Joy

Random 5 Friday ~ Classic Rock, Thieves, and B.S.

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

On the shores of Lake Michigan ~ and Emjayandthem(C) photo

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.

That + intermittent fasting = 19 lbs & 33 inches lost. #crybabycry

4 ) Classic Rock is classic for a reason

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

Along the shores of Lake Michigan ~ and Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

So … how was your week?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, News, Opinion, Random observations, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

On being a citizen

* Originally posted July 3, 2013.

* * *

What does being a citizen mean to you?  Really mean?

Does it mean you can vote? Does it mean you belong?

What does it mean?

To me, it means a defining moment in my life.

It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.

To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.

To have a say.

To count.

Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)

Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.

But not anymore.

Why?

Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others  (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from this grateful citizen.

**This is my 12th Independence Day as a new citizen. I’ll celebrate the holiday with flair, independently, of course!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A Sullivan State of Mind

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.

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

He is not here

Good morning ~ The Church may be empty but so is the Tomb!  He’s Alive! He’s Alive! He’s Alive and I’m forgiven Heaven’s gates are open wide, He’s alive!

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I listen to this song every  Easter morning and it makes me cry every single time. This year, being locked in at home, the opening words really got to me…

The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hope of sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin’ through
To drag us all away

But then I heard the good news:  He’s Alive!

 

He is not here!

Happy Easter  

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Joy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 Saturday ~ Birthdays, Rinks and COVID19

It’s Saturday, the sun is shining and it’s time for 5 randoms from my world.  Ready? Set? Go!

1 )  Celebrating oldest boy’s birthday later today ~ which called for some home-made baking straight out of Mommacita’s kitchen.   My blueberry-loving boy gets a blueberry/peach cobbler and the rest will enjoy a Triple Chocolate “Rink” Cake (good enough to take to the rink, a nod to the winter home of my childhood).  That sheen on the cake? That’s from butter in the homemade chocolate buttercream frosting.  Margarine is never gonna give you that sheen ~ Love baked in every bite!

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Triple Chocolate “Rink” Cake

Indeed it is

2 ) Speaking of the Rink .. it remains the H E A R T of my prairie home. Talking with my sister last night she filled me in on the “Spa Spiel” happening this weekend – a 3 day curling bonspiel, with 16 teams, ages ranging from grade school to seniors.  (** Winning team gets a trip to the local hot springs Spa**)  The rink kitchen will be humming with volunteers frying onions for “rink burgers,”  serving up homemade pie, homemade soup and homemade buns, all donated from area residents.   Those not curling will be visiting, skating, playing cards, eating pie and enjoying what’s likely to be the last winter “hurrah” for the real ice of that small-town prairie rink.   Spring will come and the ice will go – it’s just the way it’s always been.

I remember coming in to warm up, after skating for hours, and finding enough change for an ice cold-coke or Sprite out of this cooler.   We’d pull our drink out of the frosty water, wipe it off with the rag that’d been there forever, and enjoy, our cheeks burning as they warmed.    It is not possible to craft a better childhood and I’m so glad to hear those prairie traditions continue!

the old Coca-Cola chest …

 

3 )  Signs of Spring are everywhere – but March came in like a Lamb.  We all know what that means!

Roar !

4 ) Woke up to emails from airlines that I have upcoming business trip tickets with  ~ and assurances about clean air and cabin cleaning….  No CoVid19 around here yet but the FLU (which kills thousands every year) has been rampant, with many schools having to close for a week at a time.   NoroVirus, Influenza A and H1N1 are all in play – blah.   Between us, I’ve got a feeling my corporate conferences are about to be scrapped.   And that’s OK by me.

5 )  My new indulgence – Cuban coffee  ~ oh Mylanta, so good!

 

What’s new in your world?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Can’t say no

Grand-dog Sully

Grand-dog Sully is here for the weekend. He’s like having an 70lb toddler around, in/out, up/down, squeaky toy, wrestling toy, chew toy then knocked out-sleep.  I’m his favorite (I’m the cook & he’s no dummy) and while he likes hubbs he follows me ..and believes that he is a lap dog.

