It’s a beautiful, bright Sunday in May ~ windows open, blue skies, and, after last night’s rain, song birds are chirping happily. Life is busy and good, with much to be thankful for. My five Random Musings are below:
- I live in Michigan with some of the most severe pandemic restrictions in place – our cases are higher than ever. Other states are wide open with numbers falling. What gives?
2. Enjoyed watching the Kentucky Derby yesterday ~ b/c of competing priorities I didn’t have time to do my usual research. We met up with friends & placed our “bets” on which horse we hoped would win. I glanced over the field and put my bet on the trainer – and his horse won. Something gleaned from growing up at the track — a) all the horses are “pretty,” b) sometimes a long-shot wins but c) when in doubt, bet on the trainer.
3. New job starts tomorrow ~ as is my pattern, I’ll be doing my current one + the new job as things ramp up. I’m hoping to jettison the current one over time, but that remains to be seen. It’s new territory, teams are being formed, and none of us really know what we’re in for – which is exciting and nerve-wracking, all in one. I prefer to be at the start of a project vs. coming in later on. And as my all-time favorite boss (from 7 career moves ago) always reminds me, “If you’re not the lead dog the view never changes.”
4. Working from home I had another epiphany recently ~ while I’m an introvert at heart, I can be extroverted, especially in my professional role, always needing time to regroup afterwards. Hello road trips! I am also hugely empathic. What’s that, you ask?
What is the difference between having empathy and being an empath? “Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain,” says Dr. Judith Orloff. “But for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.”
As a result, working remotely works brilliantly for me b/c exposure to others – and their “stuff”- is minimized. When I do go out/interact, I take steps to guard myself from being bombarded with others’ energy / thoughts / emotions / physical ailments. Ever walk into a store and suddenly hear “noise” even though no one is talking? If I don’t do a prayer of protection ahead of time the experience feels and sounds like I’m on an airport tarmac standing between jet planes taking off. If you’ve experienced this, you might be empathic, too. This book helped me.
5. Last night I re-watched footage of Prince William & Princess Catherine’s 2011 wedding as this year marks their 10th anniversary. It was fun to view such a joyful event and remember where I was at that time. A few days after their wedding, I penned this blog post https://emjayandthem.com/2011/05/03/so-did-you-watch/ which went on to become “Fresh Pressed” by the editors at Word Press. It was deemed of their “best of 385,233 bloggers, 387,452 new posts, 449,667 comments, & 93,406,663 words posted” on May 3, 2011. It remains my most viewed & commented-on post, and it’s still fun to go back and re-read the comments from all over the world. How lovely she was and is.
So how about you?
- What have you learned about yourself lately?
- What new tasks are you undertaking?
- And did you watch?
It’s Sunday morning, early December and here we are. Time for some random randoms from my part of the world. Ready? Let’s do this:
1 ) Sunday morning coming down: Sundays are my favorite, there’s no rushing, no fussing, just stirring and sautéing and tidying. Reading, regrouping, resting and readying. My day to recharge. ahhh…
2 ) Taters: Took this picture of 31lbs of potatoes I stacked up that represent what I’m leaving behind in 2020: 31lbs, 49″ and 60 – count ’em – 60 non-scale victories. Intermittent fasting is my life now. Want more info? Read the book, “Fast, Feast, Repeat” by Gin Stephens – it’s the health plan with a side effect of weight loss Fast. Feast. Repeat. | Gin Stephens | Macmillan
3 ) Walking friends: Something that’s saved my bacon this crazy year has been my daily walks. These are non-negotiable. I might not take a lunch break but I always take a walking break. Now sometimes my walks are stomps, other times more leisurely, but regardless, I come back refreshed, energized and thankful. A highlight is seeing my buddy, Chief. It’s even better when he sees me ~ tail thumping, a big smile as he lopes over to lean in for a big hug and many pets and assurances that he is, indeed, a very very very very good boy.
4 ) Christmas: The tree(s) are up and decorated; the lights and pretty colors make me smile and remind us both of the promise of Christmas.
5 ) Kiss an Angel good mornin’: Rest In Peace, Charley Pride. Such a sweet and timeless message of “the secret of happiness.” It’s a simple thing …. and the answer is in this song that I always sing:
What’s saving your bacon right now?
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!
- What choices helped you in 2020?
- What – or who – fills your heart songs?
Chatting with my sister yesterday we laughed about how, like Mom, we wear the same things over and over: A raggedy tee shirt, a fraying nightie, favorite shorts with a rip in the pocket.
There’s comfort in old clothes and in old things ~ they’re worn and soft and easy on the skin. We know what to expect and they deliver. It’s not that we can’t buy new clothes, we can. It’s not that we can’t wear new clothes, we do. But, time and again, we reach for what’s comfortable, what’s familiar, what endures.
- Old recipes on batter-stained pages.
- Coffee cups that fit our hands.
- The love of an old pet who leans in for more.
- How good the house smells as something simmers in the kitchen.
We talked further about “the good stuff,” about how, as you get older, material “stuff” matters less and less. What we want are connections, meaningful conversations, comfortable temperatures, good stories, tasty foods, deep sleep, great coffee, and loyal friends. We want our kids and grands and pets to be OK and everyone we know to feel safe and loved and remembered. And in the chaos this year has brought we reach for the good stuff.
- Can you relate to our conversation?
- What does your “good stuff” involve?
Random 5 Sunday ~ Summer Days, Back to School, National Book Lovers Day, Discoveries and Major Awards
Good morning! It’s a beautiful, lush warm day here in West Michigan, USA. Time for some randoms from my little corner of the world ~
1 ) Summer days, make me feel fine ~ We’ve enjoyed a stretch of the most gorgeous summer weather over the past while ~ cooler nights, warmer days, with temps hovering around 80F. Low humidity, blue skies … the kind of weather tourists flock to Michigan for. Chamber of Commerce Directors couldn’t have ordered better weather!
