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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Random 5 ~ NYE

It’s Friday Thursday and New Year’s Eve.  Here are 5 randoms from my world:

1 Remember when New Year’s Eve was a big deal?  Getting dressed up, wiggling into pantyhose and new shoes and a sparkly little something to go out with a bunch of people, dance, and kiss under the 5-4-3-2-1 Happy New Year countdown?  It’s been years since I’ve felt like that.  Yes we’re going out with a group tonight – to dance, sing and such -but there’s no pantyhose in sight :).  I have a sparkly sweater in mind and we’ll probably be home by 10:30 to watch the ball drop in the basement ~ the only one I’m smooching is Hubbs.  🙂

What sparks your creativity? google.images.com

2 I’ve been on vacation this week but didn’t feel like it until yesterday.  You see I’ve been on conference calls and had people pinging me left, right and center.  Yesterday I slept in, pushed away that nagging feeling saying I “should” accomplish something and instead embraced the massage chair that accompanied a pedicure.  I sipped a Caramel Iced coffee and read Hollywood magazines, catching up on the lives of people I don’t know.  When I was done I drove my relaxed self home and warmed up leftovers for supper.    A better day was not to be had.  ❤

giant coffee

3   “A year of ending and beginning, a year of loss and finding…and all of you were with me through the storm. I drink to your health, your wealth, your fortune for long years to come, and I hope for many more days in which we can gather like this.”
― C.J. Cherryh, Fortress of Eagles

Mom me and sissy - wedding 2015

Me, Mom and my sister – August 2015.

4 Another year is upon us.  I stopped making resolutions a few years ago and instead continue to do what works for me — clearing away the clutter and making room for the good.  Getting rid of those who drain me and resisting the urge to let just anyone in. There’s a reason the rear view mirror is small and the windshield is wide.  😀

chapter

5 I’ve always loved this song.  And so I ask you this, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?”

 

Happy New Year, friends!  ~MJ

 

 

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Grief, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Christmas 2015 ~ Changes, lessons and blessings

Christmas has come and gone and with that comes time to reflect.  I have a few days off ahead of me and a couple of closets that need attention.  But I also have new books waiting on the end table … I think the books might win. 🙂

The grand kids were with us the night of the 23rd and all day the 24th, and our family feasted, played and opened presents that evening. It was fun and cozy and wonderful.  But it was also different.  You see things changed this year: they’ve slept over on Christmas eve for 3 years now, and we have embraced waking to two bright little faces … even if they do tend to get up on the early side.

But this year was different.  They wanted to go home, to hang their stockings there with Dad and his fiance.  That’s a very good sign that they know who their home is.

Still, we packed as much in as we could, playing Yahtzee and Dice, making chocolate chip pancakes and lunches/snacks, enjoying Holiday movies like “Elf” and “Prancer” and calling the Santa Tracker regularly to check on the big guy’s whereabouts. We read the story of Jesus’ birth and “The Night before Christmas.”    At the end of the night, as Dad and his love bundled them up, they were sleepy but excited to go home, see the dog and put out cookies for Santa.

Several times that day I had tried calling Mom but she didn’t answer; what I didn’t know is she’s congested again and that impacts her hearing.  The phone is next to her, but she never heard it ring.  Talking with my sister Christmas Day she relayed that she and my oldest brother spent part of the day with Mom and how much she enjoyed it but that it played her out, too.   I shared my connectivity concerns and she suggested I call the front desk and have them bring Mom the portable phone, which we did.  For about 5 minutes Mom chatted with me, Hubbs and youngest boy, and while our conversations were brief,  we all expressed our love and gratitude for her as well as our sincere wishes for a Happy Christmas.  We each had a tear when the call ended. And if the time comes that she can no longer hear well enough to talk on the phone, I guess I’ll have to come up with an alternative.

I’ve beat myself up for weeks,  wondering why I wasn’t feeling it ~ the Christmas “spirit.”

