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Reading through several lives

It’s National Book Lovers Day!

This should be a national holiday .. with paid time off .. with cozy chairs and coffee/tea for anyone interested. 😀

I’ve written before of my love affair with books .. and it hearkens back to being a very young girl.  Cozied up next to Mom while she read me a story, I remember the heat of her body on mine as I leaned in wide-eyed and wondering.

Mom took me for my first Library card before I started school and I still remember the joy felt filling the book bag up to the top, the weight of it necessitating a drag to the Oldsmobile.   Sorting through my choices, the smells filling my senses, I lined my books up in order of priority.

I remember a similar thrill when the Book Fair came ’round each school year ~ bringing home the paper-thin order sheet and circling choices, then handing my list over for her review and approval.  She always encouraged us to “read up,” and we discussed choices and our reasoning behind them.  Looking back, I can see she favored intelligent choices and those fought hard for.  And if you couldn’t defend it, you didn’t need it.

  • Another one of her life lessons right there!

And, as I’ve grown, books remain a comfort to me ~ a place I love to belong.

A summer read takes me back to our backyard canvas tent, reading my sister’s “Valley of the Dolls” or “Love Story” before moving on to “It” or “Roots” or other intriguing plots.

A winter read can transport me back under the covers of our shared girls’ bedroom, the weight of winter blankets cocooning me into a drowsy state of relaxation.

It’s National Book Lovers Day ~ but I’m celebrating all year long!

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”  ― William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

 

  • Are you celebrating National Book Lovers Day with me?
  • If you’re a reader, who encouraged your love of reading?
  • What recent book are you still thinking about?
    • for me, it’s “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

 

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Home, Life, Mom, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The last thing to grow

It’s August already! Summer took forever to arrive and now it’s flying by .. “Back to School”  supplies have been on store shelves since 4 seconds after the 4th.  We’ll blink and Halloween will be here.

For me, the first half of the year flew by due to copious amounts of work travel, work schedule, work projects, work calls and … work.

One thing that’s saved me has been steadily indulging my passion: reading.   I’m devouring books on planes and in hotel rooms; picking up more at bookstores in tiny towns as I pass through.  I’ve lost count of the number read this summer … but it’s not about the number.  It’s about the departure.  Falling into a good book is like coming home.

Just finished. Delicious!

Recently I saw these words below and they resonated with me.   Not just because I adore the fruits of summer … cherries, watermelon, and fresh peaches coming soon … but because, just like in life, we can’t feel our growth until the fruits begin to appear.

 

  • Can you relate?
  • What passions do you want to indulge?
  • What are you reading this summer?
Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

July Random 5 – Aging apps, Shirley MacLaine and self-care

It’s Sunday, mid-July, and here we are cruising down hill towards August.   Time for 5 Rapid Fire Randoms from my world.  Ready? Set – Go!

1   Aging apps – friends on Facebook are posting results of an app that ages you by 40 years.  Here’s one to try- ha!

Dog days of Summer –  Our West MI Summer took it’s sweet time arriving.  Our first 80F day was June 20th.   But now that we’re into July – with more than 3 weeks of warm weather behind us – folks are already CRABBING about it.  I was doing fine until that sweltering sweaty muggy stuff landed last week ~ the hot, humid, dank weather that steals your breath away at 6am.   The humidity so high that you sweat AFTER a shower.   Our local AM radio host cheerfully announced, “The heat index – with the humidity – is already over 90F.”     I turned up the fan and suppressed my crabbiness.3 Grand Dames – I read a recent interview with actress Shirley MacLaine.  Always liked her.  Classy, smart, sassy … takes no prisoners.  This quote resonated with me:

“I have what I consider just a perfect life … I eat what I want, I sleep when I want.  Not that much bothers me. I think attitudes are a choice.  Anger is a choice, peace is a choice, sarcasm – which is what I’m good at – is a choice.” ~ Shirley MacLaine

I wanna be Shirley MacLaine when I grow up!

the incomparable Shirley MacLaine

4 Stopping when necessary – As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better at stopping what doesn’t work for me.   Try something new but don’t like it?  Don’t keep doing it.  Order a new food that disappoints?  Set it aside.   The same goes for books – I LOVE to read, as in l-o-v-e to read.  Summer = reading for me.   But just recently I started a book with characters so awful – I had to stop.  The female character allowed herself to be manipulated by a narcissistic and cruel man, a man who enjoyed  the “game,” playing with her emotions and physical safety like a cat with a mouse.    I could see where the story was going after reading just a few chapters. Yes, I knew she’d probably become her own kind of hero but I just couldn’t sit through the abuse.

