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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?

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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

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

Jet-Skis, Bullies and Towanda

I was so looking forward to this day: a gathering at a friends’ lake house.  A day of sunshine, water, good eats, laughter, camaraderie  & pontoon rides.  A day of good tunes, easy conversations, jet skis, sunblock and beach hair.

Like I do, I carefully planned the foods I’d bring, deciding on a fresh peach/blueberry cobbler & an appetizer dip.    Hubbs and I eagerly anticipated the day, the forecast was perfect for a country ride “up” to the lake house, and the camaraderie we were soon to experience.

Arriving just after 1pm we set down the coolers and arranged chairs;  food covered their kitchen counter and friends hugged hello, gathering around the patio table.  Classic 70s rock playing in the background, a waterfall trickled softly and we savored the summer breeze off the lake.

Soon the Hostess asked if I was up for a ride on her “new” jet ski, the high powered one gleaming in the distance.  “You bet,” I answered but “let’s visit first.” And so we did.   When I offered how I didn’t bring my swimsuit and just had a tee shirt & shorts she promised, “I won’t get you wet.”  And I know she knows what she’s doing .. so I went with it.

As we strapped on life vests and headed to the dock, another couple joined the party – so soon came more greetings before climbing onto the Sea-do.   Heading to the open water, with my pal driving and me holding  tight, we navigated smaller waves until a time she could “open it up” – flying now – fast and tight, my hair whipping behind me, I caught a glimpse at the speedometer: 57mph.  Shrieking, we leaned into a turn, jumped the wake left by a puttering pontoon boat, both of us rocketing forward and laughing our heads off.   Hanging on,  fully exhilarated, truly living.

Having an “it-doesn’t-get-better-than-this-moment,” and then some. 😀

Life is too short to sit on the shore!

We circled a few times then made our way back to the dock where friends gathered, men on the deck, ladies on chairs in the shallow water, waves lapping their calves.   Coasting into shore, I commented on how good of a driver my friend is, and thanked her that I did not have one drop of water on me, amazing!   We hopped off and waded  towards shore, where the women gathered.   With everyone watching, one gal commented “you went all that way and didn’t even get wet” and I nodded and smiled, about to compliment my friend on her excellent command of the machine.  But before I could do so, that same woman reached down and, with both hands, doused me in water, from head to toe.  Water soaked my hair, dripped down my sunglasses and face, top, shorts and underwear now completely drenched, with rivulets of water running down my legs.  I stood there in shocked disbelief, having my own “Carrie” moment, trying to come to terms with what just happened.

What. The. ???    What’s wrong with you?

Stephen King’s 1970’s Horror classic, “Carrie”

Looking back, there’s a part of me that almost did what I’d always done: “take the high road” “turn the other cheek” and all that other passive bullsh*t I’d been preached to my whole life. The same words that always translated to just lie down, be quiet and take it.

And I might have done that until I saw another so-called friend laughing.

And that was it. That was the tipping point.

Shaking water off my sunglasses while simultaneously wiping it from my eyes I looked around at those who looked away, said nothing, and the splasher and that one “friend” laughing.

All at my expense.  Nice.

I’m 5’2″ and the splasher well she’s 3 years younger and 4″ taller.

But it only took an second – I lunged at her with both hands, knocking her off her feet.

I’m petty sure she got air before landing in that lake sideways with a thud.   Sputtering she got up yelling, flailing  and swearing …. “I thought you were a nice girl” and my response was this, “I am. You started it.  Want some more?”

Women backed off, clucked, fussed and did nothing.

Someone said “this feels like High School” and I answered “YEP it sure does,  I hope you all remember who started it.  Just keep it up and I’ll finish it!”

  • I probably should feel remorse …. but I don’t.
  • I probably should be embarrassed …. but I’m not.
  • I hit her with everything I’ve got and then some. And I’d do it again.

#Sorrynotsorry

Maybe when bullies decide they’re going to pick someone’s hide, they should consider who they’re picking: in my case, she picked a 50-something woman who’s had enough of immature jerks and is no longer going to lie down and take it.

