Advertisements

Monthly Archives: June 2011

Welcome to Canada, eh?

photo from Carl Court, WPA Pool/Getty Images

Dear HRH William and Catherine:

Welcome to Canada, eh! 

The young Royals… the handsome Prince and his beautiful bride, arrive in Canada today!  ( for details on the Royal tour, click here ).

I’m Canadian, born & raised and while I also have my American citizenship (yay!), there’s still part of me that remains intrinsically Canadian.  Given the right surroundings, my dialect easily reverts back to words that sound a bit like “oout” and “aboot” (out and about), I reference objects that baffle my children … like a “chesterfield” (couch) and I invite others to “supper” (not dinner, for dinner is at …lunchtime). 🙂

His Granny, our Queen, is on Canadian’s money, in the classrooms and many locales all over the country pay tribute to our British roots: cities like Prince Albert and Regina, Saskatchewan (where I’m from), provinces named Prince Edward Island and Alberta and streets named “Confederation.”  The list goes on.

In April, I wrote about the wedding and connected with so many of you; I also wrote about HRH Diana, Princess of Wales and pondered on if had she still been with us what that would have been like and now … Newsweek … deemed it appropriate to Photoshop an aged image of Diana walking next to Catherine. Diana, at 50 (her 50th birthday would have been tomorrow, Canada Day).

We just can’t get enough can we?

I don’t know about you but positioning the most famous woman in the world – Diana … Goddess of the Hunted .. next to Catherine … feels like we’re putting a target on Kate and releasing the hounds next.

It’s too much.

At the end of the day, there remains a young man who lost his Mum at a tender age; a young man who is striving to find his place on this .. their first Royal tour.  There’s a savvy young woman strolling confidently next to him, her long legged stride matching his step for step. Her face, accompanied by determined “set” to her jaw, reminds me so much of Diana .. but a young woman, nonetheless, who is determined to be relevant and to get it right.

I’ll be watching to see how they do … as I am sure she will, too.  But I wish the hounds could be restrained so we could let them do their jobs.

Oh .. there will be record breaking crowds straining to see their smiling faces and her fashion choices and yes there might be Quebecois protestors and most definitely wee children waving flags.  However, when it’s all said and done, these two young people, the future of the British Monarchy … will most likely enchant a nation and quite possibly the world.

It’s Canada’s 144th birthday tomorrow, Will & Kate.  Enjoy our country, the mountains, valleys, plains and people.  Hear our cheers welcoming you and tomorrow, on your Mum’s birthday, we’ll be waving our flags, singing “O Canada” and celebrating her, too.

( click on screen below to start an amazing Domino tribute! )

Advertisements
Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Charity, Fashion, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Rants, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

On Passion

Uh huh huh .. a lifelong Elvis fan, yes I have found my inner Elvis!

Passion is defined as having a “powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate” about a given topic.  We all know someone who’s passionate about their sports team, fitness, travel or even gardening.  Most I know care deeply for loved ones, homes and pets.

If asked, I’d have to say the following:

I’m passionate about my marriage.  We are surrounded by couples in distress, and that has made me even more attentive to our union.  But here’s the thing .. hubbs and I are not all that similar. We have different interests but similar philosophies.  One of the reasons we enjoy time together is because we  give each other the space to pursue what we love and then make it a priority to come back together again.  He loves to compete and is an avid sports fan. I’ve never seen anyone happier than him as he’s readying for a golf date on a Saturday morning. But .. he’s happiest when he returns, having competed and laughed with friends, excelling at a sport he loves, and all with my blessing.  When he’s away, I do what brings me joy … read, write and play with music and technology.  We don’t need to be alike or together all the time to be compatible. And when we are, we’re interested and interesting to each another.  And the best part?  After 19 years, that spark is still there.

I’m passionate about being a good example to my boys.  I let them see me work hard, laugh loud, get frustrated, mess up and keep on going.  They know  that, generally, I’m pretty easy going; they also know that if they cross the line they’ll hear about it.  I love that they know me, respect me, and most of all, value me.

