Shiny, Happy, New Monday!

After the last month being schedule-crazy, I have the entire week free until Friday. Mom goes to the eye doctor then. I am free to add in whatever I want to do. I am visiting a couple friends from way back in the late seventies. I’m looking forward to it.

Until visiting later today, I’m going back to writing first thing in the morning. The day is far more productive. Friends, we cannot often gauge how quickly we’ll change a bad habit. It is said it takes 21 days. So be it. It should take me until around my birthday to make progress towards changing the bad habits I’ve fallen back to.

I’m grateful to go visit friends who have played an important part in my independence as a single Mom. Janet babysat my kids whenever I needed her. I’ve always been grateful for that. Our friend Kathy was my main sitter, and Janet helped whenever she could. Her husband Don was an Omaha firefighter who offered support and encouragement when he could. I love the fact we’ve remained friends all these years later. As a couple, they’ve always been first to offer help. Good people, we need more like them.

None of us knows what our future holds. Health or illness? Work or rest? Gains or losses? The older I become, the more I know things can change so quickly. In 1995, I went from being healthy and basically fit to nearly being bedridden in one short week. A tumor in my spinal canal was crushing the spinal cord. The pain was something I will never forget.

The weather was chilly and drizzly yesterday. We enjoyed Netflix and meals from HelloFresh. I enjoy cooking so much more with tastier food. Let me know if you’d like to receive a complimentary box. No joke, there are no strings attached. Let me know by FB Messenger what your email address is. Thank you!

I’m going to organize some stuff, then visit my friends. It’s a hot summer day according to the forecast. I’d appreciate some more spring non-windy days, but I’ll take what we can get. Have a beautiful day and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Monday Memories

As a kid, Monday was a brand new day at school. We attended Mass every day (except Saturday) and then went to school. Every day started with Church, and I didn’t mind it. It was our routine. First Fridays of the Month were special celebrations; we had juice and a glazed donut after attending Mass. Those days, the rules were fast all night until after Communion. Shortly after I made my First Holy Communion, I believe we could eat three hours before, but eating at 6 a.m.. wasn’t on the agenda for any of us in 1959.

High school? I don’t remember Mondays too much. When we weren’t old enough to work, the weekends were usually whatever Mom made them. She always awakened early me on Saturday. No sleeping late in our house! And when I was dating in my senior year, she woke me by 7 a.m. on Saturday. I had to watch the little brothers.

Mondays didn’t matter when I was a young mother. Every day was the same. I was up early, and whenever they woke during the night. There was not the movement there is now when fathers actively take part in their babies’ care and rearing. Very interesting. I love the dads do what they do now. It is how it should be. Despite my experience (he didn’t do diapers and didn’t do middle of the night waking), I believe it should be a shared duty. You both made that baby, you both should share equally in the care.

It’s getting late, and I hope you all have a beautiful evening. Be safe. See you tomorrow.

Monday, Monday

What a day? I met my son, Frankie for breakfast today. It’s always fun to visit with him. We have always been able to talk about anything and we do. I’m so grateful he hangs out with me for a bite now and then. He mentioned today he’s been a cook for 35 years. What? Oh my gosh, he has! He is looking at turning 51 this year. Wow!

I was thinking of him as a little boy today; he had platinum blonde hair, big blue eyes, and has always been a cheerful guy. As a baby, he was never in a bad mood. The worst time he had teething was with his eye teeth, at about a year. He listened to me as I taught him how to do some things, like driving and checking his oil. Luckily, I watched Dad and passed that along to my kids. And having a beer with him when he turned 21 was special. He’s a good man.

I need to call some veterans tomorrow and line them up to be interviewed in a podcast about their military experiences. It’s an honor to be a part of this project. It will be submitted to the Library of Congress, and be part of our nation’s history. What an honor!

As we continue on this week, I’m still working on my to-do list. Finally finished the forms for the Nebraska Department of Revenue. It seems I sort of blew off filing the forms when they were due. Wow. Now, I’m on their radar. Oh dear!

I hope you have a relaxed rest of the evening. We will get back at this tomorrow. The dentist’s office wanted to glue the temporary crown back in this morning; it’s drilled down to the dentin as part of the prep, and the crown will not be here until March 7. He doesn’t want it just stuck on with toothpaste like is recommended. I hope the shift I felt in it earlier doesn’t mean it’s going to fall out again. See you tomorrow!

Monday, Monday

It’s amazing when an idea starts to talk to you in your dreams, when you’re in the subconscious stage of waking up, your fleeting thought becomes your great idea. Then you start to think about how to make this great idea happen. I’m at that stage with my idea for Grandma Kathy.

