Sunday Morning

Today, we are hosting Air Force Veteran Jay Miralles, as he podcasts from our VFW Post 2503. The topic is military service. We have eleven people scheduled today. Our mission began about zero dark thirty. Pretty early for a Sunday, but between the coffee and Jay’s enthusiasm, I’m ready to take on the world!

In these times, we are seeing some of our national and local history changed to be friendlier, kinder, and vanilla. War and it’s effects on our soldiers cannot be sanitized. We aren’t asking the Veterans about things like body count, that is not the intent. There are other forums where you can view that.

We are interested in the people and their lives. Asking about Patriotism. They can talk about anything they want. We are avoiding topics that may be upsetting. Honor, Integrity, and Service are topics, as are what is one of your best memories of being taught a lesson? All our sons and daughters can reflect on their love of America, their belief in our military, and the mission they promote as veterans. I feel honored to see this interaction and these beliefs being lived every day.

Why volunteer here? Our friends Lenny and Kris invited us on a Hamburger Night, and the Babe became a member. He joined the Honor Guard and was asked to run for Quartermaster. He has done great things in the role, his business knowledge has been helpful. His suggestion to refresh the building’s rental rooms made a tremendous difference. The Canteen has yet to be refreshed as we look forward to the 90th Anniversary of existence.

Being an Auxiliary member is something I felt was necessary to show support to my husband. I didn’t realize as time went on the scope changed dramatically. Being the Webmaster is a challenge some days. This year, we will expand our social media presence, with more on Twitter and Instagram. I will also find a backup for that role, and rely on that person for more day to day work. There is always room for participation.

Working in the kitchen on a crew exposes you to some good people. We have some teams who have been together for years. One thing I’ve noticed here is deep friendships are not only possible but very probable. Everyone is welcome. It’s a place where widows feel comfortable to enter and leave at will. We watch out for each other. As we lose people, we make new friends and continue sharing the memories of our fallen comrades. I have a tshirt that reads:

Being a Wife is a Choice

Being the Wife of a Veteran

is a Privilege

As we continue this special day of interviewing and preserving important history, think about if you’d like to reach out into our community and help others. It’s a wonderful thing. And you will feel good making someone else’s life better. Let’s see each other tomorrow!

Veterans Day, 2021

Today is a day for our very special Veterans. All that we enjoy today is because of them and their sacrifices. The freedoms we enjoy are not seen in any other country. We are safer with them at the ready. They don’t think twice about it. Love of their country and freedom are what keep them at their posts. All six branches of the services combined create the well oiled machine that is the Military of the United States of America. Old Veterans would marvel at drone technology used today. I know my dad would. He’d want to work the darned things!

I’ve mentioned before the three photos my Grandma Jewell had in her living room. Each in a corner, either black and white or sepia finished, her three sons in their military uniforms. All handsome, young, trained, and ready to go. The patriotism the men of this era had is recounted in old war movies, songs, and the general mood of the times. Folks at home planted gardens to ease the burden of the grocery system at the time, so the troops would have what they needed. Mom recounted the shortages on toilet paper, soap, and other items like sugar. Everyone did their part. Could we do that now? I would hope, but many folks wouldn’t.

The message I took away from seeing those photographs subliminally at every visit sits deep in the fabric that is me. I cannot imagine life without that early exposure to the Patriots around me. All the men in our neighborhood and family served in the military. Of my three brothers, one was 4F, one not the right age during the draft, and one went to the reserves, at the time, the 915 Transportation Unit from Council Bluffs, Iowa. He would have gladly gone if called up.

My husband Dan served in Vietnam, many years before we met. It left him a haunted soul, like many of the young men who served there. My dad, after serving in WWII and Korea, told me once, “A jungle war is so different than a war fought in cities and towns. The mindset of the enemy is very different, too. The bottom line is, the enemy wants to kill you in whatever barbaric way they can.” He should know; he was in combat as a medic “aide.” They were on the battlefield, did not have weapons, and running to assess and aid the wounded. He was a surgical tech in the MASH tents of Korea. He saw the damages. And he was awarded two bronze stars. My dad, gentleman, loving father and grandfather, and quintessential bad ass. He was a quiet man, just went about his business, never wanting any attention. Many of our Veterans are the same way.

After having these experiences, it’s no wonder our troops have difficulty merging back into life at home. They are not the same as when they left. We need to find ways to help them adjust, and we need to adjust, too. Nothing is the same once they return home.