I’m passionate about how I dole out my time and to whom.  I think of our grand kids, for example, and how much fun it is to answer questions and just play with them, marveling in all that they do.  I relish slow walks with the elderly dog and power walks for myself.  I’m passionate about sharing homemade salsa and the conversations it sparks with neighbors … about helping when I can, and chats with friends and family and strangers in the coffee shop.

I’m passionate about a meal lovingly prepared and liberally shared. As someone who loves to cook, there’s no better person to cook for than someone who loves to eat. Recently, we had friends in for an impromptu meal… nothing fancy, just hearty Midwestern food: roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn on the cob, salad and dinner rolls.  These friends often go out to eat so when they (shyly) accepted our invitation, they stepped into boisterous conversations peppered with requests to pass the butter.  To my delight, they relished every morsel. Our youngest and I shared a smile when our guest looked up, his buttered face accompanying his wide smile.   Moments like that reinforce that, while I enjoy cooking,  what I really enjoy most is sharing the meal with others I care for.

I’m passionate about the “little” things in life that make it delightful: the heady smell of lilacs in Spring, the sweet sounds of northern songbirds at daybreak, roadside fruit stands, the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and Michigan summer nights that require a “hoodie.”  I’m passionate about writing my blog, chatting up vendors at the farmers market, and days without schedules.  I’m passionate about “big” things, too: exercising my right to vote (I’m a new citizen), being on time, leading by example and doing the right thing.

I’m passionate about learning. Learning from others, learning from my mistakes, learning what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. I’m passionate about trusting my instincts, that it’s OK to be wrong but more important to be accountable.  And learning that, at 48, I am still capable of learning and growing, changing and evolving. And learning that life is still so exciting that I don’t want to miss … a thing.

What I’m passionate about comes down to this: it’s what’s not negotiable. It’s what I could never, ever leave behind.  It’s how I behave and who I am whether anyone is around to know. I know, and that’s enough. It’s honing the traits and values that I’ve carried with me from middle school to middle age.  It’s all of that and what’s yet to come.

What inspires passion in you?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

On connections

Frankie says, "Go ahead ... reach out and touch."

We are built for connection, you and I. From our first breath to our last we are programmed to need each other, to belong, to attach and to love one another. It is hard wired into our DNA – we are built for love. It is our fear of getting hurt that halts us from allowing ourselves to connect fully with another. While there’s no guarantee that you will never get hurt by sharing your heart, your joy, your being … the real gift lies … in the act of extending it.

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Opinion, Random, Thoughts, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Cowboys & coffee

A birthday present arrived last night from my cousin in Edmonton; due to the Canadian postal strike ( read more here) she had no choice but to use an express courier service to send it. I can only imagine the cost and am touched by her thoughtfulness.   (More on our lifelong friendship here … )

We don’t routinely “do” birthday gifts but she assured me that this was just a little something and hinted that she was sure I would enjoy it. She knows me well and knows exactly what would bring me delight.   What could it be?

Black licorice candy? New books?  Mathew McConaughey?  (Come to think of it, I’ve always loved cowboys … but I digress).

Um .. what was the question?

Ok … back to the gift… Carefully I opened the box, undid the ribbons and tore back the tissue paper. I gasped with delight when I saw what it was: something I cannot buy here and that which causes me to drool whenever she mentions it. (other than Mathew McConaughey that is).

It’s my very own 32 oz can of TIM HORTON’S Coffee!!

come to me, Timmie, for you are mine!!

*** Thank you! Thank you! *** 

What she didn’t know is that the timing of this package couldn’t be better; I’ve laid out the day in front of me, hubbs is off on a golf outing, the boy is working and even the dog is headed to the groomer.  Why is this important you ask? Because I finally have the perfect weather (dry & cool) for a long-awaited date with my carpet scrubber and having a pot of grade-A Timmies is just what’s needed to keep me going today!!  I’m getting my work done this morning and this afternoon am heading outside with my books to be a ‘lady of leisure” … yay!  If only I were reading a cowboy romance novel …

For more info on Tim Horton’s, just visit their website  where you can even play Donut Sodoku by clicking  here !

