What’s Love Got to Do With It?

One of my heroes died this week. Tina Turner was an extremely talented woman who taught many of my generation of women they could make their own way in life. Without being subject to treatment by a man that is abusive, verbally and physically.

Someone did not physically abuse me. I used to think it would have been easier if others could see what was happening. I married someone who treated me just like I mistakenly thought I deserved, which was verbally abusive. My kids suffered it too. Married at 18, I thought love was supposed to hurt, that you fight and makeup, he buys you flowers and Wally and the Beaver sit down with you both at dinner. Didn’t happen that way.

I was extremely unhappy. Isolated; no transportation, etc. I wanted to go to college and finally went to Metro Community College. Some days, I took the bus. But things fell into place, and after about 18 months of studying, still doing all the work at home, and unheard, I filed for divorce and never looked back.

That was near the time Tina Turner was making it big. Her story gave me hope. I wanted to be as strong as Tina Turner was. She honed her craft and strutted on that stage with fire and fervor I couldn’t believe existed. She fascinated me. I read her bio. It was quite sad and violent, but she rose above all the hate, pain, and hurt and became a force to be reckoned with. And she exuded happiness.

One thing I learned was she studied Buddhism. It helped her center, focus, learn to be one with the universe. Believing in any higher power is critical. We need to realize something bigger than us. I believe God showed me the way over the past 41 years. It’s guided me to where I am right now.

Tina Turner led the way for many women like me. Listen to her music. It still blows me away.

Around that same time, Cher also became a force on her own. She did the same. Walked away, knowing she deserved better.

During the rest of 1982, when my ex tried to get back together, I finally told him:

“Tina did great without Ike. Cher did great without Sonny. And Kathy will do fine without Frank.”

Have a great day, see you tomorrow. Oh, and BTW. The Babe? Simply the Best!”

The Day After the Last Treatment

Mom’s treatment ended yesterday. It is a strange feeling already. No cancer doctor appointment until later in the summer. No further testing until labs and scans completed next month. Wow! Now what do we do?

You get so wrapped up in the daily treatments, planning your life around them, and you can’t think further ahead. What will fill your time now?

The Babe and I are lucky. We have plenty to do at home. Yes. Despite living there for 8 years, we never got settled in. Now we have book cases to fill in the lower level, and finding new homes for all the ones I no longer want to keep. I’m going to find the library in Gretna and see if they’re open to donations. And the high school may or may not want books on quilting and sewing. Who knows? The kids may want to learn something old but new to them.

The stats are looking good this month for the blog. We have published nearly 1,314 blogs daily since we started, and we notify 1,097 people each time a new one goes live. Thanks, friends! Let’s keep growing, ok? Help a girl out. Thank you! Share with your friends, your mom, aunt, even your tech savvy grandma. There’s room for men, too. Your secret is safe with me!

As we dive further into the week, take a little time to reconnect with your friends. Just a text, email, or phone call. They’ll love hearing from you. We’re planning on doing the same thing. Get out there, and Live a Great Story!

Weekend Already ?

What’s going on in your world this weekend? Since it’s a religious and secular holiday, many people will not be working. Except for restaurant workers, some grocery/discount store workers, and others. It used to be a Holy Day for much of America. No more. I miss those days. We would go to our Grandparent’s homes and visit other relatives and close friends. Once we returned home, Mom made dinner, and we’d have all the good stuff of an Easter feast.

It was such a great day outside yesterday. Mom wanted to do some errands, so we did. She’s doing well after her first couple of treatments. At home, the Babe and the dogs spent the day outside. Do you think animals get cabin fever? The girls want to be outside at every opportunity. It should be a great.

I learned something quite interesting this week. Mom has oral chemo. In order to help her keep her meds straight, we put them in pill boxes like you get at any pharmacy. There was a bulletin in the manual (no kidding, it’s a three-ring-binder). The manual had information I hadn’t considered. The oral chemo is a hazardous material. It’s actually a poison. The patient’s waste products (urine, feces, vomit, etc.) is all hazardous. Whoever cleans the bathroom, shower, tub, etc., needs to wear rubber gloves. Wash hands before and after handling.

The other important thing is the oral chemo are tablets. If anyone touches them besides the patient, they need to wear gloves. The things we don’t know. I’m glad to sort the pills, and clean up if necessary. The patient need not wear gloves; after all, the poison is going into your body, either as pills or an IV. It’s headed in to kill the cancer. It won’t hurt you to touch it.

I love the education we have for patients and family for cancer now. Even when Dad had lung cancer, things were pretty much run by the doctors with no input from patients or family. Thank God it has changed substantially. These times are so enlightened. The patient and their family receive care. That did not happen 50 years ago. Even 15 years ago, it wasn’t like this.

