Wednesday; A Sense of Purpose

Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives to achieve our sense of purpose, we need to be on board with the process. We need to do the work we need to accomplish before embarking on the journey to find our purpose. Whatever we need to change before we can achieve, we need to be consistent. Here or there effort will not move you forward.

Whether we need to come to terms with an addiction (shopping, drinking, drugs); and all that goes with it (crushing debt, loss of job, loss of family, loss of health, loss of spirituality); or overcome procrastination and all it feeds (low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, increased fear of failure); we need to remain focused on our goals and be consistent with our activity.

I’ve done some reading on so-called “Writer’s Block” and find some folks don’t believe in it for a minute; they simply call it procrastination due to fear of failure. That may be. There are always words to write. Whether they fit into your novel is for you to decide. When I feel a strong call to abandon what I’m working on currently and move to another project, I usually follow the call. I believe it is an inspiration to add depth and meaning to another project. Time will come when I’m called back to the original project, and the extensive work of the novel will begin again. Sometimes you have to let creativity call the shots.

The pictures above resulted from a Pexels search for “dedication.” Anything we commit to takes dedication. Dedication to purpose and expected result. Some things, granted, are more fun than others to be dedicated to. I believe it takes about three weeks to form a new habit, a new mindset towards whatever we want to change. After those first twenty-one days, we get bored, want to have fun instead. We figure we’ve proven we can give up that unpleasant habit. We figure we can Netflix binge all day and still achieve our goal. “Give ourselves a break,” the little voice tells us. “We deserve it.”

It’s a slippery slope, my friend. If we don’t keep performing those necessary tasks, we’ll lose the battle. The battle to finish the novel, swim well, write new songs for an album, work out for good health, enjoy the benefits of another way to eat, kick the addiction, and be in recovery from alcoholism. It begins and ends with how much commitment we can consistently have towards our achievement. Sure, you deserve a break, but consider them carefully, or you may find yourself back at Day ZERO, not Day Twenty-One.

And when we slip or falter, we need to be kind to ourselves. We all falter. Don’t beat yourself up. Your friends are your support. They may be new writer friends, gym friends, writing coaches, a FB Group, your meeting friends, your sponsor, people you can confess your failures to without being judged. They have been there. They have gotten back on track. You can too. You have to. For yourself.

Where are you going to be today in your quest for personal growth and change? Today, I’m going to work on placing words from my kids’ book onto the pages for Cartney to illustrate. The more detail that is put in the drawings, the fewer words we’ll need. I am so excited to see this happen! We are nearing the goal more every day.

Clutter busting is always on the list, so some of that, too. It never hurts. And if your surroundings are tidier, your mind is more focused. Always keep a daily goal. And since it’s Wednesday, later today is Hamburger Night at the VFW Post 2503. It is always a nice outing. Having a meal with friends is a pleasant break in routine, and we enjoy it a lot. Feeling that it’s easier to dig back in Thursday and work. We have a wedding Saturday and a benefit concert on Sunday. The weekend will be outstanding!

Stay the course. Be Kind to yourself. Get back up if you backslide. You’re still on track. You will get there if you are consistent! Thanks for reading, we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Forward is the only way to go from here wherever you are. Let’s travel together.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Humppp Dayyyy!

So, Hump Day means the week is half over. Or is it half begun? Made you look, didn’t I? When my kids still saw their dad on weekends, I hated weekends. Once they left, I couldn’t stay home. I had to go somewhere. Anywhere. I got used to it. I’d work once they left, and a lot of times work on Sunday morning. It killed time.

That was not good on my part. That was the time I could have spent reading, crafting, watching movies, or whatever. 6 p.m. on Sunday relieved my anxiety. Home was home again, with the kids in it. In fact, I’ve never lived alone in my life. I’ve been alone, but the kids were home. I met the Babe after my sons moved out, and my daughter did a year or two after we got married. I don’t care to live alone until I have to, and that would mean adjusting not only to living alone, but being without the Babe. I know the day is coming, but I certainly don’t look forward to it. I certainly have enough to keep me busy, and I know it will be hard.

That said, is the week half empty or half full? I think it’s half full. I’ve already learned some things I didn’t know before, and I love when that happens. And I have a big project to re-size all the photos on my website and the Post website. A little knowledge made me joke, “It’s a good thing I’m smarter than I look, my kids would have starved.” I no longer joke. Instead, I tell my intelligent granddaughter to never dumb herself down for anyone. Smart lasts forever. Beauty doesn’t. Kind lasts forever. She is already one of the kindest people I know.

Participating in online seminars has been worthwhile this week. I thrive on new information. It’s been a great last two or three years, when I decided I had a calling to write. Wherever we go with it is unknown, and I know statistically, most independent authors only sell a hundred copies of their book. Oh dear! That’s why the marketing, the creating a buzz about your story. Mine is a real life lesson about some level of responsibility. It’s also about a little boy dealing with grief. He can compare grief of his lost puppy and the grief of his grandfather dying. He learns how they are the same. He learns he will be happy again. And he is. May adults need this lesson, too. Hopefully, parents and little children can learn together.

Yesterday, the meditation reading I had was about trust. Trust is hard to come by. Too many people trust too early. I have been told by others they can trust me. We all can trust the Babe, too. People can confide in me (or him) and it goes no further. Beyond promises and good intentions, trust is a deal breaker for many relationships. You may be attracted to someone’s twinkle in their eyes, or their dimpled smile, but beyond that, there must be trust. The Babe happens to have both a twinkle in his eyes AND a dimpled smile, and yes, I’d trust him with my bank account or my life. No one else ever proved worthy. Be selective.

Many people jump in too soon. I always thought you never really knew someone until you knew them for three years. First year is fun, second year is learning about things that you love or that drive you crazy. Can you live with those quirks? If not, better part ways. They won’t change, so make sure you release them and yourself.

Once I found the trust, I realized the only other people I trusted were my kids and my dad. The love I was able to receive once I could trust was worth holding out for. It was worth waiting for. The Babe held my hand while the biopsy was done to determine if I had breast cancer. He insisted on being there to do just that. It was unbelievable support. I know that is always something I can count on. It’s a comforting feeling.

Thank you for reading. I’m off to more info on Women in Publishing, writing a kid-lit book, and how to combine it all. Lists will be made and shared. Keep an eye out for my other enterprises; the Jewell Publishing, LLC; Author Kathy Raabe; and Author Grandma Kathy. I’m working on ideas to create new web page categories for Grandma Kathy and Jewell Publishing, LLC. Exciting new stuff! Stay tuned. Have a beautiful day while you’re kind, courteous, careful, and trustworthy. It’s truly a gift when you can trust someone. See you tomorrow!

Where Did Wednesday Go?

Thursday, December 3, 2020. It’s about 4 p.m. and I honestly lost Wednesday. After getting injections in both my knees and feeling kind of punk last night and into today, here we are. I’m caught up with the minor sewing project for a friend. This weekend, I believe we’ll see some Christmas decorations in our future. I’m getting to feeling a little festive, we only have one gift left to purchase, and that’s for our grandson in Maryland. It’s hard to know what to get for a thirteen-year-old young man. Next week, I’ll send gifts to the grandkids in Colorado. I wish so hard we could see them. Not yet. COVID is rearing its ugly head still. Someday, we’ll have a normal world. Not a new normal, but a normal one.

Hope keeps us alive and thriving. I hope sincerely we have normal again. I don’t want to forget the good things about life before COVID. At our stage in life, we were enjoying our time immensely and have endless discussions about many things. Life is wonderful. There are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we really want to do. Not travel, not feats of adventure, just simple, everyday life. We talk a lot about how our parents sacrificed for all of us, and about we never knew we were “poor.” We were the same throughout our neighborhoods, and as kids, we didn’t know better.

