Relaxing Sunday

I’m calling a no-work day at Raabe Ranch today. I mean, after we have our daily talk. No de-cluttering, no writing, maybe some placing text into the book pages, but nothing harder than that. It will be rainy and snowy tomorrow, so we’ll be staying in the house for sure. Today is a day for trying out our modern Adirondack chairs on the patio this afternoon. Photos later, they’re just as cool as the rocking chairs we got for the deck. Since the day we broke those in, it hasn’t been warm enough to be out for more than a few minutes.

The lady posted at the top of the header today is not me. Not yet, at least. She represents more than just overdone makeup. I hope my friends and I keep each other from such over-kill with the rouge, though. Girls, I have your back, do you have mine? I don’t mind looking quirky, since I do like weird jewelry and bright colors. And pearls always make a girl feel good. Almost royal, you know? Do young girls still wear them?

Hoping to get a restart on our Keto eating. The Babe is getting back to his sugar cravings, and that’s not good. Sometimes I cave in with him. So I purchased some additive that is supposed help you get into Keto more quickly. I thought if I could give him a jump start to being back on the consciousness he’d pick up again.

I also printed off some articles on high protein breakfasts when you’re sick of eggs. Six of them sound great. A smoothie with lots of fruit, milk or cream, yogurt, and some protein powder. Not sure if we’ll like protein powder or not, but I may sub the Ensure Vanilla no sugar protein drinks for the milk or cream. Then the protein would be there. It isn’t just for old people. Anyone dieting or trying to intake less may fine it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Sorry, the last two didn’t have photos. The middle one is a yummy sounding Mocha Shake. The last one is a high protein mixture of cottage cheese, blueberries, a little honey and cinnamon. I could eat that for lunch and not be hungry until dinner.

I think when the Babe is doing yard work weekly and walking the dogs again, he’ll lose the weight. He, like most of us, gets discouraged when he doesn’t see progress. All I can do is encourage him. I can tell you, I feel much better after losing about 32 pounds as of this morning. I’m wondering if our doctor will say anything when I go for a six month check-in. He never comments when I gain, he’s been very kind that way. I was bullied as a kid, by an adult, and am sensitive about it. The adult that bullied me never comments when I lose weight, either. She makes remarks in public about the appearance of others. It’s unnecessary to do that. She should know better by now. It’s simply who she is. And that’s too bad. This person used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” What the heck happened?

Have a beautiful afternoon. I hope it’s sunny and warm where you are. It just does something for the soul, doesn’t it? Blessings on all of you. Be Safe. See you tomorrow!

P.S. Then there’s this:

WOW! For Those Who Dare:

Full Recipe AvailableLoveBakesGoodCakes.com

Tear Down Before Building?

There is much discussion in cities with older downtown areas, such as Omaha, about restoration or demolition of the old, beautiful building. Logic tells us those old buildings have been vacant for twenty years or so. The utilities have been long turned off. Sentiment tells us our Grandpa Louie had a textile business here, our Aunt Susie had a bakery here, Dad’s cousin had a hardware store there. Restoration is wonderful, but at what price? Plumbing and electrical issues must be brought up to current code in refurbished properties. Safety issues abound, accomodations for handicapped folks is the law now. Sometimes, the only solution is to demo it and start new. The bricks can be cleaned and reused. They’ll go well on a garden walk in your yard. The memory will still be there. In your heart and mind.

That said, those of us who want better lives, better conditions, better feelings about ourselves, we must also decide; build on what you have, or tear down all the old messages, training, feelings, negative input, inability to put ourselves first. It’s a matter of undoing all the things which have held us back all these years. It’s uncomfortable. It’s a big change. You must resolve those feelings to succeed at changing what’s not comfortable in your life. If you want to write, you must change time wasting procrastination into solid, productive work. It’s up to you. It’s hard. Dad always told us the “right thing is always the hard thing to do”.

A day or so ago, I was inspired by my daily meditation and wrote about it in the blog from April 15, 2021, here. A bit later, I noticed something I wrote last summer was shared on someone else’s blog/Flip (probably something new to learn!) and guess what I saw? April 15, 2020; a whole different perspective on the same reading. I was blown away!

