The Good Old Days?

I’ve been going over a lot of old memories lately; not sure why.

So, while we fondly recall the times of long ago more of the time, others are not. The memory of the smell of Grandma’s kitchen is preferable to the inability of women to have a bank account in their own name because by law they couldn’t. Sexism was alive and well through even most of the 70s. In the late 70s, the wife could finally claim her husband’s credit report as hers. Joint property did not extend to finances, even if she contributed a paycheck like the husband did. Equality is still lopsided, depending on some factors. We’re getting there.

While thinking of inequality, it makes me angry when I think back to how women were fragile. Fainting couches, famous in Victorian times, were in every parlor, and used frequently from what I’ve read. The women, corseted so tightly into their gowns, perhaps they fainted from lack of breath? Women have given birth and done farmwork in the same day, so don’t tell me they’re fragile!

The other area where I prefer present day is in medical advances. Vaccinations, ridding the world of deadly diseases is a good thing. If you’ve ever read about plagues, diseases, infestations, you know it was rough in the days of yore. I love we have antibiotics, medications for HIV and AIDS, immunizations for MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella – which as kids most Boomers experienced), and a host of other terrible things.

For the advances in heart attack treatment, children don’t lose their grandpas to widowmaker heart attacks anymore. Women’s lives are safer during pregnancy and childbirth than they were 150 years ago. All patients are safer with a program of wellness keeping us healthy, not just seeing a doctor when you’re too sick to recover quickly. Progress, and I’m sure the next 50 years will see many great strides in our health and care.

Things that are ageless? Decency. Class. Honesty. Trust. Integrity. Class has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with who you are and how you treat people. Treating the janitor or a server with respect and kindness is all about Class. People all deserve respect, especially those in service jobs. Theirs is often a thankless job with abuse thrown in. Be a better person. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Words to live by.

Today, World Book Day, celebrated worldwide. I read more about “Broken Angels,” about Polish Jews at Auschwitz. It is a very sad story, but tells of a group of children who fought back against the Germans. A little girl who shredded pages of “Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s manifesto. It is fascinating and frightening on every page. I’m invested in it now.

Have a good day this Friday. How is it already Friday? Read a good book, get some fresh air. One day, sooner than later, you’ll be able to read one of my books. Looking forward to that! Thank you for reading.

Increased Visibility

I’ve started writing, I established my website, right here,, and blogging nearly daily for about three years. For over 200 days, I’ve blogged consecutively. Every day, I publish the blog on my Author FB page, Kathy Raabe, Author. I copy the blog link to my personal FB page, Kathy Jewell Raabe, and to my business FB page, Jewell Publishing LLC.

Facebook shares stats on increased visibility. On Jewell Publishing LLC, I’ve had increased visibility for 25 days. That’s outstanding! Thanks for your help there! For my Author page, I’ve had increased visibility for 41 days! Thank you so very much!

We’re getting ahead, like by like, following by following. And I appreciate all of it.

This spring, I am adding some things to the website. My new head shot, my new business page, along with my pen name “Grandma Kathy” page. I’m thinking of adding a page for my quilting endeavors, since the website is for “Kathy Raabe, Author and Creative Soul.” I didn’t want it to be limited to the “Author.” If things go according to plan, I’ll even add a page later for my artwork. How about that? I think that covers all my bases.

I was reading about silence and alone vs. lonely. Lots of food for thought here.

When I was first divorced, I couldn’t stand being home alone when the kids went to visit their dad. I’d go shopping, to a movie, whatever, just couldn’t be there without the kids. I became a Mom when I was 19, and divorced at 30. I hadn’t been without my kids or alone in forever. Except for living with the kids at home, I’ve never lived alone. That will be an unfamiliar experience. I don’t look forward to it. But I would get used to it. I’d be more open to it now, that I’ve learned to be alone with myself. It’s great to be in this place in life. Independent. Self-reliant. Not needy and dependent

Hope you have an amazing Thursday today. Check on your elders, your friends who are alone, and hug your pets. We’ll see each other tomorrow.

Waiting is the Hardest Part

No matter what we’re waiting for, it’s always true waiting is the hardest part.

It matters not if we’re waiting for Christmas or the beginning of something hard. Like finals week at college. Stresses can be positive or negative, and we’re affected.

