It was an early start at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. It was zero dark thirty, I swear! The coffee was dark and strong, the cream sweet, and the conversation was good for it being 6 a.m. The Babe had an early appointment with the VA, so he had to leave super early. I was convinced all day it was Monday again. How does that happen?
I worked more on the quilt blocks for Kayla. I am having fun learning the stitches to applique the pieces down. I’ve missed the hum of the machine. My thoughts go to a creative world full of colors, shapes, textures, and all sorts of beautiful garments, quilts, and decor. The time just flies.
My goal is to have this quilt pieced and maybe layered and pinned for quilting. Then, cut out Cody’s blocks, pieces, appliques. Assemble it and quilt them both during October. AND get back to my children’s book, once the quilts are well in hand.
The month of November is NaNoWriMo. It is a stretch of 30 days dedicated to writing 50,000 words. This will be back on my novel. To prep for this, I’m reading the book, “Wired for Story.” It is about using brain science and writing to hook readers with the very first sentence. I think it sounds fascinating, and I hope to learn a lot from this 250 page book.
All of these ideas are how I plan to spend the next few months, creating, writing, quilting, and other things I love. I’m so fortunate to have interests I enjoy. I just don’t seem to have enough time to do everything I hope to see through to completion.
Hope you have a pleasant evening (It’s getting dark out by 7 p.m. here in Nebraska)! The temperature was 100 yesterday, and about 65 today. We’re looking towards the cooler days and finding more time to spend with each other. The Babe is heading towards his second retirement (From the VFW) in six or seven months. In the meantime, he’s going to do most of his work from home, and only be at the office when necessary. It’s going to be another change for us. At least we like each other (now!) See you tomorrow!
It’s a creative mess in here! I love it. Out of the chaos comes creations. Quilts, kid books, a novel, clothes.
I love the warning when the bobbin is about to run out!
There are a few different meanings for divesting. Today’a meaning is simply ridding oneself of something they no longer want/need, etc. Today, I am meeting with my replacement for the Website and social media for the VFW Post 2503. My friend, William Hackenberg has I/T talents and skills that blow me out of the water. It’s time to have a younger, more up to date skilled person. And, I need the time to go back to my interests, my quilting, and especially, my writing. It’s time. And we’re darned lucky to have him to take over.
The past eight years have been a roller coaster and real learning experience, but we hung in there. I’ve enjoyed interacting with all the members, friends, and visitors to the Post. I don’t plan to go anywhere, I’ll still do community outreach with the groups we’ve established relationships with, and will be visible. The big difference will be having more time to spend the way I want to, and having no guilt about being behind in postings, calendar updates, etc. It’ll take a few weeks to be fully divested, but I can feel the relief already.
With the eight losses of close friends in the past two years, I am looking very closely at how I spend my time, and what the results are. We should all do that every once in awhile. Taking stock and deciding how to spend your time is part of de-cluttering for sure. Our schedules need that just as much as our closets.
I am happiest creating things, and sometimes those things are with fabric, sometimes with words. I hope to add drawing to the mix, and painting. It never ends, I have a curiosity about many things, and hope to investigate all of them. So far, so good!
The whole point of spending your life wisely is to leave the world a little better for you being here. Leave every person you meet and love better off than when you met them. We all try to do that. I feel if we all concentrate on that very hard, we’ll be able to achieve some level of those goals. Let’s all try it in our circles of friendship, business, and partnerships. It certainly cannot hurt.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty sad making this move. I liked knowing a little more about what was going on and helping communicate those things to the public, the members, and guests. My dad always said what’s in this header today. I’m giving something up that has taken eight years to build. Some of it feels like “my baby.” And at the same time, with a new, young, more talented I/T guy coming along, it’s time to step aside. It’s what we older folks are supposed to do. Many don’t. So, that’s what I’m doing later today.
What can you divest of that will give you more time to spend how you wish? Sometimes we don’t realize how much time we waste, until we don’t have a chance to change. Don’t let that happen. No one is on their deathbed and states, “I wish I would have spent more time working.” Don’t be that guy or gal. Free yourself up to enjoy something else. It’ll make a difference in your life!
