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Attitude

The space between yes and no

Sometimes little nudges come from the most random places.   Today, this popped up in Facebook Memories ~ it was a passage I needed to read again and I thought you might, too:

“In the space between yes and no, there is a lifetime.  It’s the difference between the path you walk and one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; it’s the legroom for the lies you will tell yourself in the future.” ― Jodi Picoult.

5 Things I’m excited about today:

  1.  Road trip – tunes at the ready, coffee up!
  2.  In about a month our baby boy will be married; in < a month my sister arrives for the wedding 😀
  3.  We just got the news that another grandchild is on the way – oldest boy & his wife are expecting a baby in December 🙂
  4.  I’m taking my first golf lesson this week!
  5.  The days are longer, the nights are shorter and I do believe summer will be here soon!

And pie, always say YES to pie~

What lives in your space between yes and no?   What are you excited about today?

 

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Categories: Attitude, Faith, Friendship, Joy, Life, Seasons, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random 5 Friday ~ Mothers Day, Coincidences and GPS

It’s Friday and time for a few randoms from my corner of the universe.  Ready?  Set?  Go:

1 ) Mother’s Day as a child meant 3 things:  a) Church/Sunday School, b) a family get-together and c) Homemade cards/gifts for Mom.    Like they’ve done before, my boys asked to take me out for “a nice lunch.”     They know this is the one thing I want more than anything from the store – time with them.  We met up – they gave me their gifts and cards with notes of love and appreciation and I  savored the moment.  We laughed till we cried and I beamed with the love I feel for them.   In my view, the greatest gift a Mom can ever get is children who grow up to be people you want to be with!  We ate, we laughed, we leaned in.  I felt the love then and still do.  ❤

2 ) Whenever I have  a “big” meeting or presentation to do I “bring” Mom with me – by wearing a piece of her jewelry as her reminder to “go get ’em, kid” – She’s met the Governor, Congressmen/women, Leaders of state, Senators, House Reps, congressional pages, Mayors & more ~ she’s with me every step of the way.    And if I encounter any “nonsense” I’m not afraid to use my firmest  “Mom voice” which of course I learned from her!

Just a couple of Mom’s rings – Peridot & Padparadshca Citrine ~ she loved her “right hand rings” from the shopping channel.

3 )  In meetings earlier this week I had one of those moments we’ve all had where you know the answer to a  question not yet asked.   Tingling and trying not to jump ahead I listened closely;  when I shared my thoughts later the speaker pulled back, her eyebrow went up and a smile filled her face.  “How did you know that?” she asked.   “Because sometimes I just know.”  We talked about coincidences and serendipity and how sometimes we find ourselves right where we’re meant to be; it’s up to us to recognize it when it happens.   The more I acknowledge it when it occurs, the more it occurs for me.

Fate’s like that, I find.

4 )  Saw this and laughed out loud because  1) it is so true and 2 ) I admit that I often still revert to “old school GPS” – read on ~

5 ) I’ve been traveling weekly these past few months;  one day easily rolls into the next, weekends have been full and a Tuesday morning can feel like it should be Saturday already.    Memorial Day is next week and – gasp – it’s been 3 months since I woke up to this:

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

So, what’s new in your world?   Experience any coincidences lately?  Do you remember “70’s GPS?”

Happy Friday!  😀

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, Opinion, Relationships, Seasons, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spending my Sundays

Sunday ~ windows open, birds chirping and lawnmowers buzz in the distance.

3 weeks ago ~ snow; today ~ 70F.

Hubbs hurried around earlier as he readied for golf; I slept in, savored coffee and started a pot of soup.  He’ll be back later, wind burnt and sore, happy and tired.   We’ll visit over soup and smile at the day.

It really doesn’t matter what season it is, there’s something about Sundays that I love most.

It could be the quiet stillness of the house.

It could be the smell of supper lingering on the stove.

It could be meandering phone conversations with my sister or cousin or none at all.

It could be me starting a new book or reading 5 magazines or sitting on the floor sorting .shoes.

It could be towels tumbling in the dryer and fresh warm sheets on the bed.

It could be me that I spend my Sundays doing whatever I choose.

