Forgiveness is a Process.

There is a saying about Irish Alzheimer’s. It’s when you forget everything but the grudges. BOOM!

Yes, I’m proud of my Irish heritage. Although we have a reputation for being deep in the drink, we don’t have more alcoholics than other ethnic groups. It’s something all of us heard growing up, and the Italians were the Mafiosa, The Polish were, well. Mentally challenged. The Scottish and Jewish were stingy. We all believed the half-truths that kept our ethnic groups apart just like religion does. The Irish Catholic Church was in one neighborhood, the Polish Catholics in another, the Italian Catholics, yet another. We based segregation on not only ethnicity, but religion to boot.

And we were segregated. My mother is 92 years old, and her parents thought ill of Italians; none of her sisters or her could date Italian “Mama’s Boys.” Mom told me once if Grandpa Bobell was alive, I wouldn’t have been allowed to marry the Croatian I married. My German Grandpa was very much hateful towards the Croatians. They divided the country after WWII, and they disappeared with the Slavic nations. Croatians had darker skin than Germans, and there was a prejudice about that, too. Crazy world, isn’t it?

I find it pretty interesting to read about the history of Omaha, Nebraska. My family grew up there, and so did my brothers and I. My dad lived within a mile of where he grew up, attending the same Catholic Church he did for his entire lifetime. That’s pretty amazing. Except for that stint in Europe and the one in Korea, courtesy of the United States Army, his world seemed pretty small. I can imagine the prayers of a young man, 19 years old and with the Medical Corps, praying to God to get him home safely, I’m sure he had PTSD. He had to, with what he witnessed. My dad was the most forgiving person I knew; he always told me to give people the benefit of the doubt. After the second time they double-cross you, there is a pattern and you shouldn’t trust them anymore. Good advice. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Forgiving someone isn’t a one and done thing. Some hurts are so deep, so soul-piercing, you need to heal before you can even think of forgiving. Sometimes, it’s just not a wise thing to do. Yes, some folks don’t deserve your forgiveness. That isn’t the point. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for others. Grudges are heavy to carry around. They take all of your energy. Wanting to forgive is not the same as willing to forgive. There in lies the rub.

Logic tells me I need to forgive. Emotion tells me, “After what they did??” Logic tells me being human makes us imperfect. Emotion tells me to hit the bricks, the quicker the better. My Catholic upbringing tells me if I want God to forgive me, I need to forgive others. You got me there, big time. God doesn’t do things He doesn’t want to. Humans have to sometimes.

That said, forgiving is Divine. It doesn’t mean you forget. That’s a very important lesson we don’t learn. At least I didn’t as a kid. It is foolish to give someone who deeply hurt you the same access to you afterwards. Caution and common sense must prevail. Only in a second chance can you learn if this is habitual behavior or if it was a onetime occurrence.

I’ve been in work groups with people in them who knew more about systems, etc. than the boss did. They usually were curt and rude to co-workers. But management allowed it. Not a friendly work environment. It stinks to be new on a team and be treated like you’re stupid by a co-worker. Once I worked with a woman who towered over everyone. She would stand above your workspace, hitting her fist into her free hand while she told you how to do something she didn’t think you did correctly. How hostile! I’m glad those days are long gone. Bullies aren’t acceptable, never have been.

Being retired, I get to choose which groups of people I associate with. I love like-minded people. People who want to make the world a better place, who want to help others along the way. Things flow better when you’re united by a common cause. I’m enjoying the friendships I’ve built with other Nebraska Writers. It’s mostly online, and that’s ok. They’re a wealth of information, and I hope to sit with them and listen to them talk. I learn so much by listening. My dad always told me, “If you want to know what’s going on, sit and listen. Keeping your mouth shut and your ears open, and you’ll know as much as the others know.”

Dad’s advice worked when dealing with executives or homeless Veterans. Respecting people is never something I want to overlook. It’s important, no matter what their position is. And sometimes we need to forgive things that people are not sorry for. That’s a genuine test of your character and will. No, you don’t want to forgive. The person isn’t sorry. They’ll never apologize. Be the bigger person. Free yourself from carrying that grudge. It’s amazing. I applaud you.

