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Quotes

What’s saving my life right now

Inspired by my blogging friend Leah’s post – I am taking on her challenge to think – and write about – what’s saving my life right now.

  • Background – Leah is a fabulous writer, author and Mom who moved with her family from  Sunny San Diego to a less-than-sunny wintry Indiana (I can so relate to the absence of sunshine!) – She cites writer Barbara Brown Taylor who, in her memoir Leaving Church, tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”  The idea behind this is  that most can articulate what may be bothering us but few of us stop to note what’s giving us life.

Bam!  So thought-provoking!

Here are the things saving my life right now ~ in no particular order:

  1. Exercise:  After work I make time for A) the treadmill or B) Yoga.  Either helps me unwind and forget my schedule and responsibilities.  My mind drifts off and creativity sneaks in. ~ Ahh.
  2. Minimizing Electronics: The company cell phone gets shut down at 7pm and lately, the best thing on T.V. has been the off button.
  3. Books – by taking step #2  I create space to devour deliciously good reads & have  created something to look forward to on a regular basis.  Joyful!
  4. Rest: In winter I go to bed earlier, it’s a necessary step to create the energy for slogging through the greyest of days.
  5. Up:  Because of #4 I get up earlier, can sip coffee longer, and have an hour of “soul time” to myself every morning.
  6. Supplements: Vitamin D in copious amounts – 5,000iu per day.  Start slow and work your way up but this is a GAME changer especially if you live where winter happens without measurable sunshine.
  7. Color and lots of it. Again – it’s so grey here right now – you’ll find me in sweaters, scarves and dresses of purple, teal, ocean blue or green.
  8. Flowers – they’re not just for Valentines and anniversaries.    For $7.99 I can add a pop of color to my office – and flowers are nature’s happy little reminder that Spring will soon come again.
  9.  Music.  My job requires a lot of car travel back & forth to meetings – sometimes 5 -6 hours in one trip – I turn off the rants and the politics, add in some Gospel, Motown and Classic Rock and sing my way to my meetings.  Winning!
  10. Connections – phone conversations with my sister or cousin, time out to dinner or staying home with Hubbs, messaging with our boys, breakfasts with Grandpa & the Aunts/Uncles.  Chatting with someone at the grocery store.  Connections – without steps 1-9 – I wouldn’t be as motivated to create and sustain connections~!

What’s saving your life right now?

 

a $8.00 pick-me-up that lasts all week long. Google.images.com

a $8.00 pick-me-up that lasts all week long. Google.images.com

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, music, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Verses, 1 message

Luke 2:1-3

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

census

Luke 2:4-7

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

journey-to-bethlehem

Luke 2:8-12

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

jesus-in-manger

Luke 2:13-15

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

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

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

shepherds-seeking

Luke 2:16-20

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

shepherds-see-jesusMessage:

Google.Images.com

Google.Images.com

Merry Christmas!

 

Source: http://Guidepost.org

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

Random 5 – Christmas Vacation awaits

It’s almost here! Christmas vacation – so close I can taste it but don’t dare spend time thinking about it for I know I’ll be lost in dreamland if I do.

Soon we’ll step away ~ the ache in my shoulders serves as constant reminder of the need for some down time.

Our boys and grands and daughter in law and girlfriend will be here Friday night – we’ll nosh on appetizers and home-made treats, play games and tell stories. We’ll pop Christmas crackers and open presents and for just a few hours my heart will feel like it could burst.

We downsized this year in more ways than one:  Yes a smaller house but now there’s smaller everything – Christmas Eve will be just Hubbs and me, youngest boy and his girl – a whole new experience yet cozy and I hope, delightful.  Christmas Day winds down to just us 2.  What a change – no more bed-head grands tumbling out wide-eyed and bushy tailed.  They will be back at some point but there’s other family to see and that’s OK, too.  Hubbs and I will linger over brunch and later watch a movie, we may doze in our chairs, who knows.

Just the topic of Christmas vacation elicits so many conversations between us; for growing up in two different countries we share many similar memories:  Late nights at Aunts/Uncles,  sledding with cousins, and dinner at Grandma’s  on Christmas day (1pm sharp!).  Then “lunch” at 4:00 with skating-sledding-sliding-snowmobiling- all that snow, to follow.  Days later – time off to enjoy our new things, figure out board games or learn new skills – wood burning, pottery sculpting or jewelry making kits – those were all the rage in the 70s even if our finished results were less than spectacular!

Random 5 – after a rambling – ready?

