Monthly Archives: February 2014

Random five Friday and it’s all right

The last Friday in February! Wow, here we are.  Seemed like 2 weeks ago it was … Christmas.

Here are my random 5’s for today:

1.  A week ago I wrote about Eagles & Crows. The next day, out of the blue, I received a highly complimentary email from a top executive in my company about a project I’ve led and excelled at.  The best part?  The crow was copied on it.   Karma!    🙂

2.  I started to complain about today’s -9F temps when I saw this snapshot from my homeland in Saskatchewan, Canada.  I stopped right then and there.

Yes it's in Celsius but at -40, Fahrenheit and Celsius ARE the same!

Yes it’s in Celsius but at -40, Fahrenheit and Celsius ARE the same!

3.  Today, I’ve loaded up the Jeep with my tunes and coffee and the Garmin and am off to points North for meetings with community leaders and business owners.  Next to solving problems, this is the part of my job I love most.  Why?  It’s different every time. I get out of the office, I meet new people, develop relationships and stretch myself.  It’s good. Real good.

4. Did I mention the tunes?   Road trips mean I can put the Mp3 player on shuffle and see who pops on.   Heard this the other day, and it’s been all right ever since.

5. It’s Friday.  And I’m ready for it!!

amen to that!

amen to that!

What song makes you want to crank up the volume and sing?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Opinion, Politics, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Summer dreams

We’re in for another wintry blast this week.

An Arctic Vortex.


Sick of it yet?

I am.

I’m not even that sick of the cold, the wind, the ice. I’m sick of the topic!

So, after my workout last night, as the sweat cooled and my skin started to chill, I thought of days of summer.

And when I think of summer days, I think of afternoons spent like this:


Ahh …

I feel warmer already!  🙂

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America


Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Humor, Life, Quotes, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random 5 Friday .. the pm version

Here we are again, peeps.  Random 5 Friday is back and I give you the Friday night edition!

1) Normally on Friday nights, I’d be out doing something with Hubbs. Dinner. Meeting up with friends. Something.  OR we might be stay in and sit near the fire. Not tonight. After his disastrous travel schedule a few weeks back, he had back to back meetings and ended up sick with the flu this week. He did like I did .. he worked through – as in worked his job — and I think that when you do that, you end up with “it” longer.  So, tonight’s not date night at my house, it’s Alka-Seltzer-Plus and Puffs, Vicks-Vapo-Rub and extra blankies night.   Poor guy.

2) On the way home, in the driving sleet, I thought, “Hey, maybe I should take this opportunity to reorganize some closets and do some deep cleaning!”  And then good sense got the better of me and I stopped for a pizza, ginger ale for hubbs, a couple of Lime Beers for me, turned on the tunes and settled in to listen to the wind howl away the night.

3) #2 reminds me that I don’t really like a routine without him in it.   Probably should tell him that.  But not tonight. He’s under 2 blankets and moaning.  At this point, he needs space ….. without me in it, unless I’m bringing him ginger ale or soup.  Poor guy!

4)  A week from Monday, I fly off to our nation’s capital.  Like I mentioned last year in Milestones, not that long ago I wasn’t even a citizen of this great country.  I could pay taxes, but I couldn’t vote.  I felt like a bystander. But soon I’m off to the highest Governmental offices in the land to represent my company and our business.  Pretty. Sweet.  Pretty. Surreal.  Pretty… Awesome!

5) I saw this today and it not only made me laugh, now the song is stuck in my head:



Do you remember that song? What’s your Random 5, this chilly Friday night?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Life, Love, Patriotic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Crows and Eagles

I work with someone who is toxic and negative; it’s hard to take.

Most days, I manage to not let the behavior and snarkiness get me down but there are just as many moments when I feel myself getting overwhelmed. It’s in those times that I feel the negativity seeping in and my joy slipping away.  And I don’t like it. Don’t like it one bit.

And then, I read this quote and laughed out loud. And as I read it again, I knew you had to see it too. 

Because, as he says,  we all know someone like this.

Remember — Crows can’t hang with eagles. The eagle has pests, one of which is the crow. He’s always squawking, always causing the eagle trouble. The truth is we all have a few crows in our life. When the eagle takes off, often a crow will come up right behind & start to pester, aggravate & annoy. You are an eagle, made in the image of God. Turkeys, chickens & crows cannot live at the altitude for which you were designed to soar. Be an eagle … rise up & above and leave them behind.” ~Joel Osteen

I wish you a happy & peck-free day!

> > > >

Do you know someone like this? Are you able to soar above? 


Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Growth, Home, Life, Personal, Random, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Stop the story

My favorite local book store made the painful decision to close one of its locations.

It wasn’t a location I visited often because the reason they’re closing is the same reason I didn’t go there much.


You could turn in, but not out easily.

You cannot cross the street and drive straight to their lot, you have to turn right then cross three lanes of insane traffic.

I get a literary thrill from cozying up with a great read but I’m not risking my life for written adventures.

Schuler books, half off. Not going.

Schuler books, half off. Not going.

