Renewal Thursday!

There are so many pieces to having a presence on Social Media promoting yourself. Many things, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are free. I’ve seen followers increase lately, and did a couple Facebook Ads, for my author page, business page, and the VFW Post. It’s amazing the traffic that can be brought to your door. We’re trying to keep up all four pages (including my personal account) on a daily basis. It’s fun, but time consuming.

Other parts are the “set and forget” kind. Like my website/blog. It’s where I have followers and folks who read my blogs daily. When I originally set up the website, I paid for two years, since it was cheaper. Best money I ever spent. It’s my consistent practice writing. I’m experimenting with my craft with learning about websites, and making my presence known.

When I logged in earlier this week and saw the message, “Renew Your Subscription,” I stopped and smiled. I’ve stuck with it for two whole years. I’ve learned so much. Mostly what not to do. But I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. With a happy heart, I hit the renew button, entered my credit card info, and thought, “You’ll really be published next time you renew this!” How very exciting!

I’ve published 746 blogs before today. That’s a bunch. Some haven’t been very good, and I know that. It’s all part of the process. It’s all there, good and bad. I can definitely see improvement in content, form, and all that jazz. There is always room for more improvement. I take it day by day. Another month is ending and a brand new, shiny one is on the horizon. I like month’s with 31 days in them. They feel more complete.

The next three months will see me sprucing up the website, adding some information, and hopefully, publishing my kid’s book. More on that a bit later. I’m just going to enjoy the feeling of continuing to create on my website/blog and know it will just get better. And you know, the kid book is about our grandson Gavin and his love for dogs. Especially our special dog, Roxie.

When we lost her, it was an accident, and it hurt us for a very long time. In fact, the only thing I could do when she died was write. I wrote one of my first blogs on a regular basis about her. I think telling Gavin’s grief story can help other children learn something important about loss and coping with it. He is doing very well two years later, and loves Goldie, who is a crazy lab who loves to play catch, and his Josie, who came to live with them a year ago. He is old enough to care for a dog and it’s good responsibility for him. How things have changed!

We have a book launch to attend tonight at 5:30. I think I purchased the book beforehand, so we’ll be picking it up and listen to the presentation the author gives. I want to take it all in, because I’ll be having one before too long myself. It’s all coming together. Good days and bad days, all happening at once. Life is indeed, very good. Have a great evening. See you tomorrow!

One Sure Thing in Life!

Is anything for certain in this life? Only one thing is. God loves each of us exactly as He created us. I no longer feel certain we all have our entire life mapped out for us; pre-destination and free will has always been something I’ve questioned. Mom used to get mad at me about it. She wasn’t raised “in the faith.” She “Converted” before she and Dad were married.

We need to work for things in life. As kids, we must work for grades, we must work to get and keep friends, we must behave so our parents don’t have issues with our behavior, and so our teachers don’t either. Nothing is automatic. Just God’s love. Even as a kid growing up, I never believed in a fire and brimstone God, although that was the idea in the 50s and 60s. The 60s, with the sexual revolution, free love, hippies, and the 70s, with the anti-everything movements was enough to confuse a lot of people. We wouldn’t all still be here if God was not forgiving.

I’m no longer in love with summer. It has stayed it’s welcome, but fall could last three full months as far as I’m concerned. The Babe and I are both ready for jeans and sweatshirt for sure. It may change later but for now, lets send heat and humidity to the south of us. The flowers and bushes did well this summer, and i’m glad for that. I’m looking forward to cooler air and longer evenings. And I love the fireplace in the evenings. Lots to look forward to.

Tomorrow will be a great morning at home. I can run my Chapter 1 through the Pro Writing Aid Software, and ready it for submission! I’m excited about it. More exciting things to come. It was a short night for sure, and I hope to make up for it tonight. Hope you have a good evening and a good, long night’s sleep. See you tomorrow!

