Snowy Saturday!

Snowy again as I sit in the Home Office at Gretna, Nebraska. I’m glad for the snow falling. That’s an unpopular position here in Nebraska during February. My attitude is the lawn and flowers need it a lot, and it’ll be fine. If it were October and snowing like this, it would be a different story. Just roll with it!

It’s been an interesting morning so far. The Babe is working with a group of people on a remodel project at the VFW Post. The building is old, and it’s been about ten years since they have done any painting inside. It’s time. They are going to replace all the ceiling tile first. I think they had quite a crew assembled as volunteers. It’s so nice we have some younger folks getting involved in a big way. That is so encouraging. Many Veteran organizations are hurting. Many have sold their buildings. Ours is doing well. The Babe is doing a stellar job at keeping track of the money that comes in and goes out. People trust him, and that’s huge.

The pups are both with me and are funny. How can someone not love this?

I’m still mulling over how to establish a powerful brand for each of my book genres. For today, I’d rather just write and read. Oh, and someone left an immense pile of laundry. Why don’t the dogs bark at them when that happens? No, the only interaction is when Goldie steals socks from the dirty laundry or even the clean laundry. It’s not a dryer that makes our socks mateless. It’s Goldie! I can’t speak to your house, but that’s what happens with ours.

I still haven’t heard from my attorney yet regarding the Nebraska Secretary of State approval or rejection of the name for my publishing company. It’s frustrating, I can’t introduce it or get business cards, or establish a bank account without the name and paperwork for the tax id #. Is all of government that slow?

All I can do is to be patient and work on some hanging-on projects from my list. There are many! I should skip any that have to do with cleaning, don’t you think? LOL. There will be plenty of opportunity for tax prep, cleaning out one troublesome kitchen cabinet, and maybe even working on a quilt. If I’m lucky. Yes, there is always something to do.

I signed up for a video class on Tuesday called, “How to Sell Your Book Without Feeling Icky.” Boy, could I use that! It should also help with branding, I think. More on that later! It appears there are more followers on this blog every day. I’m trying to appeal to a wide range and adding the Keto lifestyle helps a lot.

Speaking of Keto, I just about have a new wardrobe! My old jeans fit me again. With room to spare. That hasn’t happened in about nine years. Before Gavin was born, I slipped on the ice (President’s Day) and fell, breaking my ankle in three places. A year earlier, I had two surgeries on the same foot and didn’t gain a pound. It was different this third time, with the break. I got pretty depressed sitting around again. I gained about ten or fifteen pounds. Then more. I stopped caring.

I am definitely avoiding ice and black ice, and do not want to Yo-Yo again. I’d rather stay south of where I am now than deal with losing again. Keto has helped tremendously. The Babe is even glad we are doing it. We both feel better, too. Let’s hear it for regular sized clothes! YAY!

Suddenly Saturday Again!

There is a lot going on here at the Home Office at Raabe Ranch. I need to make a list about making a list, and categorizing everything we need to do in the next week. Not only are there blogs to write, I vow to begin again on my novel, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons.

I know the story will come back to me, after all, I lived with it the whole time I learned to craft the chapters, scenes, character development, and all sorts of things. Sam Tyler is not only my friend, but I hired her last summer and fall as my book coach. She does a marvelous job. I learned so much from her about good writing. She is tough, but very respectful about it. She won’t dash your hopes; to the contrary, she will encourage them along with your confidence. It’s worth the fee. We met at a Nebraska Writers Guild Conference over a year ago. That was before COVID. Here is her contact info if you would like to learn more about her. After an intense summer and fall of hard work, I took one month off (December) and somehow it extended into January, 2021. That’s OK.

I have a 2 p.m. Masterclass today about “The Build a Better Brand Method.” I need to update my “About Me” information. It’s necessary to build a community and a following. I’ve experimented with Tags and Categories, and since I started to blog about being on the Keto Diet, I’ve gained a lot of followers just on that point alone. Whether that’s good or bad, I’m not sure. I have nearly 300 followers for the blog alone. I’m happy with that, since I started at zero nearly two years ago.

Any part of life is dynamic, you never reach a static existence except maybe in death. Nothing happens much after that on this earth. We must change with the times about some things. Communication, actions, networking. All of the brand building is simply 2021 talk for marketing. So there we go. No one talks marketing any more, although that is what we do. I’m interested in finding out how to do that. Since I’m an Indie Author, I need to learn about all of these things. I would learn about them even if I had an agent and a publishing company interested in me. I may look one once I publish a couple books on my own, but I do enjoy this whole process.

The future is ahead of all of us. From this point on, I believe I can pick and choose where this career will take me. The opportunities are about the best they’ve ever been, and the authors I’ve met are all generous people who seem to genuinely want to help each other. Many creatives are like this. They are particular about their circle of people, and will help in any way they can. It amazes me.

