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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Insanity or just a good beat?

Saw this yesterday and my toe’s been a-tapping ever since.

Never.

Underestimate.

The.

Power.

Of.

Music.

“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” ― George Carlin. 

photo from dailymail.co.uk

photo from dailymail.co.uk

Be sure to click on the link below!  Happy Monday, peeps, and for goodness’ sakes – find a tune you love and dance to it today! 🙂

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Categories: Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Random Five Friday

It’s Friday. It’s random. Here we go!

1.  In case you haven’t heard, the NCAA College basketball tournament is on.  Hubbs was a basketball star in High School. Hubbs’ mouth waters at the mere mention of the word playoffs.  Tonight, we’ll hustle around and get to a favorite watering hole so he can watch his beloved teams with the herd Me?  I’m to basketball what Georgette was to the Mary Tyler Moore show.   Clueless.

I get that far-away look in my eyes as someone who doesn't know what the heck is going on. Where's my wings?

I get that far-away look in my eyes when basketball is on.  Thank goodness for Keno!

2. This was a better week at work. Why? The person I’ve been covering for during the last 6 months is finally out on leave. Indefinitely.  Why is that better? I’m doing the work anyways but now I’m doing it without a roadblock.  Smooth sailing ahead, baby!

3. On the treadmill the other night, I looked around and noticed the dust on the display panel. That’s an incentive to get myself up on the treadmill more often.

4. Speaking of dust, sometimes I get overwhelmed at our 4 level house and the attention it needs.  My solution?  Watch “Hoarders.” Trust me, 20 minutes of that and you’ll feel like a million bucks!

4. Highs of 45-50 this weekend, peeps!  Windows will be opened, dust will fly and I will bet money there’ll be Michiganders wearing shorts & a parka sitting at the Legion watching basketball!  Seen it.  Lived it. Know it.

silly kitty

There is no reason why this cat is in this post. His goofy pose just makes me laugh!

Happy Friday, peeps!

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Humor, Joy, Life, Men, Random, Sports, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Worth it

Every so often, another writer’s post touches my heart in such a way that I think about it long after I’ve stopped reading.

This one did.

It’s one man’s story of faith.  Of love. Of moments that matter.

Moments of grace and humor and serendipity.

One man’s story.

Read it here: http://richripley.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/the-touchstones-of-our-heart/

somehow this picture belongs here.  Google.images.com

He’ll understand why bacon is here! Google.images.com

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Grief, Growth, Home, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Imperfection, beauty and curves ahead

Mom used to say to us girls, “Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?”

I’m sure that was her way of making us all feel special, beautiful and unique.

You see my sisters, with their smooth blond hair falling into softly styled coifs, looked nothing like me.

I had a rats’ nest of brown curls and favored my brothers more than I ever did those two.

They were older and more sophisticated.  And then came me.

Ridiculous, giggly, curly-haired and more.

More on top and more on the bottom and just, well, more.

As we’ve gotten older, I’ve realized we’re more alike than we are not.  All of us have her in us. All of us catch ourselves saying things we heard her say growing up. And all of us have something unique to offer.

It’s taken me 40 years to accept what Mae West supposedly once said:

Cultivate your curves — they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.” ~Mae West

me & my seesters: an emjayandthem (c) photo

me & my seesters: an emjayandthem (c) photo

True that!

True that!

How much was your definition of beauty defined by comparison? Who set the beauty bar for you at a young age?  What helped you appreciate your own look or style?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Family, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Random Five Friday

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Let’s go!

1.  For as many vegetables and fruits as I eat most of the time, I still maintain that potato chips could be their own food group.  What naughty food could you make a meal out of?

2.   On Facebook, there are photo-sharing trends people enjoy like “Throwback Thursday” and “Flashback Friday.”  The newest one is “Wet-nosed Wednesday.”  I shared this picture of Frankie recently, it’s from last year,  taken about this time.  I love how he’s sleeping but not really.  And yes, we still miss the old boy.  It’s not as painful to speak of him now, but when we do, every one of us share watery-eyed smiles at the memories of the world’s greatest dog.