I can see now that life has been preparing me for another change.  Time to let some things go – to roll with the changes – and to land safely on the other side.   I’m trying to remain open as to what He has in store for me.

a time to keep

“Sacred blessings and divine opportunities appear in your life disguised as unforeseen changes and challenging circumstances.” ― Miya Yamanouchi

 

What changes are you sensing?  Are you able to roll with them?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

A thousand times

It’s not found at the mall. The Dollar Store doesn’t carry it. No ribbons shine as brightly as this gift does. And no certificate can capture it.

It’s this:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were so afraid, and the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, tis Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Luke 2:8-14
  king becomes a baby
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

** Merry Christmas **

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Friday – 3 things

*The idea for this post came from a friend’s FB page … it’s Friday so let’s have some fun ~ I double-dog dare ya!

double dog dare ya

Classic scene from “A Christmas story”

Three names I answer to:

  1. Mom
  2. Hon
  3. Nana

Three places I’ve called home:

  1. Saskatchewan
  2. Texas
  3. Connecticut

Three places I’ve worked:

  1. Horse Racing Press Box
  2. Radio Station Traffic desk
  3. Ad Agency

Three things I love to watch:

  1. Babies
  2. Dogs
  3. People in general

Three things I love to eat:

  1. Popcorn
  2. Watermelon
  3. Caesar Salad

Three things I’m looking forward to:

  1. Time off
  2. No schedule
  3. First winter storm of the season (today!)

Three  bloggers I think (might) play along, too:

  1. Dianna
  2. Kate
  3. Patti

Now, here’s where you come in — copy & paste, replacing your answers with mine – or — add your own questions.

Happy Friday, peeps!  You can also play along in the comment section! 🙂

friday cat

 

Categories: Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Monday wonderings

Woke up to thunder and lightning yesterday, and temps later climbed to 65F here in West MI.   Firing up the oven, I wrangled my cookie sheets and recipe cards and started my Christmas baking.   Sometimes I can be a bit dense – as it took me a while to figure out why I got so warm (I thought it was just a surge)  – between the temps and humidity outside, Hubbs having the furnace set to 72, and the fact that I was wearing sweats  (hello!) I thought I was going to melt along with the chocolate.  I changed into shorts & a tank top, cracked the windows to cool me down and soon got into a baking rhythm, making cookies, fudge, candies and such.  I love those kinds of afternoons because time stands still while I sort, measure, stir and create.   Between 12 and 4pm I clocked 5 miles on my Fit-bit.  5 miles – inside the house – up and down stairs, doing laundry, vacuuming, and baking.   (( The Holidays aren’t for sissies!! ))

And when 5:00 rolled around it occurred to me that we now had a freezer full of sweets but no food (!) ~ back into the kitchen I went to make dinner.

Later, as I faded into my recliner, I talked with my Sister so I could get an update on Mom ( it’s not great); we later chuckled how both of us had put in a Holiday-baking-wrapping-cleaning marathon yesterday and, while neither of us are sick (bonus!) we both felt like biscuits:

busted can of biscuits

Why am I doing all of this now?  I just have a feeling that life as I know it is about to change.  That I may have to step out of my life here and head home to another.  And being busy helps me cope when there’s nothing I can do but …  think.

photo credit news.bbc.co.uk

photo credit news.bbc.co.uk

What’s on your mind this Monday?

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, fear, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Life, Mom, Personal | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ 2 weeks!

It’s Friday (finally!) – here are 5 random happenings in my world this week:

1 Stopped last night to buy Christmas crackers for our family gathering in 2 – count ’em – 2 weeks.  As a Canadian, this is a British tradition we enjoyed  loved as kids — one person held each end of the cracker and pulled them apart – a *POP* sound soon followed, and everyone ended up with a tissue paper hat to wear, a small toy and a joke or riddle to share.    Our boys and grands have grown up with these at the table and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

Too much fun!

Too much fun!

