The heart has no wrinkles

Happy Valentines Day! 💖💖💖

Recovering from dental surgery (an extraction & bone grafting to prepare for a future implant, ye-ouch), I feel the love from hubby – otherwise known as “he who doesn’t cook”- the same man who bought omelettes we could warm up.  He heats them just so, then cuts everything so I can eat it. (I had made soup but it’s too painful to slurp…)

I awoke with a start at 4 a.m. today and lay in bed thinking about the Valentines of my youth .. and remembered to being young/newly married, when we still bought gifts and cards and did all that “stuff” and I compared it to the love we share now.

And I smile my gap-toothed smile appreciating that “Real love” is hubby telling his wife – the one who looks like a goalie on the losing team “it’s not that bad” & then asks “is there anything I can do for you?” 

Real love is hubby asking “what book are you reading now?” even though he’d rather watch sports or politics than talk books. 📚

Real love shows up, checks in, accepts the bed hair, mismatched jammies and fusses to make sure all is well. Real love turns up the heat, warms up the leftovers, scolds with a finger point reminders to take the antibiotics and pain meds on a regular basis.    Real love does the best he can.

And that, my friends, is all the Valentines Love I need

I hope you are feeling loved today – be it self-love, partner love or pet love! XO

Related:

Happy Valentines Day !

1970s punch-out Valentines; google.images.com

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Growth, Love, Men, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

More of my old friend

It’s the New Year and I’ve been (mostly) absent from this blog.  I’ve read yours (thank you for continuing to post while I’ve been away). You see, I’ve reconnected with an old friend ~ my books.

I’ve read, and read, and read some more.  Yes I’ve also cooked, cleaned, socialized, worked, and worked out .. yes, all that. But I’ve mostly leaned in and cozied up through this cold, dark January ~ So far Grand Rapids has had zero sunny days, 10 days with a little sun and 17 entirely cloudy days.  Until I read that article I hadn’t noticed!  You see between this little gadget shown below (used every morning) and all my delicious reading, I’m too content to care 🙂

I am relaxed and happier – all from doing what I love – with no guilt. Reading, learning, growing, and more.  So much more.

  • Does your reading activity go up in winter?
  • Is it sunny where you are?

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

  • (and this friend READS )
Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Self Discovery, Share | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Fri-yay 3 ~ Milestones, Storms and Thieves

It’s Friday of the first full work week of 2020 ~ here are my 3 Random Thoughts for Fri-yay.

Ready? let’s go!

1 ) Milestones – Attended a retirement party recently for the woman who hired me 18+ years ago.  How did we get old enough to retire already?   Ironically one of her parting gifts was a beautiful clock.  Maybe it’s me but I found it funny that others assume someone who’s not going to be “on the clock” anymore wants … a clock?   We had a good visit and lots of laughs and she whispered joyfully, “5 more alarms to go…”   #IsntItIronic

2 ) Winter Storm Watch – the Midwest is bracing for a wild weather weekend.   TV forecasters are salivating, their eyes wild with excitement as they breathlessly provide hour-by-hour updates.  Stores are stocked, aisles are jammed, and folks are getting ready.  It’s 45F right now but expected to drop with rain then ice then snow then .. trees down, ice and snow, etc.    Regardless what happens .. we’ll be as ready as we can be.  #WinterinMI

3 )  Thieves – over the Christmas break I had my credit card number skimmed at a local (chain) retail store.  Thankfully I have alerts set up and received a message, via text, about suspicious activity.  (The text also looked suspicious, to be honest).  I didn’t respond to the text but instead called the credit card company, verified my identity, and confirmed I was home in my jammies and not trying to book a Hotel in Delaware!   After that whole mess I set up additional alerts to the account – transactions > a certain amount, change in security, debit charges, withdrawals, etc.   Make technology work for you! If you have a credit card, I suggest you set up similar stop-gaps.  Thieves have no problem helping themselves to your good credit and assets.    #StillAngry

 

