It’s Sunday morning, coffee tastes good and time for 5 random happenings from my corner of the world. Ready? Let’s do this.
1 ) 10 years – 10 years ago I registered for this domain on Word Press. 10 years!
I’ve written many posts and most about life, love, relationships, and life-lessons. Over time posts have evolved in depth and scope, frequency and topics. I’ve followed & commented on your blogs, and you on mine. Thank you; I appreciate the kinship and connections we’ve formed.
2 ) News – Did you know there’s an election this year? Chiefers would like to remind anyone reading that, no matter what happens November 3rd, dogs will still be dogs and cats will still be cats. We don’t need to all be the same to get along. I’ll try if you will.
3 ) Fall. My favorite season. Time for soups, stews, and chili. Muffins, banana bread and cookies. Books, cozy blankets & a time change. Pink cheeks, brisk walks in the wind, scarves and hoodies. I. Love. Fall!
4 ) Choices. This year has been a doozy, and that’s an understatement. 2020 is that annoying house guest who shows up early and never leaves. At the start of the new year I set a personal goal that went as follows, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.”
I focused on 2 choices: intermittent fasting (IF) every day and delaying alcohol. Those 2 choices led to other positive choices, daily walking for stress management has evolved into a love of movement. Being outside makes my heart sing: it took a Pandemic to get me walking my neighborhood. Between all 3 I’m leaving (so far!) 31lbs & 43″ by the side of the 2020 road. Boats have been torched & the island is mine. What I love best about this lifestyle is that AF/IF is free and so am I!
4 ) Heart songs – I’ve written about this before but, the older I get, the more stock I put into simple pleasures: supper simmering on the stove, good coffee, a cozy sweater, the delight of a good book. A hug from a grown child or a wee grand. Conversations that meander and turn. Sunlight streaming in. Walks in nature. A quiet, clean house. Laughter so raucous my face hurts. These are my heart songs.
5 ) Fill up: Soon we’ll have one son, 2 grands & one grand-dog over, I’m cooking brunch ~ tunes are playing, bacon is sizzling, and the fridge is full of leftovers. My heart is full.
Thank you for following my blog, many of you for 10 years!
It’s Friday and time for some Randoms from my world. Here we go:
1 ) Opportunity knocks
Today a neighbor stopped by to tell us they were robbed. He admitted to leaving their garage open all night, by mistake. Pandemic or not, when an opportunity is there some have no problem helping themselves to what’s yours. Hubbs shared he is a night owl and regularly outside “at watch” late at night…. and he’s scared off a few shady characters in the process. That deep voice of his cutting through the dark probably landed them in therapy. #notsorry #thievessuck
2 ) Use it or lose it
Took two last-minute vacation days, spent both at/ in Lake Michigan. I work too hard to forfeit vacation days and have many left to use before year-end. Even if I go no farther than the yard, I’m using them ALL. #nomartyrshere
3 ) Cry baby, cry
Temps have been in the 90’s with high humidity – I’ve continued my daily walks, getting up & out before the heat. Sweat pours off me, cool showers are delicious and satisfying. I sleep well, move easily and feel calmer.
When I cook I love to listen to music, typically classic rock, R&B, old country, and some Gospel for good measure. No offense to Miss Swift, but I’m with Stevie all the way. #mykidspreferourmusic
5 ) Needed B.S.
There are no shortage of pundits & opinions clamoring for attention. To quote my Mom, “it has an off button.” I shut the “news” off, tune out the noise, and snuggle back into my book. Nope, the only B.S. I need is a beach & some sunshine. #30minutestothis
Memorial Day passed without the Holiday ~ no parades or BBQs, somber or otherwise. Lock-downs continue, with “social distancing,” face masks and the like. I’m in Michigan where businesses are just now beginning to re-open but haircuts are banned (you can’t make this up).
