Yesterday . . . and Today

It was a good day yesterday. And it was a fantastic night at Yesterday and Today. The Babe and I have seen this interactive Beatles experience every year since I think 2014. No two shows have ever been the same, since the requests submitted by the audience drive the set list. What a very creative and clever idea. And every year, it seems as if the McGuigan brothers cannot top what they’ve just done. You even get a lovely parting gift with this show.

That challenge is always accepted by Billy, Ryan, and Matthew. Their talent and performance pays tribute to their departed Dad, who died when they were pretty young. In fact, he was pretty young; 42. They learned Beatles songs as toddlers and now make a living performing those songs. Not impersonation, but real guys singing music their Dad loved. It’s a tender tribute that now follows into the next generation. Billy’s son Ciaran is an already accomplished guitarist while not even in high school yet. Watch out, Omaha! There’s some upcoming talent here. Think Clapton. Seriously.

Other band changes include adding horns and strings; most recordings from that fantastic era included these instruments. Why not on stage with the guys who do the Beatles justice, each and every time they pick up their instruments and sing? These guys are the Kings of “Why Not?”

Last year, Ryan made quite the theatrical entrance while performing, “I Am the Walrus,” complete with a gas mask. This year, he has a cool hooded crocheted sweater he wore over his John Lennon style “New York City” t-shirt. Ryan, did someone make it for you? It was pretty cool. Only you could carry it off, too. You can tell he’s an actor at heart. He’s a blast to watch and wonder what he’ll do next. It’s a gift.

Billy’s gift, in my opinion, is the adaptability to get through anything that challenges him, and I believe that true onstage and off. His humor is off the wall and off the cuff. Or is it? It sure appears that way. I think he’s a pretty funny guy. Speaking of funny guys, Max Meyer plays a mean cowbell. He get the crowd revved for sure. I do believe he’s pretty proud of that. You’ll find out why. Go see the show. He has another surprise for you, too. Go see the show. Dying to tell you what it is, but won’t join this special surprise.

Matthew is such a professional, always steady and just enjoying the musical moments. I believe he is a very talented arranger, and can arrange things in such a manner you wonder why the original song didn’t go that way in the first place. The knowledge he has must be unparalleled. It’s his gift. There is always a seemingly “quiet one” of the groups. The Beatles had George, and The McGuigan’s have Matthew. And that’s a very good thing.

Your Christmas gift to any music lover should be going to this show. Even if you’re not a Beatles fan, you will be a McGuigan Brothers fan. Go see the show. You’ll love it. The first Christmas, the Baby Jesus had three wise men, bearing gifts. This Christmas, Omaha has three wise men named McGuigan, bearing their gifts. The Celestial Star they follow is their Dad, who shines upon them. Go see the show. The Slowdown is an awesome venue for them to call home.

December 4. My Favorite Day!

Today is my favorite day of the Christmas season. Why? Well, not only are we moving the furniture around to make way for our Christmas tree, it’s also the day of the season we go see Yesterday and Today. The McGuigan Brothers have again added some new twists to the show they have been doing for many years. It’s a new venue, too. They have been talking about the acoustics in their new home, and it sounds extra special. More about that tomorrow.

When approaching the holiday season, some of us ask for the grace of a glad heart. Sometimes, we have to fake it until we make it. In the beginning, we try to fool ourselves. If we’re working to improve our outlook on life, and making gratitude a new way of life, we can get to the point where we’re not faking it anymore. It becomes part of who we are. We come to have a glad heart, and it’s what we need in this world today.

My Zoom call was more like a Doom call. We both had video, and she had sound. I did not. We communicated and decided to talk on the phone on Monday. I will call her at a certain time. That PST vs. CST is weird. I had it backwards, so now, I have it right. Hopefully, Monday will be better. I think it will.

I want to make this holiday season happier for my heart than it has been. Living in the present is what is the best to do. Being happy for the now is what I choose to do. I need to remember the reason for this season, that is my focus. Since we’re doing decorations like I used to, it’ll be a great time to assess what I can donate and what I want to keep. What I really want to keep. No extras.

I have some ideas to make small reading areas around the house. One in our bedroom, one in my office studio, and one in the lower level. Also have places on the deck and the patio. My spots will double as spots to hand quilt; hand sew things; or embroider. All things I love to do, just more organized. I think this will help me get my whole life organized and running smoother. I can always use more organization.

Some of the author groups I’m in talk about how they take books with them wherever they go. I do, and my brothers have similar habits. While our reading material is varied, the end result isn’t. We are entertaining ourselves, we are passing the time in a productive manner, and we are learning something we didn’t know before. Our parents taught us well. Bored? Couldn’t utter the word. If we did, it was, “Go get a book. Pick up the Newspaper. Draw something.”

Dad worked for the newspaper, so it was always in the house. He also loved drawing. He wanted to be a cartoonist. He was quite good. I have his “Learn to Cartoon” books. I think it’s partly why he loved the Charlie Brown cartoons. Especially Snoopy. If Dad laughed, you knew it was funny. Watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, he would say, “That damned dog!” while nearly rolling on the floor. It’s a great memory.

It’s time for me to mix up the egg casserole for breakfast tomorrow (back at the Keto), and finish getting ready for the day. I want to locate the boxes of decorations to start with. I’m going to make it a good season. It has to be. I’m accepting no substitutes. More lights! But no ladders for these old folks!

Another New Start Today!