Thank you for reading today. We’re still looking for about 50 more subscribers, to reach 1,000. We have about 956. There is room for everyone! Have a beautiful afternoon and evening. See you tomorrow!
Well, there’s no joy in Mudville this afternoon. You must be a certain age to know what that statement means. It’s a reference to a very old poem that has been popular for many years. Not sure if kids today even hear about it. Here is a copy of the poem, if you’d like to learn about baseball in 1888. I remember the poem from elementary school (No, I wasn’t there in 1888. Disney made a short film about it, which is what is included above). Our boys really played hard today, and lost. What a shame.
With this being their first year in Select ball, it is pretty amazing they made the final four in the tournament at all. They learned a lot of things that will not only make them better players, but better people as well.
They learned to work as a team, not as nine individuals. This lesson continues through their baseball careers, not just this season. Teamwork is important in sports and business. Everyone has an area they’re better in, working together is the best for the team, together, you’re all more powerful. It’s a lesson many adults forget about from time to time. Everyone must give their all to make an impact; otherwise, you may as well give up.
The kids get intimidated; they’re only nine and ten years old. Once intimidated, they lose their confidence, their power, their collective minds. Coaches all worked well on that when it happens, and the boys rallied. It was too late. The after celebration was watermelon for all, and that was it. The season is over. I’m pretty sad about that. Gavin will play football soon, baseball is my favorite.
It’s a little quiet here on this hot day in the Heartland. I know tomorrow will be a rest up day, perhaps Tuesday will be, too. After early call three days for the tournament, sitting in fold up lawn chairs, and roller coaster scoring/hitting/running/errors, elation and bummers, we’re tired. So blessed to have these kids. We’re blessed beyond anything we could have imagined. Always remember with gratitude. It puts all things into perspective.
Have a wonderful evening. Smile about the day. Be grateful for the good; keep the bad in perspective. See you tomorrow!
For the first time today, I went to the First Friday of the Month Luncheon for my graduating class. There were enough to fill one long table @ Sortino’s Pizzaria. Pizza pleases everyone, so why not? It was great fun to sit and listen to people I knew from school all those years ago.
And, since I was introverted, I felt some of that today. It’s hard for me to talk about what I’ve done with my life. Thanks to be homie Gwen for mentioning I’m a writer. The thing of it is, though, I want to continue getting to know these people, who all took time out of their lives to gather and remember. The end of the month, we have a guided tour of the new public school built on the property our school occupied. It should be a good time, then food and beverages later, with everyone who wants to attend. I do want to see the school, it’s an opportunity to see what goes on now in a school. Looking forward to it.
Relationship building is important to me. It’s even more important at this part of life; our seventh decade on this planet, still learning how to maneuver through this crazy thing called life. Whatever you choose to put in front of you as the driving force for your existence, select and do it. Volunteering for a reputable organization is important to the Babe and me. The VFW Post 2503, one who has survived the closures so far, is the main one. Through work there, we met the folks at Guitars for Vets, Moving Veterans Forward, and 50 Mile March. A group of top notch people, who are committed to bettering the lives of our brave veterans who are suffering from homelessness and/or PTSD. Help is there, and we feel committed to promote it.
I’ve resumed Hello Fresh meals this week. We took a little time off from their delivery to use up the Omaha Steaks package of meat we won at a raffle. It was a little weird to cook with our own ingredients again, but I could get used to it. There is something about not having to walk the aisles in the store that I’m happy to give up, the loading the car, unloading the car, putting everything way. I’d be exhausted after each trip to the store. I can use the extra couple hours a week to write, or read about writing. It’s turned into my “life.”
So the kid’s book is out for review by a couple people, and I’ve gotten some pretty good feedback so far. It’s coming along. This weekend will be for working on my crochet project for me (part 2 arrived this week, so I need to get moving); normal blogging and stuff; and putting more things from my old sewing machine cabinet away in their new places. More nostalgia to come.