I believe the sacrifices of our parents were proof of their generosity, and their hope to provide us with the magic and wonder of Christmas. I used to love to make gifts for people. One year, I made seventeen tied blankets for various neighbors, friends, family, others. I’ve made quilts for people, embroidered Christmas pillowcases for the Grandkids, and want to continue doing things like this. I may make them and sell them at a craft show, because not everyone likes handcrafted items. I’ve crocheted afghans for people, one year, everyone received one. Nieces, nephews, everyone. I enjoyed it so much. It’d be wonderful to have that type of Christmas again. Giving from the heart is what I enjoy the most.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I think it will be harder this year with Christmas since the churches are not holding services. It was always a big deal, attending a Catholic grade school, after fourth grade, almost all the boys were altar boys, and all the girls were in the choir. We practiced those expected duties until we were blue in the face to assure near perfection. No excuses. No missing rehearsals. No one questioned.

Come Christmas Eve, at about 10:15, my brother Tom and I would walk the three and a half blocks up F Street in South Omaha, and arrive in time to take our appointed stations. The organ played Christmas Carols solo for a while, then the choir sang with the organ. They blessed me to play the organ after proving I could. I didn’t take lessons from the nun who taught piano; I took from a neighbor lady. I will never forget our enormous church, packed to the gills by worshippers, the smell of incense, and Monsignor chanting in Latin. Brother Tom and I practiced the Latin just to make sure we could both pronounce it,

We sang many of the songs in Latin at first. By the time I graduated from eighth grade, it was all English. Amazing times they were. I still love Christmas music. Come to think of it, it’s time to gather up those CDs for my music of the day to create by. Note to self: Don’t forget Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr., and all the others. There are a lot of memories in those old songs. Good memories, worth keeping.

I have to say if you need a gift for a laptop user, get one of the laptop ergonomically correct holders I bought from Amazon. I swear by it, it’s improved my neck pain 50% in the couple weeks I’ve had it. Worth the $60.

Love this – it really helps my neck pain and headaches.

After an unplanned day off, know I missed visiting with you. I cannot imagine performers, musicians, small theater actors, and others how they miss their people. Yes, I hope things pick up for them. I’m going to try to not miss visiting with you again. Be Kind, Be Careful, Be Courteous, and Be Safe out there. You don’t want to pass the virus to someone who may not make it out the other side. Thank you for reading, I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Hump Day!

What a crazy day yesterday was. We went to the Post for a very productive meeting, you almost never hear meetings being productive, and had a couple adult beverages with the folks that were present. It was a nice early evening.

Eddie Van Halen, the guitar god of the universe, died yesterday. My son Frankie was a huge fan of his. I became one too. That was one group he played I didn’t holler at him to “turn it down!” We had a bet one time, who was better, Eric Clapton, or Eddie Van Halen. Clapton is a master, but Eddie may have single handedly influenced more young musicians than anyone else on the planet – including Clapton. And on top of that – he was married to Valerie Bertinelli. That alone would make him a hero.

I love the videos of him playing incredible riffs, and looking up with the boy-like look he always had, and smiling with pure joy. That’s how we’ll remember Eddie. Bless Wolfgang, his son, and his wives. Sad days for them. After all is said and done, I think it’s always, always, simply about the music.

I saw a Tweet that stated, “There are guitars gently weeping all over the world.”

And we’re almost to the next Zoom meeting with Sam Tyler, my book coach. We have a few things to discuss tomorrow, and then I think there will be more writing going on. I do look forward to it, and now it’s been three weeks, not just two. More about my new adjusted plan tomorrow.

Gratitude – even about difficult things.

Yes, this is how it is. When people speak of gratitude, it’s easy to have gratitude for the easy things, the things you want. It’s hard to have gratitude for hard times, missing your commuter train, getting fired from your job. We must learn gratitude for even the hard things. It’s only then, can we truly appreciate the gift we receive after the hard one. It’s hard to remember.

And people who you must love from afar. Difficult parents, former spouses, siblings who are hard to deal with. We all have them, somewhere. It’s ok to love them from afar. You don’t have to spend time with them. More people would keep their sanity if they would embrace this. It takes a long time to do that, when you feel as if you’re alone in a crowd. But you really aren’t. The rest of us are there, too.

