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Random 5 Friday ~ Coffee, Peace, Votes and Rats

Random 5 Friday.  Ready? Set — Go!

1 )  This picture, taken at night in my home province of Saskatchewan, Canada, brings me peace.  I cannot look at those stars and not believe.

Photo Credit to Gerry Pocha

2 ) There was risk of a rat sighting today.  While I am thankful for the heads-up, my skin prickled at the mention and, thankfully, I dodged the interaction.  🙂    See once you’ve lived/worked/endured rat behavior – years can pass and your tail will still twitch at the memories a bad experience left on your soul.

3 ) Yesterday was National Book Day (should be a holiday, I’m just saying…. ).  Saw this and just had to share:

The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.” — Elizabeth Hardwick

4 ) Autumn is sneaking in.  Know how I know?  Mornings are just slightly darker.  On weekdays I am always up by 6:00 or sooner — now, it’s like August arrived and the sun decided to sleep in.  Seriously, there’s been a turn and I feel it most in the mornings.  Coffee up!

5 )  The August Primary took place earlier this week.  Whenever I get to vote, I think of Mom & Dad … they were both so passionate about voting and never missed an opportunity to take part. One time, because of bad weather & greasy roads, their only way out was to drive the tractor a mile & a half to the highway where they were met by Dad’s brother & sister-in-law – all four rode together into town to vote.  Open-air tractor or not, Mom grabbed her red patent leather purse and hopped on. I can just see it, the two of them heading off up the hill.     Man, I miss them. ❤

Mom and Dad with one of their winning horses – and a date night. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

Did you celebrate National Book Day, too? 

Ran into any rats lately? 

Seeing signs of Autumn where you are?

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Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Elections, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Men, News, Personal, Politics, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Random 5 Sunday ~ Spring, Weddings and Anniversaries

Good morning and Happy Sunday to you!   Time for 5 Randoms from my world.  Ready?  Let’s go.

1 )   Spring.  I’d been away from the office for several weeks, returning last week to a stacks of mail and Spring  outside my window.   After (what felt like) a 10 month winter, Spring seems even brighter this year. And overdue.  Yes, it rained all weekend, but the rain washed away the pollen and, for the first time in a week, my eyes no longer feel gummy.    Farmer’s daughters have a hard time wishing away rain anyways.

**Hello Spring! **

2 )  Travel ~ as fun and adventurous as it was to be away ~ including staying an extra night because of flight delays (in a hotel, not the airport, yay), it’s wonderful to come home again.  With 3 days in the office last week and 1 more tomorrow, I’m nearly caught up.  On Tuesday I’m off again for a couple of nights and back home in time to slide into the long weekend.   This is the kind of travel I love~ by car, with stops along the way, the schedule is (mostly) all mine, structured enough to accomplish my objectives but with enough free time to take in the sights.  I’ll be winding my way north along the shores of Lake Michigan and back again.   And I won’t miss my desk one bit.

**Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.**

3 ) Companions– While visiting city officials and town halls I’ll have Dad with me.   See Dad, in addition to being a full-time farmer,  served his local Rural Municipality (R.M.) as a Councilor for 30+ years and this girl went with him much of the time.  I’d straighten the paperwork and make sure the coffee pot was full, watch how he listened, interacted, and worked the issues.  I learned from him how to relax and stand confident in what I know.   Although my present day role is much different from his, there’s much of what he did that comes with me.  And I still  experience a child-like wonder as I walk into a century-old City Hall, seeing the grooves in the floor from so many before me, smelling furniture polish and the must that exists in those cavernous old rooms.     I can easily spot the radiators still hugging the walls and, before long, enjoy a relaxed camaraderie with present day staff.

**A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.**

4 )  Anniversary –  This week marks 10 years as a U.S. Citizen.    10 years! Yes, 10 years ago I raised my right hand and, with 78 others (from 34 countries) took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and stepped forward as a new American. It signified the end of one journey and the beginning of another.   It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen. Why?  Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

That’s me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.”