Here are 5 randoms from my world view ~
1 ) Daily walks – what started in winter has continued and daily walks have saved my sanity. I get away from the laptop to admire landscapes, pets and flowers while enjoying podcasts as I meander the neighborhood.
Lilacs in May
2 ) Lifelong learning ~ In addition to podcast learning and regular reading, another AHA lesson of late has been realizing AGAIN how much I love being home and how compatible Hubbs and I are. We have our little rhythm going; part of the day is spent together, part not, and we like and need both the connection andthe time apart. I can’t imagine what this “stay at home” time would have been like had I been sheltered in place” with someone other than him. 🙂
3 ) Ch-ch-changes I feel my body changing, adapting to and craving daily exercise. My FitBit registers the “jump” in activity, from 5-6K/daily steps to 12-13K daily. On rainy days I use my rebounder inside. As a result, no “Quarantine 15” for me – actually, the reverse – I’ve lost lbs & inches, some due to exercise but most due to intermittent fasting, otherwise known as “time-restricted eating.” No longer noshing throughout the day, I drink black coffee/water in the morning, open my “eating window” when my body signals that it’s hungry, usually somewhere around 12:30 -2pm. Later, I enjoy dinner, listening for the “sigh” (your bodies’ signal it’s satiated) and stop, “closing” my eating window around 7-8pm. Since I give my body a daily break from constantly digesting, fasting is healing and restorative. Think of it as letting the cleaning lady in to do the heavy lifting for you – she clears the junk away ~ As a result my clothes are bigger, I’m smaller, and my eyes, skin & hair are brighter.
I feel ah-mazing! The best part? It’s. Free. 😀
4 ) Dogs & cats ~ 76 days in and I’ve yet to see one dog unhappy with the “stay home/stay safe” order. I see cats in sunny windows; everyone is adapting. Below is my pal, Chief, a favorite from my walking route:
5 ) In Summary ~ the first half of 2020 brought us Russia-Gate, impeachment attempts, COVID-19, Murder Hornets, Civil Unrest & Riots ~ this about sums it up:
It’s Friday, the first Friday of our “stay-at-home” COVID-19 order. I hope this finds you all safe & well ~ Here are my random 5 for today~
1 ) Being home is fine with me & Hubbs ~ we are both more introverted than not and home is our happy place. He’s wandering around, suffering from sports-withdrawal and is our resident news hawk. Reading is my escape. When it all gets too much, and it does, I turn off the 24/7 coverage and jump head-first into a book.
Lesson: both of us being home full-time has been a good practice run for retirement.
2 ) It’s been a week since I got sick, and 10 days for Hubbs. We’re still coughing and appetites are slowly returning. We’ve noshed on soups and omelettes, fruit and coffee. Beef noodle vegetable was on the lunch menu yesterday and, because I come from a family of 7, I made enough for us, neighbors + some to freeze. 🙂
Lesson: Yeah I could pare it back but neighbors are happy and the freezer is stocked. All good.
3 ) I feel for the parents, home now full-time with kids, while worrying about safety, finances, job security, etc. I say build a fort, play a board game, draw pictures, and cook together. Let them get bored, it’s OK. Kids don’t need to learn a new language or master advanced math right now, they just need you.
Lesson: Do what you need to do & keep a sense of humor – for the best parent tweets about Social Distancing click here .
4 ) Benefits of staying home:
It takes me no time at all to get ready for work 🙂
I’m working longer hours and on back-to-back calls
No need to pack a lunch, I’m only 15 steps from the kitchen and the cook’s pretty good 🙂
Trying to avoid the “Quarantine 15”
I love being home, I still enjoy working, and I miss being able to go out when I want
The lesson for me is that there’s always a lesson in there (Thanks Mom)
5 ) It’s a crazy, scary surreal time. We’ll get through it. After all, many of us grew up using this:
Lesson – we are a (mostly) hearty bunch and a strong nation ~It might take a while but we’ll come back from this.
