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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, fear, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Joy, Life, Mom, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 January Friday

It’s Friday! Time for 5 Random brand-new-year thoughts!

1) Our January weather has been weird.  -temps then + temps.   Blizzards then thunderstorms.  Lake effect snow then freezing rain then black ice then … warm weather and sunshine.  I think Mother Nature is in menopause!

amaze-myself

I can relate to Mother Nature!

2)  Nearly every ad on TV of late is about weight lossHow Marie lost 50lbs on Nuke-your-System!! Oprah and her cookbook and her love of bread! There’s even a new prescription out (can’t recall the name) that promises to accelerate weight loss – the disclaimer states that it “may cause seizures, greasy bowels, rapid heart rate and other side effects.”  Nice!   Who wants to be slimmer but with greasy bowels and seizures? Yikes!  I’ve been (largely) grain free since January 2016 and guess what – not only did I lose weight – I. Am. NEVER. Sick.  In 2014 I had bronchitis 5 times; 2015 – 3 times. 2016? None. Zip. Nada.  **As inflammation recedes the immune system can heal**.  Also-my skin healed, joints don’t ache any more and did I mention I am never sick – despite heavy travel, copious amounts of work stress, public interaction, and being around co-workers with colds & the flu. I’ve lost 20 lbs and 16″.   YES to no more Claritin, Mucinex, Tylenol Sinus, Neti Pot or inhaler needed!  You don’t have to spend a bunch of money eating fake food or chugging down pills – you really can heal from the inside out.  For more visit Cardiologist Dr. William Davis’ site, www.wheatbellyblog.com.

1 year Grain Free ~ An Emjayandthem (C) photo

1 year Grain Free ~ An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3)  Do you ever forget certain chores?  I forget to vacuum. I don’t dislike it, I just forget about it – oops.    What chore do you forget on a regular basis?

4) Saw this on FB and laughed out loud.  Snaccident.  I have never tried Nutella but I could hurt myself with Guacamole!

snackcident

5)   And with that … I’m off to get more coffee!  Happy Friday, peeps!

coffee star trek

 

What weight loss ad have you seen recently? Forget any chores of late? (Or on purpose? 🙂  )  Have you ever had a snaccident?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Family, Food, Forgiveness, Growth, Life, Personal, Recipes, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The road to 2017

2017The days between Christmas and New Years afford us an opportunity to reflect and address the state of our union.  To take stock of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual happiness.

As we look back and ahead we pause to ask:

What was my biggest lesson?

What do I want to learn next?

What do I want more of? Less of?

What makes me happy? Sad?

What do I want to experience?

What do I want to feel?

What/who do I need to forgive?

What do I need to let go?

What do I want to do?  What am I willing to do?

What holds me back? Is it true?

newsboy 2

What will your 2017 headline say?

As you look to the new year, will you celebrate your accomplishments and forgive your blunders?  What excites you about 2017?

*Story idea: Frankie Perez’s MindGym

chapter

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

5 Verses, 1 message

Luke 2:1-3

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

census

Luke 2:4-7

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

journey-to-bethlehem

Luke 2:8-12

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

jesus-in-manger

Luke 2:13-15

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

shepherds-seeking

Luke 2:16-20

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

shepherds-see-jesusMessage:

Google.Images.com

Google.Images.com

Merry Christmas!

 

Source: http://Guidepost.org

Categories: Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Love, News, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Being thankful for doors that closed

When I look back at some of my career opportunities (and those that weren’t) I’ve learned to be grateful for closed doors.

Encouraging someone recently, I offered this, “You have to believe that you deserve a good life.  A happy, meaningful and beautiful life.  Every time the door closes is a test of faith; sometimes you won’t know till years later what was on the other side.  You just have to believe that He knows the plan for you and trust that it’s good.”   Tears filled my eyes as I said what I did and – truth be told – these words weren’t mine, someone gave me this message to share and I did.

We have all had times when the door closed — moments that, looking back, weren’t for you in the first place.  Dead-end jobs.  Bad people.  Relationships that suck the life out of you.

Like the faithful being led out of bondage, a shut door can be a metaphor for the closing of the Red Sea.  No more chains on us!

When this happens, yes sometimes I stare at the lock for a while. Other times I see things for what they are and give a prayer of gratitude for the people who rejected me, the superior who discounts me, the friend who slights me.  That’s when I dig my heels in and move forward anyways.  And I always find that, had I remained where I was, I would have missed where I am.

Every time He shuts a door, there is something better coming.  I’m sure of it.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

shut the door

What closed doors are you grateful for?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Forgiveness, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

On saying Yes

I’ve been thinking a lot about a workshop coming up this weekend — a women’s retreat, so-to-speak, and time away to be with like-minded individuals in a supportive, creative environment.

