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Quotes

September, visits and Anthony Bourdain

September brings many changes, not the least of which is the arrival of Fall colors.  But even more exciting, here in my neck of the woods, is the arrival of two important happenings:   crystal clear blue skies and low(er) humidity.  Ahh ~ bring on happy smiling skies, outside walks, Breck-girl hair and comfortable sleeps.

 

Every year I declare Fall as my favorite season:  The colors, the smells, the tastes – yep – it’s my favorite.  It’s the one season I missed more than any other when we lived down south.   In Texas, the seasons were: hot, hotter, surface-of-the sun hot, and slightly less hot.     I loved many things about living in Texas but always, always I longed for Fall.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” [Indian Summer]”  ― John Howard Bryant

Sometimes I sleep in on the weekends ~ I still wake early and usually I get up. But sometimes, like today, I do “tuck and roll” if only for a little while.  I did so today, and with great delight, dreamed of Mom.  I was back in her farm kitchen and she was teaching me how to make bread.  I was an impatient teen, not paying as close of attention as I should have.  She had something to teach me and I listened.  But not well.   When I awoke, the dream felt like a visit.  And even though I don’t bake or eat bread now, perhaps the lesson was in the listening.

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”  Laurie Colwin

I’ve been catching up on past episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.”  ~Sigh.  I’m late to his party. He was such a scamp, so much fun, with that wicked smile and sense of humour/adventure.   If only he’d known it.

“I think preparing food and feeding people brings nourishment not only to our bodies but to our spirits. Feeding people is a way of loving them, in the same way that feeding ourselves is a way of honoring our own createdness and fragility.”  Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

 

  • What season do you look forward to most?
  • Have you had any vivid dreams visits lately?
  • And are you on the Anthony Bourdain train?
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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Humor, Joy, Life, Mom, News, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Random 5 Sunday in March

It’s a sunny Sunday and time for 5 Random thoughts.

1  Looking up from my desk Friday, I noticed both wall Calendars set to February.  It’s March and then some.

The bad news is that time flies.  The good news is that you’re the Pilot. ~ Michael Altshuler

2  Signs of Spring are everywhere; snow and wind one day, sunshine & smiles the next.   Birds and squirrels cover  the yard.  Snow clings to the fence.   Easter in 2 weeks.

Springtime is the land awakening; The March winds are the morning yawn. ~ Lewis Grizzard

3  Week 2 of a personal cell so I can turn off the work one.   Habits take practice and I’m enjoying practicing.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others. ~ Brene Brown

4  Stretch. Read. Rest. Repeat.

Take rest. A field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid

5   Last week I gave away something I didn’t use but another could benefit from.  Yesterday I cooked a meal for someone who needed it. The rewards outweigh the effort.

The best way to do good for ourselves is to be doing good to others; the best way to gather is to scatter.  ~Thomas Brooks

Shifting horizons, adjusting boundaries and adding in self-care = peace.

What’s new in your world?

related: On Saying Yes

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Food, Friendship, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Life sets us a challenge

I stood in the doorway, surveying the mess: about to sort and pack years of records in 24 hours.  My first reaction was shock.  Overwhelmed at the task before me, the next reaction was anger.   And finally, standing at the crux of the chaos, I felt sadness for what could have been.

Backstory:  an employee left so it was my job to sort through the ashes.  Literally.  Through the piles. The stacks. The dust. The dead flies and the mouse droppings. ** Cough Cough **.   Out-dated phone books, notes, scraps of paper, stacks in corners, corners unseen.  ** Cough Cough ** A rhythm developed ~ assemble box & lid, open drawer,  breathe, lean in and go.   ** Cough Cough ** The back of my hair, damp with sweat, black dress slacks brown with dust and debris.  Shaking my head at the “no jeans” policy ~ laughing because this was Hazmat worthy.

Sorting, stacking, cleaning, organizing:  Nearly 40 boxes to be shred, garbage cans overflowing and 7 – count ’em 7 – boxes to be moved /re-filed.   A sore back and stiff neck that linger still.

