Memorial Day/Tuesday Thoughts

A lot of things happened between Sunday night and today.

We had a Memorial Day Ceremony at the VFW Post 2503 Monday at 1 p.m. It was a Memorial for our members lost since last year. We read the names of both Post and Auxiliary members who passed between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. These dates represent the Honor Guard Year. We had many funerals delayed because of COVID, and the restrictions in place.

A beautiful day revealed itself as we had our ceremony. Our Congressman, Don Bacon, spoke and so did the Marine Corps League Commandant. We had a windy but beautiful day (no, not from the speakers). We were blessed with Tammy Marshall, Nebraska Author and member of American Legion Riders, Bloomfield Post 249. Tammy read her poem, “I Stood a Flag Line Today.” It was written as a tribute to her boyfriend’s son. He was a soldier who committed suicide. It was an honor to meet his father, Kim Erickson. Tammy & Kim are both Legion riders and attend many funerals for Veterans. What an honor, and what a blessing they are. Her poem is the back of her book, Ticker Tape. You can find more information on Tammy at :

https: //tammymarshallauthor.wordpress.com

I have told Tammy her poem needs to be a song, it would be beautiful. I’m going to share it with someone we know who may be able to set it to music. You know who you are!

Trevor Erickson shall not be forgotten, and deserves all the honors we would give any soldier who dies in battle. This battlefield happened to be vast and dark, it was with his mind. The wounds caused are the hardest to heal, and perhaps easiest to conceal. We need to work hard, bringing mental health issues out of the dark and into the light where they are discussed, dealt with, and normalized. We all experience some mental health challenges from time to time. There is no shame in it.

Remember Trevor Erickson. Remember the good he accomplished in his lifetime. Remember his family. Remember all those we have lost to battles that are seen and unseen. Be grateful for their sacrifices.

We will publish a photo chronicle on Facebook of the day from putting the flags up, Linda Humphrey feeding the volunteers breakfast, and the Honor Guard at their last duty of the day; firing at the Post Ceremony. These men put up flags, participated in three ceremonies besides our own, and finished by taking the flags down before the winds increased. They are very serious about demonstrating honor and respect.

Remember our fallen and their sacrifices well beyond Memorial Day. Once the speeches are over, the flags retired, and the uniforms hung back in the closet; empty chairs are still at the dinner tables, broken hearts still visit graves, and memories remain in minds afraid their soldier will be forgotten. We cannot let that happen. We need to remain a grateful nation, now more than ever. God Bless them all, and their families.

90th Anniversary Weekend

Today, our bodies are tired, our hearts are full, and the memories are on overload with the people we’ve known and lost from our VFW Post 2503. Anniversaries and Birthday remembrances always bring those memories forward. Our events, well attended, ran smoothly. If anyone left hungry, it was their fault!

Preparation for this weekend of events began over a year ago. The Quartermaster, Dan Raabe, suggested we spruce the building up as part of our rebranding process. Why? To survive another 90 years, we need to include young families, younger male and female veterans, and expand our focus to serve veterans more ways.

We have assembled a team of people who play separate critical functions to support our veterans. We have embarked on missions with Moving Veterans Forward, Guitars for Vets, and the 50 Mile March Foundation. The next logical step to support is a most critical one. The area of veteran suicide prevention. Planning is underway to expand our outreach. We will welcome volunteers when the expansion is underway. More on this in the future.

Saturday evening, we hosted speakers, remembrances of old uniforms, memorabilia, and members filled our Honor Room (formerly called the South Room). Music followed. We unveiled our custom-labeled Patriot Red and Freedom White wines. We also had the VFW logo etched onto 20 ounce glasses as another memento of the occasion. A former member who transferred away visited and transferred back to our Post.

We are proud of the compliments on our updated rooms, our attendance, and our plans for the future. We are most proud of our members and volunteers. They make all the difference in the world. Looking forward to another 90 years. Enjoy the photos of the weekend. Thank you for reading. Videos posted separately, on VFW Post 2503 FB page.

The Hawk. Insomnia. Messages.

I’ve been awake since probably 3 a.m. Yes. 3 a.m. I am still not tired yet at 7 a.m. A quick nap this afternoon will be in order. I woke when the Babe got up to use the restroom, as dudes in their 70s often need to do at night. Lexie was sleeping between us and she stood to circle around and lie down again. She moves until she bumps into any body part on me, then she sighs. It’s kind of nice.