And I have better insurance, too.

 

Gotta love me some TOWANDA!

Your turn:

  • When’s the last time you dealt with a bully?
    • What did you do?
  • In the situation described above, what would you have done if you were me?
    • Why?
  • If you ever retaliated against someone’s nastiness, how did leave you feeling?
    • I don’t feel great about it, but I don’t feel bad, either.  😀

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Growth, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 Saturday ~ rooms, fasting and fools

It’s nearly May and *gasp* I’ve hardly been here.  As in, on the blog.  I’ve driven to and been in meetings all over this state – an excess of 2,500 miles logged in the past 5 weeks. I’ve woken up and thought Monday was Saturday. I’ve wondered where I was – hotel or home?  Too much, too much.  I’m ready for some down time and soon.  So, with that, I do believe it’s time for 5 Randoms from my world. You ready?  Let’s go.

1 )   This room:  I can feel myself, coffee in hand, meandering my way to that white patio chair ~ birds signing and me humming, you?

2 )  I accepted a last-minute speaking request Monday for an event on Wednesday.  150+ in the audience in a City I’ve never been with people I’d never before met.  One had been in the audience for a presentation I’d given at a neighboring conference so that happenstance created the opportunity for this one ~ Motoring there, tunes up, I remembered this quote:

“Great things never came from comfort zones.” …

And I smiled at how much I welcomed the “break” in my ‘routine.’

3 )  Miss Kitty Kitters (neighborhood cat) visited us earlier in the week ~ Spring’s arrival means she moseys by and stops in for a pet or five.  I don’t know where winter holds her, but she sure is happy to be out walking the her beat again.

She looks like this and is even cuter!

4 ) Something I’ve noticed working 5 days a week – office or home – I tend to eat on schedule.  And sometimes, I think I eat because it’s time to, not b/c I’m hungry.  ( It’s that old fear of low blood sugar shakes returning that causes me to do this, I know.)  On weekends, I’m up early – between 6 and 7am – but I don’t eat until ~1pm… I mosey through the house, straightening this, cleaning that, and sipping coffee all the while.  I eat around 1 and again at 6 or 7pm & then I am done for the night.  And I’m just fine, not starving.  Not one bit.

An epiphany — I’ve been “Intermittent Fasting” without even realizing it – this. is. how. my. body. prefers. things. to. be.    A light bulb went on – I’m gonna give IF a go during the work week, too — for more info on the benefits of Intermittent Fasting (eating in a window only), read Gin Stephens’ “Delay Don’t Deny” – reading now .. and yeah, wow!

Most of a fast happens when you are asleep … hence break-fast

5 ) At a meeting several weeks ago a seemingly mild-mannered individual suddenly turned.   Red-faced and angry, he snarled, looking for a fight.   I didn’t take the bait.  In that moment,  I remembered these words, and I might have even said them out loud, I’m not sure.  See I get angry, too, and I refuse to be bullied or talked over.  The meeting soon ended, he’s likely still angry and Jimmy Cracked Corn!

And how was your week? Any AHAs recently?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Beauty, Growth, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 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

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

Generationally speaking

So there was this presentation at a recent conference that I keep thinking about: a presentation on the challenges different generations within one organization face:  challenges communicating, differing expectations, sharing of feedback, work styles, and more.

Background – My employer has undergone tremendous growth over the past couple of years – with so many coming, and even more going. And when employees leave, we don’t know they’re gone until their emails go unanswered or, worse yet, names disappear from the employee directory.

Change can be good. But it can also be unsettling.

It’s odd being the last one standing from the original team.

Some retired, some fired, others left on their own.

I’m the keeper of a history no one cares to know about, until they need it. And explaining it over and over again is exhausting.  I’ve had four bosses in two years ~ my head’s spinning.

At 55 I’m now the oldest employee in the office; it’s to me whom others come to for advice, counsel and direction.  50% of our workforce is under the age of 37.