Asked how this could be done so rapidly my answer: “determination fueled by disbelief.”

I’ve recently made some self- care choices that, on the surface, appear inconsequential: I got a personal cell phone.   Next I exported all (18 -ha!) personal contacts from the work phone and moved them to mine.  Then I  deleted those same numbers and any personal apps, too.   Why?  This week reinforced something sobering ~ we are all replaceable.

It’s an adjustment to turn off the work phone Friday evening and not look at it again until Monday. I’m working through it.  Now, it’s the personal phone that accompanies me to the grocery store or out on a date night with hubbs.  And I like that, when checked, there are 2 messages instead of 60. The breathless 60 can wait.

Yes, it’s a small step that’s netting me peace of mind and the separation/boundaries I’ve been craving.

Life does not look back.  Life looks ahead ~ and leaps.

 

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”  Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

 

What self-care steps have you taken lately?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Forgiveness, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Road to Shambala

I’m heading into the holiday season with the last of my scheduled corporate travel behind me now – Yippy Skippy!  I’ve not had much free time so this blog has lagged but I still think about writing, just as I think about many other things on my “to-do” list.

Epiphanies that took place this week include:

1 )  Music is therapy.    Road trips are better with handsome men singing harmony. 🙂   And hearing this song took me back to my summer trip with my sister and a concert we enjoyed featuring the music of Three Dog Night.  Front row seats – great music – and stellar company was simply awesome.  No matter what I’m thinking about, when a good song comes on I just have to crank it up and sing along.

2 ) Decisions that continue to bear fruit –  ahead of one of my many trips, I sent a note to a group of girlfriends I’d met at a workshop in May of 2015 ~ vibrant, intelligent, wonderful women.   Several quickly responded that – yes – they’d love to meet for lunch this past Friday! As the date drew near a few had to drop out but still 3 of us met — we enjoyed delicious food, the camaraderie that comes from being around others who “get us” and laughs galore. We shared our hopes, our dreams, and our plans.  We encouraged each other.    Boy, what one hour of positive company can do for you!

3 )  GPS boondoggles are often just what’s needed – when the system takes me off the beaten path and down a country road, I often am grateful for the diversion.  I am not sure exactly where I was when I snapped this picture but that’s the point.  Friends commented “but what if you’d had car trouble?” and my thought was “what a better place to be if I did.”  – Surrounded by fields and farms and trucks driving down those roads – all drivers waved.   Me – tunes on, windows cracked, smiling wide.

Snow’s a-coming. Somewhere in MI; and Emjandthem (C) photo

 

Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain

With the rain in Shambala

Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame

With the rain in Shambala

 

Had any epiphanies lately?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Self Discovery, Technology, Thoughts, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

The idea

“Use it or lose it” they said.  I rolled over vacation time last year to this one and it’s timing out so .. with that .. I’m on vacation this week — and following the “no plan-plan.”

Purposeful nothingness.

Reading.

Sunshine.

Iced Tea.

Flip flops.

Farmer’s Market.

Pedicure.

Reading.

Phone chats with siblings and cousins.

Music.

Firing up the grill.

Shutting down the laptop.

Reading.

Naps.

A stretch of days with nothing to do and all day to do it.

You can get old pretty young if you don’t take care of yourself.

I’m feeling younger by the minute!  🙂

When’s the last time you checked out? Have you ever had a week of “purposeful nothingness?”

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Slow down Summer

Arriving home Friday night, the air was heavy with moisture and the threat of a summer shower  – the humidity/heat index hovered in the triple digits.  Hubbs, naturally slender, smiled at finally being warm.  His movements were easy, mine not so much.   I rushed in with groceries, wiping the sweat from my neck, and stayed inside to cool down in the air-conditioning.

After a shower and with my hair up, I re-joined him on the patio for an iced-cold beer and one of our typical meandering Friday night conversations.

The two of us spoke longingly of our upcoming summer vacation – remembering summers of our past, some spent together, some before we met.