While lying in bed, willing myself back to sleep, my first conscious thought again was the hawk from a few days ago. Here’s that article. Yes, I feel it was a message to urge me to free up time to do the things I want to do – writing, quilting, creating. The hawk, a symbol of honesty and clear vision, came to me in the very spot my friend Rick Tiger said we’d sit and write a song this summer when he and his wife would travel to Omaha to do another show at the VFW. Sadly, Rick contracted COVID and passed away last October.

In the early morning fog of waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, it occurred to me. The hawk may have been Rick. He encouraged me to write, and that is what I intend to do. I am amazed. It’s what I’m working towards, that very thing. And the hawk appeared above me where we were to write the song we talked about. I’m tagging his wife, Joyce, in this blog. Joyce, Rick is still working, isn’t he? I’m grateful for the prompt he asked God to send to me. It’s a gift! Thanks, Rick!

Tonight, the Babe and I are going to the kick-off meet and greet for the first Bombshell Patriots of Nebraska Conference. I’m proud to be part of this event and am eager to hear the speakers tomorrow. They are all very accomplished women. I cannot wait to learn from them. It should be a great weekend. Check them out on Facebook, Bombshell Patriots. They’re in Colfax, Iowa. Their website is: http://www.bombshellpatriots.org.

Should be a great conference.
It will be an honor to hear these women speak and meet them.

I won’t be able to blog until late tomorrow evening, so we will see each other tomorrow. Thank you for reading, stay safe, and have a beautiful evening.

Endless Possibilities

Random as this thought is, today’s header photo is of the new bedspread I just purchased for our bed. The pillow saying, “Life is Beauty Full” is perfect, isn’t it? It makes me happy. Not so much the Babe. He says all those pillows interfere with him getting into bed. He’s such a man sometimes! Well, huh? I guess all the time.

Today, this post is your BOGO. What? I discovered when logging into WordPress to blog, I discovered I never posted the Friday edition. Sometimes that happens. I could have skipped, but I have something to tell a story about, so here goes.

We quote Rossiter Worthington Raymond as saying:

Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon;

and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”

Think about this. Any horizon, limited by where we stand as we look, is only temporary. Since the world is indeed round, horizons are endless. We need to keep moving to even think about seeing all the horizons. I compare it to going to school. As a little child, elementary school has a goal; thus it’s on your horizon until you reach it. Middle school is the next horizon and goal. Then high school. And so it goes.

After high school, you can now decide between trade school and college. Of course, there are countless other possibilities. But as you’ve moved past each horizon, your next horizon changes.

The same thing happens with your personal growth. As you near one personal horizon end, and another presents itself, go for it! Of course, only if it is worthy of your time, talent, and tenacity. You will achieve anything possible by not giving up. If you reach the goal on the next horizon and find it fails, you have learned a valuable lesson. You will adjust your planning and work for the next horizon and proceed with knowledge you did not possess before. No one can take that away from you. It’s a great feeling, believe me.

If someone has quashed your confidence, pioneer spirit, or dreams along your way, take heart; you are not alone. There are many people, especially women, who believe they lack what it takes. Most of the time, it exists. Maybe it needs re-direction. You could be resoundingly successful on a little different horizon. Look at you doing what they said you couldn’t!

Whatever creative outlet calls your name, you will express whatever is in your heart through that medium. It could be painting, quilting, writing prose, dancing, or even writing poetry. If you acknowledge this soul/creative outlet connection, you will feel spent when you finish each project. Being spent and feeling good is a benefit. You’re calmer, more settled, less anxious, lots of things. Man (and women) are not meant to live on bread alone. The arts are crucial to our beings.

Today, it is beautiful outside, a bit chilly, but nice enough to enjoy my rocking chair on the deck. I always say hi to our friend Rick Tiger when I do this. It’s where I had to sit when I wrote about his passing last year. Last time we heard him perform, I was asking him how songwriting differed from other writing. He told me next visit to town, we’d write a song. I showed him out two rocking chairs on our deck. He said this is where we would sit. Dang COVID. COVID, you will not kill dreams. I see another horizon for me, off in the near distance. And I’ll sit here while I do it.

Thanks for reading. Your BOGO is now complete. See you tomorrow!

