Random 5 Tuesday – mixing it up

It’s Tuesday and it’s Random!!  Why not Friday you ask?  Well .. I’m leaving (on a jet plane) tomorrow and my head feels like it’s been in the tilt-a-whirl all day so why not? :D  Here we go!

1.    You know those people who pack everything all sweet and tidy and arrange perfectly coordinated outfits? Really?  Please send them my way because that is so not me. I tried to work worked a half day and then squeezed in a pedicure (massage chair .. ooh, ahh) then raced home and attempted to jam 7 days of casual + wedding + gift opening wear into one suitcase.  Plus books for Mom. And pretty soon I found myself working up a sweat.  Good grief.  And then it hit me:

i-cant-keep-calm-im-going-home-

2. Speaking of Mom, last night I asked her if there was anything I could bring her.  Her response? “Just bring yourself.” Such a Mom answer!

Oh so true!

There’s pie in my future!

3.  I had everything at work organized, delegated, situated, you name it-ated.  Till this afternoon.  My phone blew up, emails were flying and finally, at 5:00, I shut it off.  My team is rocking and ready to go and I have no doubt everything will be just fine.  Sometimes you have to step away and let people show you what they can do.

light shining

4. Rooting around in my dresser reminded me that I like things neat and organized.  My closet looks pretty good but the dresser is a disaster.    It looks like it barfed out tees, shorts and socks!  I read a preview of this book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and it reminded me of a conversation with Hubbs:  we’re planning to downsize and, discussing our house and contents, we both agreed there’s not much we’d move.  So if we wouldn’t move it, why do we keep it?   Hmm.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1

5.  Speaking of work, I informed some corporate folks that I will be off the grid.  As in so far off the grid there is no grid.  I won’t have cell phone service or broadband.  I quipped that, unless I put tinfoil on a cow’s ear, anyone who wanted to reach me should have called … last week. 

If you Google "Cow with Tinfoil on his head" this is what you get - HA!

If you Google “Cow with Tinfoil on his head” this is what you get – HA!

And with that, I’m off!

Have a great week, peeps! Look around — what can you get rid of?  Are you an expert at packing?  Ever gone “off the grid?”

*all images from Google.com

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Technology, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The desire to be whole again

Next week I’m stepping away from all that is my world and returning to my childhood home: the farm I grew up on in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. The farm-house where I lived from birth till 19.  The yard where I played and coulees where all our adventures were carried out.  Mom’s still there, my brother and his wife are just across the way and sissy is up the hill.  Cows, farm dogs, wind, a wide open sky and conversations that meander in and out and go on forever.

an Aerial view of the family farm .. an Emjayandthem(C) photo

an aerial view of the family farm .. House and Homestead top left, barns and corrals lower right. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

A family wedding is the cause for celebration and I’ll be Mom’s date!   She with her Oxygen and a twinkle in her eye.  I teased her that we’ll “Thelma & Louise-it,” without the driving off the cliff part.  She snorted.  But when I told her that if we see Brad Pitt hitch-hiking I’m pulling over, she laughed out loud.  God, I love her.

themaand louise

Up to no good. Google.images.com

To say things there are familiar would be an understatement. The truth is, time has a way of standing still in your childhood home. And it’s comforting to know that some things still remain.

The kitchen radio, on from sun up to sundown, with farm reports and cattle prices, corny jokes and auction announcements.

The bedspread from the Sears catalogue, the same one that’s been on my bed since I was in college.  Cheery and clean, waiting for me.

Mixing bowls nestled where they’ve always been, tin foil in the 2nd drawer, and a toaster you have to jiggle the cord for.  A big can of coffee sits on the floor near the fridge, just under that east window.  Ivory soap in the dish by the sink, the same one where Dad stood as he cleaned up at night.  I swear I can still see him standing there sometimes.

... Dad's

… Dad’s “shop” .. where I still expect to hear him whistling … An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Books in bookshelves, pictures on walls, throw pillows arranged just so.

And at night?

Quiet.  Dark.  No streetlights, no cars rushing by, nothing.  Just quiet.