So I stopped reading it.

I didn’t give it away, I didn’t turn in for re-sale or donate it.

I threw it out.

You might be empathic if …

5  Heading to a corporate conference this week ~  practicing self-care now – there – and thereafter!

  1. Ever stopped doing what didn’t work for you? 
  2. Does Shirley’s quote resonate with you as well?  Why?
  3. How do you practice self-care? 

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, fear, Food, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Summer Days & Sully’s book

We’re nearing the end of our July vacation ~  and it always amazes me how quickly vacation flies by!

Ahh the lazy days of summer.  It’s hot, sticky and sunny.  Even with my 70SPF I have a warm tan with tan lines where my flip flops go and tank tops end.  As when I look back at all we’ve accomplished and had going these past 2 weeks it’s no wonder we’re both moving a little slow this weekend.

  • I arrived home on a Friday after attending a 3 day corporate conference
  • Had new window treatments installed (involved moving furniture/etc out of the way and back again)
  • Played in a couples golf scramble
    • all in the same day 😀
      • what was I thinking?
      • Say yes and you’ll figure it out later
  • Picked my sister up from the plane and, for a week, stayed up late and got up early, still talking
  • Visited the big lake (Lake Michigan) 2 x  + Won and lost money at the Casino
  • Cried watching “Toy Story 4” and “The Mustang”
  • laughed at all the same places in “Bridesmaids”
  • Reveled in the ability to sit across the table from each other, laughing until we choked while finishing each others sentences
  • Skipped breakfast & enjoyed watermelon and cherries for lunch
  • Savored pots of coffee & tea out on the patio with sister, Sully and Hubbs … plus a cold beer or two, too

Mornings with Sully, an Emjayandthem (C) Photo

  • Up and outside early and to bed when tired with no alarm clocks – WHEE!
  • Celebrated the 4th with amazing fireworks, dancing fireflies and neighbors
  • Decorated the hall for the kid’s wedding and hosted the rehearsal dinner, ordered the limo, catering, bar, DJ and more plus managed the details!
  • Helped him get ready on his big day
    • Cried with Hubbs and my sister at ^^ above
      • Smiled at his smile when he saw her
      • Cried again
  • Witnessed their vows, celebrated by dancing with our boys, my sister, hubbs and friends.
  • Polka’d till I lost my breath and then went out and did  it again 🙂
  • Cleaned up the hall and tumbled into bed
  • Got up early  & hosted a gift opening
  • Languished in the hot tub
  • Cared for, slept with and supervised grand-dog Sully ~ who is adorable and hilarious but a bit like having a 70lb toddler

Today I cooked up brunch, did some catalogue perusing and online shopping but still haven’t started on my books, there’s been no time.   …. but I think I’ll take a page out of Sully’s book and go enjoy a nap in the a/c.

Sully nap, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

What are you up to today? Take any naps lately?  

 

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Sunday Random 5 – Golf, Joe Friday, Wedding Bells & Good Tired

Here we are nearing the end of June ~ it’s time for 5 Random Thoughts from my world.  Ready?   Let’s do this.

1 ) Golf – who knew I would have this much fun golfing? Even the lessons are fun!  I tell him this all the time so I’ll tell you, too: Hubbs was right.  You cannot golf and work.  Beyond being together and being outside,  disconnecting from my job is something I’m  enjoying so much.  I like what I do, but no one needs to do it a-l-l the time!  🙂

2 )  Good tired. We both worked around the house & yard yesterday and I went to bed early ~ It was a “good tired,” the tired that comes with aching muscles and sore feet but the knowledge you accomplished something.  Then, to no surprise, I found myself awake at 4, then 5, at by 6:10 I threw the covers back with a “oh just get up already.”    Laundry’s done, coffee’s hot and Salsa Chicken simmers in the crock pot ~ I’m enjoying padding around a quiet house on a sunny summer Sunday.

