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Snarky

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?
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Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Snarky, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random 5 Friday – Karma and Snow

It’s Friday! It’s time for 5 Random thoughts! Here we go!

1. Remember last Friday when I referenced how pitiful Hubbs was with his cold? Yeah, I should not have done that. About noon it hit me – a tightening between the shoulder blades – and with hot eyes and hurting everything, I headed for home. Not before I stopped for essentials like groceries, Puffs and dinner.  And yes I felt the wheels of the Karma bus back right on over me.

2. Sorting through some stuff lately, I came across my hot rollers.   Bear in mind I have naturally curly hair. Like, really curly. Holds a curl for days.  I’ve had the rollers since college, they still work, and every once in a while I’ll roll my hair just to see what happens.   If I’m feeling adventurous I’ll add hair spray and double it in size.   I can see myself doing this for years and years and years.    No idea why.

circa 1983

Hot Rollers ~ circa 1982; Google.images.com

rockin the 80s hairdo as the "singer in the band" An Emjayandthem (C) photo

30 years ago ~ rockin the 80s hairdo as the “singer in the band.” An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3. Lately I’ve been enjoying TV shows that demonstrate decorating on a budget. You see I have no ability in the home decor  department.  That gene skipped me.  No, I was too busy riding my pony and pretending to be “Billy Jack  than be caught inside doing artsy stuff. So it was not a proud moment when I realized that most of the things we own are on Decorators “do not do” list.   Yep, decorating wise, I need help and lots of it.

Yes we have some silk plants.  We also have a fake Christmas tree, too!

Yes we have some silk plants. We also have a fake Christmas tree!  google.images.com

4.   I like making lists and checking things off so, generally speaking, I don’t procrastinate.  But this was funny!

procrastinate

5.  All in all, it was a bit of a rough week and I’m glad Friday is here.  None of us felt great, it was -something zero outside every day and we got pounded with snow.  Case in point, one day it took 65 min. to drive 7 miles to the office.   No snowmen yet, but I can see why things like this could happen:

And how was your week? What styling aids have you owned or used for 30+ years?  Please tell me you have silk plants, too!

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Family, Friendship, Fun, Growth, Life Lessons, Patriotic, Self Discovery, Snarky, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

R5F – not new, just more

Random 5 Friday! The quickest round of thoughts this ole brain can conjure up all week. Ready?  Here we go!

1. I heard recently that its not drinking that makes people gain weight, it’s the food choices that inevitably follow.  I think the same could be said for exercise.  I’ve been working out regularly for about 6 weeks now and my appetite afterwards envies that of a Badger.   Step away from the hungry lady.

touch my food, I dare ya!

touch my food, I dare ya!

2.  How is it nearly May? How?  We had snow in MI this week.  The weather people like to taunt viewers with stats like this:  “Today is the 188th day since our first snowfall!” And they smile as they say it.  How do they sleep at night?

3. Every year I seem to develop new sayings that describe certain situations or people.  A few years ago it was, “Not for you.” This year, after witnessing continued lunacy from more than one individual, it’s evolved to, “It’s not new, it’s just more.”  Think about a person whose behavior is disruptive in your life.  Is it new or is it … just more.  Gah!

4.  Stopped last night to complete the weekend grocery run.  Why? It’s not storming, no, but there’s something about completing that one little chore that makes me wonderfully happy. I can stay home all weekend if I want to — or not  — but that chore is done like dinner.  Whoop!!

5. 2 weeks from now, I’ll be happily ensconced at my Mother’s house, sipping tea, eating pie, talking politics, catching up on local doings.  To say I’m looking forward to it would be an understatement.   I’ll be smiling like a kitty on a cushion!

happy cat

Who comes to mind when you hear, “It’s not new, it’s just more.”  Do you ever do your chores in advance?   Does exercise turn you into a rabid wolverine?  Do tell! Happy Friday, peeps.

ha!

ha!

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Relationships, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

My Dentist watches “The Bachelor”

My Dentist watches the “Bachelor” and it kind of freaks me out.

Its bad enough he talks to me when his knuckles are back at my molars, but about “the Bachelor,” really?

I admit I’ve watched but I soon grew weary of the roses, the tears, the “connections” and the “most dramatic” everything.  Y-a-w-n.

The guy’s a doctor and a Big Ten graduate, for Pete’s sake!

Is it too much to expect observations on art, culture, restaurants or books he’s reading?

Are you here for the right reasons? image: abc.com

Is it too much to hope for friendly bantering on topics of rampant interest?  Sports? Politics?  or even … Silence?

~Sigh~

I miss my old Dentist, the one in his 6os who retired last year. His worked on our chops and his wife worked the insurance.  I miss his corny jokes about his golf game, how his hair never moved out of place (pretty sure he used Aqua Net), and the predictable familiarity of his mannerisms and those of his long-term staff.

