Today’s Blog

Thursday, Thanks!

It was a day spent trimming tiny threads from Kayla’s quilt, before I sandwich it with batting and backing for quilting. It took most of the day, turning it over and over. You trim the right side, the wrong side, and all the seams to make sure nothing is hanging or dangling, or even frayed all over the place on a seam. It’s trimmed now, and ready for tomorrow’s work of pinning it all over for quilting.

I feel as if I don’t have both oars in the water, things feel “off”. I don’t know how else to describe it. Most of the time, I’m all about the business of what we’re doing, but today, not so much. I hope tomorrow is better.

One of Those Days

Those days you feel out of it

Are just an off day or two

No need to try and analyze it to death

Or over-think it

You’re just not up to snuff

It’s not a major catastrophe.

Soon, you’ll be yourself again

You’ll be on top of your game

And surprised at all you accomplish

And you’ll be grateful for the focus

For the productivity

And for the check marks on your lists.

Is that what it’s all about?

Or is it about enjoying, observing, learning

And experiencing God’s creation, in all it’s glory.

Thanks for Noticing!

And In The End

You will never forget

The real, true friends

The ones you prayed with

The ones you toasted with

And the ones whose funerals you attended.

Real life events

Shared with real friends

Their stories of war

And of loves and losses

And of gratitude and blessings

And of all being well

When it ends well

And oh, how well we ended. 

Help Yourself First

Just as when we sit on an airplane, during the instructions from the stewards about safety, we hear, “If you are with a child or someone needing help, fix your own oxygen mask first, then help them with theirs.” It becomes apparent you cannot help someone if you are lacking oxygen. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

It does, unless we’ve grown up in a dysfunctional family, one who practices codependency. It’s not unusual for the adults to bluster, fluster, and scatter about, with high anxiety, and craziness everywhere, re-enacting “Who’s on First?” I’m glad to see almost every bit of self-care writing begins with taking care of you first.

It’s neurotic and just impractical to care to the health, welfare, and happiness of everyone else first. A natural answer to the question, “What can I do to others,” is not do for others so they don’t have to do for themselves. Enabling is just that – doing so they don’t have to for themselves. They will learn nothing if you do it for them, except to learn how to manipulate others into enabling them.

Certitude is the absolute conviction that something is true. Once we make others understand we are all here to take care of ourselves, we will have the confidence to set boundaries and enforce them. We will also be able to walk the walk and talk the talk. Not many of us can do both at once. It’s a difference in our lives we can be proud to model to others.

As we practice self-care and boundaries, we see the value in others doing for themselves. There is no contest for self-sacrifice, especially when it’s destructive to us and others. Having strong convictions about these things is what makes us good examples, citizens, and friends. Try establishing this as a habit for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, it’s easy to feel alone and out of it. We may need to work at remembering how we are blessed instead of what we are lacking. Take extra time to be grateful and you will soon be changing your outlook. It is so very worth it. I remember years when the most I was grateful for was that the car started. Or it was paid for. And no one was ill or arrested or hungry. Look deep, you’ll be surprised what you realize.

Have a good rest of the evening, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Be safe out there.

Endings

Endings are sometimes sad,

Sometimes glad,

Sometimes unsure as to what they are.

When you’ve been somewhere for awhile, 

And know a lot of friends, 

It’s hard to think of not seeing them again.

After you need to be gone,

Gone for your mental health,

Gone because they just don’t listen,

Gone because they just don’t get it.

You can’t fix this anymore.

They need to fall.

And fail.

And then someone else will come along.

And pick up where you left it.

And give their hearts.

Until someone disrespects them.

And the Dance Begins Again..

A Do-Over Kinda Monday

When we start on a new path in our lives, we never know how far we’ll go forward. It often requires new habits, new activities, new friends, and new environments. Use a family who relocates in a new city, with new jobs, a new home, and a new culture. We do it all the time, and often, don’t think it’s such a big deal.

But it is. We decide what comes with us into our new life in that new city. We get a do-over. Life grants those every now and then. We can create our own do-over, and it’s easier than we think. And it’s harder, too. 

If we decide we want to eat healthier, we need to get in the mindset to eliminate things we snack on that aren’t good for us. Sounds simple enough, but it’s hard! I don’t want to use the phrase, 

“Give it up,” because that reminds me of how Catholics, “Give something up for Lent/Advent.” 

Mom used to give up beer for Lent. She’d lose about thirty pounds, too. Fasting and abstaining was the norm. At 93, she still does, but doesn’t drink beer anymore. 

If we decide to change something big, we may need to start small. Telling the truth is a big deal for me. Don’t lie to me, no matter how small it is to you. In my opinion, if you tell small lies easily, you’ll tell big ones as well. And if I cannot trust you, we cannot be friends. I probably don’t even want you on the fringes of my life. Truth matters. In every aspect of life. 