With working on two different projects in two different genres, I’ve studied all the info I can find about promoting two different types of books. As two different authors, even though I’m both of those. This is where Jewell Publishing LLC comes in.

Jewell Publishing LLC is the home to both Grandma Kathy and Kathy Jewell Raabe. Grandma Kathy will write children’s books and read them. I plan to get permission, if necessary, to read other children’s books and upload the videos to YouTube. It’s made me very sad to learn modern parents often don’t have 15 minutes (max) to read to their babies/toddlers before bed. They cannot spare the time. If they don’t have the time to experience this beautiful bond building activity, it makes me sad. I get it, people are busy. Not being critical, I can’t imagine both working full time and having babies/toddlers to raise. I was a stay at home mom until my daughter was three. Then I divorced and became a single mom. I get it.

In business, as well as in life, the key is being dynamic. You have to be. If I were to be critical of young parents who don’t have time to read to their little ones , I’d never sell a book. I’d like to create something useful to young parents with children. If they need a little time to entertain their child while getting them settled at night, why not have them watch a video of a Grandma-type person such as myself, reading a lovely story. It could work, having people download videos of various books, with myself reading them.

Of course, I’d need some tutoring on how to video myself reading, making them available on my website page, Grandma Kathy for free. When it gets to my own books, I’d need to charge for download, in addition to making the physical book available for those who still want them. This blog is my informal announcement of what I plan to do early next year, hopefully during the first quarter. What a way to spend the winter, learning something else new!

I’m working on planning by kid book rollouts, they may be altogether, maybe one, then two together. I need to look at all the options first. But this establishes it as my idea, and what I plan to do. Hey, maybe McGuigan Arts Academy will have a how to class for adults, or folks just getting started, like me! They’re sure great examples of taking risks for great ideas. Thanks, Billy and Kate. You’re all the best!

Risks are in this life for the taking. It’s a great thing to learn. And I’m grateful I learned it. Hope you all have a beautiful evening. We’ll see each other tomorrow, my friends. Keep reading. Or listening. However you get your books. Just take time.

Super Sunday! and Monday Reflections

It was such a great day Sunday at our VFW Post 2503. We had a lot of new people gathered together. We were mixed races, creeds, politics, religions, and heritage. We gathered to award money from donations, hard work, and what we earned from fund raising all summer. It was pretty incredible.

We had a board member from Nebraska COPS, the founder of Guitars for Vets Nebraska, and the founder of Moving Veterans Forward to receive their checks. It really made my heart swell. We’ve made a lot of new friends today. We have networked and we have new connections to make. It’s all going to be fantastic. And it seemed so effortless now that we are at the end of the summer. All it does is make us want to work harder for them next year.

To identify the people in the photo, here is a who’s who, from left to right:

Steve Cerveny, OPD, Nebraska COPS Board; Larry Quilliam, Commander VFW Post 2503; Ron Hernandez, Founder Moving Veterans Forward, Kathy Raabe, VFW Post 2503 Auxiliary; Peggy Ullom, Founder Guitars for Vets, Nebraska; Dan Raabe, Quartermaster VFW Post 2503.

What a great feeling it is to help coordinate to make the effort successful and effective. We will create new ways to help our Veterans who often suffer from PTSD, and are homeless. One condition seems to have a domino effect in the lives of some people. They may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope, lose their income, job, home, family, etc. In the past year, we have made many new contacts and friends by reaching out to organizations who can use our help.

The leader of the ABATE group and some of their members were present; they made a donation to us, and we turned it over to the two Veterans groups, MVF and G4V NE. How wonderful it is to share! I don’t have a photo of him, but want to share with you what ABATE is. They are a group of motorcycle enthusiasts. A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education. They dedicate their time and effort to educating the public, motorcyclists, and anyone who is curious about safety and rights of riders. We are so blessed to have this connection.

Ron Hernandez, Kathy Raabe, Peggy Ullmon, Jay Miralles, Dan Raabe

I’m writing on my laptop today. I left the Chromebook at the Post, and I really miss it! Every system works differently, and every keyboard has a distinct feel to it. This is no exception. While it works, my cheat sheets that appear to the right of my writing vanished. I poked around, trying this key and that key, it’s a test for my brain, I’m sure. All is good. The worst part? My laptop does not have a touch screen, which is a feature I will include on all future devices, trust me!