  • Assorted chocolates.  Remember being a kid and someone would bring a box of chocolates to the family party?  Sometimes the treats were good but often times not.   Hey what’s this? (( big bite )) Ewww — orange marmelade swirl! Gag, retch, blah. Or how about hey what’s this one? It looks promising, like maybe there are nuts and caramel inside …. Nope, foiled again.  Strawberry cream delight!  Glach!  What is this? Is this mayonnaise?  Toothpaste?    Flash forward 45 years ~ I was gifted a gourmet box of chocolates this week.  Where are they?  In the office lunchroom. Nope,  after all those years, I do believe “you never know what you’re gonna get.”  My office mates are happy and I’ll take a pass, thanks!
photo from couponsaver.org

no thanks

  • Yesterday I found myself awake in the middle of the night – too many things racing in my head. At 4:00 a.m. I got up and made a list, thinking that would help.  Wrong. At 4:30 a.m. I started the coffee and showered, and was at the office by 6:00.  Arriving in the dark I laughed out loud because 1) I had my security code with me but 2) not the outside door badge.  Sipping my coffee I decided to give the outer door a try – voila it opened.  Sometimes what made perfect sense at 4:00 a.m. doesn’t translate so well later.

hit-me

  • Last minute Larry’s.  This is a phrase I’ve coined for the co-workers who’ve had the same project or looming deadline as I have – we’ve had it for weeks but they always arrive skidding to the finish line expecting me and others to save them. Nope.  Out-of-office is going on and your boat is yours to save.   How’s that for Christmas spirit? Ha!
Amen said the choir! Google.images.com

Amen said the choir! Google.images.com

  • Leisurely reading – I’ve almost forgotten what that feels like.  Yes I’m going plant my face in a book and not come out until the coffee’s gone. I hope it’s howling, snowing and blowing all the while.  I hope while I’m tucked in there, sipping coffee and reading, relaxing and enjoying.   I hope. I hope. I hope.

book-magic

  • Pauses.  It’s important to pause.  Pause to give thanks, pause to savor Christmas memories in the making. Pause to listen to little ones.  Pause to hug the big ones. Pause for kitchen kisses.  Pause in traffic to let someone in.  Pause to shut the door, breathe, and turn it all off.  Pause to allow for wonder.  Pause to know good news is soon to come.

 

Merry Christmas to all! 

 

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Fun, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A quiet recognition

Sunday morning, coffee’s hot; it’s hazy and cold outside.  There’s a whoosh as the furnace kicks on.  One lone squirrel scampers through the snow in search of something for his winter larder.

The hardest decision of my time off lies before me: which book to start next.

Last weekend, when all the kids and grands were here, our grand-daughter found my box of children’s books and happily marched herself over to my big leather chair, curled up and read.  Hubbs told me later, as he came in from outside, he caught a glimpse of her there in my chair, leg tucked under just as I do. Head tilted just so.  The resemblance gave him pause.  And me  ~ joy.

Some read because they have to ~ she reads because she wants to.  And my heart swells in quiet recognition of a girl who reads.

“You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
― Rosemarie Urquico

*What’s on your reading list?  When you have a bunch of time off how do  you strategically plan to spend it?  Where would you like to be stranded? *

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

It’s not the grief, it’s the longing

Six years ago I registered for this blog site – 6 years!  My very first post involved lessons learned from Mom – you can read it here.

Man, I miss her.  She was my “go-to” person on so much but especially politics.  Oh the conversations we’d be having right now!   She’d snort, I’d laugh and the two of us would conspire like school girls.  I remember her whispering to me once that “none of the other kids read like you and I do” – now some siblings do read, a lot. But the way she said it makes me grin because I know she saw herself in me.  I couldn’t be more proud of the similarity.

This is the same woman who gifted me (and my sister) a scandalous book about grey ties. She had no intentions of reading it but told me, “You can handle it.”  I know she did it to scandalize us… and it worked.    The two of us horrified our (grown) kids by leaving it out on end tables.  The looks my  boys shot my way were worth it.  That was her point, to stir things up and to remind us we always have a choice.  God, I love her.

I’m lucky to have had someone so feisty as my role model.  Someone who didn’t let her gender define her. Someone who slung her purse over her shoulder and leaned in as she marched forward, even when she didn’t know the script.  We talked about this often, how as women we do more – we’re expected to  – be more, accomplish more just to earn a seat at the table.  We often talked about “not having the playbook” and her response was always the same, “you’ll figure it out, kid.” And I did.

So I think I’ve finally hit on out why conversations around me  of late have left me bored: It’s the lack of layers. The surface talk. Not having her intelligent interjections to both jar and delight me.

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King

 

What conversations do you miss having?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Grief, Growth, Humor, Joy, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Wisdom, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Freedom, baby

15 years ago today, we experienced an inconceivable tragedy when terrorists attacked our nation simply because of who we are and what we stand for. We will never forget.