This is a cloudy, chilly fall day outside. I’m listening to our friend Rick Tiger’s music. I’m so sad COVID took him way too soon. His wife, Joyce has so many beautiful love songs he wrote with her in mind. They’re as lovely as she is. The words in my head make me imagine the way he would sing, and the look of love he had for his bride. One song talks about it if were his last day on earth, he’d ask the Lord if he could wait outside the pearly gates and wait for her. Joyce, he is waiting for you. Please don’t rush. But he’ll be there, waiting. What a lovely man he was. He still is, in our memories. I enjoyed his outlook so much. So hard to believe there will not be a Rick Tiger night again at the VFW. It was fun.

After having COVID these past two weeks, I woke this morning finally feeling human again. Maybe it’s the fact the headache finally subsided. It was just a dull ache. The brain fog is lifting, I think. I’ve thought of Rick so much during this illness. I was lucky to not get pneumonia. We know someone hospitalized with COVID pneumonia right now. It is a situation we’re praying over, intently. All I can do it pray. For those who lost loved ones, and who will lose loved ones. Just know we care. We forgive you. And we ask God to be good to you. Take care out there. Let’s see each other again tomorrow.

Wonderful Wednesday!

Today is a doubly wonderful Wednesday. It signifies two milestones in my life. And I celebrate them both today.

First, it is my oldest son’s birthday; Frankie, how is it you are 50 years old? And you were born on a Wednesday, too. Fifty years of learning (both of us), fifty years of enjoying watching you grow into the good man you are. For losing your hero when you were 17, you have stayed on the good path. Grandpa Jewell was your buddy. I’ll never forget how he kept your photo from turning two years old on his dresser. It was his favorite picture of you. It’s a good one. I hope you have a great day today. I will, with my memories of your life. You have always been a gift to me. We’ll celebrate next week, when I’m off quarantine.

The second way this day is wonderful, is it’s the 12th anniversary of my becoming cancer-free. I was told you could pick your date, or event, that signified the most to you during your journey. October 20th was the first day the surgeon had free. I reasoned it was a monumental day in my life; I knew it wouldn’t creep my son out being his birthday. That’s just the kind of man he is.

Onward! The lump couldn’t be felt, but showed on the imaging. The surgeon took a baseball-sized mound of tissue to make sure the margins were good. I opted to not have reconstruction; after all, I’m just a little lopsided. Who but the Babe and I will see it? Well, everyone who examines you forever. The radiation was rough; I blistered so badly, right in the worst spot, where the band of the bra fits close to your body. No bras for a very long time. I wore sports bras, mostly. Now, I have Ruby Ribbon camis; they adjust to lopsided breasts, and I wish I’d known about them earlier. I highly recommend them. I have a whole drawer of them. They help me feel like a girl again.

From this vantage point, it’s hard to believe all the roads traveled in the last 50 years with my son. He is everything good about life, along with his brother and sister. I feel so fortunate to have them. Reminders of the good I’ve done in life. And love to see the good they do for others. Life has been good to me, and to them. And it’s not over yet. We’ll get busy back at that novel soon. After the COVIC cough clears, I’ll be able to do a Zoom meeting with an illustrator to see if we’re a good fit or not. These are exciting times to be alive. Yes, you need to look for the good some days, and most days it’s easy to find.

Before the afternoon nap/reading session, I need to do a little cleaning up around here. We’re dividing the dog toys into two bins; one for upstairs, one for downstairs. It is time to clear the way to the fireplace and get ready to hunker in. I will move dog bed and toys. They’ll survive! They love their routine everything: feeding time, places, wake-ups, all of it. The companionship surely adds to the day, especially being quarantined. Furry friends are the best. Give yours a little extra love today, just because.

Be careful out there; you never know what’s around the corner. We have the ability to make every day a good one. I hope yours is! See you tomorrow.

It’s Very Real

Politics, conspiracy theories, and hatred aside, I can tell you COVID is real. The Babe and I both have it and a couple family members have it too. Some of us had the vaccination, some didn’t. This is not a discussion about all of that.