Recognizing that, we have an Art exhibit by Liz Boutin, and an information fair at the VFW Post 2503 today. The Post opens at noon, and we have lots of tables for you to visit with various agencies and groups for the Veterans. Guitars for Vets, Moving Veterans Forward, 22 Veteran Suicide Awareness Association from Council Bluffs, grief materials from Centering Corporation in Omaha, and some vendors. Come, have a great spaghetti meal between 4 – 7 p.m. and attend our Ceremony at 6 p.m. Corporal Daegan Page’s family will receive a special gift that was sent to us by a gentleman in Texas. I will share it with you tomorrow. It’s breath-taking.

Let us honor our keepers of freedom. Let us remember their sacrifices. We can never thank them enough.

July 1, 2021

So here we are again. It’s the first day of the rest of this year we call 2021. I have resolved to spend every minute I can doing positive things for the rest of the year. I have issued a challenge to our VFW Post 2503, on their Facebook page. I am going to do a total 2200 Squats in July to raise awareness for Veterans Suicide. Each day, 22 Veterans commit suicide. That is 22 too many. We need to get help for them. There are programs out there for each and every one of them. Take my hand, and I’ll walk with you to get you some help. Please.

A mere 71 squats a day will give me 2201 total squats. I also am doing 22 wall pushups daily to focus closer on that number, 22. 22 is the day of my birth. I find coincidences like that very weird. Do you? It tells me I need to help any way I can. Join me. If nothing else, we’ll be stronger on August 1, 2021.

One of the fundraisers our Post is organizing is for the 50 Mile March. A walk from Lincoln to Omaha, sponsoring walkers with funds, moral support, snacks, and cheers. The funds will be divided between two Vets Support Groups, Moving Veterans Forward Nebraska, and Guitars for Vets, Nebraska. Ron Hernandez and Peg Ullom are tireless in their quest to help as many Veterans as possible have a more normal life. I love being involved with their efforrts.

Come along with me as I try to improve life around me. Concentrating on the Squat/Push Up Challenge does something else for me. It helps pass my time while I’m eagerly awaiting the illustrations for my kidlit book. I’ve combed over the narrative over and over, and will once again when I get the illustrations. In the meantime, I’m taking a Master Class on Kid Lit. It will help me identify any other holes in my manuscript, and hopefully, get them all edited out soon. My goal is to get it to the printer in September. Then the fun begins!

There is a craft show at our Post on October 2, 2021. I’d love to have my book available there. It could generate some sales, and I’d get a start on marketing/selling. I will shift my focus onto all of that. It will be an exciting fall here at Raabe Ranch, with the dogs and the Babe (not necessarily in that order)!I believe it will work like it’s supposed to work. No amount of worry will make it happen. I won’t procrastinate or ignore the next step, and I believe it will fall into place. If not, we’ll make Plan B.

I have a meeting in a bit about our July 11 fundraiser for the families of Law Enforcement Officers who were lost in the line of duty. We have 10 days, and we have already garnered a great number of donations for silent auction. People are so generous. Love it. I’d better find a snack as I’m currently starving. I hope you all have a beautiful rest of the day. I will make it one, too! See you tomorrow!

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Furever Friday/Serene Saturday

The pups are a little concerned about all the lightening going on right now. The rain is nice, gentle, (except for that one burst) and I won’t have to water any plants today. That’s good. I’m having a goof-off day. Had a wonderful long chat with my high school friend Gwen, and we’ve caught up in a fine fashion. How fun to be able to do that. We are getting prepared for the 50 + 1 reunion this year, and she is one of my life-long friends. That’s the great part about this whole deal. I wrote yesterday about my feelings of inadequacy in high school, but they must have been closely guarded. People didn’t see me that way. Yes, there had to be some sort of extrovert in me that has finally blossomed. Thank you, God!

Goldie sat on my feet, between me and the bathroom vanity while I applied make up this morning. She is a great footwarmer when you’re barefooted. Bless her heart! She just needs to be close to us when we’re home. I love Labs. She’s the best.

Lexie pretends not to care when the weather is stormy. She goes deep into our closet, and will emerge when it’s over. They’re smart. The Babe called Addison to see if she was ok being home alone in the storm. She said she’s fine, but their pup Josie must have jumped four feet off the ground. I’m getting a mental picture, here.

Be safe in these electrical storms. Don’t try to go on the roof to adjust the satellite dish, it’s too dangerous! Omaha’s Cartoonist Jeffrey Koterba tells in his book, “Inklings” of being struck by lightening. Not once in his life, but twice. How lucky is he? Darned lucky he lived to tell about it!

