Tuesday: Building Momentum

It’s a great start to the week. I need to make a stringent (yet flexible) schedule for myself. To stay on task as a volunteer and writer, I need a schedule. Then there is the question of keeping a tidier house. Do all writers deal with this? Or is it only those of us who have two big dogs in the family? They shed, but they’re part of the family, too. It would be wild if people shed like dogs do. We do shed skin cells and hair constantly, but not like dogs.

I tend to be a messy creater. It doesn’t matter if it’s a clothing construction project, a quilt project, or a writing project. I’m messy with the cool tools I’ve assembled to do it. I’m a cool tool collector; it goes with the creative territory. And with writing and art? Books on how to; kits to make it “easier”; calligraphy, you say? When I get time to do it, I will have a kit on hand. Yes, I have a lot. I’m rearranging all of the hobby stuff downstairs. Then, later in the summer, as it’s time to take a rest break, I can fill my glass of cold iced tea, go downstairs to get on the patio; and grab a bag of an embroidery project to work on, or read, or draw, whatever fancy strikes me. But I can’t get there until it’s cleaned up and organized. I am not a hoarder like you see on TV. Those poor people really have mental health issues. I know some folks who are like this. Sad.

I need to assess what I have around me while writing. I have a handy growing library of books on “how to”. I have notes, notes, notes and printouts from free online classes. They can be extremely helpful! I need to sift through this sandbox of knowledge, and discard some of it. The time is now, too. By June 1, I want to have schedules of my days so I know what needs doing first. Priorities are so important! Feeling accomplished is, too. We both went through some depression. It is terrifying, not knowing what was going to happen. The Babe told me, “Vietnam felt the same way.” Perfectly normal feeling for both circumstances. We need to refocus, get ready, set, and go! Join me in a new direction for all of us.

Taking the time to be organized will cut down a lot of wasted time. Period. We all fall into the rabbit hole of Facebook, Solitaire, Instagram, etc. I can be checking on useage or spelling of a word and twenty minutes later, I need to take my attention back to the task at hand. My dictionaries are ready on the desk next to me, but I seem to prefer to googling the word, figuring out how to spell it if I’m lucky.

Isn’t the Header Photo today beautiful? Our neighbor, Carol, gave us some of her North Dakota Roses and Peonies. Aren’t they pretty? I love having fresh flowers in the house. It gives me a lift no matter what’s going on. p.s. We still need to get our flowers planted in pots outside. And move this pesky bush before it gets huge again. And either move or split up the butterfly bush. It gets too huge, and blocks the sidewalk up to the house if we let it. There grows the list about tasks at home; see what I mean?

My “I Create Daily” group , led by LeAura Alderson, posed a challenge today: “Write a List of 30 Reasons to Smile.” How about it? Puppies. Babies. Old Dogs. Old People. Bright Colors. A Soft Towel. Live Music is Back. No Masks Soon. The Blue Sky on a Perfect Day. The Rain. The Flowers Bursting Blooms. A Butterfly. A Butterfly chased by a puppy. A dog chasing Bubbles. A baby playing hide and seek. A Child in your lap. Reading. Reading to a child. Writing. Facebook Friends. Communicating with Friends. A walk. Vacation. Visiting Grandkids. My Dad. Creating. Painting. Quilting. Finishing a project. Success.

Find your reason to smile today. Share it in the comments, please. I’d love to know what gives you smiles. Soon, we’ll be able to see each other’s smiles again. Take Care. Be Safe. Be Kind. Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow!

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

“Play Ball!”

Life repeats itself. Since Gavin was born, nearly nine years ago, his sister Addison has competed in dance competitions across the region. This weekend is no exception. Gavin asked if he could hang out with us instead of driving in the van with Addison and her team to Tulsa this weekend. I thought this was fitting.

LEFT: Grandpa giving Gavin his bottle. Note the Baseball!
RIGHT: Gavin having his second bowl of Frosted Flakes. Double header today.


So, eight years later, on the same weekend, we’re hanging out with Gavin. I may work a little around the house, then join the boys after the first game begins. It’ll be a perfect day for it. I get little done when he’s here. I don’t care; what I’m supposed to get done when he’s here is spend the time with him. What a job, I’m lucky to get to do it. Blessings all around.

