Monthly Archives: January 2015

Morning sunshine

Sunlight is streaming in this morning and the reflection off the snow is blinding – in a beautiful, sparkling way.

There’s a sun puddle covering most of our living room and the only thing missing from it is old dog.

Frankie loved the sun puddles and even more so in winter and especially as he aged.

He’d hoist himself out of his posture-pedic dog bed and shuffle to the center of the room where the carpet was warmed.  With a huff and a grunt he’d settle in, stretch forward and back and, I swear he’d smile.

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

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

With one eye on me, he’d drift between sleeping and snoring and active fridge monitoring, the warmth of the sun enveloping his old bones.   His sighs could be heard from the next room and beyond.

It’s mornings like this one that something as simple as sunlight can make me cry.

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

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

 “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go to where they went.” Will Rogers

*I’ve had – and loved – plenty of pets in my life.  But I’ve never had one quite like my Frankie.  I’m learning there’s no “statute of limitations” on grief.    Is there a pet that you still miss to this day?

Categories: Animals, Beauty, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Life, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Random 5 and Sweet Dreams

It’s Friday! It’s time for 5 random thoughts! Here we go …

1.   Meetings with new leadership were held yesterday.  I caught myself getting nervous just before the WebEx began but I remembered something Hubbs had said the night prior, “You’ve got this. You know more about what you’re doing than anyone on that call, regardless of title.  Act like you belong there … because you do.”    Handsome looks and a fun personality are one thing but the stuff that keeps a relationship strong and happy is someone willing to lay down a brick for you – and I have the one who’ll trowel a highway with his bare hands for me.  So grateful.


2.  There’s been a few awards show on TV lately and it’s occurred to me, as I look up from my books, that I rarely know who any of the actresses or actors are.  I also don’t know the shows being heralded or the designers doing the dressings.   I’m either getting older or … yep, I’m getting older.

3. Youngest boy has a tender heart. He’s a “fixer” and often, the nurturer in relationships.  That’s all good, because being kind and sweet beats snarky and rude any day, but I suggested he stop finding what I call “wounded birds.”  I.E. sometimes another’s problems are too much for someone else to solve. And then I gave him the gift of my Mother’s advice to me:

You are the only person you will always have.… everyone else is temporary. Take the time to learn who you are and enjoy being with that person because there will come times when you won’t have anyone else to turn to. If you know who you are, you will always have someone you can depend on – you – smart, wonderful, you. – my Mom.

4. I also shared with him my cousin’s often-used line, “More in the store.”  He laughed and heartily agreed.

5. Speaking of store, I saw this witty sign online recently and thought somewhere a bored and creative deli employee had a lot of fun one day.  And now I am singing that famous Eurythmics song from the 80s:

Someone in the Dairy section is bored and creative.

Here’s the MTV cult classic:

And how was your week?  Do you recognize anyone on Awards shows? Any relationship advice to share? 

Categories: Food, Fun, Growth, Humor, Life, Men, Personal, Quotes, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Wednesdays and Joy

It’s Wednesday!  Storm Juno pummeled the East coast and derailed our meeting plans.  No worries, I’m hosting a WebEx instead.  Cancelled flights and airline change fees but no shuffling, driving or situating for me.  Probably should have done this in the first place.  🙂

image from

You know what day it is!

Totally off-topic, I have a question for you: if you unfriend someone on Facebook (TM) are they de-faced?  HA HA HA.

Have a great day, peeps!

“Happiness is part of who we are. Joy is the feeling” ― Tony DeLiso

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Fun, Humor, Life, Personal, Random, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A wonderful part to play

It’s Sunday, the sun is shining, coffee tastes great and later, I’m going shopping.

I don’t even like shopping.

I also rarely leave the house on Sundays.

That’s how much better I feel than I did a couple of months ago.


A couple of purposeful adjustments have brought profound dividends:

1. Earlier this month, this link – 30 challenges for 30 days of growth inspired me to try some new things.   However, the things I thought I’d do, I didn’t do.  The one I did, # 14, get up 30 minutes earlier, has taken hold and now – that time – that time is m-i-n-e – all mine.

