R5F – Easter

1. As a child, I was deeply conflicted that we called this day “Good” Friday.  I learned in Sunday School lessons what they did to Him.  How was that good?  It was years before I could disassociate chocolate eggs & ham dinner from suffering.

2.   I’m off work today. Yep, up early with no alarm, coffee sipped, laundry done, chores started.  Birds are singing, the sun is shining and I am luxuriating in the day.

3. Grands are coming tomorrow, and so is Great-Grandpa. We’ll have 4 generations together.  Chocolate eggs, ham dinner, no suffering.

Mr. Bun Bun visits the family across the street every Easter; here's our grandson being overwhelmed at the meeting!  2010

Mr. Bun Bun visits the family across the street every Easter; here’s our grandson being overwhelmed at the meeting him in 2010

4.  Cleaning the house is simply more enjoyable with tunes.    I don’t mind scrubbing bathrooms and wiping down counter-tops when I’ve got Elvis, The Bee Gees, Al Green and Journey to accompany me!

So true!

Isn’t that the truth?  Google.images

5. Being home today allows me time to prep for tomorrow. But that’s not all. It’s an opportunity to step away and to reflect on the significance of this weekend.  To swing between the sorrow of the sacrifice and the joy of the gift.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

related: I love you this much


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Filed under Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Home, Personal, Relationships

Praise and be raised

Spring visited us Sunday … balmy, humid and breezy, I was able to wear a short-sleeved shirt around the house!  Feeling the warmth, I started to complain about my clothes sticking to me as I did my chores.  Then I remembered that it’s been 6 months without a hoodie OVER that tee-shirt – and I stopped in my tracks.   I remembered something learned in childhood:

If you complain you’ll remain; if you praise, you’ll be raised.

I’m a farmer’s daughter. The daughter of an optimist.

Next year will be better.

Now that was something he said often.

This moisture is good for the soil. 

I could hear his voice as I looked at the snow this morning.

At least there’s no dust storms!

There he is again.

Transitioning to a work story, I completed employee reviews last week.

This was my second round for two of them and first time for the newest.  I read through my assessments and wrote down examples of all of the good work they’re doing.  We had positive, open discussions.  Every one of them shared similar feedback: “This is the most thorough performance evaluation I’ve ever had, thank you for the examples.”  “Thank you for the time you put into this, I appreciate the examples and knowing why you gave me the score you did.”  “Thank you for all of this feedback; this really helps me understand the job better and I appreciate knowing I am doing it well.”

I’m so glad my Father taught me to praise and be raised.

image from Pinterest.com

All this snow is good moisture!


Filed under Attitude, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Life, Men, Thoughts

R5F – Pie

Random Five Friday – Five random stream-of-consciousness thoughts.  Go!

1.  It’s Friday! Supposed to hit mid 60′s F today. How can I not smile at the 2 of those statements?

friday cat

2.  Golf. Hubbs runs his alumni golf league; earlier this week, oldest boy asked “Does Dad enjoy doing that, Mom?”  My response, “Not always… but he’s the one they all come to so he figured he might as well herd the cats.”  True story.  The first 2014 tee time is set for tomorrow morning and you’d think today was Christmas Eve.  Funny man.

3. Adventure. Had another road trip yesterday, and an opportunity to meet with elected officials, community leaders and local folks.  I may have said this before but I love this part of my job.  Why?  A. Well,  I get out of the office & away from my desk & phone. B.  I usually end up somewhere I’ve never visited before and C. I never know what I’ll get or who I’ll encounter.  Every time I go, I come back feeling like I’ve touched humanity all over again.

You wouldn't believe the stuff total strangers tell me.

You wouldn’t believe the stuff total strangers tell me.

4. Local. Going to new places means you’re free to drive right past chain restaurants and look for places like “The Pink Elephant” Diner along Michigan’s West Coast.   Here they serve breakfast all day, turkey dinner for lunch and pie. Lots and lots of pie.  Local Mom & Pop shops make me feel at home, even if I’m not.