Medical miracles are happening more and more. It’s God’s gift to patients, giving them hope. When I was a kid, you never heard of cancer; people died before they could determine what it was. A few years after, there was a treatment called COBALT. I couldn’t find much about those early uses, but now it appears Tesla can use it in car batteries, alternative energy uses it, and other miscellaneous uses for it exist.

What a world it is. What we used for medicine can be toxic in twenty years. Thirty years later, it may be perfect for charging batteries. Who knew?

Today, the Babe and I are going to work outside all day. A small flowerbed needs cleaning up, putting down landscaping cloth, and mulching. We have a few bushes to move, and a few spaces to decide how to deal with them. We’re so lucky to have our own little space on this earth, and we get to plant, mow, mulch, grow, fertilize, and enjoy the grounds here. I joke and call it “Raabe Ranch.” It’s a much larger lot than we used to have in Omaha, and the dogs have a huge yard to run and play in. God has blessed us. We are grateful.

Enjoy this day before Easter. Hope the day is pleasant and the evening is relaxing. See you tomorrow.


Do you own a new auto?

Have you ever received a recall notice for your vehicle? How did you handle it?

It’s interesting, the feature we don’t like at all is being recalled. The idea to save fuel by shutting the engine off while at a stop sign, traffic light, in line at the bank, etc. is one we disagree with. Pushing a button is supposed to re-start the engine. This feature is not working properly. The recall is to replace the starter and update software. I find this fascinating. The first thing we asked each other was, “Won’t that put a lot of stress on the starter?”

My 3 brothers and I all worked for our uncle’s South Omaha Auto Parts Store. The parts came from other suppliers or directly from the yard where junked cars stored by make, model, etc. I worked in the office. Between that experience and growing up in a home where the men could work on their own cars, change their own oil, do their brakes, you pick up terminology here and there. As time went on, they expanded to starters, alternators, and radiators. I did radiator inventory more than once.

As luck would have it, the Babe was a diesel mechanic/lead where he worked. He had an office, and eventually became labor foreman, and facilities manager. He taught me a lot about construction, landscaping, and many other things. One of the most fun things we ever did that I still tease him about today was go downtown to the 24 hour concrete pour for the tallest building in Omaha – the First National Bank Tower Headquarters. For 24 hours, concrete trucks poured their entire load to create for the base of this giant skyscraper. It was interesting to watch, and he’d tell me what they were all doing. He knew a lot of the drivers from his job and had conversations with them later about it.

I would tell him, “You take me to the best places. We do the most fun stuff. Like the time we went to the concrete pour for the First National HQ.” He smiles. I don’t know of other women who like that kind of stuff. I’m grateful for the view on the world I have. It helped me fix stuff when I was a single mom with a house. I’m a lot more mechanically oriented that many women. I like to see things assembled and learn how they work.

I am thrilled to hear of initiatives by folks like Mike Rowe, encouraging kids to go into industries we need people to work with their hands. No matter what, we’ll always need cooks, nurses, mechanics, printers, production managers, butchers, plumbers, electricians, construction people. We shot ourselves in the foot in the 80s by doing away with the “technical” part of community colleges. The theory was:

“You can earn more money sitting down than you can standing up.”

Yes, we need people in work clothes. Those skills are in short supply; encourage your child. We need many of all the careers that exist. Let’s get a good balance.

Hope it’s a good day. Mom’s got an appointment, so we’ll be out for a while. I hope the weather is warm for her. Have a great day, and know spring is just around the corner. See you tomorrow.


Despite the day starting out with Goldie throwing up all over the house after eating. Poor thing, she’s better, and that didn’t ruin our day. The Babe called the folks from 1800gotjunk. They don’t tell you the price until they come out and assess your stuff. They go by weight, length and height. We are now rid of an old tv, treadmill, sewing machine cabinet, and workbench. Decluttering is good!

The latest book I’m reading is “Sheelytown,” about the rise of the packing houses in Omaha. Sheely was the last name of one boss of the packing business. He built a packing plant and a small town, near the railroad tracks, and stockyards. He brought immigrants from Poland, Ireland, and other parts of the US to work at the packing plants. So far, the names of the workers are familiar; they were names from South Omaha when I was growing up, a couple generations after this story took place.

The era of this story took place, the early 1900s, people were very poor. The immigrants were, especially. They left their home country and hoped life would be better in America. It was hard to tell. The young women usually quit school to help their mothers care for smaller children at home. Hopefully, the girls would marry by 15 or 16, and leave the home, freeing up space and food for other family members. The boys hopefully left home at 14 or 15 to get jobs. This often left with siblings to secure a place to live and jobs. This freed up a lot of food for other family members. I cannot imagine what that must be like, but it happened more often than not.

The author, Gary Koenig, stressed this novel was based on true events. He’s not specifying which were true and which weren’t. At the turn of the century, I believe there was some problem with Native Americans. White people stole land and food from the natives. It wasn’t fair to them as they tried to survive. Tensions have not subsided even yet.