And I know I could save money and pick up some great reads by patronizing the sale.

But I’m not doing it. Call me foolish. Don’t care.

The ones combing through the deals are the same who’ve never popped in on a winter’s night, to peruse and ponder and delight in a beautiful brick-and-mortar store.    They’re like long-lost relatives picking through an estate sale, and I just don’t want to be part of it.

I’ll say good-bye from here.

 “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”  ― Frank Herbert

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Life, Personal, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Random Five … Sunday

1. The sun was out yesterday – all day long.  It. Was. Glorious.   More than once, I found myself near the window, soaking up the warmth like a lizard on a lounge chair.   Ahh.

2. Today I’m off to meet our great-nephew and deliver some yummy foods to the weary parents.  TLC Chicken Spaghetti, Home-made soup, cheesy biscuits and Game Day (Heath Bar) Brownies.   This isn’t my first rodeo, and I know exactly what new parents need:  creamy, yummy, easy to warm up and a pop of chocolate at 3 a.m.  The neat thing? I’m bringing Hubbs’ Auntie with me so we will have 4 generations together and the little guy will meet his great auntie and his great-great auntie in the same day.

When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.

3.  Hubbs is headed to the golf show today with one of his best buds.  You would think they won the lotto as they are that excited.  Recently, he was awarded some extra $$ for his efforts at work and I suggested that since he did the work he should spend it on something he wants .. like golf.  Well,  it didn’t take long for golf show plans to come together.  The twinkle in his eye can be spotted from across the room. 🙂

4.  After the food delivery and the golf show delights, he & his buddy and me & buddy’s wife are meeting up for eats and greets today. NO cooking this Sunday, and that’s just fine with me.

5.  I don’t know if it’s getting older or just having a lot on my mind, but more often than not, I get the “here-afters.”  (I come into a room and wonder what I’m here after!)  Then I saw this cartoon and laughed out loud.  Yep, I can relate.  You?

a little bit too true sometimes!

a little bit too true sometimes!

Happy Sunday, peeps.

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Personal, Random observations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

My first true love

Valentines Day was great when I was a kid.

It was a happy fun day to hurry through Math and wait for the parties to start.   Our mothers would come to school and cluck and fuss and spread heart-shaped treats and love through our classrooms.

mmm good;

mmm good;

We’d decorate shoe boxes in hopes of a Valentine overload… and sometimes those wishes came true.

You see I’d grown up loved.

I had siblings and cousins, Grandparents and Aunties, Uncles and friends and kitties and ponies, dogs and more.  I don’t remember anyone saying “I love you” as much as just knowing … that they did.

Later on, I had my share of boyfriends, some more serious than others, and yes I even grew up and got married – but to the wrong guy.  ( I did meet the right one later on — otherwise known as “Hubbs.”)

But it wasn’t until I became a Mom that I really understood what love – true love – was all about.

Real love. Deep love.  The kind of love that makes your heart-hurt-sometimes love.

It was a little green-eyed curly-haired moppet who claimed me.  Once I loved him, I didn’t know how my heart could hold any more.

He didn't like the grass on his toes. And I had short hair .. never again. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

He didn’t like the grass on his toes. And I had short hair .. never again. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

When I realized, pretty early on, that the “shine was off the penny” (the marriage was a mistake), I knew there was no way I was going anywhere without my boy.

That face!  My boy. My first true love.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

That face! My boy. My first true love. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

In the thick of the divorce, I remember my mother-in-law calling Mom to try and talk me into staying.   Mom’s response?  “My daughter would rather live in a tent and eat dirt before she stays and you’d be wise not to get in her way.”

My Mom.  All 119 lbs of her. God, I love her.

She’s the one who taught me.  It was her their example I followed.

Mom & Dad, An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Mom & Dad, An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Not always having enough, but making whatever we did … special and joyful.

Youngest boy now has that guitar; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

A simple Tuesday night made fun; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

And so, I remember with great joy, my little guy’s first Valentine’s party in pre-school. I got the afternoon off work, and arrived in time to cluck and fuss and spread heart-shaped treats and love throughout his classroom.

His 5th birthday; I met Mr. Hubbs a month later. Our fates were forever changed.  And Emjayandthem (C) photo

His 5th birthday; I met Mr. Hubbs a month later and our fates were forever changed. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

She’d done it for me and it was in doing for him that I realized we’d be OK.

Why?  Because when you’ve been loved … you can love.

My Boo and that Broad-shouldered Michigan man .. shortly before our wedding.  And Emjayandthem (C) photo

My Boo and that Broad-shouldered Michigan man .. shortly before our wedding. And Emjayandthem (C) photo

Last night, on a spur of the moment, I met that boy for supper.  Hubbs had a work engagement and youngest boy was working so it was just the four of us.

Him and I and the two little chirpy ones had a great visit, some yummy food, and moments of hilarity around the table.  When my grandson corrected my granddaughter, my boy looked at me and smiled as if to say “you know what this is all about don’t you.”  A single Dad with two wee ones in his care, one a “step,” although he doesn’t call him that. Others do.  He just says “this is my son.”

