Tired Tuesday!

Wow! Just had a 30 minute power nap, and I’m still pretty fatigued. All the excitement and adrenaline was worth the work of baking and decorating. I had to put a lot of things away today, since it kind of looked like a hurricane in the kitchen. Mission accomplished, and it seems as if everything else is brought to your attention when you’re cleaning counter tops off. You end up getting the big guns out, polishing the counter tops, and using some Pledge on the wooden cabinets with sticky fingerprints on it. Yes, we are guilty as charged on that count.

Then the floors needed cleaning, and the leather stools at the counter and the chairs at the table needed attention, too. At any rate, it’s all part of getting the house cleaned up well and less cluttered, so I have a good start on it. I’m planning in my mind what I need to do; Part of cleaning the Babe’s office is going through a ton of papers. I hate to admit, I’m not good at filing things, but at least they’re all gathered in one area. Then, I can get the papers needed for doing the income tax.

So, I figure in addition to writing, in January I’ll be cleaning the Babe’s office very well. Cleaning out the old electronics, etc., and dusting everything in the curio cabinet. Carpets will be cleaned. And then, I’ll be set to do the taxes in very early February, or whenever the paperwork is all sorted.

I have big ideas about how to rearrange my office studio, too. I need to keep a chair in front of the window for Lexie to keep me company. I may switch out the chair she uses now with part of the wicker set we had on the deck. It should be just the right size, and Lexie liked the cushioned chairs when we used that set on the deck. Some of my cubbys need to go back down into my craft room. I need more room for working on books, quilts and clothing next year. I want time with all my hobbies, in addition to the writing I am planning.

We had our bedroom painted by professionals. It was something we had a hard time deciding, because we always did the work ourselves. At this stage of our lives, we don’t need to be up on ladders or trying to reach corners and window ledges. It’s time to hire it done. We did, and they were wonderful.

So now, I want to take the chair from my office, which matches the chair in our bedroom (that is covered with clothes that need to be hung up), and have a little reading nook/place to set things while I get dressed. I have a cute little area rug ordered for it, we just need to move a couple of dressers. I hope the chest and dresser don’t look silly next to each other. But who’s going to see it but us? Although it may not be a conventional placement of furniture, it might be a little change I need.

Once I take the Christmas decorations down (after New Year’s), I still have seasonal decorations up. I have a snowman collection I used to put out at Christmas. I decided a few years ago they were just as cute alone, during cold, usually snowy, January. It is nice for a switch before Valentine’s Day.

And now, my organizing plan for decorations should make it a breeze to find what I’m looking for. Each season’s kitchen towels, decorations, etc, will all be in one place. I’m looking forward to it! Less hassle is always good.

Tomorrow, I’m going to take Mom for her booster shot. We have an appointment at a Walgreens, and hope she doesn’t have to wait long. She is worried about having to walk far or stand a long time. I’m not sure if they have wheelchairs for shoppers or not. I probably should check with them. Always something to add to the to do list, isn’t there?

This Will Get Me There.

I’m going to continue to plan how to get all this done and still pursue my goals. I made it into print this year, 2021, in the Nebraska Writers Guild Anthology. Next year, I’m publishing something on my own! Blessings. Be safe out there. See you tomorrow!

As I Recall It

We’ve talked before about losses we’ve all experienced because of COVID; loss of security, loss of food security, loss of jobs, loss of family and friends, and the loss of regular schedules for school. It’s a lot.

Many people have recovered well from COVID, the variant, kids are back at school, many folks are back to work, donations are being secured for those food insecure this holiday. The one loss that cannot be regained is the loss of our family and friends.

The Babe and I lost three men friends this year. One was from COVID. Our table at the VFW has fewer occupied chairs. We have two more widows sitting with us for a total of three. I’m the only married woman left. There were three of us. We deeply miss Nugent and Lenny. They were buddies; when Nugent needed his nails trimmed, Lenny would take him to the Nail Salon, and he said they had “toe-ectomies.” Lenny had a way with stories. They always pointed to him as the hero. They might end with him telling you to go to hell. They might end with him declaring “Fix! Fix!” He usually got the girl in the end, during the summer of love when he was a life guard at Peony Park.

Regardless of who got the girl, Nugent had a good friendship with Lenny. He had one with the Babe, too, but it was a more professional one. Nugent had a fabulous bar in his family room, and it was always perfectly stocked. He had great stories, and they were told masterfully. We miss him. He was quieter than Lenny, but every once in awhile, he’d release a thought and crack us all up. A nice, nice man.