Omitting important factors is lying, too, it’s lying by omission. Kids do it. Adults shouldn’t. If you are hiding something to keep me from getting angry, it’s wrong. Don’t you get that? Telling the truth is important, and shouldn’t be something you give up just for Lent/Advent. You should give it up for life. Start small if you must, but finish big. Honesty is so necessary in this world, and in our lives. Make this new habit part of your life. And mine, since it affects your friends, too.

Sometimes, we need to change a lot in our lives. Many of us do. We can tackle it one thing at a time. And it should be for forever, not just six weeks on the calendar. That length of time would be used to create the new habit. Why not get started today? Let’s do it together! I’d like to spend more time creating – whether it be writing, quilting, sewing, and reading. 

What are you going to do today to start a do-over and new habit? It can be big or small. The important thing is we begin. Today. Have a beautiful day, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 11/13/2022, Solitude

“The Worst Loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.”  Mark Twain

When we gathered at the VFW Post for Veterans Day, we sat with an old friend and just caught up. It was wonderful. The table of people was all retirement age, and we laughed and shared funny things about getting older. 

Some of us admitted to taking a nap nearly every day and liking it. Others said, “Nope, never.” I do, but I think my body is just spent after a few hours of doing stuff. Today, I sewed together eight rows of blocks for Kayla’s quilt. By 1 p.m., I was on the heating pad. 

Our friends all agreed it’s great to be able to do just about whatever you wanted. I don’t know of what I’d rather be doing, now that the quilt blocks are tamed, the rest needs combining, then all the quilting, etc. I’m looking forward to it. 

Travel would be nice, but the Babe’s not comfortable doing that. He’s now wanting to be far away from his doctors. I can’t say I blame him. I’m not wanting to be away from our comfy home, bed, and hobbies for long. 

I think we’ve all reached what’s known as contentment. We are all comfortable with ourselves. We don’t need to go prove anything. As Dorothy said, “There is no place like home.” How long it takes for us to learn that!

When I was first divorced in 1982 and 30 years old, when the kids left with their dad on Saturday afternoon, I had to leave the house. Go find anything to do. I didn’t want to be there alone. I was never alone in my whole adult life. I had never lived alone. Yet, I couldn’t be alone on a Saturday night while the kids were gone.

I didn’t have many single women as friends, who were my age. Most were older. And bitter about life and men. I did not want to end up that way. No, thanks. I’ll do something else than listen to their negativity. The younger gals had no kids, no responsibilities. That wasn’t for me, either. 

I welcomed 30, while many single co-workers hated it. They were old maids. Wow. LIfe has sure changed, hasn’t it? In the years that followed, I learned to love staying home – even alone. I look forward to it now, though it isn’t for long. I’ve learned to take whatever comes along, and to deal with it. 

When I was first put on long term disability, I went three times a week at an early hour to Aquatic Therapy. Warm water therapy is heaven. I’d still go, but I’m allergic to the chemicals they put in the water to keep it clear and sanitary. Back then, the Babe and I lived in my house, on top of a hill with no outlet. Snow was still pretty bad back in 2000. We rarely saw a snowplow until it was nearly melted. If the weather was icy, the hill was treacherous. I became angry if I couldn’t get out to therapy on those days. The Babe and my kids lovingly didn’t want me to either be in an accident or slip and fall walking to and from the car. My delicate spine and lingering injuries couldn’t risk more injury. 

Finally, in order to deal with my anger, I took my 35mm camera outside (with good winter boots, my cell phone and both dogs we had then), and walked in the yard, taking photos of the wintery wonderland. I learned quickly how to take that anger, disappointment in my condition and myself, and turn it into something else; learning how to take photos in the snow. I learned to deal with it. It took a while, but I learned. I was young (48 years old) and learning to deal with disability. That is never fun.

It was during that late winter I found quilting as a new hobby and as a way to end my depression by creating something beautiful. I’m still at it, twenty-two years later. Life is so rich, and I want to encourage anyone who is disabled; with patience, you can find a rewarding hobby and way to pass your time. Please, don’t give up. And you are more able than you think. I’ve been there. It gets better, and you have to put in the work. Be willing.

Work on finding peace and contentment with your own company. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy yourself. Let’s have a great day, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

A Wonderful Veterans Day & A Magical #!

Veterans Day was wonderful.

A young mom contacted me Thursday, they were fairly new to Omaha, as of last summer. She asked if non-Veterans could donate to our food and clothing drive. And her little girl drew a picture and wanted to give it to a Veteran. They agreed to come in today and be introduced to one or more.