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Family, Food, Friendship, Gratitude, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 17 Comments

No time left for you …

How many times have I said to myself: I would do such-and-such but I don’t have the time.

You know what I mean:  take a class, work in the yard, volunteer, etc.

Time.

We all get the same 24 hours in the day.

There’s time for working, sleeping, showering, getting ready for the day and getting ready for bed. Time to cook, clean the house, pay bills and run errands.  Then there’s family, friends and hobbies… and sometimes there’s just not enough for all.  And sometimes .. it’s an excuse.

Here’s a simple exercise I tried recently. I encourage you to try it because it taught me I have much more “free” time available than I might have thought.

Here’s what you do … Make a list of any “discretionary” tasks or habits you carry out daily and, next to it, write down the # of minutes spend doing that.

Example:

1 hour per day watching TV

30 min per day talking on the phone

1 hour  per day on the internet (or blogging, researching or Facebooking)

Add up these times per day & multiply by 7 = minutes/hours per week available to you.

Now go back to all that you wrote down and prioritize those activities, in order of importance. I won’t give up my phone time because that’s saved for my Mom, cousin and sister and all live far away.  But .. there are times (get it? times .. heh heh) that I can scale it back.

TV?  That can shuffle farther down my priority list. Easy-peasy-puddin & pie.

Time spent on the computer varies…. Saturday mornings I can easily lose an hour sippin’ my coffee and perusing others’ blogs.  I prefer to write in the mornings but, with summer knocking on my door, I’ll be outside more than in.

In the sweet days of summer, I devour books.. poolside; in winter, I read steadily but in starts & stops.

Point being – seeing the total minutes spent has made me more mindful of how I’m spending them.

No time left for you … or is there? 

P.S.  Saw the “Guess Who” in concert when I was ~14.  Burton Cummings was hot-as-what & rocked the house!

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Fun, Home, Life, Random, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Change is hard

The Mighty Mac stands confidently in the Straits; photo from Michigan.gov

 

“You cannot change what you won’t acknowledge.” – Dr. Phil

Boy, do I get that.

Change.  Is.  Hard.

Everyone says it.

And it’s true .. right?

Sometimes what needs our attention is obvious:  exercise more, eat better, get more rest,  blah, blah, blah.

But I don’t think that’s where most of us struggle.

I think we get bogged down before we even start … because .. before you can change anything.. you first have to acknowledge it.  To see it. And for many of us, me included, it’s easier to keep on doing what we’ve always done.

For a lot of us, recognizing an issue is the hardest part of change.

Why?

Because once we see it, and I mean really see it, it’s a bit like stepping out onto your front porch wearing only your underwear: You’re. Completely. Vulnerable.  Unlike in the past, when we’ve strolled through life blissfully unaware that our fly was open or a skirt was tucked into our pantyhose, once you know, and once you get it, it feels like everyone else does, too.

And I think it’s right there that we get stuck.

Isn’t it easier to be who you’ve always been?  C’mon, it’s comfortable to play a familiar role, to be the “go to” gal, the funny guy, the chubby girl, the reliable neighbor.  Why?  Because when we acknowledge what we want to change, we realize that we may actually have to do something about it. And that feels … risky.  Why? Because taking action feels like a threat to all that we know; will it undermine our relationships?  What happens when we don’t do as everyone expects? If we Lysol the toxic people out of our friendship cupboard, who will remain?

I’ve asked myself all those questions and discovered something unexpected in the discomfort:   It’s here that growth lives.

Change. Is. Hard.

Or is it?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

You say it’s your birthday …

This is how old I feel today (that's me in about grade 4); an emjayandthem photo

and it is! It’s my birthday today! Whee!

And, at 48, I still love birthdays.  Mine & everyone else’s!

I know, I know. It seems childish but .. isn’t that the best part?

Last night, our youngest boy asked, “So Mom, when you’re older, do you still get excited about birthdays?” And I thought for a second, laughed and replied, “Of course!”   He countered with “Yeah that phone’s gonna ring all night long!”