Last year, I was getting ready to work with a book coach. I did that for several months and decided the story I had up to over 50K words wasn’t the story I could tell. It was too long. Too many characters. I hope to revisit that novel again and make a series out of it. Tell the story the walls of the house can tell, but do it in a chronological order. The characters may all be in the story. It’s about a family with much dysfunction, codependency, and alcoholism. I believe I can salvage the idea of “These Walls DO Talk”.

However, now I’m many chapters into a cleaner way to tell Katie’s story. It’s about her life from age 18 to maybe 45. It’s much better writing. I hoped to finish the “These Walls DO Talk,” novel last year. Publish in September. I’m humbled by what I had to do differently. That’s why the coach was such a good idea. Sam Tyler has a business coaching. She also writes herself. Check out her website, too!

And here I am, a year later, writing a children’s book, and getting ready to put the artwork of Cartney McGuigan into the draft copy and edit my words down. Where Cartney can show the story with her drawings, I will edit out the words. It’s pretty different from where I thought I’d be last year. It’s a lot of work, yes, and it’s lots of learning to keep me living and improving life.

Let’s see each other again tomorrow, ok? I appreciate your time today and hope you have something fun happen this afternoon. I’m not going to Gavin’s game today, my body just aches too much already to be in the damp, chilly weather. I hate missing it, but I’ll pay all week if I go. Go Gavin! Win that double-header!

Healing and Forgiveness

Sometimes, I think life is a series of wounds from paper-cuts to severe injuries. We are constantly hurting, then healing. If you remain unhealed from what life gives you, you are wounded forever. Yes, forgiveness is hard, and they don’t deserve it, but you do. Unforgiveness makes you hard and jaded. For me, I’d rather be gentle and positive. It takes years off your heart and soul.

All the recovery programs stress making amends with those you’ve hurt. Only one of three people who hurt me because of their addictions, and that came very early in his recovery. He accurately depicted certain manipulations he used and apologized. I still thank God for that. I have a best friend because of that. The other two people haven’t recovered enough life to do that. I was writing about it and I healed just because I finally admitted how damaged I was by their situations. It was an amazing feeling once it happened. All these years, I thought their disrespect, gas-lighting, lies, secrets, and deceit did not affect me. I was wrong.

In my life, I’m able to submerge myself into creating. With words, fabric, thread, paint, imagination, pen and ink, whatever media speaks to me for that project. It makes me happy, and with the creativity, you can take those wounds and heal them powerfully. How the human mind and soul work together is another amazing journey. And I know I healed very painful things through that collaboration.

The last 25 years of my life have been everything I always wanted and more. The Babe appeared in my life as I was healing from not only a bad relationship of three years; and from a ground-breaking spine surgery that removed a tumor from my spine and enabled me to walk again. Both were huge obstacles in my early 40s. The wait for a real relationship was over. I slowly let my walls of protection crumble. I was loved and more able to love. My hurts gradually healed, one by one. I smiled more. I laughed every day. I gained confidence. I don’t have to question everything. I can trust.

Am I envious of the people who figured out all this stuff in their twenties? Maybe, a little. I choose to believe all the hard things I’ve survived helped make me who I am today. Yes, I’m strong but gentle. I’m not afraid to fail. I have no regrets. I refuse to beat myself up. I’ve come to terms with the people who seriously wronged me. I pray for them, even. Why? Because “they know not what they did.” Once they learn better, they become responsible for that behavior. God will sort it all out. Not my job.

We are all constantly healing and becoming whole. We have more to bring to relationships, life, and our passions. Can you imagine a world like this? We can all make our part of it like this. The more healthy the relationships and lives are, the more we heal. Like life itself, it is a continuing process. Let’s continue on our journeys, feeling the progress we’re making. Thanks for being here today. It’s a cloudy, chilly day, perfect for more de-cluttering. Followed by Netflix’s, The Politician, with Jessica Lange. She’s the best. Take care, and I’ll see you tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Courteous.

Thursday Morning

Well, we’ve had our first game of catch here at Raabe Ranch. Goldie might calm down for a little while. I want to be as happy as our yellow lab. It’s my life’s goal, a worthy one, I believe. She loves a schedule. She loves to play. She loves her people. She loves her food. She loves to play. What else could there be? I believe she is living her doggie life to the max. Life is so good.

