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Seasons

September Subscriptions

September is rolling along ~ leaves are changing, and wild weather swings have taken us from summer to fall and back to fall again ~ Traveling as much as I do for my job I love to hunker down at home in my down time.

Confession alert:  I have never loved shopping but I do love online shopping.   🙂

Something that’s making my life easier and more fun are subscriptions ~ I’ve recently signed up for these:

  • Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that sends individually picked clothing and accessories items for a one-time fee (the fee counts against any items you purchase).  Customers fill out a survey online about their style preferences and how often they want to receive a box -then a stylist picks 5 items to send.
    • My take – items are well made & stylish; some items I didn’t love and they went back for free.  The items I’ve kept I’ve worn over and over again.
    • Pricing can be higher than what I “think” I’d pay – i.e. jeans might start at $80 but I’d rather have 2 pairs of well-fitting $$ jeans I wear over an over again vs. 5 pairs of $50 jeans gathering dust in my closet.

  • Ipsy is a fun way to try out new skincare, health and beauty items – I love makeup, always have.  I also love  skin care, makeup tools and more.

Between new clothes and skin care/beauty items I’m really enjoying going to the mailbox!

There is a subscription service for just about everyone –here are 30 to try including ones for:

  • Carnivores,
  • wine drinkers,
  • Foodies
  • coffee connoisseurs
  • unique / learning toys
  • Puzzle lovers
  • and more!

Your turn:

  1. If you use any subscriptions, which ones do you love?
  2. If you haven’t tried out a subscription yet, why not?

I may never go to a mall again!

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Home, Joy, Opinion, Personal, Products I love, Seasons, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

September, Stew and Dog Stories

September is here ~ I’m delighted because it’s one of my favorite months!

I’m leaning in for:

  • A steady stream of sunny days
  • A significant drop in humidity (my hair approves!)
  • Stew simmering in the Crock pot
    • This morning the kitchen smells of savory meat, root vegetables and pepper
      • No fall candle can top that!
  • The start of College Football
  • Windows open, A/C off
  • Sweater weather returns
    • But we may need shorts & a hoodie in the same day!

Tracking Hurricane Dorian and scrolling through other news stories, this caught my attention:

When I was a girl, we ended up with a Pit Bull at our farm ~ one of Dad’s jockeys brought him to Canada from Louisiana, probably illegally.  He was skinny and jumpy, tied up all day in the city.   Brian brought him out in the spring when they broke horses and when he left, Butkus stayed.  Filled out. Bulked up.  He followed Dad everywhere ~ he snorted and  drooled and intimidated everyone who pulled into the farm yard.  But he was a big baby ~ a cuddle bear, he loved to play tug-o-war and lie on his back for belly scratches.   The irony of his ruff & tuff exterior was that it was two “safe” dog breeds – an idiot neighbor’s Labrador & Dalmatian, who got to him.  They fought, he lost; he crawled home where he died in my Dad’s arms.     #therearenobaddogs

Now, I don’t want to end this post with you upset and sad, so I offer you this —

Ha Ha!

  • Any dog stories to share?
  • What do you love about September?
  • Are you craving stew now?

 

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Growth, News, Opinion, Quotes, Seasons, Uncategorized, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The last thing to grow

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

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

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

Just finished. Delicious!

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

 

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

The space between yes and no

Sometimes little nudges come from the most random places.   Today, this popped up in Facebook Memories ~ it was a passage I needed to read again and I thought you might, too:

“In the space between yes and no, there is a lifetime.  It’s the difference between the path you walk and one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; it’s the legroom for the lies you will tell yourself in the future.” ― Jodi Picoult.

5 Things I’m excited about today:

  1.  Road trip – tunes at the ready, coffee up!
  2.  In about a month our baby boy will be married; in < a month my sister arrives for the wedding 😀
  3.  We just got the news that another grandchild is on the way – oldest boy & his wife are expecting a baby in December 🙂
  4.  I’m taking my first golf lesson this week!
  5.  The days are longer, the nights are shorter and I do believe summer will be here soon!

And pie, always say YES to pie~

What lives in your space between yes and no?   What are you excited about today?