Visit with old friends and make new ones. Whatever separated us in high school is over long ago. We forge ahead in this life, learning, improving, and loving more as we go along. Remember that as you go about your weekend. Take care of you, too. And we’ll see each other tomorrow.
Amid grief, it is important to look for things to be grateful for. After losing three friends last year, and four this year (already), we are looking towards our arsenal of memories we are grateful to have. Memories of those friends. And there are so many. So many laughs. So many tears. And so many things to give thanks for.
There are the good-natured jokes people have among friends. The stories shared. The corny punch lines after you take the bait and listen to some long, drawn out set-up. And everyone groans collectively. Good times.
There are the serious, heart-revealing stories told in confidence which aren’t shared with many people. They entrusted you with their secrets. You treasured the secrets and stories. Trust is such an important gift to receive. It says more than many hundreds of words. You are forever the keeper of the secret.
There are thousands of everyday life memories. The trips to the lake or cabin; family trips to Disney World; graduations, weddings, baby showers, births, first steps, and broken hearts. Reading and board games, practical jokes and help to study, playing checkers and puzzle building. Monopoly games, Old Maid, War, Electronic Battleship, and my fave, the Game of Life. Think of all the interactions your family may have had doing those things. More treasures, for sure.
There are some people who have none of those memories. Their homes were not happy, their families were not functional. You can find something that was good. One really nice thing I remember was the Christmas Mom made all the Barbie clothes. She had a blast. I gave them to a friend for her daughter; I wish I still had them. But that’s ok. Someone got use from them. Grandma pitched in and knitted some outfits as well. They were awesome. I was a lucky girl that year. Mom always went all out for Christmas.
Sometimes, we have to dig. Sometimes, we have to add to the story to make it a good one for us. It’s ok. We have comfort in our memories, our recollections of treasured moments. Those are what warms us when we’re chilled to the bone with sadness and loss. We might not want to continue, because, “What’s the use?” Nothing could be further than the truth.
We need to continue living and adding to our own experiences, helping others have moments to draw upon when we are gone. That will broaden our wonderful memories and block out the bad ones. Be selective. It helps. We can put grief in its place, it takes time. Studying about it gave me an idea of what I was experiencing. I know what to do now and what not to do. I feel some comfort with this and use it. Thank you for reading today. Be honest with yourself if you are grieving. It helps a lot. Let’s each other tomorrow. Have a good evening.
When my first husband left in 1982 (at my invitation), my kids and I adopted a dog. The neighborhood dog had pups. She was a Spaniel of some kind. All her pups were black or yellow lab mixes. Ours was smaller than the rest and looked more like a black golden retriever. She had a sad look in her brown eyes. The kids named her “Shadow.” We had her for 16 1/2 years. The Babe and I took her for her final vet visit a couple months after we got married. He cried just as hard as I did. The kids, all adults, opted out.
After that, the Babe decided daughter Becky and I needed a puppy; We got a brownish black mutt and named her “Mocho.” She looked mocha colored, but the Babe called her mocho instead. The name stuck. She was a good girl. Becky took her out of her kennel and let her sleep in her bed to keep her from whining.
When I went on LTD, the Babe knew I suffered from depression and felt worthless because I was only 48. He told me to go look at the Humane Society to see if they had any puppies. I found a lab/shepherd mix, tricolor coloring, and the sweetest disposition. She was the runt of that litter. We went back and adopted her the next day. Mocho acted as her Mama and Mollie was such a sweet girl. Mocho became the alpha dog and Mollie the quiet one.
We got to have them in our lives for 12 1/2 (Mollie) and 14 1/2 (Mocho) years. We let them cross the Rainbow Bridge together. Hardest thing we’ve ever done. Mollie was lost without Mocho. They were ready. We thought we were. People never are. Even when you know you’re doing the right things for your loved fur babies.