We are supposed to have Joy throughout our journey on earth. Joy for good and for the bad. How does that work? We don’t need to discuss Joy for the good in life. Joy for the bad? If we’re diagnosed with a fatal disease, we hard pressed to be joyful about that.

Our entire journey here on earth is supposed to lead us to Jesus and heaven. It’s much easier to be joyful for an 80-year-old person who has less than six months to live than for a little toddler who has terminal cancer. Both promised a place in heaven. You’ll never convince me otherwise.

I remember waiting for the call to hear if I had breast cancer or not. Inside, I knew I would have it. When the doctor who did the needle biopsy told the Babe, who held my hand throughout the procedure, “No, it’s not cancer, I can tell.” I was upset she did that. I was too shocked to have to call the Babe at work and tell him she was wrong to be angry at her. But I’ve never forgotten that. It wasn’t appropriate for her to do that. The pain in his voice as he said, “Oh no!” was heart-breaking. I hurt more for him than myself. If we didn’t have any joy, we would be so weary and discouraged. It’s better to believe where there is life, there is hope, than this is terrible, it will never be good, and we will not have a good outcome. Things can change dramatically in God’s time and according to His plan. It is hard to remain positive. And it’s better than being negative.

When my son Frankie drowned, we did not know how long he was with oxygen. CPR saved his life. They used once it at the lake, and two more times before reaching the hospital. He was convulsing when we could see him, and in a coma. I did the best thing there was to do. Miracles happened all those years ago in the summer of 1978. And the Joy I’ve had with my son still in my life has been indescribable. I’m nothing but grateful to this day.

I believe God has other miracles for our family. We have received many over the years. God is so good, and He will continue to be. We don’t expect it or refuse to believe things can have a bad outcome. We simply remain to be grateful.

Regardless of what many people think, remaining positive affects the outcome of your mental health. It is the best weapon we have against critical situations, loss, and having the gumption to continue living life. Hope you have a beautiful Wednesday and we will see each other tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday!

Bonus mail call yesterday. March/April 2023 issues of Writer’s Digest and Poets and Writers. I need some time to read, too. Too bad they can’t deliver about four more hours in the day. Never enough time, you know?

I’m spending time two days a week with Mom. Her vision is deteriorating (on a good day) and nearly nil (on a bad day – a/k/a/ a cloudy day). It’s sad to see that happen. We miss going to old people’s day at Shopko. We’d go to the one in Bellevue and eat at her only favorite place, Village Inn. Today, we sorted bills. Not sure what we’ll do on Friday. I’m sure she’ll think of something. Before I left today, despite her receiving Meals on Wheels, she asked me to go to Burger King for her small cheeseburger bacon burger (x 2) and a small fry. She’ll eat one tomorrow, one today. Old people are so sneaky.

Have you ever met someone born on February 29? I know two people. Barb Moffatt, a colleague, and Liz Boutin, a local artist and military wife. Both are very special people, and good friends. Not sure when Barb or Liz will celebrate this year, but hope their birthdays are happy.

More quilting today, and hoping to speed it up, I’m just wanting to be done! It’s true, I’m wanting to get on to other things. Do you ever find you want to move on to another project before you’re totally finished? Yeah, me too.

More springlike weather again today, and we’ll get more rain. It won’t be long now, folks. What we’ve been waiting for. Mom mentioned today it will be so nice to open the door and spend time on her enclosed front porch, or be able to go sit on the patio when she has help to make her way out there. When you’re full of arthritis, am nearly blind, and deaf, it’s hard to get outside and down a few steps to the sidewalk and patio. Everything has to be planned, nothing spontaneous. I feel bad for her. It’s been hard for someone so independent to be dependent now. We keep telling her she’s the only one bothered by it. My brothers and I know we had enough help from her through the years, and it’s good. Hope she believes it sooner than later.

I hope if you have an elder who needs help you make time for them. Turns out they may want to talk more than anything. Gives you a whole new perspective. Have a great day today and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Stay safe.

Stories Are Everywhere

If you were to look into an elderly person’s safe deposit box, you would find many, many stories there.

The original copies of birth certificates; copies with black backgrounds, showing microfiche. Before computers, long before electronic files, important information only backup was microfiche. It is a flat piece of film with microphotographs of pages of documents, newspapers, and other printed matter.