Last night, he asked me if he could do Word Search on my phone. He’s such a smart kid, it impressed him I was on Level 633. He commented it was harder than it looked. I told him he was solving the grown-up Word Search, not the kid one. He brightened up immediately. I think this game is just as good as reading sometimes. It helps him learn and keeps my brain working. Win/Win for Grandson and Grandma!

I’m a little puzzled by the way I’ve been feeling lately. It appears when I’m in a creative and learning mode, I can have a lot of understanding and enlightenment about my writing, my business, all the marketing involved, and I’m full of energy. I feel like I could slay dragons after those sessions. And then, I may go sit where the heating pad can comfort my twisted muscles and spine. Within twenty minutes or so, I’m exhausted and get nothing done the rest of the day. Do other creatives experience this? If you do, help a girl out and drop me a message or comment here. I’m perplexed why this happens and wonder if it’s from creating?

There is so much talk (and I believe it) creativity is like giving birth. I know that was very tiring and rewarding. I expect publishing my kids’ books will be, too. Right now, I have some house projects that need to be finished. Other things do, too. And yet, I need to have a day or two for a quilt I’m itching to work with. It’ll all work out. It always does.

As I continue along reading the book by musician Ben Folds, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” I marvel at the way his creative mind works. He tells of creative visualization and how it resonated with him. Eureka! Maybe that’s what I’m doing. As he says, “results fueled by temporary delusion.” That makes me laugh, but it’s true. He describes visualizing what isn’t currently happening as making you a little crazy. And being crazy zaps energy. Eureka! Could that be why I’m so drained after writing and learning every morning? Working towards what you visualize “scratches the itch.” Makes perfect sense to me. With my birthday in a few weeks, it couldn’t be from age, could it? Hmmmm. Be careful how you answer that!

If you’d like to read Ben Folds’ book, it’s “A Dream About Lightening Bugs,” and is available on Amazon, etc.

As we trek to the ball field again this Saturday, I’m grateful for much warmer weather today. Way better than last week was; no coats today. Shade and sunscreen are the order of the day. Thanks for reading, I hope you have a fabulous day. We will. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful. Let’s pay things forward or backward. Do something for someone. You’ll feel great. See you tomorrow.

Now, What Were Those 2020 Goals?

Hey! You out there! So much said about how terrible 2020 has been; I’m wondering if anyone even remembers what your goals were for the year? Any goals, about work, hobbies, life, etc.? I unearthed an email from my friend LeAura Alderson of I Create Daily, on December 30, 2019. It was about Pre-Goals followed by decisions and order and monthlies/90 day steps, everything to be precise and measurable.

Those were the innocent days. We were still living our lives without concern for COVID. We only had the nasty political division in our lives and families. Neither has been desirable. Who let them in? We did. Enough said about that. Let’s love each other again; politics be damned!

I was ambitious with my goals, were you? I had four major points; Publish, For Each Book, Website/Blog, and Other Marketing. As if life is that tidy, am I right? I honestly aspired to publishing my first four books, three of them children’s, one a novel. Then I was going to re-write another child’s book, Bonus Grandma’s.

For Each Book, I had headings of tasks to manage; writing, editing, EDITOR, Blurb, Cover. Sounds easy enough. I did a lot of writing and editing. Trouble was, it wasn’t on any of the four books on my list! I wrote, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” instead. It’s a prequel to “These Walls DO Talk.” It’s been a real learning experience about the process. I’ve loved and hated all of it, to be honest. It’s all melding together to make sense now. Things I didn’t even consider are now blips on my radar. I needed those blips. Now they’re part of the process. I never considered quitting, however.

2020 Goals, Anyone?

I think you’re reading my best accomplishment; my blog and website. I’ve added some pages, changed the look here and there, and once I’m further along, I’ll add a page about each book. I look forward to that. It’s hard for me to talk about my life, but they kind of force you into it when you create an “About Me” page. It’s hard. And photos? Never enjoyed being photographed, I always took the photos of the kids.

And in the meantime, working with my FBIL (favorite brother-in-law) Brad, he built a new website for the VFW Post 2503. It’s beautiful. I’m learning a lot from him about what’s good and what isn’t. Good practice for a worthy cause.

