Widsom and Spring

The buds on the Wetland’s trees are barely sprouting. Next week, I’ll guess, will be when they really burst forth. And already with the allergies this year. It will be quite a switch, from winter allergy meds to spring allergy meds. Stay tuned!

What do you think of when you hear the word “wisdom?” For me, the words of the most incredible song ever: “Let It Be.”

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me,

Speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be.”

Paul McCartney finally revealed the words and sentiment of this song were from a dream of his mother appearing to him with the wise words, “Let It Be.”

I’ve always associated wisdom with older people. They taught us our elders had wisdom from living long and learning as life goes on. I agree with some of that; some people do not become wiser. That is a whole other phrase, but doesn’t refer to wisdom. With families spread so far across the world, some children are not in contact with their grandparents. Sad; they blessed us so much with life lessons and teaching us things like fishing, sewing, gardening, and many other skills.

We learned at their elbow, and we observed them in life situations. We learned how to be good people. Honesty, truth, fairness, and a strong sense of pride in America were the lessons of each day. Now, some families only place value on apps, reality tv, and TikTok videos. Nothing special. Nothing lasting. Nothing worth passing down to the heirs.

The Babe and I went to a nursery today and being near all the dirt, fertilizer, seeds, and bulbs. There is something about the combination of all those scents that gives me hope in the future, the wonder of nature, and joy in seeing what is to come. It’s happening here, and it’s happening now. Enjoy it. Have wonder in it. Take part in it. Enjoy this Sunday, and let’s see each other tomorrow.

Thank You . . .

for trusting me with your personal issues, secrets, and heartbreaks. I’m blessed to have friends who trust me with their hearts and heartbreak. That is one of the most valuable gifts there is. I am grateful to receive their trust. Disappointing people by breaking that trust, is something I’d rather not do at all. It has disappointed me when people I thought were trustworthy, were not. It is devastating when that happens.

Shakespeare once said, “In thy face I see the map of honor, truth, and loyalty.”

One of the many things people risk telling each other is how they value putting trust in people they want to have a relationship with. Trusting their word, their faithfulness, and their honesty. Once the heat of the moment cools a bit, and the infatuation settles down, the reality of everyday settles in and you learn about their true trustworthiness. And they learn about yours. This is where people actually become themselves. All the good and bad habits.

If our person isn’t in our corner, what good is the union? Are they there for us? If not, it’s not worth pursuing. If you feel more alone with them than without them, they’re not for you. If another person has no integrity when you meet, it’s doubtful they’ll learn it soon. Being alone is better than not being able to trust. Promises and good intentions are empty unless you can trust them.

We see this on a smaller scale as kids in school. We try to be nice to everyone and treat everyone as our friend. This doesn’t guarantee. Some kids develop other characteristics which contribute to them being untrustworthy. We need to do all we can to help kids in our lives learn the good way. They are watching. Be a good example.

I hope you have a wonderful Friday today. Wherever you go, remember to be a good example. See you tomorrow!

Spring 2023

The Babe and I sat outside for about an hour yesterday. It was hoodie weather, and I had on a double layer. In the sunshine, when the wind stopped, it was glorious! It seems forever since we could sit outside last fall.

The sky was brilliant blue, the birds singing, and the dogs were in heaven. Goldie could play fetch from now until the snow comes next Christmas, and Lexie could lie in the warm sun until then, too. It’s funny how tired they are later in the afternoon after a morning/early afternoon like this. As soon as one of them moves, the other jumps up as if they’ve been awake for days. Neither can miss out on what the other is doing. Crazy kids!

The Babe has cabin fever so bad. I do too, but he’s wanting to clean out all the flowerbeds, trim the bushes, transplant the hydrangeas, and replace the butterfly bush. I missed seeing the bush full of butterflies all summer, looking out while I wrote and quilted. Last spring, it simply didn’t grow. I was so sad! The years before it grew at least seven feet high and six plus feet across. We cut it back probably three or four times. I missed it and the butterflies I was used to seeing. We’ll take measures to correct all that this summer.

The Babe and I talked today about helping Mom get her planters done so she can enjoy them this summer. Yesterday, she told me all she can see is gray, no shapes anymore. That is so sad. Does anyone have an elder in their lives who has this? It’s one thing I’m fearful of developing. All I can do is pray for the best and be grateful.