Thinking about the questions posed to us ahead of time (loosely translated): 1) what’s the greatest risk you ever took and how did it turn out? 2) How do you define passion? and 3) What’s your big “Super Hero” dream – i.e. what does “next” look like?

girl-with-arms-open-wide-to-the-sky

google.images.com

The first two were easy to answer: 1) moving to another country with $178 and a guitar .. and here I am, a successful citizen.  2) It’s all that I am and what I can’t ever leave behind – it’s me doing the right thing regardless if anyone’s around to witness it – it’s music and love, family and relationships, hard work, silliness and stability. But #3.  3 has me thinking .. a lot.

On the treadmill last night, I had an epiphany (treadmill walking will do that to you … you can’t do much else, at least I can’t.) I can’t read or watch TV, pretty sure I’d fall off, but I digress.

I thought about how I gave oldest boy some of my sage advice last week on the power of saying “no.”  And, a direct quote was, “No. It’s a sentence.”  He used it and, by golly, it worked and here we are.

And I realized, at a 3.4 mph speed, that the past 5 years I’ve worked hard at saying no.  No without guilt. No without noise.  One word: “No.”

Saying no has opened up room for “Yes.”  And I’ve done a little of that … but last night I realized I already had my answer to #3 above.

I’m saying “Yes.”

Yes to adventures and events, to meeting new people who inspire and get me, yes to delight and wonder and learning and growth.  Yes to noise and yes to quiet.  Yes to order and yes to messy. Yes to love and comfort, joy and happiness.

I’m saying Yes.

“Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” -Tina Fey

What do you really want to say yes to? Have you made room for it in your life?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Home, music, Personal, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ Spring at last!

Spring appears to be here to stay finally (yay!) and my yard is calling me.  With that, here are my Random 5 from this week:

1.  This year, I solemnly swear, to not get overly ambitious in the garden section and to not plant annuals that I’ll only grow weary of watering come August.  Amen. But first, I have a date with the 10 Trillion weeds growing happily outside!

24763462-home-improvement-store-garden-section

I promise to stop when one cart is full! Google.images.com

2. At the family brunch/lunch on Sunday, cousin Jerry  shyly gifted me with a sample of his home-made maple cream.  Imagine fresh maple syrup whipped into cream.  Imagine a small dollop of it in your morning oatmeal.  Imagine the smile your face :).  Yes, it’s that good.

Yep.  Google.images.com

Yep. Google.images.com

3. Read a fascinating article about forgiveness.  One section resonated so loudly with me I felt my ears ringing as I read it: The people you can’t forgive give you a gift you do not want.  The author explained that the people you won’t forgive give your ego a feeling of control over the relationship but then (here’s the kick, you ready?) you’re burdened with the anger and sadness that comes with carrying that. Ouch and yes, so true. To read the full article click here.

forgiveness heart

With some, it’s easy. With others, it’s a daily struggle. Google.images.com

4.  I love popcorn.  Love it.  You could cover an entire table in candy and chocolates and I’d walk right past them all and stop at the popcorn.   I have talked myself out going to the movies when I realized I was only going for the popcorn!

Totally done this. Google.images.com

Yes! Google.images.com

5. Yesterday I took a road trip to points north. As I often do, I used the lunch break to listen to voice mails left on my office phone while away.  Not sure what happened but somehow I must have pressed the option that speeds up delivery of the voice mail message.  Now, everyone sounds like a chipmunk.  Yes, it’s difficult to get the phone # or understand the message but, I have to admit, replaying a message from a State official who now sounds like “Alvin,” cracked me up!  🙂

Did you call me?  Google.images.com

Did you call me? Google.images.com

What are in your Random 5 for this week?  Do you have to limit yourself in the Garden section, too?  Who do you struggle to forgive? Do you love sweets or salty snacks?  Ever messed up your voice mail system or other technology?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Food, Forgiveness, Growth, Home, Life, Opinion, Rants, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Random Five Friday – June

It’s Friday! (whoo hoo) It’s Random!  Let’s go!

friday cat

1.  Tuesday I waited around all day for an appointment that got pushed back four times. By the time the two young men arrived to work on the pool, I had conceded the day.  They were overbooked, stressed yet polite, apologizing over and over and  I just didn’t have it in me to pile a layer of anger onto their day.   Hanging around, being at home yet attentive to work, made me feel a bit like this turtle.

google.images.com

google.images.com

2. Later that night I attended our grandson’s baseball game.  I’ve been sick and so this was the first game we were able to get to — chatting with some of the moms, I could sense they were trying to figure out who I belonged to. I pointed to the tall fellow in the bullpen and said, “Well that’s my boy.”  I saw the confusion when they realized none of the wee ones on the team were mine but I was claiming the man.  Then I explained that #2 at bat was our Grandson  — ahh — funny — and a reminder that even though he’s grown, oldest one remains a boy in a Mother’s heart.