This new guy throws me off.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s smart and talented and he knows all the latest & greatest techniques. But he has the attention span of a gnat.

Sitting in the exam chair Monday, I realized then that I have certain expectations about how health care providers should behave.  I don’t mind if they’re younger than me, my family care doctor is.  But he’s also poised and polished and … Doctorish.

I don’t like it when this guy sprays water at the hygienist and comments that, “I’m a kid at heart!” like that’s supposed to be endearing.  It’s not.  It’s annoying and even more so when his hands are halfway down my neck and water’s pooling at my shoulders.   I probably could cope with it better if we could at least talk about something intelligent.

.::.

How about you?   Do you have certain expectations of medical professionals?  Would you happily forgo “advances in modern whatever” just to have a touch of the familiar back again? 

don't really feel like talking, thanks! google.images.com

Categories: Life, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Random, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 Comments

It’s here! It’s really, truly, finally here…I think.

forsynthia peeking over my fence

After the most unpredictably cold, wet and weird April of recent memory, I dare say it outloud:

       Spring is here!

I won’t taunt Mother Nature by being too pleased about it for fear she’ll spank us with another April snow shower. (Hey we did get 2″ of the white stuff last Monday!)

But I sure enjoyed a relaxing walk through the neighborhood with old dog tonight.  He: nose down/tail up, sniffing the pathway ahead of us.  Me: foot wrapped, stretching and trying to improve my stamina and distance, bit by bit.  The mild air felt cool on my cheeks and, when we turned to home, I had to zip my windbreaker as the breeze picked up. In an instant,  I was transported to Spring on the farm:  fluffy yellow chicks, kittens, a foal or two and lots and lots of baby calves.  A time of being delighted that we could wear just sneakers again; all the boots were put away and the yard was no longer a mucky mess.  A time of hoodies layered under jean jackets, pink cheeks and coming into the house smelling of fresh air.

I love the scents of Summer and the colours of Autumn but it’s on days like this that I realize what I love about Spring: its promise. 

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~Robin Williams

Categories: Animals, Beauty, Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Random, Seasons, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Quick and to the point

I received these great one-liners in an email and they were too good not to share.  

Happy Saturday!

4:30 is to meetings what water is to boarding.

7/5th of all people do not understand fractions.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

Dawn is nature’s way of telling you to go to bed.

Everybody has a plan, ’till they get hit. – Mike Tyson

Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

Honk if you like peace and quiet.

Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience.

Okay, who put a stop payment on my reality check?

Spelling is a lossed arte.

Alcohol is not the answer, it just makes you forget the question.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Fashion, Food, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Men, music, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Rants, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Snarky, Thoughts, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Slow down, you move too fast

Have you ever spoken out and realized later that what you’d said didn’t match what you meant?  Did you feel like an idiot?  I have .. and more times than I care to admit. Ugh!

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln

Whenever I commit a “faux pas” I try to do the following:

  1. recognize it,
  2. own it and
  3. if possible, make restitution.

Sometimes words get mixed up and our bumbled results just don’t match our best intentions. Thankfully, I am not famous or newsworthy so no one’s standing by to capture my words.    However, I have to admit that when someone famous makes the same mistake, I feel a teeny bit better.   Here’s a sampling of famous people’s well-intentioned but bumbled quotes:

A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.
Dan Quayle

Every prime minister needs a Willie.
Margaret Thatcher, referring to Lord William Whitelaw

I cat nap now and then . . . but I think while I nap, so it’s not a waste of time.
Martha Stewart

I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada.
Britney Spears

I loved Jordan. He was one of the greatest athletes of our time.
Mariah Carey, on the death of the King of Jordan

I’ve learned not to put things in my mouth that are bad for me.
Monica Lewinsky, discussing weight loss through the Jenny Craig program

No audience will ever be able to take more than ten minutes of animation.
Walt Disney executive, considering viability of movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
former DC Mayor,  Marion Barry

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve said lately?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Humor, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Rants, Self Discovery, Share, Snarky, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Has being “capable” become a rarity?

image from campbells.com

Last night, I was thinking of something that happened last summer.  We were invited to a gathering via our oldest son.  I had met the other couple before and while the wife seemed a little nervous,  she was nice enough.  Then he told me that she really struggles having people over.  One eyebrow raised, I remember dismissing the comment and thinking, “ah .. It’ll be fine. It always is.”