Today, I read the small book our friend Rick Tiger wrote, “As I Recall It.” It’s a little book that recalls some pretty significant events in his life. He is modest about his success. He is modest about his talent. He is humble about his beginnings. He makes it clear he and his siblings had deep love from their mother and didn’t want for much of things of the heart. They knew they were loved, they knew they all had to help, they knew they had to behave. And they did that most of the time.

I love the segment where he admitted he and one sister fought over most everything. He, however, knew she was being bullied. And he took care of it. His taking care of it landed him in the principal’s office often. He told his truth and being called to the office was the extent of the punishment. I love that he told about that. It explains his deep love for his family; his wife Joyce, their daughters, and their Grandbabies. What a rich life he describes!

Many things make Rick’s family and friends miss his spirit, smile, and simplicity. He was an honest lover of his wife, Jesus, and Louisiana. Just listen to the words, the piano, the voice. The fog keeping you from leaving, having a cup of coffee while you wait it out, the bourbon sunsets, lose a friend; the saints come marching in. It’s a love song to his state, and it makes me want to travel there to see what he describes. It’s beautiful, to put it mildly. Someday, I hope to have the skill putting words together he had.

I miss Rick for the instant friendship we had. He wrote songs that described times in everyone’s life. Falling down and out of love. Whiskey and Holy Water. The Good Side of the Bar. He was as down to earth as your best friend. He valued everyone. He was a person you weren’t embarassed to ask to pray for you or yours. Every time the Babe had a procedure the last five years, I’d ask Rick to pray for him. He did, without reservation. And he’d text me and ask for updates afterwards. A humble, honest man. What a treasure to have had a friend like this.

I’m grateful for all three of these fine friends of ours. Without knowing them, our lives would have been quieter, smaller, and we would have had fewer laughs. We wouldn’t have had beautiful music to tell our stories, and listen to the wisdom Rick had. I’m grateful to still have the gift of all his CD’s, autographed, and his short book. All autographed.

Thanks for the memories, Rick!

The folks at the VFW Post 2503 are disappointed we won’t be able to have Rick back again next year. Word spread quickly about how much fun it was that night. He sat at a table with all of us and talked for about a half an hour before he started singing. Hugs were exchanged, and we all made new friends. Thanks, Rick and Joyce. Joyce, know there are lots of others thinking of you and your family during this holiday week. May the angels surround you with comfort and love. Take care of yourself, and kiss those grandbabies! They cure everything. Folks, Rick’s music is available for gift giving this season. And so is his book. I can hear his voice in the words. What a great storyteller. I do wish we could have had a song-writing session next summer. It was something we talked about, and I could have learned so much from him. Songs are stories set to music. You know how I love great stories.

Thanks for reading today. Keep your loved ones close; we just never know. Make memories this week. Remember good ones, too. See you tomorrow!

p.s. I made a major boo-boo yesterday. Misspelled a word in my title. Oh well. Sorry! Being human, I think it will happen from time to time. Take care, be safe out there!

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.

Positive Vibes Only

It’s another sunny Tuesday, pretty windy out and I’m sitting in this chair at the Chromebook in my Home Office Studio. I’ve missed this activity. I feel sort of lost, actually. Not only missing out on the habit of writing and sharing, but missing the messages I give myself every day.

Having COVID certainly raises your awareness. My symptoms were much worse a week ago, and I believe now I was ill from about the 4th of October on. My voice is still crackly and intermittent, the congestion is not as bad, and I’m relying less on daily naps. It’s no fun, even at the end. And how do we know we’re finally ok? I have a message in with our doctor, then we’ll know.

So since things are not 100% here yet at Raabe Ranch. I pride myself at looking on the bright side, yet it’s hard right now. All I can do is pray God continues to be good to us. Should something awful happen, I’m certainly not going to be mad at God. He didn’t cause this. End of argument. We live in an imperfect world. Disease, accidents, and unknown causes of death are all around us. We need to remain vigilant and positive. We cannot give up! It’s just not in the equation. If I feel hopeless or not as I should, I stop and assess. Usually, it’s hard to keep a positive light on things when I’m tired. I can tell it would be easy to let the mind go off on a tangent of it’s own. Then we’d all be in trouble.

Some positives from life today, despite having COVID?