We both remembered that first slice of watermelon, sitting on Grandma’s front steps and a shared childhood memory of Root Beer floats, burnt hot dogs and someone’s homemade pie.

We recalled wienie roasts with cousins, sleepovers, marshmallows cooked too long, and the crackle of the fire against the quiet of a dark summer night.

We reminisced about when our boys were little, how we spent summer days with Super Soakers, sprinkler hoses and water balloons and unbridled fun.

We remembered cookouts with Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles, with hordes of cousins to play with and the best food we’d ever eaten – Taco Salad, baked beans, fried chicken, burgers off the grill, lemonade, Rhubarb, Cherry and Saskatoon pie.  We talked about an older brother backing his car into the yard and opening the trunk to crank up the tunes – Led Zeppelin, Al Green or the Beatles.  We remembered some adults sipping beer from short brown bottles and Great Uncles playing Horseshoes and ladies fanning themselves against the summer warmth.    We remembered the prickly feel of lawn chairs against our sun-burnt thighs and the cozy happiness we felt being tucked into bed after such a rapturous day.

Summers were magical when we were kids – days were longer – parents were lenient – it was like everyone all knew this couldn’t – wouldn’t last.

Summer is here. Please last a little while longer.

 

Summertime, I think, is a collective unconscious. We all remember the notes that made up the song of the ice cream man; we all know what it feels like to brand our thighs on a playground slide that’s heated up like a knife in a fire; we all have lain on our backs with our eyes closed and our hearts beating across the surface of our lids, hoping that this day will stretch just a little longer than the last one, when in fact it’s all going in the other direction.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

 

Care to share your favorite summer memories?  Did your elders send you outside to eat watermelon or iced cream, too?

That’s me on Dad’s knee – An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 – Conference calls, folding chairs and Hey Macarena !

I regularly think of random things.  That’s how this brain works – – in the car, at night, during conference calls …   Too much swirling around to stop randomly weird things from popping in & making themselves at home.

1 )  Weekends .. when I have no deadlines and no reasons not to sleep in .. I don’t.  Nope.  I’m awake early, rolling around, flipping/flopping till finally I just fling the blankets off and stomp to the coffee pot ~  I see the early clock and sigh because this is the stuff weekday dreams are made of … but no, not me.  I’m up.  Up!

2 ) I read this quote recently and claimed it:

I hope to arrive at my death, late, in love, and a little drunk.  ~Atticus

well if that doesn’t say it all!

3 ) Three weeks ago I went shopping for a reclining beach chair – the kind you can use in your backyard or at the beach (the one I never go to unless company is in town).  So I set it up in on the patio, stack my books and an Arnie Palmer then haul out 75+ sun block, a fly swatter & a water spray bottle.  I lay down a towel and carefully climb on in ~ instantly the thing folds and I am trapped in it like a finger in a clam shell.  What the?  I carefully get out, adjust the settings and give it another go.  Klang – I’m folded up in the stupid thing like yesterday’s burrito.   Hubbs, leaving for golf, steps out to find me tangled up and sputtering.  He gently asks if all is well?  I smile, say nothing, and stomp past him with the folded chair over my shoulder and proceed to hoist it into the trash, stomp back, drag two patio chairs together and affix myself between them.  He smiles and waves good-bye (smart man).    Yesterday I went looking look for a replacement — well now that SCHOOL SUPPLIES are out …….. the 2-3 beach chairs left have been relegated to the back corner with the 50%-off garden supplies.  It’s mid July.  What happened?

the crappy one was like this but not as nice

4 )  They tend to come in cycles but lately there’s been an influx of annoying recorded spam phone calls to our house phone — “Hi! This is Tiffany from blah-blah-blah services” (insert the words travel, credit card, rewards, cruise ship where I had the words blah-blah-blah).   I like to answer and, while the recording is going start talking gibberish.  Calls end abruptly and my stress wanes. Highly recommend it.  🙂

5 )  We’re about to start a months-long project and with it comes weekly check-in calls ~ time to break out the  Bingo card:

How about you?  What have you shopped for lately that was suddenly “out of season?”  Notice an influx of spam phone calls?  Ever play conference call Bingo?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Home, Humor, Quotes, Seasons, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Summertime Sundays

Summertime Sundays often find me alone in the house ~ with good intentions but few accomplishments.

