Today’s Blog

Wednesday

Wednesday again already! This is an absolutely perfect day outside. Enjoy it, won’t you? I just walked through the house, thinking how beautiful it looks with the sun streaming in. It makes me smile and feel good. I’m so grateful for what the Babe and I have.

It was an early start to the day, Addison needed a ride to school. The Babe goes and then gets the bookwork for the day done at the Post. And as it’s Wednesday, they have “Hamburger Night” from 5 – 7 p.m. We love seeing our friends and getting out for a bit. We’ve been members for probably seven years, and have met many wonderful people there.

When the Babe and I went to drop off donations at Moving Veterans Forward, we were fortunate to have a grand tour of their facility and a brief summary of all the things they offer. It’s phenomenal. We will have him come talk to the Post and Auxiliary in the near future. What a worthy organization. If you’re in the Omaha, Nebraska area and want to help, or if you know a Veteran in need to help, send me a message via my Facebook page, Kathy Raabe, Author.

Speaking of loving sunny days, I remember a time when I couldn’t tell you how my house looked in daylight. When I was working two jobs, I left home in the dark and came home in the dark. It seems that period of time had overcast, dark skies. I appreciate it very much. That’s what a person needs to do if they’re not having a good day, is concentrate on the good things. The sunny days. The fact you are warm, clothed, and fed. So many people don’t have enough to survive, through no fault of their own. Some folks expect they’re entitled to everything free, and I disagree with that. I have no problem with assistance, but it needs a beginning and ending date. Generations on assistance doesn’t make sense to me.

I am writing more scenes this morning, and I’m really enjoying the process. Next week is another session via Zoom with Sam Tyler, my Book Coach. I feel like I’m improving a lot, and it’s hard for me to say that. I was raised during a time when women were not supposed to be egotistical. And you were egotistical if you bragged about what you do. Today, they call it self-love. No, I didn’t have much of that. Mom was pretty clear, don’t spend all day primping, looking in the mirror, don’t be a braggart. Be compliant. Go along to get along. Don’t make waves. Girls don’t sweat. I wanted to play baseball with Johnny Bauer, but wasn’t allowed to. Girls don’t do that. He always talked about the Yankees, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris. So here I am, not being egotistical, just telling the truth.

In case you’re wondering, this is a no-politics zone. I will vote. It’s my personal business who that is for, and in making that decision, I’ll look closely at the VP’s. Succession is a very real possibility given the ages of both Presidential candidates. Enough said.

Let’s get along in the next however many days we have until the election. Let’s start practicing our manners again. Everyone. Republicans and Democrats. We need to be civil, and we need to do it now. We can change how we behave. Let’s do it for our great country, who could use a break from all of the fighting. I’m sure by January, 2021 there will be talk about the 2024 election and so it will go. Frankly, I’m just so tired of negativity.

The quilt in the upper left pictures is finally pinned and prepped for quilting. It’s so pretty, it has Swarovski crystals with embellishments on the embroidered Hibiscus flowers. It took quite a while, it’s a good size, and I’m keeping this one. I love the backing fabric.

The front door wreath I made last week. So glad to have painted the door, it’s much brighter than the dark navy blue it was. Just a couple of dollars worth of paint makes a world of difference, doesn’t it?

And then the perennial at lower left keeps growing. I don’t get to that side of the house often, so it surprises me when I do. I used to love gardening, and now, with the arthritis in my spine, knees, and feet makes it very hard to get down and do it. It could be worse, my dad would always say. Yes, it could, Dad. Twenty-five years ago, I had a tumor that impacted my spinal cord. It wasn’t cancerous, but I nearly ended up paralyzed from it. I thank God every day for my mobility, such as it is. God is very good. After going through all that, I met the Babe. What great timing God has!

Be Kind, Be Civil, Be Courteous to everyone you meet today. I plan to, even if someone riles me up. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow! Be Safe out there.

