Sublime Saturday

The day started early, as usual. The Babe had to go to the VFW Post early to get all the cash drawers ready to the Husker game today. We opt to watch from home. It’s much more comfy that way. It is a great day, and we’re looking at another nice weather day tomorrow.

Nebraska, where we live, is a hot spot state for COVID. Is this ever going to end? Our Governor seems reluctant to close everything, but I’m not sure how to achieve less contagious conditions without it. The economy will take another big hit if that happens. What is the right answer? I don’t know. I’m ordering groceries from Walmart and picking them up. It has worked great the three times we’ve done it. Probably going to continue, at least for a while.

It appears the Keto Egg Bake for breakfast is a big hit. The Babe loves it. And it’s easy. The cream cheese squares that melt into each serving are divine. It’s an easy, quick way to have some good protein to start the day. It’s a change from our routine of several years, a bagel with peanut butter, and a Greek yogurt. The dietitian recommended it after Dan’s open heart surgery in 2014. Time for a new routine. We’re not hungry either, and that’s the best.

The Muffins are Great!

Funny, I’ve really taken off with my novel writing. It’s coming along nicely. Then the guilt sets in. I have several places in the house to tidy up and reorganize, and of course, that doesn’t appeal to me. We’re always happy after we do that, but procrastinate until we get there. Why is that a quirk of humans? I’ve been both OCD in house keeping but now, more inclined to let things go. The Babe is a great help with the vacuuming and mopping the floors. I could be better about dusting. I decided a long time, a family lived in my home, not the staff of Better Homes and Gardens. That was way back in the 1980s! It was freeing. Try it!

I’m writing about my character Katie, having a baby. It’s 1971, she’s very young, and she has a general practitioner for a doctor. She expected him to tell her what to expect in labor and delivery, and he shared nothing with her. Back then they really made things easy for the doctors. It was before Lamaze classes, and most often, they knocked you out, and you might not even know what you had. That happens to Katie. It’s sad how things used to be. She went into labor before she could ask the doctor what to expect, aside from the obvious.

It’s easy to judge the character and her lack of experience. You need to know nearly fifty years ago, there was not a lot of information available. Women often told each other old wives’ tales, frightening tales of loss, and some doctors had egos that did not permit them to entertain questions. It is sad. It’s all part of what helps her grow into an independent woman, capable of many things. The story is about her freeing herself from the bondages of tradition, playing it safe, and living like all the other men or women in your family. She breaks the mold. She ventures out. She learns to live.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you again tomorrow. I hear there’s this football game on right now. Go Big Red! Hope they play well today. Be Safe out there!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

I saw this guy on the deck last week. It was pretty cool, watching him move ever so slowly. He seemed to move one segmented joint at a time. It was fascinating to watch. I love seeing the creatures of the world from a safe distance. One bug I hope to never see again is the Japanese Beetle. They are so beautiful yet so destructive. The dragonflies, and butterflies are welcome!

August is month with a lot happening. School again (we think), and I don’t envy parents at all. I think our children will be behind where they should be if remote learning would continue for an extended period of time. I don’t think our grandkids are finding enough challenge in the work assigned and I’d hate them to lose out on some critical learning as Addison is in eighth grade and Gavin is in third. They are both very bright and need to be challenged.

Goldie has a blast with butterflies. She could have stood there watching this one for hours. I love showing puppies and babies to watch butterflies. Dragonflies are a lot harder, they move very quickly.

Another August event I’m looking forward to is working with a company to set up a new website for the VFW Post 2503. I’m involved in maintenance on the old one (probably twenty years old), and it is in serious need of an update. It needs to be done, and I’m glad for what I’ll get to learn about WordPress. I can use the knowledge to add pages to my website, and the blog will continue to be one page of many. As I get closer to finishing my book, I’ll add pages to my website.