So as I go to the deck and enjoy the fresh air, I hope you all have a wonderful day. Listen to some music. Read a good book, or at least decide on something relaxing to do. We owe it to ourselves to be nice to ourselves once in awhile. Pick today. Pick tomorrow. Just make sure you do it. And it’s even better with a beautiful puppy to pet. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday

Wednesday again already! This is an absolutely perfect day outside. Enjoy it, won’t you? I just walked through the house, thinking how beautiful it looks with the sun streaming in. It makes me smile and feel good. I’m so grateful for what the Babe and I have.

It was an early start to the day, Addison needed a ride to school. The Babe goes and then gets the bookwork for the day done at the Post. And as it’s Wednesday, they have “Hamburger Night” from 5 – 7 p.m. We love seeing our friends and getting out for a bit. We’ve been members for probably seven years, and have met many wonderful people there.

When the Babe and I went to drop off donations at Moving Veterans Forward, we were fortunate to have a grand tour of their facility and a brief summary of all the things they offer. It’s phenomenal. We will have him come talk to the Post and Auxiliary in the near future. What a worthy organization. If you’re in the Omaha, Nebraska area and want to help, or if you know a Veteran in need to help, send me a message via my Facebook page, Kathy Raabe, Author.

Speaking of loving sunny days, I remember a time when I couldn’t tell you how my house looked in daylight. When I was working two jobs, I left home in the dark and came home in the dark. It seems that period of time had overcast, dark skies. I appreciate it very much. That’s what a person needs to do if they’re not having a good day, is concentrate on the good things. The sunny days. The fact you are warm, clothed, and fed. So many people don’t have enough to survive, through no fault of their own. Some folks expect they’re entitled to everything free, and I disagree with that. I have no problem with assistance, but it needs a beginning and ending date. Generations on assistance doesn’t make sense to me.

I am writing more scenes this morning, and I’m really enjoying the process. Next week is another session via Zoom with Sam Tyler, my Book Coach. I feel like I’m improving a lot, and it’s hard for me to say that. I was raised during a time when women were not supposed to be egotistical. And you were egotistical if you bragged about what you do. Today, they call it self-love. No, I didn’t have much of that. Mom was pretty clear, don’t spend all day primping, looking in the mirror, don’t be a braggart. Be compliant. Go along to get along. Don’t make waves. Girls don’t sweat. I wanted to play baseball with Johnny Bauer, but wasn’t allowed to. Girls don’t do that. He always talked about the Yankees, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris. So here I am, not being egotistical, just telling the truth.

In case you’re wondering, this is a no-politics zone. I will vote. It’s my personal business who that is for, and in making that decision, I’ll look closely at the VP’s. Succession is a very real possibility given the ages of both Presidential candidates. Enough said.

Let’s get along in the next however many days we have until the election. Let’s start practicing our manners again. Everyone. Republicans and Democrats. We need to be civil, and we need to do it now. We can change how we behave. Let’s do it for our great country, who could use a break from all of the fighting. I’m sure by January, 2021 there will be talk about the 2024 election and so it will go. Frankly, I’m just so tired of negativity.

The quilt in the upper left pictures is finally pinned and prepped for quilting. It’s so pretty, it has Swarovski crystals with embellishments on the embroidered Hibiscus flowers. It took quite a while, it’s a good size, and I’m keeping this one. I love the backing fabric.

The front door wreath I made last week. So glad to have painted the door, it’s much brighter than the dark navy blue it was. Just a couple of dollars worth of paint makes a world of difference, doesn’t it?

And then the perennial at lower left keeps growing. I don’t get to that side of the house often, so it surprises me when I do. I used to love gardening, and now, with the arthritis in my spine, knees, and feet makes it very hard to get down and do it. It could be worse, my dad would always say. Yes, it could, Dad. Twenty-five years ago, I had a tumor that impacted my spinal cord. It wasn’t cancerous, but I nearly ended up paralyzed from it. I thank God every day for my mobility, such as it is. God is very good. After going through all that, I met the Babe. What great timing God has!

