It’s Not All Sunshine & Unicorns

Yes, we’ve all told each other we had a great Christmas, whether we did or not. It’s the polite thing to do.

How we normally respond is socially acceptable. I remember the years of hard Christmases, especially the year our Grandpa died on Christmas Eve. The home movies of us opening gifts looked somber and just sad. People who have losses of loved ones aren’t having a great time, either. My dad died December 7, 1988. Christmas was terrible.

It isn’t just the people who experience losses who have a bad/hard Christmas. Dysfunctional families really have an unbelievable Christmas for sure. I experienced some of that this year, but not on Christmas. It was the day after. I shared some of our fabulous beef tenderloin, spinach/sweet potato salad, and 2 desserts with a person I’ve known for a long time. Long story, short story. It did not turn out like I planned. I was happy to deliver some food, a gift of love, but was met with lots of discontent and misunderstanding. Yelling ensued, which I don’t do well with. I don’t yell in response, I am quiet. This time, it ended up differently.

What did I do? What I wish I’d learned years ago. I was horribly uncomfortable. I simply turned around and said, “I have to leave.” First time in my 70 years of life I’ve done that. I avoided a verbal assault, having to defend my intentions, etc., and left the guilt, the feeling bad, the feelings of rejection at the door of the person I tried to do something nice for. I didn’t bring it home with me.

I am grateful I’ve finally learned it’s not my fault. I didn’t cause the problem. It’s them, not me. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. And the Babe is the person who has told & taught me to be stronger. Don’t let people do that to me. I’m grateful for the Babe; the gift who keeps on giving. And did I tell you, 25 years ago Christmas Eve, he asked me to marry him? Years ago, I told his sweet Mom, “Every day is Christmas with the Babe.” She laughed. Loved that lady.

I want to encourage anyone who needs to hear it; often, it’s not your problem. It’s their problem, you didn’t cause it. 2023 will be the start of helping others in a way I haven’t before. You need to claim what is your fault; what is their fault is what they need to claim.

Life is a two-way street and the yield signs are not all on your side. — Kathy Raabe, 2022

Self-care includes sticking up for yourself. Learn it, practice it, before it’s too late. Be safe out there and see you tomorrow!

CPAP Adventures – Part One.

Who else out there have a partner – spouse, significant other, friend w/benefits who snores?

I don’t mean a minor snort now and again. I mean lock the doors and windows, batten down the hatches, and hold on for dear life snoring. Yes, you know what I’m talking about.

My dad snored. At home, we all slept with our bedroom doors open, until we got in high school. You could hear Dad, but he worked most nights, so the family (and our mom) didn’t have that noise except two nights a week.

When the Babe and I first met, we were both in our 40s, and pretty fit and trim. He just quit smoking six months before. He didn’t gain weight until we really got together and he ate regularly scheduled meals – having dinner every night, either cooking or going out. Before me, he ate one meal at lunch, complete with gravy most days, bread, all the works. He and his buddy Doug (born the same day, two years apart) would lunch together every day. They were a pair! Lunch, complete with gravy, and Keno every day. It became a costly lunch in several ways.

Anyway, back to the CPAP. Does anyone else out there have a spouse (etc., from above) who can snore with a CPAP machine on? The Babe can. Even though he’s getting the extra air flow, he can still emit an earth shattering rumble. Is that normal? I don’t think so.

Every night, he leaves it off until I tell him, “You forgot your mask, Babe.” He mutters something like, “I think I can skip tonight.” I reply, “Nope, not if you’re sleeping with me.” He complies. Are we set? No.

Having two dogs, one elderly, they need to go outside a couple times a night. The Babe gets up as often, so he gets up with them. I’m awake at the ruckus, taking off the mask, waiting for it to stop blowing air, and the moving around. I don’t wake entirely, but know what’s happening.

Back to bed is stealing my covers until I protest, putting the mask back on, telling old dog to jump up, then it’s back to sleep.

Until last night. After one of the nightly visits to outside, I heard a “clunk.” Asked the Babe, “Did your CPAP fall off the nightstand?”

“NOPE!”

Next outside trip? The mask comes off, I hear a loud, constant rushing of air, along with gurgling. It never stopped. The Babe put it back on, the gurgling continued. He took it off. Semi-peaceful the rest of the night.

This morning? The Babe sheepishly said, “I guess I was in quite a fight with my CPAP last night. It did fall on the floor. When you overfill it, it gurgles.” When you drop it, water gets in the hose, too. Mystery solved.

CPAP fights. Who knew? Lots of things happen during the night while we sleep. It’s a deep, dark underworld out there. I have no clue where to get your tickets for it. I suppose it’s like the Fight Club, you don’t talk about it. So Shhhhh!

