Monthly Archives: November 2010

Maybe she’s on to something?



Maybe its maturity or the wisdom that comes with age, but that witch in Hansel and Gretel—I think she’s very misunderstood.   I mean, the woman builds her dream house and these brats come along and start eating it.” – Miranda, Sex and the City.

This season? Tryin not to be the witch.

   Taking a moment

Stepping back

   Doing less

Enjoying more


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Food, Holidays, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Rants, Relationships, Seasons, Traditions, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | 2 Comments

Walking a thin line

photo source:

“There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth.  So … what the hell, leap!”  ~Cynthia Heimel

Categories: Attitude, Humor, Life, Men, Opinion, Quotes, Random observations, Rants, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasonal Survival Tips


It’s here… Flu Season.   The pounding head-sore throat-body aching-even my hair hurts-nothing sounds good-dear God maybe I should just die-flu.

Is it a coincidence that flu season overlaps the Holiday season?   I think not.

As Mom/Baker/Decorator/Party Planner/Shopper/Gift Wrapper etc. my #1 reason for getting sick during the flu/holiday season is from doing far too much!

In 2010 I vow to stay healthy by Simplifying my Holiday to-do list including:

  • Shopping:   One word: Online.  Two words: Free shipping.  Three words: In my pajamas.  Added bonus?  Avoid germ-filled crowds!
  • Holiday baking: this year, I asked the hubbs (aka cookie monster which treats he wanted). I also polled the kids. They told me and now I’m making 4 items instead of 14.
  • Decorating:  Remembering that whatever I put up… has to come down.
  • Cooking: I love to cook and for others especially. But I don’t want to miss all the fun by having my face in the oven all day.  I’ve simplified menus & am making as much ahead of time I can.    We’ll get together, we’ll laugh, eat, play games, and there will still be more than enough.
  • General well-being: When I’m tired, I’m going to bed and I mean it (insert foot stomp here). An extra hour of sleep during the season makes the difference between a happy, healthy host and a cranky curmudgeon.
  • Hydration.   As in H20.  And the occasional Labatt’s. 🙂
  • Pace:  Taking a break –when I least feel like it,  I’m bundling up and heading out on a brisk walk.  The fresh air and movement aids digestion, puts color in my cheeks and …gives me a break from relatives.  Whee!
  • Just say no:  Most importantly, I’ve stopped saying “yes” to everyone and started saying “yes” to myself.   (((Where’s MY Christmas??)))  I’m hoping this translates to less cleaning / shopping / wrapping / decorating / making everything sparkly and wonderful ….for everyone else.    This year I’m carving out a little “me” time:  Time to read.. to cry at a Holiday movie .. to exercise .. to sleep in .. to snuggle up with the hubbs play board games, giggle with grand-kids, sing along to Bing, Ella and Elvis, and be present for all the magic that is the Holidays.

Oh, and wash my hands with soap & warm water.    Often.

What strategies work for you?  Please share with me… and have a happy and healthful Holiday season!

Categories: Family, Holidays, Humor, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Random observations, Rants, Relationships, Seasons, Traditions, Uncategorized, Useful Information, Women | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

On Shoes


Sometimes, no matter the question, the right answer is “shoes.”

Win or lose, we go shopping after the election,” – Imelda Marcos

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Fashion, Humor, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Women | 4 Comments

Best part of a Holiday meal?



My guys would tell you it’s my mashed potatoes.

 Here’s how to make them:
  • Peel & cut Idaho potatoes (for my crew, a 5lb bag)
  • Boil till tender (but not mushy) ~15 min on hard boil
  • Drain potatoes and then add:
    • 1 stick of butter or margarine
    • 1 heaping tablespoon of REAL mayonnaise
    • 1 splash of milk (about 1/4 cup)
  • Whip with hand mixer and lightly season with Pepper, Salt & garlic powder.

 Stand back and prepare for compliments a-plenty! 

(this makes 2 Grandma-size serving bowls – just right for all the hungry potato eaters at my house) 


Categories: Food, Holidays, Humor, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Recipes, Relationships, Traditions, Useful Information | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Wishes

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. and, as with most holiday mornings, I’ve been up for a while preparing for today’s feast.  The turkey’s nearly defrosted, the salads are made, appetizers are ready and what remains to be done is manageable.

So, I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to read today’s newspaper.

Every year, on Thanksgiving Day, our local newspaper includes a section called, “Thanksgiving Wishes.”  Here is a sampling of some of the wishes posted here in West Michigan today:

  • Donations so 80-year-old can get hearing aids that fit her correctly
  • A request to build a ramp for a homebound woman with M.S.
  • Christmas presents for the small children of a young widow
  • Diapers for a Women’s shelter
  • Dental work for an elderly man who no longer smiles
  • Propane to heat the home of a family this winter
  • A job for a journeyman electrician, unemployed for 18 months
  • A bicycle for a special needs boy

Even before I read this, I knew that my family & I have so much. We have more food than we can eat, we have good health to climb the stairs throughout our house, we are warm. Later today, we can see and hear our grandchildren as they burst through the door. We’re all comfortably dressed, and we can come & go as we please. We have abundance in many many forms.

