It was just a matter of time

10 crowns. 10 weeks. 20+ shots. 27+ hours in the Dentist chair.

It was just a matter of time.

I felt it last week, a pinch.  Thought maybe I had the start of a Sinus infection so I started on an antibiotic to be safe.

I was wrong.

Tuesday, my face blew up.

Blew. Up.

Swollen from the nose through the eyebrow, my eye nearly shut.

Like this, without the snack!

Like this, without the snack!

Another visit confirmed what I already knew: a root abscess.

Seems all that drilling and poking and jarring stirred things up and now, now an infection raged and moved north.

When you wake in the morning and open your eyes and all you see is your own cheekbone, it freaks you out, maybe a little.

2 shots later, one in each hip, another round of stronger meds + something for the pain and lots of hot compresses, here I am.

Back in the day, settlers on the prairie, my ancestors, well they died from this stuff.

I can understand why.

So when I look at it objectively – 1 out of 10 – not bad, right?

Whatever happened to Randy Travis anyways?  Last I heard he was trying to buy cigarettes … naked.  Maybe he had a tooth infection, too?


Categories: Attitude, Faith, fear, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Random 5 in 5

Five minutes for 5 Random Friday thoughts. Go!

1.  Protein shake for breakfast – feels like cheating :)

2.  Here’s a flashback to about 1968: me with one extremely large Tomcat, Tigger.  There were a lot of little kitties around who looked like him:

I swear I wasn't strangling Tigger!   an Emjayandthem (C) photo

I swear I wasn’t strangling Tigger! an Emjayandthem (C) photo

3.  No acuptuncture for me today.  Hubbs pointed out my 4 hour Dental appt that starts 15 min from now — yeah, probably not good to add PINS to the mix.  That’s Tuesday instead :).

4. It’s Friday!  Time to get my groove one … here’s the “real” clip to the song I posted a few days ago — have some “Uptown Funk” featuring Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars.  I love the dance moves, the horn section and the “super fly” feeling to this song.

5.  This picture inspired this post.   Dance like no one’s watching .. because they’re not. They’re doing their own thing or on the smart phone!

dancer inside

Happy Friday, peeps!  I double-dog-dare ya to write a post in 5 minutes.  Go!


Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Random, Random observations, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Life to everything

This week is proving to be crazy – travel and training yesterday, travel and meetings today, travel and presentations Wednesday, travel and meetings Thursday and Friday?  Dentist, Acupuncturist and catching up on what I missed on the other 4 days!

All that and the email machine does-not-stop. The corporate requests. The customer inquiries. The new projects. The. The. The.

I find it therapeutic that I get this much time in my car – time to bust out a few moves and sing a few songs and get my happy on.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato

What song makes you wanna crank it up and groove in your front seat?  Where are you off to today?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Fun, Gratitude, Humor, Joy, Random, Thoughts, Travel, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Random 5 .. Thursday – Spring, Alternative medicine, Narcissists and Everyday people

It’s Thursday and it’s Random.  Why today and not tomorrow? Because I am off tomorrow – whoop! Here are my 5 random thoughts this week:

1. 30 degree temperature swing from last Saturday to Tuesday.  Sunshine all around.  Smiles all around.  Neighbors coming out of houses, folks chatting at the mailboxes – yes – Spring is in the air.  Hallelujah!



2. Tried something new this week: Acupuncture!  Years ago I was injured in a car accident and I still have pain in my neck where I was hurt. And, when stressed, I tend to clench my teeth.  I’ve been stressed, so my neck and jaw have been aching and pain relievers don’t even touch it.  Does this work? Not sure.  How’d it feel?  Like someone was sticking me with needles!  :) Truth be told, some points I didn’t feel, others burned and stung (i.e. in the jaw area- d’oh) and, after all pins were in I relaxed.  Having to lie still might have been part of that, not something I’m used to doing.  That night I felt drained and slept very deeply.  Will I go back? Yes, a couple of times at least.  The jury’s still out on this one.


That needle in the right thumb hurt like crazy; on the left? not at all. I write and mouse right-handed :) Photo from

3. I took tomorrow off thinking I might try to do something productive around here.  Hubbs blessed me with this last night, “Why do you put so much pressure on yourself to always get things done?  Take a day off and enjoy it – sleep in- or not – and if you accomplish nothing, who cares? I don’t.”  I sure do love my #1 supporter and predict my face will be into my books! :)

I get this so much!

I get this so much!

4. I work with a narcissist.  It took me the longest time to understand just exactly what this is. If you’ve not experienced it, be thankful.  Here are a few traits that I’ve witnessed: (a) believes he or she is special and entitled to special privileges (translate: not for you), (b) requires copious amounts of admiration and will get it any way he/she can, (c) will exploit anyone – will step on anybody to meet his/her needs (translate: the bus will back over you many times), (d) has no issues lying or stretching the truth, especially if the new version benefits him or her, (e) lack of empathy for anyone but themselves – example: if they suffer a loss, the world will know.  If you do, meh.  (f) reverse envy – assumes everyone wants to be him/her.   Over the years I have learned how to manage my interactions with this person but doing so has come with a price.  See #2 and #3.