And is that a bad thing?

I think not.

We went on to speculate how sad it would be to be all alone, to have no one who remembered, or cared enough to say so. The look on his face told me he couldn’t agree more.

Growing up, birthdays were a time to gather the family, have a wienie roast, a handful of chips, maybe a pop, and a big slab of home-made cake with iced cream on top.  Having a summer birthday meant a party near the end of school (we didn’t finish up until around now at my Canadian school).  It meant longer days and nice weather and Grandma and Grandpa visiting, he in a buttoned down shirt and she in a pretty pantsuit and jewelry. It meant Aunts and Uncles, cousins and friends and a $5 spot in a card. It meant three legged races, running through the sprinkler and opening presents wrapped in tissue paper.

You say it’s your birthday … and it is. 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

It’s an honor just to be nominated!

But .. turns out, I won an award – How fun!!

(They're lying when they say that; they all want to win!)

I was presented with the “Versatile Blogger Award” (pictured above) by Georgette at http://georgettesullins.wordpress.com/

From what I can tell, this award is a way to give some virtual “shout-outs” to other bloggers you follow and whom others might not yet have discovered.  I’m flattered to be honored & am happy to share.  ((Although part of me wants to keep my favorites all to myself!))

The other rule is that you’re supposed to 1) publicly thank the award giver and link to them in your post (done). 2) Tell your readers 7 things about yourself that you might not have already, 3) present this award to other bloggers whose work you enjoy and 4) contact the weiners (sorry Congressman, I just couldn’t resist .. hee hee ) to let them in on the *big* news.

There aren’t enough hours in the day to explore all the posts I’m interested in just as there are no shortage of thoughtful people whose ideas, thoughts and insights draw me back for more.

So here’s the skinny on the super nice person who awarded me this prestigious thingy-ma-jiggy:

  • Georgette very sweetly asked for permission to re blog my post (“If Diana had been here” ) back in April, just before the wedding.   She was so polite that I couldn’t say anything but “sure and thank you for asking!”  She and I shared similar thoughts on the wedding but I’ve stuck around to read more of her musings on relationships, teaching, travel and parenting.  You can find Georgette at http://georgettesullins.wordpress.com/

Now .. onto 7 unbelievably fascinating facts that you’re dying to know about me (Ha!):

1.       My eyes used to be blue but are now green. How does that happen?

2.      I hold citizenship in Canada, my birthplace, and the United States, my home. I cry every time I hear either anthem.  Canada Day AND Independence Day are fast approaching and I need to stock up on PUFFS!!

3.      I don’t crave chocolate.  Black licorice on the other hand ? Oh yeah!

4.      I’m a lifelong Elvis fan and visiting Graceland felt like a pilgrimage to me.  My favorite Elvis song you ask?  All of them …and Black Leather Elvis?  Me to the ow!!

5.      I shiver when I drive under overpasses and I don’t know why.

6.      I count my marriage and our two boys as my greatest accomplishments.

7.      “Emjay” is a throwback to my childhood nickname, MJ, short for Marilyn Jean.

And now … the show must go on .. so …may I have the envelope please?

For cheeky commentaries that make me laugh out loud, please visit Coopernicus http://coopernicus.wordpress.com/.  ** note, a language warning, sometimes.

Sheila, my Alaskan friend, blogs about life and all that comes with it.  Someday we hope to have a coffee together; share the journey at http://graceandlife.wordpress.com/

For a thought-provoking and often hilarious take on life, please pour yourself a glass of http://icedteawithlemon.wordpress.com/

Terri, my sweet Minnesota friend, muses on life, love and bowling .. and the trials and tribulations of a soon to be empty-nester.  You can find this talented lady at http://intomystic.wordpress.com/

Lenore Diane and I bond on many topics: family, parenting, and life’s lessons.  You can find her thoughts exactly here http://lenorediane.com/

As a farm girl, I have three country girls that I enjoy popping in on. It’s not just that they live in the country, it’s how they celebrate their country lives and all who share it.  Each one posts spectacular photographs that, for a moment, take this country girl back home again.