Frankie with one eye open, is lunch ready?  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Frankie with one eye open, is lunch ready? An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3.   Hubbs raced out to meet some of our friends to watch College Basketball last night.  Of course he asked if I wanted to go but I declined, citing work.  And I did work for a while, but when I got home, I opened the kitchen window, poured a glass of lemonade and surfed the TV for a bit.  In the quiet I found this beautiful and haunting documentary about elephants.  And I never want to support a circus again.  You’ll find this 40 minute program on HBO – and while some scenes are hard to watch – just as many that are soul-stirring.   Amazing.

4.   I don’t know if it’s the approach of Spring or just a need to purge but I’ve been on a cleaning kick of late.  When I was a girl and Mom announced it was time for “Spring Cleaning” I’d always prefer to be outside with the baby calves vs. inside washing walls and taking down curtains.  I’m glad I had to do all that because I know how to but … more importantly .. I understand the difference it makes in your home.   Some things aren’t as dirty as much as they are cluttered.  I start there …

Amen to that!

Amen to that!

5.   Speaking of cleaning, my favorite cleaning smell is still Lemon Pledge.  Why?  Because it takes me back to my childhood church – one sniff transports me to the hymnals, coffee percolating in the basement kitchen and the combined fragrance of Pledge and Pine Sol  – a scent that said this place is clean, this place is Holy; something so deeply ingrained that just a whiff today can take me immediately there.

I remember friendships and baby showers, funeral lunches and old-lady hugs. Christmas concerts and Easter Sundays, weddings and baptisms.  But mostly I remember the warmth of the  congregation and the soft presence of dear ones who left us years ago.

100_1235

my hometown Church: Macrorie United. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Happy Friday, friends!  What’s on your Random Five today?

Categories: Animals, Beauty, Faith, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Random, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Not missing it

It’s been another wild week at work.  For months now, I’ve been putting in a tonne of extra hours on a project that will last most of this year, and I’m also filling in for another who has been in and out with health issues. It’s exhausting and yes, I’m exhausted.

Feeling the pinch, I scheduled a day off for tomorrow.

Can’t really do it.  Probably shouldn’t do it. And to me, that’s a sure sign I need to do it.

Guess what I’m doing tomorrow?

Nothing in particular!

No chores. No cleaning. No cooking. No laundry. Nada.

No checking email. No returning phone calls. No work. None.

Coffee and blogs in the morning then lunch with my girlfriends. A pedicure. Open a few windows and roll in the day.  Evening with hubbs, tunes on the mp3 and a smile on my face.  Ahh.

google.images.com

google.images.com

Happy Spring! Happy Everything! Tell me where you are going today, even if it’s just a daydream at this point :).

Categories: Faith, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random March Friday – Roll with it

It’s here! Friday! Whoop!

1.  Been fighting a cold all week, trudging through my workout and work days and barely managing to haul my carcass out of bed every morning.  Daylight savings time kicks my behind every year.   I have never adapted to it and I doubt I ever will.  Why?  Read on.

2. Where I grew up, time didn’t change for any season or any one.  You adjusted  or you didn’t and there were no expectations about moving this or tweaking that.    You rolled with it, and that mentality has been instilled in me ever since.

Canadian Time Zones; google.com

Canadian Time Zones; google.com

3. After a busy week with my own job and department and covering for another (a role I never seem to shake) I got up early today, put on my out-of-office and called it a day. I have a capable team, my desk is in order and I happily crawled back to bed where I remained for several hours.  Ahhh.  Sometimes, we just need a time-out and if I’m the one to put me there, then so be it.

True that!

True that!

4.  Guess what sound we heard this week?  Snow … dripping off the roof.  A steady drip-drip-drip as the sun beamed brightly.   Could Spring be coming? I sure hope so.

5. Lastly, playing around with my cell phone, I tried out some new-to-me edits to a “selfie.” B&W, kinda fun, but where did my nose go?  🙂

goofing around with the cell camera :)

goofing around with the cell camera 🙂

Happy Friday, peeps!

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Kitchen songs

Growing up, the kitchen was (and still is) the heart of our home.

It’s where we cooked, cleaned up, finished school projects, ironed, held meetings, played board games, practiced 4-H speeches and always … always sang along to the radio.

There are songs from that time that stick in my memory as “kitchen songs” – ones I first heard on Mom’s a.m. radio (we lived too far in the country to pick up an f.m. signal).

Songs by Ray Price and Conway Twitty,  Gordon Lightfoot and Don Williams.  Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, Ann Murray and always a dose of Willie Nelson thrown in for good measure.