 

3) The Royal Wedding – Unlike past events, I didn’t set my alarm, instead I set the DVR.  Snoozing till 8:00 I hopped up out of bed, poured a large cup of coffee, and turned on the TV.   For whatever reason, I just didn’t have the same interest in this wedding as I did for Diana and Charles in 1981 or William and Kate in 2011.   Maybe I was still trying to learn about the gal who’d bedazzled a Prince and, let’s be honest, some of the attraction was the hot mess certain members of her family had been, too.    The day was dazzling, the sky glorious, the hats large and the dress fancy.   Having the DVR recording allowed me to fast-forward through the speculative coverage by “new” Royal experts and get to the good stuff.  Yes, I cried when I saw the two brothers walking so confidently together.   I giggled at the cuteness of the little page boys and flower girls.   I teared up watching Prince Charles join her on her lone walk in, when the two of them said their vows, shared a kiss, and hopped into the Carriage to be swept off to their future.   I’ve cried at this and every wedding I’ve ever witnessed.  This was no different: in the end, it’s all about love.  I wish them well.

image from Delish.com

**All you need is love … ** -Paul McCartney

So, how was your week?

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Relationships, Thoughts, Traditions, Travel, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

On catching the red dot

So I’ve been covering for a vacant position for a while now and recently was given permission to post the job (yay!) and the autonomy to make my own decisions (double yay!).

Let the games begin!

But before I start let me say that I’ve interviewed for many jobs in my life.  I’ve won my share and lost just as many. Looking back, there were roles I wasn’t ready for, others someone (Divinely) guided me away from, and still more where I just wasn’t the one.

In 1989, before an interview for my very first *big* corporate break, I spent the afternoon at the library researching the corporation and discovered they were breaking ground on a multi-billion dollar plant in Saudi Arabia.  During the interview, when asked what I knew about their company,  I spoke in general terms but also referenced that project.  I saw the HR Director’s eyebrow shoot up and a smile cross her face.  And in that moment I knew I had it; I started soon after and stayed (and grew) for 12 years.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

9 years ago when a Territory Manager announced her retirement, I asked to be considered.  No I’d never been a manager but I was doing similar work and knew the processes & department inside out.  I was able to articulate to the powers-that-be that they’d be wise to choose me – and they did.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

4 years ago I applied for and won the position I’m in today, leading the Department.   I endured 4 grueling interviews but I knew, just like that first *real* opportunity, that this job was mine.  I knew there was no one more qualified: it was on me to convince them of that.  I prepared my list of accomplishments, practiced questions and answers with Hubbs, read up on my list of awards, best practices and process improvements.  I was ready. I brought my A-game and trounced the competition.

  •  Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help the hiring manager see you as their solution.

So now, when I find myself on the other side of the interview table, I can’t help it, I look for candidates who prepare like I would.

I look for people with passion for the work, not just a way out of what they’re doing now.

I look for someone who can see themselves in the job and help me see them as part of my team.

So here’s what actually happened, in no particular order:

  • A woman wrote a compelling cover letter detailing the reasons why she’d be a great fit.   Except she cited the wrong job.  Oy.
  • Two (men) tried to cut to the front of the line by emailing or calling me directly for an interview, ignoring HR protocol.  Not cool, back in line you go, and, by the way, neither made it past “go.”
  • One person never bothered to read the job description ~ during a phone screening he admitted that the part of the state this job covers is the part “he hates.”   Yeah, we’re done.
  • Another (man) winked at me at the close of an in-person interview.  Lysol, please.
so awesome

Don’t be this guy

~ Sigh~

People are fascinating and the things they’ll tell you in an interview (or anywhere) are astounding.

Example:

  • Question: This position manages many deadlines and details ~ describe for me what tools or tips you use to stay on top of multiple projects.
  • Answer: “I’m not a detail guy and I’m not very good at managing deadlines either.”
  • My thoughts:  Dude!

Another example:

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Answer: Well I plan to move south next summer so I’m hoping you guys have something down there I can transfer to!!
  • My thoughts: Holy hell my head hurts.