P.S. ~

After the “skimming” incident I called the store where I’m certain the thievery happened and asked to speak to the manager. What sounded like a 12 year old came to the phone.  *SIGH* After explaining my dilemma and urging her to check their security/IT network she countered that, “Oh no, that couldn’t have happened here ’cause we.. like …  check our machines.. like … all the time.” When I offered that there is a current problem (since I hadn’t otherwise used the card in nearly a month anywhere else OR online and the attempted charges happened 2 hours after I shopped at their store) she responded with, “Well OK then … no worries,  Thanks for the call ….”   It was obvious, by her dismissive response that I wasn’t getting anywhere with Mandi with an i and ended the call.

  • #PutAlertsonYourCredit #CantFixStupid

 

What’s new in your world?

  • Any milestones happening around you?
  • Storms a-coming?
  • Tech tips or other thoughts to share?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Growth, Home, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

That feeling ~ New Year’s 2019

December 31, 2019 ~ I woke to a darkened house, blanketed in quiet from the snow swirling down.  It’s New Year’s Eve ~ and here we are on the cusp of a new month, a new year, a new decade.

Just like that.

When asked my resolutions for 2020 and I answered quickly – it’s simple, really. All I have to do is look back at the past 11 days off,  and therein lives my answer.

In 2020 I’ll try my best to recreate that ~

  1. That feeling, as winter winds roar outside the windows and you lift your head up from reading for 4 hours straight, plowing through magazines and books without a care or a distraction, a deadline or a phone call.
  2. That feeling, stretching and waking gently, without the glaring jolt of an alarm.
  3. That feeling, when you listen to your body and move it a little more, haul the boxes and work up a sweat taking down and packing up and catch yourself smiling because it’s only 9:30 a.m. and you’ve been up for 3 hours already.
  4. That feeling, between two major holidays, when you’re not sure which day it is – is it a work day? is it a week day?   And you have to consult the calendar to confirm.  And laugh about it.
  5. That feeling when your sustenance consists of coffee, bacon, eggs, cheese, pickles and clementines.

Nope, no New Year/New You for me. Not this year. I’m gonna focus on finding more of that feeling denoted above.

Your turn:

  1. How are you ringing in the new year?
  2. Do you resolve to do things differently?
  3. Do you want more of what you already have?

 

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” —Shauna Niequist

Happy * New * Year *

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day!

Growing up in Canada, our holidays were chock-full of British influence; Canada is a jewel in the Commonwealth’s crown,  after all.   Mom used to tease us that Boxing Day was a day to clean up and box up (a ploy she cleverly used to get us to tidy the house).

As a child, Boxing Day was a full day of fun –a day of sledding & skating with cousins, adults playing cards, with everyone still full from feasting the day before.   As we got older Boxing Day brought dances and Curling socials, a time to visit all who’d come home for the Christmas holiday.  

google.images.com

Now it’s more commercialized with stores open for gift returns and clearance sale prices. 

But for me, it’s still a day to visit and we will be doing just that ~ And with temps approaching 60F here in West MI (not a snowflake in sight) we have the perfect weather to do so!

– To learn more about Boxing Day visit https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/26/world/boxing-day-facts-trnd/index.htm

 

So … what are you up to today?

Categories: Blogging, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random 5 ~ Christmas 2019

Here we are, the eve of Christmas Eve, and here are my random 5 for the season:

1  )  Christmas in my hometown looked like this when I was a kid .. with more snow.   Oh how we’d look forward to our annual trip to admire the lights and do our shopping.  Of course we man-handled the toy displays that were set out especially for Christmas ~ our town didn’t have a “toy store,” but several of the “home goods” stores created a toy aisle for the Holiday (sometimes in the basement or upper level of the store, so cool!)  We’d pick out our gift for that special someone on our list (a cousin, a sibling) and 5 more for ourselves, chatting animatedly about each and every feature we admired and desired.   At the end of the outing we’d stop at the local Cafe for Chinese food or maybe a grilled cheese and Vico (Chocolate Milk) before heading home, singing Christmas carols all the way.   ~Magical!

