Monday Morning!

It’s another beautiful day here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. We are on location this morning, on the deck, overlooking the Wetlands behind our home, listening to all the birds. There are so many we don’t know by their call or sight, the thing is to actually separate out one call from the other, and then identify what they are. We have a reference book, but just as in trying to describe the sound your car makes to the mechanic, one man’s tweet or whine is another man’s chirp or screech. The Cardinal is always the one, hands down, that we know no matter what.

Anyone watch Good Morning America today? The specific part about Jon Bon Jovi writing a song about “when you can’t do what you do, do what you can.” Apparently, he is scrubbing pots and pans at his restaurants in Jersey which I find so commendable. He has gone online, asking fans to write their versions of the next verses of his song, what are they out there doing while they can’t do what they do. What a great idea! It was a thoughtful segment, one I hope more people consider.

I am still doing what I do, while I can. I want to encourage people who may not get encouragement from others. I want to help people find their way from the dark to the light. The dark is insecurity and feelings of worthlessness. The light is loving, laughing, and living. I’ve been in both places myself, and it’s hard to move from the familiar to the unknown. It’s hard when no one around you knows there is a difference or has the guts to think something else may exist. It’s hard to be brave on a solitary journey. You can get there. If I can, anyone can. And one very important thing I’ve learned along the way, is when you question your “normal,” everyone around you gets nervous. They don’t want their “normal” questioned, or abandoned, or rejected in any way. It takes moxie to go your own way.

My character Katie has questioned, abandoned, and rejected the family “curse,” alcoholism. Even if a person is not an active alcoholic, the mindset, the codependency, the sickness is there. As an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, I can tell you many folks think if they don’t drink and have behavior issues with they don’t need to worry. You do, indeed need to be concerned. It has poisoned you in ways you may deny at first, but can discover later in your life.

Today, I’m going to write, write, write. Until I can’t anymore. I want some real progress this week with my rewrite. Still learning a lot, and maybe finding things that could possibly go in a sequel (oh no, don’t say that out loud)!

The dogs are loving this weather. Birds are out, and their song is loud! I’m so grateful God has given us sunshine again. I was getting worried there for awhile. The Babe is up at the Post, his only reprieve from all these girls at home. If it’s still warm and not windy later today, we may clean off the house, windows, and screens with the stuff you wash windows with using the hose. It’s great stuff. this day, it’s out Take this day. It’s out there for us to enjoy, and make our own. So I ask you, what are you going to do when you can’t be out there doing what you do? What’s the something else you’ll be doing? Please comment below. .

I do know one thing. Bon Jovi and I have the same hair right now. See for yourself!

Today: Me , Bon Jovi.
I guess his part is on the other side. But you get the idea. LOL!

Ha, Ha, my neighbor teaches guitar, so maybe I could learn that, too! I hope you had a good laugh. I did when I thought about it. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Going to do what I do. You do the same. See you tomorrow.

Surprise! Saturday

This started as another cloudy day. How many can we have before it really affects everyone? The sky is blue in bits right now, but wow, the clouds are building up like we could have stormy weather later tonight. God knows what he’s doing, but gee whiz, please throw us a bone once in awhile! Please!

And just like that, the blue sky is gone. Started writing late today. The Babe has let me sleep until I wake, which is an hour later than when he wakes me. Kind of nice, I have to admit. We had breakfast and lounged a bit. The new season of Ozark has started, and it’s tough to catch back up with where it left off. We watched a couple episodes, then it was lunchtime. Isn’t it a little boring sometimes? All this being quarantined does mess with your spirit. It’s hard to be positive with so many days of grey skies.

How are all of you doing? Hope you’re keeping it together. We will see our cleaning lady again next week. We have straightened, cleaned toilets, vacuumed, etc., but she’ll do her usual great job. It’ll be ok. And now, it’s raining. Very windy. My rewrite is getting there. I’ll have 45K words later today. It seems it takes forever, then goes quickly, the slows again. May have something to do with the moodiness of authors? Are we really moody and crazy, as some folks would have you believe? I hope not. I’m in too deep to go back now.

What amazes me is how at times we have nothing to say (write), and other times we could write (talk) into the night. And the part of being “introverted”. I am to a point, but nothing like I was as a kid/high schooler/young Mom. Became extroverted at about 30 years old. I am still intimidated by some people. People I have trusted who proved untrustworthy. But that’s a book inself!

I hope all our Grandkids know how very much we love them.