What this is about is the whole other gambit of things; how does it feel physically, and emotionally? We know some people who lost their battles with this disease. My heart is aching for their surviving families now. The nurse who tested me at THINK last Tuesday was excellent. I mentioned not knowing where I caught this, and concern if I have passed it on. She said, “We don’t need to be about blame here. It can be from anywhere. It can go anywhere. She was a hundred percent correct. Many folks are about blame and causes. The Babe said, “It’s probably just a matter of time.” That could be true, too.

It seems I blamed my late allergy flare/asthma flare on the Cottonwood tree. It must have been COVID. The congestion, the coughing, the fatigue. Trouble is, it behaves like other chronic illnesses. Body aches? Yes, I’ve got them all the time. How are we supposed to know the difference? We’re not. That’s our doctor’s job. I feel pretty foolish, actually. Never thought I’d catch it. I’m grateful to God we had the immunizations. It could have been so much worse. The key is keeping your oxygen level up. Mine was under 90 until I consciously inhaled and exhaled to use the full extent of my lungs. It came up to 93 then. I was breathing more shallow simply because it kept me from coughing. Not a good thing to do, apparently.

The most bothersome part of this, at least for me, is the congestion, and the drainage that shifts into overdrive when lying down. It just doesn’t let up. No wonder the lungs become so compromised. What a horrible experience for those who can’t breathe. I’ve done my share of praying during the past week. The brain fog that goes with it is nothing new for me, either. I threw in the towel last week and said I took a few days off blogging to just take a break. Today, I thought I’d better at least try to do something normal, so here we are.

Today I’m not sure if I truly am better or if it’s still too close to call. Seriously. I can’t tell. I just don’t want to fall out of the habit of writing every day. That’s the driving factor. Are we afraid? A little. I wouldn’t say I’m sure we’re going to be fine and mean it, because we may not be. I can only have faith we will. I know I’m tired of this illness and all that goes with it. The media, the scares, the reality of learning it has you in its hold. Sobering thoughts.

I’ve struggled with sharing this information at all; sure, it’s deeply personal. Many will think I should have kept it to myself. I think in the grand scheme of things, being honest is what I’m about, and I think if nothing else, there could be some level of learning here. Honestly, we did not think we’d come down with COVID. We’ve been faithful to being careful; we’ve followed the rules to the letter. Sure, we’re as tired as everyone else of the masks, the news, the protocol. This pandemic is not going anywhere soon; it’s just a cold, hard fact in all our lives. We need to deal with this in our lives the best we can and let the world continue on.

Upon hearing the news of General Colin Powell passing away from COVID complications, I am devastated. I’m devastated when a regular person loses their life to this illness; as well as a well-known person, someone I deeply admire. I think Powell and Condoleezza Rice would have made a difference in America as President and Vice President. This terrible disease cares not who it takes or leaves behind. It makes all of us humble; it makes us all pray, and I pray we come out on the other side of it. I feel optimistic about our recovery; things are good so far. Of course, things can always go wrong; no one has a crystal ball.

I’

m still going to blog this week. I need to get some sense of normal back. I think we can place a pickup order for groceries and such. We’re sure we’re coming out on the right side of this. I’m going to still plan working on the novel. I’m short on concentrating much this week (again). That’s part of the charm of COVID and I hope it gets better. In the meantime, be positive as you can, and know it will all be ok. It has to be. See you tomorrow!

Back to Work

In case you didn’t read the blog yesterday, I’m celebrating! I submitted my first chapter from my book, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons,” to the Nebraska Writers Guild, and they have judged it suitable for printing. I am over the moon about it, and celebrate over and over in my imagination.

And now, here we are, in the knowledge I’m really going to be a published author, aside from being published on my website. And no, I have no agent, but have a contract with NWG for Chapter One. Baby Steps! To get back in the swing of things, I need to look very carefully at the first six chapters and pick up from there. Glad the NaNoWriMo is coming up, It should be a good catalyst for connecting outline, thoughts, words, and paper. Woo Hoo! Picture me done with it before we know it!

Of course, all things are subject to change. How I know that! Flexibility is important if you want to create, especially during these times. Nothing is normal, you know? It was, then it wasn’t, and now we just aren’t sure. I truly hope our beautiful planet gets another thousand years or so. Maybe a grandchild will get an inspiration to save the planet!