Big deep skies with stars that go on forever and, if I’m lucky, the Northern lights will visit me, too.

image from canada-maps.org

image from canada-maps.org

In the morning, I’ll be up with the birds and outside as daylight arrives.  I’ll visit the cows and play with the kitties, feel the wind blowing, and the farm dog will tag along with me.  My soul will sing and my smiles will not be contained.

Laddy and Stevie... family farm; an Emjayandthem photo (C)

Laddy and Stevie… family farm; an Emjayandthem photo (C)

I know things have changed, she’s had some setbacks, but her spirit is as strong as ever. She’s loyal as ever to her Riders football team, debates the news, and is a voracious reader. Talking about my visit and our plans, she said with such longing,  “It’s going to go by so fast.”

me & mom MD 2014

Me & Mom, Mothers Day 2014. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

I know.

I know.

That’s why I already feel the pinch because to stop everything and spend eight days together, every day, every meal, every night, and roll in those moments when it’s just the two of us, let me tell you what: I love it.  I love that we get to laugh and talk and tell stories and secrets and be girlfriends for a while.  Yes I’ll get out of her hair and take a walk and stretch my legs and when I come back in there she’ll be .. waiting for me.  Bright eyed. Ready to pick up right where we left off.

And I’ll thank God for the opportunity to love the life I have but still be so very lucky that I can touch wood, kiss her face and feel whole again.

“The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.”  ― Rebecca Solnit

 

Can you go back to your childhood home?  What’s the experience like for you?  Have you ever spent an entire week just hanging out with one of your parents? If not, I recommend it ~ you might be amazed what you’ll learn!

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Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Try it and see what happens

yes racoon

“Once you make up your mind and start something… Once you commit to it, say “Yes!” and never look back.

Do you have any doubt that I won’t rush to your side?  That legions won’t be summoned? That players won’t be drawn to help, assist, and fall in love? That connections won’t be made? Circumstances won’t be crafted? Dots won’t be connected?  That the course of history won’t be irrevocably changed?

Good, I didn’t think so. 

I’d say you’re ready,”
    – The Universe

Happy Monday!  What are you saying “yes” to this week?

yes-yes

 

*all images from Google.com

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Confidence at any age, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 Friday – meowtains and molehills

It’s Friday! It’s time for 5 Random thoughts from my world. Ready? Here we go!!

1.  I don’t watch much TV but I sure could relate to this:

change the tv channel

In rural Saskatchewan we had 4 channels, and one was French!

2.  Best book I’ve read this summer, hands down:

girl on the train

I couldn’t keep myself from reading it and was sorry when it ended. Yep, that’s a book hangover.

3. Peaches are ready.   I’ve eaten my fill and the rest will become a cobbler this weekend.

 mmmm

mmmm

4.  Meeting Grandpa and others for breakfast tomorrow. Guess who’s taking home cobbler? :)

5. We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill” – well, here’s the cat version:

meowtain cats

Ha!

Happy Friday, peeps!   Who had the job of changing the TV channel at your house?  Read any great books lately?   Is there a cobbler in your future?

Categories: Family, Food, Fun, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

In the now to enjoy the Wow!

I’m a planner, I admit it. It’s one of my strengths, both socially and in the business world.   I know my schedule weeks in advance. There’s room for modifications but, for the most part, I’m the one driving my bus.

driving the busEvery once in a while I feel it – a nudge.  A thought, fleeting or lingering, reminding me to stop looking out and start looking around.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Here is a glimpse at the internal dialogue that occurred between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m.

Another Dentist appointment, ugh.

Beautiful sunny morning, yay!

Dentist office 1.6 miles away, hmm.

Walk? Why not!

Put on sneaks, grab phone, ID, and garage door opener and go!

A half block from home the inner lizard chimes in:  you’re not going to make it, you’ll be late (I hate being late).

Legs keep moving.

2 blocks later, arms swinging, mouth smiling, the lizard chimes again: you’re going to arrive there all sweaty and hot.

Legs  keep moving.

3 blocks later, roofers working, neighbors talking, birds singing, mouth chirps out, “Good morning!”

Legs keep moving.

