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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Random Five Thursday

Today’s my Friday! I’m taking tomorrow off work and with many things going on, I woke up early this morning ready to jump-start the day. With that .. here we go:

1.  Took a road trip yesterday to points south. What did I see a lot of?  Road construction, tourists and county sheriffs.  I counted not one, not two but at least 6 vehicles pulled over in a 7 mile span.  Naive me, I didn’t recall seeing anyone speeding … Hubbs filled me in that the route I was on is known for drug smugglers and undocumented workers coming to MI to pick summer crops.    Sometimes I really still am just a farm girl out in the world!  🙂

2.  At yesterday’s meeting, there were a lot of good ideas shared and alliances formed. But the highlight was meeting a most important task force member ~ Layla, the office dog.  Silky soft fur and eyes that could melt butter greeted me after the meeting and as I petted her,  I told her young owner that we had to put our old dog down.  “Aww I’m so sorry,” he said. I smiled and told him that “as hard as that is, and it’s been nearly a year, any day I get to pet someone else’s beloved dog is a really good day, thank you.”  And with that, a bond was formed that couldn’t have happened at a conference table.

3.  Found this picture recently and it seems not that long ago that youngest boy, who now towers past me by a foot +, would wrap his legs around me as I held him.  He’s still got those grasshopper legs!

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Summer 1996; crossing Lake Diefenbaker, SK Canada on the Riverhurst Ferry. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

4.  Sometimes I just can’t take watching TV news — it’s depressing.  Yes I stay up on current affairs, but lately, I’ve found myself retreating into reruns of shows from a gentler time.  Just the other night I watched “The Brady Girls get married.” My cousin and I talked about this shift happening in both of us and she confided to a recent binge of  “The Waltons.”   I admitted to watching them, too and we both agreed that, for all her haughtiness, Corbeth Godsey was a minx.   Ike Godsey had it made in the shade!

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today show.com

Oh Corabeth! Image from The Today show.com

5. Lastly, a friend reminded me that yesterday marked 6 months till Christmas.  In response, I sent her this photo, taken on the lake we lived at every summer:

image from Lake Diefenbaker Tourism.ca

image from Lake Diefenbaker Tourism.ca

What TV shows remind you of your childhood?  What image to you says “Summer is here!”

 

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Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Waiting

It’s official.  Summer’s here – just check the calendar!  🙂

Our pool is still cool, but our days are warming and summer, summer has returned.

cropped-100_2405.jpg

cherries at the pool .. can’t wait!

The farmer’s market is open, cherries will soon be ready for picking at the Orchard up the road and me, I’m hungry for corn-on-the-cob.

photo courtesy of Robinette's Apple Haus

photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus

I had a birthday Saturday.   It was a fun day spent answering the phone, opening cards and gifts, reading texts, laughing through Facebook posts ~  you name it ~ I felt spoiled and loved and had a wonderful time.   The festivities continue this week with lunch dates with friends & even more laughter.

When I was a girl, my birthday landed at the end of the school year so my party = summer. That usually translated to us kids running through the sprinkler, sipping an orange float, and enjoying a burnt hot dog with family and friends.

Summer makes me a little more carefree and a little less scheduled. In Summer I’m more likely to wear a skirt that twirls and a pair of kitten heels.

In Summer I let my natural curls air dry and wear the dangling earrings  – the ones that pick up the green in my eyes and set off a sun-kissed glow.

cannot fight the curls in summer so why bother?  an Emjayandthem (C) photo

cannot fight the curls in summer so why bother? an Emjayandthem (C) photo

In Summer I’m more likely to get up early and stay up late, watching the stars dance in that forever sky.

Ah …. Summer.

Thank you for coming back to us again.   🙂

google.images

google.images

 What’s your favorite thing about summer?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Joy, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random Five Friday – Facts

Random Five Friday is here again, even though I’ve only been back in town 2 days. Feels weird that it’s Friday but hey ~ I’ll take it.

Here we go!

