Shame on ???

When a creative person produces a sculpture, a painting, or writes a novel, their family expresses horror. They try to shame the relative into not creating anymore. The family is often afraid a family secret is let out of the bag.

That is the reason many of us are reluctant to let our family read our book, view our painting, or know what we are creating. It’s just easier, you know? Dysfunctional families really know how to take the wind our sails. We become ashamed of what we were previously proud. Everyone but your own family cheers for you and recognizes your gift.

For some of us, that is how it goes. Fear drives those families and their reactions. Pride and humiliation are a breath apart. They don’t want anyone to know what life is like inside that home that they believe looks so perfect. There is no risk of blowing their cover. There is no risk of anyone asking questions. No risk of anyone finding out. The family is less uncomfortable. But not comfortable enough to be honest with themselves or the world.

When I was in high school, and for years before me, it seems the very worst thing in the world for a family was to have their daughter become pregnant “out of wedlock.” Mind you, no one ever questioned the boy or his family. Only the girl. I even remember being told the girls were the ones who had to keep control of the situation when dating. The myth was boys couldn’t control themselves. And the girls aroused slower, and could stop at any point. Boys, no they couldn’t control themselves. Who thought all that up? Wow!

They decimated those myths. Now no one wants their family secrets revealed. Especially not by some crazy artist-type. A hippie artist, or a beatnik poet, or a revolutionary writer. Keep those family skeletons where they belong; in the closet. But not the closet like the sexuality one. The light is being shone on this remarkable art, and those who do not want to see scold us. “How dare you!”

No, how dare you! The world needs to see this, and know it happens, and it’s ok, and not to feel afraid or singled out or feel you’re the only one. Because you’re not. And we’re not. And people understand.

How much the world has changed! And how much the world accepts now it didn’t before. How good for the world. And it’s people. The artists and authors and photographers and creatives have shown the world as they have not seen it before. How wonderful!

Yes, the bigger our world becomes by expanding our thinking, the better it is for us. Growth is going where we’ve not been before. As we continue this week and concentrate on our personal development, let’s keep our eyes on the future. Let’s not concentrate so much on the future that we miss the present every day. And let’s not keep our eyes on the past. We’re not living there anymore. Make the most of these days, the ones right now.

Enjoy this Tuesday; we’re expecting snow Wednesday. Stay safe out there. See you tomorrow, from the snowy tundra.

Weekend, Day 2, Sunday

The prompt for a blog today is, “What snack would you like to eat right now?

Wow, not a brilliant question to ask a starving woman. Nachos would be good, but no jalapeno peppers. Some nice warm Italian Bread with real butter melted on it would be good. The bread with a grilled steak like only the Babe can make. With a nice salad. That would do it.

More squares sewn together for Cody’s quilt. I’d like to finish the quilt top by mid-week. Photos soon! It will be so cute. It’s tough to sit more than a couple hours to sew or do anything. Baby steps.

I’m having a bit of a hard time finishing a book that I want to finish. It’s the third of a series of three written by Colleen Hoover, her “Maybe Someday” series. The first book held my interest in plot turns and twists. In the second book, minor characters from the first book developed, and it explained their relationship. The third book I’m struggling with. I believe it is because I’m much older than the characters and probably the audience. It’s a romance story (which I’m not sure how I feel about the genre). The characters are in their 20s, living on their own, going to school, and learning about life. In my 20’s I was married and having kids.

Is it hard to relate to a story when you are much older or younger than the characters? Is it just a matter of age? What are your thoughts? I am hooked on crime stories but never committed a crime. I’ve never had a ticket or stopped by the police.

What do you think keeps a reader in a story and coming back for more? Please don’t misunderstand; I am not trashing Colleen Hoover’s writing. I’ve read a couple of her books and really liked them. “November 9th,” “It Starts With Us,” and “It Ends With Us.” I know Colleen Hoover has a huge following, and I applaud her. She wrote other novels that I bought. I want to sample a full range of her work. I’d like to read about her career, too.