1 mile later, traffic moving, kids playing, lizard makes one last attempt to turn me around, “Aren’t you hot?  Aren’t you tired? This is stupid.”

Nope.  Mouth smiling. Hair bouncing. Legs moving. Arms swinging. 

Arrive at Dentist office where I sit. Cool down. Recover.

And roll in the joy of being fully alive.

“You gotta be in the NOW to create and experience the WOW!”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

bull in pasture

When’s the last time you changed things up?  What was it and how did you feel?

*all images from Google.com

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Fun, Growth, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Love is time

I don’t know about you but I like a schedule.  A schedule gives me comfort and a steadiness of knowing what to expect. Monday-Friday you’ll find me consumed with work obligations; weekday evenings are devoted to time outside, reading or workouts. Early to bed, early to rise.  And by the time the weekend arrives, I tend to follow the same pattern over and over again.

  1. Friday night – no cooking for me; we enjoy an easy take-out dinner and time together to talk and catch up.
  2. Saturday finds me reading blogs, sipping coffee, doing laundry and completing a grocery run. All of this is done before mid-morning; afternoons I’m in the pool before readying for date night with Hubbs.
  3. Sunday – I cook at least two meals for the week, take a walk, read books and blogs, enjoy the pool or a nap, and chat on the phone with Mom and my cousin.

If I switch out just one part of the routine I find myself out of sorts.

Case in point: yesterday, the boys went golfing so I spent the day with the Grands and oldest boy’s fiance.  It was great! We enjoyed the “Minions” movie, perused every inch of the toy aisle, played in the pool and devoured a picnic lunch on the deck.   I appreciated the time I got with her and when littlest one took her hand or our grandson excitedly showed her his new Yu-gi-oh cards, my heart swelled.  I liked that she was comfortable with us but I loved that the kids were comfortable with her.

step-parenting

Going back to my routine, none of my “regularly scheduled” Saturday programming took place.  I found myself out of sorts when I woke this morning but then I reflected on all that yesterday was and couldn’t help but smile. If my biggest challenge today is to shorten my coffee-sipping and blog reading times, speed up the grocery run and cook one meal, not two, that’s just fine.    Why?  Because I’ve found the best way to show your love is to happily give someone your time.

 

“The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”  ― Rick Warren

 

Can you relate to this?  Are you a schedule follower?  If you deviate from your schedule how does it affect you? Do you resent it or lean into it – and, does it depend for whom you deviate?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Family, Growth, Home, Life Lessons, Love, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

5+ Q&A

Here comes the weekend and it’s time for a 5 + Q&A – Ready? Here we go!

1. What sound do you love?

A: Rain, preferably with thunder.

raindrops

2.  If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d do?

A: Double and triple check the numbers!

mega millions

I have old tickets in my wallet — do you think I think to check them? No.

3.  What do you miss most about the summers of your childhood?

A: Sleepovers in the tent, riding our horses at midnight, swimming in the lake, flirting with boys at summer camp, getting just a little bit sunburnt, earning money for the fair, iced cream melting on birthday cake and the easy–breezy carefree feeling that just was summer.  And my Grandparents.  I miss them.

Remember?

Remember?

4.  Are you usually late, early or right on time?

A: Early. Always.

time_Buddha

5.  What are you looking forward to this weekend?

A: Grandkids!  Hubbs and oldest boy are golfing and me & the wee ones are off to Nana adventures, wherever that may take us!

me & the grands on Fathers Day 2015

me & the grands on Fathers Day 2015

Bonus Question:  5 things I’m loving right now:

  1. Sandals
  2. Cherries, corn on the cob and anything on the grill
  3. Birds and frogs chirping
  4. Tank tops and T-storms
  5. Reading outside in the waning summer light
True that! google.images

True that! google.images

I hope you play along ~ please put your answers in the comments section!   And if you only answer one question answer this:  What one thing about summer are you absolutely loving right now?

** This is my 800th post ~ Thank YOU for riding along with me!
Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Joy, Love, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Random 5 on the 4th – the Capitol, summer tunes and more

I missed Random 5 Friday so instead am doing Random 5 for the 4th – here we go!

