About Last Night . . .

A night the Babe and I were waiting for since early December 2020 finally happened. To hear TOGETHER, Billy McGuigan’s live performance of his COVID album released a few months ago. The music is reviewed here. The live performance? It was fabulous. Although I’d listened a hundred or more times (yes, I do that with music I love), seeing Billy McGuigan live is always a top-notch experience. Kevin Klimowski, a fan from Des Moines, and I sat near each other and and commented on how good they sound recorded and in person as well. Boys and girls, that’s the sign of a group of REAL musicians. Billy doesn’t mess around. They will never let the music die.

Although I’ve been a Billy and brothers’ fan for a long time, we are still seeing new and exciting things at any function these guys play. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Carly Frolio’s beautiful voice. She sings like an angel and accompanies Billy well. Unfortunately, we missed the Parking Lot Concerts last summer at the Omaha Community Playhouse. If Carly sang there, we missed it. Sorry! Much like her fellow band mates, she has many creative skills, including photography.

In addition to the band, something else new was students from McGuigan Arts Academy as ushers, a wealth of information, and front row fans. Our little girl usher informed us we “could take all the pictures we wanted of Billy McGuigan.” Thank you, honey. She told Kimberly Faith Hickman, “Now, I’m an usher,” before this bespectacled, braided, confident little girl bounced down the aisle, intent on mission completion.” She found our seats with the precision of a soldier on a mission. She waved us over, pointed, and said, “Enjoy the show.” Mission completed, young lady!

All of the children sat in the first row after helping introduce Billy. They all looked thrilled to death. Much like the adults who frequent his shows, they jumped to their feet and danced their hearts out. A new generation of McGuigan’s Minions. Who knew? The Arts Academy is doing great things. Some kids were backstage hands. What a great thing! Hands on learning. Lucky, lucky kids.

Billy’s son, Ciaran McGuigan keeps coming more into his own more and more as a guitar player. Max Meyer, is a lead guitar player, and Ciaran’s teacher. Max does great things with a guitar you have only heard about with the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton. Love listening to you, Max! We even heard him singing, “Surfin’ U.S.A.” I loved the Beach Boys when I was a kid! You evoked some great memories!

Matthew McGuigan is a favorite, too. He is always consistent, steady, and a great vocal back up. He was mentioned as turning 40 yesterday, and with his second COVID vaccine, he took it all in stride. Go Matthew! This is a banner year for you, too! He and brother Ryan McGuigan stayed pretty much in the background Saturday night. It was Billy’s night. And he rocked it. The love of family really stands out with this group. They are their own family! And the fans, we complete that family. Kate Whitecotton organizes the whole lot, and it comes off without a hitch every time. She’s magical!

I keep wondering what else these guys can do that’s not been done before? A whole bunch, all the talents considered. We will be there, Billy, Ryan, and Matthew. We have heard the life story, and we’re glad you’ve used your experiences for good. Not just your good, but for ours, too. Billy started out playing Buddy Holly at the Omaha Community Playhouse. And the rest is history. He is nowhere near done. At 46, he has at least 30 more years of performing ahead of him. He already knows he can do a Sinatra-Buble-Connick, Jr., type of show. And he killed it! When you can’t jump anymore, when you may have trouble reaching for the strings on your guitar anymore, you can croon. Until then, though, feel free to share your life, thoughts and feelings with your family from Bellevue, Omaha, Gretna, Elkhorn, and the surrounding areas. You guys are home with us, and we couldn’t be prouder. You will tend the music and keep it alive as long as we need it. And you. The Best is Yet to Come!

Saturday Leaps of Faith

The Neighborhood at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska is teeming with activity! Homes have loads of fresh mulch or good black dirt dumped in their driveways. Yes, it is a beautiful, calm, sunny day for the first Saturday in April. The day before Easter. As kids we learned this was the day all of the followers of Jesus were on the low-down. They were gathered in groups in rooms with the lights off, windows and doors locked, wondering what they do now. They did not want to meet the same demise Jesus did. Their faith was shaken. They all had doubts, not just Thomas. It had to be the longest 24 hour period in all of their lives.