You see, although I come from a humble farm upbringing, I’ve traveled, lived on my own, and have always been self supported.    Not many situations intimidate me and I know that whatever “moxie” I have is because of  my very capable mother and aunts.  Growing up, I witnessed talented women who could assist with a calf delivery in the night, get five kids off to the bus on time,  hang the wash on the line (after using a wringer-washer to get our laundry done), manage a 1/3 acre garden, and serve multiple mouths multiple meals daily – all from scratch.  They did so with grace and good humor and, in my mind’s eye, hardly broke a sweat.  They taught 4-H, shepherded us to swim and piano lessons, drilled us on our vocabulary lessons,  and taught Sunday School.  Their gardens envied Farmer’s Markets and they cooked, canned, and pickled enough to get us all through a long winter.  I can remember many instances when Mom and Aunt Irene found themselves “nominated” to “put on” (host/plan/cook for/etc) a party in someone or another’s honor, often with little notice… for 100+  people.  Easy-peasy!  Christmas dinners in our family were never prepared for less than 35 people, 17 of them children.  Summertime cookouts brought scads of family members of all ages and, while some offered a dish to pass, many just showed up bearing a hearty appetite for family time and delicious foods.

Back to my story from last summer:  As is customary, I phoned ahead to see what I could bring and was asked to contribute a side dish which, to me, means “bring two.”   So, after a full week at work, I prepared a fettuccine pasta salad and marinated vegetable salad.  We arrived and found ourselves part of a small group of people milling around.  I was not surprised to see that our boy had prepared burgers and smoked chicken; I brought out my pasta salad and marinated vegetable salad.   The hostess presented.. with great flourish … baked beans.  After a bit of mingling we all sat down to eat.  The conversation was a a little stiff  but safe, focusing on weather, summer plans and such.   I could tell that he was trying hard and secretly hoping that we were having a good time.  I listened as her husband and others raved about the beans.  On and on they went about the beans.  And they were good but … really?   Around the table, as I watched as the entire group devour the chicken, burgers, pasta and vegetables that we’d brought all I could hear were oohs and ahhs about beans.

Glancing up, I couldn’t miss the raised eyebrow on the hubbs’s face.  He knew that I was thinking:  It’s not like she grew the beans.   These are open-the-can-and-plop-into-a-casserole dish-beans. Seriously?

But them something happened:  An old familiar lesson swirled around me again: not everyone’s experience is the same.   The experiences you’ve had were exemplary, and hers might not have been. Maybe this is as good as it gets?

I got what our boy meant about “she struggles to have people over.”

Not everyone cooks.

Not everyone likes hosting get-togethers.

It’s OK. I understand.

But here’s where the rubber meets the road: When someone brings home-made goodness to your table, maybe while you’re licking your fingers eating it, you can pay them a compliment, too.

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Family, Food, Life, Mom, Personal, Relationships, Snarky, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

I need some Brain Lysol

Lounging in my jammies yesterday I found myself watching a TV show featuring celebrity news stories of the year.

I consider myself a bit of a news hound.  I read all the time. Books, blogs, newspapers, online news, you name it.

So it came as a surprise to me that some of the “news” stories of the year .. I hadn’t even heard of. 

Kim Kardashian?  Most googled person? Seriously?  Why?

Yes she’s pretty and curvaceous and I get that … but I can’t handle that whiny-constipated way of talking. 

I realized that, while watching, my brain was way ahead of me, it was already computing my list of people and products I don’t care about.

Then I realized I actually have a visceral reaction to each one.

So I do care.

I care that I am supposed to care about them.

Stop!  No more living rent-free in my head!

One of many stupid ED commercials. Image via accessrx.com

 

Here’s my list of people and products I am wiping clean from my brain’s memory drive:

  1. “Jersey Shore” and the band of lost misfits inhabiting it. It shames me that I even know who “Snooki” and “DJ Pauly D” are. Ugh.  Do stores carry Lysol for the brain cause I think I need a case of it.
  2. Kate Gosselin. With or without kids. Short hair or long. Don’t care.
  3. Oprah’s final season. Over it.
  4. Kim Kardashian and the rest of them. And what the hell happened to Bruce Jenner’s face?
  5. Erectile Dysfunction and “special moments.”  Um, the first two words don’t go with the last three unless you’re … Gene Simmons.
  6. Marie Osmond’s weight loss. Her hair is now bigger than her entire body and she oddly resembles the dolls she hawks on QVC. Weird.
  7. Tiger Woods had to spend Christmas without his kids.  Hmmm … perhaps when you cheat on your wife with 8 million women, a little time alone to wallow is what you should get.  Knob.
  8. Dancing with the washed up-0nce were-remotely famous-stars. Yawn.
  9. Lindsay who?
  10. Justin whats-his-face-with-the–really-stupid-hair.
  11. The Kimaro Body Shaper.   How do people get into it?  And why?
  12. Extreme anything. Extreme fitness. Extreme weight loss. Extreme-ly annoying. Whatever – shut up.

How about you?

What “news” story isn’t news? 

Which celebrity is famous for no reason at all, in your opinion?  I know I’m not alone here …

Categories: Attitude, Humor, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Rants, Snarky | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

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The best cosmetics on the web

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our wild little 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...

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RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...