Taken as Shirley refilled my coffee, again

Taken as Shirley refilled my coffee, again

5.  Pie.  It’s only 27 days till I’m home on the farm with Mom :).  This time, I’m asking for her “Flapper Pie” recipe. I know I can get it online (see link) but but I want her recipe.  Creamy, cool and delicious, it’s a delightful, happy pie from my prairie childhood and one to add to my repertoire.   Have you ever heard of it?

Oh so true!

Oh so true!

Happy Friday, peeps!


Filed under Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Personal, Relationships, Travel

1,144 weekends

22 years, 8,030 days and 1,144 weekends.

Ups, downs & all-arounds.

22 years.

Meeting a man who could lay down the first brick told me all I needed to know and like the song, pretty soon I was singing “It had to be You.”

22 years of Date Nights, 22 years of Virgo and the Circus and 22 years of songs I love to sing with him.

22 years ago I stepped away from the fear and into the arms of my big-shouldered Michigan man.

22 years .. today!

me & the hubbs at our wedding  - an Emjayandthem (C) photo

me & the hubbs at our wedding – an Emjayandthem (C) photo




Filed under Faith, Family, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Seasons, Women

Blessed abundance

Growing up, we had everything we needed.  We had room to run, ponies to ride, kittens to pet and dogs and each other to play with. We had bales to build forts in, fossils to discover and miles and miles of land to roam and explore.

a coulee that runs for miles

a coulee that runs for miles

My two sisters and I shared a bedroom; my middle sister and I even shared a bed, with  oldest sister having her own. There were 2 tall dressers in that room and one teeny closet; we shared all three. I had an underwear and sock drawer and a shirt/pants drawer. Dresses and skirts hung in the closet.

This looks a lot like our old dresser, except ours was yellow.  2 drawers!

This looks a lot like our old dresser, except ours was yellow. 2 drawers!

Now, I have a dresser that’s jammed full — and it’s filled with stuff I don’t wear.  My closet is the same.  And – to top it off — there are items hanging in there that I don’t even like!

Many of us, including me, keep too much. 

Is it because we are fixated on what something cost? (even if we’ve never worn it). Is it because we didn’t have a lot growing up so getting rid of “stuff” causes us anxiety?  Is it because we just don’t  know where to start?

I think back now on those 2 dresser drawers and wonder if I could live with that today.   I don’t need to, but there’s a part of me that wants to.

So, I’m slowly sorting through and using this simple note that suggests we “give away, throw away or put away.”  

Because all that I have that I don’t use .. could be used, loved, and blessed by someone else.

wise words!

Luke 6:38Give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Are you able to let “stuff” go?  What’s keeping you from starting? 


Filed under Attitude, Blogging, Charity, Determination, Faith, Family, Fashion, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Self Discovery, Uncategorized

Random Five Friday – April

Another Friday and  another week has flown by.  A few things were different this week, though.  Ready? Here we go:

1.  It’s April.  I think. It was close to 60F Monday, 32F with gale-force winds on Tuesday, 30 & snow flurries Wednesday, 40 then 30 with freezing rain yesterday and today?  30-something with a 100% “chance” of rain.  I don’t know about you, but when the weather guy says “100%” the word “chance” probably shouldn’t follow it.

4 seasons of weather

2. I worked out Sunday-Mon-Tues and Thurs.  Yes, I skipped Wednesday. Why? My job took all my “mojo” and at my age, I know when to push it and when to not.

You got it!

You got it!

3. Wednesday was “Grandparent’s day” at our grand-daughter’s preschool.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was visiting our boys’ classrooms so to have another little person coming through feels surreal. And wonderful.  :)

MJ couldn't wait to show Nana all the learning centers!

MJ couldn’t wait to show Nana all the learning centers!

4. Playing with MJ and her friends, and taking in their excitement, took me back to my playground days.  Freeze Tag, Olly-Olly-Oxen-Free, Red Rover, Dodge-ball and of course … our endless swing competitions.   I wonder if kids are even allowed to “pump” the swing and fly as high as possible anymore?