Talking with Gwen this morning really set my mind going on how little time we really get to live. By the time many of us get it figured out in our heads, we only have a short time left. Play time is important, even to those of us boomers. Wow. 70 was our graduation year. I thought it would never come. And there it went, and now, we’re all near 70. It went too fast.

And somehow, now it’s Saturday. Friends and I went a movie yesterday – Queen Bees. It was fantastic. Anyone over the age of 50 should see it. Heck, over 40. You could see your mom in this movie. You could see yourself. You could be a queen bee. I hope not. It’s not a good thing. Ellen Burstyn is so good. It’s amazing, they’re finally putting out movies with older women in them. I love them all. We have a lot of time left, and we intend to make the most of it. Ellen Burstyn’s character had a very close relationship with her grandson. I hope to have that with Gavin, Joell, Addison, Kayla and Cody.

It rained and rained yesterday. It was a good day in spite of that. The Babe and I had pizza last night, and it was pretty good for a change. I’m still holding at my thirty pound weight loss, but have started a “50 Squats a Day” challenge during Heart Disease Awareness Month. You bet I’m aware, the Babe has ischemic heart disease (thank you, Agent Orange!) and we’re grateful he’s got great doctors who keep ahead of the problems.

This morning was another glorious morning for coffee on the deck. I’m not a person who cries easily, but I could just about cry it’s so beautiful. The feeling I get when I sit there with the Babe and just look at the trees while listening to the symphony of the birds, it’s definitely my place for calm and peace and love. I think it always will be.

Today, we have a planning meeting for the Post. We have a lot of projects going on, and are finding a lot of places to help Veterans. It’s our mission, it’s our purpose, it’s our goal. And I love being a part of the effort.

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy your time and spend time on you. See you tomorrow!

Black Friday-Time to Unclutter!

Did you all survive the day of giving thanks and cooking all day? We did, too. Quiet, reflective days are good. It seems I did something weird to my upper back in the shoulder blade area. I can hardly move it without severe pain. It happens now and then. I’ll probably get the TENS unit on it with the heating pad during the football segment of the day. I’ll use that time to sort through this:

This Chair is full of the printed matter I’ve accumulated while writing and doing research. I enjoy having printed copies, but if I sort through and find any of this unnecessary, it’s going!

I want to get a few things cleaned well before I do the Christmas tree. One was cleaning up my writing area. The sewing area in my little studio needs it too. But with my strange flare up, I’m limited. We’ll make do. Anyone who has chronic pain gets it. When you least have time to deal with it is when it rears up.

I did this thing and bought a laptop stand to use while I write. The Chromebook fits perfectly and even raising it off my lap three inches while typing in the recliner makes less stress on the old body. The pain in subsiding in my neck, thank goodness. I need to do a great rating on Amazon for this product. It was from Lifelong, a family business. They may have saved my writing career!

Before left, and after, right. I can see the glass-top desk and organization. Much easier. I just procrastinate on spaces like this. I’m busy working on things and think, “I’ll do it when I come back in,” and then I don’t. I can create in chaos, which isn’t a good thing, really. We all do better with order. I want to organize all the projects and stories, and tutorials and rough drafts. A small, simple milk carton storage cube will hold enough hanging file folders to keep what I need. I love my space!

It’s amazing what you find when you tidy up. A thermometer as a token of 2020, a book by someone whose work you admire, and letters you need to scan and add to a website for the VFW Post 2503. Never a dull moment.

Sometimes authors report going through spells of “writer’s block.” What is it? I’m not sure if it really exists or if it’s procrastination, self-sabotage, or a cluttered brain. One reason I straightened up is I was getting too distracted. Since I’m not working with my book coach anymore, maybe I feel like “School’s Out for the Summer.” Could be. I believe I’ll get back to business after I tidy several areas that require my attention right now.

The really wonderful thing about being retired is you can fill your time however you wish. It’s really up to you. You can read, write, draw, create, sew, or quilt. I love these things, and just don’t have enough time. I located my list of goals for this year. I thought my book, “These Walls DO Talk” release date would now be past, as would the children’s books, “Bonus Grandma’s,” and “Roxie, WHAT Are You Doing?” And another project, “Grandpa’s Gone,” would be near publication. Other things happened instead. I’m a little sad to say nothing went to press, but that’s a good thing. I’ve learned so much more about my craft, and I know the writing is much better than it was a year ago.

