t have taken the risk of quitting my job in the IT world for something I thought I could do. After all, I had three very hungry kids to feed. This is now my turn!

The person who inspires me daily is my husband, Dan. (I called him “Babe” in public with our VFW friends one night, and that is now his name, “Babe,” or “The Babe.” He is all for it if I want to do it. Something I’ve never had in a partner before. Babe, thanks for always being in my corner.

Dan’s support rivals what my dad gave me throughout life. He wouldn’t want me to quit a good job and roam around trying new stuff, but he would have encouraged me to try it out in spare time, once I was done raising kids. A man of few words, he would tell me, “Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get there.” Thanks, Dad!

Right now, I’m writing a realistic fiction. No escaping reality there!

Thank you, Billy, Ryan, Matthew, Tara, Kate, Kathy, Jimmy, Rick and Joyce, Dan, Dad, and especially, my daughter, Rebecca.

Thanks to all of you for reading, encouraging, and giving me ideas. Please leave comments, like and follow, and don’t forget about the $50 giveaway for November. Once per day, for your comments or likes, you’ll be entered in a giveaway for a $50 VISA giftcard. Share with your friends, please. Let’s have a fun November!

Headed off to write the 1,677 words for today. 50,000 will be here before I know it!