Yes I do!!  google.images

Yes I do!! google.images

5.   For the first time in 29 years, Mom and I are spending Mother’s Day together!  Of course I’ve been back many times in all those years, but we’ve not spent that holiday together since …I became a Mom. Just 34 more sleeps and I’ll be on a plane towards home … a week on the farm hanging out with her sounds absolutely grand to me.  Excited? Why, yes I am.

Happy Friday, peeps!



Filed under Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Love, Opinion, Personal, Random observations, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Women

Insanity or just a good beat?

Saw this yesterday and my toe’s been a-tapping ever since.







“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” ― George Carlin. 

photo from dailymail.co.uk

photo from dailymail.co.uk

Be sure to click on the link below!  Happy Monday, peeps, and for goodness’ sakes – find a tune you love and dance to it today! :)


Filed under Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Random Five Friday

It’s Friday. It’s random. Here we go!

1.  In case you haven’t heard, the NCAA College basketball tournament is on.  Hubbs was a basketball star in High School. Hubbs’ mouth waters at the mere mention of the word playoffs.  Tonight, we’ll hustle around and get to a favorite watering hole so he can watch his beloved teams with the herd Me?  I’m to basketball what Georgette was to the Mary Tyler Moore show.   Clueless.

I get that far-away look in my eyes as someone who doesn't know what the heck is going on. Where's my wings?

I get that far-away look in my eyes when basketball is on.  Thank goodness for Keno!

2. This was a better week at work. Why? The person I’ve been covering for during the last 6 months is finally out on leave. Indefinitely.  Why is that better? I’m doing the work anyways but now I’m doing it without a roadblock.  Smooth sailing ahead, baby!

3. On the treadmill the other night, I looked around and noticed the dust on the display panel. That’s an incentive to get myself up on the treadmill more often.

4. Speaking of dust, sometimes I get overwhelmed at our 4 level house and the attention it needs.  My solution?  Watch “Hoarders.” Trust me, 20 minutes of that and you’ll feel like a million bucks!

4. Highs of 45-50 this weekend, peeps!  Windows will be opened, dust will fly and I will bet money there’ll be Michiganders wearing shorts & a parka sitting at the Legion watching basketball!  Seen it.  Lived it. Know it.

silly kitty

There is no reason why this cat is in this post. His goofy pose just makes me laugh!

Happy Friday, peeps!


Filed under Attitude, Family, Fun, Humor, Joy, Life, Men, Random, Sports, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Worth it

Every so often, another writer’s post touches my heart in such a way that I think about it long after I’ve stopped reading.

This one did.

It’s one man’s story of faith.  Of love. Of moments that matter.

Moments of grace and humor and serendipity.

One man’s story.

Read it here: http://richripley.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/the-touchstones-of-our-heart/

somehow this picture belongs here.  Google.images.com

He’ll understand why bacon is here! Google.images.com


Filed under Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Grief, Growth, Home, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Imperfection, beauty and curves ahead

Mom used to say to us girls, “Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?”

I’m sure that was her way of making us all feel special, beautiful and unique.

You see my sisters, with their smooth blond hair falling into softly styled coifs, looked nothing like me.

I had a rats’ nest of brown curls and favored my brothers more than I ever did those two.

They were older and more sophisticated.  And then came me.

Ridiculous, giggly, curly-haired and more.

More on top and more on the bottom and just, well, more.

As we’ve gotten older, I’ve realized we’re more alike than we are not.  All of us have her in us. All of us catch ourselves saying things we heard her say growing up. And all of us have something unique to offer.

It’s taken me 40 years to accept what Mae West supposedly once said:

Cultivate your curves — they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.” ~Mae West

me & my seesters: an emjayandthem (c) photo

me & my seesters: an emjayandthem (c) photo

True that!

True that!

How much was your definition of beauty defined by comparison? Who set the beauty bar for you at a young age?  What helped you appreciate your own look or style?



Filed under Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Family, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women