Terrific Tuesday

The Babe is the best! He has the day off from the Post today, and first thing, he said, “Let’s hang up your kimonos.” I was gifted the red one from an old neighbor of ours. They were from China, and owned a shop at Westroads in Omaha. He went on buying trips twice a year. One year, we helped her parents care for the kids since the Mom was also in China, working for Paypal on an installation in Shanghai. Being bilingual made her the perfect candidate for the job.

After the husband returned, he gave me a beautiful red kimono and a Jade looking vase, along with some bookmarks. It was really sweet of them. Isn’t it pretty?

Red Kimono from China. Applique wall hanging, left, I made about ten years ago.
Jade vase from China. Today BEING plaque from my niece, Wendy.
This just takes my breath away, it’s so beautiful.

The black kimono was something Dad gave Mom when he returned from Korea. I think he went through Japan, but I’m not sure. Back then, the boys came home by boat. I’ll bet that trip was the slowest in the history of boat trips. My grandma told the story of the taxi pulling up in front of the house, Dad threw his duffel bag out onto the grass, paid the cabbie, and jumped out, running up to the house. Grandma said Mom was inside, picked up my brother, who Dad hadn’t met yet, and Grandma told her, “You give that baby to ME! HE (pointing to Dad) wants to see YOU!” Grandma, bless her heart. Brother Tom was the first child they had that lived. The lost two baby boys before that. I”ll bet the whole thing was quite a scene.

The other part of Dad’s coming home story was all three of Mom’s sisters were still home with Grandpa and Grandma in 1951. My Aunt Carol, the youngest, was trying to learn how to play Jacks. Dad, in his uniform, sat down on the floor with her and taught her how to play. The sisters were so happy to have an adopted brother in Dad. He was good to all of them.

I admire this embroidery work. Considering the age of the garment, I’m sure it’s hand embroidered. Upon closer inspection, I can see the smaller gold threads tacking the larger threads in place. I wonder how long this took to create. I would guess they probably were good at the work and could work quickly on their stitches.

Thanks for listening me tell this story. All stories are important. I had some wonderful feedback from my cousin Paula. Paula told me she is learning a lot about my dad she never knew. Since we had a family with a night worker, the cousins didn’t know dad very well. One little one called him, “That man who lives with Aunt Rosie.” She didn’t realize he was her husband. Yes, we had an unusual lifestyle. Paula, Dad was a great man, as was your dad. I think they were cut from the same cloth. We were ten lucky kids to have the four parents we did, your family of six kids, ours of four kids. They were good old days.

With the accomplishments already today, I’m going to try and go full steam ahead. We have deliveries to make on behalf of the VFW, Auxiliary, American Legion, etc. for the Victory Apartments. We will go to Moving Veterans Forward, since it’s much closer to our home. Whichever place, we’re proud to represent the good people who were generous with fifteen sets of sheets, and coffee for their food pantry. The Babe will want to have Tacos at a place today, since it’s Taco Tuesday. You can always count on him for that.

When we get home later, there’s more website stuff to do for the VFW. And more scenes to write for the book. I’m making great headway, and am glad to be putting an order to my thoughts. It’s good to be disciplined, and I’m glad I’m learning so much from Sam, I can’t imagine having the book done and having to edit it down to bare bones. It’s saving a lot of time this way. You can stall out reading everyone’s opinions on how to do things, but at some point you need to just do the work. That’s where I am now. It’s a good place, and I have more confidence to go ahead.

My Tuffet Needs 4 Wooden Feet. I know just the guy to help me!

The Babe will attach hardware to the wood bottom of this oriental fabric covered tuffet, and attach the feet after they are painted shiny black. This will then reside in our entryway, and it’ll be the final finishing touch.

Thanks for reading, I hope you’re able to hang out again tomorrow. Wednesday already, time goes too quickly, doesn’t it? I’m going to get out into some nice weather, it’s only 61 degrees out, so it’s another cool fall day. My favorite.

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.

Sunny Saturday

Despite lingering smoke from the wildfires, it is a pretty day outside. It will get hot today and tomorrow, then be more fall-like. I’m ready. So is the Babe. I do like to get the windows and screens cleaned before winter. Maybe in the next couple days. We’ll see. It’s pretty easy with the product from Windex, attach it to the garden hose, then rinse the soap off. I do like clean windows.