  1. Stop by and meet Lissa Rabbon, a sweet Texas soul most at home when she’s riding.  Visit  http://wheniride.wordpress.com/
  2. Visit with Jesse who shares her adventures with music, poetry and ranch living .. and a one eyed Pug at  http://veederranch.com/
  3. I can always count on  The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife to charm me … visit http://sdliving.wordpress.com/

Someone who will inspire you with her commitment to good health and what sheer determination can do is (Sweet) Caroline, living the dream at My Fascinating Life http://carolinecalcote.com/.

Beth is dynamic woman who teaches, leads and learns.  Sample Beth’s Shameless Moxie at http://girls2womencoaching.wordpress.com/

Butch Dean moves me to tears with his heartfelt poetry, grace and lessons learned along life’s pathways.  http://butchdean.wordpress.com/.

Meet Dianna, Motor Man, Sundae the Cat, her son Marshall and spectacular sunsets at http://thesedaysofmine.com/.

Renee embraced blogging in a big way, taking time off from her job to take a writing class in France! Celebrate Renee’s journey at http://writingfeemail.wordpress.com/

Lastly is Miss Jaclyn Ray who reflects on all things inspiring from her Polkadot Teapot http://polkadotteapot.wordpress.com/

* * *
Thank you for the honor bestowed on me and my little blog.  And to you, my friends, enjoy the journey!

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, music, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: | 27 Comments

On Fathering

It’s “Father’s Day” and our boys have shared their thoughts and good wishes with their Dad.  We’ll barbeque later and have a relaxing afternoon. I can’t help but think of my Dad today and how much I miss him.

my Dad, Lloyd

You didn’t know my Dad, so I let me tell you a little about him.  His name was Lloyd. He kept cookies in his pocket & licorice in his truck.  He didn’t go anywhere without his favorite cap or a little grin on his face. He loved people, but he had a soft spot for children and animals, especially dogs.  He taught me where to find Saskatoon berries, to appreciate the land we farmed, to be fearless, to drive a stick shift, to read the sky, and to dance while standing on his toes. He taught me girls could do anything but that it was best not to wear too much makeup. He taught me that doors should be opened for ladies and that if someone came into the yard and honked they could just keep on driving. He taught me to be helpful, to fix what I could, to re-use what I had, to preserve what was good and to let go what wasn’t. He taught me that real men cry, cherish their wives, tickle their children, and are playful, gentle and loyal.  My Dad loved to dance, kid around, make up silly songs and laugh; most of all, he loved his wife and every single one of us kids.  My Dad was a man of few words. He didn’t need them I suppose. His actions spoke volumes.  My Dad .. showed up.

More than 6 years have passed since he left us and it doesn’t get easier. You don’t get over it. Time does not heal.  We. Just. Get. Through. It.

But … still … as much as I long to hear his voice and see his kind face,  I continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for the gift of a kind and loving father.  Who gets that? I did. So lucky.

…. and I’d love, love, love … to dance with my father again.

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Family, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Opinion, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

Growth

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E. E. Cummings

Wonder how long it took for that tree to grow that much? an emjayandthem photo

I have a strong need to be in control.  Examples:

  • I plan gatherings, parties and vacations, down to the last detail.
  • I tend to be a perfectionist and am my own worst critic.
  • If you ask my opinion, I assume you want to know. I  get irritated when you don’t take my advice.
  • It’s difficult for me to trust.
  • I drink socially, but I can count on one hand the times I ever felt drunk … and that feeling?  Far from fun, try horrifying.
  • I make lists for everything.
  • It drives me crazy not to have enough to do.
  • Conversely, while I love a day off with no schedule I only love them if they’re by my design.  (I.E. sitting around waiting on someone else? Drives me c-r-a-z-y).
  • I do not like to be the center of attention, unless it was my choice to be.  Example:  I’ve never thrown anyone a surprise party; I think they’re vile and I’d never want to be subjected to one.  I know some people love them; it would be pure torture for me.