Adult life hasn’t been easy for him and I know the walk he’s walking and the trials he faces.  We do our best to help him know that the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t have to always be an oncoming train.

Someday, I hope he will see that he’s been loved, and because of that, he can love, too.  I hope he meets someone wonderful who will love him for him and accept them for them and who might just go out of her way to make a Tuesday night something special.

Boo & his boy, A.B.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Boo & his boy, A.B. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

smiling wee ones tonight, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

smiling wee ones last night, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

So, as Valentines Day nears, it’s not the flowers or the candy or the parties that I think of, although they’re sweet childhood memories.  Who comes to mind on Valentines is my first true love.

My Boo Bear. All 6’2″ of him.

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Faith, Family, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Mom, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Random Five Friday … in February

It’s Friday, whoop whoop!  Time for 5 random thoughts from the house of MJ. Here we go.

1.  Sunshine.  A miracle occurred earlier this week – the clouds disappeared and the sun came out and me & my office mates chitter-chattered like squirrels.   For about 42 minutes, it was glorious.  The end.

photo credit - National Geographic

Sunshine?  More please! photo credit – National Geographic

2.  Roof rakes.  Ever heard of this?  Invented no doubt by a hearty mid-westerner, this cool little contraption allows the user to rake the snow off the roof.  In a burst of brilliance, I gave it a go one day last weekend.  I’m 5’2″, the roof is roughly 400′ in the air.  It worked great till I reached one of the highest points where the rake’s head popped off and stayed .. on the roof.  Lucky for me, youngest kid witnessed my debacle and his 6’3″ self came to my rescue.  I put it back together, wiped the snow off and went back in the house where I belong.  The end.

This isn't me or my house. This is Shirl in St. Paul having a grand old time with her roof rake.  Photo credit,d.aWc&psig=AFQjCNGADYanIxhEacdG_7yTyNlzMPLidg&ust=1391861937053946

This isn’t me or my house. This is Shirl in St. Paul having a grand old time with her roof rake. Photo credit

3.  Winter Olympics!  Curling! Skiing! Skating! Hockey! I feel like I’m back in the Motherland.  And is there anyone ever more excited than a figure skating announcer?? Triple-double-salchow- he NAILED IT!  I dig the Winter Olympics and I’m not afraid to say it. The end.

Curling is my sentimental favorite, although we were never quite as colorful as the Norwegian Curling Team is!! google.images

Curling might be my sentimental favorite, although we were never quite as colorful as the Norwegian Curling Team is!! google.images

4. Chores.  Chores – getting gas – groceries – everything – is more difficult in winter.  Hubbs and I divided & conquered yesterday. He stopped and purchased and hauled in all the heavy stuff that’s hard for me to do (paper products, cases of water, canned goods, frozen foods etc) and I made a “produce” run on my way home; produce derails him every time. We’re feeling like geniuses and it only took us 23 years to learn this!  The end.

5. 41 days till Spring. Technically anyways. Last year we had snow in April but  I’m not going there right now.  Just 41 days, peeps.  The end.



Care to share your “Random 5” with me?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Random, Random observations, Sports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Plans, reality and vitamins

So … on Friday I wrote about how I was looking forward to Hubbs coming home on Saturday morning.  Well, let’s just say that things didn’t go exactly as planned.

the best laid plans ... google.images

the best laid plans … google.images

His saga started when the taxi didn’t show up at the hotel … at 4:30 a.m.  A last minute ride got them to the airport in time for the 7:00 a.m. flight to Atlanta.  Where he soon found most flights to MI — xlld.

To put it mildly, he was “fit to be tied.”  The travel agency … useless.  The airline … nonchalant.

Surrounded by other stranded and road-weary passengers, he did the only thing he could think of …he quietly approached a gate agent and stayed calm.  Eventually, the agent found Hubbs a flight to Detroit with a possible connection to Grand Rapids. But no guarantees and no promises.

He fell asleep before take-off and found himself landing in Winter Storm Maximus (and when did we start naming storms, anyways?)

he landed in the pink

he landed in the pink

Not to be deterred, he grabbed a rental car with the warning that road conditions were extremely dicey, with many cars in the ditch… and made the 3 hour drive in 6.   He’s pretty sure his finger nails are still in the steering wheel of that Chrysler.

Returning the car, he retrieved his SUV and pulled into our garage around 9:00 p.m., 10 hours past his expected arrival time.  He looked dreadful, was shaking cold, pale, hungry and stressed.  But, he was home.

A few servings of Poor Man’s Chop Suey, a shower, a chat and .. off to bed.

Today, the ole boy has a skip in his step. It’s Super Bowl Sunday and friends are joining us later to watch the game.  We’ll enjoy wings and snacks, subs and soup and Game Day brownies.

We both took tomorrow off so today really feels like a Saturday.  A Saturday with a warm house, a happy wife, a contented hubby and gratitude.  Lots of gratitude.

google images

google images

What are you thankful for today?

Categories: Determination, Family, fear, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Men, Personal, Recipes, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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