How are you spending your present and your future? Are you thrilled to wake every day and do something you love? I’m there, and it’s just too bad I can’t be at a desk, sewing machine, or an easel for longer periods of time. I’d probably be a creating machine! It’s ok, we all can only do what wee do. At any moment, a person my age could have a stroke or another medical mishap and not be able to create anymore. That would seriously hurt me no end. I’m praying for good health and longevity together. Hope springs eternal.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading today. I hope it’s a beautiful day for you. Be kind, be safe, be on the lookout. Help someone out. See you tomorrow!

Saturday Summary

Lots of busy stuff today. My illustrator and I will meet next week which is better anyway. I’ll have more prepared for her. Life always works itself out, doesn’t it? I used the time freed up to try and organize my project better. As I see this:

Email is Great When You Keep It Current!

I realize there are some of these emails need reading, some just need to go. That was my first order of business when I got home. There is a useful week long free class (one hour a day) on Picture Book Challenge Week. I think there will be something to glean from it, so that’s going to be high on the daily to do lists.

I do like knowing when people follow my blog. I receive an email when someone follows it, and I can respond in kind if I think the topics interest me. It’s nice when people like your work and follow it. The number is now over 200, which is just from plugging away at it. It’s posted every day on Facebook, both to my Author page and my personal page, and on Twitter. I need to tweak it to go to Instagram too. I usually forget to do that.

No matter how you spend your time, there comes time to re-vamp. I love writing this blog every day, and I do wonder some times if I wrote two at a time, I could schedule one to be uploaded and work just on the book every other day of so. That could be a plan for the future, freeing up some time for other things. Still trying to tweak time and get the most accomplished.

Up until today, we have always kenneled Goldie when we have left the house. It’s not that we don’t trust her, it’s we think it’s safer for her. Being a crazy kid, if she plays too hard or too long, Lexie often puts her in her place. Lexie is older and the alpha. I did leave them today for about fifteen minutes while I went to the Post Office. Luckily, there was no line. Both girls crowded into the crack of the door from the garage to greet me, and promptly walked away when I patted them on the head. No one hurt each other, no one ate the couch, no one was naughty. What a relief! I suppose I’ll start doing that more often, but not for extended periods of time. The puppy is growing up!

These are stock photos, but the dog really resembles Goldie. As a child did you ever hear about the “Inch Worms?” This one looks more like a tomato worm to me, but I could be wrong. Kinda scary. What a creature!

I don’t know if Lexie would let Goldie sleep on the bed or not. I’m thinking no, and we do need room for both of us. Lexie is territorial, and until we lost Roxie, they both slept in their kennels. When Roxie died, we let Lexie sleep with us. She cried and looked everywhere for Roxie. They were from the same litter and never were away from each other. She mourned for a long time, and sometimes, I think she still does.

I feel a nap coming on, followed by finishing watching some training videos for publishing. It will be a good rest of the day, hope yours is too. Thank you for reading, I’ll see you again tomorrow. Rest. Relax. Renew.

Saturday Night Live

It’s late for me to be blogging today. Not sure why/how I started out so late, did some work on website, watched the Huskers play Ohio today, just a lot of regular Saturday things going on. It’s still been a long day.

The normality of having college football on was nice today. It’s a shame the refs didn’t have their annual eye exams before the game. But it was a loss for us, and there will be another game. No lives lost. Normalcy tasted nice for a little while.

We’re watching a movie, The Outpost. It was the story of the October 3, 2009 massacre of an Outpost in Afghanistan. It sat at the bottom of a valley in the mountains. Like fishing in a barrel. How could the Army really think this was a reasonable place to post up a bunch of soldiers? They rejected repeated requests to close the Outpost. Finally, finally, they did. There were many medals of honor, silver and bronze stars awarded that day, and other honors earned. We see what an American Soldier is. They are love of country, bravery, commitment, training, and dedication. I am proud to call one such man my husband.

I received three new music CD’s in the mail the last two days. More music to create by, won’t that be great? I’m looking forward to hunkering in the next few cold, wet days and creating. Sometimes my mind won’t stay still about what I want to do. Write? Crochet? Blog? Website and Social Media Work? So much to choose from. Next month, I’m going to straighten up my craft supplies, sewing and quilting things, and organize my studio. The Art supplies will go in the Family Room downstairs. I have great storage cubbies for them, they should be together. Organization will make using them much easier and organized.

Thank you for checking in tonight. Tomorrow, I must get started blogging in the morning. I don’t like leaving it until the last thing I do. Some folks have also told me they look for it in the morning to read with their coffee. Or at lunch. Besides, it’s easier to accomplish a blog in the morning when I’m freshest. Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll meet again tomorrow. Be Safe.