There was one exception however.

She arrived early, calm and well-spoken.

She had a pleasantness about her, confidence without bravado.

She listened.

She articulated relevant experiences.

She asked good questions; she’d done her homework.

She connected the dots.

I am not indecisive: When I meet someone with passion and potential, I know it.

It wasn’t long before an offer was extended and thankfully accepted.

caught the red dot

 

** How about you?  Have you been on the other side of the interview table?  How do you prepare? What do you look for?  Do you know a dot catcher when you meet one?**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Joy, Life, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Random 5 August Friday

It’s that time again! 5 Random thoughts in no particular order … here we go:

1  – For the past 2+ years a sticky note that says “Conf Call” has been stuck on my office door.  I really should play “Conf Call Bingo.”    I could have been a winner many times over!

Conference-call-bingo-card

2  – I doubt I’d ever get a tattoo.  I don’t dislike them and I’m not bothered by others having them.  I just can’t think of one single thing that I want etched into my skin … forever.  Plus – what if it’s a really bad tattoo?  Not like hair color, you can’t change it …  you’re stuck with that.  Thoughts?

10-Pound-Head

No

3 –  8 months ago I eliminated grains. Within 6 weeks I lost 15 lbs (8.5 in the first 2) and 16+” ~ and ~ I’ve held it off despite my crazy work/travel schedule,  moving, company reorganization, Mom’s passing, kid’s wedding, etc.  Now that I’m through all that craziness I’m looking forward to life going back “to normal,” whatever that is.    I am still eating my eggs, healthy fats, meats, veggies and berries.  I’m packing my lunch and declining lunch dates; I prefer my fuel to anything a restaurant is serving.  Talk about a shift change!  Looking back and taking stock I lost:

  • inflammation,
  • skin rashes,
  • fretful sleep
  • wheezing (threw out my DUSTY inhaler),
  • joint pain,
  • chronic respiratory infections,
  • cold sores
  • red/puffy skin 
  • low blood sugar shakes
  • lethargy

I gained:

  • a happy tummy,
  • clear skin (and frequent compliments!)
  • bright eyes,
  • shiny, bouncy hair,
  • energy & vitality
  • a defined jaw line & neck!
  • no blood sugar swings
  • pain-free joints,
  • restorative sleep and
  • the ability to soar through life’s challenges without cold sores!
Me - 8 mos - grain free. an Emjayandthem (C) photo

Me – 8 mos – grain free. an Emjayandthem (C) photo

Want to know more?  Visit Wheatbellyblog.

4 – Currently interviewing to fill an open position.  Candidates who cut to the front of the line and contact me directly (circumventing the HR process)?  Not cool.  I don’t care who you know or how you got my info ~ back to the line you go!

line-cutting-2-final

5  – It’s Friday!  We’re attending a family wedding tomorrow ~ yes we’ll go to the wedding ceremony and we’ll cry when we see the lovely bride peek around the corner. We’ll tear up when we see her Dad & Mom – Hubbs’ cousin – choke up at the sight of baby girl.  They’ll see a tow-headed toddler; we’ll see a beautiful and accomplished young nurse.  We’ll laugh and carry on with the aunts & uncles and cousins over drinks & appetizers at some bar we hit up before the reception starts.  Later we’ll clink glasses and laugh and smile during the reception.  I’ll wear something that twirls and my brown-eyed handsome man will take me for a spin on the dance floor.  At home boxes still wait for us.  Walls are still bare – not a picture in sight. Who cares?  Not me.   Life is meant to be … lived!

dance like no one is watching

 

How about you?  Ever played Conference Call Bingo?  Will you get a tattoo? If so, what?   Made any health changes lately?  What do you think about line-cutters?  And lastly, what’s on the docket for your weekend?

Happy Friday, peeps!

Categories: Beauty, Food, Life, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Return

It’s been a month since I wrote last.

1 month.

1 month, 2 weddings & a funeral.

Sounds like a movie title.

Time marches on, life slowly returns to some semblance of normal.