70s Christmas

2 )  My work world/life has been so chaotic, stressful and busy that I completely missed the fact we are approaching a new decade in just 8 days.   I haven’t done any goal setting yet, but hearing that fact inspired me to ~ so much has changed in the past 10 years that I want to be intentional about the next 10.  Rise up, indeed!

Rise Up!

3 )   Speaking of changes, we welcomed a new little love into our world – Grandson Soren.  He’s beautiful and perfectly made and big sister (and all of us) are in love.   Soren is a family name; my great Uncle Soren was my Grandpa’s brother and their family hails from Sweden.   ❤

baby and big sissy ~ An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4 )  I recently had an opportunity to meet with the Governor and other dignitaries – like I do for any and all special occasions, I wore one of Mom’s rings (Peridot – her birthstone) so she could come along, too.

–  It was her ring on my right hand when I shook the hand of Governor and others.

–  It was her necklace and another one of her rings that I wore to meet baby Soren.

This is my way of sharing my excitement & delight with her ~ She – the 100lb dynamo – who during one rainy election, rode a tractor with Dad a muddy country mile to the highway so they could catch a ride into town to VOTE, would that moment. She – the woman who fought bureaucrats to keep polling stations located in small/rural areas so everyone could participate – she’d be pressing me for details, and grinning .. just as I am now.

Mom’s ring ~ an Emjayandthem(C) photo

4)  I attended little one’s Christmas party but wasn’t responsible for the snack list this year ~ this made me laugh so hard because I can totally see it happening.  oh Mylanta!

5 )  All silliness aside – it’s a joy to celebrate the reason for the season~

Luke 2:10-11 ESV: And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

  • Care to share memories from your childhood Christmases?
  • With a new decade approaching, are you setting goals or making any changes?
    • Wishing you peace at Christmas and always.

~ Merry Christmas! ~

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Mom, News, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Seasons, Share, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

It’s only fitting

It’s only fitting that, on my very last day of 9 glorious days off, I’d wake to this:

12.1.19 First snow an Emjayandthem(C) photo

It was, by far,  the best sleep of my entire week off … the house calm, dark and quiet.

A heavy quiet that only fresh snow can insulate  us from a hurry-up / busy world.  Cocooning from the noise around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Leftovers, Holiday Travel, deadlines, to-Do lists.  Z-z-z-z-z-z

Planning to go out I re-planned and stayed in.

Coffee up. Decorations out.  Christmas is-a-coming.

Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!

I’m always intrigued by what I end up doing when I’m “off.”  Intentions are good but sometimes one should just lean in and “be.”

Example:

I went to bed when tired (10:30, 12:30, 1:30) and got up when I wasn’t (6:30, 7:30, 8:30.. )  ~  it depends and every day differed.

Worked out twice, but still clocked 10K steps daily **in the house**.  One day? 13K 🙂 and that was while cleaning!

Cleaned, scrubbed, sorted and donated.

Read, read, and read some more.

Watched a movie.  One. Meant to watch more, but visiting got in the way.

Subsided on take-out, leftovers and charcuterie.

And it was wonderful.

Your turn:

  • When’s the last time you surprised yourself?
  • What have you learned by setting plans aside and embracing what life brings you?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Random 5 Friday – Opening day, extra days and Adulting

It’s Friday and time again for Five Randoms from my world.  Ready?  Let’s go!

1  –  November 15th – the “high Holiday”- it’s opening day of firearm/rifle season in Michigan.   Several years ago I traveled across the state on a beautiful Fall morning, completely oblivious that it was “opening day.”   About an hour into my two-hour trip my attention turned from my tunes to the abundance of men in Orange jackets and pickup trucks off-road.   Startled deer burst out of the woods and across the highway.    I’ve never made that mistake again- nope, no more opening day road trips for me!

High-tail it Martha!

2 – This made me laugh out loud because it’s a little too true and don’t you dare touch my red spatula!