It’s the New Year and I’ve been (mostly) absent from this blog. I’ve read yours (thank you for continuing to post while I’ve been away). You see, I’ve reconnected with an old friend ~ my books.
I’ve read, and read, and read some more. Yes I’ve also cooked, cleaned, socialized, worked, and worked out .. yes, all that. But I’ve mostly leaned in and cozied up through this cold, dark January ~ So far Grand Rapids has had zero sunny days, 10 days with a little sun and 17 entirely cloudy days. Until I read that article I hadn’t noticed! You see between this little gadget shown below (used every morning) and all my delicious reading, I’m too content to care 🙂
It’s Friday of the first full work week of 2020 ~ here are my 3 Random Thoughts for Fri-yay.
Ready? let’s go!
1 ) Milestones – Attended a retirement party recently for the woman who hired me 18+ years ago. How did we get old enough to retire already? Ironically one of her parting gifts was a beautiful clock. Maybe it’s me but I found it funny that others assume someone who’s not going to be “on the clock” anymore wants … a clock? We had a good visit and lots of laughs and she whispered joyfully, “5 more alarms to go…” #IsntItIronic
2 ) Winter Storm Watch – the Midwest is bracing for a wild weather weekend. TV forecasters are salivating, their eyes wild with excitement as they breathlessly provide hour-by-hour updates. Stores are stocked, aisles are jammed, and folks are getting ready. It’s 45F right now but expected to drop with rain then ice then snow then .. trees down, ice and snow, etc. Regardless what happens .. we’ll be as ready as we can be. #WinterinMI
3 ) Thieves – over the Christmas break I had my credit card number skimmed at a local (chain) retail store. Thankfully I have alerts set up and received a message, via text, about suspicious activity. (The text also looked suspicious, to be honest). I didn’t respond to the text but instead called the credit card company, verified my identity, and confirmed I was home in my jammies and not trying to book a Hotel in Delaware! After that whole mess I set up additional alerts to the account – transactions > a certain amount, change in security, debit charges, withdrawals, etc. Make technology work for you! If you have a credit card, I suggest you set up similar stop-gaps. Thieves have no problem helping themselves to your good credit and assets. #StillAngry
After the “skimming” incident I called the store where I’m certain the thievery happened and asked to speak to the manager. What sounded like a 12 year old came to the phone. *SIGH* After explaining my dilemma and urging her to check their security/IT network she countered that, “Oh no, that couldn’t have happened here ’cause we.. like … check our machines.. like … all the time.” When I offered that there is a current problem (since I hadn’t otherwise used the card in nearly a month anywhere else OR online and the attempted charges happened 2 hours after I shopped at their store) she responded with, “Well OK then … no worries, Thanks for the call ….” It was obvious, by her dismissive response that I wasn’t getting anywhere with Mandi with an i and ended the call.
December 31, 2019 ~ I woke to a darkened house, blanketed in quiet from the snow swirling down. It’s New Year’s Eve ~ and here we are on the cusp of a new month, a new year, a new decade.
Just like that.
When asked my resolutions for 2020 and I answered quickly – it’s simple, really. All I have to do is look back at the past 11 days off, and therein lives my answer.
In 2020 I’ll try my best to recreate that ~
That feeling, as winter winds roar outside the windows and you lift your head up from reading for 4 hours straight, plowing through magazines and books without a care or a distraction, a deadline or a phone call.
That feeling, stretching and waking gently, without the glaring jolt of an alarm.
That feeling, when you listen to your body and move it a little more, haul the boxes and work up a sweat taking down and packing up and catch yourself smiling because it’s only 9:30 a.m. and you’ve been up for 3 hours already.
That feeling, between two major holidays, when you’re not sure which day it is – is it a work day? is it a week day? And you have to consult the calendar to confirm. And laugh about it.
That feeling when your sustenance consists of coffee, bacon, eggs, cheese, pickles and clementines.