The phone rings. Emails chime in.  Cell phone buzzes.

It’s good to be back;  a routine is helpful to me.

But … other times fatigue hits like a wet blanket.

There’s no logic to it.

Grief.

You’re sideswiped when you least expect it.

Looking at a picture, singing a song, holding something she’d held.

Then I think about the past 6 months and the growth that’s occurred ~ 6 months ago {today}  I was nervously off to meet with some rather tough hombres. Tonight is meeting #4  with same crew. No nerves. Funny how that goes, isn’t it?  She’d smile at that and give me a thumbs up.  I’ll take it, too.

Yes there were many stories to share, many moments.  Many laughs, many tears.  Many kind words, much emotion expressed.  So much.

Like the passage I read at her funeral .. .there’s a time for all things under Heaven.

And as she’d want us to, we laughed. We cried. We sang. We danced.  We remembered. And, as she’d nudge us to, we carried on.

Ecclesiastes-3-4

Thank you for your kind words on the passage of my Mother.

Your kindness gave me the strength to square my shoulders, smile broadly and speak openly about her at the memorial.    She was with me and so were you.

PS ~ our last conversation was personal and political, we bantered about Rump and Billary ~ I can’t tell you how much I love that 🙂

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Grief, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Mom, Politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ communications & coincidences

It’s Friday at last~ but I’m helping staff a charity event tomorrow so I am home today – working & doing some of the chores now that I’d normally do tomorrow – laundry, groceries, yes + emails, conference calls and projects.

My life/world/schedule has been a whirlwind lately, with me clocking well over thousand miles this month and today’s only the 20th.  Whew!

So here are 5 randoms from my world recently:

  • At the State Capitol recently, I “randomly” met an Elected official at the restaurant where my team and I were having dinner – someone with whom I had a scheduled meeting with that same week. That random meeting turned into a good conversation and our getting to know each other.   I “ran into” her twice more before our meeting  and, as a result, it was comfortable, she was relaxed, and introduced me to staff as her “friend.”    Random happenings rarely are.

coincidence quotes

  • In the Capitol meeting with various officials, I saw a Facebook post from a friend’s son, a single father, there on a field trip with his daughter.  Now Hubbs used to babysit this boy when he was little, as his Dad (hubbs’ friend) was a Single Dad, too.   I haven’t seen him or her in quite some time but as we hugged in the hallway, our smiles said it all!  Random? Not so much.
Capture

An Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

  • Driving to a meeting recently, I felt nerves overtaking my confidence.  I knew I had nothing to be nervous about but the part giving me pause was the unknown – who would be there and how would they behave.  (Didn’t want to encounter yet another rat!)  2 of my favorite Gospel songs came on my music player and played back to back – as it was set to Random Shuffle – and I felt any anxiety simply melt away.  Parking my car and sitting quietly for a minute, I said a prayer of thanks for His grace and my strength, grabbed my purse and marched on in. 🙂

PrairieSunrise

  • Attending an event later in the week I spotted him before he did me – the work Rat was back.   I listened as he chatted about himself, him and his other favorite topic, him, then found myself pulled into conversations with other guests. (Thank you!)  I kept him in my periphery, hovering nearby like a gnat. He sat near me during lunch, offering updates on himself, his adventures, his purchases, him.  With pride, I watched my team listen but not lean in, and soon we all found ourselves engaged with other guests.   With no one to whine to or show off for, he slunk away.   I’m pleased I didn’t allow recent rat sightings to torture me and that affirmed my stated intolerance for mangy mammals.  Random growth, glad for it.

no more rats

  • Lastly, last weekend I attended my (soon-to-be) daughter-in-law’s bridal shower. I walked in, set my gifts down and a lovely lady smiled up at me. Something clicked and I knew – just knew -that we’d crossed paths before. I couldn’t place where or when until she spoke- with a lovely lilting English accent. And she seemed to know me, too. We put two and two together & realized we met last summer – in the MSP airport – as she & her husband were heading home to MI from visiting her English family, and I was coming home from my niece’s wedding/visit with Mom in Canada. At the time we had a friendly conversation and agreed that (English) Cadbury’s and Rowntree make the best chocolate (She chuckled at my stash of Canadian candy bars for our boys and the grands).  That lady in the airport? Grandmother of the bride, my soon to be daughter-in-law!   The world just isn’t that small and there are no coincidences. I still have shivers just thinking about the serendipity of it all.