We’re officially at #934 readers. Help a girl out! Help me get to #1,000! I’m counting on you to get on my reader list by following me, and you’ll be notified whenever we publish another blog! And with all my big things coming, you’ll be the first to know! I appreciate you all so much, please know how I enjoy having you here. We’ll see each other tomorrow.

Happy Birthday to The Babe!

Seventy-two years ago, the moons aligned, the sun was in a perfect spot, and they deemed it; I would celebrate life everyday once we met. The Babe was born. Thanks, Liz and Gene! If I could have custom-ordered a man to love me and my kids, I wouldn’t have known all the qualities to ask for. Yes, parts of this paragraph are exaggerated for effect, but come on, man! It’s my story!

Yes, we’ve repeated the header photo is a repeat of our Birthday dinner(s) with the kids. One vow I have is to take many photos of the two of us. I have a lot of other people in photos, not so many of us together. Might as well do that now, while I can.

We had some nighttime visitors; either of the opossum or racoon variety. Lexie pulled a bunch of baby bunnies from their nest in the ground, inside our back yard. She didn’t harm them (thank you, soft-mouthed Labrador mixed mutts), just moved them. The Babe further moved them beyond our fence-line. I think they were being fought over by the nighttime visitors. Lots of some terrible noise. It may be an early nap for me.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop my Bernina off today. It could be as simple as the electrical cord having a short, to the computer component being out. At any rate, I’ll check our the price of a new machine and see what they may give me on a trade-in. I’ve also found dealers for a Janome (wonderful quality) and a Brother. Both have their own dealerships within ten minutes from our home. It will be worth checking around.

About ten years ago, I remember seeing elderly grandmas (in their 80s), bringing in their new $5K machines to take classes. I was temporarily envious of them. I don’t wish to spend that amount of money on a sewing machine, although it should last the rest of my life, you know; another 30 years. It’s one thing Frankie discussed Monday at breakfast. “Will you get enough use out of it?” Since I’ll have more time as I age, it makes sense. I still don’t want to spend $5K, however.

I’d rather use that to publish my books. I will insert my drawings into the kid book manuscript on Wednesday. It should be fun. When we pull the trigger on that, I want to introduce you to my graphic artist, Jordan Ullom. She is incredible. I love her heart and her commitment. She has some solid art experience since graduation last year. I’m as excited for her as I am for myself.

I think I’ll have a full page for her. When I introduce her to you, we’ll also release the two more new pages to the website, The Jewell Publishing LLC page and the Grandma Kathy page. It is a fun time ahead. Thanks for being along for this ride. It’s been a great day with the Babe. Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on my new Brother SE 1900. It’s a gem, I believe. It’ll be fun to learn a new machine. See you tomorrow!

Your Story; Tell It How You Like

It’s kind of a gloomy day outside, but it’s still beautiful. Just outside my window are two giant Monarch butterflies and what could be baby hummingbirds. They could be moths, but when butterflies or moths land on a bloom on the Butterfly Bush, their wings stop. These wings flap faster and faster, like hummingbirds. If I went outside, I’d know for sure, but I want to finish writing first. Besides, I could be wrong, maybe they’re just moths. Curious, isn’t it? My story, I’ll tell it how I like, LOL.

We can do that very thing, even on a gloomy day. Instead of being all bummed out and negative, we can be positive and glad for the coolness of early fall. The Babe turned off the sprinkler system over a month ago due to overly high water bills, and it was raining regularly. We can be glad we can pay the bill, and be glad when it returns to normal in the fall and winter. We can watch for the brightly colored Baltimore Orieoles we just discovered this year. They are brilliant on a cloudy day!

I did an experiment over the past ten days. I ran a couple of Facebook Ads. As a result, I scored a bunch more followers for Kathy Raabe, Author and for Jewell Publishing LLC. I’m proud to get my name out there and what I want to do. The blog continues to add followers as well, and I’m getting close to 400! There are a lot of fellow authors who help each other out, and it’s a good way to make a dent in the world. Every little bit helps. In this situation, you can think, “I’ll never get there;” or you can think, “I’m on my way!”

When it’s cloudy out, it’s nice to be lazy, reading a book on the deck or in the recliner. That’s the goal for today, once we get groceries. I really have to psyche myself up to go to the store. It’s just something I really don’t care to do. I did well during the pandemic with ordering online and picking up. Until someone got my card # and purchased something. I will go in person today and shop, giving thanks we can afford food. My story, turned from a chore to a blessing.