In the past year, I’ve done the Keto Diet, and have lost 45 pounds. Yes! I have! I’m thrilled to death about that. I haven’t been in this weight range since the 90s. I plan to keep going, however far I can, to be healthy. I’m not missing out on too much right now, and it’s easy to throw a craving off track with a substitute. Sure, I’ll break down and have a burger and fries now and again. But not every day. It’s under control.

Another positive thing? I still need to tend to my succulents outside, and get them inside/repotted soon. It’ll be a nice busy-work activity, yielding some beauty for the coming winter. I hope I refrain from watering them too much. I don’t want to drown them. Or underwater them.

Going to have the late afternoon nap here soon. Just can’t fight it, and not going to try. Take care of yourselves, your family, and be safe out there. It’s real. We’re stronger together. See you tomorrow.

RIP, Rick Tiger

I was stunned Wednesday morning when a mutual friend messaged me about Rick Tiger’s death. My first thought went to his wife Joyce, their family, and all of the people who love him. All of us who were his friends. We are many. Our header photo is the VFW folks who were present when he sang for us in July. It was a fun night. One couple left early, because the husband wasn’t well. Lenny greeted Rick in heaven, I think.

Some of Rick Tiger’s Songs
Coffee and Conversations Here Daily!

This photo is a pic I sent Rick after he appeared at our VFW in July. We had a very small crowd, but we had such an intimate evening. Rick sat at a table with all of us and asked about our lives, what we did, and got to know us as much as he could. He was wonderful, as always. He laughed at himself, was such a host, and did what he knows best. Spread love, lessons, and support for our troops, and prayers for our great nation.

At the VFW that night, I told him how I’m very curious about what it takes to write a song. He told me, “next time I come to town, we will write one. Then you’ll know!” Bless his generous heart.

Back to the picture. Rick has a song from a few years ago, called, “Coffee and Conversation.” It’s a lovely song. The Babe and I are reminded of it every day we sit on our deck and rock in those chairs. The song reminds the Babe of how his Grandparents started the day on their farm. As kids, he and siblings spent a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa during the summer. The whole scenario is lost on most of America these days. It’s just one of Rick’s beautiful stories. I’m so glad to have met and been friends with this man. What a gift. Him. His Music. His Prayers whenever we asked. He leaves a huge empty spot in the lives of many.

How meaningful for my Goldie, the two year old yellow lab, pestered me out of my office/studio, and outside to sit on the deck. Rick told me we would write our song out here. Coincidence? I think not. I firmly believe in messages from God and those who have gone to heaven before us.

Instead of writing words with Rick, at this spot, I’m writing them about him, with a broken heart complete with tears. My words? They pale in comparison with what he can do with a story. His Stories! Included are misfits and born again. Whiskey and virtue. Forgiveness and Jesus. Joyce, my how he loved Joyce! And he always will. We will miss you fiercely, Rick. Hope all who read this will tell a Rick story, and heal their heart a little. It helped me just to finally be able to sit down and write it after avoiding it all week. And that pesky puppy Goldie took me to where I needed to do it. Thanks, Rick. For everything. And especially for writing with me this morning. I’ll never forget you.

“Saturday, In the Park”

For some reason, this old Chicago song popped into my head this morning. Do people go to parks much anymore? When I was a kid, there were several parks we could walk to, and the city had kid-sponsored activities every afternoon. The little green shack opened just after lunchtime, I believe, and stayed open until probably 4 or 5 p.m. For a nickel or dime, we could do a little craft thing, or they had tether ball, box hockey, and maybe horseshoes. Teenagers worked the shack daily and our harried mothers got a little bit of a break from us during those hot, summer days.

When I had kids, the green shacks disappeared from the city parks, you were basically on your own. We just walked across a very busy street, and we had access to basketball, tennis courts, and of course, swing sets and adventures on some low to the ground climbing devices. It was the old days, and the devices were made of wood, which didn’t wear well in the extreme weather we have; blistering heat or frigid cold. They developed splinters, and were deemed unsafe. We’d take lunch over to the park and have a picnic sometimes. Sometimes we had a picnic in our own yard. Do people still do that? Aside from fire pits and barbeques? I loved being home with the kids.

Once we finally had grandkids, we would babysit for Addison quite a bit. Her Grandma Sandy was alive then, and we’d share babysitting when the kids went out of town, etc. Sandy worked close to our home, and she’d drop Addison off in the morning, and pick her up after work. We worked well together. Usually ex-wives and current-wives don’t get along. Sandy and I had more in common than the Babe. Oh, and having one wife in between Sandy and me probably made a lot of difference. I never met that wife, although I bowled with her mother forty years ago. Small world.