We met and had a nice talk. She met four younger Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, who sent her to the older Honor Guard members. They were delighted! Her parents and I talked, we showed them the rest of the facility. Then we talked about our Honor Room. They were very interested in seeing it.

We entered, and I told them about the displays. We have beautiful summaries of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The parents did a wonderful job of explaining difficult things to the little girl. She is only five years old and actually knows we entered WWII because Pearl Harbor was bombed. Many 30 year olds don’t know that. Wow.

This year, on Veterans Day, 2022, my faith in the next generation or two was renewed. All because of that little girl and her her wonderful parents. And her baby sister. It was heart warming.

As of yesterday morning, 11/11/2022, we topped the followers numbers as follows:

503 followers through WORDPRESS.

15 followers via their e-mail addresses.

473 followers through Social Media.

TOTAL: #991followers.

I’m over the moon, how about you? Thank you to everyone, let’s go for #9followers more to make it to #1000followers!

It’s been said the final score is the only one that matters. The score at halftime doesn’t matter at all. It matters not how we start our lives, or the troubles we see. What matters is how we end it. How we achieve, and do good, and love others is what matters.

We can have a horrible start to our lives. Maybe our lives at home were horrible. We can learn good and to overcome, and we can end on a high note. We can learn skills for a successful life, and to care about ourselves and others. Just because we don’t know that in the beginning, doesn’t mean we can’t learn. And do wonders.

Always remember, who we were was given; who we shall be is up to us. I’m sure the little girl I met today was one who will excel and shine in the universe. Let’s all join her.

Thank you for reading, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Veterans Day, 2022

The photo in the header today is of my husband, my veteran, my best friend in life, the Babe, Dan Raabe. We have been married for 24 years, and I remember, on our first date, (blind date), he was most proud of his children, Blake and Tracy, and of his military service in the US Army, 1968-1971. That has always stayed foremost in my mind.

His children are incredible humans, and I’m blessed to be their step-mom. Their Mom, Sandy, died of lung cancer, in 2010. Three grandchildren grace our lives with them. So blessed, we are. Sometimes, we need to pinch ourselves at the thought of all the blessings we have, thanks to their life together. Sandy was my friend, too, and I loved hearing stories about the kids when they were little. I know the Babe still loved her and still felt responsible for their divorce. Like many couples, they married very young, and found ghosts of war haunted their lives when trying to resume their lives. Alcoholism claimed the Babe for awhile, and Sandy made a hard decision. He stopped drinking probably 30 years ago. They were able to become friends again, after a long time. I’m glad.

Many times, the subject of Dan’s military service arises. I’m proud he is the Captain of the Honor Guard at the VFW Post 2503 in Omaha. He’s been in over 8 years, many times juggling Honor Guard duties with his Quartermaster duties. Nothing is so quiet as the HG, at the National Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska, firing the three volleys at a committal ceremony for a veteran. The eerie silence is so fitting, as it is hallowed ground, and a place of honor. It is where we both will lie some day. Another honor we’re blessed with.

I am learning much in the Intentional Peer Support class I’m taking every week. We’re skipping this week, but will resume next week. For some reason, now I’m drawn to learning everything I can get my hands on about PTSD and suicide. My Amazon and Goodreads searches probably look as if I am pretty depressed right now; nothing could be further from the truth, I want to learn about it, so I can listen to people whose families are in those difficulties. So we can devise a plan with them so we can lend support to them on their way to the blessings they deserve for their sacrifices.

There are a lot of military family, active duties and reserves, who are hurting right now. They hurt as Dan and Sandy used to. They may be hurting worse. Every family is different in its dynamics, communications, and the way they handle things. Many can improve. Many need someone to listen. That’s what Dan and I want to do with our volunteering efforts in the future. We are happy for what we’ve done, yet look forward to doing something directly benefiting our Veterans and their families.

The best thing any of us can do to thank our Veterans isn’t a free meal, free coffee, or free movie pass. The best thing we can do is be involved with them. Learn about them. Realize the sacrifices they made and continue to make for all of us. Later today, I’m meeting a family who called yesterday about the VFW food/clothing drive we’re doing again this year. They wanted to know if non-vets could participate. They have a five year old who drew a picture for a veteran and wants to deliver it to one today. How wonderful this family is! They get it. Volunteer. Be involved. It’s the best thanks we can give them.

And on behalf of a grateful nation, our thanks to all of them.

Of Mountains and Molehills

(NaNoWriMo Day 10, written on 11/5/2022)

Have you ever known anyone who made a major deal out of everything? Nothing occurs in their life unless it splashed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all things social media. 

Anyone who writes needs a presence on social media. Our websites need to introduce us to the world in order to gain followers, get yourself out there, and make a name for yourself. It’s hard work. It’s hard to set your audience to Public, knowing full well people you don’t know will know who you are. That makes some folks uneasy. I’m not worried about it, I know if you want people to buy your books; you are public about your life to a certain extent. 