Satisfying Saturday

Do you remember Saturday morning as a kid? I do. My brother and I would rise early and watch cartoons. Back in our day, you ate in the kitchen, so there was no eating in the living room where our old black and white TV was. As my little brothers joined the family, nothing changed, except Tom and I were older and did other things on Saturday. Mom had a rule, though, the TV goes off at a certain time, then we all were put to work. No watching Three Stooges (Mom hated them), no watching anything until it was time for the evening news or Biography, it was a Mike Wallace narrated show, telling about Thomas Alva Edison, Adolph Hitler, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower and the like. I didn’t care for it, but Tom did. And Mom didn’t like Lawrence Welk, hated Jackie Gleason, and I’m not sure what else was on. Wait! I know. Gunsmoke, Palladin, Mission Impossible, all shows Mom had to watch. Boring! But we didn’t dare grouse about it.

Word of the day: Grouse. No, I’m not talking about the plump bird that is in season for hunter’s right now. It means complain pettily, grumble, and all the other stuff Tom and I would do. Should have saved our breath. Mom never gave in.

Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if Mom would have caved in when we wanted something she told us “no” about. One thing for sure, we were taught NOT to ask, so there would have been one strike already. If we asked more than once, we could be spanked, which was not uncommon. It happened rarely, she verbally kept us in line. We hated spankings. Dad rarely had to discipline us. There were advantages for him being a night worker and a day sleeper.

I think of that simply because I’ve seen a few of John Rosemond’s FB posts, which are eye opening, to say the least. He is a psychologist who offers parents advice that is timely, tested, and true. He calls out parents who let their kids do what they want and have disastrous results. The post said “your ultimate goal in child-rearing is to help the child out of your life and into their own.” I have to agree with him. While our parents (Mom) probably held on too long, thinking we needed to behave a certain way when we left home, I tried not to offer suggestions only if the kids ask. Sometimes they still call to talk something out, and that’s good. I learned what my mom never has, and that is, don’t offer unless they ask. Hard to do, but necessary.

Our wise, old Uncle Ed Hurley told Mom, “You raise your children to leave you.” Truer words were never spoken. He was a nice old uncle, and he always gave my dad (his nephew) a bad time. And Dad gave it right back. Loved their interaction. Special. Great memories.

It’s a Nap in the Sunshine Kind of Day!

Lexie is so contented on the deck. Might have to join her here in a little while. These dogs are funny. They wimper their, “I’ve got to go NOW!” wimper. And I let them out. As soon as my hiney touches the office chair in the studio, they whine and do a single bark, meaning, “Let me in!” They think I don’t notice. Whatever you do today, get outside for awhile. It’s lovely. The trees are moving slightly, I can hear the ping of the bat from the park three blocks away, and the birds. Time to enjoy!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time, and hope to see you again tomorrow! Peace out!

Sane Saturday

It’s almost a cloudy day today. Too early to tell, you know? The sirens are going off at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska today. First Saturday of the month, the sirens are tested. They sound in case of tornado. In small towns like Gretna, they also sound whenever the Volunteer Fire Department is called to an accident or other type of emergency call. There is no police department here, the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department handles those types of calls.

I admire people who volunteer for service with these agencies. Some of them go on to larger departments where you need to qualify through testing and abilities, some stay put right here in small towns all over America. I’m just glad we have them. We have a good show of help in our neighborhood, across the street is a Volunteer on Gretna’s team, next door are law enforcement people. We have a very safe neighborhood. Great people whom we’re grateful for.

Today is our twenty-second wedding anniversary, the Babe and me. It’s been quite a ride, trust me. Never a dull moment. But it’s been filled with love, commitment, good times, and some not so fun times. It’s been honest, deep, and still holds surprises. We’ve survived most of our kids getting married, the arrival of grandkids, sharing the grief between family losses, friends, and serious illnesses. We’ve both had life threatening illnesses, (thanks to Agent Orange and Cancer), and relied heavily on each other to dig deep and get better. You’re never the same after those things, but you have a lot to lose if you don’t get better. We’ve both helped the other become our best. We’re still working on it, too.

Wedding Day, 10/03/1998, we were a couple of kids – in our 40’s!

Next week, I have some training I signed up for free, it’s regarding all the methods of “social media,” Instagram, TicTok, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin. I have no idea why some would interest me, but it’s not a bad idea to learn about them. I doubt the Babe and I will be doing TicTok. Just keepin’ it fresh, after 22 years! LOL.

Going to work at completing my scene writing today, we have a car show to attend tomorrow. It’s at our VFW Post 2503 at 90th & Military Road in Omaha, NE if you’re close and are so inclined.

I also have some other online courses which I paid for, which will be helpful to learn in addition to the free classes I mentioned. Most of them are about branding yourself, one suggests you hire someone to do the work unless you are an artist yourself. I’ll have to see about that. Everyone has their own advice about everything, so we can hear the information and choose whether to accept it or not.

We all need to be enjoying this Saturday, although it’s a bit chilly outside. My recliner is calling to me now. I can hear it. That swelling is still there, in my neck, just below the ear and creeping over the jawline. I’m just doing Tylenol and hoping it’s nothing serious. I’ll reassess it Monday, and see how things are.

Until tomorrow, thank you for reading. It’s so cool to see we’re adding followers every day. Thanks for that, too. Be Kind, Be Courteous, Be Safe out there, folks. See you tomorrow, ok?