We went nearly two years with no dogs. The Babe retired, we traveled some. When we returned from Puerto Rico in June, 2014, we visited a vet who had some pups only 4 weeks old. Their mom was sick; weaned the day before. They had a bug of some type. The vet compounded a concoction that killed the bug. Good companions. Cannot recommend adopting sisters. Two females, even spayed, were never friends. They battled each other. Yet, when Roxie died (by car) two years ago, Lexie mourned so hard. She exhibited signs of depression, slept a lot, and never left our sides. She wailed at the door to the garage. Broke my heart.
In October that year, the Babe had a heart cath and the wound didn’t heal. The skin was paper thin, and he had a wound vac for a month to get the incision to heal. What a mess for him. Amid this challenge, we adopted Goldie. The Babe needed her and her sweet way with him. Best buds. After two years, Lexie is no longer jealous of her. They have accepted each other now and peacefully coexist. Time heals a lot.
These stories bring me to this morning. We didn’t get smacked with the snow predicted. It’s overcast, cold, and bleak looking outside. The Babe left early for the Post and funeral detail. The dogs were antsy. I played with Goldie, and we had a great time. Then she laid down, happy. What does this have to do with life today?
Maybe we need to take a lesson from our fur babies. It takes very little to thrill a dog. Everything makes them happy. Play is everything to them. They adore you and let you know it. They waggle their butts and squeal with delight. Yes, squeal sometimes. It’s hilarious. Live with the joy a dog shows. Every day is the best day ever. Let’s all mimic that! Have a beautiful evening. We’ll see each other tomorrow.
I’m probably going to sound like an old person, but what the heck? I’ve had this issue with Synchrony Bank and their processing of my Phillips 66 gas card. They do a poor job of customer service. They all claim to be supervisors. You can send information from your bank to them three times and they “haven’t received it.” A phone call? No, don’t count on it. You can spend over 39 minutes on hold to explain this fiasco. They have cut me off more than once in the middle of explaining.
I’ve fought this issue with them since July, 2021. My August statement did not show that I paid $214.82. It arrived late. I called, they listened, gave me credit. My September statement added it back on. I provided proof from the bank, after an hour on the phone, and I saw credit for the amount. End of problem, or so I thought.
Go to October, it appeared ok, but they didn’t catch that monthly payment made. I called again. Oh yes, they had it. But they again said my bank never sent the $214.82. What? They could do no better than give me a fax number to send it to. Not to the attention of anyone, just into the vast pool of faxes a business receives. I could not have an extension to talk to a person, or a name either. OK. By December, there was just no going back.
After being a customer since 1988 – yes, 1988 – I am bidding them farewell. I am sending a multi-page fax tomorrow, telling the entire story since July and telling them why I will never buy a product with their credit card again. They will not care, they are Synchrony Bank, not Phillips 66. They do not care if I remain a customer or not. It’s a shame the customer is never right anymore. Phillips won’t even know I’ve left. Farewell to one company who helped me build my credit all those years ago.
This morning, it was a pretty spring-like morning. The sky was a perfect blue. February in Nebraska, and I’m sitting outside with no coat on in the morning. We have snow predicted twice next week. I just want the rest of winter to happen and leave. I want to spend time with my flowers this summer.
I’ve straightened up my avalanche of papers that were crowding the kitchen table. Everything is sorted into piles of category – income taxes, honor guard banquet, Phillips 66, NE taxes, etc. I’ll finish up each smaller stack and file them tomorrow. Then go to the Babe’s office and get all the receipts from last year. One of these years I will follow through and file papers as they’re paid. I get closer every year. The next couple weeks will be Income Tax time at Raabe Ranch, along with cleanup in the family room downstairs. It never ends, does it? I hope not.
I found an old photo of my office/studio when we first finished the fresh paint, etc. I want it to look that empty again. Like I do nothing in there, you know? And I’m taking the sewing projects/quilting projects back downstairs into their staging area where they belong. A few years ago, I went through unfinished quilting projects like a crazy woman, finishing a lot of things. Then I started writing. It’s another beast. It takes up much less room.
Thank you for reading today. I hope you have a beautiful evening and a great Monday. I appreciate you being here with me, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe!