My mind is a little boggled today. I miss our grandkids, yet it is probably not safe to be around them. It’s surely not safe to, so we’ll live with the separation. I have to say, I’ve never lived during anything like this quarantine. Getting outside will help dramatically, when it’s finally warm enough. I have a stack of books to lend my friend Kris whenever it’s ok to drop them by her house. Maybe Monday. I started reading, “Grateful American” by Gary Sinise. I admire what he does for Veterans. He is truly grateful to be an American, living with all the freedoms we have. I admire his humility. Looking forward to the rest of his story.

And in reading other books, I hope with my hard work, that someone will look forward to reading my stories someday. It would be so cool to know they did. I would be so grateful. As grateful as I am that you’re reading the blog on what’s been a rough day for me. It will be a story for the future, but I need to digest it a lot more. Take care, wash your hands, and come back tomorrow! I’ll be here. Hope you are, too. Thank you.

Is it Finally Friday?

The bane of staying home is with us all. Not knowing what day it is for sure has been a thing for me since 2000, when I stopped working. Now, I have it happen several times a day. During the same day. Not just when waking up, when working around the house throughout the day, we are always asking each other what day it is. The Babe has it too. Do any of you who are safe at home? I’d appreciate knowing we’re not alone. Thanks.

In the grand scheme of things, I hope we stay self distancing until at least the end of April, May if necessary. I hope the school kids maybe get to see their classmates, friends, and teachers one more time before they go on to the next grade. It’s important to their development. It will ease their worries. They shouldn’t have to worry. As I’m reminded of my new friend asthma (I’ve had it for four or five years now), I hope to God the occasional wheezing I feel is from the asthma, not the COVID-19. I’m not invincible, I know. I have to acknowledge these feelings, put them in their place, and go on living. Thank God for inhalers! If wheezing lived through two shots of those, I’d be calling my Doc.

I don’t want to be that person who gets seriously ill in the next round of the virus. I’m convinced it’s not just going away this spring or summer. I can only trust that God will keep us all safe. I live in His safety every day. Some days are harder than others, but we’re always here for each other in this house. I’m so blessed. So is the Babe. And the dogs just love the extra attention.

Speaking of Income Taxes, I am going to start working on them tomorrow. I’m hoping to be able to copy the backup files onto a mini drive and onto our new laptop, which doesn’t have a regular sized USB Port. We also have some things to sort out today, papers, receipts, all that stuff. Could you guess we have a ton of doctor stuff? Even with the Babe using the VA, he still has civilian doctors for his surgeries, etc. We have good insurance through my old job at Mutual of Omaha, so it’s all good.

So that leaves us with the activities of today. Going to work a bit on the book, and some on the quilt. I need to create some things, get my system calmed down and relaxed before tackling anything. Writing and sewing do just that. How about you? What are you doing consistently do give yourself come calm, some sense of normalcy? For now, comfort food is ok. I’m lifting the ban on comfort food. NOW what are you all doing? You know what I’d love to have now? Movie theater popcorn. A large bucket. I just have a taste for it. Who knows when we can go back to the movies? I’ll have to wait.

That reminds me of a funny story, when I was an adult, I had braces. I was about 38 years old. I worked with a good friend named Rod. Well, the day I came in late because the braces came off. When I got to work, there was a huge bag of popped corn on my desk. I laughed my head off and enjoyed every bit of it. It had been a long eighteen months, trust me. What a friend. And today, he’s the only co-worker who keeps in touch with me. That’s friendship. Thanks again, Rod.

Every day, you can find it. You just have to look hard enough.

Our Nebraska Medical Center had a nice program last night that our friend, Jimmy Weber, was able to perform live on. The music is the best part. I’m eager to have Jimmy make another “album”, as his playlist grows in our collection. Good to see you performing again, Jimmy! Hope it’s not too long until you and all your friends are out there again. The link is Facebook dependent, so I hesitate to include it here.

Folks, you can go to Facebook and go to the News Channel Nebraska page. There is a show called Quarantine Tonight on News Channel Nebraska. It was on last night from 7 – 9. There’s some great music in there, trust me. I attempted to share it, Facebook gets in the way. News Channel Nebraska is moving the link on their site, and FB is the only static way to get to it right now. I’ll keep searching for a link directly to the program.

Background music today is “A Star is Born” with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I have the the music from “I’ll Never Love Again” as my ringtone for the Babe. I loaded it on a day I was a bit upset with him. I always try to remind myself how long it took to find him, (fourteen years!), and how lonely I was before that. My worst mistakes have been made when I was lonely. I freely admit that. And, when the phone rings and I hear that song, I go from peeved to grateful. Instantly. I’d never find another Babe. So, I choose to be grateful. No matter what.