Super Sunday, 2022

I spent a good deal of the afternoon updating the website for the VFW Post 2503 the Babe is Quartermaster and Honor Guard Captain for. I hadn’t done any maintenance lately, so it was definitely time. Volunteer hours, spent at home on the couch, watching the Kansas City Chiefs game tend to fly by. And now, it’s nearly 6 p.m.

So, when do you take your Christmas tree down? Assuming it’s an artificial one? Mine is still up, but I expect it will be down by Saturday. My son Frankie is coming over for a late Christmas dinner tomorrow. He was working, and we went to our brother in law’s home, so it works out well. It’ll be good to spend some time just with him and see what’s going on in his life. He’s a blessing in my life. Always is happy. Always makes the best of whatever situation is going on. I hope to spend more time talking with him in 2022.

I’m pleased we might have found a new church. We’ll know after a few more visits, and we’ll visit a few more places, too. That’s something I’ve missed greatly, so now, that’s one big question answered. Of course, with my son sharing dinner with us tomorrow, I’ll be picking up the house (and dog sparkles), so I won’t do more than plan our calendar for the week, most likely. There is so much a creative person wants to do and it’s so hard to select exactly which few of a hundred projects can actually be completed.

When I became disabled with my back/spine issues in 2000, I purchased things to do (craft projects) that I know I’d like to do when I’m older. I’m just about to the 70s for the second time in my life, and I’m not old enough yet to do those things. I’m looking forward to unboxing all my collection of books after I deep clean our family room area downstairs, where it leads to the patio, and I want to find a good place to donate the ones I don’t want/can’t keep. I need to find out if the library of quilting books I have can be donated to the local high school or public library for kids to learn these skills that may soon be obsolete.

I have a quilt my grandma hand pieced in the 1920’s, before Mom was born in 1929. I think this quilt needs to be hand quilted, and I’m going to do it. If it takes 100 years to make a quilt, why not? I hope to leave it to our granddaughter in Colorado. I hope it has some meaning to her. I have two other quilts I want to make for this year; one is a snowflake quilt for our king-sized bed; the other is a pieced elephant quilt for our kind-sized bed. I also have a surprise for a friend of mine, and want to look for fun fabrics I may not have in my stash downstairs. If you quilt, it’s all about the fabric search!

My master plan will include time in January to prep for Income Tax Preparation. Although I do ours, this year, I may have business forms to file, too. It’s another thing to learn as we go along. If not, I know a couple of great CPA’s. Networking is everything.

So many people are complaining how bad 2021 was. With the strides we’ve made blogging, writing the novel, getting my Chapter 1 published in the Nebraska Writer’s Guild Anthology 2021, forming my LLC, I’m delighted with my part of 2021. Yes, there were some very bad things. We lost four friends last year; two to COVID, two to service-related illnesses during Vietnam. It really stunk. It would be easy to sink into the mindset of “life sucks.” Guess what?

We cannot let it win. We cannot let negativity reign over hope, trust, belief, and goodness How do you keep that in the forefront?

I look at my friends and family. With all the weddings during and after COVID, my cousin’s daughter and husband are expecting a little girl in February. And some special friends announced their engagement this weekend. Those are events that restore your faith, your hope, and your love. Those are events that remind you there is more positive in life than negative. There is always hope in a baby’s eyes; and a gleam in a couple’s eyes who view their Ever After in each other. I see it in the Babe. I hope he sees it in me. There is no other beyond him. We both wandered about, living our lives and making mistakes, before we met each other. God sure knows what He’s doing, right? Somehow, we find each other. Always.

May all of us have our Ever After. Barbara and Jimmy, a heartfelt congratulations to you both. Life is too short to wait too long. And too fragile to question too much. I nearly talked myself out of the Babe, first real nice guy I’d ever met; he had ischemic heart disease. I was certain he’d die on me. Not yet! No heart attack yet after 25 years! Fear can’t rule these times. Put your trust in each other, and you will not believe the places you will go – together. God Bless You!

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!

Fabulous Friday Night!

The Babe and I attended a fundraiser last night for Toys for Tots and Guitars for Vets Nebraska. For nearly a year, our VFW Post has lent support to this great organization. G4V helps vets with PTSD learn to play the guitar, by offering ten free lessons with a qualified instructor. When they complete their instruction, they receive their own brand new guitar and accessories. Last night was an in person ceremony and the first public graduation ever.

