Monthly Archives: August 2011

Baby you can drive my car

fit for the king & me... MJ's new(er) wheels

I bought a new(er) vehicle yesterday. Me!

The gal who keeps her vehicles for-ever to the ever.

My current wheels?  An 8-year-old Chevy SUV with 59,000 miles banked.

That’s right, lovies. I only have 9 – count ’em – 9 miles to the office :).

I travel, on average, about an extra thousand miles for work related “stuff” annually.

The only reason I’m buying “new(er)” now is because the kid needs wheels (and has the $$ saved to buy mine).

So … rather than find him a vehicle with a history unknown, we’ve made this one available at a most reasonable cost.

Which meant new(er) car shoppin’ for me – Whee!

I spent hours sleuthing the internet. I became best friends with Edmunds and KBB, and, oh I knew what I was after: 4 wheel drive, decent gas mileage, low miles and what else .. a rocking sound system!

I took a few new(er) vehicles for a spin.  Like Goldilocks, some were too big, some were too small .. but this one?   This one was just right.

It handles great. Has low miles. Looks snazzy. Comes with 4×4 capability to navigate our heavy Michigan snow.  Gets good gas mileage. No scratches, dents or accidents.

What, you may ask, was my personal test?

        Heh heh … Let’s see how he sounds in here……. Hooah!

Me and Elvis are picking ‘er up tonight….  Thank yew very much. 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Fun, Gratitude, Joy, music, Opinion, Random, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

On risk taking

“Success always involves risk; you can’t steal second base with your foot on first.” – Frederick Wilcox

So I’ve really been wanting to take some classes of late.  Craving them actually.

I took a 2 hour blogging class last October, learned some great tips and met new friends. Win:Win!  My little blog has brought me nothing but joy .. and provided me with a creative outlet and community I never knew I belonged to. Until I experienced it.

But, because of budget cuts, many “adult education” classes formerly offered have been cut back. Way back.  As in … gone.

What’s left are a hodge-podge of computing skills, crafting and fitness how-tos.  I know what I need to on the first, can skip the second and the latter, while of interest, mostly take place while I’m at work.


Doing a little sleuthing, I remembered that a former colleague started a Life Coaching business some time ago and that she offers a “Vision Board” class.  A class I’d really like to take. On the other side of the state.  With no dates that work for me in the foreseeable future.


Then, one day, it just came to me: Organize it.

In a matter of hours, I narrowed down a location, picked a few dates that would work for me and contacted Coach Beth.  Yes, she’d drive over to my area to do the class, in fact she thought it sounded like fun!

I didn’t start a new business. I didn’t spend a bunch of money. I haven’t done anything drastic.

But here’s what I did do:

I stepped out of my comfort zone and reached out to others I don’t know well but want to.

I dusted off old skills from my bag-o-tricks – networking, organizing, event planning, and coordinating.

I’ve organized, strategized and am having a blast promoting it.

And now, at the end of the day, it’s a simple as this: I listened to that voice who said: “Organize it.”

Sure there remain a few  details to be worked out but – phssh – compared to all the stuff  I used to do for everyone else (and stopped doing) … this is easy-breezy-Covergirl material!

And … yes the workshop is for others but, for once, it’s just as much for me.

Risk.   It doesn’t have to be a four letter word.

* * *

What have you been thinking about doing? 

What’s stopping you from starting?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Friendship, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

On attitudes

Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.” – Unknown

image from

It’s Monday and I’m up early with time to stop at my favorite coffee house.  That’s something to smile about.  🙂

Have a great day!

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | 14 Comments

Just think …

my little Church on the prairie

Jacob cheated.

Peter had a temper.

David had an affair.

Noah got drunk.

Jonah ran from God.

Paul committed murder.

Gideon was insecure.

Miriam gossiped.

Martha worried.

Thomas doubted.

Sara was impatient.

Elijah was moody.

Moses stuttered.

Zacchaeus was short.

Abraham was old and

Lazarus was dead.

 He doesn’t call the qualified,

He qualifies the called!

It’s comforting to know that even though we aren’t perfect …

He‘s at work in our lives … anyways.


P.S. Heartfelt prayers for friends & colleagues and everyone along the East Coast. xo

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Joy, Love, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized | 20 Comments

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

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Yes, it really is that good.

Don’t believe me? Take it from The Pioneer Woman who blogs about all kinds of life, family and yummy goodness over at her site found here .

Now, I’ve made this Sheet cake twice in a 3 week span and for two totally different get-togethers.  Elderly Uncles loosened their belts, Aunties moaned, children hovered and grown men darned near cried.  Women, trusted friends, took an extra piece home with them just … because.  Single friends of the hubbs gave him an all-knowing look that says you lucky ….

I’ve abstained in the crowd but enjoyed a sliver with coffee the next morning and I have to say that tremendous housecleaning abilities soon followed.

Dieters beware.

This cake contains just under 4 – count ‘em – 4 sticks of butter.  8 tablespoons of cocoa.  White Sugar AND powdered sugar.  But … one bite and your eyes will roll back in your head, toes will curl and you might just leave a scratch on the sides of your breakfast table. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For the Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever  mosey on over to the Pioneer Woman’s site where you can print off this recipe and bake it to your heart’s delight.  Claim it as your own, I don’t care. But be warned: you might want to wear something stretchy.

Here’s the link!

Categories: Food, Friendship, Fun, Home, Joy, Opinion, Recipes, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , | 21 Comments

I felt the earth move … under my feet

image courtesy of

Sitting in my West Michigan office earlier today, my chair started to sway. I felt light-headed, like I was experiencing BPPV all over again. Instant dread took hold.  But – as soon as it was happening, it seemed to pass. “That’s weird, I thought.”   Because I regularly battle low blood sugar, I immediately reached for a high protein snack.

