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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Silly love songs

Ever hear a random song that takes you right back to your youth?

There’s many that do that to me. Dr. Hook’s: “Only Sixteen.”  The Carpenter’s “Close to you.” Peter Frampton’s “Baby I love your way.”

But one that catches me singing along every time, is this one:

And what’s wrong with that? I need to know? Cause here I go …. again ….

What song(s) take you back?

P.S. Did Linda have a gullet (girl-mullet)?

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Categories: Family, Friendship, Fun, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Why I ate the cake

My birthday’s come & gone. What lingers are the kind wishes, the sweet notes, the hilarious cards and the thoughtful presents.

Hubbs hosted a party for family & friends; some showed, a few didn’t.   But the ones who did came to have fun and boy was it ever fun!  We visited, we laughed, we teared up and we sang along. We ate, we drank, and we danced till our feet were sore and our faces hurt from laughing.

We enjoyed a meal together and later, there was cake. A huge cake. The kind of cake I like, the kind with the whipped frosting that’s more creamy than it is sweet.   The kind of cake the old guys giggled over and ladies were heard saying “oh I really shouldn’t” as they did.  The one that serves 90 but was decimated by 50.

the very big cake

the very big cake

I ate the cake because even though I don’t do that every day I’ve also grown to realize there are times in life when we should just stop all the fussin’ and enjoy what’s right in front of us.

Would you agree?

A slice of cake never made anyone fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what is served on the happiest days of your life.” ― Jeanne Ray, Eat Cake

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Something to look forward to

I am not sure when it happened, but there’s been a shift again.  This morning, I feel it more than ever.

Yes it has something to do with turning 50 in a couple of days. But, that’s not all of it.

The shift has to do with de-junkifying my life.

Taking a hard look at who’s in it, and who’s not. Thinking about what I’m doing, how I’m spending my days and who I’m spending them with.

Removing the naysayers, peeling away the negative Nancy’s and resisting the urge to fill up the friendship cupboard with more of the same.

It started with Facebook, with a few relatives who tend to make snarpy comments and/or comment on my commenting.  Whatever.  I started out meekly, like a playground survivor, quietly hiding them from my posts and page. Today I took control and hit the “unfriend” button.

I can’t tell you how liberating that feels.

I used my own logic:  Friends don’t act like this. Not anyone I want to be friends with anyways.

Deleted – done – gone — ahhh.

It’s happened in our personal life, too.

I’ve said no to things I don’t want to do. I’ve stopped doing for everyone.

I’ve.  Just. Stopped.

It’s not about getting older and being tired and losing interest. It’s about getting older and realizing I am interested and interesting and that I don’t  have to do it all to be loved.

I don’t have to justify who I am or wonder if someone likes me for me and not just what I will do for them.

I like me for me and finally, finally, that’s enough.

Life. It’s something to look forward to.

“I like who I am now. Other people may not. I’m comfortable. I feel freer now. I don’t want growing older to matter to me.” ― Meryl Streep

Have you ever experienced a shift like this?

related

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, fear, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

on Dads

It’s Father’s Day and, of course, the boys having been “doing”  for their Dad. There was a round of golf with oldest boy yesterday and a mound of chocolate from youngest waiting for him when he woke up.  There’s laughter and joking and heartfelt moments of advice and compassion, too.

He had the whole day to do whatever he wants and a most of it he’s filled with breakfast, baseball, peace, quiet and me.

He’s a Dad who can handle the teasing two boys can generate, has the character to show them the way & expect them to follow;  the heart of a gladiator, the loyalty of a lion.

He’s a Dad that a 5-year-old fell in love with long before Mom had the courage to, the Dad who welcomed another son two years later but insisted they both would have the same last name.  Growing up in a blended family, he knew the confusion brothers can feel when their names are different.

He’s a Dad who learned the hard way that brothers can be taken from us tragically so they should be treasured, not just tolerated. He’s the Dad who encourages others to spend time with their brothers, adding quietly, “I wish I still had mine.”

He’s a Dad who taught them to love and respect Mom and that giving your word only means something if you actually do.

He’s a Dad who doesn’t take any “guff” and is the first to speak up and correct them if they need it. He’s also the first one to fill their tanks or slip them $10 when they least expect it.

He’s a Dad who coached, trained, lifted, held, counseled, taught, cared and, most importantly, showed up.

I had a great Dad, and he was kind, funny and loving.

My boys have a great Dad, he’s kind, funny and loving.

Today, more than ever, I appreciate the man Mom chose for our Dad. And for teaching me what to look for when I picked out one for my children.

boys & dad

Happy Father’s Day, Hubbs.

“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.”  ~Author Unknown

Categories: Faith, Family, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 18 Comments

The fear of the fear

I read a passage recently that really resonated with me. Loosely translated it reads that, “everyone has some type of post-traumatic stress, but many of us suffer from pre traumatic stress.” What is that?  The fear of a fear. We fear something that hasn’t even happened yet and may not ever happen to us.

When you think of all the things you accomplish regularly and how you manage challenges that show up in your life, doesn’t it make you wonder why we have such fears?   Think about it: most of the stuff we worry never comes true anyways.   I’ll forget. I’ll look stupid. They’ll laugh at me. I won’t know what to do.

I thought back to a former boss’ stories about attending community meetings and nearly being run out-of-town “on a rail.”  He was there representing the company we work for and, at that time, we weren’t thought of very highly. He talked of getting into red-faced shouting matches with officials.  Now, bear in mind,  I never experienced what he went through but, along the way, I picked up on his anxiety .. and carried it with me.  I listened to his stories in horror and developed a healthy fear of that happening to me. I developed … a fear of the fear.