The craft improved with study, a great coach, and my confidence is higher. I know my creations will be better than a year ago. The practice here every day is necessary, yet it’s a different writing. It’s been a splendid start on this journey we’re on. Who knew we’d take the side trips we have? It’s all been unexpected blessings. And I’m all for that. How fortunate I’ve been! Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Please be safe if you’re out shopping today. Distance. Masks. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. Patience. We need all that more than ever. Thank you so much for reading today, and we’ll meet again tomorrow. Enjoy today and all that comes with it.

Thankful Thursday

It’s been pretty busy here at Raabe Ranch today. I had a great book talk with Sam Tyler, my coach this morning. I’m feeling a little sad because we agreed to take December “off,” and resume in January 2021. By now, I feel I’ve learned enough of what I didn’t know before that I can proceed on my own, with good guidance from a couple of books certain authors have written to guide other writers in their trade. Changes are hard, and I know we have become friends along the way. That is the best benefit.

I finished with shopping for the VFW Post donation to the homeless vets being served through Moving Veterans Forward. I’ll accompany the founder and CEO, Ron Hernandez, and a couple other people to deliver the goods where they will do the most good. It will be another lesson in the story of life. Some are sad, some are happy. Some show impressive growth, others bear substantial loss.

I mentioned yesterday about facing mortality, as Michael J Fox talks about his retirement from acting after his last couple of years of struggles with health issues. In the past five to ten years, we have lost a bunch of friends and family, mostly from cancer. As I went through my Facebook friends list, deciding on who to invite to like my author page, I am struck by how many of those people were no longer with us. The old-fashioned address book is even worse.

I think of all the people I’ve loved, liked, and had fun with. Fun friends from school, church, groups we’ve belonged to, and friends of friends. It’s a whole unique group of people you collect throughout your life, and if they’ve been with you for a long time, they really become part of you, and you become part of them. Friends, wonderful friends, are worth so much. It’s a pleasure being a part of their lives, just as it’s a pleasure to have them in your life. The world is so much better with them.

Today, start making the most of however much time you have left on this earth. I don’t care if you’re 15 or 95. You can make the most of the rest of your life by starting now. Start today. Be positive. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Grateful. Always leave home on a pleasant note. You never know how life can change in eight or ten hours. Be free of regrets. It makes a tremendous difference in your life.

Although it is late, I appreciate you reading. Tomorrow’s blog will be later in the day, too. The delivery of goods to homeless shelters for Veterans is going to be quite a story. There, but by the grace of God, go I. See you tomorrow. Stay safe out there.

Veteran’s Day 2020

Thank you to every Veteran for your service for this great country of ours. This year of 2020 has presented a lot of problems for her, yet, each of you love your country more than your own lives. I admire that undying love of country. It never goes away from what I’ve observed. Many restaurants will let Veterans eat for free today, others will offer discounts.

A free meal pales compared to the debt we to these brave men and women. Just think of it. From the trenches of “The Great War,” to the Battlefields of World War II, the tundra of Korea in winter, the jungles of Vietnam, and the vast deserts of the Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield), The Iraq War (Operation Desert Fox), and the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, there are still many, many men and women who take the oath to protect America. I’m proud to know many veterans and am related to many more.

I hope our country and each of us are worthy of the commitment made by these brave men and women of our armed services. Yes, there are a lot of wrongs in America, and there is so much more that is right. A lot of the rifts begin and end with failure to communicate. A great deal of emphasis on perceived wrongs, rather than actual wrongs. Yes, slavery was horrible. Segregation was horrible. Discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, sex, orientation, you name it, it’s wrong. We must be mindful of what we have done to correct our wrongs. Those changes accomplished before us are relevant and of value. It’s taken a long time to get this far, which is a shame. It’s a good place to begin.

We need to right many wrongs; we are not perfect. No country is. I believe the United States of America is as close as we may get. We have for a couple of centuries governed by the will of the people. We have elections in which everyone is now equal to cast a vote for whoever they wish. We elect congressional representatives and senators to use our system of checks and balances. They crafted it with freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

When you see a veteran today, thank them for their service. We are such a fortunate nation. We owe them all our effort towards making this a nation worth defending as they do and always have done. Think about it. Be Kind. Be Patient. Be Forgiving. Be Courteous. Be all you can be to be worthy of each soldier’s sacrifice.

Our VFW Post 2503 in Omaha, Nebraska is having a spaghetti dinner today. Veterans are free, all other dinners are $8. A couple of Afghanistan vets contacted us this week, wondering if we could have a trailer sit on our property this week for a clothing and food drive. They were kind enough to let us ask for coats, hats, boots, and other warm clothes for the Moving Veterans Forward organization. The winter items will help our homeless veterans a great deal. The guys are taking the food, etc. to a local homeless shelter.