The nuns sort of told us we should be engaged in prayerful, quiet activity all day. Our mom’s all loved that. Then of course, we had to go to the Saturday evening service at 8 p.m. It lasted a very long time, and often we walked home at 10 p.m. It was safe back then! Of course, we were required to go to the Children’s Mass at 9 a.m. These were the days before Saturday services “fulfilled Sunday’s obligations.” I have to laugh, my Protestant friends say Catholics are the only ones who are concerned about things “counting,” and the world famous 15 minute Mass at St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church in downtown Omaha. Ask us, we’ll tell you.

I’m glad the different religions finally realize God loves us all. Equally. Yes, equally. He doesn’t favor one over the other. Some religions are founded on mistaken ideas, and call for things far outside what God expects from each of us. Find yours and concentrate on how to have spirituality in your life. Be with people who reflect your beliefs. Be accepting, kind, tolerant, inclusive, and stand by your beliefs. It’s about integrity. One of the best things a person can have.

Two years! Wow! This is pretty cool, folks.

In other news, I didn’t realize this was my second anniversary with WordPress! How fun to have this milestone today. It took a leap of faith on my part. I didn’t blog much until that July 5, 2019, when we lost our Roxie. I had to get the distress and grief our of me. It was devastating. Someone entered our yard and left a gate open. There were still fireworks going off, she was scared, and ran into traffic on the highway, two blocks away. Her last minutes had to be full of terror. My book for kids is about her and our grandson, Gavin.

Speaking of a leap of faith; my featured header photo today is a collage of the CD’s I’m listening to today while I work. I’ve not met two of them (or you’d all know about it!), Kevin Costner & Modern West and Bruce Springsteen. I will say I do not agree with Bruce’s politics. He has done a lot of good for people through his career, he had food drives at his concert sites before we heard of them; he chronicled the demise of his hometown, closing factories, etc. He has a song on his “Magic” album called “Leap of Faith.” Give it a listen. I like it.

At any rate, the others are some local singer/songwriters who took their own leaps of faith and put themselves and their original songs out there. Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber are two local musicians who we enjoy a lot. They have special chemistry when they perform together, and they are both very dynamic solo or with their bands. Fine, fine musicians we’ve had the pleasure to get to know. They both never cease to amaze me with what they do. Billy has a new solo album, “Together,” it’s doing well. The Babe and I get to see him and his brothers in the band perform this great album in person next Saturday at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Looking forward to it!

And Jimmy Weber has a friend/road manager/sidekick, “Handsome” Jake Mayer. They are in Nashville, TN this week recording another new album of their original music. The just released one, “Black and Blue Heart,” hits so close to home if you’ve ever been alone. I have. I cannot wait to hear what those two have been up to. Jake is an amazing lyricist. One day, I hope to talk to him about his words as they relate to Jimmy’s amazing music. What those guys do with a guitar and a bunch of words (both carefully chosen), is pure magic. There they are, taking their leap of faith.

Ray Scott is someone I’ve never met, but I did just about see his show one night at Buck’s in Venice, Nebraska. Jimmy Weber opened for him, we saw Jimmy that night, but the Babe wasn’t feeling well. He had a wound vac attached to him and he just couldn’t sit up straight anymore for the evening, so we had to leave. Hopefully next time he’s up this way, we’ll be able to see him live. I’ve purchased a bunch of his CD’s and like his style. His voice is unique, and he just tells it like it is. Check the usual music outlets to listen and purchase. His leap of faith was to do things his way. And he’s a big man, I don’t think anyone questions him much.

Rick Tiger is a singer/songwriter from Louisiana. The Babe and I met him the first time we saw Jimmy Weber perform alone. Jimmy sang first, and Rick followed. We loved him. He has written many songs you’ll recognize, and any more you can relate to. That night, he sang about Coffee & Conversations, which reminded the Babe of waking up at his grandparents farm in South Dakota. Once he walked me through the property and identified where everything used to be. The barn was gone, but the memories of it weren’t. You will be reminded of something in your life if you listen to Rick long enough. And he’s the nicest man you can meet. His wife Joyce is such a kind woman. They are perfect with each other. Blessings abound in their life, and they will tell each other about it. Nice, nice people.

When you’ve spent a little time with people who are so talented, it’s inspiring. They are taking their leaps of faith. And I’m about to take mine, by publishing my first book. I’m excited beyond description. Thanks for being on this journey with me. Thanks for the examples and encouragement, guys! I appreciate it a lot.