Amen said the choir!

5.  Despite our differences, I do try to come at all relationships with this thought:  we are all people. We all have something to contribute.  We are all everyday people.


How about you?  Would you ever try acupuncture or another alternative treatment?  Do you feel the need to “work” on your day off?  Have you any Narcissists in your life?  What do you learn from the most difficult personalities around you?  Are you grooving to Sly now? :)

Happy Thursday, peeps.

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Family, fear, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, News, Patriotic, Quotes, Random, Rants, Relationships, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Sundays and Spring Forwarding

It’s Sunday, sunny and bright.

Did you Spring forward?

We did, last night.

~sigh~   Image from

Crap, anyways. Image from

It’s Sunday, time to cook and clean.

Laundry’s done, groceries are ready,  my guys have spoken, they want chicken spaghetti.

That plus some Poor Man’s and they’ll be all set, and I’ll settle in for my long winter’s nap …nothing.   Gargh!


Here’s a picture from our birthday celebration yesterday: Oldest boy and his cubs.  Our Grandson is affectionately known as “The Rooster” – his internal clock can rival any alert system ever created.  Little lady is known as “The Governor” for her effective negotiating skills.  Good times and much <3 yesterday.

Boo and the cubs.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Boo and the cubs. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

So tell me, does Daylight Savings time kick your butt, too?   How do you spend your Sundays?


Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Growth, Home, Humor, Random, Rants, Recipes, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Random 5 and my apologies

It’s Friday! It’s time for 5 Random things from my corner of the world!

1.  Over the past year I’ve had more “Random 5″ posts than any others.  Thanks for hanging with me.   On a totally random note, this made me laugh and adopt it:

Empowering isn't it?

Empowering isn’t it?

2.  Yesterday I conducted employee reviews.  In HR training a while back, we were asked how to prepare for such activities.  My response? “I think about what I don’t want: I don’t want a drive-by, I don’t want generalities, and I don’t want my review to be all about him and nothing about me.” BAM – there it is.

And so yesterday, my team and I, had hearty, healthy discussions, wherein I expressed my appreciation at their career growth, devotion to their roles, and multitude of accomplishments. Yes I had examples to point to, and, in every case, their reviews were several pages long.  I figure it’s my job to tell the story ~ they may not always report to me so it’s good to create a stand-alone document that highlights their talents and efforts.  And then we talked “turkey,” as in money.  Because, as my Mom would said, “this isn’t charity work.” :)

So. Very. True.

Yes – I’ve learned more from the bad than the good.

3. Reading this last night, I couldn’t help but feel encouraged:

Mom would call these "Life Lessons"

Otherwise known as “Life Lessons”

4.  Monday is oldest boy’s 29th birthday.   Tomorrow we’ll all gather as a family – me, youngest boy, Hubbs, oldest boy + his girlfriend and the wee ones.  We’ll meet at a favorite Mexican restaurant, have a million conversations going, enjoy chips & salsa, laughs and camaraderie.  I’ve got a gift for him and something special for the grands because that’s what I do. And the girlfriend?  Well we’ve met her, she’s sweet, cute and smart.  What do I like most? How she looks at him, my first true love.  

His 5th birthday; I met Mr. Hubbs a month later. Our fates were forever changed.  And Emjayandthem (C) photo

His 5th birthday; I met Mr. Hubbs a month later. Our fates were forever changed. And Emjayandthem (C) photo

5. And, on a final note, this clip from my homeland ~ I grew up a pony-riding farm girl on the plains of Saskatchewan, drinking Vi-Co, wearing a bunny hug and racing on the grids.  Watch this fun clip of some “down-easters” trying to decipher my province’s slang.    I got every reference but it’s helpful there’s a transcriber for you.  And now, I’m jonesing for a fried gelacki!

Happy Friday!    What lesson did your worst boss teach you?  What can you do with confidence because of life’s experiences?  Does your heart tug, too, when you meet a child’s new someone special? Any locational vernacular you’d like to share?




Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Random, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Hello, March

Breaking records for the coldest February since 1892 I’m happy to see March’s arrival.  It’s hard to believe Spring is only a few weeks away!

And with that I give you Plume the cat.  His attitude to snow is similar to mine — put your head down and get through it!


