Posts Tagged With: Books

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

Random 5 Friday ~ Soup, Social Distancing & Life Lessons

It’s Friday, the first Friday of our “stay-at-home” COVID-19 order.  I hope this finds you all safe & well ~ Here are my random 5 for today~

1 )  Being home is fine with me & Hubbs ~ we are both more introverted than not and home is our happy place. He’s wandering around, suffering from sports-withdrawal and is our resident news hawk.  Reading is my escape.  When it all gets too much, and it does, I turn off the 24/7 coverage and jump head-first into a book.

Lesson: both of us being home full-time has been a good practice run for retirement.

2 )  It’s been a week since I got sick, and 10 days for Hubbs.  We’re still coughing and appetites are slowly returning.  We’ve noshed on soups and omelettes, fruit and coffee.  Beef noodle vegetable was on the lunch menu yesterday and, because I come from a family of 7, I made enough for us, neighbors + some to freeze.  🙂

Lesson:  Yeah I could pare it back but neighbors are happy and the freezer is stocked.  All good.

3 )   I feel for the parents, home now full-time with kids, while worrying about safety, finances, job security, etc.    I say build a fort, play a board game, draw pictures, and cook together.  Let them get bored, it’s OK.   Kids don’t need to learn a new language or master advanced math right now, they just need you.

Lesson:  Do what you need to do & keep a sense of humor – for the best parent tweets about Social Distancing click here .

4 )  Benefits of staying home:

  • It takes me no time at all to get ready for work 🙂
    • I’m working longer hours and on back-to-back calls
      • Cough cough
  • No need to pack a lunch, I’m only 15 steps from the kitchen and the cook’s pretty good 🙂
    • Trying to avoid the “Quarantine 15”
  • Lesson ~
    • I love being home, I still enjoy working, and I miss being able to go out when I want
      • The lesson for me is that there’s always a lesson in there (Thanks Mom)

5 )  It’s a crazy, scary surreal time.  We’ll get through it.  After all, many of us grew up using this:

Lesson  – we are a (mostly) hearty bunch and a strong nation ~It might take a while but we’ll come back from this.

 

So how are you holding up? 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Home, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

More of my old friend

It’s the New Year and I’ve been (mostly) absent from this blog.  I’ve read yours (thank you for continuing to post while I’ve been away). You see, I’ve reconnected with an old friend ~ my books.

I’ve read, and read, and read some more.  Yes I’ve also cooked, cleaned, socialized, worked, and worked out .. yes, all that. But I’ve mostly leaned in and cozied up through this cold, dark January ~ So far Grand Rapids has had zero sunny days, 10 days with a little sun and 17 entirely cloudy days.  Until I read that article I hadn’t noticed!  You see between this little gadget shown below (used every morning) and all my delicious reading, I’m too content to care 🙂

I am relaxed and happier – all from doing what I love – with no guilt. Reading, learning, growing, and more.  So much more.

  • Does your reading activity go up in winter?
  • Is it sunny where you are?

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

  • (and this friend READS )
Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Self Discovery, Share | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

That feeling ~ New Year’s 2019

December 31, 2019 ~ I woke to a darkened house, blanketed in quiet from the snow swirling down.  It’s New Year’s Eve ~ and here we are on the cusp of a new month, a new year, a new decade.

Just like that.

When asked my resolutions for 2020 and I answered quickly – it’s simple, really. All I have to do is look back at the past 11 days off,  and therein lives my answer.

In 2020 I’ll try my best to recreate that ~

  1. That feeling, as winter winds roar outside the windows and you lift your head up from reading for 4 hours straight, plowing through magazines and books without a care or a distraction, a deadline or a phone call.
  2. That feeling, stretching and waking gently, without the glaring jolt of an alarm.
  3. That feeling, when you listen to your body and move it a little more, haul the boxes and work up a sweat taking down and packing up and catch yourself smiling because it’s only 9:30 a.m. and you’ve been up for 3 hours already.
  4. That feeling, between two major holidays, when you’re not sure which day it is – is it a work day? is it a week day?   And you have to consult the calendar to confirm.  And laugh about it.
  5. That feeling when your sustenance consists of coffee, bacon, eggs, cheese, pickles and clementines.