Thanks for reading today. Tomorrow is what it’s all about. The renewal of Easter Sunday. I vow to renew habit I need to renew. I vow to exhibit behaviors to make me a better person. More patience. More understanding. More listening. And I’ll continue to love words and stories, whether they’re on the page or in a song. Good music makes me write better. What a motivator music is! What great music to be motivated by. Have a beautiful rest of the day. I’m going to the deck, where we’ll probably stay for the rest of the day. God’s been so good to us. See you tomorrow! #Grateful #Blessed

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.

Hedwig and The Angry Inch

See this! It doesn’t matter your age, your beliefs, or your taste in music, there is something for everyone here to appreciate. The Acting. The Music. The stage presence of the actors and the band. Even the pre-show where Billy McGuigan sings some old songs and a few from his new album, “Together.”

It felt good to be attending a live show again. When the Babe retired, we tried new things we’d never done before. We became members of the Omaha Community Playhouse, and saw many plays of high quality, and the annual Christmas Show “Yesterday and Today,” which is a Beatles tribute show performed by Billy and his brothers Ryan and Matthew. A very talented group of musicians. Billy has a pool of amazing musicians to choose from and uses everyone in the best way possible.

The people at the Waiting Room did an outstanding job of only selling 25% capacity for the show. We were more than socially distanced, seated at our table. We could remove our masks while seated, which was good. It was safe and gave us a sense of security with the precautions they enforced. The Waiting Room is in Benson, at 6212 Maple Street. Get there super early! Parking is hard. Doors open at 6:30 pm, Billy performs at 7 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm.

Hedwig has one heckuva voice, whether singing as herself or as himself. The Angry Inch is a rock band who backs up Hedwig, the internationally ignored superstar (in her mind). You learn of her past life, her later life, and her quest to escape East Berlin before the wall fell. It was an historic time for sure. Her desperation to leave Germany was so intense, she resorted to some drastic measures.

The quest to find your “other half” is something we all experience. Hedwig’s was of utmost importance to her. Part stand-up comedy, part rock musical, and part play, it has it all! The female lead was fantastic. What a voice! She rocked the place in fine fashion. And the best part? Evelyn Hill is a senior at Central High School. What a young talent! The possibilities that lie ahead for her!

Jesse White is incredible as Hedwig. The stories and songs tell the story how he started out as Hansel in East Berlin. He came to have a sex change operation, which was botched. No wonder he’s angry!

It was hugely entertaining for a chilly Saturday night in Nebraska. It was worth the drive and the price of admission. When it ended, we wanted more. More shows open later this spring and summer. There are post cards available at your seat to remember dates and places of other Rave On Production shows this year.

It’s going to be an exceptional year, being entertained by the genius that is Billy (always up for a challenge), Ryan (he has quite the stage presence, folks! Pay attention, you’ll see why!), and Matthew (the most excellent musical director) McGuigan, Max Meyer (one of the best lead guitarist’s you’ll ever see), Jay Hansen (Superman), and Larell Ware (Drums – my he’s good!). And I have to say, Kate Whitecotton, House Manager and CEO of Rave On Productions, is the most organized person on earth; she excels at coordinating everything for the performers. Kathleen Kersey is the Volunteer of the Year, selling merch at most of the shows. She knows her stuff, and which versions of the bands performed which version of the CD’s.

For your mental health, make a date tonight or next weekend for the remaining shows of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, at the Waiting Room Lounge. You will not be disappointed. Thanks for checking in today. We’ll see each other tomorrow. I look forward to it.

Thankful Thursday

So we did this thing. And the Nebraska Secretary of State accepted it. And my attorney is applying in the places so the IRS knows where I live, etc. I’m proud to announce I am now an official LLC.

I chose this name to honor my dad, Thomas M Jewell, Jr. He was a pressman/printer by trade, and worked for the Omaha World Herald for 37 years. He retired and died when I was 37 years old. I think he’d be pretty modest about this whole thing, but he and Mom instilled a love of books in me and my three brothers. We also had in-depth knowledge of ink, paper quality, and various newspaper techniques used through the years. Thanks, Dad! For everything!