Today started pretty early, since the Babe had to go to the Post before the Craft Show started, then go to a funeral with the Honor Guard. It’s end of the month, too, with the books needing balancing for the Post, so he’ll be busy the next few days. Always is. I need to get some plants taken care of this weekend, because before I know it, the frost will take care of what I haven’t. It always happens before I am ready.
It’s not like it’s a surprise or anything. Once the days shorten, football starts, the chill is in the air, and Chili tastes so good. It always happens, so why does it still surprise me? I could not tell you. I always think I have more time. I have a couple mum plants to plant in the ground. Hopefully, they’ll put enough roots forth to live through the winter. Then I can add a couple more next year. And I have succulents to transplant from an outdoor container into separate pots. They’ve done really well this year. And I’m ready for winter to come. Well, let’s start first with fall. OK?
I’m having champagne with breakfast tomorrow – it’s our 23rd Anniversary! It’s such a wonderful reminder of the day that united us. I love them as much as birthdays. We weren’t sure how many anniversaries we’d have due to the Babe’s ischemic heart disease. It’s almost silly how worried/scared I was of losing him early in our marriage. I was so used to finding an excuse why relationships wouldn’t last, I had an idea picked out already; he had bad luck with arterial blockage. How self-defeating that was. I didn’t think I deserved a relationship, much less could keep one together. But this one was special. It has lasted. It’s lasted through illness, retirement, disability, cancer, and heart disease. I’m so proud to be this man’s wife. It’s perfect for me, and for him.
And it’s not just this man; it’s also his family. My bestest geek friend is the Babe’s brother-in-law. We just “get” each other. I/T people have weird senses of humor. No one else in the family “gets” it, but we do. And the babies in the family! They’re beautiful. God is good. I am one lucky woman. Have a beautiful evening, (GO HUSKERS!), and see you tomorrow!
Wow! That must make me accountable for what I’ve done! Well, I guess we all are. Aren’t we? Yes, even before we knew better and learned what NOT to do. The sooner we accept that, the better outcomes we’ll have. After all, our habits, good or bad, are learned in our environment.
When we’re kids, we’re at our parent’s mercy. Really, we are. They can only do as well as they know how to do. And it goes on and on, until someone realizes the habits aren’t healthy and they need something different in their lives. The one who raises issue with “how it’s always been” is usually criticized unmercifully. But then again, they’re kind of used to it. Put downs sting, but you don’t let on people hurt you. You have a quick wit to answer all sorts of accusations. But inside, you’re dying. And it’s your family who can hurt the most. After all, they have the best ammunition to use. Old habits die hard.
Fifty-one years ago, I got married for the first time. He had a low draft number (bad reason to get married!), and it seemed likely he’d go to Vietnam, like every boy from high school who didn’t go to college. Of course, Mom was against it, but we knew better, as every 18 and 19 year old can tell you. Mom was 19 when she married Dad, and he was 25. If she could have explained why “you just shouldn’t,” I may have listened. Or not. She said if I was getting married, she would plan it or it wouldn’t happen. She planned everything. She is a person who must be in control, so she was in her glory.
In 1982, 11 1/2 years later, I told her I was getting a divorce. Her only comment was, “My grandchildren will starve.” I felt surer they wouldn’t. They didn’t. Her habit is controlling, and she reacts with anger when things don’t fall into place. I had one person, my Aunt Carol, who knew why I had to leave. I was becoming an angry person. I didn’t want to be like Mom was. I love her still, and she honed her habits out of survival in the home and environment she grew up in. She can’t help it, and may not want to at this point. I feel sorry for her inasmuch as she holds her anger like a shield, and is constantly in react mode.
The events of the last month have made an impact on her. She is no longer angry and confrontational about using her walker; she sees it as freeing, she can get around better with less physical danger. Finally! Some progress. Her habits can change. And it will impact her future by enabling her to stay in her beloved home longer. How much longer? I’d be foolish to guess, it’s whenever God decides she needs to go somewhere else.