I know many folks have cats, I’m just not a cat person. We had feral cats all over the neighborhood when I was a kid. A family had them, and they shrieked constantly. I disliked that sound, especially in the middle of a hot, August night. The stuff nightmares were made of. It sounds kind of heathen now, but when I was a kid, people let their dogs loose to roam the neighborhoods. People rarely went to the Vet with their pets, it cost a lot of money most folks didn’t have. They were lucky to go to the doctor. And then they only went when they were sick. Forget about the dentist. We went, but did not have dental insurance.

Life was a lot different then. We had so much less than we do now. As people and as a country. People worked hard. Our worlds were pretty small, too. Telephone calls via long distance were costly. Most people had party lines for their home telephones. It was cheaper. Innovation in technology has been a godsend in some ways; in others, not so much. We know every world event within a very short period of time. Whether the reporting is accurate or not is a whole other topic. Journalism had integrity and meaning. Now, it may be a way of nabbing the market, making a name for yourself, or a cruel joke. We need to be able to trust what we hear. Political or not.

Another saying from my daily meditation book:

Whatever you can do, or think you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. – Goethe

Any creative endeavor involves some boldness. In the 1960s, people believed artists would all starve. You can’t live on what your writing would generate. A girl can’t be an engineer, architect, mechanic? All these are proven false in this century. We were headed that direction. It’s now recognized how important the Arts are in human development and our daily lives. Listening to music calms babies. Bright colors stimulate the mind. Changing your life can do both.

Dumping our bad habits, time wasters, and procrastination are all positive actions towards your genius, power, and magic. Inertia is overcome by following our visions, dreams, and plans. Just because you’ve never done this before doesn’t mean you can’t do it! Our dreams can come true. Never did I think I’d actually get this close to doing something I’ve always wanted to do. A few years ago, I just started. Learned by doing. And I’m getting there!

Three years, eh? No wonder people think we’re weird. Never thought of it that way. Cauliflower becoming pizza? Yes, Mama’s Pizza in Omaha, Nebraska has a delicious cauliflower crust. Make your days fly by. Fly on the wings of your aspirations. Why didn’t they tell us the cage wasn’t locked? Better yet, why didn’t we think to ask if it was or not? We’ve imprisoned our own creative spirit sometimes. Let’s get brave and release it. You were indeed, meant to fly!

Thank you for reading today. I am truly grateful you do. Please consider putting your email address and name for some future goodies. You can only receive them via e-mail, so don’t miss out on the fun we’re about to have!

“Cartney! We have to talk! I have this idea . . . ” Time to contact my artist. Have a beautiful day. Go read a book, play a tune, something wonderful. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday Already?

What a great creative week it is. Of course, most of the progress happened in my mind, but progress is progress, especially for an author. My heart is so happy, and it’s awesome when we feel this way, right? Oh, to figure out what helps us feel this way. What is it?

I’m so lucky to have the Babe. I’m still smitten after all these years. We spent the rare day together yesterday, and it was very nice. He worked in the yard with the puppies. They loved being outside nearly all day. He had his hearing tested at the VA late in the day. New hearing aids to come. I hope this helps him know more of what goes on around him. Hearing loss is very isolating. If I could pick one to lose, I suppose it’d be hearing. Seeing would be horrible. My mom felt this way and ended up losing both senses. It’s very sad. And more isolating. We sat in our new rocking chairs on the deck. It was perfect. Blessed and grateful.

We are just on the cusp of Spring. Spring is my favorite until Fall comes. Even though it’s freezing here, I don’t think I’d want to move away and not have four seasons. My arthritis would thank me, but it just wouldn’t be home, you know? So it makes me feel happiness to have four seasons. Seriously. What else?

Discovering my truth over the last 25 years has been very freeing. I’ve had to admit to a lot of things I wish I hadn’t done. The things I’m glad I did stand on their own. Getting divorced. Finishing my education. Learning how to create opportunities. If you pay attention, they give us hints about which path we should follow. I’m grateful to be aware of those hints. It makes me happy I’m taking calculated risks and succeeding. Who are they? God and maybe a white-haired guardian angel or two. My medical history alone would scare an Archangel. 