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.” Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

 

  • How do you “spend” free time?
    • Do you feel compelled to be productive and get things done?
  • Are you able to let the day lead you?
    • When’s the last time you had nothing to do and a whole day to do it?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Random 5 Saturday ~ rooms, fasting and fools

It’s nearly May and *gasp* I’ve hardly been here.  As in, on the blog.  I’ve driven to and been in meetings all over this state – an excess of 2,500 miles logged in the past 5 weeks. I’ve woken up and thought Monday was Saturday. I’ve wondered where I was – hotel or home?  Too much, too much.  I’m ready for some down time and soon.  So, with that, I do believe it’s time for 5 Randoms from my world. You ready?  Let’s go.

1 )   This room:  I can feel myself, coffee in hand, meandering my way to that white patio chair ~ birds signing and me humming, you?

2 )  I accepted a last-minute speaking request Monday for an event on Wednesday.  150+ in the audience in a City I’ve never been with people I’d never before met.  One had been in the audience for a presentation I’d given at a neighboring conference so that happenstance created the opportunity for this one ~ Motoring there, tunes up, I remembered this quote:

“Great things never came from comfort zones.” …

And I smiled at how much I welcomed the “break” in my ‘routine.’

3 )  Miss Kitty Kitters (neighborhood cat) visited us earlier in the week ~ Spring’s arrival means she moseys by and stops in for a pet or five.  I don’t know where winter holds her, but she sure is happy to be out walking the her beat again.

She looks like this and is even cuter!

4 ) Something I’ve noticed working 5 days a week – office or home – I tend to eat on schedule.  And sometimes, I think I eat because it’s time to, not b/c I’m hungry.  ( It’s that old fear of low blood sugar shakes returning that causes me to do this, I know.)  On weekends, I’m up early – between 6 and 7am – but I don’t eat until ~1pm… I mosey through the house, straightening this, cleaning that, and sipping coffee all the while.  I eat around 1 and again at 6 or 7pm & then I am done for the night.  And I’m just fine, not starving.  Not one bit.

An epiphany — I’ve been “Intermittent Fasting” without even realizing it – this. is. how. my. body. prefers. things. to. be.    A light bulb went on – I’m gonna give IF a go during the work week, too — for more info on the benefits of Intermittent Fasting (eating in a window only), read Gin Stephens’ “Delay Don’t Deny” – reading now .. and yeah, wow!

Most of a fast happens when you are asleep … hence break-fast

5 ) At a meeting several weeks ago a seemingly mild-mannered individual suddenly turned.   Red-faced and angry, he snarled, looking for a fight.   I didn’t take the bait.  In that moment,  I remembered these words, and I might have even said them out loud, I’m not sure.  See I get angry, too, and I refuse to be bullied or talked over.  The meeting soon ended, he’s likely still angry and Jimmy Cracked Corn!

And how was your week? Any AHAs recently?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Beauty, Growth, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Served what you deserve

This recent article about a suspected Rhino poacher who was trampled by Elephant(s) and then eaten by lions .. y-ouch!

It takes me back to working for a belligerent trophy-hunting executive years ago, the one whose African Safari journey ended in a big fat slice of Karma Pie.

this is what I imagine Karma pie to look like .. but maybe it’s chunky and hard to choke down?

Or the snarky sneaky lying rat of a boss who finally met his match and helped this believer drop 250 lbs in one day.

Karma’s coming!

Yep, every time I hear of a story like this, I’m reminded of something I’ve always told our boys:

  • Karma is only bad if you are

 

 

  • Do you believe in Karma?
  • Have you witnessed Karma coming full circle – in good ways and bad?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Random 5 for Sunday ~ Good-bye March

It’s March 31st ~ Robins hopped in the snow today – their reappearance makes me hopeful even when the weather hasn’t caught up to the calendar.

5 Randoms from my world, here we go ~

1 )   The photo of this bed took me right back to my Grandma’s house ~ to starched sheets, sheer curtains blowing in a summer breeze, and the abject thrill I felt being able to spend the night there.  So lucky!