Peggy Frye Ullom, a/k/a Taylor is the founder of the Nebraska Chapter. She is committed to helping other Vets who suffer silently from PTSD. It’s no secret she is committed to the nth degree. She is a leader who has a true heart for the mission of the group which is to help the Vets cope with their individual situations. She understands the task and fully supports the mission; she is one of the Vets with PTSD. Total honesty is her mantra, and it helps people open up and be vulnerable in their quest for a more normal life. It is with pleasure I now call her a friend.

The friendships that grow by getting involved in our community is phenomenal. When many like-minded people gather for the good of others, only great relationships can develop. I can hardly wait to see how things go next year, but I’m not about to wish my time away. December will find us regrouping, and structuring our Post Outreach more. There are a couple more groups we would like to become involved with and will investigate that further after Veterans Day/the Christmas Season. Only good can come of being involved.

Ken Sitler and Jimmy Weber, two local retired Air Force Veterans performed last night, too. They are always great to listen to. Their banter is pretty funny, and they had a couple Veterans who are musically inclined join them. One could no longer play guitar after having a stroke; he joined Jimmy and sang. I’m sure that made his year! It’s those kinds of meetings that develop into friendships that result from events like last night.

We’re grateful all these people made Omaha home after their military careers. Not just the three mentioned, but Dave (sorry, I don’t know your last name!), David J Mike and his lovely wife Gail, and all the other instructors I’ve haven’t gotten to know yet. The area is enriched with your presence. Grateful for all of you.

I know what music does for me; I’m sure it “works” in relieving anxiety, stress, and horrible events. Time, and learning how to cope is the best thing we can do for folks who need this. Art, drawing, performing, all give the same effect, it’s why the “arts” were created. When I was a kid, I was bullied. Most everyone was. I’d come into our house, and go to my room. That song by the Beach Boys became my theme song, “In My Room.” Sometimes I resolve bad moods or thoughts by being alone, listening to music. It always makes a huge difference.

As the Babe and I, along with our other volunteers from the VFW Post 2503, finish up on the Veterans Day Celebration of Veterans, we are cognizant of needs of our Veterans. The events in Afghanistan have shaken some to the core. They’re angry, needing to vent, and trying to figure out a lot of things. We are holding the Second Annual Clothing and Food Drive for Moving Veterans Forward and the Sienna Francis House. Two of our younger Veterans called last year to see if they could leave a trailer in the parking lot, and collect coats, for the homeless. Check the Post website @ http://www.vfwpost2503.org to view the list of needs for the food and clothing drive. We will also have Toys for Tots donation boxes available.

Last year at this time, we just became acquainted with Victory Apartments and Moving Veterans Forward. We coordinated with MVF and initiated monthly donations for them. It’s been a very worthwhile endeavor, which we will continue for years to come.

So much good has been generated with those two new guys who wanted to do something meaningful for their fellow Veterans. They have launched many good events; Car Shows benefiting Moving Veterans Forward, Guitars for Vets, Nebraska COPS, and the family of Corporal Daegan Page. The potential is mind boggling. Work by many becomes light. Thanks, guys.

We are also offering an Art Show by Liz Boutin. She is a Bellevue artist and military wife. She has journaled her way through working with the Red Cross Hospital in Germany, and working with Veterans from Iraq & Afghanistan at their first stop after becoming injured. The exhibit shows how PTSD can be worked with through Art. Liz will be present all day Veterans Day if you’d like to visit with her. She will also speak at our Veterans Day Ceremony, on November 11, 2021 at 6 p.m. Her art is available all week to view by members and friends. All are welcome.

There will also be resources available for referrals for Guitars for Vets, Moving Veterans Forward, 22 Until None in Council Bluffs, and other organizations on a list we’ll have available for you to have. We will have a representative from the VA who can register you for your VA Benefits on site, you won’t have to go to the VA Hospital. We want to make it as easy as possible for you or your loved one to receive benefits they deserve.

We cannot guarantee your souls can be repaired like new; we can guarantee you will not be alone. VFW Post 2503. 90th and Military Road, Omaha, NE 68134. Join us!

“Twas a Dark and Stormy . . . ” Day!

