Thankful Thursday

Every morning, there are tons of posts on the Facebook feeds marking everyone’s take on the state of the United States right now. Some are worth watching, some are not. I have viewed, and even liked, YouTube videos from The HodgeTwins. Twin black men who give a sometimes humorous answer to some of today’s odd situations. It is much food for thought. Check them out. CAUTION: Language. And encouragement to use plain English. Their post is about Bubba Wallace. How terrible his situation was a hoax! Why do people have to do this type of thing? I’m a NASCAR fan, but wow. This is a new desperate attempt to try and get attention for a sport that is having a severe image problem. It’s just not the same since Tony Stewart retired. He was the last great scrapper of a driver, in my humble opinion.

It’s a big day today. It’s official. Book Coach Sam Tyler and I have entered into a contract to work on my book, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons. It is a prequel to what I’ve spent the last year writing, These Walls DO Talk. Walls is now on hiatus, and Freeing is the work in progress now. I’m very excited and have a lot of work to accomplish before our first meeting date of July 9. It seems as if that’s a long time away, but it isn’t.

In the work we’ve done so far, I’m finding Sam knows things I’m not aware of about my characters and how they behave. She can coax it out of me and onto the paper. You think you know all about your characters. Creating them doesn’t equal knowing about them. I didn’t believe it myself until just now when I wrote this. It’s eerie and comforting at the same time. She is helping me become a much better writer. And if I become a better writer, I’ll be a better author when my body of works become reality.

Are you an empath? I am.

Shannon Schofield, a friend from I Create Daily, wrote the poem above in the spirit of Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer.” I wanted to share it with you since I found it to be perfect for the current world, in the grand scheme of things.

I don’t believe being an empath is a bad thing. Care must be taken when an empath cares for someone. Caring can be listening to, counseling, walking miles for friends, and many other gifts of giving empathy. It’s a learning process. At first, we are trusting everyone has a good heart. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if everyone did? Unfortunately, empaths often attract narcissists. It’s a hazard of the empathetic soul. After awhile we learn which souls are pure and which ones aren’t. We learn to spend our gifts on the genuine souls. I think some folks have discovered the empath in them since the pandemic started. It can be exhausting, and we need to learn to hold space for our own care every day. That’s a hard thing for me but I’m working on it.

Tonight will be the official party for Gavin’s birthday of June 30. Out of town relatives will help make a great celebration for him. I love birthdays, it’s a day that’s just YOU. Unless you’re a multiple. Strange, Goldie must have missed Gavin all morning. The Babe was gone, and I swear I’ve stopped every five minutes to see what she wants. Finally settled down to sleep awhile. It’s worse than trying to figure out what a fussy baby wants. I think Goldie’s an empath, too.

Going to take it easy this afternoon. Just read a little and make some more notes for my next book writing session. I’m reading “Personality Isn’t Permanent,” by Benjamin Hardy, PhD. While dealing with self-limiting thinking, you cannot become anything else but what you are limited to. Introvert? I was terribly as a kid. I really was in high school. And I was until about age 30 when I got divorced. Hmmm? I had to be different. It was the biggest decision of my life so far, and I had to make it work. It did, and I’ve never looked back to my self-limiting living. More on the book tomorrow.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Hope to see you tomorrow, you know I’ll be here!

Forever Friday!

A beautiful sunny afternoon is upon us here in Gretna, Nebraska. I took Mom to a balance session today. They had her work on a couple of weight machines today. She feels like the muscles from Brussels right now. Tomorrow, another feeling. She wasn’t intimidated, and I’m proud of her for trying. She has one session left, then in March starts individual therapy sessions for her back, twice a week. Not sure how my involvement shakes loose in that, we’ll see.

I started to read my friend, Shannon Schofield’s book, Perfectly Imperfect, today. Wow. She has it categorized as fiction, although it is her story, her life, and her traumas revealed. I’ve always wondered about families where the parents smoke weed, party hardy, and with other drugs, and have no limits. Sure, their kids can play outside for awhile, eventually the kids are wise to what the grown ups are doing, and it affects them. It has to. When my kids were little, I never even drank. I knew I was the one who had to get up with them the next day and never wanted to be hungover while doing it. I started to drink after my early thirties, and never had a problem with it. Some folks aren’t so lucky.

All I can say, is hold onto your hats, when you read Shannon’s book. I’m surprised she survived at all. God bless her. I hope she finds an audience and is successful with it. It’s a story that needs to be told. And it is a real eye opener. Get it from Amazon today!