Me & my coffee, early a.m. = Smiles.

Me & my coffee, early a.m. = Smiles.

2. I’m going shopping because I lost weight – yay! And I’m tired of looking like I’m sporting Aunt Edna’s clothes.  Plus someone said that larger clothes just add pounds to your frame.  Since I lost pounds from my frame, why would I add them back on?   And I’m going for color and lots of it.

I look best in Jewel tones. Google.images. com

I look best in Jewel tones. Google.images. com

3. A survey conducted by Ohio State University reports that sticking up for yourself with a hostile boss or co-worker is actually good for you – and I can attest that this is true.  About 2 months ago a person who likes to demean and dismiss me finally got a blast of what he deserved.  This is the same individual who has left me places and behaved like a crow as long as I’ve known him.   It wasn’t easy and I was scared to death but guess what?  What I had to say was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  And here’s the rub that took me years to learn – the truth shall set you free. 

So very true.

Crows not invited.

4. It’s January and, often-times, it’s grey here in the Great Lakes State.  Being so close to Lake Michigan means we can go days – even weeks -without seeing the sun.  I’ve started bringing my own sunshine to my office:

a $8.00 pick-me-up that lasts all week long.

an $8.00 pick-me-up that lasts all week long.

5. We’ve gained a new executive and my team and I will meet with him later this week – I wrote the Power Point overview 10 days ago and we are ready to rock n’ roll.   Hubbs knows me well and he gets the significance of the meeting.  He reminded me of a sign that used to hang in my cubicle years back, long before I’d ever thought of leading the Department, even though I already was.

man in charge or woman who knows whats going on

Still true.

 “Belief in yourself comes from a positive attitude that sees life as worth living and that you have a wonderful part to play in it.”  ― John Patrick Hickey

 It’s a new year – what adjustments have netted you results?


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, fear, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Wisdom, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

R5F – Things have changed

It’s Friday! It’s time for 5 Random thoughts from my little corner of the world:

1.  Recently I dreamed I was pregnant.  I woke up in the dream-conversation with Hubbs as we talked about raising a kid into our 7os. GAH – no thanks!  Thankfully I learned later that dreams about pregnancy represent  a new beginning or new creation in life – it’s generally very positive and indicates growth – yay! For details on analyzing your dreams check out “The Dream Book” by Betty Bethards.

2. Speaking of growth, I know where this is coming from:  I’ve just come through several of years of learning how to say no to what’s not good for me.  Saying no has made room for more yes’s – and, consequently,  I’ve pushed myself to accept speaking engagements and assignments that challenge me.  And it’s really getting fun. 🙂



3. Talking with one of our boys the other day I offered the following advice/life lesson which was: “Learn how to manage your manager.”  I.E. if your boss is unorganized it helps greatly if you are.   Or  if your boss has high anxiety about the progress of projects, you’re well served to proactively give updates on a regular basis.  It’s not 100% perfect as some managers are unmanageable – but in just talking about it, I realized I’ve been doing this for years and with some pretty good results.

4.  Another pot-luck at work this week.  My colleagues are happy to eat anything – especially items that contain the 4 essential pot-luck ingredients: a) cheese, 2) chocolate, 3) BBQ sauce and 4) cool-whip.  On a whim, I signed up to bring “Sloppy Joe’s.”  Then I realized I didn’t have a recipe because the last time I made them was in Home Ec while sporting wedge heels and Fonzie tee-shirt.    Digging through my cookbooks, I found the recipe below.

Easy Home-made Sloppy Joe’s


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard (like French’s)
  • ¾ cup Ketchup
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Note I made this recipe x 4


  1. Brown the beef, onion & peppers, drain off liquids
  2. Stir in seasonings: garlic powder, salt & pepper (I added Mrs. Dash regular, too)
  3. In a separate bowl mix together ketchup, mustard & brown sugar then stir that into the meat mixture.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 min.
  5. Made the day ahead this easily warmed up in the Crock Pot on low ~ by Noon it was mostly gone.
Stock photo: There's no evidence we ever had any Sloppy Joe's in our office!