I’ve had a lot of mindsets/habits to change in my life. Equality for women was a big thing I had to recognize and participate in. Luckily, I continued my education while working and entered the I/T field, where you are paid according to your skills. I personally disliked the old wives tale of analysts not being able to communicate effectively, I was able to show our internal customers I could communicate well and participate in problem solving while speaking to them in English, not tech talk.
I raised my kids with encouragement and support. I wanted them to be independent people, they all learned how to clean, do laundry, and cook. They also knew they would be punished if they did things that were wrong. They knew I would trust them until I couldn’t, and that would be on them. I know we were a good family. Now, we’re in three different states and rarely see one another. Sure, I miss them. I also remember I taught them to take care of themselves, and that’s what they’re doing.
What habits do I need to change? Several. We’ll talk about that another day. What habits do you need to change? Are you willing to do the work? It takes consistency towards a new behavior to change a habit. Working out, eating healthy, losing weight, lowering your blood sugar, all take a big effort. You can get there to do anything you decide you can do. Even change your life! I did. I’m so grateful for these last 40 years of not being married to the father of my kids. I would never have made all these good changes with him. He wanted everything to remain exactly the same as it was in 1970. And that just couldn’t be for me.
I’m grateful to those who are in this part of my journey. The Babe is very supportive of my writing. The kids are, too. I’m grateful for that. Yes, everything is going to be ok. I know in my heart it will. Just go to Plan B. I’m going to thrive at this time in life. You can too. Shall we go together? Let’s!
Sharing these books as the ones I want to devour in the next month or so. Women authors, a couple friends, a couple Facebook friends. Supporting each other. I finished Tammy Marshall’s “Ticker Tape,” yesterday. It was great. I’ll go into more detail another day. And I love Rebecca Cooper’s FB shares. So raw. So real. And Carol Gino! She makes me think about things. I love her stories about angels all around us. Joy Johnson Brown’s The BOOB Girls Books! I do believe she may have been my older sister in another life. Go figure! We just need to be aware. Be aware today. Let’s talk about that another day. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Have a beautiful day, see you tomorrow!
I’m looking out the Home Office window, seeing the snow dance across the driveway. As a kid, I always thought there was a requirement of a lot of snow (over eight inches), and very high wind. Now, as an adult, we’re told it’s simply the high wind and the blowing of snow that makes a blizzard. It could simply be blowing existing snow. I have to say, the view is magnificent. My thoughts are with those who don’t have warm coats, homes, and food. Help them out, if you’re able. Together, we can make a difference! Our friends at Moving Veterans Forward Nebraska can give you some ideas for some immediate needs as they move some of their clients into apartments, out of the cold.
I have an announcement to make tomorrow on the occasion of my 500th blog! It’s huge for me, and it will be shared right here, in Blog #500, tomorrow.
Today, I’m watching more educational/craft videos on writing, producing books, being your own publisher, with a KidLit slant. What’s interesting, is when I first started learning about all of these things, I had to pull back and not read the barrage of email from everyone and their dog, touting their classes/kits/fool-proof plans for success. I had to put them all out of my mind and just write. I felt torn, according to the folks peddling their wares, I had to market, sell, entice readers and build my sacred email list.
I am a skeptic to all these offers and claims. Luckily, I’ve asked a group of writer friends from Nebraska Writers Guild if they’ve seen or bought any of these great things, we share that kind of information, and help each other avoid scammers. It’s a good practice.
Whatever information I gleaned from those who weren’t scammers, I’m recalling now and it isn’t confusing or so foreign. My brain is telling me, “You’ve heard this before, and this is how you can use it now.” It’s a good feeling. That all tells me this plan of publishing a book for children is coming together. Accomplishment is what spurs a creative human on to create more.
My “makeup” class from Picture Book Challenge by Storytellers Academy is about Crafting Voices for your character/drawings. Looking forward to it. My “live” class today is, “How to Make a Picture Book Summary,” and I’m waiting to enter it via Zoom right now.
Stay warm, if you’re in the blizzard region. Be Safe. Help each other out! Have faith, everything will be ok again. I’m sure of it. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow! #500!