Why not?

This Peanuts is so apt for where I am headed now. The publishers of the world will beat a path to my door as soon as I decide where the end is on my novel re-write. (HAH!) I’m maybe five or six chapters in, and it’s a job, keeping all the brothers straight. Katie is my main character, and she has seven brothers. Three older and three younger, she is the middle child. In most ways she is the oldest, seeing as her older brothers are all alcoholics who are not dependable when their Mom needs help. Only Katie and the three younger brothers are reliable. There is animosity among her older brothers for her, and they exhibit characteristics of the biggest chauvinistic pig you may know. Katie shares family stories with the them all, the older brothers argue with her over facts, and the younger brothers love to hear stories of their early lives and their grandparents. And how their Mom was before her alcoholism made her depressed, cynical, rude, and unhappy. The gist of the story is family curses can be broken. Cycles can be broken open and freedom exists on the other side. Katie has done it, and is helping others find the way out. It is a story of survival, seeking, strength, and stamina. Katie does all that and more.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be great days for writing. No real plans, and nothing pressing to do. I hope to catch up a couple more chapters and add depth to these crazy brothers my character Katie has. What a group! I have know people with some of these characteristics. I’m taking all the worst ones and making separate people of them. It will make sense later, when you read the book, it will all ebb and flow. Life is full of lessons, my friends. Katie has learned many of them.

Have a fun Friday night, thanks for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, see you then!

Thoughtful Thursday

Hi, friends. We had a wonderful time last night with our friends at the VFW. I even won a couple of steaks. Today,the Babe had a doppler on his left carotid artery which had the endarterectomy last year. It’s still 100% clear, and his right one is still less than 50% blocked. All systems GO until next year! Thank God for the UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, where our doc referred him.

To tell you the truth, I’m not up to par today. Monday I did a lot of walking and scouring the grocery store for Mom. It kicked up some pain again. This time, it’s rib pain, from my scoliosis. It takes a bit for it to calm down, and I’m not there yet. Lots of heating pad time, along with the usual meds. Ugh! I just hope the pups are good girls for me. The Babe has a VFW Post meeting tonight, so hoping they are good.

Look what I received today from Amazon!

My friend, Shannon Schofield’s first book. I’m so excited for her!

Shannon worked tirelessly last summer and fall on her book. She worked on it during a challenge from our I Create Daily group. I am honored to call her a friend, and so proud of her for achieving this. It gives me hope, and makes me think I can do this, too. I’m eager to begin reading her story. This book is available on Amazon, paperback or Kindle. Buy it and read along with me!

The next week will be pretty busy, the Babe and I both have appointments, and so does Mom. I seriously need to get rid of this rib pain before Monday when we both need to hit the ground running. And Sunday is Parents Show for Addison’s Competition Dance. It will be a wait, she is in eight dances this year, I believe. She has developed her skills very well and we’re both looking forward to watching her again this year.

We went to a place to eat lunch we’ve been to before. I’ve learned to not order any potatoes except fries, because unless they fry it in grease, their potatoes are not hot. Temperature is key for baked and mashed potatoes. Last week, I had to send them back to be nuked. I hate to do that, but sometimes you have to. If butter won’t melt, the potatoes are not hot enough. Not even warm enough. Please get it right. Your patrons appreciate it.

The responses were overwhelming for the Poppy Quilt. I’ll get started within the next week on that. It will be a fun fill-in project. It’s my art besides writing for now. I’m so glad to have more interests and hobbies than time. I think it ensures I’ll always be busy and productive if I keep chipping away at the projects. It’ll be a creative and good life. Any time wasted is a commodity you cannot recover. Ever. I don’t like that as an option. I love to look at progress as I create things. I also love to enjoy the finished product, whatever it may be. I feel blessed to be able to create things, it is a stress reducer, time filler, and learning opportunity.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it very much. Please return tomorrow, I’ll be here then. It’ll be great to have you back again.

Love this saying.

Super Bowl Sunday

STOP!! This has nothing do to with the football game later today, except to say I’ll be watching later. I’ve become a fan of Patrick Mahomes, and admire this very young man for how he is handling the intense spotlight. He comes from good stock, as his father was a professional baseball for the Minnesota Twins. It’s a great story. Hard, hard work, dedication, confidence, humility, generosity towards others, it’s all there. This is a story like many others of us who work day after day. Month after month. Year after year. Some of it is very hard and others never see it. As we build our foundations concrete block by concrete block, others resort to the poured walls method we see in construction now. It’s a quick way to get the job done, with fewer materials and less (much less) labor costs. Many block and brick layers are no longer in business, but the trade misses them. Just like many trades today. Hurting for skilled, dedicated workers, who are not afraid of hard work, and who will go the extra mile to do the job right. I have always been a huge fan of men (and now women) who can work with their hands. We need them all desperately.

Part of what we need is the mindset that comes with those professions. Not afraid to get dirty. They are really artists when you get down to it. A framer can eyeball things and often come up with the right measurement and right angle to cut the wood. Just to be safe, they measure and cut. Yes, mistakes are sometimes made, but not like people who have no idea what to do or how to do it. It’s that way when trying to learn new skills. Whether it be carpentry, block and brick wall building, quilting, writing, sewing garments, or blogging. Practice is needed. Sometimes years of practice. And the better materials you can afford, the better your outcome. But you can still do the job if you have budget concerns.

My family is a family of people who learned how to do many things by building and creating. My dad owned a full service gas station and garage after WWII. He sold it before he went to Korea. He could always listen to an older engine or drive the car and tell you what could be wrong with it. He was skilled that way. He could work with electricity in the house, (plumbing, not so much), building walls, (finishing and refinishing woodwork, he could do it all. My brothers have followed suit. My mother sewed a lot of our clothes. She did flower arranging about twenty years ago, when she was a youngster of 70. My older brother was good with cars and due to his small stature, ran many of the first computer cables in the old Omaha World Herald building in the 1980s when the computer age was beginning. He is good at the guts and workings of some electronic things. A younger brother worked as a machinist, a draftsman, and now works for that gutter guard company. The youngest brother works for CAT, or whatever they’re calling themselves these days. He is a mechanic, and is very good. His people skills make him perfect for the customer service he provides. They’re all good guys. I’m a lucky sister, indeed.

Then you get to me. Growing up, I learned embroidery, as did many young girls in my time. I learned to sew in high school, and even sewed wool suits for my career in computers (coding, application development, etc.) because I was a single mom with three kids. It’s how I could afford to dress for the next job I wanted. I was glad some of those homemaking skills were so handy. Now, the kids are raised, two grandkids need rides or watching weekly, and two live too far to participate daily in their lives. I always thought I’d have a constant influx like my grandmothers did. Nope, didn’t happen. Now what? Learn new stuff. Learn how to reinvent yourself.

I was delighted earlier today to see a Facebook Post that depicted a 98 year old woman in London who had her opening art show. Yes, at 98! Ahem! That phrase across my face at the top of this blog?

I’m not too old, and it’s not too late!

Click link for article about the 98 year old artist.

So commences the I Art Daily challenge from my friends at I Create Daily. Yesterday, I prepped fabrics for the Snowball Quilt I’m making. I’m allowing one day a week to sew this beauty. I only want to finish by next winter, so no hurry. And I dug my milk crate full of art supplies out of the closet in my studio. Going to jump in today, did a little planning yesterday.

Ah, the possibilities!

Sometimes in planning, we need to look back at last month just to see where we are. I’m further along than I ever dreamed I would be. One goal in 90 days was to learn more about Social Media promotion of my blog, establish myself as an author, and gain a following. Interesting enough, the social media part was the part that ran out in front, thanks to the Nebraska Writers Guild Social Media training. If you’d like, join the Guild, and you’ll have access to this, too. You can find them at Nebraska Writers Guild. Does my heart good that even while I was feeling as if I was behind again, I really wasn’t.

And more possibilities!

Yesterday, I mentioned my friend Shannon Schofield, a newly published author from an I Create Daily writing group we both belong to. Here’s a link to her gritty tale of her life, bad choices, and her redemption. I applaud her for telling her tale. I have not read it, but as soon as I can purchase it in paperback, I will. Here is that, too.

And, here’s a link to my author Facebook Page. I’d love to have you follow me there as well. WordPress automatically posts there everyday to let you know the blog is up. I hand post to my personal FB page as well, but sometimes I get busy and forget. All new stuff. All good stuff. All stuff that will get this last third of my life going to be the best of the whole thing. I’m planning on living another 30 years, at least. How about you? Thanks for reading today, I got a little talkative. Just ask the Babe. I do that sometimes. See you tomorrow, I’ll be here. Hope you are, too.

Superb Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

I’m on Pinterest thanks to Nebraska Writers Guild!

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

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