Thanks for reading, I’m glad you took your time to do so. Stop by again tomorrow, as we’ll sure be here. Whatever day it is! Be grateful. Be safe.

Sacred Sundays

Good Sunday morning, friends! Hope you are all well and safe. We are here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska! Alas, it’s cloudy again today. No sun or blue sky to be seen. Darn! I can only imagine what people go through who suffer from diminished vision as our mom does. Makes for long days. It’s been a banner day so far. We had home made cinnamon rolls, fruit cups, coffee, and watched our local Gretna United Methodist Church service on FB live. What a weird experience, but Pastor Gary Main hit it out of the park with his sermon about Surprises from God. Go figure! We certainly are living amongst one right now.

This was a great way to start the day. Yum!

I never thought I’d live long enough to see the Catholic give dispensation for the weekly Sunday Mass. That was always a deal breaker, a mortal sin, you had to immediately confess your wanton ways and beg forgiveness. I don’t know if they are still so strict with that, I’m guessing they are. My Protestant friends have always laughed how Catholics are the only faith who time services, offering advice on the shortest Masses in the city, which priest overlooks leaving early, which ones don’t. I never thought about how funny we are. Yes, I was baptized Catholic, attended twelve years of Catholic school, and switched when Dan and I got married. I had been in the group that had fallen away. I’m grateful for my upbringing, and for what my parents gave me. That said, for me, God is way bigger than that, and I’m ok with knowing God loves me despite divorce, remarriage, and the life we have. God loves us all, no matter which Church we support.

After FB Church, I received a message from a cousin’s wife letting me know our Grandma’s home was on the market again. I tell you, if we could handle steps again, and had $250K, we’d go look. It’s been updated a lot. I’d love to bake in Grandma’s kitchen, work on the countertops that replaced her old wooden ones, and have my studio in her now finished attic room. What a lot of memories. Each photo brings back so many. The owners do the home justice, and their updates are fantastic. 3324 Center Street in Omaha, Nebraska is the address. Check it out. I’m sure you’ll have time to look at it. The house was always quiet, just Gram and her sister Anna lived there after Grandpa died. The front porch was always enclosed as long as I can remember. I’d love the heck out of that, too. She had a porch swing, though. Wicker furniture. It was the play place for the cousins. Lots of love in that home.

A number of years ago, when one of my all time favorite bands reunited to go on tour, they produced an album, “When Hell Freezes Over.” Of course, it was the Eagles. We were hungry for more of the genius of Don Henly and Glen Frey. They produced some fantastic music sober, didn’t they? The trick was, they were musicians, not just a band. I got to see them in concert twice. Both times it was unbelievable. The fact they sound as good if not better in person as on an album says a lot – it says they are musicians. The world will always miss Glen Frey. His brilliance wasn’t finished yet. Awesome his son has joined the band, as has Vince Gill. Vince Gill is another brilliant musician. The point of this is, on the “When Hell Freezes Over” album was a song I have loved for over twenty years. It’s called, “Learn to be Still”. This meme reminded me a lot of the song. Here’s a link to the song, enjoy.

“Learn to be Still” Meme for Self Distancing

I feel this song and it’s meaning is very important to each and every one of us now, as we practice self-distancing, health safety like never before, and learning to be alone with ourselves. I’m hoping younger people learn to be alone and keep the rest of us safe. I’m hoping we all learn it before it’s too late. This will not be over quickly, folks. It will last much longer than any of us wants it to. You see, it’s not up to us. This is a critical, serious situation. I ache to see our family, our five kids and their spouses, friends, grandkids. It just isn’t safe.

No, we’re not over reacting or being drama queens about it. Throughout history, mankind has experienced terrible illnesses. Luckily, vaccinations have erradicated many of them, namely, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diptheria, Pertussis, and the flu. All this said, times like these are exactly why I believe in vaccinations. I like living too much to die. I also valued my family too much to go without them. I got a Swine Flu shot in the 1970s when it was a scare. We got the tDap shot to keep our grandkids from whooping cough. I get flu shots every year. I got the old people’s pneumonia shot, both kinds of Shingles shots, and whatever our doc tells us about. I trust his judgement. He’s the smart one, he knows more than I could ever hope to. You can bet when they have a vaccination for Coronavirus I’ll be in line to be protected from it. Hope you will be too.