The Babe and I couldn’t find anything to watch on TV last night, so we watched an Amazon Prime movie, “Fathers and Daughters.” It was quite sad. The daughter was very young when her mother died in a car accident. The father was a writer (go figure!), and mentally ill/struck with seizures after the accident, loss, and having a child to help. He went to a mental hospital for seven months, had ECT (Electric Current Therapy) and other therapy, and returned to raise his daughter. It paralleled his life with hers. She had little understanding how to have a personal relationship with anyone else. She was a social worker, helped a little girl who lost her mom, yet couldn’t commit to her boyfriend. It was a weird story to track. At the end, there was this beautiful song: “Fathers and Daughters Never Say Goodbye.” Yes, it’s a tear jerker. It makes me miss my dad.

Sometimes, it seems as if it’s silly to still miss him after all these years. I have already lived longer than he did. He was cheated out of enjoying his retirement by that tyrant, cancer. I miss his support. Not a “good job,” kind of guy. More of a, “keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get there,” kind of guy. He’s still with me. And that is all I need to know.

I have a lot of work to ready and send to my book coach for this week’s conference (Thursday morning). For some reason, it seems to just jump at me from nowhere. Lots to do, so cutting this a little short. Have a beautiful day. It’s cloudy, but you can make it sunny in your heart. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Help someone. Hold the door open. Small things add up. You’ll feel better, too. I appreciate you reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and we’ll catch up. Be careful out there.

More Monday!

Good Monday Afternoon! It’s been busy around Raabe Ranch this morning. Did I ever tell you why I call it that? This is the biggest yard the dogs have ever had to roam in. And it goes well with our German last name. Thus, Raabe Ranch. So huge the babe bought a riding lawnmower right when we moved in. He needs it, and I need to learn how to use it. You know, in case I ever need to mow. I did mow before my sons were old enough to mow the yard. We had a huge bank in front of the house, and it was a challenge, but not bad.

I have an appointment with the Allergy/Pulmonary doc on Wednesday. To test my lung function, she wanted me to have a COVID test. If I would have it, it could significantly impact the lung function. Good to know. The staff at UNO have a great setup for these tests required by doctors. They have a special parking lot/garage devoted to testing. You give your name, a Post-It Note with a number gets stuck on your windshield. They motions you to enter when it’s your turn. Window down, double check the patient name/birthdate, then the test. It’s not pleasant, I’m not going to lie. The phrase, “Up your nose with a rubber hose,” came to mind. It sure felt like it. I felt as if part of my left brain was removed via my nasal cavity. At any rate, it was over before I knew it. It did hurt for about an hour afterwards. Great job, UNMC and UNO.

My cover photo today is a bouquet of roses I bought at Target. It’s nice to give yourself flowers once in awhile. They smell so good. My Grandpa Bobell planted Tea Rose bushes in his yard. I’ll never forget that beautiful smell. I always think of him when I smell them. Funny how the sense of smell is one so many memories are tied to. The scent of cinnamon rolls baking remind me of Grandma Jewell’s house. I can drive past the address even now, and smell the scent of love. It makes me smile.

That is exactly why I love the smell of baby powder. We used to be able to put baby powder on the babies before they found out about it was bad for us. It was such a sweet, innocent smell. Nothing better! The fresh smell of rain, the smell of freshly sawn wood while making a project, the smell of fresh peaches as you take the first juicy bite, all make life sweeter. We will remember because the mind stamps the smells for us. All pleasurable memories.

Smells that some folks don’t like at all: The Stockyards on a humid, summer day, burnt popcorn at the movies, or the musty smell of Grandma’s basement. Lots of room for improvements, right? We were always told the Stockyards was the smell of money, the burnt popcorn, I don’t know how you can make that better, Grandma’s basement, humid, musty air can be lessened with dampness removers in jars, a dehumidifier, and a host of other things.

A smell I used to love was a campfire or fire pit. Not any more. After my son lost everything in the apartment fire last October, burning wood is no longer a good smell for me. He’s had a lot of stuff happen, more than many in 2019 and 2020, and he still has a good attitude. “Oh, well,” is something he frequently says and has since he was a teenager. He’s so resilient.

The smell of fried food reminds me of when both boys lived at home and worked at Grandmother’s on 90th and Dodge. The fried food smell was on them, their clothes, and the yellow residue tracked in the house on the inexpensive vinyl flooring in the bathroom. Smelly stuff. But I was glad they were kids who knew they had to work, and they had to work hard to keep and maintain their cars, insurance, etc.