The VFW Post 2503 new website is up and working well. I have some new updates for it and hope I can get the hang of how to do everything. If you’d like to see, here is where you need to go. The Babe’s brother-in-law, Brad did the heavy lifting, and I get to learn maintenance. It’s WordPress, just like my blog, so some things will be new to me, some things won’t. I believe it’s a good site with lots of info to be added. Baby Steps!

I wish my daughter and son and law would let us post photos of our beautiful grandkids. I ordered Canvas prints to hang in the living room. Little Cody is such a little man! His reddish blonde hair is finally starting to lay down, up until now, it would stick straight up. He’s trying to walk and has two teeth at the age of 9 months. He is so cute. Miss Kayla Jolee does funny face poses for all of her pics. Her picture is of her standing in her mama’s hiking boots, bent at the knees, hands on thighs, with a toothy grin, eyes scrunched closed, hair messed up. How about that? I think she plays a lot with funny faces, running, and being generally goofy. I cannot wait to see them again!

We have some more pictures to hang, and today we may also hang my Kimonos. They are beautiful. I can’t wait to share them with you. I’m picturing my dad, a young soldier, buying one for my mom when he was on the way home from Korea. It was still in the paper sack it came in, with tissue paper that disintegrated when I picked it up. It’s probably close to 70 years old. Wow. A good example of holding on to something and never using it. That sort of thing has always made me kind of sad. Finally, it will be hung to be enjoyed and admired.

Use the good dishes. Wear perfume every day. Eat the Pie/Cake/Donut/Dessert. I really believe God intended us to enjoy the things He’s given us. Denial is good for times of penance, but not every day for the rest of your life. No, I’ve not lived through a depression, but I’ve seen some recessions and bad economic times. I’m not a tightwad, but I’m not a big spender, either. I have no problem saying how happy seeing certain things makes me. Little babies, toddlers, old people, newlyweds, The Babe, The grandkids, our kids, my brother, grown up cousins, their kids, God’s been so good to me.

Words to apply every day.

More scene-writing today. I’ve always got writing to do. I feel I had a good, productive session yesterday, and hope to duplicate it today. Some things are finally clicking. Yay!

I love how this turned out – finally!

When I finish quilting a couple more quilts, it’ll be time to piece some more. I like to keep ahead of them, right now I have four more to quilt. One to go above our bed, two for the stairwell, one when winter comes, another for spring. One for my chair or the family room in the spring or summer. By then, there should be another king sized quilt made. I’m still cutting one for winter, a snowflake quilt. I think that’ll be my December piecing project, as I’m taking the month off from coaching with Sam.

What might be your plan for the fall? I have some in the house stuff to do and maybe some transplanting in the yard. We always have longer lists than what we can accomplish, don’t we? Part of becoming older, our brains still thing we’re young and capable, our bodies tell us otherwise!

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Dream big! Use the good china, ok? You’re certainly worth it. Be kind to yourself, and to others. Give a kid a chance. Give yourself a break. Let’s cooperate and be courteous. Wash up, Show up, and Mask up. We’re not through this yet. And, get a flu shot. It could save your life.

Sunday Morning Truths

Good morning, friends, followers, and family! Glad you are here this morning. After receiving a phone call from our church last week, we decided to attend in person. There were maybe thirty people, counting the new minister, and everyone masked up. I don’t know how the two ladies who sang could do so with masks on, but they did.

It was good to be in a House of God again, after attending via Facebook Live as we’d been doing since March. The pastor we knew retired in July, and now we have a younger guy, who probably will relate well to young people. I could see him having a large following among young parents, as he is one himself. He is from Arizona, so I’ll be he’ll be fun to talk with about the Nebraska winters. That is if we have one this year.

His message was pretty succinct. Our truths come from our own experiences with them. That includes religious, spiritual, political, moral, and any others you can name. Where did we learn them? Our parents, politicians, tradition, laws, preachers, peers, and whoever we have had help shape us. So what makes yours right and mine wrong? Unless you’re a criminal who regularly violates the law, yours isn’t wrong for you.