Stock photo: There’s no evidence we ever had  Sloppy Joe’s in our office!

5.  Heading home from meetings, a three-hour drive turned into four because of the weather BUT one positive was the various radio stations I had to pick from as I left one market and entered another.  Example – this new-to-me Bob Dylan song.  “Things have changed” – and it was just the kind of acoustic-guitar groove sound I love to drive to … have a listen …  I used to care .. but things have changed.  🙂

So how was your week?  Had any weird dreams lately?  What have you said yes to? Were “Sloppy Joe’s” something you made in the 70s, like Chef-Boyardi-Pizza?  Does the phrase, “I used to care but things have changed” resonate with you?

Do tell!

Categories: Animals, Blogging, Food, Growth, Life, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

You don’t say

It's a bit hard to believe, but Kevin Photo credit - L.A. Times' Katie Falkenberg

Photo credit – L.A. Times’ Katie Falkenberg

Kevin Costner is 60 today.  I don’t know about you but my first reaction to hearing that was “Holy wow and Hubba hubba!”

I’m 51; if he’s what 60 looks like I say yes to aging beautifully!

What is your favorite Costner movie?   Mine has to be the epic western “Dances with Wolves” followed closely by the twisty and suspenseful “Mr. Brooks.”

Happy Monday, peeps!

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Life, Men, News, Opinion, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Cover the world with imagination

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right inWith silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.”  ~Robert Fulghum


Maybe ...

Sometimes …

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours finding $.69 and $.99 mp3 songs to download from Amazon. Oh the fun I had as one song took me to another … Yes there were tasks “to do” and no, they didn’t all get accomplished.  The smile on my face and the song on my lips was enough.

When’s the last time you did something that delighted you? What was it?

humming along now.

humming along now.


Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, music, Quotes, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Meandering thoughts and some nights

Are you like me and have 22 coffee cups in the cupboard but always end up using the same 3?

my favorite!

my favorite!

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what – or who – woke you up?

Found a picture from – gulp – 20 years ago.  Size 6 and thought I was fat.  What an idiot. Note the ’90s hair scrunchy.

Employee picnic, 1995.  Me & youngest boy who was distressed by the 'love bugs' - An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Employee picnic, 1995. Me & youngest boy who was distressed by the ‘love bugs’ – An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Went back to work this week and had the best week!  It was nice to be missed, accomplish some tasks, catch up with colleagues and feel the excitement at what’s coming up this year.  Plus, we had a visit from a 6 week old Border Collie. Now how could anyone resist this wee face?

aww .. She fell asleep in my co-workers arms.

aww .. She fell asleep in my co-workers arms.

Caught a new song that snagged my ear so hard I just had to Google it and play it over and over … and who knew the video was so cool?

How about you?  Do you have a favorite cup you use? How many others in the cupboard?   Tripped over any old pics lately? Met any new friends?  What song’s grabbed your attention of late?

Categories: Animals, Beauty, Fun, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – nonagenarians

1. It’s cold.  Bitter cold. But the sun is shining and that helps everyone handle it better.

There, there .. only 72 days till Spring

There, there .. only 72 days till Spring.

2. Last night we attended the *surprise* birthday party for a gentleman turning 90.  I wish you could meet him – he’s fit, sharp, smart, witty and debonair. His vocabulary includes words like “marvelous” and “terrific,” all while holding a glass of Scotch and winking at his pretty wife.   Listening to his children share stories he’d never told anyone – his 52 missions into North Korea as a fighter pilot – left us filled us with awe; listening to their tributes and love for him filled us with emotion.  And when his OLDER brother’s voice cracked as he described their close relationship well .. everyone lost it.   It was wonderful to hear the kind words with him, instead of waiting until after he’s left us.

Bob G. Does this man look 90?  don't think so!

Bob G. Does this man look 90? Don’t think so!

3.  As the party ended Hubbs and I both got up to clear tables and pack up food, gifts and decorations.  I shouldn’t be but always am surprised by the ones who should help but don’t.  However, had we not done that, Hubbs would not have heard these words from birthday boy’s wife, “You’re such a good man; I can always count on you … Thank you.”   Aww.