We are in the middle of a storm front for the whole day. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunshine the best. But why be a Miss Grumpy Pants if it’s overcast? I’m glad for the lower water bills during this time of year, and God’s doing his best to water the grass and gardens that are drying and dying back for the fall season. With the thunder and lightening, Lexie has taken up residency in our oversized master bedroom closet, and Goldie? She’s between my feet and the base of my office chair. As long as Mom’s around, that noise doesn’t bother her. I woke to find her next to me during the night. Lexie was there when I fell asleep, and when Lexie retreated to the closet, Goldie plopped and cuddled.

Goldie, resting on my foot while I work. She doesn’t like thunder.

The Babe trekked up to the Post for some bookwork. I’m listening to Dayna Jones, a country singer/kindergarten teacher from Emery, South Dakota. I learned about her from our mutual friend, Jimmy Weber. I hope to meet her one day Both Dayna and Jimmy have performed with Martina McBride, whom I love! I heard her before she became a star; she toured with pianist Jim Brickmann in the 90s. She sang the song “Valentine.” Isn’t it beautiful? I love music even more on dark, dreary days. Dayna Jones has a couple CD’s out, which I really enjoy, also. This is a favorite. Gosh, Dayna, hope to meet you someday! You need to come to Omaha!

My handy, dandy Daily Meditation Book for ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) has another perfect meditation for today, for the work I’m about to do during November. (NaNoWriMo – a National Novel Writing Month). It’s actually taken from the Bible, Ecclasiates to be exact.

“The race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong.

Most battles are not won by overwhelming firepower. Any battle with addictions, weight control, low self esteem, self-loathing, take constant work. By working steadily, you will win the race. It’s why the turtle beat the rabbit, remember? Flash-bangs are dramatic, but just leave a smoldering hole in the ground. Some damage, but in the one spot. Battles of the mind are no different. Another phrase that applies here?

“Talk Doesn’t Cook Rice.” Chinese Proverb

As I look back on my life, I put my stock in too many people who talked without cooking anything! Except for the Babe. He is a totally honest man. He knows my insecurities, and where they come from, and he loves me anyhow. He never uses my weaknesses against me. That is love. He not only cooks rice, but he cleans the kitchen up afterwards. Thanks to his mama Liz for raising men who pitch in and do the work around the house. They cared for their younger sisters while she worked. I miss her a lot. She always made you feel welcome, and that you are important. She did that with kids, adults, everyone. I’m lucky to have had two great women for Mothers-in-Law. Josephine, my first MIL, kept in touch with me after the divorce. Bless her. When I met the Babe and later told her I was getting re-married, she was happy. “Is he your soul-mate?” How cool of her. She kept up to date on things happening in the world. A sweet woman who had a hard life.

The thing about these two very strong women is they worked very hard – one as a waitress, one as a food prepper. Both hard work, and standing on their feet all day, Josephine had to work on Christmas Eve back in the day, and often until the stores closed at 5 p.m. She was quite the bargain shopper, often finding a great buy for one of her numerous grandchildren, rushing home and wrapping it before everyone arrived. She loved seeing the kids on Christmas. It’s because of this mother of 7 that I started loving Christmas Eve again.

You see, in 1964, my grandfather died of a massive heart attack on Christmas Eve. We weren’t there, Mom claimed one of my brothers was sick. It took years and years to deal with that. It still is on my mind on that day. Yes, there will be a children’s book/book for families on that difficult topic. Learning how to handle such deep grief is important; it’s a story I need to share. Look for it next calendar year. My friend Jimmy Weber is collaborating with me, he wrote a song about losing his grandpa the same way, on Christmas Eve. Did I mention we were both 12 years old? I healed a lot when I heard his song/story. It was my story. That’s how our friendship started. What a treasure!

All these stories are connected, though distinctly different. The theme is the same, and so many different characters in each scene of my life provides the background for a blessed life. My thanks to you all for being here. The work is a little easier with support and friendship.

For today? More plotting the writing of 50K words during those 30 days of November. The Babe is happy I won’t be bugging him as much. He can watch all the football his mind can handle, flipping channels randomly as he snacks intermittently. Heaven! And I get to write. Gearing it up, and grateful for the opportunity. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

P.S. Also going back to Keto, maybe a relaxed version. Now that I’ve lost 45 pounds, I’m encouraged to keep going. After all, there are book signings in my future! Gotta be healthy and fit to do that. And looking forward to it. Visions of the Future, very motivating. Have a beautiful day, even if it’s rainy!