1. Today is Saturday, July 4th, our nation’s “birthday.”   The birds are singing, the weather is hot and hazy, and we are celebrating our nation’s independence by independently deciding to lay low, hang out pool-side, and chill.  Ahh.

81218434512_0_ALB

Summer is here!

2.  One month ago I was in our nation’s Capitol on business.  Being a new citizen and representing my company in the highest offices of the land thrills me beyond description.   Walk 34 miles in heels in 90F heat? No problem.  Endure multiple security checkpoints? Sure.  Witness a vote from the Senate gallery?  Mind-blowingly cool. Sit down with members of the United States Congress over and over again? A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

on this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved and adopted the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day!   https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved and adopted the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day! https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

3.  Listening to the radio last night something we heard brought us right back to our teens:  the hits-from-coast-to-coast!   Remember how every summer holiday weekend brought the top 40 countdown?  Did you ever sit next to the radio and record the songs played?  I remember my cousin and I shushing our brothers because a favorite song was coming up soon and we were determined to “catch it.”  I couldn’t tell you what happened to those tapes but I know there were a lot of them!

cassette recorder

Shh … Rod Stewart is up next!

4. Speaking of music, we also reminisced about our experiences with the “Columbia Music House” collection and what a deal we thought it was — 11 choices for a $1.00 plus the added requirement to purchase more at  ridiculously inflated prices. We were kids, we didn’t know any better.  His choices included Ted Nugent, Supertramp and Chicago.  Mine included Elvis (duh!), the Oak Ridge Boys and Boston. Funny.

This was me at 15 and I think the worried look can be attributed to an overdue shipment from Columbia records!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

This was me at 15 and I think the worried look can be attributed to an overdue shipment from Columbia records! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Stopped at the Farmer’s Market Thursday and picked up the biggest, tastiest tomato ever.  I did that so I could enjoy this for my lunch today:

Toasted Tomato Sandwich  ~ ahh, Summer!

Toasted Tomato Sandwich ~ ahh, Summer!

I hope that wherever my words find you, whether you’re American or not, you join us in celebrating her birthday today. I hope you take a moment to step outside and look up at the sky – our brilliant shared sky – and I hope that, just like me, you can do so without fear.

 ** God Bless America! **

What are your plans for the Holiday today?  Did you ever tape the top 40 hits off the radio?  Had a toasted ‘mater sandwich lately?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Seasons, Thoughts, Traditions, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The 3 sides of love

Dear You:

When his marriage ended he thought the world did, too.  We moved him and what remained into our basement.  We helped pay his bills and care for his children and tried to assure him that things would be all right.  We didn’t know how and we didn’t know when but we knew that, in time, it would.

It wasn’t long before the walls here at home closed in; he’d had enough of us and we of him.  And, as adults go, he was ready and that was fine.  He moved to a place he could hardly afford, sleeping on air mattresses and living on leftovers and cheap groceries. I worried and barely slept, because that’s just how I roll. He found a job working outside in the driving snow but he held on to the hope that one day – some day – things would be all right.

He dated a little, but there was always a part of him that he held back.  That part that didn’t trust any more. Still, we talked regularly, and with an armful of groceries, he’d hear us say again and again … that things would be all right.

Over time he and the kids settled into a routine and, when the next summer came ’round, he started to live again .. but at an inch at a time.  He grilled out and had friends over.   But it was those nights when the wee ones weren’t there with him that were the hardest.  He told me how he couldn’t sleep so he’d go for walks late at night.  He talked longingly of other families through living room windows.  He told me in a whisper how hard he prayed for one of his own.

Believing that if you dream it you can be it I asked him to tell me what he wanted.  Clearly he replied: “I want someone who gets me, who laughs, who listens, who is kind, who doesn’t yell at me when I forget something or mess up. I want someone who wants to be in a relationship not just talk about it. I want a partner. I want what you have.”

Years passed, time pressed on and he and the littles grew.  We could see what he couldn’t  –  progress.

But still, there was always something missing … and that’s where you come in.

Last Christmas, he mentioned how he’d met a girl by chance (no such thing!) and how different she was. Sweet, kind, giggly, adorable, smart, funny, and easy-going.  His list of adjectives to describe her  you went on and on.