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Friendship, Joy, Life, Seasons, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random 5 Friday ~ Mothers Day, Coincidences and GPS

It’s Friday and time for a few randoms from my corner of the universe.  Ready?  Set?  Go:

1 ) Mother’s Day as a child meant 3 things:  a) Church/Sunday School, b) a family get-together and c) Homemade cards/gifts for Mom.    Like they’ve done before, my boys asked to take me out for “a nice lunch.”     They know this is the one thing I want more than anything from the store – time with them.  We met up – they gave me their gifts and cards with notes of love and appreciation and I  savored the moment.  We laughed till we cried and I beamed with the love I feel for them.   In my view, the greatest gift a Mom can ever get is children who grow up to be people you want to be with!  We ate, we laughed, we leaned in.  I felt the love then and still do.  ❤

2 ) Whenever I have  a “big” meeting or presentation to do I “bring” Mom with me – by wearing a piece of her jewelry as her reminder to “go get ’em, kid” – She’s met the Governor, Congressmen/women, Leaders of state, Senators, House Reps, congressional pages, Mayors & more ~ she’s with me every step of the way.    And if I encounter any “nonsense” I’m not afraid to use my firmest  “Mom voice” which of course I learned from her!

Just a couple of Mom’s rings – Peridot & Padparadshca Citrine ~ she loved her “right hand rings” from the shopping channel.

3 )  In meetings earlier this week I had one of those moments we’ve all had where you know the answer to a  question not yet asked.   Tingling and trying not to jump ahead I listened closely;  when I shared my thoughts later the speaker pulled back, her eyebrow went up and a smile filled her face.  “How did you know that?” she asked.   “Because sometimes I just know.”  We talked about coincidences and serendipity and how sometimes we find ourselves right where we’re meant to be; it’s up to us to recognize it when it happens.   The more I acknowledge it when it occurs, the more it occurs for me.

Fate’s like that, I find.

4 )  Saw this and laughed out loud because  1) it is so true and 2 ) I admit that I often still revert to “old school GPS” – read on ~

5 ) I’ve been traveling weekly these past few months;  one day easily rolls into the next, weekends have been full and a Tuesday morning can feel like it should be Saturday already.    Memorial Day is next week and – gasp – it’s been 3 months since I woke up to this:

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

So, what’s new in your world?   Experience any coincidences lately?  Do you remember “70’s GPS?”

Happy Friday!  😀

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, Opinion, Relationships, Seasons, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spending my Sundays

Sunday ~ windows open, birds chirping and lawnmowers buzz in the distance.

3 weeks ago ~ snow; today ~ 70F.

Hubbs hurried around earlier as he readied for golf; I slept in, savored coffee and started a pot of soup.  He’ll be back later, wind burnt and sore, happy and tired.   We’ll visit over soup and smile at the day.

It really doesn’t matter what season it is, there’s something about Sundays that I love most.

It could be the quiet stillness of the house.

It could be the smell of supper lingering on the stove.

It could be meandering phone conversations with my sister or cousin or none at all.

It could be me starting a new book or reading 5 magazines or sitting on the floor sorting .shoes.

It could be towels tumbling in the dryer and fresh warm sheets on the bed.

It could be me that I spend my Sundays doing whatever I choose.

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.” Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

 

  • How do you “spend” free time?
    • Do you feel compelled to be productive and get things done?
  • Are you able to let the day lead you?
    • When’s the last time you had nothing to do and a whole day to do it?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Random 5 for Sunday ~ Good-bye March

It’s March 31st ~ Robins hopped in the snow today – their reappearance makes me hopeful even when the weather hasn’t caught up to the calendar.

5 Randoms from my world, here we go ~

1 )   The photo of this bed took me right back to my Grandma’s house ~ to starched sheets, sheer curtains blowing in a summer breeze, and the abject thrill I felt being able to spend the night there.  So lucky!

2 ) Someone raved to me about a new bakery that opened and I considered ordering some of their treats for an upcoming event I’m planning.  And then I remembered a southern family recipe I’d been given by a Texas colleague – for 7-Up pound Cake – and I do believe that my $6 cake beats a $20 professional one.  I might have to triple the recipe.

not my picture

3 )  Saw this and thought, yep ~ that’s been me this winter .. tucked in, books stacked, cozy, don’t bother me 🙂

4 ) Haven’t pulled a muscle but I have fallen over putting on socks.  And I draw the line at KALE 😀

5 )  Yes, this, fur-ever and a day ❤

What random thing happened in your world this week?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Home, Opinion, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Lake Days, “Bomb Cyclones” and conversations

My new summer tradition, established last year on my birthday,  is this one:  I get up early, coffee-up, pack a cooler and leave for the beach at Lake Michigan ~ about a 40 minute drive due West.   There are audible smiles of joy as I pack and singing at full volume as I drive.

