Monday Memories

As a kid, Monday was a brand new day at school. We attended Mass every day (except Saturday) and then went to school. Every day started with Church, and I didn’t mind it. It was our routine. First Fridays of the Month were special celebrations; we had juice and a glazed donut after attending Mass. Those days, the rules were fast all night until after Communion. Shortly after I made my First Holy Communion, I believe we could eat three hours before, but eating at 6 a.m.. wasn’t on the agenda for any of us in 1959.

High school? I don’t remember Mondays too much. When we weren’t old enough to work, the weekends were usually whatever Mom made them. She always awakened early me on Saturday. No sleeping late in our house! And when I was dating in my senior year, she woke me by 7 a.m. on Saturday. I had to watch the little brothers.

Mondays didn’t matter when I was a young mother. Every day was the same. I was up early, and whenever they woke during the night. There was not the movement there is now when fathers actively take part in their babies’ care and rearing. Very interesting. I love the dads do what they do now. It is how it should be. Despite my experience (he didn’t do diapers and didn’t do middle of the night waking), I believe it should be a shared duty. You both made that baby, you both should share equally in the care.

It’s getting late, and I hope you all have a beautiful evening. Be safe. See you tomorrow.

Monday, Monday

It’s amazing when an idea starts to talk to you in your dreams, when you’re in the subconscious stage of waking up, your fleeting thought becomes your great idea. Then you start to think about how to make this great idea happen. I’m at that stage with my idea for Grandma Kathy.

With working on two different projects in two different genres, I’ve studied all the info I can find about promoting two different types of books. As two different authors, even though I’m both of those. This is where Jewell Publishing LLC comes in.

Jewell Publishing LLC is the home to both Grandma Kathy and Kathy Jewell Raabe. Grandma Kathy will write children’s books and read them. I plan to get permission, if necessary, to read other children’s books and upload the videos to YouTube. It’s made me very sad to learn modern parents often don’t have 15 minutes (max) to read to their babies/toddlers before bed. They cannot spare the time. If they don’t have the time to experience this beautiful bond building activity, it makes me sad. I get it, people are busy. Not being critical, I can’t imagine both working full time and having babies/toddlers to raise. I was a stay at home mom until my daughter was three. Then I divorced and became a single mom. I get it.

In business, as well as in life, the key is being dynamic. You have to be. If I were to be critical of young parents who don’t have time to read to their little ones , I’d never sell a book. I’d like to create something useful to young parents with children. If they need a little time to entertain their child while getting them settled at night, why not have them watch a video of a Grandma-type person such as myself, reading a lovely story. It could work, having people download videos of various books, with myself reading them.

Of course, I’d need some tutoring on how to video myself reading, making them available on my website page, Grandma Kathy for free. When it gets to my own books, I’d need to charge for download, in addition to making the physical book available for those who still want them. This blog is my informal announcement of what I plan to do early next year, hopefully during the first quarter. What a way to spend the winter, learning something else new!

I’m working on planning by kid book rollouts, they may be altogether, maybe one, then two together. I need to look at all the options first. But this establishes it as my idea, and what I plan to do. Hey, maybe McGuigan Arts Academy will have a how to class for adults, or folks just getting started, like me! They’re sure great examples of taking risks for great ideas. Thanks, Billy and Kate. You’re all the best!

Risks are in this life for the taking. It’s a great thing to learn. And I’m grateful I learned it. Hope you all have a beautiful evening. We’ll see each other tomorrow, my friends. Keep reading. Or listening. However you get your books. Just take time.

Monday, Monday

It’s already 5 p.m. and I still haven’t written today’s blog. Yep, I suppose it’s obvious, since there’s nothing posted and this is my starting paragraph. I was out earlier, meeting at the Post, getting information about a POW from WWII from North Dakota. It seems there was a town in North Dakota with five POW’s during that war. What are the odds?

It’s interesting how the government worked in those days. After this POW was released at the end of the war and recovered his health, he was sent on a two week trip with his mother and sister to Chicago. End of story.

My personal awareness of Veteran Suicide is still high, but I’ve had a setback with doing the 71 squats, 22 wall push ups, and 22 minutes of cycling every day. I’ve re-injured my knee(s), so the cycling is out. The squats will resume tomorrow, depending on the knees. I am aware, and I’m getting in touch with some people this week who may be able to help us with a program for Veterans Day.