I’m so glad “Why not?” has entered my mind. Do what no one has done before. Why not? If I were to be stuck at “Why?” it would be too easy to not take any risk. Nothing will be as scary in my life as two things: When my child drowned (something I’d always feared would happen); and when I filed for divorce with no recent work experience and being home with my kids for 11 years. My mom was pretty mad at me for divorcing. I would not have my kids grow up in an unhappy house, with a very unhappy Mom. It worked. And I thank God for showing me the way.

I’m especially glad to have waited for someone to love me. Just as I am. The Babe has never felt threatened by my success, or that I earned more money than he did. In his best Sam Elliott voice, he said, “Sweetheart, that doesn’t bother me a bit.” What an authentic man. Not threatened. Supportive. Truly wanting what I think is best for me. So glad to be supported like this. If I survive him, it will be such an enormous loss. A huge empty spot in my life. I vow to enjoy every day we have. Some days aren’t the greatest. We cheer each other up if needed. I’m learning about many volunteer opportunities which could fill my time should the worst happen. I do better when in a crisis when I’m helping others. Coping mechanism. We know the one left will survive. It doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. We know. Enjoy your today’s. 

My header photo today is actual proof you can grow celery in your home, in a little water (I change it every day). The Babe laughs at me sometimes. Heck, sometimes I laugh at myself. I read it would work, so I tried it. It’s actually kind of fun. Let the little kids do this. They’ll learn something. And since we’re still doing KETO dieting, Cream Cheese stuffed celery is a great snack for us. Protein and veggies. What a combination! We’ll have a harvest party when the time is right. Make your own fun. It makes me happy.

We’re Going for Feeding Orioles This Summer. I’ve Seen Some Around Before. Trying New Stuff Makes Me Happy!

I’ve started reading “A Dream About Lightening Bugs,” by Ben Folds. Mr. Folds is an American singer-songwriter and he’s telling his story. It’s all about stories. They make me happy, too. Even if they’re sad, this story is not sad. He must be a wonderful, creative, empathetic person. It’ll be a pleasant afternoon, too chilly to sit outside. The dogs are napping. I love when they do that, too. I get more accomplished. I’m looking forward to seeing our friends tonight at dinner. We have such a fun time. Wednesdays are fun. They make me happy, too.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. I’ll have a cover to introduce our book soon. It’s coming. That makes me happy! Have a beautiful rest of Wednesday and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Fair. Life might not be, but you can! Blessings, friends. Be careful.

Magic Monday

Monday is another beautiful day outside here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. It’s perfect weather. It pained me when I was still employed at Mutual of Omaha and had to work on gorgeous days like this one. It pained me! When I was first married, I loved being home with the kids, we spent a lot of time outside every day. We all enjoyed it. I wish we were closer to our one and three year old grandkids. It would be fun to play with them like we used to play with their Mama!

Part of my examining my bad or lazy habits struck me over the weekend. I need to take better care of me. After all, your body is your Temple, right? I don’t do too bad, just could take a little more time for myself. Instead of writing this morning, I left to get a mani/pedi. I was the first customer, so it was nice and quiet. I thanked God this morning for my feet and hands. They have walked many a mile in my life, with a sick baby, pushing a stroller, walking several blocks to work to save money on downtown parking, and pacing the floor while Dad was dying, while the Babe had any of his surgeries, and taking Mom to get her COVID shots. My hands have held babies, their hands, made cookies, crocheted tens of afghans, sewn clothing and quilts, and worked many needlework projects. I’m grateful for all these hands can do. I pray I can keep doing them for years to come.

So the mani/pedi was a way to thank my hands and feet for a lifelong service to all the stuff I like to do. Just showing some gratitude for jobs well done. I got the car washed and filled the gas tank, and picked up my grocery order. I love doing that. It’s so much easier for me. The only bad thing is the Babe was gone so I carried everything in myself. That’s always a back breaker. It took over an hour to prep the raw veggies, make salad, and wash all the apples. You know, I thought I was ordering one bunch of bananas? I got one single banana. LOL. I’ll have to check my order. It’s just funny to only get one. “What was I thinking?”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

So, on this beautiful Monday in Spring, here’s to all of us who try to be more conscious. Here’s to all of us who order only one banana. Here’s to all of us who do too much in a day then are glad for an afternoon nap. It makes life interesting and messy and beautiful. And makes me very happy. I hope you are, too. Thank you for reading. I appreciate it a lot. Let’s all have a beautiful evening and look forward to seeing each other tomorrow. Be Safe out there. Be Kind. You will never regret being kind!