4 years ago, we experienced this evil once again when 4 Americans were killed in a terrorist attack while serving in Benghazi, Libya. We will never forget.

We remember the heroic law enforcement officers, fireman and medical units who rushed TOWARDS danger when everyone ran from it. And our men and women in uniform who fiercely protected our freedom then and now.

So to the cowards whose jealousy and warped ideologies motivate attacks on us – I remember what happened here post 9/11: I remember people coming together NOT apart, strangers rescuing strangers and neighbors helping neighbors, people donating blood,money and food, an outpouring of love & pride for our country and renewed appreciation for our service men and women. We united this great nation as ONE. I never saw so many American Flags flying so bright and so often.

We were one nation indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Sneaky terrorist creeps will never be able to take away what is intrinsic to our nature as citizens: our desire to live a full and FREE live. Honor. Faith. Hard work. Patriotism. And FREEDOM, BABY!

We remember the people we lost…and the heroes who rose.

Freedom LIVES.

Categories: Determination, Faith, fear, Grief, Life, News, Patriotic, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Reality and Visions

As we move around in this world there are moments of clarity that occur.

Moments of reality.

Moments like this:

perfection

Yes, I can see myself in her, sans the bustle.

Because in my head I have a vision for this new house, having closed on the sale of the old one last week.

I have a vision of things in their “place,”  good smells and pleasing views.  I have a vision of tidiness and order and coziness and comfort.

And in the way?

Work.

Life.

Interviewing to fill a vacancy, one I’ve covered for months now. And, after that, on boarding someone new, training, policy, understanding, compliance and meeting all deadlines in the interim.

Add to that a new organizational structure, new boss(es), new, new, more, more.

Conference calls. Meetings. Travel.  Repeat.

And Hubbs gimping around with a sore back.

~Gulp~

So I’ve padded up my Labor Day weekend with a couple days off and maybe then I’ll make some headway. Maybe then our living room will transform into the “Home & Garden” vision in my head.  Maybe then.

Still, the aroma of a roasted meal lingers in the kitchen this morning. The counters are clear from last night’s efforts.  Progress – albeit slow – is there, if I let myself see it.

Youngest boy even declared “Mom, it smells like home in here” and his joyful statement helped me see that maybe we’re already there and not much more is needed anyways.

“Home isn’t a place, its a feeling”
― Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie

*** Can you relate? What vision in your head doesn’t translate to the reality in front of you?**

 Related: Just Like That

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Food, Home, Life, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random 5 Friday – moving, dressing, weddings and dogs

Random 5 Friday is here again and wow – what a whirlwind it’s been.  You should know that I’ve composed many posts in my head but I do believe random ramblings are all I’m capable of today 🙂

Random Five Friday pic

1) Packing. Moving. Sorting. Unpacking. Unmoving. Unsorting.  I discovered a pattern: there wasn’t one. I’d been pretty organized ahead of it all and my guys did the heaving lifting.  They did a great job grabbing boxes and putting them where they thought they should go.  Awesome!  That’s great till your first morning in your new house and you can find sweaters, socks and clothes for WINTER but can’t find lightweight dresses for SUMMER. GAH!  I made it work but at my first meeting I probably looked like I dressed in the dark.  Wonder if folks just think I have eclectic tastes?

Maybe not quite this vibrant but you get the idea; google.images. com

Maybe not quite this vibrant but you get the idea; google.images. com

2) Oldest boy is getting married in 2 weeks.  2 Weeks!!  2 minutes ago they got engaged.  For more … read this post I wrote to her.  With permission, it will be on display at the wedding! 🙂

Couple Love concept

Couple Love concept

3) It’s Canada Day today (!) and Independence Day Monday (!) – my 8th as a Citizen…. so much to celebrate!  Hubbs is going to enjoy some golf, I’m going to unpack and cook and enjoy some down time with him out on the patio.  You?

... a bit of patriotism on the farm ...

…the Canadian Flag at my brother’s farm …

4)  Working this morning then cleaning at the old house.  I’ll scrub carpets, wash down walls, and pretty up the bathrooms.  The house will go on the market next week – along with 3 others on our street!  Thankfully it’s located in a desirable neighborhood with great schools and we’re in prime time to sell.  Between you and me, I really hope a young family falls in love with it and I hope to God they get a dog.  That house misses having a dog race downstairs in a thunderstorm, sniff the perimeters and cozy up to the fire.  Our old dog Frankie can still be felt there and I like to think he’ll be part of the welcoming committee, especially once they spark up the grill!

our Frankie-bear

our Frankie-bear

5) 3 weeks has me flying home for a wedding & a visit with Mom.  Years ago I bought her this picture and she hung it in her bedroom. It now hangs in my new house. She’d like that.  I am looking forward to my nephew’s wedding and seeing everyone but mostly, I’m longing for time with her.