Be Kind, Be Civil, Be Courteous to everyone you meet today. I plan to, even if someone riles me up. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow! Be Safe out there.

Technology Wednesday.

The Babe asked me to help him. Since Cox Cable, the internet provider at the VFW Post made some changes last week, his e-mail up there has ceased to exist. In fact, if anyone has sent an e-mail to him in his capacity of Quartermaster, resend it. We (my favorite brother-in-law and I) have found a solution to omit Cox Cable in the grand scheme of things. It was quite a debacle on their part. They made some major changes with servers last week, and he lost e-mail. We have been on the phone with them to try and troubleshoot for at least 7 hours, probably 8 altogether. This is wrong! We are going to route his emails to a Gmail account, a change that will be transparent to our customers and members. It will only be different for the Babe.

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

YIKES!!!

Needless to say, that put me behind the eight-ball for getting anything much done today. Volunteering is good, and I do it for the Veterans, (especially for the one I live with), so it’s ok. I must say, customer service was really strange with this two hour call today. The girl would sit for long periods of time, not saying anything, because her system was slow. She couldn’t get e-mail to open for her to test sending one. I opened things on my side to see if perhaps there was a setting for Junk mail or SPAM we overlooked. In her little controlled environment, if she sent an e-mail, it went through, she thought it was fixed and closing the ticket. NO!!! It is not resolved!

She repeated the same sentence over and over, about it working from her side. She didn’t get what I was saying. It was no test in her controlled environment. She kept blaming our website company. We already troubleshot this side. All fingers pointed to COX.

What can you do? Aside from being happy I don’t have to work with inept people who are probably ill-trained for that job, not a doggone thing. It’s a shame, really. I have really noticed if a young person is helping you in Best Buy or NFM in the laptop department, some treat an older person who is inquiring about a laptop or even a cell phone, they tend to talk very fast and act as if you are a moron. That’s so wrong of them. I maintained code probably before they were born. I know the hard way to do some things they probably never heard of. Yes, my way is gone, but I’ve read lots of articles where old programmers who know COBOL can earn a bucket of money. I’m busy enough right now. Plus, I cannot sit at a desk all day anymore.

Isn’t this lovely?

This meme above reminds me of what a wonderful lady our Grandma Jewell was. She was so humble, never boasted, was very spiritual, and loved all of us no matter what. She is my hero, the person I wish I could be 1/100th of. There could never be another. She would really be concerned about the world now. But I’m sure she could tell stories of what she’d seen in her life that would make this CORONAVIRUS pale in comparison.

Going to wrap it up now, have some things to accomplish. Be safe out there, ok? I appreciate you reading today and hope to see you back tomorrow. Peace out!

Happy National Dog Day!

This is a day we crazy humans invented to give us a day among others to celebrate our best friends. I’m sure a marketing person somewhere must have had a hand in it, but why not? Just in the 68 years I’ve been on this earth, I have seen a tremendous change in how we treat our pets.

Nine out of ten people from a large family or a farm will tell you the dogs were pets, but weren’t allowed in the house. When we did have a dog, it lived in the basement. She walked outside through the kitchen, and that was it. Those who had pets didn’t visit the vet with them unless something might be really wrong, and if it was terminal, often they took them to the woods and did away with them. I never understood that. But people I know did that. I suppose the expense was an issue? I can’t say. I didn’t like to hear of it.

And then, there was the issue of dogs roaming neighborhoods. They did when I was growing up. Our neighbor, two houses away, had a beautiful Black Doberman Pinscher. Susie was a beautiful dog, but I was scared to death of her. She was so big, and I was afraid of being bitten by any of the loose dogs. I’m glad dogs don’t do that anymore, I was even afraid of stray dogs while walking my babies in the stroller. They would run up and I had nightmares of them mauling my child in the stroller before I could intervene. My ex husband was a letter carrier, and the only dog bite he “suffered” was from a little dog, a bite to the calf. I believe he brought it on himself, but that’s another story.