Believe_In_Coincidence_by_reds2005

How about you?  What random happening happened to you lately?  Do you believe paths cross for a reason?

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Mom, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Random observations, Rants, Thoughts, Wisdom, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Up on the beach – helping Syrian refugees

A few years ago, I became friends with a wonderful lady blogger, Sandi.  Sandi is a Florida mid-wife who, at the time, was based in China.  She’s shared her talents all over the world and recently left the safety of home and family to bring comfort to Syrian refugees washing up on the beaches of Greece.

She’s writing of her experiences and I have to tell you, reading about soaking wet children arriving on an overloaded raft, terrified and clinging to their mothers, haunts me.

An excerpt:

Thursday, February 11, 2016… the sun has set, our daily meeting with Toula’s volunteer group (or the group I affectionately refer to as Toula’s Merry Band of Volunteers) is over and Jaymarie and I decide to go to dinner.

Driving down the beach road we come across people coming up from the sea. Refugees. I ask Jaymarie to stop and I get out while she turns around to go back to the village for help. With the exception of one woman who is acting “shocky”, every one of the men, women and children seem to be OK, except they are wet and cold.

A young man, maybe around 25, comes up to me and hugs me and says while crying, “I drove the boat and I got everyone here safely… we are safe, we are safe!!!” The whole crowd starts to chant the same words in their language. My heart explodes with joy that I simply can’t explain.

A bit of an explanation. Sometimes the people on the boat are in a state of shock when they get on the ground. I think it’s a combination of many things including, absolute fear of the crossing (it is dark, their boats are grossly overloaded, many have never been on the sea), they are cold and wet, they are overwhelmed that the hardest part of their journey (fleeing their country, crossing multiple countries and a big, black, turbulent sea) is over and they are in Europe. All you can do is get them out of the wet clothes, put dry clothes on them and give them lots of hugs and love. This seems to work 🙂

Photo courtesy Flammidwyfe.com

Photo courtesy Flamidwyfe.com

The other thing I want to explain is the boats. I’ve touched on this before. They are rubber inflatables. They are kitted out with 30 hp engines, yes 30… that is NOT a typo! The 6 km journey takes an HOUR because there are 50-60 people on a rubber boat with a 30 horse power engine! Thus this young man’s immense joy that he brought this boatload of fellow refugees in safely. I asked him if he had ever driven a boat before and he told me, “no”. In fact, he has never been on the water before. I hugged him extra tight! He told me, “you are like my mother”. I struggle to keep my emotions in check because there is work to be done.

Help arrives! And we decide that it is best to walk them 1/2 a mile down to the clothing warehouse that is donated by a generous local man and maintained by Toula (the amazing local woman who will get her own post!) and her Merry Band of Volunteers. We get them in out of the wind and assist with getting them into dry tops, pants, shoes, socks and coats. Jaymarie helps a family with a special needs child who appears to have CP. (darn it!!! now I’m crying. In a cafe… why? Because I think of my {grand-daughter} Celeste and how scary it must have been for that mommy to travel with this special angel over that water and the whole voyage, gosh I hope they find a good place to live!). Jaymarie held the child while his mom and dad helped his siblings get into dry clothes and then clothed themselves.

Lots of love, lots of hugs, so much gratitude and JOY. What a great reason to be late to dinner!

https://flamidwyfe.com/2016/02/13/up-on-the-beach/

All kinds of help is needed.  I’m leaving the politics out of it.  These are people, real people, with nothing.

  • Any donation helps with basics – clothing, blankets, food, shoes, sanitary supplies, medical help:
  • https://www.youcaring.com/sandra-blankenship-480179 Or via PayPal: flamidwyfe1@aol.com
  • From Sandi:  I’m here because this is where God led me. I’ll stay until He leads me to leave. 