We Are What We Think

Dad had a post card sized saying credited to Henry Ford. It hung in the “butlers’ pantry” in our house. I don’t think it’s still there, but I’ll look next time. It said,

If You Think You Can Do A Thing Or Think You Can’t Do A Thing, You’re Right.”

I find it interesting how that saying, read and re-read thousands of times in my life, is much of what I firmly believe, especially at this part of my life. The butlers’ pantry had upper cabinets where our dishes were stored. Since I usually had the job of drying dishes, it was in my sight, mind, and psyche much of the first eighteen years of my life.

And today, there is so much information written, podcast, blogged, and discussed about people over the age of 60. Just yesterday, I saw starting a business is much more likely to succeed if you’re over the age of 55, even 60. Wow. I’ve got that beat!

I do believe I will publish a children’s book and a novel. They are two entirely different genre’s. I do not want to be pigeon-holed into one or the other. I want to do both. I also want to write a book about my personal health struggle, one that nearly left me paralyzed. Twenty-six years later, I am still a changed woman, forever grateful for the miracle of two excellent doctors, and the eagle eye of the older of the two. God was very, very good to me. I continue to thank Him daily.

Although it’s been said you must have a different website, etc. for each pen name you use, I’m not doing that. I’m doing Kathy Raabe, Author for my novels/fiction/life struggles. I’m doing “Grandma Kathy” as a page of Kathy Raabe, Author, and both personas are the property of Jewell Publishing Company. It’s not traditional, but then, neither am I! Why can’t it work?

At this age, it’s much easier to adjust to what’s going on around us. It’s crucial to be able to do this. Acceptance, grasshopper. No lives are usually lost over waiting, and when it’s not time yet, it’s just not time. We were raised to be old souls, those of us born in the 1950s and early 1960s. If any of wanted to be artists or writers, we were usually told those jobs wouldn’t pay the bills. The phrase “starving artist” was used frequently and it seemed to be the truth.

The boys often had blue collar jobs, and rarely did they have a college education. Firefighters and Police officers frequently attended college after 1970 to supplement their OJT. Street smarts coupled with book smarts on Law Enforcement and the science of fires made for better officers and firefighters.

Blue collar jobs, so lucrative for our fathers and uncles, became a thing of the past. The Babe was in the manufacturing business – making brick and concrete block. He started as a diesel engine mechanic and retired as the Facilities Manager and Labor Foreman. He had training in those fields, most of it OJT, but no college. Just after we married in 1998, block basements became a thing of the past; pouring concrete into forms to create foundations was the way to go. We believe they probably aren’t as good as block walls, but no one wants to work that hard anymore. In our era, you could make great money as a builder, carpenter, mechanic, plumber, electrician, or someone who poured concrete. Not anymore. In the 80s, the mantra was,

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

And now, forty years later, it appears young people should go into technical jobs, like plumbing, building, masonry, drywalling, all those things formerly looked down upon. Someone I used to work with in the 90s asked me when my son would get a real job and quit cooking. I asked him, “Do you like to take your wife out to eat?”

“Sure.”

“Well, someone has to cook it. Do you want a rookie doing that or someone with experience?”

“Someone who knows what they’re doing.”

“I rest my case.”

My path appeared to be getting married and having a family. It turned out I chose the wrong partner. After three beautiful kids, we divorced at my request. That was the first most scary thing I ever did. No job, attending Community College classes for Medical Secretary field, I was offered an interview at a large company, and I went. I was hired. Nothing will ever be that scary again. Not even breast cancer was.

“Don’t Find Fault; Find a Remedy.”

This one about finding a remedy instead of fault is a favorite. I couldn’t pick just one. Kind of like having a favorite child. They’re all my favorites! As we celebrate LABOR in America today, be grateful for the likes of Henry Ford. He did what no one else had ever done before. He failed, then did it again, ony better. We can do that too. Whatever you want to create, do it! Calculate the risks, expect the unexpected, but do it. You will never regret the attempt. You’ll regret not making it. See you tomorrow!