We had a dog briefly, and it was on a chain tied up, inside our fence, because our mom feared her jumping over the fence and biting a neighbor kid who teased her constantly. One day, she broke the chain, and wouldn’t come in the house. I finally got her in, put her in the basement, Mom called the Humane Society and they came to pick her up. Dutchess, a beautiful German Shepherd, was no longer our dog. I’m sure she was euthanized. Mom had an elaborate ruse she would go to the Army and be a Military Dog in Vietnam. I doubt that happened.

Fast forward a few years, and one day, when Mom went to pick up my brother from work at our uncle’s Auto Parts Yard, Tom came to the car with a puppy in his shirt. Someone brought the pup in, and we were supposed to raise the dog until he reached full size, then give him back to the Auto Parts Yard. He would be one of the Junk Yard Dogs.

Our dad named him Charlie Brown. I didn’t like the dog. I acted like Lucy does with Snoopy. My dad loved him. Since it was a male, he did what male dogs did, and I liked him even less. Ugh! He reached full size alright. About six inches off the ground. Although he was touted as a Collie/German Shepherd mix, they forgot to mention there must have been some Beagle in him. He howled like one. Looked like a Collie, but had Beagle legs, was six inches off the ground. I never bonded with him.

After that, I left home, got married at 18, we bought a house, and I still wasn’t a dog fan. Once my husband left when I was 30, the kids wanted a dog. The neighbor’s dog had pups. Best $10 I ever spent. They had a new responsibility, and they loved Shadow. She lived 16 1/2 years. Just after the Babe and I married, we had to put her down. It wasn’t a month later, the Babe decided my daughter Becky and I needed a dog. We adopted Mocho.

Two years later, in 2000, I became disabled, and we got Mollie. They lived long and were my quilting buddies. They loved my basement studio at our old house. I did too, but it had no window. No good! They were with us until about 2013. Wet then were dog-less until the summer of 2014. Adopted Lexie and Roxie. They had a difficult time, as we were engaged in a lot of health problems with the Babe. They were pretty untamed. Our fault. They still were pretty good pets. They loved moving here to Gretna, where they have a huge yard, fenced-in. I have dubbed it “Raabe Ranch.”

How skinny and little they were at 4 weeks. Mom was sick, so we took them early.

We’ve lost our beloved Roxie, and now keep out gates locked to make the yard more secure for Lexie and our beautiful Goldie. Lexie suffered greatly when Roxie was killed by a car. It was unbearable. Despite another health issue, the Babe decided Lexie needed a companion this time. Goldie is now a year old, and such delightful dog. She’s a handful, but we needed her. She brings a lot of joy. The header photo are a family of wild turkeys who passed through the neighbors yard this morning. Our purebred, Yellow Lab Retriever, stood behind me on the deck and barked. She’s one heckuva bird dog, folks! Worth every cent!

Goldie, like me, loves the Babe to pieces. I, however, do not lick his chin. Just sayin’.

So while we continue our love of man’s and woman’s best friends, join us to be happy with our furry friends. It just gets you outside of yourself to care for a pet. I’m happy to watch our girls love their home and Raabe Ranch, and for little Josie to make her mark on Addison’s and Gavin’s hearts. It’s the best experience when they’re healthy, and the worst experience when you lose them. No one, not even your mom can love you that unconditionally their whole life. Let’s hear it for our best friends!

Thank you for reading and celebrating with me today. I appreciate it so much. Keep the mask up, the hand washing continuous, and be kind, courteous, and helpful to everyone around you. We will get through all of this. We need each other. Be careful out there! See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

As a child, I grew up with my brothers attending a Catholic school and Church. Back in the late 1950s, we made our First Holy Communion, at about the age of seven. Second grade. That’s pretty young, as I think back, and as I think about kids today. Just before the big day, we experienced the other Sacrament that goes hand in hand with it; our First Confession. Wow.