3 ) Joe Friday  – Heading to another corporate conference this week ~  there have been even more organizational shifts with senior people leaving and new folks coming in.  The bench is deep and the talent is impressive.  And, as we’ve done before, we were asked to complete the Myers-Briggs personality test.   I’ve taken this test many times  over the course of my corporate life and I always get the same result – I’m an ISTJ  —

  • ISTJ – The Inspector (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)  ~ Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Highly capable and decides logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

I’m Joe Friday! Google.images.com

However, the test is only as accurate as your answers are honest.   And like we’ve all seen, there are some who “play it” up for the big cheese(s), sit in the front row, hang on the leaders’ every answer, and kiss the ring.  These are the same people whose profiles never match up to who they actually are.   I’m fine with my results because I know exactly who I am – the good, bad, and the ugly.   And that’s exactly why such trips are so taxing!

4)  Wedding bells – Our youngest son is getting married in just a few weeks!  10 minutes ago he was this little.  But he’s not so little anymore.  He still has the same laugh & love for life ~ and now he has a beautiful partner by his side, someone to call his very own.  The love between them is palpable and we couldn’t be happier!

Corporate Family picnic, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 )  Summer Vacation  – After this week’s conference ends comes 15 – count ’em – 15 days off!  I’m leaning in for time with Hubbs, time with my sister, trips to the beach and Casino, visits with our boys & their girls, a happy wedding to enjoy and dance to,  grilling out,  grand-kids, grand-dogs,  Golf, sunshine,  sunscreen,  watermelon, flip flops, tank tops, down time , new books and more good tired. 

 

  • So, what’s new in your world? 
  • Do you enjoy the feeling of “good tired?”  
  • Ever taken a personality test?
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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

When the soul weeps

I still miss her.

Mom.

This July will be 3 years.

She would not want this, she’d chide me, give me sh*t and push me to “get on with it, for Heavens sake.”

She’d even snort once or twice.

She in her cat-eye glasses and pedal pushers.

She.

All 100 lbs of her.

I miss her.

I long for our conversations.

I suppose I always will.

The depth. The breadth. The range.

The absurd, the large, the small, the swing of it all.

I see her face in little old ladies faces at the grocery story, except they don’t carry a red purse or possess the spunk she did.

You know what I miss most?  Our friendship.

How lucky was I?

I know I should just “deal” and be grateful, and I am.

But her name was Gay, and she epitomized the word fierce.

Mom on Buck, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

And I miss her.

 

“The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits

 

Who are you missing tonight?

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Family, Grief, Home, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 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

Random 5 Sunday ~ Cows, gifts, dogs and Bradley Cooper

It’s the first Sunday of March, yay!  I’m gearing myself up for several weeks of business travel and heading into some of the coldest temperatures of the year.     Time for some Randoms from my world.

1 )  This picture describes this winter!

2 ) Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with political posts by well-meaning friends ~  I admit to having snoozed” a few ( to avoid seeing their stuff for 30 days)  because I can’t take the rants.  Give me pictures of your babies, kids, dogs, cats, casseroles or cakes.   The other stuff I’d just as soon pass over.  But this one, now this one made me laugh:

3 )   I asked our youngest boy for just a little bit of his co-worker’s “homegrown honey.”  This is what he gave me.  Nothing says love like a year’s worth of amber deliciousness~!

An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

4 ) Maybe it was the cold or just being home and inside but this year I watched the Oscars.  Haven’t watched in years!  Hubbs and I were “dog-sitting” our oldest son’s dog, Roscoe, and he watched the Oscars with me.  It was a cold & stormy night (sounds like something Snoopy would write) and the winds were howling (the Bomb Cyclone was underway).    Between us, we decided Roscoe-Doggus should have been nominated (and won) in the most dramatic category:

  • #highwindsequalhighbarks
  • #willbravethesnowfortreats
  • #workingPopsforpizza
  • #Nanaisasuckerfortheseyes
  • #moveoverBradleyCooper

Grand-dog Roscoe ~ we sure missed him when he went home. An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

5 ) Speaking of Bradley Cooper… this also made me laugh.  (Bad weather can certainly = carb noshing!)

In case you missed their Oscar performance, see link below ~ ME-Ow!

 

And how was your week?

Categories: Animals, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Men, music, News, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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A New Day Dawns

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