This will be a full day of more football playoffs and random busy stuff around the house. And when we’re finished? And what snack would we like most? Ice cream. Who doesn’t love that? Have a beautiful Sunday, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Progress Made

In contrast to how I felt last night, I’m thinking this The Artist’s Way is what I missed out on last year when I was struggling with creativity. I needed this when I bought it, but I didn’t pursue it.

I heard the voices of people during my younger years, telling me, “You never have been able to draw faces! The clothes are fine, but you should just forget about drawing.” And so it went for so many people my age when they were kids. Girls were rarely encouraged to go to college; Mom told me I could go but I’d get married before I could finish, and I really shouldn’t waste my time and money. It’s how the world was.

Usually, the negative feedback we’ve had previously in life is what we hear when we’re adults with finally enough time and money to pursue your dreams. In the past five years, I’ve stocked up on supplies. Supplies for all the dreams I want to have. Learning to draw. Learning to Paint. Learning to Write. Building my own Website. What about a blog? Yes, I think a blog is a good idea. We should write every day. And I have for over #178 days now. Not missed a blog. That is pretty cool. I’m proud of that. Some are great, some aren’t so great, but it’s just fun to do.

The first chapter in The Artist’s Way is about Recovering a Sense of Safety. It means protecting our Artist spirit against negativity, which is in our brains and minds and reinforced over and over. We need to be encouraged. We need to play in our ideas, paintings, and words. They will find their way to where they should be. It’s part of the process. Yes, I feel safe. I know I’ll get there. It’s all part of things I need to try out before I die. Hopefully later than sooner.

The name of this website is Kathy Raabe, Author and Creative Soul. I’ve known for some time I am creative. I need to express that in more than one way. Quilting is important to me. I just got back to it after more than a year of concentrating only on writing. I made some progress, but not what I wanted. Considering I’m 70 years old, and I want to learn to draw, paint, and keep quilting, sewing, etc., etc; etc., I need to do all of these things, not just one at a time. I think that is what will make me happiest and produce more creative things.

I will figure out how to schedule my time, and I need to follow my schedule. That needs to become a habit. I will be on my way to that by the time I’m finished with this commitment to Artist’s Way. Thank you, Julia Cameron. I’m so enthused about what I’m creating!

I had the pleasure of visiting with Kimberly Faith Hickman this afternoon. Some extra fabric of mine can be used by the McGuigan Arts Academy for costumes or crafts. I’m delighted to share my stash with them. It will be used and appreciated. Stay tuned folks, it’s going to be an exciting year. See you tomorrow!

Creativity Contract With Myself

To continue with The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I’m finished with the first 25 pages, describing what to do and the key concepts; The Artist’s Date, and The Morning Pages. I think the Artist’s Date will be easier for me to do. I know many people who will let me view their work and talk with them, and receive great inspiration.

I need to review about the morning pages. It really sounds like something I don’t want to do. I need a nice journal to capture those thoughts, whatever they are. Cameron has included a contract in her introduction. She requests people to make a commitment to themselves to complete the course in 12 weeks. Gosh, this will take me into late March! WOW! A lot can happen in 12 weeks.

Tomorrow, I will start. I’d like to see how it goes, getting going on the first week of reading. I think I can catch up on the reading and exercises in time to start the second week. It’s exciting to begin. Speaking of the beginning, I signed up for a series of painting sessions online. It was on a big sale, and I need to find which day of the week will be best for this extra activity. Gosh, that could even be my Art Date once a week.

The Babe is putting together three large book cases so we can finish unpacking after 8 years. More de-cluttering ahead! We can finally donate books we no longer use and have some extra room. No one wants great aunt Martha’s candy dish. You know? No, kids, we won’t make you take it. Not to worry.

It’s only 4 days into the New Year and things are going great! How about for you? We’ll get there, together. Invite your friends along on our journey. We’ll all work on regaining our creativity. Stay safe out there. And we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Basic Principles of Creativity

It’s interesting to me, finally making time to learn “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. As I said yesterday, I’ve been in a slump. I want to be more productive creatively, and I have identified areas I need to change.

Ms. Cameron sets out to list the ten basic principles on page three of the Introduction! Talk about knocking your socks off right in the beginning! While talking about Spiritual Electricity, Ms. Cameron lists these principles: (these are directly from the book, not my words).