As I’m still plotting my goals, tasks, and projects for this year, the LLC news came at just a perfect time. It’s a great motivator! The mountain of paperwork I needed to sort for our 2020 taxes is culled and tamed, so I’m ready to head into the home stretch of all that. It’s kind of toss up for figuring the new standard deduction vs. itemizing; I still itemize to see what exactly we have. Although 2020 had Quarantine; COVID-19; not getting to meet our new grandson yet; we are lucky we had few medical bills last year. For a couple 70 and 68 years old, that’s a huge win. We are thankful.

Dreams absolutely, positively, come true! Now the fun starts. The hard work. I’m ready for it. Although we’ve never done this before, I hear there’s no reason to stop. Just do it, it’ll be fun, they say. Beginning this company was a lot of the reason I dropped my formerly married name (finally); I felt it kept a connection to the family I still love. We’re in touch. They understand I still love them, and especially my kids. So it was time for a new identity. A new life. Instead of “here goes nothing,” we are saying, “here comes SOMETHING!” Thanks for being along with me on this journey. The best is yet to come.

Thanks, guys, for encouraging people to follow their dreams!

I’ll be finishing up our taxes the rest of the day. And tomorrow is an early eye doctor appointment. I won’t be able to see much after that. We’ll think of something to do. Writing and reading will probably be difficult. And I’m quietly celebrating and thanking my friends Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber, who unknowingly encouraged me to chase my dream. It’s meant a lot. Thanks for sharing my news. It’s going to be a blast! See you tomorrow (but it’ll be fuzzy!).

Wednesday ‘s Hot Stuff!

It’s a warm 9 degrees at the Home Office in Gretna, NE this morning. This is weather for comfort food, but it’s also time you can see live music tonight at the Ozone Lounge, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. My friend Jimmy Weber will perform, along with a list of friends set to join him for a tune or two. His new album, “Black and Blue Heart,” has been out for a couple weeks. I review it here, and I’ve listened to it a lot. Go for a night out. You’ll be glad you did. I hope we get there, depends on how soon the Babe finishes up at the VFW. Jimmy, hope to see you later! (It will be on Facebook Live, if you can’t make it).

And by the weekend, it’ll be even warmer. Check out Rave On Productions. They are presenting “Hedwick and the Angry Inch.” It is an underground rock musical – one of the most popular of all time. The music is something to hear the McGuigan clan deal with in their usual fine fashion. Can’t wait to go see it! The Waiting Room in Benson! We’re going Saturday night, when it’s supposed to be near 32 degrees! How’s that for a perfect night? Get your tickets for this ten performance offering. Check out all his other fun stuff, too; the McGuigan Arts Academy, music lessons, and all the happenings at Countryside Village.

Folks, you’ll feel better getting out and doing something normal for a change. Socially distanced is still required, with masks in Omaha. Small sacrifice for getting out after being snow/cold-bound. See you out at both events, I hope!

I need to get back to sorting the rest of our tax information. And set up the easier system for THIS year. I guess when filing stuff was my job; I kept up with it. I have the nasty habit of tossing everything into a computer paper box and sorting through it. I’m better than that. This is the year I do something about it. Promise to myself, and you are my witnesses!

Yesterday, I played hooky. I got a haircut. Then went to the Post. The progress on their remodeling project is awesome! The Babe is managing the project. He is such an excellent leader. Seriously, if you want anything done, Dan will do it, he’s the man. So proud of him. We had a fun day, really. Today, it’s back to reality.

What will help with the wintertime blues, the COVID blues, the frigid weather blues, and general cabin fever? Going to do something for enjoyment. I felt great going somewhere alone yesterday. Usually the Babe or Mom is along. I should do that more often. Here’s to hoping you have some alone time. I plan to hope you do, too. Thank you for reading and see you tomorrow!

I Just Had To . . .

I’ve been contemplating for a week now; how to write a blog about this. I received the new Billy McGuigan solo album last week, complete with a nice Polaroid photo (autographed!) and my spirits soared. We had been hearing from Billy via Facebook about the different songs on the album, and what his inspirations were. The guy had a lot of time to think in his little yellow shack in his backyard. We all have this year. After passing time in all the usual ways, Billy took to his shed (Sonny West Studio in Country Club) and started creating. He sang everything (all the parts), played all the instruments, and produced something magic yet real. He hit gold with this music, these stories, these tunes and words that come from his soul.