The births recorded were of both parents, all siblings, and one sibling who died a day after birth.

The story goes further. In those days, the mother may not see the baby, or say goodbye with touching, holding, grieving. The mother did not attend the funeral, held in a day or two. She was still in the hospital. I’m grateful we don’t do this anymore.

The story of a family disagreement; a maiden aunt buying a separate home from her sister- and brother-in-law, then the young parents of the baby who died, purchasing a home Land Contract, and staying there for over 74 years. What a legacy.

Other items of business may include old CDs, old IRAs, old Annuities, all with beginning balances, ending balances, and indications of renewal is standard. Which ones came first? Are they still active, maturing? It’s hard to know. It takes a quiet time in a room bigger than six feet by six feet, no ventilation, outside light, or comfortable chairs.

It’s a lot to process the memories known about those documents. It can also create memories by making stories about those documents in your imagination. They can be comforting in times of change for families. Families whose elders are on the decline and nearing the end of their lives. It is a shame we lose many of their stories when they pass. Try to have them tell you those stories before it’s too late.

Write your stories, folks. Jot some notes your descendants can learn about your life and experiences. Our collective history is so important. Keep it going. Cherish it. Have a visit with the elder of the tribe. You’ll learn so much. Have a beautiful Sunday. We’ll see each other tomorrow.

What Bores Me?

Oh my gosh! Word Press suggested this as a topic for blogging.

As kids, we could not say that word.

Our parents were quite adept at telling us a laundry list of what they could line up for us if we were bored. None of it sounded good, so we learned to entertain ourselves. We could read a book, clean our room, sweep the front porch, sweep the sidewalks, the steps leading down to the street, or we could sweep the patio. Need I go on? We always had this marvelous place to go. It was called outside. It was the answer to everything. With our bikes, roller skates, and outside toys, like lawn darts, we would head into the great outdoors, not to return until lunch. We’d head back out when we finished and be back before dinner. If we would check in with Mom every once in a while, she’d know where we were. We always had to be back for dinner at 5 p.m. Dad left for work at 6 p.m. It was a tight schedule.

I was a stay at home Mom until my daughter was three years old. I had time scheduled with them most of the day. No TV, except for Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo, and afternoon cartoons. They played, read, built with blocks, lots of stuff. Never bored. When they were old enough to stay home alone while I was at work, they invented games from their imagination. I know I don’t want to know about some of them. What I don’t know won’t hurt me, right?

When the Babe and I became grandparents, Addison used the word bored a lot. I told her, “No, we don’t use that word. Let’s find something to do. A game, a puzzle, coloring, etc.” I laughed when Gavin came along and he used that word at our house. She told him, “Grandma doesn’t want us to use that word, so let’s find something to play with.” Anything but being bored! Yes.

What bores me now? Not a lot. I have little patience with people who complain about their lives all the time. All. The. Time. They would rather complain than take the risk of leaving. Changing is so much healthier.

I love to talk with old people, young people, artists and professional people, old friends and new friends. Yes, a variety of people. I like to spend time alone. I could probably become a hermit. The Babe gets me out of the house frequently. We balance each other well. And we’re never bored. Just grateful.

How about you? Do you get bored? How about your kids/grand kids? It could be interesting what you all have to say. Share with me. Have a great Saturday. Let’s see each other tomorrow. Thanks for Reading.

Friday Eve

This term became a thing several years ago. It seems to be an American obsession to wish our lives away in hopes of a better day, time, friend, opportunity, experience, holiday, or weekend. Anywhere but here mentality is alive and living in our homes, autos, lives, and calendars.

If we wish over all the ordinary days, think of all we could miss. Starting with a breathtaking sunrise and add from there. A fantastic joke that becomes a standing joke between people who love each other is just too special to miss. It’s a special memory, at the least. You could meet someone who changes the rest of your life. It’s how it went when I met the Babe. Since that day, nothing has been the same. And to think, I could have missed that day if you could fast forward to think you’re reaching something more worth your time. You won’t even realize what you’re missing.

Of course, it’s no fun toiling day after day, week after week; you get where we’re going here. It is all work for what seems to be a very long time. It is hard. The rewards are worth it. Keep your faith and have trust. We can enjoy our lives so much more by living today; at this moment. Yes, the boring and hard parts will be there, and we’ll still get those unexpected gifts from every day. We’ll not miss anything. Our lives will be fuller that way.