It’s purposeful I mentioned we have two dogs. They’re big dogs, and quite protective of their house and people. The other side of that, is the dogs are a huge part of our lives. They’re part of our family, all our kids are dog lovers, too. Lucky pups live with nearly all of us. 

I want to record my reading some short children’s stories. I plan to upload them to YouTube and pitch Grandma Kathy reading other author’s books. I have several picked out. Then, I’ll introduce the first Grandma Kathy book. That one will have to be purchased. I think it’s a great idea, just need to get it off the ground. 

Soon, a private Podcast group will be available on Facebook. A friend of mine is heading up the group. It will be a free resource for those of us who want to learn how to do it, what to do, what you need, etc. So much to learn besides writing!

I think that explains my presence on social media, my concerns and the things I love about it. I’m using it for a purpose, not to create drama. So, while I’m not using it to make mountains out of the molehills of problems I have, I’m there and hope to gain a following. 

The drama creators make every minor problem that arises a full-blown crisis. There’s codependency in those kinds of crisis. The problem may have nothing to do with your immediate household, yet you adopt the crisis and all that goes with it. It’s for attention. You do it for control. You do it to feel important. 

Others may minimize another’s crisis. You know that type too. “That’s nothing! Thus and such happened to me.” That’s not appropriate to do to someone. We have no right to do that. We need the grace to see circumstances and events in life as they are; no exaggeration or minimizing. 

When we really have a crisis, we need to have a clear head, be ready to decide after gathering all the information, analyzing it, and be confident in our decision. 

I had a good 90 minutes of working on the quilt squares, they’re almost ready to sew together! I’m getting excited. There will be time to layer and quilt it and cut out the next one, for Kayla’s brother Cody. Here’s praying I get finished in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, NaNoWriMo 11/9/2022

It’s said there is a time for everything. Birth. Death. Prayers. Work. Play. It appears Wishing isn’t one of them. Wishing is nice, but in and of itself, it won’t get you anything or anywhere. The only thing that will get you something or somewhere is work. 

Much as we hate to admit it, it is the truth. Wishing is fun. Walt Disney encouraged us to wish upon a star, and it made no difference who we are. Magic happened in Walt’s world, and it was magical, especially in Anaheim, California, or Orlando, Florida. I often wonder what Walt would think of his creations today. It is far over $100 per person, regardless of age, to get in the gate of any of the parks at Disney World. That is for each and every park. Considering he wanted a nice park-like atmosphere where families could go on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy the outdoors and each other’s company. I believe he may be shocked. 

In the early stages, a wish can be frivolous or it can be a dream. Continuing with the wish, it becomes a dream with some thinking about if it can be achieved or not. Dreaming to be a millionaire, a woman could look to marry “up” as they say, and her dream could come true. That is certainly one way to get there. 

Another way, could be to invent something that will revolutionize cooking, cleaning, leisure, travel, working, or even business. I would suppose the Internet has been revolutionary in our time. In my lifetime, so has sending a man to the moon, test tube babies, travel to space by civilians, and the marketing of electric cars. 

I use the internet, and enjoy it very much. Streaming is such a luxury for a movie lover like me. I have no interest in traveling into space or to the moon, having a test tube baby, and especially do not want an electric car. I also can’t see the Babe and me going to Disney World again. Once was plenty, although it was a fun family trip. 

Somewhere, all these wishes, dreams, and ideas needed to be defined, and a plan needs to be formulated to achieve the wish dream, and idea. Concrete plans must be created from the abstract thoughts and ideas. That is a marvelous process, to go from an idea to a reality on how it can be built or achieved. 

Our granddaughter Addison has mentioned she wants to be a doctor who delivers babies. How wonderful! She isn’t just sitting at home, posting on TikTok, and watching videos. She is building her academic world around that goal. She is taking AP classes every chance she gets. She understands by clearing the way for her college career by getting some of it out of the way now, she will have more time to devote to her education when it is really difficult. I marvel at how she wonders out loud at people she knows who have no idea of what they want to do or be after high school. She’s absolutely right to wonder about this. I love her focus and determination.

Wishing to be a doctor will result in disappointment if that’s all she does. Working hard to be a doctor will result in the goal being met. That’s the key. Always knowing it’s not easy, and it’s worth working for. Always. 

Whether we need to formulate a plan for our future or work on some personal traits we thought were simply inherited from our ancestors, wishing won’t get the hard work done. Only the hard work has an effect on realizing those goals. The sooner you get started, the better. And the sooner you make your dream a reality. 

What can you do to help your dream become a reality? What steps can you handle right now? Are you willing to put in the work? Have a beautiful day; see you tomorrow.