A Victorian Prayer

A Victorian Prayer

 

What are your plans this weekend? Have you ever shown up somewhere looking like you dressed in the dark?   What random thought comes to mind when you hear the word, “moving?”

* * Happy Canada Day!  Happy Independence Day!   * *

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Mom, Patriotic, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random 5 … Wednesday: Fans, Joy and Margaritas

I’ve been traveling a lot this month – and packing – so not much time for blogging these days. Here’s my Random 5 on a random day .. Wednesday! 🙂

1 Hubbs and I spent 3 hours in a Home Improvement Store recently. 3 Hours.  3 hours, picking out mirrors and door pulls, knobs and faucets. Somehow our marriage survived and as we unloaded stuff into his car we laughed when we realized we forgot some of the 60+ things on our list.  He ran back in with a (shortened) list while I waited in the car.  Unloading at our new-to-us house later we laughed again … it was then we realized there were still more things we’d forgotten. The excitement of new paint and faucets made the confusion worth it.

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

Hubbs changed a light bulb this week. He’s my hero! 🙂 google.images.com

2 Last week’s travels took me to the Ann Arbor area; I remembered Hubbs’ H.S. friend lives there with his wife.  He and I met once, at their H.S. reunion, but I’d never met her. Somehow I knew we’d hit it off.  I knew we’d make a great connection – and we did.  We met for lunch and us two Geminis may have dominated the conversation.  🙂  So funny that our hubbies are both Virgos!    I continue to say YES to new experiences and new people; doing so has sparked great joy.   Cynthia, a dynamic and engaging Leadership Speaker/Trainer/Motivator/Searcher of Joy, also blogs – read her take on the experience here.

does this spark joy

3 Oldest boy is getting married in a month; I’ve been so consumed by work, travel, house stuff, sorting, packing, tossing, etc. that I haven’t had time to think about a dress.  Yesterday I knew it was time.  The journey through Department stores must have resembled the flight of the bumble bee but eventually I found a dress I loved.  My criteria are these: it must: 1) fit, 2) flatter, 3) move and 4) allow me to dance.  This one hit all four 🙂  The store was warm and it was a humid day and, after trying on 50+ dresses, I could feel myself start to heat up. Standing in line at the checkout counter I put my readers up on top of my head. When it came time to read my bill I found my readers had steamed up.  Welcome to Menopause – Nature’s way of telling you you’re hot, just not in the way you used to be!

I could live without heat but never this!

4. Speaking of hot, had to laugh at this memory:  in college I shared a house with several girls. I had a spot in the basement which was perfect for me because I worked two jobs and went to school full-time – I slept in 4 hour increments and that basement was cool and dark.  Ahh.  But this – this hung over the washer and dryer:

Hello!

Hello!

5   Last fall I had a small health scare (for more read Angel Kisses) so, this Spring, I did all the necessary follow-ups.  Well whatever they’d seen last fall was still there so new tests were ordered.  Except that the new test was not one I was willing to take ~ it involved an inject-able dye that I am highly allergic to.  Two – count ’em – two doctors tried to talk me into it.  Nope, not doing it.  “But we can give you steroids first to counteract any reaction you may have; the chances of a reaction are small..” Nope, not doing it, already had a reaction once, chances are I will again, find something else.  Finally a third doctor saw the logic in my thinking and agreed.  She ordered a biopsy which I did Monday.   Everything’s OK, thank God, but while lying on the table at the Cancer center (like that’s not daunting enough!!) I commented that we don’t need that pretty country scene to stare at … we need some hot men.  The nurses snorted when I suggested Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but I think I’m on to something.

butch cassidy and the sundance kid

Later, after the procedure but before my last mamm-0-slam of the day (I’d already had about 10) they offered me a warm blanket.  I suggested they offer Margaritas instead.  Skip the “Serenity Now” pictures and bland coffee, when we’re getting our girls pinched, squeezed, and needled, we’d appreciate a little visual pleasure and some liquid courage, thankyouverymuch.

Strawberry or Lime? Your choice, girls!

Strawberry or Lime? Your choice, girls!