Your opinion reflects what you have absorbed, studied, and lived. You may have been exposed to different realities than I have. I have been exposed to different realities than you have. We are both free to express ourselves. Where I draw the line is, I do not want to argue points with you about those things. I agree to be different than you are, I will not call you names if your opinions are different than mine.

Yes, the survivor of me is the woman I value the most. Without her, none of the rest of this would have happened!

Aside from my 50th Class Reunion this year, I have passed another of what would have been 50 year anniversary of an event. If I were still married to the father of my children, it would have been our 50th wedding anniversary yesterday. We were married 11 1/2 years. I learned so much and changed so much during those years to begin a major shift in my belief system, one that was really mine to own, that I hardly recognize the woman I used to be. That woman had a totally different set of beliefs and values than I have grown to have.

At that time, I did not buy into gender equality. I believed all I ever wanted to do was be a wife and Mom. I was late to the equality party, but I finished raising my two sons and daughter to know they were all capable, deserving people. They saw a good work ethic. They knew they had to earn their own way. They saw how different their Dad and I are, and I thought understood why I could no longer be his wife.

It was life altering when I met the Babe. At first I thought he was serious about telling me women belong in the kitchen. I knew it wouldn’t work out. Little did I know, he was joking. We had many discussions about equality, and only after I married, did I realize I didn’t have to give up a darned thing as far as my independence went. Seriously, I didn’t. And what I gained! A supporter, cheering me on to whatever I wanted to try.

Goldie Loves Him to Bits, Too!

To learn your real, true truths, you must have an open mind. You must be willing to learn. You must be all about finding out why you are unhappy, what is bothering you. It takes a lot of courage to change your entire belief system from the familiar to what is right for you. It is so worth the journey, though. I found true happiness for my life by questioning what I was taught, by tradition, by parents, by peers, by society, and I’m happy I listened when God whispered in my ear about things. That’s where it all started. I was shown a way that was different, yet comfortable for me.

Perhaps, another root beer, please!

And now, it’s a little later on Sunday afternoon, and I’m still thinking about my truths and how they came to be. The road has been long and interesting. The discomfort I felt is gone. I belong where I am, right now. The story I’m telling in The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons is based on some people I have known, but all their assets and liabilities are in one small family, not among a town. I hope to be more than halfway through the story by around Thanksgiving. I have a lot of it plotted out and down, now it’s just filling in the details.

As we look forward to the first Sunday in Fall, think about your truths. Which ones will you tell? Which ones do you want to be yours? Learn, learn, learn. Question. Get information. It’s the only way you will know. Have fun exploring. I did.

A Beautiful Thought!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate it, and hope to see you again tomorrow. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Kind. And Be Truthful! Bless You.

Sunny Saturday

Despite lingering smoke from the wildfires, it is a pretty day outside. It will get hot today and tomorrow, then be more fall-like. I’m ready. So is the Babe. I do like to get the windows and screens cleaned before winter. Maybe in the next couple days. We’ll see. It’s pretty easy with the product from Windex, attach it to the garden hose, then rinse the soap off. I do like clean windows.

The VFW Post 2503 new website is up and working well. I have some new updates for it and hope I can get the hang of how to do everything. If you’d like to see, here is where you need to go. The Babe’s brother-in-law, Brad did the heavy lifting, and I get to learn maintenance. It’s WordPress, just like my blog, so some things will be new to me, some things won’t. I believe it’s a good site with lots of info to be added. Baby Steps!

I wish my daughter and son and law would let us post photos of our beautiful grandkids. I ordered Canvas prints to hang in the living room. Little Cody is such a little man! His reddish blonde hair is finally starting to lay down, up until now, it would stick straight up. He’s trying to walk and has two teeth at the age of 9 months. He is so cute. Miss Kayla Jolee does funny face poses for all of her pics. Her picture is of her standing in her mama’s hiking boots, bent at the knees, hands on thighs, with a toothy grin, eyes scrunched closed, hair messed up. How about that? I think she plays a lot with funny faces, running, and being generally goofy. I cannot wait to see them again!