Knowing the neighborhood these stories took place makes the story more interesting to me. So far, I like the writing and the pace of the story. There are also reminders of social mores of the time. A young woman (15 years old) leaving home to go to Omaha, scorned for traveling alone with a boy or man, never able to save her reputation, does not heal from the gossip and ill will. I look forward to finishing it next week.

I have five more blocks to piece and applique for Cody’s quilt. These are more dogs, these are more specific breeds than the others. It’s coming along nicely. So is the reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” The more I read, the more I realize it contains a lot of things I’ve learned already in the last 3 1/2 years. I’m further along the way than I thought.

There may be a lot to Cameron’s claim writer’s/artist’s block doesn’t happen; it’s self sabotage, based on lack of confidence, grounded in fear, which most of us let win. We give up. We’d rather live stunted. It’s easier. Imagine if those traveling to Omaha for a job, or to Ellis Island for a new country quit when it was too hard. That will not happen, I cannot let it.

We are picking up on followers again; we have nearly 1050 followers. Over 1200 blogs and probably close to 200+ consecutive days posting blogs. We’re getting noticed, and for that, I’m grateful. Been a long day, and it’s time to R & R. Stay warm, hope your yard’s not too muddy from the melting, and we’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

What’s That Thing In The Sky?

I may be a little sensitive to balloons flying above the earth, the kind that is flying right now, suspected from China, with technology attached to be taking photos and gathering other intelligence over Montana, the Midwest. Call me crazy, but I just don’t trust them. I don’t trust Russia either. They’re up to no good, believe me.

As a kid, the nuns reminded us we lived within 12 miles of Offutt Air Base, home of the Strategic Air Command. They constantly reminded us we would disintegrate in seconds if the Russians/Cubans/whomever has the bomb. It isn’t any wonder some of us grew up with those reminders haunting us. We assimilated the information and grew up despite the constant sense of doom we lived with.

When I went to the surgeon’s office to plot the surgery for my lumpectomy, we checked in and the TV in the waiting had on the escapades of Balloon Boy. Ridiculous. I was angry I could be one of the unlucky ones who could die from their cancer, and this family was goofing around with a balloon, their kid, and the US government and resources, which could be used in a much more beneficial manner.

It was another bitter day in Nebraska. We have a friend and family on different trips to Florida this week. It sounds heavenly, with temps in the 80s. I think my arthritis would be happy there. Is it frigid where you are? Traditionally, February and March can be terrible in the Heartland. These months are hard, it’s too cold to be outside much, and many people end up depressed. Depression is tricky. It can move in and make itself comfortable before you may realize what’s going on.

I believe mental health is one of the most important elements of keeping ourselves and our communities healthy and safe. We all deserve to be healthy and safe. If things are off, we need to find help. The sooner the better. And help isn’t a good word sometimes. It may feel condescending to accept “help.” A better thought is to say the person is a buddy, a comrade, a peer support specialist, which is what I became in December. We are ready to support our peers when and where it’s needed.

The Babe informs me he just saw there is another balloon flying over us. It makes me pretty uncomfortable. I believe our military is at the ready, and will protect us. Faith over fear, every time. Have a beautiful Saturday. Hoping to squeeze in the taxes sometime today. What are you looking at tying up this weekend? Making new progress on our quilt for Cody. Photos by Monday, hopefully. Have a great weekend. See you tomorrow.

February 2, 2023

Just a little more to read and I’ll finish “All the Perfects” by Colleen Hoover. It’s a little confusing, each chapter is either “Then” or “Now.” We are winding up to a big finish, and I hope it’s a good ending. We’ll see.

It’s kind of interesting. Some of the last few books I’ve read have different timelines. They sometimes meander all over the place. At other times, they are linear, in correct sequence. This one relies strictly “Then,” and “Now.” I may have become lost a couple times. Hope I get back on track very soon; like in the next two pages.

Today, there was more info on the possible shooter at our local Target store. He was schizophrenic. How very sad. There is no good reason this all happened. There is no excuse for it. The mental health field should be more able to get patients to comply with protocol that will keep them functioning in society and living a life that is safe for them and society.

It is not one element of the storm, it is all of them; untreated mental illness, instability, and many, many other unseen issues even before you add in the weapon element. We cannot blame only one. The problem will not be solved by banning one element. The entire problem needs addressing all at once. Equal blame can be assigned to all.

We saw the Metro in the DC area had yet another shooter loose today. Hearing it was the Metro caused us concern. Our grandson rides with some of his homies to school. Further reports clarified it was nowhere near our grandson’s area. Another thank God. The heightened sensitivity towards the news cycles is not unusual, it happens all the time. We’re honed in on it, then life goes back to normal.