Those of us with 20 to 30 years of experience are in the minority; even more rare are employees like me who’ve only had two to three employers our entire career.  The new normal is 5-8 employers by age 35.

A 60 minute conference call can start with 15 minutes of praising and fawning over the leader.    I’m embarrassed by a the clamoring, gushing and kissing of the ring.  Blah.

My generation, the baby boomers, had many candidates competing for each job, every opportunity, every advancement. We signed up, showed up, and kept up. We got it done.

We wrote and adhered to policy, learned by trial and by fire, came in early, worked through lunch, and stayed late. We respected authority and boundaries and did our best to manage and succeed through the pace and the stress.

“Work/life” balance, what’s that?  “Purpose over paycheck?”  Huh?

Boomers stayed loyal to our employers, believing that, over time our hard work and dedication would be rewarded.  And sometimes it was. But,  just as often, it wasn’t.

Now we find ourselves working with much younger colleagues ~ Generation “X”ers, and Millennials.

Lest I sound too negative let me make it clear many are smart, creative and witty.  They’re accomplished, hard-charging, bright and capable.

However this is a group who seems to be always “on,” consistently paying half-attention while multitasking, and who don’t regularly slow down long enough take a breath, ask questions or listen for the answer. Some skip greetings, salutations, punctuation and sentence structure.  I’ve had bosses who text at all hours of the day and night, and colleagues rattling off stats on whatever personal milestone, habit or TV series they’re binge-watching now, like doing so is an accomplishment.  Co-workers who steadily are “plugged in,” and constantly seeking reassurance, admiration, affirmations are exhausting.

I know some view Boomers like me as rigid and set-in-our-ways.  But with our consistency comes depth of experience, too.  I know I’m not alone in wondering how this is all going to play out.

~But ~

Something positive that may come of this is that a new workforce who demands a better work environment, a positive office culture, robust perks and equal pay is sure to benefit all of us.

Related:

  • This organization defines millennials as the generation aged 21 to 36 in 2017.
    • In 2017, 56 million millennials were working or looking for a job — outnumbering 53 million Gen Xers, who made up 33% of the labor force, and 41 million Baby Boomers, who accounted for 25% of the total.
      • Apr 16, 2018

 

  • Bye Bye Boomers: Who will fill your workforce gap?
    • According to Gallup, about a third of today’s workforce comes from the 75 million-strong Baby Boom generation.
    • The oldest Boomers turn 70 next year and the youngest are in their early 50s.
    • More than 44 million of them are still working.

 

And while a bit extreme, these two clips made me laugh:

 

 

What’s been your experience?  Can you relate to this post?

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Growth, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Technology, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Summer just opens the door and lets you out

It’s summer ~ we’re in the throes of the season now, temps hovering in the 90s with the % of humidity matching.

In no particular order are just some of the summer delights we’ve been savoring:

  • Morning coffees on the patio
  • Fireflies fluttering at dusk
  • Strawberries, corn-on-the-cob and 7-Layer Salad
  • Anything grilled  ~ steak, chicken, shrimp and more
  • Hubbs golfing later and me reading later, all to summer’s golden light
  • A soft serve ice-cream, half chocolate & half vanilla, with half of it running down your arm
  • Stray cat visits
  • Kids playing in the sprinkler and Yellow finches mining my flowers
  • Couples walking together and dogs walking owners
  • The joy of a new book and the laziness of summer magazines
  • The smell of fresh limes on my fingers after squeezing into a margarita, the kiss of summer on my shoulders and the tangle of  beach waves in my hair

  + + + + + + +

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.” -Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart 

Sunset on Lake Michigan

What have you indulged in this summer? 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

80’s Ladies, Harrison Ford and Hurricanes

Last night, I caught the second half of an old favorite, a 1988 movie featuring newcomer Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl.”  I forgot how cute Harrison Ford was!  And I laughed while watching, remembering and relating to her, busy working hard, dressing the part, putting up with double-crossing, double-talking bosses.  “Ya wanna be taken seriously? You gotta wear serious clothes…..!”  Like this:

80’s ladies — remember those manly suits?