After reading that quote earlier this week,  it dawned on me that, in my new job, I’m doing a lot of speaking in front of community officials. Guess what? I’m doing just fine.  Some talks have been delicate and some have been challenging but all have been professional.  There’s been no rails to be found anywhere.

I had no idea,  until I read that passage, that I’d developed a fear of the fear.   Unwittingly, new experiences have let me through most of it. Yes, I still feel a tug when asked to meet with certain groups, especially if a contentious history is known, but every time I do so, I get a little better and that gives me confidence to step past the fear.

Interesting stuff we do to ourselves.

Have you ever developed a fear of a fear? Do tell.

Some days I'm the mouse, other days the cat!

Some days I’m the mouse, other days I’m the cat!

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

Categories: Confidence at any age, Faith, fear, Growth, Home, Life, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Pure Michigan

Today, I’m happy to have a road trip.

Today, I’m even happier I can pack a healthy lunch to take with me.

Today, I’m headed to Saginaw, Michigan and no, there’s no major highways in sight.

Nope, I chose the more rural route.

I know it will take longer as there’s only two lanes for most of the way.

But that’s OK with me.

Because today I’m heading out to see farms and fields and Amish bread stands.  Seeders and tillers and market gardens.  Local country stores and farm trucks headed for town.

Today, I’m heading out .. to Pure Michigan.

Where are you headed today?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Fun, Joy, Life, Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

on Communicating

Most of the time,  Hubbs and I communicate pretty well.

He’s a planner, even more so than me. It’s the Virgo in him.  You can set your watch to this guy.

He’s the one who taught me to speak up about where I’m going and what I’m up to and what time you can expect me to be somewhere.  Being a Gemini, I’d never much considered telling anyone all that. But, as we dated, I seemed to have a knack for frustrating him. If he said “let’s meet at such and such place at this time” he’d be there. Early. Every time.  Not so with me. I’d be there, on time, or shortly thereafter. I’d see him look at his watch and sigh and give me the look.   Quite honestly, it was annoying.

It took me a few years to understand that when I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work without saying anything ahead of time, that action caused him anxiety. I thought he was ridiculous. He thought I was uncaring.

It took him explaining the knot he got in his stomach when I wasn’t where he thought I’d be. It took him referencing his brother’s sudden death for me to understand that my actions were actually causing him pain. When I wasn’t where I said I’d be, his first thought, his first instinct, was that I was lost to him … forever.

Geez that’s heavy stuff.

But in the 22 years we’ve known each other, I’ve grown.  I’ve learned to communicate proactively, to share my plans because someone else cares to know. I’ve learned that speaking up doesn’t mean surrendering a part of me, it means caring for another, too.

But even after all that, we still have our moments when I think we’re talking two different  languages.

I’m all about words, kinda obvious, since I write a blog. 🙂

He’s a quieter guy who doesn’t always want to talk.

I can talk about anything and often do.

He relishes silence.

So the other day when he commented about “having to clean out the dryer lint drawer cause no one else ever does” what I heard was “you’re an inept housekeeper and whatever you do will never be good enough for me.”

That’s not what he said, but that is what I heard.

And that’s when the snarping started.

I understand now what he was really saying: See me.

I understand now what I was really saying: See me.

Later today, I’m heading out to run a few errands. The 9-year-old in me doesn’t want to tell anyone where she’s off to.  The woman in me commented on the amazingly clean lint drawer and referenced stops at the dry cleaners and gas station.

# # #

How do you and your loves communicate?  Has it changed over time?

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
― C. JoyBell C.

related – Virgo and the Circus

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Till next time

Well, they’ve come and they’ve gone.

My Mom, Sister and I had 6 full days together. Add in Hubbs, the boys, grand kids, good friends + Frankie the dog and that garnered us many hilarious and heartfelt moments.  More than once “the look” was exchanged between my sister and me, and all of us laughed ’till our faces ached.

a custom snack bar in their hotel suite :)

They thought the custom snack bar in the hotel suite was awesome 🙂

We enjoyed Tigers baseball in the garage, sunshine on the patio, and meals in and out. We talked politics and current affairs and updates on family, far and wide.  A familiar pinch was felt as we watched the boys hug Nana, their height dwarfing her by a country mile.   And I’ll never forget how wide her grin was when they did.

Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Sister and I had time together in the kitchen, prepping and chatting and singing along to songs like we’d always done.  She can relax with me and let her silly side out, which she did more than once.  Her delighted giggles echo in my head still.

Probably should stick to cooking, not photography!

Probably should stick to cooking, not photography!

It was worth it you know. The cleaning, the prep, our efforts to make it all “just so.”

The boys called me out on that, too, urging me to “just relax, have fun, and don’t worry about stuff so much.”  A funny thing that is, hearing my words coming back to me in their voices.

I took their advice & we had a blast winning on the penny machine!

The grands made themselves known and many, many photos were snapped. Priceless.

Frankie's rexhausted!

Frankie’s rexhausted!

Yes, the visit was deep, the emotions were wide, and the ache I feel will have to last me … till next time.

We cannot destroy kindred:  our chains stretch a little sometimes, but they never break.”  ~Marquise de Sévigné

Mom and her only great grand-Daughter, MJ

Mom and her only great grand-Daughter, MJ

Categories: Faith, Family, Fun, Home, Joy, Mom, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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