Anyway, it might be hard to be alone with your thoughts if you are not used to it. Many people need their “tribe” to hang out. You can’t do that now and be as safe as you would be cocooning at home with a movie, good book, etc. Boring? Challenge yourself to find something to do. And I don’t mean video games, taking selfies, etc. Get outside of yourselves. Or maybe I should say get inside of yourselves. In your head. Where you form your opinions, values, and depth. The place you emanate from. Learn what you think. Learn how you think. Learn how you react to things. There is so much more in life than one Target run after another. Seriously. Your world will be as big as you let it be. Let it be all around you, not just on the device you hold in your hand. Talk to people via Facetime, Skype, FB Live, whatever. Look at your people. Think about what you love about them. Think about how you’d like to be like them. What will you miss about them when they’re gone? How can you let them know how you feel? A huge amount of personal growth can happen while you are self-distancing. You’ll become a better human for it. And so will our communities, once we can come together again. Here are the words to the Eagles song, “Learn to be Still.

Thank you so much for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Get started to know yourself from your soul on out. It’ll be good. I’ll be here, see you then.

Sunday-Getting it Done!

Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do

which must be done, whether you like it or not. Charles Kingsley

Human development ends when we do nothing for ourselves. If we rely on electronics, television, and videos, we live vicariously through the lives of who and what we see on our screens. We need to participate in our own lives, make our own decisions, own up to our own mistakes, and take the risks that opportunities offer to us. No one else can do this for us. We cannot live our lives second handedly. Others may think they know what is best for us but believe me, they do not.

The first people who manage our lives is our parents. They may actively participate in our life or not, but we need to rely on them from birth until about age two. I think this is when a person really starts to develop as a person, after they master walking, they can investigate new things they see, they need to have outside stimulation to develop their critical thinking, and their learning. Having had children and grandchildren, I have to say this is my favorite stage of a child’s life. You take a bit of a step back as a parent, and let them take some supervised risks, to begin to learn consequences of certain actions. It is all part of the learning process. I remeber my daughter at the age of two. Having two older brothers, she was somewhat of a tomboy. One spring day, I spread manure by some flowers and worked it into the soil. While she took her nap, I watered what I planted. Back then, I couldn’t afford mulch, I just kept the weeds at bay with grass clippings.

After her nap, she was playing with a Tonka truck and threw up her skirt over her shoulder and bent over to push the truck across the driveway. She wasn’t too steady on her feet, but I let her keep going on her own. She didn’t fall, she stopped in front of the newly planted flower bed. She rubbed both hands in the combination manure and mud flower bed and got it all over her cute mint green dress. I laughed. She laughed and clapped her hands. Her brothers clapped their hands and laughed too. It was so fun to watch her. The dress and baby washed up just fine.

The Babe and I enjoy his grandchildren so much, they are much older than two, and certainly have their own way of doing things. It’s been a joy to see them grow up to the ages of 13, 12, and 7. Yesterday, my independent thinking daughter Rebecca and her husband celebrated their daughter Kayla’s birthday. They prefer I not post any photos of videos of her so I won’t. Kayla appears to be a happy little one, investigating a lot of things all at once. Her favorite things are running around, playing with Legos, and reading. I’m in seventh heaven her Mama and Daddy are both readers. Kayla has been read to since she came home from the hospital. I hope we can travel to see her soon, it will be fun to spend the day watching her figure things out. I want the danger of COVIF-19 to be over first.

And you are never quarantined upon your return, either!

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it so much! We are doing well with our reporting our temps twice a day and symptoms. So far, no problems! I hope to see you all tomorrow.

It’s All Good Saturday

Day two of the National Crisis of Coronavirus. As a nation, we’re keeping our sense of humor. Yes, it’s a serious situation. There is a great Facebook story about getting fresh air and enjoying the outdoors if at all possible. What our moms and grandmas called, “Getting the stink blown off you,” is indeed important. Fresh air promotes wellness, and we talk about wellness all the time. Take a family walk. Take your dog for a walk. Even a turtle can go for a walk. Protect yourselves, and go for a walk. It will relieve anxiety just as any physical exercise will. Ride a bike, jog, whatever. It all helps.

I am such a “It’s so pretty!” kind of girl when I see a snowfall, of course I took a photo off our deck quite early today. And it is just so pretty!

It IS Pretty!

And, snowfall in March after a nice warmup results in the only self-clearing snow you’ll fine! Talk about a win/win! We get some moisture, the kids get to see snow (not just the threat of it), and there is no shoveling. Being the wife of a heart bypass patient, I’m grateful for that. Tomorrow will bring the mud. Dog owners aren’t crazy about that, but it’s progress towards spring. Embrace it!

