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!

Super Saturday!

As you can see, Goldie is conked out. It’s 10:05 a.m., CST and we’ve played catch three times already. I gave her the toy she forgot about, and she laid down in my office studio here at Raabe Ranch. Can you see the little squirrel underneath her? I wonder if the little guy is afraid? It just looks funny. She loves squeaking her toys. It’s funny when she does it over and over again.

Our VFW Post is enjoying great success with their new endeavor, Fish Fry Fridays during Lent. Many established events are cancelled this year, so we are seeing many people we’ve not met before. We can have members and guests, and guests sign in and out. It’s neat to see people enjoying themselves over a meal.

It was an nice surprise when my cousin Mike and his wife Mary entered the building. Mike noticed Dan and then me, and hugs and love were exchanged. They sat with us and we visited over may subjects, recalling our grandparents, his parents, and all sorts of things. It was a gift to start the weekend. When I see them, I just feel the love they have for each other and their family. Makes my heart happy. Thanks, Mike and Mary!

With that good feeling in my heart, I’m feeling some energy this morning. I have a few areas of clutter I need to clear once and for all. It will happen today, I’ve made my mind up. I think everyone has at least one place stuff collects. You may even discover some old new treasures along the way. I’ll let you know if I find anything fun.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This is a perfect day for Spring Fever to start. There are a couple green things in the garden by the patio. I intend to spend more time with the flowers this spring and summer. I miss not having tulips, peonies, and even a couple lily plants here and there. I’ve discovered that while putting rock down is easier than mulch, it’s harder for me to weed and tend to the flowers. Of course, when you add in the fact both my knees are achy (the shots wore off in February).

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I’ve had some beautiful garden areas in the three houses I’ve lived in over the last 25 years. After a really bad breakup once, I dug up a lot of my yard to plant a new garden. It worked off the frustration and hurt. When I planted over 100 tulips that fall, I didn’t realize I’d be nearly bedridden in December. I had a benign tumor in my spinal canal, and had to do some intensive rehab to be able to walk again, and protect my now fragile spine. In the meantime, I met the Babe, and became very happy, feeling I could do anything. A healthy relationship does wonders for a girl. Or guy.

I’m not a big cry-er. It takes monumental things to make me cry. That spring, when those tulips all bloomed, I broke down and cried. For a long time. All the emotions bottled up inside of me The Babe hugged me until I felt better. It was just that I didn’t realize I would see those tulips bloom. After what I’d been through, I think it was God telling me, “It’s going to be all right.” And it was.

It’s time to take pen and paper and make a list of everything we’re needing to do. It’s a start. We’ll take frequent breaks, for sure. We may not be as quick as we used to be, but we’ll enjoy the day while we’re working. Hope you have a beautiful day. Thank you for reading, it’s appreciated! Be Safe out there, and I’ll see you tomorrow! I have a squirrel rave to tend to. Thanks, Goldie!

A Squirrel Rave! Thanks, Goldie!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

We’re leaving for the Post pretty soon, so I hope I do justice to this before we need to leave. Yesterday was the birthday of a very good friend of ours, Danny Lang. He was a Douglas County Deputy before retiring twenty years ago. He is a very loyal Honor Guard Member at the VFW. He attends nearly every funeral where they provide honors. He has trained many a new member and they almost always are perfectly synced with shooting, marching, salutes, and all they need.

Danny has become good friends with the Babe and me, too. He is a wealth of information, history, and all else. He is still living independently, and still driving. What a great guy. So the guys are surprising him with an impromptu birthday party today. He will be touched, I’m sure. His family is invited to stop by also. I’m looking forward to seeing his reaction since it’s a surprise. Shhhh!

Yesterday I had a good writing session. I have about 800 words for my new first chapter. I’m several years back in Katie’s life, about ten years earlier, to give a better flavor about how her life is. I’m learning to show, not tell. I have some homework due with Sam Tyler, my Writing Coach by Monday morning. I’ll get it finished by tomorrow evening. I think we’ll have a great session next week on Thursday. Lots to accomplish the rest of this month.

The Girls Are Doing a Little Light Reading.