As for me I’ll be forgoing Starbucks and manicures and donating later today.   I’ve shared her blog on my Facebook page. As an immigrant myself, I cringe at the thought that anyone’s journey to a better life could end in the dark on a leaking rubber raft.

 

Matthew 25:35-40 – For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

Categories: Blogging, Charity, Faith, fear, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Travel, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Cookie sales and fair pricing

I read about a school that held a bake sale promoting gender equality.  Boys were charged $1.00 and girls $0.77; a stark lesson to all that, in spite of progress made thus far, on average, women are paid far less than men, for the same job.

gender equality bake sale

Google.images.com

When I was promoted to Department Head several years ago, the disparity in pay was egregious.  I knew I’d been underpaid in the manager job I’d held for 4+ years and I was privy to the fact that my male colleague (with the same title and responsibilities) earned far more than I did. My male supervisor knew about it but wasn’t interested in doing anything to level the playing field. When it came time to make adjustments to the next level, you better believe I spoke up.  I’m happy to report I didn’t settle for $0.77, either.

On a similar note, we have potlucks at our office on a regular basis; the same three guys never bring anything but always enjoy multiple servings.  I think the price of cookies just went up. 🙂

“A woman is human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative, or more responsible than a man. Likewise, she is never less. Equality is a given. A woman is human.”  – Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you witnessed unequal treatment in the workplace?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Men, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

R5F – Peonies, memories, crimes & attitudes

It’s Friday and time for 5 random happenings and observations from my world.

1.  My Lilacs have come and gone but look who is making their grand debut?

100_2366

Frankie loved the peonies and his ashes are scattered here. Seeing them bloom makes me smile and long for my silly old dog.

2. Last night we ran the dishwasher, a routine task done a few times a week.  It’s normally filled with plates, silverware and coffee cups.  Youngest boy put a large sauce pot in the lower tray upside down.  Reading quietly in the next room I heard a sound I couldn’t quite identify and then it hit me:  the spray of water hitting the bottom of that pot reminded me of milking cows as a little girl.   With 5 kids we always kept one or two milk cows and Dad would let us “help.”  More often than not we tilted Bossie’s *ahem* appendages in such a way that the barn cats got both a milk shower and a good drink and we probably spilled more than we didn’t.  Dad let us learn anyways.  Memories come to us in the most random of ways don’t they?

milking cows

3. I recently bought a “Fitbit” – a nifty little bracelet that works as a pedometer and tracks your sleep.  (You can track other things, too, but those are the ones I was interested in.) The first day I wore it was a Saturday and, between laundry, groceries, and yard work, I clocked 6 miles.  I slept well that night – 7 hours with 8 minutes of restlessness.  I really wanted it for my D.C. trip next week because we walk so much, up and down stairs in the Capitol office buildings.  Did you know that tunnels connect these buildings?  They’re clean and well-lit, but old as time.  I always feel a bit like Desmond in “L.O.S.T” in there … freaky.   Oh and elevators are reserved for Members when Congress is in session. That means I’ll be hoofing it to everything — in heels. And yes, I think I’ll sleep well every night :).

"See you in another life, Brotha."  -L.O.S.T.

“See you in another life, Brotha.” -L.O.S.T.

4. This week my job took me to the Michigan State Capitol – the day we were there happened to be “Older Michiganians Day” which meant we had a steady stream of older folks touring the building and sometimes stopping to ask us questions.  Everything was fine until two ladies came through and brazenly swiped several handfuls of cookies. Right in front of us.  With a look in their eyes that said, “whaddyagonnadoboutit?”  We looked at each other incredulously and shook our heads.  People are fascinating! And that day I clocked 7.8 miles – in heels!

old_lady11

Not this colorfully dressed but with just as much ‘tude

5. Jumping back to the Fitbit I also got it because, when I’m in the office, I’m aware I don’t move much.  It was shocking to me that, by noon yesterday, after a morning of conference calls, I hadn’t yet hit 2,000 steps.  That served as a powerful motivator to get in a workout!   On the treadmill last night, thinking about all I have to do before I fly out Sunday, this song came on and I knew it had to be shared:

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer… You’re an overcomer!

