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!

Thursday Thrills

Wow. I hope when I turn 92 I have the celebrations Mom does. As I drove down the alley hill I used to ride my bike up and down on, I saw a large bunch of brightly colored helium-filled balloons floating above a fence. I got closer and saw Mom’s neighbors, Kenny & David carrying a small cake and balloons to Mom’s house. She enjoyed her surprise a lot. They are the sweetest couple of guys, and they watch out for Mom. My brothers and I are lucky she has such nice neighbors to do that. Thanks, guys!

I took her to lunch yesterday, and we had a nice time. I believe she still has friends coming over today and tomorrow. The birthday girl has been shown a lot of love! And we all deserve that. It’s part of why I love birthdays. Your own special day!

Well, the Babe caved and ordered Dish TV. We had Direct TV before. He wants to watch Nebraska Football, and not have to go to a bar to do so. I get it. Winter’s coming. But doggone it, to watch the new season of “Yellowstone,” we need to have a Paramount + subscription. They get you coming and going, don’t they?

Today, I’m picking up my two books about writing up from Office Depot, where I had them spiral bound. They have areas to write out your plan for writing, and I’d rather photocopy them on our home printer than only be able to use it once. I’m a little thrifty that way.

Another item on the to do list today is to work on a program for presenting checks to Nebraska COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors), Moving Veterans Forward, and Guitars for Vets. I’m honored to have been asked to emcee this event. 2 p.m. Sunday, at VFW Post 2503. And of course, we’ll have cake! Cake and money! People always turn out for those two things.

Networking in our community is an interesting thing. By reaching out to other people, I learned of Victory Apartments in Omaha. They’re an organization who refurbished a couple of buildings into beautiful new apartments to formerly homeless Veterans. The Vets must abide by rules to stay in their new apartments. They are furnished by Moving Veterans Forward. We have established a great working relationship with MVF over the past months, and I’m proud to support the work they do.

With these things to plan, the blogs may be a little short over the next few days, but I’ll get them done, I promise! Right now, the brain is a little scrambled, but all will be well. That’s the best thing about reaching this age. Nothing bothers you much anymore. It is very freeing, to not worry (and invent problems) we often do when we’re younger. It also helps to have my beautiful butterfly bush just outside the window as I write. It’s so calming and inspirational. I really appreciate the view, too.

So Beautiful!

Own your difficult story. All of it helped make you into who and what you are now. And just go out there and shine! Remember, if you’re drawn to creating something, just do it! Thank you for your time reading today, and we’ll see you tomorrow. Be kind out there, and pray for our troops!

Deep Breaths!

I’m liking this Women in Publishing Conference. However, I’m so far behind with watching the tutorials/talks/pre-recorded content, I doubt it’ll get finished in my lifetime. Not being there in person and physically moving from one room to another to hear the next topic I want to hear is hard. Life gets in the way too much.

I do have a background using computers, writing software, designing screens for input, so I’m no slouch at trying to navigate around. This package is pretty frustrating to navigate through, especially when I’m trying to do too many things in a day. Yesterday, I was alerted to the fact the Post Website was repeating February’s food menu for March. Yikes! Foolish mortal! It only displays what I tell it to. Got it fixed pretty late in the evening. Didn’t feel much like watching videos after that.

And here we are at another day with sun and blue sky. And sopping wet grass with mud all over the back yard. Goldie runs and plays, kicking up the water all over her undercarriage. And believe me, she’s a sturdy girl with lots of undercarriage. When she wants to rest, she plops on the grass or in a slush pile as it finishes melting. Definitely a water dog. I wonder if she can swim? Some dogs cannot. But I digress.

So with the distraction of playing catch and quieting Lexie, the barker, I’m not even near being able to watch any videos. Soon as I’m done here, there I’ll be. I’ve learned it doesn’t pay to fret, which was tempting 30 minutes ago. I just didn’t want the rest of this day God gave me to be wasted.

And, after printing off the topics, speakers, and schedules, this photo dump represents what I want to hear in the next week. Luckily, we will have access after the conference is over, but this is what I need to learn and understand in the next week. I know I can, I’ve done it over and over again.

This reminds me of the time when my son Nick was ten years old. He had a terrible stomach ache upon coming home from visiting his dad for the weekend. He was sick and in a lot of pain. Taking him to the doctor the next day revealed a very high white count. His appendix was the only suspect, but it hurt near his liver. A surgeon saw him on Tuesday, and put him in the hospital. So as a last ditch attempt, they went after his appendix. And found it up near his liver. It ruptured. He almost died.