No more lightning bugs for Goldie last night. She is a little shaken after watching a wild turkey in the neighbors house a few days ago. She did not like that creature at all, even from two houses away. This morning, her ball rolled under the raised dog bed we have on the deck, and she went behind it, near the railing to see if she could get it or not. She moved the bed out, but not enough. You could tell she was trying to work her way out of the situation. Another time, the ball rolled just under the railing, and hung on the edge of the plank. It didn’t fall, but she ran down the steps to see if she could find it. I hit the ball and it shot into the air, falling behind her. She jumped then proceeded to secure it firmly in her large mouth. Never a dull moment, for sure.

It feels as if the month is over, but there are still a couple weeks left, more or less. With all the discussion about school opening or not, it seems later. I hope whatever decisions the schools make, I hope it’s sound and I hope the kids are safe. Wearing a mask isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Sometimes I think the anxiety people have is self generated by not wanting to comply. Don’t put your fears and anxiety on your kids. Don’t put your reluctance to comply on your kids. You don’t want them ill. Period. You don’t want Grandpa to become ill, either.

Photo by Swapnil Sharma on Pexels.com

Although I can make masks, I ordered some premade ones from Ruby Ribbon. They’re a company who sells camisoles for women of all sizes and shapes that are pretty remarkable, especially for a breast cancer survivor like me. It helps keep the lymphedema at bay and provides a comfy fit even though I’m pretty lopsided after the lumpectomy. I don’t even think of it. Anyway, they are pretty colors, and thought if they were pretty, they might be less cumbersome to wear.

So as you’re enjoying your Saturday, please don’t overdo in the heat. The temp is 93 and the “feels like” is 102 already, at 12:23 p.m. Hydrate, use sunscreen, and check on your older folks who may not have A/C or use it properly. Be Kind, Be Courteous, Be Thoughtful. Be a good human to those around you. Thank you for reading today, I hope you have a great rest of the day. I’ll see you all tomorrow.

A Milestone #300 Monday!

Today marks the three hundredth blog I’ve written. I’m so thankful for all of you, reading about the adventures of two retired folks and their dogs. And their family. And their ideas. And their joys. And my writing adventure. And their hard times. You are a part of all of this, some support when I need it, and a cheer when I need that, too. It all helps. Thanks again!

Grandson Gavin will join us again. The Babe went to pick him up then swing by the VFW to count the drawers from yesterday. We will be so glad when they find a new bar manager. It really puts a lot of extra work on the Babe he doesn’t need to be concerned about. I imagine there will be the usual coloring session, coupled with Gavin’s talking a mile a minute. I love it though. The house is too quiet sometimes. God gave us grandkids to solve that issue. We are so blessed!

Today is like a blank canvas, spread before us all. It looks the same, stark white, blank, and full of promise. If you’re like me, you always plan to accomplish so much more than you actually can complete in a day. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because you are interested in a lot of things and want to dabble in all of them. Bad because you may take a lot longer to actually finish things.

Well. What if?

For today, I’m concentrating on what Sam, my book coach, calls “Inside Outline.” Noting major plot points in your story is a good way to start putting pen to paper. An event or scene, has a point. Simple, eh? The point is my characters emotional reaction to the event. That will take some thinking, and I hope to not be interrupted. Since I began this post, Goldie has interrupted me twice and Lexie once. They want in. Or out. Or to play. Or to drink. Or to . . . Well, you get the idea. When the Babe leaves, he says, “They’re tired and should sleep now.” Oh honey, if that were only true. Still, I can’t imagine life without any of them – the Babe included.

I’m concentrating on being positive about the interruptions. It’s been nearly a year since we lost our Roxie on July 5, and, just like people, as annoying as they can be, you’d still rather have them with you. After that loss, that is the first time I really posted something. That loss got me started. Until then, blogging was just an idea. I’m glad we’ve stuck with it for nearly a year.

An embroidered hibiscus block, with Swarovski crystals.

This is one of twelve blocks I made with hibiscus on them. The crystals were hand sewn on. All I need to do is quilt it. I think that should be some winter day or a cold fall day, in anticipation of the next growing season. I think it’s quite pretty, and I have some new machine quilting tricks to try on it. When the time comes along. And it will tell me when it’s here.

It’s always on my “in between” to do list to work on the website. I’m getting ready to add some more pages as my writing projects gain more form and get closer to becoming “live.” Exciting times ahead. Each day is another baby step towards them. I’m so grateful! I’m also grateful to all of you for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope to see you all then! Invite a friend! Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Safe. Hug your family while you can, and keep distances when you need to. We need each other a lot more than you think. Family is everything!