We have some more pictures to hang, and today we may also hang my Kimonos. They are beautiful. I can’t wait to share them with you. I’m picturing my dad, a young soldier, buying one for my mom when he was on the way home from Korea. It was still in the paper sack it came in, with tissue paper that disintegrated when I picked it up. It’s probably close to 70 years old. Wow. A good example of holding on to something and never using it. That sort of thing has always made me kind of sad. Finally, it will be hung to be enjoyed and admired.

Use the good dishes. Wear perfume every day. Eat the Pie/Cake/Donut/Dessert. I really believe God intended us to enjoy the things He’s given us. Denial is good for times of penance, but not every day for the rest of your life. No, I’ve not lived through a depression, but I’ve seen some recessions and bad economic times. I’m not a tightwad, but I’m not a big spender, either. I have no problem saying how happy seeing certain things makes me. Little babies, toddlers, old people, newlyweds, The Babe, The grandkids, our kids, my brother, grown up cousins, their kids, God’s been so good to me.

Words to apply every day.

More scene-writing today. I’ve always got writing to do. I feel I had a good, productive session yesterday, and hope to duplicate it today. Some things are finally clicking. Yay!

I love how this turned out – finally!

When I finish quilting a couple more quilts, it’ll be time to piece some more. I like to keep ahead of them, right now I have four more to quilt. One to go above our bed, two for the stairwell, one when winter comes, another for spring. One for my chair or the family room in the spring or summer. By then, there should be another king sized quilt made. I’m still cutting one for winter, a snowflake quilt. I think that’ll be my December piecing project, as I’m taking the month off from coaching with Sam.

What might be your plan for the fall? I have some in the house stuff to do and maybe some transplanting in the yard. We always have longer lists than what we can accomplish, don’t we? Part of becoming older, our brains still thing we’re young and capable, our bodies tell us otherwise!

Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Dream big! Use the good china, ok? You’re certainly worth it. Be kind to yourself, and to others. Give a kid a chance. Give yourself a break. Let’s cooperate and be courteous. Wash up, Show up, and Mask up. We’re not through this yet. And, get a flu shot. It could save your life.

Friday Follies

Well, maybe not follies. Imagine, if you will, a time and place where the big, bad dog jumps back and forth with the vacuum cleaner, barking, and having a puppy fit over the very home appliance which cleans up her hair that has been shed like sprinkles from cupcakes. Goldie is such a goof. I’m not sure why she does that, she just does. Lexie has always ignored it as part of life on Raabe Ranch. We are nearly finished autumnizing our home. It looks nice if I must say so myself. Bright and happy. I like that.

I had a come to Jesus moment; a revelation; an incredible idea. I’m going to outline the rest of my chapters by scenes, to write with the six steps for scenes Sam told me about last Thursday. Multiple related scenes can make up a chapter. I think it’ll make it a lot easier to keep track of what I’m doing. While it’s great to believe you can just sit down and write on the fly, it’s really hard to resolve all the issues, keep the tense the same, even keep track of who does what to who (whom?), and why they did it. It’s a lot more complicated than it looks. And writers cannot let that intimidate them. The stories we need to tell also need telling.

Now, that said, I cannot imagine what drives Stephen King to write some of the frightful stuff he writes. I cannot imagine if he himself has inner demons in need of release, or it he just thinks of these things and keeps track of his nightmares. What do you think? I know he has many, many fans. I prefer not to have the bejesus scared out of me. (Or is it BeJesus?) Whichever, I think you get my drift.

Goldie, after wearing herself out yesterday.

This time last year, I honestly pictured myself at book signings, talking to people, sharing merch, and having people ask me when another book would be coming out. It is a powerful thought to hold. And I still expect it to happen someday. I do believe age gives me the confidence needed to do this. I still have some things to learn to make it successful. I’m already a patient person, and I know God will get me there when He thinks I’m ready. I trust in His will, seriously.