Now that I know what I know, I know this: it might have been your brown eyes and beautiful smile that drew him in but it was your kind and accepting heart that held him there.

Did you know that he loves how you’re always cold?  I’ve never known him to buy anyone a blanket; he would have mocked anyone who did.  He bought you a red fuzzy one and talks about how cute you are under it.  Uh-huh.

He marvels that you think to pick up items he’s low on like toilet paper and milk and snacks that kids might enjoy on a field trip.

He was happiest that you were perfectly happy hopping into his truck and riding along with him on an evening work errand.

He’s different now. He smiles more. He’s also fiercely protective of you. He’s not come around as much, he doesn’t call as often, and growth is happening again.

Then there’s the littlest ones – they love you too, did you know that? The boy saved his money to bring you a present from the school carnival. The girl draws pictures … with you in them.  Even his ex-wife drops them off to you when needed.  That says so much right there.

Couple Love concept

So thank you. Thank you for seeing in my boy what I’d hoped you would:  a capable man with a goofy sense of humor, a strong work ethic, and a big heart still willing to love.   You see someone who’d help a neighbor but is just as likely to stop for a stranger, too.  A fellow who’s waited and prayed and hoped for a girl who understands, accepts and appreciates him – his strengths, his faults, his wins, his losses.  You do this – just this – and that man will swim through shark-infested waters to bring you the best glass of lemonade you’ve ever had.

My role is changing again.  He’ll always be my little boy but, more importantly, he’s your man now.  I’d like to share this quote I found some time ago ~ it’s helped me and maybe it will you, too.

“Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:

1. Acceptance
2. Understanding
3. Appreciation

Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart.

Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions?

So, for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole.”

-Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

 

*dedicated to oldest boy and his girl on their engagement this past weekend.

related:

 

 

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Random 5 – Summer, strawberries and being pretty

It’s not Friday but it is time for 5 random thoughts from the ever-swirling mind of yours truly. Ready? Set? Go!

1. I make my bed as soon as I get up. Every day. Not 10 minutes later, not an hour, right away.  Unless Hubbs is in it. Hard to make a bed up over someone 6′ tall.

VEGAS-WORLD-MARKET_3

I have nearly this many pillows on the bed.

2.   A Facebook friend told me joyfully that it’s only “6 months till Christmas!”  And that’s how people get themselves de-friended or – worse yet – punched!

google.images.com

Google.images.com

3.  Bought several quarts of Strawberries at the Farmer’s market earlier this week.  Not sure if it’s all the rain we got but these are some of the best I’ve ever had!!  I’ll eat till I can’t and freeze the rest. The fragrance? One word: Heavenly. My favorite birthday dessert was Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake:  tiny sweet berries picked fresh from the garden, hearty REAL rich whipped cream piled on top of a thick slice of Angel Food cake.  I have a mandate that you MUST drizzle some of the berry juice onto the cake and let it soak in and turn the cake pink.   The taste of summer – next to a burger off the grill or farm fresh corn on the cob, that’s about as good as it gets!

strawberries

Can you smell them?  Just heavenly!

4. Last weekend was my niece’s shower and my sisters and I giggled remembering how, in our day, a Bridal Shower was a social gathering and big time Ladies outing.  There was never an assumption that all of us could attend.  Oh no.  It was an afternoon or evening out for Mom, in her best dress, her hair curled up and her Avon lipstick on.  She’d always let one – not all three – of us girls go with her.  We all remember my middle sister pleading with Mom to let her go instead of another and assuring her she’d not get wet.  She probably did get to go after all, but what I remember most were Bridal showers in Church basements, tea in teapots, dainty squares on doilies and the privileged feeling of being included.

03-31-2012 12;26;57PM1

Showers were held in the basement of this United Church; the smell of Lemon Pledge and coffee percolating permeates my memories to this day.

5.   We have often heard someone described as pretty.  I love this definition even more:

pretty

Yes!

And how is your week going?  How were Bridal and Baby showers different when you were growing up?  What summer time fruit are you enjoying these days?  What are you pretty at?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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