1.  Attended a departmental conference with colleagues in Denver earlier this week. Unlike past meetings, where various experts and executives spoke at us for two days, this one was extremely interactive.  All of us completed the MBTI assessment ahead of time and we had one full day of breakouts to learn about each indicator before getting our results.   Now, I’ve taken this before, in fact it was this assessment, taken in a three-day conference, that prompted our move to Michigan.  Read more at When you know for sure.   Re the training, there were some who embraced it, some who quietly tolerated it, some who pooh-poohed it and others who rolled with it.  I’ll let you guess which one I was :).

2.  Landing in Denver and stepping outside was like walking into a furnace. Hot, billowing dry air and all-encompassing.  No humidity. None.   I felt my eyes crinkle to raisins and slugged down more water than ever.  My normally hair-that-shall-not-be-tamed decided to lie down in protest.   Weird.

3. I’ve mentioned before that our company is going through a lot of organizational and structural changes.   Tuesday night, I found myself in a deep conversation with a colleague, someone I don’t know well and rarely see, but someone I’ve long admired for his gentle dignity and the steady way he conducts himself.  We started chatting about the changes and something led me to ask about his situation, suspecting he’s not likely to have a job in a year. Shyly he told me a bit about other ventures he’s involved in and, as I listened, I watched as his face lit up. The more he talked about having more time with his wife and children, the more animated he became. I felt a nudge to tell him our story, about taking this same class so many years ago and how that exercise created a foundational shift change for us.   As I talked about our course correction, and being led by faith, I felt myself growing more animated, too.  We were soon called to dinner but not before he said, “You don’t know how much I needed to hear what you had to say, thank you.”

4. Re the personality types, my results were not a surprise to me:  ISTJ.  Here’s the description:

Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Highly capable and decides logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

I'm Joe Friday!  Google.images.com

I’m Joe Friday! Google.images.com

I did have several “aha’s” however – I understand now why my trip “home” was so exhausting. I’m a “situational extrovert” – I can chat it up with family or be on “stage” at a meeting, etc. but I cannot do so without a price. There are a lot of extroverts in my family and, after being with them a week, I lost my voice. Makes me understand why I crave my quiet Sundays at home. Ding! Ding! Ding!

The other important takeaway was the opportunity to understand the other types on my team and across our department.  There emerged some clear leaders and big-picture thinkers, the “do-ers” and the diplomats and so on.  The most profound affirmation was learning that the person I report to is my polar opposite: it’s no wonder we struggle communicating.  I come at a task with facts, strategy, and a plan; I crave order, quiet and structure. He shows up late, with no idea what’s coming at us or what’s needed to get it done, bucks the plan, laughs at to-do lists and thinks out-loud in a steady stream of consciousness.   Please pray for me.

5.  It’s good to be home where it’s 74F and 9,000% humidity.  Say what you want about higher temps, it feels hotter here!

And with that, I give you this door sign. Funny stuff.

funny stuff.  Google.images.com

funny stuff. Google.images.com

Do you know your MBTI type? Does it ring true for you?  Happy Friday, peeps!

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Useful Information, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

All it takes is one

daughters

My Dad was a man who stashed cookies in his coat pocket and peppermints in his truck. Dad taught me where to find Saskatoon berries, to love animals and respect the land, to be fearless, drive a stick shift, read the sky, and to dance while standing on his shoes.

:: loved riding around with Dad on land like this :: And Emjayandthem (C) photo

:: loved riding around with Dad :: And Emjayandthem (C) photo

He taught me real men cry, adore their wives, tickle their children, and are playful, gentle & loyal.

That's me on Dad's lap at a family picnic.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

That’s me on Dad’s lap at a family picnic. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

My Dad was a man of few words .. his actions spoke volumes.  He showed up!