It’s late, and I have no snappy jokes left for the evening. I hope you all are in a good place this evening, and that your tomorrow is wonderful. I’m going to make a priority tomorrow to communicate well. Yes, It’s a long shot, but it needs to be done. It will only do us all good. Ignore the smack about IG and FB behind a bad influence. It’s all crazy! More on that later. Let’s just decide for ourselves, ok? Hoping so, that you’ll think for yourselves. I am all about that. Take care, and know tomorrow is another day. Take care! See you tomorrow!

Foggy From Allergies

I think the giant Cottonwood tree in the wetlands behind the neighbor’s yard is getting it’s final revenge on me. He was always a formidable foe, all majestic as he towered over the neighborhood. At least, he did until the monsoon rains fell this summer. Very. Slowly. The. Giant. Tree. Fell. Over. Mostly in the neighbors yard. We were grateful it didn’t destroy our fence. The part that hung over our yard has been removed; thanks, Babe! But the tree pollen!

When we had our new A/C serviced this summer, the technician found tons of cotton from the beast of a tree in the new unit. Bad for the operation! And the stuff fell all summer, until August, when the tree fell. It probably needs cleaning out again. Not to mention, this tree has kicked my butt this summer. This flare up now is one of the worst ever. The City of Gretna hasn’t figured out how to remove the fallen yet, so it still sits. The wild turkeys of the area have used it for a jungle gym at times. That is fun to watch, it drives Lexie and Goldie crazy. This ungraceful bottom-heavy turkey tried to run, then jump up into the branches located about eight feet off the ground. It made it, but sagged down until he scampered (well, lumbered) up higher off the ground and jumped to neighboring branches. Very clumsy!

The header photo today is of grands Joell and Addison. I believe it was from 2019. I just reached one year of breast cancer survivorship. The Babe and I, along with his son and daughter, and their kids, did the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. It was a beautiful memory. We walked a mile (back when I could do that!) and the kids were so sweet. They were about three years old. Such a sweet memory! Joell and his family arrive later tonight, so we will get to see them after they get to Tracy’s house. It’ll be an intense few days before they have to leave again on Sunday. More photos to follow!

I’m going to do some mindless tasks and take a nap. Nothing exciting. Have a good rest of the day, and look on the bright side whatever happens today. See you tomorrow

Beautiful Tuesday

Fall is my favorite time. Until Winter snows fall. And Spring blossoms forth. And Summer sunsets light the sky. Oh, I love it all. The fall mornings are crisp and beautiful and turn into summery afternoons. We go through several seasons of clothes in a week.

Had another conference this morning with PT for Mom. It will start on Friday at home, and I think she’ll do ok. She likes the therapist and that’s half the battle, you know? Older folks instantly like or dislike people coming into their homes. She’s open to people coming into her home. She can be a handful, depending on the day. Most older folks are. The header photo is Mom’s Cat, Hugo, the other day, watching the nurse type on her laptop. He was fascinated.

My list of stuff to do in two days isn’t quite finished yet, but it should be done by later in the day. That five hours FB and Instagram were out are revealing how much can be accomplished within those hours. I was also focused and wanting to get part of the closet cleaned up. Straightening up is really symbolic. We are more tense and less creative when we feel cluttered in mind or in surroundings. When our surroundings are neat, tidy, and clean, we are more productive and creative. Try it. You’ll like it!

I’d better go finish that list before it gets carried over to yet another day, keeping me from being caught up. I could use a creativity boost! Take care this evening, be kind to someone, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow! Thanks for reading.

Simply Saturday

Today started pretty early, since the Babe had to go to the Post before the Craft Show started, then go to a funeral with the Honor Guard. It’s end of the month, too, with the books needing balancing for the Post, so he’ll be busy the next few days. Always is. I need to get some plants taken care of this weekend, because before I know it, the frost will take care of what I haven’t. It always happens before I am ready.