These vets are blood brothers, who are ending 2020 on a wonderful note, helping other veterans. The spirit is so contagious; I hope we work with them and their enthusiasm for a long time. These guys are definitely worth another soldier’s sacrifice. What else can we do to make sure we are, too? Thank you for reading. God Bless all of you. And especially, may God Bless America.

Gratitude

I had a great opportunity yesterday. The VFW Post 2503 had a donation of items for use at the Victory Apartments. They are newly refurbished empty spaces from the former Grace University Bible College campus. Victory Apartments house formerly homeless veterans in our area. It is a beautiful use of old buildings and houses a beautiful start currently for fifteen veterans. Some are moving in next week, so we furnished four kitchens with some necessary items which included: 4 piece place settings silverware, four plates, cups, small plates, glasses, general use knives, 4 dishcloths, and 4 dish towels. It’s enough for a start. Many, many items are needed to complete the furnishing of the fifteen places open, and the addition of at least fifteen more later.

A high school friend, Margie Smith, and I reconnected through the wonders of Facebook. Also through the wonders of Facebook, I discovered her assistance with the Victory Apartments, and was eager to help out. Margie’s a great gal, and she has a lot of love to share about in the community with projects like this. It’s awesome we have people like her, making a difference, and leaving an impression. It’s great to reconnect with friends. We talked about more need for other items, and I do see the Post collecting them in the future.

The photos tell the story:

The apartments have nice kitchens, a sitting room of sorts, a bedroom, and full bath. I was touched beyond words after seeing the generosity of people giving our veterans assistance, which they work to deserve and to keep. There is a VA office right next door, mental health counseling in the same space, and resources of all types are available to the veterans. It is not only Vietnam Veterans served, there are several Desert Storm and Desert Shield vets, and others from Afghanistan, etc. Regardless of the era, they need our help and are very appreciative of it.

Certain criteria must be met to qualify, and continue a residency here. Their website is here. I am enthused about offering assistance right here, in my hometown, not half a nation away. We can see the help, it’s concrete, not abstract. I can see our Post offering more goods to furnish these homes for their brothers and sisters. More on all of that later.

Keeping in the gratitude theme, I received these photos last night as the grandkids and their parents were on the way home from picking up Josie.

Tracy, Gavin, Addison, and TJ. No one looks too happy about this little Josie girl, do they?

I had three little voice messages from Gavin on his GIZMO watch. He is about jumping out of his skin, and I know he’ll retain this excitement. It might be sketchy when he’s pooh farming in the backyard, but the responsibility is good for kids. It was for mine, too. As soon as their dad left, we adopted a puppy within six months. It was a great tool to teach responsibility.

As for me, I’m going to quilt a little bit until we go meet Josie. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. It may be spent inside, it’s pretty toasty outdoors. Just be grateful for where you are now. But by the grace of God, we could all be in different situations. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be thankful. I will see you all again tomorrow. Thank you for reading today. Try and think of a way to reach out and help. Donate items to the Open Door Mission, the Sienna Francis House, the Victory Apartments. Get involved while socially distancing. It can and it must be done. Wear your mask. Wash up.

Gratitude

I had a great opportunity yesterday. The VFW Post 2503 had a donation of items for use at the Victory Apartments. They are newly refurbished empty spaces from the former Grace University Bible College campus. Victory Apartments house formerly homeless veterans in our area. It is a beautiful use of old buildings and houses a beautiful start currently for fifteen veterans. Some are moving in next week, so we furnished four kitchens with some necessary items which included: 4 piece place settings silverware, four plates, cups, small plates, glasses, general use knives, 4 dishcloths, and 4 dish towels. It’s enough for a start. Many, many items are needed to complete the furnishing of the fifteen places open, and the addition of at least fifteen more later.

A high school friend, Margie Smith, and I reconnected through the wonders of Facebook. Also through the wonders of Facebook, I discovered her assistance with the Victory Apartments, and was eager to help out. Margie’s a great gal, and she has a lot of love to share about in the community with projects like this. It’s awesome we have people like her, making a difference, and leaving an impression. It’s great to reconnect with friends. We talked about more need for other items, and I do see the Post collecting them in the future.