2 ) Someone raved to me about a new bakery that opened and I considered ordering some of their treats for an upcoming event I’m planning.  And then I remembered a southern family recipe I’d been given by a Texas colleague – for 7-Up pound Cake – and I do believe that my $6 cake beats a $20 professional one.  I might have to triple the recipe.

not my picture

3 )  Saw this and thought, yep ~ that’s been me this winter .. tucked in, books stacked, cozy, don’t bother me 🙂

4 ) Haven’t pulled a muscle but I have fallen over putting on socks.  And I draw the line at KALE 😀

5 )  Yes, this, fur-ever and a day ❤

What random thing happened in your world this week?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Home, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Spring / Slog Forward ~ 2019

It comes every year whether we like it or not: Daylight Savings Time.  We Spring Forward – turn clocks an hour ahead and experts like to claim we’ll feel like this:

google images

And every time it has the opposite effect on me:

google images

So today, I’ll do as I’ve learned to do ~

  • I’ll cook a few things, but not too ambitiously.
  • I’ll read a while, but not too ambitiously.
  • I’ll workout a bit, but not too ambitiously.
  • I’ll go to bed a little sooner and give myself some grace to adjust … ambitiously.

But, after the winter we’ve had/been having, anything with the word Spring in it should be embraced 🙂

Still,  I’m with Maxine on this:

google images

 

** No kitties were harmed in this post

What are your thoughts on Daylight Savings time?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Home, Life, News, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lake Days, “Bomb Cyclones” and conversations

My new summer tradition, established last year on my birthday,  is this one:  I get up early, coffee-up, pack a cooler and leave for the beach at Lake Michigan ~ about a 40 minute drive due West.   There are audible smiles of joy as I pack and singing at full volume as I drive.

Easy-peasy free parking and lots of it, I set my beach chair, books and cooler up just before 10:00 a.m. near the water’s edge, with the chair angled towards the sun but so I can still see the waves.

Much like this guy below:

Grand Haven State Park, MI

 

~~~ ahhh ~~~at the Water’s edge ~ An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

As the day progresses, I turn to follow the sunshine.    Books are read, snacks are savored, I dip in and out of the water and make trips up the beach to the bathroom, too.  I might chat with strangers or little kids or no one at all.  I pack up and leave as the crowds … crowd the sand ~ somewhere  between 2 and 3 p.m.  Long before this:

picture from Michigan.org

On my way out of town, I stop at the “Tasty Treat” for a vanilla/chocolate soft serve and enjoy it (and its messiness) all the way home……ahh summer!

We’re in the dregs of winter now – and summer will come again.   Between now and then we’re facing such weather events like “bomb cyclones – rain, thunderstorms, ice and snow … and more power outages.  So I’m glad to have pictures like these because they hold me over until the time comes again when we can complain about the heat  🙂 !  

“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.” – Kim Hubbard

 

  • What’s saving your life (in winter) right now?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, News, Personal, Seasons, Traditions, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Books are a home

We’re mid-way through February and just out of five weeks of naughty winter.  Bitter Arctic cold followed by a sixty degree swing in temperatures with freezing rain and ice storms, downed trees and power outages.  Next came another band of snow … “Lake Effect” snow and more snow.  Then wind, blowing the snow, making it skitter and scatter across driveways, rooftops and roads.

ice on the back steps .. so treacherous!

We’re a hearty bunch, us Mid westerners.   We’re used to winter, and some of us (me) enjoy all four seasons.   And, growing up in Canada or living here in Michigan, I’ve found the weather is always a safe topic no matter where you are – the gas pump, the grocery store, kids’ game or coffee shoppe.  Weather is a favorite and “safe” topic in the check-out aisle, “So did you come through the storm(s) OK?” “Any damage at your place?”  Quasi-strangers commiserating on a common theme affords a sense of community I long for.

This year, winter has kept us in more than out; yesterday was an “out” day — brunch with the Elders. The restaurant was packed with folks happy to be out and about.  You’d never know it was 20F outside because inside, conversations flew easily over coffee being poured and the smells of bacon and sausages sizzling.  People lingered, stopped by nearby tables to visit, and the chatter of so many confirmed all were happy to be there.

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

The reason for our gathering was two-fold:  1) celebrating a birthday and 2) creating a reason to get out & get together!   It was Uncle Ron’s 81st birthday ~ he laughed and guarded his allotment of my home-made treats like a Quarterback shielding the ball.   His sister, Auntie Karen, smiled with delight at the bag of paperbacks and cookies I handed to her.  Not to be left out, Grandpa John, Hubb’s Step-Dad, tucked his cookie stash into the cab of his truck while shivering over one last smoke before heading home.    We make it a point to get together on a regular basis and, for the reasons listed above, winter gatherings are always the feistiest.

Arriving home, Hubbs headed off to for a nap; I chatted on the phone with my cousin then snuggled into a chair with a new book – my 7th this year.  Leaning in, sipping tea, I felt warm and wonderful and yes grateful – grateful for seasons and reasons that remind us that home is a wonderful place to be.

“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

 

How about you? 

  • Any (winter) damage at your house?
  • Read any good books this winter?
  • Spring is just 31 days away 🙂

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Random 5 Snow Day(s) ~ town buddies, pant checks and heroes

Like much of the country, we’ve been smack in the middle of a winter storm for nearly a week and today, temperatures plummeted ~ Meteorologists are breathlessly reporting, “Polar Vortex, Arctic Chill and Extreme cold warnings!!” as the furnace hums steadily. I was up long before I needed to be but enjoyed puttering around the house in winter’s quiet.

Seeing the scroll of school, church and business closings last night I couldn’t help but remember my farm childhood and hearing two deliciously wonderful words at morning’s cusp, “SNOW DAY!”  And my snowy memories inspired me to post these Random Snow Day Thoughts ~ here we go:

1 )  Growing up in the country farm kids like me had a “town” buddy in case severe weather came quickly.  My town buddy was a classmate named Melanie Wright – her house was in the middle of the village.  I’d estimate a walk there took less than 10 minutes but it sure felt longer to me.  I recall spending the night once or twice, being fed and warm but also terribly homesick.  I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8.   I think that’s Melanie in the sailor dress next to me (in the bow tie), front row.

  • This picture represents 2 grades; my grade was one of the largest with 11 kids.
    • We often had 3 grades sharing one room in our little brick schoolhouse ~ God Bless our teachers!

Class picture, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2 )  Bitter blizzards and freezing winds take me right back to Mom’s kitchen where she, the 100lb dynamo, would stand at the door and make my siblings & I pull up our pant legs to give evidence of tights or long johns underneath. No negotiating,  no exceptions, “don’teventryit.”    She showed her love and care for us in a multitude of ways but the love I felt via a pants inspection lingers with me still.  Man I miss her.

Mom & Sport, winter 1952-53. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 )  Being home since last Thursday I’ve leaned into my stack of books. Read 3, ordered 4 more, and plan on starting another tonight.   Couldn’t. Be. Cozier.

“The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith

Bucket List Goals: Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland

4 ) Our local news has been sharing heartwarming stories of folks stepping up to help others out of a snowy ditch, clearing sidewalks, checking on elderly neighbors and even rescuing dogs out in the (dangerous) cold.   I have my own story to share:   a  situation arose late Monday that necessitated me making a quick trip to the office to pick up several (specialty) items ~ these were to be shipped to a colleague in another state.  The request came Monday evening, in the midst of white-out conditions with winter warnings” all around.   Pondering my next move, Hubbs made it easy, “I’ll take you.”    Yes I could have driven myself but that wasn’t the point.   Accompanied by his calm demeanor, fuzzy pants and snow boots, we set out the next day ~ roads were awful, snow-covered and icy.  Visibility was maybe 12 feet.  It was in that moment I was reminded of something Mom had always said:  Romance is not always flowers and chocolates … it’s someone willing to lay down a brick for you, over and over and over again.   And, as usual, she was right.

5 )  With 480+ area schools on an extended winter break, Schwartz Creek School Administrators in Clayton Township, Michigan got their “Snow Day” announcement just right  ~  Hallelujah, indeed! 🙂

 

  • Is the 2019 Polar Vortex affecting you / your area?
  • Did you have a “storm buddy” as a child?
  • Any “hero” stories to share?
  • Ever had a “pants” inspection?

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, News, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Winter alerts, last nerves and gravy

Like many of you, here in the Mid-Western United States, we’ve had a “weird” winter so far — a skiff of snow here, a dusting there.

But then … last week,  Winter … well she arrived with a vengeance.

2 weeks of back-to-back alerts, warnings and wildness.    Mother Nature’s last nerve is involved & someone’s poking it.   As a result, soon after came:

  • Gobs of snow.
  • Blasts of cold.
  • Frigid winds.
  • Icy.  Frosty. Chilling. Days & Nights.

followed by some really sound advice:

As for me, I’m staying in … till March.

How’s the weather by you?  Are you “hunkered down,” too?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Life, News, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Sunday thoughts: Tidying up, sunshine & magic

We’re already into mid-January it occurred to me this morning that I haven’t blogged since last year!

Gulp.  Life comes at us fast, especially in the new year.

2019 came at me like ..

Holidays ended, work resumed, and tripled in intensity.   It’s been a steady dose of crazy since, with not much room or time to breathe.  Early mornings, long days, lots of travel and copious conference calls.  Thankfully, a solid winter storm blew in this weekend, encapsulating us in icy roads, fresh snow, with a fridge full of leftovers and no particular place to be.

Darn.

That brings me to today ~ awake at 6:30 I hit tossed in a load of laundry, padded through the house and caught up on your blogs.

Random observations came my way and they include:

1  )   Have you heard of the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book and movement afoot?   Based on her best-selling guide to de-cluttering your home, and soon-to-be TV series,  Marie Kondo espouses the virtues of sorting through everything – and I mean – every thing to determine “what sparks joy.”  If it doesn’t, it goes.   Now I am very familiar with the term “you can’t organize clutter” so I purge/donate/recycle on a regular basis.  Her advice is to start small, say with 1 drawer, and go through every piece that’s in it … I started with my sock drawer and found it can’t be opened all the way … probably because of the preponderance of black dress socks.  ~ Sigh.  I laughed, and set my sights in another direction.  If you’ve tried this approach and it’s helped you, do tell!

2 ) Last night I had every intention of delving into several new books; I’ve got a stack waiting for me, purchased with Christmas gift cards ~ my favorite.  Instead I read women’s magazines, binge-watched “Shark Tank,” laughed with hubby and chatted with my cousin.   Regardless, doing nothing and lots of it, was great therapy.  PS My favorite “Shark Tank” product so far has been this one ~ an amazing cleaning do-dadd that really does work:

3 )  Growing up in bright & sunny western Canada (Saskatchewan) I took our daily sunlight for granted. Yes winters were cold and windy but, for the most part, ALWAYS sunny.  Sunglasses and Sunblock are a necessity year round– now I live in Western Michigan, and because of our proximity to Lake Michigan (and lots of winter cloud cover) our winters are regularly dreary, dark and long.  I really struggle with lack of sunlight.

Update on my previous product review:  I cannot say enough good things about the Verilux Happy Light –  AMAZING!   In just 2 weeks of using it I cut my total coffee consumption in 1/2 and caffeine dosage from full throttle “Farmer’s coffee” to decaf by using this amazing little light.  Sitting near it first thing in the morning helps reset your circadian rhythm & will help you sleep (instead of lying in bed making 3AM “to-do” lists like I used to). 

Caution:   Do NOT use at night, you will be up for 1/2 of it, oops. 

I started out small, at 7-10 mins. a day, and have worked my way up to 30 mins. daily.  If YOU also slog through the dark days of winter, give the HappyLight Compact ($40 on Amazon) a try.  The. Best. $40. Ever. Spent! 🙂

4 )  Long-time blog readers, family and friends know I enjoy technology and gadgets.  But after our son told me how their “Alexa” interjected into their conversation, more than once,  I firmly advised him  to “never buy me one.”  My cell phone does enough eavesdropping as it is.  This Meme is about right, ha!

5 )  And, as much as technology makes our lives easier, and sometimes even healthier, there’s always going to be something about a real book that draws me in … and so does this picture:

Your turn:

  •  Are you working to “tidy up?”
    • What method works for you?
  • Any cool new-to-you gadgets to share?
  • What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Happy Sunday!

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Products I love, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized, Useful Information, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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