At any rate, we’d take Addison to the park a lot. It really was fun taking her. There was a small park two blocks from our house, and we’d take her there nearly every time we had her over. As she got older and didn’t like the park as well, we’d go to a soft serve ice cream place nearby and get ice cream. She remembers that a lot. Even now, at the age of 14, if we mention “Ice Cream” she smiles and says, “Let’s GO!” I’m glad she has those memories. Now, our park experiences are going to ball fields and watching Gavin play baseball. I love that, expecially at this age.

My daughter Becky sends pics of Kayla and Cody playing in the park. She puts cute little hats and sunscreen on them. Adorable. I hope we get to see them later this summer. She and Brian have very busy work schedules, and with COVID variants occurring, we can only pray we aren’t locked down again. Get your shots! I have, the Babe did, and we’re fine. Just please don’t be the part of the population causing the problem. Sometimes we have to think of the “greater good” before our personal beliefs. Period.

Mom put me in Junior Bowling in seventh or eighth grade. Our neighbor coached it, and we were close enough to walk. Jan Matya, my friend and I stuck with it until we were seniors in High School. The reason? It was fun, and we were the only two girls in the league. All boys. The odds were in our favor. She dated a guy for awhile, I had one ask me to the Military Ball for his ROTC. I didn’t like him, I was 15 and used the excuse my folks wouldn’t let me date until I was 16. Mom told me, “No one turns down a date to the Military Ball.” In retrospect, it probably would have been a good idea. I only went to one prom and no homecomings at my school. None to other schools. I felt so crummy no one did.

So glad times have changed where kids actually go solo, and hang out with their friends. How nice. No one would feel less than enough. I really feel for kids who feel that way. There is so much buried in them that makes them good, talented people. It’s so bad when you lack confidence in yourself and your abilities. Remember; You ROCK!

I think families with kids have their time occupied by organized events. Sports, Dance, and a whole host of other things. That’s great, I hope they enjoy their experiences as neighborhood kids used to when they’d do a pick-up game of baseball, kickball, and even dodge ball. My brothers didn’t participate, and there were no girls sports. I did play volleyball, but Sister Mary What’s Her Name? didn’t put me in, she said I was too nervous, I needed to relax.

After growing up, I wondered if it occurred to her to let me play and I’d be less nervous? That would make sense to me. I also learned as an adult I probably suffered from anxiety. Our mom had a temper and as a kid, I thought she was always mad (at me). It seemed her moods swung from nice to degrading whoever was around. I think this was inherited from her mother. Zero to Sixty in 30 seconds. She scared me. I spent a lot of time in my room. My sanctuary.

I have forgiven her. She didn’t know any better. Many of us followed suit until we learned how damaging that was. Sometimes I think to myself, “If I was Mom, I’d probably say, “Don’t you know blah, blah, blah.” For someone who lost her cool a lot, it’s funny we were forbidden to say words like, “Hate, Shut Up, he’s stupid, you’re a dummy, I could kill you! (believe it or not, people used to say stuff like that).” So glad that type of speech is not acceptable anymore.

For today; Speak Kindly, Sit in Nature, Relax, Remember You’re Enough. Pet a Dog. Go for a walk. Attend a benefit. Always be kind. See you tomorrow!

Happy Birthday, Gavin!

Our Grandson Gavin turns nine today. We get to watch his last home ballgame this evening and have dinner with the family afterwards. What a great day this was! The family was ready for a happy, happy event after losing two people to cancer. Gavin, you restored our faith in living.

It’s been a ride watching you grow from this little baby, who had tummy troubles constantly, to this big boy who claims to eat anything “but sushi.” You make us laugh and you make our hearts feel warm. I swear, every time we see you this summer, you’re taller. You have a great group of friends in the neighborhood, and you’re responsible enough to ride bikes with your homies. What fun! I cannot wait to see what you do in your life. It’s exciting to be your grandparents! Love you.

Today, the year of 2021 is half over. After the year of 2020 and all the disruptions in life, we have enjoyed freedom this year. The Babe and I are fully vaccinated, and I’m happy about that. Many folks disagree with that, but I believe it was the best action we could take. The quarantine time led us and many folks to have serious discussions about life, living, and what we want after death. Most people never have these hard conversations. I’m glad we can.

What do you want to do with this precious next six months?