Dad made cleaning out the barn fun!  an Emjayandthem (C) photo

Dad made cleaning out the barn fun! an Emjayandthem (C) photo

So grateful for the memories of a kind & loving Dad. ~ Happy Father’s Day in Heaven.

genuine love

Related:

Off to the mile-high city tomorrow; have a great week, peeps, and Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads!!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Men, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

Bone-headin’ it

From time to time I catch myself doing something dumb. Mostly it happens when I’m not paying attention. Every once in a while whatever I did is enough of a doozy to leave me shaking my head and laughing.  Here’s the latest:

About a year ago, I bought a nice(r) watch and the repair plan that went with it.  Thinking I’d never need it, I promptly stashed the paperwork away.  About three months later I noticed a “ding” in the face of the watch where one of the (pricey) crystals had fallen  out.  I found my paperwork, and after much interior fussing, took the watch back to the store.  “No problem,” they said, “You have the care plan .. we’ll take the watch, send it in for repair, and you’ll have it back in about 10 days.”

Well, this happened a few more times. Finally, about six weeks ago,  I took that stupid watch (and the paperwork) in and nicely asked about replacing it. Paying the difference, and walking out with a new watch (and plan), was satisfying.

Till Wednesday.

When, at 8:05 a.m. I noticed my watch said 10:32.

*Sigh*

Squeezing in yet another trip to the jewelry store was not what I had time for but yesterday I made it work.  At the end of one conference call I figured I had about 45 minutes to spare before my next appointment.

The reason a working watch is so important is that I’m traveling next week; the meetings I’ll be in are ones where Smartphones and Laptops are frowned upon. A girl needs a watch!

So there I was, standing with the Jewelry guy, thinking about my “to-do” list when he smiled and said, “You know the pin on this watch is just pulled out, right?  You don’t need a battery, it’s working just fine….”

And all I could do was laugh.   And schedule my vacation.

Amen to that! google images.com

Amen to that! google images.com

When was your last “bone-headed” moment?  Can you laugh at yourself?  Do such moments cause self-reflection, embarrassment or a bit of both?

Happy Friday, peeps!

 

 

Categories: Fun, Growth, Home, Life Lessons, Personal, Thoughts, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Two for Tuesday

Care to play along?  On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

Care to play along? On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

I’ve been on a theme-kick lately for my blog and I know why.

Life. It’s busy.  Work – crazy.  Home – a steady dose of “to-do’s.”

I rarely have time to stop, let alone think.  It’s coming, I know, but it’s not here yet.  Example:  At work, my team is 80 days from the end of a year-long project but 100 from the start of another.  Deep breath!

So, with that, here’s my 2-for-Tuesday:

1. We waited until the peonies were in full bloom to scatter old dog’s ashes.

This year's peonies are glorious! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

This year’s peonies are glorious! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

So now he’s in amongst the fleurs – because as a Ferdinand-dog, he liked to sniff them. He was sophisticated like that.  He’s also in the hedges and down along the patio where we grill, one of his all time favorite spots.   Chipmunks be warned, the gangsta is back!

Pet lovers will understand, others will think I’ve lost it, but having him with us is a source of comfort and yes, I still miss that silly old hound.

an impression of Mr. Bear's paw; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

an impression of Mr. Bear’s paw; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2.  Saw this the other day and instantly the song was in my head.  Does that ever happen to you?

humming along now.  Google.images.com

humming along now. Google.images.com

 

Happy Tuesday, peeps! I’m off to the State Capital to hobb-knobb with the big dawgs :).

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Family, Grief, Home, Life, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Random Five Friday – June

It’s Friday! (whoo hoo) It’s Random!  Let’s go!

friday cat

1.  Tuesday I waited around all day for an appointment that got pushed back four times. By the time the two young men arrived to work on the pool, I had conceded the day.  They were overbooked, stressed yet polite, apologizing over and over and  I just didn’t have it in me to pile a layer of anger onto their day.   Hanging around, being at home yet attentive to work, made me feel a bit like this turtle.

google.images.com

google.images.com

2. Later that night I attended our grandson’s baseball game.  I’ve been sick and so this was the first game we were able to get to — chatting with some of the moms, I could sense they were trying to figure out who I belonged to. I pointed to the tall fellow in the bullpen and said, “Well that’s my boy.”  I saw the confusion when they realized none of the wee ones on the team were mine but I was claiming the man.  Then I explained that #2 at bat was our Grandson  — ahh — funny — and a reminder that even though he’s grown, oldest one remains a boy in a Mother’s heart.