At last, I’ll begin quilting Cody’s quilt. I layered and pinned the layers. Tomorrow, I have some things to take care of for Mom, so I might not get the quilting started today. It should not take more than a couple of days to quilt and another day to put the binding on. Then, they get to make the trip to Colorado. I’d love to join them, believe me. Another time.

It sounds as if our family and friends in South Dakota were dumped on again with snow this week. The photos of their yards are pretty incredible. It used to snow like that everywhere in the winter. Not any more. It’s hard to explain to the grandkids so they believe it. They wear lightweight clothes to school as they only walk from the car into school, and from school to the car. I shiver, thinking how cold we were walking to school with all that winter gear on. It would stay that way, as near as I remember. Now, it’s -10 one day and +40 two days later.

In the end, the weather will do what it does. Our lives will go on. We can find joy in even the most mundane, run-of-the-mill days. Enjoy those days, as there are surprises in all of them. And we don’t want to wish them away. Let’s see each other tomorrow, too. Thank you for reading.

If Nothing Changes . . .

Nothing Changes.

You may bemoan your situation. You may absolutely abhor how your spouse treats you, where you live, and the fact you are always broke. Complaining doesn’t help change the situation. Do you have any ideas on how to change it? What do you need to do to change it? Where do you start? When? How?

It’s difficult changing yourself and your circumstances. Many of us prefer to complain rather than change. Fear keeps us from moving and growing. It’s taken me quite a while to figure out what to spend my time with since I’ve retired from the working world. There are so many creative things I want to do starting now.

Being back at my sewing machine working on the kids’ quilts has made me very contented, deep in my soul. Part of the reason is the quilts are for the grandkids. Part is the act of creating plants a satisfaction in me that is the equivalent of music to my ears. I believe it’s the best “high” there is. Nothing like it. Try it. You’ll like it.

Do we want to stay in an environment that stifles us? Chances are we’re not in an environment that encourages growth. Why would you want to change when everyone else is just fine? You’ll upset everyone and create chaos. Don’t let them try to make you feel guilty. If you want change, you deserve change. Go for it.

If something changes, other things may need to change, too. If no one but you do the work around the house, that needs to change. Everyone should help around the house. Yes, even the kids. There are lists of age-appropriate chores for pre-schoolers. Print one off, and we’ll start checking those chores off!

Yes, change is good. It is critical for development. There is a stop to stagnation. It’s necessary for growth. Once you get used to encouraging it, you’ll welcome it. Try it.

Stay safe out there today. We had some winter weather overnight. And we’ve got a date for tomorrow. Take care.

Art + Reading + Quilting, Oh My!

It might be a little early, but sounds as if there could be another bout of bad winter weather this week. One former area weather dude said, “Ice, Ice, Baby.” That does not even sound good. The favorable thing about it is winter is nearly over.

Whatever the weather does, there’s lots to do inside. One thing is, yes . . . Cody’s quilt. Seriously, it takes a lot to trim the threads from the back. The threads are not threads from sewing so much as threads from the woven fabric. They fray a lot while handling them.

My new goal for this week is to actually finish Cody’s quilt. Then it’s tax time at Raabe Ranch. The month of February has been full of breakthroughs, insights, and progress. Lots of good reading and planning. The Babe is now the keeper of all the finance files for at Raabe Ranch. He’s tallying expenses for every month, so we have a running total. 2023 taxes will be easy that way. This is the first year we’ve tried this, so we’ll see how it goes.

Goldie had fun with the snow last week. She would beg to play fetch with her favorite toy, the rope. We stand on the deck and throw it. She goes to where it fell in the yard and brings it back to us. Except for when there are 6 + inches of snow. She waits for the rope, then plays by herself. How? She throws the rope up in the air, then waits for it to fall back under the snow again. She’ll nose it out, and toss it up in the air again. If she feels it with her paw, she’ll pull it across the yard a way, and toss it up when she likes. She’s worn herself out for the last week doing this. Silly dog. She brings a lot of joy to our days.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday. Make sure you get provisions in case you are ice/snow/slush bound on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Be safe out there, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.