We have a busy day with Mom today. It should see us put a few miles on the odometer and give her a tour of part of the city she’s not seen before. Until tomorrow, folks, have a great Thursday, and make sure we see each other tomorrow. Take care!

When Spring Comes . . .

. . . the grass grows by itself.

Right along with the seasons coming in their time and on time every single time since God created all of this. Eager as we are for spring to begin, it will in its own good time. What we need to do in the meantime, is relax. That is a tall order with all the anxiety flying about in the world.

I’ve found the older I become, the less I need to work at relaxing. For that, I’m grateful. I’ve learned we can’t force an outcome simply because we think it is in our best interest. We only know the small part that affects our world. God knows what the big picture is. When I was still married to my first husband, I was a bundle of nerves. It was awful. I had muscle spasms in my stomach, and I was a mess. Didn’t really drink coffee, just tea, and wanted the pain to just stop. It did. After counseling, filing for divorce, and him moving out, the pain stopped. I’ve never had it again.

That was the last bit of information I needed to change my life. My short-sighted plan didn’t seem to be such a sure plan. I didn’t belong in a happily ever after life with that man. But I do with the Babe. We met 27 years ago, and in October, will be married 25 years. So happy. So calm. And this time, I’m sure.

I’ve noticed a great change in the Babe, too. He used to have a hard time just staying at home. We did vacations and then eased off the traveling; so we had about ten years of kids getting married and having babies, and now, just enjoy being home. We’re good to watch the seasons surround our home with lush foliage, flowers, crisp leaves, bare branches, and snow. All in its own good time. Every year, new birds make themselves known. Waiting their visitation and hatching eggs on the patio, above the rafters.

The less rigid we are results in an opening of our hearts, minds, and souls. We can settle in, watch nature unfold in its own time. We slowly learn our perfectionism and rigid rules are not conducive to enjoying successful execution of what we do well. Being perfect doesn’t register anywhere with being satisfied in what we do. Learn to relax. Foremost. And forever.

Have a great Wednesday. See you tomorrow.


Do you own a new auto?

Have you ever received a recall notice for your vehicle? How did you handle it?

It’s interesting, the feature we don’t like at all is being recalled. The idea to save fuel by shutting the engine off while at a stop sign, traffic light, in line at the bank, etc. is one we disagree with. Pushing a button is supposed to re-start the engine. This feature is not working properly. The recall is to replace the starter and update software. I find this fascinating. The first thing we asked each other was, “Won’t that put a lot of stress on the starter?”

My 3 brothers and I all worked for our uncle’s South Omaha Auto Parts Store. The parts came from other suppliers or directly from the yard where junked cars stored by make, model, etc. I worked in the office. Between that experience and growing up in a home where the men could work on their own cars, change their own oil, do their brakes, you pick up terminology here and there. As time went on, they expanded to starters, alternators, and radiators. I did radiator inventory more than once.

As luck would have it, the Babe was a diesel mechanic/lead where he worked. He had an office, and eventually became labor foreman, and facilities manager. He taught me a lot about construction, landscaping, and many other things. One of the most fun things we ever did that I still tease him about today was go downtown to the 24 hour concrete pour for the tallest building in Omaha – the First National Bank Tower Headquarters. For 24 hours, concrete trucks poured their entire load to create for the base of this giant skyscraper. It was interesting to watch, and he’d tell me what they were all doing. He knew a lot of the drivers from his job and had conversations with them later about it.

I would tell him, “You take me to the best places. We do the most fun stuff. Like the time we went to the concrete pour for the First National HQ.” He smiles. I don’t know of other women who like that kind of stuff. I’m grateful for the view on the world I have. It helped me fix stuff when I was a single mom with a house. I’m a lot more mechanically oriented that many women. I like to see things assembled and learn how they work.

I am thrilled to hear of initiatives by folks like Mike Rowe, encouraging kids to go into industries we need people to work with their hands. No matter what, we’ll always need cooks, nurses, mechanics, printers, production managers, butchers, plumbers, electricians, construction people. We shot ourselves in the foot in the 80s by doing away with the “technical” part of community colleges. The theory was:

“You can earn more money sitting down than you can standing up.”