People are going to feel the economic impact of this national emergency. All toilet paper jokes aside, we will run out of stuff. My mom tells me that all through World War II there was no toliet paper. They learned to live without it. You can make adjustments. Just be smart about what you try and flush down a toilet, your favorite plumber will thank you. Mom said they used tissue paper, not fabric. Think about it, please. Yes, it’s gross but we need to be tougher than that. We need to have some common sense. Please just buy what you need.

I’ve seen some wonderful posts about entertaining your kids during this break. I believe it makes a lot of sense to get your kids to make little art projects for you to drop off to nursing homes while many of them are quarantined. It will help the kids do something besides play electronics, they will think of others, and the older folks will have some contact with the outside world. They crave the interaction. It will be a great lesson for the kids. We all need each other, more and more. Just stay an arm length away from me. Thank you.

As I’m developing more characters/brothers for my main female character Katie, I’m finding this family, like many, goes from one extreme to another.

Oldest sibling Patrick is a barely self-sufficient Vietnam war vet.

Second sibling, former seminarian, Andrew is also an alcoholic and convict.

You never know what you will get from Edward, the third oldest brother. The best word to describe him is skallawag.

John is the fourth brother. Prep school transferee, is retired from a local job. and a highly functioning alcoholic.

Katie is an empath, survivor of verbal abuse, divorced and remarried, recovering adult child of an alcoholic.

Marty is the next brother, who has very low self esteem and self worth.

Young William, as the older brothers call him, is a naturally happy individual. He is not an alcoholic but may be a workaholic as their Grandpa was.

Mikey, the baby, is a reformed scoundrel. He has been clean and sober over 30 years.

Add to this, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, you’ll have a good time getting to know these people. They are parts of people I’ve met through life, good and bad citizens, some of the best yet worst experiences I’ve had in life. And since it’s combining all these traits, it is a work of what I call realistic fiction. If you have any suggestions, comment below, please. I’d love your input.

Back to getting to know these characters better, for myself and you, my readers. Thanks for stoppingi by today. Wash your hands, do some good for people who need help, and I hope to see you tomorrow.

Sunday Stuff

Good morning from the “Home Office” of Author, Kathy Raabe in Gretna, Nebraska. Wow, it’s been a busy, busy day or two. Progress is made in prepping for spring at Raabe Ranch but nothing involving water (like washing windows) happened yesterday. Too windy. I was actually disappointed.

One thing we’re participating in whether we want to or not is Novel Coronovirus or COVID-19 exposure. It seems Wednesday at our Food Night, a lady attended for dinner who is now in the Bio-Containment area of the NE Medical Center. We are not overly concerned about it, as she was there one hour, ate, and left. She passed through the bar area where we sit with out friends, and was in a different room most of the times. The Douglas County Health Department sent a press release concerning our exposure, and the Babe and I have registered to self-report. We believe it will help gather data for the Epidemiologist in the State Nebraska in their calculations on how risky this very casual exposure was. Information is the best weapon we can have against this. Panic does no good at all except cause more of the same.

It needs to be said the woman who exposed the Post is not to blame. She had been to various Health Care facilities but they saw nothing serious and released her. At first I wanted to cast blame too. But it truly was not her fault. She had traveled to Britain with family and returned to the US healthy. She participated in a Special Olympics Basketball Tournament a week ago. No information is available on her movements until Wednesday, March 4, when she came to the VFW. Dan and I just have to wait to see what happens. We did skip Church services this morning. Our Church has a lot of elderly and we don’t want to expose anyone should the worst happen and we beome ill. Our risk is very low of becoming infected. Washing our hands, phones, and remotes like crazy!

With all this going on, if we don’t feel well, I hope I at least feel well enough to write. Today will be a work on the novel day, after I update the Post website and email information to the Post Members. Information is the most valuable asset we have right now. It eases people’s minds, tells them what to watch out for, and is a central place to stop rumors. At any rate, if I were quarentined at home, I’d love to have two weeks to write as much as I wanted! It’s not always a bad thing. Make the best of it, my dad always said.

After all this extra computer stuff today, I hope to write later, but I need a break now. The writing staff is asleep (Goldie and Lexie) and I’m going to have a refreshing beverage, probably make some lemonade. Sounds good. Thanks for reading today, and be careful out there! Wash your hands a lot, and slather on some lotion afterwards. Take care, and I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m looking forward to a very uneventful fourteen days.