I want to help others. Volunteering is very fulfilling.

I want to finish my kidlit book and publish it.

I want to sell some of my kid books.

I would like to finish the other two ideas I have and get them ready to publish early next year.

I want to spend as much time with my family as possible.

I want to become more physically fit.

I want to lose some more extra pounds. I’m straying badly from Keto right now, but not gaining any weight, so that’s good.

In the month of July, I want to commit to doing 71 squats a day, making 2200 during the month. I will also do 22 wall pushups a day. This will help me focus on creating ways for our VFW Post to help Veterans. We cannot have 22 family a day lose their soldier. It’s way too many.

We all have the same 24 hours in each day. What we do with those is important. I always have known that. Now, it means a lot more to me how I spend my time. Small changes daily will help me do that. Do it with me. I want July to be a meaningful month as I make changes to be a better person. Do Good. Perform my Passion. Make the world a better place. I think it’s definitely worth the try. As wise Yoda said: “Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.”

Let’s do this, friends! See you tomorrow!

Reflections

It was a beautiful wedding yesterday. My cousin and his wife could finally have the wedding for their son and his beautiful bride. COVID did not win. They married last August, with a small group, and renewed their vows to a packed house of their peers. Young people all just beginning their lives in the post-COVID world. The priest commented; “This is the largest crowd in this Church in the last year.” Wow. That comment made it all hit home for me.

Upon entering the Church, I noticed everyone wore masks. Once they were seated, masks were removed. At the sign-in table, I saw a photo that took me way back. It was a photo of Rod’s parent’s on their wedding day. In my parent’s living room. A beautiful black and white photo, it captured my aunt and uncle perfectly. They have both passed on, and I was reminded of their kindness, both as a couple, and as individuals. The memories are good. They were people who raised a fine man of a son, and doted on their grandchildren. It was a wonderful day for families.

As I sat, I was aware how much has changed in the last year. We have survived. Well, most of us have. I felt comfortable surrounded by a generation of people who were all college graduates, holding down good jobs, and beginning their adulthood. Some carried babies with them, and it was a beautiful sight. The girls were all dressed in tasteful mid-thigh dresses, looking beautiful. The boys wore everything from jackets and unmatched slacks to shirts and dress pants. It was so nice to see people dressed in their Sunday best! When have I seen a group of people dressed up? I couldn’t remember. The pandemic has taken a lot from us. Things we didn’t even realize we were missing, at least until we experience them again.

I didn’t go to the reception. Instead, I imagined all of those young people, dancing, drinking beverages, and having a grand time. People came from out of town, gathering to wish their friends well. I love the images I had from that. I thought of how proud my aunt and uncle, Andrew’s grandparents, would be. It was a wonderful daydream. COVID cannot steal our memories, or our creativity. It cannot steal love from determined young people. It cannot steal dreams. It cannot take faith from your soul. So there, COVID. You can go now.

Congratulations to the happy couple and their families. It’s a lot to undertake, and we appreciate you shared your happiness with us. It gives us hope and resolve. We will still have young men and women falling in love and merging their lives, both equally important.

The human spirit is amazing. Nothing can keep us down. While life has certainly changed, we will come back, stronger than ever. I hope you have a beautiful day today. We are having a rainy day, and the grass will take off now. We have a fundraiser this afternoon and are looking forward to it. Another day of helping make the world better. Our kind of day. Take care, becareful out there, and Be Kind. See you again tomorrow.

Fun Friday & #596!

Good Morning, everyone! Hope you’re having a great day. I’m getting started a bit earlier. Son in law is traveling for his job again, and the Babe is taking Addison to school at zero dark thirty since Wednesday. It’s early for retired folk, but a great reminder what we’re retired from – early days.

Don’t get me wrong. We are still up by 7 a.m. Just not ready to go anywhere! I like to apply my Frankie’s attitude towards weekends to our life now. He said he always got up early on weekends to make the day go slower. If you sleep in until noon, you don’t get as much time you don’t have to be at school. Wise words from him.

And just think. However you choose to spend your time, you can do it for many more hours. If I’m tired later in the day, a “recliner nap” is a welcome respite. Today? We have some donations to gather up from the Post and deliver (Monday, I think) to a non-profit we support. We’re loading my car so I can deliver the items. The Babe invited me to have lunch with him after that. After that, I finally got into the information for the Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference 2021. I was missing a code. I’m eager to dive in and listen to the presentations. This way, we can see ALL of them, not just the one we select at each time frame.

