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The Good Stuff

Chatting with my sister yesterday we laughed about how, like Mom, we wear the same things over and over: A raggedy tee shirt, a fraying nightie, favorite shorts with a rip in the pocket.

There’s comfort in old clothes and in old things ~ they’re worn and soft and easy on the skin. We know what to expect and they deliver. It’s not that we can’t buy new clothes, we can. It’s not that we can’t wear new clothes, we do. But, time and again, we reach for what’s comfortable, what’s familiar, what endures.

  • Old recipes on batter-stained pages.

  • Coffee cups that fit our hands.

  • The love of an old pet who leans in for more.
  • How good the house smells as something simmers in the kitchen.

We talked further about “the good stuff,” about how, as you get older, material “stuff” matters less and less. What we want are connections, meaningful conversations, comfortable temperatures, good stories, tasty foods, deep sleep, great coffee, and loyal friends. We want our kids and grands and pets to be OK and everyone we know to feel safe and loved and remembered.   And in the chaos this year has brought we reach for the good stuff.

 

 

 

  • Can you relate to our conversation?
  • What does your “good stuff” involve?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Random Tuesday 5 – Cakes, skies, closets and chaos

It’s been a weird summer  season year.  Yes it sure has, and that’s putting it mildly.

I have read your blogs but not been blogging myself.  So here are some of my thoughts on a random Tuesday ~

1 Birthday cake drive-bys- To celebrate Hubbs’ birthday, we had our boys & their girls +our grands over for a get-together this weekend.  After much deliberation – and out of all choices offered – a Texas Sheet Cake is what he chose for the celebration.   I get it, this cake is hard to beat.  See there are 4 sticks of butter and many cups of sugar/powdered sugar in this beauty.  8 or 10 tbsp of cocoa, and all sorts of other goodness.

You don’t get a sheen like that from margarine, no sir-eee-Bob.     Some was devoured, some went home with the kids but the one enjoying it most of all is Hubbs … you see, near what remains is a fork.  His fork.  A drive-by fork.  And I laugh every time I pass it by!

a before shot of the Texas Sheet Cake with overflowing frosting

2 )  September Skies –We’ve been enjoying the most beautiful weather – sunny, warm days, cool nights and, my favorite – BLUE SKIES as far as the eye can see.   Today it’s overcast and cold, but blue skies are coming back, per the forecast.  MY*FAVORITE!   There’s just something about a September sky …

Our Walnut tree and hubby’s head. Oops.

3)  Closet clean-outs.   I’ve been on a health kick for years.  But this year, between intermittent fasting & my daily walks, I’m seeing changes – big changes.   Most of my clothes no longer fit.  I took the advice of the experts and if it didn’t a) fit, b) flatter or c) make me want to wear it RIGHT NOW, it’s gone.   Pictured below is one of 3 piles that went to a) the consignment shoppe, b) donation drop-off or c) garbage bin.    Anything sagging, bagging or dragging is G-O-N-E.  And I was ruthless- tried on everything (that’s a workout, holy smokes!)  and now, a week later, I can only remember 2 of the 100s of items that went.   I kept 3 pairs of jeans, 2 are too big and should have gone, too – and I’m sure I kept them out of a sense of security.  Funny how we think, isn’t it?

every color under the sun & I won’t miss any of it. Never wore that plaid shirt once!

4 ) Fat loss – working on 6 of these, see picture below.  Since 1/1/20 I’ve lost 27lbs & 39.2″ – I’m 5’2″, 39inches is more than half of my height. Yes I am slowly shrinking — inward —  Intermittent Fasting (time-scheduled eating) for the WIN!  for more information visit Gin Stephens – Books on Intermittent Fasting.

5 )  Chaos – I don’t know about you but every time I go out I think, “why did I go out?”    I get it, it’s a trying time. But folks have forgotten their manners, forgotten how to drive, how to park, and what to do.  I think I’m staying in for the foreseeable future.   Coffee up!

So …. what are you up to?

 

Categories: Books, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Love, Men, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Simple little things

When I find simple little things that make me happy, I’ve learned to do them again and again.

I notice.

I smile.

I repeat.

Examples include:

  • Saying “Good Morning” to the neighbor’s dog who waits patiently for a pet from yours truly –

my buddy, Chief

  • Sending 4 of these packing & working on more –

  • Waking up to walk early, setting a goal, and crushing it   –

  • Reading a book so good it makes me sad to see it end – ooh!

  • Supper simmering on a rainy summer Sunday ~  Salisbury steaks!

How about you? What are some little things make you happy? Do you notice & repeat, too?

Categories: Attitude, Books, Confidence at any age, Determination, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Random 5 Sunday ~Pandemic Pantries, Hanging on, Good Trees and Quiet

It’s Sunday in Summer and time for 5 randoms from my world.  Ready? Let’s go!

1 ) Pandemic Groceries – Still working my way through our pandemic-groceries.   Background: at the start of the lock-downs, Hubbs was doing the weekly grocery shopping, a task he enjoyed very much. I pulled the plug on his outings given his asthma & other risk factors.  Other risk factors included the potential for altercations in Aisle #5 (paper aisle).   But before our shift change in late-April, he was Mr. Pandemic-buyer.  I think we have enough canned goods to last to 2028.  With just two of us, it was already difficult to cook “small,” (I grew up in a family of 7… leftovers were a rarity in my house, and Mom prepared multiple meals daily).      But while I’ve teased him about his purchases, I admit to having enjoyed “perusing” the pantry to set a meal plan for the week.   Not ours, but pantry-envy worthy!

2 ) Hanging on – There’s been a shift again working remotely ~ we haven’t re-ordered letterhead or business cards.  With no in-person meetings now or anytime soon, there’s simply no need. Logos & return addresses can be affixed digitally, e-copies suffice.  Conversely, my days are longer than ever because I start earlier and work later.  I exercise early mornings but rarely take breaks or more than 15 minutes for lunch.  It’s not uncommon to have Corporate schedule (video) calls that start at 5pm, 6pm or later.  It’s a weird world nowadays.   I’m adapting, what else can you do?

Hanging on!

3 )  Great trees make me grin – Below are a few of my favorite neighborhood trees ~ totally climb-able.   Being raised a prairie child I shall forever appreciate a great tree.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

4 ) Quiet: The older and busier I get the more I savor quiet ~ the quiet of an early morning, a Sunday afternoon, or that moment when dusk turns to night.   Hubbs is a TV-on-all-the-time kind of guy.  He often wanders through the house to find me tucked into a book, the only sound that of a slow summer fan.  Ahh.

  • “Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”  Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth.

The magic of a summer read in a house full of quiet.

5 )  Driving.   I don’t know what’s up but some appear to have lost their ability to make rational decisions AND drive at the same time.   I blame the masks!

So … how was your week?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Self Discovery, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

To just enjoy a book or two

 “Today I’d like to sit and read. 

Forget I have a job I need.

Ignore the things I have to do.

And just enjoy a book or two.”

I read.

I read a lot.

I read quickly.

I read often.

I read.

*

I read outside in the sun.

I read at night when my work is done.

I read to enjoy, to escape and relate.

I read at night, usually too late.

I read.

* I’ve not counted how many books I’ve read this year, but it’s safe to say my “Quarantine” pile is tall enough to topple over. I’d guess between 50-60.  My favorite this year has been “The Authenticity Project” by Clare Pooley.

Are you a reader? 🙂

 

Accurate!

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Fun, Growth, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Products I love, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Random 5 ~ Summer & that is all

It’s summer in Michigan ~ we all know what that means … Spring’s sweaty sister is here for a visit. Could be long, could be short but move over, ’cause she’s sharing your space! Here are Five Random thoughts for today ~ ~

1 ) Watermelon, Cherries, Blueberries and Strawberries in season. That is all.

2 ) Humidity is regularly 80% … or more. Walks are taken before 7:00 a.m. Books are devoured outside or under the kiss of a summer fan. That is all.

3 ) Michigan is still locked in/down. Just keep living. That is all.

4 ) Speaking of lock-downs – there is a strong physical & emotional resemblance to Hubbs here. Add golf and me and it’d be bang-on. That is all.

5 ) This is just a little too true ~ and that is all!

So, what day is it, anyway? And how are you coping?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Men, News, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

A Sullivan State of Mind

We have grand-dog Sullivan (“Sully”) with us for a week.   Actually I should say I do.  I’m clearly his favorite, which annoys my tender-hearted dog-loving Hubbs.   He doesn’t mean to but his large frame and big voice scare Sully.  Meanwhile if I stop short he literally runs into my butt.

When you haven’t had a dog you in a while you tend to forget what it’s like.   Here are some “life lessons” I’ve enjoyed revisiting brought to you from the 3 year old wonder dog:

  • Live in the moment – he has a harness thing that took me 15 tries to figure out – but I got it and we were off! His tail wagged the whole time I tried. 🙂

  • Appreciate everything: Walks are great & even better with a buddy.  90% of the time he goes full speed ahead. Unless he stops to sniff something.  Another good reminder to pause, give thanks, and take in the day.

  • Mix things up – take an alternate route once in a while.   He enjoyed the detour and I enjoyed the shade!

  • Get outside as often as possible.   This was early evening, after storms had rolled through.  So.  Many. Sniffs!

  • Play every day.  And then do it again as soon as possible.

  • Never underestimate the restorative powers of sleep.   Photo after 2 walks, 8 games of “keep-a-way,” a million in & outs and 15+ yard sniffs.

We’ve enjoyed having him, we always do.   I enjoy waking to a small furry face in mine; I laugh when he nudges me with a squeaky toy.  I do what is asked, step away from the laptop and run around the yard a few times.

I’m off work the rest of the week but haven’t told Sully yet ~  I’ll just play with him and let it be his idea. 🙂

Life lessons worth repeating.

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

12 Tiny Things You Can Do Right Now

  1. Go outside, look all the way up and take 3 deep breaths
  2. Open a window ~ let the spring air in
  3. Find sunshine and sit/stand in it 🙂
  4. Call a friend or family member just to check in
  5. Drink a glass of water
  6. Write a letter
  7. Turn off the “news”
  8. Offer to help someone – a meal, groceries, a roll of TP
  9. Sing & dance to a favorite song
  10. Push your shoulder blades back 3 x – feel the tension release?
  11. Reach down and touch your toes, ahh!
  12. Laugh

 

How are you doing in self-isolation?

#12tinythings

 

**This is my 1000th post, who knew?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Control your controllable(s)

Crazy times we’re in ~  and that’s the understatement of the year!  New buzz words pepper our vocabulary ~

  • Quarantine
  • Self-isolate
  • Mitigate spread
  • Prepare, prepare , prepare

COVID-19. Pandemic. Confusion. Fear.

We are tucked in, with Hubbs battling a viral bug and me not far behind.   We’re on the mend and thankful for a stocked pantry with enough paper products for a while ~ no hoarding here.

Self-care is foremost including:

  • Hand-washing and cleaning
  • Fluids and plenty of rest
    • Slept 11 hours Friday and took a 2 hour nap Saturday
      • As Mom would say, “You must have needed it”
  • Reading, reading and reading
  • Turning off news after a while,  usually in evenings.
    • It’s hard to sleep after all that.
    • Updates bring more anxiety
  • Moving around and stretching
  • Laundry, washing jammies and sweatpants and blankies, because that’s what we’re using most
  • Cooking a little, enjoying eggs, fruit, tea and toast

Sending good thoughts to all  ~ We’re thankful our boys & their girls and all of our littles are well and at home.

Yep, we’re doing our best to “control our controllables” – and praying for patience for all ~

 

So ~ how are you doing?  Be safe and please stay home!  

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, fear, Home, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day!

Growing up in Canada, our holidays were chock-full of British influence; Canada is a jewel in the Commonwealth’s crown,  after all.   Mom used to tease us that Boxing Day was a day to clean up and box up (a ploy she cleverly used to get us to tidy the house).

As a child, Boxing Day was a full day of fun –a day of sledding & skating with cousins, adults playing cards, with everyone still full from feasting the day before.   As we got older Boxing Day brought dances and Curling socials, a time to visit all who’d come home for the Christmas holiday.  

google.images.com

Now it’s more commercialized with stores open for gift returns and clearance sale prices. 

But for me, it’s still a day to visit and we will be doing just that ~ And with temps approaching 60F here in West MI (not a snowflake in sight) we have the perfect weather to do so!

– To learn more about Boxing Day visit https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/26/world/boxing-day-facts-trnd/index.htm

 

So … what are you up to today?

Categories: Blogging, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

October Random 5 ~ Prayers, Waylon & the smell of home

Here we are on the weekend of Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving ~ we’re smack dab in the middle of my favorite season:  FaLL, glorious Fall!   Crisp apples, sunshiney days, something simmering in the oven.   Cozy blankets, good sleeps, wonderful drives and cool breezes.

Here are 5 Randoms from my October world:

1 )  I don’t watch a lot of TV but I binge-watched this series and doing so took me right back to my parents kitchen, soup simmering, AM radio on, and a Hank Williams or Waylon Jennings song on the radio … so good!

2 )  Speaking of, I remember Willie & Waylon from their “Outlaw” Days, partying hard and having fun.  But here’s a little some-something I discovered while watching that series … who knew, that before the greasy hair and cowboy hats, that Waylon Jennings was that good looking?   Day-umn!  **Might have rewound the show, not telling. 😉

A young Waylon Jennings

3 )  A year ago I visited the Billy Graham library in Charlotte, N.C What an amazing and humbling experience that was, especially when, at the end of the tour, a volunteer asked if she could pray for me.   I accepted, and that experience, and her gentle words of faith, remains deeply touching to me.    I’ve recently discovered Podcasts and enjoy listening to them while driving to and from my many meetings.  This week, the Billy Graham Ministries Podcast appeared in my “suggested” queue ~  random?  Not so much.

The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C.

4 ) Cooking last night for a family baby shower this weekend,  our kitchen windows steamed up from the heat ~  On the stove simmered Sloppy Joe’s, in the oven roasted Cheesy harvest potatoes and a from-scratch pizza for the hubbs.   He may have visited the kitchen several hundred times … I heard the screech of his slipper brakes as the pizza came out of the oven, bubbling and wonderful.    We sampled and enjoyed and felt the coziness that comes from a contented life together.  And when we got up this morning our house still smelled of all I’d cooked the night before.  Say what you will, there’s not a candle made that can match the smell of “home.”

5 ) Fall leads to Winter and you know what that means to me?  Books, books and more books! I’ve assembled quite a stack over the summer, some new and some new-to-me … They’re waiting for me like good friends at the ready.  Waiting for a perfectly cozy Fall day with sunshine streaming in, a cozy blanket and no particular place to be.  Ahh.

So what’s new in your October world?

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – Roasts, Pizza, Closets & Carpe Diem

It’s a rainy September Sunday  … time for a quick random 5 from my corner of the world.  Ready?  let’s go!

Randoms!

1 ) Pot Roast – Rain.  Dark. Cool.  Roast in the Crock-pot.   There’s been at least 15 Kitchen visits by Hubbs … with commentary .. “Sure does smell good in here,” “is that roast going to be ready for supper tonight?”  “man what a perfect day for a roast!”  Yep, my man likes himself a roast of beef.   The “pot roast” has been simmering all day ~ I’ve prepped mashed potatoes for him and oven-roasted vegetables for me (sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, yellow potatoes tossed in olive oil, rosemary and garlic .. yum) + steamed broccoli, a salad plus fresh rolls with butter.   It’s raining and cool .. and we couldn’t be comfier.

#SundayAhhs

mmmm Pot Roast

2 ) Pizza – The man-who-loves a roast also loves him some Pizza.  LOVES it.  Could eat it 3-4x a week and has.  He’s always scouting for the best tasting pizza — a normal to thin crust, light sauce, pepperoni, ham and bacon with extra cheese.   He decided to try the “take & bake kind” last night, and bounced around my kitchen while cooking it “to perfection” last night.   He served himself two pieces and settled in to enjoy it but reported back with a problem: no.  sauce.   Not light sauce, not heavy sauce, no – they forgot ALL sauce.   Hubbs got cheesy-bread & was not happy about it.

#Pizzafail

this is what he hoped for …

3 ) Scales never tell your whole story – I regularly weigh myself but also take measurements 1x a month.   Another reason to (mostly) ignore the scale – in the past 30 days I’ve lost 2.8 pounds but also 11 inches.   I’m in between sizes again.   If I had ONLY been paying attention to the scale I would have thrown in the towel 2 weeks ago, grabbed a snack and said to h*ll with it.   Yes the scale can be helpful but inches tell your WHOLE story.

Tip – If you’re just beginning a health/wellness initiative first measure neck, chest, waist, hips, each thigh and each bicep.   Measure again 1x a month – SO helpful!

#MeasuringTapesMakemeSmile

4 ) Closet Clean out – Measuring today gave me the incentive I needed to, once again, clean out my closet.   I’ve been talking about this for a few months now, and wanting to get to it, but lacking motivation.  Today was the day – I started by pulling out every bit of clothing that:

  • I don’t wear
  • I don’t like
  • doesn’t fit
  • I don’t want

Soon I had a big stack covering my bed, wow.

Next, on one side, I sorted & grouped career wear- blazers/cardigans, blouses, sleeveless tops, shirts, skirts, and pants.   On the other side I sorted casual wear into 3 sections – 1) golf, 2) date night and 3) around the house.

That stack on my bed soon doubled in size. Wow!

Of course I got distracted once or twice, don’t we all?  But, in the end, the closet looks 2X the size it is, I kept WHAT I WEAR and packed away or donated the rest.

#HappyClosetHappyMe

Truth

5 ) A work event last week afforded me the opportunity to meet Joyce, a volunteer at a Senior Community Center where our event took place. Her sparkling blue eyes drew me in, but it was her “joie de vivre” that kept me there. Chatting amicably, she whipped out a flip phone to show me what she uses to text ~ I noticed her screen saver that read “Carpe Diem.”  Sieze the day. 

Joyce is 93, about 95 pounds, an active volunteer & a going concern.

Joyce is #GOALS.

How about you?

  1. What’s cooking at your house?
  2. What kind of pizza do you like?
  3. Measure vs. Scale – your thoughts?
  4. How’s your closet looking?
  5. CARPE DIEM — seize this – and every – day!

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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Better Days Blog

Learning from yesterday, living for today

Another Stir of the Spoon

Food, Art, Books, Birds and whatever...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

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!

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

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

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

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