Happy Easter, 2021!

This is one beautiful day outside, folks. Throughout my 60 + years on this earth, I’ve seen many kinds of weather for this day. Of course, since Easter is based on the phases of the moon and is never on the same date, the weather can vary greatly because of that. This year, however, I believe it’s beautiful outside as a symbol of our hope returning after last year.

The year of COVID-19 had us all in a state of stress and wonder. Some of us fared worse than others. Some people lost jobs, money, housing, and any sense of security we had. Our children suffered through remote learning and not seeing their friends, if only on a screen. Child care turned into a parent working from home, and stress was there, finding families trying to make the best of a bad situation. Sadly, the husband of Omaha’s mayor, a reknowned trauma surgeon, took his own life last month. Sadness overloads.

After receiving both vaccinations, the Babe and I feel better. I’m choosing not to think about the issue of “the vaccine will give you protection for six months.” Six months? That doesn’t seem long enough. Wow. Nope, I will not stress over it. I’m choosing to be grateful there is a vaccine. I’m praying I finally get to meet our youngest grandson, Cody Wyatt. He has a disarming smile that makes me melt, even just from a photo. He was born in January. If you have a spare prayer or two, please offer it for us. We appreciate it! Let us know if we can return the favor some day.

I feel some revitalizing energy this week. I think it’s from the hope of spring and the changes in nature we observe from our deck. I have promised myself to get more organized and not let so many things go too long without tending to them. If I keep things tidier, it won’t be overwhelming. Last year in May, we lost our cleaning lady. Since the babe was home and we quarantined, so we sort of kept up. I looked around this much later and see things I don’t like. Knowing I’m the only one that can change the situation is making me change some habits. They may seem small, but it’s a bunch of little things together that will help.

Have you ever seen the meme about laundry? It says the clothes get folded 7 – 10 business days later. I fell into that category. I got to dislike the clothes baskets. During the last two weeks, I’ve folded the clothes the same day they’re washed. Just standing long enough to do those tasks has my back hurting. But the work is done. It’ll hurt no matter when I stand up and fold clothes, so I might as well get it over with. So I do.

Dusting is another bane to my existence. I really don’t like doing it. It’s an endless chore. And our headboard and foot board have this ridiculous lattice like cut outs that are constantly dusty. They will now be dusted at least once a week. It’s the only way to stay ahead of it. And the electronics. Dust magnets, they are. Well no more. That’s my next vow.

Once we have those habits established, the Babe’s office will be cleared out of stuff we don’t need. The thing about extra room is we tend to get more stuff. Stuff we don’t need. We both were bad about mail, receipts, etc. Next year’s taxes will be easy to do, I’m going to keep stuff filed where it belongs, it’ll be easy to grab a file of medical expenses instead of flipping through hundreds of papers. All little steps that will make life easier.

We all have things we need to change. Let’s do it together. You’ll have more time to engage in things you love. Playing with your kids or grandkids. Writing the next great American novel. Painting a masterpiece for your friends to see. Woodworking. Building toys. Volunteering. Reading. Or all of the above!

I’m starting a Carol Gino led challenge this week, from Wednesday until Friday. It’s called, “Women in Life Transition: Bring ALL of you to Life!” It’s a Facebook challenge, and I need to check the time. Check it out if you think you’d be interested. It will help determine your soul’s purpose. I believe I know what mine is, but it may be totally different than what I think. You never know. I’m grateful for the opportunity to discover it. Check Soul Star Academy on Facebook for more information.

Thank you all for reading today. May you all have a peaceful afternoon and evening. I’m grateful for you being here. Feel free to comment, and it’d be great if folks would share their e-mail addresses. Then I can send you personalized info about my books and several other things we’re working on. Be Kind. Be Purposeful. Be Compassionate. Be Who You Looked Up to As A Child. And stay safe out there. See you tomorrow!