So that’s been my last couplea weeks.  Crazy, busy, hair-on-fire most weeks but still going 🙂

** Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads this weekend!

Happy Father’s Day to Hubbs – a Dad who can take all the teasing 2 boys can dish out … A Dad that a 5-year-old boy loved long before his Mom had courage to, a Dad who welcomed another son 2 years later but gave them both the same last name. A Dad who learned the hard way that brothers can be taken from us so we should treasure them while we can.  He’s a Dad who taught them to love and respect their Mom and to “find a girl who reads.”   He’s the Dad who cried before I did as we picked out songs for oldest boy’s wedding next month.  To quote him “Touch my boys & I’ll kill ya.”  You can see why they nicknamed him “Clint.”

boys & dad

~ the Bear and his cubs~ An Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Margins, people and porcupines

I stunned a co-worker when I explained how I’d rid myself of the rat.  See, after he was pushed out of left the company, he tried to get back in.  He tried, more than once, to exert whatever authority he’d once had to weasel his way back. He tried but he failed.

Listening intently my friend asked, “Well how did you do it? What did you say?”

I simply shared that I had been honest and direct with no wiggle room for misinterpretation: I told the rat I didn’t want a relationship. With him. Then. Silence.

“You what?” my friend asked. “You heard that right. That’s what I said.”

Of course, being the narcissist that he is, the rat turned the table on me and became the victim. That’s what Narcissists do.  Whatever. ~Yawn~.

You see, with certain people you cannot beat around the bush. As hard as may be to do you can’t be subtle. You will fail.  You have to spell things out c-l-e-a-r-l-y so there’s no room for Wiley Coyotes to belly crawl back in.

Using the margins analogy, I referenced the wired ruler books we all used to carry in grade school. The center part, where the lines are, is where our work, family and obligations live. The margins represent our free time, our weekends, where dreams live.  When my margins shrink I get very discerning about who takes up space there.

I used this example recently when someone recounted all of the past hurts another had caused her, over and over again. I heard the anguish in her voice, the frustration, the pain.  Now I don’t know about you but when I rehash past traumas I rarely feel better; often, I feel worse.   So I countered with how stepping away from toxic people has helped me heal. It didn’t change them, no, they’re as ornery as ever.  But being absent from their negativity has changed me.  It was in sharing my growth that I thought to give her this advice:

don't pet the porcupine

Now this little guy, Teddy Bear, is so cute eating (and commenting on) his treat. But I know better than to pet him.

You?

 

 

Whose personality comes to mind as you read this?  How are your margins looking these days?   What would you like to make room for?

*Thanks to DM for the margins reference. Love it!

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Faith, fear, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Useful Information | Tags: , , , , , | 11 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

Storytellers & Liars

“A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself.”
Daniel Wallace, The Kings and Queens of Roam

I have an intolerance for Liars, especially having worked with/for one for years (otherwise known as The Rat).

So I like to think I have a pretty good nose for such people.  But, sometimes, I think I have blinders on, too.

You see, there’s a quite a lot of my Mom in me, the gal who wants to take people at their word, believe that most harbor good intentions, and think things will work out as they should.

So it took me a little by surprise when someone I’ve been interacting with turned out to be a Rat.

A big juicy one.

A sneaky, smarmy twitchy one.

A dirty, dank deceitful one.

I don’t interact with this person every day or even every month, but events find  us at the same meetings from time to time.

It happened just the other day, I’d arrived to a meeting, grabbed my notepad and chatted with others near me.

Not long after, I caught him in a lie.  Not just a “white lie,” but a big, twisty, “If I lie enough times it will eventually be true” kind of lie.

And I knew it. And he knew I knew it.

And the stance he took could only be interpreted as this, “What are you going to do about it?”

if you tell the truth you dont have to remember anything copy

Prickles ran up my back when I realized he thought I’d just sit there, with a room of witnesses, and “pretend” that I didn’t know what I knew.

So here’s what I did:  I asked him a question.  A pointed and strategic question.  The kind of question that you only can answer if you’re not a liar.  He blustered. He fumbled. He turned red. He turned on me.  He changed the subject.  All the while I looked at him and eventually, I smiled.  And he was caught.   I wonder if he’d been so used to lying that he thought no one would ever call him on his b.s.?  At the break a couple people commented on the exchange, and said they were surprised he was so “prickly” about my simple question (there’s that word again) and that I’d stayed calm as he came unhinged.

My response?  “I’m the youngest of 5 kids, 2 of which were brothers, plus a host of cousins.  You can’t know how many places I’ve been locked into. I can hold my own, don’t worry about me.”

I didn’t slander him, I didn’t smear him, but he knows that I know and I think sometimes that is enough.

He’s not likely to change his ways and I don’t care if he does.

But he knows that I know.

  * * *

How about you?   Do you know people who lie so much they might-as-well be a rug?  Do tell!

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, fear, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Men, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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