I’ve been a fan for over seven years now. Regular shows include his brothers (always in his band), and they do a Beatles Tribute show called “Yesterday and Today.” It’s exceptional. He has starred as Buddy Holly in “Rave On,” a musical show at the Omaha Community Playhouse. There are many accolades in their collective resumes, music, acting, arranging, lots of talents to go around one family. Their children are all very talented, too. Check out the videos and info.

Citing inspirations from the Beatles (always), Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Eagles, and countless others, Billy reaches for the stars and touches them. He’s sharing them with us, his fans. On his website, take time to read the info about the album. You’ll find two buttons at the bottom of the ordering page: The Songs, and Liner Notes. You’ll learn the inspirations and events that inspired the words, the music, and you’ll finally have your answer if you’ve ever asked why they don’t talk about their mom. Their dad was a man among men, dying when he was only 42 from cancer. Together, they are a force to reckon with.

Billy, I can tell you, many of us been on roller coaster rides and guilt trips, too. At 91, my mom is still driving that damned bus. And I admire how you put all this together. The truth you speak of; it’s honest, open, and inspiring at the same time. We receive the gift she lost out on. And they can’t help themselves, often, they don’t know any better. Breaking that cycle is difficult. Kudos to your stepmom. What an influential person!

Christmas came early this year, folks. Last night, since the first live performance at Iowa Western Community College was COVID-cancelled, through the magic of Facebook live, we got to watch a live performance of the album, complete with the most talented band there could be. You can view it at Billy’s Facebook page, “Billy McGuigan,” and you will spend about 90 minutes in my sunny place. You’ll laugh, it will touch you, and you’ll hear some grim realities of life. And they’ll all be true, from the heart of a very talented singer/songwriter. I know we will hear from Billy again. I look forward to it. Hope we’re able to see you at a live show again soon!

As Billy now joins the esteemed ranks of singer/songwriter, he joins the groups of people the Babe and I met by attending other local music shows. Jimmy Weber, (he’ll perform live today from Johnny Cash’s farm in Tennessee, check out his Facebook page for the 2 p.m. CST gig); Rick Tiger, (a prolific songwriter and singer on his own, he has written many songs you’ve heard others sing, and he prays for me when I ask. Good, good man); Ray Scott, (he performs on Facebook Live nearly weekly, check him out), I have a bunch of his CD’s.

A cool thing about Ray Scott, his latest album, “Nowhere Near Done,” is in a top album of the year named by American Songwriter Magazine. This is an esteemed list. It’s so cool someone we’ve seen at Buck’s in Venice, (Nebraska). You may catch him in person there sometime. Buck’s Bar & Grill, Facebook page worth watching.

Gentlemen, I hope all of you knock ’em dead today. Our year will be complete when Jimmy Weber releases his new album. I have a feeling it’ll be soon. We’ve heard some of his original music, too. More on that later. Thank you, on behalf of music lovers everywhere, for sharing your talents with all of us. You make this COVID-Post Election World a much kinder, gentler place to live. Keep writing, we’ll keep listening. Be Safe out there!

Fun Friday

Did some errands earlier today, and we just had lunch. The knees are still bad right now. We’ve had a busy week helping with getting Addison to and/or from school, taking Mom to get her hair done, and my other appointments as necessary. This is a very busy time of year. Sad to say, in three weeks or more, Christmas will be over. For the next three weeks, some of us need to get started with cheerful, grateful attitudes. It becomes a habit after three weeks, and will be easier to summon when we need it.

We received the best mail today! Billy McGuigan recorded a solo album during quarantine. What else is a musician to do when in quarantine? He wrote and recorded everything. By himself. It should be great. I’m going to wait until tomorrow to give it a listen while I’m writing in the morning. It should be great. I know it’s old school, but I do like CD’s.

This weekend I’m gathering and wrapping all the little gifts for our grandkids in Colorado. I’d like to mail them by next Wednesday. Should make it. I also want to decorate, too. I have nice decorations for our new tree, and it’ll be nice to have it up again. We don’t exchange gifts among any adults in the family. It’s all part of preparing for the holiday. Preparing your heart is important, too. Stories abound of generosity and goodwill during the season, yet, as soon as it’s over, people, being human, go back to selfishness and stinginess. So sad. Let’s try not to do that anymore. Let’s all try to be wonderful humans.

