It was a day like any other for me … a series of calls, issues to resolve, and before me … the afternoon.

I felt it.   A tug.  A whisper.

Go. The voice said.

I looked up the number, jotted it down, and just as quickly, discarded it.

Moments after that, I dug it from the trash.

Seconds later …. I called.

“I’ll take a 4:30 with Maggie, if she has an opening that is.”

“Why yes she does. I’ll put you down for then.”

At 4:24 I parked my car, grabbed my purse and sauntered into a shop familiar to me. A store packed with geodes and gems, incense and stones, and, honestly, many things I just don’t “get.”

But it was her warm smile that met me. Her warm embrace that I appreciated.

Her calling me in … for a reading.

And even though eventually she said what I mostly already know, there was comfort in what was said.

Trust yourself.  You .. know. You can… and you will.

We talked about many things.

My journey. My spiritual path. Those around me. The good ones – Hubbs, the boys, and certain friends and family members. The not-so-good ones: a superior, a couple of co-workers and the wolves disguised as comrades.

And when the time was up, there we were.

Her. Me.

She 70. Me 51.

Only known to each other for a few years but, somehow, we know each other much longer than that.

I trust her.

She adores me.

And at the end… another invitation. To visit a group. A group of like-minded souls on a similar path.

2 years ago I was afraid.

1 year ago I was uncertain.

Today .. I have the information and have tabled it because I make my best decisions when I have time to think about them.

What are your thoughts on “spiritual readings?” 


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Categories: Uncategorized, Relationships, Life, Gratitude, Personal, Faith, Thoughts, Growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Random Five Friday – Lessons

It’s Friday. It’s Random. Let’s go!

1. I’m off work today for the 4th time this month. One word?  Ahh.  That extra day smushed up to the weekend has allowed me time to breathe, relax and lean in.   One extra day and I’m rested and smiling more.  Lesson learned?  Listening to yourself is as important as listening to everyone else. Maybe more.

2.  Back in March, a conversation with a customer began by her shouting at me.  Since then, I’ve worked with multiple teams to fulfill her request (to get my company’s services at her new home) and we spoke often as I kept her updated on the construction progress. This week she got the news she’d waited to hear – a day later I received a “thank you” card in the mail. From her. The shouter.  Lesson reinforced?  Treat others the way you want to be treated and things usually work out in the end.

3. Four years ago I was in another job and working hard on a corporate project. The project lead joined us for dinner one night and I took the opportunity to get to know her better.  She is a woman my (male) boss had dismissed and labeled as cold. I found the opposite to be true.  Three years ago she became the Department head; two years ago I made it to the fourth of four interviews for the position I hold today. My interviewer?  That gal.  Tough, smart and thorough, she didn’t loft any softballs, but I still nailed it.  Lesson there?  Competence is great but when you invite people in that’s where the bridges are built.

4. Hubbs is off today, too.  Like me, he’s putzing around, not paying attention to his  smart phone, sipping coffee and enjoying a lack of schedule. He has a few errands to do, as do I, but later,  we’ll step out for dinner.   We’ll laugh, we’ll listen, and we’ll enjoy our time together.  Lesson:  Make time for romance and romance will make time for you.

5. Five years ago today our own Royal princess was born!  She’ll be with her Daddy and brother tonight and tomorrow a bunch of us will gather for cake and presents and bowling.  She’s an impish, lovable and smart little one and we’re so glad she’s ours.   Lesson:  Don’t blink.


What’s your Friday have in store?


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Summer Snapshots

If you captured your summer in snapshots what would it look like?

Here are a few from my summer:

1. My “Hey Now!” Salsa …by the trough.

photo from  (This has never lasted long enough for me to capture it on camera)

photo from (This has never lasted long enough for me to capture it on camera)

2.  Rainy day naps.

3.  Date nights on patios.

Kitten heels and swirly skirts. google

Kitten heels and swirly skirts. google

4. Time out with wee ones.

Heading to the Zoo with my MJ.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Heading to the Zoo with my MJ. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Road trips with stops in new-to-me places.

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI ... ahh

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI … ahh

6.  Fresh sweet cherries by the handful.

photo courtesy of Robinette's Apple Haus

photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus

7.  And laughter.

ha ha!

ha ha!

What snapshots represent your summer?  


Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hard decisions

Thinking back to the summers of my youth, I remember the “hard” decisions we  faced:

1) Weed now or after swimming?  (Now! Get it over with)

2)  Sleep in the tent or in the house?  (Always the tent)

3)  Take a ride bareback or saddle up? (Depended on the terrain and which horse I was on)

4)  Go to town with Dad? (Always, because if you went with the Candy Man, candy soon followed)

5) Do chores for Grandma and earn $$ for the fair?  (Sign me up! I loved her and the fair!)

How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?  Some days I still am that pig-tailed girl ready to saddle up my pony for another adventure.   It’s summer that takes me back there.