My heart broke yesterday for one of the young Target workers. She was being interviewed about her experience and mentioned it was ingrained into them after having their entire school career filled with active school shooter training. What a shame, having that be a part of a young person’s life. My generation didn’t have that to worry about. Our kids and grandkids do. What kind of world do we have?

It’s exactly at this point, we need to stop and be positive. There are far more people who are good, kind people. Bad things happening is the exception, not the norm. Many more of our days go by uneventful than deadly and frightening. Yes, give me a boring day any day of the week. Here’s to a boring next couple days. Stay safe out there, and see you tomorrow.


Some days no matter what you try to do, things don’t work out too well.

I’m referring to my old friend, technology. We have three laptops, one Chromebook, and two cell phones. I’m changing over from Norton to AVG security. It’ll be a good thing.

I’ve installed it on the phones and one laptop. I did the other laptop today and downloaded the HR Block software for this year. The Babe and I also sorted through the box of papers we need to complete the input for the software. Chomped and ready at the bit.

Got the credit card out to purchase the software for HR Block. It appears they don’t have you pay before downloading. I’m guessing they make you when you complete the forms before filing with the IRS. At least I hope that’s what’s going on. So, I saved the return I started after downloading everything from last year’s return. All the same blah blah info. Done. Saved. Not ready yet, need to tabulate lots of numbers for totals.

OK, all good. Now for the Chromebook. OK, the Google Playstore has the software. Here we are. Password, then. What? It will download later. What in the holy heck does that mean? I’ve not seen this before. Hmmm. OK. Try again. Same result. Wow. Still nothing.

My best hunches haven’t panned out. I know WordPress uses extensions of software. Maybe there’s a secret compartment somewhere to find what I need. Nope. doesn’t appear so. My last resource is my I/T Department at an offsite, secure location. Got a suggestion from my FBIL (Favorite Brother in Law), and I’ll try that tomorrow. I’m just brain dead right now. It will have to be tomorrow.

I had great plans yesterday. I was going to finish the main part of Cody’s quilt; didn’t happen. Tomorrow. First thing. It will be a new day tomorrow. Have a great day and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Memories of the Best Kind

I had a weird thought today. Probably when my aunt and uncle, Lois and Joe Conrad, were getting ready to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary, I had the honor of pressing her wedding dress for display at their reception. I was about 4 or 5 when they got married, and I remember going to the reception for a little while. My dad’s cousin JoAnn and her husband Chuck picked my brother and I up after dinner and took us to Grandma Bobell’s home until the party was over. We fell asleep because we were tired, and were just a couple little kids.

Fast forward to pressing her gown 50 years later. They wanted me to iron in the kitchen, and I went to the sewing room where the ironing board was. I picked it up the iron, and took it to the kitchen. I followed them, and they insisted on moving the ironing board. Rather than closing it, and proceeding, they decided carrying it folded out, each of them carrying one side. It was clumsy, really, and I really smiled to myself they were so cute. He still wanted to be the strong man, taking care of his wife, and making sure she didn’t over exert herself. They were both in their early 70s. It’s the first time I noticed how much they aged.

Fast forward to present day? We are deep in the throes of decluttering and deep cleaning. I have to say, the Babe is the best. Saturday, we were looking through the Christmas decorations we were deciding what to donate and what to keep. He was adamant I not pick up anything heavy because of my back. I also tried to make his work easier. I can only stand up for about 15 minutes, and then my back bothers me. I thought back on Uncle Joe and Aunt Lois. And then I said to myself, “And there we are!” It made me sad, yet I smiled.

I smiled because despite the fact the Babe and I only have been together for 25 years, we’ve a lot to celebrate. Despite the fact we didn’t have any children together, we have a blended family we are proud of. Five kids, five grandkids, four sons/daughters in law, and a lot of love. We’re along for the ride now.

As a person who’s been disabled for over 25 years, I thanked God today so I made sure to be grateful for the man who is now my husband. I’ve wished my dad could have met him; it’s enough Uncle Joe met him. The same day I pressed Aunt Lois’ wedding dress, Uncle Joe told me, “You know, I didn’t like that Frank guy you were married to; he was kind of a cocky guy. But this Dan, I really like him. You did good.”

Not only did Uncle Joe, from Mom’s side of the family approve, Uncle Bob, (Dad’s brother) and Uncle Joe (Dad’s other brother) liked the Babe too. A double vote of confidence. Dad approved.

I am a lucky woman to have the experience of having these good men be concerned for me and my welfare. I have no uncles anymore. I do have one aunt, in California. Dad’s sister Mary Ann is still with us, and just celebrated her 93rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Aunt Mary Ann! We all love you. Stay well.

What do you fondly remember about your aunts and uncles or other family members? I’m so fortunate to have good memories about relatives. More to be blessed about. Have a great day, and we’ll see you tomorrow.