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creativity force infusing all of life— including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to exploring our creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

(Back to my ideas, words, and musings.)

I’m greatly enthused by reading these principles. Of course creativity is part of the natural order. Have you ever met a kid that doesn’t pretend to do/be something? They create worlds they are part of, they learn and grow in those creative endeavors. We shouldn’t discourage them. But we do. Everyone eventually is expected to fit in and comply.

The arts are where we can keep that alive. Kids need somewhere to be themselves, who they are meant to be. Music, acting, and art are where they can be. The more they learn, the more they can create. My friends at McGuigan Arts Academy do that very thing, here in Omaha, Nebraska. These folks are helping to water the creative seeds in all the student’s minds. Kids that are all talented and need to be encouraged what to do with it. It’s an amazing thing to see and experience. If you can make it possible for your children to experience classes in the arts, creativity, and growth, please make that possible. I was lucky and had piano lessons. My teacher lived across the street, and she wanted me to play classical music. I was more interested in Rock and Roll music. I quit after 8th grade.

Cameron suggests reading these principles every day. Eventually, we’ll be able to see our progress. Things we notice we didn’t notice before. I’ll take note of what changes in my outlook, the things I notice. I think this is pretty cool. And as for now? The Babe and I have some appointments today, and to navigate whatever Mother Nature left us last night while our family in South Dakota got about another foot of snow. Be safe out there, and we’ll see you tomorrow. Be Safe!

Happy Birthday, Dad

On this day, in 1924, a baby boy was born to Thomas M. Jewell, Sr and his wife Mary. There was a two-line front page notice of his birth on the front page of the Omaha World Herald, where he worked from 1952 until his retirement in 1988. He passed away from lung cancer in December, 1988. If he were still with us, he would be 99 years old today.!

As a kid, it was always fun relating the story about him being the first New Year’s baby in 1924. They didn’t give people a bunch of gifts back then, just a mention of the news. I think Grandma was about 30 when she had Dad. He was her first child. Others followed, and they were all healthy. Most people in those days had children younger than 30. Glad they were all ok, and Gram was, too.

Sometimes, I wish I could tell Dad all the stuff I’m going to do. I know he’d tell me, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’ll get there.” That was a lot of support. It’s what he told me when I told him I wanted to graduate from college. I was about 38 then, and it was just before he died. We had such wonderful talks then. He told me what good kids I had, and not to worry about them, they would turn out ok.

Hey, Dad. I named my Jewell Publishing LLC after you. It was a brilliant idea, seeing how you were a pressman at the local paper. When I was a little girl, I imagined working on the paper as a reporter. I thought it would be so cool to write some stories you would supervise the printing of. Kind of all in the family thing.

I would have to go to college and have a degree, even in 1970. Our family didn’t view college as necessary for a girl. Mom suggested I go to beauty school. I got married. No regrets. My kids were worth it. And I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Management of Human Resources. Within a few years, I couldn’t work anymore. Disability. God laughs when we tell him our plans, doesn’t He?

I believe you would love the Babe as much as I do. You are both kind-hearted men. You were a kind man, but kept it under that fedora you wore. Tommy Bauer and I are friends on this invention called Facebook. He told me how you’d spread sand out at the bottom of the alley so the kids with sleds would naturally stop before they’d jet out into the heavy traffic of F Street. I love hearing things about you I didn’t know. Glad you taught us to problem solve like you did. We all come by it naturally. Lucky us!

I wish you were still here so I could teach you about the Internet and Kindles for books. I know you’d be interested in it all. And I’d be so proud to show you all about it. You’d be amazed at how many books you can have electronically. I know, I prefer print, too. It’s not the same, but has some benefits.

This bright, shiny New Year is unfolding before us. I will publish my book this year. A book for kids. It got lost in this thing called life. I will promote my blog, books, website, and other creativity. I’ve decided I’m going to schedule days for all the things I’m interested in. I need to do something different every day instead of finishing one thing, then go on to something else. My brain doesn’t work that way anymore.