This is about how old I feel today  (( me in gr 4  )); an emjayandthem photo

(( me in gr 4 )) ; an Emjayandthem photo

And lastly … summer should always bring some of the following to us:


Remember?  Google.images

When you remember your summers, what “hard” decisions come to mind?


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

A Summer Saturday

Here we are at Saturday and, wow, what a week! I had Monday off, and that was a treat, but it was time with new friends and some new work experiences that made my week great. And our weather here is perfect!  Who can ask for anything more? Not me.

A couple of random thoughts this morning:

1.  The grand-kids are coming today!  Oldest boy and the kids + Grandpa and some other cousins and kids are coming over to swim and grill out.   Hubbs teases that I’ve made enough food for 40 but my intentions are clear: not cooking tomorrow :).

The pool's ready for all those kiddos!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

The pool’s ready for all those kiddos! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

2. The songbirds are singing brightly this morning … and I saw my first Hummingbird of the summer last night.  I still wonder how such tiny birds migrate – amazing!

3.  Did I mention the grand kids are coming today?  :)

The Grandkids just recently - An Emjayandthem (C) photo

The Grandkids just recently – An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3. Little MJ had to endure 5 stitches after an accidental bonk on the head recently.  I hope she packs her “Doc McStuffins” Doctor kit with her today.  Last time she and I played with it, I ended up with 8 shots and 5 band-aids.  But her kisses made Nana’s pretend “injury” all better.  I hope to do the same for her real one.

Doc McStuffins MJ - An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Doc McStuffins MJ – An Emjayandthem (C) photo

4. I had lunch with Lynette’s cousin Wednesday – and we had a wonderful time.  Even if the food hadn’t been good and our conversation so easy, who could argue with a view like this?  Ahh – Summer in Michigan – you just can’t beat it.

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI ... ahh

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI … ahh

5.  Lastly … saw this video this week and immediately thought of my blogging buddy Dianna over at “These Days of Mine.”  She often has deer in her yard and I know she will love this clip!

Happy Saturday, peeps!   Whatcha up to today?

Categories: Blogging, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Personal, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

The story continues

Nearly a year ago, a good friend passed away.  But her story doesn’t end there.

You see, through her friendship and the support group we formed at her diagnosis, new friends have come into my life.  And stayed.

Now I’m so glad I had made room in my friendship cupboard  - long before she passed I had Lysol-ed the energy vampires away and made room for some battery chargers.  But I hadn’t yet filled it.  Something told me to wait.

And, because of her, I met them – fabulous, smart, accomplished women with friendship and love to share. No snarping. No jealousies. Just people who love you and lift you up. People just like her.

We could have all just met last summer and had our laughs through the fall and cried together at her funeral and went our separate ways, and yes, there were some who did.  But there are more who felt the void and looked around at other marvelous people left standing and thought – as I did – “I wonder.” And it’s in the re-connecting now, the laughter now, the telling of her stories now, that she lives on.  In us.  And that brown-eyed girl, man, she would have loved this.

Have you ever made a new friend in an unorthodox way?  What has another’s death taught you about living?

Categories: Uncategorized, Attitude, Relationships, Family, Personal, music, Faith, Thoughts, Beauty, Grief, Joy, Growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Random Five Friday on the 4th of July

It’s Friday! It’s Random! It’s the Fourth of July!

Here we go :)

1.  When I was a little girl, my sisters and I loved to sing and rhyme and make up stories.  There was something about the rhythm and the repetition that was soothing.  One that came to mind recently is this one:

“I asked my mother for 50 cents, to see the elephant jump the fence, he jumped so high he touched the sky and didn’t come back till the fourth of July!”

I remembered that rhyme because today is my sister’s birthday.  Growing up in Canada, I was fully aware of what the “Fourth of July” stood for and thought it was neat she had a rhyme about an important date that she could claim as her own.  The only one even close to me or my name was “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” and I didn’t like gardening, much less pulling weeds.  How’s that for contrary? :)

2. This is my 6th Independence Day as a Citizen.   And it’s still just as awesome as the first one.

That's me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

That’s me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3. For the first time, we’re not hosting a get-together today.  Hubbs is golfing, youngest is snoozing and me? I’m enjoying a quiet morning before heading to the pool with my cherries – yeah! I’ll take my books and my tunes and my cooler full of fruit and enjoy a beautiful day in – and out – of the pool.  Later on, sun-kissed and relaxed, Hubbs and I will step out with friends for dinner and drinks and let someone else clean up and I’m not complaining!

4. After a ferocious thunderstorm Tuesday night, the temps cooled, the humidity fell and we’ve enjoyed 3 – count ‘em 3 – days of windows open, a/c off, and cool breezy summer days.  Ahh … this takes me back to the summers of my childhood.  The sun was warm, the air was mild, and you could always count on an evening breeze to settle things down.  That’s when the Northern Lights would appear and dance across our skies like faeries in flight.  I remember leaving the tent and running across the lawn, laughing and twirling under the lights above.   Ahh..

image from

Northern Lights image from

5.    I hope that wherever my words find you today, whether you’re American or not, you join us in celebrating her birthday. 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!



Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, fear, Holidays, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Sounds in the night

The other night, a ferocious thunderstorm woke me up.  Rain lashed the house and thunder rumbled around us. I sat up immediately and it took me some time to get settled again.

It was what I didn’t hear that grabbed my attention.

No scuffling.  No nails on hardwood.  No sighing and licking of lips near my head.

You see, there is no longer an old dog leaning in, asking in his own sweet way to maybe-possibly-I’d-just-love-you-forever-if-I-could-join-you-in-that-bed kind of way.

When he was a tyke, he’d bound up the stairs and launch himself onto his bed of choice.

As he got older, he learned the boys’ beds were fair game but ours was a permission-only zone.

As he got even older still, he’d plod up the stairs and deposit himself next to my head, sigh, and lick his lips.

And in the flash of lightning I’d see his sweet old eyes staring back and me and I’d hug his neck and we’d gently lift his 68 lb arthritic self up onto our Queen bed, smoothing out a spot just for him.

And in the rumbling summer storm sounds that followed,  the one that lingers with me still was his sweet sigh of contentment.

Oh how I miss that old fellow.

Me and my bear. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Me and my Frankie bear. An Emjayandthem (C) photo


“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go to where they went.” Will Rogers




Categories: Animals, Family, Grief, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Random Five Thursday

Today’s my Friday! I’m taking tomorrow off work and with many things going on, I woke up early this morning ready to jump-start the day. With that .. here we go:

1.  Took a road trip yesterday to points south. What did I see a lot of?  Road construction, tourists and county sheriffs.  I counted not one, not two but at least 6 vehicles pulled over in a 7 mile span.  Naive me, I didn’t recall seeing anyone speeding … Hubbs filled me in that the route I was on is known for drug smugglers and undocumented workers coming to MI to pick summer crops.    Sometimes I really still am just a farm girl out in the world!  :)

2.  At yesterday’s meeting, there were a lot of good ideas shared and alliances formed. But the highlight was meeting a most important task force member ~ Layla, the office dog.  Silky soft fur and eyes that could melt butter greeted me after the meeting and as I petted her,  I told her young owner that we had to put our old dog down.  “Aww I’m so sorry,” he said. I smiled and told him that “as hard as that is, and it’s been nearly a year, any day I get to pet someone else’s beloved dog is a really good day, thank you.”  And with that, a bond was formed that couldn’t have happened at a conference table.

3.  Found this picture recently and it seems not that long ago that youngest boy, who now towers past me by a foot +, would wrap his legs around me as I held him.  He’s still got those grasshopper legs!

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

4.  Sometimes I just can’t take watching TV news — it’s depressing.  Yes I stay up on current affairs, but lately, I’ve found myself retreating into reruns of shows from a gentler time.  Just the other night I watched “The Brady Girls get married.” My cousin and I talked about this shift happening in both of us and she confided to a recent binge of  “The Waltons.”   I admitted to watching them, too and we both agreed that, for all her haughtiness, Corbeth Godsey was a minx.   Ike Godsey had it made in the shade!

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today

5. Lastly, a friend reminded me that yesterday marked 6 months till Christmas.  In response, I sent her this photo, taken on the lake we lived at every summer:

image from Lake Diefenbaker

image from Lake Diefenbaker

What TV shows remind you of your childhood?  What image to you says “Summer is here!”


Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Waiting

It’s official.  Summer’s here – just check the calendar!  :)

Our pool is still cool, but our days are warming and summer, summer has returned.


cherries at the pool .. can’t wait!

The farmer’s market is open, cherries will soon be ready for picking at the Orchard up the road and me, I’m hungry for corn-on-the-cob.

photo courtesy of Robinette's Apple Haus

photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus

I had a birthday Saturday.   It was a fun day spent answering the phone, opening cards and gifts, reading texts, laughing through Facebook posts ~  you name it ~ I felt spoiled and loved and had a wonderful time.   The festivities continue this week with lunch dates with friends & even more laughter.

When I was a girl, my birthday landed at the end of the school year so my party = summer. That usually translated to us kids running through the sprinkler, sipping an orange float, and enjoying a burnt hot dog with family and friends.

Summer makes me a little more carefree and a little less scheduled. In Summer I’m more likely to wear a skirt that twirls and a pair of kitten heels.

In Summer I let my natural curls air dry and wear the dangling earrings  – the ones that pick up the green in my eyes and set off a sun-kissed glow.

cannot fight the curls in summer so why bother?  an Emjayandthem (C) photo

cannot fight the curls in summer so why bother? an Emjayandthem (C) photo

In Summer I’m more likely to get up early and stay up late, watching the stars dance in that forever sky.

Ah …. Summer.

Thank you for coming back to us again.   :)



 What’s your favorite thing about summer?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Joy, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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