COVID has taught us a lot of things. I’m tired of the disruptions being blamed on it. Some of the political strife is intensified because people’s spirits are in a shambles. You add racial tensions, and it’s out of control. I read a powerful article in the past month, stating it’s an insult to Rosa Parks, MLK, and all the others to say there is not racial equality. After all, it is illegal to discriminate against a person of color, a different religion, sexual preference, gender, and the disabled. If you say there is no racial equality, you insult Rosa Parks, MLK, and everyone who fought so hard to get the laws changed, and some who died trying. Don’t belittle their life’s work. Think about that. BTW. It was written by a black woman.

Of course, I have music playing in the background while I write. I am able to write while listening to singing, some folks cannot. Of course, I listen subconsciously to the stories being told in the music. My favorite songwriters are the storytellers. The stories they tell, whether they be happy or sad, funny or serious, unique or shared by many, all help us express our feelings about the very same circumstances. I’d like to think I might be able to write the lyrics to a song someday. Just to try it. I took piano lessons a century or two ago. No, I don’t have confidence to sing in front of people. Or my dogs. I have no idea if I’m any good or not – the Choir nun used to make us sing in a high falsetto in Church, so it kind of ruined us for regular singing. We called her Sister Lulu.

Today, it’s write until I hit a block. Hopefully not a cow writing block.

I want to thank you for reading today, you know how I appreciate it. It will be unusually hot today in Nebraska, hope it’s done once Sunday is over. Hopefully, we’ll both have successful ventures today. I hope you accomplish all you want to. We purposefully rose early today so we would have enough time to get more done. It’s on track to be a great day of accomplishment. Hope yours is too! Be safe, courteous, and kind. If we all do that every day, the mood of our towns, cities, states and nation could start to calm down. It’s worth all of us working on. See you all tomorrow!

Writing Today

Good Morning, from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. I’m busy already with planning what to write today. The Poppy Quilt is in the “finished” pile now, and boy, it feels good to finish something.

In my attempt to become more of a planner with my storyline, I’m working on three big, meaningful scenes today. They have to do with my character Katie dealing with the news her husband is getting drafted. She handles it better than he does, really. She expected it all along. Katie does a lot of her growing up and accepting responsibility during this time when he is in training and his early assignments. John, does not grow up. You are taken back to one of the last years the draft was drawn, on July 1, 1970. The draft officially ended in 1973, as the Vietnam War was winding down.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Many of the freedoms women enjoy today are not shared by women in the 1960s and early 1970s. It may amaze some readers to learn these specific areas a woman still needed a man’s permission or even signature when attempting to open a bank account, get a credit card, and even use their first name. A woman was not referred to as “Mary Smith.” She was referred to as, “Miss Smith,” or as, “Mrs. John Smith.” My sweet Grandma Jewell told me a woman’s name was in the newspaper twice in her life. The First, when she marries, it’s in the Women’s News Section; the Second, when she dies, it’s in the Obituary Notices. The Women’s News Section in our local paper is now called the “Living” Section.

Did you know jobs used to be listed under “Men Wanted” and “Women Wanted?” That changed in the 1980s, I believe. And lots of folks would look for someone to rent out a room to, those ads were also based on sex, which was probably a good idea. Apartments were often furnished or unfurnished. I can’t imagine today, sleeping on a mattress someone else used, or fifty others used. We didn’t think anything of it during those times. The furniture was often worn somewhat. It was easier to move, however.

Good To Know!

I would so much rather have my nose in a book than someone’s business. It’s a much safer place to be these days. Some folks are pretty stressed at the restrictions, the rules, the laws, whatever you want to call them, and cooler heads do not prevail sometimes. That is unfortunate. I hope we all can take a moment to calm ourselves, and realize confrontation doesn’t help in some situations. If you’re shopping, in line at a reduced capacity sporting event, or out enjoying the outdoors in a park, please be careful, will you? It doesn’t take long for a situation to go out of control sometimes. Just be careful.

Those pages won’t write themselves, so I’d better move on. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it. Hope to see you right back here tomorrow. Be Calm. Carry On. Wash Up. Mask Up. Keep a Positive Thought!