Moving on to next task at hand, I didn’t think anything more about it until I read of the earthquake that took place in Virginia today around 1:51 pm E.T.   I knew that had to be it.

AP reports indicate that this was one of the largest ever recorded earthquakes in the DC area. The depth of the quake was only around a 1/2 a mile and that explains why so many felt it.

Immediately I thought of old friends .. and new blogging friends .. in and around that area.

I thought of all those who’d survived 9-11 in DC, New York and Pennsylvania and wondered if this caused instant panic in them, too.

I said a silent prayer that no one would be hurt or worse yet, killed.

How about you?  Did you feel the earthquake today?

Categories: Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

On Baggage

image from

“We all have baggage; let’s resolve to only have carry-on” – Anonymous

I’ve got a trip coming up that I’m excited and a little nervous about: a trip “home”  to visit Mom on the family farm.

What I hope for most is lots of uninterrupted time with her.   Time to talk, time to laugh, time to reminisce and time to make new memories.

When you see your mother only once a year, you can get a little stingy with how those minutes are spent.

Don’t want to share. Don’t care to go see so and so. Don’t really want anyone to know I’m there.

I want to linger in the morning sunshine, drinking coffee with her and forget that I’m “on the clock” and will have to board a plane again soon. I want to stay up too late watching the evening news peppered with our opinions on world events and family nuances. I want to stand at her stove and cook for her while singing to Willie, Elvis and Roy, like we did when I was a girl.

I just want to spend time with her.

I have one sister who has embraced my plan.  She “gets” it.  She lives nearby and is with Mom often. She’s seen her slow down and understands when I say, “Please don’t schedule too much while I’m there; I just want to be with her.”  She knows we’ll have a few outings or times when we’re all together for she wants to be near me, too.

I have another sister who’s informed me that I “just don’t get it.”  That she’s expecting me to come home and rifle through Mom’s things and convince her to move off the farm and closer to her. Which Mom doesn’t want to do.  The last thing I’m going to do is land on her doorstep and start doling out orders.

Pity the fool who tries it! Heh heh. 

I’m mindful of the fact that Mom’s getting older. We all are.

I’m mindful of the fact that things are changing and some decisions will need to be made.   But, in my mind, she gets a say, too.

So … instead, what I’m focusing on are those morning moments of sunshine and coffee, of old photo albums and a lemon loaf she’s made just for me.  I’m not a tourist; I’ve been there before.  I just want to be with her.

And I’m determined to arrive with only carry-on.

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Humor, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

And He tells me I am His own

In the Garden

*(one of my all time favorite Gospel songs)

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing

 And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known
I’d stay in the garden with Him
‘Tho the night around me be falling
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

– written by Jim Reeves

Elvis had said his earliest memories were singing Gospel songs in church with his Mother and Daddy; Is it any wonder he was laid to rest in a garden?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Joy, Love, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Consider …

“Coincidences are just God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

image from

Categories: Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Fun, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , | 12 Comments

The road less travelled

Advising one of our boys recently, I found myself in a deep discussion about doing the right thing.

I reminded him that,  in spite of someone’s hatefulness, when in doubt, he should always take the high road.

He tilted his head and gave me a look that said … explain please?

So I filled him in on the nuances of the “high road.”  How it’s a road most often  traveled alone.  It’s usually headed away from the masses.  It’s far from comfortable.  There’s plenty of goading, very few luxuries and not many rest stops along the way.

Then I assured him that when he’s on the high road he’ll know it because of how his heart feels. He will walk taller, stand straighter, have a whistle in his heart and a song on his lips.

He will know.


He will know he’s on the high road when he doesn’t see any of the “preachy” people he knows walking with him.

He will see the man who could take the extra cash and look the other way but doesn’t because it’s not the right thing to do.

He will see the woman who fed a lingering child without being sure how she’ll feed her own tomorrow.

He will see the couple working multiple jobs who still make time to check in and talk with an elderly neighbor.

He will see some with enough, a few with nothing, and most …. walking alone.

He will not see the Sunday Christians, the holy rollers or the damnation givers.

He will see himself in every single one of them and that’s when he’ll know:  he’ll know he’s following his soul’s journey to do what’s right  ..  in the eyes of God.

Categories: Family, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Lemons into Lemonade

I love this video.

Simply. Love. It.


Because it demonstrates how essential laughter is to our humanity.

In the video, “Dad” has received a rejection letter.  Watch baby’s reaction as Dad rips up said letter.

From what we see here … Dad could have stomped around, but didn’t.  He could have pouted, but didn’t.   Instead … he happened across a simple diversion that produced heartfelt joy.

Contagious joy.

Laughter is essential.  It releases endorphins that relax and rejuvenate us.  It connects us and it frees us .. all at once.

It’s awfully difficult to laugh and be angry at the same time.

Categories: Attitude, Charity, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Joy, Life, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

What do you see?

my prairie homeland

When I look at this picture I see so much.

I see five generations who’ve called it home.

I see farm implements eclipsed by time.

I see death-defying sledding hills.

I see prairie grasses dancing in the autumn sun.

I see white faced Herefords marching towards supper.

I see mama Meadowlark protecting her nest.

I see my hair whipping in the wind.

I see the ghosts of pony friends standing in the distance.

I see an endless sky.

When I look at this picture I see so much.

I see my childhood.

What do you see?

Categories: Animals, Family, Gratitude, Home, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

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