I’m taking Mom for a perm tomorrow. While she’s getting all done up, I’m going to be at Panera’s having coffee and writing out a plan for the next few weeks. It’ll be busy between getting back to my book and re-visiting my kid book, along with events at our VFW. The past couple months has been so very busy, and now we’ll get back on track. I need to! Take care this evening, and see you again tomorrow.

Meaningful Monday Morning

The header photo shows my new fun looking pile of Post It notes with one caveat – they’re not post-its, they have no sticky on the back. So these notes to moi are in danger of getting lost. These happen while I’m working on something for Grandma Kathy, Kathy Raabe Author, or for Jewell Publishing, LLC. I make a short note and this becomes my pile of ideas. Some of them are weird.

I’m an excellent note taker. (Cue Dustin Hoffman, in Rain Man). All through high school and my belated college career (graduated high school in 1970, college in 1995. I was on the 25 year plan!) I learned to take copious notes. And my time working in HR at ConAgra, then in I/T at ConAgra and Mutual of Omaha. I was taken aback when I attended the first Nebraska Writers Guild Conference a few years ago. Now everyone just takes photos of slides with their cell phones or notebooks. I’m very old school. I still write, I think it helps my memory.

When on a Zoom Meeting or Call with my Book Coach I always jotted stuff down. It’s just how I learn. Writing, reading it later, and sometimes trying to figure out what the heck I meant by something? It’s humbling, and sometimes I actually remember what seemed important at the time. And then, it sticks in my brain. I love to learn anything.

Over the weekend, the Babe and I went out for lunch, and it was in a sports bar. There was an old car auction on the TV nearest us. I love watching those things. I know, it’s weird for a girl, isn’t it? Remember, I grew up in a male-dominated household. All brothers, one older, two younger. I had my dolls, etc, and in interacting with those boys, I played their games. I shot marbles in the dirt with brother Tom and neighbor Johnny B. Tom didn’t play sports, but Johnny B. talked about Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle all the time. I wanted to play catch with Johnny, but “girls didn’t do those kinds of things” when I was a kid. We had no girl sports except volleyball. The nun that proctored the volleyball team rarely put me in, she said I was too self-conscious and nervous to play well. How, I ask, was I to get more comfortable than to play more? I guess that never occurred to her. And yes, I hated Dodge-Ball.

I loved to look at my little brother’s cars, the original Match-Box ones, and the model kits they would build. I enjoyed looking at cool cars and still do. I absorbed a lot about car maintenance, too. Dad always taught us to listen to our cars. To be observant. He was a mechanic at one time, owning his own gas station and service station. He maintained his own cars until they had computers in them. They required equipment to troubleshoot that was very expensive, so the days of shade-tree mechanics were over for him. But what a smart man he was.

My non-Post-It notes indicate what new adventures I get to have this week. It’s all in attitude. I prefer to call these to-do items adventures. A lot of things I’ve not done before, but what the heck. I’ll learn, and in learning what to do, I can help a lot of people, specifically, our Veterans and families of fallen Police Officers. It will be a full plate, and I’m glad for that. It keeps me going (and the Babe), and we both need that. In each other, we have all we need. Just sharing that wealth.

Share your wealth somewhere today. Make a difference no matter how small. It will positively affect someone. And you’ll be able be a bright spot, making a difference that ripples out from you. We all need to join in. Be Kind. Be a Volunteer. Be a Difference Maker. Learn. Thank you for reading today, we will see each other tomorrow.

Begin Today!

Monday, you are the start of a brand new week to create, think, plan, and set goals for the next six weeks or so. It’s going to go quickly, time does that lately. When we have so much good to do, it goes faster than ever.

This week, I want to finish placing the wording in my very rough draft of the kid’s book. Then, Cartney can do her magic. I’m getting pretty excited, folks! Even in this fun situation, there are two ways to look at it. One way is, “OMG, it’s so much work! How will I ever finish? I don’t know how to do this! I can’t do it alone!” The other way? “OMG it’s so much work, but it’s so fun. The feeling you have working through the details, even the problems, lets you feel you can learn anything. Look at what you’ve learned through free training and other training you’ve paid for. You’ve done very well. Congratulations! Your independence is remarkable!”

See the difference? Our friend, William Shakespeare, said,

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Oh, no. I don’t mean friend friend. I mean fellow author. And what a body of work he had! And he possibly experienced the same angst, worry, confidence issues, and procrastination most authors do. I’m guessing we all do. That makes him a friend, experiencing some of the same things we all do. I’m glad to start this journey later in my life, as I’m much more confident than I was even ten years ago. The time is right!

I will have to pinch myself, when I see our names in print, and Cart’s ideas and mine a reality, something concrete from the abstraction of creativity. It’s going to be awesome.

In the meantime, it’s nearly time to go pick up the weeks groceries from Walmart. And I’ll have to do some prepping for dinner and breakfast later in the week. Maybe a little pick-up around the house, too. Mundane things but necessary. I’m watching the snowflakes fall randomly around the front yard. I don’t think it’ll accumulate before tomorrow morning. Good day to read by the fireplace or see more episodes of “The Politician.” It’s very good. I’m viewing it as scenes, and the writing is very good. It’s kind of quirky. Jessica Lange is fabulous, and the second season is full of surprises so far.

Thank you so much for reading, you know I appreciate it. Have a great day, stay warm, and don’t forget to be kind, thoughtful, courteous, and safe. See you again tomorrow!

More Mondays!

Aren’t you just excited it’s the start of another week? I am. I plan to actually plot my children’s book cover this week, and add the verbiage to some of the pages. Much of the writing will be edited out when Cartney McGuigan works her magic to illustrate the story. I’m getting really excited to work on it again. This learning stuff is hard! It fills my brain with possibilities. And ideas. It’s ok. That’s where the greatest ideas come from.

I have an idea for pre-release notification that will allow a printable PDF for children. We may have printouts available for including with the purchase of books in person or via my website, Cartney’s Etsy Store, and of course, for the McGuigan’s use. Stay tuned, boys and girls. And everyone! We’re going to have a blast doing this.

At long last, the sun has finally made an appearance! The moon was brilliant last night, too. With our blinds open in the bedroom and all the lights off, it lit up the room for a couple hours. As it reached it’s peak in the sky, the brightness dimmed and I just lay there thinking how awesome the creation of the world is. Scientifically and Spiritually as well. Grateful to God for all of it. I marvel at the seasons, the growth in spring, the flowers in the late spring and summer, and the colors of fall.

We enjoyed Gavin so much yesterday. He asked, “Can we please go for ice cream?” We never turn down ice cream! It was a perfect thing to do. We’re looking forward to getting to watch him play baseball this year. He’s got a lot of athletic talent, I’m so proud to watch him. He was watching a game on Nintendo Switch (I think that’s what it’s called). He can narrate a play by play watching basketball, baseball, and football. He’d isolate the players who slammed the ball in the hoop. All you have to do is agree with him. He’s happy. He has an unbelievable mind to keep all that knowledge at such a young age. Children fascinate me; how they learn and grow through the years. He’ll be nine this year. Wow.

The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion. – Tacitus

What do you think of this statement? I find it sad, actually. Power has never appealed to me, really. Not without the responsibility that goes with it. A powerful person, in my opinion, needs to have integrity, a soul, and be honest. I suppose one would say our current politicians are more lusting for power than anything else. They may have forgotten they work for US. I just want us to find a way to stop all the fighting, negativity, and division.

I was astounded to read many codependent people “lust” for control. This sounds kind of crazy, I know. The premise is their role in their home was to control their environment, then they could enable their addicted people to keep their addictions. They would mistake enabling for help. It isn’t. It continues the curse, and you’re helping do that. I did it too. I no longer allow that person to pull me into their issue. It’s their to fix, not me. By “helping,” I was doing anything but helping. I helped continue the lies he told himself and everyone else. Only fooled ourselves. No more. It is what it is. And it’s not mine. Have it back, and keep it forever. I’m done.

When we humans have breakthroughs in improving our lives, we become more energetic I believe. The world is brighter, easier to navigate. Less baggage that we’re holding for others. Try it, you’ll like it! Peace at any price doesn’t promote peace, only more of the same. Peace with boundaries is more liberating, for sure. We all need reminders. Let’s help each other out. I’m in!

Another quote:

Today, I will examine my decisions to be sure I haven’t traded compliance for integrity.

(From: Days of Healing, Days of Joy: Daily Meditations for Adult Children).

Proud dog Mom talk: One short training session with her today, and she’s not dropping her fetch toy and barking at me. YAY! I sat on the deck, she had her training collar on, and just two little buzzing sounds with the command, “No Bark!” and she didn’t bark again. She brought the rope back to me, up the stairs, to the deck, instead of sitting in the yard, barking until I came down to her. Nope. What a good girl! When I finish working later, I’ll be giving her new toys from Bark Box.

Have a beautiful Monday. We’ve got a lot to accomplish this week, let’s get going! Be Safe. Be Kind. Have Integrity. Have Compassion. Know Your Boundaries. Enforce Them. Be Compassionate. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Monday, Full of Promise

Good morning, from the sunny Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. If you don’t appreciate the beautiful blue I can see this morning, I’ll say a prayer for you. It’s been dark and overcast for a few days. Even without talking with Mom, I know she’s grateful for more light to maneuver around in. It also makes the day go faster, your internal clock gets off kilter with too much darkness. Hang in there, Mom!

Listening to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen right now, “Letter to You.” It’s a nice collection, all what I would expect from him in his later years – he’s 71 years old. The words ring true in my heart right now, as I listen. We all have fears and doubts that haunt us right now.

I see it through the eyes of a believer in God. He provides for us, maybe not what we want, but what we need. We sometimes don’t know the difference between the two. It’s amazing if you’ve seen His timing in your life. An event can happen that puts you on a totally different yet much better path than you are on at the time.

I put my worries in God’s hands right now. I don’t know how we will end up at the end of the week, but I cannot drive myself crazy about it. What good does that do any of us? Our mental stability is shattered and that is when trouble happens. We hear all sorts of rumors and dis-information, I don’t trust most things I read online anymore. And television news? I think not. I suppose my information will all become “after the fact,” and my primary concern is for law enforcement in Washington DC, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and all the other agencies who are keeping order in our nation’s capitol until after the Inauguration. I hope Biden and Harris help us settle down. He is my president, whether I voted for him or not. Let’s just move ahead.

I had a noon class today with the Storyteller Academy. It’s a free, seven day series of classes about Picture Books. I gleaned something very important during the class today. Jim Averbeck mentioned you need to consider the child’s emotions. I’m so glad to hear this. It is about the child, and things which may evoke some strange feelings they are unfamiliar with. My book talks about loss, and how they feel. It is offering ideas to cope and heal, too. It’s a topic people don’t like to talk about, which is exactly why we need to talk about it. Grief can derail your life if you don’t know how to handle it.

Let’s have a positive attitude for the rest of the day. I’ve accomplished a lot, although I wish I could have published this sooner in the day. I’m plotting about how to do more in a week than we do now, and if it’s possible. These books won’t write themselves!

Thank you for reading today, we’ll see each other tomorrow! Be Safe. Hugs and Love to all of you.

Monday, Day 8391 of Pandemic

Karen Carpenter’s Song, “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down,” is a song I think of when’s it’s a rainy Monday. Considering her very sad demise, her death from Anorexia in 1983. We knew little about Anorexia, it’s not a surprise she would sing such a mournful song. For many years, they stigmatized it, along with Bulimia, which is another eating disorder. For years and years this illness went on until she succumbed to it in February 1983. Very sad. And even more sad the more details emerged. I imagine every rainy day and every Monday got her down. Depression was also little talked about illness. I’m glad we’re coming out of the dark ages about such things. It’s something to be grateful for, despite it being gloomy outside.

That said, it’s a beautiful day outside. The sky is of November gloom, like before a snow blows into the heartland. It bothers me, not one bit. I’ve lived here all my life, and the seasons are part of the landscape, so to speak. It’s home. I love the changes.

Yesterday, I was Keto baking like a crazy woman! (Ask the Babe!) I Baked Fluffy Bread, Blueberry Muffins, Blueberry-Almond bagels, and they were fabulous. Lexie stole a couple muffins, gulping them down before making it to the bedroom. There was only a scrap of the foil baking cup left. They were that good, actually. It just makes me laugh. She avoided me for a bit after that. We had a muffin for breakfast, with an Egg Bake Casserole loaded with cheese. It was delicious. I am not hungry a bit.

One thing you notice immediately is the portions are normal size. Americans went to Jumbo Sized food portions and citizens long ago. I’m as guilty as anyone for eating the wrong things. A month ago, it just clicked. I wanted to do something different in the eating and feeling department. So far, don’t feel as tired, but the Jury is still out on that. Age could be a factor, too. I’ve lost about ten pounds, the Babe a little over five. I expect he’ll overtake me soon. Men can lose faster. With the messed up spine I have it’s very difficult to walk for exercise. Many programs are too jarring. My challenge is the working out. Water therapy with warm water is great, but my skin breaks out from the sulfa they used to use. Allergic.