We were up & outside at 530, completed a yard inspection by 7:15 … at 25F. He barked at songbirds trilling – they know it’s warming up, but he missed the memo.  

I’m still recovering from dental hell but laughing at him has been good therapy.

And with that, I gotta go.  I promised my little pal I’d peruse the yard with him again after this last cup of coffee … and even though he is big and grown, when I look in his eyes I still see this:

baby Sullivan

What are you up to today?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

More of my old friend

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 🙂

I am relaxed and happier – all from doing what I love – with no guilt. Reading, learning, growing, and more.  So much more.

  • Does your reading activity go up in winter?
  • Is it sunny where you are?

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

  • (and this friend READS )
Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Self Discovery, Share | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

That feeling ~ New Year’s 2019

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 ~

  1. 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.
  2. That feeling, stretching and waking gently, without the glaring jolt of an alarm.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Your turn:

  1. How are you ringing in the new year?
  2. Do you resolve to do things differently?
  3. 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

Happy * New * Year *

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day!

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.  

google.images.com

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!

– To learn more about Boxing Day visit https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/26/world/boxing-day-facts-trnd/index.htm

 

So … what are you up to today?

Categories: Blogging, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random 5 ~ Christmas 2019

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!

70s Christmas

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!

Rise Up!

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?
    • Wishing you peace at Christmas and always.

~ Merry Christmas! ~

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Mom, News, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Seasons, Share, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

It’s only fitting

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

Planning to go out I re-planned and stayed in.

Coffee up. Decorations out.  Christmas is-a-coming.

Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!

I’m always intrigued by what I end up doing when I’m “off.”  Intentions are good but sometimes one should just lean in and “be.”

Example:

I went to bed when tired (10:30, 12:30, 1:30) and got up when I wasn’t (6:30, 7:30, 8:30.. )  ~  it depends and every day differed.

Worked out twice, but still clocked 10K steps daily **in the house**.  One day? 13K 🙂 and that was while cleaning!

Cleaned, scrubbed, sorted and donated.

Read, read, and read some more.

Watched a movie.  One. Meant to watch more, but visiting got in the way.

Subsided on take-out, leftovers and charcuterie.

And it was wonderful.

Your turn:

  • When’s the last time you surprised yourself?
  • What have you learned by setting plans aside and embracing what life brings you?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Random 5 Friday – Opening day, extra days and Adulting

It’s Friday and time again for Five Randoms from my world.  Ready?  Let’s go!

1  –  November 15th – the “high Holiday”- it’s opening day of firearm/rifle season in Michigan.   Several years ago I traveled across the state on a beautiful Fall morning, completely oblivious that it was “opening day.”   About an hour into my two-hour trip my attention turned from my tunes to the abundance of men in Orange jackets and pickup trucks off-road.   Startled deer burst out of the woods and across the highway.    I’ve never made that mistake again- nope, no more opening day road trips for me!

High-tail it Martha!

2 – This made me laugh out loud because it’s a little too true and don’t you dare touch my red spatula!

3 – Last week my team & I put together our Holiday time-off schedule – it wasn’t until I did so that I realized I have an extra WEEK of vacation days to use before year-end.    My face when I realized the mistake in my favor:

swirling, twirling dance of JOY!

4 – As a result -I’ve taken the WHOLE week of Thanksgiving off + time at Christmas AND New Year’s- I have a new verb for what I’ll be doing:  Hallmarking!  I plan to sleep till I wake, read till I can’t, watch sappy movies, decorate, cook, clean, work out, putz around and mostly lean in hard to my highly-savored time OFF!

5 – Even with the holidays off I still have days to spare – I’m saving those for our new grand-baby’s December arrival.  I plan to cuddle and rock our little one, take care of Mom & Dad, cook, clean and fuss over them all.  ❤

When’s the last time a mistake worked in YOUR favor?  

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

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When I Ride...

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RICH RIPLEY

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Another Stir of the Spoon

Food, Art, Books, Birds and whatever...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine; For your light has come!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by three opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

Tales from our farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...