Sometimes I feel guilty for living longer than you did. After working as hard as you did, you were robbed of the rest and relaxation you should have had in your retirement. I do believe we’ll all be together someday. And I can ask you all the questions I have. I could hear your stories and learn all I didn’t know about you.

I’m spending the day with wonderful thoughts of you, Dad. You were such a good father, son, brother, worker, employee, neighbor, and such a kind gentleman. I’ll always remember that about you. You’d love the Babe. In fact, you could have had a part in our lives crossing. I believe in divine intervention.

To all my friends, followers, relatives, fellow authors, humans, creative people, have a Happy New Year. 2023 is our year. Don’t look back. It’s going to be great. Let’s cheer each other on. Be kind. See you tomorrow!

Another Repair Man Visit

Gosh, it’s been rare for us to need repair guys, but two appliances within a week? Holy smokes!

Last week, it was repair #2 for the Samsung Ice Maker on our 7 year old refrigerator.

This week, the Samsung dryer has been making some noises. I figured a belt was slipping or something. Yesterday, it made a horrible noise. I made the appointment for Friday morning. They called at 2 p.m. and told us they could get here today. Bonus! We don’t have to be dressed at 8 a.m.

I requested the same repairman, since they go by area. Luckily, he was qualified to do the repair we needed. He said it was amazing; we got 7 years out of the dryer. Most repairs are required at a couple of years. Another faulty part. Poor designs. Is this what America does now? He seems to know his stuff, and someone I’m not worried about letting in our home, if I’m home alone. That’s an important issue in today’s world. The company he works for is Nebraska Home Appliance. I’ve used them for over 20 years, so it’s a company with standards that are followed.

The Babe and I talked. It’s not great having two breakdowns in a week. What is good about it is we have the money to pay for it. Neither of had spare cash lying around when we were younger.

In the early years after my divorce, my dryer stopped working in January. I asked my brothers for help. They couldn’t promise when they could look at it for me, couldn’t commit to anything. Mom kept telling me to just wait for them. I waited until July, the same year. Six months of drying all of our clothes on lines in the basement. Underwear, socks, towels. It reminded me of when I was a kid, and we didn’t have a dryer.

I got fed up waiting. I went to Sears over 4th of July and bought a dryer. Couldn’t afford payments, but we needed it. I’ll never wait that long again for help. It never came, and I realized I couldn’t rely on anyone but myself. Lesson learned.

We could choose to be upset, blah, blah, blah, or be grateful because we could get it handled without too much disruption to our life. We’re choosing gratitude. How about you? No matter what it is, things could usually be worse. And 9 of 10 times, I’m grateful they aren’t.

Let’s all have a great day today. Only two left in 2022. See you tomorrow!

Reminding Myself

We had a lot of traffic at the blog with the post Friday about our grandson’s birthday. He’s such a special guy. Thanks for reading about family.

We had a segment Friday in my Intentional Peer Support class about Addiction and Recovery. The speaker was amazing. He told his own story of addiction and recovery. I am amazed by the number of people our instructor knows and the many areas of expertise they possess. And it’s all from living life and correcting our mistakes along the way. The more the speaker told us about Narcotics Anonymous, the more I wanted to get the book he referred to, just to read. The passage I found fascinating was referring to the concept of craving vs. addiction. From his explanation, there is a huge difference. I want to learn more about it.

Any recovery from addiction or alcoholism entails the same kind of changes to our lives as building new habits over old ones, and a new life in place of the old one. It’s not as simple sounding as one might think. Instead of looking at the whole of recovery or the changes we often need to make in life to live longer, be healthier, start your own business, etc, we need to do one small thing at a time. They add up over time, with consistency, hard work, and practice of new skills. And you never stop learning. Not until they throw dirt over you. I pray I’ll be able to learn that long, and share it with others.

This time of year can be difficult for many people. For those with families that are not close, the Norman Rockwell painting of perfect families sitting down to perfect meals with perfect gifts just isn’t relevant. In fact, it’s more the exception than the norm. It can hurt a lot to be alone on holidays, have nowhere to go, or even to gather and be uncomfortable the whole time.