Life-Go-Round

I am definitely not a “ride” person. I’ll hold your coats at the State Fair, while you experience the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Crazy stuff that throws off your equilibrium, and I’ll stay with the baby when you go on Splash Mountain at Disney World. I’ve done both. You see, as a kid who always got car sick up to the age of about 12, I can tell you, I do not want to experience that horrible feeling by my own actions. It is just not fun to me. I marvel at people who can do it, it’s just not my thing.

The grandkids laughed with me when we went with Grandpa on the Teacup Ride. I told them since I was a little girl, I always wanted to go on that ride. I saw it on the old Mickey Mouse Club (the original). I told them I was so happy to get to do it with them. And with Grandpa. It was great fun. Until they ran to the next ride with their parents. It’s ok, I’m a dork and I know it. They still had fun and so did I.


My Favorite Ride – The Merry Go Round – Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Just before I sat down to write today, I heard Gayle Sayers died. You may not know who he was. He played football for the Chicago Bears back in the 1960s. He was from Omaha, and was very talented player. He was also an incredible man. He overcame a lot of adversity during his life. It’s sad he battled dementia instead of tacklers during his later years. He had a great deal of talent in all areas of his life. He graduated from Central High School, where he ran track and of course, played football.

You will want to find the movie “Brian’s Song” and watch it later. It was a Made for TV Movie produced depicting Gayle Sayers’ unlikely friendship with an Italian dude who happened to land as his room mate. Brian Piccolo fought hard to advance on the team, he competed with Sayers for everything. The two became friends when the team repealed it’s mandate to segregate players. It was about time

Watch the movie, you’ll learn Piccolo was diagnosed with cancer, his friend stood by his side. It was during this movie I heard a phrase, credited to Sayers, that I have loved since I was a young girl in my 20s. “God is First, My Family is Second, I am Third.” He wrote a book, called, “I Am Third.” Think I’d like to read it. The tv movie was later released in theaters, it was that good. Tearjerker, for everyone, even big, burly men.

I can’t help but think of what a great example this is for all of us. I am no expert on race-relations, I don’t pretend to be. I know people. And I know most people can find a common ground and a way or place to get along. I have some friends who are so Democratic they make Smurfs appear pale. Some are so Republican, they make a red state look pale pink.

I don’t care any about either of those affiliations, just as I don’t care what religion you are. What I do care about is how you treat people. I care about if you say one thing and act another. I care if you spew hate on Facebook or in person. I care if you use language that is racist. As a young child, I was taught the “N” word was the most horrible way to refer to a person. That has not changed. I abhor the word and the intent that goes with using it.

I am a registered Republican, that may change. Until 2001, I was an Independent, which I may return to. Don’t hassle me about my political party. If you do, it shows more about you than about me. Name calling is not the way to make me listen to you. I have a broad spectrum of what I’ll accept in society and in the people around me. I’m accepting and open. I’ll trust you until I find out I can’t. Then, shame on me. If you make blanket statements, “Republicans are Satanic,” or “Democrats are stupid,” you are part of the problem. No group – whites, blacks, hispanics, democrats, or republicans are all one thing.

Sentences that begin with, “All _______;” “________ always _____;”or my all-time favorites, “Pollacks are stupid,” “Irishmen are all drunks,” “Italians are greasy.” We can no longer hear those ethnic put-downs. I must say, I don’t know of anyone who was bothered by them. We were all disparaged by other ethnic groups. Even the Catholic Churches in Omaha separated themselves by ethnicity. The Irish Catholics went to St. Bridget’s, the Croation Catholics went to St. Peter and Paul, the Polish Catholics to ICC (Immaculate Conception Church), and so on.

Separating into groups like that creates competitions in certain aspects that is good. Sports is one that is good. Sooner or later the rivalry can change to something negative. For instance, being from South Omaha (my family’s part of the city) was looked down upon. We were proud blue-collar workers, and many of stayed while white flight was happening. Soon, some of the schools fell behind. The Catholic schools could not stay open (no money), the public schools are bursting at the seams, and many people of color and poor whites had to stay.

Myself, I moved from the area to keep my kids out of trouble. Gangs were forming in the late 1980s, and I was a single mom. I moved my kids to keep them safer. Being among the poorest people at an advantaged school district was no picnic, believe me. Add to that a single parent family, and you have the modern day prejudices I’ve experienced. It ran deep in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s still there, as near as I can tell.