It’s not like it’s a surprise or anything. Once the days shorten, football starts, the chill is in the air, and Chili tastes so good. It always happens, so why does it still surprise me? I could not tell you. I always think I have more time. I have a couple mum plants to plant in the ground. Hopefully, they’ll put enough roots forth to live through the winter. Then I can add a couple more next year. And I have succulents to transplant from an outdoor container into separate pots. They’ve done really well this year. And I’m ready for winter to come. Well, let’s start first with fall. OK?

I’m having champagne with breakfast tomorrow – it’s our 23rd Anniversary! It’s such a wonderful reminder of the day that united us. I love them as much as birthdays. We weren’t sure how many anniversaries we’d have due to the Babe’s ischemic heart disease. It’s almost silly how worried/scared I was of losing him early in our marriage. I was so used to finding an excuse why relationships wouldn’t last, I had an idea picked out already; he had bad luck with arterial blockage. How self-defeating that was. I didn’t think I deserved a relationship, much less could keep one together. But this one was special. It has lasted. It’s lasted through illness, retirement, disability, cancer, and heart disease. I’m so proud to be this man’s wife. It’s perfect for me, and for him.

And it’s not just this man; it’s also his family. My bestest geek friend is the Babe’s brother-in-law. We just “get” each other. I/T people have weird senses of humor. No one else in the family “gets” it, but we do. And the babies in the family! They’re beautiful. God is good. I am one lucky woman. Have a beautiful evening, (GO HUSKERS!), and see you tomorrow!

I Formed My Habits; and My Habits Formed My Future. – j.t.

Wow! That must make me accountable for what I’ve done! Well, I guess we all are. Aren’t we? Yes, even before we knew better and learned what NOT to do. The sooner we accept that, the better outcomes we’ll have. After all, our habits, good or bad, are learned in our environment.

When we’re kids, we’re at our parent’s mercy. Really, we are. They can only do as well as they know how to do. And it goes on and on, until someone realizes the habits aren’t healthy and they need something different in their lives. The one who raises issue with “how it’s always been” is usually criticized unmercifully. But then again, they’re kind of used to it. Put downs sting, but you don’t let on people hurt you. You have a quick wit to answer all sorts of accusations. But inside, you’re dying. And it’s your family who can hurt the most. After all, they have the best ammunition to use. Old habits die hard.

Fifty-one years ago, I got married for the first time. He had a low draft number (bad reason to get married!), and it seemed likely he’d go to Vietnam, like every boy from high school who didn’t go to college. Of course, Mom was against it, but we knew better, as every 18 and 19 year old can tell you. Mom was 19 when she married Dad, and he was 25. If she could have explained why “you just shouldn’t,” I may have listened. Or not. She said if I was getting married, she would plan it or it wouldn’t happen. She planned everything. She is a person who must be in control, so she was in her glory.

In 1982, 11 1/2 years later, I told her I was getting a divorce. Her only comment was, “My grandchildren will starve.” I felt surer they wouldn’t. They didn’t. Her habit is controlling, and she reacts with anger when things don’t fall into place. I had one person, my Aunt Carol, who knew why I had to leave. I was becoming an angry person. I didn’t want to be like Mom was. I love her still, and she honed her habits out of survival in the home and environment she grew up in. She can’t help it, and may not want to at this point. I feel sorry for her inasmuch as she holds her anger like a shield, and is constantly in react mode.

The events of the last month have made an impact on her. She is no longer angry and confrontational about using her walker; she sees it as freeing, she can get around better with less physical danger. Finally! Some progress. Her habits can change. And it will impact her future by enabling her to stay in her beloved home longer. How much longer? I’d be foolish to guess, it’s whenever God decides she needs to go somewhere else.

I’ve had a lot of mindsets/habits to change in my life. Equality for women was a big thing I had to recognize and participate in. Luckily, I continued my education while working and entered the I/T field, where you are paid according to your skills. I personally disliked the old wives tale of analysts not being able to communicate effectively, I was able to show our internal customers I could communicate well and participate in problem solving while speaking to them in English, not tech talk.

I raised my kids with encouragement and support. I wanted them to be independent people, they all learned how to clean, do laundry, and cook. They also knew they would be punished if they did things that were wrong. They knew I would trust them until I couldn’t, and that would be on them. I know we were a good family. Now, we’re in three different states and rarely see one another. Sure, I miss them. I also remember I taught them to take care of themselves, and that’s what they’re doing.