Other Marketing? I am now on Facebook (Kathy Raabe, Author), Instagram @AuthorKathyR and Twitter @Author_KathyR. So is VFW Post 2503. Baby steps, but learning, still. I’m not sure I’m up for Pinterest, I’m on Social Media a lot, for myself, my author page, and the Post, I don’t want to add another commitment yet. Our Nebraska Writers Guild is active there and had training, but I didn’t keep it up.

I will not complain about how bad 2020 was. It was hard. I learned so much about the craft of writing and have much more to learn. And that’s why I’m here, doing this every day, keeping in touch to the folks who will buy my books and read them, gift them, and help me realize my dream. It’s never too late!

I thoroughly enjoyed the months I studied and wrote with Sam Tyler, my book coach. It was money well spent, and I had quite a few revelations happen in the last month while I took off from working on my novel. Things fell into place, and now I know I’m ready to dig in again. Looking forward to writing more!

Over the next few days, I’m going to make a new list of things I want to accomplish in 2021. Some items will simply carryover from last year, but they will be closer to being accomplished. It’s going to be a significant year as far as writing goes, I’m sure of it. Are you ready to come along with me? I hope so, you’ve stayed this long, let’s see what happens next. Maybe we’ll both have a surprise! It happens, you know.

Thank you for reading today; I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Realize what you’ve done you didn’t set out to do. I learned a lot. I lost twenty pounds. I didn’t plan the Keto diet a year ago. It sort of happened in early November. It’s working! I’m continuing on that path, too. I feel better.

Continue being safe until we’re all vaccinated. The Babe and I will take it when our doctor advises us to. If he doesn’t think it’s safe, he won’t advise us to get the shot(s). It’s simple. Wear a mask. Be Safe. Wash Up.

Tuesday Musings

Busy day today already! We have a few hours before Gavin needs to be picked up, so we’ll scurry around doing stuff in the house to accomplish something. I’m wanting to get to writing, blog first, and then go on with my book.

An online creative group I belong to is I Create Daily. It caught my eye about a year and a half ago, when I hadn’t even blogged yet, but was researching how to get started writing. Some of the best advice I found was, “Just write.” LeAura Alderson knows her stuff. I’ve joined in on her challenges for writing and art, and am following now for inspiration. She definitely incorporates life challenges within the confines of her coaching us to keep moving. We will, and she encourages us to take care of ourselves as we continue on our creative and caregiving journey’s. Here is today’s post, from the Facebook page. I’m referring to the segment about Hepaestus, the Greek God of Creativity.

I relate very strongly with Hepaestus. I’m disabled with chronic pain, yet I am not broken. I can still contribute. We all can, regardless of our infirmity, still create beauty for others and ourselves to enjoy. So can they. Hepaestus was injured by his own family; sometimes that happens to us humans, too. Perhaps the family knew what they were doing, I would hope not. I just don’t think I dislike anyone enough to wish them harm. Perhaps they knew no better. Once they know what they’re doing, it becomes intentional, and I don’t want to go there.

He rules over the forge, creating both beautiful jewelry and powerful weapons. We can direct our creativity one of two ways; for beauty and protection or for dazzling and destruction. It’s up to us how we use our talents and abilities. Sometimes, it’s necessary to do one or the other, depending on your situation in life. And where you want to go. Pick a good path. Mom, when referring to computer hackers or criminals in general, says, “If they’d use their intelligence for good, think how much better the world would be.” Yes, Mother.

I want my writing to bring happiness and encouragement to people; to little kids (when I write my children’s books), to families (when I write my book about losing Grandpa), and to anyone else who chances to read them. I’m aiming for many published works and musings. It’s great to have the encouragement of the book coach. Speaking of encouragement, I have a writer friend, Gabbie Weick, who just released this children’s book, “Corgis In the Wild.” It’s available now on Amazon. Gabbie did a great job! Help a girl out and order one now for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. They’ll have fun reading it with you. It is possible to order through Gabbie, the cost is $13, and she can autograph it if you like. I’ll be ordering mine today, later.

I think Gavin and I may do some creating this afternoon. I viewed the first Mixed Media Class I signed up for, to create a cute little picture for the laundry room. Come to think of it, I may tack some twine on the walls in there and make it look like a clothesline. And hang the pictures on the line. Pictures later, but don’t hold your breath! I’m a little slow with things.