Did I mention I was taking my computer classes during that time, and I couldn’t miss class or fail any tests. I did both. The instructor considered the circumstances and gave me a re-test. I passed the unit with a “C,” which I was grateful for, considering it was Assembler language. Not an easy subject. Especially when my mind was blown by my little boy asking me if he was going to die. Seriously. God love him, he pulled through. I teased him forever, because my then-boyfriend won a trip to Hawaii. He ended up taking his mother. I would not have left my child. Later on, I broke up with the guy. So glad I did.

So, I know I’ll get through this time and information crunch. I need to relax. I’m going to take a break, sit on the deck with the dogs in the sunshine, and enjoy the view. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your presence very much. Be Safe out there. Be Thoughtful and Courteous while you’re at it. And just relax. It’ll all be there tomorrow!

Now, What Were Those 2020 Goals?

Hey! You out there! So much said about how terrible 2020 has been; I’m wondering if anyone even remembers what your goals were for the year? Any goals, about work, hobbies, life, etc.? I unearthed an email from my friend LeAura Alderson of I Create Daily, on December 30, 2019. It was about Pre-Goals followed by decisions and order and monthlies/90 day steps, everything to be precise and measurable.

Those were the innocent days. We were still living our lives without concern for COVID. We only had the nasty political division in our lives and families. Neither has been desirable. Who let them in? We did. Enough said about that. Let’s love each other again; politics be damned!

I was ambitious with my goals, were you? I had four major points; Publish, For Each Book, Website/Blog, and Other Marketing. As if life is that tidy, am I right? I honestly aspired to publishing my first four books, three of them children’s, one a novel. Then I was going to re-write another child’s book, Bonus Grandma’s.

For Each Book, I had headings of tasks to manage; writing, editing, EDITOR, Blurb, Cover. Sounds easy enough. I did a lot of writing and editing. Trouble was, it wasn’t on any of the four books on my list! I wrote, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” instead. It’s a prequel to “These Walls DO Talk.” It’s been a real learning experience about the process. I’ve loved and hated all of it, to be honest. It’s all melding together to make sense now. Things I didn’t even consider are now blips on my radar. I needed those blips. Now they’re part of the process. I never considered quitting, however.

2020 Goals, Anyone?

I think you’re reading my best accomplishment; my blog and website. I’ve added some pages, changed the look here and there, and once I’m further along, I’ll add a page about each book. I look forward to that. It’s hard for me to talk about my life, but they kind of force you into it when you create an “About Me” page. It’s hard. And photos? Never enjoyed being photographed, I always took the photos of the kids.

And in the meantime, working with my FBIL (favorite brother-in-law) Brad, he built a new website for the VFW Post 2503. It’s beautiful. I’m learning a lot from him about what’s good and what isn’t. Good practice for a worthy cause.

Other Marketing? I am now on Facebook (Kathy Raabe, Author), Instagram @AuthorKathyR and Twitter @Author_KathyR. So is VFW Post 2503. Baby steps, but learning, still. I’m not sure I’m up for Pinterest, I’m on Social Media a lot, for myself, my author page, and the Post, I don’t want to add another commitment yet. Our Nebraska Writers Guild is active there and had training, but I didn’t keep it up.

I will not complain about how bad 2020 was. It was hard. I learned so much about the craft of writing and have much more to learn. And that’s why I’m here, doing this every day, keeping in touch to the folks who will buy my books and read them, gift them, and help me realize my dream. It’s never too late!

I thoroughly enjoyed the months I studied and wrote with Sam Tyler, my book coach. It was money well spent, and I had quite a few revelations happen in the last month while I took off from working on my novel. Things fell into place, and now I know I’m ready to dig in again. Looking forward to writing more!

Over the next few days, I’m going to make a new list of things I want to accomplish in 2021. Some items will simply carryover from last year, but they will be closer to being accomplished. It’s going to be a significant year as far as writing goes, I’m sure of it. Are you ready to come along with me? I hope so, you’ve stayed this long, let’s see what happens next. Maybe we’ll both have a surprise! It happens, you know.

Thank you for reading today; I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Realize what you’ve done you didn’t set out to do. I learned a lot. I lost twenty pounds. I didn’t plan the Keto diet a year ago. It sort of happened in early November. It’s working! I’m continuing on that path, too. I feel better.

Continue being safe until we’re all vaccinated. The Babe and I will take it when our doctor advises us to. If he doesn’t think it’s safe, he won’t advise us to get the shot(s). It’s simple. Wear a mask. Be Safe. Wash Up.