What habits do I need to change? Several. We’ll talk about that another day. What habits do you need to change? Are you willing to do the work? It takes consistency towards a new behavior to change a habit. Working out, eating healthy, losing weight, lowering your blood sugar, all take a big effort. You can get there to do anything you decide you can do. Even change your life! I did. I’m so grateful for these last 40 years of not being married to the father of my kids. I would never have made all these good changes with him. He wanted everything to remain exactly the same as it was in 1970. And that just couldn’t be for me.

I’m grateful to those who are in this part of my journey. The Babe is very supportive of my writing. The kids are, too. I’m grateful for that. Yes, everything is going to be ok. I know in my heart it will. Just go to Plan B. I’m going to thrive at this time in life. You can too. Shall we go together? Let’s!

Sharing these books as the ones I want to devour in the next month or so. Women authors, a couple friends, a couple Facebook friends. Supporting each other. I finished Tammy Marshall’s “Ticker Tape,” yesterday. It was great. I’ll go into more detail another day. And I love Rebecca Cooper’s FB shares. So raw. So real. And Carol Gino! She makes me think about things. I love her stories about angels all around us. Joy Johnson Brown’s The BOOB Girls Books! I do believe she may have been my older sister in another life. Go figure! We just need to be aware. Be aware today. Let’s talk about that another day. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Have a beautiful day, see you tomorrow!

My Fall Picks to Read.

“Envy’s a Coal Comes Hissing Hot From Hell.” Philip James Bailey.

Is it hard to be happy for someone who wins the lottery? Is it hard to be happy for a relative who is able to retire early? Is it hard to be happy for a friend’s child who wins scholarships?

Or do we believe they don’t deserve it? The lottery, the early retirement, the child’s ability to earn their way through college? Do we think, “That should be me?” “He always was a penny pincher!” “Of course, their kids don’t have to work, like mine do, to pay for their car.” Sometimes it’s hard.

The quote today came from my old reliable, “Daily Meditations for Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Since 1982, I’ve read daily, skipped a period of time, then found I needed reminders of how wonderful my life really is. It’s remarkable, isn’t it? I believe I’ve learned these lessons (well, mostly), and am able to share them with others. Random people will find these blogs for them. Some will skip over this day. And that’s ok. You either skip because you’re offended it hits home or because you’re not an envious person. Or just stick around to learn something.

It can be hard to be gracious in the light of someone else’s success. If you care for your fellow humans (siblings, co-workers, cousins, strangers, friends you haven’t met yet), you’ll congratulate them when it’s appropriate. I used to be jealous when another single mom would meet someone and get married within a few months.

First of all, I felt envious they found love so easily. I spent 14 long, lonely, painful years before meeting the Babe. I didn’t know I was picking from the wrong basket. You only know what you know. Until you learn better. I hadn’t learned better yet.

Second, I thought you could make a terrible mistake by not really knowing the person. Six months isn’t knowing them. The first year you’re both on your good behavior. The second, you settle into everyday living. A lot is revealed during those months. Comes around year three of dating (or living together by now), and the person you think the world of is finally themselves. And so are you. If you both are faithful (a deal breaker for me, always), kind, helpful, equal partners in work and play, and can overlook their annoying habits (and they overlook yours!), you have a chance at having something that will last. But you both need to work hard at it.

This is all based on my personal experience, and I’m glad it took me so long. Marriage is hard enough without raising a blended family. I believe we would have been good parents/stepparents to each other’s kids. And it still would have been hard. This way, there was no, “Your kid, my kid,” arguments. Just being realistic, folks. Don’t jump in too fast. Too many people do.

It’s human to feel a twinge of envy now and again. It’s when we give into it, it becomes a problem. It causes a lot of negativity, most of which, none of us needs. It’s a slippery slope, my friends. When we question the good that befalls one of our friends, why not also question the tragedy and troubles that happen to other friends? We certainly don’t want those difficulties. Let’s learn to be gracious for good happening for our friends, and be kind and caring walking through their troubles with them. Don’t abandon them! Walk through it with them and they should do the same for you. True friends do. Soulmates do, too.