Easy-peasy free parking and lots of it, I set my beach chair, books and cooler up just before 10:00 a.m. near the water’s edge, with the chair angled towards the sun but so I can still see the waves.

Much like this guy below:

Grand Haven State Park, MI

 

~~~ ahhh ~~~at the Water’s edge ~ An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

As the day progresses, I turn to follow the sunshine.    Books are read, snacks are savored, I dip in and out of the water and make trips up the beach to the bathroom, too.  I might chat with strangers or little kids or no one at all.  I pack up and leave as the crowds … crowd the sand ~ somewhere  between 2 and 3 p.m.  Long before this:

picture from Michigan.org

On my way out of town, I stop at the “Tasty Treat” for a vanilla/chocolate soft serve and enjoy it (and its messiness) all the way home……ahh summer!

We’re in the dregs of winter now – and summer will come again.   Between now and then we’re facing such weather events like “bomb cyclones – rain, thunderstorms, ice and snow … and more power outages.  So I’m glad to have pictures like these because they hold me over until the time comes again when we can complain about the heat  🙂 !  

“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.” – Kim Hubbard

 

  • What’s saving your life (in winter) right now?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, News, Personal, Seasons, Traditions, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Books are a home

We’re mid-way through February and just out of five weeks of naughty winter.  Bitter Arctic cold followed by a sixty degree swing in temperatures with freezing rain and ice storms, downed trees and power outages.  Next came another band of snow … “Lake Effect” snow and more snow.  Then wind, blowing the snow, making it skitter and scatter across driveways, rooftops and roads.

ice on the back steps .. so treacherous!

We’re a hearty bunch, us Mid westerners.   We’re used to winter, and some of us (me) enjoy all four seasons.   And, growing up in Canada or living here in Michigan, I’ve found the weather is always a safe topic no matter where you are – the gas pump, the grocery store, kids’ game or coffee shoppe.  Weather is a favorite and “safe” topic in the check-out aisle, “So did you come through the storm(s) OK?” “Any damage at your place?”  Quasi-strangers commiserating on a common theme affords a sense of community I long for.

This year, winter has kept us in more than out; yesterday was an “out” day — brunch with the Elders. The restaurant was packed with folks happy to be out and about.  You’d never know it was 20F outside because inside, conversations flew easily over coffee being poured and the smells of bacon and sausages sizzling.  People lingered, stopped by nearby tables to visit, and the chatter of so many confirmed all were happy to be there.

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

The reason for our gathering was two-fold:  1) celebrating a birthday and 2) creating a reason to get out & get together!   It was Uncle Ron’s 81st birthday ~ he laughed and guarded his allotment of my home-made treats like a Quarterback shielding the ball.   His sister, Auntie Karen, smiled with delight at the bag of paperbacks and cookies I handed to her.  Not to be left out, Grandpa John, Hubb’s Step-Dad, tucked his cookie stash into the cab of his truck while shivering over one last smoke before heading home.    We make it a point to get together on a regular basis and, for the reasons listed above, winter gatherings are always the feistiest.

Arriving home, Hubbs headed off to for a nap; I chatted on the phone with my cousin then snuggled into a chair with a new book – my 7th this year.  Leaning in, sipping tea, I felt warm and wonderful and yes grateful – grateful for seasons and reasons that remind us that home is a wonderful place to be.

“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

 

How about you? 

  • Any (winter) damage at your house?
  • Read any good books this winter?
  • Spring is just 31 days away 🙂

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Winter & a time for home

  1. Our city / state has made the national news for winter weather events, three weeks in a row.
    • we also have flooding from “ice jams” to deal with, too 🙂
  2. Schools have exceeded allowed snow days (6), some by double that amount.
  3. Snow shovels, snow blowers & ice melt are sold out; beach towels & suntan lotion remain untouched. (Spring Break’s a coming)
  4. Heat’s up, books are being slayed at night, and I’m working from home for the foreseeable future.
  5. Soup’s on the stove, and Hubbs is due back from meetings soon.   Hoping the power stays on …

 

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”  Edith Sitwell

:: Home-made soup today — ahh! ::

 

  • And how are you faring this winter?  
  • Are you tucked in safely at home, too?
Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Home, Life, Men, News, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Come and get your love

As of today, Sunday, I’m officially at the 5 & 11 mark:

  • 5 scheduled work days left followed by 11 days off.

Eleven. Gloriously wonderful Conference-call-free days off!

Yes I’ll monitor emails and yes I’ll likely need to chime in here and there but … my intention is to step away.   I’ve set my intentions for that preciously guarded time off and they read something like this:

  • Coffee, books, blogging and brunch