3 – Last week my team & I put together our Holiday time-off schedule – it wasn’t until I did so that I realized I have an extra WEEK of vacation days to use before year-end.    My face when I realized the mistake in my favor:

swirling, twirling dance of JOY!

4 – As a result -I’ve taken the WHOLE week of Thanksgiving off + time at Christmas AND New Year’s- I have a new verb for what I’ll be doing:  Hallmarking!  I plan to sleep till I wake, read till I can’t, watch sappy movies, decorate, cook, clean, work out, putz around and mostly lean in hard to my highly-savored time OFF!

5 – Even with the holidays off I still have days to spare – I’m saving those for our new grand-baby’s December arrival.  I plan to cuddle and rock our little one, take care of Mom & Dad, cook, clean and fuss over them all.  ❤

When’s the last time a mistake worked in YOUR favor?  

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Love in a rocking chair

Going through family photos last year, I snapped cell photos of the ones I wanted and this one takes me right back to our farm Kitchen, the heart of our home.

and Emjayandthem (C) photo

– The morning sun streaming in through sheer curtains trimmed in cheery yellow.

– The metal pail to the right, filled with garden tools and produce.

– A can of coffee and a tin of Raleigh salve atop the fridge.

– …. and our family rocking chair.

It’s where she sat restless kids or misbehavers, those who needed “time to think.”

It’s where she put us as she laced up shoes & boots, tied scarves and matched up mittens.

It’s where she placed items before heading to town – a baby gift, a dessert to drop at the rink, a bill to be paid.

It’s where she read to us – and where we learned that, reading to children, even before they can understand words, teaches them to associate books with love and affection.

She taught us there was always time for stories, for love and affection.

No wonder I love books – and her – so much.

 + + +

What does this photo say to you?

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random Fall Five ~ Benefits, Passages and Christmas Trees

Here we are – we’ve set our clocks back (blah) and turned the page to November.  Time for 5 random thoughts:

Benefits:  In comes November and along with it 2020 Benefits enrollment & Holiday planning, just like that.   For the first time we’ll only have hubbs & I on our insurance ~ feels weird and suddenly I feel old.  Or maybe it’s that Daylight “Savings” experience!

2    Home: The later the season, the more I want to be home.  Yesterday the weather brought us a rainy/snow mix, it was cold, windy and dark, most of the day.   A “good day for a house,” Mom used to say.  After errands and leftovers I settled in with a good book and read till I couldn’t anymore; I woke still thinking about the story and the characters in it, eager and happy for another day to finish it.  I have to pace myself because I read quickly and this story is one worth savoring:

engrossing!

Passages: When we got the news of our friend’s Dad’s passing 2 weeks ago, I started cooking.  Soup on the stove, placed an order for deli sandwiches, and baked up a fruit cobbler.  Later, I texted his wife and asked if we could drop off food for them ~ she gave me an affirmative and a plan was set.   See I’ve been that friend who’s offered to help saying, “just let me know what you need,” and then never heard anything further.   And I’ve learned that you don’t wait to be asked to help by someone in shock and grieving – you just do it.

Christmas trees – Yesterday Hubbs and I spent 2 hours in our local Hardware/Home goods store ~ he had a list as long as his arm and we ping-ponged from one side of the store to another to find all items: Rock Salt, Bungee Cords, WD-40, Tub Caulking, you name it.   We found ourselves among the Christmas Trees and shared a look:  our tree is beautiful but takes up too much room in the smaller home we down-sized to.   We left the store with 2 trees ~ a tall slim tree for the family/game room and a small “frosted” tree for the living room.    Our big tree will be gifted to one of the boys – or Goodwill – and we’ll enjoy putting up our smaller ones in a month or so.