What I need to do for writing? I need to start with ideas for my Chapter Two. I have some, it’s fleshing them out that is the challenge. I’m looking forward to Thursday morning and talking with Sam, my book coach again. Baby steps, but I’m learning so much along the way. I am so glad I hired her. Check out her website. She may be able to help you, too.

Off to make a list of things to accomplish this afternoon. #1 will be Taco Tuesday Lunch. The Babe is starving, he says. Have a beautiful day. Be Kind. Thanks for reading. Check out Gabbies book and Sam’s services. Good stuff. See you tomorrow!

Courageous. Word of the Day

Mumbling Monday

So this morning, Goldie was being a sweetheart while the Babe was in the shower. She kept going to the door, to the couch, to her throw toy, and I decided to finish coffee on the deck, in my pajama’s, and let her play some. It went great, she ran and fetched and brought it back to me, and the time I try to throw if farther, this happens.

She wasn’t too happy. I laughed out loud, and got the Babe to see what I did. Evidently Goldie jumped and got it out of the tree, because it was by the fence when the Babe came out. Silly Goldie. Yes, I throw like a girl. Wait. Come to think of it, I throw like a Grandma! That’s even worse. Sorry, Goldie. I won’t get crazy next time. I know my limitations. Try not to let it happen again!

So it seemed I could get some good work done today. It is now nearly 2 p.m., I just emailed my Client Q & A to my book coach Sam, and am just now writing the blog. I had a phone emergency, got weird messages about voicemail, and it said my mailbox was full. I hadn’t seen any for awhile, apparently an upgrade happened, and my voicemail box needed to be opened via password again. I had to call to have it reset. Frustrating and a time waster. I was concerned maybe it was my elderly mom calling. Somehow, they saved a bunch of messages from January, 2020. Who knows? It wasted precious time, which is unfortunate.

So, since it’s a beautiful day, I’m going to take the printed copy of my book outside and sit and read it. I will at least be able to do that and make notes and not waste the whole day. Again, trying to do too many things, but I’m glad Mom’s ok, and you just adjust and go on. Whatever life throws at you, just go with it. Protesting, cussing, and getting all upset won’t help anything. Let It Be.

So we will. The rest of this beautiful day will find me out reading a book. My book. And making notes, doodles, and revisions all over it. The Chromebook needs recharging before I can go further. And I need recharging. It’ll happen on this pretty day. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it so much, even when you’re finding me frazzled, you still come back. Stop on by again tomorrow, I’ll be here. Hopefully earlier. Be safe. Be informed. Be careful. And remember. Just don’t throw like a Grandma!

Sunshiney Saturday!

It looks as if Spring is teasing us again. Today and tomorrow may be near sixty degrees. Not six or sixteen, sixty! It’s below freezing now, but fooling with us. Hope you enjoy it, get outside for a walk at least. I should follow my own advice on that. It’ll be a good break from the task of the day. Can you guess?

First time wearing this “merch”. Thanks, I Create Daily!

I must say, I really enjoy writing every day. I love this part of the writing. If I hit a mark, I can uplift, encourage, teach, present a different point of view, make someone laugh, help someone who may want to learn more, and let people know I love them. We all can do that. A funny text, a phone call, a card for no reason, a “you know, I’m thinking of you.” We all need that outside interaction. It’s relatively simple to do this, blogging. I was fortunate to find WordPress. I am a fan of Quilters who use it for their communications, and when I checked it out, decided I’m in. When I’m closer to publishing, I’m going to add pages to the website/blog, then it will all be in one place. How good is that? I’m happy with it.

Today is a day I hope to spend six hours writing. Counting the blog. I woke today with a feeling of peace and comfort knowing I don’t have to leave the house at all. Yay! So I can delve in and create some more stories within the novel. Yesterday, I mentioned the character Katie would have seven brothers. She does, but she is NOT the middle child. Eight kids, no one is the middle. Silly me! She has four older brothers, three younger. There, I printed a correction. You remember the old wives tale? Girls are no good at math? Maybe that used to be the norm, but no longer. I know an increasing number of young women are becoming engineers, so I’m glad that misinformation has been put to rest.