Confession is where you go to the priest, back then it was in the confessional, where you didn’t see the priest, and confess your sins and the number of times we committed the omission. At the time, the Catechism graphics that accompanied the sin was milk bottles. Just like we had our little morning milk break from little glass bottles. They were pictured with a few splotches on them, indicating venial sin. Those weren’t terrible, a white lie, talking back to your parents, talking smack about someone, those kind of minor offenses that marred our characters. A black milk bottle indicated a mortal sin.

I cannot imagine the horror Monsignor Aughney felt when a seven year old confessed a mortal sin. Mortal sins were the game changers, the show stoppers, the back the truck up, let me get absolution kind of sins. Adultery. Murder. Sinful Thoughts. Those were always such hot beds, the nuns mentioned adultery, but never explained it. Murder was easy, easily explained. Sinful thoughts might have been sexual in nature, I cannot see a seven year old sinning that way. At least, not one that has been raised in a household like we were raised.

Our folks were really good people, they worked hard, they sacrificed for us, they taught us about God. They did a good job. We all grew up ok, the usual bumps along the road. The old nuns would call kids out in the classroom sometimes, “Michael M., you need to go to confession!” It was always a boy, being chastised in class. Maybe a stockade would have been less embarrassing. I wonder if the nuns confessed when they beat the snot out of Michael M. for jacking around and talking during class. Any Sister Mary’s out there? Please comment below, just curious.

I no longer attend Mass or use confession as a way to cleanse my soul. I believe the term is “fallen away.” It’s ok, I know God loves me and Jesus saved me, and the Holy Spirit inspires me. I no longer think I need to be killed by the Communists in order to get to heaven. Martyrdom never appealed to me, but as a kid, we were taught about it early. In between offering up little inconveniences and collecting pennies and nickels for the Pagan Baby Fund.

That said, it doesn’t hurt me to “examine my conscience” once in awhile, and tell God I’m sorry for this or that. You can check yourself without having to leave the house. The Catholics still believe in the need for Confession and telling your sins to the priest. I give them straight to Jesus, who to me is the go-to guy for giving it to God. Or I can go direct. Either way, God forgives my indiscretions, whatever they may be. I still haven’t hit adultery or murder, so I’m relieved about that. I have no desire to do either, trust me.

As I got older, gossipping and assassination of character qualified as “murder of another’s character.” A stretch? Maybe, but it makes you think. Even now, being discourteous, being rude, cutting in line, screaming in a policeman’s face at a “rally,” these are all things we do that are not right or helpful to us or society in any way. Practicing discrimination is wrong. I don’t know what sin it is, I just know it’s wrong. Don’t do it. Say you’re sorry. Intolerance of anyone because of race, color, or creed isn’t just illegal in the United States, it’s a sin against humanity. We need to stop and ask forgiveness.

Disrespect for older people or anyone in authority falls under “Honoring they Father and Mother.” If you disrespect Mom and Dad, you will disrespect your elders and police officers. It’s all wrong. I still find myself thinking, “I respect my mother as my mother, so I’m not starting an argument with her over her negativity.” I choose instead to remove myself from the negativity. Problem solved, and I’ve been kindly quiet about it.

A long time ago, while the Babe and I attended Countryside Community Church, in Omaha, Reverend J. Keith Cook gave a sermon about the Ten Commandments. In my whole life, no one ever mentioned the Ten Commandments serve as the basis for all of our laws today. When you think about it, it’s true. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Honor your parents. Don’t want what your neighbor wants. Honor God, keeping his Day Holy. As a society, we haven’t done that in decades!

I’m going to switch gears here and work on my book homework for awhile, before Gavin gets here. Pizza’s on the menu for lunch, I’m going to let him make them if he wants. This Grandma loves that kid, to the moon and back. Be kind. Be courteous. Be respectful. Wash your hands! Wear a mask! Help me out, can’t meet my grandson in Colorado until we’re safer from the Coronavirus. Thanks for reading today. Think about how we can all be better citizens and souls. I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Be careful out there.

Let’s Be Courteous! We All Need It!