The only failure is if you don’t try.

Reflections

It was a beautiful wedding yesterday. My cousin and his wife could finally have the wedding for their son and his beautiful bride. COVID did not win. They married last August, with a small group, and renewed their vows to a packed house of their peers. Young people all just beginning their lives in the post-COVID world. The priest commented; “This is the largest crowd in this Church in the last year.” Wow. That comment made it all hit home for me.

Upon entering the Church, I noticed everyone wore masks. Once they were seated, masks were removed. At the sign-in table, I saw a photo that took me way back. It was a photo of Rod’s parent’s on their wedding day. In my parent’s living room. A beautiful black and white photo, it captured my aunt and uncle perfectly. They have both passed on, and I was reminded of their kindness, both as a couple, and as individuals. The memories are good. They were people who raised a fine man of a son, and doted on their grandchildren. It was a wonderful day for families.

As I sat, I was aware how much has changed in the last year. We have survived. Well, most of us have. I felt comfortable surrounded by a generation of people who were all college graduates, holding down good jobs, and beginning their adulthood. Some carried babies with them, and it was a beautiful sight. The girls were all dressed in tasteful mid-thigh dresses, looking beautiful. The boys wore everything from jackets and unmatched slacks to shirts and dress pants. It was so nice to see people dressed in their Sunday best! When have I seen a group of people dressed up? I couldn’t remember. The pandemic has taken a lot from us. Things we didn’t even realize we were missing, at least until we experience them again.

I didn’t go to the reception. Instead, I imagined all of those young people, dancing, drinking beverages, and having a grand time. People came from out of town, gathering to wish their friends well. I love the images I had from that. I thought of how proud my aunt and uncle, Andrew’s grandparents, would be. It was a wonderful daydream. COVID cannot steal our memories, or our creativity. It cannot steal love from determined young people. It cannot steal dreams. It cannot take faith from your soul. So there, COVID. You can go now.

Congratulations to the happy couple and their families. It’s a lot to undertake, and we appreciate you shared your happiness with us. It gives us hope and resolve. We will still have young men and women falling in love and merging their lives, both equally important.

The human spirit is amazing. Nothing can keep us down. While life has certainly changed, we will come back, stronger than ever. I hope you have a beautiful day today. We are having a rainy day, and the grass will take off now. We have a fundraiser this afternoon and are looking forward to it. Another day of helping make the world better. Our kind of day. Take care, becareful out there, and Be Kind. See you again tomorrow.

Acceptance

As people living on this earth, we’re never done growing and improving. It doesn’t matter if you’re an addict in recovery or a person simply trying to be a better person. We will never be finished! That is the blessing and the curse of being a person in this imperfect world.

It’s difficult to admit we’re not perfect. But you know what? After you are honest with yourself, it’s quite a load off your mind and soul. Accepting you’re not perfect helps a lot. And God loves us just as we are. He’ll give us every last chance there is, that’s how much he loves us. If nothing gives you goosebumps, that should. We get a lifetime of do-overs. What luck!

As we grow and change, we may or not want what we wanted ten or twenty years ago. That is especially true of things that keep us from achieving what we need to achieve in our lives. I have learned that despite the fact I only ever wanted to be a Mom, there are many, many years beyond being a Grandmother that can yield some awesome things; creations you’ve always dreamed of, getting to do more than you ever thought possible, and learning more than you could imagine.

There is a vitality in learning. In taking risks to do something you’ve never done before. In putting yourself out there for the world to see. Some will love what you do. Some will not. Will that stop you? I think not. As you go along, you have a new community you enter. Other people who love what you do. Others who understand your new found passion. Others who encourage you. It’s grand. Some will not be happy for you. Some will not understand why you want to work so hard when you’re retired. And that’s fine. You remember where you came from. You still love your people. You are not willing to accept the status quo. You want to push your limits, within reason. “Go for it,” I say! Why not?