We had a new Keto meal tonight. The Babe found it online and suggested we try it. Ground beef, broccoli, cream cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and bake it. It was tasty and there is enough for another meal. Those are the best dinners to cook. After a month, we’ve both lost about fifteen pounds. It’s strange, though, it shows much more in how our clothes fit. That is the real test. It’s a process. We didn’t gain it all in a day, we won’t lose it in a month, either.

It’s a brief blog, tonight. It will be longer tomorrow, it’s time to say good night. Proof I write much better in the mornings. I’ll see you then. Thank you for reading. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful. Take care.

Photo by Hert Niks on Pexels.com

Magical Monday, 9/28/2020

It’s a chilly, sunny day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Fifty-two degrees! Brrr. But it was great to open the windows again for some fresh air. As we enjoy these beautiful fall days, I can’t help but think of two fall seasons years ago when I was pregnant, and hoping I wouldn’t give birth on Halloween. Both of my sons were due around then. Luckily, neither was. The last Halloween before Nick was born was brutal.

Nick was born on November 7, one week after Halloween. It was bowling night, so I took Frankie trick or treating. He was four. We lived in an old neighborhood, the kind with half of the houses on a hill, with stairs from the street up to the yards, and more stairs up to the porch. We knew all the people in the neighborhood, so we went up, trick or treat, then back down. There were fences separating the yards from each other, so you had no choice but to go up and down all of those stairs. I remember praying, “Please don’t let this put me into labor, God, Please?” Silly as it sounds now, I was concerned about it. The little guy showed up a week later.

Four years prior to that, Frankie arrived early. So was Nick for that matter, and of course, the third baby, Rebecca, was late. How does that happen? It was a very hard pregnancy, with a niece dying of spinal meningitis, Frankie had a drowning accident (and survived with no ill effects, thank God), and the baby laid on my sciatic nerve constantly near the end. First time I ever took a nap in the afternoon, to try and alleviate the pain.

But you forget all that once that baby is in your arms. She was wonderful. So sweet. I loved taking care of all of them. You miss babies once they’re not near you anymore. Gavin and Addison were frequent visitors, and so was Joell. He was a toddler but fun nonetheless. Now Kayla and Cody are our in Colorado and they may as well be in Europe, as we can’t visit until their Mama feels it’s safe as far as the CORONAVIRUS goes. I can’t stand it!

So instead, I have photos directly above the TV in the living room. I look at them a lot and talk to them in my mind. They will know me when I see Kayla again and meet Cody. There is always hope. If we lose hope, we lose everything.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Today? I’ve spent a bunch of time with several places where I’ve received emails saying I’ve reset my password. What a bunch of clowns. Don’t people have anything better to do? I guess not. There will always be a criminal element in whatever we do, you know? I love technology and am grateful I don’t fall for scams. I feel sorry for folks who do. Even the old grandkid calling grandma from jail scam. It happens so much. And once people are old, PLEASE, leave them the heck alone! They don’t deserve that!

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

The rest of today? Hope to knock the dirt off some succulents I need to bring inside. Some of them are really looking great. I need to keep them alive during the winter. They should do well, as long as they’re not overwatered. Or underwatered. Or get too much sun. Or too little sun. If you’ve ever tried to troubleshoot a sick looking plant, you know what I mean. It needs to be awhile before we cut things down for the winter. But then, it always catches us by surprise. How about you?

I have more scenes to write scenes as prep for working more on my book. Katie’s story is taking shape, and I hope I’m on the right track. I’ll know in about ten days, when I have a new session with Sam, my book coach. It’s been great working with her. She is helping me focus and concentrate on what I’m trying to get onto paper. A lot of what people write is junk. Filler words. Words that aren’t necessary to the story. Their story gets lost. I’m working to avoid that. Wish me luck, skill, light a candle, say a prayer.

There will be more work on the VFW Post 2503’s website today. I successfully added their October Newsletter last night. Thought I should quit while I was ahead! One day, I hope a year from now, I will have a Newsletter. Won’t that be fun? I look forward to all of it. You’ll be with me all the way, I hope.

How Sad! This is what I get searching for a photo of a NEWSLETTER.