Yes, we need people in work clothes. Those skills are in short supply; encourage your child. We need many of all the careers that exist. Let’s get a good balance.

Hope it’s a good day. Mom’s got an appointment, so we’ll be out for a while. I hope the weather is warm for her. Have a great day, and know spring is just around the corner. See you tomorrow.

Another Fun Week

It is time I concentrate on our Income Taxes. Again, didn’t we just do these? I thought so!

My header photo on this fine Monday morning is of Cody’s quilt with the pile of threads I plucked from it since Friday, when I discovered I goofed big time on it. It was intense, taking all that thread out, fiber by fiber. With the ripping task finished, I’m ready to work on it tomorrow. But no mention of quilting until I photograph it, going into the box for mailing.

When we’re programmed by people who aren’t open to life and all it offers, we are closed to the outside world. Ideas fall flat from not knowing how to execute them, and the fear of moving into unknown territory. I was not fearful of building my website and writing a blog. I did a lot of research on what to do, why, how, when to do it. It has been steady growth up to the 1,074 followers we have now. Stats do not lie.

One important thing I’ve learned over the last 20 years is I really am much more than I ever believed I was. And no, this is not ego speaking. I had faulty information for many years. Those false facts keep many of us captive for years, if not a lifetime. Don’t let this happen to you for another moment. You deserve better.

When our parents or caretakers pass along faulty ideas about us, it’s not entirely their fault. They passed to us what they received from others. If, like me, you were the one who asked for an explanation of why things were the way they were, you probably pissed them off. When they are followers, they don’t like when someone questions. Especially since no one has the answers. Being different isn’t wrong. It just means you think in a different manner. Follow your heart, not someone else’s. It’s never too late. Today, begin!

Have a beautiful start to the week. Let’s see each other again tomorrow.

Already Sunday?

I remember when I was pregnant with my son Nick in 1975. He was born in November of a year that had a huge blizzard, a devastating tornado, and probably a lot of things I’ve forgotten about. I was about 23 years old. I commented to the doctor how fast the time was going. He said, “The older you get, the faster it goes.”

That is so true of the last 25 years for sure. We’ve lived in three homes, moved twice (never again!), and may be at the point where we reduce the fleet to only one car. Talk about downsizing! Not to mention the money it should save. People our ages are concerned about their mobility, independence, cognitive abilities, and all these things entail.

For being a generation who swore along with a young Mick Jagger, to trust no one over the age of 30, we are now in our sixties, seventies, and eighties. What a change! Many a grandmother in their sixties was a hippie chick in their late teens and early twenties. How we’ve changed! Time waits for no one.

No matter how bad something appears at first, things can always be worse. This is not minimizing trauma or an event and a person’s reaction to it. This, being rooted in gratitude, is the mindset we need to have. It makes us put things into perspective and handle life in a better manner. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. One step at a time.

Today flew by. Of course it did. I spent a block of time with my two younger brothers, and we were talking about everything from cars to past life experiences to checking in with each other. We’ve done this a couple times this year so far. So way different from growing up in the same house at all different ages. None of us are getting any younger for sure. Connecting with family is good. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

I hope you have a great Sunday. As you prepare for the next week, take a moment for gratitude. The day goes better. The week goes better. And our attitudes will follow suit. See you tomorrow!

Nothing Scheduled Today?

How on earth did that happen?

Truth be told, the laundry multiplied, the dust is in no danger of settling soon, and the Babe vacuumed yesterday. He always surprises me with help around the house. He did a great dinner of chicken, celery, onions, and the Liz Raabe specialty, creamed soups. The Babe talks about family dinners. Many of them are probably not good for a 72-year-old male, with ischemic heart disease (like Spam in Cheddar Cheese Soup), but they’re good for testing his memory.

Today is catch up day. No, I haven’t finished the quilt. Had a cortisone shot in my knee yesterday. Didn’t have the need for 2 1/2 years! The Doc and PA both congratulated me on the low maintenance. The Keto Diet is due the credit on that. All the more reason to start it up again. First, the quilt. Income Taxes for 2022. And unboxing all our books from moving to our home here at Raabe Ranch. Still settling in? It happens.