Oldest boy herding the cats at baseball

What the Father did, the son does:  oldest boy herding the cats at baseball.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

3. Weather.   A cool front came through Monday and we’ve had the most luscious weather possible — mild, sunny, and low humidity.  Days like these feel like a reward for the endurance test of this past winter.

Amen! google images

Amen! google images

4. The Belmont Stakes race is tomorrow and a group of us are planning to watch it together.  Reading the Racing Form takes me back to my childhood, being at the track with my parents, and feeling the excitement and the grandeur of it all.  Hoping California Chrome can pull a Triple Crown win — but even if he doesn’t — what a story!

Hello ladies! Aren't I something?  Source: www.dailyrepublic.com

Hello ladies! Aren’t I something?
Source: http://www.dailyrepublic.com

5.  In a world of e-invites and virtual everything, I really love getting a hand-written thank you card.  First of all, it’s polite and second, it’s timeless.  When someone acknowledges a gesture of mine, it makes me want to repeat the gesture all over again! And I always say a silent prayer of thanks to the Mom who taught the importance of doing so.

What’s your random 5 for today?  Are you watching horse racing tomorrow?

 

 

Categories: Animals, Faith, Forgiveness, Growth, Home, Opinion, Personal, Random observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Worth it

Every so often, another writer’s post touches my heart in such a way that I think about it long after I’ve stopped reading.

This one did.

It’s one man’s story of faith.  Of love. Of moments that matter.

Moments of grace and humor and serendipity.

One man’s story.

Read it here: http://richripley.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/the-touchstones-of-our-heart/

somehow this picture belongs here.  Google.images.com

He’ll understand why bacon is here! Google.images.com

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Grief, Growth, Home, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A little more

“Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us.

And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe next year at this time we’d like each other a little more.”- Judy Garland.

cat & dog

Happy New Year, peeps!

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

No watering the weeds

This has been my best Christmas holiday in recent memory.

Why? On top of the laughter and the joy was something even sweeter: never getting sick.

Nope, for the past four years, I’ve made it to the finish line (Christmas morning) and then collapsed in a heap as the flu bug ravaged my body.

Oh, I had a humdinger of a cold 2 weeks ago.  And a cold sore the size of Kansas to accompany it.  Pretty. Yeah, not so much.

But I never – not once – not this year – got the flu.

No body aches while wrapping presents.

No fevers while cooking breakfasts.

No wishing for bed while entertaining a house-full.

Nothing.

And I think I might know why.

This year, I stopped doing much of what I’ve always done.

I didn’t sign us up for Holiday visits.

I put up 1/4 of the decorations, and even less than last year.

I mailed only a few Christmas cards and most were to elderly aunties. If you received one, you might be elderly. 🙂

I never made fudge and I barely baked.   Everyone plowed through the chocolate covered peanuts, though.

I wrapped quickly and with industrial-strength tape.  (Hubbs has since been renamed “He who was not amused.”  I laughed my face off as he tried to open gifts.  Still am. Not apologizing.)

Yes I’ve stayed up, but I’ve also read up, slept in, and slowed down.

I’ve paid attention to what matters most to me and I’ve kicked my inner lizard to the curb, surrounded myself with battery chargers and heeded my own advice.

I didn’t continue rituals just because I always had.

I didn’t allow time for relationships that aren’t healthy for me.

Instead, I cultivated joy and rest, peace and quiet, laughter and music and happiness.  I harvested love and romance and take out menus and days without schedules.  I stopped shoulding on myself.

I didn’t water the weeds.

How about you?  Can you resist “watering the weeds?”

sunflower me

Here comes 2014. Let’s ignore the weeds & embrace the flowers in our lives!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

The greatest dysfunctional family, ever

Every day, we fight about how to make this a better country.  And while we may disagree on how to get there, Independence isn’t about always getting what you want.

It’s about thinking what you want. Saying what you want. And always being able to stand up for what you believe in.

Happy Independence Day to our beautifully conflicted, argumentative, always-fighting country.

You’re the greatest dysfunctional family in the world.” – Brad Meltzer

Are dysfunctional families actually functional?  (Photo from "Little Miss Sunshine")

(Photo from “Little Miss Sunshine”)

Think about it: are dysfunctional families actually functional?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Quotes, Random, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

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