Since I’m a retired I/T person, it frustrates the heck out of me when I can’t get something to work on a computer. I feel like a failure (for a minute) and want to let the person I’m telling my woes to that I really am not your typical “old person” user. I’ve been in the business. Maybe it’s just an ego thing? Hmm. I need to think on that.

This will be a weekend we can actually sit outside, I believe. At long last! The Babe and crew will be replacing ceiling tile at the Post again. They have moved to the second room from the banquet room. It has a dance floor in the middle, and a small stage with all the VFW banners, flags, and other memorabilia. I will go watch Gavin’s ball games since the Babe can’t. I’m eager to see him play. It will be fun.

Today, I’m listening to “A Letter to You,” by Bruce Springsteen. No, I don’t care for his politics. I do appreciate his music, though. He is America’s Poet, in a way. When the economy was so bad in the late 70s, when the Vietnam Veterans were suffering unmercifully, he was there to tell the story. Like Pete Seeger in the 60s, he told us all what we needed to know. Telling the story is important. Telling us how to feel and react to the story politically is wrong.

Bruce has told us the story of wanting to leave your dying small town; falling in love over and over; avoiding being drafted for Vietnam, and dealing with the mental illness of his Dad. That story is deeply personal and explains why Bruce never tried drugs. He was afraid of what it would do to him. And now, he tells us different stories. The aging rocker and the Babe are the same age. I’m really glad we saw him in concert prior to the Babe retiring. (It was the first concert he ever attended. That’s setting the bar pretty high!). This music talks of long love, telling your loved one all the things that are your truths, and love everlasting. I’m there. It’s great.

I find songwriting fascinating. I am amazed at how carefully the words need to be chosen. The music perfectly complements the lyrics. Calling the words lyrics make them sound, well, musical. The giant story you can tell with few words has to be a challenge, yet people do it all the time. Think of all the music generated by the Covid Quarantine. Vast numbers of songs exist now that didn’t before. Lucky us!

As I’m ready to close Blogpost #596, I want to thank each and every 300+ followers I have. Feel free to share. I am grateful for all of you. Please, feel free to comment and it’d be great if you’d leave your email address for my mailing list. I won’t bore you with multiple emails, just news about the books. You are helping my dreams happen. How exciting! I’m putting together some merch ideas, and some give away once my books are published. I’d love to share the wealth with you. I will never share your information, either. That’s just wrong!

See you tomorrow! Enjoy your day. Your nap. Reading. Listening to the NWG Conference. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. You’ll feel wonderful!

Another Fab Friday

Well, it finally happened, thanks to Jimmy Weber. I’ve finally joined the world of streaming music. His wonderful new album is available wherever you stream music. I’ve never streamed. I’ve clung to the CD format since – well, a long time. So here I am, finally, in this century as far as my music goes. Thanks, Jimmy! It doesn’t seem to work very well playing music on my Chromebook while blogging. I’ll have to try it later when I’m using the laptop. It’s got more “power,” as they used to say on “Home Improvement.”

On the COVID front, Douglas County Health Department in Omaha, Nebraska opened their website this morning at 9 a.m. to make appointments for the elderly. I registered Mom for next week. It should be a good experience. They have accommodations such as wheelchairs for those who need it. I got one for Mom. She’s always insisted on walking herself, but the time has come for sensibility. Saving her energy is key right now.

I’m closing in on the end of the month, and with that, I’ve decided February 1, 2021, I need to get back to work on my novel, “The Saving of Katie Fitzgibbons.” It’s time I got busy again. You’ll be the first to know how it’s going!

The Wal-mart pick up line was pretty long this morning. I waited a bit, but it still beat going through the store and all the people who appeared to be there. What a godsend it is! I have yet to convince Mom of that, but it’s ok. Someday we’ll probably shop for her. Getting out of the house is what she needs now. She’s ready to warmer weather so she can walk on her patio daily. It’s to slippery right now. Bless her heart.

Call your elderly friends and family. They are needing a bright spot in their days right now. If they have limitations in movement or with vision and hearing, the days are twice as long for them. We’ll all get there some day, some of us sooner than others. Be kind now, and someone will return your favor later on.

Thank you for reading today. Don’t forget about my friends Jimmy Weber and Billy McGuigan. They both have some great new music written during the COVID quarantine. It’s bound to help you feel better. Music does that. It heals the souls. See you again tomorrow!