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? We don’t. We would go to the VFW for Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner, but we not going this year. We’re going to stay home and enjoy some time together. It’s been another very busy week. I look forward to some downtime and some creative time as well. Celebrating? Staying In? You know what’s said: those of us who are Irish every day don’t need to pretend one day a year.

Ever check out the stories on Dateline? There is one on now, and a woman named Mary Turner Thompson wrote two different books about all the scheming. He pretended to be a British CIA operative, lie upon lie upon lie. It got deeper and deeper. He had marriages with many women, all single moms, in several countries. A fraud, and father of many children abroad.

You could not make this up. I may see if a library has the books, just to read them. I need to become more picky about ordering books for fun. At the current rate, I’ll end up out of storage and too many things to read in a lifetime.

Have a great day and evening. Let’s see each other tomorrow. Life is good. Live a good story. Start Today.

Information Needed ?

Before we decide anything in our lives, we need to have as much information regarding different outcomes as possible. If we want to write a novel. There are two different schools of thought on how to map it out.

The first way is the way of the “pantster.” The story goes where it leads you, with no outline, list of characters, a loose idea of where it should go. The total opposite of that is the way of the “plotter.” They have detailed plots, fully developed characters, complete plots, and prolific writing.

Before you write a story during a certain period in history, research the customs, clothing, social mores, language, and everything else before considering it ready for beta readers and editors. Lots of work, but necessary.

Before you purchase a home, you usually have an inspection by a qualified inspector. They can tell you about any problem areas you might miss. A faulty furnace, bad electrical, a leaky roof, and a host of other things can be problems soon.

In these situations and medical issues, we need complete information before deciding a course of action. Mom has some things going on, and we have more tests before she can decide what to do. She is a very good patient and is not afraid to ask questions.

The timetable of my kid book publication depends on some of these things. Nothing is more important than family. More information will be available within two weeks. Thank you for your patience.

Take a walk if it’s nice outside; or read a book. We need to enjoy our lives every day. Even the hard work parts. It all helps make us who we are. Enjoy your Thursday, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Prayers Always Work

What? What do you mean? How can you say that?

Communication with another human is vital. We call it conversation. In business it’s called having a meeting. Socially, it could be a class reunion or a family reunion. People from a lot of different backgrounds and experiences working together for a common goal. Celebrating it.

When we communicate with God, our Higher Power, or Supreme Being, we pray. We may pray only known prayers; novenas, rosaries, litanies, and others are prayers Catholics participate in. I remember the formal days of prayer during Lent, and Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and ending with Easter Sunday. All leading up to the finale, which is bigger than Christmas. People don’t readily believe that, but Jesus being born is not as big as Jesus dying for our sins.

Our Grandmothers all prayed for their grandchildren. Mothers have all prayed for their children. Wives have always prayed for their soldiers. While we pray when we’re young, we try to direct God to the outcome we wish for.

“Dear God, please make my little brother go away,” is not exactly in the proper spirit. I know, I tried for years. Didn’t work. Today, he’s one of my best friends. God always answers our prayers. Sometimes, the answer to our childish questions is, “No, my child. Wait and see the big picture.” I always wanted a sister; I didn’t realize I’d always have my own room without a sister! God, grantor of the prayers, while showing us the big picture.

The thing of it is, God answers prayers, yet the answer is sometimes an emphatic “NO!” We can only see our versions of the world. God is a big picture guy. He sees what is best for our loved ones. He knows what’s best for us, too. Sometimes, it’s best for us to not to get what we think we want. It may not be a true end to the story. Something better may be in store for us.

We may feel we aren’t worthy or God’s time. He loves when we come to Him. He’s what we need more than anything. We learn to listen to where he’s guiding us and anticipate going there. The more we admit we’re helpless, the easier we are able to ask God for help through prayer. He’s got your back, better than anyone.

Think about your Higher Power, your God, your Supreme Being. Whoever it is, pray to Him/Her/Them. Your faith will be built in this relationship. After all, we’re all just a part of a bigger world. We’re not the one in control, calling the shots, and we need to understand there are things bigger than we are. Prayer will help.

Have a beautiful Wednesday. Enjoy every moment. You never know what your life holds ahead of you. We will see each other tomorrow. Thank you for reading.