Monday, Full of Promise

Good morning, from the sunny Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. If you don’t appreciate the beautiful blue I can see this morning, I’ll say a prayer for you. It’s been dark and overcast for a few days. Even without talking with Mom, I know she’s grateful for more light to maneuver around in. It also makes the day go faster, your internal clock gets off kilter with too much darkness. Hang in there, Mom!

Listening to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen right now, “Letter to You.” It’s a nice collection, all what I would expect from him in his later years – he’s 71 years old. The words ring true in my heart right now, as I listen. We all have fears and doubts that haunt us right now.

I see it through the eyes of a believer in God. He provides for us, maybe not what we want, but what we need. We sometimes don’t know the difference between the two. It’s amazing if you’ve seen His timing in your life. An event can happen that puts you on a totally different yet much better path than you are on at the time.

I put my worries in God’s hands right now. I don’t know how we will end up at the end of the week, but I cannot drive myself crazy about it. What good does that do any of us? Our mental stability is shattered and that is when trouble happens. We hear all sorts of rumors and dis-information, I don’t trust most things I read online anymore. And television news? I think not. I suppose my information will all become “after the fact,” and my primary concern is for law enforcement in Washington DC, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and all the other agencies who are keeping order in our nation’s capitol until after the Inauguration. I hope Biden and Harris help us settle down. He is my president, whether I voted for him or not. Let’s just move ahead.

I had a noon class today with the Storyteller Academy. It’s a free, seven day series of classes about Picture Books. I gleaned something very important during the class today. Jim Averbeck mentioned you need to consider the child’s emotions. I’m so glad to hear this. It is about the child, and things which may evoke some strange feelings they are unfamiliar with. My book talks about loss, and how they feel. It is offering ideas to cope and heal, too. It’s a topic people don’t like to talk about, which is exactly why we need to talk about it. Grief can derail your life if you don’t know how to handle it.

Let’s have a positive attitude for the rest of the day. I’ve accomplished a lot, although I wish I could have published this sooner in the day. I’m plotting about how to do more in a week than we do now, and if it’s possible. These books won’t write themselves!

Thank you for reading today, we’ll see each other tomorrow! Be Safe. Hugs and Love to all of you.

Monday Happiness

No, it didn’t even snow this much, but I thought the photo was pretty. While I was writing an article for our VFW Post 2503 Website, it fell gently at first, then the flakes fell faster. The article described our experience helping collect winter clothing for homeless Vets. With the snow today, I felt so happy for about thirty people who would have a nice, warm coat, several pairs of new socks, and water resistant boots.

I spent time today picking up a dress to alter for a girl my son works with. I haven’t done that for a while, but it’ll be a fun thing. It usually is. The weather was just wet and cold by then, snow melted. The pretty scenes are gone. It will snow more this year, I’m sure.

This Keto eating is going well, we both have more energy. However, it’s a lot of work! When you cook your own meals, there is planning, shopping, following recipes, searching for ingredients. We’ve tried to find smoked paprika for a few weeks. Finally, at the little Mom and Pop store in town. They usually come through. Thanks, Babe!

After I got home, I prepped tomorrow’s breakfast and baked it. Then it’s make something for dinner. Nothing much is quick any more, unless you have a salad with hard-boiled eggs, sliced ham, turkey, and veggies in it. That may be dinner tomorrow. Yep, we’ll make HB eggs tomorrow, and some more bagels. Those are weird. Melting Mozzarella cheese until liquid, you mix in some new “flour”, and mix up the stuff. I couldn’t get it to roll out very well last time. It was more like string cheese instead of a “rope” to create a bagel from. Practice will help, I’m sure. We can both tell our bodies are changing. The weight loss isn’t huge, we’re both about 10 – 15 pounds. But we’re not hungry, and are going to eat Keto for Thanksgiving, too. I’ll make sugar free cranberry sauce, loaded baked “cauliflower” potatoes, and loads of raw veggies. We’ll have Keto Pumpkin bars with real whipped cream. It should be a splendid feast.

Tomorrow, we’ll have more to visit about, it’s just a little before bedtime now and should have info on a mask mandate in our little town. We have a high rate of folks at our local church, causing everything to be cancelled in person. So sad. Take care, be safe out there.

Monday, Day 8391 of Pandemic

Karen Carpenter’s Song, “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down,” is a song I think of when’s it’s a rainy Monday. Considering her very sad demise, her death from Anorexia in 1983. We knew little about Anorexia, it’s not a surprise she would sing such a mournful song. For many years, they stigmatized it, along with Bulimia, which is another eating disorder. For years and years this illness went on until she succumbed to it in February 1983. Very sad. And even more sad the more details emerged. I imagine every rainy day and every Monday got her down. Depression was also little talked about illness. I’m glad we’re coming out of the dark ages about such things. It’s something to be grateful for, despite it being gloomy outside.

That said, it’s a beautiful day outside. The sky is of November gloom, like before a snow blows into the heartland. It bothers me, not one bit. I’ve lived here all my life, and the seasons are part of the landscape, so to speak. It’s home. I love the changes.

Yesterday, I was Keto baking like a crazy woman! (Ask the Babe!) I Baked Fluffy Bread, Blueberry Muffins, Blueberry-Almond bagels, and they were fabulous. Lexie stole a couple muffins, gulping them down before making it to the bedroom. There was only a scrap of the foil baking cup left. They were that good, actually. It just makes me laugh. She avoided me for a bit after that. We had a muffin for breakfast, with an Egg Bake Casserole loaded with cheese. It was delicious. I am not hungry a bit.