Nope, no New Year/New You for me. Not this year. I’m gonna focus on finding more of that feeling denoted above.

Your turn:

  1. How are you ringing in the new year?
  2. Do you resolve to do things differently?
  3. Do you want more of what you already have?

 

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” —Shauna Niequist

Happy * New * Year *

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Snarky, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

The last thing to grow

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

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

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

Just finished. Delicious!

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

 

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

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

Random 5 for Sunday ~ Good-bye March

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

5 Randoms from my world, here we go ~

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

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

not my picture

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

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

5 )  Yes, this, fur-ever and a day ❤

What random thing happened in your world this week?

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

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

Lake Days, “Bomb Cyclones” and conversations

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

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

Much like this guy below:

Grand Haven State Park, MI

 

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

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

picture from Michigan.org

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

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

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

 

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

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

Random 5 Snow Day(s) ~ town buddies, pant checks and heroes

Like much of the country, we’ve been smack in the middle of a winter storm for nearly a week and today, temperatures plummeted ~ Meteorologists are breathlessly reporting, “Polar Vortex, Arctic Chill and Extreme cold warnings!!” as the furnace hums steadily. I was up long before I needed to be but enjoyed puttering around the house in winter’s quiet.

Seeing the scroll of school, church and business closings last night I couldn’t help but remember my farm childhood and hearing two deliciously wonderful words at morning’s cusp, “SNOW DAY!”  And my snowy memories inspired me to post these Random Snow Day Thoughts ~ here we go:

1 )  Growing up in the country farm kids like me had a “town” buddy in case severe weather came quickly.  My town buddy was a classmate named Melanie Wright – her house was in the middle of the village.  I’d estimate a walk there took less than 10 minutes but it sure felt longer to me.  I recall spending the night once or twice, being fed and warm but also terribly homesick.  I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8.   I think that’s Melanie in the sailor dress next to me (in the bow tie), front row.

  • This picture represents 2 grades; my grade was one of the largest with 11 kids.
    • We often had 3 grades sharing one room in our little brick schoolhouse ~ God Bless our teachers!

Class picture, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2 )  Bitter blizzards and freezing winds take me right back to Mom’s kitchen where she, the 100lb dynamo, would stand at the door and make my siblings & I pull up our pant legs to give evidence of tights or long johns underneath. No negotiating,  no exceptions, “don’teventryit.”    She showed her love and care for us in a multitude of ways but the love I felt via a pants inspection lingers with me still.  Man I miss her.

Mom & Sport, winter 1952-53. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 )  Being home since last Thursday I’ve leaned into my stack of books. Read 3, ordered 4 more, and plan on starting another tonight.   Couldn’t. Be. Cozier.

“The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith

Bucket List Goals: Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland

4 ) Our local news has been sharing heartwarming stories of folks stepping up to help others out of a snowy ditch, clearing sidewalks, checking on elderly neighbors and even rescuing dogs out in the (dangerous) cold.   I have my own story to share:   a  situation arose late Monday that necessitated me making a quick trip to the office to pick up several (specialty) items ~ these were to be shipped to a colleague in another state.  The request came Monday evening, in the midst of white-out conditions with winter warnings” all around.   Pondering my next move, Hubbs made it easy, “I’ll take you.”    Yes I could have driven myself but that wasn’t the point.   Accompanied by his calm demeanor, fuzzy pants and snow boots, we set out the next day ~ roads were awful, snow-covered and icy.  Visibility was maybe 12 feet.  It was in that moment I was reminded of something Mom had always said:  Romance is not always flowers and chocolates … it’s someone willing to lay down a brick for you, over and over and over again.   And, as usual, she was right.

5 )  With 480+ area schools on an extended winter break, Schwartz Creek School Administrators in Clayton Township, Michigan got their “Snow Day” announcement just right  ~  Hallelujah, indeed! 🙂

 

  • Is the 2019 Polar Vortex affecting you / your area?
  • Did you have a “storm buddy” as a child?
  • Any “hero” stories to share?
  • Ever had a “pants” inspection?

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, News, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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Better Days Blog

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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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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...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...