I’ve written before that I grew up at the racetrack, and I’ve written of the friends I’ve lost from there.  But what I didn’t connect until recently was how our kitchen and that world were bridged by music.

In the winner's circle with my parents

In the winner’s circle with my parents; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

You see, one summer, a highly winning mare we’d raised went to stay at a neighboring farm for breeding purposes.  Well, it seems another owner came to pick up his mare and took ours by mistake.  Unbeknownst to us, that sweet filly took a road trip, cross country and ended up in the mountains of British Columbia.  Was Dad ever surprised when he went to load her into the trailer and found the black beauty waiting for him was not his racing champion.

Thankfully, we found her, and she was brought back to us safely.

The summer this occurred, Willie had a hit song playing on our kitchen radio, and every time I hear it, I’m transported back to the family farm, a Formica table and a mare who went … “On the road again.”

Did your family home have a kitchen radio? What was it playing? 

*Hubbs and I saw Willie Nelson at the Circle Theater in Houston, Texas and yes I sang along to every song.  🙂

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, music, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

R5F – The D.C. edition

I finally made it to D.C. Tuesday night, missed our conference but made all of my Hill meetings (that’s how the regulars say it when they’re meeting with Congressional reps … heh heh).

Here’s my Random 5 Friday for today – the D.C. edition ….

1. If you’ve never been to Washington, D.C. you must go.  Yes it’s a big city. Yes there are a ton of tourists. But – there’s so much to see and do. And nearly every step you take is laced with history and meaning.   I say this every year but next year I am adding a couple of vacation days to be a tourist and take it all in.

2. Just driving past the Pentagon takes more than a few minutes. It’s that massive.

3. In the 2 days I was in D.C., I walked at least 12 miles and most of it was below the city. Did you know that tunnels connect many Governmental Buildings?  They’re clean and well-lit, but old as time.  I felt a bit like Desmond in “L.O.S.T”  Freaky.

"See you in another life, Brotha."  -L.O.S.T.

“See you in another life, Brotha.” -L.O.S.T.

4.  Meetings were fast and furious, back-to-back and took a lot of effort to get from one place to another. But, more than once, I stopped the race to just look around and linger in the moment.  Me.  6 years a citizen. From immigrant to company representative, meeting with the highest offices in the land!  In one such meeting I stepped away from the talking points and commented on a  photo of that particular Congressman with President Ford.  Impulsively, I told him I was a new citizen and that I’d taken my Oath of Citizenship at the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.  His eyes met mine, he reached across the table, shook my hand and, with a tear in his eye, he quietly said, “Welcome. We’re glad to have you.”  It was a good meeting turned great and I learned once again that being yourself is more than enough.

5.  As much difficulty as we had getting there, it was the people I met who made this trip great for me.   The elderly veterans, many on scooters, dressed in their uniforms and pins and badges, just so patriotic and happy to have someone stop them to say hello.   My work colleagues from around the country who shouted my name as I entered the hotel; it was so fun to have them close to me.    The students I helped in the tunnels, because even though I walked them multiple times, I know how easy it is to get lost and how good it feels when someone offers you a hand.

It’s Random. It’s Friday. And I’m glad to be home.  You?

Categories: Elections, Faith, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

How it’s supposed to be

Sometimes, life doesn’t go as planned.  Things shift and the storms of life bear down on us.

Yesterday afternoon, as I checked my flight for this morning’s trip to D.C. I reached a recording that said, “This flight has been cancelled. Please call back at a later time. Click.”

Here comes "Titan"

Here comes “Titan”

No call. No text. Nothing.

Next I dialed the Travel Agency.  Busy. Busy. Busy.

Hmm, I thought.

Hubbs asked, “What are you going to do?”

I replied, “Wait it out.” Then I smiled and gave thanks that at least I found out when I did, while tucked inside and cozy, and not stranded at the airport with luggage and 200 others.

Late last night, an email from the airline arrived stating I’d been re-booked on a later flight today.  It’s storming and icy in D.C. and, honestly, I kinda doubt this flight takes off either.  But we’ll see.

So this morning, I’ll finish packing and readying myself and most importantly… I’ll adjust the picture in my head of how it’s supposed to be.

Amen to that! google.images

Amen to that! google.images

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

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