If I were to name a theme song for myself, I think it would be the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” When you really think about it, so little in life is worth arguing about. Don’t get me wrong, I get angry, I stand for myself, and I’m quick to say, “Let’s not argue about that, it just isn’t worth it.” Most of it isn’t. Criticizing someone isn’t worth the time, and I don’t care to listen to it, either. Mom has a bad habit of criticizing morbidly obese people. I tell her it just doesn’t matter, she shouldn’t be critical. I’m amazed for the trouble she has with her vision, she can see things like that and express an opinion. It just isn’t worth discussing, in my opinion. I won’t. End of story.

I’m trying very hard to overlook that part of her personality, it’s part of passed down brokenness from her side of the family. I broke the that tradition, as has my brother Tim. Of course, it’s easier since I have no sisters. Are women worse about being catty than men are? Whatever, I’m choosing to take Dad’s point of view. “You don’t know what’s going on with them. Always give the benefit of the doubt.” Do it. You’ll feel better!

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. I’m almost caught up on the VFW Post 2503 website and Facebook pages. Today will free up a lot of time and tasks on the to do list. And I can get back to my books. See you tomorrow!

It’s Not Too Late!

We all know people who wallow in the past. For every one who looks forward to adventures, there are at least a few who dwell on the past, bemoan loves lost, and make themselves be more miserable by refusing to move on. It’s a bummer to listen to the same dreadful story told with their faulty memories of what really happened. They accept no responsibility or blame for their destructive behavior. Over and over, they make themselves the victim. It’s very tiring listening. I have to separate myself from those types of people.

People suddenly become unaware they can still make some pretty significant contributions to life after retirement age. What? No. That isn’t true. Some of the most notable artists didn’t pick up a brush until after they were 70 years young. It’s all about timing. And confidence. And a great support group. Not your family and friends. The support of a group of like-minded people who can critique your creations and offer constructive comments to encourage greatness from you. Your family most likely will be “too nice,” and that’s good/bad.

As a woman who expected something totally different from this part of life, I can tell you, there is life after raising a family. I was not prepared for it at all. I thought I’d have a bunch of biological grandkids, and that didn’t come true until the last three years. My kids had kids later in life. My step kids have three between them, and I love them as much as the bio ones. Only two live in town, so although we’ve had the babysitting and fun times, and it was over too quick. Now they’re doing High School Dance Team and Flag Football. The three that live out of town, one is 8th grade, and the two others are in pre-school day care.

My daughter (in between chasing toddlers) encouraged me to write the kid’s book I always wanted to write. I cannot find a reason not to; I can find all sorts of excuses, but nothing valid. I lost my illustrator, and now I’m looking into using software on actual photos, turning them into my own cartoon-like photos. It should be fun. See? Learning something new yet again! It never stops. My I/T Department (brother-in-law Brad Shuck) is advising me about this.

This year has been pretty exciting for my writing. I’m growing an audience via Social Media and my blog. I’m advertising on Facebook, and it’s adding more followers for Jewell Publishing LLC, Kathy Raabe, Author, and Grandma Kathy. Grandma Kathy will be the name you will find on my kid books. I’m doing that for a couple of reasons.

First, I’ve read a lot about pen names, and writing in more than one genre. The word is you need separate names for each genre, so they don’t get confused. I don’t want to have two separate websites to maintain, nor do I want to spend the $$. Second, I think readers are smart enough to keep them separate. Maybe you’ll have a reader who has grandkids, they buy books for them from Grandma Kathy, and books for themselves from Kathy Raabe, Author. All the money goes into Jewell Publishing, LLC, and I’m the only one who needs to be concerned about that. Right? Right.

Never did I imagine all the business knowledge a person needs to be an indie author. I’m glad I had folks to guide me through the maze of vanity publishers, who are out there in large numbers, the reality of finding an agent, and going through one (I may not have that much time left!). There is so much more to writing than actually putting the words down on the paper. This weekend, I need to seriously catch up the website for our VFW Post. I have events photos that haven’t been shared yet, and I need to make the time to take care of it. Then I can get back to business.

In the meantime, thank you for making time for reading today. I appreciate it a lot. See you tomorrow!