  • Daily walks / rebounding, with some yoga thrown in, too
  • Time with Hubbs, the boys, their girls and our grands
  • Yummy appetizers, dice games, laughs and movies
  • More books, coffee and brunch
  • Snuggling into bed when I’m tired and rising when I’m rested
    • Enjoying the peace, quiet and comfort of a contented Christmas

Come and get your love, Indeed.    💖

 

“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”
Richie Norton

  • What are you intentional about?
  • Do you set intentions ahead of time off?

 

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, music, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ Christmas treats, traditions and “41”

It’s Friday and you know what that means ~ it’s time for my Random 5 Friday!  Ready?  Let’s go!

1 )  Christmas Treats: Made my first round of Christmas treats last weekend.  Background:  I bake & make Christmas treats in “rounds” to give Hubbs his “due” ~ it’s a strategy that seems to work because he gets his fill and if I make enough “rounds,” I end up with some treats left to share with others.  Case in point:  just the other night, he exclaimed, “No more fudge till Christmas!” (( Like I’m-a-gonna do this all again on Christmas Eve?  … um No!))   But I ran into a quandary I hadn’t foreseen.  See, we gave away our larger freezer a few years back so I don’t have an easy storage spot.   I put on my thinking cap and …. Bingo! Problem solved:

Chocolate covered peanuts hidden in the crisper ~ He’ll never look there!  (( Shhh don’t tell ))

2 )  Holiday traditions:  When we moved to Hubb’s home state of Michigan 18 years ago it was his idea to throw a Christmas party and bring the extended family together.  His eyes would mist over recalling the big family gatherings of his childhood.  So, we started a small family party in our home that soon grew to a hall; we continued to host it annually for a dozen years or so; others in the family took it on for a few years and now, younger cousins have the lead.   Regardless who hosts or plans, the workload to do it, during the busiest time of the year, is never  insignificant.  There are menus to plan, details to organize, a hall to book, decorations to buy or recycle, addresses to update, invitations to share and more.  Just like in life, there’s always someone quick to point out what was missed or what wasn’t done. (Those same ones typically contribute nothing).  Regardless of the snark, the tradition continues and the family comes together.  Dishes are made involving 4 important Holiday food groups:  cheese, chocolate, BBQ sauce and cool-whip.  Little kid cousins get re-acquainted and run around together, red-faced and sweaty in their Christmas outfits,  elders tell stories and for a while everyone slows down and lingers in the moment.   And that’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown!

Christmas time is here! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 ) Community: Stopped at my local (tiny) grocery store last night and, in the baking aisle, shared a conversation with Ray, the older stock boy man.  Maybe it’s because I’m not from here and still long for a sense of community, I always make time to chat with him.  I know he walks his dog in the mornings, before work, that he lost his wife years ago and alternates between tears and smiles when he speaks of her, and that his daughter makes him cookies all year-long.   This is my small neighborhood store, not a big box chain.  They don’t stock everything and yes, you pay a little more sometimes.  But I like that bath soap isn’t 2 miles from the butter.  And I love that the checkout clerks know me and I know them.  In line to pay, I let a lady with a just a few items go ahead of me. She thanked me then  commented, “I really like this store, it’s so calm here.”  I smiled and I got it.     And it hit me right then that perhaps my little community has manifested itself right before my very eyes.

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

4 )  Family Photos:   When our boys were little, it was easy to seat one on our laps and stand the other next to us for a family portrait.   But now that everyone is older and there’s far more of us, family pictures are harder to come by.  I enjoy the perfectly posed portraits on friends’ Facebook pages — the coordinating plaid, hair bows and Holly,  littlest ones in Santa hats, bow ties, Christmas dresses, black patent leather shoes and white stockings.  Somehow I know if we tried this today, we’d end up with something like this:

Truth!

5) Passing of a Giant – Like many of you, I watched the coverage of President George H.W. Bush’s funeral with rapt and tearful attention. It was stately. Poignant. Emotional.  Respectful. Moving.  Epic.  So many moments, such long, long days for the family.  So many tributes to his character, life and legacy.  This picture though …

Together again

Your turn:

  • Do you also hide holiday treats?
  • Are there any Christmas traditions you’d like to share with us?
  • Where do you get a sense of community from?
  • Does your family take annual holiday photos?
  • And .. did you watch?
Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Snarky, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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Makeup Connection

The best cosmetics on the web

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

3bones

Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

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...