One topic I want to write about here is a list of the top ten women who have influenced my life. In sitting down and making the list, I couldn’t narrow it down from twenty women and I was amazed! So I will write about the top ten women in the two sections my life is divided into: 1952-1982; and 1983-preesnt. I think the complete list is too much for one day’s blog, so I may pick a week and do three to five each day, and summarize the last day of the week. It’s still a thought, not a solid plan yet. More on this later.

Have you ever had a dog who loved to squeak the squeaky toys for five minutes straight at a time? Goldie loves to do this. I didn’t realize the tennis ball toys had a squeaker in them. She really goes to town on them. Right now, she’s circling my chair at the kitchen table, squeaking all the while. She wants to play. Tossing the ball into another area is one of her favorite things to go fetch. She is the first dog we’ve had that will actually fetch and bring the item back to whoever threw it. Took this long, from 1982 until now. She is a purebred lab, so I guess that may have something to do with it. I’m so glad the Babe wanted to get her this past October. It was a crazy, busy time in our life, but I think this pup gave Dan a sense of purpose. He was so depressed after losing Roxie last July, we had to do something. Roxie was a funny, naughty, crazy pup. She was scared of loud noises and thunder. She was needed extra understanding and love. She got it from us. So do Lexie and Goldie. We have this conversation with each other that states if something happened to one of us, the other will need a dog for companionship. It’s truer every day we live, now. The Babe will turn 70 in May. Since I’m his much younger wife, I’ll be 68 in May. Praying we have at least ten good years left with each other.

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll be here tomorrow, hope to see you then! In the meantime:

Yes. I will!

SunSum: Sunday Summary

If you want to grow, you need to find these people; and learn with them, and from them (Kathy Raabe)

In my online creativity group @ICreateDaily, LeAura Alderson coined this word today, a day when we summarize our week and report stuff. Stuff meaning either successes or learning points, good things or surprises, and shared information or personal lessons. The whole gist of it is review what you used this week to promote your creativity and do more of it. If you are still not hitting it right, let’s try something different to see if it directs you to your right path. And she does this day after day for a group of us. It’s so cool. I found the group about a year and some months ago. I like it. Lots of creatives making suggestions, promoting each other, and sharing positive things about art, writing, painting, and even bee keeping. Yes, we are learning about bee keeping, too. If you’d like to join, go to FB and look for I Create Daily, and the 30 Day Art Challenge. You’ll get there.

I am well aware they discourage us to use our blogs a” Dear Diary,” but this is funny. A couple weeks ago, the Babe and I went to buy groceries at that large discount store that is everywhere. Yes, WalMart. As we were leaving, he walked towards something that was laying in the driving lane of an aisle. It was a package of Good Value Chocolate Chip Cookies to bake!

“Not run over yet or anything! The seal was still intact!” He was excited. I scoffed at him. Yes, I scoffed. I had a bazillion reasons they should go in the trash bin nearby, but still, they found their way into our refrigerator at Raabe Ranch. I smiled every time I saw them. Just thought I’d see how long it would take him to ask about them.

Today was the day, boys and girls! He asked how to turn on our new gas oven. I showed him. He usually acts helpless like that so I’ll do things for him. Haha, not this time. So bake them, he did. They are dark and crispy. Overdone. But he gets Kudos for trying. And on a day I need to work on my writing, he can watch football with the dogs and have his own snacks.

Now, a poll, if you please. How many of you would have picked the package up, taken it home and baked cookies? How many would have left the package in the parking lot? I’m really curious. Leave a comment and tell me your reaction. I’ll let you all know tomorrow if we have parking lot shoppers here or not. p.s. I did eat one cookie. They’re too crispy for me, so I won’t eat any more.

We are not leaving the house today. It is way too cold and icy in Gretna, Nebraska, to be doing things outside of the comfort of your own home. Stay warm, stay inside, stoke the fire, and Go Kansas City Chiefs! I hope the kid leads them to victory.

Thanks for reading today. I appreciate your time. I will be here again tomorrow, and I hope you will be, too. You need to see how many others would:

Picked up the package of cookies?

or

Left it in the parking lot? Comment below, thank you.

Photo by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels