Positive Vibes Only

It’s another sunny Tuesday, pretty windy out and I’m sitting in this chair at the Chromebook in my Home Office Studio. I’ve missed this activity. I feel sort of lost, actually. Not only missing out on the habit of writing and sharing, but missing the messages I give myself every day.

Having COVID certainly raises your awareness. My symptoms were much worse a week ago, and I believe now I was ill from about the 4th of October on. My voice is still crackly and intermittent, the congestion is not as bad, and I’m relying less on daily naps. It’s no fun, even at the end. And how do we know we’re finally ok? I have a message in with our doctor, then we’ll know.

So since things are not 100% here yet at Raabe Ranch. I pride myself at looking on the bright side, yet it’s hard right now. All I can do is pray God continues to be good to us. Should something awful happen, I’m certainly not going to be mad at God. He didn’t cause this. End of argument. We live in an imperfect world. Disease, accidents, and unknown causes of death are all around us. We need to remain vigilant and positive. We cannot give up! It’s just not in the equation. If I feel hopeless or not as I should, I stop and assess. Usually, it’s hard to keep a positive light on things when I’m tired. I can tell it would be easy to let the mind go off on a tangent of it’s own. Then we’d all be in trouble.

Some positives from life today, despite having COVID?

In the past year, I’ve done the Keto Diet, and have lost 45 pounds. Yes! I have! I’m thrilled to death about that. I haven’t been in this weight range since the 90s. I plan to keep going, however far I can, to be healthy. I’m not missing out on too much right now, and it’s easy to throw a craving off track with a substitute. Sure, I’ll break down and have a burger and fries now and again. But not every day. It’s under control.

Another positive thing? I still need to tend to my succulents outside, and get them inside/repotted soon. It’ll be a nice busy-work activity, yielding some beauty for the coming winter. I hope I refrain from watering them too much. I don’t want to drown them. Or underwater them.

Going to have the late afternoon nap here soon. Just can’t fight it, and not going to try. Take care of yourselves, your family, and be safe out there. It’s real. We’re stronger together. See you tomorrow.

Just a Couple Weeks

I remember Christmas as a kid. It was so much better as a kid than it is as an older person. There is something about having little kids around that makes the celebration more full of hope and joy. When we were kids, our home life and Church life overlapped. Being Catholic, it thrilled us about Baby Jesus coming along with Santa Claus. We practiced for weeks for the big Christmas program, all our parents came (Dad didn’t, he worked nights and slept in the daytime); we sang every religious carol known to man at the time and all developed the high falsetto voice the Music Nun insisted we sing. To this day, I’m haunted by the excessively high pitch she had and expected us to all mimic. I am not even sure where my voice range is, I’m embarrassed to try singing. I admire those who can do it as easily as speaking.

Although we knew the real meaning of Christmas, it still thrilled us to think Santa would come and leave surprises for us. We didn’t ask about how he entered our house; we had a fake fireplace and knew it did not go to the chimney. We were happy for what we received most of the time. When I was about four or five, I wanted a ballerina doll so badly.

Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

At that age, ballet fascinated me. I must have seen it on television or something, because I didn’t take lessons. My cousin did. I was jealous of that. I never saw her dance, though. The dancing just blew my mind. I loved the costumes; they were unlike anything I ever saw in my brief life. The tulle, the sparkles, the slippers, were so different from other things in my life.

The big day arrived. My ballerina doll did not. Santa upset me that year. I received a baby blue teddy bear with a music box inside. You could wind it up and listen to a tune I’ve since forgotten. I set it aside and waited my turn to open another package. The usual clothes, puzzles, whatever else.

Later that winter, my brother and I had a lot of the “childhood illnesses;” we had severe chest colds with mumps, and maybe had measles or chicken pox, too. Maybe not all in one year. But we missed school a bit. When we missed school, Mom required we stay in our pajamas. And we stay in bed. Period. No matter what. Rules are rules.

That bear, who I named “Teddy,” became my best friend. I snuggled with him as I went to sleep, when I laid there awake, and I listened to his music to help pass the time. My dad would come in to see me and play a game or two of checkers. I loved playing checkers with my dad. It was always when I was sick, and always just the two of us. Mom didn’t have the patience or time to play games or entertain us. Dad did it enough to make it special.