Oldest boy herding the cats at baseball

What the Father did, the son does:  oldest boy herding the cats at baseball.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

3. Weather.   A cool front came through Monday and we’ve had the most luscious weather possible — mild, sunny, and low humidity.  Days like these feel like a reward for the endurance test of this past winter.

Amen! google images

Amen! google images

4. The Belmont Stakes race is tomorrow and a group of us are planning to watch it together.  Reading the Racing Form takes me back to my childhood, being at the track with my parents, and feeling the excitement and the grandeur of it all.  Hoping California Chrome can pull a Triple Crown win — but even if he doesn’t — what a story!

Hello ladies! Aren't I something?  Source: www.dailyrepublic.com

Hello ladies! Aren’t I something?
Source: http://www.dailyrepublic.com

5.  In a world of e-invites and virtual everything, I really love getting a hand-written thank you card.  First of all, it’s polite and second, it’s timeless.  When someone acknowledges a gesture of mine, it makes me want to repeat the gesture all over again! And I always say a silent prayer of thanks to the Mom who taught the importance of doing so.

What’s your random 5 for today?  Are you watching horse racing tomorrow?

 

 

Categories: Animals, Faith, Forgiveness, Growth, Home, Opinion, Personal, Random observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Meaningful meanderings

So, there I was yesterday, puttering around the house as I’m apt to do on a weekend morning… Hubbs was golfing, youngest still snoozing, and I found myself with time on my hands and no particular plan – which was exactly my intention. 🙂

Hot and steamy outside, the last place I wanted to be was out in that.  Plus the meds I’ve been on for this nasty respiratory bug make me more sensitive to the sun. Well I’m someone who’s already sensitive to the sun.  Step outside and I might burst into flames!

I meandered my way to the basement and decided it was time: time to clean the laundry room. About 40 min and 2 trash bags later, the room was cleaner, better organized and just more appealing. Since I was down there anyways, and I’d already lugged the vacuum that far, I decided to clean up the other side – the TV room Hubbs enjoys most of the winter.  He hasn’t yet moved his entertainment setup to the garage for summer baseball so it’s a room that needs, but doesn’t always get, attention. Windex, paper towel, vacuum, and another trash bag nearly filled.  Cracked open a window, rearranged a few things and smiled at my handiwork.

clean house

Making my way back up I thought, well, here I am here at the stairs and yep, they need a cleaning, too …. next, I arrived at the walkout level, where hubbs’ office and youngest boy’s rooms are … bypassing the snoozing kid, I swept through the office, folding up cartons and vacuuming behind boxes that hadn’t been moved in some time.   (This room tends to be the “catch-all room” – and I’ve learned that clutter is just a postponed decision.  No more).

By now the youngest had rolled out of bed and gave me a sleepy smile. Up he went to smash some banana bread while I worked my way through the office.  I vacuumed my way up the stairs to the main floor where I found him grinning at me.

“Mom, do you always hum a song when you clean?” 

“I don’t know, didn’t realize I was doing that.”

“Well .. it’s cute. And hey, great banana bread!”

With that, he was off to the shower and I was back in the kitchen, putting away the  cleaning supplies and pulling out items to cook.

He strolled through the kitchen in his long-legged way then stopped and asked, “Anything you need help with before I take off?”

“Actually, yes, the pool opens tomorrow, would you please bring the equipment out to the patio for me. Thanks!”

“No problem, Mom.”

And with that, he left to run his errands, I turned on my tunes and started sautéing.

And today, after waking early, I crept downstairs to our clean and tidy home and smiled.  I smiled that, this time, my weekend meanderings didn’t involve spending time looking for something or trying to make sense of stuff I no longer want.

 “Your attitude has to change from ‘Why do I have to do this!’ to ‘This is my home and I deserve to have a wonderful place to live, this blesses my home, and my family and most of all me!'” ~ Flylady

Does your home reflect how you want to live? If not, what do you want to change?

google.images.com

google.images.com

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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