4. Came across this list today and had to share it with you – 30 days of growth – there is a lot here and I can’t possibly do them all but  7, 11 and 14 resonated with me. You?

5.   Back to work tomorrow.  I have a few things to get around yet today but … for the most part, I’m ready.

exercising kitty

How’s your Sunday shaping up?  Attend any fun parties lately?


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Family, Fun, Joy, Life, Patriotic | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Random 5 Friday and a good day for a house

It’s Friday! Here are 5 randoms from my week:

1. It’s cold.  Bitter cold. Freeze your nose, cold.  And as Mom always said, “a good day for a house.”  The winds are howling, the snow is blowing, and I am happy to not have to be any where but here.

cold and more cold

cold, cold and more cold

2.  New Year’s brings resolutions and with it comes Facebook friends posting updates on newly adopted exercise routines. Saw this and laughed out loud.



3.  I’ve learned something else being home the past two weeks:  I barely eat.  Yes, without stress and chaos, I don’t graze and rarely feel hungry.  I’m leaning into it and, when hunger appears, I eat.  Nutribullet at least once a day.  Other than that?  Not much.   Interesting the toll a steady dose of stress takes on us and how quickly our bodies respond when treated with a little T.L.C. Hmm.

image from

image from

4. Yesterday, had he lived, would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday.  And had he lived, I’d still be swooning.

Lawdy Lawdy Mizz Clawdy!

E.P. in his prime: Lawdy Lawdy Mizz Clawdy!

5.  Saw this photo and I have just one question: how did they get this picture of me?  🙂

Happy Friday, folks.

Categories: Family, Humor, Life, Mom, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 14 – Hello Friend

Today marks 2 weeks that I’ve been off work ~ two whole weeks!  Yes I’ve worked some, I have to or what will greet me on my return will resemble an avalanche. But two weeks!  Here are a few things learned over this delicious break:

1. The power of sleep. I’ve gained a new appreciation for sleep’s ability to restore & renew.  With no schedule I’ve slept longer, deeper and better in the past 10 days then over the past 365.   I can see sleep’s gifts in my face -lines softened, bags retreated and  even my hair looks healthier.

Sleeping like a kitten in the sun!

Sleeping like a kitten in the sun!

2. The comfort of quiet.   I’ve resisted the urge to fill my days with “to-dos” and have perfected enjoying my chair, sipping coffee and reading books.  The T.V. has stayed off; the phone is silent.  Chores and tasks remain and Jimmy Cracked Corn ’cause I don’t care!

This is only half of my haul!

This is only half of my book haul!

3. Enjoying real foods when actually hungry.  Not being on a schedule means that I don’t eat lunch because it’s noon; I wait until I’m hungry and sometimes that means lunch is at 2:00 p.m. instead.  I’ve enjoyed my Nutribullet smoothies, fresh pears, clementine oranges, old-fashioned oatmeal, and Greek Yoghurt throughout the course of the day ~ and felt lighter, energized and satiated.  There’s something to this that I plan to continue.

4. Taking a break from everyone else. Other than my immediate family I’ve not seen anyone else for two whole weeks!  We have a 90th birthday party to attend on Saturday.  Three weeks ago this would have felt like one more event shoe-horned into an over-scheduled schedule ~ today I find myself looking forward to it.

5. Understanding .. or not. A work colleague expressed disbelief at my long winter’s break and dismay that I wasn’t getting on a plane to go “somewhere.” To her, time off is not time off unless you’re traveling to some exotic destination.  I frustrated myself trying to explain my stance to a person who is never going to get it and ended the conversation with this, “because I need it.”  And there it is, folks.

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert


When was the last time you did something just for you?  What was it and what did you learn?


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Throwing away what holds us back

 Let 2015 be the year we all just go for it!

This morning was the first time in months that I woke up feeling g-r-e-a-t.

And I know why that is: rest – and lots of it.

Seeing this clip made me want to crank the music up and be-bop through the house, too.  You?

Happy New Year, friends.


Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Friendship, Fun, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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Connie Rosser Riddle

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