I have a few personality charts to plan out this afternoon. My character Katie will have six or seven brothers to contend with, along with an aunt who is a mentor and friend. They will all appear in the first chapter, and it should be great fun. There is also a You Tube video describing the difference between Plot and Story. Sam, my book coach is sure keeping me busy! It could be overwhelming to try and piece all of these elements and make sense of them. I’m just glad I have her, and I would highly recommend her. Sam Tyler, The Write Book Coach, http://www.thewritebookcoach.com.

Hugs Are Good for All Of Us.

Memes about hugs are some favorites of mine. One mentions – Did you ever get a hug from someone and you could feel all your broken parts being put back together? Yes, those are the best kind. The Babe is one of the best huggers I’ve ever met. And yes, I feel my broken parts going back together. I do know quite a few very good huggers, too, and always want to greet them standing up, for a really good hug. Those kind last a good amount of time. Go get some today!

It’s late in the day, and I want to thank you for reading today. I appreciate your support. Help each other out, be kind and courteous, and be patient with each other. We need to be good examples. Wash up, wear your masks, and let’s just get this pandemic over with. See you tomorrow.

Thoughtful Thursday

Hi, friends! Today is full of stuff for us to do away from the serenity, silence, and security of home. Mostly for the Babe. All I have is a mammogram later this afternoon. Due to the pandemic, that was considered a non-essential medical procedure/visit. I beg your damned pardon, I’m a breast cancer survivor. It’s essential I have one every year to keep the survivorship going. They dropped the ball, bigtime on this. I called, despite them telling me they would call when they opened up again for those. I’m not happy about it, but am grateful I can keep track of my own stuff. What about someone who can’t, or who is in denial?

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

I’m so grateful to be cancer free all these eleven years. A very wise friend, a minister and good friend to Dan and me, told us cancer always comes back if not in the same place, elsewhere. She has done pastoral care for a long time and knows what she’s talking about. If I want to think negatively, I’d worry over when that will happen. I cannot do that, it would ruin today. I’m glad I have my dad’s outlook; wait and see what they say, then we’ll decide what to do. His patience taught me so much. I’m glad to know about cancer returning, because it will help me should it be diagnosed again.

I’m so proud, because I had cancer and my daughter went to radiation with me, she decided to go to school and become an interventional radiology tech. This was a very demanding area, and she was on call often. Car accidents, medical emergencies, all things you can imagine happened. When she had her first baby at 40, she made the decision to do mammography. It pays ok, but she would no longer have to take call. Now, with two kids under 3, her days are full of work, and her nights are full of family.

I know Rebecca can offer comfort to someone who is scared. In 1995, (pre-Babe years) when I had a tumor in my spine, she was a rock at the age of 16. I wish she wouldn’t have had to go through that. Her brothers were great too, but she was with me at home. It was too much, but it couldn’t be helped. Say a little prayer for me at 3:30 pm, ok? I appreciate it a lot.

Sometimes I get very involved in writing and the CD ends. The silence is pretty stimulating for me with writing. The only better sound is the sound of my sewing machine, creating something else. I’m so glad to have so many hobbies, books to read and write, and things to do. So many, I’ll probably never finish them all.

That’s ok, too, because I have some fun things to finish. I have a quilt my Grandma Bobell hand pieced that needs to be quilted. It’s stained but that’s ok. My mom was born in 1929, and I know Grandma made this before Mom was born. I’m hand quilting it, so I’ll pick that back up when fall arrives, otherwise I’ll be roasting trying to do it now. Unless when the Babe cranks the A/C. Maybe it would work after all!

This quilt top is nearly 100 years old!

Back to the music of Glen Campbell. I like to listen to him. While I’m writing, sometimes I can block out the lyrics, concentrating on the orchestra in the background. Other times, it’s his mesmerizing guitar playing, or the lyrics of Jimmy Webb, who is still creating beautiful music now. The music is a great representative of the 60s and 70s, and I can recall seeing it performed on many variety shows which were so bountiful on television in those days. I miss this kind of good entertainment. There is nothing that compares with these old shows.