Cool Kids Club

Hi, guys! This blog comes to you from a cafe near 84 & I-80 in Omaha, Nebraska. Forgive me if things are wonky. Although I brought my Chromebook, said cafe does not have wi-fi. They do, however, have delicious giant cinnamon rolls.

I trekked over to THINK Full Person Health Care, and received my second COVID vaccination early this morning. This was the song on the radio as I parked.

What the Heck?

I find this hilarious! Seriously, some folks would get upset and paranoid. I’m choosing humor every time. THINK was very organized, I had the shot after paperwork, since I forgot to do it online this time. No big deal.

In a few minutes, it’s time to pack up and take Mom for a perm. I get a haircut, then go spend time working on a book cover for a certain children’s book you will be able to purchase in a couple months. It will be good to be in an uninterrupted atmosphere while trying to learn Publisher, and save the whole thing to a Google Doc for Cartney to add her special talents to. I’m so excited! Cartney, I’m feeling you might be, too.

Cartney graduates in May, so her time is precious. We may be moving deadlines back until after her big day. We meet sometime in April to touch base on things.

Yesterday, I stepped out with the dogs onto the deck.I heard the baby birds in a chorus chirping for food! It sounded like everyone was chirping their hearts out! OR

A scene from old Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Birds.” Again, choose the positive over negative. Hungry babies over killer birds pecking your eyes out.

We’re waiting for our haircuts and Mom’s perm. I hope Panera has Wi-Fi, so I can work on my book cover and first page. If I stay in Publisher, it’ll work offline.

Aren’t we dependent on Wi-Fi? Wow. Sometimes I think maybe it’s not such a great thing after all. And then it is. I’ve learned far more than I ever thought possible. I don’t see that stopping anytime soon.

Have a beautiful day! Wind is horrible in Nebraska. Typical Nebraska in spring, though. Be safe. Be courteous. Be kind. Your day will be as good as you make it. Thank you for reading. Let’s plan on seeing each other tomorrow, too.

(Mumbling) Monday?

It could have been. It very easily could have been. Instead, I forgave myself for being human. For sometimes forgetting where I’ve put things. It’s happened a couple times. The first time, I found what I was looking for by simply moving something else. Like magic! There it was.

The second time wasn’t as magical. I emptied the middle desk drawer in the Babe’s office, and for the life of me, I couldn’t find our Safe Deposit Keys. Oh boy, this will be expensive. Not good. I proceeded to beat myself up, which was old behavior. I could feel my normal good mood start to ebb. It’s going to be rain all day, don’t need it to be in a bad mood! NO! I called the Babe.

He immediately encouraged me. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s ok. Really? Well, yes. Yes it is. Not a big deal. I came in off the ledge. As we were talking, I mentioned some things we had at home that I would place back in the Safe Deposit Box. Passports. Other important papers. I went to the jewelry armoire and opened the bottom drawer. I removed the travel belt I received from a friend’s belongings after she died. It has two pockets. One pocket had the Passports. The other? It had the Bank Envelope with the Safe Deposit Box Keys in it. I thanked our friend Sharon Reidmann over and over for helping St. Anthony find my “lost” items. Whew! I can almost hear Sharon tell me, “You need to be neater.” True. I do. Working on it.

Note to self: Start writing down where we hide stuff. We’re getting to that age where we honestly may not remember everything as we used to. Better safe than sorry! My Catholic upbringing yielded a quick prayer to the Saint in charge of lost items. We Catholics have a Saint for everything. Thank goodness. Not sure who the Saint is for memory. Anyone?

Easter will be upon us in another couple weeks. Growing up Catholic, we learned about all the days surrounding Easter. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and how we remembered each of them on their own special days. There was a lot of ritual connected with them, and somehow, I miss all that. My older brother was an altar boy, I was a choir girl, and our presence was expected at all these ceremonies. We were there, front and center.

Two years in a row, my mother became deathly ill, and we went to stay at our Grandma Jewell’s, while Mom was in the hospital. First time, on Palm Sunday, she had a bad gall bladder attack. She had surgery the next day, and was hospitalized for over a week. The Second time, she was hospitalized and put in traction for her back. Bed rest and traction, along with muscle relaxers ruled her life for another week. She repeatedly counted the tiles in the ceiling. She truly thought she’d go insane.