I used to see houses with many vehicles parked in front on every holiday. It made me feel like I was missing out. We didn’t need social media for FOMO. Madison Avenue had the images in our brains already. Eventually, many families have become spread out all over the country, even all over the world. Gathering is very difficult. People don’t cook like they used to. Many kids don’t know their grandparents, and I find that sad. I’m sad we don’t see the kids in Colorado as much as we’d like to, but we receive lots of photos to keep track of how they are growing. And through the magic of video, we can hear them talking, and how they read to each other. So sweet.

After this Thanksgiving, I no longer feel like I’m missing out on anything. Two couples we know lost the wives this fall; one was sudden, the other from ALS. Either way is bad, watching steady deterioration or never getting to say goodbye. We don’t get a choice in how our loved ones are called home. All we can do is prepare in the best way we know how, and talk with our loved ones. Spouses, especially. But we don’t get to pick. We just get to pick up the pieces.

Think about what you would like in your heart this holiday season, and find out how to put it there. It’s become easier for me to think about it from a place of gratitude. Thoughts form differently around it than those formed from envy, want, and concentrating on what you don’t have. Try it. You’ll learn what I mean. It may take more than a month, though. It’s worth the wait.

As you enjoy this last day of Thanksgiving weekend, think of how we want to spend the last weeks of this year and of how we want to grow next year. We may have to regroup multiple times and replan, but the important thing is to do it. Get started now. You’ll be glad. See you tomorrow!

Saturday Summation.

What a very nice day today. The dedication of the Patriot’s Patio at VFW Post 2503 was at 1 p.m. It was a perfect day outside, and the remarks were short and sweet. The crews that did the work were all very talented men, top craftsmen, one and all. What a joy to see their creation. There was a pictoral history of the progress from day to day, and the men were collectively proud. I love this stuff. It would have been perfect if the Babe’s brother in law Lou Riedmann were still with us. He would have been equally as proud.

This month’s edition of Writer’s Digest suggests Journaling as a Superpower. Also suggested, we begin journaling. It is basically a diary. One type of Journaling could be a novel journal. What a great idea! A novel idea even. Too soon? I suppose.

I’m tempted to journal this NaNoWriMo. It is described as a a collection of novel-in-progress. What are your goals for the scene, what clues do we need to plant? List 10-15 different directions my character might go, based on events of the story. Try different points of view for the character.

Also, an idea journal should be handy. Any ideas for stories, short stories, chapters, novels, etc. should be recorded. I’m liking these journaling ideas. Last night, we talked about journaling being important in learning in peer support. A person learns a lot about how they think and process memories through journaling.

All the words I write, in my novel or not, count as words to be considered for NaNoWriMo. They don’t have to be just chapters, blogs, or notes to myself. It will be good to count everything, and definitely add to the final tally. I hope the flow is conducive to more writing. We’ll have to finesse it as we go along. I’m getting kind of excited. Back to writing Ahhh! It’s been a long time. Remind me of those excited feelings in about a week when I’m tearing my hair out, ok?

It’s been a long day and that king-sized bed looks pretty good to me right about now. Have a great rest of the evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow, ok? Thanks for reading.

Happy Birthday, Frankie!

Today is a double celebration for me. My son Frankie was born this day in 1971. The day I became a mother is one of the best of my life. And, also on this day, in 2009, I had a lumpectomy, and became cancer free. This is another best day/event of my life. And on the same day! I’m a lucky woman, God has been good to me, and for that I am so grateful!

We had another great class tonight. We are learning so much about talking with people and establishing relationships in which they feel comfortable to share. Lots of reading to complete before tomorrow.

We have another weekend on the horizon. It should be one of temps in the 80s, and I’m hoping we finish some outdoor tasks. And sitting out with a good book would be good.

What’s up with the stinkbugs again? I had over 20 of them in the kitchen the other day. They are not harmful, they’re just nuisances. But what good do they do? I’m hard pressed to find out what use they are. It appears they also came from Asia, a few years ago. Anyone know anything else about them? I wish they’d go away, is what I’m wishing.

It’s been a long day, and I’m ready to call it over. We’ll do the same thing over tomorrow, and hope to see you then. Take care until then.