2 ) Back-to-School ~ BTS is very different this year, with some schools resuming classes in full, others virtually, and some doing a mix of both. I always take our grand-daughter on a BTS shopping day and she recently asked if that was “still on.” I saw the hesitation in her eyes and exclaimed, with enthusiasm, OF COURSE it’s still on! At the time we had the conversation, her school’s fate was still unknown, and I’m not sure it’s sorted out even yet. Kids do better with routines and both of us like having things to look forward to. So we will plan on a fun sleepover, shopping, cooking together, long chats with me and Pops, she’ll enjoy a too-long shower (always allowed at Nana’s), and wake to a lumberjack breakfast. I’ll take her home full, pampered and happy. And if the only place she wears her new stuff is in the neighborhood or on a video lesson, so be it.
3 ) National book-lovers Day is today, August 9th~ Now this is a holiday I can get behind! 🙂 Supper is simmering in the crock-pot, I took my daily walk at 7am and soon I’ll be snuggled up with a new book. Someday, when I retire, I’m certain I’ll spend the first year, or twenty, reading.
4 ) Discoveries ~ I’ve been an Amazon shopper for years and a Prime Member for about a year. I knew the membership included a host of benefits, like free shipping, and free video content. BUT – I just discovered something I probably knew, but forgot, or read in a hurry and glossed over and that is Prime MUSIC. Oh Mylanta am I ever enjoying this. Fun, fun, fun!
5 ) A major award ~ Remember that scene in “A Christmas Story” when Ralph’s Father wins “a Major Award?” Ha ha! I, too, won a major award, recently. We had a fierce but friendly competition at work and our efforts netted me both an individual first place and my team the team award ~~ We were all awarded $$ in Amazon gift cards.
Guess what I spent my points on?
What made your heart happy this week?
It’s summer in Michigan ~ we all know what that means … Spring’s sweaty sister is here for a visit. Could be long, could be short but move over, ’cause she’s sharing your space! Here are Five Random thoughts for today ~ ~
1 ) Watermelon, Cherries, Blueberries and Strawberries in season. That is all.
2 ) Humidity is regularly 80% … or more. Walks are taken before 7:00 a.m. Books are devoured outside or under the kiss of a summer fan. That is all.
3 ) Michigan is still locked in/down. Just keep living. That is all.
4 ) Speaking of lock-downs – there is a strong physical & emotional resemblance to Hubbs here. Add golf and me and it’d be bang-on. That is all.
5 ) This is just a little too true ~ and that is all!
So, what day is it, anyway? And how are you coping?
We have grand-dog Sullivan (“Sully”) with us for a week. Actually I should say I do. I’m clearly his favorite, which annoys my tender-hearted dog-loving Hubbs. He doesn’t mean to but his large frame and big voice scare Sully. Meanwhile if I stop short he literally runs into my butt.
When you haven’t had a dog you in a while you tend to forget what it’s like. Here are some “life lessons” I’ve enjoyed revisiting brought to you from the 3 year old wonder dog:
- Live in the moment – he has a harness thing that took me 15 tries to figure out – but I got it and we were off! His tail wagged the whole time I tried. 🙂
- Appreciate everything: Walks are great & even better with a buddy. 90% of the time he goes full speed ahead. Unless he stops to sniff something. Another good reminder to pause, give thanks, and take in the day.
- Mix things up – take an alternate route once in a while. He enjoyed the detour and I enjoyed the shade!
- Get outside as often as possible. This was early evening, after storms had rolled through. So. Many. Sniffs!
- Play every day. And then do it again as soon as possible.
- Never underestimate the restorative powers of sleep. Photo after 2 walks, 8 games of “keep-a-way,” a million in & outs and 15+ yard sniffs.
We’ve enjoyed having him, we always do. I enjoy waking to a small furry face in mine; I laugh when he nudges me with a squeaky toy. I do what is asked, step away from the laptop and run around the yard a few times.
I’m off work the rest of the week but haven’t told Sully yet ~ I’ll just play with him and let it be his idea. 🙂
Life lessons worth repeating.
It’s the first Friday in June – wow!
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.
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 and the 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:
So, how’re you doing?
Every year ( well, maybe not every year) my kids ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:
What do I want for Mother’s Day?🌹
:: I want you ::
I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about your life, whatever.
Tell me about your job, your worries, your kids, your fur babies. I want you to continue sharing your life with me as you do.
Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to my ears. And laughing together is the best! 💖
I’ve spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my handiwork.
Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. Hungry? You know I’ll make you something good. In fact, I don’t want it any other way.
Spend your money making a better life for you and your family, I have what I need. I want to see you happy and healthy and loved. So when you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day and I say “nothing” it’s because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year.
I want you. 💖
If you’re a Mom who feels the same way, feel free to copy and paste… I did!
and Happy Mother’s Day to my Mother in Heaven ~ She was the lead Kid-wrangler, barn helper, cake baker, costume sewer, 4-H leader, farm Treasurer, horse racing Secretary, shower & wedding organizer, party planner, master gardener, chief cook & bottle operator, farmhand, piano teacher, chauffeur, dog trainer, baby chick nurturer, horse breeder, speech preparer, Sunday school teacher ..and more.
She was something else. In her kitten heels & red patent purse on date nights, or with curlers in her hair off to town to get groceries. She took no guff, imparted quips and wisdom daily ~ She was hilarious,intelligent, well read and loving.
Man, I miss her. Not sure how she did it all but she did – and with flair! my Mom!
and one more:
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!
A few weeks back I heard the sad news that John Prine, legendary singer/songwriter, passed away.
And old rivers grow wilder every day
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello”