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Thoughts

Random 5 Friday – Elvis, Frankie, and Fall

It’s Friday, and time for some randoms … ready?  Let’s do this!

1  )   Elvis my Elvis – 42 years ago TODAY the world lost a legend with the passing of Elvis Presley.   I was at horse camp when I heard the news and still remember the sorrow and disbelief felt.  There’s never been a time when I wasn’t a fan but if you asked me to pick my favorites from his music, I’d pick this:

an MJ favorite; image from amazon.com

2 )   Seasons – School hasn’t started yet but Halloween displays are going up.  Slow down already, wouldja?

google.images.com

3 )  Home shopping – I love a good deal — some “finds” have been duds, but others have been bang-on.  This is one of my top finds, ever – a luggage set by Samantha Brown (of HGTV fame).   Well made, well organized, well structured, well … everything.   I’ve never been complimented on luggage before owning this ( bought in burgundy). Really really well done.

4 )  Fall – We’re starting to see signs of Fall here ~  after a wet spring, it’s been dry of late so certain trees are turning color already.  Mornings are a smidge darker, nights a bit shorter. There’s been a nip in the air some mornings.  I know we’re in for more heat waves but, in the meantime, I’m leaning in…. because I LOVE FALL!

Our Frankie loved Fall!! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 )  Golf – Hubbs and I were talking golf strategy last night, with me asking questions about certain clubs ~ He assumed I “didn’t like” a certain club which I hardly use until I explained I hadn’t yet been taught how to use it – for me, golf lessons have been great but a bit like being parceled out individual chapters to a story you’ve not yet read.  I want to jump ahead and know how the story ends!  (Patience!)    In the midst of our conversation I asked, “Did you ever think we’d spend an hour talking Golf?” and he laughingly responded “No, did you ever think you’d get me to talk this much?”  HA!

We are enjoying this new adventure together!  😀

How about you?   Are you an Elvis fan?  Seeing signs of Fall? Take up any new past-times lately?

Happy Friday!

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Categories: Animals, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Life, Men, music, News, Opinion, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

July Random 5 – Aging apps, Shirley MacLaine and self-care

It’s Sunday, mid-July, and here we are cruising down hill towards August.   Time for 5 Rapid Fire Randoms from my world.  Ready? Set – Go!

1   Aging apps – friends on Facebook are posting results of an app that ages you by 40 years.  Here’s one to try- ha!

Dog days of Summer –  Our West MI Summer took it’s sweet time arriving.  Our first 80F day was June 20th.   But now that we’re into July – with more than 3 weeks of warm weather behind us – folks are already CRABBING about it.  I was doing fine until that sweltering sweaty muggy stuff landed last week ~ the hot, humid, dank weather that steals your breath away at 6am.   The humidity so high that you sweat AFTER a shower.   Our local AM radio host cheerfully announced, “The heat index – with the humidity – is already over 90F.”     I turned up the fan and suppressed my crabbiness.3 Grand Dames – I read a recent interview with actress Shirley MacLaine.  Always liked her.  Classy, smart, sassy … takes no prisoners.  This quote resonated with me:

“I have what I consider just a perfect life … I eat what I want, I sleep when I want.  Not that much bothers me. I think attitudes are a choice.  Anger is a choice, peace is a choice, sarcasm – which is what I’m good at – is a choice.” ~ Shirley MacLaine

I wanna be Shirley MacLaine when I grow up!

the incomparable Shirley MacLaine

4 Stopping when necessary – As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better at stopping what doesn’t work for me.   Try something new but don’t like it?  Don’t keep doing it.  Order a new food that disappoints?  Set it aside.   The same goes for books – I LOVE to read, as in l-o-v-e to read.  Summer = reading for me.   But just recently I started a book with characters so awful – I had to stop.  The female character allowed herself to be manipulated by a narcissistic and cruel man, a man who enjoyed  the “game,” playing with her emotions and physical safety like a cat with a mouse.    I could see where the story was going after reading just a few chapters. Yes, I knew she’d probably become her own kind of hero but I just couldn’t sit through the abuse.

So I stopped reading it.

I didn’t give it away, I didn’t turn in for re-sale or donate it.

I threw it out.

You might be empathic if …

5  Heading to a corporate conference this week ~  practicing self-care now – there – and thereafter!

  1. Ever stopped doing what didn’t work for you? 
  2. Does Shirley’s quote resonate with you as well?  Why?
  3. How do you practice self-care? 

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, fear, Food, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Summer Days & Sully’s book

We’re nearing the end of our July vacation ~  and it always amazes me how quickly vacation flies by!

Ahh the lazy days of summer.  It’s hot, sticky and sunny.  Even with my 70SPF I have a warm tan with tan lines where my flip flops go and tank tops end.  As when I look back at all we’ve accomplished and had going these past 2 weeks it’s no wonder we’re both moving a little slow this weekend.

  • I arrived home on a Friday after attending a 3 day corporate conference
  • Had new window treatments installed (involved moving furniture/etc out of the way and back again)
  • Played in a couples golf scramble
    • all in the same day 😀
      • what was I thinking?
      • Say yes and you’ll figure it out later
  • Picked my sister up from the plane and, for a week, stayed up late and got up early, still talking
  • Visited the big lake (Lake Michigan) 2 x  + Won and lost money at the Casino
  • Cried watching “Toy Story 4” and “The Mustang”
  • laughed at all the same places in “Bridesmaids”
  • Reveled in the ability to sit across the table from each other, laughing until we choked while finishing each others sentences
  • Skipped breakfast & enjoyed watermelon and cherries for lunch
  • Savored pots of coffee & tea out on the patio with sister, Sully and Hubbs … plus a cold beer or two, too

Mornings with Sully, an Emjayandthem (C) Photo

  • Up and outside early and to bed when tired with no alarm clocks – WHEE!
  • Celebrated the 4th with amazing fireworks, dancing fireflies and neighbors
  • Decorated the hall for the kid’s wedding and hosted the rehearsal dinner, ordered the limo, catering, bar, DJ and more plus managed the details!
  • Helped him get ready on his big day
    • Cried with Hubbs and my sister at ^^ above
      • Smiled at his smile when he saw her
      • Cried again
  • Witnessed their vows, celebrated by dancing with our boys, my sister, hubbs and friends.
  • Polka’d till I lost my breath and then went out and did  it again 🙂
  • Cleaned up the hall and tumbled into bed
  • Got up early  & hosted a gift opening
  • Languished in the hot tub
  • Cared for, slept with and supervised grand-dog Sully ~ who is adorable and hilarious but a bit like having a 70lb toddler

Today I cooked up brunch, did some catalogue perusing and online shopping but still haven’t started on my books, there’s been no time.   …. but I think I’ll take a page out of Sully’s book and go enjoy a nap in the a/c.

Sully nap, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

What are you up to today? Take any naps lately?  

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday Random 5 – Golf, Joe Friday, Wedding Bells & Good Tired

Here we are nearing the end of June ~ it’s time for 5 Random Thoughts from my world.  Ready?   Let’s do this.

1 ) Golf – who knew I would have this much fun golfing? Even the lessons are fun!  I tell him this all the time so I’ll tell you, too: Hubbs was right.  You cannot golf and work.  Beyond being together and being outside,  disconnecting from my job is something I’m  enjoying so much.  I like what I do, but no one needs to do it a-l-l the time!  🙂

2 )  Good tired. We both worked around the house & yard yesterday and I went to bed early ~ It was a “good tired,” the tired that comes with aching muscles and sore feet but the knowledge you accomplished something.  Then, to no surprise, I found myself awake at 4, then 5, at by 6:10 I threw the covers back with a “oh just get up already.”    Laundry’s done, coffee’s hot and Salsa Chicken simmers in the crock pot ~ I’m enjoying padding around a quiet house on a sunny summer Sunday.

3 ) Joe Friday  – Heading to another corporate conference this week ~  there have been even more organizational shifts with senior people leaving and new folks coming in.  The bench is deep and the talent is impressive.  And, as we’ve done before, we were asked to complete the Myers-Briggs personality test.   I’ve taken this test many times  over the course of my corporate life and I always get the same result – I’m an ISTJ  —

  • ISTJ – The Inspector (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)  ~ Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Highly capable and decides logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

I’m Joe Friday! Google.images.com

However, the test is only as accurate as your answers are honest.   And like we’ve all seen, there are some who “play it” up for the big cheese(s), sit in the front row, hang on the leaders’ every answer, and kiss the ring.  These are the same people whose profiles never match up to who they actually are.   I’m fine with my results because I know exactly who I am – the good, bad, and the ugly.   And that’s exactly why such trips are so taxing!

4)  Wedding bells – Our youngest son is getting married in just a few weeks!  10 minutes ago he was this little.  But he’s not so little anymore.  He still has the same laugh & love for life ~ and now he has a beautiful partner by his side, someone to call his very own.  The love between them is palpable and we couldn’t be happier!

Corporate Family picnic, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 )  Summer Vacation  – After this week’s conference ends comes 15 – count ’em – 15 days off!  I’m leaning in for time with Hubbs, time with my sister, trips to the beach and Casino, visits with our boys & their girls, a happy wedding to enjoy and dance to,  grilling out,  grand-kids, grand-dogs,  Golf, sunshine,  sunscreen,  watermelon, flip flops, tank tops, down time , new books and more good tired. 

 

  • So, what’s new in your world? 
  • Do you enjoy the feeling of “good tired?”  
  • Ever taken a personality test?
Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Travel, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

When the soul weeps

I still miss her.

Mom.

This July will be 3 years.

She would not want this, she’d chide me, give me sh*t and push me to “get on with it, for Heavens sake.”

She’d even snort once or twice.

She in her cat-eye glasses and pedal pushers.

She.

All 100 lbs of her.

I miss her.

I long for our conversations.

I suppose I always will.

The depth. The breadth. The range.

The absurd, the large, the small, the swing of it all.

I see her face in little old ladies faces at the grocery story, except they don’t carry a red purse or possess the spunk she did.

You know what I miss most?  Our friendship.

How lucky was I?

I know I should just “deal” and be grateful, and I am.

But her name was Gay, and she epitomized the word fierce.

Mom on Buck, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

And I miss her.

 

“The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits

 

Who are you missing tonight?

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Family, Grief, Home, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random 5 Sunday ~ Cows, gifts, dogs and Bradley Cooper

It’s the first Sunday of March, yay!  I’m gearing myself up for several weeks of business travel and heading into some of the coldest temperatures of the year.     Time for some Randoms from my world.

1 )  This picture describes this winter!

2 ) Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with political posts by well-meaning friends ~  I admit to having snoozed” a few ( to avoid seeing their stuff for 30 days)  because I can’t take the rants.  Give me pictures of your babies, kids, dogs, cats, casseroles or cakes.   The other stuff I’d just as soon pass over.  But this one, now this one made me laugh:

3 )   I asked our youngest boy for just a little bit of his co-worker’s “homegrown honey.”  This is what he gave me.  Nothing says love like a year’s worth of amber deliciousness~!

An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

4 ) Maybe it was the cold or just being home and inside but this year I watched the Oscars.  Haven’t watched in years!  Hubbs and I were “dog-sitting” our oldest son’s dog, Roscoe, and he watched the Oscars with me.  It was a cold & stormy night (sounds like something Snoopy would write) and the winds were howling (the Bomb Cyclone was underway).    Between us, we decided Roscoe-Doggus should have been nominated (and won) in the most dramatic category:

  • #highwindsequalhighbarks
  • #willbravethesnowfortreats
  • #workingPopsforpizza
  • #Nanaisasuckerfortheseyes
  • #moveoverBradleyCooper

Grand-dog Roscoe ~ we sure missed him when he went home. An Emjayandthem(C) Photo

5 ) Speaking of Bradley Cooper… this also made me laugh.  (Bad weather can certainly = carb noshing!)

In case you missed their Oscar performance, see link below ~ ME-Ow!

 

And how was your week?

Categories: Animals, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Men, music, News, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 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

Winter alerts, last nerves and gravy

Like many of you, here in the Mid-Western United States, we’ve had a “weird” winter so far — a skiff of snow here, a dusting there.

But then … last week,  Winter … well she arrived with a vengeance.

2 weeks of back-to-back alerts, warnings and wildness.    Mother Nature’s last nerve is involved & someone’s poking it.   As a result, soon after came:

  • Gobs of snow.
  • Blasts of cold.
  • Frigid winds.
  • Icy.  Frosty. Chilling. Days & Nights.

followed by some really sound advice:

As for me, I’m staying in … till March.

How’s the weather by you?  Are you “hunkered down,” too?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Life, News, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Sunday thoughts: Tidying up, sunshine & magic

We’re already into mid-January it occurred to me this morning that I haven’t blogged since last year!

Gulp.  Life comes at us fast, especially in the new year.

2019 came at me like ..

Holidays ended, work resumed, and tripled in intensity.   It’s been a steady dose of crazy since, with not much room or time to breathe.  Early mornings, long days, lots of travel and copious conference calls.  Thankfully, a solid winter storm blew in this weekend, encapsulating us in icy roads, fresh snow, with a fridge full of leftovers and no particular place to be.

Darn.

That brings me to today ~ awake at 6:30 I hit tossed in a load of laundry, padded through the house and caught up on your blogs.

Random observations came my way and they include:

1  )   Have you heard of the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book and movement afoot?   Based on her best-selling guide to de-cluttering your home, and soon-to-be TV series,  Marie Kondo espouses the virtues of sorting through everything – and I mean – every thing to determine “what sparks joy.”  If it doesn’t, it goes.   Now I am very familiar with the term “you can’t organize clutter” so I purge/donate/recycle on a regular basis.  Her advice is to start small, say with 1 drawer, and go through every piece that’s in it … I started with my sock drawer and found it can’t be opened all the way … probably because of the preponderance of black dress socks.  ~ Sigh.  I laughed, and set my sights in another direction.  If you’ve tried this approach and it’s helped you, do tell!

2 ) Last night I had every intention of delving into several new books; I’ve got a stack waiting for me, purchased with Christmas gift cards ~ my favorite.  Instead I read women’s magazines, binge-watched “Shark Tank,” laughed with hubby and chatted with my cousin.   Regardless, doing nothing and lots of it, was great therapy.  PS My favorite “Shark Tank” product so far has been this one ~ an amazing cleaning do-dadd that really does work:

3 )  Growing up in bright & sunny western Canada (Saskatchewan) I took our daily sunlight for granted. Yes winters were cold and windy but, for the most part, ALWAYS sunny.  Sunglasses and Sunblock are a necessity year round– now I live in Western Michigan, and because of our proximity to Lake Michigan (and lots of winter cloud cover) our winters are regularly dreary, dark and long.  I really struggle with lack of sunlight.

Update on my previous product review:  I cannot say enough good things about the Verilux Happy Light –  AMAZING!   In just 2 weeks of using it I cut my total coffee consumption in 1/2 and caffeine dosage from full throttle “Farmer’s coffee” to decaf by using this amazing little light.  Sitting near it first thing in the morning helps reset your circadian rhythm & will help you sleep (instead of lying in bed making 3AM “to-do” lists like I used to). 

Caution:   Do NOT use at night, you will be up for 1/2 of it, oops. 

I started out small, at 7-10 mins. a day, and have worked my way up to 30 mins. daily.  If YOU also slog through the dark days of winter, give the HappyLight Compact ($40 on Amazon) a try.  The. Best. $40. Ever. Spent! 🙂

4 )  Long-time blog readers, family and friends know I enjoy technology and gadgets.  But after our son told me how their “Alexa” interjected into their conversation, more than once,  I firmly advised him  to “never buy me one.”  My cell phone does enough eavesdropping as it is.  This Meme is about right, ha!

5 )  And, as much as technology makes our lives easier, and sometimes even healthier, there’s always going to be something about a real book that draws me in … and so does this picture:

Your turn:

  •  Are you working to “tidy up?”
    • What method works for you?
  • Any cool new-to-you gadgets to share?
  • What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Happy Sunday!

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Products I love, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized, Useful Information, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Showing up for life

At the cusp of a new year  I like reflecting on the past one.  I find it cathartic to look back at professional and personal accomplishments, lessons learned, and think about what’s working and what’s not.

I ask myself these 3 questions:

  1. What do you want more of?
  2. What do you want to get rid of?
  3. What’s holding you back from either one?

And then I read this and smiled.  Because, more than anything else this year, I showed up.  Growth happened, some with growing pains.  Manifestations abound; intuition sharpened.

C’mon 2019, I’m ready. 

Your turn:

  1. What do you want more of?
  2. What do you want to get rid of?
  3. What’s holding you back from either one?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, music, News, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 December Friday ~ Days off, kid time, new years and music

It’s the last Friday of December, how did that happen?  That means it’s time for 5 randoms from my world.

1 )  Been on holidays for 7 days and have 5 more to enjoy before I head back to work.  Today is that day:

I’ve gone to bed when tired and gotten up when I’m not.  I’ve relaxed, stretched, played and laughed.  I’ve watched movies, read (2) books and started a 3rd.    Ahh … leaning in.  

2 ) Over the summer I took care of our grand-daughter different times while her older brother was at camp, we dubbed those days “Camp Nana” because it was all fun and games. During this Christmas break I spent the day with both grand kids while their parents were at work.   Dad had left them a “to-do” list and I helped them tackle it+ added more~ that visit soon became “Nana Boot Camp” – ha ha! But they did great: they worked hard to tidy up –  they picked up, vacuumed, folded, dusted, put away, emptied the dishwasher and completed about 4 trash runs. They didn’t complain because I was right there working beside them – we spent the rest of the day cooking, playing games and playing outside.  (Our snow is long gone!)  It wasn’t lost on me that it was “Boxing Day,”  the same day Mom used to round us kids up to help her tidy the house.   The grands were proud of their efforts and joyful at the many rounds of dice, Jenga, and Uno we played.    Time marches on but kids are still just kids and, from my experience, kids spell love T-I-M-E.

Grandson learning how to make Nana’s “Sloppy Joe’s”;  coincidentally this was the first recipe I ever made in 4-H. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 )    In many ways this has been a trying year and  I won’t be sad to see it go.   This picture sums it up:

4  )  As grueling and demanding and relentless as my job can be I was delighted to be awarded $$ for notable project work recently completed.   Smiling, I knew straight away where that $$ was going == AMAZON.  Funds are in my account, and I’ve already made one purchase ~ something perfect for our gloomy west Michigan winters.  Arriving tomorrow, I plan to use it daily ~ whee!

Google Image:  The Verilux HappyLight Compact makes your indoors brighter.

  • Product notes:  For millions of people, light therapy can make a not-so-great day much better – and brighter. The bottom line is, almost none of us get outside as much as we should to get as much natural full spectrum sunlight that we, as humans, need. Our bodies have evolved to actually require sunlight, and when we don’t have enough we can be groggy, irritable, unfocused and more. To make it worse, as days get shorter in the fall and winter, many people are affected by winter blues. This full spectrum light therapy lamp can help make you happier year-round.  Amazon $40

5 ) Saw this video last night and have watched it (and sang along) about 5 times already.    Trees will be bending, indeed.  SANG it, kids!   And props to the Choir Director ~ how I’d love to be part of a choir like this one!   🙂

So, what’s going on in your world?  Care to share?  And, ready or not, here’s to 2019!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Love, music, Opinion, Personal, Recipes, Thoughts, Wisdom, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 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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Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

Makeup Connection

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A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

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Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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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.

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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...

Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

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...