Before my brother and I had any little brothers, Mom would read to us. She made us listen to her read “Tom Sawyer,” and “Huckleberry Finn.” I don’t think at our young ages it impressed us. Finances being what they were in those days were not so she could go out and buy books for kids. She read from her own collection of books. But we sat on the bed and listened to her. There were no pictures to see, either.

And the ballerina doll? I received it five months later for my birthday, from Grandma and Grandpa Bobell. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It sat on the shelf with all my dolls. And she wasn’t anything special. I still loved the dancers, the tulle, the sparkles, and those toe-shoes; but slept with the Teddy Bear. As I’m now “mature,” I’ve realized how much of life turns out the same way.

We think we want something; it doesn’t happen; we find something else within our reach, so we take it and it’s better than our original “want.” That’s God; answering a prayer we make with a firm “NO,” and guiding us towards what will do us the most good. Once I learned God answers all prayers, some of them are a “no,” I was less disappointed in life. It frees us up to receive more openly. Try it, you’ll like it!

As you may shop today, prepare for Christmas, or visiting friends and family, make sure you’re safe. Even though we have a vaccine now, we may not receive it until spring, or later in some areas. Be safe. Be Careful. Be Thoughtful. Be Patient. Wash up and Mask up. I don’t want to lose any of you now. Thank you for visiting. I’ll see you tomorrow! Blessings!

Now What?

It’s Sunday, May 31, 2020. Omaha is one of many cities with riots last night. The protesters became criminals when they started destroying things because they simply thought they should. Many of the people arrested in Omaha were young, white people. Not very many black or hispanic people. The Police Department HQ was assaulted also. So many people in the Old Market area of town were destroying property. Breaking windows in our beautiful historic Orpheum Theater. Someone started a fire in a coffee shop, three young men grabbed a fire extinguisher from their apartment in the area and put the fire out. Quick thinking.

These poor people, who own businesses in the area. So sad. As if loss of revenue from the Pandemic wasn’t enough, you add this . . . a person could really lose heart and desire to continue trying to succeed. And the protestors. Do they really know why they went from making a point to making the conscious decision to start destroying property, being disrespectful, and thinking it is perfectly ok to do this? Or are they doing it just because the guy next to them was doing it?

Omaha has a curfew at 8 p.m. tonight. No one should venture out. It will be in force for three days. I hope it puts a lid on the rioting and destruction. You are not helping your cause by being lawless. Peaceful disagreement would be much more effective. Just as Dr. King proposed. We need to pick up where he left off, not just go off in a frenzy of mayhem and destruction. A cool head must prevail for any change to take effect.

But there will always be that one person who thinks they are above the law. Maybe it’s a cop. Maybe it’s a rich white kid. Maybe it’s a poor black kid. Or an Hispanic who has to translate for his parents who don’t speak English. All of this started with a cop using a method of detention that has been frowned upon. And four of his colleagues standing still. Standing there. This is not acceptable. Period. Why did he think that was a good idea? Why didn’t the others intervene? Will we ever know the truth?

And now in cities all over our country, there are people who really want to protest peacefully. They come out in the daytime. Just after work. And they go home. They don’t hang out for hours and hours and turn the tide and mood of the crowd to breaking the law and destroying property. Why do they think this is a good idea? When you stoop to using those tactics, you are not helping anything. Why give credence to a stereotype when you could do something constructive and good for the situation?

So, please stop and think, my friends. What can you do? What will you do? Whom Will You Be? This editorial cartoon is shared with permission from Jeffrey Koterba of the Omaha World Herald.

Jeffrey has an unbelievable knack at depicting exactly what the people are thinking. We look to him in times like these to put our feelings and thoughts into something we look at and say, “Yes, that’s it.” I believe his cartoon for tomorrow’s edition is spot on, and I wanted to share it with the rest of you. Whichever city you live in, it’s time for all of us to ask ourselves, “Whom do I want to be??” Thank you, Jeffrey Koterba, for helping us at times like these. Be safe. Honor your curfew. Wash your hands. Stay at home.