Monday Reflections

During our working lives, we live for the weekends. Well, not everyone does, but it’s thought to be that way. I think it may be the advertising world who paints that picture. How awful we all appear to hate our jobs, sleep-walking through the week to make the weekend last longer than it does. The thing we do to earn a living is an afterthought. We regard the place we spend 40 + hours a week with disdain. What happened to doing what you love? Can a Boomer do what they love? Or is that only for our children and grandchildren?

Sometimes I daydream about life as an author and of earning a living as one. Since I was a single Mom, I had to go with a steady income and good benefits. Those two things were musts. And it made sense. Mom stated, “My grandchildren will starve!” when I told her I was filing for divorce. They didn’t, by the way. I had to make a go of it on my own. Determined to make it, I looked ahead. I accomplished much more than I thought I would. I’m so grateful for all of it. The highs and lows. The good and the bad. I learned from it all.

Today, I am also reflecting on the fun we had this weekend. The Post Car Show was very successful. 128 cars entered. We sold food and drink. People were so happy to be outside again. The weather was overcast and perfect. The Babe and I had fun Saturday with grandson Gavin. Life can be so good, can’t it? With the warm feeling in my heart, I go forward to another day to create and learn. Blessings abound.

For today, I need to concentrate on making it a productive day. The recliner and NETFLIX or Amazon Prime are calling, but I must not answer that call! Right now is the time to put some thoughts into action. We need to act in order to gather momentum. We can be grumpy or act as if we’re not. Acting “as if” we’re not changes our attitude. It improves dramatically. Wallowing in the negative only hurts us. Inaction stalls us. Hoping alone will not make things happen, having faith and putting in the work does.

For today, although I do not feel productive, I will put in work and change my mind from wanting to relax to accomplishing something. As I see the results from consciously changing my mind to accomplishing, I feel productive. And so it goes. What will YOU accomplish today?

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. I hope you all have a productive day doing whatever you wish to accomplish. Let’s compare notes tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out there.

BELOW: Just a couple cars and motorcycle; David Mike of Guitars for Vets, Nebraska

VFW Post 2503/Car Show/And MORE!

Yes, I played hooky again yesterday. It was a busy day, with taking Mom to the doctor, and then getting her home so I could meet the fine folks from “Guitars for Vets, Omaha.” We met Daniel and David Mike (yes, they are guys with a first name for a last name). David is the Dad, Daniel the son.

It’s often said Omaha is just a big small town. And it’s true. Daniel went to Bellevue East High School, with our daughter- and son-in-law. He detoured via a career in the Military, taking him on four tours of Afghanistan. We know many of the same people, and they feel like familiar long-time friends already. The people we meet by volunteering! It’s enriched our life so much.

The VFW Post, at 90th & Military Road, in Omaha, Nebraska is sponsoring a Car Show on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Registration begins at 8 a.m. sharp! The actual show is free to the public and begins at NOON. We had over 110 cars last fall. We’re hoping to have as many this time. It’ll be perfect, out in the sunshine, people coming and going, raffles, and information for Veterans. There are so many who suffer from PTSD. It can be crippling. We want to raise awareness in the community of all the groups available to Veterans and their families. We will have representatives from:

Moving Veterans Forward

Guitars for Veterans, Omaha

Operation 22 til Freedom

Aside from getting to know these groups, we want to establish relationships and find out how we, as a VFW Post, can help them get their message out to those who need them and their services. Where there is great need, we can offer a hand. It’s what we’re here for. Local support. Veterans helping Veterans. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Now, this is my personal blog for today.

#600 Club? Already?

How time flies! Today, this is my official 600th blog post. I’m finally on a roll! Things are coming along with the writing I’m doing. Just wish there were more productive hours in the day, I’m working on that. As we’ve chatted before, Family First, then I split the rest of my time writing/volunteering/reading/learning/etc.

Nearly two years ago, when I started this blog, I never had a clue I’d need to spend so much time learning and reading to become an author. To get the writing every day habit started, I blogged. Most of what I read talked about marketing yourself (hard for an Irish Catholic girl from South Omaha to do) and get your brand out there.

My brand? Well, that’s a tough one. I’m first a survivor of a lot of things. Breast Cancer. An unhappy marriage (first one). A “pioneer” woman in the 80s in I/T (or MIS or coding, or whatever you want to call it). I think my life as the only girl with three brothers toughened me up for working with mostly men, typical of the workers in that era.