Happy Friday, folks!  What sound take you back to your childhood? Tried any neat gadgets lately?  Ever witnessed Senior crime?  What are you working hard at overcoming?

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Fun, Humor, Joy, Life, music, Patriotic, Politics, Products I love, Share, Technology, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

R5F … and corn

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Time for five random thoughts.

Random Five Friday pic

1. 48 shopping days left till Christmas.  I know, I thought the same thing: why rush it? First of all, Thanksgiving is next.  We’ll gather together and enjoy my favorite meal.  There’s no gifting stresses and no mess to clean up.  And – everything tastes even better the next day.  I’ll have pie with my coffee, read blogs and shop online, and avoid the madness that is Black Friday. 

2. Switching the radio from a steady stream of political ads last week, I stumbled upon Christmas music.  On two stations!  Sorry Frosty, not yet.

Hold the tunes, pls.

Hold the tunes, pls.

3.  I love corn. Corn-on-the-cob, kernel corn with butter and black pepper, creamed corn and of course, popcorn.  I love corn.  For the most decadent creamed-corn recipe possible, head on over to Leah’s place.  It’s been part of our holiday meals since 2011 :).

4.   The local radio station asked listeners to share their quirks.  Example:  the DJ said he always puts on his to-go coffee cup lid so it’s pointed away from the seam.  All I could think was, “Doesn’t everyone?”   I do have a coffee quirk, though. After I pour it, I microwave it for 30 seconds.  I like my coffee hot.  Not burn your thigh off hot, just hot.  Yep, I might be quirky, too.

google.images.com

google.images.com

5. Saw this and laughed out loud. Pretty sure you will, too.  Have a great day, friends:

Hubbs changed a light bulb this week. He's my hero! :)  google.images.com

Hubbs changed a light bulb without even being asked. He’s my hero! 🙂 google.images.com

And how was your week?  What are some of your quirks?  Do you love corn, too?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Elections, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Random, Recipes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Fearless Radicalism

I’ve never been radical but I’ve always been fearless.

Fearless enough to venture far, far away from the nest and find my way.

Fearless enough to study for and pass my U.S. citizenship test with flying colors.

Appreciating the privilege, I’ve never not voted.

Never.

Yes the phone calls and flyers, negative ads and people at the door can get annoying.

And yes, there are items on the ballot I don’t care much about  — like who serves on the Board of Regents for various public colleges.

But most things I do.

And I’m so grateful to have a say.

So today, I’ll be late for work because I am stopping to vote first.  I’ll chat with the poll workers who know me by name and just that experience right there will put a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

As a citizen of this country for only six years, maybe I am a little bit radical.

fearless radicalism_womens vote

“Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.” – Susan B. Anthony. Google.images.com

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

You voting today?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

The foundation of a free society

google.images.com

google.images.com

Hubbs noticed it before I did: stacks of political mail – all addressed to me.  Multiple phone messages – left for me.  Campaign workers at door asking to speak – with me.

You see as a new citizen, as soon as I could vote, I did.

And I’ve not missed an opportunity to since being granted that privilege.

Yes, it’s a bit disconcerting that my voting record is accessible to the pollsters.

But then I think about how when I use my “frequent shopper card” at the grocery store some marketing guy somewhere knows what kind of dish soap I prefer, too.

I heard yesterday that only 30% of eligible voters are expected to turn out for today’s Primary.

Elections are the foundation of our free country, but they are only effective if you take part.

I believe that every vote counts and, for that reason, I’m headed to the polls now.

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”  ― Abraham Lincoln

 

Categories: Attitude, Elections, Gratitude, Growth, Life, News, Patriotic, Personal, Politics, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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peace full home®—intentional living

making your home, your life and your world a place you love

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...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four 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

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a 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

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...