From an evolutionary standpoint, cultivating a sense of control over our environment ensures we will survive it.  Do I need to be in control as much as I need a sense of control over the outcome?

I’ve been thinking a lot about life and my next steps.  I asked myself, “What are you afraid of?”  At first, I couldn’t think of anything.  OK there’s the obvious big stuff that frightens most of us – war, an environmental disaster, something happening to my husband or children, etc.  I realized that, for me, what I am most afraid of is lack of control over my being or my life.

It started young; I’m the youngest of five.  My parents enjoyed a hobby (horse racing) that sometimes took them away from home.  I remember being frightened when they weren’t there and more scared during the parties that were held with loud music and strange people in my house.  I remember being told to go to bed even though I could hear the kids hooting & hollering in the room not far from mine.  I think about the trouble my siblings sometimes got into, and my vows to not follow in their footsteps. So, instead, I became the good kid; the teen who could be left alone because she was always responsible. I became the friend who would drive her drunk boyfriend and his friends home because she kept a level head. I became everything .. to everyone else.

I created a façade for myself; someone who takes care of everyone else and I became an expert at it.  Professionally, it helped that I am naturally organized and pay careful attention to detail.  Making lists was rewarded.  Soon, because I was responsible, on time, and someone others could count on, I was rewarded with more – more work, more responsibility, more to organize, more to care for, more to do. More.

During college, I didn’t date because I had three part-time jobs + a full time course load.  Don’t get me wrong, I was no saint, I went dancing with friends and we drank a little and flirted a lot and had fun, but those times were few and far between.  Consequently, I have very few memories of my college experience. What I do remember is always working, always being exhausted, always over-performing.  What I do remember of that time is intense loneliness and a desire to be something.

At 21, I left Canada and came to the United States. I had $178, a guitar and a few friends.  Auspiciously, I planned on staying for a season; I’ve been here 27 years (and I’m a citizen now .. yay!). It never occurred to me to fail, and I didn’t. But now, years later, I can see how terrified I was.  I was so afraid to fail; afraid that all my big dreams wouldn’t come true and I’d be one of those girls that came slinking home to her parents with no job and no prospects.  And to me, failure was to be feared.

What’s scaring me today is one word: change.   I am turning 48 in a few days and while I am not afraid of aging, I am unfamiliar with who this woman is.  I have always been able to count on myself.  Now, someone else is showing up and, what’s more confusing, I don’t always recognize her.  I don’t know if I can trust her.

Naively, I assumed that I’d become more patient, more giving, and more, well, everything,  as I grew older.  Meh .. not so much.  With my grandkids? Absolutely. Other’s idiosyncrasies? Best I just step away. “Pick the hill you want to die on” is a quote I love but, of late, I’ve picked unfamiliar hills and walked away from known ones.   Weird.

My life is full and, most of the time, I’m content.  I’m thankful that I’ve cleared out the toxic people to make room for the good. I eat well. I exercise regularly now. I sleep great.  I listen. I express my ideas. I share and I pull back.

Things are coming together and changing all at the same time.

What’s next?

I don’t know.  But I do know this: while some of what I’m experiencing feels foreign to me, I’m trying my hardest not to be afraid.  I’m trying to just have faith and not be so worried about controlling the outcome.  I no longer have to be in survivor mode.  I will get through this; I just don’t know who I’ll be on the other side.

Have you struggled through a transition of late?  Please share.

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

It starts here

"Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the fllowers" - Frankie aka Ferdinand

When you speak to yourself in a positive and loving voice; you set an example for others to do the same.

Everything we are starts at home. With us.

What’s the sweetest thing you’ve said to yourself lately?

And if you can’t think of something, it’s OK to start now.

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | 6 Comments

Just veggin’

For about a month now, I’ve been making a concerted effort to consistently eat better. I’ve tried doubling up on my fruit (easy to do – I love fruit and there are a lot to choose from right now) and I’ve also tried to triple my vegetables.  Some days are better than others but – hey – that’s what intent is all about, right?