Cleaning is something I don’t enjoy, either. We lost our cleaning team about 18 months ago. We clean, but not like they did. With two dogs, it’s tough to stay ahead of the dust and doghair. It’s just part of our lives. They live here, too. While the Babe vacuums, I dust and give thanks for having a home. We’ve worked hard all of our lives for it, and enjoy it with each other. Home is where each other are. Blessed to have a husband who will pitch in and help clean; his mama taught him well! Grateful for that woman, every day.

Oops, Goldie just got sick, poor baby! Sometimes dogs do that, and she seems fine right now. All cleaned up, and although inconvenient, at least it was all on the chair mat, not the carpeting. See? It works in all things. Just think of the little baby face you see playing peek-a-boo in the header pic today. Make it a great day! See you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Wow! It’s Wednesday!

And it’s the afternoon already. It’s sped by. I was at the Post with the Babe, for him to do some work. We had lunch and came home to let the pups out. They ran a little bit, and they just want to be with us. That’s why I love dogs. They don’t care, they love unconditionally.

The Babe finally sees our primary care physician tomorrow. I’m not sure what he’ll do other than get his own notes updated. I doubt he’ll be able to drive so soon. I don’t think it’s possible to heal in ten days. We’ll see how that works tomorrow.

Today was finally the day! Cartney is now in possession of the laid out book, and she will begin her fun illustrations. I love her work. Very soon, you will have a preview of her work. I’m excited not just for her, but for me, too! It’s starting off to be a fun summer. YAY!

I find it fascinating how places like Direct TV can make promises on reduced monthly fees. They want you to call every month to have a credit applied to your account. The Customer Service people know nothing about such discounts. It has been “promised” for 12 months. We have to call and argue every month. I think they assume most people will simply give up. It’s all streaming from now on. And we’ll get an antenna for each tv now. There’s nothing worth the aggravation.

We need to go back to the Post soon, and get ready for Hamburger Night. Time with our friends is always good, I hope it cheers the Babe up some. Thanks for reading. I’ll see you tomorrow! Be Safe. Be Kind. It will make a difference.

Mindful Monday

This day has been all over the place! It took such a long time to get to 3:45 p.m. today! We have visited a pain management doctor for the Babe today. He is scheduled for an injection on Friday. I’m praying this will be his answer to this terrible rib pain that has been almost constant since he fell a couple weeks ago. We’re glad nothing is broken and hope like heck he will get some relief.

I’m a crazy woman, I decided to clean more than usual. I did swiffer duster, swiffer wet jet, and ran the vacuum cleaner. Way too much for this old lady’s spine to handle. A day of rest it hasn’t been. Doctor, Post (the Babe had some money to count), lunch, then home for blogging and reading. The dogs were happy to be inside all day and now they are trying to decide what to do with the rest of their day. The hours and days go so quickly!

All so complicated, isn’t it?

It’s all complicated with writing, doesn’t this flow chart make it appear that way? I did not have to draw flowcharts during my programming years. They were past that part of the process in the 1980s, at least where I worked. Somewhere I do have the ruler the school gave all of us to draw the different components. I also have a ruler a boss gave me that had tick marks on it for 132 characters, which was how wide reports on green bar paper were. Those were the days. They were fun to do, actually. Make reports for the higher ups to use to make business decisions. Important stuff, requiring tedious plotting and planning.

Yes, that’s me!

I’m reading a lovely book to see how an author fills in backstory without calling attention to it. As Waters Gone By is the book, and I’m enjoying it a lot. Introduction of characters is charming, the way she crafts the scene. I hope to be doing some writing tomorrow.

The first order of business tomorrow, though, is go see Mom. It’s her 91st birthday. Wow! It seems as if we just had her 90th party! A whole year. Wow. There will be cake all day! I hope she enjoys her day. Longevity is high with the women in my family. Mom and her mom lived long. My dad’s mother was 97 when she passed, and his sister is in her early 90’s. I hope I’ll be able to live as long as I know what’s going on and can get around.

We also stopped at Menards today after lunch. The Babe is building a barn door to cover the place above the fireplace where the TV would have gone. The house is about 11 years old, and I think that was the rage back then. No more. It looks rather weird, so this will hide the space, and give the mantle a nice accent.

Photo by Thomas Vitali on Pexels.com

Besides, I can store off season decorative items in the cubbyhole. Perfect! It will make the season change easier for me. I’m all about easier. I have some data updates to do tonight for the Post Website, the developer needs this info before he can complete his part of creating the new website.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you all had a good day and have a good evening. Stay safe out there, wash up, mask up, and we’ll all get through this inconvenience. Be positive and things will start to go better for you. Seriously. Positive attitude is everything. Get’cha some!