2  Tuesday at the State Capitol (which is wide open to everyone, by the way) my team and I were busy  setting up Legislative interviews when a young man wandered into the studio. At first I felt a bit annoyed, because you see I didn’t really have time to shoo him out of there. But as he stood and looked around – with wonder in his eyes – my eyes softened and we ended up talking for about 20 minutes. He’s my youngest boy’s age and he told me how he’s going to Community College, working part-time, and lives with his Grandmother. He told me more about himself in those 20 min than maybe I needed to know – but in that moment he let me know he needed to be heard. It was yet another lesson to STOP – SLOW DOWN- and LISTEN. Everyone has a story to tell and sometimes you just have to stop moving to hear it.

“Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible someone ever reads.”

MI Capitol in fog

The Michigan State Capitol .. and State Christmas tree, blanketed in fog in December. An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

3  Still no snow.  Driving to meetings and running errands is easy-peasy; it was 59F yesterday.  People are out without coats. Shocking – in December.  I didn’t feel any Christmas spirit until youngest boy and I decorated the tree last night.    Leveraging his height, we laughed as he straightened the angel and tweaked the lights “just so.”  Standing back to admire his handiwork, we both agreed that their home-made ornaments are our favorites.  He put it best, “They tell our story, Mom.”

a shot of youngest boy in grade school ...

a shot of youngest boy in grade school … An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4. I’m glad today is Friday and that the weekend is not yet another runaway train. At least not yet.  Hubbs is prepping for a business trip next week and he’s stressed about that, I have a full schedule, too, yet there’s so much to accomplish here at home.  I think a vacation day is in order – the house to myself?  Ooh ahh …. 🙂

and there it is

and there it is

5  Talking with friends about how hectic our days are – jobs – kids – grand kids – aging parents – and BAM here come the Holidays.  More and more we’re all talking about simplifying things.  This simple message resonates with me:

Google.Images.com

And you?    What Holiday tradition from your childhood have you carried with you?   How are your  preparations coming along?  Are you taking any time outs just for you?

 

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Brought to you

Today is brought to me by the letter “C.”

c is for coffee

Sing it with me!

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Fun, Holidays, Humor, Opinion, Rants, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Random December Friday – Bats, Holiday prep, concerts and snow

Happy Friday!  I’ve been swamped at work, traveling, and double-booked socially. No time to write, and barely time to think.   Here are 5 random thoughts on a mild winter’s day:

1) “Don’t look up, we’re trying to contain the bat.”  Welcoming words as I entered a rural City office.  Arriving at a meeting I was met by two gals with brooms and determined looks as they shooed a bat down from the room’s cavernous ceilings.  Ahh – life in a small town!  They looked at me with trepidation and when I assured them I’m a farm girl and that Mr. Bat was simply looking for a warm winter home, they laughed and camaraderie soon followed.

2) Sissy and I talked last night and during our conversation it dawned on me that Christmas is 3 weeks from today. Other than presents purchased, I have nothing ready for Christmas. No decorating. No wrapping. No cards. No baking. Nothing.  The countdown is on, even if I don’t yet feel it.

kitten asleep

waiting for this feeling to come over me.

3) On Sunday, I’m taking an auntie to see the “Trans  Siberian Orchestra.” She’s so excited she can hardly stand it. I know I will be once I get there.  My inner lizard is harping that I really should be wrapping, baking and decorating but I remember when we paid for the tickets a few months ago, I thought “you’ll need this by then.”  I’m betting I was right.

4) Living in a Nursing Home, Mom doesn’t have room or desire for many “things” so I put together a packet of small treats – snacks, candies, nuts, hand lotion, wet wipes, Chap-stick, Word search books, Sudoku, a pen, and some spending money, etc.  When I told her last night that a parcel was on its way,  she giggled like a school girl.

ACHR1054b-happy-christmas-girl_800

5)  We don’t have any snow – the weather has been unbelievably mild here in West MI and golf courses are opening again today.  The roads are great for travel and people are moving about with ease. I think it’s the lack of the white stuff that’s contributed to my denial of the holiday’s proximity.  Because when I was a kid, snow only meant one thing:

calvin

Christmas vacation! Whee!!

 

How about you?  Encounter any odd scenes lately?  Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?  Any snow in your neck of the woods?  Do you have an inner lizard snarping at you, too?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Holidays, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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