When I eat out regularly I can really feel the added salt taking effect.  Also, in a group setting, I can find myself at a lunch location that’s far from healthy. So .. I’ve started politely declining offers to “get out” and instead, have been bringing my lunch.  I usually leave my office and run a quick errand, then eat when I come back.  That allows me to break away from my work and I am rewarded with something tasty, colorful and delicious when I return: Win-Win!

I am gluten-sensitive (not intolerant …just sensitive. Think of me and gluten like certain relatives … we get along, but it’s really best we don’t see each too often).  To that end, I rarely eat bread, pasta, or anything containing flour.   So, for me, sandwiches and wraps are not something I can count on for lunch.   Leftovers stay in at home for the hubbs, who works out of the  house.  And salads?  I love salads but also get bored easily and … sometimes I just want to eat something warm & aromatic at lunch.

I’ve found a solution!

At the start of the week, I chop up the following (you can use whatever vegetables you want, these are just ones I like and know will hold up well).

  • 2 Yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 Zucchini, chopped
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 red (or green) pepper, sliced into bite sized squares
  • 8-10 sliced mushrooms
  • A handful of fresh green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
  • A handful of “broco-slaw” (shredded broccoli, carrots & coleslaw, found in the salad section – yum)
  • Seasonings!  I like (salt-free) Mrs. Dash ( I like regular & onion ). You can also use cayenne, onion powder or flakes, fresh garlic or garlic powder.  Get jiggy with it!
  • A splash of low-sodium soya sauce
  • Vegetable oil for cooking

easy peasy veggie stir fry; an emjayandthem photo

Directions:

Chop all vegetables and set aside.

Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan and, on medium heat, heat up the oil. You want the oil hot enough to “sizzle” when the veggies hit it but not so hot that there’s smoke.  (If the smoke alarm goes off .. it’s too hot.  Back that thing up!)

Gently pour your vegetables into the oil (no sudden moves or the oil will splash and burn you – done it, got the marks to prove it).

Turn the heat up to medium-high and, with 2 spoons, continually toss the veggies so that they start to cook.  Add your seasonings liberally now. Cook and continue tossing for ~5 -7 min tops (I like my vegetables to be a bit crunchy when I eat them).   If you don’t, just cook a little longer.  A good indicator?  The onions.  They will turn from milky white to nearly clear when cooked.

When you’re nearly ready to turn the heat off, pour a splash of low-sodium soya sauce over the mixture and toss to distribute.  Let mixture sit in the pan for a few minutes then eat or let cool and store in the refrigerator.

I love to eat this stir fry mixture with:

  • Grilled chicken or turkey
  • Grilled Salmon, tuna or mahi-mahi
  • I’ve even thrown a leftover burger in there…

You could add chopped tofu if you’re into that; I’m not, it’s a texture thing for me **shudder**.

And that’s it.  The combo of veggies easily makes 5-6 servings and keeps wonderfully (unlike pre cut lettuce that turns orange 5 minutes after the bag is opened .. ugh).  It’s handy to have on hand when I’m tired or get home later than planned; this is important to me because those are the moments temptations are likely to win.

Fixed any new dishes that you’re really enjoying? Please share! 

Categories: Blogging, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Life, Personal, Recipes, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Useful Information | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

A Simple, Village Undertaker

A Look Out My Window…header photo of Galway Bay, by Elissa Visotski

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Waiting for the Karma Truck

thoughts on the spaces in between

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by three opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Grit & Honey

Women clothed in strength. Your story isn't over yet.

Live & Learn

David Kanigan

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

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

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Flamidwyfe's Blog

Midwifing women all over the world!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Care Packages for Deployed U.S. Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, First Responders & Military Children

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

Holy Ghost Bumps

...For when I am weak, then I am STRONG. 2 Corinthians 12:10

She's a Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

security is for cadavers

"One can attain a high degree of security in a prison cell if that's all he wants out of life." - Dwight Eisenhower

Stevil

Death Before Sour Mix

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

Kathryn M. McCullough

Author, Artist, Expat

Iced Tea with Lemon's Blog

Random Thoughts by Karen

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

A prairie woman choosing to enjoy each season, in weather and in life

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

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

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...