Nope, no New Year/New You for me. Not this year. I’m gonna focus on finding more of that feeling denoted above.
How are you ringing in the new year?
Do you resolve to do things differently?
Do you want more of what you already have?
“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” —Shauna Niequist
Growing up in Canada, our holidays were chock-full of British influence; Canada is a jewel in the Commonwealth’s crown, after all. Mom used to tease us that Boxing Day was a day to clean up and box up (a ploy she cleverly used to get us to tidy the house).
As a child, Boxing Day was a full day of fun –a day of sledding & skating with cousins, adults playing cards, with everyone still full from feasting the day before. As we got older Boxing Day brought dances and Curling socials, a time to visit all who’d come home for the Christmas holiday.
Now it’s more commercialized with stores open for gift returns and clearance sale prices.
But for me, it’s still a day to visit and we will be doing just that ~ And with temps approaching 60F here in West MI (not a snowflake in sight) we have the perfect weather to do so!
Here we are, the eve of Christmas Eve, and here are my random 5 for the season:
1 ) Christmas in my hometown looked like this when I was a kid .. with more snow. Oh how we’d look forward to our annual trip to admire the lights and do our shopping. Of course we man-handled the toy displays that were set out especially for Christmas ~ our town didn’t have a “toy store,” but several of the “home goods” stores created a toy aisle for the Holiday (sometimes in the basement or upper level of the store, so cool!) We’d pick out our gift for that special someone on our list (a cousin, a sibling) and 5 more for ourselves, chatting animatedly about each and every feature we admired and desired. At the end of the outing we’d stop at the local Cafe for Chinese food or maybe a grilled cheese and Vico (Chocolate Milk) before heading home, singing Christmas carols all the way. ~Magical!
2 ) My work world/life has been so chaotic, stressful and busy that I completely missed the fact we are approaching a new decade in just 8 days. I haven’t done any goal setting yet, but hearing that fact inspired me to ~ so much has changed in the past 10 years that I want to be intentional about the next 10. Rise up, indeed!
3 ) Speaking of changes, we welcomed a new little love into our world – Grandson Soren. He’s beautiful and perfectly made and big sister (and all of us) are in love. Soren is a family name; my great Uncle Soren was my Grandpa’s brother and their family hails from Sweden. ❤
baby and big sissy ~ An Emjayandthem(C) photo
4 ) I recently had an opportunity to meet with the Governor and other dignitaries – like I do for any and all special occasions, I wore one of Mom’s rings (Peridot – her birthstone) so she could come along, too.
– It was her ring on my right hand when I shook the hand of Governor and others.
– It was her necklace and another one of her rings that I wore to meet baby Soren.
This is my way of sharing my excitement & delight with her ~ She – the 100lb dynamo – who during one rainy election, rode a tractor with Dad a muddy country mile to the highway so they could catch a ride into town to VOTE, would ❤ that moment. She – the woman who fought bureaucrats to keep polling stations located in small/rural areas so everyone could participate – she’d be pressing me for details, and grinning .. just as I am now.
Mom’s ring ~ an Emjayandthem(C) photo
4) I attended little one’s Christmas party but wasn’t responsible for the snack list this year ~ this made me laugh so hard because I can totally see it happening. oh Mylanta!
5 ) All silliness aside – it’s a joy to celebrate the reason for the season~
Luke 2:10-11 ESV: And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Care to share memories from your childhood Christmases?
With a new decade approaching, are you setting goals or making any changes?
It’s only fitting that, on my very last day of 9 glorious days off, I’d wake to this:
12.1.19 First snow an Emjayandthem(C) photo
It was, by far, the best sleep of my entire week off … the house calm, dark and quiet.
A heavy quiet that only fresh snow can insulate us from a hurry-up / busy world. Cocooning from the noise around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Leftovers, Holiday Travel, deadlines, to-Do lists. Z-z-z-z-z-z