Nothing revs me up more than considering that each and every month begins with a brand new, shiny group of days that we get a do-over. Today is no exception. What will we do this month? We hope a lot. Both personally and as volunteers. Of course, the first thing will be with getting back to my novel. That should begin this week, with just reading what I’ve written so far. It will require reading all my notes, especially the ones from my sessions with Book Coach, Sam Tyler. I’m hearing her voice when I’m working now, little reminders of memory to remind me of what I should remember while writing.

Next, we’ll get better organized with blogging, publishing by taking advantage of pre-scheduling the publishing. It’s worked well as a trial, and some days are more conducive to writing blogs, others lead me to wanting to quilt. I’ve had a project sitting on the sewing machine for nearly a year now. It’s time to put the blocks together by rows and sashings, followed by adding boarders. It’s a beautiful quilt, all with batik fabrics. They have fascinated me since I learned in high school art class how the combination of dye and wax create the beautiful fabric.

I felt all smart when I was re-introduced to the word batik, and how the fabrics were so unique. They’re also expensive. I’ve been a miser with the few batik fabrics I’ve purchased, and whenever I use them, I know the resulting project has more love in it. Creating anything is very fulfilling, and calming. There are certainly a lot of ways to do it. Find one you may like. If you don’t, try something else. Small risks and changes to find something you may love to do.

It’s with gratitude we look at doing more outreach for the VFW Post we belong to. There are always countless opportunities to offer help for groups in the area. Right now, we want to concentrate on NE COPS, Moving Veterans Forward, and Guitars for Vets. We may add another one or two, but want to do each one well, not spreading ourselves too thin. Common sense should always prevail.

Friday of this week is my 50 + 1 High School Reunion. I expect it will be a time for renewing old friendships. The people who remain in your lives for that long are indeed special. I expect there will be touching base with people we knew, but didn’t hang out together. Maybe new friends will be cultivated from former acquaintences. I am looking forward to it. It’s another “New Beginning.”

It’s early Sunday morning, it’s going to be a perfect day for our Car Show, benefitting Guitars for Vets and Moving Veterans Forward’s scheduled 50 Mile March later this month. It is a march from Lincoln to Omaha, highlighting Veterans homelessness and those who suffer from PTSD. Very worthy organizations. Praying for a great outcome today. Time to get ready, and get out there! Be a blessing today. Let’s plan on seeing each other tomorrow, ok?

Tactical Tuesday

Good Morning to you from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Tuesday’s are the rare day the Babe is home and not working at the Post. So, of course, we need to do errands today, like most folks do on Saturday. The trick is, it’s not crowded. And we get done in record time, and still get to have lunch before picking up Addison from school. Yes, her Cross Country season is over. She did well for a first timer. Now it’s back to whatever normal used to be for us, before school was called.

My Yesterday and Today “Ugly Christmas Sweater” Merch.

I had to show you the whole photo of the entire piece of art hanging in my studio/office entrance. I had to buy this when I saw it, and every time I enter the room, I can hear my dad tell me, “Just keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll get there.” He told me that when he was dying of cancer. I had just told him the only regret I had was I hadn’t graduated from college. At that time, I had a couple associate degrees and certificates.

He died in 1988, and in Summer, 1995, I finished my Bachelor’s Degree, Management of Human Resources. We graduated from Bellevue University in January of 1996. It was bittersweet, I had just survived a December 1995 ten hour spine surgery to perforate a cyst on my spinal cord. I was still having home IV treatment for disk infection and nearly full bed rest. The Doc told me I needed to go to the graduation. I could rest before and after. It was great for my mental well being. And God really knows what He’s doing – I met the Babe in March, 1996. Right after I shed my “turtle shell” I had to wear constantly.

Anyway, if you want a cute, fun, sweatshirt for the colder weather, these are only $15. Check them out. I wear an XL. It’s just fun. We all need some fun at this point in time.

This morning is Day 2 of the Confirmation Hearings. I was aghast at some of the questions Diane Feinstein asked. “How do you do it, with your large family and work.” Excusssssssseeeee me? That question is illegal in an everyday job interview. It’s a Federal Law, Diane! How dare you!! Would you have asked a man the same question? If not, you need to issue an apology. Stat.

While I am working on my daily writing, the Babe is working to finish the bench he’s building for the patio next spring. It will be fun to have something new to display and use. I need to get the rest of the plants inside in the next couple days before the cold nights zap them. They did well as long as Goldie couldn’t touch them. She uprooted my Hibiscus plant from it’s pot and played with it before I saw her. The wind knocked the pot off the table, and she figured whatever was on the ground was hers. Silly puppy. Note to self: When it’s windy, check to see if anything fell into dog territory.

How do you like this meme?


Truth!

There are many people who comment to me about my blog. Yet, they don’t put a “like” on it. And that’s ok. I know they read. And they may even mention one to a friend. And the friend reads it. That’s cool, too. I love it, and I would guess that happens, too. I do this because I love doing it. I’ve always wanted to write. And, a blog counts as being “published,” just as a physical book does. I have to accept more people will probably read my book as an e-book or Kindle edition than who will buy and read a physical copy. That’s ok, too.

When I think how I think it will feel to hold a book that I wrote in my hand, and to read my name as the author, it makes my eyes teary. And as long as I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll get there. And I’ll see my dad, off in the background, smiling at me, whether it be at a book signing, a craft fair, or a writers guild conference. We’re getting closer, boys and girls! Let’s keep each other going. Slow gets there, don’t lose hope. You can do it. Just keep doing what you’re doing, too. Thanks. See you tomorrow!