We’re all born to reach towards love. We all reach towards our needs, in love and in life. Some lessons we learned weren’t universal. We are lovable. We can love. Our ideas aren’t wrong or crazy. Just because you’re different doesn’t mean you’re wrong or crazy. Since I almost always had my own room, I practically lived there while I was growing up. The old Beach Boys song, “In My Room” was one I related to on every level. I drew, designed fashion, wrote plays, and tried to draw. Mom always said, “You should quit trying to draw people. They’re terrible!” Thanks, Mom. I’d like to learn how to someday. My bucket list is long, and has numerous items like learning to paint. Learning to draw. Finish every quilt I’ve ever loved. All creative endeavors. My soul feels so good while I’m writing, learning, sewing, quilting, all the stuff I love to do.

I’m gradually carving more time out for all of this by correcting my bad habits that sabotage me. I’m not scolding myself when I fail. Some days I do. It’s ok. Tomorrow I won’t. Baby steps towards more life in my hours. And being positive. I would have never made it this far if I hadn’t always tried to be positive. So far, it’s worked for me.

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, author, nurse, and companion to Mario Puzo, Carol Gino is holding a three day Facebook Challenge about discovering the rest of your soul – and adding a new level of consciousness to your life. I am very interested in this. I believe it will be an asset to me to learn what she has to teach me. Because of certain close calls in life (my son’s drowning, my other son’s ruptured appendix, and things surrounding my dad’s death), I think there is something there, inside of me, that I need to find and release. I believe it should be enlightening. Join us if you’d like. 2 p.m. CDT. Soul Star Academy on FB.

Thanks for reading today. We’ve had three weather changes already today, and it’s only 12:11 p.m. Rain, Sun, Rain while Sunny, and now more sun. Crazy. There’s a closet calling to me. It’s my spot to de-clutter today. Onwards, to better habits, folks! Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be back tomorrow. I know I will. See you then!

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!

It’s a Terrific Tuesday!

Today started with a jaunt into Omaha for my first COVID-19 vaccination. I am glad to have the first one over with, and I go for the second one on March 30, 2021. Somehow, the THINK Whole Person Healthcare was able to secure the Moderna version of the vaccine, so here we are. One down, one to go.

This Women in Publishing Conference I’m watching all week has a LOT of vital information for me. I’ve had problems getting tuned in at the times of live presentations, but can re-watch them later. I am fortunate there are several categories I’m interested in; Children’s Books, and Fiction. There is also a General Business category which should be good, too.

The remodeling at the VFW is really going great guns! We’re ready to have the artwork hung. It will add a lot to the character of the rooms, and I’m sure they will be more appealing for rentals with the updates. They will then go on to the next rental room, the one that is smaller and more informal. What a great project to finish before summer. (I hope). Then I’ll see more of the Babe.

March 2, 1996 was a very important day for the Babe and me. It’s the first time we met. Wow, I cannot believe after being single for 16 years, I met someone who could be all I wanted. It seemed easy after all the heart-breaks I had. Him, too. I think we both had to experience the good and bad of life to really appreciate each other and our position in life. We have come such a long way, personally and professionally. We are grateful to God for each other, and the successes we’ve had.

We’ve also had our share of heartaches along the way. And scary health issues. His ischemic heart disease and eventual quad-bypass; my breast cancer and twisted, compressing spine. We’ve overcome a lot, and we’re grateful for that, too. It’s all bonus time now. Living life to the fullest and loving each other. This includes encouraging each other. I cannot wait to sit on the deck again and drink coffee with the Babe. Those times in quarantine last summer were some of our best. We plan on repeating that daily, if possible.

Gotta run. A live event is about to start on Women in Publishing. Thanks for reading today, and I will see you tomorrow! Be Safe. Be Careful.

Nope, we don’t!