There’s a scene in the movie where Melanie’s character, Tess, meets Harrison Ford’s character, Jack, ~ she’s wearing a beautiful, feminine cocktail dress .. his reaction is perfection:

Jack Trainer: You’re the first woman I’ve seen at one of these things that dresses like a woman, not like a woman thinks a man would dress if he was a woman.

Tess McGill: Thank you, I guess.

I remember those suits, the padded shoulders, and the stupid bows that tied at the neck.   I remember how hot those ties were and how we thought big shoulders made our waists look smaller (like they were ever large in the first place, sheesh!)  Now, looking back, I see how we were nearly overtaken by those shoulder pads!

that’s me -(MJ) – at my bridal shower, 1992 — every one of us sporting shoulder pads!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Today, clothes are more forgiving.  Mix & match, not much that’s matchy-matchy.   Slacks and a sweater, wrap dresses, clothes that fit and flatter.   Less is more.   Thank goodness.

That picture above was taken in Houston, where we lived for 10 years before moving to Hubbs’ home state of Michigan.   We haven’t been back but we keep in touch with friends ~ some were spared, others had heavy damage to their homes.   Having lived there, driven there, and witnessed “normal” flash floods that happen, the damage and impact of this is beyond imagination.

And there’s a reason why sometimes we have to turn off the coverage, bury ourselves in an old movie and swoon over Harrison Ford … who’s still as handsome as ever.

Hello!

        Sincere prayers of safekeeping to all affected by Hurricane Harvey!            

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Friendship, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Life, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Romance, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Strong Women, Grey Ties & Valentine’s Day

As a girl, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a school party, card boxes, ice skating and moms visiting our classrooms.

google.images.com

google.images.com

As a teenager, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a boyfriend if I had one and avoided if I didn’t.

google images

google images

As a young married woman, Valentine’s Day meant cards and flowers – for a while, anyways.  As our relationship evolved, romantic gestures were replaced by thoughtful ones.  Things you can’t buy in the store: taking out the trash; filling my car up with gas on a snowy day.  Running his vehicle through the car wash then detailing the inside myself. Folding the laundry left in the dryer; bringing in the groceries.   It’s the little things  ~ but they’re helpful and kind and nice.  And there’s a flow and a comfort to it that I love.

In my 50’s I don’t wait for someone else to make me happy ~ I make myself happy.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1You see I learned it from her:  My mother was a strong woman and my role model  – 100lbs of dynamite ~ she calved calves, trained horses, wrangled 5 kids, a husband, a 1/2 acre garden, 2 dogs and 14 cats.  She rode in trail rides, taught 4-H and Sunday School, balanced the books and Chaired the Board.  She always got out to vote, once taking the tractor to the highway to catch a ride to the polls. No muddy roads were going to stop her!  Not much ever did!

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 - mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 – mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Like she did, I go to bed when I’m tired,  take a nap if I need one and I stay up late when I choose to.  I make room for the things I love – books – and never apologize for the space they occupy.  I have learned how to say “no thanks” to stuff I don’t want (or want to do) and “YES please!” to the ones I do.

Years ago Mom bought my sister & I that novel about the guy with the grey ties  ~ She made it clear she had no intentions of reading it and quipped “you can handle it” with a snort.   The two of us traumatized our grown kids by leaving it out on end tables.  The comments of horror from my nieces and the looks our boys shot my way were so worth it.  That was her point, to stir the pot and to remind us we always have a choice.

I chuckle remembering how Mom and I joked that if a good looking, rich man came near us with a grey tie, he’d find himself in some deep do-do.

God, I miss her.

So this Valentine’s Day I wish you this:

  • I wish you the courage to make the leap you’ve been pondering,
  • I wish you dreams in technicolor,
  • I wish you the conviction to change what’s not working, to stop worrying about what others think and to do the things that make your soul sing.
  • Time’s a-wasting and, per the wisest woman I’ve ever known, the only hero we have is ourselves.

 

strong-women

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Fun, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Love, Mom, Personal, Romance, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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