The photos tell the story:

The apartments have nice kitchens, a sitting room of sorts, a bedroom, and full bath. I was touched beyond words after seeing the generosity of people giving our veterans assistance, which they work to deserve and to keep. There is a VA office right next door, mental health counseling in the same space, and resources of all types are available to the veterans. It is not only Vietnam Veterans served, there are several Desert Storm and Desert Shield vets, and others from Afghanistan, etc. Regardless of the era, they need our help and are very appreciative of it.

Certain criteria must be met to qualify, and continue a residency here. Their website is here. I am enthused about offering assistance right here, in my hometown, not half a nation away. We can see the help, it’s concrete, not abstract. I can see our Post offering more goods to furnish these homes for their brothers and sisters. More on all of that later.

Keeping in the gratitude theme, I received these photos last night as the grandkids and their parents were on the way home from picking up Josie.

Tracy, Gavin, Addison, and TJ. No one looks too happy about this little Josie girl, do they?

I had three little voice messages from Gavin on his GIZMO watch. He is about jumping out of his skin, and I know he’ll retain this excitement. It might be sketchy when he’s pooh farming in the backyard, but the responsibility is good for kids. It was for mine, too. As soon as their dad left, we adopted a puppy within six months. It was a great tool to teach responsibility.

As for me, I’m going to quilt a little bit until we go meet Josie. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. It may be spent inside, it’s pretty toasty outdoors. Just be grateful for where you are now. But by the grace of God, we could all be in different situations. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be thankful. I will see you all again tomorrow. Thank you for reading today. Try and think of a way to reach out and help. Donate items to the Open Door Mission, the Sienna Francis House, the Victory Apartments. Get involved while socially distancing. It can and it must be done. Wear your mask. Wash up.

Thankful Thursday

My writing staff and I are having a meeting of the minds this morning. Goldie (front) and Lexie (back) got the Babe up at 4 a.m. again. He was kind and let me sleep until 8 a.m. What a great guy. Typically he wakes up earlier than I do, but also goes to sleep much earlier too. It all evens out, I suppose. While the Babe is off again on VFW business, I’m here, creating with the animals.

My creative staff and I are meeting this morning.

Goldie is six months old already, and nearly the size of Lexie. Being a purebreed, she has more outstanding features than a pound puppy, but that doesn’t mean she’s superior. No, not at all. You can tell the difference, however. She is a very smart dog, and needs stimulation. They all do. Kind of like people, really. All ages of living beings need outward stimulation for a balanced life.

Last night at the VFW, we had a reunion of sorts. A good friend moved away a couple years ago after losing his wife, and came to visit for the first time since then. Although we’ve kept in touch via Facebook and texting, this was the first time we had seen him. It was a beautiful reunion. I am so overwhelmed by the men of the Post and the hugs, slaps on the back, the closely held conversations of a few words that say so much, and the checking to make sure they have current phone numbers to contact later on. This is what a band of brothers is. Each of them welcomed him with open arms. They truly love and care for each other. You have to when you depended on each other for your lives. Camaraderie is a beautiful thing to be a part of. If you can witness it as I did last night, you are truly lucky. This is why our Armed Services helps make this the greatest nation in the world. These everyday men from all walks of life, came together as youngsters to do a job they were called upon to do. They did. They are all better for having performed their duties.

Some guys made the service a career, some did not. They all remember their duty, although don’t talk about it a lot, if at all. It’s better kept in their hearts. They show such kindness towards the older guys, and it is returned a hundred fold. Yes, there are disagreements. Yes, there are differences of opinions. There is one thing that holds them tightly together. America and their love for it. Money could never buy this if it were a commodity. You can measure it, however, since all have taken an oath to serve to the death. And they still would if asked. It’s an honor to know them and call them my friends.

I’m glad to have from today until next Tuesday morning to myself (and the Babe), to regroup and plan how the next couple weeks will go. Mom needs some additional therapy for her back, and I’m all for that, so it will be more appointments twice a week. They add up, but should help build her up to have a more enjoyable time in her flower gardens this spring and summer. Right now, the plan is to rejoin the balance and strength training in September through next winter to keep her as strong as possible. Every older person needs extra conditioning to keep living a good independent life.

This is a sunny, bright, beautiful day today. It is cold, we know it’s still winter, and it won’t last too much longer. It’s a great day to create something. I’m going to try my hand at some more water coloring for the 30 Day Art Challenge. I also need to cut more fabric squares for my Snowfall quilt. And I need to write more on the novel. The words have been coming out at a good pace the last several days, so I need to capitalize on that. Thank you for reading today. I will be here again tomorrow, and hope to see you then!