Holiday plans – Work teams are busy putting in for vacation time off but I’m holding back and trying to stay nimble ~ why? We have a grandbaby due in early December!  I could be hosting/cooking for Thanksgiving or loving on the new baby & his parents with a dish-to-pass.  We just don’t know ~ so we’re staying flexible.   And for this life-long planner, that’s hard to do … maybe I’ll prepare a batch of TLC Chicken Spaghetti now & freeze it, just in case!

chicken spaghetti; google.images.com

 

  • How about you?
    • What passages are you experiencing?
    • Does Fall make you want to be home even more?
    • Do your Holiday decorations fit your space?

 

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Family, Growth, Opinion, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nine Years, Life Lessons and No words

9 years ago I registered for this blog site ~ 9 years!

In my very first post I wrote about topics I love: Mom, cooking and life lessons.

  • Still do.

A lot has changed but a lot stayed the same.

I am still cooking.  Still learning.  And I still write about Mom .. but now it’s about how much I miss her.

But – I had the most wonderful day yesterday ~ out & about between meetings, snapping pictures of my Autumnal drive.  Just Magical!  The colors, the brilliant blue skies and the sights & smells cannot be captured in mere photos.

a worthy stop alongside a Michigan back country road ..

 

Bright & colorful Mums – smiling and grateful for a route such as this one!

Then – last night we received the terrible news that a dear friend’s Dad suffered a massive stroke.  No chance of recovery.  Hushed whispers and tears ache in our throats while we wait the news of what comes next.  There are no words, nothing we can do or say that will make a lick of difference.  All we can do is show up, lean in, and do our best to love and comfort all of them.

So, in the meantime, I will cook the foods, learn the lessons, and give thanks for my favorite season *Autumn* and that He gave me the world’s most wonderful Mom.

  * * * * *

 

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”  Joe L. Wheeler

 

Categories: Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Grief, Home, Life Lessons, Love, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

October Random 5 ~ Prayers, Waylon & the smell of home

Here we are on the weekend of Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving ~ we’re smack dab in the middle of my favorite season:  FaLL, glorious Fall!   Crisp apples, sunshiney days, something simmering in the oven.   Cozy blankets, good sleeps, wonderful drives and cool breezes.

Here are 5 Randoms from my October world:

1 )  I don’t watch a lot of TV but I binge-watched this series and doing so took me right back to my parents kitchen, soup simmering, AM radio on, and a Hank Williams or Waylon Jennings song on the radio … so good!

2 )  Speaking of, I remember Willie & Waylon from their “Outlaw” Days, partying hard and having fun.  But here’s a little some-something I discovered while watching that series … who knew, that before the greasy hair and cowboy hats, that Waylon Jennings was that good looking?   Day-umn!  **Might have rewound the show, not telling. 😉

A young Waylon Jennings

3 )  A year ago I visited the Billy Graham library in Charlotte, N.C What an amazing and humbling experience that was, especially when, at the end of the tour, a volunteer asked if she could pray for me.   I accepted, and that experience, and her gentle words of faith, remains deeply touching to me.    I’ve recently discovered Podcasts and enjoy listening to them while driving to and from my many meetings.  This week, the Billy Graham Ministries Podcast appeared in my “suggested” queue ~  random?  Not so much.

The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C.

4 ) Cooking last night for a family baby shower this weekend,  our kitchen windows steamed up from the heat ~  On the stove simmered Sloppy Joe’s, in the oven roasted Cheesy harvest potatoes and a from-scratch pizza for the hubbs.   He may have visited the kitchen several hundred times … I heard the screech of his slipper brakes as the pizza came out of the oven, bubbling and wonderful.    We sampled and enjoyed and felt the coziness that comes from a contented life together.  And when we got up this morning our house still smelled of all I’d cooked the night before.  Say what you will, there’s not a candle made that can match the smell of “home.”

5 ) Fall leads to Winter and you know what that means to me?  Books, books and more books! I’ve assembled quite a stack over the summer, some new and some new-to-me … They’re waiting for me like good friends at the ready.  Waiting for a perfectly cozy Fall day with sunshine streaming in, a cozy blanket and no particular place to be.  Ahh.

So what’s new in your October world?

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine; For your light has come!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

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Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine; For your light has come!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...