“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”~Proverb

Are you having Spring Fever, too?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 Friday – at last

It’s Friday! Time for 5 random thoughts from the mystical, magical mind of MJ.   Or something like that…

1. It’s Friday, Friday, Friday!!!   Just finished a LONG couple of days in meetings with our new corporate Exec.  The sessions were intense with questions,  charts, maps, background info, and a data dump.  Holy cow, even I am sick of those charts and numbers BUT I am also energized because both my team and I knocked it out of the park.  Nothing feels as good as 1) knowing what you know 2) knowing what you don’t and 3) being able to let someone else lead, too.    Never met the man before but he’s sharp, shrewd, ethical and fair.  That’s the kind of Leader I can get behind!

Lots of "take aways" but it's all good - whoop!

Lots of “take aways” but it’s all good – whoop!

2.  The morning of the first day’s meetings I was getting the last of my things packed and decided to groom my eyebrows.  You know, ’cause that’s what you should do when you’re nervous: wield something sharp.   Now, as I’ve gotten older, eyebrows have started growing weirdly and nobody wants some Andy Rooney’s looking back at them in a meeting.   Well you can just imagine what happened: yes, I lopped off the corner of one.  It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good, either.  I did the only thing I could think of: set it down and laughed out loud.  Thank goodness for eyebrow pencils and make up tricks learned in the drama club.  Hubbs about died laughing at that story last night and I do telling it.   :)

3.  Right after that moment I read this quote and felt myself relax.  I gave that girl a few pats on the back for all of her hard work to-date, told her to rock n’ roll and then off I went.

Try it .. it works.

Try it .. it works.

4.  At dinner the first night, our new leader asked each of us about ourselves so he could get to know us better:  favorite movie, music, our background, how did we get to the company we work for, do we have a family, etc.   Everyone took their turns and the information shared was both revealing and interesting, making for great conversation, laughs and side conversations. I watched him artfully do this and thought, “nice work.”  In all the years I’ve worked at this company no one in leadership – not one – had ever done this.   Around the table we went – and when we all finished I realized no one had asked him.  So I did.  And as his eyes met mine and he began to talk about his career, family and interests I took my very first lesson.  Nice.

how people feel

5.  My regularl readers know I’m more of a reader than a movie watcher but when asked to share a movie I turned to the table and said, “Shrek because who doesn’t love Donkey?”  The table roared, he got a glimpse into my personality, and it was all good.

How about you? How was your week?  Ever had a grooming mishap?  If asked these questions, what would you share?  What Shrek character is your favorite?

Happy Friday, peeps!




Categories: Animals, Attitude, Confidence at any age, Friendship, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Personal, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

In the way

* originally published June 2011

“Your most challenging relationship is often your greatest teacher.” - Unknown

Do you have someone in your life whose habits or personality force you to speak up for yourself?

To find your voice and speak your truth?  Someone who keeps you on your “A-game?”

You know who I’m referring to because you can picture them now and you’re nodding your head in agreement.

You prepare for interactions.  You anticipate their next move and you might even rehearse conversations.

You’ve gone to battle with them –  in your head.

Again and again, I’m reminded that the people who frustrate me most are the ones who have the most to teach me.

Their behavior flashes like a mirror in the sunlight– and creates opportunities for self-reflection.

The loud reinforce the power of a softly spoken word.

The pushy make me ask myself, “what are we rushing to and why do I care?”

The needy give me pause to ponder my own needs and if I’m expressing them.. or not.

The thoughtless remind me to make thoughtful choices.

And the selfish serve as a reminder of everything I don’t want to be.

They’re in our way for a reason, I think.   Sometimes I can see the lessons; other-times they are seen years later.

If it takes the sand irritating the oyster to produce a pearl I ought to have a jewelry box full by now!

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

Whose behavior makes you more conscious of your own? What have you learned from dealing with a challenging personality?


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Growth, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random February Friday

It’s Friday! Whoop! Time for 5 Random thoughts:

1. Why do weather people insist on telling us the “feels like” temperature?    You know what -10 feels like to me?  It feels like stay inside and stop telling me about how cold it is, that’s what it feels like.



2.  Michigan people can (usually) handle winter with a steady does of good humor.   Blowing, drifting snow, sub-artic temps, record snowfall?  We come up with stuff like this:


Ha, ha, ha!

3. Hoping to see the Grands this weekend; between the weather and their winter flu bugs and colds, our schedules haven’t worked out.  Here’s a snap from our last outing.  Silly ones, yes we are.

MJ & the Hooligans; an Emjayandthem(C) photo

MJ & the Hooligans; an Emjayandthem(C) photo

4. Saw this recently and nodded my head in agreement:

5.  It’s Friday and time for a Date Night with the Hubbs!!   Although it would be fun to get out, it’s still bitterly cold and neither of us wants to deal with that so tonight will likely look something like this:

beer & pizza


And how was your week?   Are you sick of winter yet?  Any fun plans for tonight or the weekend?  Do you silently mouth “what the?” on a regular basis?


Categories: Faith, Family, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Personal, Random, Relationships, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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