I was feeling all proud and domestic when I poured another cup of coffee while the Babe was in the shower. Then I realized I hadn’t put the egg casserole in the oven yet. Silly me! It was worth waiting for. The Babe takes things like that in stride, not upset in the least he left the house later than he wanted. Folks I have known in my life fly off the handle at goof-ups like that. When you’re retired, things shouldn’t get under your skin.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

At any rate, we’re back on track with the day starting thirty minutes later than expected. It was worth the wait. It’s a good day to curl up and write some chapters, and hope to do that. Thinking of doing tomorrow’s blog later tonight. Isn’t there some NFL game on again tonight? So I can be present yet still working. I decided awhile ago when we learned the Babe be borrowing time with his Agent Orange exposure and Ischemic heart disease. Nothing will keep me from spending as much time as I can with him while he’s right here. Period. I’m not being morose, just realistic. I try hard to give myself little to regret. It’s just better that way. Took a long time to learn that. We just enjoy sitting in the same room together, even in silence. It’s very intimate.

She sleeps against me at night, bless my doggie and her loyalty.

We have a little reading and writing to do this afternoon. Lexie is on guard, looking out the studio office window. No intruders will break the perimeter without the sentry alerting us. Bless her over-protective heart. Goldie checks the other rooms, comes to report and get ear rubs, and plops on an extra office chair mat. All is well at Raabe Ranch. Hope it is with you, too. Be Safe. Be Kind. Let’s all be friends and family again. See you tomorrow.

Monday Habits

TRUTH!

We have all done this at one time or another. Some folks are geniuses at it. There may be perfectly valid reasons people do this. Often it’s a matter of conditioning. You may have learned it from childhood. I catch myself sometimes asking the Babe if he’s mad. He says, “No.” I need to stop that. Sometimes it flashes back at me from when I was a kid, if Mom got mad at you or someone else, she wouldn’t speak to you. It is pretty passive-aggressive, and we’d walk on egg shells the next time we’d be around whoever she was mad at. It took me a long time to learn you can be mad at someone and still have them in your life. You get over your anger and include them in your life again. Most of the time. I rarely saw people reconcile their differences. My parents never argued in front of us kids. Many didn’t. But you can rest assured, my kids and I always talked things out. So do the Babe and I. Most things don’t bother him at all. I’m glad. I’ve learned to be a lot more easygoing, too. Life is so good.

YES!!

I know we sometimes get off track when we try something new, be it a way of thinking or new habits for better living. There is always a happy medium, we just have to find it. The days I am out on errands of helping Mom are days it’s hard to readjust when I get home. All the great habits and good intentions in the world seem to be out the window. It’s time then to read a good book, research my characters, tighten up a story line, or just watch a mindless movie. It all helps clear my head. I cannot stop, I can only pause.

Mom just cracks me up sometimes. She said last night her TV quit working. It’s black. Nothing happens. Between her fear of using remote controls and her failing vision, it’s hard to tell what is going on. She has this idea, however, that only her sons know how to troubleshoot TV, Cable, and remote controls. I’ve told her many times I’m the tech geek in the family. I had to learn from the kids when they left home. I’m pretty good at it now. But you know, when you’re 90, you still don’t think girls know what boys do.

Using all my technical experience and education, I can assure you the problem is solved. She needed new batteries in the COX Cable remote. Worked like a charm then. She got the TV seven years ago, and this is the first time she’s had to change batteries. Wow. With all due respect, I wonder if she’ll outlast the new batteries? Time will tell.

We have to be patient with our elderly, after all, they taught us all the good and useful things we have retained. Until we had our own view of the world, we saw it through their glasses. Now we have our own visions, many learned the hard way. It’s still good you’re at the place you are now. All of that, whatever it is, made you who you are today.

Yes, they should have!

We’re picking up Addison later today, and going to late lunch. I finally understand why old people eat dinner at 4 p.m. You’re done for the day, won’t have indigestion from lying down and trying to sleep with a full stomach, plus the meal is cheaper. And we really aren’t that hungry anyway. Things always have a way of working out, don’t they? I appreciate you taking the time to read, it’s something I appreciate a lot. See you tomorrow, hopefully earlier. Then we’ll get more done, right? Enjoy!