The kids have been asking me “Mom what do you want for Christmas?”  Well, I know what I want and it’s not more stuff.  I have what I need, more than I deserve.  What I want to do is save this special section and re-read it tomorrow, on Black Friday, and find the wish I can fulfull.   Happy Thanksgiving all !!

For more information, go to

Categories: Charity, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Seasons, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t be a Travel Turkey


 Flying today? 

Below are my tried & true travel tips for simpler, stress-free travel:

  • Pack a snack – fruit, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, etc. Anything that takes the edge off if you’re delayed .. and starving
  • Wear comfy clothes that you’re ok sitting or standing in. Ditto on the shoes.  

  • Ladies – Skip the purse and instead take a small backpack (you can fit your reading materials, snack, mp3 player and jacket in it)

  • Get to the airport early!

  • Bring or buy magazines & leave them for other travelers when you’re finished (and you don’t have to carry them both ways)

  • Most importantly – pack your sense of humor. Smile  – be patient – help others if you can.  


Happy Travels!



Categories: Attitude, Family, Food, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Holidays, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Relationships, Travel, Useful Information, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How do you mend a broken heart?

A parental pitfall that no one warns us of is what to do when our child’s romantic relationship with someone… ends.

Like most areas of parenting, there’s no handbook for it. 

As Mom to two young men,  I’ve witnessed them fall in and out of love. They’ve had their hearts broken and they’ve broken a few hearts, too.   We’ve been there to comfort them, to offer advice, and, to redirect when necessary.    But here’s what no one prepares us for: what to do about our relationship with her?   She’s the girl he wanted us to like, the one he asked us to include in our plans, the one he planned his free time around.   What do you say to her?  How do you tell her that you’re sorry things didn’t work out the way they’d both imagined and that you know how much it hurts.. but that you see his discomfort, too? 

Answer:  You don’t. You keep your thoughts to yourself and trust that when she thinks back on times with us… she remembers cozy days, laughter, and comfortable conversations. You hope she recalls that she was welcomed and that we were kind. We hope that she knows we’ll miss her, too.

How do you mend a broken heart?   Sometimes…you have to just stay the distance while your heart adjusts as well.

Categories: Family, Friendship, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Uncategorized, Useful Information, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments


I’m so thankful to not be flying for Thanksgiving. 

Between the pat downs, cramped quarters and scheduling delays, I’d rather … not.

So if you find yourself stranded or delayed, take a deep breath, and try your best to have Dell Griffith’s *(John Candy) outlook.

  Happy Trails  🙂

Categories: Attitude, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Rants, Seasons, Traditions, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

I admit it

I’m starting to feel it: excitement for the holidays.

It started with the arrival of this (see photo).  As a child, the 5 of us kids would fight over time with this book.   The arrival of the Sears Wish book meant that, at last, the holidays were upon us.   As a reader, I loved nothing more than to squirrel away with it and a cozy blanket and dreamily review all of the choices.  Johnny West. Easy-bake-Ovens.  Super-slider-snow-skates.  As I got older, my thoughts turned to makeup mirrors, velour robes, sparkly holiday sweaters, and foxy winter jackets.

So it was with great delight that I introduced this scaled down 80-page version of the Sears Wish Book to our grandson last weekend.  The “oohs” and “aahs” coming from the living room were unmistakable, as was the, “DAD! I want thisssssss!” as he pointed to, of course, a child sized snowmobile. 

Then, a few days ago, I was downtown and, as I stepped out of my vehicle into the biting November wind, my eyes landed on evergreen wreaths trimmed with red bows.  As I looked up and down the street and saw the lamp lights had been trimmed as well, I smiled, leaned into the wind and went on my way.  

Yesterday, while out with the hubbs & son, I felt it again.   Ever so slightly, there it was:  the faintest twinge of Holiday excitement was distinctly, clearly,  in the air.

      Not the manic, frantic shopping panic. 

Genuine excitement. 

The sun was shining, the air was crisp and shoppers were bustling through the store.  Everyone was pleasant; the Christmas displays were appealing and the lines were short.

We made our purchase and left the store and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.  This is what I’m striving for this holiday season: the wonder, the delight, and the excitement of the pretty lights and fun family times ahead.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Random observations, Seasons, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Accessorize or?


Wear whatever you want.


Attitude.. it’s your finest accessory!

~ Melissa Sovey

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Fashion, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Repeat after me:



As a matter of fact, I AM all that.


“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me?”

~Ayn Rand

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Fashion, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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