We attended Grandma’s Church for all the services on those special days. We must have been out of school, but I truly don’t recall getting the whole week off, usually we had school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and were out Thursday and Friday. Grandpa had already passed away, so I know he wasn’t available to take us to school. I’ll have to check on those details.

When the third year rolled around, we were wondering what would cause Mom to be hospitalized that year? It became sort of a joke, wondering what would happen next. Nothing ever did. Good thing, Dad was lost without her to keep the house running smoothly. She did a good job.

As I remain grateful for finding my lost item, thank you for reading today. Take it easy on yourself first. Then a deep breath and calm down. You will find what is lost, even if it’s yourself! Thank you for reading. I appreciate it more than you know. Find some brightness in this gloomy day. The grass will need mowing if the rain keeps up! Take care of each other out there. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Courteous. See you tomorrow!

Spring-y Saturday

Today is the first day of Spring. Ah, yes, I believe we will make it now. Grandson Gavin is attending his first outdoor baseball practice today. I hope and pray we are able to attend his games this year. COVID has taken a lot from us. But, grass is greening up, allergies beginning, we know it’s Spring in Nebraska. During those spring days we can experience lots of weather changes. You can go from 60 degrees and calm to a real snow-dumping blizzard in 24 hours. Some of the bigger ones happen in April, and even in May. It never lasts very long, though. You won’t hear me complain, though. It’ll pass.

Gavin and his Dad, TJ. Two of my favorite guys! Outdoor Baseball Practice Begins TODAY!

One thing I’ve learned in my years on the planet, is things will always get better; and things could always be worse. Is it a glass half empty philosophy? No, I prefer to think it’s realistic. Just as spring always follows winter in nature, in our human lives take us from bad situations, to healing, even to gaining precious insights of all we’ve endured. New life replaces death. Growth expands a life, a soul, a mind. Gratitude and Attitude are everything.

My header photo today is a quilt I made, and the beautiful flower statue was a gift from my kids, Frankie, Nick, and Becky. It was from the times they were all still at home, the boys were working after school, and they pooled their resources and bought a series of these sculptures for me. I will treasure them forever. They pointed out to me they had human fingerprints on the petals; the Italian artist who created these was very precise. He made molds to hold the porcelain, and they bear his fingerprints. What a neat thing!

The Carpodimonte method goes back to the 1700 in Naples, Italy. They’re beautiful. I smile when I think of those kids spending their hard-earned money on me like that. They bought them from QVC, and were so proud. Good Times!

Life has so many passages for us to navigate. We are not meant to stay in one spot. Early death happens when people are too afraid to embrace the next stage of life. You cannot remain rooted in your past, it’s not a place to remain living. Memories are great, but your spirit is a living organism, it introduces every new spring to your soul. Your soul is where you discover new things and grow! Choose Springtime. Choose Creativity. Choose Life!

I love reading to little kids. I get all into the character’s voices, and sometimes the Grandkid’s look at me while I do the voices. They love it! I do too! I dream of having a book launch and be able to read to children. I’ll have get some people with toddlers and little ones. It would be so fun for me! And for them! I am thinking of having a pen name for my Kid-Lit, “Grandma Kathy.” What do you all think? I can add a page to the website for her, and one for “Jewell Publishing LLC.” Comments, please!

Many thanks to my friend, Billy McGuigan, the King of “Stuff We’ve Never Done Before.” I’m going to build my brand(s) all on one website. Just because no one’s ever done it, doesn’t mean it won’t work! Right, Billy? Your encouragement and Kate Whitecotton’s is so encouraging. I appreciate it so much! Folks, don’t forget about Billy’s new solo album, “Together.” The stories are rich. They’re real. They’re about love, moving on, uniting as a family in tough times, and all the stuff dreams are made of. They’re about living in a pandemic. The creativity soars. It’s a cure for COVID blues. Also, check out McGuigan Arts Academy. There are opportunities galore for your kids during school breaks and vacations. All COVID-safe, Socially Distanced.

Thanks for reading today. Get outside. Get some fresh air. Get moving. Shake up your routine today. Do something new. Listen to some good music along the way. Call an old friend. Call an elder in your family. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. The world will smile back at you. See you tomorrow, my friends.