Survivor. Wife. Mom. Grandma of 5. Sister, Daughter, Cousin, Loyal Friend. Author. Yes, Author, who always wanted to write a children’s book. After starting there, I have three separate drafts. The first, “ROXIE! What Are You Doing?” is about our Grandson Gavin and his life with Roxie, our naughty rescue dog.

The second, “Bonus Grandmas,” is about a little boy confused at the number of women in his life he calls “Grandma.” No one believes he really has that many Grandmas! But he does.

The third, “Grandpa’s Gone,” is a book for families. It recounts my real-life story that changed our extended family and our memories of Christmas Eve. When I was 12 years old, our Grandpa died of a heart attack at 60. On Christmas Eve. Grieving was hard in 1964, people didn’t talk about loss like we can now. This story recalls my memories of the Christmases that followed. And upon hearing a very special song about that very event, I learned we weren’t the only kids who experienced that kind of loss on such an important day.

I also have a novel in progress, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons.” A young woman marries, leaving home in 1970. The novel follows her through several years of an unfortunate marriage, growing up, and gaining the knowledge and confidence she needs to make the break for freedom.

Yes, we’re very busy here at Raabe Ranch, the home office of Jewell Publishing, LLC. Thank’s for staying with us through 600 posts. More to come! We appreciate your time and are eager to share more with you. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful. We will see you tomorrow!

Overflowing with Gratitude Thursday

Sometimes you have to find another word for Thankful. So, it’s an overflowing with gratitude Thursday. The Babe and I saw our friends at the VFW Post last night. Everyone is well as far as COVID-19 goes, so that’s a good thing. We do have a gentleman in our group who is seeing a return of his cancer. Along with his dementia, it’s really a labor of love for his wife. It has to be hard to be watchful every moment of every day. It’s sad, he had such a dry sense of humor. He still does, it’s just tucked away in there somewhere. I hope God keeps him safe from any harm, and he makes the way easier for his wife. Prayers are always appreciated. Nugent and Lora are their names. Thanks.

One thing has never occurred to me in my whole life. How fireworks affect a combat veteran. What a terrible experience that must be, to have PTSD and be triggered by fireworks. Aside from “ooohs” and “aahhhs” for the first spectacular ones, I really don’t care for them anymore myself. We’ve had several dogs who are afraid, and that can be bad for the pet and their surroundings. No one considers the veterans, though.

Here is a link to a You Tube video explaining a little about the connection between fireworks and PTSD. Although the video is produced in South Carolina and lists their VA as a contact, feel free to contact the VA in your area. In Nebraska, it is: VA Medical Center, 4101 Woolworth Ave, Omaha, Ne 68105. The phone number is: (402) 346-8800.

There are a number of differing opinions about PTSD and Veterans. An organization has created yard signs asking for compassion with fireworks, as a Veteran resides at the home. Military.com has lambasted the signs and organization. It says if your PTSD is so bad you can’t go to work after July 4, or if you need total quiet to function, you need more help than a sign can offer. True. I believe it’s up to no one to judge the situation. Please, make that call to your local VA. They can get you headed in the best direction. There are many organizations who help veterans cope. Locally, we have a “Guitars for Vets” group. There is a national group, “Hunting with Soldiers.” It sounds as if there is a place among those who “get it” for anyone who wants or needs that place. Get there. Soon. You’ll be glad you did.

Back to the matters at hand. My current work, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons,” is underway. I need to investigate the genre of Creative Non-Fiction. Truthfully, I cannot believe there are so many genres and variations thereof. Way different than when we were kids. Anyone know of a great reference tool for Creative Non-Fiction? The more I can learn, the better off I’ll be, and so will you, my readers.

I’m finding bits and pieces about writing Creative Non-Fiction. Things such as: vulnerability and honesty are crucial to writing it well; don’t give advice; watch your tense; zoom in on action; ruthlessly cut-back the story; stick to tone-setting details; unexpected, w/punch. I like this one the best: Treat your past self with dignity. We should always do that, I believe.

And the five R’s of Creative Non-Fiction? Real life, Research, wRite, Reflect, Read. Clear as mud, right? I’m with you on that. It sounds as if elements of great fiction writing are present in the writing of CNF. That appeals to me. More reading ahead, as I learn what to do, then do it.

Time to go do some errands with the Babe. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. I’ll be here again tomorrow, and hope to see you here tomorrow. Have a good Thursday, be grateful. Wash Up, Show Up, Be Uplifting, and Wear your mask! I want to keep you all for a long time.