Kind of a Big Deal

Well. Look at us here on an overcast Monday morning at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. We’re about to get back into a routine, I think. It needs to be a different routine, however. Instead of concentrating on my kidlit, it’ll be my novel.

Why? You may ask. Because I sent Chapter One of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons,” to the panel of the Nebraska Writers Guild for publication in their annual anthology. It’s a collection of member’s works. It’s how I found the Guild in the first place. The Babe and I were driving back from visiting granddaughter Kayla, and we stopped at a rest area. They sold books, etc. I saw the anthology for that year and purchased it. It started me looking to create opportunities.

By the way, I received an e-mail Friday telling me my Chapter would be published in this year’s anthology. How exciting is that? I’m honored, proud, and humbled, all at the same time. And those of you friends I’ve tagged need to know you’ve all helped me get to this point. The support from all of you is phenemonal. Yes, all of you. If you read, or liked something I posted, whether it a blog post or FB post, it’s all been encouraging. I can’t thank you enough. And Billy and Kate – Thanks for letting me learn the, “Just because it’s never been done,” philosophy. My life is full of doing things never done before. Out of “order.” As a late bloomer.

That said, now the work load needs to shift (I believe the word now is “Pivot”), and we’ll be closer to the end of the book at the end of 2021. We’ve reached a milestone, friends. I’m really beside myself! Thank you all, for reading, encouraging, feedback, and all of you who read quietly in the background (No, General Dennis Luke from Nigeria, who lives in Saudi Arabia now, and asks me to send him a friend request, no, not your kind of background reading!) Don’t be a creeper, or creepy.

Tomorrow is the annual pilgrimage to Hobby Lobby for Mom, so I’d better get extra rest tonight! Just can’t shake this allergy/asthma flareup. So again, I look forward to a new day tomorrow. It’s going to be a great week! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow!

A Soldier Returns Home

I am listening to the “Impactful Internal Communications: Workplace Communications” while I put my thoughts together for the day. They are scattered, but here goes.

It is a big day, a sad day for the State of Nebraska, and the City of Omaha. A Soldier is returning. A Marine is returning. A son is returning. Our VFW Post 2503 will be on hand at various locations throughout the route, at the ready to communicate our gratitude for the sacrifice this soldier made for his country. This new gold star family deserves our heartfelt thanks.

We are also donating all the proceeds from our last of the summer Car Show on Sunday, along with the proceeds from raffles, the breakfast and lunch, and general donations. If you’re in the Omaha area, please stop in. Have breakfast, but a raffle ticket, or make a contribution. All money we take in Sunday goes to Corporal Page’s family.

Our photographs and video were not as good as some I’ve seen posted so far. But they’re the best I’ve got. We saw a spirit in the crowds of people we saw in Millard that has been missing for a long time. I would say since 9/12/2001. If you don’t recall, or if you weren’t born yet, that was the beginning of a different America. And we’ve lost that. I felt it today, in Omaha, Nebraska.

We were with some VFW Friends waiting for the motorcade. We know the man from the mortuary who is caring for the Corporal until he is buried. He was honored to chosen. After we saw the Patriot Riders bring up the rear, the crowds dispersed. It was a warm day, and the conditions were perfect. I hope they are the day of the funeral, too.

I was not able to complete my submission for the Nebraska Writers Guild Anthology for this year. It is actually due tomorrow night, so it will go in tomorrow after I tweak it one last time. The Babe is going to help other volunteers cook and serve lunch for the Nebraska National Guard and their families tomorrow in remembrance of 9/11. I strained my knee walking through the uneven ground today, so I’m sitting this one out. Later in the day, I’ll go set up our raffle prizes for the Car Show.

Remember our great nation tomorrow, and the depth of it’s honor. Remember all the first responders and other innocent people who perished twenty years ago on that terrible day. Remember instead the brave Marines who gave their lives to help get Americans out of Afghanistan. Be grateful all of these brave people have lived. Be grateful there was no hesitation in their actions and their commitment to protecting people won over any human fraility or doubt.

Take care this evening. Know you are secure and safe tonight. See you tomorrow.