There is one song, however, that I didn’t like at all. It was called “Everyday Housewife.” It was about a housewife who dreamed of days past, when she was a sought after date, when people paid attention to her, and when she mattered. I always found it to be so sad, limiting, and trite. I didn’t participate in the “women’s movement” until later when I woke up and wanted some respect as an everyday housewife. We all mattered, but some of us were treated as servants, and even property. I’m so glad that time is over.

I do remember trying to justify my not working. Anyone who was my age was working or in school. I was busy all day, not watching soap operas, but teaching my kids and playing with them, and giving them what experiences we could afford. I’m glad for all the years I was able to be with my sons. My daughter didn’t have me at home, and for that I’m sad sometimes. She grew up much more outgoing than her brothers were.

And another song that was from those time: Galveston. I loved that song, but never made the connection to the fact that the man was in Vietnam. I’ve always been aware of the lyrics, “I clean my gun, and dream of Galveston.” Wow, I feel kind of silly about missing the whole point. Live and learn.

Time to “let the dogs out,” and “let the dogs in,” so we’re going to wrap it up for today. I hope you have a beautiful day, thank you for sharing it with me. See you tomorrow, and I hope you all have a good evening. Stay safe! Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, Be Courteous. Wash up, Mask up, and enjoy this day.

Sunny Saturday

It is a beautiful blue-sky, sunny day in Gretna, Nebraska. The day reminds me of one that starts out cool and turns beautiful. Like when you rise early and load the car to go on vacation. You remember vacations! I imagine we’ll all want to go on one when this Coronavirus is over. It could be awhile.

I’ve always thought these to be stunning, but not too functional. Perhaps their time has come?
This is pretty much all on my mind today.
Blog, write, and later some block sewing. And thinking of our grandkids. I’m missing them all!

The kids and grandkids are all on my mind this morning. I’m praying for all of them, hoping all are well and going to stay that way. In the family are: a chef, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, his stay at home wife who is a great homeschooler, a truck driver, a real estate agent, two who manage trucking of railway goods delivered to trainyards by the Union Pacific railroad (essential personnel), a health care worker, and a project manager director. Some of them are parents of our four grandkids, two in Omaha area, one in Maryland, one in Colorado. That’s a lot of diversity and some important, essential people on that list. They may be more exposed than most, and we have to keep living our lives. With common sense at the helm.

Common sense for them will be adequate distance from others while on the job, probably avoiding the subways, and washing their hands – a lot. All we can do is check in on them once in awhile and pray we’ll all come out on the other side of this ok. I believe we will. If not, we will learn how to deal with the end results.

The Babe tells me the last time he felt this way was in Vietnam. Not having any idea of what will happen is the feeling of loss of control. I get it. My feeling of loss of control was in December, 1995, when I had a tumor compressing my spinal cord and in a week lost the ability to walk without assistance. That was the worst feeling in the world, as my daughter was still at home. My sons had just moved into an apartment. I had to get better for my kids. And for me. The Babe had his wife, Sandy to come home to. He was never the same for her.

I would bet every adult who has had a feeling like this is having flashbacks, dreams, whatever there is that tells us we know this could go very badly. Acknowledge them. Don’t let yourself dwell on them, though. Yes, we were afraid after 9/11. We need to remember how we, as a country of free individuals, came to a new normal. A new normal of a free people. We will do that again. Things will not be the same as they are now. Hopefully we will be appreciative of people who really matter in life. Doctors, scientists, first responders, nurses, truck drivers, train operators , and our military all keep our counntry going. It’s time we reorient our thinking to look up to people who really make a difference in our every day life, not sports figures, movie stars, celebrities, and people who are famous for absolutely nothing. I find it very sad we need to get a Kardashian to go on social media to get young people to understand they need to stay home while school is out. It tells me some have lost their concept of real life. You won’t find it on a reality show, despite all you hear on social media or television or in the movies.

In the meantime, keep yourself busy with positive things. Create something with words, music, paints, anything you may have around you. Be inventive. Write a note to your Grandma or Great Uncle and mail it. They will love it! Talk across the fence to your neighbors. Take your dog for a walk. It’ll do you both good. Get some fresh air. Thank you for reading. I’ll be here tomorrow and hope you are, too. Now for some creating!

These folks have my deepest respect and admiration.