I am starting to tally what I’ve spent on writing this year. Of course, I don’t have any income yet from writing, so it’s all written off now, but I will find it interesting. Having a website, memberships, online training, book coaching, books to learn from, and the Nebraska Writers Guild FALL Conference 2020 cancelled but paid for (since the spring one was, too) should have a hefty price. I’m guessing less than $3K. Nothing wrong with investing in yourself. Your dream.

One of the reasons I love to hear my local musician friends is there is a common theme aside from gratitude in their talking with their audiences. Billy McGuigan, and Jimmy Weber are two of the best and nicest entertainers you could ever meet. The common theme is following your dreams. I have heard them both say those words from the stage, and one time, I thought, “Why not?” There was no reason not to. Their (unknown) encouragement has propelled me thus far. So guys, thank you. I still love to see you both perform, and we need to again. Soon. Very soon. My world gets set right by music.

Hope you all have a beautiful day. Listen to music, it cures everything. Thanks for reading, stay tuned for tomorrow, we’ll have another adventure. Or Katie will. Stay safe, be courteous and kind, and live your dream. It’s possible. Even probable. Get started today.

Summery Saturday

Tonight is a special night. We are finally able to go see live music, outdoors, and socially distanced at the beautiful Davies Amphitheater in Glenwood, Iowa. We are going to see “Billy and the Downliners,” a/k/a Billy McGuigan and his talented band. It’s going to be great. Although they have performed at the Omaha Community Playhouse as a Drive-In production, we didn’t attend that one. It stinks being in the “old person” category, and having some health issues. It stinks being responsible about it, but I’d rather we both be here in the future to see him perform than go now and be sorry we did. I’ve never seen such talented musicians gathered together. They all have their moments to shine, and together, it’s stuff that you will probably hear from the angels in heaven. The best part of all? They love their fans, and appreciate them. No egos here. Just confident people sharing their gifts with us. How lucky Omaha is to have them. My heart feels lighter.

I’m feeling the COVID-19 Blues lifting already! It’s nice to have something to look forward to, aside from waking up every morning. It’s sure become a habit to sit out on the deck with the dogs every morning. Just watching the sky, the trees, the birds. It’s so awesome. I don’t like to think what we will do in late fall when it’s too cold to sit out there. There has to be something equal that’s inside, and not the morning news. It’s just so dark anymore. I think America as a whole are really trying to be safe in this pandemic. We can’t always get what we want. My generation heard that phrase in a Rolling Stones song back in the day.

Sure we have rights, and with rights come tremendous responsibility. Wearing a mask is in that category, in my humble opinion. My freedoms are still there, I’m just thinking of all of us by wearing one. Please, pick something else to be stubborn about. Don’t get me, my 91 year old mom, my 70 year old husband, or my little grandson (I haven’t gotten to meet yet) sick by thinking you’re proving a point. It’s not worth it. I’d rather live, and I would bet you would too. Help me help you never meant more than right now.

New Words to Live By

Too often we become complacent in our lives. We don’t have to have fireworks and parades all the time. We accept things that are holding us back as people. We accept people who hold us back, too. The best situation for improving your life is to have a partner who has your back. That is rare, especially if you want to do some projects or take up a new time-consuming hobby. That’s when you can really tell if you have the right person with you or not. If they aren’t happy for you in your growth spurt, there could be trouble if they have a temperament that needs their ego fed.

That said, you can be contented and support your S/O if you are secure in your life, your relationship, and are genuinely happy for their future, which is also a part of your future. I re-discovered that treasure in my life this week. After nearly 22 years of marriage, it’s still there, and better than ever. The Babe supports my endeavors whatever they are. He may not want to participate, or understand why I want to write, but he supports me, and I support him, too. He knows writing is important to me. When he told me that this week, I felt like the keys to Fort Knox were handed to me. That’s a huge, huge gift to a creative person. May you all have that someone in your life. And if not now, may you find it soon. You deserve it, too. I’m grateful.

Project for today, in addition to studying more about writing.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you have something safe and special planned. Pop Rock, with Billy McGuigan will play for an extended time at the Omaha Community Playhouse, if you’re up to going. You won’t be sorry, trust me. Dates are August 5 – 23. See you tomorrow, right here. Be safe. Be kind. Be courteous. Let the music blow your socks off.