Today, it’s back to work around the house. Laundry, cleaning, all the stuff about life that’s not glamorous or fun. But it has to be done. And if you re-frame things you don’t like, you can make something positive out of it. For example, I can be grateful to God for the privilege of owning enough clothes to have plenty of clean clothes and be glad I don’t have to carry the laundry out to the laundromat. I had to do that with clothes and diapers from my oldest son. While his dad was in the Army in Germany, I saved money to buy a washer and dryer for the apartment. He took the money and bought a motorcycle. I should have wised up then, but I didn’t. And I would never have had another son and a daughter who taught me all about independence. She was a very independent baby and toddler. I didn’t want to squash her spirit like mine was. She still amazes me.

I’m just going to enjoy the warmth that’s in my heart right now from the weekend. The people are so phenomenal! And soon, we will dig in again, with a special project. More later! Have a beautiful rest of the day. Be kind to someone today. You’ll be better for it. Thank you for reading and see you tomorrow!

Happy Flag Day

Thanks to my friend Sharon Mabry, for the flag photo featured today in the header. It is of her home in Georgia, she and her husband both served in the United States Army. Thank you both for your family’s service. They are retired now, and living a great life.

This is one of many families who sacrificed their time, talent, and their home lives for the United States of America. This great nation has many, many Patriots such as this. We are free because of the brave. That never gets old, nor do I take it for granted. The flag, the stars & stripes, the symbol of the greatest nation in the world stands for so much more than the original thirteen stripes and stars. Thirteen colonies have grown into this vast land of 48 contiguous states and two others added when I was in elementary school. I remember when that happened, sort of. The teachers were greatly excited about it.

The new flags all arrived and there they were; all fifty stars. Fifty states. All so different from each other. All supposedly united as one nation. I can promise you, that was true when I was a child. Now? I’m just not sure anymore. The last ten years has been hard on us as a nation. Unrest leads to a lot of terrible things. Misinformation feeds it. Bias rears it’s ugly head. Not good. Not good at all. We need to be civil again.

The word civil is an interesting one. It relates to ordinary citizens and their concerns. Civil means separate from military or ecclisiastical matters. Wow. Ok, it can also mean a disturbance between citizens of the same country, civil strife. In the law, it relates to private relations between members of a community, which are non-criminal, as in civil suit.

The word civil also refers to being courteous and polite. That is what this world needs more of. Courteous and polite people. You don’t have to be any certain race, religion, education level, income level, or a celebrity to be civil. Let’s start being civil to each other. No more road rage, us vs. them, political parties fighting, and people being cruel to each other. Wouldn’t it be nice? How about if we try it with those around us. Some arguments will never be resolved. I’m just to tired of the constant conflict. Let’s draw a line in the sand. Let’s use each day as a new one to be kind, courteous, civil, and just plain nice. Are you with me? Start nonw. And we’ll see each other tomorrow. Thank you, my friends. God Bless America. Long may her flag wave.

Monday Reflections

During our working lives, we live for the weekends. Well, not everyone does, but it’s thought to be that way. I think it may be the advertising world who paints that picture. How awful we all appear to hate our jobs, sleep-walking through the week to make the weekend last longer than it does. The thing we do to earn a living is an afterthought. We regard the place we spend 40 + hours a week with disdain. What happened to doing what you love? Can a Boomer do what they love? Or is that only for our children and grandchildren?

Sometimes I daydream about life as an author and of earning a living as one. Since I was a single Mom, I had to go with a steady income and good benefits. Those two things were musts. And it made sense. Mom stated, “My grandchildren will starve!” when I told her I was filing for divorce. They didn’t, by the way. I had to make a go of it on my own. Determined to make it, I looked ahead. I accomplished much more than I thought I would. I’m so grateful for all of it. The highs and lows. The good and the bad. I learned from it all.

Today, I am also reflecting on the fun we had this weekend. The Post Car Show was very successful. 128 cars entered. We sold food and drink. People were so happy to be outside again. The weather was overcast and perfect. The Babe and I had fun Saturday with grandson Gavin. Life can be so good, can’t it? With the warm feeling in my heart, I go forward to another day to create and learn. Blessings abound.

For today, I need to concentrate on making it a productive day. The recliner and NETFLIX or Amazon Prime are calling, but I must not answer that call! Right now is the time to put some thoughts into action. We need to act in order to gather momentum. We can be grumpy or act as if we’re not. Acting “as if” we’re not changes our attitude. It improves dramatically. Wallowing in the negative only hurts us. Inaction stalls us. Hoping alone will not make things happen, having faith and putting in the work does.

For today, although I do not feel productive, I will put in work and change my mind from wanting to relax to accomplishing something. As I see the results from consciously changing my mind to accomplishing, I feel productive. And so it goes. What will YOU accomplish today?

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it. I hope you all have a productive day doing whatever you wish to accomplish. Let’s compare notes tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Careful out there.

BELOW: Just a couple cars and motorcycle; David Mike of Guitars for Vets, Nebraska