I wake when I wake, no alarms, just quiet.

The house is cool and calm .. Hubbs has slipped off to golf before my eyes ever opened.  The woof-woof-woof of the sprinkler thumps in the background.  He set it up “just so” with a note asking that I check on it and turn it off soon. I will and I do.

I pour a coffee and wander throughout the house, thinking about the day, the week, my life.

Laundry is done, leftovers are in the fridge and I have no particular place to be.  My chair calls, I can feel the stack of books and magazines pulling me closer.  My mind drifts to work – there’s a tiny inclination to turn on my company laptop and check to see which project is on fire today – but the inclination soon passes.  Monday, and all the breathless anxiety it brings with it, will be here soon enough.

I’ve grown fiercely protective of weekends over the past few years — during the week, the days blend into night, calls and projects come in at any time, and boundaries are shrinking.  Now I guard my Sundays like a child guards their money.

Sunday finds me cooking, reading, singing, blogging, resting, putzing, dreaming, talking and, most of all, living.  And I’m getting really good at Introvert Bingo.

 

“SUNDAY  – The day..I planned a lot but actually do nothing.”
― Lovely Goyal, I Love the Way You Love Me

 

How about you? Do you ever plan to do absolutely nothing?  Have you found yourself wandering through the house, looking at your list of stuff to do, but doing none of them?  How good are you at giving yourself a day off?

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Family, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Decisions, decisions

Ahh, Summer.

A day off and the chaise lounge awaits …

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot

 

**What are you reading these days?  

 

Categories: Fun, Gratitude, Joy, Products I love, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Kisses, smiles and summertime

Summer just started and * gasp * it’s already scheduled  … I have too many vacation hours and must use “it or lose it” (not happening).  Not a terrible problem to have I know so, for that reason, I’m booking off soon to enjoy a summer  that looks like this:

“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!”  ― Kenny Chesney

 

 What’s your summer looking like? 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Glad Surrender

Lately my work life is all consuming  ~  looking back and ahead I am struck by these four things:

1 ) Traveling every week for work & so that means restaurant after restaurant – and eating healthfully can be a challenge.  Typically I have a big breakfast sometime during the day and supplement with foods I bring with me.  But, I’ve discovered the wedge salad and that has become my new favorite.  I’m sure it’s 10,000 calories but I don’t care.   Here’s is one I enjoyed a few nights ago with shrimp and a Skinny Girl Margarita.  Yes I was that gal photographing her food … ha!

dinner on the road recently

2)  I’m tired.  Tired of work, tired of calls, tired of projects, tired.  I’m tired of increasing pressure, endless demands and unrealistic expectations.  In just a few weeks we will shut everything off and head to a warm vacation.  In response to bosses who’ve asked anxiously if I’ll be online while away I’ve answered no, I’ll be IN line for a beach towel and a lemonade by the pool.   Looking forward to no schedule, no calls and no clocks.  I know what will happen – we’ll sleep deeply, be up early, and smile our way through sun, tunes, good foods and warm waters.  And when we get back it will all be there waiting for us.

3)  The one thing saving my life right now is weekends.  And sleep. And wedge salads. And that pool image above 😉

4)  Many flagship stores around us are closing – K-Mart was first, Sears was next, and now, certain J.C. Penney stores, too.  Out of solidarity I stopped at JCP one night last week, hit a sale, and walked out with >$300 in merchandise for $95.    If I could get a deal like that more often I’d go to the mall more.  Hmm.

** How about you? What new-to-you food are you loving? Have you came upon any deals lately? What are you excited about?  When’s the last time you took a break? Can you embrace the Surrender?**

“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”  ― Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

 

Categories: Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Fashion, Food, Fun, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Positive obsessions

for more, click on A test in self-worth

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

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