Yes, things need to change. Everyone needs to learn to be civil. I believe nothing else can happen until that does. We have agreed to not talk politics among our friends at the VFW Post. We have started there. I’d much rather blend us together than concentrate on our differences. It makes life hard and tense. We are there to befriend our fellow Veteran families and help those in need. The Post does a great job of that, in my opinion. Start today. Accept someone because of your similarities, not their differences.

Thanks for reading – I appreciate it so very much. Make it a good day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ll all be OK. Seriously. Be Kind. Be Civil. Be the Change.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com Be The Change. Be Civil. Be Welcoming. Be Inclusive

Happy First Day of Autumn

It’s been a comedy of errors today. I’m getting behind with writing and everything. Life does that to you once in awhile. God planted lots of lessons in my morning. Maybe they were about things I was doing, but it got my attention. Now to find the messsage.

The Babe was a dear, sweet husband, and instead of going to do errands all day, he stayed home to keep the hounds occupied. They can get underfoot, wanting in and out, so I don’t get much done. But today, I. got the machine work accomplished on on the Poppies Quilt. You may recall, I’ve been trying every day to get to this point, but haven’t made it. I did today.

Poppy Quilt on our new kitchen flooring.

In the meantime, however, I dropped a plain sewing needle on the floor. It is no easy task for me to get on hands and knees to look for a needle on a carpeted floor. But I did, ever so ungracefully. Both my knees are ready for another set of injections, it’s been six months since I saw Doc P. for the Orthovisc injections. Getting up is another ungraceful task, but with the flashlight on my phone, I was able to find it. And lots of dog hair. Note to self, “Your studio needs a good vacuuming.” I may be getting a couple of new knees in the next five years.

With needle in hand, I mended what was needed and got ready to secure the binding to the quilt, along with the hanger sleeves. In 45 x 4 = 180. In 180 inches of sewing, I broke two needles. I hardly ever do that. The machine came unthreaded 2 more times. The bobbin ran out. Any one of those mishaps is a rarity with my sewing/quilting. I do see it as a message from God. I’m still wondering what it means. A seamstress or quilter will tell me maybe something is “off” in the machine. It could have been because I was sewing with invisible thread. (OK, let loose with the wisecracks, I know you want to!) The machine adjustments made need to be reset. It might need servicing. If it continues, I’ll have to take it in.

It’s looking so “Homey.” Thanks, babe, for your help!

While I ponder the message (if any) God is sending to me, I’ll try to finish some things that need attention, like dusting where it needs it and introducing the vacuum to the studio. It’s been a while. Not terrible, but it needs to be done. Lots of little things add up if they’re not done. Kind of like my writing. I’ve been stressed, doing a lot, and trying to get to “done” every day. Going to adjust things – attitude (mine), take fewer breaks, spend more time thinking before diving in.

My attitude adjustment is to remind myself why I’m writing. And it’s just as important as anything else I’ve done, raising kids, graduating from college (finally) in 1995, and I need to speak up and carve my time out of the 24 hours the Babe and I both have in a day. We are equal partners at this. While it’s not new in our relationship, it’s new in my thinking. He’s the perfect person for me to have learned to speak up to, he considers what I want important simply because it’s important to me. That is a treasure I thank God for every day, at least once.

And it can be the fact we’re still living with unknown due to COVID. I do think people are being a little brazen going to crowded places, assuming they won’t get sick. It’s a crap shoot, isn’t it? Still? We have been places to eat, and the staff is masked. That’s good, I suppose, I’m not sure how they do it, wearing a mask all day. And health care workers. God bless you all!

Whatever you do today, I hope you have an easy task of it. When I was tempted to quit, the Babe told me, “Nope, just go finish it. You’re fine. The older we both become, the more I want to spend time with him. Just sit and enjoy each other’s company. Someday, we both won’t still be here. Reality, not negativity tells me that. I want to spend all the time we can. Have a great afternoon on this beautiful first day of Autumn. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.

topher kearby, I love your stuff!