One thing you notice immediately is the portions are normal size. Americans went to Jumbo Sized food portions and citizens long ago. I’m as guilty as anyone for eating the wrong things. A month ago, it just clicked. I wanted to do something different in the eating and feeling department. So far, don’t feel as tired, but the Jury is still out on that. Age could be a factor, too. I’ve lost about ten pounds, the Babe a little over five. I expect he’ll overtake me soon. Men can lose faster. With the messed up spine I have it’s very difficult to walk for exercise. Many programs are too jarring. My challenge is the working out. Water therapy with warm water is great, but my skin breaks out from the sulfa they used to use. Allergic.

I was feeling all proud and domestic when I poured another cup of coffee while the Babe was in the shower. Then I realized I hadn’t put the egg casserole in the oven yet. Silly me! It was worth waiting for. The Babe takes things like that in stride, not upset in the least he left the house later than he wanted. Folks I have known in my life fly off the handle at goof-ups like that. When you’re retired, things shouldn’t get under your skin.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

At any rate, we’re back on track with the day starting thirty minutes later than expected. It was worth the wait. It’s a good day to curl up and write some chapters, and hope to do that. Thinking of doing tomorrow’s blog later tonight. Isn’t there some NFL game on again tonight? So I can be present yet still working. I decided awhile ago when we learned the Babe be borrowing time with his Agent Orange exposure and Ischemic heart disease. Nothing will keep me from spending as much time as I can with him while he’s right here. Period. I’m not being morose, just realistic. I try hard to give myself little to regret. It’s just better that way. Took a long time to learn that. We just enjoy sitting in the same room together, even in silence. It’s very intimate.

She sleeps against me at night, bless my doggie and her loyalty.

We have a little reading and writing to do this afternoon. Lexie is on guard, looking out the studio office window. No intruders will break the perimeter without the sentry alerting us. Bless her over-protective heart. Goldie checks the other rooms, comes to report and get ear rubs, and plops on an extra office chair mat. All is well at Raabe Ranch. Hope it is with you, too. Be Safe. Be Kind. Let’s all be friends and family again. See you tomorrow.

What Makes a Monday?

Depending on which type of printed (or electronic) calendar you use, Sunday is probably the “first” day of the week. Monday follows, and that was traditionally the start of the work week. And all retail stores were closed on Sunday. It really was a special day. Now it’s hard to tell one day from another. That’s not the COVID-19 Blues or old age forgetfulness talking, every day is pretty much the same. Our society makes a big deal about Wednesday being “Hump Day”; a/k/a the middle of the week, but how do we tell?

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When we were kids, my dad worked nights. His weekend was Sunday night and Monday night. That was the least they could do, since back in the day when newspapers were king, the Saturday night print of each early Sunday edition was time consuming, and the papers were big ones. Not like the ones printed today. He would often work close to twelve hours, depending on late front pages, equipment breakdown, etc. It was always something. Sundays we always went with Mom to visit both Grandmas and maybe some aunts and uncles. It just depended on how long Dad needed to sleep. Good times, really.

When I first started working after I was divorced, I didn’t like Fridays, I loved Mondays. That is weird. I hated the house without the kids, the few weekends their father took them. It took a long time for me to settle myself to stay there without them. Just me and their dog, Shadow. It was lonely. I remember what it’s like to be gut-wrenching, bone-chilling lonely those Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Yes, it was that bad. It was like that too for awhile after they were all gone from home, two moving out of state. I miss them and those hard days.

One thing I’ve always remembered during those times, is I have my worst decisions while I was lonely. I’ve stayed too long, not thought about my long term needs, and haven’t bothered to say hello. It was always such a lesson to wait on those kinds of decisions. I learned, finally, thank God! I share that because some of you may learn from it, too. Don’t decide too quickly. Do it when you’re feeling loved, not lonely.

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

So what makes a Monday? I believe it has to do with dread, belief in the negative, and maybe from not loving what you do enough. Now I see it as a start. A shiny new week, all ready for me to create and learn. And my book coach and I have a conference on Thursday. I’ve shared my completed homework with her, and am eager for Thursday. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to spending time with Gavin again today, and getting some quilting time in. Whoever said retirement is boring didn’t have hobbies and grandkids.

I think Monday should be looked forward to, and spent wisely. As you age you realize you are running out of time. Right now, I’m hoping to live until at least 90, to make a dent in my fabric stash for quilting. I’m still working on the Poppy Quilt, shame on me! No, other things got in the way, and I chose them instead. Now, I’m choosing a relaxing hobby to get a sense of accomplishment after completing it. All on a Monday. Gosh, Tuesday will be great, too! I’m grateful to have these bonus days of life.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. We are having more followers every day. For that, I’m very grateful. We are steady, and slowly gaining. Nothing flashy or grandiose. Just the great granddaughter of an Irish immigrant who scrubbed floors at the County Courthouse and learned about politics from overhearing discussions of attorneys, city and county officials. My other great grandmother was a seamstress who sewed all the uniforms for Clarkson College of Nursing back in the day. She had a family to support after her husband was gone. I never knew if that meant he left or died. No one ever talked about it. Mom tells me I got my seamstress abilities from her. How cool!

I’ll see you all tomorrow. Progress on the quilt is quite possible. Photos then. See you here then. Keep Kindness in mind. Keep Courtesy in mind. Keep Thoughtfulness in the forefront. Wash up, Mask up. Let’s do this thing.